Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting Emmanuel Baptist Church in the Clinton Hill neighborhood in Brooklyn. My friend and Soror, Dr. Neichelle Guidry was preaching; she is also a pastor at my home church in Chicago, Trinity United Church of Christ. She was preaching as the final pastor for the “Chosen” women’s ministry and she was amazing. It was also lovely to get a little taste of my Chicago home in my new Brooklyn home.
This week, I visited Lafayette Presbyterian Church in Fort Greene. I had visited Lafayette before, as I fondly remember my months visiting Second Presbyterian Church in Chicago, the neighborhood church that I attended in the beginning of 2015 as I was contemplating moving away from Chicago after living there for half of my life. It had been a challenging winter for various reasons, and Second Presybterian Church provided the thoughtful context I needed to make some decisions that I knew would (and have) transformed my life drastically. When I got up this morning and decided to visit LAPC again, I thought, maybe I should just join this church. I found out that they have a new pastor on the way, and that’s exciting. I can walk there from my apartment, and that’s cool too.
But I think, as I prepare to enter into my third year living in Brooklyn (the days are long while the years fly by in this city), that maybe what I need is a My52WOW in Brooklyn year. I still have so much to learn about this borough. When I tell people I live in Brooklyn, I always get an enthusiastic response (That’s the place to be, right?) And, of course, although I was born in the Bronx, I know the cultural and historical significance of Brooklyn, generally, and have heard stories about how it has transformed and is transforming. But, I still have lots to learn. And one way that I learned so much seven years ago, was through the many people and places I met and visited during the original 52 Weeks of Worship.
People ask me all the time if it is possible to do what I did, but without traveling all over the world. I always say yes. In any city I have every visited, there are a plethora of worship communities, some just around the corner from where one works, lives, and plays. My original project was global because my family is all over the world. But this time, I am going to stay here in Brooklyn, and see what there is to see. I have a good feeling about what I will find.
In the first year of the project, there was only one rule: “If someone invited me to their place of worship, then I had to visit.” So – if you live in Brooklyn and you want to invite me to your place of worship, drop me a line at my52wow at gmail dot com. And I will see you there.