Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Loving a Broken World

One afternoon
One DART Station
One Invitation
One Action Meditation to benefit Aids Services of Dallas
One Good Friday brought forth:

250 Dollars
182 Razors
108 Flossers (Individual Use Dental Floss)
29 Toothpastes
20 Pairs of Socks
20 Bars of Soap
14 Deodorants
14 Toothbrushes
12 Rolls of Toilet Paper
10 Pairs of Underwear
10 Packages of Kleenex
2 Laundry Detergents
1 Electric Footwash
*The mission of ASD is to create and strengthen healthy communities through the delivery of quality, affordable, service-enriched housing for individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS.

Together we reflect on those who are most vulnerable, stripped bare, & exposed in our contemporary society. And together we take one step, at one DART stop, to love our broken world back to life.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Guerilla Communion

The final stop on our DART Stations of the Cross journey included a speedy 3 minute and 7 second sharing of Communion.

Kristin explains why we've gathered at Mockingbird Station and what will happen during the DART Stations of the Cross.

This Is My Body

I must confess that Station 13 was the most moving meditation I experienced yesterday during DART Stations of the Cross. It called me back to my body from the 12 previous meditations that had turned me inward in reflection. Thank you Pastor Laura for reminding us that we are embodied souls.

The prevailing idea that masquerades as "spirituality" these days is that we are not our bodies; that we are ghosts in the machine, brains in a vat, souls trapped in flesh prisons. But the words of Pearl Buck's mother shattered that shallow theology when she responded to nurses who said her dead son's body was just a body and that he wasn't there anymore. She said, "But this body is the one that I carried in my body, and this body is the one that I gave birth to, and this body is the one that I fed with milk from my body... this body is my baby, this body is my son."

Indeed, what are we without our bodies? Without a body to encounter the world we do not know the world. Without a body against which the world can make contact we have no awareness of ourselves. Our bodies put us in touch with others and ourselves. Every sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch puts me in contact with the Other that is not-Me and it is in that encounter that I discover Me. My body also allows me to relate to others. I can see the faces of others and catch glimpses of their soul, listen to their stories , smell the world I have ignored in their clothes, taste their tears born of sorrow and joy, and touch their wounds. The ethical implications of remembering that we are embodied souls are profound.This Easter Sunday the words "this is my body, broken for you" will take on profoundly deeper meaning.

Reflections on the Stations

Not being of the churchy-poo ilk (oh wait, I'm a preacher's daughter, never mind) I tend to resist traditional boxes and spoon fed meaning. As we moved through the Stations of the Cross yesterday evening, I was filled with inexplicable emotion and chills upon reading the meditation associated with each station. Downright eerie how some of them fit...

The darkness of the Convention Center stop.
A more obvious poverty as we moved further south on the Red Line.
Tear-like dripping copper trails on some of the public art.
Rival graffitti wars on the sides of abandoned buildings.

And so we sit on Saturday.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

DART stations of the cross: images to prepare the soul


(oh snap, that's us plannin' logistics.... photos by Rob's fancy pants phone)

The downloadable PDF is to the right in the links area. Print out and take with you. Along with your camera and journal.

Step 1: Park in the Mockingbird Station lot or designated DART parking.

Step 2: Bring three dollars (3USD per person) for your DART ticket.

Step 3: Go to the machine and buy a Local Day Pass. KEEP YOUR TICKET.

Step 4: Do the DART Stations of the Cross meditation. Remember, you must catch the 5:54PM train from Mockingbird ON THE RED LINE to participate in the "drop off" at 8th and Corinth and the 7 min Guerilla Good Friday Service at the Westmoreland Station.

Step 5: After the "service" - get back on the train and ride back to Mockingbird with the group with your original ticket back to Mockingbird and your car.

Trinity Hall is located in Mockingbird Station for those thirsty ones. How appropriate.

DART Stations of the Cross Meditation Guide

Dear Friends,

our downloadable meditation guide for riding the rails this good friday is accessible in our links section to the right -- click on DART Stations of the Cross Guide and you will be able to download and print a PDF to take on the journey. Please note the instructions on the guide to bring supplies/check for the Dallas Aids Services, as well as a cup, camera, and journal to record and share your experiences.

peace to you this Holy Week,

cdp, community pastor, churchinthecliff.org

PDF Coming Today... For Real

So Scott and I and others are re-learning the humble lesson of how long last minute tasks take to do when collaborating with a group. The PDF downloadable meditation guide is ready, I just sent the wrong 'final draft' to scott last night so he was unable to post it. In my defense I had just gotten back from the doctor to have my stitches removed and said doctor declared that I have a 'wound infection' and so I am on some drugs and likely not thinking straight. The pdf is done and beautiful and will be up later today. if you would like it in the meantime please contact me cdpinkerton@gmail.com.

The downloadable meditation guide is already moving folks even in its draft form. I share here some feedback from a friend who previewed the guide. she is living in another city and engaged in a new church plant:

oh, corina, this is so beautiful.... it makes me want to scrap all our holy week liturgies and just do this. thank you for sharing it.
truly, reading about your stations in the last few days has made me pause and think about the churchiness of our worship... on the one hand, i love it (after all, one of my cpe colleagues christened me "liturgy girl")... on the other hand, i think of all the room outside the liturgy there is for creativity, for reaching out, for re-thinking what church and church space can be. my congregation thinks of itself as a missional one, outward facing, and yet so much of what we do is invite people in... why not go out to them instead? what might that look like?
we are a mere infant church, only months old, and so at this time it seems appropriate to go with what is known--too much, too new, too fast is a recipe for burnout... and yet i want to take time to pause, in this holy week and after it, to think about how we might hit the pause button on our churchiness and see how else we might co-create in our worship with our living god...
thank you, friend, for inspiring these thoughts.

And I say thank you to all of our writers, artists, volunteers. God is on the move, and PDF meditation guide will be here soon.

love to you all

cdp, community pastor, churchinthecliff.org

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Action Meditation to benefit Aids Services of Dallas

Our downloadable meditation guide will be availalbe tomm (Wed). I wanted to post the intro to the guide today to give people more time to gather donations for dallas aids services, (aidsdallas.org) before friday. see below for requested items. peace, cdp

DART Stations of the Cross

DART Stations of the Cross is a community response art installation. It is presented by CityGallery - an interdisciplinary group of artists, poets, philosophers, theologians, social activists and musicians that uses the city of Dallas as their gallery. DART Stations of the Cross explores Good Friday through meditation and mass transit. It is an opportunity to move through the final hours of Jesus’ life and enter into Jesus’ journey — living it, reflecting on it, and seeing how it impacts our life now.
Participants are encouraged to provide a response through images and stories from riding the rails. As a public art experience, Dart Stations of the Cross will be on Good Friday, April 10, between 4-8 pm. Participants are invited to join Church in the Cliff, an emergent congregation in Oak Cliff, for a guerilla Good Friday service at 7pm at Westmoreland Station before returning via train to Mockingbird Station.

Note: the last train to catch is the 5:54 pm if you plan on both disembarking at the 8th and Corinth stop
(our ‘action meditation’) and participating in the liturgy at Westmoreland station at 7 pm.

Things to Bring for the Ride:
Journal to capture reflections or stories
(please share via our CitygalleryFlickr group http://www.flickr.com/groups/1061070@N21/)

Digital Camera for images & video to share via our CitygalleryFlickr group

Checkbook for Contribution/Material Goods (new socks/underwear, laundry detergent, toilet paper, toothpaste, facial tissue, razors, & deodorant) to benefit Aids Services of Dallas. These items will be collected by a volunteer at the Dart Stop at 8th & Corinth.

Open Eyes for an Art Experience that is a Life Experience

Friday, April 3, 2009


Morning Everyone,
I just got off the phone with Keri Mitchell, managing editor of the Advocate magazines and the article on us in the cliff dweller/advocate is out! it is called Holy Railin'-- check us out at http://www.advocatemag.com/oak-cliff/magazine/Holy_Railin.html
I also paste the body below. Scott, Lara, Sara Jane and I are checking in today to finalize our pdf down loadable meditation guide and also to prepare for our good friday guerrilla liturgy at 7pm at Westmoreland. Please contact me or scott with any ideas on this, we would love everyone's ownership of the day. one week from today. peace to you all, cdp
Each year on Good Friday, it was tradition for City Church to turn its art gallery space into an experiential version of the Stations of the Cross. “It’s an opportunity, in a contemplative way, to walk through the final hours of Jesus’ life and enter into the story of Jesus’ life and death — living it, reflecting on it, and seeing how it impacts our life now,” says Courtney Pinkerton, community pastor of the church, which is now called Church in the Cliff. When the church moved from Uptown into our neighborhood, it began meeting in the Kidd Springs Recreation Center and lost its permanent gallery space. So when the discussion turned to Good Friday, “somebody probably just made a joke and said, ‘DART Stations of the Cross,’ and the next thing you know we were like, ‘That’s a great idea,’” says Church in the Cliff’s artist in residence, Scott Shirley. Between Mockingbird and Westmoreland are 14 DART rail stations along the red line, and the church is creating a meditative guide for each station that corresponds with one of the 14 Stations of the Cross. Participants can either stay on the train or follow the guide to occasionally disembark and have an “art experience,” Shirley says. (For example, one station shows the scene where Jesus is stripped of his clothes, and people can exit the train to donate clothes to a nonprofit.) Some public art will be detailed in the guide, but other stations might have “guerrilla art,” Shirley says, where not even the church will know beforehand what artists have planned. “Having that sense of uncertainty where you don’t know if something is set up or not — an art experience or experience of life? — that’s something that shocks people into considering their environment,” Shirley says. “The idea is people are then forced to reconsider spaces they normally take for granted, and at the same time reconsider issues.”
Find the DART Stations of the Cross mediation guide at churchinthecliff.org. The guide can be followed anytime during Lent, the Christian season leading up to Easter Sunday, but the public art and “guerilla art” experiences will be on Good Friday, April 10, between 4-8 p.m.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Love as Sublation

I have been reading G.W.F. Hegel lately and have been struck by his idea of love as sublation. Sublation, for Hegel, involves a movement of cancellation, preservation and elevation. Love, he says, is identity in difference; that is, the differences between the two people (or more) are overcome in a relationship of love. Some things are cancelled. Some things are preserved. All are elevated.

Lent is, liturgically speaking, a purgative season; a time of cancellation, if you will. Lent is often characterized as a time of dying to the self, but perhaps that is putting it too strongly. Lenten practice is not about eliminating the self but rather purging the self; cancelling some things and preserving others. The goal is resurrection; a time of elevation, if you will.

If God is love, then in Hegelian terms she is a movement of cancellation, preservation and elevation. God, as the active power in our lives, is purging us; cancelling some things, preserving others, and elevating us in ways we could have never foreseen. Let us make room for love.
Entering into this creative process of experiencing the Stations of the Cross has invited me into a spiritual and social exercise. Writing the meditations was a process of "entering in" to the journey or a collective consciousness of what "entering in" means. This will be the first time I have ever entered a Dart Station or taken a ride on it. Ironically I pass one of these stations everyday and scan the faces of those who do and create my own stories about their journeys and what causes them to "enter in." Meditating on the suffering Jesus rattles, inspires and challenges me on a personal, spiritual and social level. How then does the suffering we encounter in community and throughout the world speak to the act of "entering in?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

In working on the guide, I'm digging into the notion of reparation. Growing up Baptist, this was not a word that was used. Sure, there was plenty of guilt, but we just told God we were sorry and that was that. We were never asked to compensate the victim. In fact, we were told that was not possible because the victim was Jesus and nothing could make up for his suffering and death.

Pope Pius XI saw it differently:
The creature's love should be given in return for the love of the Creator, another thing follows from this at once, namely that to the same uncreated Love, if so be it has been neglected by forgetfulness or violated by offense, some sort of compensation must be rendered for the injury, and this debt is commonly called by the name of reparation.
We owe a debt. One of the ways we can repay it is by taking this pilgrimage of prayer and meditating on Jesus's suffering.

Now, I'm not sure I can buy the metaphysics that makes me responsible for something that happened 2000 years ago. However, it's a powerful thing to contemplate the path to the cross. The way of the world is self-interest. Jesus spent his life exhorting people to choose God's way, the way of compassion and justice. These two ways collide in Christ's death.

Have things really changed in the last 2000 years? There is God's way and the world's way. Most of the time, we're not even conscious of a choice between the two or the implications of that choice. Maybe our reparations are in choosing God's way. Maybe we should compensate those who are suffering now because we do not have to suffer. Maybe our meditation should be imagining a world in which compassion and justice are the rule. Maybe we should, in the words of Pope John Paul II, make the "unceasing effort to stand beside the endless crosses on which the Son of God continues to be crucified."

Monday, March 23, 2009

Choosing our Stations

We had a wonderful conversation yesterday at Bolsa taking next steps for this project. I am moving all conversation regarding pairing our 'meditation artists' with their station to the blog to facilitate the process. As of right now, this is where we are:

The Stations:

#1 Jesus is condemned to death -- Mockingbird --lara
#2 Jesus is given his cross -- City Place --genny
#3 Jesus falls the first time -- Pearl --tonya
#4 Jesus meets His Mother -- St. Paul --courtney
#5 Simon of Cyrene carries the cross -- Akard --genny
#6 Veronica wipes the face of Jesus -- West End --lara
#7 Jesus falls the second time -- Union -- tonya
#8 Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem -- Convention Center --genny
#9 Jesus falls the third time -- Cedars -- tonya
#10 Jesus is stripped of His garments -- 8th and Corinth --courtney
#11 Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross -- Zoo -- lara
#12 Jesus dies on the cross -- Tyler --john
#13 Jesus' body is removed from the cross -- Hampton --pl
#14 Jesus is laid in the tomb and covered in incense -- Westmoreland

Here is what we are co-creating: a meditation guide available online for folks to download and use as a sort of prompt while they ride the rails from Mockingbird station to Westmoreland on good Friday. the experience will culminate in a guerrilla liturgy at westmoreland and the group will return together to mockingbird in the same car.

this is really happening people-- yet another indication that God is on the move, literally! This whole project is very lean. just really about inviting people to wake up to their own reality, own landscape, own lives in a fresh way. Ideally, we need to have the poems/meditations in by this Wednesday so Lara Arp can make our meditation guide and we can get it up on our site a couple of weeks before Good Friday.

Friday, March 20, 2009

DART Stations of the Cross. Take 1.

DART Stations of the Cross came out of a salon hosted by CityGallery a few months ago as a way to further engage the city as our gallery. In the past, we have hosted musical performances in public parks, art shows in alleys and tons more. This year, in an effort to create a meditation on Good Friday, we came up with a spin-off of a traditional "stations of the cross" service - as in a moving meditation called 'DART Stations of the Cross'.

A pdf map with instructions and meditations will be available shortly on this site and we welcome you to engage as much or as little as you like. We won't be in DART stations "witnessing" - don't worry. We'll be average riders with an open mind and heart to our beautiful city. More details soon, but for now, mark your calendar for Friday, April 10, 2009.