Tag Archives: hospitality

12 Corners

I wrote my first Yelp review today. I know I should have written reviews in the past, but they never happened. For some reason, today’s came out.

12 CornersA friend and I planned to meet for coffee. She asked if I minded coming downtown and suggested a couple options.

I chose 12 Corners and am glad I did.

I was a first time customer. My friend has a frequent caffeinater card. It is clear why.

The coffee is great. I need to learn if it is fair trade.

The blackberry bran muffin was amazing.

But what really set 12 Corners apart for me was the service. The friendly staff treated everyone with kindness and went out of their way to create an atmosphere of hospitality and welcome.

A good day. I will be back.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Food, Friends, New York

A special family

20130821_122412On Wednesday, 21 August, Rachel Lee and Esther Lee visited the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations – where I work. We took a tour of the UN and had great conversations.

I had never met Rachel and Esther before Wednesday, but I am friends with their aunt – the Rev. Dr. Hyunju Bae – and their uncle – the Rev. Dr. JC Lee.

Hyunju and JC arranged my trip to the Republic of Korea.

In May, JC brought a Doctor of Ministry class to New York and we had a great visit.

Wednesday brought another blessed day and another blessed visit.

And now I am friends with more members of this special family!

I look forward to see who I meet next.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Friends, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, United Nations

A blessed visit, a blessed day

IMG_1655 (1024x651)Near the end of my visit to the Republic of Korea, the Rev. JC Lee informed me that one of his Doctor of Ministry would come to the United States. The class itself would take place at Columbia Theological Seminary. But they would also do some sightseeing. Their Trail would bring them to New York.

I jumped at the opportunity to share a small portion of hospitality with my friend and guide who had showed me so much on my trip to his country. We began to plan and via email worked out a brief visit to the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations.

The visit happened yesterday – May 30. It was wonderful.

JC and nine students arrived about 10:30. Our staff greeted them warmly. Ricky, Marissa (who took two of the photos in this post), Brendan, Ryan, Sera, and I told about the work of our ministry and responded to questions.

IMG_1659 (1024x683)Pizza, traditional New York City pizza – we wanted to provide a New York dish, arrived at 11:15 or so. Over lunch, our guests shared about themselves and their ministries.

Our guests expressed interest in the Red Hands on our walls. I explained that the hands were part of the Red Hand Campaign to end the use of children as soldiers. Our Korean brothers and sister indicated a desire to participate and Red Hands were made.

After lunch, Sera and I accompanied the class on a tour of the United Nations. As we had requested, the guide conducted the tour in Korean. The group members had a marvelous, joy-filled time. We had so much fun and laughed so loud and hard with each other that our guide had to quite the group. Twice.

IMG_1739 (1024x683)Following the tour, we returned to our office where we bid each other, not good-bye, but “until the next time.” We walked our brothers and sister to the elevator amid great laughter. The class went to visit Midtown.

The elevator doors closed. With joy in our hearts, well at least with joy in my heart – I suppose I should not speak for anyone else, we went back to work.

A blessed visit. A blessed day.

See you along the Trail.

 

 

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Filed under Friends, Human Rights, New York, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations

Fellowship of the Shire

Originally posted about a year ago,
it seems appropriate to repost this one
in the aftermath of the sale of the Shire.


No rings, no wizards,
no reforged broken swords,
not even a walk to Mordor,
where of course no one simply walks,
but a fellowship nonetheless graced
the halls of the Shire.
Rooted in minimalist hospitality,
this fellowship of family and friends
knitted together over food and games,
movies and song,
conversation and camaraderie,
Jameson and other libations;
never present all at the same time,
always present in spirit,
the fellowship of the Shire
blesses me daily,
graces my living
and travels with me
wherever the ongoing road might lead.

In the hope that the Fellowship of the Shire has meant
and means as much to the other members
as it has and does to me.
The Shire, Louisville
19 April 2012

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Why I like New York 14 – hospitality

 

In a world where so many are not welcome
You gotta love a store
that provides
unexpected hospitality
of this sort.

See you at Ivy League Stationers
and others spots
along the Trail.

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There’s always room

Yes. It is 3:25 in the blessed A.M.

I just finished watching Hotel Rwanda. I am tired. My great end of the church aches, really aches.

But for some reason, I put the movie on around 1:00ish and once it started, it simply seemed wrong to stop. I had to watch, even though I have seen it many times. I had to watch.

I had to watch for those people who perished and for those people who were wounded in body, mind, and spirit and who bear still their wounds.

I had to watch for those few people who tried to sound the alarm, for those few people who acted to protect, and for those people whose number is legion  (and I am among them) who failed. Failed to act or acknowledge or even watch as the horror unfolded. Those people who lived the words of the film crew within the film: I think if people see this footage they’ll say, “oh my God that’s horrible,” and then go on eating their dinners.

For the killed and maimed, the killers and maimers, for the ones who ignored and the ones who were ignored, I had to watch. No choice.

In watching, I realized again what an incredible actor Don Cheadle is. He is gfted, gifted, gifted. But this is also a story and a role that clearly moves Cheadle. Paul Rusesabagina may be An Ordinary Man (his own book title), but he is an incredible character to play. Cheadle knows that plays accordingly.

Other characters are poorly developed.  I knew that. I recognized it again. The actresses and actors who play many of the roles are not given much to work with. But they carry on and Cheadle/Rusesabagina carries the movie.

The story of the events at the Hôtel des Mille Collines in Kigali during those days of hell is an incredibly powerful story, an intensely poignant story, an excruciatingly painful story. It is story filled with evil acts and international indifference and banal inaction. It is a story of common decency that becomes uncommon courage. Even though I know the outline well, it is a story that grips me every time I watch.

And every time, I come a way with something new.

Tonight (this morning?) my learning came at the end of the movie when Cheadle/Rusesabagina makes the observation: There’s always room.

There’s always room. Are the words factual? Did Rusesabagina say that as his family made their way toward Tanzania? Maybe. Maybe not. It really does not matter. Because they are true.

There’s always room. They expressed the truth that came to guide Rusesabagina’s life as he opened the hotel to people fleeing death. Seeing others as sisters and brothers – he could do nothing else but find a way, create a way where there was no way – make room when there appeared to be no room.

There’s always room. They express the truth that guided rescuers during the Holocaust and during times of slaughter and genocide before and since.

There’s always room. They express the truth that could change our lives if we can open ourselves to let them do so.

There’s always room. Are they about hospitality? Certainly. But they point directly to the awareness that we are made for each other. That we are not made to butcher and exclude and deny one another –  physically, emotionally, spiritually, or in any way. That Love has created us to love and that in loving our true humanity (broken and wounded as we are) is revealed and lived and reveled in.

There’s always room. What would it look like to live those words, really live those words – in our homes, our neighborhood, our churches, our places of work, our country, around the world?

It would be challenging. It would be hard. It would be frightening. Difficult. Costly. Painful.

But it also might lead to hope and peace and justice and joy and life, abundant life.

There’s always room. May it be so for me. Ever more, every day, may it be so for me.

‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’ Mark 9:37

See you along the Trail.

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