Islands of Hope.
I'd been to New York City several times but had never done the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island tour. Most people had warned me not to as it would take almost a full day and with so many other things to see, it ended up being low on the list. But our group was looking at how people engage and assimilate in the face of the unknown. So it made sense that we spent some time looking at Ellis Island.
The boat tour gives you some of the best views of the city. The first stop is the Statue of Liberty. I have to admit. Visiting the statue was much more meaningful than I could imagine. She's a symbol of some of the best parts of our country and I tend to get choked up when I think about the promises of hope she represents.
Ellis Island was not as interactive as I thought it might be. There are a few visual aspects that are interesting but the majority of the main tour is a LOT of reading. But if you're up for that challenge, there's a lot to learn.
The theme of movement continued: why did people move to America? Where did they go once they got here? What changed once they moved? How did the unique cultures of certain groups shape our world today? I can't say that we had the answers for how to be the church in an unknown season of life but we did see more evidence that:
- People will risk a lot for a sense of liberty.
- People will cling to certainty in the face of the unknown.
Later that evening we took the long way to dinner and stopped by an area known for its graffiti, then we went to a restaurant that Anthony Bourdain featured. Our group had been inspired by how he got to know each neighborhood that he visited and created community around a table with strangers. All of our "table talk" was holy. It is almost indescribable the way God moved each time we sat down to enjoy a meal together. There's a reason why Jesus eats with so many people. There's a reason why food is so prominent in religious events in the Bible. Food is necessary for life. It unites us in that we all need it as a source of energy.
Spiritually we can united when we realize that God is moving among us and we need God as a source of spiritual energy. This is exactly what happened on our trip. We were able to experience God in new and
powerful ways. That experience is priceless.
After dinner we went on an epic quest for pie. We had come to NY on pi day 3/14. And we neglected to have pie on that day. So after an exhaustive google search for the best pie that was still open close to Little Italy we finally found a pie shop. it was worth the trip!
Until Everyone Hears,
P.S. - In case you missed the summary of day two of our trip, you can read about it here.
P.P.S. - Luke 24:35 (New International Version)