Sunday, April 9, 2017
By: Wina Schaufler
During Lent 2017 the Old St Pat’s community publishes and proclaims: “Repent, Repair, Renew!” Repent what? Repair what? Renew what? The March 23 North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council (NLCCC) Quarterly Meeting gave me a real opportunity to live out those three proclamations during and beyond Lent. As a rose gardener and a member of the NLCCC Parks and Open Spaces Subcommittee, this event gave me a place at a table; a place that leads me home.
The meeting convened at the Sinai Community Institute on Ogden Avenue, a short ride west from OSP. There gathered approximately 80 members of Old St. Pat’s along with North Lawndale residents who were professional leaders in areas of education, health care, community organizing, social policy, the arts, agriculture, entrepreneurship, and more, all proud citizens of their community.
We shared ideas, information and refreshments and there was much progress. During the reporting phase of the meeting, we heard about leadership training opportunities, work development programs, upcoming music and art festivals, City of Chicago water mitigation projects, first time home buyers assistance, public transportation access issues, a cycling event sponsored by the alderman event, developments in Washington DC that directly affect residents of North Lawndale, and so much more. The NLCCC effectively gathers people together to relate to one another, and it brings these and many other social issues into focus so our communities can take action on them (together).
The meeting caused me to reflect on the concept of repentance. To repent means to change one’s wrong mind to make it right. How can we change our minds about people living with desperation and let the light of Easter show us the passion of our neighbors in North Lawndale. Can we help repair crumbling, flooding streets by contributing to water mitigation projects the residents hope will improve their community? Will we renew our solidarity with our North Lawndale neighbors as they prepare to celebrate the 150 Year Anniversary of North Lawndale in 2018 – the same community that was once home to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Golda Meir?
To love God is getting to know God. Similarly, to love our neighbor is getting to know them and journeying along side them. During Lent 2017, I relish experiencing the light of Christ in our call to Repent, Repair, Renew our relationships with those in our communities. I urge you to learn more about our North Lawndale neighbors and the work of the Kinship Initiative by visiting one of the following two websites.
Let us continue getting to know and work with our imagining, thriving, caring North Lawndale neighbors. So many members of Old St. Pat’s and I am glad that we did.
Wina Schaufler is a long time Old St. Pat’s member.