Thursday, March 13, 2008

Media Blitz

My church was highlighted in two different media outlets this week. As a leadership co-op, we talk pretty regularly about how Nanette should interact with the media. We don't want to be someone's token "trendy" church for a segment and we don't want to be mis-represented. So, although this cover story from The Christian Century got a couple of things wrong, I was pleased by this sentence:
Wicker Park Grace is a good, small, delicate thing, riding the tides of gentrification and gathering up refugees from other churches, promising a more peaceful, gentle way.
Check out the rest of the article here: The Church Downtown: Strategies for Urban Ministry

We also got one soundbite from Nanette on National Public Radio. This link gives you both the audio and a written transcript:Congregations Reach Out with Rock, Jazz and Martinis Wicker Park Grace is one of three communities featured in this NPR story aired on "848", and "All Things Considered", March 11, 2008.

Of course, if you want to go straight to the source, our church's website is


Nanette Sawyer said...

Delete, delete, delete.

First of all, I'm a dork blogger today apparently. The prior two comments were written then deleted by me. Sorry everyone. I created this special "identity" as "scripture" so I could post actual scriptures in the Wicker Park Grace blog about the Stations of the Cross. I did not mean at all to comment here under the identity of "scripture". Too weird.

Anyway, here is my *actual* comment.

Princessmax--thanks for sharing these links with the world. I was pretty happy with both media pieces.

For the benefit of your curious readers, I thought I would share what I'm aware of as the things that weren't quite right in the Christian Century article:

1. It says we worship on Saturday night (ooops!) We gather on Sundays at 5:00 now and throughout the winter (and 6:00pm in the summers).

2. It says we are going to move in over Target, but we were really going to move in over a Staples. Both stores with big red letters on their signs! Anyway, the Staples thing fell through, so we're looking at some other locations now.

I wanted to post those, just so people wouldn't wonder, "what's not right" in this article.

My old church back home got mentioned as "a little Presbyterian church in South Boston" that "made me feel safe and valuable and free to be honest and authentic--on the spiritual journey I was on." I always like to give that church their proper credit for changing my life.

So, I hope people feel that way about Wicker Park Grace, too!

PrincessMax said...

So, I'm a big dork, too. I deleted the evidence of the mis-fired comments before reading the one Nanette kept.

I thought the interesting thing that the reporter didn't mention when talking about your "home" church is that it is not the church you grew up in. It is the church of your adult life that brought you to Christianity. She also didn't mention your years of meditation before that or that you were getting an MDIV at Harvard in Comparative Religions, not Christian theology. I think those are all important points when discussing who you are as a leader of misfits. :-)

Nanette Sawyer said...

Ah, great points. I'm glad to know what you were thinking about that. :)

I got the "island of misfit toys" image from that church of my adulthood where I found a way to be Christian centered in love and grace.

That church, by the way, is Fourth Presbyterian Church in South Boston. A big shout out to the folks there, and to Burns Stanfield, the pastor there from whom I learned a lot about what it is to be a pastor.

I got the island of misfit toys image from a sermon he preached. The misfit toys reference comes from the Rudolf the Rednosed Reindeer story that runs on TV around Christmas time.

There's an elf who wants to be a dentist and toys that don't act the way they're expected to act. (For example, there's a doll that cries and a "Jack"-in-the-box who's name is Charley, not Jack.) Then, of course, there's Rudolf with the glowing nose and "all the other reindeer used to call him names," because he didn't fit in.

In the end, Rudolf saves the day, exactly because of his unique qualities, and everyone gets affirmed for their own true gifts.

As it turns out, there's a very great need for a dentist at the North Pole. And Charley and the crying doll and all the unique toys get loved exactly as they are.

How's that for a story of grace and peace? Pretty rockin' if you ask me.

You are precious, exactly as you are. Now let's find out how to use your gifts to spread love through the world.

That's the message I get from that story.

So welcome, everyone, to the island of misfit toys, otherwise known as planet earth.

Share the love.