On the fourth day of our trip, we arrived in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Astute readers will realize we missed a couple of towns: Newtown, where I went to my last two years of high school, and Williamstown, where I went to college. I did go to church in those towns, but we couldn’t squeeze them into this trip. Brooklyn is where I moved after college, met Dave, and got married. We lived in Brooklyn for about 6 years. There being no campgrounds in Brooklyn, we AirBnB’d a great apartment in our old neighborhood. We took the kids by all of our old apartments, including the Red House where Dave lived with half a dozen roommates before we were married, and where we had our first date (he cooked Indian food), and our first apartment as a married couple on Garfield Place.
We also stopped by St. John’s Church in Park Slope, where I sang in the choir and led the youth group. Once again, the parish administrator was wonderful about letting us poke all around. We also got to chat with the interim priest, and even got our photo taken for the parish newsletter. The rector who was there when I was finally retired last year after 25 years of ministry. St. John’s was a high church sort of place, with a fantastic music program (we had paid professional choir members — but I was not one of them!). I learned a lot there, and got to develop my love of youth ministry. I was the only parishioner between 16 and 46 — they weren’t quite sure what to do with me, so let me have fun running the youth group. Sadly, I also learned about unhealthy parish systems. I was able to share some stories with the interim priest which I hope will be helpful as she helps the parish heal and grow. I eventually left St. John’s and moved across the river to St. George’s in Manhattan. More on that tomorrow!