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Monday, March 03, 2014

"Ashes to Go" this Ash Wednesday

They're hogging the park, but they are quite generous with the ashes. Sort of like selling snowballs in winter.

Between 3 and 6 pm on Ash Wednesday, March 5, St. Stephen's clergy will be out on the sidewalk in front of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church (2750 McFarlane Road), offering ashes and a prayer to anyone stopping by, on foot or in a car.  For those who are driving, simply pull into the parking lot.  

Since the Middle Ages it has been the custom to start the 40 days of Lent by being marked with ashes in the sign of the cross.  At St. Stephen's,  special services are held on Ash Wednesday for that purpose. This year, in addition to two traditional services at 7 am and 7 pm, they'll be taking the "imposition of ashes," the reminder that we are vulnerable and in need of divine forgiveness, out to the street.  

They believe that God meets us not just in worship, but in the midst of life, and they offer the opportunity to remember our faith to those whose schedules make it hard to stop and pray with others on a busy Wednesday.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to St. Stephen's people I met this weekend, there is some sort of agreement between the church/school about the park's sports facilities, dating back over 50 years, where the school could use the area, maintain it, and then share it at times..
Never a problem, they say, until now, after they spent all that $$ renovating and building the nice Bball and soccer courts we see.
Now, of course, as they say, everyone wants to use them all day. They also said the courts were fenced and locked for the young school children's protection.

March 03, 2014 4:06 PM  
Blogger ArthurG said...

I think it's a bit of a stretch to link Ash Wednesday to the park issue. You conflate the temporal and the spiritual. The park issues are really a bit more complicated than your coverage would suggest. I think the parish has a very good record for helping the poor and the sick, and it would be a pity to overlook that. In any case, "Remember thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return." That's the real point of the ashes, and I invite you to join us on the street in front of St. Stephens.

March 03, 2014 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You conflate the temporal & the spiritual", what a useless mouthful of nothingness. I observed 6 homeless people sitting about in front of this locked gate; one urinated, one took out some stuff and 3 of them smoked it, one female was so out of it, didn't know me and with hands waving about appeared to want to physically attack me and one was bitching about their rights to enter the area where about 30 children were playing. The police advised them if they approached the children's area again they would be arrested. Ash, homeless, stretch, temporal, spiritual - make sense! It's all connected.

March 04, 2014 8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What exactly do the homeless have to do with St S. buying out a third of the park?

The crazy woman you refer to is named Meg. She is severely mentally ill with several distinct personalities.
The majority of the homeless in the park are harmless and just trying to find enough to eat on a daily basis.

March 04, 2014 10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"some sort of agreement between the church/school about the park's sports facilities, dating back over 50 years, where the school could use the area, maintain it, and then share it at times.."

So I'm generally in favor of public/private partnerships. But clearly this one is not well understood or has not been communicated properly. For example "at times" I have never seen the soccer field open to the public.

It seems that a staffer needs to be present at Peacock, to oversee the park in general. That person would make sure the park is used properly, ensure different groups have access to the fields (baseball, soccer, etc) democratically, ensure safety (call police ,etc to report disorderly conduct, public intoxication, etc), ensure hygiene at the restrooms, maybe even do some basic leaf blowing maintenance. Between the local businesses, residents, tourists, and schools such an important asset cannot go unattended.

March 04, 2014 11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that what St. Stephens is doing on Ash Wednesday has to do with the park.

March 04, 2014 12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The homeless wanted additional security; the fence with the gate, they wanted to be allowed to go inside this secured area, they had rights, which they demanded, it's their park so to speak and they want it now to urinate in private, to smoke their pipes in private, to have a place to hang out, etc. I know because I observed this group numerous times trying to exercise their rights to mix amongst the children - - - - hence the lock.

March 04, 2014 3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to break it to you but everybody urinates in public at Peacock Park. Go down to one of the kickball games and watch as every guy there takes an eventual trip to the bushes. Mothers will take their kids to a tree or walk them a slight distance and have them pee on the wall by the basketball court.

I would also like to say that I spend enough time in the park and am a friendly and talkative enough of a person that I have come to know most of the parks homeless population and have found them,save for two or three who are seriously mentally ill, to purposely keep a distance from the school children.

I'm curious as to why someone is trying to blame St Stephens locks, fences and locked gates on 6-8 homeless people. I know Sarnoff hates the homeless to the point of making it illegal to feed them so maybe it's one of his admirerers.

March 05, 2014 8:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pay attention: Most, if not a vast majority of homeless have problems, hence homelessness. I'm a professional, i.e., work, earn, own properties, car, boat, insurance, pay taxes, etc., and have several friends who have become homeless for very specific reasons. The 6/8 homeless I observed wanted access to where the children were going to school and no matter how you slice it that is a no/no!

March 05, 2014 8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do pay attention and your condescending tone and aggression are noted.
Congratulations on your success in life and be thankful for the luck and chances that got you there but please do not paint the homeless with such a broad brush. I seriously question your claim that any were physically trying to get into the locked courts.
I would appreciate it if you could tell me which ones were being aggressive because in the last ten years I've come to be acquainted with most of these less fortunate and the behavior you ascribe to some few of them just doesn't jibe with what I know about them.

Was it TJ? He's the one that was interviewed in the paper and was quoted as saying, "We're not homeless, we're residentially challenged." He's also the one who makes sure no one goes hungry no matter how little food there is to go around.
Was it Russell? He and his wife Marilynn were living in some bushes and he was trying to keep a job but his wife's cancer finally took her life two months ago and he hasn't been doing well.
Was it Jeffery Bate the painter? You can find his paintings in banks and private collection all around South Florida. He had his arm fractured by a City of Miami officer last year for the crime of not getting up fast enough when the police roused a group that was sleeping under the eves of the glass house during a storm one night. He doesn't live on street but it is difficult for an 80yr old man to row out to his boat in a storm.
Was it Dave? Micheal? Legend? Kitty? Donny? Jeff? Meg? Wynn? Frank? Cray? Fernando? Either of the Johnney's? Josh? Hat-man Jerry the palm weaver? Ranger Bill? André?

I would appreciate if you could tell me who it was so that I might hear their side of the story. The homeless, who, until the last few months, have been dealing with constant police harassment at night and both the police and park personell throwing away their clothes, food and few personal items in a complete disregard of the Pottinger Settlement, have enough problems without someone making up stories about their behavior. Mind you, these people do have their issues but trying to harass children isn't one of them.

Again I ask if you could identify which ones were demanding entrance to the courts while the school children were there. I'm certain you can at least give me one of their names if you have been paying attention.
I certainly have been.

March 06, 2014 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the church, if it actually gave a S**t about what it preaches would spend some of the millions upon millions it has spent on profit making ventures in the past 5 years, to take care of the sick, poor, homeless - ya know, like Jesus talked about.

Their not a church, but rich social group.

March 06, 2014 11:12 AM  

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