- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Beacon Press; First Paperback Edition edition (September 10, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0807072575
- ISBN-13: 978-0807072578
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Breathing Space: A Spiritual Journey in the South Bronx First Paperback Edition Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
In 1984, when Neumark became pastor of Transfiguration Lutheran Church, the South Bronx was groaning under decades of neglect. A 1976 HUD policy called "planned shrinkage" had radically reduced city services, including hospitals and schools, and only people too poor to move elsewhere remained in this area of sewage treatment plants and torched apartment buildings. For 19 years Neumark lived and worked among addicts, pushers, prostitutes, people with AIDS, abused women and children and gang members, without abandoning hope: "I am drawn to a different vision-the walls rebuilt, the land reclaimed, the people who rise up like grass improbably breaking through slabs of stone." A gifted storyteller, she portrays people who, despite personal tragedies and minimal resources, band together to build low-income housing, create first-rate schools, restore their church, plant trees and help each other through crises. People like Burnice, who initially came to church to pick up Christmas gifts, intending to trade them for drugs and then kill herself with an overdose; but who kept coming back, got her GED, found a job and is now a leader in church and community. "Some future pillars of the church arrive in ruins," Neumark wryly notes. With its hard-nosed realism and passion for God, this memoir should appeal to people of faith across the political spectrum.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Although a white woman of privilege, Neumark spent nearly 20 years ministering in the South Bronx to an exclusively Hispanic and African American Lutheran congregation that considered a church to be a community, and the church building a place to worship and to meet, sing, laugh, converse, and interact. Surrounded by violence and poverty and threatened by urban renewal, Transfiguration Lutheran Church under pastor Neumark survived and, perhaps miraculously, thrived. Neumark visited homes and walked the streets to meet the church's neighbors; talked with community leaders, shopkeepers, and street-corner misfits; recruited neighborhood kids and promising artists into an art class that became the cornerstone of an after-school program; initiated Sunday school classes; and sought to heal racial and class divisions that had festered for decades. Her story proves genuinely inspirational as we follow her from despair and frustration to cautious optimism in the face of a still tenuous future. June Sawyers
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.