Saturday, October 1, 2011

True Light, Emancipation, and now Freedom at 31st and Charlotte

Pastor Alice Pigge-Wallack makes words come alive. She speaks and listens with a kindness that exudes, light, emancipation, and freedom. She creates community every day in and around her community at 31st and Charlotte Street in Kansas City, Missouri. This past Thursday, she and a host of loving neighbors and volunteers opened the front door of Freedom House.

Freedom house is now a home, a dream come true, a place where women seeking a new start in life can reside while seeking employment and a home of their own. Stop in at True Light Church and visit Pastor Alice when you have a chance. She’ll be there. Have a look around at how she’s transformed the place into a reception center with caring people ready to connect the lost with support and services, homeless with a home, the forgotten with people who remember, the transient seeking a dignified transition.

These are all words, so you must see it to believe it. You may believe it when Pastor Alice takes you across the street to Emancipation Station, a wonderful comfortable place of rest where women who are without can be “with”. Safety, nutrition, clothing, cleansing, contemplation, conversation, sewing, reading, and even piano lessons. A room to quietly think and even pray if the spirit moves and listens. An atmosphere of dignity and calm, where the doors open for breakfast each morning and close a few hours after supper. Come and eat. Come and help cook. Just come.

And now, around the corner, on Charlotte, behind Emancipation Station, Freedom House, home to four women who will stay there for up to a year, volunteer in the community, seek and find employment, and start a new home of their own. No longer homeless. No longer lost. Found.

We live a great deal of our lives in a world of words these days. E-mails, text messages, background or foreground television presented information, online tapestry tableaus of words on screens, symbols and images there for our scrolling pleasure. I sense, though, that with all this on-demand content for our senses, we seek authenticity in it all. That desire and longing, for the feel of the real, make us human. But longing’s not always enough. You need to sense it. You want to connect for real in this world where being connected is now being determined based upon your array of handheld and lap-rested devices and the speed of your digital connection.

I think we deserve a chance to get real. I think the disconnected deserve an opportunity to get connected.

Pastor Alice and her circle of community people do just that. They connect in real ways. Pastor Alice makes me feel more intensely real. She’s created a community that reminds me that communities are more than bricks and mortar. Community is connected real people.

Have a look…pictures by Rachael Jane.

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