Monday, July 20, 2015

So much to process! -we're home!

So much to catch up on, but here's the zip line  video 

The Upstate NY Synod raised over $10,000 for the ELCA World Hunger Walk for Water Campsin!
Woohoo! And Thank you! 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Atonement Pictures from Day 4

Today was our day of service, or Proclaim Justice Day.  It was hot, sunny and muggy, but we were blessed with frequent cooling breezes, shade, plenty of water and the air conditioned buses for a break.  We went to  Oakland Street Farm and Market with a group from Arkansas (who felt it was a cool, comfortable day).  Here's some of our pictures:
A sea of orange shirts, waiting to leave for our day of service 

Our work site was the Oakland Street Farm and Market.  You can google it, or find it on facebook.  It's an urban farm, a few blocks from Motown.  This was a vibrant neighborhood, with several of the Motown stars as residents.  The street is now mostly abandoned, with 8-10 houses left, most of them empty.
The "before" picture.  Task: clear the grass to the curb.  Yes, there is a curb here, and a sidewalk under all this grass.

We hauled mulch and compost

Adding new rows of compost for planting

Progress on the curb

Digging compost.  The Saturday farm market is in the background under the white tents.

Shirtless David helping to carry and dump the compost

Our official work site sign, with fields in the background

The farm market, providing access to fresh produce to neighbors.  Two tents are produce from the Oakland Street Farm, one is from another urban farm a few blocks away, and a third stall is from the Eastern Market (similar to our Public Market) for additional produce not produced at the Oakland Street Farm.

Making rain barrels for residents.  Paying water bills is another burden residents in poverty face.  Rain barrels can reduce water bills by using rainwater for watering grass, gardens, washing cars, as well as reducing the stormwater burden on the Detroit sewers. 

The "after" picture of our curbing project, going much further than originally anticipated.  You can see by the marks on the pavement where the grass was originally extended to.  We didn't finish the sidewalk. 

Gardens with new mulch!

Newly composted rows ready for planting

The owners of the farm, thanking us at the end of the day.  Not only is the farm reclaiming the block (only 2 houses are occupied on the block), but it also provides jobs and training to run the farm.

At Ford Field, the kids enjoying the band Skillet.


We have a church service tomorrow morning, then it's time to board the bus for the journey home.  Keep Oakland Street Farm and their workers in your prayers.  They are doing an amazing service for the people of their neighborhood.  Goodnight!

Day 4- Proclaim Justice day

Today we saw a different part of Detroit. It wasn't bustling downtown with shops and restaurants and, of course, Lutherans. Today we saw the part of the city that is the reason we came here. On a broken down street, that saw the birth of Motown at its hight, the people there still have hope. They are building a community garden. It will provide fresh vegetables, and jobs, both vital resources for local residents. Today, we did a small part to help them make this dream a reality. We weeded, cleared trash, and made rainwater barrels. The people of Detroit have faith that they will see their city rise up again. And so do we. 
Rise up Detroit!

Post by Branwyn Wilkinson

Friday, July 17, 2015

Day 3 Atonement Pictures

Pictures from Day 3
Zipline Day!

Super Bishop (with cape) getting ready to launch!



Our Last Supper.  It's the last one, better make it a good one!  from left to right: Karan, Kristin, Meghan, David, Rebecca, Bronwyn, Kevin

We made fleece hats to donate to kids in Detroit! 

We took the afternoon off and went for a bike ride to Belle Isle, an island in the Detroit River, in the background.  Jesus is certainly with us here in Detroit, but we took the bridge instead of riding our bikes across the river.

The I-Can't-Remember-the-Name Fountain on Belle Isle

Whee!  Riding the Giant slide!
It was a lot of fun...and FAST!

We had dinner with the Bishop and Lin, then took a taxi (our feet say THANK YOU!) to Ford Field for evening activities.

The featured musical artist of the night was Motown Legends.  The chaperones were thrilled, and it was amazing to hear how many kids sang along!

Our "Final 15".  We have "First 15" devotions on the bus in the morning, but hold our "Final 15" devotions within our church groups.  Good discussions about what we've seen and done for the day.
That's it for today!  We're looking forward (?!) to our day of service tomorrow - glad to be helping out our host city, but a little concerned about the heat warning for the day - 90+ degrees.  Keep us and the city of Detroit in your prayers!  Good night!

Friday- Proclaim Community Day

Another great day! It was the coolest to see the bishop, or "bish" do the zip line today. #zipthebish. Very cool! It was good to be reunited with our old pastor and Mrs. Macholz. And also, the bikes were amazing. We saw some beautiful fountains and such at Belle Isle today. We also visited the oldest existing aquarium in the country. Beautiful! Worship tonight was incredibly uplifting and touching. We heard sermons on real life things such as racism and classism. It was a nice break from the usual "God is great" speeches. It was truly amazing. What a great thing to be apart of. 

~Meghan Domroes

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Day 2 Atonement Photos

Hi!  It's Karan, the resident Atonement photographer again.  Not as many photos today, as we spent the afternoon learning and worshipping with our Synod, sitting in a conference room.  Here's highlights:

Ran into the Bishop and Lin on our respective way to lunch!

There are uplifting signs all around Detroit

This was a large sculpture - one of several - at a park near our lunch restaurant.  Can you find all of us in the mirror pieces?

The Bishop sharing his story in our Synod's "Proclaim Story Day"

Sharing our stories!  David is not in this picture because he was up front as part of the presenters.  He did an excellent job speaking to a room of 350+!!

Communion with the Bishop
(Yes, Bishop M, I know you don't like us taking pictures during church!)

Jesus is....GOOD NEWS!!!

A mirrored ceiling!

Taking the Walk for Water Challenge.  That's a 5 gallon (40 lb) jug of water we carried...

...over a 0.1 mile track.  The average woman walks 3.7 miles in Africa daily to haul water.  Each carrier had a story to follow, and we faced simulated challenges like heat, delays, flash flood, illness (I caught malaria and had to take 2 Jelly Belly pills and sit on a cot for 2 minutes) to demonstrate difficulties that add to that 3.7 mile journey.

An afternoon break at the Ren Cen Marriott

Bronwyn REALLY likes sugar in her coffee (note the empty packets)

Our dinner at 7G Restaurant with some fabulous salads and wraps!

Since I'm not in many photos, David took a "you-ie" (not a "selfie")

Looking forward to a day at Proclaim Community tomorrow, with lots more activities like the Walk for Water Challenge and... the Bishop on the zip line!

Official Day 2 -Proclaim Story Day

Hey there! Rebecca here! Today was Proclaim Story Day for our synod, which includes congregations from all across central and upstate New York. Before worshipping with the 350 other people from our synod, we ate at Colors, a restaurant that serves locally sourced food and provides job training opportunities. The food was amazing, and the workers were very friendly! From there, we walked to worship with our synod. There were many great speakers, both teens and adults, that shared their faith stories and encouraged us to share and reflect on ours. The Bishop shared his story, too, about his journey with God. (By way, did you know he flunked his first year of college?) All in all, it's been a fun and inspiring day, and I can't wait to see what the rest of the week will bring!
Blessings from  Detroit!
Rebecca 🙏 ❤️

Thursday - Synod Day

Today we battled traffic to arrive downtown around 9:30 AM. Did some browsing/shopping at the Old Lutheran store for some Lutheran swag.
Sent David off to help plan our synod worship and took a nice mile walk to our lunch at Colors Restaurant - a place that uses locally sourced food and provides job training opportunities.
On our walk we ran into our Bishop and Lin! 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Atonement Rochester photos from Wednesday

Hey there!  Karan, the resident Atonement Rochester photographer here.  Here's some pictures from Wednesday.  See David's blog for more info on our adventures!

We are at the hotel!

First stop in Detroit - Hart Plaza

Fist-bumping the Joe Louis statue

 This gentleman we met says he IS the Spirit of Detroit!

 Playing giant Jenga...

 ...with discussion questions on each block.

 Taking a selfie at our lunch stop

 How many Lutherans can you fit in a Chevy Spark?

 At least 7!

 Playing in the fountain on the Riverwalk outside the Renaissance Center.

 Our Atonement (St. Louis, MO) friends!

 Dinner in Greektown

 It's HARD to take a selfie with an SLR camera!


The stage at Ford Field.  That small white dot next to the red rectangle is a person.  It's HUGE Rochester, HUUUU-GE!

Don't worry parents, there's an Emergency Shelter at Ford Field - we're keeping your kids safe!