Sunday in New Haven was like a little bit of heaven.
Warm sun, buds starting to bloom... people were walking everywhere.
Getting in a car or sitting inside would just have been insulting.
I walked downtown and joined this group of people on the New Haven Green.
I walked up while they were singing "this little light of mine."
A lady smiled and me and handed me a plastic bottle filled with birdseed to shake along to the song.
While we sang and shook our birdseed bottles, a homeless guy lit up his cigarette and walked off his shakes.
There was a short message from a pastor in ripped jeans and a hooded sweatshirt.
Then we sang (and drummed to) "We Shall Overcome"
Said the Serenity Prayer
Chose a rock that had a word written on it (Love, Listening, Share a Meal, etc.) and offered that rock as a sign of what we would offer the world that week, along with any spare change if we had it.
We said the Lord's prayer in whatever language we knew.
Laughed a lot when one of the drummers accidentally yelled out a few things in the middle of the mini-sermon. He was laughing hardest.
New people joined us continually, many seeming to just notice us as they were walking by enjoying the weather, and then deciding to stay.
We sang a little bit more.
It was very off tune. And beautiful.
Shook hands and said peace.
Then tables were brought out with sandwiches for the hungry, homeless and anyone else who wanted to have lunch.
They do it every week. Anyone is welcome.
What a beautiful, accepting vision of what a church is.
It made me hopeful.