The Persian Parade

At Judson Memorial Church we are fortunate to have many different nationalities. Two of our congregants, Prinny Alavi and her daughter, Esfahan danced down Madison Avenue.

This is a Wikipedia quote:

The Azadi Tower or Freedom Tower, formerly known as “Shahyad Tower“ (Shah’s memorial Tower), is Tehran’s iconic and most famous landmark located in Azadi Square, Tehran Iran. This monument has been and already is the symbol of Tehran, marking the entrance to the capital from the west.



April 23, 2022

I grew up in MOMA. That’s the Museum of Modern Art on west 53rd Street. As a kid, I roamed the different galleries: a Picasso here, an El Greco there and went to the movies downstairs. Last Tuesday was a bitterly cold April day. Mittens in April? Perfect for standing in a line for one hour to gain admission. Once my documents were checked I was luckier than most who had yet another line to buy tickets. I’m a member so I flashed my card and was on my way.

How long has the big green helicopter been in that corner? I stopped by Henry Darger’s painting, an untitled 1960’s watercolor. Lots of little girls in pretty dresses frolick in a gentle green woodland. Darger was a janitor, a loner and a practicing Catholic. No wonder I feel drawn to him. I stopped by a tiny self-portrait of the great Mexican muralist, José Clemente Orozco. Lee Krasner’s big, bold Gaea caught my eye. After two hours in a museum I wilt so I headed out to 5th Ave.

José Clemente Orozco MOMA



April 16, 2022

Here comes Easter.

After the steep Lenten climb beginning with Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter is our reward. What words are associated with Easter?  Resurrection, hope, redemption, feast, Easter eggs, Easter bunnies. It’s a combination of the sacred and profane. It’s all life and it’s Easter.




April 10, 2022

A friend and I went to Symphony Space last night to attend CARNIVAL OF THE ANIMALS. HENCO ESPAG is the musical director of The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Symphonic Band. Also, he’s a dear friend and Judson Memorial Church’s musical director. The man is a ball of energy usually in glimmering color. I lost count last night but the Symphonic Band has more than 200 musicians. Providing a friendly and supportive environment is part of their mission. It was evident throughout the performance whether in costume (chickens, lions, an elephant or two) or in customary clothes. After each performance Conductor Espag and Assistant Conductor Ringer were quick to acknowledge specific musicians and the entire band. In addition to selections from Saint-Saëns’s “Carnival Of The Animals”, we were treated to “The Chronicles of Narnia” and the premiere performance of Salvador Alan Jacobo’s “The Hourglass”. 

Henco Espag

Members of the Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Symphonic Band

Betty McCollum

Congresswoman Betty McCollum represents Minnesota’s Fourth District. McCollum introduced the Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living under Israeli Military Occupation Act. 

In this letter she’s calling for the resignation of Justice Thomas from the United States Supreme Court.

March 30, 2022

Dear Fourth District Constituent,

I wanted to let you know I issued this statement today because Justice Clarence Thomas’s actions are affecting the integrity of the Supreme Court, the confidence of the American people that justice is being served, and the high standards we all expect our justices to be held to:

“The actions of Justice Thomas and his wife Virginia Thomas have undermined the Constitution and weakened our democracy,” McCollum said. “Virginia Thomas was in direct communication with the Trump White House in a conspiracy to undermine the peaceful transition of power from a free and fair presidential election. Rather than disclose this conflict of interest and recuse himself from cases related to his wife’s involvement in the Big Lie, Justice Thomas took part in court rulings and voted to prevent the disclosure of White House communication logs. Justice Thomas also failed to disclose his wife’s $687,000 in income from the Heritage Foundation – a far right-wing organization that actively perpetuated election misinformation and is explicitly working to stop the investigation into the January 6th insurrection. Justice Thomas has repeatedly failed to meet the ethical obligations of recusal and disclosure expected of a federal judge, and the American people cannot trust him to serve on the highest court of the land.

“As a member of the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Thomas holds one of the most crucial roles in defending our Constitution, our laws, and our democracy. Virginia Thomas’s involvement in the attempt to overthrow the 2020 Presidential Election, and the subsequent efforts by Justice Thomas to cover up his wife’s actions, have rendered the Associate Justice ethically compromised and thus unfit to be a neutral arbiter of Justice.

“As such, I call on Justice Thomas to resign from the United States Supreme Court.”

As always, thank you for being an informed and engaged constituent. 

Sincerely,Betty McCollumMember of Congress