A Spiritual Journey in the South Bronx
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With its hard-nosed realism and passion for God, this memoir should appeal to people of faith across the political spectrum. --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Winner of a 2004 Wilbur Award
Compared to the work of writers like Alex Kotlowitz and Jonathan Kozol, Heidi Neumark's Breathing Space is an extraordinary memoir of a woman pastor, a church, and an urban community laboring for life and breath. Neumark--a young woman from a suburban, Ivy League background--spent nearly twenty years ministering in a Hispanic and African-American Lutheran church, aptly named Transfiguration. Despite living and working in a milieu of overwhelming poverty and violence, she encounters even more powerful forces of hope and renewal. Through poignant, intimate stories, Neumark charts her journey alongside her parishioners as pastor, church, and community grow in wisdom and together experience transformation.
Surrounded by violence and poverty and threatened by urban renewal, Transfiguration Lutheran Church under Pastor Neumark survived and, perhaps miraculously, thrived . . . Her story proves genuinely inspirational as we follow her from despair and frustration to cautious optimism in the face of a still tenuous future. --Booklist
Breathing Space is a beautifully produced book, and it has a utopian poignancy . . .
Yet it is grounded in the virtue of hope. --James S. Torrens, America
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