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and we cannot bear to think about what is a hero who god her no is why we suffer about what happened and i didn't tell him but i know we can say all right sales that as the i will pray for him title says it was installed in the law essentially reporting susan johnson using a cassette tape the idea was to chronicle the everyday events of the ministers wanted to explore a bit about what kind of career this is a kind of calling to susan johnson agreed to work on this audio journey partly because this april marks the ten year anniversary of her installation and it seemed to her a suitable time for reflection
susan carried a tape recorder with him doing their daily routine is only about thirty hours of tape whatever dues to about thirty minutes and the rains not in sequence that medicaid has been the same way it was because this i feel like a sailor that fits in grand old building and of carrying an awful lot of he is just a plant my usual spaces your ego this really isn't sanctuary feels pretty prominent when youre in here create permanent critique on a awfully beautiful
when i first came in here all a dark wood the dark brick i am i was a graduate student when i first worshipped here and see a nice place i've ever been in since then it certainly has grown on me or i've grown in yet i think it sends a screeching you this morning and because it's friday i really need to get back into the office it's time to get the show on the road so ready for sunday my baby likes samples to be the right thing to do you know the minister tells about things things in the bible and ninety point teaches people some things about that stuff needs to a longstanding alcohol alcoholics
anonymous meetings the minister helps people chuckle you mess up a wedding people laugh for years about the buffoon denim industry was at a wedding and it's it's probably not going to influence greatly the successor lack of success in that marriage i am but she do everything in your power not to mess up but if you know that the words you say the scriptures you choose the presence and burying dead to bring the degree of comfort you and hospitality provide for the family though way the church community comes out the way the building looks all of these things help people at a tragic moment when they've
got two entirely reconstruct their reality without somebody they loved dearly and i came two hundred union church and they had nothing really on these my first one thing older women in the church called me up and said she wanted to go out to the cemetery i did a simple graveside service and we got in the car to drive home and she showed her car door and said to me well they're now i can go back and tell everyone you don't have to be afraid to die if she can do the funeral this is my pulpit at where am
i immediately facing and you can see it so it's a beautiful bras pedestal pulpit but time we may not realize a masterpiece regularly is there's no place to hide behind his pulpit my knees shake the whole congregation sees at least the evidence of my knees behind my road there's just no place to hide bombs is no place to set a book there's no place to set a couple of water or air keep o'clock in a pulpit and a traditional wooden pulpit with shelves underneath i'd feel like i was driving an armored car as though nothing could get me but here the relative exposure to have standing behind this pulpit is some maybe a little more what it actually feels like to preach to be just that exposed we even come to hope that our own children will learn the discreet lessons of when to speak out and when to appease
if only because children who do not learn these things in this school of hard knocks we believe cannot succeed we are afraid they might grow up to gentle too fragile to morrow or simple tune it we do not think of ourselves as ruthless of funding instead we think of life as parents risky and ourselves as all along how some people find a faith in the midst of survival and all its seeking and why others cannot remain somewhat a mystery likewise why some lose a faith they once had while others hold fast for instance i love to prison i really enjoy is by the task i like the intimacy of the connection that you make of your listeners as a
real bond and after ten years and one congregation it's an amazing bond remain calm my sermons are not just my own creations i even receive a newspaper articles magazine dr nichols notes from members of the congregation in the offering plate on a sunday morning a mentor my discovery later on mike russo and very careful to try to include those kinds of things that i get from people they really mean a lot to me and they really are a party offering it a sacred obligation of a believer like a stone which has been called life justice statistics
oh hello had freaking in church and i just go i just one second on tv are building manager susan johnson kind of things i wanted to check i must see you needed any and it can make for you the ministry have a priest temporary hasn't and so she asked me if i would make her birthday and harry reid with all this or they can say you can do anything and they have planned and it's invasive or is there by you're welcome you're welcome i'm thinking about you every monday afternoon i do my work
to the accompaniment of child musicians and indeed just a little bit of what it sounds like from my office upstairs with the youth symphony at my door this was an era in which typically middle school aged and high school aged kids are welcomed fewer and fewer places and i like to think that they feel some kind of welcome here within certain behavioral laments that we periodically have to reinforce i had one children's program where the problem was setting off the fire extinguishers i am i even had a children's program where the problem was on setting fires in the bathrooms but i cannot be deterred from having children in my building that feels to me like one of the most important responsibilities that the church can have in this period of time
i wanted to deliver your lines tonight just the way you're going to deliver them tomorrow night how you then add more meaning to a line like she's a fan and david have mercy on me you're the blind man you can't see this is your one chance to be healed or how about it and this is not something we just sit quietly to ourselves let me tell you some of my favorite stories about the passion play activities that he went up out of the water it is i think by far the least painful way to get kids to memorize maybe thirty six chapters of scripture truly i say to you this then i think that i kept those who would deny me three times even if i left i was yeah we have two identical twins playing jesus and judas i am still in my
mind and folding the theological complexity of having the case of the trail in the garden and disseminate be between two indistinguishable people running the lead he is so the kids take it terribly seriously as told by apparent this year that her voice had become quite macabre at dinner time babysitting pushing their macaroni and cheese around on their plane and turn suddenly say enough on the cross how long is it taken to die did they bleed to death parents are often unprepared for the questions that emerge out of the passion play what is a prostitute
the service of communion in our congregation it's a very simple little liturgy sometimes i hear it going by someone else's voice and all i'm doing is registering glances the faces of the people that i served with people who called me that's right
james david steward i baptize you in the name of the father and of the phantom and of the holy spirit and communion baptisms maybe even burial these are weird privileges such wonderful moments for me really sometimes so touching as to be difficult to conduct laden with such meaning what a privilege to be asked to be sent to stand before the body the congregation and hold someone's child deep someone's adolescent son and daughter into the water bring someone hands together in marriage cases just privileged sacred
territory it's the gift of my office no one asks me in that moment what are you doing there unfortunately it is time i mean cause i really love making people once i'm there but there are also plenty of times when i've pretty much have that humanity by this time of the day or sometimes as and my kids into the grocery store and because they've just had enough people and an individual people and systems people and i don't think i can deal with
one more small surprise by which i mean one more engagement one more conversation in which i tend to be available ready to sympathize but actually think six times
i don't believe in that long time we ask that you would bless the food which is set before us this day and hands that have prepared it and that this will be nourishment for ourselves as well as our bodies in crisis namely pray amen for such an anomaly over two and the retirement home where i'll make one of several visits i i make
one this lifetime for the day and then i'll go over to the hospital and father to my members is critically ill morning hospital thinking about them all day and actually some major preoccupation of my mind i can't stand them then i have to go be where my view in my heart is i can't stand to be away from them right now the pair a
place to play if nobody comes in finds me i had to spend twenty minutes every morning just playing playing the piano here in the car i had in my sanctuary move through our booth here's rice it's not every morning that as often as they can during the week with a few things i bring with me into the sanctuary to leave the lights off scolding here and to watch the light come through the stained glass windows i ring with me church director of listing of father members and friends of the
church in ireland this tiny pore over i pay my way through several times satisfying to have a semester just a moment with every single person and to realize how much less and how much this mine responsibility to convey something about the love god pj
for the major thing because on monday every young person in a month my congregation has led a community group which has met outdoors to remember name by name the victims of violence on the south side of chicago there are between four and five hundred homicide victims in the city of chicago each year we began at vigils in the hope that we could raise public awareness without unduly harm raising public fear we also wanted to provide some way for
the victims of violence their families and friends of murder victims to sense that the community cares i mean this evening we'll be reading together at the names of those who have lost their lives through violence and south side of our city from january through march of nineteen ninety six as the music plays i'd like to ask the readers have volunteered for this evening to please come forward to the microphones it's an odd challenge exchange jr we said joe
you know you're never gets into her work with the potential sense that we're choosing among various things that need to be done and drone not believe the wrong one and done it and i'm not as much assistance as i wanted me and recognized suffering of people in our city and i
ellen why i know a lot about stained glass window repair cancers last stages of that community policing and a lot about the old testament the new testament evangelism andy's cfs regulations for a daycare licensing i know about drug interactions school reform and hymnody my work is to hear it in all of these disparate things the call of one god and to make of all of these things one community i was talking with one of my members about prayer
he doesn't pray he says and then many needs to reveal its perhaps he has no right to suddenly pray like many other people in my church he is someone who's witnessed his quiet consistent and thorough i think of him as more faithful and more precious before god and he believes himself to be there is no such thing as the right to pray we all fall short of devotion but we're all welcome to pray to begin to pray at any time i say i know what he's going through this emotionally draining so draining a faith lady also means the city can think is grieving he's trying now
madison county a pastor's journal was produced by jay allison of a consulting producer was teen egloff technical assistance provided by steve rankled many thanks to reverend susan johnson and the congregation of hyde park union baptist church pastor jonah was presented as part of chicago matters questions of faith executive producer as johanna zorn the audio producer is mary gaffney chicago matters is funded by the chicago community trust and is a joint project of wbez channel eleven and the chicago public library as chicago's community foundation that trusts helps concerned citizens with charitable dollars to work with a benefit our community
Questions of Faith
Chicago Matters
A Pastor's Journal
Producing Organization
WBEZ (Radio station : Chicago, Ill.)
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Series Description
"'Pastor's Journal' was produced for WBEZ's Spring 1996 series 'Chicago Matters--Questions of Faith,' which explored issues of religion and faith in our society today. The idea behind the documentary was simple, yet illuminating, to show the life of a pastor in an inner-city church. We know what a pastor does on Sunday but how about the rest of the week, what would it be like to have a window into a pastor's private thoughts, hopes and worries? "We contacted Susan Johnson at Hyde Park Union Baptist Church, one of the oldest and grandest of Chicago's churches, which is in great need of repairs at the same time that the congregation is declining. We chose this setting because this is a very common story among the city's established mainstream churches. We chose Susan Johnson because she is a remarkable and insightful pastor. "Susan Johnson, who was celebrating her 10th year as a pastor of this church, was eager to keep an audio journal over the late winter and spring months of 1996. Award-winning documentarian Jay Allison collected her tapes and wove them into a beautiful and revealing story of one woman's avocation. As a result, 'Pastor's Journal' let our audience into a world they otherwise would never have entered, nor perhaps understood."--1996 Peabody Awards entry form.
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Executive Producer: Zorn, Johanna
Producer: Allison, Jay
Producing Organization: WBEZ (Radio station : Chicago, Ill.)
Reporter: Johnson, Susan
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-8b6af1811fd (Filename)
Format: 1/4 inch audio cassette
Duration: 00:27:40
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Chicago: “Questions of Faith; Chicago Matters; A Pastor's Journal,” 1996-05-20, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 28, 2022,
MLA: “Questions of Faith; Chicago Matters; A Pastor's Journal.” 1996-05-20. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 28, 2022. <>.
APA: Questions of Faith; Chicago Matters; A Pastor's Journal. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from