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Beyond the Possible

50 Years of Creating Radical Change in a Community Called Glide

Cecil Williams and Others

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

Love
Acceptance
Community

With admirers ranging from Harvey Milk and Huey Newton to Warren Buffett, Maya Angelou, and Dianne Feinstein, Glide Memorial Methodist Church in San Francisco has been inspiring, infuriating, welcoming, and changing the world for fifty years.

Now in Beyond the Possible, the two founders, Reverend Cecil Williams and Janice Mirikitani, show how Glide transformed a dwindling all-white congregation into a diverse and energetic community of the poor, the disenfranchised, the homeless, the addicted, the mentally ill, the newly immigrated, and the politically passionate.

A vivid storyteller, Cecil describes removing the trappings of conventional religion to make way for a new spirituality—one that embraces gay rights, jazz in the sanctuary, the antiwar movement, and Celebrations that fill the church to this day. In prose as gripping as her acclaimed poetry, Janice recalls starting out at Glide as a nonbeliever in the 1960s who found herself drawn to Cecil's vision for social justice.

Soon we see how Cecil's charismatic power, combined with Janice's organizing genius, created a model for wraparound health care, a million free meals a year, apartments for the homeless, and a stand-up pride that confronted police brutality, riots, racism, and institutional bigotry. And we discover that Glide's insistence on inviting rather than avoiding controversy has revolutionized approaches to drug addiction, racial conflict, and domestic violence.

Both a personal love story and a riveting view of American history, Beyond the Possible demonstrates what is truly possible for all of us. Here is Obamacare with a human face. Here is Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision of "the beloved community" come to life at last. And here is a courageous couple facing impossible odds—and discovering the power of unconditional love time and time again.

Publishers Weekly Review

Dec 10, 2012 – The story of Glide Memorial Church’s transformation from a dwindling Methodist congregation in San Francisco to a thriving, justice-oriented community unfolds in alternating narratives by pastor and civil rights activist Williams (No Hiding Place: Empowerment and Recovery for Our Troubled Communities), and poet and founding president Mirikitani (Out of the Dust). Both authors recount formative childhood experiences that shaped their sense of identity and calling, and describe frankly their own relationship’s development over decades (from acquaintances to colleagues to spouses) in the context of their passion for Glide’s work. Humor, courage, and conviction radiate through these stories, which jump back and forth through the years, detailing Williams’s arrival and chilly reception at Glide and his determination to engage the Tenderloin neighborhood and welcome the marginalized (homeless, hungry, mentally ill, drug-addicted, prostitutes, LGBT folks) into church with a message of unconditional love and acceptance. Notable moments in Glide’s history interweave with non-chronologically ordered reflections on Trayvon Martin, the Black Panthers, Maya Angelou, the crack epidemic, racism, homophobia, and nonviolence. The authors’ persistent self-examination and honest recounting provide a generous, faithful window into Glide’s consequential ministry.
Beyond the Possible
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Feb 05, 2013
  • Publisher: HarperOne
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 240 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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