South Park Street Cemetary

Park STreet Cemetary 1

South Park Street Cemetery was built in 1767 and contains of 1600 graves of English colonists.  Across the street from the cemetery is the Assemblies of God Church in Kolkata – probably the largest church in the city – a community that holds multiple services in English, Malayalam, Telugu, Hindi, Nepali, Oriya, Tamil, and Bengali every week.  The church is a major source of charity for the city with a school, vocational training, feeding programs, assistance to widows, etc.  The amount of good works that flow out of the community each week is astounding

There’s probably some kind of lesson here…something about the two different stories being told on either side of Park Street…something about the stories we tell and the monuments and legacies we leave behind.  We can be people that build beautiful monuments and tombstones to ourselves…so large and ornate that for centuries people will travel around the world to marvel at the power and priveledge we had and the statues for ourselves we erected.  Or we can be people who build monuments to hope, to restoration, to peace, and to justice in the lives of others…people whose existence does not culminate in a granite tombstone and a marble plaque, but whose life continues to point – even after death – to the value of the lives of those around us, to the sacredness of Life itself, and to the beauty of a life lived in dedication to something outside of itself…

Just a thought…

Park Street CEmetary 2


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  1. […] I’ve mentioned it before, but on Sundays Ashlee and I worshiped with an Assemblies of God community in Kolkata.  At their evening English service, which caters to young adults and college students, there’s a moment where they invite anyone who is new to stand up.  As an introvert, there’s a part of me that always cringes at this.  Sitting there in the pew my own heart quickened, my palms started sweating, and I had already decided that I was not going to stand.  But that’s not the good part.  The good part is that the pastor invited first time visitors to stand, then stopped and waited.  Eventually a single person stood up.  He continued to wait, and another stood, then a small group of three students, then another few isolated students.  Finally there were maybe 10-11 young adults standing scattered around the sanctuary.  I noted, after Tony had made me hyper aware of it, that many of them had dark skin.  After they were all standing the pastor counted to three, and the congregation called out in unison ‘You’re Special!’ and began to clap their hands.  It was silly.  It was cheesy.  And it was also beautiful.  And True. […]

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