True to life

Breathing Space: A Spiritual Journey in the South Bronx. By Heidi B. Neumark. Beacon, 275 pp., $25.00.

How does a pastor struggling to raise her children and serve a church in a neighborhood filled with gunshots and sirens and littered with drug paraphernalia find breathing space--space to pray, read and think? Heidi Neumark struggles with this question in reflecting on a 19-year pastorate at Transfiguration Lutheran Church in the South Bronx. She opened the doors of a dwindling Hispanic congregation to the area's African-Americans and, with difficulty, succeeded in integrating the two communities. She opened the church doors to children with nowhere to go after school, to struggling young mothers and to a myriad of programs aimed at improving people's lives.


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