"For almost twenty years Heidi Neumark lived in the South Bronx, leading a congregation, assisting the young and the afflicted, and helping lead the community to triumph. In Breathing Space, she reveals in moving detail what sustained her as pastor, community organizer, wife, mother, and friend to all in need."--Alexander von Hoffman, author of House By House, Block By Block: The Rebirth of America's Urban Neighborhoods
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)
"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: The National Catholic Weekly"
Winner of a 2004 Wilbur Award
"Breathing Space" is the story of Heidi Neumark and the Hispanic and African-American Lutheran church-Transfiguration-that took a chance calling on a pastor from a starkly different background. Despite living and working in a milieu of overwhelming poverty and violence, Neumark and the congregation encounter even more powerful forces of hope and renewal.
This story of a community creating space for new life and breath is also the story of a young woman-working, raising her children, and struggling for spiritual breathing space. Through poignant, intimate stories, Neumark charts her journey alongside her parishioners as pastor, church, and community grow in wisdom and together experience transformation.
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