the next service is in Los Angeles on June 11

Posts In Ancestors

Ancestors | Gallery

Something about the fall makes us think of the past – maybe it’s the end of the year approaching? Or, the dying off of things, or the holidays…seems a good time to celebrate ANCESTORS.

Ancestors Gallery


Alex “YummyBakes” Avans | Food Offering


Our food offering this Sunday, for ANCESTORS, will be provided by Alex “YummyBakes” Avans, a beloved member of our community. Alex has a baking business – YUMMYBAKES – specializing in cupcakes, cake pops, wedding cakes and more. (She’s made a bunch of chocolate cakes for me over the years – mmm) – for Sunday, she’s bringing in a special treat from her homeland of Argentina. I’m not exactly sure what it is – but she promises something creamy and sweet, to please her ANCESTORS.


Varin Ayala | Featured Reading


Varin Ayala is a wonderful New York actor! And, he’s going to read for us on Sunday at our service on ANCESTORS. Originally from Puerto Rico, Varin has been plying his wares in New York ever since graduating from college in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s funny, charming and talented as hell. He’s going to read a piece by the Palestinian American poet, Naomi Shihab Nye.


Jonathan Caouette | Featured Filmmaker


I’m so excited about Sunday – our service on ANCESTORS is filled with really lovely artists. We’re going to feature a film-maker whose work I have have loved. Jonathan Caouette made a film called Tarnation a few years back – it got a lot of rave reviews and caused a big stir – not least because he made it for something like $250 dollars. And, the film was comprised of a lot of home movies, videos from his childhood, to make a beautiful, memoir like film of family, loss, mental illness and love. This Sunday, Jonathan’s going to screen a few things and we’ll have a brief q and a with him about his work and ANCESTORS. Here’s what he has to say: Jonathan is thrilled to have such a cool distraction as Secret City, while he is in the midst of conjuring up some new movie stuff. Jonathan is lightly solicitation himself as an actor once again (after a long sabbatical) and is gearing up for a new (first time) fictional narrative film project to direct.


TIMBILA | Featured Performer


TIMBILA blazes ecstatic African rock with an East Village edge. The trance of African spirit possession merges with the trance of free-spirited head-bangers. The surreal buzzing beauty of timbila (Chopi xylophone, Mozambique) and hypnotic dream melodies of mbira (Shona thumb piano, Zimbabwe) soar with stinging guitar riffs, violin and sassy celestial vocals in grooves that are deeply funky, fierce and danceable. No other band sounds like TIMBILA.


Amanda Duarte | Featured Artist


The fabulous Amanda Duarte is taking part in this Sunday’s service on ANCESTORS. Amanda’s a performer of many things – her current darling is a project called DEAD DARLINGS, an evening of writing that didn’t make the final cut. Featuring a star-studded line-up of writers and entertainers, it’s FREE every 2nd Wednesday of the month at Judson Church. The next one is December 10th at 8pm, and features Doug Wright, Stephen Trask and Duncan Pflaster.  More info at


From our Grand Poobah | ANCESTORS


What a time it is! I’m in Woodstock and it’s been raining all day. Literally. I love it – but I work at home and don’t have to deal with the city like I used to. I am getting excited to get back into town, though, and have our service for the month. I love autumn, and I love how the events start to get deeper and a bit more somber with the darkening of the year. ANCESTORS, that’s our theme for this month. It’s funny – the word ANCESTORS seems to belong to other cultures and not so much my own – I think of Asian cultures and the importance of ancestor worship. Or African cultures – how those who’ve come before seem to be more present than in my own, middle-class, waspy culture. But this is ridiculous, isn’t it? We all have ancestors and, when you think about it, we all share ancestors. You trace any family line back far enough and they’re bound to connect. And, you know how The Secret City is about connection – it’s the foundation of what we believe and celebrate, connectedness. So, ANCESTORS – whether it’s our grandmothers or our ancient forefathers who wandered the earth – may they all be in the room with us on Sunday, in some form or another – memory or otherwise.


Fall is upon us!


Fall is upon us! And, it’s time for the ancient thoughts and feelings to arise. Why is it that this happens in autumn? is it that the fading of the trees and the cold weather reminds us of death, those who’ve come before? I’m not sure. But, I do know that this Sunday, in NYC, we’ll be celebrating ANCESTORS, the ones who came before. We’ve got a wonderful band, an award winning filmmaker, traditional foods, pictures of people’s ancestors, a story about a trip to Peru and lots of music. Come celebrate your ancestors with us. Sunday, November 23rd, 11:30 am at Dixon Place.