Skip to main content

James H. Robinson's Influence on Me and Many Others

I met Jim Robinson in 1955 as a Williams College student. I went to work camps at the two camps he ran in Winchester, NH, and worked at Camp Rabbit Hollow during the summer of 1956. The experience was more major for me than anything previous. It made me fully committed to the inherent universalism I now believe we all possess. It made me color-blind. I never went through any liberal guilt or political correctness phase. I simply accepted people as people and that truth was validated by my relationships then and since then. The experience meant that, by a process of elimination, I was unable to avoid the conclusion that I should go on to Union Theological Seminary. I did not know Jim as pastor of the Church of the Master but as a man who had become one of the most influential persons ever on the college circuit, having the same effect on countless others as he had on me. I believe Jim did more for the civil rights movement than many who are properly celebrated today. He was a bridge figure.  My impressions of Jim's Church in Harlem were formed largely in recent years when I looked into its history. Jim came there as a Union Seminary graduate who was encouraged by Harry Emerson Fosdick to take on the revival of the parish. He succeeded and earned nationwide recognition as a preacher and pastor. My going to Williams was a major decision. Once there I was seriously alienated from the place. The move toward Jim and his way of other-centered service and justice appealed to me. I eventually resigned my fraternity and lived with the then-Williams chaplain Bill Coffin and his wide Eva Rubenstein. Their house was shot up by irate fraternity members. They narrowly missed Amy Coffin who had recently joined the family as their first child.

It can be said that these years at Williams confirmed the course I have been on since.

Stephen's Remarkable Kindle Store

Follow Me on Pinterest


Popular posts from this blog


"Sto Perigiali" One of the Surpassingly Best Tunes Theodorakis Has Written

A Setting for a Poem "Denial" Beloved by the Greek People by the Nobel Prize Winning Poet Giorgos Seferis
The remarkable video at the link above is of a performance of "Sto perigiali" Mario Frangoulis and Mikis Theodorakis in 2001.

Frangoulis and Theodorakis are joined by musicians, including two bouzouki players, and a very large audience that is completely familiar with the words. The audience joins in at Frangoulis' prompt.

This is my very favorite Theodorakis melody. Those who know Theodorakis only for his "Zorba" music are in for a treat. When I was in Athens in 1966, for a short period of study with Constantinos Doxiadis, I knew nothing of Theodorakis. But about five years later, my friend Irene Vassos sang "Sto perigiali" to us. I have never gotten the tune out of my mind.

Later, when Irene joined our group to form a travelling company performing "New Rain", I learned to pick out a …

Obama Ads Should Be Grass Roots Cinema Verite

ShortFormContent at Blogger: How President Obama Can Win Christian Conservatives:

'via Blog this'

To counter the invidious efforts of Karl Rove and the Brothers Koch, simple videos of everyday people expressing gratitude for specific results from specific things that the President has achieved will create a signature response that will turn the tables on the Super PACs.

There could be an intro that flags lies distortions and anonymous attacks as unreal and even criminal and a cut to what is real, recognizable and not anonymous I am (name). I have lived here in (name) for (time). Thanks to (President Obama's (name) Act ... and so forth for ten seconds. Close with a continuation of the story narrated over evocative images and simple acoustic music.

This would be a fantastic way to counter the attacks on the President. For every specific attack, a video that shows the truth. And grass roots people who intend to vote for the President.

Charles Sanders Peirce - Thinking in Three…