Getting Involved


grace_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif phoebe_icon.gif

With appearances by…

alistair_icon.gif, Mosha, and Stephen

Scene Title Getting Involved
Synopsis Joseph and Phoebe come to arrange collaborations, make donations, and get their foot in the door with regards to the Ferrymen.
Date July 8, 2009

Cathedral of St. John the Divine

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine is vastly more busy than usual today. There are the routine guided tours for visitors, tourism still being a staple of the facility's everyday operations; it's a Wednesday, which means a portion of the cathedral not found on any tour is serving as a soup kitchen. And then there's the other large basement room, which has been designated a receiving area for the non-typical traffic, the highlight of the day.

There are volunteers at tables with banners declaring come here to donate money, over there for clothes, farther down the line for food, and other goods besides; boxes, cartons, crates being taken in, stacked in neat and orderly piles, hauled out into the storage rooms set aside for such things. Staff and volunteers are identifiable by the name badges they wear.

It's like taking what the Guiding Light tries to do and turning it into industry. It would be silly to feel jealous, and Joseph really doesn't. It's nice to know you're not a speck of dust helplessly fighting a windcurrent. Or more relevantly, a solitary rudderless boat amongst the flood. As it were.

He's dressed neatly, with the intention to dress upwards for this evening, when he has to list off the names of the dead, say a prayer, preach, and then put on his best show for the wake of a dead woman. Not so long away, it's something he isn't bothering to think about too hard, as he moves with Phoebe Thornton into the cathedral, following directions towards the donation drive itself. He's not so much ignoring Phoebe as he is casting a look around the place, searching out familiar faces of various parishioners.

"You must come by here all the time," he finds himself quasi-asking the philanthropist; not that he has details on her faith, but such an accumulation of helpfulness seems like a logical draw.

Shadowed discreetly by Mosha, Phoebe Thornton is wearing her game face as she moves along at Joseph's side. Calm and collected, despite her 'painting episode', her game face consists of a relaxed smile and a demeanor designed to present as approachable.

It is in response to a barely perceptible signal that Mosha veers off his course, stopping before one of the volunteer-manned tables to drop off a twenty thousand dollar anonymous donation. The moment the task is completed, however, he is back on course, his expression far less inviting then his employer's.

"Not so often as you might think," Phoebe answers. Casting a relaxed smile at Joseph, blue eyes crinkle at the corners as she affords in affiable tones. "I handle most of business via courier these days. Particularly with regards to the larger operations, while their work is immensely commendable, I prefer to put my personal time where it is needed the most." At places like Guiding Light, for instance.

It takes a while to single out individual faces in the morass of movement, the sea of seemingly ever-changing composition, but it turns out there are familiar ones about. At least, familiar to Joseph. Theresa is far enough back to not be easily reachable, apparently directing the allocation of boxes, but the woman named Ila seems to be replacing someone else at a table. The person she relieved disappears into the back of the room, while Ila smiles at those before her — and glimpses, from the corner of her eyes, Joseph's familiar visage in turn. The pastor is given a welcoming smile and a brief wave.

"They do seem to have everythin' under control, don't they?" Joseph agrees, with a glance, before his eyeline catches up on a familiar face. It's not so hard to recognise people— recognisable from a crowd, not when he's preaching to one twice a week, unconsciously noting the regulars, the strangers, the friends. He smiles brighter towards Ila, as if to make up for the distance between them, and offers a wave. "'s one of my parishioners," he adds, for Phoebe's benefit, moving on over. "She recommended I come by this way in the first place."

And let's go say hello, steering towards the familiar for direction, a compass. The pastor makes his way over at a stroll, nodding to her when they get within polite talking range. "Figured I'd come by after all," he tells her.

Dipping her head in an amiable nod, Phoebe adjusts course toward the aforementioned Ila. It is shortly before they clear the distance that she notes wryly. "You do realize you are perfectly free to leave me to my own devices I hope?" She would hate for Pastor Sumter to think he had any obligation to stay glues to her hip. She does, however, trail off as the greetings commence, blue eyes crinkling at the corners in a pleasant smile aimed at Ila.

"And it is good to see you here, Pastor Sumter," the woman replies. She offers a polite, amiable smile and nod to the unfamiliar Phoebe, including her companion in the greeting as well. "Have you spoken to Stephen yet? I do presume you came to volunteer, also," Ila adds.

"You're free as a bird, Ms. Thornton," Joseph assures, open enough to be addressing both women in conversation up approach, "but I figured I wouldn't abandon you to the wild just yet. Ila, this is Ms. Phoebe Thornton, she's been the one helpin' us out at with Staten Island side donations." Yes, that Phoebe Thornton, might be just perceptible in his tone, subtle though it might be. "I was hopin' to talk to whoever's in charge, certainly, or overlooking in any case."

Pastor Sumter is on the receiving end of an amused smile in response to his comment, Phoebe's head tilting a faint inclination of acknowledgement. "I prefer the company, truth be told." At the introduction, a pleasant smile is turned on Ila as Phoebe extends her hand. "A pleasure to meet you, Ila. And please, it's just Phoebe."

Standing up and shaking the proffered hand, Ila bobs her head. "Likewise — Phoebe." Introductions attended to, the woman glances to Joseph, then cranes her head to peer around the room. "Hm…" Silence stretches briefly as she searches, her eyes brightening as they light upon the person Ila seeks. "You will want to talk to Stephen. He is over by the back exit, in the blue shirt." Apparently in conversation with a dark-haired woman of just above average height, and a taller blond man.

Joseph turns as indicated, nodding once, a singular, bird-like notion. "Thanks, Ila. I'll see you shortly— or otherwise tonight, if you're inclined," the pastor says, in reference to service. A quick wave before he's gesturing Phoebe to come along with, rather than leave her behind — ladies first. "I forgot to mention it— there's a wake being held directly after service this evening. I don't— I never actually asked if you were much of a church goer, but you should know you're always welcome by. I'll be putting those names you gave me in my prayers this evening, also," he says to his companion as they move.

"Zoe Porter," Joseph states, his voice dwindling down to a reverent sort of quiet, as if not wishing people to overhear necessarily — kind of like gossip, but respectful all the same. If he's gotten used to Mosha's presence— well, it seems he has, or found a way of ignoring the hired muscle apart from shy greetings and goodbyes when appropriate.

For now, he only speaks to the widow he walks with, as they head for the supervisor and his dark-haired conversational partner. "You might have caught her name in the news, the young lady who was— well, killed in the Linderman Building a few days ago. Pro-Evolved kind of figure, 's why I think we were contacted. Donations are being made to like-minded charities, too, in honour."

"I see," Phoebe murmurs in equally quiet tones. Thoughtful now, as she walks, she finally dips her chin in a nod to an unspoken thought. "I will do my best to attend the services." Such things are exactly the sorts of things she feels important to support. "Have you considered hosting an event in her memory?"

"Apart from the wake, I hadn't thought that far. I didn't— you know. Want to tread on toes, if that makes sense," Joseph says, with a minute shrug. "I'm leaving myself and the church open to whatever her family and her employers would have me do — I could give you some contact details if you'd like to see about doing something yourself."

"Please do," Phoebe answers. "Mosha will get the details from you before we leave." Because Mosha adores doubling as her social secretary, truly he does. And that very sarcastic fact is only briefly reflected in the bodygaurd's eyes as he slants a glance at the Pastor and affords a very forced smile of accord. Whether or not Phoebe is aware of the fact that she is tweaking Mosha is uncertain in her expression. Although one might get a hint of it in the amused glimmer in her eyes as she lightly pats his arm and flashes a dazzling smile.

"…most important are food and everyday supplies, right now." As the trio come closer, the dark-haired woman's voice comes into focus, harsh and gravelly tones reminiscent of a raven's rasping calls. "You know —" The approaching trio catch her attention, however, and the conversation is cut short. Stephen turns to follow the direction of Grace's gaze, greeting them with a pleasant smile despite the hint of you're not really supposed to be back here in his expression. "Good afternoon," he greets, stepping forward to intercept. "Is there something I can help you with?"

And Mosha gets a more genuine smile in return, if slightly oblivious and maybe a trifle nervous. Anyway. Joseph nods once and turns his attention to Stephen, blind in the face of subtle cues— such as trespass. It's all for the greater good, after all, although blind might be the wrong word. Politely ignoring, maybe, but certainly taking note of it. "Hi, you're Stephen?" he asks, and offers out a hand to shake, glancing from the other man towards the gravel-voiced woman, including her with just a flick of a glance. "My name is Joseph Sumter, I'm a pastor for the Guiding Light Church. I was hoping to speak to a supervisor of some kind about volunteer work and— and otherwise."

Both Phoebe and Mosha catch the unspoken words behind the pleasant smile. In Phoebe it is met with her own pleasantly practiced affection. In Mosha it is met with a pointedly suspicious narrowing of his eyes and a subtle step to place himself more firmly at Phoebe's side opposite the Pastor. For now the pair remain silent, Phoebe offering the Pastor a calm measure of support, Mosha's attempt at support coming more in the form of subtle intimidation turned on their hosts. Be polite to the Baptist, or someone might get hurt. <.<

At Joseph's self-introduction, Grace tilts her head slightly, recognition of the name apparent in her eyes. Mosha's silent looming distracts the woman, however, her lips pulling back in a faint, amused smirk. Go ahead. You don't intimidate me. Alistair, who isn't making any attempt to counter-loom, also appears less than impressed.

Stephen shakes the offered hand, pretending to ignore Mosha's implied menace in much the same way Joseph did his own silent rebuke. "We do a great deal of volunteer work, and additional hands are always welcome," he replies, all subtle coolness now vanished in favor of pleasant warmth. Volunteering makes everything okay. "I'm not sure what you're expecting from us when you say and otherwise, however…?"

Warm before the fact, Joseph's demeanor doesn't change much once the handshake is briskly completed. "Couple of things. Here, let me— " He turns his shoulder a little to politely introduce the woman beside him, although he doesn't actually trade names, allowing Phoebe to speak for herself should she choose to. "We've been workin' on getting supplies out to Staten Island, lately, and while we've got plenty of things to get out there, volunteers are harder to come by. I was hoping if there was a chance I'd be able to rustle up some helpers from your neck of the woods." It's not the only otherwise, but it's the most logical, set down between them neatly in so many Southern lilted words.

Mosha is Mosha and Phoebe is content to allow him to be just as he pleases. Loyalty, it seems, goes a fair distance with the Widow Thornton. "Pastor Sumter has making commendable headway in his own relief efforts," Phoebe provides helpfully. "I believe at least part of the intent was to further his own efforts and perhaps coordinate efforts to better serve those in need." Pausing a beat in response to Joseph's introduction, Phoebe's smile warms a bit more, one hand extending toward Stephen. "Phoebe Thornton, I am afraid we haven't had opportunity to meet, but I have made a point to follow your work here and contribute whenever possible. A pleasure to meet you both," she adds with a smile intended to include Grace.

"We have several ongoing efforts directed there," Grace remarks. "It should be easy enough to tie you in," she continues, nodding briefly. Stephen glances her way, then echoes the nod, before turning to shake Phoebe's hand in turn. "A pleasure, Ms. Thornton." His gaze shifts to Joseph. "As Grace said— " Tacit introduction. "— we can certainly find a way to connect what you'd like to do with what we have in place. Coordinating— " Here, he nods to Phoebe. "— makes everything much more effective."

A bright smile, and a nod. "I'm sure we can help each other out. Maybe not the most conventional partnership," Joseph adds, with a twist of a slightly more wry smile. Denominations. He might well be the only one in the group to care about such lines drawn, but then again, the Southern Baptist convention is plenty insular. But not the point, really— the point being; "Speaking of conventional.

"Or not, rather." Here goes. "One of my parishioners recommended I come here. Ila," he explains, voice losing some of that unshakeable brightness that comes so easily to him, but not solemn. Just serious. "If I was interested in being involved, so to speak. I— I believe another one of my flock, Abigail Beauchamp?" He glances between the two for recognition. "She said the same."

Neither Phoebe, nor Mosha, are dense. Such being the case, both are fully aware of the fact that there is more discussed then charitable contributions and volunteers. What exactly is being discussed has yet to become clear, but neither of them are allowing so much as a hint of confusion to show upon their faces. It is one of those times when the boardroom face can potentially payoff in spades.

Stephen regards Joseph curiously as the pastor continues, folding his hands before his chin. He glances briefly to Phoebe and Mosha, then back to Joseph. "If you're looking for more—" Stephen cuts short at a light, brief touch to his shoulder, turning back to look at Grace.

"Mine," the rasping voice remarks, a hint of a smile on the woman's face. Blue eyes settle on Joseph and Phoebe. "Abby did mention you, Pastor Sumter. Nothing about a Ms. Thornton," the woman continues, "but I see no reason we can't involve you, also."

Grace nods to Stephen, who steps away, folding into the traffic of volunteers, organizers, and donors; she and Alistair, for their part, move towards the nearby exit into the rest of the building, a brief gesture cuing the trio to follow.

"Let me give you the real tour of St. John's."

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