Chris Hartmire


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Chris's letters.pdf

“The offer to run the California Migrant Ministry seemed serendipitous, yet unappealing. Chris dreaded the tedium of an administrative job.


He made lists, in his neat script. “California: Assets.” “California: Liabilities.” Even after he acceptedchris the job, his doubts persisted. “Never before have I felt so helpless and small,” he wrote church officials, explaining apologetically that he could not promise to stay more than two years.To himself he wrote: “Perhaps God arranged the pressure of events knowing that I was too timid to say yes under other circumstances. Perhaps this is His will for me at this time in history.”


He drove cross-country with his wife Jane, his best friend since seventh grade, better known by her nickname, Pudge. The Hartmires settled in the Los Angeles County suburb of Culver City. They came to appreciate a backyard for the kids and even, over time, to root for the Dodgers. The day Cesar Chavez outlined his vision of community organizing over lunch in an East Los Angeles café, Chris began to think his destiny was in California after all. He was captivated by the idea of a ministry that helped poor people organize themselves.”


excerpt from The Union Of Their Dreams