PRIDE WEEK 2019
As I was recovering from bearing physical wounds of surgery, hymns would often come to me as a means of encouragement and support.
Crown him the Lord of love; behold his hands and side, rich wounds, yet visible above,
in beauty glorified; no angels in the sky can fully bear that sight, but downward bends their burning eye at mysteries so bright.
Rev. Robert Dunham, Interim Pastor, First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York
From an article he wrote for the congregation. The church sits on the PRIDE parade route.
In recent weeks we have been thinking and hearing a lot about Pride, as the world comes to New York City to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. I’ve done a good bit of reading about Stonewall of late – about the anger, frustration, and determination of those overheated days and nights. Though it was harder to discern at the time, the anger that erupted along Christopher Street fifty years ago tonight – June 28, 1969 – was a particularly important catalyst in the crusade for rights and recognition.
I will see you at the Presbytery meeting June 4th but will be slowing down thereafter to take medical leave June 10-28 (prostate surgery cancer and recovery). The Rev. Mark Tammen, General Presbyter of Long Island Presbytery, and the Rev. Harold Delhagen, Synod Executive, have both offered to be available to help the office staff as needed.
If you have migrated to America or have persons who migrated to America and are concerned about your or their immigration status, I want to encourage you to meet our PCUSA national immigration attorney, Teresa Waggener, May 31st or June 1st. She is coming to New York City Presbytery at our invitation to meet with persons and their pastors concerned about their status Friday May 31st from 2:00-5:00 PM at The Interchurch Center; and Saturday June 1st from 9:00-11:00 AM at the Rutgers Presbyterian Church. Please reach to those who may want to speak with her. The process of migrating and staying in this country has become fraught with difficulties.
Look Who Came!
Why are you a Christian? In some parts of this world, it could cost you your life. In some parts, it elicits a yawn, a so-what, or a critical remark about Christians.
Several years ago, I read a book written by Douglas John Hall entitled, “Why Christian?”--written as a series of dialogues with inquirers about why be a Christian. It was like an antidote to David Kinnaman’s book “UnChristian” in which the Barna Institute researched why many were not interested in becoming a Christian—too many Christians had become best known for what they were against in their ongoing condemnation of others. This judgmentalism is widespread, not unique to Christians
New York City Presbytery's Vital Congregations Initiative
This past Thursday 80 people from more than 40 congregations gathered in the Rutgers Presbyterian Church to hear how God is stirring the church to re-form for the 21st century. We began with song and prayer. Rev. Dr. Kathryn Threadgill introduced herself and the challenges the church faces and can face. She is the PCUSA’s Office of Theology, Formation, and Evangelism’s face, voice and leader encouraging presbyteries across the nation to invite their congregations into intentional and prayerful relationships with one another and congregational practices that can help pastors and congregations undertake honest assessments and revitalizing action. Starting with a reflection on what we heard in the reading of Isaiah 43, we shared what it inspired in us and what struggles we carry in seeking to revitalize the communities of faith from which we come.
Things to know
The national church called my office Tuesday to say the Presbytery of New York City has been accepted as one of 14 presbyteries to which they are willing to provide trainings and resourcing so that all of our congregations may become such vital witnesses to the gospel of Jesus Christ in New York City. I hope you can appreciate and celebrate this news and become part of it.
I Hope You Can Feel That Fresh Perspective
I will be in Ghana with Dr. Yaw Frimpong-Manso and small contingent of PNYC members October 15-25. I will be meeting with leaders of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana, both denominations having members who have migrated to NYC and are part of this presbytery’s ministry to Ghanaians.
Vacation and Vocation
Each morning the sounds of car horns, buses, and student conversations outside my Bronx apartment building reminds me summer vacation is over. Photos posted on Facebook of the children of my nieces and nephews reflect more interest than dismay entering for the first time, or returning, to their schools. I hope you can feel that fresh perspective as you return to your churches and the mission we undertake together as a presbytery in our love for and faithfulness to Jesus Christ.
Pentecost 2018 – Faithful Witness, Faithful Resistance
vacare ‘be unoccupied’
"freedom from obligations, leisure, release" (from some activity or occupation)
vocare ‘to call.’
spiritual calling," from Old French vocacion "call, consecration; calling, profession"
a summons or strong inclination to a particular state or course of action
Since the establishment of Vocational Guidance in 1908 by the engineer Frank Parsons, the use of the term “vocation” has evolved, with emphasis shifting to an individual's development of talents and abilities in the choice and enjoyment of a career.
It's Mother's Day Weekend
The simple trust and complexities of being a witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ unfold throughout the Book of Acts. The Spirit’s work of enabling disciples to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ in languages that all nations could hear, initially is interpreted by outsiders as early morning drunken babbling. Yet, once the Spirit speaks to the heart of what God is doing in the world, many find themselves coming to Jesus.
Annual Meeting, Elections, Installations
In John’s telling of the crucifixion, when Jesus was lynched on a cross with crowds deriding him and his life almost over, he looked and saw his mother and told his beloved disciple John to look after her. I couldn’t help but remember how many mothers could use a disciple of Jesus to also look after them. We have aging mothers, many grandmothers and great-grandmothers, in our congregations, living alone in apartment buildings or nursing homes. What disciple of Jesus looks after them?
Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This is a reminder that our next presbytery meeting will be held May 15 at the First Presbyterian Church, Jamaica, NY. It is our Annual Meeting and will include the election of persons to serve on presbytery committees, the installation of our new moderator (Sandy Lane) and moderator-elect (Chris Shelton), commissioning of our General Assembly delegates, the audit, my annual report, thanks to those completing presbytery service, and other items of governance from our presbytery committees. The meeting will begin in the afternoon and conclude with worship, probably after dinner.
Does Your Church Have Space to House the Homeless?
Fifty years last night, The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke at Mason Temple in Memphis, TN ahead of a march to take place for sanitation workers. He was shot and killed the next day on April 4th. His life ended,
Poor People's Campaign - NYC Events
NYC can provide you help to do so.
“Foxes have dens, birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
“Lord, when did we see you homeless and provide a place for you to sleep?”
Free Webinar on the Moral and Theological Basis for Nonviolent Moral Fusion Direct Action
The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival continues to grow across New York. Here are ways to plug into the campaign in New York City:
THE GOSPEL IN NEW YORK CITY - "Follow me," Jesus said.
Join Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival Co-Chairs Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis on Thursday, March 22 at 4pm (EST), for a free webinar on the moral and theological basis for Nonviolent Moral Fusion Direct Action, as well as updates on the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival!
An Invitation from Rev. Sterling Morse, PCUSA's Coordinator for African American Intercultural Congregational Support
Our core values - Embody God's Love, Proclaim God's Word, Promote God's Justice - are derivative. They come from following the way Jesus embodied God's love, the words Jesus proclaimed, and the way he promoted God's justice, that the will of God be done on earth as in heaven. "The reign of God is at hand," Jesus proclaimed; "turn to me and believe the gospel"-the good news I will show you.
I condemn the President of the United States' vulgar remarks...
I am Sterling Morse, a Teaching Elder with the Racial Ethnic & Women's Ministries area of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It is my pleasure to serve you as the Coordinator for African American Intercultural Congregational Support.
To serve you effectively, I would like to build a relationship with you, starting by engaging you in a listening session
I condemn the President of the United States’ vulgar remarks...