From Rev. Heather Shortlidge

Dear Friends,

by Lisle Gwynn Garrity | Image from @Sanctified Art | sanctifiedart.org

A dear friend from seminary, who now practices ministry as a licensed professional counselor, calls it a case of the “febs”—that drop in energy and enthusiasm during the dark, cold month of February.

Perhaps you or someone in your pandemic bubble is experiencing a case of the “febs.” If so, know that you are not alone. Do what you can to stay connected to others. Reach out to Pastor Rachel or me. And, even if you’re not really feeling it, try and show up for worship. Being in community can help. And so can the Lenten journey of living simply and reflectively.

Our theme for Lent is Again & Again. During the next five Sundays, we will come to God again and again with our prayers, our dreams, our hopes, and our doubts.

This week, I’m preaching from Mark 1:9-15, the story of God meeting Jesus at the water, reminding us that God meets us where we are—in the midst of our reluctance, doubt, eagerness, weariness, or even when a case of the “febs” has settled in. The NYAPC Sanctuary Choir will be featured in “We Shall Walk Through the Valley in Peace,” a spiritual arranged by the famous African-American composer Undine Smith Moore that features elaborate soaring lines between the vocal parts, giving it an eloquent reflective quality.

Join us on Zoom at 10:00am
Dial: 1-929-436-2866 with Meeting ID: 150 620 342

The church has curated a variety of devotional materials for your Lenten journey. Access written meditations by church members and friends, daily devotional cards that include reflection prompts and a short prayer, and all our Lenten offerings here.

Unfortunately, the church website was down when many of you attempted to join us for Ash Wednesday worship. If you missed it, a link to the entire service is here.

I’m delighted to announce that the Personnel Committee was able to move quickly to fill the Office Manager vacancy. Maila Cardoso, our Interim Office Manager from this fall, has been hired permanently to fill this important position and will begin on Monday. Maila knows the job well and will be able to hit the ground running, ensuring a seamless transition in the church office. A warm welcome back to Maila Cordoso (maila.cardoso@nyapc.org).

Finally, a prayer to nourish your spirit this week:

God never begins letters with the words
“I hope this finds you well,”
For those words imply distance.

Instead, God begins God’s letters to you with the words,
“Remember when?”

Beloved child,
Remember when we dipped our toes into the water?
Remember when we dove right in?
Remember when the ice cream dripped down our hands
And the cicadas sang their song,
And the seasons changed,
And the days were long?
Remember when we fell in love and the world was new?
Remember when our heart was broken?
Remember the tears?
Remember the long nights?
Remember when we laughed again and the sound surprised us?
Remember when we marched in the street?
Remember when we cast our vote?
Remember when we believed in hope?
Remember when?
I do.

That’s what God’s letters say.
So on this day, and every day to come,
Remember: God is meeting you.
If you look back, you might remember when.

Prayer by Rev. Sarah Are | A Sanctified Art LLC | sanctifiedart.org

Peace and Courage,
Heather

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