From Rev. Rachel Pacheco

Dear Friends,

Christ is risen! May you experience moments of new life, even if they are wrought from suffering – just like Christ’s resurrection.

This Sunday, we will worship through a fully recorded service provided by National Capital Presbytery. Leaders from around the DC metro area have contributed, and many churches will be using this as their worship this Sunday. Although we will not be connected through zoom, we will be connected to Presbyterian siblings throughout the presbytery in joint worship. The video will be shared on our website at www.nyapc.org/livestream.

There will be Sunday School for children and youth this Sunday at the normal times. Email Pastor Rachel if you need more information.

Pastor Heather is taking a few days off this week and will return to email next week.

May this song from the Taizé community encourage you throughout Eastertide.

Be not afraid,
sing out for joy!
Christ is risen, alleluia!
Be not afraid, sing out for joy!
Christ is risen, alleluia!

Peace, Rachel

Celebrating Easter in Triangle Park

Reports from Parish Associate Rev. Dr. Beth Braxton and member Anne Laroche. Photos by Morgan Brown

The Easter service in Triangle Park for our Radcliffe Room* guests was a joy! Our Creator gave us perfect weather!! 

David Smoot set up the microphone system and provided two music stands. Rev. Beth brought a watering can full of flowers, white table cloth, oil lamp and two baskets of bells. When “Christ is risen” was proclaimed in word or song everyone gathered was encouraged to ring their bell and say “He is risen indeed!” There was only one ambulance siren break in Rev. Beth’s message.

Anne Laroche reports she counted 74 guests and a dozen church members/Radcliffe Room volunteers, and that “Rev. Beth’s sermon encouraged us not to be afraid to share the love of Jesus with others and in all types of situations.”

Bob Braxton was a one man tenor choir on his guitar; he played for two verses of two Easter hymns – opening with “Jesus, Christ is Risen Today”  and closing with “The Day of Resurrection.” HIs solo anthem was “Because He Lives” – in which several members of the “Radcliffe Room congregation” sang along on the chorus.

At the close of the service; Rev. Beth played a CD recording of Handel’s “Hallelujah” chorus on her boom box. And John and Cathy Schultheis passed out the most fantastic Easter Treat Bags to each Radcliffe Room guest and volunteers. The bags were filled with daffodils, jelly beans, chocolates of all sorts, and homemade cookies!!! 

Alleluia, He Is Risen. He Is Risen Indeed.

*The Radcliffe Room is a ministry for our neighbors experiencing homelessness.

Peace and Courage on This Good Friday

Dear Friends,

It’s been a holy week for the record books—with suffering, rejection, and violence all around us:

Watching an Asian American elder, 65-year-old Vilma Kari, shoved to the ground and beaten while on her way to church, as security guards do nothing to intervene

The trial of Officer Derek Chauvin who kneeled upon the neck of George Floyd, refusing to move even as Mr. Floyd repeatedly begged for breath and for his life.

The release of Lil Nas X’s explicit music video, narrating a journey from the Garden of Eden to the pits of Hell, a wrenching commentary on how the church has rejected him because he is gay.

Two shootings in the Woodland neighborhood of Southeast D.C., where Black residents continually tell us they are being starved out and priced out of their neighborhoods.

I believe these acts of violence, rejection, and exclusion cause God to weep. And that they should cause us to weep. We will get to Easter morning, the empty tomb, and all the joyful music and enthusiastic alleluias. But on this Good Friday, I invite you to reflect upon all the ways we continue to exclude, reject, and violate our siblings made in the image of God. For we cannot get to resurrection without bearing witness to suffering and crucifixion.

A poem, “Can You Drink the Cup?” by Brother Scott Surrency, O.F.M., that both stings and soothes:

Can you drink the cup?
Drink, not survey or analyze,
ponder or scrutinize –
from a distance.
But drink – imbibe, ingest,
take into you so that it becomes a piece of your inmost self.
And not with cautious sips
that barely moisten your lips,
but with audacious drafts
that spill down your chin and onto your chest.
(Forget decorum – reserve would give offense.)

Can you drink the cup?
The cup of rejection and opposition,
betrayal and regret.
Like vinegar and gall,
pungent and tart,
making you wince and recoil.
But not only that – for the cup is deceptively deep –
there are hopes and joys in there, too,
like thrilling champagne with bubbles
that tickle your nose on New Year’s Eve,
and fleeting moments of almost – almost – sheer ecstasy
that last as long as an eye-blink, or a champagne bubble,
but mysteriously satisfy and sustain.

Can you drink the cup?
Yes, you — with your insecurities,
visible and invisible.
You with the doubts that nibble around the edges
and the ones that devour in one great big gulp.
You with your impetuous starts and youth-like bursts of love and devotion.
You with your giving up too soon – or too late –

and being tyrannically hard on yourself.
You with your Yes, but’s and I’m sorry’s – again.
Yes, you – but with my grace.

Can you drink the cup?

Can I drink the cup?

Yes.

Peace and Courage on this Good Friday,

Heather

&&&&&&&&&&&&

Good Friday Service
April 2, 12:30 pm

Please join us for a reflective, quiet service of scripture and Taizé chanting.

Go to Zoom Meeting ID: 854 6792 8674


Easter Sunday Gathering and Worship Service
April 4

9:00 am – Intergenerational Gathering
We’ll gather on Zoom before worship to sing, hear an Easter story, and have a virtual scavenger hunt. People of all ages are welcome! If you are not on the family distribution list and would like to participate, email Pastor Rachel, rachel.pacheco@nyapc.org.

10:00 am – Worship Service
We’ll celebrate Easter with music and joyful Alleluias! We will also celebrate virtual communion, so bring your communion elements to your screen. In a pandemic, God blesses whatever communion elements you have on hand.

Go to Zoom Meeting ID: 150 620 342