From Rev. Rachel Pacheco

Dear Friends,

Earlier this week, in anticipation of a verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, downtown churches were in conversation and preparing for protests. Pastor Heather heard a request for a landing place for clergy, community leaders, and care providers if protests broke out. Leaders in our congregation were in conversation and were prepared to say yes; however, the verdict came a little sooner than anticipated.

In order to get into the city before it was potentially shut down, Heather immediately headed to the church and remained there throughout Tuesday night, meeting and praying with local leaders, providing our first floor bathrooms and outlets for cell phone charging, and making space for people to process the verdict and the work that remains.

NYAPC has practiced and learned from experience over the past year (and is still learning), which enables us to say yes when these unexpected ministry opportunities arise. This is messy and faithful work.

There is a bit of relief and gratitude in the accountability that the guilty verdict provides. While this has a real impact, we know that police violence against black, indigenous, and people of color continues, even on the day of the verdict. And so, we continue to cry out, to work for justice, and to pray for peace. We follow the way of Jesus to embrace and listen to those on the margins. And we hope that this will save lives.

This Sunday, we will gather on Zoom for live worship to sing, pray, and hear God’s story. This week, we will hear a recorded sermon from Rev. Ashley McFaul-Erwin on 1 John 3:16-24, a passage about loving through both word and deed. A few organizations are creating and curating worship resources to lighten the load for worship leaders as we keep navigating the challenges of the pandemic. Rev. McFaul-Erwin’s sermon is one such resource prepared for churches this Sunday. You can read a bit about her below.

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

After worship this Sunday, we will remain on Zoom for a virtual reception for former Associate Pastor Alice Tewell. Since Alice’s last Sunday was the first Sunday of virtual worship, there wasn’t an opportunity to have the traditional celebration. A year later, we will gather to express gratitude, share a few memories, and hear an update from Alice. There will be a collaborative video, time with the children, a gift to open, and time for open conversation, lasting 45 minutes or so. If you could use a few moments of joy, I encourage you to join this celebration.

As of this week, the Trustees learned that our contractor has prepared a detailed schedule of the HVAC project. As it now stands, we expect the build out to be completed by mid-August, and commissioning and full staff training completed by September 1st. This date is later than anticipated. The schedule is primarily being driven by equipment manufacturing and delivery and thus there is little opportunity for our contractors to speed up completion. This impacts our plans for returning to worship in person, and more detailed information about this will be shared over the next few weeks.

May this poem strengthen you as you keep facing the world this week.

They Have Threatened Us With Resurrection
-Julia Esquivel

There is something here within us
which doesn’t let us sleep, which doesn’t let us rest,
which doesn’t stop pounding deep inside,
it is the silent, warm weeping
of Indian women without their husbands,

it is the sad gaze of the children
fixed beyond memory,
in the very pupil of our eyes
which during sleep, though closed, keep watch
with each contraction of the heart
in every awakening…

What keeps us from sleeping
is that they have threatened us with resurrection!
Because at each nightfall,
though exhausted from the endless inventory
of killings since 1954,
yet we continue to love life,
and do not accept their death!

…Because in this marathon of Hope,
there are always others to relieve us
in bearing the courage necessary
to arrive at the goal which lies beyond death…

Accompany us then on this vigil
and you will know what it is to dream!
You will then know how marvelous it is
to live threatened with resurrection!
To dream awake,
to keep watch asleep
to live while dying
and to already know oneself resurrected.

Peace,

Rachel

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