Join us this Sunday August 8 at 10am for Zoom worship. I’m curating and leading the service, which will include guest preacher, Daniel Williams, the Minister for Spiritual Formation at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas.
Join us on Zoom at 10:00am
Dial: 1-929-436-2866 with Meeting ID: 150 620 34
As the Session communicated in a special email yesterday, a decision has been made to continue online worship until we can return to the sanctuary. A six-week construction delay has our new target for worship inside the sanctuary as Sunday October 24th. We recognize there is a wide range of emotions surrounding this decision—some are frustrated, longing to be together inside the building, while others are feeling relieved, trying to advocate for and keep unvaccinated children safe. Elders will be available after worship this Sunday for a conversation about this decision and to answer any questions you may have. Please know that this is not a decision that anyone wanted to have to make. As we navigate these challenging times together, we ask for your continued patience and flexibility.
Now for the really good news—your Session has called a Congregational Meeting for Sunday September 26 at 3:00pm, so that the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) can introduce their nominee for the next Senior Pastor. After more than a year of faithful work, they’ve discerned who God is calling to New York Avenue, and both the candidate and the Presbytery affirm this call. Come meet and vote to affirm God’s call on your next Senior Pastor on Sunday September 26th.
Due to our building challenges, this worship service and congregational meeting will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, VA. The candidate will be onsite to preach and be introduced. For those who choose not to attend in person, we’re working on ways for you to worship and vote online. Do note that there will not be a morning worship service on Sunday September 26th. Instead, we’ll gather for one worship service at 3:00pm.
In order to ensure a smooth transition of leadership, the Session has extended the Transitional Pastor contract. I will continue in your midst through Sunday November 21st. Rachel Pacheco will serve as Acting Head of Staff for the week of Thanksgiving. And your new pastor will arrive on Sunday November 28th, the first Sunday of Advent. There’s still much to be accomplished this fall (completing the HVAC project, returning to the building, a joint Stewardship/Capital Campaign, the start of Hybrid worship), and both Pastor Rachel and I are committed to working alongside you to ensure a successful fall season of ministry.
And there’s more good news—the Personnel Committee is bringing back our Reception Staff, Robin Williams and Mary Newman, who have been furloughed due to the pandemic. Mary and Robin will start back on Sundays beginning August 15th, with the hopes that hours will increase once construction is complete and the congregation returns to the building. Please join me in warmly welcoming Robin and Mary back to our staff team.
Finally, to nourish your spirit this week, a prayer by Ted Loder, “Sometimes It Just Seems to be Too Much”
it just seems to be too much:
too much violence, too much fear;
too much of demands and problems;
too much of broken dreams and broken lives;
too much of war and slums and dying;
too much of greed and squishy fatness
and the sounds of people
devouring each other
and the earth;
too much of stale routines and quarrels,
unpaid bills and dead ends;
too much of words lobbed in to explode
and leaving shredded hearts and lacerated souls;
too much of turned-away backs and yellow silence,
red rage and the bitter taste of ashes in my mouth.
Sometimes the very air seems scorched
by threats of rejection and decay
until there is nothing
but to inhale pain
and exhale confusion.
Too much of darkness, Lord,
too much of cruelty
Too much, Lord,
Or is it too little,
too little of compassion,
too little of courage,
too little of music
make of me some nourishment
for these starved times,
for my brothers and sisters
who are hungry for gladness and hope,
that, being bread for them,
I may also be fed
and be full.
Peace and Courage,