This Sunday July 25th is our second Virtual Visit Sunday. Rather than worshipping at NYAPC, you are invited to visit a congregation of your choice and return next week, Sunday August 1, to share your experience. As the Worship Team continues to think through hybrid worship, a service that accommodates people onsite as well as online, we welcome your insights and learnings about what other congregations are doing. Feel free to worship at a congregation you’ve always wanted to visit or have heard good things about. If you need suggestions, here’s a list of churches with good preachers in a variety of time zones.
If you’re craving community and connection with your church family, please join us at the All Church Picnic on Sunday afternoon beginning at 3:30pm in Rock Creek Park. Bring your own food. The Nurture Committee will provide charcoal for grilling, dessert, water, and icebreakers and games for all ages. We hope to see you in person on Sunday afternoon.
Over the past week, Ward 2 Clergy have been organizing around the DC Council budget vote, inviting elected leaders to make historic investments in homelessness prevention funding. You can read more about that here.
I’ve also been in conversation and prayer with other faith leaders about the continued gun violence in our city, including the shooting that happened Thursday evening in Logan Circle, just a few blocks from the church. Please join me in praying for residents who are forced into dead end systems and cycles, for grieving families, for MPD and their role in trying to make our communities safer, and the church as we maintain a downtown presence, proclaiming love and justice.
Finally, a prayer from Jesuit Priest, James Martin, S.J., “Sad, Tired, and Angry: A Prayer in the Face of Gun Violence” to nudge you closer to God’s Spirit and call:
I come before you,
after another shooting.
I am sad, God.
So I ask you
to receive into your loving care the souls of those who were killed,
to care for those who were wounded or hurt in any way,
to console the family members and friends of those who died or were wounded,
to strengthen the hands of the rescue workers, medical professionals and caregivers
I pray too for the shooter, as I must as a Christian.
All this makes me inexpressibly sad, God.
But I know that the sadness I feel is your sadness.
It is the same sadness your son expressed
when he wept over the death of
his friend Lazarus.
I know that the sadness I feel is your sadness.
I am tired, God.
I’m tired of the unwillingness to see this as an important issue.
I’m tired of those in power who work to prevent any real change.
I’m tired of those who say that gun violence can’t be reduced.
All this makes me tired.
But I know that the tiredness I feel is your tiredness.
It’s the same tiredness that Jesus felt after his own struggles against injustice
that led him to fall asleep on the boat with his disciples.
I am angry, God.
I’m angry at the seeming powerlessness of our community to prevent this.
I’m angry at the selfish financial interests who block change.
I’m angry that these shootings happen at all.
But I know that this anger is your anger
It’s the same anger Jesus felt when he overturned the tables in the Temple,
angry that anyone would be taken advantage of in any way.
Help me see in these feelings as the way that you move me to act.
Help me see in these emotions your own desire for change.
Help me see in these feelings your moving me to act.
Help me see in these reactions your pushing me to do something.
Because I know this is the way you move people to action.
And I know that you desire action.
For Jesus did not stand by while people were being hurt.
He plunged into their lives.
So help me to answer these questions:
How can I help?
How can I fight against gun violence?
How can I urge my political leaders to enact change?
How can I help people understand that this is
an issue about life?
I am sad over the loss of life,
tired of excuses for the loss of life,
and angry that we are paralyzed by the loss of life.
Turn my sadness into compassion. Turn my tiredness into advocacy.
Turn my sadness into compassion.
Turn my tiredness into advocacy.
Turn my paralysis into the freedom to act.
to be compassionate,
and to act,
as your son did,
Almighty God. Amen.
May it be so,