Fall Worship Plan Update

What will worship be like this fall? Many of you have been asking this question. The short answer: We will begin the fall worshiping on Zoom, due to the delay in our HVAC project, the Covid resurgence, and some logistical challenges. Our current plan is to return to in-person worship in the sanctuary on Oct. 24.

Our Zoom worship services this fall will be the full, robust experiences of earlier this year, not the simplified services with guest preachers; we also plan for us to gather in-person in other ways, including:

  • An in-person service and congregational meeting to meet and approve the new incoming Senior Pastor, Sunday Sept. 26, 3 pm
  • Another congregational picnic
  • An open house for newer members
  • A family playground gathering
  • The All-Church Retreat at Meadowkirk, Oct. 15-17

People are also gathering for Dinners for Nine, and we encourage gatherings to worship together during our Sunday morning Zoom services. Watch for more details. Nurture and Congregational Learning is looking to add more in-person opportunities. Have an idea or want to help? Email meghouse8@gmail.com.

This was not an easy decision. As many of you know, our HVAC construction project has been delayed, with a new substantial completion date of Oct. 21. This has created a unique challenge for worship services in September and October, when we had hoped to be back in the building. At the recommendation of the Worship & Music Committee, your Session voted this week for Sunday morning worship to remain on Zoom until we can return to the sanctuary on Sunday Oct. 24.

We discussed a variety of options; however, the Session decided that remaining virtual was the best choice for our staff and community, due to the logistical challenges involved in providing a simultaneous online/onsite worship experience while most of the building is unusable, and also being mindful of the current surge in Covid-19 cases.

Your elders recognize that there are strong feelings about worship and our current inability to be in the sanctuary. We hear the pain this causes for some and the relief it offers others, especially those with unvaccinated children. We appreciate and welcome your patience as we wade through the fall together, all of us longing for the day that we can return to the sanctuary and a building no longer under construction.

We’ll have an information session, including Q&A after worship this Sunday, August 8. Please reach out with your questions or concerns.

Grace and Peace,
The NYAPC Session

Coming This Sunday: Our Money Story

Dear Friends,

Join us in worship this Sunday September 27th at 10:00am via Zoom. We’re starting a new four week preaching series called Our Money Story. Whether we recognize it or not, each of us has a money story. Together, we’ll discover our own money stories in light of God’s money story of liberation and love.

The music this week will include something new and something old. We will sing a new response to the confession but use the familiar Scottish tune of O Waly Waly that dates from the 16th century. “Waly” translates as “Woe” and the lyrics in the original “Water is Wide” depicted a loving couple that were separated by a wide body of water (the sea or ocean perhaps). There are many hymns built on this lovely tune so we will enjoy singing it.

Join us for 10:00am Sunday Worship here
Dial-in: 1-929-436-2866 Meeting ID: 150 620 342

In conjunction with the new preaching series, the church is launching its 2021 Stewardship Campaign on Sunday. You’ll hear from Stewardship Co-Chair, Tracy Branding, in worship and depending on the speed of your mail, will be receiving a letter and pledge card in the coming days. As COVID-19 continues to create challenges and uncertainties for the church, we ask you to prayerfully consider making a financial commitment for the coming year.

Finally, as you heard last week, NYAPC is losing 100% of its office staff this fall which means significant changes for work flow and requests for assistance. Please know that the Personnel Committee is moving quickly to hire a temp for the next twelve weeks to fill Nicole Johnson’s role as Office Manager. However, please expect delays and the reality that we will need your help in completing administrative tasks in the coming weeks.

And a poem by Rev. Sarah Are, “Not Too Many Times,” to nourish your hearts this week:

My great-grandfather would
come home from work
To find his love at the
kitchen sink—
Scrubbing potatoes or freeing
the corn,
Holy ordinary types of things.

And he would slide,
Arms around waist,
To draw near enough
To ask her the phrase,
“My dear,
Have I told you today?”
“Have I told you today that
I love you?”

Day after day
It was always the same,
Because some things
You can’t not say.
So she would smile
And with heartbeat to spine,
She would reply,
“Not too many times.”

And it seems to me
That he must have known
That certain truths
Must be told
Over and over
And over again
So that love has a chance
To slowly sink in.

And it seems to me
That she must have known
That stories of love
Cannot be told
Too many times.
So tell me again
Of the love that serves
As beginning and end.

I guess what I’m trying to say
Is that we are forgetful people
most days.
We remember the melody but
forget the words.
We remember the past but forget
the hurt.
We remember the face but forget
the name.
We remember who God is but
forget that God stays.

So when Jesus said,
“Do this in remembrance of me,”
Maybe he was standing with us
at the sink
Saying to us, “Have I told
you today?”
For some things you can’t not say.

So tell me that story
And tell me again
Until my whole world
Is caught up in
A love that lasts
And a God that saves.

And if you ask,
I will say,
“Not too many times.”


Losses, Learnings, Staying Connected

cultivating__letting_go_cover_o_1d4bcjtvs19gsa011s0mi1nl7What’s one thing you’ve had to let go of during this pandemic? What’s one you have gained?

At last Friday’s Session meeting, we shared our answers. Some of our losses were similar – flexibility, routine, focus, plans. Our gains? Time with family, and intentional connections with others by computer or phone.

As a church, we too have losses and gains. In many ways, NYAPC is thriving:

  • We are worshiping online, supported by a wonderful technology team. Thank you to Jessica Tate, Will Timmons, Joe Thierry and John Moran. See below for our Holy Week Worship schedule.
  • We are serving lunch seven days a week to people experiencing homelessness. Special thanks to Phil Telfeyan, who has come every day. Sign up here if you can help.
  • We are meeting for prayer, study and community online. See below for a schedule.

But we all have losses, and staying connected isn’t easy.

If you or someone you know needs a conversation, or if you would like to be part of reaching out, please contact Gwenn Gebhard of the Diaconal Ministers, 202-213-1657, gwenn.gebhard@gmail.com. And if you are feeling anxious or lonely, Rev. Heather Shortidge is available for pastoral care.

This is Holy Week, a time when we focus on how our faith points a way through our current fears and anxieties, from death to life, from desperation to hope. As we move through this time, together, what might we learn about ourselves as a church? What might we let go of? What might we gain?

We pray for good health and peace to all,

– Your Session

Adlai Amor, Brenton Ling, Brian Dewhurst, David Gillies, Donald Campbell, Erica Morgan, Rev. Heather Shortlidge, Kristin Ford, Laura Brouse-Long, Marie Noel Meka, Meg Hanna House, Meg Neill, Melissa Jane Taylor, Miriam Dewhurst, Paul Dornan, Taylor Allison, Tyler Feret, Will Ashworth

(Links go to church event website, which includes Zoom information)
Tuesday, 4/7
Thursday, 4/9
Friday. 4/10
Sunday, 4/11
Note: Many groups that were in place before the pandemic have been meeting online as well. Email Meg House, meghouse8@gmail.com or Paul Dornan, pbdornanp@aol.com to find out more about how you might get connected.
If you need help connecting via Zoom, contact Karin Lohman,
knlohman@gmail.com, 202-276-6580