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Sunday, May 29 with / Domingo, 29 de mayo

The Rev. Stephanie Kendell

11:00 am ET
Rooted in Connection: Through Grace and Rage

This is a picture of me praying at Jesus’s tomb at The Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Beloved Friends,
I had hoped to come back to this newsletter, after some time apart while I journeyed the holy spaces of our scripture, with stories of hope and new life for myself and our shared ministries. And while I do have stories of hope and new life to share from my travels, those stories will have to wait because like all of you, the stories at the front of my heart and mind are those of the lives cut short in Buffalo and Uvalde. My tears, prayers, and calls to my representatives are insufficient to capture the deep pain and sorrow of the families, friends, and communities feeling this loss. So, I pray filled with rage, “How long, O Lord?” and hope for those with the power to change- to do so. And we as a community will continue to name and fight the sins of white supremacy, racism, patriarchy, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and greed, and we do so with Jesus- our God who suffers with us. It’s a lot… Please know that your pastors are here for you.
This week we are in the Book of Acts in chapter 18. We spend time in Acts this time of year especially at Pentecost as we think about the formation of the church. I love this time of year because it calls us into reflection about the church as it is and the church as we hope it to be. And what is the church if not a collection of her people living out their faith? So, in this week’s story about Priscilla, Aquila, and Apollos I invite you to think of the ways you are still learning and growing in your faith and how that growth shapes the way you understand the church as it is and the church as it might be.
I hope to see you all in worship this Sunday at 11am.

Acts 18:24-27 (Year W):

24 Now a certain Jewish man, Apollos by name, a native of Alexandria, an eloquent man well-versed in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 This man had been instructed in the Way of the Messiah and spoke with a fiery spirit and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him in and explained the Way [of God] to him more accurately. 27 And when he wished to cross over into Achaia, the sisters and brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him; upon his arrival he greatly helped those who had through grace come to believe.
  • Who in this story do you most relate to?
  • Who is someone that helped you grow in your faith?
  • What is a significant time in your life that changed your relationship with God?
    • How was that time for you?
    • Who was there to support you?
  • How did that shift help you see God in this world anew?
Friends, I carried you with me in my travels and I continue to carry you in my prayers. This world is challenging and beautiful and everything in between – I am grateful for a God who is ever and always present and I continue to pray that as the world grows and changes that our leaders who had through grace been elected and upon their arrival greatly help those whom they are called to serve.
Shalom Y’all
Rev. Stephanie

Simple Prayer: How long, O Lord? Amen

Children and Youth Ministry Update
from Nordia Bennett, Children’s Minister

Last Sunday, the 10 am (4th grade or older) youth explored the narrative of the "Parable of the Mustard Seed” in Luke 13:18-19. We chatted about the power of community needs—to know your community one must genuinely be ready to embrace community. One way you can embrace community is deeply reflect on how we see ourselves in relation to others. The 10:30 am (3rd grade or younger) children explored “Lydia” in the Sparks Story Bible. We engaged the text with deep concerns about the influence of others, especially within church communities.  

This Sunday, the 10:30 am (3rd grade or younger) children will explore “Paul’s Letters” in the Sparks Story Bible. The 10:00 am (4th grade or older) youth will explore Luke 13:20-21.

Minister Nordia
Reflections from The Reverend Finley Schaef,
a Founder of the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion
I was a founding member of the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion, and the recent word from the U. S. Supreme Court distresses me greatly.
The story begins in the 1960's. I was pastor of a Methodist Church in Queens when a local woman came to see me for a referral for an abortion for her daughter who became pregnant in a tragic situation. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know any physicians who could help her daughter. She left my study and I never heard from her again. And that experience haunted me going forward. 
Not long after, I was assigned to another Methodist church in Greenwich Village in Manhattan and I got to know the minister of the nearby Judson Church, Rev. Howard Moody, who had a reputation as a social activist. I ran into Rev. Moody on the street one day, and I told him I had an idea to get some clergy together to refer women for safe abortions. He acted right away.  We called a meeting at my church on West 4th Street to which we invited a constitutional lawyer, Ephraim London, who argued and won landmark civil liberties cases before the U. S. Supreme Court; Larry Lader, a major voice in the fight for abortion rights; another clergyman, Jesse Lyons, from Riverside Church; and Cyril Means, an NYU Law School professor. We agreed on the idea of setting up the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion. Though we knew we could be arrested and fined, we decided to take precautions, invite more clergy, and move forward with additional meetings after careful planning.  
To minimize the legal risks and make sure people knew about us, we would make a full public announcement. We would not charge a fee for our counseling, which we hoped would protect our referrals as confidential pastoral counsel. Rev. Moody would be our spokesperson, his Judson church would house the answering machine, which would take no messages but list the names and phone numbers of on-call clergy. The Judson Church administrator,  Arlene Carmen, would check out the doctors by posing as a pregnant woman to make sure they would respect their patients and not overcharge. And we were committed to using the word "abortion" in the name so that people knew who we were, what we were doing, and to reduce the stigma and shame often associated with abortion. And to further minimize the risk of arrest, we only referred to doctors outside New York State. 
Then, on May 22, 1967, a New York Times front page article announced the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion. The article included my name along with 20 other clergy -- 19 ministers and two rabbis -- our houses of worship, the call number, and reference to a statement which affirmed that a doctor who performs an abortion is "living by the highest standards of religion and of the Hippocratic Oath." 
The calls came in and the network grew and expanded to include clergy from other states. We helped 800 women by the end of 1967, 3,000 in 1968, and 10,000 in 1969. With the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, we assumed the matter was settled and turned to other issues. But recent word from the U. S. Supreme Court says we were wrong. 

Tom Davis, Sacred Work,  Rutgers University Press, 126-135
Doris Andrea Dirks and Patricia A. Relf, To Offer Compassion, University of Wisconsin Press, 23-32
Dennis S. Ross, All Politics Is Religious

Co-hosted by Rev. Stephanie Kendell and Rev. Arthur Stewart

With guest, Rev. Mark Briley

Wednesday, June 1, 1:00 pm ET
June 26
Join Pastor Kaji & The Park at Lincoln Center in celebrating the musical genius of Greg Tate at:

Gregory Stephen Ionman Tate (1957-2021) was a giant of Black radical thought and creativity, and a conductor of incandescent, community-driven music. Tate's body of writing as an influential critic would be enough to enshrine him as a cultural icon, but he is equally important to a generation of musicians as both the co-founder of the Black Rock Coalition, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the complete creative freedom of Black artists; and the creator of Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber, a sprawling, omnivorous, and outrageously accomplished improv collective. Under his co-leadership, BSAC has issued more than 20 releases in its two-decade history, featuring a cavalcade of virtuoso musicians. Tate's sudden passing in December 2021 was a blow to his many loved ones, friends, collaborators, and admirers around the globe. For this homecoming concert, curated and presented with The Tate Family at one of his favorite venues, more than thirty BSAC members will perform in celebration and tribute to one of the most essential voices in the history of 21st Century Avant Groidd music and thought.
Weekly Invitations to Community:

Upcoming Events

Saturday, May 28, Community Lunch Program, 1:00 pm, Manhattan Church of Christ 48 East 80th Street

Monday, May 30, Office closed for Memorial Day

Saturday, June 4, Community Lunch Program, 1:00 pm, Manhattan Church of Christ 48 East 80th Street

Sunday, June 5, Elders Meeting, 12:30 pm

Saturday, June 11, Community Lunch Program, 1:00 pm, Manhattan Church of Christ 48 East 80th Street

Saturday, June 18, Community Lunch Program, 1:00 pm, Manhattan Church of Christ 48 East 80th Street

Monday, June 20, Root 2022 Community Conversation, 7:00 pm

Tuesday, June 21, Finance Meeting, 6:00 pm

Tuesday, June 21, Ministry Council, 7:00 pm

Saturday, June 25, Community Lunch Program, 1:00 pm, Manhattan Church of Christ 48 East 80th Street

Sunday, June 26, SoulFood Fellowship, 12:30 pm
This Week at The Park is published every Thursday by
Park Avenue Christian Church
1010 Park Avenue at 85th Street, New York, NY 10028

Church office:  212-288-3246.   Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.