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Sunday, January 9 with / Domingo, 9 de enero con

The Rev. Kaji Douša

11:00 am ET
Rooted in Discernment: Epiphany

Beloved Friends,

I hope that you are continuing to celebrate all the newness that comes with this new Christ Child and this New Year and that all your celebrations have been met with health and love. I am so grateful to start a new year once again with you all. We hope that you are enjoying the new ROOT curriculum and that you are finding meaning and practice is the tool of discernment. This Sunday we hope to see you in worship at 11 am and be sure to mark your calendar for our first Community Conversation around out ROOT reading for the month on Jan 17th.  SO much continues to happen in the life of the church and we hope you will join us!
Today is the day we celebrate the Epiphany! It’s a day in the life of the church that we celebrate those that first knew and believed in Jesus Christ as God incarnate.  What faith that must have taken. What courage and fear and hope must have been present as well.  I invite you to reflect on your own journey with the church. Have there been times you changed your mind or believed something different? What are catalysts to the deepening of your faith?  Hold onto these questions as we read from Isaiah about all that the Holy One can do. It uses some language that may not be as familiar to some of you, but its ability to inspire and bring God’s truth into the world in new ways is a wonder to behold. Let’s discern together the good news of this text:

Isaiah 60:
Arise, daughter; shine, daughter; for your light has come, daughter,
and the glory of the Holy One has risen upon you, daughter.
For- watch now, daughter! -bleakness shall cover the earth,
and thick bleakness the peoples;
and upon you, daughter, the Holy One will arise,
and over you, daughter, God's glory will appear. Nations shall come to your light, daughter,
and monarchs to the brightness of your dawn, daughter.
Lift your eyes round about, daughter, and see;
all of them gather, they come to you, daughter;
daughter, your sons shall come from far away,
and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses' hips.
Then, daughter, you shall see and be radiant;
your heart, daughter, shall tremble and swell,
because the abundance of the sea shall turn toward you, daughter,
the wealth of the nations shall come to you, daughter.
A multitude of camels shall cover you, daughter-
young camels of Midian and Ephah-
all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense,
and shall proclaim the praises of the Holy One.
Your gates shall always be open, daughter;
day and night they shall not be shut,
so that nations shall bring you their wealth, daughter,
being led by their monarchs.
When I think of an open gate, I think of possibilities, liberation, and miracles. I also think of the communion table and the fact that it too – is always open. It takes faith and people and planning and vision to keep something always open – always at the ready. What might you need to do in your life to prepare to receive the wonders of God? I read this text and not only do I think of new people for whom this text is so beautifully applicable, but I think of the ways it postures us to receive miracles through all the unexpected things that God can and is doing with us and through us. This week, I invite you to discern what those things might be in your life.
Friends, may this epiphany inspire something new in you. May you deepen your faith in ways you did not know you needed. And may the love and power of the Holy One be present this day and always.

Happy New Year!
Rev. Stephanie


Simple Prayer: O Holy One, for new faith and open gates we give thanks. Amen.
Children and Youth Ministry Update
from Nordia Bennett, Children’s Minister

Happy New Year! 

Happy New Year! I want to take the time to say thank you for allowing me to be in the community with your little humans—it has been a blessing to learn from them. I found the best moments in open dialogue and being able to actively digest their profound opinions about God, their perception of the world, and their understanding of themselves. Truly, it has been a blessing.   

Last Sunday, 10 am, the older group spent a lot of time analyzing Isaiah 66:10-13, particularly 66:11 as many concepts uplifted the parental descriptive words of “mother” and “father” to embrace God’s acts. We left the conversation open ended as we will continue the discussion next week of “why does scripture, particularly Isaiah 66:11 use maternal language to describe God and the importance of seeing it in their lives?” 10:30 am, the younger group spent time talking about the meaning of the new year and why the new year is important. The youth spent some time discussing why they wanted to reflect on 2021 before embracing 2022. Also, we spent some time in Psalms 139:13-14, “God Made You” in The Tiny Truths Wonder and Wisdom.   

This Sunday, our older and younger students will continue to dive deeper into the nuances of naming God at 10 am (4th grade or older) for fellowship to read Isaiah 66:10-13. 10:30 am (3rd grade or younger) will continue exploring, Psalms 139:13-14, “God Made You” in The Tiny Truths Wonder and Wisdom. 

Minister Nordia

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

With guest Teresita Matos Post

Wednesday, January 12, 1:00 pm ET
January 16
Weekly Invitations to Community:
Pandemic of Love

Pandemic of Love is a mutual aid community of care that was started in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. It humbly began on March 14th, 2020 by one person and was intended to help her own local community. But, like an epidemic, the act of love and kindness spread quickly and is now a beautiful movement helping those in need throughout the world.

What is a mutual aid community? It connects people in need with patrons who can help with that need. This is a tangible way for people to give to each other, quickly, discretely and directly.

What’s the catch? There is none. Kind people are introduced to kind people which results in an act of kindness and human connection.

Click here for more info.
Free zoom dance and fitness classes designed for older adults

Videos anyone can watch and participate with to bring some movement and creative expression into the day:

And for those older adults who are not comfortable with or don’t have access to internet, phone classes M-F 11-12pm: (339-207-6343)

Classes are in English now but we are working on adding a Spanish speaking class soon.
Upcoming Events

Saturday, January 8, Community Lunch Program, 1:00 pm, Manhattan Church of Christ 48 East 80th Street

Saturday, January 15, Community Lunch Program, 1:00 pm, Manhattan Church of Christ 48 East 80th Street

Sunday, January 16, SoulFood Fellowship, 12:30 pm

Monday, January 17, Rooted in Discernment Community Conversation, 7:00 pm

Tuesday, January 18, Finance Meeting, 6:00 pm

Tuesday, January 18, Ministry Council,
7:00 pm

Saturday, January 22, Community Lunch Program, 1:00 pm, Manhattan Church of Christ 48 East 80th Street

Saturday, January 29, Community Lunch Program, 1:00 pm, Manhattan Church of Christ 48 East 80th Street

Saturday, February 5, Community Lunch Program, 1:00 pm, Manhattan Church of Christ 48 East 80th Street
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.