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Sunday, May 23 with / Domingo, 23 de mayo con

Rev. Kaji Douša

11:00 am EST
Bloom with Reverence: Love Language

Beloved Church,

I hope this week has found you filled with the power of the Holy Spirit as we celebrate Pentecost. Pentecost is such a special time in the life of the church. It represents another space of newness and hope, which is something that we can all use. As Pastor Kaji said last week, we invite you to wear the colors of flames for Sunday’s worship. If you put a pic online be sure to tag us and we will share it- keeping the tongues of fire alive today! We can’t wait to see you Sunday!
This morning, I had the privilege of officiating a wedding for a couple that I had never met until today. This is not normally how I journey with couples toward marriage, but due to unforeseen circumstances on their end they needed this favor, so, I made an exception and decided to officiate. I love weddings-LOVE them. And to do one in person was so life giving. Because I did not know this couple, I came up with an order of service that was more generic than what I normally do. As we started the ceremony under Bridge 24 at the south end of the reservoir the words that I had scripted seemed insufficient. In the short time I had spent with the brides just minutes before the ceremony, I heard stories of love, and life, of pain, and hope. And while the words that I was saying embodied all of that, the lack of personalization made it feel lacking. So, I took a deep breath and went a bit off script. I repeated some of their own words they used to describe their life and their dreams. They are expecting twin girls, so I blessed their daughters that were present with us as well. From roots to branches, I gave thanks for all who made the day possible, gibing into the moment with the Holy Spirit guiding my words. The hot wind of today was rushing under the bridge and when I was finished with the ceremony, I thought, this was our own version of the story of Pentecost. A hot breeze and new words and work with people unknown- guided by the Holy Spirit. It is in that spirit that I invite us to read together the story of Pentecost from the Book of Acts:

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they all met in one room. Suddenly they heard what sounded like a violent, rushing wind from heaven; the noise filled the entire house in which they were sitting. Something appeared to them that seemed like tongues of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each one. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as she enabled them.
Now there were devout people living in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven, and at this sound they all assembled. But they were bewildered to hear their native languages being spoken. They were amazed and astonished: “Surely all of these people speaking are Galileans! How does it happen that each of us hears these words in our native tongue? We are Parthians, Medes and Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya around Cyrene, as well as visitors from Rome—all Jews, or converts to Judaism—Cretans and Arabs, too; we hear them preaching, each in our own language, about the marvels of God!”

[Acts 2:1-11 (ILB)/ Hechos 2:1-11 (NVI)

Today in New York City it is warm and sunny which means that Central Park is in full swing. Joggers, nannies, dogs, people eating lunch, people falling in love, people reading are all out in the park taking in the beauty of the day. But when people passed us, without exception, they all stopped to watch the ceremony. And when I announced that they were married- and they sealed their commitment to each other with a kiss- it felt like the energy of Central Park was solely focused on them with abundant cheers, clapping, and well wishes. The language of love was being spoken in every heart, in every language, every smile. I took another deep breath and gave thanks for the marvels of God that guide my steps and always leads me into the dwelling places of love. It was our own moment of Pentecost.

Friends, what words or love languages do you use to talk about the marvels of God? This Sunday, I hope you will share them with us in the chat or online so that we may continue the work that the early church charges us with – to hear the good news and share it – far and wide.

Shalom Y'all,

Rev. Stephanie

Simple Prayer: O Lord, Give me the words that lead me to the dwelling places of your love. Amen.

Disciples Center Volunteers Needed
  • Would you like to help us advocate for living wages, affordable and accessible health care, food security, immigration, and other important issues?
  • Would you like to influence lawmakers and legislatures to pass fair and inclusive laws?
  • Would you like to advance the cause of social justice in our nation?
If so, the Disciples Center for Public Witness needs your help!
We are looking for volunteers to attend advocacy meetings on our behalf.
What’s required? Your time, interest, and the ability to listen and take accurate notes. Then, send those notes to us once a month.
What do you need to do?
Simply complete the Disciples Center for Public Witness Meeting Volunteer Form.
And, we will contact you about attending meetings.
Children and Youth Ministry Update
from Kelsey Creech, Resident Seminarian

Last Sunday the children and I read Luke 24:44-53. We talked about our imaginings of what it might have looked like for Jesus to be taken up to the heavens as he was blessing the disciples. We wondered what might come next as we look towards this Sunday, Pentecost.
The younger children as always spent time in prayer. We sang, prayed, and welcomed Saffron, one of Mr. Trevor’s puppets, into our study this week,  then we discussed where Jesus was going and what the next surprise from God might be.
This Sunday, the older children and I will meet at 10 AM to read the story of Pentecost. We’ll talk about the Holy Spirit,  how we think she works and how it feels when the Holy Spirit guides us. We’ll talk about the Trinity and how Christians have conceived of the Creator, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as all being God.
The younger children and I will meet at 10:30 to read the second half of “The  Holy Spirit” in our Tiny Truths Illustrated Bible. Will talk about the Holy Spirit and think about how we experience her. We  will pray, sing, and say goodbye with the blessing, and if we’re lucky maybe another of Mr. Trevor’s friends will join us.
As I say each week, I am so grateful to be a part of the Park Avenue Christian Church community. And I’m eager to see how we grow together this next year!
Joyfully yours,
Kelsey Creech, Resident Seminarian


(Image from p. 209 of Tiny Truths Illustrated Bible)

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

With guest Ashton Sorrels

Wednesday, May 26, 1:00 pm EDT
May 23:

May 23 at 7:30 pm

We are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the life-giving ministry of Rev. Allen V. Harris and the Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance alongside the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Guided by the Spirit, sustained by the Spirit, following the Spirit, Allen has and continues to breathe life into the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  The Rev. Stephanie Kendell will be preaching.
June 20

What is SoulFood Fellowship?


Well, it isn't food for your stomach (though when we are able to meet again in person, we will share a brown bag lunch right after church), but it is food — almost a banquet — for your soul.  


SoulFood Fellowship is a gathering of The PARK members and friends who get together from near and far after worship on the third Sunday of each month.  We engage in conversation that is bound to get you thinking and talking.  We discuss and reflect on books, articles, documentary films, or plays —in light of our faith, Bible Study, and concern for social justice.  


Right now we’re focusing on Juan Gonzalez’s Harvest of Empire:  A History of Latinos in America.  Don't worry if you haven't read the book.  It is a slow read that calls forth loads of discussion and reflection on our country, racism, colonialism, and what God requires of us.  We would love to have you join us and share your perspective, experience, hopes, and concerns.


For more information, please contact either Richard Sturm or Stephanie Wilson.

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

Sunday, May 23, Bloom with Prayer, after worship

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

Monday, May 31, Office closed for Memorial Day

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

Sunday, June 6, Elders Meeting, 12:30 pm

Wednesday, June 9, Bloom with Community, 7:00 pm

Saturday, June 12, Community Lunch Program, 1:00 pm, Manhattan Church of Christ 48 East 80th Street

Sunday, June 13, YASS, 12:30 pm

Tuesday, June 15, Finance Meeting, 6:00 pm

Tuesday, June 15, Ministry Council, 7:00 pm

Saturday, June 19, 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.