Let's gather in worship online
on our website, our Facebook and Twitter pages,
and our YouTube channel

Sunday, October 24 with / Domingo, 24 de octubre con

The Rev. Madison T. Shockley II

11:00 am EDT
Bloom with Curiosity: Listen and Respond

Dear Ones,

What a delight it was to see so many of you at our Bloom in Conversation event this past Monday! Thank you for the insights you all shared about curiosity, elephants, and the varied experiences we have of God. I learned so much from hearing part of each of your stories.

Today, we celebrate Pastor Kaji, who receives the William Sloane Coffin ‘56 Award for Peace and Justice from Yale Divinity School! She will be honored in a virtual ceremony at Yale at 7:30 this evening! We wish her congratulations and celebrate as well the particular justice and peace work she has done in our community and throughout her life. 

This week, we have a guest preacher at The Park, The  Rev. Madison T. Stockley II. He comes to us this Sunday from the Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Carlsbad, CA where he was called in 2004. I hope you join us for worship this Sunday where we’ll hear his prophetic message and worship together.
This week’s scripture comes to us from the book of Matthew. As we near the end of Matthew’s telling of the story of Jesus, Jesus reveals the happenings of the ‘appointed time’ when the  ‘Promised One’ will return to sit upon the royal throne and separate the sheep from the goats. Let’s read together the words of Jesus:

31 “At the appointed time the Promised One will come in glory, escorted by all the angels of heaven, and will sit upon the royal throne, 32 with all the nations assembled below. Then the Promised One will separate them from one another, as a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats. 33 The sheep will be placed on the right hand, the goats on the left.
34 “The ruler will say to those on the right, ‘Come, you blessed of my Abba God! Inherit the kindom prepared for you from the creation of the world! 35 For I was hungry and you fed me; I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me; 36 naked and you clothed me. I was ill and you comforted me; in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 Then these just will ask, ‘When did we see you hungry and feed you, or see you thirsty and give you drink? 38 When did we see you as a stranger and invite you in, or clothe you in your nakedness? 39 When did we see you ill or in prison and come to visit you?’ 40 The ruler will answer them, ‘The truth is, every time you did this for the least of my sisters or brothers, you did it for me.’”

[Matthew 25:31-40 (ILB)/ Mateo 25:31-40 (NVI)]

In this parable, Jesus teaches that those who enter the kindom of God will be those who met the needs of others. Of key importance to this list is the way the ‘blessed of God’ meet specific, known needs of others. They do not offer clothes to those who are clothed but hungry nor food to the stranger seeking shelter. Rather,  the one in question meets the need of those they help, which requires knowing what that person needs. It requires asking and listening.
Jesus teaches that to become those blessed ones whom Jesus calls ‘the just’, we must meet the specific, known needs of others. In the United States, this parallels easily with the chant: Know Justice, Know Peace. As this parable teaches, we are called to listen intently to the needs of the oppressed in order to know what justice will look like. After we’ve listened and identified a specific, known need, we must all work to meet the need, achieve justice and, together, know peace.
This requires curiosity. To know the needs of others, we must ask. To hear them, we must listen curiously, prepared to learn and grow from the information shared, so we can act together to meet needs and bring about justice.
May we all find new ways of listening curiously to the needs around us and responding to them promptly.

Joyfully Yours,

Kelsey Creech, Resident Seminarian

This Sunday's Guest Pastor:

The Rev. Madison T. Shockley II 

The Rev. Madison T. Shockley II is the pastor of the Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Carlsbad, CA. He brings to Pilgrim Church a wealth of experience from his work in the religious, political, non-profit, and media environments. Madison was called to Pilgrim Church in 2004.

Along with performing his pastoral duties with Pilgrim, Madison serves on the board of directors of American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of San Diego and Imperial Counties and the board of directors of  Compassion and Choices. He also writes commentary for various online and print outlets. To read some of Madison’s articles, click here.

He holds the Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and has done advanced graduate work at Claremont Graduate University in New Testament Studies. He is married to Gayle P. Shockley née Welch, and they are the parents of five adult children.
Children and Youth Ministry Update
from Kelsey Creech, Resident Seminarian
Last Sunday, our children’s ministries read and reflected on themes of faithfulness and love. This past Sunday, our children read “The Sermon on the Hill” in our Tiny Truths Illustrated Bible. We each shared our favorite teaching, and the children were particularly taken with the image of a city on a hill and the book’s statement that doing good things would help show people God’s goodness.
This Sunday, our older students will meet at 10 AM for fellowship and to read Matthew 25:31-40. We’ll talk about the beginning of the passage – who the Promised One is and what this appointed time might be. Then, we’ll discuss the separating of sheep from goats and how we might learn to answer the needs of others with the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
At 10:30 AM, our younger children will read “The Good Shepherd” in our Tiny Truths Illustrated Bible. We will discuss how our perception of this story might have changed since the last time we read it and what we feel God telling us through the story this time.
I hope you’ve all stayed warm as the weather turned colder this week, and I look forward to being together in spirit this Sunday.
Joyfully yours,
Kelsey Creech
Resident Seminarian


(The illustration used here is from page 138 of Tiny Truths Illustrated Bible)
Please register at

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

With Guest, J. Dana Trent

Wednesday, October 27, 1:00 pm ET
November 6

“The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the stranger as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
– Leviticus 19:34

From the Bible’s instructions to present-day laws and walls, the status of the stranger—the immigrant—has been central to faith communities. What is the role of faith in caring for the strangers in our midst, and what have migrant communities taught us about how to have thriving ministries in today’s world? We’ll approach these questions from both academic and practical perspectives in this colloquium featuring short lectures from faculty and a panel discussion with those working with immigrants in our communities.

Presenters include: Dr. Joel Baden (Yale Divinity School), Rev. Dr. Joyce Mercer (Yale Divinity School), Dr. Grace Yukich (Quinnipiac University), Ashley Makar (IRIS), Rev. Kaji Douša (Park Avenue Christian Church), Rev. David Reed-Brown (First Baptist Church in New Haven), and Rev. Alan Gibbons (First Baptist Church in New Haven).

Please register for this free webinar in advance here:
Welcoming the Stranger: Immigration and Faith Communities

November 14

RSVP to Stephanie Wilson.
November 21
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, October 16, Community Lunch Program, 1:00 pm, Manhattan Church of Christ 48 East 80th Street

Saturday, October 17, SoulFood Fellowship, 12:30 pm

Monday, October 18, Bloom in Conversation, 7:00 pm

Tuesday, October 19, Finance Meeting, 6:00 pm

Tuesday, October 19, Ministry Council Meeting, 7:00 pm

Saturday, October 23, Community Lunch Program, 1:00 pm, Manhattan Church of Christ 48 East 80th Street

Saturday, October 30, Community Lunch Program, 1:00 pm, Manhattan Church of Christ 48 East 80th Street

Saturday, November 6, Community Lunch Program, 1:00 pm, Manhattan Church of Christ 48 East 80th Street

Sunday, November 7, Elders Meeting, 12:30 pm

Saturday, November 13, Community Lunch Program, 1:00 pm, Manhattan Church of Christ 48 East 80th Street

Sunday, November 14, YASS, 12:30 pm

Monday, November 15, Bloom in Conversation, 7:00 pm

Tuesday, November 16, Finance Meeting, 6:00 pm

Tuesday, November 16, Ministry Council Meeting, 7:00 pm

Saturday, November 20, 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.