Sunday Morning Prayer Group / Grupo de oración dominical 10.50 am
Sunday Worship Celebration with / Culto de adoración dominical con The Rev. Kaji Douša 11:00 am
This week feels full. Full of love. Full of fear. Full of joy. Full of passion and so much more. What has filled your spirit up this week? For me there has been a mix of anger and fear for the treatment of children at our borders, but also excitement and love for the Juneteenth and Pride celebrations that are happening this week. I invite you to pay attention as the week moves on to what is filling and feeding your spirit? And then please bring that to church with you on Sunday! Just a reminder the congregational meeting starts at 10:30 and then we will be marching in the Pride Parade with Judson Memorial right after church.
This week we were gifted with the second season of Queer Eye on Netflix. Friends, If you have not seen it, I encourage you to do so. It is not the same show that some of us were familiar with 15 years ago. It is five new diverse men, with different gifts, sharing them with everyone they come in contact with. And while the first iteration of the program was all about the physical transformation of the men they came across, the new fab five are much more about the internal transformation that takes place when a person recognizes their own value and worth and emerge more confident in the person that they are called to be. This understanding of confidence as a gift that is shown so beautifully in this week’s scripture from 2 Corinthians.
6 So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord— 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Christ. 10 For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.
14 For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. 15 And Christ died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for the Lord who died and was raised for them.
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view;[a] even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view,[b] we know Christ no longer in that way. 17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
In the words of Jonathan Van Ness “Can you believe?” What a gift our faith is. This week’s scripture and Queer Eye captures so beautifully what God wants for us, to become new more confident versions of ourselves when we most authentically follow Christ. But that takes work and help from a community. Our scripture says that we once knew a version of Christ that was human, but we no longer see them in that way. Can you imagine what it must have taken for those that knew Christ to make that transition in their understanding? I know that our trans brothers, sisters and neighbors can imagine what that takes from others. I know that those who have been and are enslaved, those in camps at the border, those whose identities are viewed as “less than,” can profoundly understand that as well.
I propose that to honestly and lovingly make that shift in our thinking for all people, the same shift our scripture asks us to do for Christ, we need to be curious. Listening to the stories of others you learn about the different ways God is at work in the world making people anew. Gaining the knowledge and understanding of new spaces in creation not only helps you gain better perspective on people and who they are (and who they might have been) but it helps you be a better neighbor and sibling in Christ. And when we are living more fully as neighbors in our faith lives, we are more confident in ourselves and more confident in who God has called us to be.
Friends, I hope this week you have been curious and that you will continue to question the world around you. May that curiosity inspire your passions both new and old and help you gain new areas of confidence to be your best self. The self that seeks justice and love. The self that God created you to be. The you that was made in the image of the risen Christ.
Update from Rev. Francesca Fortunato,
Children and Youth Ministry Leader
The 2017-18 Sunday school year will conclude on June 24th, Pride Sunday. The previous Sunday, the 17th, was our “Kids-Pick-the-Bible-Stories” day, as well as our end of the program year party. We read Bible stories chosen by the six children present, and engaged in some lively discussion about why each child had chosen their particular story. I found it interesting that two children selected stories about King David (who, like the prophet Samuel, started his special ministries while still a child.) There also seemed to be a strong animal theme, with selections focused on animals from Genesis, and Noah. After all of their stories had been read and discussed, I asked the children whether they would like to hear one more, chosen by me. They said yes, so I read to them about Jesus blessing the children. I then asked whether they could guess why I had picked that story. Answers included, “Because it’s important for kids to learn about Jesus, too.”, “Because YOU like children,” and, “Because children needed help.” I told them that those were all good answers, but that I would add one more: “Because children are just as important to God as grownups, and just as much able to minister in this world. And it’s my job, sometimes, to remind the grownups in church about that.”
After the Bible story session, we ate snacks, played games, and danced together. Good times in good company!
On Pride Sunday, we will read 2 Corinthians 5: “Walking by faith.” We will discuss the ways that our Christian faith inspires us to “walk our talk,” by participating in marches for social justice, like Pride, The Women’s March; March For Our Lives and, most recently, Families Belong Together.Since some of the children will be marching with The Park’s contingent at Pride, we will spend our Creative Response time making LGBTQ Pride signs to carry, and Pride Jewelry to wear.
I just want to conclude my final report for this program year, by saying that I am so very happy that The Park church community have asked me to come back and continue my children’s ministry here in September. Even with more than a decade of experience in children’s ministry, I still felt a certain degree of nervousness when I started at The Park. Every congregation is unique, and you can never assume that what works well for one congregation will also work well for another. I wasn’t sure that I would be a good fit for this community, but I hoped and prayed that I would be, and did my best to make my own walk by faith, as I learned what was wanted and needed in this specific children’s ministry. You will all be in my prayers during the July and August break, and I will be looking forward to joyful reunions in September. Blessings and joy!
An Invitation from Rev. Micah Bucey
Minister, Judson Memorial Church
A bunch of us are hard at work, preparing for this year's Judson & Friends Pride March coalition to be our most fabulous yet.
The March itself is on Sunday, June 24th, but many of you have seen the Facebook listing for the lead-up events Judson is hosting (in addition to the big event on Pride Sunday).
We would love to have as many of you as possible for all three of these gatherings, and you can read more about each of them here.
Most importantly, we need a count for how many plan to march with us because, as of now, the March organizers are requiring all marchers to wear wristbands for entrance. I would love to have a somewhat-accurate way of tracking how many of us will need them.
Please let me know of any questions. And see below for the listing of the three events in the body of this email.
With love, glitter, and communal fabulosity,
Saturday 6.23, 5pm - 7:30pm
PREP + CONNECT: Queer Icon Art Making
Gather the night before the March with a team of artists to make signs, make friends, share resources and supplies, and create all our fabulous accoutrement - including giant bedazzled icons of Queer saints, old and new. BYOB & Snacks.
MAKEOVER + MARCH: Main Event Fabulosity, times below
Gather before marching to grab a bite, caffeinate, glam up, and get centered with a multifaith kickoff ritual lead by all our Qlergy. **PLEASE NOTE: Due to security concerns, this year all marchers will be REQUIRED to wear an official Pride identifying bracelet. We have a select number of bracelets to distribute, but you MUST meet us at Judson no later than 2:30pm to receive one.
11am: Doors Open
11:30am: Multifaith Centering Ritual
12:30pm: Brunch, glitter, face paint, nail polish
2:30pm: Leave for March entrance - LAST CHANCE TO RECEIVE MARCH BRACELET
4pm: Service on the Streets: A Public Prayer Rally for Peace & PRIDE
5-6pm-ish: Begin Marching (our exact kickoff time will be determined day-of by the March organizers)
A Message from DJ Jeffries
In current times, there is no shortage of opportunities to show up for justice, love, and peace. Today, I want to share another opportunity to show up and stand against the forces of evil as Christ did. On Saturday June 23rd, the Poor People’s Campaign will head to the US Capitol for a massive March to Fight Poverty in Washington, D.C. The rally will begin at 10am. Buses from NYC will be available.
The Poor People’s Campaign is uniting tens of thousands to challenge the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and the nation’s distorted morality. Make no mistake, this is a continuation and not a commemoration of the campaign of the same name organized by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others notable figures in 1968.
In the last five weeks, over 2000 people participating in the campaign have been arrested for civil disobedience. This is the largest sustained, coordinated season of nonviolent direct action in statehouses this country has ever seen.
Thank you DJ for "showing up" -- that's what justice work looks like. We are in the last week of the 40 Days of Moral Action for the launch of the Poor People's Campaign. Here are ways you, too, can "show up":
June 23rd, 8:30 AM — Join in pre-rally prayer, sign making, and march with other members of Disciples of Christ @ National City Christian Church, Thomas Circle, Washington, DC, 14th Street and Massachusetts Ave. REGISTER HERE
June 23rd, 10 AM – 2:30 PM — Rally in Washington, DC, National Mall on 7th St SW, between Madison and Jefferson Avenues, SW. To reserve a seat on the bus from NYC click here: bit.ly/nyppcdc
"Forward together, not one step back."
A Congregational Meeting of Park Avenue Christian Church will take place on Sunday, June 24. At that time, a slate of nominees prepared and approved by the Nominations Team and the Ministry Council will be presented for vote, electing new leadership for 2018-2019.
Offices to be filled include the following: Ministry Council, Elder, Deacon, and the Nominations Team.