I hope your curiosity for the world has inspired you to get to know your neighbor and community more deeply. We had a wonderful first Inspired Dialogue session on Monday, I hope you can join us for our next one in February. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter as well to receive February’s Inspire curriculum (It comes out on the 1st of every month!) and get everything you will need to join us on this journey of inspiration. We have so much happening in the life of the church we hope you will join us for all of it!
I am not generally a clumsy person but last Sunday I stumbled down some steps. My heel caught on the stair behind me and pulled my ankle in a way that was…let’s say…less than comfortable. Luckily, I was fine. But the rest of the day I walked a little slower and paid a little bit more attention to where I stepped as I walked around the city. I became increasingly aware of the slick ice that formed in the uneven places where the sidewalk meets the street. I paid particular attention to the uneven streets in SoHo. And I held extra tight to the handrail in several subway stations that have steep stairs. The longing for sure footing guided my steps the rest of the week after that trip of a wakeup call and that seems to be the same theme that our psalmist this week was writing about. Except instead of walking down the street, our psalmist is looking for sure footing on their journey of faith. Let’s read part of Psalm 40 together.
Unyielding, I called to you, my God,
now at last you have stooped to me
and answered my cry for help.
You have pulled me out of the Pit of Destruction,
out of its mud and quicksand;
you set my feet on a rock
and made my steps firm. (Psalm 40:1-2)
Nothing points out the necessity of solid ground (both physical and metaphorical) like instability. Something happens to shake our foundation that makes us look at and travel this world in new ways. At any given point, life can (and will!) shake our literal ground and our theological one. That’s just a given with being human. But what is also a given is that God travels this journey with you. Through prayer, discernment, and community God is pulling you from the mud of fear and self-doubt toward the rock of self-care and expansive love. And part of being in community is having people around to point out your next step of solid ground. Because only after finding some solid ground can we take our next steps with and toward God.
So, friends, how are you? Has this year thrown you some unsure footing and you aren’t sure how to move forward? Or perhaps you see some solid rock to move toward for you or others? Let’s move forward together. I would love to help you find your next firm step and I know the rest of our community would too. So, I invite you to make coming to church – in person or online or to one of our many ministries – part of your sure-footing and next-steps for this year. The foundation for the vision of our church is made stronger with each person who commits themselves to growing with our community. And I am curious at which incredible next steps we might take if we commit to doing it faithfully together, with each other- and with God.
A quick prayer for your week: God, guide my steps and help me light the path for others. Amen
Children and Youth Ministry Update
Dear Park People,
On January 19th, the children’s ministry community continued to focus on Jesus’ care for children, and the power of healing prayer. We read the story of Jesus healing the child with Epilepsy (Matthew 17: 14-21) and talked about ways to pray for people in our lives who are ill. Since one of our community members was out sick that day, we took time to pray for her, envisioning her healthy, happy, and back with us.
On January 26th, we will read Matthew 11:25-30, in which Jesus teaches that God has, “Taken these things from the wise, and revealed them to little children.” We will discuss the things that have been revealed to us, through study of scripture, and life experience, about the nature of God. For our creative response activity, we will begin making items to sell for our craft fair benefiting Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital, which the children selected during our Sunday school brainstorming session on January 12th.
I hope that this week’s report finds all of the Park children and adults healthy, happy, and hopeful, as we continue our sacred journey together.
Blessings and well wishes as always,
Rev. Francesca Maria (Miriam): Children’s Minister
How does it work? Once you're trained you become part of the accompaniment program. You'll learn about upcoming accompaniments and can sign up for time slots and locations that work for you.