We are anxious. We are on the cusp of something new- a resurrection. These past few days have felt like Holy Saturday. Living into and with the unknown is a challenge and is part of our journey. We have been here before with Mary at the foot of the cross and at the tomb. We wait. Wait for the rumble of transformation. It’s coming. We know it in our bones. Something new is happening. Will it be obvious? Will we be able to spot it? It is complicated and complex. My friend’s daughter told me, “It feels like America ordered a pizza together with different toppings on each slice. And now the pizza has been delivered and we are all hoping that when we open the box, our order is right, and we don’t have to pick too many pieces of pepperoni off the veggie slice.” I think she was hungry when we spoke. I think we are all hungry- for lots of things. And while it is not a perfect analogy, I think it is helpful because it reminds us that things move during delivery and no matter what- we are being moved as we are being delivered.
And there is hope in movement.
You who wish for the Day of God to come—
why do you want it?
What will the Day of God mean to you?
It will be a day of darkness, not light!
It will be like running from a lion
only to meet a bear,
or like getting home safe at last,
only to get bitten by a snake hiding in the corner!
the Day of God will be darkness, not light.
It will all be gloom, without a single ray of light.
I despise and reject your feasts!
I am not appeased by your solemn assemblies!.
When you offer me burnt offerings,
I reject your oblations,
and refuse to look at your sacrifices of fattened cattle!
Spare me the racket of your chanting!
Relieve me of the strumming of your harps!
Instead, let justice flow like a river,
and righteousness flow like an unfailing stream.
[Amos 5:18-24 (ILB)/ Amós 5:18-24 (NVI)]
A quick prayer for your week: O Lord, I deliver my heart and my hope to you. Amen
Children and Youth Ministry Update
from The Rev. Francesca Fortunato
Dear Park People,
On Sunday, November 1st, the Park Sunday school community had a varied morning together. We began by comparing notes on Halloween experiences, which were, overall, happy, ‘though mostly virtual. I heard about Princess costumes, Wednesday Adams costumes; colorful Autumn tree costumes. And (as I had promised) I showed up for Sunday school in costume, wearing a bubble gum pink shirt and Minnie Mouse ears (with the requisite giant, pink polka-dotted hair bow) and a mouse nose and whiskers, drawn on with eyeliner. (The latter required many applications of Cold Cream to remove, but it was worth the work, for the sake of entertaining children!)
After Belated Halloween doings, we proceeded to read the passage from Revelation, using our DK Children’s Bible. I chose to direct our discussion toward the angels mentioned in the scripture, “singing praises to God.” We talked about the presence of angels at joyful moments, in the Bible, and I asked the children where else they had noticed angels appearing. One child said, “Rockefeller Center.” Me: “What else do you see at Rockefeller Center when the angels are there?” Child: “The Christmas Tree.” And, so, we tied it together; angels at the beginning of the story of Jesus, and also at the very end of the Bible; messengers of the goodness of God.
On November 8th, we will read from the Mystic Bible (pages 29-30) the “God’s eye is on the Sparrow” teaching of Jesus. We will talk about ways to remind ourselves (and each other) of God’s love, when we feel small, scared; vulnerable. Using our white boards and dry-erase markers, we will draw and write images and words, that remind us of God’s love for all of creation.
I’m writing this on Election Day. Early in the morning. Not yet knowing how things will turn out, and feeling rather small and sparrow-like, myself. Striving to stay in a place of hope-filled faith. We teach the lessons that we need to learn...
Blessings and well wishes as always, for all of us!
Rev. Francesca Fortunato: Children’s Minister
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.