Children and Youth Ministry Update
from The Rev. Francesca Fortunato
Dear Park People,
On Sunday June 28th, the Park Sunday school children read Paul’s letter on love (1 Corinthians 13) and talked about love (things they love; people they love) as a way to get acquainted with Rev. Cara Gilger, who will be leading the summer children’s program, and was on our Blue Jeans meeting. They showed Rev. Cara their favorite toys and art work; talked about the things that they enjoy doing. Rev. Cara told the children about life in Texas, where she lives (it’s even hotter there than it is here!) as well as her own children, and her dog. All in all, this summer program, which will be a new experience for the Park Sunday school children, seems set to be an interesting and enjoyable way to keep them connected with the church, and each other, during July and August.
During the summer, I will be working on plans for the 2020-21 program year, ordering new children’s Bibles, Christian books, and supplies, while striving to create greater variety for the program, as online church continues to be our new normal. I also plan to stay in contact with the community, by participating in the worship service on Facebook (as I have been doing since March) and conversing by email with other members of the pastoral staff.
My wife, Lynn, and I, have no plans for travel outside the city this summer, beyond short day trips to visit close family members in Westchester county and the Catskills (meeting outdoors, masked, and avoiding the hugs which would have been part of such visits with nieces, nephews, and cousins in the pre-pandemic days.) It feels a bit weird, but we are glad that we’ll be able to have, at least, some in-person conversation with our dear ones, and widen our horizons, just a little bit, as New York continues Phase 2/3 re-opening. We are thankful for our health, and the blessings of love; doing our best to stay informed, while living our faith, one day at a time.
My hopes and prayers are with all of the children and adults at The Park, for health and safety, peace and joy!
Blessings and well wishes as always,
Rev. Francesca Maria (Miriam) Fortunato: Children’s Minister
Children and Youth Ministry Update
from The Rev. Cara Gilger
Dear Park Families,
I am excited to spend the summer with you virtually as Rev Francesca takes sabbatical time to recharge this summer. Last Sunday I was able to meet the children on BlueJeans. If you weren’t able to attend last Sunday, I look forward to meeting you and your family on the Sundays to come as we will be meeting throughout the summer months on Sunday mornings at 10:30am.
I am excited to share that the month of July the Park Kids will be participating in the Inspire Art Challenge. As you know this year’s all church theme is “Inspire” and each month the adults explore different aspects of our faith and world that inspire. For the month of July I am going to challenge our kids to draw, paint or snap a picture of something different each week that inspires them. Parents, you can email me a picture of your child’s Inspire Art Challenge to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be sharing them as appropriate in the newsletter throughout the month.
This week I will be challenging the kids to draw, paint or snap a picture of something that inspires REST in their lives to tie in with the scripture reading Pastor Kaji is preaching on and our lesson in Sunday School which will focus on Matthew 11:28-30. I can’t want to see what our blooming artists will come up with.
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.
Classes are in English now but we are working on adding a Spanish speaking class soon.
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From the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education:
We are facing unprecedented times, and many of us are wondering how we can respond. We are receiving requests from institutions seeking additional spiritual care support, particularly through telechaplaincy. At the same time, we know some CPE students have been unable to complete units due to new restrictions for visitation. We hope telechaplaincy might provide them additional hours towards the completion of units.
We are seeking volunteers to meet these requests. If you would like to be considered for telechaplaincy support, please complete the volunteer form below. Your information will only be shared with institutional leadership working to meet the needs of those whom they serve. If you have questions or need more information, please email COVID19@acpe.edu.
You may also want to explore resources for spiritual care during this crisis, available here from our colleagues at the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab. Thank you for your dedication to our shared work.