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Sunday, June 20 with / Domingo, 20 de junio con

Minister Candace Simpson

11:00 am EST
Bloom with Pride: The Stories We Tell

The Park with Beloved and Proud in 2019

Happy Pride! I know we have been Blooming with Pride and celebrating all month- and let’s be honest The Park celebrates Pride all year round- but this Sunday is the day that we join others around the city, nation, and world to boldly proclaim that our LGBTQIA+ siblings are prophetic leaders of the church and their wholeness is made in the image of God and is celebrated and loved by God and The Park. We are so glad you are joining us this Sunday as we bring Minister Candace Simpson back to our pulpit and celebrate with our whole community the work God is doing with and amongst us. Be sure to join us for Bible Study and Children’s Worship as well! Also, if you would like to join the  Queer Liberation March or watch online be sure to see the graphic further down in this newsletter. It is such a wonderful time of celebration and love yet we as a community also offer lament for the times and spaces that the world has not been hospitable or loving toward God or God’s beloveds. May we know better, do better, and love better in the name of God.
This week we are in the book of Mark with a story that many of us know. It is the story of Jesus’s miracle of healing the young girl. I have always been drawn to this passage as I think it encompasses so much of the human experience. Grief, hope, loss, love, anxiety, and the need for snacks! After a year in which so many of us lost loved ones, this story hits especially hard as we know that our loved ones won’t come back to life, but we also know that they live forever in the God’s beloved kindom and in the loving care of our memories. I also find this story hard to imagine because I would not be very good at keeping a miracle like this a secret. Would you be able to? Let’s read together this passage from Mark and see what questions you have for God and the text:

35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people arrived from the house of the synagogue official to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why put the Teacher to any further trouble?”
36 But Jesus overheard the remark and said to the official: “Don’t be afraid. Just believe.”37 Jesus allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and James’ brother John.
38 They came to the official’s house and Jesus noticed all the commotion, with people weeping and wailing unrestrainedly. 39 Jesus went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and crying? The child is not dead, but asleep.” 40 At this, they began to ridicule him, and he told everyone to leave.
Jesus took the child’s mother and father and his own companions and entered the room where the child lay. 41 Taking her hand, he said to her, “Talitha, koum!” which means, “Little girl, get up!” 42 Immediately the girl, who was twelve years old, got up and began to walk about.
At this they were overcome with astonishment. 43 Jesus gave the family strict orders not to let anyone know about it and told them to give the little girl something to eat.

[Mark 5:35-43 (ILB)/ Marcos 5:35-43 (NVI)]

I preached at The Rev. Allen Harris’s 30th ordination anniversary celebration a few weeks ago and one of the things I said was that Jesus calls us to rest. Then I shared that I once had a kid ask me if that meant that Jesus was in charge of naps. Well, if Jesus is in charge of naps, then this passage tells us that Jesus is also in charge of snacks! And while I don’t think that rest and snacks are the pressing point of this passage, I think that so much of what Jesus points us to in scripture is self and communal care. This community is going through the trauma of losing and regaining the life of a 12-year-old girl. Much like us, their life is filled with trauma and angst. Yet, in Jesus there is always hope.

Jesus performs this miracle and tells the people to not tell anyone but to feed the child. A gentle reminder that the very basic human needs of shelter, food, water, and love are universal regardless of who you are. Jesus is urging us to pay attention to our needs and the needs of our community. And when we do that, we don’t have to tell people about Jesus, because they get to experience Jesus in our work.

So, this Pride Sunday, beloveds, may the love of Jesus be known to all whom we encounter because they see the Divine love of Christ at work in us. And may you always know you are deeply and divinely loved, made in the image of God, and worthy of dignity, respect, and care- this day and always.

Shalom Y'all,

Rev. Stephanie

Simple Prayer: O Lord, may we always be open to your miracles. Amen.

Disciples Center Volunteers Needed
  • Would you like to help us advocate for living wages, affordable and accessible health care, food security, immigration, and other important issues?
  • Would you like to influence lawmakers and legislatures to pass fair and inclusive laws?
  • Would you like to advance the cause of social justice in our nation?
If so, the Disciples Center for Public Witness needs your help!
We are looking for volunteers to attend advocacy meetings on our behalf.
What’s required? Your time, interest, and the ability to listen and take accurate notes. Then, send those notes to us once a month.
What do you need to do?
Simply complete the Disciples Center for Public Witness Meeting Volunteer Form.
And, we will contact you about attending meetings.
Children and Youth Ministry Update
from Kelsey Creech, Resident Seminarian

This past Sunday, Rev. Stephanie and Mr. Trevor had a lovely time with our Children’s worship. They read about Adam and Eve in the garden and talked about how God loves and cares for us. They named that the grown-ups God gives us are also there to love us and care for us, that when we are given rules by those who love us, they are not meant to be mean or bossy, but to keep us safe and healthy. They prayed, for camp and Ninja Warrior Challenges specifically, sang, and said goodbye with a blessing.
This week, we will read Mark 5:35-43 in our Inclusive Language Bible and “Jesus Heals a Little Girl” in our Tiny Truths Illustrated Bible. We will talk about the miracle of it and the preciousness of the little girl. We will also have a conversation about Pride Sunday! Both groups will take some time to talk about what Pride means, why the Church also celebrates it, and the importance of taking time to declare that God loves everyone and that God loves love.
With that, Happy Pride! I hope you feel empowered in your identity and that you find ways this week to share that empowerment with others.
Joyfully yours,
Kelsey Creech, Resident Seminarian


(Illustration from Page 22 of the Tiny Truths Illustrated Bible)

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

With Guest, Minister Candace Simpson

Wednesday, June 30, 1:00 pm EDT
July 18

What is SoulFood Fellowship?


Well, it isn't food for your stomach (though when we are able to meet again in person, we will share a brown bag lunch right after church), but it is food — almost a banquet — for your soul.  

SoulFood Fellowship is a gathering of The PARK members and friends who get together from near and far after worship on the third Sunday of each month.  We engage in conversation that is bound to get you thinking and talking.  We discuss and reflect on books, articles, documentary films, or plays —in light of our faith, Bible Study, and concern for social justice.  

We have concluded our study of Juan Gonzalez's Harvest of Empire, and on July 18 we'll be taking up a new social justice focus—beginning with a review and commentary by one of our participants and followed by our response with regard to what God requires of us.  We would love to have you join us and share your perspective, experience, hopes, and concerns.

SFF will meet next on July 18--but not in August.

For more information, please contact either Richard Sturm or Stephanie Wilson.

Join Rev. Stephanie at the 2021 Disciples Virtual Gathering! Registration is now LIVE! Join Disciples from across the US and Canada for this one day, live event on August 7. Featuring Bible study, workshops and worship as we celebrate that NOTHING can separate us from the love of God.
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, June 26, Community Lunch Program, 1:00 pm, Manhattan Church of Christ 48 East 80th Street

Saturday, July 3, Community Lunch Program, 1:00 pm, Manhattan Church of Christ 48 East 80th Street

Monday, July 5, Office closed for Independence Day observance

Sunday, July 10, Community Lunch Program, 1:00 pm, Manhattan Church of Christ 48 East 80th Street

Wednesday, July 14, Bloom With Community, 7:00 pm

Saturday, July 17, Community Lunch Program, 1:00 pm, Manhattan Church of Christ 48 East 80th Street

Sunday, July 18, SoulFood Fellowship, 12:30 pm

Monday, July 19, Bloom in Conversation, 7:00 pm

Tuesday, July 20, Finance Meeting, 6:00 pm

Tuesday, July 20, Ministry Council Meeting, 7:00 pm

Saturday, July 24, 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.