A Quote for the Week, from James Baldwin

baldwin

James Baldwin, 20th century
“The poet or the revolutionary is there to articulate the necessity, but until the people themselves apprehend it, nothing can happen.”

A Farewell Message from Rev. Dr. Alvin O’Neal Jackson

Dear Family and Friends of The Park,

What a wonderful journey it has been! One of the greatest privileges and joys of our lives and ministry together has been the ten years we have shared with you here at the Park Avenue Christian Church of New York City.

Some of the highlights of our collaborative endeavors are:

DISCERNING that the most prudent and faithful stewardship of The Park’s resources was that of selling our “air rights”, thereby making possible plans for a condo apartment development adjacent to our sanctuary. The Park will own three floors in the new building, and will receive $24.5 million to build our endowment, preserve our sanctuary and continue to expand our ministry and outreach to the city and the world into the next millennium.

SHAPING 2010 and 2020 Vision Plans that have guided the congregation’s ongoing pursuit of “true community, deep spirituality and with a passion for justice.”  We have become ever more intentional in being a community that dares to embrace the dignity and divinity of difference as we seek to provide a radical welcome to all.

COMPLETING a painful separation, but essential relocation of the Park Avenue Christian Church Day School following a fifty year relationship with The Park.

ESTABLISHING joint affiliation between Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ (2011) and adopting a new organizational structure, Design and By-Laws.

GROWING our membership and deepening our involvement. We have experienced cycles of decline and growth. And yet, most recently, we have seen an increasing number of young families, along with an array of couples and singles. Most of our members have been here five years or less. In many ways The Park is a new church start.

GROWING our stewardship and increasing our commitment to missions. We have also made significant, major capital improvements to the church: central air conditioning, new front doors, handicap lift and complete renovation of the manse.

EXPANDING our outreach with new, original, fresh, and innovative ministries and programs including SoulFood Fellowship Gatherings, Lifeline Recovery Ministry, Gospel Choir, Youth Choir, Quest, Arts in The Park, XY Fellowship (Ministry for Millennials), After School Program, Immigration Clinics, Water Wells in Haiti, Morning Prayers, Weekly Walk Offerings for Outreach to Hispanics.

Our hearts are full with joy and gratitude with the call of the Reverend Kaji Douša as your new senior pastor. And we know with her creative and refreshing approach to ministry, but deeply rooted in meaningful traditions and your renewed commitment to the work, the best days are yet ahead for The Park!

Even at our distance from our new home in Jacksonville, FL, our prayers, love and support will continue.

Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)
Loving you Madly Always!
Alvin O’Neal and Tina Jackson

“Seek the shalom of the city where I have called you …. and pray unto the Lord for it: for
in its shalom, you will also find your shalom.” (Jeremiah 29:7)

This Saturday: Bowling for Dollars – a Faith & Fundraising Fellowship Event!

Saturday, Sept. 24, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm, AMF Garden City Lanes, 987 Stewart Ave, Garden City, NY 11530

Presented by the Metropolitan Association of the New York Conference, UCC.

RAFFLES, 50/50, AND GIVE AWAYS
$30 for adults
$15 for children 15 and under
All are welcome! Invite your friends, family, neighbors and church members!

Buy your tickets www.uccmetrosuffolk.org (hit donate button at bottom of page) or mail check (made payable to the Metropolitan Association) to Metropolitan Association, 102-19 34th Avenue, 2nd floor, Corona, NY 11368, Attention: Louise Manigault.

Join City Leaders in Admiring “NYC’s Gorgeous Mosaic: A Demographic Portrait Brought to Life”

Tuesday, September 27, 6:45 pm, Church of the Blessed Sacrament, 152 W. 71st St., NYC

Featuring Joseph J. Salvo, PhD., Director, Population Division, NYC Department of City Planning and the experiences and commitments of diverse NYC leaders, including Rev. Luis-Alfredo Cartagena Zayas of The ParkSee this flyer for a list of speakers and collaborating organizations.  RSVP to steinmandiane@gmail.com.

IMMIGRATION CLINIC THIS SATURDAY

Saturday, September 24, 10:00 am, The Park

IMMIGRATION CLINIC

The first Immigration Clinic of 2016 will be held September 24, 10:00 am The Park.     We can help with applications for citizenship, a greencard, or other immigration statuses.
Location: Park Avenue Christian Church, 1010 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10028
Please contact Stephanie Wilson at swilson@parkavenuechristian.com or 212 288 3246 to RSVP to schedule an appointment to meet with one of the immigration attorneys during the Clinic.

STAGE À L’ IMMIGRATION
Le premier stage de 2016 se déroulera le 24 septembre à 10 heures au Parc. Nous saurons vous assister à remplir les formulaires de citoyenneté, de résidence et d’autres étapes de l’immigration aux États-unis.
Où: Park Avenue Christian Church, 1010 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10028
Veuillez contacter Mlle. Stephanie Wilson swilson@parkavenuechristian.com au: 212-288-3246 ou pour prendre rendez-vous avec l’un des avocats.

Clínica de inmigración
La primera clínica del 2016 será el 23 de septiembre a las 10 am en “The Park.” Lo podemos ayudar con formularios de ciudadanía, residencia, u otros estados de inmigración de los EE.UU.
Ubicación: Park Avenue Christian Church, 1010 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10028
Por favor, contacte a Stephanie Wilson swilson@parkavenuechristion.com o al 212-288-3246 para hacer una cita con uno de los abogados de inmigración durante la clínica.

SERMON PREVIEW: “New Things”

Friends of The Park,

The Old Testament reading for this week is taken from that portion of Isaiah that is often called “Second Isaiah.” Although very few traces of the prophet’s identity can be found in Isaiah 40-55, the period of Second Isaiah’s ministry is located with some confidence in the late sixth century BCE, the time when Judah was suffering under Babylonian rule.

Some of the people had been taken into exile in Babylon while others remained in the land, but both groups suffered to varying degrees the debilitating effects of being a conquered people.

Physically, economically, culturally, and religiously, the people felt the might of Babylon, and it seems that one of the tasks of the prophet was to rebuild the people’s understanding of themselves as God’s own people and to reassure them that their God was fully capable of taking on the Babylonian superpower in order to save them.

Isaiah 43:16-21 begins with a formula familiar to any reader of the prophets: “Thus says the Lord.” These words are the traditional introduction to a prophetic oracle and occur in this chapter three times (verses 1, 14, 16). What follows the three instances of this expression in chapter 43, however, is not the expected divine oracle but a character reference of sorts for the God on whose behalf the prophet is speaking.

The God addressing the people is none other than the God who “makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, who brings out chariot and horse… they are extinguished, quenched like a wick!” (verse 16b). The image is stirring and visual and highlights the power of God over both the forces of nature and military might, a power to which the Exodus, the foundational story of the people of Israel, attests. The similarities between Isaiah 43:16-17 and the description of the miraculous rescue of the people at the sea in Exodus 14 and 15 strongly suggest that the prophet is invoking their cultural memory of that dramatic story of redemption from Egypt.

It is fascinating that the prophet, having gone to so much effort to invoke the past, continues in verse 18 with the injunction: “Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old!” The command is surprising and serves as an effective rhetorical device to get the people’s attention, for the prophet is not content to have the people wax nostalgic about the “good old days.”

It is not on the past as the past that the prophet wants the people to concentrate. The prophet aims to create an imaginative space in the minds of the people so that their conception of the past can transform their understanding of the present and, thus, the future: “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” In a seemingly hopeless situation, the prophet calls on the people not to lose heart but to look with anticipation for the signs of God’s approaching redemption, for the “new thing” that is coming.

“Do not remember…” is a divine command! Look around or you will miss the future being born!

Human families and communities are designed to create stability for their members. Churches are no different—perhaps sometimes they are much worse. Even in the midst of suffering, so often we humans cling to the old adage: “The evil you know is better than the evil you don’t know.” Isaiah 43 compels us to view our experience of God’s grace in the past as a springboard so that we view neither present nor future with fear but with expectation.

This is a wonderful and very necessary word for the Church to hear in this current age when there is so much change and upheaval. The character of our God has not changed. God’s grace and power have sustained us in the past, will see us through the present and guide us into the future.

The readings for Sunday: Isaiah 43:14-20; Luke 16:19-31

The preacher for Sunday is the Reverend David Gaewski, Conference Minister, New York Conference, United Church of Christ