July 9, 2018 @ 05:15 pm by Christina Fleming
My experience in that first worship was like no other I have experienced in my lifetime of church-going. —Patrick Love
Good morning! My name is Patrick Love and I first visited this church less than a year ago.
Almost two years ago, I moved to the city after my younger child went off to college. I began a quest to find a liberal, progressive church to attend. While I was searching, something unexpected happened. A new president started at the New York Institute of Technology where I was a Vice President and in my first face-to-face meeting with him he let me go. This occurred last June.
I walked into this church last August. In fact, it was Jacqui's last service before heading out for a two-week vacation. Lucky me! At about the same time, I was offered a one-year job as Executive-in-Residence at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, which I accepted. It involved driving out to Bowling Green every other week (that's 583 miles each way in case you were wondering).
My experience in that first worship was like no other I have experienced in my lifetime of church-going. The place was packed. It was a diverse, energetic, and enthusiastic congregation. The music and singing was spectacular. There was applause and three standing ovations. Two for singing performances and one for Jacqui's sermon. Now, I have attended church my entire life and that was the first time I heard applause after a sermon! I was hooked!
The commute made it difficult to get involved other than Sundays. Yet, worship and this community sustained me throughout a difficult year. Being a member helped me feel a part of the efforts to serve the community and to resist and protest the relentless attacks on human and humane values.
This summer, I have been able to participate more in the life of the church and some of the actions we are taking for social justice. The highlight was the road trip to and from D.C. with Gloria, Lars, and Marte to participate in the Poor People's Campaign.
I was just offered a Vice Presidency at Springfield College in Massachusetts. I start in early August. Though I am sad to be leaving NYC and this physical community, I am happy and excited for my new job, and I will be joining the virtual community online.
While the past year has been a challenge for me, I am a person of privilege who had been able to save a nest egg to sustain me through this time. Plus, I did have a job out in Ohio to help bridge me to this point. I have just informed the Middle leadership team that I will be making a substantial gift to the church, part of which will go to the digital ministry project. I will also continue my recurring monthly donation. Continuing to support this community is important to me.
Every week members of the congregation speak about their experiences and ask members to support the work of the church. Thank you all for every gift you make to Middle; it matters! To the more affluent among us, let’s up our game. These are difficult times Middle Church needs more of our support. This year taught me that I could live on a lot less than I thought, and to use my resources in this movement for justice is a great investment. I also encourage you to actively contribute in other ways, such as through volunteer activities here in the church and out in the community. And if you have not, join Middle. See the staff at the pulpit here after worship, to find out how easy it is to do all of this, and you can also join on line!
And this fall when Jacqui encourages you to wave to the online attendees, you'll be waving to me. Thank you!
About This Blog
You make such a difference in so many lives! Here are their stories.