Even though our neighborhood has been devastated and we are grieving with our community, we will gather in the sanctuary this Sunday, March 29 at 11:15a to commemorate the tenacious nature of hope in the midst of devastation. We will hear the familiar story of how Jesus rides into the city of Jerusalem on a donkey. The story is tragic, yet you know that it ends with the hope of new life.
Because of street closures, you must come to the sanctuary from First Avenue and then walk west on 6th Street. At Second Avenue, turn north (right) to reach the sanctuary. Both choirs will guide us in song, and we will pray. You will not be able to enter the 50 East 7th Street building because it is a staging area for the emergency workers. Come, and bring a friend who needs to know just how close God is to them.
After worship, we close our building so the difficult work outside can continue without us inside. The Freedom School, Adult Education and Art and Soul are cancelled Sunday. If you worship at Art and Soul, please join us in the morning.
If we look closely, we can see in the midst of this tragedy the signs of hope. First responders quickly and deftly saved so many lives and are camped out at Middle Church. Strangers helped each other to safety. A school serves as a safe station. These signs of hope point to what Jesus was preaching and teaching. The Reign of God is among us, near us, he said. When we offer food to the hungry with Butterfly or the food pantry, God’s reign is near. When the gospel choir sings for a sick friend, God’s reign is near. When we hold a safe space for fatigued firefighters, God’s Reign is near. It is near. Among us. Within us.
Even in times of sorrow, the Reign of God is near, close enough to touch, like a hug – to a friend, a vulnerable neighbor, or to yourself. Because it is within us, among us. Right now.