We are a caring community—it's at the very heart of who wants us to be as a church. We're blessed to be served by incredible pastors, and a devoted staff, but we also recognize that care is a communal activity; it's what knits our congregation together. Honoring this, care at Middle happens in a variety of ways! Take a look at the list below to find ways that you can be held in this moment.
And please know: Needing care is not a sign of weakness. God doesn't want you to white-knuckle it alone. Asking for help is part of what it means to be human—and accepting care is part of accepting God's love. So please, tell us what you need and we will do everything we can to help you find it.
A Gathering of Gratitude and Community
We know how many people will not be able to enjoy their usual holiday plans this Thanksgiving. As COVID continues to spread, Middle wants to offer love and community for anyone who feels lonely and isolated. (Or just wants to see some smiling faces!) Come at noon ET with something tasty to eat, and share an hour of compassion, laughter and virtual fellowship. We are so grateful for your love, and we're going to get through this together!
Are You Food Insecure This Thanksgiving?
Your loving kindness is helping 150 East Village families receive a Thanksgiving Food Box, courtesy of the Lower East Side Girls Club and our partnership with them. If you need such a box, 25 are set aside for Middle families. RSVP to Erikka, email@example.com or text 917-536-0228 and reserve a box containing poultry and traditional Thanksgiving fixins. Pick-up will be Tuesday, November 24, from 3-5 p.m. outside of the Girls Club 402 East 8th Street.
Deacon's and Cancel Rent/Cancel Mortgage Grants
At Middle, we recognize that, particularly in this moment, it is insufficient to only address our members' spiritual needs—we must meet material needs as well. We know that we cannot meet all the dire need in our community, but we are committed to doing something and doing it well. That's why, as part of our 2020-2021 budget, we dedicated $100,000 to Cancel Rent/Cancel Mortgage direct grants to help keep people in their homes. And it's why we've created a Deacon's fund to provide smaller grants to people in need of financial assistance. This is the work the Lord demands—for us to stand in the breach government has created until just governance can fix it.
To request a Deacon's grant, email Rev. Amanda Hambrick Ashcraft.
To request a Cancel Rent/Cancel Mortgage grant, email Rev. Marlene Fox.
Middle Pen Pals
In this time of social distancing, get to know other members of Middle by exchanging emails or physical letters through a new Middle Pen Pals program. If you are interested in participating, please fill out this form. Inspired by conversations during the congregational meeting, this is another way to build community, learn about each other and safely connect with our Middle family. Feel free to email Anna at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions!
Virtual Coffee with a Middle Pastor
To sign up, please review the available slots with Rev. Jacqui, Rev. Amanda, or Rev. Marlene and click on the button to sign up for a virtual coffee date and check-in with Pastor Amanda. Once you sign up, a Zoom link and password will be sent to you to access our "date."
Please only sign up for one slot to allow space for others. Please let us know if you have any issues signing up by emailing Nathan Johnson.
There is so much to mourn right now. Whether you have lost someone close to you, are lamenting missed opportunities and disruption during COVID, or are just grieving the state of our world—you don't need to carry this weight alone. Join Rev. Amanda Hambrick Ashcraft for an opportunity to come together, pray and tend to one another's grief.
This community will form a cohort of mutual love and trust, so we are asking people who would like to participate to commit to all three weeks (November 5, 12, & 19).
We can't care for you effectively if we don't know what's going on in your life! Particularly in this moment of virtual community, it's crucial that you tell us how we can care for you. If you need care, please visit our prayer and pastoral care portal and complete the form. Then, our prayer team will pray for what's going on in your life, and we will follow up with opportunities for additional assistance and connection, if requested.
Care On Call
Every day, there is someone on call. If you need someone to talk to, call 212.477.0666 x318, and a pastor, deacon, or one of our lay care team will return your call for prayer and support.
Call 212-477-0666 at any time to hear a prayer, scripture and reflection from a middle pastor, choose option "4" for English, option "5" for Spanish. Offerings are updated each Monday at 8:30 a.m.