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The Pastoral Staff Letter

The Pastoral Staff - February 9, 2017

Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church

In The Pastoral Staff Letter - February 9, 2017



This Week at a Glance


To Check the Church's Calendar,
Go to


Yoga for Every Body! Friday, February 10, 9 am on the 5th Floor

Please come join us for yoga this Friday, February 10, beginning at 9 am. This is a gentle yoga class, open to everyone. We ask for a $20 donation to help pay the instructor. Give yourself the gift of a restorative hour of yoga--you will leave feeling more at peace, ready to face whatever the day brings.

Memorial Service for Jack Hupper, Friday, February 10, 11 am, Sanctuary

There will be a memorial service for John R. (Jack) Hupper in the MAPC Sanctuary at 11 am, Friday, February 10. Jack died November 24, 2016 and was the son of long-time MAPC member Dorothy Hupper.


Pizza and Game Night, Tomorrow! February 10, 6 pm

There is a pizza and game night Friday, February 10, from 6 to 8 pm. All youth are welcome to join! Be there. It will be great. Please RSVP to Tyler Orem at

Sunday, February 12, 2017
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Worship Schedule
Worship at 9 am and 11:15 am

Infant Nursery – 4th Floor Phillips Building, 8:30 am – 1 pm
Toddler Nursery – 4th Floor Church House, 8:30 am – 1 pm

Worship: This Sunday the Rev. Dr. Eric O. Springsted will be preaching. His sermon entitled “The Demand of the Other” will be based on the texts: Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Psalm 119:1-8; 1 Corinthians 3:1-9; and Matthew 5:21-37. Preview this Sunday’s bulletin, or listen to sermons and service highlights from previous Sundays on MAPC’s website.

Children’s Worship: 9:15 am & 11:30 am, Phillips Lounge

Youth Worship: 9:15 am & 11:30 am, Dana Chapel

Fellowship Hour, 10 am & 12:30 pm, Lobby

Adult Education: "The God of Justice: The Current Situation of Slavery and Sex Trafficking Today," Led by Richard Lee (IJM), 10:10 am, Parish Hall (see below)

Church School, 10:10 am, 5th Floor

Youth Hour, 10:10 am, Youth Lounge

Church Choir Rehearsal, 10:30 am, Choir Room

Shelter Orientation, 1 pm, Shelter Space

ESL Classes, 1 pm, 5th Floor

Music on Madison: Works for Tenor & Oboe, 1 pm, Sanctuary (see below)

Confirmation Class, 4:30 pm, Youth Lounge

Overnight Shelter, 6:30 pm, Shelter Space




This Sunday


Adult Education: "The God of Justice: The Current Situation of Slavery and Sex Trafficking"-- Led by Richard J. Lee, International Justice Mission

What is the current situation of slavery and sex trafficking in the world today? What does God desire of us? What is IJM doing and what can I do to fight slavery and sex trafficking right now?

Music on Madison: Works for Tenor & Oboe, 3 pm, Sanctuary

One of our beloved former members of MAPC's professional octet, Andrew Fuchs, will return to MAPC to explore works for tenor and oboe, with oboist Scott Bartucca, violinist Sarah Whitney and pianist Dimitri Dover. Their program will feature Ralph Vaughan Williams's Ten Blake Songs for voice and oboe; Benjamin Britten's Six Metamorphoses After Ovid; George Butterworth's A Shropshire Lad--a song cycle on the poetry of A.E. Housman; and the New York premiere of David Leisner's contemplative work based on the poetry of Wendell Berry, Of Darkness and Light. Click here for further details about the program and the artists' biographies. Admission is by suggested donation at the door: $20 ($15 Students/62+); children 12 and under: free.


Shelter Open House/Orientation - February 12 at 1 pm

Our Men's Shelter is still working to build back to a 7-night-a-week program and needs your help. Would you be willing to volunteer periodically or our evening or overnight shifts? Men are screened before arriving at the shelter and are often nearly ready to leave the shelter system. Men, women, and couples are welcome to volunteer as hosts for either shift. Two shifts are available. Our evening hosts welcome guests and heat food for our guests from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm among other tasks. Our overnight hosts sleep in a separate and locked room within the shelter and help prepare breakfast in the morning. Overnight hosts serve from 8:30 pm to 7 am. Shelter leaders will be leading an Open House/Orientation in the MAPC Shelter Space at 1 pm on Sunday, February 12. Attendance does not signify a commitment to volunteer, but is a great chance to learn more about homelessness in New York City and our MAPC/St. James' Shelter. It can aslo be a way to start your training to become a volunteer. Contact Andy Smothers at for more information. 


Other Events and Announcements

Spiritual Growth and Faith Sharing Group, Thursday, February 16, 1 pm in the Library of the James Lenox House

A faithful group of seniors meets twice a month, on the first and third Thursdays, beginning at 1 pm in the James Lenox House library to reflect on their faith together. We begin by catching up with one another, then we read a passage of scripture, spend time in silent reflection, and share our responses. It is a time of listening for God's Spirit together and sharing how we experience God at work in our lives. This is an open group that consists of MAPC members and James Lenox House residents. Please join us!

Thank You for the Food Offering!

Thanks to all who participated in the Food Offering on February 5! We collected $604.10, which will all be used to offset the rising costs of our various feeding ministries here at MAPC. The next Food Offering will be received Sunday, March 5. If you missed this opportunity to donate, you can also make an online gift anytime by selecting "MAPC Feeding Programs." Thank you!

Children and Family Ministries in 2017

Kids' Club
Wednesdays at 4 pm, starting in the Parish Hall. Please note the following for your calendars: No Kids' Club 2/22, 3/22, and 4/12. Also, the last Kids' Club of the school year will be 5/17. All other Wednesdays we are on!

Church School
Sundays at 10:10 am, 5th Floor.

Middle and High School Ministries

Announcing 2017 Mission Trip Here in New York City!
This year MAPC is hosting our partners from Iowa in NYC. Youth aged 14 and up, mark your calendars for July 5-10. You will participate in all programming with the groups from Iowa, including spending nights at the church, so it is a mission trip for you as well! Activities will include work projects with our outreach partners, daily devotions, a full day of entertainment on the town, and more! Check out to see how this great partnership has worked in the past. Contact Tyler Orem at if you are interested in participating as a youth or as a chaperone. It's going to be a blast!

Youth Group
Wednesdays, for 6th grade and up: 4:00 pm Fellowship and Discussion in Youth Lounge; 5:00-5:30 pm Choir; 5:30-6:15 pm Dinner in the Parish Hall
Come for fellowship and to talk about faith and life. Youth choir is an option. Join others for dinner at 5:30.


Update on PTGMF Program and TEEZ

As noted in previous communications, we were unable to find a fellow last year to serve in Zambia from September 2016 through the beginning of September 2017. We extended an offer to an individual who declined the fellowship. Our staff, the PTGMF Committee, and the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee (APNC) focused significant additional effort to locate additional candidates through the summer without success.

Knowing that this human resource shortfall would be a signficant challenge to Theological Education by Extension in Zambia (TEEZ) and remembering that the CCAP Synod of Harare has desired to start a TEE program for some years, we've been working with our partners to find a solution. TEEZ and the Synod of Harare are currently working to send a Zimbabwean pastor from the synod to Kitwe to serve as the training officer at TEEZ through the beginning of September. We hope this will offer a solution to the human resource challenge at TEEZ but also give the Synod of Harare a chance to learn about the program. We invite your prayers for TEEZ and the synod as they work visa and other issues to make this possible. Likewise, please hold in prayer Abusa Esau Mbondo, his wife Judith, and their son, Esau Barnabas, as they prepare to leave for Zambia to fill this role.

In order to recruit the next fellow, we have developed a brochure and poster for the program. These and other materials have been sent to 22 seminaries this year. Rev. Tyler Orem and Rev. Andy Smothers are working to schedule visits at several seminaries to increase the likelihood of finding a fellow. Finally, we have also submitted materials to our presbytery's Committee on Ministry to allow us to advertise for a fellow in the same online system used to recruit pastors in the denomination.

Update on Rutgers Presbyterian Church's Efforts to Host Another Syrian Refugee Family

Several at MAPC have been watching Rutgers Presbyterian Church's efforts to bring a second Syrian refugee family to the United States very closely. Originally, the Khoja family was expected to arrive in the United States on Monday, January 30; however, these plans were cancelled when a new Executive Order banned entry of Syrian refugees to the United States indefinitely. As I write this on Tuesday, February 7, and due to various court decisions, I am very pleased to report that the Khoja family arrived in New York this evening and is currently in route to their new home in New Jersey. Members of MAPC have donated furniture and supplies to equip their new home, and MAPC has given money to assist with their expenses and Rutgers' work. If you would like to follow further developments, you may do so at Rutgers’ Facebook page.  To learn more about this developing story specific to the Khoja family, you may read rticles from The Guardian (UK), the Washington Post, WABC-TV(7) or the New York Times.  I invite your prayers for the family as they adjust to a very different culture and setting and as they begin to establish lives here after a very disruptive couple of weeks and troubling few years.

Rutgers' Church is also planning two more meals as fundraisers for the two Syrian families and this ministry. The first three dinners were sold-out, and they have now added March 5 and April 23 each at 6 pm. The matriarch of the first family is hosting the dinner at Rutgers' Church--just across Central Park from MAPC. They ask you RSVP, and positions have filled quickly. More information is available at Rutgers’ Church.

Several MAPC members have expressed an interest in addressing immigration issues. If you would be interested in leading a team to address this issue, please contact Andy Smothers at


Highlights of the January Session Meeting

The Session and Trustees met in a joint meeting on January 24, 2017. Click here for more information. 

Alpha – Explore the Fundamentals of Christian Faith

Who is Jesus, and why should we worship Jesus as God? 

What exactly is the Holy Spirit?

Why and How Should I Tell Others?

Does God Heal Today?

These questions engage us, whether we have never come to faith before, or whether we have been Christians our entire lives. Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith, run over eleven weeks. We watch a video that looks at a different question around faith, and is designed to create conversation. Alpha is run all around the globe.

Check out some videos for yourselves:

Alpha courses will conclude with the last session on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 7:30 pm.

Contact Tyler Orem at or Andy Smothers at for information or to register.

Tuesday Morning Prayer

You are welcome to join the pastoral staff for a half-hour service of prayer, scripture reading and hymns on Tuesday mornings at 9 am. It is an uplifting way to begin the day and to worship God.


Bible Studies at MAPC

Looking for a place to read Scripture together and get to know people at MAPC? Come to one of our Bible Studies; newcomers are always welcome! For more information, go to

Note: Men’s Bible Study and 20s/30s are on hiatus during the pilot Alpha Course.

Reading Through the Bible: (Next meeting February 15)
Wednesdays, 12:30-1:30 pm, Phillips Lounge. We will begin reading Daniel 6.

Women’s Bible Study: (Next meeting February 13)
2nd and 4th Mondays, 6:30 pm, Phillips Lounge. Currently we are reading through Genesis in the Old Testament. If you can, bring dinner and come at 6 pm to chat.


Stay Connected to Worship at MAPC

Did you know that even if you’re away or unable to make it to church that you can listen to Sunday worship services at MAPC? Sermons and service highlights (including scripture lessons, hymns and anthems) are uploaded afterwards, and are permanently accessible. They can be downloaded to your electronic device or listened to directly on MAPC’s website: peruse this valuable online resource today! Once ready for print, our Sunday bulletins are also uploaded to our website on Thursday afternoons and are made permanently available for download.

Session Members and Committee Chairs, 2016-2017

The Elder members of Session and their respective committee assignments are available here. Communications to the Session may be made through William Hinrichs, Clerk of Session at


Flowers for the Sanctuary

Is there someone you would like to honor or remember through a gift of flowers for Sunday worship? If so, please contact Lissette Perez-Erazo at or 212-288-8920. The cost for Sunday flowers is $110.


Support New York Common Pantry for the PASTA Bowl

(formerly SOUP-er Bowl)

The New York Common Pantry, the city’s largest private food pantry and long-time MAPC outreach partner, appreciates donations of food to help those who are food-insecure in the city. The NYCP shares that "like soup, pasta is a warm, nourishing and appetizing dish for the winter months." Through February 17, the pantry is requesting boxes of dry (not fresh) pasta and would prefer whole wheat pasta if possible. They challenge us to get our game faces on and try to exceed the 21,000 items donated last year! Please–no glass containers. You can drop items off in the grocery carts in the Church House Lobby or the Sanctuary Narthex, or you could even order groceries to be delivered through one of your grocers. (8 East 109th Street, New York, NY, 10029, Phone: 917-720-9700). Thank you for taking seriously Christ’s command to “feed my sheep!”

Clothing Donations Needed for Women and Men

The Homeless Outreach Program at Jan Hus Presbyterian Church, one of MAPC’s long-term outreach partners, continues to see a dramatic increase of homeless persons seeking assistance. Both casual and business clothing for men and women, as well as new undergarments, are among their most urgent needs. If you have clothing items in clean and neat condition, we encourage you to take them to the Jan Hus Clothes Pantry at 351 East 74th Street at 1st Avenue. The clothes pantry is available to take donations Monday through Saturday from 8 am-8 pm and on Sunday from 9 am-3:30 pm. NOTE: Please bring all clothing to Jan Hus directly–clothing may no longer be left in the coatroom off of the MAPC Church House Lobby.


Hands-On Ministries


Ways to get involved at MAPC with hands and hearts!

“Faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.” The following opportunities to participate in hands-on ministries are provided by the Outreach Committee. If you are interested in exploring any of these opportunities, e-mail Andy Smothers at Let’s put our faith into action!


The Thursday Shelter Dinner Needs YOU!

Can you spare 2 hours on a Thursday evening from 6-8 pm? If so, then you can help feed 120 hungry neighbors a hot meal, offering them Christian hospitality. Please contact Kathy Hoffman at


Host at the Shelter

Hosts are needed for the Shelter! The Shelter is comfortable and the experience of helping these men get their lives back on track is one that will change your heart. Two shifts are offered each evening. Early evening hosts volunteer from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm; overnight hosts volunteer from 8:30 pm to 7 am. Contact Andy Smothers at for more information.


Search and Care

Can you spend an afternoon with an elderly person on the Upper Eastside to walk their pet, go with them to a doctor’s appointment, help them shop, balance their checkbook or even just offer them the gift of companionship? If so, contact Robin Strashun at


New York Common Pantry

The New York Common Pantry offers opportunities for volunteers to help pack and distribute food to the working poor on Saturday mornings and other times each week. MAPC has supported this very well organized and effective organization since its inception 30 years ago. This is a wonderful way to follow Christ’s command to “feed my sheep!”


See you in church!
The Pastoral Staff


MAPC is on Facebook!

Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church
921 Madison Avenue (at East 73rd Street)
New York, NY 10021

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