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The Pastoral Staff Letter

The Pastoral Staff - March 16, 2017

In The Pastoral Staff Letter

Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church

In The Pastoral Staff Letter - March 16, 2017


This Week at a Glance


To Check the Church's Calendar,
Go to

Sunday, March 19, 2017
3rd Sunday in Lent


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 “God is Revealed to Those Who Reveal Themselves” will be based on the texts: Exodus 17:1-7, Psalm 95; Romans 5:1-11; and John 4:5-42. 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, 10:00 am & 12:30 pm, Lobby

Adult Education: "Water From Another Time" Led by Beverly Bartlett, 10:10 am, Dana Chapel (see below)

Church School, 10:10 am, 5th Floor

Youth Hour, 10:10 am, Youth Lounge

Church Choir Rehearsal, 10:30 am, Choir Room

ESL Classes, 1 pm, 5th Floor

Music on Madison: ENSEMBLE 1816, 3 pm, Sanctuary (see below)

Overnight Shelter, 6:30 pm, Shelter Space



This Sunday

Adult Education: "Water From Another Time": Drawing from the Well of Benedictine Spirituality for Our Day - Led by Beverly Bartlett, 10:10 am, Dana Chapel - 3/19

The 6th century St. Benedict of Nursia established a Rule for his monastery which has become a model for monastic life. The Rule of St. Benedict creates a pattern and order for life that nurtures one's relationship with God and with the community of faith. It strives for balance between prayer and work, "ora et labora." During these two weeks, we will look at how we can adapt Benedictine spirituality and Benedict's rule for our own, non-monastic, lives. Drawing upon this "water from another time," and reflecting on how we can create our own "rule of life" can help navigate the troubled waters of our time.


Music on Madison: ENSEMBLE 1816

Our concert this Sunday, March 19 at 3 pm will feature ENSEMBLE 1816: Jesse Blumberg, baritone; David Breitman, fortepiano; and Johanna Novom, violin. The trio's program will explore a variety of songs and sonatas written 200 years ago by Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert & Louis Spohr, including Beethoven's song cycle An die ferne Geliebte and the Violin Sonata in G major, Op. 96. 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.

Other Events and Announcements

 Lenten Lecture Series, Wednesday Evenings, March 8-April 5, 7 pm

The topic of this year's annual Lenten Lecture Series will be: Individuals and Communities: Jesus Christ, His Church, and How We Live Together. It will be led by Dr. Eric Springsted.

More and more, we are hearing deep concern about the lack of cohesiveness of American communities, and about their ability to make human life flourish. Much of the blame has been laid at the door of excessive individualism in America, which has only been sharpened by our economics and a post-modern disimissal of common narratives. How does this affect the Church? What kind of Community are we to be as the body of Christ? Do we have anything to offer to the society in which we exist? These are the questions we will raise and discuss.

The third lecture will be March 22: "Individuals and Community in St. Augustine and John Calvin." Everybody is welcome to as many sessions as she or he can attend. People are invited to "brown bag" it for supper, and can come as early as 6:30. Beverages will be provided.

MAPC Book Club, Tuesday, March 21, 4 pm in the Hood Library

The selection for this month's MAPC Book Club meeting is Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. The Book Club would love to have you join them. They meet on the third Tuesday of the month in the Hood Library beginning at 4 pm. The April selection is The Rent Collector by Camron Wright.

Yoga for Every Body, Friday, March 24, 9 am, Fifth Floor

Please join us for yoga on Friday, March 24 at 9 am. This is designed to be yoga for "every body"--no matter your experience, age, body-type, or (in)ability to assume a pretzel pose. We do have a few new mats available, but please bring your own if you have one. The suggested donation is $20 to help pay the instructor. The April yoga dates will be April 7 and 21.

Christopher De La Cruz Ordination - Sunday, April 2, 4 pm

The Presbytery of New York City invites you to the ordination and installation of Christopher De La Cruz as Associate Pastor of Family Ministries at The First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Jamaica, Queens. Chris was our Director of Christian Formation, and a candidate for ordination under the care of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. The church is located at 89-60 164th Street Jamaica, NY 11432.

 Women's Fellowship Dinner, "Dinner with Mayada and Friends", Monday, April 3 at 6:30 pm

For this spring's Women's Fellowship Dinner, we have a special evening planned. As many of you know, Rutger's Presbyterian Church has helped sponsor two Syrian refugee families--many in our congregation were praying for and closely following the story of the Khoja family, who got caught in the first travel ban, but made it safely to this country when the court ordered that the ban be lifted. Mayada, from the first family, is a wonderful cook and Rutger's has been hosting periodic "Dinners with Mayada" to raise funds for the family's support. Mayada cooks delicious Syrian food for these dinners, which have all sold out! For our April 3 Women's Fellowship Evening, we will host a "Dinner with Mayada and Friends," have a chance to enjoy Mayada's cooking, and hear more about her story. We hope the mother and adult daughters from the Khoja family will join us as well. The suggested donation for this fundraiser is $40, $30 for seniors. You may make your reservations and reserve your seat online here. Please come join in this evening of fellowship and have a chance to meet Mayada and members of the Khoja family.

 Join Us for Our Services During Holy Week - 4/9 Through 4/13

All Are Welcome!

Palm Sunday - April 9
9 & 11:15 am - Services of Word & Sacrament
The Rev. Dr. Eric O. Springsted preaching
Choral Music (at 11:15 am) by Handel & Leighton
3 pm - Music for Holy Week: Back & S

Maundy Thursday - April 13
7 pm - Services of Word & Sacrament with Foot Washing
The Rev. Andrew D. Smothers preaching
Choral Music (at 11:15 am) by Handel & Leighton
3 pm - Music for Holy Week: Back & S

Good Friday - April 14
12 to 3 pm - Meditations on the Passion According to Luke
Members of the Pastoral Staff Preaching
Choral Music by Friedell, Goss, Larsen, Leighton, Lotti & Poulenc
4:30 pm - Good Friday Family Service
An interactive, family-friendly Passiontide service, epsecially tailored for children.
7:30 pm - Service of Tenebrae
Choral Music by Sanders, Chilcott & Stainer

Easter Day - April 16
9 & 11:15 am - Festival Services of Word & Sacrament
The Rev. Dr. Eric O. Springsted preaching
Choral Music by Beethoven, Handel & Whitbourn,
& works for Trumpets, Timpani & Organ

New Ways to Volunteer in the Shelter

Our Men's Shelter has a need for a couple of new volunteers to help keep the shelter running smoothly. We have a married couple who regularly inventories, orders, and puts away our food in the shelter. We would like to train another person to fill this role when they are outside New York City and/or to share this role with them.

We have also newly created a position to make sure other shelter supplies are stocked, to address host concerns, and to complete a weekly inspection of the shelter for any developing issues. We would like to have another person as a backup in this role.

If you would be willing to serve in any of these roles, please contact Andy Smothers at or 212-288-8920. We appreciate your interest in serving the homeless within our community!

Children and Family Ministries in 2017

Kids' Club
Wednesdays at 4-6 pm, starting in the Parish Hall.
NO KIDS' CLUB THIS COMING WEEK, MARCH 22. We will resume 3/29.
From March 8-April 5, participants will need to be picked up by 6 pm, so that we can prepare for the Lenten Lecture Series. Please note the following for your calendars: No Kids' Club 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

Upcoming events:

Teen Service at James Lenox House
Monday, March 20, 3:30-5:00 pm, meet in the lobby of James Lenox House
Confirmands and high schoolers are invited to join us to fellowship with residents and assist with technology needs. RSVP to

Teen Brunch
Sunday, March 26, 12:45-2:00 pm, Youth Lounge
Confirmands and high schoolers are welcome to join us for food, fellowship, and faith discussion. Please RSVP to

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. The deadline to sign up is March 26. 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
NO YOUTH GROUP THIS COMING WEEK, 3/22. We will resume 3/29.
Come for fellowship and to talk about faith and life. Youth choir is an option. Join others for dinner at 5:30.

Plans Have Begun for Visits from the Synod of Harare This Spring

The Zimbabwe Partnership Committee has begun to make plans for hosting a Pastor-in-Residence and delegation from Zimbabwe this spring. We plan to host a Pastor-in-Residence from approximately April 23 to May 26 and a delegation from May 8 to 15. The Synod of Harare has confirmed these dates. If you would be willing to host a member of the delegation or to do activities with the Pastor-in-Residence or delgation, please contact Andy Smothers at

Last year we attempted both programs; however, the U.S. Embassy in Harare denied all the visas. We would invite your prayers as the delegation readies for interviews. After a discussion with embassy staff in Harare last September, we have prepared basic information for delegation members that will be sent to them prior to immigration interviews. We hope this will increase their chance of obtaining visas this year.

Highlights of the February Session Meeting

The Session met in regular session on February 28, 2017. Click here for more information.

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 is on hiatus until after Easter.

Reading Through the Bible: (Next meeting March 22)
Wednesdays, 12:30-1:30 pm, Phillips Lounge. We will be starting at Ezra 5 and moving forward.

20s/30s Group: (Next Meeting, March 23)
6:00-7:30 pm, Youth Lounge
The 20s/30s Group is up and running again! If you are a twenty-something or a thirty-something, join us for food, drinks, fellowship, and real talk. Our running theme is Expressions of Faith.

Women’s Bible Study: (Next meeting March 27)
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.

Thank You for Filling the New York Common Pantry Grocery Carts

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. Of particular use this time of year are canned foods, like canned beans or canned salmon (low-sodium). 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


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

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