Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church


The Pastoral Staff Letter - September 14

09.14.17 | News | by The Pastoral Staff

    A look at upcoming events.

    Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church
    In The Pastoral Staff Letter - September 14, 2017


    This Week at a Glance

    To Check the Church's Calendar,
    Go to

    Families with Young Children, Saturday, September 16, 10 am to Noon, Roof Garden

    Families with children ages 5 and under (older siblings welcome, too), please come enjoy a Saturday morning play-date on the Roof Garden. Catch up with other families after being away for the summer, meet new MAPC friends. We'll have bagels, coffee, and juice. We need to know how many to plan for, so please let us know if you plan to be there! RSVP to Wendy De Los Santos in the church offices, .

    Sunday, September 17, 2017
    15th Sunday after Pentecost

    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 “Keeping the Books Open” is based on the lectionary texts: Exodus 14:19-31; Psalm 114; Romans 14:1-12; and Matthew 18:21-35. Preview the latest Sunday 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, 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

    ESL Classes, 1 pm, 5th Floor

    Senior Fellowship Lunch, 1 pm, Parish Hall

    Shelter Orientation, 1 pm, Shelter Space

    Overnight Shelter, 6:30 pm, Shelter Space


    This Sunday

    Adult Education

    Join us in the Parish Hall at 10:10 am as Dr. Elsie McKee presents, "What Did Reform Look Like to the Person in the Pew?"

    Elsie McKee is Professor of Reformation Studies and the History of Worship at Princeton Theological Seminary. Her academic research has focused on the 16th c. Reformation, particularly books on John Calvin and a woman reformer, Katharina Schütz Zell.  She is probably best known for her trilogy on Calvin's doctrine of the ministries and worship of the church: John Calvin on the Diaconate and Liturgical Almsgiving (Droz, 1984), Elders and the Plural Ministry (Droz, 1988), and her newest book, The Pastoral Ministry and Worship in Calvin's Geneva (Droz, 2016). The two-volume set Katharina Schütz Zell: The Life and Thought of a Sixteenth Century Reformer, and The Writings: A Critical Edition (both Brill, 1999), give attention to one of the most vivid and articulate women of the early Reformed tradition. She has published books of translations of both Calvin and Schütz Zell. McKee’s teaching includes special interest in worship, Biblical exegesis and ethics, and gender and cross-cultural issues. McKee was born and reared in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, a heritage which formed her perspective on the world church, including the ways that the Reformed tradition has taken shape in at least one part of the Global South. Alongside teaching and research, McKee is involved in a number of non-profits which support education, medical work, and especially issues of gender and justice in Congo. She is the founder of Woman, Cradle of Abundance, Inc.

    Join us as we discover what reformed looked like to ordinary worshippers, the ways in which the average person participated in worship in the medieval church, key instances that provoked change, and the ways the Reformation shaped worship for the person in the pew today.


    Sunday, September 17, Senior Fellowship Lunch, 1 pm in the Parish Hall

    MAPC Seniors, please come downstairs to the Parish Hall after Fellowship Hour and enjoy a light lunch and more fellowship! The conversation is always lively, and the lunch tasty. We ask for a $10 donation for lunch. No need to RSVP, just "come on down!"


    Shelter Open House/Orientation - Sunday, September 17 at 1 pm

    Our Men's Shelter continues to be short of volunteers and needs your help. Would you be willing to volunteer periodically for 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, September 17. Attendance does not signify a commitment to volunteer, but is a great chance to learn more about the homelessness in New York City and our MAPC/St. James' Church Shelter. It can also be a way to start your training to become a volunteer. Contact Andy Smothers at for more information.

    Other Events and Announcements

    Sign Up Now for the All-Church Retreat at Camp Holmes! October 6-7, 2017

    It is hard to believe October is less than a month away--we are all still trying to wrap our heads around September--but we need to know ASAP who is coming to the All-Church Retreat at Camp Holmes. They need our numbers by September 22!!

    We have a bus booked for those who are going up for the day on Saturday (leaving the church at 7:45, leaving Holmes to return to MAPC at 4 pm). The cost of the bus is $30 per person.

    You can see all the details here. You may sign up during Fellowship Hour in the Church House Lobby after worship, or by contacting Wendy De Los Santos in the church offices, . Please read the information, and let us know if you are coming for Friday night and Saturday, or just Saturday, and how you plan to travel.

    Our retreat at Holmes two years ago was a wonderful event, and we hope even more of our MAPC community will participate this year.


    Learn about MAPC through the Next Inquirers Class on Saturday, October 14 at 9 am

    Have you been thinking about membership at MAPC or been wondering what kind of commitments that might involve? Are you not interested in membership, but want to know more about the congregation and our faith? Join Rev. Andy Smothers for the upcoming Inquirers class on Saturday, October 14, from 9 am to approximately 3 pm in the Phillips Lounge.

    The classes are informal and interactive--the perfect way to find out more about MAPC! Light refreshments and a light lunch will be served; dress is casual. What will we cover? We will explore the beliefs of our faith through our creeds shared with the church universal and with other reformed denominations. We'll recall the history of the Christian Church and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Our journey will continue with MAPC's history, its current programs, and a tour of our facilities. Finally, we'll talk about our church governance and how we live our lives together as a church and as a people sent out into the world. If you would like to attend or have questions, please contact Andy Smothers, Interim Associate Pastor for Outreach and Evangelism, at or 212-288-8920.


    Willing to Host a Mission Co-worker Going to Zimbabwe?

    Ruth Brown, who has served in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a mission co-worker for our denomination for several years, will be leading our adult education program on September 24. It is common for our mission co-workers to stay in homes as they itinerate. We expect she will need a place to stay from sometime on Saturday, September 23 through Tuesday, September 26. If you would be willing to host her for one or more days, please contact Andy Smothers at or 212-288-8920. This would be a great chance for you and/or your family to learn more about the Congo, Africa, and Ruth's expectations for serving in Zimbabwe. The majority of her time in Zimbabwe will be dedicated to our partner there, the CCAP Synod of Harare.


    Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

    Hurricane Harvey Relief

    A Texas National Guardsman carries a resident from her flooded home following Hurricane Harvey in Houston.

    We read more than 120,000 people were rescued or evacuated in Texas due to Hurricane Harvey; many more were affected by the storm. Texas authorities have estimated the cost of the storm at $125 billion. Assessments are just beginning after Hurricane Irma affected islands in the Caribbean, Florida, and other parts of the U.S. Please pray for those affected.

    Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), an entity of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has been accepting donations for the recovery work related to hurricanes Harvey and Irma they are commencing. If you would be willing to donate to this cause, you may do so online and by selecting "Disaster Relief Fund".


    Update from Synod of Harare (Zimbabwe)

    We received a few updates from our partners and friends at the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) Synod of Harare. On a positive note, we have begun to make plans for our next pastor-in-residence to come to New York City; we're currently awaiting our partner's decision on who to recommend to the program.

    We also received several pieces of difficult news. MAPC gave a gift to the synod to fund the superstructure for a new church in the center of Harare, and this work has been completed. The synod has also completed significant work on walls and other parts of the structure; however, work has been very slow recently because of the Zimbabwean national cash crisis and the high unemployment. The synod does report that worship continues at the unfinished building, and they have celebrated twenty-one newly confirmed-church members joining the church in 2017.

    We also learned that the van the synod has used to transport our delegations and to conduct routine synod business failed recently and is beyond reasonable repair.

    Finally, the synod shares that the manse at Mabvuku Congregation caught fire and 85% of Rev. William Kamaga's property and belongings burnt in the fire.

    Fire in Zimbabwe

    We invite you to continue in prayer for our partners and friends. The Zimbabwe Partnership Committee will be discussing these new developments at its meeting later this month.


    Monday, September 18, Moms' Night Out, 7 pm, Location TBD

    MAPC Moms, please plan to enjoy a relaxing meal together at an Upper East Side restaurant. We should have a lot to catch up after the summer, with lots of stories to tell and wisdom to share as the new school year begins. When we know who is coming, we will make a reservation, so please respond now! RSVP to Wendy De Los Santos in the church offices, .

    MAPC Book Club, Tuesday, September 19, 4 pm in the Hood Library

    The MAPC Book Club would love to have more participants! They meet the third Tuesday of each month, beginning at 4 pm. This month they are discussing The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck, which should provide for a rich conversation.

    Spiritual Growth and Faith Sharing Group, Thursday, September 21, 1 pm, James Lenox House Library

    Twice a month, Beverly Bartlett facilitates this group that reflects on a passage of scripture together, listening for how the Holy Spirit is at work in their lives. The group has rich conversation and faith sharing, and we always gain new insights. It is an open group, with MAPC members and residents of James Lenox House participating. The group meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month, beginning at 1 pm.

    Yoga for Every Body, Friday, September 22, 9 am on the Fifth Floor

    Yoga has started up again. Come join us for a welcoming yoga class on the 5th Floor beginning at 9 am. It doesn't matter whether you are a beginner, experienced, have the latest in yoga-attire or wear your sweats. You can even bring your coffee. Just come!! You'll find both your body and soul refreshed. Bring a mat if you have one--we have a few available to borrow. We ask for a $20 donation to help pay the instructor.

    Church Family Night, Friday, September 29, 6 pm in the Parish Hall

    The first Church Family Night of the fall is coming right up! Please join in the fun on Friday, September 29, beginning at 6 pm. We begin the evening with dinner, have beverages for people of all ages, popcorn, a movie suitable for the young children, and the elementary-aged and older kids often go play in the gym after dinner. It is a fun night of fellowship. We ask for a donation of $20 for adults, and a donation for your child, based on their appetite. RSVP to Wendy De Los Santos in the church offices, .


    Following Rev. Paula Cooper in Africa

    We've received word that Rev. Paula Cooper has arrived in Zambia safely. If you would like to follow Paula's experiences serving the church in Zambia and through her travels through the Global South next year, you may find her blog at If you would like to receive email notifications when updates are made, please email Lissette Perez-Erazo at to be placed on the notification list. Finally, we invite you to post responses so that Paula is aware of the presence and prayers of her followers. In order to add comments, click on the date or title of the post. Once the page specific to the post loads, there should be a comments box available at the bottom of the page.


    Saint Andrew Music Society: Announcing our 53rd Season

    The Saint Andrew Music Society's 53rd Season brochure has been printed and mailed. Plenty of extra copies are available for you to pick up from the narthex and Church House Lobby for you to distribute to your friends! You can also peruse all fifteen concerts taking place this season on our website, ranging from performances by our very own choral society - the Saint Andrew Chorale & Orchestra; MAPC's community children's chorus program - the New York City Children's Chorus; students from The Juilliard School, Mannes College, and the Manhattan School of Music; and a host of recitals featuring pianists, violinists, and chamber ensembles.

    Tickets and Choral Subscriptions can be purchased online in advance for Saint Andrew Chorale concerts; and this year advance "Will Call" reservations will be available for all other Music on Madison concerts.


    CROP Walk

    This year's CROP Walk will take place on October 15, 2017 with registration beginning at 1:00 pm. This is a great opportunity for youth, families, and our larger church community to come together to support the fight against hunger in our neighborhood. If you would like to participate in this year's event, you may register directly on the Crop Walk website, and choose MAPC as your team. For more information, feel free to contact Christina Cosby, . MAPC is currently one of the top teams signed up for this year's CROP Hunger Walk, NYC. Help us continue to be a top supporter of the fight against hunger in the city we love!

    Call for Children's Worship and Youth Worship Volunteers

    MAPC believes in the importance of incorporating children in worship through an interactive environment tailored to their needs. For this reason, we provide a time during the regularly scheduled worship service for children to engage in a liturgy designed for them, and a Bible lesson that mirrors the Sunday sermon. Our hope is this experience allows parents and children the opportunity to discuss the day's sermon together. This ministry of MAPC heavily depends on your willingness to volunteer. If you would like to sign-up or have questions, please contact Christina Cosby, .


    Children and Family Ministries in 2017

    Children's Worship
    Children's worship takes place during both Sunday services (9 am and 11:15 am), and is an interactive worship service designed specifically for children 3rd grade and under.

    Youth Worship
    Youth Worship will resume this Sunday, September 10, 2017, and will occur during both Sunday Services (9 am and 11:15 am). All children 4th grade and up are invited to attend.

    Kids Club
    Kids Club is designated for grade school children from kindergarten through fifth grade to form valuable relationships with friends and mentors that center around God's Word. Through the course of the afternoon, kids will have the opportunity to: enjoy a nutritious snack with friends, engage in bible study taught by a pastor, make a joyful noise in choir, participate in recreation, and share a meal with other church families!

    It is not too late to sign-up for this year's after-school program at MAPC. Kids Club this year takes place on Wednesday afternoons from 3:45-6:00 pm.

    In addition, a modified program, Wee Kids, is offered for younger children ages 4-5 years old from 4:45-6:00 pm.

    If your family wishes to participate in this year's program, please fill out the registration form which can be found on the website and return to Wendy De Los Santos .

    Church School
    Church School takes place each Sunday morning during the 10:00 am hour. This time is designed for elementary-aged children to join together in song and bible study. To register, please fill out the children ministries' form that can be found here on the website. We look forward to seeing you this Sunday!


    Middle and High School Ministries

    T(w)een Club
    This after-school program is designed with Tweens in mind. The first half hour of the program is a time to focus on homework while enjoying a healthy snack. Through the remainder of the afternoon, we will enjoy fellowship, Bible study, choir, and conclude by sharing a meal. This program is for students in 6th grade or older. To register, please fill out the registration form that can be found on the MAPC website, and return it to Wendy De Los Santos, .

    Sunday Youth Hour
    The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is founded on the motto "Reformed and ever reforming." This year commemorates the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. This fall we will join together to study Scripture and history, as we learn what it means to be part of the reformed faith. Through our time together we will reflect on the church's past, discuss the church today, and share our dreams for the future of the church. We hope to see you this Sunday at 10:10 am in the youth lounge on the 5th floor!

    This year's confirmation classes will take place on Sunday afternoons at 1:00 pm from October 15, 2017 to May 13, 2018. This is a course for students in eighth grade or older to discern what it means to be a member of Christ's body, the Church. If your child would like to participate in this year's confirmation classes, please reach out to Christina Cosby for more information. She can be reached by phone at 212-288-8920 x8480 or by email at .


    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

    Reading Through the Bible:
    12:30-1:30 pm, Phillips Lounge
    Reading Through the Bible meets every Wednesday in the Phillips Lounge.

    20s/30s Group: (Next Meeting is Today, Thursday, September 14, 2017)
    6-8 pm, in the Youth Lounge on the 5th Floor of the Church House
    If you are in your twenties or thirties, come join us for a time of food and fellowship as we explore questions of faith and how to respond faithfully in the midst of challenging circumstances.

    Women’s Bible Study: (Next meeting is Monday, October 9, 2017)
    2nd and 4th Mondays, 6:30 pm, Phillips Lounge
    Currently, we are studying Paul's letters. Come join us for an enriching conversation of Paul's letters to the Philippians! We welcome all to a time of fellowship beforehand beginning at 6 pm. Bring your dinner and engage in conversation as we learn more about faith and each other.

    Men’s Bible Study: (Next Meeting is October 4, 2017)
    The Men's Bible Study meets the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 7 pm in the Phillips Lounge. We are currently reading Galatians.


    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. 

    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, is asking for your continued support: canned or dried beans, canned chicken/salmon/tuna, rice, dried pasta, fresh or canned vegetables, and peanut butter. 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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