Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church


The Pastoral Staff Letter - June 8

06.08.17 | News | by The Pastoral Staff

    A look at upcoming events.

    In The Pastoral Staff Letter

    Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church
    In The Pastoral Staff Letter - June 8, 2017



    This Week at a Glance  

    To Check the Church's Calendar,
    Go to


    Learn about MAPC through the Next Inquirers' Class This Saturday, June 10

    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 this Saturday, from 9 am to approximately 2 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 fo Outreach and Evangelism, at or 212-288-8920.


    Sunday, June 11, 2017
    Trinity Sunday

    Worship Schedule
    Worship at 10:30 am
    Infant Nursery – 4th Floor Phillips Building, 9:15 am – 12:15 pm
    Toddler Nursery – 4th Floor Church House, 9:15 am – 12:15 pm

    Worship: This Sunday, the Rev. Eric O. Springsted will be preaching. His sermon entitled “Knowing the Unknown God” is based on the lectionary texts: Genesis 1:1 - 2:4a, Psalm 8; 2 Corinthians 13:11-13; and Matthew 28:16-20. Preview this Sunday’s bulletin or listen to sermons and service highlights from previous Sundays on MAPC’s website.

    Summer Choir Rehearsal, 9:30 am, Choir Room

    Children’s Worship: 10:45 am, Phillips Lounge

    Fellowship Hour, 11:45 am, Lobby

    ESL Classes, 12 pm, 5th Floor

    Senior Fellowship Lunch, 12 pm, Parish Hall

    Overnight Shelter, 6:30 pm, Shelter Space


    This Sunday  

    Summer Choir

    You're invited to sing on Sundays during the summer at MAPC! Our Summer Choir provides an opportunity for church members and friends to sing some beautiful choral music together as leaders of worship. Continuing through Sunday, July 30, the Summer Choir will meet on Sunday mornings for a rehearsal at 9:30 am in preparation for our 10:30 am services. This is a great way to join in on the music-making at MAPC on an informal level; just come as you can. To peruse this summer's choral music repertoire, and further information, click on this link to MAPC's website. Please contact Andrew Henderson at for more information.


    Senior Fellowship Lunch, Sunday, June 11, 12 pm in the Parish Hall

    MAPC Seniors, come enjoy lunch and conversation together in the Parish Hall, after the 10:30 service and fellowship hour. The suggested donation for lunch is $10.


    Other Events and Announcements  

    Photos Needed for New MAPC Photo Directory by June 15!

    We need as many members as possible to be included in the new MAPC Photo Directory--the more photos we have, the more useful the directory will be! If you did not have your photo taken during fellowship hour in recent weeks, you can still be included. Please submit your photo to Arnold Pitre in the church offices, . We request a plain background if possible, so your photo will fit in with the other photos. An updated photo directory will be a great help to our new pastor as s/he gets to know the congregation--and it will help all of us put names and faces together! As a last resort, if we have a photo of you and/or your family on file, we will use that!


    MAPC On the Town, Friday, June 16, NY Philharmonic, Prospect Park, Brooklyn

    Join MAPC OTT Friday, June 16 in Prospect Park in Brooklyn. The New York Philharmonic will be playing various pieces including Ravel's Tzigane and Dvořák’s Carnival Overture and Symphony No. 9: From the New World. The concert begins at 8 pm. The group will meet outside the F train stop exit at 15th Street/Prospect Park (parkside corner of PP West and PP Southwest) at 6:15 pm and then walk into the park together at 6:30. Remember, the new Q train intersects with the F at 64th Street/Lexington. The A/C trains are across the platform from the F at Jay St-Metrotech. RSVP to Wendy De Los Santos in the church offices, . Bring picnic fare and something to sit on!


    The July Roof Garden Party is Monday, July 17, beginning at 6:30 pm

    We have a delicious menu of seaside appetizers planned for this year's Roof Garden Cocktail Party--we are, after all, living on an island! And, no worries, there will be plenty of options for those who don't eat seafood. We'll begin at 6:30 pm, and once again, will offer childcare on the 5th Floor. RSVP to Wendy De Los Santos in the church offices, . The suggested donation for the evening is $35, and we ask parents to contribute $15 for each child to help cover the cost of childcare. When you respond, please indicate whether you will need childcare! Our MAPC member cooks need to know how much food to prepare, so please let us know you are coming! RSVP to Wendy De Los Santos in the church offices, .

    We need a few more cooks for this event! If you enjoy cooking and would be happy to prepare one of the items on the menu, let Beverly Bartlett know, . We will reimburse you for the cost of ingredients!


    Hood Library Summer Checkout

    With summer beginning, remember you can check books out of the Hood Library for the entire summer! They are not due until the Sunday after Labor Day, September 10. Please come browse the shelves and check out some summer reading! You may check out books whenever you are in the building, signing them out in the notebook on the desk. The Hood Library is sure to have something for everyone--fiction, biography, history, current events, and religious/spiritual books.

    And if you are doing some spring cleaning, the Hood Library Fellowship welcomes your book donations. They ask that the books be current--published within the last five years.


    Save the Date! All-Church-Retreat at Camp Holmes, October 6-7

    Please mark your calendars and plan to join in this year's all-church retreat at Camp Holmes. We'll begin with dinner on Friday evening, and finish by 4 on Saturday. This retreat is for MAPC folk of all ages and an opportunity for us to have conversation and time to relax and play together. If you cannot come up on Friday, you can come for the day on Saturday. More details will be coming out as the fall approaches.


    Children and Family Ministries in 2017

    Kids' Club
    Kids' Club will resume in the Fall. Have a great summer!

    Church School
    Church School will resume in September!

    On behalf of our entire congregation, the Christian Education Committee gives public thanks for the wonderful team of volunteers who have staffed the Church School from 10:15 to 11:00 each Sunday this school year. Our appreciation goes to Kate Baier, Sharon Boersma, Yvonne Doherty, Carrie Hinrichs, Barbara Iverson, and Ruth Schroeder. These teachers have sung, taught, mentored, and indeed 'fed the lambs' of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. Thanks be to God.

    Middle and High School Ministries

    Youth Group
    We had our final Youth Group meeting of the school year on May 17. Stay tuned for fellowship events during the summer.

    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. It's going to be a blast!


    Highlights of the May Session Meeting

    The Session met in regular session on May 23, 2017. Click here for more information.


    The Pastor Nominating Committee

    This is the text of the Word in Action given by Ed Kleinert on behalf of the Pastor Nominating Committee on June 4.

    "Your Pastor Nominating Committee (the PNC) remains hard at work in our search for MAPC's next Senior Pastor."

    "We are grateful for your prayers, referrals, and words of encouragement as we work and listen to discern God's plan for our next Senior Pastor. Over the last four months, the pace of our activity has picked up substantially. The PNC has looked at more than 170 candidates from across the United States and other parts of the world. This includes self-referrals, referrals to us, and pastors whom we have proactively reached out to. It has been a privilege to be in contact with so many wonderful and good people of faith. We are inspired by the glimpses we are getting into God's work through different pastors and churches."

    "At its heart, the call of a pastor requires discernment that God is calling both the pastor and the church. We have engaged in intense discussion with several promising candidates but God's call has not yet been mutually accepted by any candidate and us. There is a very human temptation to try to force time, but as in much of life, God has a time line which is often different from what we would like. Our role is to accept it and work faithfully to do God's will in the world."

    "Accordingly, we ask for your prayers and patience. As you know, we meet every Monday and spend countless hours in between reviewing candidates, listening to sermons and interviewing. Our committee's commitment continues until we and the new pastor accept our call based on discernment of God's will."

    "In the interim period, we are truly blessed with an exceptional pastor in Rev. Springsted and appreciate his leadership during this time, as well as the tireless efforts of our entire staff. And it was inspiring to hear our next generation of leaders, our young people, share their witness with the MAPC community on Youth Sunday i May. Great things are happening within the MAPC community right now!"

    "We would love to hear about any potential candidates who you may come across while traveling and visiting other churches this summer. Please reach out to any member of the committee, including: Susan Anderson, David Carleton, Kristin Hohmann, Meg Johnson, Roy Lennox, Laura Macdonald, Kunbi Oni, Julian Schroeder, and Nickie Christin and myself. And we are deeply indebted to Rev. Laura Jervis, our liason with the NYC Presbytery, who provides guidance, counsel, and faith in this process."

    "Thank you for your trust in us as we work to select MAPC's next Senior Pastor!"


    Rev. Paula Cooper Starting as Global Ministry Fellow June 12

    Paula Cooper

    The Phillips Talbot Global Ministry Fellowship (PTGMF) Committee is happy to introduce Reverend Paula Cooper, who will be the next fellow to serve at MAPC, teach in Zambia, and explore the Global South. Born in Beckley, West Virginia, Paula was raised in Philadelphia, PA. As an elder, she served as chair of the Worship Committee and the Christian Education Committee, organized a multi-aged choir, and was a youth director for well over twelve years at Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church.

    Paula has two brothers and two sisters and is the single parent of a 40 year-old daughter, Goodness Cooper. She graduated in 2010 with her Master of Divinity degree with a graduate certificate in Urban Ministry and in 2013 with a Master of Sacred Theology degree. She has served as a designated pastor at Curby Memorial Presbyterian Church for the past three years.

    She writes, "I am humbled and grateful to have the opportunity to continue to serve God as the Phillips Talbot Global Ministry Fellow for Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. As I stated in my essay answer, I expect to be used by God to bring the Word of Reconciliation to those whom God has given ears to hear and eyes to see. I expect to learn as well as teach leaders who have been called, and have willingly answered that call to the ministry. In addition, I expect to be a witness for Christ even in the remotest part of the earth: Acts 1:8."


    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

    Reading Through the Bible: (Next meeting is June 14)
    Wednesdays, 12:30-1:30 pm, Phillips Lounge.
    For our next meeting we will be starting at Job 39. All are welcome!

    20s/30s Group: (Next meeting is June 15)
    6:00-7:30 pm, Youth Lounge
    For our June 15 meeting, we will be going to Temple Emanu-El for an interfaith Iftar meal. We will gather in the church house lobby with enough time to head that way by 6:30 pm.

    Women’s Bible Study: (Next meeting is June 12)
    2nd and 4th Mondays, 6:30 pm, Phillips Lounge. We are now studying Paul's letters. If you can, bring dinner and come at 6 pm to chat.

    Men’s Bible Study: (Next meeting is June 14)
    Every other Wednesday through June, 7:00 pm, Phillips Lounge.
    Reading: Hebrews 9:11 - 11:39


    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 the Food Offering!

    Thanks to all who participated in the Food Offering on June 4! We collected $182 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, July 2. If you missed this opportunity to donate, you can also make an online gift anytime by selecting "Food Offering" beside the gift amount you designate. Thank you!


    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 through the summer: 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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