Thursday I had the honor of representing St John’s at Mayor Michael Coleman’s Final Interfaith Prayer Luncheon, held at the Jewish Community Center. The venue was packed with faith leaders from across the city, all seeking to find ways to build bridges, rather than walls, amongst our churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, and other places of worship. Our keynote speaker was a young pastor who talked about the importance of “passing the torch” of faith from one generation to the next – from one person to the next – in our city. But when we “pass the torch,” we must make sure that “it is still lit”! Too often, noted this young man, we let the flames of faith burn to a dying ember, with disastrous consequences for our people, and for our city.
Fortunately here at St John’s, we work hard every day to stoke the fire of Gospel faith. This generation of St John’s is re-energized in our mission and ministry to be a fiery “beacon of hope in the heart of the city,” as we continue to grow our worship services,The Largest Table community meal program, our educational opportunities, and our many other mission and outreach activities. Please take a moment to visit our updated church website and our church Facebook page to learn more about our how we are keeping our faith fire burning brightly in 2015!
On Sunday, we will celebrate Mother’s Day and the Sixth Sunday of Easter. What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than to bring your mom (or female role model) to church with you!
Our Scripture texts for the day are Psalm 98 and John 15:9-17, and my sermon is entitled “God’s Balloons.” Have you heard that time-honored story of the boy flying the kite so high that the clouds hid the kite from view? Someone asked the boy, “How do you know that the kite is still there?” He answered, “I can still feel a tug on the string.” Who among us does not need to feel God’s tug on our heart string from time to time, reminding us that God is there?
Also on Sunday, we will participate in a heart felt celebration of Mother’s Day with the Sandy Hook Promise initiative. The Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is led by the families who lost their children in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The SHP organization engages and empowers parents and communities with targeted prevention programs designed to protect children from gun violence in the areas of mental wellness, early identification and intervention, social and emotional development, and firearm safety and security. This Mother’s Day, you are encouraged to honor the mothers and female role models in your life by making the Sandy Hook Promise. We hope you will join us in this special celebration on Sunday and visit http://www.sandyhookpromise.org/mothersdaypromise. Finally, we are pleased to announce that Foster Pinkney, one of St John’s Seminarians and Ordination Candidates, will graduate from Union Theological Seminary in New York City Friday, May 15 with a Masters degree in Theological Studies. Following graduation, Foster will relocate to Chicago, to begin a PhD program in Religious Ethics at the University of Chicago. Congratulations Foster!
With abundant HOPE for our transformative future,