New Staff Spotlight: Jack Ricci

All Angels’ welcomed a new Youth Ministry Coordinator in August : Jack Ricci.  So that everyone in the All Angels’ community might get a more personal glimpse of Jack, as everyone on staff has been so grateful to have had, we decided to come up with five questions that would reveal a bit more of who the real “behind the scenes,” and in his personal life.

Image from iOS

1. What really matters to you more than anything else?

Jack: More than anything else, I want everyone, including myself, to believe that God loves them and will love them through eternity, and that they act that out in the world.

2. If you had the choice to do one thing on your day off, what would it be?

Jack: Spend the whole day with my fiancé Kate – doesn’t matter where we go!

3. What brings you joy?

Jack: Seeing the kingdom break through into our world through beauty, kindness, redemption, and trust. I also like when the Yankees win.

4. What’s one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?

Jack: I love 90’s club music. It’s heavily motivating and it’s great bike riding music.

5. What are you most excited about working at All Angels’?

Jack: Getting the chance to make an impact on the hearts of our youth, and to equip them to be their fullest selves for Christ.

Youth Mission Trip Update

All Angels’ Youth return from a week in Memphis participating in home repair and leadership development.

MEMPHIS – JULY 2018

Thanks to the generous support of family, friends, and the entire All Angels’ community, 11 youth from All Angels’ were able to spend a week in Memphis, Tennessee. In short, it was a challenging and transformational week.  Our team of 11 youth and 3 adults partnered with Service Over Self (SOS), an organization that has been serving the Memphis area for over 30 years with sustainable community development practices. They challenged us to see where God has already been at work – inviting us to join in the story of God’s movement in the place we came to serve. Our team helped repair roofs, cleared brush, served at a community center, met over 150 youth from around the country and learned from locals about their experiences of poverty, racism, and injustice.

Some highlights from the week include:

  • Finishing repairing two roofs of elderly homeowners that had extensive roof damage and yard brush removal needed to stay in their homes.
  • Visiting the Civil Rights Museum, located where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Giving us a better understanding of the history and context of the civil rights movement and how it connects to the biblical call to justice.
  • Learning from local Memphis residents about the political, social, and cultural differences from our life in NYC.
  • Spending time worshiping and praying as a team – being challenged to consider our role in bringing justice and truth to the spaces we live. We were called to remember that mission is not merely a trip we take or something that happens far away, but something we live day in and day out.
  • Sharing our own journeys of faith and hearing testimonies of people from Memphis
  • Learning the story of a man living on the streets, and getting to go shopping for him so he could have clean clothes for an apartment interview.

As we left Service Over Self, we spent time as a team debriefing the experience before returning to New York City. Youth reflected on how they wanted this trip to change and transform their life back in NYC. Here are some paraphrases shared by youth.

  • “I’ve seen the power of prayer. The team leaders could not be that happy and energetic at 6 in the morning without God’s help. I have tried praying more powerfully and boldly this week, and it felt nice. I want to grow in prayer.”
  • “I was moved by testimonies on our team. I want to take more time to learn about others stories.”
  • “I sat and talked with a family from Alabama. We talked about our lives, and I learned how different their lives are from mine in NYC.”
  • “I was hesitant to come on this trip, and often downplay with my friends when I’m going to church camp or on a mission trip. I want to share more openly with my friends about my faith.”
  • “I was so tired and exhausting trimming all those hedges – then the scripture came to mind about the vine and the branches, and it had a different meaning to me. Scripture came to mind about God giving us strength, and it made me want to push through the exhaustion and finish the task.”
  • “I realize that being a good friend is a two-way street. I want to get to know better people who are different from me, but I’m going to have to step out of my comfort zone.”
  • “It is not fun being around people who think so differently about things spiritually, culturally and politically, but it is good for me. It helps me see the bubble I am living in”
  • “Being without my cellphone has been good – I’m enjoying what we are experiencing and realizing I’m not missing out on as much online as I think I am.”
  • “I’m starting to understand the power of the cross. I hadn’t given it a lot of thought before.”
  • “I’m learning its ok to rest and not always be active. I overdo it, and then I get hurt.”
  • “I struggle with anxiety, but God has helped me push through my times of anxiety this week”
  • “I didn’t know I could feel so much joy shopping for someone else.”
  • “I feel pressure to always be funny – I’m learning I don’t always have to.”
  • “Big Dog’s testimony was so powerful. He’s right – I have a lot more in common with people who are different from me that I realized. We all need food, shelter, clothing, community, and love.”
  • “I don’t always spend my money the way others think I should. Part of human dignity is getting to choose how we spend money. Big Dog helped me think differently about giving money to someone who asks for help.”

All of us can find wisdom in the words of these youth.

  • When do we assume our differences are too vast to build friendships?
  • How can we stretch ourselves to build relationships with our neighbors who live on the street?
  • How can we lean into the power of prayer and scripture to sustain us in challenging times?
  • How can we learn from others who are different from us to stretch our own way of thinking?
  • Might we be surprised by the joy that comes with radically giving to others?

Be Where Your Feet Are

And because of Christ, I must try to not worry about where my feet will be by the end of September. He’s going to provide green pasture and still waters and new sounds and sights and even new smells in my new town, in my new grass.

The title caught my eye. I clicked to open the daily devotional with hopes that the words

Beverly Cook Image
It is God who arms me with strength
and keeps my way secure.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
He causes me to stand on the heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You make your saving help my shield,
and your right hand sustains me;
Your help has made me great.
You provide a broad path for my feet,
so that my ankles do not give way.
Psalm 18:32-36

would resolve my angst about our upcoming cross country move. Moving to me is usually an adventure. New town. New Streets. New Friends. New fun things to do. But not this time.   This time, we are moving to the familiar, a place I know well and a place that knows me. I have not yet figured out why that doesn’t bring me comfort.

Unfortunately, the written advice didn’t do much for my heart. While well-meaning and helpful for many, I found this piece full of Christian platitudes and Church-speak that means little in the midst of grief, fear, and anxiety. I can tell you all the reasons why we should move and I can tell you how we can see the hand of God opening the doors of this move, but I’m just not ready to leave my NYC life.

While the comfort did not come in the “advice” of the blog, it did come in the title: Be where your feet are. “That’s right, Beverly. You don’t have to be in Houston, Texas yet. You’ve still got months left in NYC and a lot of life in the midst of those months. Be where your feet are NOW, and then, when it’s time, plant your feet in Houston.”

As I continued to mull this over, three Scripture stories came to mind.

The first one is found in Genesis 19 It’s the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the salvation of Lot and his family. Scripture says that the land was covered in darkness, that it was a time when each person did what was right in their own eyes, following the desires of the their flesh and using people for their own gain and pleasure. Lot, a man of God, lived in the midst of this with his wife and two daughters. Angels came instructing them to flee, providing them a way out before God destroyed the city. Take a moment to read the passage below.

15 With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.” 16 When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them. 17 As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”

18 But Lot said to them, “No, my lords,[b] please! 19 Your[c] servant has found favor in your[d] eyes, and you[e] have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can’t flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die. 20 Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn’t it? Then my life will be spared.”

21 He said to him, “Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. 22 But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (That is why the town was called Zoar.[f])

23 By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. 24 Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

I see so much goodness from the Lord. He not only sought salvation for Lot and his family, but he even allowed Lot to negotiate where he would dwell next. “Please Lord, not there!   We won’t survive in the mountains. We need a something a little closer.” And then, just as we are headed toward a happy ending for Lot and his family, we find those haunting words, “But Lot’s wife looked back.”

In the midst of their family’s salvation, Lot’s wife looks back. She dies, loses her life, wishing she could be somewhere her feet were not.

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The second story is found in Acts 5. This is the story of Ananias and his wife Sapphira who sold a piece of property. Rather than giving all the proceeds to the church for distribution to those in need, they held back part of the money for themselves, a clear violation of what God asked of them. While Scripture doesn’t tell us why they tucked some away, I wonder if they kept some back to make sure they had enough for the future. Maybe they were planners and living without a plan for the future was too much.

Ananias and Sapphira die, looking forward to somewhere their feet were not.

++++++

And then there is Jesus, who unlike Lot’s wife and Ananias and Sapphira, knew how to be where his feet were. In the midst of feeding the 5000, Jesus took time to teach the disciples important lessons about faith and provision. He could feed the masses and still work in an object lesson for his trainees. The hillside was full of hungry people and yet Jesus managed to be aware of who was sharing the grass next to his own sandals.

How about the woman with the issue of blood? Jesus is walking through crowded streets, pushed and shoved and jostled like commuters trying to exit the subway at ALL Times Square trains at ALL times of the day! And yet, he is aware of the tiniest touch of a desperate woman hoping for miracle.

Finally, there is Jesus on the cross. In the midst of the pain of the cross, knowing that his human death is imminent, he has the divine foresight to care for the future of his mother.

When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman,here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.” (John 19:26-27)

++++++++++

Here’s where these stories collide for me:

There is coming a day when I will need to quit looking back longingly at NYC. But until then, I need to be where my feet are, in the middle of America’s most exciting city, rubbing elbows with humans from every nation in the world, listening to the music of trains, sirens, and the laughter of children, and waking up every morning to the smell of fried eggs, coffee, a party that went too long, and the brokenness of my homeless friend down the street.

And because of Christ, I must try to not worry about where my feet will be by the end of September. He’s going to provide green pasture and still waters and new sounds and sights and even new smells in my new town, in my new grass. “Until then, Beverly, be where your feet are. And then, when it’s time, move your feet to new pasture.”

Be where your feet are. That’s where we find rest, peace, comfort, joy, and safe pasture. Amen.

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If you want one more story that really brings all this together, ask me about the squirrels at Marcus Garvey park!

Written by Beverly Cook

Parish Retreat Testimony

Attending a new church is hard. It just is – no matter the reason. It is especially hard if you are an extroverted introvert. What that means is that if I am by myself in a room full of people I do not know, I will talk to as many people as I can and start making new friends because what else am I going to do? But if I know one other person, I will only talk to them and not talk to new people. So going to a new church with my husband (who is an introverted introvert) meant we didn’t really talk to anyone. And since we started going to church in the summer, it also meant that house churches (or at least the ones we were looking at) weren’t meeting.Screen Shot 2018-07-26 at 2.08.36 PM.png

So after attending AAC for three Sundays my husband and I signed up for the retreat, and by “my husband and I” I mean I told him if he wanted this to be our church home, we had to go to events where we would meet people and really commit, and he agreed (which is a big deal. Remember the introverted introvert part? I’m not exaggerating that.)

I was nervous about going to this big event, but excited to meet new people. I mean coffee hour at churches is terrifying for me, and here we were, going to a weekend long retreat with a bunch of strangers. And you know what? We did meet many nice and awesome people from both services. It was so great to see the whole church together.

It was more than just a meet-and-greet church social. I have always struggled with being close with my family. I just never understood how I really fit in with them or why I was the way I am when they are the way they are. Then we had to do an exercise where we had to create a genogram of our family. A genogram is basically a super detailed family tree (this is an oversimplification. If you want more, see my husband. He took a class on them.) As I was filling out the genogram, I started noticing patterns and seeing my place in the family. It all started making sense. And I took my quiet time, in the calm of nature, to really pray about it. After the retreat, I started opening myself up to my family more, and I started feeling more a part of them.

This allowed me to open myself up more to my church family. We are part of an awesome house church (which I highly recommend) and volunteer with the church sound team (always looking for new members!)

In short, I would recommend the retreat to everyone. It was really a wonderful experience (and I hope to meet you there!)

Written By Erin Moughon-Smith

What Bible Translation Is Best?

The ideal Bible translation would be accurate to the original language, faithfully represent the ideas that are expressed, maintain the literary style of the original text (wordplay, rhythm, assonance, alliteration, similes, etc.), while at the same time being easy to read without reference to a lot of footnotes. Unfortunately, no such translation exists. All translations represent a trade off between these various factors.   This post explores some of the strengths and weakness of various approaches to Bible translations.

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  • Translating close to the original language

This style of translation tries to find the closest English word for the given Hebrew or Greek word in the passage. Additional words are avoided unless necessary to make the sentence intelligible in English. Perhaps the best way to understand this approach is to compare some translations. Consider Isaiah 7:20.

The New American Bible (NAB 2011) prides itself on being very close to the Hebrew. Here is the NAB’s translation:

On that day the Lord shall shave with the razor hired from across the River (the king of Assyria) the head, and the hair of the feet; it shall also shave off the beard.

Clear?   The New International Version (NIV) is willing to depart from the strict Hebrew if necessary to convey the meaning of the phrase accurately, perhaps that will help. Here is the NIV’s translation:

In that day the Lord will use a razor hired from beyond the Euphrates River– the king of Assyria– to shave your head and private parts, and to cut off your beard also.

Not much clearer, and the hair of the feet has been replaced by shaving “private parts.” The Message is primarily concerned with getting the idea across, with faithfulness to the Hebrew being much less important.   The Message is considered a paraphrase. Here is the Message’s paraphrase of the same passage:

And that’s when the Master will take the razor rented from across the Euphrates—the king of Assyria no less!—and shave the hair off your heads and genitals, leaving you shamed, exposed, and denuded. He’ll shave off your beards while he’s at it.

Let’s take a look at the phrase translated “hair of the feet” in the New American Bible, which is almost word for word from the Hebrew. The NIV uses the phrase “private parts” as a replacement for the “hair of the feet.” The Message uses the phrase “genitals” to represent the Hebrew “hair of the feet.” Confused? The Biblical Hebrew text “hair of the feet” is thought to be a euphemism for pubic hair. The NAB translates the Hebrew directly, but leaves the reader with the wrong impression (that the text is referring to a hairy foot). The NIV replaces a Hebrew euphemism by an English euphemism. The message gets the idea correct, without resorting to a euphemism. A good study Bible might give you a footnote explaining the situation, or might not.

What about the Message’s insertion of “leaving you shamed, exposed and denuded?” Shaving of hair can be an act of shaming prisoners (The Oxford NRSV Study Bible points to 2 Sam 10:1-5 as another example). Now the passage makes some sense. Assyria will invade, take prisoners and shame them by removing their hair! Just translating the Hebrew, word for word, does not reveal the full meaning of the passage!

It is not always possible to find an English word that accurately corresponds to a Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic word. For example the Greek words eros, phileo, and agape mean different things, but have all been translated as “love.” This can mask possible meanings in the text. A classic example is the scene at the end of John (vs. 21:15-17) where (in English) Jesus three times asks Peter if he loves Jesus and three times Peter responds that he does love Jesus. Here I am not interested in the interpretation of the passage but how accurately the translation corresponds to the Greek. In the Greek Jesus twice asks Peter if he loves (agape) Jesus and Peter answers that he loves (phileo) Jesus (vs 15 and 16). The third time Jesus asks Peter if he loves (phileo) him and Peter responds that he loves (phileo) Jesus (vs 17). Today agape is used as a “technical term” in Christian thought, since there is no real English equivalent.   Phileo is the non-sexual fondness or affection. Is the distinction between phileo and agape important in interpreting this passage? This question is debated among scholars. What is interesting, if you rely on the English alone, you would not know that this is even an issue. If you have a study Bible, it might (should) alert you that two different Greek words are being translated using the same English word.

There are many such challenges in translating between any two languages. Two skilled translators, skilled in both the original and target language, can easily come up with different phrases to translate the original phrase. Often translation is about choices, each with strengths and weaknesses. Translation is as much an art form as it is a technical discipline. Word for word translations may get the words correctly and still fail to convey the meaning of the original documents.

pic bible translation

  • Why not just use a Paraphrase?

It might seem that avoiding these complexities by reading a paraphrase is the way to go. But paraphrases have their own issues. Paraphrases involve a double interpretation. First, the author of a paraphrase must interpret the original language, with all the problems involved in a word for word translation. Then the author of the paraphrase must decide on the crucial thought that needs expression in the paraphrase. Thus a paraphrase is a sort of condensed commentary on the Biblical text. Let’s illustrate with an example: Matthew 7:1-2 The English Standard Version (ESV) is rather close to the Greek.

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and, with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

Is this passage who is passing judgement on the person judging? Is God judging you? Is the person being judged, judging you back?   The text isn’t clear and there is meaning in both interpretations.   The Messages paraphrase of this section starts with:

“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. “

The interpretation of what it means to judge has been made specific, with a loss of generality. Who is judging you is still vague, (the same treatment by whom?). But at least in my reading of the translation, it seems to shift the thought toward a human response to your judging. It’s not that the interpretation is wrong, but that it limits the applicability of the passage. The viewpoint of the author plays a larger role in a paraphrase than in a translation.

 

  • Compromise Translations

Many translations operate on the assumption that both the meanings of the original language and the thoughts expressed in the Bible are both important. These translations are willing to depart from word-for-word translations if such a departure improves the reader’s ability to understand the ideas presented in the original language. The NIV and the New Revised Standard (NRS) are two examples of this “middle of the road” approach.

 

  • Reading Level

The NASB and NRSV have a reading level of 11th grade and above, making them inaccessible to some people. At the other extreme the Message and the living Bible are written at the 4+ grade level, making them better suited for those who have not yet entered High School. The reading level of the translation should be appropriate for the reader. My first Bible as a child was the King James which has a 12th grade reading level! (For a more complete list see the list on Bible Gateway. Choosing a Bible translation that is difficult for you to read may make it less likely that you will spend time reading that translation, making it a poor choice.

Bibles reading level

  • Reading Multiple Translations

Often the advice given to those who study the scriptures, and that should be all Christians, is to read multiple translations. This is useful if the translations chosen are not all in the same category. One option is to use one translation that is close to the original languages (word-for-word translations), another translation that compromises between word-for-word and thought-for- thought. If you are reading the Bible for the first time, or are a younger reader perhaps a good paraphrase would be a good first Bible. Here is a list that can get you started. For a more complete list you might see the article on Christian Books (https://www.christianbook.com/page/bibles/about-bibles/about-translations)

 

Translations close to the Original Language:

New American Standard Bible (closest)

English Standard Version

New King James Version

 

Compromise Translations:

New Revised Standard Version (closest to the Original Language)

New International Version

New Living Translation (closest to Paraphrase)

 

Paraphrase:

The Living Bible

The Message

 

living word

In closing, the most important aspect of choosing a Bible is to choose a Bible you are willing to read. We can encounter God in the scriptures only if we are willing to take the time to read the Bible.

 

–David A. Larrabee

David Larabee is a member of All Angels’ Church and leads the weekly Sunday discussions following The Bible Project Reading Plan.

 

Where in the World is Christine?

The vicar is going places.

Jim and the wardens have given me some additional vacation time this summer which I am gladly taking! This past Sunday was my last Sunday till mid-August. Here’s what I’ll be up to:

Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, CA, June 17-26

fuller

When I tell people I’m getting a “demon” from Fuller Seminary, they look concerned. Why is Fuller giving out demons? And why would Christine want one?

Before you start performing an exorcism on me, a demon is a “D.Min” which stands for Doctor of Ministry. It’s a program geared toward full-time pastors and Christian leaders to strengthen and deepen their ministry practice in a particular area. I thought for sure that I was done with school but the opportunity to study with Dr. Tod Bolsinger was too good to pass up. He wrote Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership In Unchartered Territory, one of the best leadership books I’ve read in a long time. It scratches exactly where I am itching in this season of life and ministry leadership.

Dr. Bolsinger writes, “In a rapidly changing world, the primary task of leadership is to energize a community of people toward their own transformation in order to meet the challenges of the uncharted terrain before them.” And this begins with the leader. When I learned that Dr. Bolsinger had a demon cohort on leading congregational and organizational change, I thought, I’m in!

In Chicago, June 29-July 4

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(Chicago Cubbies!)

I’ll be back in NYC for two days, one of which will be spent with the staff finalizing plans for next year’s ministry calendar. Then I’m off to Chicago where my family will be congregating for my niece Kara’s wedding in what will surely be the coolest wedding celebration my family has ever experienced. She and her fiance are both artists and working as graphic designers. Word on the street is that their reception will be a circle of their favorite food trucks which I am of COURSE not more excited about than their actual marriage… their sacred union as husband and wife is infinitely more important than tacos as we ALL KNOW… [stomach grumbles]

In NYC, July 5-13

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(with my brothers Rich Villodas, lead pastor of New Life in Queens and Jordan Rice, lead pastor of Renaissance Church in Harlem)

That Sunday July 8th I’ll be preaching at New Life Fellowship in Queens, one of my favorite churches in New York City. They have over 70+ ethnicities represented in their congregation. I love their warmth, passion for the gospel, commitment to contemplative prayer and social justice, along with a good dose of emotionally healthy spirituality. I’m looking forward to strengthening relationships with the larger body of Christ in the city as we witness to the love of Christ together. I’ll be back in the church office the week of July 9 through 13 to do some mid-summer catchup and finalize fall plans.

Family Time in Korea, Thailand and the Adirondacks, July 14-August 18

 

 

(the adorable Kim family)

This leg of my summer is the part I’m most excited about. My family is scattered across the globe in Korea, Thailand and the States, and it is very rare that we are all able to be together for an extended period of time. It’s an interesting time to be there given all that has been happening in the news with North Korea. It’s questionable what Trump actually accomplished with Kim Jong Eun in Singapore so I’m thinking we need to get a real peacemaker in there and wrap this thing up. #vicargettingthingsdone #EnneagramType9

 

 

(going to be in my belly soon)

My sisters and I will then fly to Chiang Mai, Thailand where Grace and my brother-in-law Bob serve as missionaries with the Evangelical Covenant Church as the Asia Regional Coordinators. Having this precious time with my family is of course way more important than all the delicious Korean and Thai food that I’ll be eating along the way which is totally not the main reason I’m taking this trip. [stomach grumbles again]

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(good times with the hubby)

All this will be capped off in the Adirondacks with the one and only Jimmy Lee, my favorite person in the world. I’m looking forward to being out in nature, hiking, reading, taking naps and eating good food cooked by not me. (reading over this, I’m seeing a theme here…)

I’ll be back at church on Sunday, August 19, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, well-rested and well-fed. I hope you all have a wonderful summer and looking forward to sharing our summer adventures when I get back!

A Little Help From Our Friends

Since 2002, All Angels’ Church has been in partnership with Hope For New York as a way to support the ongoing work of Community Ministries. This organization has been a tremendous resource over the years, equipping our ministry with volunteers, grant funding, trainings, and a network of fellow Affiliates, among other things.

A few weeks back, I was notified that Hope For New York had chosen All Angels’ for the second year in a row as a finalist for the HFNY Community Investment Award–an award given to one of 40+ HFNY affiliates, for an additional $10,000 beyond our grant allotment. This award recognizes the impact of the winning organization on its target communities, as well as its need for additional funding. All we had to do was give an 8-minute pitch–to 50 members of the Community Grant Circle and partnering churches–about who we are, what we do, and how we will use this extra funding.

Here was my pitch: Give us an extra $10,000 and we will use it to hire a Community Ministries Program Manager. 

You might be wondering, “Why do we need a program manager?” and “Isn’t that what you do, Chelsea?”. This is where things get fun…

On the pitch night, I started off by reading a vignette written by one of our parishioners, Belinda Luscombe, about her experience sleeping at the shelter as a volunteer. She described the chasm between herself and the shelter guests, despite their physical closeness as they shared a room together that one Sunday night. I found this to be an appropriate setup to the rundown of programs, services, and events we offer through Community Ministries to 600+ participants per year; It was appropriate because the committed relationship people like Belinda have to our ministry, and to the people who benefit from it, is what makes All Angels’ truly unique. And, family, I can not tell you how many other people want to be able to say the same about their own churches. They tell me so all the time. We really do offer something unique and powerful through Community Ministries, not just to those on the streets but also to our parishioners, and to the city. We have a gift that ought to be shared.

So I ask, What if we could replicate Community Ministries throughout the city? What if we put CM into a model (albeit nuanced) that could be replicated in neighboring churches? What if these new churches we graft through the Episcopal Diocese could all be part of an AAC Community Ministries network? What if the 70,000+ people experiencing homelessness in NYC knew there was a network of churches they could go to for support? What if these churches played a role in addressing the NYC housing crisis in a real and tangible way? Imagine the impact.

At the end of the summer, we will be hosting another Town Hall, so to speak, to give a much more robust and detailed description of what we mean by “replicating Community Ministries”. In the meantime, our priority is to hire a Community Ministries Program Manager (or CMPM, if you’re lazy), to provide on-the-ground program oversight for our shelter, drop-in program, and events, as I (with the help of two committees) do the work of clarifying and tightening up our structures, protocols, services, discipleship opportunities, and long-term goals for the future of the ministry.

Even in writing this post, I get excited. God is doing a mighty work here at All Angels’ and the same can be said for this profound ministry. And, I believe God wants us to give him the space to do an even greater work in it. My prayer is that this new vision, and new team structure, will do just that.

–Chelsea Horvath, Director of Community Ministries

For position details, please view the job description at https://allangelschurch.com/employment/Questions and/or job applications can be directed to chorvath@allangelschurch.com.