The children of All Angels’ Church will not be bested by a pandemic. A pageant on zoom, nicknamed “Zageant” is underway. Below parents can access information and instructions for supporting their child’s participation in the 2020 Zageant.
Jesus seemed keen on kingdom illustrations involving children and inviting children to come near. “Unless you become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of God.” Mt 18:3. “…For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Mt. 19:14. We aren’t sure if Jesus was referencing an idolized innocent and eager child or if he was naming a disenfranchised population segment in a last shall be first kind-of-thing.
Even as we figure out what Jesus meant, it’s safe to say that having children among us is part of how God sees his kingdom unfolding. We don’t champion an idolized, prototypical child; at All Angels’ children are seen and heard. They’re messy, noisy, full of laughter and sometimes tears. We love finding ways children lead us
into worship. Erin Moughon-Smith is bringing her considerable talent as a drama teacher in NYC public schools to the pageant production this year. We can’t have a live production with 200 of us squeezed into the sanctuary. But children will tell the nativity story in their unique way, covid style: a Zoom pageant!
This Sunday All Angels’ has the joy of hearing a word from pastor Will Ford, a minister and author who is passionate about cultural transformation. Will travels throughout the U.S. speaking on intercession, reconciliation, awakening, and reformation. He’s the co-author of The Dream King, an amazing story of faith, racial reconciliation, and going deep in prayer. Please join us as we welcome Will and sit back and enjoy a special message from our new friend! More information on Will Ford can be viewed at his website here.
This Sunday we commemorate the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, and Jordan Wesley will be preaching a sermon entitled, “Sometimes There Are Angels”. This particular day is our “patronal feast day”, which really just means it’s like All Angels’ birthday! Come and celebrate with us (you’ll see some special guests joining in videos that you won’t want to miss).
In my mind’s ear, this letter is delivered via the voice of Vanessa Redgrave to the Call the Midwives tune. I binged watched seasons 7 and 8 during the lockdown. Something like this: We are reminded a church is its people, gathered by Love and gathered in love for one another, their Creator. The thousand acts of kindness shown, even in the darkest times become the Light, the light that binds and nurtures us. In our questions, our concerns, our disappointments, we find we are given an ability to stand even though the ground appears obscured.
Hey! That does sound like Vanessa! I’ve told my own kids a thousand million times, you become like your friends. You start to sound like the people you hang around with. So choose your friends wisely. Knowing this phenomenon to be true, I am finding every conceivable way to come close to God through scripture during this tough season. The circumstances around Nate’s resignation are challenging. That it falls at this time, embedded between one national and global disaster after another, gives it an unreal quality. To be honest, Vanessa Redgrave isn’t nearly enough. I need the full amour of God; I need to bathe in God’s Word so that my prayers, thoughts, words will fill, heal and guide my spirit. I’ve moved my “Pray As You Go” app to the front page of my phone to make it easier to click…often. I’ll Zoom attend the Wednesday night prayerled by Carolyn Carney. Coming close to so much scripture, next time I write an email, I’ll probably sound like Paul himself.
On the children & youth ministry front, Jack and I have lovely fall plans to roll out with a weeknight senior high zoom meeting, young youth women’s prayer time, Sunday morning Children’s Worship with breakout groups for various ages. We’ll have more to say about that in the coming weeks. This coming Sunday, our priests, John and Jimmy, will visit Children’s Worship via Zoom. And then, at 10AM, in our communal worship service we will have Blessing of the Backpacks. What started in 2014, has quickly become an annual tradition. When we bless the students among us, we are empowering these young people as leaders in the intersection of faith and work. Their receiving of the blessing proclaims there is no part of our lives that is hidden from God.
God bless you, All Angels’. With love, Mary Ellen Lehmann Director of Children & Youth Ministry
Few things make me happier than a good idea. Sign me up for a brainstorming session any day! I love the process of bouncing ideas around, seeing if they will work, and building action plans around them (yes, Intellection does rank top 5 in my Strenghtsfinder).