This Sunday at All Angels Church – May 17th

Join us for the Rev. Dr. Courtney Bryant’s first sermon as Scholar-in-Residence

In April, the Rev. Dr. Courtney Bryant joined our staff as “Scholar-in-Residence.” Over the past month, many of you have had the pleasure of learning from her during our Easter adult education series, “Expanding Our We.” This Sunday, she’ll step into the pulpit for the first time.

Dr. Bryant’s sermon is called “He Who Sees Me.” During this time, she will explore the perspectives of African-American women on the person and work of Jesus Christ. She’ll do this through the story of the bent over woman, the story of Hagar, the testimonies of black women, and the theology of womanist scholars.

Dr. Bryant’s sermon comes as the fourth installment in our five week series, “Christ for Today.” All year, we’ve been asking Jesus’ question: “Who Do You Say that I Am?” As we’ve said a few times through the year, the church’s theology rises on falls on this one question. And since, at times, we’ve gotten off track by hearing only some voices (and not others), we’re taking the time to listen to the full breadth of Christian perspectives on this question, as we shape our own answers.

During this series, we have been looking at 20th and 21st century voices who have offered new interpretations of who Jesus is. Dr. Bryant, as an expert in Womanist Theology, will be helping us to hear especially from thinkers offering this perspective. Specifically, she’ll be talking about Jacquelyn Grant’s great book, “White Women’s Christ and Black Women’s Jesus.” She’ll also introduce us to Delores S. Williams’ concept of Jesus as “co-sufferer.”

For a brief introduction to Womanism, check out this video from our neighbors up the street at Union Theological Seminary.

Back at the annual meeting (what seems like a life time ago), our leadership announced we had a growing sense that, rather than calling another “Vicar” as a one-to-one replacement for Christine Lee, our future pastoral leadership would instead be shaped in order to help move us toward greater missional activity. Specifically, we decided to raise up multiple pastoral leaders to fill discrete roles both in ministry and in worship for our church. So, rather than having one person overseeing many large areas of ministry, we would have a variety of people who would focus on particular areas of ministry. As we said then, we believed that a diverse leadership structure would allow us to be more agile, flexible, and adaptable as we embark on to the frontier of new missional work.

Back then, we had no idea how timely and providential that structure would be. As this pandemic is forcing us to reimagine church from the ground up, this model is proving to be truly God ordained.

The past few months have changed our timetable for rolling out this new leadership structure. All the same, we’ve been able to slowly bring on some of these individuals, one by one, as the needs presented themselves. At this point, we are now ready to announce our two, new full-time hires–both of whom will be instrumental in leading and orchestrating worship at All Angels in the years to come.

We’ll introduce you to both of these individuals during our livestream worship this Sunday, May 17th @ 10 AM. Join us then to meet them, and welcome them to the team!

On Sunday mornings, prior to our 10 AM livestream worship, parishioner Jen Knight is leading a contemplative prayer group via Zoom. This is a rich time of slowing down, stilling our hearts, and attending to the loving presence of God that surrounds us. For those looking for new ways to connect with God and one another, we invite you to join.

To participate in the Sunday 9am Contemplative prayer group via Zoom, register here:

Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement that was started by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. It is ten days of prayer between the Feast of the Ascension (May 21) and Pentecost (May 31) where we join with the global church in praying these two great prayers of the Church: thy kingdom come and come Holy Spirit. We pray in a dedicated way for the witness of the gospel to go forth into our world in this moment of our history and over the course of these ten days, we pray daily for five people to encounter Jesus and the love of God in a real and personal way.

In our participation in this global prayer movement, we’ll be partnering with our sister church, St. Peter’s Chelsea! This is our first joint project with St. Peter’s since we sent a group from All Angels to help replant St. Peter’s last Fall. To help focus us during these ten days, we’ll provide both congregations with a written devotional guide, co-authored by five members from both congregations. In addition, we’ll have online ways to interact with the theme for the day (stay tuned for more details).

Mark your calendars for special services taking place during those ten days. Look forward to seeing you then!

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