The Second Sunday after the Epiphany
January 16, 2022

Dear Friends,

This coming weekend the nation will observe the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Baptist preacher whose work and witness galvanized the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.  The past two years have reminded us that the United States is far from a perfect union, but we are a better country today than we would have been without Dr. King.  His words still inspire.  At the Sunday Forum this week NYU professor and Grace Church parishioner Nick Birns will lead us in conversation about some of Dr. King’s early writings.  What we will learn, among other things, is how deeply rooted his deeds were in his faith.  See below for more information about the session.  Also, at all three of our worship services we will sing the rousing hymn that is associated with the civil rights movement: Lift Every Voice and Sing.  If you plan to be in the city during the long weekend, do plan on joining us.

Martin Luther King, Jr. made a positive difference in the world.  So can we.  A date to mark on your calendars now is Saturday, March 5th.  We are hoping that the Omicron variant will have receded by then, allowing us to revive one of our pre-pandemic customs called, “The Parish Day of Service.”  Our goal will be to get up to 18 Grace Church parishioners involved in a hands-on outreach project that day, so that in a small way our community will be a better place than it would have been had we stayed home and slept late (one of my favorite things to do on Saturday).  Not only will our geographical community improve, but our parish community will grow deeper and closer as we work side-by-side and get to know one another.

Our focus will be on The Red Door Place, a local feeding ministry that serves hot meals and also provides bags of groceries to hungry families without resources.  At a Sunday Forum last month we heard from Teresa Concepcion, the Executive Director of The Red Door Place, and learned how hard they have been hit by the pandemic.  We have been supporting them financially.  Now our aim is to join them in person for a day (that may lead to many more days) and work side-by-side to assist our neighbors in need.  Yes, March 5th seems like a long way off, but the nature of our schedules and the pandemic requires weeks if not months advance planning.  More details to come.

Much of the news these days is full of darkness.  This will be a chance to shine some light.  See you in church.

The Rev. J. Donald Waring