Grace Church in New York
This Week at Grace
This Week’s Services
Wednesday, September 18
6 p.m. Holy Eucharist, in the Chantry
Homily: Julia Macy Offinger
Sunday, September 22
The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
9 a.m. Holy Eucharist
Sermon: The Rev. Julia Macy Offinger
Music: The Parish Choir
11 a.m. Morning Prayer
Sermon: The Rev. Julia Macy Offingerg
Music: The Girls’ Choir with Adults
6 p.m. Holy Eucharist
Sermon: The Rev. Chase Danford
Music: Hymns with Instrumentalists
Friday Family Communion is a time for families with small and elementary-aged children to come together around the table for a come-as-you-are service of Holy Communion. We light candles, sing hymns, read a story, pray, break bread, and clean up together, all in time for dinner. Come at 5:30pm; we’re done by 6:10pm. Stick around for pizza and salad or head home; it’s up to you! Save the dates! All are welcome, including friends. You only need to RSVP if you’d like pizza or if you’d like to sign up to bring a treat or two to share at dinner. See you around the table!
The Rev. Julia Offinger will trace the path of her recent pilgrimage to civil rights sites in Alabama. Walking on the ground where slave ships docked in Montgomery, up the hill to the capital building and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s church, over to Selma where the marches began, with stops at the Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, what is our spiritual connection to the stories of the Civil Rights Movement that began over 50 years ago? As Christians, how are we connected in this age to Jesus’ followers who wrote the Gospel accounts around 50 years after Jesus’ crucifixion?
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Sept 15, 2019
You won’t read about it in the headlines of conventional news sources, but over the past few months a movement has been afoot to get to the bottom of a great mystery. The movement is called “Storm Area-51. They Can’t Stop All of Us.” As you may know, Area-51 is a remote Air Force base in the desert of Nevada. Apparently, nothing much is there but a landing strip, a few planes, and a small number of buildings. But in popular culture Area-51 is identified as the site where the federal government houses top-secret information about extraterrestrial life. Rumor has it that the collection includes a number of crashed UFOs and the corpses of the alien pilots who flew them.
Could it be true? A community college student named Matty Roberts wanted to know. So one night last June he proposed an idea on social media. On Friday, September 20, people who are tired of the government secrecy should make a pilgrimage to the Nevada desert. They should gather outside the gates of the Air Force base, and then on cue “storm Area-51. They can’t stop all of us.” Surprisingly, within a few weeks more than one-million people had signed up for the experience. It all sounded like great fun until Matty Roberts received a visit from the FBI, and the USAF issued a stern warning that trespassing on any military base is a really bad idea.
As of this week the event has been canceled. Even sympathetic organizers admit they had no plans in place to deal with large crowds, and Matty Roberts has disavowed himself of any responsibility. Nevertheless, the authorities are still predicting that more than ten-thousand people could still make pilgrimage to the desert, and even attempt to storm Area-51. If so, they will indeed stop all of them.
Matty Roberts came up with the idea to storm Area-51 because he was bored one night at 2 am. But the concept of pilgrimage is no joke to serious people of many faiths. The Psalmist (84:4) prayed to God: Happy are the people whose strength is in you; whose hearts are set on the pilgrims’ way. The idea is that to encounter the living God, from time to time everyone needs to get up and go. Life in Christ is a journey. At Grace Church we have a number of people who have embarked on their own pilgrimages of late, and over the next few weeks we’ll be hearing about their adventures and spiritual insights at the Sunday Forum. You can read about the upcoming sessions, below, or click here for the whole fall season. The Sunday Forum meets at 10 am in the reception room. Coffee and breakfast treats are served.
See you in church.