I had the privilege to preach at First Presbyterian Church of Forest Hills this morning. At its May 21 meeting, the Presbytery of New York City will vote to approve (technically they don’t have to approve, but they will) my friend Larissa Kwong Abazia as their pastor. She will start her ministry in August. Until then, the church has pulpit supply pastors. Today I preached and celebrated Communion.
About 60 people gathered for worship this morning. Even a group that size had incredible diversity.
During the coffee hour, I talked for a long time with three members – one from Madagascar, one from Russia, and one from Zambia.
Similar experiences have blessed me in other congregations and locations around the city – this international city.
See you along the Trail.
Famine stalks the Horn of Africa.
A bomb and gunfire rip Norway.
Violence wracks Malawi and Syria.
Rapes are perpetrated in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Atrocities are suspected in Southern Kordofan.
Human rights are denied in Madagascar, Peru, and Colombia.
Weak and vulnerable people are exploited and abused in the United States.
In places and situations that fail to make the headlines,
people are violated; God’s creation is abused.
Yet we continue to trust the good news:
that peace will prevail; that good will overcome evil;
that love is stronger than death; that God will have the final word.
And so we pray:
the hurts of the world are legion,
the wounds of your beloved children exceed our counting.
Our spirits sag,
our hearts ache,
we grow weary.
Pour your Holy Spirit afresh upon us:
for the living of these days and
for the loving of one another
we pray in Jesus’ name.