Tag Archives: Presbytery of New York City

Farewell to the Matrix

MatrixTransition is the nature of life. For individuals, families, communities, nations, the world, change happens.

Our family is no different. We have passed through many changes through the years.

This year has brought an acceleration of change. Eric graduated from seminary as did his fiancé, Essie. They remained engaged for about five days after their graduation and then, in a wonderful celebration, they became Eric and Essie Koenig-Reinke. And then they moved to Michigan for jobs with First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor.

Tricia received a new job in Louisville with the Office of the General Assembly. I received a new job in New York with the Presbytery of New York City.

Sean and grandpuppy Henrik have been the eye of calm in the midst of all the changes.

This weekend, we have gathered in Cleveland Heights for Eric’s ordination as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It will take place at Noble Road Presbyterian Church where Eric grew up and where he remains a member, until his ordination.

We all stayed in the house on Navahoe Road that Tricia and I rented in 1985 when we came to Noble Road. Tricia has stayed in the house ever since, which we finally came to own a couple years ago. This may be the last time we all stay together here, although thanks to a dear family friend, Renee Boykin, we will continue to own the house. Renee will rent.

Another marker of this time of transition came when Eric pulled into the driveway on Friday night driving a Toyota Matrix. It had been my car, purchased in 2004, and it is my favorite of all the cars I have owned or co-owned.

Now it has Michigan plates and belongs to Eric. Of course he has been driving it since I first moved to New York in 2010. But the title remained in my name and Tricia and I paid the insurance bill. And it still felt like mine.

No longer. Eric transferred the title a while back, put on the Michigan plates and started paying for the insurance. The Matrix is his.

An era ends. A new one begins.

Farewell, Matrix.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Cleveland Heights, Family, Friends

Back for a weekend tour 2

KOENIGOn Saturday, April 1, 2017, I had the privilege to lead a retreat for the candidates and inquirers for ministry of the Presbytery of New York City. Committee members also attended the retreat which was held at Broadway Presbyterian Church.

Together we explored why followers of Jesus work for justice by engaging in issues of public policy and corporate policy. We remembered that the separation of church and state does not mean the separation of our faith from the processes by which decisions that influence all of us are made.

Thanks to JC for the photo.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under New York, Photo

Back for a weekend tour 1

IMG_4830I returned to New York for a long weekend. It involved staying with my son Sean and my grand puppy Henrik, leading a workshop for the Committee on Preparation for Ministry of the Presbytery of New York City, and preaching at First Chinese Presbyterian Church.

Henrik did not seem to understand that I was at his apartment to work rather than to play with him.

Maybe next time.

See you along the Trail.

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I remember Ted

I finally made time tonight to go through the photos from the farewell party as I left the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations. I planned to send photos to some of the individuals who attended.

I still plan to do that.

But a series of photos brought me up short.They showed the last time I talked with my friend Ted Hickman.

Since I cannot send the photo to Ted, I share it here.

And again I give thanks for his life and love and witness and friendship.

The photo reminds me that we never know when the last time we will see each other might be.

Because of that I give thanks for family and friends who bless my life as I remember Ted.

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Filed under Family, New York, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, Uncategorized

Until we meet again, Ted Hickman

14316837_10209909925482586_6630254089391490747_nOnly 17 short days ago they gathered to bid me farewell. My colleagues and friends from the community of nongovernmental organizations at the United Nations; my friends and colleagues from the Presbytery of New York City.

Ted was there. And after the words were spoken and the time came for people to leave, Ted and I looked at each other across the room.

We smiled. We moved toward one another. And as we had done before, threw open our arms and walked into an embrace, two bears seeking to engulf each other.

He whispered into my ear. Words of thanks. Assurances of prayers. Best wishes for what lay ahead.

I whispered back. Words of thanks. Assurances of prayers. Best wishes for what lay ahead.

As we disengaged, I said my final words. I refused to say goodbye as I left New York. And so I said to Ted, “Until we meet again.”

Only two short hours ago I received the email from the office of the Presbytery of New York City.

“In Memoriam” read the subject line. I had received enough emails with that subject to know what it meant. Someone had died.

I was prepared to learn of a death. I was not prepared to see Ted’s gracious, smiling face. Nor did I expect to read these words:

It is with deep sadness and grief for his family and this presbytery that I tell you that Theodore (Ted) Hickman, the Moderator of our Presbytery of New York City, died last night in his sleep.

Ted was 51.

My initial shock has given way to deep sadness and grief.

I grieve for his family … for Duryea Presbyterian Church where he served as the Commissioned Ruling Elder (pastor) … for his colleagues at NYU-Langone Medical Center … for the Presbytery of New York City … for all who knew and loved this good man.

I grieve for a song and life ended too soon. Too soon.

I grieve for what might have been.

I grieve for myself.

I grieve, knowing that, in life and in death, Ted, and all of us belong to God.

I grieve, knowing that love never ends, even death can never sever the cords of love that bind us together.

I grieve, believing in the resurrection.

I grieve and proclaim “Alleluia.”

I grieve and remember those final words I said:

Until we meet again,
my friend, my brother.
Until we meet again.

Note: the photo of Ted Hickman is the one that appeared in the message from the Presbytery of New York that announced his death. 

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Filed under New York, Photo

The Until We Meet Again Tour – 22 August 2016, part 2

The evening gig for the Until We Meet Again Tour took place at the First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York where the Presbytery of New York City gathered to say farewell to Andy James. Andy will leave for a call as presbytery staff in New Hope Presbytery serving as their Associate for Small Church Ministry and Technology. He had served as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Whitestone and the Stated Clerk of New York City Presbytery.

Andy invited me to speak at Whitesone as one of the first stops on the Welcome to New York City tour. He also involved the staff and interns of the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations in Whitestone’s witness and work to end violence against women and girls. On the weekend when that initiative began, Ryan Smith spoke at the first event, and Jamie Tan and I attended a worship and witness in a nearby park.

Andy is a friend. He will be missed in the Presbytery of New York City. But our paths will cross in the days to come.

Thank you for your ministry, Andy. Godspeed on your new tour and in your new service.

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Filed under Friends, New York, Photo, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations

Neighbor and Neighborhood: A dialogue of the Sikh Coalition and the PC(USA)

This one is particularly for folks in the New York City area. But there is contact information if others want to learn more.

World Interfaith Harmony Week

World Interfaith Harmony Week is observed during the first week of February.

The Sikh Coalition, Presbyterian Men in the Presbytery of New York City, the Church of the Covenant, Rutgers Presbyterian Church, West-Park Presbyterian Church, the Committee on Witness to Society and the World in the Presbytery of New York City, and the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Office of Interfaith Relations and Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations have come together in a unique partnership to offer three dialogue events over the weekend of February 1 and 2.

Simran Jeet Singh, Senior Religion Fellow of the Sikh Coalition, and Christine Hong, Associate for Theology: Interfaith Relations of the Theology, Worship and Education Ministry of the Presbyterian Mission Agency will lead the dialogues. Details on the three events are:

Saturday, February 1, 2014
10:00 – 11:30 AM

Fellowship Hall
Church of the Covenant
310 E. 42nd St., New York, NY
(between First and Second Avenues)
For more information, contact Greg Reid of Presbyterian Men.

Saturday, February 1, 2014
1:00 – 3:00 PM

Fellowship Hall
Rutgers Presbyterian Church
236 W. 73rd St., New York, NY
(take the 1, 2, or 3 train to 72nd St.)
For more information, contact Alice Hudson at Rutgers Presbyterian Church.

Sunday, February 2, 2014
Worship 11:00 AM
Dialogue 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Sanctuary
West-Park Presbyterian Church
165 W. 86th St., New York, NY
(corner of Amsterdam Avenue at 86th Street)
For more information, contact Bob Brashear at West-Park Presbyterian Church.

The dialogue will explore questions such as: What do Presbyterian Christians and Sikhs share in common? What makes our traditions unique? Does interfaith dialogue strengthen or weaken faith? How do we love neighbors of different religions in difficult times? Join us for a fishbowl style interfaith dialogue between the Sikh Coalition and the Office of Interfaith Relations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). In this interactive learning experience you will learn about Sikhism, Presbyterians and interfaith relations, see interfaith dialogue in action, and take steps towards building relationships of neighborliness and solidarity with the Sikh American community. February 1 marks the beginning of World Interfaith Harmony Week, the first week in February each year, as designated by the United Nations General Assembly.

Would you like to host a similar event for your church or group? Contact Christine Hong at the Office of Interfaith Relations.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Current Events, New York, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations