Seventh Sunday of Easter – May 8, 2016
Mass at 11:00 a.m.Readings: Acts 16:16-34; Psalm 97; Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21;
John 17:20-26. Pastor George Detweiler preaches and presides.
This is an “in between Sunday,” in between the major festivals of the Ascension of our Lord and Pentecost. The Ascension is always celebrated 40 days after Easter, and Pentecost is 50 days after Easter. This Sunday continues the themes of the Easter season, with readings from Acts, Revelation and John’s gospel, like all the other Sundays of this Easter season.
In the first lesson, for messing with someone’s livelihood, Paul and Silas are imprisoned. An earthquake frees them, but not before they baptize the jailer and his family. The second lesson is the conclusion of the book of Revelation, and holds before us the promise that since the Lord is risen and ascended, he will return at a time we do not expect. The gospel continues the readings of the last two Sundays from what is known as the Farewell Discourse in John’s gospel. Here Jesus prays for the unity of his followers, that the world may come to know him through us.
Since the Ascension always falls on a Thursday, congregations that do not have regular midweek services sometimes transfer that festival to this Sunday. In the gospels the Ascension of our Lord is the prelude to the giving of the Spirit to the disciples at Pentecost. While Jesus was on earth – including after his resurrection – the Spirit of God was at work through him. At his ascension he promised that same Spirit to his disciples, and by receiving it at Pentecost, the church was formed.
Please keep in your prayers: Ellen Benton, Charlotte Cage, Peg Faulkner, family and friends of Richard Headley, Maria Jacobson, Susan Sterne McCann, Marie Mutz, Jytte Palumbo, Robert Radsch, Mike Rodriguez, Thorvald Slater, and Benjamin Weiner.
The Paschal Candle was lighted at all services throughout the forty days after Easter during which the Risen Christ appeared to his disciples. That time concluded with the celebration of his Ascension this past Thursday. Until next Easter the Paschal Candle will stand next to the font and will be lighted at baptisms and funerals as a sign of the resurrection promise we have through our baptism into Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Music for Sunday
Prelude: L’ascension– Olivier Messiaen
Offertory: O, Clap Your Hands – Ralph Vaughan Williams
Communion: Now the Green Blade Riseth – French carol, arr. Simon Lindley
Postlude: Finale from Symphony No. 1 – Louis Vierne
#393 A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing!!
#463 Lord, Who the Night You Were Betrayed
#432 The Head that Once Was Crowned
#662 Christ is the King!
This Time Between
The Call Committee has accomplished their work and we are all the beneficiaries of it! On April 24 you called Pastor Wilbert Miller to be the next pastor of Holy Trinity. It was an exciting weekend of meeting him and Dagmar, getting a sense of his perspective on your ministry and how you will work together. A few days later he accepted your call. Now we wait two months while he says goodbye in California and prepares to start here on July 1. This time between the call and beginning of his ministry can be emotionally charged and strange.
Only the Call Committee members have spent much time with Pastor Miller and his wife, Dagmar. The rest of you encountered them mostly in more public settings over a short period of time. There is a longing among members to get to know them as well as the Call Committee has, a longing that cannot be fulfilled until their arrival in July.
For some it may feel as if we are in limbo until that time. But we are not: we continue to worship every Sunday and Wednesday, Council and committees meet and focus on their responsibilities, the women’s shelter and HUG are operating, Bach Vespers is preparing for the next season, staff members are busy with their regular work in addition to items related to a new pastor arriving soon.
Then there are the Expectations that we have, both realistic and unrealistic, ranging from “everything will be better” to “nothing will change.” Of course the truth is somewhere in the middle of those extremes. There is always some change with the arrival of a new pastor: some will be more comfortable working with him and others less so. Just that normal dynamic tends to rearrange the congregational leadership.
It is not your new pastor’s job to be the Messiah. Instead he is to work with you under the Spirit’s guidance. The direction of your ministry has been defined by the strategic plan. Together you will faithfully reach out with the gospel of Jesus Christ in this Lincoln Square community.
For the next two months we have some work to do together. The efforts to strengthen Holy Trinity’s ministries will continue. We need to thank the Call Committee members for their excellent work. And you and I need to say goodbye to each other. As Pastor Miller has told his congregation in California, a strong good bye is essential to readiness for a healthy beginning.
My last Sunday will be June 5. Between now and then, we work will together to prepare for Pastor Miller’s arrival as well as taking time to say what needs to be said. I have enjoyed working with all of you, and appreciate the opportunity to have been part of this extraordinary ministry at the corner of 65th and Central Park West. I will especially miss the music, but will always cherish you and your witness to Christ in this place. Thank you for the opportunity to serve alongside you in this special place!
Carol Headley’s husband, Richard, died unexpectedly on May 2. An Open House will be held this Sunday, May 8, from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Crestwood Funeral Home, 445 W 43rd Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues), Manhattan. On Monday, May 9, there will be a service at 11:00 AM at the Chapel at Lutheran All Faiths Cemetery, 6729 Metropolitan Ave, Middle Village (Queens), New York. The M train to Metropolitan Ave-Middle Village stops across the street. Please remember Carol and her family in your prayers in this time.
A “Thank You” Luncheon — and 4th Floor tour!
Please join us after Mass in the Community Room on Sunday, May 15, for a special Thank You luncheon. We’ll acknowledge the extraordinary contributions of all who have given so generously to support the renovation of the 4th floor apartment, and to create a “welcome home” for our next pastor and his family. After the lunch, sponsored by a Thrivent Action Team (Thanks, Thrivent!), you’ll be able to check out the 4th floor for a “No Place Like Home: Excitement Under Construction” look-see.
AfterWords on May 8
What’s happening with our synod Tanzanian partnership? Bishop Bob and Lois Rimbo will lead an informal conversation during AfterWords this Sunday, May 8th to share stories of their October 2015 visit for the installation of Bishop Abednego Keshomshahara. You’ll also hear the latest info about KEMPS primary school and work being done with HIV/AIDS.
‘Karibu’ (welcome) to all!
Scripture Reading – Week after Easter 7
Sunday – Acts 16:16-18 – Was Paul’s action wise?
Monday – Acts 16:28-34 – What do you think about this conversion?
Tuesday – Psalm 97 – How does the Acts reading illustrate the psalm?
Wednesday – Revelation 22:12-13 – What is the reward mentioned here?
Thursday – Revelation 22:12-13 – What does it mean that the Lord is first and last?
Friday – Revelation 22:16 – How is Jesus both the root and descendant of David?
Saturday – John 17:21 – What does it mean to be in Christ and the Father?
Sunday – John 17:26 – How is Christ in us?