Livestreaming Worship in a time of COVID-19

Greetings to you in this uncertain time. We are heeding the advice of our bishop,Bishop Egensteiner who has asked churches to postpone or cancel all in-person gatherings, including worship services, events, meetings, and bible studies, until we know we can meet in person safely. With much regret, we are taking this to heart and following his strong recommendation.  It is a sacrifice we make as an act of neighbor-love. We are still a church family and physical distancing does not need to mean social or spiritual distancing. We are bound together in Christ. Consider reaching out to others by call, text or email to check-in and see how things are going. Let them know you are thinking of them and praying for them. If you are healthy and can help someone who is more at risk get food or other needed items, that may be a kind and generous thing to do. Starting Sunday, March 15 at 11am, we will live-stream a time of music, prayer, scripture reading and sermon. You can join worship by going to FACEBOOK LIVE https://www.facebook.com/TLCofNYC/live/  or  YOUTUBE http://tinyurl.com/TLCofNYCYouTube
Following live worship, all are invited to a Zoom coffee hour and we are happy to welcome all newcomers.
 A recording of the service can be accessed later as well.  The puppets Gabby and Sandy share a children’s message each week: https://tinyurl.com/TLCofNYCGabbyandSandy available from 9am on Sunday. This is anxious time and it’s important to know that we are never alone! God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in time of trouble. Psalm 46 Love and peace that passes understanding, Pastor Heidi
PS Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions, pastoral concerns, or just to chat! phone: 917-374-4212 email: hneumark@gmail.com

Night Prayer

Every Wednesday at 7pm, we are offering live-streaming Night Prayer. Night Prayer is a way to take a few moments to rest in the calm and mercy of God, a time of breathing space, a time when we can lay the stress and uncertainty of the day before God.You can find it at: www.Facebook.com/TLCofNYC. It will remain up and available after the livestream ends. “God who made the earth and heaven darkness and light, Who the day for toil has given for rest the night, by your angel guards defend us, slumber sweet the mercy send us, holy dreams and hopes attend us all though the night.”

Holy Week and Easter

HOLY THURSDAY www.Facebook.com/TLCofNYC At 7pm, we will live-stream our service. Afterwards, the service will remain on-line. If you would like to participate in Holy Communion as we remember Jesus’ last supper with his disciples, plan to have some bread and wine/grape juice ready as worship begins. During the service, we will explain how it will work.

GOOD FRIDAY www.Facebook.com/TLCofNYC 7pm This year’s service will include mediations on the 7 Last Words of Jesus. These are the last things that Jesus said as he was dying on the cross, as recorded in our Gospels. The tradition of the 7 Last Words on Good Friday began in 17th century Peru. It was believed that a person’s final words on the verge of death had particular meaning. This is certainly true for the words spoken by Jesus.

EASTER SUNDAY www.Facebook.com/TLCofNYC We will live-stream our service at 11am. Following worship, you are invited to share Easter greetings at a Zoom Coffee Hour. Go to this link: https://zoom.us/j/778879993 Enter this Meeting ID: 778-879-993

ESPECIALLY FOR CHILDREN Good Friday Children’s Service, available on Good Friday beginning at 10am. Gabby and Sandy celebrate Easter, available on Easter beginning at 10am. Both can be seen at: http://tinyurl.com/TLCofNYCGabbyandSandy

Holy Week Message

I hope and pray that you are all well and staying safe as much as is possible. What a strange and different Holy Week this will be! And yet, those who lived through that long-ago, first Holy Week experienced some similar things to what we are living through. On Thursday night, after Jesus shared his last supper and went to the Garden of Gethsemane where he was arrested, the disciples ran off in various directions. We can well imagine their fear and anxiety, asking themselves: Am I next? Will they come for me, next? I wake up every day relieved that I have no sore throat or fever, yet…but wondering, am I next? Will it come for me next? And I worry about our congregation, community and world and pray for you all. Every Holy Thursday when we strip the altar, we remember how Jesus was stripped of his garments, of every comfort and then, of life itself. This year we also feel the loss of so much that is being stripped away in our own world and lives. On Friday near the cross, a handful of women stood around. We’re told that Peter was there, at a distance. A distance born of fear like the one that keeps us apart today. Our usual Easter Sundays are filled with crowds and choirs, lilies and sweets. This Easter will be different, but not so different from that first Easter. There were no crowds or choirs or lilies or sweets. There was a handful of women at the tomb and later, a frightened group of disciples hiding behind locked doors. And later, two disciples walking away from the big city of Jerusalem to the little village of Emmaus, as many have fled our own city. But on that first Easter, all the fear was transformed by the joy of Jesus risen from the dead, the promise that fear, betrayal and death are never the end of the story. That is the heart of Easter that nobody and nothing can strip away. New life is on the horizon. And so we sing, this year as well, Hallelujah! Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed Hallelujah! The church often speaks of walking with Jesus through Holy Week in his final days. This year, let’s think instead of Jesus walking with us and gently leading us forward to what the spirituals call that “Great Gettin Up Morning,” when we will all come out of our tombs. In the mean time, I invite you to join our Holy Week worship from wherever you are. On the back of this letter, you will find a little information about each day. Please share it with others you know who might like to tune in and join our Holy Week journey. Since we are unable to receive most offerings in the usual way, if you would like to make an Easter offering, and you are able to, there’s an envelope enclosed. Or you can give electronically at: http://tinyurl.com/GiveToTLCofNYC.
Most of all, believe in how beloved you are and all the God has given and is giving to you. +Pastor Heidi