Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church


The Pastoral Staff Letter - May 18

05.18.17 | News | by The Pastoral Staff

    A look at upcoming events.

    In The Pastoral Staff Letter

    Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church
    In The Pastoral Staff Letter - May 18, 2017



    This Week at a Glance  

    To Check the Church's Calendar,
    Go to


    Yoga for Every Body! Tomorrow, May 19, 9 am on the 5th Floor

    Come enjoy an hour of yoga on the 5th floor with other MAPC members and friends. Anyone is welcome! Whether you are experienced or a novice, in shape or aspiring to be, 30-something or the proud holder of an AARP card. We have a few mats available, but please bring one if you have it. We ask for a $20 donation to help pay the instructor.

    The June yoga dates are June 9 and 23.


    Memorial Service for Earl Holkeboer, This Saturday, May 20, at 3 pm in the Sanctuary


    Sunday, May 21, 2017
    6th Sunday of Easter - Youth Sunday

    Worship Schedule
    Worship at 9 am and 11:15 am
    Infant Nursery – 4th Floor Phillips Building, 8:30 am – 1 pm
    Toddler Nursery – 4th Floor Church House, 8:30 am – 1 pm

    Worship: This Sunday two of our youth are preaching: Morgan Hollanda's sermon at 9 am is entitled “Thinking Outside the Box” and Ella Cook's sermon at 11:15 am is entitled "Profiles of God". The lectionary lessons are: Acts 17:22-31, Psalm 66:8-20; 1 Peter 3:13-22; and John 14:15-21. Preview this Sunday’s bulletin or listen to sermons and service highlights from previous Sundays on MAPC’s website.

    Children’s Worship: 9:15 am & 11:30 am, Phillips Lounge

    Fellowship Hour, 10 am, Lobby

    Adult Education, 10:10 am, Parish Hall, (see below)

    Church School, 10:10 am, 5th Floor

    Youth Hour/Breakfast, 10:10 am, Youth Lounge

    Church Choir Rehearsal, 10:30 am, Choir Room

    Youth Sunday/Confirmation Luncheon, 12:30 pm, Parish Hall

    ESL Classes, 1 pm, 5th Floor

    SAMS Concert: Handel's Israel in Egypt, 3 pm, Sanctuary

    Overnight Shelter, 6:30 pm, Shelter Space


    This Sunday  

    Youth Sunday and Confirmation Luncheon Are This Sunday!

    Join us for our usual 9 am and 11:15 am worship services and experience the leadership of the brilliant young Christians of MAPC. All church members, visitors, and guests are invited to a luncheon after the 11:15 am service to celebrate and welcome this year's confirmands. This is a wonderful opportunity to support and get to know these present and future leaders of the congregation!


    Adult Education: 10:10, Parish Hall -- Christina Cosby, "Worship as Lifestyle"

    Weekly worship is one of the things that sets Christians apart from our counterparts in society. Each Sunday morning, we leave our homes and travel to sanctuaries in hopes to encounter God. However, each worship service concludes with a benediction that challenges us to take our encounter of the divine outside the church doors.

    Come explore the ways worship goes beyond Sunday mornings to enrich personal daily lives. In this hour together, we will walk through the elements of worship, their importance to our communal time together, and their significance to our daily lives.


    Handel's Israel in Egypt: Sunday, May 21

    This Sunday, May 21 at 3 pm, the Saint Andrew Chorale and Orchestra will conclude their 52nd Season with one of G. F. Handel's most virtuosic oratorios, Israel in Egypt. With its evocative word painting and energetic choruses, this work is among the greatest and most virtuosic choral works of all time. Admission to Saint Andrew Chorale concerts is $30 ($25 - Students/Seniors 62+). Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the door beginning at 2:15 pm on the day of the concert.


    Other Events and Announcements  

    Please note that next week, Sunday, May 28, we will begin our summer worship schedule, with one service at 10:30 am.


    Summer Choir Begins May 28

    You're invited to sing on Sundays during the summer at MAPC! Our Summer Choir provides an opportunity for church members and friends to sing some beautiful choral music together as leaders of worship. Beginning next Sunday, May 28, and continuing through Sunday, July 30, the Summer Choir will meet on Sunday mornings for a rehearsal at 9:30 am in preparation for our 10:30 am services. This is a great way to join in on the music-making at MAPC on an informal level; just come as you can. To peruse this summer's choral music repertoire, and further information, click on this link to MAPC's website. Please contact Andrew Henderson at for more information.


    Learn about MAPC through the Next Inquirers' Class on Saturday, June 10 at 9 am

    Have you been thinking about membership at MAPC or been wondering what kind of commitments that might involve? Are you not interested in membership, but want to know more about the congregation and our faith?
    Join Rev. Andy Smothers for the upcoming Inquirers' class on Saturday, June 10, from 9 am to approximately 2 pm in the Phillips Lounge.

    The classes are informal and interactive--the perfect way to find out more about MAPC! Light refreshments and a light lunch will be served; dress is casual.

    What will we cover? We will explore the beliefs of our faith through the creeds shared with the church universal and with other reformed denominations. We'll recall the history of the Christian Church and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Our journey will continue with MAPC's history, its current programs, and a tour of our facilities. Finally, we'll talk about our church governance and how we live our lives together as a church and as a people sent out into the world.

    If you would like to attend or have questions, please contact Andy Smothers, Interim Associate Pastor fo Outreach and Evangelism, at or 212-288-8920.


    Photos Needed for New MAPC Photo Directory by June 15!

    We need as many members as possible to be included in the new MAPC Photo Directory--the more photos we have, the more useful the directory will be! If you did not have your photo taken during fellowship hour in recent weeks, you can still be included. Please submit your photo to Arnold Pitre in the church offices, . We request a plain background if possible, so your photo will fit in with the other photos. An updated photo directory will be a great help to our new pastor as s/he gets to know the congregation--and it will help all of us put names and faces together! As a last resort, if we have a photo of you and/or your family on file, we will use that!


    Upcoming Congregational Nurture Events

    --Church Family Night, Friday, June 2, 6 pm in the Parish Hall. This will be our last Church Family Night until the fall, and in celebration of summer we are planning a Parish Hall Beach Party! RSVP to Wendy De Los Santos in the church offices at . The suggested donation is $20 for adults, and a donation for your child based on their appetite!

    --Families with Young Children, Saturday, June 10, 10 am to noon. Water play on the Roof Garden!

    --MAPC On the Town, Friday, June 16, Philharmonic, Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Join MAPC OTT Friday, June 16 in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. The New York Philharmonic will be playing various pieces including Ravel's Tzigane and Dvořák’s Carnival Overture and Symphony No. 9: From the New World. The concert begins at 8 pm. The group will meet outside the F train stop exit at 15th Street/Prospect Park (parkside corner of PP West and PP Southwest) at 6:15 pm and then walk into the park together at 6:30. Remember, the new Q train intersects with the F at 64th Street/Lexington. The A/C trains are across the platform from the F at Jay St-Metrotech. RSVP to Wendy De Los Santos in the church offices, .

    --The July Roof Garden Party is Monday, July 17! A delicious menu of seaside appetizers is already being planned! We'll begin at 7 pm, and once again, will offer childcare on the 5th floor. RSVP to Wendy De Los Santos in the church offices, .

    --The All-Church-Retreat at Camp Holmes is October 6 and 7, beginning with dinner on Friday and ending mid-to-late afternoon on Saturday. This retreat is for MAPC folk of all ages and an opportunity for us to have conversation and time to relax and play together. If you cannot come up on Friday, you can come for the day on Saturday. Please put this on your calendar now!


    Children and Family Ministries in 2017

    Youth Sunday is Here!
    Thank you to everybody involved for putting in the hard work necessary to make this Sunday work. We will glorify God beautifully! Call time for 9 am participants is 8:30 am in the Phillips Lounge. Call time for 11:15 am participants who are not in the choir is 10:50 am in the Phillips Lounge. There will be a small breakfast available in the Youth Lounge from 10:10-10:50 am.

    Kids' Club
    We had our final Kids' Club of the school year on May 17. Thank you to everybody for a great year!

    Church School
    Church School will resume in September!

    On behalf of our entire congregation, the Christian Education Committee gives public thanks for the wonderful team of volunteers who have staffed the Church School from 10:15 to 11:00 each Sunday this school year. Our appreciation goes to Kate Baier, Sharon Boersma, Yvonne Doherty, Carrie Hinrichs, Barbara Iverson, and Ruth Schroeder. These teachers have sung, taught, mentored, and indeed 'fed the lambs' of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. Thanks be to God.

    Middle and High School Ministries

    Youth Group
    We had our final Youth Group meeting of the school year on May 17. Stay tuned for fellowship events during the summer.

    2017 Mission Trip Here in New York City
    This year MAPC is hosting our partners from Iowa in NYC. Youth aged 14 and up, mark your calendars for July 5-10. You will participate in all programming with the groups from Iowa, including spending nights at the church, so it is a mission trip for you as well! Activities will include work projects with our outreach partners, daily devotions, a full day of entertainment on the town, and more! Check out to see how this great partnership has worked in the past. It's going to be a blast!


    Auditions for NYC Children's Chorus now open!

    Children ages 4-18 may now sign up to audition for the New York City Children's Chorus at MAPC. We anticipate hearing over 200 auditions and re-auditions this spring, so we recommend that you register your child for an audition as soon as possible, due to the high volume of auditions. If your child is a fine singer, please consider auditioning for this outstanding program  at


    Global Ministry Fellowship Update

    The Phillips Talbot Global Ministry Fellowship (PTGMF) Committee has been working hard to select a candidate for the fellowship. We are very pleased to announce a new fellow has been selected and that that fellow has indeed accepted the fellowship. Watch here for an introduction to the fellow soon after she/he is able to make appropriate notifications to others. We expect the new fellow to move to the church on June 10. As we have requested Tyler and Andy stay beyond their original fellowship period and our housing at the church is in transition, we are short of some critical items. If you would have a bed, TV, dresser, or loveseat or comfortable chair for a living room that you could loan for 1.5 - 3 months starting around June 1, we would love to use that. Please contact Andy Smothers at 212-288-8920 or if you could loan those items.


    Update from Theological Education by Extension in Zambia

    We continue to support Reverend Mbondo and his family as Rev. Mbondo serves with TEEZ in place of a fellow through the beginning of September. Rev. Mbondo recently reported on their training program in Mbala and Kasama (Northern Province) held April 26 through May 5. Thirty-two students attended in Mbala and forty-four attended in Kasama; all students were from the United Church of Zambia, one of the nine TEEZ partner denominations. Due to the cost and challenge of gaining a permit to send his 5-year old son, Esau Barnabas to public school in Zambia, Rev. Mbondo and his wife, Judith, have chosen to send him back to Zimbabwe for the duration of Rev. Mbondo's service. We invite your continued prayers for Rev. Esau Mbondo, his wife, Judith, and their son, Esau Barnabas. Rev. Mbondo also forwards photos of the two classes.


    Interested in Advocating on Peace, Justice, Immigration, and Other Issues?

    Our denomination maintains an office in Washington, D.C., and at the United Nations to monitor issues of interest to the church and to advocate regarding those issues. They also occasionally send Action Alerts to update members of our denomination and to give members a chance to advocate on issues. You may learn more online, review recent Action Alerts, or subscribe to these alerts.


    Tuesday Morning Prayer

    You are welcome to join the pastoral staff for a half-hour service of prayer, scripture reading and hymns on Tuesday mornings at 9 am. It is an uplifting way to begin the day and to worship God.


    Bible Studies at MAPC

    Looking for a place to read Scripture together and get to know people at MAPC? Come to one of our Bible Studies; newcomers are always welcome! For more information, go to

    Reading Through the Bible: (Next meeting is May 24)
    Wednesdays, 12:30-1:30 pm, Phillips Lounge.
    We will start at Job Chapter 17 for our next meeting. All are welcome!

    20s/30s Group: (Next meeting is May 25)
    6:00-7:30 pm, Youth Lounge
    If you are a twenty-something or a thirty-something, join us for food, drinks, fellowship, and real talk. Our running theme is Expressions of Faith.

    Women’s Bible Study: (Next meeting is May 22)
    2nd and 4th Mondays, 6:30 pm, Phillips Lounge. We are now studying Paul's letters. If you can, bring dinner and come at 6 pm to chat.


    Stay Connected to Worship at MAPC

    Did you know that even if you’re away or unable to make it to church that you can listen to Sunday worship services at MAPC? Sermons and service highlights (including scripture lessons, hymns and anthems) are uploaded afterwards, and are permanently accessible. They can be downloaded to your electronic device or listened to directly on MAPC’s website: peruse this valuable online resource today! Once ready for print, our Sunday bulletins are also uploaded to our website on Thursday afternoons and are made permanently available for download. 

    Flowers for the Sanctuary

    Is there someone you would like to honor or remember through a gift of flowers for Sunday worship? If so, please contact Lissette Perez-Erazo at or 212-288-8920. The cost for Sunday flowers is $110.


    Thank You for Filling the New York Common Pantry Grocery Carts

    The New York Common Pantry, the city’s largest private food pantry and long-time MAPC outreach partner, appreciates donations of food to help those who are food-insecure in the city. The month of May is National Salad Month! Of particular use this time of year are fresh produce items--fresh fruits and fresh vegetables. They promise to pick up the items the day of drop-off so the items are served fresh. Please–no glass containers. You can drop items off in the grocery carts in the Church House Lobby or the Sanctuary Narthex, or you could even order groceries to be delivered through one of your grocers. (8 East 109th Street, New York, NY, 10029, Phone: 917-720-9700). Thank you for taking seriously Christ’s command to “feed my sheep!” 

    Clothing Donations Needed for Women and Men

    The Homeless Outreach Program at Jan Hus Presbyterian Church, one of MAPC’s long-term outreach partners, continues to see a dramatic increase of homeless persons seeking assistance. Both casual and business clothing for men and women, as well as new undergarments, are among their most urgent needs. If you have clothing items in clean and neat condition, we encourage you to take them to the Jan Hus Clothes Pantry at 351 East 74th Street at 1st Avenue. The clothes pantry is available to take donations Monday through Saturday from 8 am-8 pm and on Sunday from 9 am-3:30 pm. NOTE: Please bring all clothing to Jan Hus directly–clothing may no longer be left in the coatroom off of the MAPC Church House Lobby.   

    Hands-On Ministries  

    Ways to get involved at MAPC with hands and hearts!

    “Faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.” The following opportunities to participate in hands-on ministries are provided by the Outreach Committee. If you are interested in exploring any of these opportunities, e-mail Andy Smothers at . Let’s put our faith into action!


    The Thursday Shelter Dinner Needs YOU!

    Can you spare 2 hours on a Thursday evening from 6-8 pm? If so, then you can help feed 120 hungry neighbors a hot meal, offering them Christian hospitality. Please contact Kathy Hoffman at .


    Host at the Shelter

    Hosts are needed for the Shelter! The Shelter is comfortable and the experience of helping these men get their lives back on track is one that will change your heart. Two shifts are offered each evening. Early evening hosts volunteer from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm; overnight hosts volunteer from 8:30 pm to 7 am. Contact Andy Smothers at for more information.

    Search and Care

    Can you spend an afternoon with an elderly person on the Upper Eastside to walk their pet, go with them to a doctor’s appointment, help them shop, balance their checkbook or even just offer them the gift of companionship? If so, contact Robin Strashun at .


    New York Common Pantry

    The New York Common Pantry offers opportunities for volunteers to help pack and distribute food to the working poor on Saturday mornings and other times each week. MAPC has supported this very well organized and effective organization since its inception 30 years ago. This is a wonderful way to follow Christ’s command to “feed my sheep!”

    See you in church!
    The Pastoral Staff


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    Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church
    921 Madison Avenue (at East 73rd Street)
    New York, NY 10021

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