Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
Just as Hurricane Katrina revealed the unjust inequalities in the Gulf Coast, the COVID-19 pandemic is revealing nationwide the inequalities amongst our people. In our neighborhood, we have been made aware of the educational inequalities with children asked to engage in distance learning who don't have access to technology or supplies and books at home - some of the things we take for granted.
Educational inequality is just one of the results of income inequality - food insecurity is another result that we are seeing an increase in over these past few weeks. Our partners at Masbia have been able to keep the doors open of their food pantry - no hot meals are currently being made and served - but they find themselves short of volunteers and supplies. We have also been made aware that the food pantry at Holy Innocents Church on East 17th and Beverly has also restarted in April and they too are in desperate need of volunteers
We understand that not everyone feels comfortable during this time going out and volunteering. However, if you are, there are opportunities to do so. Both places are practicing social distancing and requiring PPEs. If you would like to volunteer at Masbia, please email us. If you would like to volunteer at Holy Innocents, please sign up directly with them:
If you are not able to volunteer, but would like to help out by donating money or sponsoring a student, there is great need. PS 15 and 676 still has some students who need to be sponsored - if you would like to sponsor a student, please email us here. If you are able to donate money to help buy food and groceries for local Kensington families in need, please do so through "People in Need" which was started by the PA co-president of PS 217 on Newkirk Ave:
You are always welcome to donate money to our discretionary account which is used to help pay rent and bills for people in need. You can donate to our:
Reflecting on this time:
In order to work towards God's beloved community where we can support each other - support our neighbors and help create a more equal society, we need to begin a conversation. We did just that this past Thursday with Colleen & John Wessel-McCoy - and we'd like to continue this conversation and see where it takes us. sharing our abundance is the first step - we'd like to figure out what the next steps are. We will be facilitating weekly discussions with theological reflections on responding to inequality in our time on Thursdays at 4pm. If you would like to join us, please email us here. Please feel free to invite friends.
We are so grateful for our Holy Apostles community and how we have come together during this time. We know that a lot is being asked of us now - emotionally, spiritually, physically and financially. We wanted to share with you a reflection from John Dufour, Holy Apostles parishioner, dad to Elizabeth, husband to Stina, Sunday School teacher and PS 139 social worker:
Attempting to work remotely while also parenting a toddler full-time has been exhausting to say the least. There have been plenty of moments where I want to default to total isolation, bunkering down with just our family and just riding this out without considering anyone else. In the moment it feels simpler, less to manage, one fewer responsibility I have to handle. However the times where our family has decided to push into the lives of others remotely, whether it's a Zoom call to check in on friends, or donating to a neighborhood organization in need, has brought a renewal to our hearts and souls. I'm reminded of Isaiah 58:6-12, where the writer beautifully captures that when we seek the justice of our neighbors, we encounter the fullness of God in powerful ways. Through generous giving and seeking justice for our neighbors, we will be satisfied and strengthened. Being privileged to have maintained our jobs and pay during this time presents the call to surrender what has been entrusted to us so that others can be lifted up and cared for as well.
Friends, let us use our privilege for the greater good of our neighbors, living out God's call to us.
In peace with love,