“The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, ‘When you act as midwives to the Hebrew women...if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, she shall live.’ But the midwives feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but they let the boys live” (Exodus 1:15-17).
Quotes of the day:
“What excites you about following Jesus?”
-- Sunday’s question of the day for small groups
“Our God does not stand for our smallness. Our God does not stand for petty human boundaries, hateful racism, and simple white supremacy. Our God is calling us and inviting us and compelling us and insisting that we come to know him, and knowing him we will act in solidarity with the poor, the oppressed, the enslaved, and the exiled.”
-- Dana Cassell, pastor of Peace Covenant Church of the Brethren in Durham, N.C., preaching the Sunday morning sermon for NYC. Her text was the story of the midwives Shiphrah and Puah from Exodus 1.
“What does it mean to love at all costs? What does it mean to be a neighbor? ... There’s inequality all around us. We have to pay attention to it because we live in a world where we will never know about it if we choose not to. So, we have this opportunity to listen up, to expand the way we see the world, to allow other people to inform our stories.”
-- Christena Cleveland, a social psychologist and associate professor at Duke University’s Divinity School, speaking for the Sunday evening service. She preached on Jesus healing Jairus’s daughter and the woman who touched his cloak, in Mark 5:21-43.
“Give us the courage not to be afraid whenever God offers us a Good Samaritan moment.”
-- David Steele, general secretary of the Church of the Brethren, in a moment of prayer after he shared the parable of the Good Samaritan in evening worship.
By the numbers:
1,763 people registered for NYC including 1,170 youth and 466 adult advisors from 22 of the 24 districts in the Church of the Brethren and from 5 countries including the US, and 127 staff including volunteers and church workers from across the denomination. Attendees come from 29 states and 5 countries.
154 people checked in for the early morning 5K run/walk around the Colorado State University campus. The top finishers and their times: male youth Luke Sheppard of Hershey, Pa., 18:47; female youth Laura Phillips of Roanoke, Va., 23:03; female advisor Esther Harsh of Salem, Ohio, 28:53; male advisor Mark Murchie of Windber, Pa., 18:39.
$175.50 received in monetary donations for the ministry of Midwives for Haiti. This was in addition to the donations of t-shirts to be made into diapers for use by the organization in Haiti. NYCers are sewing the t-shirts into diapers as one of the service projects this week.
$1,723.50 received in monetary donations for the collection of Clean-Up Buckets for distribution by Church World Service (CWS) following disasters. This is in addition to the donations of items to be included in the buckets, and additional materials brought by Brethren Disaster Ministries which is sponsoring this NYC offering. Assembling the Clean-Up Buckets is one of the NYC service projects.
And who is my neighbor?
David Steele, general secretary of the Church of the Brethren, shared a conversation with A. Mack, a visiting personification of Alexander Mack Senior who conducted the first Brethren baptism more than 300 years ago and is considered the founder of the Brethren movement. Steele had just read the scripture often known as “The Parable of the Good Samaritan” for the Sunday evening worship.
“And who is my neighbor?” Steele asked. A. Mack responded, “Action answers the question.”
The two recounted the story of Brethren Disaster Ministries, beginning with the first disaster response of the Church of the Brethren during the Armenian genocide some 200 years ago, and including video of the floods just a couple of years ago in the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies. Part of the Brethren response to the Colorado floods included the donation of Clean-Up Buckets to Church World Service (CWS).
At this NYC, in an initiative sponsored by Brethren Disaster Ministries, youth and advisors donated materials and cash to a bucket offering. The donated items will be assembled with additional materials provided by Brethren Disaster Ministries to make Clean-Up Buckets for use by CWS. The assembly is one of the afternoon service projects on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
Overheard at the ‘Super Hero’ 5K
“I’m a cross country runner. I had to miss a 5K to travel here so this is my race.”
-- Hannah from Ohio
“My mom always says I’m Batman.”
-- Tara from Pennsylvania, on why she chose her super hero costume
“I woke up when my alarm went off and said, ‘Oh my gosh!’”
-- Trevor from Iowa, on why he made it just in time for the start
“Um.” (A shake of a head and a laugh.)
-- Josiah from Pennsylvania when asked why he was up this early
“You don’t want to lurch your arms up like this.”
-- Advice from advisor to youth on running technique
“That was the first 5K where I ever got lost.”
-- Unidentified participant
A moment for witness
The Office of Peacebuilding and Policy is sponsoring several moments for witness and peace action during NYC. Sunday’s focused on Nigeria. NYCers were given an opportunity to sign a banner for Ekklesiyar Yau’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) as they walked into evening worship. The banner will be sent on to congregations around the denomination this summer for others to sign. Nate Hosler, director of the Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, will present the banner to EYN president Joel Billi this fall.
The NYC 2018 Press Team includes Laura Brown, Allie Dulabaum, Mary Dulabaum, Nevin Dulabaum, Eddie Edmonds, Russ Otto, Frank Ramirez, Alane Riegel, Glenn Riegel, and Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren.
Youth lead in worship at NYC. Photo by Nevin Dulabaum
Giant Jenga at the Sunday afternoon Brethren Block Party. Photo by Laura Brown