Every year in May we have an Annual Meeting where our pastors update everyone of the life of their congregation. See below for this year’s update from Senior Pastor of Resurrection Park Slope, Chris Brown.
Unofficial summer greetings! Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, summer is upon us. Vacations are beginning, kids are off to summer camp and even when you’re stuck in the city there’s a lot of fun to be had. And this is as it should be. God intends for us to incorporate seasons of rest into our otherwise busy and frantic lives. Not only did God rest after 6 days of creation, he gave us bodies that cannot function without sleep, called us to a day of rest every week and established seasons for replenishment and rest for the earth. Why would God establish such inefficiency? So that we might better understand God’s bountiful grace.
In the creation story, God made all things and called them good before making Adam and Eve. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit didn’t need us or respond to anything we had done, but welcomed us into fellowship and flourishing as an outpouring of divine love. In the Exodus story, God rescued the Israelites out of slavery and brought them into a land flowing with milk and honey—despite their grumbling and disobedience—because God loved them. These stories anticipate Jesus, who came as a gift and through whom we receive salvation through no effort of our own. We can rest, both spiritually and physically, because God has given us everything in Jesus. This is what Paul reminds us in his letter to the church in Ephesus, an industrious and busy commercial center in the first century.
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”
So let me encourage you to take some time out of your busy schedule and relax this summer. This isn’t an act of self-indulgence. It’s good Christian practice because it embodies trust in God’s goodness and grace to us in Jesus.
The work of Resurrection Brooklyn’s Mercy Team often goes unnoticed because a lot of their tasks are behind-the-scenes or confidential. But if you didn’t know, our Mercy Team works nonstop to help meet the material and spiritual needs of struggling individuals within our communities. This could mean anything from helping someone find a new job to covering airfare costs when there’s been a death in the family.
Most importantly, the Mercy Team tries to go beyond simply meeting individual needs and instead seeks to build authentic holistic relationships with people who are in need in hopes of helping them achieve long term freedom and solutions. In the past year our Mercy Team has prayed consistently for all our churches while trying to use their resources to fulfill God’s call to serve those that are poor or in need. They have helped others find housing, create budgets, find transportation, or connect more deeply with their church.
Since September, 14 parishioners from the five Resurrection Brooklyn congregations have been meeting Monday nights to explore the fullness of the Gospel and its implications for all parts of life. We started the year by considering how the Gospel renews individuals. Then we looked at how it renews friendships and communities. We’re finishing the year by examining how it renews our work and culture at large. While a hallmark of the program is intentional study (the diverse reading list includes 14 books and numerous articles), it is not the main activity.
Thanks to all those who participated in our annual Heart for Art benefit sale. We raised $3,020.50 for our Ethiopia missions fund and our Resurrection Adoption fund.