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TOUCHPOINT The Marble Magazine One West 29th Street, New York, NY 10001-4596 212-686-2770 MarbleChurch.org


Shifting Gears

I taught both of my children to drive a stick shift What’s the hurry? in the desert of Oman. It was quite an experience! Why wear yourself There is an art to letting out the clutch while giving out? Just what are you after anyway?” it gas. If you get it wrong, the vehicle either conks (2:25). Apparently, out or bucks like a bronco. Unfortunately, I didn’t a part of the human make it easy for either of them. For my daughter, condition is trying to I accidentally had it in third gear, which makes it go faster when we next to impossible to get going. And for my son, I forgot that I had the parking brake on. Despite this, don’t always know both children learned to successfully get the vehicle where we’re going. Dr. Michael Bos moving in first gear. There is a need to create space in our lives to consider where we are and where Here’s an interesting observagoing. As Brenè Brown says, we tion about this process. Once “There is a need we’re need stillness in our lives. She says that they got the hang of this, they wanted to go faster and shift to to create space in “Stillness is not about focusing on noththe next gear, and then faster our lives to ingness; it’s about creating a clearing. opening up an emotionally clutteryet to shift to another gear. They consider where It’s free space and allowing ourselves to quickly went from the difficulty we are and where feel and think and dream and question.” of getting the vehicle going to the danger of going too fast! we’re going.” My prayer for us all is that this summer we get a chance to slow down and There is a life lesson in this. create a clearing in our lives. We need to We are all prone to keep shifting gears so that we can go faster and accomplish stop and ask God, “Just what am I after anyway?” We need to take time to consider what’s most more in life. It’s almost as if we believe that slowing down is a sign of weakness, and so we consign important in our lives, and to discern what we can let go of and what needs to be a part of our lives. ourselves to living overscheduled and stressed lives. It appears this is not a new issue. Over twentyfive hundred years ago, we learn in scripture that Jeremiah said, “Slow down. Take a deep breath.



Another Option

Rev. Brittany Juliette Hanlin


Balancing God’s Rhythm with the Music Rev. Susanah Wade



Dr. Kenneth Ruge

Rev. Anthony Livolsi

Go Beyond Yourself

Prayer 101

#WEWO: WEDNESDAY WORSHIP 6:15PM Every Week, except July 3


Marble Matters

A Word from Our Executive Minister

LOOK AT THE BIRDS By Rev. J. Elise Brown, Ph.D. The family who lives in the apartment above mine Day after day. Up and down. In and out of the nest. and one over has a bird’s nest in their air conditioning So industrious, these birds! I wonder what Jesus meant vent. A pair of birds moved into the vent when the apart- when he said in Matthew 6:26, “Look at the birds of the ment was vacant for an extended period last year. It air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and didn’t take long after the family had moved in for them yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much to realize another family was already living in the space more valuable than they?” To me, these birds are sow– a family of birds in a nest in the air conditioning vent! ing, reaping and storing up! Maybe not in a barn, but certainly in a nest where little lives Unlike most New Yorkers are who would have immedi“…God’s grace comes growing. ately worked to get the nest Sometimes as I watch these and reminds me of the hard-working removed, this family decided birds, the panel of wonderful feeling of work judges in my own head speaks up to leave it alone. “We’re not even asking them to pay well done and the and says, “See. That’s what real rent!” the father said to me work looks like!” But then the wonderful gift of rest hard one day in the elevator as grace of God pours in and releases and restoration.” that panel of judges in my head we talked about the nest. His small son grinned from ear to from their self-appointed duty. ear to hear his dad talk about letting the birds stay. God’s grace comes and reminds me of the wonderful I am very aware of the activity of these birds because feeling of work well done and also the wonderful gift of rest and restoration. Summer gives us this opportunity – they alight on my terrace wall as they go in and out of to slow down, enjoy some rest and bask in moments of the nest nestled away in this protective vent. I watch sheer relaxation. I pray each of you finds such time them. Day after day. They work so hard. Their routine is this summer. like clockwork. We have wonderful Sundays planned at Marble this After strong winds, they bring sticks and pieces of summer, and I hope you will join us as much as you can straw up and I imagine they are making repairs to the through July and August. Please check out our Summer nest. Sometimes it’s a scrap of cloth. Sometimes it’s a Spirituality Series at 10:00am each Sunday with a diversmall tumbleweed they found somewhere along the sity of classes taught by an incredible group of teachers. Hudson River. Early in the morning and at dusk they (See page 3 for details. Also, see the update on the bring food. Sometimes a worm dangling from a beak. Ten O’Clock Hour below.) Other times squiggly things I don’t recognize.

Rev. J. Elise Brown, Ph.D. Executive Minister

Ten O’Clock Hour Update

We bid a fond farewell to Barbara Crafton on June 16 as she and her husband Q move to Boulder, Colorado where they will live near their daughter and family. However, the Sunday morning Ten O’Clock Hour will continue! We have put together a wonderful diversity of class offerings led by a strong group of spiritual teachers, scholars and faith leaders. We do not plan

Staff for this Issue EDITOR:

Karla Fritsch PHOTOS:

Dave Cross Jay Johnson Christina Morano Keiser Siobhan Tull GRAPHIC DESIGN:

Beth Player-DiCicco

to have the class led by one teacher as has been the tradition at Marble for many years. The new model will enable us to bring in various teachers and offer a variety of classes including Bible study, topical studies, theological studies and much more. Please watch for the listing of classes. And don’t miss Sister Carol Perry as she kicks off our Summer Spirituality Series on July 7 and 14!

AUGUST 2019 SUNDAY WORSHIP, 11AM Dr. Michael Bos Senior Minister, preaching



Living Beyond the Daily Living Beyond the Daily Grind: Slowing Down Grind: Looking Up AUGUST 11


Living Beyond the Daily Living Beyond the Daily Grind: Ramping Up Grind: Looking Around


Doors and Windows Sister Carol Perry


Marble Matters

An Update on Prayer Circle

We bid a fond farewell to Gregory Johnson on May 26 as he pursues his family caregiving ministry on an international scale through EmblemHealth. Greg was part of the leadership of Prayer Circle for 18 years and we are so grateful for the incredible heart and soul he poured into this ministry. The Good News is Prayer Circle will continue! This is one of the longest standing traditions at Marble and we are delighted to keep it going with our

Summer Spirituality Series

Sundays, July 7– September 1 | 10:00am Explore a variety of topics to help enrich your spiritual life. Join us in the Labyrinth Room (1 W. 29th St, downstairs) or live stream at MarbleChurch.org. July 7 & 14 — Sister Carol Perry Hidden Challenges. Some of the best Bible stories are found between the lines as we fill in the background bits. What might we glean from the patriarch who never was or the brothers who could not forget? Or what about the marginal women Jesus delighted in putting in the spotlight? They still speak to us today with words of challenge! July 21 — Rev. Sam Clover Communion: A Table of Many Meanings. From the night The Lord’s Supper was instituted by Jesus, his followers have grappled with its meaning. Over the centuries, various interpretations have both united and divided the church. Did Jesus really mean the bread and wine were his body and blood? Is anyone welcome to the table, or just some? Of all the gifts Jesus could have given his disciples (and us), why a mysterious meal? We’ll take a sweeping look at the development of the sacrament from its earliest days through the Reformation and beyond. And we’ll ask, what does this meal mean for us today? July 28 — Rev. Laurie J. Ferguson Staying out of Elijah’s Cave: A Hopeful and Resilient Spiritual Path. The story of Elijah in the wilderness gives us a lens to examine our personal times of loss or despair. This class will offer practices and habits that can create a path out of that place. Using the study of neurobiology and the deep wisdom of spiritual teachers, we will discuss ways to sustain and deepen our spiritual and emotional resilience so we are able to be hopeful in challenging times. August 4 & 11 — Dr. Michael Bos A Play-Full Life: Slowing Down and Seeking Peace. Often we think we find meaning by doing

existing clergy and deacons. Prayer Circle happens at 10:00am each week in the Chapel on the lower level of the church building. Holy Communion is offered at each service. Prayer Circle is an open circle! It is open to anyone who wants to join in a 40 minute time of prayer for ourselves, our congregation and prayer requests that come into Marble from around the world. Newcomers are always welcome. Please join us!

more and accomplishing more, but we can become so busy we rush past the most important things in life. Together we’ll explore how to become more play-full and create space to experience God. For those who want to dig deeper, you can read the book A Play-Full Life by Jaco Hamman. August 18 — Dr. Kenneth Ruge Prayer: Knocking at God’s Door. Prayer is a way we connect with God and deepen the conversation with Him. We will explore what Jesus said about prayer and look at several ways of praying that will be useful to your spiritual flourishing. August 25 — Rev. Anthony Livolsi Caring for the Creation. Climate change is the existential and moral crisis of our time. The Bible, and the Christian tradition more broadly, has much to say about how people of faith might live as responsible stewards of the natural world. Come learn, pray, and be moved to action. September 1 — Nina Frost Meeting the Holy Spirit. Pentecost Sunday is thought of as the birthday of the church, when the Holy Spirit – the very presence of God – came into the church and gave it life. How are we meant to engage this mysterious aspect of the Trinity throughout the year? What does the Holy Spirit stand for, and what does it say to us today? This class covers not just historical and Biblical aspects, but the ongoing and lively challenge—and personal invitations—of this aspect of God. Come listen for how this spirit may be calling you.

Prayer Circle

Every Sunday | 10:00am This informal gathering centers on a time of prayer, scripture reading, hymn singing and Holy Communion. The Circle is always open — All are welcome! Meets in the Chapel (1 W. 29th St, downstairs).


Touchpoint: July / August 2019 STATEN ISLAND YANKEES BASEBALL OUTING Wednesday, July 17 | 7:00-10:00pm Baseball (and hotdog!) lovers of all ages are welcome to join the Marble Family for a fun night out cheering on the Staten Island Yankees. $12 per ticket; must be purchased in advance. Attendees will meet inside the Richmond County Bank Ballpark in Staten Island (located three blocks from the Staten Island Ferry). For more information and to purchase tickets, contact Clay Hale (CHale@MarbleChurch.org). SILENT FILM NIGHT WITH PETER RICHARD CONTE Thursday, July 25 | 7:00-9:00pm Join us for a fun evening of silent films accompanied by live music on Marble’s magnificent pipe organ. Laugh at the zany antics of Buster Keaton’s short, The Haunted House, followed by Charlie Chaplin’s first full-length feature as director, The Kid. Both films will be accompanied by the music of acclaimed organist, Peter Richard Conte, the fourth Wanamaker Grand Court Organist. Mr. Conte is a masterful and enthralling performer, arranger of

WAYS YOU CAN SERVE SING WITH THE SUMMER CHOIR Sing on your available Sundays. Those not currently in one of Marble’s choirs are asked to register in advance with Ken Dake (KDake@MarbleChurch.org) and may be invited to audition. Basic music-reading ability required. Rehearsals: Sundays, 9:15am (276 5th Ave, Rm 201), through August 4.

LIVE WEBCAST SCHEDULE If you can’t be here in person, visit MarbleChurch.org or Facebook. Sundays 10am – Summer Spirituality Series 10:48am – Grace  Notes returns Aug. 11 11am – Worship

Wednesdays 6:15pm – #WEWO: Wednesday Worship TV – Fridays @ 4:30pm, MNN Time Warner Ch. 57 (Manhattan) Sermon Podcasts: Subscribe at MarbleChurch.org.


jaw-dropping organ transcriptions, and a creatively astute silent film accompanist. Tickets: $20; $15 if ordered by July 23. Purchase at MarbleChurch.org or Eventbrite.com. All tickets are subject to Eventbrite fees. Questions? Contact Jen Clover (JClover@ MarbleChurch.org). SUMMER SPIRITUALITY SERIES Sundays, through September 1 | 10:00am Please see page 3 for details. #WEWO: WEDNESDAY WORSHIP Wednesdays | 6:15pm If you find a mid-week spiritual boost helpful or if you prefer a more casual setting, Wednesday Worship could be for you! It blends traditional and contemporary worship styles, taking the best of both. Our ministers offer thoughtful preaching with joyful music by a praise ensemble, all in the relaxed atmosphere of the Marble Loft ( next door, 274 5th Ave.) Bring a friend! Please note, no WeWo on July 3. THE LAST WORD Take a walk with a turtle. And behold the world in pause. — Bruce Feiler

Our on-going opportunities to help others through Ecclesia and Marble Fights Hunger continue during the summer. Contact Tom Schneider (TSchneider@MarbleChurch.org).

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY BUILD DAYS Saturdays, July 20, August 24 & September 21 Help work on a home for a low-income family. No experience necessary. For more information, stop by the Action Table during Coffee Hour or contact Susanah Wade (SWade@MarbleChurch.org) or Tom Schneider (TSchneider@MarbleChurch.org). BACK TO SCHOOL DRIVE Through September 8 To help NYC kids in need, please purchase school supplies as part of our annual “Back to School Drive”! Monetary donations also welcome; make checks payable to Marble Collegiate Church, write “Back to School” in memo and mail to the attention of Tom Schneider or place in offering plate. For more information, visit the Action Table during Coffee Hour.

CYF CORNER MINDFULNESS WORKSHOP In June CYF made glitter bottles to learn about their brains and practice strategies for calming their bodies. Summer beckons all of us to greater mindfulness. We invite our Marble Family to slow down, catch your breath and just BE.

Profile for Touchpoint: The Marble Magazine

Touchpoint Summer 2019  

Touchpoint Summer 2019