03/31/2021: On Proclamation & the Arts

Dear LAC,
During Advent, we talked a little bit about the arts in worship as a type of proclamation as we prepared for this year’s Dancing Magnificat, and as we look forward to another arts-based service for Good Friday, it seems like a good time for a recap:
In our Reformed tradition, proclamation (κήρυγμα / kerygma) is the heart of our worship. We believe that there is something transformative that happens when we gather as a community and read scripture together. The Holy Spirit is at work within us and within the Word of God to lead us to understanding, wisdom, and insight. This act of communal engagement, transformation, and illumination of God’s Word is called proclamation. We are familiar with proclamation happening during the sermon; however, we also experience these moments of transcendence during other parts of worship–from choral anthems that help us to hear God’s Word in a new way to stories of how our mission partners are living out the gospel during the moment for mission.
This Good Friday, we will hear the story of Jesus’s arrest, trial, crucifixion, and death as told in John 18-19. We’ll pause along the way to meditate and reflect with art and music. Our proclamation comes in that space of reflection, where sacred storytelling, art, and the haunting refrain from “O Sacred Head Now Wounded,” are woven together by the Spirit and transformed into something greater than the sum of its components.
Jesus is nailed to the cross / And on the strangest sea
A wife weeps while hugging her husband in his final moments in a COVID-19 unit at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton, California.
Our art comes from Mary Button’s (the vicar of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Kingston, NY) exhibit Stations of the Cross: Pandemic Hope. Vicar Button juxtaposes traditional stations of the cross with hand-drawn illustrations of hope, resiliency, and relationship as witnessed in news stories covering the COVID-19 pandemic. Each scene is paired with a stanza of Emily Dickinson’s “Hope is the thing with feathers.” Through these multi-media collages, the cosmic story of death and resurrection, of suffering and compassion, is reflected through our shared experience of the past year. In a virtual service, Vicar Button shared:
“My interest in the stations of the cross began when I was in graduate school, exploring the connections between art and the devotional lives of Christians everywhere. I created my first series in 2010, and have created eight more in the ensuing years, each engaging with contemporary social justice issues and bringing those stories into the story of the passion.
What our holy scripture teaches us is that God is with us in our suffering, and the goal of these projects is for us to see Jesus’s suffering in the suffering of those around us. When we can see God in one another and be present in each other’s pain, we can change the world.”
To learn more, or purchase a digital download of the art and accompanying prayer prompts (a portion of all proceeds will go to RIP Medical Debt–$40,000 of medical debt has been forgiven from Pandemic Hope downloads thus far!) please visit Vicar Button’s website, https://www.marybutton.com.
Beloved, it was an honor and a privilege to work on this service. I must confess to feeling somewhat numb and weary as we have passed the one-year mark of online worship, but something broke open in my heart while editing, and I felt a deep sense of both grief and hope. I hope this Good Friday worship experience will be meaningful for you, and will leave you feeling ready to change the world. You may download a bulletin here [LINK] and join us for the livestream at noon on Friday via Facebook and via our website.
With Grace and Peace,
Marranda Major
Church Secretary, Communication Coordinator, and Video Editrix

03/17/2021: Holy Week at LAC


Dear LAC,
Many of you have been writing in and calling the office to ask about Holy Week!
Here is the game-plan for our online worship together:
  • Palm Sunday (3/28) will be a regular Sunday morning (10 AM) worship service, led by Rev. Jed Koball. We invite you to have a palm frond or hard house-plant ready to wave while we shout “Hosanna!” and sing “All Glory, Laud, and Honor.” (Read more below about a special opportunity to submit your Palm Sunday Greetings!)
  • Maundy Thursday (4/1) will be led by our Hudson River Presbytery leaders and will be streamed Live on Facebook (and not LAC’s website) at 6:30 p.m.
  • On Good Friday (4/2), we will share in a midday service with special music and space to meditate on scripture at 12:00 p.m.
  • For early risers, our ecumenical partners will gather for an in-person sunrise service on Easter morning. Details regarding time and location are still being confirmed, but watch out for an update in Church Notes.
  • Finally, LAC will hold one service on Easter (4/4) morning at 10:00 a.m. Rev. Jed Koball will preach and Rev. Daniel Yang will preside over Communion–so save a hot cross bun (or special Easter treat of choice) to celebrate with the Sacrament with us virtually!
With Grace and Peace,
Your LAC Worship Team

Share Video Greetings for Palm Sunday & Easter!

For Palm Sunday, rustle up some houseplants (paint your hands green) and shout, “Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord! HOSANNA!” and submit your clip by Wednesday, March 24.
For Easter, greet your LAC family by saying “Hallelujah! Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!”
Please submit your recordings by Wednesday, March 31.

Call Crafters & Creators of All Ages!

As we move through this Lenten season and anticipate Easter, we invite you all to join the Sunday School classes this year as they are in the midst of ‘hiding the alleluias.’ We are inviting you to show off your artistic flair and color in the Alleluia design. We will be ‘hiding’ them as we await Easter when they can be revealed during Easter worship along with our celebration of the risen Lord! Please color and send in your art to LACoffice@lacny.org by Monday, March 29th.