I’m putting my thoughts together for our 2023 Annual Report and find that we are truly living into our Vision: The Park Church works for social justice with a progressive pulpit and a caring congregation in a landmark structure. We are an active and hopeful partner in Elmira’s renaissance. Thanks to the mindful action of so many of you – it’s working!
I see it every Sunday morning as I witness you going out of your way to greet new faces and engage them in conversation. At a time when churches around us are closing, we are growing. There is a pride of ownership for our facility that has blossomed this year reflecting our optimism about the future. Both inside and outside, building improvements are noticeable and our security is improved.
In a time when Christian Nationalism is rampant, and so many folks have thrown the baby out with the bath water, we talk about Reverend Beecher’s “Practical Christianity” –- that is being a 24/7 presence for justice in Elmira and using gifts that were given us by previous members to invest in new ideas of service for our city’s population. I am happy to see so many of you coming together to find ways your time and talents can create something new.
And one area of joyful growth is in our musical offerings – thanks to the leadership of Charlotte Cook and Linda Couchon and the myriad instrumentalists and soloists who have offered their talents. Music is a legacy of Park Church history, and to hear its continuance and refinement sometimes brings me to tears - of joy!
“We are a justice seeking people, and we are singing, singing for our lives......”
These are difficult times we live in, but rather than retreat in fear or indifference, I choose to circle up with you, my friends, and keep walking. We can choose to act like the American bison – who walk face-first into the oncoming snowstorm, knowing that if they stay together, they will eventually come out the other side.
Stay warm, stay connected, and stay joyful. Yours, Jenny
This is your formal invitation to participate in the Annual Meeting of the membership of The Park Church on Sunday, January 28, 2024 at 11:15 AM in Beecher Hall. Business will include congregational approval of the 2024 budget and discussion of 2024 goals.