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For those who identify on the  LGBTQIA+ spectrum, June is a month of celebration and affirmation. On a June night in 1969, there was an uprising at the Stonewall Inn—a gay bar in the West Village. Police regularly raided such bars and hangouts, and routinely arrested people. But on that night, patrons fought back. It is seen as the “Lexington/Concord” of the Gay rights movement. The event that sparked the movement of the past 50 years, in which rights have been increased and protected, visibility and awareness have amplified, and even marriage rights have been extended to include members of this community.

While the  ELCA passed resolutions in 2009 that moved our church closer to fuller inclusion of its LGBTQIA+ community, our synod was ahead of this milestone. In 2000, the Metro New York Synod voted to become a  Reconciling in Christ (RIC) synod. Individual congregations have also elected to take on this label. To be RIC means to be public about the welcome we extend to all people.

Some may ask: Why do we have to extend a special welcome to anyone? Everyone is welcome, right? But I would ask you to keep in mind that many who grew up identifying on the spectrum have only heard rejection from Christian faith communities, even Lutheran churches.  To make such a profound change in our understanding and practice of the radical welcome that God extends to all people requires that we make it public, that we shout it out, that we go tell it on a mountain, that we not keep silent.

We are now coming up on our 20th anniversary of being a RIC Synod. The LGBTQIA+ community is preparing to celebrate Stonewall 50 this year. The ELCA is marking ten years since the resolutions of 2009. All these milestones and the growing diversity within this community are calling us to renew conversations around identity, personhood, gender, and love; and their role in our witness, faith, practice, justice work, and welcoming mission. Back in 2000, our commission to implement our RIC practice was named the Commission for Gay and Lesbian People, but now there are a lot more letters that are used to identify members of this community. Key: L-Lesbian, G -Gay, B-Bisexual, T-Transgender, Q-Queer or Questioning, I-Intersex, A-Asexual, + for anyone not connecting fully with one of those labels.

Together we are the body of Christ (I Cor. 12). We worship together, we walk together, we serve together, we struggle together, we witness the Spirit-at-work together, we are church together. I invite and encourage you to listen with new ears and an open heart to the stories of your siblings in Christ who live their faith in a different context, facing different struggles and embracing different joys. For, in encompassing Christ’s love you may just find we all have more in common than other labels often suggest.

The Rev. Mark Erson, Chair of the MNYS Commission for LGBTQIA+ People
JUNE 23 AND 30
As part of the celebration, MNYS will be hosting a Mass for PRIDE to start Pride Week: Sunday, June 23 at 5:00 pm at St. John’s, Manhattan. The Rev. Kevin Strickland, Assistant to the Presiding Bishop, will preach, and The Rev. Amanda Nelson, Executive Director of ELM, will preside. A reception will follow to provide a time for fellowship.

In addition, Theatre at St. John’s invites you to make a night of it and continue this welcoming celebration in the West Village. At 8 pm, settle in as the curtain rises on GALAS, this year’s Pride month offering. Click here for more information.

Remember that the Pride March is on Sunday, June 30 this year. More details regarding the MYNS marching unit and float to follow.  
Sunday, Jun 2 | 11 am

All are welcome to join Trinity Lutheran Church, LIC/Astoria , at the Queens PRIDE Parade & Festival 2019.

Dear Beloved in Christ,
As most of you are well aware, many states have passed or are considering legislation to restrict access to legal abortion. Talking about abortion has never been easy in this country, and the same holds true in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The members of this church have divergent beliefs and opinions about whether or not abortion should be legal.
No matter what your views on abortion are, as a church we are made up of members who have had abortions and members who have chosen not to. Among us are pastors, deacons, and others who have counseled with women, girls, and others they love. We are friends, loved ones, and relatives of people who have had to decide whether or not to get an abortion. We are all affected by the divisive discourse and the legal changes.

I commend you to study and discuss the ELCA social statement Abortion. Through this social teaching and policy statement, this church seeks to travel a moderating path by supporting abortion as a last resort.
Amid the legislative challenges to access to abortion, we must remember that this church supports ongoing access to legal abortion as well as access to abortion services and reproductive health care that is not restricted by economic factors.
I urge each of us to read, to study, to listen, to discern, and to discuss as church together. See the full statement here .
God’s peace,
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
ELCA Presiding Bishop
Hosted by The Christ Center at Transfiguration and Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church
155 E. 22nd St. (between Lexington and 3rd Avenue)
June 18, 7:00 pm

A live performance of a 40-member youth choir from North Carolina offering a “game-show” style parody with songs about faith. For more information, click here.
The Interchurch Center, Manhattan
Jul 24 - Jul 26, 2019

For clergy refreshment (Wednesday through Friday) and leader empowerment (Thursday & Friday). More information coming soon.
The Sower's Project of the MNYS is currently accepting applications  The Sower’s Project is a synod-wide initiative to seed grassroots ministries in our communities, and encourage them to grow and thrive. We encourage anyone in the synod, lay or rostered, to propose a ministry idea or project that helps share the Good News of God’s love with groups of people not currently served by the Church and creates opportunities for those folks to connect to or form Christian communities. 
Improve Your Building 
The  Congregational   Capital   Improvement Challenge   Grants  are intended to assist congregations seeking to improve their property in order to improve and provide for Word and Sacrament ministry in our synod. Approved grant applications provide up to $2 for every $1 raised by congregations for capital improvements.

Submitting Your Application
Applications must be received in the office no later than  Monday, June 3, 5 pm You may submit up to three projects. All first projects will be given first consideration. Once your grant application has been received you will receive an email confirming receipt.
Grace Lutheran Church, Forest Hills
Sunday, June 2 | 4:00 pm

Time to pause and take a breath. Local musicians guide a time of prayer, poetry, readings, and reflection—Jazz is the medium and the community is the vibe. Refreshments and time for conversation will follow. Free-will offering supports the music. For more information about this event, click here.
Oceanside Lutheran Church, Oceanside
Wednesday, June 5  |  10:30 am

Writer Kendall Vanderslice will conduct a workshop on dinner church that will include teachings about the history, theology, and practice of dinner church, as well as interactive workshops for thinking about how eating together and God's word go hand in hand. For more information, click here. For tickets, click here.
Misión Luterana de Ascensión (Salón Social), Deer Park
Sábado, 8 de junio 9:00 am

¿Te has preguntado alguna vez de dónde vienes y a dónde vas? ¿Sabias que el Ángel del Señor le hizo esta pregunta a Agar? Esto y mucho más podrás descubrir al escuchar la poderosa historia de "Agar y el Dios que no nos abandona". Este desayuno y almuerzo está dedicado especialmente a mujeres, con la participación de la Dra. Rvda. Maritza Cruz-Ortiz y el Grupo de Mujeres de la Misión Latina de Ascensión. Para mayor información, clic aquí.
Our Saviour’s Atonement Lutheran Church, Manhattan
Saturday, June 8
Gala reception 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Creations Art Show invites you to this special showing: The Spirit Moves Through It; permanence and impermanence; self-worth and its lack. Rakoczy's original works are made of discarded plastic, woven on a large loom and then fused together by the heat of an iron. For more information, click here.
Augsburg University, Minneapolis
June 23 - 28 

Augsburg Youth Theology Institute (AYTI)  is a program for high school youth who exhibit leadership skills in various areas of their lives. This year's theme is  Stewarding Creation in our Neighborhoods: Science and Theology in Action . For information, click  here.
Advent Lutheran Church, Manhattan
Saturday, June 29
9:00 am - 2:00 pm

Pinecrest Student Council is hosting a blood donation drive and you are all welcome to join and make a difference in someone else's life. The Lutheran Leadership Ministry is offering this great opportunity to help others in need by donating your blood. There will be free snacks! For more information, click here.

PART-TIME ORGANIST/CHOIR DIRECTOR: Croton-on-Hudson—more information here
SENIOR COMMUNITY PASTOR: Mt. Vernon—more information here
CONTEMPORARY MUSIC DIRECTOR: East Northport—more information here

––––– CALENDAR –––––
TODAY! JUNE 1 : Diakonia Graduation—more information  here.
JUNE 3 : Worship Committee Meeting—more information  here.
JUNE 3 : FMC Meeting—more information  here.
JUNE 11 : Conference of Deans Meeting—more information  here.

• The family and friend of The Rev. William Bogholtz , who died in Christ on Monday, May 27
• And in thanksgiving for the Ministry of Bishop Donald J. McCoid
MNYS Bishop-Elect Paul Egensteiner, and his congregation in Pleasantville, NY
• Our work toward shaping a more inclusive church that welcomes and affirms all of God's people, specifically our  LGBTQIA+  brothers, sisters, and siblings 
• The asylum seekers who are waiting to be processed at our southern border
 Refugees and immigrants, and those who come to their aid
 Those affected by violence in their schools, workplaces, and homes 
 The unity of this church and its mission
 Peace in our world
 Peace in our nation
 The care of God's Creation 
 ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission, Jenna Leazott and Leah Moat, serving in Mexico
ELCA missionaries The Rev. Viking and Marissa Dietrich, regional representatives, and The Rev. Dr. Robert and Kathryn Moore, Director, ELCA Wittenberg Center, serving in Germany
MNYS missionary Melanie Nelson, and her husband David Kingery, serving in Bukoba, Tanzania
  Bishop Dr. Abednego Nkamuhabwa Keshomshahara, the staff, and the people of our partner organization, the  North Western Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania
  Bishop Dr. Samuel R. Zeiser, the staff, and the people of the The Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod