September 19, 2021
Rendall Memorial Presbyterian Church is a small-in-numbers yet large-in-mission, Christ-centered, aging, progressive congregation in central (Black) Harlem. Its mission is to serve those in the community through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Evangelism happens at Rendall as a “by-product” of intentional, gospel-focused ministry that is relational, personal, spiritual and missional.
Since 2016, in partnership with the Department of Homeless Services of the City of New York, the church has hosted those who are without homes 365 nights a year from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. with hot meals (breakfast and dinner), hot showers, clean beds, toiletries, small items of clothing and — vitally important — the safety needed to sleep in peace. Two other churches in the New York City Presbytery have since followed this model pioneered at Rendall. Rendall’s ministries to those in need attract younger adults to join the congregation.
Often in today’s world, millennials and Gen Xers question the “sound” of the trumpet call of the Christian church. Younger adults have joined Rendall teaming up with the session (which includes two millennial elders), deacons (currently all millennials), baby boomers and the greatest generation in joyful, intergenerational worship, biweekly Bible study (one taught by the baby boomer pastor and the other taught by a millennial), weekly prayer meeting (led by the greatest generation) and mission (administered by boomers and executed by millennials). Those who join believe Rendall is not simply talking about Jesus but being about Jesus. In Rendall’s compassionate service to the poorest of the poor, they trust the sound of the gospel.
The Rev. Flora Wilson Bridges, Ph.D., Pastor of Rendall Memorial Presbyterian Church
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, September 19, 2021, the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)
Today’s Focus: Evangelism Sunday
Let us join in prayer for:
Let us pray
Dear God, let us not copy the behavior and customs of this world, but transform us into a new people by changing the way that we think. May we repurpose our lives and act accordingly. Amen.