These are the words I’ve heard again and again, after announcing my departure from St. Lydia’s.
Over the last eight years, we’ve built something valuable: a space of creativity and generosity where God’s love is both encountered and lived out in ways that are fresh and vibrant.
We’ve also built St. Lydia’s to last. Since the very beginning, I’ve been preparing the congregation for a time beyond my leadership. Together, we’ve built a framework that will allow the congregation to continue to thrive and grow in the future. It is a time of immense opportunity for St. Lydia’s to explore who they are and what God is calling them toward next.
It is also a fragile time: a challenging moment of transition for a young congregation. Since 2008, your consistent support has been the foundation for all we’ve built together. Now, I’m inviting you to carry your support into St. Lydia’s future, with a two-year commitment to the Sturdy Table Campaign. Your gift will offer St. Lydia’s stability and grounding as they navigate a big change.
We’re inviting you to make a two-year pledge to St. Lydia’s, for the 2017 and 2018 year. Please donate today, and write us at firstname.lastname@example.org to inform us of your two-year commitment.
St. Lydia’s is a place where people who haven’t been to church for decades find their way back. It’s a place for poetry readings and intimate concert series in a city where small arts spaces have become very rare. It’s a place where theology is explored and a vision for a just world is proclaimed around the table. Help us keep that table nice and sturdy.
May 2, 2017
Paperless Songleading with Paul Vasile
Spend an afternoon honing your song leading skills with Paul Vasile. First-timers welcome! Bring new or well-loved songs that you’d like to practice; receive gracious and supportive feedback from the group.
Free and open to all.
And you’re welcome to stay for Dinner Church at St. Lydia’s that evening. (Arrive between 5:30-6pm; service begins at 6pm).
Songleading Workshop with Paul Vasile:
Sunday May 28 2:30-4:30pm
St. Lydia’s – 304 Bond St. Brooklyn, NY
St. Lydia’s is wheelchair accessible – we just need a couple minutes to set up the ramp.
Waffle Church: Sticky Faith for Friends and Families
A service that lifts up children’s leadership and participation and invites everyone to get a little messy along the way. Waffle Church is made of songs, stories, construction paper, maple syrup, and the love of Jesus.
The service includes singing, a bible story, craft, and of course, waffles, and lasts about an hour.
Waffle Church takes place every Second Sunday of the month.
This is the week we enact the central story of the Christian faith. These are challenging stories that invite us to re-pattern our lives. All people of all ages are invited to participate in the rich stories and symbols of this week. Parents: do what’s needed to make these services work for you and your child. Kids can come to later services in PJ’s, and you can leave early if needed.
We need your help (from people of all ages!) for set up and clean up! If you’d like to help out, email Julia!
Palm Sunday and Monday Dinner Church
with palms, procession, and footwashing
Sunday April 9, 6pm; Monday April 10, 7pm
304 Bond Street, Brooklyn Once a year we do what Jesus did and kneel to wash one another’s feet. Remember to wear socks, not tights
with song, story, stations
Friday April 14, 7pm
304 Bond Street, Brooklyn
A solemn, service with music and silence, as well as movement and exploration of the themes of the day. A short portion of this service will take place outside; please dress warmly
with fire, water, and feasting
Saturday, April 15, 8pm
Old First Reformed Fellowship Hall: 729 Carroll Street near 7th Ave
A bold celebration of our new life in Christ. You are invited to bring a potted daffodil to decorate the space. This service will begin outside; please dress warmly
*Please note: there will be no Dinner Church on Sunday, April 16 or Monday April 17 . The Easter Vigil is our church for that week!
When he was at the table with them, he took bread,
blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.
Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him…
I am writing to share news with you today that marks a new season in the life of St. Lydia’s. Over the past months, I have been feeling a tug at my heart. It is a tug that I know well: it is God telling me that something is changing, and I am being led in a new direction. After much prayer and discernment, I know that it is time for me to step down from my role as Pastor of St. Lydia’s.
This is a hopeful moment because you, the congregation of St. Lydia’s, are ready to fly. You’re ready to step out into the future that God is calling you toward, discovering more about who you are as a congregation, how you are called to be a place of hope and healing in the world, and who is called to lead you forward in this next, shimmering stage of life.
It’s also a sad moment, because we love one another. Over the past eight years, you have taught me to be a pastor and a preacher. I have been privileged to serve as a shepherd to this community, and I have loved each of you deeply. We’ve made a community together, sitting around the table, sharing the stories of how that mysterious presence we call God does mysterious things in our lives. Those tables are where I learned to tell my own stories, and I was privileged to be asked to hold yours. You are my heart. I will carry you with me wherever I go.
The good news is that we are a people of the resurrection. Each week we tell a story of a God whose life is buried inside death. We trust that in every loss we encounter new life is waiting, ready to spring up.
A Path Forward
There are many questions that I’m sure you have about how things will unfold as St. Lydia’s moves into this next stage. I will depart from St. Lydia’s at the beginning of May. The Leadership Table and I have been working in relationship with the Metropolitan New York Synod (our local denominational body) to create a transition plan. This will involve an “Interim Pastor,” who will come to shepherd the congregation during this time of change. The interim’s job is to help the congregation learn from this in-between time, explore your congregational identity, and navigate the call process for the person who will be your next Pastor!
There will be a lot of change and some uncertainty. However, St. Lydia’s is a strong congregation. Our practices are deeply rooted and our identity is well-formed. As we often sing at St. Lydia’s, “what we need is here.” You have all you need to continue to be a congregation of love and welcome.
Next Steps for You
So what’s next? How do take in this news as a community? Here’s what you can do:
–Come to Church this Sunday or Monday. We’ll be together, and after church we’ll stick around, drink some wine, and just have a chance to chat.
-The Leadership Table will be hosting several Community Chats that will give you a chance to speak with them about this change and share your hopes and concerns. Chats will take place Tuesday, March 7 and Wednesday March 14 at 7:30pm at Building on Bond, and Saturday, March 18 at 2:00pm at St. Lydia’s.
-Save the date for a Community Meeting on Saturday, March 25 from 1-3pm, which will give us an opportunity to talk together about the changes St. Lydia’s is negotiating.
–Keep showing up. Transitions are hard on congregations. Things are changing! Your presence at worship, welcoming new-comers, serving in roles, and just being part of things means more than you might realize. It’s your steadiness, commitment, and consistency that will be the basis for a strong transition for the congregation.
–Remember we’re all human. My departure will mean different things to different people. It might bring up some other losses you’ve experienced, or you might be disappointed or angry. All these feelings are part of this process, and I am experiencing this loss as well. Let’s offer each other grace and forgiveness as we navigate these waters.
What’s Next for Me!
I do not have another position waiting for me after I depart from St. Lydia’s. I am feeling called to spend some time resting and reflecting on the eight-year adventure we’ve been on together. I also have an opportunity to work on a writing project, so I’ll be digging in to some quiet time outside New York City to dedicate myself to that work. A big part of my discernment process is asking how I’m called to be a voice and witness during this moment in our nation’s history. I would like to continue to be involved in community organizing and justice work, and continue to share the story of the God who invites us across borders and boundaries, into relationship with one another, and toward justice-making.
The context isn’t quite clear yet, but I’m sitting with the questions, knowing there is much in store. As my friend Ana said once, “leap and the net will appear.”
Though there will be much to grieve during this time, there is also so much to celebrate. Throughout the founding of St. Lydia’s, we have worked together to ensure this is a congregation that can thrive after the departure of its founder. This, your first pastoral transition as a congregation, will be a unique process. It speaks to our congregation’s maturity and capacity to grow beyond what anyone could have dreamed that first night we gathered for Dinner Church in a friend’s apartment. God has so much in store for St. Lydia’s.
With so much love,
March 7, 2017
AshWednesday, March 1, 7pm
The season of Lent begins with AshWednesday, remembering that we are dust and will return to dust. St. Lydia’s will observe AshWednesday with a simple service of singing, readings, and the imposition of ashes (tracing the sign of the cross on ashes on the forehead) on March 1.
Over the next four years, the progressive Church will need to be scrappy, tenacious, and impossible to get rid of. Like a weed pushing up through the cracks in the sidewalk, we will need to find insistent ways to thrive, rooting ourselves in love when hate has become all too commonplace.
The fact that St. Lydia’s exists is more important now than ever. Our nation needs churches who will be beacons in the coming years. We need to show people what following Jesus looks like. We need places that will welcome extravagantly, lay a table for everyone, work intentionally to connect people across boundaries, and actively resist hate, fear, and discrimination in all its forms.
This work takes place every day at St. Lydia’s, and it only happens with your participation.
Our goal is to raise $20,000 by the end of 2016to allow us to be a place of justice-making every day.
As of December 29, we have raised $21,090, passing our goal and headed for our stretch goal of $27,000!
We hope you will consider a year end gift of $50, $100, or $500.
Through Advent, we waited for God’s in-breaking. Now, we celebrate in joy that Christ has come to live among us.
St. Lydia’s will celebrate a joyful, informal Christmas Eve service at 5:00 on December 24.
There will be caroling, an impromptu pageant, communion and celebratory food and drink! Little ones (and big ones too!) are invited to bring their own angel wings, sheep or shepherd costumes, or use the ones we provide. The service will be about an hour and a half, and will include lots of participation for all ages.
All are welcome!
Please note: there will be no services on Sunday, December 25 or Monday, December 26.
December 24, 2016
304 Bond Street, Brooklyn
What Can I Do? First Steps for Resisting Hate
In the wake of our presidential election, it’s urgent that every one of us steps up and plays a part in resisting hate-based rhetoric, practices, and policies. It can feel overwhelming to try and figure out how to get involved. So…
…here are some simple steps and suggestions for how to get started, based in my participation in the #GetOrganizedBK in Brooklyn led by Council Member Brad Lander. It’s early days, and we’ll be learning more about what organizing will look like, but this is a good place to start!
We believe that every person is made in the image of God.
As such, we believe that every person deserves freedom, dignity, and human rights and that we are called to act in solidarity with those whose lives and rights come under attack.
After our nation’s election, we stand in opposition to discriminatory and hate-based ideals, policies, and practices that claim that any humans are lesser-than based on the color of their skin, their religion, their nationality, or their gender or sexual identity.
We will stand for justice together and work together in love.
Come to St. Lydia’s to chat, connect, pray, or just be in the company of others.
304 Bond Street will be open from 8am to 7pm. Lunch will be served at 1pm. Please come be together, use our wifi, chat with the pastor, and pray for our nation. Staff will be on call to talk and pray with you.
At 8:30 pm we will pray evening prayer. Please come and be in this space of quiet and consolation.
Gowanus is changing, fast. With an upcoming rezoning and new buildings popping up, what are the pressures placed on residents?
“Just Gowanus: Neighbors’ Perspectives” gives voice to residents through portraits by ILLFLIX and statements from neighbors about the pressures they’re under as our neighborhood changes.
Open Studios runs from 12-6 pm on Saturday October 15 and Sunday October 16. Stop by to listen to the voices of this neighborhood at 304 Bond Street near Union.
ILLFLO is a self taught musician who writes both scripts and songs. He has performed behind and in front of the lens and has covered everything from live performances to private productions. He is an experienced graphic web designer and filmmaker. Over the years, ILLFLO has worked on feature films like Will Smith’s I Am Legend as well as documentaries, independent films and web series like God is Calling, Tykoon, The Colors of Love, Bum Rush, Liquid Money, The Journey to the Pros, New Face of hunger, The Air it out show and the award-winning Stolen Lives documentary. His photography has been published in the New York Daily News, the New York Post and Straight Stuntin’ magazine.
ILLFLO grew up between the Gowanus and Coney Island public housing developments. A poet from an early age, he has sold over 10,000 mix-tapes and has opened for artists Young Jeezy and Juelz Santana. He was also crowned the 106 & Park FreeStyle Champion in 2002. ILLFLO still lives inBrooklyn, where he owns a music studio and video editing suite where he can produce, record and mix all sorts of media.
October 14-16, 2016
Annual Report, 2015
We’re pleased to share with you St. Lydia’s 2015 Annual Report. Take a look at all we’ve accomplished together this year.
The page may take a moment to load.
June 30, 2016
Join St. Lydia’s at the LGBTQ Pride March
St. Lydia’s will be marching in the 4th Section, near the front of the March!
Here are the details:
Lineup location: 41st Street between Madison and Park.
Estimated step off time: 12:30 p.m.
Please arrive at 11:30 a.m. (once we step off, getting to our group will be super challenging).
We are SECTION 5, GROUP 9.
Also note: if you come from the west, walk along 42nd Street and enter 41st from Madison. Fifth Ave will be closed to cross traffic, including pedestrian traffic, starting at 11:00 a.m.
June 26, 2016
Vespers: Song Space Silence
We gather to grieve with LGBTQ kindred, to make our lament, and to pray for the strength and perseverance to be agents of change and to reject hate of all kinds, living in love.
This month’s Vespers service will feature musician Tica Douglas. We will sing Psalms, sit in silence, and remember all those who died in the hate-rooted attack at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Come and worship at St. Lydia’s Vespers service, led by members of St. Lydia’s community! There will be singing, silence, scripture, and thoughtful reflection. This short contemplative service is just under an hour.
We invite you to offer a $10 suggested donation to support the musicians and the work of St. Lydia’s.
St. Lydia’s grieves with LGBTQ kindred in the wake of the worst mass shooting in our nation’s history at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
As Christians, we follow a God of love, not a God of hate, and are called to live in ways of love in the world, rejecting homophobia, islamophobia, racism, and hatred of all kinds.
We are called to be agents of change in the world, protecting those who are vulnerable and working to create a nation in which all people might live in safety and security, freely living out their God-given identities.
Want to increase your productivity and refine your communication skills? Want to up your EQ? Want to get better at time management? In the midst of busy days and busier brains, taking time to recharge your inner battery improves all areas of your life. We’ll begin with a vinyasa yoga class (beginners welcome!) to engage our body, connect with breath, and quiet the mind. The second hour will focus on gathering tips and tools for taking better care of yourself every day.
Amy Wolfe is a New York City-based yoga teacher, passionate about sharing the joys of yoga with her fellow New Yorkers. Born and raised in Mexico City, Amy first started practicing yoga (often in Spanish) at the age of fifteen. Many years later, after having moved to New York for law school, Amy deepened her own practice and enrolled in a Yoga Alliance-registered 200-Hour Teacher Training Program. Ever learning, Amy has since done further training programs and cultivates her own knowledge through everyday practice, both on and off the mat (i.e. in formal classes and through practicing yoga throughout the day).
Daisy Robinson is a Balancer based in Venice, California who specializes in life coaching professionals by having them look at their whole life from personal to professional, friendships to finances to see what’s working and create success strategies to improve the rest. By mixing Eastern philosophies with Western real life application and employing strategies and exercises from both NLP and ICF accredited trainings, Daisy is able to help you transform your life. Daisy believes everyone deserves and is capable of achieving emotional fulfillment. By learning to live in the wonderment of every moment you can move from suffering to celebrating and to reignite your spark for life.