The above pictures were snapped as Brad and Galen returned a box-cart they’d refurbished for Trader Joes’ on 14th Street. This supermarket is the mission food-pantry’s most active donor. After refurbishing their cart one night last week, Brad and Galen walked it from 26th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue to 14th Street between 3rd and 4th Avenue – a walk of 1.5 miles.
Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth. Ecclesiastes 11:9a
As mentioned last week, Mrs. Betty Little, wife of Manor former-pastor Dr. Thomas Little, after long involvement in the ministry of Manor Church, went home to be with the Lord Monday, June 23, at the age of ninety-five. We held her funeral service here at Manor last Friday with a handsome crowd of visitors and friends. Between an unplanned wake Monday afternoon and the funeral Friday, many stories were shared, and many edifying, dear and also humorous tales were told. Mrs. Betty worked tirelessly after her husband’s death to preserve this building on 26th Street, and we will be forever thankful to God for His hand of protection and His providence in preserving this space to this point in time. Mrs. Betty was happy to know that the ministry continues at Manor and, as best she could, she gave Bill her blessing several months before she died. Twice in the last year we carried her in her wheel chair down four flights of stairs so she could attend our Sunday afternoon services and see what is happening here.
As mentioned, we did hear a rather humorous story at the time of the funeral. Mrs. Betty used to climb stairways and ladders on a daily basis here at the church. Her primary concern was the preservation of this building, and she often did cost-efficient repairs and maintenance by hand, even into her nineties! One day, Mrs. Betty (in her nineties) was on the roof of the church, climbed over a roof-top shed and down its front side via a ladder on a formidably-pitched roof to clean out the gutters over the front sidewalk. The fire department came along and shouted up to her, “Please, don’t jump!” Mrs. Betty told them she was simply doing the routine cleaning. This kind of thing really was routine for her, so I hear. Even now a little tree is growing out in the front gutter. We will miss Mrs. Betty. Her apartment upstairs seems kind of bare without the reclining chair to which she was confined for the last year of her life, her little agéd form sitting in it.
Mrs. Betty was buried beside her husband, Dr. Thomas Little, in Brooklyn. As of yet, a headstone had never been purchased for the gravesite.
The Joneses are away in Bill’s native Colorado at this time. A church from Texas has paid for the family to take a vacation in Fort Collins, whose municipality Bill’s ancestors were influential in founding. That same church from Wylie, Texas is here at the mission currently engaging in just about every aspect of the ministry here.
Galen, Tim, Heather, and I are all getting ready to go back to school in the fall. A young man named Andy Woodard is supposed to be taking my place here and may be writing this blog by early September. Change is constant in this world. Very few things stay the same. The presence of our 1870’s era church building in Midtown Manhattan is an amazing fixture in God’s providence for New York. I think of how many other church buildings have fallen here in Manhattan.
In the midst of all, let us remember the words of the Lord: “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” “He that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” When we step back and consider, we see that “when this passing world is done” is actually quite an apt statement within a descriptive phrase. This world will be only for a short time. Heaven is coming for all of God’s own – and with it life, wellness, perfect fellowship, perfect peace and abundance, and fullness of joy – in the presence of God and of Christ. All things under the sun are vanity. And yet, even on earth, as God works in nature and the affairs of men, and as His Spirit breathes in mere clay, “the works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.” “What God doeth, it shall be forever.” The earth and the works thereof shall be burned up, but we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth. Heaven truly is coming. So often in this world I say with John Wesley though, “The best of all is God is with us.”
Is it any wonder then that heralds of the Word of God as John Chrysostom make statements as: “Preaching makes me well. Whenever I open my mouth to speak, all my weariness is forgotten”? May I, may we, never lose this sense of the shining of face, of the lifted countenance of each member of the Trinity upon us as we herald forth His Word. In this world we are so poor in spirit, even enough to bring us to tears when the truth of it occassionally takes us.
Posted by: Christopher Love, NYGM Intern
Dr. Bill Jones
Dr. Bill Jones has helped in the establishment of two churches in otherparts of the country and served as Pastor for 14 years. The past few summers, Bill has...