How the church can help you—and how you can help the church.
How Can I Help?
This is the question our pastors hear most often. We are deeply grateful for your selfless generosity during this time. There are several things you can do. Read about the opportunities below, then complete the Staying Connected form to let us know how you can help. You may also contact us at [email protected].
Assisting Fellow Members
There are a number of ways you can help serve fellow members in need. You can assist our Deacons and Circle of Caregiving volunteers in making pastoral phone calls to elderly members, members who are sick or infirm, and members we cannot reach by email. Many members also need help completing and submitting their U.S Census data, and handling essential errands. If you have technology skills, some members need help with applications like Zoom and FaceTime that can connect them with family and friends.
Meals on Heels
This 34-year-old ministry continues its mission to prepare and deliver a hot nutritious meal to homebound seniors every Saturday. We have advised our volunteers and those receiving the meals to follow government guidelines on sanitation and social distancing. Read more about our COVID-19 precautions here. Deliverers are needed more than ever. Please sign up in advance by contacting John Wyatt at [email protected].
The elderly and our neighbors living on the streets are particularly vulnerable during this time. You can be a voice for them by contacting national, state and local officials to appeal for increased public services during the pandemic.
Coordinating with Other Volunteer Programs
Many congregations and nonprofits still have active volunteer programs going. If you can help us identify these opportunities in your neighborhood, we can make our Fifth Avenue volunteers of these additional opportunities to serve.
Connecting with the Church
Support Group for the Unemployed
On June 4, the church will launch a support group for members and friends who have lost their jobs or been placed on furlough during the pandemic. Elder Phillip Ma will lead the group, which will combine prayer and emotional support with a discussion of shared experiences and job search strategies. A meeting schedule and other details will be announced soon. If you are interesting in taking part, contact Morgan Valencia King, director of engagement ([email protected]).
Bereavement Support Group
This summer the church will offer an eight-week support group, led by bereavement counselor Ellen Theg, for persons struggling with grief and the aftermath of loss. The group will meet on Wednesday evenings via Zoom from June 24 through Aug. 19 (skipping Aug. 5). The cost is $100 for the full program, and enrollment is limited to seven persons. To register, contact Lance Hurst ([email protected]) by June 15. Financial assistance is available if needed.
Asking for Help
We may be limited to phone calls, emails and texts, but the church is here for you. If you want to speak with a pastor, if you need help with essential errands, if you are in need of food or shelter, please let us know. You can complete the Staying Connected form to tell us specifically what you need. All information will be held in confidence. You may also contact the Congregational Care office ([email protected]) or call the church at 212.247.0490 and leave a message for the pastor on call.
Every week, you can expect an email on Tuesday afternoon with the latest church news, links to online ministries and information about how you can be of help. On Sunday morning, look for an email with links to the latest worship video and family worship video. The Sunday email also will include the church prayer list and news of the faithful departed. To subscribe to (or unsubscribe from) any of our emails, click here.
Family Ministries on Zoom
Every Sunday, it’s Toddler Time and Zoom Sunday School! If you have toddlers at home, our Little Lambs staff will read them a story and play games with them at 10 am. We’ll spend half an hour with the older kids, starting at 10:30 am. Family Ministries also offers the Parents Community Group (Zooming on Sunday mornings at 9) and Mom’s Bible Study (Wednesday mornings at 8). Youth Group gathers online with the Rev. Werner Ramirez on Thursday afternoons and on Sunday mornings. Email [email protected] to get connected with any of these online events!
Online Worship & Other Events
Each week we create two worship videos—a service featuring our pastors and musicians, and Family Worship at Home, from our Christian Education director, Jaime Staehle, and Eugenia Oi Yan Yau, director of music for Family Ministries. We send an email with links to both videos on Sunday morning. You can access them directly on our YouTube channel.
Family Camp at Home
Although our annual weekend at Holmes Camp won’t be happening this year, Family Ministries has another idea in mind. Join us on Saturday, June 6, for Family Camp at Home. We’ve got more than a full day of activities for you to choose from (and most of them have nothing to do with a TV or computer screen!). Learn more and download your Family Camp at Home packet here.
Summer Book Group
Fifth Avenue announces a new Summer Book Group that’s as much about community as it is about reading. Starting on June 2, we’ll meet on Zoom every Tuesday at 5:30 pm to talk about the book of the month and just catch up with one another. The group will continue through August. For details, and to sign up, click here.
If you need pastoral assistance, email us at [email protected]. We're here for you.