Be the Movement - Justice in Darkness
SOCIAL SOLIDARITY: Justice Within Ourselves and Collective Liberation Series
Living in Darkness is not Dark
When we turn on the news, we are not surprised to hear about another shooting. It is becoming a norm. We shout ‘Stop the Hate’ and push hard for harsh gun control, but the violence continues. Our government is deaf and uncompassionate to the atrocities people are suffering. It is corrupt. How much more can we take before we become hardened and lose our sense of compassion? The thoughts and emotions we experience are raw, and real, and reveal the true story of who we are and what we truly desire most. What that is is a mystery. It is something beyond health and wealth. There is a place to sort this out. There is a place to go where our cries are graciously received and desires revealed.
There is a Place for Us to Speak Uncensored
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (He 4:16)
God is the highest order in the court of justice and neighborly love. That’s the place we need to go to. That’s the place Jesus went. Jesus identifies with what we are experiencing. He lived among us in our unjust religious and polluted system of justice. Yet, it is the throne of grace he approaches at the garden of Gethsemane in deep anguish. After their conversation, Jesus got up refreshed in vision walks readily into the darkness of corruption. Although he died by ill motives of the people he loved, he arose from the grave! He was not defeated by the work of hostility, injustice, or murder. Neither, was his followers defeated. Beyond our humanity is another realm of reality. The heavenly court of justice run by the God of righteousness and compassion who knows all and sees all. This court is available to us. Let God redeem your case and show you a greater way to fight justice with the assurance of victory to arise.
Transformed for the darkness
Light shines in darkness! What an amazing truth! Ponder on the fireflies God created for us to reveal our capabilities! Fireflies do not look for the light at the end of the tunnel. They are the light within themselves. They guide each other through the darkness. Light comes with hope, courage, and community. That is justice within and collaborative liberty. Approaching God, the throne of grace is a mysterious place to be, yet it is a place we need to be. It is the place where we are the beloved of God and does what is “right for ourselves and good for the world at the same exact time—is one of the great triumphs of human existence.” David Whyte
Start a Movement : Approach God with Confidence and get proper care for your soul
CELEBRATING PRECIOUS MOMENTS
Holy Spirit Movement for Social Wholeness
Jesus may have ascended into heaven 40 days after Easter, but God’s presence is still with us. On Pentecost Sunday, 50 days after Easter, God appeared in a sensational way and gave birth to the first church. Like Easter Sunday, GAF gathered once again by the East River peer to celebrate. Pentecost Sunday marks God’s public visible expression of His presence amidst us. The Holy Spirit stirred a mighty sound with a fresh wind and anointed each disciple with a visible sign equipping them to join Him for the work of social wholeness (Acts 2:2-4). There was large a crowd of people from many different nations speaking different languages who came to see what was going on (the very image of God’s universal community described in Rev 7:9). They were amazed telling each other that they heard the disciples in their own native language. God doesn’t colonize. God is diverse and mixes in with any crowd. On the day of Pentecost, the work of social wholeness was initiated, and the church was born. At GAF we aim to join Jesus doing life together to build a new world among those not liberated.
Happy 5th Birthday GAF!
GAF was birthed on Pentecost Sunday 2017. All praises be given to God! It is so meaningful to celebrate a birthday within a birthday. Our mission is to continue to birth people with life-transforming faith. We aim to journey and deepen each other’s lives mending brokenness living under God’s love.
With the gift of grace, we will overcome relational hurdles that keep us isolated, self-serving, and stumps us in our capacity to take good care of the world. We aim to do life together by showing up and checking in on each other with a listening heart. Our gift of presence mirrors the needs of humanity, affirming significance of the other, and be the commutual liberating work of Christ.
Jean and John brought the celebration, Manni brought the feast, May spoke hope from the word of the Lord, and Symphony sent us out with the benediction. GAF family brought words of praise and thanksgiving. God blessed us with his creation. Thank you all for this special day of celebration.
Shouts of Hallelujahs! Rededication of Jean and John
John experienced a fresh touch of God’s love and was moved to make his vows once again to surrender and serve God wholeheartedly. Since then, John has become more active with God by joining prayer meetings and JOG being present to people.
Jean, John’s wife felt the move of the Spirit in her the night before. She then also decided to renew her vows to God. Jean is pursuing Jesus by living out her significance with 4 words gifted from God, freedom, authority, insight, and boldness. She has decided to help lead prayer meetings and be a disciple of Jesus. It was heartwarming to see this couple rededicate their lives to God. Btw, they are also planning to renew their marriage vows! AWESOME!
Night Market: Restoring life to a wounded community
What a fun time we had in the community as we sat, ate, and watched the evening unfold. The Chinatown Night Market is an example of creative ways we can respond to Chinatown which is shouldering so much pain, grief, and burdens. It was designed to give an Asian cultural experience with various ethnic food trucks, arts, music, and specialties. One woman is carrying on her mother’s legacy in the delicate art of paper cutting beyond snowflakes. Another turned syrup into a delicate dragon on a stick to delight the eyes and the sweet tooth. Friends and families laugh and chatter around meal tables. This is a glimpse of what relational wholeness in community looks like.
Be the Presence of Love to Our LGBTQ Community
On June 18th, I volunteered for the first time at an organization (Kaleidoscope) that aims to bridge the Christian and the LGBTQ+ community and hosted a public worship night in celebration of pride month.
Having gone to a performing arts high school, many of my friends identified as such, however, it was always daunting to bring up the conversation of God, knowing some of them were actually hurt by their churches or families who used God as justification for isolation and division.
It was eye-opening and humbling to see how Jesus meets the LGBTQ community in a way that did not void their identities and humanity but instead celebrated and embraced it. At the event, we gave out water bottles with pamphlets introducing “God is Queer.”
In one conversation, a father did not know what the word queer was. He said his son was gay and now he knew a little more about what that meant. To know that God is working through us word by word, pamphlet by pamphlet, reminded me of the hopeful story about a shepherd searching for that one lost sheep.
8 of us stayed till nighttime and worshipped God in an open space. We gave an open invitation to any neighbors BBQ-ing or at the playground. My friend, a non-Christian who also volunteered experienced worship for the first time. It was a challenging and humbling experience explaining to her what worship was, especially in this context. The worship leaders graciously offered insight into what each song meant as an offering and praise to God, or a reminder of one’s identity as a child of God.
By Tobi Lee
Upcoming Events for July
GAF SUMMER FUN @ Governor’s Island
Sunday, July 31 • 11AM - 2PM (free to stay longer)
By popular demand, we will be having our 2nd annual in-person gathering for a time of fun and relaxation before we have our month of Sabbath in August. Let us know if you’re attending at this registration link! If you’re planning on going via ferry, reserve your tickets in advance through this link.
JOG (Journey of Grace) Small Group
Weekly on Sundays • 11AM - 12:30PMZOOM Link | Meeting ID: 327 601 274 | Password: 429125
Join us for a time of self-care in community through moments of personal silent times to reflect, listen for God’s voice, and journal. We come together to help each other quiet ourselves down in a world filled with noise and exhaustion. We come to help each other make sense of God’s presence in our daily lived experiences.
Friendship Friday (Every 3rd Friday of the month - formerly Communion Friday)
Jesus calls us friends. Come and be part of God’s commutual community deepening our spiritual relationship with Jesus and with one another. Through fellowship, prayer, and breaking bread we nourish a deeper connection with God, with our social circles of influence, and with the wider global community.
Monthly - June 17th• 7PM - 8:30 PMZOOM Link | Meeting ID: 327 601 274 | Password: 895281
Bible Reflection (Every Saturday Evening 8:30pm - 9:30 pm)
Our souls need solid truth to nourish our souls and guide our way of living. Together we listen to God’s word allowing it to pour over us, Lectio Divina style, as the Holy Spirit speaks uniquely into our lives. We share our insights and gift each other with words of encouragement.
We are currently reading the gospel of Luke, chapter 6 ZOOM Link | Meeting ID: 327 601 274 | Password: 895281
Offering / Donations!
We currently allocate 90% of tithes towards our staff stipend and 10% towards an organization supporting our community during this time.
Your donation is tax-deductible. For administrative purposes, please fill out this Google Form each time you donate to GAF.
Donate via ACH/Wire: Use Account #: 875101564230; ABA #: 031101169; Alternative ABA #: 031101279 (ACH payments only).
Donate via Check: Make check payable to Grace Alive Fellowship. Mail your donation to Manni Lee, 275 South Street, Apt 19D, New York, NY 10002.
If you would like to share the stories of Grace Alive Fellowship please share this with friends.
Thanks for reading Grace Alive Fellowship! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support our work.