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Dear Christian Union New York Cornerstone Partners and other friends of the ministry,

What an eventful month it has been in NYC and across the country!  Christian Union NYC is so incredibly grateful for your prayers for and support of the work we are doing to bring Jesus to bear in our own lives and in the lives of many other fellow New Yorkers; believers and non-believers!  

Dear Christian Union New York Cornerstone Partners and other friends of the ministry,

As I write to you a few days pre-election, I realize this email will hit your inbox shortly after the election. Have we slept? Are we breaking a fast? Do we yet have a decisive answer? Are we devastated, elated, indifferent? One thing we know for sure is that our God sits enthroned above the earth and He is the one who “changes times and seasons; He removes kings and establishes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning” (Daniel 2:21). May we as the people of God, the Bride of Christ in this city, strive to be peacemakers, to pray for all of our leaders as is commanded in the scriptures, humble ourselves under the will of the Father, and be eager to share the hope that we have in Jesus. No matter who sits in our White House, we know that Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father and what a privilege that our salvation and hope are in Him!

Dear Christian Union New York Cornerstone Partners and other friends of the ministry,

As the city begins to slowly reopen and vacillates between opening further and closing yet again to non-essential business, the people of God are remaining strong and full of faith. Several of our Cornerstone Partners and dear friends of the ministry have gathered together in Times Square to worship the Lord in public, to preach and hear preaching of the Word, to pray and evangelize, and even to feed the poor. Praise be to God that in the toughest of times, Christians from many churches and ministries are gathering to call down the Kingdom of Heaven. Christians are unifying for the Lord’s work, and this past Sunday Three New Yorkers surrendered their lives to Jesus in Times Square. Our heart at Christian Union is to develop and connect transformative Christian leaders, and we are overjoyed to see empowered Christians impacting the city!

So I was out running the other day when a teenager rode up on a bike, stopped in front of me, and blurted out, “Do you know you look like Harrison Ford?”.  I was surprised, to say the least, but am also realistic enough to suspect he was thinking Harrison Ford circa “Call of the Wild”, rather than “Indiana Jones”.  I found myself gratified to be recognized (sort of), but I knew it wasn’t so.  I reflected later that the incident reminded me of that deep desire to be noticed and to be of consequence at some level.

Today I had a staring contest with my dog. It’s what happens after weeks and months in a small New York apartment with the rest of my family. I’m pretty sure it was that last Zoom call that put me over.

My thinking seems increasingly flat (clearly), but in the midst of this I nonetheless find Ephesians 3:20 to be an encouragement - because it pulls my imagination beyond my immediate circumstances toward what might be, or will be.

New York, as is true of much of the country, remains in lockdown for the 200th week - or so it feels. Days seem to run together and Zoom calls have long since lost their allure. Yet I find myself feeling a little fresher each morning as I spend some less hurried time in the Word reading familiar passages again and finding new nuggets all over. Whether I find myself in Ezekiel, or the Psalms, or the Epistles I am reminded that a) God and his promises are unchanging even though our world is, b) our calling to live faithfully, righteously and courageously remains the same regardless of my circumstances, and c) the world will be different because of his Spirit (mostly) and our efforts for his kingdom. All of these reminders renew my hope each day.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God.
-- Philippians 4:6

As chaotic a time as this, we are reminded to anchor ourselves to the hope of our faith - to rely not on our own devices, but dependent on the love and care of our Heavenly Father. Romans 5 and James 1 reveal to us that God consents to trials in our lives in part because of the fruits of patience, endurance, hope and faith that will spring from them. As a community we are intentionally holding fast to God’s promises through this time, choosing faith over fear.

CU New York has begun to participate in a 40 day fast with the Christian Union Day & Night team. As an organization we feel called to seek the Lord in prayer and fasting throughout this time. We desire His will to be done in our lives, our city, and our nation. We trust in His healing power and redemptive hand, that He is moving in this situation, ultimately bringing good from evil, and revealing His Glory through it all.

We have had a CU New York Forum planned for March 27 with Dr. Margaret Yoon on “Mental Health and the Holy Spirit”.  While it is clear we cannot meet in the typical format of these events, we are working to move this to a virtual forum. This will still enable us to listen to and interact with Dr. Yoon on these important questions of how we, as Christians, wrestle with issues of burnout, anxiety, and depression at this time and in this busy city.  More information on this will be sent separately, or you can check on our website.

For the financial services industry there are a few resources you might find helpful as you navigate this time both professionally and personally.  The Ron Blue organization has developed Fearless: Market Turmoil and a Biblical Response, which has spiritual perspective, insights from industry leaders, and messaging points to help guide client conversations during this uncertain season. Please check it out if you’re looking for ideas.

We invite you to join us as we pray and fast in this season. Use this link to receive daily devotionals, and to participate in the CU Day & Night 40 day fast: (https://www.dayandnight.org/fast). We are praying for God’s protection, healing, mercy, peace, and authority to reign over our city and world. We invite His kingdom to come and His will to be done, in each of our lives. We submit our desires to control and to rely on our own understanding, but instead we will choose to submit to His authority, His wisdom as we trust in his peace.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 
- Col 3:15

Scott Crosby
Ministry Director
Amanda Curtis
Administrative Assistant

Christian Union New York
Christian Union DC

For more information on New York City Christian Union Bible Courses and activities, or resources available to you please contact Scott Crosby.

Please note: if you would like to receive regular updates, via email, on how to pray for City Christian Union, please email prayer@christianunion.org.

“Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.”
-- C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

The above quote from Lewis’ remarkable sermon, given in Oxford in 1941, is part of the argument to raise our understanding and practice of what it means to live out the job description God gave us in Genesis 1 and 2: to honor God, steward creation, and bless others. It's not always obvious to us that we’re made in the very image of God, and we certainly struggle with seeing others in that way.

One of my perennial resolutions in every new year is to read more deeply and profoundly about both faith and the world around me. However, given my suggestion in an earlier letter, I am moving from resolutions to building habits - they tend to be much more permanent.

Psalm 2 is a majestic description of Christ’s coming and rule. God gives the Psalmist the ability to look beyond earthly constraints and context to see a place of transcendent and righteous rule - whose kingdom reaches to the very ends of the earth. This vision of a righteous kingdom runs through the narratives of both old and new testaments, and motivates the events and initiatives we do in New York.