“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19, NIV)
With these words from Jesus, announcing the beginning of his public ministry, a group of Jesus followers took the next important step toward the public phase of their ministry. That group met last night in a little theater on Broadway, but way off Broadway, in Washington Heights to declare their commitment to “join God in the renewal of all things” in upper Manhattan through Trinity Grace Church Washington Heights.
The forty or so who gathered together represent an equal number of stories of the mosaic that the Spirit is creating to exalt Jesus and live out the good news in one of the forgotten sections of Manhattan. Beyond the common non-inclusion of upper Manhattan on popular tourist maps, the population of the Heights daily faces challenges that are largely unknown or ignored by neighbors downtown.
Some of us came initially to Washington Heights because the rents were more affordable or because it was close to studies or near employment. Yet over time those narratives have found deeper meaning inthe narrative- Jesus’ story, a story of good news that through the gospel there is salvation, freedom, hope, sight and favor.
As we move forward to an April 1 public launch we want to share stories of those who are forming this community, as well as the vision that calls us from our ordinary lives to become passionately engaged followers of Christ.