Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

We can get caught up in the two ends of the spectrum that are part of every faithful Christian’s life. We either experience great joy, the uplifting graces of the Holy Spirit poured out on us, or we end up on the road to martyrdom. Is that all there is to the Christian life? Really, the struggle in a Christian’s life is that we live much of it in the middle. In considering our lives, lived in the middle, we may ask: How do I sacrifice what I want for what God wants? How do I proclaim God’s truth when the world, even my family, will hate me? How can I face day-to-day life with faithfulness? Those questions plague us – but thanks be to God, He offers us a way forward by example. Of course, Jesus stands first and foremost as one who came from the middle boldly. He proclaimed truth, to those, like us, who were in the middle, who faced daily challenges of faithfulness. He offered real truth that took them from the middle to the heights of heaven. He gave them strength for their ordinary lives because the promise was oh so much more. Yes, the popular folks rejected Him, but the Father welcomed Him. This is our hope. This month we look to the example of Mary. Talk about lives in the middle. Plain, ordinary folks like us – struggling day to day with ridicule, mockery, and exile. Mary, referred to by her community as worse than a prostitute. Joseph, seen as not man enough. Jesus – an illegitimate child. They faced the worst kind of ridicule and rejection, yet lived lives in the middle, working day-to-day, faithful to God at the deepest of levels. Their struggles, much like ours. They answer the essential question: How do I get by faithfully? As we live in the middle, let us look to their example, courage, and to God’s unfailing help. Let us count our ordinary struggles and our lives in the middle as a joy in Jesus.

So much going on. The first ever Gospel Concert at HNJ on May 19th at 2pm. Come out and experience 18 performers – song, dance, poetry, stories, and more… A lunch will be served as well. Bring mom and pray for her. Honor all the special women in our lives – wives, daughters, moms, grandmothers, godmothers, aunts, partners… We will have a special breakfast in their honor. We celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension on the actual day – Thursday, May 10th – no switching things around here. Check out our Men’s Spiritual Retreat, sign up for summer youth events, we honor those served and gave their lives for our country on Memorial Day. Oh, and Why Not Communion in the Hand – check out our article and more…

You may view and download a copy of our May 2018 Newsletter right here.

The Pastor, Rev. James A. Konicki, and Congregation of Holy Name of Jesus, with Bishop Rev. Dr. Judy Murphy-Jack of Friends of Friends Universal Community Mission Church/Institute invite you to attend the Universal Praise in Classical Spiritual and Gospel Music, Skits, Liturgical Dancing and Poetry to be held at Holy Name Of Jesus, 1040 Pearl Street, Schenectady on Saturday, May 19th from 2pm to 5pm. Refreshments will be served. Please come to this worthy event and share with us this experience. All is welcome to support the program.

The Matsiko World Orphan Choir will perform at Holy Name of Jesus on Tuesday, June 28th at 7pm.

Currently made up of some of the poorest orphaned and at-risk children from Peru, India & Liberia, the Matsiko World Orphan Choir captures the hearts of all who hear their hope-filled message. The kids sing with such passion and meaning that their hope of overcoming tragedy and the life-changing effects of an education is truly inspiring. The Choir’s contagious energy and zeal shines through a powerful presentation of original songs, cultural dances, and multimedia testimony. Never before in the history of these three nations have orphaned or vulnerable children been allowed to travel outside of their nation. However, due to the great work of ICN for the children, a great trust has allowed this historic cultural opportunity to happen.

Matsiko Poster

Orphaned & vulnerable children are auditioned annually and selected from a pool of hundreds of children before leaving their home nations to travel out of their countries for the first time in their lives. These chosen few become part of a one year United States world orphan choir tour in order to be the greatest ambassadors for our world’s orphaned and vulnerable children we have ever experienced. Ages range from 5 to 16, and some of these kids have never experienced electricity or worn shoes. They sing and dance and share their stories for a very worthy goal: to raise hope, awareness and educational sponsorship for the world’s 600 million orphans and at-risk children. Because of this sponsorship, orphaned and at-risk children have a chance to break the cycle of poverty, taking better control of their futures.

Through the sharing of their culture, music, pain and joy, Matsiko World Orphan Choir performances provide a complete picture of the challenges these children face each day. The Matsiko World Orphan Choir has performed at noteworthy places such as Google, Disneyland and SeaWorld, entertaining crowds of thousands at the Los Angeles Clippers, Seattle Seahawks, and even the Rose Bowl games. The Choir has shared their talents via personal presentations with U.S. local and national politicians and graced the platforms of corporate giants such as Microsoft and Kraft Foods. They were invited to the Gospel Music Awards.

For more information about the Matsiko World Orphan Choir, call Don Wyndham directly at the International Children’s Network (ICN), (253) 217-7531.