The Peace of a Pigeon

Are you a bird person?

I can, without a doubt, say I am not. In fact, if I ever enter a home with a squawking pet bird or two, I try to avoid that area at all costs. I prefer to enjoy birds outdoors, from a distance, lowering the odds of pecking or surprises dropped on my head.

A New York Pigeon Flyer holding a gorgeous bird, New York Times.

However, birds in general are pretty fascinating. I recently learned of the underground subculture of Pigeon Fliers in New York City. This community of people care for thousands of domesticated purebred pigeons on their rooftops, creatures (like humans) who have freedom to roam and fly in an otherwise crowded city with buildings stacked on top of each other. This community has been around for hundreds of years and, over time, it has become a beacon in anti-racism efforts; through organic mentoring relationships, becoming a Pigeon Flyer encourages BIPOC* boys and men to take on this special type of caregiving as a form of destressing and a positive way to spend any spare time. This is especially cathartic for people living in neighborhoods without a lot of healthy opportunities and in crowded apartments with many people living close together. You can read more about Pigeon Fliers (which exist in many countries, not just the US) here and watch an 8-minute documentary here.

Sun Hats & Wellie Boots

Another prevalent bird, The Dove, is used as a symbol of peace worldwide, as is the idea of the Holy Spirit embodying itself in the form of a dove throughout history. (Hello, Noah and hello, Jesus’ baptism.) And Jesus talks about Peace throughout his ministry, including in the Gospel of John (see below photo).

Prayer Doves – Your Prayer and Solidarity Needed

Beginning tomorrow and throughout the month of April, you are encouraged to offer a Prayer Dove in a new Community Art Installation we are creating in the Galleria (office entrance) at church. Together, we will grow our collection of Prayer Doves as we pray for and stand in solidarity with Ukraine and other communities surrounded by violence and attacks on freedom and peace. Please decorate or fill out a Prayer Dove at church or take a sheet home and mail/drop them off to add to the art installation (by April 30). The Prayer Dove file from Sun Hats & Wellie Boots (to print and fill out) can be found here: Instructions are here.

We will display these doves as a visible symbol of prayer and as a community-led act of solidarity with God’s people in Ukraine, surrounding countries and in all parts of the world who are experiencing an absense of peace in their lives. That includes our own community. May we offer prayers of peace and solidarity in this difficult time. Our goal is to have 200 doves decorating the space. Please join in from wherever you live!

John 14:27 – Christ’s call for Peace

*BIPOC means “Black, Indigenous and People Of Color”

Coming Up:

Sunday, April 3: NYC Mission Trip Meeting from 11:30a-1:00p in Youth Room (Payments due April 1)

  • Those who attended the 2018 NYC Mission Trip (& are attending this year, too) are asked to join on Zoom (same link as meetings) at 9:45 am for a special chat. Thank you!

Sunday, April 10: Palm Sunday and Reopening of Renovated Sanctuary! This will be a wonderful day of celebration and a new beginning…be sure to join!

  • NYC Mission Team will be selling Chris Cakes Pancake Mix before and after Worship April 10, 17, 24; in addition, an all-church Brunch provided by Chris Cakes (so you can sample the pancakes!) will be offered after Worship (Free).

Saturday, April 16: Easter Egg Hunt from 2:00-3:00 pm. Ages 0-12 invited; youth are welcome

to help hide eggs (at 1:30 pm)

Hope you are having a wonderful week!


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