God and gods | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

07.5.19 | Community, Pulpit Posts, World

photo by Charles Edward Case

A number of years ago, I remember reading an article in Sojourners Magazine written by a woman who had experienced a lifetime of struggle with her weight. She described all of it: the calorie counting, the cycling through every institutional dieting program available, the cardio and resistance workouts, her feelings of shame when she was not at her “ideal weight” and her fear that any good news (as she defined it) from the scale at her morning weigh-in would only be temporary.

This writer revealed how great it felt to be in good shape. She enjoyed in the praise that people spontaneously offered her when she got down to certain sizes. But through it all, she came to recognize that in both times of health and in times of weight gain she had become utterly, completely obsessive about food. And while I don’t recall many of the details of the article, I do remember her description of praying to God to help her stay on a diet, strengthen her to work out, keep her steadfast in willpower and commitment.

Until one day, revelation. In a moment of life-changing insight, she realized that she was praying to God to sustain her in serving her other God! Her focus had been on an idolatrous relationship with body image. God—actual God—had become ancillary in her devotion. And while this realization did not transform her behavior instantaneously, it did refocus her energies in a more life affirming way.

Yesterday we remembered July 4th; a perfect time to reflect on the focus of our own thoughts, behaviors and prayers. Are there any areas of our lives in which we are asking God’s assistance in our worship of something else? Do we have expectations for human institutions and relationships that are unrealistic, and therefore doomed to disappoint? Our care for ourselves, our connection to others and our commitment to the structures in which we invest are essential elements in faithful living. And all are byproducts of faith hope and love; of prayerful, humble dedication to the One from whom all such blessings flow.

Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson

Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson

THE LATEST

Stay current on activity at the Soup Kitchen, guest stories, thoughts from Clergy, news and events.

Subscribe to receive the latest news, events, volunteer opportunities, and more — right to your inbox.

Church of the Holy Apostles

We are an open, inclusive Christian Church celebrating the Episcopal tradition.

LEARN MORE
For Newcomers

Learn about our faith community and explore ways to connect with our work and worship.

Sermons

Reflections on Holy Scripture from our Clergy.

History

Founded in 1844, with a focus on social activism and the desire for social justice.

Clergy, Staff & Vestry

The Vestry is the governing body of the Church of the Holy Apostles.

MUSIC

Music commands a strong presence at the Church of the Holy Apostles.

Space Rental

Host your next meeting or event in our landmark building.

Soup Kitchen & Pantry

Nourishing hungry New Yorkers since 1982 in an atmosphere of respect and hospitality.

LEARN MORE
Daily meal service

Serving a free, nutritious meal every weekday from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Meal outreach

Distributing bagged breakfasts and lunches throughout Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen.

About the soup kitchen

Learn more about our mission, our history, our performance, who we are, and what we do.

Pantry Program

Providing fresh and nutritious groceries to food-insecure New Yorkers.

Sunday Supper

Bridging generations and building community over a monthly family style meal.

Social Support

Meeting basic needs, stabilizing lives, and supporting individuals and families to achieve their goals.

LEARN MORE
SOCIAL SERVICES

Addressing the needs of the whole person through basic needs, counseling, and referrals.

Classes

Offering learning and skill-building opportunities.

Community Partnership

Partnering with others to expand the services offered to our guests.

Get Involved

Holy Apostles is a great place to channel your time, talents and generosity for good.

LEARN MORE
Volunteer

Make a difference in the lives of New Yorkers experiencing homelessness and hunger.

Partner

Join our efforts to serve others and provide for people who are vulnerable.

Donate

Your gift provides food, community, and hope to New Yorkers in need.

The Latest

Stay up-to-date on all happenings at Holy Apostles.

VIEW ALL
Food For The Soul

The official blog of Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.

Voices of Our Community

Guest stories, poetry, and more.

EVENTS

See our calendar of events.

Church Pulpit Posts

Read weekly meditations written by our clergy.

Newsroom

Holy Apostles in the news.