Optimistic/Pessimistic/Possibilistic | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

01.28.22 | Community, International, Pulpit Posts, Uncategorized, World

In a recent article for the New York Times titled Dear People of 2022: What Would You Ask Your Future Self?, author Matthew Thompson wrote about the work of doctor and public speaker Hans Rosling. During his life, Dr. Rosling gave a series of TED talks in which he challenged the narrative that our world was on a hopeless trajectory to destruction. He focused on highlighting progress, and his work was very controversial. Some experts were drawn to his conclusions, others accused him of cherry-picking data and massaging its presentation.

Although Dr. Rosling has been dead for five years, his message continues to be relevant—especially during this time of ongoing pandemic, political division and environmental instability. Although many called him an optimist during his career, he rejected both optimism and pessimism as ineffective responses to reality. “I’m not an optimist,” he wrote. “That makes me sound naïve. I’m a very serious ‘possibilist.’”

In response to Dr. Rosling’s focus on progress and possibility, the NYT article challenged readers to reflect on these questions:

  •  What do you expect will change in your community over the next year?
  •  What changes are you hoping for?
  •  What changes do you fear?
  •  How do you feel about potential change (optimistic, pessimistic, or possibilistic)?

These questions are resonant for us, as we prepare to gather for our Annual Parish Meeting on Sunday. Although Dr. Rosling did not offer his insights through a theological lens, the realities of hope, fear, and the inevitability of change are woven throughout both our Scripture and our congregational life. We discuss business at the Annual Meeting, of course, and it is also a time to reflect intentionally on where we are and where God is calling us to be.

Please join us. You can hear my Rector’s address during the 11 am service (live and livestreamed). The meeting itself will convene on Zoom at 2 pm, where election results will be announced, and reports offered on various aspects of our common life. I look forward to our time together, and to sharing ideas about how God is calling us to be “faithful possibilists” here at Church of the Holy Apostles.

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 in the Episcopal tradition.

Sunday Service is held 11AM (on site and via livestream). Weekday services are held on Zoom.

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.