News for the Church, 1/13/23

Good Day to you Church,

It’s icy and snowy out today, but I’m inside warming my feet by the wood stove, watching the cats tussle and play. 

I have a great deal of good news to share today, so grab a champagne flute or your afternoon cup of coffee and raise your glass! 

A Church Fairy

Some churches have mice, but we have fairies. Well, let’s be honest, we have mice too. But back to the fairies… Yesterday someone(s) came to the church and dealt with all of the downed tree limbs strewn all over the yard! Whoever you are, if you’re reading this– your church thanks you! 🙂 

$1,000 Grant From the Synod

This last week the church received a $1,000 check with no strings attached as the result of David Bennett (our presbytery leader)’s efforts. He convinced the Synod of the Northeast to disburse funds to small churches in our presbytery who are doing good work. And we were one of them! 

We Got the Big Grant!

If you weren’t at church on Sunday you might not have heard– we got it! We were one of this year’s recipients of the Rock Charitable Grant! We will be receiving $25,000 to make repairs to the sanctuary roof, soffits, and molding and to construct a custom-made gutter system above the bell tower entrance, which will prevent water damage to those doors. 

We Received Insurance Money Too!!

I am so grateful to Sue Waters and Dave Wells for their help in soliciting our insurance company regarding other damage to the sanctuary roof, which resulted in the collapse of a section of plaster in the sanctuary ceiling (from water damage). We received a check for $64,000 to repair that part of the sanctuary roof, to repair the sanctuary ceiling…. AND….. get this….. to repaint the entire sanctuary!! 

Have you noticed how sad and decrepit our sanctuary ceiling is– with cracks, holes, and peeling paint everywhere? In the next few months it’s going to get a shiny, fresh make-over! 

Yahoo! That’s a total of $90,000 to put towards the upkeep of our building, which supports the work and mission of our congregation. 

Support for Ukrainian Brothers and Sisters

Renee Stauffer’s friend Kateryna is from the southeast region of Ukraine, near Mariupol. She got her PhD in Linguistics from the University of Minnesota, and now lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two young boys, but most of her family is still in Ukraine.

Her grandmother and aunt live in Lviv. Her grandma hasn’t been out of their apartment in months, because the last time she went out a bomb fell nearby. She spends all day in the dark apartment, where they have electricity and heat for a couple of hours each day. They are the “lucky” ones, because they still have a home to live in.

Kate is raising money for food, diapers, and medications for displaced people and elderly people. If you’d like to help, here are some ideas. 

You can send money to Kate’s GoFundMe here:

Kate’s uncle is serving as a soldier. The soldiers are very unprepared for winter, and are sleeping in sleeping bags on the frozen ground. She says there is a real need for sleeping bags, pads, and warm clothing. Together Kate and Renee created an Amazon wish list. Renee will keep the wish list active until Monday evening (1/16). If you order from the list, items will ship to Renee, and then she will ship them all together. Here’s the link to the wish list:

Most of all, Kate would like to ask for your prayers, and that the Ukrainian people’s struggle will not be forgotten. Feel free to share this info with anyone who may be interested. 

(A woman from Kherson receiving one of Kate’s food packages last week.) 

Upcoming Events–

Youth Group Postponed

Youth group was pushed back to next Thursday, the 19th, out of concern for last night’s freezing rain. We will meet at the Methodist Church at 6:30 that night. 

Learn about Hospice Care Jan. 25th

Forget all of the preconceived notions you have about what the word “hospice” means. In the North Country, hospice is better than what most of us believe it to be. If you’d like to learn more, you are invited to attend an interactive and informative zoom program. 

Hospice will be launching a new advanced planning guide that was created out of their 40 years of experience. Over the years, Hospice has expanded its services and has become the primary resource in the community for grief information and education, services and support.

Hospice Highlights will be held online via ZOOM on Wednesday, January 25 at 7 p.m. It is free and open to the public. The program is sponsored by the Potsdam Interfaith Community as part of its ongoing online learning series.

ZOOM link
Meeting ID: 839 2166 3734
Passcode: 946215

Community Supper Jan. 26th 

There’s still room to help volunteer at this month’s community supper. If you’d like to participate, contact Jane Wells. 

Celebrations are Necessary

Dear hearts, this week’s newsletter is chock full of highs and lows– of joys for our church and sorrows for people who are living in war. 

Sometimes, when life is hard, we forget how vital it is for us to celebrate when God’s Good Life falls into our lap. We might have a moment of gratitude, thinking to ourselves, “Thanks be to God for _____,” but then we move on with our day. 

Living in God’s peace requires more from us than that, however. When we take time to intentionally mark our thanksgiving together for what God provides, those provisions take on greater meaning. Joy is contagious, isn’t it? And once you catch it, you start to see more reason to live continually in that state.

Psalm 32:11 reminds us– “Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones; And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.

So, this Sunday during worship, we’re going to take a moment to let out a shout for joy! And later, after all of the building repair work has been done (hopefully by this summer), let’s have a party! 

Rejoicing in God’s Care,
Pastor Katrina