News for the Church, 1/19/24

Good Day to you, Church! 

Brrrr! It’s a cold one out there today, and tomorrow will be even colder. I hope that you are staying warm. 

I’m currently sitting with my feet propped up next to the heat of my woodstove, which is gently creaking and whirring in response to the fire inside. It feels wonderful! 

Here’s the news for the week. 

“Take Two” to Celebrate Cynthia Coleman

As you know, we had to cancel our worship service last Sunday because of a major snowstorm, so this Sunday we will pick up where we left off and give thanks for Cynthia, who has served as our faithful treasurer for over 20 years. Did I mention that there will be cake?!

Jeff Mitchell to Preach Jan. 28th

I’m very excited to inform you that our very own Jeff Mitchell has heard God’s call to ministry and will soon be going under the care of our presbytery, to eventually become a Commissioned Lay Pastor. 

I hope that you will come support him on this path, as he practices his craft of delivering sermons on January 28th. Jeff has such a kind, loving heart and a passion for his faith. He will make a great pastor one day! 

Congregational Meeting Scheduled for February 11th

Session and I are busy preparing for our upcoming Congregational Meeting, and I have good news! Our year-end numbers are finally in for 2023, and if you read them in conjunction with our numbers from 2022, we’re actually in the black. 

As you know, we spent a lot of money this year on our sanctuary renovation project (which is still not yet complete), but we are currently under budget and still on track to stay within the amount we received from the insurance company. Huzzah! 

In a couple of weeks I will share our year-end numbers with you and explain how to read them. (It’s a bit complicated to understand without knowing the details.) 

Supporting Our Kenya Students

Do you remember that we have been sponsoring a handful of high school students in Kenya for the last few years? It started with Joanina Gichovi and her sister Juster (both of whom went on to graduate from Clarkson!). 

Now we are paying tuition fees for two young men– Linus Mukathe and Romney Murithi. They are both bright young men who would not otherwise be able to afford to attend school. The cost of tuition for each of them is $475. 

As we know from Joanina and Juster, these are students who have big dreams, and might be able to positively change the lives of many people in their communities as adults, if they only had access to education. 

Might you be willing to send in a donation to help with their tuition for the year? We’re hoping to raise $950. If you’d like to send in a special donation, write “Kenya Students” on the memo line of your check. 

Help from the Fellas at the Department of Public Works

I forgot to tell you the most amazing story last week– about what happened the day the semi pulled in to deliver our new chairs at church. 

Picture the scene with me: It’s early morning on a cold, snowy January morning in Potsdam. Six folks from our church are gathered together outside on the busy street, peering into the back end of a semi, discussing how best they’re going to lower huge pallets of chairs down from the truck without a lift. 

Each stack of chairs weigh hundreds of pounds, and they’re sitting on the floor of the truck, seven feet above the street surface. How are they going to muscle these chairs to the ground in order to haul them into the building? 

Our folks are in full discussion about the best way to lower the chairs down from the truck without taking out anyone’s aging back, when a couple of workers with the Department of Public Works walk up. It turns out our truck is blocking them from working on a sewer line. 

They wait for a while watching our crew of congregants and decide right then and there that something needs to be done. Without skipping a beat, they jump up on the truck, and together, they lower these unwieldy, heavy stacks of chairs down to the ground. No one asks or expects them to help, but they offered this amazing gift anyway. 

Later in the day, one of our congregants is so pleased with what has transpired, that they drop by the DOPW office with a gift certificate to buy the whole crew lunch at the diner. 

Friends, this is what unconditional love looks like. These fellas weren’t looking for a favor, or praise, or lunch at the diner. They just saw people in need, and jumped in to help! 

If there ever was an example of the Kingdom of God unfolding on the street, this is it. 

May we, like these strangers, find an opportunity this week to go out of our way to help someone we don’t even know. 

In Joy,
Pastor Katrina