News for the Church, 1/26/24

A good Friday to you, Church,

Oh my! It might be Friday, but what crummy weather we’ve got today. 32 degrees and pouring rain. Blek! I hope you’ve got your yaktrax on, if you’re out walking around. 

Here’s the news for the week. 

Jeff Mitchell to Preach This Sunday

I will be away this Sunday to moderate the Ogdensburg Stone Church’s annual congregational meeting, and I am grateful to Jeff, who is willing to jump in and lead worship in my stead. 

All-Church Potluck Set for February 4th

It’s almost here– time to cook and feast together! Bring a dish to pass on Sunday, February 4th and we will enjoy fellowship together after worship. 

Putting In a New Floor

Well, folks, after a few hairy weeks of working on the floor in the sanctuary, Session has had a “come to Jesus” moment. Our plan, to date, had been to save the church some money and simply refinish the existing floor in the sanctuary. But for a whole host of reasons this option is becoming unrealistic. And so, Session has changed direction, to address our current situation. We have decided to have a new hardwood floor installed over the existing floor. 

Dave Wells has been doing some research, and a new hardwood floor is going to cost us $25,000. Thankfully, we still have $15,000 left in the sanctuary renovation budget, leaving us with a remainder of $10,000 to raise. Waylon Maitland, who will be installing the floor, is Presbyterian and is willing to donate $3,000 towards the cause. And Nathan LaFaver, the painter who repaired and painted the sanctuary walls and ceiling, is also willing to pitch in some. 

I know I’ve been asking you to donate to all sorts of small projects lately– for our Kenyan students, for postage to send winter wear to Ukraine, and for Christmas gifts for people in need– but will you be prayerful about what you might be able to contribute to our new floor? I know that not everyone is in a financial position to help, and that’s absolutely ok, but if a number of us can all pitch in a little, we can make this happen. 

When this is all said and done, we are going to have a magnificent sanctuary to worship in!

ReThinking January

I’ve been falling into the “January slump” lately. Have you? With so many grey days, the weather is starting to get to me. Thankfully, I have a number of craft projects to be working on to distract me from the winter slog. 

One of these projects is something I started years ago, but had to put away because my health wouldn’t allow me to work on it. I recently pulled it out though, and it’s nearing completion. 

Doing this project has made me think about January differently. Yes, deep winter is enough to drive anyone crazy, but this is also special time. There aren’t as many social obligations to tend to in January, and because the weather is often iffy, we don’t plan as many outings– leaving extra time to try things we haven’t done before. 

In all honesty, without the doldrums of January, I wouldn’t have picked this project back up. It would still be folded away in a box somewhere, uncompleted. Friends, if we allow it to be, winter can be a beautiful time to open the box on our creative energy– to try things that we otherwise wouldn’t make the time for. 

Is there something you’ve always wanted to try, but never made the space for in your life? January is a fabulous time to try making a new recipe, or to learn woodworking, or to read a juicy book. It’s a lovely season to write letters to old friends, or make special valentine cards for your grandkids. What creative corner of your brain can you move into during these grey days? If we sweep out the cobwebs and the dust from our creative places and allow the Spirit to move through us, our cabin fever can transform into a beautiful, and meaningful season of time. 

There is more to life than going to work and coming home to watch television in the evenings. Since we are made in the image of our Creator, we too have magnificent creative power. What beautiful, creative thing can you turn this time of year into? There are painters, cooks, musicians, potters, woodworkers, knitters, actors, and singers hiding inside of ourselves– parts of us we have not yet met. I encourage you to use this special season (otherwise known as January), to get to know those hidden parts of yourself!

In Faith,
Pastor Katrina