News for the Church, 11/17/23

Good Afternoon Church,

It’s 60 degrees out there, and I just came inside from collecting pine needles underneath the red pine tree in my front yard. I’m going to try to make a pine needle basket, and the first step was to sit on the warm earth and glean fallen needles out of the grass from underneath the tree. What a relaxing and rewarding task! 

Here’s the news for the week: 

Quinn Stevenson’s Crane Recital is Tomorrow (Saturday) at 3:05pm

If you’d like to support our music students, coming to Quinn’s recital would be a great way to do it. He will be singing at 3:05pm in Wakefield, which is on the second floor of Bishop Hall at Crane. 

Mental Health Sunday

This Sunday we will be celebrating the work of Karen Easter and the Reach Out Crisis Hotline in St. Lawrence County, which connects people struggling with both mental health and physical crisis needs.

If you ever need help, you can call Reach Out 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and a volunteer will talk with you and then help connect you to local resources that might be able to address your challenges in a comprehensive way. 

This Sunday I will also be preaching about PTSD, and where it manifests in the life of King Saul in 1 Samuel. We don’t honor our mental health struggles enough, and so this Sunday we will turn our focus to the topic. I hope you’ll join us! 

Tuesday, Nov. 21st is the Day for Star Maintenance

If you’d enjoy the adventure of helping to hoist our giant star down from its 60′ perch on the bell tower, so that Dick Partch can change out lightbulbs (and then rehoist it again), Tuesday is the day. We had a blast doing it last year, and I encourage you to come out and help. If you’d like more information, email Dick at

Thanksgiving Community Supper this Coming Thursday

This is a reminder to all of us who will be volunteering for this month’s community supper– this Thursday is Thanksgiving! 

A big shout out of thanks to Sharon Pickard who is organizing this month’s meal, along with all of you who are baking pies, making stuffing, and volunteering your time to help set up, cook, and then clean up. There are plenty of people in Potsdam who have nowhere to go for Thanksgiving, and this is a beautiful opportunity to be in community with people we don’t often see. 

Jeff Mitchell to Preach, Sunday Nov. 26th 

Join us for worship the Sunday after Thanksgiving as Jeff Mitchell brings us a word from the Word for the first Sunday of the Advent season. 

All-Church Potluck and Communion Scheduled for Dec. 3rd

For the second Sunday of Advent, we will be celebrating with food– both during the service and afterwards. 

Additionally, I plan to preach about the war in Israel on Dec 3rd– explaining the history of the situation and wondering together with you about what our Christian response calls us to do and be in this moment. I hope you’ll join us. 

Can You Help Run an Upcoming Community Supper? 

As you know, every 4th Thursday of the month we host a free community supper with our friends from Trinity Episcopal Church. In both January and March we are in need of someone willing to volunteer as the coordinator of the dinner. This entails deciding what will be on the menu, selecting recipes, and then delegating responsibility to people to purchase ingredients and make certain items for the dinner. If you’ve ever cooked for a group of people before, you are qualified to take on this job! If you’re willing, please reach out to Sharon Pickard (who can help you with what you will need to do). She can be reached at

Sanctuary Renovations Continue!

Nate LaFaver and his crew have been busy bees this week in the sanctuary. They’ve added 120 gallons of joint compound to the walls, to stabilize cracks and help patch holes in the plaster, and soon they’ll shift their efforts to painting the layer of primer. Huzzah! 

Living in Thankfulness this Thanksgiving

It’s 6 days and counting until Turkey Day! Do you have special plans for how you will celebrate this year? Do you have special traditions? I’d love to hear about what Thanksgiving looks like for you and yours. One of the traditions in my family is to set 3 corn kernels at each place setting, and during the meal, we all go around and share 3 things we are grateful for in our lives. This practice spurs joyful conversation and slows down the pace of eating (for those of us who typically scarf down our dinner). 

Today I want to remind us of something that Paul recognized in his letter to the Phillipians. He understood the connection between prayer, gratitude, surrender, and peace. He writes, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:6-7

For those of us who practice our faith, we already know that gratefulness brings us the wellbeing that God promises, but below I’m including a fascinating paper from the John Templeton Foundation about the science of gratitude. It examines the positive effects that being thankful has on your health. 

Read Here:

With great thanks for our beloved community,
Pastor Katrina