News for the Church, 2/16/24

Happy Friday to you Church,

As I sit here gazing out my window this morning, a light snow is falling. Looks like we’re back to winter. It’s funny to me that it only took a week of warmer weather for me to feel shocked at the sight of snow once again! 

Here’s the news for the week:

Community Friendship Volunteer Program Presentation This Sunday 

This Sunday during coffee hour, Meghan Conklin will be offering a presentation on the Community Friendship Volunteer Program– a volunteer-based program that provides friendship and a helping hand to seniors in St. Lawrence County, whereby volunteers can assist a senior citizen through friendly home visits, phone conversation, light housekeeping, going on outings, help with errands, and more. 

Julie Miller Presents the Music of Keith Gates

This coming Tuesday, at 7:30pm in Snell Theater, Julie and a variety of other Crane faculty and students will be offering a special, free concert of music from Keith Gates, a former Crane professor who wrote beautiful, spiritually-informed songs and pieces. Julie has been working hard on this project for months, and it promises to be a powerful musical experience. 

Next Community Supper Slated for Thursday, Feb. 22nd

Our next joint Community Supper is being held at Trinity Episcopal Church. For those who want to volunteer, please see Sue Waters. 

Jeff Mitchell to Preach Sunday, Feb. 26th

I hope you’ll join us for worship next Sunday, as Jeff brings us a word from the Word.

Help with Per Capita

It’s time again to be thinking about per capita at church. For those of you who are members, I’d like to ask you to consider sending in a donation to help us pay for this. For each member on our rolls, our church is required to pay $33 to the higher-up governing bodies we belong to. We currently have 42 members, and at $33/per person, you can see that this is going to be a hefty bill for the church. That said, if some of us who are members are able to offer the church a special gift of $33, it will help offset some of what people sometimes refer to as a “head tax.” 

What do I mean by a “head tax?” Perhaps you already know what per capita means, but if not, let me explain. In the Presbyterian Church (USA), individual churches work together to help each other. In our denomination, individual churches in a particular region belong to a governing body we call the Presbytery, and Presbyteries belong to the next higher up governing body, called Synods. And Synods belong to the highest level of governance– the General Assembly. Together, all of these governing bodies help to support local churches with everything from Sunday School curriculum, to social justice resources, to real estate transactions, and hiring new ministers. 

Our church belongs to the Presbytery of Northern New York, which offers the most fabulous support I’ve ever encountered in our denomination. Our presbytery resource leader, David Bennett, was invaluable in helping our congregation navigate through the hardships of the previous 8 years, and was indispensable in helping to bring me on as your new pastor. What’s more, he’s always there to answer any questions I have, and gives the same helpful guidance to all of our local congregations. 

As you can imagine, however, none of this support comes for free. 

It costs money to pay David Bennett to serve in the position he does, and it costs money to run presbyteries, and synods, and the GA. This is why we have per capita. Each congregation is required to support these important governing bodies with their per capita giving, which is determined by the number of members we have. 

If you are a member, it is not mandatory for you to pay the per capita fee the church is charged to support your role in our church, but if you are able to help, it makes a difference for our congregation’s bottom line. If you are able to give, just write “Per Capita” on the memo line of your check. 

*Please note that if you have not formally joined our church as a member, per capita is not charged for you!

Sanctuary Renovations Continue

Well folks, we’re getting down to the end of our sanctuary renovation project! We have 3 more steps to go before we can move back into the sanctuary, and the next major step will start this coming Monday morning. Next week, Waylon Maitland and his crew will be installing our new oak floor. It’s going to be beautiful, and I can’t wait to see how it’s going to look! 

After that, the pews will need to be re-installed and our new chairs will need to be moved over to the sanctuary. And finally, the whole room is going to need a major, thorough cleaning before we can move back into the space for worship. We’re hoping that all of this can be accomplished before Easter Sunday on March 31st. 

This last week our custodian, Ron, started some of the initial cleaning. He also took down all of the plastic that had been keeping the organ’s pipes safe from plaster repair and painting. Doesn’t it look absolutely beautiful? 

Friends, that said– as beautiful as this room is going to be when it’s all said and done, it’s important to remember that our sanctuary is not our church. We are the church, and worship can take place in any space (no matter how ugly or beautiful). But if we’re going to have a designated space to bloom and flourish in as the body of Christ, this one certainly will make do, won’t it? 😉 

With Gratitude and Delight,
Pastor Katrina