News for the Church, 2/23/24

Good Day to you Church,

It’s a balmy 50 outside, and since the sun is shining, I am writing to you from my back deck. I don’t often get a chance to spend time outside in the winter, so this is a treat! 

Here’s the news for the week: 

Jeff Mitchell to Preach this Sunday, Feb. 25 

This week I went in for an ablation of my SI joint, and I am so grateful to Jeff for taking the reins this week in worship so I can continue to rest and recoup. (The procedure went well, but I am slower to recover than I expected.) 

“The Gaza Crisis and the Debate about Genocide”

Wed. February 28, 7 PM

St. Lawrence University is hosting a spring lecture series called Israel/Palestine: Contexts and Perspectives. The February lecture, concerning the topic of genocide, will be presented by Elun Gabriel, in Hepburn Hall, 218 Auditorium.

All Church Potluck, Sunday March 3rd 

A week from this Sunday we will again be sharing a meal together after worship. I hope you’ll join us!

Youth Group Has Returned!

Our small but mighty youth group– a co-sponsored group between our church and the Methodist church– has been resurrected. Our next night for the youth will be Monday, March 4th at 6:30pm at our church. 

“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Multifarious Contexts; Diverging Perspectives” Wed. March 6th
SLU’s March lecture on Israel/Palestine: Contexts and Perspectives will be presented by Oded Haklai of Queen’s University on Wednesday, March 6, 7 PM in Hepburn Hall, 218 Auditorium. 

Calls for Per Capita Giving 

As I mentioned last week, we are collecting gifts of $33 from those of you who are members, who might be willing to help the church offset our per capita bill to Presbytery. This year our bill totals $1,386. As a reminder, we are only required to pay per capita for folks in our congregation who are members. If you have not officially joined the church, this does not apply to you.

The Sanctuary Floor is Complete! 

Waylon Maitland and his 6-person crew came this last week and laid our brand-new oak floor down in the sanctuary– and boy does it look beautiful! At this rate, we should be able to hold our first worship service back in the sanctuary by Easter Sunday. 

Sanctuary Cleaning Crew

Before we can move back into the sanctuary, we’ve got some major cleaning to do! We don’t yet have a date for a work party, but might you be willing to spare a couple hours on a Saturday later in March to come and help clean the sanctuary? The pews need scrubbing, the pew cushions need vacuuming, the walls need dusting, the sound system needs to be re-installed, and the narthex needs a good tidying up. 

I’ll let you know the details for the date as they become available, but we’re likely looking at the 16th or the 23rd of March. 

Church Directory is Almost Complete

We’ve all been waiting for this– our updated church directory. It should be available in the next couple of weeks! 

God Doesn’t Give Up on Us, and Neither Should We

Last night I got a surprise phone call from our friend Daniel, who is currently in rehab. He’s proud to say that he’s getting healthy, feeling good about himself, and giving back to the community he’s currently living in. While we talked on the phone, his second batch of banana nut muffins were baking in the oven– which he was delighted to get to share with his colleagues in rehab. 

Daniel asks that we continue to pray for him, and thanks us for all of the support we’ve offered to him over these last few months. He explained to me that he had lost himself over the years, but he’s ready to come back to life and be a contributing member of society. 

Friends, you and I are not so unlike Daniel. We lose our way too– in our relationships, our resentments and our grudges, our untruths, our fears, our guilt and our shame, and our disbelief in ourselves and in God’s goodness in the world. 

But God is always waiting for us with open arms– for that moment when we decide to come back to grace. We may or may not need to go to rehab to find the light of Life, but all of us are invited to move into mutuality, love, respect, and delight– in ourselves, in each other, in our community, and in God. In truth, we move in and out of these markers of God’s kingdom throughout our lives, but when we slide into half-living, God never gives us up. No matter what, God holds space for us to return to the light. 

If you are feeling lost, my prayer for you is that you don’t give up. God hasn’t, and neither will we. Grace is always waiting with her hand outstretched.

In Faith,
Pastor Katrina