News for the Church, 3/11/22

Good afternoon to you, Church:

The sun is shining for a few more hours, but we are predicted to get a major snow dump starting later this afternoon. March is our bipolar month, isn’t it? We swing from one extreme to the other! 

Here’s the news for the week:

Vigil for Ukraine to be Held This Saturday

Tomorrow, March 12th at noon, Ola Aldous, a local Ukrainian woman, is holding a vigil at the Canton Village Park in downtown Canton. There will be Ukrainian speakers and able-bodied participants will walk east to Ramoda Drive and back again. The event is anticipated to last one hour. Respectful signs showing support for Ukraine are welcome. 

Spring Forward this Sunday! 

This Sunday begins Daylight Savings Time, so remember to push your clocks forward an hour before you head to bed Saturday night! 

Collecting Donations for Ukrainian Refugees/Displaced People

The Ukrainian community in Montreal is collecting items to be sent to Ukraine to aid people who have been displaced and are unable to access essential goods, and to support refugees who have made it to Canada. Christine Hoerning, a Crane professor, is connected with the Ukrainian community in Montreal, and has agreed to coordinate a donation drive in our area to support their efforts. 

If you would like to make a donation, they are looking for the following items: 

  • first aid items (they must be new and unopened, can include Tylenol, Advil, burn cream, gauze, medical tape, bandages, wraps, antiseptics, rubbing alcohol, band-aids, etc.)
  • emergency/survival items (sleeping bags, camping mats, emergency blankets, etc.)
  • baby food (baby food in all forms, as long as it is new)
  • new or lightly used winter coats
  • hygiene products (sanitary napkins, wipes, soap, toothbrushes, etc.)
  • children’s toys(small, lightweight only, please; books are welcome, but please be mindful that they may not speak English and they may not be settling in a part of Canada that speaks English; picture books are great) 
  • cash donations to help cover the cost of shipping

We will collect these items in a box in the front of the sanctuary. 

Arabic Music Presentation

On March 24th Potsdam’s Majid will present “Arabic Music: Some Influence and Some Authentic.” (Thursday, March 24,from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.) The program will be hosted by Tarik Maatallah, president of the Potsdam Interfaith Community. 

This evening of beautiful music will explore the influence of Arabic music in America and the world. The cultural program will be held via Zoom and is part of the Potsdam Interfaith Community’s series of online learning opportunities. Together, we will sample a few songs from Arabic classical music, modern music, and folklore. We will listen to a beautiful blend of voices of Arabs of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths. We will also hear a few social justice and revolutionary songs as well as a few remixes that combine the music of the east and the west.


Update on our Local Tax Situation

I have good news to report! We have been in discussion with the tax assessor for years over his insistence that we pay taxes on the portion of our building that we rent out to Trillium. Two years ago we hired a lawyer through the Presbytery to look into how/why we might be able to grieve these taxes, since we are a not-for-profit entity. At that time, we did our best to lay out our legal reasoning for why we felt it was inappropriate for us to be taxed, but the assessor was adamant that we are legally obligated to pay these taxes.

As a result of this correspondence from the tax assessor, last year Dave Wells and I met with him to discuss the issue. While we were there, we recognized that the only recourse we would have to fight this would be to take it to court– which would likely cost far more on our end than it was worth. That was both a sobering and disappointing realization. In that meeting, however, we also learned from the tax assessor how we might be able to lower our assessed value, and as a result, reduce our taxes slightly.

Consequently, we did what we could to prove that the assessed portion of the building should be decreased, and this year he lowered the assessment by $2,500. This does not translate into major savings for us, but every penny counts. And so we are grateful! 

A big thanks to those who have worked on this project over the last few years– Sue Waters, Terry de la Vega, David Bennett, Dave Wells, and myself.

Spring is springing!

Friends, with this snow storm coming tomorrow, I’ve found myself wallowing in self-pity the last few days. I’m so over winter already, and I want to pout like a two-year-old. Are you in that place too? Today, however, God is helping me to make an attitude adjustment. Rather than spend today pondering how much I’m going to dislike tomorrow, I’m sitting in the window soaking up today’s sunshine. And I’ve made a pact with myself that tomorrow– hopefully for the very last time this season– I’m going to do something snow-related that brings me joy. Maybe I will have a cup of hot cocoa and watch the snow fall. Maybe I will go outside and try to catch snowflakes on my tongue. Or, if I’m feeling well enough, perhaps I will throw on my snowsuit and go lay in the white stuff and make a snow angel. Will you join me in this (hopefully) last major hurrah for winter? 

The author of 1 Thessalonians wrote to the ancient believers in Thessaloniki to:

 “Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I Have Confidence Spring Will Come,
Pastor Katrina