Good Day to you Church!
Today I am reporting to you from the sunny side of my back porch. Yahooo! If that weren’t enough to make me jump for joy, my daffodils started blooming today too. (Can you tell that I am one happy pastor?!)
Here’s the news for the week:
Bible Study is Cancelled for this Saturday
Diamante is having her bathroom renovated this week, so we won’t be able to meet for Bible Study tomorrow night. But we’ll be back at it on the 22nd.
We’re Back in the Sanctuary Again
If you come to Sunday worship, remember to head towards the sanctuary instead of the Center. Winter is now over and we don’t have to worry about freezing our keisters off any longer! (Or paying a hefty heating bill to try to keep us warm.)
Girl Scout Cookies for Sale
This Sunday during coffee hour, our local Girl Scouts will be back selling their sweet treats for one more week. Come and get those thin mints and tag-alongs before they disappear for another year!
Masks are Optional
Friends, I know we said we’d wait until May to make masks optional for worship, but the cat’s already out of the bag at this point. So… starting this Sunday, feel free to decide for yourself about what works best for you. Masks are still available in the bell tower room and in the narthex, if you decide you want to wear one.
In this regard, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to you all. We have been wearing masks for a very, very long time– to try to keep some of our sick and vulnerable people from catching Covid. I know it’s not easy or comfortable to wear a mask, but you did it out of love. And I want you to know that I appreciate that.
Membership Class in May or June?
It seems that perhaps we have enough interest to hold a membership class this spring. If you’re thinking about joining the church as a fully-fledged member, this class is for you! We will meet for three Sundays following worship, for about an hour each week to learn more about the Presbyterian tradition, what it means to be a member of our church, and share our individual faith journeys.
After these classes, if you still feel committed to becoming a member, we will officially welcome you into the fold on a forthcoming Sunday during worship.
Being a member is important for a number of reasons. First, it shows your commitment to our particular congregation. Second, it allows you to serve our congregation in an important way– by having the opportunity to become a Session member (remember– “Session” is our funny name for a church board). Only members of the congregation can serve in this vital function, and we desperately need more people to step up and take on this leadership role in the coming years. So, if you are feeling like our congregation is the church family you want to commit yourself to for the foreseeable future, I ask that you pray about taking this membership class.
If you’re interested, please email me back and let me know you’d like to join in on the fun. We will plan to hold these classes sometime in May or June, depending on people’s schedules.
Interested in Picking Back Up with a Mid-Week Luncheon?
For a while last year, we had success with organizing monthly men’s and a women’s lunches at Jake’s on the Water in the middle of the week. It was a chance for folks to socialize and enjoy each other’s company. At some point though, we all got busy and the numbers dwindled, down to the point that the Pickards felt it was time to cancel them.
The Pickards are willing to revive these lunches again though, if there’s enough interest– either separately like they have been, or, we could hold a single lunch and invite all of us to the same table. (Dale Hobson’s comment was, “I’d be ok sitting next to a girl. At my age I’ve figured out that ya’ll don’t actually have cooties.)
If you’d like to continue with Lunch at Jake’s, find Sharon or Bob Pickard and let them know. If we get enough interest, they will set a date!
It’s that time of year again to start collecting per capita. Our denomination has wonderful resources to share with local churches (which we take full advantage of), but just like most things in life, it costs money to make those resources available. Consequently, every Presbyterian Church in our denomination is required to pay what is called “per capita” for each member of our congregation to help support the availability of those resources. This year that cost is $32/person.
Now, our church budgets money to cover most of this cost, but if you’re a full member and you’re willing to cover the $32 we pay for you, it would take a financial burden off our plate.
If you’d like to send in a $32 donation, make sure you indicate that it’s for “per capita.” (And thank you ahead of time for your generosity in this regard.)
If, however, money is tight for you, please don’t feel obligated to pay this. There is no shame in saying, “I can’t afford it.” There are some generous people in our congregation who, from time to time, offer to pay for other people’s per capita, and between that and money we have set aside in our budget, we’ve got you covered!
Dick Sitterly Passed Away
Some of you may remember Dick Sitterly. He and his wife Judy were very active in our congregation in years past. Dick has been in a nursing home for a while, and died this week at the age of 95. A graveside service is being planned for sometime this summer in Waddington.
If you’d like to send a card to Judy, here’s her address:
345 Arbuckle Pond Rd.
Colton, NY 13625
Meeting Baby Octavier
Do you remember me mentioning to you a few weeks ago about Andre Williams– the homeless young man who is trying his darndest to finish high school? Tonight I am going to take him to visit a local family in Potsdam to see if perhaps it would work out for him to live with them until he graduates. (I think it’s safe to say that we would all greatly appreciate your prayers this afternoon.)
In the mean \time, earlier this week, I had the delight to meet up with Andre and his girlfriend Amy, who is in 11th grade at Hermon-De Kalb. Amy gave birth to their adorable son, Octavier, last Sunday, and I got the chance to hold him! (Since my kids are grown, I’ve forgotten how tiny, precious, and utterly magical newborns are. So, this was a real treat for me.)
Friends, having a child at any age is challenging, but doing so when you are young comes with many extra hurdles, so this week Session decided that our church would its support buy purchasing a stroller for the young family.
I can’t tell you what a beautiful thing it is for a church to stand up and offer love, support, and encouragement to young people trying to make their way in such a treacherous world. May we always be a congregation that offers grace, hospitality, and encouragement in this broken world of ours. For this, dear Hearts, is the way of Christ.
Yours in Christ,