News for the Church, 4/26/24

Hello Church,

It’s a fine spring day outside! I saw a woodcock doing his diving dance for the ladies the other day and the forsythia have been putting on quite a show this last week. It’s a fine time to be outside– whether you’re the one doing a mating dance, or just enjoying the show from the sidelines.

Here’s the news for the week: 

SUNY Potsdam Students Staging March to Protest Excessive Violence in Gaza This Sunday at 2pm

Students are leading a march this Sunday at 2pm to protest Israel’s civilian casualty count against Palestinians in Gaza, as they wage war against Hamas. The protest will begin in front of Satterlee Hall at 2pm. Marchers will walk peacefully down to the Post Office. SUNY students are welcoming local neighbors to join them, and/or to watch on the sidelines as neutral observers. If you’d like to be part of this, feel free to participate in any way that you feel comfortable doing so. 

All-Church Potluck and Senior Graduation Celebration Set for Sunday, May 5th 

Next Sunday, plan to bring a dish to pass for our monthly lunch gathering after worship. That Sunday we will also be celebrating our graduation seniors with cake! We will be honoring Eric, Lee, Quinn, Marla, Emma, Lydia, and Sarah. (What a crew we have!) 

“Take It or Leave It” Taking Place at Clarkson, May 3-9

Clarkson is again hosting their “Take It or Leave It” event– where both students and local citizens are invited to bring items they no longer use to give away, or come and take things for free that others no longer want. The event will be ongoing each day from 10am-5pm on the south side of the ERC, on the lawn between the ERC, the townhouses, and Woodstock. 

Meeting for ‘Stand Up for Our Town’ Taking Place on May 8th at 7pm at the Potsdam Town Hall Community Room

Local folks who are frustrated and/or concerned about the financial failings of our large local community employers and providers– SUNY Potsdam, Clarkson, SLU, nursing homes, etc– are gathering on Wednesday, May 8th to discuss possible actions. The big, driving question is, “How can we stand up for our town and its local residents? Raamitha Pillay will be moderating the discussion. If you’d like to know more about the meeting, you can email Raamitha at

Bookshelves Looking for a Good Home

Susan Dillion has bookshelves to give away– a large one and a couple of smaller ones. If you’re interested, you can email her at

Ella Weldy Speaks to NCPR about Clarkson’s Earth Day Events

As some of you know, Ella Weldy, a junior at Clarkson, was a major organizer in Clarkson’s Earth Day events this last week. She spoke with NCPR about their goings-on. Way to go Ella! (If you’d like to listen in, here’s the link:

Weekly Update on the Sound Issue in the Sanctuary

Yesterday, Dale Hobson, Ron Kaiser, and I met with Crane’s sound engineer in the sanctuary to discuss options for improving the quality of our sound. Douglas McKinnie took measurements of the room and will be sending us a list of the number, size, and shape of sound absorption panels we should install to dampen the echo. It will take a few weeks to order them and then have them installed, but we’re on our way folks! 

Douglas also offered to give us (for free!) a sound mixer, which he and Dale are installing today. This new mixer will replace our old one, and will help improve the quality of our microphones’ projection. Additionally, he is sending us recommendations for a new camera and special microphone that will greatly improve the quality of viewing and hearing for our online participants. 

Lap Blankets for the Sanctuary 

Do you ever find yourself feeling chilly in the sanctuary? Last Sunday, Helen Kenny came to tell me about a brilliant idea she had to address this issue. While visiting Sweden, she noticed that many restaurants there offer outdoor seating– even in cold months. To help their patrons feel more comfortable, many restaurants have large baskets set nearby with lap blankets available for people to use while dining. Helen suggested we might borrow that idea for the sanctuary. Session thought this was a great idea and plans to work on acquiring both baskets and blankets. Thanks Helen! 

Our Lawn Fairies Have Returned 

A big thanks to those of you who anonymously show up to take care of the church yard during the week! The lawn has had its first hair cut of the season, sticks and other debris have been picked up, and things are looking spiffy. Thank you! 

Community Suppers are About More than Food 

Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of eating dinner with folks at this month’s Community Supper, and I was reminded about the importance of breaking bread with people. Our Community Supper volunteers did a fabulous job making chili, carrot salad, corn muffins, and dessert, but the food is only half of the magic. Yesterday, Arthur Freeheart, Susan Dillion, and I ate with a man named Tom. We had a nice time visiting together, but I felt something happening that was bigger than the words that were being shared. Tom and I connected over how nerve-racking it is to go for a job interview and what it’s like to be on disability. For a few minutes, over our bites of chili, we saw each other. And heard each other. And it was beautiful. 

I also got the chance to visit with a couple of our youth group kids. Their faces lit up when they saw me, and we had some good giggles together. And in those giggles, love and joy blossomed. 

Friends, I hope that you might find the opportunity to break bread with someone you don’t normally eat with. It’s not guaranteed that the Spirit will descend, but there’s something about sharing food together that opens the door up for spiritual connection. 

Looking Forward to Breaking Bread with You Soon,
Pastor Katrina