News for the Church, 5/10/24

Hello Church, 

We are in the sweet spot of spring now, aren’t’ we? The apple trees and the crab apples are in full bloom, songbirds are everywhere, the peepers are croaking at high volume, the grass is growing like gangbusters, and the trees are leafing in every shade of green possible. Life is exploding all around us! 

Here’s the news for the week: 

Church Yard Clean Up Happening Tomorrow (Saturday the 11th) at 10am

If you have an hour to spare tomorrow morning, please join Bob Pickard and the crew as they rake up the leftovers of winter in the church yard and prep things for spring. Bring a rake if you have one!

Pastor Katrina Away for 2 Weeks 

Next week I will be away on vacation– going to do some medical treatments in Albany. And the week after that I will be participating in the Festival of Homiletics. If you need anything while I’m gone, get in touch with a Session member (Terry, Dale, Renee, or Jeff). Or, feel free to call Sue in the office. 

Pentecost Sunday, May 19

While I am gone, Franny Knott, a lay pastor in the Methodist Church, will be preaching for us on Pentecost Sunday. 

Remember to wear red that Sunday to celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church! 

Community Supper Set for Thursday, May 23

The next community supper will be held at our church the 4th Thursday of May. If you have any questions, give Sharon Pickard a shout. 

Jeff Mitchell to Preach May 26

And the next Sunday, May 26th, Jeff Mitchell will be preaching.

Rummage Sale is Coming Up! 

The week of June 7-8 Ling Zhang is going to need help setting up for our rummage sale– setting up tables, organizing items, and getting the Community Center in tip top shape. Might you have a few hours to drop in that Wednesday (the 5th) or Thursday (the 6th) to help? And might you be available to help run the sale on Friday and Saturday? If you know you can help, send her an email to let her know. Her email is:

Youth Group to Participate in Potsdam Pride

Saturday, June 8th, our youth will be running a booth at Potsdam’s second annual Pride festival. We will be offering free face painting and temporary tattoos in Ives Park. 

Creating a Welcoming Committee for the Pride Prom 

That same night, there is a Pride Prom being hosted at the Pine Street arena. Many young folks attend, but folks of every age who belong to the queer community are invited to attend. Last year at the prom, protesters came out to heckle people. 

Consequently, the folks at Pride have reached out to ask if some of our congregants might come and serve as a “welcoming committee” to stand out front and offer a welcoming presence to those coming in. 

The dance takes place from 6-9pm. They have asked if we can be there at 5:30pm and stay until most of the folks have come in the doors. If you’d like to help out in this way, please let either Jerf or Susan Mitchell know. 

Juneteenth in Ives Park on June 22nd, 4-8pm

This year’s Juneteenth celebration will be held on Saturday June 22nd. Music, speeches, a free dinner, and community booths will all be part of the afternoon. 

Church Picnic Scheduled for June 23rd

If you haven’t already put it on your calendar, make sure to set aside the afternoon of Sunday, June 23rd for our Church picnic at Lazy River Playground. It’s going to be a blast! 

Organ is On It’s Way to being Repaired

Ron has been working with an electrician on the organ this last week. They’ve been troubleshooting all sorts of reasons why it won’t work, and they think they finally got to the bottom of it. It seems that a coil inside the controller broke. They’ve ordered the part, and hopefully it will work when it’s been replaced. Keep your fingers crossed though, folks. Fixing the organ has been a saga! 

Our Support for Second Chance Scholars 

A few Sundays ago, Brandon Rodriguez and others from Second Chance Scholars came to tell us about the positive impact they’re making for men coming out of incarceration who are committed to finishing their college degree at SUNY Potsdam. We took a free will offering for SCS, and I’m proud to let you know that Sue dropped a check in the mail for them this week that totaled $3,109. Thank you so very much for your generosity! This money will go directly to help the next 4-5 men coming to Potsdam this fall to secure housing. 

What Do You Call God? 

Last week during the sermon we started digging into the Lord’s Prayer. In the opening phrase we learned that the word for God in Aramaic– Abwoon– refers to the creative, life-germinating force of God in the universe. We also learned that the essence of God, which is unity and oneness, rings out as sound, flashes as light, and can be felt as vibrations in the cosmic world of the heavens and the earth. 

All of this imagery got me wondering about the names that we use to refer to God. Many of us have a particular name that we typically use on a regular basis– our “go to” way of addressing God. Some of us pray to Jesus, others of us pray to the Lord, or to our Gracious God, or to the Spirit. Recognizing the richness of what lives within the divine, what would it feel like to try using a different name for God for a while? Might that change how we approach God? Might that open up a new way of relating to God? 

In Islam, they have 99 different names for God to reflect the many aspects of who and what God is. Using this as a model, if you pray to our ‘Father God,’ I challenge you this week to see what happens when you try praying to the Mother of Life, or to the Ground Beneath our Feet. What might happen if you refer to God as the Loving Force in the Universe? Or the Great Creator? Or the Healing Physician? Or what sort of name might you come up with that reflects the nature of God? 

 If you give this exercise a try– of using a different name for God– I’d be curious to know how it feels for you. And what you learn. And if anything shifts in your spiritual life. 

This week I will be trying out the name Birther of Life.

Pastor Katrina