News for the Church, 9/22/23

Good Day to you Church,

It’s officially a gorgeous fall day outside– we can finally say that! Happy fall y’all. 🙂 

Here’s the news for today: 

All-Church Potluck, Oct. 1st

When you come to church a week from this Sunday, plan to bring a dish to pass at our next All-Church potluck. We will enjoy food, fellowship, and camaraderie following our worship service. 

Yimei Zhu to be Baptized Oct. 1st

I hope you will be able to join us for worship on Sunday, Oct 1st, when Yimei– one of our newcomers– will be baptized. She is excited to share this moment with all of us.

Volunteers Still Needed to Help with our Star

We’ve had two people volunteer to help Dick Partch do some maintenance work on our giant blue star that shines brightly over the town of Potsdam every Advent season. Might you be willing to join them? It will take about 90 minutes to lower the star, replace some light bulbs, and then heave it back up into place at the top of the steeple with a set of pulleys and ropes. Please let me know if you’re able to help. When we get 6 people together for the job, we will find a day when we’re all available to meet. 

PIC Picnic was a Success

Thursday night, about 60 people from 8 different congregations in Potsdam and the surrounding area came together for food and fellowship at the annual Potsdam Interfaith Community picnic. I visited with people from the masjid, the synagogue, the UU Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Quaker Church, and the Russian Orthodox Church. In a time of political and theological divide, these dinners are an opportunity to remember that people we might otherwise disagree with are still our fellow brothers and sisters in God’s family. I hope that next year you might consider joining us! 

We’ve raised $600 for the Sanctuary Renovation

Last Sunday, Emmett Smith, the CEO of Northern Power & Light came to church to give us a presentation on the merits of switching our electricity from National Grid, and its natural-gas powered electricity, to this local company, which runs its electricity via sustainable hydro-power. 

NP&L is offering our church $100 for every person in our congregation (and beyond) who switches their electrical services over to their hydro-power services. So far, we’ve raised $600 through this fundraiser. Might you consider doing it too? 

The cost of your electricity will stay exactly the same. The only added requirement for you is that you will have to pay 2 bills each month, instead of one. (You will pay NP&L for your electricity and National Grid a small amount for carrying and supplying the electricity.) 

If you’d like to do something positive to fight climate change and help support the church through a $100 donation from NP&L, please go to their website and sign up. Use the promo code: SAVE THE SANCTUARY

Here’s the link:

Pastor Katrina Away for 2 Weeks

Friends, my family could really use your prayers. My step-brother is gravely ill and will likely not survive the coming weeks after a complicated heart surgery that did not go well. 

My step-brother, John, lives about an hour away from my mom in southwestern Missouri, and is currently in critical condition in the ICU in Springfield, MO. And my mom, who is his only support system and holding herself together as best she can, is in need of serious support herself.

I have made plans to fly out to be with both my mom and my step-brother in early October. I will be gone from Oct. 4th- Oct. 19th. 

Here is the plan for the 2 Sundays that I will be away:

Oct. 8th, Raamitha Pillay, who directs our local chapter of the Poor People’s Campaign and is teaching our weekly class called The Difficult Conversation Lab, will be a special speaker during worship. 

Oct. 15th, Jeff Mitchell will preach and lead worship. 

Please pray for both John’s health, and that God’s peace will wash over my family– no matter the outcome of the next few weeks. We don’t get to know if John is going to survive this or not, and more than anything we need God’s peace. 

The Spikey Church and the Star

I thought you might get a laugh out of an encounter I had last night at the PIC picnic. I got chatting with a family that lives in Potsdam and attends St. Olympus Orthodox Church in Norwood. The father asked which congregation I’m a part of, and I told him that I’m the pastor at the Potsdam Presbyterian Church. He asked which church that was, and I started to describe our church building and its location. 

“It’s the large sandstone building tucked in the triangle between Route 11 and 11B,” I said– trying to describe where our church building sits. 

“Oh!” he exclaimed, “You mean the Spikey Church?!” 

“The Spikey Church?” I asked, slightly confused. 

“Yeah, my 6-year old refers to your church as the Spikey Church because the spires are so tall and…. well, spikey! We drive by your church every day, and every day he says, ‘There’s the Spikey Church, dad!'” 

This father and I had a good chuckle. 

Later in the evening, this same man and I were sitting with some young men from the masjid, who also asked which church I belong to. I began to say, “The Presbyterian Church,” when this father piped in.

“It’s the spikey church just a few blocks down Elm St. from your masjid.” 

All of the men at the table began to laugh and nod their heads in understanding. They knew exactly what The Spikey Church meant! 

One of these young men chimed in, “And you have the big blue star that shines brightly in the winter. I look at that star every time I walk from Clarkson, all the way down Elm St. to the masjid for daily prayers. It’s beautiful and it brings a smile to my face.” 

May the blessings of autumnal grace belong to you today, 
Pastor Katrina