News for the Church, 9/24/21

Good day to you, Church! 

Happy Fall Y’all! This week marked the fall equinox– the day of the year when we experience equal amounts of light and darkness. Did you celebrate in any way? I sat outside and listened to the wind rustling in the trees, savoring the sound for just a little while longer. Soon enough, the leaves will put on their colorful display and then bid us adieu! 

Today I have just a few things to tell you about. 

Big Shift Discussion

We held our first Big Shift conversation this last Sunday at church. Twenty-two people came to participate and we had a constructive dialogue. At the end, I asked everyone to go around and give one word to describe how they felt at the end of the discussion. Many people used words like “hopeful,” “connected,” and “curious.” If we can choose to stay in this sweet spot of trusting in God’s grace for us, I truly believe that we will make it through this process of finding a new way to be church. 

Our next Big Shift conversation will take place at the end of October. I hope you’ll consider joining us!

New Office Administrator Coming

Kate Waters has served as our trusty office admin for the last couple of years, but now it’s time for us to say good-bye. Kate will be moving to Connecticut at the end of September and we wish her well! She’s kept us organized and on schedule, and we appreciate all she has done for us.

To fill her shoes, we’ve hired a young woman named Claire Geagan. Claire recently graduated from SLU and has the skills necessary to keep us on our toes. She’s currently training with Kate and will take the reins on her own at the beginning of October. If you see her around, pop in and introduce yourself! (She will likely be in on Mondays and Fridays/Saturdays). 

Rev. Montovani to Preach this Sunday

Rev. Marti Montovani will be preaching and leading worship for us this Sunday, September 26th. 

Supporting our Nurses at CPH

The Potsdam Interfaith Community (PIC) is getting close to having enough congregations involved in this service project to shower the entire nursing staff and environmental services staff at CPH with love and encouragement. 

Our church had originally signed up for the OB unit, but after having to shuffle some things around, we are now the proud adopting congregation of the 3rd Floor Med/Surg Unit, which has 17 nurses and CNAs. 

I know that some of you had planned to whip up batches of brownies and cookies to show your love, but because of concern for Covid it’s (unfortunately) been decided that we need to refrain from making home-made goodies and purchase things instead. 

To keep things from getting too expensive however, PIC has decided to put a $5 cap on each package. So we will be purchasing small things like granola bars, candies, nuts, dried fruit, and pre-packaged cookies, etc. 

If you had originally signed up to bake, but can’t afford to buy goodies instead, don’t worry. I think we will have enough people who can donate money to cover the cost of the packages. But we still need people to do the shopping, and we’ll need a group of us to come together one day to write note cards and assemble the packages– so there will still be jobs to volunteer for if you’re interested! 

Sharon Pickard will be holding a short discussion after church on Sunday to go over details. If you’d like to participate, make sure you talk with her.  

I recently spoke with a friend of mine who works on the 3rd Floor Med/Surg Unit. She said that nurses at CPH are tired and weary, stressed out, and frustrated right now. So, this is the perfect time for us to hold them in the light of God’s love!

Passing Through HeadStart Classrooms 

I received an email this week from one of the teachers at HeadStart. They’ve noticed that things in their classroom have been disheveled the last couple of weeks after we’ve passed through their space on our way to the sanctuary. Last week we had young visitors who didn’t know that they weren’t supposed to be playing in the classrooms (which explains why toys had been played with), but this is a general reminder to all of us to “keep it moving” as we walk through their classrooms. If you have a bulletin to recycle or trash to toss, please do it at either the bell tower entrance or in the Center. Thanks! 

A Word of Covid Encouragement

The other day I heard a little girl bemoan, “But I’m so tired of living through a historic event!” 

Friends, are you feeling downcast right now? Maybe you’re feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed. Maybe you’ve lost your energy and you’re experiencing a case of the “blah’s” right now. If this is you, I want you to know that you’re not alone. Many of us are having a hard time at the moment. We’ve run out of steam. And that’s normal. 

When we get this way, however, it’s important to notice what’s happening to us and make it a priority to take care of ourselves. 

A good question to ask is, “What do I need right now?” 

Do you need a hug? Or a visit with a friend? Maybe you need to get out of your house and breathe some different air. Perhaps a long walk or some exercise would help. Do you need to turn the news off and watch a funny movie? Or get on your knees and offer your burden to God? 

Someday things won’t be this hard, but for right now we need to be serious about having tender, loving care for ourselves. And this is the time to surrender our needs to God and ask for help to see us through. 

Psalms reminds us:

“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”

Psalm 32:7-8 

This week, I encourage you to ask God for help when you need a hiding place or a song of deliverance. And remember that God gives us what we need to get by– we only need ask for it. 

Holding the faith line,
Pastor Katrina