News for the Church, 9/9/22

Good Afternoon Church,

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood! A warm, clear, early fall day. From where I’m sitting on my back porch, I can see the goldenrod in full bloom and the aster are warming up for their own showy display. 

If you’ve got a garden, I’m guessing that your tomatoes, peppers, beans, and maybe even early apples, are in abundance. This is a beautiful time of year to be alive, and I thank God that we have the opportunity to enjoy it. 

Here’s the news for the week: 

PIC Picnic in the Park this Thursday Night, Sept. 15th!

Plan to come down to Sandstone Park on Thursday night, starting at 5:30pm for one of Potsdam’s best yearly events. We will be gathering with our Jewish, Methodist, Mormon, Catholic, Christian Science, Muslim, and UU brothers and sisters in a fun night of fellowship and friendship. The Muslims are providing the meat (both halal and kosher), PIC is buying pizza, and you are invited to bring a vegetarian dish to share. There will be games for kids and adults alike, and a chance to make new friends.

Games to Play at Coffee Hour

We’ve recently picked back up with visiting together during coffee hour, and some of us are experiencing some anxiety around it. As a way to ease the tension of conversing, especially if you’re new and don’t know anyone, Renee Stauffer suggested we have a game table. We’ve ordered checkers, Yahtzee, Uno, and Connect 4, and will have them available to play while we drink coffee and nibble on cookies. I hope this will be a fun, more relaxing way for some of us to enjoy spending time together after the service!

All-Church Potluck, Sunday Sept. 18th!

Just a quick reminder– we will be eating our first meal together since the pandemic in a couple of Sundays. I’m excited to see what sort of spread we end up with! What are you bringing? 🙂 🙂 

Food Pantry Temporarily Closed

Perhaps you’ve been to church this week and noticed that the food pantry in the breezeway is missing in action. I’m very sad to say that for the moment, the pantry is closed. We have been having serious troubles with a single couple who have been coming in regularly and cleaning out the pantry. We’ve spoken to them numerous times about changing their behavior, posted signs, and spoken to the couple again, but they have not complied with our requests to take only what they need and consider others. We are hoping that taking a break for a while will send the message that they cannot treat this emergency food pantry like a free grocery store and leave bare shelves for our other guests. We deeply apologize to our other guests for this action and hope to be back soon. 

Community Supper Set for Sept. 22nd

If you’d like to join in the fun of helping to prepare and serve a meal to our greater community on Thursday the 22nd, please get in touch with Sharon Pickard. 

Mitchells Looking for a Place to Live

Perhaps you met Susan and Jeff Mitchell last week at church. They have been joining us online for most of this past year from their camp in North Bangor. The Mitchells are from Maryland, but after their house was struck by lightning in a hurricane, they were forced to move. Since moving to their camp this past spring, they have decided to move permanently to the Potsdam area (and get involved in our church!), but they aren’t able to buy a place to live until their Maryland house has been fixed and sold. Thankfully, they’ve been able to live in their camp. The problem with this is however, that winter is too cold. 

Do you happen to know of snowbirds who fly south from January to March, who might want a responsible couple to house sit while they are gone? Or do you happen to know of a suitable short-term rental in the Potsdam area for those months? 

Even if you don’t have any ideas, let’s make sure to make the Mitchells feel welcome in our congregation when they come in person again! 🙂 

Changing Seasons

I always start to experience stress and anxiety in the fall season. Do you happen to have the same problem? I love fall, but there’s something about it that induces a touch of panic in me. Perhaps it’s residual muscle memory from going back to school as a kid, or perhaps it’s my psyche’s fear of winter, but there’s something unsettling about autumn. It means change is a foot! 

If you experience similar feelings of discomfort– whether it’s because your schedule has changed with this new season or because you just feel the new weather patterns in your bones– I invite you this week to pay attention to your body. Listen to it. What is it saying to you? Is your stomach in knots? Are you breathing faster? Are you feeling snippy with others and short on patience? Do you have the urge to hide under the covers and sleep for hours? 

If so, I encourage you to think about what you would do for someone else if you noticed them having these same problems. Would you give them a hug? Bring them a cup of tea or take them out for a beer? Send them a note of encouragement in the mail? Whatever it is that you might do for someone else in this situation, I invite you to do that very thing for yourself. Ask someone for a hug. Invite a friend to have a cup of tea with you. Write yourself an encouraging note and then be silly and send it to yourself in the mail (so that you forget about it for a couple of days and have a surprise waiting in the mail.) 

When life feels topsy turvy, this is an important time to be gentle and compassionate with yourself. It’s a time to invite God’s comfort to surround you and uphold you. The 23rd Psalm reminds us of this. It says:

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me … Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” 

~Psalm 23:1-4,6

May you find God’s goodness and love following your every step this week,
Pastor Katrina