News for the Church, 1/8/21

Hello Church,

We haven’t seen the sun in almost 2 weeks, but it is shining brightly today! (Hallelujah, thank the good Lord!) Sometimes, when it’s been so long since we’ve seen it, I almost forget what sunshine feels like. Do you too?

Now for the news: 

For those of you who are Presbyterian down to the marrow of your bones, you will already know intuitively that our annual Congregational Meeting is coming up! On Sunday, January 31st, following the worship service, you will be invited to our zoom congregational meeting. 

Sometime earlier that week we will send out an email to everyone with the invitation to the zoom meeting. Then, you will be able to join us “live”(!) to discuss the going’s-on of our congregation in 2020 and to discuss what 2021 might look like. I hope you will join us!

Also of note for January, the Rev. Dr. Shaun Whitehead will be preaching on Sunday, January 24. Shaun has become a beloved preacher for us, and brings uplifting messages to our weary souls. I give great thanks for her ministry! 

Since this is the beginning of a new year, and many of us are cleaning out the old to make space for the new, I wanted to ask if there is anyone who would like to be taken off this weekly email list. Email is one of those places where it’s easy to get inundated with an overwhelming amount of notices, newsletters, and well, junk! If you need to declutter some, please just email me back, and I’ll be happy to honor your request. 

For those of you who have been attending our worship services online, you will know that for the next while or so we have to let go of having someone be our song leader when we sing hymns. Keilor, our new musician, is there to play the songs on the piano, but I wanted to offer you access to another way to listen to the hymns. Starting this week, I will include in my weekly email to the church the list of hymns we will be singing and links to Youtube that have people singing these songs. That way, if you need someone to sing along with, you can! 

This week we will be singing: 

“Rock of Ages”

“How Firm a Foundation”

“How Can I Keep from Singing?”

Friends, this week I have some hard, difficult news to share. Terron Baxtron, the 20-something year old son of Jennifer Baxtron–the woman who has organized and led the Black Lives Matter movement in the town of Potsdam– has died. 

Some of us know Jen well, but others of us don’t know her at all. Since BLM became active, she has been on the periphery of our church family– organizing events with us to teach people about the racism that has existed in our neck of the woods, and helping me to learn more about how our church might be able to bring the love of God to the town of Potsdam. 

Jen has not had a church family to call home for quite some time, but has wondered about coming to our church with her three young grandchildren when the pandemic is over. And she often reaches out to me as a minister. 

Tonight I will be going over to her house to sit a spell with her, and to find out if there are any ways that we might be able to serve as her church family. 

Right now she is grieving and hurting immensely, and so I ask that you be praying for her. In addition to that, Julie Miller (who knows Jen well from going to the daily BLM rallies) is organizing a food train to bring meals to Jen and her family over the course of the next few weeks. If you’d like to contribute to that effort, please click on the link below and sign up for a day to bring a meal.

This week has been one for the record, folks– and not because it has been filled with joy and celebration. Please be praying for our country– not that your’s or my will be done, but that God’s will might become manifest among us. We are living in a fractured land, where next-door neighbors regard each other as enemies, and a major split exists in how we choose to see and describe the world around us. This battle stands over the very heart and soul of our nation.

Please be praying for our current president and his wife, for our congress members, for our president-elect and his cabinet, and for our nation as a whole. 

In all of the mayhem this week, if there is anything to remember about our faith, it is these words penned from the Apostle Paul to the Christians living in Rome–

 “I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

–Romans 8:38

May we find our strength in the love of God, dear Hearts. 

Standing in the light,
Pastor Katrina