News for the Church 3/17/23

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you, Church!

It’s a dreary early spring day– yes, it’s overcast, slushy, and muddy outside, but it’s warm enough for the snow to be melting and spring is genuinely on its way. And I can’t wait! 

Here’s the news for the week: 

A Call for Volunteers at Riverview Correctional Facility

We’re still looking for people interested in volunteering as tutors, knitting instructors, drawing instructors, and AA and NA facilitators at Riverview Correctional Facility. If you’re curious to learn more or have questions about what this might entail, we will be having an informational night this coming Thursday at 7pm (March 23rd) at the Potsdam Library. The director of the program, Nancy Lewis, will be there to explain how things work, and the first “graduate” of the program at Riverview, Brandon Rodriguez, who is now a full time student at SUNY Potsdam, will be there to tell some of his story and explain why this program matters so much. 

If you think you might be interested in attending, shoot me an email so I can put you on the list. Or, if you forget to do that, just show up this Thursday night. 

Community Supper this Thursday

For those of you who volunteer, this is your reminder that this coming Thursday evening is Community Supper night. Jane Wells will be running things this month, if you have any questions. 

Jeff Mitchell to Preach Sunday, March 26th

Join us for worship next Sunday, as Jeff brings us a word from the Word.

Festival of Sacred Music and Text, March 26th

Sunday, March 26th at 3pm we will be joining our PIC neighbors for a wonderful concert of music and spoken word at the Potsdam Methodist Church. I hope you’ll consider joining us! 

Lynn Warden’s Memorial Service

If you’d like to attend, calling hours for Lynn Warden will be held on April 15th from 2-4pm at Garner Funeral Home. A memorial service will follow at 4pm. 

Our Gift for Ron Kaiser

Every week, on Thursday afternoons, I meet with our custodian, Ron. We sit down together and discuss what’s happening in the building, and what needs extra attention and care. Ron, for his part, is always on top of things, and often takes care of problems even before I know that they exist. For over 20 years he’s been the glue that has held our building together. 

This past Thursday, however, I had the privilege of talking with him about something other than the leaking roof, when and where to set up chairs, or issues that Head Start might be encountering. This week I was able to hand him a white envelope with a big, fat check inside– the love offering that we have been collecting for him over the course of this past month.

As you know, the last couple of years have been hard on Ron. He’s had serious problems with his heart, and nearly died. Thanks be to God, he pulled through, but the financial result of all of the medical care he needed meant that he and his wife had to drain their entire savings in order to cover Ron’s medical bills. This meant that the money they had earmarked to someday be able to make a down-payment on a house disappeared into thin air. 

This year, Ron is doing somewhat better, but he still has expensive medical bills to pay, and he and his family are putting their best efforts into starting over again with saving up enough money to afford buying a house. 

When Ron opened the envelope with a check for $3,235 inside, he nearly fell out of his chair. He said that nothing like this has ever happened to him before, and sat there utterly speechless for a little while. 

Ron has worked as a custodian for congregations all over Potsdam for most of his adult life, and his remark to me was, “Your congregation has the most loving, compassionate people I have run across. Thank you for caring about me. I can’t express in words what this means.” 

Friends, thank you for your generosity in helping to support Ron. Sometimes we overlook the people closest to us who are struggling, even though they’re right there in front of us. Thank you for giving of yourselves to make life a little easier for Ron and his family. You may not see him on Sunday mornings, but he’s an integral part of our church, and I am delighted that we could love on him in this way. 

Ron, goofily trying to express his shock at our gift.

This week, in my own life, I was reminded that all of us need each other. We need help, and support, and encouragement– because that’s part of what it means to be human. This week it was Ron who needed an extra dose of support and love, but I’m wondering if you might need a little extra care this week, yourself. 

If you do, my prayer for you is that you will be brave enough to ask for what you need– be it from your church family, from a neighbor, a friend, or someone at work. 

God created us to be interdependent upon one another. That’s how God designed us to live in the world! And there is no shame in ever needing to ask for help from those around us. In fact, asking for help means that you are inviting the Kingdom of God into the world, both for yourself and for those you are inviting to help you. When we do so, and others respond, we are building loving relationships of mutuality and care, and that’s the place where God’s light shines brightest. 

May you know this week that you, just like Ron, are worthy of care and support. 

Pastor Katrina 

Ron, full of joy!