News for the Church, 3/5/21

Hello Church!

March came roaring in like a lion– will it go out like a lamb? It’s definitely still winter out there today, but from here on out, each day that passes gets us one day closer to green grass, daffodils, and the planting of our new sapling in the front yard. As my Gramma Huyler (who spent her life in Vermont) used to always say– “I have confidence spring will come!” 

While we’re still waiting, however, the big question of the day is– have you received your Covid vaccine yet? We’ve got one of the best vaccination sites set up in our area– did you know that? Maxcy Hall is well-organized, they have enough staff to keep things running smoothly, and you don’t have to sit around and wait for hours and hours– as is the case in other parts of the country. And more and more appointment times are opening up. If you’re eligible, it’s even possible to make an appointment for the very next day! 

Now, I realize that not all of us want to get vaccinated. Some of us are leery of the vaccine or we’re terrified of needles– and I understand this. But given the safety shown in medical trials, please consider that getting vaccinated is a gift that we can offer to everyone in our congregation, to our families, and to our community. Getting vaccinated is a real and tangible way of showing love to each other. 

For those of us who do want to get vaccinated, but who don’t know how to go about getting signed up, or who feel overwhelmed by the whole process, Renee Stauffer is offering to help. If you give her a call or send her an email, she will explain how the process works. She’s also willing to navigate the website with you, and will tell you what to expect when you get to Maxcy Hall. Her number is (315) 742-2478 and her email address is:

I received my first shot a few weeks ago and I’m looking forward to getting my second shot next week. I’m one of those people who really doesn’t like needles (please, no!!!), so I was preparing myself for the worst. But I was taken by surprise at how easy and painless this vaccine was. It was actually over before I even realized that it had happened. 

As more and more people get vaccinated and the possibility of spreading the virus diminishes, the day is drawing closer to when we will be able to return to in-person Sunday worship. For those of you who are wondering– Session plans to take up the topic in detail at our April meeting. Details to follow henceforth! 

Speaking of reopening– enough volunteers from the Free Friday Lunch program have been vaccinated that both they, and Session, are comfortable with resuming the program. Beginning April 9th, take-out lunches will be available to anyone looking for a free meal on Fridays! Guests will be invited to pull into the parking lot, where they will be given a menu slip to fill out. The slips will then be taken to the kitchen, where the meals will be prepared in to-go containers, and then brought back out to folks in the parking lot. 

S-L-O-W-L-Y ….and thoughtfully…. we will soon be able to begin emerging from this pandemic. And in this, too, we will have patience confidence that “spring” will come. 

This month is also colorectal cancer awareness month, and Vernice Church has asked me to pass along to you the importance of screening yourself for this type of cancer (if you’re 45 or older). Last year Vernice was faced by it, and she knows what she’s talking about. “It’s a very quiet form of cancer,” she explained to me, “so you won’t know it’s there until you go looking for it.” Now, to go looking for it involves having a colonoscopy– which all of us can agree is not exactly an enjoyable way of getting to know your doctor better. But it’s important! “Getting one literally saved my life,” Vernice said, “and it might yours as well!” So….while you’re out there signing yourself up for a Covid vaccination, please also consider signing yourself up for a colonoscopy. 

Truly– your health and your well-being matter. They matter to God and to your church family, too. Having wellness and wholeness in our lives is part of what God means by bringing shalom/peace to earth. And so, as Christians, working towards our well-being is part of our spiritual calling– in our earthly bodies as much as it is in our spirits. 

To those stuck in the land of exile, God promised this very thing–

“For I will restore health to you, and heal you of your wounds, says the Lord.”

– Jeremiah 30:17

Calling You (and Me) to Health,
Pastor Katrina

p.s. While we’re still waiting to get together in person, Karen Davis had a great idea for how we can enjoy eating together. Every Sunday a small group of her friends looks to receive a dinner recipe¬†from someone. Then, that next weekend, everyone makes this same meal at their own homes, and zooms together while enjoying. And presto! A pandemic-style dinner party!¬†