News for the Church, 4/19/24

Conklin during coffee hour this Sunday. Meghan works for CP of the North Country, which is launching a new volunteer program to help meet the needs of elderly folks in our community who can’t get out in the world any longer. She will explain how the program works and how you can get involved. 

Update on the Sound System in the Sanctuary 

If you were in worship last Sunday you will know that our sound system is having major problems right now. Even for those of us who can hear well, the echo is terrible! Thankfully, the mic attached to the pulpit seems to project sound more adequately, so I will do my best to sit on a stool and preach from there until we find a better solution. 

This week we reached out to Crane’s sound engineer to come consult with us on how to address the issues we’re facing. Hopefully he can come soon and direct us in helpful ways. 

For those of you who are frustrated, Dawn Bartow discovered that sitting in the front row, right in the middle helped. Perhaps you want to join her there for the next few Sundays. 

Sermon Series on the Lord’s Prayer/Prayer of our Savior

Back before I became your pastor, a decision was made at our church to switch over from saying The Lord’s Prayer every Sunday to a more inclusive version, called the Prayer of our Savior. Not everyone understands why we did this, so the first two Sundays in May we will dive into the Prayer of our Savior– to look at its meaning and why it’s important to have made this switch in our language. I hope you’ll join us for these special Sundays. 

Shall We Have a Church Picnic at Lazy River Playground June 23rd? 

We have the opportunity to play together again this summer at Lazy River Playground on a Sunday afternoon, but before Sharon Pickard books the space, we need to confirm that enough people want to come out for it. 

Last year we had a huge potluck and a place to grill meat, along with shuffleboard, corn hole, putt-putt golfing, roller skating, swimming, and the chance to go forest bathing. Those of us who went had a blast. Do we want to do this again this year? 

If you’d like to go, please send me a quick email letting me know you’d like to come! Or, let Sharon Pickard know. If we have enough critical mass, we’ll book the site. 

The Festival of Sacred Music and Text was a Hit Last Sunday! 

I am proud to announce that we’ve officially had our first guests in the newly renovated sanctuary. Last Sunday over 100 people came to listen to the varying musical traditions of our neighbors and friends. Folks from the UU Church, Congregation Beth-El, the Mormon Church, the Christian Science Church, and the Orthodox Church joined us to sing and share songs of our faith with one another. 

After that, each congregation had a booth set up in the Community Center to showcase what our congregations believe and live out. I want to give a big shout out to Diamante Maya who helped put our display together, as well as Susan and Jeff Mitchell, and Terry de la Vega and Dale Hobson, who volunteered to run the coffee station and help host all these folks. It was a wonderful day together! 

Support for Second Chance Scholars

I also want to thank all of you who came out last Sunday to listen to and support Brandon Rodriguez and the non-profit he started called Second Chance Scholars. I know that many of you were touched by Brandon’s story and the work his group is doing. 

I don’t have a final count yet, but Susan Mitchell tells me we raised around $1,000 for SCS! This money will go directly to help house men like Brandon, who come out of prison with nothing other than the desire to do better in the world and a chance to finish their bachelor’s degrees at SUNY Potsdam. Friends, THANK YOU for your generosity! This opportunity is the difference between men like Brandon ending up in a homeless shelter, struggling to keep their head above the water, and the chance to become a contributing member of society. 

This is How You Tell It Is Spring

As many of you know, I work two jobs. I work part-time at the church and I tutor math for students with learning disabilities at Little River Community School. Recently, the 5th graders wrote poems and one of them caught my eye. Liam Q. wrote a poem about spring. 

This is How You Tell It Is Spring

The flowers are blooming
The imagination is flowing
The trees are swaying
The water is crackling 
The wind is low and steady
The grass is green and warm
The stars are gleaming at night
This is how you tell it is spring. 

My prayer for us as a community is that spring might be bursting forth in us, just as it is in the world around us. Are the flowers of our soul blooming? Is our imagination flowing? Are the stars in our hearts gleaming at night? 

God, give us the desire to open ourselves up to your renewal of life. May we become a church bursting with life!

With gratitude for who we are becoming,
Pastor Katrina