News for the Church, 5/3/24

Hello Church!

What a gorgeous early May day, today is! The wood thrushes were singing this morning, the tulips are blooming, hawthorn trees and alder are in full bloom, and the sun is shining! Glory be! 

Here’s the news for the week:

All Church Potluck and Graduation Celebration This Sunday!

Don’t forget to bring a dish to pass this Sunday, as we will be gathering for lunch following worship. We will also be recognizing our 7 graduating seniors– with cake! You won’t want to miss it. 

Front Row Seats Reserved for the Hearing Impaired

Last week Dawn Bartow requested that we set aside some of the front row seats in the sanctuary for those with hearing impairment. (What a great idea, Dawn!) I’ve marked some of the hymnals in the front row with a note that those seats are saved for this purpose. If you struggle with hearing, please feel free to utilize these chairs!

Clarkson’s Take It or Leave It Event, May 3-9th

If you love looking for free treasurers, or have things you’d like to give away, bring them to the Clarkson campus between 10 am – 5:00 pm for the next week. They’re taking household furniture, appliances, kitchenware, tools, sports equipment, etc. etc. 

Meeting for ‘Stand Up for Our Town’ Taking Place on May 8th 

Local folks who are frustrated and/or concerned about the financial failings of our large local community employers and providers– SUNY Potsdam, Clarkson, SLU, nursing homes, etc– are gathering on Wednesday, May 8th at 7pm in the Potsdam Town Hall community room to discuss possible actions. The big, driving question is, “How can we stand up for our town and its local residents? Raamitha Pillay will be moderating the discussion. If you’d like to know more about the meeting, you can email Raamitha at

Tour of Riverview Correctional Facility, May 22nd

For those who are interested in learning more about the SUNY Potsdam at Riverview Correctional Facility program, and how we might be able to support those in the college program there, this is a chance to tour the prison. Supt. McAuliffe will be offering free tours of the facility on Wed. May 22 at either 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. If you’re interested in going and want to carpool, SUNY Potsdam will be sending a van for the morning tour. They will plan to leave campus at 9:00 a.m. and return to the college following the tour. If you would like to attend the tour, please email Nancy Lewis, SUNY P’s director of the program. 

Her email address is

Sending a Welcoming Committee to the Pride Prom, June 8th

Potsdam has a weekend of Pride events planned for the LGBTQ community, and they need our help. Last year was the first time our town had a Pride weekend, and they found protesters coming to heckle the kids who attended the Pride prom. Consequently, the folks at Pride have reached out to ask if some of our congregants might come and serve as a “welcoming committee” to the kids attending the prom. This would involve standing outside the front door of the Pine St. arena with welcome signs and our rainbow flag, offering smiling faces and hugs to those who are attending. 

The dance takes place from 6-9pm, and they have asked if we could be there at 5:30pm and stay until most of the kids have come in the doors. If you’d like to help out in this way, please let me know. Those of us who attend can gather at the church prior to 5:30 to make some signs. 

The Rummage Sale is Coming June 7-8!

If you haven’t already given some thought to what items you’d like to donate to our upcoming rummage sale, I hope you’ll start doing so soon. Ling Zhang has graciously offered to direct this year’s sale, and she’s going to need as many of us as possible to come earlier that week and help set up. 

Juneteenth in Ives Park on June 22nd, 4-8pm

This year’s Juneteenth celebration will be held on Saturday June 22nd. Music, speeches, a free dinner, and community booths will all be part of the afternoon. 

Church Picnic Scheduled for June 23rd

If you haven’t already put it on your calendar, make sure to set aside the afternoon of Sunday, June 23rd for our Church picnic at Lazy River Playground. It’s going to be a blast! 

Pastor Katrina’ Installation Set for Saturday, June 29th 

I’m starting to get excited, folks! My installation will be happening on Saturday, June 29th at 4pm with a dinner to follow. 

The decor for the event will include an art show in the back of the sanctuary, which you are invited to participate in! A few weeks before the 29th, we will start collecting pieces that those of us in the congregation have made, including, but not limited to– sculptures, embroidery projects, woodworking pieces, paintings, knitted items, quilted items, pottery, photography, flower arrangements, musical scores, fishing rods and fly ties. Whatever creative expressions you manifest into life, we’d love to use them as part of the celebration. 

Seating Has Been Rearranged 

As I mentioned before, this summer we are experimenting with seating arrangements in the sanctuary. This last week Ron and I returned the seating to the layout it was when the pews were bolted to the floor. We also moved the front row closer to the chancel, in the hopes that it might help those with hearing issues. Over the next few weeks, please pay attention to how you liked the last layout compared to this one, and let me know what you think! 

Looking to the Future 

Friends, as I begin to put together my installation service, I am thinking about how far our congregation has come in the last 4 years. When I first arrived to be your pastor, the handful of years prior had really taken a toll on you, and morale was low. Despite the low numbers of participants, you decided that you wanted to continue on as a congregation, but we didn’t know what that was going to look like. Would we be able to afford to stay in our building or would we need to sell it? When you called me, I came prepared to work with you on moving into a new home. 

But in the last four years, the tide has shifted. We have become a vibrant, lively church with the financial ability (at least for the time being) to stay in our building and there is a sense of joy and community among us now that did not exist then. Additionally, so many different people have stepped up to volunteer their services in all sorts of ways that keep our church moving into the future.

For all of this, I say thank you. Thank you for believing that God could pull us through! Thank you for becoming such a welcoming and friendly congregation! Thank you for offering your time, talents, and gifts! We are who we are because we have all come together to be the body of Christ. 

With gratitude,
Pastor Katrina