Good Day to you, Church,
What an absolutely lovely day it is outside today. Warm and slightly breezy, after a good soaking rain yesterday. You can almost see the plants smiling from their lush drink.
Here’s the news for this week:
New Bible Study on Phillipians to Begin TONIGHT!
For those interested in digging into the word and sharing life together, we will be singing, opening the book of Phillipians, discussing, and praying at 6:30pm at Ivette Herryman-Rodriguez’ house at 8 Hillcrest Drive in Potsdam every Saturday night starting this week. If you have questions, please feel free to contact Diamante Maya at (213) 880-4642.
This is the sort of Bible study where you can come once in a while and not feel left out when you show up, so feel free to drop in from time to time.
Coffee Hour Hosting
Both this coming Sunday (7/31) and next week we do not have coffee hour hosts. If you’ve got extra cookies in your cupboard that you’d be willing to share and want to learn how to make a pot of coffee, this is your chance to host!
Anyone Want to Cantor?
We’ve got room for someone to come up and lead our singing during worship through the end of August. If you’ve always wanted a chance to sing in public, this is your opportunity! Just email me and let me know. (Cantors typically come in at 9:30 to practice the hymns with the pianist, so they know what they’re doing.)
Yesterday afternoon I walked into the church and heard peels of laughter coming from the kitchen. Then I took a sniff of the delicious wafting scent of chili in the air and I knew who it was! Our Community Supper workers were at it again– making chili, cabbage salad, corn muffins, and brownies for nearly 60 people for our monthly Community Supper meals. This is them looking cute for the camera. (Ling Zhang was there too.) I know it sounds crazy, but you’ve never helped out with an event like this before, you wouldn’t know what fun it can be.
If you find yourself lonely and wishing for more connection in your life, this is an easy way to increase the abundance of joy in your life. Next month’s supper will be held on September 23rd at the Episcopal Church (we take turns back and forth). Email Sharon Pickard if you think you’d like to give it a try!
A Note from Linus
One of the high school students we support in Kenya, Linus Kukathe, wrote a note to Joanina telling her about school. I thought you might like to hear what he wrote:
“Hi Joanina, how are you? Is my hope that you are carrying on well under God’s protection. I Linus, I am fine by God’s grace. Morever, my heart Is covered with a cloud of happiness due to the support that I get through you. l take this opportunity to thank you for it. Surely you made my life very bright. If not for you, Dave and the church l could have faced a lot of challenges in my academics but via your efforts I take my learning smoothly. For now, surely I have no doubt to prosper in my life. All my dreams will come to reality by God’s favor. l am trying my best to achieve my goals. In my academics, I’m working hard to make my life prosperous. We did our end of term exam of which I tried my best, although I did not achieve my target which is a A plain. Although I expect to achieve it because I have understood the exam language and my weaknesses. After the exam, here are the results I managed to score”
(Remember that Linus is writing in English– a second, or perhaps 3rd language, and typing on a computer, no less!) Way to go Linus!!
Please be praying for Linus, Annicy, and David– our three students!
Applying for the Rock Charitable Grant
On our marks, get set, go! In the next five weeks, Dave Wells and I will be working on compiling our church’s application for grant money given out by the Rock Charitable Grant to churches in St. Lawrence County for the upkeep of their buildings. If you’ve noticed, we’ve got roof tiles missing on the north side of the sanctuary as well as on the turrets, and we’re hoping to garner the $26,000 needed to fix them.
We think the latest holes emerged in the sanctuary roof in the big wind storms we had earlier this summer, and one of them leaked rain into the sanctuary yesterday in the big thunderstorm we had. (If you see a bucket in the sanctuary on Sunday, that’s why!)
Keep your fingers crossed for us! Our application is due September 2nd, and the grant winners will be announced at the end of December.
Upcoming Sermon on a Bible Passage about Homosexuality
For those who might want to attend, Sunday August 7th I will be preaching on 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, a passage often used to slander gay men. This passage is not as straightforward as the English translation suggests, and we will explore what Paul might be saying, as well as what he is not saying.
Prayers for Vernice Church
I spoke with Vernice this week and learned that her doctors have found cancer in her colon once again. Will you be praying for her? She’s living in the limbo period right now of not knowing anything more than that it’s “there.” Hopefully the doctors will have more definitive news soon, but in the meantime she waits.
If you’d like to send her a note of encouragement, email me and I’ll pass along her mailing address.
What Do You Do for Joy and Rest?
Friends, this is the time of year to kick back a little and have some fun. When was the last time you laughed– I mean, really laughed? When was the last time you let yourself rest– I mean really rest? When was the last time you had some fun? It’s sort of breath-taking to realize that the opening story in our Bibles– the story of creation– is built around the idea of rest; of working for a time and then taking it easy. It’s something that God does for himself, and asks regularly of us too! We were not built to be serious workers all the time. We were designed to enjoy play time! And down time! And good times!
Psalm 98:4 tells us, “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!”
So I’m curious to know– what does joyful noise sound like at your house? What does “taking it easy” look like for you? What does enjoying the art of being alive mean to you? Email me some pictures and send me your stories! I’d love to hear.
As Linus says, “May your heart be covered with a cloud of happiness,”