Good Afternoon to you, Church!
It’s a beautiful summer day today– light, warm, slightly breezy, and clear as a bell. If that isn’t enough to make your heart sing, there are the song birds to enjoy right now too. I was listening to the veeries this morning with their liquid silver flutes for a song. Magnificient. I hope that you are enjoying summer as much as I am!
Here’s the news for the week:
Coffee Hour on Sundays
Well, we’ve kicked coffee hour off to a good start. This last week a number of us shared life over Oreo cookies, coffee, and tea in the Community Center, and I dare say we had a good time doing it. Sharon and Bob Pickard hosted last Sunday, but we will need all of us to join in to keep it going. Thankfully, this last week a number of you stepped out of their comfort zone to sign up to host in the coming weeks (including some of our newer folks). Huzzah! All it takes is stopping at the grocery store to buy a couple boxes of cookies, crackers, or veggies, making coffee sometime before 11:15am, and washing a few cups afterwards.
If you’d like to volunteer, and haven’t already done so, the sign up sheet is hanging on the bulletin board in the hallway leading towards the Center. Or, you can just email me and I’ll add your name to the list. Right now we have holes for 7/10 (this Sunday), 7/24, 8/4, and 8/21. If we don’t get folks to take those weeks, it’s ok. It’s perfectly fine if some weeks we have coffee hour and other weeks we don’t! (Also, if you’re single and don’t want to take this on alone, we can find a partner to make it easier.)
Eric Carlson to Cantor
As they do every summer, the Lunts have gone to Maine, and we were about to be without a cantor to help lead our singing on Sundays. But one of our college students rose to the occasion and said he’d take it on. A big thanks to Eric Carlson for offering to sing!
New Bible Study Coming!
If that isn’t enough good news of people stepping in to be the church, there’s more! This week Diamante Maya emailed me with an exciting idea. Since moving here from Texas and becoming part of our congregation, she misses having Bible study in her life– something she facilitated for many years previously. As a way to both fill this hole in our church’s spiritual life and to help foster deeper relationships in our congregation, she is offering a weekly Bible study with Ivette’s help, at Ivette’s house on Saturday night from 6:30pm-8pm. While the main focus of this time will be on digging into the Word, Diamante also suggested that if people are interested, one Saturday a month we could play games or attend an event in town together for some fun. (Perhaps when Covid settles down again, we could think about eating a meal together that week?)
Diamante facilitates a type of Bible study called inductive bible study, where we pick a passage and let the passage speak to each person through the help of the Holy Spirit. This means that you can come once in a while and not be left hanging in the wind the weeks you don’t attend. At the start of each week Ivette will play the piano for us to have a chance to sing(!), and at the end we will have a time of prayer.
To get things started, we will crack open the book of Phillipians– a short, joy-filled letter written by Paul packed with words of encouragement and an uplifting message.
The study will start July 30th at 6:30pm at Ivette Herryman-Rodriguez’ house at 8 Hillcrest Drive in Potsdam. If you’re interested or if you have questions, please feel free to contact Diamante at 213-880-4642.
George Davis Memorial Service, Friday July 15th
If somehow you hadn’t yet heard the news, a memorial service for George Davis will be held Friday, July 15th at 3pm with a catered dinner reception following in the reception. George died a year and a half ago during the worst of Covid, and we’ve been waiting to celebrate and remember him until a safer time when all of his children could be present. If you knew or appreciated the many gifts that George brought to our church, to Clarkson, or to Potsdam, you are welcome to come.
Congrats to Liv Gonia– Malone’s New Elementary Art Teacher!
If you haven’t met her yet, you’ll want to. Liv Gonia just became the newest art teacher in the North Country. After graduating from SUNY Potsdam in May, Liv accepted the job as Malone’s elementary art teacher. She and her partner Quinn Stevenson live in Potsdam and have been coming to church for a few months now (and bravely signed up to host coffee hour next month!). Congratulations Liv on your new job! May God bless you as you bring the joy of art to children.
Being the Church
Friends, if there’s one important lesson I hope that we’ve started to learn throughout Covid, it’s that the church is not a building. A church is the people! And we get out of it what we put into it collectively. One thing I love about our church is that when people see a need, or when they have a passion for something, they offer themselves, and the church comes to life! This last winter Monica desired to have more spiritual connection with people and started a book group. The Lunts and the Tisdales knew that we needed singing leaders during Covid and stepped in to help. Brian and Bob see that the lawn needs mowing and they come with their lawn mowers. Dale is good with IT and takes care of our website. Sharon desired to resurrect community suppers, and we’re doing that now. Renee loves running the food pantry and brought that to life. Cynthia is good with numbers and has been our faithful treasurer for many years (and Dave and Roberta are helping now as assistants). Jane loves to knit and started a knitting group. Bob cares deeply about the earth and organized our Invasive Species Awareness events. Beth Grace loves rummage sales and has organized and directed them faithfully for a long time.
I don’t know what your passion is, or what needs you see that require tending to in our wee kirk, but there’s room for you to share yourself– your time, your talents, your hair-brained ministry ideas, and your faith. All you have to do is speak up!
As the Apostle Paul notes in 1 Corinthians, the body of Christ is made up of all of us playing our own special role. He said this:
“For just as the body is one and has many members… so it is with Christ…. Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And… the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” ….If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.”~1 Cor. 12:12-26, excerpts
You matter here. What you bring to the table counts! Thank you for participating in this body of Christ in the world. We would not be who we are without you!
With tender thanks for Us, a special body of Christ in the world,