News for the Church, 9/15/23

Good Day to you, Church!

It’s a gorgeous, early fall day and I’m sitting out on the porch watching a monarch butterfly flit and float across the grass. It’s landed on a goldenrod, stopping to eat a snack on its way south to Mexico. I hope you’re enjoying the beauty of this day with me! 

Here’s the news for the week: 

Sunday Sept. 17th

So much is happening this Sunday, you won’t want to be late for church. 

Firstly, starting this Sunday, we are meeting for worship in the CENTER, as further work is being conducted in the sanctuary. Secondly, we will be welcoming 6 new members to our congregation– Susan Dillon, Arthur Freehart, Cyndy Hennessy, John Hubbard, and Jeff and Susan Mitchell! 

Thirdly, we will be sending Heidi and Keith Jamieson off to their new adventure in Seattle with prayer. 

And fourthly, you are invited to stick around during coffee hour to listen to a presentation by Northern Power & Light about the merits of switching to local, sustainable electricity. 

I spoke with Northern Power & Lights this week, and they are setting a goal of raising $5,000 for our church in donations! For every new customer who signs up with their company (and donates their promotional gift to the church), NP&L will give us $100! Do you think we can get 50 people across Potsdam to do this? I think we can! 

Difficult Conversation Lab to Begin THIS Monday

For those of you who have signed up for this 8-week class, we will have our first class on Monday, the 18th, from 4:30-6:30pm. For this one week, we will be meeting in the conference room (as the Center had already been reserved.) Please feel free to bring snacks and drinks with you. I will do my best to buy some healthy snacks to share with everyone. 

PIC Potluck Picnic This Thursday, Sept. 21st, 5-7pm

The Pic picnic, which is held every year under the pavilion in Sandstone Park, is the best kept secret in all of Potsdam! Bring a vegetarian side dish, dessert, or drink to share. We will indulge in grilled fish kabobs, our potluck side dishes, and the fellowship of local brothers and sisters of varying faiths. 

The Star Needs Help

 Our beautiful blue star, which graces the top of our steeple is in need of some maintenance. Dick Partch is up to the task, but he needs a handful of strong people to help him– to lower the star, check the lights and then raise it back up. In addition to 3-4 people on the ground, Dick needs 2 strong people to climb up the inside of the steeple with him. (A day can be selected after volunteers reply.) Might you be willing to help? Please send me an email if you are! The whole process should take about an hour. 

Dave Wells’ Update on the Sanctuary Renovation

Here’s the latest from Dave Wells, who is overseeing the sanctuary renovation project: 

“The sanctuary will continue being prepared for plaster repair and painting by removing the remainder of the pews in the next few weeks. 18 single pews (about 9.5 ft long each) have been prepared, and will be re-fastened to the floor after the ceiling work has completed. The remainder of the pews will be removed from the sanctuary during the next several weeks. I will be removing hymnal trays and communion cup holders from some of these pews so that we have a supply of extras for repair, etc. 

Some have expressed interest in having access to hard wood that may be available from these extra pews. If you are interested, please let me know your needs and your ability to retrieve it by the end of October. A fair amount of the wood is being donated to the St. Lawrence County Arts Council, some is being used in trade for assistance in removing the pews and carpeting by a local Amish farmer, but some hardwood is still available. The portions of the pews that are hardwood include the seatbacks, which are made of ash (approximately 9.5 feet long, by about 30″ high, by about an inch thick, if I recall properly), and the pew ends (which I believe are made of 2 laminated 1″ planks. 

There are nails along the edges of the wood, but the wood is generally in good condition. The seat bottoms are of pine, or some other softwood, and they split and splinter easily, so they are not really useful now for much other than firewood – for which the Amish have use. If you have questions or comments regarding the availability of wood, please let me know by email at

Additionally, we are working on the possibility of having Matt McKenna available for anyone who would like to have one of the pews refurbished for your home. You would be responsible for the cost of his time and labor to take a pew apart and size it to your desired length, but I think this is a possibility. If this is of interest, please also get into contact with me. 

Work items to complete prior to plaster repair and painting include:
1. Removal from floor and disassembly of the remaining pews.
2. Transporting all but the 18 single pews off site (current plan is to an Amish family in exchange for their help).
3. The 18 unattached single pews, already assembled, will be stored out of harm’s way until the plaster repairs and painting are complete.
4. Carpeting will be left in place until after all overhead work is complete. 
5. Plaster repair and painting should occur starting in late October and last for about three weeks.

Once all painting and overhead work is finished, the next tasks will include:
1. Remove & discard all carpeting.
2. Remove and discard all carpet nailing strips.
3. Install wood pieces in slots left by removed pews.
4. Sand the entire sanctuary floor.
5. Stain and finish the entire sanctuary floor.
6. Mount single pews. 
7. Lay down floor runners along the aisles.
8. Dust.
9. Be thankful

Dave Wells

The Last Days of Summer

Friends, it’s that time of year again– when the seasons are changing. The air feels different. We start off in the mornings wearing long sleeves and sweaters, shed them by mid-day, and put them back on again by the evening. The aroma of fresh apple sauce and tomatoes cooking on the stove fill the house. A few trees are beginning to change colors. Butterflies and moths float through the air and the sounds of honking Canadian geese can be heard high in the sky. The children have returned to school. Pumpkin spice lattes, apple cider, and apple fritters begin to appear in coffee shops and grocery stores. 

The rhythms of life are beginning to shift.

I wonder what this time of year feels like for you? Do you love this time of year? Does your subconscious send you into a panic because winter is coming? I feel a mixture of both elation for these warm, late summer days and a sense of dread, knowing that soon enough snow will be on the ground. 

What are your favorite fall memories? What are your favorite fall traditions? 

These are the days that God has made, and I pray that we will rejoice and be glad in them! 

With gladness in my heart for all of you,
Pastor Katrina