Good Afternoon, Church!
The sun is shining warmly on this beautiful fall day, but the nights are starting to chill. Last night I shut my window for the first time this season. And I pulled a jacket out of the closet to go to the PIC picnic last night. Fall is descending!
Here’s the news for the week:
PIC Picnic was a Success!
Seven folks from our church joined in last night’s fun at PIC’s annual picnic. There were well over 60 people at Sandstone Park from nine different congregations in the Potsdam area. I sat next to a man named Basel, who attends the Potsdam Masjid and is working on a PhD at Clarkson, studying space engineering. Basel is a Palestinian man who grew up in Saudi Arabia, went to college in Moscow, and is now here in Potsdam. I also visited with his friend Bo, a Chinese-American man who converted to Islam and just moved to the area to work as a public defender in St. Lawrence County. We had a great time talking about our faith and why it matters to each of us!
There aren’t many opportunities like this to meet people of other faiths and Christian traditions in a welcoming environment, which is why PIC is so very important. It gives us a chance to make friends with people with whom we might otherwise steer away from.
All-Church Potluck This Sunday
Hear Ye! Hear Ye! This is the week! Bring your dish to share this Sunday and we’ll have a special time of sharing the bread of life together after worship.
This last Sunday, as I sat in the chancel to lead worship, I noticed something vexing. A section of plaster had fallen from the ceiling above the choir loft. This was the result of water damage from the holes we have in the sanctuary roof. (Gah!!) Thankfully, Sue Waters called the insurance company and I contacted the roofing contractor to have them come put a temporary fix on the roof– to get us through until next spring when we’re scheduled to have the roof repaired (hopefully with the grant money we’ve applied for). The roofers will be out to put a band-aid over the holes, but unfortunately they can’t come until November, which means we need to be especially careful with the sanctuary until then.
So here’s how we are taking care: Ron has laid plastic down in the attic to try to keep the water from seeping into the ceiling. And we’ve cordoned off the back rows of pews for the time being, because no one needs plaster falling on their head in the middle of worship! And we’re going to refrain from playing the organ until the roof has been temporarily repaired. The organ causes vibrations in the plaster, which could further loosen the damaged ceiling, so for the time being we’re going to enjoy listening to the piano.
New Youth Group Starting!
I am tickled pink to announce that beginning September 22nd, we will be joining with the Methodist church to hold a youth group for our teenagers! Twice a month, Pastor Hattie Taylor and I will meet up with our five young people for games, fun, food, and conversation. For our first meeting we’re going to play Apples to Apples, eat ice cream sundaes, and discuss the question “Do Animals Go To Heaven?” (If only you were 13, to be able to join in the fun!)
Rev. Rich Hinkle to Preach
Rich Hinkle will be preaching and leading worship, Sunday, Sept. 25th. I hope you’ll join us.
Film Screening of The White Right: Meeting the Enemy, Sunday Sept. 25th at 4pm at the Canton UU Church
Our friends at the UU church are showing the film The White Right, and they’ve invited us to attend. Deeyah Khan, a documentary filmmaker of Pakistani descent, traveled to meet with white supremacists face-to-face for the making of this film. Kahn’s skillful way of engaging with those who see her as an enemy offers an important model in our divided world. If you’d like to learn more about the Alt Right and positive ways of engaging them, this is a movie for you!
Sarah Manley has Passed Away
If you haven’t heard, our dearly beloved Sarah Manley died this last Sunday, after a long battle of physical pain and struggle. The family is choosing not to hold a memorial service, but you are most welcome to send a card to her sister, Robin. In lieu of flowers, contributions may also be made to Massena Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.
Robin and Brian Wilkinson
25 Prospect St.
Norwood, NY 13668
Time for an Updated Covid Booster Shot?
Friends, the new fall Covid booster shot– the one designed to boost against the Omicron variants (as wellthe original strain)– is available in our area now. You can make an appointment at either Kinney Drugs or Walgreens. Susan and Jeff Mitchell both got their booster last week and report that the side effects were markedly milder than last year’s booster.
Covid is back on the uptick in our area again, and getting a booster is a wise idea. Thankfully, testing positive these days doesn’t necessarily mean you will get devastatingly sick, but it does still means quarantining for a few days– and who wants to have to stay home?
I genuinely hate getting shots, but it’s important to take our health seriously– not only for ourselves, but for those in our community. Getting a booster shot is a special way that we can offer our love to our family, friends, and neighbors. I hope you will consider joining me in this community health effort!
The Joy of Fall
As I bring this letter to a close, I wonder if you’ll share with me your favorite sign of fall. Do you have one? What is it that you look forward to with the changing of the season?
This is the time of year that I love to ruminate on Isaiah:
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”~ Isaiah 55:12
The hills will soon be bursting forth in song and the trees will be clapping in joy,