News of the Church, 10/16/20

Greetings on this Water-Logged October Day!

Even with the rain, the effervescence of autumn is still on display for a few more days. I hope you’re tuned into the final verse of the forest’s unique rendition of Ode to Joy. The shimmery yellows are my favorite, and there are still plenty of trees showing them off!

This week I stopped in to see Lynn Warden, and learned that this Saturday (tomorrow) at 2:30 pm a family friend will be presiding over a graveside service for Shirley at Bayside Cemetery. They’d like to keep the gathering small, but I think they’d be open to a few folks from our congregation attending, if you’re wanting to go.

Since most of us won’t be there to participate however, I wondered if we could offer Lynn and his family a different type of gift. If you knew Shirley, would you think about what she meant to you and send it to me in an email? Or, perhaps, recall a special memory you have of her and send it to me? They can be long stories or short quips, but what I’d like to do is to collect all of your individual offerings and format them together into one single document that we can then give to Lynn. I think this would mean a lot to him, and it will give those of us who won’t be able to grieve our loss of Shirley together a small chance to honor her memory. 

I will set a deadline for your submissions for 10/30– two weeks from today. Hopefully that will give you enough time to write something down. Then, after I’ve put the whole thing together, I’ll deliver it to him when I stop in to see him again in a handful of weeks. 

Also on my mind this week is Thanksgiving. Believe it or not, it’s right around the corner! From what I understand, the distribution of Thanksgiving boxes for those who need them will be done a little differently this year. In the past, St. Mary’s Church, the Methodist Church, and our church participated in these efforts, but this year Helping Hands (in Hannawa Falls) will be the organizing force. 

For those in need of a Thanksgiving meal, your box must be reserved through Helping Hands. Food boxes are limited in number, so you will need to reserve one soon. To place your order, please call Linda at (401) 465-1752 by November 1, 2020

Pick-up of food boxes will take place at Helping Hands of Hannawa on November 21, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Pick-up will be a drive-through format. Please wear a mask when you come to pick up your order. Helping Hands is located at 5868 State Route 56 in Hannawa Falls, New York.

For those of you who would like to donate items for Thanksgiving meals, these are the items being requested at this time: 

  • Canned vegetables–beans, corn, mixed vegetables
  • Evaporated milk
  • Pie crust– refrigerated or a mix
  • Canned apple pie filling
  • Gravy
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Turkey

Please bring any donated food items to Helping Hands, Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.. Helping Hands is located at 5868 State Route 56, Hannawa Falls.

Also of importance this week– this next week, Session will be looking at the survey results you’ve turned in concerning when we should return for in-person worship. As I mentioned earlier this week, I failed to include one of the most important questions on the survey itself– what is your preference for when we return to the building? Thankfully, some of you have responded to me in an email with your answers, but I’d like to hear from a few more people. If you haven’t yet replied via email, will you do so to this email? 

Please select your most preferred option for returning to in-person worship:

  1. Waiting until a vaccine is available. 
  2. Waiting until spring to return to the building for worship.
  3. Returning to the building once a month, beginning in November.
  4. Returning to the building for the season of Advent (Nov. 29 – Dec. 24), and then waiting until spring. 
  5. Returning to the building after the holiday season is over, in January.
  6. Returning to the building every Sunday beginning in November.

I have a sneaking suspicion that in the next few months, the impact of being apart from one another is going to hit us especially hard. Not only are we having to grieve the loss of one of our members differently, but the holiday season is going to look drastically different too. Even as we ache from the consequences of social distancing during this season, I wonder if it will also be an opportunity for us. If you can’t revel in the ways that you normally do, I invite you to put your creative hat on and consider doing something out of the ordinary to make this year meaningful. What can you do for Halloween this year? What is something special you can try at Thanksgiving? Or Christmas? What can you do to feel especially connected to your family, your church family, or your community? Maybe you send Valentine notes for Thanksgiving– letting people know why they are important to you. Or cut jack-o-lanterns out of paper and secretly tape them on people’s windows for Halloween (and leave them guessing about who it was that left them a surprise). Or??? This year there are no rules, so you get to decide how to engage joy! 

Since it’s only the middle of October, you have plenty of time to start imagining and planning, but I’m going to double-dog dare you to do something wonderful each month between now and New Year’s. That’s one creative thing in October, November, and December to welcome in the playful presence of the Holy Spirit into our community. Are you up to this challenge?! I can’t wait to see what you come up with! 

“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”

–Isaiah 55:12

…even in the time of a pandemic…..

Grinning from ear to ear,
Pastor Katrina πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚