April 2016 Newsletter
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
As I sat down to write my article for the Leader Herald after Easter, I kept coming back to the scripture that appears every Sunday after Easter. The story of Thomas, or as most of us refer to him, “Doubting Thomas.” Even though my article speaks about doubt, I felt it was worth repeating here in my newsletter article. Because I believe that many of us struggle with doubts. And we should!
Anything worth believing has to be worth doubting! If our beliefs don’t stand up to our doubts and to the questions that rise in us during our dark nights of our souls, then what value do our beliefs really have? Are they even true? I think that our doubt can help us by bringing clarity to what we do believe and can also help to strengthen our existing beliefs.
I think of the dark nights of the soul in my own life when I have struggled with my doubts and with my beliefs. It is usually after these times that I can now say I have often felt the closest to God.
Jesus does not condemn Thomas for his doubts. He welcomes him and allows him to place his hand on him, to touch him and to confirm for Thomas that it is indeed our risen Lord. And Thomas responds with the greatest testimony of all, “My Lord and My God!”
If you have doubts, don’t despair. I hope our church is one that makes you feel comfortable with doubts, and if you want to talk about your doubts, I welcome conversations with you.
I believe that we all have some Thomas in us, that doubt is a healthy sign of faith and that it is no accident that we read this scripture every Sunday after Easter to remind us of this.
Yours in Christ,
Our Lament and Blessing Poster
Did you know? Westminster Presbyterian Church in Hattiesburg, Mississippi still has our Blessing poster that Pastor Bonnie brought down to them after their church was severely damaged in a Tornado. It hangs in a prominent place visible when you walk into the church. Westminster has been worshipping back in their church for about one year now although they still have more repairs to complete and last week their session met to discuss whether it was time to move on from their disaster and to send our poster to a new home. They began the process of discussing where the poster should travel next and will keep us informed when they make their decision.
Mondays and Tuesdays Bible Study
Come join us! We meet Mondays at noon (bring a lunch if you desire) or Tuesdays at 5:30. We are studying the Book Of Ecclesiastes from the Old Testament.
Thursdays Needlework Group
The Needlework and the Quilters Groups meet on Thursdays at noon. Bring your lunch or come after you eat. Many of us have started to make hats and mittens for next Christmas or you can just bring your portable project to work on during the time and enjoy the company of others while you hem those pants.
April 4Committee Meetings
Building and Grounds will be discussing the labyrinth and shrubery and flowers on the outside of the church as wee as a clean-up day Anyone is welcome to attend. Janis Frish heads the committee.
April 5 & 19Food Pantry
The Food Pantry will be open from 12:30 to 4:30 on April 5th and 19th . Sunday, April 17th is Food Sunday, especially needed - cereal and jelly.
April 17Guatamala Mission Trip Report
On Sunday, April 17, the members of the mission group that went to Guatemala will share their experiences with our congregation during worship. Please join us to hear how many lives were changed and to hear stories of their experiences.
April 20 PW
The women of the church will meet on Wednesday, April 20 at 7:00 pm to discuss coming events and events. The letter is “D”.
April 21Parkinson Group
Rev. Bonnie is leading a support group for people with Parkinsons disease and other neurological diseases and their caregivers. They will meet on the third Thursday of the month in Fellowship Hall at 2:00.
April 24 CROP Hunger Walk
Our 5th Annual CROP Hunger Walk is scheduled for April 26th. Jill Kaczor will have pledge forms after church on Sundays. See more under MISSION NOTES.
April 25Session Meeting
The Session will meet on Monday, April 25 at 6:30 pm. Please let Rev. Bonnie or Janis Frisch know if you have something to come before the Session.
April 29- 30 Rummage Sale
The Rummage Sale will be held on Friday, April 29 (7:00 to noon) and Saturday, April 30 (8:00 – noon). We will set up on Thursday morning at 9:00. Please do not bring rummage in until after April 10.
May 4 Mother-Daughter Banquet
Save Wednesday, May 4th, for PW’s Mother - Daughter Banquet. Bring a dish to pass and your table service. If you or anyone you know would like provide entertainment that evening speak to Chris Dahl.
June 3 & 4 Annual Quilt Show
Our 21st annual Quilt Show will take place on Friday, June 3rd from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.and continue on Saturday, June 4th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Quilt teacher and designer, Sue Pritt, will present a special program on Friday evening at 6:30. Lots of helpers from the church are needed – sign-up sheets coming soon! There are many ways to get involved! See Nancy Frank (661-5328) for more information
or if you have a quilt you would like to display in the show.
June 18Golf Tournament
Save the date, Saturday, June 20, for our fourth annual golf tournament. Art Dahl has reserved the date but will need help. PLEASE call him (661-5800) and volunteer to help arrange for food, sponsors, prizes, advertising and reservations.
The 150 year old sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church of Englewood, New Jersey burned to the ground on Tuesday, March 22. They are now scrambling to find space to worship. We all know very well the pain that accompanies a fire like that. I am hoping that folks might be willing to write a short note or card to our sisters and brothers at First Presbyterian Church that I can send as a group mailing to share our thoughts and prayers. Perhaps you could just write something about how you were affected by the fire and or share some hope with them as they struggle with the journey they are about to undertake.
Their pastors, the Rev. Rich Hong and the Rev. Kellie Anderson-Picallo ‘invented” the 90 second sermon and I learned about it through them. Please keep the pastors and the congregation in your prayers and please take a moment to write a card or a note.
It is our 225th anniversary 2017 so an anniversary committee is begin formed. Contact Mary Lou Bryan and Jane Bouton if you have ideas on how and when to celebrate this momentous occasion or would like to be on the committee. Another opportunity is the Technology Committee which will learn to use the sound system and other electronics and technology that the church has to offer. Contact Janis Frisch if you would like to be a part of this committee.
In February the Allen Organ Company came and gave a presentation on the newest technology in organs (you may have heard the borrowed organ played while it was here this winter). These organs can be programmed to play hymns and music so that they may be heard without an organist playing. An Organ Fund Committee is being formed, contact Mary Lou Bryan if you are interested in being on it..
CHURCH SCHOOL NOTES
The Sunday School children had a fun evening of games and refreshments in March and hope to do it again before the end of the school year. They are working on a play to present to the congregation about the Ten Commandments. They are making a basket to be raffled to help them raise money for their studentsthey are sponsoring in Kenya. They will be collecting return bottles and cans too.
Save the dates - Vacation Bible School will be June 27 July 1.
What will your children do this summer? Summer camp is the experience of a lifetime. Children carry those memories with them their entire lives. Camp Fowler (located in Speculator, NY) is a Christian summer camp that offers faith, fellowship and lots of fun. There are $300 scholarships available through Albany Presbytery for your child to attend a week at Camp Fowler. If finances are a concerned, please check with Pastor Bonnie or Deb Hall for additional help with costs. For more information and for forms for scholarships, please check with Pastor Bonnie or Elder Deb Hall.
Remember we are open on the first and third Tuesday from 12:30 to 4:30. Please sign up on the sign-up sheet in Fellowship Hall or call Crstal Hinkle at 661-6314.
Our sixth annual CROP Hunger Walk will be held on Sunday April 24, 2016 at 12:30 pm, registration at noon. We are again promoting a “RE-use your t-shirt” day and no new t-shirts will be distributed on walk day. We are asking folks to make healthy snacks for the walkers and asking the walkers to bring their own water bottles for the walk so we do not have to purchase water. Refreshments will be available after the walk. Our route will be the same as last year, around the elementary school track and back. You can find us on the internet by going to CROPHUNGERWALK.org and search for a walk or contact Janis Frisch, our on line consultant. .
CROP Hunger Walks began in 1969 and to many they are viewed as the “granddaddy of charity walks”.
The first walk was in Bismarck, North Dakota on October 17th, 1969, where over a thousand people participated and it raised $25,000 to help stop hunger. The first time it took the official name CROP Walk for the Hungry was 1970 in York County, Pennsylvania. From that point on thousands of walks take place nationwide. Currently well over 2,000 communities across the United States hold hunger walks each year!
Today CROP Hunger Walks are interfaith hunger education and fundraising events sponsored by Church World Service (CWS).
Crop Hunger Walks help to support the overall ministry of Church World Service and 25% of all funds raised stays within our community to assist with our own hunger-fighting efforts. Please mark your calendars for our very own Mayfield Presbyterian Church’s 6th Annual CROP Hunger Walk on Sunday, April 24th and join the thousands who participate in communities nationwide to support the mission to feed the hungry and help those in need!
Mission work is a very vital part of the Mayfield Central Presbyterian Church community. Members of the “Outreach Committee” recently became involved in another mission by participating in the Kiva organization. Kiva Microfunds is a 501 non-profit organization that allows people to lend money via the Internet to low-income entrepreneurs and students in 82 countries. Some of our members recently lent a small amount of money to low income people trying to better themselves:
Casey Warner lent money to Xiomara Yamileth from El Salvador. Xiomara is a young woman who has attended high school. She lives with her mother and has a small business close to her home. She works a 10 hour day in her store. She wants to use her loan to buy school supplies to help the youngsters with getting an education and also some beauty supplies for the women in her community. Xiomara dreams of eventually going to school to get a Marketing Degree.
Leslie Lanzi selected Dede as her Kiva loan recipient. She is a **Ruma agent. Dede lives in Tasikmalaya with her husband and 2 children. She owns a small store where she sells mobile phone accessories and provides mobile airtime credits for her community. Dede wishes to increase her savings and provide a greater contribution to her community. With her loan from Kiva she is hoping to get working capital to provide more mobile airtime credits for her community. (**Ruma provides entrepreneurs with micro-business package that utilize mobile phones to send and receive funds. The organization creates
employment opportunities for the poor by helping them become entrepreneurs through sales of telecom and bill pay services Ruma. A Kiva loan will provide the startup capital they need to begin selling these services.)
Colleen Ulrich selected Lorenzo, a man of great ambitions for her recipient. He has two sons of ages eight and 13 years. His beautiful family lives in a community of the village of Pojoca, Guatamala. He has worked for four years as a bricklayer building houses, walls and roads, and thanks to the good quality of his work, he has many construction projects that he must start working on. For Lorenzo, nothing is more important that the stability of his family, and for this reason he thinks it is necessary to buy a cuerda [28 square meters] of land for cultivation, because this will improve his income. Unfortunately, he did not have enough money for the $675 purchase and applied for the loan. [Note: Within two weeks of lending to Lorenzo’s cause, his loan was fully funded! He can now by that land and expects to repay all his lenders by October 2017.]
Greg Hitchcock supported George Matthews of the Genesis Worship Center in Oakland, California in his efforts toward securing a loan. George Matthews is a man of strong faith and possesses a very deep sense of community. He has demonstrated these qualities over the years through his civic work along with his faith-based organizations. Greg is endorsing him for this Kiva Loan because the City believes in his idea of making Affordable Housing available for everyone. The money raised will help fund and develop five affordable Section 8 housing units at their church, addressing the housing shortage in Oakland, CA. The Section 8 program provides federal subsidized housing, up to two-thirds of monthly rent, for lower income and special needs people who qualify, such as military veterans and those living with mental illnesses and other disabilities. Genesis Worship Center provides case management, job readiness, and computer training classes to ex-offenders, they also sponsor Operation Hometown Program a reentry program for ex-offenders released from Santa Rita, in addition a weekly feeding program that supports those in need of food. Giving to the Genesis Worship Center will help alleviate some of the misery on the streets and shelters of Oakland.
Jay Orth supports Catarina is a single mother of two children ages 13 and 20. She lives in a small community in the town of Xejuyup, which is in the district of Suchitequez very near Lake Atitlan a region of Guatemala we are very familiar with. Catarina has been buying and selling clothing for the past 8 years. But, to improve her income, she also works selling bananas. Her desire is to continue improving herself and her family by purchasing a cuerda (plot) of land which she plans to cultivate. She already has part of the money, but it is not enough so she needs this loan to add to the money she has in order to purchase the land. Her great dream is to increase her banana cultivation and therefore her sales in order to improve her family's quality of life.
I was drawn to Catarina initially because of where she lives. We have met many "Catarinas" on our mission trips over the years. But I decided to help fund her knowing the struggles that a single woman in that area would face. Also for the example that she will set for her children in teaching them that if you dream and work hard for that dream to come true, there are people out there that will recognize your efforts and help you to succeed.
If you are interested in participating in this mission and want to learn more, please contact any of the members listed below or go to www.kiva.org.
Outreach committee:Casey Warner, Chairperson, Greg Hitchcock, Leslie Lanzi, Jay Orth, Colleen Ulrich
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!
Happy Birthday to these members and friends:
Zachary Hatcher April 7
Linda Jacobs April 7
Brad Dutcher April 9
Carol Gardinier April 13
Marie DiSanto-Rose April 14
Mindy Fitzgerald April 22
Michelle Gifford April 26
DID YOU KNOW?
…that Danielle Walter was baptized on March 6 and joined the church that same day.
…that Lucas Svatopluk VanHorne was baptized on Easter Sunday. He is the son of Matthew and Michaela VanHorne and the great nephew of Elaine Putman.
…that Pat Mei, Ginny Mei’s husband. Passed away on March 19 and his memorial service was held at our church on March 28. Our sympathy to Ginny and his family.
…that Dennie VanNostrand is retiring from snowplowing, if you know of anyone that would be able to plow next year speak to a Session member..
A special thank you to Ted Rorick! He has completed construction on a beautiful banner storage space in the attic at church. Paul Marcais was planning to build one in the old church before the fire. Finally it is a reality!
Our storyteller, Noa Baum, will be telling stories in many places while she is here in Mayfield. Besides at Sunday worhip on April 10 she will speak at the Mayfield Elementary School on Friday and in Troy on Saturday. She will also present a program about growing up in Jerusalem at Knesseth Isreal Synagogue on Fulton St. in Gloversville on Sunday at 2pm. Anyone is welcome to attend!
Born and raised in Jerusalem Noa offers a unique combination of performance art and practical workshops that focus on the power of stories to heal across the divides of identity and build bridges for peace.
Growing up in Jerusalem is more than the Bible and war. Noa will take us on a poignant and humorous journey through her life. Experience a completely different side of Isreal with stories of childhood adventures, outrageous matchmaking, and all the love in between.
The Good News Letter Editor is Christine Dahl
The next newsletter will be published the about April25.
Please submit articles to her before then.