Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
What if this coming new year of 2017 is the best year any of us has ever had? I realize that for some of you that will sound flippant and trite. You are facing mountains in your life journey - mountains you are not certain you can climb, you feel like you have all of the trouble that you can handle.
But, notice that I am not saying that this will be the easiest year we have ever faced. Only that it can be the best year. Success cannot always be measured in either accomplishment or accumulation. If 2017 brings us closer to God and closer to our friends, if it helps us value more highly the things that really matter and causes us to appreciate more deeply the gift of simply being alive, it will be a great year regardless of our outer circumstances. So what do we need to make this a great year?
How can God help us in time of trouble? There is something that all of us can do and that is HOPE. God is forever filling us with hope, which is at the core of Christian faith.
It was Christmas 1863. The Civil War was in full swing. The battle of Gettysburg was not more than six months past. In this war-torn country of ours, where brother was killing brother and fathers were fighting sons, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, wrote:
“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day"
And in despair I bowed my head,
There is no peace on earth, I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
But notice that Henry did not stop there, he could not stop there. He continued another verse:
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead nor doth he sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.
That is our hope. We live as people of hope. Without hope, the future is indeed very grim. But, there is something else we can do in 2017, we can have good attitudes. The attitudes we hold make a difference. There is an instrument on a plane called an Attitude Indicator. It measures the aircraft's position in relation to the horizon. When the nose of the plane is pointed up, it's called a nose-up attitude. When the nose of the plane is pointed down, it's a nose-down attitude. As we begin this New Year, is your attitude pointing up or down?
Another thing that can make this the best year ever is that we have each other. A church community is like a family. Now before you begin to run the other way, remember that our church family has a common thread and it is not Uncle Harold or Aunt Bessie, it is Jesus Christ, who reminds us that where two or three are gathered, He is there and who reminds us that we can love each other, help each other, encourage each other and pray for each other.
So I welcome you to the year 2017 and I pray that it will be the best year that any of us has ever had!
Yours in Christ,
Please accept this HUGE thank you to all of you for my very generous Christmas gift! I look forward to the massages and plan to relax before and after. It has been a joy to serve you again this past year and I look forward to our ministry together in 2017.
SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL SUNDAYS
The second Sunday of each month is Something Beautiful Sunday. Please bring to church something that is beautiful to you. It can be a picture, a knick-knack, or anything that is special and beautiful in your eyes. Place the item on the table at the front of the sanctuary and we will honor those items as gifts from God.
2017 Something Beautiful Sundays
Mondays and TuesdaysBible Study
On January 9, we will begin a six week Bible study called, I Believe, Help My Unbelief by Ron Lavin on the Apostle’s Creed. This study will be held on Mondays at noon (bring lunch if you like) and on Tuesdays at 5:00 pm.
Lenten Bible Study will begin on Monday, February 20. It is called On the Road to the Cross and it is by Rob Burkhart This is an eight week Bible study and will be held on Mondays at noon and on Tuesdays at 5:00 pm.
Thursdays Needlework Group & Quilters
The Needlework Group meets on Thursdays at noon at the church. Bring your lunch and some hand work to keep you busy or just stop by with a good tale or piece of news. Libby Van Nostrand will teach knitting and crocheting or we all help one another. If you have something you want to learn or can teach let her know. The Quilters usually join us; call Joan Montgomery if you would like to quilt on Thursdays.
January 8Reception of New Members
On Sunday, January 8 we will be receiving new members - Marget Barnett, Bonnie VanPatten and Melinda VanPatten.
January 15Annual Congregational Meeting
The annual meeting of the Mayfield Central Presbyterian Church will take place on Sunday, January 15 immediately following worship with a light lunch to follow. The purpose of the meeting is to elect officers, receive committee reports, receive the budget, and approve the Pastor’s terms of call.
Annual reports for the year should be given to Janis Frisch immediately (or you may email her at janisfrisch2@gmail com).
January 22Installation and Ordination of Elders
The newly elected Elders will be ordained and installed during the church service on January 22nd.
January 23 Session Meeting
Session will meet on January 25, 2016 at 6:30 pm. If you have anything to be brought before session, please see Rev. Orth or Janis Frisch.
After the christening of his baby brother in church, Jason sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong. Finally the boy replied, “The preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian Home and I wanted to stay with you guys.”
Session approved a budget for 2017 and Rev. Orth's terms of call were reviewed. The terms of call will be voted on by our congregation at our annual meeting on January 15, 2017.
Rev. Bonnie will be going to Guatemala at the end of January. During this time session members will be checking the answering machine for messages and Rev. Linda Martin will handle pastoral needs.
A YEAR TO CELEBRATE
Several events are being planned for Mayfield Central Presbyterian Church’s celebration of 225 years.
First , we need to let others know of our anniversary so a banner will be placed outside for all to see. During the year it is hoped that we can have several different programs to celebrate this special time. In the summer we will have program recalling the time of Albert Niles’ Young Crusader’s class, some of the activities they were a part of, the letters to servicemen, mission trips, projects, etc. A musical event is in the future with Alex Hitrick and his fellow band mates, a special program with the Sunday School children and, in September, culminating with a catered dinner for members, friends and guests. A calendar is being set up with the different events and dates and we will keep you informed as things develop.
If you have any ideas, thoughts or information which you think important, relay this to Jane Bouton (829-7542) or Mary Lou Bryan (725-241). to
We have had some beautiful music this Christmas season beginning with the animated cantata directed by Luke Horst. Having area singers join us is always a treat for the choir. Instrumentalists and vocalists all look forward to this time of fellowship and joyful music. Next year we will try to return to a larger orchestra. Several players were disappointed not to have performed this year. We thank the newly-formed bell ringers group and hope to get them ringing for you throughout the new year. They played well along with the added voices and piano and Gary Butler at the keyboard.
One of the highlights was the children’s production. The hand-held mikes enabled us to hear them well; the script was well-written and the ending was spectacular with all children playing instruments. We foresee great music from them in a few years!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! In the new year we hope to bring you familiar choral anthems as our choir size will allow along with new songs of Worship and Praise. We plan on doing a full cantata with orchestra for Good Friday at our church with Broadalbin joining us for worship and a meal. The music will not be as joyful as what we hear at Christmas time, but beautiful nonetheless. Please take time to thank the members of the bell choir and the choir for their continued creative work. Without them we would not be able to "Sing Unto The Lord".
Regards, David and Mary Lou
WORSHIP COMMITTEE NOTES
Thank you to everyone who signed up to be liturgist, to light Advent candles, and/or make soup, bread or dessert for Rev. Coombs’ presentation of “A Christmas Carol”. The Liturgist sign-up will be renewed and you will have more opportunities to sign up.
Committee members “constructed” the Christmas tree and helped with “hanging the greens”. When the tree is taken down, we will be saving all the prayer strips to make a wreath that will stay in the sanctuary like the prayer quilt that was made two years ago.
We would like to form a group of 5 or 6 people who would be willing to commit to learning to operate the camera so more events could be filmed without it always falling on one person’s shoulders. Anyone interested in this can speak to Pastor Bonnie or Nancy Frank.
We will be helping organize writings for the 2017 Lenten Devotional Booklet that is similar to one our congregation made in 2002. Lent this year begins with our Ash Wednesday service to be held on Wednesday, March 1 at 7:00 pm. We have taken the scriptures for the forty days of Lent and listed them by day. We ask that you choose one of the days and then write a very short devotion based on one or more of the scriptures for the day and if possible add a one or two line prayer at the end.
Please type your devotion if possible to make it easier to put together into booklet form. We will collect all of the devotions and make them into a Lenten booklet and have them available for you by February 26, the Sunday before Lent begins. There will be a sign-up sheet with all of the scriptures listed beginning on January 1, 2017 as well as a sheet explaining further what to do. If you have any questions, take a look at an Upper Room or ask Pastor BonniePlease consider being a contributor to this endeavor.
Then each day of Lent, spend a few minutes reading the devotion of the day as part of your Lenten disciplines. Please join us and participate in creating our booklet, it will be something that you will use for years to come!
New members are always welcome on this committee. Current members are: Pastor Bonnie, Sharon Brower, Mary Lou Bryan, Nancy Frank, Janis Frisch, Ginnie Hall, Greg Hitchcock, Vicki Kucel, Debbie Lair, Joan Rorick, Mary Seaman and Sandra Sparks.
I had been teaching my three-year old daughter, Caitlin, the Lord’s Prayer for several evenings at bedtime. She would repeat after me the lines from the prayer.
Finally, she decided to go solo. I listened with pride as she carefully enunciated each word, right up to the end of the prayer: “Lead us not into temptation,” she prayed, “but deliver us from E-mail.”
A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin 5, and Ryan 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. “If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, ‘Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.’ Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, “Ryan, you be Jesus!”
We had a very fulfilling year helping feed the hungry and were able to give out 76 Christmas baskets right before Christmas. We gave out hams or frozen turkeys, stuffing, cranberry sauce, veggies, gravy, eggs, bread and milk cards to all that come to our Food Pantry and Santa Hotline families. Thank you to all who help us with food and monetary donations throughout the year - we could never accomplish this without your help.
Anyone desiring to work at the food pantry on either the first or third Tuesday (12:30 to 3:00) of the month please call Crystal Hinkle (661-6314).
Don't forget the third Sunday, January 16, is Food Pantry Sunday. Because of the food baskets at Christmas this year our pantry is very LOW! Food would be welcome anytime! Especially cereal, peanut butter and JELLY, pasta and sauce, canned veggies and fruit are needed. Crystal Hinkle
The Mayfield Group did a marvelous job serving 40 very appreciative people and gave out 50 take-home meals at Friday’s Table on December 16, 2016. We are scheduled to serve again on Friday, February 24, 2017!
All are welcome, we have agreat time preparing the meals. We range in age from 9 to 80 years young! We gather at Holy Spirit Community Center, 161 South Main St. Gloversville at 3:30 pm or whenever folks can get there! We ususally serve roast pork, carrots and roasted potatoes! The bread, salad fixings and desserts are all donated by Price Chopper and Hannaford.
If you can join us please arrive at 3:30 pm or whenever you can, we serve at 5:30 pm and we are all cleaned up by about 6:30 pm, amazing! Please let Mary DiSanto-Rose know if you can come at firstname.lastname@example.org or 224-2080.
Thanks and a Blessed 2017! Mary
A Sunday school teacher asked her children as they were on the way to church service. “And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?” One bright girl replied, “Because people are sleeping”
CHURCH SCHOOL NOTES
Our Sunday school children presented a delightful Christmas program during the worship service December 18th which was enjoyed by everyone! Thank you to Kelly Wagar and Elaine Putman for their continued dedication to Sunday school and to helpers Laurie Harrington and Beth Croft. Thanks also to Judy Wemple for writing the play and Joan Rorick who orchestrated the music along with all the performers!
To continue teaching the children the personal relationship they have with Jesus we will be studying the disciples and their individual spiritual attributes which Christ brought out in each of them. We will also see how we grow in a relationship with him. A snow day will also be planning for January or February.
If you would like Sunday school envelopes please speak to Art Dahl. Total contributions will be included on parents' contribution records at year end.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!
We have a rather complete list of birthdays of our members. If you are not on it and would like to be, please call Ann Mallin at 773-8198 or email her at email@example.com.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to these members:
Janet Kucel January 4
Mary DiSanto-Rose January 8
Jane Bouton January 10
Mary Seaman January 10
Rae Olson January 17
Andrew Haschytz January 18, 1994
Jane Brower January 19
Evan Dutcher January 26, 1993
Rebekah Haschytz January 31, 1991
Six year old Angie and her four year old brother Joel were sitting together in church. Joel giggled, sang and talked out loud.
Finally his big sister had had enough. “You’re not supposed to talk out loud in church.”
“Why? Who’s going to stop me?” Joel asked.
Angie pointed to the back of the church and said, “See those two men standing by the door? They’re hushers.”