Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
What an amazing journey! Thirty one people, some of us strangers, some of us stranger than others (that would be me), all became family in a small village in Guatemala called Pachaj. Along with our friends from CEDEPCA, helping us to navigate and to translate for us, we became family. Not just the thirty one people, but our CEDEPCA friends and all of the people of Pachaj. We learned what a small world this truly is and we learned what it truly means to “love our neighbors as ourselves.”
As I was traveling home and thinking about the newsletter that needed to be written for March, I remembered reading something called, “There Are No Ordinary People,” by C.S. Lewis. C.S. Lewis was an Irish born British novelist, literary critic and lay theologian who was a friend of J. R. R. Tolkien. Lewis had been baptized Christian but had fallen away from the church. At the age of 32, with the influence of Tolkien and some of his other friends, he returned to Christianity. His radio broadcasts during World War II on the subject of Christianity brought him wide acclaim.
In his 1942 sermon, The Weight of Glory, C. S. Lewis said, “It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics.”
He continued, “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations -these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner – no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbor, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat – the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself is truly hidden.”
Friends, there were no “ordinary people” on this trip. We spent nine days as the hands and feet of Christ, meeting others who were the hands and feet of Christ. Together, as the body of Christ, we changed the world in just one miniscule way. But isn’t that exactly what we are called to do?
Yours in Christ,
Mondays and Tuesdays Lenten Bible Study
Bible Studies continue at noon Mondays (bring your lunch) and at 5:30 Tuesday evenings at the church. Our Lenten Bible Study is called Against the Grain – Wisdom from Ecclesiastes.
Thursdays in March Knitting and Quilting
The knitters and quilters continue to meet at noon on Thursdays. Bring your lunch or come after lunch and enjoy conversation and fellowship while working on your own project or we can teach you to knit hats and mittens for the mitten tree.
March 1 and 15 Food Pantry
The Food Pantry will be open from 12:30 to 4:30 on March 1st and 15th . Sunday, March 20th is Food Sunday, so bring your canned goods, cereal, peanut butter and jelly, to church that Sunday.
March 16 Lenten Potluck & PW Meeting
Join us for a potluck supper Wednesday, March 16 at 6:00 in Fellowship Hall. Bring a dish to share and your plate and utensils.
After the pot luck the women of the church will meet for planning and fellowship. We will be discussing coming events including the Rummage Sale, Mother-Daughter Dinner, Quilt Show and others. Come and get involved. Bring a Bible verse that begins with “C”.
March 20 Palm Sunday
The traditional Palm Sunday parade of palms will take place and Our One Great Hour of Sharing offering will be received on Palm Sunday. Contribution envelopes are on the pew racks.
March 24 Maundy Thursday
The Maundy Thursday service will begin at 6:00 pm on March 24th. We will have an early Christian-type meal similar to last year and include the Broadalbin Presbyterian Church.
March 25 Good Friday
A Good Friday service will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Broadalbin on Friday, March 25th at 7:00 pm. Our choir will sing and everyone is encouraged to come to this special service.
March 27 Easter Sunday
We will again share Easter Sunrise Service held in the garden of the Mayfield United Methodist Church at 6:30 am. The service will be followed by a breakfast at our church. Join us as we roll away the stone to celebrate the joy of the resurrection.
Our traditional celebration of Easter will take place at 10:30 a.m. There will be no Sunday School classes, but children are encouraged to attend church with their parents on this special day.
March28 Session Metting
The next Session Meeting will be held on Monday, March 28 at 6:30. Please let Rev. Bonnie or Janis Frisch know if you have something to bring up to the meeting.
April 24 CROP Hunger Walk
Our 5th Annual CROP Hunger Walk is scheduled for April 24th. Mark your calendar and get your walking shoes ready!! Jill Kaczor will coordinate it this year.
April 29-30 Rummage Sale
PW will have their annual Rummage Sale on Friday, April 29 from 7:00 am – noon and Saturday, April 30 from 8:00 am – noon. Please do not leave rummage at the church until after Easter.
June 3 & 4 Quilt Show
The annual Quilt Show will be held again this spring on June 3rd and 4th. Save the date!
June 18 Golf Tournament
Save the date, Saturday, June 18 for our fifth 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.
Scholarship applications for the 2016 Niles Family Scholarship are available. Two $500.00 scholarships will be given to a graduating senior who has been accepted at a 2 or 4 year college or a trade school or an adult learner going to the same. The person must be active in a faith community as well as participate in activities in the community. They must have two references from a teacher, community leader or clergy. Forms are available from Janis Frisch or Rev. Bonnie and must be submitted by April 15.
A $2000 grant was received for use in housing of a summer intern. Mary Lou will be starting an Organ Fundraising Committee.
NOTES FROM ANNUAL MEETING
The Audit Report was accepted and the budget was passed again this year. Vicki Kucel was elected Elder for a three year term and Janis Frisch and Nancy Frank will continue for their second three year terms. The big thing to come up was the changing of Rev. Bonnie’s terms of call to full time pastor instead of ¾ time. This is not significant in terms of her hours since she is already working at least a full time week, however in accordance with Presbytery’s minimums her total financial cost will increase by about $6,000..
Several dates were put on the calendar for the coming year:
Souper Bowl Sunday February 7
Ash Wednesday February 10
Lenten Supper March 16
Palm Sunday March 20
Maundy Thursday Dinner March 24
Good Friday March 25
Easter March 27
CROP Hunger Walk April 24 Jill Kaczor
Rummage Sale April 29&30 Presbyterian Women
PW Mother-Daughter Dinner May 4 Presbyterian Women
Quilt Show June 3-4 Nancy Frank
Golf Outing June 18 Art Dahl
Sunday School Picnic June 19
Baccalaureate Service June 24
Outdoor Worship and Picnic June 26 at the Dahls’
Vacation Bible School TBA
Barbecue July 30 Laurie Talcott
Rally Day September 11 Sunday School
Pastor Appreciation Sunday September ?
Christmas Craft Fair October 1
PW Networker Dinner October 5 Presbyterian Women
Rummage Sale October 28&29 Presbyterian Women
Harvest Dinner November 5 Janet Kucel and Collen Ulrich
Hanging of the Greens November 27
Advent Dinner December 7 Presbyterian Women
Children’s Pageant December 11 Sunday School
Christmas Cantata December 11 Choir
If anyone would like a copy of the annual report please contact Janis Frisch (661-6020) or pick one up at church.
WORSHIP COMMITTEE NOTES
Worship Committee – This committee has been very busy – especially while Bonnie has been away. Sharon Brower and Nancy Frank have filled in the “empty pulpit space” as needed to keep Sunday worship running smoothly. Worship Committee members have organized the luncheon on Storyteller Sunday. Thank you to Sharon Brower, Janis Frisch, Ginnie Hall, Deb Lair, Vicky Kucel, Mary Seaman, and Joan Rorick for the homemade soups, desserts and bread on February 21st. Thanks, also, to Joan Montgomery, Libby VanNostrand, Deb Hannis and everyone who helped put fellowship hall and the kitchen back together following coffee hour. These have been well attended and the soup-lunch on winter noontimes has been appreciated by all.
Plans for Maundy Thursday are on our list of things to do. A meal is scheduled for that evening and other plans will be announced soon. Once again, the Broadalbin Presbyterian congregation will be invited and, hopefully, the combined choirs will sing.
Our next Storyteller Sunday is March 13 and members of the Living Gospel Ministry are coming to present the Passion of Christ. This will be a special event that will add to our Lenten season – once again, a storyteller event that should not be missed!
A special thank you to Ted Rorick
who has been working to build a covered storage space in the attic for our church banners.
CHURCH SCHOOL NOTES
Sunday School will be studying Samuel and David and the story of Easter this month. They are also learning how to find the different books, chapters and verses in their Bibles.
Fund raisers are being planned continuing to sponsor the 3 children in Kenya. Everybody is asked to save their deposit bottles and bring them to church so that the Sunday School children can redeem them and put the money towards their project.. They will also have a Book Sale and raffle during coffee hour in April–bring a used book or two to be sold and the profits to go to the children’s Kenya Project.
We’re still waiting for snow so we can have a sliding party so do your snow dances on Saturdays. But if that does not work they will have aa cabin fever party on March 19.
Thanks again to everyone who helps and to those who faithfully donate in any way. We could use jelly, cereal (except corn flakes) and veggies (except green beans). March 20th is our 3rd Sunday Food Sunday!
There is a sign up sheet in Fellowship Hall for helpers to distribute food on the first and third Tuesday of the month please check it out and sign up for a week or two! Thanks again, Crystle Hinkle
ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING
One Great Hour of Sharing Offering will be taken on Palm Sunday.
Sharing resources, changing lives
Since 1949, Presbyterians have joined with millions of other Christians through One Great Hour of Sharing to share God’s love with people experiencing need. Our gifts support ministries of disaster response, refugee assistance and resettlement, and community development that help people find safe refuge, start new lives and work together to strengthen their families and communities. Recognizing that the hope we have in Christ is lived out in our hope for one another, we respond with gifts that help our sisters and brothers around the world find the hope for a brighter future.
The Presbyterian Hunger Program receives 36 percent of undesignated One Great Hour of Sharing gifts, while the Self-Development of People and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance each receive 32 percent. The children will have fish to collect monies and there will be pew envelopes for folks to make donations. Please prayerfully consider making a donation to One Great Hour of Sharing.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is the organization that gave us $10,000.00 right after the fire and gave us guidance with insurance recovery. We know what a help the money can be both in terms of the dollar help as well as the morale boster it brings knowing that others care in your time of need.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!
Happy Birthday to these members and friends
Jim Cownie March 2
Beth Croft March 2
Rich Roberti March 6
Dick Foster March 10
Ted Rorick March 13
Jeffrey Warner March 14
Emmit Frisch March 16, 2004
Sierra Brower March 18, 2003
Gloria Robinson March 20
Karen Rulison March 23
The sound of Latin Music is in my ear and the harmonies of an 8-ft. xylophone played by 4 men are a delightful memory of the trip down south to Guatemala. Music is certainly a universal language around the world.
The choir is currently practicing the more somber music of Lent, written in a minor key and reminding us of the sacrifices made by Jesus as He went to the cross. We will join with the Broadalbin choir for Maunday Thursday and Good Friday services.
David and I have already been considering cantatas for Christmas and we are hoping to have an Easter cantata as well in 2017. The catalougs are arriving.
Our sanctuary, because of its acoustics, usable space, accessibility and comfort, continues to be a desirable performance space for classical and contemporary music performers. Josh Thompson and the Glove City Ensemble are presenting another concert in Apriland a college choral group from Castleton will be here also in April. SVAN will continue to hold their classical concerts at our church.
“Through song,” said the Rebbe, “man climbs to the highest palace. From that palace he can influence the universe and its prisons. Song is Jacob’s ladder forgotten on earth by the angels. Sing and you shall defeat death; sing and you shall disarm the foe.”
From The Oath by Elie Weisel
Mary Lou Bryan
DID YOU KNOW?
…that Souper Bowl Sunday collected more than $400 this year for our food pantry and 100 food items. Great soup was enjoyed by all along with our Mardi Gras Sunday party. This is the 14th year that we have participated in Souper Bowl Sunday along with churches across the nation to help to stop hunger.
…that Pat Ford, Gladys Rose, Beverly Burton and Shirley Plantz all passed away in January. Our sympathy to their families, they will all be missed.
… that on Monday evenings, our church provides a women’s Bible study at the Fulton County Correctional Facility. Pastor Bonnie, with the help of Sharon Brower and Jane Bouton, provide Bibles and study to women at the jail. If you are interested in helping, see Pastor Bonnie.
…that Alex Hetrick is taking part in the American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure on June 5th in Saratoga. One of his teacher’s sons has diabetes and Alex has joined the “Team Patriot” which will do the 50mile bike loop. His goal is to raise at least $200 by June in order to be included. QWe have a jar in Fellowship Hall if yoou would like to make a donation. Check out the website: http://bndfr.com/4cggt or talk to Alex for more information.