Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
God put something on my heart that I need to share with you. I was recently in a rather deep discussion with someone about their life and the circumstances that they are going through right now. They have been dealing with a great deal of pain and suffering and we found ourselves discussing at length the question, “Why do we suffer?”
After I left as I was driving back to the church, I was remembering a class that I took in seminary on suffering and I went back to look at my notes that I took from that class. One of the things that I found was something written by a man named Cornelius J. Rempel who was a Mennonite churchman and a hospital chaplain. He called it the Nine Maxims of Suffering. They include:
1. Suffering is not God’s desire for us, but occurs in the process of life.
2. Suffering is not given in order to teach us something, but through it we learn.
3. Suffering is not given to punish us. But is sometimes the consequence of poor judgement.
4. Suffering is not given to us to teach others something, but through it they may learn.
5. Suffering does not occur because our faith is weak, but through it our faith may be strengthened.
6. God does not depend on human suffering to achieve God’s purposes, but through it God’s purposes are sometimes achieved.
7. Suffering is not always to be avoided at all costs, but it is sometimes chosen.
8. Suffering can either destroy us or add meaning to our life.
9. The will of God has more to do with how we respond to life than with how life deals with us.
I think that Rempel’s ideas aren’t too far off. It seems to me that Rempel is trying to call out some of our bad theology around suffering and to reinforce the idea that while God redeems pain, it wasn’t God’s first option for us.
It is precisely because God loves life so much that the sacrifice of Christ–the giving up of life– meant anything, had any weight. Thomas Merton says that one of the chief tasks of the Christian is “to make our life and our body valuable enough to be offered to God in sacrifice.”
Suffering is painful Suffering is hard. It is never easy. Regardless of what we know and how hard we apply the principles, it is going to hurt. Suffering is perplexing. We say, “Why now? What is God doing?” In this, it is designed to build our trust in the Almighty. Suffering is a process. And as a process, it takes time. And perhaps most of all, suffering is a struggle. It’s going to be a battle all the way. That’s why they are called “trials” and “testings.”
Suffering, our own and those whom we love is a test and a challenge to our faith in God’s love and it often tests us to the utmost. Nothing tests our love for God more than suffering and trials, and the death of someone we love, or the illness of someone we love more than anyone else in this world, apart from Jesus.
Suffering is a topic that we don’t like to talk about often, but if you are going through the trials of life, it may be something that is very real for you and something that you need to read right now. If you are suffering and need help, please reach out to me or someone else.
Yours in Christ,
WRONG COAT Do you have the right coat in your closet?
I mistakenly wore the wrong car coat home from church on Sunday, April 22. It's gray with wide lapels, belted back. Mine is similar with black leather gloves in the pockets. Please call me, Ann Mallin (773-8198) and we can arrange for an exchange.
SPRING CLEAN-UP Saturday April 27 from 9am-noon
Monday and Tuesday Bible Study
Bible Study groups meet at the church Mondays at noon (bring lunch if you wish) and Tuesdays at 5:00. Our Bible Study is entitled “All the Places To Go” by John Ortberg. Come join us!
Thursdays Knitters and Quilters
The Knitters and Quilters meet at noon in Fellowship Hall. Some of us are knitting hats and mittens and others are working on projects of their own or quilting. Call Libby Van Nostrand if you have questions.
May 1 & 15 Food Pantry
The Food Pantry will be open on Tuesdays May 1st and 15th. There is a sign up sheet on the bulletin board in Fellowship Hall or contact Crystal Hinkle to help.
May 9 Mother-Daughter Banquet
PW will hold its annual Mother and Daughter Potluck Dinner on Wednesday, May 9th in Fellowship Hall at 6:00 p.m. Please bring a dish to pass and table service for you and your guests. Mary Lou Bryan and Nancy Frank will entertain us with readings and if there is anyone else who would like to perform please let Chris Dahl know.
May 10 Rise Against Hunger
We need good people who want to help pack 10,000 meals in 90 minutes (and have a lot of fun doing it!) on Thursday, May 10 at 12:30 pm. We will work with the Mayfield High School students and make a difference in the lives of people around the world.
May 10 Mooncatchers Workshop
The Mooncatcher project has been enthusiastically embraced by many women who come on the second Thursday of the month from noon to 3:00 We welcome new helpers for sewing, cutting, measuring, pressing, turning and threading. There are many steps in making these to completion.
May 16 Presbyterian Women
PW will meet on Wednesday May 17 at 4:00 pm in Fellowship Hall. We will be discussing the Networking Dinner in the fall and other upcoming events. The Bible verse letter is “S”.
May 16 Defensive Driving Course
A Defensive Driving Course will be offered at the church on May 16th. The fee is $35.00. Completion of this course can lower insurance premium or reduce points on a person’s license. A sign-up sheet is available at church – number of participants is limited.
May 17 Parkinson Group
Megan DeMento from the Northeastern Alzheimer’s Association, will be the speaker at the Parkinson Group on May 17 at 2:00. She will address the problems of memory loss and dementia as it relates to Parkinson’s disease.
May 22 Session Meeting
The next Session Meeting will be Monday, May 21, at 6:30 pm. Please let Pastor Bonnie or Janis Frisch know if you have anything to brought up at that time.
DID YOU KNOW?
…Andalusia Jane Klim was Baptised on April 22. She is the daughter of Deidre and David Klim and great-granddaughter of Jane Bouton. Congratulations!
June 1 & 2 Annual Quilt Show
Our 23rd annual Quilt Show will take place on Friday, June 1st from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.and continue on Saturday, June 2nd from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Friday evening, Sue Schoch our featured artist, will present a trunk show at 6:30. See Quilt Show Notes below for more information.
June 16 Golf Tournament
Please mark June 16th on your calendar for our annual Golf Tournament and spread the word. Don’t golf? We need lots of help, making food, serving food, gathering door prizes, etc. See Golf Tournament Notes.
June 24 Outdoor Worship & Church Picnic
The annual worship service and picnic will be held on Sunday, June 24th at the Dahls’ on Priddle Point.
June 25 – June 29 VBS
Join us the week of June 25 for our 2018 Vacation Bible School. This year’s theme is ROME: Paul and the Underground Church. Please mark the dates on your calendar and volunteer to help make this a success for all the youth of Mayfield. We will need lots of help with snacks, group leaders, craft leaders, decorating, etc.
July 28 Barbecue
The annual chicken BBQ will be here before we know it! We are very excited that Brooks has changed their onsite requirements this year so they will be coming back to cook at the church! Pastor Bonnie would like to try something new this year..baking pies on prep day! More details to come on that. Ticket prices have changed this year...$12.00 for a full dinner and $10.00 for a half. Sign up sheets and flyers will be available in early June.
I thought it would be nice to tell everyone how much the residents at the Nathan Littauer Hospital Extended Care Facility enjoy their monthly Communion and Songfest on the first Thursday of the month. Mary Lou Bryan plays the piano and Dave Evans plays his guitar. The choir members also give of their time. The residents really enjoy the music and join in singing the hymns. They love the old standards like What A Friend We Have In Jesus, The Old Rugged Cross, Amazing Grace, Rock Of Ages, etc. they smile and hum along with the ones they don't know. During the holidays they play songs associated with the holiday. Music is a universal language and you see them smiling and just enjoying themselves. They also take communion which they love and remember. The grape juice and bread is prepared so that it meets any dietary needs .
Casey Warner, Outreach Chairman
Our eigthth annual CROP Hunger Walk will be held on Sunday, May 6 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 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 8th Annual CROP Hunger Walk on Sunday, May6th and join the thousands who participate in communities nationwide to support the mission to feed the hungry and help those in need!
This time of year we could use condiments like ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise. We can always use soup of any kind and jams and jellies and cereal. The next Food Sunday is May 20th but you can bring food in and put it on the counter in the Food Pantry at any time. I expect that the postal workers will be doing their food drive again soon and I will need help picking it up, sorting and getting it on the shelves. More information on this when I get it. The signup sheet is always posted and if you have never done it before I’m usually available to help. Thanks again, Crystal
We are scheduled to serve at Friday's Table at Holy Spirit Community Center again on Friday, May 11, 2018!! We have a great time preparing the meals. All are welcome and we range in age from 9 to 85 years young! We gather at Holy Spirit Community Center, 161 South Main Street, Gloversville at 3:30pm or whenever folks can get there! We usually 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 3:30pm or whenever you can, we serve at 5:30pm and we are all cleaned up by about 6:30pm, amazing! Please let Mary DiSanto-Rose know if you can come by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 518-224-2080.
Alzheimer’s Education Series
Megan DeMento,Program Manager, at the Northeastern NY Alzheimer’s Association will be presenting a series of workshops at our church in May. If you would like to attend one or all of them registration is required! Please call Victor at (518) 867-4999 ext. 200 to register.
The topics are :
May 3rd at 6:30 Know the 10 Signs: Early Detection Matters
May 10th at 6:30 The Basics: Memory Loss, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
May 17th at 6:30 Effective Communication Strategies
Pastor Bonnie is hoping to bring a special storyteller to Mayfield – a storyteller who was with her recently in India. In an effort to raise the money required to make this happen, Crystal Hinkle has created a “Birdfeeder Basket” raffle. Included in the basket is a hand-pointed original Teddi Knapp Gourd Wren Bird House along with a variety of “feed-the-birds” items. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5 and are available at church. The winner will be drawn on June 16th following the Golf Tournament.
Bulletins and Flowers – Something for your information - We have been asked recently why we have special, colored bulletins on some Sundays and black and white bulletins with drawings of the church on others. The answer is this: Seasonally we order special bulletins that can be purchased as memorials or in honor of someone. This often happens during Advent and Christmas or Lent, Easter and other spring-time Sundays. A sign-up sheet is then available in fellowship hall. However, colored bulletins can be available to mark days that are special to you – birthdays, anniversaries, etc. At least a three week notice would be necessary in order to get them in time for your date. The same is true for flowers. If you would like to bring flowers as memorials for particular dates, they can be recognized in our Sunday bulletin. Contact Nancy Frank for more information.
Looking ahead – A Christmas Carol – Wednesday, December 5, 2018 – Rev. Tim Coombs will make a return appearance to bring this story alive. Rev. Coombs performed this one-man show - Dickens’ A Christmas Carol from heart - a couple of years ago in our sanctuary. “Yes, I don the Victorian garb and use lots of voices and it’s all great fun! I’m sure that you know that the main character is one Ebenezer Scrooge, who Dickens’ describes as “…a tight fisted, hand to the grindstone, Scrooge! A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! He’s hard and sharp as flint, secret, and self-contained, and as solitary as an oyster.” Mark your calendars now and plan to attend this special performance that is perfect for the Christmas season.
DID YOU KNOW?
…that Sacandaga Flowers in Mayfield supplied our palms for Palm Sunday. The beautiful spring flowers were bought there also.
SUNDAY SCHOOL NOTES
The Sunday School children wish to thank everyone who supported their children in Africa by buying flower corsages on Palm Sunday. They are planning another fund raiser before the end of the year (a lemonade stand after church). This time the money will go to the elementary school for a program that supplies food for children to bring home over the weekends when there is a need. The next couple of months we will also be practicing for the end of the year performance on June 17th.
QUILT SHOW NOTES
On Friday, June 1 & Saturday, June 2, the church will host the 23rd annual quilt show. Local quilter, Sue Schoch, is our featured artist this year and she will present a trunk show on Friday evening at 6:30. She will also tell how she decides what design she stitches on quilts. We welcome quilts made by or received as gifts by church members and friends. We look for large, small and/or “Red, White and Blue” Challenge quilts. Registration forms are available. Our raffle quilt – “Pinwheel Baskets” will be on display and tickets available soon. Call Nancy Frank (661-5328) or Mary Seaman (567-8341) for more information. Sign-up sheets for helpers are available at church.
Lunch items will be available thanks to the PW ladies on Saturday and they will be having a Bake Sale. There will be sign-up sheets for bringing in goodies, soup and sandwiches. Quilt shop vendors have also been invited to “set up shop”. Please tell your friends and/or bring them to this show and see the church transformed with beautiful quilts. Call Nancy Frank (661-5328) or Mary Seaman (567-8341) for more information or to “get involved”.
GOLF TOURNAMENT NOTES
Our seventh annual golf tournament will be held on Saturday June 16th, registration 8:000 am, tee off 8:30, at Holland Meadows Golf Course. (Rain date June 23rd ) It will be a scramble with four players (men and women) on each team - each player hits a ball from the tee and the best ball is played again by each player. If you don’t have a complete team sign-up and we will partner you up with a team. Sign-up flyers are on the table near the front door or call Art Dahl at 661-5800. If a power cart is needed reserve one by calling the course at 883-3328. (Pay the course for cart rental.) The price of the tournament is $50, which includes 18 holes of golf, prizes and a luncheon at the golf course’s picnic grove.
We also need hole sponsors and help with lunch. Call Art Dahl or fill out a flyer to order a sign to be placed at a tee. The cost is $25 if we already have a sign, $50 for new ones. We are looking for people to bring salads, hot dogs and hamburgers, buns, soda and the like.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!
Gary Lair May 5
Greg Putman May 6
Dan Hanna May 10
Joan Montgomery May 12
Charlotte Conyne May 14
Nancy Frank May 15
Val Warner May 22
Linda Smith May 25
Clarissa Putman May 29
Evan Orth May 30
Bonnie Orth May 31
Kate Annunziata May 31