Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

An old pastor and his wife invited a new young couple in the church over for Thanksgiving dinner. As the couple entered the home, they smelled the wonderful turkey and all the trimmings in the kitchen. As the four made their way to the dining room table, there was a great feast before them! But as the young wife scanned the table, she noticed something out of place. Among the turkey, dressing, casseroles, and pies were three Chinese takeout cartons and a plate of egg rolls! "I know what you're thinking," the old pastor said. "Why is there Chinese takeout on the table?"

"You see," he continued, "23 years ago on Thanksgiving Day, my dear wife burned the turkey and started a fire in our kitchen! In fact, our entire kitchen nearly caught fire and the whole Thanksgiving meal was charred black!" "So after the fire department left," he chuckled, "we ordered Chinese takeout and that was our Thanksgiving meal! And every year, we order Chinese takeout to remind us to be thankful.”

What are you thankful for? We gather, every year at this time, to reflect on the blessings of God over the past year. But in most families, Thanksgiving is less about real gratitude and more about stuffing your face, watching football, and hanging with the family. Some actually dread Thanksgiving, because they're forced to sit in a room with people they really don't enjoy. 

Now I'm all in favor of the food and the football. But this year, let's make Thanksgiving about giving and about thanks. This year, more than any, might force us to dig deeper. For many, it will mark a year since they've had employment. For others, Thanksgiving will bring another reminder that they haven't found that significant other. And there are those couples who have to face the family questions of why they still can't have children. 

For many, this was a year marked by pain. So how do we summon the gratitude? Well, if you're a Christian, your basis is not your circumstances, but something greater. Paul tells the people of Thessalonica that they could "give thanks in everything." Why? Because this was the "will of God in Christ." 

In other words, followers of Christ believe that every piece of hardship is a grace gift from the Lord, sent for their growth, sanctification, and further intimacy with the Almighty. We don't believe we're here on this earth all alone. We believe God is firmly in charge. 

Though life may get hard--and it does--it all falls under God's sovereign will. And so we give thanks. 

As Americans, we really have cause for gratitude. I have to periodically remind myself of this and remind my family. We so easily get caught up in the easy lust for more stuff. Bigger house, nicer car, better clothes, newest gadgets. But then I remember my travels to third world countries, where I've seen real poverty--and real gratitude on the part of the Christians there. 

Tonight, my children will go to bed with full stomachs. They'll have a roof over their heads. They will have two parents in the next room. They will ride in a nice car. They will have a future that includes a good education. All of those are things most kids in the world don't have. And so, they should be grateful. 

So this year, let's instead reset our gratitude meters and offer genuine, heartfelt thanks to God. For salvation in Christ. For His daily care. And for friends and family He graciously provides. Oh, and for families that allow us to stuff our faces and watch football.

Yours in Christ,

Bonnie

November  Bible Study

The Bible Study groups will continue to meet in November on Mondays at noon and Tuesdays at 5:00 pm.  We are finishing our study of Moses and will start an Advent Bible Study on November 20th and 21st called The Five Questions of Christmas by Rob Burkhart.  Come join us!

 

November Knitters & Quilters

The knitters and quilters continue to meet every week on Thursdays (except Thanksgiving) at noon.  Come work on a project or if you want to learn to make hats or mittens for the mitten tree with us we have needles, yarn and instructions.

 

November 4  Annual Harvest Ham Dinner

JUST IMAGINE.......Can you smell the comforting aroma of the baked ham and scalloped potatoes as you enter the building?  Can you taste the cabbage salad with the sweet and sour dressing or the delicious apple crisp and gingerbread topped with whipped cream?  Can you see the many people seated around beautifully decorated tables with autumn foliage and candles?  Can you hear the laughter of your family and friends as they prepare, serve, and share in the meal?  Can you feel the overwhelming love, peace, and joy from the community as they gather for this annual event?  Just imagine those senses and experience them yourselves when you come to the annual Harvest Ham Dinner on Saturday, November 4th from 4:00-7:00 PM.  Adult dinners are $12.00 and children 5 to 12 are $4.00.  Take-out is available.  Volunteers are always needed and welcomed at this annual event.  Volunteers will be needed at the church on Friday, November 3rd at 1:00 PM to help with the cabbage, onions, and parsley and on Saturday at 9:00 AM to peel and prepare the potatoes. Please find some time to enjoy this event (whether it be volunteering or enjoying the feast) with people from all over the community who gather around God’s Harvest and share in fellowship.

For more information or to volunteer, please contact Colleen Ulrich (518-661-5151) or Janet Kucel (518-661-7682).

 

November 6  Building & Grounds Committee

The Building & Grounds Committee will meet at 6:30 November 6th to discuss long range plans and current needs and projects.

 

November 10  Friday Table

We are scheduled to serve at Friday's Table at Holy Spirit Community Center again on Friday, Nov. 10th, 2017.  We prepare at 3:30, serve at 5:30 and are done by 6:30.  See under OUTREAH for more details.

 

November 12  Church Directory

Our next date for taking pictures for the Church Directory is set for November 12th following the worship service – about 12:15.  If you want to be included in the directory, please plan to be there that day.   If you won’t be at church on the 12th , photos that you have can be included.  Call Mary Lou Bryan (518-725-2041) or Nancy Frank (518-661-5328) with questions.

 

November 16  Parkinson’s Group

The Parkinson’s Group will meet at 2:00 pm in Fellowship Hall and have a speaker from Core Therapy talking about physical therapy for those with Parkinson’s disease.

 

 

 

November 16  Home Sellers Seminar

Have questions on the home selling process? Wondering when it will be a good time to sell your home? On Thursday, November 16th at 4:30 Katrina Ruberti, Associate Broker with Keller Williams Capital District will go through the entire home sale process. Topics to be covered: current market conditions, the listing agreement, pricing your home, showings, the purchase offer, negotiating a contract, the attorney approval period, inspection process, buyer’s mortgage commitment and the closing process. Please call (518)-423-2502 to RSVP. If you are unable to make it to the seminar she will be happy to answer any real estate questions over the phone. Light refreshments will be served. 

 

November 18  Fall Clean-up Day

Come join the Building and Grounds committee for fall clean-up day at 9:00 am.

 

November 27  Session Meeting

The next Session meeting will be held on Monday, November 27 at 6:30 pm.  If you have anything that should come before the Session please contact Janis Frisch or Rev. Bonnie.

 

LOOKING AHEAD

December 13  Christmas Caroling

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, December 13 from 6:30 to 8:00. We will be Christmas Caroling in the village. Join us to sing your favorite carols and to share them with your neighbors. Then we will return for some hot chocolate to warm us.

December 20  Blue Christmas Service

A service of healing and wholeness will be held on Wednesday, December 20th at 7:00 pm.  This is a quiet contemplative service for anyone who finds the Christmas season to be difficult due to circumstances of their lives.  Come for the peaceful service and remember Jesus’ birth as the greatest gift that God has given to each of us.  Please pass this information on to anyone who might welcome this service.

 

December 24  Fulton County Jail Christmas Eve Service

We will be doing a Christmas Eve service at the Fulton County jail. This is always a very special service for those who participate. We are allowed to bring no more than four people along with Pastor Bonnie. If you would like to go this year, please talk to Pastor Bonnie. This will be on a first come, first serve basis. You will need to provide a copy of your driver’s license so that a background check can be run.

 

December 24  Christmas Eve Service

We will have a communion Christmas Eve service in our sanctuary  on Sunday, December 24 at 7:00 pm Join us to wish Jesus Happy Birthday.

 

MUSIC NOTES

This year’s cantata is “I Hear the Prophet Calling” with Luke Horst directing the chorus.  Come sing with us!  Ask Mary Lou Bryan for a book, CD or with questions.  The performance is Sunday, December 10 at 4:00pm.  The rehearsals will be Sat. Dec. 2 from 10 – 2 and Sat. Dec. 9 from 10 – noon.  

 

SESSION NOTES

Project Life Saver:  Electronic bracelets are available for people with Alzheimers disease or young adults with autism. The Sheriff’s department is in charge of the program. Bonnie challenged  all 49 churchs  in Fulton County to raise money for at least one bracelet.  Bracelets cost $300.  A jar will be placed in fellowship hall to see what money we can raise.

 

February 4 is the date set for the annual meeting and February 11 will be the installation of new session members.  Stewardship Sunday will be November 12.  Prior to this time members should be getting a letter and a pledge card which should be returned that Sunday or can be mailed to the church.  This gives the finance committee time to plan the budget for next year.

 

The next Session meeting will be held on Monday, November 27.

 

OFFERING ENVELOPES

Offering envelopes for 2018 will be available for pick up in Fellowship Hall in December.  Envelopes will be given to those who used them last year and any who requested them with their pledge slips.  If any other members and friends would like to have offering envelopes, please contact Ann Mallin at 773-8198 or at amallin1@nycap.rr.com.  Note:  PLEASE do not use 2017 envelopes in the new year.  Your envelope number may not be the same.

 

CHURCH DIRECTORY

Our next date for taking pictures for the Church Directory is set for November 12th following the worship service – about 12:15.  If you want to be included in the directory, please plan to be there that day.   If you won’t be at church on the 12th , photos that you have can be included.  Call Mary Lou Bryan (518-725-2041) or Nancy Frank (518-661-5328) with questions.

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

Happy Birthday to these members and friends

Vicki Kucel     November 2                                        Colleen Ulrich             November 8

Anna King       November 4, 1999                              Gloria Thomas            November 24

Mike Frank     November 5                                        Judy Gieseler              November 26

Jean Gifford    November 8                                        Wilma Bant                 November 27

SUNDAY SCHOOL NOTES

We will be packing Shoeboxes on November 12th.  Don’t forget to bring in things for the shoeboxes.   Below is a list of suggested gifts:

Toys:  small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, plastic kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, small Etch-A-Sketch, toys that light up or make a noise (with extra batteries), Slinky, etc.

School supplies:  pens, pencils and sharpener, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, coloring books, writing pads, paper, solar calulators, etc.

Hygiene items:  toothbrush, NO TOOTHPASTE, soap, comb, washcloth, etc.

Other:  sunglasses, flashlights with extra batteries, baseball hats, socks, t-shirts, toy jewelry sets, hair clips, watches, small picture books, etc.

Do NOT include the following items:

Used items, Perishable items, Liquids of any kind (shampoo, lotion, bubbles, etc.), Medicines of any kind (vitamins, cough drops, etc.), Breakable items (mirrors, china dolls, etc.), Toy guns, knives or other war-related items and NO CANDY THIS YEAR

All the gifts should be new and fit in a shoebox! 

 

Sunday School children will soon be starting preparation for their Christmas Progam which will be held this year on December 17th and they will be having their traditional Thanksgiving Feast on November 19th  so come join the fun.

 

OUTREACH NOTES

FRIDAY’S TABLE

We are scheduled to serve at Friday's Table at Holy Spirit Community Center again on Friday, Nov. 10th, 2017.  We have a great time preparing the meals. All are welcome and we range in age from 9 to 80 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.

 

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: mdisanto@skidmore.edu or phone 518-224-2080.

 

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD SHOEBOXES

Our Sunday School classes will be filling shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child on November 12.  A list of suggested items and things not to be included is under Sunday School Notes.  A box is in the hall for donations.  We will also need shoeboxes with lids that come off that will be wrapped ahead of time.  Twenty-five boxes were sent last year and $9.00 is sent with each box to cover the freight costs to get these boxes around the world.  If you would like to contribute to this cost please contact Chris Dahl.

 

 

 

 

FOOD PANTRY

As everyone knows, the holidays are coming.  Thanks to all who have donated needed items already.  The Boy Scouts are collecting food on November 11th.  If they don't leave a bag at your house you can bring any food to the Church. Any kind is appreciated. Please check the expiration dates and condition of the packaging. We can't use expired or damaged food.  Any food that isn't in its original package has to be discarded.  

 

We need empty copy paper boxes.  These are for the Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets.  We will also need:

            turkey, ham or gift certificate to purchase or monetary donation to purchase certificates

            5 lb. potatoes

            canned gravy and vegetables

            boxed dessert (ie. cake mix and frosting)

            stuffing and cranberry sauce

            olives and pickles

            bread

            dozen eggs

Any cash donations toward the turkey vouchers would also be appreciated as soon as possible and may be given to Rev. Bonnie or Crystal Hinkle so that they can figure out how many more are needed.  Non-perishable items can be brought to the church at any time and placed in the conference room (not in the food pantry).  Perishable items (potatoes, bread, eggs) can be brought on November 19th or 20th.  

 
Distribution of Thanksgiving boxes is on November 20th 12:30 to 3:00 pm, help is needed.  We will need help putting the boxes together on Sunday, November 19th. Again thanks to all who support this important ministry.  Please contact me at 518-661-6314 if you have any questions or comments.   Crystal 

 

MITTEN TREE

The knitters have been knitting away all year and have many pairs ready for Christmas distribution.  There is still time to knit a pair or two or even buy them.  Give them to Libby VanNostrand by the first week in December.

 

SANTA HOTLINE

This holiday season we will again take part in the Santa Hotline project for children in the Mayfield Central School District who are in need of Christmas gifts.  A tag with the description of a gift and a number will be available in Fellowship Hall on November 19.  Gifts must be purchased, wrapped and returned with the tag by December 10.  The Santa Hotline number this year is (518) 883-1243.   Call between November 3 and December 3 if you have a request for a Mayfield School District child in need of a gift.  In addition, if you have any very gently used games, toys, or clothing for children, you may also bring them to the church    Please wait until December, no later than December 10, and mark it For SANTA HOTLINE.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

…that the Rummage Sale brought in $685.00.  Thank you to all who brought in rummage, helped to sort it, came and bought it, got rid of the leftovers anhd put the church back in order.