Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

            As I write this I am preparing to leave for my annual trek to Guatemala. Many of you may wonder why. Well, it feeds my soul. There is something about that country, the people and of course the beauty that calls to me and feeds my soul. I am so looking forward to seeing beautiful Lake Atitlan and the volcanoes that surround it. I look forward to seeing the man who every morning stands in his small wooden boat and goes out on the lake to fish for his family.

            I look forward to seeing Juana Herlinda, an incredible woman of faith, who works tirelessly for her village of Pachaj to ensure that they have clean water and health care. She is so excited to receive the 50 bags of reusable sanitary napkins that I am bringing to her from our church. They have been waiting patiently to receive these for a whole year and it makes me wish that I had more because I know that there are not enough for everyone who needs them, but it is a start and they will be so appreciative of them and they will change the lives of the young women in the village who will now be able to go to school and work the entire month.

            This year I am bringing a group of Biblical storytellers from around the country including Tom Boomershine, the founder of the Network of Biblical storytelling. We will be doing workshops around the country teaching biblical storytelling. The groups are varied from a group of seminary professors and students to the staff of CEDEPCA to several groups of indigenous women most of whom have never graduated from high school. After the storytellers leave, the second group arrives.

            The second week a group of six of us from Albany Presbytery will meet with the Mam Presbytery group and will join together with them in a retreat. We will also meet with the sewing project women who we support. After the second group leaves, the rest begins.

            I will be traveling to Lake Atitlan where I will do a home stay with Letty and Luis Mendez in San Pedro. My room will overlook the lake and during the mornings I will be studying Spanish at San Pedro Spanish school with a private teacher and in the afternoon, I will wander around the lake visiting some of my friends and having at least two massages from an amazing healer named Ada.

            As you are reading this, I am already home from this trip and ready to jump into the season of Lent. And hopefully, my soul has been fed.

 

Yours in Christ,

Bonnie

 

40 Days Toward Love, Expanding Our Hearts Through Prayer

Lent is 40 days minus Sundays. Sundays are days to celebrate the Resurrection, even during Lent. As Christians, we pause once a week to worship the God who brings life out of death. During Lent this year, I am asking you to participate in 40 Days to Love.

How can we let God expand our hearts for our neighbors, God’s world, and those from whom we feel divided? How can we encourage the people in our communities, our friends and families to pray and engage God more this Lenten season? The 40 Days Toward Love will help us tangibly engage God through prayer, reflection and optional weekly actions, moving our hearts toward God and our neighbors.

There will be five candles on the prayer station marked Hope, Peace, Joy, Love and Light. There will be a basket on the prayer station with colored hearts upside down. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you to take a heart from a basket. Then commit to praying for the person or the group of people on your heart for the week and expand your own heart to love people who are different from you. As you pick your heart, decide which of the five candles to place your heart near right side up. Take one of the instruction sheets and one of the morning and evening prayer sheets on the prayer station to write down the person or group you will be praying so you don’t forget.

If you wish, each week you may take a new prayer heart and add to your Lenten discipline. The optional weekly action ideas will allow you to act on expanding your love toward others. Please consider participating in this as one of your Lenten spiritual disciplines.

 Mondays and Tuesdays  Lenten Bible Study

On March 7 we will begin our Lenten Bible study, He Chose the Nails by Max Lucado. Every gift comes from God but no gift reveals God’s love more than the gift of the cross. These gifts came not wrapped in paper but in passion. In this five session video Bible study, we explore the many gifts that Christ provided to us at his crucifixion. These include not only the gift of the cross, but also the gift of the thorns, the nails, the robe and the empty tomb. Join us Mondays at noon (bring lunch if you would like to) or Tuesdays at 5:00 p.m.

 

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 5 and 19  Food Pantry

The Food Pantry will be open from 12:30 to 3:00 on March 5th and 19th .  Sunday, March 17th is Food Sunday, so bring your canned goods, cereal, peanut butter and jelly, to church that Sunday or any other time.

 

March 6  Ash Wdnesday

A service of prayer and reflection will be held on Ash Wednesday at 7:00 pm in the sanctuary.

 

March 14  Mooncatcher Project

A group of women gather every second Thursday at 10:00 (note new time) until 1:00 pm to make personal hygiene kits to be sent to Liberia with Victor.  Anyone is welcome!

 

March 20  PW Meeting

On Wednesday, March 20th the women of the church will meet at 4:00 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 the letter “VorW”.

 

March 21  Alzheimer’s Support Group

At 10:30 am the Alzheimer Support Group will meet in Fellowship Hall.  This group meets to discuss and support those with memory problems and their caregivers.  Speakers are often there from the community and anyone having an interest is invited to attend.

 

March 21  Parkinson Advocacy Group

At 2:00 pm in Fellowship Hall the Parkinson Group will meet.  It is a time for those with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological diseases and their caregivers to gather and discuss common problems and hear speakers talk on ways to handle the problems that go along with these diseases.

 

March  26  Session Meeting

The next Session Meeting will be held on Monday, March 26 at 6:30.  Please let Rev. Bonnie or Janis Frisch know if you have something to bring up to the meeting.

 

LOOKING AHEAD

April 14  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. 

 

April 18  Maundy Thursday

The Maundy Thursday service will begin at 6:00 pm on April 18 with a light meal

 

April 19  Good Friday

The Good Friday service will be held on Friday, April 19 at 7:00 pm. Our choir will sing and everyone is encouraged to come to this special service at the Broadalbin Presbyterian Church.

 

April 21  Easter Sunday

The Easter Sunrise Service will be held at the United Methodist Church at 6:30 am.  The service will be followed by a breakfast. 

 

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.

April 26-27  Rummage Sale

PW will have their annual Rummage Sale on Friday, April 26 from 7:00 am – noon and Saturday, April 27 from 8:00 am – noon.  Please do not leave rummage at the church until after April 21. 

 

May 5  CROP Hunger Walk

Our 8th Annual CROP Hunger Walk is scheduled for May 5th.  Mark your calendar and get your walking shoes ready!!  Jill Kaczor will be coordinating it this year.

 

SESSION NOTES

Scholarship applications for the 2019 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 in the church office or from Janis Frisch, Vicki Kucel or Rev. Bonnie and must be submitted by April 15.

 

ANNUAL MEETING REPORT

Copies of the annual report are available if you would like one and were not able to attend the meeting.  Call the church office or contact a Session member.  The budget was passed and Rev. Bonnie’s terms of call were approved.

 

Many thanks to Janis Frish and Nancy Frank for serving on the Session for the last six years and to Vicki Kucel who has agreed to serve a second term.  Marget Barnett and Linda Jacobs were nominated and elected to serve on the Session for three year terms.

 

WORSHIP COMMITTEE NOTES

After several years as chairperson of the Worship Committee, I am passing the torch to the very capable Mary Seaman.  It has been a most rewarding journey we have travelled with Pastor Bonnie at the helm and I am so thankful to the members of the committee and their willingness to “take on” every challenge that Bonnie has dreamed up.  I have every confidence in Mary’s ability to chair this committee and look forward to serving as a committee member.  As we await Bonnie’s return from Guatemala, be prepared for all the wonderful new ideas she will be bringing with her.  J  Nancy

Committee members:  Pastor Bonnie, Sharon Brower, Mary Lou Bryan, Nancy Frank, Ginnie Hall, Vicki Kucel, Deb Lair, Sandra Ann Sparks, and Mary Seaman (chairperson)

 

MUSIC NOTES

The choir endeavors to add special music to our weekly worship service.  Newcomers are always welcome to joinus on Tuesday evenings t 6:30 pm or Sunday morning at 9:30 for rehearsals.  Come join the fun.

CHURCH SCHOOL NOTES

The Church School children will be using the flannel board to learn the  Bible stories leading up to Easter.  They hope to have a “Snow Day” on March 17th so wear your snow gear and bring sleds, etc.

 

On Palm Sunday they will be doing the Coffee Hour and they are making Easter Corsages that may be obtained for a donation.   The money from this project will go to support their three students in Kenya.

 

OUTREACH NOTES

FRIDAY’S TABLE

We would love to have you join us on Fri. March 22nd  at 3:30 pm or whenever you can at Holy Spirit Community Center, 161 South Main Street, Gloversville. We serve at 5:30 pm and we are all cleaned up by about 6:30 pm, amazing! We have a great time preparing the meals. We usually serve roast pork, carrots, and roasted potatoes! The bread, salad fixings, and desserts are all donated by Price Chopper and Hannaford.

Please let Mary DiSanto-Rose know if you can come by email: mdisanto@skidmore.edu or phone 518-224-2080.  All are welcome and we range in age from 9 to 85 years young! 

 

FOOD PANTRY

Please check the bulletin board in Fellowship Hall to see if there are openings on the first and third Tuesdays for food distribution helpers.  Speak to Kate Ludewig if you have questions about the Food Pantry while Crystal is away this month..    We could use peanut butter,  jam/jelly, soup and all kinds of condiments.  March 21st is our 3rd Sunday Food Sunday!

 

MOONCATCHER PROJECT

This group will change its meeting time on the second Thursday of each month (Sept – June).  Starting in March, we will be meeting at 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 to work on the next 50 kits that will be going to Liberia with Victor.  Newcomers are always welcome.  Sewing is not required.  Pressers, turners, and cutters are always needed.  (Conversation is always lively and jokes are welcome!) This is a very worthwhile project that has a “feel good” reward each time we meet.  Our next work date is March 14. 

 

ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING

One Great Hour of Sharing is a Christian effort to empower, provide water, supply food, and give relief from disasters.  Water projects: We currently have projects in over 20 countries.  Hunger Relief: See how we are feeding the hungry all over the world.  Presbyterian Disaster Relief: Not just immediate responses, but long-term commitment.  Empowerment: Helping men and women provide for their families.

 

Our One Great Hour of Sharing Offering will be taken on Palm Sunday.  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.

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

Happy Birthday to these members and friends

           


Beth Croft                   March 2

Shirley Hitrick                        March 5

Rich Ruberti                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


 

DID YOU KNOW?

…that Souper Bowl Sunday collected $247.50 this year for our food pantry. Great soup was enjoyed by all. This is the 17th year that we have participated in Souper Bowl Sunday along with churches across the nation to help to stop hunger.

 

…that special bulletins for the Lenten Season through Father’s Day are available to purchase as a memorial or in honor of someone.  See the sign-up sheet in Fellowship Hall or speak to Nancy Frank (518-661-5328).