Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
When the Betty Crocker Company first began selling their cake mixes, they offered a product which only needed water. All you had to do was add water to the mix which came in the box, and you would get a perfect, delicious cake every time. It was a total flop! No one bought it and the company couldn't understand why, so they commissioned a study which brought back a surprising answer. It seemed that people weren't buying the cake mix because it was too easy. They didn't want to be totally excluded from the work of preparing a cake; they wanted to feel that they were contributing something to it. So, Betty Crocker changed the formula and required the customer to add an egg and some oil in addition to water. Immediately, the new cake mix was a huge success. I think that sometimes we make the same mistake when it comes to "packaging" or presenting the Christian religion. We try to make the call of Jesus Christ as easy as possible because we are afraid people won't "buy it" if it seems too hard.
Jesus said, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies it bears much fruit. Jesus then explained what he meant. He said, "The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it." It's true in life isn't it? If we are going to get anything out of it we have to invest ourselves in it. There are many ways to invest ourselves in our Christian walk. There is an old saying in the church that 20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work. This requires us to think outside the box about ways to be church. We must connect our members in ministries that fit into our everyday lives and lifestyles and that meets their needs, the church’s needs and the mandates of the Gospel. How can each of us invest our time, our talents and our treasures in ways that will help us grow? Because involvement and participation are the correlates of spiritual growth and a person’s spiritual fulfillment. 80% participation isn’t the goal – spiritual fervor and growth is.
God never intended for us to live our lives independent of others, or “above” them. God desires for us to develop relationships of accountability with other Christians.We cannot walk alone in life. It is important that as Christians, we find a group of supportive and seasoned Christian believers who can help us and encourage us in our faith and continuing trust in God. When we are at our weakest, our faith community provides someone who can help us through our weakness until the day comes when we are the strong ones and are able to help someone else.
As we become a more committed part of a spiritual family, we find that we want to be more than just a bystander. We find that we want to be involved in ministry in a more significant way. Joining a local church is like entering into a covenant relationship with other believers in order to love them as an active part of a spiritual family. And we need the spiritual oversight and soul care of other faithful shepherds. Becoming actively involved in our church community also ensures a balanced Christian life.
Finally, by becoming actively involved in our church life, we will experience the joy of serving others. God has re-created us in Christ Jesus for the purpose of bringing glory to Him by bearing fruit. The fruit of the Spirit is primarily manifested in our relationships with others and we learn that one of the ways to bear fruit in the Christian life is by serving others.
Are you actively involved? If not, consider the opportunities that we offer. If you have ideas for other ministries that you would like to be involved with, talk to me. We are always ready to try something new!
Yours in Christ,
October Monday and Tuesday Bible Study
Bible Study will continue on Mondays at noon (bring a lunch if you wish) and Tuesdays at 5:30 pm. at the church. We are studying the Ephesians.
October 3Annual Craft Fair, Family Fun Day & Blessing of the Animals
The craft show/family fun day will be held October 3rd from 10 am – 4 pm. Rev. Bonnie will be blessing the animals that day from 11-12. Pets should be on leashes or in cages/carriers. Besides crafts and vendors, we will be having a bounce house, pumpkin painting and games for the kids as well as hamburgs and hot dogs. We need baked goods and crafts donated for the "ladies of the church" tables. If you are interested in helping, please call Sue Cichy at 843-4710 or leave a message at the church.
October 4World Wide Communion Sunday
Pastor Bonnie is part of the Guatemalan Task Force of the Albany Presbytery. In April Bonnie traveled to Guatemala with members of the task force to explore ways that we can support each other in the ministry of Jesus Christ. As one of our first joint efforts, we are excited to announce an opportunity to be in communion with our sisters and brothers in the Mam Presbytery. Together we will celebrate World Communion Sunday, October 4, 2015 in spirit and in liturgy.
We have asked all of our churches in the Albany Presbytery to consider using the lectionary texts to preach which would mean that all of our churches and all of the Mam churches would be using the same texts. These texts are: Job 1:1; 2:1–10Psalm 26, Hebrews 1:1–4; 2:5–12 and Mark 10:2–16. In addition, we are asking each church in the Albany Presbytery to include the hymn, Blessed Assurance, as one of their worship hymns and include the Mam Presbytery and its churches in your pastoral prayer.
How wonderful to know that we will all be in communion with each other on a day when people all over the world celebrate communion!
October 7PW Night in Scotland
On Wednesday, October 7 at 6 p.m. the women of the church will host another special program- " A PW NIGHT in Scotland". We thought it would be different to serve food from the church’s Scottish heritage this year and other churches have been invited to join us. This year’s offering will be split between Presbyterian Disaster Relief Fund, which supplies relief funds around the world in times of disaster, and CEDEPCA, the organization in Guatamala that Rev. Bonnie works with to organize our mission trips and is now on the board.
We will be making the dinner starting about 1:00 on Wednesday and will need helpersWe also will be making applesauce probably on Monday, October 5 at 1:30 p.m. Speak to Chris Dahl if you can help or sign up on the bulletin board both to come and to help.
October 13Interfaith Tea
The 67th Annual Interfaith Tea of Fulton County will be held on Tuesday, October 13th at the Church of the Holy Spirit, South Main St.. in Gloversville. Registration begins at 11:30 am and a luncheon tea will be served at noon. Lisa McCoy who is the marketing and development director at Mountain Valley Hospice House in Gloversville will be the speaker and a collection will be taken for Hospice.
October 18Something Beautiful and Storytelling
Something Beautiful Sunday is being changed to the third Sunday oif the month to coincide with our storyteller this month. See WORSHIP NOTES for details on our storyteller, Rev. Cindy Maybeck.
October 18Malcolm Kogut Concert
Malcolm Kogut, who has played at our church, will be giving an organ concert at Trinity Lutheran Church , 42 Guy Park Ave., Amsterdam on Sunday, October 18 at 3:00p.m. They have a newly installed three manual tracker organ built by a local builder. He will be playing the Chopin Funeral March, Bach’s Toccato and Fugue in D Minor , Boellmann’s Toccata plus a few novelty songs and pieces he has arranged.
October 21Presbyterian Women
The Presbyterian Women will meet on Wednesday, October 21 at 7:00 pm to discuss plans for the Rummage Sale and other upcoming eventsand to assemble Care Packages to be sent to our college students. The Bible verse letter is “B“. Please come join us for this fun and worthwhile project. If you have cartons suitable for mailing (corrugated shoeboxes with an attached lid are great) we would appreciate having them. We will be sending homemade cookies, candy, gum, snacks, tissue packets and anything else someone awayat school may need. There are about 15 packages to be sent out this year. Bring them that night along with addresses or contact Chris Dahl.
October 26Session Meeting
The Session will meet on Monday, October 26 at 6:30 pm at the church. Please let Janis Frisch know if there is anything to come before the Session at that time.
October 30-31 Rummage Sale
PW will hold its Rummage Sale on Friday, October 30 from 7:00 am to noon. It will continue on Saturday the 31st from 8 am to noon. We will also be having a food table and a few special items that will be priced over 25 cents. Since storage space is limited we ask that you do not bring in rummage until two weeks before (after October 13). This will allow us to keep the coat area available and the church looking presentable for guests during the Networking Dinner. Remember items should be useable and clean.
November 7Annual Ham Dinner
Save your appetites on Saturday, November 7 from 4-7 for our Nineteenth Annual Ham Dinner. We will be serving a ham dinner with all the trimmings and apple crisp or gingerbread for dessert. If you have questions or are willing to help please contact Colleen Ulrich (661-5151) or Janet Kucel (661-7682). Look for sign up sheets for making apple crisp and gingerbread and for helping at church in the coming weeks. Food preparation will be on Friday, November 6 at 1:30 pm for the coleslaw and Saturday morning at 9:00 am for the scalloped potatoes. Join in the work and fun of this event.
There were seven of us who help out with the food pantry that went to the Regional Food Bank Orientation and Food Safety Meeting. We were there from 10:30 to 3:30, lunch was supplied. It was a very interesting and informative program and we learned a great deal from the different teachers and leaders of that group. It's amazing how much there is to learn in safely handling food and food products and doing things the correct way in order to safeguard the public who comes to our food pantry. Periodically they have many different programs which I'm sure we can attend and get even more information.
We are still looking for volunteers to man the food pantry on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. If you feel so inclined we'd appreciate your help. There are sign up sheets in the fellowship hall or you can
call me at 725-2970. We are all set for October but need volunteers for November and December.
Foods that we are in need of : cereal, peanut butter, jelly,canned fruits, canned veggies and tuna. The third Sunday of each month is our Food Pantry Sunday and ifyou can donate any of these foods it's always very much appreciated. We thank you so much for all your help in helping others who are in need.
Worship Committee members have been working closely with Pastor Bonnie to prepare for new storytellers each month. “Biblical Storyteller” – Tracy Radosevic (Baltimore, MD) presented an amazing program “telling” The Parable of the Sower – Mark 4:1-20 - during the morning worship on September 13th. The church was decorated with a pathway depicting the parable and centerpieces with thorns and flowers adorned the tables. A picnic lunch was shared during coffee hour as it was also Rally Day when the children return for Sunday school classes. Tracy continued in the afternoon with another series of Bible stories with the theme - “Who Knew the Bible was so Interesting?” Many visitors were in attendance along with the regular congregation folks. Table talk discussions took place during lunch. All-in-all it was a very successful and enjoyable event.
The committee will be meeting on September 28th to begin planning for our next storyteller on Sunday, October 18th. Since the storyteller theme is based on our “Something Beautiful” Sundays, in October we will move Something Beautiful to the third Sunday as that is the day that Rev. Maybeck is available to be here.
Below you can read more about Rev. Cindy Maybeck and our next storyteller event:
Rev. Cindy Maybeck, an inspiring and accomplished preacher, will grace our pulpit on Sunday, October 18, 2015 to preach on the theme of stewardship, “Your Money or Your Life.” Founder of Spirit Story ministry, Rev. Maybeck designs original presentations blending scripture telling and storytelling as a way to bring God’s word to life and to inspire the church to move forward in faith with hope and joy. She tells the Gospel by heart as it was first told in the early church. To receive the word spoken with love transforms our understanding of the Bible as a living instrument of God’s grace. Her sermons are filled with stories and you will be transfixed and perhaps touched with laughter or even shed a healing tear.
A short bio:
Rev. Maybeck served as pastor for 14 years at Trinity Church in Northborough, MA and 10 years at Bethany Christian United Parish in Worcester, MA. She received her Master of Divinity with honors from Andover Newton Theological School. She has master certification from the Network of Biblical Storytellers www.nbsint.org. Rev. Maybeck has served as moderator of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ and is presently the Vice President of the Conference of Baptist Ministers in Massachusetts. You may learn more about her ministry and invite her to lead workshops, retreats or give storytelling presentations www.cindymaybeck.com