Plea & Praise is the title for my sermon Sunday 6/28. It’s a sermon from Psalm 13 as the Psalmist makes a plea to God. The Psalmist has an unknown enemy and cries out or makes a plea to God because all the Psalmist has a sense of is the lack of God’s presence in the Psalmist’s distress. We’ve all been there at one time or another. We want an end to whatever the distress may be or whatever we name as our enemy. We even cry out like the Psalmist, “How long, O Lord?” The unknown writer of this Psalm spells it out to the Lord as being forgotten and turned away from him/her. Yes, we have all been in this place. We hear a diagnosis (enemy) that we just can’t process. We face life (enemy) as a widow or widower wondering how long this feeling of sorrow will last. We lose hope as we despair and wonder how long, O Lord, we will be a church without a pastor. We lose trust in God’s (hesed) steadfast love. Yet as the Psalmist discovers rather than God turning away, God turns toward, rather than forgotten, God remembers as the Psalmist is delivered and God’s goodness is made known. I want to encourage you to look at the three parts of Psalm 13 of this song of lament. 1) Complaint or plea in verses 1-2, 2) the petition or asking God for deliverance in verses 3-4, and finally 3) the praise (verses 5-6) for God in whom the Psalmist trusts (present tense denoting the trust is ongoing). Write your own song or prayer of lament.
As you complete one year of being without a pastor, formed a PNC, and continue to live through a pandemic, trust in God, God’s hesed, and deliverance. Sing praise to God for God’s presence with you and for you. Lift each other (PNC, Session, and leaders of the church) in prayer. How long, O Lord, may be the plea, praise God for God’s goodness and presence in turning toward you and not forgetting.
Peace be with you,
Food Pantry for July will be Thursday, July 23rdfrom 9:00 to 11:00 at the Hammond Fire Hall. All income eligible families are encouraged to participate to receive free food. As with the past three months, we will have the food all pre-bagged, so clients can drive up, give their names and receive the food. I have not heard anything from the Food Bank in Syracuse regarding the Food Sense program, so this is still on hold. I will let former Food Sense customers know when this resumes. Any questions about Food Pantry may be directed to
Joan Hadlock, 324-5517.
Marion Medical Mission was founded in 1985, focusing on medical needs, hospital supplies, building a new clinic in Zaire. By 1990, a need for clean water was realized, turning to preventative measures in health. That first year 13 wells were provided. Since then, the numbers have grown. Last year 3,140 wells were installed in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia covering 60,000 square miles, providing almost 400,000 people with clean water. Since 1990, MMM has built 39,040 wells in partnership with the local communities, serving nearly 5 million people. . Along with the wells, Marion Medical Mission, working with local communities, has build 9 schools in Malawi, including the first in the country school for the hearing impaired, and, has provided over 5000 secondary school scholarships. Earlier this year massive flooding took place in Northern Malawi leaving many starving just as the quarantine hit. MMM sent $50,000. to purchase large bags of maize to sustain the families during this time, with a two to three day turnaround from purchase of the maize to delivering to the families. So Marion Medical Mission is at the forefront of assisting needy families in this African region. Jesus said loving your neighbor as yourself is like loving God, the first and greatest commandment. As they say in Malawi, when we pray, we move our feet. Thanks again for the help with our latest shallow well.
One other Mission note, in the past, Hammond Presbyterian Church has sent $1000 to mission work through the Presbytery. This program has all changed, so our church now supports five missions with $200.00 each. These missions are Renewal House, Watertown Urban Mission, Helping Hands of Potsdam, Canton Church and Community (Food Pantry and Thrift Shop) and Malawi Early Literacy Team. We surely are a “Mission” church.
There are some things in life that when certain things hit your senses, it can bring you back to when you were a young child. I love when these things start to happen. It could be a meal that my mom used to make, that I now make, and every time I take a bite of the meal I brings me back to my early childhood. Or it could be something as simple as a smell. If I walk past a man who’s wearing Old Spice Cologne, I immediately think of my dad. Taste and smell are my favorite senses that will bring me back in time to such wonderful memories. Right now, my favorite is smell. Every time I do laundry, in the summer, I like to hang out my laundry on a clothes line in my backyard. The best is hanging my sheets outside and when they dry, bringing them in and putting them on my bed. I get so excited for bedtime to come because I just want to lie on my bed and inhale the fresh sweet smell of the sun as I fall soundly asleep. It’s a smell that brings me right back to being a little kid, in the summer time, who is overly tired from running around outside all day and flopping face first onto my bed and smelling the fresh smell of my bedding that was cleaned and hung outside to dry.
Another thing that brings me right back to my childhood that happens so often in Church is the Lord’s Prayer. I remember having to memorize the prayer so I could receive communion and I remember getting stuck on the word “trespasses”. “What does that mean?” I would wonder every time I would say those words. I might have even asked my dad what it meant, but it never got absorbed because I know I would say the prayer again and again I would think “What does it all mean?” But God has a hand in this memory and as I got older and understood the words that I was saying, I get brought right back to being a little kid and I catch myself giggling. It makes me wonder if, when I’m giggling at that memory in church, God is looking down upon me and giggling also since I get to share one of those favorite memories of mine with him.
We have been discussing the renovation of the church kitchen, with some ideas being brought up.
If anyone is interested in being on the “kitchen committee”, let Tara know.
The Hammond Presbyterian Church Pastor Nominating Committee continues to meet and review information from candidates. We have had on line conversations with some, have checked references as well. We continue to pray that God will help us discern who will be coming to be our shepherd in Hammond. As a reminder, in the past we have had an interim pastor for two to three years while this process was taking place. So we remain hopeful and hope you will also.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to make some changes to how we will serve the needs of people in the North Country this summer.
Because no outside groups will be traveling to the area this summer, we will depend upon local volunteers to accomplish the work.
We plan to work 8 weeks. Our work coordinator, Katie Grose will be on site to teach, encourage, and help complete the work.
We will work Monday thru Thursday 9 am to 4 pm. No volunteers will arrive before 9, and all must leave at 4 pm.
Volunteers will practice appropriate social distancing at all times or wear masks.
Volunteers will bring their own food and drinks – water, Gatorade, etc.
Volunteers must sign standard “hold harmless” agreements. MINC does carry insurance for volunteers, but your own insurance is expected to pay first, with ours picking up co-pays, etc.
So, if you want to volunteer, what is the process?
EXPERIENCE IS APPRECIATED, BUT NOT NECESSARY! REMEMBER, WE TEACH HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO DO THIS WORK EVERY SUMMER.
Select from the work projects below. You can work as many or as few days as you wish. Even half-days are fine.
Call the Presbytery Office at 315-713-4343, select MINC Outreach Worker, and leave a message. Rachel will return your call and get you scheduled. In order to protect our volunteers, the number of volunteers on a project at each time will be limited to that which we feel can work safely and practice safe social distancing.
Dates and work projects: all subject to change. We will adjust if projects are completed more quickly or more slowly or if weather is an issue.
Insulation and board and batten siding
June 29-July 2
Insulation and board and batten siding
*Roof work is all single story. We install metal roofing over existing roofing. We need people on the ground to cut wood and hand things up to people on the roof. We also need people willing to work on a gently-sloping roof.
**Ramp work is all done on the ground. Involves cutting with power saws and using battery-operated screw guns and drivers.
While we’ve been absent physically in the church sanctuary, the church year has been slipping by. I’m amazed that the Easter season is already gone & I’ve only had the chance to greet you through technology. We ended worship half way through Lent, have missed the entire Easter season, and now are on the brink of Pentecost (5/31). Thankfully the season of Pentecost stretches from June through November. While one Sunday is designated for the day of Pentecost and the color is red to remind us of the flames of the Holy Spirit, the actual season color is green and lasts five months. Green is an appropriate color for Pentecost as it’s our visual reminder to grow. That’s right, Pentecost is a growing season and I’ve chosen a few activities to help guide your growth.
If you turn to Acts chapter 2 you’ll find the disciples have and are doing as Jesus asked of them prior to his ascension (Acts 1: 4-11). They are in Jerusalem gathered together when he appears to them one last time. Jesus gives three promises which they will receive; 1) gift of the Holy Spirit 2) witnessing in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth and 3) Jesus will return. So, yes, we do need a few months to grow and be God’s people in Jesus and through the work of the Holy Spirit. We as the disciples in and of Jesus have a great deal to do in this growing season guided by the gift of the Holy Spirit, going into all ends of our communities and witnessing to the gospel, and all as we await Jesus’ return.
As we wait the re-opening of church and enter into a new season of the church year let’s do so with these promises in mind. Let’s burn with the flames of Pentecost as we slowly re-gather the church to boldly proclaim the good news of a crucified, resurrected and ascended Lord. Let’s proclaim our story as God has worked in and through our lives by this same Jesus and Spirit. Let’s use this season of Pentecost to grow in the Lord and be the witnesses that God calls us to be. Grow well my friends!
Growing with you,
Hammond Food Pantry for June will be Thursday, June 18th between 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. at the Hammond Fire Hall. All income eligible families are encouraged to take part. Those coming for the first time will sign in and receive their food. We will have pre packed bags of food and clients will drive by outside and pick up their food. As of now, there is no Food Sense program for June. If I find anything different from Syracuse Food Bank, I will contact all former Food Sense customers. Any questions may be directed to Joan Hadlock at 324-5517
Are your customers raving about you on social media? Share their great stories to help turn potential customers into loyal ones.
Many thanks to all who donated toward our Easter Mission projects. We raised $300.00 towards a new shallow well, which, along with the $200. previously donated, means that we can sponsor another new well in Malawi, Tanzania or Zambia. We also have contributions for our Missionary in West Africa, Josh Heikkila in the amount of $610.00. I know Josh will be very appreciative of the support for his work there. To quote Edward, Everett Hale, “I am only one.
I cannot do everything, but I can do something. I will not let what I cannot do prevent me from doing what I can”.
Another month of quarantine, but at least the temperature is starting to get warmer and I’m so excited to be spending most of my day outside. I figured, once it gets nice out, I’ll at least be able to bring the kids out camping to the State Parks, but they are still closed also. The kids have been begging to go camping since February, and now with the weather being so nice, I don’t really have an excuse other then, “We can’t do this because of the virus” that they take as an acceptable answer. And even with that excuse, I think my kids believe that I’m just making this up as I go because the looks of “really mom, that line again.” has been a new constant look. So this morning, while I was outside enjoying my breakfast, I said “How about a camp out tonight, in the back yard.” Time to turn lemons into lemonade. As much as I’ve been pretty positive with all the negative going on, I’m tired of seeing my kids want just the little joys in life and having to tell them, “sorry we can’t.”. I know everything will be opening soon, I know that everything will get back to normal soon, but to the kids, this is taking FOREVER. So, it’s time to get creative.
A lot of lemonade is being made with the helping hand of God at our little church. We’ve started to get our priorities in order on what needs to be done to keep our church moving forward. From flowers being planted in our planters at the front of the church to organizing another amazing dinner, we keep on moving forward. These little joys, that I’ve been taking for granted for the past few years, have been so wonderful to witness. And that is God squeezing the lemon into a cup that has some sugar and ice in it, and is continuing to make lemonade for us during a time where we have so many lemons in our lives. I’m excited to see what else we will be able to do, with God’s help, to bring everyone together safely.
Doug and Joan Delosh, in memory of our parents, nephew and sister.
Dot Weber, in memory of Wayne Weber and deceased family members
Lynette and Ron Thompson, in memory of Hugh Pitcher and Aaron Thompson
Wayne and Lana Storie, in memory of Milo and Eleanor Hollister, Lewis and Grace Paddock,
and Orphia Hollister
Ann Root, Allison, Elizabeth and Emilie Barrigar in memory of deceased members of the Cuthbert, Root and Barrigar families
Gary and Marilyn Hunter in memory of Robert and Alice Bickelhaupt, Robert and Dorothy Hunter, Maurice Maloy and Paul Young
Mariel Goodwin in memory of Earle Goodwin and other deceased family members
Joan Hadlock in memory of Ed Hadlock and other deceased family members
In memory of deceased members of Hammond Presbyterian Women
I am sure many of you are wondering about our progress in calling a new minister. The committee has met several times. We have called references for some candidates, have spoken with a couple of candidates and are continuing to review forms from applicants. There are many good people out there. We are trying to discern which one God is choosing to come to Hammond. Keep praying for our work. Joan Hadlock
Take-out Lasagna Dinner update…
Our Take-out Lasagna Dinner was a BIG success! Thank you for coming out to support our Church Beautification project! We are over whelmed with all who called to pre-order, pick up, drive up, just showed up, to purchase dinners and donated to our cause! The dinner yielded $1,500+.
The response was so fantastic that it’s been decided to have a take-out Fish Fry dinner, so, mark your calendar June 26th 4pm-7pm The menu includes fish, salt potatoes, cole slaw and dessert. Adults are $10 Children ages 5-12 $5 and children 4 years and younger are FREE.
We are very appreciative to have to have the community support that we do; our projects wouldn’t be possible without you! We are well on our way to giving our church, grounds and manse properties the attention it has so desperately needed and deserved.
Let’s make it shine together,
HPC Session Members
Last month we listed needed repairs and up keep for our church and manse. The session has been busy putting our plans into actions.
· In June the needed boiler replacement will be done.
· DK painting will begin painting the manse in the next few weeks.
· The work of clearing the property line should also commence in the next few weeks.
· The new retaining wall and friendship garden will be refurbished in July.
· Thos fall the gutters on the church will be replaced to better control rain water drainage.
· We have had an electrician in to make some simple and not so simple repairs to the system.
We will keep you up to date of our progress in the newsletters to follow.
An anonymous donor has offered us a
matching grant for up to $10,000. This
money will be designated for church and manse up keep. Donations can be mailed to:
Hammond Presbyterian Church
PO Box 193, Hammond, NY 13646
The Session is deeply grateful for this
I have to be honest Luke 24:13-35 is a favorite passage of mine. Over the years I keep coming back to; it’s as if I’m drawn to it like a magnet. So when it was part of the Scripture passages to read for Sunday, April 26 I jumped at the opportunity to preach it. Why? Why am I so drawn to this part of God’s Word? It’s Jesus’ actions that speak in the ordinary of life.
These traveling companions are leaving Jerusalem on the third day. A lot has happened that they were witness to; an arrest and crucifixion, a shouting crowd to the authorities both of the Roman rule and Temple authorities, and a burial of a dead Jesus. The women had told the others that the tomb was empty thought to be an idle tale; yet not revealed to these travelers and these travelers leave Jerusalem to go to Emmaus. I wonder what their comfort will be there. These travelers leave Jerusalem just like us bearing the emotions of our own life when prayers are answered in a way we may not have anticipated or want to bear; hearing a diagnosis that is unwanted; dealing with the grief and pain of death and all that that entails. Yes, the travelers are just like us. But then as only God can do, the unexpected happens, Jesus is there and present in the midst of their travels and emotions. I think that’s what strikes me about this passage; Jesus just enters in, inserts himself into the middle of it all. In something so common, ordinary, and every day, Jesus shows up as they discuss all that has happened, their disappointment and sadness. He comes as a gardener to a grieving Mary, bringing peace to huddled disciples behind a closed and locked door, to a missing Thomas, and at a fire of coals on a beach. Jesus enters into the ordinary of ever day life.
But then something else happens to remind them of his presence, always with them: Word and sacrament. Jesus reveals himself through Scripture that they had heard over and over again at the synagogue from him, his presence in those Scriptures. In taking, blessing, breaking, and giving bread as he had done before (Lk. 9: 16; 22:19) he is also made known. In this the traveler’s eyes are opened where they were once closed or perhaps unable to see because they indeed were as Jesus said, “foolish and slow of heart to believe.”
We too are foolish and slow of heart to believe. We too have our moments of flight to run to Emmaus (whatever that is for you) and find solace, peace, or comfort. Yet Jesus meets us on the way and reminds us through the pulpit and the Table of God’s gifts to the believers of Jesus; God’s gifts for God’s people. We enter the church each Sunday coming in our own grief, sadness, and disappointment of not witnessing the resurrection and after our eyes are opened through God’s Word preached and being fed at the Lord’s Table we leave with great joy to proclaim the good news just as the Emmaus travelers rushed back to Jerusalem and to the other disciples: Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Traveling with you,
The next Hammond Food Pantry will be Thursday, May 21st. This is open to any income eligible families in the Hammond, Rossie, Brier Hill and Morristown areas. Our method of distribution has changed during this time of isolation. We now ask clients to remain in their cars and the food will be brought out to them, depending on the number of family members. There will be no Food Sense program in May, and we will wait to hear from the Syracuse Food Bank on their decision on Food Sense for June. But the Hammond Food Pantry will operate on the usual days.
Anyone with questions may call me at 315/324-5517. Joan Hadlock
Our School Kits have been organized and being readied to take to a CWS depot in Canton and from there will be shipped to general headquarters for distributing wherever there are students in need of basic supplies. Thanks to all who donated, we will have thirty school kits to share.
Because we are not in church, the Easter Memorial deadline has been extended until May 15. We are receiving donations either toward another shallow well in Malawi, or for our missionary in West Africa, Josh Heikkila. Checks can be made out to Hammond Presbyterian Church, with your selection on the memo line, .and sent to me, along with any memorial or honorary names you wish to have listed in next month’s newsletter. Thanks in advance, Joan Hadlock
Missions: One example of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance at work comes from Nepal. Following a devastating earthquake in 2015, the village of Katunje suffered almost complete destruction. A poor economy became worse. Through Disaster Assistance, 280 female goats were distributed to locals to help provide a new source of income families could rely on. Goats are inexpensive to raise and highly adaptable, especially in this mountainous area. Before receiving the goats, farmers were trained on feeding, common goat diseases and how to build small sheds for the goats. One recipient says that the project made his life blessed. He owns a small piece of land and can now sell and trade goats for a sustainable income for his family.
I remember being younger with my parents and going on a long (which probably wasn’t as long as I thought it was when I was younger) car rides and asking, “Are we there yet?” Their usual response was “We will get there when we get there. Look out the window.” As a parent now, I have all sorts of ways to entertain my kids in the car so I don’t get as many “Are we there yet?” questions. But right now, we’re still under quarantine and I’m starting to hear the little kid in my mind asking “Are we there yet?” I’ve enjoyed the first few weeks of taking it easy. I’ve caught up on house work and did a lot of bonding with the kids and husband. But now I’m at the point where I wish the long car ride will end. I’ve stretched my legs enough; I’ve gone through all my snacks and went on many bathroom breaks. “Are we there yet?” I’ve napped, I’ve played ‘I Spy’, and I’ve fought with my sibling. “Are we there yet?” And yet I still hear my parents say “We will get there when we get there. Look out the window.” And I’m hoping by the time everyone is reading this, that we have finally reached our destination and we can go back to visiting friends and family without worrying about having to wear a hazmat suit just to go grocery shopping.
Maybe it’s not my Parents that I am hearing in my head telling me that “We will get there when we get there.” but possibly it’s God (or maybe I’m going stir crazy. All good possibilities at this point). It’s like the cold winter weather, it can’t last forever; or the hard times new parents have when they have a baby, there will be sleeping in your future again. It just always feels like that it is going to LAST FOREVER, but as long as we continue to trust in God and know that we are being watched over, we are being cared for, that we know it will all be over soon. We might be bored out of our minds right now, waiting for everything to open back up for us to go out and enjoy, but when we are able to enjoy everything once again, it’ll be so much more. A barbeque with friends will be the best barbeque of the summer because God made us all stop and appreciate the little things in life and stop staring at the long road ahead of us.
The session, practicing social distancing of course, has been looking at our church property and evaluating the need for love and attention. We have found several projects that we feel need more immediate scrutiny.
For many years the tree line in the back yard of our church grounds has been accumulating all sorts of debris, scrub bushes and trees. In an attempt to beautify and cleanup our yard around the back perimeter, we are going to hire a landscape contractor to come in with equipment that will cut the necessary scrub brush and trees, clean up the debris, and level the area. The estimated cost for this work will be $3000.
Another project that we feel is extremely important is the repair and replacement of the retaining wall along the handicap sidewalk leading to the dining hall. Our plan is to replace the old railroad ties with stone wall. The down spout along the church wall will be redirected from the flower bed and sidewalk to drain to the street to prevent water retention along the retaining wall. The estimated cost of this project is $7000.
In preparation for a new minister’s arrival in the future, we need to repair and paint the exterior of the manse including the porches, ramp, and garage. The estimated cost for this project is $16,500.
One of the responsibilities of having all this beautiful property is being a good steward. Our expenses have been significantly reduced in the absence of a minister. We see this as an opportunity to undertake some of the projects that have been neglected due to previous financial obligations.
We will be planning some future fundraising to help defray costs of these projects but we welcome and appreciate any individual donations from our church family. Your prayerful consideration is greatly appreciated!
In keeping with the social distancing and still kicking off some church fundraising, we will be hosting a takeout only Lasagna Dinner with all the fixings on Wednesday, May 13th beginning at 4:30 until gone.
Dinner will include: lasagna, garden salad, garlic bread, and black bottom cupcakes.
Children 5-12 $5
4 and under Free
Many thanks to those who helped with roadside cleanup over two days last week. Our church is responsible for Rt. 37, from the Hammond Museum to two houses beyond the Triangle Rd. Included in the workers were Denise Diana, Marilyn Hunter, Ann Root, Elizabeth Barrigar, Diane Ayotte,
Nick and Jen Gardner, and Kennon, Nolan, Jensen and Vivian Gardner, Liz Gardner, Cherie Hadlock, and Nancy Hadlock. Joan Hadlock drove the “chase car” with flashers. Nancy Hadlock coordinated the effort and Craig McLear from the State Highway crew provided the vests, gloves and hats to wear. A big job and well done by many helpers.
And another big thank you to
Allison Barrigar, Ann Root,Nick and Jen Gardner, Jen McGregor, Joan Hadlock, Joan Delosh,
Denise Diana, Marilyn Hunter, Pete Atherton,
Nolan Gardner, Vivian Gardner, Jensen Gardner, Elizabeth Barrigar, and Emilie Barrigar for helping with the Church and Manse Cleanup. Many hands really do make light work and we couldn’t do it without all of your support and help.
We’re all in quarantine now and it looks like we won’t be gathered together as the body of Christ for Easter Sunday either; or will we? During this time of the unknown I’ve continued to preach from my sermon series on the Book of Judges. What starts of in great hope with judges leading Israel as they try to live in the promised land with other pagan nations scattered in their midst, Israel becomes more like those nations. God wants Israel’s obedience and yet there is the slide into darkness, to the point one may think God isn’t seeing Israel anymore.
The Book of Judges feels much like our days that we are living now. We too may sense a great deal of disobedience to God. We live in a land with many gods and idols in our midst whether we realize them or not. This season of Lent is a great time to reflect on where we are in God’s story of salvation. In these days of quarantine and our lives being tossed upside down, of living in the unknown, we too may sense a lack of God’s presence. Jesus himself felt that lack of presence and cries out the words we long to have permission to speak, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34)
But God is a God of love and hope. We are not left in the depths of darkness or death, disobedience and sin. The story of Jesus’ crucifixion doesn’t end there. We arrive with Mary at the radiant with light of an empty tomb. By the work of the Spirit we come to have new life in this resurrected Jesus when we believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior. We participate in the mystery of God.
These are uncertain days we are living in to be sure. Yet in Jesus Christ we will be together for Easter; we will lift our eyes to the hills and know where our help comes from.
Peace be with you, Rev. Betsy
This month, the Hammond Food Pantry will distribute food to eligible families on Thursday, March 26, from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. at the Hammond Fire Hall. New consumers may sign up on that day. The food consists of meats, produce, cereal, butter, cheese, pasta, canned fruit and veggies. Also the same day, the Food Sense program is held. These items must be ordered from a monthly menu and paid for ahead of time. The food is delivered around noon on Food Pantry days. There are no income guidelines for the Food Sense program, which is a great way to stretch your food dollars. For information on Food Pantry or Food Sense, contact Joan Hadlock at 315/324-5517.
This year our Easter offerings will be sent either to Marion Medical Mission for a shallow well, or to our missionary co-worker in West Africa, Josh Heikkila, who is working to spread the word of God through his work there.
A word about wells. Half of the world’s hospital beds are filled with people suffering from water related diseases. One in five children dies before the age of five because of contaminated water. Over the years, Marion Medical Mission has built over 35,000 wells providing an estimated four million people with a sustainable source of safe drinking water in Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania. This year, 37 U.S. volunteers went on the mission trip to Africa with a goal of building 3700 wells in 3700 remote villages. Before the November rains stopped the work. 3000 wells would mean that 375,000 of the extreme rural poor, (225,000 children) would have safe drinking water. These wells go along with the message that Christians are sharing the love of Jesus with all these people. These wells mean healthier people, able to produce more food meaningless starvation year after year, after year, after year. Each well now costs $450.00. Let’s see if we can fund another well.
What a crazy time we are having right now. Schools are closed, church is closed, and it’s just another Thursday to me, except I have my munchkins tagging along with me everywhere I go. I’ve been trying to do the whole working mom, school mom, and home mom thing all at once. Luckily, my husband is home during this crazy time to help lighten my load, but as a mom, you want to feel like you can do it all. And with the feeling of being able to do it all, my sanity slips more and more and I find myself welcoming bedtime just a bit earlier every night so I can lay back and not hear my name being called every 10 seconds. “You literally walked past your dad, who is as capable as I am to help you with your issues, just to find me in the bathroom.” is a sentence that I knew one day I would be saying; I just didn’t realize how often I would be saying it. This also makes me appreciate my children’s teacher just a bit more than I already did. But we are making the best of the situation. A lot of joking around going on, and having kids home all the time, you find it hard not acting like a big kid also. They miss their friends at school and church, and I’m the next best thing to a little kid that they have.
I wonder if God is creating all this craziness for a reason. Maybe I need to be spending more time with my kids. Maybe I need to be a little more thankful for everything and everyone I have in my life. Maybe it’s a little bit of everything, mixed with having to be quarantined. Should we all just take a moment and appreciate that the trees are starting to sprout buds, that the grass is starting to turn the ground green again, that we can open our windows and let the fresh clean air of spring come into the house? There has to be reasoning behind all of this. We may not know what it is right now, but there’s a reason standing right in front of us. Maybe once we slow down since that’s what everyone is telling us to do, is when we have questions answered, stressful times calmed, and just catching up on some much needed family time. .
Names for Easter flowers or donations to our Missionary or Shallow Well project should be gotten to me no later than April 5th for inclusion in our list of memorials and honoraries.
Our Easter Donations deadline is being delayed until April 15th. Our list will be in the next Newsletter.
Donation to Missionary___________________________
Donation to Shallow Well_________________________
Names to be Listed________________________________
The robins are singing, the streams are flowing, and green is returning. It’s that time of the year to refresh as everything comes alive after a long winter’s rest.
HPC has some spring clean up to do after the long winter. On Saturday, April 25thbeginning at 9:30, we will hold a yard clean up at the church for any and all to come help make our church yard ready for the wonderful rebirth of all things spring!
Bring rakes, shovels, garden trimmers, gloves and lots of enthusiasm!
That’s our 2020 Lenten theme here at Theresa Presbyterian Church. We will undertake a journey over the next six weeks to come to the roughness of the cross and the light and brightness of Easter morning. Our journey will take us through the Old Testament book of Judges in both our Bible study (Judges; The flawed and the flawless by Timothy Keller) and our worship. We will see and experience the flaws and messes in not only other people’s lives, as found in Judges, but reflect and see our own flaws and messes as well. We will experience some of the Old Testament heroes found in Judges like Samson, Gideon, and Deborah as well as some who are less well known like Othniel, Barak, and Jael and discover the messes of both heroes and non-heroes. Our worship will find us during our time of confession confessing the mess of our own life as each week we attach a piece of junk representative of the story and our messy life onto an old wooden door. On Maundy Thursday we will strip away the mess and leave it at the foot of the cross and on Easter morning during our time of assurance we will hang white lilies on the revealed cross on the door.
Why this different worship format; because it causes us to be real with ourselves, each other and most importantly with God. We will be able to touch, feel, and smell the messes that we make. Ultimately in all our human mess, it’s God’s mercy and Flawless Son that we meet by and with the work of the Spirit. God works our mess and transforms our lives into the people God means for us to be.
The church is filled with messy and flawed people, as is the pastor who comes to serve with the congregation. Do we see God’s mercy in the ways a church’s congregation and pastor are transformed and made to be what God intends the church to be? I wonder how you will be transformed on this Lenten journey that sits before us.
Peace be with you,
Hammond Food Pantry will be open on Thursday, March 26th from 9:30 to 11:00 at the Hammond Fire Hall. All income eligible families are welcome to come and receive free food, consisting of several meat offerings, cereal, cheese, margarine, canned fruit and vegetables, pasta, and fresh produce. New consumers may sign up the day of food distribution.
Also, the same day, the Food Sense program is held. Items must be ordered from a menu and paid for before the food is delivered on Food Pantry days. This menu includes meats and seafood, canned food, meal packages and fresh produce. There are no income guidelines for Food Sense, which is great way to stretch your food dollars.
For information on Food Pantry or Food Sense, contact Joan Hadlock 315/324-5517.
News from our Mission co-worker in West Africa, Josh Heikkila, concerns agriculture.
He writes: In this part of the world, farming is especially difficult, using simple tools, still forged by hand. Due to lack of irrigations, crops grow at the mercy of rainfall. Agriculture is the main economic activity for 50 % of the population in Ghana, and for 80% of those in Niger. Even in the crowded cities, people keep chickens, goats and even sometimes a cow. Seeing farmers tending crops, growing them in places where it doesn’t seem easy, makes me appreciate their hard work and helps me realize that God helps make a way when there might not seem to be one.
In Ghana, they are working on plans to teach agricultural skills to women who have been accused of witchcraft, and who had to flee their homes and farms, often ending up in places with poor soil, where they struggle to make a living from farming.
In Niger, we are starting to build wells and grow tree seedlings to help stop the spread of the desert and provide firewood, cutting down on deforestation of the land. These projects will be pioneered in Ghana as well.
These projects are being undertaken by Presbyterian Church (USA) World Mission and partners in the region. Let’s keep our West African partners in our prayers.
I have been doing some much needed spring cleaning in my office. With my daughter going to school and not being my big helper at work anymore, it was bitter sweet taking all the toys out of my office and putting everything in the nursery for everyone else to play with. I scraped all the old stickers off the cabinets and scrubbed off all the crayon that accidently missed the paper that she would color on. I remember my first couple of weeks working in the office and how I went through everything and tried to organize everything to have things make sense. You know, putting all the paper together in one spot, envelopes with envelopes, folders with all the other folders, stuff like that. When I do this at home, my husband likes to joke and say that I “Taraized” something. The poor man comes home from work and tries to help me, only to be completely lost with where everything is in the house because I decided to Spring Clean. I like to tell him that I’m keeping him on his toes, but I’m slowly helping him go down the road of madness, as all people do to their loved ones.
God has a big “To Do” list when it comes to spring cleaning. Think about it. Snow needs to melt, grass needs to grow, flowers need to bloom, birds need to sing, the sun needs to shine, the temperature needs to rise, so much needs to be done and yet we all take this for granted. It’s going to happen sooner or later. We always hope it’s a lot sooner than later, but God will get to his list when the time is right. So we may have a couple more snow storms and more days when the temperature doesn’t go over freezing, but God will be Spring Cleaning soon and we will be rewarded. And while we wait for things to warm up, nothing will be out of place and we won’t be driven to madness looking for where Spring is being kept.
Plans are underway for a New Membership Class to be held after Easter in April. If you are participating in the life of the Hammond Presbyterian Church and would like to officially join this congregation, please let our church secretary Tara know. Please stay tuned to learn the details of when this class will be offered and what it will include.
Just a reminder that March 2nd will be our Last Mindfulness Meditation class (from 6-7pm) until further notice. Thank you to all who came and please keep your eyes peeled for when we will begin our classes again.
What is Per Capita…
Per Capita is “the tie that binds”- annual giving that unites the entire church in the ongoing and essential work that guides the Office of the General Assembly, the life of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) and benefits every congregation and every mid council ministry. Per capita is the primary source of funding for the Office of the General Assembly, and is how Presbyterians mutually and equitably share the costs of coming together to discern the Spirit’s leading for the future. The 2019 Per Capita fee for our Presbytery has been confirmed at $25.00. Each per capita payment is divided, with $8.95 for General Assembly, $4.10 for the Synod of the North East, and $11.95 going to the Presbytery of Northern New York.
Many members of our church have already made their per capita payments. Our Church must pay per capita for each member, whether or not the member pays us. Your contribution helps Hammond Presbyterian Church cover our portion. Per Capita payments can be mailed to the church or dropped in the Offering with “Per Capita” written in the memo line. For more information about Per Capita and how it is accessed and allocated, please go to: http://oga.pcusa.org/section/ecclesial-and-ecumenical-ministries/per-capita/
For any questions concerning Hammond Presbyterians Per Capita amount or giving’s, Please contact Tara in the office at (315)324-5665 Mon-Friday 9am-12pm or email at HPC215@Gmail.com
Thank you for helping us to have more funds available for local ministry by providing your share of the per capita.