Are We There Yet?

I’m always amazed at how fast time flies. Whether it’s time for the newsletter article (already?) or the realization it’s Thursday (already?) or the arrival of my birthday this month (already?) or my older son’s upcoming wedding this year (already?) time flies; for whatever reason it just does. 

The life of the church is no exception. I still feel the flurry of activity from Advent and due to an ice glaze and the cancellation of worship on 1/12, the church at Theresa is still sitting dressed in its Christmas finery. Hmmm… now I have the onslaught of Lent and Easter resources abounding in the mail and my computer inbox (already?) And the church in Hammond sits perhaps wondering at the slowness of time or the crawl that the search process often seems to move at. We often move at a pace that is hurry up and wait; running and crawling; frantic and sleeping. 

The Bible is filled with this tension as we reflect on the Israelite’s set free from Pharaoh as they live for years in that tension of crying to God yet questioning and wondering over God’s plan on the journey out of Egypt. Are we there yet? In the season of Moses to be given the Law and wondering how they were to live as God’s people, yet waiting to come into the Promised Land. Are we there yet? To be living in the time of the Prophets and waiting to return to Jerusalem and have the Exile ended, to wait for a Messiah. Are we there yet? A crucified Jesus placed in an empty tomb and the arrival of the women on that first day of the week who come with their spices to prepare a risen Jesus for burial. Are we there yet? A church that waits longingly and hopefully for a new pastor, wondering who and when. Are we there yet? A kingdom that God has been gathering for 2,000 plus years that leaves us to wonder, “Come, Lord Jesus.” Are we there yet?

As we continue to journey in this season of transition, of rushing days and weeks, months and year, may we take time to enjoy the journey and not ask are we there yet, rather, God make your ways known to us. Let us sit gathered in prayer seeking God’s guidance to prepare Hammond Presbyterian for who is to come and that God is also preparing the person coming. God has a plan, let’s not be rushed, nor tarry on the journey.

Peace be with you,

Rev. Betsy


The Hammond Food Pantry operates once a month, on a Thursday, either the third or fourth week, depending on the dates given to us by the Food Bank of Central New York in Syracuse.

We are open from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. and have served from a low of fifty-five families to a high of ninety-five families each month. Our food is ordered from the Food Bank and is delivered by tractor trailer the week before our food pantry. We pay an average of $1000.00 each month for the food. There are always several USDA free food items, which we include in our order.

During the year, we have received several wonderful donations from individuals and organizations. The Morristown Thanksgiving Dinner collects a large quantity of food, as does the Lights on the River project in Lisbon. We also receive monetary donations from both of these. Other funding contributions come from Northern New York Community Foundation, the Thousand Islands Young Leaders Organization and Hammond Central School’s personnel Dress Down Days, and student food donations...

When food is delivered, a few volunteers load the food into the Food Pantry building on Lake St. On Food Pantry day, cases of food are then taken into the Hammond Fire Hall for distribution to the families. Again, we have a fine group of volunteers who take care of this process.

New families can sign up on Food Pantry days. We also are available for emergency food needs when called.

Our foods include cereal, juices, butter and cheese, canned fruit, vegetables, soups, spaghetti sauce, pasta, mashed potatoes, four meat items such as ground turkey or beef, fish, hotdogs, chicken, tuna and bread, fresh produce and other miscellaneous items as available. We serve families from two people to eight or nine people. A few orders are delivered to those without transportation.

The Food Sense program is held the same day as Food Pantry. Food Sense sheets offer a unit of food for $20.50 plus several specials. Items offered include several meats or fish, produce, canned goods, frozen meals and produce and protein boxes. All Food Sense food must be ordered and paid for ahead of time and can be put on food stamps. Food Sense has no income requirements and is a great money saving program.

For information about Food Pantry or Food Sense, contact Joan Hadlock (324-5517)


As I put together this report, I am once again amazed at what we have done this year. All we accomplish is dependent on your generosity and support. The Mission Committee plans for the next project, and everyone joins in to make it happen. Here is what we have done in 2019.

We have put together twenty-five school kits to be distributed by Church World Service, for children with little access to school supplies. Our next project was the Blanket Fund on Mothers’ Day. The $180.00 we raised helps provide blankets for warmth and shelter in areas of crises, natural disasters and homelessness.  This is administered by Church World Service as well.

Our Angel Tree gifts from our congregation went to over fifty children of our Food Pantry families. Several people also helped assemble the Food Pantry family gift bags.

The Christmas Mission Tree provided nearly $650.00 for a variety of gifts, as well as poinsettias for the sanctuary. The agencies receiving the donations were: Heifer International, Church World Service and Presbyterian Missions. 

Our Mitten Tree items were sent to St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, S. D. This is a residential school, housing and educating children from difficult home situations.

In addition, Hammond Presbyterian Women provides funding to send the mittens, sends a $400.00 annual pledge for mission work through Presbytery, Synod and General Assemble, and arranges for sanctuary flowers each week.

I certainly am proud of all the outreach work our church family has accomplished. You are a very giving congregation, helping our community as well as so many throughout the world.

Joan Hadlock, Mission and Presbyterian Women

After the Storm Ends By Tara Atherton

 Every January, I run faster than any Olympic track star. I have so much to accomplish and pull together, that by the end of the month, when it’s all over, I look at everything that I’ve thrown together and start to clean up. It’s like after a bad storm; you go outside, assess the damage, pick up broken tree limbs and just breathe for a moment that it’s all over with. That is until the next storm, but who knows when that will be and it’s nice to relax and think that I made it through another one. I’ve made it through another January. January is like a hurricane. You see it coming from a distance and you know when it hits to just hold on. And as things start to settle down for a moment, you realize that you are in the eye of the storm and that another blast of busy is going to be coming any minute. As I write this, I know I’m in the eye of the storm. I’ve caught up on several things that I was behind on, but I’ve been putting off doing a big job because I know it’s going to take me a while to accomplish. “That’s a Monday job..” I keep telling myself. No one likes Mondays to begin with, and that’s when I’m letting the other half of my storm hit, but that’s nothing that me and a large coffee can’t accomplish since Mondays are my slow day.

Whether it was an easy week, a hard week, a long week, a quick week, a stormy week, or a beautiful week, the week starts with a calm before any storm. Being with my church family every Sunday is the calm that is needed before the storm of the week hits. God watches us all week with the sleepless nights or the early mornings, the sick kids or the rushed mornings, the bad days or the great ones and when Sunday comes around, the storm is over, the rainbow is out, God calms our souls, assess the damage that we might have endured through the week, and starts cleaning up so that maybe next week, the storm God gives us is just a little flurry that we can sit back, watch and admire, verses falling apart at the seams. 

January 2020

Ringing out the Good News from Hammond Presbyterian Church

  “And the angel said unto them, Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people: for there is born to you this day in the City of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11) These words are proclaimed to the shepherds who were out in the fields tending to their flocks of sheep. The shepherds were going about their everyday activity doing what they would be doing on any night of the week. They were watching over the sheep to keep them safe from predators. It’s dark and probably the night contained some sounds they would know because they had heard the night sounds before. Then something extraordinary happens in the ordinary; God breaks into the darkness with the brilliant light of an angel, one of God’s heavenly realm comes to visit the shepherds. These words are offered to the shepherds that God was active and they were to take part in what God was doing.

T he good news of Christmas is one of great joy and for all people. God’s news of grace and the gift of salvation was for the people of Israel and those outside Israel. God was doing something new and continues to be active and doing new things that amaze and surprise us and leave us to respond with praise and glorifying God. In our weakness, in the darkness, in our laments to God, God is present and actively at work healing and restoring; bringing new life in ways and by means that surprise us and catch us off guard.

As we enter into the new year of 2020, the same God who sent a baby to save and redeem the world one life at a time is the same God who continues to call His gathered people together to be the church with Jesus as the head. God has plans and ministry to be done at Hammond Presbyterian Church. May we respond and be faithful to God’s call, praising God and witnessing to all we have seen and heard.

Peace be with you,

Rev. Betsy

Annual Meeting Reports

 Just a friendly reminder that our Annual Meeting will be held on February 2, 2020 following our infamous Pot Luck after Service. Please remember to send in your Annual Reports to Tara in the office by January 15, 2020. Thank you all. 

Hammond Food Pantry

Thanks to the many people who helped with the Hammond Food Pantry in December. Our church family provided eighty-eight Angel Tree gifts for Food Pantry families. The twenty-eight older children received gift cards. On food distribution day we had ninety-five families, who received an abundance of food as well as a bag of fruit and a large bag of hygiene/ health products. Many of the families also received the bags of children’s gifts. There were approximately fifteen volunteers who helped everything go very smoothly. So, once again, many thanks for all who helped make this a merrier Christmas for many area families.

Food Pantry and Food Sense in January will be January 23 at the Hammond Fire Hall. for further information on these programs, contact Joan Hadlock 315/324-5517.

Joy By Rosie Salamacha

On December 15th 2019, I was home with friends from Montana and family. As we were relaxing on that cold windy day, there was a knock at the door. When I opened it, I was pleasantly excited to see the Christmas Carolers at my door singing to me. I called for my friends and family to come out and listen to the few songs that the Youth Group and adults were singing. It is always such a joy to have them come to my house every year and sing. They always sing beautifully and it really helps with the Spirit of Christmas. After the Carolers left, my friends who were visiting from Montana were so amazed that our little town had carolers and they had never had anyone do this where they live. It’s always a joy to have the carolers come every year and I look forward to it again in December of 2020.  


Appreciation goes out to all who contributed to the collection of school kits. We have twenty-nine school kits assembled, which will be taken to a drop off point and then sent to Church World Service for further distribution. Our church has become known for its Mission Program and it happens because we have such a generous congregation, willing to help others. Again, many thanks for the support. 

Our Christmas Mission will provide many needed gifts for families worldwide. We gave a total of $632.00 in donations of animals, school and health supplies, farming tools, jerry cans, and kitchen kits, as well as beautiful poinsettias for the sanctuary. The various donations will go to Heifer International, Church World Service and Presbyterian Missions. This could not happen without the generosity of so many of you. Many thanks for thinking of others beyond our walls.

The mitten tree items have been sent to St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, SD. Most of the children there are from broken homes and these gifts will remind them of the love and caring we send along with the warm items to see them through the cold winter. Joan Hadlock

Back By Popular Demand by Tara Atherton

I like to think that I do a little bit of everything in the Church while I’m working. I have a list that has to get accomplished and another list of stuff to spruce up and put my little twist on things. One of the things that I started to handle a little more of is our Facebook page. There are a couple of us that post things on the site. Whether its information, pictures, and back by popular demand, our inspirational daily posts. With our daily posts, I decided to add my own little fun twist on things. The Saturday Silly posts. I’ve had people send me silly posts for our Facebook page for a couple of years now and never knew when would be a good time to post them online. Now is my time to shine. I enjoy being silly, I enjoy being a kid, I enjoy people laughing. Jimmy Durante even says “Make someone happy, Make just one someone happy, And you will be happy too” And I find that, I, myself, am very happy and feel that even if it’s just one person that gets a giggle from the Saturday Silly, then I did my job well for the day. 

I like to think our Church Family has a great sense of humor. There’s never a time where if there was a hiccup in our service, or stressful times during the week, that I haven’t seen someone giggling about “what’s the worst that can happen…” attitude. Like water off a ducks back, we find the silly in the chaos. And I think God gave us this sense of humor to make us stronger as a congregation. And as we laugh and have a good time, I wonder if God is looking upon us, also with a grin and a chuckle at how we handle all of our situations. It’s a wonderful feeling in our Church that we can sit back and laugh with each other and fill our church up with happiness. 


Ringing out the Good News from Hammond Presbyterian Church December 2019

I’m currently at Camp Fowler, one of the five Reformed Church in America camps. I’m in Speculator, N.Y. in the Adirondacks. It snowed yesterday and is Arctic cold today. The wind has picked up and the snow is being blown off the pine trees surrounding my prayer cabin. It’s a good time for me to be on a week of pastoral study. I’m behind on what I’d like and need to read as well as get some programming done that is need of my attention. Here in this warm and cozy prayer cabin with a gas burning stove for heat, I can be still and listen for God’s voice. I can be still and encouraged about the serving and ministry God has sent me out to live. I can be still and listen and dream and imagine at what God is doing next, not only in my life, but in a greater context, a larger circle.

It’s important that we take the time to be still and listen for God’s voice; for the God of creation who breaks in to challenge and call us to do the work and ministry that God needs us to do where we are. Winter, with its time of hibernation for most animals and people is a wonderful time to brainstorm and dream and imagine what God potentially has in store. It’s a great time to think out of the box and perhaps take a long time ministry and revamp it. What does it look like when something long term that perhaps the congregation or those outside the church are bored or disinterested is given a transformation or new life? 

This happened you know. The minor prophet Haggai prophesied as the exiles returned in a slow trickle from Babylon back to Jerusalem and was close to the end of the prophets. The lands were devastated and the Temple where the people gathered to meet with God lay in ruins. The funny thing is in all those years of exile, the people came back to Jerusalem and had to be reminded to be obedient to God. They restored their own lands and homes first, God wasn’t the priority. Haggai asked the people of God, “How’s that working for you?” 

We too need to hear Haggai’s message from God perhaps on a more regular basis than we may know or want to acknowledge. The word of the LORD through the prophet Haggai in 1:4, “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your ceiled [paneled] houses while this house lies in waste?” So take heart as in verse 13 Haggai continues God’s message to the people, “I am with you, says Jehovah.” Indeed Jehovah stirred up the spirit among the people and its rulers “and they came and did work on the house of Jehovah of hosts, their God.” (1:14) Was the Temple different than the one of former glory? Yes, however, God was also at work redeeming, transforming, and restoring the Temple to be something different and new in a new community and era. “The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says Jehovah of hosts; and in this place will I give peace says Jehovah of hosts.” (2:9). 

God indeed through his Son Jesus and by the work of the Spirit is busy and at work to bring forth God’s kingdom as we take time to be still and listen. Peace be with you as we work and wait in and for God’s kingdom together.   Rev. Betsy


Angel Tree cards for gifts for Food Pantry children are in the dining room Please have wrapped gifts along with their cards back to the dining room by Dec. 8th. Our Mitten Tree is in place and will be receiving your gifts any time. These will be sent by mid-December. 

Our Christmas Mission Tree list follows. There will be donation forms in the dining room. I will need the names for the Memorial List by Dec.15th. You may also call me (315/324-5517) if you wish to place an order and have names for the Memorials.

10 Jerry Cans (for carrying water) $25.;Farming Tools $10.00; Family of Chickens $25.00; Kitchen Kit $25.00; School Supplies $25.00; Fishing Net $15.00; Corn Seeds $10.00;  500 Fishlings $25.00; Child Health $15.00; Books for 10 students $20.00; School Supplies $25.

Share of a pig, a sheep, goat or rabbits $10.00; Share of an Alpaca or Water Buffalo $25.00.

Please let me know how you wish to help the many unfortunate people in the world.

Joan Hadlock

Hammond Food Pantry

  Hammond Food Pantry will be held Thursday, Dec. 19th between 9:30 and 11:00. We will have gifts for the children, as well as fruit boxes and self care items.


Your PNC has been meeting and reviewing many Pastor Information Forms which have been sent to us. We have been in touch with several of the candidates to confirm their interest in our church. We will continue to read new forms as they come to us. As Pastor Marti Montovani encourages us, we will find the person that God is preparing to come to Hammond. Keep us in your prayers. Joan Hadlock

Christmas Caroling

Any who are interested may join Christmas carolers at 2:00 p.m. on

Sunday, Dec. 15th. Following caroling around the village, there will be refreshments ready back at the church. Come join us for a fun, meaningful time together.

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree By Tara Atherton

It’s early November as I write this and I’ve been chewing my cheek to put up my Christmas tree. I don’t want to do it too early, and be judged, but we just had our first snow fall and I have Christmas Spirit bursting out of me. All my Christmas shopping is mainly done, and I have almost half the presents wrapped, but my living room is begging to have a tree in the middle of it. It’s one of my favorite things to wake up to in the morning when I’m getting the kids ready for the day. It’s that colorful glow that comes from the living room because the Christmas tree is lit. I become five years old again, hoping to see something magical happen. I think of my daughter, who is now four years old and my partner in crime, who would have had the tree up before Halloween, and has been asking “if Santa will visit soon” since June, if she has that same bursting feeling in her body when she sees the tree all lit up, or if it’s all about the goodies and gifts that are soon to come. 

Once a week, while I’m in the office, I get to be all holiday crazy with one of my favorite people, Randy Kraft. He decorates our dining hall for the holidays, special dinners, and everyday use. When he comes into the church with his bags of goodies, I can’t help myself but to fell all festive. Is it luck that our church has to have such a strong hearted man who loves his church or is it God at work yet again, putting things in place as he does for everyone, to set Randy on the path to our church to make it so welcoming and warm? I’d like to think it’s both. It’s God who has been laying down this path for our church to walk down together and for us not to worry about what tomorrow may bring because he put the right people where they need to be in our church. Whether it’s me in the office, Randy decorating the dining hall or the many people who take time out of their busy day to help keep our church running so smoothly. The best is, Christmas is coming and the feeling of wholeness is only going to become stronger, and it feels like God is decorating our path in life, as one does to their Christmas tree.


It’s been 502 years since Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. To say he was upset may be a little mild. He wanted reforms from the Church for the common person. After all, why should the pockets of the higher ups in the Papacy be lined with the money collected from indulgences (the money used to reduce or get a loved one out of purgatory)? Shouldn’t the Bible be read or Mass and the Communion liturgy spoken in their native German? Imagine afterward the thrill of the parishioners to be able to participate in worship simply by hearing their native tongue. These were reforms indeed!

As I prepare for this Sunday’s worship (10/27) we celebrate Reformation Day. The Scripture I’m using comes from Hebrews 11-12:3. We hear a litany of voices who “by faith” responded to God in God’s plan of salvation history. We also hear of the call to persevere, to focus on Jesus when the going gets tough or we are weary. I have to wonder if Martin Luther didn’t become weary. He certainly had to account for his actions in the aftermath of nailing his theses to the door. 

In your season of in between I encourage you to read this Hebrew text; to share your stories of those who have come before. What were the vision and the history of Hammond Presbyterian Church? I encourage you to persevere and continue to be the body of Christ as you wait patiently for the PNC to do the task before them of finding a new pastor. I encourage you to pray for your community of faith, your leaders, the PNC, and that God is preparing the new pastor who is coming. Weary or worn, surrounded by a cloud of witnesses both past and present, turn to Jesus who endured the cross and the hostility of sinners. Be strong in Jesus and rely on your faith as God works out God’s plans for you.

Peace be with you,

Rev. Betsy


Tuesday November 5th from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m.

Menu includes: Roast Beef, Mashed Potato and Gravy, Coleslaw, Vegetable, Desserts and Beverages.

Adults are $10.00 Children are $5.00, Children 4 years and younger are FREE.

Hammond Food Pantry

Hammond Food Pantry distributes food and used clothing once a month to income eligible families from the Hammond, Rossie, Brier Hill and Morristown areas. We average 70 families, with new families signing up each month. At Christmas time, we served 95 families with the usual items, plus bags of fruit, packets of health goods, gift cards from Save a Lot, and gifts and gift cards for the children of Food Pantry families. Each month, a group of volunteers brings all of the food into the Fire Hall from the Food Pantry building next door, and several volunteers help by manning the food line and distributing the food. Most of our food is purchased from the Food Bank of Central NY in Syracuse, which delivers our order of food once a month. We take advantage of any free or USDA foods that are available and have received some grant funding from the Food Bank, But we spend an average of $1100 per month on the food. We appreciate the monthly donations we receive from our church and other donors.

Another program for which anyone is eligible is the Food Sen$e program For $15.50, consumers may purchase a unit of food consisting of meats and/or fish, pasta goods, fresh produce and other items. This is an outstanding way to stretch your food dollars. There are also eight specials which can be ordered separately. Food Sen$e goods must be ordered and paid for before the food arrives. 

Food Pantry this month will be Thursday, Nov. 21st, from 9:30 to 11:00 at the Hammond Fire Hall. Anyone interested in signing up for the Food Pantry or the Food Sen$e program may contact me at 324-5517. Joan Hadlock

Mindfulness Meditation Time Change

Starting November 4th, and Mondays thereafter, Mindfulness Meditation will be held at 6pm instead of 6:30pm. Meditator, Christine Visscher will facilitate. Open to beginning meditators and long time meditators. Come learn how to use your mind to work FOR you instead of against you, by employing simple techniques! You’ll be glad you did! Submitted by Nancy Chase.


Our Missionary, Josh Heikkila, co-worker in West Africa, writes about some very dark history of Ghana, W. Africa. 

Along the Ghanaian coast line are several white castles, now places of beauty. But the history of these structures is in stark contrast to the atrocities that took place there. For two centuries, between between 1640 and 1840, an estimated 1.2 million human beings were taken as cargo and shipped from Ghana’s castles to the Americas, coming from Senegal to Angola, captured, enslaved and brought to North and South America. Through complex business partnerships, ethnic groups like the Asante (Ghanians) would take captives during intertribal warfare, shackle the prisoners and march them hundreds of miles to the coastal forts where the Fante people (Ghanians) sold them to Europeans for manufactured goods. The captives were then taken across the Atlantic Ocean and sold into slavery.

Josh wonders what powerful, business partnerships exist today that allow for dehumanization and subjugation of people? What is there that requires our attention and needs to be stopped? There are many forms of trafficking and servitude, although much different, taking place today. Perhaps these castles in Ghana can remind us that we must remain vigilant to see that the poor and vulnerable among us are not taken advantage of again and again. The Presbyterian Church in West Africa strives to improve the well being of people, thereby preparing communities to address societal forces that can degrade people in their midst. What do we see around us that needs to be addressed?

Joan Hadlock

Sick Days By Tara Atherton

My morning routines are usually the same every day. Wake up, make breakfast for the kids, wake them up, make sure they get dressed, feed them, send them on their way to school, and go to work. Monday through Friday, that’s what I do. I feel like I hit the ground running when I wake up. This morning was a little different. It started off the same, get up, make breakfast, but when I went to wake up my son, the poor guy was running a fever and wasn’t feeling very well. So back to bed for him as I got my daughter up and moving so she could at least go to school while I started to Clorox wipe everything down and spray enough Lysol in the air that anything that might make anyone sick, didn’t have a chance of survival. As the day progressed, my son finally asked for food and I knew that recovery was just around the corner. It’s always nice when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel and know that the worst is over. But for the first half of the day, all I could do is worry. I start wondering if my daughter or I is next in line to get sick. I think about the last 24 hours and what was touched or shared by my son that I must decontaminate and hope that everyone else’s immune system in the house is on high alert so we don’t get what my son has. As of right now though, it’s nice to see the end of the tunnel for my son.

There never is a sick day at our Church though. It’s always progression and togetherness. Recently, I missed a few Sundays in a row, not because of illness, but because life is busy and I had prior arrangements made for that time. When I came back, it felt so good to get back into my Sunday routines with everyone. To see my Church family was like seeing the light at the end of a very busy tunnel. Every Sunday, God brings us together with love which shines so brightly that it’s hard not to be able to relax knowing that whatever the worst of the week threw at you, it was over, even if it was only for a few hours. A few hours of relief can make such a difference in how you might handle the week that is coming your way. Especially when you have a sick day.

Per Capita

 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.

A BIG Thank You

We asked, and you came. A BIG Thank you to Randy Kraft, Jen McGregor, 

Joan Hadlock, Marilyn Hunter, Joan Delosh, Ann Root, Elizabeth Barrigar, Pete Atherton, Sabrina Atherton and Tara Atherton for coming out and helping to clean and winterizing the Manse. Many hands helped to make light work. There were lots of giggles and the feeling of accomplishment when finished. Thank you all again.

Another BIG Thank you is for everyone who volunteered their time and donated their desserts to help with the Deacons Annual Harvest Dinner. We couldn’t have been successful if it wasn’t for all of you.

Poetry Corner

May we feel God’s presence every day. A poem to remind us.

For Old Age

By John O’Donohue

May the light of your soul mind you.

May all your worry and anxiousness about your age

be transfigured

May you be given wisdom for the eyes of your soul

To see this as a time of gracious harvesting.

May you have the passion to heal what has hurt you,

And allow it to come closer and become one with you.

May you have great dignity,

Sense how free you are;

Above all, may you be given the wonderful gift

Of meeting the eternal light that is within you.

May you be blessed;

And may you find a wonderful love

In yourself for yourself


In between

Whether you call it in between, transition, or interim, it feels like we are caught. After all, we are neither here nor there. The past for all that it was is behind us and the future has yet to be. Summer has just ended by the solstice today and fall is here. So we are caught still feeling the warmth of summer and yet the coolness of fall. 

That’s also how it was for God’s people the Israelites. They had left the bondage and oppression of Pharoah, with the security of the routine in Egypt and being led by Moses into an unknown future. However, they weren’t there yet to the Promised Land as God prepared them on how they were going to live with God and each other. So for forty years they wandered about where ever God led them with the cloud and providing manna for sustenance. 

Now, my hope for Hammond Presbyterian is that you are not in between or wandering for the next forty years! However, you are presently in between. You have a rich past and deep connection with the Hammond community, yet you also have a future where God is preparing you now to go. As you sit, neither here nor there, may you continue to be the community of faith (reaching out to one another and the surrounding community) God is molding you into (open to challenges and trying new ideas). As you prepare for a new pastor, may you be in continuous prayer, listening for God’s voice and being guided by God’s Spirit. As you prepare for an unknown future may you continue to support, encourage, and care for one another as well as your neighbors. As you prepare for the future, know that a new pastor is also being prepared for you. With God’s divine intervention and plan, you will both connect and as one in the interim and on the in between journey with you, I can’t wait to see God’s plan for your future as Hammond Presbyterian Church.

Grace to you and peace,

Rev. Betsy

Harvest Dinner

Our Hammond Presbyterian Church Deacons will be putting on our Annual Harvest Dinner on October 24th 2019. Our delicious menu will include Turkey, Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Squash, Scalloped Corn, Cole Slaw, Beverages, and (the best part of any meal) Dessert. Dinner starts at 4:30-6:30pm. Adults are $10, Kids are $5, and Children 4 years and younger are FREE!!! If you can’t stay for Dinner, we also will be offering Take-out. 

Hammond Food Pantry

Hammond Food Pantry continues to serve the Hammond area community. There are an average of seventy income eligible families served each month.. The food we order from the Food Bank of Central New York in Syracuse, costs us approximately $1000.00 each month. We also order USDA, or free, items from there, as well. We have applied for and received some grant funding to help with the food costs. Once a month our food is delivered by tractor trailer truck to the Food Pantry building. There, a group of our volunteers carries the usually three pallets of cases of food into our building.

We are always in need of additional funding and donations of non-perishable food items. Donations may be given to me or placed in the offering plate, made out to the church and marked “Food Pantry”. Food donations may be left at church on the bench in the upper hall by the driveway.

Our Food Pantry is staffed by more than a dozen faithful volunteers, who show up each month, some to bring the food from the Food Pantry building into the Fire Hall for distribution, and others to oversee the handing out of the food as the clients sign in and move along the table. 

Hammond Food Pantry fills a vital need in the lives of many area families. We also do emergency food distributions when someone calls in need of food. Deepest gratitude goes out to all who help and support the Hammond Food Pantry. The need continues.

Hammond Food Sen$e is another program which stretches your food buying dollar. There are no income guidelines for this program. For $20.50, you may purchase a unit of food, to include some meats, produce, canned and packaged items. There are also many reasonable special items which may be purchased. These orders are delivered the same day as the Food Pantry and must be ordered and paid for ahead. 

The next Hammond Food Pantry and Food Sense will be Thursday, Oct. 24th. Food Pantry from 9:30 to 11:00 and Food Sense around noon the same day.

Anyone interested in signing up for Food Pantry or Food Sen$e programs may contact me at

324-5517. Thanks. Joan Hadlock

Manse Clean Up

With winter coming on, traveling can be challenging. Reverend Marti Montovani has graciously agreed to continue to be our Spiritual Leader for 2 weekends a month. We would prefer her to not have to travel in inclement weather on Sunday mornings, so we are going to tidy up the Manse for her. She will be here on Saturday evenings, for worship on Sunday morning. Clean up day will be on October 19th, at 10am until completed. Many hands make light work so we hope to see you there.  


Thanks to all who have contributed to the School Kits. We will be collecting through the month of October. These will be distributed throughout the world, where ever the need is greatest.

The Marion Medical Mission team of volunteers is currently in Africa, hoping to install 3,000 shallow wells in 3,000 remote villages before the rains begin, in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia. Each day, while the team is at work, a devotional is posted on line, sometimes listing thoughts from the staff. The following was written by one of the American volunteers. “Glory to God”.

“This is written on the top slab of every well installed by Marion Medical Mission,. Every volunteer, builder, Field Officer or maintenance man has seen it many times. Every well proclaims Glory to God in English and the local language. Do the villagers think about this profound phrase each day that they come to the well for water? This sparkling water seems like a miracle. We hope God is glorified every day. Honor, respect..that is what we should give to God every time we install a well. He, who brings the water to the villages. Do I thank Him? Do I remember His generosity as I drink this wonderful water? I hope the words “Glory to God” are written on our hearts. For Marion Medical’s wells are truly God’s wells.”

Welcome Fall By Tara Atherton

It seems like, since we came into September, Fall started immediately. There were only a couple of days where I could send my kids to school wearing shorts, and the rest of the time they were in pants. I’m always cold. It could be the middle of summer, and once the sun goes down, I’m looking for a blanket to snuggle under. My husband will have the air conditioner cranking and there I am in a pair of sweats and a sweat shirt, shivering. But the fall cold is a different kind of cool. You’re expected to wear the jeans and a sweater. It’s okay to have another warm drink in the morning. And it’s fun to turn on the oven first thing in the morning to make blueberry muffins for the kids while they sleep, only to have them wake up to the tasty smell and the house all nice and toasty warm. Fall is definitely my favorite season. It’s almost like, it gives you a reason to snuggle more, it gives you a reason to enjoy more, and it gives you a reason to relax more. 

Our Church continues to thrive with the seasons change also. I love coming with my children to the Church for Halloween so they can go trick or treating from table to table and warming up from the chill of being outside to long. Then there is the harvest dinner that is served, which is probably one of my favorite times, because I get to sit in my office and smell all the food cooking. The whole Church fills up with the smell of love and Turkey, the whole Church fills up with love and support, the whole Church fills up with love. It feels like the warmth of the love in our church is making our congregation stronger and more united. We have all learned that it is okay to lean on each other for support and help, everything else that is out of our control, we just pray and let God handle the rest. Our future might be the changing colors of the leaves on a tree, but it is beautiful to look at. 

Pastor Nominating Committee

We want to keep everyone up to date as to our progress in our search for a new minister. Our Minister Information Form (about the church) is completed and has been approved by the Presbytery Committee on Ministry and our Session. Next, we will put our form on line and hope for many responses from candidates who are interested in us. It is quite a process, but we are well on our way. Please continue to keep us in your prayers. Joan Hadlock

World Communion Sunday

October 6, 2019

Since 1940, World Communion Sunday is an ecumenical celebration of oneness 

in the Spirit and the Gospel, of Jesus Christ, bringing churches together in Christian unity.

We will receive the Peace and Global Witness Offering

25% of the Offering stays with local congregations and 25% with mid-councils to unite congregations to support peacemaking in their regions.

50% of this offering supports the work of peace and reconciliation being done by Presbyterians across the globe.

Poetry Corner

Mighty Oak

Stand tall, oh mighty oak, for all the world to see.
Your strength and undying beauty forever amazes me.
Though storm clouds hover above you,
Your branches span the sky
In search of the radiant sunlight you
Count on to survive.
When the winds are high and restless and
You lose a limb or two,
It only makes you stronger.
We could learn so much from you.
Though generations have come and gone
And brought about such change,
Quietly you've watched them all,
Yet still remained the same.
I only pray God gives to me
The strength he's given you
To face each day with hope,
Whether skies are black or blue.
Life on earth is truly a gift.
Every moment we must treasure.
It's the simple things we take for granted
That become our ultimate pleasures.