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:

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 

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. 


Life Interrupted

From Luke’s Gospel 13:10-17, was the text we heard read and preached in Theresa on August 25. As I was preparing the sermon I was reminded yet again that we need to take our time when reading Scripture. Why? Because here as throughout the Bible it’s easy to read too fast, skim through because the text is all too familiar, and the words or story have been heard so many times (take the Christmas and Easter stories for example). When reading any text from the Bible we need to savor every word, reflect not only on the whole passage, but also each word, sentence, and phrase. How is God being revealed to us in the reading of God’s Word? 

In this text from Luke as we look closely we see Jesus calling, inviting, speaking, healing, restoring, redeeming, and bringing new life to a woman doubled over eighteen years from an infirmity of Satan. She is unable to be straight, looks only at the ground, is outside of relationships, and Jesus values her life not only in the healing, but in reminding those gathered at the synagogue and in particular the leader of the synagogue that this woman has value and worth, more than the animals, more than the other six days of the week; the Sabbath is the day to set this woman free. She is a daughter of Abraham. 

As disciples of Jesus we are reminded in this text of the value of human life and God’s work of calling, inviting, speaking, healing, restoring, redeeming, and bringing new life. How are we engaged in the lives of the people we encounter? How are we building relationships with people who don’t know Jesus? How are we a disciple of Jesus and by the work of the Spirit restoring people, giving value and honor? 

The response in the story by the bent woman and the multitude is one of glorifying God and rejoicing in what Jesus was doing. The shame for this woman was gone, she’s been set free and she glorifies God. The bent posture of this woman has been made straight and the multitude rejoices. May we all glorify and rejoice each day in what God is doing as God breaks in and disrupts life. May we as disciples continue to serve where God calls us to serve by caring and loving all whom we meet.

With you on the journey; peace be with you,

Rev. Betsy 


  Many thanks to all who helped with the Fish Fry Dinner. It was delicious, well attended and served with our usual efficiency and friendliness. Special thanks to Pat Gallagher and Lisa for cooking the fish to perfection. Our profit was close to $900.00. Putting on a dinner like this takes at least two days of preparation, along with shopping, cleaning, and the rest. It takes a takes a church. Thanks to all! Joan Hadlock

Hammond Food Pantry

The next Hammond Food Pantry will be Thursday, Sept. 26th, 2019, from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m at the Hammond Fire Hall. All income eligible families are encouraged to come to receive free food. If possible, please bring a box for the food. Also on the same day, the Food Sense program will be held. This is open to everyone who wants to save on their food dollars. Food Sense food must be ordered and paid for by Sept. 6th. All items are listed on a monthly menu, which includes a unit of food for $20.50, and a selection of specials which may be ordered and paid for separately. These foods include meats and fish, fresh produce, canned good and packaged meals. The Food Sense truck comes in around noon on Food Pantry days. Anyone interested in receiving information about the Food Pantry or Food Sense programs may contact Joan Hadlock 324-5517.

Triennium Travels

 Presbyterian Youth Triennium is a gathering of Presbyterian High School aged Youth from all over the country and the world.  This exciting opportunity takes place every three years at Purdue University, and Kennon, Nolan, and I (Jen) were able to take part in July.  We headed out by plane the morning of July 16th and were registered, checked in, settled in to our dorm rooms, and ready to go by that evening.  The 5 day event kicked off with an opening worship service.  Awe inspiring is an understatement as we joined with about 5000 other youth, along with their adult chaperones, in a lively, energetic, faith filled service.  The next three days were filled with small group gatherings, with each of the three of us in separate small groups, discussing and working through the scripture theme for the day.  There were fun events each night, centered around the theme for the week, "Here's My Heart".  We also spent time in the Prayer/Meditation Center, reflecting on what we were experiencing.  Each day we took part in the whole group worship, and Kennon even joined the PYT choir, performing at one of the services on Friday night.  A tradition at Triennium is for delegations (groups from presbyteries) to bring pins to exchange with other delegations.  Kennon and Nolan now have a collection of pins from around the globe.  We want to say a huge thanks to the Presbytery of NNY, who generously supported our travels.  Also, thanks to all of you who were praying for us on our trip.  I have seen the future of the Presbyterian Church, and it is amazing!  

With many thanks and much joy,

Jen Gardner


Our Mission co-worker in West Africa, Josh Heikkila, writes of his life there. He talks about the importance of fish in his life and in the life of Jesus. Familiarity with Biblical images–eating fish and inviting others to join and eat–helps Jesus come to life for the people of West Africa who are listening to Scripture. What Jesus said and did, people will explain to you, they still say and do to this day. Scripture touches peoples’ lives and speaks to them in ways that resonate deeply. When Josh speaks in the United States, about his work , he tells people how Scripture comes alive in places like Ghana. You can see women and children at wells, carrying water home, fishermen in boats on the shores, mending their nets after a long day on the water, women pounding their harvest with mortar and pestle. The proverbs, parables and experiences of Jesus make sense to West Africans. The way Jesus taught, fed and healed the people around him continues to teach, feed and heal West Africans today. For those of us removed from a simpler life, engaging with West African partners can help bring the Jesus of the Bible to life once again. 

Josh has sent his thanks for our support for his work. Joan Hadlock

Learning to Swim By Tara Atherton

All summer long, my 3 year old daughter has wanted to swim. She can wade through the water with no problems, but when the water gets high on her, she becomes a little koala and climbs up your back and holds on for dear life, life jacket on and all. We recently went to the family cottage to enjoy some family time and did a lot of swimming. As we played in the water, my daughters’ confidence started to grow and slowly, she started to trust in her life jacket and started to let go. Of course, as she starts to let go, we are all praising her. Her little legs were kicking, her little hands were paddling, and she took off and started to putter around on her own, constantly telling all of us that “I can finally swim with my life jacket”. It was such a proud moment for all of us. Now, when she goes into the water, there is no hesitation. She knows that her feet aren’t going to touch the ground, but as long as she has her life jacket on she was safe. 

It seems like God has been watching our church family start to swim on our own as we start. Our search for a new Pastor has us starting to kick our feet. We know we can do this, we know we are safe, but now, with all of our confidence built back up; we are floating and swimming again. It’s an exciting new adventure to be on. An adventure, which has God watching over us and cheering us on, making sure that we continue to push forward, take breathes, relax when needed, and then start kicking our feet again and continue to move forward. This may not be our first time learning to swim again, but with the love and help of those around us, we will always be safe in our ‘life jackets’.

PNC (Pastor Nominating Committee) Update

The Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) of the Hammond Presbyterian Church including: Bridget Sherman, Joan Hadlock, Allison Barrigar, Jen Gardner, Randy Kraft, and Jen McGregor, has held its initial meeting to begin the process of the search for our new pastor.

The meeting was held with the Reverend David Bennett, Resource Presbyter of the Presbytery Of Northern New York. Reverend Bennett outlined the process and the many resources available as we begin the search.

Updates will follow…


Ringing out the Good News from Hammond Presbyterian Church August 2019

Pastor’s Reflection

I’m presently at Calvin Seminary and have been here all week engaging in my gift from Theresa Presbyterian Church; pastoral study time. I say a gift because when I use the time not only do I as a pastor benefit from further learning, but the congregation and larger community do as well. How I am spending my week is with other pastor’s as we engage in the topic of grief. How do we lead the congregation in times of grief? How do people grieve? What gets said or done (or not) during a time of grief? Perhaps not a topic one wants to hear about during the summer when life tends to be lighter, less hurried, less programmatic. However, grief is a reality that doesn’t take time off. Grief will happen and continue no matter what season we are living. Grief still affects a person’s life, even in the summer.

As I reflect and ponder I share some highlights with you… 

1) People grieve loss. It may be the death of a loved one. But there are other forms of death and reasons to grieve, loss of a job, a broken relationship, something that has caused a change in life such as aging, moving to a care facility, or health. Take time to reflect on what you have or presently are grieving at this time…

2) Words and actions matter by both what we say and do as well as what we don’t say or do. Our words and actions while often well intended can cause further grief by inflicting harm and yes, more pain to an already grieving person. Words and actions (or the lack of) can cause embarrassment, anger, more pain, and yes, create joy, be uplifting, and be a source of comfort. There can be judgment, either by the church or the members of the congregation, made about the grieving person or a family. Reflect on your response (or lack of) when someone you know has been grieving….

3) Faith in times of grief. We like to think in a time of loss, a person’s faith is strengthened. However, that’s not always the case. In times of grief there is often great questioning for the person grieving. Faith can be re-shaped, transformed both positively and negatively. What is believed scripturally about God based on what’s been learned over the years? The church plays a role here. Is there room for a grieving person to express emotions and question or wonder about their faith? Reflect on discipleship/faith formation and your own response when a grieving person questions God…

The Bible is filled with stories of grief or loss of one type or another. The Psalms are great proof of lament and grief, crying out to God in pain. 1/3 of the Psalms are Psalms of lament, yet we fail to lament in worship or give space for lament. Worship tends to be filled with praise, joy, and be upbeat. What does worship look like when over time, when occasssionally there is space for people to cry out? What programs are offered by the church to give space for the grieving?

Grief changes life and the order of it. Psalm 30:10-11 says the following, “Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me! O LORD, be my helper! You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,” As we continue our journey together during this season of transition for HPC let’s reflect together over grief. For those who grieve in this day and at this time, know that God indeed is on your journey of grief with you as the Psalmist testifies in Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff -they comfort me.”

Peace be with you,

Pastor Betsy


 Our Annual Fish Fry Dinner will be held Thursday, Aug. 15th from 4:30 to 7:00 at the church pavilion. Fish, Mac and cheese, salt potatoes, cole slaw, desserts and beverages for $10.for adults, $5.00 for ages 5-12. Take-outs are available. We will be looking for workers the day before the dinner to help prep foods, set up and prep kitchen, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Any questions? Call Joan Hadlock 314-5517 

Hammond Food Pantry

The next Hammond Food Pantry food  distribution will be Thursday, Aug. 22, from  9:30 to 11:30 at the Hammond Fire Hall.  The food items include juice, butter, cheese, cereal, fruit and vegetables, soups, pasta, fresh produce if  available, bread and three or four meats. We hold the Food Pantry once a month for anyone eligible. The Food Sense program is held the same day, with a set package of items including meats, produce, vegetables and variety items which anyone can order regardless of income at $20.50 for the package. Food Sense must be pre-ordered and pre-paid. This is an economical way to stretch your food dollars. There are also specialty items which can be ordered and pre-paid. Food Sense truck comes in about noon on Food Pantry days. 

In addition, there is a table with used clothing and some household goods available.

Anyone wanting a Food Pantry schedule, the Food Sense order form or information may call Joan Hadlock at 324-5517.

Church Yard Cleanup

 Anyone who has an extra few minutes–or more–, there is some yard work needed at the church. The spirea bushes need to be trimmed, side church garden along driveway needs some weeding, sides of the pavilion need to be weeded. Anything else you see needing work, please go ahead. Thanks in advance! 


    One of the places we send our Mitten Tree items is St. Joseph’s Indian School in

Chamberlain, So. Dakota. In May, the school celebrated a nice group of 8th grade graduates. Graduating from 8th grade is huge for some Native American children, especially due to the obstacles many of them must overcome. The students were awarded completion certificates and presented with a star quilt by their families. This represents honor and generosity. Also in May, a group of students participating in the High School program graduated from Chamberlain High School. For some, the future will be college, military or the work force. Fr. Anthony, Chaplain for the school, realizes that,” only the Great Spirit has complete knowledge of what the future has in store for our students.” He states that those of us who support their program help feed, cloth and educate the children, and help carry out their mission to care for the whole child-- mind, body, heart and spirit. This school has educated and cared for over 200 Lakota children each year since 1927. So the little part that our Hammond church plays, has a big impact on the lives of these children so far away. Joan Hadlock

Swimming By Tara Atherton

At the end of June, my children were playing Tee Ball at the school and my son, who is special needs, had a couple of his aides from his school come and watch him on his last “game” to show support. I love meeting up with his teacher or aides outside of school so I can hear some of the stories that my son does in school. One of the stories that I was told, was that my son can swim in the deep end of the pool without and support. When I bring my son swimming, I let him wade up to mid chest and that’s about as comfortable as I feel without turning into a worry wart. So when his aide told me that he swam without anything to help keep him afloat, my heart went straight into my stomach. To me, there are certain accomplishments that I don’t hold my breath on, because I don’t want to be disappointed that he didn’t reach a certain mile stone. You really learn that all the little things are tremendous steps, and big things that are accomplished, is almost like the feeling Neil Armstrong must has felt when he walked on the moon for the first time. Anyways, with this information in the back of my mind, I decided to bring the family out to a beach where they have a floating dock in the deep end. I tell my step son that if he wants to go out to the dock, he can, but that my son might follow him for the first time. I sat on the beach and watched both boys, swim out to the floating dock, climb up onto it, and then jump off and swim back to me. It was one small step for my son, but one giant leap for this mommy.

This summer with our Church family, it almost feels like, we are my son, and God is our mother watching from the beach. We are kicking our feet, and paddling our hands in the water, God looking on to us with pride and love. You can feel the hope and love that God gives when you walk into Church and everyone is being supportive, helpful, and loving to one another. “Ás I have loved you, love one another” John 13:34, might be his way of saying, “keep swimming, I see you, you’re doing great.” It might just be that we are taking these small steps that we normally take, that we don’t think of as anything important, but in Gods eyes, we might be taking those giant leaps that gives a parent so much love and pride.


 There is a story behind this poem. I met its author, Myron Jackson in Bradenton, FL last winter. He and his wife Natalie led a drumming workshop for families at the local library. He recited from memory this poem he had written. At the end of the workshop I asked if he would send me a copy of the poem and permission to share it with others. He said, “Yes.” and sent me a copy.

The tone of the poem is playful with an important message. It is a prayer of gratitude thanking God for the flavors of the global community. He prays that the world can live as one.

“Because there’s nowhere under God’s sun

that’s void of variety,

Except that which

Man imposes on society.”

Liz Scarlett


If God is willing and I am able,

I thank him for life, family, friends, shelter, clothing, transportation, sound body and mind

And provisions placed upon my table,

Dining offers a great opportunity to commune with the flavors of the global community,

At breakfast,

I ponder over my Peruvian coffee with Irish cream,

Whether to have French toast, Polish sausage or Chinook salmon,

Freshly caught from a mountain stream,

Belgian waffles with Vermont maple, a Danish or Canadian bacon,

In a manner of speaking I may go vegan,

Washington apples, Georgia peaches,

or California raisins,

I’m thinking while drinking Jamaican rum punch 

during lunch,

As to how to paint my palette,

Will I choose Maine lobster, a Frankfurt on Italian bread, Russian dressing on a Greek salad?

Swedish meatballs, or Wisconsin cheese, 

Tandori chicken or fresh English peas,

My hunger doesn’t discriminate too tough and my mouth welcomes all of these,

At dinnertime I’m inclined to employ 

the same method and means

Of integrating Blackened grouper with Red beans, Brown rice, Yellow corn and turnip Greens,

Jewish rye, Dutch Apple pie, topped with

Blueberry ice cream,

And before long,

I’m getting my taste on with Florida Orange juice,

With a pinch of Carolina White lightening,

Doing yoga exercises on my Persian carpet

Watching that amber sun meld into an 

indigo night time,

Chillaxing in my Mexican hammock sipping on a

Cuban cigar,

Munching on Turkish delights, Brazil nuts and strumming my Spanish guitar,

Before too late I incorporate

Feeding my Siamese cat and 

walking my Australian shepherd,

Watering my African violets and play the kids in 

Chinese checkers,

And I crash-out on Japanese futon at the end of the day,

With my lovely lady from Montego Bay,

I pray the world can live as one,

Because there’s nowhere under God’s sun 

that’s void of variety,

Except that which

Man imposes on society,

But it’s words of King to which I’m drawn,

And by the way that’s Don, Rodney, Martin, 

Nat, and BBKing,

Carol, Burger, King Arthur, and 

Stephen King and King James,

Whose quotations combined reminds us that

That not just

“Only in America…,”


“Can’t we all just get along?”


“Have a dream today,”


“So unforgettable”,


“The thrill is gone.”

Let’s not sing

“It’s, too late baby”,


“You can have it your way,”

And Have

“A freedom we can embrace with honor”

Instead of

“Nightmares and dreamscapes”


Myron Jackson

Share the big news

Have you opened a new location, redesigned your shop, or added a new product or service? Don't keep it to yourself, let folks know.

Display their FAQs

Customers have questions, you have answers. Display the most frequently asked questions, so everybody benefits.


Ringing out the Good News from Hammond Presbyterian Church July 2019

Pastor’s Pondering

Greetings Hammond Presbyterian Church! My name is Rev. Betsy Westman and I serve as the installed pastor at Theresa Presbyterian Church. I am coming up on my one year anniversary for both my ordination and installation and it’s been quite a journey to those events. But it’s also been quite a journey as my husband and I moved to Theresa after spending 25 years in our home in Glen, New York (Montgomery County) where we raised our sons. Moving after being in one place for all those years has been quite interesting. I knew at some point we’d have to move for me to serve with a congregation, so over the last few years, I have been preparing by cleaning, purging, donating, gifting, and moving “stuff” along. Even after moving and in the unpacking, I was still sorting and donating. What was the reality of needing and thereby keeping several different cookbooks where I was only using one recipe from the book? A better solution was to write down the recipe and put it in my recipe file and donating the cookbook.

That’s how it is in the life of the church. There are seasons and times of moving, packing, saying goodbye, and preparing. That is where you are now. You have leaders in place in your Session and members of the church in place who are willing to serve on the PNC. While I’m not a transitional or interim pastor in the life of your congregation, I am here to serve with the Session as well as provide pastoral care and any needed administrative functions. I will lead worship for four Sunday’s in both July and August. 

In the Bible both Israel, Jesus, and the early church apostles were on the move. All of these people and more covered a large amount of territory by boat, foot, camel, and donkey. God calls the church to be on the move (Acts of the Apostles). By the work of the Spirit, we don’t stay put in one place. As Christians and the community of faith we too are on the move. We have new people to meet and ministry to share as God sends us into new places and people’s lives.

So during this time of transition and preparation may we all be open to the movement of the Spirit as we spend time worshiping, praying, and caring not only for the Hammond Presbyterian Church, but also those who come into our presence.

Peace be with you,

Pastor Betsy  

Until We Met Again!

Dear Hammond Presbyterian Family,

On our last Sunday with you, the children sang God is bigger than the Boogey man and it was so appropriate.

When twists and turns happen in our life’s journey, it’s helpful to remember God’s fierce and compassionate love which is like a Mother Bear.

Thank you for the kind loving expressions of your care for us: The song!; The fingerprint Tree; the Blessings cake & Best Wishes Gluten Free cake. The tree necklace, the Lowe’s gift card, the photo opportunities, the Amazing grace throw, the cards and embraces.

You are always in our hearts. God bless you always.

Love Evon & Tom

Until We Met Again!

Pavilion, Tables and Chairs

 It appears summer is finally here. With summer comes get togethers with friends and family. The church is happy to assist with your plans. Tables and chairs can be borrowed, but need to be signed out and back in with Tara. There is a sign out sheet to help us keep track of them.

The pavilion is also available. You need to let Tara know the date you would like in advance to be sure it will not already be in use. There is a simple contract with terms of use to be signed. There is no fee, but donations would be gratefully accepted. 

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.

*It is how Presbyterians are trained to become  better ruling elders, deacons, and ministers of  word and sacrament/teaching elders.

*It is how Presbyterians come together to  discern God’s call in their lives.

*It is how Presbyterians participate in the life of  the wider church by serving on General  Assembly committees and commissions,  regardless of distance or financial resources.

*It is how Presbyterians participate in the life of  the Church universal as we commit ourselves to  work and live in fellowship with “all persons in  every nation” (BOOK OD ORDER, G-4.0101)

For more information about Per Capita and how it is accessed and allocated, please go to:

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 

Yard Sale

 The Hammond Presbyterian Church would like to offer you the opportunity to reserve a spot to sell your items inside the church basement on Saturday July 13th during our Town Wide Yard Sale. There is no fee for hosting your sale at the Church, but monetary donations will be accepted if you wish to offer. For more details and to reserve your spot, please call Anne at 315-324-5485

My Fourth of July By Tara Atherton

Last year, I did a lot of debating on whether to take my kids to go see the fireworks. With my son being special, he’s not very keen on waiting around for fireworks to start and he’s also very uncomfortable when it comes to very loud noises. He has his noise cancelation headphones, but when it’s early July and a bit on the toasty side, the last thing he really wants to wear is something on his ears that’s going to make him sweat. Then there’s my daughter who is still young enough that if she stays awake past 9pm, my sweet little girl turns into a small little monster. So I started thinking, what can I do for my kids to satisfy everyone’s love for fireworks, without the noise, late night, and waiting time? Bed time came around and I had snacks laid out in my living room, looked online for some firework displays and had the air conditioner cranked. After my kids went to bed at a normal bedtime, I felt a bit guilty. Should I have brought them out to enjoy the fireworks? Should I have done something different? The next night, before bedtime, my kids both asked me if we could watch the fireworks again. It was at that point that I realized that they had a great time and wanted to continue to do it. We ended up watching fireworks for the rest of the week that way and the kids were so happy. Will I do continue to do this with the kids in the future, maybe. Nothing is set in stone, especially as the kids grow.

With all the changes going on in our church, it seems that we are all questioning ourselves. Should we do this…? How do we do that…? Lots of questions have been asked. Luckily, God has been answering all of our questions as we grow closer as a congregation. Everyone is working together to do the right thing when it comes to our Church. As long as we continue to lean on one another, the small changes that we might be making might be our new traditions as a church. Will we continue question ourselves, maybe. Nothing is set in stone, especially when God is watching us as children continue to grow. 


 Church World Service School Kits are again being promoted by Hammond Presbyterian Women. Contents for the kits are listed here and on sheets in the dining room. We will be collecting items throughout the summer. After assembling, kits will be taken to a drop off place in Canton for shipment to Syracuse. If anyone would prefer, funds are needed for insurance and shipping to final destinations. Checks may be made out to Hammond Presbyterian Women. Let me know if there are any questions. 

Joan Hadlock

School Kits

One pair blunt scissors with rounded tip

3-70 count spiral notebooks

1-12 inch ruler

1 hand held pencil sharpener

1 large eraser

6 new pencils with erasers

1 box of 24 (only 24) crayons.

Place in plastic bag and leave on table in dining room. .

OR you may bring several of one item to be combined with others when the kits

are assembled.

Kits make such a difference in the lives of children whose schooling has been interrupted by some disaster. Let us help restore some order to their lives. Thanks for your help!

Joan Hadlock

Music Camp

We are pleased to announce the 16th Annual Summer Music Camp sponsored by the Hammond Presbyterian Church under the direction on Ms. Bridget Sherman, Director of Music for the church and Music Instructor for Hammond Central School.  An amazing week of music has been planned for the week of July 22nd-26th from 9am-noon so sign up for the fun!  We will be singing songs, exploring instruments, dancing and playing games!!  This will be another fun year of music making so kids don’t want to miss out on the fun. 

As a program of the church, and as a gift to the children of our community, we offer Music Camp each year for children having completed grades 3-6 for only the $10 cost of the Camp T-shirt.  Should that expense create a hardship for your family, please let us know.  There are scholarships available to cover that cost.

To register, complete the following registration form and return it to Ms. Sherman ASAP,  call the church office at 315-324-5665 between 9am and noon or you can email Ms. Sherman at   We look forward to seeing all the children in July!!

Food Pantry

The next Hammond Food Pantry will be Thursday, July 25th, 2019, from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. at the Hammond Fire Hall. All income eligible families are encouraged to come to receive free food. If possible, please bring a box for the food. Also on the same day, the Food Sense program will be held. This is open to everyone who wants to save on their food dollars. Food Sense food must be ordered and paid for by July 5th. All items are listed on a monthly menu, which includes a unit of food for $20.50, and a selection of specials which may be ordered and paid for separately. These foods include meats and fish, fresh produce, canned goods and packaged meals. The Food Sense truck comes in around noon on Food Pantry days. Anyone interested in receiving information about the Food Pantry or Food Sense programs may contact

Joan Hadlock 324-5517.