"I rejoiced with those who said to me 'let us go to the house of the Lord.'"
In ancient Israel, there were three festivals (Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot) during which all those able were expected to journey to Jerusalem and be present in the temple. With so many people traveling from so many locations, the resulting gathering was equal parts religious observance, business trip, and family reunion, with additional traditions growing over time.
One such tradition was the introduction of traveling songs, known now as the "Psalms of Ascent." Psalms 120-134 were all written specifically to be sung by those making the festival pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Most of them are joyous, and all of them are hopeful.
In some ways, May marks the beginning of a contemporary pilgrimage season. The weather improves, colleges wrap up their year, beaches open, and people start getting the urge to travel. Some of us look forward to favorite activities. Others are excited at the reopening of destinations we love to frequent. Still others look forward to reuniting with friends and family after a winter apart. And in this part of the world, we rejoice at the chance to gather in worship with those who make pilgrimage here each summer.
Maybe somebody should write a song.
Our Easter Missions provided over $350.00 in donations for our Missionary in West Africa, Josh Heikkila, as well as beautiful floral decorations for the sanctuary. Thanks to all who helped. The following is a list of the memorial names:
In memory of Allen and Donna Chase given by Nancy Chase.
In memory of Alice and Joseph Kaselow, and Paul, Fred and Lilian Saphier by Evie Saphier
In memory of Rob Scarlett and other deceased loved ones given by Liz Scarlett
In memory of Thom DiCaprio given by the Begel family
In memory of Fred Lind, given by Laurie and Ray Petersen
In memory of our parents and Doris Maloy and Paul Young given by Gary and Marilyn Hunter
In memory of Ed Hadlock and other deceased loved ones given by Joan Hadlock
In memory of Mr.& Mrs. Phil Decker and nephew James Decker, Jr. from
Doug and Joan Delosh
In memory of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Delosh and Linda Kilmer from Doug and Joan Delosh
In memory of Malcolm and Roberta McGregor given by Jennifer McGregor
In memory of Goob Gardner and Grandpa Hadlock given by the Nick Gardner family
In memory of Milo and Eleanor Hollister, Grace and Lewis Paddock, and Orphia Hollister Given by Wayne and Lana Storie
You ever have one of those nights, or even day, when you look at your watch and go “Really? It’s only (enter early time). It feels so much later.” My husband and I did this the other night. We put the kids to bed, and we sat around talking about everything that happened from the day, what we needed to take care of tomorrow, what we needed to get done during the week, just our usual conversation. My husband says to me, “I am so tired and I’m ready for bed. What time is it?” I look at my watch and giggling say, “It’s not even 9pm. It’s 8:58pm” Jaw dropped, my husband looks at me and says, “How is it not after 10pm right now? It feels so much later than what it is right now.” We joked about it and giggled for a bit, and we were both asleep before 9:30pm. I remember being a younger adult and staying up until after midnight going to parties, too fast forward to being exhausted at 9pm. In our defense, we had a very crazy week before and a much crazier weekend, so sleep and relaxing was on our back burners while we were taking care of everything that was going on in our lives.
I like to think that God and I have an understanding that, he’s allowed to make my life extremely chaotic, just as long as the people who I consider “Rocks” in my life, continue to hold strong with me. There has been a lot going on in my personal life that has made me stop and think how lucky I am to have those people who continue to encourage and support me. And mainly of those people have been my church family. There have been times where I am second guessing what I am doing, if I’m doing the right thing, and just general questioning myself and when I walk down that dark road in my head, I have been so blessed to have so many people surround me with such a bright light. God brought these people to me when I needed strength and support. And I just want to thank everyone for all their support and help. I could sit here and write out each person’s name, but I try to keep this article short and simple, but please know you are all amazing to me and I thank God constantly for all of you.
All day long a little burro labors, sometimes
with heavy loads on her back and sometimes just with worries
about things that bother only
And worries, as we know can be more exhausting
than physical labor.
Once in a while a kind monk comes
to her stable and brings
a pear, but more
he looks into the burro’s eyes and touches her ears
and for a few seconds the burro is free
and even seems to laugh,
because love does
Meister Eckhart (1260-1328)
LOVE POEMS FROM GOD
The next Hammond Food Pantry will be on Thursday. May 25th, from 9:30 to 11:00 at the Hammond Fire Hall. Everyone is asked to line up behind the Fire Hall in their cars and in turn, sign in and the food will be brought out by the volunteers. Food Sense program is the same day at noon or after. Food Sense has no income requirements. A monthly listing of the food is available and orders must be submitted and paid for ahead of time. Both programs provide a variety of meats, fresh produce, family meals and canned goods. Anyone
interested in either program may contact Joan Hadlock at (315)324-5517.
On Mothers’ Day, May 14th, we will be collecting Blanket + donations. Most of our funding will go for blankets, which are used in this country, as well as all over the world in places of hardship and homelessness. Families may use these blankets for warmth, as a divider wall in dwellings with more than one family, for a warm floor covering, or many other ways. The "+" in Blankets+ refers to other uses for our donations, such as farming implements and animals, support for small businesses and investments in better water sources. Blanket fund envelopes will be on the back table. Joan Hadlock
For the month of May, we are highlighting the work of MINC (Ministries in the North Country). This summer teams of workers will build wheelchair handicap accessible ramps for people who need help getting in and out of their homes. This is the only organization in St. Lawrence and Jefferson counties doing this kind of work. If an individual or family already receives HEAP assistance, there is no charge. If their income is above the HEAP income level, they can share in the cost of materials. The labor is done by volunteers. If you or anyone you know needs help with this, contact the church office (315 324 5665). If you wish to donate toward these projects, there are envelopes in the back of the church marked MINC or you can send a donation to Hammond Presbyterian church marked MINC.
There's an old, somewhat tired joke, about a pastor who asks the children if they know what Easter is, and one child says enthusiastically "I do! That's the day when Jesus comes out of the tomb. And if he sees his shadow, there's six more weeks of winter!"
We know that last part is a part of the Groundhog Day lore. What everyone may not know is that the idea of "six more weeks of winter" has to do with the way our ancestors used to mark the seasons. Historically, the two solstices and two equinoxes were not the first days of their respective seasons, but the midpoints. February 2 - known variously as Imbolc, St Brigid's Day, and Candlemas - was considered the first day of spring.
One tradition held that a clear day (ie, one where you could see your shadow) on Candlemas promised a cold and dreary start to Spring. Somewhere in Germany, people decided that a badger or hedgehog seeing its shadow was what determined how clear the day was, and when Germans moved to Pennsylvania, the badger or hedgehog became a groundhog.
In a region such as ours, where snow on Mother's Day is a common occurrence, moving the question of how long winter will hold on from February to April is might make sense. After all, nobody here believes the groundhog when it says winter is over in February.
And hey, maybe there's a connection to Easter as well. After all, Candelmas was a celebration of the end of winter and spring's new life, paired with traditions about what happens when winter doesn't know it's meant to be over. Resurrection Sunday is a celebration of Jesus defeating sin and death and new life in Christ, which we celebrate in a world where sin and death have not yet accepted defeat.
It's a worn out joke, for sure. But perhaps it contains the potential for some new ideas.
In addition to Palm Sunday and Easter worship, there will be three worship opportunities during the week.
Wednesday, April 5 will be the final Lenten Taize gathering, in the Hammond Presbyterian Church chapel. This service of reading, meditation, and song takes place at 6 PM and lasts about a half hour.
Thursday, April 6, a Maundy Thursday service will be held at Theresa Presbyterian Church in the main sanctuary at 7 PM. The Hammond and Theresa choirs will sing a joint anthem, and worship will conclude with a Tenebrae service.
Friday, April 7, the Hammond outdoor labyrinth (located next to the church) will be set up during daylight hours for a Stations of the Cross walk. This is a self directed service. Participants are invited to arrive any time, collect a booklet from the box next to the entrance, and follow its instructions at your own pace.
The next Hammond Food Pantry will be Thursday. April 27th, from 9:30 to 11:00 at the Hammond Fire Hall. Everyone is asked to line up behind the Fire Hall in their cars and in turn, sign in and the food will be brought out by the volunteers. Food Sense program is the same day at noon or after. Food Sense has no income requirements. A monthly listing of the food is available, and orders must be submitted and paid for ahead of time. Both programs provide a variety of meats, fresh produce, family meals and canned goods. Anyone
interested in either program may contact Joan Hadlock at (315)324-5517.
On Mothers’ Day, May 14th, we will be collecting Blanket + donations. Most of our funding will go for blankets, which are used in this country, as well as
all over the world in places of hardship and homelessness. Families may use these blankets for warmth, as a divider wall in dwellings with more than one family, for a warm floor covering, or many other ways. The "+" in Blankets+ refers to other uses for our donations, such as farming implements and animals, support for small businesses and investments in better water sources. There will be more information in April,
but keep this most important mission in mind.
Last weekend, I got the opportunity to go visit a friend who I haven’t seen in 20 years. We’ve always kept in touch thanks to Facebook, but it was the first time in a long time that I had the opportunity to get away for some time and go visit. My friend and I had started making plans about a month and a half before I left, and we knew that we just wanted to hang out and catch up on life. The minute I pulled up to her house, she came running out the door, and we hugged this long, much needed hug with growing tears in our eyes. We went inside, hung out until 1:30am, woke up the next morning to it snowing badly outside. I was supposed to leave, but after watching the weather get worse and worse and my friend being the little devil in my ear saying “Stay another night..” I called my husband and explained what was going on. He agreed that the weather was not ideal for traveling (its a 4 hour drive) and that staying another night was in my best interest, plus when will I have another opportunity like this again. Who am I to fight with a logical man? So, just like teenagers getting approval from mom to have a sleep over, my friend and I jumped up and down and got comfortable on the couch again and continued our visit knowing we had another full day of laughs, silliness and of course, chaos.
Now, I’m not saying that God and I were plotting an extra day of visiting fun, but I definitely smiled at the idea that this was God’s plan for me for the weekend. This has been something that I have been embracing a lot of lately. God’s plan. Good or bad, there is a reason for everything that is going on. I was thinking about the plan that I have been on so far that God has planned out for me and I realized, even when there was a rough time going on, I knew it was only a matter of time before things would get better and to accept the learning experiences that I was getting, even if it was a crash course. And that’s the best way God knows how to get through to me. There are days where, and I know I’m not the only one, where you say, “What else could go wrong today?” and that’s when you have to stop and think, maybe this is God telling me to take it a little easier since there is so much going on. Then when the good things start to happen, we can appreciate things a bit more then what we might have felt if we didn’t have something chaotic happen first. So, welcome that last burst of snow that might come our way, because when those first buds start coming out on the trees and the floors start blooming, you can say, this winter was well worth the wait of the beauty that God has planned for us.
Mention should be made of the musical performance, "The Trials of Alice in Wonderland", which was recently put on at our school. Our church musical director, Bridget Sherman, was the organizer and director for the play. We had about ten from our congregation who assisted with staging, decoration, costumes, and practices. There were five young people from our Sunday School and Youth Group who were in the production, and all did a wonderful job. Congratulations to Bridget Sherman and all who helped with this wonderful performances.
Calling all big helpers and little helpers of the church. We need you on April 22nd at 10am for Church Clean Up Day. So, bring your rakes, gloves, shovels, and anything else that you think can help as we clean up our church. Please check our Facebook page for any changes in the schedule.
"Remember that you are but dust; and to dust you shall return"
There's a line in Jesus Christ: Superstar that comes to mind for me every Lent. "Your followers are blind: too much heaven on their minds." Now, Andrew Lloyd Webber put that line in the mouth of Judas, so it's easy to dismiss. But in many ways, it's exactly what the season of Lent is about.
On Ash Wednesday, we are invited to meditate on, and wear symbols of, our own mortality. Which ought to cause us to ponder our lives and how we're spending them. Likewise, the season itself is focused on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving - in other words, giving up luxuries in order to focus on what is essential.
Now, we could make Lent a somber occasion - goodness knows many people do. Who among has not encountered the person (or been the person) who spends the entire season complaining about how they long for the things they've given up for Lent? When we do this, we become so focused on what comes after, it winds up taking more of our time than it did before we gave it up.
On the other hand, we could make Lent an occasion for escapism: Life is hard and we're all going to die and that's depressing, so perhaps we could find solace in the promise of the hereafter. When we do this, we once again become so focused on what comes after (after life this time, not Lent) that we can't help but lose track of the here and now.
I don't think either of those approaches is how best to honor the fast. In fact, I think both of them leave us so wrapped up in thoughts of our personal ideas of heaven - whether that's a bite of chocolate, or a cloud and a harp - that we lose sight of this season. This world. This life.
We are dust. Our bodies were knit together from the stuff of the world around us, and when we die, they will be unknit and returned to the earth. That promise of our own mortality doesn't have to be a reason for fear, sadness, or concern, though. Rather, it can serve to inspire us to live the best lives we can in the time that we have. To determine what is essential to us, and to chase after it, forsaking that which does not aid us in the pursuit.
One day, you will return to dust. You have no choice in that matter. What you do have a choice in is how you spend the time until you make that return. This season, I invite us all to reflect on that choice together.
Once again for our Easter missions, we will be supporting our missionary in West Africa, Josh
Heikkila. Located in Ghana, Josh oversees mission work in several West African countries, bringing Christianity to the communities, while improving their health, education, and overall well-being. Those wishing to provide honorary or memorial spring plants and/or donations to Josh’s work may do so using the form below. Please let me know by April 2ndthe names to be listed. Checks should be made out to Hammond Presbyterian Church with "Easter Mission" on the memo. With thanks, Joan Hadlock
Honorary or Memorial names to be listed __________________________________________________________
Monetary gift to Josh Heikkila _____________________________
The next Hammond Food Pantry will be Thursday. March 23rd, from 9:30 to 11:00 at the Hammond Fire Hall. Everyone is asked to stay in their cars and line up behind the Fire Hall and in turn, sign in. The food will then be brought out by the volunteers. Food Sense program is the same day at noon or after. Food Sense has no income requirements and is a great savings program. A monthly listing of the food is available, and orders must be submitted and paid for ahead of time. Anyone interested in either program may contact Joan Hadlock at (315)324-5517.
Marion Medical Mission is an ecumenical, Christian, volunteer, non-profit organization, with the purpose of sharing the love of Christ with the extreme
poor in Africa. This is done through the Shallow Well program, providing a sustainable source of safe drinking water for rural villages in Malawi, Tanzania
and Zambia. Marion Medical Mission’s Shallow Wells is our Mission Focus for March. Each well costs $450.00 to be installed by African nationals, along with
American volunteers. Hammond Presbyterian Church has funded several shallow wells in the past, and we are now looking to provide another village with sustainable, safe drinking water, which will just about eliminate childhood disease and mortality in that area. Donation checks may be made out to Hammond Presbyterian Church, with "wells" on the memo line.
What did you give up for Lent this year? Was a question that someone asked me earlier today and I giggled and said, “A couple years ago, I gave up stress for Lent and I wasn’t very successful.” And if you know me well enough, which I think by now you all do, know that stress and I go together like peanut butter and jelly. We complement each other very well. When put under presser and stress if thick in the air, I’m always amazed at what I can get accomplished. Nothing is too big or too small for me to handle. But this year, I didn’t give anything up. I was talking to a friend of mine and she told me that she picks up a healthy habit for lent instead of trying to give up anything that she knows will happen in a few days again. I thought about this and thoughts, yes that’s a great idea, but what is a habit I want to start doing? I thought about meditating, but I think if I sat quietly for more than five minutes, I might go crazy. Then it hit me, being more in the moments with my family. A few days ago, I went on a mini vacation with my family where we got to spend some quality time with each other. It was completely needed. Our everyday hustle of school, work, and chaos needed to have a couple days off, so we could just lounge around together and enjoy each other’s company without the pressures of everyday chaos that we usually deal with, getting involved.
I’ve always said that the Church is my home away from home and everyone here is my church family. There are days when the hustle and bustle of everyday life gets to me and I find myself going into the church and just sitting there in the pews, praying quietly to God to help me keep my sanity from whatever is stressing me out. And it’s quiet. This is my time alone with God. To relax and let Him take all the stress that I’m holding on to away, even if it’s just for a moment. In that moment, I know that everything is going to be okay. The pressures of work and life is relieved. It’s my own little personal mini vacation with God. God is not only a part of me, but He is a part of my family where we all need that time together away from all the chaos of life.
For over 70 years during the Lenten season, One Great Hour of Sharing has provided our congregation and Presbyterians around the world an opportunity to give to our worldwide neighbors in need: relief from natural disasters, food for the hungry, and support for the poor and oppressed. Contributions can be made through our congregation with Lenten banks and envelopes traditionally collected Easter Sunday or by credit card online at pcusa.org/give-oghs
IF WE ALL DO A LITTLE, IT ADDS UP TO A LOT!
Hammond Presbyterian Church is now selling our very own T-Shirts!!! All proceeds from these shirts will be helping our church to continue to do amazing work. And keep an eye out for certain events/dinners where your church t-shirt might be able to get you a discount. Order form can be picked up in Tara's office or printed out below.
Daylight Savings Time Begins on March 12th so please don’t forget to SPRING your clocks FORWARD an hour.
“‘We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’”
I am a terrible dancer. I do not say this out of some sense of false humility. I’m genuinely bad. So bad, in fact, that I abandoned any hope of being a Broadway actor because I could not force myself to learn even the basics of tap and ballet.
But I love music in all its forms. And sometimes music just demands movement, even from those of us who lack the skill to make that movement look good. Most of those times, for me, are in the privacy of my own home usually while preparing or serving dinner, much to the simultaneous amusement and chagrin of my family.
The other week, I was in the kitchen making dinner while listening to a playlist of showtunes and chatting with my eldest. In the middle of “Der Guten Tag Hop-Clop,” I decided to break into a bit of spontaneous dance and did my best jaunty German jig.
Turns out I’ve had some kind of impact as a parent. Because at that same moment, my child started doing his best jaunty German jig. They looked remarkably similar. The other inhabitants of our home nearly died of laughter.
There is a recurring theme in Scripture of encouragements to embody our feelings, emotions, and experiences - not to treat feeling as a cerebral exercise, but to let our whole selves respond. Unfortunately, I think we often prize the opposite approach, encouraging others (especially children) to act with an excess of restraint. Sit still. Don’t fidget. Not so loud. Stop making that face.
There’s a case to be made for embodying our feelings in moderation, where it’s appropriate. And I doubt you’ll be seeing a father-son dance recital from us in this life. But that evening in the kitchen gave me a brief moment of joy in knowing I’ve managed to teach the next generation that some occasions just call for dancing.
During the season of Lent, Pastor Shea will be preaching a sermon series focused on the Apostles’ Creed, taking a week to explore each “We believe” statement. While this sermon series is taking place, he will also lead a book study on Adam Hamilton’s Creed, which explores the same topics. Discussion group will meet on Sundays at 2 PM, physically in the Hammond Pastor’s Office, as well as virtually via Zoom, beginning February 26.
You can learn more about the book, including where to buy it, at https://www.adamhamilton.com/books/creed/
Beginning April 16, Pastor Shea will lead an 8 week Bible study on the poetic and wisdom literature of the Bible, following Immerse Bible’s Poets text, with weekly sermons corresponding to that week’s readings. Discussion group will meet on Sundays at 2 PM, both physically in the Hammond Pastor’s Office, as well as virtually via Zoom.
You can learn more about Poets, including where to buy the book, or listen to the readings for free, at https://www.immersebible.com/poets/
Marion Medical Mission is an ecumenical, Christian, volunteer, non-profit organization, with the purpose of sharing the love of Christ with the extreme poor in Africa. This is done through the Shallow Well program, providing a sustainable source of safe drinking water for rural villages in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia. US volunteers who go to help must pay their own living expenses and travel to and from Africa. A well costs $450.00 each and then can be maintained by trained villagers for $10.00 per year for spare parts and materials. The village makes the bricks and provides the sand and stone and unskilled labor. MMM supplies the cement, steel pipe, PVC pipe and skilled African well builders. Everything is purchased, manufactured and administered in Africa by Africans. The average distance a woman walks to collect water before a well installation is 3.7 miles daily. That water is usually of poor quality. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 50 % of hospitalizations are from water borne diseases. Access to clean water could save 2 million lives a year. This year the Shallow Well program was able to build a record 3,752 wells. And thanks to our many donations, Hammond Presbyterian Church was able to provide three wells for the rural poor in Africa. Congratulations to us and thanks to all who contributed to this critical endeavor.
Taizé worship is a devotional practice of mind and heart in which one seeks to surrender self to the presence of God within. Through song, silent prayer and scripture reading, worshipers aspire to open their heart to God’s abundant grace.
Taizé worship involves sung and chanted prayer, meditation, periods of silence and liturgical readings. There is no preaching.
During Advent, Joan Delosh and Evelyn Saphier put together four Monday morning worship services following the Taizé model. In our half-hour services, we combined two fifteen-minute cycles of song, silent prayer, and scripture reading. We drew on familiar hymns from the Presbyterian hymnal, lively spirituals and gospel music, and chant from the Taizé monastic community in France.
During the weeks leading up to Christmas, so filled with emotionally-charged activities, it was beautiful to start the week in our quiet chapel and contemplate the true meaning and spirit of Christmas, the anticipation of Christ’s coming and all that the arrival and presence of divinity in our lives implies.
Joan and Evie are now making tentative plans for Lenten Taizé worship to take place Wednesday evenings from 6 to 6:30 PM during the six weeks leading up to Easter. Reverend Shea will be preaching on the themes of the Apostles’ Creed, and these scripture passages will form the basis for our meditations. Lenten Taizé will thus offer us a unique opportunity to deepen our appreciation of the foundational tenets of Christian community.
May the grace of God bless our humble efforts in this direction!
What would a February newsletter be without a few love poems?
IN ALL THINGS
It was easy to love God in all that
The lessons of deeper knowledge, though, instructed me
To embrace God in all
St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226)
THE HOPE OF LOVING
What keeps us alive, what allows us to endure?
I think it is the hope of loving
Or being loved.
I heard a fable once about the sun going on a journey
To find its source and how the moon wept
Without her lover’s
We weep when the light does not reach our hearts. We wither
Like fields if someone close
Does not rain their
Meister Elkhart (1260-1328)
From : Love Poems from God
translated by Daniel Ladinsky
The next Hammond Food Pantry will be Thursday. Feb. 23rd, from 9:30 to 11:00 at the Hammond Fire Hall. Everyone is asked to stay in their cars and line up behind the Fire Hall and in turn, sign in. The food will then be brought out by the volunteers. Food Sense program is the same day at noon or after. Food Sense has no income requirements and is a great savings program. A monthly listing of the food is available, and orders must be submitted and paid for ahead of time. Anyone interested in either program may contact Joan Hadlock at (315)324-5517.
A couple weeks ago, I volunteered to help do some work. After I volunteered, I started to think, well how bad can this be. I do this work all the time, I just don’t do the main hard part that requires a little more thought and work that goes behind it., but I can do this. I have resources, I have help, I’ll be just fine, right? Which of course lead me to second guess myself. What did I just sign up to do, I can’t do this, what possessed me to raise my hand and say, Oh I got this. I started to get myself all worked up about this while talking to a friend and she laughs and said, “It’s funny when the Holy Spirit works faster than your brain, isn’t it?” Now, I’ve never thought of things this way. My husband jokes and says, “When you want to do something, you just jump. You never look to see if there is water in the pool, you just go running and launch yourself. Luckily every time you have done this, you have landed without damage.” Which is a pretty accurate account of some of the ways I handle things in my life. If I want something, I usually ask if people who might be affected by my rash decision making, if it will be okay, but once everyone gives me the green light, I run full speed.
Which made me thing about every time I have done something where I didn’t think about it until later, wondering, was that my Holy Spirit at work? And I started thinking about all those times that I don’t have a good answer on why things happened. You know, those times when people say, “What changed your mind to do this?” And you don’t have a logical answer, it’s just a feeling. Those times when you don’t have an answer, has to be the Holy Spirit, which is God at work. “What are the odds that this happened?” is God at work. “What made you change the way you felt?” is God at work. “Why would you volunteer to help?” is God at work. When was the last time you were moved by the Holy Spirit?
The Deacons will be sending Valentine’s boxes to our college students, If you would like to contribute small items or baked goods to the project, we will be assembling the boxes on Sunday, Feb. 5thfollowing service. Thanks for helping send wishes out to our kids.
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner
February 21st 4:30-6:30
Homemade Buttermilk Pancakes
Real Maple Syrup
Proceeds to Benefit the HPC Youth Group
$10 All you Can Eat in or Take Out
I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. But I do overthink things quite often, and this year, I very much overthought the idea of New Year’s resolutions. I didn’t mean to do it. I meant to learn about a president.
This November, I was listening to a story about the assassination of John F. Kennedy and its aftermath, and the reported mentioned that when Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as president, he became the first person in that position since 1880 not to select the Resolute Desk for one of his offices - a tradition which would be resumed by Jimmy Carter, and has continued since then.
I had of course heard mention of the Resolute Desk, but in that moment, I began wondering about where it got its name. Did president Hayes call it that because the country needed to be resolute in the wake of the Civil War and Reconstruction? Was it so-called because it was the desk on which presidents signed bills, treaties, and other resolutions?
As it turns out, no. The Resolute Desk was a gift from Queen Victoria, and was made from timbers taken from the H.M.S. Resolute. The Resolute was a ship commissioned in 1852 to sail to the Northwest passage in search of two ships that had become icebound. Instead of finding those ships, the Resolute itself became icebound, and was abandoned in 1854. Over a year later, the ship was discovered by an American, who salvaged it, and ultimately sold it to the US government, who refurbished it and returned it to the British as a gift.
According to several historians. Great Britain and the United States were on the brink of a third war in 1856, and the gift of the refurbished HMS Resolute played a significant role in easing those tensions. It had completely failed in its intended rescue mission, yet ultimately had a lasting, positive impact on global politics that may have saved the crews of hundreds of ships.
The Resolute would spend another 23 years as a supply ship before it was decommissioned, and its timbers were used in the making of three desks, one of which was sent as a gift to the president of the United States, and a sign of lasting good will between the two nations.
So, its name has nothing to do with resolutions. Yet perhaps its story does.
Most New Year’s resolutions are abandoned by February. The ones that achieve their stated objective are few and far between. And that’s okay. If you’re the type of person who makes resolutions, go ahead and make them anyway. Even if you don’t reach your intended goal, the outcome of what you begin may still wind up having a positive impact on the world.
New Year’s Blessings,
'Twas the night before the newsletter due date, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except Tara, who was typing away on her computer thinking up something to write about this month. My goodness, I can’t believe it is already 2023. Where did that year go? Wasn’t it just the other day that we started 2022? At the end of every year, I like to sit back and think about the year that we had and see what has changed, what is the same, and count my blessings. I was talking to my husband earlier about how this year went and the word I kept saying back to him is, “Happy.” How do I feel about my jobs (since I’ve taken on the Stated Clerk role for the NNY Presbytery back in August and of course my amazing job here as your administrative assistant in Hammond)? I am Happy. How do I feel about my kids? I am Happy. They are growing up so quickly and are becoming amazing people. How do I feel about my husband? I am Happy. I haven’t smothered him with a pillow yet (and honestly, if you know my husband, you know he’s one in a million kind of guy.). But in all honesty, he is my rock, and I would be completely lost without him in my life. How do I feel about my home? I am Happy. The chaos in my home, between the kids, my husband, and all our pets, keeps me entertained. I am Happy.
When Tara was nestled all snug in her bed, God made her dream of sugar plums dancing in her head. God has contributed so much to my happiness. There were to many coincidences with certain things that happened this year for me to just blow it off as nothing. And the thing is, there were a few times this year where I went expecting one thing, and God definitely had another idea of what I needed to do, which changed the way certain things turned out for me. I’ve walked into situations where what I was hoping to accomplish, never happened, but what I walked away with, was better than how I imagined things to be. God is always with us, and God is good. Have a great and safe New Year's everyone.
With many thanks for your generous donations, we are able to fund the following gifts for Heifer International, Presbyterian Missions and Food for the Poor: 3 sets of Jerry Cans for carrying water, 4 flocks of chickens, 1 beehive, 4 feed a family , 4 sewing machines, 3 sets of farming tools, 3 school supplies, 1 fishing net, 1 share of an alpaca, 3 small stoves, 1 fruit tree, 2 100# rice and beans, 1 kitchen supplies and 1 soccer ball. In addition, several plants were given for the sanctuary.
The list of donors follows:
In honor of Donna Chase and in memory of Allen Chase given by Nancy Chase
In memory of Malcolm and Roberta McGregor given by Jennifer McGregor
In memory of Fred, Lilian and Paul Saphier and Alice and Joseph Kaselow given by Evelyn Saphier
In honor of David and Jo Serchak, Evie Saphier and the Zellweger family given by Doug and Joan Delosh
In memory of Mr. and Mrs. Philip Decker and grandson James Decker, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Delosh and Daughter, Linda Delosh Kilmer given by Doug and Joan Delosh
In memory of Wayne Weber and other deceased loved ones given by Dot Weber
In memory of Hugh and Denise Pitcher given by Lynette P. Thompson
In honor of Elizabeth, Lillian and Christine given by Vivian Gardner
In memory of Goob and Grandpa, China and Miss Kitty given by Jensen Gardner
In memory of Goob and Grandpa given by Nolan Gardner
In memory of Edwin C. Hadlock and Linda Gardner given by the Gardner family
In memory of our parents and Maurice Maloy and Paul Young given by Gary and Marilyn Hunter
In loving memory of John Scarlett, Rob Scarlett and other loved ones given by Liz Scarlett
In memory of Milo and Eleanor Hollister, Grace and Lewis Paddock and Orphia Hollister Given by Wayne and Lana Storie
In memory of Ed Hadlock and other deceased family members given by Joan Hadlock
In memory of deceased members of Hammond Presbyterian Women’s Organization
The next Hammond Food Pantry will be Thursday. Jan. 26th, from 9:30 to 11:00 at the Hammond Fire Hall. Everyone is asked to line up in their cars behind the Fire Hall and in turn, sign in and the food will be brought out by volunteers. Food Sense program is the same day at noon or after. Food Sense has no income requirements. A monthly listing of the food is available, and orders must be submitted and paid for ahead of time. Both programs provide a variety of meats, fresh produce, family meals and canned goods. Anyone interested in either program may contact Joan Hadlock at (315)324-5517.
When’s the last time you sat down to talk philosophy, faith, and the things of life over drinks? If that’s an activity you’d enjoy, then “Holy Spirits” is for you! Once a month, we will gather together to fellowship and engage in dialogue. A few guiding questions will be available as conversation starters, based on that month’s sermon content, but participants are encouraged to let the conversation flow naturally. Bring a drink, a snack, and an eager mind to share! Our first gathering is at the Gardner’s home at 6 PM on January 19 (address available on request), and we will talk about future locations at that gathering. Please let Pastor Shea or Nick or Jen Gardner know if you plan to attend.
Thanks to all who contributed to the Mitten Tree. We had enough gifts that we were able to send to both the Buckhorn Children’s Home in Buckhorn, Kentucky, and the St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, South Dakota. We had a total of 10 hats, 21 pairs of mittens and gloves, 6 scarves, 4 mitten and hat sets, and 15 caps. They will be appreciated.
WE ARE MOVING to the Chapel on January 8th for Sunday Service for the winter months.
OPEN HOUSE will be held Sun. Jan. 8th from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Joan Hadlock’s. Everyone is invited to come at any time to enjoy some New Year cheer.
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