"Pray as you can, not as you cannot."
-Abbot John Chapman
One need only compare the fairly sparse walls of my office with the many paintings and posters occupying the walls of the manse to conclude two things: One, someone in the Zellweger household really enjoys decorating and two, it is not Shea. Most of the decor that currently calls my office home was here when I arrived. Apart from a few diplomas hanging behind my head, there are currently three items I've added to the mix.
One of these, located on the top shelf between a menorah and a poster of the lighthouses of Ohio on Lake Erie, is a framed pair of sketches. On the left is an expertly done drawing of Godzilla in black pen, signed and dated by the artists. On the right, an equally well done volcano, which has orange crayon lava flowing from its top, and a blue scribble that's meant to be a Pterodactyl in flight. This, too, is signed by the artists. Both of them.
There is, as you can imagine, a story behind these drawings. In February of 2014, at a barbecue restaurant in Kansas City, my 5-year-old son wound up seated next to a professional comic book artist named Freddie Williams. To keep Cole occupied while we waited for the food, Freddie drew him a picture of Godzilla, and signed and dated it for good measure. Cole said it was pretty good, and then offered to help Freddie draw something even better. He instructed Freddie to sketch a volcano while he grabbed a blue crayon and drew a pterodactyl. After pausing to assess the work of art, Cole then decided it also needed to be erupting, and used his orange crayon to make it so. Freddie signed that work of art as well, and Cole did the same.
Seven years - and dozens of sketchbooks - later, it is my (likely biased) opinion that Cole is already a better artist than I could ever hope to be, and his sketchwork in particular is something I'm often impressed by. He's certainly drawn things more deserving of being framed and mounted than that volcano. But I keep the volcano, both as a fond memory, and as a reminder to myself of what grace looks like.
God, the creator of the universe, invites us to create. God, whose very nature is love, invites us to love. God, whose giving knows no end, invites us to give. God, who is faithful to every generation, invites us to a life of faith. Our efforts don't come close to achieving God's divine standards, and they never will. Yet when we do our best to create, to love, to give, and to live into this faith we proclaim, God is there to encourage us and support us. And I like to imagine that when I've done the best I can, God is willing to sign my work, date it, and proudly display what we created together.
May we all continue to do our best work in this life of faith.
The HPC Bicentennial Committee has been hard at work collecting ideas, information, and images to use in our celebration July 10 and 11. It is taking shape and promises to be a joyous and informational time.
The celebration will begin with a program Saturday (July 10) evening. This program will present the history of the church in word, song and images. We are fortunate to have the program created by Rev. Halbert Campbell for the 125th anniversary to use as a guide. Writings of Rev. Dr. Daniel Ferguson have also been invaluable. The Hammond Museum has been gracious in sharing their collection of articles and photographs.
A special service will be held Sunday morning. This will blend worship from the past and present. Attendees will be welcome to join at a picnic reception to follow the service. Historical documents and artifacts will be available for inspection.
All are welcome to join us to celebrate and reminisce this milestone about our church’s history and future.
We look forward to seeing and hearing from our friends and descendents of the original 17 members.
It’s not too late to contact the church with ideas, artifacts and memories. They can be sent to the church email: firstname.lastname@example.org . A more complete agenda will be included in the July newsletter.
The annual Deacons’ Picnic will be held Sunday, June 13th, in the pavilion, following worship service. Hamburgers, hotdogs and beverages will be provided by the Deacons, asking everyone else to bring a covered dish or dessert. During worship, the Deacons’ Award will be presented., recognizing an individual who has been of service to our church community. We hope everyone will plan to attend the service and picnic.
When I was in kindergarten, I met one of my best friends, that I’m still best friends with today. She and I were attached at the hip. My mom would tell me that watching us girls together is some of her fonder memories that she had of me as a munchkin and I never understood why, until having a daughter of my own. Last weekend, my daughter had her best friend come over for a sleep over, and I caught myself giggling with the girls and understanding what my mom was talking about. When we were in the car, I turn on the music and I look in my rear view to two girls singing their hearts out or dance and giggling and being over all just silly. After I get my groceries, and having both girls be so good through all of that, I hear them whispering behind me which usually is followed by a “you ask her….no you ask her….She’s your mom….but she won’t say no to you..” conversation. “What do you want from me now?” I ask and give the girls a questioning look. “DONUTS!!!” they squeal at me in the pitch that I didn’t think was humanly possible, and I just look at them, with their two cute little faces looking at me with the biggest smiles and the biggest “please” eyes and I melt. “I guess that’s okay with me.” I say, to which they respond with happy squeals of “YES!!!” and made up songs about how amazing donuts are.
People are always so concerned about history repeating itself but I think God wants certain past habits to keep repeating because He enjoys watching this happen over and over again. Almost like watching a favorite movie or listening to a favorite song for the millionth time. God must get a chuckle out of seeing the silly things we do, whether it’s by ourselves or with our best friends. If it brings a smile to your face, it’s God making sure you know that it’s okay to be silly and go spoil yourself with a donut.
The next Hammond Food Pantry will be Thursday, June 17th, from 9:30 to 11:00am at the Hammond Fire Hall. All income eligible families are encouraged to attend and receive their free food. During this Covid period, we are asking folks to stay in their cars and line up behind the Fire Hall and when it is their turn, come into the back door and sign in. The food will be brought out to your cars by volunteers. On the same day, only after noon, the Food Sense program is in effect. This is open to anyone and not related to Food Pantry at all. The Food Sense is a great way to save on your food dollars. Each month there is a menu sheet showing the items on the food unit, at a cost of $20.50. This includes meat, fish, fresh produce, canned goods, and family meals. In addition there are usually six specials which can be ordered separately. Food Sense must be ordered and paid for ahead of time through me. I urge anyone to look into the Food Sense program as a good way to save money on the high quality food offered. If there are any questions on Food Pantry or Food Sense, please contact me. Joan Hadlock (315) 324-5517.
MISSIONS: MINC (Ministries in the North Country) continues to have a steady demand on its Emergency Fund, providing help with utility costs. MINC can pay $200.00 per family for utilities, which reduce the amount owed to National Grid, and stalls shutoff for 30 days, to give people the opportunity to make a payment plan with the utility company. National Grid must offer families a payment plan that they can afford, in some cases as little as $10.00 per month in addition to their current bill. Affordable housing is also a real problem, especially in St. Lawrence County. People on SSI and other forms of disability often find that rent uses up much of their monthly benefits. With long lists for Public Affordable Housing, many families live in substandard housing, which they rent. Hammond Presbyterian Church has long supported and contributed to the MINC program, an important resource for many North Country families. For further information, contact MINC Chairperson Rae Louise Tate or Rev. Rachel Roberts, MINC Outreach Coordinator at (315) 713-4343 ext. 3. Joan Hadlock
We are happy to say that the kitchen renovation is nearly completed, after a much longer time than we had anticipated. New cabinets holding the new sink have been custom made by Curtis Furniture. We decided to maintain the old, wooden cabinets in the remainder of the kitchen, as they are original, and very substantial. Sam Donato, our main contractor, added new sliding features on the drawers, so they open easily. These drawers will be cleaned, and lined with shelving material. The hardware from the old base cupboards was removed, cleaned and reused. Hardware from the upper cabinets was all repainted. The electrical components have been updated, with new outlets added. The power cord to the stove was replaced and the stove moved somewhat to allow for more working space in that corner. New counter tops all around add matching and more sanitary working surfaces. The old cabinets, walls and ceiling have been painted. Some new additional shelving was added. The overhead pipes and electrical wires have been neatly boxed in. A new hot water heater was added. New flooring will be installed in the kitchen back room, using tiles which were in storage. The main kitchen flooring was in good condition, just needing a good stripping and cleaning. The large table in the main room was refurbished by removing and reversing the surface sheet. The edges will be sealed to assure cleanliness. The table height will be raised to a more suitable working level. Many thanks to all who participated in the planning and decisions which were made in this process. And many thanks to Sam Donato for his excellent and careful work on this project. I believe we will now have a kitchen which will be more sanitary, easier to maintain, provide more storage and ready to produce many more dinners for us and for the public. Joan Hadlock
The annual Per Capita Assessment is based on the membership reported by each church. The 2021 Per Capita fee for our Presbytery has been confirmed at $31.00. Each per capita payment is divided, with $8.98 for General Assembly, $4.10 for the Synod of the North East, and $17.92 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. If you have any questions about Per Capita, please contact Tara in the church office. Thank you!
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