Make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker who does not need to be ashamed, teaching the message of truth accurately.
-2 Timothy 2:15
The laughter in the sanctuary as I uttered those words at my installation was expected, and even desired. I knew the correct answer to the question was "I will," and I knew giving the response I did would catch people off guard, and I'm certainly not one to shy away from the chance to make people laugh.
But funny as that response was, it was also the most honest answer I could give to the question. For those who did not memorize the question being asked, this was it:
"Will you pray for and seek to serve the people with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love?"
That's a tall order, to say the least.
I don't know about you, but there are times when I feel totally devoid of energy. Sometimes that comes from the satisfying place of having worked myself to the limit. Other times, I'm just run down and unmotivated.
When it comes to imagination, I have flashes of creativity and insight that surprise even me. And I also have days where the most creativity I show is eating my boxed mac and cheese from a cup so I can postpone having to wash the dishes a few more hours.
The same comparisons could easily be made for intelligence and, yes, even love. I am human. As a human, I am limited, and those limits can vary greatly from one day to the next. When it comes to serving the people with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love, I think the most honest answer I, or anyone else, can give, is "I'll try."
Instead of committing myself to an insurmountable task, here is my promise to you as we journey together:
I will seek to serve you with all the intelligence and wisdom at my disposal. And I will do my best to recognize that I do not know or understand everything, and sometimes the most intelligent choice I can make is to acknowledge my own limitations.
I will seek to serve you with all the imagination I can muster. And I will recognize that my imaginative ideas are not always good, that there are limits to my creativity, and that others' imaginations may be more up to the task of addressing a given subject.
I will seek to serve you with energy equal to the work to be done. And I will honor myself, my family, and the hoped-for longevity of our pastoral relationship by not expending so much energy that I am no longer able to replenish it and find myself burnt out. I will also honor you and the energy you bring, acknowledging that none of us is up to the task of doing the work of the church alone, but together we are more than capable.
I will seek to serve you with Christ-like love. And, when I inevitably fall short of the example of Christ's perfect love, I will seek your grace, your understanding and, where necessary, your forgiveness.
I can't promise I will. I'm quite certain there are times when I won't. But I can promise I'll try. And I hope you'll try too. May we all give as we are able to the work to which we have been called.
Chair Yoga classes have been extended into September because of continued interest. The free classes are held Tuesdays at 10 am in the pavilion. The classes will continue until it is too cold to hold the classes outside. I call the class “The Power of Imperfection - Just Do It!” to remind us to not wait until we lose that extra weight or get in “better” shape. NOW is the time.
The gentle yoga movements done mostly in a chair increase strength and flexibility, improve posture and balance, and help you feel more relaxed and energetic. You can join the classes any week. The classes do not build on the previous ones so you can plug in at anytime.
I hear that it is rumored that people in the class have been observed laughing and enjoying themselves while enhancing their well being.
On Sunday, Sept, 12, there will be a dedication of the newly renovated church kitchen.
Sam Donato was our general contractor and painter, and did some amazing work to update and restore much of the older, substantial cabinetry which we wanted to maintain. He also installed the new cabinet unit and counter top, cleaned the original cabinet hardware and painted everything, including the beautiful metal ceiling. The electrical capacity was updated by Proven Energy Systems, plumbing done by Mike Greaney, and counter top purchased through Garlock’s. The flooring was laid by Gardners’ in Ogdensburg, using new tiles plus some we had left from previous dining room floor work. The new sink cabinet was built by Curtis Furniture of LeRay. The large wooden table was raised to a better working height and the top covering removed and reversed to reveal a new, pristine surface. Although many people assisted with the work, the kitchen team consisted of the following: Linda Schnittger, Marilyn Hunter, Jackie Washburn, Denise Diana, Ann Root, Bob and Allison Barrigar, Randy Kraft, Liz Bawden and Joan Hadlock. Thanks to all for their ideas, input and work to achieve the beautiful, efficient kitchen we now have in which to work.
A reminder that delicious, unsweetened applesauce made by the HPC Youth Group, is still available in two quart bags in the freezers at church. The cost is a donation in the can on a dining room table.
As I type this article, I am watching the clock. 1 hour and 15 minutes, until I go on Vacation. It’s been a while since I have allowed myself to take a break and take a week off. Usually it would be a couple of days here and a couple of days there. But I was always in arms reach of my office. So what am I going to do for a week away from the office, I don’t know. I’m so excited to go on vacation, that I haven’t made any plans. And in all fairness, I’m a mom with kids, do I really go on Vacation, or is my next count down to the day I go back to work and the kids going to school? But, when you plan on having vacation, whether you do something or not, it feels like there’s nothing but chaos that happens just before you punch out from work for the day. Did I get everything organized and completed that will be due next week? Am I forgetting something important that I haven’t taken care of? I’m a complete worry wart and I just want everything to go smoothly, which we all know will, but when you’ve been caring for something/someone for so long, it’s always hard to let go and take care of yourself and your own needs, even if it is for a week.
When God was creating everything, His first day was light. Second day He made the sky. Third day was the lands, seas, plants and trees. Fourth day He created the Sun, Moon and Stars. The fifth day He created creatures that live in the sea and creatures that fly. On the Sixth day animals that live on the land and Humans were made in the image of God. On the seventh day, God took a day to rest. He even knows the value of a little self care and time off. Makes me think that every Sunday, God must take a little breather when we are all together taking care of one another, showing love and compassion, and giving thanks for what we have. He may not be out of “the office” on Sunday, but maybe He’s got his feet up on the desk and playing a game on the computer for 15 minutes.
Hammond Food Pantry for July will be Thursday, Sept. 23rd from 9:30 to 11:00 at the Hammond Fire Hall. All income eligible families are encouraged to be present to receive free food. We are continuing to ask everyone to stay in their cars, line up at the back of the Fire Hall and when it is their turn to come to the back door and sign in. The food will be brought out to the cars by our volunteers. New families are always welcome, and may sign up on that day.
Our Food Sense program is after noon, the same day as Food Pantry, but is a separate program. Food Sense items are listed on a monthly menu and include meats, fish, produce, some frozen items and family goods in a single unit, costing $20.50.. There are also special foods to be ordered separately from the units Meats, fish, frozen goods and fresh produce make up the specials. All Food Sense must be ordered and paid for ahead of time. These programs are a good way to make your food dollars go farther. For information, contact Joan Hadlock at 315/324-5517
Reminder that we are collecting items for the CWS Hygiene Kits. Slips listing the required things are on the table at the back of the church and in the dining room. Questions? See Joan Hadlock
Marion Medical Mission Director Tom Logan talked on line about the coming well season. This year, MMM will once again not be able to send American volunteers to Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania for the construction of over 3000 wells in over 3000 villages, covering over 60,000 sq. miles in the remotest areas in these three countries. These wells will be constructed by trained African personnel and will serve 375,000 of the extreme poor, with 225,000 being children.. Logan says that well building is holy ground and an example of what is right in this world. Although we are separated from our African associates, we are in this together. In spite of various difficulties such as supply problems, weather related obstacles and unforseen road blocks, all things are possible with God’s continuing blessings. Together we can be the people God wants us to be. Marion Medical Mission is about making life count.
Hammond Fair is back and will be held Friday and Saturday, Sept. 10 and 11that the Fair Grounds on Lake St. in Hammond. This is a time for the youth of St. Lawrence County and area to display the work they have done through the year with their animals, hand crafts, art and photo work, vegetables, baking and more. All entries must be brought in to register on Thursday, Sept. 9th from 1:00 to 9:00 p.m. The exception to this is rabbits, which can be brought in Saturday morning in time for the 9:00 rabbit show. Hammond Fair books may be seen on line, giving further details on showing requirements. Hammond Fair is a very old fair, this being the 81st annual Fair. It is a community affair, to be enjoyed by all ages. There is a minimal entrance fee at the gate. For further information, contact Joan Hadlock at 315/324-5517.
In commemoration of the church’s 200thAnniversary, a memorial monument is planned to recognize the seventeen original founding members of the Presbyterian Church of Rossie, now known as Hammond Presbyterian Church. The founders started the church in April, 1821.
The monument will be located in front of the church where anyone passing by will be able to read the founders’ names.
This monument project will be fully funded by donations. All gifts are greatly appreciated!
Checks may be made out and sent to “Hammond Presbyterian Church” with Monument Fund noted in the memo. PO Box 193, Hammond, NY 13646.
The picture included here is a rough draft idea of what the monument will be.
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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