Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.
-1 Corinthians 11:1
Are you familiar with the "Jesus Year"? It's this idea that there is something significant about the year a person is 33. As far as I can tell, it started as a kind of running joke. I came across the idea about a decade ago in the form of a pithy remark someone made: "When Jesus was 33, he started a movement that changed the world forever. What have you accomplished?" It was funny. Sort of an over-exaggerated version of being compared to your successful older sibling. I laughed, but didn't really think much about it.
Then, the Jesus year became a Thing. In 2012, Canada's The Globe and Mail ran an article entitled "The Rise of the Jesus Year." A few years later, Deadspin assumed everybody knew the term when they published a piece entitled "How to Kick *** During Your Jesus Year." A popular online slang dictionary now offers this entry for Jesus Year:
The 33rd year of your life where you are reborn in some sense. Perhaps a mid-life crisis, perhaps an ego death, perhaps the year where you abandon old ways and start new
Over the past few years, I've seen more than a couple friends turn 33 and speculate over what their Jesus year has in store for them. Granted, about half my friends are clergy, so that may be a skewed sample, but it seems like the idea has cemented itself into our culture.
As I write this article, I am 32 (I know, I know. You thought I was older). By the time you next see me after reading it, I'll be 33. My Jesus year starts now. And, as it does, I find myself resisting the premise. There is just nothing inherently special about being 33 as opposed to 32, or 23, or 79. This year carries just as much significance as every other year of my life. I don't get extra hours, additional resources, or anything else to set this year apart. It is just another year.
Perhaps, though, the fact that 33 isn't special should make the idea of the Jesus year even more significant. Because if there's nothing unique about 33, then I can have a Jesus year any year - or better yet, every year. And so can you.
I'm making five commitments in an effort to more closely imitate Christ this year, and they're the same five commitments I've made every year since 2015, when I was approved for ordination on my 27th birthday. These are not special promises reserved for we professional church people. They're ones anyone can make. Perhaps you'll consider making them with me.
1) Love Deeply. Jesus declared love to be the first and greatest commandment. He also made love his last commandment. His whole life demonstrated deep, abiding, unselfish love.
2) Be Welcoming; Share Food. Inclusion was a constant practice of Jesus', and much of that inclusion happened around shared meals. He knew breaking bread with another person could be a powerful experience.
3) Ask Questions Rather Than Providing Answers. Jesus was insatiably curious about other people's thoughts. He asked 307 questions in the Gospels, and listened intently to others' responses. Of the 183 questions others asked him, he answered only 3.
4) Tell Good Stories. Jesus was a storyteller. In fact, story was his primary means of communication. "So with many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear. He did not speak to them without a parable" - Mark 4:33-34
5) Find Reasons to Party. Jesus' first miracle was to provide top shelf wine at a wedding feast. He developed a reputation for feasting and drinking too often. In the last week of his life, he led a parade, and accepted Mary's extravagant gift of anointing with expensive perfume. In every circumstance, Jesus was ready to celebrate.
I might be the one turning 33, but I hope that this year, and every year that follows, can be our entire community's Jesus Year.
Chair Yoga will continue in the pavilion at 10am on Tuesdays until the weather gets cold. Any questions please contact Liz Scarlett.
Haiku is a form of poetry consisting of 3 lines that tells about nature and one little moment in time taken from real experience. People seem attracted to the simplicity of the haiku form - that is, simply noticing, noting and recording moments that are happening around us. I like to think of haiku as “word shots” in place of snapshots.
I wrote: haiku is a reminder
“Be Here Now” is
Below are a few of my favorites of John Scarlett’s haiku about autumn. Pause after reading each one before going on to the next and “experience the moment” he is offering.
full moon too
lanes of honking cars
return to the city
back and forth
above the border guards
excited to come
excited to go
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 most of you know, I lead a bit of a chaotic life. I kind of pride myself in the thought that I do my best work when there’s a million and one things being thrown at me and I’m still able to stay on task even though there might be a small bald spot on the back of my head where I’ve yanked hair out. It has to be the back of the head, so the rest of my hair can cover it. But, I continue to smile and work my way through the mess that is placed in front of me. My son has put me through the ringer this year. As I write this, we are stuck in quarantine because he was exposed to a positive kid at school. Does my son show any signs of being sick, no. Is he trying to break out of the house like Andy Dufresne from the movie The Shawshank Redemption, absolutely. He hates being locked up in the house and not being able to go to school. Yesterday when he was on a zoom meeting with the rest of his class, I heard another boy ask, “How long before I can come back to school?” the teacher replied with “Monday buddy.” to which the kid replied back “Oh thank goodness!!! I hate this!!!” And I sat here, listening to that and started laughing. This poor teacher is doing the best that she can during these chaotic times and you see how drained she is. I’m so tired of feeling drained and broken from all the chaos that’s thrown at me that I started to learn how to sit back and just laugh at it. Is there anything I can do to change the situation we are being put in, nope, so why sit here and fight it?
The say “In a few years we will all look back at this and laugh.” which makes me feel like God has a bit of a sense of humor also. He puts this chaos in front of us, to make us stronger, smarter people and yet we question “why me?” when really we know the answer is to follow God through this mess. God has a plan for all of us, and if we could just sit back and let God handle the chaos, we might be able to sit back and laugh now, instead of in a few years. We just have to remember that this is all God’s plan and if He can laugh at it, so can we.
Hammond Food Pantry for October will be Thursday, Oct. 28th 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
The following was written by a Marion Medical Mission Shallow Well Program volunteer:
“One year, a child was given a gift of a trip to Disneyland. The child broke into tears, saying, ‘I don’t know what it will be like.’ Maybe that is why I resisted God’s call to Malawi for so long. I didn’t know what it would be like. Where would I sleep? Will I like the food? I don’t know the language. Will I be safe? All those vaccines? I hate to fly. I can’t do it. I don’t know what it will be like.
Even after we accept and make the long trip to Malawi, there are times of doubt. I don’t know what it will be like. Maybe there is a change of assignment, new people, a new area. The path going off into nowhere causes a bit of nerves. Even after years working in Malawi, there may be a sudden change of plans. But I don’t know what it will be like.
Every day is a new challenge. What you do know is that you are sheltered under the wing of God who is riding alongside you in the truck and with the psalmist you can say, ‘My God in whom I trust’. And my frequent prayer in Malawi is, ‘Lord, I need some help here.’ You may be surprised at how often that prayer is answered. But be prepared, you don’t know what it will be like.”
On October 24, during the worship service, we will have our annual Blessing of the Animals. Please bring your "Church trained" (It's like house trained, but holier) animals, or pictures of ones who are a bit more active, to be blessed.
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.
Trunk or Treat
Hammond Presbyterian Church
Sunday, October 31st
Come for an evening of candy and fun!
Decorate cars in the greatest Halloween theme or
you can decorate a table in the pavilion and hand out candy!!
Please let Jocie know by Oct 22nd, to make sure
that we have enough space, and let her know if you are decorating a car or a table.
Any questions call or text Jocie at: 913-832-26
HARVEST DINNER will be held Thursday, Oct.14th from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. A Turkey Dinner with all the fixin’s will be served Drive By-Take Out only. No need to call for Pre-orders. Adults, $12.00; children 5 to 12, $6.00; Under 5 free. For further information, call 324-5665 between 9am and 12pm week-days.
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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