In light of all that has been going on with the COVID-19 virus, our Church will be following State and Federal Guidelines to help keep our church family safe and healthy. Since the guidelines ask that there be no more than 10 people to a group, we will be Canceling our Church Services and activities indefinitely. Please keep checking our Facebook page and website for more updates on what's to come.
With this also being said, I will continue to do my office work, here in the Church Mon-Fri. I ask that if you need my help, please email me at HPC215@gmail.com or call the church at (315) 324-5665 and I will respond as soon as possible. If you are not well, please stay home and keep me healthy so I can continue to keep things running smoothly during this time.
Stay Healthy and Safe my Friends,
Keith Gallagher 4-25
Liz Bawden 4-25
Emilie Barrigar 4-29
David & Jo Serchak 4-5
We’re all in quarantine now and it looks like we won’t be gathered together as the body of Christ for Easter Sunday either; or will we? During this time of the unknown I’ve continued to preach from my sermon series on the Book of Judges. What starts of in great hope with judges leading Israel as they try to live in the promised land with other pagan nations scattered in their midst, Israel becomes more like those nations. God wants Israel’s obedience and yet there is the slide into darkness, to the point one may think God isn’t seeing Israel anymore.
The Book of Judges feels much like our days that we are living now. We too may sense a great deal of disobedience to God. We live in a land with many gods and idols in our midst whether we realize them or not. This season of Lent is a great time to reflect on where we are in God’s story of salvation. In these days of quarantine and our lives being tossed upside down, of living in the unknown, we too may sense a lack of God’s presence. Jesus himself felt that lack of presence and cries out the words we long to have permission to speak, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34)
But God is a God of love and hope. We are not left in the depths of darkness or death, disobedience and sin. The story of Jesus’ crucifixion doesn’t end there. We arrive with Mary at the radiant with light of an empty tomb. By the work of the Spirit we come to have new life in this resurrected Jesus when we believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior. We participate in the mystery of God.
These are uncertain days we are living in to be sure. Yet in Jesus Christ we will be together for Easter; we will lift our eyes to the hills and know where our help comes from.
Peace be with you, Rev. Betsy
This month, the Hammond Food Pantry will distribute food to eligible families on Thursday, March 26, from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. at the Hammond Fire Hall. New consumers may sign up on that day. The food consists of meats, produce, cereal, butter, cheese, pasta, canned fruit and veggies. Also the same day, the Food Sense program is held. These items must be ordered from a monthly menu and paid for ahead of time. The food is delivered around noon on Food Pantry days. There are no income guidelines for the Food Sense program, which is a great way to stretch your food dollars. For information on Food Pantry or Food Sense, contact Joan Hadlock at 315/324-5517.
This year our Easter offerings will be sent either to Marion Medical Mission for a shallow well, or to our missionary co-worker in West Africa, Josh Heikkila, who is working to spread the word of God through his work there.
A word about wells. Half of the world’s hospital beds are filled with people suffering from water related diseases. One in five children dies before the age of five because of contaminated water. Over the years, Marion Medical Mission has built over 35,000 wells providing an estimated four million people with a sustainable source of safe drinking water in Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania. This year, 37 U.S. volunteers went on the mission trip to Africa with a goal of building 3700 wells in 3700 remote villages. Before the November rains stopped the work. 3000 wells would mean that 375,000 of the extreme rural poor, (225,000 children) would have safe drinking water. These wells go along with the message that Christians are sharing the love of Jesus with all these people. These wells mean healthier people, able to produce more food meaningless starvation year after year, after year, after year. Each well now costs $450.00. Let’s see if we can fund another well.
What a crazy time we are having right now. Schools are closed, church is closed, and it’s just another Thursday to me, except I have my munchkins tagging along with me everywhere I go. I’ve been trying to do the whole working mom, school mom, and home mom thing all at once. Luckily, my husband is home during this crazy time to help lighten my load, but as a mom, you want to feel like you can do it all. And with the feeling of being able to do it all, my sanity slips more and more and I find myself welcoming bedtime just a bit earlier every night so I can lay back and not hear my name being called every 10 seconds. “You literally walked past your dad, who is as capable as I am to help you with your issues, just to find me in the bathroom.” is a sentence that I knew one day I would be saying; I just didn’t realize how often I would be saying it. This also makes me appreciate my children’s teacher just a bit more than I already did. But we are making the best of the situation. A lot of joking around going on, and having kids home all the time, you find it hard not acting like a big kid also. They miss their friends at school and church, and I’m the next best thing to a little kid that they have.
I wonder if God is creating all this craziness for a reason. Maybe I need to be spending more time with my kids. Maybe I need to be a little more thankful for everything and everyone I have in my life. Maybe it’s a little bit of everything, mixed with having to be quarantined. Should we all just take a moment and appreciate that the trees are starting to sprout buds, that the grass is starting to turn the ground green again, that we can open our windows and let the fresh clean air of spring come into the house? There has to be reasoning behind all of this. We may not know what it is right now, but there’s a reason standing right in front of us. Maybe once we slow down since that’s what everyone is telling us to do, is when we have questions answered, stressful times calmed, and just catching up on some much needed family time.
Names for Easter flowers or donations to our Missionary or Shallow Well project should be gotten to me no later than April 5thfor inclusion in our list of memorials and honoraries.
Donation to Missionary___________________________
Donation to Shallow Well_________________________
Names to be Listed________________________________
The robins are singing, the streams are flowing, and green is returning. It’s that time of the year to refresh as everything comes alive after a long winter’s rest.
HPC has some spring clean up to do after the long winter. On Saturday, April 25thbeginning at 9:30, we will hold a yard clean up at the church for any and all to come help make our church yard ready for the wonderful rebirth of all things spring!
Bring rakes, shovels, garden trimmers, gloves and lots of enthusiasm!
The annual Per Capita Assessment is based on the membership reported by each church. The 2020 Per Capita fee for our Presbytery has been confirmed at $30.00. Each per capita payment is divided, with $8.95 for General Assembly, $4.10 for the Synod of the North East, and $16.95 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. If you have any questions about Per Capita, please contact Tara in the church office. Thank you!