Dear Members and Friends of Hammond Presbyterian Church,
We hope that everyone continues to be safe and healthy. As many of you know, Hammond Presbyterian Church has been holding abbreviated services each Sunday in our pavilion. Services have been successful this summer.
The Hammond Presbyterian Church session members have been discussing how and when we will move into the Sanctuary for services. We will have the same restrictions and guidelines to follow inside as we do with our outside service in order to insure everyone stays safe.
The following guidelines continue be:
· A shortened abbreviated service
· No hymnals, no Bibles, no bulletins, no singing, no choir
· A power point projected on a screen will provide service highlights
· Mandatory masks and hand sanitizer will be available if needed
· Music will be played but no singing will take place
· Everyone will sit in the marked pews positioned 6 feet apart (Congregants will be ushered to a marked pew to maintain social distance)
· No collection of offering, but a basket will be available
· Individual prayer requests can be emailed or phoned ahead to Tara for reading at the service
· When exiting the Church, Congregants who are the closest to the back of the church will exit first followed by next row. Conversations between congregants can be held outside of the Sanctuary.
We realize that there are many of our friends and members who are still not ready to return. We respect your personal choices. You return when it’s the right time for you. Your session members continue to be concerned for the health and well-being of our congregation and our community is our primary concern.
Blessings to all,
Members of the Session
Lynn DeCondo, clerk
Rev. Betsy Westman, moderator
(pastor, Theresa Pres. Church)
Sage Richards 10-13
Liz Scarlett 10-20
David Serchak 10-21
Joan Hadlock 10-27
Maxine Hill 10-28
Tara & Pete Atherton 10-8
Allison & Robert Barrigar 10-9
Heirs of the Kingdom
The weekend of 9/18-19 was Yard Sale days in the Village of Theresa. As I was participating to clear away childhood toys and books for my younger son, now 23, I had time on my hands as I waited for shoppers. I decided to clear away a couple years worth of accumulated magazines all church related. I came across a catalogue from Lifeway with a variety of Bible study resources. While the booklet was printed on 9x12 paper the last 2 pages were boldly printed across the full width of the 12 inches stating:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment. 2 Timothy 1:7
Since curiosity always gets the best of me I decided to investigate this Bible passage since it seems so appropriate for the days we find ourselves living in. I find more and more I’m giving reassurance to God’s love, light, and life as people, including Christians need reassurance. So here’s what I found surrounding this text.
1) While 2 Timothy is included in the Pauline or Pastoral letters of Paul, sandwiched in between 1Timothy and Titus, most likely it’s someone using Paul’s name to lend credence or authority to the letter. Study reveals this was common in this day and time perhaps around the 2nd century, and the style is different from Paul addressing not the church or order, rather a suffering that seems personal. The language is different and more in keeping with the time of the Hellenist philosophy (see 1:7 and the use of the word self-discipline (NRSV).
2) The opening of this letter calls on the cloud of witnesses in Timothy’s life, his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice, and now an assumed faith that Timothy possesses. After spending countless time with Timothy in the mission field, Paul is reminded of Timothy’s faith in 2 Tim. 1:5, but the style of writing at the end of vs. 5 differs as the writer assumes lives in Timothy. Interesting!
3) Verses 6-14 are the writer’s encouragement to Timothy to be strong in the face of affliction, trial, or tribulation.
As Christians this letter becomes our encouragement by the Spirit and in Jesus Christ. God indeed hasn’t instilled in us a spirit of fear. Then why as Christians do we fear and not trust in the God of creation? Why do we fear and not trust in God’s fulfilling God’s plan of salvation? Why do we fear what God is creating; God’s full kingdom that is present, but not fully manifested or made known? Why then as Christians do we fear when we are given the promise of Jesus at his ascension that he would return? Why then as Christians in our days of personal trials whatever they may be do we fear? Perhaps its fear of the unknown or being on a pathway we have never traveled before. It’s not to say we can’t have fear, we are human, but what happens if in our fear we rely on God’s steadfast love for us, trust in God our creator whose presence is made known at the Table when we come to feast. Let’s trust in God and rely on our inheritance that we are given in our salvation found in Jesus, an inheritance that is eternity, an everlasting life that goes far beyond the days we will live here on earth. What happens when we reach out like the author of Timothy and encourage and pray for one another when the fear threatens to swallow us? Let’s spread hope of the life to come.
Just as the author of 2 Timothy encouraged Timothy, I encourage you as the church, the community of faith to live lives not driven by fear for the days we are now living, but to live lives of hope and be witnesses in the life to come as redeemed, resurrected people who are part of God’s coming kingdom in Jesus with whom we are heirs of the kingdom. Traveling with you in love and hope,
Hammond Food Pantry for October will be Thursday, Oct. 22nd from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. All income eligible families are welcome to be there to receive free food. We will still park out back of the Fire Hall and come in to pick up the food one or two people at a time. This may take a little longer, and we ask for your patience. We will still require the wearing of masks and observing social distancing.
The Hammond Food Sense program is underway again. This is open to anyone with no income guidelines. A unit of food, consisting of two or three meats, fresh produce, some canned items and some family meals, comes at a cost of $20.50, a very good price for the amount of food.
Food Sense is ordered from a monthly Food Bank newsletter, which I have, and must be ordered and paid for ahead of time. Food Sense is the same day as Food Pantry and usually comes in around noon.
For further information on either program, contact Joan Hadlock 324-5517.
The kitchen renovation committee is meeting this week to begin exploring ideas. If anyone is interested in sharing some thoughts about the kitchen, please see Joan Hadlock.
Does anyone have any extra fabric---any type---or yarn? For someone in the community who crochets lap robes and makes quilt tops to give away to hospitals and nursing homes. If you do, call me at 324-5517. Joan Hadlock
Marion Medical Mission has been forced to make the decision not to send U.S. volunteers to Africa this year for the first time in 35 years. This is due to the pandemic. They are still planning to install 3000 shallow wells, relying on the African staff in place to do the work.
These new wells will provide an estimated 375,000 people (225,000 children) with a sustainable source of safe drinking water. Below are some statements from some of the African staff continuing with this work.
“The well program is a gift from God for the people of Katete. It is my prayer that God will continue to bless the donors to continue supporting this program” Moses Nthala, Zambia
“The MMM Well program reaches the neediest people in the rural villages of Zambia, providing communities with safe drinking water with the love of Jesus Christ.” Chrispin Mhango, Zambia
“Working with MMM is a huge blessing to me and my family. My life has changed since I joined the program. I am proud to show the love of God to the people of Iringa.” Eden Ngiluke,
“The love of Christ that you share with the people in the communities symbolizes we are
all God’s people.” Jordan Banda, Malawi.
Last weekend, I adopted 2, 3 week old baby kittens. To make a long story short, they needed me, and I found that I didn’t need my sanity as much as I thought I would need it. I never thought I would be back to doing midnight feedings, after my daughter grew out of that phase, but here I am, every 4 hours, waking us to these cute little fur balls meowing at me. What possessed me to do this, you may be asking yourself. I ask myself that same question every now and then and I keep coming up with the same answer, life. With fall now being here and the trees are turning their beautiful shades of oranges and red, I know soon that everything will be bare, cold and dark. Outside life, will soon be hibernating, dying off, or going south for the winter. These 2 little cuties needed a warm forever home, where they would be spoiled rotten, like my other animals, and I was given the opportunity to be able to give them this. Am I drinking coffee like it’s my job now? Absolutely. Am I happy to have expanded my family? 100%.
So where does that leave me with liberty? God gave me the liberty to love. 1 Corinthians 16:14 says “Let all that you do be done in love.” Love has no limits. Stop and think of all the things you love. It could be anything between, loving your partner, kids, pets; to loving the new pair of shoes you bought, a favorite TV show or movie, a favorite song on the radio; to loving the smell of a cup of coffee on a cold day, the sound of a thunder storm in the summer time, or the beauty of fallen snow that hasn’t been touched. God is behind all of these things and there is no limit behind how much love you have for everything. God was behind me when I picked up my kittens, because the minute I saw them, I felt love. That warm feeling I get in my chest, I feel is Gods way of saying, “This is love, this is what life is all about, this is why I put you here.” My life, my liberty, my chaos, is all a part of Gods plan and I love him for it.
We have been extremely busy this summer fund raising and making improvements to our church and manse property. We appreciate the outstanding support from the community and our church members and friends for our take-out dinners during this time of uncertainty and social distancing.
Our fund raising goal of $10,000 is in sight. The August fish fry netted $1,420.91 and a donation of $100 brought our total funds raised to $8,661.78, leaving a balance of $1,338.22. Our anonymous donor has another $5,000 check waiting for us as soon as we reach our $10,000 goal.
The manse water softener has been repaired. ($75) This takes our total projected expenses to $17,383.96.
The tan shed has been painted.
The painter has begun work at the manse...power wash, scrape, repair and paint the front and back porches ($10,500).
Yet to be completed:
Mulching and grass seeding the church and manse lawns
Putnam Seamless Gutters, fall or spring 2021 ($2,666)
We hope the painter will be able to complete all the necessary work on the manse this fall, before the weather becomes an issue. With that in mind, his estimate is our greatest expense. It is crucial at this time for us to reach our $10,000 goal in order to meet the offer given to us by our anonymous donor.
When sending donations, please put “Building and Grounds Renovations” on the memo line. We appreciate your prayerful consideration.
September 13 was the third year anniversary of my husband John’s death and September 28 was the birthdate of his birth so I wanted to submit one of his poems as a tribute to him. The poem “The Real News” was written 2016, but it could have been written in 2020 during the Covid 19 Pandemic.
The Real News
I have decided to avoid the news
as presented on the internet, radio,tv,newspapers.
Why indulge an old habit
when the present becomes “the olds” in fifteen minutes?
Longer and longer it seems to take
to repair heart’s muscle
torn by compassion.
The real news is what I hear listening to you
and what you hear listening to me.
Submitted by Liz Scarlett
You may not realize it, but for many years there has been a prayer chain in our church. It currently consists of Joan Delosh and Liz Scarlett. For a long time Miriam Bariteau was a part of the prayer chain. Thank you. The purpose of the prayer chain is to help people be aware of the need for healing prayers on a daily basis in our church community and greater community. Joan Delosh is the contact person ( 315 324 5188 ). She will then notify the next person in the chain so prayers can be lifted for particular needs. This works in conjunction with the deacons. Rosie Salamacha and Christine Visscher have expressed interest in being a part of the prayer chain. We are looking for anyone else who feels called to this kind of work. Prayer is a powerful healing resource. If this is something you would like to participate in, call Joan Delosh ( 315 324 5188 )
Our Finance Committee has an opening for a new member to join. We meet every second Tuesday of the month at 9:30am. If you are interested in joining our group or have any questions, please contact Tara in the office at (315)324-5665
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!