Rhythm and Routine.
Those words accurately describe the majority of my life - and, I suspect, yours as well. There are always changes and unexpected events to account for, but as a matter of course, my life is a fairly predictable one. I have routines I have worked to create which I follow daily, weekly, monthly, and even annually, which keep me grounded in the here and now. In Benedictine spirituality, these routines are referred to as a Regula Vitae, or "rule of life," and mine are largely based on two calendars: the church year, and the agricultural season.
This year, something happened that completely changed my rule of life: I was called to be your pastor.
In January, instead of browsing seed catalogs and planning this year's garden, we were browsing local real estate listings for land and collecting quotes from movers.
In February, instead of putting eggs in the incubator, starting tomatoes and peppers, and beginning to plan the next year's worship services, we packed.
In March, instead of putting potatoes and peas in the ground, cutting paths for this year's grazing paddocks, and listening to the constant sound of chicks in the basement, while leading Lenten spiritual practices, we packed
In April, instead of moving those chicks outside, watching the first green shoots emerge from the garden, and starting to harden off the indoor plants, we packed. And then moved.
To put it succinctly, this has so far been a year unlike any other.
Of course, that's true for everyone, this of all years. Since last March, our constant refrain as a society has been "this year is different," and the difference is far from over. We are reminded of that fact every time we grab a mask before heading out the door; Every time we think twice about shaking someone's hand; every time we sit silently in worship, not singing along as a hymn is played or rising to pass the peace of Christ to one another. We are reminded that this year has disrupted all of our rhythms, leaving us feeling untethered from the things which previously grounded us.
Thankfully for my life, our church, and our culture as a whole, the same truth can comfort us all: we are on the cusp of finding a new rhythm. Sure, it won't be quite the same. We can no more expect to resume our pre-covid way of life than I can plan to plant potatoes in March. Some things are just going to have to be different. But whether the rhythms we find are a return to what was, a modification of it, or something entirely new, we will find them.
Spring is here. The signs of new life are bursting forth all around us. And this year, they are a promise of the new life that is in store for us. I look forward to discovering it with you.
HPC Bicentennial On July 11th, 2021
After meeting in each other’s homes for a time, 17 Scottish settlers formed the Presbyterian Union Church of Rossie in 1821. I wonder if they ever imagined what their church would be like in 200 years?
A group of church members are meeting to plan a celebration of this important anniversary. Our first formal meeting will be April 26. Several informal meetings have taken place.
The date has been set for July 11thto coincide with the Hammond Museum’s Scottish Festival July 10th. We will have a presence at the festival.
Possible events have been proposed:
-A program of Church History
-Displays of memorabilia
-A special Sunday Church service
-An informal get together after service? Picnic?
-Time of sharing memories
-Recognition of descendents of the 17
-Create a booklet to put all these events together in one place
We are asking for ideas, memories, and folks to help organize the event. The church email (HPC215@gmail.com) and Facebook will be the contact points. Information will be updated on the church website (www.hammondpresbyterian.org) and Facebook page.
We look forward to hearing from you all and celebrating our heritage as we look to our third century.
“If the only prayer you ever say is Thank You, that will suffice.”
The quote is attributed to Meister Eckhart, a 13th century Christian mystic, priest and scholar. We at Hammond Presbyterian Church have received many blessings and reasons for prayers of gratitude. One way to express these prayers is with the two upcoming receptions. I wanted these events to be recorded in the newsletter, even though I am writing the article before the receptions and you will read about them after they take place.
The first reception which will be held in the pavilion on April 25 after the service led by Marti Montovani is to joyfully welcome The Reverend Dr. Shea Zellweger, his wife Jocelyn, their children 12 year old Cole and 6 year old Tessa and their extended animal family: 3 pregnant goats, 1 goat with 2 babies, a cow and 3 ducks. Chickens will be coming. We must keep this in mind when we sing the “Twelve Days of Christmas”. Ginger is the name of their cow and is the only name I know so far, but I plan to get to know them on a first name basis. Shea and Jocelyn believe in ethically produced food and regenerative agriculture. I hope to learn more about this.
The second reception held in the pavilion will be May 2 after our communion service. This will be Shea’s first service to lead as our newly called minister. May 2 is the date Martha (Marti) Montovani, Kerri Weldon and Betsy Westman were all available. We refer to them as the three Wonder Women. They guided us through the challenging transition of almost 2 years to find a full time minister. This was complicated by also dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. This was new territory for us all.
Betsy, while being the minister at Theresa Presbyterian Church, also moderated our session, led annual meetings and sometimes after leading worship at her church rushed to Hammond to lead our services. Outwardly she made it look easy. She was the go to person for advice and knowledge of protocol and church policy.
Marti and Kerri became our mainstay for pulpit supply. What a blessing to find 2 articulate ministers with cheery dispositions, a sense of humor and well grounded in scripture who could guide us through a psychologically and spiritually rocky terrain.
Every Friday night I head over to my best friend Nola’s house, to let loose, have a bunch of laughs and play cards. One night I was thinking to myself, how much I look to Nola as a sister figure that I never had and how much I love her, her family, and our friendship that we have created. She is my person. We are good for each other. I’m definitely more of the adventurous friend that one night in December, when it was cold and rainy, I suggested that she and I go to her parks farm and sing Christmas Carols to her parents and younger brother. We laughed so hard that night that our tummies hurt. And she keeps me level when I tell her how crazy something is happening in my life by coming over to the house and with a couple of drinks and rubbing my back telling me it’s okay and that I shouldn’t let whatever is bothering me, bother me because God will take care of the problem. Nola and I were brought together by God. As you are reading this, are you sitting back thinking about your person? That person that you can call any time of day or night who completely understands what is going on and is there for you, whether it is just a shoulder to cry on, someone to help you move that busted appliance in your house and put it out of the way, or a quick phone call to say “I’m running late, can you pick up the kids for me at school?”. That’s your person.
God brings people in and out of your life for a reason. To help you grow as a person, grow as a friend, grow as a family. God does this because he is also our person. He hears our prayers everyday for the people we love, he helps us focus when we are going through a hardship, he helps us to see how beautiful the world is around us and how we need to love ourselves and each other. If you don’t have a person in your life, God is always there to be your person. You just have to notice the signs that are given just for you. It could be as simple as going outside and feeling that cool breeze and questioning whether or not you should go get a sweater on and then having the sun come and warm you back up. That
Hammond Food Pantry for May will be Thursday, May 20thfrom 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
The Mzuzu Crisis Nursery, located in Malawi, has been operational since 2004. Originally run by the Ministry of Hope, it is now owned by Gospelink, which continues to provide the space for the nursery at no rent. Paul and Darlene Heller, from our Presbytery, spent three years in Malawi, in charge of the nursery. Mzuzu Crisis Nursery takes in abandoned and orphaned babies, raises them to 18 months to 2 years, and then returns them to the village as healthy, happy children. Without the nursery, these children would not survive. Follow up visits are needed in the villages, to assure the continuing good health of the children. The cost of electricity is another factor, especially in the rainy season, when the clothes dryer is needed as clothing cannot be put out in the sun to dry in minutes. Vehicle maintenance, technology up grades and nursery furnishings and blankets are all costly and needed. The nursery is operating well, giving these babies a hopeful future. Gifts to the Mzuzu Crisis Nursery can be made through the Presbytery by sending a check to the Presbytery office through the Online Giving Portal .. Select “Presbytery Meeting Offering” which is currently designated for the Crisis Nursery. Joan Hadlock
Our Easter Memorial Gifts this year were collected for our Missionary in West Africa, Josh Heikkila.
Josh works as regional liaison there, bringing Christianity to the communities, while helping to improve their education, health and well being. Our donations totaled $275.00, which will be sent to Presbyterian World Mission in Pittsburgh, PA in support of Josh’s ministry. In addition, we had several seasonal plants decorating our sanctuary. Many thanks to all who contributed. The memorial list is below.
LIST OF EASTER MEMORIALS
In memory of Wayne Weber and other deceased family members from Dot Weber
In memory of Edwin C. Hadlock and Linda Gardner from Kennon, Nolan, Jensen and Vivian Gardner
In memory of Malcolm and Roberta McGregor from Jennifer McGregor
In memory of Sherry Watson from Dick Watson
In memory of Robert and Alice Bickelhaupt, Robert and Dorothy Hunter, Maurice Maloy and Paul Young, from Gary and Marilyn Hunter
In memory of our parents, sister Linda Delosh, and nephew James P. Decker, Jr.
From Doug and Joan Delosh
In memory of Milo and Eleanor Hollister, Lewis and Grace Paddock and Orphia Hollister
From Wayne and Lana Storie
In loving memory of John Scarlett and departed loved ones from Liz Scarlett
In memory of our parents from Dave and Lynn DeCondo
In memory of Ed Hadlock and other deceased family members from Joan Hadlock
In memory of deceased members of Hammond Presbyterian Women
Thank you to everyone donating their cans and bottles to the Youth Group! We are looking forward to using the funds for some exciting group activities as the weather gets warmer!
A couple of reminders...
-Please be sure that what you drop off at church is redeemable for $.05. We are not able to return most wine bottles, snapple bottles, or anything that doesn't specifically say it is redeemable in the state of NY.
-Please separate any glass into a box. The redemption center will not accept any bags that have glass mixed in with metal and plastic.
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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