Dear Members and Friends of HPC,
We come to you today hoping that everyone is safe and healthy. In this time of uncertainty and fear brought on by the COVID19 pandemic, please know that God is with us always. We don’t have to be in the physical church to feel His presence and His strength.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again. Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)
In this time of closed businesses and churches, quarantine, and social distancing, we hope you have been able to take advantage of online services for church. Rev. Betsy Westman from our sister church in Theresa has provided a link on our website and Facebook page for her weekly service, as well as Rev. Marti Montovani from her services with the Sacketts Harbor church.
The HPC session members have been discussing and planning how and when our church will open for services. Our main priority moving forward is to worship together without fear. We will have many restrictions and strict guidelines we must follow in order to ensure that everyone remains safe.
We are planning to begin services on July 12 at 10:30 in the pavilion. This outside setting will provide a more open space.
The following guidelines will be followed:
· 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 availableif needed
· Music will be played but no singing will take place
· Everyone will bring their own chair and sit in the marked positions 6 feet apart
· 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
We realize that there are many of our friends and members who are not ready to return and are fearful. We respect your personal choices. You return when it’s the right time for you.
Your session members want you to feel safe. The health and well-being of our congregation and our community is our primary concern. We will assist you in any way we can to make this transition comfortable for all.
Prayers and blessings,
Members of the Session
Lynn DeCondo, clerk
Rev. Betsy Westman, moderator (pastor, Theresa Pres. Church)
Nolan Gardner 7-14
Lee Hill 7-15
Nancy Hadlock 7-16
Linda Schnittger 7-18
Alexis Kroeger 7-18
William Hadlock 7-21
Randy Kraft 7-24
Howard Bariteau 7-26
Lisa Gallagher 7-31
Pam & Joe Winchester 7-20
Mark and Linda Schnittger 7-23
Plea & Praise
Plea & Praise is the title for my sermon Sunday 6/28. It’s a sermon from Psalm 13 as the Psalmist makes a plea to God. The Psalmist has an unknown enemy and cries out or makes a plea to God because all the Psalmist has a sense of is the lack of God’s presence in the Psalmist’s distress. We’ve all been there at one time or another. We want an end to whatever the distress may be or whatever we name as our enemy. We even cry out like the Psalmist, “How long, O Lord?” The unknown writer of this Psalm spells it out to the Lord as being forgotten and turned away from him/her. Yes, we have all been in this place. We hear a diagnosis (enemy) that we just can’t process. We face life (enemy) as a widow or widower wondering how long this feeling of sorrow will last. We lose hope as we despair and wonder how long, O Lord, we will be a church without a pastor. We lose trust in God’s (hesed) steadfast love. Yet as the Psalmist discovers rather than God turning away, God turns toward, rather than forgotten, God remembers as the Psalmist is delivered and God’s goodness is made known. I want to encourage you to look at the three parts of Psalm 13 of this song of lament. 1) Complaint or plea in verses 1-2, 2) the petition or asking God for deliverance in verses 3-4, and finally 3) the praise (verses 5-6) for God in whom the Psalmist trusts (present tense denoting the trust is ongoing). Write your own song or prayer of lament.
As you complete one year of being without a pastor, formed a PNC, and continue to live through a pandemic, trust in God, God’s hesed, and deliverance. Sing praise to God for God’s presence with you and for you. Lift each other (PNC, Session, and leaders of the church) in prayer. How long, O Lord, may be the plea, praise God for God’s goodness and presence in turning toward you and not forgetting.
Peace be with you,
Food Pantry for July will be Thursday, July 23rdfrom 9:00 to 11:00 at the Hammond Fire Hall. All income eligible families are encouraged to participate to receive free food. As with the past three months, we will have the food all pre-bagged, so clients can drive up, give their names and receive the food. I have not heard anything from the Food Bank in Syracuse regarding the Food Sense program, so this is still on hold. I will let former Food Sense customers know when this resumes. Any questions about Food Pantry may be directed to
Joan Hadlock, 324-5517.
Marion Medical Mission was founded in 1985, focusing on medical needs, hospital supplies, building a new clinic in Zaire. By 1990, a need for clean water was realized, turning to preventative measures in health. That first year 13 wells were provided. Since then, the numbers have grown. Last year 3,140 wells were installed in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia covering 60,000 square miles, providing almost 400,000 people with clean water. Since 1990, MMM has built 39,040 wells in partnership with the local communities, serving nearly 5 million people. . Along with the wells, Marion Medical Mission, working with local communities, has build 9 schools in Malawi, including the first in the country school for the hearing impaired, and, has provided over 5000 secondary school scholarships. Earlier this year massive flooding took place in Northern Malawi leaving many starving just as the quarantine hit. MMM sent $50,000. to purchase large bags of maize to sustain the families during this time, with a two to three day turnaround from purchase of the maize to delivering to the families. So Marion Medical Mission is at the forefront of assisting needy families in this African region. Jesus said loving your neighbor as yourself is like loving God, the first and greatest commandment. As they say in Malawi, when we pray, we move our feet. Thanks again for the help with our latest shallow well.
One other Mission note, in the past, Hammond Presbyterian Church has sent $1000 to mission work through the Presbytery. This program has all changed, so our church now supports five missions with $200.00 each. These missions are Renewal House, Watertown Urban Mission, Helping Hands of Potsdam, Canton Church and Community (Food Pantry and Thrift Shop) and Malawi Early Literacy Team. We surely are a “Mission” church.
There are some things in life that when certain things hit your senses, it can bring you back to when you were a young child. I love when these things start to happen. It could be a meal that my mom used to make, that I now make, and every time I take a bite of the meal I brings me back to my early childhood. Or it could be something as simple as a smell. If I walk past a man who’s wearing Old Spice Cologne, I immediately think of my dad. Taste and smell are my favorite senses that will bring me back in time to such wonderful memories. Right now, my favorite is smell. Every time I do laundry, in the summer, I like to hang out my laundry on a clothes line in my backyard. The best is hanging my sheets outside and when they dry, bringing them in and putting them on my bed. I get so excited for bedtime to come because I just want to lie on my bed and inhale the fresh sweet smell of the sun as I fall soundly asleep. It’s a smell that brings me right back to being a little kid, in the summer time, who is overly tired from running around outside all day and flopping face first onto my bed and smelling the fresh smell of my bedding that was cleaned and hung outside to dry.
Another thing that brings me right back to my childhood that happens so often in Church is the Lord’s Prayer. I remember having to memorize the prayer so I could receive communion and I remember getting stuck on the word “trespasses”. “What does that mean?” I would wonder every time I would say those words. I might have even asked my dad what it meant, but it never got absorbed because I know I would say the prayer again and again I would think “What does it all mean?” But God has a hand in this memory and as I got older and understood the words that I was saying, I get brought right back to being a little kid and I catch myself giggling. It makes me wonder if, when I’m giggling at that memory in church, God is looking down upon me and giggling also since I get to share one of those favorite memories of mine with him.
We have been discussing the renovation of the church kitchen, with some ideas being brought up.
If anyone is interested in being on the “kitchen committee”, let Tara know.
The Hammond Presbyterian Church Pastor Nominating Committee continues to meet and review information from candidates. We have had on line conversations with some, have checked references as well. We continue to pray that God will help us discern who will be coming to be our shepherd in Hammond. As a reminder, in the past we have had an interim pastor for two to three years while this process was taking place. So we remain hopeful and hope you will also.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to make some changes to how we will serve the needs of people in the North Country this summer.
Because no outside groups will be traveling to the area this summer, we will depend upon local volunteers to accomplish the work.
We plan to work 8 weeks. Our work coordinator, Katie Grose will be on site to teach, encourage, and help complete the work.
We will work Monday thru Thursday 9 am to 4 pm. No volunteers will arrive before 9, and all must leave at 4 pm.
Volunteers will practice appropriate social distancing at all times or wear masks.
Volunteers will bring their own food and drinks – water, Gatorade, etc.
Volunteers must sign standard “hold harmless” agreements. MINC does carry insurance for volunteers, but your own insurance is expected to pay first, with ours picking up co-pays, etc.
So, if you want to volunteer, what is the process?
EXPERIENCE IS APPRECIATED, BUT NOT NECESSARY! REMEMBER, WE TEACH HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO DO THIS WORK EVERY SUMMER.
Select from the work projects below. You can work as many or as few days as you wish. Even half-days are fine.
Call the Presbytery Office at 315-713-4343, select MINC Outreach Worker, and leave a message. Rachel will return your call and get you scheduled. In order to protect our volunteers, the number of volunteers on a project at each time will be limited to that which we feel can work safely and practice safe social distancing.
Dates and work projects: all subject to change. We will adjust if projects are completed more quickly or more slowly or if weather is an issue.
Insulation and board and batten siding
June 29-July 2
Insulation and board and batten siding
*Roof work is all single story. We install metal roofing over existing roofing. We need people on the ground to cut wood and hand things up to people on the roof. We also need people willing to work on a gently-sloping roof.
**Ramp work is all done on the ground. Involves cutting with power saws and using battery-operated screw guns and drivers.
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!
Back in May, we asked you for help on beautifying our Church and its Grounds. We have started some of the projects, which couldn’t have been done without your help. We thank everyone who has donated time and money to making our projects become reality. Please continue to keep watch for more after pictures to come.
Our Administrative Assistant, Tara, Pressure Washing the Pavilion
Linda Taking Pre-Orders
Mark pointing everyone in the right direction
Denise keeping it clean
Ann getting ready
Madeleine getting ready to help
Waiting in line
Jen getting ready to lend a hand
Diana and Viktor enjoying their Fish Fry
Fish (with homemade tartar sauce), Salt Potatoes, Cole Slaw, and Brownie. It doesn’t get any better than this.
Thank you to Denise Diana, Marilyn Hunter, Joan Hadlock,
Jackie Washburn, Jen McGregor, Tara Atherton, Madeleine Rathbun, Nolan Gardner, Linda Schnittger, Mark Schnittger, Ann Root, and Lynn DeCondo for helping to make this Fish Fry happen. And THANK YOU to everyone who came out to support us and help us to SELL OUTand have a SUCCESSFUL Fish Fry Dinner.
Congratulations Hammond Central School Seniors Class of 2020!!!