Newsletter

Birthdays

  

April

Tom Gordnier 4-23

Keith Gallagher  4-25

Liz Bawden 4-25 

Emilie Barrigar  4-29

Anniversary

April

David & Jo Serchak 4-5

Ringing out the Good News from Hammond Presbyterian Church April 2019

  

April 2019

Dear Friends:

While tidying my office and making a bit of order after the chaos of painting the walls, I determined it was time to part with the scraggly Poinsettia from Christmas 2017. I sat the forlorn looking plant in the hallway to be taken to the dumpster. My helper looked at the plant and looked at me and asked, “Are you sure?” 

I hesitated briefly, then a few moments later picked the plant up and brought it back into the office and sat it on a table. The next day three new red petals had burst forth overnight from the very tips of the nearly leafless stems. Two petals had been added to the tiny bloom already in place, and another single red petal emerged on a different stem. It has remained that way for the past month. I continue to water it and talk to it, bending in close to observe the promise of tiny sprouts of new red petals and miniature green leaves. Meanwhile, I pick up fallen leaves from the floor and place them in the trash can.

Time is something I often wish I had control over, even as I wonder about the progress of this spindly Poinsettia. Won’t those tiny petals ever grow?  The plant will or will not grow in its own time. The lone robin singing in the Maple tree next to the church driveway I rejoiced in when March began, remains solitary as March closes and April opens. But now I listen to her song each morning as the sun rises. Accompanied by Robin’s song the Red Winged Blackbirds, Grackles, Canada Geese, and Snow Geese have reappeared and are increasing in number.

Day after day, I receive lesson after lesson about leaving the past, moving into the new, and the ultimate significance of living in the now. There are so many teachers who have crossed my path: Eckhart Tolle’, Neale Donald Walsh, the Dalai Lama, Marianne Williamson, the late Louise Hay, Richard Rohr; and in my experience and learning they all seem to articulate the message our beloved Lord Jesus lived and taught. The good news of the Christ, of being present-now- living in faith, trusting God and practicing that trust 

every moment as Jesus’ taught. If God is who you seek then open self to God!!

For did not God become incarnate in Christ Jesus that we might recognize the holy in all people, in all things, even in ourselves? Did not Jesus embody God in human form that we might learn and experience the holy in ourselves and one another? Did Jesus not teach, embody, and model the life-giving practice of trusting God in all circumstances, especially in the only moment we have: now?  If that is true, then right now is an experience of God. Why would I want to live in the past? For God was there, but is now here. Why would I want to orchestrate and conduct the future when God is already doing so? Why would I not desire to open my eyes, heart, ears, taste buds, skin, internal organs, mind and intuition, to all that is holy right now?  To God!

When I look at you, would I not see someone whom God has inspired with holiness by God’s very breath breathing in your lungs and by God’s created stuff of life? I would! When I stand or sit in your presence would our hearts not begin to share the same rhythm? They would! When I embrace you would I not be embracing someone worthy of reverence and respect? I would. When I eat the fruit of the earth and the grain of the field would I not be taking into my own being the holiness of God? I would. And so would you.

During these refreshing, renewing, unpredictable days and nights of spring; during these reflective and challenging steps of our Lenten journey toward  our ritual celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord, might we practice being fully present, fully aware, fully awake for we experience the resurrection of Christ right here, right now, when petals grow and when leaves fall. Might our recognition of holiness be expressed in kindness, in mercy, in compassion. For, today is the day in which you are invited to be and to trust in the now-ness of God. For you are where, and who, you are supposed to be today.

May you open your hearts and minds to your God-given teachers in the presence and love of Christ Jesus who is risen and present among us and in us. May you be.

With love,

Evon

Movie Recommendations (found on Netflix)

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (a true story which takes place in Malawi during a time of drought. Remember our Shallow Well project?)

Saving Mr. Banks (a true story about the life of P.L. Travers, author of Mary Poppins, the creation of the movie, and Walt Disney’s participation in that process. Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks)

Lenten Program Jesus: Human & Divine

Thursday evenings

5:30-7PM in the Dining Hall

Simple Soup and Bread Supper

Reading and Discussion

April 4: Christ Is Everyman and Everywoman

April 11: The Face of the Other

April 18: Fully Human, Fully Divine; Maundy Thursday; the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper will be part of the evening meal.

Palm Sunday April 14 10:30 AM

  We will be celebrating with Eco-palms as part of our worship service.

Why Eco-Palms?

*Approximately 300 million palm fronds are consumed in the United States annually.

*A congregation of 1,250 members orders approximately 700 fronds for Palm Sunday services.

*Eco-palms are purchased directly from harvesters at five to six times the normal payment per frond.

*Your purchase of eco-palms helps improve standards of living and protect forests.

Eco-Palms and your church: your role in supporting social and environmental justice

More than 300 million palm fronds are harvested each year for U.S. consumption alone — most of them for Palm Sunday, but also for floral displays for church-related events. Your congregation’s commitment to purchase eco-palms plays an important role in protecting forests, local jobs, and sustainable livelihoods in the harvesting communities.

https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/compassion-peace-justice/hunger/enough/eco-palms-2/

  

The Resurrection of Our Lord Sunday

Sunrise Service 7:00 AM

At the Public Boat Launch on Black Lake

Please bring a lawn chair and dress for the weather!

Coffee and Donuts will be served.

Easter Breakfast 9:00 AM

Church Dining Hall

Easter Egg Hunt 9:45 AM

Morning Worship

10:30 AM

Sunday April 28 Guest Speaker: Christine Visscher

  

Christine will speak about her recent adventures in Colombia, assisting Swami Kenananda in teaching a practice of meditation. She will share experiences of new life and mercy through her ministry of service.

  

Sunday

May 5, 2019

Guest Preacher:

The Reverend David Bennett, Resource Presbyter of the Presbytery of Northern New York

   

Celebration of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper

Church Library

  Many fabulous books are now ready for borrowing from the Church Library and can be located in the Chapel. Various topics and subjects span autobiographies, non-fiction, fiction, self-help, church history, theology, social justice, Presbyterianism, Sunday School and Bible Study resources, World Religions, and more. If you have ever wondered what Martin Luther or John Calvin had to say you can find a book to answer your questions. There are sets of books by Eugene Peterson, Philip Yancey, and Barbara Brown Taylor. If you are in need of entertainment or inspiration, it’s all there. The library is to be used on the honor system, so if you borrow something, please, return it when you are finished!

Talking Drum Drumming Circle

 Everyone is welcome!

Hammond Community Center

Tuesday

April 9, 2019

6:30-8:00 PM

Bring a drum and join the fun!!

(maracas, rain sticks, tambourines….; or borrow one when you attend!!)

  

One Great Hour of Sharing Special Offering

You shall be called repairers of the breach. -Isaiah 59

  

Sharing God’s love with our neighbors in need around the world by providing relief from natural disasters, food for the hungry, and support for the poor and oppressed.

Around the world, millions of people lack access to sustainable food sources, clean water, sanitation, education, and opportunity. The three programs supported by One Great Hour of Sharing—Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the Presbyterian Hunger Program, and Self-Development of people—all work in different ways to serve individuals and communities in need. From initial disaster response to ongoing community development, their work fits together to provide people with safety, sustenance, and hope.

Received during the season of Lent (March 6-April 21), each gift to One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) helps to improve the lives of people in these challenging situations. The Offering provides us a way to share God’s love with our neighbors in need. In fact, OGHS is the single largest way that Presbyterians come together every year to work for a better world.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA)

*Works alongside communities as they recover and find hope after the devastation of natural or human-caused disasters, and support for refugees

*Receives 32% of funds raised.

Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP)

*Takes action to alleviate hunger, care for creation, and the systemic causes of poverty so all may be fed

*Receives 36% of funds raised.

Self-Development of People (SDOP)

*Invests in communities responding to their experiences of oppression, poverty and injustice and educates Presbyterians about the impact of these issues.

*Receives 32% of funds raised.

Our Annual One Great Hour of Sharing Offering 

will be received on Easter Sunday. 

You may take a fish bank home on March 10.

Helping Our Veterans

  Starting in April, the Legion in Alexandria Bay will be hosting a Community Health and Wellness outreach. These presentations will be on the last Wednesday of the month, with different topics each time. Our April 24th presenter will be Brad Frey, director of the River Community Wellness Program. He will speak about military and veterans services at River Hospital.  This outreach is open to the public, and we are encouraging people to attend and help us shape our program to the needs of the community.  Please make plans to attend. For more information, contact Linda Schnittger at 315-777-3152.

 

The Easter Bunny By Tara Atherton

 The other day, my daughter, the cats and I were looking outside at the birds flying back and forth from our bird feeders and trees, when I noticed the Easter Bunny tracks that go around our house. Makes me wonder if the cats have been chit chatting with Mr. Bunny and have given him pointers on how to get into the house when we are asleep. I think the cats are in cahoots with Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the tooth fairy when it comes to letting them into the house, since they are the only ones running around at 3am. But this isn’t about the cats, this is about Mr. Bunny. He’s bringing spring with him by “taking the blue from the sky and mixing it with buttercup dye, and painting green everywhere” as Burl Ives sings in ‘The First Easter Rabbit’ movie that I grew up watching when I was my daughter’s age. Spring is coming and Mr. Bunny is out around the house, doing his job, making sure that the grass is ready to grow, the flowers are ready to bloom, and that the cats leave one of the doors unlocked in my house so he can hide our colorful eggs and maybe even leave a couple of baskets for the kids with candy. Note to self, have a discussion with cats about stranger danger. 

 Easter is the time of resurrection, where Jesus is risen from the dead, where old is made new again with beauty and love. Spring is coming and I’m so excited to see the beautiful work that God has planned for all of us with the flowers and the trees, with butterflies and fireflies, with color and warmth. As with the flowers coming back, so are our summertime church families, town festivities, and a feeling of togetherness. Out with the old snow, in with the new rain; Out with the winter boots and in with our summer sandals. God (with a little help from the Easter Bunny) is starting to wake everything up from our winter slumber and like most people; I am ready for our spring resurrection to come to our little community once again. 

April is National Poetry Month.

  

A celebration of poetry takes place each April. It is a way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the U.S. 

Here are some Haiku which capture the images and feelings of the transition from late winter to early spring.


last patch of snow

here and there

my footprints


cattails too

pale and shaggy

winter’s end  


clothes flapping

on a long line-

more geese


parts of myself

I don’t remember closing

opening bud by bud


back and forth

above the border guards

geese


John Scarlett

“Between Waves”

2015 

“IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT IF YOU SAY ONE PRAYER LET IT BE A PRAYER OF GRATITUDE.”

  

I have been attending Nancy Chase’s Mindfulness classes since June and while I’ve always felt gratitude in my life, I think that the mindfulness practice has helped me think about this even more. I am grateful for my family, my friends, and my church community. There always seems to be someone who is asking if I would like some support, be it an arm, a hand, a ride, a prayer or a hug. I especially appreciate the hugs. I miss John Scarlett’s hugs. Every time we saw each other he gave me a big hug. Liz said that if I had been much younger, she would have been worried.

Think about the people in your life. Let them know how much you appreciate them and what they mean to you.

Rosie Salamacha

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