Weekly Emails From FPCP
Below you will find copies of FPCP's Weekly Emails that are sent to our email list each Monday.
You'll find they start with the most recent e-mail, and work backwards to the beginning of the calendar year.
Each Weekly Email is a wonderful snapshot of what amazing things happened during Sunday services.
Our Weekly Email also provides church news, moments of grace, prayer, insights,
and a bit of humor now and then!
Everyone is welcome to sign up to receive FPCP's Weekly Emails. It's a great way to stay in touch with us!
Not sure if you're on the Weekly Email list? We can help!
Call us at 845-265-3220 or email email@example.com.
Sunday, August 5, 2018
Church Notes 7/5/18
A lovely morning, but the beginning of yet another heat wave. Rev. Dr. Chandler started the service with a call for announcements, opening with her own good news. Earlier in the week, she moved into a spacious and brand-new apartment in Beacon, with a lot of church family as helping hands. She wanted to thank everyone for their prayers and assistance in her long home-settling journey. As she said, “it takes a village”.
Tom McCoy played a lovely Prelude and Rev. Dr. Chandler called us to worship. Annie Becker served as the Worship Leader, asking forgiveness in the Prayer of Confession “For our part, known and unknown, in the pollution of oceans, rivers and streams; the destruction of forests and fields; the suffering of animals great and small and of your human family…” After the Passing of the Peace, Tom introduced his “Special Music” – Debussy’s “The Sunken Cathedral” – saying that the music came out of nowhere, just Debussy’s imagination. And imagination, as Tom elucidated, was one of our most important gifts from and connections with God. Tom “gifted” us with his exquisite playing of the piece and we applauded.
Rev. Dr. Chandler had the children recite “Taste and see the Lord is good” from Psalm 34:8. They then went on a small tour of the front sanctuary where Rev. Dr. Chandler illustrated what the verse meant. When you taste the communion bread and when you see flowers, “where did they come from?” God. And God is good.
The Gospel reading was John 6:24-35. In a back and forth conversation with followers, Jesus concludes with: “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” … “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
Rev. Dr. Chandler said that we might think these people following Jesus are “thick-headed”, but we are often that way, too. God may be throwing something quite obvious in our path and we don’t see it or taste it, nor understand that it is from God. In short, we often don’t “get it”. But what God is saying to us is that when you “screw up”, ask for forgiveness; and if you believe in Jesus whom God has sent, you will receive God’s true bread from heaven and will never be hungry or thirsty. In inviting us to the Lord’s Table, Rev. Dr. Chandler asked all to come to the communion table whether you “get it or not”.
For the Lord’s Prayer, we recited Lynn Brown’s version, as drawn from Prayers of the Cosmos (by Neil Douglas-Klotz, Harper San Francisco, 1990). And for the Postlude, Tom played a moving rendition of Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen.
- On Sunday, August 12, we will worship outdoors on Constitution Island followed by our annual church picnic. The gate to the island, at the far end of the Cold Spring train station is where we will gather at 9:45 am to carpool in for the event. Come dressed to hike, relax, and simply enjoy the historic island. Please bring your favorite side dish or salad to share (burgers and hot dogs provided) and a folding lawn chair, if you like. (There are picnic benches under the pavilion, and we are on rain or shine).
- Update on Janet Rust, who suffered a fall a few weeks ago, and then shortly after ended up in the hospital with a duodenal ulcer – As of Monday, she is now home and seems to be recuperating quite nicely. She may need some help at times from us, but both her daughter and son will be taking care of most needs for the next week or so. To contact her: firstname.lastname@example.org phone: 845-265-2345 or send a card to her at 41 Fair St. Cold Spring.
- We are mindful of the McCoys, as Tom and Erica deal with her ongoing cancer treatments, and we send them our love and prayers for healing. If you would like to send a note or card, their address is 20 Continental Drive, Fishkill, NY 12524. You can also go to the app “Lotsa Helping Hands” and enter FPCP/McCoy to help with dog walking or other household chores.
- The school year is beginning next month and that also means the beginning of the Sunday School year! Please sign up to be a Sunday School teacher for a few Sundays.
- The Bach’s son, Christian Bach, is going off to Germany to prepare for an entry exam with the hope that he can enter university/medical school in the fall. We wish him traveling mercies and much success in his goals. He was a great help in moving Rev. Chandler on Friday.
- E-news will resume on August 20 when our Office Administrator is back from vacation
The First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown, July 29, 2018
On a glorious mid-summer morning, the gathered 'church of the open door' was greeted by the pastor, Rev. Dr. Doris Chandler, who called for announcements (see below), and then treated to a rendition of "Precious Lord, Take My Hand", featuring Gareth Guest on clarinet and Tom McCoy on piano, as our prelude music.
Rev. Chandler led us in the Call to Worship and Opening Prayer and we joined in a hymn of praise. Worship Leader Sandy Barton guided us through the Prayer of Confession, Assurance of Grace, Passing of the Peace, and the first readings, from 2 Samuel 11:1-15 and Ephesians 3:14-21.
For the Youth Sermon, Rev. Chandler shared a verse from Exodus which Moses read to the people, "...all that the Lord has said, we will hear and do". She explained that the reason we gather on Sunday mornings is to be reminded that God is always with us, and that we hear and do God's word.
Our "Special Music" was "Divertissement" from a suite by Darius Milhaud played by Gareth and Tom, and joined by Gareth and Pat's daughter, Allison Nyquist, on violin. Allison and Tom gave a lovely rendition of "Arioso" by J.S. Bach for the offertory, as Sophia and Natalie received the offering and Ethan and Oscar collected quarters for the Heifer Goat Bank.
Rev. Chandler read from the Gospel of John (6:1-21) the story of two miracles of Jesus - the feeding of the five thousand and Jesus walking on water. The Sermon focused on the miracle of the loaves and fishes, as Rev. Chandler shared based on a sermon she had heard some years ago, that Bread is important in our lives as people of faith; that God takes the ordinary, such as bread, and blesses it to us. It can't stay in a loaf, it must be broken. If the bread is viewed as a 'character' in the story, what would it say? "Bless me, break me, give me..." What if, if after we receive communion we ARE the bread that goes out into the world. We, then, all need to be broken first. May we all look at our day and see where we can be the bread for the love of God.
We sang a very traditional hymn "What A Friend We Have in Jesus" with a wonderful non-traditional jazz accompaniment by Tom! At the benediction, Allison Nyquist came for a prayer of blessing and laying on of hands for her upcoming surgery. Our postlude was another movement of the Milhaud suite, "Jeu" (or "Game") which was an energetic and whimsical closing to our worship.
- In 2 weeks, on Sunday, August 12, we will worship outdoors on Constitution Island followed by our annual church picnic. The gate to the island, at the far end of the Cold Spring train station is where we will gather at 9:45 am to carpool in for the event. Come dressed to hike, relax, and simply enjoy the historic island. Please bring your favorite side dish or salad to share (burgers and hot dogs provided) and a folding lawn chair, if you like. (There are picnic benches under the pavilion, and we are on rain or shine).
- We heard updates regarding Janet Rust, who recently suffered a fall and is currently home-bound. She would love to hear from you or see you, and may need some transportation at times. To contact her: email@example.com phone: 845-265-2345 or send a card to her at 41 Fair St. Cold Spring.
- We are mindful of the McCoys, as Tom and Erica deal with her ongoing cancer treatments, and we send them our love and prayers for healing. If you would like to send a note or card, their address is 20 Continental Drive, Fishkill, NY 12524.
"The Church of the Open Door" gathered on a rainy Sunday morning and we were treated to the musical sounds of Carolyn Llewellyn on Cello and Tom McCoy on the piano throughout the service. Carolyn began the prelude with a movement of a Bach cello suite and then was joined by Tom for an arrangement of "Amazing Grace" Together the musicians accompanied the hymns and played for the special music and the postlude sections of a Marcello Cello Sonata. Thank you to Carolyn and Tom!
We were welcomed by the Rev. Dr. Doris Chandler, who called for announcements (see below), welcomed visitors, introducing the Strawn family, Mandy, Joe, Sara and Oscar, and led us in the Call to Worship and Opening Prayer.
Worship Leader Pete Smith guided us in the Prayer of Confession and Assurance of Grace, Passing of the Peace, and the readings from 2 Samuel 7:1-14 and (responsively) Ephesians 2:11-22.
In the Youth Sermon, Rev. Chandler shared a bible verse with Sara, Oscar, and James, from Luke 6:31 "do to others as you would have them do to you" and they had a brief discussion about it. Annie and Wally received the offering while James and Oscar collected quarters for the goat bank and Carolyn and tom played "Help Us Accept Each Other".
Rev. Chandler read the Gospel from Mark 6:30-34 and 53-56. Her sermon began with a story of an experiment comparing the difference between animals and humans, when gathered with 'other than their own kind'. In time, the animals came to live together in peace, while the humans destroyed each other. Perhaps animals are more caring than humans, and the term "inhuman" might be a compliment.
Rev. Chandler spoke of the intolerance and divisiveness in the world, the need for reconciliation, and the message of Jesus' life and work in getting beyond dualistic thinking, to where there is one body, one love, one God, and everyone is welcome. She said that in God's economy, there are no denominations. Love of neighbor, Love of God. They are inextricably linked. They are one.
The congregation shared prayers of thanksgivings and concerns and The Lord's Prayer. We sang hymns and joined hands for the benediction, being reminded that "Wherever you go, the Lord is there".
- Sunday, August 12 is our annual outdoor worship and church picnic on Constitution Island.
- Confirmation Class is being planned for the coming year and Sunday School planning for fall will take place in August. Contact Carolyn Llewellyn.
- The Philipstown Food Pantry is in need of food donations at this time. Renee suggested mac & cheese, spaghetti sauce, soups (other than tomato and chicken noodle) and school supplies for clients' children for fall.
- Drug World of Cold Spring is also assisting children in need of school supplies. You may go there and offer to sponsor a 'back to school kit'.
- Thanks to Mary Supino, owner of Cold Spring Florist, who generously donates floral arrangements when they are not specially ordered by a member or friend of the church. Please stop by 159 Main Street or call 845-809-5588, when you need flowers.
- Thanks to our Habitat work crew that spent Saturday morning working on Presbybuild house #9 in Newburgh. Check out photos on our facebook page- First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown: The Church of the Open Door. Like and share our posts!
- Don't forget to visit our website at www.presbychurchcoldspring.org to stay up to date and to donate to the church, the capital campaign, or the Philipstown Food Pantry.
It was a muggy morning, after welcomed rain storms during the night. Still, we joyfully walked into the church to flute (Lynn Brown) and piano (Tom McCoy) music from Bizet’s Carmen. Very short announcements (below) followed, including Susan Jordan’s appreciation for the concern shown to her after her car accident -- but we also had a surprise! Rev. Dr. Chandler invited Janet Rust and a former member of our church family to the microphone. John (aka: Jack to Cold Spring friends) Beale described his experiences from the 1960’s as Chair of the Executive Planning Council for the church in charge of raising the funds and planning our current Social Hall. Janet, as Church Historian, provided more details on the experience and added that Jack’s daughter and husband, who were married at FPCP 30 years ago (Whitney and Kevin) were also here with us today from Sarasota, Florida – along with their children. So, we had three generations present. It was delightful!
Julie Geller served as the Worship Leader leading us through the Prayer of Confession, Passing of the Peace, and not one, but two, Scripture Readings (II Samuel 6:1-5; 12b-19 and Ephesians 1:3-14) each containing some difficult-to-pronounce Biblical names. Julie sailed through, even requesting that the responsive reading be divided between those members of the congregation wearing socks and those who were not! We complied with her instructions.
Rev. Dr. Chandler’s Youth Sermon was based on Psalm 119: 105 – “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Rev. Chandler explained that God’s word is light but cautioned not to expect God’s word to give you all the answers at once. God will give you all you need to know right now. Rev. Chandler used her phone flashlight to illustrate how the light helps people to find their way, but she said that unlike her phone, “God’s light never runs out of batteries”.
We enjoyed an interlude of “Special Music”, again by Lynn and Tom, playing Gabriel Fauré’s Morceau de Concours on flute and piano to grateful applause.
The sermon was a tough one, built on the Gospel Reading of Mark 6:14-29 – the story of King Herod’s audacious promise to his daughter to give her any gift she wanted. When she asked for John the Baptist’s head on a platter, he could not back down from his public pledge, and no one stepped forward to dissuade him. Rev. Chandler acknowledged the text as a hard one to stomach, that Herod had made a stupid statement and then his ego would not allow him to step back from it. She asked if any of us had done something similar and then followed through just to save face? Just as important, the crowd in this text did not speak up to change the outcome. They remained silent. Rev. Chandler implored us to change ourselves, to speak up as single voices in a crowd when we see wrong, injustice, bias. God’s word is showing us the way.
Following the sermon, Tom McCoy shared with us some news regarding his wife Erika and why we had not seen her in church for a while. He explained that she has been dealing with cancer, and at this point she wanted her church family to know as she is making her journey toward recovery. Tom said they may be calling upon us for some help now and then.
After the Benediction, which honored all the Beales who had visited back with us today, Tom ended the service with a Beatles’ Postlude, “With a Little Help from My Friends”.
- Don’t forget – our annual picnic and service at Constitution Island is on August 12. More news about the Pot Luck luncheon and when to line up to caravan into the island will be forthcoming.
- The Llewellyns reminded us that Spamalot will be playing at the Depot Theater from Thursday thru Sunday (July 19-22), as part of the Philipstown Depot Youth Players. Elaine June Llewellyn is in it as well as many other children in the community.
- Our next Habitat Day is next Saturday from 7:30-1:30 in Newburgh. Please participate. Sign ups are in the Social Hall or just contact Andy Larivee or Lynn Brown.
- Our next Midnight Run is September 29, 2018.
Sunday, July 8, 2018
The First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown, July 8, 2018
It was a beautiful morning, with pleasant relief from the heat wave, and lovely piano sounds from guest Yalin Chi, filling in for Tom McCoy, as we entered the sanctuary.
We were welcomed by the Rev. Dr. Doris Chandler, who called for announcements (see below). Concerns of the church family were announced that Susan Jordan had been in a car accident on her way to church, she was home and ok but the car not as well. Gareth and Pat Guest are heading for a family gathering in Indiana tomorrow amid the news that daughter Allison was just diagnosed with melanoma. Prayers for the family travel and for healing. Concerns were also shared for the children stuck in a cave in Thailand, and for children in this country separated from their parents. We welcomed visitors, returning visitors, and everyone present.
Rev. Doris led us in the Opening prayer and Call to Worship and we sang "Awake my Soul, and With the Sun". Worship leader Lynn Brown led us through the Prayer of Confession, Assurance of Grace, singing "Near to the Heart of God", and Passing the Peace. She read the Old Testament, II Samuel 5:1-5 and 9-10, and led our responsive reading from II Corinthians 12:2-10. For our 'special music' Gareth Guest on clarinet and Yalin Chi on piano shared an arrangement of the hymn tune "Sojourner" and they played together as postlude the Duke Ellington tune "Come Sunday".
The young people were treated by Rev. Doris to a "Field Trip" in the sanctuary, where they walked over to see the candle lit on top of the organ. She taught them a verse from Psalm 119: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path". Sophia and Natalie then received the offering while Ethan collected quarters for the goat bank.
Rev. Chandler read from the Gospel of Mark (6:1-13) where Jesus was teaching in the synagogue in his hometown and people took offense at him, and then he called the twelve disciples and sent them out two by two. Rev. Doris contended that this Jesus is still offending the sensibilities of some people... "REALLY? You want me to do WHAT?" She preached that if you want God to show up and do big things, believe in it, accept, it and be open to it. It doesn't come without risk. Rejection is part of journeying with Jesus. Doris asked the question, "When was the first rejection that you experienced in your life?" She shared one from her personal experience and invited others to do the same, with several people from the congregation sharing brief stories. Rev. Doris concluded that rejection in God's economy means transformation in the end, and out of that you can become a wounded healer. Your rejections are part of what has shaped you. Allow your heart to be transformed and be God's agent to love your neighbor... and yourself.
- Wally Becker announced that the Capital Campaign Phase 3 renovation, planned for Summer 2019, has taken a step forward and had an architect in to devise some possible options. Donations towards this project are gratefully received.
- There is a Habitat workday in Newburgh on Saturday July 21. Signup sheet is posted in the social hall.
- Sunday School is officially on summer vacation, but Amelia is still here every Sunday for child care with the young ones.
- This month's church lunch out is this Tuesday, July 10, at Juanita's at 12:30 p.m. All are invited to join in!
- SAVE THE DATE for our annual outdoor worship and church picnic held on Constitution Island, Sunday August 12!
- We will once again welcome 3 YAV's (Young Adult Volunteers) on the last Sunday of August, the 26th, when they will visit with us, tell us about their upcoming year of mission volunteer work and have lunch in town with those who would like to join in.
- This month's Book Group meeting is on Tuesday, July 24 at 7 pm, at Jean Llewellyn's home, discussing Hilbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. All are welcome.
As we gathered on the first day of July, Tom's prelude "Summertime" couldn't have been more fitting! Our summer worship time of 10:00 began, as did the heat wave expected to be with us much of the week.
We were welcomed by The Rev. Dr. Doris Chandler, who introduced the Revs. David and Martha-Louise Harkness, visiting with us this day. Rev. Doris reminded us that we are not here by accident, and hoped that when we leave, we will be a "love letter to the world". She then led us in the Call to Worship and Opening Prayer, and we sang "All Things Bright and Beautiful".
Worship Leader Betsy Anastasi led the Prayer of Confession, assured us of grace, as we sang "Give Thanks, with a Grateful Heart", and guided us in passing the peace and the responsive reading of 2 Corinthians 8:7-15.
As the youth sermon, Rev. Doris taught the children the word "sacrament", meaning an outward sign of God's love. She explained that the baptism font is filled with ordinary water; the communion table with ordinary bread and juice, but that God takes ordinary things and uses them as a sign of God's grace.
For the Offering, Rev. Doris shared a line from "Hello Dolly" (giving a nod to the celebrations in our town of the 50th anniversary of the filming of the movie here): "Money is like manure; it's only good when you spread it around!" And in true Tom McCoy form, he launched into a piano improv of 'Hello Dolly' as the offertory music, while Sophia, Natalie and Ethan received the offering and collected quarters for the goat bank.
Rev. Chandler read the gospel story from Mark 5, where Jesus heals the hemorrhagic woman and raises Jarius' daughter, explaining that when the young girl had been brought back to life, and Jesus said "Give her something to eat", this was a way of making sure that she was living and not a 'ghost', that she could eat.
The sermon made references to "a madness of faith" which was evidenced by the woman who came to be healed, perhaps thinking "I don't care what anyone thinks, I am going to risk it all for the ability to be made well and whole". Jesus doesn't care who you are; all deserve healing and grace and mercy. When we are faced with today's news, we see the polarization all around us and yet "the madness of faith" calls us to transcend whatever fears we have; to hold on to hope. Remember that Love has the final word, not hate or bitterness. All the hate that holds us captive in the world will be healed. Fear not...press on...have hope, and have a mad faith!
Elder Diana Geller assisted Rev. Chandler in serving communion, after which Rev. Chandler shared an anecdote of a young child, who, after having received communion, said "Jesus' body and blood tastes good!" to which she added, " May it strengthen and guide you".
As we gathered in a circle for the benediction, we were reminded that "the service is not ending, it is just beginning". We shared Rev. Chandler's blessing for the Revs. Harkness, as David begins retirement from his pastorate in Irvington.
As the postlude, Tom shared a reprise of the "Toreador Song" from Carmen, to which John Cimino had written lyrics honoring Tom at the celebration last week. Tom expressed gratitude for the surprise and the timely gift from the congregation and friends.
- The July/August newsletter is attached. Thanks to Mona Smith for her time and effort on this!
- Sign up for the Habitat for Humanity work day on July 21, leaving from church at 7:30 am to work in Newburgh, and returning by 1:30 pm.
- This month's church lunch outing is Tuesday July 10, at Juanita's at 12:30.
- SAVE THE DATE! Our annual outdoor worship and church picnic on Constitution Island is scheduled for Sunday, August 12.
- This Month's Book Club meeting is on Tuesday, July 24 at 7 pm at Jean Llewellyn's home, when we will discuss Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. All are welcome.
Finally, from the bulletin cover:
"Anything can become a spiritual practice...once you are willing to approach it that way - once you let it bring you to your knees and show you what is real, including who you are,who other people are, and how near God can be..."
Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World
Sunday, June 24, 2018
And so, a much-anticipated Music Appreciation Sunday began. Gareth Guest played his clarinet when we filed into the sanctuary. Rev. Dr. Chandler chuckled when asking why we don’t have a Sermon Appreciation Sunday? But as this was her first M.A.S., she was about to experience a spectacular experience! Tom McCoy introduced all the musicians and soloists -- counting the choir, we had 25, with violins, violas, cellos, bass, clarinet, French horn, drums, flute and, of course, piano! Announcements included Rene Cruikshank’s sharing her good news of recently connecting with her son, born when she was 19, given up for adoption, and incidentally found when a relative decided to have genetic testing for her ancestry. Rene has been corresponding with him and will meet her son and his family in September!! Such good news!
Cathy Carnevale thanked everyone for their prayers for her son-in-law, who was in a serious biking accident a week ago in Lake Placid. Despite many broken bones and a skull fracture, he is now back home and recovering. She was also grateful for the prayers for her sister, in Washington, DC, who had been in and out of the ICU and is now on the mend.
The choir sang “Shout Alleluia, Praise His Holy Name” as the Introit and we were called to worship. Tess Dul sang a beautiful solo, “Home”, from Maury Yeston’s Phantom. With Susan Jordan as the Worship Leader, we sang our Prayer of Confession to the hymn “Cry of My Heart”. We also sang our response to the Assurance of Grace but Passed the Peace in our normal joyful and chaotic way. The choir sang its Anthem, singing “...praise His holy name” and John Cimino followed with an Irving Berlin song written for the Broadway Musical, Miss Liberty, in 1949 (the same year as John’s birth, we learned). The lyrics are taken from Emma Lazarus’s poem, The New Colossus, which was placed on the Statue of Liberty – “Give me your tired, your poor…” – a timely subject for today.
The congregation sang “Great is the Lord” and we next offered our gifts while listening to Greg Smith, who daily plays French horn in the orchestra of the Lion King. Greg favored us with a rendition of “The Trumpet Shall Sound” from Handel’s Messiah. Our next treat was Lynn Brown, on flute, playing “Jazz Suite” by Claude Bolling and accompanied by Tom McCoy on piano. The congregation applauded after every stellar performance!! After the congregation sang one of its favorites “Let All Things Now Living”, Tom explained the next choral piece, which he plays at the Jewish temple where he plays on Friday evenings. As the song, entitled, “Salaam”, meaning “peace”, was originally a Yemenite song and considering the situation in Yemen today, Tom dedicated it in praise for the Yemeni people.
Rev. Dr. Chandler managed to pull everyone into the aisle for a hand-holding Benediction and told us we should sit down after our “Alleluia, Amen”. Tom and the Choir, with full orchestra, gave us a rousing gospel piece -- “He Hasn’t Failed Me Yet” with Tess Dul and John Lane adding some special flourishes! We were exhausted!! But then came a special surprise……for Tom.
Lynn Brown explained all that Tom had meant to the church on this his 20th Anniversary. She called him a “Quiet Man of Music” and extolled his talents. Tributes were read from former pastors – Rev. Bill Weisenbach and Rev. Leslie Mott, supplying some history and humorous anecdotes. Tom was provided with a crown to wear for the occasion. John Cimino handed out lyrics he had written for a Tom McCoy tribute. John sang the first verses and asked the congregation to join in on the last portion, which we did with gusto! Lynn presented Tom with a large check from a collection taken in secret over the past few weeks from the congregation. He is also being presented with a book of pictures and personal tributes from friends and church members. Others in the sanctuary expressed their thanks and told personal stories in Tom’s honor. To say the least, Tom was touched. The lyrics to John’s song for Tom are below.
It was a great day for Our Church of the Open Door!!!
Sung to the Toreador Song from Georges Bizet’s Carmen --
Here he is, the one we celebrate
The one I venerate, the Maestro Tom McCoy.
Hail Maestrosity! Oh Virtuosity!
You and you alone have won our hearts – Hail the McCoy!
Watch him now, his eyes are gleaming.
His mind is wondering, what will my next words be?
Hail Maestrosity! Oh Virtuosity!
You’re the one whose name we sing – Bravo, Maestro McCoy!
Now at last, the final chorus. At last,
The moment when, we take your breath away.
Gather round – as we pay homage.
Careful now, he must not escape!
Allons! En Garde! Allons! Allons!
HOORAY AND BRAVO, MAESTRO TOM MCCOY!
QUARTER NOTES AND HALF NOTES – HE IS OUR BOY!
LISZT, BRAHMS AND CHOPIN – PUTTY IN HIS HANDS.
BUT MY GOD, CAN HE IMPROVISE!
IT’S CLEAR HE’S WON OUR HEARTS.
OUR TOM MCCOY, OUR MAESTRO TOM MCCOY!
BRAVO, MAESTRO TOM MCCOY! BRAVO, MAESTRO TOM MCCOY!
Sunday, June 17, 2018
The First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown... June 17, 2018
As Rev. Dr. Doris Chandler welcomed the gathered congregation on Sunday, she began with the news of a biking accident which happened to Cathy Carnevale's son-in-law, Brandon. He is hospitalized with a concussion and other injuries and is currently in the ICU. Doris led a prayer for Brandon and all of the family, to include Cathy's sister who is hospitalized in DC. Please keep them all in your prayers this week.
Announcements were shared (see below) to include an invitation to our annual 'Music Sunday', next Sunday, June 24 at 10:30 am, when the choir finishes their season and takes a break until September, and Director of Music extraordinaire, Tom McCoy, has lined up an array of guest vocalists and instrumentalists. As Rev. Chandler added, what a gift it is to have Tom's music.
The Introit invited us to "Come and Find the Quiet Center", Rev. Chandler led the Call to Worship and Opening Prayer; we sang "Our God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home...".
Worship Leader Bev Taylor guided us in the Prayer of Confession, Assurance of Grace, and Passing of the Peace. Bev read from I Samuel (15:34-16:13) about the anointing of David, and she led us in the responsive reading from II Corinthians (5:6-10; 14-17).
The Anthem was an arrangement of the hymn "This is My Father's World". Tom noted that we often replace the original language with inclusive wording, but in observance of Father's Day today, the original version was used.
For the Youth Sermon, Rev. Chandler spoke about the Disney film, "Beauty and the Beast" illustrating that beauty is not what's on the outside, it's what's in the heart.
Lynn Brown and Susan Jordan received the offering while Silas and Sarah collected quarters and filled the goat bank!!!!! This makes the 10th goat that the Sunday morning quarters have provided!
Leading into the sermon, Rev. Chandler offered two verses of scripture: Matt. 2:13 about Mary and Joseph's flight to Egypt with the baby Jesus, noting that they were some of the first refugees; and from Leviticus 33:22, the admonition not to reap the entire harvest for yourself, but leave some for the poor.
This was followed by her reading "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, ending with the familiar words on the Statue of Liberty: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Rev. Chandler's sermon posed the question of what to do as a person of faith, when we see and hear about families and children from Central America, fleeing and arriving in Mexico, trying to find shelter in the US and not only not finding it here, but being separated from their families. We are called to do something, but what? We can pray...we can call legislators...we can write letters. God does not call us to sit silently while people are treated inhumanely. Rev. Chandler spoke about the PCUSA General Assembly meeting this week, and having elected new Co-Moderators who spoke out to say we choose welcome, to the stranger, the immigrant, the migrant. This Thursday, June 20, is World Refugee Day, and the PCUSA has issued a call to action, in a statement which reads:
Presbyterians for Just Immigration have created postcards to let our elected officials know that we are outraged by US Government policies that imprison asylum seekers and separate parents from their children in order to send a message that they should not seek safety here. We are stunned by the decision of our government to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to their cries for safety, freedom and justice.
Download the postcard here:
The postcard is also attached.
Rev. Chandler asked us to pray for families that are scared to death and running for their lives, saying that we have a collective heart; to be brave and courageous, to speak truth to the inhumanity. For God, every human being on the planet is holy. Please ask God what God would have you do.
Elder Ron Sopyla mentioned in the announcements that an article in the NY Times this past week offered some suggestions of actions to take and organizations which are assisting with legal representation and other needs of refugees. Here is the link to that article:
We sang a hymn with words by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, "When Jesus Went To Egypt" to the tune "O Sacred Head, Now Wounded". The lyrics are attached.
- The PCUSA General Assembly is meeting this week and you may stay up to date on the proceedings by visiting https://pres-outlook.org and see attached bulletin insert for information.
- July 1 begins our summer worship time of 10:00 am (rather than 10:30).
- Save the Date- Sunday, August 12- for our annual outdoor worship and picnic on Constitution Island.
- Janet Barton, who works at Arms Acres, a recovery facility in Carmel, asked for donations for the clients in residence there, who often arrive only with the clothing they are wearing, of clothing for adolescents, men, women - Casual, such as Tees, pants, shirts, shoes, flip flops and books such as novels, self-helps and bibles as the clients have a lot of free time. You may leave items at the church labeled for Janet Barton.
Sunday, June 10, 2018
The First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown, June 10, 2018
We entered the sanctuary to the sounds of J.S. Bach's "The Well-Tempered Clavier" as the prelude played by our own Tom McCoy, and were then warmly welcomed by our Pastor, The Rev. Dr. Doris Chandler. Announcements of the life of the church were given (below), and the introit presented by Tom and the choir shared these words by Shirley E. Murray: "Silence is a friend who claims us, cools the heat and slows the pace; God it is who speaks and names us, knows our being, touches base; making space within our thinking, lifting shades to show the sun; raising courage when we're shrinking, finding scope for faith begun".
Rev. Doris led the Call to Worship and Opening Prayer, after which we sang "Our God, our Help". Worship Leader Greg Smith led the Prayer of Confession, Assurance of Grace, and Passing of the Peace. Greg also read the Old Testament scripture from 1 Samuel (8:4-20) and led the responsive reading from 2 Corinthians (4:13-5:1).
Elder Carolyn Llewellyn assisted Rev. Chandler in recognition of this year's Sunday School teachers who were present: Janet Barton, Rachel Emig, Diana Geller, Ana Silverlinck and Karen Tangen. Other teachers were thanked, in absentia, to include Joy Albrecht, Katie Bissinger and Bev Taylor.
Bibles were presented to 3rd and 4th graders Ryan Duncan (with Grandma Jean accepting as Ryan was running a 5K), Silas Emig and Elaina Johanson. Each of them also received a letter and a special bible verse from Rev. Doris.
Tom and the choir shared the anthem "Salaam" a Yemenite Folk Song, in its original language and in English, a song of peace, to us and all the world.
For the Youth Sermon, Rev. Chandler shared with the children a verse of scripture which we may all hold as a special verse, from Psalm 121, "I lift my eyes to the hills- from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth." She mentioned Norm Brown, who gave the "Believe" rock in the sanctuary, and who had that as a special verse when he was a young cadet at West Point. She encouraged the children to remember those words whenever they look at the hills all around us in the beautiful Hudson Valley. The children collected quarters for the goat bank as Elaine Llewellyn and Rachel Emig received the offering while Tom played "Teach Your Children".
For the sermon, Rev. Chandler referred back to the Samuel reading, in which the people asked for a king. God spoke through Samuel to tell the people what kind of a king they would have, in hopes of discouraging them, but they wanted a king "to be like other nations". Rev. Chandler spoke of conformity, wanting to be like others and suggested that if you are a person of faith, you know that something greater than yourself has given you life; you can decide to be like others or you can decide to lean into and believe in God, and be who you are. We don't need to be like the culture around us, but can ask the hard questions; be bold and courageous, and do the right and, above all, the loving things.
We prayed and sang hymns "Be Thou My Vision" and "God Bless your Church with Strength", received the benediction, and heard another piece from Bach's Well Tempered Clavier as Tom played the postlude.
- The monthly church lunch out is this Tuesday, June 12, at the Depot restaurant at 12:30. All are invited to attend.
- The Capital Campaign is in the process of obtaining design advice for the kitchen renovation, our Phase 3 project which will be done in Summer 2019. Decisions on the scope of the project will be presented in September, and donations to help fund Phase 3 will be gratefully received .
- We heard news of the scouts in our community, that there would be a cub scout barbecue at Mayor's park. Ana Silverlinck spoke of beginning a girls cub scout group. Contact her if interested.
- The girl scout group which meets at our church planted and works to maintain the Inspiration Garden out front, for the Food Pantry, and Carolyn Llewellyn asked for people to feel free to weed anytime they see the need, and for people to harvest from the garden early in the week for themselves if they would like, so that more will grow. If harvesting later in the week(Friday), please leave the produce in the refrigerator for the Food Pantry on Saturday morning.
- Habitat for Humanity in Newburgh had a builder's blitz this past week, constructing 2 houses in 5 days, located adjacent to the next Presbybuild house, which we partner in funding and working on. Our next Habitat workday is Saturday July 21. A signup sheet is available.
- Don't miss our annual MUSIC SUNDAY! with special music and special guests on Sunday, June 24!
- Beginning JULY 1 we will be moving to our Summer Worship time of 10:00 am.
Rev. Chandler welcomed us all to the sanctuary on this cloudy day, especially those coming to visit for the first time. Lynn Brown gave a number of announcements (below) and noted Rachel Thompson’s return from Cuba and Susan Jordan’s current trip to Alaska. Although James Llewelyn was absent from church today, we learned that he had turned 8 years of age this week. Let’s remember to sing to him next Sunday!
Lynn was the Worship Leader today, pointing out that we can always know where we are in the church year by looking at the color of the choir’s stoles. Recently, they were purple for lent and red for Pentecost, but now they are green signifying that we are in “Ordinary Time”. Following our Prayer of Confession, we jubilantly Passed the Peace. Lynn read I Samuel 3:1-10, where the boy, Samuel, does not recognize that God is calling his name in the silence of the night, until his teacher, Eli, realizes that is the case. Eli counsels Samuel to answer God’s call with “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” The second scripture reading (II Corinthians 4:5-12) was read responsively, about preaching Jesus’s light and glory out of the darkness of his death.
Rev. Chandler read an excerpt from Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who for the Youth Sermon. Horton was trying to do something good for the little people of Whoville. Rev. Chandler explained to the children that it doesn’t matter what day of the week it is or where you are, but you should always be trying to do something good. The Gospel Reading of Mark 2:23-3:6 also addressed this point as the Pharisees tried to discern Jesus’s practices in obeying the laws is his faith pertaining to the Sabbath. Explaining that “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”, Jesus went forward with healing a man’s withered hand on the Sabbath day, thus doing work which the Pharisees viewed as disobeying God’s law. The Pharisees did not understand the lesson that Jesus, and Rev. Chandler in the Youth Sermon, were trying to convey: it is always the right time to do something good. Returning to the II Corinthians passage, Rev. Chandler asked us, “Are we listening when our Lord speaks to us?”
We celebrated the Eucharist and, in so doing, prayed for those who were ill or in distress, as well as thanking God for our joys. Rev. Chandler asked that all of us take what we had learned and felt today out into the world. She ended the service with a Benediction that incorporated a reconstruction (see below) of the Lord’s Prayer as one possible translation from the original Aramaic. Tom’s Postlude brought smiles as he played Paul Simon’s The Sound of Silence.
The Lord’s Prayer
Radiant One – You shine within us, outside us. Even darkness shines, when we remember. Focus your light within us. Make us useful, as the rays of a beacon. Show us the way. Unite our “I can” to yours, so that we walk as kings and queens with every creature. As we find your love in ours, let heaven and nature form a new creation. Help us fulfill what lies within the circle of our lives: each day we ask no more, no less. Erase the inner marks our failures make just as we scrub our hearts of others’ faults. Don’t let surface things delude us, but free us from what holds us back. From you is born all ruling will, the power and life to do, the song that beautifies all – from age to age it renews. Amen
- The church historian, Janet Rust, had put some posters together for the 50th anniversary of the Social Hall addition to the church. They are presently in the Social Hall and are interesting to see. Do take a look.
- We also have a poster board of our church pet family. Please post a picture of your pet or send a picture by email to Lynn Brown and she’ll make sure it is added to the board.
- Habitat for Humanity of Newburgh/Presbybuild is about to start on a 9th house. Our church’s next Presbybuild date is Saturday, July 21, on Johnson Street. Donations are always welcomed for Habitat. The change jar is located in the Social Hall.
The First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown, May 27, 2018
On the Sunday after Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, and Memorial Day weekend, we were welcomed by worship leader Diana Geller, who introduced and welcomed back to our pulpit Guest Preacher Rev. Peter Surgenor, filling in for The Rev. Dr. Doris Chandler this week.
Diana shared these words with us: "On this Memorial Day Sunday, we remember the women and men who died while serving in the US military, protecting our freedoms. We remember too those who do not yet fully share in those freedoms, who by race, religion, ethnicity, or for other reasons are targeted and shunned, who live in fear because they appear "different". Diana led us in confession and assurance of forgiveness, passing the peace and the responsive reading of Psalm 29.
Tom and the choir presented "Come Ye That Love The Lord" as the introit, and later the African-American Spiritual "He is King of Kings" as the anthem, with a rousing piano solo!
Peter gathered the children for the youth sermon, speaking about not worrying, but relaxing into what is, using as an example that prior to the service, when a key on the piano wasn't working right, Tom didn't worry or get stressed, but calmly took the piano apart and fixed it! Sometimes we think we need to understand things right away, such as Bible Stories, but it may be better to relax with it and "let the light go on" when you're ready for it.
The children collected quarters for the goat bank as the offering was received, and Tom played "Goodnight My Someone" from The Music Man, in honor of the church outing to the play this afternoon, and several church members involved in the production!
Rev. Surgenor read the Gospel, John 3:1-17 from Eugene Peterson's "The Message" translation, telling the story of Nicodemus, raising the question of how one is "born from above", and concluding with the very familiar "This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one-and-only Son. And this is why: so that no one need by destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life".
The sermon, entitled "Through The Veil" began with an interesting concept of the Trinity...an orange! Peter said that trying to understand the 3-in-1 concept of God, Jesus and Holy Spirit is like an orange, that there is the peel, the juice and the fiber - 3 distinct parts but all an orange, one thing, and we open it up and enjoy what's inside. We know God through stories of God's action in humanity, not just residing in Heaven; we know that Jesus did not just live and then was gone, his teaching stays with us through testimonies of those who knew him, and the Spirit is here, surrounding us. Proceeding to the story of Nicodemus, Peter returned to the theme he began with the children, that we can't always know the answer immediately, but need to be willing to listen and to sit with it, waiting for understanding.
Citing a scene from Indiana Jones, where Indy remembers that the faithful will survive and find a path, he steps out and a bridge appears...he needed to relax and take a step of faith. There are moments in our lives when we need to trust, to take a step forward, believing in God who has acted in human history, has sent Jesus and the Holy Spirit to be with us, and calls us to 'relaxed intuitive understanding'.
We shared prayers for friends who are ill and who have lost loved ones, for our country and Memorial Day, for the national election in Colombia. We shared in the Lord's Prayer, sang "Spirit", received the benediction, and Tom closed the service with a wonderful improvisational combination of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" and "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?", ending with the musical phrase of "When will they ever learn?"
Sunday, May 20, 2018
An exquisite spring morning as Rev. Chandler welcomed us and called for announcements (to follow). We thanked Wally, Annie, Lynn, and Cathy for decorating the church for Pentecost (see pictures below). We also gave tribute to Tom McCoy for the previous evening’s Jazz Vespers and the entire 2017-18 season, as well as to everyone who contributes food, time, and money in support of this treasured church mission.
Rev. Chandler opened the service for Pentecost Sunday with a Call to Worship saying that God is a “…life-giving...life-sustaining… life-transforming Spirit.” Susan Jordan as Worship Leader led us from the Prayer of Confession, Passing of the Peace, into two Scripture readings – Ezekiel 37:1-14 (where God shows how the Spirit of the Lord can turn dry bones back into living flesh) and Act 2:1-21 (where on the day of the Pentecost, God blows the spirit into the disciples and among the crowd of Jews of many nations gathered, each hearing their own native language being spoken. “Speaking in tongues”). The choir sang “Spirit Now Live in Me”.
Continuing on the Spirit theme, Rev. Chandler challenged the children to come up with “S” words, which, by golly, they did -- “snake” and “sarcastic” being two. The “Spirit” was described and Rev. Chandler asked them to think about the spirit they’ve been given every time they hear an “S” word this week.
The Gospel Readings of John 15:26-27 and 16:4b-15 focus on the risen Jesus’s explaining to the disciples that he needed to die so he could send “The Advocate”, i.e., the Spirit, to them who could teach them things that they were not ready to learn when Jesus was alive. He says, “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.”
Rev. Chandler noted that sometimes Presbyterians are uncomfortable with “the Spirit”. She noted the looks on the faces of the Brits when Bishop Michael Curry was so animated and filled with the spirit in talking about love at Harry and Megan’s royal wedding this past Saturday. We get uncomfortable, too. Maybe we feel that people will think we are nuts, if we “show” too much spirit when it comes to expressing our love for and from God. But we need the spirit to raise the dry bones in our hearts. We need the Spirit to take hold of us, to change us, and to take us into a new future.
Rev. Chandler then led us into a reading of our Affirmation of Faith and a spirited singing of the hymn, Shine, Jesus, Shine, which was much fun. After the Benediction, which transitioned into blessing for our pot luck luncheon, Tom played his traditional Pentecostal Postlude -- The Ritual Fire Dance by Manuel de Falla. Talk about Spirit!! Nevertheless, the final musical piece was a rousing “Happy Birthday” sung to Elaine Llewelyn who had just arrived for the Congregational Conversation.
Then, we walked out into the social hall for our much-anticipated luncheon of chili and ice cream sundaes, and a terrific and well-attended discussion about our church.
- Worship and Arts Committee meeting May 27 after the service.
- Glynwood CSA shares of fresh produce for the Food Pantry have been fully funded. Andy Reid expressed appreciation for each of the $100 contributions.
- Andy and Sandy Larivee still have no power after this week’s freakish storm. We asked for prayers for them.
- Our attention was called to a statement by the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. on immigrants regarding immigrants: “The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), along with the rest of the United States, continues to experience the tearing apart of our social fabric by a president who insists on using inflammatory and divisive language about immigrants in this country. Faithful Presbyterians believe humans are created in God's very own image, and each should be afforded equal respect and dignity. “
- Nineteen church members have signed on to go to The Music Man at the Depot Theater next week, May 27 at 2 pm. More tickets are available if you want to go with the church group. Those who have seen it say it is fabulous!
- The church book club is meeting on May 29 at Lynn Brown’s house. The book is The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown.
- Rev. Chandler will not be preaching next Sunday. We are fortunate that the Rev. Peter Surgenor has graciously agreed to take the pulpit.
- June 10 is Teachers Appreciation Day for all Sunday School teachers. Please come and show your appreciation for all our teachers!
- Rev. Chandler told us that she will be renting the Sexton’s House at St. Philips church for the next year. She will be moving in, over the next few weeks. If anyone has the skills of hanging blinds, etc., let her know.
The First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown, May 13, 2018
We met on a rainy Mother's Day morning, also the 50th anniversary of the Dedication of the New Wing of the church building, providing our social hall, offices, kitchen, library, classrooms and kitchen. Thanks to church historian Janet Rust, we were able to hear her reflections and view some memorabilia and photos from that time, and Rev. Chandler included some words and prayers from the dedication service in this morning's worship.
Tom McCoy on piano and Lynn Brown on flute welcomed the congregation musically with a prelude of J.S. Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring", and closed the service with a postlude of Telemann's "Rejoiussance".
There were several announcements (see below) which included this Saturday (May 19) Jazz Vesper at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday's Pentecost celebration with a luncheon to follow, of chili, salads and ice cream sundaes. (Don't forget to WEAR RED!) Prayers were requested for Mike Bell, recovering from hospitalization and rehab care for pneumonia.
Annie Becker was the worship leader, guiding us through the Prayer of Confession, Assurance of Forgiveness, Passing of the Peace and the Responsive Reading from Acts 1. Tom and the choir, again with Lynn on flute, offered "Open Now the Gates of Beauty" for the Introit and "Christ Is Risen" as the anthem for the Seventh Sunday of Easter.
Rev. Chandler, after showing them an old photograph of the church, taught the young people the old finger game, "This is the church, this is the steeple, open the door and see all the people!" She reminded them that each one of them is the church, the church is not a building, it is the people. Sophia and Brooke received the offering while the other children collected quarters for the goat bank.
Rev. Chandler read from the Gospel of John 17:6-19 and shared a story about a couple, leaders of their Washington DC church, who were collecting items to be recycled one early morning and encountered a few homeless men who were looking for food in the same trash cans. One of the homeless gave the man $1 to buy his 'old lady' a cup of coffee at McDonald's down the street. Referring to the Gospel reading, where Jesus talks about his 'joy being complete', Rev. Chandler reflected that the joy is complete in the commandment to love one another, as it cost the homeless man to share the little money he had, and the couple knew 'the awkward joy of being on the receiving end'. May we all be open to opportunities to give and receive love in this world. Alleluia!
* JAZZ VESPERS: The final one for the 2017-18 season is this Saturday, May 19 at 5:30 p.m. featuring Renee Bailey, vocals; Dale Kirkland, trombone; David Winograd, bass/tuba; Rob Scheps, sax/flute; Mike LaRocco, drums, and our own Director of Music, Tom McCoy at the piano. Don't miss it and stay for the wine & cheese reception following!
* PENTECOST Sunday, May 20 - WEAR RED! Join in a luncheon of chili, salads and ice cream with some conversation about our church following the service.
* There is a church group outing to see "The Music Man" at 2 pm at the Depot Theatre on Sunday May 27. The present block of tickets are spoken for, but contact Susan Jordan if you would like to go. firstname.lastname@example.org
* The monthly book group meets on Tuesday May 29 at 7 pm and will discuss "The Boys in the Boat" by Daniel James Brown. This month's meeting is at Lynn Brown's home.
* Donors are needed to cover subsidized Glynwood Farm CSA half shares for our food pantry clients. $100 for a half-share for the season. Contact Andy Reid. email@example.com
Sunday, May 6, 2018
We gathered on this spring Sunday Morning, the Sixth Sunday of Easter, and the "Morning After the Midnight Run", being welcomed into the sanctuary by Gareth Guest on clarinet and Tom McCoy on piano as they improvised on "Precious Lord, Take My Hand". There were, as always, many announcements about activity in the life of 'The Church of the Open Door' (see below).
We sang "Happy Birthday" to Jean Llewellyn, and also to Rosie, who turned 2 this week and came to church with her mom, Allison and grandma Katie. We also acknowledged the birthdays of two who were not present, off celebrating with family - Diana Geller and Greg Smith.
At the close of the announcements, Wally shared a story from the midnight run, in which the last stop was at Francis of Assisi church, where an almost-life-size seated bronze statue of St. Francis was, on a previous run, mistaken for a homeless person and an attempt made to give it a bag of food! Ron shared that the plaque above the statue says "Truly, as you have done it to the least of these,... you have done it to me." -Matthew 25:40, and he added that the church is opposite a firehouse which suffered great loss in 9/11, as well as the loss of a priest from the church who lost his ministering at the 9/11 site. He also mentioned a street friend met on the run at the first stop (upper east side), named 'Precious', showed up at that last stop (near Madison Square Garden),and she complimented our group on how well-organized we were!
Rev. Chandler then guided us to turn our hearts to preparation for worship, to silence our minds, and after the choir's "Alleluia" introit, she led us in the Call to Worship and Opening Prayer. We sang "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling" and Lynn Brown, filling in for the birthday-celebrating Greg Smith, was our worship leader for the Prayer of Confession, Assurance of Grace, Passing of the Peace and Responsive Reading.
Tom and the Choir, again with Gareth on clarinet, offered John Lennon's "Love" as the anthem. Rev. Chandler's youth sermon focused on the phrase "Freely you have received, freely give" explaining that everything we have comes from God, and God only asks us to give back one tenth, as illustrated by a dollar bill and ten dimes. As the offering was received, Tom played "Jean", to honor a special birthday!
The sermon followed Rev. Chandler's reading from the Gospel of John (15:9-17) encouraging us to 'Love One Another". She spoke about the great love of laying down one's life, literally and figuratively, by forgoing sleep to be on the street in the wee hours, and then to come to church in the morning; giving up other opportunities in order to make soup or sandwiches, to prepare bag lunches, to sort and pack clothing; laying down the social calendar to perform tasks in service to others, giving financially. She spoke of going where the people are invisible, not the most inviting, less easy to be around, and when you are there, you're not just helping them, they are helping you so much more.
Other reflections from those on the midnight run were shared, with Sandy speaking about what a moving experience it was, approaching it with open eyes and an open heart, being present and that she observed
a teenager giving out jackets with respect and dignity to those on the street; Lynnette sharing that she had choices on this Sunday morning and was glad she had chosen to come to church because it 'sealed' in her the love and the experiences of the night before; and Susan sharing about she and Annie being assisted making sandwiches by girl scouts, who put the mustard on the bread as smiley faces, wondering "Do you think the people will know"?
We sang "Spirit of the Living God" to lead us into communion, where Deacon Karen Tangen assisted Rev. Chandler serving while Tom and Gareth played a medley of "Let Us Break Bread Together" and "Jesus, Remember Me". The final musical offering of the day was after the benediction, in which Gareth and Tom played "Pie Jesu" from the Requiem by Gabriel Faure.
AND...after coffee hour many ventured out to Glynwood Farm, led by Carolyn Llewellyn, to visit with and snuggle the baby goats and lambs!
* We have a new sexton, Chuck Hustis. Chuck is a familiar, friendly face around Cold Spring. We welcome him and wish him well in his new position. We wish our outgoing sexton, Jonathan Anastasi, well in his new position with the Postal Service.
*Carolyn reminded us that we now have Amelia to provide child care for the littlest ones during the service!
*This Tuesday, May 8, is our monthly church lunch out. Meet at Juanita's on Main Street in Nelsonville at 12:30
*The Food Pantry will be receiving food deliveries from the postal service this Saturday, May 12th. We need volunteers to put away the food they will be bringing in the afternoon.
*Also related to the Food Pantry, Glynwood is offering discounted half-shares to food pantry clients at $100. If you would like to sponsor one, contact Andy Reid.
*PENTECOST is on Sunday May 20. There are order forms for red geraniums to purchase and take home with you after the service; We are encouraged to wear RED, and to stay for a "Tongues of Fire" chili and ice cream sundae luncheon, with a congregational conversation during the meal.
*Join in a church outing to "The Music Man" at the Depot Theatre on Sunday May 27 at 2 pm. Let Susan Jordan know if you are going to attend.
*A forum about the "Poor People's Campaign" was presented at Riverside Church in NYC and is being offered TODAY, Monday, May 7, at the Stony Point Conference Center, 5:30-9. First 2 hours is educuating about poverty in this country next 2 hours is about mobilizing the cause locally. Elise LaRocco offers a ride - can take up to 4 people in my car but is staying for the entire time. To register:
Sunday, April 29, 2018
The weekend of the Fifth Sunday After Easter dawned with rain to encourage blooming of the
Spring flowers and trees and the greening up of the grass.
Wally Becker was at his usual post, greeting folks as they entered and handing out bulletins
with his cheery hello and smile. Tom McCoy prepared us for worship with the Prelude, a sonata by Scarlatti. Rev. Chandler welcomed the congregation to worship, noting that it was not by accident that people had come. There were 3 birthdays to celebrate—Janet Barton, Carolyn Llewellyn, and Bruce Geller; each had their own singing of Happy Birthday. Announcements of the many activities in the life of this church were shared (see below). Tom and the choir sang an Easter hymn ending with Alleluia. After the Call to Worship and Opening Prayer led by Rev. Chandler, we sang ‘Great God Your Love Has Called Us Here,’ a hymn new to the congregation.
Gareth Guest, as Worship Leader, led us in the Prayer of Confession, Assurance of Grace, Passing
of the Peace, and the Responsive Reading (Acts 8:26-40). The choir sang a lively toe-tapping, hand-clapping anthem, ‘The Lord Liveth.’ Rev. Chandler spoke to the children about love, focusing on 1 John 4:19—‘We love because God first loved us.’ She told them that all the kind things they do like pick up trash,
open doors for others, being kind to others they do in love because God first loved them. James Llewellyn and Silas Emig received the offering as the other children collected quarters and Tom played ‘What Does the Lord Require of You’, based on Micah 6:8.
The Scripture readings for the day were John 15:1-8 and 1 John 4:7-21. The reading from John
15 relates that Jesus is the true vine and we are branches, to bear fruit we must abide in Jesus as he abides in us. The reading from 1 John begins ‘Beloved, let us love one another because love is from God…for God is love.’ Rev. Chandler focused on verse 18, ‘There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear….’ Rev. Chandler reminded us that Jesus appeared after his resurrection to Mary, to the disciples in the locked room, and met two disciples on the road to Emmaus. He came in love to ease the fear they felt at losing him, someone they loved. We too fear losing loved ones, but perfect love casts out fear. As Christians, we must work to perfect our love by looking to Jesus who we may meet on our road to Emmaus.
We sang ‘God, Bless Your Church With Strength’ following the sermon and closed with the hymn
’Lord Dismiss Us With Thy Blessing’ after the Prayers of the People. After the Charge and Benediction by Rev, Chandler, Tom played ‘Love’ by John Lennon for the Postlude. We left the sanctuary with love to share during coffee hour.
*Our Annual Farm visit to Glynwood to see baby goats and lambs will be after church on Sunday, May 6. All are invited to join in.
* The Habitat for Humanity Walk for Housing in Newburgh, on Sunday, April 23, raised $55,000, and over $6,000 of that was from Presbybuild contributions. FPCP was represented by 6 walkers!
*The next Midnight Run is Saturday, May 5. Preparations for the Run—sorting clothes, making lunches, etc—will begin at 1 pm on that day.
*The Phase 3 Capital Campaign for renovation of the kitchen is now underway, and funds donated will be gratefully accepted. Be sure to mark donations "Capital Campaign."
*On Sunday, March 20, which is Pentecost, there will be a congregational conversation and chili and ice cream sundae luncheon after church. Wear red!
* Order your red geraniums for Pentecost by Sunday, May 13. Plants are $6.00 each.
*Sign up for the FPCP outing to the Depot Theater to see ‘The Music Man’ on Sunday, May 27, at 2 pm. Please contact Susan Jordan by phone (845-809-5493) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org ) to reserve your
tickets ($20 ea). Reserve early!
*The Book Club will meet on Tuesday, May 29, at 7 pm at Lynn Brown’s home, 31 Yesterday Drive. The book for May is ‘The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics’ by Daniel James Brown. All are welcome to attend.
*There is a photo board available to display a photo of your pets to share with the congregation. You may bring a photo on Sunday or email it to Lynn Brown at email@example.com
Sunday, April 22, 2018
Spring finally arrived in the Hudson Valley, and it was perfect for Earth Day, The Fourth Sunday After Easter, and the Habitat Walk for Housing in Newburgh!
Wally Becker greeted those entering with a friendly smile and a worship bulletin; Rev. Doris Chandler welcomed the congregation, which included Barbara Harrington, on her return from wintering in California. We sang Happy Birthday to Pat Guest, and announcements of activity in the life of the church were shared (see below). Tom and the choir shared an Easter Hymn and sang out "Alleluia" as their introit. Rev. Chandler guided us through the call to worship, opening prayer and into our hymn "God of the Sparrow".
Susan Jordan was the worship leader, who called us to Confession, Assured us of Grace, and led us in Passing the Peace and in our responsive reading from the First Letter of John 3:16-24.The choir's anthem was "Canon of Praise". Rev. Chandler gathered the children for a youth sermon focusing on words of the Psalm: "The Earth is the Lord's and all that is in it..." The children watched as Rev. Chandler emptied a trash bag on to the floor, and as they picked up the items and put them back in the bag, they were told that every space we are in, God is there... let's care for the earth and everyone in it.The offering was received by James and Lucy as the others gathered quarters for the goat bank and Tom played "Homeward Bound".
The scripture reading was from the Gospel of John, 10:11-18 where Jesus explains that he is the good shepherd. Rev. Chandler gave the sermon, which led into the Installation of Deacon Janet Barton, to include reaffirmation of the baptismal covenant. The Installation was followed by the hymn "Here I Am, Lord", prayers, our closing hymn, benediction and Tom's postlude medley for Earth Day, which included "For The Beauty of the Earth". We left the sanctuary for coffee hour, and a team of walkers headed over to Newburgh for the Habitat Walk.
- Our Annual Farm visit to Glynwood to see baby goats and lambs will be after church on Sunday, May 6. All are invited to join in.
- Today's flowers were given by Marilyn Schlosser, in memory of her parents, Leonore and Albert.
- Thanks to Heather Southwell, who is now working with Mona Smith on the newsletter, and will be photographing church events.
- Wally explained our Phase 3 Capital Campaign for renovation of the kitchen is now underway, and funds donated will be gratefully accepted. Be sure to mark donations "Capital Campaign"
- The Book Club is meeting this Tuesday, April 24, at 7 pm at Susan Jordan's home, 8 Blackbird Bay. The discussion will be on "Small, Great Things" by Jodi Picoult. All are welcome to attend. For those who would like to gather for dinner before the meeting, that will be at 5:30 pm at Grano Foccacheria.
- There are sign-ups available for upcoming Habitat (April 28) and Midnight Run (May 5) mission opportunities.
- There is a photo board available to display a photo of your pets to share with the congregation. You may bring a photo on Sunday or email it to Lynn Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Inspiration Garden has begun its new season! Carolyn thanked the Reids for putting up the fencing, and announced that the Girl Scout troop meeting at our church is working on the garden.
Sunday, April 8, 2018
On the Second Sunday of Easter, we were greeted by the sounds of Tom McCoy playing a medley of Easter Hymns for his piano prelude. Rev. Doris Chandler welcomed us and asked for announcements (see below). Roy Smith was congratulated for his 1st place Debate Award, and Sara Dulaney mentioned that the daffodils planted on the hill behind the church by the Sunday School 2 years ago are once again in bloom!
We began worship with Doris' invitation to "Breathe...turn our hearts toward our true home, the One who gives us the breath of life..." and led us in the Call to Worship and Opening Prayer. Tom and the choir offered "O Sons and Daughters, Let Us Sing!" as the introit.
Worship Leader Ron Sopyla led the Prayer of Confession, Assurance of Grace, Passing of the Peace (loud, long, and lively!), and following the Anthem "Thine Is the Glory", he guided our responsive reading of Acts 4:32-35, where we read that "...the believers shared all they had and no one was in need".
Rev. Chandler spoke with the young people about the flowers, showing them a potted tulip plant as a reminder that new things are always happening and that God who loves you so much will always be bringing something wonderful to you. She then pointed to a colorful flower arrangement, telling the children that, just like all of the different colors in the flower arrangement, each of you is unique, and God loves you just the way you are. Doris spoke of them as being God's garden, to which there was a reply, "If all people are God's garden, then God has a REALLY BIG garden!" [Applause!]
The children collected quarters for the Heifer Project goat bank as Silas and James received the offering, and Tom played a rousing jazzy rendition of "Linus and Lucy".
Rev. Chandler read the scripture from John 20: 19-29, where Jesus appeared to the disciples and Thomas, who was not present, was doubtful upon later hearing the story. Jesus appeared again, as Thomas was present, and believed. The sermon focused on Thomas, who was described as a questioner, and one who was theologically astute. Doris said that the church sometimes makes it hard for people to believe, especially young people, who see, as the church talks about love, a wounded world, hungry people, people being shot - the real world. We all come to faith in different ways and have something to offer to the world.
We were invited to celebrate the sacrament of communion "the meal is for all who seek truth and want to know God." Deacon Jean Duncan assisted Rev. Chandler with communion as Tom played a medley of "Let Us Break Bread Together", "Jesus, Remember Me", "Sanctuary" and "Lord, Be Glorified".
We read a version of The Lord's Prayer using a translation from the original Aramaic by Neil Douglas-Klotz, chosen by Renee Cruikshank,
"Radiant One: You shine within us, outside us, even darkness shines as we remember. Focus your light within us, make us useful. Create your reign of unity now! Help us love beyond our ideals and sprout actions of love and compassion for all creatures. Help us fulfill what lies within the circle of our lives: each day we ask no more, no less. Untangle knots within us so that we can mend our hearts' simple ties to others. Don't let surface things delude us, but free us from what holds us back. Truly, power to these statements; may they be the ground from which all our actions grow. Amen."
We heard the words of the benediction, "In this very room, there is enough love for the whole world'. Tom closed with an improvisation on "Alleluia! Alleluia! Give Thanks to the Risen Lord!"
- There is a new 9am Sunday morning Adult Study Series beginning next Sunday, April 15, led by Rev. Chandler, on Walter Brueggemann's book "Interrupting Silence" about speaking truth to power. All are welcome. Copies of the book are available.
- This Tuesday, April 10, is the monthly church lunch out, at 12:30 pm at Whistling Willie's. All are welcome to join in!
- Sunday School teachers are still needed for a few Sundays. We have child care for the littlest ones, every Sunday, provided by Amelia Anastasi.
- The BABIES have been born at Glynwood! Our annual church visit to see the baby goats and lambs, led by Carolyn Llewellyn, will tentatively be on Sunday May 6, following worship and coffee hour.
- Sign up for the Habitat Walk in Newburgh on Sunday April 22 (attached notice), or to work at a Habitat home on Saturday April 28.
- Our Spring Midnight Run is on May 5, and there was a flyer in the bulletin (attached) of items needed.
Sunday, April 1, 2018
We walked into a church decorated with daffodils and tulips on a glorious Easter morning. The congregation filled the pews and were treated to exquisite music from before the service began until they walked out the door. We enjoyed the musical talents of: Rachel Evans and Cynthia Ligenza/violin, Verlain Brunot, viola, Susan Seligman and Carolyn Llewellyn/cello, Rob Scheps/flute and sax, Lynn Brown/flute, and our own wonderful Director of Music, Tom McCoy on piano. In addition to the voices of our always incredible choir, John Cimino graced us with a solo of “The Call” by Ralph Vaughn Williams, as well as his rendition of “How Great Thou Art” by Chris Rice.
Rev. Chandler opened up the service with an enthusiastic “Alleluia!” and noted that everyone was smiling, even if the smile in their hearts had not yet made it up to their faces. Easter is a day to celebrate!! She called for announcements (see below). After Rev. Chandler’s Call to Worship and Opening Prayer, Lynn Brown stood up as Worship Leader and led us in the Prayer of Confession, which included “...Sometimes we want to build shells to protect ourselves from people who come too close, from change that comes too fast, from possibilities that seem too bewildering…Raise us to walk in newness of life through Jesus Christ…” The Chancel Choir and Easter Ensemble then sang and played the “Easter Song” by Anne Herring -- absolutely magnificent!
For the Youth Sermon, Rev. Chandler asked whether the children (and there were many of them!) had seen the enormous moon the previous evening, which she told them is called a Blue Moon. At this point the children seemed to want to conduct the sermon themselves as they had a lot to contribute on this subject, and Rev. Chandler listened. In the end, however, Rev. Chandler managed to make the point that even in darkness, light and love always has the last word. The children ran off happily to the Easter Egg Hunt (Thanks to Claire Reid, Molly Reid, and Julie Geller!).
The Scripture Lesson (John 20:1-18), where Mary Magdalene goes to Jesus’ tomb and finds it empty, was the basis for Rev. Chandler’s sermon. On that first Easter, Mary went in the dark to the graveyard. In her mind, her Rabboni, her teacher, was dead. The risen Jesus, whom she takes for the gardener, asks her “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” But then Jesus calls her by name, and she recognizes him as Jesus. Rev. Chandler said Jesus also knows your name. Are you open to him when he calls you? Jesus told Mary not to hold on to him as he was in transition in ascending into his father’s kingdom. Change was upon her and it was coming too fast. She and the other disciples did not anticipate this resurrection and what would happen thereafter. Jesus was telling her/them and us not to resist change and moving into a new future of new possibilities.
During the offering, the ensemble played Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”. After the Prayers of the People, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Benediction, all joined in to sing the “Hallelujah Chorus” from the The Messiah by Handel. We walked out into the social hall for refreshments and conversation, while the children showed us their findings from the Easter Egg Hunt.
- The current Adult Study, led by Rachel Thompson, on the Lord’s Prayer will finish on April 8 at 9 AM. The next Adult Study on the book Interrupting Silence: God's Command to Speak Out by Walter Brueggemann, will start the following Sunday, April 15, and will be led by Rev. Chandler. Books are available from Lynn Brown.
- The 19th Annual Walk for Housing, is taking place on Sunday, April 22, 2018, from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm, Washington Headquarters Park, Newburgh NY. Info at above website.
- Our next Habitat Workday is Saturday, April 28. Please sign up.
- Remember that Contemplative Prayer takes place every Wednesday at 7 AM in the church library.
- Our next Lunch Bunch luncheon is at Whistling Willies, April 10, at 12:30 PM.
- Ana Silverlinck reminded us that hosting kids this summer for the Fresh Air Fund is coming up. Please contact her email@example.com or her husband, Jeff, about this opportunity and worthy cause.
Church Notes 3/25/18 Palm Sunday
We began Holy Week on a sunny Palm Sunday with a hearty welcome by Rev. Chandler and a call for announcements (below). Mention was made of the previous day’s “March for Our Lives”, attended by many in the church. Annie Becker was surprised by Tom McCoy’s knowledge that it was her birthday (“Who TOLD him?”) and “Happy Birthday” sung by all. Rev. Chandler called us to worship and led the Opening Prayer.
Susan Jordan was the Worship Leader for the day, taking us through our Prayer of Confession (“…Forgive us for squandering the precious time you give us each day to be your…love letter to the world”) and Assurance of Grace calling us to be “merciful in action, kindly in heart, humble in mind”. The choir sang “Draw Nigh to Jerusalem” (David H. Williams) for its anthem. Susan guided us through the Responsive Reading of Mark 11:1-11, where Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a colt with cloaks and palms laid down in his path.
Our “sermon” was the children’s well-practiced and highly anticipated Easter Pageant. Based on “The Lord of the Dance” (Sydney Carter, 1963), the children first danced with blue scarves to symbolize Jesus’ birth and the birth of his ministry. The second dance centered around red scarves showing anger and fear as people did not understand Jesus’ teachings, which did not follow the rules they knew. The black scarf dance signified Jesus’ death and burial, and the final dance of white scarves celebrated his resurrection with hope and peace. The Choir sang the verses telling the story of Jesus and the congregation joined in on the refrains. The final verse: “They cut me down and I leapt up high; I am the life that’ll never, never die; I’ll live in you if you’ll live in me. I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.”
The amazing STARS of the Easter Pageant were: Sophia Taylor, Silas Emig, Brooke Taylor, Christopher Taylor, Kayla Tangen, Natalie Taylor, Sara Emig, Ethan Taylor, and Nicholas Taylor.
Rev. Chandler invited us to the table for our Palm Sunday Communion after prayers of gratefulness and supplication. When we joined hands for benediction, Rev. Chandler reminded us of the importance of the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday (in conjunction with St. Mary’s) services. Then she sent us out into the world with blessings and God’s love for “our most precious lives”.
Tom played Arabesque #1 by Claude Debussy, in honor of Rose Champlin, who joined us in worship today.
- Holy Week:
- March 25 -- The Labyrinth Walk at 6:30 PM Sunday evening;
- March 29 -- Maundy Thursday Soup Supper at 6:30 PM; Tenebrae Service at 7:30 PM
- March 30 -- Good Friday Ecumenical Service at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church at 12 Noon
- April 1 -- Easter Celebration Service at 10:30 AM, with Hallelujah Chorus and music including woodwinds, bass, drums, strings, and piano; Easter Egg Hunt following service.
- March 27 Book Club: 5:30 pm dinner at Juanita’s Kitchen; 7 pm meeting at Cathy Lim’s – 3G Forge Gate Drive, Cold Spring; contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. Book is The Wonder by Emma Donoghue.
The First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown, March 18, 2018
What a weekend we had at The Church of the Open Door!
Tom McCoy gathered wonderful musicians for the Saturday Jazz Vesper and a good crowd enjoyed the music and reception! (There is one more Jazz Vesper this season, on Saturday , May 19 at 5:30, so don't miss it)
On Sunday morning, the children were busy preparing for next Sunday's pageant as we worshipped on the 5th Sunday in Lent. Rev. Doris Chandler welcomed us and we heard announcements (see below) of the activity in this community.
Andy Larivee, as worship leader, guided us into confession, assured us of grace and forgiveness, and led us in the passing of the peace and the responsive reading from Jeremiah 31:31-34. Tom and the choir shared "Jesus walked this Lonesome Valley" for the anthem. Rev. Chandler shared a brief message about the heart with James and Lucy, who then gathered quarters for the goat bank while Susan Jordan and Annie Becker received the offering.
Rev. Chandler read from the Gospel, John 12:20-33 and then gave a reflection on the Jeremiah scripture, about the covenant that God made: "I will write on their hearts; I will be their God and they will be my people". The message of this passage is "Let me love you". Doris asked the question "Can we receive it?" She spoke about the impact of receiving and choosing greeting cards, and she circulated a bookmark that her son had made many years ago for her, showing a mouse and a heart-shaped cheese full of holes, under which he had written the words of John 3:16. Doris reflected that our hearts are 'full of holes'; that we are broken, that we betray and lie and harbor resentment, but that God will take us on a journey to become free of those things. She shared a poem "When it Rained Hearts", which closes with the phrase "...how it rained hearts, nobody knows; still it's a mystery, I suppose".
We shared the sacrament of communion, administered by Rev. Chandler and Jean Duncan, while Tom played "Sanctuary", "Jesus, Remember Me" and "Let Us Break Bread Together". We prayed the Lord's Prayer using an alternate translation from the Aramaic, by Neil Douglas-Klotz. The benediction reminded us that "the service is not ended - it is just beginning", and Rev. Chandler charged us to "go from this place and rain hearts on all those you see!" Tom's postlude was the lovely Gymnopedie by Erik Satie.
The bulletin contained our weekly Lent devotional insert, newsletter (Thanks Joy!) and Holy Week schedule, all attached.
Donations for the Food Pantry were encouraged.
Reminder: you may donate via PayPal to our church, Food Pantry, or Capital Campaign on our website www.presbychurchcoldspring.org
Mission opportunities with Habitat and Midnight Run are coming up: Beautiful Day Habitat bus tour this Saturday; Habitat Walk for Housing April 22; Habitat Workday April 28 and Midnight Run May 5. Signup sheets are posted for events.
Attendance was encouraged at events this week: Haldane School fundraising concert at the Town Crier on Thursday 3/22, a concert at St. Mary's next Sunday afternoon, and our Labyrinth Walk here on Sunday 3/25 at 6:30 p.m.
The First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown, Sunday March 11, 2018
It was a beautiful sunny day with the snow clumps continuing to diminish and Daylight Savings Time in place. Rev. Chandler welcomed us and asked for announcements (below). We sang Happy Birthday to Renee, with gusto. Rev. Chandler led the Call to Worship and the Opening Prayer, saying “When we are sick unto death, you admit us to spiritual ICU and restore us.” Josh Emig served as the Worship Leader for the day. The choir sang an anthem by Ricky Manalo, “In These Days of Lenten Journey”.
For the Youth Sermon, Rev. Chandler had an audience of one, a very pleased Lucy. The other children were practicing for the Easter pageant. As Lucy pointed to countries on a map, Rev. Chandler asked her, “Do you think that God loves the people who live there?” And Lucy responded with a resounding “Yes!”. She was right every time.
Josh led us in the Responsive Reading of Numbers 21:4-9, dealing with the Israelites' complaints about serpents biting them in the wilderness, until Moses consulted with God to find a fix (a bronze serpent which when gazed upon would cure snakebites). The Scripture Lesson, John 3:14-21, played off the Old Testament reading, saying that just as Moses had held up the bronze snake so his people would live, “…God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
In her sermon Rev. Chandler put us into the minds of the people on their exodus from Egypt – hungry, thirsty, tired, hot, and angry that they were stuck out in the desert with only manna to eat, and now they were being bitten by snakes and dying. Why was this better than what they had known in Egypt? Leaders told Moses that he needed to do something and do it quickly or have a mutiny on his hands. Moses prayed and followed God’s advice about putting a bronze snake on a pole. Rev. Chandler said this sounds like a silly idea, yes? Who knew that many years later, this story would be linked to one of the most important passages in the New Testament in John – “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”Both scriptures hinge on belief.
Rev. Chandler asked, “Do we really believe?”She explained that Lent is a time of journeying, listening, questioning. It is a time to take an inventory of our faith. It is a time to go to the foot of the cross, to feel the discomfort, to examine our own broken places. What are we complaining about, how do we need to be mended? Whatever has come undone, whatever has broken – it is no match for God’s love.
After the Benediction, (where we learned that Joy had just returned from her sojourn in Mexico), Tom delivered a lively rendition of “Go Down, Moses, Way Down in Egypt Land” for our Postlude.
Jazz Vespers is taking place this Saturday, March 17, at 5:30 pm, (which also happens to be St. Patrick’s Day – green wine for the reception??) Featured artists are vocalist, Tony Jefferson, Tony DePaolo, guitarist, Rob Scheps on sax and flute, Lew Scott on bass, and our own incomparable Tom McCoy at the piano and leading the band. Don't miss it!
NEWS FROM HABITAT FOR HUMANITY of GREATER NEWBURGH:
The “Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" bus tour of the Habitat Houses in Newburgh (90 houses have been built so far!!) is taking place on March 24, from 11am-12 noon. See Bulletin Board in the Social Hall or the Habitat website for information and to sign up http://habitatnewburgh.org/
The 19th Annual Habitat Walk for Housing, is taking place on Sunday, April 22, 2018, from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm, Washington Headquarters Park, Newburgh NY. Info at above website.
Our next Habitat Workday in Newburgh is on Saturday, April 28. Leave from the church at 7:30 a.m. Return 1:30 p.m. A sign up sheet is posted.
Renee reminded us to bring in 40 items for the Food Pantry, as is our Lenten tradition.
Sara Dulaney asked people to sign up for weekly church flowers (signup sheet in Social Hall). She also called attention to the fact that Cold Spring Florist is now donating floral arrangements for those Sundays when no one in the church is providing flowers. Thank you, Cold Spring Florist!
The church book club is meeting on March 27, to discuss the book The Wonder by Emma Donoghue. We will meet for dinner at 5:30 pm, but we haven’t yet decided where. The club is now scheduled to meet at Cathy Lim’s apartment, 3G, on Forge Gate Drive.
The Lunch Bunch is meeting for lunch at the Depot Restaurant in Cold Spring on Tuesday, March 13, at 12:30 PM. All are welcome to join us!
Two weeks ago, Rachel Thompson alerted us to a women’s drumming group (bring buckets and wooden spoons) that is called “The Persisters” and plan to play at marches and protests (see event below). Their next practice is today at our church at 3 PM. A number of church members/friends have joined.
On March 24, a protest, March for Our Lives, is planned in Washington D.C. calling for legislation that addresses gun violence. On the same day, mid-Hudson Valley residents have organized a satellite march starting at 11 AM on the Walkway Over the Hudson. Sign-ups at https://event.marchforourlives.com/event/march-our-lives-events/9454/signup/?akid=&zip=
Easter Flowers: You may order mini-daffodils or tulips to decorate the sanctuary for Easter Sunday, and then take them home following the service. Order form is attached.
Also attached is a copy of our weekly devotional insert for Lent.
LOOKING AHEAD TO HOLY WEEK:
Palm Sunday, March 25:
Children's Easter Pageant during 10:30 am worship. Labyrinth Walk in the social hall at 6:30 p.m.
Maundy Thursday, March 29:
Come and share a soup supper at 6:30 p.m. and then worship with candlelight, music, readings and communion at 7:30 p.m. to commemorate the Last Supper and Jesus' arrest and crucifixion.
Easter Sunday, April 1:
Alleluia! Festive Worship at 10:30 a.m. with guest musicians, concluding with the congregation singing the "Hallelujah Chorus"
The First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown, March 4, 2018
On the Third Sunday in Lent, the 'calm which followed the storm', we were welcomed by Parish Associate Rev. Rachel Thompson "to this warm and lighted place, where we open ourselves to each other and to God."
Rachel explained that she was filling in for Rev. Chandler, who remained in Alabama, and asked prayers for Doris and her dog Pete who required some more testing at his Alabama vet. We were glad that they were not traveling back to us in the middle of this Nor'easter which brought snow and wind and many downed trees and power lines to our area. We also prayed for the family in Putnam Valley who lost an 11 year old son as a tree fell on their house in the storm, for those still without power, and for all who worked through the storm and continue to work on restoration and cleanup.
Tom and the choir presented a verse of "What Wondrous Love is This" as the introit, and later they were joined by Lynn Brown on flute for the anthem "In Remembrance".
Andy Reid, as our worship leader, guided us through confession and assurance of forgiveness, into the passing of the peace and our responsive reading from Exodus 20, of the Ten Commandments. There was no youth sermon, as the children were out for pageant rehearsal, though Lucy did collect quarters for the goat bank! We offered our gifts, and Rachel read a section of the Gospel of John, chapter 2, where an angry Jesus overturns tables and chases the moneychangers out of the temple.
The sermon, "So There!", began with Rachel's account of one Wednesday morning prayer group meeting a couple of weeks ago, when, following a somewhat gloomy conversation about the state of the world, a member read a passage of Henri Nouwen's writing which ended with: "...we belong to God, and the God to whom we belong has sent us into the world to proclaim in [God's] name that all of creation is created in and by love and calls us to gratitude and joy..." and the reader followed with the statement "So there!" after which the group (and the congregation this morning) burst into laughter!
Rachel shared a quote of Wendell Berry, "Be joyful, though you have considered all of the facts". Spirit within is a source of renewable joy for us no matter what the exterior circumstances are. She spoke of how Jesus, in the scripture, was outraged that he had come to a sacred place to worship, only to discover that worship had become a meaningless empty ritual and he wanted to wake them up to the facts.
Rachel posed the questions: What do WE need to wake up to? What are WE called to do? Aren't we called to welcome the stranger, to care for the most vulnerable? God created everything and called it good, aren't we called to care for the creation, and "Do not kill", as we read in Exodus this morning? Yet we are faced with actions in our nation which go against those teachings. She spoke of how the distress may be different for each of us, but we all experience it, and we are called to speak truth to power, to work with others, to make a place at the table for ALL of God's children.
How do we follow the angry Jesus? How do we "be joyful..."? Rachel suggested that we use the power we have to make positive changes in the world. We are called to love God, and to be grateful for and to enjoy our lives. She gave the example of Bishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama, both of whom have experienced devastating circumstances in their lives, but they came together to write "The Book of Joy". Terrible things happen in our lives and in the world around us. Nevertheless, we can be aware of and embody beauty, compassion, love, and gratitude. In that spirit, Rachel led us in a "So there" litany, where people shared a joy or gratitude, followed by the response from the congregation "So there!"
We shared in prayer and the sacrament of communion, we sang "Here I Am, Lord" and joined hands around the sanctuary for the benediction, in which we were charged to "follow the angry Jesus; let your righteous anger lead you to do more that just complain... 'be joyful, though you have considered all of the facts' and may the light of God shine on you, in you and through you". All God's people said "So there!" and Tom closed with an improvisation on "Riders In The Storm" as the postlude.
Next Sunday, March 11, we begin Daylight Savings Time, so set your clocks ahead on Saturday night, and don't be late for church! (or the Adult Study at 9 am if you're attending that!)
The 40 days of Lent calls us to donate 40 of something to the Food Pantry...maybe 40 rolls of toilet paper!
We were reminded to take the Lent Devotional insert from our bulletin (attached) with us to reflect on during the week.
There was an insert to order Easter flowers (also attached) by March 18,which you may complete and mail to the church office at FPCP 10 Academy Street, Cold Spring NY 10516, or place in the offering plate for the next two Sundays. Your tulip or mini-daffodil order beautifies the sanctuary for Easter Sunday and then is yours to take home!
A reminder that you may reach Rev. Chandler by email at email@example.com
We walked into dark church on a dark and rainy day. The village had lost electricity at 9 AM from a downed tree on Route 9D. We moved the piano and choir to the “window side” of the church so they could see their music, and the congregation followed suit. But then Rev. Chandler walked into the sanctuary, and suddenly the church lit up -- followed by laughter and then applause!! An amazing start to for an amazing service.
Rev. Chandler called for announcements (below) and led the Call to Worship and Opening Prayer. Cathy Carnevale, as Worship Leader, took us through the Prayer of Confession, confessing that we spend much time with our smart phones, but little time on God. “Forgive us for making you our Sunday God, instead of the God of our lives.” We were assured of God’s grace and passed the peace. After the choir’s anthem, we focused on Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16, where God establishes his covenant with Abraham and Sarah and promises that they will become parents of many nations and kings.
The Youth Sermon had the children standing with arms outreached to be living and walking crosses. Rev. Chandler showed them that if they swung their arms, they could also make waves. She charged them to go out into the world and make waves – loving waves – every day.
Rev. Chandler read Mark 8:31-38, where Jesus predicts the suffering he must go through before his death, including rejection by the elders and chief priests. Peter, who saw Jesus as the mythical messiah who would overthrow the existing political system and all would bow down to him as the messiah, takes Jesus aside and rebukes him. But Jesus sets Peter straight, telling him that if you want to follow me, you will have to suffer. So along with the joys and blessings of being a disciple of Jesus, Peter learns that Jesus’s path is quite different than the mythical path that Peter had assumed. Jesus wants followers to recognize that suffering is a large part of the equation if you choose to follow him. The question now is – as a disciple, can you handle it? As a disciple you are a servant of God. You do not try to tame God, just to follow and walk humbly with God.
Following prayers and Communion, Rev. Chandler sent all of us out into the world to make waves.
For our benediction, Rev. Chandler asked that Lynn, Norm, Jr., and Ami stand in the middle of our circle, but all of us touching, as we offered blessings for them and for their trip (see announcement and video below). They were traveling after the service to the West Point Ring Memorial ceremony -- where past graduates’ rings are donated and melted down to make class rings for the following year’s graduating class. This ceremony is now a tradition to signify that each class stands on the shoulders of former West Point graduates – the Long Grey Line. Norm’s ring is being donated.
For the Postlude, Tom played Debussy’s “Clair de Lune”, which he had played on the occasion of Norm and Lynn’s 10th wedding anniversary when they had renewed their marriage vows.
- For Lent, we have a tradition of asking people to donate 40 items to the Food Pantry – one item for each day of Lent. It can be food, toiletries, paper products or anything that might count for 40 items, like 40 pounds of rice.
- Carolyn Llewellyn thanked everyone who participated in the past Wednesday’s meeting at Haldane school regarding the proposed safe storage for firearms law.
- Carolyn also mentioned the Haldane High School production of Les Miserables coming up on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, as well as the March 22, Haldane Talent Night at the Town Crier that is a fundraiser for the Haldane School Foundation. Church members take part in both events, but in any case, Haldane music and theatrical productions are always phenomenal!
- Additionally, at 2 pm today Carolyn is giving a lecture at the Butterfield Library, entitled “Experiences of a Local Teacher at the Famed Hog Island Audubon Camp in Maine”.
- The Episcopal Church of St. Mary’s in the Highlands has been struggling financially for a long while. A benefit concert is taking place on March 25th with some of our church members playing.
- The Lent Study on the book Prayers of the Cosmos led by Rachel Thompson, will continue (3rd week) on March 4 at 9 am.
- Our church Book Club meets at Riverview at 5:30 PM for dinner and 7 PM at Cathy Carnevale’s house, 10 Fair Street, Cold Spring, to discuss Learning to Walk in the Dark, by Barbara Brown Taylor. You do not need to go to both the dinner and meeting. Please come to both or either, whether or not you’ve read the book. We promise you’ll learn something new.
- Rachel Thompson alerted us to a women’s drumming group (bring buckets and wooden spoons) that is practicing this afternoon at the Old VFW in Cold Spring at 3 PM. They are called “The Persisters” and plan to play at marches and protests. Their next practice is the following Saturday, March 3rd.
- Lynn Brown, Norm, Jr., and Ami are leaving today for a West Point Ring Memorial. Norm Brown’s Class of 1969 ring is being donated, along with many others, to make class rings for the Class of 2019. Here is a short video about the West Point Ring Memorial from last year's event which used the gold for the class of 2018 rings. http://www.vimeo.com/217191685
The First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown, February 18, 2018
An overnight snow, giving way to a sunny morning, greeted us on the first Sunday of Lent. We gathered for worship with heavy hearts after yet another school shooting this week, in Parkland, Florida.
Rev. Doris Chandler welcomed us, and led us through announcements (see below), the Call to Worship, Opening Prayer and into our Hymn of Praise. Worship Leader Lynn Brown led us into the prayer of confession saying "You can't have the rainbow without the rain; you can't have Easter without Lent, and you can't have forgiveness without confession"
We prayed, were assured of God's grace, sang "Sanctuary" and passed the peace. Tom and the choir offered a rousing rendition of "Down By The Riverside" for the anthem. Our responsive reading was from Genesis 9:8-17, the promise of God symbolized by the rainbow.
Rev. Chandler guided the young people in a recitation of a verse from Psalm 139, about being "wonderfully made". She assured them of their unique and wonderful qualities (just like snowflakes!) and suggested that they remember that every time they look in a mirror this week!
The scripture lesson, from Mark 1:9-15, was interpreted by Rev.Chandler, as she spoke of Jesus' baptism when the heavens were "torn apart", and the "spirit descending on him like a dove". She suggested a better translation may be descended INTO him, as it was a driving, energetic spirit, propelling him into the wilderness. Jesus in the wilderness models for us how the spirit comes into our lives when we say "yes" to God; it does something in our lives. Rev. Chandler spoke passionately about the massacre in Florida, and what we can do - where the spirit drives and compels us, perhaps to speak truth to power, fight against the greed that seems so prevalent. To be active in our community as the safe storage of guns is discussed this week. She held up Carolyn as one of our elders who heeds the call of the spirit in her to speak up for justice and change. Finally, Rev. Chandler asked the questions, "How might God be calling you into wilderness places?" and 'What can you and I do in the name of God?"
We shared communion, prayed, and sang "Together We Serve". In the benediction we were charged that the service is "just beginning" and to take our unique gifts into the world, into the wilderness moments of the coming week.
Tom McCoy offered a piano postlude of Chopin's "Mazurka" in a minor, and we continued into the day and week ahead.
We are now the recipient of flowers for the worship service donated by Mary Supino at Cold Spring Florist, for Sundays when we do not have flowers provided by a church member. Stop by 159 Main Street or call 845-809-5588 when you need flowers, and be sure to thank her for adding beauty to our worship services!
There is a public hearing by the Philipstown Town Board on safe storage of firearms this Wednesday, February 21 at 7:30 p.m.in the Haldane School Auditorium.
There was a Lenten Devotional insert in the bulletin for use in the coming week (attached to this email).
The Adult Study group began a Lent series today, led by Parish Associate Rev. Rachel Thompson, on the book, "Prayers of the Cosmos" by Neil Douglas-Klotz, which is a study of The Lord's Prayer in Aramaic. The series continues at 9 am on Sunday mornings.
It was suggested to donate "40 items" to the Food Pantry for Lent. Rice and soups are always welcomed.
The First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown - February 11, 2018
The day was rain-soaked, but it was dry and sunny in the church when Sandy Barton walked in, less than two weeks since his stroke! He received many hugs and then thanked everyone for their prayers and kindnesses during his illness. Rev. Chandler led us into the Call to Worship and Opening Prayer. Susan Jordan, our Worship Leader, guided us through the Prayer of Confession, asking God that we be transfigured “to reflect your love for all creation…for the world.” The choir sang an old Shaker hymn, “Simple Gifts” for its anthem, with Tom’s
expressive piano interlude.
Rev. Chandler defined the concept of “transfiguration” in the Children’s Sermon, saying that “something happens to you and you’re never the same after that”. In today’s scripture lesson, Jesus goes to the top of a mountain and his garment turned a dazzling white, so she asked the children if they knew about bleach and they actually did!! She gave the each of the children a little game/puzzle booklet
and dismissed them to Sunday School as “dear children of God.”
The Scripture Lesson of Mark 9:2-9 deals with Jesus’ transfiguration. Rev. Chandler explained her own transfiguration some years ago where the church she attended dealt too much with guilt, judgement and shame, which did not fit her image of a loving God. Almost by accident, she happened one Sunday to go into a nearby Presbyterian church. They simply said “we’re glad you’re here”. Maya Angelou once said, “At the end of the day people won't remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” Rev. Chandler said she felt warm and accepted, and she was transfigured. She asked the congregation, “Do you remember when you were transfigured?”
So we would not miss it, Rev. Chandler also contrasted what God said to Jesus when he was baptized -- identifying Jesus as God’s beloved son,
in whom God was well pleased. In Mark 9, God again identifies Jesus as His beloved son, but this time God implores the listeners to “Listen to him”. God is
saying to Peter, James, and John, this is THE guy and you need to listen to what he says and follow him. This is an important shift and distinction in this transfiguration passage. Finally, in closing, Rev. Chandler acknowledged that Ash Wednesday services are often poorly attended because people do not wish to face mortality and suffering, but it is important to sit with this side of Christ’s life to fully experience the glory of Easter. Please come.
After prayers, we went into our Benediction, but first Rev. Chandler introduced us to a new word (for some): cattywampus. She said that the irregular circle we form every Sunday for the Benediction was a cattywampus “O”. It means “askew” or “awry”. So now we know. Alleluia! Amen.
Tom played a beautiful rendition of “We Are One in the Spirit” for the postlude.
The next Lunch Bunch luncheon is at Whistling Willie’s this Tuesday, February13, at 12:30 PM.
Carolyn Llewellyn shared flyers regarding a meeting on Wed 2/21 at Haldane school regarding safe storage for firearms. Carolyn told us about the March 22, Talent Night at the Town Crier that is a fundraiser for the Haldane School Foundation. A number of the church members take part and it is always much fun!
Carolyn is also giving a lecture at the Butterfield Library at 2 PM on February 25th, entitled “Experiences of a Local Teacher at the Famed Hog Island Audubon
Camp in Maine”. It is a place where anyone who wants to learn all about birding can go.
The Episcopal Church of St. Mary’s in the Highlands has been struggling financially for a long while. A benefit concert is taking place on March 25th with some of our church members playing.
The Lent Study on the book "Prayers of the Cosmos" led by Rachel Thompson, begins on Feb.18 at 9 am. Contact Lynn Brown if you need a copy of the book. Lent begins on Wednesday, February 14 with our soup supper at 6:45 p.m. followed by a service of Taize music, imposition of ashes, and communion at 7:30 p.m. Please come – not only are the soup and bread home made, but this is such a meaningful service.
During the month of February, there is a board featuring some Capital Campaign project suggestions for Phase 3, and an opportunity to register a vote for your preferred project.
The First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown – Sunday,
January 28, 2018:
It was a beautiful, mild day, and a very busy church! [See
announcements below] Today was the day of our Annual
Congregational Meeting, which followed the service, so Reverend Chandler said
she was respectful of people’s time and would try to keep the service short,
but, oh, what a service! The choir sang
a beautiful rendition of “Lord Jesus Christ Be Present Now”, a hymn by Wilhelm
II, Duke of Sachs-Weimar first published in 1651. Ron Sopyla led us in the
Prayer of Confession, Assurance of Grace and into our always joyful Passing of
the Peace. He then took us through the
Responsive Reading of I Corinthians 8:1-13, a difficult passage, on which Rev.
Chandler’s sermon was based. But first
the children had another lesson on Rev. Chandler’s stole, this time focusing on
the red flames, which she explained stand for the spirit of God that is always
present throughout the world and in us.
As the children collected quarters during the offertory, they filled up the goat bank to purchase our 10th goat through the Heifer project. As Rev. Chandler loves to sing: "Goats, Tell it on the Mountain!"
In her abbreviated sermon, Rev. Chandler acknowledged that
Paul’s message in I Corinthians 8 is difficult to discern, but it is simple. It’s about how we “show up” in any
community. What Paul is trying to say is
that if you are trying to be “right” or on the “side of right” in all matters,
then you are missing what God is teaching.
Instead, you should be basing your life on doing things out of
love. Consider this as you make your
decisions or speak your voice, do I need to be right in the next thing I do or
say, or am I acting out of love. God
calls us all to love.
We welcomed Barry and Jean Llewellyn as new church members by
letter of transfer from the West Side Presbyterian Church in Ridgewood, NJ. Both Barry and Jean have been singing in our
choir since they moved to Cold Spring a few months ago and we are so pleased
that they are now members!
Prayers of the People concentrated on a number of persons
close to us who are suffering health issues. Rev. Chandler then led our hand-holding
Benediction closing with an “Alleluia!! Amen”.
Tom played a beautiful Postlude and then, without further ado, we went
into our Annual Congregational Meeting.
Lynn Brown handed out the packets of reports from all the
church committees and the pastor. If you
were not present, please ask for one. Tom talked about the music program. Unlike most years past, Lynn asked each
Committee Chair if they wanted to point out highlights of their reports which
was heartwarming to hear all our church does for others and the hard work that
goes into it. As Norm used to say, our
church is healthy. New Elders (Carolyn
Llewellyn, Gareth Guest, Susan Jordan, and Mona Smith) and Deacons (Andrea
Bach, Janet Barton, and Renee Cruikshank) were voted in and we thanked those
retiring (Elders Joy Albrecht, Mitch Dul and Tess Dul, and Deacons Carolyn
Llewellyn and Marilyn Schlosser) for all
they have done. Rev. Rachel Thompson was acknowledged for all of her
contributions in the past year, and Rev. Chandler announced that she had
invited Rachel to be a Parish Associate once again, and looks forward to
sharing in the ministry with her. In the end we gave Lynn Brown a standing
ovation for, well, everything -- for taking us through this transition to a new
pastor, for overseeing church administration, for work with the Presbytery, for
all the thankless things she does on behalf of this church – this is our chance
to say thank you. Here is the closing quote from her
Annual Clerk’s report:
“Community is like a large mosaic.
Each little piece seems so insignificant. As individual stones, we can do
little with them except compare them and judge their beauty and value. When,
however, all these little stones are brought together in one big mosaic
portraying the face of Christ, who then would ever question the importance of
any one of them? If one of them, even the least spectacular one, is missing,
the face is incomplete. Together in one mosaic, each little stone is
indispensable and makes a unique contribution to the glory of God. That’s
community, a fellowship of little people who together make God visible in the
J.M. Nouwen, Can You Drink The Cup?
was back in church after her long convalescence and looking good!! She
thanked everyone for cards, visits, and phone calls while she healed.
Sunday school teachers are still needed for a few Sundays before the Easter pageant rehearsals
begin. And thanks to Diana Geller for taking the lead on the March 25 pageant.
Sign up sheet in Social Hall.
Carolyn alerted us to three
upcoming events – 1) the balloon
test from 8-10 am at the Cold Spring Cemetery to demonstrate the
height of the cell tower now under consideration. The cell tower would look like a very
tall pine tree above the tree line. 2) a 2 PM lecture today 1/28 at
Butterfield Library on Purple Martins.
These birds had died out in this area and now we have 50 mating
pairs. 3) a meeting on February 21
on mandating gun storage, at Haldane.
Flyers available in Social Hall.
We are still in the first month of 2018 and already there have been
13 school shootings.
We now have child care for the youngest thru
kindergarten available before and during the service.
There is a board with envelopes
in the Social Hall for voting on Capital Campaign projects. Andy Reid
explained that Phases 1 and 2 of the Capital
Campaign were to address needs.
Now we are dealing with “wants”.
We will vote to set priorities.
You can vote through the end of February. Take a red ticket from
the bottle and put in the envelope of your choice. One vote per person.
February 14, will begin with a Soup and Bread dinner at 6:45 PM, followed
by the 7:30 PM service. This is
Rev. Chandler’s first Ash Wednesday with us. Please join in this meaningful service
that initiates the Lenten Season.
The church library has been cleaned out, resulting in many books,
including Bibles, children’s books, novels, even a dictionary, being
removed. All will be on a table in
the Social Hall next Sunday. Take
what you want. The rest will be
The next Lunch Bunch is
February 13, 12:30 PM, at Whistling Willie’s.
Next Sunday is the final Adult Study on the Reza Aslan
book, God, A Human History. Adult Study will take a recess for a
week and then, starting February 18, start on Prayers of the Cosmos:
Meditations on the Aramaic words of Jesus by Neil
Douglas-Klotz. This study will be
led by Rachel Thompson.
The evening Book Group is reading “Learning to
Walk in the Dark” by Barbara Brown Taylor.
The group will meet on at 7 PM Tuesday, February 27, at Cathy
Carnevale’s, with a 5:30 PM pre-dinner at Riverview.
First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown - Sunday January 21, 2018
This morning began with the official announcement of the 189th annual meeting of the congregation, scheduled for next Sunday, January 28, immediately following worship, for the purpose of electing elders and deacons, and receiving the 2017 committee reports. Packets of Annual Reports are available after today's service to take home and read. Other announcements follow below.
Tom and the choir offered the introit "Great is the Lord" and the anthem "Help Us Accept Each Other". Worship Leader Andy Reid led us in the prayer of confession, assurance of forgiveness, passing of the peace, and the responsive reading, from the Book of Jonah 3:1-10.
Rev. Chandler continued her series of introducing the young people to the symbols within the Presbyterian seal by once again showing them her stole (and assuring them that it was not stolen!) and looking in the design at the book, the symbol of the Bible. The young people collected quarters for the goat bank (which is ALMOST FULL!!!!) as James and Silas received the morning offering while Tom played a rousing version of "I'm Gonna Live so God can Use Me".
Rev. Chandler read from the Gospel of Mark (1:14-20), about Jesus calling the first disciples, and then preached on the Jonah story from the responsive reading. She said that the story of Jonah and the whale could be looked at in several ways, for example, as a parable (a story that's got a point), as an allegory (story with hidden meanings) or as historically accurate, and left it up to the individuals to decide how they would view this story. Rev. Chandler gave a re-telling of the story of Jonah and then focused on the last verse, where God changed God's mind and did not bring the threatened calamity to the people of Nineveh. She asked us to consider the questions about whom we might wish the wrath of God to be directed to, and to believe that God is amazing, that God shows up, that God can make things happen, and she pointed to the "Believe" rock, perhaps we can believe that God loves us, that God loves this church, that God is doing something special here. And we sang "Amazing Grace".
We prayed for those who are ill, and for those who have recovered from illness, for traveling mercies for those headed to other parts of the world. We shared the final hymn, "We Are Your People", gathered in a circle for the benediction, and Tom played a lovely improvisation of "The Gift of Love" as the postlude.
- Hannah Bissinger turns 12 this week! We sang Happy Birthday to her!
- Rachel Thompson became a grandmother this week as her son and daughter-in-law in Seattle welcomed daughter Chloe Grace!
- Following the service, we learned that it was Cathy Lim's birthday and sang to her, wishing her well as she travels to Egypt!
- We now have child care for the youngest thru kindergarten available before and during the service.
- There was gratitude shared from Marilyn Schlosser, via her sister Joan, who said how much Marilyn appreciated cards, calls and visits.
- Sunday school teachers are still needed for a few Sundays before the Easter pageant rehearsals begin. And thanks to Diana Geller for taking the lead on the pageant.
- At coffee hour, we were surprised by a quick visit from CJ Geller, traveling through on his way to his next Navy coursework in upstate NY.
"In our lives... in our homes... in our church... in our world, Lord, be glorified today."
Church Notes 1/14/18
Another cold day, but we were warmed by the Prelude played by Lynn Brown on flute and Tom McCoy on piano – “Suite Antique” by John Rutter. Rev. Chandler welcomed us to the service and called for announcements (see below). After the Call to Worship and our Opening Prayer, Andy Larivee, as Worship Leader, led us in our Prayer of Confession and into the Passing of the Peace. The choir’s anthem – “Be Still My Soul”, by Jean Sibelius (music) and Katharina von Schlegel (lyrics) was perfectly lovely, accompanied by Lynn and Tom. Andy then led the Responsive Reading of 1 Samuel 3:1-20, where the boy, Samuel, is called several times by the Lord, but Samuel assumes it is his father in the other room, until Samuel’s father tells his son how to answer God’s call.
In beginning the Youth Sermon Rev. Chandler asked the children if they knew what the name was of the garment that hangs from her neck every Sunday in church. She explained that it is called a stole, and asked them to tell her what they saw on it. They saw a cross, a dove and fire. She explained that when Jesus was baptized, the holy spirit descended upon him in the form of a dove. The children explained to her that the dove also means “peace”.
Rev. Chandler read John 1:43-51, the story of Jesus calling Philip and Nathanael, and she asked the congregation to repeat aloud Jesus’s request to Philip to “Follow me” and then Philip’s invitation to Nathanael to “come and see” Jesus for himself. For the adult sermon, Rev. Chandler told her own story of when she had been called to come to our church. She prayed that people would want to come to our church. Since she has moved to Cold Spring she has been offering an invitation to people she meets that they may want to “come and see” the First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown. They may like it or they may not. She gives no sales pitch, no promise of reward. Just “come and see”. Ron Sopyla volunteered that he had heard her say to people, “Come and see what we love.” Are we, as well, offering this invitation for others to drop by and see if this is a place that will suit them, a place they need to be, a place they will love as we do?
For the Prayers of the People, there was a lot of positive prayers: traveling mercies for Joy’s trip, celebration for a family member becoming a new U.S. citizen, a new phase of training and growth. Rachel Thompson mentioned that her brother, who had become mysteriously paralyzed some months ago, was now walking. In the midst of his illness she had told him that our church was praying for him. While mentioning that her brother was never a church-goer, Rachel shared a note he had thought to write to us thanking us for the positive prayers, saying that he was much better, and reminding us to never underestimate the power of positive thoughts. Nice.
After the Benediction, Lynn and Tom had one last treat for us in the Postlude, a serene Bach piece, entitled “Siciliano”. We are praying for more Lynn/Tom duets in our future. Please.
- Joy Albrecht called for all entries for the February-March Newsletter to be submitted to her immediately, as she is going on travel at the end of the coming week and needs to have this done before she goes.
- Food Pantry in need of supplies. This week is ShopRite’s CanCan Sale. Progresso soups are on sale and other canned items. No tomato soup, please.
- Yesterday’s Habitat workday, January 13, went very well. We’ll let you know when the next one is scheduled.
- The Memorial Service for Mary Lou Matthews, friend and former choir member, is taking place in the church today at 1:30 pm, with a reception to follow.
- The third session of the Adult Study Group will take place at 9:00 am next Sunday morning, January 21, focusing on Part 2 of God: A Human History By Reza Aslan. We had a very lively discussion this morning on Part 1.
- Please sign up to be a Sunday School teacher this winter. It is rewarding and sometimes the kids teach you!
- Rene Bailey, who has sung at a number of FPCP Jazz Vespers, recently released a CD. Anyone wishing to hear or purchase it can contact Cathy Carnevale. Copies are $10 apiece.
- The Book Group is meeting for dinner at Cathryn’s at 5:30 pm Monday evening, January 15, with the actual meeting taking place at Cathy Lim’s apartment, 3G, Forge Gate Drive, Cold Spring. There is parking for visitors in front of her apartment and in spaces in the parking lot marked with a “V”. The book is The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. Please come whether or not you have read the book and join the discussion.
- Next Sunday, January 21, the Session is meeting after the church service.
- Also next Sunday, we will have the packets available for the Annual Congregational Meeting taking place on January 28. The packets contain annual reports from all the church committees and other information for the annual meeting. Please take the time to read through the packet and bring it with you for the annual meeting.
The First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown - January 8, 2018
Another day in the Arctic tundra (aka: Cold Spring) and a large turnout for such a morning of subzero temperatures. Reverend Chandler welcomed us and expressed wonderment that her Alabama-born-and-bred 2004 Ford Expedition ignition actually responded in this cold. Staying on the weather theme, she reminded us that Nor’easters – even in their power and ferocity – harbor a certain beauty if we look for it.
Announcements followed (see below), including a big happy birthday for Tom McCoy, and we were called to worship by Rev. Chandler. Susan Jordan as Worship Leader led us in the Prayer of Confession, Assurance of Grace, the Passing of the Peace, and the Responsive Reading of Isaiah 60:1-6. The Choir sang the Coventry Song, which you may know by the lyrics “Bye, bye, Thou Little Tiny Child / Bye, bye, lullee lullay…” as its anthem.
Rev. Chandler entertained the children during their sermon with a box. She said the wise men brought baby Jesus gold, frankincense and myrrh. We know there were three gifts but scripture doesn’t tell us how many wise men there were. She asked the children what they might give as a gift to Jesus. They eagerly opened the box that contained a heart, to much excitement and commentary on what this meant!! In a moment they dispersed to collect quarters for goats.
Rev. Chandler, in reading the scripture lesson (Matthew 2:1-12) on the Epiphany for the adult sermon, educated us on the origin of frankincense and myrrh which come from the bark of two different types of trees and what they were used for. They were very expensive and precious, as was gold and, thus, good gifts for this young “king of the Jews”. She also explained that “epiphany” in this context is not an “aha moment” as the term is commonly used now, but is the Christian feast day commemorating principally the visit of the Magi, who were Gentiles, to the Christ child. Thus, this Epiphany, this feast held 12 days after Christ’s birth, signifies that Jesus’s coming was a physical manifestation of God, not just for the Jews, but for all people. Jesus came to make manifest a different way of “being”, Rev. Chandler explained. And the Magi bowed down to him.
Rev. Chandler asked, “who do we bow down to?” “What are you seduced to bow down to?” She probed further asking us to consider, “What do you spend your time on? What do you spend your money on?” In closing, Rev. Chandler exhorted us to come back and see the star as the Magi did. In our daily lives, let’s make sure to “bow down to the thing that matters most.” Alleluia. Amen.
We celebrated Communion, said prayers for the people, and joined hands in benediction. Tom closed with a Postlude that was a jazzy rendition of “We Three Kings of Orient Are” and we walked out to enjoy our friends and neighbors in conversation.
- The monthly church luncheon for January is on Tuesday, January 9 at 12:30 p.m. .All are welcome to gather at the Foundry Café and share in a meal.
- Amy Dul announced another church outing at the Depot Theater with discounted tickets for next Saturday, January 13. Claire Welling, the singer, violinist, pianist and more, has a beautiful, enchanting, lyrical voice and her band – Youth in a Roman Field – will be doing a concert at 7 pm. Tickets are reduced from $25 to $20 for the church. There is also a separate vocal workshop at 4 pm (sit in a circle in the concessions area and learn a part and then sing the harmonies together -- no pressure, all in good fun) with tickets for $15, reduced from $20. Greg's Good Eats Food truck will be outside from 5-7 pm. If you wish to attend one or both events, contact Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Lynn Brown announced that our next Habitat workday is Saturday, January 13. Meet at 7:30 am on Saturday to go to Newburgh, Henry Street, to help take down cabinets in a Habitat House. Please sign up ahead of time by emailing the church or Lynn at email@example.com
- The Memorial Service for Mary Lou Matthews, friend and former choir member, is taking place in the church next Sunday, January 14, at 1:30 pm, with a reception to follow.
- The second session of the Adult Study Group resumes at 9:00 am focusing on Part 1 of God: A Human History By Reza Aslan.
- Please sign up to be a Sunday School teacher this winter. It is rewarding and sometimes the kids teach you!
- Renee Bailey, who has sung at a number of FPCP Jazz Vespers, recently released a CD. Anyone wishing to hear or purchase it can contact Cathy Carnevale.
The First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown, January 2, 2018
Our final worship service of 2017 at The Church of the Open Door, on Sunday, December 31, provided a meditative experience to end the year, culminating in a labyrinth walk. We were warmly welcomed on a very cold but sunny morning by Rev. Doris Chandler. Tom set the tone with his prelude music on the piano, and led the congregation in two opportunities for a "Hymn Sing" to select Christmas Hymns you may not have sung this season, and there were plenty of requests!
Worship leader Lynn Brown led us through the prayer of confession, the assurance of forgiveness, the passing of the peace, and gave a brief tutorial about the process of walking the labyrinth. We shared a reading from Isaiah 61, following which Lynn Brown and Wally Becker received the offering as Tom played "Icarus" inspired by the labyrinth history, and quarters for the goat bank were collected by Lucy and James.
Rev. Chandler opened the prayers of the people with an opportunity for all to share gratitude or concerns from their hearts, to which the congregation responded, "We join in your prayer". Prayers for the New Year, for our world, and the Lord's Prayer were offered, and we sang "Come And Find the Quiet Center", in preparation for the meditation and labyrinth walk. Pastor Doris led the congregation through a guided meditation, which provided for deep breathing, centering, placing all concerns, gratitude and hopes for the new year in our open hands and lifting them up to the Holy One. We shared in silent meditation, and walking the labyrinth with ancient chant music playing in the social hall, and proceeded out to welcome the new year.
In that spirit, we share the prayer from the bulletin cover by Joyce Rupp:
Be not wary of what awaits you as you enter the unknown terrain,
be not doubtful of your ability to grow from its joys and sorrows.
For I am with you.
I will be your Guide.
I will be your Protector.
You will never be alone.”
Guardian of this new year,
I set aside my fears, worries, concerns,
I open my life to mystery, to beauty,
to hospitality, to questions,
to the endless opportunity
of discovering you in my relationships,
and to all the silent wisps of wonder
that will draw me to your heart.
I welcome your unfailing Presence and walk with hope into this new year. Amen."
- We share with the Matthews family in the recent loss of Mary Lou, friend and former choir member of this congregation. She will be remembered on Sunday, January 14 with a memorial service at 1:30 p.m. here in the church, followed by a reception.
- On Sunday, January 7, the Adult Study Group resumes at 9:00 am with a Book Study on "God: A Human History" By Reza Aslan; Sunday School resumes (teacher signup is available); and we will have our regular coffee hour after worship.
- There is a signup for the next Habitat Workday on Saturday January 13. Our 'coins of change' jug for Habitat giving was emptied and we were able to send $200 to Habitat/Presbybuild for a year-end donation. The jug is there every Sunday to collect your loose change!