Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christian Education Update

Thanks to all who helped with the Christmas Pageant and Jesus’ birthday party afterward. We couldn’t have done it without you! What a fun and entertaining way to teach the children the real reason we celebrate Christmas.

The elementary age class will be taught by Angela Weeden in January and February.
Sunday School will begin in a new format beginning Sunday, January 3, 2016.  Children will leave worship after the children's sermon, and go to the Nursery or their Sunday School class.  Parents may pick up children after worship ends.
This new format will replace the traditional Sunday School time of 9:45 for the children only. Adult Bible study will remain at 9:45am Sunday mornings.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Future with Hope

It is my blessing to serve the congregation of Watkins Glen as your Interim Minister.  Some of you, I know already. By the time you receive this, I will have met many of you, and hope to meet nearly all of you by year’s end.  Please feel free to stop by the office, or call me—I look forward to getting to know you better!

The work of "interim" is many things: working with the Session, providing pastoral care and worship leadership. It is listening to and learning your stories.  It is discerning where God is calling us next, and what pastoral leadership will fit that best.

I have said that an Interim Pastor must stand with a foot on two worlds:  one in the past, and one in the future.  We stand in that gap, together.  Watkins Glen Presbyterian has a long and faithful past, and will continue to serve God faithfully in the present and in the future.

Advent began this year on Sunday, November 29.  Advent is a time we prepare our hearts for the coming of the Christ Child.  Traditionally, the Sundays during Advent are labeled: 
Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.
I find it significant that I join your congregation near Advent time, and I am mindful of all those who journeyed to Bethlehem to see the Christ Child.  I think of our work as a journey together.

There are specific tasks to be done (a mission study, the Interim or Transitional tasks, which are: Heritage, Missions, Connections, Leadership and Future, preparing for calling the next pastor).  But in this in-between time, there is faithful life to be lived, together, as well.  Life goes on: babies are born, anniversaries are celebrated, people we love die.  And God, who is faithful, is with us through all our journeys, including this one. My favorite Bible verse is one I learned at summer camp:  “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not to harm you, to give you a future with hope.”  (Jeremiah 29:11)

The first candle of Advent is the candle of Hope. It is with Hope that we begin our interim work, trusting in the One who is Love to guide our work and life together.

 In Christ,
Reverend Nancy Meehan Yao