Saturday, January 30, 2016

90 second sermon: Mark 6

90 second sermon Mark 6
Posted by Nancy Meehan Yao on Monday, January 25, 2016

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Mission Study

"Without a vision, the people perish" says Scripture. (Proverbs 29:18)

A Mission Study must be completed before this church can begin to call your next pastor.  But a periodic Mission Study and review is a good idea and practice for any church.

The three questions all churches must ask themselves are:
  • Who are we? (identity)
  • Who is our neighbor? (mission)
  • What is God calling us to be and do? (vision)

I am looking for people to help with the Mission Study throughout this interim time.  We will have small group conversations, reflect on a number of things, share with the congregation what we are finding, and document these findings in a report that will be submitted to the congregation and the Presbytery.

Although this might sound like a lot of work, it will be interesting, fun and spiritual—we will have an intentional time to reflect on where we experience God in and through this congregation, where we think God is calling us next, and how we might serve God and neighbors in this particular time and place. There will be meetings throughout the year, but the work will not be too difficult.

I hope you will join me as part of the Mission Study Team—I will be reaching out to you, and hope to have a diversity of voices and people to help on this journey of exploration, vision and discernment. If you are interested in joining in this work, please let me know!  I look forward to meeting with you.

Pastor Nancy

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Local Missions: 2015 Update

With Session approval, the Mission Committee dispersed the remainder of our 2015 local mission money as follows:
  • Christmas families
  • Presbyterian World Mission
    (This funding is matched dollar for dollar so our gift doubles!)
  • Schuyler Outreach
    (These monies are designated for fuel, prescriptions and personal care items.)
  • Food Bank of the Southern Tier
  • Haiti mission

Thank you for being a blessing, both here and abroad!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Prayer for Epiphany

On entering the house,
they saw the child with Mary his mother;
and they knelt down and paid him homage.
Then, opening their treasure chests,
they offered him gifts of
gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

-  Matthew 2:11

Lord God, Heavenly Parent, You have given us the light of your Holy Word, the guiding star that leads us to the Christ child.  Send, we pray, your Holy Spirit into our hearts, that we may receive this light and walk in your light.

May we, like the wise ones who were seeking the star, not be afraid because of any hardship or peril, but put all our trust in your Son, our savior.  May we devote ourselves and our gifts to the advancement of your kingdom, and in all things serve him in this coming year, and in all our lives. 

Taken from Out of the Ordinary
© 2000 by Joyce Rupp

Sunday, January 3, 2016

History and Heritage

We can’t know where we are going until we know where we have been.  The first task of an Interim time is to look at our heritage, and also to deepen our connections to one another and to God.

There are a number of small group opportunities coming up, to talk about the history of this church, YOUR history with it, and where you feel God is calling us next.

  • Sunday, January 3
    9:45am at the Adult Sunday School (meets in the Allen Room)
  • Wednesday, January 13
    6:00 pm at our first Soup & Study (meets in the Fellowship Hall)
  • Friday, January 22
    10:00 am with coffee and conversation (meets in the Fellowship Hall)

If you are able to attend one of these times, please call the church office to let us know. I welcome other times and conversation. Please let me know if none of these times are convenient.

Pastor Nancy

Friday, January 1, 2016

Holiday Bazaar: Street of Shops

We would like to thank all of you who helped to make this event a success. We raised $1800 during the event. It could not have happened without all of the helpers who supplied items, food, and/or hours helping before, during and after the event. It’s not too soon to be thinking about and collecting unique gifts for next year. Thanks again.

The Lord has blessed us with great help and support by all.

God Bless All of You!!   
    Anita Scata

Resolutions— and Change

It is a new year—we have flipped the pages over on the calendar.  Many of us have made resolutions to make some changes in our lives:  get more exercise, eat better, read Scripture daily.

Change is difficult. Psychologists tell us it takes at least 6 weeks for a change to take hold, and move from something we struggle with to being a habit.

Sometimes change is imposed upon us, whether we want it or not.  The mainline church as a whole has been experiencing change, as has this congregation. 

In 3 years, this church will celebrate 200 years of mission and worship.  The world today is much different than it was in 1818.  The "heyday" of the mainline Protestant church was 1965— those were our glory days, the height of church influence on society, the days when the pews were filled and the Sunday school rooms were overflowing.

But society has changed, and we tend to get nostalgic when looking back at our past. We think: once we were great and glorious, and now we are not.  Things were better back then.  But such romanticism keeps us from seeing the ministry right in front of us.  Such pining for the past can keep us from being the church that Christ is calling us to be today.

As part of this interim time together, the first "task" is to look at our history and heritage.  We appreciate where we have come from, we celebrate the accomplishments God has granted to us, we are honest in looking back on our failings….but we do all this so we can know where we are, right now, so we can better see what ministry God is calling us to join in.  This January, there will be formal and informal groups to talk about and celebrate the history of this church—I hope you will join us— more information will follow.

The world will not be as it was in 1965, or 1909, or 1818.  But God is here with us now.  God, whose steadfast love is unchanging, goes with us and calls us into the future He is creating. God, who comes to us as Immanuel, "God with us", is here as we live in this interim time together.

Pastor Nancy