A Post from the Pastor

A Post from the Pastor for the week of July 19, 2017

A Pastoral Post from John Kloepfer for mid-July– 7/19/17

Greetings from a cool church on a warm summer day!  I hope you are enjoying the beautiful weather we’re finally getting.  And that you are both getting the rest you need – at home and on vacation – and the spiritual nurture you need by attending worship when you can, no matter where you are.  Please try not to miss our next Communion, which is on Sunday, August 6.

Here at WPC, the “work” of the Interim time is taking form, as your Nominating Committee has nine people they have asked to serve as the Mission Study Committee (now called by our Presbytery the “Plumb Line” Committee).  When the Session meets next Tuesday, July 25, they will empower this committee to proceed.  Here, in order, are the steps that will take place as your church conducts its search for your next permanent pastor:

  • Form a Mission Study Committee, which will conduct an organized study of where the congregation is at this point in its history, what the community and its spiritual needs are and what the church needs in its next installed pastor. All of you, as church members, will be involved in this study process, which will be enabled by Rev. Karen Hybertsen from Presbytery.  This Committee writes down their findings and submits them for approval by both your Session and Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry.
  • When this is done, your Session forms a Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) – popularly known as the Search Committee – which will use the written Mission Study as they create a Church Information Form (CIF), which serves as a dossier on the church. This is what potential pastors will see, just as the Search Committee will see the dossiers on each potential pastor.  After the Session and Committee on Ministry approve this CIF, the PNC begins finding and interviewing candidates for the Installed Pastor position.

I want to thank everyone who was involved in this past week’s Treasure Sale.  $2,150 was raised for the mission of the church, and we are grateful for all who contributed items as well as time and energy.  Please keep the mission programs and projects our church supports in your prayers.

By now you’ve heard about the church’s Summer Appeal, which will enable upgrades to the technological devices and programs that undergird our church’s administration and ministry.  I encourage each of you to contribute as you are able to this much-needed fund.  Your next Installed Pastor and the ministry of the church should not be held back by outdated technology throughout the church.

Please pray for Pat Shima and family.  Albert Beck, her partner for over 40 years, passed away yesterday, July 18.  Pat was scheduled to go home from the Peconic Rehabilitation Center today, so things are now up in the air.  Please keep her in your prayers.

Linni Deihl, who has been suffering from lung cancer, is now getting hospice care at home.  I’ve been informed that two websites have been set up by friends of her family, a GoFundMe website to help with unmet medical bills and a CaringBridge website to follow her on her journey and to participate by posting messges to and/or about her.  The GoFundMe site can be found by going to https://www.gofundme.com/show-your-love-for-linni-deihl.  The CaringBridge site can be reached by this link: www.caringbridge.org/visit/linnideihl.

 

We also pray God will bless the new Spanish Speaking Protestant Ministry, led by Pastor Raynor Caal             And his wife, Leticia.  They began July 6, and meet in our church for prayer and Bible Study each             Thursday at 7:30 p.m.  ¡Bienvenido a WPC!

This past Sunday we welcomed Lena Mae Fox, 9-month old daughter of Robert, Jr. and Kristin Fox, into the family and fellowship our congregation through the Sacrament of Baptism.  Welcome, Lena!

And on Saturday, July 29, Matt Ravenhall and Gigi Rutherfurd will be wed in our Sanctuary.  Pre-congratulations!

Lord of Love, we are grateful for our church, its members and its ministry.  Be with all in our church who have special needs at this time, and strengthen us all as together we seek to do your will in this place and around the world. Amen.

We are well off in God, the Almighty, in God’s holiness, always.

A Post from the Pastor for the week of July 4, 2017

An Irregular Post from John Kloepfer for the week of July Fourth – 7/3/17

Greetings from your Church Pastor’s Office,

I have not been able to post these emails every week, keeping you all informed of happenings here at 90 Meetinghouse Road, but as many of you know, my time with you thus far has been very busy.  In addition to pastoral responsibilities, I’ve often had to accompany Linda into New York City for her chemotherapy almost every Thursday and Friday.  This has meant that when I’m here I’ve often been pressed for time.  Fortunately, her chemotherapy will be over at the beginning of September.

However, I do want you all to know that your Interim Pastor is still here, and that things have been going well thus far.  Tomorrow is the Fourth of July, and so the Church Office will be closed all day.  I hope that each of you has something both exciting and enjoyable planned for this great summer holiday, either with you family or with friends.  I will then hope to see each of you on Sunday mornings, either at the Chapel or in the Sanctuary.

I also want to tell you how excited I am that WPC will be starting a new ministry this Thursday, July 6. Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church has a large Spanish speaking ministry.  However, there has not been any Protestant Ministry available for our Spanish speaking brothers and sisters.  Until now, that is.

Pastor Raynor Caal (pronounced call) and his wife, Leticia, have been offering a Spanish speaking Protestant ministry in the United Methodist Church in East Quogue for the past ten years.  It has grown over the years, and now has between 30 and 40 coming each week.  They approached WPC about their also starting a Spanish speaking ministry here in Westhampton, and wanted to meet in our building.  After meeting with the Caals and discussing their proposal, both your Session and your Trustees have approved this new venture.

Since they do not yet have any members, they will begin by meeting on Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. for a Bible Study and for prayers.  Their hope is that over time God will bless their ministry and they will find people here in Westhampton looking for a Spanish speaking Protestant ministry.  Please pray for them and for their new ministry.  If you are fluent in Spanish, you may want to join them from time to time.

Since this coming Thursday, July 6, will be their “grand opening,” they will be inviting their East Quogue congregation to join them and they will offer a worship service in the sanctuary.  After that, they will be meeting on Thursday evenings in a classroom until their numbers grow large enough to support a weekly worship service.

This coming Sunday, July 9, Linda begins her “week off” from chemotherapy, so we are planning to go up to our cabin in New Hampshire for a few days.  It may be the only time we get up there this summer, due to her schedule.  But we will be leaving on Saturday, July 8, so you will be blessed with having the Rev. Jeanne Baum as your guest preacher this weekend.  Since I have not taken a Sunday off since becoming your Interim Pastor in February, you need a break from my preaching, and I’ve had the privilege to hear Jeanne preach before, so I know you are in for a real treat.  I believe she may be the best preacher on Long Island.

On another front, your Nominating Committee will meet this Wednesday evening to put together a potential slate of people to serve as your Plumb Line Committee.  The first formal step in the interim process involves doing what used to be called a Mission Study.  It’s now called a Plumb Line Study, but amounts to the same thing – taking a fresh look at your church and surrounding community and helping the Pastor Search Committee know what your church needs in its next Installed Pastor.  Rev. Karen Hybertsen, the Temporary Supply Pastor in Islip, will be your resource person from the Presbytery helping with your Plumb Line Study.

Oh God, be with each member of WPC this week, and bind us together in your love.  Give us a special awareness of your presence throughout the coming weeks of Lent, and help us to express, through all of our thoughts and actions, the love of Christ that is within us.  We are well off in God, the Almighty, in God’s holiness, always.  Amen.

Post from the Pastor 3-15-2017

A Pastoral Post from John Kloepfer for the Third Week of Lent – 3/15/17

Greetings from a warm church on a cold day!

We’re now seriously into the Lenten season and Lent us normally a time of giving up, letting go and reflecting on one’s life.  Often the motif for Lent is the desert or wilderness, and you probably know that being in the desert is conducive to being still, listening, watching, wondering and reflecting.  Losing Chuck as pastor – in spite of knowing he was going to be retiring – in itself creates a dryness and a sense of emptiness; for it is a real loss to this congregation.

Liturgically, however, Lent is a rich time, when the lectionary includes more great passages and stories from the Bible than we can possibly absorb.  So if you’re still looking for ways to use Lent to grow spiritually, just go to our denomination’s website (www.pcusa.org) and near the top, in small print, you’ll see a link called “Follow the Lectionary.”  Click on this and you’ll find the lectionary for every day of the year, with all the Bible passages.  As a Lenten discipline, just read them each day – or at least one per day.  I promise it will enrich your life.

As of today, I’ve been your Interim Pastor for one month, which is not much time.  I’m still meeting members for the first time and I’m certainly still struggling to learn your names.  But, it’s enough time for some early impressions, and I’ll give you a few I’ve had:

  1. This congregation is a very committed group of people. Every day I’m impressed at the level of

commitment our members have to the church as a whole and to groups and programs of the church

they are involved in.  Those on the boards and with other responsibilities take them very seriously

and make sacrifices week in and week out to see that every facet of this church is taken care of.

  1. This is an extremely supportive church. I’ve been struck over and again at how you support one another. Not many churches have so many people who are so dedicated to not only the programs and ministry of the church, but to the care and support of every member.  This goes not only for your Deacons, but for others also.  I can’t begin to count the times I’m asked how a particular member is doing or whether I noticed that so-and-so was not in church on Sunday.  This level of care is highly commendable.
  2. WHPC is one of the most mission-oriented congregations I’ve ever seen. I’ve never known a church to have a Minute for Mission as part of every single Sunday worship, for example.  Most churches have them for the denominational offerings like One Great Hour of Sharing and an occasional one when a visiting missionary is available.  But this church programs it into its regular worship format.  It’s a wonderful thing, but takes energy, dedication and a willingness to be exposed to an amazing variety of needs and opportunities for mission.

There’s never a dull moment here.  This Sunday, for example, we will be ordaining Cathy Holliday as a Deacon during worship and after worship celebrating John Comba’s 101st birthday and starting the Adult Bible Study on “Loaves, Fishes and Leftovers” run by Rev. Jeanne Baum.  Monday night will be Maureen Haven’s last visit this year as well as the Session meeting that was postponed from last Tuesday.  Tuesday the Presbytery meets in Amagansett and that night the Trustees will meet.  Then on Wednesday the Church Staff will meet again, since they are going to meet twice each month to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.

Let us pray:  Lord of Love, we are grateful that we were spared this week’s snow storm, and we pray for all those anywhere for whom it created a hardship.  Be with all in our church who have special needs at this time, and strengthen us all as together we seek to do your will in this place and around the world.  Amen.

We are well off in God, the Almighty, in God’s holiness, always.

A Post for the First Week of Lent March 2, 2017

A First Irregular Post from John Kloepfer for the First Week of Lent – 3/2/17

Why is this post irregular?  I understand that Chuck was faithful in communicating with all of you each week through an email.  However, I’m not sure I’m capable of such regularity.  We’ll see.   But for the meantime, please look for these from time to time.  Why is it the first?  Well, because it is.

I’m delighted to be with you for a time as your Interim Pastor.  An interim time is not a time to sit back and relax, waiting until “they” (whoever “they” are) have chosen our next “real” pastor.  It’s a very tender but important time in the life of a church.  It’s tender because there are so many fond memories of the previous pastor (and his wonderful wife) as well as strong emotions and even grief over what feels like (probably because it is) a loss.  It’s important because the church needs an opportunity to detach from its immediate past and to think about its future mission and ministry.

As Interim Pastor I won’t be here for the long haul.  Yet I want to help you as best I can with this transition.  That requires that I get to know you.  Since I’m regularly working with your boards, I’m already getting to know them.  However, please help me get to know the rest of you.  Again I will remind you that I have been handicapped from early childhood in learning and remembering names.  Anything you can do to help me, especially if you’re not on one of the boards, will be appreciated.

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, which lasts the 40 days (not counting Sundays, which are never “fasting” days) until Easter.  I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed in how few of you attended the Ash Wednesday service last night at St. Mark’s.  Our faithful choir was there, of course, and along with the choir from St. Mark’s sang beautifully.  But it was definitely one of those services where the choir was larger than the congregation.  St. Mark’s had a mid-day service that was well attended, so their members had an excuse.  I can only assume that you were so anxious to get into the Lenten spirit that you overdid it celebrating Mardi Gras on Tuesday, and were just too tired to attend.

The good news is that you have a chance to redeem yourselves this coming Sunday – the first Sunday in Lent – by attending worship and participating in Communion.  This will be your chance to start the Lenten season off on the right foot.  Like the interim period for our church, the Lenten season is both a tender and an important time.  I hope that together we can take advantage of it and enable it to prepare us for the journey ahead.

On Tuesday evening I meet with our Deacons, so please let me or one of the Deacons know of anyone in need of pastoral care of any kind, so we can address it on Tuesday.  I do know, for example, of one member (no, not my wife) who is in need of a ride into a hospital in Manhattan next Thursday, March 9.  If you are able and willing to do this – a great way to get into the Lenten spirit – please let me know.

Sadly, the East End Women’s Choir Murder Mystery dinner, which had been scheduled to happen tomorrow, March 3, has been postponed until June.  The good news is that with more planning time it will be better than ever.  The next time you’re at church, please take a peek into the playground area.  You’re in for a lovely surprise.  And one last bit of very good news:  Rev. Jeanne Baum has agreed to lead an Adult Bible Study in Lent at 11:15 a.m. after worship on Sundays, beginning March 19.  It will revolve around the book, Loaves, Fishes, and Leftovers by Rev. Ted Loder.  It is not to be missed.

Oh God, be with each member of WPC this week, and bind us together in your love.  Give us a special awareness of your presence throughout the coming weeks of Lent, and help us to express, through all of our thoughts and actions, the love of Christ that is within us.  We are well off in God, the Almighty, in God’s holiness, always.  Amen.

A Letter from the Personnel Committee of the Session to the Congregation January 12, 2017

Letter to the congregation from the Personnel Committee of the Session

January 2017

 

The purpose of this letter is to attempt to answer many of the questions raised by the retirement of our pastor. We want to assure you that the Personnel Committee is doing what it can to fill our pulpit with an interim pastor as soon as possible. In the meantime, the pulpit will be filled with pastors who are familiar to us.

The process has already been started. We were limited by what is allowable while Chuck was still serving us. The Personnel Committee has been appointed by the Session to be the Interim Search Committee. The Personnel Committee will be reviewing personal information forms (resumes) sent to us from individual ministers as well as some from the General Presbyter, Mark Tammen. We will screen potential candidates. We will then request an interview with each potential candidate. Some will be in person although some may happen by Skype. We will check references. The Presbytery will check the candidates governing body references.

Once a candidate is chosen, we will seek approval for the candidate and the contract from our Session and then from the Presbytery through the Committee on Ministry. When approved, we will enter an agreement/contract with an interim pastor for a period of one year, renewable with the approval of the Presbytery. There is no formal call or installation for an interim.

All of this process is done with the guidance of the Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry.  The Committee on Ministry may appoint a moderator for our session meetings and for our congregational meeting on February 5. The Music and Worship Committee of our Session will continue to arrange pulpit supply as needed. We have arranged for Nancy Jennings and John Kloepfer to fill our pulpit for the remaining Sundays in January.

The boards and committee will continue to meet. And the life of Westhampton Presbyterian Church will continue on. If you have questions, reach out to the elders. If they don’t have answers, they will find someone who does.

Let us endeavor to follow Chuck’s appeal to be “the best possible church” and carry each other during this transition time. See you in church.

A Final Weekly Word from Chuck Cary for January 2017

A Final Weekly Word from Chuck Cary

This is my last weekly email. I have included various farewells in other means of communication, and will simply say thanks for the opportunity to serve the church of Jesus Christ along with you the readers. It has been two good runs as pastor here, 1985-1999 and 2010-2017. I am grateful for your support throughout, and have delighted in our ministry. I hope that some form of weekly communication from WPC will continue, both to convey what’s happening and remind you of the opportunities for weekly worship and service. Also, this word does not always require the pastor’s pen. It can and should be the creation of others along the way. Team efforts, particularly during transitions are integral to the health of any congregation.

Worship this Sunday happens on the day of the Baptism of the Lord. Hence, there will be two Baptisms to celebrate, one for Dante Thomas Aiello, infant son of David and Jessica Aiello of our congregation. Dante was born this past September at Southampton Hospital. Dana Alexandra Schultz Dietche presents herself for adult Baptism. Dana and her husband David Dietche were married by yours truly last summer. She is uniting in active membership with Redeemer Presbyterian Church in the city and will become an affiliate member here at WPC. We rejoice in the Lord’s welcome of both!

From an historical perspective, my first Baptism was in 1975 at the Fox Valley Presbyterian Church, Geneva, Illinois for the daughter of Stefanie and Jim Kreunen. Last I heard, the Kreunen family had moved to Missouri. I have lost touch. However, from what I recall of their commitment, I have no doubt that they are still serving “with energy, imagination, intelligence, and love”.

Some might call this Sunday worship my last as I conclude nearly 42 years of ministry. I prefer to call it a new beginning, not only for me, but for this congregation. The Christian ministry is a lifestyle, a calling, and as such is rooted in our Baptisms. It is neither regulated by the calendar nor validated by age or ability. It is a matter of the heart. The Sunday sermon is entitled, “The Privilege of Being Your Pastor”. The morning text is the Baptism story from Matthew’s Gospel (Matthew 3:15-17).

Stewardship Reminders: As it is the new year, make sure you have retrieved your offering envelopes from the table in the back of the sanctuary. Also, complete your 2016 pledge if there is a balance left there. Post paid gifts are welcome.  Per Capita envelopes are in your set and in the pew rack. The per capita amount for 2017 is 34.45 per active member. WPC is required to pay per capita whether or not we collect it from one another. So, stretch a little and remit your obligation. Doing so lessens the strain on the operating budget.

Youth and Christian Education: Parents, make sure your son and daughter have every opportunity to take part in regular church school classes. If it is a question about curriculum or the like, see Superintendent Ellen Campbell or C.E. chairperson Cindy Schneider. If your question relates to youth activities, see or call Kathy Tureski.

Prayer for the Day: Holy God, you make all things new. Bless the people of WPC as we prepare for a new pastor and change for the better, all in our commitment to being the best possible church. For Christ’s sake and our own, we pray. Amen.  May you continue to see one another in church!

Weekly Word for the First Sunday of 2017- January 1, 2017

Weekly Word from Chuck Cary for the First Sunday of 2017

New Year’s Day for 2017 arrives on Sunday. There is something appropriate as we gather for worship, committing ourselves and our time to the service of the Triune God. If you happen to be out celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of another on Saturday, first do so safely. Second, give yourself time to rest up for worship the next morning. While so much of the world sleeps, the people of God gather. Nothing is more important than keeping Sabbath and honoring God’s call to “glorify God and enjoy God forever”.

The service this week includes the Lord’s Supper and is rooted in a text from the Book of Revelation, chapter 21. The meditation is entitled, “All Things New”. We will sing hymns such as “We Three Kings”, an epiphany hymn, and conclude with “Lord of the Dance”. In between is a simple communion song, inviting one and all to come to the Table of Grace.  A coffee hour, time for fellowship follows worship and provides a setting for Sacred conversations. Make a new friend as well as reconnect with current ones.

The church grieves with those who grieve and rejoices with those who rejoice. We share sorrow this weekend with the families of Bud Kavan whose memorial service is at 10:30 Friday, and Linda Hubbard Berry whose funeral is Friday afternoon at 3:00. Special thanks go to the Board of Deacons for the reception following Bud’s service. The reception following the service for Linda will be held at the East Quogue Fire House at 4:30pm. Linda was the daughter of Eugene Hubbard.

The preachers for the remainder of January are the Rev. Nancy Steeger Jennings for January 15 and 22, and the Rev. Dr. John Kloepfer for January 29. In the event of an emergency during office hours, please call Erika at the church office, 288-2576 (9:00 until 4:00) and Elder Richard Schneider,  909-1594          after office hours and on weekends. As soon as an interim pastor is named, he/she will receive all emergency calls.

Copies of the January “Tidings” have been distributed electronically and by snail mail to those who have requested it that way. Extra copies are located in the back of the sanctuary and the Parish Hall. Take note of the updated officer list for 2017 and be sure to convey any corrections to Erika in the office.

Annual reports are due now in advance of the annual meeting scheduled for February 5, 2017 in the sanctuary. Again, send yours to Erika in the church office as a Word document (no PDFs).

Stewardship commitments for both ‘16 and ’17 are needed to close one year in balance and begin the next in the same way. Thanks go to all for your faithful support. One of the strong attractions for the next pastor candidate is a healthy financial life. Remain consistent in your financial support. Doing so blesses the church and honors Jesus Christ.

Prayer for the Day: As one year closes and another opens, help us to keep faith in you, O God. Hear our thanks for the many ways you have blessed us in 2016. You have strengthened us when we were weak and given us hope in our moments of doubt. Stay with us and enable us to stay with you as we journey into 2017. Bring peace and Justice to the world in Christ’s name and for His sake. Amen. SYIC!

Weekly Word for Christmas 2016

A Weekly Word from Chuck Cary for Christmas 2016

The birth of Jesus Christ happened not by following a well-scripted plot, nor within a sterile environment. He was not born in a setting akin to a contemporary hospital. He arrived instead in a modest, humble setting, in a world not ready for His advent or the implications of His revolutionary life. Such an entrance might give us doubt about the wisdom of God: Such risks for a vulnerable newborn! Instead the very circumstances of Jesus’ origin make Him all the more human, as He is divine. Jesus is, as one Theologian rightfully declared, “God’s way of making Himself accessible to us”. The baby’s cry is our signal to sing “Joy to the World”.

There will be plenty of singing at all three services this weekend at WPC.  On Christmas Eve, we will gather for a family friendly celebration at 5:00 in the main sanctuary at 90 Meeting House Road. The choirs will accompany us as we journey to Bethlehem to add our own “Welcome” to the Lord. At 9:00 at the Quogue Chapel (corner of Beach Lane and Quogue Streets in Quogue) we will host an identical service of lessons and carols, with candle-lighting. Sunday morning is Christmas Day, and yes, we will gather at the regular time of 10:00 to rejoice. We will suspend some of our formalities on Sunday to welcome suggestions as to favorite Christmas Carols. A festive Coffee Hour will follow.

A special word of “Thanks” go to all who have had a hand in making this Holy Season so special here at WPC. Linda Howard- Kloepfer and the choirs helped our spirits soar at each worship service. Ellen Campbell and the actors/actresses in the Church School Christmas Pageant on the 11th were sublime. The participants in the Advent Festival on the 4th made the joy of the season contagious (thanks Mrs. Schneider) and having 4 confirmands join the church in December was one of God’s best gifts. Thanks go to Julia, Madison, Griffin, and Mario.

End of year responsibilities are not to be forgotten. Please pick up your 2017 Offering Envelopes. They are located on the table in the rear of the sanctuary. Take an undesignated box and sign the sheet with your name and box number if there is not one for you. Questions? Contact Erika in the church office admin@westhamptonpresbyterian.org  Complete your pledge for 2016 and consider a second mile gift to any of our special offerings this December.

A single word of appreciation goes to all who had a hand in the “Blue Christmas” service on the 18th. There was much love in the chapel amongst those who have lost loved ones. I commend Ralph and Holly Hubbard for their leadership and the Board of Deacons for a delicious reception which followed in the parish hall.

Praying the contemplative prayers of Advent/Christmas can help tilt the world closer to the ideal God has in mind. Don’t sacrifice your prayer life or devotions at the altar of “busy”. Go for a walk on the beach. Ponder the mysteries of the incarnation. Open your heart to the love of God who is for us, never against us.

Prayer for the Day: God of wonder and might, reconnect us to the power and majesty of Christmas. As the words of “Silent Night” rise on our lips and in our hearts, help us to celebrate Christ’s birth in every way. Bring peace to this earth and to each of us in particular. Amen.     Merry Christmas to All!

Weekly Word for Fourth Sunday of Advent – December 18, 2016

A Weekly Word from Chuck Cary for Advent IV- 12/18/16

If there is any Sunday of the church year designed to let loose the song in your heart, this is it. The choir unites with the Long Island Brass Guild to inspire us with the carols of this Holy time. Come, bring a friend, and join in the celebration of Christ’s birth. Some of the carols will be familiar: “In The Bleak Midwinter” (which bears testimony to Thursday’s brief snowfall!), “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”, and “Angels We Have Heard on High”. A newer, less familiar carol is by John Rutter and is a delight, “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day”. Rutter particularly enjoyed the Christmas season, as he said, “it tilts the world in the direction of where it ought to be”. Morning worship will conclude with the “Hallelujah Chorus”. Come join your friends at 10:00 at 90 Meeting House Road this Sunday. Your presence in worship at any time makes a statement about who you are and what you believe.

Sunday afternoon at 4:00 at the Quogue Chapel will be the occasion of the second annual “Blue Christmas” service, open to all, with specific sensitivities to those who grieve or bear heavy burdens. Not all friends can sing “Joy to the World” as they are missing loved ones and experience sadness rather than elation. The board of deacons is preparing a delicious reception afterwards in the parish hall. Again, this worship is open to all, those from other church homes, and those with no church home.

Stewardship Reminders- Turn in your pledge card for 2017 and fulfill your 2016 commitment before the end of the year. Everyone’s support matters as we keep WPC as the “best possible church”. Offering Envelopes for the coming year will be in the back of the sanctuary. Find your set and perhaps help deliver one to a family member or neighbor. If you don’t find one with your name, select an undesignated set and sign the sheet with your name and current contact information, with the number of the box. God loves a cheerful giver. Let there be joy in our stewardship here at WPC.

Carson Campbell of our congregation will receive the “God and Me” award prior to the children’s message this week. Carson is the son of Scott and Cindy and lives in Manorville which is also the neighborhood of his Cub Scout pack. The relationship of WPC and scouting has strengthened over the years, and we congratulate Carson on his efforts.

Speaking of scouting, Griffin Wagner is a part of the revitalization of the church playground. He and the playground committee (Erika Lukert, Theresa Caponi, Karen Neubauer, Gini Wagner, and yours truly) are making plans to increase the safety, appeal, and fun of this important part of our church campus. Griffin is making the improvement of the sand box his Eagle Scout project. His overall design efforts have helped us in the total vision for the project. Way to go, Griffin!

Prayer for the Day: Eternal God, as you led your people in ages past, you direct our journey into the future. We give you thanks that you came to us in Jesus Christ, and we eagerly await His coming again, that your rule may be complete, and your righteousness reign over all. Then, may we feast at your royal banquet and sing your praises with the choirs of Heaven. By your Spirit, open our eyes to the generosity of your hand, and nurture our souls in all spiritual gifts. Fill us with gratitude this Holy Season, in the great name of  you, our Triune God. Amen.

I will be seeing and hearing you in worship!

Weekly Word for the Third Sunday of Advent, December 11, 2016

A Weekly Word from Chuck Cary for Advent III- 2016

As a child the season seemed to come slowly, ignoring the hopes of star struck young people that it would arrive earlier and faster. From the perspective of age, it seems to come too quickly, with less time and energy to accomplish all that needs doing. In reality the days are still the same twenty four hours, with only the sunlight diminishing in lieu of early nightfall. It is surely apt, that the light of Christmas arrives at a time of maximum darkness to declare that Christ, the “light of the world” is born. He is also the peace who takes away the rush of worries. May He be visible in your lives this year!

All hands on deck for the annual Children’s Christmas Pageant this Sunday the 11th!  Worship takes on a dramatic flair as we witness the story told from the vantage point of the children of the church. Come, bring a friend to our sanctuary with its chancel transformed into theater. Special thanks go to Ellen Campbell for directing and helping all of us witness the Greatest Story ever told here at 90 Meeting House Road.

Also on Sunday’s agenda is the Baptism of Ashley Jade Harvey, daughter of Erin Johnson Harvey and Christopher Harvey, and granddaughter of Bob and Kathleen Johnson of our congregation. Ashley was born on the 7th of July in Boston. As the children will say in unison” Welcome Ashley”, so will all of us  rejoice in the Lord’s welcome of this child.

Special appeals this month include support for Heifer International (Youth Group), Poinsettia Flowers to adorn the sanctuary and chapel in memory/ honor of loved ones, the Christmas/ Joy Offering, and the Long Island Brass Guild who will accompany the Choir in their concert next week the 18th. Please remember these blessings, and the support for the Guild especially as I am told their contributions have been coming in slowly.

Christian sympathy goes to Randi De Mayo and family upon the death of her mother Loretta Ruben. Services for William “Bud” Kavan will take place Friday, December 30 at 10:30 here at the church with a Deacons reception to follow. Arrangements for Mary Kreiling will be private. Let the church forever weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice.

The Fourth Sunday of Advent (12/18) will include the Choir Christmas Concert along with the LI Brass Guild. Later in the day we will sponsor the second annual “Blue Christmas” service at 4:00 pm at the Quogue Chapel.  “Blue Christmas” was conceived by the organization “Compassionate Friends” out of concern for those who have lost loved ones, and for whom the holidays are a sad time of year. By speaking the truth about our losses, the gathering draws support from the Faith and one another. We will follow with a brief reception here in the Parish Hall. This service, like all of our worship, is open to those who have no church home.

Prayer for the Day: Read Mary’s Magnificat slowly and reverently three times, emphasizing different aspects of her song in each reading. You will find it in Luke’s Gospel, 1:46-55. Follow it with the Lord’s Prayer and Saint Francis’ prayer for peace.

See you in worship!