Friday, November 25, 2011
Wouldn't it be neat if you could double your impact by buying your gift for The Bowery Mission Women's Center from other programs that serve to empower women? The cool thing is you can - and you might very well save money by doing so. Here are some links to places you can shop.
Serrv - One of the largest outlets for fair trade crafts, the majority of Serrv's handicrafts are made by women through dozens of programs around the world that serve to educate and economically empower women, and through them, their communities.
Soup of Success - Soups, desserts & greeting cards by homeless women in Elkhart, IN
Women's Initiative Network - Foods stuffs & Jewelry by domestic violence survivors in Wichita, KS
Poverello Prints - amazing cards and artwork by the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi
Women of the Cloud Forest - jewelry & embroidered bags from Costa Rica
Tutwiler Quilters - quilted bags and place mats from the Mississippi Delta
Women's Bean Project - soup mixes from Denver, CO
Here are some of the prayers of thanks that were offered. Add your own Prayer of Thanksgiving to the comments, or add it to the banner in church next time you are there.
- Family and church
- My family
- Guiding and protecting us through a difficult year
- A new addition to the family
- A loving, wonderful wife
- Every breath I take
- Family, good friends, good health
- Life, family, church
- Food, water, shelter
- Good health & Pastor Fritz's leadership
- For God keeping us strong in tough times and blessing us in good times
- Shepherds who take care of the sheep
- Love of children
- Wife, family & friends - for health & peace in their lives
- A loving family who is there when I need them
- Love, family, health
- The opportunities I have been luckily enough to be given
- Strength and good health to continue caring for my mother-in-law
- Mommy, Papa, Daddy
- That God puts up with me
- Family, friendship, patience, health, happiness
- My little boys & family
- The warm friendship found at CPC
- Amazing family & friends
- Wonderful family
- Health & family
- Church & family
- Wife, daughter, future son-in-law & church
- Wife who picks me up from the train station at 11:30 pm
- Healthy family
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Every place has its traditions, and some are a little peculiar, so I thought I'd explain a little about what we do at CPC to keep our spirits focused on Christ during this season.
Download the entire Advent/Christmas schedule
The Advent Wreath - A devotional tool used to focus on the light that Christ brings into our lives during Christmas. Consists of four candles (either pink or purple) symbolizing the weeks leading up to Christmas and a white center candle symbolizing Christ. On Sundays during worship, starting November 27, we will light one candle each week. Then on Christmas Eve we will light the inner white candle. Many of us also have advent wreaths in our homes and light them daily during a meal or during private devotions. The church distributes a daily Advent devotional to help focus us on Christ's coming.
Poinsettias - members and friends of the congregation contribute to decorating the sanctuary by buying poinsettias in honor or remembrance of those they love. Those who desire to take their poinsettias home after the Christmas Eve service pay a premium of $12. Those who leave their poinsettias behind to decorate the sanctuary through the Christmas season pay $6. Those who are feeling generous or forgetful pay $12 and leave their poinsettia behind.
Advent Kickoff Potluck (Sunday, Nov. 27 @ 6:00) - a low key dinner to get the Christmas season started right.
Lighting of Malverne (Saturday, Dec. 3 from 5-9) - Malverne's Christmas festival. We have a table out on Hempstead Avenue (which is closed) and give away free cookies and hot cider while inviting everyone to join us for the Christmas season (and beyond).
Cookie Walk (Sunday, Dec. 11 after church) - an annual fundraiser for the Presbyterian Women. In the old days they would bake cookies and sell them to the congregation. Now everyone in the congregation bakes cookies and then buys their cookies back.
The Christmas Tree (Decorated on Dec. 11 during worship) - The sanctuary Christmas Tree is communally decorated with generations of ornaments made by church school children and others.
Caroling (Sunday, Dec. 11 @ 3:30) - We gather for a simple dinner of soup, bread and hot dogs before careening around town to sing carols at the homes of our shut ins and others. We than return to the church for a relaxing evening of hot coco, cookies and conversation in the church lounge.
Christmas Eve Services (Dec. 24, 4:00 & 11:00) - The so called "family service," the 4:oo service makes a special effort to include the congregation's children in telling the Christmas story. It also includes special music, Pastor Fritz's Christmas sermon and communion. The 4:00 service tends to run a little longer than an ordinary Sunday service. The 11:00 service is a low key service of lessons and carols. Members of the congregation read a series of scriptures beginning with Genesis that illuminate the coming of Jesus. Between readings the congregation sings carols or special music is offered. There is no sermon. The service ends shortly after 12:00 am on Christmas morning.
Download the entire Advent/Christmas schedule
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Fresh Vegetables • Mary’s Crafts • Fair Trade Crafts from around the world • Baked Goods • Baskets & More Baskets • Quilt Raffle • Hand made Children’s Clothes • Sausage Lady • Children’s craft project • Pork Dinner
Check out the quilt
Here's the flier. Click for a printable PDF.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
October 28, 2011
To the congregation:
After worship last Sunday, the Finance Committee presented an update on congregational finances and presented initial estimates for the cost of replacing the church hall boiler, which cracked two weeks ago.
As for the congregation’s finances, our income is up slightly due to the preschool but a 60% rise in the cost of oil in addition to staff pay raises have caused expenses to increase as well. Congregational giving has also been slightly weaker than in previous years. Taken together, this leaves us with a projected $6,000 deficit for 2011.
The boiler is expected to cost approximately $20,000 to replace, an amount that includes asbestos removal, disposal of the old boiler, purchasing the new boiler, installation and other expenses associated with a possible conversion to natural gas.
The good news is that a new boiler will considerably lower our energy use. This plus the growing preschool bodes well for the congregation’s long-term financial picture.
At this time, however, we need everybody to dig a little deeper and challenge themselves to both help balance this year’s budget and raise the funds necessary for the new boiler. By the end of the meeting last Sunday, we had already received four pledges toward the new boiler exceeding $6,500. We also received lesser commitments toward helping balance the operating budget.
Community Presbyterian is our spiritual home. It is where we gather to praise God, to raise our children in the faith, to fellowship together, to pray for each other and the world and to serve our neighbors. Enclosed with this letter is a simple form asking you to do your part to help move the congregation over the hump. If you could prayerfully consider how much you are able to give, both toward the boiler and the projected deficit, and then fill out the form, it would be of great help. Completed forms can be put into the offering plate or given to Nancy Stalb.
Download Pledge Form
Over the years, the boiler tank began to rust away with age, developing leaks and then sealing the leaks over with rust. Over the years, congregational leaders also questioned the boiler's efficiency, wondering about changes but then balking at the cost of replacement.
At its September 2011 meeting, the Session questioned once again whether, with rising oil prices we could continue affording to operate the church hall boiler. They appointed a team to begin reviewing options. And then when our Sexton John Wolfe test fired the boiler, water began running out the bottom as quickly as it went in the top. The boiler had finally rusted through.
For years, when we felt we could not afford to replace it, the good Lord kept our boiler going. And then, when we were wondering whether we could afford to run it, the boiler died. Our God watches over us in all ways.
The church is currently soliciting bids for all aspects of the boiler replacement process. We expect it will cost in the vicinity of $20,000 once costs related to a possible conversion to gas are factored in.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Sunday, Oct. 2 - Courageous Movie Screening - Roosevelt Field theater, 3:30, followed by pizza and discussion at Garden City Presbyterian Church
Sunday, Oct. 16 - Crop Walk, Baldwin Park, 1:00 - Special fake geo caching activity & lunch
November 11-12 - Retreat @ Holmes Camp
Sunday, Dec. 4 - Out of the Box Worship, 5:00 pm, Massapequa
We've gotten a slow start with Sunday School this year, but have finally figured everything out. Here's what's going to happen:
- Toddler/Pre-K - Head Teacher Laura Eisenlau
- Elementary - Head Teacher Gloria Olson
- Middle School + - Head Teacher Mary Hallam
11:00 - 11:15 - General Gathering w/ story presented by youth and music.
11:15-12:00 - Separate classes. (Toddler class with be shorter)
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Monday, September 5, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
The church's main phone line - 599-3220 - is out as is the preschool phone.
The manse yard suffered some tree damage and lost an old Hydrangea bush. The manse has been without power since Sunday morning.
Friday, July 29, 2011
Don Neugebauer came by on Tuesday planning to throw a little Rustoleum on the bottom of the church's front doors in preparation for repainting. He took the door down, flipped it up so he could see the bottom, and found the door's bottom partially rusted away. Luckily Don had just brought an angle grinder and our across the street neighbor was throwing away a bunch of treated two-by-fours. A few hours, and several trips home and to the hardware store later, the door had a new bottom.
Earlier Don had noticed that the threshold of the door was not well fastened down. On Wednesday, Don came back, pulled up the threshold and found nothing. The entire floor under the right side of the threshold had rotted away. Don went home.
On Thursday Don returned. The second door came down and received a new bottom. The threshold came back up, and the full extent of the rot accessed. Don pulled up the carpet and cut away 30" into the narthex, pulling up rotted floor boards and laying down treated plywood. He replaced the threshold, hung the second door and went home. Someone else can buy some tile.
A huge thanks to Don, as well as to Bill who lent support.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
If you have a favorite story you want to suggest, put it in the comments section below.
June 26 - Abraham & Isaac - Putting it all on the line for God
July 3 - The Exodus - Liberation and freedom in the American conversation
July 10 - Noah and the Flood - A God who discovers grace
July 17 - Rahab and the Wall - Our powerful and liberating God
July 24 - Ruth and Naomi - a story of commitment
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
“Those who are called to office in the church are to lead a life in obedience to Scripture and in conformity to the historic confessional standards of the church. Among these standards is the requirement to live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness. Persons refusing to repent of any self-acknowledged practice which the confessions call sin shall not be ordained an/or installed as deacons, elders or ministers.”
“Standards for ordained service reflect the church’s desire to submit joyfully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life. The governing bodies responsible for ordination or installation shall examine each candidate’s calling, gifts, reparation and suitability for the responsibilities of office. The examination shall include, but not be limited to, a determination of the candidate’s ability and commitment to fulfill all requirements as expressed in the constitutional questions for ordination and installation. Governing bodies shall be guided by scripture and the confessions in applying standards to individual candidates.”
What this means
The responsibility for ordaining ministers in the PC(USA) has always resided at the Presbytery level. Responsibility for ordaining elders and deacons has always resided at the congregational level. The old language, adopted in 1996, was a rare imposition of a national standard on this local process. The new language removes the national standard, giving presbyteries and congregations full authority to decide whether a candidate “receives and adopt the essential tenets of the Reformed faith as expressed in the confessions of our church as authentic and reliable expositions of what Scripture leads us to believe and do, and is instructed and led by those confessions as they lead the people of God?” It also gives the presbyteries and congregations the authority to decide if those essential tenants are inclusive or exclusive of practicing homosexuals in committed relationships. In short its up to the presbyteries and congregations. Nobody has to ordain practicing homosexuals. But if enough people in the presbytery or the congregation believe that to ordain practicing homosexuals is in line with scripture and the confessions, they can.
- This changes everything: Some are saying that the removal of the “fidelity and chastity” language around ordination, especially when combined with new language in the new form of government (should it pass), will put the church on the path of fully embracing homosexuals in all areas of ecclesiastical life. They see this as a new day and a hard fought victory.
- This changes nothing: Others are saying that both scripture and especially the church’s confessions explicitly and undeniably affirm that marriage is between a man and a woman and that homosexuality is sinful. In short, the “fidelity and chastity” amendment just reinforced already clear church policy (a major complaint against its initial adoption was that it was repetitive) and its removal does not change what is clearly stated elsewhere. Nowhere does scripture, the confessions or church law as it currently exists state that marriage is anything but between a man and a woman or that homosexuality is acceptable.
How it will play out on the ground
I do not believe that there will be a mass exodus of congregations or members from the church. One of the reasons the amendment passed is that the congregations that were going to leave already left (about 100 out of about 11,000). Individual members tend to care more about what it going on in their local congregation than national policies.
I do believe that this debate has been sapping the life out of our denomination and diverting precious energy and resources that should be going to evangelism, mission, congregational development and dramatic ministry. If we can put the debate behind us, hopefully we can focus more on living out our faith as the body of Christ than on bickering over who may be part of that body.
Many, many congregations are already ordaining practicing homosexuals – usually well respected members of the congregation in stable, long-term relationships who are seen to be blessed by gifts for ministry. Hopefully now these congregations will no longer risk the chance of being dragged into church court by anonymous and often far distant accusers. The same is true for presbyteries. These congregations and presbyteries will continue as they have been, confident in their interpretation of scripture and the confessions.
Despite the passage of the new language, many, many congregations and presbyteries are still reluctant to ordain practicing homosexuals. They will continue as they have been, confident as well in their interpretation of scripture and the confessions.
And some congregations will find that a gay couple wanders into their church and stays a while. They share in worship. They bring good food to the pot luck. They participate, or maybe even help lead, a Bible study. The nominating committee will meet and someone will say, how about her or him. And somebody else will say, why not. The slate will go before the congregation. And only later will they realize they have done something that a few years before could have landed them in church court.
Official PC(USA) Announcement
Article in the Presbyterian Outlook, an independent Presbyterian newspaper
Pastor Fritz's sermon on homosexuality and the church from September 2009
The blog posting on this topic two years ago
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
- Kathleen Norris
A possible schedule for reading the entire book of Psalms during Lent:
Week 1: Psalm 1-25
Week 2: Psalm 26-50
Week 3: Psalm 51-75
Week 4: Psalm 76-100
Week 5: Psalm 101-122
Week 6: Psalm 123-150
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Lent 1 - March 13: Introduction, Lord's Prayer, Service of Healing Prayer
Lent 2 - March 20: Prayer in community. Special guest: Jason Storbakken, founder of Radical Living, an intentional Christian community in Brooklyn.
Lent 3 - March 27: Prayer through movement. Special guest: Roslyn Coors. Labyrinth walk after church.
Lent 4 - April 3: Table Prayer - the spirituality of food and family
Lent 5 - April 10: Prayer in the ordinary and mundane
Palm Sunday - March 17: Prayer in the Valley - a focus on Jesus' prayer life in the week before the cross.
In pastor's coffee house we will be focused on the Psalms.
View a slide show:
View a video of the opening of the worship service. Warning: horrible singing from the one holding the camera.
Merrick, the smallest of the churches, won, collecting 553 food items, or a wopping 8 food items per church member! Languishing in last place, they took the lead by collecting 281 cans on the last Sunday of the month.
Middle Island, the largest of the churches, took second place, collecting 724 food items, or 7.1 food items per church member. In second place going into the final Sunday, they maintained their position by collecting 265 food items on the last Sunday of the month.
Malverne, who was leading going into the final Sunday, collected only 41 food items going into the final Sunday of the month, ending with a total of 479 food items, or 5.71 food items per church member.
Combined, the congregations collected over 1,750 food items for the Freeport and Riverhead food pantries!
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Community Presbyterian is partnering with Little Blessings Christian Preschool to offer a series of Thursday night workshops for parents of toddlers and preschoolers. All workshops start at 6:30 and include pizza dinner and child care.
Here's the line-up:
February 17 - Child Development 101 w/ Bonnie Piotrowski, Director Little Blessings
March 3 - God in the Home: Spiritual Practices & Tough Questions w/ Pastor Fritz
March 17 - Raising Healthy Children w/ Dr. Joseph Rozenbaum, LI Pediatric Group
March 24 - Disciplining with Love w/ Ilene LoCastro, CPC Counseling Center
The registration fee is $15/workshop/family or $45 for all four.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Bringing the congregation together across generations outside of worship
Potluck lunches & dinners
In home gatherings
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Priority #2: Little Blessings Christian Preschool
Reaching out to as many families as possible with the goal of filling the preschool and then inviting those families into CPC's ministry and worship.
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Priority #3: Welcoming Visitors
Inviting visitors in
Welcoming our guests once they arrive
Deepening our guests faith
Integrating our guests into our ministry and worship
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