Dear Friends and Members of our First Congregational Church,
Happy Spring! It’s long been a favorite time of year for me. In spite of weather that’s been more like fall, the gardens are still awakening with beautiful blooms and hope resounds in the goodness yet to come.
As you’ll read, for us at church, it’s been a good and busy season. With thanks to many hands and voices at work, we’ve been treated to some great celebrations and fine treats. Complete with donkeys leading a festal procession, our Palm Sunday service was loaded with smiles and joyful proclamation. Then our Easter service
was wonderfully adorned, not only with white Easter lilies, but with a blooming cross, too, and its attendance was one of the best we had. (Special thanks to Sandy who arranged for the donkeys and brought back the cross.)
Following Easter, our Bright Sunday laughter was augmented by the reception of four new members to our fold: Rich and Mary Cox, Ruth Nelson, and Marguerite Volonts, plus there are more to come. Our Mother’s Day service was delightfully led by the women of our church, and the men hosted a fine brunch to follow. And now
we’re poised to confirm three of our younger members into the faith and family of our church: Alyssa and Riley Hartmayer and Peyton LaCombe, with yet another nice coffee hour to follow.
Our buildings and grounds have also seen some fine additions and needed repairs. Our gardener extraordinaire, Allan Repp, has the gardens looking spectacularly good. Plus, with thanks to the generosity of Felix Perennials, there are several new additions that came our way as a gift. Our handyman Javier who has handled several jobs for us of late has also treated us to the contribution of his time and talents. Our resident Brazilian Presbyterian church folk have also pitched in to give us a hand with cleaning and organizing. And, of course, many volunteers have done wonders for us in both our Thrift Shop, which continues to see many bountiful days, and in our soup kitchen which continues to do much for many. Thanks to all for all you do.
We, too, have been generous with our giving. Our prayer shawls have reached the hands of many folks in the need of God’s healing touch; food and clothing has been dropped off at local pantries, and much needed monetary donations have been made to several UCC special mission projects. The Lord has indeed been good
Special mention also has to be extended to the chair of the Board of Trustees, Nancy Repp, our most amazing volunteer who continues to regularly help out in a vast variety of ways. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Nancy; you’re great!
Even as our gardens continue to bloom and grow, the hope is that God will bring good growth to you and bless you with a bounty of ability so that you may long bring blessings to others with us. Please join us for the fun and the blessings. There is indeed more goodness yet to come!
Peace and smiles,
Please update your Zoom information for the church. This is a link for both Sunday Worship and Friday Bible
Study. When you can’t make it in-person, you can join us online:
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 885 1770 4747
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kFRvvORoU
The Board of Deacons and Board of Trustees continue to meet jointly on a monthly basis. Each member plays important role in the workings of our church and we thank them for their support. Thanks to the many organizations who utilize our church and make monthly donations, our thriving thrift shop and the members and guests of our church, the church remains solvent financially. We currently have 7 weekly AA meetings, 1 Alanon meeting, a Presbyterian Church and Bread and More Soup Kitchen meeting in our church. Thank you to all the members who voted to support the much needed basement repairs in the parsonage basement. Rich Cox, who repaired our church sanctuary and a wall in the thrift shop will be completing the work. Much appreciation to all who helped with researching and finding contractors for this project. Thanks to the generous bequest by the Fairleys, payment will come from the maintenance account they left to the church.No fundraising is necessary.
Spring has sprung and lots of wonderful events are coming up in the next few months. Our growing choir is a wonderful addition to our Sunday service. Please join us on Sunday.
Buildings & Grounds
The gardens have been prepped, cleaned and fertilized and are bursting with blooms. Pastor and Allan will purchase some new perennials and annuals to supplement our gardens. There have been several maintenance issues which are being addressed. A plumber will be fixing two toilets and the thrift shop kitchen sink. Due tosome flooding in the church basement, we are having a repairman review and repair our gutters.
In addition, our handyman will be caulking some exterior windows and replacing some exterior shingles and a rotting board. If you notice something that needs attention, please let Allan or Pastor know.
PR & Evangelism
As I have mentioned before we are all responsible for spreading the word of God and drawing people into our community of faith. We do this by example, invitation and creating an exciting space for worship and community. We saw this on Palm Sunday when we hosted two donkeys to lead Jesus' procession into
Jerusalem. Thanks to David Hartmeyer, who donned a costume and lead the donkeys, we participated by waving palms and shouting Hosanna. Check out pictures on the bulletin board in the fellowship hall. Look for the one picture that captured heavenly rays of light. We hope to renew a tradition of filling the resurrection
Music & Worship
Since the beginning of this year, our church has been blessed with George Moravek leading the music program for our worship services. The choir has seen the addition of some new members to our choir and the return of familiar faces as well. The choir will be taking a summer break sometime in the next few weeks, but George will be continuing to provide music from the organ and the piano for our summer services. He may take the opportunity to have some vacation time during these coming summer months of later this year, but his continued service to our church by playing in the summer will add much to the regular Sunday worship.
The special news regarding music in our church is a piano concert by our own Jeff Wentz on Sunday, June 4th at 4:00pm. Please try to attend and hear a wonderful concert of classical music from Brahms, Debussy, and others. Also, the choir will be providing some refreshments in the fellowship hall after the concert.
~Melinda Topping, Music Committee
This Committee is formed to act as a liaison between the congregation and the pastor. It is meant to act as a filtration system, dealing with issues before they become problems or misunderstandings. If you have an issue or if you are particularly pleased about something that is going on in the church, please speak to one of the Committee members. Committee members are Sandy Gruner, Jane Kulesa, Marion Maino, Gloria Foley and Dee Martin. If you have any questions, suggestions or need for clarification, speak to a Committee member as well. We are hoping to present a covenant to the congregation further explaining what the congregation's responsibility is to the Pastor. As a Congregational Church we are charged with taking an active role in its function and performance.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
Where did the tradition of making and giving prayer shawls originate? One website claims the first Christian prayer shawl ministry began in Connecticut is 1998. That seems too recent to be right. A friend gave one to me back in the late 90s when I decided to go to seminary, and I can’t imagine that was one of the very first
Christian prayer shawls ever! What’s the earliest date you remember making or receiving one? Does anyone know when FCCR began its shawl ministry? Let us know about that beginning.Of course, the earliest prayer shawls were used by men. Jewish men. And called a Tallit. As old as the Book of Numbers in the Old Testament. Whether as an ancient practice or new, prayer shawls are created by people of faith, given to others in love, as expressions of caring and signs of God’s providential care. Worn during prayer, worn during times of trouble, worn as a comfort. Take one, use it yourself or give it away, as a blessing.
~Lorraine De Armitt
The thrift shop continues to receive many wonderful donations. Due to our limited size, it is impossible to display everything and items get stored in the garage which is now full. On Saturday, June 17th, we will be holding a yard sale by the church garage. Volunteers will be needed to price items, set-up tables, display the items, sell, clean-up and box up unsold goods (to be donated to Big Brother/Big Sister). We will begin setting up at 8 a.m. and close at 1:00. If you can help, in any way, please let us know. There will be a sign-up sheet in the Parish Hall.
~ Marion Maino & Nancy Repp
Ladies Night Out
Our Thursday Ladies’ Night is the last Thursday of the month. We gather at the Pulaski Street Grill at 5:30 P.M. for a meal and informal social hour. The restaurant accommodates us by giving individual checks. So if someone just wants a salad, or someone wants a complete dinner and a glass of wine, it is easy. It’s a fun time
to get together. If you’d like to join us, please let me know, so the restaurant can arrange for our seating. All are welcome. Hope to see you!
~Janet Sanford (home) 631 591 -1063 (cell) 516 507-7897
The Alley Cat Thrift Shop continues to thrive and is a great source of income to our church. Our volunteers spend time, sorting, pricing, displaying and selling our wonderful donations. It is a lot of fun and a time to socialize with other members. We donate un-sellable and excess items to Big Brothers/Big Sisters, a local animal shelter, Shoes for Souls, and St. John’s Church. Very little gets thrown away. We are always in need of volunteers especially on Saturdays. The hours are Tuesday and Thursday from 10-2 and Saturday 9-1. You do not need to work the full 4 hours. Speak to any volunteer to see how you can help. Thank you for your support.
~ Shirley Bergman and Nancy Repp
The confirmation class has successfully come to a close and we now celebrate the confirmation of three of the younger members of our church. Congratulations to all!
Our Adult Bible study continues to meet on Friday mornings from 10:00-11:00. We’re poised to complete our study of Zechariah and will move on to Malachi before taking a break for the summer months. Join us, you’ll like it.
Fellowship & Social
Coffee hour is a great time for fellowship. It is an opportunity to catch up with members and friends. Please consider signing up to serve coffee hour. Please know all it involves is making a pot of coffee and bringing any kind of treat. Store bought cookies, cheese and crackers, or some fruit. Anything you wish to bring is fine. Barbara Parsons is available to walk you through the process. Just sign up on the door to the kitchen.
Janet Sanford continues to be a vital part of the visitation Committee even if she is no longer formally on the Committee. Janet and her daughter, Wendy, wrote out over forty Easter cards to members of the congregation here and those who have moved away. We try to call and send cards whenever necessary. As our congregation gets older, the need to keep in touch with members grows.
While worship is available on Zoom, many seniors do not have the knowledge or resources to access it that way. If you know of someone who would appreciate a call or a visit please call the church office at 631 727-2621 and Pastor will either respond or ask someone on the committee to respond.
~Sandy Gruner for the committee
- Every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday - Take out - 5:30-6:00pm: Bread & More/INN
- ALLEY CAT THRIFT SHOP: Thursday 10:00AM – 2:00PM Saturday 9:00AM-1:00PM
- Bible Study Fridays 10:00 – 11:00AM
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