The Newsletter of First Presbyterian Church of Port Jefferson, New YorkEcclesia Reformata, Semper Reformanda Viewpoint September 2007 As Christians we are always living “between the times,” the “yet” and the “not yet”. Jesus’ earthly life was lived in such a way. He predicted His leave-taking in Jn 16: “A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me.” (vs. 16) and in vs. 28 we read “I came from the Father and have come into the world; again I am leaving the world and going to the Fa- ther.” Jesus’ birth, death, rising and future Second Coming are the yets and not yets of His life. We here at First Presbyterian know something of the between times. By the time you read this I will have begun my work at Old First Presbyterian in Huntington and you will await the arrival of your next installed pastor. The in-between times are not easy to live through. Waiting is difficult, our expectan- cies, real and imagined, are always present and we fear what we don’t yet know. Jesus understood the between times. To His disciples and to us He shares how we might move through such a moment in life: “The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered each one to his own home…& you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have con- quered the world!” (vss. 32, 33) How many moments of interlude does life present? It would appear to be seemingly many and many more than ever before for our health care has been revolutionized. In an article in the Wall Street Jour- nal, Jeffrey Laslow poses such a question when he lifts before us a subject that is not often spoken about: the toll of living in limbo. A loved one is missing, as we witnessed in the bridge collapse in Mn. We can’t forget the numbers of families affected by serious brain trauma, stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkin- son’s etc. We’re prolonging life, but we’re also “prolonging dying” says Mercedes Bern–Klug, an end- of-life researcher at the University of Iowa. Thousands of people are surviving long in these serious states. Bern-Klug calls such an interlude between fullness of life and death “ambiguous dying syn- drome”. For their loved ones, coping with the ambiguity creates a unique kind of stress. We don’t even have a name in our culture to describe the “yet” & “not yet” of caring about such a friend or fam- ily member and surviving ourselves through the process. Even ABC News was unprepared when Bob Woodruff suffered a near-fatal head wound in Iraq. We move on fitfully and the toll on those involved can be excruciating. It takes a special kind of wait- ing for the “not yet” to arrive during the in-between. Jesus’ words cont’d page 2
PAGE 2 V I E W P OI N T September 2007 cont’d from page 1 Deacons, Elders, and Members help us to remember we are not alone; God is with Thank you for the wonderful and unexpected us all the while, as decisions are made and wishes coffee hour in my honor; for the reflections on respected. Peace and courage are given to those our time together, the magnificent cross neck- who wait. We are promised the status of conqueror lace for worship, the cake, flowers, cards and through Him who loved us. May your wait over gifts, and most especially all of your love and this month be blessed with Christ’s strong presence care that I have been blessed to experience. and my continuing love for you. God bless you in many and wondrous ways. Together we move into God’s future, bound by Peace and courage be unto you. Christ’s loving heart. For such a gift of know- Pastor Barbara ing you and being privileged to be your pastor, I am indeed grateful. Together in Christ, Pastor Barbara The Peacemaking Offering is divided in three ways: 50% goes to the General Assembly PEACEMAKING Peacemaking Program to facilitate such pro- OFFERING FOR 2007 grams as the International Peacemaker Program. “And the leaves of the tree We had such a person in our Presbytery three are for healing of the years ago. Among many other activities is the nations…” (Revelation 22:2) annual Peacemaking Conference. Linda Blum from our congregation attended a few years ago. This image of healing comes from the Book of Revelation. Peacemaking as healing – this one of 25% goes to Synod and Presbytery Peacemaking many translations for the biblical understanding of Workgroups. This last year our Presbytery’s peace – not just the absence of conflict, but a res- workgroup has put special attention on support- toration of wholeness. ing the peacemaking activities of youth in vari- ous churches. 25% stays in the local congrega- What is your image of peace? How can our con- tion. Last year’s share supported a program in gregation offer “leaves of healing” to people in our Lebanon following the terrible war there. church, our community, and around our world that Yousef Makdesi helped us understand something will help create a peaceful world? of what that meant. The Presbyterian Peacemaking Offering that we This year World Communion Sunday comes take every World Communion Sunday supports on October 7th. There will be further interpre- the efforts of Presbyterians to share God’s healing tation from our Mission Committee as we get and peace. It is received on World Communion closer to the time. Sunday in recognition that God’s healing is of- fered to all people and nations. In taking the bread and cup of Communion, we are united with Christ and one another in the work of healing.
September 2007 V I E W P OI N T PAGE 3 Annual Membership Committee Double duty Beach Picnic When the church custodian quit, the pastorBeautiful weather…great fun and fellowship! A asked the organist if she would be able towonderful family day was enjoyed by the fifty- also clean the church sanctuary.four members and friends who attended our An-nual Beach Picnic on Saturday July 21st. Every- The organist replied, “Do you mean thatone, ages six months to over eighty years young, now I have to mind my keys and pews?”had a glorious day.A special thank you goes to John and Pam Heidefor graciously hosting this event at the Belle Terrebeach and for their efforts in organizing and con-ducting the children’s games. Pam engaged the Pastoral Appreciationchildren all afternoon in creative and active events. A pastor was near a group of his church mem-The friendly competition was invigorating and the bers when he overheard them talking about vari-prizes exciting. Special thanks also to the day’s ous ministers who had served the congregation.grill chef, Gonzi Pardo, and assistant, Tom His ears perked up when he heard an older manMakros. And thanks also to church family mem- say, "Whenever someone asks me, Which of ourbers who each contributed to the feast with a deli- pastors did you like best? my answer is always,cious dish to share. The fruit ambrosia made by The pastor we have at any given time is my fa-Lauren and David Agnew made quite a hit and vorite."they promise to share the much-requested recipewith us. The pastor who was listening in breathed a quiet sigh of relief.Check the bulletin board in Fellowship Hall forphotos and additional information. If you were God sends each pastor to us with his or her ownunable to attend this year, be sure to save the date set of spiritual gifts, and God works throughas soon as it is announced for next July! each pastors gifts to bring us Gods blessings.ROSA MARINA FRUIT SALAD (ORZO SALAD DESSERT)By popular request, Lauren Agnew shares this recipe with us. It made a big hit at the Annual Beach Picnic and a re-cent Coffee Hour.Ingredients:½ box (1 cup) Orzo macaroni, cooked until tender; rinse and drain.1 (20 oz.) Can pineapple chunks or tidbits. Drain well and reserve juice.1 large Can or 2 small cans mandarin oranges. Drain and reserve juice.2 Eggs ½ cup Sugar ½ tsp. Salt2 Tbsp. Flour 1 8 0z. Tub light whipped toppingDirections:1. Beat eggs, sugar, salt, flour, and juices together. Cook over medium heat until thick.2. Watch that it doesn’t bubble over.3. Pour warm dressing over macaroni and mix. Refrigerate overnight.4. Place fruit in covered container or ziplock bag and store in refrigerator overnight.5. Next day: Add fruit and whipped topping to pasta.6. Garnish with cherries, if desired.
PAGE 4 V I E W P OI N T September 2007 SPIRITUAL LIFE God Works in Mysterious Ways Have you ever wondered what “The Spiritual Dwight Nelson recently told a true story about the Life Committee” does? pastor of his church. He had a kitten that climbed up a tree in his backyard and then was afraid to Following is a list of just some of the things our come down. The pastor coaxed, offered warm milk, committee does to make it possible for the congrega- etc. tion to worship each Sunday: The kitty would not come down. The tree was not We schedule Worship Assistants. sturdy enough to climb, so the pastor decided that if We schedule Usher Teams. he tied a rope to his car and pulled it until the tree bent down, he could then reach up and get the kit- We schedule Communion Teams. ten. We oversee Music Ministry. Thats what he did, all the while checking his pro- We put up the weekly Sunday hymn numbers on the gress in the car. He then figured if he went just a wall racks. little bit further, the tree would be bent sufficiently for him to reach the kitten. But as he moved the car We set up the sanctuary for baptisms and Commun- a little further forward, the rope broke. ion services. The tree went "boing!" and the kitten instantly We oversee sanctuary guests – those who use our sailed through the air -out of sight. facility for rehearsals and concerts. The pastor felt terrible. He walked all over the We schedule substitute organists, when necessary. neighborhood asking people if theyd seen a little kitten. No. Nobody had seen a stray kitten. So he We see to the maintenance of the organ and the pi- prayed, "Lord, I just commit this kitten to your ano. keeping," and went on about his business. We see that the Sunday services are taped and A few days later he was at the grocery store, and available to shut-ins. met one of his church members. He happened to We put weekly offering envelopes in the pew racks. look into her shopping cart and was amazed to see cat food. This woman was a cat hater and everyone We put Deacons’ quarterly offering envelopes in the knew it, so he asked her, "Why are you buying cat pew racks. food when you hate cats so much?" We put oil in the upper Communion Table candles. She replied, "You wont believe this," and then told We hang banners. him how her little girl had been begging her for a cat, but she kept refusing. Then a few days before, We put candles in the wall sconces. the child had begged again, so the Mom finally told We provide the Advent Wreath and candles. her little girl, "Well, if God gives you a cat, Ill let you keep it. "She told the pastor, "I watched my We put The Stations of the Cross in the sanctuary child go out in the yard, get on her knees, and ask windows for the Lenten season. God for a cat. And really, Pastor, you wont believe this, but I saw it with my own eyes. A kitten sud- We provide items needed for Ash Wednesday and denly came flying out of the blue sky, with its paws Maundy Thursday services. outspread, and landed right in front of her." We set up the Easter cross and items used in Lenten Never underestimate the Power of God and His and Easter services. unique sense of humor!
September 2007 V I E W P OI N T PAGE 5 or Moses, or Ruth, or maybe even a camel. ♦We also need a stand or cabinet for the large WHEW! TV in the Great Room. It’s quite big - the WE MADE IT! stand needs to be about 32 X 27. Please join us in our Journey of Faith. Talk to If you’ve been around the Church in any way through any member of the CE committee. We’ll tell the Spring and Summer, you know about the exciting you how you can help! plans for Church School starting in September. The CE Committee decided that, to start the new process off right, we’d use the summer to freshen up and re- model our classroom space. What were we ever thinking? How could we possibly hope to get so much accomplished in a few short months? Well, WE didn’t, but YOU did. We scheduled two work days and a dozen or more people came on those days. Then we tried an evening and even more people, in- cluding youth, showed up. But what really amazed us was that workers came on their own time! Weekdays, evenings, at almost any time you could find someone here painting, sorting, sawing and building. Some of Sunday September 9 the work was not meant for AARP members, so we’re especially grateful to the Youth for doing the heavy work. As of this writing, the Great Room is com- plete, the CE closet is cleaned out, Room 3 is so beautiful and ready for a new floor. We’re ready for the CHILDREN! Thank you all so much. And after thanking you, we now ask for more! Our theme for the year is “Journeys of Faith,” and during September we’ll prepare for “traveling.” Kids will get passports, traveling accessories, and “tickets” to some ancient places. We have a big map, but what would really be great would be a LARGE GLOBE. Do you happen to have one in your attic or basement? Wouldn’t you love to see it put to good use? ♦We plan to have a story tent. Instead of chairs, the kids will sit on huge cushions. If you have any of those, or if you have some ideas about how we can make little pillows into big ones, please let us know! ♦Stories are so much more fun when we can put our- selves into it so we’ll need a lot of costumes. Can you help us make them? A yard and a half of fabric and a little time on your part will make a child into Joseph,
PAGE 6 V I E W P OI N T September 2007 · You must be at least 70 ½ years of age and own the IRA. · You must direct your IRA administrator to send your gift directly to the Presbyte- rian Foundation or charitable organiza- tion; you may not receive the funds. The Stewardship Committee would like to share the following article about a special, but limited, method for individuals who · Your gift must be made on or before De- would like to use some of their IRA accumulation to support cember 31, 2007. the work of the First Presbyterian Church of Port Jefferson. If this opportunity is of interest, note the contact information at · The maximum excluded 2007 distribution the end of the article. is $100,000 per taxpayer. A Limited Gift-Planning You should also consider the following when considering a gift from your IRA: Opportunity* The IRA Charitable Distribution Expires December 31, 2007 · Distributions can be made from a tradi- tional IRA or Roth IRA. You may also By: Pat Ohlmann, Assistant Vice President, Gift Planning, Pres- rollover funds tax free from another quali- byterian Foundation. fied plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b) to a Until recently, the only way to gift funds from your traditional IRA or Roth IRA for a subse- IRA to the Presbyterian Foundation, your church, or quent gift. chosen ministry without incurring income tax was to · If you have both traditional and Roth IRA name the charitable organization as a beneficiary of funds, utilizing your traditional IRA first your IRA. There was no tax-favored charitable op- will maximize your tax benefit. portunity during your lifetime. A recent tax law, the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (“PPA”), provides · New Covenant Trust Company, a subsidi- those over age 70 ½ with an opportunity not previ- ary of the Presbyterian Foundation, can ously available. Through December 31, 2007, you assist you in rolling over your 401(k), will be able to exclude a qualifying gift through 403(b), etc. to a traditional IRA or Roth your IRA from your taxable income, which means IRA for a subsequent gift. you will not pay tax on the distribution. The gift opportunity made possible by the PPA should be considered by all IRA owners in all tax If you would like to discuss a gift to the Presbyte- brackets. In addition to the federal tax benefit, do- rian Foundation, contact your local development nors may be able to save on state taxes in many officer or Pat Ohlmann, Assistant Vice President, states that do not allow direct deductions. The gift Gift Planning, at email@example.com or 800-858- from your IRA can also count as a portion or all of 6127. (For general questions or assistance in your minimum required distribution. reaching the local development officer, contact John Harrington, through the church office.) Your gift to the Foundation, which can be as much as $100,000, can be used to establish a new perma- nent endowment fund or added to one or more exist- ing funds to support your congregation or chosen ministry. Qualified Charitable Distribution requirements in- clude:
September 2007 V I E W P OI N T PAGE 7 “Wholey Water Update” As I write this article on Au- gust 7, the necessary plumbing work to evacuate the basement water that is leaching into our sump from an underground spring has begun.Most of the piping will be routed under thechurch building, which will eliminate the needfor extensive trench digging usually associatedwith these projects. When the project is com- To My Church Family:pleted, the "God-given" water will still be invad- I would like to thank each of you for your sympa-ing our sump, but the water will evacuated thy and your prayers on learning of the death ofthrough an underground village storm drain un- my daughter, Daryl. Your love and concern areder South Street. Then we will be safe from sur- helping me and my family to make it throughface ice in the winter. some very difficult days. Your cards, your phoneI had expected that this work would have been calls, your hugs, the flowers, and the presence ofcompleted by the first of August, but, unfortu- those who were able to attend Daryl’s funeral ser-nately, the trenching company was hit with many vice were not only tangible evidence of your loveemergency calls from the south shore after the and caring but also served to remind me of God’sJuly 18th storm, so we, rightfully so, were love. I am truly grateful. As my family and I facepushed down their priority list. Hopefully the life without Daryl, I ask that you continue to in-rubber snake that is wriggling across our front clude us in your prayers.entrance will be removed before the eagerly an- Sincerely, Louise Robbinsticipated arrival of our permanent Pastor.When the underground work has been com-pleted, we, as a church, will still have to wrestlewith the question of what happens if there is an A granddaughter forelectrical power outage during a regional storm. Valerie and Bob Johnson.To keep the sump pumps running, we may haveto install a costly electrical generator that will We are so happy to share with our church familyautomatically kick-in when it senses a power at 1st Presbyterian. Our son Craig, wife Karen,failure. That decision is still pending. In any along with brothers Brayton and Colin welcomedcase, the Building and Grounds committee, and into the family Drew Heather Johnson, born onall of the other committees doing the work of the May 24, weighing in at 9lbs 2oz. 22 inches long.church need your continued prayer support andfinancial support. Please help! We send to you our blessings and think of you often.Yours, in Christ Valerie and BobChuck Darling
PAGE 8 V I E W P OI N T September 2007 HELP WANTED MORE HELP WANTED The hot, humid days of summer are here and Ive We need anyone who is been trying very hard not to think about Decem- able/interested in preparing the ber. I received a phone call a couple of weeks (already printed) Viewpoint ago notifying me that the Dickens Festival will for mailing, which involves be held the weekend of November 30 - Decem- folding, taping shut, and affix- ber 1 & 2. Ever since that conversation, images ing name stickers. Viewpoint is of our Victorian Tea keep invading my published monthly, but it is thoughts. The tea is so special for our church. We have the community come in that weekend not generally ready the same date each month. and enjoy delicious scones, cookies, and tea If you can be available on short notice for a few while listening to beautiful music from the sanc- hours a month, Women’s Fellowship would ap- tuary. As I have said many times before, the vil- preciate your help. Our numbers are fewer and lage and the Dickens committee are very appre- often we are not able to come out on short no- ciative of our tea and consider it to be an integral tice. It would be good to have a few more part of the festivities. names to work with. The tea is a wonderful occasion, but it requires a Thanks! lot of people. As we approach our 12th year, we Naomi Prach need to make a decision about continuing. At the conclusion of last years tea, many of us felt it was our best yet. It was also our most successful fund raiser as we earned about $4200 for the church. It is important to keep in mind that it is our only fund raiser and the money received is mainly from people outside of the church, not members. At the same time, after eleven years, many of us feel we need to take a break. Is there someone (or two or three) out there who has the slightest WELCOME INN TREASURER NEEDED: inclination to step in and bring new ideas? We will be more than happy to assist in any way. The Welcome Inn Soup Kitchen’s long-time There are other groups in the village who would treasurer will be retiring in December. We are jump in immediately and take over the tea and looking for someone to assume this responsibility we would probably never get it back to our beginning in Jan. 2008. The job entails picking up church. The music schedule is already set up as the mail from the post office box, depositing and that has to be take care of early. We need to get writing checks, balancing accounts and generating it to the newspaper for publication by the middle monthly statements, working with the president by phone and mail, and working with the Inter- of September. faith Nutrition Network (INN), our parent organi- So now we have big decisions to make. I would zation, with grant monies. The current treasurer like to have a meeting of all past and interested puts in about 4 hours per month. newcomers after church on September 9th. If you cant make that date and are interested, If you feel called to serve in mission in this way please give me a call (928-2715). please contact Paul Pratt at 698-2063. Nancy Darling
September 2007 V I E W P OI N T PAGE 9 May 20, 2007 Revisited Those who were fortunate enough to attend church that Sunday in May when the Rev. Bill Edwards spoke heard a wonderful sermon (as always). Part of his message spoke to a situation that I’m sure has played out many times before for Bill. He told of answering the phone one day and hearing a COME REGISTER IN THE TENT pleading voice asking to fill a pulpit on very short SEPTEMBER 9 notice. Estelle was pleading with him to decline. The call came at a very inconvenient time and Step right up to the Registration Tent at the didn’t fit into their busy schedule for that week- Barbecue on September 9. Whether your end. child has been in our Sunday School before or this is a new experience for your family, Bill, however, followed the Lord’s leading and accepted the invitation. As it turned out, the come in and meet Darlene, Jane and the church that needed Bill had just installed a new other leaders. Children aged 3 and up will pastor who had died that week after what I believe be assigned to a group of either “Explorers” Bill said was only three worship services. (younger) or “Nomads” (older.) Each group will have a Shepherd. There’ll be folks Bill went on to tell about that service and how around to help newcomers get to know their much grace and hope developed there. classmates, as well as signup sheets for par- How many times have I made plans only to have ents and others who’d like to get involved in them disrupted? How many times have I said no, our program. We’re looking forward to a knowing that I should have said yes? wonderful day and the start of an exciting In my mind, the real hero of this story is Estelle. year! I wonder how many times she has been disap- pointed and has had to change plans or improvise. I know that she not only respects her husband’s decisions, but is very proud of him as well. Who wouldn’t be? Who wouldn’t applaud God’s servant for doing the right thing. And as God’s people, give yourselves a hand, too, when, like Bill and Estelle, you become obedient servants. Grapes Sharing in the love of Christ, Grapes are most often associated with the sacra- Jerry Sweet ment of Holy Communion. They also symbolize the fruitfulness of Christian life. Many Bible stories, includ- ing “Exploring Canaan” (Numbers 13), mention grapes.
PAGE 10 V I E W P OI N T September 2007 HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Steven Gavin Brandon Ryan THE DEACONS’ FALL BARBECUE will be held on September 9th. Please bring a salad or side dish to share. The cost is still $2/Adults $1/Children, not to ex- ceed $5/family. All are invited!
September 2007 V I E W P OI N T PAGE 11 September 2007 — Schedule of Events Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10:00 AM Worship/Communion 6:00 PM: 10:30 No Church School All Welcome INN children remain in worship 9 10 11 12 7:00 B&G, 13 14 15 Intergenerational Service CE, Personnel 9:00 Choir Rehearsal 12:30 7:15 Mission 6:00 PM: 10:00 AM Worship Women’s 7:30 Membship Welcome INN 10:30 No Church School All Fellowship Stewardship children remain in worship 11:00 AM Deacons BBQ Sp.Life 11:00 AM Church School Registration in tent at BBQ COMMITTEE MEETINGS 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 9:30 AM: Choir Rehearsal Elections 7:00 PM 6:00 PM: Presbytery 10:00 AM: Worship/Baptism Session Welcome INN Meeting at 10:30 AM: Church School Meeting 11:30 AM Choir Rehearsal Freeport 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 GUARDIAN ANGEL SUNDAY 12:30 7:30 PM 6:00 PM: 9:30 Choir Rehearsal Deacons 10:00 AM: Worship Women’s Welcome INN Fellowship Meeting 10:30 AM: Church School 11:30 AM Choir Rehearsal 30 9:30 Choir Rehearsal 10:00 AM: Worship 10:30 AM: Church School 11:30 AM Choir Rehersal