Tag Archive | jesus christ

Pastor Katie’s Weekly Letter

UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

Levittown Campus Massapequa Campus 474 Wantagh Avenue, Levittown 150 Pittsburgh Avenue, Massapequa

March 26, 2020

Weekly Pastor’s Letter…

Dear Church, I hope this letter finds you safe and healthy and sheltered in your homes. As we go through this time together, please reach out if you have any needs. We know that many people in our church have underlying medical conditions, and we are urging our “older” folks to use caution about even going out to the stores for supplies. Please reach out to your deacons or elders, call the church office, or call me at (805) 448-9641 if there’s any way we can be of assistance.

I am sad to share that Eleanor Novotny passed away on March 23. Eleanor was a long time member of the United Presbyterian Church, Levittown Campus and lived to be 101 years old. Please say a prayer for Eleanor and her family.  Eleanor requested that there not be a service. When we gather in person again we will honor her during our regular Sunday worship service. If you have stories or memories of Eleanor, please take a few minutes to email them to the church office and we will make sure Janice Newsome and the family receives them.

I’m happy to share that Wendy is home from her surgery and is recuperating. She is grateful for all of your prayers and hopes to join us for the Zoom calls again soon.

I’m also happy to share that Wayne is doing well. He joined our worship call on Sunday last, and I look forward to working with him in April to add more music into the worship services!

We continue to meet daily by Zoom conference calls (M/W/F at 12noon and Su/Tu/Th at 7pm), and we will be worshiping on Sundays at 10am, also by Zoom conference call. Thanks especially to Feiona, Ella, Stella, Robin, Joan, Sharon, Paul and others who made worship possible last week and this week! If you are interested in reading scripture, singing, or participating in other ways with worship, please contact Sharon or myself.

To join the zoom calls from any phone, cell phone, tablet or computer:

Call in by phone: (646) 558 8656 when prompted, enter the meeting number: 832 316 0543
-or-
Using the Zoom app join with the meeting number: 832 316 0543
-or-
Using a computer, click on this link:
https://zoom.us/j/8323160543

Sunday’s sermon will be on the valley of the dry bones depicted by the prophet Ezekiel. I hope you’ll join us for worship as we figure out how to do this without our buildings…

We expect that we will not be gathering in person for Holy Week. However our Worship Committee will be meeting next week to talk about some ways to celebrate that time through our conference call gatherings. We know that not everyone has the technology to see video, so we are committed to creating worship services that are accessible by a regular phone. We will also be working to create some video content to compliment the audio. If you are interested in being part of that conversation, please contact Sharon or myself and we’ll add you to the call.

Many thanks to our Deacons and Elders who have made it possible for UPC to pivot on a dime and keep our community connected, even as we cannot gather physically. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to work with in the first month of my ministry as we navigate a global disaster together!

Finally, in this time of enforced isolation (even as some of us are isolated in larger groups!), I offer you this reflection by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan:

“I am not a quiet person. But I can use quiet. To let myself choose quiet is to value my voice, my time, my energy, my words. It is to know that if the words are not there, they will come. To let myself choose quiet is to know that, sometimes, the most important thing is not to change or teach unwilling others, but to take care of myself. Sometimes the loudest thing we can do—the most generative, most disruptive, most rambunctious, most radical, most revolutionary thing we can do—is give ourselves what we need. Time. Space. Rest. Energy. Love. Quiet.”

No matter where you are right now, no matter who you are with, take some time to be quiet as the world is shutting down temporarily. There will be plenty of time to be productive, make noise, celebrate, be LOUD. But for right now, rest and refresh. Regain lost energy. Allow yourself to know who you are when everything slows down.

And for those of you who are still working, essential personnel who are keeping the world alive right now, you have our deepest gratitude for that work. If we can be helpful to you, please let us know. If we can treat you with dinner or supplies or a friendly ear, please let us know.

Blessings to all and I hope to see you soon…

Rev. Katie Mulligan

Pastor, United Presbyterian Church (805) 448-9641 katiesmulligan@gmail.com

March Pastor's Post

Dear Church,

It is good to finally be with you! If we haven’t yet found time to meet up in person, please email me at katiesmulligan@gmail.com or call me at (805) 448-9641 and let’s make that happen. I’m looking forward to getting to know you and your families over the coming months and working together to continuously create a vision for United. This is a time of change for many of us personally and professionally, for our church(es), and for our communities and nation. Octavia Butler wrote in her Earthseed series: “All that you touch, you change. All that you change, changes you.” This is both exciting and terrible at the same time! For many of us, change brings anxiety and worry and grief as we cling to what we’ve known. It can often feel like the foundations of all that we trust are dissolving out from under us.

One of my favorite television series, Mr. Robot, shared this observation: “Every day, he said, we change the world. Which is a nice thought, until I think about how many days and lifetimes l would need to bring a shoe full of sand home until there is no beach. Until it made a difference to anyone. Every day we change the world. But to change the world in a way that means anything that takes more time than most people have. It never happens all at once. It’s slow. It’s methodical. It’s exhausting. We don’t all have the stomach for it.”

As we go through Lent, I invite you into the centuries old ritual of Lenten practices. Traditionally the three pillars of Lent are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Many people choose to give up something for Lent (chocolate, coffee, meat, etc). Others choose to add a something to their routine (prayer, exercise, volunteer time). One year I gave up Lent for Lent. Another year I gave up a person for Lent. There are so many ways of observing this time, and I invite you to choose some way to honor God and your own humanity, some way of addressing brokenness within or out in the community. It’s a time of recognizing brokenness and seeking healing, a time to seek after wholeness and health.

I am grateful to be walking with you this year during Lent. I hope you’ll join us for meals and gatherings in addition to Sunday mornings, and I look forward to becoming a regular part of the community.

Blessings,

Pastor Katie

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength and all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself. ~Mark 12:30-31

Pastor’s Post January, 2019

Now that Christmas, 2018 is behind us, it’s time to close the books on our poet friend, W. H. Auden and his long Christmas poem, “For the Time Being.”  Here are some of his final words as he brings the story to an end:

Well, so that is that.  Now we must dismantle the tree,

Putting the decorations back into their cardboard boxes—

Some have got broken—and carrying them up to the attic.

The holly and the mistletoe must be taken down and burnt,

And the children got ready for school.  There are enough

Left-overs to do, warmed-up, for the rest of the week—

Not that we have much appetite, having drunk such a lot,

Stayed up so late, attempted—quite unsuccessfully—

To love all of our relatives, and in general

Grossly overestimated our powers. Once again

As in previous years we have seen the actual Vision and failed

To do more than entertain it as an agreeable

Possibility, once again we have sent Him away,

Begging though to remain His disobedient servant,

The promising child who cannot keep His word for long.

Sort of captures the mood of the days just after Christmas, doesn’t it?  Those feelings of joy, love and warmth wear off, and we are back in the rut of everyday existence before we know it.  As Auden says, “we have failed to do more than entertain it (the spirit of Christmas) as an agreeable possibility.”  Auden says we are like children who can’t keep a promise for very long.

Does Christmas simply offer a momentary respite from the ordinary?  Or, can we learn to live the whole year in the spirit of that special day?  You may read this after January 1, but there is still time for a resolution or two.  I would suggest more regular attendance at church—try to be present at least three out of four Sundays.  Don’t get upset if we are worshipping in “the other” church building.  All the buildings, all the meeting rooms are now “ours.”  Nothing is “theirs” any more.  The more time we spend together in worship and prayer, the easier will be our transformation into a united congregation.

Here are some special dates that I would like you to put in your appointment calendar:

Sunday, February 24.  We are planning to hold the final annual meeting of the two historic congregations and also the first congregational meeting of the new United Presbyterian Church. The session of the new congregation will be elected that day, along with its board of deacons.  This will take place immediately after the worship service.

Wednesday, March 6.  Ash Wednesday.  Please plan to attend the traditional evening service.  This is the beginning of Lent, and this will be an important season of prayer and re-commitment for all of us as we begin the adventure of being a revitalized, unified congregation.

Thursday evenings in Lent, March 7, 14, 21 and 28 and April 4 and 11.  These evenings will be dedicated to the study of our church’s mission in community—our relationship as a congregation of Christ’s followers to the social issues that affect us and those around us.  We will also spend some time at each meeting in group prayer.  Time and location to be announced

Sunday, April 21.  Easter.  We will have our third annual “sunrise” service on the lawn at Levittown and our 10 a.m. service at the Massapequa campus.

I hope you will be present for these events.  Please be a part of this new enterprise of the spirit as we begin life as a new church!  As poet Auden said in the closing lines of his Christmas poem:

“He is the Way.

Follow Him through the Land of Unlikeness;

You will see rare beasts, and have unique adventures.”

 

-Pastor Lou

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship Services

christmas-eve-candlelight-service_orig

We will host two Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship Services.

Please join our United Congregations on Christmas Eve, Monday, December 24, 2018.

Join us at 7:30p.m. for a Candlelight Worship Service hosted at the First Presbyterian Church of Levittown

Join us at 11:00 p.m. for a Candlelight Worship Service hosted at the Presbyterian Community Church of Massapequa

The Elaine Clifford Memorial Giving Tree

It’s that time of the year again. On Sunday, December 2nd. the Elaine Clifford Memorial Giving Tree will be decorate in the Massapequa sanctuary with your gifts for the needy.

The items that are especially needed are:  men’s thermal underwear (tops and bottoms, size large, no XL), gift cards from Target, Walmart, or Costco. (Gift cards are used to purchase work shoes.) We also need gloves, especially men’s hats, scarves, men’s sweatshirts (M&L,) and socks. For the children, we need new toys, board games, dolls, basket balls, and Soccer balls. Thank you for thinking of others during the Christmas Season. Our advocate for the homeless, Jillian will distribute your gifts to the needy.

giving tree

Pastor’s Post for October 2018

From the Pastor

Where We Worship

Remember!  Starting this Sunday, October 7, we will be worshiping every Sunday at 10 a.m. in the sanctuary at our Massapequa campus until the end of the year.  We will be able to watch as our amazing gingko tree located in front of the church becomes a golden torch of autumn splendor!

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Meditations to Enhance Your Christian Life

You don’t want to miss the Gathering, starting Sunday, October 14th. with a book study led by Janice Kincaid.  The book is Heart and Soul by Douglas Hood, the pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Del Ray Beach, Florida.

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Our Journey to Being United Presbyterian Church   

I am grateful to all those of you who were able to attend our joint congregational meeting on Sunday, September 30.  It appears now that we will shortly have our paperwork in hand to send to the New York State authorities who must approve our plan to become one new congregation, United Presbyterian Church.  Barring unforeseen difficulties, we should receive the green light from the state within a few months.  Maria Studer has been managing the application process, and she still needs help entering our data from the inventory of the belongings of both congregations.  Volunteers are welcome!  If this can be done in the next couple of weeks, the full application can be submitted this month.

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Church Revitalization Workshop

This past Saturday, September 29, I attended a Church Revitalization seminar offered by our Lutheran brothers and sisters in Deer Park.  I plan to share some ideas and insights from that day with the elders and any other members who are interested.   For example, testimonials from church members about how God is at work in their lives are inspiring and motivating for other members and friends.  It would be great to hear from some of you as part of our service in coming weeks and months.

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A Day with Brian McLaren

Thanks to Presbytery, we have a wonderful opportunity to be in conversation with Brian McLaren on Saturday, October 13 9:30 to 3:30 in Bethpage.  The cost is minimal, $10 in advance or $20 at the door.  McLaren has written compellingly about the future of the Christian faith in this secular age.  His reflections will be very helpful to us as we plan our church of the future right here on Long Island.  You can call 631 486 4350 to let Presbytery know you are coming.

 

Worship Schedule

Come-Worship-With-Us

Join our United Congregations for Worship at the Presbyterian Community Church of Massapequa starting October 7th.

Sunday Worship Service 10a.m.

Sunday School children will be dismissed from Worship to attend Sunday School.

Coffee Hour will immediately follow worship in the Fellowship Hall.