Tag Archive | Leader

Pastor’s Post – June 2016

From the Pastor

Dear Friends,

Sundays in June offer exciting and interesting events that deserve your participation.  This coming Sabbath, the 5th, we will be worshipping at Levittown and holding an unofficial, non-business meeting of both Levittown and Massapequa members after service. As Maria and Joan, the Clerks of Session, have told you, we will be holding an advisory vote on the question of going forward with a study process to prepare for a formal merger of the two congregations.  We are going to do this by paper ballot.  We will take some time before the vote to talk about the study process that we are planning and how you can be part of it.  If it is impossible for you to be with us this Sunday, we still would appreciate hearing from you.  What have you appreciated about our joint worship and other cooperative activities over the past year or so?  What do you wish we could do more of?  What thoughts do you have about our mission?  Would it change if we merge?  How can you imagine our use of our two church buildings in the future?

On June 12 at Massapequa, we will bring into membership eleven young people who have been participating in the confirmation class this year.   This will be a great opportunity to catch a glimpse of the faith that is alive in these bright young people.

The afternoon Contemporary Service known as “The Gathering” will resume this Sunday, the 5th at 5:30 p.m. and continue through June 26th.  The last meeting of the Gathering will be held on June 26th. from 2-4pm at the Homecoming Farm in Amityville (555 Albany Ave).  The service will honor God’s creation and give us an opportunity to pray and praise God together in the great outdoors.

-Pastor Lou

Pastor’s Post – April 2016

From-the-Pastor-2

Dear friends,

On Easter Sunday, our combined congregations engaged in a renewal of our covenant with God.  We modeled this event on the great gathering of the people of God at Shechem under the leadership of Joshua, as it is described in the 24th chapter of the book of Joshua.  The first part of our covenant renewal process was a recitation of the many blessings we have received from God, both as individuals as churches.  The second part was a statement of what we are promising to God as we proceed into the future.  I have re-printed this second part below, so that we can all re-read it and consider what we are promising.  I will welcome any thoughts or reflections you may have.

-Pastor Lou

Our Pledge to God:

We will follow You into the future as one people, keeping Christ always at the center of our common life.

We will reach out to get to know the members of both congregations that we do not know now, we will work to blend our cultures and our ways of doing things, so that a new and dynamic ministry will emerge.

We will treat each other as beloved sisters and brothers in Christ, seeking always a common understanding and a unity of purpose.

We will not be afraid to share the Good News with others but will speak with joy and welcome to all.

We will give generously of our material resources and will share our time with the community as family and work commitments allow.

We will not horde our earthly and spiritual treasures, but will share with all, so that like the loaves and fishes of the little boy, like the jar of oil and the bin of flour of the Sidonian widow, like the manna in the wilderness, they will never be used up but will be an ever-flowing stream giving life to all.

This we solemnly promise, knowing that we are weak and prone to wander from Your way.  Pour out Your mercy and forgiveness upon us, we pray, that we may endure and gain the prize and at last enter into Your Kingdom of peace and plenty.

In the name of the risen Christ, we say, Amen.

 

 

Pastor’s Post – January 2016

From the Pastor

The New Year Brings a New Worship Opportunity

As we begin a new year of worship and work here in Levittown/Massapequa, I am looking forward especially to the re-launch of the Sunday evening service at our Massapequa campus on Sunday, January 3.  This will be a less formal worship opportunity in which we will be inspired by music written in recent years and performed by local musicians.  Our music leader will be Stella LaMassa, a member of Massapequa Church.  Stella was instrumental in a similar service that was held last year at Massapequa for several months.

The new service will begin at 5:30 p.m. and last for about 45 minutes and will continue through June.  Young people and children will be encouraged to remain in the service.  Afterwards there will be an hour of youth activities and Christian Ed programs for young people.  If there is sufficient interest, I will lead a Sunday School class for adults.  We can do some Bible study and also discuss current issues from a Christian perspective.

This new Sunday evening service will allow families to come together for worship and to deepen their understanding of their faith in a two-hour period at a time of day that will be less likely to conflict with other activities.  If you are a regular participant on Sunday morning, you may wish to attend both morning and evening worship, since each will be different, or you could continue to come to the morning service and then attend the Christian Ed hour, which will begin around 6:20.

I encourage you to think about friends and relatives who might be interested in attending this type of service at this time on the Sabbath.  Let’s not hide our new candle under a bushel basket!  -Pastor Knowles

 

Interfaith Thanksgiving Service at Temple B’nai Torah, November 25th. at 7:00pm

Interfaith Thanksgiving Worship

 Interfaith Thanksgiving Service Wednesday, November 25th. 7:00pm

This years Interfaith Worship service will be hosted by Temple B’nai Torah, 2900 Jerusalem Avenue, Wantagh.  Join Pastor Knowles as he delivers the Thanksgiving Sermon.  Please share your bounty with those in need.  Bring canned food as a donation to Long Island Cares.

Pastor’s Post for November 2015

From the Pastor

Dear friends:

As we look forward to the holidays, the traditional time of generosity and openhandedness, I hope the members of Levittown church will be especially thoughtful in finding ways to share the peace and joy of the season with your new companions on the pilgrim way from Massapequa Church. Advent is the time we celebrate God breaking into history and into our lives in order to begin a wonderful new work in us. So in the spirit of Advent, you should be looking forward to transforming old ways of doing things into new rituals of friendship and new program partnerships.

Between now and Thanksgiving, there are yet four opportunities for small group meetings with me. These “ice cream socials” are listed elsewhere in this issue. They are open to people from both congregations, and I hope they will afford an opportunity to meet not just me but some of your new partners from Massapequa Church. Please sign up for one.

During Advent, I will offer a three-session Bible study series on the different Christmas stories as found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke and the “non-Christmas” stories of Mark and John. In the spirit of Christian brothers and sisters coming together, we will see how the two stories of Matthew and Luke each have their own message, and how they have been joined over the centuries by the church into a powerful combined narrative. This synergistic combining of two Biblical traditions may provide insights for us as we begin the process of weaving together the traditions of our two congregations. Each study session will also provide time to pray together.

I am still deciding about when to do the Advent Bible studies: daytime? Evening? Day of the week? Please let me know your personal preferences. If necessary, we will conduct day and evening repeat sessions.

My family and I wish you all a joyous Thanksgiving with your loved ones. – Pastor Lou

Pastor’s Post for October 2015

Growing Together - Church Family

Dear friends:

During September and most of October my sermons will be built around the Great Ends of the Church.  This is a six point document that is part of the constitution of the Presbyterian Church in the USA. Here are the Great Ends in their entirety:

The proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind

The shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God

The maintenance of divine worship

The preservation of the truth

The promotion of social righteousness

The exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world

Please read this brief list carefully and think about how our churches are or are not pursuing these “Ends” or goals.  As we go forward together, it is important to articulate a clear understanding of what we are called to do as the church of Jesus Christ here in this place and time.  Given the great diversity of churches that people can choose from these days, we must ask ourselves what is special about our mission.  We Presbyterians have a great heritage of theology, church organization and mission, and we need to become more aware of that history and be clearer in our own minds about what we are called by God to accomplish now and how we should go about the work of the Kingdom.  Studying and discussing the Great Ends will give us a good start.

Beginning in October, I would like us to learn a “memory verse of the month.”  This will be a Bible verse that carries an important message for all of us. It will be printed in the bulletin for three Sundays and we will recite it during the service.  On the fourth Sunday, we will not print it, and we will recite it from memory! Please help me select the verses by giving me your favorite two or three verses.

-Pastor Lou

Introducing our new Pastor, Rev. Dr. Louis L. Knowles

Introduction of Rev. Dr. Louis L. Knowles.

This is an exciting time for me and my family! I am looking forward to getting to know everyone in the Levittown and Massapequa congregations. The challenge of building a shared ministry is something that makes this call to service special and of great interest to me. I deeply appreciate the confidence you have shown in me, and I will work hard to help you reach your goals.

I have been a Teaching Elder in the Presbytery of New York City for the past eighteen years. During that time, I worked for two mission-oriented organizations, Oikocredit and the Vellore Christian Medical College Foundation. My family and I been living in Forest Hills since 2005, although we spent most of 2010 living in southern India. My first interim pastorate took me to University Heights Presbyterian Church in the Bronx for two years, and my second engagement was in central Queens at the First Presbyterian Church of Newtown for three years. Along the way I picked up three weeks of interim ministry training. The past three years I have chaired the Presbytery Committee on Developing Congregations, working with immigrant worshiping communities that identify as Presbyterians.

I grew up in southern California in a congregation affiliated with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. My education took place in a Baptist day school and a high School organized by the Christian Reformed Church. During my college years at Stanford I moved my membership to the United Presbyterian Church in the USA and did my seminary work at the University of Chicago divinity School and San Francisco Theological Seminary. I lived for fifteen years in Washington DC, working for philanthropic and religious organizations and serving a Parish Associate at Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church.

I believe that the congregations of mainline Protestant denominations are a great spiritual treasures that benefit millions of Americans through our witness to God who loves all people and wants us to find personal and communal salvation in becoming disciples on the Lord Jesus Christ. Although Presbyterians are declining in numbers nationally, we continue to be a called people, chosen by God to uphold the Reformed faith. Like Gideon in the Old Testament, we carry on in faith, regardless of our size and strength as measured by the world.

Maria Guadalupe Gonzalez and I were married ten years ago and we have two children, Velma, age 9 and Louis, age almost 8. We are all looking forward in living in a real house instead of an apartment and enjoy all the simple pleasures of suburan life.

In faith and hope,

Pastor Lou Knowles