Tag Archive | One Journey

Pastor’s Post – June 2017

What Will be Happening in Church This Summer

Summer is a time to relax, slow down a bit, and maybe try a thing or two new and different.  I know that many of you will be away vacationing part of the time.  When you travel, look for opportunities to worship with other congregations.  You may pick up ideas that will enrich our spiritual life here.

The Love We Share sermon series

During June, I will be delivering a special series of sermons on the subject:  “The Love We Share.”  (It turns out that I unconsciously borrowed this title from a song in a Disney animated movie about mermaids!)  We will explore together how God’s love for us informs our love for each other, including sexual love, and how the church’s understanding of gender and sexual orientation and marriage has changed and continues to change.  I understand that this remains an area of controversy in churches, and it is not my intention to sow discord, but it is important that we reflect together on certain issues as we strive to shape the mission of our new church.  At least one of the sermons will include an opportunity for dialogue with the congregation, and if there is a felt need for more conversation and study, we certainly can arrange that as well.

Pentecost:  Celebration of the Spirit

Sunday, June 4, the Day of Pentecost, we will be blessed by a special musical contribution by Justin Ramlall who plays the trombone.   Come on time so you won’t miss his prelude.

Honoring our children and young people

Sunday, June 11 during worship we will honor our Sunday School teachers and students and celebrate the achievements of our young people who are completing another school term, graduating or otherwise distinguishing themselves.

Guest Preacher

Sunday, July 9 I will be in St. Louis, attending the bi-annual meeting of PCUSA people known as the “Big Tent.”  The Rev. Mark Tammen, General Presbyter for Long Island, will be preaching at Massapequa.  It has been awhile since Mark has been with us, so please take advantage of this opportunity to hear Mark’s presentation and to greet him.

Worship and Recreation in the Great Outdoors

Last summer the Gathering wrapped up its year by going outside.  We shared a time of reflection and prayer at a nearby organic farm on a warm Sunday afternoon in late June.  This year, the sessions are inviting all members and friends to a special outdoor worship service and picnic on Sunday, July 16.  We will gather at 10 a.m. in Wantagh Park.  The lunch is potluck.  Our reservation allows us to stay as long as we wish through the afternoon, so there will be plenty of time to enjoy God’s creation and have fun together.

Special Music

Our music and choir director, Wayne Dietrich, will be away the first three Sundays of July.  Stella LaMassa and others will be arranging special musical contributions for worship that you won’t want to miss.

Lay Preachers in August

I will be away after Sunday August 6 until Labor Day weekend.  For three Sundays you will be blessed by messages from members of our churches who have volunteered to preach in my absence.  I am sorry I will miss these occasions, and if you are in town, you will really enjoy being in church on those Sabbaths.

Cast Your Vote! Naming our Church

  

Whats in a Name

Naming Our New Church    

As our congregations continue to move forward toward merger, we need to begin to think about a name for our new ministry together. We are asking all of you to think about a name for what will be our new church. During the months of May & June suggestions may be submitted to Maria Studer or Joan Tischner, the Clerks of our         Sessions. We look forward to your ideas. The final decision on the new name will be made by the Joint Sessions.

Please write down your name suggestion and drop it in the suggestion box on the Narthex table at Levittown & Massapequa.

Optional – Member’s Name_________________________________________

New Church Name_______________________________________________

 

Pastor’s Post – November 2016

From-the-Pastor-2

Dear friends:

This is the season we celebrate the bounty of God’s blessings in our lives.  The iconic Norman Rockwell painting of the American family gathered around the table on Thanksgiving Day lives in my memory as an image of peace and plenty.  There are certain ideals in that image that are under threat today.  Most important is the picture of a unified, multi-generational family gathered in one place.  Fewer of us each year have that experience.  Now, we are coming to understand with the guidance of the Holy Spirit that family can come in a wide variety of forms — the group gathered around the table often looks very different now than   in Rockwell’s time.  The important thing for us as followers of Jesus Christ is to recognize, affirm and support the ties of love that bind families together, whatever combination of people are involved.

The other important part of Rockwell’s image of the traditional Thanksgiving that is under threat is that enormous turkey on the table which symbolizes the wealth of food and other basic necessities that we Americans have enjoyed for a long time.  Sadly, Newsday reported in a recent edition that the number of children on Long Island living in poverty in the last nine years has gone from 6.1 percent to 9.9 percent, an increase that is considerably larger than that for the entire state of New York.  There are many things that contribute to these grim statistics, which add up to many empty tables at dinner time in our neighborhoods.

In our draft Plumbline Study of our congregation(s) we renew the commitment of our Christian fellowship to respond to these concerns by being a family for those who have lost their family and to do this by being alert and responsive to people’s needs for fellowship.  We also call for a continuation and expansion of our mission commitment to hungry children.  I would hope that we can enhance our commitment to Long Island’s children by both continuing our charita le giving and by becoming advocates for increased public support for the poorest children.

Yes, the Norman Rockwell image of thanksgiving is changing, but the vision of family unity and prosperity continues to inspire us.  I pray that the Holy Spirit will lead us to a new level of commitment this holiday season to each other and to our community.

_Pastor Lou