Tag Archive | pastor louis knowles

Pastor’s Post – November 2018

From the Pastor

Pastor’s Post

During the past month, I attended two Saturday mini-conferences that looked at the prospects for the Christian church and its American congregations in the near future.

The first event was sponsored by Lutherans here on Long Island and featured a lot of practical information about congregation building.  Two words of wisdom that summarize a lot of that day are:

“People are drawn to a church with a purpose.”  The speaker suggested focusing church   attention on one or two community needs.

“People are drawn to a church when they can see that it is changing lives.”

This speaker had quite a bit to say about stewardship practices and evangelism, and I hope to share those with you as occasions for that kind of discussion arise.

The second event was a day-long mini-conference sponsored by the Presbytery of Long Island that featured Rev. Brian McLaren, a nationally recognized thinker and author on the future of Christianity in our country.  This man grew up as a fundamentalist but has now changed his mind about a lot of theological things.  Early in his remarks he challenged us by saying that many Christians now are trying to “save” their churches, but we need to consider Christ’s words when he said that someone who wants to save his or her life must lose it.  What might that mean for us in terms of the life of our church?   He told an inspiring story about a church in England that began to work with kids who were using the church parking lot for skateboard activities.  Rather than chasing the youngsters away, the church people found a way to organize the skating activity and even got the young people to think about God and their own lives.

Church members who attended the McLaren conference with me were:  Arlene Griemsmann, Maria Studer, Joan Tischner, Carol Teta, Camille Hartman, Sharon Slade and Janice Kincaid.

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November is stewardship month, the time of year we ask all members to let the Session know what you will give in the coming year of 2019.  Over the past three years, I have been thankful for the faithfulness of the membership in giving.  Your pledged giving goes toward two important things:

1) Maintenance of our buildings, which not only are our places of worship but that host many community activities.  Everything from AA to boy scouts to basketball leagues to dance and yoga classes are benefiting from the space we provide at modest rents.  All these groups would find it difficult to find other places to meet if we were not here.

2) Support of our worship and Christian Education programs.  As a Presbyterian Church, we value the leadership of trained clergy and the volunteer service of our Sunday School teachers and Gathering organizers.

In thinking about financial needs in the coming year, I would advise you that there are no plans to close either of our two properties.  By December I expect the Session will make a firm commitment to maintain both our pre-schools through June, 2020.  Our financial performance during 2019 will be an important indicator of whether we should support both buildings beyond June, 2020.

 

-Pastor Lou

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supper at Six – April 23 – 6-8:30 at Massapequa

 

fellowship-hour

SUPPER AT SIX

 

Sunday, April 23  from 6-8:30pm in the

 

Fellowship hall at the Presbyterian

 

Community Church of Massapequa

 

Members, family, friends, children &

 

grandchildren are encouraged to attend.

 

Please bring your favorite covered dish and board game.  Dessert & beverages will

be provided.  RSVP to Joan Tischner.

 

 

 

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