In March worship will be hosted at the First Presbyterian Church of Levittown.
In April, May and June worship will be hosted at the Presbyterian Community Church of Massapequa in the Fellowship Hall.
(Please note the first three Sunday’s in April the 7th, 14th & 21st will be held in the Massapequa Sanctuary)
In July, August and September worship will be hosted at the First Presbyterian Church of Levittown. Worship will be held in Miles Hall.
In October, November and December worship will be hosted at the Presbyterian Community Church of Massapequa in in the Sanctuary.
Equipment for the hearing impaired is available for the worship service. Please contact an usher to obtain it. If a large print bulletin is needed, it must be requested on the Monday prior to the worship service by calling the church office.
Dear Members of United Presbyterian Church:
What a joy it is to address you in this new way! We have traveled a long way over the past three years, we have gotten to know each other well, and we have learned to worship and work as one body of Christ’s followers. Now, our shared experience is being validated in official unification of the two historic churches.
I am thankful that the ecclesiastic and legal processes of unification have synchronized, so that we can move in coming weeks to consolidate our legal and financial management even as our new, unified session will begin to make decisions. We need to work on creating a new system of committees, being clear about the tasks each committee is assigned, and appointing chairs.
Most important, I believe, is that during the next several months, we need to systematically think about the nature of our life together and our mission in this new era. In 2016, almost three years ago, a joint committee wrote a “Plumbline Report” to assess the community we serve and the direction we wished to take in congregational life and mission. The Report was accepted by both sessions. Now, we need to re-visit that report, and see if we can develop a more specific set of goals as we consider where we are now.
To assist with this new process of discernment and planning, I am organizing the Gathering sessions for the Lenten season Sundays of March 17, 24, and 31 and April 7. We will meet in Miles Hall (4/7 will be held in the Massapequa Social hall) following a brief coffee hour.
March 17 How we worship
March 24 How we govern ourselves
March 31 What is the future of our buildings? Issues and ideas.
April 7 What is our Mission both local and global? How do we achieve It?
These sessions will be planned and led by me with input from elders and other members.
I will create a summary of points made and ideas brought forward. This will become a background paper for a one-day member planning retreat I hope to organize sometime in May. (I should add that this plan of mine will be discussed at the first meeting of the unified session, so it is subject to change. Stay tuned.)
Sunday Supper at Six – February 24th. 6-8pm
Join us for Sunday Supper at Six, February 24, 2019 from 6 to 8 pm at the Presbyterian Community Church of Massapequa. Attendees will enjoy dinner by candlelight and music in the Fellowship Hall. Please bring your favorite DVD and dish of your choice. Set up, dessert and beverages will be provided.
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.”
The Gathering, will meeting during Advent, beginning Sunday, December 2nd. following worship. We will discuss the Christmas poem, “For the Time Being” by W. H. Auden. Pastor Lou will lead the study.