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.
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
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