Beth Coffman, Editor                                                                                                     April 2017


…..from the Pastor’s desk


The following was presented to the congregation on March 26, 2017.


We all grieve the death of David Rockefeller.  We join his family, friends, compatriots, and tens of thousands of others around the world in so doing.  David had a life-long relationship with Union Church.  It was unique that in 2015 we could celebrate both his 100th birthday, which we did “in style” to his delight and the Centennial of Union Church.

David always greeted my entrance to this Sanctuary for the Sunday Service with a nod and a smile, which I joyfully returned.  His presence was uplifting to us all.  David, along with his siblings, was responsible for the Matisse window, dedicated on Mother’s Day 1956.  He said “…it reminds me of Mother every time I attend church in Pocantico.  The sunlight streaming through it creates a wonderful radiance and feeling of joy.”

David brought the name of Marc Chagall to his family’s attention as one who could provide a window here in memory of his Father, John D. Rockefeller, Jr.  It was Peggy, his wife, who had seen Chagall’s Jerusalem windows on exhibit at the Louvre.  At lunch she said to David, as he reported it, “…you must come see these windows”; which he did.  When Peggy said “must” you must.  Incidentally, today is the 21st anniversary of her death.

And so it is that Union Church is home to Chagall’s Good Samaritan window.  The Parable of the Good Samaritan was David’s father’s favorite parable.  Who is your neighbor?  What is your obligation to your neighbor? That is the point of the story.  David wrote that “…to Father the moral was clear.  Everyone is your neighbor.”  The Parable of the Good Samaritan epitomized his Father’s life and inspired his philanthropy.  Philanthropy is about being a good neighbor.

At the dedication of the Good Samaritan window, October 10, 1965, Marc Chagall spoke to David about the stained-glass window that then occupied the space now occupied by the Elijah window.  It is now in the Library of Union Church, a traditional stained-glass window of Jesus in the Temple as a boy.  Chagall said, “…that window is a problem; it detracts from mine; do something about it”.  Hence, in January of 1967, these eight (8) stained-glass windows by Chagall were dedicated.  Today we are at the culmination of the 50th Anniversary of their dedication.  Not long ago I was assured that David had today’s recital by Jonathan Moyer, organist and Roy Poper, on trumpet, on his calendar and was planning to attend.

It was David and Laurance who provided the church’s parking lot; it was David and Laurance who provided the first funds for the Pastoral Endowment (their gift being matched by action of the Board of Trustees with funds from the Milton and Margaret Johnson gift); David was the one who made possible the Laurance S. Rockefeller Memorial Pipe Organ (dedicated 11 years ago today).  Laurance’s daughter, Lucy, and the congregation also participated in this gift.  It was David who gave $500,000 to the Pastoral Endowment, along with a challenge gift to the congregation of $250,000 (which was met) thus enhancing the Pastoral Endowment by $1,000,000.

This recital of David’s presence here and his support of Union Church is not an exhaustive recital of his contribution to our life and mission.  We have been privileged to know David in this realm; “well done, good and faithful servant” – and we anticipate his smile and greeting in that realm we best describe as “Heaven”.

Let us pray:

God, our Father, from whom we come, unto whom we return, and in whom we live and move and have our being: We praise you for your good gift of life; for its wonder and mystery, its friendships and fellowships.  We thank you for the ties that bind us one to another.  We bless you for your loving and patient dealings with us, whereby you do ever teach us your way; for the meaning that lies hidden in the heart of sorrow, disappointment, and grief; and for your guiding hand along the way of our pilgrimage.  We thank you for your servant, David, recalling all in him that made others love him.  We bless you for the good and gracious influences in his home and training, for all that ministered to his best life.  We thank you for the goodness and truth that have passed from his life into the lives of others, and have made the world richer for his presence.  Grant us that where our treasure is, there may our hearts be also.  Amen.



Maundy Thursday Service of Holy Communion and Tenebrae, April 13 @ 8:00 p.m.

Good Friday Service, April 14 @ 8:00 p.m.

Easter Sunrise Service, April 16 at 6:30 a.m. in the meadow behind the church

Easter Services in the Sanctuary, April 16 at 9:00 and 11:00 a. m.



The prayers of the congregation are asked for Steve Silvera and Liz Strasser, who mourn the death of Steve’s Mother, Beatrice Silvera.  A Memorial Service will be held April 1st at 11 a.m. in witness to the Resurrection, and in celebration of her life.  The Service is being held on the date of Beatrice’s 100th birthday.


Zoe Banko and the H.C. Crittenden Middle School Science Olympiad Team  were in fifth place in the Lower Hudson Valley Regionals and made it to the NY State Finals which will be held in Syracuse April 7-8.  Congratulation and Good Luck
Zoe and to her Science Olympiad Team!


Apr 2 “Christ and Our Sense of Values”

Philippians 2:1-13 &

Matthew 5:1-11

Apr 9  “The Secret of Jesus”

Isaiah 53:4-12 & John 12:12-33

Apr 13 Maundy Thursday

“Through the Eyes of Judas”

Exodus 12:1-4, 11-14 &

Matthew 26:17-30

Apr 14 Good Friday

“The Grip of a Loving God”

Isaiah 52:13-53:12 &

John 3:11-21

Apr 16 Easter Sunrise

“Believing in a Living Christ”

Revelation 3:14-20 &

Luke 24:1-12

Easter Sanctuary

“Easter Evidence”

Isaiah 51:9-11 & Luke 24:1-12

Apr 23 “A Conversation with Christ”

1 Peter 1:3-9 &

John 4:1-25, 39-42

Apr 30 “Right and Wrong: or, What Works for You”

Micah 6:6-8 & Matthew 23:1-12



April 2 The Imperato Family
April 9 Rita and Sam Chapin
April 16 The Board of Deacons
April 23 Melissa Share
April 30 The Vidra Family


There many Sundays where we are looking for volunteers to host.  If you have any questions, please ask any Deacon.  Thank you!!



Prayers are requested for Larry Erdman, Joyce Skiko and Ann Von Der Misten Muller who are undergoing chemotherapy.



(Help Needed)

We need as many helpers as we can get for this event.  Sign-up sheets are in the Parish Hall.  You won’t want to miss the fellowship and the satisfaction of making a meaningful contribution to the financial wellbeing of Union Church!  Where will you help: Parking? Furniture? Books? White Elephants? Linens, Pictures and Frames?  Clothing?  Jewelry?



Please bring donations no later than Sunday, April 16th.   Women’s and Men’s clothing are asked to be brought on hangers or neatly folded and left in the library, furniture in the last room on the lower level, white elephants/antiques on the tables in the lower hallway, books on the first table in the lower hallway and jewelry to the church office.



For your convenience, we have enclosed an Easter Lily Order Form.  Forms are also available in the Parish Hall.  The price for each plant is $15.00.  The deadline for submission of forms is Sunday, April 2nd.



The past eight (8) Sundays the congregation has celebrated the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the eight (8) Chagall windows.  Each week one of the windows was featured, beginning with the Crucifixion window and ending with the Isaiah window.  The featured window was displayed in color on the front of that Sunday’s worship folder, with the scripture annotation for the window and a brief description on the last page.  If you would like a copy of any of these folders simply ask Beth Coffman.  The celebration ended with a rousing, beautiful, insightful organ/trumpet concert by Jonathan William Moyer, organist, and Roy Poper, on trumpet.  The sanctuary was filled, the applause was enthusiastic and sustained.  What a day!  A Champagne Reception followed.  Thanks to all who attended and those who made the concert possible.



The John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Committee is now accepting applications from all all qualified members of the congregation.  To qualify for the scholarship award, applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. All applicants must be an active member of Union Church of Pocantico Hills.
  2. All applicants must have completed a high school education and been accepted to attend the 2017-2018 academic year at an accredited institution of higher learning.
  3. Applicants must be able to document that they have played an active role in the services and mission of Union church.
  4. Applicants must have shown good character, leadership ability and general good conduct in church, school and community activities.

All applications must be completed and received by the Scholarship Selection Committee no later than Sunday, May 14.



The Union Church Pastoral Endowment was created to ensure that Union Church always remains a living church with a pastor and a congregation, and not just an art museum.  Please consider the Pastoral Endowment in your benevolence giving and estate planning.  Thank you.


The Dinner Club met on Saturday, March  11th.  It was chaired by Gretchen and John Loase and the theme was comfort – comfort food, comfortable clothing and soothing live music  by Billy Hall, a local folksinger and song writer. The Dinner Club will meet again on April 8th at 6:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall.  If you would like to attend as a guest or are interesting in joining, please speak to Joyce Skiko or Carter or Sharon Dorzbacher or email the church office at


If you are not already receiving the Tower Chimes by email and wish to do so,  please contact the Church Office at