Beth Coffman, Editor                                                                                              September 2017


…..from the Pastor’s desk

Last Sunday I concluded my sermon “The Titanic Syndrome” with this paragraph, which I hope you will read and even ask about.  “Over against the titan-ism of the human spirit that seeks to be God, confronted with the great modern idol of a scientism that rubs out the world of the spirit and treats our highest aspirations and holiest values as mere tickings in the heart of a machine, we have surely something to declare and something to believe as members of the Christian church.  We declare that humanity’s takeover bid for this corner of the universe has failed and is bound to fail.  For we believe that the human family has a parent God to whom we owe our worship and our trust.  And it is on the path of humility that we find God in the person of Jesus who not only taught, but demonstrated to the last drop of his blood what it means to be truly meek.  It is he who calls to us all in our anxieties and confusions:  ‘Come to me, all whose work is hard, whose load is heavy; and I will refresh you.  Bend your necks to my yoke, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble hearted; and your soul will find relief.’”

How time flies!  Labor Day is upon us; school will soon begin; signs of Fall are seen in nature – the rhythm of life – how magnificent!  I am glad to observe the rhythm and be a part of it.  And I certain you, too, are.

The Wednesday Night Study will begin Sept.  6, @ 7 p.m. in the Library; please note the description of the study included in this newsletter.  Perhaps you can, and will, participate.  Choir rehearsals resume Sept. 6 @ 8 p.m., with the Choir returning to the 11 a.m. Service Sept. 10.  Sunday School will resume Sept. 10 @ 11 a.m. – see details in this newsletter.

Lord’s Day Services this Summer were well attended – thank you!  We were enriched with your guests who attended with you and others from far and wide across the country and the world.  One Sunday an extended family who had gathered in Darien, CT were here from England, Germany, Austria, and France.  Their participation and response to our Service was heartening.

The Board of Deacons has chosen Bob Sweeney to fill the vacancy on the Board created by Gary Tozzi’s move to Florida.  This is in accordance with Article VI, Section 1. (b) of the Constitution and By-Laws of Union Church.  Bob will serve until the next Annual Meeting of the Congregation at which time the congregation will vote on the Nominee for Gary’s unexpired term.

The Parish Hall floor was sanded and re-finished.  It looks great.  Due to high humidity we could not use the Hall Aug. 20.  The Fellowship Hour that day was held in the Library, which served very well.

Sign-up sheets for helping at the Harvest Fair, Oct. 20, 21 & 22, are in the Parish Hall.  This year’s departments are:  Furniture, Books, White Elephants, Flowers/Plants, Antiques, Clothing for Women and Men, and Jewelry.  Oct. 1 is the last day we can accept contributions for the Fair.



The Wednesday Night Study Group will resume September. 6th at 7 p.m., in the Library.  We would be delighted to have you join us! This year’s study will be GREAT WORLD RELIGIONS.  We will begin with Judaism.  The video-lecturer is Professor Isaiah M. Gafni who has taught students about ancient Judaism for more than 40 years at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he is the Sol Rosenbloom Professor of Jewish History.  Among the several books of which he is the author is; “the Jews of Talmudic Babylonia: A Social and Cultural History”, for which he was awarded the Holon Prize in Jewish Studies.

A frequently quoted story in rabbinic literature describes how a potential covert to Judaism approached two rabbinic sages of the 1st century B.C.E., requesting to be taught the entire corpus of Jewish teaching (the Torah) while standing on one foot.  The first rabbi, Shammai, had little patience for such a frivolous request and responded by striking the enquirer with a rod he happened to be holding.  The other sage, Hillel, replied by reciting one line that to his mind indeed contained the essence of the Torah (Prof. Gafni will divulge this line in Lecture 1).  He then suggested that all the rest is merely commentary but urged the potential covert to go and study it nevertheless.  We look forward to this study and to your participation – Wednesday, September 6th at 7 p.m.


Sept. 3 “Making Moral Decisions – in the Light of the Gospel”

Romans 12:1-8 & Matthew 21:28-32

Sept. 10 “What Is His Name?”

Exodus 2:7-14 & John 1:35-42

Sept. 17 “Are We Really Children of God?”

1 John 2:29-3:3 & Mark 10:13-16

Sept. 24 “Putting First What Is First”

1 Corinthians 13 Mark 7:24-30




Sept. 3 Beth Coffman
Sept. 10 The Perry Family
Sept. 17 Linda and Gary Sledge
Sept. 24 Open

There many Sundays this fall where we are looking for volunteers to host.  If you have any questions, please ask any Deacon or the Church Office.  The sign-up sheet is on the door in the coffee serving window.  Thank you!!


Prayers are requested for  Joyce Skiko, Ann Von Der Misten-Muller, Steve Silvera and Sue Shumedja

HURRICANE HARVEY –  Church World Service

You may help those devastated by Hurricane Harvey by making a gift to Church World Service using the enclosed envelope.  Checks may be payable to Union Church of Pocantico Hills.  I do not need to emphasize the need, for I am certain you are well informed through the media.  Thanks for your prayerful consideration!


“…let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your father in heaven.”  (Matthew 5:16)

This space is reserved for anyone who would like to share stories or experiences with us.  If you are interested, please contact the church office to submit something for consideration.


The 2016 Union Church Sunday School curriculum began with various lessons from the Old Testament, including the Creation, Jonah and the whale, David and Goliath, and Saul and the Witch of Endor. November through Easter focused on the New Testament, with lessons on the Nativity and Epiphany, early tales from Jesus’ life, miracles, parables, the entry into Jerusalem, and the Resurrection. The May and June lessons covered the Genesis patriarchs.

The Fall 2017 Sunday School sessions will start with two stories filling the gap between creation and the Patriarchs—Adam and Eve in the garden and Noah and the flood—then tell the story of Exodus through the Ten Commandments. There will be no Sunday School on October 22 (the church Harvest Fair) or November 26 (the Sunday after Thanksgiving). Advent lessons will cover the Nativity—and practice for and performing the children’s pageant. There will be no Sunday School on December 24 (Christmas Eve) or December 31 (New Year’s Eve).

Each lesson will include an abridged reading from the International Children’s Bible translation and a discussion of the text. We will learn vocabulary words, and there will be an art and/or craft exercise, as well as writing and analysis exercises for older children.



Items for the Harvest Fair (October 20, 21, and 22) are now being accepted – fall and winter clothing (classroom next to the library), books, records, cds, dvds (first table on lower level) antiques, white elephants (tables on lower level),jewelry (church office)  furniture, (last room on lower level).    Please do not bring summer clothing yet.  THANK YOU!



Heifer International is an organization that fights world hunger and poverty which Union Church has supported for a number of years through our Lenten donations.  Jen Winter, their new community Engagement Coordinator in New York, will be speaking to the congregation at both services on September 24.  We look forward to her presence to learn more about how our gifts are shared in supporting their important mission.



Dear Members,

IMAGINE a lovely, sunny, Sunday afternoon.  Now, IMAGINE your wagon is carrying you through the beautiful trains of the Rockefeller Estate to the top of a hill overlooking our beautiful Hudson River!  Perfect!

Come and join us of our annual hayride.  We will provide chairs, food, beverages, conversation and a wonderful day of relaxation, fun and friendship.  When we return to our starting point, there will also be desserts for all.

This event is scheduled for Sunday, September 10 at 3:00 p.m.  You are asked to gather in the church parking lot at 2:30 p.m.  There is a short walk to the wagon — if needed, transportation will also be available.

All of our members have been notified regarding their attendance.  If you have any questions, or if you have to change your plans, please call Janet Graham at 914.631.2986.  Numbers are important for purchase of food and room on the wagon.  



  • Congratulations to new grandparents, Pat and Tom Frutig!! Their granddaughter, Eleanor Jean Spencer Frutig,  was born on August 12th to their daughter, Heather Frutig and Andrew Spencer.
  • Allegra DeLandri has returned from her summer trip to China and is now recovering from surgery.
  • Trustee Evelyn Hadad announced that she and her husband Herbert were blessed with their first two grandchildren!  Their son Edward Salim and his wife Adlin had a handsome boy on April 5th that they named Evan Sebastián.  Most recently beautiful Maya Naneve-Vanessa Hadad was born to their son Charles and his wife Alice on August 17th. Charles and Alice invented the name Naneve to honor Alice’s mother Nancy and Charles’ mother Evelyn. Their daughter Sara Jameel LeBrusq then reported at a recent family function what she called a perfect trifecta – her due date is December 1st.  God is good and we are His very grateful servants!



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


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