Beth Coffman, Editor                                                                                                                  April 2019

…..from the Pastor’s desk

     I believe in the Resurrection!  In the Apostle Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians he wrote: “…if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain.”  I Cor. 15:14

     Does it surprise you to learn that some of these Christians in Corinth openly denied the Resurrection?  At least they denied that there was going to be any resurrection for them.  It might have happened to Jesus, they said, but as for us there is no hope of anything beyond the grave.

     What I say today is RESURRECTION! – not resurrection?  I am not raising a question, but declaring what I believe to be fact.  I do not believe in the Resurrection because I am a clergyman.  I became a clergyman, in part, because I believe in the Resurrection.

     Why did I come to believe in the Resurrection?  You may say, “…you believe in the Resurrection because you were raised in a Christian tradition.”  Right – and I have no desire whatever to wash away the fact that I was baptized as an infant, nourished in a family that accepted the Faith, and exposed through childhood to the main tenets of Christianity.  Karl Barth, the great theologian, was asked by a professor of philosophy how he, with his broad culture and penetrating mind, could believe in Christian doctrines like the Resurrection.  He answered: “…because my mother told me”.  One of the reasons I believe is that my mother told me.  And to this day a strong element in my belief in the Resurrection is the number and the quality of the people who told me.

     The apostles have told me, people like Peter and John and Paul.  Some brilliant intellectuals have told me, a cloud of witnesses – Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, Pascal, Schweitzer and Barth.  Poets have told me – Chaucer, Milton, Blake, Hopkin, T. S. Eliot.  Novelists from Bunyan to Updike, and artists and architects have told me of the Resurrection with masterpieces of painting, sculpture and buildings, which celebrate the Resurrection. Musicians have told me!  Who can forget the music of Bach and Beethoven.  And who can forget the great army of the saints, men and women whose sheer goodness has left its mark upon the world.  They believed that Jesus rose from the grave, and not all the saints are “dead and gone” – I am surrounded by them here and now.

     Belief in the Resurrection has been for me much more than a rescuing power in times of distress.  It has given the sparkle of eternity to the beauty, the joy, and the moments of exhilaration that come.  The Resurrection assures me that life does not end with either a bang or a whimper, but with a Hallelujah chorus!  For me the Resurrection stands for the triumph of life!

     Forget the theories, the arguments, and the rationalizations.  This is personal – as personal as the meeting in the morning mists between a woman and a stranger.  In two words we hear the Resurrection faith – “Mary”  – I hear my name “Paul” – can you hear your name?  Listen through the mists of confusion – answer “Master” – and you will know why I believe!

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There are many Sundays where we are looking for volunteers to host Fellowship Hour including April 7 and April 28.  Please consider hosting one Sunday.  If you have any questions, please ask any Deacon.  Thank you!!

APRIL FELLOWSHIP HOUR HOSTS
April 7 OPEN
April 14 Smith
April 21 Easter Day – Board of Deacons
April 28 OPEN
APRIL
preaching
schedule
April 7   “Who Needs a Church?”
Isaiah 43:16-21 & Matthew 16:13-20
April 14 “Questing and Jesting After Faith”
I Kings 10:1-9 & John 18:33-38
April 18 Maundy Thursday “The Power of This Common Meal”
I Corinthians 11:23-26 & John 6:22-34
April 19 Good
Friday
“The Jesus Case” Isaiah 52:13-53:12 & John 12:22-31
April 21
Easter
Day
Sunrise Service  in the Meadow
“Resurrection Now!”
I Corinthians 15:12-20 & John 20 1-18  
Sanctuary Services
“Defiant Doxology
Acts 10:34-43 & Matthew 28:1-10
April 28 “Partying with Jesus”
Isaiah 62:1-5 & John 2:1-11

HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE

April 18, Maundy Thursday

8:00 p.m. Service of Holy Communion and Tenebrae

April 19, Good Friday

8:00 p.m. Good Friday Service – The Cross will be veiled by Susie Michel.

April 21,  Easter Day

6:30 a.m. Sunrise Service in the Meadow followed by Breakfast in the Parish Hall hosted by the Board of Deacons.

9:00 and 11:00 a.m. Worship Services in the Sanctuary – Fellowship Hour hosted by the Board of Deacons.

All Easter Day Services will be enhanced by Stephen DeHoff on Trumpet.

FROM THE INTERIM PASTORAL SEARCH COMMITTEE

As most of you know, Rev. DeHoff will retire on June 30, 2019.  The next step in the transition process is for the church to engage the services of an Interim Pastor, who typically stays for 18-24 months, and who will help to lead us in our mission to call the next pastor to the Union Church Pulpit.  Shortly after Rev. DeHoff announced his retirement plans, the Church Council appointed an Interim Pastoral Search Committee, consisting of 3 Trustees, 3 Deacons, and 3 Members at Large. 

The Committee is actively engaged with the Hudson River Presbytery in the search for an available minister with specialized training for the interim position.   We are working closely with Presbytery leadership and a detailed job description is being posted on their national registry.  A similar process was successfully followed during our last transition which began some 29 years ago.  We will keep you posted as this develops. 

A NOTE FROM RICK COFFEY, ORGANIST AND CHOIR DIRECTOR

Thank you for your warm welcome to me as your new Organist and Choir Director, a role which I hold in high regard as someone “steeped” in church music, the organ, and choral conducting, for many years. I admire Union Church’s legacy and its current significant ministry and role in the Pocantico Hills community. Already I have enjoyed meeting many of you at fellowship hour and at other times as our paths have crossed. Last Sunday’s welcoming reception was an exhilarating and heart-warming experience, start to finish. I thank all who took part in its planning and in making it such a festive experience for all. I look forward to working with you and worshiping with you week by week.  If you have ever considered being a member of the church’s wonderful choir, let me know! 

Warm regards, Rick Coffey

EASTER EGG HUNT

There will be an Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, April 28, after the 11:00 worship service.  All kids are welcome (grandkids, neighbors, friends.).  Bring a basket or bag to collect your eggs.  There will be extras if you forget.

Kim Perry

JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER, JR. MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP

The John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Committee is now accepting applications from 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 12.  Awards will be presented on Sunday, June 16 during the 11:00 AM worship service.