Beth Coffman, Editor January 2020
…..from the Interim Pastor’s desk
For many of us, the dawning of a new year is an opportune moment for taking stock and charting new directions. We resolve to get to the gym more often, to lose those extra ten pounds, to find the time finally to begin those piano lessons we’ve been meaning to take forever. Too often, of course, what begins with great determination in January peters out by February, as familiar routines and life’s day-to-day stresses reassert themselves.
Maintaining the momentum for change in an organization is arguably even more challenging than it is for us as individuals. There is notorious inertia in “the way we’ve always done things.” Developing a consensus for change, and then following through effectively, takes time, energy and commitment from many diverse members of the community.
As we enter 2020, Union Church anticipates the excitement and challenge of planning for its next permanent pastor. At this month’s annual congregational meeting, the congregation will be asked to take an important step in support of this work by electing a Mission Review Team. This group will be charged with producing a Mission Study, with input from the congregation, to provide a current snapshot of Union Church: its strengths and weaknesses, the community it is serving, and its sense of call to ministry. The Study will (1) help guide the Pastor Nominating Committee in preparing a Ministry Information Form for potential pastoral candidates; (2) help pastoral candidates to become acquainted with the Union Church; and (3) help the church council in their planning and evaluation of the congregation’s mission going forward.
The Team will be composed of six people who represent the diversity of the congregation, including a representative from both the trustees and deacons, with myself as an ex officio member. The Team’s work will probably take about six months, after which a Pastor Nominating Committee will be elected. Anyone who might feel called to serve on the Mission Review Team should contact one of the members of the Nominating Committee: John Garibaldi (chair), Carla DeLandri, Greg Perry or me.
All of this work is intended to make Union Church a more vibrant and faithful community of faith, better able to glorify God through our worship, service and life together.
See you in church!
Lindley G. DeGarmo
JANUARY PREACHING SCHEDULE
January 5 “No One Has Seen God”
Jeremiah 31: 7-14 &
John 1: 10-18
January 12 “Getting It Right”
Isaiah 42:1-9 &
January 19 “Come and See”
Isaiah 49:1-7 & John 1:29-42
January 26 “Follow Me”
Isaiah 9:1-4 & Matthew 4:12-23
JANUARY FELLOWSHIP HOUR HOSTS
Mary Johnson’s Children in celebration of Mary’s birthday
Please consider hosting a Fellowship Hour. Currently most weeks are open. Thank you!!
The Church Annual Meeting will be held Sunday, January 26th. There will be a potluck lunch immediately following the 11:00 service with the meeting held after the lunch. There is a sign-up sheet in the Parish Hall. Please sign up if you are attending the meeting and can bring a cold salad or dessert.
UNION CHURCH MUSIC DIRECTOR
It is for good reason that the season of Christmas is known as “the most wonderful time of the year.” There is even a very popular song by that title. At Union Church, our devotional observance of Advent and our joyous celebrations of Christmas were marked by glorious music by the choir, by our soloists, by the congregation, and from the organ. Truly, “everything that had breath praised the Lord,” to paraphrase the last of the 150 Psalms. I thank everyone who gave support to this music-making, and in particularly our beloved, faithful, and talented choir, certainly making my first Christmas with you a warm and memorable one.
Come January, you will see, and hear, three new voices in the choir, young persons whose talents include providing trained vocal and musical support to volunteer choirs such as ours. These singers will be carefully selected as to their suitability not only to provide leadership but also to join the spirit of the choir as it offers beautiful choral music in worship. For a choir whose resident membership now numbers three sopranos, two altos, one tenor, and two basses, this infusion of musicians will help us carry forward a great Union Church tradition of outstanding service music. The funding for this new program does not draw from the church’s operating budget but rather from the church’s Music Endowment and from some very generous, anonymous gifts that have already been offered in support of this exciting endeavor.
While these new voices will be an important enhancement to the work of the choir, they do not replace our need for a choir of dedicated volunteers who, as in the past, continue to form the core of our music ministry. Would you like to join this merry band? If so, please contact me. I would love to hear from you!
Prayers are requested for Larry Erdman, Emma Thaler and Phoebe Luciano.
If you would like to request the prayers of the congregation feel free to contact the church office at 914.631.2069 or beth.ucph@ optimum.net and your requests will be announced during worship services.
NEWS FROM THE PEWS
We are saddened by the death of Max Hausmann on October 30.
Our 2020 contribution envelopes are in the Parish Hall waiting to be picked up. If there is not a set of envelopes for you and you would like a set, please call the church office, 631.2069, email firstname.lastname@example.org or place your name on the list provided next to the envelopes.
CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR KIDS
Many thanks to everyone who generously provided Christmas gifts for children this year though the Grandparents Coalition. We were able to provide gifts to 55 children this year! The social workers who collect the gifts are always very grateful.
We are sure there were many smiles on the faces of the children (and grandparents) who received your gifts.
We thank all our members and friends who provided the spectacular poinsettias that adorned our Sanctuary so beautifully during the Christmas season.
Persons who are asked to prepare reports for the Annual Report have been notified. Reports are due on or before, Wednesday, January 15. We appreciate your adherence to this deadline so that we will have the time necessary to complete the reports. Thank you!
“…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)
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