In the middle of April, six of us who are members of the Prayer Shawl Ministry of the church met with Cindy Read – a volunteer from the Project Linus and presented her with 52 blankets made by us in the last few months.
Project Linus is a non-profit organization dedicated to “Providing Security Through Blankets” to ill or traumatized children and teens. We heard stories about a teen who only had a towel to wrap her new born infant in and a mother who never got to hold her new baby before she died, but was so grateful for the Linus blanket that had been wrapped around the baby and then given to her.
This group was begun in 1995 and we have been donating hand knit blankets to them for the last few years. There are about 400 chapters and the chapter we donate to covers Westchester County. We either buy the yarn or use any that is donated to us.
Beside Project Linus we make Prayer Shawls for those who need some extra love and Christening Blankets to all children who are baptized in our church.
We meet before the women’s circle on the first Wednesday of the month at 9:30a.m. and the third Wednesday at 10:30a.m.
and our new member Ann Defeo
Kicked Out, edited by Sassafras Lowrey, with a foreword by Judy Shepard, the mother of Matthew Shepard, is a collection of stories told by the teens who were kicked out when their parents learned that they were gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. My partner Anne and I heard Sassafras Lowrey speak at a Loft event. Sassafras is one of those who were kicked out; she has become a community organizer, artist and story-teller, and believe me, these are powerful stories. Most of us can‟t imagine telling our kids to leave because they are “different.” And that‟s exactly why I thought that our church library should have a copy of this book-Sassafras
tells us about kids without families, runaways, homeless, because of who they are and how they love. Call number: 305.38 L.
Reviewed by Connie Knapp
Shawn Cribari, with John Winget
composed by Arnold Cribari
Click on the “right triangle” symbol in the box below to hear the sermon.
Spotlight on… The Caring Circle
The Caring Circle, one of the many groups that use our facilities during the week, serve the needs of many people dealing with loss. Although most of the members of our congregation recognize that the Caring Circle helps children deal with the loss of a loved one, most of us are unaware that the Caring Circle also has programs for griev-ing adults. These include:
Spousal Loss, Child Loss, Adult Loss of a parent, Prenatal Loss
The children‘s groups are divided into age groups:
Littles, 3-5 year olds; Pre-Middlers, 6-8 year olds; Middlers, 9-12 year olds; Teens
If you have any questions regarding the Caring Circle or if you feel their services could benefit either yourself or someone you know, please contact Mariane Walsh at (914) 666-4228 or email@example.com.
As a “renewed” Deacon, it had been a few years since I had participated in the Food Pantry activities. I was absolutely amazed to see the mountains of fresh fruit and vegetables lining the walls on Friday evening, waiting to be counted and bagged in the morning. Those same corridors were filled with politely-waiting double lines of clients on Saturday, and the lines did not wane until the doors closed at 11. As we were closing the books, a few late-comers begged to be let in, and were served, with a gentle reminder of the closing time. The February 26th and March 12th pantries each distributed about 206 bags of food to grateful families, all of whom were warmly greeted by the Deacons and the troop of Brownies were helping on Saturday. The Food Pantry is one of the faces of our church in our community and we should all be proud of the way this ministry reaches out to those in need.
On May 7th, the Postal Food Drive in Yorktown will deliver all of their collection to our church at about 3:00 in the afternoon. We can use the help of any and all who can donate some time to sort, date, catalogue, carry and stack cans and cans and cans of food. While it‘s not a dance, it still can be fun and certainly builds community. Hope to see you there!
The Homebound Ministry again thanks a number of other Deacons (Terri Froehlich, Sue Nelson, Fran Schiel, Barbara Humphrey) as well as others in the congregation for visits to the homebound and those at various facilities. Often we find that not only do the visitor and the person being visited get much out of our visits but the caregivers really enjoy the visits. This month eight Sunday Service flower arrangements were delivered along with visits. An additional six visits were made and several telephone calls were made to check up on those in the congregation in the hospital and rehab facilities. Please keep the Office or Deacons informed of persons desiring or needing a visit.
We send prayers out to those in our community who have lost a loved one, suffered an illness or just need solace, as well as to the entire population of Japan who have lost so much so suddenly.
Giving Up God for Lent has proved to be a very good and challenging theme for us this Lenten season. I have heard from many of you that this theme made you feel uncomfortable. I have heard that it is almost too provocative. We‘ve even heard from the community statements like, ―What sort of a church gives us God for Lent?‖ and ―Why don‘t you just put up a Bible verse on the corner of your property?‖
These comments and reactions indicate that we are being provoked to examine our idols (and passing drivers as well). Idols are those things we place in front of God in importance and the ways we create God in our image instead of letting God be God. Idols that only want the Bible to say certain comforting things instead of hearing the whole witness of scripture. Idols that are our ways of ―editing‖ God into something we can control and who doesn‘t demand too much of us. Idols that we create out of our family, friends, nation, flag, money, jobs, even our brokenness (hanging onto our pain instead seeking healing). But, this theme, and more importantly your desire to grow as faithful Christians, won‘t let us relax and get comfortable any more than Lent does.
I am thankful for the ways you are engaging the theme this year. On Ash Wednesday, people wrote on black strips of cloth those things that get in the way of our relationship with God and tied them to the central symbol of our brokenness, the cross. If you have not written something down a strip of cloth and tied to the cross yet, I hope you will do so as part of our preparation for Easter. Another sign of your engagement is the lively discussion we‘ve had in our Wednesday night and Thursday morning groups of Merold Westphal‘s book Suspicion and Faith.
During his visit, Dr. Westphal told us that a friend is someone who will tell you what you don‘t want to hear or see about yourself, and sometimes our best friends are our enemies. Lis-tening to Freud, Marx and Nietzsche as true friends has been tough but insightful. The Just Eat-ing study of the Presbyterian Hunger Program and our ongoing conversation with our friends in Peru, the Midnight Run our youth will be going on, new people serving food at JanPeek, and many more are signs of letting God be God in our lives. Even the rehab of our sanctuary that has revealed the cracks in our walls so that they may be repaired is a powerful sign of what this Lenten journey is about. We are letting go of idols that keep us from knowing God. We are facing the brokenness in our sanctuary and in our lives that we may know new life and follow God and be the people God wants us to be.
Our journey is not quite over, but the goal is in sight. Good News is promised to us at the end of this journey, and so we travel on through the second half of Lent. This year, we are invited to experience Holy Week in some new ways.
On Maundy Thursday, April 21st, we will be hosting a Christian seder. A Jewish seder is a celebration of their exodus from slavery as described in the book of Exodus. A Christian seder is called the Last Supper, when Jesus announces that a new exodus is coming through his death and resurrection. On Good Friday, April 22nd, we will walk through the last hours of Jesus‘ life and death, hearing Jesus‘ cry, ―My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?‖ Many of you are probably used to this service of shadows and darkness on Thursday. We are simply moving it to its actual day.
Giving Up God for Lent and the events of Holy Week all prepare us for good news. Easter. The Empty Tomb. The day we discover along with the disciples that God does not leave us in tombs. Death is not the final answer. God wins. Life wins. And we shout, ―Alleluia! Christ is risen. Christ is risen indeed.‖
I am looking forward to the second half our journey through Lent and hope you are as well. Lent takes us through examination of ourselves and our church and our ministry to our community and world so that we let go of our idols, embody new life, proclaim good news, and share it with this world God loves.
Anxiously awaiting God‘s promise,