January 2013

The Deacons had a very active year in 2012, marked by a new commitment to “presence” in our ministry. The retreat led by Chip encouraged us all to make the work of the Deacons the work of the Church, with more involvement by members who have not yet been called to this ministry as well by those who have served in previous years. It has been exciting and busy, and in aiming to serve those who are less visible in both the church community and the community at large, we have all grown along the path of our own faith journey.

The Food Pantry has been very busy, and we do not think the numbers will be diminishing any time soon. We feel fortunate that we are able to provide to our neighbors in need, and found that people came to FPCY from as far as Ossining when their local pantry was unable to open due to lack of electricity, refrigeration and delivery options. The last pantry, which combined bags of food and fresh vegetables with the annual Toys for Tots distribution, was the 3rd largest ever! We helped 171 families with 254 bags of groceries; we distributed over 1400 toys to 497 children from 127 families. In 2012, we distributed 4500 bags of food. This is truly an amazing ministry, and the monetary and physical help from those of you who are not currently Deacons continues to be a crucial part of the process. We thank each and every one of you!

Visits to the Homebound is a ministry that has taken on a life of its own. Church members who live in various Senior Living facilities are regularly visited, and even transported to see friends living in other centers. Sometimes they receive flowers that have been donated to the church for Sunday services; sometimes they receive cookies or a slice of homemade sweet bread; sometimes just the presence of a visitor who cares and listens and brings news of the church is the most welcome gift. Chip has been active with the Deacons to ensure that communion is brought to our homebound at regular intervals, and that is also much appreciated.

We will welcome new Deacons and say “thank you” (never goodbye) to those rotating off active service at our January meeting on January 13. A light lunch will be served, and new Deacons will receive descriptions of the various ministries as we make commitments for the next year.

May you find the comfort and joy of God’s presence as you begin the New Year, and walk with that presence in the months to come.

Angelyn Forbes-Freeze for the Deacons