MAY 2018 NEWSLETTER
FROM THE PASTOR’S PEN – AN AMBITIOUS SUMMER
Spring has certainly taken its time to get here this year. But I think we have finally turned the corner. I wanted to take a few minutes and fill you in on some of the things that are occurring and will be happening.
It is hard to believe but we are coming up on the one year anniversary of my worshiping with you here at First United Methodist Church. It has been a wonderful experience and a joy to be part of such a great group of fellow Christians. I know I have made my share of mistakes and still have a lot to learn but I am grateful for your patience, prayers and friendship.
As we continue our Wednesday dinners, Bible Studies, UMW and the men's Group and the hundred other things we are involved in, I ask for your help on some new initiatives. We will also need your patience as continue working on the building and wrestle with planning for the next 100 years. I think we will take it a day at a time but we will plan ahead and work well together.
Over the next month and into the summer we are going to be doing a few events to remind Saranac Lake and others what this church is made of. On May 20th, Pentecost Sunday, we will meet with our Lutheran Cousins and have a joint worship service to remind us that we are all one family. On the 26th we will be hosting a Veterans appreciation breakfast (open for all to attend) to remember, on Memorial Day Weekend that our freedom of faith is dearly purchased and never to be taken for granted. I hope we will make these annual events. Later, once Summer arrives we will be having Sunday evening services in Bloomingdale as part of our outreach and to remind that community that we have not really left.
All of these things are part of our missions and outreach ministries for Christ. There will be some more opportunities and chances to fellowship and participate but we are moving ahead with these. I ask for your prayers for these initiatives and your blessings. I believe we will have a great summer together and that we are truly blessed.
In Christ, Pastor Eric
SPIRITUAL BUILDING AND SHAPING
As we are now in the midst of the Easter I have been thinking about the need for us to review some of the steps for making our spirits strong and all unified with Christ. This will begin this month and be a series of thoughts to look at ones walk with Christ.
Many Christians read the bible, pray, contemplate and use the Christian values in their daily walk. These are the main building blocks in Spiritual formation and key to shaping the faith needed to survive in an often crazy world. Building takes time and effort and is in many ways like physical exercise, you get out of it what you put into it. We know we are saved through Christ but what does that mean? This will help you learn and receive some answers.
For those who are seeking to learn more about their faith and feel overwhelmed by the Bible and some of these other things, faith formation can be more intimidating than IKEA furniture. It can be hard to follow and very confusing. So for this month I am going to give a few simple steps to help get things in order. Building up our spirits will require tools and time. These steps will assist you in
First: Get rid of your assumption that you need religion. This might sound crazy but it's not. What you need is a strong relationship with God. Our corporate faith and fellowship is a religious response to our relationship with God. Religion grows from faith, faith does not really grow from religion. The fact that we come together in fellowship and in service is a response to the call of the spirit as we learn and grow together. Just as I need a running partner to get me out on days when I feel lazy, I need those around me in faith to move me spiritually and get me motivated.
Secondly: Get to know the tools you need for building. Many of us think that faith is intuitive and in some ways it is, but not always. The master planner, God, gave us some very good directions and tools for life but we tend not to use them and or get distracted. The first tool is the Gospel. If you read nothing else in the Bible, read the book of Mathew. This is the foundation of faith in Christ. The old testament and other books are important but the old Testament is a preamble and the Epistles additions to the Gospel message. The other Gospels of Luke, Mark and John tell the story too and should be read but start with Matthew. This is the tool you need to set you spiritual self up.
As you witness Jesus, listen to His message, fell His confidence follow His advice and see His relationship with the Father. Let His compassion touch your heart and see His view of the world.
Thirdly: Take time to pray. This is the help desk for all Christians. As we build we, we check with the boss and get advice and direction. Confidence without having done anything is a false confidence. Thinking about things is not doing them. Though there is time for contemplation there is a need to engage in prayer of conversation and listening. It's best done without distraction and with dedicated energy. Prayer can be a conversation, emotive reflection, meditation on a thought or scripture or waiting in silence. My point is that if you're open to the spirit it will come.
Here is a start for those wishing to get into the Spirit. Remember we are building for eternity, we are stewards and workers for the kingdom and called to be heirs. It makes sense to be about His business and for our future.
VETERAN’S APRECIATION BREAKFAST
Pastor Eric is planning this. For details, see the Pastor’s Report below. If you are a veteran please plan to attend. If you know a veteran, encourage them to join with others on this day of recognition. And, above all, pass the word!!!
WORDS OF WISDOM
God’s love for us is greater than anything we will face today or any day.
A heart that is focused on others will not be consumed by self. When I think more of others, I lose my thoughts about myself in other people and their needs.
Good morning, Lord. Let me begin this new day full of trust in you. Bless all my words and actions. Let me embrace your will as my guide, as my standard of right and wrong. Thy will be done, Lord on Earth. Amen
A world in darkness needs the light of Jesus. Help me, Lord, to reflect your light into the world around me today. May all I say or do bear witness to your light and truth. May others see how wonderful you are. Everyone can do something to make the world better – we can let Christ shine through us.
THANK YOU! Are you enjoying those new pew cushions? There are several people you should thank for them. First, they are the result of someone reading our newsletter, noting the price estimate and making a memorial donation in the name of David V. Pecora. Second is Charlotte Hall for contacting the person in Lake Clear who made the kneeling cushions at the communion rail and asking her to make cushions for ALL the pews, sanctuary, balcony and choir loft.
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN - The women met on April 12. They are canvassing members for ideas on new missions and programs they would like. Discussed the Rummage Sale and the Spring tea at DeChantel on May 20. The Lutheran women have been invited.
TRUSTEES – The trustees met on April 11 and elected officers, Marlene Martin is the chair, Marilyn Gillespie is vice-chair and Secretary. Jim Pierson gave an excellent presentation on funds we have available for different projects. Meetings will now be at 6:45 on the first Thursday of the month. Jim Halla, Elwin Hall, and Josh
Marlow will work on the annual accessibility audit on 4/19 in the afternoon. In the process, they will look for potential projects. We need to purchase a new sump pump that will pump really hot water. Cornerstone will be invited to address furnace code issues and other recommendations made by the boiler inspector.
The fuel tank will be replaced this spring. Work has been done on the organ, and the trustees approved a 3-day trip for additional work this summer when we won’t have to heat the church.
Sunday services are going well.
Mission and Outreach – will break down into 3 categories. Hospitality, Missions, and Outreach
There will be a Veteran’s breakfast on May 26, gathering at 8:30 am, with breakfast at 9:00 and them a speaker around 9:30. There will be an opening ceremony with the American flag, VFW flag and American Legion flags. We should also put something in the paper, produce flyers and involve the local groups. I am doing some counseling and spiritual direction. We need to plan a church picnic.
SARANAC LAKE ECUMENICAL FOOD PANTRY
May is peanut butter and jelly month. Please add your donation to the red shopping cart at the back of the sanctuary.
REMEMBER WITH A CARD
Rose Nadon: Neighborhood House, PO Box 46, Keene Valley, NY 12943
Genevieve Clarkson: Champlain Valley Senior Community, 10 Gilliland Lane, Willsboro, NY 12996
Bruce Barnard: P.O. Box 246, Rainbow Lake, NY 12976.
Margaret Turnbull: 3873 Burnup Road Black River, NY 13612
DID YOU KNOW…? Your church can be found on Facebook. Just go to First United Methodist Saranac Lake. (complete with capital letters and spaces.) When the page comes up, click on “like.”
FINANCE – Pledge and identified giving along with plate offering is $3,897 better than last year.
We received $7,900 to cover the cost of the purchasing pew cushions for the sanctuary, balcony and choir loft. So far we have spent $6,050.
We received $1,845 as a use donation for the Community Supper.
Salaries are $3,439 less than last year.
Our fuel expense in January is $1,986 greater than last year reflecting cold weather and increased cost per gallon.
Music and the cost for the hand bells is $665 over last year.
Repairs and Maintenance is $2,254 is over last year including $497 spent on the exterior of the building, $872 on the heating system, $538 on the lift and $213 on the men’s bathroom.
We continue to be current on our Ministry Shares payments.
Our current income is $5,010 under our current expenses at this time. Some of this is normal as our heating bills are higher during the winter months but last year income was $10,509 under current expenses at this time so are ahead of last year.
NOTES ON OUR VARIOUS FUNDS as of March 31, 2018
The capital fund has $64,144.02, the Trustees fund has $6,775.72, the Roof fund has $37,430.58 and the Organ Fund has $10,633.00. To date, we have received $745 for the Fuel Fund.
SPECIAL OFFERINGS COMING
Each year, our United Methodist Women coordinate these offerings. Checks should be made payable to the UMW. Special envelopes may be found in the back, where the Sunday bulletins are found. Please place your donations into one of marked envelopes. If you want credit on your annual giving statement, please include your envelope number. Thank you.
Mothers Day is also a Sunday in which we ask for donations to Church World Service Blankets. Each blanket is $10 and the blankets can be a vital resource for someone needing a little support, warmth and encouragement.
Fathers Day is the Sunday that we seek contributions to the Church World Service Tools. This fund equips families worldwide with the tools needed to build brighter futures: rebuilding homes in Haiti destroyed by the earthquake, household latrines in Vietnam and clean water systems in Kenya and Tanzania. These are just a few of the projects these donations help fund.
For example, $5 for a hand saw, $11 for 15 concrete blocks, $47 for a support column for a house in Haiti, $50 for construction training for two people in Moldova.
NOMINATIONS & LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT REPORT FOR 2018
At our Charge Conference on April 4, the following report for 2018 was approved.
Local Lay Leader: Bill Kelting/ Michael Martin
Lay Member to Annual Conference: Bill Kelting
Lay Member Reserve: Marilyn Gillespie
Church Council: Chair: Barbara Halla Members at Large: Ruth Woodward
Church Council Secretary: Marilyn Gillespie
Worship Committee: Kathy Cross, Ruth Damp, Mary Kent, Michael Martin, Betsy Pond, Nancy Roberts
Class of 2018 Grant Besio, Betsy Pond, John Wamsganz
Class of 2019 Elwin Hall, James Halla, Anita Meserole
Class of 2020 Marilyn Gillespie, Josh Marlow, Marlene Martin
Staff Pastor Parish Relations Committee:
Class of 2018 Jennifer Tuggey
Class of 2019 Barbara Halla, Cathy LeBlanc, Grant Besio
Class of 2020 Chair: Travis McElyea, Ruth Woodward, Linda Pierson
Nominations & Leadership Development Committee:
Class 2018 Ruth Damp, Marlene Martin
Class of 2019 Grant Besio, Eileen Leavitt, Barbara Halla
Class of 2020 Marilyn Gillespie, Diane Kelting, Alan Roberts
Membership Secretary: Claudia Wamsganz
Historian: Cindy Smith
Finance Committee/Stewardship: All Chairs Financial Secretary: vacant
Mitch Smith Chair: Jim Pierson
Treasurer: Bruce Barnard Auditor: Steve Pridell
Chair: Charlotte Hall, Marilyn Gillespie, Diane Kelting, Betsy Pond
Christian Education: Wendy Foley, Mike Foley, Pastor Eric Olsen
Evangelism, Outreach and Mission: Travis McElyea, Nancy Roberts, Virginia Santy, Jen Tuggey, Travis McElyea
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