December - 2007
PARSON TO PERSON: “Exmas and Christmas”
More than 40 years ago C. S. Lewis wrote a story he called “Exmas and Christmas.” It took place on the island of Niatrib (that’s Britain spelled backwards), and tells about the struggle the Niatirbians had between celebrating “Exmas” with its cards, gifts, and parties, and the holy day called “Christmas.”
The point of his story is kind of the same as the point of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, trying to keep Christmas from coming to Whoville by stealing all the presents, decorations and food. He stole Exmas but didn’t touch Christmas.
I’m not saying Exmas is all bad. It’s still a great holiday, even if it is a lot of work. But it can distract us. That’s what Advent is all about, and why we observe it. It represents a conscientious and disciplined effort by Christians to keep the focus upon the primary event of history - the coming of the Savior into the world.
At Christmas, it’s easy to become like the people greeting F.D.R. at a gala ball. He got tired of shaking hands, smiling his big smile, and saying all of the usual polite comments. Convinced that no one was listening anyway, he greeted each person by saying: “I murdered my grandmother this morning.” Everyone responded with a smile and nod saying things like: “Wonderful!” “Keep up the good work Mr. President.” One diplomat did listen, heard what was said, and whispered in the President’s ear, “I’m sure she had it coming to her.”
If we don’t deliberately focus ourselves to see and listen to God, then we’ll never really know the God who’s gone to such lengths to make Himself known. To prepare for Exmas is to get ready for a party. To prepare for Christmas is to get ready to meet a person.
I encourage you to take advantage of the Advent/Christmas worship and events here at Hurley Church in the next few weeks to help you prepare to meet our Savior and Lord. As God’s people, it’s our primary vocation during Advent.
So enjoy Exmas, but prepare to celebrate Christmas!
We need to get a final count for the Albany NYS Museum night at the museum trip that will be happening on Friday 1/25/08. We will have the whole museum to ourselves. The cost of this event is $30 a person. This will enable you to enter the museum at 6:45pm on 1/25/08. For dinner we will have pizza, a craft will be made, a snack will be served, tour the museum without a crowd of people, and then sleeping in the museum. We need to exit the museum by 9am on Sat, 1/26/08. If you are interested please contact Amy Sirni at 338-4960 or Sandy Emrich 687-4006 to sign up or with any questions. The last day for the sign up is December 23, 2007.
The quilt that I have made to raise money for the American Cancer Society is almost full. The quilt has over 200 blocks on it and about ¾ of them have been spoken for. If you have been putting it off please don’t. If you want to purchase a block in honor or in memory of someone that has/had cancer here are the 4 different sizes that can be purchased:
Purchase of these blocks can be done in person or you can do this by mail. Please send me the block size, how you would like your block to read and a check made out to the American Cancer Society. My mailing address is 297 Marcott Rd, Kingston, NY 12401. Thank you for your support!!
Thank you for your purchase and support at our bake sale table when you came to the Election Day Turkey Dinner on November 6. We appreciate it!
Pecans are here!! If you pre-ordered them, please pick them up after church. If you didn’t pre-order we ordered extras just for you! So stop by and pick them up before they are all gone!!
The Cookie Walk will be held on 12/16/07. This sale starts right after church. It isn’t too late to bake your favorite cookie for this. Or, if you don’t want to bake… we need buyers too. At $5.00 a lb. there isn’t a better bargain out there. Thank you for your help in what ever way you can!! Thank you to Christa Conlin & Joyce Pinckney for chairing this event!!
Our upcoming events:
· 1/20/08-Birthday Party after church
We wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy and healthy New Year.
The November food pantry items that we collected were for our Thanksgiving Baskets. We made up 4 baskets again this year.
The families that received them were so thankful.
Thank you to everyone who purchased our famous cranberry & pumpkin breads.
We made 72 loaves and sold them all out!! Glad that you enjoyed them!
The Penny Social was held on 10/26/07. WOW!! What a great time! We didn’t know if anyone would attend & boy did they!!! Over 75 people came out on a dark & wet night-fun and laughter were had by all!! We raised over $900 from this fund raiser for our trip to the Albany NYS Museum. Thank you for all of your donations!! Thank you to Mrs. Woodard, Mrs. Ruth & Mrs. Burns for all of their help in the kitchen. Thank you to Amy Sirni for organizing the whole thing! There was a 50/50 during this and it was won by Esther Stickley. She donated $64.00 of her winnings back to the Youth Group. We can’t thank her enough for doing that! That money will be going towards the purchase of the turkeys and food for our Thanksgiving Baskets. Thanks for the support.
The December/January food pantry item(s) are toiletries. Please bring in shampoo, soaps, razors, band aids, first aid cream,lotions, etc. Thank you for your help.
Our upcoming events:
12/14: Babysitting from 6pm till9pm. We will be decorating gingerbread men for the Cookie Walk
1/25/08: Night at the Museum in Albany, NY
2/3/08: Chili Sale for a Souper Bowl fund raiser
If you are thinking..hey this is a busy and great group of kids
And boy I should have joined…well you still can. It is never too late.
I f you are in 5th grade or older, come to one of our events.
We are wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!
Bottle Returns Extended
Yes, that is correct. I am extending the bottle return collection until the end of May 2008. Thank you to everyone for bringing in your empty can & bottle returns. The response has been great & I really appreciate it! Please put them in the box in Schadewald Hall. All of this benefits my WISE project for the American Cancer Society.
The Mitten Tree is up and ready to be filled with mittens, hats, gloves, &/or a scarves.
Please take a mitten off of the tree and purchase the above item(s) for the age of the children that is on the mitten. Then place it on the tree.
The last day of the collection of these items will be 12/23/07. All of the items collected will go to our area schools.
Thank you for making a child’s winter a little warmer.
Is a bike on your Christmas list? Do you not know what kind to get?
Well, we have the answer for you. A bike has been donated to us to raffle off to raise money for our Relay for Life team.
The drawing will be 12/23/07 right after the pageant. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5.
You can purchase them after church. All monies raised from this will go to the American Cancer Society. Don’t delay in getting your ticket! Happy riding!!
On December 16th at the 10:00am service the Choir will be presenting a Christmas Cantata entitled “Walk in the Light.”
Come and celebrate the story of the light of Christ coming to the world.
WORSHIP IN DECEMBER:
2nd - 1st Sunday in Advent/Communion
Scripture: Isaiah 9:2-7
Meditation: “From Cradle to Cross”
(Lighting of 1st Advent Wreath candle and
presentation of Bibles to youngsters)
9th - 2nd Sunday in Advent
Scripture: John 1:1-18
Message: “A World Without Christmas”
16th - 3rd Sunday in Advent
Chancel Choir presentation of the Cantata
“Walk in the Light” by Lani Smith. Jesus has
long been associated with the concept of light.
This cantata seeks to explore that facet of the
Christmas story, bringing into focus the events
as they occurred in reference to the many
instances of light surrounding the miracle of the
23rd - 4th Sunday in Advent
Scripture: Luke 1:39-56
Message: “Mary - First Doubter and Believer”
24th - Christmas Eve
7:00 pm Family Candle-light Service
Scripture: Luke 2:1-20
Meditation: “A Motley Crowd”
9:30 pm Candle-light/Communion
Scripture: Luke 2:1-14; Titus 2:11-14
Meditation: “The Face of Grace”
30th - First Sunday After Christmas
Scripture: Matthew 2:13-20
Message: “Way Down in Egypt’s Land”
For those of you who are not familiar with this fund raiser it simply works like this:
· Bake SEVERAL batches of your favorite holiday cookie,
· Bring them to the church kitchen on Sunday morning.
· When the church service is over, everyone is invited to come to Schadewald Hall, pick up a cookie box and fill it with an assortment of cookies for $5.00 per pound.
· It is by far the best bargain around but only as successful as the number and variety of cookies we have to offer.
So, please, as you are planning your holiday baking, remember the church's Cookie Walk, on Dec. 16th, and your contribution to it.
Christa Conlin and Joyce Pinckney, co-chairpersons
Hurley Reformed Church
Pastoral Search Committee Report
Congegational Meeting November 2007
The Pastoral Search Committee has worked diligently over the past year and is on task in our endeavor to hire a new pastor. The Reformed Church of America has a specific set of guidelines which the Committee must follow in conducting our search. The Search Committee Ws appointed in August of 2006 and met with Rev. Jon Norton of the Regional Synod to discuss the pastoral search process. The Reformed Church of America has a Pastoral Search Handbook for our Committee to follow. We also refer to the Alban Guide to Managing the Pastoral Search Process.
First, an “exit interview” was conducted with Reverend Stickley and members of both the Consistory and the Pastoral Search Committee. The Search Committee held it’s first official meeting in August of 2006 where officers were elected, and the process was divided into tasks for various subcommittees. The RCA requests that a self study of the congregation is completed. A subcommittee was formed to develop the Congregational Survey which was administered in November of 2006. This was a major endeavor requiring multiple meetings of both our committee and the Survey Subcommittee. The data was compiled and presented to the Consistory on May 14th and to the Congregation on May 20th 2007.
During this period Classis assigned us a Supervisor, Rev. Rich Rockwood, of the Saugerties Reformed Church. He met with us for the first time on November 29th, 2006. He assisted our
Committee in developing the congregational Survey and he gave us some very helpful insight regarding the Book of Church Order. Reverend Rockwood retired in the spring and Classis appointed our committee a new Supervisor, The Rev. Howard Smith of High Woods Reformed Church, Whom we met on May 16, 2007. He has been a valuable asset to our committee, guiding us through a complicated process.
The information compiled from the surveys is used to complete a Church Profile which is sent to the RCA Office of Ministry Services in New York City. There, our Church Profile is matched with prospective candidates. The Church Profile Subcommittee met throughout the spring and summer compiling the Church Profile, with input from the Consistory. The completed Profile was approved by the Consistory on September 10, 2007. The Profile was immediately sent to the RCA Office of Ministry Services. An advertisement has been placed in the upcoming December and January issue fo the Church Herald. A letter advertising the position was sent to the Clerk of the Mid-Hudson Classis, and to all of the RCA stated clerks.
The Pastoral Search Committee has held twenty meetings as a full Committee. Seven subcommittees have met countless times over the past year completing various aspects of the Search Process. The Chairs have met separately with the Classis Supervisors and with Consistory. We are working hard and diligently on your behalf, following the required process provided by the RCA in selecting a new pastor.
The Search Committee is presently receiving Ministerial Profiles, letters of inquiry and résumé’s, and have begun the process of reviewing this information. The next step will be contacting potential candidates and conducting interviews. The process requires a three way agreement between the candidate, Classis, and our Church. When the Committee narrows this down to prospective candidates, they will travel to hear and interview those candidates. When the Committee decides on a prospective candidate, finds all is in order and is satisfied in their examination, that candidate will be recommended to the Consistory. During this time the Candidate’s credentials will be reviewed by the Human Support Committee of the Classis. With the Consistory and Classis approval, the Candidate will be invited to visit and preach for the Congregation. The Congregation will be notified of this and information about our prospective new pastor will be disseminated for your review. The will of the Congregation will be sought prior to issuing a call and Installation of a new pastor. The Consistory with the help of the Human Support Committee will negotiate the final terms of the call, and a starting date will be finalized.
Please be patient and pray. The Search Committee, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is working hard to complete the task of seeking a new pastor. The members of the Search Committee and the Consistory are all volunteers. We are at least as anxious as you are for the selection of a new pastor.
Melinda Herzog, Co-Chair Dick Morone, Co-Chair
Prayer Chain: We the Members of the Prayer Chain Committee, wish to take this time to wish each and everyone a very Merry Christmas and a joyous, healthy and prosperous New Year! Continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we do the same for you and everyone on our lists! God does hear us and He does answer! Deborah Zuill
Vanderlaan’s Open House
Through Pastor Bob’s ministry, he and June have hosted an annual Christmas “Open House” in their home. This year it will take place on Saturday afternoon, December 22nd between the hours of 2 – 5pm.
You are invited to stop in for refreshments and a time visiting. The house will be fully decorated for Christmastide, with all sorts of goodies to tickly your palate, along with June’s banana punch or a hot cup of wassail.
Dress casually, and drop in to see them, even if it can only be for a few minutes (no gifts, please).
Directions to their home, 23 Buist Road, Rhinebeck, are available in the church office.
PROPERTY AND MAINTENANCE COMMITTEE ANNUAL REPORT
The property and maintenance committee has been very busy this year. Throughout the process our congregation has been informed of all that is being done, so none of this is new information.
Synopses of some of the things that have been done are as follows:
- The painting of the Sanctuary, halls, office and Schadewald Hall was completed.
- There has been an emphasis on keeping our facilities clean and in working order.
- A myriad of leaks and plumbing concerns have been repaired.
- The tile floors were stripped and re-waxed and buffed in the hallways and the kitchen
- Lights have been repaired or replaced as needed.
- The heating system has been upgraded with the installation of new boilers and new programmable thermostats. Walkways were built in the attic of the Sanctuary. It was insulated along with the duct work and air handlers for the heating system. The area above Schadewald Hall is in a similar process.
- The kitchen heating system was corrected.
- The heaters in the nursery school have been repaired
- The problem of moisture in the Sunday school rooms has been worked on as the need arose.
- The locks have been re-cored and new keys were issued.
- The shed was painted and the area cleaned out.
- The hot water tank was replaced and a system is in place for the occasions when we need greater amounts of hot water.
- We have contracted for the gutters to be worked on or replaced and gutter helmets to be installed.
We are working closely with Arlene to determine just how much we are saving in natural resources and money in connection with the furnace changes. As we get that information you will advised. We are hopeful this will be substantial.
There are many of us who are responsible for all of the work that is needed to keep our Church in good working order. Thanks to everyone who just sees a task and does it, who sweeps the walks when they need sweeping, who sees the weeds and weeds them, sees litter and picks it up, who replaces a light bulb, cleans out the sink, etc….. We all notice and the Property and Maintenance Committee especially appreciates it!
G. Giles/J. Ulrich
People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you’ll win some false friends and some true enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you. Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight. Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will forget tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough. Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It is never between you and them anyway.
Attributed to Mother Teresa