2015 Historian Report
We began our year 2015 with the reading of Matthew 2:1-12 – Epiphany. The message of the Magi's sincerity, they saw the light & followed it, in contrast to King Herod's failed dark deceit. The message is still that Jesus is a gift to us, a light to all dark places in our community and our world. “The gift we bring is our desire to love God more, to give God a bit more of ourselves to Him”.
The installation of officers and training centered around Gods call and discernment. We are thankful for those who step up to do their jobs efficiently behind the scenes. Many have no idea what work and service is done for our God. It's a W.O.W = Workshop of Wonders!
February kicked off the year with many missions to follow. Souper Bowl Sunday, One Great Hour of Sharing, The Cropwalk, Unicef, The Good Samaritans, Sunday School Missions, West Shore Luncheons, Salvations Army Angels, and more. The entire, detailed list and activities of the Church are found in the reports.
During the lenten season, the book club read “Learning to Walk in the Dark” by author, Barbara Brown. This tries to help us think through our own challenges and the way God has strengthened our faith through them. We had a community Good Friday Walk of Witness to the Cross , to walk behind a cross down Seneca St. is a powerful public statement of faith & a reminder of the saving Power of Jesus Christ.
A Resurrection Egg Hunt brought in the community and newsmen; approximately 41 children attended. Children and Parents sought after the eggs in church, When found, the eggs were opened to reveal 12 symbols of Holy Week. Children left with candy, stuffed animals and the meaning of the Cross.
A children's area was constructed in the balcony over the narthex so that parents and children can move about comfortably during worship. I makes it good to have everyone together.
Children's Day in May was busy for the entire congregation. First, all were asked to take a “spiritual gifts” test. This was very informative of 14 spiritual gifts and strengths in mercy, discernment, administration, serving, teacher, etc. The children sang a fun song called “Miracle on the Menu”, dressed in aprons. Then a congregation photo was taken to celebrate our 190th anniversary of the Church. Followed by a pot luck picnic for all to enjoy.
Two adults and four youths were confirmed and became Church members. The Fruit of the Spirit was explored, Faith Statements were read and celebration ensued.
This began the summer months. Background checks were done to ensure a “safe Church”. The community Vacation Bible School at our Church was planned out, the theme being “G-Force Adventure Park”. A float was pulled in the Firemans Parade. 54 children participated, 29 adult and 15 teens were helpers in discovering Gods Word through dramas, crafts, games, science, music and fellowship. The mission was Freedom Recreational Services for Youth with Disabilities , $303.00 was raised. All would agree that VBS is successful because of the Lords will, and Mrs. Cyndy Rookers leadership.
“Youth Fellowship Group” was formed this year on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. Winter months were movies and pizza with popcorn, summer became water games, outdoor games, several ice cream socials, fall harvest night was a campfire and smores, taco nights and apple crisp. At Christmas the group went to Evergreen Heights for sing along and decorating cookies. Inviting community youth and encouraging friends. During a very cold Old Tyme Christmas, a Candy Cane Hunt was done at noon, even lasted a good 5 minutes. The grand prize got a snow sled. Everyone received a message of Salvation through Christ. The ladies popular luncheon was a warm success.
Eight small stained glass windows were discovered. These were a reminder of the fire that took place on Saturday, February 22 1947 at 4:00 in the afternoon from a coal explosion in the boiler room. To make the fire worse was a blizzard of up to 40 mph , it took the firemen and community over 3 hours to put the fire out. The alter, choir loft and organ were completely destroyed, everything else in the church was damaged.
Along with the joy of community fellowship, there is still the fight to save our youth from the destruction of heroin use. Pastor Mary is the spiritual adviser with the team of the Drug Free Communities Coalition in Cayuga County. To raise awareness, a display of gravestones was set up on the side yard to show the daily death count from heroin. There is help for those struggling and their families, but we need the whole community to rise up and take action. The news report can be found on the church website .
Guest speakers Sonya Catalino spoke of her experience, forgiveness and love; a testimony called “Gods Faithfulness'. Lori Schneider also shared her message about the Cpl. Kyle Schneider Foundation, “Honor the fallen, Committed to service, Courage to carry on”. Formed to carry on his legacy of leadership & service.
Pastor Mary put together a woman's retreat - “Refresh and Renew”. Approximately thirteen women went to Westminster Church in Auburn on a nice sunny day. This was an enjoyable day and an appropriate theme. I've looked back on the discussions several times and again feel renewed.
The Annual Turkey Dinner is always successful. Definitely a Community Fellowship Tradition.
Advent Worship theme was Peace. Several symbols were set up and a clear message was received. The Children's Pageant was the “12 days of Christmas”. The history was read about the meanings of " a partridge in a pear tree”. The congregation was given a gift to open and all sang together a new song.
The candle light service on Christmas Eve was truly a beautiful peaceful silent night all lit up.
The Sunday after Christmas was song & celebration with the Brass Infusion of CNY and ecumenical services to finish 2015 and commence a New Year.
In Memoriam: Madge Brewster, Jean Smith, and Luella Pollock.
In memory of these friends who are temporarily separated from their loved ones. We believe that Jesus died and did rise again, that said, we believe in eternal life with God. They were guiding lights to those who knew them.