Congregational Church of Putnam

Volume 26

Pastor’s Letter

The Beacon

November, 2019

Number 11

Dear Friends:

I think of November, the entire month, as the season of Thanksgiving. As children, we learn the story of the first Thanksgiving. What stays with me about the story is the amazing combination of the Pilgrims’ great suffering in their first year on these shores and their deep gratitude when they realized that they now had a bountiful harvest.

Over the years I had visited Plimoth Plantation several times. My consistent reaction to this reconstructed village is to realize that I would not have wanted to live under those harsh and limiting conditions. I believe that over half the original settlers who arrived on the Mayflower perished in their first winter.

The celebration they held that is the basis for our Thanksgiving holiday was celebration of their deep gratitude for the gift of life. Imagine giving up everything you have known in life and setting sail for anew world, because your religious convictions are not well accepted in your homeland. Imagine your new community losing 104 member to the cold,  to illness and starvation that first harsh winter. Imagine organizing a feast with the native person who insure your survival in spite of their own recent losses.

It’s a lot to imagine and even more to imagine their pervasive response of deep gratitude to God. And this is the challenge I see in Thanksgiving. How do we cultivate a response of gratitude in our daily lives? How do we choose to be grateful instead of bitter or resentful? I see this as one of the core questions of our practice as Christians.

Jesus was born into a difficult world, a world filled with conflict , cruelty and inequities. Its temping to forget this as we look backwards to this time. And yet time after time, Jesus proclaims a generosity of spirit that is without parallel. When the disciples see a scarcity of resources, Jesus see abundance. When the Pharisees condemn Jesus for eating with sinners , Jesus persists in spite of their vocal criticism.

The coming weeks invite us into a renewed relationship with ourselves, with our neighbor and with God. We can look deep within and take account of the blessings we enjoy in our lives. We can take time to look around and thank someone for a simple act of kindness. We can cultivate , day by day and attitude of gratitude. And this much I will say, being grateful, expressing gratitude, can be practiced, and yes, practice can change our hearts, change our basic orientation in life.

So for this season of Thanksgiving, I invite us all to practice gratitude. And may each of us know the deep joy of this season.

Yours in Christ’s service,


Weekly Announcements

If you have something to share with the church please have your announcement to the church Secretary ( by Tuesday at 11:30 am. 

* Faith Fellowship meeting will follow worship on November 10th. All are invited and encouraged!

* Character Breakfast  Saturday, December 7th :
  9:00 am – 10:30am - $10.00 each.  Please see Kat or you can purchase tickets at WINY Radio.

* Wreaths are for sale.
Each wreath is $12.00 – Wreaths with bows are $16.00 – Checks payable to Faith Fellowship
Orders will be taken until Sunday, November 24th   
Wreaths will be in on Sunday, December 1st 
Please see Charlotte Picard to place an order

* Need Nuts!  See Jo-Anne Joslin to place an order. Checks made payable to Faith Fellowship

* Shop With Scrips  is a great way to support the church and purchase your gift cards for personal usage or to give as a gift. You can place an order online at Enrollment Code: B8E2147763195 or place an order with Angela Joslin Stringer.

* Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol  At Trinity Repertory Theater, Providence RI.  Saturday, November 16th  at 12:00 Noon. This is a Family Friendly Event.  $25.00 per person. If you have any questions please see Pastor Kathy.

* Carols at the Pub: Sunday, December 8th   at 4:00 pm  at  The Crossings  in downtown Putnam.
 Join us for a Christmas Carol Sing.

* Kat is collecting “Like New Items” for the 2nd Holiday Shopping for the Sunday School Children.  Sunday, December 15 during Sunday School and after.
* Wrapping paper
* Ribbons & Bows
* Tape
* Gift Bags
* Like New items (gifts)  (no calendars please)
* Christmas Cards
* Dollar Store items are great !

Choir rehearsal schedule:

   Tuesday, November 12:
5:00pm - Merry Ringers Handbell Sextet rehearsal
5:45pm - Joyful Praise Handbell Choir rehearsal
7:00pm - Chancel Choir rehearsal

Sunday, November 17:
8:30am - Chancel Choir rehearsal
11:20 – Joyful  Praise Handbell Choir rehearsal.

Plainfield Senior Chorus Concert Friday, November 22, at 7:00pm at Plainfield High school Auditorium. Tickets are $7.00 most of which goes to local charities. Come see some very talented seniors sharing their music talents. See Marilee Morse for more information.

Do you enjoy knitting or crocheting?

 Or maybe you’ve always wanted to learn? Louise and Sharon are teaming up to start a knitting & crocheting group where we hope to make items for those in need. Come join us in making hats for the homeless, chemo caps, prayer shawls, etc! We will be meeting at the church on Thursdays between 9-11am starting November 21st. Please talk to or email either Sharon or Louise to let us know that you’re interested! 

Paint Class – Saturday, December 21 at 5:00 pm: Cost is $15.00 Payment due at time of registration. Space is limited to 15 people. Please see Kat

Thinking About Church Membership?

Do you enjoy worship on Sunday mornings?  In our congregational tradition, we encourage adults to join the church as full members of the church.  Members of the church promise to support the church and enjoy the privilege of voting at church meetings.

Our church is currently in an Interim time, the transition following the departure of the settled pastor.  As we form a Search Committee and build the congregation’s profile, we will be developing a comprehensive understanding of our priorities for ministry.  Once the church’s profile is fully developed, the Search Committee will begin reading the profiles of ministers who are looking for employment and then interviewing the candidates who best match our stated needs.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a member of the church, you may speak with Rev. Kathy Henry or any member of the Church Council.  We look forward to holding information sessions for those who wish to consider church membership.  The transitional Interim time is an excellent time to join in full membership with the church.  Voting members of the church will be able to vote at the time that the church calls its next settled minister.

Youth Activities Planning Meeting

Youth, children and parents are invited to a planning meeting on Sunday, November 17th, following worship.
We want to plan activities for the youth and children of the church that can take place on Sunday afternoons and occasionally at other times.
We want your parent(s) there, so that we can pick activities that they will help us carry out.

We are planning to take a late winter day ski trip to Wachusett Mountain.  All youth that work to support church activities
will be able to earn a scholarship for the one day ski trip.  Their package will include rental equipment, a ski lesson and the lift
ticket.  Students may bring or buy their lunch on their own.  Students must be accompanied by a parent and parents will be responsible for providing transportation to Wachusett. Mountain.

We have a big fundraiser that all our youth are invited to help sponsor.  It is the Character Breakfast on Saturday, December 7th at the church.
Please see Kat Dunton to learn how you can help with the breakfast.

Our hope is to offer at least one church sponsored child/youth activity each month.  Sometimes, we may be able to offer more than one.
So far this year, we have held an all church Vacation Bible night, apple picking, and the Halloween Stroll.  Many of our young people have helped with several church fundraisers such as the Harvest Fair and the Roast Beef Dinner.

Bring your ideas and your energy.  We welcome everyone to participate.

Rev. Kathy

Christmas At The Lake
 December 6-8, 2019
Grades 4th -6th & 7th -8th
Begin the season of Advent at Silver Lake! Spend the weekend at camp!
Cost is $115.00 per person. A complete health record is required.
Register at
For more information about this weekend please see Pastor Kathy

Council Report
The Congregational Church of Putnam Council Meeting Minutes
September 10, 2019

Those present: Audrey Lombardi, Jo-Anne Joslin- Gerry Gagne- Kathy Henry- Sharon Almstrom- Bette Clemens- Kat Dunton- Greg Biggs
The meeting was called to order at 6:32 pm
Kathy opened the meeting with a group prayer.
Approval of Minutes:
* Jo-Anne made a motion to accept the August minutes with corrections Gerry 2nd the motion.
* Greg made a motion to accept the Financial report, Bette end the motion
Committee Reports:
New Initiatives; Feed back- Kathy
* How are we doing ? Questioner
Christian Ed/ Sunday School:
* 1st Sunday of the month we will continue to stay upstairs and participate in the service.
* Helpers needed during the year for Sunday School
* Sunday School hosting Fellowship once a month
* 10/6 Kathy will be out. Communion Sunday
* Alarm system- Bob will be placing an alarm button at the pulpit and the alarm will be in the Sunday School. Bob will talk to Kat to find the best place to put it.
* 9/18/19 Church usage form- Roger Franklin.
* U.C.C will be sent out this month as well as other local charities.
Faith Fellowship:
see attached report
Old Business:
* Safe Church policy- update –
* Ideas on speaking to children and families about active shooter / local service men and women such as police and fire fighters to visit the children and speak to us in-case of an emergency.
New Business:
* Paint Night 10/26/19 at 5:00 pm cost is $15.00 per person. $10.00 to Pat Jenson and the other $5.00 will be given to the church.
* Putting together a child friendly activities that can be done while children are sitting with parents during service.
*Church activity table / craft table set up during fellowship
Pastor report:
* Mai Donohue – Author of “Crossing the Bambo Bridge” will be visiting us on November 3 -  Time ? Pot luck ? Books are available in the office $20.00
* Ski Trip this winter with the Sunday School children and families
* Cost is about 95.00 per child.
* Fundraiser to help pay for ski trip. {Kat- Character Breakfast – Saturday Dec 7th 9:00am – Kat will contact a caterer for cost and details.
* Apple picking Sunday, October 13 at Lapsley Orchard
* All Saint Sunday, December 1st -Hanging of the Greens

A motion was made by Jo-Anne to adjourn the meeting, 2nd by Gerry.
The meeting was adorned at 8:05 pm

Respectfully Submitted
Kat Dunton, Clerk

Congregational Church of Putnam
 September 9, 2019

I. Opening and Prayer
  Sharon welcomed everyone and opened with prayer
II. Secretary’s Report 
  Melissa made a motion to accept the secretary’s  report with corrections, 2nd by Louise, all in favor,
  so moved.
III. Treasurer’s Report
  Skip reported that financial records are now in Quick Books which gives him the ability to print more comprehensive reports.  It was unanimously approved to pay some bills.  Motion was made to accept the treasurer’s  report by, 2nd  by Jan, all in favor, so moved.
1. Shop & Script
  Angela reported that new orders are  coming in.
 2.  Restaurant Placement Advertising update – Melissa & Kat
   Melissa reported that she made up a crossword puzzle with  religious terms as a design for the ad.   The ad will be on placemats in local restaurants.   Kat will contact the company and get information on pricing.
 3.  First Friday – Sept/Oct – Kat
   Kat reported that she cancelled because of the rain on First Friday in September and that October’s project would be “forky’s”.  She has a donation box in the chapel.
 4.  Car Cruise Frappes – Jan
   Jan reported that all went well and there was a $635 profit.
 5.  Woodstock Fair Frappes – Myrna & Charolette
   Myrna reported that the new freezer worked good but the fan on the inside that cools the compressor was extremely noisy until it broke.  The large fan in the booth was laid on the floor to cool the compressor.  Also there wasn’t any hot water  the first day, but that was fixed for the rest of the fair.  The profit for the weekend was $2651 (the booth costs $575 each year).   Both Myrna and Charolette said that they would do it one more year, so we are looking for people to fill their shoes. They are willing to mentor the new people next year.  Terri volunteered to take Myrna’s place providing Bill agrees. Melissa is considering taking over for Charolette.  
 1.  Election of Officers 
   Sharon reported that it will be the same slate as this year with the exception of the secretary.  No one has volunteered  to fill the secretary’s position.  It was suggested that she announce the need during church and put it in the Beacon.
 2.  Harvest Fair –10/19- Myrna, Audrey, Charlie & Jan, Deb
   Harvest Luncheon – Jan reported that the signup sheet is in the chapel and they need a lot of volunteers.
   Harvest Fair upstairs – Myrna needs holiday relics, raffle items, priceless antiques, etc.
   Outside Vendors – Kat has 20 spots outside – suggestion to up the price which is now $20.  The question was asked how much does the town charge the other vendors.  Audrey will check with PBA .
 3.   Memorial Idea – Roberta – tables
 4.  Nut Sale – Jo-Anne & Roberta
   Jo-Anne reported that prices will be increased by $2 a bag in order to make a profit.    Melissa had contacted several local companies to compare prices and none of them got back to her.  The first order will go in the end of September for the Harvest Fair.  Kat will share the order form on Facebook.
 5.  Swedish Meatball Supper – Roberta
   It will be done in conjunction with First Friday on 10/4.
 6.  Roast Beef – November 2nd – Gary, Tracy
   This will be the last year that Gary & Tracy take the lead so someone else will need to step up and take the lead.
 7. Church Christmas decorating party –Nov. 30 – Audrey, Wanda Barbara
   They would like to order pizza for lunch for those who help with the decorations.
 8.  Need new leads/co-leads for several fundraisers or we will lose them.  It was suggested that announcements be made and put an
   request in the bulletin and beacon.
 9.  Community Suppers – When? What to serve? Who to lead? It was decided to scrap September but keep January in mind.
 10.  Other
  Halloween Stroll – Melissa and Kat will work together organizing. Will requests donations from the congregation.

  Freezer down stairs died, Bousquette’s has one for under $300.
   Audrey made a motion to spend up to $300 for a new freezer, 2nd by Tori, all in favor, so moved. 

  Pastor Kathy would like to organize a ski trip for the children. Late February or early March. Cost is $94/person for beginner package.
 The idea is to have the children do a fundraiser to fund this trip.  She suggested and early advent breakfast or brunch on 12/7 or 12/8.

  Barbeque next Sunday 9/10 for homecoming on the lawn outside. Audrey is looking for a few pop up tents.

Next Meeting: Sunday, October 13th after church.

Motion to adjourn by Audrey, 2nd by Deb, all in favor, so moved.


Thank you: 

To everyone who filled in the “food needed forms”, this helps greatly with supplying food needed for the luncheon.

To everyone who worked on Friday morning to cut all the apples for the crisp.

To those who make the soup, the crisp, and the chili.
To those who came in early to make the sandwiches and put together the 36 lunches that were ordered by people boarding the train.
To everyone who worked the day of the luncheon, in the dining room, in the kitchen, doing whatever needed to be done to get people served and the food delivered. 

And finally to everyone who made it a fun time, because besides making money (and yes our church needs that too) but it was just a great day with laughter and great communication and great conversations.

Thank you very much.
Jan and Larry Christy

Sunday School Update.

Sunday, December 15 we are having our  Holiday Shopping for the children in our church.  The children will choose 5 different items they would love to give to another person in their lives. They will be able to wrap the items as well as make cards. I am looking for like new or new items to be used in this event. It can be anything. I am also looking for donations such as tape, wrapping paper, bows, bags, name tags. Anything will help. Please RSVP for the event by Sunday, December 8th. thank you

Sunday, December 22 the Sunday School children will be participating in a Christmas presentation.

Sunday School will be hosting Fellowship on Sunday, November 24, Let’s think about a Thanksgiving theme!
Thank you.
Any question please contact me at 860 4812519 /



Dazzle Light Parade
Sunday, December 1st at 5:00 pm
Do you want to walk in the parade ?   Do you have a fun costume?     
Please let Kat know by Sunday , November 24 if you are walking in the parade.
If anyone would like to donate candy to the parade, please leave in the Sunday School room. Thank you.


2019-2020 NUT SALE

It is that time again. Yes, September is upon us and it is time for the annual nut sale to begin. I recently received this year’s information from our purveyor, Terri-Lynn.  I will be doing the Nut Sale this year along with Roberta and Bill Solomon. 

As is the case in most years, there is a significant price increase for most of the products. I have adjusted our prices to reflect these changes (see printable order form).

Please start to think about the upcoming season(s) and the fact that these nuts can satisfy a lot of our needs at various venues.

Thanks so much for your co-operation in the past and let’s make this year even better!

Jo-Anne Joslin
Campaign Chairman