Congregational Church of Putnam

Volume 26

From Pastor Tom

The Beacon

March, 2019

Number 3

Pastor's Letter
March 2019

On Wednesday, March 6, 2019  the season of Lent will begin.  It hardly seems possible that we have moved so quickly from the celebrations of Advent to Lent.  This is a time to renew our commitment to Christ, to follow on the journey with him and evaluate our own lives in relationship to our faith.  We read so often in the Bible that Christ went away to pray.  He prayed during the temptation, he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane; he prayed on the cross.  People sometimes ask me, does prayer really work? On Monday, February 7, 2011 we started meeting to pray. We have been meeting weekly since then and have pages upon pages of prayer requests that have been answered. It is truly amazing to know that God is always working among us.  God’s time is not our time, but I do believe that the power of prayer works, and that God answers each prayer we offer in the name of Jesus. I invite you to attend one of our meetings at 6:30 on Monday’s and experience what a powerful feeling praying in a group can have on you. As you all know, this will be my last season of Lent and Easter as your pastor.  My last Sunday will be June 16, 2019.  I am asking you to pray not only for me, but also for our church.  The days ahead are going to be filled with a lot of emotion and anxiety. Remember, God has a plan and it will be revealed to us when we pray.  The church council is in the process of developing a church profile to seek an interim minister until a new settled pastor is hired.  I ask you to pray for them, for the candidates that will be answering our profile. I know I have shared this with you years ago, but I feel this is worth reading again,  article from the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church of Buffalo, NY:


A Gallup Poll asked two questions about prayer.  “It has been said that those who pray will receive help.  Do you think this is a true statement or not?” And “When you have prayed for help, what happened, did it work or not?”
To the first question, 71% of all adults said yes.  To the second question, 63% said yes.  More women than men replied affirmatively to both questions.
Apparently, prayer works!
We presume that this means those who prayed got what they asked for.  But this whole idea of prayer as something that “works” bothers us.  There is a different test of what “works” when we pray.
---- Prayer works when it gives us a greater sense of the majesty and glory of God. 
---- Prayer works when it leads us to true repentance after confessing sin.
---- Prayer works when it arouses in us an awesome sense of the forgiving grace of God.
---- Prayer works when it engenders profound thanks for every day that we live and makes us realize that life is a gift to be received with gratitude and a task to be pursued with courage.
---- Prayer works when it leads us to pray for others.
---- Prayer works when it calls us to action on behalf of our brothers and sisters in this world.
---- Prayer works when it leads to new commitments in our Christian pilgrimage.
---- Prayer works when along with our asking, it leads to our giving.
Perhaps as we contemplate prayer, some of the things we should pray for are those who are missing among us in church and Sunday School.  The power of God to reach people in every way is accomplished through our diligent prayers together.   Prayer is a powerful, and a wonderful example for us to follow as we walk together with Christ again in this season of Lent.

Yours in Faith,

Pastor Tom

Moderator's Report
March 2019

Spring Is In The Air.          HAVE  You  Noticed!

The daylight hours are getting longer, the birds are back and singing, flowers are poking their heads up, and daylight savings time starts on  March 10th.  Can it get any better? 

The sunrises and sunsets have been beautiful, and the amazing  moon and stars have all been shining so brightly.   Lent  starts on March 6 and goes to April 18th. followed by  Easter on April 21st.   God never ceases to amaze us with His many blessings.

Lent - Spring - Easter

A time for new life, new beginnings, new growth, new hope and new blessings. 
Of course along with everything new comes new changes as well.

It can be a time to reflect as to where we have been, where we are now, and where we want to be in the future.  A time to draw together, to encourage, to support, and to embrace the special strengths and talents that God has given each and everyone of us, not only as individuals but when combined as a church united, able to do all that He has intended His people to do. 

We are at this time going through a period of many changes as a church.  The council is working  on our interim minister profile and will be meeting with our conference minister for finalizing  and submission.  Hopefully we will be ready to receive and review interested candidates and make a final selection soon as Pastor Tom's final day will be June 16th. 

In the mean time we need to formulate a search committee to start the process of the selection of a new minister.  We will be working on a letter to the church membership asking everyone to think hard and prayfully about serving on this special committee.  It will involve your time and talents in the selection of our new spiritual leader and the future of our church.  You will be hearing more about this in the near future.

Change can be hard and very difficult at times, but it can also be exciting and challenging as well.  We need to look forward and get through this transition period with pray and support for each other as well as for Pastor Tom.  It is a difficult transition time for him as well.  He needs  to know that we love and support him, and that we want only the best for him as he goes through this period of his life.

 With all of our combined prayers,  we will  find the strength to move forward and come out stronger on the other side. 

Thank you and blessings to all,

Audrey Lombardi

The Congregational Church of Putnam
Council Minutes
January 8, 2019

The meeting was called to order at 6:45 pm
Those present: Audrey  Lombardi, Sharon Almstrom, Jo-Anne Joslin, Gerry Gagne, Pastor Tom, Bob Thompson, Skip Bates, Tori Bates, Kat Dunton
Pastor Tom open the meeting with prayer & Happy New Year.
Committee Reports:
A motion was made by Jo-Anne to accept the December 2018 with changes,2nd by Greg.
A motion was made by Greg to approve the Financial report, 2nd by Tori.
Deacons:   January 10, Bob Wright will be holding service while Pastor Tom is away on vacation.
Trustees:  Roof discussion – Egan’s Church Restorations work that needs to be done on the roof where there is a leak in the roof. $20,450.  Bob Thompson will make an announcement the church on the money that needs to be raised for the repairs.
Church Usage Form- Bill Pearsall – Historical Society has asked to use the church on January 10.

Christain Ed:  All is going well, the children did great at the Christmas pageant. We continue to work on different lesson throughout the bible. The children seem to be enjoying their time downstairs. 
Safe Church Policy Update: Greg and Audrey are working on the policy. Will update soon.
Interim Minster Discussion-  collecting data
Church Profile- Pastor Tom had come across the last church profile from when he was hired. He will send out to everyone to read over.
Pastor Report:
Vacation-  Pastor Tom will be on vacation between 2-9 and 2-17
Toms  last day will be June 16, 2019
The Golf Tournament will be held on Sunday, June 30, 2019
The annual meeting will be held on Sunday, June 9, 2019

Tori made a motion to adjourn the meeting 2nd by Gerry

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 @ 6:30 pm

Respectfully submitted
Kat Dunton, Clerk

 January 13, 2019

1.      Opening Prayer offered by Tori Bates
2.      Secretary’s report
A motion was made by  to accept the secretary’s report with a note there were some updates included in the notes that were received after the meeting,  a first motion was made by Louise Pempek and a  second by Tori Bates. The motion passed.
3.      Treasurer Report
Skip Bates stated there is a remaining balance of $8,880.05 with some money still expected in from the nut sale. Charlie made the motion to approve with Tori Bates seconding, report was approved.
4.      Old Business
a)      Movie Night- Polar Express went really well.
b)      Faith Fellowship- Christmas Pot Luck and Yankee Swap- went well, thank you to all those involved next year we may adjust the times due to some gaps in the event.
c)      Community Appreciation Meals- Our first meal happened last week with 29 people showing up. WINY did a great job helping us promote the event. There is another meal coming up soon.
d)      Spaghetti Supers- The event needs more volunteers, but so far we have had a lot of people willing to donate. There was also a suggestion to have a collection jar that would go to Tom and Bunny at the end of the event as an appreciation to them.   Charlotte Picard made the motion, Tori Bates seconded, the motion passed.
e)      Large Projects Updates- Bob Thompson will come and look at the window he received a quote for $235 per window and can take care of it the spring. Faith Fellowship had previously voted to support this project. 
5.      New Updates
a)      Fire and Ice
The event starts at 12-9pm on Feb 9th. Myrna Paulhus attended the PBA meeting, and the church was asked to sponsor on an ice chunk for $150. Two additional spots on the lawn would be used for more ice sculptures. We plan to offer hot chocolate and have a fire pit. We do need someone to spearhead the event, but there is a how-to manual. There will be a cake decorating contest in the rectory of the church. Angela Stringer is planning to have crafts in the conference room for the event between 12-3. Audrey Lombardi can volunteer inside, we need some people to help with the fire. Kat Farnsworth has volunteered to run it outside, Greg Biggs can bring some wood, we will just work on transportation.
This is the largest ice sculpture event in New England, this brings a great crowd and is a good event for the church.  Motion to purchase the sculpture made by Tori Bates, seconded by Kat Farnsworth, motion passed.
b)      Shrive Tuesday-no updates
c)      Shop & Script-
Angela Stringer brought up this as an option for a a good year-round fundraiser, where you can purchase gift cards and then the church gets a percentage back based on where the purchase is made. The Church could order cards a head of time or have orders placed. There are shipping charges of $8.99 per order. Angela Stringer would be willing to be lead on this and would need access to the checking account information. There would be a one-week turnaround time for all orders.  Tori Bates made the motion to have Angela Stringer move forward, Louise Pempek seconded, motion passed.
d)      Paint Night-
There are currently two paint nights scheduled Feb 2, April 6 starting at 5:30, Pat Jenson runs it, there have been a lot people are expressing interest in the event and there is a 20 person limit for each event.
e)      Movies-  ‘Christopher Robin’ January 21 10am
    ‘I can only Imagine’ Feb 8th at 6pm
    ‘Gods not Dead’ March 1st at 6pm
   ‘Do you believe?’ March  22nd at 6pm
f)       Candy Bingo-
On Feb 18th at 3:30pm Kat Farnsworth will be running a Bingo game and ask everyone who wants to participate to bring a candy bar. Kat has been able to get a Bingo set donated as well as some boxes of candy.  There was some discussion that during the evolution of this event we should considered providing non-food-based prizes. Tori Bates motioned Faith Fellowship help supply a box of candy, Audrey Lombardi seconded, the Motion passed.
g)      Restaurant Placement Advertising
We can bring our advertisement get a generic ad at $99 for a 3-4 month run this would give us visibility on 20,000 mats, Louise Pempek made the motion that we proceed with one cycle of advertisements, Tori seconded, the motion passed. Kat will get the information, Melissa Biggs will look at design to try and incorporate a fun game.
h)      Roof Repair- Sharon Thompson explained the roof needs help, Bob Thompson brought in an estimate for a $20,450, Sharon asked Faith Fellowship to donate some funds. Tori Bates made the motion to donate 5,000, but we may be able to donate more. Louise Pempek seconded, motion passed.
i)        2019 Calendar of Events- amendments
 Spaghetti Supper lead is Tom and Bunny,
Roast beef should list Gary and Tracy leads,
Fire and Ice and Paint Night needs to be switched,
Addition- There will be a first Friday in October based on holidays.
We still need a date for the Swedish Supper, we need to check with Roberta, we may want to have it on the first Friday.
We need to consider whether we should remove the nut sale from the Faith Fellowship events, they raised prices and it does not appear to be cost effective anymore.
Polish supper April 13th would be difficult for those that are working Palm Sunday, we would prefer a date in May or another date in April.
There was some discussion on the prices for these supers? Should we adjust the prices. Faith Fellowship should continue to consider these prices.
j)        This year the Decorating Committee attempted to host a decorating party to solicit more volunteers but that did not work well. We should advertise when decorations will be put down in the list of church events and maybe we should move the date a Sunday. Dates to be considered further.
k)      Volunteers from local schools- Once the Faith Fellowship list of events is finalized Melissa Biggs will share these events with the local schools but we need contact information for each lead.
6.      Next Meeting February 10th after Church

7.      Adjournment


Make Note

We have settled on Saturday, May 25 for the date of the shape note workshop/concert with Nym Cooke (see enclosed attachments).  The workshop will happen at 4:00, dinner at 6, concert at 7:30.  All you need to do is fill out and return the enclosed registration form (with your check) even if you have responded to Ted personally so we know how many music folders to make and how many place settings for dinner.  You may wish to attend as part of a larger group such as a church choir or a community chorus.  If so, you may fill out one registration form per group listing the number of singers (and a check for $10 per).  The name of your group will be in the program as will all individuals. 

We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity.  Nym Cooke is the leading authority in the country, if not the world, on early American choral music.  You are sure to learn something regardless of your level of education.  You are also assured of having a great time doing it as Nym is a very energetic, dynamic, and competent director.  He runs a fun rehearsal.  And don't forget to bring a few friends to the show!!
Please respond no later than May 5th by sending the enclosed form to:

PO Box 147
Woodstock, CT  06281

If you have questions or concerns, please call our Music Director, Mr. Bradley, at 860 942-4036 or email to this address.

PS  The forms are available here at the church or call 860-928-4405 to have a form mailed to you.

5/3 – 5/4/19

Spring is around the corner and some of us are thinking about the annual Tag Sale, this year timed with Putnam’s May 1st Friday Celebration.   This sale will be held in the Church Dining Room  with some items in Sunday School Room and outside as weather permits.  Note this on your calendar:

Friday, May 3; 5 – 8 PM
Saturday, May 4; 8:30 – 3 PM

We are particularly excited about a new element to our sale . . . On Saturday only, we will sell vendor space to those who might like to set up on our lawn or Chapel Room.   Again, this does not apply to Friday night 1st Friday as PBA,  of which we are a member, sells vendor space  – we needn’t compete with their efforts.   Outdoor space will be 20 x 20, Chapel Room space 10 x 12; fee for space regardless of size will be $20 which includes advertising..  Fee does not include tables.  Vendor set up begins Sat., 6:30 AM.  For more information, contact Kat at 860-481-2519 or

For our sale, we will offer the usual sellable items:  furniture (no sleeper sofas), décor, jewelry, wall art, linens, antiques, collectibles, books, dishes, electronics, baby items/toys, tools, garden.  We do not sell clothing.  If you have items that need to be transported our team will arrange and complete the task.  All other items may be brought to the church beginning in April.   Please note:  as of now we have very few items to support a great sale.  We are looking for sellable merchandise and have  two months to collect it.

SET UP WORK HOURS:  vital to be ready for the sale.

SUNDAY, 4/28 11:30; after church need people who can lift to move merchandise from balcony and basement to dining room or Sunday school room.  Need to set up tables and display units.  Should take 1 ½ hours.  NOTE: we plan to seek H.S. students who need community service hours to help.

MONDAY, 4/29   9 –12 noon:  empty boxes, sort and clean items, display in appropriate area.
TUES., 4/30  9-12 noon: empty boxes, sort and clean items, display in appropriate areas.
THURS., 5/2  9-12 noon:  same tasks.
FRIDAY, 5/3  9-12 noon:  same tasks; ensure items are priced;  strategically place signs
FRIDAY, 5/3  4-8 PM;  selling staff
SATURDAY,  5/4  8:30 – 12 noon; selling staff
SATURDAY, 5/4 12 noon – 3 pm;  selling staff
SATURDAY, 5/4  3 – 4:30; clean up; will pursue  H.S. students to assist.

Sign up sheets will be in place by April 14th. 
Historically, our sales have been successful, and we again look forward to supporting our general fund and missions (community charities).  So . . . how can you help right now:

1.  Explore your home’s nook and crannies for items to add to our inventory,
2.  Deliver to Church beginning in April,
3.  Arrange for transporting if necessary; contact Myrna 860-742-4205,
4.  Consider times you might donate to work the set up and/or selling/cleanup.
5.  Promote Saturday Vendor Sale with family and friends.

This is a work intensive project but one that is valuable to our Church.  Please consider your participation in as many ways as you can.  It’s all good when many hands are there to help.

Myrna Paulhus, reporting for Faith Fellowship