Congregational Church of Putnam

Volume 26

Pastor’s Letter

The Beacon

July / August, 2019

Number 7/8

Dear Friends: 

It is nearly 100 degrees outside as I write this. I think today was the hottest day I have ever preached and I was amazed at how many of you made it to church as we all tolerated the high temperatures.  Thank you to those who came very early and set up fans to keep the sanctuary as cool as possible.

In just a few short weeks, I have learned about the great love and dedication at our Putnam church. Yes, we are a small congregation, but we are mighty in faith. I feel blessed and challenged that God has brought us together. Already I imagine that God has great plans for us.

I have already had the privilege of spending some planning time with Pastor Tom Meyer. It’s no wonder that the church has flourished and been able to develop so many effective ministries. I am sure that Tom is greatly missed and I shall never be able to fill his shoes. I will need everyone’s help and forbearance in learning the ropes and bringing the church forward.

We call this time of preparation Interim Ministry. While it’s true that Interim is a specialized ministry of transition as the church prepares to call a settled pastor, it is also ministry as we know it.  It is appropriate to expect the normal functions of ministry to take place; preaching, teaching, Sunday school, fellowship, outreach, pastoral care. We shall do our best to maintain all the normal aspects of ministry. Already, I realize that we are blessed with strong leadership in the church. Each week I learn more about so many ministries that take place here whether I am here or not. Last week, I visited the amazing Interfaith Food Closet that we all support at the United Methodist Church.  That ministry far surpasses so many I have witnessed, and I hope you are aware of what a fantastic ministry it is.

As we settle in together, there are many ways we can best use the Interim time to continue to become the church that God envisions for us. Here are a few thoughts.

1. Assume that I don’t know something. You are a close knit  and caring community. Feel free to tell me when someone is sick or hospitalized. It takes quite a while to get to know everyone. I will not always remember the connections you have with one another.

2. Give me feedback. Tell me directly what I need to know.

3. Feel free to suggest new ideas. We are a community of faith and everyone’s voice is important.

4. You probably know that my ministry here is part time and I live 41 miles away in Barrington, RI. But let’s also remember that we have the blessings of advanced technology.  We can be very effective, if we put our minds and resources to work. This summer, we are trying out various schedules and will  settle on a more predictable schedule in September.  Right now, I am at the church on Sundays and Tuesdays. It’s a good idea to call, since home and hospital visits will take me out into the community.

Thank you all for the very warm welcome I have received. Many persons worked overtime in the Interim Search process. I believe we have made a very good beginning together.

Yours in faith,


Moderator's Report
July/August 2019

What a difference a Month makes!

Do you remember where we were just a month ago? Dreading the changes that were ahead of us; unsure, anxious, and questioning what the future looked like for us as a church? Well a lot has happened since then. We sent Pastor Tom and Bunnie off with a fabulous reception at Raceway Golf Club, and along with our UCC Conference Minister Chuck Ericson, we held a very emotional final service of release giving Tom and Bunnie all our hugs and tears, as well as our prayers and blessings. The council then got to work with Pastor Chuck on securing Interim Minister profiles, setting up interviews, and making its final decision. Upon meeting our first candidate we knew we did not need to look any further. It was a unanimous decision to place the call to Rev. Dr. Kathleen Henry. Looking back on this process I don't know why we were so anxious. We know that God is in control and at work here in Putnam. Everything just seemed to fall into place. Chuck and the council felt that Kathy would be a perfect fit for our congregation and the church.  Her knowledge, her years of training and experience, her ability to converse and connect with everyone, and her enthusiasm and excitement to be here is evident in everything she says and does. As I said before, God certainly has a plan for us, and we need to learn to put our faith and trust in Him. We are never too old to learn and grow no matter how hard or unsettling it is.

During the two weeks before Kathy's arrival, Bill Pearsall was preaching, and he issued us a challenge to read the 31 chapters of Proverbs during the 31 days of July. He spoke about Proverbs being all about Wisdom and how many times the word Wisdom is mentioned throughout the 31 chapters. (Have you kept up the challenge?) I thank God for sending Kathy our way and am very thankful that we had the "Wisdom" to listen and follow His words.  I hope and pray that we as a church will continue to lean on Him as we go through the next phase of selecting a search committee and a new settled minister.

As you know the Golf Tournament was held on June 30th and was a great success. It was the biggest and best one we have ever had. It was a great day even though it rained for the first year ever (must of been because Tom was not there), and it was a great way for Charlie to finish up his time as chairperson. We can not thank you enough Charlie for all your hard work and years of dedication and a job well done. Other activities that took place in June was a First Friday rock painting with Kat held on the front lawn and a complementary Ham and Bean Supper that same night held in the dining room. Both were very well attended, and people were very pleased and very complementary on a great supper. What better way to get more people into the church than to extend the hand of fellowship.

 July's First Friday again found Kat on the front lawn doing tie dying. Kids and adults alike all took part selecting their shirts and paint colors. Another great activity, and all the proceeds went to help with the roof repairs.  August First Friday is on the 2nd and Kat once again will be doing face painting on the front lawn. Please bring the kids, offer to help and support her in any way you can. She does a great job and gives so much of herself and her time. Thank you Kat for all that you do.  The car cruise is on August 18th, and we will again be selling frappes on the front lawn.  Be sure to sign up to help or just show your support by purchasing your favorite flavor. Then of course that will lead us right up to the time of the Woodstock Fair. Be sure to look for that as well. Other on going activities are the weekly Monday night 6:30 prayer meeting,  Wednesday morning 10:30 and Thursday night 6:30 Bible study groups. Also, Monday and Thursday morning 8:45 and Wednesday 11:45 exercise groups. The council will be starting it's new 2019/2020 session on August 13th, and we are pleased to welcome back Bill Pearsall as a returning deacon and Bette Clemens as our newest deacon. We thank you both for this two year committement, and we appreciate your dedication and support. As always, Bob Thompson our trustee, has been silently working behind the scenes, painting and cleaning, replacing new windows, cutting the lawn, cleaning the parking lot and putting up new parking signs.

 A big thank you and shout out to Bob for all that he does. It does not go unnoticed. So, as we look forward to another year, we continue to ask you to see how you can support the ongoing work of the church  Sign up to greet and usher, do a reading, help serve communion, offer to host or contribute to coffee hour, join in on Faith Fellowship activities, join the choir or handbells, attend bible study or exercise groups, and Kathy just may have some other surprises in store for us as well. There are many ways to be involved in the life of our church. We would love to see you there. We also ask for your continued prayers and support in the ongoing process of seeking a new minister. We can not do it alone. We need your input and your suggestions, but most of all we need to know that we will be working together making the decisions that we will be happy with in the years to come and that we have the wisdom to follow the path that God has put before us. Making the decisions today that we will be happy with tomorrow -"Wisdom"! Proverbs 3:5." Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. "

Audrey Lombardi

The Congregational Church of Putnam
Council Minutes
May 14, 2019

Those Attended: Jo-Anne Joslin, Gerry Gagne, Sharon Almstrom,  Pastor Tom, Greg Biggs, Tori Bates, Skip Bates, Kat Dunton, Audrey Lombardi.

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm

Pastor Tom opened the meeting with a prayer.

Greg made a motion to accept the April meeting notes with the changes to be made. Jo-Anne 2nd the motion.

Financial Reports: Tori made a motion to accept the financial report, and Greg 2nd it.

Committee Reports:



Christian Ed

Old Business: Interim Minster Update
UCC guidelines  Greg made a motion to follow the Ct. Conference UCC process to search for and call both an interim minister and, eventually, a settled minister.  Only authorized ministers who have current ministerial standing, a validated ministerial profile, and a recently completed criminal background check will be considered. Jo-Anne 2nd the motion.

New Business

At 8:30 pm Greg made a motion to adjourn the meeting, Gerry 2nd the motion.

Next meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Respectfully submitted
Kat Dunton, Clerk.

Christian Education
By:  Kat Dunton
Happy Summer Everyone! 
Sunday School will begin on Sunday, September 15th.  We will continue to have the  Sunday School store.  Donations are appreciated.   If there has been any changes to your contact information please let me know by emailing me or  860-481-2519. I am looking forward to seeing you all again.

Deacon’s Report

Bette Clemens and I have only been Deacons since July 1st so there is not really much to report. Don't forget the sign up sheet for readers, greeters, etc. We have noticed that there are a lot of vacancies on the sheet. We would love to see some new names to help out with all aspects of the service. During this time of transition for our church, let me encourage you to keep the leaders in your prayers for all the upcoming decisions that need to be made.  We want God at the center of all our decisions. And also pray for  Rev. Dr. Kathy Henry while she faithfully fills our pulpit and guides us over the upcoming months.
Respectfully submitted,

Make Note
July 2019

The summer is nearly half gone as I reflect on many events of our Music Ministry this past year. First and foremost is the need to thank the many dedicated, hard working choir members of our Chancel and Joyful Praise Handbell Choirs. Several musicians shared their music talents in both choirs: Deb Leach, Myrna Paulhus, Roger Franklin, and Terri Pearsall. Additional members of the Chancel Choir were Charlie Leach, Bill Pearsall, Mark Clemens, Rev. Tom Meyer, Roberta Solomon, Margie Auger, and Susan Malizia. Additional Ringers in the Joyful Praise Handbell Choir were Chloe and Molly McCleary, Lana Salisbury, Bette Clemens, Laurie Trudeau-Roy, and Cynthia Donatelli. Besides performing all the usual Sunday anthems, our choirs also hosted our 90th Annual Palm Sunday Concert of Sacred Music on April 14. For this concert Deb Leach and Myrna Paulhus along with Kristi Durocher from the Putnam Baptist Church sang three beautiful trio anthems. My sincerest thanks to you all!!!

This Fall I’m looking forward to welcoming back our choirs and working with our new Interim Pastor, Rev. Dr. Kathleen Henry. As always, we’d like to also welcome NEW CHOIR MEMBERS!  We have spots in all voices in the Chancel Choir, and if you read music (like you play or played an instrument in your school band), please do consider ringing with our Joyful Praise Handbell Choir. It’s really a lot of fun! Please see me after church with any questions and/or to sign up!

Our first choir rehearsals will be the week of August 25. Please mark your calendars.

On behalf of the Music Ministry enjoy a wonderful rest of your summer.

Marilee Morse
Director of Music