Congregational Church of Putnam

Volume 26

Pastor’s Letter

The Beacon

April, 2020

Number 4

Dear Friends;
One month ago we began our Lenten journey, not knowing at all what we now know all too well. Lent is a season when as Christians we yearn to come closer to God. But we did not know then that soon we would be thrust into a world wide pandemic whose scope and consequence is beyond anything any of us have ever known. And a time such as this teaches us of our great need for God, of our great need for each other. Yes, we need God and we need each other, and all our illusions of self sufficiency are shattered in the face of the epic challenges of this time. Perhaps like me, you are reminded of the crisis of 9/11 when our world was turned upside down by the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Not since the Revolutionary War had we been attacked on our own soil. I remember that 30,000 persons gathered at the Rhode Island State House for a candlelight vigil. In the early weeks after 9/11 our church had forty new worshippers each week. We yearned to be together. We yearned to make a difference. We turned to God for guidance. We turned to one another for solace and support.

But this crisis is different. It didn’t happen all at once on one tragic day. At first we continued to worship together in the hope that our little corner of Connecticut might be spared. We can no longer gather physically in our sanctuary for worship. We are challenged to find new ways to worship, new ways to connect to God, new ways to care for one another and make a difference.

As I write to you today, I cannot say when we will again be able to gather in the beauty of our church sanctuary. I cannot say that we will be able to adorn our altar with the lovely blossoms of Easter hope. But this much I can say, we are an Easter people. Perhaps more than any other year, we will experience first hand the deep challenges of Holy Week. It will be easier to remember that Jesus journeyed to Jerusalem, knowing that God was calling him to give up his life for us. It will be easier to remember that when he and the disciples prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, the disciples fell asleep even as Jesus begged them to stay by him. It will be easier to remember that Judas betrayed his Master with a kiss for the sake of his own gain. No, we may not be able to gather in our sanctuary for our Maundy Thursday Service. But we can hold that sacred time in our hearts, the last night that Jesus shared the bread and the cup with his disciples.

We can learn day by day how to better use technology to continue to be the church.

We can all practice the gentle art of reaching out to one another, checking on each other, offering encouragement, offering prayer, doing whatever we are able to do, day by day. As I finish writing this reflection, Kat Dunton, our church secretary, is at the church office, ready to create our newsletter. This newsletter may be different. It might not include the usual things. But let us continue to be the church, let us promise ourselves that each of us will do our best to make God real in our own lives and for others. Let’s promise ourselves to look for Jesus, to seek the light and to be a beacon for others. Yours in the hope and promise of resurrection joy.

 Kathy

What to Expect as We Adapt to This New World

1.  Our church building is now closed.
2.  We are not gathering in person for worship at this time.
3.  We are using e mail and the Church’s facebook page for Sunday morning worship at 10 am.
4.  Please send all Prayer Requests to me at ksmhenry1@verizon.net
5.  We will include all Prayer Requests in our written Sunday morning “virtual worship”.
6.  We are forming an e mail group as we read and discuss David McCullough’s book. “The Pioneers”.
7.  Feel free to phone or e mail me with your questions, requests and concerns.   401-523-7864
8.  The Red Cross still hopes to hold our second blood drive on Tuesday, April 21st. 
9.  Please help us “be the church” by letting us know of your needs, ideas and concerns.
10. We welcome receiving additional e mails to our church wide group e mail.

Stay safe, stay home, stay well, stay connected.

We are the church.

Rev. Kathy

Moderator's Report  
April 2020

Oh, what a topsy turvy world we are now living in.  As we are in the mix of a corona-virus pandemic I hope that you are finding strength and hope to sustain you throughout  this difficult  time.  We all need to stay positive, take comfort in the many, many acts of kindness, of people helping people, and neighbor helping neighbor that is happening  all across this country. 

Now that we are unable to meet together each week, it is a time to reach out and connect with each other, to check if anyone needs help or supplies, or just to hear a friendly supportive  voice knowing that someone cares.  If you are in need, please reach out and let us know.  We will certainly try to help in anyway that we can.  We are the church together.  

Pastor Kathy is busy setting up Sunday Worship on the church's  Facebook  page.  Be sure to tune in and send in you prayer request  beforehand.  

So... Stay Strong, Stay Healthy,  and Stay Positive,  God is in Control Here!, 

Psalm  46:1.  "God Is Our Refuge  And  Strength!"
 
Audrey Lombardi, 
Moderator

Faith Fellowship

Have you ever volunteered for an event and considered helping to do more of a planning role for it in the future? Or maybe you’ve never volunteered at all yet but would like to? You’re in luck! Some Faith Fellowship events are in need of new leaders and/or co-leaders! It does not matter if you’re actively involved in Faith Fellowship or if you have never attended a meeting before, all people are welcome!
 
We are specifically looking for new leaders for a Tag Sale (no specific date yet), the Harvest Fair Luncheon (October 17), and the Roast Beef Supper (most likely November 7), but you are welcome to join in on any other event as well! There are Informational Binders set up for each event with items such as sign up lists, recipes, what to do, when to do it, etc, so if you’ve never volunteered at one of these events before, there IS help. Also, the past leaders are each just a phone call away and able to assist with any questions etc. 

Without new leaders for these events, they will not happen. If they do not happen, we will not bring in those fundraising funds. Just these 3 events combined tend to raise well over $5,000 per year, so please consider leading an event this year. To volunteer or for more information, please seek out Sharon, Roger, Terri, or Skip.  Thank you !

The Congregational Church of Putnam
Council Meeting Minutes
March, 2020

No minutes at this time.

 Book Discussion Group:  "The Pioneers”

Difficult times call for creative solutions.  We are reading David McCullough’s book, “The Pioneers”
which tells the story of the settling of the Ohio River Valley.  Church member Louise Pempek first suggested the book.
Louise has read the book, met the author and has copies of Manasseh Cutler’s journals and correspondence.  Manasseh grew up on the family farm in Killingly, Connecticut before becoming one of the original pioneers to settle in Ohio.

We are looking for creative ways to meet and discuss our reading of the book without having an in person meeting.

Here is my suggestion for now.  If you are reading the book or want to read it, please send me your e mail.  We can build an e mail group, posing questions and responding to one another.  I suggest we simply begin doing this now.

My e mail is ksmhenry1@verizon.net

Once the April edition of The Beacon is published, I will collect e mails and form a group e mail for our book discussions. 
We can do this.  Join the fun and challenge.

Rev. Kathy

Search Committee News

The Search Committee mauled a church survey to members and friends.   Please fill out the survey and mail it back to the church.  Your thoughtful responses will guide us as together we build an understanding of the kind of leadership we seek in calling our next settled pastor. 

It is also helpful for you to check in with church friends. If you learn of someone who has not received a survey, you can call Skip Bates to request a survey.  We want to encourage everyone to participate.

Clearly the pandemic poses new challenges, but your Search Committee will find ways to continue our work.  Stay tuned.  God has just the right pastor in mind for us, but remember, God needs our help.

skiptori@charter.net

860-428-0920

Spring Cleaning

There will be a spring cleaning of the dining room and kitchen on Thursday, April 16th at 9:00am, Volunteers needed.  - 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 www.ShopWithScrip.com  Enrollment Code: B8E2147763195 or place an order with Angela Joslin Stringer.

Baby Sitting Course

Babysitting Class has been CANCELED – will reschedule in the fall.

The FAST Training that was to be held on  Tuesday March 31 has been CANCELED.

The Blessing Box is now up and has been used!
   “Take what you need, give what you can.”

To get started we are looking for toiletries, like deodorant, soap and shampoo, and toilet paper, baby wipes, small first aid kits, socks, comb, brush, tooth brushes and tooth paste, chap stick, tissues (pocket size). Personal care products for women.

Christian Education

Hi Everyone.   I hope you are all taking care of yourself and your family. The last time Sunday School saw each other we were talking about Lent and what we could do to make big or small changes in our lives and in the lives of others.. I know I am now being put to the test, what about you? We all need to keep our mind, body and souls busy during this time.  Down bellow are a few resources  that may make your days brighter.  Miss you all.  Be kind and love one another…. Kat
 
Full of Joy Yoga is offering twice daily kids’ yoga classes (10 AM preschool, 3 PM all ages, ET),
donation-based.
 
Childlight Education Company is offering a wide variety of classes, some free and some fee-based, on their Teachable site.
 
Bee You Yoga is offering free online kids' yoga classes on week days at 12 PM EST.
 
The Lovely Little Lotus Yoga is offering free streamed classes and prerecorded kids' yoga, mindfulness & breathing break videos on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.
 
https://putnamct.rbdigital.com/
https://putnamct.universalclass.com/index.htm

American Read Cross Blood Drive
175 Main  Street Putnam, Ct. 06260
 April 21st
12:30-5:30
To Register:  redcross.org
https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/donation-time

Thank you, Paula

Make Note

WANTED: Singers and Handbell Ringers!

We currently are welcoming new singers to our Chancel Choir. There are no auditions; the only requirement is a desire to sing with other talented musicians while serving our church.

We also have openings in our Joyful Praise Handbell Choir. Some music reading experience - like on a musical instrument such as piano or a band/orchestra instrument - is necessary for handbell ringing.

If you have children or grandchildren: many schools require community service of their students, and often participating in a church music ensemble fulfills that obligation. Ringing Handbells is a great and rewarding way to enhance musician skills under the direction of a now-retired, state certified, music teacher.

Both ensembles rehearse on Sunday mornings so it’s one trip per week to participate. The Joyful Praise Handbell Choir also enjoys the options of area December holiday concerts, and participation in Area 1 conferences and workshops. Both choirs will be participating in our 91st Annual Palm Sunday Concert of Sacred Music on April 5.

Please see Choir Director Marilee Morse today or contact the church office if you, or anyone you know, are interested in this opportunity to participate in our fabulous Music Ministry.

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