Congregational Church of Putnam

Volume 26

Pastor’s Letter

The Beacon

October, 2019

Number 10

Dear Friends:
Our fall season is well launched with the return of vacationers, our choirs and the resumption of Sunday School. We enjoyed beautiful weather for our Homecoming cookout, including a “bouncy house” on the front lawn.

This past Sunday our area minster, the Rev.Chuck Ericson, presented a snapshot of the purposes of our Interum transitional time and fielded our questions at Fellowship Hour. He suggested that we envision this time of transition in two parts.

During this first part we seek out the wisdom of all members of the congregation in discerning how and who God is calling us to be as a church. What are our hopes and dreams for the present and future of our church and how is God challenging and changing us as we consider the changing landscape of ministry and church in this 21st century?

Chuck gave a relevant example of such change. He said that churches are discovering that with the thoughtful use of technology that part time ministry and ministry by a pastor that does not live locally can be very effective. I’ve been serving churches long enough to know that this insight goes against much of what we once believed about ministry.

I believe that the landscape of ministry is changing, just as so much in our lives is changing. The challenge for our church is to discover what to retain and what to change. And change is never easy.

The second part of the Interim time begins once we have created the extensive written Profile of the church and the Conference office then advertises the position of a settled minister on line all across the country.

Chuck explained that sometimes the same people take care of both tasks and sometimes a Transition Team is created by the Church Council for Part One and a Search Committee is created for Part Tow. Our Church Council will consider these two models for proceeding.

We  know that we will be asking everyone to respond to questions. Searches are most effective when the church takes the time to invite everyone to express their views as the church creates an accurate portrait of who we are and who God is calling us to become. So stay tuned.

Meanwhile, we continue to worship and serve. Our Beacon includes many opportunities to be involved and make a difference. I look forward to seeing you and serving alongside with you.

Rev. Marilyn Kendrix, Transitional Conference Minister of Rhode Island will join Rev. Kathy in worship Sunday, October 27th. Marilyn will be preaching on mass incarceration in our prison system. Please join us for a very special experience.

Let’s Go Apply Picking!
Sunday, October 13th, we will go to Lapsley Orchards for Apple picking and other fun activities! Save the date!

It takes A Village.
Our Sunday school is growing and we invite everyone to consider signing up to assist Kat Dunton on a Sunday. Safe Sunday School practices call for at least two teachers each week. You will be supported, and your own faith will flourish and grow. The children are such an integral part of our faith community, and we want to be involved in their lives. Please speak to Rev. Kathy or  Kat Dunton or any member of the Church Council. There is a sign up sheet for dates in Fellowship Hall.

Yours in Christ,


Moderator's Report
October 2019

In looking back to last October 2018 Moderator's  Report,  and probably  every one since  then, I spoke about "change" and how it effect all areas of our lives.  Just look at our world today,  politically,  environmentally,  spirituality,  culturally,  and individually.   Change is very hard and can be scary.
Rev. Chuck Ericson, our UCC Conference  Minister,  visited and preached along with Pastor Kathy on September  22.  In his sermon Chuck asked the question  " What  Do You See?"  Well, as I look back to last October and the time that Pastor Tom first announced  his retirement,  we have struggled, we have grown,  and we are surviving.  I am amazed to see the changes that have taken place.  I see growth, I see energy, I see excitement,  and yes, I see some hesitation  and doubt as well.   Look around you, do you see and feel the changes taking  place?  
Chuck also talked with us after worship about the process of securing  a settled minister and how long it could take.  The intention  of an Interim  Minister is to help with the transition period of a Pastor leaving, and to build the church in preparation for a settled Pastor.  This could conceivably take up to18 months or more.  
In getting to know Kathy, working along side her and having long discussions with her, I feel that she/we as a church  have had a great start.  Given that she has only been here for three months and was hired for 20 to 25 hours a week she has already made positive  gains.  She has been reaching out to people, getting to know them and their individual  needs. She is already building trust relationships  with the kids, setting up trips and fun activities just for them as well as planning  adult trips to museums, concerts, plays, etc.  

Kathy is already looking ahead to the Holiday  Season.  On November 3rd. she will be holding a " Lighting Of The Candles" memorial  service during worship, to be followed by fellowship  and a book signing  discussion with Mia Donoghue the author of "Crossing The Bamboo  Bridge".   Kathy has several books available  in the office for $20.00 for us to read before  hand  or you can download it from Amazon.   I have read it and found it to be a very powerful and amazing story about the will to survive in a culture of torture and abuse.  Don't  miss this one!

For the Advent season, Kathy is planning a special service on December  1st. "Hanging Of The Greens" where she will explain the real meaning behind  the symbols and traditions of Christmas.  Looking forward  to these events as well as many more in the works.  She is a wealth of knowledge,  resources,  and energy, and we are blessed to have her.  

In getting back to the question ," What Do You See? “ We as a church  need to take a good look at areas we see that need strengthening.  One area I see is building our membership and in turn our Sunday School Program.  Children and young families are our future, and the only way we can grow and survive as a church.   We need to welcome young families and children into our worship service and support them in their efforts in raising children in today's challenging  world. 

Kathy, along with the council, will be looking at ways to increasing our $$ and resources in building this most important program.  We need to provide support, training, and resources for existing  staff,  have backup plans and staff available when necessary, and  provide nursery care as well.  It is an ideal plan, I know, but if we as a church really believe  that children are,  an important and integral part of our church community,  then we need to be willing to meet this challenge.   

As part of Kathy's  contract  agreement  she will be away on October 6th. for a preplanned vacation.  We are very pleased,  to have our own Skip Bates leading worship, preaching, and serving communion.  Thank you Skip, we looking forward to hearing you.

October 4th is the Swedish  Meatball Supper,  October  5th is the Supper Saturday  Workshop in Framingham  Mass.  with five of our members participating.  October 9th is our trip to the Norman Rockwell  Museum  in Stockbridge,  October 13th is Faith Fellowship  meeting,  October 19th is the Harvest Fair and Luncheon.  October  23nd Kat has another Paint Night scheduled, and October  25th is the town wide Halloween  Stroll.  Somewhere  in there Kathy has plans for apple picking/ hay ride with the kids and adults.  Exciting times ahead, please make plans to participate and support these efforts.  
On another note, it is great to have Myrna  back with us and we especially  want to thank you  for offering your talents and services on the organ while Marilee  was away.  Great job.  

Remember :        "It takes a village". . .  "What do you see"?

Audrey Lombardi 

GGG- September Report: 09/22/19

Missions started the month of September, 2019 with a balance of $2,118.28.  During September, there was one deposit: Faith Fellowship donated $82.90 from the Swedish Meatball Supper on 09/08/19.

During the month of September, there were four donations, all made on 09/12/19: $1,100.00 to Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM, Check #198); $250.00 to Interfaith Human Services of Putnam (IHSP), in support of their Squash Hunger Food Drive (Check #199); $250.00 to Generations Family Health Center of Putnam (Check #200);  and $250.00 to Day Kimball Hospital’s Pastoral Care Department (Check #201).

Missions ended the month of September, 2019 with $351.18.

Thank you, and God bless,
Gerard Gagne
Mission Outreach Coordinator


Congregational Church of Putnam

August 4, 2019
I.   Opening and Prayer
   Sharon Almstrom thanked everyone for attending.  Pastor Kathy opened with prayer.

II.  Secretary’s Report
  Louise Pempek made a motion to accept the Secretary’s with corrections, 2nd by Melissa Biggs, all in favor, so moved.

III.  Treasurer’s Report
  A request was made to have headers of columns and balance of  account on the report.   
  Annie Russo made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report with added corrections, 2nd by Melissa Biggs, all in favor, so moved.

IV.  Old Business
  Fundraising idea “Shop & Script” – 
  Restaurant Placemat Advertising – Melissa & Kat
  Melissa reported that she is working on it and will report next month.
  First Friday –July and August -Kat reported that she sold tie dye shirts netting $110 and received $50 donations as well.
  She reported that there were children playing and running on the ramp.  She suggested that PBA make a sign asking people to stay off the ramp
  and along the wall as well.
  Polish Supper – Roberta reported that it went well with a profit over $800 which will be shared between Shannon’s benefit fund and the FF.
  Ham and Bean Supper – Audrey and Charlie reported that it went well and they received $276 in donations.

V.  New Business
  VBS – Wednesday, August 14 – Rev. Kathy & Kat
   Will start at 5:15 with a potluck supper and go through 8pm.  There is no charge.  Melissa will publicize on Face book.
  Car Cruise – Jan
   There is a sign-up sheet in the chapel
  Car Cruise Parking during/after church – Roger
   Roger asked for a volunteer to direct traffic out of the parking lot after the service.  Bill Pearsall volunteered. There was also a discussion about the continual use of our parking lot that interferes with events at the church.
  Woodstock Fair Frappes – Charlotte & Myrna
   A work in progress, Charlotte will be calling for volunteers.
  Election of Officers – September meeting
   Secretary position is open.  If you would like to volunteer     for this position, see Sharon or Terri. 
  First Friday Events
   September – super hero craft
   October – steam punk (mixing old & new (forky))      
  Harvest Fair – outside vendors – Myrna & Kat
   It was suggested to increase fee to $40 for a space.
  Memorial Idea – Roberta Solomon 
   Suggested that we have an event with the proceeds going to something the church needs or Sunday School in Shannon’s memory.
  Plarn Mats – Sharon
   These are mats for homeless people knitted together with  plastic yarns made from plastic bags.  A date will be set for  anyone interested and a sign-up sheet will be produced.  Sharon and Louise Pempek will make the arrangement.
  Community Suppers – When? What to serve?  Who to lead?
   They will be in September and January.  No one volunteered to take the lead for these.

  Paint nights - Kat would like to do more.  
  Nut Sale- Charlie Leach led a discussion concerning this fundraiser.  Since the cost for us to buy the nuts has gone up considerably (we would have to charge $2-$3 more for each bag to make a profit) and it is a lot of work that goes on for months, do we want to continue?  Melissa Biggs volunteered to look for a Connecticut company and then FF can have an email vote for yeah or nay.

 Motion to adjourn by Terri, 2nd by Charlie, all in favor, so moved.
Next meeting:  Sunday, September 8th, after church.
Next meeting Sunday, June 9th, after church.
Motion to adjourn, all in favor.

Sunday School

Hello Friends,
Happy Fall.  We are looking forward to another wonderful year. We started in September with the 5 finger prayer. Its something I learned about during our vacation bible night in August.

Sunday School will continue to host fellowship once a month. This was a great success last year, and I think the children had fun. Please make sure to check the board in the front of the church to see what week we are hosting. If possible anyone that can help with set up and clean up is always helpful too.
This month we will be hosting on Sunday, October 27th

The children are excited to continue to Sunday School Store. They earn coins by participating in Sunday School , filling out their Helping Hands Chart and taking part a fun activities at church. To help fund the Sunday school store I have placed a box of candy bars for sale. Each bar is $1.00.
Donations to the store are welcome.
Thank you for your support.

Make Note

In response to the request to have choir rehearsals evenings, we will be changing our rehearsal schedule beginning the week of October 6. The schedule will be as follows:

Sunday, September 29:
8:30-9:30am - Chancel Choir rehearsal
11:20-12:30 - Joyful Praise Handbell Choir rehearsal
Sunday, October 6: New rehearsal schedule begins
9:10am - Chancel Choir warm-up rehearsal
Tuesday, October 8:
5:45-6:50pm - Joyful Praise Handbell Choir rehearsal
7:00-8:00pm - Chancel Choir rehearsal

If you enjoy fun fellowship with music, please do consider joining one or both choirs. Ringing handbells does require some basic knowledge of music reading (like having played in a school band or orchestra.) Please see me after the Sunday Worship Service with any questions or email me:

I and the choirs hope to see you soon!
Marilee Morse
Director of Music

Melissa Biggs has graciously agreed to be our Facebook person.  If you have any events for the church that you would like on Facebook, please e-mail Melissa at:  Deb Thurston will continue to be in charge of our web site.


Saturday, October 19, 2019
8:30 – 3:00 PM

The time has come . . . it’s October and we trust you’re ready . . . I know we are! The Fair & Luncheon is a grand tradition at our Church. The people of Putnam . . . and our “Train” friends look forward to it every year. We will have their favorites: Crafts, White Elephant, Florals, Holiday Relics, Bake Goods & Cookies, Knits & Sewn, Grab Bag, Raffle, Jewelry, Nuts, Fresh Wreaths (orders), and more. We will once again be part of Putnam’s Pumpkin Fall Festival and have the well-known Giant Pumpkin on our front lawn for that photo op. New this year is the Vendor Sale on the front lawn. This opportunity allows folks to set up in a 12 x 12 space to sell their wares. Will not include foods but may be crafts, jewelry, antiques, etc. Kat is our contact for this portion of the Fair. Tables/chairs not included. Won’t you join us in making this one our best yet? What can you do – how ‘bout these ideas . . . .

        WHITE ELEPHANT: Clean those cupboards and bring in nicer décor items,
        PLANTS: Do some plant splitting and repot to sell on the floral table,
        HOLIDAY RELICS: Clean those cupboards and bring in nicer décor items
        KNIT/SEWN: Fisnish those knitting projects and /or cloth items that are like new,
        PLANTS: Do some plant splitting and re pot to sell on the floral table,
        RAFFLE: Bring in a gift card from your favorite eatery, make a super basket, art work,
        LIVE WREATHS: Opportunity to order beautiful wreaths for the holiday,
        LUNCHEON: Check the sign up for food donations and work hours..

What else can you do? Plan to work the Fair / Luncheon . . . we will set up beginning Tuesday - Friday before the Fair at 9 AM till noon. We’ll be ready to open at 8:30 Saturday and you might consider helping with the sales at the differrent tables and/or work the luncheon . . . this is fun and you get to meet lots of folks. Cleaning up at the end of the Fair is essential – need some volunteers to help with that task.

Our Luncheon begins at 11:30 – 1:30 and includes the favorites as ala carte or a special.

Roasted Turkey or Baked Ham Sandwich or Chili Dog
Chicken Soup / Chili
Apple Crisp/ pumpkin Pie
Beverage of Choice: coffee, water ,cider

So . . . here’s the thing . . . this event won’t be successful without your help and most of all your attendance. Plan to join in and enjoy your Church and your community. Financially, your Church benefits, Faith Fellowship benefits and our Missions benefits . . . doesn’t get any better than that! If you have further questions or suggestions feel free to call or speak to those noted below.

Myrna Paulhus, Fair Chair: 860-942-4205
Jan Christy, Luncheon Chair: 860-928-7048
Kat Dunton, Vendor Sales: 860-481-2519

Putnam’s Halloween Stroll is just around the corner!
Friday, October 25th at 5:00 pm

  I am looking for Candy donations, small Halloween baggies as well as volunteers. Come in costume if you like. Volunteers will be passing out candy as well as standing on the church wall, keeping kids safe. Please let me know if you can help that night. Thank you Kat

Dazzle Light Parade!

 I already heard it being talked about on WINY radio! Last year we had such a great time. I would love to have our church in the parade again.
* Does anyone have a truck and flat bed?
* Would you be willing to be in the parade with us?
If so let Kat know.
Thank you


Sunday, November 3rd
Following Worship
Author Mai Donohue
will share with us
the story of her life in Vietnam.
Her book, "Crossing the Bamboo Bridge",
 available soon for purchase
at Church Office for $20.

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