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Shorelight Newsletter - In the Life of our Church

Visit often to learn more about our activities and our focus on Worship, Christian Education and Outreach.

Our Communion (The Lord's Table) Schedule for 2024 is as follows:

First Sunday in Epiphany - January 7

First Sunday in Lent - February 18

Maundy Thursday - March 28

Second Sunday in Easter - April 7

First Sunday in Pentecost - May 26

Mid-Summer - July 7

First Sunday in Kingdom - August 25

Covenant Renewal Sunday - September 8

World Communion Sunday - October 6

All Saint's Sunday - November 3

Thanksgiving Sunday - November 24

First Sunday in Advent/Christmas - December 1

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May Birthdays and Anniversaries



 Travis Wheeler (4)

 Cahal Donovan (5)

 Joe Hanus (83)

 Kim Vile (13)

 Deb Southard (137)

 Matthew Henderson (14)

 Jim Seymour (15)

 Deborah O’Brien (15)

 Ethan Smith (16)

 Gail Frary (22)

 Mike Fish (26)

 Andy McVicar (27)

 Nancy Seeley (29)

 Doug LaFrance (30)

 Charlotte D’Aiutolo (30)

 Dahlia Schultz (31)



 Neil and Karen Bailer (4)

 Dave and Kristin Heath (6)

 Brad and Cindy Casler (7)

 Jack and Faith Stopyro (20)

 Charles and Sue Ellen Harris (22)


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Worship News


   We have begun a series of sermons on the parables of Jesus as recorded in Matthew’s Gospel.  As his ministry moved closer to an end and the purpose of his coming became clearer to his followers, his opponents seemed to increase their resistance to him and his message.  So we read, “Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable.” So that “though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand” (Matthew 13:34,13).  His intent was to make the message clear to those who would respond, and unclear to those who would reject him.  I hope that for all of you these sermons will be understandable and affirming even as you take your place among his disciples.


The Parables of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel


Apr  21 – Parable of the Sower 

            (Mt. 13:1-23, Ps. 105:37-45)

Apr 28 – Parables of the Weeds, Seeds, and Yeast

              (Mt. 13:24-43, Ps. 108:1-13)

May  5 – Parables of the Treasure, Pearl and Net

            (Mt. 13:44-52, Ps. 115:1-18)

May 12 – Parables of the Sheep and Servant             

               (Mt. 18:10-14, 21-35, Ps. 119:25-32)

May 19 – Parable of the Vineyard Workers

             (Mt. 20:1-16, Ps. 119:81-88)

May 26 – Parables of the Sons and Tenants

             (Mt. 21:28-46, Ps. 119:137-144)

             Pentecost Communion

June 2 – Parable of the Wedding Banquet

             (Mt. 22:1-14, Ps. 122:1-9)

June 9 – Parable of the Ten Virgins

               (Mt. 25:1-13, Ps. 129:1-8)

June 16 – Parable of the Talents

                (Mt. 25:14-30, Ps. 136:1-26)


   Remember if you can’t be with us on a Sunday morning,  we do post  an  audio  and  a  video  of the Worship Service on our church website (  This is not a live stream, and it may take us a day or two to get it up on our site, but check it out.  


   The average Worship attendance for the month of April was 57.  The budget for 2024 is $128,150.  Our present offerings now total $40,492.

Church Work Day 


   Just a word of thanks to all who turned out on Saturday, April 20, to do a general clean-up of our church property both inside and out.  From raking the stones off the grass and patching the potholes, to cleaning the refrigerator and the stoves, to vacuuming cobwebs and washing the windows, our annual list of Spring cleaning chores were all completed.  Thank you for your participation and for a job well done.


The LYFE Conference 

June 7-8, 2024


   The Women’s LYFE Conference for 2024 is June 7-8.  Check it out on their website (  Campus housing is full although there are hotels nearby at additional cost.  If you're interested please talk to Gail Frary or any of the other church women who have previously attended (Gail Frary or 315-391-6443).


 200th Anniversary Celebrations



   The plan has been to celebrate our 200th Anniversary all year long.  We have already begun in some significant ways to observe the year, but there are more things coming.  Here is a quick rundown of what we have started and what lies ahead.


   A monthly part of our anniversary memories are in the shared poems from the pen of Connie Amidon, our 2024 Amber Church Poet Laureate.  Each month we place in this newsletter and read in our Sunday Worship one of her poems.  They enable us to recall some of our past members and the times shared with them.  The poem for May is written below.  Last month we handed out in Worship our souvenir anniversary pens with the encouragement for everyone to begin writing down their poems and their memories. We can all be historians.  


   We are also happy to report that we have been granted approval for a New York State Historical Marker which will be posted in front of the church building to identify our church as a point of interest for tourists.  This will provide an external indicator of our long-standing existence in the village of Amber.  


   And as most of you now know we have been taking everyone’s picture after our Sunday Worship to be included in a new Church Pictorial Directory.  Please linger after Worship so that we won’t need to track you down in order to include your picture in our directory.


   We our also planning a few extra events throughout this year.  A Strawberry and Ice Cream Social is in the works and will be announced when the local strawberry season begins.  We have anniversary coffee mugs that we will introduce for sale then, the proceeds being given to missions.  When summer comes we have scheduled a Concert with Mark Farrington.  The date is set for July 14.  More information will be announced as summer approaches.  If you would like to hear a little of his music check out the cd “Cattle Call – Good Life” which is available on Amazon. 


   The Amber Church Cookbook is still in process as are the plans for our major anniversary meeting to be held in September. We have a lot to celebrate and a lot to thank God for in the life of our church.  Join in to whatever you can and share the joy.  And remember, if you haven’t yet gotten your free copy of the book “A History of the Amber Congregational Church” just stop in and get one at the church office.  


2024 Amber Church Poet Laureate Connie Amidon


   May is the month we celebrate Mother’s Day.  It seemed appropriate then to both Connie and to me that the poem we share this month is the one Connie wrote about her mother.  The simple title is “A Tribute to Mother.”  I did notice, however, that unlike any of her other poems she used her full name to identify her authorship of this one.  It is by “Constance Bishop Amidon.”  


   As Connie mentions in the poem, her mother, Grace Bishop, lived to be 99 years old.  After she married and moved to Amber she joined the Amber Church and for 75 years she was an active member here.  She never held a church office but certainly “active” is the correct word to use for her whole lifestyle.  She seemed to always be on the move, hardly sitting down, and if she did she would be doing something with her hands, some project for family, or friends, or the needy in the wider community.  She was tireless in living life productively.  


   This month as we remember our mothers, we remember also our church mothers.  Grace was certainly one whose life will linger in the memories of all who knew her.   



A Tribute to My Mother

(Constance Bishop Amidon)


Mother, Mother, you were always so precious and dear.

   You were never very far away, in fact real near!

You tried to live by the Ten Commandments  

   and always wished your children would too!


You had five children to take care of and of course Pop too.

Sixteen grandchildren, 

   thirty-three great-grandchildren, 

   and one great-great-granddaughter to love.

You lost a son at twenty-eight.

   Now you’ll be able to see him through the Golden Gate.

You helped all of us children all that you could.

  You went without yourself, and always understood.


Mother was noted for her pickles and her baked beans, 

   her homemade fried cakes also it seems.

Faith and the church was a big part of her life.

   God was always there in all of her strife.


You didn’t make one-hundred, 

   but ninety-nine is great.

We thank God for you, 

   and for forgiving all of our mistakes.


So long for now, till we meet again.  

   You started it all from beginning to end.

We love you so very much, 

   don’t worry, we will keep in touch.

We all love you more than you’ll ever know.

   When you were here we should have told you so.  

God bless you and so long for now.  





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