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 2021 is as follows:
First Sunday in Epiphany - January 10
First Sunday in Lent - February 21
Maundy Thursday - April 1
Second Sunday in Easter - April 11
First Sunday in Pentecost - May 23
Mid-Summer - July 11
First Sunday in Kingdom - August 29
Covenant Renewal Sunday - September 12
World Communion Sunday - October 3
All Saint's Sunday - November 7
Thanksgiving Sunday - November 21
First Sunday in Advent/Christmas - November 28
Nancy Frost (2)
Roxanne Pikarsky (2)
Brad Casler (11)
Jordan Sanford (11)
Bob Post (14)
Manny Southard (17)
Barbara Webster (20)
Edie Seymour (26)
Jessika Southard (30)
Quilt by Mary Santee - given to Gail as she battles cancer. Prayed over on 2/2/2020.
Worship and Education News
In our Sunday Worship we have been looking at Matthew’s Gospel for illustrations of Jesus conducting a gift-based ministry. We noted first of all his teaching ministry in chapters 5-7, then we reviewed lessons from his healing ministry in chapters 8-9. Now we will seek to learn from his example with regard to the ministry of evangelism as we focus on chapters 10-12. Indeed, Jesus is the great teacher, the great healer and the great evangelist. We cannot pretend to exercise our gifts with anywhere near his skill. And yet we are told to be like him and certainly we can learn from his example. These three gifts of teaching, healing and evangelism are crucial for us as his church to get right. We can do so only through prayer and the Spirit’s help. Won’t you join us each week as we worship God together and seek to learn and pray in Jesus’ name. Below are the passages we will be reading and discussing in our Worship each Sunday. If you cannot be present with us each week we do post an audio and video recording of our Worship Services on our website (www.amberchurch.org).
Gift-Based Ministry Illustrated by Jesus
Oct 31 – Evangelism: “I am sending you…” (9:35-10:42, Psalm 113:1-9)
Nov 7 – Evangelism: “He who has ears…” (11:1-30, Psalm 119:9-16)
All Saints Communion
Nov 14 – Distinguishing of Spirits: “I drive out demons…” (12:1-50,
Nov 21 – Thanksgiving Celebration (Psalm 119:121-128)
Nov 28 – First Sunday of Advent (John 1:1-14, Psalm
120:1-7) Advent Communion
Our average Sunday Worship attendance for the month of October was 49. In our offerings we have received $82,817 toward the budget of $117,444. If anyone who doesn’t presently receive offering envelopes would like to do so, please speak to Faith Stopyro (315-673-1516) our Financial Secretary. New boxes of envelopes are given out in January.
The downstairs of the church has recently received a needed freshening. New lights and painted walls and floor have brightened things significantly. And we are happy to be able to again offer a nursery area for families with small children during our Sunday Worship time. The nursery room is downstairs and is equipped with toys and books so parents who want to take a squirming child out of the service can do so. We are not yet able to staff it but are glad to provide this space to those who may desire it.
Our Adult Sunday School class is discussing the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes with Chuck Harris as our guide. Do join us as we seek to learn and grow as Christ’s followers.
Also a reminder that our Friday Bible Study meets each week in the Kish Room from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. We are working our way through the Gospel of Mark with Rick Chaffee as the teacher. We are just beginning the crucifixion stories that are recorded in chapter 15. Please feel free to join in at any time.
We are trying to keep abreast of the developments of Covid in our area as we will always seek to maintain the church as a safe environment for all. It is certainly our desire to remain open, assembling together with as much normalcy as possible. So far New York State and Onondaga County remain in the relatively safe zone, yet we are aware of the increased number of cases being reported around the country and in our own county.
These numbers are being watched and our Elders and Trustees have both approved following the recommendations of the County Department of Health. At this point no new directives have been issued so we will continue to maintain our present practices. If there is an escalation in cases in our region then we anticipate that the first step for protecting one another would be to return to mask wearing in the church building. If necessary, we will return to the social distancing guidelines that we practiced last year and hold two Worship services. However, we don’t anticipate either of those safeguards presently but we do want to make everyone aware of what we would do should the situation develop.
We will seek to notify everyone of any change in policy or practice through Sunday Worship announcements, posts on our church website (www.amberchurch.org), the church email list, or by telephone. You may call the church office with any questions or updates (315-636-8843). Our present practices are:
Seating – There are no restrictions on seating in the sanctuary. We will, however, maintain the Kish Room with six-foot distancing for either those who have not been vaccinated or those who still feel they want to maintain social distancing for safety concerns. We will not check anyone’s vaccination status so seating choice will be on the honor system.
Sanitizer, Masks and Gloves – We will continue to make available at the entrances personal protective equipment in the form of masks and gloves for those who want them. Sanitizer will also be provided.
Movement – It is safe to move around within the sanctuary so we have reinstituted the use of Greeters, Acolytes, Ushers and Readers.
We do thank all of you for both your attention to safety and for your respect for one another’s convictions and practices.
Our first Friendship Luncheon was held in October and things went very well. We were pleased with the response and were glad to be able to again provide a monthly gathering spot for good food and welcome conversation. Our schedule is the first Wednesday of the month so we will be hosting one again on November 3 at noon. Come and invite a friend. For more information contact Linda Henderson (315-378-7305) or Laurie Just-Torrance (315-440-4158).
Thank you for distributing the small gift bags for the homeless. They contain some snacks, toiletries and Christian literature and are available for you to pick-up at church. Why not keep one or two in the car to have on hand when you make that next drive to Syracuse so you can give them to those who stand at intersections in the city requesting handouts.
Our food pantry items of non-perishables are given to the Marcellus Food Pantry. We would like to suggest that for the month of November you donate baking items: flour, sugar, baking powder, spices, etc. These may be placed in the plastic bins in the main entrance or the Kish Room. Marked cans are also located there if you desire to make a financial contribution to the pantry. Another donation can is in the kitchen as Terry Wheeler brings down to church the extra eggs his hens lay. They are there for the taking and he requests a donation be given to the Food Pantry of comparable value. Thank you.
Our Take-Away Wall of giveaway items is located in the church Library. Do stop in and check things out and borrow a book from the library as well. Those of you who use battery powered hearing aids there is a good supply of them for the taking.
Just a reminder that the ministry of Helping Hands is still available for those needing transportation to a doctor’s appointment or other necessary trip. Jim Frary is the person to call for assistance. His phone number is 315-427-3585.
We are presently asking folk to ‘save-the-date’ for our Church Family Thanksgiving Dinner. If the Covid numbers continue to go down we will attempt to hold a turkey dinner for everyone at noon on Sunday, November 21. We did not hold this annual event last year because of the pandemic. A confirmation announcement will be given as we get closer to the date.
Our dinner organizer is Gail Frary. If you would like to donate a turkey for the meal please contact her (315-636-8417). Note that the rest of our menu is listed below. The turkey, dressing and gravy will be provided but we are asking all who come to bring a dish to pass based on the following chart and the first letter of your last name. Come and enjoy the family.
A-G vegetable or bread
Each November we collect a special Thanksgiving Offering which we designate to some ministry that seeks to help the poor and underprivileged such as the Syracuse Rescue Mission. Having a bountiful supply of food on the table always makes us grateful for what God has given to us. His blessing also makes us conscious of our responsibility to share. We will collect and pray over this year’s offering on Thanksgiving Sunday, November 21.