Good day siblings in Christ,
I am in the midst of a whirlwind travel week. Last week I was in Toronto, I just got back from a leadership retreat about an hour ago, and I am headed to a Friendsgiving celebration. This week has been a whirlwind, but it will settle as of next week. Thank you for this time to be centered and spend time with friends.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our annual meeting. I was excited by the end and I think a refocus on the basics will be helpful within the congregation. The signs of a disciple focused congregation, as I was taught, were: regular worship attendance, a focus on stewardship, telling the church’s story through evangelism, growing our faith lives through faith formation, and daily prayer. I usually add- knowing your own and the congregation’s values and focus. I have been praying as we go back to re-focusing. It is an exciting time.
Interesting information from my retreat
From my retreat, one thing I will share with the council this weekend is discussing conflict. One of the teachings from the week was conflict can occur 20% from individual personalities (a person is presenting a personal agenda over a congregation’s agenda) and 80% from an organization’s structure. This means conflict is more likely to happen because of how an congregation is organized. I will talk more about this with the council, but one point that stood out for me was if an organization does not have a way to give feedback, feedback will happen in parking lots or coffee tables. I have been thinking about how does one give informational feedback positive or negative at Our Saviour. This is what I want to talk about with the council.
The Christmas Fair will be held on December 3. Items for the tag sale portion can be brought in beginning this week. For this sale, there are parameters for donated items: they should be Christmas oriented or they should be appropriate to get under the tree on Christmas morning. They should work and be clean. This is unlike our summer sale, where the goal is to provide reasonably priced items for those who want them.
December 9 will be our annual Christmas caroling around the Harmon area. Even if you cannot sing, come on out! It is such a fun time and the appreciation by the neighborhood is incredible. Hot cocoa waits for us when we return too. This is a great family activity where lots of kids are involved. There is walking involved and we usually cover about a mile, very, very slowly.
Announcements from Marilyn, out social ministry chair
Ossining Padres Hispanos Food Drive
Thanksgiving is a time of reflection of what we have and the love of friends and family. Most of us are blessed with much to be thankful for. The organization Padres Hispanos in Ossining has assisted families and individuals who have left everything behind to come to America for a better life and safe home. We have been able to assist them in the past with donations of food and clothes.
I have heard the shelves in their food pantry are empty and need assistance this winter. Please provide items such as dry beans, rice (in large bags as they can fill smaller bags for families) and other non-perishable items for their shelves. They also can use spices, sugar and flour, vegetable oil, coffee, tea, and such items. If you feel you can assist, please know that they are now a 501-c3 non-profit and donations are tax deductible.
There is a trunk in the church narthex to place food items. I will deliver them as they come in. We will accept donations until December 4.
Ossining Padres Hispanos Coat Drive
With winter almost here, there is a need for gently used coats for adults and children. Any size is welcome and it is preferred coats be machine washable. I know children outgrow clothes quickly so you may have such items in closets from last year which no longer fit your child. Hats, gloves, and scarves are also welcome.
There is a plastic bin in the narthex ready to accept your donations. I will deliver coats after December 4.
Seafarer’s Christmas Satchels
November is a time of thanksgiving and family. 90% of global trade is transported on the high seas by crew members on container ships who remain invisible to most people, yet our supply chains depend on their services. Seafarers are the “unseen essential workers” and are overworked, frustrated, and lonely. Therefore, we invite you to bring joy to seafarers who will not be home with their loved ones for Christmas. Our port chaplains safely deliver the satchels filled with gifts to the ships for the holiday. Every crew member on a ship regardless of their faith or nationality will open their satchels, each containing:
- One hooded or unhooded sweatshirt (M, L, or XL)
- One t-shirt (M, L, or XL but same size as the sweatshirt)
- Three pairs of socks—thermal or gym socks
- One knitted winter cap (please no pompom or tassel due to safety concerns)
- One can of nuts or a large chocolate bar or healthy snack bar
- A Christmas card from you
What might otherwise have been another lonely night at sea becomes a joyous occasion, because complete strangers share the spirit of Christmas with seafarers!
Please bring all items to Frya no later than November 27. She has coordinated with other churches to have the satchels picked up and delivered to the collection location.
Thank you for your generosity.