From the Pastor

From the Pastor - May 2016 Newsletter Post

As the Great Fifty Days of Easter wind down, the scriptures begin to focus on the work of the Holy Spirit and the power and the excitement of how the church developed. In those early days just after the resurrection, those who had followed Jesus to the cross begin to see themselves as carrying Jesus's message, to a hungry world, offering healing, hope and a place to belong. In short, they were beginning to become the body of Christ.

The Church Council has been dreaming about the next steps we need to take as a congregation, and on the first Sunday in May, one of Paul’s missionary journeys – the one when he responded to the Spirit’s call in a dream after being stymied at least twice – will serve as the basis for a time of sharing where your leaders feel the church must go in the next year.  What an exciting time!

May also brings with it several RUMC Faith Family celebrations. Chief among those celebrations is Pentecost, the birthday of the church, and the Sunday when we celebrate a most precious faith RUMC Faith Family event:  Confirmation.  On that day we will celebrate eight of our youth who will make their own commitment to a life of discipleship and love for Jesus. This is one of the days that we can really show our love and support for the young people of our Faith Family, and I urge every member of the RUMC Faith Family to be present on that special day to show our love and support for our young people. There will be only one service on May 15, so that the whole RUMC Faith Family can worship and celebrate this important occasion together at 10 a.m. The worship service is designed for the Confirmands and will be quite different from our normal Sunday morning.

Other highlights of the month of May will include the introduction of our vision for a new ministry, celebrating our graduating seniors on May 22nd, and a Singing Our Faith Sunday on May 29th.

Dreams – or, in biblical language, visions – often seem unattainable or at the very least, risky.  Yet, when we fail to dream, to reach out into the unknown, to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit, we usually get stuck.  Consider a few wise words about dreams and visions:

  • The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Nothing happens unless first we dream. Carl Sandburg
  • Where there is no vision, there is no hope. George Washington Carver
  • Where there is no vision, the people perish. Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)

So, in this month of considering the work of the Holy Spirit in our congregational life, I invite you to open your hearts and minds to where God may be leading us – dreaming God-sized dreams and God-planted visions!


Posted by Vivian McCarthy with

Midweek Message - April 20, 2016

Dear Friends,

What a tremendous musical blessing was shared with the large, enthusiastic crowd that came on Sunday afternoon to hear Kelly Renner and Steve Stem play piano and organ duets and MaryAnne Evangelista share a vocal piece as part of the program. Steve obviously loves the organ that he helped to choose, and he and Kelly made the most of the many beautiful sounds the organ can produce. Annnnnnd it was FUN!  Thank you to (obviously!) to Kelly and Steve and MaryAnne – and to Bill Myers for the vision and the behind the scenes preparation and to Joanne Ditto and her crew (including the Chancel Singers) for the beautiful and scrumptious reception that followed. One of the joys of the event was the fellowship that followed, with people enjoying each other’s company and having time to catch up with Steve and greet the many visitors. Well done!

This Sunday is Youth Sunday at RUMC!  The youth have prepared worship for us, and if it’s anywhere close to the service they did last year, it will be a sacred time of hearing from God.  Don’t miss it!

And speaking of missing it….  I will be away for a family wedding this weekend in New York City. (I can’t tell you how sorry I am to miss the youth service!) I will return on Tuesday in time for the Council meeting. Please call the office during business hours on Monday or Tuesday and feel free to either leave a voice mail on my office phone (extension 102) or call my cell phone over the weekend if there is an urgent matter. (You may not realize that if you leave me a voice mail in my box, our phone system sends the message to me via email which comes straight to my phone. Thanks Brian Holsonbake!)  I won’t be available the entire time I’m up there (obviously), but there will be time for me to check messages and return calls if necessary. Rich has an aunt and uncle in Queens, both of them in their mid-90’s, and we are also looking forward to seeing them as well.

It’s time to mark your calendars for an annual faith family event.  Sunday, May 15 is Confirmation and Pentecost Sunday!  We will have ONE service at 10 am.  Please come and share in this major event in the lives of our young people as we confirm 8 of our youth who have taken classes since September to prepare for this sacred event.

Have a great week!

Blessings on you,

Posted by Vivian McCarthy with

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