Ronnie, Allie, and I have recently returned from a refreshing vacation in Colorado and Yellowstone. We spent several days with our family at Winter Park, CO, attended nephew Ryan's wedding at Rockies stadium (they were married on home plate!) and then a week in the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. The fun times with family combined with the stunning scenery made a for a true get-away and restorative trip. The Tetons and Yellowstone are stunning places that make you feel like you are on another planet.
The peace of our trip was shattered, as for everyone, by the tragic death of Ryan Weiss. Allie is in the same sailing program so we learned about it immediately. It was frustrating to be so far away and not able to help at this time of communal grief. I was glad that I could send a short prayer to the Lloyd Harbor Yacht Club to use for their memorial to Ryan. We will continue to come together to share our grief and find strength in God's spirit among us. If you would like to contribute to Ryan's memorial fund the instructions are below in this newsletter.
I am looking forward to returning to church on Sunday. I am grateful to the Deacons and the many members who worked to provide inspiring worship services the past few weeks. It is because of such dedicated lay people that our church stands as a light of hope and faith in our world. This Sunday will be "Stump the Pastor" Sunday. At the beginning of worship I will hand out blank cards and invite the worshippers to write down questions about faith. I will then collect the questions and respond to them for my sermon. Just back refreshed from some time off I am ready for some tough questions. Come prepared.
See you in church,
SERRV Friends and Family Sale
Loreen Epp, our church member and CEO of SERRV has extended to us their Friends and Family sale. Go to SERRV to see all their beautiful products. The sale ends on Monday, July 31, so get your shopping done this weekend.
I'm happy to pass along this great offer from SERRV, a not-for-profit that sells beautiful and functional, fair trade products from around the world.
Every purchase helps break the cycle of poverty for SERRV's artisan partners and their families. So you can feel good about buying their wonderful products — clothing, jewelry, house wares, and more. And at 35% off.
Summer is a time of celebration and gift giving. Check the on-line catalogue for some great ideas to fill your list. Or freshen your decor. Just use the code FRIENDS17 at checkout for your discount.
Joys and Concerns
Congratulations to Jason Smith and Dominick Miciotta on the adoption of their baby girl, Alice Faith. Alice, big brother Leo and their dads are all doing well.
There has been a memorial fund established for Ryan Weiss that will be used to assist special needs children with college educational services as directed by the Weiss family. You may donate by a check made out to cash and in the memo section write Ryan John Weiss Memorial Fund. Send the check:
C/O Mary and Harry Hendrickson Gathmann and Bennett, Esq. 191 New York Avenue Huntington, NY 11743
Meet our New Director of Music: Brian Hevron-Smith
The Director of Music search committee is thrilled to announce that our new music director is Brian Hevron-Smith. Brian, a native of upstate New York, received his bacholers in music from the Eastman School of Music. In addition to church positions he has worked as an accompanist for the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and as music director for touring companies of the Second City and Baby Wants Candy improve music theatre. Brian is excited to be part of CCH due to our eclectic music program and progressive theology.
Pastor's Book Group
The book group does not meet in July and August, but you can still do the reading. The September discussion book will be "The Underground Railroad," by Colson Whitehead.
"The Underground Railroad," is "Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, the #1 New York Times bestseller from Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South."
You have plenty of time, so start reading!
Congratulations to our graduates (this list is incomplete–please send graduation information to Pastor Mark for inclusion in future newsletters).
Andrew Phillips graduated on May 20 from Misericordia University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Psychology. He will attend SUNY Upstate Medical College as a PhD candidate studying Molecular Biology with a focus on oncology research settings.
In the summer we worship at CCH in the round and is a time for spiritual re-creation. Our theme this year, "myjoy," follows up on the Lent program that focused on finding inner peace and joy. This summer we will be exploring how to do this all the areas of our life: work, community, and family. We will also have members of our church provide special music–solos, instrumentalists, various groups–to lead our worship. We still have weeks available if you wish to assist.
Summer Garden Project "Gardener of the Week" Each summer we raise organic vegetables at the church that are donated to the Northport Food Pantry. This year the Outreach ministry is asking members to sign-up to tend and harvest the garden for one week in the summer. See the sign-up sheet at the church.
Northport Food Pantry We collect food for the Northport Food pantry each week at our church. Please place donations in the box by the church office.
Peace and Plenty Food Outreach: You are invited to help make sandwiches and prepare snacks for children in Huntington. Peace and Plenty will meets on Mondays at 6:30 PM. They are also in need of donations of lunch meats and cheeses, fruit and healthy snacks.
Cooks Needed for the Peace & Plenty program We're looking for a few volunteers who can help us send the Tri CYA trays of cooked food such as baked ziti, chicken and rice, pasta with meatballs or meat sauce, etc. Most children at the Tri CYA receive free breakfast and lunch at school during the school year and rely on the Tri CYA for at least one nutritious meal. We try to support that effort with some substantial dishes, beyond sandwiches. Some of the food may also be sent to individuals unable to get out to food pantries and living with food shortages. If you would like to help please contact Anne: firstname.lastname@example.org.