CCH Congregator Weekly February 10, 2017

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Pastor's 2016 Annual Report

Last Sunday we had our annual meeting. There was a wonderful soup lunch and an upbeat meeting. I thought you might want to see my report for last year. Contact the church office if you would like the entire annual report packet. 

Every year the church seeks to walk a balanced line between long-term spiritual goals and the demands of the wider world. Each is influenced by the other, but each also has its own priorities. For the church we certainly engage in societal concerns, but we also take a long-term spiritual perspective that remains focused on the continual unfolding of God’s spirit in the world. Each year this dance moves between the church withdrawing from the world and sometimes being too reactive. For 2016, it felt like a good balance between the two.

This interplay of faith and life was aptly summarized in our Lenten program “Love God, and Love Your Neighbor as Yourself—the Tough Cases.” With wooden coins embossed with “Love God” on one side and “Love Your Neighbor” on the other we encouraged our members carry the coins and stay mindful of God’s love at all times.

As a congregation, we did a lot of work this past year refreshing our core ministries to remain vital to our community. I changed the focus of my preaching to the Narrative Lectionary and began to include contemporary readings to supplement the Biblical texts in worship. With the Deacons guidance I believe this helped to heighten interest in worship. By the end of the fall our worship attendance was up 15-20%. With Ron Rudaitis and the children’s and youth ministry we changed to a new church school curriculum and added a well-received teacher training event. The membership committee initiated a complete redesign of our church website (thank you Joanna Stasuk and Doug Munch). The Outreach ministry included funding for our local ministries as part of our annual church budget. And the Trustees made a big transition in finance with new treasurer Cindy Peragallo and assistant treasurer Peter Ciccone.

The demands of the world, though, required responses from our church. In particular, when there was a mass shooting an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, FL, we quickly organized a prayer service that included Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Protestant faith leaders. And the especially nasty 2016 presidential campaigns influenced my preaching and programs to continue to focus on social justice while building spiritual resources for the long-term. This will continue to be one of the primary challenges of the new year as there is a notable rise in hate language and threats to diversity in our country.

I continue to be blessed with a dedicated church staff and faithful congregation. Thanks to our church secretary Sue Howe who somehow makes everything look so smooth and organized. To David Broome who inspires us with the depth and range of music. And to Ron Rudaitis who cheerfully guides the children and youth program. A special thanks this year to our outgoing Trustees chair, Bill Rowland. I don’t think even Bill can remember how long he has served the Trustees. During his tenure we have become much more financially secure with a revitalized Noah’s Ark nursery school, careful budgeting and the transition to new policies for accountability.

We begin 2017 on an upswing in the congregation. Due to careful budgeting by the Trustees and our member’s generosity we are meeting our challenge pledge goal for the first time that I can remember. There is a great spirit alive in our church and we will continue to be a loving testimony to God’s continual march toward peace and justice in a troubled world

Nursing Home Clothing Drive

Maddie Bunting, a high school senior, is leading a clothing drive for low income residents of a local nursing home. She is collecting sweat pants, drawstring pants, pull-over tops, and gently used sneakers for the residents. There is a collection box in the church hallway.

Please keep in your prayers the family of our former Noah's Ark teacher Staci Farrell. Miss Staci passed away after a long fight with cancer. There will be visiting time with her family at Nolan and Taylor-Howe funeral home on Friday, 2-5 PM and 7-9 PM. There will a funeral mass for her at St. Anthony church in East Northport on Saturday (February 11) at 10:45 AM.

Worship Calendar

February 12: Epiphany 6
     Scripture: Luke 7:18-35

February 19: Epiphany 7
     Intergenerational Service

Building Bridges for a Brighter Tomorrow


Building Bridges for a Brighter Tomorrow

Refugee Crises


With Arielle Stein & Llana Yaari

Sunday, Feb 19, 2017 2-4PM CCH Sanctuary


For 5 months in 2016, Arielle, a young Huntington

woman, oversaw a Syrian refugee camp

in Greece of 600-100 people.


As a child, Ilana witnessed the atrocities of the

Holocaust. Last summer, she brought her family to

Poland to retrace her childhood journey.


Hear their stories, those of refugees,

then and now, and others who help them.

How do we respond as humans

And what can we learn to avoid repeating patterns.


RSVP to Mary Beth White, NP

Pastor's Book Group

The February selection for the Pastor's Book Group is "Home," by Marilynne Robinson. When the discussion group began seven years ago the first book was Robinson's "Gilead." With "Home" she writes about some of the same characters in roughly the same time period. Each book stands alone, but together they paint a deep and poignant picture of faith, family and life in a small town. The group will meet on Tuesday, February 28, at 7:30 PM.

From the publisher:

Hailed as "incandescent," "magnificent," and "a literary miracle" (Entertainment Weekly), hundreds of thousands of readers were enthralled by Marilynne Robinson's Gilead. Now Robinson returns with a brilliantly imagined retelling of the prodigal son parable, set at the same moment and in the same Iowa town as Gilead. The Reverend Boughton's hell-raising son, Jack, has come home after twenty years away. Artful and devious in his youth, now an alcoholic carrying two decades worth of secrets, he is perpetually at odds with his traditionalist father, though he remains his most beloved child. As Jack tries to make peace with his father, he begins to forge an intense bond with his sister Glory, herself returning home with a broken heart and turbulent past. Home is a luminous and healing book about families, family secrets, and faith from one of America's most beloved and acclaimed authors.

Have A Heart Brunch

Sunday February 26, 2017, 12:30-2:30

The First Presbyterian Church of Northport


Honoring the work of the Food Pantry Volunteers and those that support the Food Pantry.  Tickets for the Brunch are $25 per person.  Pay in advance to Sandy Piccolo or at the door.  Reservations needed by Feb. 12th. Further questions contact Sandy Piccolo at

Huntington Interfaith Homeless Initiative

The Huntington Interfaith Homeless Initiative provides housing for homeless people in Huntington in religious organizations throughout the winter. The need for this was highlighted recently when a homeless man died of hypothermia in Huntington Station. We will provide volunteers to run the program on three Saturday nights in 2017: January 21, February 25 and March 11. Please sign up on the signs at the church.

Donations needed for the 2016 HIHI program:
• Items for hygiene kits:
            o Disposable razors
            o Small bars of soap
            o Toothbrushes
            o Travel-sized toothpaste
            o Travel-sized shampoo
            o Combs
• New men’s socks and underwear (small/medium)
• New hats/gloves
• New or gently-used T-shirts
• New or gently-used bath towels
• Gently used men’s coats, boots and sweatshirts

There will be a box in church for donations.

Volunteers Needed

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
If you would like to help  please contact Anne:

Upcoming Events

Sunday, February 12

Worship Service at 10:00 AM

Church School at 10:00 AM

Fellowship Hour at 11:00 AM: The DeOrsays

Confirmation Class at 11:30 AM

Monday, February 13

Peace & Plenty Lunch Program at 6:30 PM

Diaconate Meeting at 7:30 PM

Wednesday, February 15

Outreach Meeting at 7:30 PM

Thursday, February 16

Bell Choir at 6:30 PM

Choir Rehearsal at 7:30 PM

Sunday, February 19

Intergenerational Worship Service at 10:00 AM

Fellowship Hour at 11:00 AM: Peragallo Family

Building Bridges for a Brighter Tomorrow,

from 2-4:00 PM, CCH Sanctuary – see insert

Tuesday, February 21

Peace & Plenty Lunch Program at 6:30 PM

Thursday, February 23

Bell Choir at 6:30 PM

Choir Rehearsal at 7:30 PM

Saturday, February 25-26

HIHI at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs-begins at 5:00 PM

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The Congregational Church of Huntington

30 Washington Drive

Centerport, NY 11721

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