CCH Congregator Weekly February 9, 2018

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Ash Wednesday 

I am all conflicted about the start of Lent. Next week is Ash Wednesday and I have struggled figuring out what to do. In the spirit of Lenten confession I'm going to lay out for you the dilemma. We usually hold a worship service on Ash Wednesday evening that includes the marking of ashes. This has always had a very small, but dedicated, following. The primary participation is from the choir as they need to be there that night. We have discussed various options for the service, but have kept up doing the same for those who value it. This year we have a problem (this is the embarrassing part)–Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine's Day. I understand that this is not a big holiday for everyone, and for some is a sad day, but it does complicate our planning as we anticipate additional competition for the allegiance of our members. And, we don't want to force people (i.e. choir) to come out when it is difficult for their families.

The Diaconate decided that this convergence of days presents us an opportunity to try something different this year. So we will not have our traditional Ash Wednesday evening worship service. In it's place we will do the following:

  • This Sunday, February 11, we focus on the symbolism of ashes and the importance of Lent as a preparation for the Lenten season. 
  • On Ash Wednesday, February 14, I will be available throughout the day (8:00 AM-3:00 PM) for anyone to come to the church for prayer and the marking of ashes
  • Also, on Ash Wednesday, I will hold brief prayer services (15 minutes) in the sanctuary at 8:00 AM and at noon for anyone who would like to join me and receive ashes. 

We hope that this will actually increase the number of people who will participate in Ash Wednesday–either through their own prayers at home, or at the church.

I do hope that you will join us for this important tradition. I also hope that you will give me, and the Deacons, feedback on what you think is the best way to mark the beginning of Lent. We really want to hear from our members as we plan for future services.

See you in church,
Pastor Mark


 Worship Calendar

February 11: Lent is Coming
    On this Sunday the week before Lent Pastor Mark will discuss the tradition of the marking of ashes and sacrificial giving for Lent. 

February 14: Ash Wednesday
     Pastor Mark will lead brief (15 minute) prayer services with the marking of ashes at 8:00 AM and 12 noon. He is also available for individual prayer and sharing of ashes from 8-3:00 that day.

February 18: First Sunday of Lent (intergenerational)
    Join us for the start of our Lenten worship season. This year will seek to deepen our spiritual lives with worship services that focus on faith disciplines. Each service will bein with a Taize chant and will include meditative prayer practices. 

Joys and Concerns

Please keep Sylvia Kellershon in your prayers as she recovers from knee replacement surgery.

Pastor's Book Group

"Bible Nation: The United States of Hobby Lobby," by Candida R Moss and Joel S. Baden,  is the February selection for the Pastor's Book Group. The Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, have been in the news with a legal challenge to the Obamacare required contraception coverage and their building of the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. This book examines their efforts to promote a Bible-based society, and in so doing raises many questions about the role of religion in public life.

The discussion group will meet on Wednesday, February 28, 7:30 PM at Lorraine Trainor's home.


 From the publisher:


How the billionaire owners of Hobby Lobby are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to make America a “Bible nation”


Like many evangelical Christians, the Green family of Oklahoma City believes that America was founded on a “biblical worldview as a Christian nation.” But the Greens are far from typical evangelicals in other ways. The billionaire owners of Hobby Lobby, a huge nationwide chain of craft stores, the Greens came to national attention in 2014 after successfully suing the federal government over their religious objections to provisions of the Affordable Care Act. What is less widely known is that the Greens are now America’s biggest financial supporters of Christian causes—and they are spending hundreds of millions of dollars in an ambitious effort to increase the Bible’s influence on American society. In Bible Nation, Candida Moss and Joel Baden provide the first in-depth investigative account of the Greens’ sweeping Bible projects and the many questions they raise.

Supplies Needed

Donate Extra Party Supplies: If anyone has extra disposable plates/cups/ utensils/bowls lurking in their home, the church would love to have them for Fellowship Hour.

 Reuse Plastic Bags: Peace and Plenty uses plastic grocery bags to send sandwiches to TriCYA and ManorField.  If anyone has extra, please bring them to the church.

CCH Yoga

A new yoga class is being offered to all adult church members on Tuesdays from 4:00-5:00 pm in the Sanctuary. Bonnie and Kristin bring their long-standing love of yoga and their instructor Marie Cruz to the CCH community. Yoga offers many positive benefits to the body, mind and spirit through the practice of meditation and mindfulness. As another busy holiday season approaches, yoga can help us find the balance we all  seek. The class is $20.00 per session. For more details call Bonnie or Kristin at 516.922.9525 or Sue at the Church office.

Huntington Interfaith Homeless Initiative

Sheets Needed: Please donate twin sheets for the HIHI program. Sheets can be new or used, in good condition. Flat or fitted. Any color. There will be a collection box for donations at the church.

The Huntington Interfaith Homeless Initiative needs volunteers for Saturday, February 24 and Saturday, March 17. We need:
     Dinner, Breakfast and Lunch donations
     Volunteers for setup, evening chaperones and Sunday morning clean-up.

Please sign-up at the church or email Pastor Mark.

CCH Members in the Community

Terrence Sheldon is currently performing is two upcoming roles:

“Heathers” is at the Star Playhouse at the JCC in Commack on Saturday February 10th at 7:30 and Sunday February 11th at 6:00.  It's a very dark musical comedy based on the cult movie of the same name from the 80’s. It’s about high school and bullies and revenge. Terrence plays the main character JD (Christian Slater in the movie).  This is not appropriate for the little ones (under 13). 

“The Little Mermaid” is at the Elwood John H. Glenn High School on Friday March 2nd and Saturday March 3rd at 7pm.  Terrence plays Prince Eric. Obviously fine for all ages

Volunteers Needed


Huntington Interfaith Homeless Initiative (HIHI)
Our next night to host the HIHI program is Saturday, February 24, at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs. There are many volunteer slots available. Please sign up on the board at 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:   Peace and Plenty is in need of plastic grocery bags to deliver their lunches each week. Bring any extra to the church. 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:

Upcoming Events


      Sunday, February 11

      Worship Service at 10:00 AM

      Church School at 10:00 AM

      Fellowship Hour at 11:00 AM: Katzmaier Family 


      Monday, February 12

      Peace & Plenty Lunch Program at 6:30 PM


      Tuesday, February 13

       Diaconate at 7:30 PM


      Thursday, February 15

      Bell Choir at 6:00 PM

      Choir Rehearsal at 7:30 PM


      Sunday, February 18

      Worship Service at 10:00 AM

      Church School at 10:00 AM

      Fellowship Hour at 11:00 AM: The Uhls


      Tuesday, February 20

       Peace & Plenty Lunch Program at 6:30 PM


       Thursday, February 22

       Bell Choir at 6:00 PM

       Choir Rehearsal at 7:30 PM


       Saturday, February 24

       HIHI at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, begins at 5:30 PM

2017 End-of-Year Statements
Statements of giving for 2017 will be emailed to members and friends this weekend. If you do not receive yours, please contact Marion Munch, financial secretary.

Thank you for remembering the church in your will.

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The Congregational Church of Huntington

30 Washington Drive

Centerport, NY 11721

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