CCH Congregator Weekly February 8, 2019

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Epiphany

This week is the Fifth Sunday in the season of Epiphany in year C of the revised common lectionary. The previous sentence only makes sense to preachers and real church nerds. Stay with me a little and I will not only explain it, but try to show why it matters. 

Churches count the Sundays according to a liturgical calendar. The church years begins with Advent, followed by Christmas, then the seasons of Epiphany, Lent, Easter and, the longest, Pentecost. The day of Epiphany is the celebration of the visit of the wise men to the manger. The season of Epiphany stretches from that commemoration until Ash Wednesday. Because the dates of Lent move with the lunar calendar, Epiphany can stretch from four to nine weeks. 

Thematically, Epiphany is an extended exploration of the coming of the light. As the wise ones followed a star to the manger, so we follow the light of Christ to a new understanding of what it means to be a child of God. The lectionary readings for Epiphany begin with the magi and then recount the baptism of Jesus and some of the early stories of the Bible. 

The church seasons are kind of like sacred versions of the seasons of nature. Nature gives us the seasons, but our naming them helps us to keep track of the movement of time. Church seasons help us to shape the experiences of faith that may grow and develop by following the events of Jesus' life and resurrection.

Epiphany is long this year–seven Sundays. It always feels to me like a back to basics season as the Bible readings include many of the early stories of Jesus' ministry. So this year I am going with that and preaching on some basic Christian topics. This coming week is on surrendering to God.

I like the church seasons because of the structure they give to my year, and my preaching. The repeating schedule helps the journey of faith feel familiar, while the changing seasons help to move me to new levels of understanding. 
 

See you in church,
Pastor Mark

Confirmation Class Begins

All 7th and 8th graders are invited to participate in our confirmation class that beings this Sunday, February 3, following worship. The class will conclude on Pentecost, June 9, 2019. Speak to Pastor Mark with any questions.

Children's Communion Class Begins

This year our church will have a “Welcome to the Communion Table” ceremony in spring.  Marlena Mooers will once again be teaching our “Welcome to the Communion Table” classes.  It is offered every other year at the Congregational Church of Huntington during our regular Sunday School classes for children 2nd grade and older.   The classes focus on what it means to receive communion at our church and how it relates to Jesus and his teachings. The first class meets this Sunday, February 3, during church school. Speak to Marlena if you have any questions.
 

2018 Statements

Annual giving statements were emailed and mailed to donors this past week. If you did not receive your, or have any questions, contact our financial secretary, Marion Munch.

2019 Pledges
Thank you to everyone who responded to the 2nd Effort Pledge Campaign to fill our budget deficit. Unfortunately, we still had to pass a deficit budget at the annual meeting this past Sunday. The Trustees will work throughout the year to cut expenses and hold more fundraisers to close the gap. If needed they will withdraw money from savings to close the gap at the end of the year. You can help out by participating in the 2nd effort pledge campaign by contacting Marion Munch

Upcoming Events    

      Sunday, February 10

        Worship Service and Church School at 10:00 AM

        Fellowship Hour at 11:00 AM: Carpentieri Family

        Sermon Talk-back at 11:30 AM

       Monday, February 11

        Peace & Plenty Lunch Program at 6:30 PM

        Trustee Meeting at 7:30 PM

        Thursday, February 14

        Bell Choir at 6:00 PM

        Choir Rehearsal at 7:30 PM

        Sunday, February 17

        Intergenerational Service at 10:00 AM

        Fellowship Hour at 11:00 AM

        Tuesday, February 19

        Bell Choir at 6:00 PM

        Choir Rehearsal at 7:30 PM

Save the Date

2019 Benefit Auction
Saturday, April 6, 2019
Northport Yacht Club
A 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.

Worship Calendar

February 10: When to Forgive?
Pastor Mark continues his sermon on Christian Basics with a new look at forgiveness. The service will also feature music by our bell choir. There will be a sermon talkback discussion group following worship. 

February 17: Contemplative Intergenerational Service
This intergenerational service will also be our monthly service of contemplative music and prayer. Pastor Mark will continue his sermon series on Christian Basics with a look at popular notion of the after-life, in a sermon entitled, "H-E-Double Hockey Sticks."

Joys and Concerns

Our prayers have been with the Haluza family as Doug's father and his uncle have recently passed away. We pray for strength and peace for their family. 

Volunteers Needed

Huntington Interfaith Homeless Initiative
Our next night to host HIHI is Saturday, February 9, at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic church in Huntington. We need to follow volunteers:

Evening Hosts: 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Relieve dinner volunteer. Socialize and supervise guests after dinner until Evening Chaperones come.

 Overnight Chaperone: 10:00 PM to 6:30 AM. Stay overnight at site with FSL Security guard. Serve breakfast.

 Sunday AM Van driver: 6:30-8:00 AM. Drive guests to the YMCA for showers in OLQM van. Drop off guests in Huntington Station, return van.

 Sunday AM Clean up : 6:30 to 7:30 — clean site, store supplies.

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 meets every Monday at 6:30 PM to prepare food for children at need in Huntington.  You are invited to help make sandwiches and prepare snacks for children in Huntington. They are also in need of donations of lunch meats and cheeses, fruit and healthy snacks.

Pastor's Book Group

What better for the cold of February than a funny around-the-world trip with a wonderful book. "Less," by Andrew Sean Greer is a Pulitzer prize winning novel that follows a down-on-his-luck author, Arthur Less, as travels on a writer's junket and in the process struggles with the sources of his writer's and relationship blocks. From a reviewer: "Like Arthur, Andrew Sean Greer’s “Less” is excellent company. It’s no less than bedazzling, bewitching and be-wonderful."

The next discussion meeting will be at the home of Norman and Sylvia Kellershon on Wednesday, February 22, at 7:30 PM.

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The Congregational Church of Huntington

30 Washington Drive

Centerport, NY 11721

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