July 2021

Connecting God’s People

Through Love








July 2021
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday


John Kipp 7/4 Debbie Bowker 7/9

Lori Ogden 7/16 Austin Clark 7/24

Mayla Evans 7/30



John and Judy Kipp 7/1

Marc and Chrissy Evans 7/11

Dave and Mary Carrol 7/16



Elijah’s Closet 10-2


Elijah’s Closet 10-2

4 – Sixth Sunday after Pentecost


Worship and Communion 10:00 am




Church in Society Mtg.

6:30 pm

7 8


Elijah’s Closet 10-2


Elijah’s Closet 10-2

11 – Seventh Sunday after Pentecost


Worship 10:00 am

Deacons Mtg. after Church


12 13 14


Trustees Mtg.

4:00 pm


Elijah’s Closet 10-2


Board Mtg.

 3:30 pm


Elijah’s Closet 10-2

18 – Eighth Sunday after Pentecost


Worship 10:00 am


19 20 21 22


Elijah’s Closet 10-2


Elijah’s Closet 10-2

25 – Ninth Sunday after Pentecost


Worship 10:00 am


26 27 28 29 Elijah’s Closet 10-2


Elijah’s Closet 10-2




These are the Birthdays and Anniversaries of members and friends of our church family. If you know someone on the list who’s having a birthday or anniversary, feel free to send that person a card. Even if you don’t know anyone on the list, feel free to send any celebrant a card. More importantly, strive to hold each of these people up in prayer on the anniversary of their birth. Please call the Church Office with additions or corrections 607-865-4066.





John Kipp 7/4          Debbie Bowker 7/9

Lori Ogden 7/16      Austin Clark 7/24

Mayla Evans 7/30



Judy and John Kipp 7/1

Chrissy and Marc Evans 7/11

Mary and David Carrol 7/126



From The Treasurer


April and May Offering Information


Monthly amount needed to meet the yearly budget of $85,325:  $7,110


April Offering:  $8,231

May Offering:  $3,325


Many thanks to all of you for not only your money, but your time and talents.



Revised Common Lectionary


The readings used at our weekly worship service and in most Mainline Protestant Churches and in Roman Catholic Churches are from a list of assigned readings known as The New Revised Common Lectionary. In our Congregational tradition, pastors are encouraged to use the assigned readings but it is not mandatory.

I personally prefer to follow the readings and I mainly focus on the Gospel lessons for my meditation. It gives me and you a structure through which we can study and learn from the teachings of the scripture of the Word (Logos) of God in our midst.


The readings for July: (You are encouraged to read them as well)

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost – July 4, 2021

2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10

Psalm 48  Ezekiel 2:1-5

Psalm 123  2 Corinthians 12:2-10  Mark 6:1-13


Seventh Sunday after Pentecost – July 11, 2021

2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19

Psalm 24  Amos 7:7-15

Psalm 85:8-13 Ephesians 1:3-14  Mark 6:14-29


Eighth Sunday after Pentecost – July 18, 2021

2 Samuel 7:1-14a

Psalm 89:20-37  Jeremiah 23:1-6

Psalm 23  Ephesians 2:11-22  Mark 6:30-34, 53-56


Ninth Sunday after Pentecost – July 25, 2021

2 Samuel 11:1-15

Psalm 14  2 Kings 4:42-44

Psalm 145:10-18  Ephesians 3:14-21

John 6:1-21





Prudential Board Decisions


I have been asked by several people “can we stop wearing masks during services?” and “when can we begin to sing again?”

This was talked about at our Prudential Board meeting on Friday, June 18th and the following decisions were made:

  • As of the first Sunday in July 2021, masks will not be required. However, those who feel more comfortable wearing one are encouraged to continue. This pertains only to Sunday Services.  At present, Elijah’s Closet will continue to require masks.
  • Social distancing, with participants sitting in identified seats, will continue.
  • Singing – Questions related to singing will be revisited at the August Prudential Board meeting.
  • The Board also talked about Communion. It was decided that a change will be made at the August meeting and implemented on the first Sunday in September.

The Board gave great thought to these issues and I am so positive by the decisions and the thought of continuing to move forward.


Two Ways to Worship: In Person and Online

We are now successfully offering worship in two different ways—in person and online at 10:00 am. We anticipate that recommendations will be shifting soon and will adjust our protocols in a safe and faithful way.

  • In Person services begin at 10 am.
  • On-line services also begin at 10 am. Go to and click on the Virtual Worship button to get linked in.





If you would like someone on the prayer list, please contact Mary Carroll at 607-865-6442. If an address is provided, a card will be sent.

Moderators Message

I recently read an article by Rev. David R. Gaewski, a Conference Minister.  In this article he talked about things we have lost as a result of this pandemic – including issues related to the changes in how we worship and what that has meant for our clergy. But the one thing that interested me most was the issue of grief and how things we have gone through might have created unrecognized grief in some.

In my previous life, teaching with Cooperative Extension, I often was asked to talk to a group about grief. In these talks I spoke about the 5 Stages of Grief:



  • Shock and Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance






There is more to grief than losing a loved one, although that cannot be discounted. As we have started to meet again in person, we should all recognize that some attendees in the pews (or perhaps even in the pulpit?) might be struggling with anger and depression. These emotions could be related to withdrawal from activities they had thoroughly enjoyed. It might be last year’s high school seniors who missed out on certain rites of passage such as prom or their graduation ceremony.  Imagine younger children who lost contact with friends they were used to seeing in school every day.  Imagine those who lost a loved one but had to postpone their funeral or graveside service, prolonging their final good-byes. Important rituals have been lost or postponed.

Returning to church can very difficult. If you know of someone experiencing grief, don’t expect them to follow a standard timetable for coming back. The experience of grief differs for everyone. Although we often assume that the grieving person will find comfort within the church, it has been found that this is not necessarily so.

Certain hymns or songs (for Ann and me it’s “Amazing Grace”, moms favorite), Scripture passages, or even just the physical presence of the sanctuary can bring out emotion. I have to admit that on the first Sunday we returned to church and Steven started playing the organ, I cried. I had missed that so much.

Whether you stand behind the pulpit or sit in a pew, awareness of the silent grieving around us is important. To be the church emerging from this pandemic, we must be aware there for those who are grieving.

Speaking of emerging – please continue to read about the important decisions made at the recent Prudential Board.






Here I Am, Take Me as I Am


By the time you will receive this newsletter I have been ordained into the UCC Church as clergy. As I have said before I never really viewed myself as ‘Clergy” but as one that is willing to tell the Good News of Jesus Christ and the Gospel. Yet, as life has progressed, my call has become louder and louder until the words of Daniel Shutte came into my heart:


I the Lord of sea and sky
I have heard my people cry
All who dwell in dark and sin
My hand will save
I who made the stars of night
I will make their darkness bright
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?
Here I am Lord,
Is it I Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night
I will go Lord,
If you lead me,
I will hold your people in my heart
I the Lord of wind and flame
I will tend the poor and lame
I will set a feast for them
My hand will save
Finest bread I will provide,
Till their hearts be satisfied
I will give my life to them,
Whom shall I send?
Here I am Lord,
Is it I Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night
I will go Lord,
If you lead me
I will hold your people in my heart


It is to this call and these words that I have heard the Lord say: Who shall I send, and I said: “send me”. The Church has heard my response and ordained my acts of service.

Blessing to all who would be a part of the ministry of the Gospel of Christ and the joy of salvation! I will serve as long as God sends me!


The monthly newsletter of the

First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Walton NY

JULY 2021

THE CONNECTION is published monthly by the First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ,

4 Mead Street, Walton, NY 13856

Copies are available via email by request via email or voice message.

Church Phone: (607) 865-4066     Email:

Church Website:

Elijah’s Closet Thrift Shop Open Friday and Saturday 10am-2pm