Attend the Harvest Dinner Sunday!
Come to the “Fall Hayride” and “Harvest Potluck Meatloaf Dinner” with the Theme of Heritage/Reformation Sunday, Oct 26th
You’re invited to the Harvest Potluck Meatloaf Dinner on Sunday, October 26th, with a “Fall Hayride” (Tractor Wagon Ride) at 4:30 pm and dinner to follow at 5:30 pm. Add this fun (and tasty!) event on your calendars!
The theme this year is Church Heritage/Reformation Sunday. We will have a Church Heritage “Show and Tell” and a Heritage Trivia Quiz on topics from Church History/Reformation Day/Halloween by the Christian Education Committee. What do you have relating to our church’s heritage that you can bring in for a “Show and Tell” — an old photo or object or a “story”? Search your home and share briefly or see what others bring in!
Meatloaf and roasted potatoes, apple crisp and vanilla ice cream will be provided for everyone along with beverages. Please bring a side dish or salad to share!
Along with the “Fall Hayride”, there will be pumpkin decorating and activities for the children. And, there will be a chance to win a Fall Goodie Basket by Ellen Wilford as a door prize. Remember to fill out the slip to put in the basket! Let’s celebrate the harvest!
Here’s What’s Happening this Sunday ...
Reformation Sunday and Stewardship Challenge Sunday
The Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost — October 26th
This Sunday, October 26th, is the Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost. Worship begins at 10:30 am and following the Children’s Message our children and youth go to The Parlors for Sunday School and the Sunday School Choir rehearsal. All are invited to enjoy Coffee and Fellowship after the service in the Parlors.
The passages from the lectionary this week include from the Older Testament Deuteronomy 34:1-12 where, after seeing the promised land from Mount Nebo, Moses dies; the Epistle reading is from 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8, where Paul writes to the Thessalonians: we come to you to share the gospel; we also share ourselves; and the Gospel reading from the lectionary is Matthew 22:34-46, where Jesus offers the greatest commandment and the second (which is like the greatest): love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor as yourself. Pastor Peter’s sermon will be “God and Loving Neighbors.”
Bagpipes Call Us to Worship as We Remember the Presbyterian Church’s Scottish Heritage
On this Reformation Sunday and Stewardship Challenge Sunday, we welcome bagpiper Todd Bennett of Sag Harbor as we pay tribute and remember the Reformer John Knox from Scotland, who offered the Presbyterian polity and government that runs our congregation. Pastor Peter will offer our Stewardship Sermon as we reflect on our gifts, talents and resources to dedicate to God’s glory next Sunday, Stewardship Dedication Sunday. The stewardship mailing from the Session will be received early this week with your commitment/pledge form to bring in next Sunday.
Next Sunday is All Saints’ Sunday and Stewardship Dedication Sunday, November 2nd, and we will have trumpeter Colin van Tuyl with us for a special choral anthem for all Saints Day (November 1st). Our Clerk of Session will also offer this year’s necrology as we remember those members and friends of the congregation — now saints — who have died in this past year. Stewardship pledge or commitment cards will be dedicated as well.
Children and Youth Invited to “March” Into Worship with Scottish Bagpiper!
The children and youth are invited to arrive in the Narthex by 10:25 am for a Reformation Sunday processional to be led by Bagpiper Todd Bennett of Sag Harbor. Bagpipes have been a traditional link to the Presbyterian Church’s Scottish origins. During the Children’s Message this Sunday, the children will be able to see up close and personal Scottish Bagpipes as they “play” a special role in our worship.
Feature Photo of the Week ...
Happening Before Sunday ...
United Nations Day: Fri, Oct 24th
A Prayer for the United Nations
Great God, supreme ruler of all the earth, give vision to those who serve the United Nations. With justice and goodwill, may they take down barriers and draw the world together in peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Presbytery of Long Island to Meet at Port Jefferson PC Sat, Oct 25th
The Presbytery of Long Island will meet for its fall meeting on Saturday, October 25th, at the First Presbyterian Church of Port Jefferson. The meeting will begin with registration at 8:30 am and conclude at 12: 15 pm with The Lord’s Supper. All are invited to attend. Elder Lynn Bennett will be our Session’s delegate for this meeting along with Pastor Peter.
“Get Their Name — Grow Your Church by Building Relationships” Event Planned, Sat, Oct 25th
The PRC — Practical Resources for Churches — is sponsoring “Get Their Name — Grow Your Church by Building Relationships” full day event to be led by Rev. Bob Farr, who wrote the book by the same name. This will take place at Woodbury United Methodist Church, 557 Woodbury Rd, Woodbury, NY. Bob Farr is the Director of the Center for Congregational Excellence in Missouri. Think of the impact two BPC members attending this event might have in building relationships in our congregation and attracting new folks. Registration and breakfast begin at 9:00 am. Scholarships are available to cover the $45 registration fee that includes breakfast and lunch. For more info, contact Peter or the PRI at www.prcli.org.
Feature Story of the Week ...
What Do Presbyterians Believe about ‘Ecclesia Reformata, Semper Reformanda’? *
Our Misused Motto
By Anna Case-Winters
Ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda! Even to this day, these ancient words are a rallying cry for Presbyterians and other Reformed Christians. It is a motto that reminds us of who we are and who we intend to be.
But what does this phrase really mean? It is used as a springboard in all kinds of contexts and conversations, sometimes with little sense of how it arose and what it meant among the Reformed folk in the 16th and 17th centuries. It is appropriated in times of disagreement and pressed into the service of our own agendas. It is even sometimes wielded as a weapon against those who differ from us, as if to say, “My position is more reformed than your position!”
This saying should indeed be a watchword for us, but we need a heightened sense of its meaning and the challenge it puts before us. Used without attentiveness to its historical context and import, it loses much of its power to challenge us.
What the Reformers Meant
Our Reformed motto, rightly understood, challenges both the conservative and the liberal impulses that characterize our diverse church today. It does not bless either preservation for preservation’s sake or change for change’s sake.
In the 16th-century context the impulse it reflected was neither liberal nor conservative, but radical, in the sense of returning to the “root.” The Reformers believed the church had become corrupt, so change was needed. But it was a change in the interest of preservation and restoration of more authentic faith and life — a church reformed and always to be reformed according to the Word of God.
The cultural assumption of the Reformers’ day was that what is older is better. This is strange to our contemporary ears. We do not share this assumption; if anything, we applaud the new and “innovative.”
But one of the serious charges church authorities hurled at the Reformers was that they were “innovating.” John Calvin responded to this and other charges in his treatise “The Necessity of Reforming the Church.” As he put it, “We are accused of rash and impious innovation for having ventured to propose any change at all [in] the former state of the Church.” He then goes on to counter that they were not “innovating,” but restoring the church to its true nature, purified from the “innovations” that riddled the church through centuries of inattention to Scripture and theological laxity.
The appeal was to a more ancient source, Scripture — “sola scriptura” (Scripture alone). According to church historian David Steinmetz, by submitting themselves to Scripture, the churches of the Reformation movement were purging themselves of these unwanted “innovations” and returning to a more ancient and therefore purer form of church life.
What the Motto Does Not Mean
1. Newer is always better.
Using the motto to back up any and all “innovations” would be a misuse of the original intent. In many places where the slogan appears, the phrase is completed with a clarifying addition so that it reads: ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda secundum verbi dei, which translates, “reformed and always being reformed according to the Word of God.” Reform, where it is advocated, must find its grounding in Scripture.
2. The church can reform itself.
Another potential misuse of the phrase is lodged in a common mistranslation as “reformed and always reforming.” This can mislead us to believe that the church is the agent of its own reformation. God is the agent of reformation. The church is rather the object of God’s reforming work.
God’s agency and initiative have priority here. The Latin verb is passive, and it is much better translated as “always being reformed” or “always to be reformed.” Theologian Harold Nebelsick put it well: “We are the recipients of the activity of the Holy Spirit which reforms the church in accordance with the Word of God.” The church is God’s church, a creature of God’s Word and Spirit. As we say in our Brief Statement of Faith, “we belong to God.” God’s Word and Spirit guide the church’s forming and reforming.
The Presbyterian Book of Order, in the chapter “The Church and Its Confessions,” follows the mistranslation but is on target with its theological interpretation. It says: “The church, in obedience to Jesus Christ, is open to the reform of its standards of doctrine as well as of governance. The church affirms ‘Ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda,’ that is, ‘the church reformed, always reforming,’ according to the Word of God and the call of the Spirit.” That last phrase is crucial in clarifying both the direction (and the Director!) of the church’s reform.
Why the Church Needs Reforming
1. Because of who we are (sinners)
Part of our openness to being reformed comes out of a conviction about who we are. Reformed folk have been particularly aware of human fallibility and sinfulness.
One of the particular gifts of our Reformed tradition is the notion of “total depravity.” It is one of our least understood gifts to the ecumenical community, but all it means is that we recognize that there is no aspect of our lives that is unaffected by our estrangement from God. Even our best endeavors and highest aspirations are prone to sin and error. Forms of faith and life in the church are no exception. This is why Reformed confessions tend to have their own built-in disclaimers. The preface to the Scots Confession invites all readers to offer correction from Scripture if they find the confession to be in error. The Westminster Confession of Faith asserts, “Councils may err and many have erred.”
We acknowledge that the church even at its best is a frail and fallible human institution. We know that we “hold these treasures in earthen vessels.” Edward Dowey, another church historian, has written that reform is the institutional counterpart of repentance. Recognizing how far short we fall from God’s intentions, we continually submit all doctrines and structures to be reformed according to the Word of God and the call of the Spirit. The church is a frail and fallible pilgrim people, a people on the way, not yet what we shall be. The church, because of who we are, remains open to always being reformed.
2. Because of who God is (a living God)
Openness to being reformed comes not only because of who we are but because of who God is. The God “whom alone we worship and serve” (Brief Statement of Faith) is a living God. God is not bound, either to our tradition or to our particular contemporary context. God’s revelation is always a gift, never a given.
As Dowey rightly observed, “Reform has a backward and a forward reference. It leads not only back to the Bible but also forward under the Word.” The Presbyterian Confession of 1967 underscores this teaching: “As God has spoken his word in diverse cultural situations, the church is confident that he will continue to speak through the Scriptures in a changing world and in every form of human culture.”
The backward and forward reference of reform invites us on the one hand to attend respectfully to the wisdom and Scriptural interpretations of those who have gone before us with humility. On the other hand, it pushes us to do more than simply reiterate what fathers and mothers in the faith have said. Rather, we must do in our day what they did in theirs, worship and serve the living God. Therefore, while we honor the forms of faith and life that have been bequeathed to us, we honor them best in a spirit of openness to the Word and the Spirit that formed and continue to re-form the church. The church, because of who God is, a living God, remains open to always being reformed.
A Gift to the Wider Church
A vision of the church reformed and always being reformed is one of the gifts the Reformed have to bring to the wider Christian church.
Such a notion may already be out there among our ecumenical partners. A case in point is one of the memorable moments in the first-ever face-to-face conversation between the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Roman Catholic Church represented by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity in December 2000. Cardinal Cassidy observed, “You have a saying that seems to be at the heart of your self-understanding as a church. What do you mean when you keep referring in your documents to ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda?” It was moving to hear the 12 Presbyterians at the table try to say in their own words what that means to us.
And it became all the more moving when the Roman Catholic representatives called our attention to the papal encyclical, Unitatis Redintegratio. In this they have now said in the strongest way possible that the church is continually in need of reform. This was a high point of the dialogue. The call to be reformed, while it remains our distinctive gift, may no longer be our exclusive possession.
Ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda. This motto calls us to something more radical than we have imagined. It challenges both liberal and conservative impulses and the habits and agendas we have lately fallen into. It brings a prophetic critique to our cultural accommodation — either to the past or to the present — and calls us to communal and institutional repentance. It invites us, as people who worship and serve a living God, to be open to being “re-formed” according to the Word of God and the call of the Spirit.
* Reprinted from the May 2004 issue of Presbyterians Today.
BPC News to Know ...
Two Ways You Can Support the Bridgehampton Community Food Pantry Now
You can help those who are hungry in our community through the Bridgehampton Community Food Pantry in two ways:
First, you can bring in food donations! Pick a Sunday each month to bring food items to worship (or make it your weekly Sunday discipline!) for the Pantry. Place items in the basket in the Narthex. Items regularly needed include:
- Pasta products other than spaghetti Chef Boyardee pasta & sauce products
- Saltines & crackers
- Evaporated milk
- Any soups other than Tomato and Chicken Noodle.
- Beef Broth
- Canned fruits
- Collard greens
- Canned spinach
- Salad dressing
- Refried beans
Second, you can be a volunteer! BPC is responsible for staffing the Bridgehampton Community Food Pantry every “Third Wednesday” of each month from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. If you would like to serve others in this way -- distributing food and/or stocking the shelves -- leave your name and email with the Church Office (631-537-0863); or, contact Arnold Coslick (631-537-0036) or Peggy Griffin (631-537-0954).
The food pantry is located in the basement of St. Ann’s Episcopal Church: PO Box 961, 2463 Montauk Highway (at Hull Lane), Bridgehampton, NY 11932 and is open every Wednesday.
Chat and Craft Group Meets Tuesdays, 10:00 - 11:30 am
The “Chat and Craft” Group meets Tuesdays to chat and/or craft from 10:00 - 11:30 am in The Parlors. Any one who can chat and/or craft is welcome to this group that encourages social relationships outside of the regular Sunday worship and fellowship hours. All are welcome!
“Fitness for Mom, Fun for Baby” Exercise, Friendship and Fun Classes to Begin in Parlors
A new group stressing “Fitness for Mom, Fun for Baby” will be meeting in The Parlors Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 — 11:00 am. FIT4MOM is the country’s largest fitness program for moms offering pre- and post-natal fitness classes for every stage of motherhood. Fit4Mom is designed for every mom to get in shape with your baby and meet other moms! Classes offer an innovative stroller workout that combines power walking and jogging and intervals of body toning using the stroller, the environment, and exercise tubing. And best is that you get to bring your littles along with you for the ride!
Whether you are a new mom (or DAD), or even if your kiddos have gone off to school, this program is for all stages of motherhood and life! For more information on FIT4MOM of the Hamptons, contact Brooke (Wiggins) Cracco at 516-480-4341 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or see the webpage at www.hamptons.fit4mom.com.
Beyond the Hanging of the Greens: Christmas Workshop, Sat, Nov 1st
For churches, the “Hanging of the Greens” means it is the Christmas season, but why stop there. Churches have brought Praise music, bands and PowerPoint into their sanctuaries, yet few have really begun to explore the sensory — especially visual — possibilities that they could employ. How can we design a display for Christmas in a way that transforms our worship into a deeper spiritual experience? Explore with us using imagery at Christmas to enhance your congregation’s worship experience. Participants will complete a visual image to share at their church. Sponsored by the PRC — Practical Resources for Churches on Saturday, November 1st, from 10:00 am to noon, with a materials fee of $10.00. The PRC is located at 89 Hallock Landing Road in Rocky Point and will be led by Margaret Berglund. Register at www.prcli.org or call 631-821-2255.
“Slowing Down: Preparing Our Hearts for Advent”, Sat, Nov 8th
Join the PRC — Practical Resources for Churches for a morning of preparations for Advent where we’ll explore the true meaning of the season. “Slowing Down: Preparing Our Hearts for Advent” will take place Saturday, November 8th, from 9:30 am — 12:30 pm. Through spiritual practices and other activities we’ll learn how to slow down, listen to God’s quiet voice, and prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. We’ll explore ways to distance ourselves from the madness and materialism that is taking over the season. There will be suggestions for simple, meaningful gifts to make as well as ideas for items to purchase from fair trade and charitable organizations. Some alternative items will be available for purchase. This event will take place at the PRC — satellite location at the Bayport United Methodist Church, 482 Middle Road, Bayport and will be led by Debbie Kolacki and the PRC Staff. Register at www.prcli.org or call 631-821-2255.
We’re Baking Thanksgiving Pies! Signup for Homemade Apple and Pumpkin Pies, Wed, Nov 19th
The Christian Education Committee and Sunday School is baking Thanksgiving Pies! You have the choice of Apple and Pumpkin pies.
An order form will be in the October Banner Newsletter as well as on the table in the Narthex. Completed forms with attached checks can be placed in the “Pie Box” in the Narthex by Wednesday, November 19th. This year pies will cost $18.00 per pie. All proceeds from the sale will benefit “The Giving Tree” at Christmas — a project that helps provide Christmas gifts for families in the Bridgehampton School without resources to give gifts to their children. Pies will be baked on Saturday, November 22nd and can be picked up on Sunday, November 23rd. Anyone interested in helping bake pies, please see Kathy Lowe or called 537-3521.
With the busy weeks of Christmas just past Thanksgiving Day, why not order a few extra to freeze and warm up for Christmas!
Help Make Sandwich Lunches for Maureen’s Haven’s Homeless, Sat, Nov 22nd!
The Mission Committee invites you to help them make sandwiches and other items for some 30 lunches. We will be lunch-making on three Saturdays this year at 10:00 am in The Parlors. The dates are Saturdays November 22, December 13, January 25, and February 14. Help out with one or more opportunities to help others! Ingredients are provided for the most part; however, contact Deb McEneaney if you would like to donate an item or a donation toward the cost of the mission project: (917) 741-6257.
Sunday School Choir to Sing Harvest Sunday, Nov 23rd
Our Sunday School Choir will sing on Harvest Sunday, November 23rd as we offer thanksgiving to God for the harvest. They will sing, “Do You Ever Wonder?” by Harriet Ilse Ziegenhais. Children should arrive by 10:15 am that Sunday, for “dress rehearsal”!
Cast Call for the Annual Christmas Pageant! Rehearsals begin on Sun, Dec 7th
Calling all angels, sheep, shepherds, magi, Marys and Josephs for our Annual Christmas Pageant to be held Wednesday, December 24th, at 5:00 pm. It’s not too early to start thinking about this year’s special presentation.
Rehearsals will be December 7, 14 and 21 at 11:45 am after worship and on December 24 at 3:30 pm (“dress rehearsal” before the pageant). All ages 3 — adult are invited to participate. Ask all your family and friends to take a part in this service. See Kathy Lowe to express interest and for more information. It is important to be present at the rehearsals to be included in the presentation Christmas Eve.
BPC Ways You Can Volunteer ...
Sign-up to Serve for Coffee Fellowship!
Serving from 11:30 am till Noon
Members of the congregation are invited to volunteer to serve during the coffee fellowship Hour the first Sunday of each month.
- It works well to have 2 to 4 people (or two families) to provide and serve together.
- Volunteers provide treats, make coffee, tea and juice, serve and clean up.
- Suggested 3-4 kinds of treats (for example: fruit, cookies, bars, cupcakes, doughnut-holes, etc. (homemade or store-bought).
- Our church provides coffee, napkins and cups; fresh milk is needed.
- Instructions for brewing coffee are on the kitchen cupboard (Often, the Sexton sets up the coffee ahead of time: check!)
- If interested, contact Donna Halsey or Elizabeth Barton; or call the Church Office: 631-537-0863.
Worship Liturgists and Greeter/Ushers Needed
The fall is a good time to try out something new or bring back a skill from the past! Worship and Music Committee invites you to be a liturgist reading the Scripture and leading prayers during a Sunday worship service and/or to serve as a greeter/usher welcoming congregants as they enter the worship space, offering a bulletin, and collecting the offering. We love to see new faces at the lectern and welcoming us to worship!
344th Music Ministry Season Invites Your Participation
Join the Choir — Voice or Bells or Both!
Our music ministry gets back into full ‘swing’ as our bell and vocal choirs start up for the fall season. Vocal choir practices will be held Thursdays at 7:00 pm. Handbell practices resume at 9:00 am Sunday morning. We are in need of more bell ringers to cover more notes and bells in this unique music. If you can’t carry a tune but can count to four, we have a bell or two for you! New voices are always welcomed in the singing choir. Our repertoire is varied. In addition to our classical and Christmas music, we have lots of things to prepare for this year. Why not talk to Tom and share your gift to the glory of God!
Recent News ...
Bring a Bag of Gently Used Clothing to Worship this Sunday!
Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church is again helping to care for those who are needy and suffering on Long Island by collecting gently used clothing. BPC is partnering with the Long Island Council of Churches (LICC) and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVDPLI) here on Long Island to collect clothing to assist those in need from the tips of the Forks to the Brooklyn and Queens borders. You will find the green Clothing Bin behind The Parlors. Pull up on the lawn to the bin and place your donations in the convenient slot. Donate and know you are making a difference for Long Islanders in need!
Share Pastoral Care Needs with the Church Office
If you are aware of any pastoral concerns please call the church office so that we may notify the pastor and the deacons contact: 631-537-0863. You can reach the Church Office by email: email@example.com or Pastor Peter directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children Enjoy Sunday School and Choir Following Children’s Message
Each week we offer three classes for Sunday School: Nursery: (Under Age Four); Younger Children (Age 4 - Grade 2); and, Older Children (Grade 3 - Grade 6). See Kathy Lowe if you would like to offer your time as a substitute teacher or assistant teacher. The Sunday School Children’s Choir also rehearses each Sunday during Sunday School. See Tom White if you would like to participate with the choirs in the music program.
Six Ways to Stay Connected...
In the age of the Internet, BPC has six new ways for you to connect and keep current with your church family:
- Stay up to date with church activities, or listen to live and archived services, on the BPC Mobile App. Click or scan the code at right.
- Receive the weekly E-pistle! The E-pistle is a mid-week email that goes out to the congregation and friends with all the news and announcements. Make sure the Church Office has your email or write it down and place it in the offering plate!
- Become a FaceBook friend! To become a Friend, go to www.FaceBook.com and sign in, go to “Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church,” click on the word “Like,” and you are a “Friend.” Tell your friends!
- Enjoy “live” streaming at media.bridgehamptonpc.org on days when you can’t make it to worship. Later on in the week you’ll also be able to hear archived highlights.
- Check out the church website: www.bridgehamptonpc.org.
- Receive the monthly Banner newsletter! While some continue to receive the paper version of the monthly Banner, it is also available early to those who sign-up for the email notice that a new month has been posted. Make sure the Church Office has your email address!
Your Generosity Helps Us Serve: Use BPC’s New Online Giving Option!
For the first time BPC members and friends can now give to the church online — just as you do for many charities — using a debit or credit card or electronic funds transfer to support our congregation’s ministries!
All you have to do is click on the “Give Now” button on our church website: www.bridgehamptonpc.org. You will be redirected to the Presbyterian Mission Exchange and our Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church“Donate” page. A secure form is easily completed and you can designate and make your donation all in a matter of minutes. You can make a one-time gift or set up a recurring donation as your weekly offering or stewardship pledge. It is the generosity of members and friends like you that allows us to do what we do.
By clicking “Give Now” and filling out the form, we realize that you are trusting us with your money. We want you to know that every attempt has been made to make this process simple, easy and safe. The information you provide is encrypted, secure and confidential. We appreciate your confidence in our ministry and value your contribution through our partnership with Presbyterian Mission Exchange (a service of the Presbyterian Foundation).
In order for you to make your online donation, simply “click” on the icon and complete the form, indicating your choice of the funds available:
- Capital Improvement Fund
- Mission Fund
- General Fund
- Music Fund
If you wish to designate a donation more specifically, check “General Fund” and indicate the special work you wish to support in the “Note” area near the bottom of the form. Your transaction will appear on your statement as BB - Presbyterian Foundation. You will receive an email acknowledgement and expression of gratitude. Your full donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.
Go ahead! Give it a try! Why not become familiar with how it works by donating $10.00 to the Capital Improvement Fund. It’s that easy!
To receive this weekly announcement by email, click here or phone the Church Office.