Evangelism Sunday 2014 as a “Scent” Community — September 28th

“Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance [of Christ].”

2 Corinthians 2:14 - 15 (MSG)

[This Sunday is Evangelism Sunday 2014 on the denominational calendar. The following comes from: Evangelism Sunday 2014, a resource of the Presbyterian Church (USA).]

The Scripture passage 2 Corinthians 2:1 - 17 is both an encouraging and a challenging passage. God chooses to use you and me to tell others about Jesus Christ through our words, actions and lives. One translation of verse 15 reads, “As far as God is concerned there is a sweet, wholesome fragrance in our lives. It is the fragrance of Christ within us, an aroma to both the saved and the unsaved all around us” (TLB). Sometimes we make evangelism more complicated than it has to be by relying so much on programs, initiatives, campaigns, or even copying other “successful” churches’ models. It really all begins with living lives that have the fragrance of Christ that causes other people to want to know more about why we live as we do. At that point, we need to be “ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the reason for our hope” (1 Peter 3:15, NIV).

I like how Alan Hirsch puts it in his book Right Here, Right Now: Everyday Mission for Everyday People when he writes:

“The prevailing approach to evangelism and Christian mission is for churches to develop programs, services and events for the purpose of attracting unbelievers. There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to be attractive, and we certainly wouldn’t want our churches to be unattractive. The problem is that we rely on the gathered services to do the mission and evangelism — as well as the discipleship, education and worship! To exacerbate the problem, outreach and ‘in-drag’ has become the dominant approach to evangelizing our culture. The New Testament church was definitely attractive to its communities, but not from this perspective. Their attractiveness was in their living . . . in what we call ‘witness.’ The love and presence of Jesus flowed through them into the various societies and communities they lived in. The secret of their success as a transformational movement is that it wasn’t a secret, but a life evident to all.”

Even though Evangelism Sunday is a yearly event, it is important that we place as much — or even more — focus on sending people out into the world to be the fragrance of Christ for others outside our church community. It is important to gather for worship and community, but it is also important to be sent out into our communities and lives, as followers of Jesus Christ, to share in our words and deeds the good news of Jesus with others.

We are a sent people and a “scent” people!

Here’s What’s Happening this Sunday ...

“Moses Striking the Rock and Bringing Forth Water” by Marc Chagall, 1887-1985.

The Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost — September 28th

This Sunday, September 28th, is the Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost and Evangelism Sunday on our denominational calendar. Worship begins at 10:30 am and Sunday School follows the Children’s Message(see below). Coffee Fellowship follows the service in the Parlors.

The passages from the lectionary this week include from the Older Testament Exodus 17:1-7, where the people thirst and quarrel; and, God gives them water from a rock.; and, the Epistle reading is from Philippians 2:1-13, where Paul says seek the mind of Christ, who was humble, but exalted by God; and, the Gospel reading from the lectionary is Matthew 21:23-32, where leaders question Jesus’ authority and Jesus responds by offering a parable. Pastor Peter’s sermon will be “On Your Knees!”

Click to enlarge

Pastor Peter introduces the Covenant Ceremony for Students, Parents and Teachers with the Commissioning of Sunday School Teachers and Leaders at our morning worship this past Sunday, September 7th, on the first day of Sunday School. See you this Sunday in worship and Sunday School! Click photo for enlarged version.

Sunday School Is Now In Session!

Our Fall Sunday School Classes began with the Commissioning of Sunday School Teachers and Staff and the Covenanting of Children and Parents. All children are invited to worship and after the Children’s Message go with their teachers to choir practice and Sunday School in the Parlors. We will have three classes this year: Nursery: (Under Age Four); Younger Children (Age 4 - Grade 2); and, Older Children (Grade 3 - Grade 6). We would like to offer a youth Sunday Day School class for Grades 6 - 8/9th Grades. Also, a Confirmation Class is planned this year for youth 8th Grade and older; they should contact Pastor Peter with interest in being part of the group, which will join in the Spring on Pentecost. Christian Education Director Kathy Lowe joins with Donna Halsey, Emily Halsey, Kathleen McCleland, Anne Ramunno, Ellen Wilford, Thomas White (Sunday School Choir) and Pastor Peter as another year of Sunday School begins.

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!

Happening Before Sunday ...

Roundtable: “Fall in the Sunday School” Meets, Sat, Sept, 20th

Start planning now for a fresh and Spirit-filled Fall and Advent for your Sunday School. Share your ideas on programs for exciting harvest celebrations and faith-inspiring worship and activities to prepare children and families for the coming of the Lord. Look through the PRC collection of resources to find crafts, games, worship ideas, and Christmas pageants, or chat with one of the PRC consultants to help you find what you need. The roundtable discussion will be led by PRC staff Karen Smith and Cathy Applewhite from 10-12:00 noon on Saturday, September 20th, at the PRC, 89 Hallock Landing Road, Rocky Point. A carpool is possible. Call the PRI to register: 631-821-2255.

BPC News to Know ...

Historical Preservation and Restoration Committee Meets Monday, Sept 29th

The Historical and Preservation Committee will meet in The Newman Room on Monday, September 29th, at 10:00 am, to continue discussions on architectural changes made to the main church building. Any who have a memory of when certain work or changes were done are invited to attend and share.

Chat and Craft Group Begins Fall Meetings, Tues, Sept 30th, 10:00 — 11:30 am

The “Chat and Craft” Group begins its fall gatherings to chat and/or craft beginning Tuesday, September 30th, from 10:00 — 11:30 am in The Parlors. This fall the group has switched their meeting day to Tuesdays. 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!

Send Sam Price a Note of Encouragement and Support!

Several have asked for Sam Price’s mailing address to send a card or note of encouragement and concern for Sam and his family following his head surgery this past Monday in New York City. Cards may be sent to:

Robert Price Family
101 Halsey St.
Southampton, NY 11968

Many thanks to our BPC church family for the care and concern!

High Holy Days

The Session welcomes The Conservative Synagogue of the Hamptons and its Rabbi Jan Uhrbach as they observe their “High Holy Days” in our worship space. This past week the Synagogue gathered for Rosh Hashanah, Wednesday-Friday, September 24-26; and, this coming week, they will gather for Yom Kippur, Friday (6:00 - 9:00 pm) - Saturday (9:00 am - 10:00pm), October 3-4. Together these days are called the “High Holy Days,” occurring in close proximity.

Rosh Hashanah in Hebrew means, literally, "head of the year" or "first of the year." Rosh Hashanah is commonly known as the Jewish New Year. The name "Yom Kippur" means "Day of Atonement," a day set aside to "afflict the soul," to atone for the sins of the past year. We are pleased to be able to welcome and host The Conservative Synagogue of the Hamptons during these important days in their faith’s history and tradition.

Session was approached about the possibility of using our facility early in the summer, as the Synagogue requires a larger space for these holidays than their current space at the Universalist Meeting House permits. Session was unanimous in welcoming them for the “High Holy Days.” Welcome!

Two-Part Webinar on “Overcoming Obstacles to Change in Your Church” is Tues, Oct, 7th and 14th

In your home alone (or gather some friends) and see both parts of “Overcoming Obstacles to Change in Your Church.” The Two-Part Series will take place at 7:00 pm on Tuesdays, October 7th and 14th. Every church in America faces significant cultural adaptive changes if they are to thrive in this century. Yet obstacles to these changes seem to appear at every turn. Paul Nixon will be sharing practical strategies for overcoming what he identifies as the six major obstacles to local church change: denominational systems, behavioral/attitudinal issues, lack of spiritual development, building/money issues, changing culture and paradigm disconnect. A scholarship is available to cover the $20 registration fee that includes both parts. Call the PRI to register: 631-821-2255.

“Faith Communities Respond to Domestic Violence” Program Wed, Oct 8th

“Faith Communities Respond to Domestic Violence” will take place on Wednesday, October 8th, from 9:30 am — 12:30 pm, with a continental breakfast and registration at 9:00 am at the Congregational Church of Patchogue, 95 East Main St.

Roundtable: “Prayer Shawls” Discussion Sat, Oct 18th

A Roundtable: Prayer Shawls will take place on Saturday, October 18th, from 10:00 am — noon at the PRC, 89 Hallock Landing Road, Rocky Point. Whether you’re a seasoned prayer shawl warrior or want to get ideas to start a group in your own church, come to this open discussion roundtable to learn and share ideas about this wonderful way to pray for others and share God’s peace through the work of your hands. Feel free to bring your needles and some samples to show others and explain how your group has been a blessing to both yourselves and those in need of prayer. Call the PRI to register: 631-821-2255.

“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.

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: office@bridgehamptonpc.org or Pastor Peter directly: pastorpeter@bridgehamptonpc.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.

BPC Food Pantry Volunteers Needed Each Third Wednesday

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 serve others in this way, 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). Try it — you’ll like it!

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!

Whenever you see the “Give Now” button on our church Website or E-pistle, simply “click” on it and complete the easy and safe form to make your donation.

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.