Deacon's Notes

Periodically our Deacons contribute a few words, which are posted in the newsletter. We'll include them here so that others can share in their wisdom.

Deacon's Note for February 2016

But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to respect those who labor among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves."        1 Thessalonians 5:12-13

The Deacons knew Charlotte (the Reverend Dr. Charlotte Wright) was a good choice as our Interim Minister from the beginning but over time we were assured that we had made the right choice. You could say she was just what the doctor ordered.  She took us through this transition time seamlessly. Offering guidance and support where needed and stepping back when necessary to let us do it on our own. As a Congregation and as Deacons the river we had to forge may have looked daunting at the beginning of her tenure but she guided us through the deep water and got us safely on the other shore. We are eternally thankful for her caring and support. She has been a blessing to the Deacons and to this church and our prayers go with her and we pray that her future endeavors will be blessed. Thank you Charlotte!                                                                                     
Rick Ward for the Deacons

DEACONS’ NOTE December 2015

I’d like to share this story that happened at the Fall Festival this year. A month before we were to have the Fall Festival a parishioner approached me saying that a co-worker of hers had some folks that moved in next door to her from another country who were in need of furniture and basic things. Basically they had nothing. She wondered if it would be o.k. for them to come at the end of the Festival and pick through the Tag Sale items that were left over. I told her that it would be fine. So at the end of the Festival these folks showed up, a mother and 3 or 4 kids and a person who was I guess acting as their liaison. I explained to him what was available for them and he guided them through our Tag Sale leftovers. What moved me was one of the kid’s reaction who when he found out they could have their pick of anything that was there. He exclaimed, “Wow, this is a great place!” I thought, here’s the stuff that was the leftovers of the leftovers and he was excited about it. It made me think, wow we have so much. It gave me joy that the kids were getting some things that were giving them a good feeling and bringing a smile to their faces. Imagine what we can do not only as a church but as individuals to bring joy into someone’s life and make it a little easier. This is one of the ways we witness for Jesus and represent Him here on earth, by caring for those in need. My challenge for us this Advent season is to find someone, some group that we can help and make a little difference in our particular corner of the world. It can be an organization; it can be an individual, a friend, a neighbor, and give. Give your time, your money, a couch, a meal, whatever God moves you to do. Pray about it; think outside the box as to what may make someone’s life a little more bearable this Christmas. And have fun doing it! For those who need some more traditional inspiration here’s a list of some organizations that could use some help:

Hampshire County Northampton Survival Center
265 Prospect St. Northampton, MA
(small household items, canned food, packages)

The Hospice Shop
18 Bridge St. Northampton, MA
(seasonal clothing, books, bedding, dishes)

Jesse’s House
143 West St. Northampton, MA
(Basic furniture, small household items)

Stavros Center for Independent Living, Inc.
691 Southeast St. Amherst, MA
(small household items, kitchen articles)

The Grace House
17 Seeleye St. Amherst, MA
(baby furniture, baby clothing, beds, basic household items)

Not Bread Alone
165 Main St. Amherst, MA
(serving meals Wednesdays and weekends)

Hadley Food Pantry
Most Holy Redeemer Church
128 Russell St. Hadley, MA
(nonperishable food items may be dropped off at First Church, always in need of canned meats, pasta & cereal)

Take and Eat
First Congregational Church Hadley, MA
Lisa West, Lila West       
(people to bake desserts, volunteers, ask about current needs)

~ Rick Ward for the Deacons