Yaphank Presbyterian Church
65 Main Street
Yaphank, NY 11980
Pastor Ralph Wright
Office: (631) 475-3322
Home: (631) 289-5761
March 14, 2008
During the past few weeks of Lent, as members of the Mid-Suffolk Presbyterian Parish, we worshipped, studied and prayed together at various Presbyterian Churches in the central Suffolk area. From the melodious sounds of the great organ at Old Southaven Church to the placing of prayer cocoons on a prayer tree at Middle Island to the inspiring music of the Yaphank musicians including the Nobel Radio band, each Wednesday night was a spiritual experience.
On Palm Sunday young people will march around the sanctuary with palms leaves waving high in the air and the sounds of Hosanna ringing out. With the liturgy of the palms we start our observance of Holy Week which culminates with Easter Sunday. It is therefore appropriate in a time of world-wide insecurity that we take time during Holy Week to reflect on the meaning of the Christian Passion Story. Christ suffered, died and rose again that we might have life. As we take our own pilgrimage through this week we can better understand the meaning of His Passion and of our own lives.
But please remember, whether we take the time to go through the fourteen Stations of the Cross, or meditate our way through the seven last words of Jesus, or attend a service of worship, it is by itself not important. What is important is that we take some time to reflect on the basic Easter story, its message for us, and reach out and touch someone with the love expressed in the Gospels.
As a means of meditation, I invite you to attend the various Holy Week services at the church. Wave and receive palms on Palm Sunday, March 16th. Thursday, March 20th is Maundy (Holy) Thursday. Partake of Holy Communion in the tradition of the Jewish Passover Feast as observed by our Lord and the disciples. Meditate on the events of the Garden of Gethsemane and the betrayal of our Lord by Judas. Children and young people are especially invited to this service which is at 7:30 p.m. The tradition of foot washing is also included in the service.
Good Friday, March 21st is a time of meditation for those contemplating the death of our Lord on the Cross. Come spend some time for meditation and prayer between noon and 3 p.m. Spend as much or as little time as you can spare, but take some time to reflect on the sacrifice of our Lord. The traditional Service of The Stations of the Cross is held outdoors at 7:00 p.m. We begin at the Gazebo down by the Lake and individuals carry the cross to each station, arriving back at the church by 7:40 p.m. where we have a short closing service in the Sanctuary.
Easter, March 23rd begins with the annual 7:00 a.m. lake side sunrise service on the grounds of the Swezey-Avey House on the Upper Mill Pond of Yaphank (corner of Main Street and Mill Road). Celebrate the Good News of the Resurrection of our Lord at this outdoor service sponsored by the Mid-Suffolk Parish of the Presbyterian Church. Easter Breakfast will be served at the church at 8:00 a.m. The traditional service and the family service with Easter lilies will be held at 9:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. respectively. There will be no church school on Easter Sunday.
This Easter season let us also not forget to pray for peace, for our nation, for our armed forces, and for the whole world, especially for those hundreds of thousands of Christians that are persecuted in far off lands, including Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan..
Four final notes…1) The Deacons continue to request canned goods and meats for the food pantry to benefit those in our area who need food not only this holiday season but throughout the year. 2) The sacrament of Holy Communion will be taken to all who are home bound during Holy Week. Please contact a Deacon or the Pastor if you know of someone who would like such a visit. 3) The One Great Hour of Sharing Banks to benefit the needy worldwide can be brought back to any of the Holy Week Services. 4) The enclosed Easter Envelope will benefit the both the growing ministries of our parish as well as the global work of the ministries of the One Great Hour of Sharing. Church School students have been given fish banks for this purpose. Banks are available in the narthex of the church.
May the Easter Season be a blessing for you, your friends, and your family.
· Please remember the following in your prayers: George Reeves for his recuperation from lung surgery, Richard Hurley who underwent surgery on March 14th, John Knapp who continues to struggle with health issues, Gene Thomas who suffers from Emphysema, Marion Pontoon who after two years is still recuperating from a stroke related coma, and Ruth Monaco who suffers from painful migraines.
· Happy Birthday to Ludwig Stahl – March 30, Donna Bihn – April 11, Richie Cornell – April 12, Steve Trusnovec – April 16, Herb Naumann – April 17, and Carolyn Young – April 22.
· Easter Lilies and spring flowers for the church may be donated in memory of friends and loved-ones. Proceeds benefit the Deacons Fund. Contact a deacon for further information.
· Camp counselors are being recruited for this year’s Day Camp which will run for four weeks (July 7 through August 1) The camp is a Nature Camp. Also scheduled is a week long Bible Camp in August – dates to be annouonced . Contact Perri-Ann White, camp director, for further information (775-9290). Camp registration will begin in mid April. The annual camp letter and registration form will be mailed out at that time. They will also be available on the church’s website (www.yaphankpc.org)
· The grounds of the church each spring need considerable care and maintenance. One major project is the reconstruction of the handicapped ramp at the rear of the church. Volunteer to help by speaking to either Dave Moreland or Dick Chichester.