Yaphank Presbyterian Church

65 Main Street

Yaphank, NY 11980

 (631) 924-3723

                                                                                                            Pastor Ralph Wright

                                                                                                            Office: (613) 475-3322

                                                                                                            Home:   (613) 289-5761



                                                                                                13 October 2005

Dear Members and Friends,


I can’t believe it!  We are already one month into the new school year.  Welcome to Autumn!  Instead of encouraging everyone to gear up for a year of Christian Education through the Sunday Church School (10:30 a.m.) or the Wednesday Bible Studies (10 a.m. & 7:30 p.m.) and you can still start to do so, let me list a few quotes to ponder, (courtesy of the Levittown Presbyterian Church).


                                    “Don’t let your worries get the best of you. 

                                    Remember, Moses started out as a basket case”.


                                    “Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisers”.


                                    “Forbidden fruits create many jams”.


                                    “Be ye fishers of men.

                                    You catch them – He’ll clean them”.


                                    “God doesn’t call the qualified,

                                    He qualifies the called”.


We invite you to be a part of the mission of our church.  Volunteers are always needed for the many projects and activities of the church.  Read through this newsletter and you should find a project that can use your help.  Likewise attending the various fundraising events will help the church in many ways.  We also invite you to increase your financial giving.  Our treasurer has just pointed out one of those two edged sword facts.  Contributions to the church this year have increased over last year….


But with all the special offerings for Disaster Relief (Tsunami, Hurricanes and Earthquakes), Overseas Missions (Kenya Highlands Bible College, AIDS/HIV, One Great Hour of Sharing) and the increasing Deacon’s work, the amount of monies for the core budget of the parish has actually decreased.  As we all know there have been increases in utility costs but it is still surprising that our month utility bills average $1400.  Part of this can be attributed to the large number of community programs held at the church.  But this is what mission is all about, “People Helping People.”  The request from the treasurer is for all of us to consider increasing our church contributions by ten per cent for the rest of the year.  Given that energy costs have gone up 30 to 40 per cent he feels this is a reasonable amount.  We pray you do too.


Being a small but growing parish, Yaphank Presbyterian does not have a church secretary or office per se.  However you can always call my Patchogue office (475-3322) whenever there is a need and speak to Kathy, our office manager, who also spends many hours as our church secretary.  And you can call me either at the office or at home (631) 289-5761.


Yours in Christian service,


Ralph Wright, pastor

Prayer Requests


Prayers have been said in the Sunday services for the following individuals and activities.  Please include them in your personal prayers this coming month.


For continued healing:  John Knapp, Ann Barlow, Gene Thomas, Ruth Monaco, Tom Famiglietti, Elaine Berninger, Robbie Damiano, and Ed Merriam.


The ministry to children and youth in Yaphank.  The church is committed to increasing its outreach and to assist families as they raise their young people.


Note from the Deacons


There continues to be a need for food for the Deacon’s Closet.  You may bring canned and dry foods to the church and place them in the basket in the narthex or you can write a check to the Deacons and place it in the offering plate.  There is also a need for volunteers to help with the food closet.  As we approach the holiday season there is a need for turkey certificates, toys for young children and blankets and warm jackets for the homeless.  Speak to Diane Reeves for further information.


Birth Days (September, October & November)






10  Gary Ralph

4  George Reeves

2  Christ Attard

10  Susan Brochard

10  Jimmy Chichester

4  Helen Lewin

11  Laura Allan

19  Ann Barlow

5 Margaret Wolf

21  Howard Ralph


12 Megan Ralph



17 Noel Berninger



21 Brittany Bihn



25 Paul Story





Coming Events



Parents/Teacher Meeting for the church school will be held on Wednesday evening, November 9th at 7:30 p.m.  Come and ask all your questions about your child’s religious education as well as other children and youth programs of the church. 


Dedication of the Church Nursery Area and Basement Handicapped Ramp in Memory of Thelma Thomas -  Family and friends will gather at the 9:00 a.m. Service on Sunday, November 6th to dedicate two plaques in honor of our long time member Thelma Thomas (1917-2002).  Members of the congregation will speak to and thank the family members for their generosity in providing for these needed additions to our historical church building.


Church Leadership Retreat If you are an elder, deacon, church school teacher, scout leader, day camp leader, special projects leader or a member of the church staff you are invited to attend a Church Leadership Retreat on Sunday afternoon, November 6th from 12 noon to 6:30 p.m.  Leading the retreat will be our Long Island Presbytery Executive, the Rev. Tom Castlen, and Associate for Congregational Resources, Marie Zupka-Ludder.  A meal will be served.  The purpose of the retreat (using the facilities of our large campus) is to facilitate open discussions regarding the needs of our community and church and the proper directions for the next three years as regards the many challenges facing our parish.


A communicants class for youth will commence in January with Confirmation Sunday in June. 


A new members class for adults will be held in November. 


Annual Halloween Walk -  Be a part of the annual “Haunted Forest”.  The Walk is scheduled for the evenings of October 19, 20, 21, 28 and 29 (6:30 to 11:00 p.m.)  On Saturday October 29th there will be an early opening at 5 p.m. aimed at young children.  Less scary, more family oriented.  See the attached flyer and discount tickets.  Funds raised from the Halloween Walk will help support the community service programs of the church.  To volunteer contact Kevin Story, Director (775-6612).


Scouts -  Cub Scouts (Pack 79) meets every Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m. Tiger Cubs meet Fridays between 4 & 5:30p.m.   Girl Scouts (Brownies #1109) and Junior Girl Scouts (#1293) meet on Thursdays between 5 and 7 p.m. Daisy Scouts meet 4:30 to 6 p.m. Mondays.   For further information contact the church office.


Alcoholics Anonymous holds meetings in the Fellowship Hall every Monday and Friday evenings at 7:30 p.m.


TGIF Youth - On Friday evenings there are youth programs which include potluck dinners at the church as well as recreation events away from Yaphank.  The young people involved last year had a good time and are looking forward to our TGIF Fridays.  The next meeting is Friday, October 14th at 7:00 p.m. to work on the Halloween Walk (Haunted Forest).  Some of the young people will also be a part of our annual Halloween Walk which is held on the last two week-ends in October.


Totally Kids, the pre-school nursery at the church has just completed its first year.  We are excited about this new ministry to families.  There is still room for additional children (2-1/2 to 5).  Contact 924-4456 for more information.


Community Thanksgiving Dinner & Service - All members of the church and the community are invited to be with us on Thanksgiving Eve from 4 to 6 p.m. when a Thanksgiving Dinner will be served in the Fellowship Hall for all those who would enjoy a good meal with friends and neighbors of the church.  Take-home meals will be delivered to shut-ins.  The head chef for the dinner is Grace Wright and if you would like to help call her at 289-5761.  A Thanksgiving Worship Service will be held following the dinner at 7:30 p.m. 


Holiday Bazaar & Luncheon – The annual Holiday Bazaar takes place on Saturday, December 3rd. from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Luncheon will be served from 11-2. A major fund raiser for the church, the Bazaar needs volunteers to prepare holiday crafts and food for sale at the bazaar.  Also needed will be volunteers to prepare and serve the luncheon as well as ticket takers and sales personnel.  Please contact the pastor or Grace Wright for further information.  (289-5761).


Veterans’ Day Parade – The annual Yaphank VFW/Fire Department Veterans’ Day Parade will take place on Sunday, November 13th at noon time.  Those participating in the parade for the church will leave the church at 11:45 a.m. Needed are musicians, float decorators, and veterans.  The float is sponsored by the Sunday School.  Call Bill Bihn for further information - 821-4928. If you can’t march why not view it either in front of the church or at the Fire House.  Ceremonies at the Fire House are held at the end of the parade with refreshments served by members of the YFD auxiliary.


Patchogue Christmas Parade – Young people and musicians from the church will entertain on the church float at the Patchogue Christmas Parade on Main Street in Patchogue on Saturday evening, November 26th at 6 p.m.  For more information contact either the pastor or Bill Bihn (821-4928).


College Scholarships – High School seniors planning on attending college should check out the various scholarships that are available at Presbyterian (USA) colleges and universities.  For example the Young Presbyterian Scholars Program at Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA is worth $44,000 or $11,000 annually.  There are other such scholarships, though not necessarily that large, available at other schools.  Speak to the pastor for further information.


A Note RE:  World Communion Sunday:


A pulpit exchange took place on World Communion Sunday between the Levittown and Yaphank parishes.  Pastor Ralph traveled with elder Dick Chichester to Levittown and participated in their 10 a.m. service and had a great time with fellow Presbyterians.  Coming to Yaphank was the Rev. Pam Szurek with one of her elders.  The following is an excerpt from an e-mail received from Pastor Pam.


“Loved being in Yaphank.  Want to hijack entire congregation, Pastor included.  My congregation loved your service, and some want to come to you because you do wine in communion.   I heard about the light, I heard about the pencils (two children sermons previously shared in Yaphank).  I heard about communion traditions in different place.  I heard about your conversation with the confirmation class.  (Thanks for the sharing).


“Thanks for the opportunity to be with your folks.  I really think it was eye-opening for me, and I think we should do exchanges in more congregations more often, so people would understand what is going on in other places.  Loved the kids…the music was great.  We are talking about a trap drum set in our services, too.  Neat stuff going on in Yaphank.  Thanks for facilitating this.”


In a telephone conversation it came out that Pastor Pam really would like to have an exchange of choirs or even better just a chance for the Yaphank “children of all ages” choir and musicians to play at the Sunday worship service in Levittown.  We are negotiating such an event for our young people and any and all members of our parish who would like to attend.  Stay tuned for more information.