16 November 2004

 Dear Friends:

 “Let us be thankful for what the Lord hath provided” 

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday let us remember that our Pilgrim forefathers celebrated Thanksgiving as a time to thank the Lord for the good harvest, for their health and for their families.  We are no longer tillers of the soil and fishers of the seas the early Plymouth settlers were, and our turkey and fixings are liable to be out of the freezer and not the next door barn, but we still have much to be thankful for.

In Psalm 92:1-2,4 we read, “Give thanks….sing praise…declare God’s steadfast love!”  Giving thanks to God is very biblical and is also very American, though at times Thanksgiving Day was not always on our calendar (see attached The Thanksgiving Story).  Let us this Thanksgiving remember how fortunate we are and resolve to share our blessings with those around us.

We invite all members of the church and the community 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 Joan Moreland and if you would like to help call her at 924-6919.  A Thanksgiving Worship Service will be held following the dinner at 7:30 p.m. 

A holiday request for aid.  Each holiday season the Deacons distribute food, toys and other items to needy families in the area.  They are requesting drivers to help distribute the food, as well as the contribution of toys, turkeys, hams, gift certificates, blankets and warm coats (men, women and children).  If you know of someone or a family who are in need and would benefit from the help of the Deacons please let me or the Deacons know. 

Attached to this newsletter is a stewardship letter and pledge card from the Session of the church.  Please read the letter carefully and prayerfully consider your support of the church for the coming year.

I know our requests are many and can be overwhelming, but the good that is done by the parish in this area is outstanding and needs to be continued.  Thank you for all your support. 

Sincerely yours,

Ralph Wright


Church Notes

 Please share the attached flyer on the Holiday Bazaar (Nov. 20th) with a neighbor or friend.  Volunteer cooks and workers are still needed.

Let us also remember in our prayers Ruth Monaco’s mother, Francis Hendrickson’s grandson, Aunt Connie, and Timmy Stallman.  Also the concerns of the Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and particularly as it affects Presbyterian/Jewish dialogue regarding a just road to peace.  Pray for Christians living in these war-torn regions.

During the four Sundays of Advent, as well as Christmas Eve, families together light the advent wreath during the worship service.  If your family would like to participate please speak to the pastor.


Nov 2 Chris Attard       Nov 17   Noel Berninger  Dec 14  Herb LaSauce
Nov 4   Helen Lewin  Nov 21 Brittany Bihn    Dec 14 Ralph Wright
Nov 5 Margaret Wolf     Nov 25  Paul Story    Dec 26  Henry Rau
Nov 12  Megan Ralph  Dec 3  Elizabeth Attard  Dec 28  Aaron Powell
Nov 14  Randy Harders  Dec 14 Sophie Stahl   Dec 29   Sidney Attard

The Church Calendar

(Note – Church Services are at 9 and 10:30 a.m. each Sunday.  Church School is a part of and follows the 10:30 Family Service. Coffee Hour between Services in the Fellowship Hall. Church School Pageant rehearsals are from 11:45 to 12:45 following the Family Service.)


20 – (10 a.m.-3 p.m.)        Holiday Bazaar- Luncheon (11-2)

24 – (4-6 p.m.)                  Thanksgiving Dinner – Invite a friend to share a meal at the church

24 – (7:30 p.m.)                 Thanksgiving Eve Service – Bring a can of food for the hungry

28–  (9 & 10:30 a.m.)       First Sunday of Advent

29-30 – (9 a.m. to ? p.m.)  Christmas Decorations Work Party at the Church (contact John Knapp)


 3 –  (6:30 to 8:30 p.m.)  TGIF Youth/Lighting of the Yaphank Christmas Tree at Gazebo

 4 –  (9 a.m. to ?)             Work Party – Electrical/Buildings & Grounds/Winterizing

 5 –  (9 & 10:30 a.m.)      Second Sunday of Advent & Holy Communion

 5     (4 to 8 p.m.)            Yaphank Historical Society Tour/Church Open House

11 –  (8 to 11 a.m.)           Holiday Breakfast

         (2 to 6 p.m.)             Pastor’s Holiday Open House (10 Cheryl La, Patchogue)

12 –  (9 & 10:30 a.m.)      Third Sunday of Advent

18 –  (TBA)                      Pageant Practice

19 –  (9 & 10:30 a.m.)      Fourth Sunday of Advent

         (5 to 7 p.m.)             Church School Christmas Pageant and Potluck Dinner

24 –  (7:30 p.m.)               Family Christmas Eve Service

         (11 p.m.)                   Traditional Candlelight Christmas Eve Service

25 –                                   Christmas Day - Invite a friend to share your Christmas meal

30 –  (TBA)                       TGIF Youth Group Day Trip to New York City

 The Thanksgiving Story

The Pilgrims who sailed to this country aboard the Mayflower were originally members of the English Separatist Church (a Puritan/Reformed religious group). They had earlier fled their home in England and sailed to Holland to escape religious persecution. There, they enjoyed more religious tolerance, but they eventually became disenchanted with the Dutch way of life. Seeking a better life, the Separatists negotiated with a London stock company to finance a pilgrimage to America.

The Pilgrims set ground at Plymouth Rock on December 11, 1620. Their first winter was devastating. At the beginning of the following fall, they had lost 46 of the original 102 who sailed on the Mayflower. But the harvest of 1621 was a bountiful one. And the remaining colonists decided to celebrate with a feast -- including 91 Indians who had helped the Pilgrims survive their first year. It is believed that the Pilgrims would not have made it through the year without the help of these native Americans. The feast was more of a traditional English harvest festival than a true "thanksgiving" observance. It lasted three days.

Governor William Bradford sent "four men fowling" after wild ducks and geese. It is not certain that wild turkey was part of their feast. However, it is certain that they had venison. The term "turkey" was used by the Pilgrims to mean any sort of wild fowl.

Another modern staple at almost every Thanksgiving table is pumpkin pie. But it is unlikely that the first feast included that treat. The supply of flour had been long diminished, so there was no bread or pastries of any kind. However, they did eat boiled pumpkin, and they produced a type of fried bread from their corn crop. There was also no milk, cider, potatoes, or butter. There was no domestic cattle for dairy products, and the newly-discovered potato was still considered by many Europeans to be poisonous. But the feast did include fish, berries, watercress, lobster, dried fruit, clams, venison, and plums.

This "thanksgiving" feast was not repeated the following year. But in 1623, during a severe drought, the pilgrims gathered in a prayer service, praying for rain. When a long, steady rain followed the very next day, Governor Bradford proclaimed another day of Thanksgiving, again inviting their Indian friends. It wasn't until June of 1676 that another Day of Thanksgiving was proclaimed.

October of 1777 marked the first time that all 13 colonies joined in a thanksgiving celebration. It also commemorated the patriotic victory over the British at Saratoga. But it was a one-time affair.  George Washington proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving in 1789, although some were opposed to it. There was discord among the colonies, many feeling the hardships of a few Pilgrims did not warrant a national holiday. And later, President Thomas Jefferson scoffed at the idea of having such a day.

It was Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor, whose efforts eventually led to what we recognize as Thanksgiving. Hale wrote many editorials championing her cause in her Boston Ladies' Magazine.. Finally, in 1863, President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving was proclaimed by every president after Lincoln. The date was changed a couple of times, most recently by Franklin Roosevelt, who set it up one week to the next-to-last Thursday in order to create a longer Christmas shopping season. Public uproar against this decision caused the President to move Thanksgiving back to its original date two years later.  And in 1941 Thanksgiving was finally sanctioned by Congress as a legal holiday, as the fourth Thursday in November.



Yaphank Presbyterian Church

65 Main Street

Yaphank, NY 11980

(631) 924-3723

November 15, 2004

Dear Members and Friends,

Each year at this time the lay leadership of the church struggles to prepare a budget for the coming year. We are bombarded with requests that go way beyond our immediate ability to respond. “We need twenty full scholarships for next year’s camp!” “The youth group really needs a bus so we can take field trips.” “There’s not enough rooms for teaching Sunday School.”  “We need a handicap ramp for the church basement.” “We need a new multipurpose building for dinners and stage productions.”  “We need more hymnbooks and teaching materials.” “We need more cooking utensils and kitchen ware for our two kitchens”. We need this, we need that.

Frankly every group has a legitimate request. And within the limits of our financial capabilities we are able to meet some of the needs. This past year, after a decade of discussion we did install at a cost of $4,500 a handicap ramp for the church basement. If only all the praise for doing it were translated in to dollars to pay the bill we could move on to the next project.

We are a practical church. All our members are hard working family people or retirees and therefore every contribution is like the widow’s mite. As a church we have never told our fellow parishioners how much to give. There is a church in another town that has it all worked out on a sliding scale. The average family of four below a certain income is requested to give $27.50 per week. Those in the next income bracket the figure is $31.50. We only ask that you give as the good Lord prospers you.

But we will share with you that our budget for this coming year not including Day Camp and the Halloween Walk will be in excess of $110,000. A break down of this budget will be available for the annual meeting in January, but if you have any questions please speak to any member of the board. We are enclosing with this letter a small form that will help us plan for next year’s budget, and more important church/community programs. Your giving us an estimation of your support will go a long way in helping us plan and stretch the extra mile so we can fulfill more of the needs. Remember an estimation is just that, an estimation and not a binding agreement.

The work of our parish is amazing. For a small congregation we have as much impact on our members and the community as a church ten times our size. We are proud of the work of our Deacons, the Church School, the Pre-School Nursery, the Day Camp, the various theatrical groups, and the many community organizations including the scouts and the AA groups that use our facilities. Help us to do even more. Please return your support form as soon as possible so that we can gear up for a great 2005.

 Sincerely yours,

 Joan E. Moreland                                           Members of the Session

Clerk of Session                                              Cathy Ochs, Gary Powell, Gary Ralph, Ruth Monaco,

                                                                       Dave Moreland, Ann Barlow, Bill Bihn

Click here to open the Support Form