The ABCs of the Church
AIDS CARE TEAM, ALZHEIMERS CARE TEAM, ELDER CARE TEAM. Our care teams are part of The Eddy Visiting Nurse Association and serve individuals and their families. In addition to providing their Care Partners with practical and emotional support, the members of the Team draw strength from each other at their monthly meetings. The Care Team members are trained by the Eddy VNA and may provide spiritual support, scheduled transportation, meals if needed, telephone contacts and visits, picnics and parties when possible.
BAPTISM Persons who request Baptism will learn the meaning of the sacrament of Baptism as set forth in The Book of Order, with emphasis on the following: 1. Baptism is entering the fellowship of the universal Church; 2. Baptism of infants is not to be practiced out of fear for the condition of the soul of an unbaptized child. Baptism may be deferred until a child reaches an age of personal decision; 3. The aim and goal of Baptism includes the personal confession of Christian commitment by the parents; 4. Baptism of infants places especially strenuous responsibilities on parents and congregations for education and witness in the life of the church.
Parents who request Baptism of a child are asking the congregation to make a commitment to the child and its family. They are also making a commitment to the congregation and to God. Normally therefore, we would expect the parents to be church members and/or participate in the life of this church as a demonstration of their Christian commitment. However, should the parents not be members of this or any church, their involvement in the life of a church should be encouraged. If parents have not had a child baptized before in our church, we ask that they meet with the Elders prior to the Baptism.
BIRTHDAY SUNDAY On the fourth Sunday of each month, persons whose birthdays fall within that month place pennies (one per year) in the Birthday Box as thanks. The accumulated moneys are used to replace toys and supplies for the nursery. July and August birthdays are celebrated in a September worship service.
BOOMERS These “middle agers” meet occasionally for fun, food and fellowship. Generally speaking, these are the people who can remember the songs of the 1960s and still remember where they were when Kennedy was shot.
BUILDING USE All building use requests and scheduling are initially screened by the church staff and then approved by the Elders. As part of our community outreach and mission, church policy is to make our facility available to groups which seek to better community life. Our building is used, often free of charge, by dozens of civic and special interest groups such as AA, EOC Soup Kitchen, Temple Sinai Soup Kitchen, ACOA, Women in Sobriety, OA, Jaycees, ARC, Drumming Group, and Red Cross blood drives.
BUS Our church owns a reliable school bus that is used to transport our children on trips and to transport chain saws, ladders, food, etc. to work camp sites.
CHILD CARE Child care is provided during the worship service for infants to three-year-olds in the toddler room. Members of the congregation as well as parents take turns providing loving care. When everyone helps out, young parents are able to meet their personal needs to attend worship. Child care is also provided during other church functions on an as needed basis.
CHOIR The choir is made up of persons who love to sing and are willing to volunteer their time and energy for rehearsals and worship services throughout the year. It is open to people of all ages, from high school to retiree. There are no auditions, and church membership is not a requirement. Rehearsals are Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION COMMITTEE This committee is in charge of the many educational programs of our church for infants through adults.
CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE We have two services on Christmas Eve. A children's service at 4pm and an evening candlelight service at 7pm. The evening service is a highlight of our celebration. It is a family service with no child care. The Advent season also includes a breakfast for decorating advent wreaths, a Christmas tree decorating party which includes a pot luck dessert and hymn sing, and caroling to shut-ins.
COFFEE HOUR After most church services we hold a fellowship time in the Hall of the church. This is an opportunity to meet folks and, in the winter, get a warm cup of coffee or tea before braving the elements. The Deacons are in charge of this and encourage the congregation to contribute snacks. Donations of snacks for the children should be nutritious, not super sweet.
COMMUNION We celebrate Communion on the first Sunday of the month. All are welcome to join in the celebration, no matter where they are in their faith journey. The parents of baptized children are charged with the responsibility of determining the appropriate time to permit their child to partake of Communion. Our Christian Education curriculum includes classroom material on communion at each grade level. Communion, like love, can be understood on many levels. Communion is celebrated on the first Sunday of each month.
DEACONS “The Scriptures clearly point out deacons, as distinct officers in the Church. The office is one of sympathy and service, after the example of the Lord Jesus.” --Presbyterian Law for the Local Church. The Deacons serve the congregation by arranging for Sunday morning greeters, arranging visitors for the homebound and organizing memorial receptions, among other things.
DEACON OF THE MONTH One Deacon is in charge of the various needs for each month, such as communion, coffee hour, and food for families in need due to illness, birth, death, etc. If you know someone who needs food brought in, etc., please avail yourself of the Deacon of the Month, noted in the Bulletin or call the church office.
EMERGENCIES Obviously, calling the church office or the clergy is the most direct means of obtaining help. Jay and Eleanor can be reached at home during those times beyond normal work hours. As members of the church family, it often happens that you will hear of a “needful” situation. Don’t assume that the church office or clergy knows about it...give us a call and alert us.
FEDERATED CHURCH We are a federated church of Presbyterians and New England Congregationalists. We worship together as one church family, with no separation between congregations. Separate membership books are maintained as are denominational ties that include separate mission contributions. We are quite united in the belief that a church that attempts to experience the love of God within its community must also be a church that is socially conscious and politically involved.
FINANCE COMMITTEE This committee plans and monitors our church budget. And in conjunction with this job, they also run our annual financial campaign in the fall.
FUNERALS The clergy do any and all funerals, memorial services, interments, and cremations. The family usually makes their own arrangements with a funeral home and they, in turn, make contact with the clergy. The church sanctuary is available, without charge, for funerals or memorial services. For members of the church family, the services of music and custodian also come free. It is the policy of the clergy not to accept moneys from a church family for services rendered.
GEEZERS' KLUB The senior men in the church meet on the third Thursday for breakfast to discuss topics on spirituality and religion that interest them.
GOVERNING BOARD The Governing Board (GB) is the ruling body of our church and is elected from the congregation. While Elders must vote as their consciences guide them, they are elected by the church membership and need to have the input of that membership. Please discuss issues that interest you with your Elders.
HEARING AIDS are available on the right hand side of the church.
HIGHWAY 66 This is a ten week Biblical trip for 4th graders to acquaint them with all sections of the Bible and familiarize them with references such as the concordance and Gospel Parallels. This is held during Sunday School time in the Spring semester. Upon completion of the class, the participants are awarded a Bible.
HUDSON-MOHAWK ASSOCIATION The New England Congregational Church maintains its affiliation with the United Church of Christ through the Hudson-Mohawk Association, which comprises approximately thirty-four churches located in the Eastern New York State area.
HUNGER FUND Keep a container on your dining table and collect 2 cents from each family member at every meal. The money is collected on the last Sunday of each month and is used to feed the hungry locally and around the world. Since the mission “overhead costs” are already covered by the church, this money goes directly to provide assistance to those in need.
MAUNDY THURSDAY Maundy Thursday is the Thursday prior to Good Friday. We hold a special communion service, commemorating the Last Supper on that night.
MEMBERSHIP People become members of a church by affirmation of faith - publicly proclaiming faith in Jesus Christ, by re-affirmation of faith, or by letter of transfer from another church. There are also affiliate (non-voting) memberships. The welcoming of new members is usually in the Spring after one or two informational sessions.
MEMBERSHIP & OUTREACH COMMITTEE This group is concerned with the contact our church has with prospective members and new members as well as nurturing the sense of community within the congregation.
MEN’S PROGRAMS The men share in a special fellowship experience when they "take to the woods" every other Fall for a weekend of discussion and relaxation.
MISSION Mission is reaching out to all - physically, financially, and emotionally. Thinking about and doing for others (locally, nationally and internationally) is a key to the vitality of our congregation. Donations are in the form of time, talent, money and use of our facilities. Mission trips arranged by members of the church regularly go to Uganda and New Orleans.
ONCE IN A WHILES While there is some debate the “age group” covered by this social gathering, one could say with a degree of accuracy that the fellowship generally accommodates people from their late twenties to mid forties, with children still in school. Older people have been known to attend and have been know to have fun at their meetings.
PERSONNEL COMMITTEE This committee acts as a liaison between the church staff and the congregation. They make a two-way communication line for ideas and/or complaints between these two bodies. They are mandated to meet at least once each year with all staff members to discuss salaries and general job situations.
PICTORIAL DIRECTORY The pictorial directory contains the names, addresses, phone numbers, emails and photographs of our church members. We try to produce one of these roughly every 3 years.
PLEDGING Pledging is a way to show your commitment to God by financially helping to further God’s work in the world. Most of our church budget is based on pledges, and, needless to say, it would be almost impossible to prepare a budget with no idea of expected income.
PRAYER SHAWL GROUP This intergenerational group meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month to knit or crochet shawls for friends who are undergoing a crisis, usually a health crisis. Once a shawl is completed, the group gathers around it for a blessing. No knitting experience necessary!
PRESBYTERY Presbyteries are regional organizations of Presbyterian churches. We belong to the Albany Presbytery.
RURAL FOOD DELIVERY Volunteers package and/or deliver boxes of food to over 40 needy families in Saratoga County twice each month. These families are unable to pick up the food themselves at the EOC center in Saratoga due to transportation or health issues.
SOCIAL CONCERNS COMMITTEE This committee is charged with keeping us alert to issues that impact the lives of God’s children. They bring concerns to the Governing Board and to the congregation for education, attention and action. They set priorities for the Mission Budget. Our church’s focus has traditionally been on hunger, housing and health.
SUNDAY SCHOOL Sunday School classes are provided for Pre-School (4 & 5 year olds) through 5th grade. The children attend the first half of the worship service then meet their teacher in the church foyer and proceed next door to the Nolan House for their lesson. Sunday School classes end at noon. Parents are encouraged to attend Coffee Hour after the worship service while the children finish their lessons. Sunday School meets every Sunday from mid-September through June, except for Thanksgiving weekend, the Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s and Easter Sunday. The year is divided into three semesters with teachers choosing to teach one, two or all three. All children are welcome.
TRAVEL Much of our travel program is aimed at expanding the horizons of our teens. We have taken major trips to Europe every 4 years since 1985. Our young people have toured the USSR before it wasn’t, gone behind the Iron Curtain in Hungary, and helped tear down the Berlin Wall as another barrier between East and West collapsed. Because families have different demands on their resources, as a church we make it possible for every actively participating young person to share in these experiences. We also make trips to various cities along the Eastern Seaboard and Canada.
TRUSTEES The Board of Trustees handles legal contracts, personnel, bequests, investments, repairs, donations, and leases. The Governing Board and the Trustees jointly prepare the budget. Trustees are elected to a three year term.
WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION The Women’s Association is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., and the United Congregational Church. All women members of the church are automatically members of the Women’s Association. They meet to decide on monetary support for urgent needs and occasionally meet for social gatherings, such as the Ornament Exchange.
WOMEN’S PROGRAMS We offer several programs for the women of the church. These programs explore issues affecting women but more importantly provide an opportunity to get together! Every year there is a “Women in the Woods” retreat experience on the first weekend in March, which involves a weekend of discussion, spiritual refreshment and fun.
WORK CAMPS Each year, our high school youth group tackle work projects over Spring break in places like South Carolina, Washington DC, or the DelMarVa Peninsula. Interested groups of adults have also “jumped” in to help with natural disasters such as flooding in Schoharie County.
WORK PARTIES Our work parties have been responsible for much of the construction and maintenance of our church. Volunteers from the congregation rake leaves, paint, install fixtures, shampoo carpets, insulate windows, etc. Work parties are a great training ground for the unskilled and wonderful way to make friends. There is a special relationship among people who have sheet-rocked over a light switch together.
WORSHIP AND MUSIC COMMITTEE This committee handles all the work related to the worship service and the music of the church; i.e., arrangements of special worship services, purchase of musical instruments, layout of bulletins, etc.
YAHAs (Young at Heart Adults) You’re only as old as you feel or as your cardiologist tells you. These folks bring an unusually high level of energy to a monthly luncheon meeting. Good food is served, program is presented and everybody goes away with a little deeper sense of church family.
YOUTH GROUPS We have 2 youth groups: Middle School and Sr. High. The programming for these groups is a combination of discussion and activity usually based on topics the youth have chosen. Our youth groups engage in fun outings, work camps, trips, fund raising dinners and service projects.