Wednesday, July 28, 2010

This Week At Old South Haven Presbyterian Church

Sunday, August 1          10:00am        Morning Worship
                                                               Sermon:  "The Roadblock of Regret"
                                                               Lessons:   Genesis 42: 1-38   Luke 12: 35-48 
                                                                    Greeter:  William Scott
                                                                    Lay reader:  Sean Moran
                                                                    Coffee Hour:  Morgan/Wiswall
                                                                    Communion preparation:  H. Altomare 
Monday, August 2            7:15pm         Peace Network Meeting in the Gallery
Friday, August 6                                              Hiroshima Day
                                           7:00pm           Annual South Country Peace Group
                                                             World Peace Vigil procession remembering the first atomic bombing. Walkers will gather at the cemetery on Station Road. Walkers are encouraged to wear white (the Japanese color of mourning.
Looking Ahead:
        Sunday, August 8         Deadline for material for next NEWSletter
        Monday, August 16    7:00pm    Session Meeting at Linda Majowka's
        Monday, August 16 - Friday, August 20    Vacation Bible School 
                                                                               Bellport Methodist Church
        Sunday, August 29      7:30pm     Discussion on "Forgiving Ararat"  Gallery

Caithness Grant Update 
Recently Pastor Tom wrote a letter to Brookhaven Town Councilwoman Connie Kepert expressing "frustration and anger" in the matter of the approval of Old South Haven's proposal for funding some needed repairs and  improvements from Caithness monies.    See a copy of his letter.  
Three projects have been submitted to the Town  of Brookhaven as the first part of our already approved Caithness Community Grant proposal -- reroofing the church, repair of the box beam supporting the steeple, and repair and painting of the church windows.  We are awaiting the granting of these funding requests and their actual costs before additional projects are submitted to the Town.  All these pending projects were in  the original proposal approved by the Town board.  The Church's original request was for about $80,000 of work, of which only $35,000 was authorized by the Town board.  We are reluctant to seek quotations for additional work until we see that the way-be-clear with the Town.  Among the "waiting" work are repairs to the interior plaster and repainting of the interior.  We are hopeful that at least some portion of the work can be done with the remaining funds.
Other Maintenance Work
The Session has accepted a proposal for repairs to the steeple submitted by Quarltere' Painting  of Center Moriches, including repair of the weathervane and repainting of the upper tier.  Most of this work is covered by our insurance.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Forgiving Ararat is Summer 2010 book read.

Nearly twenty members of the Old South Haven Presbyterian Church parish are reading "Forgiving Ararat" by Gita Nazareth as our Summer 2010 "book read."  At the end of August, we will be having a group discussion.  Check the calendar for the date and time.  More on "Forgiving Ararat" may be found using the Google Search Forgiving Ararat reviews.  A couple of copies are still available in the Gallery at $10 each.

Discussion Questions 

1. What is the primary philosophical, theological and eschatological debate being waged in the book? What is the relevance of this debate to the lives we lead here on earth?

2. What is the significance of Brek Cuttler’s profession as a lawyer, and Brek’s best friend Karen Busfield’s profession as a minister, to this debate?

3. Brek Cuttler devotes her life to the pursuit of justice. How does she benefit from leading such a life? How does it benefit others? What does it cost her? What does it cost others?

4. Mahatma Gandhi, a lawyer himself, said that the true function of a lawyer is to unite parties riven asunder.
a. If Gandhi is correct, could we argue that Jesus Christ was the greatest lawyer who ever lived?
b. Is this how Brek Cuttler viewed her role as a lawyer?
c. Is this how lawyers function in our society today?

5. How is the word “justice” defined throughout the book? Does it have more than one (contradictory) definition?
a. How do you define “justice”? How does our society define “justice”?
b. What does the word “justice” mean in Micah 6:8: “Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God”?
c. What does “justice” mean when our national leaders say we are going to “bring the terrorists to justice”? What does it mean when, after a criminal has been executed, our leaders proclaim: “Justice has been served”?
d. Does justice have two opposite meanings? How are these meanings reconciled in the book? In our society?

6. In Forgiving Ararat, is justice in conflict with forgiveness?
a. In our society, is our modern legal system in conflict with Jesus’ teachings?

7. Brek Cuttler becomes a lawyer of souls at the Final Judgment. Do you believe there is Final Judgment? Does the book reflect your view of how it might unfold?

8. By becoming a lawyer of souls, Brek is able to experience the inner thoughts and feelings of other people (souls). What does Brek learn from this experience? What do we learn?

9. Luas, Brek’s mentor, has been presenting the same soul at the Final Judgment for two thousand years. Why?

10. Nana Bellini, Brek’s great-grandmother, says that Brek can help Luas finally leave Shemaya. Does Brek help him? How?

11. How are Ott Bowles and Brek Cuttler alike? How are they different?

12. Does Ott Bowles ever repent of his notorious sins? Is his repentance necessary?

13. Ott Bowles and Sam Mansour debate the Holocaust and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Do you agree with any of the views expressed in this debate? How does this debate symbolize the conflict waged throughout the book between justice and forgiveness? How does this debate reflect the debate waging in the Middle East today?

14. Who does the character Haissem symbolize?

15. Who does the character Elymas symbolize?

16. Who does the character Luas symbolize?

17. According to the author of Forgiving Ararat, who is the ultimate judge at the Final Judgment? Do you agree? Disagree?

18. Why do you think the book is called: “Forgiving Ararat”? Do you agree with the choice of title and its underlying meaning?

19. Forgiving Ararat has been called a modern parable and an allegory. What is the message of the parable? What is the meaning of the allegory?

20. Has Forgiving Ararat altered your beliefs or understanding of the world in any way?  How?

This Week At Old South Haven Presbyterian Church

Sunday, July 25         10:00am           Morning Worship
                                                               Sermon: "Being Spiritual: 3. Affirming The Old In The New"
                                                               Lessons:   Psalm 137: 1-6     Romans 8: 18-25, 31-39
Tuesday, July 27          7:30pm            Presbytery's Middle East Task Force meeting at Ralph
                                                                Wright's Tax Office in Patchogue. A report on the actions
                                                                of our recent General Assembly regarding the Israeli/Palestinian
                                                                Conflict, offered by Rev. John Underwood, (Deer Park) an
                                                                observer . Pastor Tom is convenor of the Task Force and will
                                                                provide transportation for any wishing to attend.
Looking Ahead       
          Sunday, August 8           Deadline for articles for next issue of our NEWSletter
          Monday, August 16 - Friday, August 20     Vacation Bible School at Bellport Methodist
          Sunday, August 29         7:30pm     Discussion  on the novel "Forgiving Ararat, The Gallery
          Sunday, September 19    6:30pm     Potluck Supper in the Carriage House
The Giggle Box
          Applicants for jobs at a company are asked to fill out a questionnaire. Among the things candidates list is their high school and when they attended. One prospective employee dutifully wrote the name of his high school, followed by the dates he attended: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
            A distraught senior citizen phoned her doctor. "Is it true," she asked, "that the medication you prescribed has to be taken for the rest of my life?" "Yes," the doctor replied. There was a moment of silence before the senior lady responded, "I'm wondering, then, just how serious is my condition because this prescription is marked 'no refills'"

Monday, July 12, 2010

This Week At Old South Haven Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, July 13             1:00pm       Lunch Bunch at Home of Janet Barry
                                           7:00pm       Finance and Property Committee at Ann Wiswall's
Sunday, July  18            10:00am       Morning Worship
                                                              Sermon: "Being Spiritual:  2.Mysteries or Problems"
                                                              Lessons:   Psalm 8    Ephesians 6: 10-20
Monday, July 19               7:00pm      Session Meeting
Sunday, July 25              10:00am      Morning Worship
                                                               Sermon" Being Spiritual: 3. Affirming the Old in the New"
Items Available in the Gallery
           Discussion Questions to accompany your reading of "Forgiving Ararat"
           Copies of this novel are available for $10 a copy
           A special issue of the magazine "Presbyterians Today" offers "an introduction to all
                       things Presbyterian"

Monday, July 5, 2010

This Week At Old South Haven Presbyterian Church

July 7       9:30am       Presbyterian Clergy Book Study in the Gallery
The Book: "The Future of faith" by Harvey Cox
                 12:00noon   Mid Suffolk Parish Clergy in the Gallery
Sun., July 11      10:00am     Morning Worship
                               Sermon: "Being Spiritual: 1. Responding to Life"
                                Lessons:  I Samuel 12: 19-25  and Romans 8: 15b-27
Looking Ahead
Sun., July 18       10:00am    Morning Worship
                               Sermon: "Being Spiritual:2. Mysteries or Problems"
Mon., July 19        7:00am    Session Meeting
Sun., July 25       10:00am    Morning Worship
                               Sermon:  "Being Spiritual: 3. Affirming the Old in the New"
Tues., July 27        7:30pm   Presbytery's Middle East Study Group meeting in Patchogue 
                                Focus will be on the General Assembly's action on a Report on the Middle East titled "Breaking Down the Walls"
The General Assembly of our denomination is meeting this week in Minneapolis. If all the documents to the "paperless" 219th General Assembly were printed out, they'd rival Tolstoy's" War and Peace" in length. By the time the Assembly concludes July 10, the 712 commissioners and roughly 200 advisory delgates will have acted on more than 300 items of business that would span about 1,400 printed pages. Included as items to be discussed are: Middle East peace, the war in Afghanistan, ordination standards for church officers, the relationship between Christian marriage and same-sex unions, gun violence, theological issues around compensation for church workers and consideration of two doctrinal statements - the Heidelberg Catechism and the Belhar Confession
Issues internal to the life of the denomination include the election of the moderator, mission and per capita budgets for 2011 and 2012, a sweeping revision of the denomination's Form of Government and several other items.
A summary of the actions of this year's GA will appear in next week's email

Thursday, July 1, 2010

This Week At Old South Haven Presbyterian Church

Sunday, July 4 10:00am Morning Worship Independence Day
Sermon: "A Contract With America"
Lessons: Hebrews 11:1,8-10, 13-16; 12:1-2
Matthew 25: 34-40

Monday, July 5 7:15pm Suffolk Peace Network Meeting in the Gallery

Wednesday, July 7 9:30am Presbyterian Clergy Book Study in the Gallery

12:00noon Mid Suffolk Parish Clergy in the Gallery

Sunday, July 11 10:00am Morning Worship
Pastor Tom begins a series of four sermons on the theme: "Being Spiritual"

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) meets from July 3 to 10 in Minneapolis.

Additional copies of the book "Forgiving Ararat" by Gita Nazareth have arrived. Purchase price is $10. This is the novel we are encouraging being read this summer ( along with many other congregations) with a discussion planned at summer's end. One reviewer has said: "The author creates an image of the afterlife that is altogether beautiful, frightening, gory, inspiring, mysterious, joyful and sad. I think anyone, regardless of their beliefs, can gain something from this book. It's a murder mystery, supernatural thriller and a theological debate all rolled into one." We will distribute some discussion questions later.