Friday, September 4, 2020

This Week at Old South Haven Church

Dear Members and Friends of Old South Haven Church,

Please join us this coming Sunday for a Zoom Service with Pastor Ralph and Jason Neal sharing the service. This will be a communion service so please have your bread and wine ready for that part of the service.

Please also join us at the coffee hour part of the service so that we can thank Pastor Ralph for his wonderful time with us. He will be going to the Presbyterian Church of the Moriches.

Pastor Glorya will start on Sunday, September 13, 2020.

God Bless,


You are invited to a scheduled Zoom Worship service.

Time: Sep 6, 2020 09:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join service at:

Meeting ID: 242 554 4200
Passcode: 092003
One tap mobile
+16468769923,,2425544200#,,,,,,0#,,092003# US (New York)
+13017158592,,2425544200#,,,,,,0#,,092003# US (Germantown)

Dial by your location
+1 646 876 9923 US (New York)

A Message from Rev. Ralph Wright

September 2, 2020

Dear Members and Friends of Old South Haven Church,

Labor Day Week-end! a) Is it the end of summer? b) Is it a shoppingsale/discount week-end? c) Is it a week-end to celebrate the good labor of the workers of our nation? d) Is it a Labor Union weekend of celebrations and parades? e) Is it a religious celebration of the sacredness of labor and work? f) Is it time of Bar-B-Ques and sumptuous meals and beverages? From my point of view here on Long Island, it is all of the above. And, yes, for some it is just a well-earned day off of work or school. But that is one of the problems. Though historically it goes back to the labor movement of the nineteenth century, many have no idea why we celebrate Labor Day. Plus there are still those who still disagree on the rightness of celebrating this holiday.

Allow me to quote a statement, not from Presbyterians, but from a sister Protestant denomination. "From the beginning, the Methodist movement has focused on the concerns of workers. Methodists in England were founders of the modern labor movement and the earliest labor unions. United Methodists today stand in this heritage. Justice, dignity and equality for workers are an integral part of our social teachings and heritage. For 100 years, we have fought for a living wage in every industry and our Social Principles make clear that we believe people – not profits – should be at the heart of our economic system."

In the 19th century this statement would be anathema in many Christian churches. Religious leaders often rejected support for unions despite the horrors of the Pullman Strike which was a nation-wide railroad strike. It lasted from May 11 to July 20, 1894.and pitted the American Railway Union (ARU) against the Pullman Company, the main railroads, and the federal government under President Grover Cleveland who ordered Army troops to stop the strike. Thirty people were killed in the riots and sabotage caused $80 million in damages. I recommend as part of your devotions you Google "Pullman Strike" and read more of the background to this historical American event.

As Presbyterians we have been divided on the subject of unions and the labor movement. There have been those who have been outspoken and supported the rights of workers. One such contemporary voice has been that of the Rev. Dr. Herbert Nelson II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA, who has just been honored by the union rights organization, Jobs With Justice, for his social justice work over the years.
In Matthew 11:28 we read "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." In a humorous way that gives all of us the liberty to just sleep in and relax for the day. However, we should also be aware of the Gospel message to reach out and to help those in need. Today, people should be willing to break bread together and be willing to talk to each other. Faith leaders, lay people and workers, both union and non-union, need to speak to one another and play a major role in bringing livable wages for all workers, including those at the bottom end of the income spectrum, which often means low wages and the lack of standard benefits which includes family health insurance and retirement programs.
Peace and stay safe,
Pastor Ralph
631-475-3322–office; 631-289-5761–home: Others may answer but they will put you through.

Old South Haven Presbyterian Church is a Place Where Everybody Knows Your Name…..

Last Monday, we welcomed our new pastor, Glorya Johnson, with a "Meet and Greet" lawn reception.
The congregation had been asked to complete the sentence "Old South Haven Church is a place where __________." Elders Darcy Stevens and Deb Mayo edited our responses into the following poem:

Our beautiful church stands on the rise of a hill overlooking South Country Road in Brookhaven – a joy to behold! The sanctuary in its pristine simplicity takes one's breath away. The members of our congregation are more like an extended family and we welcome one and all to join us in worship. If you can tarry awhile fellowship follows the worship service.

Old South Haven Church is a place where one can step back in time into the ambiance of the 1820's when this beautiful sanctuary was built.
One can feel a part of the procession of pilgrims who worshipped here over centuries of our country's history.
One can be inspired and enriched by the beauty of the pipe organ and the hunting sound of the church bells.
Its very walls emanate its sacred history.

Our church is a place where sunlight  streams through the magnificent tall windows , casting fanciful, dancing shadows all over the sanctuary --- making it easy to feel connected to God's grandeur and joy --- to sing His praises!
It is a beautiful place for beautiful music.

It's also a place:
Where you can feel at home, and feel safe.
Where all can feel welcome, and at home for life.
Where there is a warm feeling of closeness and welcoming as a community of friends.
Where we, [who live thousands of miles away] feel welcome and where my mother is cared for.

Old South Haven is a place which sees the need for justice through the eyes of faith.
A place where God is honored.
A place where dedicated congregants recognize the needs both within and outside of our church family and are committed to addressing and seeing them through.
A place where there is a long history of service.
An estuary for community.

Old South Haven Church is a place where I entered as a stranger and found myself part of a deeply caring community of faith. One which continues to sustain me.
A place where seekers, doubters, and those of firm faith support and nurture one another.
A place where there are unlimited opportunities for engagement.
A place where all are not just welcomed, but truly embraced.
A place where the congregation calls us to remember we are Christian and helps explore what that means.

It is the place where I met and married my wife.
And it's where superior, delectable pot luck suppers are enjoyed.
It's where people feel like family.

We welcome Glorya to Old South Haven Church.

Post Script:
Old South Haven Church is also a place where the weeds and vines need pulling, the bushes need trimming, the exterior needs painting, the windows need caulking, and the roof leaks need fixing.

And we welcome Glorya to that church too!

No comments:

Post a Comment