LEARNING

We are committed to helping others grow and develop holistically.

We also encourage learning at all ages. 

One should never stop expanding their mind, no matter how much time goes by.

PASTORAL LETTER

April 2022

 

Dear friend,

 

Our congregation has a historical and emotional link with our nation’s fallen. We have a cemetery where pre-Revolutionary soldiers are buried. Also, we have a proud legacy of former congregants who endured sacrifices so that we can enjoy our fundamental freedoms as a society, including our freedom of speech, and our freedom of religion.

 

A reverence for this historical connection is one of the reasons that I always look forward to holding an annual joint ceremony with the American Legion Post 429 of Rhinebeck at the cemetery, after our ordinary worship service concludes on the Sunday leading up to Memorial Day. I delight in gathering as a community to pay tribute to our fallen patriots, and to upholding the customs of our joint ceremony, such as reading the names of the patriots buried in our church’s cemetery, observing how American Flags (and a British Flag) are staked into the ground, and hearing the elegiac words of wisdom offered by someone with ties to the military—all among the meaningful components of this ceremony.

 

One of the striking things about this annual joint service is the reminder that the sacrifices and struggles of these fallen soldiers were always carried out for the larger community. There is an implication for each one of us in their commitment to creating a larger community, or a community of cooperation. These patriots are physically gone, but they depend on us to continue that for which they lived and died. Not only did we depend on them—their valor, their courage, their commitment, their patriotism—but they depend on us to continue “fighting the good fight” until we share with them in the fellowship of God’s promise.

 

Therefore, it is important to look at Memorial Day not just as a day of recollection, but as a day of participation. What can we do to enhance the legacy of our fallen patriots? What can we do to contribute to America’s well-being?

 

The good news is that we have the historical and spiritual company of our fallen heroes to motivate us, inspire us, and guide us in our quest to make our society a more hopeful one. We are blessed to be part of a fellowship of saints and fallen heroes! To paraphrase Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in one of his poems, “Dedication Day”, involving fallen Civil War soldiers: “may their memory be our memory” (see the poem below; may you bask in Longfellow’s words).

 

May you have a safe, restful, and meaningful Memorial Day!

 

Pastor Luis

 

“Dedication Day”

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest
On this Field of Grounded Arms,
Where foes no more molest,
Nor sentry’s shot alarms!

 

***

 

Ye have slept on the ground before,
And started to your feet
At the cannon’s sudden roar,
Or the drum’s redoubling beat.

 

***

 

But in this camp of Death
No sound your slumber breaks;
Here is no fevered breath,
No wound that bleeds and aches.

 

***

 

All is repose and peace,
Untrampled lies the sod;
The shouts of battle cease,
It is the Truce of God!

 

***

 

 

Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!
The thoughts of men shall be
As sentinels to keep
Your rest from danger free.

 

***

 

Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.

See below for previous pastoral letters:

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SUNDAY SCHOOL

During our Sunday morning worship services,

we have a short children's sermon,

after which the children proceed to Christian Ed. 

Sunday school is held for children in grades K-12.

Nursery care is available for little ones of pre-school age and younger!

Due to the safety protocols of our reopening, 

our Sunday School program is currently suspended.

Check out our CHILDREN'S/YOUTH MINISTRY page

for online resources for our younger congregants!

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LUNCH & LEARN

Led by Dr. Bruce Chilton of the Bard College
Sponsored by

the Rhinebeck Reformed Church and

the Jewish Federation of Dutchess of County

See our LUNCH & LEARN page

for video lectures from Dr. Bruce Chilton!

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CARING FOR CREATION COMMITTEE

This committee strives to teach about good environmental practices

through events and programs that lead to 

more sustainable mindsets and lives.

Our mission is to help protect and cherish all that God has created.

SOLAR ELECTRICITY FOR THE CHURCH

Hallelujah, the church is lighting up with solar energy!

Beginning March 2020, just before the lockdown,

the Caring for Creation Committee was instrumental in signing up the church for Community Solar,

wherein we receive our electricity from solar panels

in a remote installation provided by the Nexamp Corporation.

This is achieved at no cost to the church, with the electricity provided as usual via Central Hudson.

Using solar panels to generate our electricity eliminates the need for Central Hudson to burn fossil fuel, which disperses carbon dioxide into the atmosphere - a contributor to climate change.

Signing up through the Community Solar program encourages companies to invest

in building more solar arrays which other homes and businesses could utilize.

What the church has done is a model of what our congregants could do as well for their homes.

You can contact me (send a message through the website) for general information on how to get started.

~ David Baldauf

SUMMARY OF SOLAR ENERGY BENEFITS

FOR THE CHURCH OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS

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