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.
At the start of the New Year, we are dealing with a new variant to the coronavirus which is much more infectious than the original strain, according to The New York Times. Also, we are dealing with political unrest resulting from the attacks on the Capitol, and we are feeling concern about the distribution of the COVID vaccine.
Amid all of this, some of us may wonder if we are “listening to a broken record,” as the old saw goes, or reading “a new chapter, new verse, or just the same old story?”
In the face of these difficult moments, I would like to encourage you to not lose hope. Let us trust God and embrace the attitude that things can change. Our faith tells us that we can experience change, newness, and breakthroughs. The Apostle Paul once said the following words in a letter to a house church based in the Greek port city of Corinth: “All who are in Christ, old things are passed away; see, everything is new.” (See 2nd Corinthians 5:17.)
Paul's exhortation reminds us that we can individually change, if we have “oneness” with Christ. I personally believe that we have to internalize Christ's teachings and make them our own. When we do that, we will be motivated to look at life through a prism of optimism and hope, no matter what negativity or problem is swirling around us. We have to have faith that we can change.
Along with having faith in a better version of ourselves in 2021, we must have the desire to change. For Mother Teresa, this means that we must have the desire to consecrate our lives to God. She said, “We must permit Him to work in us and through us with His power, with His desire, with His love. We must become holy not because we want to feel holy but because Christ must be able to live His life fully in us.”
In fact, one of our New Year's resolutions should be to grow deeper. We cannot allow our societal events to distract us from our spiritual priorities and doing God's will.
G. K. Chesterton said, “The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul.”
May you continue to fulfill God's purpose in 2021, and may you continue to experience the personal change, reassurance, and freedom that comes from oneness in Christ, so that your life can continue to change for the better!
In Christian friendship,
See below for previous pastoral letters:
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!
LUNCH & LEARN
Led by Dr. Bruce Chilton of the Bard College
the Rhinebeck Reformed Church and
the Jewish Federation of Dutchess of County
Time: 12:30 - 1 p.m. lunch
1 - 1:45 p.m. lecture
1:45 to 2 p.m. questions and answers
Please contact the church to RSVP for this free event.
The Lunch & Learn series is temporarily postponed
due to concerns regarding COVID-19.
See our LUNCH & LEARN page
for video lectures from Dr. Bruce Chilton!
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.
Check out this exciting update from David Baldauf:
SOLAR ELECTRICITY FOR THE CHURCH
Hallelujah, the church is lighting up with solar energy!
Beginning last March, 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.
So far, over these six months, the church has avoided the release of over 10,000 pounds of co2:
that's the equivalent of planting 78 trees!
Signing up through the Community Solar program also 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