Monday, September 30, 2013

Back to Cattown

Our new life in the North Country has come to a close. We are headed back to New Orleans, to po' boys and Saints games and "Dey putting up da Chrismas star/An' viewin' stands for Mardi Gras."

The adventure continues. Follow my blog, The Daily Cattown News, at:

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Gone but not forgotten

Family Promise of Clinton County closed its doors nearly a year ago after losing its grant funding. For ten years a group of local churches worked together to provide temporary housing in their facilities for families who were seeking permanent housing. Church members would provide meals and fellowship while the families stayed in their church building for a week at a time. Maureen Bradish, the director of Family Promise, worked tirelessly to help these families find permanent housing and assisted them in so many ways.

First Presbyterian Church of Plattsburgh was happy to provide space for the offices of Family Promise for ten years, and many members volunteered their time to be with the families during their weeks to stay at the church.

We all were sad when the board of Family Promise announced last October that they would have to cease operations. The families in need of assistance were referred to Social Services and many of them were placed temporarily in local motels while they waited for permanent housing.

This morning, Frank Baehre, an elder in our church, took down the two Family Promise signs outside the building that had been their office. One sign will go to Maureen Bradish in thanks for all that she did for the families. The other will go to the church's history vault as a treasured reminder of a ministry of this church that will not be forgotten. Thank you to all who helped with Family Promise through the years.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Thanks, guys!

Scott Lupini's crew is finished for the season. With the advent of cooler weather, the work on repointing the stonework on the clock tower of the church has ended for the year. The work went much faster than originally anticipated, which is a good thing. A big part of the cost is the daily rental of the lifts -- so the more that gets done in the time allotted, the less the overall cost will be.

Herb Cottrell gave a big thank-you to the guys by presenting them with Presbyterian mugs before they left. He told them he wasn't trying to convert them or anything, but...

Here he is in the center with two of the crew.

And a big thanks to Herb, Bob Davis, and Jim Fox (with a little help from Ace Electric and Bob Mitchell of Manion Motors): they got the clock working again!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Look Ma, new hands!

Thanks to a church member who knows his way around a band saw, the church clock now has new hands! (The new ones are on the left.)

This morning, our contractor put the new hands on the front face of the clock tower -- a little lagniappe, as we would say in New Orleans, a little something extra thrown in at no additional cost on the mortar repointing job.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Easter in July!

In the North Country, Easter lilies bloom in July. In south Louisiana, they seldom bloom in time for Easter, but they're usually in bloom during the fifty days of the Easter season. Not here!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Off to Triennium!

Eight youth from our church, accompanied by Youth and Family Ministries Director Marianne Wilson, headed out bright and early this morning for the Presbyterian Youth Triennium at Purdue University. They were joining up with other youth and adult leaders from neighboring presbyteries in Albany and heading out on a bus for Indiana. Our prayers go with you all, and may you have a wonderful, life-changing week at Triennium!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Speaking of eternal things...

Like a clock face with no hands...

How appropriate for a church, where we speak of eternity, of a God whose understanding of time is not like ours..."For a thousand ages in thy sight are like yesterday when it is past..." Christian hope involves looking forward to a time when there is no longer any time. A time of God's reign, and the eschatological banquet, God's big dinner party (I preached a sermon on that once)...and kairos time...I preached a sermon on that one too, during Advent...

So yes...a clock face without hands on the church tower makes a significant theological statement to the community. As our website says, we really ARE committed to living differently from the secular world. Our clock face says it all. Look ma, no hands.

Or, to tumble from the metaphorical to the downright literal about it, the Lupini Construction guys have been working on the clock tower this summer, up on the lift, drilling out the old mortar around the stonework, and they noticed the wooden hands on the clock had dry rot. So they took them off (before they fell off and landed on somebody's head), and they are going to make new ones. But there's another problem. The clock stopped working a few months ago (after running backward for a while after lightning struck the steeple three summers ago, which REALLY makes for some interesting theological/metaphorical conversation). So, if we could just find someone who fixes 140-year-old clocks in towers...

Okay, there's a sermon illustration here somewhere. Maybe not this week's sermon. But a clock face with no hands...that's gotta preach, one of these days.

But for now, it'll blog.

P.S. Look what I found! The clock hands! Two sets, actually -- there are clock faces on the four sides of the tower. Now, that'll blog, too!