From the Pastor’s Desk

See, I am making all things new!

(Revelation 21:5)

I’m a person who likes to make lists.  Perhaps some of you are as well.  I make lists so I don’t forget things I would like to do and things I need to do.  I also take great satisfaction from crossing off each item on the list when that item is completed.   It feels good to know things are getting done.  When I get to the end of my list, and all the items are crossed off, I also enjoy turning to a fresh sheet of paper and starting a new list .

I am also a person who crosses off days on my calendar. I still use paper calendars as I find they continue to serve me well.   I cross off each day in part to simply mark the passage of time.  At days’ end, it feels good to know another day has been completed.  This little ritual can also invite me to reflect for a moment on the experiences of the day.  Another reason why I cross days off is so I can glace at my calendar and quickly find what day it currently is. 

At the end of the year, I also find it to be satisfying to start a brand-new calendar.  I usually keep the old one, all written over with lines crossing off every day, for a few years, just in case I need to look back upon it.  The coming year’s calendar however is fresh and clean, with no notes or marks.  As I make the transition from old to new, I can sometimes wonder what the coming year will be like.  Then I write in commitments I know I already have in place for the new year and things I don’t want to forget in the coming months. 

 I think these little practices invite me to think about how I am spending my time and energy.  These rituals also reinforce the very satisfying feeling that can come from completing something you started and knowing you have given it your best.  I’m reminded of the wise words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The reward of a thing well done, is having done it.”   

As we begin a new year, similar emotions come forward.  In the aftermath of all the activities of the Christmas season, as calendars change once again, I can feel a sense of satisfaction looking back at all that has taken place.  Some of the experiences of every year are obviously difficult, frustrating, and at times painful.  Mistakes are always made, and fortunately there is God’s grace.  Other parts of each year, however, are joyful, inspiring, stirring, and deeply meaningful.  Overall, there is a sense of satisfaction knowing another year, one where we’ve done our best, has been completed.  We offer the past year up to God, hopefully learn the things we need to learn from it, turn the page, and start anew. 

I am looking forward to sharing in this new year with you and eager to see how it will unfold.  It will be exciting to continue the many ministries of our congregation and welcome new ones.  It will be rewarding to continue to share life together, and to welcome new people into our midst.  There will be changes and challenges, for sure, but also new opportunities, meaningful experiences, moments of grace and through it all, the profound love of God.  Which means, anything will be possible. 

Blessings in 2022!

Pastor John

The Fishermen’s House Thrift Shop – A Banner Year!

Many thanks to all who volunteered this past year at the Thrift Shop and Furniture Barn.  Thank you also to those who helped with pick-ups, with our Spring and Fall Super Sales, and the Christmas Room.  We had an amazing year in 2021, more than doubling what we brought in last year!  All these funds go to support the mission and ministry of our congregation.  The success of the Thrift Shop and Furniture Barn helps ensure the long-term stability of our congregation.  In addition, it provides quality clothing, household items and furniture at very reasonable prices to people in our community.  Finally, supporting the Thrift Shop and Furniture Barn is also environmentally wise.  See the article below for more information.   A special thank you goes out to Connie Swedlund, the leader of the Thrift Shop and Penny (and Bob) Bach, leaders of the Furniture Barn.  Congratulations to everyone!  The Thrift Shop and Furniture Barn are closed this month but will re-open for 2022 in February.

When an item is purchased at the South Yarmouth United Methodist Church’s Thrift Shop and Furniture Barn people are helping themselves, helping others, and helping the environment!

Of course, when one shops at the SYUMC Thrift Shop and Furniture Barn patrons are receiving high quality furniture, household items, and clothes at very reasonable prices.  In addition, the funds from every purchase goes directly to support the ministry and mission of the South Yarmouth United Methodist Church.  But think about it, there is so much more happening as well!

Shopping here lowers the impact of the things we consume as we are reusing things that have already been produced and diverting items from landfills.  For example, shopping at the South Yarmouth Thrift Shop and Furniture Barn…

…is less wasteful:  It has been estimated Americans discard more than 12 million tons of furniture and furnishings each year, 80% of which ends up in the landfill.

…will help prevent deforestation:  Buying new items made from wood means cutting down more trees which also contributes to biodiversity loss and soil erosion.

…limits plastic production:  More than 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into the oceans every year, harming ecosystems, animals, and humans.

…limits carbon emissions:  Transporting goods around the world by plane, boat or truck emits tons of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

…helps us save water.  The production of new things requires us to use huge quantities of water.   Buying second-hand indirectly saves water.

…helps us save energy.  To produce material goods, we need a lot of energy to operate machines and factories.

…reduces the demand from the packaging industry.  When new things are produced, they are almost always wrapped in packaging.  When buying second-hand we usually don’t have any packaging, which reduces waste.

Thank you all for shopping at the Thrift Shop and Furniture Barn and by doing so, better caring for the earth.

SYUMC and YMCA – Hand in Hand

At our special All-Church-Conference held after worship on Sunday, December 19th the Trustees of our congregation made the motion to enter a partnership with the YMCA of Cape Cod to host an early childhood education center in our Sunday school classroom space.  After a discussion was held, and vote taken it was overwhelmingly supported to have a program begin in our space in 2022.  Up to 20 children from our community will be able to get a good start to their education, by attending this program.  More information will follow as to the opening date, but first, some work needs to be done to the second-floor area, like putting in a new bathroom, lighting, and so forth, for which the YMCA will be paying.  After the work is completed, then the children will start to come.   Once the site opens, it will be exciting to explore ways we can continue to support children and families in our community, and perhaps develop some new ministries through this partnership.   Congratulations SYUMC for being supportive of this outreach opportunity, and for embracing the spirit of service to our local community that has been part of our congregation’s history for generations.

Let’s Take a Hike Together

Our next church hike will be held on Saturday, January 15th.  Joy, Bailey, and Pastor John will plan to meet all who are interested at our church’s parking lot at 10 AM.  This time we hope to travel to Chatham and Harding’s Beach.  (We tried to do this hike in October, but the weather didn’t cooperate).  In Chatham we will take the wonderful walk to the old Stage Harbor Lighthouse and the entrance to Stage Harbor, before returning by a different, interesting route.  This hike is a little longer than some we have done, but very “doable.”  It is probably a little over 2 miles round trip.  All ages are welcome and again, feel free to invite a friend. 

Game Night at the Church – January 27th

Back by popular demand, we have scheduled another “game night” for our church.  Come to the Parish Hall on Thursday evening, January 27th . Things will start at 6 PM and we’ll finish up by 8 PM.  Some games will be provided or bring a favorite to share.  This evening is for people of all ages and simply a time to gather and to enjoy each other’s company.  If you would like to attend but need a ride, call the church office, and let us know.  Transportation can be provided.  In addition to board and card games, the table games downstairs will be available too.  Dessert and snacks will be provided. 

Holiday Christmas Pageant

The pictures below are from our congregation’s Christmas Pageant on December 18th. The participants are getting ready in the sanctuary and Sunday school rooms before offering the story of Jesus’ birth in our Parish Hall. Thanks to all!

Our Worship Services on TV

Mondays at 1:30 PM and Thursdays at 3:30 PM

(Channel 99)

In addition to our worship services being recorded and available on-line at our website, now they can also be viewed on our television sets!  Thanks to Howard Heaton, our Lay Leader, SYUMC now has our Sunday morning worship services televised on Mondays at 1:30 PM and then again on Thursdays at 3:30 PM.  Just turn to channel 99 and enjoy the service.   Be sure to tell your friends and tune in if you’ve missed a Sunday.