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“If any want to become my followers, I do believe that Jesus calls us to take let them deny themselves and take up up our cross. I don’t think that means their cross and follow me.” (Mark 8:34) all of us need to live in a war torn country or in rural or inner city places of povIn my sermon on March 4th I queserty and scarcity. It doesn’t mean walktioned if of our commitment to God has ing away from careers or family. It us truly taking up the cross and follow- might for some of us, but not for all of ing Jesus. us. Because there are plenty of ways to serve others from where we are at. Here’s where I took it: I don’t know if I can speak to the ques- There are choices we make in life – tion of our authenticity of taking up the  Where we live cross, but I have to grapple with it. If  What we have my confession of faith, my claim to be a  What we choose to do without Christian, a follower of Jesus and to love God with all of my heart, soul,  How we use our resources and gifts strength, and mind, and love my including our money, time and skills neighbor as self is authentic, then I  How we raise our children have to question myself:  How we spend our time  Have I taken up the cross?  Who benefits from our living  Am I willing to suffer & risk on  How we show respect behalf of others? Or is my commitment one of convenience -  How much are we willing to learn and grow and change A pick and choose kind of obligation?  What will we share with our neighbors  Is my worship of God and gratitude for God’s blessings the depth of my  What joy do we experience in life Christian allegiance? It’s not just a question of what we do, If so, my experience of life will be as but a question of why we do it and how shallow as my experience of the Divine. we do it. Do we do what we do because of our love for God? Love, honest love,

Rev. Lynda Bates-Stepe

Continues on page 2


Donna Etergineoso Editor

486 Town Line Road · Commack NY 11725 (631) 499-7310 Office: [email protected] Pastor: [email protected] www.commack-umc.org

April 2012

A Prayer... God of love and compassion, you created the diversity we see around us. Give us the grace to find delight in your creation. Grant us wisdom and vision to separate your truth from the culture in which it is wrapped. Nudge us to greater understanding of your most gracious and mighty works among all people. Amen

A Wo r d F r o m O u r P a s t o r . . . c o n t i n u e d includes risk and suffering. It is the desire to do During this Holy Week, as we remember how Jethe right thing, in the right way, for the right rea- sus took up the cross on our behalf, let us reflect sons. on our discipleship and how we respond to God’s saving love in Jesus Christ. May God be with us If our commitment to God is grounded in love, on this journey to the cross and keep us close in we will seek God’s will and do our best to fulfill these holy days. God’s desire for us. Then the cross we bear will be one that shares our love for God – and God’s Peace, love for us – with others. In doing so, the joy of life and the wonder of life eternal will be ours as Rev. Lynda Bates-Stepe well.

APRIL Birthdays 5TH 5th 5th 8th 9th 13th 22nd 23rd 24th 27th

Maggie Hervey Carly Theofield Emma Theofield Joan Fritz Tom White Julia Theofield Kimberly Clendenning Jennifer Mallgraf Sobana Prasad Sarah D’Amato Tom Devine

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May God’s blessing abound to you in every way. May you taste and see His goodness every time you kneel to pray May your day be brightened more with your Father’s loving touch And may you sense He’s with you now and loves you very much.

21 02 12 A pA rpi rl i l2 0

Holy Week Schedule Please join us for these special services: Date



Apr. 1


Palm Sunday

April 5 April 6

7:30pm 7:30pm

Maundy Thursday Good Friday

April 8


Easter Service

We welcome your prayer requests. There are several ways to submit your request: 1. Fill out the payer request form at http://commack-umc.org/prayer 2. Send an email to [email protected] 3. Fill out the Prayer Request Form located at the rear table in the Church sanctuary and place in the prayer request box, also located at the rear table 4. Call the church office at (631) 499-7310 Your request will be placed on the prayer list and lifted up to God in prayer by our prayer volunteers.

Time for Prayer and Meditation 9:00 - 10:00 AM on April 14th, 2012 Please join us for a Time for Prayer and Meditation in the sanctuary on Saturday, April 14th, 2012 beginning at 9:00 A.M. All are welcome to attend. Feel free to bring your favorite prayer to share with the group. We will begin promptly at 9:00 AM. We plan to meet monthly, at which time, we will pray and meditate through quiet reflection, music, breathing, shared prayers and other spiritual exercises. Sobana Prasad Page 3

April 2012

MISSIONS We will be accepting fresh food donations such as milk, eggs, bread, fruit, etc. to help those families in need when the children aren’t in school to receive their free breakfast and lunch during the Easter break. Thanks, in advance, for sharing! We are collecting spring donations for the Easter holiday. Please remember those who may not have the means to have a special Easter dinner. Hams or turkeys would be welcome, as well as, any dried, canned or fresh goods to help in the celebration. Easter candy would be appreciated for us to put together and distribute to our local families in need. Thank you again, in advance, for your sharing nature! In March the Peanut Butter and Jelly Gang met and made 1,000 sandwiches and deliver them to St. Ann’s in Brentwood. Our April gathering will be on Saturday, April 7th. Thank you to all who volunteered and contributed to our PB&J supplies. You are a blessing to those who are without meals on the weekends. As always, if you would like to donate supplies (peanut butter, jelly, paper plates, paper towels, bread, folding sandwich bags, etc.) there is a box at the back of the sanctuary or (during the week) you may drop-off in the church office.

Consider These Three Simple Words for a Better Life: I thank you. Please forgive me. I forgive you. I trust you. Maybe you’re right. Let me help. Count on me. I believe you. I understand you. Go for it. Page 4

UMW Thursday, April 12 at 7:30 pm, Deb Hervey will lead the program: Deaconesses and Home Missioners at Home. The United Methodist Women will learn more about how to be agents of healing for others as they examine servant-ministers within the deaconess and home missioner community and go out and become healers of the world. Members may then select names of retired or birthday twin deaconesses and send a friendly message of thanks for their service. Kathy Muller will serve as hostess for the evening. All women are invited to attend and if transportation is needed, contact a member and arrangements will be made.

Family Retreat at Camp Quinipet April 20-22 Lydia Circle Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month for informal group fellowship and discussions. All women and their friends are invited to attend. The next meeting is April 4th from 10:30 -12:00.

The Messenger

Boy Scout Troop 125 - Scouting for Food! A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, courteous, kind, cheerful… Boy Scouts from Troop 125 were out in force on Saturday, March 10th participating in national call to service through the annual food drive, Scouting for Food. Canned and boxed goods were donated by community members, as the scouts requested donations of people who were shopping at Commack’s King Kullen (Vets Hwy) and ShopRite (Crooked Hill Rd). An impressive 1,185 pounds were collected that day, which, in addition to other food collection efforts throughout the year, made for an annual total food collection of 2,466 pounds by the scouts. The food variety included staples such as soup, tuna, assorted canned vegetables and fruits, pasta, rice, olive oil, sauces and cereals. The peanut butter and jelly collected helped restock the shelves for the Commack United Methodist Church’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Gang, whose customary sandwich making takes place on the first Saturday of every month. Boy Scout Troop 125 meets every Tuesday from 7:30-9:00pm at the Commack United Methodist Church (486 Town Line Road, Commack) and is open to boys ages 11 through 18 residing in Commack, Dix Hills, East Northport, Kings Park, Smithtown and their surrounding communities. For membership information, contact Scoutmaster Bob Kowalski via email:

[email protected] or visit the website at www.troop125ny.org.

Boy Scout Troop 125 with food collected as part of the national food drive, “Scouting for Food."

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April 2012

Mark Your Calendar...

Birth Celebration of

Ryan Joseph Green All church friends are invited to welcome baby Ryan Saturday, May 12th 1-3pm in the CUMC Fellowship Hall Refreshments will be served.

May 13th An insert will be in the Sunday bulletin on April 15th regarding candle requests. As in previous years, a $1.00 donation for each candle in memory or honor of a beloved woman- a mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, or friendwill be accepted. The deadline for this donation is April 29th, and on Mother’s Day, May 13th, we will have candles lit at the alter in honor and memory of these wonderful women.

History of Mother’s Day Mothering Sunday started in Classical Greece with a festival dedicated to Rhea, Mother of the Gods. The early Christians dedicated the fourth Sunday of Lent to Mothers in honor of Mary and today it is celebrated on different dates around the globe. Most countries celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May. This year it will fall on May 13th.The UK sticks to the old calendar, so Mothering Sunday will fall on March 18th and in France they celebrate on the last Sunday in May, which will be on the 27th.

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The Messenger

Easter Party & Egg Hunt Saturday, April 7, 2012 11:00AM – 1:00PM Fellowship Hall and Playground

Free Event for all families and friends Bring your children, grandchildren, friends and neighbors for children’s games and crafts celebrating Easter. Light lunch will be served followed by an Easter Egg Hunt and visit by a special Easter Guest. Bring a basket and 6 filled plastic eggs for each child.

CUMC Thrift Shoppe

COMMUNITY YARD SALE JUNE 9th, 2011 10AM - 3PM Vendors Wanted 10 x 10 Space $20 Refundable Cleanup Fee $25 For more information call Church office 499-7310

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April 2012

Harvest Fair 2012 HARVEST FAIR

bana or to me…or you may drop it off in the church office, noting it is for the Parcel Post Booth at our Church Fair.

Various themed baskets will adorn our Basket Table at the Fair this year. We just need donations! If you have any relatively small, hold-in-one-hand items that you have never used and would like to donate to become part of a soon-to- be-created themed basket, please give your donation to me or leave it in the church office, noting it is for the Basket Table at the Our annual Church Fair is scheduled for Saturday, Fair. I’m hoping we collect October 20, 2012, and planning is underway! We’ll enough brand new items to crehave all of our traditional booths again this year and ate ten to twenty themed baskets to sell at the Fair! new ideas are always welcome. If you have any ideas, suggestions or would like to add your name to our list of dedicated volunteers, please let me As you begin your spring cleaning, know. please save the items that you no longer want but are still functional, in good condition, so you can Yes, the Parcel Post Booth is coming back again this donate them to our White Elephant year! While on your vacation in a far-away land or Table. We’ll be accepting while sightseeing on Long Island, please pick up a donations prior to the Fair. small item to donate to our Parcel Post Booth. All items will be sold for $5.00 (so the item you purchase should cost at least $5.00). Please wrap the item in brown paper or gift wrap to disguise the contents If you would like to share your talents on a craft (the surprise is half the fun!) project or two for our Boutique, please speak with and note the city, state and/or country from where Kathy Muller. It’s wonderful if you have some ideas it originates on the outside of the package. for projects…and, if you don’t, I’m sure you’ll be


October 20th

inspired after talking with Kathy! All Crafters and We had some Parcel Post packages wrapped in fes- aspiring Crafters are welcome! tive gift wrap last year and they sold quickly! Some packages were also marked with the appropriate Thank you! gender and age group, which definitely added inter- . Connie Jarvis est and intrigue! So please wrap the packages howChurch Fair Chairperson ever you please! You may give your donation to SoPage 8

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Family page

The Messenger - Commack United Methodist Church

Apr 2, 2012 - Church sanctuary and place in the prayer request box, also lo- cated at the rear table .... with a festival dedicated to Rhea, Mother of the. Gods.

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