Congregational Church of Putnam

Volume 25

From Pastor Tom

The Beacon

October, 2018

Number 10

Pastor’s Letter

This October let us thank God for our roots.  To be sure we thank God that as members of our Lord's church, we have "received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in him, and are rooted and built up in him" (Col 2:6-7).  We also thank God for planting us in a congregation that is rooted in the teaching of Grace alone, Faith alone, and Scripture alone.  In short, we thank God for rooting us in Christ alone.

For many people, October 31st is a day to dress up in costumes and travel from door to door asking for candy. In some traditions, it is even required that kids tell a joke before receiving candy! For many Christians, October 31st is Reformation/Reconciliation Day. On this day we celebrate God’s work through his servant, Martin Luther, to preserve the message of the gospel as the free gift of God’s grace in Jesus Christ through faith alone. 

As many of us likely know, on October 31st, 1517 tradition holds that Martin Luther nailed 95 theses or disputes on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, the location of the University at which he taught. The theses were written against the teachings of indulgences, purgatory, and other beliefs and practices of the church that were inconsistent with the clear teaching of the Bible. As a pastor of Wittenberg’s Town Church, Luther was concerned about the large number of believers who no longer came to confession and would justify this with the indulgence that they bought. Indulgences were slips of paper, sold by officials of the church and signed by the pope. These slips of paper granted God’s forgiveness of sins and reduced time in purgatory for the purchaser. The church was selling God’s gift of forgiveness of sins that was intended to be free!

Luther’s resistance to the practice of indulgences and others was seen as a threat by the leaders of the church and led many in the Christian church at the time to disagree with him. The church eventually labeled him as a heretic and excommunicated him. As a result, Luther took his reform movement outside of the church in order to preserve the true teachings of Scripture. The Reformation movement and indeed the whole Christian church are founded on the following biblical teachings:

Grace alone:
At the center of the Christian faith is the assurance that salvation is based on the unearned free gift of God’s grace. Though we are sinners, disobedient children, deserving of God’s wrath and anger, we receive the riches of his love and forgiveness.

Faith alone:
God’s gift of grace is received through faith in what Jesus has done for us. Our good works and the good things that we do flow out of having a right relationship with God, but these good things do not have the power to make us right with God. In St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (2:8-9). This is the teaching that separates Christianity from all other world religions. Other religions point to what we have to do in order to be made right with God. Christianity points to what Jesus has done for us to make us right with God. Through God’s Word, Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper, our faith is created and sustained.

Scripture alone:
The Bible is the inspired Word of God. It alone is the source for what we believe and what we practice in the Christian church. All other gifts that God has given to us and to the church such as tradition, experience, and human reason function to serve our understanding of the Holy Scriptures. Moreover, the Scriptures are used to judge the validity of these things, not the other way around.

Christ alone:
Our basis and assurance of salvation is the person of Jesus Christ, his life, death, and resurrection. Christianity is both inclusive and exclusive. The Gospel writer John tells us that, “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (3:16). Jesus is the only way to the Father (John 14:6).

During the month of October, I encourage you to take some time to remember Reformation Day the core teachings of Christianity that were preserved by God through Martin Luther. Be comforted by the fact that God continues to work through particular people in particular places to turn people from sin and error so that they might flee for refuge and safety in the cleft of the rock of Jesus Christ alone. Take solace in the truth that God continues to curb you from sin and error and preserve your life in Christ alone through his holy Word and Sacraments. As Luther said in stanza two of his famous hymn, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God: “Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing, but there is one who takes our side, the one of God’s own choosing,  You ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is he with mighty power to save, victorious o’er the grave, Christ will prevail triumphant!”

In Christ,

Pastor Tom

Moderator's Report
October 2018

God Won't Shout If We Only Need  A Whisper!

Can you feel it?   Can you see it?  There are changes in the air. 

Fall has already arrived on September 22nd  and the changes in the weather certainly verify that.  It's time to pull out the warmer clothing and dare I say it,  turn on the heat.  Where did summer go? 

There are exciting changes happening in the life of our church as well.  Do you see them,  do you feel them, are you taking part in them?

Homecoming Sunday was held on September 16th.   We welcomed Shelley Johnson and Christine Aronson as new church members, and it was also the very first day of Sunday School.  What a busy day.

It was wonderful to see new people in attendance, to receive new members into the life of our church, and to have the children join us for worship and children's story before going to their class.   They were so excited.  What a great way to start worship time!

Faith Fellowship activities are already gearing up.  The annual nut sale is under way, the Swedish Meatball supper is on October 5th,  the Harvest Fair and Luncheon is on October 20th, the Halloween Stroll is on the 26th, and the Christmas Wreath sale will also begin in October.  And, don't forget that Roast Beef Supper in November. 

Many other activities are being planned as well.  There will be two paint nights scheduled, one on October 13th and one on December 1st as 5:30 pm; while making your own Gingerbread House  from 1 to 3:00 on the same day.  

Other  ideas include possible pot luck suppers,  our annual Christmas Party and Yankee Swap, as well as our wonderful Christmas Worship and fellowship time. 

The council, as well as  the long range planning committee, has been very busy working on updating the safe church policy and compiling the results of the CAT Scan, setting criteria and objectives  in order to see who and  where we as a church want to be in the future. 

I was watching a Joyce Meyer program recently that spoke exactly to this issue of change and growth.  She spoke about how hard change can be and how easy it is to become  down and depressed.  She  said  we  need to turn away from that voice that tells us  "Oh that won't work,  we tried that before".

She also said that God has given each  of us special gifts and strengths, and  that we need to be quiet, to listen and reflect on what God has planned for us.  We need to build on our strengths while also working on our weaknesses.

I think that this not only applies to us as  individuals but as a church family as well.  We have many areas of strengths and many talented people to tap into those strengths in new and exciting ways. 

We need to encourage one another, to explore the nontraditional  ways of doing things.  To change our mind set, to reach out, experiment, discover, and to grow and change.  Only in this way will be able to be what God wants us to be. 

Are we listening to what God is telling us?  Are we growing in the way He wants us to grow?  Are we serving in the way He wants us to serve?   And, are we reaching out to the people He wants us to reach? 

God patiently directs us as we trust Him and listen for His voice. 

Isaiah 30: 15-21.  Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you,  saying,  "This is the way;  walk in it."

Be still and know, 

Audrey Lombardi

GGG- September Report: 10/01/18

Missions started the month of September, 2018 with a balance of $185.75.  During September, there were two deposits: one from the General Fund in the amount of $500.00 on 09/22/18; and one from Faith Fellowship on 09/24/18 in the amount of $396.00 for the Car Cruise and for the Woodstock Fair.

During the month of September, there were two donations made: one in the amount of $100.00 as a  Walmart gift card used at Pastor Tom’s discretion to aid one of the members of our Church community; one additional donation of $350.00 (Check #191) made to Interfaith Human Services of Putnam in support of the Squash Hunger food drive.

Missions ended the month of September, 2018 with $631.75.

Thank you, and God bless,
Gerard Gagne
Mission Outreach Coordinator

Melissa Biggs has graciously agreed to be our Facebook person.  If you have any events for the church that you would like on Facebook, please e-mail Melissa at:  Deb Thurston will continue to be in charge of our web site.

The Congregational Church of Putnam
Council Minutes
Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm

Those present: Pastor Tom, Jo-Anne Joslin, Sharon Almstron, Tori Bates, Skip Bates, Greg Biggs, Kathy Dunton, Audrey Lombardi.

Pastor Tom opens the meeting with a prayer.

Committee Report:
Council Report Minutes for June 12: Motion made by Jo-Anne and 2nd by Tori
(Thank you Skip for taking notes)
Financial Report Budget vs. Actual – Motion was made by Tori and 2nd by Greg

Trustees Report:
The sink in the upstairs kitchen has been tightened
New safety treads have been installed on the ramp
The grass on the sides of the walk in front has been cut back to expose the edges of the walk. Looks much better. Will try to stay diligent in keeping it off the walks
Next month when the weather is cooler (hopefully) I’ll be painting the soffit over the ramp entrance and working on refinishing the ramp door.
Bob Thompson.

Sign up in the front are going well.

Christian Ed:
Sunday school room is almost done being painting.
Starting on the 16 of September there will be a children's message worship then the children will head downstairs to Sunday school.
Before any animals are brought into Sunday School room, permission from parents if any child has any allergies to the animals.
Sunday School Registration will be held on Sunday, September 9 and start on Sunday, September 16.

Missions: No report
Discretionary Fund Suggestion: A motion was made by Jo-Anne to donate to the Coutu family to help pay for the funeral of the girls stepfather. All in favor.

Faith Fellowship - Council Report
Since our August FF meeting, the following occurred:  FF Account Balance:  $10,224
This summer, the Old Fashioned July Celebration scheduled for July 1st was canceled. We had our annual Tag Sale that coincided with the July First Friday on July 6th & 7th with a profit of $2563. There were some unfortunate issues that came along with the tag sale, such as losing the piano bench and a small table, along with oppressive heat and a lack of volunteers. With all of that, we are not sure we will continue having tag sales, despite the large profits they bring in. We are considering adding dinner to help make up for that.

The Putnam Car Cruise was August 19th and FF made delicious frappes. We took in about $700 for that, however the exact profit amount has not yet been calculated.  We will be making more frappes at the Woodstock Fair over Labor Day weekend. Hopefully we have excellent weather, sell a lot of frappes, and have tons of fun! The Swedish Meatball supper is coming up and has been moved to October 5th to coincide with a Scandinavian themed First Friday! After that we are looking to the Harvest Fair and Luncheon later in October! Sign up sheets for each of these events will be coming out within the next few weeks. Working the fair and luncheon/dinners is always a lot of fun! Were always happy to have new volunteers!

The church Facebook page currently has 4 administrators. It’s been brought to FF’s attention numerous times that there’s been a lot of typos on the posts on the page. Melissa Biggs has volunteered to not only do all posts for FF related posts, but also for all church related posts. She will make sure that there are no spelling or grammatical errors as well as make sure the posts are made in an exciting, eye-catching manner. We are looking to have council’s approval for this. If it is approved, any and all items to go on the Facebook page should be submitted directly to Melissa. (Our last meeting also discussed the church’s website – some people noted that it hadn’t been updated in quite a while. Looking at it today, it does look like at least some parts of it have been updated, although there are also some inaccuracies.)

Charlie Leach has finished his role as interim treasurer for FF and Bert Sharpe has officially stepped down. Skip Bates has agreed to become the new treasurer and was recently voted in. We are very thankful to both Bert and Charlie for the time that they served this year and looking forward to working with Skip! Next FF Meeting will be on the 9th of September. We'd like to remind everyone that all are welcome to join us! The more the merrier!
Sharon Almstrom, Chairperson

Old Business
Audrey has put a call out for a committee to be formed to work on the CT scan results and safe church policy. Five to eight people need to be on the committee the first meeting will be held in September.
Louise Pempeck
Pastor Tom
Greg Biggs
Audrey Lombardi
Kathy Dunton
Pastor Tom will announce on Sunday, anyone who wants to take part.
There is a special meeting on Sunday, August 26 at 11:00 for the church to vote on the time change.

New Business:
Kathy has asked if we can have two more paint nights October and December as well as movie nights in Sept and November

Pastor Report:
Sunday September 16 we will have 2 new families joining the church.
Christine Brooks And Shelley Johnson
Pastor Tom wanted to thank everyone for the vacation time. He and his family enjoyed their summer. Pastor Tom is looking forward to the upcoming fall season.
Bradley House would like to use the building between September 19 and February 20, 2019, for a monthly meeting place. ( 6 months)

Other Business:
Melissa Biggs will be taking over the Facebook posting. All posting need to be sent to Melissa. Gregg will find out what email address people should send posting too.

Next meeting will be held on September 11, 2018, at 6:30 pm

Jo-Anne made a motion to adjourn the meeting and Gregg 2nd the motion.

Respectfully submitted
Kathy Dunton, Clerk.

Congregational Church of Putnam

August 5, 2018

Opening and Prayer
Sharon Alstrom welcomed everyone and thanked them for attending.  Myrna Paulhus opened the meeting with prayer.
Secretary’s Report
Roger Franklin made a motion to accept the Secretary’s report, 2nd by Myrna Paulhus, all in favor, so moved.
Treasurer’s Report
Charlie Leach verified that Faith Fellowship has a RI Tax Number certificate for Restaurant Depot. Bert Sharpe has resigned from the treasurer’s position.  A discussion was held about a possible replacement.  Two names were brought to the table:  Skip Bates or possibly Ken Evans.  Sharon will ask Skip if he will consider filling the position.
Old Business
June 8th Hand Bell Concert
 The dinner went well with Myrna Paulhus heading that up. 
The concert was absolutely amazing.  Everyone was deeply moved and enjoyed it very much.
July 1st Old Fashioned Celebration Was  canceled.
July 6 & 7th Faith Fellowship Yard Sale during First Friday. Myrna Paulhus reported that it was a very hot week and she does not recommend that we continue yard sales during the summer. Myrna also reported that the yard sale profited $2563.80
August 12th; Putnam Car Cruise: Frappe Sales, Mixers
Jan Christy reported that she and Larry tried both mixers and they are working.  It was decided that if one mixer should break, FF will purchase a new one. Set up will be next Sunday at 9AM.
Labor Day Weekend:  Woodstock Fair Frappe Both update, needs
Myrna Paulhus reported that she is looking for a scoop freezer because one is dead.
Cleaning of the booth will be the Wednesday before the fair.
Sunday school Paint Project:  Kat Duntan:  summary of activity
It was reported that Kat painted a rainbow on the wall and cost of painting the room was $145.08.
PBA: discussion re: sharing our lawn: process/church usage form/band
Roger Franklin suggested that we ask that the band not be a hard rocker loud band.
Myrna Paulhus suggested that PBA submit a seasonal church usage form including all the dates for First Fridays on the form.
Face book Page: Additional names to enter data
Sharon Alstrom reported that she, Kat Duntan, Melissa Biggs, & Brenda Pontbriand have rights to enter church information on the Face book page.  Sharon will also ask Melissa to be overall editor to check spelling, grammar, etc.  Sharon also suggested that when you are the chair for an event that you send the information to Melissa to add to our face book page.

Refrigerator for Kitchenette: update
Myrna Paulhus suggested that we look into buying a new refrigerator from Bousquet’s but she will contact Melissa Biggs first to see if her offer of her refrigerator still stands.
Replacing the refrigerator needs to be done before the Harvest Fair.
New Business
Swedish Meatball Supper:  Roberta Solomon, et al; review, date
Sharon reported that the Solomon’s are still eager to chair this event and that
Roberta had suggested changing the date to the first Friday in October to coincide
with the town’s First Friday event which is Scandinavian night on 10/5.
Motion was made to move the date to 10/5 by Roger Franklin, 2nd by Myrna Paulhus, all in favor, so moved.  Audrey Lombardi will inform PBA.
Hike to Tri-State marker in the fall:  need for planning
Tabled to next meeting
Advertising for Bell Ringers
Marilee Morse suggested that we place business sized ads in the Shoppers Guide/Turnpike Buyer.  Myrna Paulhus volunteered to make a flyer. 
Motion was made by Roger Franklin to approve an ad in the Shoppers Guide/ Turnpike Buyer, 2nd by Myrna Paulhus, all in favor, so moved.
Save the Date - Women’ Conference on 10/6, 2/5/2019 & 4/27/2019.
Vacuum Cleaners
Jan Christy reported that 2 vacuum cleaners in the sexton’s storage area do not work. Myrna Paulhus said one was a Mele and was worth repairing.   Marilee Morse volunteered to take them to Phaneuf’s Vacuum for evaluation.
Next Faith Fellowship Meeting
September 9, 2018
Roger Franklin moved to adjourn, 2nd by Audrey Lombardi, all in favor, so moved.


2018-2019 NUT SALE

It is that time again. Yes, September is upon us and it is time for the annual nut sale to begin. I recently received this year’s information from our purveyor, Terri-Lynn.  I will be taking over the nut sales this year as Charlie has retired from this endeavor.  I can only hope to be half as good as Charlie was!

As is the case in most years, there is a significant price increase for most of the products. I have adjusted our prices to reflect these changes (see order form).

Please start to think about the upcoming season(s) and the fact that these nuts can satisfy a lot of our needs at various venues.

Thanks so much for your co-operation in the past and let’s make this year even better!

Jo-Anne Joslin
Campaign Chairman


Saturday, October 20, 2018
8:30 – 3:00 PM

The time has come . . . it’s October and we trust you’re ready . . .  I know we are!1 The Fair & Luncheon is a grand tradition at our Church.  The people of Putnam . . . and our “Train” friends look forward to it every year.  We will have their favorites: Crafts, White Elephant, Florals, Holiday Relics, Bake Goods & Cookies, Knits & Sewn, Grab Bag, Raffle, Jewelry, Nuts, Fresh Wreaths (orders), and more.  We will once again be part of Putnam’s Pumpkin Fall Festival and have the well-known Giant Pumpkin on our front lawn for that photo op! Won’t you join us in making this one our best yet? What can you do – how ‘bout these ideas . . . .

  • BAKE: Plan to prepare cakes, pies, cookies, candy, canned items
  • WHITE ELEPHANT: Clean those cupboards and bring in items you don’t need,
  • HOLIDAY RELICS: Move your holiday accessories on if you no longer use them,
  • KNIT/SEWN:  Finish those knitting projects and/or cloth items that are like new,
  • PLANTS:  Do some plant splitting and repot to sell on the floral table,
  • CRAFTS:  Finish those projects and bring ‘em in,
  • RAFFLE:  Bring in a gift card from your favorite eatery, make a super basket, art work,
  • LIVE WREATHS:  Opportunity to order beautiful wreaths for the holiday,
  • LUNCHEON:  Check the sign up for food donations and work hours..

What else can you do?  Plan to work the Fair / Luncheon . . . we will set up beginning Tuesday - Friday before the Fair at 9 AM till noon.  We’ll be ready to open at 8:30 Saturday and you might consider helping with the sales at the different tables and/or work the luncheon . . . this is fun and you get to meet lots of folks.  Cleaning up at the end of the Fair is essential – need some volunteers to help with that task.

Our Luncheon begins at 11:30 – 1:30 and includes the favorites as ala carte or a special.   Menu:

  • Chicken Soup and/or Chili
  • Roasted Turkey or Baked Ham Sandwich or Chili Dog
  • Apple Crisp and/or Pumpkin Festival Pie
  • Beverage of Choice: Coffee, Water, Cider

So . . . here’s the thing . . . this event won’t be successful without your help and most of all your attendance.  Plan to join in and enjoy your Church and your community. Financially, your Church benefits, Faith Fellowship benefits and our Missions benefits . . . doesn’t get better than that!  If you have further questions or suggestions feel free to call or speak to those noted below.

Myrna Paulhus, Fair Chair:  860-974-1403

Jan Christy, Luncheon Chair: 860-928-7048