AMHERST COMMUNITY CHURCH
77 Washington Highway
Snyder, New York 14226-4396
For the month of September
For the month of July/August,
flowers on the altar were given by:
Please call the church office …… (834-9700)
……When a church member or a member of the family is
admitted to the hospital.
……When your committee or group plans to have a
……When either your home or business phone number
……When you are planning to move.
……When a new baby arrives in your family.
……When a member of your family leaves home for
college or establishes a new residence.
……When a loved one has passed away.
……When you feel the church can assist you in any way.
3-by-5 faith Our worship services
On Mondays I look at a Web site called Post Se- for September
cret. It’s a very popular site that started with a simple Sept. 4: On this Labor Day weekend, we’ll con-
and pretty low-tech concept: Readers are invited to tinue in the Book of Romans and see how Paul ex-
write their secrets on a postcard and send them in; the plains Jesus’ famous command to “Love your neigh-
site’s founder, Frank Warren, picks the most interest- bor as yourself.” “Love does no wrong” is the key
ing ones and posts them. (The concept has evolved concept here in Romans 13:8-10, a concept we’ll ex-
into a traveling road show as well; Warren was at Ni- plore in a message called “You Can’t Go Wrong.”
agara University in May.) Holy Communion will be served.
People post all sorts of things – things they’re Sept. 11: It’s Welcome Back Sunday in the life
ashamed to admit, ideas they’ve been too embar- of our church, and we expect a full house as Sunday
rassed to tell anyone, the dirty little secrets of grow- school ramps up again and we gather to enjoy the
ing up and getting by. Many of Welcome Back Picnic, a gift of the Inreach Board. As
Questions the cards include elaborate pieces we call ourselves back to full strength, we’ll remind
of faith, on of how oftenBut what strikes me
is these secrets revolve
ourselves of the central feature of God’s relationship
with us, and that is the unearned, undeserved, little-
a postcard. around theological issues. understood gift of God’s grace. Faith is not a deal we
As I write this, the current make with God – it’s an exchange of gifts. Our scrip-
lineup of Post Secret postcards includes these: ture is Acts 8:14-22, and the message is titled “Let’s
“Fear of the Apocalypse in 2012 has reawakened Not Make a Deal.” Remember also the community
my interest in life.” worship service at 4 p.m. in remembrance of the 10th
“I’m a die-hard atheist dating a Roman Catholic anniversary of the 9/11 attacks; see the article else-
Italian boy. I couldn’t ask for anything better. Thank where in this issue of the Focus.
you, God.” Sept. 18: Exodus 16:2-15 tells of a miracle of
“I am afraid my friends will all go to hell.” God’s providence: Moses’ band of refugees, wander-
People write about God, about church, about ing and hungry, fed with a flaky white bread that ap-
death, about doubt, about certitude. And for me, these pears overnight on the rocks. The story of manna in
posts are deeply reassuring. One of my (perhaps un- the wilderness seems remote; after all, you don’t see
founded) fears is that the nation and the world are cheeseburgers materializing out of thin air when
moving away not only from organized religion, but you’re ready for lunch. But this miracle story says
from even the most minimal engagement in the spir- important things about abundance and the idea, often
itual enterprise. It’s a worry that keeps me up at night stated glibly but no less true for that, that “God will
– we believe that God cares passionately about us, provide.” Our message is called “Simple Abun-
but what if nobody returns the favor? dance.” Stay after worship for Pastor Scott’s “un-
In these postcards, anyway, the hard questions travelogue” about his sabbatical experience in Italy.
linger. As we begin the church year together, let’s Sept. 25: Today’s scripture, Matthew 21:23-32,
keep on asking them as well. begins with the Jewish authorities challenging Jesus’
authority to teach about God. It ends with a brief, cu-
rious parable about a man with two sons who are dis-
obedient in different ways. It’s a parable about words
Grace and peace, and actions, and Jesus has strong words for those
who fail to take action. We’ll examine this passage in
a message titled “A Word and a Bond.” A brief plan-
ning meeting for our fall book study on Rob Bell’s
Love Wins will take place after worship.
As you know, Pastor Scott returned to church in
early August from a three-month sabbatical. He and
Gwen were in Italy for part of that time, and some in Belief-O-Matic assumes no legal liability for the ul-
the congregation have expressed interest in hearing timate fate of your soul.”
about that experience. So after worship on Sunday, Give them a try!
Sept. 18, we’ll have an illustrated program, “Italy: An
Un-Travelogue.” Come and hear about some of the
more offbeat aspects of that beautiful country.
Task Force forming From the
The Western Area of the United Church of Christ Council president
and Disciples of Christ is forming an Environmental I hope everyone has had a wonderful summer and
Task Force to educate and mobilize our people truly enjoys the last few days before school starts
around issues including hydrofracking and disposal next week. It was a very nice, fast summer for me.
of hazardous wastes. The organizers are Charles It’s hard to believe that the Welcome Back Picnic
Lamb and Roger Cook. Each congregation is asked to will be here so soon – Sunday, Sept. 11, to be exact.
send a representative to this task force. If environ- Our office manager, Helen Fik, who has been
mental issues interest you, please see Pastor Scott. with us for more than nine years, is retiring. We
would like to honor Helen with a small reception at 1
p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1, in the Community Room. If
you’re able to, please join us! We are also planning
on a gift for Helen. If you’d like to contribute toward
this gift, please give or mail your contribution to Pas-
tor Scott or me.
Web site There are many exciting things being planned for
of the month the fall at ACC. See you all soon!
Nothing tells you the truth about yourself like a Stacy Nichols
good online quiz, right? Here are two that, in a free
moment, can help clarify your beliefs and give a Christian education
name to how you generally believe. For those of us with kids, September can be a
The first, at http:// time of new beginnings. The kids go back to school
quizfarm.com/test.php? and we slip back into the routines of homework and
q_id=43870, is called “What’s Your Theological extracurricular activities. It is an opportunity for a
Worldview?” It’s pretty involved, with 60 questions, fresh start. Why not make spending time with God
but even the questions are interesting. (Agree or disa- every day part of YOUR fresh start? You’ll be glad
gree: “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.”) you did!
Here’s what the results said about Pastor Scott’s
theological worldview, by the way: “You are Emer-
gent/Postmodern in your theology. You don’t think
older forms of church connect to modern culture very
well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and If you have kids in grade 6 or older, I hope you
we have much to learn from each other, and so learn- will add our new monthly group Riptide to your list
ing takes place in dialogue. Evangelism should take of activities. Join us for our first gathering on Satur-
place in relationships rather than through crusades day, Sept. 24, at 5:30 p.m. at church. We have fun
and altar calls. People are interested in spirituality activities planned, and a live band, too!
and want to ask questions, so the church should help
them to do this.” I hope you’ll join us for Welcome Back Sunday
The second quiz is the cheekily named “Belief-O- on Sept. 11. Please complete the registration form
Matic,” at www.beliefnet. enclosed with this newsletter and bring it with you on
com/Entertainment/Quizzes/BeliefOMatic.aspx. Only the 11th. I can’t wait to see everyone again and hear
20 questions here! The disclaimer reads, “Warning: all about your summer!
Women’s Bible study – If you are interested in only to select a few to go to heaven and everyone else
participating in a small-group Bible study with other to suffer forever in hell? Is this acceptable to God?
women, please sign up on the bulletin board outside How is this “Good News”?
the Community Room. All are welcome, so bring These are troubling questions – so troubling that
your friends, too! many have lost their faith because of them. Others
Joyfully, only whisper the questions to themselves, fearing or
Deb Cullen being taught that they might lose their faith and their
church if they ask them out loud.
But what if these questions trouble us for good
reason? What if the story of heaven and hell we have
Find the fun been taught is not, in fact, what the Bible teaches?
What if what Jesus meant by “heaven,” “hell” and
in fitness “salvation” are very different from how we have
From the United Church Home Society’s Parish come to understand them?
Nurse Ministry: These are the questions that author, pastor and in-
Chances are if you enjoy the physical activities novative teacher Rob Bell wrestles with in a contro-
you do, you’ll do them more often. So maybe the fol- versial new book, called Love Wins. Bell, a major
lowing suggestions would help you find more time figure in the evangelical Christian church, has been
and energy to move more. under attack for this book, which essentially argues
Do activities you had fun with in your youth. Did that the classical Christian understanding of hell is
you like to swim? Play soccer? Hula hoop? Jump wrong, and in fact God’s mercy and grace trump
rope? Play hopscotch? Do these with your kids or God’s judgment.
grandkids, or “adopt” some kids at church to do This is a fascinating book, and we’ll tackle it in a
them, or do it on your own. Who cares if someone fall book study at ACC. If the subject interests you,
says, “Act your age”? please come to a brief planning meeting after wor-
Get fit with a friend or family member. Walk to- ship on Sunday, Sept. 25. We’ll talk about the logis-
gether. Take a yoga class together. Most school dis- tics of getting the books and when the discussion can
tricts and town recreation departments have programs meet. Come and wrestle with some of the hard ques-
that offer tions of faith!
these activities. Start a walking club at church.
Take part in an awareness or fund-raising event,
such as the CROP Walk, Susan G. Komen Walk, etc. Community service
Walk the dog more often! Both of you will love remembers 9/11
it. If you don’t have a dog, walk with a neighbor or It’s hard to believe that a decade has passed since
family member who does. the awful events of Sept. 11, 2001. Our nation and
Work outdoors doing activities you enjoy – gar- our world have changed in fundamental ways since
den, wash the car. that day, and as a nation we continue to struggle with
Indoors, use an exercise stretch band while the tension between liberty and security. We need
watching TV or DVDs, or use a small pedaling de- also to tend to our own continuing grief, and it’s in
vice while watching. this context that the Eggertsville-Snyder Clergy
For birthdays, ask for gifts that will help make it Group is offering a 9/11 service of worshipful re-
fun for you to exercise. membrance on, of course, Sunday, Sept. 11, at 4 p.m.
(Adapted from “Action Steps for Wellness – Dai- The service will be held at St. Peter’s Episcopal
ly Dose of Health 2011 Calendar” from the American Church, 205 Longmeadow Road in Eggertsville. Pas-
Institute for Preventive Medicine.) tor Scott will participate, and your attendance is in-
What if hell
is a myth?
Millions of Christians have struggled with how to
reconcile God’s love and God’s judgment: Has God
created billions of people over thousands of years
Saturday, Sept. 17
Notes Community Room
from Inreach All are welcome!
Get ready! It’s almost time for the Welcome Back
Picnic! The big kickoff to the new year is Sunday,
Sept. 11. Following the worship service, the Inreach
Board invites you to join us for lunch. In addition to
hot dogs, corn and potato chips, we will celebrate
Birthday Sunday that day. We hope to see you all The “Peace Pod”
there. at ACC
Please talk with your groups and sign up to make I bet there is something going on at ACC most of
coffee and tea for the Sunday Fellowship Hour. Eve- you don’t know about! It happens every Thursday
rything that is needed is provided, and there are sev- (except Thanksgiving) between 11 a.m. and noon. It
eral people willing to show you what to do if you are is open to all of you. Let us tell you all about it.
unfamiliar with the kitchen. We need everyone’s help Five years ago Shirley Thomas heard about a
to make it possible to have this fellowship time each group at Chautauqua who gathered to knit shawls for
Sunday. The signup sheet is on the bulletin board people living in conflicted areas throughout the
outside the library. If you need mentoring, talk with a world. A woman named Susan McKee had learned
member of the Inreach Board. of this need and offered this group, calling it “Wom-
The choir rehearses on Thursday evenings at 7:30 en 4 Women Knitting for Peace.” Susan had a further
p.m. in the choir room. Rehearsal last about an hour. plan to ensure the shawls would be hand-delivered by
We also gather at 9:15 a.m. Sunday mornings prior to people she knew who traveled through the world.
worship. The first rehearsal for the new church year When Shirley returned to ACC that fall, she asked
is Thursday, Sept. 8, in preparation for worship on me if I thought we at ACC could/would do something
Sept. 11. If you are interested in singing with the about the need of those people around the world for
choir, please join us for our rehearsal. the shawls. (I hate to admit that I had always figured
The Inreach Board is looking for a few people it was always hot in places south of the border!)
who would be willing to be called upon to organize a She and I decided to schedule it on Thursdays
reception following a memorial service when the from 11 a.m. to noon in the library on a “Come when
family would like one here. Marie Edmister did this you can and leave when you must” basis. It is and
for many years and we are most grateful to her for has been that simple.
her years of service. We feel that she deserves a well- Well, five years have passed, and we now also
earned rest. Would you be able to help continue this make boy and girl dolls (deliverers found that the
important mission? Please see any member of the children had almost no toys), tiny hats for preemie
Inreach Board. babies, scarves (some of which look like snakes and
Women’s have eyes) and even blankets. We have formed a
Fall Gathering “Peace Pod.”
When finished with one item we begin another of
Western Area UCC & Disciple Women Fall
our choice. I think if everyone showed up on one
Gathering will be held at Faith UCC on Saturday,
Thursday we would have almost 20 knitters. There
Sept 24. Registration will be held at 9:30 a.m., fee $3,
are usually eight or nine, occasionally three or four.
and lunch is at noon, fee $5. The program title is
We talk about things at church and in the world, we
“Biblical Babes.” Please call Bernie George at 741-
laugh a lot, and we pray over the finished items be-
3710 or Betty Pels at 692-6910 by Sept. 18 for reser-
fore they are sent on to those whom we will never
vations. We hope a good group of our women will
know and who will never know us.
Five other pieces of information:
1. 12,400 items have been collected and hand-
delivered around the world in the last five years.
2. Peace Pods are now active in every state in the someone you know is in need or interested in child
United States as well as in Canada. (We were the first care; please share about our child care program. We
Peace Pod formed!) The goal of the Peace Pods is to welcome tours and phone calls anytime!
have visual and narrative documentation for all future
deliveries. If you would be interested in being one of
our delivery agents, contact Shirley Thomas or Susan
3. Items have been delivered people in the following
countries: Afghanistan, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, September birthdays
El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, 2 Lisa Zimmerman
Honduras, India, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Nepal, 5 Aurelia Holloway
Palestine, Doris Vanderpool
Peru, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Korea, Sudan, 9 Barbara Church
Tanzania, Turkey, the United States and Vietnam. 12 Jeffrey Higgins
4. Susan is putting together for this fall a Web site 13 Christopher Rumpl
called “Knitting for Peace” about the work we do. Curtis Robbins
Watch for it. 16 Zachary Ostroff
5. Once a month our Peace Pod goes out to lunch 17 Cynthia Ingerson
after knitting, and that is fun, too. Alannah Pigeon
Come and join us any Thursday (except Thanks- 18 Lily Brunner
giving). We’ll supply needles and yarn. 20 Martha Baker
Don’t forget to pray for and to be active for peace Michael Ferguson
in God’s world. Roberta Parenti
Mary Jane Nichols 21 Rebecca Fowlston
23 George Halsted
24 Robert Collins
Amherst Jane Sorensen
Community Church 25 Holly Irish-Ryan
Child Care Center David Kloberdanz
We are ready to begin a new school year with 27 Mark Swihart
your children, and we are sure that it will bring many David Flint
wonderful things to celebrate! Our school year will 29 Ryan Nagy
begin on Sept. 6. 30 Hubert Jockin
Everyone has been cleaning, organizing and Kimberly LoDico
painting! We thank all our families for your patience Emelie Schachtner
this summer while we were redecorating.
We had a great time at our Center family picnic.
We are happy that so many families were able to join
This school year also brings some exciting
changes. We are happy to now collaborate with
Bornhava, an early intervention and preschool pro-
gram for children with developmental disabilities.
One of our UPK classrooms will include six special-
We do have a handful of openings in various
classrooms for the upcoming school year. If you or
The sympathy of Amherst Community Church One Sunday, the Baptist guy was on foot. “Where’s
goes to the family of Jean Moncton. your bike?” the Methodist asked. “I don’t know, un-
Jean, a longtime member of Amherst Community less somebody took it.”
Church with her late husband, Howard, passed away “I’ll tell you what,” said the Methodist. “We’ll
on July 11. both preach on the Ten Commandments. We’ll hit
A memorial service was held at Amherst Community ‘thou shalt not steal’ long and hard, and maybe the
Church on Aug. 27. guilty party will own up.”
We mourn with Melanie Seibel the passing of The next Sunday, the Baptist had his bike back. “I
her mother, Evelyn Mayne, on July 15. see one of our sermons worked,” said the Methodist.
We mourn with Stacy Nichols the passing of her “Yeah, but not like you think. I got down to ‘Covet
father, Edwin Smith, on July 20. not thy neighbor’s wife,’ and I remembered where I
We mourn with Gwen Thomas the passing of her left my bike.”
mother, Sue Rother, on July 22. A memorial service
was held in Delray Beach, Fla.
We mourn with Joan Wright and her family the
passing of her husband, Larry, on Aug. 1. A memori-
al service was held on Aug. 6 at Amherst Community
The family of Dr. Larry Wright would like to
thank the members and staff of Amherst Community
Church for their thoughtful messages, cards and sup-
port during his long illness and death. Although Pastor
Scott was not in town for the service, he had visited
with Larry many, many times and left information
with Rev. Marty Hamann, who filled in beautifully.
We are all very grateful.
Fire alarm alert
If you are in the building and the fire alarm goes
off, you must leave the building. If it is a drill, you
will be told that you may return to the building. If it
is not a drill, you must remain outside until the fire
department clears the entire building and allows us to
For laughs …
A Baptist preacher and a Methodist preacher were
in the habit of riding their bikes on Sunday to church.
SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY
1 2 3
Music with Mar 10:00 Music with Mar 10:00
Knitting for Peace 11:00 ACCCCC Staff
4 Non-Food Sunday 5 6 7 8 9 10
Worship/Communion Church and Child ACCCCC Zumba 6:30 1st Wednesday Sup- Music with Mar 10:00 Music with Mar 10:00 Suzuki Violinists of
10:00 Care Center Buffalo Philharmonic port Knitting for Peace 11:00 WNY 8:30
Fellowship Hour 11:15 Closed Chorus 6:30 Group 1:30 ACCCCC Zumba 6:30 OCTOBER Buffalo Philharmonic
Scottish Dancers 7:00 FOCUS Chorus 6:30
Choir Rehearsal 7:30 DEADLINE Buffalo Tango 7:00
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Worship 10:00 Music, My Grownup Rince Na Tiarna 4:00 Hinkle Dancers 7:00 Music with Mar 10:00 Music with Mar Men’s Breakfast 8:30
Welcome Back Picnic & ACCCCC Open House Knitting for Peace 11:00 10:00 Joanne Castellani
11:15 Me 10:15 6:00 – 7:30 NF Watercolor Soc. 6:00 classical guitar 9:30
Birthday Sunday 11:15 Waterwheel Squares United Church Home Scottish Dancers 7:00
6:30 Board Mtg. 7:00 Choir Rehearsal 7:30
ACCCCC Board Mtg. Let’s Dance/Carol Allen
6:30 - 7:00
18 Food Sunday 19 20 21 22 23 24
Worship 10:00 Music, My Grownup Rince Na Tiarna 4:00 Hinkle Dancers 7:00 Music with Mar Music with Mar 10:00 Suzuki Violinists 10:00
Fellowship Hour 11:15 & ACCCCC Zumba 6:30 Ministerial Relations 10:00
Me 10:15 Let’s Dance/Carol Allen Committee 7:00 Knitting for Peace 11:00
Waterwheel Squares 7:00 ACCCCC Zumba 6:30
6:30 Scottish Dancers 7:00
CE Board 7:15 Choir Rehearsal 7:30
25 26 27 28 29 30
Worship 10:00 Music, My Grownup Rince Na Tiarna 4:00 Hinkle Dancers 7:00 Rince Na Tiarna 4:00 Music with Mar 10:00
Fellowship Hour 11:15 & ACCCCC Zumba 6:30 ACCCCC Zumba 6:30 Jeff Harvey Dance
Suzuki Violinists of Me 10:15 Let’s Dance/Carol Allen Let’s Dance/Carol Allen
WNY Waterwheel Squares 7:00 7:00
5:00 6:30 Building Board 7:15