A Word From



Rev. Lynda Bates-Stepe


July / August 2016

It's been a season filled with kids.

I can hear them playing outside my office as the Pumpkin Patch Day Nursery makes good use of the playground on these beautiful early summer days. I had the joy of watching the oldest PPDN students graduate; it was so sweet to see them receive their diplomas and give their teachers a hug. Proud parents and grandparents and lots of siblings filled our Fellowship Hall. The PPDN is an important part of our larger community and the lives of families who live near the church.

But there were also little babies. I had the joy of baptizing Norma and Jack Adam's great grandchild Charlotte in May. She was adorable and it was so nice to meet Heather (Jack & Norma's grandchild) and her husband Steve. They don't live locally but hope sometime in the near future to move back to Long Island. Sunday we will join together in baptizing David, Jennifer and Dave's son and Karen and Mike Mallgraf's grandson. He is mesmerizing; he has those eyes you can get lost in.

I also got to teach Sunday school in May; we had fun learning about how the Holy Spirit is with us and helps us day by day. The kids have also been very helpful in church as we celebrated Mothers and Fathers days and several were readers the Sunday we celebrated church school. I am always impressed with how inspiring the young people are when they lead us in worship. And I didn't get the chance to join them but I heard that the youth and several parents had a great time of fellowship over a game of mini-golf.

So it has been weeks of different kinds of interactions with children and youth. And I've loved it. It gives me such energy, joy and hope. I hope you have had some of the same sense of joy and vitality in our worship and church life. I have served churches without any children involved. It is a very valid and significant ministry but I have to admit that the kids bring something very special to a congregation.

Maybe you don't feel like you have much to do with the young people but as members of the church you help make this exciting and challenging ministry to happen. Even if you don't have young children or grand-children who attend, your presence at worship and other events, your prayers for them and their families and your financial gifts to the church all help make our ministry with children and youth happen. You are part of it all. And I am grateful to be part of it with you.

As we move into the summer months our attendance, including the kids, tends to drop. So does the income that supports the ministries of the church. But we will still offer child care during worship, a Time for All Ages in worship and we'll have a fabulous Vacation Bible School beginning Sunday, August 24th through Thursday, August 26th. Financially we move into the summer months with an income deficit of about $6,000.00. That's a lot smaller than many churches but it is enough of a concern that we want you to be aware of it. I am confident we will make up the difference and be in a healthy financial place by the end of the year. The Finance Committee is not suggesting we cut back on anything but rather move forward in faith knowing that the ministry of Commack UMC is vital and exciting and well worth supporting. Indeed, this is a church where we share and understand the power of God's Presence in our lives in so many ways, including through the children in our midst. Thank you for your part in making it happen.