So we are in this new time. It is quite strange being stuck at home and trying to be a pastor to a congregation. Generally things are ok. Offerings are being sent in(see below). People are responding to the sermon and services that are on the website, Facebook, emailed and sent out.
But the nerviness of this time is quite powerful. Some seem oblivious to this virus and others are almost locked in time and space because of what it means. I imagine the truth is somewhere in between. Having said that if you are in any way vulnerable, a healthy sense of caution is called for. The extreme uncertainty seems to permeate everything we do each day. Most families have at least one member that should they contract the virus the outcome could be quite dire.
So this is April’s newsletter. If things change we will send snail and email updates at that time. Services and pastoral care continue to be offered remotely, i.e. by phone or email/internet.
It looks quite likely that when we are allowed back together we will somehow seek to have a celebration of Easter. During the actual Holy Week there will be services on line – albeit brief.
Sunday services in this time will continue as they are until we are released to do otherwise.
So what does this mean for you? It is normal and real to be stressed in these uncertain days. I believe the first thing we are each called to is to settle deeply into our faith in God. If you are like me all this stress seems manageable but it does wear on us. Take as many opportunities as you can to engage your feelings and thoughts and let God quiet you. Use scripture, hymns, spiritual songs and prayer to gain a deeper trust that God is at work in ways that we can’t see. Just as surely as the virus continues to do things, God is also at work. So as scientists seek answers for covid19, we will continue to seek God’s face for our calling from God at this time.
As soon as it is possible to meet up again the sign out front will be updated and we will get that information out.
So let us pray for each other. Let us continue to call each other and reach out to be Christ’s body in the world. Let us trust God in these days as we look for how this will all unfold.
Peace and prayers, Stu
North Presbyterian Church was organized on April 30, 1891 as part of the Niagara Presbytery. Prior to that Presbyterians in North Tonawanda had attended First Presbyterian Church, Tonawanda. The Rev. Henry Sanborne was ordained and installed at the first minister of the church.
The congregation purchased a church building at 195 Schenck Street and met there for 8 years. The building now is home to the Ghost Light Theater group. On May 17, 1898 ground was broken for a new church at 168 Payne Avenue. The cost of the building, lot and adjacent manse at 166 Payne was $29,000.
An adjacent building was built by the men of the church in 1920 and opened in the 1921 at the rear of the church’s lot. The new Parish House contained two bowling alleys and other facilities for recreation and program activities. Bowling was discontinued because of neighbor’s complaints and eventually the building was demolished in 1929.
The upstairs of the manse was converted into apartments in 1948, with the Pastor still maintaining the downstairs residence.
In 1955 poured cement floors replaced the original wooden floors in the basement of the Church. A new manse at 170 Christiana Street was purchased in 1958 and the ground floor of the old manse was converted to the Ministers Study, secretary’s office and class rooms in 1965.
The original cupola of the church was removed in 1963. The Parish House at 166 Payne was demolished in 2008 to accommodate parking. The church offices were relocated in the basement of the Church.
In 1970 the manse on Christiana Street was sold and replaced by one at 99 Pinewoods Drive, which served until 1990 when sold.
What started as the congregation of 73 members in 1891 today has a membership of 148. Membership peaked in 1966 with total of 561 members. The church has been served by 16 installed ministers