Parish News

Parish News

Linda Mellor
March 2023

At the February 16th meeting of the Southern Valley Cooperative Parish Council, the main focus of the discussion was “How are we doing as a Cooperative Parish?  Are we moving too fast, too slow?  Is this what you had hoped and dreamed of?”  The responses to these questions from those in attendance were widely varied.  To summarize, it was felt that the Parish Council members are getting to know each other, but our church members are not; wanted a stronger focus on Mission and Ministry – the current severe housing crisis in Ulster County was lifted as a need to address; would like Parish-wide worship.

What are your responses to how our Parish is doing?  What can we pass along for you?

At the March 16th meeting, we reviewed the status of our current Parish-wide initiatives:

Ministry of the Needle:  Led by Margaret Howe, meeting monthly via Zoom, focuses on creating hand-crafted items with a ministry purpose.  We are currently working on our own projects, but have discussed ministries that we might want to do together.   Next gathering is Thursday, March 30th at 7pm.

H.E.A.R.T.S. Ministry:  Led by Eileen Daunt, meeting Fridays, 10am-2pm in Modena, supports those struggling with Alzheimer’s and dementia and their care-givers.  Karen Seyfert from our church also volunteers and would love to share more with you on this vital ministry.  Do you know of anyone that might like to be a participant of this group?

Men’s Breakfast:  Led by George Hart, meeting monthly at the Highland Diner, provides a time of fellowship and sharing among men in our Parish. The next get-together will be Saturday, March 25th at the Gateway Diner in Highland. 

Support for Refugee Families:  Laura Corbett is working with Plutarch for Refugees to support two families from Afghanistan that are settling in the New Paltz area.  These are the families we supported with our Angel Tree gifts.  Current needs are for financial donations.

Bell Choir:  Stephanie Parsons has been trying to gather information on what bells are available across our Parish and possible interest.

Fellowship Gathering:  Pam Pardee is looking into dates and possible venues for a Parish-wide picnic and fellowship gathering.  Schedules over the next couple of months are VERY busy for folks.  Thinking about something this summer.

Parish Worship:  Pastor Grace is forming a planning group with at least one member from each Parish congregation to create a Parish-wide worship service, possibly something on a summer weeknight.

Ulster Habitat:  In response to last month’s discussion regarding a larger, more encompassing ministry project supported by our entire Parish, George Hart will reach out to Ulster County Habitat to explore ideas.

Alternate Forms of Income:  Just as we are envisioning and investigating ways in which we can reach out in ministry that are financially viable and sustainable, the Parish also would like to do the same.  Currently we are working on gathering information on all the physical assets (buildings, spaces, etc) across the Parish.

The work of the Parish needs to extend beyond the council.  Are you interested in working with any of these projects?  Or have other ideas for our Parish?  Reach out to our current Council attendees:  Pastor Grace, Margaret Howe, Jane Ruback, Karen Seyfert, Stephanie Parsons, or Linda Mellor.