When all you need is a little peace. . .
There are days when I'd give almost anything for a little peace and quiet. As I write this, contractors are pounding and drilling on my roof (above) and in my basement; a quartet of leaf blowers whines next door; a tree chipper grinds away across the street; my rooster is crowing; the dog is barking up a storm; my tinnitus is a mad chorus of cicadas on steroids; and I've got Bing Crosby crooning Christmas carols at ear-splitting volume in a pointless attempt to drown out everything else.

Now I hear my mother saying what she always said to stop my complaining: "Think of all the people who have it worse! Be glad you can hear at all, unlike poor Helen Keller and Beethoven! And what about all the people in the world who never have peace and quiet? People working in noisy factories, mines, construction sites, trains, and airports! People in the third world, living in chaotic urban sprawl and war zones!"
I hear you, mum. I do. But I also hear Bang! Boom! Whine! Woof! Cock-a-doodle-do!

This Sunday, the second Sunday of Advent, we light the candle of peace. When I was young, the peace candle in the Advent wreath always made me think of my very favorite moment in the Nativity story, when Hark-the-Herald-Angels appear to those shepherds out in the field. As a child, I stared at the candle and imagined great glorious beings, full of light, appearing to me in the middle of our corn field, swinging their "Peace on earth and good will toward men" like a billion Bing Crosbys.

Nowadays, I'm harkening less to singing angels and more to that message of peace. I find myself longing for peace every day -- in different forms, and different ways. Are you? Today, I yearn for just a little calm and quiet -- peace, in its simplest form. But I know that I'm also on a lifelong search for inner peace, the kind that helps me to still my racing thoughts, to ease my worries and my fears, so I can find love and healing for myself, and the grace to be more loving and healing to others.

Many people will pray for world peace when they light Advent candles this Sunday, thinking of violent and war-torn countries where people suffer in danger and turmoil, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Mexico, China, Turkey, and many African countries. We recognize that religious intolerance is a source of many conflicts around the globe, and we pray for an end to religious discord and prejudice.

This year, many of us may long for peace with others right here at home. Many of us have been standing up for justice and equality in America; many of us have been working for causes and candidates we judged to be important and good. How sad and frustrating it has been, to find the courage to fight for what we believe is right -- only to have it lead to terrible fractures, angry words, and hurt feelings. In the months ahead, shouldn't we strive to make peace with the same determination and passion? We don't want to see our communities and country in constant strife. We want to reconnect with our family and friends, our neighbors and fellow citizens.

This week, let's light our candles of peace on the second Sunday of Advent, December 6. All through the week, we can hold on to that light and work for peace at home, at school, at work, and in our community. Remember we are still together, even when we're apart. And the best news is that all of us are loved, all the time.

-- MZ Smith, Community News editor
2nd Sunday of Advent and Communion, Too!

Join our SUNDAY, DEC. 6 worship service via Zoom.
Our services are lovely, lively, friendly, warm, and informal, even when we're on screen!

This is the second Sunday of Advent, and we will light our second candle -- the candle of peace. Bring your own Advent wreath, or a pair of candles, standard or battery operated, ready to light! The Dul family will be our worship leaders and on-screen candle lighters.

We'll celebrate Communion together, too, so have your elements ready as well!

We look forward to beautiful music by Music Director Tom McCoy, at the piano

And: We welcome Connie Knapp to our virtual pulpit this week! An ordained ruling elder and member of First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown, she is Moderator of HRP Council and a member of HRP Green. Connie formerly worked as a computer programmer, systems analyst, management consultant, college professor, and as an acting dean at Pace University.
Anyone can join us from anywhere for this online service!

It's easy to worship via Zoom! Use these handy links to connect with us.

To receive a unique Zoom link for our online service this Sunday: Email us at: 1presbyterian@gmail.com.

For info about online services and a link to download Zoom, click here.

To download the bulletin for this service: Click the picture above!

To get weekly info on all of our programs and activities: Fill out the handy contact form on our website at: www.presbychurchcoldspring.org.
Download your own copy of Linda's flyer -- just click on the picture!
Cold Spring resident starts
Food Pantry collection

You may have seen flyers just like this one around town and online, spreading the word about Linda Hoffmann's collection for our Philipstown Food Pantry mission, which is serving 150% more clients during the pandemic.

Now through Dec. 24, Linda is collecting items that have been requested by our Pantry clients, including shampoo and toiletries, soap, cleansers, and detergents.
Linda's collection bin on the porch at 224 Main Street in Cold Spring offers safe, easy, 24/7 access. She has hosted a series of successful drives during COVID-19. We asked Linda what prompted this project. She said that when her son Wil (now 26) was a cub scout, she and fellow den leader Betty Stafford helped scouts organize food drives to give back to the community.
Linda and her family continued to donate to the Pantry, and realized "the window when you could drop off at the Pantry is narrow for most folks' busy schedules," she said.

Linda helped organize a food collection during a "First Fridays" event at Houlihan Lawrence, where she works. It was very successful and Linda planned to do more. "Then -- Covid!"

Because she and her family live in the heart of the village of Cold Spring, Linda hit on the idea for a 24/7 collection bin: "I thought this is something that our family can easily do. Porch drop-off: EZ!"

Linda asked us to "give a special shout out to our Philipstown community! Generous beyond words!" Thank you, Linda! Thank you, Philipstown!
THANK YOU for supporting our Midnight Run on Saturday, Dec. 5!

This Saturday, FPCP members Ron Sopyla, Andy Larivee and Susan Jordan will caravan to NYC, delivering food and critical supplies directly to people experiencing homelessness.

Heartfelt thanks to Ron for organizing this outreach; to Andy and Susan for joining him on the trip; and to these generous donors from our congregation and community: Nancy Apollonio, Ruthanne Cullinan Barr, Cathy Carnevale, Ezra Clementson, Clare Cosslett, Michael Cullinan, Rachel Emig, Kerry Jordan, Karen Kapoor, Suzanne Murray, Sherrie Nachamkin, Lara Shihab-Eldin, Lisa Scicluna, Julia Sniffen, and Lisa Quartin. Bless you all!
Need to drop off your donations?

If you signed up to donate food or other items to the Midnight Run this Saturday, you can drop off your donations tomorrow -- Friday, Dec. 4 -- from 11am - 12pm or 1:30 - 2:30pm at First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown, 10 Academy Street in Cold Spring. Need to arrange a pick-up? You can contact Ron Sopyla at rsopyla@verizon.net.

Forget what you signed up to donate? Click the picture above!
Candles burning brightly at our Longest Night Service last year.
Advent candles in our historic sanctuary. We hope to be able to gather there again in 2021!
Celebrate the Season with us!
Join us at our online services.

Our Advent Services are on live on Zoom on Sundays at 10:30 am: Dec. 6, Dec. 13, and Dec. 20.

Our Virtual Christmas Pageant created by our Sunday School students will be see during our Sunday, Dec. 20 online service!

Our Longest Night Service will be Monday, Dec. 21 at 7:30 pm. Taking place on the winter solstice, this service acknowledges that the long nights before Christmas can be difficult for those struggling with grief and loss of any kind.

Our Christmas Eve Service will be Thursday, Dec. 24 at 5:00 pm. This family-friendly service features the famously good-humored husband-and-wife team of Rev. Rachel Thompson and Rev. Joe Gilmore, plus traditional and jazzy holiday music by Music Director Tom McCoy.

All services are live on Zoom! To receive Zoom links for these services and programs: Please email 1presbyterian@gmail.com.
A Food Pantry volunteer helps one of our clients. Client numbers have risen by 150%, due to the Covid-19 health and economic crisis.
Stewardship is LOVE!
The year 2020 challenged us all, in ways that we never could have imagined. Our church family is working to meet those challenges, to help neighbors in need, and to offer support to our community.

We still can't worship together in our beloved sanctuary, but the life and work of our church goes on! We're offering online worship services, pastoral care, and education programs. And we all know how critical our mission projects are right now, like the Food Pantry and Midnight Run.

Please support The Church of the Open Door by making your 2021 giving pledge today! Look for a letter in the mail. Or click the Food Pantry picture here to download a form. THANK YOU!
Our Bulletin Board
Join FPCP's fun and fabulous Book Club! Our Book Club is reading I, Eliza Hamilton, the acclaimed biography by Susan Holloway Scott. Many fell in love with Eliza because of her romance with a certain American political figure in the smash-hit Broadway musical Hamilton, but few of us know her story. A strong woman, Eliza had many sides, and this biography brings her personality to vivid life. We'll discuss THIS I, Eliza on Tuesday, Dec. 15. For more info, email Bev Taylor here.
Kids: Explore big ideas! Sunday School currently takes place at home. Carolyn, our Youth Ed leader, sends families a weekly email with stories, activities, and ideas. Last week, we prepared for the first Sunday of Advent by learning about the Advent candle of hope. We talked about how important hope is, especially now, and how we can be lights that bring hope to others. We sang along with a rocking video of "This Little Light of Mine!" (CLICK THE PIC!) Join our e-list! Email Carolyn here.
Please help if you can. During this health and economic crisis, we are grateful that we can serve neighbors in need through our critical mission programs like the Food Pantry and Midnight Run. If you feel called to support this outreach, we warmly welcome any and all contributions. If you are a member of our church family and can maintain your giving at this time, we humbly thank you.
To make an online donation, click the image at the left, or right here. Bless you!
Telephone: (845)-265-3220 / Email: 1presbyterian@gmail.com www.presbychurchcoldspring.org