Lost . . . and found.
Have you ever lost something precious to you, and felt broken-hearted? Once, when I was a girl, my mother lost her silver wristwatch. Now, we were not a family of means. This was a simple $10 watch from the only JC Penney store in our part of rural Nebraska. But my father had surprised her with it one October on her birthday, and over time this watch had become precious to her.

My mum was always a neat housekeeper, so I knew something was wrong when I got off the schoolbus one day and found our house in complete disarray. The sofa was in the middle of the living room, chairs were upside down, carpets pulled up, and there was my mother, sitting on the floor, her eyes wet with tears. "I looked everywhere," she said. "Everywhere. It's just gone." She was broken-hearted.

Days went by, then years. I forgot about the watch, but my mum never did. Every time she cleaned the house, she'd spend a few minutes searching. One Saturday, I was holed up in my bedroom reading Teen Magazine when I heard a peculiar shriek. I ran downstairs to find my my quiet, reserved mum dancing around the house, her face beaming. In her hand was that long-lost watch. When Dad came home from work, she ran to show him: "You won't believe it. Look!" He laughed when he saw how thrilled she was. "Just like the woman who found the silver coin," he said.

He was thinking about the parable Jesus tells in Luke 15: 8-9 about a woman who has ten silver coins and loses one. “Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ ” It's one of three parables about the joy of finding precious things that once were lost. Jesus was talking about us, of course -- how precious we are to God, how sad it is when we are lost, and how amazing and beautiful and joyful it is when we are found.

I thought of my mum and her lost watch this week when Rachel Thompson shared the photo above, taken along Dennytown Road. How sad that folks lost these things: car keys, a camera, a pair of glasses. How amazing that a passer-by found them and lifted them up, so they might be joyfully found. This week, let's consider what we've lost, and what we have found that brings us joy. Remember we are still together, even when we're apart. And the best news is that all of us are loved, all the time.
Rev. Dr. Doris Chandler, seen here in our historic sanctuary, before the pandemic
Come to our final service with Rev. Dr. Doris this Sunday, October 4!
Join us for our beautiful outdoor service this Sunday, Oct. 4 at 10:30 am at the Mayor's Park Pavilion in Cold Spring. This will be the last service led by our pastor, Rev. Dr. Doris Chandler, who is leaving First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown to be a full-time installed pastor at a PCUSA church in Michigan.

Our services along the Hudson River are safe, casual, and comfortable. This Sunday, Rev. Dr. Doris will celebrate communion, so please bring your own elements. (We also offer single-serve wafer-and-juice packets.) Masks and social distancing are required. Parking is plentiful, and all are welcome!

Sunday School families: This Sunday, Oct. 4, we will also have our first safe, outdoor Sunday School gathering at Mayor's Park during the 10:30 am service. Youth Education Coordinator Carolyn Llewellyn is planning safe activities and crafts, and there is plenty of space and shade in the park by the Pavilion. "Most of our children are already accustomed to masks and spacing," Carolyn notes. "They are amazing!" This is a lovely opportunity to enjoy Sunday School safely with friends, and to say goodbye to Rev. Dr. Doris. "It would bring her great joy to see you and your children," Carolyn says. For more information or to let Carolyn know you are coming, email her here!

Our outdoor services are also available online, on Zoom! For more information about our outdoor-and-online services, join our e-list! Just fill out the handy form on our website at www.presbychurchcoldspring.org!

See pictures of our gorgeous outdoor services by the Hudson River! Just click the image above to visit our Facebook page.
Pop-Up Patio Series at The Depot: Enjoy safe theatre, support local artists!

Our FPCP community includes many artists, arts professionals, and arts lovers who have missed seeing live performances since the pandemic closed down NY venues. So we are pleased to announce that the Philipstown Depot Theatre -- one of our favorite local arts destinations -- has created a safe new outdoor performance space where we can enjoy live, in-person theatre, music, and dance this month!

The Depot's new Pop-Up Patio Series runs on weekends, Oct. 3 - 24. As you can see from the rehearsal photo above, the stage is right on the theatre's patio. Seating will be limited in order to meet social-distance standards and masks will be worn. According to Amy Dul, an FPCP member and the Depot's executive director, the theatre has also installed nifty new outdoor heaters to keep us toasty during shows!

For a full list of Pop-Up Patio performances, click on the photo above. Don't miss the reading of the play My Name is Rachel Corrie on Saturday, Oct. 10, at 6:30 pm. Edited by Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner, this play is based on the powerful and moving writings of Rachel Corrie, an American activist killed in Gaza in 2003. Directed by Christine Bokhour, the play will be read by Phoebe Bokhour and the three actors pictured above: Faith Jones, Freya Wood-Gallagher, and FPCP member Tess Dul. Note: This play does include adult themes and language.
Read about our Sept. 26 Midnight Run mission.
Elder and volunteer Ron Sopyla led a Midnight Run mission trip on Sept. 26 to take food, clothing, and critical supplies directly to people experiencing homelessness in New York City. FPCP member Andy Larivee drove down with Ron to distribute two carloads of supplies, thanks to generous donations by members of our congregation, our community, and other PCUSA churches. Read the story Ron wrote about this Midnight Run! Just click on his photo at left.
Our Bulletin Board
Join our fun and fabulous Book Club! This month, our Book Club is reading the novel All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. This 2015 Pulitzer Prize-winner is about about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. We'll discuss the novel on Tuesday, Oct. 20. For more info, email Bev Taylor here.
Kids: Explore big ideas! Sunday School is a great place to explore big ideas. Carolyn, our Youth Ed leader, sends families a weekly email with stories, activities, and ideas. Last week we read about thirsty people wandering in the wilderness. God told Moses to strike a rock and water would come out, and it did! (See above!) We are helped and cared for in tough times. Join our e-list! Email Carolyn here.
Visit with Rev. Dr. Doris before she leaves Oct. 10!
You've got nine more days to pull up a chair and sit with Rev. Dr. Doris on her "virtual porch!" It's a great way to say farewell, share memories, pray together, or just enjoy quality time with the pastor.

To fix your time on the Pastor's Porch, click the photo at the left and send an email to Doris!
In the midst of this worldwide health crisis, we are grateful we can serve our neighbors in need through critical mission programs, including the Food Pantry and Midnight Run

If you feel called to support FPCP's outreach, we warmly welcome your contributions. If you are a member of the FPCP family and can maintain your church giving at this difficult 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