From the pastor's pen...
Dear Church Family,
I wish to extend my gratitude for the many expressions of sympathy I received from all of you this past month in the aftermath of the death of my father, Benjamin Defibaugh. Your flowers, gifts of food, donations to the memorial fund, notes, cards, words of compassion and the memories which you shared with me of my Dad were heartwarming and appreciated. Ben was not only my Dad; he was a longtime faithful member of this congregation. We will miss his sense of humor, his attendance taking, his enjoyment of fellowship hour, and his genuine care for all of us, for this congregation was part of his family, too.
Many thanks also to the Consistory for granting my request for a one-month unpaid leave of absence. The caregiving and his unexpected death left me physically and emotionally spent. This leave has given me time to get stronger as the family and I now begin to deal with his house and all that he has left behind. I take great comfort in knowing that he is with God.
I will be returning to the pulpit in February and worship will continue to be streamed on Facebook Live. I would like to extend a tremendous thank you to our worship team and Consistory members who stepped up to fill in for me during my leave. And I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Elder Bill Seaman who kept everything running during my leave. He organized and planned all the worship services and coordinated all of the office work with Elder Roxanne English. Thank you! Bill is a wonderful partner in ministry as well as in life and I am blessed. Thanks also to recent seminary graduate Mark Poyner for being with us for several Sundays and to Rev. Tricia Sheffield of the Middletown Reformed Church for covering pastoral care emergencies.
During February, we look forward to welcoming new members. The Consistory and I will be busy completing annual reports for our denominations, the Reformed Church in America and the United Church of Christ. The season of Lent begins on Feb. 17th. Don’t neglect your meditations, devotions, and reading of Scripture. Our 2021 budget has been approved by Consistory and is presented in this February Chatter. Meeting this budget will be a challenge for us and we need everyone to do his/her part. We have lost income from the usage of our buildings. Bayshore Christian Fellowship has found its own location, and Keyport Hispanic Ministry mourns the death of its pastor, Rev. Lee, due to Covid-19. We pray that their ministry will be able to continue here.
I know that we all look forward to the time when we can be together in person again. Until then, I ask you to stay connected to the church through livestream worship, reading your Church Chatters and weekly Pew News, texting, calling, and emailing me and each other. Please don’t forget your offerings for the Food Pantry and the sharing of your time, talent, and treasure with the church.
Thank you for the privilege of loving and serving you as your pastor.
In Christ's service,
Rev. Dawn Seaman