(* after “And Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou)

11:00 am

Rev. Karen Pollan
Delmar Presbyterian Church
Delmar, NY

Sermon: “#Me, Too”

Music by MaryAnn Dunne

I was born in Roswell, New Mexico – however – I am not an alien. I promise. My daughter, on the other hand, has serious doubts about this claim. It is all the more suspicious, to my daughter’s way of thinking, that I was born on Walker Air Force Base – the very military compound associated with the “retrieval and cover-up” of that famous UFO.
That being said, I did experience the feeling of being alien throughout my growing up years – as the child of a military family we were always on the move. So, almost every year and sometimes twice a year, I would the new kid at school: feeling like an alien, trying to fit in. Constants in my life (besides change) were church and books.
My religious upbringing, while somewhat eclectic, provided a much needed anchor. A priceless gift from these liturgical wanderings is the deep awareness that although scenery, dialect, and culture exhibit incredible diversity – on Sunday morning when the Bible is opened it is same story whether you are in Japan or New York. And we sang praises the same Lord whether we froze (Alaska) or perspired (South Texas) in the pews.
While church offered an anchor, there were times when I felt like I was going down with the ship. I loved ideas and science, but there were times when I felt like they were incompatible with faith. Like many, exploration characterized my college years – particularly in the area of ideas. As a science major, I pushed my faith to a small corner in my life – but faith pushed back. I was struggling to achieve some kind of truce between faith and reason – between heart and mind when I discovered the Presbyterian Church. It was just blessing to find a place where – for me – heart and mind, faith and intellect, could worship together.
Eventually, I accepted a call to ministry – although I myself had never seen such a strange and alien thing as a woman pastor. I attended Austin Presbyterian Theological School in Austin, Texas graduating with a M.Div. and a call to pastor a small church in East Texas. The Committee on Ministry for Grace Presbytery, is reported to have said (when informed of my candidacy at First Presbyterian Church of Sulphur Springs) that “The second coming must be upon us if Sulphur Springs is willing to talk with a woman!”
You know, as I think about my life and my struggle to fit in – from an elementary school child to a woman who began her ministry in a traditionally male profession – I realize, my daughter could be right – I am an alien. But then, so is every Christian. We are, as the apostle states, resident aliens – our citizenship is in the kingdom of heaven and our common calling is to live with a foot in both worlds.

220th Anniversary Celebration Service

A service of remembrance and celebration in observance of the 220th anniversary of the first service of worship in our first church building on September 11, 1796 was held on September 11, 2016.

Moderator Rev. Alexandra Lusak officiated. Rev. James Miller brought greetings from former moderator Rev. Robert Lamar and spoke about his own term as moderator. Members of the Session read remembrances from former moderators Rev. Donna Elia and Rev. Joseph Shook, passages from scripture and excerpts from the church history authored by Barbara Dudley and Nancy Chase. The Village Voices sang, led by church Music Director Jan Bishop.
Four new members were received into the church during the service. A gala reception followed in Conkling Hall.

Anniversary Service Program

Montage of Anniverary Service Photos by John Eldridge: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1I-yTQSgMxW74vH1hENSS4_2xHXVDh2Ty/view


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