A Day In The Life...

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

For the building we call the United Church, Sunday was a day worth recalling. The transition from summer to fall attendance levels has been slow but on this Sunday, many of the missing faces of our congregational family (and two new ones) shown brightly. Reason enough to mark this particular day, but like any day, it was only the beginning.
The praise band “In Galilee” was set to lead the music portion of the services, accentuating the morning announcements, silent prayer and call to worship. Pastor David delivered the Children’s Moment by slyly drawing kites out for the children to build as his message “peace making” (a nod to the coming of World Communion on Oct. 5th and the Camp Hebron event) made its way to the hearts of the congregation. 
Singing was definitely a large part of the service with Barb Skiff and “In Galilee” coaching the men and women in attendance to sing various parts of songs. The energy and spirit of worship seemed to flow throughout the building. Although the message of a Christian life is often the same over the years, the method employed to reach those heights must be renewed over and over again. It might be said that some of that work is beginning to take root within the church membership.
The service was followed directly by a congregational meeting. The topic for this gathering: A congregational vote to fund the purchase of two furnaces for the church. Trustees Joan Lapham and Roger LaBarron set the groundwork for the meeting. Mrs. Lapham brought the concerns of the Trustee to the assembled group. She outlined how two Fall Lawn Sales will take place on September 27th and October 4th with the proceeds going to directly to the “furnace fund” and the news that a member will match donations. Mr. LeBarron described the mechanical issues that need attention and why this project is so important. In fact, many portions of the original furnace installation (some 40 years ago) were not done correctly and the results have been loss in efficiency and bypassed code issues.  Finally, the congregation was asked to approve the project that is estimated to cost just under $9,000.00 and that the remaining expenses, after fundraising, and donations would be met through the use the Abiding Improvement Fund. The vote,  a unanimous  “yes”.
Fellowship Hall held a welcomed chance to visit and enjoy a social moment after church business. Two of our youth, scouts Michael Casey and Warren Wright-Sedam lobbied members to purchase popcorn products to benefit the Scouts and local troop 27. All the while the youth group and some adults prepared for their scheduled bike ride along the feeder canal. Barb Skiff and Christopher Fitz organized the youth group outing and led the group to Fort Edward. 
Once the group arrived it took some time to unload the bikes from the pick up truck and bike racks. Kids and adults alike scrambled to collect their helmets, bikes and water bottles. Although the spirits were high almost all the tires on the bikes were low on air but once the job of pumping up the tires was started it didn’t take long for the group to get started.
On a bike ride with a group of kids almost anything can happen and the first surprise of the day came from Laura Mae the youngest rider. She reported that when she woke this morning to get ready for church, a brand new bicycle was waiting for her in the middle of the driveway. What a great way to start your day – no wonder she was all smiles.
In the beginning, much of the bike trail skits an industrial road, an area that would have seen a lot of truck activity on any other day. A small trail opened up slipping between hedge rows and a small pond and soon the industrial area was gone replaced by a tree lined path cutting its way along what was once a main artery of industry called the Feeder Canal. Historically, this area was conceived and built to maintain the water levels in the “combine” a structure that allowed the passage of barge traffic to and from Glens Falls and surrounding communities.
History aside, the almost ruin-like quality of the stone work that marked the trails felt as if you were moving back in time. While the blue skies and mild weather made for a perfect ride. Occasionally, stops were made to watch and listen to the water as it rushed down from one spillway to another. Attractive, wooden bridges were built in some area to allow for more site-seeing opportunities. As the ride went on, one sound that caught the attention of a few adults was the sound of dried leaves under the wheels of the bicycles, a sound of speed and freedom that might have been lost on the kids, but echoed loudly for the adults – perhaps reminding them of younger days when the worries of the world were very much distant.
At the end of the trail a somewhat tired group re-energized on ice cream, popsicles and ice water. Would it surprise anyone that in no time at all, kids and adults were running around dousing each other with ice water? 
If this sounds like the perfect way to spend a day,  with time for our children, church, music and some business mixed in then you’ve got the right idea. How wonderful it is to see the importance of one day in the life of our church.