First Presbyterian Church at Christian Hook, Oceanside, New York


First Presbyterian Church

“ Loving God by Serving All”


You may come as a stranger to us;yet you are known to Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and in His name we bid you welcome, praying that you find peace, inspiration and our friendship in this, His House.





“Have no anxiety about anything, “ Paul writes to the Philippians.  In one sense it is like telling a woman with a bad head cold not to sniffle and sneeze so much or a lame man to stop dragging his fee.  Or maybe it is more like telling a wino to lay off the booze or a compulsive gambler to stay away from the track.


In anxiety a disease or an addiction?  Perhaps it is something of both.  Partly, perhaps, because you can’t help it, and partly because for some dark reason you choose not to help it, you torment yourself with detailed visions of the worst that can possibly happen.  The nagging headache in our imagination turns out to be a malignant brain tumor.  When your teenage son fails to get off the plane you’ve gone to meet, you see his picture being tacked up in the post office among the missing, and his disappearance never accounted for.  As the latest Mideast crisis boils, you wait for the TV game show to be interrupted by a special bulletin announcing that major cities all over the country are being evacuated in anticipation of a terrorist attack.  If Woody Allen were to play your part on the screen, you would roll in the aisles with the rest of them, but you’re not so much as cracking a smile at the screen inside your own head. 


“The Lord is at hand.  Have no anxiety about anything, “ Paul writes, who was evidently in prison at the time and with good reason to be anxious about everything, “ but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God.  The worst things (sorrow, loss, death, await us all and everybody we love. 


The worst things will surely happen no matter what – that is to be understood- but beyond all our power to understand, he writes, we will have peace both in heart and in mind.  We are as sure to be in trouble as the sparks fly upward, but we will also be “in Christ” as he puts it.  Ultimately not even sorrow, loss, or death can get at us there.  That is the sense in which he dares say without risk of occasioning   ironic laughter,  “Have no anxiety about anything.”  Or as he puts it a few lines earlier, “Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again I will say, Rejoice!”   Philippians 4:4-7

Excerpts taken from material written by Rev. Frederick Buechner and published in Whistling in the Dark and later in Beyond Words.



The Deacon’s Doings


AS I write this article it is still very cold and the wind is still blowing, I can’t believe Spring is just around the corner and Ester will be here soon.  On Palm Sunday, we will once again be giving Palms to everyone and we want to thank Blossom Heath Florist for donating them to our church.  We use Blossom Heath Florist for our floral arrangements plus the plants for different holidays throughout the year and we have been very happy with their services.  If you are in need of flowers please keep them in mind.  As always we decorate the Sanctuary with beautiful flowers for Easter Sunday.


Jeanne C. will be taking orders and if she is not available please put your order form and check in a separate envelop marked flowers in the collection plate and she will take care of it.  The flowers cost this year are Lilies $16.50, Tulips $ 12.50 and Daffodils $ 15.00.  These plants celebrate the Resurrection of our Risen Lord.  The last day to order is April 6th.  If you do not wish to take your plant home we can plant it on church grounds or deliver it to a shut in.  Jeanne is our Flower Deacon if you have any questions.


Happy Spring and Happy Easter


Lorraine G.





Session Notes


Session met March 20, 2014 with the guest Moderator Rev. Adrian Pratt.  The meeting reviewed and approved the budget.  In the Clerk’s report we discussed and approved the upcoming baptism (April 27) of Jessica R., infant daughter Haylee.  We also approved the Easter Sunrise Service at Lido Beach at 6 am in conjunction with the United Methodist and Lutheran churches.  We had a lengthy discussion on the current state of the church and issues that we are dealing with.  Membership committee informed us that we are out of the little gift bags that we give to new visitors.  We need to revise and update the brochure and to prepare new gift bags.  Christine J. reported on the recent SouperFood drive that we conducted in the Presbytery in which all together we collected 1600 cans of food or the equivalent.  She also spoke regarding the One Great Hour of Sharing offering and the article she has written for this Presbyteer.  Ginni and Edna presented their report.  There was discussion about how to handle children who reach the age when they need Confirmation Class.  We have learned of a group of nearby Presbyterian Churches that have Confirmation Class as well as activities for teen-agers.  There is great cooperation among the churches and involvement of all of the Pastors.  This will be discussed with our new Pastor and we may join the group next fall when Communicants class begins again.  We need to find a way to provide nursery care during the summer and then to have it continue next fall when Sunday School starts in the fall.    There will be no Sunday School on Easter Sunday.


James L. and Christine J. presented the job description for the Interim Pastor which was approved.  They then presented an exciting proposal for the future which was reviewed and approved.  ( There is an article elsewhere in this Presbyteer. )


Anita O. reported on the Church Life Committee activities and also the Oceanside Interfaith council.  She reported that Interfaith Council has planned a program “Love Your Neighbor” which will be held at the Oceanside Lutheran Church  55 Fairview Avenue on Thursday May 15, at 7 pm.  We hope a substantial group from our church attends.


We also spoke of the importance of installation of Carbon Monoxide Detectors in the church as a Safety consideration.


Barbara M.             Clerk of Session                              



Easter Sunrise Service


Please join us Easter morning at 5:30am in our church parking lot, to car pool together to Lido Beach for the Easter Sunrise service which is at 6 am.  For many years (approximately 20) we have held this service.  It now is in conjunction with the folks of the Lutheran Church and the United Methodist church.  It makes Easter so special as we plant a cross in the sand and watch the Sun come up in the East s we partake of Holy Communion on this joyful holiday.  It would be just great if you could come.  We will be so glad to welcome you.   

Barbara M.



Moment for Mission


One Great Hour of Sharing


AS you know our donations, in support of The One Great Hour of Sharing program, will be split three ways.  A portion will remain in the Presbytery for the use of the Presbytery Self Development Committee.  This committee focuses on different issues each year.  This past year they have become involved in a program that helps prevent and deal with violence against women.  You may remember that a previous year they worked with obtaining bicycles, repairing them, and giving them to the working poor

individuals so they could get to work.  Another portion is given to disaster relief.  That is where the bulk of the grant that enabled us to help families and individuals who were victims of Hurricane Sandy came from.  The Presbyterian Hunger Program is used to meliorate hunger in the USA and other places. 


Self Development of People (SDOP)


SDOP which is funded through the One Great Hour of Sharing offering, enable the Presbyterian Church USA and the Presbytery of LI to partner with economically poor, oppressed, and disadvantaged people, in order to help them become self-reliant.


A Community Voice (ACV) is a non-profit organization that fights for social and economic justice for low to moderate income families.  After Hurricane Katrina hit eight years ago, New Orleans has been struggling to return to normal, specifically in the lower 9th ward.  This neighborhood of New Orleans is located in the easternmost downriver portion of the city, closest to the Mississippi river, below the rest of the city.  The Lower 9th ward battled poverty and crime even before Katrina struck in 2005.  It was home to 14,000 residents.  This area was devastated in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  As of January 2014, only about 25% of residents have been able to return.  ACV has fought to get these people access to their homes and the basic services they require. (garbage pick-up).  Thanks to a grant from the Self Development of people, funded by the One Great Hour of Sharing program, ACV has been able to open a computer center for community residents.  At present, five hundred people have used it to apply for jobs, housing and food assistance.  Others benefit through training and education.


The Virgin Island branch of the Food Security Network, is another Program given grant money funded through SDOP.  This organization is committed to achieving food security in Kingshill.  It is dedicated to changing community 4  attitudes and public policy, in order to promote environmentally acceptable practices for the production and distribution of food.  They strive to make affordable, healthy, culturally acceptable food available to all people.  Their belief is that “all people have the right to an income that allows them to live in good health and with dignity.  No one should be forced to choose between food and meeting some other basic need.”  To make this belief a reality is their main focus.  They will use the grant money to purchase and ship them a 45 horse powered tractor with a tiller, making planting more efficient.


Critical Mass Dance Company (CMDC) is a community based dance company run for and by women and girls.  They run an educational outreach program called dance from the heart which promotes women’s health and healing.  It is their goal to empower women to effect change.  They believe music and dance can unify the world.  They seek to end poverty and bring about peace to our nation.  Self-development of people has provided them with a grant to fund their work. 


These are just a few of the worthy causes that get supported through your generous donations.  You do have a voice and can make a difference.  Thank you for your continued support of this offering.  Know that the effects are life changing.   The One Great Hour of Sharing offering will continue until April 13, Palm Sunday.  Please give generously!


Christine J.


New Beginnings


At the Session meeting on March 20, the Interim Search Committee

proposed an exciting plan for the future of our church.  First the Session approved the job description for the Interim Pastor of the church. Then James L. and Christine J., described a proposal that the Presbytery had brought to the Committee and which the Committee recommended to Session.  The Presbytery will provide funding for half of the salary of a full time Pastor for the church who will live in the manse. 


The Pastor will serve our church but will also help develop a Presbyterian community of faith in Long Beach to serve the Long Beach and Island Park Communities.  No, it is not intended to build a competing church, but to provide services to meet the needs of the people living there and to help them get to know about our warm and friendly church here. 


Some time ago, Rev. Tammen and another Pastor were having a meeting at Starbucks in Long Beach and noticed a significant number of young mothers with infants in strollers.  Last summer, Presbytery hired two individuals who spent the summer getting to know the community and their needs.  They have learned that there is a group of young married professionals who have moved into Long Beach at the end of the Long Island Railroad. 


We don’t know exactly what this church presence will look like yet but it may well be that we, with the help of Presbytery will rent a storefront and have such activities as a Friday or Saturday night coffee house, a Mommy and Me group, a Bible Study group and maybe a week night evening worship.  There could be craft groups or knitting groups, where of course there could be discussion.  There are many other possibilities that we can explore.  In the church office there have been some calls from young mothers inquiring about our church. 


The national Presbyterian church has made a goal of developing 1001 worshipping communities in the next 10 years.  There are a great variety of these worshipping communities depending on the needs and the community.  Session has reviewed reports that indicate churches with multi-site programs tend to grow – even for churches with as few as 50 members. It can be agreed that our church certainly needs to grow.


Presbytery will help us search for a Pastor who has some skills in this area and our Interim Search committee will review and recruit the candidates for



our church.  This next interim Pastor may not be here for only the usual 1-2

years, but for possibly up to 5 years as there needs to be time for this new program to develop.   We are hopeful that the process might be completed as early as June.


Your thoughts and prayers are needed to help the Interim Search committee fulfill their mission.  They care a great deal about our church and want our church to grow and succeed in serving God and God’s children, our neighbors. 


James L.

Barbara M.


Monthly Food Drive


Please remember to bring cans and containers of non-perishable food.  People are hungry more than just on Thanksgiving or Christmas.  Many children are hungry and do not receive adequate nutrition.  Please remember those less fortunate the first Sunday of every month which addresses Food for the Needy.  Jessica C., the Deacon in charge takes it to the Freeport Food Pantry.  Please be generous and give as much as you can.                                   


April 12 beginning at 10am:  White Elephant Sale – Please start collecting items that you might desire to donate to the sale-  Please contact either Maureen W. or Anita O. if you need to bring the items to the church before the scheduled drop off days beginning on Wednesday April 9th.

May or June:  A Parking Lot Garage Sale is being considered as a fund raiser.  Members will be invited to bring items that they wish to sell.  They will be asked to set up and work their area.  The Family Closet will choose certain items for sale also.  All proceeds will be donated to the church. 

August, September, and October events will be determined at a future date.


Anita O.








If you would like to dedicate a lovely Daffodil, Lily or Tulip plant for the Chancel at Easter, please fill in the order form below.  Envelopes are found in the flower order box in the hall.


                  ORDER DEADLINE:  APRIL 06, 2014


Contact Jeanne C.or put your order and payment in the Church Mail Box marked "FLOWERS" which is located in the church office.


DAFFODILS________________$ 15.00                   ________

TULIP_____________________   12.50                   ________

LILY______________________    16.50                   ________


                                                TOTAL                    $    _________


Make check payable to FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, note that the check is for Easter Plant and Paper Clip it to this form.



            Dedicated to the glory of God and in:   (circle one)


MEMORY        HONOR         LOVING MEMORY         CELEBRATION             







______Will pick up after the service.


______Please deliver to a home-bound.


If you desire your plant to be delivered to a member of the congregation in need of cheer, please indicate below.


















Presbyterian Church (USA)

Presbytery of Long Island






If you have any questions or need further information please call church office at

(516) 766-5014