The   Chronicle




Published by


First Presbyterian Church 

49 South Portage Street 

Westfield, New York  






APRIL 2016


Church Office Hours

9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Monday through Friday


Office:  (716) 326-2643

Fax:  (716) 793-6019







Dana A. Vaughn


Administrative Assistant

Polly M. Knopp



Brenda M. McCutcheon


Deacon of the Month

April 2016

Connie Barton


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spring blessings2

The Blessings of Spring

~ by Deborah Ann Belka ~

There are many blessings,

that each new Spring brings

you can see it bloom about

and hear the song it sings.

With winters bleakness over,

and brighter days ahead

comes promises of new life

Springtime loves to spread.

As God unfolds the flowers,

and their buds begin to show 

He gives to us the assurance

grace in our hearts will grow.

He sends us the robin's song,

with the promise to provide 

a shelter under His mighty wing

where in His love we can abide.

He melts the snowy covers,

and sends the refreshing rain

sprinkling us with His mercies

to heal winter's ache and pain.

God's given to all His Son,

to shed upon us a new light

and the real blessing of Spring...

is keeping Jesus in our sight!

spring blessing3

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Pastor message2

Dear Friends,

Last week during our sermon I talked about how the season of Lent is a time for reflection...a time to return to the Lord with all our heart...and to truly reflect on how we are living as disciples of Christ.

Last week I introduced the Series I will be preaching on this year throughout our Lenten season...which is called Practicing the Presence of God.  

This series is designed to help us Practice the presence of God in all that we do...and  to live in such a way that it’s as if God is our imaginary best friend standing next to us everywhere we go.

Each week there is a different topic in this series which relates to Christian discipleship.

Each topic is intended to help us reflect more on how we are living as disciples of Christ... turn...challenge us...or inspire us to evolve to new heights as Christ’s disciples.

Last week I talked about trust...trusting God in a new way where it’s as if He is standing right next to us...saying I got you...And this week I wanted us to focus on imitating Christ...imitating Christ in all that we do throughout our daily lives.


In our passage from Philippians (Philippians 3:  17- 4: 1) this morning...that is the message Paul was preaching to the people of Philippi...he was encouraging them to emulate Christ throughout their daily lives.  

More specifically Paul told them to not be enemies of the cross...but rather to mimic his own behaviors.

This call to imitate Paul’s behaviors...was not an ego-driven message.  But rather Paul was offering himself as an example of someone...who doesn’t live as an enemy of the cross.  

He was offering himself as an example of someone who is more focused on Christ...than his own self...and someone who understands the certain kind of living it takes to truly live and act as a disciple of Christ.

A certain type of living which entails...considering the needs of others as more important than your own...acting in humility at all times...and exuding the love of Christ to all people.

So in essence Paul’s call to imitate him...was a call to imitate Jesus.


This week as we practice the presence of as if God is standing right next to us at all times...and as we focus on emulating Christ more throughout our daily lives...I have a short story I wanted to share with you all.   

I shared this story during our Ash Wednesday service...which was a small gathering of I wanted to share it with the rest of you...but also because it is a poignant story...and exceedingly fitting for all of us this week as we strive to imitate Christ more.


It’s a true story about a pastor who transformed himself into a homeless person and went to the church that he was going to be introduced as the new head pastor that morning. He walked around his soon to be church for 30 minutes while it was filling with people for the service.

Only 3 people said hello to him, most looked the other way. He asked people for change to buy food because he was hungry. Not one person gave him anything.

As church was about to start he went into the sanctuary...and went to sit down in the front of the church...but he was told by the ushers that he would need to get up and go sit in the back of the church.

He said hello to people as they walked in but he was greeted with cold stares and dirty looks from people looking down on him and judging him.

The man sat in the back of the church and listened to the church announcements for the week. He listened as new visitors were welcomed into the church that morning but no one acknowledged that he was new. He watched people around him continue to look his way with stares that said you are not welcome here.

Then the elders of the church made their way to the front of the sanctuary to make an announcement from the podium...when they got up there they said...we are excited to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation...they said the man’s name and asked him to come forward.  

The congregation stood up...clapping and looking around with joy and anticipation. The homeless man sitting in the back stood up and started walking down the aisle...and made his way to the front of the sanctuary.


That's when all the clapping stopped...and the church became silent.

With all eyes on him....the homeless man...the new pastor...walked up on the chancel and reached for the microphone. He stood there for a moment and then recited so eloquently, a verse from the bible.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and fed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?' "

"When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothed you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?"

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of my brothers and sisters, you did for me.’ "

After he recited this, he introduced himself as their new pastor and told the congregation what he had experienced that morning. Many began to cry and they bowed their heads in shame.

He responded by saying..."Today I see a gathering of people in a  church building...but I do not see the church of Christ. The world has enough people that look the other way."

"What the world needs is disciples of Jesus that can follow this teachings and live as he did."

He then dismissed the congregation...and the service ended until the following Sunday.


Gandhi once said..."I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.   That story exemplifies why.  Many who profess the not live it out the their daily lives."


A few weeks ago I gave some pretty startling statistics about the decline in church membership throughout all the denominations.  I spoke about why there has been such a huge decline in church membership and participation...and I mentioned  one of those reasons is because we don’t share stories about our faith with others like we used to...and that we don’t talk to people about God anymore.  

Well another main reason there has been such a huge decline in church membership and participation is because a large percentage of the American population...feel like Christians are hypocrites.  According to a recent survey 72% of adults in the U.S. say they believe in God but refuse to attend church because it is full of hypocrites.  

People are turned off from organized religion...because they feel like the church going Christians...are a group of individuals who show up each week for a Sunday morning service....but don’t live the gospel out in there lives...all the rest of the days of the week.

How many of you have ever heard the phrase...he’s a Sunday morning Christian???...thats where that expression comes from.  There are all kinds of quotes about this.

For instance one says...Don’t just sing about God on Sunday morning. Serve Him on Monday.  Don’t just sing that you’ll give it all to Him on Sunday.  Give to Him on Tuesday.  Practice what it is that you sing about every Sunday...Because God wants less of your words and more of your actions.

Or here’s another quote that circulates around a lot:

"Don’t be an average Christian that attends church on Sunday mornings...has a cross around their neck...and a faith bumper sticker on their car...but forgets about God until next Sunday comes around.  God wants you to give him not just your Sunday mornings...but all that you are and everything that you do."


Now this is not to say that all christians are Sunday morning Christians...who never live the gospel out.  Or that all of us here are a group of hypocritical individuals who never emulate Christ...because that is most certainly not the case.  There are ALL kinds of great things we do in this this community and ALL around the globe to reach out to people and imitate Christ.  

I have even stood up here and preached a sermon to the point of tears...about how kind and loving, generous and warm all of you are.

But it is to say...that we are never done growing...or evolving to new heights in our Christian walk.

Just like an athlete who is training for a marathon, a triathlon, or any sort of is constant devotion...constant strengthening and exercising...and it is through that consistent devotion that they are able to experience new heights in their athletic ability.  

Christianity calls for the same type of consistency and devotion...where we are always working harder and striving to become more like Christ...imitating Him MORE throughout our daily we can experience new heights in our Christian walk.


Paul’s call to be imitators of a very relevant and valid call for all of us in our present day and age...and for this Lenten season as we reflect on how we are living as disciples of Christ.   

God doesn’t want a half-hearted commitment where we just show up on Sunday morning...God wants all of us.  And the people of this world could benefit from us living our faith out loud too...where we really live and act as disciples of Christ and imitate Him consistently throughout our lives!  

I have another short story I wanted to share with you which illumines just how important it is to imitate Christ in all that we do.


It’s a story about a humble...pious  man whose young son had become very ill. After the boy had undergone an exhaustive series of tests...the father was told the shocking news that his son had a terminal illness.

The youngster had accepted Christ as his Savior, so the man knew that death would usher him into Glory; but he wondered how to inform his the bloom of his youth...that he soon would die.


After earnestly seeking the direction of the Holy Spirit, he went with a heavy heart through the hospital ward to the boy’s bedside. First he read a passage of Scripture and had a time of prayer with his dear child. Then he gently told him that the doctors could promise him only a few more weeks to live.

The father asked..."Are you scared....are you afraid to meet Jesus, son?”

Blinking away a few tears, the little fellow said bravely, "No, not if He’s like you, Dad!"


When we embody the gospel and emulate Christ in all that we touches softens hearts, it fills people with love and peace and joy.  When we embody the gospel and imitate changes lives and the needs of others are met.

What the world needs is more imitators of Christ...that is the point  Paul was trying to make with his letter to the Philippians.


So this week let us all  Practice the Presence of God and focus on imitating Christ more throughout our daily lives...imitating Christ in such a way where it’s as if he is standing right next to us...nudging us...and whispering in our more more kind, be more hospitable, more generous, less self serving and more loving.

May we all continue to reflect during this Lenten season on how we are living as disciples of Christ so we can in turn...reach new heights as Christ’s disciples.

Your Friend,



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Mission/Outreach News....

Personal Care Items  

Personal Care ItemsApril is our month to collect Personal Care items for the Westfield Food Pantry.  Items needed:  Toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, denture care products, men's shaving items, women's personal care items, shampoo, conditioner, bar soap and hand lotion.  Please try to contribute some of these needed items for those less fortunate.  Items can be placed at the entrance to the church or in the church office.  The Pantry greatly appreciates our help!

Luncheon, April 10, 2016

mission luncheon2The Committee will host a luncheon on Sunday, April 10 following worship.  The menu is pizza, make your own salad and a dessert.  The luncheon will be followed by a program presented by George Courtney, Vice President of Partner Engagement with Medical Benevolence Foundation.    A donation of $10.00 is appreciated (no charge for children and students).  If you plan to attend please contact the church office/326-2643.


Medical Benevolence Foundation

Medical Benevolence1MBF (Medical Benevolence Foundation) is a faith based organization dedicated to transforming the lives of individuals, communities, and nations through strategic partnerships with the indigenous Church. By developing strong, self-sustaining healthcare ministries, MBF works as an indispensable link to build and empower the health care ministry of the Church in the majority world. This is accomplished by providing funding and counsel for hospitals, medical clinics, and nursing schools.

For over 50 years MBF has served partners in 34 countries and have consistently focusedMedical Benevolence2 their energy and resources on improving health care for those living in the most desperate communities of poverty around the world. MBF’s experiences and reputation in countries like Malawi, Haiti, DR Congo and Kenya provides many opportunities to build strong international partnerships.

Helping in-country partners build their capacity with a focus on sustainability is one of the most profound ways MBF has found to extend Christ’s mission on earth.

George Courtney

George Courtney2George Courtney joined the staff of Medical Benevolence Foundation in the fall of 2013 and serves as the Vice President of Partner Engagement.

For twenty-five years, George has been helping Christian ministries effectively share the love and Gospel of Christ at home and around the world. Prior to joining MFB,

George Courtney

George served as the Director of Advancement with Charlotte Christian School, Christian Medical & Dental Associations and King College.  He has

enjoyed being actively engaged with global mission through each of these organizations.

George lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife (Rose) and son (Noah).


One Great Hour of Sharing

"Serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received."

1 Peter 4:10 

 One Great Hour of Sharing

Our thanks go out to everyone who made a gift to the One Great Hour of Sharing offering on Easter.  As of this date our gift of $562.00 has been sent to the Presbytery for distribution to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Presbyterian Hunger Programs and Self Development to serve people seeking to reclaim and restore their lives.



"Cinco de Mayo" ~ Join the fun and come to the Mission Committee's fifth Mexican Fiesta!!  The event will take place immediately following worship on Sunday, May 1 following worship.  Honored guests will be our choir and the SUNY Fredonia college students.

The menu includes Mexican Pizz, Enchiladas, Mexican Macaroni & Cheese, Taco Salad, Sangria Punch, Coffee and Tea.  Please NOTE that none of the items will be hot and spicy, so the luncheon can be enjoyed by all.  A $10.00 donation is suggested (no charge for children and students).  Proceeds will be used for various Mission Projects throughout the year.  If you plan to attend please call the church office at 326-2643.


Following the luncheon Ricky Creech, Presidents and CEO of Buckhorn Children and Family Services, will present a program.


The younger kids will take part in breaking open a piñata filled with goodies!

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Celtic Vespers

Thursday, April 21, 2016

7:00 p.m.

Influenced by and based on ancient Celtic worship as well as it modern survivals in such a worship communities as the famous Iona Community in Scotland, Celtic Vespers is a beautiful service of evening prayer.  Featuring responsorial Psalms, prayers from the Carmina Gadelica, a brief incense rite, music based on Celtic tunes, and even a recitation of The Lord's Prayer in Gaelic, Celtic Vespers offers a truly unique spiritual service.  Please join us on Thursday, April 21 at 7:00 p.m. - and bring your family and friends!

Additionally, if you would like to participate in the service as a reader, a choir member, an instrumentalist, a cantor, or an acolyte, please call the church office at 326-2643


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Clerk's Pen(cil) II

 Following the call to order by the Moderator Rev. Dana A. Vaughn, and devotions and prayer, the Session took up the work of the church on Thursday, February 25, 2016 and Thursday, March 10, 2016.


Actions taken at the meeting are summarized as follows:

~ Received the Treasurer's and Deacon  report for January and February 2016.

~ Approved the Mission Committee use of 4 tables and some chairs for their annual yard sale during the Art's & Crafts Festival in July.

~ Approved the use of Fellowship Hall by the YWCA on Saturday, June 11 for a Father/Daughter dance.

~ Approved the use of Fellowship Hall and the kitchen by Westfield Hospital Auxiliary on Wednesday, April 6 for a chicken and biscuit dinner.

~ Approved the use of the Parlor by Brenda McCutcheon on Saturday, March 12 for a bridal shower.

~ Approved a third Stewardship letter to be sent to members and friends.

~ Approved the change of April's session meeting to Thursday, April 28.

~ Approved the use of the Parlor by Amy Helman on Saturday, April 30 for a bridal shower.


Other Business...

~ The Thursday, February 25 meeting included a  joint meeting of the Elders and Deacons.  


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prayer concerns

Prayer Concerns

A special prayer that you'll be blessed with tender care and needed rest, warm thoughts of friends that mean so much and most of all, God's healing touch.



Members of Our Congregation 

Kay Hall, Gwen Farver, Ruth Stacy, Prudence Putnam, Doc Near, Betty Reid, Enid Beadle, Bev & Les Yeaney, Norma Vanderpool, Don Strobl and Gloria Colgrove.


Family and Friends of our Congregation

Darrell Colgrove, Dee Jensen, Mary Grygier (Sister of Elaine Parker), Mike Strada (Brother of Elaine Parker), Maria Rodriguez (Mother of Ramona Luder), Jeff Greabell, Pauline Emilson, Abigail Jopek,  The Pandolph/Peary Families (Friends of John Daily) and Tony Mele.


Our Servicemen.

Capt. Christopher Kittle 

Chief Petty Officer, James "JD" Watkins (Grandson of Betty Reid)

SGT2 Arnold Soto (Grandson of Darla Augur)


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Celebrations of Eternal Life...


Our deepest sympathy as a congregation is extended to the families and friends upon the death of their loved ones:

~ James E. Stacy ~ Sunday, February 14, 2016

~ Elberta J. Odell ~ Tuesday, February 16, 2016

(Mother of Paul Odell)


Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all who have lost loved ones recently. 


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potatoes eggs coffee bean

Potatoes, Eggs, and Coffee Beans

Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn't know how she was going to make it.  She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time.  It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen.  He filled three pots with water and placed each one on high fire.  Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.

He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter.  The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.

After twenty minutes he turned off the burners.  He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl.  He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup.  Turning to her he asked.  "Daughter, what do you see?"

"Potatoes, eggs, and coffee," she hastily replied.

"Look closer," he said, "and touch the potoatoes,"  She did and noted that they were soft.  He then asked her to take an egg and break it.  After pulling off the shell, she observed the hardboiled egg.  Finally , he asked her to sip the coffee.  Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

"Father, what does this mean?" she asked.

He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity - the boiling water.

However, each one reacted differently.

The potato went in strong, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.

The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water.  Then the inside of the egg became hard.

However, the ground coffee beans were unique.  After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.

"Which are you," he asked his daughter.  "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond?  Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Moral:  In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us.

Which one are you?

 potatoes eggs coffee bean2


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 2016 Income:  $23,742.22

 2016 Expenses:  $29,209.21


2016 Pledges Budgeted through  February 29, 2016: $15,000.00

($17,521.00 has been paid as of  February 29, 2016)


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april birthdaysBIRTHDAYS

 We all join in extending Greetings

and Best Wishes for a Happy Birthday.

May this day be Richly Blessed

With Peace and Joy and

Everything that makes for Happiness



Anneliza Barney


Linda Bennett

Bethany Ellis


Steve Stratton


Arielle Corbett

Gloria Wakeley


Kay Hall


Samuel McMaster


Walter Parker


Brian Fochtman

Lisa Fochtman

Derek Gregory

Steve Morse


Catherine Barton


Rachael Coon

Erin Guest


Corry Robbins


Kevin Young


Jani Barney

Jenell Long


Jeff Guest


Amanda McCutcheon


John Daily

Bonnie Wysard


Brian Gollnitz

Barbara Sanders


Leslie McTavish


Martha Bills

Bill Bills

Gail Locke


Laura Bohall

Nancy Smith


Gregory Wilson


Jonathan Wilson


Betty Felton

Regan Helman



April anniversaries


A special Anniversary Prayer...

That God's Eternal love

Will fill your heart this day

With joy and blessings from above




Bev & Les Yeaney


Jodi & David Wilson


Mindi & Jeff Guest


Patty & Mark Robbins



Calendar of Events3

Sunday, April 3rd

10:00 a.m.

Choir Rehearsal

10:00 a.m.

Children's Sunday School

~ Kindergarten through 6th Grade ~

10:00 a.m.

Christian Nurture ~ Adult Education

11:00 a.m.

Family Worship

Monday, April 4

7:00 p.m.

Mission/Outreach Meeting

Tuesday, April 5

11:00 a.m.

Presbyterian Women's Meeting

Wednesday, April 6

9:00 a.m.

Worship & Music Meeting

6:00 p.m.

Westfield Hospital Auxiliary

~ Chicken and Biscuit dinner ~

7:00 p.m.

Christian Nurture ~ Adult Education

Sunday, April 10

10:00 a.m.

Choir Rehearsal

10:00 a.m.

Children's Sunday School

~ Kindergarten through 6th Grade ~

10:00 a.m.

Christian Nurture ~ Adult Education

11:00 a.m.

Family Worship

12:00 Noon

Mission Luncheon

~ Program By George Courntey, Medical Benevolence ~

Wednesday, April 13

9:00 a.m.

Property & Finance Meeting

7:00 p.m.

Christian Nurture ~ Adult Education

Sunday, April 17

10:00 a.m.

Choir Rehearsal

10:00 a.m.

Children's Sunday School

~ Kindergarten through 6th Grade ~

10:00 a.m.

Christian Nurture ~ Adult Education

11:00 a.m.

Family Worship

12:00 Noon

Coffee Hour

~ Hosted by Presbyterian Women ~

Monday, April 18

7:00 p.m. 

Deacon Meeting

Thursday, April 21

7:00 p.m. 

Celtic Vespers Service

Friday, April 22

Church Office Closed

Sunday, April 24

10:00 a.m.

Choir Rehearsal

10:00 a.m.

Children's Sunday School

~ Kindergarten through 6th Grade ~

10:00 a.m.

Christian Nurture ~ Adult Education

11:00 a.m.

Family Worship

12:00 Noon

Monday, April 25, 2016

7:00 p.m.

Mission/Outreach Meeting

Thursday, April 28

5:00 p.m.

Session Meeting

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"For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and

gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the

time of the singing of birds is come, and the

voice of the turtledove is heard in our land:"

Song of Solomon 2:  11 - 12