The   Chronicle




Published by


First Presbyterian Church 

49 South Portage Street 

Westfield, New York  






March animated




Church Office Hours

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

Monday through Friday


Office:  (716) 326-2643

Fax:  (716) 793-6019






Transitional Pastor

Catherine Rieley-Goddard

(716) 310-6860 

Administrative Assistant

Polly M. Knopp



Brenda McCutcheon


Deacon of the Month

March 2017

Barb Sanders


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Peace dove

The Peace Prayer of Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

Where there is error, truth;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

To be consoled as to console;

To be understood as to understand;

To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

It is in self-forgetting that we find;

And it is in dying to ourselves that we are born to eternal life.


The author of this prayer is unknown, and it was not until the 1920's that it was even ascribed to Saint Francis.  By one account the prayer was found in 1915 Normandy, written on the back of a card of Saint Francis.  But it certainly emulates his longing to be an instrument of peace, reconciliation and redemption in our fallen world.

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Pastors noteDear Friends,


I love the first signs of Spring. This year they seem to have arrived a bit earlier than we are used to. The light is increasing with each passing day. The birds are returning. I hear them when I am out walking in the neighborhood and am often heartened by the cheerfulness. The sap is running full-tilt through the maple trees and soon the farmers will be tending the fires to create the magic elixir of syrup. Plants and trees are starting to burst forth with their buds. It is a time of new life and renewed hope.


As we watch the world changing around us, I encourage you to adopt a Lenten discipline for the coming weeks. It does not have to be anything difficult or onerous. You could adopt a plan for praising God in a new way during these weeks of reflection. Get outside for a walk, or just to notice the changes in your surroundings from day to day. Adopt a plan for praying through the Psalms. Pick up one of the Lenten Devotional booklets we have made available and use it to guide your reflections. Find a way to center yourself in this changing season. The only way you can go wrong is if you do not make any effort. We are known and loved by God. We cannot fail.


One of my favorite poems is by Wendell Berry. Every year as spring roles around, I pick it up and read through it a few times. I always find something new to admire about it. Maybe you will find something in it, as well.


The Peace of  Wild Things


When despair for the world grows in me
 and I wake in the night at the least sound
 in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
 I go and lie down where the wood drake
 rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
 I come into the peace of wild things
 who do not tax their lives with forethought
 of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
 And I feel above me the day-blind stars
 waiting with their light. For a time
 I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.


May each of you know the peace of wild things and carry it with you on your journey through this holy season.






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ash wednesday

Ash Wednesday Service

March 1, 2017

7:00 p.m.

(Communion and ashes)

Please join us as we embark on our Lenten journey together.  For more information please call the church at (716) 326-2643, or visit the church website: 


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brown bag lunch2

Lenten Brown Bag Lunch Series

First Presbyterian Church

49 South Portage Street

Westfield, NY


Thursdays at 12:10

March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 and April 6

A Study of Forgiveness

Each of us has known a time when we needed to forgive someone, or when we have needed to be forgiven. We know the burden of holding on to grudges. We know the burden of having said something hurtful to one we love. How do we move beyond hurt and anger? What does it mean for us to forgive, or to seek forgiveness?


Using a book, "Forgiveness," written by Marjorie Thompson along with other resources, we will consider the topic of forgiveness while we gather around tables in the Parlor for lunch and conversation. Bring your lunch. We will eat, pray, share our ideas and learn from one another.


During the six week series we will consider:

Beginnings – why do we forgive or seek forgiveness?

Self-Examination – the prelude to forgiveness

Honesty – engaging one another in the process

Repentance – developing a new mind

  Forgiving – the freedom we have when we give and receive

Beginning Again – reconciling and restoring our relationships


Each session will last about 45 minutes to allow those who come during their lunch hour time to get back.

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Mission/Outreach News....

Westfield Community Kitchen

Community Kitchen3For the month of March, we will be collecting some much needed items for the Community Kitchen.  The "Wish List" is as follows:  small dessert plates, napkins, paper towels, individual sugar packets, salad dressing, decaf and regular coffee, dry soup mixes,  Jello, puddings, powdered creamer, canned carrots, chicken broth, biscuit mix, cake mixes, aluminum foil (wide), Sweet n' Low and bleach.  The Community Kitchen greatly appreciates our help!

 Samara ThelemaqueSamara Thélémaque Faculty of Nursing Science of the Episcopal University of Haiti (FSIL),

Léogâne, Haiti

Thank you for giving Samara hope that one day she will achieve her goal of becoming a nurse. Early in life, Samara faced many challenges and could have lost all hope. These challenges led to the loss of her parents, leaving her an orphan. Through the loving care of her Godfather, she received encouragement and the opportunity to complete her secondary education. After being admitted to FSIL Nursing School, Samara had yet another challenge, her Godfather was faced with personal struggles and was no longer able to provide for her college tuition. Samara said "...this made me feel like my dream had been thrown in the garbage." Thanks to First Presbyterian Church of Westfield, NY, there is more to Samara’s story. Your support for the MBF Scholars program is providing the hope and encouragement she needs to pursue her dreams with confidence. "I will never stop thank(ing) FSIL Nursing School for all it has done to help me obtain my nursing degree. Please accept my sincere gratitude.  Because of the training that I am receiving at FSIL, I am gaining the necessary skills to provide quality health care to sick people and contribute to the health care in Haiti."

Samara’s clinical experience at Hôpital Ste. Croix, Léogâne, Haiti

Samara Three pictures

 Samara enjoys doing her clinical at the hospital. Her favorite class is OB-Gyn because too many women die when giving birth. By learning more about this area of nursing, it will help her take good care of women during pregnancy and delivery, and during the postpartum period. When she finishes college, she would like first to work in the community by doing health promotion and diseases prevention. Long-term, she would like to become a midwife. When Samara is not studying or attending class, she enjoys reading or listening to music. Faculty of Nursing Science of the Episcopal University of Haiti (FSIL). The FSIL Nursing School was conceived as part of the expanding medical outreach in Léogâne, Haiti. MBF, in partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti, secured ASHA grants and support from partner congregations to build the campus. Dedicated in January of 2005, the nursing school program is part of the Episcopal University and has developed a reputation as one of the best nursing programs in the country. You didn’t give us a fish, you taught us how to fish. Our education can never be stolen from us. – Chelene Noel 2013    FSIL graduate, she is working not only to increase the number of nurses in Haiti, but also to improve the quality and capabilities of those nurses. As the only baccalaureate nursing program in the country, they develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills their graduates will need to care for the communities in which they will serve. FSIL continues to break ground with the development of a new Master’s in Nursing (MsN) program. This program, another first for nursing education in Haiti, welcomed its first students in the fall of 2016. MBF Medical Benevolence Foundation (MBF) works as an indispensable link to engage churches in the developing world to transform lives by building strong, self-sustaining, health care ministries.

One Great Hour of Sharing

"You Shall Be Called Repairers of the Breach."  Isaiah 58

 Started in 1949, One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) is a long-standing ecumenical effort aimed at raising the funds necessary to provide relief and reconstruction for communities in the aftermath of disaster. 

Around the world, millions of people lack access to sustainable food sources, clean water, sanitation, education and opportunity.

Each gift to the OGHS helps to improve the lives of people in these challenging situations.  The Offering provides us a way to share God's love with our neighbors in need.  In fact, OGHS is the single, larges way that Presbyterians come together every year to work for a better world.

One Great Hour of Sharing, received during the season of Lent, makes a difference in the world through three impactful programs:  Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the Presbyterian Hunger Program and Self-Development of People.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistant (PDA)

PDA works alongside communities as they recover and find hope after the devastation of natural or human-caused disasters.

Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP)

PHP takes action to alleviate hunger and the systemic causes of poverty so all may be fed.

Self-Development of People (SDOP)

SDOP invests in communities responding to their experiences of racism, oppression, poverty and injustice and educates Presbyterians about the impact of these societal ills.

We hope you will join Christians all across the country in opening their hearts to witness tangibly the abundant love of God through One Great Hour of Sharing.  Envelopes will be available in the pew racks or you can mail your gift to the church office earmarked, "2017 OGHS."  Please give generously!


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Celtic Vespers

Celtic Vesper Service

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Influenced by and based on ancient Celtic worship as well as its 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 Carmins Gadelica, a candlelight procession, a brief incense rite, music based on Celtic tunes, and even a recitation of The Lord's Prayer in Gaelic, Celtic Vespers will offer a truly unique spiritual service.

Please join us on Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. ~ and bring your family and friends!

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Clerk's Pen(cil) II

 Following the call to order, devotions and prayer by Moderator Rev. Catherine Rieley-Goddard and the Session took up the work of the church on Tuesday, February 9, 2017.


Actions taken at the meeting are summarized as follows:

~ Received the Treasurer's report for January 2017

~ Approved the use of the Parlor by the Garden Club on Tuesday, April 11, at 12:00 Noon for its monthly meeting

~ Approved the Pension and Death and Disability coverage for Cathy Rieley-Goddard

~ Approved the 2016 Annual Statistical Report to the General Assembly - Membership Statistics, Miscellaneous Information, Racial Ethnic & Disabilities and Financial


Other Business...

~ For clarification - the change to the By-Laws, item #13 - Nominating Committee: the  members-at-large are eligible to serve an unlimited number of recurring one-year terms, if they desire.


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cash for causes

the simple solution to community fundraising

As a church we continue to participate in TOPS Markets "Cash for Causes" program.  We have available to members and friends TOPS "Cash for Causes" gift cards.  You pay the cash value of the card and the church earns 5% on each card sold.  We all buy groceries!  There is no additional cost to you; you simply use the gift card.  Cards are available in $25, $50 and $100 deonominations.  Please call (326-2643) or stop in the church office to purchase a gift card.

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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, Doc and Dorothy Near, Betty Reid, Enid Beadle,

Bev & Les Yeaney, Norma Vanderpool, Don Strobl, Gloria Colgrove, Lillian Saunders, Erma Lloyd, Tammy Rothwell and Jim Scarpine.


Family and Friends of our Congregation

Darrell Colgrove, Mary Grygier (Sister of Elaine Parker), Mike Strada (Brother of Elaine Parker) Abigail Jopek, The Pandolph/Peary Families (Friends of John Daily), Lois Lindstrom (Mother of Kathy Ricketts), Cathy Vilardo-Storbl, Linda Smalstig.


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:

~ George Schroeder, III ~ Thursday, January 19, 2017

(Father of Richard Schroeder)

~ Janet Odell ~ Sunday, February 19, 2017


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


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Income through January 31, 2017:  $10,619.99

(2017 Pledges Paid to Date:  $6,400.35)

Expenses through January 31, 2017:  $11,123.80

Investment Funds used through January 31, 2017:  $0.00


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Donate Now

The church has a "Donate Now" button on its Website ~  To donate to our church and ministry simply click on the donate tab located on the right hand side of the Website.  You will be directed to a secure Pay-Pal site to complete your donation.  The Church greatly appreciates any and all contributions.

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2017 Stewardship Update...

Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

 2 Corinthians 9: 7

To date total pledging units is 53 for a total giving of $61,470

There is, of course, still time for any and/or all of those members of First Presbyterian Church who have not pledged to do so.

You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result.  2 Corinthians 9: 11

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Chairs - white



In recent years the Women’s Association has purchased light-weight tables and sponsored a successful campaign to buy chairs for Fellowship Hall. Recently we had an event where all the tables and available chairs were used but some guests had to stand up for lack of accommodations.  This highlighted the need for more tables and chairs in order to maximize the space in Fellowship Hall.  To accomplish this, four tables, 100 chairs and a storage rack would be required. This would enable the replacement of all the old chairs, many of which are becoming unsafe.


To make this possible the Women’s Association is initiating a “BUY A CHAIR” appeal and asking donors to help meet this need.  The cost for a new chair is $20, tables are $50 and a rack is $175.


If you wish to help with this project there will be specially marked envelopes in the pews or cash/checks made payable to the Women’s Association may be left in the office.


Thank you in advance for your support in equipping Fellowship Hall to full seating capacity. Then accommodations will be available for crowds we hope to have at future events.

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 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



Bill Beckman


Andrew Fochtman

Drew Norton


Ashlin Helman

Camden Rogers


Ann Weidman


Daxon Perkins


Chris Truitt


Bobby Udell


Scott Rogers


Jim Deakin

Linda Kelley


Harry Barton

Lynnell Ellis

Bob Wilmarth


Enid Beadle

Lisa Young



Marilynne Northrop



Mary Jo Gollnitz



Giana Long

Jaime Long



Calendar of Events3


Ash Wednesday, March 1st

9:00 a.m. 

Worship & Music

7:00 p.m.

Ash Wednesday Service


Thursday, March 2nd

12:10 p.m.

Lenten Brown Bag Lunch Series

~ Parlor ~

Sunday, March 5th

10:00 a.m.

Choir Rehearsal

Sunday School

Christian Nurture ~ Adult Educaiton

11:00 a.m.

Family Worship

~ Communion ~

Monday, March 6th

7:00 p.m.

Mission/Outreach Meeting

Wednesday, March 8

11:00 a.m.

Presbyterian Women's Meeting

Thursday, March 9

12:10 p.m.

Lenten Brown Bag Lunch Series

~ Parlor ~

5:00 p.m.

Session Meeting

Sunday, March 12

10:00 a.m.

Choir Rehearsal

Sunday School

Christian Nurture ~ Adult Educaiton

11:00 a.m.

Family Worship

Thursday, March 16

12:10 p.m.

Lenten Brown Bag Lunch Series

~ Parlor ~

7:00 p.m.

Celtic Vespers Service

Sunday, March 19

10:00 a.m.

Choir Reherasal

Sunday School

Christian Nurture ~ Adult Education

Monday, March 20

7:00 p.m.

Deacon Meeting

Thursday, March 23

12:10 p.m.

Lenten Brown Bag Lunch Series

~ Parlor ~

Sunday, March 26

10:00 a.m.

Choir Rehearsal

Sunday School

Christian Nurture ~ Adult Education

11:00 a.m.

Family Worship

12:00 Noon

Coffee Hour

~ Hosted by Session ~

Thursday, March 30

12:10 p.m.

Lenten Brown Bag Lunch Series

~ Parlor ~

spring blessing3 

Better To Light Candles

By:  Merle Shain


It is better to light candles
than to curse the darkness.
It is better to plant seeds
than to accuse the earth.
The world needs all of our power
and love and energy,
and each of us has something that we can give.

The trick is to find it and use it,
to find it and give it away.
So there will always be more.
We can be lights for each other,
and through each other's illumination
we will see the way.
Each of us is a seed,
a silent promise,
 and it is always spring.