The   Chronicle




Published by


First Presbyterian Church 

49 South Portage Street 

Westfield, New York  









Church Office Hours

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

Monday through Friday


Office:  (716) 326-2643







Administrative Assistant

Polly M. Knopp



Daniel Dibble


Deacon of the Month

January 2019

Carolyn Bills


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 One Life

One Song can spark a moment

One Flower can wake the dream

One Tree can start a forest

One Bird can herald spring

One Smile begins a friendship

One Handclasp lifts a soul

One Star can guide a ship at sea

One Word can frame the goal

One Vote can change a nation

One Sunbeam lights a room

One Candle wipes out darkness

One Laugh will conquer gloom

One Step must start a journey

One Word must start a prayer

One Hope will raise our spirits

One Touch can show you care

One Voice can speak with wisdom

One Heart can know what is true

One Life can make a difference

winter picture

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January Pulpit Supply

For the month of January we will welcome Rev. Doug Ronsheim to the pulpit.


In July 2016, Rev. Douglas Ronsheim, D.Min, retired as the Executive Director of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. AAPC is a national membership organization whose mission is to provide training, education and clinical/collaborative community based services to enhance the well being of individuals, families and communities. AAPC’s mission is to provide care that is intentionally integrative and inclusive of the resources of one’s spiritual/religious life.

Prior to this he served, for 17 years, as the Executive Director of Pittsburgh Pastoral Institute, licensed as a Community Based Outpatient Psychiatric Clinic by the State of Pennsylvania. From January 1976-July 1984, he served as the minister of West Avenue Presbyterian Church, Buffalo, NY

Rev. Ronsheim is licensed (in active) as a Marriage and Family Therapist. He held faculty appointments in the schools of Social Work and Public Health, University of Pittsburgh; Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical School; and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.


He and his spouse, Maureen Emerling, moved to Mayville, NY in the summer of 2016. They have life time connections to Western New York. Doug and Maureen have two grandchildren, Madeline 5 and Matthew 2 1/2. They, and their parents, Eileen and Aaron, (and a chocolate lab, Millie) live in Winston Salem, NC.


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Per Capita


The PER CAPITA is an amount of money assessed each member of the local church for the administrative costs of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Synod

of the Northeast, and the Presbytery of WNY.  The church pays approximately $31.00 per each active member of the congregation for the Per Capita.


Any contribution to help defray the cost of the Per Capita expense would be appreciated.  Please make your check payable to First Presbyterian Church,

earmarked "Per Capita ~ Ecclesiastical Apportionment" and mail to the church office or place in the offering plate on Sunday mornings.  


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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 purchased TOPS "Cash for Causes" gift cards that are

available to church  members and friends.  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 $50 and $100 denominations.  Please call (326-2643) or stop in the church office to purchase a gift card.  


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For 2019 we will have fresh flowers on Sundays when a request is made by members and friends of the congregation.  We are returning to artificial flower arrangements for Sundays we do not have a request.

We encourage members and friends to give fresh flower arrangements in memory of loved ones, or in honor or appreciation for a special person throughout the year.  Please call the church office/326-2643 or email at to reserve a special date.

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Mission/Outreach News....

Christma Joy Offering

Every generous act of giving is from above.  James 1: 17


The total to date for the 2018 Christmas Joy Offering, the 4th special offering of  

Presbyterian Church (USA), was $200.00.  Half of your offering will support the assistance programs of the Board of Pensions that help faithful servants.  The other half will go to support the ministries of racial ethnic schools and colleges with 

students trying to discover and develop the gifts God has given them.  All of them will help to increase the joy of the family of God.  Thank you to all who supported this offering!



Thank you to each and everyone who helped support the 2018 Angel Tree Mission. The Angel Tree is also supported by other churches in 

our community.  Our church gave sixteen (16) children in the Westfield area wonderful gifts from this program for the holidays.  Thank you for your generous support to this local mission!


 "Yes, We CAN support Mission"

pop cansThe Mission Committee extends its thanks to everyone for their donation of can deposits throughout the year.  The "CAN" fund-raising project has been VERY successful!  For 2018 we raised $577.60, and was divided between the Westfield Community Kitchen and Food Pantry.  We hope everyone will continue to donate their empty cans and plastic bottles that have a refundable deposit to help our Church continue its mission.  


Pennies for Hunger

Pennies for Hunger

The "Pennies for Hunger" offering were received the last Sunday of each month during 2018.  The total contributions received for 2018 was $149.12         and was divided between Westfield Community Kitchen and Food Pantry.

Food Pantry6 

Westfield Food Pantry

January is our month to donate shelf and table products for the Pantry.  They appreciate any and all donations.  Please help anyway you can!

Mission Giving


During 2018 the Mission Committee supported the following mission projects from donations and fund-raisers:  Buckhorn Children & Family Services (Nehemiah Program) - $779, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (Hurricane Florence & Michael) - $1,000, Chautauqua Area Habitat for Humanity - $250, Chautauqua Jail Chaplaincy - $200, Presbyterian World Mission - $200, Marion Medical Mission - Shallow Well - $400,  Westfield Food Pantry - $363.36, Westfield Community Kitchen - $363.36, Ronald McDonald House Charities - $200, Renaissance House - Kid's Escaping Drugs - $300, Buffalo City Mission - $200, Heifer International - $250, Buckhorn Children's Foundation - $225, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (California Wildfires) - $500, Chautauqua Hospice & Palliative Care - $250, Love, Inc. - $200.


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Nursing Student

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

Thanks to First Presbyterian Church of Westfield, NY, Samara reach a goal she has been working toward for several years: she graduated with Bachelor’s in Nursing from FSIL. Early in life, Samara faced many challenges including the loss of her parents. As an orphan, Samara could have easily lost all hope and fallen into the poverty trap. Because her godfather stepped in to help, she received encouragement and the opportunity to complete her secondary education. Eventually, Samara was admitted to FSIL Nursing School and while her education was not always easy, she completed her degree on time.

First Presbyterian Church’s faithful support for the MBF Scholars program is making a significant difference in the lives of young Haitians. Over the past several years, you provided the hope and encouragement Samara needed to pursue her dreams with confidence. She said, “I will never stop to thank 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.”

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congregational meeting2

Annual Congregation Meeting

Sunday, January 20, 2019


The Annual Congregation meeting will be held Sunday,  January 20, 2019 to approve the Annual Congregational minutes of January 21, 2018, Special Congregational Meetings of April 15, 2018, May 13, 2018, August 5, 2018, October 28, 2018 and to receive reports of the Committees of Session and Congregational Organizations.

 Copies of the 2018 Annual Report will be available at the entrances to the sanctuary on Sunday, January 13, 2019.


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A Violin with Three Strings

By: Jack Riemer


On Nov. 18, 1995, Itzhak Perlman, the violinist, came on stage to give a concert at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. 

If you have ever been to a Perlman concert, you know that getting on stage is no small achievement for him. He was stricken with polio as a child, and so he has braces on both legs and walks with the aid of two crutches. To see him walk across the stage one step at a time, painfully and slowly, is an awesome sight. 

He walks painfully, yet majestically, until he reaches his chair. Then he sits down, slowly, puts his crutches on the floor, undoes the clasps on his legs, tucks one foot back and extends the other foot forward. Then he bends down and picks up the violin, puts it under his chin, nods to the conductor and proceeds to play. 

By now, the audience is used to this ritual. They sit quietly while he makes his way across the stage to his chair. They remain reverently silent while he undoes the clasps on his legs. They wait until he is ready to play. 

But this time, something went wrong. Just as he finished the first few bars, one of the strings on his violin broke. You could hear it snap - it went off like gunfire across the room. There was no mistaking what that wound meant.  There was no mistaking what

he had to do.

We figured that he would have to get up, put on the clasps again, pick up the crutches and limp his way off stage - to either find another violin or else find another string for this one. But he didn't.  Instead, he waited a moment, closed his eyes and then

signaled the conductor to begin again.

The orchestra began, and he played from where he had left off. And he played with such passion and such power and such purity as they had never heard before. 

Of course, anyone knows that it is impossible to play a symphonic work with just three strings. I know that, and you know that, but that night Itzhak Perlman refused to know that. 

You could see him modulating, changing, re-composing the piece in his head. At one point, it sounded like he was de-tuning the strings to get new sounds from them that they had never made before.

When he finished, there was an awesome silence in the room. And then people rose and cheered. There was an extraordinary outburst of applause from every corner of the auditorium. We were all on our fee, screaming and cheering, doing everything we

could to show how much we appreciated what he had done. 

He smiled, wiped the sweat from this brow, raised his bow to quiet us, and then he said - not boastfully, but in a quiet, pensive, reverent tone - "You know, sometimes it is the artist's task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left." 

What a powerful line that is. It has stayed in my mind ever since I heard it. And who knows? Perhaps that is the definition of life - not just for artists but for all of us. 

Here is a man who has prepared all his life to make music on a violin of four strings, who, all of a sudden, in the middle of a concert, finds himself with only three strings; so he makes music with three strings, and the music he made that night with just three strings was more beautiful, more sacred, more memorable, than any that he had ever made before, when he had four strings.

So, perhaps our task in this shaky, fast-changing, bewildering world in which we live is to make music, at first with all that we have, and then, when that is no longer possible, to make music with what we have left. 


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Stewardship2018 Stewardship Campaign ~ Update


“Everyone should give whatever they have decided in their hearts. They shouldn't give with hesitation or because of pressure. God loves a cheerful giver.”

2 Corinthians 9: 7 


To date, total pledging units 43 for a total of $51,040.00


Pledges are essential to our church's planning process in order to determine our annual budget and determine how we will cover our operating expenses

Our Stewardship goal for 2019 is to cover the operating expenses of the church so we no longer draw from our investments.


There is still time for any and/or all of those members of First Church who have not pledged to do so.  If you didn't receive a letter and pledge card and you would like one, please call the church office/326-2643.   Please mail your pledge card to the church office earmarked "Stewardship".


We are grateful for each and every gift given to the church!


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Prayer Concerns

prayer concernsA 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, Dorothy Near, Betty Reid, Bev Yeaney, Lillian Saunders,  Mark Robbins, Barb Lynn, Ople Gollnitz, Judy Sumption


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)Dave Schutter (Brother of Carolyn Bills) and Louise Young.


Our Servicemen

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

Lt. Victory Gutirrez, U.S. Army Rangers (Grandson of Jack Beckman)

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Income through November 30:  $100,011.67

(2018 Pledges Paid to Date:  51,911.00)

Expenses through November 30:  $145,258.03

Investment Funds used through November 30:  $43,700.00  


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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


Steve Peters


Marie Edwards


Mark Meleen


Warren Colgrove

Kai Diehl


Laurie Diehl


Brittany Edwards


Joan Allen


Richard Barney


Jill Raynor


Justin Ellis


Cortland Knopp


Mike Ricketts

Alisha Ellis


Charles Machemer


Jennifer Barber


David Bills


Ricki Schofield

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A special Anniversary Prayer...

That God's Eternal love

Will fill your heart this day

With joy and blessings from above


Jeff & Kathy Monroe



Calendar of Events - January

Tuesday, January 1

Church Office Closed

Sunday, January 6

~ Epiphany of the Lord ~

10:00 a.m.

Choir Rehearsal

Christian Nurture - Adult Education


Family Worship

~ Communion ~

Monday, January 7

7:00 p.m.

Mission/Outreach Meeting

Sunday, January 13

10:00 a.m.

Choir Rehearsal

Christian Nurture ~ Adult Education

11:00 a.m.

Family Worship

Tuesday, January 15

7:00 p.m.

Session Meeting

Wednesday, January 16

Property & Finance Meeting

Sunday, January 20

10:00 a.m.

Choir Rehearsal

Christian Nurture ~ Adult Education

11:00 a.m.

Family Worship

12:00 Noon

Annual Congregational Meeting

Monday, January 21

Church Office Closed

7:00 p.m.

Deacon Meeting

Sunday, January 27

10:00 a.m.

Choir Rehearsal

Christian Nurture - Adult Education

11:00 a.m.

Family Worship

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New Year

May the new year bring you an abundance of amazing

opportunities, beautiful moments, and joyful experiences. 

May your positive actions and attitude inspire others.

May you be brave enough to take on and overcome

rewarding challenges.  May you find yourself in high spirits and

excellent health.  May you love with all your heart and find peace

in even the most turbulent of times.  May the love you

give always find its way back to you multiplied. 

And may you forever be filled with the hope and strength

necessary to make your dreams a reality.