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Welcome to the Pastor’s Corner, and welcome to the website of the First Presbyterian Church of Greenlawn! We hope that you will find here helpful resources for your spiritual journey.
That early Christians were called the “people of the way” is a reminder to us that we have not yet reached our destination, but continue to make our way along the path of discipleship. What is true of our lives as Christians is also true of this page and site. It, like us, is “a work in progress.”

And “may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all”
(2 Cor. 3:14)

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A Message from Pastor
Ann Van Cleef
, June 2021


My Beloved Church Family,
In the past two issues of The Steeple Chimes, I have been discussing the Building Abrahamic Partnerships (BAP) class that I took at Hartford
Seminary. Today, I’ll continue that conversation, focusing on what I learned about Judaism.
I was surprised to learn that there are only about 14 – 16 million Jews in the world today, as opposed to the one billion Christians and one billion Muslims. Just prior to World War II, there were 18 million Jews. When the war was over, only 12 million remained.
If one’s mother is Jewish, one is considered to be Jewish, even if one does not practice Judaism. This is called matrilineal order. If a person’s father is Jewish, but not the mother, that person would have to convert in order to
practice Judaism. However, Reform Jews now acknowledge patrilineal order
for “Jewishness.”
I learned a new term: Reconstructionist Judaism. It’s an outgrowth of Conservative Judaism, and it encourages some traditional practices, including keeping kosher and observing the Sabbath. Reconstructionist,
Reform, and Conservative Synagogues may have female Rabbis. Orthodox Synagogues
do not.
I had always thought that the Hasidic Jews were very “heady,” intellectual Jews. Actually, the Hasidic movement was started in Eastern Europe in the mid-1700s, in response to an intellectual movement. Its followers introduced ecstasy, joy, and emotion into their practices, and were linked to Jewish mysticism. Now
they have found a niche teaching secular Jews. And the curls? That’s because it says in Leviticus 19:27, “You shall not shave around the sides of your head, nor shall you disfigure the edges of your beard.”
The class had a good discussion about keeping the Sabbath (called the Shabbat), which starts from sundown on Friday and ends on sunset on Saturday. Our instructor, Professor Yeheskel Landau, called it a “separation of time for an island of spiritual existence,” and a “once-a-week booster shot.” I’ll say “Amen” to that. Sabbathkeeping is something we can learn from our Jewish brothers and sisters.
Historically, the Jews had no land to call their own after the destruction of the Jewish kingdom by the Romans in 70 AD, when the conquered land was renamed Palestine. After WWI, Palestine became a British Protectorate until continuing turmoil forced them to yield their hold, and independence was granted to the
Jewish State by vote of the UN on April 29, 1949 (now known as Israel Independence Day). One of our instructors said, “The land is an integral part of what it means to be Jewish – a place to call home where we can feel safe.”
On the Saturday that our class met, we attended a service at a local Synagogue. On this particular day, therewas a Bar Mitzvah during the service. It was a blessing to be part of that joy. The high point for me during the Bar Mitzvah was when the Torah was handed down symbolically from the great-grandparents to the Bar Mitzvah, a young man named Matthew, who paraded it around the Sanctuary followed by his family. Peoplewere touching the Torah with their prayer shawls or their prayer books, and then kissing the object that had touched the Torah. I did so too – I was so taken up in the moment. Then the family broke into a spontaneous dance of joy in the back of the Sanctuary while Matthew continued to walk the Torah around. I was
in tears.
Then, something happened that seemed very strange to me. The congregation started doing a responsive prayer in Hebrew, and I found myself reciting the responses. Without the prayer book. In Hebrew! A language
I do not speak! It took me a few responses to even realize what I was doing. Hey! What’s going on here?
I suppose I can intellectualize about it and say that my musician’s ear was enabling me to listen to the Hebrew and repeat it about 1/10 of a second behind everyone else. Or, I can respond on an emotional level and
say that perhaps the Holy Spirit was making it possible for me to speak in tongues (whish is something we of the Reformed faith don’t really do), and even though I probably wasn’t getting all the words right, God was still hearing
my prayer.
Like the father who admonished his son to “Remember where you came from” as the boy took off for life in the big city, we Christians, too, need to remember where we come from. Our roots include over 3,700 years of
Jewish history before Christ walked this planet.
Let us always remember that God chose to come to Earth to live as a Jewish carpenter. And because this Jewish carpenter lived among us, suffered, died, and rose from the dead, we may now experience Eternal Life in the Kingdom which has been prepared for us.

With love and blessings,
Pastor Ann

Welcome Rev. Dr. Ann VanCleef!

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Sunday Worship –
Questions and Answers

By Pastor Ann

Zoom Worship

How are we going to worship on Sundays?    
     We will be continuing our Sunday worship using a video conferencing system called Zoom.  You may log on as early as 10:00 a.m. for coffee and conversation.  Worship begins promptly at 10:30, followed by a virtual coffee hour until noon.  The easiest way to do Zoom is to download the Zoom App from the App Store.  Zoom will work on a computer, a laptop, an I-Pad, or a Smartphone.  

What are the Meeting IDs?
     Please check your weekly email for ID's and Passcodes for each service.

Will I get a reminder about logging on to these services?
     If you are on the church e-mail list, you will get a weekly e-mail with the Zoom link.

I don’t have a camera on my computer, but I do have a Smartphone.
Zoom will work on your Smartphone. 

I don’t have a computer or a Smartphone.  What can I do?
     You may telephone the following number: 
1-646-558-8656
     You will be asked for a meeting ID.  The meeting IDs are outlined in paragraph 2.
     You won’t be able to see us, but you can still hear what’s going on.

Please note:
     Out here on the North Fork, where I live, the Internet has been a bit “iffy” lately.  There is a chance that I will suddenly “disappear” from your screen.  If that happens, just hang in there.  I will log back on with my iPhone.

 

Sunday Bulletins - Date

 
Bulletin 4.5.20 Bulletin Maunday Thursday 4.9.20
Bulletin Good Friday 4.10.20 Bulletin Easter Sunday 4.12.20
Bulletin 4.19.20 Bulletin 4.26.20
Bulletin 5.3.20 Bulletin 5.10.20
Bulletin 5.17.20 Bulletin 5.24.20
Bulletin 5.31.20_Pentecost Bulletin 6.7.20
Bulletin 6.14.20 Bulletin 6.21.20
Bulletin 6.28.20 Bulletin 7.5.20
Bulletin 7.12.20 Bulletin 7.19.20
Bulletin 7.26.20 Bulletin 8.2.20
Bulletin 8.9.20 Bulletin 8.16.20
Bulletin 8.23.20 Bulletin 8.30.20
Bulletin 9.6.20 Bulletin 9.13.20
Bulletin 9.20.20 Bulletin 9.27.20
Bulletin 10.4.20 Bulletin 10.11.20
Bulletin 10.18.20 Bulletin 10.25.20
Bulletin 11.1.20 Bulletin 11.8.20
Bulletin 11.15.20 Bulletin 11.22.20
Bulletin 11.29.20 Bulletin 12.6.20
Bulletin 12.13.20 Bulletin 12.20.20
Christmas Eve Bulletin 12.24.20 Bulletin 12.27.20
Epiphany_Bulletin 1.3.21 Baptism of Jesus_
Bulletin 1.10.21
Bulletin 1.17.21 Bulletin 1.23.21
Bulletin 1.31.21 Bulletin 2.7.21
Bulletin 2.14.21 Ash Wednesday Bulletin 2.17.21
Bulletin 2.21.21 Bulletin 2.28.21
Bulletin 3.7.21 Bulletin 3.14.21
Bulletin 3.21.21 Palm Sunday Bulletin 3.28.21
April 1 Maundy Thursday Bulletin April 2 Good Friday Bulletin
April 4 Easter Sunday Bulletin Bulletin 4.11.21
Bulletin 4.18.21 Bulletin 4.25.21
Bulletin 5.2.21 Bulletin 5.9.21
Bulletin 5.16.21 Bulletin 5.23.21
Bulletin 5.30.21 Bulletin 6.6.21
Bulletin 6.13.21 Bulletin 6.20.21