An open letter to all my friends:
I’m sure that most of you already know that I announced in church on January 6 that I will be stepping down as your pastor on June 30, 2019. My future plans may have surprised and maybe even shocked a lot of you, and I apologize if my announcement upset anyone.
Many have asked me if I was “retiring.” The notion of retiring isn’t quite what I will be doing. With a house in Altamont and two on Lake Champlain, not working doesn’t sound feasible for the immediate future. I’m anxious to see what God has in store for me next. My years at both churches have been a blessing beyond belief, so I am hopeful that the journey will continue to be as wonderful.
When I think back to the first days with you all in 2005, I am overwhelmed with the amazing progress we have made together in the years since. Remember when there was no carillon, an organ that was temperamental, a grand piano that defied tuning, wooden pews without cushions, and about 12-15 older members and no children in worship? Boy! We have come so far together and I am so very proud of each of you and the many, many advances our church has made.
Let me first make it perfectly clear to everyone that the choice to move on was mine….I was not pressured or asked to leave. For the past few years, I have tried to deal with all the new reports, rules, regulations, etc. and I believe that they have brought the greater church to be big business, and I sense a malaise about the local church and that our amazing accomplishments together go unnoticed.
Last September when I met with the district superintendent and told him of my plans, he understood and I told him I was going to announce on Epiphany. He will be coming to both churches on Sunday, 17 February to discern what the churches would like to see in a new pastor for the future.  I would urge you all to clearly voice exactly what you expect from the next person who gets to experience the love I’ve felt.
In the meantime, we have six months together upcoming for us to continue to grow and strengthen our church. If we just focus on the love of God and our love for each other then we can continue to do wonderful ministries as a church family. If anyone has any concerns or questions, please let me know. I want to make this right with everyone, and help our church move ahead with no negative feelings or fears for the future. This is God’s plan. Let God have control.
I love you all and plan to honor the friendships I’ve made…… for the rest of my life! Jerry

And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.   Psalm 78:72

SUNDAY SCHOOL
Our Sunday School has been using the Deep Blue One Room curriculum. We are in our second set of lessons for the year. The kids have enjoyed the activities that go along with each lesson. The lessons reinforce stories of the bible by first reading, then discussing, and watching an interactive short cartoon. We enjoy seeing the older students helping the younger ones with reading and crafting. We are truly blessed to have such an amazing group of caring and loving students.

FOOD PANTRY
MUMC members support the Food Bank at the Mayfield Presbyterian Church. Food can be placed in the box in our church foyer and will be taken across the street on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month. Acceptable items are non-perishable food such as canned fruit, vegetables, spaghetti sauce, peanut butter, beans or rice.

ADULT CHOIR
Our committed members of the adult choir selflessly give of their time and talents week in and week out. Rehearsals typically begin at 10:15am each Sunday morning; 10:30am through the summer months. New members, regardless of musical background or experience, are always welcome!

YOUTH CHOIR
Our youth completed their 6th annual caroling tour this past December with visits to Nathan Littauer Hospital Nursing Home, Wells House and Willing Helpers’ Home for Women. We hold so much appreciation for our families and their continued participation in this service project. The young people did a wonderful job! Not only did they use their voices, but they also used their personalities, character and willingness to reach out to spread Christmas cheer to those truly in need. The personal conversations between the youth and the residents were so moving! Up next in 2019 – a combined anthem with the adult choir on Easter Sunday morning.

YOUTH GROUP
2018’s activities included: roller skating, pizza & movies, fun nights of swimming at the YMCA, Easter crosses with the needle working group, Crop Walk, Faith Night at the Amsterdam Mohawks, Vacation Bible School, white water rafting and Day of Thankfulness. Coming soon in 2019 – life skills class, weekend “camp in” and a special summertime surprise courtesy of the Bart & Danielle, in memory of Dawn.

VBS
Our 2018 Vacation Bible School, Rolling River Rampage, was a week long, full day event with the theme “Experience the ride of a lifetime with God”. Between teen counselors and campers, our dedicated group of volunteers was of service to approximately 35 young people. Through Bible stories and discussion, crafts, science, games, fun and fellowship, we explored the way God works in our lives every day. For our mission project, we gathered personal care items and snacks and packed multiple care packages, complete with beautiful handmade cards and pictures, to send off to the troops overseas. We ended our week with a white water rafting adventure!

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.” Isaiah 43:2.

CROP WALK
Please join us for our 6th year participating in the Mayfield Crop Walk. This community event strives to help battle hunger, with up to 25% of funds received staying locally. This year’s walk will be held on Sunday, May 5th. As usual, we will cross the street to MCPC after our church service that day and coordinate with other walkers. We will then walk to the elementary school, lap the track and let the young people enjoy some time at the playground. Those with physical concerns can return to MCPC at any point to enjoy refreshments and fellowship.
See Ann Marie to join our team or visit:

NEEDLE WORK GROUP
The needlework group continues to meet weekly alternating between days and evenings. For the wintery months, the group will meet at the Brannon’s house.. If you want to learn a form of needle art or have been making beautiful items for years we would love for you to join us. Any questions, please contact Kathryn. Below are the dates we will be meeting. Please join us!
Mondays at 12:30 Thursdays at 6:30 pm

February 25 February 21 – March 11 March 7 – March 25 March 21 – April 8 April 4 – April 22 April 18

MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC
The newly formed MUMC Youth Band played the hymn “Blest be the Tie that Binds” for the prelude on Feb. 3, 2019. The 5 boys played trumpet, alto saxophone, bass clarinet and 2 trombones. They made beautiful music. “When the Saints come marching in” will be the next performance on a Sunday morning in March.
Special Church Music has been provided by some of our talented musicians. We have guitar players, a violinist, flutist, clarinetist, organist, pianist, and singers. Some of the music performed includes original compositions and arrangements. Music is an important part of our worship service. If you would like to share your musical talent, please contact Kathryn or Ann Marie.

LAP ROBE MISSION
As I sit looking out at the snow falling gently, I am reminded of our lap robe mission. Mayfield Methodist “needle workers” have helped to make veterans feel a little warmer, a little more comfortable and a little more loved. This mission began in 2007 when Shirley and Eugene H. approached the congregation to help out veterans at the Sam Stratton VA Hospital in Albany.
They had begun this mission a few years prior to 2007 with providing toiletries. Since that time the lap robe ministry has donated 1,847 to inpatients at the hospital. We have also donated lap robes to our own veterans and to those who we know around the community. Thank you notes are received and shared as to how grateful the recipients are that they are remembered.
The “needle workers” meet at least 4 times a month to work together and to enjoy each other’s company. We gave a few “lessons” to non-crocheters, and they all caught on very quickly. We accept donations from the community and the congregation of yarn, $, and even lap robes. The lap robes are blessed in our worship service and taken to the VA twice a year. Memorial Day and Veterans Day are the special days we have chosen for our deliveries.