The 2016 yard sale at FPC was another success. We helped members and local friends recycle belongings as well as made money for local charities. Rural Ministry of Northern Chautauqua County and the Boys and Girls Club in Dunkirk are just two organizations that will benefit from the proceeds of the sale. It was particularly helpful this year that community members donated items to the sale. It was a way for them to clean out their homes as well as benefit local charities. Many thanks to all local residents that donated or purchased items, as well as the faithful members who made the event possible.
Fredonia Presbyterian Church has received recertification as an Earth Care congregation by the Presbyterian Church USA. This certification is received when a church shows evidence of concrete steps to protect the environment through special programs in education, worship, building maintenance and advocacy. Fredonia Presbyterian publishes regular articles on its website about ways to “be green” and offers there a resource for individuals who desire to reduce their carbon footprint. The congregation also has worked consistently to reduce it energy usage through a variety of conservation efforts. Its advocacy efforts range from endorsement of the Solar Chautauqua program to hosting a garden for Rural Ministry’s food programs to its offering of organic and sustainably farmed coffee, tea and chocolate products at the Fredonia Farmers’ Market. For more information contact Fredonia Presbyterian Church at our church office 679-1501.
Fredonia Presbyterian Church has been recertified by the Presbyterian Church USA as an Earth Care Congregation. This means that the congregation has proven it commitment to eco-justice in four areas: education, worship, building maintenance and upkeep, and advocacy. Some of the programs that have earned the re-certification are worship services dedicated to environmental issues, worship outside, a monthly column in the church newsletter called the “Green Corner,” and the sale of sustainably farmed, organic coffee, tea and chocolate at the Fredonia Farmers’ Market.
During Lent 2016, which starts on February 10th, Fredonia Presbyterian Church is introducing three new ways to explore one’s faith. Every Saturday from 12 until 4 p.m., the church will be open to welcome people for prayer, to learn about various forms of prayer, and/or to walk the labyrinth. Prayer centers will offer displays about Breath Prayers, Meditation, Examen of Consciousness, Praying with Scripture, Imaging prayer, Prayer with art, Journaling and more. The displays are interactive and handouts will be available. Walking the Labyrinth is a kind of walking meditation that can be used for relaxation, spiritual enrichment and discernment. It has roots back to the middle ages and is found in numerous ancient cultures. These programs will be offered every Saturday in Lent including February 13th, 20th, 27th and March 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th. (The Labyrinth will not be available on March 5th). On February 17th at 7:00 p.m., and every Wednesday after that, we will host a Taize contemplative service. These services include simple songs/chants, prayer, scripture and meditation in silence. All are welcome to these events. For further information, contact the church office at 679-1501.
On December 5th and 6th, Fredonia Presbyterian Church will host its annual Alternative Christmas Festival. At the center of our festival is a display of over 600 nativities of different materials, sizes and cultures. The festival also includes an alternative market that offers hand-crafted gifts from around the world (all are fair-trade meaning the craftspeople get a fair portion of the sale price of each item). Available gifts include baskets, scarves, jewelry, nativities, and much more. Our Equal Exchange table offers organic coffee, tea and chocolate that can be purchased separately or used to create a personalized gift basket. These food products are fair-trade, organic and sustainably farmed. There are also small craft kits, Christmas activity books for children, and stocking stuffers all with the theme of the nativity. The Festival is open on Saturday the 5th from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and on the 6th from 12:00-2:00 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.
Through the support of so many in this community, Fredonia Presbyterian Church was able to collect over 5,425 lbs. of food for the Fredonia Food Pantry. The Fredonia Central School collected over 3,000 lbs. alone! The local radio station, WDOE shared the word about the effort, as did the Observer which provided numerous articles. Fredonia (SUNY) students helped collect food and load the truck with the donations. Local businesses did their part as well in acting as drop off sites. There is a real need in our community for the pantry, over 30% of our children quality for free or reduced price lunches. The pantry has served over 300 individuals in a little over a year, many of them as repeat guests. The support of the community is essential to the continued success of this program and the pantry. It is truly a blessing to have received the generous response we have received this year.
The Feeding Fredonia Challenge is on target to begin on Monday, October 12th. Area businesses and offices that are participating will have a gold sign on their door or window indicating that they are a drop off site for food. The need is real and the community’s support is needed. The current statistics indicate that 37% of our children at the Fredonia Central School system qualify for free or reduced lunches due to economic hardship. The Feeding Fredonia Challenge supplies food for the Fredonia Food Pantry which is open on the third Saturday of the month form 10 to 12 at our church.
From October 12 through 16, the village of Fredonia will once again be participating in the Feeding Fredonia Challenge. Please consider supporting this village wide food collection by bringing in food to area businesses that are participating in the collection. Suggestions for donations include:beans, canned fruits, canned meats, canned vegetables, cereals, coffee, dry milk, peanut butter, rice, soups, pastas, canned spaghetti sauce, and jelly. Donations may also be brought to the Fredonia Presbyterian Church which is sponsoring the effort.
Once again, the Fredonia Presbyterian Church will be sponsoring the Feeding Fredonia Challenge to happen in October 2015. The collection will take place with the local businesses and the Fredonia Central School system. More details will follow.
Recently, Fredonia Presbyterian Church was recognized by the international co-op Equal Exchange for being in the top 5% of congregations for amount of sales. Through the church’s participation in the Fredonia Farmer’s Market, FPC sells significantly more than would be possible if sales were restricted to our congregation. Equal Exchange goods are all fair-trade, organic, and sustainably farmed. The church sells all products at wholesale prices so that we are able to sell more to benefit the farmers. A variety of coffees, ground and whole bean; a range of teas; olive oil; baking cocoa; and 8 kinds of chocolate bars are featured at the church and at the community Farmer’s Market (the first two weeks of the month).