How to Prevent the Next Pandemic

I had a few books to keep me company during the storm, one of which was Debora MacKenzie’s COVID-19: The Pandemic That Never Should Have Happened and How to Stop the Next One.  You may be thinking, “How did they publish and distribute COVID-19 books so quickly during a pandemic?”  I’ve read a bunch already, including a mediocre novel, a book of terrible poems, a book of decent essays, two Christian books (one great, the other bland) and two medical treatises.  Alternatively, you may be asking, “Why in the world are you reading books about the pandemic?  Isn’t there enough news to cover it?”  The answer is that news stories, by design, typically fail to engage in critical, reflective thought, while books have the advantage of perspective.

Book lovers, I know this is a terrible thing to do, and apologies to the author, but I’m going to skip to the last page (super spoiler alert) to share the quote that has stuck with me.  I hope this is acceptable, especially as the quote comes not from MacKenzie, but from Jeremy Farrar of the National Academy of the Sciences (who uses British spelling) this past April:  “Do we apportion blame, exact reparations and become ever more polarised?  Or do we come together, learn lessons, make changes and refashion a more collective, cohesive world?”

The same thought is found in Rascal Flatts’ new hit, “How They Remember You”: “Did you stand or did you fall / Build a bridge or build a wall / Hide your love or give it all?  What did you do?”

The point is, we have a chance.  In fact, we have a great chance: an opportunity not only to prevent the next pandemic, but to build a better world.  There’s more than enough blame to go around.  It takes more courage to say, “I was wrong” than “You were wrong.”  It takes more trust to look past our differences than to judge others for not being like us.  It takes more faith to believe in people like God believes in people than it does for us to “protect our own.”  These times provide a test for each of us, individually and as societies: do we really believe that all human beings are children of God?  If we answer “Yes” (Hint: Scripture says “Yes!”), then we agree that we are each other’s keepers.  Everything we do proceeds from there: working with other countries, having respectful conversations with other parties, making sacrifices that benefit others, protecting those with less power.

Are we ready to be ready?

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it for me.
~ Matthew 25:40, New International Version

A Real Human Being from Planet Earth

As we continue to reopen, reevaluate and restructure, one out of every ten Americans remains unemployed.  Today I’m proposing a way to get a whole lot of people back to work.  Granted, these are entry-level jobs, but they would make a huge difference and they make so much sense that it’s amazing they don’t exist.  It’s even more amazing that once upon a time, they did.

In case you haven’t guessed, I’m talking about customer service.  After last week’s storm, it seemed that the highest level of frustration was not with the storm damage itself (which should have been the worst part), but the inability to get through to anyone online, coupled with websites that nobody seemed to update.  Some people waited for hours, then gave up.  Others received busy signals or were rerouted or disconnected.  Others received automated replies that informed them that “they knew there were problems and were working on them.”  The same difficulties were reported this spring by people seeking unemployment benefits.  And of course this is on top of the usual problems of finding A Real Human Being from Planet Earth to talk through a problem with a laptop or home appliance ~ at least one who knows more than to suggest, “Did you try turning it off, then turning it on again?”

How is it possible that the seemingly “lowest level” of so many companies doesn’t even seem to exist?  How can a multi-billion dollar corporation have limited service hours and wait times of over an hour?  How can so much money be spent on advertising and so little on customer satisfaction?  And why can’t there be better on-hold music?

The answer is that somewhere along the line, someone noticed that companies could save money by eliminating personal service.  What they neglected to note was that personal service increases people’s appreciation for a company, their impression of reliability, their good will and eventually their profits.  Everybody wins, and for a fraction of the cost of most other employees.

Imagine for a moment this call:
“Hi, I’m calling to report a power outage on Greene Avenue in Sayille.”
“I’m sorry you’re experiencing that; let me check … we don’t have any crews in the area, because there are power lines blocking Lakeland Avenue and a tree fell in front of Dunkin Donuts.  Would you like me to call you back when we have an estimate?”

You probably smiled or laughed, because this is science fiction.  It’s so futuristic, so crazy to believe that one day we might have such a conversation!  And yet, it’s so easy to do, and a little bit goes a long way.

But it doesn’t end there.  Another “old idea” along the same lines is to expand the candy striper program that used to be so popular in hospitals.  Volunteers (who dressed in “candy stripe” uniforms, which should not be a sticking point) changed beds, emptied trash, and most importantly spent time with patients.  If you’ve been in a hospital lately, you know how important human contact can be.  If this were offered as a paid, entry-level position, goodwill and even health would likely increase.

Right now, perhaps more than any period in our lifetimes, a lot of people really want to help other people, and a lot of people need jobs.  Why not help them all?  Who could possibly lose?  If the old adage is true that we’re only as strong as our weakest link, then strengthening our society begins not at the top, but at the bottom, with ~ pardon the pun ~ basic human connection.

Sunday Worship Service ~ August 9, 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Good morning, everyone!
Welcome to our 22nd online service.
We hope and pray that it is a blessing to you!

We are now worshiping both at home and in person.  We will continue to post Sunday services indefinitely and want you to stay safe!  Mary and Joanna are working mostly from home.  Tanae is updating our Facebook page, while Rebecca is in charge of our Instagram page and Jack has adopted our Twitter account.  Every day we add a new post right here on the website that automatically pops up on Facebook and Twitter as well.  If you missed any of this week’s posts, just scroll down to see them!  Steve’s new Bible study can be found on our Bible Study page.

Our Thrift Shop is open Saturdays only this summer; please contact Tracy to help on Saturdays or anytime during the week.  Wednesday morning Bible study (led by Rich) meets at 10 a.m. and Wednesday evening Bible study (led by Steve) at 7 p.m.; if the weather is nice we will meet outside.  

CALL TO WORSHIP:

Breathe in; breathe out.
Let the Holy Spirit wash over you.
Feel a sense of calm and belonging.
For you are in this holy place,
And where you are,
The Lord is also.

UNISON PRAYER:

LORD, WHEN THE WALLS OF ANXIETY
ARE CLOSING IN AROUND US; WHEN OUR FEARS ARE
THREATENING TO OVERWHELM US; WHEN WE CAN’T SEEM TO
FIND OUR WAY; HELP US TO BREATHE, JUST BREATHE. 

REMIND US TO BE STILL
AND KNOW THAT YOU ARE GOD.
YOU ARE FIGHTING OUR BATTLES FOR US.
MAY WE REST AT YOUR FEET, AND FIND PEACE.  AMEN.

WORDS OF ASSURANCE: 1 Peter 5:7, New International Version

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Our Father,
Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those
Who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil,
For thine is the kingdom,
And the power,
And the glory forever.
Amen.

OPENING SONG:  “Breathe” (Lee and Tanae)

CONGREGATIONAL PRAYER
(Note: Add your own prayers at the beginning or end)

We pray for those who are still without power following the storm.  Help their power to be restored, and for them to have answers where answers are needed.  We pray for those facing the end of unemployment benefits and those facing eviction.  Help our politicians to stop squabbling and come up with a solution.  We pray for those who are suffering from COVID-19, have lost loved ones, are concerned about returning to school, or are otherwise affected by the pandemic.  We continue to pray for a cure.

We pray for strength and healing for Liz S., who is back in the hospital this week suffering from symptoms related to her treatment.  We pray that you will take away these symptoms and heal her disease.  We pray your continued blessing on Barbara G. and Tanae’s father Tadao as they undergo chemotherapy.  Help these treatments to be effective and the side effects to be lessened.  We thank you for Stephan K.’s successful surgery and pray for increased strength and stamina daily as he recovers from surgery.

We pray for others in our church family who are going through times of need:  for Margaret, Amy, Pat, Jim, Sue, Janet, Joan, Lois, Dannie, Kathleen & Marilyn, Ken, Bunny & Marty, Dawn, Harriet, Diane, Laurie & Steve, Paul, and Ruth; for all members of our extended family who are suffering; for this nation and for the world.

We come to you now in silent prayer …

Lord, as you know what is written in our hearts,
Attend now to our spirits, we pray in your name, Amen.

SONG:  Jonny Diaz, “Breathe”

This song is perfect for the Sunday message.  “Breathe” is composed in an unexpected way.  The verses are fast and the chorus is slow ~ so slow it almost stops completely.  In this modern reflection of the story of Mary and Martha, Diaz reminds us to “breathe, just breathe.”

SCRIPTURE LESSONS: Luke 10:38-42, Good News Bible

As Jesus and his disciples went on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha welcomed him in her home.  She had a sister named Mary, who sat down at the feet of the Lord and listened to his teaching.  Martha was upset over all the work she had to do, so she came and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to come and help me!”

The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha! You are worried and troubled over so many things, but just one is needed. Mary has chosen the right thing, and it will not be taken away from her.”

SUNDAY SERMON: “Just Breathe”

Note: We did film a video, but were unable to upload due to (we suspect) some internet and wiring issues from the storm.  On the brighter side, the version below is better than the one we filmed!  God’s plan?

This is a sermon about breath.  Breath is the thread that connects pandemic, protest, and Pentecost.  One could say it is the theme of our entire year.

This year, we’ve learned more about breathing than we thought possible.  Before that, we took it for granted, which is amazing considering it’s something we do 20,000 times a day.  We’ve learned what sort of particles are in a breath and how far it can travel.  We’ve learned that “wake up and smell the coffee” is a good test for COVID-19, because if we can smell the coffee, we’re probably okay.  Friday night as I walked toward the church, I was thinking about how we’d normally be setting up for Clamfest, and imagining the smell of clams.  When I opened the door I could really smell the clams, and I thought, “oh no, it’s the ghost of Clamfest!”  But it was just Alan making soup.

COVID-19 has stolen our breath.  As a respiratory disease, it attacks the lungs.  Those who have it are often placed on oxygen or a ventilator.  Those who don’t wear masks to protect themselves, and some masks make it difficult to breathe.  But we still have to wear them to protect ourselves and others.  As The Police say, “every breath you take, I’ll be watching you!”  In a related subject, Ventilation has become an issue for malls and schools.  It’s why in church, we open the windows and have the air conditioner running at the same time as the fans.

Breathing difficulties run in my family.  My sister has asthma, and carries a ventilator.  In the last decades of his life, my grandfather had a hard time walking because he couldn’t catch his breath.  He’d say, “I’ll just sit on this bench, you go on without me.” I have a tendency to pass out, which you wouldn’t think would be related to breathing, but Lois identified the problem for me during therapy a few years ago.  She was working on my hand, pressing harder than I wanted to, and suddenly the room started to spin and she said, “Rich, BREATHE!”  Turns out pain makes me hold my breath, and out I go.

If I asked, “What’s the best breath you ever took?”, would you have an answer?  Many would say their first.  The best breath I ever took was at the beach.  I had gone into the big waves a day after a hurricane, overestimating my ability to handle them.  Everything was great until I realized at some point I had to get out.  I ducked under a particularly big wave, and came up to take a breath, not realizing that I was emerging into the second part of a double wave.  Instead of taking a breath of air, I took a breath of water and went under again.  At the very last second before passing out, I resurfaced.  That next breath was the best breath I ever took; I was so happy just to be alive.  I was grateful for breath itself.

The other big story of the year is epitomized by the words of George Floyd: “I can’t breathe.”  To be deprived of breath is to be deprived of life.  As Toni Braxton sings, “How can I breathe when there’s no air?”  The huddled masses yearning to breathe free are not only looking for wide open spaces, but for a place where they will be treated equally regardless of race, religion, gender or any other variable.

We all want to breathe free ~ to take off our literal masks and breathe in the fresh, clean air, to relax and stop worrying so much about so many things: a Congress that continues to argue while its constituents are running out of food; a virus that refuses to go away on its own; a power grid that keeps failing.

Martha had the same problem.  She was worried about so many things: preparing dinner for one, getting her sister to help her, making sure everything came out on time.  But there was Mary, sitting at the feet of Jesus, not even six feet away, not even wearing a mask.  “Jesus!” she said, “tell my sister to back off and put on a mask!”  But Jesus said, “Martha, you’ve got so many things on your mind, but only one is needed.”  And this is where the different translations become very interesting.

In the Good News Bible, Jesus says that Mary has chosen the right thing.  The New Living Translation reads, “There is only one thing worth being concerned about.  Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

What is this “one thing (New Revised Standard Version),” this “right thing” (Good News Bible), this “good portion” (Revised Standard Version), this “better part” (New Revised Standard Version)?  It can’t be the activity, because people need to eat; so it has to be the attitude.  In effect, Jesus is saying to Martha, “breathe; just breathe.”  Jonny Diaz picks up this thread in his song of the same name.  The chorus is “Breathe, just breathe / Come and rest at my feet / And be, just be / Chaos calls, but all you really need / Is to just breathe.”

Just breathe, Martha!  Don’t pass out, Rich!  Slow down your pace; slow down your thoughts; focus on what really matters.

Diaz isn’t the only one to sing about breath.  The Hollies sing, “Sometimes all I need is the air that I breathe, and to love you.”  Marie Barrett was leading worship one day when she started spontaneously singing, “This is the air I breathe; your very word spoken to me.”  She recorded her own version, then others covered it, and one day she was driving around, heard her own song on the radio, started crying and then shouted, “Yay!”  The All Sons & Daughters song “Great Are You Lord” includes the phrase, “You’re the breath in my lungs, so I pour out my praise to you only, God.”  And perhaps most famously, our hymnal includes Edwin Hatch’s big hit from 1878, “Breathe On Me, Breath of God,” inspired by John 20:21-22:  “Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even, so send I you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”

The lyrics:
Breathe on me, breath of God
Fill me with life anew
That I may love as you have loved
And do what you would do.

Our breath is a gift given to us at birth, literally slapped into us.  In Scripture, sometimes breath is just air, but other times it represents the soul or the Holy Spirit.  The valley of dry bones comes to life when God breathes air into the skeletons.  Elijah and Elisha both bring children back to life, the second by what appears to be mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

So what if God is the air we breathe?

In a physical sense, everything that God ever created may be passing through our lungs with every breath.  We may be breathing particles of peacock feathers, starfish, Spanish galleons, the molecules of our ancestors or even the first disciples.  Matter is created, but not destroyed.  Everything really is connected.

In a spiritual sense, the Holy Spirit arrives as breath and operates as air.  Jesus tells his disciples to breathe in the Holy Spirit and breathe out the Holy Spirit.  Breathe in love, breathe out peace.  Breathe in goodness, breathe out kindness.  Every breath has two sides.  As Christians, we breathe in the blessings of God, but we are asked to breathe them out as well: to be vessels for the Holy Spirit.  Just breathe doesn’t end with us; it’s like the airline instruction to put the mask on ourselves first, and then to help others in need.

And that’s what this whole year is about: making sacrifices so that others may have the ability to breathe.  Wearing masks so that others won’t be put on ventilators.  Marching and voting so that others won’t be killed.  Letting the Holy Spirit fill us so we can breathe in goodness and breathe out kindness.

Breathe.  Just breathe.  God’s got this.  According to Scripture, when Jesus returns, he will defeat the enemy with a single breath (2 Thessalonians 2:8).  Knowing the ending, we can breathe easy once again.  As King David writes in the last Psalm, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord!”

OFFERING

Please use this time to make out a check to the church.
Thank you to all who have been contributing during this time, and helping the church to pay its bills!
As you write, please enjoy Tanae and Lee’s version of “Spirit of God.”

Spirit of God, bright Wind, breath that bids life begin,
glow as you always do; create us anew.
Give us the breath to sing, lifted on soaring wing,
held in your hands, born on your wings.
Alleluia! Come, Spirit, Come! (2 times)

Spirit of God, bright Dove, grant us your peace and love,
healing upon your wings for all living things.
For when we live your peace, captives will find release,
held in your hands, born on your wings.
Alleluia! Come, Spirit, Come! (2 times)

OFFERTORY PRAYER

Thank you for watching over us throughout the summer.  Even though there is no Clamfest this year, our thoughts turn to helping those in need.  Lead us to use what is given to help build a stronger church, community and world.  Amen.

BENEDICTION

As we go forth, may we remember to breathe ~ to recognize your breath in our lungs and the ways in which our actions affect others.  May we channel your Spirit in service to your Kingdom.  Amen.

Blest Be the Tie That Binds

Thank you to Jack, Lee and Tanae for helping with today’s online service!
And thank you for worshipping with us!  We wish you God’s healing and hope!

Happy Clammiversary!

Let’s look at this from a positive angle.  This year’s Summerfest was cancelled, which means today’s Clamfest was cancelled as well.  But we can still wish everyone from our church a Happy Clammiversary!

My first Clamfest was back in 2002.  I had just arrived in Sayville, and I loved the fact that we were able to buy an ark for the Heifer Project with the proceeds!  (That’s a whole lot of farm animals to help an entire village.)  The sign is still framed in the entry hallway on Greene Avenue.  In the intervening years, proceeds went to various causes, but we eventually settled on a mixture of local, national and global recipients, including missionaries and mission trips.  We even invited suggestions from church members.  We sold clams, clam pies, clam fritters, clam soup (red and white), lobster bakes and grill items.  Our tagline:  “We make a lot, and we give it all away.”

This is still the heart of what we do.  God had everything, and in the form of Jesus Christ he gave it all away so that we could have life.  Counterintuitively, it has been shown that churches who give generously do better than churches who hoard their resources.  And it feels good to give.  We’ve also learned other things: the satisfaction that comes from working together, and the need to trust in God.  Our finest years were not the years when we made the most money, but the years in which everyone got along and when we realized that all our pre-opening worries turned out to be nothing ~ God had provided once again, whether by keeping the rain away or by surpassing our initial estimates of customers or receipts.

Sometimes it’s good to have a break, in order to reevaluate our mission and outreach. Thankfully, this year we already have $2K in seed money “in case of emergency,” which this certainly is.  We’re looking forward to having smaller mission events (possibly in-house) post-pandemic or whenever it is safe.  But in the meantime, let’s continue our heart of mission through our regular giving (which also benefits multiple organizations), our Thrift Shop, Sharing a Meal and other civic-minded programs.  We know that God will bless us in the future as He has in the past.  May we be filled with hearts of giving, that others may come to know His love.  Happy Clammiversary!

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part

While not exactly a Christian song, Tom Petty’s hit features the quotable verse: “You take it on faith, you take it to the heart, the waiting is the hardest part.”

For some of us, it’s been hard waiting for the power to come back on, the repair crews to arrive, the TV and internet to be restored.  During the storm, the parsonage phone was knocked out and the big pine tree in front of the church was toppled.  The tree is already gone, thanks to the very quick Stang Landscaping Co. (way to go, Mark!) and phone service should be restored soon.  (“Crews are working on it.  Estimated time: no estimated time.”)

Seeing others in person since then, I’ve learned that many are still without power and some have been keeping their perishables on ice.  Some are starting to feel the heat as their AC is out and house ventilation is poor ~ the winds dying down at just the wrong moment.  Fortunately the humidity is down and we’re not in a heat wave.

Continuing on this topic, thankfully it’s summer!  Remember how cold it got on the nights following Hurricane Sandy?  I was sitting in front of my fireplace, playing CDs on a boom box that required 12 (yes 12) D batteries, and occasionally going over to the church to heat soup.  Imagine if it were winter?

Fortunately we have electricity, phone and internet to look forward to when they are restored.  Before these things were invented, when the power went out, people had to use candles, write letters and get their news in the streets.  (And when the power came back on, they did the same thing.)

And before that, there were drafty log cabins.  The thought of freezing to death or accidentally burning one’s house down was compounded by the threat of masked bandits, angry natives and/or wild animals.  Also, no Wi-Fi.

So yes, it is tough to wait, and it’s easy to be frustrated.  We can use the time to rail against the indignity of having to eat 2 pints of ice cream in a day before it melts, or we can use it to remember how blessed we are to live today, now, despite everything that is going on, and to realize that even with no power, our cups runneth over.

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.
~ Psalm 40:1-3, New Living Translation

A Love Letter to Post Offices

How lovely on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news. ~ Isaiah 52:7

Every Monday-Saturday, I look forward to getting the mail.  There’s that moment of anticipation: what will arrive?  Will it be a package from a friend?  A personal letter?  A greeting card?  A book, magazine or CD?  A face mask from Etsy?  Sure, there are sad days when there’s nothing in the box, and some days there’s only a statement or bill or a bunch of ads that looks like a newspaper.  And the huge mail days are behind us: the days before email and texts, when the box would be stuffed with surprises.  But it’s still a great moment in the day.  Why?

One reason is obvious: the thought that something good might arrive, anticipated or not.  Another: there’s an actual human being stopping by my house almost every day.  My carrier’s name is Darnell, and we’ve had some great conversations.  Sometimes I see him a few times a day: he might drop off a package early on his route, the regular mail on foot.  Later I may see him down by the water as I take my daily walk.

Then there’s the reverse angle: the ability to leave a letter or bill in my own mailbox and have it taken to the post office for me!  What a blessing!  Or going to the post office to drop off a package and feeling a different sort of anticipation, knowing that another person will receive it in a few days, even quicker if I choose overnight delivery.

During the pandemic, the post office has been essential.  Actual letter writing has increased across the country.  Our church sent out two huge mailings, one for Easter (including the bulletin as we were not worshipping in person at the time) and another to every local member who had not been back to in-person worship since it resumed on Father’s Day.  People have been mailing in their offerings, staying safe.  Some of our local elections took place by mail, adding an additional level of safety.  We are hoping the same thing will happen in November, because ~ and here’s the kicker ~ if we have an alternative to going out, possibly being in a big group, and exposed to the virus, the Post Office can save our lives.

And that’s just us.  Across the nation, people rely on the post office for medicine, news, packages from relatives, and so much more.  In rural areas, the post office is sometimes the only means of delivery.  And yet, exactly when it is most needed, the very existence of the United States Postal Service has been called into question.

In this humble post, I simply say, Thank you, Postal Service!  Thank you, mail carriers and sorters and drivers and counter personnel and administrators!  You make a difference in my day, and you’ve made a difference in my life, and one day you may save my life, and I’m glad you exist!  You have my vote, even on Sundays.

There’s Got to Be a Morning After

That wasn’t so bad, was it?  I mean, sure, it was bad, but not that bad.  With apologies to those who suffered property damage, lost power, had to calm their pets or are otherwise dealing with the effects of Tropical Storm Isaias, it could have been a lot worse.  The rain band was narrow and the storm passed pretty quickly.  Now it’s sunny and kind of nice outside.

So how much energy and anxiety did we spend on watching this one?  How many hours in front of the TV, tracking the storm?  How many shopping trips and panicked conversations?  Could we have done better?

What will we tell our grandchildren about Tropical Storm Isaias?  Will we always remember where we were when it hit?  Will we look back on yesterday and say, “we survived?”  Probably not.

The photo above is taken from “The Poseidon Adventure,” a movie about giant middle aged men who attack an ocean liner by splashing it.  Just kidding about that last part: it’s a still from the movie, displaying how the effects were filmed.  But it’s also an interesting shot in that the proportions seem all wrong.  As such, it’s an illustration of unnecessary anxiety.

The movie’s theme song, “There’s Got to Be a Morning After,” has been made fun of for its syrupy quality.  The early 70s produced a lot of songs like this, so let’s go easy on the authors.  The lyrics are sound: “There’s got to be a morning after / If we can hold on through the night / We have a chance to find the sunshine / Let’s keep looking for the light.”

Maureen McGovern has been quoted as saying, “to me, singing is basically a form of prayer.”  The song is about a relationship, but fits the film and can be applied to any anxious situation.  McGovern sings, the morning after is waiting right outside the storm.  A thought exercise ~ the awareness of future calm ~ gives her strength.  Scripture yields the same message:  times may be hard, but don’t give up.  Better things are on the way.  Keep looking for the light.

Next time you are starting to feel an onset of overblown anxiety, try playing the song. I guarantee that one of two things will happen: 1) You will feel better; 2) The very thought of hearing this song even one more time before you die will produce such a wave of counter-anxiety that it will topple the initial anxiety like a tidal wave overturning an ocean liner.  Either way, problem solved!

Now on to the next crisis.  : )

Welcome to the Sayville United Methodist Church!

IMG_3614The Sayville United Methodist Church is a community of faith that celebrates the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Our church welcomes people of all ages and stages of faith.  We offer many Bible studies as well as programs for youth, senior citizens and everyone in between. We are located at 164 Greene Avenue in Sayville, NY, at the intersection of Greene Avenue and Montauk Highway, across from Dunkin Donuts.  Parking is available in the lot across the street on the Greene Avenue side.  The church also has a small lot reserved for our seniors and others who may need assistance.

Main Street entrance.To the left is our annual Clamfest, part of Sayville’s Summerfest. On this day, we get together to raise funds for local and global outreach. To the right is the Main Street view.

You are invited to join us Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m. (9:30 from July 1 through Labor Day Weekend).   Our average attendance is 100.  Be sure to pick up a visitor’s packet while you’re here!  Feel free to call us at (631) 589-0624 or email us at umcsayville@optonline.net with any further questions!  May God bless you this day!