Christmas Celebrations at Katonah United Methodist Church
A Living Nativity in Katonah
A Living Nativity will be staged at the Katonah United Methodist Church at 5:00 pm on Saturday, December 21, on the front lawn. This is an important …part of the congregation’s celebration of the birth of Jesus. A dramatic reading of the Christmas story will be accompanied by singing angels and illustrated with live characters in costume and live animals. Members of the congregation in costume will play Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and gift-bearing wise men. Music Director, Keith Burton, will accompany the church choir on the keyboard as they sing the appropriate carols. Refreshments will be served afterward.
Bob Lukey of Somers, a member of the congregation, says, “I really enjoy participating in this event. It’s a wonderful way to tell the Christmas story. The llamas and sheep really add to the experience. While not exactly camels, the llamas great stand-ins. The kids do a great job.”
The church is at 5 Bedford Road. For more information and directions, call (914) 232-4094 or visit the church website at www.katonahumc.wordpress.com.
Candlelight Christmas Eve
Katonah United Methodist Church will hold its annual Candlelight Christmas Eve service at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, December 24. This beautiful service tells the Christmas story by candlelight accompanied by the season’s cherished carols and special music provided by Music Director Keith Burton, the choir, guest musicians, and soloists.
All are invited to share in this beloved holiday tradition which will be held at the church at 5 Bedford Road in Katonah. For more information and directions, call (914) 232-4094 or visit the church website at www.katonahumc.wordpress.com.
The Katonah United Methodist Church, in partnership with Frances Schutta, a Native-American religion practitioner, will hold its annual Interfaith Service of Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 28, at 10:00 am. This service draws upon the symbolism and rituals of Native Americans in a deeply moving way that helps us celebrate the many ways in which the natural world enriches our lives. People of all faith traditions are welcome to participate in this interfaith service. Attendees are encouraged to bring a symbol of something for which they are grateful and be prepared to say a few words about it. What better way to prepare for our national holiday of gratitude?
Bob Lukey of Somers has attended the service in past years. He says, “This service means a great deal to me. It helps me focus on the most important aspects of my life so I can really get in touch with the way God has blessed me. This is particularly helpful right now when we’re being forced to move out of our home due to a serious mold condition.”
For additional information, call the church at (914) 232-4094 or visit the website at http://www.katonahumc.wordpress.com. The church is located at 5 Bedford Road.
How Can People of Faith Welcome LGBTQ?
Three Katonah churches are sponsoring an evening of film and discussion to help people of faith grapple with this issue. On Sunday, October 6, Katonah United Methodist Church will host the evening by showing the film “For the Bible Tells Me So.” With honesty and sensitivity, the film tells the story of four families and how they react when one of their children announces they are LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Questioning).
After the film, the Rev. Dr. Tom Ogletree, former dean of the Yale Divinity School, will speak about his experience of being brought up on charges by the United Methodist Church after officiating at his son’s wedding to another man. According to the United Methodist Book of Discipline, such actions are cause for dismissal from the clergy.
When asked why the Methodist Church was hosting the event, the Rev. Melissa Boyer, pastor of the Katonah Methodist Church replied, “People who use the Bible to exclude others have gotten a lot of media attention. Our churches want to spread the word that not all Christians are homophobic. There are many of us who take the Bible seriously but not literally. We’re sharing information and resources with people of faith who want to welcome our LGBT brothers and sisters, just as they are, as precious children of God. We’ve been doing it quietly for years, but now we’re making a more prominent statement.”
Edward Biddle of Katonah, a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church commented on the film saying, “First, it is really a first-person narrative by four families, focusing on the parents and their children who are struggling with their homosexuality. This makes it an ideal conversation starter for parents, but maybe less ideal for minor children.”
“Second, it covers the scriptural basis of the commonly cited biblical objections to homosexuality. This is a really interesting academic debate, so I would recommend it to anyone devoted to the study of scripture.”
“Third, it features a number of truly heroic figures, some well-known, like Bishop Desmond Tutu, and many lesser known. This part I found truly inspirational. We have too few heroes today, so anyone who needs a little juice to really give it a go should see this film.”
Attendees are invited to ask questions and offer their experiences during the discussion period. Despite the fact that the film specifically addresses the question in a Christian context, people of all faith traditions are welcome to come and participate in this event.
The event will be held from 7 to 9 pm in the Katonah United Methodist Church Parish Hall at 44 Edgemont Road. More information is available at http://www.katonahumc.wordpress.com or by calling the church at (914) 232-4094.
September 5, 2013
Blessing of the Animals in Katonah
On Sunday, September 22, Katonah United Methodist Church will hold a Blessing of the Animals as part of its regular worship service at 10 am.
When asked about the reason for the service, the pastor, the Rev. Melissa Boyer explained, “I have often noticed the deep bond between humans and their pets. These animals provide so much entertainment, joy and comfort to their companions that we should take this opportunity to celebrate that profound and important relationship. After all, animals are God’s beloved creations too, just as humans are. So it’s entirely fitting that we acknowledge our gratitude for these companions as well as our responsibility to them in this spiritual way. Also, it’s always important to remember that God’s creation is not just about us humans. We should take our stewardship of God’s creation seriously.”
Members and friends of the congregation are invited to bring their pets to church with them for this service to honor and bless them. For the health and safety of all the animals, participants are urged to bring their animal companion on a leash or in an appropriate carrier. If your pet is afraid of crowds or riding in a carrier, you can bring a photo of your pet and receive a blessing for it.
Weather permitting, the service will be held on the church’s front lawn. There will be plenty of time for photographs after the service during the fellowship hour.
The church is located at 5 Bedford Road in Katonah. For more information the church phone number is (914) 232-4094. It’s website address is www.katonahumc.wordpress.com. The church can also be contacted via email at KUMCfirstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Katonah United Methodist Church is holding a Summer Fest on Saturday, August 10, from 1 to 4 pm. Big plates of peach shortcake, ice cream & whipped cream will be the featured attraction. Various children’s activities and games will be included. Weather permitting, the festivities will be held on the front lawn under the shade trees. If it rains, the peach shortcake & ice cream will be served up in the Parish Hall behind the church at 44 Edgemont Road. Come celebrate the pleasures of a good old-fashioned summer with your family.
Parking is available on the street and in the parking lot behind the Parish Hall on Edgemont Road. For additional information, call the church at (914) 232-4094 or visit the website at www.katonahumc.wordpress.com or email the church at KUMCfirstname.lastname@example.org.