September News & Announcements

How are you? 

Our typical routines have been disrupted everywhere. It is a good time to think how you are – and how you want to- tend to your soul.  In this season consider how you need to be pay attention to God, yourself, and others- Up, In & Out. We are carefully considering out how our life together as a church can support, empower and encourage one another, so we’ll be trying new things.  This includes Sunday worship time and space, format and function, ways of serving the broader community, and time together. You are invited to help, participate and figure this out with us. Share what you need, ideas you want to try and needs you see. You’ll find a few things beginning here and more coming in the next couple weeks. 

Mugs & Muffins Bible Study, Wednesdays 3:30-4:30 for six-week session reading Ephesians or Philippians together, beginning 9/16 on the patio off the Fellowship Hall. 

Youth Education:  Plans are being developed to help families, including options of in-person and resources to use at home.

Consistory Meeting, September 10th, 7 p.m.

(financial update available- just ask!)

Operation Christmas Child

            Countries all over the world have been impacted by COVD-19 in a variety of ways.  For a time, Operation Christmas Child shoebox distributions were interrupted by the pandemic.  Where it is safe to do so, they have been resumed by dedicated ministry partners.  It is critical during this difficult time to spread the Good News of Jesus.  Children and their families need to know that there is Hope!

            In keeping with health guidelines, our shoebox packing will be conducted a little differently this year.  Instead of our usual big packing party, we are having a series of smaller ones.  The first was held on Sept. 2 with masks, social distancing, and a limited number of participants.  We hope that everyone who wants to participate will have an opportunity to do so.  The next packing party will be on Saturday, Sept. 19 beginning at 10 a.m.  Please see Mary Lou to reserve your spot.

            THANK YOU to everyone who has generously donated funds or purchased gifts to meet our goal of filling 305 shoeboxes in 2020.  THANKS also to those who are filling medicine bottles with their loose change to go toward the shipping donation for the shoeboxes.  May God bless you for blessing others!

            Prayer is the foundation of Operation Christmas Child.  Some concerns for you to lift up include:

  • packing parties
  • collection week (Nov. 16-23)
  • processing
  • children who will receive our gifts
  • volunteers who will distribute shoeboxes

Public Worship Canceled- COVID-19

March 17, 2020

Dear Middleburgh Reformed Church family and friends, 

We are honoring the request by the Schoharie County Department of Health that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not gather for worship for the next two weeks. There will be no public worship March 22nd and 29th. This includes all activities and meetings. 

This does not mean we are canceling church or worship! Actually, we believe this is impossible. Worship will happen, even if the rocks have to cry out. What we can do is not to miss out! I will be putting together an order of worship for you to use in your own home. This way we can still pray together this Sunday, read Scripture, and listen to God’s word. I will send out an email and post this to our website ( later this week. 

In the meantime, I’ll be checking in on you. I’ll start calling people Wednesday to make sure you received this message, unless you reply first. We have people in our church willing to help with any needs, including errands, like grocery shopping. I would even be happy to share toilet paper. 

We are also closing the building to social gatherings at this time. This does not include AA meetings. 

And finally, a word of encouragement. For some, this situation is adding to our already full life of anxiety and kicking up fears about the unknown for us and those we love. For others, it’s a news headline that is disrupting our regular routine. Wherever you are, hear again that God has you, He cares for you, and He is willing your good. How do we know? Because of his great love for us that even while we were still sinners (estranged and far from God), he sent Jesus Christ into the world for our salvation. When we come to know this it’s a wonderful moment! We also set out in a journey for a lifetime of knowing this more and more. This is something you can say with all the assurance one can muster to others: trust this anchor, Jesus Christ, instead of the other anchors that are coming loose. Times like this kick up ways that we can still trust God more, refining our desires and thinking. This moment can become an opportunity that we can prayerfully get clear on things we trust in, but that will disappoint. A favorite psalm to read at a graveside service is 121: “I lift my eyes to the mountains, where does my help come from?” (v. 1) The mountains and high places were positions of strength, protection, military advantage. Today we might say our mountains are money, health care, governments. Does our help come from them? Perhaps some, but not ultimately. These other things are temporary and will not hold the weight of Life. As those who have faith in Christ, our protest is: “My help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth.” (v.2) We may stop meeting for a couple weeks for a short-term social good and in obedience to the government. But we remind ourselves that our life is more than health, wealth and safety. “The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life” (v. 7). 

If you have any questions, concerns, or need anything, let me know. I look forward to seeing you again soon, 

In Christ, 
Pastor Jeff Kelley  cell: 518-860-7404 (call or text)

February News & Announcements

Leadership Meeting, February 13th, 7 p.m. (6:30 Consistory)

Christian Education 10 am Sundays. No Youth Education 2/16 (President’s Day Weekend)

February 9th, Potluck The Fellowship Committee is proposing that we try something new: Second Sunday Pot Luck.  Instead of our usual coffee hour, we will gather for a shared meal. We want everyone to feel welcome to take part in the meal!  It is not necessary for everyone to contribute food.  Your presence will be the most important thing you can share.  Please plan to join your MRC family on February 9 to enjoy good food, generosity, and hospitality!

Check out how ways you can help our church family, coming and goingComing: Take a month to clean the sanctuary, volunteer in the nursery, read Scripture, or host coffee hour, or join a committee. 
Going: Join the Mission Planning Team for conversations about how we are being called to go or look out for coming opportunities. The Food Pantry can also occasionally use volunteers. See Russ Ryan for details.

Sign up for the weekly connection email. Announcement reminders plus weekly prayer requests and occasionally other things of interest. You can sign up through the website:

Operation Christmas Child  
Destination Togo
The shoeboxes we packed last fall will bless children in the African nation of Togo.  This small country in Sub-Saharan Africa gained its independence in 1960.  Togo’s economy depends on subsistence and commercial agriculture.  Half of the nation’s population lives below the international poverty level.  Teacher shortages result in low quality education and high drop-out rates, especially in rural areas.  

Please pray for the children in Togo who are recipients of our gifts.  We know that through Christ all things are possible.  May the Good News of Jesus lead the children, their families, and their friends to a brighter future!

Preparing for Our 2020 Packing Party
        Some of the most cherished gifts children receive in their OCC shoeboxes are letters and photographs.  Bundles of Christmas cards to which you may add a note are located in the foyer.  Chase away cabin fever blues by writing cheerful notes to children! 
            During the month of February, we will be collecting toothbrushes (multipacks appreciated) and small stuffed animals.  You may leave them in the OCC box in the foyer.  Always be on the lookout for a bargain.  Gifts of all kinds are always welcome!
            As we grow the number of shoeboxes, we pack each year, we also need to grow the funds that cover shipping and the training and equipping of those who distribute the gifts.  On September 19, we will be hosting our third Harvest Bazaar to benefit Operation Christmas Child.  Please save the date!  A new fundraising campaign for this year is called Giving with Gratitude.  You will find more information in the foyer.  Thank you for supporting Operation Christmas Child with your prayers all year long.

January 2020 News & Announcements

From the property committee

We Need Help Cleaning the Sanctuary 

     One of the sign-up sheets on the table in the foyer is for volunteers who wish to participate in cleaning the sanctuary for 2020.  After the flood, the property committee decided to ask for volunteers for this space as a way to reduce the expenses for cleaning our buildings. We are paying Tom and Kellie Rogers to take care of the parts of our building that experience extensive use every week.  With enough volunteers, we think we can take care of the sanctuary for worship on Sunday.  Guidelines and supplies are kept in the closet under the stairs.

      In past years, we have also asked for volunteers to clean other parts of our buildings, but at this time we are only asking for sanctuary volunteers. There will be certain times when volunteers will be needed for specific tasks which will be posted as necessary.  Last year, there were two people who cleaned the sanctuary all year.  It would be great to have more people involved to share the work in this very special space.

Consistory Meeting, January 9th, 7 p.m. (new consistory members will begin after their installation on the 19th).

Signups for committee and groups will be available for January 12th  & January 19th. Consider how you would like to help out: 

     Fellowship Committee: (also need a chairperson)

     Education Com: (also need a chairperson)

     Property Com: Leslie Hooper chair.

     Worship Com: Joan Youmans, chairperson

     Mission Planning Team, Tracie Anteman, organizer.  

There are other ways to help out too, including: cleaning the sanctuary for a month (see above), ushering, nursery, coffee hour, and reading Scripture.  

Our new Consistory will be installed on January 19th. Jonathan Meredith will serve as an Elder. Tracie Anteman and Bill Milak will serve as Deacons. We thank Susan Pendergast for her work and care as an Elder these past four years. 

Pastor Jeff will be away January 10 & 11 for a regional gathering to talk about the RCA’s 2020 Vision Team work. 

items of interest from the Leadership Team meeting: 

  • The finance committee and the Deacons plan reevaluate processes and accounts to match our capacity. 
  • Mission Planning Team is hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive January 24th
  • Property Committee is working on restoring Classroom #1, engaged a company to replace the smoke detectors as a course of maintenance. The PC continues to work on keeping the buildings clean and maintained. 
  • There is a desire to send out a newsletter in the coming month. If you have something to contribute, forward it to Pastor Jeff. 

Giving Envelopes are available. 

If you don’t have a box assigned to you, take an unnamed box and let Lewis Youmans know the number. 

How does it work? each set of envelopes has a number that is assigned to a giver. That number is connected to your name by our Financial Secretary, Lewis Youmans. Each Sunday of the year has an envelope. When used the amount is recorded with the number. At the end of the year you’ll receive a financial statement of the total giving. Only Lewis has access to the total amount of giving. 

Using the envelopes is not necessary as there are other ways to remain anonymous (cash) or receiving a statement for tax purposes (checks). But if you find it helpful, please avail yourself of them. Other questions about our process? Ask a Consistory member. 

Glasses for Guatemala

During OCC collection week, one of the donors spoke about a medical mission trip she will take in February.  She is a nurse and will be assisting doctors who will be performing eye surgeries and fitting patients for eyeglasses.  Your old glassed are needed!  Please leave them in the basket in the foyer by January 12.  Thank you!

December 2019 News & Announcements

Operation Christmas Child
11,178 Reasons to Celebrate
When the trailers at Grace Fellowship Church were sealed on November 25, they contained 11,178 gift-filled Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes!  Of that number, 1,456 came from the drop-off site at MRC.  Thank you, Allison and all the volunteers, for all of your work during collection week.

Over the years, God’s provision has allowed us to grow the number of shoeboxes we have filled for children in need.  This year 304 shoeboxes were filled at the packing party.  Several folks also packed shoeboxes on their own bringing our total to 395. Thank you for generously sharing your blessings!

Glasses for Guatemala

During OCC collection week, one of the donors spoke about a medical mission trip she will take in February.  She is a nurse and will be assisting doctors who will be performing eye surgeries and fitting patients for eyeglasses.  Your old glassed are needed!  Please leave them in the basket in the foyer by January 12.  Thank you!

Congregational Meeting December 8th.  All are invited to come to share lunch and hear about our life together. After worship, childcare provided. Packets with reports are available. 

Leadership Meeting, 12/11, 7 p.m.

Reverse Advent Calendar to help out the Food Pantry: count down by setting food aside each day for the food pantry. Pick up a calendar on the foyer table.

A Night of Caroling- Advent Activity for the whole family. 4:30 pm- meet at church and ride on a wagon around town singing- return to church 5:15 for food and fellowship. Come for either part or both! We are canvasing for the best time: Sunday 15th, or Friday 20th. Let Susan Pendergast know which works for you by marking on the paper or in person. 

Advent and Christmas Worship 

Worship, Sundays 11 a.m.

Advent Wreath reading: Sign up to lead the Advent wreath readings on the foyer table.
12/1: Advent begins. No Youth Christian Education.
12/8: Advent 2, Isaiah 64:1-9, With Us in Sin
12/15: Advent 3, Isaiah 6:1-4; 10-11, With Us in Suffering
12/22: with Youth Education program. 
12/24 Christmas Eve Worship, 7 pm. Isaiah 43:16-21, With Us to Make a Way
12/29: First Sunday after Christmas, 11 a.m. worship. No Christian Education, youth or adult. 
1/5: 2nd Sunday after Christmas, 11 a.m. Youth and Adult Christian Education 10 a.m. Isaiah 9:1-7; With Us to Reign

Updated Directories are available on The Table. Forward corrections and additions to Pastor Jeff. Some corrections are already available on labels. 

study phone: 518-827-5134                                           food pantry: 518-827-7121                          

PO Box 112      Middleburgh, NY 12122

November News & Announcements


Christian Education 

Adult Education: continues to meet Sunday mornings, 10 a.m. We are currently exploring Matthew 5-7, the Sermon on the Mount. 

Youth Education: 10-10:45 am

No Youth Education December 1st (Thanksgiving Weekend).

Worship, Sundays 11 a.m. 

  Series on the Lord’s Prayer: 

  • 11/3 Give Us! Our Daily Bread
  • 11/10 Forgive Us! 
  • 11/17: Deliver Us!
  • 11/24: Reign of Christ Sunday

Thanksgiving Basket Collection: Joshua Project is organizing non-perishable items to distribute. We are collecting: instant potatoes, cranberry sauce, applesauce, gravy, vegetables, stuffing, can yams. See Kathy Jenkins or Allison Coons for more information. items due 11/18.

Ham Supper, 11/9. We still need help. Help! We need pies, ham bakers, setup and cleanup, parking lot, dining hall, and maybe more. see John Funiciello.  

Updated Directories are available on The Table. Forward corrections and additions to Pastor Jeff. Some corrections are already available on labels.  

Community Thanksgiving Eve Service, hour and place forthcoming. 

Operation Christmas Child

It’s that time of year again when we can all help a child get some wonderful gifts and most of all to learn about the love of Jesus.  One box or 10 it will change a child’s life and yours too.  If anyone is in need of a box or two please see Allison Coons, I have plenty to share.

Drop off week is November 18th through 25th.  Hours are as follows:

  • Monday 18th: 10 am to Noon
  • Tuesday 19th: 2 – 4 pm
  • Wednesday 20th: 4 – 6 pm
  • Thursday 21st: 6 – 8 pm
  • Friday 22nd: 2 – 4 pm
  • Saturday 23rd: 10 – Noon
  • Sunday 24th: Noon – 2 pm
  • Monday 25th: 9 – 11 am 

Join churches in the US for Dedication Sunday on Nov. 17. We too will be celebrating and praying that God will use the boxes for this glory. 

  • Signup to provide refreshments for the Collection Center that we host! See signup in the foyer. 

Thank You, Allison (Drop Off Leader)

Sign up for the weekly connection email. Announcement reminders plus weekly prayer requests and occasionally other things of interest. You can sign up through the website:

Congregational Meeting December 8th.  All are invited to come to share lunch and hear about our life together. After worship, childcare provided. 

September News & Announcements

Youth Education begins September 15th All youth, PreK thru High School are invited join us Sunday mornings, 10-10:45 a.m. The schedule for the year is available and on the webpage. 

Lunch & Vroman’s Nose Hike, September 15th Join us after worship for a light lunch and a Sunday constitutional up the Nose. (lunch is not limited to the walkers) Sandwiches fixings provided. RSVP on the sheet in the foyer and we invite people to provide other things like vegetables or chips. 

Nursery: We value being hospitable. An important part of welcoming one another is providing a space for children to be during worship. And we need help staffing the nursery, especially if you don’t have children. The more we share the Sundays, the easier it is. The master scheduler is in Google Sheets, or check the paper copy in the foyer and let Pastor Jeff know a Sunday you can help. There will be an information session/ tour for volunteers on September 22ndafter worship.   

RCA Futures Conversation: Join Pastor Jeff to talk about possible outcomes the of the present discussions in the RCA. We’ll also possible ways that we are called as a church. The recent 1-pagers are a helpful introduction to the whole thing, but not necessary to read or understand. Saturday September 28th, 10 a.m., Fellowship Hall. 

Adult Education continues to meeting Sunday mornings, 10 a.m. We are currently exploring Matthew 5-7, the Sermon on the Mount. 

Update your details in the directory: September 22nddeadline. Let Pastor Jeff know or use the directory on the foyer table and scratch out the old and include the new. New directory will be available October 6th. New feature!: Include your contact preference and whether you text the cell phone.  

Sign up for the weekly news & announcement email. It’s much the same as you find here, plus weekly prayer requests and occasionally other things of interest. You can sign up through the website:

Meetings & Planning 

Mission Trip Debriefwith Scones, September 8th after worship

Consistory Meeting, 9/12, 7 p.m.

Ham Supper Planning Meeting- First planning meeting for this year. 

If you organized an area last year, please come! We have a new chairperson and we need all hands-on deck to get this project off the ground. September 17th, 6:30 pm

Nursery help brief– 9/22, for 10 minutes after worship in the nursery. 

Operation Christmas Child
Getting Ready for Our 2019 Packing Party

          In a few short weeks, it will be time for our annual OCC packing party!  If you have not yet delivered the school supplies you pledged to purchase, please do so by next Sunday.  Pledge sheets for the remainder of needed gifts may be found in the foyer.

Harvest Bazaar  Plans are well underway for our event to raise funds to be used toward shipping this year’s shoeboxes. Your support is crucial to the success of our event.  Please consider participating in one or more of the following:

  • Help to stock the Harvest Café.  (Please see Ellie Spencer about what is needed.)
    • Fill a basket for the basket raffle.  (Please see Karen Miller for details.)
    • Say, “YES!” when a team leader asks you to serve.
    • LIKE and SHARE the Harvest Bazaar page on Facebook.  
    • INVITE others to attend the event.
    • Build a scarecrow to decorate the bazaar.  (See Maria Funiciello for more information.)  After the bazaar the scarecrows will be displayed on the church lawn with a special message for the community!
    • On September 9thbeginning at 7 p.m. there will be a meeting to price items made by the Harvest Bazaar crafters.  If you have been making items for the bazaar on your own and would like help to price them, please plan to attend.
    • Enjoy the Harvest Bazaar with your family and friends on September 21st!

A Rare Opportunity The area OCC team will host a collection season kick-off event at Grace Fellowship Church (20 Delatour Rd., Watervliet) on September 14 beginning at 9 a.m.  This will be an excellent opportunity to learn more about the project and connect with others who support it.  A highlight of the morning will be a talk by a young man who received a shoebox as a child.  You are invited to attend to hear how a simple gift impacted his life.  Since 1993, more than 168 million children have been blessed with an OCC shoebox.  You have the opportunity to meet one of those precious children!