Stewardship, It’s What We Do!

Fall Stewardship

Sep. 20 we’ll be going full steam ahead at FPCU. As your enjoy these remaining days of summer, the stewardship committee invites you to join them in a prayerful consideration of the skills and material wealth with which God has blessed you, and how these blessings might be might be shared here at FPCU.

With this in mind, we plan on highlighting some of the ministries currently in place here at FPCU during this coming season, with an emphasis on how you can be involved with them. We also hope to share stories of how lives are being changed by these ministries, both here and outside our doors, and invite you to share these stories, so all of us might be uplifted in their telling….

UPW Ministries

Fall Used Clothing Sale

Citings in scripture direct us to serve and meet people’s needs with love and humility. Our congregation ‘s UPW (United Presbyterian Women) strives to support our congregation’s mission through our ministries, which are described in detail in the FPCU Annual Report. UPW is open to all women, and we are appreciative for the help volunteered by the men with some of our projects.

The annual fall used clothing sale and the spring rummage sale are anticipated by many in our greater community, and bring us together in work and fellowship. Through these sales we forestall loneliness and model generosity while offering low cost needed items to families. We welcome and inspire both new and old friends as we open our door to others outside our congregation. These efforts also result in enlightening people as we support youth and women’s faith journeys outside of the church.

Blessed to be a Blessing

“My husband & I made a choice to be a single-income family so I could be home with our daughter. We couldn’t do that without events like this (UPW used clothing sale). Thanks so much for this sale. We look forward to it every year.” Shopper at sale.
Thanks to all here at FPCU who donated so generously of your goods, time, and labor. We had many people who took advantage of our used clothing sale this year, and who, like the young woman quoted above, expressed their appreciation of this event. More than two dozen members/friends of the congregation gathered here in the chapel for four days to accomplish the task, and over $700 in profits from sales (many of them donations of amounts greater than the individual was charged) will be added to the UPW’s fund for use in their ministries. We appreciate your support, that allows us to be a blessing to others.


CROP WALK ! 131 walkers stepped out to raise funds for our Food Pantry and for projects fighting proverty in the U.S. and abroad. Trumansburg Area Congregations’ participation in the CROP Hunger Walks started 27 years ago as a way to support our Food Pantry –officially founded the same year—and share beyond our community, as well. THANKS to our 32 FPCU walkers! THANKS to donors! THANKS to volunteers—maps, route signs put up & taken down, registrars, sign makers, food contributors, publicity assistance, treasurer, so much help! Walker donation envelopes: please turn in asap to Carolyn Lange or John Peeples. We’ll let you know when totals are in! This year’s photographers are: Ginny Miller, Sue Henninger, and Carol Grove: Check out the whole collection on line!
More Photos are also on our Facebook Page


Through CWS You Have Helped Children Learn

Church World Service shares in a hope filled tomorrow through their CWS School Kit Program. Their warehouse contains a supply of blankets and kits. Our support helps them to stay ready to quickly respond to future severe weather and disasters. Thank you for your generous support of bags and supplies for at least 28 children.

Caring Ministries – The Caring Tree and Receptions

     Some groups at FPCU support the people, members and friends of the congregation alike, who worship together here.  The “Caring Tree” goes into action when an individual needs additional  support due to illness, death, or other challenging loss.  Meals are delivered to the affected  family to afford them more time to deal with their difficulty, to help to provide a financial cushion, and most importantly to provide a concrete reminder that  they are not alone  in their loss; that their church family and their God is by their side.  Anyone with an interest in providing this most important service is encouraged to sign up on the sheet in the chapel.
   Reception support is also a important ministry.  When families request the use of the chapel,  (usually following funerals but also for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, reunions and other occasions), we also provide help.  Reception support provides a volunteer who oversees setup and decoration, serving and cleanup.  For a nominal suggested donation, drinks and snacks are provided.  The donation is prorated for more elaborate catering efforts.  Directions are simple to follow, and volunteers serve as needed on a rotating basis.  This is a wonderful ministry opportunity for those with a gift for hospitality, and signups are encouraged.

Breakfast Crew

          Now in its third year, the breakfast club provides Sunday morning food and friendship to all comers.  Serving at 8:30 a.m. prior to Sunday studies and choir practice, this group’s work provides a time of relaxed fellowship and food for members and guests here at FPCU.  Especially popular with the children, the meal is free although donations are gratefully accepted. Monies gathered are used for various projects, and have included a new stove hood, new kitchen water filter, and various children’s ministries such as the school backpack program and various camperships, and contributions to the church’s general fund.
There are many ways you can be involved in this program such as:
   *Join us for breakfast, and even better, bring a friend and/or neighbor with you.
   *Contribute to our fund, with money, or a breakfast food.
   *Work with us, whether as a regular, or an occasional substitute.
*Pray for this ministry, that its mission remains clear and honoring to God.

Mission Knitters

             For those of you who knit or crochet, or who would like to, the Mission Knitters might be the group for you.  This is an active group, who for the past 13 years or so, has met in the Lange room on the last Tuesday of the month from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.  Of course, attendance at the monthly meeting is not mandatory for active membership, but the nine current members say its both helpful and enjoyable.
   Projects vary according to need, and have included hats & mittens for local children, baby caps for the local hospital, and last years’ Lenten project, a joint venture with the Methodist knitters, that sent helmet hats to deployed troops.  A long standing and much appreciated ministry is that of prayer shawls.  These shawls who are presented to people undergoing the stresses of illness or loss.  They are knitted with care and prayer, and presented  as a warm, thoughtful, and beautiful hug to those in need of comfort.

2 Cents A Meal

“2 Cents a Meal” or “Cents-ability,” as it is now known, is a program started by Presbyterian women in 1976 as a response to world hunger.  Money gathered for this program on the first Sunday of each month here at FPCU goes to the Presbytery and then is given out in grant form.  In the Geneva  Presbytery this year, $15,200 was granted to various locations within our Presbytery, $1000 of  which went to the Trumansburg Food Pantry.  More information on this mission can be found at

Trumansburg Food Pantry

               The Trumansburg Food Pantry is supported by the Trumansburg Area Churches, businesses, and the public sector. The Presbytery of Geneva and FPCU generously donate on a yearly basis. Money from our local Crop Walk also benefits the pantry. The funds collected buy food from the Shur Save, the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, and Brownie’s Farm Market. The Salvation Army helps to supply clients with food, paper products, and personal care items. In May, June, July, and August of 2015, between 125 and 372 households benefitted from the food pantry. In addition, mobile food trucks are available two or three times during the spring and summer. Our pantry also assists the Food Bank of the Southern Tier with the backpack program. Currently, there are 33 students who receive food every Friday to help with nutritional needs  throughout the weekend.

The Trumansburg Food Pantry is open every other Monday throughout the year. Near the holidays, clients receive turkeys and hams to complement the regular items like bread, eggs, cereal, milk, canned fruits and vegetables, pasta, and cheese. In December, all TAC churches are asked to provide fruited breads for the Christmas give-away. Please think about volunteering to bake for this pantry. FPCU is also responsible to staff the food pantry for two months. In 2016, our responsibility will be for April and May. The shifts are 9 a.m. for set-up, 12:45 p.m. for the afternoon distribution, and 5:15 p.m. for the evening pantry. A volunteer with a truck is also needed to go to the Shur Save and pick up food.  It is important that enough people volunteer to fill all of the positions on the schedule.The Trumansburg Food Pantry is an important organization in our community serving many families, most with children, who would be nutritionally deficient without the efforts of the volunteers and the donations that support the pantry.

Organizations That Use Our Space

The place where we meet together for worship, the buildings at 69 Main, can also be considered a ministry of the church.  Although the buildings themselves are owned by the Presbytery, building use is determined by the FPCU Session, whose members are elected by direct vote of  the members of the church, i.e. us. We are going to let you know over the next weeks about some of the non-profit groups who use the Chapel.Our first featured group and our biggest “joint building user” is Trumansburg Community Nursery School, whose rental fees for their use of the lower floor of the Chapel and the Nursery provide a welcome addition to the annual income.  The Trumansburg Community Nursery School (TCNS) is a non-profit, parent-cooperative school for young children.  The school offers a balanced program stressing the development of the whole child.  We emphasize activities which promote social, emotional, physical, and intellectual growth and contribute to the child’s self-esteem and awareness of others.  The children learn through free play as well as organized activities and special projects.  They enjoy experiences in art, music, movement, science, number awareness, and language development. There is a Terrific Two’s Class that meets in the Nursery upstairs, and 3 and 4 year old classes that meet downstairs. In addition, in conjunction with the Trumansburg Philomathic Library,  Babies and their parents meet twice monthly from October to April on Wednesday mornings in the Nursery for Baby Storytime. If you’d like to know more go to

Our second featured groups who use the Chapel on a regular basis is Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon.  Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a problem with alcohol.  Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about their problem.  Members follow a 12 step program, spiritual in nature, to help them with their alcoholism.  Al-Anon is worldwide fellowship that offers a program of recovery for the families and friends of alcoholics, whether or not the alcoholic recognizes the existence of a drinking problem or seeks help. They meet here once a week.The Chapel provides a private meeting place twice weekly for the AA group meetings, and once weekly meetings for Al-Anon and has done so for the past few years. The number of members attending vary, but are generally 15-20  in number. To find out more about AA , go to and for Al-Anon go to

Our third featured groups using our buildings are a sampling of the variety of other non-profit groups who meet here at various time during the year such as the Garden Club, Scout troops, the Trumansburg Community Chorus, Encore Players, and the Trumansburg Philomathic Library. The local Garden Club’s annual spring plant sale is held here in May. The Trumansburg Community Chorus  uses the space for concerts twice annually and occasionally for rehearsals.  The Encore Players have held auditions and rehearsals here when their regular spots for meeting are not available. The Library has for years held their Annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner in our Chapel in November and Summer Reading Program Beginning and Ending Parties here.  Many more use the building when needed by scheduling their usage through Kristin Parry at

Groups filling our worship space with learning, support, fellowship, art, and music – how could God be anything but pleased?

The George Dyke, Gordon Brown, and Reverend Tom Lange Memorial Scholarship

The “Tent Crew,” as they are known, raises the FPCU tent eight or ten times a summer for various celebrations in the immediate area, such as graduations, weddings, and other gatherings.  The funds raised are used for the Scholarship which is awarded each year to a college-bound high school senior from the Trumansburg or South Seneca areas who has been active and involved in his or her church, school, and/or community and exemplifies excellent citizenship and sensitivity to those around them. Setting up the large tent (30×60 feet) is a challenging endeavor and all are welcome to join.  There are a variety of tasks from literal heavy lifting to light-duty work.  It’s fun and rewarding, and typically takes an hour on Friday and Monday evenings for set ups and take downs.    If  you would enjoy a ministry where the great outdoors surround you, where your presence is vital and always appreciated, and where you could enjoy the rewards of an “immediate result”, while only obligating yourself to a short period of time – this ministry could be the perfect fit for you.The suggested donation for use of the tent is $350.  Contact Jerry Kraus, Tent Master, at 607-351-6795 for more information.