Chapel Happenings Fall 2021
A Message from The Reverend Vollinger
Dear Friends in Christ,
Summer of 2021 on beautiful Fishers Island is quickly coming to an end. Cool, crisp air of autumn is creeping in amidst the heat and humidity that has been present so much of the days and nights this summer. FI Union Chapel has enjoyed the usual blessings of being a part of Fishers Island during the summer with all the beauty of the season and its many activities. The Chapel has also experienced unexpected blessings during this summer with its combination of challenges; Candy’s resignation, Communion Table “Jesus is the Bread of Life” FIUC Worship Under the Tent in August, the issues of the Chapel floor and foundation making the building unusable for the summer, as well as the issues of Covid. The Chapel leadership has approached these challenges as opportunities in the confidence that God is faithful and they have been prayerfully flexible, adaptable, and creative as well as very busy. As you read through this newsletter you will discover the things our dedicated leadership has done with the help of God to keep Union Chapel faithful in its various ministries. A very big thank you to all the leaders and workers in these various ministries that are shared in the newsletter.
Since summer is a very busy time on Fishers and with all that the leadership is dealing with, it was felt that having pastor(s) who are familiar with the ways of Fishers Island and the Chapel would be beneficial for the leadership and members while an interim search is done. Seeking to maintain its commitment to have regular weekly worship and a pastoral presence during the week, the leadership asked Reverend SaraJane Munshower, myself, and Reverend Krysia Burnham to provide coverage for worship leadership and a pastoral presence during the week from June – September. The three of us have brought our love for and experience of Fishers Island and experience with people and churches who are grieving or in transition to prayerfully help support Union Chapel in the beginning stages of its pastoral transition. It is a joy for me to be able to serve Christ here again as well as work collaboratively with SaraJane and Krysia. On the one Sunday none of us was available, Rev. Marcus Corey, another familiar minister to Union Chapel was able to provide worship leadership.
Regular 10am Sunday worship as been offered every Sunday. Weather permitting (and almost all Sundays it has been-thankfully!) worship has been in person and held underneath the tent in the courtyard with the option to Zoom in so that all who want to worship with us can be together. When weather has not permitted, worship was held in the parsonage, and when it was not possible to gather in person we worshiped by Zoom. Now that is flexibility and adaptability! We are able to do this because of the dedication of Tim Patterson who sets up all the chairs and everything that is needed then puts it all away again afterwards and John Klimczak who is responsible for everything technical involving a computer which includes Zoom and pre-recorded music. Music has graciously been pre-recorded by Diane Dexter and John Klimczak.
A very big thank you to Tim, John, and Diane!
A special thank you to Krysia, Tim, and John for their adaptability and flexibility of going from Plan A to Plan B to Plan C for worship as the weather forecast changed from a possibility of a tropical storm to a hurricane warning. Even a hurricane did not stop Union Chapel from worshipping together as a community!
We are grateful for Ellen Parker for providing the beautiful fresh flower arrangements for our 10am worship services.
One of the joys of gathering in person again is being able to enjoy a time of fellowship and refreshment after worship. A big thank you to the following for maintaining the ministry of hospitality after worship: Anita Fritz, Susie Renna, Fran Roethgen, and Eliana Spinola.
Due to the many requests that leadership received for Beach Church this summer, Beach Church was held (weather permitting) on Sunday mornings at Dock Beach at 8:00am from August 1 – September 5th. This thirty minute informal worship service included prayer, silence, a time for nature, a brief reflection, a blessing and the beauty of nature experienced by all our senses.
I would like to express my deep appreciation for the welcoming and comfortable parsonage where I and my husband have been staying while I worked here. A very big thank you to all involved in cleaning the parsonage and making sure it is comfortably furnished for the pastor that is providing coverage! Thank you to SaraJane for making sure there is beauty in the parsonage and a stocked refrigerator and shelves when I arrived.
A big thank you to Sarah Porter for taking care of all the behind the scene logistics of having different pastors covering for the summer and fall.
A big thank you to Diane Dexter for adapting to have the church office in her home while recuperating from surgery!
We are grateful for Debbie Vinick, professional harpist, who enriched both our Sunday morning services on August 8th with her gift and talent for playing the harp!
As the summer transitions into fall, I hope the leadership and members and friends of Union Chapel will pause and reflect on the summer and all its experiences and make note of what you have learned about yourself, God, and the ministries of Union Chapel.
In Christ’s Love and Service,
(Reverend Pamela Rose Vollinger)