A new priest came to town.  He was a refreshing blessing compared to the older, conservative one who had just retired after many, many years of faithful ministry to the parishioners.  The new guy was filled with enthusiasm and new ideas. He was easy to get to know. He was bright, intelligent, “with-it” as they say but not a know-it-all.  There was a captivating humility about him.
I and the rest of the local pastors welcomed him into our ecumenical fold and looked forward to a fruitful relationship with him. We all knew however, that he wouldn’t last long. The church tends to move the sharp, young ones quickly to another parish and we wondered just how long he would last.
It was during a cold spell in January that he moved into the rectory, just in time for the getting ready for Lent season. We informed him of our ecumenical pastors council and how we met from time to time to discuss our ideas for upcoming sermons and how we found it a very informative and spiritual experience. He was eager to join us.  We were happy to have him and looked forward to having someone new sharing some “out of the box” thinking.
As expected, the new priest quickly settled in to his work and quickly sized up the congregation he served. He picked up on the political power plays and parking lot decisions that often plague small, rural village churches.  He did not let such things rattle him. In fact, he used it quite cleverly to get the message of the gospel across to the church members in a new and unique way. As we came to the beginning of Lent, I wondered how he would handle the “giving up for Lent” requirement that many Catholics follow.  I was both surprised and pleased to hear what he did.
My neighbor from across the street was Catholic and one day on her regular weekly visit at our house to have coffee, she said: “Guess what our priest made me do?”  “What?” I asked.  “Well after confession, he asked me how I was getting along with my sister-in-law.   Of course, I had to tell him that we were not on speaking terms any longer.  Then he said that my penance for Lent would be to bake an apple pie and take it to my sister-in-law and to keep bringing some food dish to her once a week for the next six weeks.” 
Wow!  What a great idea.  Making Lent a time to mend relationships and set aside our differences.  It seemed to me a better way to discover what Lent was all about.  I can testify to the fact that the suggested penance worked. My neighbor and her sister-in-law were on speaking terms again. Unfortunately, the new priest was moved.  But he left behind a blessing of a new way to consider Lent.  It opened my eyes to some new ideas. Perhaps it will do the same for you.


Lawyersville Reformed Church

Street Adress: 109 Phillip Schuyler Rd Cobleskill, NY 12043

Mailing Address: PO Box 421 Cobleskill, New York 12043

Office: 518-234-2387 - Sunday Service: 9:00 am

Rev. Paul Ferenczy, Interim Pastor


         Thursday, March 29th ~ 7:00 PM

         LAwyersville Reformed Church

  Good Friday Service ~ 7:00 PM ~ March 30th



You may reach a church elder at the following email address:



Sharon Reformed Church

Street Address: 6858 State Route 10 Sharon Springs, New York 13459

Mailing Address: PO Box 92 Sharon Springs, New York 13459

Office: 518-234-2387 Sunday Service: 11:00 am




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