As we approach this season of thankfulness to God for all our many blessings, we are also at this time feeling much sadness at the departure of our beloved Pastor Dawn. I have been doing a lot of thinking about this and have been asked to share my thoughts.

As a long-time member of our church, I have seen and experienced many changes, and our church family has met the challenges well and grown spiritually along the way. We have just been celebrating our 225th anniversary. Think about that! I remember when we celebrated our 200th anniversary in 1993. At that time Lee Bowman and John Hintermaier wrote a very complete 225 page history of our church since its founding by Dutch settlers in 1793. It is a wonderful accounting of how our congregations over the years have remained faithful and committed to being a "beacon of faith" in our community. Through these many years our church people have been faithful during wars, civil unrest, peaceful times and many leadership changes. God has shown the way, held us together and the congregations have responded. We should always be thankful to Him for His continued love, grace and guidance in keeping all these generations working in His service for the good, remembering the teachings of Jesus who gave His life for us.

Our mission statement, accepted by Consistory in 1988, is important to remember at this time. It reads as follows:
We the People of the First Reformed Church of Wynantskill,
Inspired by the Grace of God,
Accept His Love
Commit Ourselves to Spiritual Growth
Praise God through Worship & Fellowship
Proclaim His Word and
Share God's Love & Gifts with All People.

In this period of transition we all must prayerfully remain committed to using our time, talent and treasure for the continued service of our Church and the glory of God.

We also thank God for the blessing of having had Pastor Dawn and her wonderful family here with us for these past few years. They have done so much for us. They leave with our prayers, gratitude, best wishes and much love.

Peace and love,
Mary Bissett