News of Otsego County

Elsie Rhodes

Pastors, Officials Offer Support To Local Sufis

Pastors, Officials Offer

Support To Local Sufis

A Cooperstown contingent – seated from left, Methodist Pastor Tom LeBeau, and Presbyterians Carol Beechy and Pastor Elsie Roades – attended Sunday evening’s service of solidarity at the Sufi community in Sidney.  (Ian Austin/

By IAN AUSTIN • Special to

Attendees include the Rev. Craig Schwallenberg, pastor of Oneonta’s UU Church.

SIDNEY CENTER – Spiritual leaders, mayors, law-enforcement officers, friends and neighbors gathered Sunday evening at the Sufi Muslim community of Osmanli Dergahi here to express solidarity after the mass shooting in Christ Church, New Zealand.

“You coming here shows you care.” said Junaid Khan, a leader of the community. “Facebook, twitter, they don’t matter. Thank you for taking action and coming here. It means a lot to us.”

A gunman entered Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch during Friday Prayer on March 15 and shot almost 100 worshipers, killing 50, in the worst mass shooting in that nation’s history.

Charlottesville Tells Us, Resist Evil, Pastors Say

Charlottesville Tells Us,

Resist Evil, Pastors Say

The Revs. Tom LeBeau (United Methodist), foreground, and Joe Perdue (First Baptist) help Linda Kosmer, right, and others of the 50-some attendees light candles at a noontime vigil called today in Cooperstown in the wake of yesterday’s fatal confrontation in Charlottesville, Va.  Pastor Perdue, who hosted the gathering on his church’s front lawn on Elm Street, said, “I was horrified, but not surprised.  It’s 2017, and there are Nazis on the streets of America.”  He urged attendees to “stand against violence and hatred in any form,” recalling Dietrich Bonhoeffer:  “Silence in the face of evil is evil.”  At left, the Rev. Elsie Rhodes, First Presbyterian, and Jim Atwell, the Quaker minister, also spoke, as did LeBeau, the Rev. Sharon Rankins-Burd (Fly Creek UM) and Village Trustee Richard Sternberg, representing the Jewish tradition.  (Jim Kevlin/

Palm Sunday: Faithful Worship Together
‘The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! ” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!”
JOHN 12:12-13

Faithful Worship Together

Father John P. Rosson, pastor, in top photo, greets a Cooperstown-wide ecumenical service this morning for a Palm Sunday service on the front lawn of St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake” Catholic Church on Elm Street. With him are, from left, the Revs. Elsie Rhodes, First Presbyterian, Joseph Perdue, Cooperstown Baptist, Betsy Jay, Bassett chaplain, and Tom LeBeau, First United Methodist.  The service conflicted with Christ Episcopal Church’s Sunday worship.  Lower left, attendees included Amelia Fishman, Marjorie Schellhammer, Liz Clark and Millie Jennings from adjacent Cooperstown Baptist.  At right, Art Boden helps distribute the palms.   Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, recorded in all four Gospels, which led up to his crucifixion, marked by next week’s Easter Sunday.    Cooperstown Baptist is planning an ecumenical Easter morning sunrise service at 6:30 a.m. next Sunday in Cooperstown’s Lakefront Park.   (Jim Kevlin/
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