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News of Otsego County

faith

HAMILL: Unity, Not Party, More Important
Letter from Andrew Hamill

Unity, Not Party,
More Important

Last month, I put statements in All Otsego for our country to heed the call of unity as well as speaking to you all about it. I firmly stand by my statements. I speak on the week before Election Day by saying that regardless of who wins and who loses in this election and other elections, we need unity.

If we are to have unity, we need to put our political parties and their agendas aside and come together for the sake of our country. When 9/11/2001 happened, we had unity which was, and is, a blessing in disguise.

Yes, Virginia… There IS A Santa Claus, Editor Wrote 8-Year-Old

Yes, Virginia… There IS A Santa

Claus, Editor Wrote 8-Year-Old

Santa and Mrs. Claus have been reading Christmas stories that are available to all Otsego County youngsters. Google “Cooperstown Community Christmas Committee facebook” to listen. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Editor’s Note: The New York Sun’s Francis Pharcellus Church penned this famous response to 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon in 1897.

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor—

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon
115 West Ninety Fifth St.

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.

We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real?

Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

First UM Plans Vote On Whether To Reject Church’s Ban On Gays

FIERY SPEAKER APPLAUDED

First UM Plans Vote

On Whether To Reject

Church’s Ban On Gays

In February, Worldwide Church Council

Affirmed Bar To Gay Marriage, Pastors

J.J. Warren, a gay seminarian whose speech at the United Methodist General Council in St. Louis brought some attendees to tears, spoke at Oneonta’s First UM today. He received a standing ovation. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – A resolution, “We Refuse,” objecting to the international United Methodist Church’s reassertion of its prohibition on gay marriage and gay pastors, was inserted into today’s Sunday Service program at Oneonta’s First UM.

Warren led youngsters in an exercise to draw a multi-colored flower, symbol of a diverse church.

The local resolution calls the church’s “Traditional Plan,” which reaffirmed its ban and was approved by majority vote last February, “exclusive, punitive, and unwelcoming” and declares it “incompatible with God’s all-inclusive love of and for everyone…and with Jesus’ teachings,” which tell people to love everyone “unconditionally.”

The resolution goes further, labeling the Traditional Plan “un-Christian.” It calls for regional churches and the bishop to reject it and pursue a separate path.

The insert also announced a Special Charge Conference for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the church, where members of the congregation will debate and vote on “We Refuse.” Rev. Marti Swords-Horrell, the pastor, will preside.

Delivering the sermon today was J.J. Warren, a gay seminary student from Penn Yan whom Bishop Mark Webb, of the Syracuse-based conference that includes Otsego County, has said he will not ordain.

Kids Enjoy Day Off At Upbeat Club

Kids Spend Day Off At Upbeat Club

With county schools closed for superintendent conference days,  Cooperstown area children in grades 1-8 spent a day of activity at Upbeat Club at the Christ Church. Above, Diane Koffer, Cooperstown, oversees Molly Murphy,  Allie Nagleschmidt and Zola Palmer in the kitchen baking cookies. At right, Elias Vazquez, Hartwick, and Elainie Nelan and Alana Feury, both of Cooperstown, make inspiration blocks. The program operates on days children are off from school, and focuses on faith-based crafts, games, cooking and promoting character growth. It is sponsored by the Ecumenical  Council of Churches in Cooperstown. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, APRIL 22
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, APRIL 22

Honoring Our Legacy Of Inclusion

14-19eventspage

INTERFAITH COMMUNITY GATHERING – 3 p.m. Program titled “With Malice Toward Non: Honoring America’s Legacy of Religious Inclusion.” Affirming America’s principles of democracy, religious freedom, compassion, and unity for people of all faiths. Temple Beth El, 83 Chestnut St., Oneonta. Info, Ken Sider, ksider@hotmail.com or visit www.templebetheloneonta.org/2017/04/with-malice-toward-none/

EARTH FESTIVAL – 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. 13th annual festival featuring interactive exhibits, activities, vendors, and entertainment. Milford Central School, 42 W. Main St, Milford. Info, occainfo.org/calendar/earth-festival-2017/

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