BY DIANE KAMPF
I once had a beautiful, nice music teacher named Miss Roever. I loved her. She invited me to come sing with the children’s choir at her church, FPC Babylon. From then on I was hooked. I sang in the choir and when I got older I went to youth group. I felt very welcome there and made some friends who have lasted a lifetime. I remember going to the morning service and the Sunday evening service which was more geared toward teens. It was then that I accepted Jesus as my Savior. I remember going to Hi-Y-Bi camp in the summer and having a great time there at Frost Valley. I went to confirmation classes but my father, who was Catholic, would not let me join the church. This made me very sad especially when I took into account the fact my father never went to church!
Somewhere in my early twenties I left the church, I’m not sure why. I went to a Baptist church for awhile and then at a time I cannot recall, I returned to FPC. I joined the adult choir and have been here ever since. I have always felt very welcome and a sense of family here. I enjoy singing in the choir although my voice is not what it was years ago when I first joined.
It was at this church that I met my husband Phil. His niece sang in the choir and said to me one day, “I think you would like my uncle.” She invited him to come to church and we met very awkwardly in front of his brother and his sister-in-law. I was also in the bell choir at that time and we had played bells so I made the excuse that I had to put the bells away and Phil offered to help. Then he gave me his phone number and the rest is a lovely history.
This church has helped me through some very bad times with severe depression and anxiety. People have prayed for me and my family, have welcomed our two adopted children with open arms, have sorrowed with us and rejoiced with us. This church is part of our family and we hope to see that continue as our children grow into adulthood.
“PRIMING THE PUMP”
DR. LOWELL SIMPSON
Far away in a lonely desert stands a water pump in the sand. You are a solitary traveler, it is unbearably hot, and your canteen is empty as you come upon that pump. Tied to it is a crude hand-written sign put there by some other traveler who passed there before you arrived. The sign reads: I have buried a bottle of water in order to prime the pump. Don’t drink any of it. Pour in half of it to wet the leather attached to the handle. Wait a moment and then pour in the rest. Then pump. This well has never gone dry, but the pump MUST be primed to bring up the water. Have faith. Believe. When you are through drawing water, fill the bottle and bury it in the sand for the next traveler.
Now having come upon this rusty, old pump in the desert with its hand-lettered sign and being out of water, what would you do? You are so thirsty that you can’t even speak. Would you dig up the water bottle and drink from it? Or would you believe the message and in believing dare to pour that precious water, every drop of it, down into the old, rusty pump? Would you trust, would you take a risk, both for yourself and for the next person who might pass that way?
What would you do?
This little story poses an interesting question for all of us. Do we believe and trust in that written message by the water pump, or do we only worry about our own thirst and drink from the water bottle knowing that the water will give us enough strength to go on?
What would you do?
The Gospels are our words of salvation when life appears to be an endless desert. They are our source of not only life, but also life eternal. Do you believe in those words, or do you go your own way? Is a bird in the hand worth two in the bush?
Think about Jesus in the same way as the note in the desert and the words of scripture. He is our salvation in the desert of life, our source of eternal life. Do you believe what Jesus says is true for your life, or will you go it alone?
BY NANCY O’CONNOR
Smithsonian Magazine says this about HOME - “Be it ever so humble, it’s more than just a place. It’s also an idea—one where the heart is.” My home is at FPC.
Growing up, my parents divorced when I was 10 years old. My brother, Brian, and I lived with our mom, but every Sunday without fail, our dad would pick us up and bring us to Church/Sunday School in Hicksville. As a teenager, I wasn’t often the biggest fan of having to get up early and go to Church but as an adult, I realize that this was one of the most important things my Dad ever did for me to build my faith in Jesus Christ. I grew up in that Church - made my Confirmation, attended youth group retreats, participated in the annual Christmas pageant, got married. My childhood Church was a very important part of my life, but as I started my own family, I knew it was time to find a new Church family closer to home.
My husband, Terry, and I started visiting FPC of Babylon in 1996. Our daughter, Paige, was 2 years old, and I was soon-to-be pregnant with our daughter, Kelsey, who was born in 1997. We were still attending my Church in Hicksville which was about 30 minutes from our home in West Babylon. We wanted to find a Church family closer to home since we had little kids that took more time to get ready and out the door in the morning. We visited several Churches in the Babylon area but knew that FPC was our new Church home the first day we visited. We were immediately embraced and greeted by many of the Church parishioners as soon as we entered the building. I remember leaving Church that day with a warm, loving feeling that people truly cared that we were there. Everyone seemed to be so full of God’s love. We attended new member classes and jumped right in to the FPC family.
We brought our daughters to the nursery at FPC almost as soon as they were born. Kelsey was baptized at FPC at 6 weeks old (Paige was baptized at our Church in Hicksville). Both of the girls really enjoyed attending Sunday School. Terry and I loved to watch them sing in Church as part of the Sunday School group on special occasions. My fondest memory of FPC is when I organized the Vacation BIble School program. Paige and Kelsey were little and loved participating. My niece, Meghan, from upstate New York would also stay with us for the week because she loved participating as well. The girls started off as students and eventually became helpers and then leaders. I organized VBS for over 10 years; it was a very special time for myself and the girls.
For a few years, Terry and I drifted away from FPC, and we thought that a mega-Church would fulfill our needs for a faith-filled life. Wow, were we ever wrong. From our experience, mega-Church members are merely a number and it seemed that no one cared to even know our names. We desperately missed our Church family at FPC and were eager to return. Again, we were greeted with enthusiasm and by name as soon as we returned to FPC. I am overjoyed to be a full-time member again at FPC. When Pastor Paul called me about 1 ½ years ago to be a Deacon, I knew that we had found our home again.