Ask any parent, and they’ll tell you: a baby changes everything. And no more for an unwed teenage mother carrying the child of God. That’s the message behind the musical the North Syracuse Baptist Church (NSBC) is putting on this year as it annual Christmas pageant. “A Baby Changes Everything” is based on the popular Faith Hill song, which came out in late 2008.
Social media — sites like Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and LinkedIn — are meant to connect us, to link us to others with similar interests and backgrounds. But too often, it has the opposite effect; people hide behind the technology, losing the personal connection those sites are intended to encourage. Tim Ehrhart of Liverpool wants to change that. That’s why he, along with his father, Mike, and his uncle, Chris, created Beautiful Mess Online, a production company that uses multimedia performances, music and its website to help people “live connected lives.” The faith-based site, Tim Ehrhart said, aims to “share a message that connects people to the important things in their lives.”
The congregation of the Liverpool Community Church, which has occupied the historic Zogg building for 10 years, has decided to sell the property. The 85-year-old brick building stands at 800 Fourth St. in the village of Liverpool. Originally constructed in 1928 to become home to the junior and senior high schools, the structure’s adjacent ball fields stretch two blocks north to Sixth Street. The entire property is bounded by Birch, Fourth, Hickory and Sixth streets in the center of the village.
One Sunday every year, Cicero United Methodist Church takes a break from traditional services and sermons and instead encourages parishioners to go out into the Cicero community and make a difference. “It’s something that the United Methodist Church nationally started to remind us that sometimes we need to worship with our hands,” said Rev. Rebecca Laird, associate pastor at the church. “It’s not just about coming to a building and being here on Sunday morning and worshipping that way. It’s about more than that. It’s about taking the love that we get from that and going out into our community and using it to better our community and taking God’s grace and sharing it with anyone that we meet.” The church held its fourth Be the Church Sunday June 2, conducting a variety of projects from packing goodie bags for the Military Appreciation Room at the airport to making lap robes for patients at Van Duyn Home Hospital to baking banana bread for the homeless to doing home renovations and garden projects for a Sudanese family on Syracuse’s North side.
Wishes for a happy new year may be three months in the past for many, but for the Persian community, that celebration is just around the corner. This year, not only does March 20 mark the first day of spring, but also the Persian new year, 1392. An estimated 300 residents in Central New York, according to Mehrzad Boroujerdi, professor of political science at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School, will celebrate Nowruz, the name for the holiday. Boroujerdi, also director of the Middle Eastern studies program at Syracuse University, is the organizer of this year’s local Persian New Year party.
At 7 a.m. outside Café 407 in Liverpool, Reverend Carrie Schofield-Broadbent of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church dished out an early dose of spirituality, free of charge. In a technological era emphasizing immediacy and instant gratification, fitting in Sunday mass poses a challenge to the workingman’s overtime schedule. Finding the moments for spiritual reflection on a Wednesday can be even more difficult.
Elisabeth Holmes was the child who opened a gift, set the toy aside, and figured out something creative to make from the box it came in. She will share her creative energy and skill with local children who attend the free Joyful Noise concert and arts event Jan. 27. “I always have known I was an artist,” Holmes said. “I grew up in a world of fantasy, so I had to create the physical world I had imagined, make the things that were in my fantasy world.”
Miles away from the Irish-American home where she grew up and years from her tell-me-a-story girlhood, Liverpool’s 2011 Teacher of the Year, Mary Shea Rys, has a growing reputation herself as a teller of tales, a seanachie (pronounced shawn’-a-key). She will share her art in a creative workshop Sunday, Jan. 27, as part of a child-focused event, “Afternoon in the Arts,” sponsored by Joyful Noise Concert Series for the Community. The free concert begins at 4 p.m. in the sanctuary of Liverpool First United Methodist Church, and activities — including a hands-on workshop with a visual artist, opportunities to try playing various instruments, and the story workshop.
We’ve all been there: the whole family’s over for a big holiday dinner, and a major appliance gives out. That’s the story behind this year’s Christmas pageant at North Syracuse Baptist Church (NSBC), “The Unsinkable Christmas,” according to pageant director Annette Davie. “It’s about the Bradley family, Grandma and Grandpa, and the kids are coming,” Davie said. “They don’t get to see each other very often, so there’s the anticipation of that and the excitement, all the hustle and bustle, what we all expect at Christmas. Then you’ve got a lot of people all packed into a small place. All the siblings are picking on each other. There’s a lot of humor.”
The aroma's in the air! The signs are everywhere! Ah, one of my favorite seasons of the year has begun yet again. No, I'm not referring to the holiday season, Thanksgiving, Christmas or even football. I'm talking “church supper season,” that autumnal odyssey of comfort food and good company. Today's column features these very successful fundraisers, which are also wonderful gatherings for socializing and sampling homemade specialties at very fair prices.
An afternoon in the arts especially for children is the opening event for the spring 2013 season of Joyful Noise Concert Series for the community. The free concert and following activities, including nutritional snacks, will be held at Liverpool First United Methodist Church Jan. 27 at 4 p.m.
When Alicia Wood and other members of the Calvary United Methodist Church in Mattydale sat down and looked at the demographics of the community, they were surprised to see how many young families lived in the area. “I thought it was an elderly community, but it’s not.,” Wood said. “There are a lot of ground-level families just starting out.” Wood said many of those families are fighting to make ends meet. “We feel like in Mattydale, we have a lot of working families that are still struggling,” she said. “Sometimes clothes or winter boots or winter coats are the last thing you can afford.” That’s how Wood came up with the idea of Easter Morning, the clothing closet located in the basement of the church at the corner of Molloy and Mitchell roads in Mattydale. The organization offers clothes for infants, kids, teens, women and men, all free of charge, to anyone in the community.
Two area churches have joined forces to put on a classic Christmas story as an Advent gift to the community. “Amahl and the Night Visitors” tells the story of three kings, a widowed mother, and her crippled son, who gives his only possession, his crutch, to the Christ child and is healed on the first Christmas. The one-hour opera, penned by Gian Carlo Menotti, was first produced for NBC Television Theater on Christmas Eve 1951. Now it’s being brought to the Liverpool community by St. Joseph the Worker Roman Catholic Church and Liverpool First United Methodist Church.
The North Syracuse Baptist Church is hoping their annual Christmas pageant will help you find the true meaning of Christmas. “We’d like to give this to the community as a gift,” said Assistant Pastor Bill Marshall. “It’s a way to spend time with our families, make an effort to reach out to those around us with this story. It’s such a busy time. We’re giving the community a place to come and have fun and enjoy a peaceful evening.”
Cathy Bryant of Liverpool has seen firsthand the growing number of hungry in Central New York. “I work at a pantry in the city, and I’ve noticed a steady increase in the number of people we serve,” Bryant said. “There are hungry people in this country. As many blessings as we have, no one should go hungry. We tend to focus abroad, and it’s not that we shouldn’t, but we can’t overlook what’s happening in our own little piece of the world.”