First Presbyterian Church          February 2018



The Newsletter this month is a slightly condensed version of the Annual Report, which we just reviewed at the Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 28th.  In order to save on postage, only the narrative sections of committee reports are included.  It would cost twice as much to mail if we included the church’s budget, membership rolls, etc. though we have extra copies of the original Annual report at church if anyone wants to see them.

Rev. Walter Stuber

First Presbyterian Church

11988 W. Main St., Wolcott, NY   14590




    Buildings and Grounds

I took over the Buildings and Grounds in May of this year, and oh what a time we have had!  In June we had two pumps replaced on the heating system, along with the installation of Co2 detectors throughout the church.  Then things really got turned upside down.  As you know our steeple was struck by lightning the last week of August.  Since then, we have had multiple things going on.  Our new fire system was installed starting in September and finished up 9/22.  Also during that time we had the dishwasher repaired, the handrail at the front of the church repaired, and the trap below the kitchen sink replaced.  We stopped the water from coming into the fireplace, and the sign bolts at the front of the church were replaced.  Our new steeple was finished 10/9.  Special thanks to Jerry Oakley for helping me bring this to conclusion during my time of need.

Finally, the fan switch was replaced 11/11.  During the steeple replacement, the roofer did take time to look at our existing roof and reports that things look fine.  At the end of November we were finally able to get the Exit sign at the front of the church up and working.

On the plate for 2018 is the light at the front of the church and the fan in the sanctuary will be replaced.

A very special thank you goes to Bob Stell, Beth Dunton, and Sue Mitchell for the maintenance of the lawn and plants during the summer.  Without them we would have brown grass and dead shrubs.  My thumbs are black and blue from missed hammer hits, not green.    

-       Scott Lockwood   



-       Henrietta Trine







    Finance Committee – 2017


Members:  Dave VanFleet, Mary Ann Sparnon, Tom Johnson, Mary Lou Lockwood, Bob Stell, and Susan Vezzose - Treasurer.


We meet monthly on the week prior to the monthly Session meeting.  A finance report is regularly provided to Session for review and consensus action(s).

Approximately 80 line items are listed on the tentative 2018 budget report.  These numerous items reflect the challenge of determining accurate/realistic monetary amounts to enter after each line of the 5th column:  2018 tentative budget.  Throughout the church year, circumstances change and unforeseen monetary obligations emerge, making the budget computations only the best estimates at the start of the New Year.  The Finance Committee monitors figures, being aware that adjustments are frequently necessary.  Unforeseen income also enters in.

Anticipated near to intermediate term future significant church building upkeep expenses:

  1. Heating system/boilers – 2018 budget line item #6 headed “Boiler Reserve”,

 to be added to over time, serving to have funds on hand when needed.


  1. Roof replacement – Within next 3-5 years.  One of the church’s investment  funds is subtitled “ROOF”, as an on-going reminder that this fund will most  likely be needed as a source for new roof funding.


  1. Exterior bricks preservation service – Within next 3-5 years.  A second investment fund is subtitled “Bricks”, as an on-going reminder that this fund will most likely be needed as a source for bricks maintenance funding.

The church’s mutual funds investments performances are regularly monitored.  These are asset allocated “balanced” investments, a mix of stocks and loan instruments (bonds), they comprise “moderate risk”.   We need to remain invested in the stocks and bonds markets, as no reasonable alternatives exist in the present economy for decent predictable returns to the church.

Church members are encouraged to review the budget report at home, taking time to list questions desired to be addressed.  Members can contact Bob Stell, Chair, or any of the Finance Committee members.                                                                                                                

 - Finance Committee


          Stewardship - 2017

Members:  Mary Ann Sparnon, Bob Strong, Jerry Oakley, Henrietta Trine, and Mary Lou Lockwood.

As of December 31, 2017, there were a total of 36 families and individuals that pledged this year.

Local               $46,937.00                  Per Capita                    $1,350.00                  

Building                 $979.00                  Boiler                              $449.00                          

Mission              $2,497.00                  Sunday School               $520.00

                                                                                                                            -Mary Lou Lockwood


      Special Offerings


Two Cents a Meal                   $841.25

Christmas Joy                           $47.00

Deacons’ Yard Sale             $1,159.00

Teachers’ Dinner                     $336.00

Copies                                     $123.00

Deacons’ Christmas                $230.00

                                                                                                                             -Mary Lou Lockwood



                   Golf Tournament – 2017

A special thank you to Mike and Linda Douglass for all of their hard work.  This year we raised $5,389.43.  Great job!   See you in 2018.          

                                                                                                                                  -Mary Lou Lockwood

                                                                    Nominating Committee

Members 2017 – Session reps.:  Scott Lockwood and John Gingerich; Deacons rep:  Henrietta Trine; members from Congregation:  Jerry Oakley, Brianna Vezzose, Mary Lou Lockwood.

Members presented for 2018 – 2020:

            Session                                                           Deacons                           

Bob Stell                                                          Andrea Felker                                     

David VanFleet                                                Cheryl Gilbert                                                 

Susan Gateley                                               Mary Lou Lockwood

Council of Churches:  Mary Lou Lockwood  

                                                                                                                                    - Mary Lou Lockwood


           Pastor Walter's 2017 Annual Report


When people ask me how my holidays were, I usually just say “fine” and then politely ask them about their holidays, family visits, etc.  However, if I think they could use a joke, I tell them that I had a good Christmas this year because “the bat did not show up on Christmas Eve again.”  Our congregation will never forget Christmas Eve of 2016 when a bat from our belfry actually did fly into the sanctuary during the Christmas Eve service.  I was able to shoo it out a side door but not before everyone had seen it flying over their heads a few times.  It is something we can laugh about now, though at the time it was a serious concern for many people.

I should also give credit where credit is due and tell you that the church’s session did a thorough investigation of the matter so it would not happen again.  Scott Lockwood researched bat deterrents and put them in the attic on behalf of our Building Committee.  Most people are probably not aware of all the things like this that go on behind the scenes in the life of the church, especially if they do not happen on a Sunday morning.

One of the reasons I like to have an Annual Meeting is that we can take a look at all the time and effort that has gone into our ministry in the last year.  Many of the reports that you will read may seem like a laundry list of activities, but it gives us a larger perspective of how God has been moving in our midst in 2017.  I will highlight some notable examples that are by no means inclusive of all the significant events of the past year. 

First of all, we had quite a few funerals this year of members of our church family.  I officiated at the services of Dorothy Crane, Bonnie Fisher, Gabriele Lockwood, Bruce Pankratz, and Wilma Winder, for example.   These were sad losses for us, but we also came together to support their family and friends during a difficult time.  On a positive note, I officiated a wedding for the daughter of our newest member, Jack Johnson, as well as a Presbyterian couple who grew up in Red Creek, Mack Stanley and Paige Verburg.  Our former Pastor, Laurena Wickham Will, also officiated Michael and Chantel Lockwood’s wedding, and we have seen them and their lovely daughter Eliana quite a bit this year. 

I almost hesitate to bring up the lightning strike on our church steeple on September 5th, but it is a story of endurance and dedication that keeps coming back to me.  On the one hand, we dodged a bullet by


having our lightning rods ground out the electricity, which could have easily started a fire.  However, it also meant that the steeple roof had to be replaced and all kinds of electrical work done on our fire alarm system, thermostats, etc.  The paperwork with the insurance company alone was a herculean task, and I will spare you the details of getting things back to “normal”. 

The reason I bring all this up is to illustrate the hard work and commitment that so many people, both at church and in our extended community, have to keep our house of worship going strong.  From the fire department, electricians, reliable roofers and so on, we have many blessings to count when you consider that crisis in September.  Most people who walk through our doors are never aware of all that happens to keep things going at our Food Pantry, Vacation Bible School, Strawberry Festival, Christmas basket give away, dinners, etc.  You will read far more about this in the rest of the Annual Report, and what I mentioned is just the tip of the iceberg to our ministry.  I may not know what tomorrow holds for us in 2018, but I know the God who holds tomorrow.  Christ has definitely been with us in 2017 in more ways than I can even begin to be grateful. 


         Strawberry Festival -  2017

This year marked our twenty-third year.  We made $970.50 on the Ham Dinner and $2,419.92 on the Strawberry Festival.  Great job everyone.           

                                                                                                                                    -Mary Lou Lockwood



        Sunday School and Youth Report -  2017

This year our Sunday School teachers have been Susan Vezzose, Brianna Vezzose, Mary Lou Lockwood for K-5th; Pastor Walter for 6th and up.

Some of the youth played instruments on Children’s Day, and they did a play.  A pot luck dinner followed.

For Christmas they also did a play and had a pot luck after the service.

The adult class has been led by John Gingerich.  They have an active group with room for more if you would like to join.

The Youth Group has been collecting cans and bottles.  To date, they have $3,604.75 saved for the New York City trip.

This year the Youth have helped with the Ham Dinner, Strawberry Festival, Jeff Sawyer Concert, Food Pantry, raked leaves and planted bulbs.

We have gone to the movies, went to Rochester for a Christmas play and played games.

They also decorated a tree in the Park for the Historical Society Festival of Trees.

-       Mary Lou Lockwood

       Wolcott  Council of Churches -  2017

April:    Easter Sunrise Service was held in the Village Park.  Rev. Parker was in charge.

May:    We sponsored the Crop Walk with 17 walkers collecting $895.00.  The local communities shared $193.75 of these funds.  To date the Local Crop Walk has collected $106,335.21. Great job everyone.


June:   Baccalaureate Service was held.  The Rose Council was in charge.  Three Seniors received the Christian Life award.

Aug:    Vacation Bible School was held with 50-60 students and 11 teachers and helpers.  Fun was had by all.

Sept.:   Labor Day Service was held in the Baptist Church.  Rev. Searle was in charge.

Nov.:    Thanksgiving Eve Service was held at the Huron Presbyterian Church with Regina Jones in charge.

            On Thanksgiving day a free dinner was provided at the Methodist Church with other churches helping.

Dec.:    Christmas Eve Traditional Candlelight Service was held at the Wolcott Presbyterian Church with Pastor Walter Stuber in charge and giving the message.  Beth Clingerman directed the combined choir.

Special Projects:

            Food Pantry staffed by three volunteers and the Youth Group served a total of 1,642 homes for the year!

            Christmas Boxes:  370 homes received food boxes, toys, hats and mittens.  459 children received two toys and extra goodies for stocking stuffers.  462 adults and 164 elderly were included in the food distribution.

-       Mary Lou Lockwood

                                                                      Women’s Association

-       Henrietta Trine                                     


            Worship and Spiritual Life Committee

Committee members: Sue Mitchell, Phyllis Weber, Carol Merrell, Arlene Youngman, John Gingerich

We are very blessed with Rev. Walter Stuber providing pastoral leadership in our worship experience.  The services and messages provide wonderful faith context to our daily lives.  Our congregation participated in Council of Churches Lenten events. The Easter service was a wonderful celebration.

Children’s day was on June 11 with Sunday School children involved in the service.

On June 18 there was a joint service with Huron celebrating a successful Strawberry Festival.  

During the summer, several persons or small groups provided special music for the services.



On August 6 we had a wonderful outdoor church service at the residence of Jack Johnson on the beautiful shores of Lake Ontario, followed by a picnic lunch.

On Labor Day weekend, an ecumenical service was held in the park.

The ecumenical Thanksgiving service was held at the Huron church, and a well-attended Christmas Eve service at our church, with several musical highlights, and Pastor Walter preaching.

The December 24 service featured lessons in Carols.

On December 17 the children did a wonderful pageant in the Advent service, followed by a pot-luck dinner.

Phyllis Weber and Sue Mitchell are a special blessing in providing excellent gifting as organist and choir director.

Many thanks also to those who serve as readers, ushers and communion servers.  Bob and Lillian Strong, and Margaret Kasper continue their faithful service of setting up communion. 

We appreciate very much Cindy Stubbe and family in taking over the visual presentation for each service.

Marvin Tryon has done an outstanding job in providing a much appreciated service attending to many worship space details as head usher.

-       John Gingerich

        Food Pantry


Food Pantry Wish List:  pancake syrup, canned pasta, soup, jams & jellies, peanut butter, baked beans, personal hygiene items.


-       Mary Lou


       Youth News


The youth will be skating soon.  Date yet to be set.


Our checkbook balance was $3,575.30.  We collected $48.50 in cans and bottles, making our new balance $3,623.80.  Thank you everyone for your support.  If you need cans and bottles picked up, please contact Susan or Mary Lou.

-       Mary Lou

             Two Cents a Meal


January’s collection was $87.00.  Wonderful job.  See, pennies and nickels do add up.


-       Mary Lou


                                                                             Looking Ahead


The Crop Walk will be May 5th.  A fact from last year’s walk – 107,000 people walked in the US, raising more than $9,000,000.  We had a small group last year – 17 walkers collecting $895.00.  $193.75 of these funds came back to our community.  To date for the past 20+ years, our Local Crop Walk has collected $106,335.21.  Let’s make this year’s walk wonderful.

-       Mary Lou