12/02/2020: Share Holiday Cheer!

Dear LAC Community,
It is the time of year where we experience the joy of Advent, the time leading up to Christmas day. For many this year, it will be difficult to feel this joy. The holiday season can be a challenging time of year for anyone, but especially those who are in need. The stress of the season mixed with financial woes can be a lot for anyone to handle.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of families who are struggling to get by in our
Community has soared while the number of organizations able to help is limited due to social
distancing and health precautions.

Once again this year, Church and Society will provide some much needed Christmas cheer to
families in need in our community. We will provide Gift Cards and Gift baskets to twice as
many families than we did in 2019. What a wonderful opportunity this is for LAC to demonstrate our willingness to help the less fortunate, while we celebrate the spirit of giving!
There are two ways you can help:
One is to adopt an individual assigned to LAC by the Town of Mamaroneck to purchase a gift
card for. Wish lists for specific gift cards for those individuals will be provided. This way,
families can purchase the basics they need or purchase gifts for loved ones. Please sign up here: [LINK]

A second way to help is to donate funds. The C&S committee will use monetary donations to
purchase holiday goodies, hats, scarves, small games, and food gift cards to fill a holiday
basket for each family. You can donate through the church website at www.lacny.org/giving and select “Christmas” in the drop down menu on the Giving page. You can also mail a check noting “Christmas” in the memo. All donations must be received by Tuesday, December 15.

With gratitude and joy, let’s spread some cheer!

Church & Society Committee

11/25/2020: Virtual Advent Workshop

Greetings LAC Family,
Can you believe Thanksgiving is tomorrow? I literally bought my turkey on Monday night and am very grateful that it was not frozen! I know that I am not alone in preparing for and getting ready to enter the festive, end of the year in new and different ways. It is my hope that you all are finding meaningful ways to continue to celebrate and continue traditions.
It is in that spirit that I hope you will be able to join us for LAC’s FIRST virtual advent workshop this Sunday, November 29th at 3:30pm (via Zoom). Please register [LINK] so you can receive the Zoom information as well as instructions for picking up small Advent packs that will including some of what you will need to bring some of the Advent cheer to your households. We will be sharing our homemade wreaths with one another, having a cookie decorating session led by Samantha Udondem and sharing a story with one another!
Even if you cannot make the workshop on Sunday, you are invited to create a wreath at home and send us a picture of what you have created so that it can be featured in worship later this month. Patty Towle has created a lovely how-to guide for wreaths. If you need candles or a Styrofoam wreath form, please send me an email so we can coordinate that.
Advent is one of the long “waiting” periods in our church calendar. For four weeks, we walk alongside the blessed Virgin Mary as she and we await the birth of Jesus Christ. Waiting isn’t easy, so often that time is almost always filled with stuff, be it work, school, family, changing schedules, holidays and all of the other things that are expected of us from the world around us.
All of our Advent activities and notes about our worship for this month are posted on the Advent page on the LAC website! Please don’t hesitate to look here if you need a reminder or are looking for anything Advent-related this year!
Blessings, and I look forward to waiting with you!

11/18/2020: Grateful for (Re)Discovery

Oh, feed me this day, Holy Spirt, with
the fragrance of the fields and the
freshness of the oceans which you have
made; and help me to hear and to hold
in all dearness those exacting and wonderful
words of our Lord Christ Jesus, saying:
Follow me.

Excerpted from “Six Recognitions of the Lord”
by Mary Oliver, Devotions,
Penguin Press, 2017, pp. 125-128

Dear LAC Community,

Every year about this time when jackets become less optional and there are more leaves on the ground than in the trees above, I am surprised to look out my kitchen window and see – way out, almost at the horizon – a glinting, shimmering expanse of blue. I always exclaim to my boys, “Look! It’s the Long Island Sound!” It’s a bit silly but I never fail to be surprised. Even though the Sound was there last year in the very same spot. And, actually, it was there all Spring and Summer too. Hidden from our view by leaves that are now lost to Autumn. I miss the warmth of the Summer sun and fear the chill of Winter. But I am grateful for the return of the Sound to my window. It seems that in times of transition God sometimes reveals His gifts this way – through a loss followed by grace and the (re)discovery of God’s love and favor – which was actually always there unabated.

As our church moves along its own path of change and transition, the LAC community and lay leadership are continuing to work steadfastly. The Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) and Associate Pastor Nominating Committee (APNC) are both working in earnest to find new clergy that will lead LAC into the future. Meanwhile, the Session, the Deacons, and the Trustees are each performing their necessary roles to support the successful, daily operations of LAC and the LAC Preschool. And, most significantly, LAC’s worship, Christian education, and administrative staff are all working harder than ever to ensure that our congregation can continue to worship and study God’s Word even in the midst of a global pandemic.

All of this “behind the scenes” work by laypeople, professionals, and the ordained is enduring evidence of our community’s commitment to living Christian values and manifesting God’s Love every day. As we enter this season of Thanksgiving, I pray that we will be grateful for the blessing that we have in each other as a congregation. And that we find comfort in remembering that we have been here for each other and for LAC all along.

Worship This Sunday

Please join us for worship this Sunday! The Sermon “This Is Our Time” will be delivered by

Ruling Elder Deborah Milcarek, General Presbytery of the Hudson River Presbytery. Ruling Elder Milcarek has 23 years’ experience working in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Before becoming General Presbyter of the Hudson River Presbytery, she worked as a Christian educator, guided the mission and social justice work of the Presbytery of Baltimore, and taught congregations how to foster deeper engagement in their neighborhoods and communities.

Sharing Abundantly

I also want to remind all members to make a generous donation to LAC’s special Thanksgiving offering in support of our Mission Partners who work tirelessly to reduce and eliminate hunger in Westchester County. If you missed last week’s service led by the Church & Society Committee, you may watch it here [LINK] to learn more about how our Mission Partners are serving our community.

You can give in three ways:

Checks mailed to LAC attn: Gloria Haq
Online at www.lacny.org/giving (Fund: “Thanksgiving”)
Smart phone app: Realm

Wishing you all good things,
Leah Griggs Pauly
Co-Clerk, Session

11/11/2020: Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week

Dear LAC Community,
As the holidays approach, people take time to consider the many blessings they have in their lives. Many people choose to donate some of their time, attention and resources to others who are the victims of hunger and homelessness in our Westchester County community.
As in past years, the Church and Society Committee of LAC urges all members to make a generous donation to our special Thanksgiving offering which will support our Mission Partners who work tirelessly to reduce and eliminate hunger in Westchester County.
You can give in three ways:
  • Checks mailed to LAC attn: Gloria Haq
  • Online at www.lacny.org/giving (Fund: “Thanksgiving”)
  • Smart phone app: Realm
Additionally, please tune in to LAC’s Sunday service on November 15th to see and hear members of the Church and Society Committee kick off Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week with special appearances from six of our Mission Partners who are fighting every day to stop the hunger and homelessness.
Clark Morehouse
Church and Society Committee

10/4/2020: Space for Prayer and Reflection

Dear LAC Community,
As we move into this day after the election, I am sure there are still so many unanswered questions. This election season particularly has been very long and perhaps a little bit fraught. In light of this, we will have the LAC sanctuary open today from noon – 6:00 p.m. ( and virtually for those who would prefer) for a time of prayer, reflection, or just a little chat. Please email me at eeni@lacny.org or send a text message to (240)899-8386 if you’d like to drop by or receive a Zoom link.
Interim Director of Youth and Family Ministries

10/28/2020: Worship–An Anchor for Months Ahead

Dear Fellow Congregants,


When I was a child, I went with my mother to a refinisher to have a chair repaired. Walking in the door the repairman told my mother she looked familiar and asked her where she lived. She said, “I am from Union.” He said, “I thought I had seen you before, I went to church there.” My mother asked (much to my total embarrassment), “Why didn’t you come back?” His reply? “I guess I got into some other things.”
I am telling you that story because I am confessing that I have gotten into some other things besides attending our online Sunday Services. When the weather became nicer, the outside beckoned, and I took advantage of it. Maybe some of you grabbed the chance to be together with others outside too. We may have channeled our freedom and the energy from the warm weather into both good works through mission outreach and diversions from the pressures and stresses of today.
Now we face the winter months. Although I have personally been sailing along with mostly good breezes and smooth waters, I am taking a look at restrictions that loom, and I feel as though I need an anchor to get through the choppy, maybe stormy months ahead and their challenges. What about you?
Under the guidance of Ernest Wong, the Worship and Music Committee has presented opportunities for us find a mooring and strengthen us as a reinvigorated church community. Frankly, the request for congregant responsibility caused me to think it would be a lot of work for the few people who “attend” the service. Then I reviewed the schedule of speakers and visiting ministers and am honestly touched by the people who are willing to reach out to us. These are people who have been or are in our community. Some may be physically elsewhere, but they all know and have a real connection to us and want to help us serve LAC with an energy that will strengthen our connections with each other and the community.
So look again at the schedule and think about helping with a service. I won’t minimize that it will take some work but don’t worry so much about the “bulletin maker” responsibility. There are guidelines and references for support, as well as resources for helping to record parts of the service. Except for the fact that there must be a bit of coordinating in time for online bulletin/program production, the responsibility is much the same as it would be with any visiting preacher. And remember you can do it from anywhere. Here’s the [LINK] for you to volunteer.
So maybe you are a choir member and are drawn to the musical sermons and can encourage one or two others to delve into the readings. Maybe Jed Koball was the Associate when you, your children, grandchildren were in confirmation. Or did you help with one of his mission trips? Why not get the old gang together to connect on one or more of those Sundays? We know Daniel Yang as a compassionate chaplain who has used his experiences to shed light on just what we need to see. Maybe you are a front-line worker(s) who might feel a special connection to his work and words. Or perhaps you know Rabbi Sirkman from community work together.
I encourage you to look for that LAC anchor too. Rather than wait for change, we can make this transitional period a time we embrace the control to make LAC home and, even given the online limitations, make it a place we love and bring back the church we used to know. My mother always said, “Many hands, make for light work.” So let’s get at it so we can say we DID come back and be ready to welcome our new pastor.
With love,
Ann Hitchings, Elder

10/22/2020: Goodbye with Gratitude

Dear LAC family:
It has been an honor to serve as your interim Pastor these last two years. This Sunday will be my last one preaching to you in worship. My interim contract comes to a close at month’s end. As I announced last week, I will be joining the Presbyterian Church of Chatham Township on November 15th as their installed Sr. Pastor/Head of Staff. The new installed Pastor for LAC is still being discerned, but good progress is being made by our PNC each week as they choose their nominee.
On Tuesday night, Session approved several measures to facilitate the smooth transition of worship leadership, pastoral care, staff leadership, and preschool governance. These measures involve all the church membership working together to check in with each other as good neighbors and friends, to volunteer to prepare the weekly worship bulletin and liturgy [sign up here] as support for our weekly guest preachers, and to communicate with the church office [LACoffice@lacny.org] when there is a pastoral emergency (illness, death, or critical care needs) so the Presbytery can provide support. I encourage you all to use this transitional time as a way to strengthen your connections with one another in preparation for the arrival of the new installed Pastor.
Here is the worship schedule for this fall and winter:


  • November 1: All Saints Day service, Rev. John Miller preaching. LAC bulletin maker: Ernest Wong.
  • November 8: Success Sunday – Stewardship Pledge Sunday. Stewardship committee preaching. LAC bulletin maker: Greg Hawkins.
  • November 15: Mission Sunday – Church & Society Committee preaching. LAC bulletin maker: Kim Larsen and Clark Morehouse.
  • November 22: Presbyter Sunday, General Presbyter Deb Milcarek preaching. LAC bulletin maker: Ernest Wong.
  • November 29: Advent 1, Rev. Jed Koball preaching. LAC bulletin maker: Patty Towle.
  • December 6: Advent 2, Rev. Jed Koball preaching. LAC bulletin maker: filled.
  • December 13: Advent 3, Liturgical dancer Candace Tabbs. LAC bulletin maker: ______________.
  • December 20: Lessons and Carols. Douglas Kostner, directing. LAC bulletin maker: Ann Hitchings.
  • December 24: Christmas Eve Service. Rev. Jed Koball preaching. LAC bulletin maker: filled.
  • December Christmas Pageant: Ekama Eni. LAC bulletin maker:________.
  • December 27th: Sunday after Christmas, Rabbi Jeff Sirkman, invited. LAC bulletin maker: Arthur Washington.
January and February preaching: Rev. Daniel Yang and Rev. Jed Koball will cover the Sunday preaching slots. We will need congregants to assist in preparing the liturgy and bulletin preparation for each of these Sundays.
With this program in place, I am confident that LAC will maintain a stable and welcoming church presence for our worshipping community. Thank you for all you do for Christ’s church and for your gracious kindness to me over these last two years of my interim ministry at LAC.
With love,
Interim Pastor, Larchmont Avenue Church

10/15/2020: A Plan for the Weeks Ahead

Dear LAC family:
While we celebrate with Rev. Clémot the joyful news of her installed call to a church in Chatham, we now face the challenge of becoming a church without a Pastor at month’s end. It is always hard to say goodbye to our pastoral leaders, but harder still to face a hiatus between pastors. Nevertheless, we will manage. After consulting with Presbytery leadership and other pastors, we have developed a plan to ensure the smooth continuation of our worship services and mission outreach over the weeks ahead.
We also have spoken with our Pastor Nominating Committee leaders and expect that we will have a nominee for Sr. Pastor named by year end or soon thereafter. Thus, our transitional plan can be very short term.
We present to you here an outline of what to expect at LAC in this time of transition.
Worship. Our worship and music committee has organized a worship schedule for the weeks ahead. It will rely on a combination of professional clergy leadership and congregant-led worship. As from November 1, we will rely on our current expertise in on-line worship video production. This will allow for broader participation from congregants and preachers located in more distant locations. Although Session approval for this approach and these preachers remains pending, we anticipate implementing the following schedule:
  • November 1 will be an All Saints Day service led by neighboring Presbyterian pastors Rev. Dan Love and Rev. John Miller who will record sermon and sacrament in our sanctuary in advance.
  • November 8th and 15th worship will be led by the Stewardship Committee and the Church & Society Committee, respectively.
  • We are thrilled to share the exciting news that our friend and missionary Rev. Jed Koball will preach for us, recording from Peru, for the beginning of Advent Season and Christmas.
  • In mid-December, Douglas Kostner will direct a guest artist in an exciting, new liturgical dance worship service, and will conclude Advent with the traditional Service of Lessons and Carols.
  • Our Christmas Eve service will be led by our guest preacher Rev. Jed Koball. He is honored to be invited back to LAC remotely! And a Christmas Pageant opportunity is being offered for interested families under the leadership of Ekama Eni.
  • Finally, we anticipate having long term pulpit supply in January until our new Pastor joins us.
Pastoral Care. We are grateful to Moderator Becky Gray for her leadership of the Deacon board, and for the compassionate care ministry led by Deacons Liz Nabholz and Suzy Huang. They will continue to provide outreach and conversation with home-bound congregants and those in need of pastoral care. We note that Stephanie Piccone has resumed coordinating our outreach ministry with flower and plant deliveries as gestures of friendship with our members. The deacons are planning a virtual community dinner for November 23rd – invitations coming soon! The deacons will also be launching a new intergenerational buddy program led by LAC youth member Mila Kinnear. They will join in the Food Drive for Kindness Kick-off at Ellen’s final Sunday after worship on October 25th.
Mission Outreach. Thanks to the ongoing leadership of Kim Larsen in the Church & Society Committee, Jim Hanley with Midnight Run, and other outreach initiatives by Sasha Nahr, Meg Kaufer, and Caitlyn Carpenter, the LAC missional ministries continue unabated. We encourage these groups to invite more congregants to assist in service work by writing occasional “Mid-Week Message” e-blasts on a rotating basis by committee, board, or activity. The Mid-Week Message is produced and broadcast by our communications coordinator, Marranda Major, but its content will come from congregants like you.
The LAC Preschool. Our preschool is thriving despite the need to reduce classroom size and implement strenuous safety measures. Interim Preschool Director Kristin DeFelice has done an outstanding job guiding the preschool through the complicated pandemic territory safely. The Trustees, pursuant to our church by-laws, are responsible for the Preschool oversight and they will communicate more closely with Kristin to ensure she has adequate support and resources. Alexandra Belluzzi, who has been on medical leave since January, is doing well although her treatments continue. She intends to resume her position as Director of the Preschool on January 1, 2021.
Staff Leadership. We are blessed to have a wonderful staff at LAC, both highly competent and self-sufficient. They appreciate having support and encouragement and our Personnel Committee has agreed to be present for them. Each Personnel Committee member has adopted a staff member to shepherd and will be checking in on a regular basis. Our staff members are: Douglas Kostner, Director of Music, Kristin DeFelice, Interim Director of Preschool, Gloria Haq, Bookkeeper, Marranda Major, Church Secretary and Communications Coordinator, and Ekama Eni, Interim Director of Youth and Family Ministries. We are happy that Sarah Haq has extended her contract as Administrative Assistant to the Preschool and LAC for the remainder of the program year.
Grateful to God. With this oversight and program plan in place, we feel confident that LAC will continue to offer meaningful worship, caring connections, and life-giving support to our friends and neighbors. Please be supportive of our staff and church officers as we take on these additional responsibilities over the weeks ahead. We trust in God’s grace and love, and all the church family, that this transitional time will go well and help us grow closer.
Faithfully yours,
Leah Griggs-Pauly and Clark Morehouse, Co-Clerks of Session
Rev. Dr. Ellen Clark Clémot, Interim Pastor/Head of Staff
Save the Date!
October 25th: Ellen’s Farewell Sunday: After worship on October 25th, Rev. Clémot will be outside the church at 60 Forest Park Avenue to wave goodbye. In lieu of a giving her a “purse” cash gift for her departure, Ellen has asked for everyone to make a pledge to LAC and to bring a can or box of non-perishable food to church on October 25th from 10:45am to 11:45am for our HOPE food pantry as you swing by to say goodbye. She will have socially distanced food collection bins available for your donations and asks that everyone wear a mask. If you would like more information or would like to help organize this event, please contact Chris Templeman at Christian.A.Templeman@morganstanley.com  or Clark Morehouse at cmorehouse12@gmail.com. If you prefer to have Rev. Clémot contact you by phone to say goodbye, please email her at eclemot@lacny.org.

LAC Preschool Food Collection for Kindness:  In conjunction with the Farewell Food drop off for Rev. Clémot on October 25th, Interim Preschool Director Kristin DeFelice will be organizing a Preschool Food Collection for Kindness to continue through November. The deacons will be coordinating these joint food drives from LAC to alleviate hunger and food insecurity for our immediate neighbors. For more information, please contact Kristin DeFelice at PreschoolDirector@lacny.org or Deacon Moderator Becky Gray at bmarlis@yahoo.com.

10/13/2020: Thank You, LAC!

Dear LAC Family:
It has been a privilege and a pleasure to serve as your interim minister for these past two
years. I have been honored to work beside you in ministry, lead you in worship, and dream with you about the future of LAC. But I write to you today to share my happy news that I have now received a calling to serve another congregation.
On Sunday, the congregation of the Presbyterian Church of Chatham Township, a 750-
member church in western New Jersey, elected me to be their installed Senior Pastor/Head of
Staff. The church in Chatham, known as PCCT, values traditional reformed worship, has a
strong associate minister, music staff, preschool, and significant administrative team. Its focus
on family and mission drives its ministries. I am thrilled to be joining them as their Pastor.
Being installed means having tenure as a Pastor – not having to say goodbye after a two-
year term as interim, but staying on, moving in, integrating with the church family, and
accompanying the members of the congregation on their life journeys. This has always been my ministry dream. The congregation in Chatham is excited to have me join them for the long-term, and I am so pleased. I will begin my ministry there on November 15th. My interim contract here at LAC ends this month. My last Sunday with you will be on October 25th in the sanctuary.
Now I begin the sad task of saying goodbye to all of you at LAC. While we all knew I
would be leaving soon, especially as our Pastor Nominating Committee is now so close to
electing a nominee to be LAC’s installed pastor, it is still difficult to leave you. You have been
generous and kind to me and welcoming from the very beginning. I am so thankful for all of you and grateful to God for our last two years together.
The role of interim is a difficult one – it is not the minister who comes to be loved, but
rather the one who comes to heal and reveal, to take down and build up, and above all, to prepare the terrain to be smooth and life-giving for the installed pastor to follow. I have applied all my energy to accomplish this work for you. I feel confident that LAC is ready to thrive.
As I leave you at the end of this month, I will hold you close in my heart as the church
that makes bold plans and sees them through. You are the first LAC generation who welcomed a woman to lead you. You are the ones who acted responsibly in repairing and preserving your
beautiful campus properties. You help your neighbors in need with food and clothing and love.
You combat climate change. You made welcoming the centerpiece of your outreach message.
You love sacred music. You nurture the children. You care for one another.
Your faithfulness to God and integrity as a church family will bear much good fruit. I am
so grateful to all of you for your dedication to one another and to Christ’s mission for our greater community. I will always remember you at LAC as the congregation that was generous with its gifts and willing to help others, even, and most essentially, in a time of pandemic.I leave you at month’s end with an exceptionally excellent staff, stream-lined and high-
performing. I leave you structurally sound as to your governance boards, your ministry
connections, and your Presbytery relationship. And I leave you with gratitude for our time
together, and for your allowing me to share with you God’s Word from the pulpit each Sunday
with a message of love, hope, and kindness.
God is making for you a new beginning and a bright future. I wish you well.

Yours in Christ,
Interim Pastor, Larchmont Avenue Church

9/30/20: October 2020 Worship Schedule at LAC

Dear LAC Worshippers,
Session met Monday night and decided the schedule and method for our October worship services, Sundays at 10:00 a.m. Here it is: Communion Sunday will be pre-recorded and the other Sundays will be held in-person in the sanctuary.
Communion Sunday, October 4th – Video Worship broadcast on our website lacny.org and on FB Live.
  • Sunday, October 11th – In-Person Worship at LAC and livestreamed on our website lacny.org.
  • Sunday, October 18th – In-Person Worship at LAC and livestreamed on our website lacny.org.
  • Sunday, October 25th – In-Person Worship at LAC and livestreamed on our website lacny.org.
We were grateful to receive negative results from COVID-19 testing for our staff and have no COVID cases to report. The entire worship staff looks forward to welcoming you to worship in-person and online in the weeks ahead.
In-Person Safety Monitors and Ushers. In-person worship means we will need more volunteers who will come early to church to help with social distancing precautions, wellness survey, and ushering people to the reserved pews. Please click here to sign up [LINK]. Session has asked that Elders, Deacons, and Trustees be especially encouraged to help out. Thank you!

Thank you, Chrystal Chambers!

On behalf of the Session, Personnel Committee, Christian Education Committee, and Worship Team at LAC, I give my sincere thanks to our friend and faithful congregant Chrystal Chambers, who concludes her term as interim Director of Christian Education today.


Chrystal’s gracious presence, willingness to serve Christ and her church, and her generous can-do attitude have been invaluable assets to our Sunday School program over the past two years. Among her accomplishments were the launch of our Adult Education and speaker program, initiation of intergenerational book groups, encouragement of new co-ed and women’s Bible studies, and she even produced and directed our first ever Virtual Vacation Bible School this summer. (If you missed it, please enjoy this five-part summer series with your children here [LINK].)


Thank you, Chrystal. You will be missed from our staff meetings, but we are grateful to have you remain in our community as our friend and inspire us by your example as Christ’s disciple in all you do.
In God’s Love,