Christ's Lutheran Church in 2005

[ Pastor Sonja Tillberg ] Pastor Sonja Tillberg, conducting services.

The congregation participated in the "Renewing Worship" studies in preparation for a new hymnal, trying (and commenting on) as choir and congregation some of the proposed new hymns. There was harsh criticism of the more radical language changes, especially in regards to the Psalms and canticles, Apostles' Creed, and Nicene Creed.

Doris Blatter continued as music director, a position she had held since 1968. Kristen Tuttman was organist, Melanie Camara Sunday School superintendent, and Cindy Denise administrative assistant. Donna Duma was president of the Church Council, Carmen Adler vice president, Janice Lanzarotta treasurer, Barbara and Bob Callahan financial secretaries, Myles Putman secretary. Also serving on the Council were Mark Anderson, Barbara Bambina, Mathew Camara, and Rose Turmo.

[ Church portico ] Kemp Anderson built the portico roof to protect the exit door and handicapped ramp landing from water and ice damage.

The congregation celebrated its first annual Garden Day plant-sale fair and fundraiser.

Victoria Langling, as co-founder and general director, continued to administer the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen, in partnership with area restaurants and with all the local Christian churches, the Jewish congregation, and the Onteora Teachers Association. According to Langling,

We have learned that there are many who are hungry and come to our church soup kitchen, but we have also learned that many are there for the companionship that comes from sharing a community table. Some early supporters: Barbara and Don Stephens, Carmen & David Adler, Marie Schussler aka "The Cookie Lady," Francis J. Turmo, Joe & Hedi Jorgensen, Nancy Pape, Lois Ostapczuk, Bob Langling, Bob & Carolyn Barrette, Bill & Chris Cox, Lai Look, Dottie & Bob Balzer, Kristen Scialampo, Henry Guendel, Pastor Tillberg,… Pastor Emeritus Walter Kortrey, and all families and spouses who worked with them and/or allow them to keep this commitment.(1) Quoted in Anderson, Mark J., For All the Saints: Christ's Lutheran Church, Woodstock, New York, 1806-2006 [Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2006], p. 139. (Close)

Ginny VerEecke, a former Roman Catholic nun and a lesbian living with another woman, became an active member of our church. Here is her statement about her life's journey:

For some time, I had been struggling with accepting the fact that for me, there was no longer a meaningful familiarity in my Catholic Church. As a woman I was locked out of the ministry and as a lesbian there was even less acceptance. The decision to become a Lutheran has not been an easy one.… I am excited and looking forward to walking the Lutheran Testament of my life.… I started classes at an Interfaith Seminary.… I do believe that God… is calling me to be a Lutheran.(2) Quoted in ibid., pp. 146-47. (Close)

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, with substantial help from our own Hudson Valley Chapter, raised $15,000 [$15,300 in 2006 dollars] in just a couple of weeks for missions in Tanzania (KEMPS), Kenya (Crossroads Springs Orphanage & School), and Nicaragua (a hospital).

A committee was formed to plan celebrations for the 2006 bicentennial anniversary of the church. Lois Ostapczuk chaired the committee, and the members were Eleanor Anderson, Mark Anderson, Doris Blatter, Joan Bryant, Barbara Callahan, Barbara Kortrey, Walter Kortrey, Barbara Pickhardt, Frank Turmo, and Janet Van Buren. They scheduled a series of events that would last throughout the coming year but were concentrated in the months from May through November, which corresponded to the original signing of the charter (May 1, 1806) and its official registry with the county (November 5, 1806).

We began our celebrating with a dinner/concert fundraiser in October of 2005 and an Advent sing-along Pot Luck in December. We will continue throughout 2006 with a town resolution recognizing our anniversary, articles in the local papers, a special stamp cancellation day at the Woodstock PO on March 1, a living history night on March 18, a Sunday School birthday party for the church in April,… an anniversary dinner & Sunday service May 6 & 7 … and a concert series in the summer and fall.

The historical calendar, commemorative plate and photo greeting card are wonderful momentos of our church's past that are already available.… the history pages on our website [the very pages you are now reading!] are in progress.…(3)

Quoted in Christ's Beacon, January 2006 (Close)

The Woodstock Region in 2005

This is a placeholder for information on our region during this year. The information will come soon. The footnote at the end of this sentence is also a placeholder; please don't click it.(4)

This is a placeholder footnote. (Close)

The United States in 2005

[ George W. Bush ]

George W. Bush (Republican) was President. The newly elected 109th Congress was in session. A dollar in that year would be worth $1.02 in 2006 for most consumable products.

At least 844 American service members were killed in Iraq in 2005, nearly matching 2004's total of 848, according to information released by the United States government and a nonprofit organization that tracks casualties in Iraq. Since the war in Iraq began in March 2003 the total killed by the end of 2005 was 2,178. The total wounded since the war began was 15,955.

Scientists have resurrected the Spanish flu virus that killed an estimated 25 million people in 1918.(5)

From Falk, William, "Whle You Were Sleeping," New York Times, 30 December 2005. (Close) The reborn virus, pieced together from fragments found in tissue samples of the flu's victims, was injected into a group of laboratory mice. It proved incredibly lethal, producing 39,000 times more copies of itself than regular flu and killing all the mice in six days. This viral Frankenstein, perhaps the most deadly pathogen in human history, now lives on in quarantine. Many experts were alarmed when scientists published the flu's genetic blueprint; it would not be hard, they said, for a terrorist group or a madman to hire scientists to make the virus, quietly unleash it and kill more people than several nuclear weapons could.

Ever year, about 500,000 women throughout the world develop cervical cancer.(6)

From ibid. (Close) In the United States alone, the disease kills about 3,700 women annually. This year, scientists developed a vaccine against human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted disease that is the primary cause of cervical cancer. The vaccine produced 100 percent immunity in the 6,000 women who received it as part of a multinational trial. As soon as the vaccine is licensed, some health officials say, it should be administered to all girls at age 12. But the Family Research Council and other social conservative groups vowed to fight that plan, even though it could virtually eliminate cervical cancer. Vaccinating girls against a sexually transmitted disease, they say, would reduce their incentive to abstain from premarital sex.

Scientists have always scoffed at the notion that getting a chill can lead to a cold.(7)

From ibid. (Close) Viruses cause colds, they say, not cold air. But a new study found that dormant infections can be activated when certain parts of the body, particularly the feet and the nose, get wet and cold. In the study, 90 volunteers spent 20 minutes with their feet in a bucket of cold water. Over the next five days, 29 percent came down with colds, compared with 9 percent of a control group. Researchers said that getting a chill might constrict blood vessels and reduce the circulation of white blood cells that fight infection.

Falling madly in love significantly changes our body chemistry--but not for long.(8)

From ibid. (Close) Researchers from Italy studied a group of people who had fallen in mad, passionate love in the past six months, comparing them with people in longer-term relationships and with single people. The group consumed with passion had more of a stimulating protein called nerve growth factor in their blood. The more intense the feelings of infatuation, the more nerve growth factor there was. But when these same lovers were tested a year later, the levels had dropped back down to normal. Someone should warn Brad and Angelina: their year is up

The World at Large in 2005

To find out whether human activities are changing the atmosphere, scientists took ice cores from ancient glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica.(9)

From ibid. (Close) Bubbles of air trapped in the ice provided a pristine sampling of the atmosphere going back 650,000 years. The study, published last month in the journal Science, found that the level of carbon dioxide, one of the greenhouse gases that can warm the planet, is now 27 percent higher than at any previous time. The level is even far higher now than it was in periods when the climate was much warmer and North America was largely tropical. Climatologists said the ice cores left no doubt that the burning of fossil fuels is altering the atmosphere in a substantial and unprecedented way.

One of the more alarming possible consequences of global warming appears to be already under way.(10)

From ibid. (Close) The rapid melting of the Arctic and Greenland ice caps, a new study finds, is causing freshwater to flood into the North Atlantic. That infusion of icy water appears to be deflecting the northward flow of the warming Gulf Stream, which moderates winter temperatures for Europe and the northeastern United States. The flow of the Gulf Stream has been reduced by 30 percent since 1957, the National Oceanography Center in Britain found. Perhaps you'll remember that in the film The Day After Tomorrow, the collapse of the Gulf Stream produces a violent climate shift and a new ice age for much of the Northern Hemisphere. Climatologists don't foresee a future quite that catastrophic, but something worrisome, they say, is afoot.

With more than 100 million users, the Internet is booming in China.(11)

ibid. (Close) The American Web giants Microsoft, Yahoo and Google have all grabbed a piece of the lucrative Chinese market - but only after agreeing to help the government censor speech on the Web. In providing portals or search engines, all three companies are abiding by the government's censorship of certain ideas and keywords, like "Tiananmen massacre," "Taiwanese independence," "corruption" and "democracy." Most foreign news sites are blocked. This year, Yahoo even supplied information that helped the government track and convict a political dissident who sent an e-mail message with forbidden thoughts from a Yahoo account; he was sentenced to 10 years in jail. "Business is business," said Jack Ma, Yahoo's chief in China. "It's not politics."

Why is Osama bin Laden still at large more than four years after 9/11?(12)

From ibid. (Close) The new C.I.A. director, Porter J. Goss, provided a big hint. He said that the United States had a good idea of where Mr. bin Laden was hiding, but that sovereign states would not let a proper manhunt be mounted. Mr. Goss's statement seemed to confirm the widespread suspicion that Mr. bin Laden was hiding in the mountains of northern Pakistan but that President Pervez Musharraf, fearing the reaction of Islamic militants, was not eager for him to be captured. Mr. Musharraf himself lent support to that theory, telling an interviewer: "One would prefer that he's captured somewhere outside Pakistan. By some other people."


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