Category Archives: Columnists

In and Around Hannibal, by Rita Hooper

Ukraine has been in the news lately as Russia has seen fit to take over Crimera, a part of Ukraine.

But I would like to share with you a little about Ukraine that some of my readers may not know.

During Lent, the women and girls (primarily) of Ukraine have decorated special eggs called pysanky eggs. It is believed  this tradition may go as far back as 4,000 BC.

They use a special process that uses beeswax and dyes on raw eggs. You must be careful not to break the eggs or you will have a big mess!

Over a period of years, the contents of the eggs dry up and the eggs become very light and they will last for years. They are tougher than they look!

The tool they use to put the wax on the egg and make the designs with is called a kistka. Where the wax is placed will remain white or the previous dye color. The wax is removed from the egg by melting it off, usually in a candle flame.

Eggs are used because they represent new life or rebirth. They are made during Lent so they will be ready for Easter where their use reminds us of the resurrection of Jesus.

The egg also is a symbol of the sun.  Many of the designs on the eggs have special meanings as well. For example, flowers represent love, animals, wealth and prosperity, dots are stars and butterflies nature, and wheat, a bountiful harvest.  Any design that encircles the egg represents eternal life.

Every color chosen has special meaning too: Yellow – Happiness, Blue – Health, Orange – Endurance, Black – Protection from Evil

The women will often decorate these eggs in private so their ideas are not copied. Each egg is an original.

Some Ukrainians believe the eggs will ward off evil. I bet they are making lots of eggs this year and would appreciate any you made.

I remember years ago, the Hannibal Library did a couple of workshops on pysanky eggs. Some of you may remember Librarian Karen Eckersley became quite good at doing these eggs and I was the lucky recipient of one or two of them.

The gift of a pysanky egg is very special and represents love, peace and friendship.  As for me and my heavy handedness, I’ll stick with hard cooked eggs and simple dyes. A simple, kid friendly method is to draw pictures on a boiled egg with a crayon and dip it in the dye. Where the picture is will remain white.

My husband used to like to write scripture passages on the eggs…ah you’re never too old to color eggs!

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The Hannibal Sports Boosters is conducting a lottery ticket raffle to raise funds to support the Hannibal Athletics program.

They anticipate selling 1,000 tickets.  Each ticket sold will then be eligible to win $50 each day for the month of May using the New York state daily lottery number that is drawn each evening.

An individual who purchases a $5 ticket will have 31 chances of winning during the month of May.

There will be four bonus days — Wednesdays during May. The winning ticket on those days will receive an additional bonus of $50 for a total of $100.

Only those over 18 are permitted to sell the tickets. Tickets will be sold from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the IGA/Village Market April 5 (today) and April 19.

If you have questions or would like to purchase tickets, call Mark Lafurney @ 374-8806 or email: mark.lafurney@eaglebev.com

The Friends of the Hannibal Free Library will be holding their Spring Book and Bake Sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 6 at the Hannibal Senior Center Rooms, next to the Library.  There will also be a wide variety of baked goods  for sale.  For more information please call Faith Chaffee, 564-5192.

The Enoch Thomas Methodist Cluster will hold their last Lenten Service at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 6 at Bowen’s Corner Church. Refreshments will follow.

The Senior Meals Program meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday for lunch at the Senior Center promptly at noon. The center, located in the library across from  the Hannibal Fire Hall on Oswego Street,  opens at 10.

This week’s menu features:

Monday, April 7 — Homemade soup and sandwich (call for details), crackers, juice, fruit cocktail

Wednesday — Goulash, vegetable, juice, pineapple tidbits

Friday — Chicken cordon bleu, roasted potatoes, vegetable blend, yogurt

Activities: Monday — games and Wii bowling; Wednesday — games, bingo after lunch; Friday — games, craft (beaded crosses)

Bone Builders meet at the American Legion Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:45AM.  If you have osteoporosis, there is help for you and your bones – stop in and check it out, or give Louise Kellogg a call.

The Senior Council would like to remind you that their rooms are available for groups and family rental when not being otherwise used.  Please give Rosemary a call for information and booking (564-5471.)

The Hannibal Nursery School announces an open house will be held, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday April 9 at the school in the upstairs of the Hannibal Library. Enrollment is open for the fall 2014-2015 school season. School season runs September-May. Classes are held 9 to 11:30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. All 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds welcome. Call Christy at 727-1653 with any questions.

The Hannibal Library has a Garden Time raffle basket full of containers, gift certificate from Travis Floral, Book on container gardening, gloves, tools and more. The drawing will be on April 15th.

A Maundy Thursday service will be at Hannibal United Methodist Church at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 17.

Granby Center United Methodist Church will have a Good Friday service at 5:30 p.m.

Please churches in the Hannibal Area, let me know your Holy Week schedule.

On June 2, they will be honoring Fred Kent for his contributions to the Hannibal community.  Save the date now!

Rita Hooper  706-3564

Twohoops2@juno.com

The Sportsman’s World — Crossbow Hunting

By Leon Archer

It seemed like the crossbow bill was going to die in the Assembly again this year.

It had been heavily resisted by a small faction of bow hunters and various anti-hunting groups, but large numbers of sportsmen deluged the Senate and Assembly members with calls, emails and letters.

In the end, the law was passed.

As I wrote a few weeks ago, the time for this change in New York’s conservation law was long overdue. We now become one of 28 states with some form of crossbow hunting.

It isn’t perfect yet from what I’ve heard, because it was not made legal during (all) seasons when bows may be used for hunting. I am of the opinion that this illogical omission will be corrected in the next year or two, clearing the final hurdle.

It has been a long struggle – certainly longer than it should have been for such an innocuous piece of legislation.

The final step will no doubt be introduced next year, and before long, the crossbow will be an accepted weapon during any season.

In spite of bow hunters dire predictions and fears that the woods will be over-run with crossbow hunters, when the finish line is finally crossed, they will notice little or no difference as they pursue their own form of hunting with a bow.

Peace will come in a very short time, and this tempest in a teapot will settle down and no longer be a divisive topic for sportsmen.

It is my belief that the reason the crossbow did not cross that final hurdle this year was the legislators were seeking a compromise that would mollify both the crossbow and non-crossbow hunters, but in reality, they didn’t really please either party. Let’s hope next year they get it right.

Personally, I don’t have an iron in this fire. I don’t intend to buy a crossbow, and I would be unlikely to hunt with one during an early season even if there were one to hunt in.

I still like duck hunting too much to sit in the woods waiting for a deer to walk by. I will hunt with a bow for a few days this coming fall, because my grandson, Nathaniel, will be old enough to hunt deer with a bow, and he needs me to go with him. I’ll carry a bow just in case the unlikely takes place and I have a chance at a big buck. Nathaniel’s opportunity is the number one priority.

Nate and I will be practicing this summer in order to be prepared should that moment arrive when he is able to join the ranks of successful Archer, archer deer hunters. Knowing Nathaniel as I do, it will happen.

If you are one of the many hunters who have been waiting for the crossbow to be legalized in New York state, don’t forget to send a thank you to our legislators, especially to the leaders of the Senate and Assembly.

I expect those few bow hunters who were the most opposed to the new law will be sending notes voicing their displeasure. It would be good to let those people in Albany know that they got at least one thing right this year.

My son tells me the grass is starting to peek through since warm weather broke out. I don’t think there is much grass showing in Redfield, but it will happen.

I missed getting out on the trout opener. I hope those of you who were able to go fishing had a great day. I thought about you out here in Washington. I will be out there fishing with you very soon.

State Senate Report

By state Sen. Patricia Ritchie

To say Fort Drum is a significant part of Central and Northern New York is an understatement.

Home to the 10th Mountain Division — the Army’s most deployed infantry group — Fort Drum is our state’s biggest single-site employer with 18,000 soldiers and 4,000 civilian workers.

Last year, the post had a $1.4 billion impact on our state’s economy. And perhaps most importantly, the post is home to 38,000 soldiers and family members — our friends, co-workers and defenders of our freedom.

Recently, I hosted “10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum Day” at the State Capitol. This was the third year for the special event, held to honor our troops and their contributions to our region and our country.

The day included Fort Drum’s Color Guard opening up the Senate Session, which also featured an address by  Brig. Gen. Michael Howard, who spoke on behalf of Maj. Gen. Stephen Townsend, who is serving in Afghanistan.

In addition, my colleagues and visitors to the Capitol were also given the opportunity to learn about our troops through displays hosted by the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization and Fort Drum soldiers.

The troops and Fort Drum supporters who were able to attend the event reminded my colleagues and me of the hundreds of thousands men and women who volunteer to serve and defend our nation.  They also served to remind us of how critical Fort Drum is not only to our region but also to the entire state and country.

The 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum Day represents just one way I’m working to make sure the men and women of our Armed Forces get the recognition they deserve.

Recently, I announced that I am once again accepting nominations for the New York State Senate “Veterans Hall of Fame” program. The Hall of Fame pays tribute to New Yorkers who have served their country in the US Armed Forces and made significant contributions to their communities.

Each state Senator can induct one veteran annually, who will be honored at a special ceremony in Albany May 20. All nominees from Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties will be recognized locally at an event to be held at Ft. Drum on May 15.

If you would like to nominate a veteran from Oswego, Jefferson or St. Lawrence County for the program, visit my website to download a nomination form or call  782-3418 to have one mailed to you. Nominations must be received by April 20.

Our troops make so many sacrifices and I’m proud, as well as humbled to be given the opportunity to recognize them. If you know a veteran who has gone above and beyond to serve his or her country and community, I encourage you to nominate them for this special program.

Light in the Darkness

“I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst.” Hosea 11:9

Some may wonder why I am writing so much about the holiness of God? Why is it so important?

Well, it is important because it is nothing less than His holiness that we need. We do not need moral perfection according to any other standard. We need God’s very Holiness within.

We human beings, even (dare I say especially?) Christians, are too often content with a simple standard of morality. Such contentment, even with the highest standard of moral behavior reveals a sad misunderstanding of what God requires.

It blinds us to true holiness and more often than not results in silly standards and behavior. When true holiness as God means it, is confused with morality…  no matter how high that standard of morality… it muddies the waters terribly.

It seems right, but it is so, so wrong. The standard is mistaken for true holiness of life.

Thus ‘holiness’ becomes associated strictly with outward behavior, resulting in prohibitions against things like drinking, dancing, playing cards, chewing tobacco, the use of makeup, attending  movies and a score of other behaviors. When such moral standards are equated with Christianity, thinking saints have questions and are often confused.

I remember well attending a church sponsored night at the roller rink and one of the women who loved to ‘dance’ on roller skates (and boy could she make those skates sing!) asked the question, why is it is OK to dance with wheels on our feet but it is prohibited otherwise?

There was also the standard that Christians did not attend the movies but nearly everyone had a television. What made the big screen sinful but the little screen OK?

Or, and this one that many struggle with, if the drinking of all alcohol is bad why did Jesus turn water into wine? Why does it say that an elder must not be a man who drinks too much? And if all alcohol is bad, why did Paul tell Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach’s sake and his chronic illnesses?

Questions which led to confusion and ultimately to guilt-ridden behavior when the believer secretly engaged in those practices they were told were wrong. Why? Because the focus was upon a moral standard or code without understanding that the holiness God requires is nothing less than His holiness operating in our lives.

There is no true holiness in mere morality. Though there may be much that is highly esteemed among men, there is nothing about it that is right in the sight of God. That holiness operating in us results in the best of moral behavior, of course. Do not misunderstand. But it is so very much more.

Joel Scandrett, an associate editor with Intervarsity Press, put it well when he wrote “I believe one crucial ingredient to healing our moral confusion is the recovery of the biblical idea of holiness, which, though it results in private morality is in truth, so much more. (It is) the very life of God in us. Holiness stands at the beginning and centre of God’s call on our lives: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’” (Lev. 11:44).

Biblical “holiness” carries a strong secondary connotation of moral purity, of course, but moral purity is not, first and foremost, what Scripture is talking about.

Instead, the most basic meaning of the words is to be “set apart” or “dedicated” to God. “I will be your God, and you will be my people,” says Yahweh (Lev. 26:12; Heb. 8:10).

Thus, prior to any consideration of morality, biblical holiness describes a unique relationship that God has established and desires with his people. This relationship has moral ramifications, true enough, but it precedes moral behavior.

Before we are ever called to be good, we are called to be holy. Unless we understand this, we fall into the inevitable trap of reducing holiness to mere morality.

How much more God is asking of us than mere morality! As long as our notions of holiness are limited to doing certain things and not doing other things, we can go through our entire lives obeying the rules (or at least maintaining the appearance of doing so) without dealing with a far more fundamental question: To whom do we give our first love and loyalty?

To be a disciple of Jesus Christ requires nothing less than death to our fallen, egocentric selves in order that we might live in and for him. “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it,” says Jesus, “but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:35-36).”

Why study the holiness of God? Because the Christian life is nothing less than His Holiness in us. It is not some imitation of His life or adherence to his perceived standard. It is not simply obedience to some moral code. It is not even doing what Jesus would do.

It is His life,  his holiness within, lived out in us. As the Apostle Paul said, “For me to live is Christ.”

 

Pastor David M. Grey

Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church

Poetry Corner, by Jim Farfaglia

Sensing Spring, by Jim Farfaglia

Mother Nature has entered

a Crayola Crayon contest

and wins first prize

for best new shade of green.

She calls it “Springtacular.”

Mr. Skunk has returned,

leaving behind his calling card;

I find myself almost grateful

to smell something other than

the dead of winter.

The earth sings again:

my backyard a concert hall,

its icy demeanor warming,

the gurgle of melting snow

murmuring a pleasant melody.

Crocuses pop up everywhere,

like raised hairs on the arm

of an excited world.

I brush their tops

and I bristle, too.

The kale has wintered over.

I strip off a leaf or two

and chew:

Fine dining at the local café,

reopened for the season.

Bodley Bulletins, by Julia Ludington

By Julia Ludington

Spring has sprung! Well, sort of.

Our spring sports teams are still mostly confined to the indoors, but are making the most of the beginning of their seasons.

Be sure to be checking the district website to see what sporting event you can attend next.

The boys’ and girls’ varsity lacrosse teams both had scrimmages this past week.

The boys’ played at the Hopkins Road indoor center, while the girls traveled to Hamilton College in Clinton, Oneida County.

Both teams showed promising potential for the season.

The Student Senate is hosting another blood drive this Friday in the LGI. Thank you to all of the brave souls who are going to participate, you are doing a truly wonderful thing.

The Yearbook Club is in need of pictures covering certain sports and activities. Missing significant documentation are wrestling, swimming, hockey, boys’ basketball, National Honor Society inductions and bowling.

If you have any pictures that you feel would be a good contribution, you can email them to theraider@fulton.cnyric.org.

The high school’s annual “Bodley’s Got Talent” will be taking place at 6:30 p.m.  April 9. Auditions are taking place this week. The show is always entertaining and a lot of fun, and all are welcome.

If you are not busy tonight at 7:30, there is a concert band and wind ensemble concert I am sure will be worth attending. If you can’t make tonight, the concert orchestra and symphonic orchestra will perform tomorrow at 7:30 PM.

Have a great week!

Poetry Corner

Mis-seasoned, by Jim Farfaglia

At the east end of the Oneida St. Bridge

in a vacant lot below,

collected from our drawn-out winter

rises a mountain of snow.

 

Added to truckload by truckload,

measured in yards, not feet,

formed from Mother Nature’s insistence

of blanketing our city streets.

 

November to March it gets piled,

‘til one day when crossing our river,

we look down at winter’s harsh toll,

its immensity sending a shiver.

 

Though our fancy calendars may tell us

its time to start living in spring,

we need only look from atop that bridge

to know which season’s still king.

Light in the Darkness

“There is none holy like the Lord, there is none besides thee.” 1 Samuel 2:2

“I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst.” Hosea 11:9

God is holy because He is God and not man. His holiness is his essence and it is utterly unique.  It is who He is, what He is and is not determined by anyone or anything else.

His holiness is what he is as God and is what no one else is or ever will be. He alone is infinite, unchanging, eternal. He is in a class by himself.  He is the Alpha and Omega. Everything begins and ends with God.

We can never understand the full significance of anything until we understand its relation to God. This also means that ultimately, everything is about Him. All praise and thanksgiving; all worship, honor and glory are due Him. All.

Unfortunately, because He has been so very gracious to us who have believed; because Has been so wonderfully kind to us, it is easy for us to begin to think and act like everything is about us, but it most certainly is not.

All existence holds its being in Him and the zeal of God burns for the holiness of his great name. (Ezekiel 36:22).  That holiness is manifested dramatically whenever it encounters un-holiness in any form.

As Habakkuk says: “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil, and you cannot tolerate wrong.” (1:13).

Furthermore, because He alone is Holy, in the final analysis, all the evil in the world is an offense against Him only. David understood this in a most personal way. He cried out, “against you and you only have I sinned.”

I wrote last week that the holiness of God cannot be described or expressed in words. Rather we understand the holiness of God through its effect upon the unholy.

When the un-holiness of men is confronted with the holiness of God, the result is dramatic. Isaiah, upon seeing the Lord cried out, “Woe unto me. I am undone for I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell among a people of unclean lips!”

Even God’s prophet, chosen for his faithfulness and obedience to God, could not stand comfortably in His presence but felt apart. A psychologist would describe his experience as one of personal disintegration.

A person who believes he or she did the right thing to get saved has no awareness of how deeply stained they really are. We must be undone before we can be remade. The Holy Spirit has to awaken us to our sinfulness before we can be summoned to His grace.

I close this week’s column with an illustration. I understand that it is a true account and helps to illustrate the kind of attitude the Lord is looking for as he reaches out to draw a man or woman to him.

KING FREDERICK II, an 18th-century king in Prussia (Germany), was visiting a prison in Berlin when the inmates crowded around him to proclaim their innocence. All, that is, except one man. He sat quietly in the corner, head bowed.

“Frederick walked over to him and said, ‘What are you here for?’”  “Armed robbery, your majesty,’ the man replied. ‘And, are you guilty?’ the king asked. ‘Yes, sir. I deserve this punishment.’

“The king turned to the guard and ordered, ‘Set this guilty man free. I don’t want him corrupting all these other innocent people.’”

Pastor David M. Grey

Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church