Bodley Bulletins, by Julia Ludington

The holiday season is upon us.

On Dec. 16 and 17, GRB will have its annual Band and Orchestra Holiday Concerts, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Be sure to attend and support our music groups. You will not be disappointed with the music that celebrates this time of year and all that comes with it.

If you are interested in ordering your yearbook at a discounted price, make sure to turn in your order before the Christmas recess.

Turning it in by this time will save you $10. Additionally, ordering a yearbook ahead of time instead of waiting until the end of the year will guarantee that you receive a copy.

See Mr. Senecal in room 228 for more information.

The Yearbook Club is in need of 2013 spring and fall sports photos. If you have any you feel would be a good addition to the yearbook, you can submit them online at hjeshare.com. The school code is fultonian.

If you are a senior and would like your yearbook to be personalized, it costs an extra $5. The deadline for personalization is Jan. 17.

Seniors, also be sure to turn in your graduation cards by Dec. 16, stating the name you would like to appear on your diploma. Please no nicknames — only your legal name can be used.

There are numerous scholarships available in the guidance office for anyone who is applying to college this year. Make sure to stop by soon — deadlines are approaching.

Today, the varsity and JV boys wrestling teams have a match at 6 p.m. at J-D High School. Tomorrow, the varsity boys’ and girls’ bowling teams will take on CBA at Strike & Spare Lanes in Mattydale at 3:30 p.m.

I hope everyone has a good week and that some will be able to make it to one or more of GRB events coming up.

Oswego Middle School takes on mural challenge

Upon entering the Oswego Middle School art room, immediately visitors’ attention is turned toward a massive ceramic sea aquarium mural.

Student teacher Cassandra Mazur has conducted a collaborative project with seventh- and eighth-graders to create a lasting memory for students.

“Over the course of the last month the 140-piece ceramic mural was created by a group of 93 students. The mural measures 6 by 8 feet,” she said.

“It focuses on collaborative community art. It began with a simple idea and transformed into students learning about group collaboration, ceramic tile making and personal artistic expression. The story of this mural is about imagining a vision, believing in all possibilities, working with others, trusting the process and spreading inspiration,” she said.

Initially, the project began by introducing students to ceramic tile murals found throughout history and in everyday life.

“I created a full size ocean themed drawing of the mural to provide a solid framework for the students to work from. Students spent the next two weeks sculpting the tiles,” Mazur said.

“They were given templates of the larger design to trace on to the clay tiles. That design would become altered and personalized by students through various sculpting techniques.

“This process allowed students to apply their own unique style and artistic fingerprint to the tiles which in turn made the work unique and one of a kind,” she said.

Students then spent another week glazing and adding color to the tiles. The seventh-graders were in charge of glazing the border tiles, which include the words “Inspire, Love, Imagine, Create, Dream and Believe,” while the eighth-graders were assigned to specific tiles according to their artistic styles.

Those who preferred detailed work were in charge of painting the fish, turtles and smaller coral reef. Others who preferred to work at a faster pace were assigned to water and the larger coral reef.

Mazur said this was a positive experience as “You never heard ‘I’m not artistic’ because everyone was helping each other through the process and fully contributed their own unique abilities.”

Erin Platten, an Oswego Middle School art teacher, was extremely positive concerning the experience.

“She came to me with this huge idea of creating a mural. I could see the passion she had and the excitement, and I do love a good challenge and new opportunities for my students,” Platten said. “She worked very hard to design the project, and put endless hour and purchased many materials.”

“We had many discussions along the way about the process and the outcome and we both learned a lot. I really enjoyed the experience and watching my students learn and grow from a totally different perspective,” Platten said. “They really seemed to enjoy the overall project and it is a lot of fun to watch students, faculty and staff come into my room and ogle over the mural. I can see it being a conversation piece for years to come.”

Mazur noted there is further credit that needs to be given.

“Once we had all the tiles fired and out of the kiln, they were ready to be installed,” she said. “Albert Lemire, an employee of Raby’s ACE Hardware story in Oswego, donated his time to install the mural on the wall. The final mural would not have been possible without him.”

Patten noted, “The mural is beautiful and a real testament to Cassie’s love and devotion for teaching. She will be a wonderful teacher, and I think that by beginning big and being successful she will go forth and do amazing things.””

Fulton swimmers splash into new season

By Rob Tetro

The Fulton varsity swim team has high hopes for the 2013-14 season.

Coach Dexter Hinman said Fulton hopes to have a winning record. Individually, the Red Raiders want to be a team that qualifies most of its athletes for Sectionals.

Hinman feels his experienced team is ready to put in the hard work and dedication that is needed to succeed this season.

This season, Fulton returns many athletes from last year’s team and will feature a couple of athletes from Phoenix.

The Red Raiders top returning athletes are seniors Ross Gardner, Lacey Reich and Jacob Strauss, junior Kyle Buck and sophomores Andrew Distin and David Tallents.

Supporting Fulton’s top returning athletes are seniors Breanna Baker, Anna Guernsey and Alyssa Harley (Phoenix).

Also: Juniors Adrianna Dodge, Emma Harvey, Austin Nairn, Zachary Perry and Grace Trepasso, sophomores Caleb and Zachary Almeter, Justin Grower, Joshua Hotaling, Sage Hourihan, Casey Jones, Grant Marriner, Timothy McAfee, Lorcan Murphy, Dakota Stoughtenger, Kaitlyn Trudell (Phoenix) and Abbey Zych.

Freshmen on the team are Miwa Burdic, Michael Mankiewicz, Ryan Morehouse, Deidre Murphy, Breanna Stoughtenger and Sarah Tallents.

Hinman named Ross Gardner, Anna Guernsey, Lacey Reich and Jacob Strauss as Fulton’s team captains for the upcoming season. Hinman points out Guernsey, Reich and Strauss are natural leaders. Their impressive work ethic has earned them the respect of their teammates.

The Red Raiders expect to be challenged every time they get into the water this season. However, there is a date on Fulton’s schedule the team already is looking at.

The Red Raiders will be taking part in an invitational in Rochester this season that will feature other coed teams.

Despite the many challenges that await them, Hinman expects Fulton’s depth will allow them to compete consistently. Unfortunately, Hinman suggests his team will be rebuilding in at least one area. This season, the Red Raiders will be developing new divers.

Oswego County health clinics scheduled

The Oswego County Health Department offers a variety of services to all residents of Oswego County, including preventive health services, certified home health care, long-term home health care, certified hospice, and a maternal and child health program.

Walk-in influenza clinics are held weekdays from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego for people age 19 and older. No appointment is needed; walk-ins are welcome.

Children’s flu vaccine is available every Tuesday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. in Oswego, and the third Tuesday of every month from 9 to 11 a.m. at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse, Pulaski.

The children’s flu vaccine is available at no cost to all children who qualify for the Vaccines for Children Program provided by the New York State Department of Health.

For those who do not qualify, the cost is $37 for the inactivated vaccine (the shot) and $43 for the flu-mist (nasal vaccine).

Patients with private insurance, Managed Medicaid, Managed Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare, and Medicare Part B should bring their benefit cards with them to the immunization clinic.

No one will be turned away due to inability to pay.

The following services will be offered during the week of Dec. 16 at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego, and the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse, Pulaski.

OSWEGO:

Adult Influenza Clinic: Monday through Friday, 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m., walk-in clinic.

Immunization Clinic: Tuesday, Dec. 17, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., walk-in clinic.

Pregnancy Testing: Free pregnancy testing is available. Call 349-3391 to schedule an appointment.

Sexually Transmitted Disease Testing and Treatment Services: Call 349-3547 to schedule an appointment.

HIV Counseling and Testing Service: Call 349-3547 to schedule an appointment

PULASKI:

Immunization Clinic: Tuesday, Dec. 17, 9 to 11 a.m., walk-in clinic.

Immunization clinics are held every Tuesday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at 70 Bunner St, Oswego, and the third Tuesday of every month from 9 to 11 a.m. at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse, Pulaski.

For more information about public health services, contact the Oswego County Health Department, weekdays at 349-3547 or (800) 596-3200, extension 3547.

Faith partnership helps fill kids’ bellies on the weekend

By Debra J. Groom

A number of children in the Oswego and Fulton school district do not go hungry on the weekends anymore thanks to the Episcopal-Lutheran Faith Partnership of Oswego and Fulton and its participation in the Blessings in a Backpack program.

The program, which began in 2005 in two schools in Louisville, Ky., provides backpacks of food for needy children to take home over the weekend.

The faith partnership began the program the second week of this school year and church members get together at the end of each week to fill bags with food for the children.

Beth Hallinan, of Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, Oswego, said children receiving the bags are selected by school nurses, social workers and psychologists. Children are from families that qualify for the federal Free and Reduced Price Meal program.

At the beginning of the school year, the church members packed 25 bags each for children at Leighton Elementary in Oswego and Volney Elementary in Fulton.

“But then an anonymous donor allowed us to expand that to 50 bags at each school each week,” Hallinan said.

A donation of $80 will provide a bag for one child each week of the school year.

More than 62 percent of children in the United States are fed meals at school, but often there isn’t much food for them when they are at home on the weekends.

Long-term childhood hunger can lead to a weaker immune system, increases hospitalizations and impaired neural development which can hamper a child’s ability to learn in school, according to a fact sheet issued by Blessings in a Backpack.

Hallinan said the program used to use actual backpacks, but officials were having difficulties getting the bags back, cleaning them and keeping them in good condition. So now the food is sent home in plastic bags.

The faith partnership consists of Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oswego and Prince of Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Fulton.

Light In The Darkness

“All men will hate you because of me.”

Luke 21:17-185

 

This will undoubtedly seem a strange verse to highlight in a column focusing on the virgin Mary.

She was, after all, the blessed one chosen to be the mother of the Messiah. However, today I would like to write about something I have never seen nor heard anyone write about.

Perhaps the reason I have not is simply the product of the circles I associate with, I do not know. But the bottom line is that I cannot recall ever having heard anyone address the down side of being blessed by God in this life as it must have related to Mary.

I can understand why many might be reluctant to talk about it because it is not mentioned in the Bible (except indirectly in the action Joseph was planning to take). They might be reluctant also for the reason Paul gave when he said, “Present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”  (Romans 8:18-19).

However, it does not place much strain on our sanctified imagination to realize some of what Mary must have had to suffer when those around her discovered that this unmarried woman was pregnant.

And then her statement that God, Himself had impregnated her must have sounded like the ultimate blasphemy.

It is probably difficult for many today to understand just how she would have been persecuted. In a society that generally accepts the pregnancy of unwed mothers as normal and publishes the births of their children in the local paper, the way Mary’s contemporaries would have treated her would seem “puritanical” to many today.

(I use the word “puritanical” in the generally accepted definition of the term and not the truth about who they were.)

Mary would have suffered greatly from the scorn and ridicule of those who would not believe her story. She would have suffered at the hands of her intended, Joseph, had not the Lord, Himself appeared to him in a most convincing dream.

In truth, from a human perspective, it would have been a difficult story to believe, even though it was promised that the Messiah would be born of a virgin. I cannot help but wonder how many other young pregnant women might have tried that explanation before Mary.

I remember well the time that a man told me his daughter was pregnant and that she swore she had never been with a boy. She claimed that she must be pregnant by the Holy Spirit.

He asked me what I thought. I was on more solid ground than those in Mary’s day and could assure him that she was not, because the promise that a virgin would give birth had already been fulfilled.

Mary was blessed, as are all who trust fully in Christ. What we must realize today is that with the blessing of the Lord comes persecution in this life.

Jesus clearly warned us that relationship with Him would bring the hatred of the world down like a flood. He said, “All men will hate you because of me.” (Luke 21:17-18).

He prepared his followers for the persecution that would come because of His name. It was true of the Prophets in Israel and it is still true today.

We need to be aware and prepare our hearts so that we do not compromise or back away from the truth out of fear of such treatment at the hands of worldly men and women, outside or inside the church.

Pastor David M. Grey

Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church

Cynthia “Cindy” Thompson, longtime Fulton-area resident

Cynthia “Cindy” Thompson, 49, of Fulton, passed away Wednesday evening Dec. 4 at home with her husband at her side.

Cindy lived her whole life in the Fulton area and graduated from Hannibal High School.

She was a homemaker, devoted wife and mother.

Cindy is survived by her husband, David Thompson; two children, Kyle and Melinda Stapleton; her mother, Sandra Sivers; maternal grandmother, Carol Cole; a brother, Bill (Ronica) Sivers all of Fulton; two nephews, Bill and Cody.

A memorial service was held Saturday, Dec. 7 at Little Utica United Methodist Church, 1459 Lamson Road, Phoenix.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Cindy may be made to Friends of Oswego County Hospice, Inc., P.O. Box 102, Oswego, NY 13126-0102.

Foster Funeral Home, Fulton has care of arrangements.

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