MARCH 29th, 2020 SERVICE
March 17, 2020
Dear Members and Friends of Lely Presbyterian Church,
Due to the current health crisis and the CDC guidelines to curb the spread of the coronavirus, our Session met in Special Called Meeting of the Session on Monday, March 16. We had to make some very difficult decisions. The Session is deeply concerned for the health and spiritual welfare of this congregation and about being part of our nation’s fight to limit the spread of CoVid-19 Coronavirus. Our decisions were confirmed by the President ordering that no gatherings of over 10 people were to occur. The Session passed the following motions:
to confirm the decision made last Saturday to cancel worship on Sunday, March 15;
to cancel worship services for the next two weeks, March 22 and March 29;
to approve taping and posting each of the upcoming Sunday’s services. The link for this service will be on the church’s webpage, Facebook and YouTube;
to have the sanctuary open on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 AM to 2 PM, for people to come in for personal prayer and meditation. People are asked to respect one another’s space and adhere to the six feet guideline for social distancing. Pastor Will will be available for conversation during that time;
to suspend all activities held on the church property for the next two weeks. New Horizons and Scouts would not be meeting as public school is not in session. The only exception is a Special Called Meeting of the Session on March 25.
authorizing Meals of Hope to continue using the church parking lot for food distribution;
a plan for telephone contact with all members by Elders, Deacons and Pastor Will;
to freeze all expenditures besides staff salaries and benefits, utilities and other essentials. Elders are confident that our common love for this church and the work of God’s Kingdom meant that all of us will keep up our financial support of the church. The congregation is asked to mail their offerings to the church or to contribute online, using the church website.
While the crisis is keeping us apart physically, we are together in our prayer that this crisis will pass and we will be able to gather together again for worship soon. We will keep you informed. Please feel free to call any of your elders with concerns or questions.
Grace and peace,
Pastor Will, Interim Pastor Bonnie Hartley, Clerk of Session
DR. WILL BROWNE
A child of missionaries, Will Browne grew up in India from the age of three through high school graduating from Woodstock School, Mussoorie, UP, India. Upon returning to the USA he earned his BA from the College of Wooster, Wooster, OH majoring in Indian Studies and Political Science; a Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt Divinity School where he majored in New Testament and Pastoral Care; and received his Doctor of Ministry in 1991 from Princeton Theological Seminary.
Dr. Browne, an ‘Honorably Retired’ PCUSA minister, is “grateful to God to be serving as Interim Pastor with Lely Presbyterian Church”. His first call was to a church very much like Lely, so he feels “at home.” Additionally, he has served: two called pastorates; six interim pastorates; on Presbytery executive staff; in World Mission; and with the Medical Benevolence Foundation. Beyond that, in churches in which his wife, Rev. Dr. Lal Hmingliani Browne, served(s) as an Associate Pastor, he supported her through his involvement in the church where he enjoyed being a preacher, Adult Sunday School teacher, Bible-in-Depth teacher, and mission speaker. And as a pastor’s spouse, he baked cookies, visited parishioners, provided worship leadership, substitute preached, and attended church events. Will, as he likes to be called, was also on the board of National Church Residences, and volunteered as a hospice chaplain for 13 years.
Dr. Will Browne has a love for classical and Indian music and the vocal genius of Bobby McFerrin. He loves fiction, especially mysteries, and movies that end on a happy note. Will loves to eat and is “married to an amazing cook.” He is a devoted father, grandfather, and uncle. And, he enjoys the stories of peoples’ lives.
Dr. Browne loves “being a part of what God is doing in the world and at and through Lely Presbyterian Church in particular”.
Melanie Chadwick was born in Manhattan but grew up in Pittsburgh. Her mother, who always sang around the house, taught her to sing rounds—early practice for harmony singing! Melanie started on piano lessons quite young and was classically trained, but her true love was The Fireside Book of Folk Songs—a collection of beautifully-arranged songs, spirituals and hymns.
Melanie earned a Bachelor’s degree from Brown University, where she majored in Semiotics and Comparative Literature. After college, she circled back to New York City and worked as an editor and writer. One of the highlights of her writing career was interviewing Fred Rogers (Mister Rogers) for a profile in Parents magazine.
After ten years in New York, Melanie moved to eastern Pennsylvania. She was a staff writer at a magazine, worked as a lay hospital chaplain and taught creative writing at a local college. She lived for many years in Berks County, land of Mennonite buggies and beautiful stone barns, where she worked part-time as a substitute teacher and continued to freelance-write. She also worked as an activities coordinator at a skilled-nursing facility, where she led many sing-alongs and hymn sings, and created a residents-only chorus.
In 2016, Melanie earned a Master’s degree in Theological Studies from Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, PA. Her thesis explored the historical, cultural and theological underpinnings of bluegrass music. Note: Moravians are the oldest Protestant denomination and have many lovely traditions, including the well-known “Moravian Star.”
In May 2017, Melanie moved to Naples fulltime. Her partner, Larry, is a longtime resident of Naples who hails from eastern Kentucky. A general contractor and carpenter, he also plays banjo in a local bluegrass band. They enjoy playing bluegrass music and attending festivals.
Melanie’s hobbies include walking, swimming, reading, playing the piano, making collages, and framing. She has two grown sons--one in Massachusetts and one in Pennsylvania…and they both love music.
JoAnn Johansen joined Lely Presbyterian Church as part time Office Manager in November 2018, having previously worked for 10 years as the Volunteer Manager at the Humane Society Naples, followed by another 10 years with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida as their Volunteer & Intern Manager. She holds an AAS degree in Graphic Arts from Dutchess Community College, Poughkeepsie, NY. Regretfully she says she made the mistake of not completing the last two courses for her Bachelor’s degree in Education.
JoAnn moved to Florida from her home town of Hyde Park, NY in 1979 making Naples her permanent home in 1989. Since 1976 she has been an active member going through the chairs of women’s Masonic organizations with her father by her side: Order of the Eastern Star (Worthy Matron), White Shrine of Jerusalem (Worthy High Priestess), and the Order of the Amaranth (Royal Matron). While serving with the Amaranth, she held state offices and traveled extensively throughout Florida, the United States (including Hawaii), and internationally in England, Canada, Germany and Australia.
JoAnn and her partner, David, share their home with three feline fluff balls (Sunny, Savannah and Chris) all adopted from the Humane Society Naples during her tenure with the non-profit organization. Together they enjoy kayaking and sailing in the 10,000 Islands, and going for rides on their Harley-Davidson. Additionally, JoAnn enjoys reading, watercolor and acrylic painting, and especially takes pleasure cooking and creating new gourmet recipes.
This organization is made up of men and women of the church, who have a heart for mission work. They meet on the second Tuesday of the month during the Winter Season. (November - April) for lunch and planning. During the Winter months they conduct a Rummage Sale and a Craft and Bake Sale to raise money for the various projects they support.
These projects include:
Monetary support for the Back Pack program of Collier County
Workers meet to pack and distribute the Back Packs
The Good Shepherd Pantry, headed by Bill Deeb, collects donations of food and money and distributes food to families with children in need in our community.
Projects carried out by the Good Shepherd Pantry are:
Weekly distribution of food to needy children in the community
Each week the Meals of Hope parks their refrigerated truck in our church parking lot. Members of our church assist with distribution of food every Monday afternoon to many needy families.
Each month members of the church meet and carpool to the construction site of Habitat for Humanity where they spend the morning helping with the latest construction project.
The Cub Scouts meet weekly at Lely Church. The Cub Scouts hold a pancake breakfast fund raising event after our church services each month during the Winter season.
The Girl Scouts meet in Kemp Hall weekly.