Sunday September 4th


During our current worship series, we are focusing on the version of the Lord’s Prayer found in the Gospel According to Luke, Luke 11:1-4. This less familiar version, translated into contemporary language, allows us to hear these words of our Savior as if for the first time. Services begin at 10:00am.  This Sunday, we welcome Will Donovan as our Guest Preacher.  We will celebrate communion and bring non-perishable food and school supplies* for the Sayville Food Pantry.

So many thanks to Rev. Freeman Palmer, Rev. Joan Finck, Rev. Jeanne Baum, Will Donovan and Sister Camille for preaching us through the summer!!

*Ideas for school supplies donations:
Marble notebooks, spiral notebooks, pocket folders, boxed colored pencils (sharpened), highlighters, pencils (sharpened), Magic Rub erasers, handheld pencil sharpeners, scissors (Fiskars are great), Elmer’s glue sticks, soft pen cases (small enough to fit inside desk), boxes of 16 or 24 Crayons,  Odorless dry erase marker, 3”x3” post-its.

Why All the Crosses?


It’s to let you know that since the tragedy at Sandy Hook   Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut, there have been over a thousand mass shootings* in the United States.

Each cross bears the name of a US town or city where a mass shooting has occurred.  We only have 654 on the church lawn (we ran out of crosses).

The next question is,

What are we (citizens) going to do about it?”

*4 or more persons shot in the same incident.

Sayville Congregational United Church’s Crosses a Reminder of Mass Shootings – Newsday


Parishioners at Sayville Congregational United Church of Christ install hundreds of crosses in front of the church that represent locations in the United States where mass shootings have occurred. Photo Credit: James Carbone

Updated December 6, 2015 9:31 PM
By Valerie Bauman


  • White crosses include name of place where gun massacre occurred
  • “We’re bearing witness to the sheer number,” says church deacon

About 30 members of Sayville Congregational United Church of Christ hammered hundreds of white crosses into the grass outside the church Sunday, creating a visual reminder of how common mass shootings have become in the United States.

Each of the approximately 650 crosses bore the name of a city or town in the United States where a mass shooting has occurred since the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, the Rev. J. Gary Brinn said.

“We said, ‘how can we make this visible?’ ” Brinn said of the shootings. “‘How can we educate them [the community] on this issue?’ And this is what we came up with.”

The church also had a sign in the yard with a picture of a handgun that read: “Defend Life, Control Guns.”

“We don’t have the answers to the problem,” said Gail Kieser, of Bohemia, president of the church’s board. “There are people in our church who are members of the NRA. The goal is to make people aware and start a conversation . . . we’re not trying to tell you how to go about it.”

The congregation started working on the project after The Guardian newspaper published a report in October finding that 994 mass shootings — defined as those with four or more victims — had occurred within 1,004 days in the United States, including the Oct. 1 shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, that left 10 people dead.

“We’re bearing witness to the sheer number,” said Sylvia Ramsaywak, 51, of Sayville, a deacon elder at the church.

Since its original report, The Guardian has updated the number of mass shootings in the United States to 1,052 in 1,066 days, including the San Bernardino shooting Wednesday that killed 14.

Several drivers honked and waved in support as they passed by the church, but Brinn said he’s prepared for some angry feedback.

“Of course there’s going to be backlash,” Brinn said. “That’s not going to stop this congregation.”

He said the church was nonpartisan, but officials hope the congregation and community will be motivated by the crosses to reach out to their representatives in Congress, calling for more gun control.

John Cushman, founder and president of the Commack-based Sportmen’s Association for Firearms Education, said further gun regulation won’t stop mass shootings and if guns became illegal in the United States, the only people who would have them would be the government and people willing to obtain them illegally — those most likely to harm others. He said more regulations would take away guns from people who would use them legally.

“You have to allow the people the ability to defend themselves,” said Cushman, also a board member of the NRA, although he said he wasn’t speaking on the organization’s behalf.

Next weekend, Sayville Congregational will be one the houses of worship across the nation to observe the third annual National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend. The Dec. 10-14 effort includes synagogues, mosques and various churches.

The interfaith vigil for victims of gun violence is projected to include 1,000 houses of worship seeking to educate one another on strategies to reduce gun violence.

About Our Church

Sayville Congregational United Church of Christ is a progressive Christian covenant community serving the South Shore since 1858. Located in a historic building, we are anything but old-fashioned! An “Open and Affirming” congregation, we welcome the LGBT community, not to mention scientists, thinkers, skeptics and refugees from other traditions. De-churched, re-churched and un-churched, we’re just plain folks looking for a fulfilling way of life, a motley crew that laughs, cooks and plays together.  Join us to see how life on the Way of Jesus can change your life… then help us change the world!

Our mission, as defined by scripture, is to deepen our own faith through worship and spiritual practice, to make disciples by sharing the joy we find in living as members of a Christian covenant community, and to build the just and caring Kingdom of God through prophetic witness, direct action, and through care of the vulnerable and impoverished.

SCUCC is lead by a Board of Deacons made up of Covenant Members elected by the congregation and organized around God’s mission for the church. The Deacons function in three teams. The officers lead the congregation and meet the statutory requirements for non-profit corporations. The Deacons Elders focus on the spiritual and missional aspects of church life, including worship, faith development, evangelism, pastoral care, and service. Deacon Trustees focus on the corporate aspects of our life together, with a special focus on facilities, finance, and personnel. Collaboration and innovation are encouraged. Our 2015-2016 deacons are:

Moderator/President – Gail Kieser
Treasurer – Karen Maust
Secretary/Clerk – Pat Cunningham
Deacon Elders- Connie Kauffman, Sylvia Ramsaywak, Jean Newcombe, Kris Minschke, Craig Hicks and Karin Conrad
Deacons Trustees – Sean Ramsaywak, Kathy Leis, Tom Wolf, Heather Dominguez, Mark Conrad