10/06/13 3:53pm
10/06/2013 3:53 PM
GRANT PARPAN PHOTO | Deacon Jeff Sykes and altar boy Chris Massey of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Mattituck bless a horse Sunday.

GRANT PARPAN PHOTO | Deacon Jeff Sykes and altar boy Chris Massey of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Mattituck bless a horse Sunday.

It’s not every day you go to church with three horses, two donkeys, a guinea pig, several cats and a few dozen dogs. And that’s what people love about the Blessing of the Animal ceremonies held at area churches each October.

“It’s the most fun we have all year,” said Deacon Jeff Sykes of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Mattituck. “It’s particularly great out here. Other places, you’ll see some house pets. Here we have horses and donkeys, too.”

The Mattituck ceremony was one of several blessings held on the North Fork this weekend, along with events at Old Steeple Community Church in Aquebogue and St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Greenport.

07/07/13 10:00am
07/07/2013 10:00 AM

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | Thirteen-year-old Justin Lowe digs in at Old Steeple Community Church’s annual chicken BBQ fundraiser.

Nothing says Fourth of July weekend like a good old fashion barbecue and there is none quite like the one at Old Steeple Community Church on Main Road in Aquebogue.

Dozens gathered for the church’s annual fundraiser Saturday featuring a meal that included a baked potato, corn on the cob, roll, coleslaw, iced tea, watermelon and chicken, made complete by a famous BBQ sauce recipe created by the Cornell scientist who invented the chicken nugget.

The unique sauce is a combination of oil, cider vinegar, seasonings and even an egg. The recipe was developed more than 60 years ago by the founder of Cornell University’s Institute of Food Science and Marketing, Robert Baker.

Dr. Baker’s instructions for the sauce involve cooking the chicken on an outdoor broiler, which produces a hot, but non-flaming fire. He advised that the full flavor of the sauce could not be achieved using a gas grill

At Old Steeple the BBQ sauce is used as a basting material, brushed on the chicken every few minutes as it roasts over the broilers.

“It’s fabulous,” said Coleen Lowe. “We come from Massachusetts every year for this barbecue. We love it!”

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | Volunteers serve up the chicken made with famous Cornell style BBQ sauce.

06/28/13 11:17am
06/28/2013 11:17 AM

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | The Rev. Jacquie Patt is the first woman pastor of Old Steeple Community Church in Aquebogue.

The Rev. Jacquie Patt is just finishing up her first month as pastor at Old Steeple Community Church on Main Road in Aquebogue. A Michigan native, the Rev. Patt, 57, joins the church as the first woman minister in its 250-year history.

Faith had always been a part of her life, she said, but it wasn’t until overcoming breast cancer that she knew it was her calling.

“It was found very early on, which the doctor described as a fluke and a blessing that it was found,” she said. “I was helping others through that experience and I didn’t know what the future held, but I knew that God was with me.”

Prior to becoming a church leader, she undertook medical research at the National Institutes of Health. She worked for corporations in computer hardware and software support and served as a project manager for General Motors, overseeing about 20 people.

At age 48, she entered seminary full-time, deciding to leave her career for the church.

“It was a leap of faith,” the Rev. Patt said.

Q: How did your experience with cancer affect your faith?

A: During my recuperation and recovery, I would sit on my couch and would think, “What brings me more meaning and purpose to life?” I had become a bit tired of my job. The things I liked to do were all related to the church — helping people grow, visiting people — and sometime during the following year one of my pastors said, “Maybe you are being called to ordained ministry.”

Q: What do you hope to bring to Old Steeple Community Church as its first woman minister?

A: For me, I don’t see it as being any different than as someone else coming in. I just want to help them learn and grow on their journey of faith. I’ll use my previous work, personal and faith experiences to bring growth and learning.

Q: What was it about the community that drew you to Old Steeple Community Church?

A: “I was looking all across the country, and this looked like an interesting place. It was intriguing to me. When I arrived, the people were very welcoming, friendly. They have a long history of being together. It is a well-rounded, well-grounded group of people.

Q: Can you share something interesting about yourself? A fun fact?

A: I used to play a lot of golf, and I got a hole in one. It was at the second hole, a 97-yard par 3. I got it the summer after my cancer surgery. A couple of my friends were very focused on getting me back out on the golf course. It was part of my recovery.

cmiller@timesreview.com

10/07/12 1:00pm
10/07/2012 1:00 PM
Old Steeple Church, Blessing of the Animals, Aquebogue, St. Francis of Assisi

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Cliff Baldwin and his daughter Ella, both of Aquebogue, sing Elvis’ ‘Hound Dog’ with their Chesapeake Bay retriever Saturday.

Deacon Janet Wright opened “Blessing and Celebration of the Animals” services at Old Steeple Community Church in Aquebogue Saturday morning with a reminder to all.

She paraphrased from Genesis 1: “God didn’t get around to making humans until he made all the other creatures.”

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This is a time to reflect that God created the animals with the same love he has for us, and as with them they have a relationship with the creator, she told those in attendance.

“Bless our companion animals, bless and honor all creatures,” she went on to say.

“We learn from them patience, devotion, loyalty, joy, not to worry about tomorrow and to live one day at a time and enjoy.”

The Blessing of the Animals is a custom done in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures.

His feast day is celebrated Oct. 4.

Members of the Community Center for the Blind and Sighted, which meets in the church’s Fellowship Hall on Mondays, were in attendance, as were representatives of Kent Animal Shelter in Calverton, North Fork Animal Welfare League in Southold and North Shore Animal League in Port Washington.

The East End Ass Whisperers donkey rescue group also arrived with several donkeys. Cathy and Harry Springer of Aquebogue brought four horses to be blessed. A man driving a truck on the Main Road heading west in front of the church got distracted when he saw the animals on the lawn of the church and jumped the curb momentarily. He did not crash the truck.

This was the first of four Blessing of the Animals events planned for the North Fork over the weekend.

Blessings are also scheduled for noon today, Sunday, at the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church at 768 Main Street in Greenport, and at 1:30 p.m. Sunday on the lawn at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church on Main Road in Mattituck.

To register for the Mattituck event, call 298-8304 or email organizers at pianonan@optonline.net.

St. Isidore School will also have a Blessing of the Animals Sunday at 3 p.m. on the school field on Marcy Ave in Riverhead.

photo@timesreview.com