Forest Home Chapel
Monday, August 20, 2018
United Methodist Church, Ithaca New York


May, 2015

The Chapel in Mission

A HUGE THANKS to everyone who contributed food and money to the Ithaca Kitchen Cupboard (IKC) Spring Challenge! We sent a check to the cupboard for $877 and donated a total of 251 food items, putting us just over last year’s figure. Thanks to you and the IKC’s other supporting congregations, the Cupboard will go into the heavy summer months well placed to distribute lots of good food to Ithaca’s less advantaged population.  Please see Debbie Novelli (539-6628) if you would like to help in the Cupboard on one of our regular second Tuesdays of the month.

Chapel volunteers, led by Gardener Elizabeth Mount, spruced up The Peace Garden.
Cornell student Tracy Potter took a break from finals to help move stones in the front wall.

Wisdom for the Season: New Testament Lessons
Align with Chapel Day Camp Experiences

Left: Melissa Madden, from The Good Life Farm CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) visited, letting the children taste fresh fruits and vegetables, yogurt, and applesauce. Center: The children voted crafts, especially bead crafts, as Church Day Camp activity they enjoyed the most! Eva (tall girl in blue at right) was our junior assistant, helping with crafts and everywhere during the week. Thank you, Eva! Right: Outdoor relay races and games let the kids burn off energy.
right now
Give your entire attention
to what God is doing right now,
and don’t get worked up
about what may or may not
happen tomorrow.
God will help you deal
with whatever hard things come up
when the time comes.
Matthew 6:34 (The Message translation quotes)

September 2, 2014
Forest Home Chapel members and friends continue their faithful commitment to be a friendly, growing, spiritual home for young Christians. The last week of August, ten resourceful Chapel adults conducted Church Day Camp for 17 young Chapel members and their friends, with Bible lessons, songs, crafts, games, visitors, cooking lessons and healthy snacks, all centered on the theme of “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.” We are most indebted and thankful for the inspired joint leadership of retired elementary school Principal Sue Reid and Pastor Rebecca Dolch. Jack Reid led us in song, and enjoyed the children’s company during breakout activities.

Our mission offering went to Heifer International ( Some of the children presented Heifer “success stories” about families worldwide, who benefited from gifts of chickens, fish, fruit trees, or milk cows. We saw our children growing in maturity and expression, as well as forming closer friendships with each other, a most desired goal of our leaders. The mood was happy, relaxed, and unhurried, a last camp for the kids before school starts. We’re so thankful for our beloved children and Chapel families.

Left: Retired grade school teacher Mary Bowes shepherded the youngest campers throughout the day. Her upbeat leadership skills were most appreciated. Center: “God’s creation is very good” banner the children created during Bible passage lesson. Right: James, marching towards playtime. We were blessed with 17 happy, healthy kids.
The place where your treasure is,
is the place you will most want to be,
and end up being. 
Matthew 6:21

Left: Freya and Charles learned how to fold frog puppets. Center: Apiarist Peter Borst visited on Tuesday, bringing live bees and bee knowledge. The kids in the youngest group leaned right in to find the queen bee. Right: Ana and Colette were fascinated with Elizabeth McMahon’s frog puppetry.
If you live wide-eyed
in wonder and belief,
your body fills up with light.
Luke 11:34

Left: Gracie assisted Pastor Rebecca in learning our first Bible lesson: “God’s creation is very good!” Center: We were so fortunate to have eight-year-old twins Maria and Lucia from Uruguay attend camp. Fazilee Buechel (back, center) generously gave her time and skill each morning to translate from English to Spanish for the girls and their parents, Rosa and Juan. Right: Experienced home-school parent Wendy Millroy assisted Anderson in creating a milk jug planter head with living grass hair.
Give away your life, you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back— given back with bonus and blessing…. Generosity begets generosity.
Luke 6:38

Left: Educator Carolyn McPherson made learning Bible lessons fun. Lydia and Freya helped act out the Miracle of the loaves and fishes lesson. Center: Carolyn’s granddaughter Eva created wonderful stick puppets the children used to act out the story of Moses and the miracles in the desert. Right: Bethany with chickens puppet.
The disciples came up and asked,
Why do you tell stories?”
[Jesus] replied,
Whenever someone has a ready heart…
the insights and understandings flow freely.
But if there is no readiness,
any trace of receptivity soon disappears.
That’s why I tell stories:
to create readiness, to nudge people
toward receptive insight.
Matthew 13:10-14

Left: Former teacher Debbie Novelli enjoyed leading the older “Veggies” group of children. Center: Artist Elizabeth McMahon brought her frog puppet and warm gentle humor to engage the children at craft time. Right: Pastor Rebecca with Leland, who is growing in wisdom and stature before our delighted eyes.
a word
A small rudder on a huge ship
in the hands of a skilled captain
sets a course
in the face of the strongest winds.
A word out of your mouth
may seem of no account,
but it can accomplish nearly anything
—or destroy it!
James 3:3b-5


Left: For morning worship, children entered the sanctuary and placed their Heifer International offering boxes on the altar rail. We were able to raise $162.80, enough for two flocks of chickens, a planting of fruit trees, and two hives of bees, plus training for all, for several fortunate Heifer recipient families. Center: Pastor Rebecca presented Jesus’ story, “I am the vine, you are the branches,” and served the children simplified communion. Right: Scientist and baker Susan Spear presented “hands-in” lessons about eggs and butter, and took the children through the messy, fun steps of making bread.
holy mystery
They all realized
they were in a place of holy mystery,
that God was at work among them.
Luke 7:16


Left: A sprouted grass head. Center: Educator Paula Winner cheerfully and skillfully led the older children, here writing their names with seeds for the Bible lesson, “A sower went out to sow.” Right: Maria and Lucia and their parents presented the Chapel Day Camp with a beautiful thank-you card, including a special prayer of thanks.
God can do anything—
far more than you could ever
imagine or guess or request
in your wildest dreams!
[God] does it, not by pushing us around
but by working within us,
God’s Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Ephesians 3:20

Chapel's Fall 2013 Vision Day Determined
Priorities for 2014 and Beyond

January 23, 2014

On November 11, 2013, Chapel members of all ages gathered, sticky-notes and pencils ready, to discern priorities for the coming year and beyond. Afterwards, Pastor Rebecca Dolch and new Church Council Chairwoman Sue Reid compiled a four-page list of all the suggestions offered during that Vision Day, for further strengthening our ministry together and beyond our congregation. 

This January 15, the Chapel's Church Council reviewed the congregation's suggestions on priorities in four major areas below. The full minutes of the council meeting may be downloaded here.

Buildings and Grounds

Fellowship hall remodeling, sanctuary air conditioning, parking lot improvement, and determining the feasibility of putting in an upstairs bath and an elevator were high priorities.

The motion was made and passed to form the Fellowship Hall Refurbishing Exploration Team, authorized to create a scope of work (elevator excluded, due to very high costs), to look at the needs of all groups using the hall, identify constraints, and obtain cost estimates. Mark Sawyer will head this team; Mary Bowes will also serve.

Parking improvement ideas will also be pursued. Phil Walker and Sally Grubb will lead.

Missions and Social Concerns

The Reconciling Congregation Exploration Team, headed by Wendy Millroy, will continue to listen to members of the congregation in ways that all will feel heard and cared for.

The Council authorized the formation of a Congregational Care Team, its function to quickly respond to members who need and desire presence and or help. Carol Hockett has tentatively agreed to help form and lead this team.

We will also keep conference Volunteer In Mission projects as possibilities for our congregation.

Administrative Ministries

We will plan and implement Forest Home Chapel's 100th anniversary, with history, celebration, and other events suggested by Chapel members. Bill Tomek, Elizabeth Mount and Christy Croxall will lead a History Team. Others will be needed to lead an Events Team.

Because we are such a growing community, Rebecca and Sue have asked that we create a notebook with job descriptions of all volunteer jobs and teams. They will compile the list, with assistance from Susan Spear.

Spiritual Life of the Chapel

The spiritual life of the Chapel continues to thrive! Bible studies, new member training, special programs and events, book studies, and children’s ministries all continue to be priorities. We will work to include more people in worship services. The Spiritual Life Team will work with Rebecca in these areas.


Bridge closing barricades and signage; Parking "czars" James Rada (with plunger) and Bud Dolch 

Undaunted, Chapel-goers Worship On!

Ingenuity, Generosity, and Parking “Czars”

November 8, 2013

The upper Forest Home Drive Bridge closure over Fall Creek has resulted in detours and no access to Forest Chapel from the Cornell Vet School direction — Caldwell Road, Plantations Road or Forest Home Drive from Route 366. To reach the Chapel, visitors must now come via Warren Road, Pleasant Grove Road, or across the lower Forest Home Drive Bridge and Judd Falls Road. For map details go to

With careful planning and neighborhood support, the closure of the upper bridge in Forest Home should not discourage us from Sunday worship at Forest Home Chapel.

If you are a first time visitor to the Chapel, please park in our parking lot opposite the Church. There will always be spots held for visitors and newcomers. If you start coming regularly, email for an assigned parking spot.

If you need help parking on a Sunday, check in with one of our friendly parking czars for assistance.

Through the ingenuity and hard work of Sally Grubb and the generosity of Forest Home neighbors, there are places for everyone to park near the Chapel.