It was bound to happen sooner or later. For years, you could tune your radio dial to listen to sermons by the Reverend Billy Graham or other preachers. And when I was a kid I remember local television stations used to carry assorted church services for shut-ins on Sunday morning. Now the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church—the oldest congregation in our fair village, I might add—has become the first church to go online.
That’s right, if you can’t make it to church for the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday mornings, you can visit the church’s website at www.bridgehamptonpc.org and listen in from home or wherever you may be (although it might be frowned upon to admit listening to church services from the beach).
In a press release from the church, Pastor Peter Sulyok, who arrived at the church last spring, said he had been searching for new ways for the church to reach out to its members. A communications group in the church named People Evaluating Web Success, with the catchy acronym, PEWS, came up with the initial suggestion to record each week’s sermon and make it available on the church website.
That idea spawned a more ambitious one: to carry the full service online during worship, then make recordings available during the following week, in both full and highlight form.
“The live streaming of our worship is just one way in which we are enhancing communication,” said Pastor Sulyok. “We are always looking for ways to increase our outreach among our members and out into the community. The objective is to be more open, welcoming, inviting, and involving.”
Besides the live audio stream, the church also maintains a Facebook page and emails a weekly “E-pistle” to subscribers.
It’s that time of year when our thoughts turn to spring and our gardens. Now is as good a time as any to join the Horticultural Alliance of the Hamptons, which meets at the Community House right here in Bridgehampton. The annual dues are $45 for an individual or $75 for a family. Members get into the Alliance’s monthly illustrated lectures and garden tours for free. Checks can be made out to the Horticultural Alliance of the Hamptons and sent to P.O. Box 202, Bridgehampton, NY, 11932.
Two free events are on tap for the next two Saturdays. This week, there will be a book discussion group in the horticultural library at the Community House at 11 a.m., and on March 10, there will be a roundtable discussion on woody plants at 10 a.m., also in the horticultural library.
The Alliance will also present “Embroidered Ground: Revisiting the Garden,” an illustrated lecture by garden author and designer Page Dickey, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 11. Admission is free to members and $10 for non-members.
The Peconic Land Trust is also kicking off its third annual lecture series at Bridge Gardens on Sunday, March 4, when Vincent Simeone, the director of the Planting Fields Arboretum, presents “Creating a Sustainable Landscape” at 1 p.m. Admission is free for Bridge Gardens members and $15 for all others. Reservations are a must and can be made by calling 283-3195, extension 19, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. By the way, annual memberships are $50 for individuals and $75 for families.
Over at the Hampton Library, Neighbors in Support of Immigration, a grassroots volunteer organization, will present “Sharing the American Dream” at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 10. The program will include the showing of two short films about the immigrant experience on the East End. Grania Brolin and Dianne Rulnick will introduce the films and provide opportunity for discussion following the films.
That same day, there will be a photo exhibit opening at 3:30 p.m., featuring the work of Walter Sanchez, a local photographer and businessman, who will speak about his recent trip to Iquitos, Peru, in the Amazonian rainforest. He will describe his experiences working with a shaman who continues the long tradition of using the ayahuasca plant as a healing method. Walter will exhibit photos depicting the area around Iquitos as well as intricacies of the sacred ceremonies in which he participated. His photos will be on exhibit until March 22 in the library’s Geri Bauer Gallery on the lower level.
The Bridge Kids program will present a “Clay Craft” for Women’s History Month with Mary Jaffe at 2:30 p.m. The program is for children 8 and older.