As I made my way up the sidewalk, I could hear the voluminous organ music pouring out of the stained-glass windows into the streets of Cohoes. Since 1860, this historic church building has been standing proudly at 123 Mohawk Street. Once inside, you couldn’t help but look up in awe at the golden architecture. The United Church of Cohoes is strongly rooted in their community. Pastor Nick TeBordo has been Senior Pastor of this church since 1977. He is known by countless people throughout the Capital Region for his positivity, his passion for God and his relentless love for people.
Robed in white, Pastor Nick opened the service in his jovial way. It was a rainy day, so it made me giggle when we opened up with the hymn “Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun”. He read Acts 1:1-11 with such enthusiasm that it made the words come alive and ring true in our hearts. This was followed by the choir singing a modern selection from the balcony; their voices soaring above us. It was wonderful to hear about the many new and exciting things happening at UCC. Kaitlyn TeBordo Wood would be graduating the following Saturday and will be “taking the reigns” from Pastor Nick. God provokes and God promotes. The church has also recently transitioned to a new denomination, the ECO Presbyterian Church (http://eco-pres.org), and Kaitlyn asked for prayers for new relationships that are forming. The United Church of Cohoes, a church that has stood the test of time, continues to adapt to our changing culture, ensuring its continued longevity.
The worship and praise music was a unique “hybrid”. A traditional hymn was played at the beginning of the service and during the offering, and with one of the oldest pipe organs in the Organ Historical Society (1866). Prior to the message, there were several modern worship songs played. Pastor Nick lead the “children’s chat”, speaking to them in such a loving, fatherly way. This was followed by a “parade” through the aisles with Pastor Nick leading the way. As he passed by me he was carrying a young child in his arms while singing a beautiful harmony to the song “God of Wonders”. The young children were all smiling and enjoying themselves as they followed. They were then dismissed for Children’s Church / Toddler Time (childcare and programming for infants-5th grade). It is obvious that UCC is a FAMILY church.
Kaitlyn’s message was entitled, “And Their Eyes Were Opened”. When Jesus shared bread (Luke 24:13-33) with the disciples, they’re eyes were opened! It was in its breaking that Jesus became known to them. Once the disciples could see Him, they couldn’t wait to go and tell. They had the word burning inside of them. As she spoke, I realized I was witnessing a woman of God who has been called for such a time as this. As God spoke through her, I knew that I had to ask her to be a keynote speaker at a future WOW ladies conference. Kaitlyn has a special call on her life to preach the Good News! Her message continued … God will always enter OUR story. He will meet us in our “wilderness”. But can we see Him? We need to encounter, experience and know Christ in the Scriptures. Do you feel the burning of the Word in your spirit? The disciples followed Jesus everywhere, but yet still didn’t “see” until the breaking of the bread. Following her message, we took communion together. As we partook I asked myself, “How well do I know Him”? As a tear rolled down my cheek I thought about how the broken world is waiting for us to go and tell them about Jesus! Are we doing all we can? He WILL return again and we must KNOW Him when He does. At the close of the message, the guitarist and another singer played “Come to the Altar”, and everyone was invited to come up for prayer.
United Church of Cohoes serves their congregation and community through a variety of ministries. Matthew 25 is the name of their Saturday night meals where anyone is welcome to come and receive a free, homecooked meal in a welcoming atmosphere. They also have a clothing closet available during this time. Their food pantry is open Mon.Wed. and Fri. from 9am-12pm. The church also hosts family nights with both men’s and women’s events, as well as a variety of youth programs. They have Adult Bible Study every Thursday at 6pm with King’s Klub (youth) starting at 5pm. UCC also hosts “The Sonshine Patch Preschool” with low student/teacher ratios at reasonable rates.
The United Church of Cohoes is a magnificent structure with magnificent people of God who work together as a family in UNITY to serve their community and each other. Pastor Nick TeBordo, who has served as Senior Pastor for over 40 years, is now giving way for the next generation to step up. UCC has stood the test of time and will continue to do so. Come and you will SEE Jesus working in and through the lives of this wonderful UCC family.
Church Website – http://cohoesecopc.org
By Donna Hansen Munafo