We visited the First Presbyterian Church of King Ferry on this beautiful summer morning. The congregation was vanishingly small ... I counted around a half dozen people in the pews (including us!) with another seven in the choir. A gentleman there told me it was "standing room only" at Easter when he was a boy, seventy years ago. Tellingly there is no "Time with the Children" since there are no children present, but they hopefully keep the line in the program.
They have a nice looking organ (and piano), but the music was provided by a single electric keyboard, often accompanied by the minister on electric guitar. I was told later that the organ had been tuned on the same winter day that the church ran out of heating oil, thus throwing it immediately out of tune again (each tuning costs $500). I was disappointed by the lack of organ music, or even traditional piano music.
It's a lovely old building, though showing signs of wear and tear. I was told the bell tower and steeple were added at a later date (maybe the 1860s?). There are some beautiful old trees on the property and a sizable cemetery behind, which I plan to explore at a later date.
The service started more or less on time (11 AM, they don't move to an earlier summertime hour in King Ferry) and ended around 12:15 PM. The sermon was quite short, surprisingly brief. There were a pair of white candles and a simple vase with fresh-cut flowers on the Lord's table, which pleased me.
The minister had a bushy white mustache and a nice singing voice. He used the expression "people who don't give a fig," which I hadn't heard before, and he quoted Bob Dylan (a Baby Boomer for sure). He made the good point that we shouldn't sing the black hymns as they are written, in "minstrel style."
I plan to visit *all* the churches in the Cayuga-Syracuse Presbytery in the coming year. Here are my photos and a scan of today's program below: