A sign of mutual support during last days of Lent

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Mar. 19—PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh Protestant Campus Ministry is no more.

Two years ago, the Rev. Phil Richards of the Plattsburgh United Methodist Church was the last part-time minister to serve the campus community.

Due to decreased financial support, the PPCM has dissolved.

It began in the 1960s under the leadership of the Rev. Karl Crone, then pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Plattsburgh.

“He took the initiative to start the Protestant Campus Ministry at SUNY Plattsburgh,” the Rev. Gregory Huth, pastor of the same church now, said.

“He got all kinds of sponsors, both Protestant Church regional bodies and local churches, from throughout the area. We were up and running for many years.”

In the past few years, funding from area Protestant churches and the regional church bodies declined.

“Becoming less and less, and finally to the point where we couldn’t really have a part-time minister anymore,” Huth said.

“So, the ministry closed. We had some money left over, and we were looking for the best, most appropriate place to invest that would have something to do with Campus Ministry at SUNY.”

For a time, the PCCM office was located inside the Blessed John XXII Newman Center in Plattsburgh.

Over the years, the center hosted the PPCM’s semi-annual Karl Crone Memorial Lectures.

“We came up with the Newman Center and unanimously agreed to transfer whatever funds we had left to the Newman Center,” Huth said.

“There is a long history of cooperation between PPCM and the Newman Center,” PPCM President, the Rev. Dr. Robert Harsh said.

“We are entrusting our remaining funds to the Center in honor of our years of mutual support in serving the spiritual needs of students at SUNY Plattsburgh.”

A check for $3,794.69 made out to the Roman Catholic Church of St. John the Baptist was presented Wednesday morning to the Rev. Kevin McEwen, pastor of the Roman Catholic Church of John the Baptist, and Catholic Chaplain Mary Skillan at the Newman Center.

“On behalf of St John XXIII Newman Center and the Catholic Parishes of Plattsburgh I would like to offer my deep appreciation for this generous donation,” McEwen said in a press release.

“It is truly heartwarming when like-minded organizations like ours come together to support the college community. With this contribution we will continue to provide, as we have in the past, outreach and support to the entire student body through programs and social events so that all who come through our doors feel welcome and at home in our community.”

The Protestant outreach to students will not cease altogether.

“We do every year respond to an invitation from the (Plattsburgh State) Gospel Choir to set up a table and invite students to come visit our churches and a small number of them do that,” Huth said.

Email Robin Caudell:

rcaudell@pressrepublican.com

Twitter:@RobinCaudell