Weekly e-News Friday, March 20, 2015

Looking Ahead

           Sunday Worship times: 8:45 a.m., 10:00 Sunday School, 11:00 Contemporary Worship

Bible Study Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

Bible Study Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.

WoW youth group Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

If you would like to donate an Easter lily to beautify our sanctuary and make our Easter celebration more special, you can e-mail the office to donate in memory or in honor of someone, or you can fill out one of the blue forms under the mailboxes so that those persons might be recognized.

           Thank you to those who have paid their Per Capita of $26.27. This amount for each member is sent to the Presbytery from our general fund. Your reimbursement is greatly appreciated. $1,179.68 has been received so far, which means we have almost half of our members contributing their portion to this point.

           The Deacons have an Easter Gift for each family. This week nails are being added to your Easter collection. The nails are harsher pieces as they remind us of the ones that held our Savior to the cross, the instruments that caused His blood to flow and cover our sins. But the real truth is that only His love for us was strong enough to hold Him there. If your family has not received their cross be sure to ask the deacons for yours. Stop at the table in the entry way as you are leaving church. We hope that this Easter Collection will be special to your family for years to come.

            The Sermon Sunday is “Nailed In Place” from Psalm 68:17-20- God is our salvation; and Colossians 2:8-14- We are joined together with Jesus Christ and the legal demands against our sin are nailed to the cross.

“[You are] buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.” Colossians 2:12.

Around Church this Week:

            Thank You to Dick Thompson for picking up all the trash that collected along the snow fence and bushes over the winter.

Best quote I heard this week: “I should have gone to church! … The fish weren’t biting anyway.” Second best was during conversation after Leona’s funeral: “You are setting your sights too low.” – referring to Atlanta mega-church pastor Creflo Dollar asking his congregation for $65 million for a new Lear jet.

The most powerful quoting I heard this week was while taking kids back home to the 2 apartment buildings next door and hearing children run into the building, running up the stairs and down the hall singing and chanting. “I am a Christian, a mighty, mighty Christian!” This is one of the songs we are singing in WoW as our lessons are about putting on the whole armor of God from Ephesians 6:10ff. It is wonderful to think of kids taking that kind of excitement back to families that are probably Hindu and they get to hear the name of Jesus.

Tuesday we had the Christian witness to Leona Kinsey going home to God. Thank you to all who attended, contributed and worked. I heard several people comment in amazement how rapidly the sanctuary was transformed for the lunch, “I was just looking at a couple pictures and I turned around to see tables!”

On Wednesday we had a call from KELO TV asking for an interview about regarding same-sex marriage and the PCUSA that made the national news after the 87th (50% plus 1) presbytery approved a change in language in our constitution. I attended the monthly Ministerial Association meeting and stopped in to the TV studio to be interviewed before Bible study. The spot aired on the 6:00 news and can be found at

http://www.keloland.com/newsdetail.cfm/local-pastors-react-to-gay-marriage-in-presbyterian-churches/?id=177460 Also, see the article below from our PCUSA Stated Clerk.

The Communion Tray mystery was solved– they were wrapped in cloth bags in the cabinet.

           Nichole Stoll made a circuit to contact managers in area stores to ask for permission to set up a display and sell their fundraiser Discount Cards. Xtreme Faith Youth group will set up inside at Shopko from noon to 4:00 on Saturday.

Session met on Thursday and one decision was to move forward with a plan to have a defibrillator at church. We have a challenge to match up to $600 in gifts toward the purchase. We will host a training course in CPR and AED, so please let me know if you are interested as we will then set the date to enable the greatest number of people to attend.

Chuckle: “The One whose throne is in heaven sits laughing. . . .” (Psalms 2:4)

Praying Mantis

Recently, at a local women’s club luncheon, a young woman sitting across from me spoke of the camaraderie she felt with her mother-in-law since they’d opened a small craft shop.
We all looked at her in disbelief as she talked about the many tasks they performed together. When someone asked how she managed to avoid the typical in-law clashes, she answered, “It helps that one of us has a good disposition.”
Amused, I asked which of them that was.
“Oh,” she laughed, “we take turns!”

~ Jane Paramore, Denton, TX. “Heart to Heart,” Today’s Christian Woman.

Birthdays this Week:

26 Adam Willoughby
29 Lewis Carpenter

Prayer Thought:

This is the prayer that Jesus prayed on the cross. One of the seven last words of Christ was, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they’re doing.” We can really learn a lot about Christ’s character here because He’s in agony. He’s in pain, yet He’s praying for other people. When you watch what other people say and do and pray when their back is up against the wall, it reveals what’s really inside of them. Prayer, like nothing else, is revelation of a person. It shows what’s inside the heart.

Please keep in prayer: Michael Kapaun; Joyce Carpenter; Elvena Hyronimus; Rev. Dean Meeter –chemo has started; Christa DeRemiggio, Eldora Hayes; Joyce Gries; Nicole Stoll; Dale Klutman; For Arlene Lewis, Pete and Dolores Van Regenmorter– pray for balance, core strength and protection from falls.

A letter from Gradye Parsons- PCUSA General Assembly Stated Clerk to PCUSA members:

Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

It appears from unofficial voting tallies that amendment 14-F of the Directory for Worship in the Book of Order has been approved by a majority of the presbyteries. The approval allows Teaching Elders wider discretion in whose weddings they may conduct and Sessions wider discretion in whose weddings it may host. That discretion could include same gender marriages in states where that is permitted.

It is important to note that the determination of what couple a Teaching Elder will marry has and will continue to be with that Teaching Elder. Likewise, the determination by a Session as to whose weddings a congregation will host remains solely with the Session. There is nothing in the amendment to compel any Teaching Elder to conduct a wedding against his or her judgment, nor a Session to host one against its judgment.

The Book of Order in F-3.0105 encourages us to exercise mutual forbearance toward each other when we differ. That forbearance should show itself in respect and genuine care for each other. As a church the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has received much grace from God in Jesus Christ. We should extend that grace to each other in all gentleness as we live into this chapter of our common life.

There will be additional resources to help us understand and dialogue about the approved amendment soon at pcusa.org/marriage.

 ***

Wow, this article was kind of blunt:

3 Bad Reasons to Leave Your Church – Millennial Evangelical, March 11, 2015

Stop treating your local church like your high school girlfriend, and start treating it like the bride of Christ.

You don’t leave the church when it doesn’t share the same musical interests, when it hurts your feelings, or when a newer, more popular one catches your eye.

The people of God, the Church around the world, is the bride of Christ, and the bride of Christ deserves the faithfulness of a bride, not the summer crush you bailed on when you were a jerk in college.

Your church is broken because it’s made up of broken people, including yourself. Abandoning the local church is only acceptable under a few extreme circumstances we’ll address on Friday. Other than in certain circumstances, the people of God have the responsibility to sacrificially love their local churches as Jesus has.

If anyone has the right to abandon the adulterous, idolatrous bride called “Church,” it’s God, and he hasn’t, so we need to be careful how quick we are to bail when the going gets tough.

Here are three bad reasons to leave the local church:

  1. You don’t like the music.

This is one of the most common complaints I hear when people tell me what they don’t like about their churches. Full disclosure from me here: I have a very particular kind of music that I prefer to sing in church, and only one of the churches I’ve ever regularly attended fulfilled my preferred style and set of songs. I’m as picky as anyone when it comes to my preferred worship music, but it’s never been a decision-maker for me in church.

We are not meant to consume the worship of Jesus; we are meant to contribute to it.

Bob Kauflin, a well-respected worship leader, once wrote: We sing, not for our own glory, preferences, or pleasure, but for the pleasure of the One who gave us a song in the first place. The great Redeemer has given us the song of the redeemed, so that in endlessly varied interpretations of that one glorious song, we might remember his words, respond fully to him, and reflect his glory.

When you make worship style a decision-maker in your church selection process or even as you’re attending a church you have for a long time, you make the worship experience about yourself and not the God you’re worshiping.

  1. Someone hurt your feelings.

This is a big one, isn’t it? Being hurt by someone in the church is probably a more common reason for leaving than not liking the music, and that’s good because it’s a little less fickle, but it still isn’t really a good reason.

The local church is made up of a bunch of sinners, you and me included. Being hurt by the church really stinks, because we’re called to the highest standard of love in the universe, the sacrificial love of Jesus.

But here’s the thing:

The local church is a hospital for the broken not a museum of the perfect.

The church is full of a bunch of people trying to become more like Jesus—some people think they’re already there, and some people recognize they have a long way to go. This is where a lot of the conflict lies. Life change is messy. You’re going to get hurt, and you’re going to hurt others.

I’ve had my feelings hurt in the church dozens of times. Sometimes my feelings get hurt because someone in the church is just downright mean. Sometimes my feelings get hurt because someone stabs me in the back. Sometimes my feelings get hurt because a brother lovingly shows me my sin (and someone I think it’s his fault I feel bad).

“If I left my church today, would they feel it or would they care?”

If you leave Church A because you’re feelings were hurt and you flee to Church B as a refugee of sorts, feeling victimized and angry, you’re just going to be disappointed when your feelings are inevitably hurt again by someone else. All churches are full of sinners. If you find a perfect church, don’t go. You’ll just mess it up.

If your feelings are hurt, work through the conflict with maturity and grace, giving the aggressor the benefit of the doubt. Your local church isn’t perfect because the people who make it up aren’t perfect. Do your part by loving others and turning the other cheek when you’ve been hurt.

  1. You heard about a new church you might like better.

You’re 29 years old now, and you’ve been attending First Church of Townsville since you were in the first grade. You’re tired of the music, your feelings have been hurt, and you’re just bored.

All of a sudden, CrossJourney Fellowship Collective is planted across town. You hear their music sounds like Mumford and Sons and their pastor has a rad beard and listens to NPR. Before you know it, you’re donning your favorite scarf and trying to make it to church in time to snag some fair-trade, single-origin, organic coffee before it’s time to sit down and listen.

Ok, that may have been a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my point. Unless you’ve got a legitimate reason to leave your church, which we’ll chat about on Friday, abandoning your church for a new church in town that everyone else is leaving their churches to attend isn’t wise or loving. Hip churches aren’t bad, and fair-trade coffee is for a good cause, but we shouldn’t be wooed away from our church family as a mistress is wooed away from hers.

If we’re thinking rightly about the body of Christ as it is gathered in the local church, it is not simply a building we attend to consume the experience.

Stop treating your local church like your high school girlfriend.

We are not meant to consume the worship of Jesus; we are meant to contribute to it.

If we’re going to think rightly about our local churches, we have to know that leaving is a big deal. We don’t just leave when we’re bored like a mistress infatuated with another man.

Be a contributor, not a consumer. Ask yourself, “If I left my church today, would they feel it or would they care?” If the answer is “yes,” don’t get prideful, just keep doing what you’re doing. If the answer is “no,” meaning they wouldn’t even know you’re gone, closely examine your understanding of the church and what it means to be a follower of Christ and a member of the church.

 

Eternally Blessed,    

Pastor Dave Ullom <*}}}<.

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