Absecon Presbyterian Church 

 

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Good News

July 2008

SEASONED SINGERS TO PRESENT CONCERT IN WORSHIP JULY 13

Our church will be greatly blessed on July 13 when the Seasoned Singers (of Four Seasons) under the direction of Bob Dye will be leading us in worship.  Dot Ryon will play the organ.  They will be presenting a 35 minute concert of patriotic and religious music.  Gerry Reedell will be the lay assistant that day.

Come for a time of spiritual inspiration and great music!

CHRISTIAN EDUCATION NEWS

Surveys have been made for families to complete regarding our Sunday School program and each of our youth groups - Lions and Lambs, Kids for Christ and Senior Youth Group.  They have either been mailed or handed out to all families in our church.  We hope to gain information regarding the children’s needs, experiences and expectations.

We feel very strongly that the Sunday School program begins a child’s experience with God and that the youth programs are an extension – enabling children to gain Christian values, attitudes and friendships.

Thanks to everyone who completed the survey and to parents who are able to help in some way.

Recognition Sundays have proven to be a very nice way of saying Thank You, Kudos and Good Luck.  Sunday School students were presented with attendance certificates, teachers and aides were applauded for their work with the classes, and Graduates were announced and given a gift card.

SUNDAY SCHOOL AND RELATED NEWS

Wow! What a way to finish the year! We celebrated Youth Recognition Day on May 25th and were able to recognize everyone with excellent attendance. Eleven kids reached the Kryptonite level by attending Sunday School 30 or more weeks.  All told, 41 kids and teens received awards for their attendance. (The full list was in the June Good News.)  We recognized all teachers, aides, leaders, and sponsors on Teacher Recognition Sunday.  56 people stepped forward to support our program financially or in the classrooms.  Thank you, volunteers, for being there.  The pool party and BBQ at Pastor Cobb’s house was a big success.  The kids didn’t really need to have races.  They were content to play in the pool. We recognized our graduates on Father’s Day and made gifts for our dads thanks to Bill Pouse and the Home Depot.  I think all our dads loved the racecars and flower planters that the kids made. Now we turn to our summer schedule and hope to recharge our batteries a little over the next ten weeks.  The August Good News will have lots of information on the upcoming year.

Highlights and Up Coming Events

That’s all the news for now.  Teachers will be meeting soon to prepare for next year.  There’s much to do in the month of July to get ready for September.  Thanks for a great year, everyone.  May God continue to bless you and your family.

In Christ’s love always,
Priscilla

CHURCH OFFERS SUMMER CAMP SCHOLARSHIPS

The church offers $100 scholarships for any child registered in our Sunday School to attend a week of summer camp at a Christian camp.  You must register your child and pay the initial registration fee.  Submit a copy of your receipt to the church office and $100 payment will be made directly to the camp.   Call Priscilla for camp information.

SENIOR YOUTH GROUP COMING EVENTS!

July 6th - bake sale both before and after the 10:00 service
July 11th - Friday pool party at my house 6-9:30 p.m.
July 26th - Great Adventure
Aug. 2nd - canoe trip

PLEASE NOTE: A QUESTIONAIRE WAS MAILED TO ALL HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS.  PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT AND COMPLETE IT.  THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you, any questions please call me.
Karen, co-director

CABIN TRIP FOR KFC

The pastor and Jim Wooding will be taking a trip to Cobb’s Cabin from Wednesday, July 16, to Friday, July 18.  See Jim to sign up.

LIONS AND LAMBS POOL PARTY JULY 19 AT THOMAS HOME

Lions and Lambs will have their annual pool party at the home of Jeff and Carmela Thomas from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, July 19.  Bring something to share.

Jeff and Carmela live at 712 Blenheim Avenue, Absecon (Absecon Estates).

ETHICAL ASPECTS OF CURRENT EVENTS:
Monthly Meetings in Cobb Lounge
Administered by: Frank Loeb
Contact: Frank at: vietdoc67usmc@live.com or 404-0001

A discussion group will be forming to start meeting monthly in September (sooner if desired).  We will be looking at one or two issues per meeting. It is hoped participants will select issues
facing us at every level and how they might be dealt with ethically or not so ethically. It is hoped
that the discussion of each issue will be selected and led by a different participant and selected
from The Atlantic City Press after forewarning each of us by e-mail which material was selected.
Would like to limit group size to six to eight.

Course requirements:
Access to The Press of A.C. 7 days/wk
Internet e-mail connection

GOD’S BIG BACKYARD – ABSECON COMMUNITY VBS

Vacation Bible School time is here again (August 4 – 8, 9 a.m. to noon) and to make this a success we need your help.  We need teacher volunteers.  If interested contact Liz Sabath at 804-0068 or email her at lizclark358@aol.com.  A teacher training event will take place July 14.  We also need donations such as individually wrapped snacks (pretzels, Rice Crispie treats, chips...), juice bags or boxes, paper towels, baby wipes and craft glue.  I will be leaving a box for donations at the church.  Thanks in advance for everyone’s help. 

See you there,
Sande Galushka
(Student registrations must be in by July 20!  See Priscilla for the form.)

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2008 GRADUATES

8th Grade

Brandon Thomas graduated from Emma C. Attales 8th grade.  He has made the merit or honor roll his entire middle school career.  After high school he will go to college for computers or teaching.

High School

Leigh Cunius is the granddaughter of Betsy Cunius and graduated from Mainland High School.  She was in honors programs since grade school and tutored mentally challenged students in math and reading.  Leigh received a sports scholarship to George Mason University in Virginia.

Patrick Keener graduated from Absegami High School.  He will be attending the University of Central Florida to pursue a degree in Civil Engineering.

Maggie McManus graduated from Holy Spirit High School.  She was involved in National Honor Society and French National Honor Society.  She received 3 scholarships:  Absecon Ladies League Scholarship, Teamsters Scholarship and Global Scholarship to Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland where she will attend in the fall.

Craig Thomas graduated from Atlantic County Institute of Technology where he studied information technology.  He will attend Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in August to study manufacturing engineering.  Craig joined the Absecon Volunteer Fire Company and enjoys that very much.  He has been a member of our church since birth and was baptized and confirmed here.  He has been an active member of the Senior Youth Group.

Jennifer Elizabeth Thomas graduated from Holy Spirit High School.  She was part of the Music Honor Society and National Honor Society.  She plans to major in elementary education and become a school teacher.

Christine Wooding graduated Mainland High School.  She was on the merit roll her senior year.  She was on varsity basketball team four years in a row, starting as a freshman.  She went on to score over 1,000 points over the four years.  This is an amazing goal to reach even for the guys.  She will be attending Philadelphia University on a full scholarship in the fall.  She was also baptized and confirmed this last year at Absecon Presbyterian Church. 

College

Katie Jenoriki graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing.  She was a member of Alpha Phi Sorority for 4 years.  After taking the Nursing Boards, Katie plans to work at Scripts Hospital in LaJolla, California (outside of San Diego).

Kristen Wyatt Juhrs is the granddaughter of Bill and Ida Juhrs.  She graduated from Brooklyn College (CUNY) with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Adolescent Education – English Teacher.  She received 2 scholarships:  Frances F. Friedman Presidential Scholarship and Brooklyn College Foundation Presidential Scholarship.  Kristen was on the Dean’s List, in the Golden Key International Honor Society, received a Certificate of Recognition from Dance Teacher Magazine and was in the Brooklyn College Honors Academy Scholars Program.  Starting June 12th, she will attend Tisch School of the Arts at New York University in the M. A. Performance Studies Program to become a performing arts scholar.

Jaime Mellon is the wife of Robert Mellon and daughter-in-law of Barbara Mellon.  She graduated from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey with a Bachelor of Science in Business Studies.  Jaime plans to explore a variety of opportunities in the hospitality and tourism industries.

Masters Degree

Janice L. Bond is the daughter of Grace Gras.  She graduated from Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts with a Masters Degree in Banking/Financial Management Services.

Janice states “I am excited to be done.  It took 2 years to finish, in addition to working full-time and keeping up with the activities of my two kids.  I can’t thank my husband and kids, family and friends enough for their support during these last two years.  It’s been a lot of hard work and was a personal goal that I’m glad I pursued.  I hope to expand J&M coffee business and maybe pursue working in a Bank environment some day.  Also, continue to travel the world with my family.”

What a wonderful and talented group of graduates we have from our church this year.
We are very proud of each one of you and certainly wish you the best in your future endeavors.

SUNDAY SCHOOL STAFF AND SPONSORS RECOGNIZED JUNE 8

On Sunday, June 8, our Sunday School staff and sponsors were called forward during the 9:30 worship service.  Each was given a special gift from our Christian Education Committee for their months of dedicated service to our children.  We were also treated to a puppet show honoring these special volunteers.  Thank you, all!

Teachers – Dawn Duran, Karen Little, Jan Baker, Janna Beth Cobb, Susan Ohnemuller, Carmela Thomas, Norman Johnson

Adult Aides – Tina Brown, Debora Wong, Emily DeNoble, Desiree Williamson, Tina Harvey, Dirk Williamson, Barbara Hudak, Barbara Hughes, Sandy Seel, Jim McManus, Cynthia Soltis, Barbara Miller, Tammy Suarez

Teen Aides – Jennifer Thomas, Amber Parker, Erin Nassif, Ally Hodgson, Kristen Hudak, Broghan Brunner, Samantha Adams, Anthony Melendez, Maggie McManus

Special Ministry – Lee Wolff, Frances Weir, Tom Sooy, Rob Perry, Judy Stebbins, Don Wong

Substitutes – Louise Speitel, Sande Galushka, Brenda Sterling, Naida Burgess

Sponsors – Olga Davies, Carol Kleiner, Marge McGuigan, Carol Thomas, Marge Loeb, Cindy Greenlee, Barbara Miller, Sande Galushka, Dawn Lewis, Jill Williamson, Barbara Morgan, Mae Sterling, Toshie Legg, Jayne Perry, Alice Smith, Gerry Reedell, Jim & Barbara Maurer

 

NEWS FROM MAYBERRY………………..by TOM SOOY

     The flag in front of the Mayberry court house is flying at half-staff to mourn the passing of Earle Hagen, Earle was the composer of the Andy Griffith theme song, “The Fishin’ Hole”, and is the one whistling at the beginning of each episode.

     Earle Hagen wrote many TV theme songs and soundtracks for more than 3000 different television episodes.  His autobiography is titled, “The Greatest Composer You Never Heard Of.”

Remember: the door is always unlocked and the lemonade is always cold!  See ya’ll in the fall!

 

CAN YOU SPARE SOME TIME DURING THE WEEK?

Have you wondered why those “weeks old” bulletins, special offering envelopes and the like are still in the pew racks?   And do you have any idea how those bulletins get so neatly folded with their little inserts?  And who waters the plants, anyway?  These are all little jobs that Myrtle used to handle on a weekly basis.  Jean Delesantro and Carol Thomas have been helping with these little jobs but we could use a few more hands to make light work.  Please call the church office if you can help!   

JUNE THANK YOUS


FROM THE CHOIR LOFT…………………..by TOM SOOY

     Our first week of summer worship was nothing short of inspirational for me.  It is so exciting to see the church full like that.  The singing was loud and full and that makes my heart soar, and hopefully does not make your throats SORE!

     As always, I welcome your requests for the weekly HYMN SING. Several members have made their requests and more are certainly welcome.  Of course, there is not a guarantee that all hymns will be picked or that they will be sung on a certain week, but I will try to get them all in.

     Thank you to GAY CHANNELL for sharing her gifts with us this past Sunday.  Here is a list of some of the special music that will be offered this summer:
June 29 - Jim Commander, Trumpet
July 6 – Terri Villegas and Tom Sooy
July 13 - The Seasoned Singers
July 20 - Sharon Neff
July 27 - TBA
August 3 - Chuck Porter (on Trombone, nonetheless!)
August 10 - Men’s Group Chorus
August 17 - Sharon Neff
August 24 - TBA
August 31 - TBA
   
     Tom Piccirilli will be playing the flute and soprano sax in one or more of the TBA weeks, but his busy schedule has yet to be finalized for the summer.
      
     Exciting things are happening here even in the summer, so remember, if you miss a week, you miss a LOT!  Until next time…..see you in the choir loft.

                                                                       Tom

BAPTISM OF MICHAEL JERRY CALLAHAN JUNE 22

Michael Callahan, son of Sherrie and Bill Callahan, was baptized June 22 in front of a full house.  Michael thanked the pastor but seemed to have second thoughts about leaving his mom for someone he didn’t really know.  Michael turned 2 in mid-June.

On July 20 Matthew Sterling will be baptized.  Hopefully he will get along better with the pastor.

PASTOR & MRS. COBB VACATION WEEK OF JULY 13 AND AUG. 17-24

The Cobb’s will be away over the weekend the Seasoned Singer perform.  This is part of his scheduled vacation. 

The pastor will also be away on vacation in Disney World (where else?) on August 17 and 24.  The church office will be closed August 18-22. 

Rev. Dick Ollinger will preach August 17.  Our own Tom Sooy will preach August 24.

ALTAR FLOWERS

After many phone calls and visits to area florists by Ilsa Smith we are now ordering our altar flowers from Lilies Floral in Risley Square, Galloway.  The cost of a single urn is $25.00.  Two urns are also available upon special request for $40.00.  Please sign the Flower Chart in the vestibule.  Forms are available by the chart to be filled in and returned to the church office with your payment. 

In order to avoid delivery fees Ilsa has offered to make the trip to Lilies herself, dropping off our empty inserts while picking up our flowers.  (Please remember to thank her.)  If you are willing to help with this to give Ilsa a break or fill in if she’s away please call the office!

TABERNACLE SCHEDULE

The Ocean City Tabernacle features some of the finest Christian speakers and performers in the world.  Their Sunday night schedule begins with a hymn sing at 6:45 p.m., and the service begins at 7:00.  The schedule through July is:
June 29 – Four His Glory, male quartet
July 6 – Tony Campolo, author, sociologist
July 13 – Joe Turner, Christian magician
July 20 – Ditchfield Family Singers, a capella concert
July 27 – King’s Brass, 9-piece ensemble

Sunday morning worship is at 8:30 and 10:30.  Call the Tabernacle for speaker information.

MISSION TEAMS IN OUR AREA

Due to our kitchen renovations there will be no mission teams staying in our church this summer.

There will, however, be two teams staying at the Brigantine Church and one at Pleasantville.  The dates and info are below:
June 28-July 5 – 20 people from Buffalo, NY
July 7-14 – 10 people from Akron, Ohio
July 28-Aug 2 – 24 people from Murraysville, PA

The pastor will be helping to coordinate this effort.  They will be painting, seal coating a parking lot, helping Sister Jean, etc.

Helpers are needed with the first and last groups.  Call the church.  Gary Cresse of the Pleasantville Church has already volunteered.

SISTER JEAN SERVING SCHEDULE WILL FLUCTUATE

Since there will be mission teams in July our schedule for Sister Jean’s will vary.  Please check the weekly calendar in the Sunday bulletin.

During the summer we encourage our youth age 12 and over to help at Sister Jean’s.  This is a great opportunity to do mission first hand.

A BIG thank you to all who were involved with making the Strawberry Festival a huge success.  We served approximately 125 people and had great entertainment provided by John Channell and friends!!  So many people told us what a great time they had and look forward to next year.

Tickets are now on sale for the AC Surf Game on July 25th, 7:05 p.m. start, with fireworks after the game.  The first 1,500 fans age 14/under will receive a REMAX inflatable bat!  Cost for upper box seats is $7 Adults, $5 for Adults 60+ and $5 for children 12 and under.  See Tina Brown, Shirley Brown, Ally Hodgson or Sandy Shinsato to purchase your tickets.

In August our Dinner Cruise is being held on Wednesday, August 6th.  Please look for more details in another section of the Good News.

People are needed to sign up for refreshments for August and September.  Please sign up on the Coffee Hour board which is on the bulletin board across from Cobb Lounge.  On Sunday, July 27th, the Pinnacle Club of Absecon (the 55+ adult condominium building across from the church on School Street) has asked us to come over to see their facility after our church service.  They have three furnished condos to see and refreshments will be served.  Only our members have been extended this invitation that day, so please plan to join us.

Mark your calendars for these future dates:


The next meeting of the Fellowship Committee with be at 7 p.m. on August 19th.

Serving you through Christ,
Kris Jenoriki

AN ADDITIONAL NOTE FROM GAYLE

A GIANT THANK YOU to all those people who helped make our Sunday breakfasts (Breakfast Club) so special this year.  There were so many who helped set-up, cook and clean-up faithfully and many who helped in a pinch.  Thanks for stepping up to the plate.

It's that time again!!  Our annual Dinner & Cruise will be August 6th so mark your calendar now.  We will eat at the Flying Cloud Restaurant (Gardeners Basin) at 5:30 p.m., and then board the AC Cruise boat for a cruise through the back bays from 7:15 to 8:30 p.m.  The cost is $35.00 per person (including tip).  Friends and family (age 13 and above) are welcomed and encouraged to come as Jeff George is reserving the whole boat (100 spaces) for our church.  Flyers and a sign-up sheet are in the vestibule. 

TUESDAY TRIPS – JULY 8 & JULY 22

Pastor & Gerry Reedell will be taking two special trips on Tuesdays in July.  These trips will leave at 9:30 a.m. and return mid to late afternoon.  If they work well we will take two more trips in August.

Please sign up on the bulletin board in the vestibule.  Expenses will be on your own for lunch and admissions.  Everyone will need to contribute $3.00 per person for van expenses.

July 8 – Wheaton Village (admission $10/adults, $9/seniors 62+, $7/students, children 5 and under free)
July 22 – Historic Cold Spring Village (admission $8/adults, $7/seniors 62+, $6/children 3-12)

Call the office if you have questions.

SUMMER PICNIC SCHEDULE

Pastor & Mrs. Cobb will be inviting groups over during July.  The schedule is below.  Picnics are at noon.
June 29 – Choir and bell choir
July 5 (Saturday) – Independence Day celebration, all are welcome, sign up in the vestibule
July 13 – no picnic, Pastor away
July 23 – Evergreens
July 27 – Sunday School families and youth groups
August 3 – Prime-Timers
August 10 – Doug Jablonski Men’s Fellowship, spouses and guests

MEN’S FELLOWSHIP SPONSORS TRIP TO HINDENBURG SITE JULY 30

Eleven of us had a great trip to the Battleship New Jersey on June 20.  On July 30 we will travel to Lakehurst to see the site of the tragic burning and crash of the Hindenburg.

We will leave in the morning and stop for lunch on the way home.  Anyone may go.  Join us!

Please note: This is still an active military installation, and the Navy requires the Social Security number of all those entering the base.  If you are not willing to give it, you will not be able to go.  We will call you for your number 10 days before we go or you may mail it to the base.  You may also call it into the office.

This tour is not open to aliens who do not have US citizenship.  Also, you must have a valid photo ID in order to enter the base on the day of the trip. 

EVERGREENS 

Well, here it is summertime.  This year's Evergreens meetings have ended until September.  We’ve lost a few good friends but we’ve also had a good year thanks to many people who have offered assistance with desserts, programs, etc.  Our June luncheon was small this year, but we all had a good time.  Pastor Dave has invited us to have a picnic at the manse "picnic grounds" on July 23 at Noon.  He will serve hot dogs and hamburgers, etc., and we should all bring a salad or dish to fill in the rest of the meal.  If the weather is rainy or temps above 90o, the picnic will be cancelled or postponed.  Have a healthy and fun summer.

LUNCH BUNCH TO MILL STREET PUB JULY 9

The van will leave Absecon at 11:30 for the Mill Street Pub in Mays Landing.  Meet us at the restaurant at noon if you prefer to drive yourself.

KIDS IN FREE/CHURCH BULLETIN NIGHT AT THE SURF!

The Atlantic City Surf is offering a special promo on certain Sundays throughout the summer according to the Promotion Schedule on their website (www.acsurf.com).  All kids 12 and under get in free on July 6 & 27 and August 10 & 31. 

These same dates are also Church Bulletin Nights.  Bring in your church bulletin for $2 off admission.  Sounds like a great way to spend an evening with the family! 

KITCHEN WORK PROGRESSING ON SCHEDULE

On June 20 electrical work began in the kitchen.  Drew Malfi began framing work on June 23.

Drew suffered a heart attack a month ago, but we rejoice that he is doing great, can drive, and do some minor activities.

The rest of the committee has also been busy with a variety of tasks.

STEEPLE WORK TO BE DONE OVER THE SUMMER

Over the last several years there has been damage to the narthex due to leakage in our steeple.  We are happy to report that during the heavy spring storms and Nor’easter we did not have any water leak into this area.  This is very good news.  It means we can begin to repair the narthex.

In July/August we hope to get scaffolding and take the ceiling tiles down.  Then we will replace it with green board, scrape, spackle and paint all affected areas.

This problem has been ongoing for years, and we thank Jan Jorgensen for his help in repairing and redirecting the water out of the steeple.

PERSONNEL BACKGROUND CHECKS

In today’s world, there are subjects that for years were kept behind closed doors or swept under the rug. Despite the attempts to hide a church’s involvement in child molestation, it is all too evident that these things are no longer hidden and can happen in churches that would never suspect their leaders to be “involved in something as horrible as that.”

Our Personnel Committee voted unanimously to go with the recommendation from our insurance company and have all paid staff who have direct contact with our youth have background checks to protect themselves and protect our church. This is in no way a decision that was made because of a problem here, but we have decided to be proactive as suggested.  All paid staff members affected will be contacted personally prior to any checks being done. If you have any questions concerning this decision, please do not hesitate to speak with Judy Stebbins, Chairman of the Personnel Committee.

THANK YOU, CHURCH FAMILY

God is great, and God is good!  Thank you all for your many prayers, cards, phone calls and visits during my recent hospital stay.  I’m feeling so much better and grateful to be home.  See you in church! 

Jean Delesantro

CHURCH DIRECTORY UPDATE

The office is currently updating our database.  Please fill in and return!  (Please Print Clearly)

Family Last Name: __________________________________________________

First Name __________________________  Birthday ______________________ 

First Name __________________________  Birthday ______________________ 

First Name __________________________  Birthday ______________________ 

First Name __________________________  Birthday ______________________ 

First Name __________________________  Birthday ______________________ 

Wedding Anniversary ___________________________________________

Address: ________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Mailing Address (if different): _______________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Telephone: ____________________________________________

Primary E-mail Address: _________________________________

Other Email Address: ____________________________________

Alternate Mailing Address and approx. dates (if applicable):

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

 

The church office will be open most mornings throughout the summer.  Occasional weeks we may find it necessary to operate on reduced hours.  Please call before stopping in.

The office will be closed for vacation from August 18-22.

 

Do we have your email address?  If not, email the church office (absecon_presby@msn.com) and ask to be added to our list of contacts to get weekly updates, announcements and information.  You don’t know what you’re missing!  

 

Remember, Deadlines are Important!

“Good Morning” (Sunday bulletin announcements) – Noon Thursday
“The Presby Post” (That Friday email thing) – 9:00 a.m. Friday
“Good News” (Monthly newsletter) – 9:00 a.m. 4th Monday of the month

Articles and information should be in writing and emailed or left (photo ready preferred) in the office.  Please keep in mind it may be necessary to edit due to space or other limitations.

GREETERS

6   Toshie Legg
13 Sonny & Carol Kleiner  
20 Jan Baker
27 Norm Johnson & Marge McGuigan

LAY ASSISTANTS

6   Louise Speitel  
13 Gerry Reedell  
20 Tina Brown  
27 Ron Pfeiffer  

HEAD USHERS

6   Bob & Irene Hunter  
13 Bob Hudak & Jinny Wolcott  
20 Carol Thomas & Elaine Risley  
27 Jerry & Joanie Hoenes  

DEACONS GUEST BOOK

6   Barbara Morgan  
13 Carol Kleiner  
20 Carol Thomas  
27 Pat Hudak  

NURSERY

6   Sheila Mazzatta  
13 Dawn Lewis  
20 Bob Hudak  
27 Jennifer Platt  

40 MINUTE CLUB

6   Sandy Venafro, Valerie Seel  
13 Tina Harvey, Sam Adams   
20 JoAnn Sabo, Ally Hodgson  
27 Dawn Duran, Valerie Seel  

REFRESHMENT HOSTS

6   Ginny Davenport
     Fellowship Committee  
13 Toshie Legg
     Elaine Wilkenloh  
20 Melissa Wooding
     Lee Wolff  
27 Open House at The Pinnacle Club  



 THE CHRISTIAN OBLIGATION TO HELP THE NEEDY

“How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?  Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” ~ 1 John 3:17-18

A book that has been gaining popularity in church growth circles is “Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations” by Robert Schnase. 

One of these practices is “Risk-Taking Mission and Service”.  I was impressed that the author wasn’t interested in special offerings like the “One Great Hour of Sharing” which nearly all churches do.  No, he was interested more in the hands on activity of the church – mission trips, helping the homeless, and organizing to make a difference. 

But he found that there was an even greater indication of the spiritual vitality of a church.  That was the willingness to take risks in its mission activity.  The churches he described as “fruitful” were churches that were doing some pretty risky things.  They were opening their doors to inner city minority kids who had no place else to hang out.  Some were letting homeless people sleep in the church basement.  And their risk taking meant an unusual generosity with the church’s resources.  Some were loaning out their van to help others do mission.  Some were even loaning church musical instruments to other churches and coffee houses.  The whole life of the church seemed to rotate around the question of “What else can we find to give?”

Now you might think that such churches were always finding their equipment damaged and their buildings abused.  You would think that such churches are always broke.

Wrong.  Churches who give themselves away find they get a lot in return.  The “mission mentality” is infectious and a source of pride as they tell others about all they are doing.  Instead of costing them, they are always attracting new people and new money.

In their risk-taking they find their purpose, their vision, their motivation, and God’s call.

This radical approach to mission and service stands out in stark contrast with most main line churches that are giving less to mission.  Fear of a failing economy, pessimism that no amount of money will make any difference, and their own financial insecurity has led them to close their doors, their pocketbooks, and their hearts.  They keep their churches looking good by locking out anyone that might mess it up.  Somehow they believe the church that succeeds is the church that takes care of itself, hoards its resources, and tries not to get involved in efforts that are way too big for them to tackle.

Problem is, those churches that are taking risks are growing  and are full of synergy.  Those churches that are closing their hearts are declining and are full of fear.

Someone asked me last Sunday if we can afford to do something for all the flood victims in the Mississippi Valley.  I replied, “We can’t afford not to.  Our very life as a church depends on it.”

The theologian Emil Brunner once said, “The church exists through mission as fire exists through burning.”  In these days of high gas prices and recession there is a temptation to hide out and let the world fend for itself.

Sorry, we just can’t do that without denying our savior and our very identity.  When a church becomes selfish it burns out.  Risk-taking mission is the way to burn brighter.  It is not optional.  We have an obligation to help the needy.

Let’s be fruitful.
 
     

 

 

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Welcome

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Youth Groups

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Welcome

Worship

Sunday School

Bible Study

Programs

Mission

Youth Groups

Seniors Groups

Other Groups

Music Program

Staff

The Session

Calendar

The Good News

Presby Post

Christian Links