Absecon Presbyterian Church
CLERGY APPRECIATION MONTH
God bless our faithful pastors--they dedicate us, baptize us, marry us, bury us--and hold a special place in our hearts. We honor them, the sheep-watchers of the flock of God, and ask God's blessing and anointing on their lives and ministry. Many thanks to Pastor Cobb and Pastor Gerry
WORLD COMMUNION TO BE OBSERVED OCTOBER 5
Please plan on being with us at either service on October 5 as we gather at our Lord’s Table with believers around the world.
This is always special, even more so this year with so much going on in the world.
NEWS FROM CHRISTIAN EDUCATION COMMITTEE
A new year has begun with many exciting activities, classes, clubs and Youth Programs. On Sept. 7th the Sunday School year began with Rally Day. On Sept. 14th Jim Wooding introduced the Lions and Lambs program to the children in Madden Hall. In the evening many families gathered at the end lot for a scavenger hunt and bon fire complete with s'mores.
All three youth groups have fantastic plans for the coming year. The Pastor's Bible study, Book Club and 3 Woman's Circles all welcome new members as they will begin soon.
Priscilla was very busy all summer working on the Sunday School curriculum and making some great additions. The questionnaires we sent out in June were helpful with some good suggestions. Many people have volunteered to help her as teachers, aids, musicians and as just plain "helpers".
Many thanks to all who volunteer and support the Christian Education part of our church.
Yours in Christ,
SUNDAY SCHOOL AND RELATED NEWS
We’re back in the swing of things! Rally Day was a great success! It was wonderful to see everyone after the summer break. A banner hanging in the vestibule has the name of everyone involved in Sunday School highlighting our theme, “We are the body of Christ.”
Our youth groups have all begun as well, and attendance is strong in Lions and Lambs. A lot of new faces came out to Lions and Lambs on the first meeting night and Jim Wooding’s presentation of this program to the Sunday School was well received on September 14th. Kids for Christ was packed on Sunday the 14th with the 5th-8th graders. It looks like they’re going to be having a lot of fun. The Senior Youth has moved to Monday nights for now and have a steady crew of members. This group always manages to grow quickly as members bring their friends.
Our biggest trial is the broken knee of our Sunday School Senior High teacher, Carmela Thomas. She is healing from her surgery, and we miss her. We’re doing our best to fill those shoes, but that’s not an easy job. Thank you, Bernadette Frigen, for being there to fill in. Carmela, we hope you have a speedy recovery and return to us soon.
Our newest group, Family and Friends, had a wonderful first event on September 14th in the form of a scavenger hunt followed by s'mores over a campfire. This was very well attended. I personally enjoyed seeing the flicker of numerous flashlights while as many as 50 people searched for hidden items in the cemetery. Spooky fun!
Highlights and Up Coming Events
It certainly didn’t take us long to find ourselves in full swing… and everything is better because you are there! It wouldn’t be the same without you. Many thanks. As the body of Christ, let us learn of God and His Son, Jesus. Let us share our joy with each other.
In Christ’s love always,
SENIOR YOUTH NEWS
We are up and running (even without a kitchen). We had one dinner at Joe and John's and Jack had a BBQ for us last week.
Here’s what's coming up:
And of course the reason for Senior Youth group, there will be a Bible study every Thursday after dinner with games and projects.
Please know that all high school aged kids are welcome.
Karen Muldoon, co-director
WOMEN'S CIRCLE MEETINGS
Last month as we began our Bible study on the Book of Ruth, we see that Naomi has returned to Bethlehem, her home town. Ruth, her Moabite daughter-in-law, returns with her. Ruth has given up everything - her country, her family and friends, and her worship of idols to return with Naomi. Life for two widows would not be easy, as they had few ways to support themselves. Ruth chose to glean in the fields to support herself and Naomi. It is here that Boaz enters the picture and the story takes a dramatic turn of events.
The Sarah Circle will meet in Cobb Lounge at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 1st. The Ruth Circle will meet at 1:30 p.m. Friday, October 3rd, at the home of Betsy Cunius. The Martha Circle will meet at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, October 9th, at the home of Ida Juhrs. All women of the church are encouraged to join us at the time that best fits your schedule. You will be warmly welcomed as we study, fellowship and enjoy refreshments.
FINDING THE WAY
BACK TO MAYBERRY
By TOM SOOY
Our first get-together of the new season was a huge success. In spite of technical set backs and a last minute switch of the episode, we had a great time.
Each month our pot luck supper and screening of an episode of the original Andy Griffith Show takes us back to simpler times when life was a lot less complicated. Throughout the season we witness Andy’s selfless attitude and his ability to find in most all situations. We find Barney who always seems to have good intentions, but his methods usually backfire. We also learned the difference between “incarceration” and “inNARculation!”
For great food, great fellowship and great discussion join us at 6 p.m. on Friday, OCTOBER 17th, as we watch “Stranger in Town.” All of Mayberry is in an uproar because a stranger, Ed Sawyer, got off the bus and knows everything about everyone in town, and yet not a soul knows him! Barney wants to arrest him and Andy, even though he’s curious, tries to keep everyone calm.
So, bring your best covered dish and join us Friday, October 17th.
Remember – the door is always unlocked and the lemonade is always cold!
DOUG JABLONSKI MEN’S FELLOWSHIP OCTOBER 11, 8:30 A.M.
The Doug Jablonski Men’s Fellowship will meet in Madden Hall for an egg breakfast cooked on our new kitchen grill. Cost is only $3.00. Bill Downer will bring devotions.
ARE YOU ALREADY A PART OF THE ACTION?
All of us pride ourselves as members of our church. We attend Sunday services, church sponsored events, meetings, clubs, trips, etc. for spiritual growth and to be involved in a community atmosphere.
The Stewardship Committee is responsible for engaging you, the congregation, in serving the mission of our church. You have heard the words: time, talent and treasure. This is what the Stewardship Committee is all about: to encourage each one of you to give of your time and your talents and to support the financial needs of the church so we can continue the programs we already have as well as form others identified as needs.
The Stewardship Committee's responsibilities are very specific. To identify your interest and talents we will be updating our "Talent Bank" by year’s end. This will provide you an opportunity to volunteer to serve your church in a capacity that matches the time you have available and the talents you possess. There are many choices available, and without a doubt you will find several that interest you.
Secondly, the Committee is responsible for developing the annual operating budget. This is our immediate task since we must solicit and receive the dollar requests from all committees in the church that impact the budget and submit the proposed budget to Session in November for first reading. This year's operating budget totaled $217,000. No doubt the 2009 budget will be greater than that.
Thirdly, in order to provide sufficient funds for the new budget the Committee is charged with conducting a "Stewardship Campaign". This is traditionally done in November when a presentation is made to the congregation during the two services. It is at this time that you are asked to complete a pledge card for next year’s giving. The pledged total gives us an idea of how close we will be to funding the 2009 budget and whether this funding source as well as rental and investment income will permit us to have all the programs and personnel contained in the budget.
In the next several months you will be asked to give of your time, talents and treasure so our church community can continue to thrive and be successful as we further God's work.
SEPTEMBER THANK YOUS
NEWS FROM THE WORSHIP COMMITTEE
Just a reminder on the fall communion dates: October 5 (World Communion Sunday), November 2 and December 7.
I would like to thank everyone who has called me to say how they feel about our services (likes and dislikes). All feed back is appreciated and discussed at the Worship meetings.
Thank you again,
NOT TOO LATE TO JOIN US!
New Members Classes will continue to meet on September 28 and October 5 in the lounge at 4:00 p.m. Come and be part of our congregation. You will be glad you did.
New members will be received by session on October 14.
From the Choir Loft……………………………………by TOM SOOY
Our new Fall season is in full swing, and things really are swinging. Fall is officially here, and it is OCTOBER already! Even though Halloween is not here yet, the treats have already started. Our Choir is back in their usual places, and all other musical programs are gearing up.
On Rally Day, the children chanted, “WE ARE ONE BODY, WE ARE THE BODY OF CHRIST!” On October 5th we celebrate World Communion Sunday with all of our brothers and sisters around the world.
Good things are always happening here at Absecon Presbyterian Church. The TRICK is to put it all together so that it is a TREAT for us and for God himself.
Until next time….SEE YOU IN THE CHOIR LOFT! Tom
CROP WALK TO TAKE PLACE OCTOBER 19
Our annual CROP Walk (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty)will begin at 1:30 sharp on Sunday, October 19. Registration begins at 1:00 at the gazebo in Heritage Park.
Our chairman this year is elder Tina Brown. She has the sponsor forms and info. If you can walk please get a sponsor form and at least ten people to sponsor you (they should make their contribution when they agree to sponsor you).
The CROP Walk provides resources, seed money, and help to the world’s poorest people. Also, this year a lot of the money will go to disaster relief along the coast of Texas.
Our youth groups will walk. Last year we had about a dozen adults as well.
FROM THE CEMETERY COMMITTEE
The Cemetery Committee is happy to inform you about three important developments that we have been working on for the past year and a half.
FALL WORK DAY OCTOBER 25, 9:00 A.M.
Get your gloves, rakes and Windex and join us for our annual fall work day to wash windows, rake the yard and get ready for winter. If we get enough workers we should be done by noon.
Bob Hudak is in charge of doughnuts and work to be done.
As I write this article for the Good News, I am praying daily for nice weather on Saturday, Sept. 27th. Currently the forecast is for a tropical storm to come up the East Coast and provide lots of rain on Friday and Saturday. I know this is out of my hands, but I would like to thank all who volunteered to help organize and work during the Yard Sale. Your help is invaluable!!!
Our first dinner in our new kitchen will be on Saturday, October 18th, at 5:30 pm. Nancy Sooy and friends will be preparing a delicious pork and sauerkraut dinner. Sign up sheets are in the foyer so please sign up to let us know how many will be attending. The price is $5 for adults and $3 for 6-12 year olds, and under 6 are free. Can't beat that price! The last sign-up day will be Sunday, October 12th. Hope to see you there!
As the Nominating Committee makes its phone calls to congregation members, please prayerfully consider saying yes to help lead our church into the future. It is very easy to say no, but we really need people to say YES!! Thank You.
Yours in Christ,
P.S. On behalf of the Kitchen Committee I would like thank you for your patience in the renovation of the kitchen. We are trying to make sure that things are done right and are at the mercy of contractors. We feel that the kitchen will be completely done so that it can be used by the first weekend in October. Remember that Rome was not built in a day!
THE SESQUICENTENNIAL COMMITTEE SAYS: MARK YOUR CALENDAR NOW!
The Sesquicentennial Committee has an array of events and activities planned to celebrate the 150th birthday of our church (1859-2009). A complete list follows:
Come one, come all! It should be a great celebration! Plan now to be a part of it!
The schedule is in place for those who volunteered to help set-up, cook and clean-up for our 8:45 a.m. Breakfast Club on Sundays. There are a few spots available so you can let me know if you would be able to help (or if you could fill-in when a vacancy occurs).
We are so excited to use the new kitchen. The cooks are eager to learn how to use the new appliances and Harry can't wait to shop for us. I will be adding a few new items to our menu so plan on coming out to eat before each Sunday service.
You can't beat the price!! $2.00 for adults and $1.00 per child.
Hope to see you at the Breakfast Club,
Family and Friends
Who: Anyone and everyone, plus your friends
When: Sunday, October 19, from 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Where: Madden Hall
Why: To carve pumpkins, paint pumpkins, and make scarecrows
How: Bring your own pumpkins, newspapers, clothes for the
scarecrow such as pants, shirt, hat, etc. We’ll supply the
carving tools, paints, straw, and refreshments.
PRIME-TIMERS SATURDAY. OCTOBER 25 AT 12 NOON
The time for the Prime-Timers to meet this year has been changed to 12 noon. We will continue to meet on Saturdays. I hope this new time will prove to be more convenient for those who do not care to drive at night.
Our next Prime-Timers get-together will be at 12 noon on Saturday, October 25th, with a football theme. We will see who has the best aim as we play "Throw a Touchdown Pass" game. Then we will test your knowledge of football teams and the cities they play for. The women will receive some extra help on this.
If you are 45 or older just bring a covered dish to share and come join us. We do something every month, so you might reserve Saturday, November 15th, on your calendar for our next get-together. We will each make a Christmas tree ornament on that day.
THE 15OTH CELEBRATION COMMITTEE ANNOUNCES 2 DATES TO REMEMBER!
Saturday, December 13, 2008 Christmas Dinner
The American Boychoir Concert
Tickets will be available for church people Saturday, November 1, 2008 - see Joanie. Look for more details in the November Good News
This just in – We have been asked to provide overnight housing for the boys on Saturday, December 14. If you can host 2-4 boys, grade 4/5 to 8, and bring them to church for Sunday breakfast please contact Joanie as soon as possible.
EVERGREENS: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 12:00 NOON
The planned program for this meeting must be postponed so at this writing I do not have a program. However, I have several programs "waiting in the wings", and one may be announced at a later time. So save the date and plan to attend with a friend, and bring your own sandwich. As usual dessert and beverage will be served.
LUNCH BUNCH TO ALLEN’S CLAM BAR OCTOBER 15
Meet at the church at 11:30 on October 15 to ride the van, or be at Allen’s at noon. It is located on Route 9 in New Gretna.
TRAVEL ADVENTURE GROUP NEWS
By TOM SOOY
This past Friday was national “Talk Like a Pirate Day.” And 35 members and friends of the congregation have earned the right to talk like pirate! Our cruise to Nova Scotia was a huge success. The weather was great, the ship was beautiful, the sights were amazing, the food was incredible and I think we all have our sea legs back by now.
Our next venture is a day trip to Mt. Hope Estate and Winery in beautiful Lancaster County, on Saturday, November 29th. This all new show is a great way to start the holiday season. As of last Sunday, the trip is ONE HALF FULL already, so if you are planning to join us, please see me at church or call at home (965-1665).
The cost is $68.00 per adult and $55.00 per child and includes bus transportation, the performance at Mt. Hope, shopping at Bird-in-Hand Farmers Market, the Grand Smorgasbord at Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant and all gratuities.
Join us as we celebrate with “A Dickens of a Christmas!”
Special Gifts for Our Church Families & Friends
“arranged” by the Radio City Organists, George Wesner and Fred Davies
2 Complimentary CD’s plus a “National Geographic Style” publication honoring the historic 30 year ministry of Percy and Ruth Crawford.
These inspiring CD’s and booklet will be available in Madden Hall on Saturday, October 18, at the Roast Pork dinner dedicating our new kitchen. (A heart-felt thank you to George & Fred who will be returning May 16, 2009 as part of our 150th anniversary concert series!)
11The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. ~ Ephesians 4:11-13
THANK YOU, CHURCH FRIENDS
We wish to thank everyone for your well wishes cards, caring thoughts, and phone calls. They were greatly appreciated during my recuperation from my eye surgery.
Louise Speitel and Joe Marshall
Thanking everyone for their prayers, cards, phone calls, and visits.
I’m still going to physical therapy at Bacharach satellite office in Mays Landing. They tell me I’m doing well. They take measurements of how well the knee bends.
I really appreciate everything and for everything you do!
Love & Prayers,
CHURCH DIRECTORY UPDATE
Valley View Haven
4702 E. Main Street
Belleville, PA 17004
Do we have your email address? If not, email the church office (email@example.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.
5 9:30 Roger & Jinny Wolcott
11:00 Frances Weir
12 9:30 Eric & Essie Newell
11:00 Tina Brown
19 9:30 Bill & Ginny Davenport
11:00 Dirk & Desiree Williamson
26 9:30 Grade 1-2
11:00 Tom & Anita Brown
5 9:30 Louise Speitel
11:00 Louise Speitel
11:00 Gerry Reedell
11:00 Tina Brown
26 9:30 Grade 5-6 & Grade 7-8
5 9:30 Bob & Irene Hunter
11:00 Jerry & Joan Hoenes
12 9:30 Tom & Janice Piccirilli
11:00 Loretta Metz & Joyce Pfeiffer
19 9:30 Carol Thomas & Elaine Risley
11:00 Paul & Marjorie Hamer
26 9:30 Gayle Ackerman & Bob Hudak
11:00 Betty Lloyd & Mary Bew
5 Jan & Carol Jorgensen
12 Bill & Ginny Davenport
19 Al & Ilsa Smith
26 Grade 3-4
DEACONS GUEST BOOK
5 9:30 Barbara Miller
11:00 Mary Bew
12 9:30 Sue Pantalone
11:00 Jean Delesantro
19 9:30 Jinny Wolcott
11:00 Mary Bew
26 9:30 Mary Bew
11:00 Jean Delesantro
5 Bob Hudak
12 Jennifer Platt
19 Kira Greenlee
26 Dawn Lewis
5 Dawn Lewis
12 Debora Wong
Bob & Lucy Jerue
19 Janice Bond
26 Barbara Hughes
BREAKFAST CLUB KITCHEN CREW
5 Set-up – Elaine Wilkenloh
Cook – Jean Delesantro & Bob Wilkenloh
Clean-up – Vic & Rita Abelson
12 Set-up – Roger & Jinny Wolcott
Cook – Bill Keener
Clean-up – Sandy Venefro
19 Set-up – Edith Budd
Cook – Dick & Doris Wood
Clean-up – Scott Sabo
26 Set-up – Carol Thomas
Cook – Jo-ann Weller & Bob Wilkenloh
Clean-up – Paul & Marjorie Hamer
SPIRITUALITY VS FUNCTIONALITY: WHAT REALLY MATTERS
“Pursue love and strive for the spiritual gifts” ~ 1 Corinthians 14:1a
Last week I attended a transformational church conference. We are a transformational church, and five members of our Visioning Team attended the opening session Thursday night. Barbara Morgan, the chairman, and I attended the all day Friday session.
All of the churches present felt their congregations were not growing spiritually. People’s relationships were not as close or supportive as they liked, and the basic spiritual disciplines of spiritual formation, praying for one another, sharing one’s faith, Bible study, etc. were not growing. Yet many of us were doing well – new facilities, financial stability, etc. We just felt that something was missing. In other words, what you saw wasn’t necessarily what you got.
Unfortunately, we could all resonate with what was being said, and I would like to share what we learned.
All churches begin with high spirituality. The founders are many times new Christians and learn their spiritual formation, prayer life, and joy in worship together. This spiritual vibrancy is characterized by things like a strong sense of following Christ, seeing God’s presence in ministry and mission, openness to the Holy Spirit and “passionately moving in God’s direction with faith and courage”. This vibrancy is radiated in such a way that visitors can’t help but feel it. It enlivens relationships and often is seen in sharing groups, prayer circles, etc.
Unfortunately, churches over time tend to move from vibrancy to functionality. Functionality is manifested in a desire to maintain the status quo, keeping programs and worship orderly so that they flow on time and regularly but without passion, an inordinate desire to maintain church property and financial stability, and a suspicion of innovation or change. Unfortunately, since building and status quo issues are paramount, the Spirit of God is not readily recognized. What’s worse, the church moves from spiritual issues to pettiness. (“I don’t like those new curtains.” “Why is church always late?” “Why is the trash can overflowing in the rest room?”) People literally don’t come to look for God’s “newness” as much as to make sure nobody is tampering with the “oldness”.
The good news is that no church can be all one and not the other. Churches that are all functionality die because people realize there is no reason to go, and arguing over curtains, etc. is like fighting over deck chairs on the Titanic. But churches that try to be all spiritual also come to the point that God is not pleased with ugly curtains or unemptied trash cans.
The question we had to deal with is “Are we as a church moving toward spiritual vibrancy or mere functionality?” We all agreed that all the beautiful things in our church have little attraction if the church is not spiritually vibrant. And relatively speaking, it’s easier to build a new kitchen than to build spiritual vibrancy.
But that’s what the work of transformation is all about. The Kitchen Committee is completing a two year task this month. They did a great job. We can all be proud. But an even greater task – building a spiritually vibrant church, goes on forever. So pray for us. Our future is what we make it.
" . . if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come !"
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