Absecon Presbyterian Church
ANNUAL MEETING TO BE HELD JANUARY 30 AT 11:15
There will be ONE SERVICE AT 10:00 A.M. on January 30. After a short break the annual meeting will begin at about 11:15. We will receive reports and elect a Nominating Committee for 2011. We will not elect officers as we already did that in November.
However, new officers will be ordained and/or installed that day during the worship service. Elders, your first meeting is two days later on February 1.
ANNUAL REPORTS DUE IN OFFICE BY JANUARY 10
Each January is a mad rush to get the Annual Report prepared and in hand. Please help us by getting your group or committee report in on time. If you are running any program, scheduling events, or spending church money you should submit a report.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION COMMITTEE
We had a full schedule of Christmas events, and are looking forward to an exciting start to 2011. There is no CE Committee meeting scheduled for January.
Merry Christmas to all!
Yours in Christ,
SUNDAY SCHOOL AND RELATED NEWS
December was a busy month! The kids performed The Grumpy Shepherd on December 12th followed by the luncheon and Birthday Party for Jesus. We collected hats, scarves, etc. for Sr. Jean’s people. The Sunday School put on the Christmas Pageant on Christmas and we collected quarter books for the Atlantic City Rescue Mission. We sang Silent Night for the Call to Worship on December 26 and watched a movie in our PJ’s in Madden Hall. Many thanks to everyone who made all these events possible. We had a lot of fun along the way. Now here’s what’s coming in the New Year.
Highlights and Up Coming Events
May you be filled with a new light and purpose as we head into 2011. Remember…we are watching our growth this year, physically and spiritually. This is the perfect time for us to become stronger Christians. A new round of Bible studies will be starting soon on Sunday and Wednesday evenings for adults. Childcare will be provided. Please let us know if there is a need. We can grow together in the New Year.
GREETINGS, CHURCH FAMILY
The Christmas season came and went super fast, which may not have been a bad thing! A2J still managed to learn, serve, and have a good time. Many thanks to Barbara Hughes and Tina Harvey for our Minute to Win It challenges. Our members had a blast and I'm sure they still know who holds the record for which event. We loved teaming up with Lions & Lambs to learn about Advent and make wreaths and Chrismon Tree ornaments. On December 18th we brought friends and teamed up with Senior High to serve dinner at the Holland Family Concert. Our members had quite a good system going and worked hard together, as those in the kitchen said, so please continue to thank and encourage them for their efforts.
It will be a relief, however, to get back to our normal routine in the new year. We may be taking a leadership role in the upcoming Agape Lunch. Naida Burgess continues to use her talents to take us on spiritual yoga walks. We're itching for the opportunity to finally bring out the floor hockey materials. Please keep our cook, Dawn Duran, and her daughter Terry in your prayers, as her mother-in-law passed away very suddenly recently.
Janna Beth & Jim
LIONS AND LAMBS PREPARES FOR A NEW YEAR
On January 2nd, our elementary youth group for ages K-5, will meet from 11:00-12:30 to learn about baptism and God’s beloved Son, Jesus. We will learn of the many names that He is known by. We will have fun leaning a new song and making a craft as well. Lunch will follow as usual.
Lions and Lambs will be presenting the Call to Worship on January 9th so it would be great if everybody could come on January 2nd to prepare and practice for this. We should all arrive by 9:15 on January 9th to refresh our memories and be ready for the Call to Worship.
Lions and Lambs made Confetti Bean soup back in November and raised $170 which was sent to The Friends of Jean Webster. We still have fourteen jars of the soup left and will offer it for sale on the days when homemade soups are sold. All proceeds will again benefit Sr. Jean Webster.
Please contact Priscilla at 641-4877 with any questions.
SENIOR YOUTH NEWS
The Senior Youth Group is planning a bake sale on January 9th. The tentative date for our ski trip is January 14th-16th.
The dinner schedule is as follows:
Jan. 3rd Amber.....10th Val....17th no meeting....24th Ally...31st Chris G
We hope everyone enjoyed a Merry Christmas and a healthy New Year!!
NEW MEMBERS CLASS TO BEGIN JANUARY 16 AT 4:00 P.M.
Church membership is something God calls us to do. It is a way of identifying with the people of God and feeling a part of the church. Members always say the feeling of “belonging” is important, and when you join you belong!
Joining church is not difficult. There are three classes meeting on Sunday afternoons at 4:00 p.m. starting January 16. (We may have to change some depending on schedules.) We will deal with our faith, our history, and our own church here in Absecon. The classes are informative, even if you decide not to join the church.
After the classes are over you will need to appear before session to answer a few questions of faith and to be officially welcomed.
If you have been worshipping without benefit of membership we invite you to join us. It may be one of the most meaningful things you will ever do.
See the pastor or just come.
At our January meetings we will begin a year-long study of the Old Testament Book of Esther. In it we will find drama, power, romance and intrigue. The story takes place in Persia while the Jews were living there in exile around 473 B.C. The Book of Esther tells of the circumstances that were essential to the survival of God's people in Persia. The Book of Esther is still treasured by Jews today and read annually in the synagogues on Purim because they find the reassurance that they will survive as a people against powers that want to destroy them.
The Sarah Circlewill meet at church in Cobb Lounge on Wednesday, January 5th, at 7:00 p.m. The Ruth Circle will meet at 1:00 p.m., Friday, January 7th, at the home of Betsy Cunius. The Martha Circle will meet at the home of Carol Thomas at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, January 13th. All women of the church are encouraged to attend the circle that best meets their time schedule for study and fellowship.
On Monday, December 13th, Carol Thomas, Marge Loeb and Gerry delivered 5 large bags of hats, gloves, scarves and socks purchased by the ladies of the Women's Circles to the Leeds Ave. Grammar School in Pleasantville. The women were generous in their giving of: 33 pairs of socks, 68 pairs of gloves & mittens, 73 hats, 13 hat & glove sets, 5 hat, scarf & glove sets, 15 scarves and 2 head bands. A very special thanks goes to Toshie Legg and Ethel Washington, who between them knitted 28 hats and scarves for the children.
NEWS FROM MAYBERRY
Our Christmas gathering was a hit as always. I just love that episode, and it easily ranks up there with my top favorites. As “hokey” as it may seem, the message of redemption and love shines through. Kind of like all Charles Dickens meets Andy Taylor!
Our first “town meeting” of 2011 will be on Friday, January 21st, at 6pm in Madden Hall. As usual, we start with a potluck supper and follow with a screening of an episode of the Andy Griffith Show. This episode, “Andy on Trial”, is a serious but powerful show. It shows the dangers of exalting ourselves over others. It also shows the value of real friendships. Don Knotts, as Barney Fife, gives probably the most touching performance in the show’s history.
So join us on FRIDAY, JANUARY 21st, as we celebrate another year in Mayberry.
Goober and Gomer and all the gang down to the fillin’ station said to say “HEY!”
PASTORS COBB & REEDELL TO OFFER WINTER COURSE STARTING JAN. 23
Once again this winter our pastors will offer a course to all who would like a greater understanding of our Christian faith and who Jesus was and is.
This eight week course is entitled “The Life and Ministry of the Messiah”. It begins with a 25 minute video by Ray Vander Laan made on location in Palestine. We will discuss the video and look at some Bible verses. We try to finish in one hour. The course will finish the beginning of Lent and should prepare us better for this spiritual journey.
So come and join us on Sunday nights at 7:00 p.m. Cost is $5.00 to cover the video and materials. If you would like a student’s manual they are $7.00, but you need to let us know by January 10 when we will order the materials.
MEN’S CLUB TO MEET NEW YEAR’S DAY FOR WORSHIP AND BREAKFAST
The Doug Jablonski Men’s Fellowship will meet New Year’s Day to worship God and enjoy breakfast together as the first act of the new year.
Breakfast will be eggs. Cost is $3.00. We need more men – what a great New Year’s resolution to come out and join us!
Men, we will also plan for our Winter Wonderland Dinner on January 22. Tickets will go on sale the following week.
NEWS FROM THE CHRISTIAN READERS BOOK CLUB
The next book up for discussion is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.
We meet our protagonist; writer Juliet Ashton, in post-World War II London. Juliet is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name inside a book.
Through her correspondence with this man, Juliet learns about the Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society of Guernsey.
She begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.
Join the discussion on Wed., January 19, at 7pm in the Cobb Lounge.
SCOTT SABO AND TOM SOOY TO PREACH JANUARY 9
Our own Scott Sabo will preach at the 9:30 service on January 9. Scott is an ordained officer and chair of Christian Education. He also has served on the Visioning Team, the Property Acquisition Task Force which negotiated the purchase of the Leek House, and he and his wife, JoAnn, are leaders in Lions and Lambs. This will be Scott’s first time preaching, and we know God will speak through him to us. Thank you, Scott, for your personal and spiritual leadership.
Tom Sooy will speak at the 11:00 a.m. service. Tom has spoken here many times, and leads our music, trips, Mayberry, etc.
We thank these men for filling in while the pastor is away. Together, we make it happen.
PASTOR & MRS. COBB TO BE AWAY THE SECOND WEEK OF JANUARY
The Cobbs will leave on January 5 for a week’s vacation. Pastor will be away from the pulpit Jan. 9, but will be back January 16.
FROM THE CHOIR LOFT….by Tom Sooy
As I look through my plans for music is 2011, I came across one of my favorite scriptural passages (Colossians 3:12-17) that reminds us of the importance of praising God through music. I especially like verse 16 which declares: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly -- and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
Did you notice the musical emphasis? “Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Here is biblical evidence that from early on the church was a singing church, singing hymns and songs of praise and thanksgiving to God with their voices.
Thanking God with their singing and voices was not the only way members of the early church were instructed to worship and praise God. Christians were also taught to worship and praise God with their entire lives. As the next verse (3:17) proclaims: “And whatever you do -- in word or deed -- do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus -- giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
At the bottom of many of his musical manuscripts, the great organist and composer Johann Sebastian Bach often wrote the letters “INDNJC”. Those letters stood for “In Nomine Domini Nostri Jesu Christi” – “in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”. They did not appear on Bach’s manuscripts by accident or without purpose. Johann Sebastian Bach put those letters there for a reason.
Considered a genius in the field of music, Bach recognized the one true Genius. Known for his extraordinary talent, Bach realized the source of all human talent. Praised for his musical gifts, Bach was aware of the primary giver of all gifts. He could affirm with the New Testament writer James that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above”. So at the bottom of his manuscripts he wrote INDNJC.
Most of us will never compose a Bach-like musical manuscript (or any type of musical manuscript for that matter). But each day of our lives we do compose “living” manuscripts of sorts. Each day we have opportunities to use God-given time, talents, skills, and gifts as we write the notes which collectively compose the songs that others “hear” when they listen to us.
Each day we make music with our lives -- composing and performing the measures, verses, and stanzas which combine to form a “living symphony” of who we are and what we are about.
A happy and blessed New Year to you all, and until next time…..see you in the Choir Loft.
SEEKING THE STAR by Lisa Whitaker
Many people handle the coming of a new year differently. Some folks quietly sit by and barely recognize it has happened - they still write 2010 on checks and forms and find it hard to accept the change. Others are making resolutions, planning, setting goals and eagerly plunge into the new year leaving everything 2010 behind!
Where and to Whom are you looking, what are you planning as the New Year unfolds?
I find great encouragement from the wise men, who recognized the Star that beckoned them to set off on a journey. They were ready and eager to follow what God had for them - no looking back, no fear of the unknown. They were aware of what God was doing and even though they didn’t understand it all, they followed Him with a whole heart. They were ready to offer their gifts to God - and willing to make the long, arduous journey in order to do it.
I am excited for 2011 - there are so many opportunities to reach out both locally and around the world with the Good News of Jesus - His love, His life and His sacrifice.
Yes, there are unknowns and I’m sure there will be obstacles - yet, I know like the wise men - that if God is guiding the way - I (and you) can step into the new year with confidence and fearlessness - knowing that the journey is full of purpose.
I pray you will head into 2011 full of faith, with your eyes fixed on all God has for you.
It stood out one night among the rest
Beckoning me to journey west
I can’t explain the urgent call
I just knew that what I saw . . .
Was more than just another light
Illumining my darkest night
The light was speaking to my soul
Come meet the truth and be made whole
My journey west was long and grueling
Turn back! Press on! within me dueling
This star that seemed to call me on
At one point in the journey – Gone
Where was that light that shone so clear
Now replaced with doubt and fear
Was the calling really real?
It all seemed vague and a bit surreal
No, in my heart I knew the star
Was calling me to travel far
The path to truth has many snares
Be alert and be aware . . . .
Although the star that first shone bright
May dim, or flicker or lose its light
Keep pressing on through all the tears
That star will once again appear . . . .
For as the wise men long ago
Traveled far yet did not know
Where their journey’s end would be
They searched until the star did see
Appeared again as first it shone
Guiding, leading to some unknown
What they found at journey’s end
Was truth and hope, their greatest friend
How like my own unchartered path
Uncertain questions I do have
And when I doubt, the truth is near
A different road may appear . . . .
Than what I expect or think to be
God, where am I going? I cannot see
Where will this journey find its end?
“In truth and hope and my greatest friend”
He tells me to follow that distant call
To remember the words and what I saw
He will not forsake or leave me alone
The star will eventually lead me home
Lisa Whitaker Copyright@2007
NEWS FROM THE DEACONS
We have just ended a busy year. I just got the total of canned goods we turned in to the Food Bank. We did beat last year’s total of 1005 lbs. This year we collected 1254 lbs. THAT IS GREAT. Thank all of you who shared so much for the less fortunate at this time of year. I also want to thank the A2J youth group, Janna Beth, and Jim McManus for their help each week. There were other people who carried food down stairs for me, then had to bring it all back for the Food Bank truck to load. Pastor Cobb and Jeff Thomas were here at 7:30 AM with me that morning, to help load the truck. THANKS TO ALL FOR ALL THE HELP.
As this is written, the Deacons are shopping for fruit and goodies for the Fruit Bags that will be delivered when the carolers go singing before Christmas. The Deacons appreciate all the help and monetary support we get during the year to do the things we feel necessary to help those in need. A BIG THANK YOU!
GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!!!
Carol Thomas, Moderator
NEWS FROM THE STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE
Your response to the 2011 Stewardship Campaign is going reasonably well. As of December 16, eighty one (81) pledge cards have been received totaling $129,945. Last year at this time we had received seventy one (71) cards totaling $123,382. So, to your credit, the response in this area has been good and is an improvement over last year.
If you haven’t yet returned your commitment card you are encouraged to do so.
As of the same date, we received thirty three (33) Talent Bank Questionnaires representing 33 church members,and fourteen (14) questionnaires representing 28 members. Compared to the 47 returns this year, we received 65 last year. If you did not complete the Questionnaire please do so as soon as possible. Committee Chairs rely on this information for volunteers.
Additional pledge cards and Talent Bank Questionnaire forms are available in the Narthex or the Church Office.
Please remember to pick up your box of envelopes in the mailbox outside Madden Hall.
The 2011 Budget was approved by Session on December 7. A detailed copy will be included in the Annual Report. It is also available upon request in the church office. Highlights of the budget are that the total will be the same as the 2010 budget: $222,419.00. Personnel will receive the same salary or hourly rate as in 2010. Two employees have chosen to become volunteers in their position, thus relinquishing their salary. Rather than reduce the budget, Session decided to reserve the funds that would have been allocated to the Senior High Youth Co-director ($1848.00) and Junior High Youth Co-director ($1500.00) for a line item called “Projected Positions” ($3,348.00). After a review in 2011 of church needs, there may be a need to create one or more positions. These funds are available for that purpose so that the overall budget does not have to be increased over 2010.
Other than these changes, the allocation for 40 Minute Club was increased by $100 and the Junior Youth allocation was reduced $100.
The Session determined that there was no need for a Winter Fundraiser in 2011.
Financing the budget will face some positive and negative as well as unknown quantities in 2011. As you are aware, financing our personnel, program, maintenance and supply costs is dependent upon three funding sources: your contributions, the return on the McMullin Fund and rental income. As a positive, your pledges (see above) are greater than they were last year at this time. As an unknown, we have not yet been told what to expect next year from the McMullin Fund - however the stock market is higher and our semi-annual allocation is a percentage of the portfolio value. We might be pleasantly surprised! As a positive, we should receive more income from the two rental houses because the mortgage has been paid off on 23 School Street and property taxes on both properties are reduced as a result of our successful assessment appeal. A negative will be the loss of our tenant in the Stopfer building. At best, we will suffer the loss of several months rent. Hopefully the ongoing active search by the Finance Committee to find another tenant will be fruitful. At worse, the building will be empty for a long period of time. If this happens, we will have to consider fundraising projects to benefit the general fund.
Statistical report for November
Budget for 2010 $222,419.00
Budgetary Needs through November 28, 2010 $205,344.00
Our giving through 11/28/10 $145,281.04
Investment Income $ 16,307.51
Rental Income (net) $ 20,918.37
Amount under budget $ 22,837.08
Note: Our rental income is down $1154.21 when compared to last month’s report. The reduction was caused by nonpayment of rent on the Stopfer building and the costs for taxes and repairs.
Average weekly giving by month
2010 2009 2010 2009
January $3261.49 $3689.44 July $2801.60 $2941.21
February $3059.14 $3150.85 August $2835.95 $2481.40
March $3166.79 $3055.65 September $2969.84 $3117.45
April $3069.19 $3355.50 October $2980.55 $2787.92
May $3779.57 $2950.76 November $3472.90 $3116.31
June $3208.85 $3001.70
Gerald W. Hoenes
Stewardship Committee Chairperson
CHANGING OF THE GUARD
After many, many years serving as Financial Secretary, Anita Brown is “retiring”. Because of her quiet and unassuming nature, many members of our church did not know that she has been an integral part of running the church. She has been the person who received all your pledge cards and talent bank questionnaires. She recorded the information on computer. After the counters recorded your contributions each Sunday, your envelopes were given to her. She recorded your contribution on the computer. She is the person who compiled the information and sent you the annual report of your giving.
Anita was the person who answered your questions: Did I send my envelope in? How much did I put in the envelope? Did I contribute to this or that missionary project? Do I owe anything? And so on. Anita kept accurate and complete information.
Bob Wilkenloh has volunteered to take over Anita’s job. He has been in training for the past several months and will assume full responsibility in January. No doubt, while he has big shoes to fill, he will be an able and competent Financial Secretary.
Congratulations and many thanks to Anita for all you have done for our church. Thanks go to Bob for stepping up and assuming this responsibility. When you see them, let them know how much they are appreciated.
Gerald W. Hoenes
Stewardship Committee Chairperson
DECEMBER THANK YOUS
The biggest job in December was putting up Christmas lights and decorations. It was a big job, and these are the people we can remember.
EVERGREENS WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26th, 12 NOON
To begin the new year, Anna Mae Werner will show us how to attractively create picture memories through Scrap Booking. It will be interesting to find out how we can document our lives so that future generations will know what we were like. Anna Mae is the daughter of Frances Weir.
Come join us, we are looking for new friends this year. Bring a sandwich; desert and a beverage will be served.
Praise for Him!
MEN’S FELLOWSHIP SPONSORS WINTER WONDERLAND ON JANUARY 22
The Doug Jablonski Men’s Fellowship will hold their annual winter dinner on the third Saturday in January – the 22nd. Dinner will be steak, and the cost will be $10 per person. The entertainment will be the singers & musicians from Albert Hall.
This is the perfect mid-winter event, and we always enjoy the food, fun and fellowship.
PRIME - TIMERS SATURDAY, JANUARY 8
Mark your calendars for the next scheduled Prime-Timers get-together on Saturday, January 8th, at 6:00 p.m. Many of us start each New Year with a resolution to live our lives in a healthier manner, so January is the perfect month for A New Year - A New You (ANY-ANY). Our own dynamic Naida Burgess will lead our group in some gentle exercises. You won't even have to stand up to get the benefit from these relaxation exercises. Just by sitting on a chair Naida will show us how to improve our health from our finger tips to our toes. Wear comfortable clothes and get ready to learn a new fun way to take care of yourself.
Please come and join us for a pleasant evening and A New Year - A New You. Just bring a covered dish to share and join us in Madden Hall at 6:00 p.m.
LUNCH BUNCH TO RED LOBSTER TUESDAY, JANUARY 4
Lunch Bunch will leave for Red Lobster at the Hamilton Mall at 11:30 on January 4. (Note the date change!) Or meet at the restaurant at noon. (There is a coupon in the newspapers. Be sure to clip!)
TRAVEL ADVENTURE GROUP NEWS
BY TOM SOOY
On December 11th, we were lucky to take our Christmas trip on the sunniest and warmest day of the week. 54 of us embarked on what some described as our “best holiday trip ever!” Good food, good things to see and good company to share all added to our celebration of this joyous season. The National Christmas Center was called by many the “highlight” of the trip while others thought it was our meal at the Hotel Hershey. Stopping at the Famer’s Market allowed us to stock up on Lancaster County goodies and gifts. We battled the crowds at Chocolate World, but emerged victorious with Hershey treats in hand. The finale of our day was “Sweet Lights” with over 600 displays and more than a million lights. No wonder we slept all the way home with visions of Reese’s Pieces and Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup dancing in our heads!
We are looking at several possibilities for trips in the spring of 2011, so watch future issues of the “Good News”, and watch and listen for announcements in church so you will not be left out!
Well, I am off to see what other adventures are out there in store for us. Let’s keep on travellin’! Tom
LITTLE LEARNING CENTER TO CLOSE DECEMBER 31
All good things must come to an end, and the day care business in the Stopfer Building has announced they will close for good on December 31.
We have had a good relationship with them, and we are sorry to see them go.
The Finance Committee is currently in negotiations with Rachael Kirschmann of Rachael’s Kids, Galloway, in hopes of opening a satellite center. We will keep you posted.
Last winter was a terrible winter, and we closed the church twice. As far as we know, that had never happened before.
We do not advertise on the radio. The pastor will come over and put a message on the church answering machine. Or you can call the manse.
As far as youth groups, Bible studies, circles, etc. are concerned, please call your group leader.
In general, if schools are closed or the police have issued a hazardous driving advisory church activities are canceled.
And please use your own judgment. If you are unstable on your feet or nervous about driving, please stay home even if church is open. (You can bring your offering envelopes the following week.)
I would like to thank all you nice people who so graciously volunteered to serve as ushers and collectors these past two years when I asked. You made the job a pleasure. God bless you all.
* * * * *
When the “Prayer Shawl Ministry” was begun I thought, “What a nice service of Christian concern.” When I received one I could not express the warm and appreciative feeling of gratitude.
Thank you so much.
In God’s Love,
FLOWER CALENDAR HANGING IN VESTIBULE
Our 2011 flower calendar is hanging in the vestibule. If you would like to purchase altar flowers for any particular Sunday of the year please sign up to reserve your date! The cost for a single urn is $25.00 or $40.00 or two for $40. Order forms are available in an envelope next to the chart to be filled in and returned to the church office with your payment. This will help the secretary know what you would like printed in the Sunday bulletin.
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” (Friday email) – 9:00 a.m. Friday
“Good News” (Monthly newsletter) – 20th of the month
Articles are to be in writing and submitted to the office (email preferred) by that day. Please keep in mind it may be necessary to edit due to space limitations.
2 9:30 Dottie McCaffrey
11:00 Leslie Harvey
9 9:30 Loretta Metz
11:00 Paul & Marjorie Hamer
16 9:30 Dorothy Loos & Jean Nell
11:00 Olga Davies
23 9:30 Bob & Pat Hudak
11:00 Joanna Howell
30 10:00 Grade 3-4
2 9:30 Louise Speitel
11:00 Joan Hoenes
9 9:30 Gerry Reedell
11:00 Gerry Reedell
16 9:30 Scott Sabo
11:00 Jerry Hoenes
23 9:30 Louise Speitel
11:00 Louise Speitel
30 10:00 Grades 5-6 & 9-12
2 9:30 Bob & Irene Hunter
11:00 Mary Bew & Betty Lloyd
9 9:30 Jan & Carol Jorgensen
11:00 Shirley Smith & Denise Ott
16 9:30 Elaine Risley & Carol Thomas
11:00 Joanna Howell & Olga Davies
23 9:30 Eric Newell & Bob Wilkenloh
11:00 Mary Bew & Betty Lloyd
30 10:00 Joe Marshall & John Harvey
2 Edith Budd & Joan Nale
9 Bill & Ginny Davenport
16 Richard & Doris Wood
23 Joan Nale & Tammy Suarez
30 (10:00) Grade 1-2
DEACONS GUEST BOOK
2 9:30 Carol Thomas
11:00 Mary Bew
9 9:30 Carol Jorgensen
11:00 Mary Bew
16 9:30 Irene Hunter
11:00 Mary Bew
23 9:30 Jo-ann Weller
11:00 Mary Bew
30 10:00 Jinny Wolcott
2 Alice Malfi
9 Julie Seltzer
16 Bob Hudak
23 Jennifer Platt
30 (10:00) Gloria Achamizo
2 John Harvey
9 Barbara Hughes
16 John Channell
23 Vic Abelson
30 Ed Little
30 Join us for lunch in Madden Hall
BREAKFAST CLUB KITCHEN CREW
2 Set-up – Edith Budd
Cook – Ed Little
Clean-up – McManus Family
9 Set-up – Bob Wilkenloh
Cook – Richard & Doris Wood
Clean-up – Ginny & Bill Davenport
16 Set-up – Roger & Jinny Wolcott
Cook – John Harvey
Clean-up – Joe Marshall
23 Set-up – Dee Heil
Cook – Jack Heil
Clean-up – Olga Davies
30 Set-up – Linda Adkisson
Cook – Russ Adkisson
Clean-up – Gayle Ackerman
MY NEW YEAR’S WISH – RENEWAL ON THE INSIDE
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.” ~ Psalm 51:10, 12
“Crash” went the front of Absecon Gardens across the street from our church last month. People went to the windows to see if the wind had blown down part of the building, but it was just part of the facelift being done by the new developer. Balconies are being added, more lighting, and hopefully an appearance that will make these condominiums marketable in this economy.
But the outside of the building is not what people are concerned about. It used to be the focus when it was first built. (Some thought it looked more like a prison than housing.) Now the question is, “Who will live in these apartments? Will they take care of the place? Will they be an asset or a detriment? Will they add to Absecon or make it worse?” Our neighbors are very concerned that the wrong people (Section 8?) would hurt the neighborhood and destroy property values. Our church isn’t going anywhere, so that is not a big concern to us, but we do have other questions to ask regarding our neighbors and regarding ourselves. “Are we a welcoming church? Do we make prejudicial judgments about people before we get to know them? Are we an ‘open’ church or a ‘closed’ church?” Sadly, some of our Presbyterian churches in growth areas are in decline because the congregation is “closed” to their own neighborhood – “We don’t want those people.”
We would like to keep the conversation about “those people” moving in, but ultimately the question becomes one about us – are we open to new people? Are we open to people who are different? When people come to us will they find a warm welcome or cold judgmentalism? As we begin 2011 the question is not about what we look like on the outside, but who are we on the inside.
It’s wrong to judge people without giving them a chance. We call that prejudice. If new people are poor that doesn’t mean they won’t bring new life to our church as volunteers, members, and leaders. Sometimes the faith commitment of those who are less well off puts the rest of us to shame.
So my prayer for all of us as we begin 2011 is the same as King David prayed three thousand years ago – “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.”
I think David’s prayer for himself is exactly the prayer I need for myself and for all of us. My mother named me after King David, and we all need to take on a little of his character for the New Year. It’s not how we look on the outside that will grow this church. It’s what we are on the inside. Renewal starts with the heart.
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