Absecon Presbyterian Church

Good News

February 2011

Verse of the Month: “In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.” ~ 1 John 4:10

 

The Presbyterian Church at Absecon

 

208 New Jersey Avenue

Absecon, New Jersey 08201

Phone: 609-641-3759 Fax: 609-641-5125

 

Office email: absecon_presby@msn.com—Website: abseconpresby.org

ANNUAL MEETING FINDS CHURCH DOING WELL

The annual meeting of the Absecon Presbyterian Church began at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, January 30.  Reports were received.  There was a question about where the deacons were spending their money.  It was resolved.  It was pointed out that the Fellowship Committee donated a piano bench, not a piano.

The following were elected to the congregational nominating committee: Don Wong, Jim Maurer, Louise Speitel and Karen Little.

There was no old or new business.

The corporation meeting began at noon with prayer by the chairwoman, Louise Speitel.  Reports were received.  Under old business there was a question about plowing the cemetery drive.  The pastor said it was expensive, but the officers will be looking into sharing expenses with the cemetery.  In the meantime, don’t park along the cemetery drive if it is snow-covered.

There was no new business.  The meeting closed with prayer and the benediction at 12:15 p.m.

The congregation stayed for lunch and scarfed down a dozen pizzas in record time.

Things went well.  Many people were thanked and recognized for their help.  We look forward to another great year in 2011.

NEWS FROM THE CHRISTIAN EDUCATION COMMITTEE

The Christmas decorations are a memory but the snow remains as we settle into the routine of our winter schedule.  The Sunday School and Youth Groups are keeping busy with winter activities and projects, and the adult classes are continuing new studies in the new year.  We are blessed to have such dedicated leaders and so many volunteers and supporters to lead the young (and not-so-young) on their walk with Christ.

Yours in Christ,
Scott Sabo, Christian Education Committee Chair

SUNDAY SCHOOL AND RELATED NEWS FOR FEBRUARY

Highlights

Lions and Lambs, A2J, and the Senior Youth groups all presented the Calls to Worship in January. Then we held our second Family Worship Sunday on January 30th. Rob Perry and the band led special music on January 23rd and joined us again on Jan 30th. It’s always fun to sing with a band behind you. Thanks go to Rob Perry, Zach Perry, and Ed Little for making the music come alive!

Up Coming Events

Before you know it, we’ll be talking about Easter egg hunts and luncheons to go with it. I haven’t picked a date yet, but I would like to meet with a group of teachers, aides, interested parents, and volunteers to help plan our upcoming spring events. Please mark your calendar for Tuesday, March 12th at 7 pm for this planning group. Let me know if childcare is needed. We’ll be able to shape the Easter Egg hunt and luncheon, Teacher’s Recognition, Youth Recognition, and Field Day. It’s always interesting to see what new twists can be added. Should be fun!

Stay warm in His love,
Priscilla

A2J NEWS

Hello,
 
A2J got back in the swing of things at the beginning of the month with a firecracker round of Would You Rather? and an Apple to Apple comparison word game that has yet to disappoint anyone who gives it a try. Many thanks to Naida Burgess for exhausting us with hula hoop relays and enlightening us with a learn-by-doing session of spiritual yoga. Since all the girls happened to be wearing pants one week, we snagged our opportunity for our annual championship of Cutthroat Scooter Hockey, with the gold medal going to....everyone except Mikey, who was severely tickled and poked with Styrofoam paddles for hogging the ball during the last 30 seconds. Discussion topics included full-time religious vocations and making sure we own our possessions instead of them owning us.

Upcoming events include Pennies for Pins bowling with Lions and Lambs on February 6 (please sponsor us!) and food deliveries after a Sunday School mission project. Lord willing both events can still be squeezed into our regular meeting times, especially since play practice will begin again soon. Many, many, many, many thanks to John Harvey for volunteering to organize an overnight Lock-in and letting the co-directors simply take orders from him. More details to follow (or, to expedite the process, tickle him and poke him with Styrofoam paddles).
 
In Christ,
Janna Beth & Jim

LIONS AND LAMBS, A2J AND FRIENDS TO BOWL FOR AC RESCUE MISSION

When was the last time you bowled a turkey? Come bowling with us! On February 6th, Lions and Lambs, A2J, and our friends (meaning anyone who wants to go with us), will combine efforts to raise money for the Atlantic City Rescue Mission through our Pennies for Pins mission project. We will ask adults at the church and other close family friends to sponsor us. We will then meet on February 6th at the Strike Zone Bowling Alley in Egg Harbor City from 12:00-2:00 pm to do our best bowling, wear really cool shoes, eat pizza, drink soda, and have a really fun time while helping others in need. The cost will be $6.00 per person. Bumpers for the little ones will be provided. Names will be written in groups of six. Last year we raised $163 through this project. That was amazing! Let’s see if we can top that. Please sign up with Priscilla or contact her at 641-4877 with any questions.

SENIOR YOUTH NEWS

Thank you to all of those who supported the Senior Youth Group's bake sale.  We hope you enjoyed the treats.  We had a fun time putting those mice together.

The Seniors went on their ski trip and had a blast. They skied and walked across the frozen lake.

The dinner schedule for January and February are as follows:
1/3...Amber              2/7…Karen
1/10…Val                2/14…Jack
1/24…Ally               2/28…Kendal
1/31…Chris G

Any questions please call me @ 926-8440

Thank you
Karen, co-director

WEEKNIGHT BIBLE STUDY:

Despite many delays for bad weather, we are planning to start our second series of the weeknight Bible study in February with a new topic.  There are no prerequisites and everyone is welcome to join as we share our examination of God's Word.  Childcare is provided.  Our first series was held on alternating Wednesday nights at 6:30 in Cobb Lounge, but the schedule may be different for the next series - see Barb Morgan or JoAnn & Scott Sabo for more details and information.  Hope to see you there!


WOMEN'S CIRCLES

In January we began our new Bible study of the book of Esther.  We were introduced to Ahasuerus, the king of Persia, and Vashti, his queen.  We discovered the king was a generous host who gave extravagant parties.  He was a shameless show-off.  He was a ruler who could not make decisions on his own.  And we learned that Queen Vashti defied him in front of his royal court.

This month we will meet Esther and her uncle, Mordecai.  We will learn what a harem really is and what preparations were required before a young woman was presented before the king.  And to add to this soap opera like study, there is a plot by the king's trusted guards to get rid of the king.

The Sarah Circle will meet at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 2nd, in Cobb Lounge.  The Ruth Circle will meet at the home of Betsy Cunius at 1:00 p.m. Friday, February 4th.  The Martha Circle will meet at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, February 10th, at the home of Carol Thomas.  All women of the church are encouraged to attend the circle that best meets their time schedule for study and fellowship.

NEWS FROM MAYBERRY
      
     Our first “town meeting” of 2011 had to be cancelled due to scheduling difficulties with the Men’s Club Dinner, and because of “iffy” weather forecasts. The Christmas episode is the only one in all of the Mayberry series where the townsfolk are wearing winter clothes!
Our next Mayberry Get-Together will be on Friday, February 18th 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, FEBRUARY 18th, as we continue to celebrate another year in Mayberry.
   Goober and Gomer and all the gang down to the fillin’ station said to say “HEY!”

 

MEN’S FELLOWSHIP TO MEET FEBRUARY 5

The Doug Jablonski Men’s Fellowship will meet at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, February 5, to evaluate our winter event, plan a Good Friday breakfast, and to fellowship and eat breakfast.  Breakfast will be pancakes.  Come and bring a friend.  Still only $3.00.

 

PRESBYTERY EXECUTIVE TO PREACH FEBRUARY 27

Our Presbytery executive, Rev. Debby Brincivalli, will be with us at both services on Sunday, February 27, and will be our morning speaker while our pastor assists with prayers, announcements, etc.

There will be a luncheon for church officers at 12:15 and a 90 minute planning/visioning/orientation retreat with our executive leading us.

Rev. Deb has an appointment in Ventnor at 3:00 p.m., so we will have to let her go about 2:30.  Then we can adjourn.

Officers, please plan on being here for lunch and a relaxed time of visioning with our Presbytery executive.

PASTOR THANKS SCOTT AND TOM FOR PREACHING

Pastor and Mrs. Cobb were in Florida on January 9.  Scott Sabo preached at 9:30 and Tom Sooy preached at 11:00.  It was a snowy day, but church activities proceeded as normal.

The Cobbs are very thankful to Scott and Tom for taking over while they got a little R&R.  Thanks also go to Gerry Reedell for lay assisting at both services.  We have some great people in this church.

FROM THE CHOIR LOFT….by Tom Sooy

There is a hole in the choir loft, just as there is a hole in all of our hearts, as we get through the untimely passing of our dear friend, Barbara Maurer.  The fact that every choir member was there for her memorial service was a testament to her touch on all of our lives.

I would like to offer this small prayer for all of us to live by not in just this new year, but everyday of our lives:

May God make your year a happy one!
Not by shielding you from all sorrows and pain,
But by strengthening you to bear it, as it comes;
Not by making your path easy,
But by making you sturdy to travel any path;
Not by taking hardships from you,
But by taking fear from your heart;
Not by granting you unbroken sunshine,
But by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows;
Not by making your life always pleasant,
But by showing you when people and their causes need you most,
and by making you anxious to be there to help.

God’s love, peace, hope and joy to you for the year ahead.  Until next time….see you in the choir loft.      TOM

SISTER JEAN WEBSTER LAID TO REST

The Mother Theresa of Atlantic City breathed her last on January 10, and her funeral was on January 17, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  Mayor Langford and a host of clergy were quick to make comparisons between the two – of her commitment to all people, hard work, and non-judgmental concern for all regardless of race, economic status, etc.  (A few also pointed out that she was a little rough around the edges.)

Rev. John Scotland of Brigantine was one of the speakers.  He introduced the board of the Friends of Jean Webster (Gay Channell is a member) and said they were committed to continue this work.  Our church will continue our involvement.

The service was a joyful celebration of her life.  Over a dozen clergy spoke and there was a lot of music.  Ten people from our church attended the three hour service (a few stayed to the very end), and some old friends like Jim and Shirley Cortelyou were also in attendance.

Sister Jean left a legacy for us as well – a local mission effort that saw many of our people get involved in an Atlantic City ministry that wouldn’t have happened without her.  Dozens of our people and our youth groups were involved.  Without her it would not have happened.

The best way we can honor her memory is to continue to go to Atlantic City and help in this mission project on our doorstep.  We intend to do so.

NEWS FROM THE DEACONS

Our Deacons will have their reorganization meeting on Saturday, Feb 5th, at 10:00 AM in Cobb Lounge.  We will have new assignments for the year.  Hope to see all of you there.  We will welcome Kris Jenoriki as our new member to the board.  We would like to thank Ginny Davenport for her years of service.  We may still call on you, Ginny, for help from time to time.

In Christian Love,
Carol Thomas, Moderator

FAITHFUL WITH LITTLE – ENTRUSTED WITH MUCH

I remember standing in Sister Jean’s kitchen with a group of high school students as she shared her story.  She said to us - “The man was eating out of the dumpster, no one should have to eat out of the trash - I couldn’t let that happen” - I said “Lord, I have to do something” . . . and as most of you know the rest of the story, she DID something. 

When I teach on Biblical worldview, this principle is one that I emphasize - being faithful with what we have - whether it be much or little - the key is faithfulness - the result is up to God.  Sister Jean never could have guessed as she invited that man to her home for a meal, what that small faithful act of obedience would become.  She was just responding to a need and doing the seemingly “small” act of kindness that she knew how to do. 

One person can and does make a difference.  The Bible is chock full of examples of one person making a difference, of one person changing a nation, of one person making history. 

I wanted to join in with the chorus of others and pay tribute to Sister Jean’s life.  She was faithful with little and God entrusted her with much.  May we all be inspired by a life lived to make difference. 

Blessings to all of you - 
Lisa

 

MONTHLY STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE REPORT

            This is the final report for 2010.  A complete analysis of how we did in meeting the expenses of our budget is in the Annual Report.  If you haven’t picked a Report up yet you are encouraged to do so.  Please spend some time reviewing the financial data so you have a full understanding of the financial condition of our church.

Statistical Report for December

Budget for 2010                                                                        $222,419.00

Budgetary needs through December 31, 2010                              $222,419.00

Our giving through 12/31/10                                                       $162,161.36
Investment Income                                                                    $  17,666.47
Rental Income (net)                                                                   $  22,921.39
                        Total                                                                 $202,749.22

Amount under budget                                                                $  19,669.78

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           December         $4220.08           $3651.40

            As of this writing, the number of pledge cards returned and the amount pledged to meet the 2011 budget is little different from last month’s Good News report. Even so, more people pledged this year than last; the amount pledged is also higher than last year.  You still have time to return your pledge card without any penalty!

Gerald W. Hoenes
Stewardship Committee Chairperson
                                                                       

JANUARY THANK YOUS

                                   

FELLOWSHIP NEWS

Thank you to everyone who helped make the first soup sale a great success.  $370.00 was collected, awesome job!  Our next soup sale will be held on February 13.  Make sure to stop by the table and purchase your favorites.

We are also planning a church dinner on Saturday, February 26, from 6-8 p.m.  The menu features lasagna, salad, bread and dessert.  The committee is currently lining up some entertainment as well.  Cost is $5.00.  Sign up in the vestibule! 

Thank you for your cooperation with refreshment hour.  With your continued help we will be able to ensure that the treats everyone enjoys will be provided.

EVERGREENS WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23rd, 12 NOON

Since February is St. Valentine’s month, it would be nice for each of us to read a Bible verse on love.  Did you know that there are four different types of love written in the Scriptures?  Our own Pastor Dave will be speaking to us about each of them.

Please join us, bring a friend, and a sandwich.  Desert and a beverage will be served.

Praise for Him!
Joanna Howell

THE PRIME-TIMERS SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 12TH

The Prime-Timers scheduled February activity is a craft night.  Everyone will have their choice of which valentine they will make.  People can choose to make either a pretty valentine or a silly one.  There will be a charge of $1.00 for the craft materials.  Please bring a dish to share and join us at 6:00 p.m. Saturday, February 12, in Madden Hall for an evening of food, fun and fellowship.


MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW! --

-- for Saturday, April 2, 2011 – Your Fellowship Committee’s Spring Congregational Event – a “Nancy and Friends” dinner followed by the 18-member

Philadelphia English Handbell Ensemble,
In Concert

Dinner tickets available ($10/Adult - $5/12 & Under) to church families and friends starting February 27th.

(You may call Joanie ahead – 641-1839 – for special seating needs.  Every effort is always made to fill requests.)

(We will NOT be able to sit in the choir loft thus 16 fewer seats will be available.)

Complete details will be in the March Good News.

LUNCH BUNCH TO TRAVEL TO ROMANELLI’S FEBRUARY 2

The Lunch Bunch will travel to Romanelli’s Garden Café on Route 9 on Wednesday, February 2 (Groundhog Day).  Meet at the church at 11:30 or at the restaurant at noon.

BARBARA MAURER’S SERVICES HELD JANUARY 5

Our dear friend and diligent church worker, Barbara Maurer, died suddenly on December 31.  Services were in our church on Wednesday, January 5.  A luncheon was held in Madden Hall.

Barbara was a faithful choir member, Circle member (and driver of others), Prime-Timer who set up with Gerry, and regular attendee at just about everything.  She also did mission work in Mississippi and helped with college boxes, etc.  She and her husband, Jim, were a fun and welcome addition at all church events.  Her passing leaves a real hole in our church family.

The choir has taken up a special memorial fund which will be used to buy new music.  Barbara’s name will be mentioned in the bulletin whenever an anthem is sung with this fund.  (Additional contributions can be made through Kris Jenoriki.)

Other memorial gifts have amounted to over $2,000.  A designation is being looked into by the family.

Our prayers are with Jim at this time of sudden readjustment.  We love you, Jim.

CONGRATULATIONS!

Congratulations to Terri Chapman Jablonski as she retires with 25+ years as a Trooper with the New Jersey State Police.  We appreciate your years of service, Terri!

SNOW DAYS?

Once again we are having a bad winter.  If you want to know the status of church services call the church office as we will leave a message on the answering machine.

We have a new contractor for snow removal – Mike’s Auto Repair across from the church.  Thus far he has always plowed within a few hours after the snow stops.  We do not pay to have the cemetery drive done, so please stay out of the cemetery drive when it is snow covered.

STOPFER BUILDING GETS NEW CARPET

On January 19 new carpet was delivered to the Stopfer building.  It will be installed by Ollie Kirschmann, Rachael’s husband, in preparation for the center to reopen in about six weeks.  Good luck, Ollie!

THANK YOU, CHURCH FAMILY

Thank you to the Deacons for the gift at Thanksgiving and for the Williamson's in sharing their Thanksgiving dinner with me and Devin. Thank you to Dirk and Desiree for helping me out in so many ways. Thank you so much for the prayer shawl.  It will keep Devin and I warm in its caring stitches.

Patti & Devin Morris

* * * * *

Tom and I wish to thank the Carolers and the Deacons for the carols and the “goodie” package.  A very nice and welcome gift from our friends at the church. 

God Bless,
The Browns

* * * * *

I just want to express my thanks to my church family for the expression of Christian Love all of you show to me and my family in our time of grief.  You will never know how uplifting this was too all of us.  We all knew what a great lady, Mother, and Grandmother, Barbara was, but it meant a lot to us to hear it from our church family.

God Bless,
Jim Maurer & Family

* * * * *

Dear Folks,

I would like to thank my visitors, card senders, and phone callers.  Also many thanks to the Prayer Shawl group.  It is beautiful and so warm – just right for a blizzard.

Special thanks to Dave for his phone calls, visits, etc. and especially to him and Gerry for bringing communion.

I still can’t remember everything, but I’m doing better.

Love,
Ruth Eberhard

* * * * *

Many thanks to my “Christian Friend” for your Christmas card and gift.  This was such a pleasant surprise!  Your thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated and was a bright spot in the holidays.

Thank you,
Maria Carreno

* * * * *

Thanks from Staff

Thank you to the members of the congregation who made use of the Parish Associate envelope at Christmas.  I was overwhelmed by your generosity and thoughtfulness.  Thank you so very much.

Gerry Reedell

* * * * *

Thank you very much for the Christmas gift card.  Your thoughtfulness is appreciated.

I hope each of you had a joyous Christmas holiday, and may you have a Blessed New Year!

Gay Channell

* * * * *

Thank you very much for the Christmas gift.  I will look forward too finding something special with the gift card.

Thank you for such a generous gift.

Love,
Priscilla

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 (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” (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.

 

 

ANNUAL SENIOR APPRECIATE DINNER

All Seniors are cordially invited to attend the 28th Annual Senior Appreciation Dinner, hosted by the Absecon Ladies League, on Sunday, February 13, at 4:00 p.m. at the Absecon Methodist Church.  Please RSVP to Lisa at 645-9012 by February 6.


CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTER BABY SHOWER

All women of the church are invited to attend a Baby Shower to benefit the Crisis Pregnancy Center on Sunday, February 6, at 2:00 p.m.  This event will be held in The Great Hall of the Absecon United Methodist Church and is hosted by The United Methodist Women.  The guest speaker will be PeggyJo Klein from the Crisis Pregnancy Center.  Light refreshments will be served.  RSVP Sue Reitmeyer, Pres. at 652-1390.

Suggested Gifts

Diapers – sizes 3, 4, 5
Baby Wash
Baby Wipes – boxes or refill packs
BabiesRUs gift cards – up to $20 for formula
Toddler car seats – new or gently used

No baby clothes are needed at this time!

 

GREETERS

6     9:30 Rita & Vic Abelson
     11:00 Denise Ott & Shirley Smith
13   9:30 Ruth Champion
     11:00 Joan Hoenes
20   9:30 Ginny Davenport
     11:00 Marge & Frank Loeb
27   9:30 Elaine Risley
     11:00 Joanna Howell

LAY ASSISTANTS

6     9:30 Karen Muldoon
     11:00
13   9:30 Gerry Reedell
     11:00 Joanie Hoenes
20   9:30 Louise Speitel
     11:00 Dawn Duran
27   9:30 Scott Sabo
     11:00 Tina Brown

HEAD USHERS

6     9:30 Edith Budd & Joan Nale
     11:00 Dawn Duran & Joanna Howell
13   9:30 Vic & Rita Abelson
     11:00 Olga Davies & Jean Delesantro
20   9:30 Carol Thomas & Elaine Risley
     11:00 Shirley Smith & Denise Ott
27   9:30 Irene & Bob Hunter
     11:00 Mary Bew & Betty Lloyd

COLLECTION (9:30)

6   Doris & Richard Wood
13 Bill & Ginny Davenport
20 David & Judy Stebbins
27 Bob Wilkenloh & Eric Newell

DEACONS GUEST BOOK

6     9:30 Pat Hudak
     11:00 Mary Bew
13   9:30 Ginny Davenport
     11:00 Mary Bew
20   9:30 Naida Burgess
     11:00 Mary Bew
27   9:30 Carol Thomas
     11:00 Mary Bew

ACOLYTE (9:30)

6   Bud Burgess
13
20
27
                             
NURSERY (9:30)

6   Bob Hudak
13 Jennifer Platt
20 Gloria Achamizo
27 Alice Malfi

VAN DRIVERS

6   John Harvey
13 Barbara Hughes
20 John Channell
27 Vic Abelson

REFRESHMENT HOSTS

6   Lee Wolff
13 Dawn Lewis
20 Vic & Rita Abelson
27 Dawn Duran

BREAKFAST CLUB KITCHEN CREW

6   Set-up – Edith Budd
     Cook – Ed Little
     Clean-up – McManus Family
13 Set-up – Bob Wilkenloh
     Cook – Richard & Doris Wood
     Clean-up – Ginny & Bill Davenport
20 Set-up – Roger & Jinny Wolcott
     Cook – John Harvey
     Clean-up – Joe Marshall
27 Set-up – Dee Heil
     Cook – Jack Heil
     Clean-up – Olga Davies & Jean Delesantro

 


WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE IN YOUR LIFE?

“He it is who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for Himself a people of His own who are eager to do good works.” ~ Titus 2:14

Jan and I were in Florida when the news came of a disturbed man, Jarod Loughner, in Tucson who murdered 6 people and injured 13 others.  The killings were random – a federal judge, a clergyman, a 9 year old girl, and victims were from all walks of life.  The intended victim, Gabrielle Giffords, mercifully survived a shot through the head.

It was people’s first response that caught my attention – “What’s the world coming to?” “Nobody is safe anywhere!” “What a senseless act.” “We’re all sitting ducks.” “There’s just no meaning in this – it’s a senseless loss of life.”

Within days the blame game began.  “It’s Sarah Palin’s fault.” “Somebody should silence Fox News.” “The political dialogue is disgusting.” “Shame on the Federal Government.” “It’s the Democrats’ fault.” “It’s the Republicans’ fault.” “Society is sick.”

It’s been two weeks now, and a third stage is beginning to emerge.  The tone of our national dialogue is beginning to change.  Politicians are seeming to get nicer.  We are starting to talk to each other instead of around each other.  Republicans and Democrats are willing to sit along side each other.  A new gun control bill may emerge.  The nine year old who died loved and idolized America.  People admire that and really want our children to grow up in a nicer, gentler, America.  Congresswoman Giffords is a moderate and had suffered the acrimony of both sides.  Suddenly moderates are becoming the good guys.  She is a good person.  People want to be like her.

When the innocent suffer at the hands of the guilty we always want to defend the innocent, remember their good points, and try to make sense out of the evil by lifting up and perpetuating the good.

Hey, isn’t that the heart of our Christian motivation?

Why do good?  Because we want to be like Jesus and live out His ideals made all the more significant by His brutal death.  Sure, Jesus died for our sins, but He also prayed for us “Father, forgive them” as He died.  When the perfect Son of God dies at the hands of evil men the horror should motivate us to want to live differently.  Does it?

Congresswoman Giffords now has millions of fans who want to be like her.  But she is just a flawed person like all of us.  She is just another victim we now pray for.

But Jesus was perfect.  He was crucified by institutionalized evil.  It revealed the perfect love of God as opposed to our depravity.  It can’t help but reach our hearts as we cry out, “I want to be more like Jesus.  May the horror of His death be redeemed by my efforts to live like Him.” 

The whole country is changing by the horror and moral influence of the victims in Tucson.  And so the country should be moved to change.  Anything less is calloused.

But we Christians must be changed in even greater ways by the moral influence of Jesus and what happened to Him.  People need to recognize Christ in us.  Anything less gives a terrible message – that Jesus’ life and death really doesn’t make that much difference in our lives.

Tell me – what difference does it make in your life?  Show me.  And may you see Christ in me as well.

 

 

The Presbyterian Church at Absecon

208 New Jersey Avenue

Absecon, New Jersey 08201

Phone: 609-641-3759 Fax: 609-641-5125

 

Office email: absecon_presby@msn.com—Website: abseconpresby.org

 


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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

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

 

Welcome

Worship

Sermons

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