Absecon Presbyterian Church

Good News

November 2011

Verse of the Month: “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.” ~ Matthew 7:12

 

 

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

 

If it is November it’s Stewardship Month!

            And it IS November. This is the month of the year when we all reflect on how we have supported our Church this year and what changes we will each make to have a more positive impact on meeting our Church needs in 2012. If you have fallen behind in meeting the pledge commitment you made at this time last year, you still have a couple of months to make amends. While we had a relatively o.k. year financially – considering the continued challenge of a poor economy and lost rental income – we cannot assume things will get better in 2012. Also, many of you have contributed to the many programs and activities of the Church with your talents and time. We need your continued effort in this regard next year if we are to grow and flourish. If you did not give of your time and talent this year, please look around and find one or more activities you can volunteer to become a part of. A good resource is the talent bank questionnaire which will be available in the narthex. This document lists all the many opportunities available; there is at least one that should be of interest to you. Pick a questionnaire up, check off those activities that interest you and return it by placing it in the plate on Sunday.

            The Stewardship Committee has met several times to review our finances as they impacted this year’s budget and to come up with a realistic budget for 2012. In spite of the lost income because the Stopfer building was unrented the entire year, increases in giving and investment income have helped make the pain easier. We feel that with minimal use of reserves, we will be able to fund all 2011 budgetary obligations.

            The proposed 2012 budget that will be presented to Session for their review and approval at the November meeting has a couple of features worth mentioning in this article. First, in September Presbytery adopted a motion to raise the salary of pastors by 2%. They also increased the pension/medical payment for pastors by 1%. These two increases are reflected in our proposed budget. Accordingly, the Stewardship Committee increased the salaries of all employees who had worked the full 2011 year by 2%. Keep in mind that this year’s budget (2011) had no salary increases. Even with the salary increases, the Personnel portion of the budget is essentially the same as 2011, increasing only by $504.

            A second feature of the proposed 2012 budget is that the total budget including Personnel, Maintenance & Operations, Supplies and Materials and Programs is down by $1648 – even with the raises.

            The theme of this year’s Stewardship Campaign is Believe in Tomorrow Our 2012 Journey of Faith. When you arrive at church on November 6 – Inspiration Sunday – you will receive a card which will have a giving guide on the back. You are asked that as you consider your financial contribution to your church next year you consider taking either A Forward Step or a Step of Faith.  Either method is asking that you consider increasing your contribution next year. These two concepts are fully explained on the card.

            On November 13 – Gratitude Sunday – packets addressed to each family in the church will be available in the vestibule for you to pick up. The packet will contain a pledge card. You are asked to complete the card and return it. You can place it in the Sunday morning collection plate or mail it to the Church office. Please return your card by the end of November. Packets not picked up on November 13 can be picked up on the 20th. Those not picked up by then will be mailed.

            Let us have a successful Stewardship Campaign and get off to a roaring start in 2012!

 

 

 

Congregational Meeting to Elect Officers November 27

The session has called for a special meeting of the congregation between services on November 27 for the sole purpose of electing church officers.

 

 

 

Christian Education Committee:

Christian Education programs and events are in full swing... be sure to keep your eyes and ears open for announcements about all kinds of events as we move towards the holidays! There is a lot going on for the kids, but don't forget that we adults can always learn a thing or two - there are Bible Studies, Circles, Book Studies and more that are open to all. We offer many opportunities to join with others on your personal walk with Christ. When your holiday schedule starts getting hectic, consider taking some time to slow down and listen for God's word in one of our adult groups - you will be glad that you did!

In His Service,
Scott Sabo
Christian Education Chair

 

Sunday School and Related News for November

We began rehearsals for our Christmas musical, A Lamb’s Tale. Fifteen older youth rehearsed and performed as a choir chime ensemble under the leadership of Jan Cobb. We had a terrific Halloween party on Oct 29th and held our first Family Worship Sunday of the year on October 30th.

Highlights and Up Coming Events

 

 

 

May you all be blessed this Advent Season.

In Christ’s love always,
Priscilla

 

Lions and Lambs to Give Thanks and Prepare for the Season of Advent

The October hayride, pumpkin picking, and corn maze were great! By the time we all got there we were 40 people strong. I have to think the highlight of the day was the hay covered play area! What a hoot to see everyone running around laughing, tossing hay at each other, and having a wonderful time. I must admit I was a little worried about finding my way out of the corn maze. Louise, Maria, and I almost dialed 911!

Our November meeting will take place on November 6th. We will work with the theme of Thanksgiving. It is likely that we will be making beautiful Thanksgiving wreaths. We meet from 10:30-11:30 and welcome everyone from kindergarten through 4th grade. Younger siblings are welcome as well.

We are sponsoring a fund raiser to raise money for Sister Jean’s Kitchen. This event will take place during our Birthday Party for Jesus. Lions and Lambs families will be given packages of cupcake mix to bake at home and return without frosting on December 11th. At the birthday party, for the cost of $1, anyone can purchase a cupcake, add frosting of their choice, and decorate to their hearts content. All money will benefit Sr. Jean’s people.

We hope to see you on Sunday, November 6th, Sunday December 4th, and Sunday December 11th. We’ve got a lot of really great activities that your kids will enjoy. Seeds of faith and friendship are truly growing.

Please contact Priscilla at 641-4877 with any questions.

 

A2J

It’s hard to believe that October has come to a close. A2J was very busy this past month. The youth participated in Road Clean Up on Pitney Road, an overnight Lock In, sold caramel apples raising $27 dollars for Christmas in September-Uganda, packed 50 treat bags for Adopt-A-Platoon, walked in the CROP Walk, took a trip to the Scullville Haunted Hayride, completed a Bible study series on Serving, and started a Bible study series on Choices.

November promises to be just as busy for A2J. The Bible study series on Choices will conclude and a new series entitled “I want That” will start as preparation for the Holidays begins. A2J youth will continue with Service Projects including Road Clean Up on Pitney Road, participating in Operation Christmas Child, and creating Thanksgiving Food Baskets for the needy.

The A2J youth are scheduled to attend a retreat in the Spring of 2012.  In November, the youth will begin fundraising efforts to raise the money necessary for the youth and chaperones to attend the retreat. Look for more information in the Presby Post and the bulletin.

Mark your calendar, A2J will not meet the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Yours in Christ,
Linda

 

Senior Youth Group

What a great group we have this year! We had a fun night at the Haunted Junk Yard. Always a good scare, and the money raised supports their volunteer fire department.

We have about 15 participating in youth group this year. (The number keeps changing as more friends are being invited.) 

We are going to try something new for dinner. We will have (2) people responsible each week - one person for the dinner, the second person for drinks and salad. The schedule was handed out Monday night. I do have a copy on the bulletin board, and I will post the month in the Good News. I will make my reminder calls to the teens and parents on Thur. or Fri. nights. The schedule is just a guide so if your night does not work for you let me know and I will be happy to change it.

                        Dinner            Drinks/salad
10/24               Courtney         Karen (me)
10/31               Halloween       no meeting
11/7                 Bud                 Chris H
11/14               Terry                Chris G
11/21               Charity                        Courtney
11/28               Kristin             Bud
12/5                 Devon             Terry
12/12               Mike                Tony

We are planning on cleaning the Bakely House as one of our mission projects. The teens also plan to continue their help with the church brunches.

We are always looking for fundraising and mission ideas. Please let us know if you have either.

Sincerely,
Karen Muldoon, Co-director

 

 

News from the Christian Readers’ Book Club by Lucy Jerue

For November our discussion will focus on the topic of heaven as we read either The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven by Kevin Malarkey or Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo. The latter of these titles has been on the best sellers list for many weeks and tells the story of a five year old boy who was at death’s door and went to heaven but then miraculously survived surgery to return back to life here on earth. Over time he began recounting the beauties of what he had seen in heaven and also told of seeing family members he did not even know who had passed on previously. The amazing accounts in both these books are sure to spark discussion as we look at these children’s views of heaven.        

Please join us for this discussion on Wed., Nov. 16, in Cobb Lounge at 7pm.

 

Women's Circles

Haman is gone, but his murderous edict was still very much alive. Long after wicked people are gone, the consequences of their evil words and deeds live on. Unless something intervened within nine months the Persians would attack the Jews and wipe them off the face of the earth. There were about fifteen million Jews among the estimated one million people in the empire. Therefore, the odds were definitely against God's people. Of course, God's people have always been a minority, and "one with God is a majority." The Lord had brought Esther and Mordecai to the kingdom "for such a time as this," and they were prepared to act.

The Sarah Circlewill meet in Cobb Lounge Wednesday, November 2nd, at 7:00 p.m. The Ruth Circle will meet at 1:00 p.m. Friday, November 4th, at the home of Essie Newell (20 Wordsworth St, Smithville). The Martha Circle will meet at the home of Carol Thomas at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, November 10. All women of the church are encouraged to join us for study and fellowship at the circle that best meets your time schedule.

By the time this copy of the Good News reaches your homes, the women will have purchased goodies and mailed out boxes to 26 college students. Many thanks to everyone for your dedication to this project.

 

Men’s Fellowship

The Doug Jablonski Men’s Fellowship will meet on Saturday, November 5, at 8:30a. We will meet in the sanctuary for communion followed by a breakfast of eggs in Madden Hall.

 

 

 

 

Worship Committee:

This year Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on a Sunday. We will have ONE service at 10 am on those Sundays. Also we will have ONE service at 10 am on December 11th for the play.

I am looking for Elders to serve as lay assistants for Christmas and New Year’s Day.  Please call me if you are available.

We are still receiving applications for the Director of Music Ministry. Once the application and resume comes to the office, a job description is emailed to them. The next step will be for him/her to play the organ at one of our services. Thank you all for your words of encouragement. Music is such a HUGE part of worship, and we want to make sure that our DMM is the right one.
 
Have a Blessed month,
Karen Muldoon

Request from Our Worship Committee

In order to experience a more reverent feeling of worship we ask that you please refrain from clapping during the church service. We have had some amazing talent and understand the want to show your enthusiasm. We ask that instead you please say a quiet Amen or Thank You.

A more personal expression of your appreciation can be made following the service.

Thank you,
Your Worship Committee

 

Thanksgiving Service at Absecon Methodist to Feature Our Pastor

Once again this year the Absecon/Galloway Clergy will host a Community Thanksgiving Service at 7p on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

The service will be hosted by the Absecon Methodist Church. Their choir will sing and our pastor will preach. Pastor Ed Davis will lead the service.

Refreshments will be served in the church hall following the service.

So come out and give thanks. Be a part of our church community. Enjoy food and fellowship with fellow Christians. And don’t make our pastor feel ashamed.

 

A Look Ahead to December and the Holidays

There will be three Sundays over the holidays when there will be one service at 10:00 am. On December 11 we will meet at 10:00 only so the Christmas production, “A Lamb’s Tale” can be performed for all. There will be a cold breakfast that day (cereal, bagels, pastries, etc.). Following the play there will be our annual “Birthday Party for Jesus” in Madden Hall.

On December 25 and January 1 there will be one service at 10:00. There will be no breakfast served on Christmas or New Year’s Day. Enjoy your family time.

For those who like to participate in holiday events, we will be decorating the church for Christmas the week of December 5.

Deacons, take note that we are scheduled to go Christmas caroling on Thursday, December 22. (We deliver fruit baskets as we carol.)

Our Christmas Eve services will be at 5:00 and 7:00 as always.  The chancel choir will sing a cantata entitled “Bethlehem Joy” during the 7:00 service.

Also, be looking for Angel Tree tags to be on the tree after Thanksgiving!

 

 


MISSION/EVANGELISM COMMITTEE

Thanks to Greg Hamaty! The CROP Walk on October 23rd was a success.

I would also like to thank Carol Kleiner and the rest of the Mission Committee for overseeing mission matters and preparing the budget for next year while I was in the hospital receiving my stem cell transplant. So far recovery seems to be going well.

I appreciate your prayers and cards. They lifted my spirits during treatment and continue to do so during my recovery.  Thank you.

Sincerely yours,
Russ Adkisson Jr., Chair

 

Real Partners Uganda – “Christmas in September”

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you to everyone who responded so generously to “Christmas in September” for the children of Uganda and their families. With one more week to go, the members of this church have so far given $1, 047.00. That is enough to provide a Christmas meal of beef, rice, beans, margarine, sugar, salt, bread, and soap for 116 families. We are especially grateful to Linda Gillis and the A2J Junior High Youth Group for donating the proceeds of their caramel apple sale to feed these children who would otherwise go without a Christmas meal. You can always count on the members of the Absecon Presbyterian Church to respond to a need.

 

Turkeys for Sister Jean’s Kitchen

As in years past Sister Jean’s Kitchen is in need of turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner. If you can donate please call Gay Channell at 652-1260.

Frozen turkeys can be brought to our church no later than Wednesday, November 16.

 

News from the Deacons

Our annual Harvest Home Collection is a busy time of the year as we collect non-perishable items for the Community Food Bank. We will have a table set up in the vestibule for the collection on the first three Sundays in November (6th, 13th, and 20th). Canned goods, soap, laundry detergent, diapers, and non-perishable foods are needed and greatly appreciated.

We will also be collecting for the Food Bank (gently) used coats, jackets (in all sizes) and blankets. Check your closets; maybe you have something you could donate. We would love to top last years giving of 1200 lbs.  

We will be asking Senior Youth, A2J, and Lions & Lambs to help to bring these items down to the Nursery each week. On the final Sunday (11/20), the youth groups will place all items for donation in the back room (game room) for pick up by the Food Bank.

A big thank you to Carol Thomas for arranging the pick up of these items and to the youth groups for their muscle power in bringing all the items out to the game room. We truly appreciate everyone’s generosity during this season of Giving Thanks. Thank You!    

Next Deacons Meeting will be Saturday, December 3, 10 am in Cobb Lounge.

In Christian service and love,
Naida Burgess Moderator
Carol Thomas Vice Moderator

 

 


                        Stewardship Committee Report

Our statistical report for September improved a bit in spite of the continued vacancy of the Stopfer building. Our giving was significantly higher than the comparable month last year. This meant that the donations you would have made the last Sunday in August, when the church was closed due to Hurricane Irene, were made in September. Also, all rental income that was due came in on time for this report.

Statistical  Report for September

Budget for 2011                                                                     $222,419.00

Budgetary needs through September 25, 2011                      $166,842.00

Our giving through 9/25/11                                                    $123,161.54
Investment Income                                                                 $  17,152.32
Rental Income (net)                                                                $    (-212.35)
            Total                                                                            $140,101.51

Amount under budget                                                                        $  26,740.49

Average weekly giving by month

                                        2011                                        2010
January                        $3665.34                                 $3261.49
February                      $3126.90                                 $3059.14
March                          $3391.40                                 $3166.79
April                            $3545.45                                 $3069.19
May                             $2760.05                                 $2779.57
June                             $3301.79                                 $3208.85
July                              $2876.39                                 $2801.60
August                                    $2202.63 (closed 8/28)           $2835.95
September                   $3594.00                                 $2969.84

Gerald W. Hoenes
Stewardship Committee Chairperson                                                                                               

                                   
FUNdraising Committee

We have been a very busy committee.

The cookbook has been proofed and sent back to the publisher for printing. We anticipate the arrival of the cookbooks to be the early part of November. We only ordered 200 so get them while supplies last. There are pre-order vouchers available in the vestibule, and at only $10 a book, they make excellent holiday gifts. Once the books arrive there will be a table in Madden Hall to pick up any pre-ordered books as well as more books for sale.

The Golf Committee has been meeting almost every week. See the article below for details.

We are also planning a bus trip to Longwood Gardens, a Zumba night, and a bowl-a-thon. More information on these FUNdraisers will be announced later. Please keep an eye out for more details.

Our next meeting will be held at the church on Thursday November 3rd at 6:30 pm.

In Christian Love and Fellowship,
Dawn Duran, Chair

Golf Tournament FUNdraiser

The golf fundraising group has a meeting with the event coordinator at Mays Landing Country Club Tuesday, October 25. Our tentative tournament date is May 20th. We will be looking for HOLE sponsors, so if your business or family would like to have a sign please let us know. 

We are also planning a silent auction. If you or someone you know would like to donate an auction item we would be very grateful. 

There will be a lot of work and organizing for this event. If you would like to help we would be glad to have you.

Sincerely,
Karen Muldoon

 
October Thank Yous

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finance Committee Readies Lease for Stopfer Building

There are still a few details to be worked out, but it looks like the Stopfer Building is finally going to be a childcare center again. It is scheduled to open in January.

The owners have met with our Finance Committee twice, and we are glad that this financial burden of carrying this building empty for a year is about over. Stay tuned.

Thanks for a Job Well Done!

Thanks to everyone who came out to the church on Saturday, October 15th, to help clean out gutters, rake leaves, wash windows, clean cabinets and the refrigerator, etc. Those who receive high praises are Jack Heil, Robbie Krause, Tina Brown, Greg Hamaty, Elaine Risley, Rita Abelson, Karen Muldoon, Ryan McHale, Kristin Flaherty, Jim Maurer, Louise Speitel, Joe Marshall, and of course Dave Cobb!! Our church looks great, and let's continue to keep it that way!!! 

Again, thank you so much!!

Serving Christ,
Jan Jorgensen and Kris Jenoriki
 

           

Fellowship News

Once again the Applefest was a great success. I’m sure everyone who attended this popular event enjoyed themselves. Thank you to the many hands who helped make this event the success that it was. Your tireless efforts are greatly appreciated.

Our next congregational event is scheduled for Saturday, November 5, with two seatings for dinner (5:00 and 6:00p) and will feature Armonica player Dean Shostak. This event dedicated to Nancy Sooy and in loving memory of Tom Sooy will be a spectacular evening of fellowship and entertainment. Seating is limited so please see Joanie Hoenes as soon as possible. Hope to see you there.

The annual cranberry sales are back and are scheduled for November 6 & 13. There will be plenty of your favorites for sale as well as cranberries you can purchase. Purchases can be made in Madden Hall before each service so please stop by and see us.

Sincerely,
Tina Brown

 

Attention Church Groups:

If you have digital photos of your group or events, please send copies to Scott Sabo to be included in a slideshow before upcoming church services utilizing our new video projection system.  You can give them to him on CD or send them by email to ScottandJoSabo@hotmail.com - thank you!

 

November Brunch to be Held at 10:00 November 20

Our next brunch will be held the Sunday before Thanksgiving. This is our church’s Thanksgiving get together and the centerpieces, decorations, and some of the food will celebrate Thanksgiving.

Melvin will make salmon croquettes, Ed will make omelets. Leo will make soup, hot breakfast sandwiches, and an assortment of salads and old Virginia sage sausage from Martha Washington’s colonial cookbook. There will also be fresh fruit, waffles, potatoes, etc.

December’s brunch on December 18 will feature traditional holiday spiced beef, and sausage and egg casserole.

Look for final menus in the Presby Post, etc.

 

Evergreens Wednesday, November 16, 12 Noon

Our own Nancy Swank, who taught school in our area for 36 years, will entertain us with a new Bedtime Story……. “Kids In A Classroom”. Should be fun! Nancy has been writing stories and plays for most of her life.

Our meeting is one week early due to Thanksgiving Day.

Come out and join us! All are welcome. Bring a sandwich, we provide beverage and dessert.

Praise for Him!
Joanna Howell

 

Lunch Bunch to Olive Garden November 9

Lunch Bunch will meet at 11:30 on November 9 to travel to the Olive Garden in front of the Hamilton Mall.  Or meet at the restaurant at noon.

 

 

 

Thanks, Church Family

 

We would like to thank our Church Family for their prayers, many cards, and phone calls wishing me a speedy recovery. Your support means a lot to us.

In Christian Love,
June and Dick Waters

* * * * *

New England Bus Trip –

We thank Tom for all the planning for this trip and missed him greatly. Nancy, bless her heart, picked up the load and continued on with the trip. She is one of a kind! We’re also thankful for all the help everyone on the bus gave me with my physical problems. The Woods and the Jorgensens were always at my side; thank you so much. Thanks also to our driver, Mike, who was always watching over me. This trip was not a driver with 50 passengers, it turned out to be 51 friends and one happened to be a bus driver. Nancy, again THANK YOU for completing Tom’s trip. We know he is smiling down on us. God bless all for your help.

Love,
Roger and Jinny

 


Shirley Smith
2528 Tilton Road #323
Egg Harbor Twp, New Jersey 08234
Phone: 377-5214

 

 

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. 

 

 

Remember, Deadlines are Important!
“Good Morning” (Sunday bulletin announcements) – Noon Thursday
“The Presby Post” (Friday email) – Noon Thursday
“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.

 

 

GREETERS

6     9:00 Ginny Davenport
     10:30 Olga Davies
13   9:00 Irene & Bob Hunter
     10:30 Frances Weir
20   9:00 Jo-ann Weller
     10:45 Jean Delesantro
27   9:00 Elaine Risley
     10:30 Joanna Howell

LAY ASSISTANTS

6     9:00 Scott Sabo
     10:30 Karen Muldoon
13   9:00 Bob Hunter
     10:30 Vic Abelson
20   9:00 Joan Nale
     10:45 Tina Brown
27   9:00
     10:30 Gerry Reedell

HEAD USHERS

6     9:00 Irene & Bob Hunter
     10:30 Shirley Smith, Denise Ott
13   9:00 Vic & Rita Abelson
     10:30 Jean Delesantro, Joanna Howell
20   9:00 Deborah & Don Wong
     10:45 Mary Bew, Betty Lloyd
27   9:00 Eric Newell, Elaine Risley
     10:30

COLLECTION (9:00)

6   Edith Budd, Joan Nale
13 Ginny & Bill Davenport
20 Joan Pattky & Don Mills
27 Dawn Lewis

DEACONS GUEST BOOK

6     9:00 Jo-ann Weller
     10:30 Mary Bew
13   9:00 Pat Hudak
     10:30 Mary Bew
20   9:00 Kris Jenoriki
     10:45 Mary Bew
27   9:00 Naida Burgess
     10:30 Mary Bew

ACOLYTE (9:00)

6   Chris Hughes
13
20
27
                             
NURSERY (9:00)

6   Alice Malfi  
13 Fran Tanner
20 Jennifer Platt
27 Gloria Achamizo

VAN DRIVERS

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

REFRESHMENT HOSTS (hope you’re not hungry)

6   Robbie Krause

13

20 Join us for Brunch

27

BREAKFAST CLUB KITCHEN CREW

6   Set-up – Edith Budd
     Cook – John Harvey
     Clean-up – Joe Marshall
13 Set-up – Bob Wilkenloh
     Cook – John Channell
     Clean-up – Bill & Ginny Davenport
20 Continental Breakfast
27 Set-up – The Little Family
     Cook – Ed Little
     Clean-up – Olga Davies & Jean Delesantro

 

 
Christian Character vs. Culture – Yes, we do have the answer

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:4-7

A new study released this week reveals some startling trends among teenage girls. The study attempts to document the correlation between reality TV and aggressive behaviors such as manipulation, lying, “mean girl” and “queen bee” tendencies. What was most startling was that teenage girls admire these traits and tend to look down on girls who are “nice”, gentle, lady like, or passive.

In a similar way, boys are fixated on domination, winning, being “cool”, etc. Young men who are polite, hold doors, and spend time talking with their parents can find themselves excluded from their peer group.

Adults aren’t much better. In this age of rage, talk radio and late night TV drawing ratings through negativism and anger we wonder what happened to good manners. Politicians can’t debate the issue without degenerating into acrimony and arguments “ad hominem” (against the man or personal attacks). As demonstrators from Wall Street to Athens, Greece act out anger and frustration it’s hard to figure out what they want. They have no political platform or formulas for change. Their creed seems to be “We’re angry and we’re not going to take it any more.”

Sadly it seems more and more of my personal conversations with people end up with negativism about just about everything. It’s not pleasant.

It all tells me that Christian virtues are needed more than ever. Christians are called upon to be peacemakers, gentle, slow to anger, and people who are “humble”. As the above verses indicate, we find our strength in rejoicing in God, an effective prayer life, and the knowledge that God’s peace will keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. If ever there was a time our nation and world needed the benefits of Christian friends and virtues it is now.

It happened before 1700 years ago when the Roman Empire was crumbling under corruption, gladiator fights and endless conflict. It was the Christians who came together to take care of widows, preserve family values, and offer hope in a world of anxiety. The church grew when the empire fell because it was the only place that rose above the stress and politics of the day. The Christians weren’t complainers. They were problem solvers.

Our country needs us again. The best Thanksgiving offering we can give is to live out our Christian character. The world hasn’t seen much Christian character for a long time. Let’s show them a better way.

See you in church!

 

 


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