The Newsletter

 

First Presbyterian Church, Tullahoma TN 37388

November 2019 (Volume XLVIII, Issue 9)

                                                      

Church Office: 204 E. Grundy St.

Phone: 931 455-9328

Sunday school – 9:15 a.m.

Worship at 10:30 a.m.

Preschool Office: 931 455-1515

Preschool Email:

learningplace@lighttube.net

Preschool Website:

www.learningplacetullahoma.org

 

 

 

 

Church Staff

Pastor: Stephen Yates

CE/Youth Director: Christy Sherrer

Secretary: Martha Bradley

Organist: David Hiebert

Parish Associate for Pastoral Care: Michael Bradley

Learning Place Preschool Director: Bethany Sterling

I

Adults

Sunday School at 9:15

The Christian Living class will meet in Fellowship Hall On Sundays. This class explores new and exciting subjects. The subjects come from different aspects and observations on the Books in the Bible, and scripture based upon renowned theological scholars.

Bible Study

Bible Study in Room 105 will continue their study of the Old Testament in chronological order. 

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Dear Church Family,

As legend has it, it was 502 years ago, October 31, 1517 to be exact, that Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of the All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany. As with most famous stories from history, the real version of what actually happened is far less exciting.

 

But nonetheless, it is clear that Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, which were meant to simply start a conversation on the role of indulgences in the Catholic Church, would lead to one of the most significant religious reformations the world has ever known. And so on October 31, or on the Sundays before or after that day, Protestant traditions all around the world will be celebrating that momentous day.   

 

Of course, as Presbyterians, we’ve played our own important role in the Reformation. Our forefather John Calvin, after all, is the seminal thinker to come out of that period. While Luther might have started the Reformation, Calvin, in many ways, was its systematic theologian.

 

Along with our close ties to John Calvin, we Presbyterians are also known for the Latin phrase: ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda. The phrase means “the church reformed, always reforming.”

 

You see, the Reformers believed the Catholic Church had drifted away from the earliest expressions of the faith. While the Catholic Church charged the Reformers with trying to do something new and foreign, Calvin and others argued they were actually trying to get back to the true roots of the faith. It was the Catholic Church that was doing “new things” the Reformers claimed, not them.

 

In a more general sense, “the church reformed, always reforming” is meant to lift up the ways all of us can allow the faith to become rote and routine. We can all get in the habit of just sort of going through motions, which is what the Reformers felt many Catholics were doing with the system of indulgences. They were practicing the faith by participating in assorted rituals, but they weren’t really living it.

 

So “the church reformed, always reforming” is a phrase for all times and all places. For it is important for all of us as believers to pause periodically and take stock of our faith journeys. Faith, after all, sometimes needs to be reformed by being, well, renewed, whether collectively or individually. So as we celebrate the Reformation over the next few weeks, I invite us all to ponder the ways our respective and shared faith journeys might need to be renewed and reinvigorated.

 

Your Pastor,

Stephen
 

Alternative Giving for Christmas and SERRV Sale

Alternative Giving for Christmas and SERRV (fair trade) catalog purchases allow you to provide a special gift that reflects the true spirit of Christmas to friends and loved ones and help local, national, and international missions such as Heifer International, Living Waters for the World, Partners for Healing, Habitat for Humanity, Literacy Council, Haven of Hope, Shepherd’s House, Trinity Adult Care Center, Coffee County Children’s Advocacy Center, Sunset Gap, Good Samaritan, and  5 Loaves 4 Kids.

We’ll be holding our annual Alternative Giving for Christmas event during our annual chili/soup/dessert contest on November 17. We’ll have tables set up to allow you to donate to your favorite charity in the name of a person whom you would like to honor.

The SERRV catalogs are here, and we will be taking orders through November 17. (This should allow orders to be here in time for Christmas.)  A catalog can be obtained through the church office or “checked out” in Fellowship Hall. Catalogs will be also available during our Alternative Giving for Christmas event November 17 (which is the last day to order).

Annual Rummage Sale Results

Each year the Mission Committee is amazed at the generous donations many of you make to the Rummage Sale: some by donating items, some by donating time to sort and work the sale, some by purchasing items, and some by doing all three!  It is definitely a group effort, which greatly benefits local mission projects.  Thanks to your generosity we raised almost $4500 this year!

We again served donuts to those who came by to shop and provided a HOLDING area in the kitchen to make it easier for folks to continue shopping even after their hands were full. We were again reminded there are many people in our community in need of a helping hand and a kind word. We would like to pass along the many thanks and compliments from the shoppers who commented on the nice items, the cleanliness and organization, the friendliness of our church, and how they looked forward to shopping our sale each year!

The Mission Committee would like to offer a VERY SPECIAL THANKS to Elaine Huffines and Nan Hall, who coordinated the rummage sale. They tried some new approaches this year by advertising through social media and having some “blue light specials.”

Minute with Mike

Michael Bradley, Parish Associate for Pastoral Care

Do you have to be a foreigner to be thankful?

Luke tells the story of how Jesus met ten lepers while he was traveling, and they asked him to have mercy on them. Jesus told them to go show themselves to the priest. As they went, their disease disappeared. One of them came back to thank Jesus, and that one was a Samaritan. Jesus said that his faith had made him well.

The story of the ten lepers is really a story about our lives and about the choices we have. It's a simple story, very familiar. But it is easy to miss what is really going on. We need to remember what it meant to be a leper. Being a leper was worse than being dead. Lepers were considered evil and unclean. They were excluded from every part of community life. They could not live, worship, eat, walk, or talk among normal people. The horrible progress of their disease was probably far from the worst thing they suffered. They had nothing, and no hope, yet they could from forty paces watch the real world, and real life, happen just outside of their reach.  Ten of these lepers met Jesus. They stood at a distance from him as was required by the law  and shouted for mercy. Doubtless they had said the same thing to every passing rabbi, to every hustler and holy man with a reputation for healing who had wandered within earshot.

A simple prayer: “Jesus, master, have mercy on us.” A good prayer, a very good prayer. Jesus granted them mercy. He just did. No reason is given or needed. Jesus heard their prayer and showed them mercy. He told them to present themselves to the priests. Now, this was more a medical act than a religious one. The priests were the ones who certified that the lepers were cured and could rejoin the world.  Jesus stood there and watched. He gave them their lives, and he put no conditions on the gift, and he just stood there, and watched, and waited. Nine of the ten just kept going.

They were not ungrateful. There is no way anyone could have such a thing happen to them and not be grateful. Those nine who showed Jesus their backs were doubtless thrilled, ecstatic, and generally tickled pink. It is easy to imagine them, happy, laughing, making plans, feeling just wonderful, and running just as fast as they could away from Jesus, in a terrible big hurry to get on with it. No, the issue wasn't gratitude. The issue was that those who had received so much were running so hard in the wrong direction. They weren't ungrateful; they were just busy. That's all; they were just terribly busy. Rather like us.  Only one came back. Only one was actually drawn toward Jesus, and not away from him, by the wonderful gift. Only one. And this one alone received the fullness of what Jesus had to give.

Our English text makes it harder to see this. All ten lepers were cured. The Greek verb is a medical term, and it means their disease went away. And all ten stayed cured, whether they came back or not. God gives freely, without conditions. But to the one who came back, to him and to him only, something more was said.  To him Jesus said, “Rise up and go your way, your faith has made you well.” The Greek for “made you well” is a different word, a theological word; it means being made whole, or being made complete. The one who came back was a foreigner. I doubt this is an accident or a coincidence. I think that the really hard part of this story is the realization that if we are ever to discover fully what that tenth leper discovered, on our way we must also discover what it means to be a foreigner.

When you are native to a place it is easy to take for granted what you have. It is only when you are in a foreign place that you look carefully at what is around you and see clearly those things for which you should be thankful. Slow down, look around with fresh eyes, turn back, and give thanks. Learn something of what it means to be a foreigner, and when you do, you may see more reasons to give thanks.

Offering from the Office by Martha Bradley, Church Secretary

“. . . give thanks in all circumstances,” which was Paul’s advice to the church in Thessalonica, can certainly be puzzling. How can one be thankful when you have just had a serious disagreement with your spouse? Or when you have been in a verbal fight with your kids? Or you get a message on your phone that asks you to contact your doctor immediately. Or when you are overwhelmed by extra work in the office? Under these and many other circumstances you could list, being thankful is the last thing on your mind.

Even the holiday coming up this month, the day of Thanksgiving, can work against its intent. By the time you’ve finished cleaning and preparing for guests, cooked for days, and graciously entertained a house full of people, you feel a lot more stressed than thankful. Perhaps the thanksgiving actually comes when you see the tail lights going down the driveway!

So, where is the true spirit of thanksgiving to be found? Is it really possible “to give thanks in all circumstances”? Or is that simply wishful thinking? What is gratefulness really about? A season? A holiday? Or is it meant to be found in our everyday lives? I’m convinced that everyday tasks and to-dos are reminders of how I am blessed.

Take, for example, meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking, and clean-up. I truly do not mind these activities if I’m not rushed, but I can’t say I am always thankful for them. However, approaching them with an attitude of gratitude does make a difference. When I approach these tasks as a creative opportunity and am thankful that I have the financial resources and the time to do them, they provide a real sense of accomplishment, even enjoyment. I do love planning daily menus with variety, shopping for fresh foods (and bargains!), trying new recipes, and even dish washing. Mike and I have a long standing tradition of buying a dish towel as a souvenir of our trips. Using them in the clean-up following meals give us a fun opportunity to reminisce about the trip as we wash and put away dishes. All that is not to say that I don’t enjoy (and am grateful for!) an occasional break from these household chores.

Look at another seemingly endless task – laundry. When the hamper overflows on a regular basis, it is a sign of a blessing. The fact that we have such an abundance to make mounds of laundry should be enough to stop our griping about an almost-everyday task. It’s a matter of perspective. It’s a way of looking at the world, a way of acknowledging all of life with gratitude and eyes to see the good. The good is there; it sometimes just gets buried under a pile of damp towels.

Here’s another example: yard work. I’ve always loved mowing. I like the solitude of it. I like being able to see very clearly the progress I’m making with the contrast of the uncut swath and the strip I have just mowed.  But in this extra long summer – close to a third of the year! – it was becoming a chore in the 90+ degrees temperatures. I began to wonder if there were blessings in all the yard work. After giving it some thought, I realized walking behind a push mower allows time for thinking and planning, time away from other distractions, and an opportunity to get in those 10,000 steps it is said we need daily. So there really are things for which to be thankful, even as I wipe the sweat from my forehead.

True, it takes some effort “to give thanks in all circumstances,” but gratitude is basic to our relationship with God at all times and in all places. Yet even with the trials and set-backs that are part of every human life, we can be thankful for life itself. And then we can be grateful for the gifts that are a part of every day, even in the midst of pain and struggle: love of family, genuine friendships, the beauty of God’s creation, and the grace and mercy we have in Jesus Christ.

I suspect that you can make a list of your life’s little and not-so-little grievances. As you name them, also look for a blessing that may be hidden in them. Sometimes it takes only an attitude adjustment or looking at the situation from a different perspective to let gratitude run free in every area of our lives. So gather round the turkey on Thanksgiving Day. And remember that, as God’s own, we can “give thanks in all circumstances,” today and always. When we are able to keep that in mind, everything starts to look like a thank-you!

At the congregational meeting following the worship service on September 29, the following were elected to serve on the Session beginning in January 2020:

 

Class of 2022 (three-year terms)

Elaine Huffines

J. Ray Joellenbeck

Ashley King

Kathy Nichols

We look forward to their leadership as they serve with imagination and love.

 

Around and About FPC

 

Help Decorate For Christmas By Ordering A Poinsettia

Even if Thanksgiving has not arrived, it is time to get your order in for a Christmas poinsettia or to make a contribution for decorating supplies. Deadline is November 26. Cost for a poinsettia is $16.50.

In keeping with our tradition at First Presbyterian Church we will decorate the church with poinsettias, greenery and a Christmas tree. We look forward to the celebration of the birth of Jesus and the beauty of the season. You can honor someone special by purchasing a poinsettia or making a monetary contribution to refresh our Christmas decorating supplies. Memorials and poinsettias will be acknowledged in the church bulletin. You can use the form in the Sunday bulletins to place an order or you can call the church office (455-9328).

 

Remember Our 4-cents-a-meal Offering On November 24

The 4-cents-a-meal program provides an opportunity for individuals and families to participate in a corporate response to world hunger. By contributing 4-cents per person at each meal we are reminded of the needs of others and our call as Christians to respond to their hunger. For several years now money from this offering has come from Presbytery back to Tullahoma in the form of a $2,000 Hunger Grant to the Good Samaritan Program. 

We receive this offering quarterly.  On November 24 we will receive our 4th quarter offering; please bring the money you have put aside for the last three months.

4 cents per meal x 3 meals per day = 12 cents per day.

12 cents per day x 7 days per week = 84 cents per week.

84 cents per week x 4.33 weeks = $3.65 per month.

$3.65 per month x 3 months = $10.95 per quarter

Advent Family Festival December 1, 2019

“The Miracle of Jesus”

A Bible-Times Christmas Event For Families

This festival is a multi-generational Advent event for our whole church family. This event will help prepare us for the season of Advent and Christmas. Let’s all come together for an evening of stories, crafts, conversation, and food. We start by breaking bread together with a catered meal. Then, adults and children will work together, moving through stations where they will be transported back in time to Bethlehem to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

It has been some years since that special night, and the miracle baby has gone on to do some truly incredible things: bringing a little girl back to life, feeding thousands with a few loaves of bread and some fish, and even overcoming death. The citizens of Bethlehem can’t stop talking about Jesus and his incredible life on earth. Families of all ages will be amazed at the authentic, multi-sensory experiences they’ll find in this “village.”

Our hope is that people of all ages will come together and experience the excitement, hope, and joy of the upcoming Advent and Christmas season. Please look for more details in the upcoming Sunday bulletins.

 

Good Sam Requests For November

When you do your grocery shopping, help Good Sam by purchasing the following items:  canned fruits and vegetables,  crackers, cereal, peanut butter, dry spaghetti, pasta sauce, soup, and canned tuna and canned chicken. A special need  for November is  cereal.

Bring some of these items with you to worship on Mission Sunday, November 10.

 

Presbyterian Women

We will look at the 2019-2020 Horizon Bible Study Love Carved in Stone: A Fresh Look at the Ten Commandments for our November meeting. Lesson three is “Words of Love: Keep Sabbath.” The purpose of this lesson is to understand the gift of Sabbath and to recover a sense of the sacred urgency of Sabbath-keeping for human life and the created order. Betty Henninger and Mary Harmon are hostesses.

All women of the church are invited to this time of Bible study and fellowship. We meet Wednesday, November 13, at 10:00 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall.

Coffee County Church Women United

Friday, November 1, at 12:00 p.m. we will celebrate “World Community Day” at First Presbyterian Church, 1101 Jackson Street, Manchester. Our guest speaker will be Director Caleb McCall from Be The Bush. A light lunch will be served.

 

FPC Book Club

The next meeting will be on Thursday, December 12. The book for discussion is The Perfect Horse by Elizabeth Letts. Lannom Library and Manchester Library have one copy each.

The place and time of the meeting is yet to be decided.

 

Property Committee – Alan Harris, Chair

 

So, cooler weather seems to be finally gaining control of the thermostats in Tullahoma and the surrounding area as we switch our HVACs from "Cool" to "Heat." Annually, in advance of the cooler weather, we always have a contractor perform inspections of all 8 units to ensure they function safely and efficiently during their heat cycle. Not surprisingly, our contractor discovered a significant fault with the heat exchanger on our WFC kitchen unit. Since the unit has been in service since the WFC was constructed (26 years), we decided to replace it with a new, more efficient unit. On October 8 we received the new unit and it's up and running. Don't worry; our finance committee was well aware of our aging HVAC units and had set aside monies to cover it.

At about the same time, we detected a gas leak coming from a brand new unit installed last month.  Our contractor had to return to tighten a loose union joint. Shortly after that, ERPUD had to be called again to replace their service valve and meter. Let's see; one problem fixed, two more problems created.  Yep, makes sense. 

I realize I sound like a broken record, but hopefully by the time you read this newsletter, the parking lot behind our church will be paved and striped by the Rogers Group.

Seriously, I really mean it this time. In early October, one of their subcontractors did some preliminary work on the lot, filling in low spots and cutting down some of the obvious high spots. I assumed the paving would be imminent, so I contracted with the bus port guys to move our bus port out of the lot (you may have noticed it sitting in the grassy area near our front entrance). I hope you all will bear with me and my worry-wartness (is that a word?). After all, the parking lot is not any worse than it was earlier this year. It will be done.

 

There was a bright spot during their preparation work (pun intended); if you recall from my news last month, our sign on Lincoln Street mysteriously stopped illuminating at night and I couldn't figure out the problem. Well, it seems the power conduit from church to our parking lot sign on Lincoln Street was buried underground near the location of those trees we had removed.  By removing the trees in May, we unknowingly severed the power line to our sign and so the sign would not illuminate at dusk. During the prep work to fill in low spots, Jim Johnson and I found the cut line, repaired it, and crossed our fingers.  The sign now works at night. Mystery solved.

I mentioned last month a desire to get two-three critical tasks done before winter and I'm happy to report all three were completed in late September - October. Some of you have already heard about the Tullahoma Fire Department conducting a training exercise to use their expensive ladder truck to access the top of our bell tower to rescue a trapped worker (our old Carillon speakers). At the conclusion of our training exercise, the old speakers had been removed and the heavy metal hatch was re-secured to the bell tower roof.  Of course, we learned the ladder up inside the tower was no longer serviceable and really should be replaced. Another problem. We also learned we needed to clean out and clean up our second floor boiler room. We're working to fix both.

Second, the old chimney on our Anthony Annex was in dire need of repair. In fact, it was in such poor condition, we decided to remove a portion of the exterior brickwork to a point below the roof-line, cover the hole with decking, and install new shingles. In effect, eliminating the chimney.  However, the fix wasn't that simple because the chimney still served a purpose of venting the boiler exhaust gasses. So, our contractor removed the chimney below the roof line, fabricated a custom cap for the interior flue, cut a round hole in the cap, installed a standard gas vent in the hole, and installed a roof vent cap on the new decking before installing new shingles. It looks impressive and I am certain it will function flawlessly.

Third, the south wall of our WFC gymnasium has been leaking for a couple of years now.  More annoying than anything else, this repair has been deferred for at least two years primarily because roofers never like to repair work they didn't originally do.  Our contractor removed all the old caulking, cleaned up the surfaces, and placed new caulking. Since these repairs are always challenging, we'll only know if the repair is complete after we endure some heavy rainfalls. I feel good about the south wall, but we all know there are several other areas of our various roofs that magically sprout leaks, depending on wind direction and rainfall intensity.

A brief update on our way-finding signs; we signed the contract with Harden Signs in early October and are awaiting the delivery of our products. I'm anxious to see what they look like and even more anxious to know what the City of Tullahoma requirements are when we submit a permit request.  Hopefully, we will have them installed and lighted by the end of year.

As always, we could really use your involvement with some of the items that need to be monitored, routinely replaced, or fixed. Even though I talk about the big stuff in our newsletters, there are many other routine tasks or maintenance issues you can easily handle. Recently, we handed out sign-up sheets for each of you to volunteer your time and talent on our various committees. For those who signed on to volunteer for the Property Committee, I thank you. However, there are others out there who can make our workload a little lighter. I assure you, we are only getting at the "gotta do" stuff right now and there are dozens of tasks we could be doing if we had more help. Just a sampling:

Anthony Annex: Both storm doors downstairs should be modernized; they barely function, as most of you know.   Martha's door needs the door handle modified or replaced.  Window sills need cleaning and painting. Chain link fence top rail needs straightening or replacing,
address plaque needs repainting and the  Mail box needs maintenance.

 

The list goes on and on for our sanctuary, education wing, kitchens, and WFC. Please consider getting involved.  You would be surprised at what you will learn about our little church. Join us.

                     Alan

 

Stewardship – Cindy Kinney, Chair

 

Dear Friends, “Giving your Gifts, Time and Talent”

Thank you for sharing your estimate of Giving/Time and Talent form with our church this year. You are an important part of the ministry of First Presbyterian Church of Tullahoma and of God’s work in our community. Through your Gifts, Time and Talent you are part of changing the lives of children and youth, ministering to those in need, and welcoming others into the embrace of Christ.

Our 2020 Stewardship Campaign was an extended version of our “Stewardship in Action” program.  We saw how acts of love and generosity by our congregation have blessed those served by First Presbyterian Church of Tullahoma. We focused on Mission Meals, Farris Apartments, The Learning Place and Presbyterian Youth. Ultimately, this campaign helped us to understand how our church contributes to the missions and ministries to which we are called!

We are created to be generous, and our generosity can be a great blessing in our lives. I hope that you will find that your acts of generosity make changes in our community and individuals around us.

I pray that through your giving you will find that blessings flow back into your life and give you joy!

Again, thank you for all that you do to make possible the ministry of our church. You make a difference here!

In Christ,

Cindy Kinney, Chair Stewardship Committee

 

Mission Committee – Lesley Lawson, Chair

 

“No Preaching, No Praying, No Singing, Just Eating” Mission Meal - The Mission Committee continues to invite our neighbors at Autumn Manor, Farris Apartments, and clients from Good Sam to our monthly free meals. Our next meal is scheduled for Sunday, November 24, and we will be serving Vegetable Soup. Members of the congregation are welcome to join us in preparing and serving the meal, driving the bus, or simply sitting at the tables and socializing with our guests. 

Rummage Sale - Our annual Rummage Sale was a huge success! The Mission Committee would like to thank everyone who contributed items for sale and volunteered their time. A special thank you to Elaine Huffines, Nan Hall, and J. Ray Joellenbeck who stepped up to lead this project. We raised almost $4,500.00 which will benefit the church’s local missions.

Mission Work Day Planned - On Saturday, November 9, we will have a work day at Trinity Adult Care Center from 8 a.m. until 12 noon.  Bring your gloves and yard tools and join us to rake leaves and spruce up the landscape. Hope to see you all there!

Alternative Giving - A table will be set up during the annual Chili Cook-Off on Sunday, November 17, if you would like to make a contribution to a variety of non-profit organizations.

Family Activities and Outreach Committee – Betty Gault, Nan Hall, Co-chairs

 

Activities  –  Help!  We need ideas about activities that you would like us to plan! Anything from outings, to bus trips, themed lunches, or game nights we would love to get your input about this. Please give it some thought and let us know what you would like to do. 

Outreach  –  Reaching out and inviting a friend, acquaintance or someone new in town to worship with us is an exciting way to share our belief in God. 

Thank you to everyone who came to the Family Night Supper on September 29 and made it such a fun welcome for our new members and visitors.

Chili/Soup & Dessert Cookoff  –  On Sunday, November 17, we will have our annual competition and Alternative Giving event at 6 o’clock in the Williams Family Center. 

Don’t miss it!  In case you haven’t noticed, we have some of the best cooks in Tennessee right here at FPC!

Christian Education Committee

Christy Sherrer, (Elder Chair 2019), Director of Christian Education and Youth Ministry,

Jessica Smith and Sydney Hoehl, (Elders and Co-Chairs 2019),

Elaine Huffines (2019), Bethany Sterling (2019), Robin Gorman (2018, 2019), Ashley King (2019)

 

From the Children’s Minister – Lou Miley Griffing

 

Max Lucado said that we are not wired for the barrage of news feeds we see every day.  It's not good for our souls and it's not good for our physiology. He shared how in the prairie days, folks were connected to their community, not to the whole world 24/7 as we are today. 

It got me thinking....Add to the stress of continual input, the angst, anger and vitriol so common today, and you'll be distressed before you know it. We shouldn't expose ourselves to more angst than we have the mercy to carry and the faith to intercede for. It's not only okay to limit your negative input; it's essential if you want your soul to prosper.

 

What if we fasted from the toxic input and started counting our blessings one by one? God has been good and He'll be good again. He carries the world in His hands so we don't have to. We can carry a portion of His burden, but not the whole of it. We're not built for it. We can carry His glory and shine brightly in this dark world and, amazingly, we were created for that great honor. We carry this treasure in these earthen vessels so we know that the power in our lives is of God, not us. He's the hero in all of our stories.

 

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name." Psalm 100:4

                                   Lou

The Genius of Generosity

Kansas pastor Jack Wellman has been credited with the insight that “there is a certain genius in generosity.” He explains that when we open our hands — figuratively speaking — to allow something to pass through our fingers, rather than holding it with tightly clenched fists, God can give us new blessings.

“God cannot pour more into hands that are already clinging tightly to what they hold,” says Wellman. Whether material goods or time, ideas or talents, money or energy, the gifts God has given us so generously are to be shared just as freely with others. With our hands continually open to receive, give and receive again, God’s genius cycle of generosity goes on and on.

 

Little Word, Big Difference

God says to give thanks in everything. That doesn’t mean you need to give thanks for everything. You don’t need to give thanks for that bad day. Or for that bad relationship. Or being passed over at work. Financial hardship. Whatever it is — you are not to give thanks for the difficulties but rather in the difficulties.

That is a very important distinction, and one I think we often miss. Giving thanks in everything shows a heart of faith that God is bigger than the difficulties and that God can use them, if you approach God with the right heart and spirit, for your good and God’s glory.                         

 

Talk To Your Elders

Session is organized for its work through standing committees. Every active elder serves on at least one Session committee. If you have ideas, suggestions, or questions about the work of specific committees of the church or if you are interested in serving on one of the committees, please talk to one of these Elders. The list below shows on which committees each Elder is serving.

Congregational Care  - Joyce Hiebert

Finance and Personnel - Keith Kushman

Property - Alan Harris

Christian Education - Sydney Hoehl and Jessica Smith

Family Activities and Outreach - Betty Gault and Nan Hall

Mission - Lesley Lawson, Ken Diehl, Elaine Huffines

Stewardship - Cindy Kinney

Worship - Sally Hoehl

Liturgists Wanted for Sunday Services

There is a sign-up sheet on the podium in the narthex. Simply place your name next to the date that you are willing to serve as liturgist. You will be given the information you need by the end of the week in which you are serving.