Posted on Mon, Jul 29, 2013
From the Pastor
I wish I could take credit for the following, but I can’t. It was emailed to me years ago by a member of the church when I was pastor in St. Louis.
“The Prodigal Son in the Key of “F”
Feeling footloose, fancy free and frisky, a featherbrained fellow forced his fond father to fork over his farthings. Fast he flew to foreign fields and frittered his family’s fortune, feasting fabulously with floozies and faithless friends. Flooded with flattery he financed a full-fledged fling of funny foam and fast food.
Fleeced by his fellows in folly, facing famine, and feeling faintly fuzzy, he found himself a feed-flinger in a filthy foreign farmyard. Feeling frail and fairly famished, he fain would have filled his frame with foraged food from the fodder fragments. “Fooey,” he figured. “My father’s flunkies fare far fancier,” the frazzled fugitive fumed feverishly, facing the facts. Finally, frustrated from failure and filled with foreboding (but following his feelings) he fled from the filthy foreign farmyard.
Faraway, the father focused on the fretful familiar form in the field and flew to him and fondly flung his forearms around the fatigued fugitive. Falling at his father’s feet, the fugitive floundered forlornly, “Father, I have flunked and fruitlessly forfeited family favor.” Finally the faithful father, forbidding and forestalling further flinching, frantically flagged the flunkies to fetch forth the finest fatling and fix a feast.
Faithfully the father’s firstborn was in a fertile field fixing fences while father and fugitive were feeling festive. The foreman felt fantastic as he flashed the fortunate news of a familiar family face that had forsaken fatal foolishness. Forty-four feet from the farmhouse the firstborn found a farmhand fixing a fatling. Frowning and finding fault, he found father and fumed, “Floozies and foam from frittered family funds and you fix a feast following the fugitive’s folderol?
The firstborn’s fury flashed, but fussing was futile. The frugal firstborn felt it was fitting to feel favored for his faithfulness and fidelity to family, father, and farm. In foolhardy fashion, he faulted the father for failing to furnish a fatling and feast for friends.
His folly was not in feeling fit for a feast and fatling for friends; rather his flaw was in his feeling about the fairness of the festival for the found fugitive. His fundamental fallacy was a fixation on favoritism, not forgiveness.
Any focus on feeling favored will fester and friction will force the faded facade to fall. Frankly, the father felt the frigid firstborn’s frugality of forgiveness was formidable and frightful. But the father’s former faithful fortitude and fearless forbearance to forgive both fugitive and firstborn flourishes.
The farsighted father figured, “Such fidelity is fine, but what forbids festivity for the fugitive that is found? Unfurl the flags and finery, let fun and frolic freely flow. Former failure is forgotten, folly is forsaken.” Forgiveness forms the foundation for future fortune.
Four facets of the father’s fathomless fondness for faltering fugitives are:
2. Forever faithful friendship
3. Fadeless love
4. A facility for forgetting”
It is always interesting to look at Scripture with fresh eyes. Sometimes the old words become so familiar they lose their meaning. I hope this retelling of the Prodigal Son parable will perhaps bring you new insights into the text.
The basic message remains intact. The foundation of our faith is God’s amazing grace. We have done nothing to earn it; indeed we can do nothing to earn it. But God doesn’t care. God gives it to us anyway. Presbyterians in the past have been somewhat like the older brother. Our theology of predestination convinced us that we were the chosen, and everyone else was not. We wanted to keep the fatted calf for ourselves. But the error in our thinking (which crept in after John Calvin’s death: Calvin did not think this) is that because we are predestined to be saved, others must be predestined for condemnation. It ain’t necessarily so. God’s grace is such that God can decide to save everyone. Scripture tells us that, because the possibility exists that some may miss out on God’s grace, we have an obligation to spread the Word of God to all we meet, but ultimately the choice of who is saved belongs solely to God. And when you stop to think about it, we should all be grateful for that.
The Rev. Randy Nolen
At the meeting of Session July 14, 2013, Sharon Berry was present to request joining our church. We were delighted to vote upon her acceptance, and on Sunday, July 21, she will be received as a new member. Also, Traci Buxton will be ordained as ruling elder and installed to the Session Class of 2016. Other dates of importance discussed and passed were as follows:
August 10 Westminster will host a meeting of Presbytery and luncheon will be served to out-of-town members and local commissioners.
September 15 will be the date for our yearly “Picnic in the Park” to be held at the gazebo on the north side of the building.
VBS will be held the week of July 22-26, and the young people of Shenango plan to repaint the trim on the building and locate the sprinkler valves. Follow up article will be included in the September Chimes issue.
Please mark your calendars for the events you plan to attend.
Habitat for Humanity in Roswell was assisted by members of the Presbytery of Sierra Blanca from Carlsbad and Roswell on Saturday, June 28, 2013. A home on 1106 E. Beech is being built in partnership with Marisol Vargas and her family of three children. It has a well-planned design with three bedrooms, two baths, and an open family room, sometimes called “great” room, with kitchen and dining at one end.
While the weather could be described to be on the hot side, we were fortunate to have a nice breeze that was a great help. We all worked from eight to ten-thirty, and then were treated to a luncheon at Westminster after a worship service that began at eleven-thirty.
The workers who assembled at the house were as follows: Ann Langlinais, David Camp, Rick and Sue Carus, Ann Ruback, Bruce and Linda Faulk, Betsy Cunningham, Ann Dye, Larry and Dixie Loy, Randy Nolen, Tony Merz, and Bob Williams.
The Presbytery of Sierra Blanca plans to meet in Carlsbad around the middle of September (the date to be finalized later) and it is our hope that Roswell will be as generous in its donation of time and talent for Carlsbad as they were in coming to Roswell. As a reminder for those interested in volunteering in Roswell, please contact Mike Puckett to find out which Saturday the volunteers will be working from 7am to 11am. At the present time some of the work is being subcontracted, but workers will be needed again in August. It is hoped that the house will be finished by November 1st.
This is the fourteenth home to be built and one house per year has been the schedule so far. Friends, it is very rewarding to work with others to see a house progress and learn how to do some of the jobs that are required to get to the finished project. Everyone can participate, even if it is in a limited way physically, to help Habitat.
This organization always welcomes donations, both monetary and building supplies. Roswell is indeed fortunate to have this community asset helping our city to provide housing for those families who qualify.
June 30 - 54
July 7 - 56
July 14 - 72
July 21 - 83
August 4 Bill Briney
August 11 Phyllis Lester
August 18 Ann Dye
August 25 Nancy Armstrong
It’s that time again, time to help out Hungry Harold. He says for August 2013, he is in need of Kool-Aid and/or Drink Mixes along with Pastas and Dried Pinto Beans. He gives thanks for the many blessings he has received from members and friends of Westminster Presbyterian Church.
For Hungry Harold in June we delivered 7 large cans Powdered Drink mix, l lb. Pasta, 2 lbs Instant Mashed Potatoes, 4 lb. Rice and 31 lb. dried Pinto Beans plus cash of $20.00.
As editor of the Chimes and member of session, I want to share a piece of humor with you that is quite clever, courtesy of our own minister, Randy Nolen. You may not be aware that we have our own in-house cook, (and quite a good one!), who has been most obliging in sharing her talent with both visitors and members. She is present most Saturdays to assist Bill Berckes with the men’s breakfast; she feeds fellow Presbyterians who are meeting in our facility; recently she fed a troop of Boy Scouts who spent the night in the fellowship hall both dinner and breakfast the following morning! This lovely lady considers this contribution to our church as part of her ministry, and if you haven’t guessed her name, it is Dorinne Lykins, henceforth to be known by her title – “Minister of Munchies”.
We recently received a letter of thank you for our participation in the Crop Walk earlier this year. The Chair Person of Roswell Crop Walk, Michael Stibick, informed us that our church raised a total of $495.00, a generous sum for our small congregation. He also noted that the participants were especially grateful for our church being the turnaround point for the Walk. They are always grateful for the oranges, water and cookies that are awaiting them.
Happy 100th Birthday Marge!!
The Enchanters, Marge's friends and the members of Westminster gathered in the Fellowship Hall on July 7th at 2:00 p.m. to celebrate Marge Heaton's 100th birthday. Around 50 people were there for the event. The Enchanters sang Marge's favorite songs, there was plenty of food and drinks for all to enjoy and the cake was delicious. Mayor Jurney attended and declared July 7 - 10 Marge Heaton days! Marge's actual birthday was July 10th.
I would like to thank everyone that provided food. It helped out tremendously. The help with the balloons made the chore go by quickly. Thanks to all that helped.
September Fellowship Event
Our next scheduled event will be the Pic-a-Nic in the Enchanted Lands Park gazebo behind the church. It will be on September 15th at 5:00 p.m. More information will be available in the September Chimes. Get yourself ready to hit the outdoors!
Thank you once again to everyone that helps out with Coffee Hosting, Potluck Hosting, clean-up and decorating. I don't know what I would do without you!
We extend our sympathy to the family of Marion Otis Spears. Born December 8, 1913, he joined the Church Triumphant on June 12, 2013. His Celebration of Life was held on June 14, at the church. Over 100 people attended his service. A reception was held in the Fellowship Hall following the service.
When you rearrange the letters:
BEST IN PRAYER
August 2, 3pm. Worship Committee
August 3, 8am. Men’s Breakfast
August 4, Communion Sunday
August 8, 9am. Comm. Kitchen
August 10, 8am. Men’s Breakfast
August 10, Presbytery of Sierra Blanca Meeting
August 11, 11am. Session Meeting
August 16. CHIMES Deadline
August 17, 8am. Men’s Breakfast
August 18, 10:45am. Evangelism & Concern Committee Meeting
August 22, 9am. Comm. Kitchen
August 22, 5pm. CASA
August 24, 8am. Men’s Breakfast
August 25. Cents-Ability Collection
August 26, 9 am. Piece Maker’s Day
August 29, 5pm. CASA
August 31, 8am. Men’s Breakfast
Lee & Dorothy Straley
Abel Esquibel & Phil Zollars
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