Posted on Thu, Apr 24, 2014
From the Pastor
An amateur photographer was invited to a dinner party at a friend’s house. He took along some of his photographs to share with the group. As he was passing them around, the hostess said, “These are really good. You must have a really good camera.”
The photographer didn’t say anything, but as he was leaving, he told the hostess, “That was a great dinner. You must have some really good cookware.”
Have you ever heard a prominent evangelist talk about how many people he or she “saved” during his/her last tour, or a faith healer talk about how many people he/she healed last week? In reality, they didn’t heal or save anyone. We are saved only by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. When healing occurs in response to prayer, it is God who does the healing.
God uses us, it is true. We may be instruments of God’s peace, but the peace comes from God through us, not from our own individual efforts. It is not the instrument, it is the skill and the talent of the One wielding it. Ansel Adams could take a better photograph with a Brownie camera than I can with the most expensive modern digital camera, and Dorinne Lykins can cook a better feast with pots from Wal-Mart than I can with the most expensive set of cookware available.
This analogy can only be carried so far, however. Ansel Adams could not take a photograph without a camera of some sort, and Dorinne, wonder-worker that she is, would be hard-pressed to prepare a meal with no cookware whatsoever, but God can and does act without our assistance. But God has chosen to act in human affairs through humans—through the Church and its members and even through those outside of the Church, on occasion. The problem arises when we begin to think of ourselves as the artist rather than the instrument.
One of the most difficult sayings of Jesus is found in Luke 17:10: “So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’” We want recognition for what we do for God. The problem is, we want that recognition from those around us. We want people to look at us and say, “What a great Christian she/he is!” Jesus tells us that that is unlikely to happen. It is more probable that we will be laughed at, shunned, ridiculed, perhaps even persecuted or killed. What we need to remember is that, although God owes us nothing, God has given us everything. The talents and abilities we have are God’s gifts to us. The grace that allows us to know God, to understand what God wants us to do, and to do what God wants, is a gift from God. The promise of eternal life in Jesus Christ is a gift from God. As difficult as it may be to believe or to accept, even the opportunity to suffer for our faith is a gift from God.
We know that, at the end of this life, we will leave our earthly bodies behind and make the transition into Paradise. We will see the Master face-to-face, feel His embrace, and hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of the Master.” Can there be any greater thanks than that?
The previous notwithstanding, I would like to express my gratitude to all who helped make our Holy Week activities possible:
Karen Martinson, for purchasing the Easter lilies, and Karen, Veloy Millett, Sharon Howell, and Phyllis Lester for arranging them.
Margaret Johnson, Dixie and Larry Loy, Dorothy and Lee Straley, Betty Hanson, Sharon Howell, Veloy Millett and her daughter Michelle, Lauren Amos, Dorinne Lykins, and Phyllis Lester, for downloading the Seder order from the internet, getting all the materials needed together, arranging and setting the tables, preparing the food items, and cleaning up afterwards.
Our Secretary, for producing two Sunday bulletins, a funeral bulletin, the Good Friday bulletin, and the Seder booklets in the space of 10 days.
The Worship Committee and the members of Westminster Presbyterian Church, for being willing to try new things and for supporting the Holy Week activities.
I hope I have not forgotten anyone. If I have, I apologize. I pray that all were inspired and blessed by our celebration.
The Rev. Randy Nolen
Our next meeting will be on May 12, at 9:30 am. We will be studying Lesson 8 & 9, “Temptations along the Way” and “God’s Abiding Presence.” Our lesson leader will be Margaret Johnson and our hostess will be Goldene Mondragon. Hope to see you there.
Forty-one worshippers gathered in the fellowship hall of Westminster at 6:30 on the evening of Maundy Thursday to celebrate the Passover Seder for Christians. The ritual was led by Pastor Randy Nolen, wife Marilyn, sons Ryan and Travis, and Lauren Amos, the youngest member of our choir. In the traditional Jewish celebration, the family gathers to follow the commandments of God as made in the book of Exodus, first removing all leavened bread from the home and then partaking of various foods symbolizing rejoicing in their deliverance out of the land of Egypt.
After a brief historical overview of the ceremony’s Torah (and therefore Biblical) background, our pastor intoned a traditional Hebrew blessing for the lighting of the candles, thus beginning the service. The format continued with the Mother Leader, followed by the People, back and forth following a printed script for each participant. Interspersed within the various readings were four songs, accompanied on the piano by our organist, Sharon Howell. The songs were Go Down, Moses; The God of Abraham Praise; Amazing Grace; and Holy, Holy, Holy.
The eating of parsley, lettuce, horseradish, and a sweet mixture of apples, dates, honey and nuts, (prepared by Betty Hanson), Matzos (unleavened bread), and drinking of four glasses of wine (communion cups of grape juice) followed a precise order as explained by the Leader. Life is a mixture of the bitter and the sweet, of sadness and joy, which explains the food served.
We moved from the Jewish Seder to the Christian version toward the end of the service. Jesus celebrated Passover with his disciples on the night before he was betrayed and delivered up to be crucified. Historians suggest that it was the third cup that Jesus used in the Last Supper to institute the Eucharist. Normally it would have been left for Elijah, untouched, waiting the time for the return of Elijah to share in the Passover. Luke 4:21 tells us that Jesus stood in the synagogue of his hometown of Nazareth and read from the Isaiah scroll that promised a new work of God in the world. When He had finished reading, He said, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” We drank from the third cup to celebrate the joy of the coming of the Messiah. The fourth cup was raised in Thanksgiving for God’s enduring grace and love to us and after reciting the Lord’s Prayer we drank the fourth cup of wine and all said, “Next year in the New Jerusalem!”
While few, if any, of us will celebrate the Passover in Jerusalem next year, we returned to our homes hoping that next year will again see us partaking in the experience of thanksgiving for God’s redemptive love for us and our troubled world. In anticipation of another Seder Passover, Phyllis Lester and Karen Martinson carefully packed materials used and stowed them for the next Holy Week. “Next year at Westminster!”--Ann Dye
New Session Members
Westminster Presbyterian Church is fortunate to have members willing to take on the responsibility and challenges of serving on the Session and/or other positions as needed. That certainly made the Nominating Committee’s job much easier this year. The congregation also helped by electing all nominees presented following the Sunday service on April 6, 2014.
For the class of 2017, the following new Session members were elected: Fran Beason, Margy Dye and John Martinson. For the classes of 2015 and 2016, replacing two Session members who resigned, the following members were respectively elected: Barbara McNallen and Phyllis Lester.
Also following the April 6th service, Tony Merz, Mary Puckett and Phil Zollars were elected to serve on the Nominating Committee for the next fiscal year, 2014-2015, and Russ DeKay was elected to serve on the Endowment Committee.
We now ask all members to give those newly elected individuals their unwavering support. That means signing up in the various areas where help is needed; we will all be blessed. Thanks again to everyone.
Chair Nominating Committee-2013-2014
It’s that time again, time to help out Hungry Harold. He says for May 2014, 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.
Adult Christian Education
The Adult Class will have finished the study of the Lenten Devotional pamphlet, His Cross for My Salvation, the week after Easter and is engaged in considering a new topic for the summer. Everyone is invited to become involved in the always lively discussion.
Mar 2014-Apr 2014
New Mower was purchased, for now it is stored in the back of the nursery. Sound system moved and complete. A big thank you to Veloy for the new sound system, mikes, and speakers.
Thanks to Adam Solis for climbing onto the roof and sealing the skylights. Burned out light bulbs in east hall, were replaced. Lamp post near fellowship hall has begun rusting. Bill’s neighbor is building a sleeve to fix it.
Still need someone to climb the ladder and replace burned out light bulb in the Narthex. (Bill and Ray don’t do this) Bubbler for south trees needs to be replaced. Weeds need to be pulled and sprayed. (Bill and Ray don’t do this) Sprinkler system is about to be turned on. Still need west valves located and repaired. Trash needs to be put out for pickup on Tuesday and Friday.
The 2nd annual “PRIDE DAY” is being planned for May. Further information will be available in the Sunday bulletin.
I would like to thank my church friends and family who helped me celebrate my 90th birthday last month. Also, for all the cards and telephone calls I have received. This has all been a special blessing for me. Thanks to Randy for his good advice to this old lady and she followed up on it too.
At its meeting on Sunday 13 April 2014 the Session conducted the following business:
Pastor’s Report: . – Will be attending Western/Central Regional Benefits Consultation in San Diego 07-08 May 2014 -. Visited several members – held funerals/memorials for Jimmy Patterson and Marge Heaton – visited with Nogal church for COM
Committee Reports and Recommendations:
New Business: Plans for the 2nd Annual “PRIDE DAY” for sprucing up the church someday in May are still under consideration - The group from Shenango is planning to come the 2nd week of July for Vacation Bible School, with the focus again on the Boys and Girls Club children.
Review of Upcoming Dates:
May 18, 11:00 am Potluck Luncheon
June 15, 11:00 am Father’s Day Potluck Luncheon
September 21, 5:00 pm Annual Pic-a-Nic in the park
March 30 -- 51
April 6 -- 53
April 13 -- 55
April 20 -- 81
Mark Your Calendars!
May 1, 9:00am. Comm. Kitchen
May 1, 5:00pm. CASA
May 3, 8am. Men’s Breakfast
May 4, 9:30am. Communion Sunday
May 4, 10:45am. Evangelism & Concern Committee Meeting
May 4, 11am. Worship Committee
May 7, 4pm. Chimes Practice
May 7, 6:30pm. Choir Practice
May 8, 5:00pm. CASA
May 10, 8am. Men’s Breakfast
May 11, 11am. Session Meeting
May 12, 9:30am. PW Circle
May 14, 4:00pm. Chimes Practice
May 14, 6:30pm. Choir Practice
May 15, 9:00am. Comm. Kitchen
May 15, 5:00pm. CASA
May 16. CHIMES Deadline
May 17, 8am. Men’s Breakfast
May 18, 11am. Potluck Luncheon
May 21, 4:00pm. Chimes Practice
May 21, 6:30pm. Choir Practice
May 22, 5:00pm. CASA
May 24, 8am. Men’s Breakfast
May 25. Cents-Ability Collection
May 25, 9am. Piece Maker’s Day
May 28, 4:00pm. Chimes Practice
May 28, 6:30pm. Choir Practice
May 29, 9am. Comm. Kitchen
May 29, 5:00pm. CASA
May 31, 8am. Men’s Breakfast
is published monthly by
Westminster Presbyterian Church
(575) 622-2801 phone
Pastor’s office hours:
Monday – Thursday 9 – 1
And by Appointment
Admin. Asst. office hours:
Monday - Friday:
8:00 – 1:00
Contributions are kindly requested by the third Friday of each month.
Editor Ann Dye
Jan Albrecht, John Martinson
No messages have been posted.
You must first create an account to post.