Posted on Wed, Oct 1, 2014
From the Pastor
Recently the Sunday Gospel lesson and sermon were about forgiveness. This week I came across something I had read earlier about Timothy McVeigh, the man who was convicted of, and executed for, the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. It was reported on the news at the time of his execution that McVeigh--a non-practicing Catholic--had, in his final hours, requested a visit from the prison chaplain, and had received the Anointing of the Sick (“Last Rites”) from him. This rite includes confession of sin and expression of repentance on the part of the recipient. I have no way of knowing whether McVeigh was truly repentant--only God knows what was truly in his heart--but if he was sincere, then he received the same grace, mercy, pardon, and salvation we expect to receive at our lives’ ends. Such is the immeasurable vastness of God’s love and God’s grace that even someone like Timothy McVeigh can be saved simply by proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, confessing his sin, and repenting of it.
God’s ways are not our ways, and God’s justice is not our justice. There are no degrees of sin, and each of us is as deserving of God’s condemnation as Timothy McVeigh. We celebrate the fact that we have received grace and forgiveness, but it sometimes offends us that someone so much “worse” than we can receive the same grace and forgiveness. We should rather rejoice that we have such a loving God that all who call on the name of God receive salvation.
There is an old joke about the man who was telling a friend about a dream he had. “I arrived in Heaven, and I looked around, and there were so many people I was surprised to see there, people I knew would never make it. But the worst part of it all was that all these people were surprised to see me.”
One of the less-popular tenets of the Reformed faith is the idea we call “pre-destination,” the idea that some are chosen by God for salvation and others for damnation. Where the problem arises is when we try to apply our earthly understanding to God’s “unknowableness.” Because Jesus and Paul both declared that some are predestined for salvation, we assume that it means that there must be those who are predestined to be lost. But that is not necessarily the case. Scripture also tells us that God desires for all to be saved.
If God desires for all to be saved, God has the power to make it so. However, God chooses to limit how God’s power is used. There clearly are those who reject God, reject Christ, reject the notion of salvation, and reject their need for it. Out of God’s great love for us, God has chosen not to make us robots. God allows us to choose the path of evil and sin. God has told us the result of that path and it is God’s wish that no one take it. This is why, no matter how evil our lives may have been, if our last conscious thought is, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner,” God has mercy on us.
Another pastor once told me, “If there is a Hell, I don’t think there are very many people in it.” I am not quite that optimistic. I think Hell probably has a significant population. But it was they and Satan who put themselves there, not God. God grieves over all who sin, but rejoices even more over those who repent and ask for forgiveness. Ask God for grace, for mercy, for forgiveness, and then hold out your hands and watch them be filled to overflowing.
The Rev. Randy Nolen
Our next meeting is on October 13, at 9:30 am. At our last meeting in September, we started the contemporary study book called “Reconciling Paul.” This month we will be studying Lesson #2, “Paul in the context of ancient Corinth.” Our lesson leader will be Dorothy Straley and our hostesses will be Margaret Johnson and Goldene Mondragon. Hope to see you there.
Adult Christian Education
The adult class is still working through the study, called The Story, which is delightfully accompanied by a different ten-minute DVD every week. We are still in the Old Testament, planning for October to delve into the life and times of Ezra, Esther, and Nehemiah. The class meets from 10:45 to l2:00 after the regular service and has usually been attended by six to nine learners. All adults are encouraged to join us.
It’s that time again, time to help out Hungry Harold. He says for October 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.
Even though it got rained out and the Pic-a-Nic was transferred to the Fellowship Hall, there was still fun to be had for all. Only a small group of members were there because of the weather that evening.
On October 19, following morning worship service, we will be having our Fall Potluck Luncheon. Our theme will be “your Favorite Fall Foods.” Hope to see you there!
To Clap or not to Clap…that is the question.
Someone asked me, “When you clap, does that mean you want us (the congregation) to clap also?” I could answer that a couple of ways; the best is “If you are moved to clap, Do It!”
When I clap, it means I am so full of joy and love of the music, I can do nothing else. I have to stay relatively stationary up there in front of the choir or risk stepping off my platform. It is the spirit of God in the music that makes me clap. It is the joy of the moment that makes me clap. Were I still able to sing, I would sing. If I weren’t so old, I might be turning and swaying and clapping all at the same time!
Were I to attempt to direct the congregation in clapping, heaven knows where we would wind up. I have tried to direct the congregation to sing with the choir. I can’t move fast enough to keep up the tempo, so immediately I have lost the congregation, then I lose the choir and then Sharon wonders, “What happened?” It is best if I just face the choir.
If you feel like clapping, and it is an expression of your joy in our music, go right ahead. We love it when we know you like what we are doing. If you want to slap your thigh or stomp your feet, you will not disturb me or the singers.
As for clapping after the anthem, please do not, least it become “something we do.” A lot of music is very thoughtful and clapping would break the spell. Here again, it is entirely how you feel. It was nice to be applauded for the music during the summer, because it was all “special.”
If we, the choir, have succeeded in stirring you to great joy in the love of God to make you want to clap after our anthem, we will join you, as obviously, we also are moved. Thank you for being so appreciative of our work.
God bless us all.
P.S. Without Sharon, we are nothing.
July 2014 – September 2014
1. Repaired chair in library.
2. Cleaned drain in downstairs sinks.
3. Contacted Redden to fix clogged condensing drain.
4. Drain fixed 7/15.
5. Lawn mowed and edged.
6. Breakers re-set after storm knocked out air conditioning twice.
7. One of the leaks was found and sealed, we hope.
8. Thanks to Veloy for the new speakers and Adam Solis for helping install them.
9. Sanded door to electric room.
10. Contacted roofer to fix leaks in entry way (fixed 9/2 - $850).
11. Contacted Redden Plumbing about humming heater. (motor needed to be replaced). Done on 9/9/2014.
12. Purchased Roundup. Lee Straley sprayed the parking lot.
13. Replaced batteries in Narthex thermostat.
14. Met with Fred from Fat Dog sound and got hearing aids working.
15. North hill mowed by Ray with push mower, finished by the Straley’s grandson.
16. Fellowship Hall flooded 9/12. Spent 2 ½ hours vacuuming up 45 gallons of water.
Property manager takes a daily nap between 1-3pm. He requests that unless there is an emergency, please do not call during this time. Thank you.
Your church library is full of good books to read. Among those recently acquired are
(1) To God Alone Be Glory, The Story & Sources of the Book of Common Worship, by Harold M. Daniels. "In this highly useful text, the fruit of extensive study and research, the author tells the fascinating story of the history of Reformed worship in America, from the 1600s to the present. He describes the development and objectives of the Book of Common Worship and explores how the book itself serves as an agenda for liturgical reform within the church. In one section Daniels provides the sources of prayers and other material used in the Book of Common Worship. Persons involved in planning, presenting, studying, or teaching about Presbyterian worship will benefit greatly from studying this book. Found under Dewey Decimal 264. Harold M. Daniels was for many years the director of the Joint Office of Worship for the Presbyterian Church U.S. and the United Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and was the editor of the current Book of Common Worship.
(2) As a Man Thinketh, by James Allen. Inspired by the old aphorism, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he," Allen has written a series of inspirational essays on the subject, entitled "Thought and Character," "Dignity and Self-Discipline," "The Secret of Success," "The Mind of Love," "The Way of Wisdom," "Visions of Beauty," and "Peace of Mind." James Allen, whose home was in Ilfracombe, England, wrote several works that have inspired millions for good, in spite of the fact that he never gained fame or fortune.
At its meeting on Sunday 14 September 2014 the Session conducted the following business:
Pastor’s Report: Communion was served to 6 shut-ins – visited several members – will be out of the pulpit 26 October – MSP for the wedding of Bill Briney on 03 January 2015 and reception to follow in Fellowship Hall. Joyce Manke has donated a painting “Bearing the Cross” to the church. A letter of thanks will be sent.
Report of Clerk of Session Marilyn Nolen was suggested as a Commissioner at the March meeting – MSP to elect Marilyn to serve as a commissioner.
Committee Reports and Recommendations:
COMMUNICATIONS – Chair Fran Beason – has prepared changes to by-laws to be voted on at next Congregational meeting. MSP to delete “Members and non-members shall make a $75.00 damage/custodial deposit to be returned if the building is left in good order. This fee does not include dishwashing following the reception.” from the Wedding Policy in the Manual of Operations.
EVANGELISM & CONCERN - Chair Barbara McNallen - written report – NAI (no action items) MSP for Barbara and Tina to purge and destroy “Final Instructions” on file at the church for deceased members.
MISSION & STEWARDSHIP - Chair Nancy Armstrong – written report – After discussion MSP to eliminate Crop Walk as a mission project. Letter will be sent notifying those in charge of this decision.
PROPERTY –Chair Bill Berckes – written report – NAI – Bill has purchased and installed new locks for the playground.
Oct. 5 - Loris DeKay
Oct. 12 - Bill Briney
Oct. 19 – Goldene Mondragon
Oct. 26 - Connie Berckes
Mark Your Calendars!
Oct. 1, 5:15pm. Chimes Practice
Oct. 1, 6:30pm. Choir Practice
Oct. 2, 9:00am. Comm. Kitchen
Oct. 2, 5:00pm. CASA
Oct. 4, 8:00am. Men’s Breakfast
Oct. 5, 9:30am. Communion Sunday
Oct. 5, 11:00am. Worship Committee Meeting
Oct. 8, 5:15pm. Chimes Practice
Oct. 8, 6:30pm. Choir Practice
Oct. 9, 5:00pm. CASA
Oct. 11, 8am. Men’s Breakfast
Oct. 12, 11:00am. Session Meeting
Oct. 13, 9:30am. PW Circle
Oct. 15, 5:15pm. Chimes Practice
Oct. 15, 6:30pm. Choir Practice
Oct. 16, 9:00am. Comm. Kitchen
Oct. 16, 5:00pm. CASA
Oct. 17. CHIMES Deadline
Oct. 18, 8am. Men’s Breakfast
Oct. 18, 10am. Presbytery Meeting hosted by WPC
Oct. 19, 10:45am. Evangelism & Concern Committee Meeting
Oct. 19, 11:00am. Fall Potluck Luncheon
Oct. 22, 5:15pm. Chimes Practice
Oct. 22, 6:30pm. Choir Practice
Oct. 23, 5:00pm. CASA
Oct. 25, 8:00am. Men’s Breakfast
Oct. 26. Cents-Ability Collection
Oct. 27, 9:00am. Piece Maker’s Day
Oct. 27, 11:00am. Mission & Stewardship Committee Meeting
Oct. 29, 5:15pm. Chimes Practice
Oct. 29, 6:30pm. Choir Practice
Oct. 30, 9:00am. Comm. Kitchen
Oct. 30, 5:00pm. CASA
August 31 - 52
September 7 - 57
September 14 - 55
September 21 - 57
September 28 - 55
Ushers for October
Aurora Zollars, Faby Skaggs,
Dorinne Lykins, Margie Dye,
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