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NEWSLETTER

January 2019

 

TO ALL THE “GOOD AND GENTLE FOLK “OF THE COMMUNITY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF LAC DU FLAMBEAU, GREETINGS!

 

It is the morning of December 27, 2018 and I am in my study pondering this most recent Christmas season and wondering, once again, if it really does make any difference in our lives, in our world. There are times when I am not sure, but then I remember doubt is not simply a denial nor the antithesis of belief, but rather a serious challenge for us to proceed further along the trail of truth. As Albert Einstein once remarked: 'The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science." It is also interesting to note that the noted theologian and mystic, Rudolf Otto agrees. In his classic work, The Idea of the Holy, Otto argues we are captivated by a mvsterium tremendum which we can never fully grasp. Looking at both of these thinkers, and there are many more we could cite, it seems there is something in the hu­ man species that drives us in our pursuit of the un­ known. Einstein even argues no serious scientist can ever say that he or she has arrived at the "absolute truth" and can still call themselves scien­ tists. In a similar manner, Otto declares we can never really know or understand the mvsterium tremendum but only experience its power and beauty. Otto gives this experience a name; he calls it experiencing the numinous.

 

Sometimes at Christmas I have seen, shall we say, "momentary transformations" giving evidence of this gentler, more humane attitude in people. Unfortunately, it seems to disappear as rapidly as it appeared. Already, my experience tells me, people are slipping back into their routine behaviors and the gentler, more gracious time to which I have referred is short-lived. It doesn't even make it to "Epiphany"-- the traditional celebration which concludes the 12 days of Christmas with the arrival of the Magi and all that it portends for the gentile community.

 

Despite my obvious disappointment, I am very thankful for even these brief moments. It tells me that we can, if we have a mind to, do the good, love mercy, and be humble, as the prophet Micah proclaimed. I also know that there are many people who do not receive headlines in newspapers or newscasts who in fact live the life of love advocated in our Christian faith (and other faiths as well) and are deeply involved in these types of activities. It is to this to which we must commit ourselves if we are to follow the path set down for us by Jesus of Nazareth, a path of love without reservation, following that commitment with concrete deeds insofar as we are able. It is a difficult task, we have so many distractions, so many challenges to follow what   we wish for ourselves and not the commandment of Jesus to be for others. Yes, it is difficult and while we may not be able to fulfill this command totally, we can respond to this challenge with the gifts with which we have been blessed. Let us try together to be God's people in this world of need even more than we are. Bless you all!

 

Let me close with the following observation in a brief poem. The observation is a reflection on the passage found in Matthew 16:15 where Jesus asks His followers: "But who do 'you' say that I am'?" I offer this poem I AM as a simple response to Jesus' question.

 

I am the rays of the rising sun, Snow on the mountain of the moon,

The far-flung shadows of late afternoon. I am the Wisdom of the sage.

I am the Refuge of all who weep. I am the Mother of all who live.

I am the Promises I keep.

I am the One who sits in sorrow.

I am the One who feels your pain. I am the Hope of your tomorrow.

I am the One Who 'will' remain.

 

Have a blessed New Year and share the "good news" of the gospel, that is, of God's love of all, with everyone you know and meet.

As always,

Pax et caritas tecum.

Bill Anderson

SESSION NOTES FROM DECEMBER

DEACONS JOINT MEETING

    

On Friday, December 14, 2018, Dr. Anderson called the Joint Session/Deacons Meeting of CPC to order.  This meeting must be held annually according to Presbyterian Church policy in order that the church officers can review the work of the church.

  

Present at the meeting were Elders Birmingham, Shugar, Fraboni, Spellmeyer, Gelwicks, DiCristina and Raduege; Deacons Spellmeyer, Stevens, Lockwood, Raduege and Shugar.  Visitors included Treasurer Gary Beier and newly-elected Elder Don Morlan.  Elders excused included Schneider and Kerler, and newly-elected Jo Mayeau.  Deacons excused were Jillanne Consie and Shirlee Gallagher.

  

Chosen, elected, ordained and installed by congregational vote, the Board of Deacons serves as the service arm of the Session/church.  In its original Greek form, the Deacon means ‘service’.  Since the Deacons operate as a committee of the Session, although with their own officers and treasury, they are expected to give an annual report on their activities to the Session.  Deacon Spellmeyer, Moderator of the Board of Deacons, provided an excellent written review as well as highlighting many of the Deacon activities.  They provide greeters every Sunday for member and visitors, and the Communion elements every month.  They are also responsible for changing the paraments and banners and providing flowers for the sanctuary.  The Deacons send cards, fruit baskets and flowers to show concern for those in need as well as hosting the Christmas decorations and light supper for those who set up and take down the sanctuary tree.  In service to the community, our Deacons collect funds for the Lakeland Pantry and make a donation honoring Mother’s and Father’s Day.  Each year a special ‘swim party’ is provided at The Waters for the most improved students in the LDF school.  This past year they arranged for lunches or cookies and coffee for the Memorial Services for four CPC members.

 

 

 

 

 

  

The Deacons source of income is f rom the envelopes collected the first Sunday of each month as well as generous member donations.  With this income, they finance the ‘pastor’s fund’ for those in need of gas, groceries and other necessities; contribute to Christmas gifts for church staff and to the general Mission Committee funds.

        

In other actions, the Session approved the Treasurer’s Report following extensive discussion.  Motion by Elder Shugar, seconded by Elder Gelwicks.  The 2019 budget of $110 thousand was also approved on a motion made by Elder Raduege, as chair of the Budget/Finance Committee; seconded by Elder Birmingham.  Elder Raduege pointed out, however, that this budget was a ‘working budget’ that could be modified throughout the year.

   

The next regularly-scheduled Session meeting will be held on Friday, January 11, 2019.  Session will not meet in February or March unless members feel a special meeting should be called by the Moderator.

         

This meeting was adjourned on a motion by Elder Spellmeyer, seconded by Elder Shugar.  Dr. Anderson asked all to stand and he closed the meeting with a prayer.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Judy Allen, clerk

      

 

COFFEE HOUR HOSTS FOR DECEMBER

Host on Dec.2 were the Spellmeyers; on Dec. 9 we had a wonderful Brunch after the service; on Dec. 16 were the Lockwoods; on Dec. 23 were the Wilkes; and on Dec. 30 were the Spellmeyers.  We thank all the wonderful people that give their time and energy to the Coffee Hour before and after the service.  THANK YOU!

JANUARY BIRTHDAYS

            Billie Miller                                 Jan. 7

            Sue Gathmann                          Jan. 8

            Ruth Ann Kamerad                    Jan. 8

            Ron Wilke                                 Jan. 14

            Mark Mayeau                            Jan. 17

            Jim Sauer                                 Jan. 19

            Kelly Wheeler                            Jan. 19

JANUARY ANNIVERSARIES

No known Anniversaries

CHOIR CORNER

Volume 1, Issue 6

              First, I wish to thank our caring and warm congregation for the get well wishes, cards and calls that were extended to me during my elective surgery and recuperation.  The telewaves were palpable and a great comfort that has speeded my recovery.  So, now it’s back in the saddle and onward with our choral recovery.  Our thanks go out to Nancy DiCristina for taking over the choral duties during my absence.  It is a comfort to know that those duties will be executed with precision and professionalism when she is call upon to assist.

              Once again, and probably for as long as I am your Choir Director, I extend a clarion call to the congregation to share your God given musical talents with those of us who have already made that commitment.  The artistic talent shown in this congregation is impressive and includes those capable of choral singing.  Won’t you please step forward and become a part of our fun-loving group.  We won’t ask you to sing solos unless it is your desire to do so.  The only commitment I will make to you is that you will find your participation rewarding and fun-filled.  You will enjoy the appreciative comments from members of the congregation and experience the pleasure of enhancing their worship experience.  We need men (tenors, basses/baritones) and a few more women (sopranos and altos).

              January’s anthems are as follows (with appropriate choral participation):

              Jan. 6th is God So Loved the World

              Jan. 13th is Have You Any Room for Jesus?

              Jan. 20th is Let Us Sing the Songs (of Those Who Cannot Speak)

              Jan. 27th is Creation Will Be at Peace

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Sam Shugar, Choir Director

 

JANUARY SCRIPTURE READINGS

JANUARY 6, 2019

Epiphany Sunday

Isaiah 60: 1-6; Ps. 72: 1-7, 10-14; Eph. 3: 1-12; Matthew 2: 1-12

JANUARY 13, 2019

Baptism of the Lord

Isaiah 43: 1-7; Ps. 29; Acts 8: 14-17; Luke 3: 15-17, 21-22

JANUARY 20, 2019

 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Isa. 62: 1-5; Ps. 36: 5-10; 1 Cor. 12: 1-11; John 2: 1-11

JANUARY 27, 2019

3RD Sunday in Ordinary Time

Neh. 8: 1-3, 5-6, 8-10; Ps. 19; 1 Cor. 12: 12-31a; Luke 4: 14-21

 

            These readings are suggested by the Presbyterian Planning Calendar and may be changed depending on the topic of the sermon.  Liturgists will be called each week to tell them what the readings will be.

            Liturgists for the month of January will be:  January 6 is Ralph Kerler.  The rest of the month is open.

 

            Ushers for the month of January will be:  No one has signed up to be ushers for the month.

 

            Please sign up for Liturgist and Ushers at the Fellowship Hall table.  Your participation is urgently needed and greatly appreciated.

 

 

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“A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.”                             Unknown

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”                Martin Luther King, Jr.

Learn to light a candle in the darkest moments of someone’s life.  Be the light that helps others see.”

                                                          Roy T. Bennet

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SPECIAL DATES FOR JANUARY

New Year’s Day                                    January 1, 2019

Epiphany                                              January 6, 2019

Baptism of the Lord                               January 13, 2019

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity     January 18-25, 2019

Martin Luther King Jr. Day                     January 21, 2019

 

 

DEACONS REPORT

            Our plans for Shirlee Gallagher to provide a Christmas Brunch on Dec. 2 were cancelled due to her severe injury (a cat bite).  Several ladies gathered the week before and put together a delicious brunch of casseroles and fruit.  It was well attended and appreciated.  We had a surprise visit from a couple with 6 small children who provided our members with smiles and hugs.  Thank you to all who brought the goodies.

            Plants were ordered and arrived at the church in time for the third and fourth Sunday in Advent and Christmas Eve.  The flowers were given by members of the congregation for the glory of Christmas.  Thank you to all who participated.

            There will be a brief gathering to undecorate the Nave on January 3 – we need a few of the tall men to assist at 4 PM.

            Our next meeting will be held on January 14 at 10 AM when we plan for the new year.  Thank you for your continued support of the Deacons.

 

Blessings to all in the New Year.

 

Edi Spellmeyer, Moderator.

 

 

READING RESOLUTIONS

            Every January, many Christians resolve to read the entire Bible in one year.  That’s a worthy goal, but God doesn’t require us to read a certain number of verses or chapters per day.  Instead, He tells us to simply be in His Word – and thus be with Him – so He can grow our faith, light our path and assure us of His love and forgiveness.  God’s Word is a precious gift, but we need to “unwrap” it!

            F.B. Meyer offers this helpful advice for a new year of discovering (and rediscovering!) Scripture: “Read the Bible, not as a newspaper, but as a home letter.  If a cluster of heavenly fruit hangs within reach, gather it.  If a promise lies upon the page as a blank check, cash it.  If a prayer is recorded, appropriate it and launch it as a feathered arrow from the bow of your desire.  If an example of holiness gleams before you, ask God to do as much for you.  If truth is revealed…entreat that its brilliance may ever irradiate…your life.”

 

 

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As people of God and servants of our Lord Jesus Christ, we believe our mission to be the building of a strong fellowship, ministering to the spiritual and physical needs of the church, the community, and the world, fulfilling our Lord’s command to “love our neighbors”.

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