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NEWSLETTER

August 2017

 

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

 

It is hard to believe that the summer is so swiftly passing by. It is already August and it seems as if we have just begun the beautiful Northwoods in its “summer-mode.” Alas, let us enjoy it while we may and derive some strength, joy, and meaningfulness from the beauty of God’s creation. And, let us seek to be God’s partners in building and preserving this world in which we live and not be its devastators. There are many simple things we may do to make this happen—and it begins with being “responsible” for our activities and to raise the necessary ethical questions for the health and well-being of all.

 

The “ethical” questions and responsibilities lie not only in the beauty of creation, but also in the ways in which we respond or react to the many complex issues in the totality of our lives, e.g. in our social, political, ethnic and personal lives. Over the past few weeks I have been speaking about Jesus’ parable of the sower and the seeds. Looking at it historically, and from the perspective of our religious faith, it seems to be an upward, agonizing battle. Certainly it is most difficult. Even Jesus himself was unable to conquer it. His message was delivered to, and heard by, many, but the success rate—at least according to modern criteria for success— was minimal— only one of four reacted positively. Nevertheless his challenge to us was, and remains, very clear. We have a “message“ to deliver: a message of grace, peace, joy and love to and for all humanity. It is difficult for us to follow. The world is a complex place. Jesus’ response to this dilemma is very clear. In the parable the bottom line is that the world has been, is, and always shall be a place where the wheat and the weeds— metaphorically speaking— co-exist. And even though we shall probably lose more often than win, we are told to deliver the message of love regardless of the outcome. Thinking of these things reminds me of a book written by Paul Tillich many years ago entitled: “In the End God!”. Tillich’s book could very well be a commentary of Jesus’ parable of the sower. We may not see or know the results of our proclamations of love, peace, and joy now. It may be very frustrating and at very least seem unfair. Nevertheless, we should not be anxious, but continue trying to do the right thing, to love mercy and grace, as Micah so beautifully stated it, for “in the ‘END’ God’s love and grace shall prevail.” I understand how difficult this can be! Why should evil be so successful and goodness and truth, lost in a cloud of dust and confusion? I do not know! I do know, however, that I have been challenged by our faith to respond to evil, hate, prejudice, et.al.in the world. Whether I see the results immediately or not see results at all, my task is the same—share the gift of agape-love.

 

A simple, but clear illustration: many years ago my daughter taught biology at a Catholic High School in Dayton, Ohio. She became good friends with a Roman Catholic Sister who was a school counselor— let’s just call her Sister Jane. Sister Jane left her post at the High School to work in the “barrios” in Colombia, South America. While there she worked with the poor, the rejected, those whose basic needs were not being met by a very hostile, dictatorial government. One day the dictator’s military came to stop Sister Jane and her co-workers. She faced them head-on! She challenged the army indicating she and her colleagues were addressing fundamental, human needs. The government soldiers, however, were not in a mood for listening and raised their guns. Sister Jane raised her prayerbook and they fired their weapons piercing her prayerbook and killed her. She was on the side of humanness standing up against evil— this travesty should not have happened— in a more perfect world at least. But the world is not perfect; the world ”is” filled with weeds and wheat and our job is to keep speaking the truth and sharing God’s love. We need Sister Jane’s courage and belief that “in the end,” God’s love will prevail.

 

I met my daughter’s friend a few times at the high school, but I think of her often. Here is prima facie evidence of a faith being lived, a faith that is directed toward being a “humanizing” power in the world— a power derived from the essence of God’s being, namely agape-love! And this faith is not for the weak or faint-hearted! It is more than just saying: “I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior; “ it is “living” it!! Albert Camus, writer, philosopher, and often a critic of faith once told an audience of several hundred clergy that if they really lived their faith, this world would be a far better place! What do you think of his challenge?

 

Let me close by saying, I hope the weather continues to be favorable, and that you gain much from your time up north. And, in addition, that each of us may make a little contribution to the betterment of this world. It is a good, no, “great“ feeling.

 

In the meantime,

and as always,

Pax et Caritas,

Bill Anderson

 

 

SESSION NOTES

 

July 21 Session Meeting (postponed from regularlyscheduled July 14 meeting.

 

Dr. Anderson welcomed the Session and declaring a quorum, called the meeting to order at 10: AM with an opening prayer. Also present were CPC Treasurer Gary Beier and Clerk Judy Allen.

 

The Clerk reviewed the Presbytery communications she had received and passed onto members via e-mail. In clarification, it was determined that the new members approved by the Session at the last meeting had never been officially recognized to the congregation. That will be done in August.

 

CPC treasurer Gary Beier indicated that income side of budget in very good shape and some adjustments had to be made on the expenses but that they knew what those were and were attending to them. Discussion followed and the treasurer’s report approved.

 

Dr. Anderson will perforn the marriage of Michelle Johnson on August 6. Michelle is a former scholarship recipient of CPC. Elder Sam Shugar will again fill the pulpit on the first Sunday in August when the pasor is gone and Communion will be postponed until August 13, the second Sunday of the month.

 

Also, Dr. Anderson has appointed Elder DiCristina to serve as Chair of the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee consists of two elders (one of whom serves as chair), one deacon and four congregational representatives, who were selected at the last congregational meeting.

 

In committee reports, Elder Raduege reported that there had been a Finance Committee meeting on July 11. The purpose of the meeting was to establish a budget for 2018 which will be presented at the annual congregational meeting the third Sunday in August. Per the treasurer’s projection, the estimated budget is $115,000.

 

Elders Spellmeyer and Shugar noted that Dr. Anderson’s contract with CPC must be renewed by the end of September. Review of all staff will also have to be completed soon in order to be prepared for annual congregational meeting.

 

Elder Birmingham will be working on budget numbers for input to the Finance Committee with presentations to the congregation.. Elder Rosenthal reports on Missions on July 30; Treasurer Beier is scheduled for August 13 on overall budget; Elder Birmingham will speak on August 20 regarding Stewardship.

 

 In their report Elders Gelwicks and Schneider noted that the roofing had been completed and paid for; Attic lights have been replaced and door stops installed. The Church will be repainted in August, but all outdoor contractors are 3 to 4 weeks behind because of all the rain. The electrician has installed the new fans in the sanctuary and they were used for the first time on Sunday.

 

Dr. Anderson reported that a special recognition Sunday will be held on July 30, recognizing all those involved in music and the other arts, including those who record the service. His sermon topic will center on theology in arts and music.

 

Discussion was extensive regarding the congregational survey on ‘applause in church’. Elder Shugar will summarize the survey results and Session decision elsewhere in the newsletter.

 

THE NEXT REGULARLY-SCHEDULED SESSION MEETING IS FRIDAY, AUGUST 11, 2017, 10:00 AM

 

 

COFFEE HOUR HOSTS

 

Coffee hour hosts for July 9th were the Gelwicks, July 16th were the Petermans on July23rd, the Lockwoods, and on July 30th were the Gelwicks and the Hettingas.

 

 

AUGUST BIRTHDAYS AND ANNIVERSARIES

 

Jack Miller                   Aug.3

Esther Meyer               Aug.3

Marie Peterman           Aug. 12

Martha Jane Bannister Aug. 16

Charles Granger          Aug.16

Carol Gelwicks             Aug. 17

Diane Bridgeforth        Aug. 19

John Spellmeyer           Aug. 21

 

Tom and Carol Gelwicks      Aug. 1

Andrew and Esther Meyer   Aug. 20

Dr.Bill and Fran Raduege     Aug. 24

Charles and Ellen Granger    Aug. 26

Ries and Pat Behling           Aug. 28

Jerry and Linda Lockwood     Aug. 29

 

 

APPLAUSE IN WORSHIP

 

 The polls are closed, the votes are in and counted, and the congregation’s participation was 26%. That result is probably not too bad for a nonelection year, but a bit disappointing given the subject at hand. Of the 26% responding, 33% were in one fashion or other opposed to applause in worship. 24% felt that they could be comfortable with applause if the motivation were an uplifting of spirit, and 43% felt that they could support applause within the parameters of spiritual uplifting—-indeed thay might feel compelled to participate if they had similar feeling.

 

The Session took these results under advisement at its July 21st meeting. Concluding that the results were sparse and not statistically significant, Session agreed to adhere to the policy of restrained applause currently in effect. Session also agreed to hold this topic in abeyance for a future review since subjects such as this have a tendency to change policies as practices and attitudes change. Session thanks those who took the time to review and respond. Your written comments were noted and will be considered at future discussions should they arise.

 

 

THANK YOU

 

 Many thanks to the PW and to all those involved in making the “Music and Sound” Sunday such a special event. The flowers were beautiful and the ice cream and cake were enjoyed by all.

 

Sincerely,

Mary, Mary Jane, Nancy and John

 

 

AUGUST SCRIPTURE READINGS

 

August 6, 2017

18th Sunday in Ordinary time

Gen.32:22-31; Ps.17:1-7, 15; Rom.9:1-5; Matt.14:13-21

 

August 13, 2017

 19th Sunday in 0rdinary time

Communion Sunday

Gen.37:1-4, 12-28; Ps.105:1-6, 16-22, 45b; Rom.10:5-15; Matt.14:22-33

 

August 20, 2017

 20th Sunday in 0rdinary time

Gen.45:1-15; Ps.133; Rom. 11:1-2a, 29-32; Matt.15:(10-20) 21-28

 

August 27, 2017

21st Sunday in Ordinary time

Ex. 1:8-2:10; Ps. 124; Rom. 12:1-8; Matt. 16:13-20

 

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

 

Liturgists for the month will be: Dick Rosenthal on Aug. 6 and Sam Shugar on August 13. The rest of the month is open.

 

Ushers for the month will be Jim and Maxine Mulleady on August 13. The rest of the month is open.

 

We really need people to sign up for ushers and liturgists this month. The sign-up sheets are on the table in the Fellowship Hall. Please add your names!!!!

 

 

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

 

 “God only gives each of us a certain amount of time to be on this earth and every day when we wake up, we get to decide how we are going to spend those precious minutes and hours.”

 

Rory Feek

 

 

THE GIFT OF TIME

 

 From the first seconds of our existence until the last moments of our life, God has not intended to leave us any empty time….nor any for us to lose. The important thing is to know what He wants us to do with it. Francois Fenelon

 

 

OPTIMISM

 

Count your blessings instead of your crosses,

Count your gains instead of your losses.

Count your joy instead of your woes,

Count your friends instead of your foes.

Count your smiles instead of your tears,

Count your courage instead of your fears.

Count your full years instead of your lean,

Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.

Count your health instead of your wealth,

Count on God instead of yourself.

 

Trinity Church Chimes, Youngstown, Ohio

 

 

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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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