643 Abe Road (Hwy 47), Lac du Flambeau, WI 54538    email:  nicea325@frontier.com    phone:  715-588-7150

 

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NEWSLETTER

January 2018

 

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

   

If you are one of our “snowbirds,” you are most likely quite overjoyed that you are up here with us in the very “beautiful” Northwoods.  Why?  Well, for starters, the temperature at the present moment has reached as low as -18 here at the church, and it appears that we shall have a continued “cold” spell for at least several days.  On the bright side, we have also had some lovely snow that has made it absolutely gorgeous up here in this beautiful part of our nation.  For those who are here and unhappy, I usually remind them that one day after another gets us that much closer to “spring.”  But it is still very gorgeous, and Carolyn and I enjoy it very much.  We also enjoy you “snowbirds” and look forward to your return come the “warmer days.”

 

We have just finished our Christmas Eve Sunday service with the traditional Christmas Eve Service following later in the same day since Christmas Eve was on a Sunday this year.  We had a nice gathering in the late afternoon; “Candlelight Service” was as beautiful as always.  It is a simple service that always touches me deeply.  This year I had my family: children and their spouses, along with all our grandchildren participate in the service with me.  It was a delight for me.

 

It is amazing to me that we are in this year of 2018, and at the outset, let me wish for all a healthy, happy, and successful year.  We need all our energies to seek peace, justice, joy and love in this world, and in our nation, which seem so out of sorts.  The message of our faith, a strong, healthy message, is one of generosity, forgiveness, peace and love for all.  Unfortunately, while we seem to capture some of this message during the Advent/Christmas season, our commitment to much of this positive energy fades rapidly.  The “Merry Christmas,” which had become such a familiar exchange almost everywhere- simply disappears – and we revert to our busy, hurried ways.  The famous “I-Thou” of Marin Buber, where we move from treating others as “real people” to “objects to be manipulated.”  These flows, it seems to me, through all aspects of life: from the familial, to the social, to the national and the international.  It is difficult to maintain the central message of the faith, i.e. to “love one another,” but not impossible.  We need to maintain our concern for others – people and nations – and eliminate our propensity for “I” strain, the exaggeration of “self-centeredness.” 

 

It is painful to see the hate in the world.  The oppression of people everywhere, even in our own nation; it is distressing to see the poverty that exists, the racial, ethnic, and religious prejudices that fuel so much of our distress; religious communities, which have much in common with each other, are often at the center of many of these dehumanizing conflicts, even as they profess, each in their own way, a quest for peace, statements of justice and love.  They fail, however, to see that there are many roads up the mountain of life and my hope is that the closer we get to the top, we will realize we are all coming together.  The Christian faith, with its emphasis on “agape” love – other centered love, is at the center reaching out to all.  Let us, let all our people become a part of this reconciling, healing process rather than the destructive, dehumanizing path of self-centeredness, in all phases of life, e.g. personal, national, racial, and ethnic.  The world would be a much more beautiful place in which to live if these values – espoused by many – would become more of a reality.  Hopefully, we can make this one of our primary goals for 2018.  We will not achieve perfection, but we can move in the right direction.

           I close with a poem I wrote several years ago around Christmastime.  It is simply titled:

 

LOVE INCARNATE

 

             Once in ages past, Love became Incarnate!

Yet, this love, Ever was, Ever is, Ever shall be!

So simple – yet profound, but they missed its coming.

 

So gentle, so kind

So universally compassionate –

Yet they missed its coming – then

Just as we miss Its presence, Now!

 

The world we see –

Prances and dances –

Rises and falls around us.

 

The world pronounces its power.

Decrees its authority

Affirms and asserts its dominance,

But overlooks its failures and weaknesses,

Dismisses its temporality, its finitude.

 

Yet, Love Incarnate – genuine before our eyes

Goes without recognition!

 

This Existent

Persistent,

Consistent Love,

Simply IS!  Always, and Ever!

 

Oddly, in the strangest of places

In the eyes,

In the hearts – and even

In the wrinkles of the aged.

 

In the smiles,

The chattering voices of children,

In the spirit and will of those who seek.

 

In the city-puddle rainbows

And the smoggy skies

Of darkened, huddled cities,

In the simple gift of a greeting,

A handshake,

An embrace for

The lonely,

The poor,

The estranged.

 

This Love Universal –

This Love Incarnate –

Challenges and encourages us

To see,

To feel,

To taste,

To touch and be touched,

By the heart and hand of the Eternal,

The divinity known not be one name only,

But by many – for Love Incarnate is

In the One and the Many, always and ever!

 

Have a great January and a New Year filled with joy,

 peace and love.

 

And for now, as always,

Pax et Caritas,

Bill Anderson

 

 

SESSION NOTES from Dec. 8 2017

 

The Session of Community Presbyterian Church met for it’s regularly-scheduled meeting on Friday, December 8. After having decided that there was indeed a quorum present, Dr. Anderson called the meeting to order with prayer.

 

After approval of both the previous regularly-scheduled meeting on November 10th and the special Session meeting to receive Deb and Ron Wilke into membership on November 19th, the clerk reviewed all correspondence from Presbytery that she had passed onto the members via e-mail. She then reminded all of the Christmas Brunch to be held Sunday, December 10th immediately following the worship service and the Special Congregational meeting to be held on Sunday, December 17, also immediately following worship, to elect an elder to fill the remaining year (2018) of Elder Siroin’s term.

 

Dr. Anderson then reminded all that there will be two services on Sunday, December 24th; the regular Sunday morning worship at 10:00 am and the Christmas Eve service of Carols and Readings at 4:00 pm.

 

Treasurer Gary Beier presented his 2018 budget based on $113,000 gross income, based on $75,000 pledged income, $24,000 non-pledge income, and Deacons contribution of $5,000. He also indicated that he would stay in close touch with the office via computer, although he would be in Arizona from just after Christmas until June. Assistant Treasurer and Finance Chair Elder Raduege will be responsible for all treasurer activities for the Session, but will be in close touch with Beier.

 

In their committee reports, Elder Gelwicks, Building/Grounds, indicated that he had requested a fill on the propane tanks alt-hough propane was at $1.69, that the furnaces were running well, that the fans in the sanctuary have been set for winter, and that there was sand, salt and shovels in the entryway for anyone to use!

 

Elder Raduege, Budget/Finance chair, reminded all that the budget was a working document and could easily be amended during the year.

 

Elder Fraboni, new Missions chair, passed out the suggested Missions budget, pointing out that she and the Missions committee expect to revisit their budget in April.

 

 Dr. Anderson let the Personnel committee report and extensive discussion followed regarding staff. As the head of staff, Dr. Anderson will talk with each staff member personally and report back to Session in January.

 

The January 12th Session meeting will be the annual joint meeting with the Board of Deacons, to go over Deacons responsibilities and duties as prescribed by the Presbyterian Church, USA.

 

Judy Allen, Clerk

 


JANUARY BIRTHDAYS AND ANNIVERSARIES

 

Billie Miller    Jan. 7

Sue Gathmann    Jan. 8

Jim Sauer    Jan. 19

Kelly Wheeler    Jan. 19

 

There are no known anniversaries this month.

 

 

Note of Thanks

 

 We would like to take the time to thank Rebecca Wright for filling in, once again, as pianist/organist while we look for a replacement.

 

 

Choir Note

 

 Because of very cold weather and poor choir attendance, it has been decided to disband the choir until warmer weather and the “snowbirds” return. We should be back “in voice” again in April. Thank you for your understanding.

 

 

SPECIAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING

 

Called solely for the purpose of electing an Elder to fill the remaining year of Elder Siroin’s term (2018). This specially called meeting was called to order by Moderator Anderson immediately following the worship service on December 17, 2017.

 

 Elder Nancy Di Cristina, who completed her term on Session in 2017, had volunteered to stay on to replace Elder Siroin in her capacity as Worship and Music Chairman for 20218. The Nominating Committee and the Session had endorsed Elder DiCristina since she had been serving as chair of that committee in recent months.

 

Moderator Anderson called three times for any further nominations from the floor. Member Kathy LaBarge moved that nominations be closed and a unanimous vote be cast for DiCristina; motion seconded by member Carol Gelwicks; all present voted aye.

 

Member Bill Raduege called for the meeting to be adjourned. Moderator Anderson closed the meeting with prayer and adjourned all to the Fellowship Hall for coffee.

 

 

COFFEE HOUR HOSTS for DECEMBER

 

Coffee hour hosts for Dec. 3, was Jill Consie, for Dec. 10 were the Hettingas, for Dec.17 was Edi Spellmeyer, for Dec.24 was Shirlee Gallagher and Dec. 31 was Pat and Ries Behling. We all thank you very much for your hard work providing the food for fellowship.

 

 

JANUARY SCRIPTURE READINGS

 

January 7, 2018

Communion Sunday

Baptism of the Lord

Gen. 1:1-5; Ps. 29; Acts 19: 1-7; Mark 1: 4-11

 

January 14, 2018

 2nd Sunday in ordinary time

1 Sam. 3:1-10 (11-20); Ps 139: 1-6, 13-18; 1 Cor. 6: 12-20; John 1: 43-51

 

January 21, 2018

3rd Sunday in ordinary time

Jonah 3: 1-5, 10; Ps. 62: 5-12; 1 Cor. 7:29-31; Mark 1: 14-20

 

January 28, 2018

4th Sunday in ordinary time

Deut. 18: 15-20; Ps. 111; 1 Cor. 8: 1-13; Mark 1:21-28

 

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 will be: Jan.7th - Nancy DiCristina; the rest of the month is open. Please sign up for the month if you are able and going to be here.

 

Ushers for the month will be? The sign-up sheets are in the fellowship hall. Please add your names!!

 

 

A NEW YOU

 

The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.

 

G.K. Chesterton

 

 

DIETRICH BONHOEFFER QUOTES

 

“The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.”

 

 “The Church is the Church only when it exists for others… not dominating, but helping and serving. It must tell men of every calling what it means to live for Christ, to exist for others.”

 

 “We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God.”

 

 

DEACON’S REPORT

 

The Deacons met in December to welcome Shirley Shugar and Shirlee Gallagher as new Deacons, and thanked Bette Rosenthal and Jan Garvey for their years of service. Officers were elected.

 

Our purpose is to look after the needs of the congregation. We rely on you to let us know of needs so we can call on the sick, send cards, make phone calls of encouragement, or do errands, etc. Please keep us informed of known needs.

 

Other activities include:

Serving a supper to all who volunteered to decorate the church for Christmas;

 Preparing the elements for communion each month;

Serve at greeters each Sunday;

 Manage the prayer chain;

Arranging for flowers for Holy days;

Changing the paraments

and many other duties.

 

The Deacons sent $2000.00 to the mission committee and $600.00 to the Pastor’s fund in December. We joined with the PW to collect funds for the Lakeland Pantry via the mitten tree and delivered flowers or fruit to the recently hospitalized.

 

We look forward to the New Year and the challenges that will come.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

 

 Edi Spellmeyer—Moderator for 2018

 


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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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