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NEWSLETTER

March 2019

 

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

 

Well, I guess, at least one-half of our beloved little congregation went South for the winter, and this winter they have certainly made an intelligent choice.  As far as I can recall, the snows, the cold, the winter-in-general, is the fiercest Carolyn and I have faced since we arrived here in Lac du Flambeau thirteen years ago.  The snow on our deck is so high we cannot look over to get a good glimpse of our now frozen Lake Long Interlocken.  While all of this is problematic in many ways, e.g., we had to cancel worship services on the last Sunday of February (only the second time in my tenure at the church) to keep everyone safe and sound.  And while it is profoundly beautiful in so many ways, I think we have had more than our share.  Unfortunately, it seems that we are yet to experience more of the same in the opening weeks of march.  Oh well, spring may be just around the corner on the traditional calendar, but, in real time, it probably will not be present here for quite some time---Memorial Day?---lol.  Nevertheless, Carolyn and I still do not regret coming to this lovely part of God’s creation.  We just have to adjust and enjoy it!!  Hope you all are enjoying where you are as well---whether it be North or South.

 

On some other fronts, namely, the world fronts of politics, the economy, whether it be the social or financial economy, or the world of hate and prejudice we unfortunately all find ourselves living in and continue to tempt and challenge us.  It is a difficult world to be sure and while so many of us are aware of these difficulties, we often find ourselves sucked in by these cosmological clutches and their offerings.  Evil, as we all know, is so tempting, so inviting, and our beloved church as it gets drawn into this pool of venom, as it has time and time again over the centuries, because we have difficulty keeping our eye on the real prize---even as we are “people of God!”

 

Sometime ago the English person of letters, i.e. Dorothy L. Sayres, was drawn into a discussion with some young university men about her contention that the Christian faith was very exciting, dramatic. 

These young men countered even though they did not necessarily dislike the faith, they just could not believe it.  They retorted that all the things she was saying were quite astonishing and revolutionary novelties, they were simply imported by her feverish imagination.  She retorted by arguing that if her work was dramatic, it was so, not in spite of the doctrines, but because of them.  Her apologetic was not well received; it was felt that if there was anything attractive in Christian philosophy, she had to have put it there.

 

What kind of faith were they challenging?  Let me give you just a few samples of the critics understanding of the Christian faith, samples for which we, as Christian people, must bear much responsibility.  Here are a few for you to ponder:

  1. What does the church think of God?  Answer:  God is omnipotent and holy.  He created the world and imposed conditions on human beings impossible of fulfillment…. He like to be truckled to…and is always ready to pounce on anybody who trips up over a difficulty in the law…He is rather like a dictator, only larger and more arbitrary.
  2. What is the doctrine of the Trinity?  Answer:  The Father Incomprehensible, the Son Incomprehensible, and the whole thing incomprehensible.  Something invented by theologians to make it more difficult---and has nothing to do with daily life or ethics.
  3. What is faith?  Answer:  Resolutely shutting your eyes to scientific fact.
  4. What is the human intellect?  Answer:  A barrier to faith.

 

There are many more question and answers, but I am sure you can get the point from these four.

Personally, I cannot help but stand with Dorothy Sayres, i.e. that as a statement of the Christian faith, these replies are not only inadequate, but misleading as well.   At the same time, over some 55 plus years in ministry I cannot help but feel, as well, that they do represent what many people take the Christian faith to be.

What can we do here?  Are we really following the right Jesus and are we following him “all the way”?  We are reluctant to challenge or offend anyone or interfere with business, for example.  We do not use our wits to disentangle knotty questions nor hasten to challenge our society’s leaders by asking them penetrating questions.  We pass over disquieting jests about making friends with the unrighteous or unlovely and alarming observations about not bringing peace but a sword; nor do we distinguish ourselves by the graciousness with which we sit down with those powerbrokers who control our society.  SomehoI contend along with Sayres that the faith “is the drama, the excitement”---not beautiful phrases, not comforting sentiments, nor vague aspirations to lovingkindness and uplift, not even the promise of something nicer after death---but the terrifying assertion that the same God who made the world, lived in the world and passed through the grave and the gate of death.  Show that to doubters, and they may not believe it; but at least they may realize that here is something that a person might be glad to believe.  Amen and Amen!             w, with the best of intentions, we have shown the world the typical Christian in the likeness of a crashing and ill-natured bore.  And we do this in the name of one who assuredly never bored anyone in those 33 years or so during which He passed through the world like a flame.

Let us, in heaven’s name, drag the divine drama out from under the dreadful accumulation of slipshod thinking and trashy sentiment heaped upon it and set it on an open stage to startle the world into some sort of vigorous reaction.  If the pious are the first to be shocked, so much the worse for the pious---others will pass into the kingdom of heaven before them.  If people are offended because of Jesus as the Christ, let them be offended.  Where is the sense of their being offended at something that is not the Christ and is nothing like Him?  We do Him singularly little honor by watering down His personality until it could not offend even a fly.  Surely it is not the business of the church to adapt Jesus to people, but to adapt people to Jesus.

I contend along with Sayres that the faith “is the drama, the excitement”---not beautiful phrases, not comforting sentiments, nor vague aspirations to lovingkindness and uplift, not even the promise of something nicer after death---but the terrifying assertion that the same God who made the world, lived in the world and passed through the grave and the gate of death.  Show that to doubters, and they may not believe it; but at least they may realize that here is something that a person might be glad to believe.  Amen and Amen!
   

Well, enough for no
w.  Hope you are all doing well, wherever you are.  And, “we do” really do, look forward to your return to these beautiful Northwoods.     

 

As always,

Pax et caritas tecum.

Bill Anderson

THERE ARE NO SESSION NOTES FOR FEBRUARY OR MARCH

Session will readjourn in April

MARCH BIRTHDAYS

 

Pam Fraboni                                March 3

Bill Streng                                    March 6

Nancy DiCristina                         March 12

Connie Doedens                         March 13

Owen Karlmann                          March 15

Dennis Robertson                      March 25

 

MARCH ANNIVERSARIES

There are no known anniversaries in March.

THE CHOIR CORNER

              First, on behalf of our choir, I wish to thank our caring and warm congregation for your compliments on our last several choral anthems.  It amazes me that such a small band of singers can create the blend of voices and harmony cherished by musicians everywhere.  It is no small feat, but it is also not without a great deal of effort from our small group of committed choral participants.  Imagine, for a moment, what we could accomplish with a few more members particularly in the men’s sections.  I dream of choral concerts, of musical parables, and perhaps combined sessions with our sister choir in Manitowish Waters.  Such dreams notwithstanding, it still gives us great pleasure to be able to provide an important and integral part of the church service supporting our clergy and pleasing so many of our congregants.  Again, thank you for your kind words and thoughts and please consider joining our merry band.  We are a fun group and enjoy each other and singing for your pleasure.

              Our selections for March are:

March 3: Come to the Banquet

March 10: Beside Still Waters

March 17: Follow Me

March 24: You’ll Never Walk Alone

March 31: Gather Your Children, Dear Savior, in Peace

              We rehearse at 8:30 a.m. for one hour each Sunday.  Please consider joining us.  You don’t know what you are missing!

 

Respectfully submitted,

Sam Shugar, Choir Director

 

COFFEE HOUR HOSTS FOR FEBRUARY

Feb. 3, 2019:  Tom and Carol Gelwicks

Feb. 10, 2019:  Shirlee Gallagher

Feb. 17, 2019:  Ron and Deb Wilke

Feb. 24, 2019:  Jillanne Consie

 

Thank you all for your time and contributions.

 

 

MARCH SCRIPTURE READINGS

 

MARCH 3, 2019

Transfiguration of the Lord

Exod. 34:29-35; Ps. 99; 2 Cor. 3: 12-42; Luke 9: 28-36 (37-43)

 

MARCH 10, 2019

1st Sunday in Lent

Deut. 26:1-11; Ps. 91:1-2, 9-16; Rom. 10: 8b-13; Luke 4: 1-13

 

MARCH 17, 2019

2nd Sunday in Lent

Gen. 15: 1-12, 17-18; Ps. 27; Phil. 3: 17-4:1; Luke 13: 31-35

 

MARCH 24, 2019

3rd Sunday in Lent

Isaiah 55: 1-9; Ps. 63: 1-8; 1 Cor. 10: 1-13; Luke 13: 1-9

 

MARCH 31, 2019

4th Sunday in Lent

Josh. 5: 9-12; Ps. 32; 2 Cor. 5: 16-21; Luke 15: 1-3, 11b-32

           

            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 March will be:

March 3:

March 10:

March 17:

March 24:

March 31:

           

Ushers for the month of March will be:

March 3:

March 10:

March 17:

March 24:

March 31:

 

As you can see, we have nobody signed up for Liturgists and Ushers. 

 

Please sign up for Liturgist and Ushers in the Fellowship Hall.  Your participation is urgently needed and greatly appreciated.  Thank you for your help.

 

 

 Faith Journey

             A family was heading on vacation: two little ones were nestled in car seats; the van was packed.  As Dad locked the house and Mom secured the garage, an adult neighbor the kids knew walked up and spoke through an open window.  “Where are you going?”  The kids shrugged.  “Well what road are you taking?” the friend asked with a knowing smile.  Of course, they had no idea.  “Do you know where you’ll eat today, or where you’ll spend the night?”  Blank stares.  Then the friend asked, “Who are you traveling with?”  The children broke into grins and shouted, “Mommy and Daddy!”

            On our journey of life, we don’t know precisely where we’re headed or how all our needs will be met.  But we know who we’re traveling with: our loving God who’s fully aware of the twists and turns ahead; the loving Parent who promises to care for us wherever we go.

SPECIAL DATES FOR MARCH 2019

 

World Day of Prayer                           March 1

Transfiguration of our Lord                  March 3

Ash Wednesday                                  March 6

First Sunday of Lent                            March 10

Daylight Saving Time begins               March 10

Second Sunday in Lent                       March 17

First Day of spring                               March 20

Third Sunday in Lent                           March 24

Fourth Sunday in Lent                                  March 31

 

 

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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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PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN

 

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