Blessings upon you, Just a couple of weeks ago I returned from the Jamaican Ecumenical Mutual Mission Youth Exchange. This exchange and mission was incredible! I joined 13 other Floridians and 10 Jamaicans for 14 days of sharing God’s love and building the Kingdom of God. This year the JEMM- SAMM (St. Augustine Mutual Mission) celebrates thirty years of partnership and the largest youth exchange in its history. I was amazed, although I know I shouldn’t have been, at how God worked in so many ways. God brought together these youth and adult leaders across geographical and cultural divides, and formed a team that reached out to the homeless, the elderly, the sick, and the marginalized. This group of youth was amazing in how they bonded so quickly and became lifelong friends on a mission to love their neighbors as themselves. I was impressed that even while doing some of the most menial tasks, such as folding baby bibs, the team had fun and found meaning in what they were doing. These youth understood that we are all called to do God’s work in different ways. One youth told me, “Some are called to prepare the ground, some are to plant the seeds, some are to nurture and fertilize the seeds, and some are to harvest the seeds of love. Our calling is not always to do the fun stuff of planting or harvesting, but that doesn’t make it any less of a loving act.” So true! I thought what a wonderful world this would be if we all found joy and love in even the most menial of tasks. The Kingdom of God needs us all to work the field of souls to fully bring in the Kingdom of God. Blessings mon’
Pastor ........................................ Andy Gans Visitation Pastor (Ret.) ............ Tom McNeil Music Director........................... Rick Roberts Executive Assistant ................... Chris Muramatsu Nursery Attendant .................... Tammy Keeslar Proofreaders.............................. Susan M. Jensen and John Stewart
Contributors ...............................Members of Ft. King Assembling .................................Phyllis Altonn, Kay Dahlen, Dorothy Decker, Joyce Gauntt, Eleanor Hayesmore, Pat Merrill, Carol Primm, Roselle Pringle, Judith Simonin, Aileen Zimmerman Bulk Mail Handling...................John Stewart
Worship: Sundays 10:30 a.m.
Office: (352) 694694-4121 FAX: (352) 694-5226 13 NE 36TH AVENUE OCALA, FLORIDA 34470 www.fortking.org [email protected]
ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE
Fort King Presbyterian Church Financials Effective 6/30/13
Month Budget June 2013 Income Estimate of Giving Mortgage Reduction Other Income Total Income Total Expense Net Surplus/ Deficit Endowment 24,639 0 23,531 0 (1,107) 0 6,406 5,299 (6,975) 12,274 147,832 0 0 147,832 150,202 (2,370) 143,129 75 287 143,491 131,628 11,863 (4,703) 143.801 75 287 1050 158.781 (672) (975) (13,290) (13,290) 6,990 (20,280) Actual June 2013 Budget Compared to Actual Budget Jan-Jun 2013 Year-To-Date Actual Budget Actual 2013 YTD Jan–Jun Compared Jan-Jun Compared 2013 to 2012 to Actual 2012 YTD
0 6,406  24,639 26,393 (1,754) 29,937 19,418 10,520
(4,341) 156,781 (18,573) 124,638 9.493 32,143
 Adjustment made to move Memorial Garden Expense from 2013 to 2012.
Church Photo Directory
The Church Photo Directory is here. If you had your picture taken for the directory, see Joe Strawder to pick up your copy of the directory.
CONGREGATIONAL CARE (continued)
Many thanks to our friends at Fort King for your prayers, calls, cards, and food during our lingering illnesses. Although we are not up to par yet, we believe we’re both on the mend. A special thank you to the Prayer Shawl Ministry for giving us comforting shawls made in prayer and in love. Dick and Margy Marshall
To my wonderful nursery helpers, A note of thanks to all of you for helping Tammy in the nursery. It was a pleasure talking to each of you and working on the nursery schedule. I am very sad with the decision to hand this over to someone else. I have some health issues and must take care of this old gal! My love and gratitude to each of you. My love and thanks, Gouley
The Ft. King Presbyterian Family is the Best
I am so touched to have so many people keep me in their prayers, send me cards, bring me flowers, call, and visit me while I was in the hospital. I am so grateful as it certainly got me through my hip replacement and kept my spirits up during my recovery. An extra special “thank you” to those who volunteered to and those who covered the office and opened and closed the office for me. Thank you ever so much! God’s blessing, Chris Muramatsu
CONGREGATIONAL CARE (continued)
The Prayer Shawl Ministry is a major activity of the Congregational Care team. Begun the summer of 2010 under the leadership of Onalee Mease and Amanda Osenga, the group has now completed 100 shawls and baby blankets (40 of these blessed this year alone)! Just think - 100 individuals have been blessed by receiving a shawl. Most of the shawls have gone to those who are experiencing life’s difficulties. The recipients may not go as far as Linus in the Peanuts cartoon who carries his blanket with him everywhere, but they use the shawls as a comfort and place of refuge, content in the knowledge that other people care. The shawls are knitted by a dedicated group of ladies who meet the first Tuesday of each month from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Session Room. In addition to Onalee, the group currently includes Helen Brown, Kathy Bohner, Roberta Burns, Sue Chancey, Chris Hare, Colleen Livingston, Judy O’Hern, Helen Reed, Louise Scott, and Ruth Sibley. Each shawl is knitted with prayer and the completed shawls are blessed by Pastor Andy, usually during a Sunday morning service. If you know of someone who could benefit from receiving a prayer-blessed shawl, if you would like to become a knitter of shawls, or if you would like to make a donation to this ministry, please speak to Onalee (6873160) or to any of the Prayer Shawl knitters.
Adult Discipleship Ministry
Recently the adult class has been reviewing “Ethics in the Drone Age”. After a study of the various forms of ethics and particularly of Christian ethics, the class on August 4th will return to the issue of the use of drones by the government and others. The final class on August 11th will provide an opportunity for class members to discuss what, if anything, the Christian response to current events should be. August 18th is Rally Day for all Christian educational classes. Following a delicious potluck breakfast, representatives from each aspect of Fort King’s educational program will present their plans for the fall. After this, the group will break into their respective classes. The adult section will feature guest speaker Dr. Richard Kirk from the College of Central Florida’s Department of Religion. August 25th will see the beginning of a four-part series on the concept of religious freedom, one of the unique foundations in the creation of our country as it was seen by America’s founding fathers.
New Beginnings…Rally Day 2013
Yes, it is time once again to begin a new year of Sunday School classes for all ages. On Sunday, August 18th we will celebrate our annual “Rally Day” with a covered dish breakfast in the Fellowship Hall at 9:15 a.m. After sharing breakfast we will meet the new teachers for this fall and hear about class offerings for the upcoming season. After breakfast, the elementary children will meet in the classroom with their teachers. Parents are invited to join them. Youth may also meet with their teachers in their classroom. Adults will remain in the Fellowship Hall to hear a guest speaker. Please mark your calendars for this date, bring your favorite breakfast dish and come to celebrate a new beginning for 2013!
A Service Focused on Celebrating Your Gifts August 25, 10:30 a.m.
Two years ago, Amanda Osenga, Buddy MacKay and Mary Beth Neely initiated our church’s first Faith Leaders program. A small group of dedicated church members spent 26 weekly sessions and two retreats focusing on spiritual selfdiscovery, spiritual practices, discernment and a personal plan for service in the church and community. The process took participants through their inward journey and outward journey. Joanne Ohlman and Margaret Spontak facilitated a second group this past year. The sessions included topics such as biblical models of leadership, discovering your spiritual gifts, prayer practice, and scriptures to guide both personal and congregational ministry. Participants in both graduating classes developed personal plans for ministry and strengthened their existing spiritual practices. Susan Jensen, Becky Wolf, and Judith Bullen have agreed to facilitate this year’s class. The group was so inspired and motivated that they wanted to share their experience with the congregation. A special Faith Leaders Service is scheduled for August 25th at 10:30 with special music, introspective prayer, and a sermon by Susan Jensen. Prior to the service, coffee and pastries will be served in the Narthex and the covered walkway leading into the church. We hope you plan to attend and leave inspired about your personal gifts. If you are interested in participating in this year’s Faith Leaders Class, a very brief informational session will be held right on the 25th after the service in the Sanctuary.
Good News For Women’s Retreat…
Montgomery Conference Center has reduced their retreat costs for the Women’s Retreat this year! Our annual Women’s retreat will take place November 1-3, 2013. It may seem a little early to make plans for attending this great event, but the inn rooms will fill up very quickly. Our facilitator will again be Becca Gillespie, Pastor of The First Presbyterian Church in Middleburg, FL. The cost for the entire weekend in the inn will be $130, entire weekend in a cabin will be $110. There are other options for partial attendance with lower costs. You may call Bernice Henry or Anne Hill to reserve a space. A deposit of $25 will be due by September 15, 2013. We are looking forward to a great retreat!
Crafty Ladies meet on Thursdays from 11:00-3:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. Hope to see all of you there. If you would like to join our group, come for a visit some Thursday and see what we are doing and how you can help. We welcome new people and new talents!
Card Making Ministry
Card Making Ministry is taking the summer off. Come join us again in September on the 2nd Friday of every month at 10:00 a.m. until about Noon. We will meet off-site. Please contact Prudence Pritz if you are interested in joining this group.
All widows and single ladies are welcome to join Sassy Seniors on Wednesday, August 14th at 1:00 p.m. This month’s luncheon will be at Blue Highway on Silver Springs Blvd across from Wolfy’s.
Men’s Night Out
Men’s Night Out will take a break for the rest of the summer. See you in September.
Equal Exchange Items for Sale
In 1986, Equal Exchange was founded to challenge the existing trade model, which favors large plantations, agri-business, and multi-national corporations; support small farmers; and connect consumers and producers through information, education, and the exchange of products in the marketplace. With our founding, we joined a growing movement of small farmers, alternative traders (ATOs), religious organizations, and non-profits throughout the world with like-minded principles and objectives. Underlying our work is the belief that only through organization, can small farmers survive and thrive. Items we have for sale: Regular coffee is $7; Decaf is $8; Tea is $3; Chocolate Bar is $3; Olive Oil is $11. Items for sale are under the mailboxes in the Church Office.
Habitat for Humanity Work Day
The Mission Ministry would like to thank the people that turned out to help on the Habitat for Humanity home. We had nine volunteers. Thank you: Lorraine, George, Kaitlyn, and Jacob Fuller, Carole and Wesley De Lucian, Nancy Stephenson, Andy Gans and Bill Reed. The people in charge of the program were impressed with our ability to pitch in and help.
Mission Ministry wants to remind the congregation that there will be a blood drive on August 25th. There will be a Ministry member in the Narthex after worship on August 12th and August19th to sign up people for donations. Please help us meet the need for blood.
Thank You Teachers: Stewards of our Future
Lorraine Fuller, Sally Layendecker, Cate Martin, Traci Orme, Donna Lavery, Craig Lipscomb, Courtney Lipscomb, Michele Danley, Beverly Scott and recently retired Anthony and Nell Clegorne Did you know there is a $29 million shortfall in the school board budget for the school year 2013-2014? Consequently, teachers’ classroom budgets will be cut back, leaving a void in funds for necessary supplies for their students. 67% of children in Marion County live in families whose income is below the poverty level. In some of our schools this is even higher. Studies indicate that teachers will spend at least $150 dollars buying supplies for their classrooms to help these children. The Mission Ministry is trying to help the teachers in our congregation by collecting items commonly used by them in their classrooms. These are items that our teachers buy, out of their own pockets, for needy children. These selfless stewards of our future can really use your help. Look for lists of these items in your August bulletins. Let's show them that we really appreciate who they are and what they do. FYI… School Supply Specials last throughout August with Tax Free Days August 2-4, 2013. The Mission Committee would like to thank everyone that was able to join us for the Ice Cream Social where we acknowledged the teachers in our congregation. Weren’t able to make it for ice cream? No problem. Bins will be available in the Narthex for you to drop off supplies throughout the year. Pencils Erasers Pens White copy paper Colored copy paper Colored pencils Glue sticks Liquid Glue Crayola Water Colors Student scissors Tissues- (Lots of Tissues) Antibiotic Wipes Hand/Face Wipes Post-its Dustless regular chalk for chalk boards Construction paper Scotch tape Scotch tape refills Dry erase markers Index Cards Notebook paper (College Ruled) Black Sharpie Markers Staples, standard size Bandaids Composition notebooks (Wide Ruled) 16 count crayons Magic Markers Folders with prongs Folders without prongs Ink cartridge HP92 Money for books for classroom library and specific books Big wish- 2-Good Electric Pencil Sharpeners Amazon Gift Cards for dance music
Jamaica Mission - Day 1 - Wednesday, July 10th
Our journey has begun in Jamaica! Our Florida group made it down here without incident and we met up with our Jamaica brothers and sisters with whom we will be spending the next two weeks. These are some great people and all are excited about getting to know each other and serving God where ever we are planted each day. I am excited to see how these 22 youth have already become friends and are looking for ways to engage each other and the culture. Tomorrow, pending possible rain from Chantal, we will be painting a house that has been built by the Mutual Mission program. We have paint brushes and we are ready!
Jamaica Mission - Day 2 - Thursday, July 11th
Today was a day of adjustments. Tropical storm Chantal came through last night with bright lightning , loud thunder, and on and off downpours throughout the day. Due to the rain we had to change our plans to paint a house previously built by JEMM, so today was our sightseeing day around Kingston as well as visiting an assisted living home. Eve Rowland from Kanapaha church shares her experience of today’s events. Today we had a great time at the local assisted living home, the Moravian Golden Age Home, here in Kingston. We had the privilege of meeting many of the residents who shared stories and spent time with us playing some games of Bingo. This was a new experience for me, personally, because I had never been to any senior homes in Florida, but I learned a lot. I learned first that it doesn’t require much of us to do God’s work and to touch people’s lives. Many of the residents couldn’t communicate or were apprehensive to talk to us. We were able to make their day by simply sharing time and lots of smiles. I also learned that no matter what age we are, we are all equal in God’s eyes and it is important to share even the simple things in life. We also had a great time touring the local historical home called Devon House. This was a fun trip because we were able to learn some of Jamaica’s history and see many beautiful pieces of art and furniture preserved by the people who take care of the house. Today was finished by taking a trip to the Emancipation Park where we played games like ping pong, hop scotch, and checkers. I feel like we were able to grow closer together today and we were also blessed by meeting the new people who we visited today. Our pictures today are: Things we did to pass time before we got our schedule straight. We are passing a coconut. Moravian Golden Age Home, Devon House, Ice Cream, Emancipation Park
Jamaica Day 3 - Friday, July 12
Today was an emotional day for many as some of our activities had us encountering some of God's children who have been marginalized. Although this was difficult it was also rewarding being with these wonderful people. Today was also wonderful day because we welcomed our other adult leader, Rev. Dawn Conti, into our midst. Below Kate Conti writes about her experiences of the day. Hi, it's Kate! Today, we started off visiting some great kids who were unfortunately impacted by disease, specifically H.I.V. I may not be able to personally relate to that part of their lives, but I bonded through some of the children with the help of Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, and other musicians we shared a common interest in. When I asked some of the girls what field they wanted to work in once out of school, I was told they wanted to be in the field of cosmetology specializing in hair braiding. Many of us found out firsthand how talented the girls were as they first disappeared into their rooms only to reappear with a brush, hair ties, and pins. After some of us endured the pain of getting cornrows for the first time (luckily, I didn't have to), we loaded back into the bus for real Jamaican Jerk food at Island Grill. So. Good. Once we ate our food, we then traveled to downtown Kingston to pass out meals to those who weren't able to buy from Island Grill. To end our day, our group drove to Covenant Moravian church for youth fellowship where we sang, read from the Bible and discussed with their members challenges that Christians and Non-Christians face today. Near the end of our time at the church, I received a gift myself when my mom, Pastor (now Auntie) Dawn, arrived. I hadn't seen her in nearly three weeks, so needless to say I was very happy to see her. And now, I'm writing from the Springburn House where we are staying in Kingston, and I'm hungry so I’m going to stop writing now and finish my pizza. Bye!
Jamaica Mission - Day 4 - Saturday, July 13
Greetings from sunny, hot Jamaica, Today we ventured out to our mission project that was postponed last week due to tropical storm Chantal. Our mission project was to: paint a house that a JEMM team had built on a previous trip and the other was to paint the exterior of a Methodist pre-school. The day was filled with team work, determination and fun. Bridget Foster (Kanapaha Pres.) shares her thoughts below. After breakfast everyone loaded on the bus to travel to Dover in Saint Mary’s. The trip over was a 2 1/2 hour ride curving up and down the mountains. The mountains were extremely steep and greenery covered every inch. As we came closer to Dover we passed banana and pineapple farms and stopped by a bay for pictures. Once in Dover our group split up into two teams. Each team was assigned a painting project one on a house and the other on a small primary school. Today was scorching. However, despite the hard work and temperature, I think everyone had fun. I was assigned to the primary school and at the end of the day I was proud of the work we had done. I believe that tonight will be another night of games and fellowship as we look forward to the coming days together. Bridget
Jamaica Mission - Day 6 – Monday, July 15th
Greetings all, Today was our last day in Jamaica and we head to Jacksonville tomorrow (Tuesday) for the second leg of our mission work. Our last day here couldn’t be better as we went to one of the most beautiful places on this island, Dunn River Falls. These falls magnificently cascade down a mountain and into the ocean. The whole idea of this glorious creation of God and now human tourist attraction is to gradually, and carefully climbed them. Good news! We all climb them and we all survived without incident. The two hour drive over huge mountains, for a Floridian, and through steep river gorges was well worth it once we reached our destination. Below Cole MacNeill from First Presbyterian Perry shares his thoughts on today’s activities. Blessings to you all. Dear parents, Today was such a good and ecstatic day. We went to Dunn River Falls and climbed a water fall. I happened to slip on the algae covered rocks and bruised my back side several times. I feel very blessed that the Lord has chosen me and the rest of these amazing people I have met on this wonderful journey. Today was the last day in Jamaica, so tomorrow we all head to North Florida for the rest of our mission work. -Cole MacNeill
JEMM - Florida – Day 1 – July 16th
Greetings all, We have all made it to Jacksonville safely and are excited about our projects in the Jacksonville area! To say our journey from Jamaica to Jacksonville was uneventful would not be a full truth. Our flights were quite bumpy with a lot of turbulence which had some people on edge but others enjoying the ride. The good news is we all landed safely. On our drive up to Jacksonville we introduced our Jamaican brothers and sisters to one of our fast food staples… Chick-fil-A. It was a nice welcome home treat along with sweet tea! We got back on the road and headed north. Somewhere on I-95, near Ormond Beach, our bus blew a front tire. Very nerve racking moments but God was truly with us!!! We safely maneuvered the bus to the side of the road and called a repair service. Again God was ever present as the repairman answered the phone at 8:00PM and was at our side within 15 minutes. We also want to thank God for smartphones as it allowed us the ability to find a repair service. After the excitement we were back on the road and at Woodlawn Presbyterian and in bed by 1:00AM. We are thankful for God’s guidance and grace as we seek to do God’s will. Blessings to all
JEMM – Florida Day 2 – July 17th
Greetings all, After an eventful day yesterday with air turbulence and a blown tire (see photo below) and only a few hours of sleep last night we were on our way to start our first Florida mission projects. Ashley Gans from Fort King shares her thoughts on the days events. Blessings Although the week in Jamaica has drawn to a close, the excitement of coming to the States for both Jamaicans and Americans blinded the depression of leaving Jamaica. After a full day of travel we were still in the mood to play a few rounds of Knock-Out at around 12:00 AM. This morning, after waking up at 5:30 AM, everyone was anxious to serve the Lord and have fun while doing it. The 24 of us were split into two teams: the Red team and the Blue team. The Red team would be serving at an organization called Dignity U Wear, while the Blue team would be serving at a day camp/care known as The Sanctuary. Being part of the Red team, I, along with the other Red team members, headed to Dignity U Wear. This organization receives clothing from companies all across the US and then distributes them to those who do not have the privilege and luxury of a new outfit. This program distributes the clothing to many different outreach agencies and charities. Every 90 days these underprivileged people are allowed an entire set of NEW clothing depending on the needs of the person. We, however, were working in the warehouse that receives, folds, and packages the donations. Most every person working in the warehouse is a volunteer. From 9:15 to 3:00 we helped by folding and boxing over 2,000 baby bibs and over 1,000 shirts. After a long day of folding clothes, we decided to introduce the Jamaicans to Walmart. We shopped for over two hours, and the registers were jammed with school supplies, clothing, and electronics. We then introduced the Jamaicans to Five Guys fries, and then headed back to Woodlawn Pres. for dinner, devotions and more fun and games. Tomorrow, the two groups will switch places and the Red team will be helping out at a day care. I, along with everyone else, am excited for the upcoming week of having fun and serving God! I am excited for the Floridian side of our two week Mutual Mission trip! Ashley Gans
Oxford, Bath, Wells, and The Tower of London
Some of you may know I spent a lot of time in England on a month-long vacation in 2007. The purpose of the trip was to rediscover my roots since both sides of my family are from the United Kingdom. I saw my grandmother’s name inscribed in the Baptism Book of St. George’s Church in east London, Rosina Elizabeth Kendall. I stood in the ruins of the Cundiff ancestral home in Wycoller, England. I climbed the rock quarries in Northern Wales where my ancestors, the Roberts’, worked. Best of all I visited cathedrals all over this beautiful country. I even had the opportunity to play the organ in many of those cathedrals. WOW! But this writing is about faith, intrigue, suspense and standing your ground. It is about Thomas Ken who penned a hymn we sing every Sunday as do a multitude of churches around the world. The Doxology. The word doxology comes from two Greek words, doxa, which means glory, and logos, which means word. So a doxology is literally "a word of glory." We sing doxologies to give glory or praise to God. The doxology under consideration here is only four lines: Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise him, all creatures here below; Praise him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. But these four lines just might be sung more frequently than any other Christian music. This doxology was written by Thomas Ken, an Anglican clergyman. Ken was born in 1637, and was orphaned at an early age. He then went to live with his half-sister, Anne, and her husband Izaak Walton. You might recognize Izaak Walton's name, because he was the author of The Compleat Angler, a book on fishing that quickly established itself as a standard work and ultimately became a classic. It was first published in 1653, and you can still buy a copy of it on Amazon.com today. When Ken was fourteen years old, he entered Winchester College, and four years later began studies at Oxford. He later returned to Winchester College as the chaplain to the bishop. While there, he wrote his Manual of Prayers for the use of the Scholars of Winchester College, which he first published in 1674. It was a book of prayers for all occasions, and included (among many others) a Morning Prayer, an Evening Prayer, a prayer to use after committing a sin, a prayer for use when tempted, a prayer entitled "Acts of Shame" and another entitled "Acts of Abhorrence."
Ken also wrote hymns for the students to use to mark the passages of their days, including Morning Hymn, Evening Hymn, and Midnight Hymn. Both the Morning Hymn and Evening Hymn end with the doxology that begins, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow." That was the origin of this doxology. Ken established an excellent reputation at Winchester, and was eventually appointed chaplain to King Charles II. When the king decided to visit Winchester, he sent word to Ken that Nell Gwynne, the king's mistress, was to be lodged at Ken's house. Ken not only mounted loud objections, but also hired workmen to remove the roof to his house so that the king could not enforce Nell's lodgment there. In that time and place, an act of rebellion against the king could cost a person his head, but King Charles was impressed with Ken's courage. Not only did he allow Ken to live, but he even appointed him sometime later to be the Bishop of Bath and Wells. Some years later, Ken was one of seven bishops who refused to sign King James' Declaration of Indulgence. For this act of rebellion, he was arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London –– but he was later tried and acquitted. He died of natural causes in 1711. It just so happens I had the privilege of playing the organs at Bath Abbey and Wells Cathedral. Bet you know one of the selections I played ? The Doxology. Every Sunday, when we sing The Doxology, I fondly remember those wonderful days and “Praise God From Whom All Blessing Flow”. He surely has blessed me. With a song in my heart, Rick
Something to Think About “I believe…,” and you?
We argue for/against religious beliefs – which ones are “right,” i.e., “orthodox,” and which ones are “wrong,” i.e., “heresy,” and we think that if we believe in the “right” ones, we’ll be “saved;” of course, those who “believe” in heretical teachings will not be. This same perspective permeates our socio-economic and political beliefs, as if any one of us has a corner on the “truth” of any aspect of life and/or death. What are we doing – to ourselves and to one another? Are we not putting ourselves and others into “boxes” of beliefs? If you believe in the items in box X, we’ll be friends, colleagues, etc.; the opposite for those who believe in box Y. We seem to have forgotten: “For he is our peace who has made us both one and has broken down the wall of hostility” (Ephesians 2:14). Yet we keep on building “new walls” to separate us from one another. Religious beliefs are not the same as faith in God to which Jesus called us. We seem to have forgotten: “For he (God/ABBA) makes his sun rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the just and the unjust” (Matt. 5:45). Whatever social differences are between us are made by us, not God; Jesus called us to work out our differences with each other: “Leave your gift there before the altar and go: first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” (Matt. 5:23-24).
We seem to have forgotten Isaiah’s “Word of the Lord” to the remnants of Israel in captivity: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord (YAHWEH). For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55) We are too quick to think that as long as “my beliefs” are intact and “secure,” then the connection between “the Lord and me” is intact and secure. If we take the prophet seriously, then we have to understand that we cannot use “God,” the “Lord,” to justify and/or support our own “will to power.” This is precisely what the history of Israel is all about: we may not think/believe that the way we bring in the kingdom by our power is what God has intended or authorized. Jesus made this point insistently. We seem to have forgotten the nature of human language: “Words strain, Crack and sometimes break, under the burden, Under the tension, slip, slide, perish Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place, Will not stay still. Shrieking voices Scolding , mocking, or merely chattering, Always assail them.” (T. S. Eliot “Burnt Norton” V 149-155 in The Four Quartets 1943). Do we really have the outrageous arrogance to “play God” with one another? (See Isaiah 55:11!). And, why do we gloss over the prophet’s words: “My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations?” (Isaiah 56:7 and Mark 11:17; compare Jeremiah’s “Temple Sermon” in Jeremiah 7). Do we not hear Jesus’ words in the parable of The Pharisee and the Publican (= toll collector; Luke 18:1014): “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” For Jesus, God’s acceptance of the publican meant that the “Templemap” had changed: it is no longer the self-righteous who are accepted and have a place in the Temple; it is now those who recognize they are “sinners” who need “mercy.” What would it mean for our worship and service together in this congregation to pray and act in terms of God’s mercy to us rather than in terms of our self-made orthodoxies and religious beliefs that divide? “And the Word [LOGOS] became flesh and dwelt among us…” (John 1:14). God’s “Word” became a human being – isn’t this part of the Church’s confessions? Indeed. The Church is “The Body of Christ.” So, we then incarnate Jesus, the Logos of God, in our lives! And how do we do this? By “Belief”? Or, by the way we live with one another? Something to think about. Shalom, Tom
Please note: I am trying to “work ahead” on the flowers, so if you would like to provide flowers to commemorate a special event/occasion/memory etc. for a specific date, please call me as soon as possible. Thank you. Please also note: It is never too early to call me to select your chosen date. As of this mailing, the following people will be providing flowers in August, September, October, and November 2013. If you would like to provide flowers on a date of your choice, please call Nancy Hall at 694-3221. Thank you. Thank you to these people as they share in donating the flowers for the following worship services: August 4, 2013---In loving memory of Wilbur E. Hall from his daughter, Doris, and her husband, Steven Charleston August 11, 2013---In celebration of loving Michael for 36 years from Jan Stone August 18, 2013---From the Clegornes in honor of the Clegorne family birthdays--sons, Nicholas and Patrick, and Anthony’s mother and father August 25, 2013---In celebration to God on our anniversary from Dave and Marianne Fullarton September 1, 2013---In loving memory of Julien from Kay Dahlen September 8, 2013---From Jack and Sue Harshman in honor of our 61st wedding anniversary September 15, 2013---In celebration of our 66th wedding anniversary from Glendon and Mildred Shank September 22, 2013---In loving memory of Kenny Orme from Shirley September 29, 2013---From Dorothy Roth in loving memory of Merl on their wedding date October 6, 2013---OPEN October 13, 2013---OPEN October 20, 2013---From David and Martha MacKay in celebration of their 28th wedding anniversary October 27, 2013---In celebration of our 60th wedding anniversary from Dick and Margy Marshall November 3, 2013---OPEN November 10, 2013---OPEN November 17, 2013---From Joy Hunt in memory of my beloved husband, Jim November 24, 2013---From Jane Garrett
Italicized items are non-FKPC activities using FKPC facilities
1 11:00 Adult Discipleship Ministry 11:00 Crafts 6:00 - 8:00 Marions United (FH) 2
5 6 9:30 9:00 - 11:45 Library 7:30 Men’s Bible Study 9:15 Adult Ed. & Youth 10:00 Choir Practice 10:30 Worship 6:00 Finance Ministry 11:30 Discipleship 5:30 Youth Ministry 5:15 TOPS (FH) 5:30 Mission Ministry 5:00 PYC 4
7 Prayer Shawl Ministry
8 11:00 Crafts
5:00 Congregational Care Ministry 6:00 Worship Ministry Connection 6:00 FL Forestry (FH) Ministry
9:00 - 11:45 Library 7:30 Men’s Bible Study 9:15 Adult Ed. & Youth 10:00 Choir Practice 10:30 Worship 4:00 Property Ministry 5:15 TOPS (FH) 5:00 PYC
11:00 Crafts 1:00 Sassy Seniors (off-site) 6:00 Session
7:00 Discipleship Ministry Children
18 2 Cents A Meal 9:00 - 11:45 Library 9:15 Rally Day 10:00 Choir Practice 10:30 Worship 5:00 PYC
19 7:30 Men’s Bible Study
11:00 Crafts 3:00 Pastoral Care Team 5:15 TOPS (FH)
26 25 9:00 - 10:15 Blood 7:30 Men’s Bible Study Drive 9:00 - 11:45 Library 9:15 Adult Ed. & Youth 10:00 Choir Practice 10:30 Worship 11:30 Stewardship 5:15 TOPS (FH) Meeting 11:30 - 1:00 Blood Drive 5:00 PYC
29 11:00 Crafts