What songs or tunes have you been humming today? What sorts of lyrics have been on the backburner of your mind?
I ask that because we meditate on the songs we hear. Not so much consciously meditate, but often songs are sifting through the under regions of our minds. Perhaps we’re not aware of this happening at all. But it happens, and it happens to you.
Over the years I’ve made some observations of our family. When all our kids were living at home, we would have our “Read, Sing, and Pray” time earlier in the morning. That time always concluded with the singing of a couple of choruses or hymns. When that was finished the normal course of household activities began. It was my observation that often as the kids went about their duties they would be humming or whistling or singing – almost unconsciously – one of the songs we had just sung during devotions.
After dinner in the evening kids would be assigned to wash, dry, and put away the dishes. (Though we had a dishwasher, we chose not to use it. Yes, very popular decision with the younger set!) While doing the dishes a CD or tape would be playing. We had some great selections, you know, the “Greatest Hits” of people like Johnny Horton or Roger Miller or the Kingston Trio or Jerry Reed. Just as was the case in the morning, for the rest of the evening one could hear different family members absent-mindedly giving some sort of voice to those songs.
Ask any of our kids about Amos Moses and what his daddy used him for! They can tell you all about his left arm too. Oh, they also can tell you the perils of riding on the MTA with only a dime in your pocket when the fare has been increased to 15 cents. I imagine if a fellow named George O’Brian was on the Presidential ballot this year he would get a lot of votes from our family members! Though it’s the hot summertime now, our kids know better than to try and go swimming in a baseball pool.
Are you like me, do you have a gazillion lyrics in your mind that come up unbidden at times and you wonder why in the world do I have that in my brain? Here we go:
Does your chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost over night, when your mother says don’t chew it, do you swallow it in spite?
It was an itsy-bitsy, teenie-weenie, yellow polka dot bikini that she wore for the first time today.
We fired our cannon till the barrel melted down, then we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round.
I think I could go on like this for quite awhile. So could you, probably. It’s simply amazing the things we have in the file cabinets of our minds.
You know where I’m going with this. If our minds hold onto the songs we hear, why not make sure we have a good, double portion of songs that have solid content that will feed our souls, not merely be cotton candy for our souls? Worse yet, there are many songs that will make our souls dark, or pollute them with wicked thoughts.
I always loved Simon and Garfunkel. Some of their songs are bleak, full of despair, and can bring a shadow over one’s heart. For instance, a few years ago it was early on a late August morning and I was squirrel hunting in Indiana. In my mind came one of their songs that not only was bleak, it lifted up immoral behavior. I couldn’t get it out of my mind – and I didn’t remember consciously putting it in there!
We need to stock our minds with music that will feed us and strengthen us. To do so requires a conscious decision, a making up of our minds, and taking action. Here are some actions I would suggest:
- Choose not to listen to music that is laced with profanity and vulgarity
- Choose not to listen exclusively to secular music
- Choose to listen to the message of a song and put it aside if it promotes ungodly values
- Choose to take time to read, sing, or listen to explicitly Christian music daily
- Choose to be open to various genres of Christian music
One of the great blessings of my life was being awash in songs from Scripture from the time of my conversion. Among the Christian groups where I fellowshipped, Scripture songs were the songs that were sung. It seemed there was a never-ending pipeline of new songs from Scripture. We also sang hymns and gospel songs, but not nearly as much. Usually it’s from these scripture songs that my subconscious mind selects what to listen to each day. A blessing, indeed!
Today there is worthwhile, upbuilding Christian music in virtually every genre. Check it out. Look around. Be intentional about it.
Here’s a text we need to heed: . . . be filled with the Spirit, speaking to yourselves in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. [Eph. 5:18,19] That verse lists a variety of genres, but the goal of singing to the Lord is the same in each. It is a text about meditation, about what you have simmering in the under regions of your mind. If you would be filled with the Spirit of God, if you would walk in the Spirit, having a deep repertoire of Christian music will aid you immensely.
We’re memorizing Psalm 96 this summer. It’s pretty direct, isn’t it? Sing to the Lord a new song, Sing to the Lord all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless his name.
Am I saying we should abstain from all non-Christian music? By no means. I am saying we should be discriminating in the secular music we listen to. I am saying we will be blessed by having a rich reservoir of godly music from which our souls may be refreshed.
May you and your household have a delightful summer. May it be filled with melodies from the Lord.
In the Joy of the Lord,
John H.C. Niederhaus
July Pulpit Schedule
3rd – An Apostolic Life – John 16:1-4; 17:13-19; 2 Cor. 11:22-29; Acts 20:1-16
The apostle Paul was a lot of things, but a wimp was not one of them. After hanging out in Ephesus for three years, in today’s text we find Paul traveling again. One of the marvels of the apostolic life is the great distances traversed on a regular basis. All along the way, though, Paul meets with obstacles as well as blessings and triumphs. Our passage from 2 Corinthians is a catalogue of some of his travails – and 2 Corinthians was written during the Acts 20 activities. Finally, our Lord Jesus is not unaware of all this. He talks to the disciples and to the Father.
10th – The Cost of Freedom! – Luke 4:14-21; Romans 13:8-14; Galatians 5:13-26
It’s great to live in a free country. What a precious blessing. The foundation and preservation of that freedom comes at great cost. Today, freedom is eroding by the redefinition its true meaning and by the abdication of our citizens’ charge to preserve it. True freedom comes only through repentance from sin and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Even that freedom erodes if we yield to this world’s directives. Let’s embrace God’s call to true freedom, learn how to preserve it, and then share it with people who are in spiritual captivity in our world.
17th – The Deceitfulness of Sin – Proverbs 4:12; Romans 8:12-14; Hebrews 3:12-14
Sin is deceitful, a mirage that promises refreshment but leads to death. We may agree that sin is deceptive, but rarely do we know how deadly it is. So, what do you do when everything in you desires to walk in a way Scripture tells you is wrong, when everything in you feels like what you are tempted with is not only pleasurable and satisfying, but right and good and more to be desired than walking how God wants you to? And you begin to doubt the trustworthiness of God’s Word! How is one to respond in that moment? We need fighting, clinging faith.
24th – Tears and Trials, Repentance and Faith – Ps. 119:25-32; 2 Tim. 4:1-5; Acts 20:17-21
The fighting, clinging faith we learned about last week is exemplified in our Psalms passage this week. It’s the kind of faith Paul had to exercise throughout his ministry. It’s the same faith he called for from those who became believers. Now on his way from Greece to Jerusalem, Paul calls for the Ephesian Elders to meet him at the beachfront town of Miletus. He will explain what message characterized his ministry, how he went about ministering, and why in that manner. He indicates tears and trials were an integral part of repentance and faith.
31st – The Future – Psalm 23:1-6; John 15:18-23; 16:33; Acts 20:22-27
The future looms over us. Who is going to be our next President and what will that mean for our nation’s future? As a congregation, we are wondering about our move across the street. How will all that work out? The future looms large! In today’s text from Acts Paul explains what the Holy Spirit has said is in his immediate future. It’s not pretty. Likewise, on Maundy Thursday night Jesus tells His disciples what to expect in the future. Not pretty. Praise God that He also gives to His people the twenty-third Psalm. It’s a Psalm for the living, not the dead.
August Pulpit Schedule
7th – Dangers Abound – Ezekiel 3:17-21; Matthew 10:16; Acts 20:25-31
Among the most pernicious of dangers that abound in our world is misinformation, especially through misrepresentation or mislabeling. One need only think about identity theft! Someone gets hold of your information and begins to go around spending large sums of money. They’re having a great time, but you’re going to pay the bill – or, spend lots of time getting everything straightened out. Similarly, some teach as truth what actually is false. Dangers abound not only in doing such, but in not warning others when you know such is the case.
14th – He is Able – Psalm 91:1-4; 1 Peter 5:6-11; Acts 20:32-28
A common metaphor for the experiences of life is the ocean. That is the case in literature around the world and down through the ages. The Bible makes use of this metaphor as well. The question at hand is how does one stand in the midst of the storms of life when the deck is more like a bucking bronco than a stable floor? Paul has painted a pretty bleak picture of the future for the Ephesian elders. Lots of storms! How will they stand on the slippery, pitching deck of life? Paul’s confidence is not in their sea-legs, but in the One who is the Master of the Seas, Jesus.
21st – What’s the Lord Saying? – Psalm 105:16-19; Mark 8:27-38; Acts 21:1-14
We’ve all had experiences where we found it difficult to discern exactly what it is that the Lord is saying. It’s clear enough what He’s said, but what does it mean and how should we apply it? That is the precise case with the Apostle Paul as he journeys toward Jerusalem. All along the way folk tell him if he goes to Jerusalem bad things are going to happen to him. What they tell him is from the Holy Spirit, not just from their imagination. Yet, Paul persists in making his way to Jerusalem. Was he resisting God? Did he reject the counsel of the Holy Spirit? We’ll see.
28th – No Offense Meant – 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; Hebrews 12:14-24; Acts 21:15-26
God did great things through the ministry of the Apostle Paul. Of most significance was the expansion of the apostolic church’s boundaries to include non-Jewish people. Because the Gospel is inherently Jewish, this was difficult for Jewish people to accept. As we’ve made our way through Acts we’ve seen time and again hostile actions taken against Paul by Jewish leaders and people. When he gets to Jerusalem the leaders of the church want him to take action to show he is not trying to subvert Jewish life. Sometimes when no offense is meant, offense is taken.
Summer Communion Service Set
It’s a long stretch of time between Pentecost Sunday, which is seven weeks after Easter, and World Communion Sunday, which is the first Lord’s Day in October. According to our Constitution those are two of the Sundays when we are to share in the Lord’s Supper. And there is not a Sunday between them when that requirement is in force.
As a consequence, in response to requests from members in previous years, Leidy’s Church ordinarily shares the Lord’s Supper on one of the later Sundays of July or early Sunday in August. For 2016 the summer sharing of the Lord’s Supper is scheduled for July 24th. Please plan and prepare accordingly.
From the Youth Pastor
I struggle with the idea of self-leadership. On the surface it seems opposed to the prominent concept of “servant leadership” which we see so often in Scripture. The word self conveys to me the cultural baggage of indulgence, of personal gratification. I realize that my cynicism in this regard may be too strong. Like many leaders, I tend to be focused on leading others to the detriment to being led myself. Ideally, this shouldn’t be an either/or situation.
Pastors and spiritual leaders can be so focused on the needs of others they neglect their own spiritual, emotional, and physical needs. Often such neglect is couched in the twisted idea of being self-sacrificial, of being others focused. Gary Fenton writes, “There’s a fine line between being a martyr and being a victim, between suffering for the cause of Christ and casting oneself as somehow holier because of the heavy duties that go with ministry. The pastor [leader] with a victim mentality can find this style of living and ministry falsely rewarding. Seeing ourselves as victims, though, is a self-centered way of living”. This is selfish leadership under the delusional guise of sacrificial leadership.
True self-leadership is the discipline of putting the oxygen mask on first. It’s the classic airplane safety instruction where the flight attendant says to make sure your mask is in place and working before helping other passengers put on theirs. Why do they tell you this? Because if we don’t put our mask on first, we could pass out before we could help others. The obvious example to us is that Jesus consistently withdrew to pray and fuel himself spiritually. Likewise, we need to be in the scriptures for our own benefit, so that we may benefit others. As a leader I need to be healthy so I can help others. One way I like to think about this is that I need to be following in my leadership if I want others to follow my leadership.
Certainly, self-leadership is a critical and important part of any healthy leader’s life, but maybe we should rephrase it to be follower-ship. Doing so takes the focus away from self and directs attention to the true leader and shepherd of our souls, the Lord Jesus. If we have more follower-ship in our leadership then we keep questions such as who am I following and how well am I allowing myself to be led as a significant element of our consciousness.
Charles Spurgeon provides weighty insight into the self-watch and self-mastery aspects of self-leadership in his Lectures to My Students:
“We are, in a certain sense, our own tools, and therefore must keep ourselves in order. If I want to preach the gospel, I can only use my own voice; therefore I must train my vocal powers. I can only think with my own brain, and feel with my own heart, and therefore I must educate my intellectual and emotional faculties. I can only weep and agonize for souls in my own renewed nature, therefore must I watchfully maintain the tenderness which was in Christ Jesus. It will be in vain for me to stock my library, or organize societies, or project schemes, if I neglect the culture of myself; for books, and agencies, and systems, are only remotely the instruments of my holy calling; my own spirit, soul, and body, are my nearest machinery for sacred service; my spiritual faculties, and my inner life, are my battle axe and weapons of war”.
Spurgeon recognizes that as leaders it’s not that we should seek to master ourselves in a spirit of pride, but by taking pride in a disciplined self-mastering for the sake of the Master working in and through our leadership! Paul gives this type of self-watch and discipline instructions to his protégé Timothy: Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by doing so you will save both yourself and your hearers. [1 Tim. 4:16] Who we are, in other words, directly impacts those whom we lead!
May the Lord be your Master in your self-mastering efforts. And, please, have some follower-ship in your self-leadership.
Pastor Andrew Edmonds
New Staff Member
Christopher Tawney is the person selected by the Consistory to fill the new staff position of Pastor for Worship and Technology. Following congregational approval of the position in April, a committee from Consistory began working to find the right person for the job and at the June Consistory meeting proposed Chris for the position. The Consistory agreed, Chris was offered the position, and he accepted it.
Chris did his undergraduate work at Liberty University, graduating with a degree in worship in 2012. For the past four years he has been a student at Westminster Theological Seminary and received the Master of Divinity degree this spring. During his college and seminary training, Chris has worked in a variety of ministry settings. He spent a summer in southeast Missouri as the worship pastor of a Baptist church. He also developed and led worship for a church in Chester, PA.
A significant part of his experience comes through Child Evangelism Fellowship [CEF], an organization he’s worked with for several years. In fact, this June he again helped provide leadership and training for the Flood Philly outreach among young people in the city. For the past two years Chris has been the CEF staff person to head up the youth ministry program for Christ Reformed Church.
While at Liberty University Chris had a life-changing encounter. It was there that he met Katie Lightle, a native Virginian. Smitten with love, he wooed her and won her. They were married in the summer of 2012.
Chris is a member of Leidy’s Church, having gone through the Confirmation program after his parents, Andy and Joan, settled in this area after Andy retired from the Air Force. Joan’s parents – Christopher’s maternal grandparents – were Bob and Peg Hitchner.
Chris is scheduled to begin his duties on July 1st.
Within the Fellowship
Our sincere Christian sympathy to Andy Tawney and family at the death of his father, and to Shirley Michalak and family at the death of her sister. May God be with them at this time.
Congratulations to Justin and Courtney Lepping at the birth of a daughter, Daytona Jane, and to Tom and Susan Merrit at the birth of a son, Austin David. May God be with these families as they grow in Him.
Congratulations to Alex and Alyssa (Ziegler) Sowhangar, to Abram and Meghan (Cooper) Hughes, and to Cameron and Chelsea (Weiss) McDonald, who were united in Christian marriage. May God be with them as they begin their life together in Him.
Monday Night Woman’s Bible Study Summer Session – “Understanding Spiritual Gifts”
You are invited to join us for our Summer Woman’s Bible Study which began on June 20th at 6:45 pm in the Precept Room.
The subject of spiritual gifts can seem complicated: Who has spiritual gifts – “spiritual people” or everybody? What are spiritual gifts anyway?
Understanding Spiritual Gifts takes you straight to God’s Word to discover answers from the Gift-Giver Himself. As you dig into Bible passages about God’s design for each of us, you’ll find out that spiritual gifts aren’t complicated . . . but they are life changing!
Here you will uncover what spiritual gifts are, where they come from, who has them, how they are received, and how they work within the church. As you study, you will have a new vision for how you can use your God-given gifts to bring hope to your home, your church, and a hurting world.
This is a Precept Ministries 40-Minute Bible Study written by Kay Arthur, David and BJ Lawson. There is no homework with this study.
Sue Landis will be teaching the class this summer, giving our Sandy Nase a well-deserved short break from teaching. Please contact Sue Landis to register at 267-784-4101 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to studying God’s word together with flexibility to accommodate summer vacation schedules. Please don’t stay away because you can’t attend every session!
Ladies Fall Monday Night Bible Study: The Seven Churches of Revelation by David Jeremiah. The number seven is mentioned 54 times in the book of Revelation, and in this study we will take a look at each one of them. You will understand the symbols and sevens in the book of Revelation as never before! This nine lesson teaching series will help us discover more about the:
- Seven Letters to Seven Churches
- Seven Descriptions of the Son of Man
- Seven Seals
- Seven Praises
- Seven Trumpets
- Seven Bowls
- Seven Themes of Revelation
If you would like to order the workbook or have questions, please speak with Sandy Nase (215-669-1421).
Can You Help Out?
Recently we received a letter from World Team, the sending mission organization for Betsy Stoltzfus and the DeFazios. World Team is headquartered in nearby Warrington. Many missionaries and missionary applicants come through their doors each year. World Team doesn’t always have enough room to house them, which is the reason for the letter below.
Dear friends at Leidy’s Church:
We want to let you know of an ongoing need we have for families or individuals who are willing to host missionaries and missionary candidates for World Team. Specifically, we need housing for missionary candidates attending the orientation/assessment program held three times a year, usually in March, July, and early November. Occasionally, we need housing either for missionaries on home assignment visiting the office or appointees coming for a required office visit prior to leaving for their first term on the mission field.
During the orientation/assessment program, the candidates are here for six to eight nights. Home assignment missionaries and pre-field missionaries are usually here for only one or two nights. The host family provides breakfast each morning for their guests, but is not responsible for the other meals or for transportation.
The next orientation/assessment program will be held July 16-22 with most candidates arriving on July 15th. We will also have several missionaries visiting our offices from now through September.
Many churches and families have shared the joy of serving missionaries in this manner and can testify that these blessings indeed go both ways. If anyone would like to volunteer to host a missionary or missionary couple, please contact Ginny Crapser at 215-491-4900 ext.32 or send an email to email@example.com.
If you want to talk to a couple who have provided this service over the years, see Bob and Jill Ott. They can tell you how the Lord Jesus has used this to work in their lives.
It is that time of year when Consistory nominations are put forward. There will be a Congregational Meeting immediately after the 8 am service on July 31st to vote on the nominees. Consistory members serve three year terms, and may serve only two consecutive three year terms. For those who have served two consecutive terms, a respite of at least one year is required before being eligible to be nominated to serve on Consistory again.
There are four nominees this year, two of whom are finishing their first three year term. The other two nominees are taking the slots that Glen Tyson and Scott Rittenhouse have filled on Consistory so ably for the past six years. Here is a brief introduction to each one:
- Peter Martindell is being nominated to serve as Deacon, a position he’s held in the past. He will take the spot being vacated by Scott Rittenhouse. Peter is married to Bambi and they have six children, so far. They are one of the homeschooling families of our congregation. You will recognize Peter as one of the members of the Three Tenors singing group. Serving as one of our Shepherds, he also is on the Children’s Ministry Activities Committee. He works in sales and knows how to raise ducks.
- Matt Harris is finishing his first three year term as Deacon and has consented to be nominated for a second term. He and wife Kate are parents of three pre-school children at this point, though their daughter Ezra may be getting pretty close to school age. Among the hats Matt wears at Leidy’s Church is as one of the coordinators for the Issues and Answers class. The owner of MH Custom Designs, he finds this construction work keeps him busier than he ever imagined.
- Ken Merritt is one of the nominees for Elder. Ken is retired from working for the federal government, but still has his hands in a number of other endeavors. He and wife Connie are the parents of three grown-and-out-of-the-house sons. A couple of years ago they became parents again, this time to two adolescent boys from Ukraine. Ken can tell you the harrowing story of how he and the two boys got out of Crimea the day before the Russians took it over. Ken teaches and serves in many other ways at Leidy’s Church.
- Stan Ott is being nominated to serve a second consecutive three year term as Elder on Consistory. Stan and wife Judy have been involved in many aspects of Leidy’s Church life over the years. Parents of three girls, they share two grandchildren with Ken and Connie, one of whose sons married one of their daughters. For many years Stan has served as a Montgomery County judge, a position from which he retired at the end of last year. Now as a senior judge he only works 50 hours a week.
MISSIONARIES AT LEIDY’S
Chariots for Hope
It’s been just about a year that Chariots for Hope has been part of the Leidy’s Church mission budget. We’ve heard a bit about them, but probably Chariots for Hope is still pretty much a blank slate for most of us.
We trust that will change on July 31st. That Sunday, representatives from Chariots will be sharing briefly in each service of worship about the network of orphanages overseen in Kenya by Chariots for Hope. A full presentation with ample time for dialogue, questions, explanations, and exhortation will take place during the Sunday School hour in the Issues & Answers class.
It is the hope of the Mission Committee that Leidy’s Church will be able to establish an ongoing relationship with a particular orphanage in Kenya. The presentation by Chariots will introduce us to the Mahiga Children’s Home with a view to initiating such a connection. Currently there are 99 young people housed at Mahiga, 68 of whom are in primary school, 29 in secondary school, and 2 in post-secondary schools.
If you want to get a head start on learning about the ministry of Chariots, you may go their webpage at www.chariotsforhope.org, or check out their newest video Welcome Home at www.chariotsforhope.org/welcome-home/.
The View from Bahrain
If you hear mention of the country of Bahrain, most likely that you immediately think of Denny and Sue Barger. You know that is the country where they live and minister. While it’s good for that connection to be in your mind, make certain you don’t allow it to limit your thoughts about the Bargers. While Bahrain and the Bargers are quite appropriately linked, in reality, Bahrain is the launching pad for Denny’s ministry throughout the Middle East.
On Sunday the 7th of August the Bargers plan to be at Leidy’s Church. Denny is excited to share all the opportunities the Lord Jesus has opened for ministry throughout the Middle East. Using the platform of the Issues & Answers class, he will paint the picture of how the ministry of Dreams Alive has expanded from Bahrain to Jordan and to Iraq and to Egypt and to Israel and to . . . well, you get the picture. The base for all this ministry is Bahrain, so it’s right and good to connect the Bargers with that name, but dare not limit it only to Bahrain.
Denny and Sue will have time in the service of worship to share a bit as well. As it turns out, the 7th of August is their wedding anniversary. They were married in Leidy’s Church on August 7, 1976, 40 years ago to the day! Think they might have a memory or two to tell us! In any event, they will be delighted to meet and greet you, so come out and see what they have to present.
(By the way, did you notice it said “service of worship” in the preceding paragraph, not “services of worship?” There’s an outside chance August 7th will be our first time to worship in the new church building. But you didn’t hear that here! If such is the case you’ll hear about it in plenty of time to get it on your agenda.)
Some Folks to Pray For
The Lord willing, on the evening of July 7th a contingent of Leidy’s Church short-term missionaries will set out for Pikangikum, Ontario. Their stated task is to provide a five day Bible School for the children of Pikangikum. They will do that, but also much more.
Kids will be hovering around most all the time. Team members will be interacting via games of all sorts, from charades to soccer to paper/scissors/rock. Some of the time will just be hanging out, letting conversations develop as team members love on the kids. There may be an opportunity to do some ministry with older teens as well.
There also will be some handyman ministry taking place. No matter where one is in the world, it seems every community can use guys who can fix things! Some of that will be happening at Pikangikum we hope.
Here is the team that will sally forth on the 7th:
Andrew Edmonds, Captain, Mary Beth Musselman, VBS Coordinator, Lorraine Kroesser, Food Coord., David Thompson, Nick Smith, Grace Griffith, Chase Mahoney, Mitchell VanDerbeek, Hannah Thompson, Monica Kemmerer, Justin Coale, Mackenzie Kroesser, Emma Coale, Rich Kapusta, Steve Paine, Joseph Thompson, John Niederhaus, Tony Kapusta, Rebecca Kemmerer
If you would like to be present to see the team off, plan to be at the church around 6:15 on the 7th. There will be a brief gathering in the sanctuary, prayer for all, and then the Perkiomen coach will hit the road.
As you remember these folk in prayer, here are some prayer suggestions:
Work of the Holy Spirit Safety: travel and on-site Spiritual discernment
Vital connections w/kids Good team relationships Gospel shared clearly
Spiritual protection Hearts to be encouraged Good team worship
Flexible attitudes Spiritual strongholds overthrown
Not too many bug bites For entrée into the adults in the community
Remember, Pikangikum is a remote location. After arriving at Red Lake, Ontario – look it up on map – team members and all their supplies are flown in by Caravan planes to the Pikangikum community. You might pray for good flying weather on the way in and on the way back. The Bible school program will go from Sunday afternoon through Thursday afternoon.
The Mountain Disappeared!
For the past two years there has been a “mountain” where the athletic fields are slated to be located. In reality, of course, it was a huge pile of top soil that was collected from throughout the property at the beginning of the building project and then utilized to provide good soil when all the construction work was finished.
The last of that mountain was leveled out one day in mid-June. We should not see anymore bulldozers or other heavy equipment parked at random spots on our property. That means all the site work is done! No more loud roar of engines and a cloud of dust! No more “beep, beep, beep” warnings that a piece of heavy equipment is backing up.
During the course of the building project over a dozen new retention ponds and basins were created throughout the property. All the dirt that’s been pushed around and put in place should be in no danger of running off to a more desirable site downstream! These ponds were mandated by governmental agencies, not planned or requested by us.
There’s one last area that needs to be seeded with grass, but that’s it. We’re done with the site work. What that means is that now the ongoing maintenance work begins. Fields of growing green grass have replaced the mountains of dirt. Now we’ll hear the sounds of lawn mowers and, by next year, we hope to hear the sounds accompanying athletic activities.
Thanks be to God!
Red Cross at Leidy’s Church
Though the annual Leidy’s Church blood drive takes place in April, the Red Cross has asked to use our facility for a blood drive in July as well this year. So, while not the official Leidy’s Church blood drive, the Red Cross will be at our facility on Friday, July 15th.
If you would like to get on the schedule to give blood, you will need to go to the Red Cross site at www.redcrossblood.org and enter leidyschurch in the Find A Blood Drive box. Please note, you need to enter the name exactly as printed above, with no spaces, but with leidyschurch as one word. You’ll be able to see what times are still available and register according to what best suits your schedule.
If you go to the Red Cross site, you’ll be able to register to make a regular blood donation or choose the option called Double Red Cells. A Double Red Cell donation collects the red cells but returns most of the plasma and platelets to the donor. These donors must meet specific eligibility requirements and have type A Neg, B Neg, or O blood. Most folk simply make a regular blood donation.
Congregational Meeting Set
A Congregational Meeting has been called for Sunday morning, July 31st. It will take place in the sanctuary immediately following the 8 am service of worship.
The purpose of the meeting is to elect Elders and Deacons to serve on Consistory. In another article in this Newsletter you can find information about the nominees. Nominations may also be made from the floor at the meeting, provided the person nominated meets the requirements of our Constitution and has consented to be nominated.
This article should be considered the formal notification of the Congregational Meeting as required by our Constitution.
VBS: Info & Reflections
By Laura Heebner
The science-themed SonSpark Labs VBS program will be held August 7-11th from 6-8:15 p.m. With age-appropriate Bible stories, experiments, games, crafts, and songs, each session of VBS will allow kids to explore a different aspect of God’s life-changing plan for their lives. Sessions will cover the basics of the Bible story: creation, sin, and salvation through Jesus Christ. This will be a great opportunity to reinforce the basics for those who already attend Leidy’s Church Sunday school program and a perfect introduction to the gospel for visitors.
A couple years ago, I was enjoying a rare moment of peace and quiet in the car and found myself unwittingly humming a song that I had learned during one of the VBS programs I attended during the 1980’s. (That is, as I recently had to explain to one of my children, the time period after the invention of electricity but before the invention of the internet and cell phones.) Somehow, after all these years, the melody and lyrics were still stuck up there in my brain. I have very fond memories of the VBS programs I attended growing up and now realize that what seemed like just a big party with cool prizes, strangely sweet orange drink, and countless half-baked craft projects was actually something that laid the foundation for the rest of my Christian walk. The songs and memory verses – paraphrased or otherwise – are still clattering around in my brain for sure. But what’s more is that the relationships I formed at VBS are what made me want to be at church as I got older. Even as a teenager. For the most part. Now I have children of my own – ages 3, 6, and 9 – and more than anything, I want them to want to be at church. I want them to form relationships with adults who care about their spiritual well-being. I want them to see tweens and teens within the church whose behavior is worth emulating. I want them to grow deep roots with other kids their age so they can encourage each other in their faith as they walk through a world that is more hostile to their beliefs than they even yet realize.
It is because of all this that I am greatly encouraged by the outpouring of support and volunteerism that the congregation of Leidy’s Church has shown as we prepare for the 2016 VBS program, SonSpark Labs. My heart is overwhelmed by how many people understand how critical it is to have a meaningful and effective VBS program, both for the children who attend Leidy’s Church and for the children in our community who come as visitors. To date, over 80 volunteers have stepped forward to help make this summer’s VBS program a success. We are truly blessed to have a congregation that understands just what is at stake and is willing to give of time and energy to help shape tomorrow’s spiritual leaders.
Prayers for the VBS program are greatly appreciated. Please pray that all the details will fall into place. Pray for safety. But most of all pray that we will achieve our goal of training kingdom kids to know and show Jesus!
The Consistory of Leidy’s Church met on the beautiful early summer evening of June 8th. Below are some salient highlights of that meeting:
- Staying Focused was the theme of devotional thoughts shared by Scott Rittenhouse. He used the example of Jesus walking on the water and Peter walking to Him. So long as Peter was focused on Jesus things went well. When the wind and waves became his focus, then down Peter started to go. Scott also read Psalm 1:1-3 and Psalm 19:7-11 as an encouragement and exhortation.
- There remain five Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA] issues that need to be addressed and approved prior to receiving any occupancy permit. Three of them are submitted to the Labor & Industry Board as variance requests. That Board will meet on June 23rd following which necessary actions will be taken to conform to their decision on each item. Two items are to be dealt with now, both by the expertise of Scott Rittenhouse. The pulpit will be moved forward in order to create sufficient clearance behind it to comply with ADA regs, and the kitchen unit in the Youth Room will be adjusted to meet those requirements as well. Glen Tyson was authorized to purchase a stove and refrigerator for the Youth Room.
- Punch lists of considerable length are being worked through with steady progress taking place. These are lists of tasks that need to be done before taking occupancy of the building. Included would be everything from places where touch up painting needs to be done, to downspouts installed, to proper signage, to you name it.
- As of the latter part of May our mortgage is fixed. We will borrow no more money – the Lord willing. The mortgage is $1.7 million with a monthly payment of just under $8,500. Current funds in our Building Fund should handle the remaining expenses. In fact, there’s a possibility that some funds will be available to apply to the principal of the mortgage after all the final bills are paid.
- The Options Committee cannot act on renting our current facility until it is more certain when the transition to the new facility will occur. Discussion are ongoing, though.
- The two men to be nominated to serve as Deacons on Consistory are Matt Harris and Peter Martindell. The Spiritual Council will nominate Stan Ott and Ken Merritt to serve as Elders on Consistory. A Congregational Meeting will be called for July 31st to vote on the nominations.
- The committee interviewing applicants for the position of Pastor of Worship and Technology completed its interviewing work. The recommendation from the committee was to make an offer to Chris Tawney to fill the position. After discussion, the rest of Consistory agreed, and an offer will be made to Chris. If he were to accept the offer, his starting date would be July 1st if that’s at all agreeable to his schedule.
- Greg Nase reported the Hospitality Committee has about 30 volunteers enlisted thus far. He said there’s always room for more!
- The Church & Community Committee recently met with the Vets for Vets organization in Pennsburg. They took some goods for the group and hope to establish a long-term relationship with the organization.
- The work day at the new facility was fruitful! Over 600 chairs were unpacked and placed, plus 40 tables were unpacked and assembled.
- Fencing around the two exposed a/c units will be done by us once the project is completed. The same is true for the fence around the children’s play area.
The meeting concluded at 10:08 with a time of directed intercessory prayer and the unison praying of the Lord’s Prayer.
The Westminster Larger Catechism
Here’s how the second portion of the Larger Catechism is introduced in the document itself: “Having seen what the Scriptures principally teach us to believe concerning God, it follows to consider what they require as the duty of man.” Let us begin!
What the Scriptures Principally Require as the Duty of Man
Question 91: What is the duty which God requires of man?
Answer: The duty which God requires of man is obedience to his revealed will.
Question 92: What did God at first reveal to man as the rule of his obedience?
Answer: The rule of obedience revealed to Adam in the estate of innocence, and to all mankind in him, besides a special command not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, was the moral law.
Question 93: What is the moral law?
Answer: The moral law is the declaration of the will of God to mankind, directing and binding every one to personal, perfect, and perpetual conformity and obedience thereunto, in the frame and disposition of the whole man, soul and body, and in performance of all those duties of holiness and righteousness which he owes to God and man: promising life upon the fulfilling, and threatening death upon the breach of it.
Question 94: Is there any use of the moral law to man since the fall?
Answer: Although no man, since the fall, can attain to righteousness and life by the moral law; yet there is great use thereof, as well common to all men, as peculiar either to the unregenerate, or to the regenerate.
Question 95: Of what use is the moral law to all men?
Answer: The moral law is of use to all men, to inform them of the holy nature and the will of God, and of their duty, binding them to walk accordingly; to convince them of their disability to keep it, and of the sinful pollution of their nature, hearts, and lives; to humble them in the sense of their sin and misery, and thereby help them to a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and of the perfection of his obedience.
Question 96: What particular use is there of the moral law to unregenerate men?
Answer: The moral law is of use to unregenerate men, to awaken their consciences to flee from wrath to come, and to drive them to Christ; or, inexcusable, and under the curse thereof.
Question 97: What special use is there of the moral law to the regenerate?
Answer: Although they that are regenerate, and believe in Christ, be delivered from the moral law as a covenant of works, so as thereby they are neither justified nor condemned; yet besides the general uses thereof common to them with all men, it is of special use, to show them how much they are bound to Christ for his fulfilling it, and enduring the curse thereof in their stead, and for their good; and thereby to provoke them to more thankfulness, and to express the same in their greater care to conform themselves thereunto as the rule to their obedience.
3rd Carl & Jerri Thompson
10th Lani Kimenhour
17th Jeff & Debbie Schatz
24th Elaine Frank
31st Don & Dianne Nase
3rd Fern Vasey
10th Pearl Walter
17th Diane Weber
24th Donna Weiss
31st Mim Weigner
3rd Nathan & Bekah Kulp
10th Terry & Darlene Leidy
17th Tim & Rachel Leidy
24th Tom & Judy Leidy
31st Ken & Connie Merritt
3rd Patricia Martindell, Nelda Metzler
10th Peter & Bambi Martindell
17th Blaine & Nicole Moyer
24th James & Danielle Mylin
31st Don & Dianne Nase
8:00 Francis Weiss, Captain; Mike Kehs, Anthony Sciacca, Nick Sciacca, Ken Ritter, Kevin Weiss
10:45 Ed Schmidt, Captain; Allen Kraus, Jack Parry, Andy Tawney, Tom Kraus, George Frueh.
The A/V Booth technicians for July are Allen Kraus and Curt Lockman.
The Emergency Committee for July is Randy and Cathy Annis.
7th Dave & Flor Hughes
14th Jill Ott
21st Rich & Juliana Kapusta
28th Sandy Nase
7th Deb Caserta
14th Shirley Clemens
21st Sandy Cressman
28th Esther Davis
7th Mike & Shirley Michalak
14th Michael & Karen Mirabella
21st Gerald & Sherry Moyer
28th Ron & Kathy Moyer
7th Bill & Wynne Parfitt
14th Jack & Karen Parry
21st Ken & Nicole Peck
28th Delton & Laurie Plank
8:00 Dave Doran, Captain; Nathan Kulp, Joah Rittenhouse, Jim Smedberg, Tim Ziegler.
10:45 Matt Harris, Captain; Blaine Moyer, Stan Radcliff, Steve Radcliff, John Schilling, Brent Talbot.
The A/V Booth technicians for August are Joseph Thompson and Brian Radcliff.
The Emergency Committee for August is Ed and Darlene Schmidt.