It’s springtime, so let’s give a little consideration to gardens. I would like to direct your attention to three particular gardens. I also would like for us to give some consideration to the word suddenly. We’ll also throw into the mix some thoughts about two Greek words for time: chronos and kairos.
The first garden I want us to think about is the Garden of Eden. It really was a paradise. It was a locale specially prepared by God for habitation by humans, Adam and Eve to begin with. We don’t know how long Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden, but while they lived there it was glorious. All that changed suddenly, in a mere moment of time.
When God had first created Adam – and before He created Eve – He told Adam he could eat fruit from any tree in the Garden, except fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. After putting Adam in the Garden of Eden to cultivate and keep it, God made Eve. They shared covenantal vows before God and became husband and wife. Being a good husband, Adam taught his wife what God had told him concerning their responsibilities and boundaries, particularly about not eating from the one tree.
Sometime afterward Satan slithered into the Garden of Eden. He raised the quintessential question that always plagues mankind: Did God say? Satan asked this question of Eve, though Adam was there in the Garden with her. In due time the devil convinced Eve it was a good thing to eat fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. She took some of the fruit and ate. Sure enough, it did taste good!
Wait, before you jump to conclusions, you should know that nothing suddenly happened at that point. It was all still good. Nothing had fallen yet.
Next, though, Eve gave the fruit to Adam and encouraged him to try it. Adam did not buy the line from Satan, for he remembered what God had said. He also knew that death would come about if he ate from that fruit. For some inexplicable reason, in a moment of time, he decided he would taste of that fruit. When he did, at that very moment all of creation suddenly changed. A deadly virus was loosed into the entire created order. It was a virus that thenceforward would infect every person from the moment of conception. At that moment all creation began groaning as corruption was loosed in it.
It was through Adam that sin came into the world. To put it in contemporary terms, he clicked on the link that unleashed the virus that forever changed everything. It was the sin virus. And it was a kairos moment in time. Ordinary time in Greek is designated by the word chronos. It’s just the regular course of time with calendar pages flipping, and one century folding into another. Kairos is the term used to designate special times when things are in the offing that will substantially alter the way chronos time is experienced.
That’s what happened in the Garden of Eden. Let’s move forward in chronos time to another garden, the Garden of Gethsemane. The world still has a darkened hue because of that kairos time event from the Garden of Eden, but something is about to happen that may help change things. The Garden of Gethsemane was frequented often by Jesus and His disciples when they were in Jerusalem. There was any number of times when one could have found them there. But the time we want to consider is a kairos time, namely the late evening of Thursday and early morning Friday of Holy Week.
The Last Supper is concluded, Judas is gone on his mission, and the disciples are weary and ready to sleep. Jesus is burdened to pray – and asks His disciples to stay awake and pray as well. You know the account. Though asked by Jesus to watch and pray, they instead slumber and snooze. Little do they know what time it is; that a true KAIROS moment is at hand.
Jesus is facing a moment like Adam faced in the Garden of Eden. Will He do the bidding of God, or will He take the easier road? Jesus asks the Father to remove from before Him the cup He is about to drink, that is, the pain, sorrow, rejection, humiliation, abandonment, and wrath of God that comes with His crucifixion. The Bible says Jesus was in great agony as He prayed. It says He was praying very fervently. According to Luke, Jesus’ sweat became like drops of blood. Jesus was suffering supreme temptation. It was horrible. Though like the rest of mankind in all things, Jesus was different in that He did not have the deadly infection of the sin virus which had tainted human souls from Adam onward. Jesus was like Adam; He could choose to obey God or choose to go another way. It was a kairos moment.
Jesus chose to do the Father’s bidding. He rose from prayer, wakened the disciples, exhorted them to pray they would not enter into temptation, and then went forward to meet Judas and the crowd who had come to arrest Him. Jesus’ decision in that time of prayer changed everything. God’s perfect plan of redemption stayed on track. The cross was simply the outworking of what had happened in the kairos moment in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Finally, let’s turn to the Garden Tomb, the place where Jesus’ body was buried. John’s gospel tells us it was a new tomb, never used, located in a garden. The most significant kairos moment of all history – so far – took place there. No one saw it happen. No one thought it would happen.
While it was still dark Mary Magdalene and other women set out for the Garden Tomb and arrived just as the sun was rising. But the kairos moment already had occurred. Inside that tomb there had been a kairos moment in time when suddenly the body of Jesus was transformed and glorified as it was reunited with His soul and spirit. It was a kairos moment when God acted. Everything was changed. Suddenly and forever. The deadly virus of sin and death that accompanied Adam’s choice did not have the last word. New life, free from sin’s curse, was confirmed. The light from that empty tomb has the power to dispel the darkness that resulted from Adam’s choosing to eat the forbidden fruit.
That light is the message of Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, never to die again. It is the message that declares the deadly infection and curse that comes from Adam’s sin can be nullified and cured. How does that happen? In a kairos moment!
If you’re a Christian, then at some point in time you’ve been brought face to face with the gospel account of Jesus’ suffering and dying to redeem you. By God’s grace you had a kairos moment and believed in and accepted His offer of salvation. You went from living under the curse of Adam’s sin to the joy of living a new life of hope based on sure and certain promises of God. Joy of joys, that hope is an ongoing anchor for your soul as you navigate through the choppy and sometimes turbulent waters of chronos time.
If you’re not a Christian, then consider the three gardens dealt with in this column. They describe and document the human condition and the only sure hope of how to be prepared for the final, greatest kairos moment of all history. When Jesus comes again, He will come suddenly and it will be a kairos moment, a moment that will determine each person’s place for eternity.
If you’re a Christian, then you’ve been commissioned by Jesus to be a witness to these basic facts of life. During this Easter season ask the Lord Jesus to give you opportunities to explain what Christians are celebrating. Tell the truths of these three gardens.
May you and your household have a blessed, joyous, and fruitful Easter!
In the Joy of the Lord,
John H.C. Niederhaus
April Pulpit Schedule
2nd – The Forever Foundation – Exodus 31:18; 32:15-16; Psalm 119:89-96; John 8:31-32
The University of Southern California’s Law School has a quotation from the gospel of John inscribed above the pillars of its main building. It’s part of our gospel text this Lord’s Day. The text is this: “You will know the truth and the truth will make you free.” That’s a great text. It is, however, only a partial text. Without the rest of the text it’s possible to misuse and misunderstand the text quoted. Texts that are inscribed in such high, distinguished settings are meant to be foundational for the institution. We’ll consider the rest of the text this Lord’s Day.
9th – Reasons for Praise – Genesis 3:8-19; Revelation 5:1-10; Matthew 21:1-11
The crowd on Palm Sunday has gotten a bad rap. Often the storyline is those folk were faint-hearted followers of Jesus at best, mere hangers-around-the-edges at worst, for on Good Friday those same folk were the ones chanting for Jesus to be crucified. Such is not the case. It was a different crowd of folk for each event. The crowd on Palm Sunday had good reasons for praising the Lord Jesus. We will look at some of those reasons, but with a view to examining our praises! Why do we (or, don’t we) praise the Lord Jesus? There can be right and wrong reasons.
16th – Unbelievable! No Way! – Isaiah 42:1-9; Luke 24:1-12, 36-49; 1 Corinthians 15:3-19
Hallelujah! It’s Easter Sunday morning! In our circles Easter Sunday morning is taken for granted. We know what it’s all about and we know how we’re going to spend our day and while it’s special, it’s also ordinary. That is to say, we take for granted the events celebrated on Easter Sunday morning. Not so on the day it all happened! If one reads the accounts of the resurrection in the gospels, one of the consistent elements is the refusal of the disciples to believe Jesus was physically raised from the dead. I know, that sounds unbelievable, no way that’s true. We’ll see!
23rd – What is God Like? – Isaiah 46:8-11; Hebrews 11:1-7; Psalm 103:1-22
What do you think God is like? This is a very important question. It’s a question we each need to ask and a question we each need to answer. Answers will range from the skeptics’ assertion that God is entirely a construct of human imagination, to those who see God as a petty tyrant unable to impress His will on all of creation. We will seek to answer this question by answering a series of questions. For instance: Does God really exist? Is God good? Is He wicked? Is God knowable? Has God ever been lonely? Is He trustworthy? What does He do?
30th – Inconceivable – Genesis 1:26-28; Matthew 28:18-20; 1 Peter 1:1-2
A core doctrine of Christianity is the Trinity. It is a cause of great offense to Judaism and Islam, though each claims an Abrahamic origin also. Jew and Muslim alike consider the Trinitarian God inconceivable. In fact, they each consider it blasphemous, utterly to be rejected. There are groups that identify as Christians who also dismiss any notion of the Trinity. They say it is an extra-biblical term that should be rejected. The Church answers that this non-biblical term is designed to protect essential biblical truth. We say, “Praise God for the truth of the Trinity.”
A Congregational Meeting will take place immediately following the service of worship on April 2nd. Only one item will be on the agenda. At that meeting the Spiritual Council will nominate Dave Reich for the office of Elder.
Dave is currently serving as a Deacon, but this year he also was elected to serve as President of Consistory. The Spiritual Council is of the opinion that since Dave is Consistory President he also ought to participate in and be familiar with those matters that come before the Spiritual Council.
From the Youth Pastor
The Perfect Pastor
“After hundreds of years, a model preacher has been found to suit everyone. He preaches exactly 20 minutes and then sits down. He condemns sin, but never hurts anyone’s feelings. He works from 8 am to 10 pm in every type of work from preaching to custodial service. He gives $60 a week to the church. He also stands ready to contribute to every good work that comes along. He is 26-years-old and has been preaching for 30 years. He is tall and short, thin, heavyset, and handsome. He has one brown eye and one blue, hair parted down the middle, left side dark and straight, the right side brown and wavy. He has a burning desire to work with teenagers, and spends all his time with older folks. He smiles all the time with a straight face because he has a sense of humor that keeps him seriously dedicated to his work. He makes 15 calls a day on church members, spends all his time evangelizing the unchurched, and is never out of his office”.
This humorous illustration seems ridiculous when we read it, but it’s funny because we know there is an element of truth to it. Many a pastor struggles to keep all his plates spinning, yet often fails to meet congregational expectations. It’s not uncommon to hear of pastors leaving the role of pastor because of burnout and disillusionment. Dave Early in his book Pastoral Leadership Is writes that, “Every month, 1,500 pastors leave the ministry permanently in America”. They are buckling under the pressure to perform, because the reality is that the pastor isn’t perfect. But the perfect pastor really does exist! I know because I have met Him personally.
Who is the perfect pastor? Well, the Bible says it’s Jesus, the One who is our chief shepherd. Jesus, our perfect Pastor, Peter describes as our spiritual shepherd, the overseer of God’s people. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. [1 Pet. 2:25]
This description of Jesus as our spiritual shepherd and we His people being His sheep is very prevalent throughout the Bible. However, the chief shepherd entrusts His herding work to other “under shepherds”. Peter exhorts the elders of church to function in this way when he instructs them to . . . shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. [1 Peter 5:2-4]
So because Jesus is the chief shepherd (which means He is the perfect pastor), mere men don’t have to be perfect pastors, for that job is already taken. But the elders in the church need to be “under shepherds” who are following Jesus example of shepherding, and take serious responsibility to oversee the flock (God’s people). Despite this, often the following attitude can arise. You may have heard the old joke about a man who got up one Sunday morning and told his wife, “I’m not going to that church this morning.” She replied, “Oh yes, you are. Now get up, get showered, put your clothes on, and go.” He responded, “Nobody there likes me and I don’t like anybody there. Just give me three good reasons why I should go to church this morning.” She answered, “One, God expects you to do it. Two, your family expects you to do it. And three, the church expects you to be there. After all, you’re the pastor.”
Burning out as a pastor can be a preventable thing. How can a pastor avoid burnout? I think by knowing he isn’t perfect and looking to the One who is perfect, namely Jesus, who is . . . the author and perfecter of faith . . . [Heb.12:2] From that posture of humility a pastor should seek to understand his role as a “shepherd leader”.
Will you join with me in praying for pastors to be “good shepherds”, but at the same time remembering the “great shepherd”? Jesus is the One we love and serve, while remembering that we are His sheep forever.
Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will . . . [Heb. 13:20,21] Amen.
This year Easter is at a more normal time, namely in mid-April. It will be our first Easter service in our new home. Our schedule has some changes to it, but nothing too radical. Easter is always a good time to invite others to come out to church. Here is what we have in the offing for 2017:
- Palm Sunday is April 9th and we will be singing Palm Branches as our opening hymn. As in the past, Palm Sunday is also Prayer Card Day which you can read about in a separate article. Something new this year is the presentation of Go, Go Jonah in the afternoon. It starts at 4.
- Good Friday is April 14th and we will have a service of worship at 7 pm. One of the gospel accounts of Jesus’ passion will be read where we follow Jesus from the Garden of Gethsemane all the way to the new tomb located in another garden. The choir will sing, special Good Friday music will be part of the service, and during the course of the service the lights will gradually be darkened.
- Easter Sunday is April 16th and for the first time in decades we will have one combined service of worship. There will not be a sunrise service this year – Pastor John cannot find a good outside location for one. The traditional Youth Fellowship sponsored Sausage & Pancake Breakfast will take place from 8 to 10, with the Easter service of worship beginning at 10. It will be a celebratory service, rejoicing in the great good news that He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed!
Be certain to invite some friends to come with you as you participate in these special Easter season services.
Red Cross Blood Drive
The 2017 Red Cross Blood Drive happens at Leidy’s Church on Wednesday, April 12th. The unit will be drawing blood from 2 to 7 p.m. There’s always a need for blood, so your donation will not be for naught.
There are several ways for you to secure an appointment to give blood. The quickest and easiest way is to go directly to www.redcrossblood.org and in the “Find a Blood Drive” box type in leidyschurch. Click on the link and you’ll be able to see what times are still available. Choose the time that best fits your schedule. Or, you may register before or after church on Sundays at the table in the narthex. The church office also will take calls from folk who want to register to give blood but keep forgetting to do so on Sunday morning and don’t want to go to the website.
If you go to the Red Cross site you’ll find there are several options for giving blood. The one most folk select is just the regular blood donation. One of the other options is called Power Red. A Power Red 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. The final option is to donate Platelets. This type of donation collects the platelets and some plasma and returns the red cells and most of the plasma back to the donor. The donation takes approximately one and-a-half to two and-a-half hours. Again, the bulk of folk choose to make a simple, regular blood donation.
Thanks in advance for your participation.
Just What You Need
If there’s anything we Christians need, it is faithful and effective training in how to share our faith with others. It is common for us to feel inadequate and unprepared when we have an opportunity to share about faith in Jesus. It need not be that way. Read on.
On May 19th and 20th – a Friday night and Saturday morning – Leidy’s Church will host a Share Your Faith Workshop. What do you need to do to qualify for this training? Well, you need to love the Lord Jesus, have a desire to be faithful in your Christian responsibilities, and be open to learning how to follow Him more fully.
Another way to put it is you need to be FAT. Whoops, not necessarily physically fat, but what those letters stand for as an acrostic, namely Faithful, Available, and Teachable. Learning to be articulate about our faith is something we all desire. Even the most advanced training will not take away the butterflies that begin fluttering in your belly when you share the claims of Christ, but this workshop will prepare you to proceed in a clear and understandable fashion.
More information will be forthcoming, or speak with Pastor Steve for further details. Plan now to take advantage of this opportunity to get just what you need.
Ladies of Leidy’s
The April meeting takes place on Tuesday, April 4th at 7:00 p.m., and meets in the Conference Room. Jerri Thompson will be speaking about Asperger’s Syndrome: What is it, and do you know anyone who has it? All ladies are welcome.
Awaken Women’s Conference
The Awaken Women’s Conference is rapidly approaching! It happens on Saturday, April 22nd. Our speakers will be Verna Bowman, Cherie Leatherman, and Kristi Wile.
You’ll experience passionate teaching from God’s Word, authentic worship music, personalized break out sessions, and a focused time of prayer. The cost is $30 and lunch is included. Register by April 1st and receive a $10 discount. Use the code AWAKEN10 when you register. Scholarships are also available. Send your request via email to email@example.com.
Doors open at 8 a.m. and the program begins at 8:55 a.m. For more information and to register for the conference go to www.awaken2017.org. You can also “like” us on Facebook @awakenwomen2017.
If you have questions or would like additional information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you on April 22!
Have you ever wanted to feel like A ‘Queen for a Day?’ Well, ladies, here is your chance! Ladies of Leidy’s is sponsoring a Mother-Daughter Tea on Saturday, June 3rd at 11 am. Family Heritage Gift Shop and Shekala’s have graciously offered to provide a Fashion Show for our event. Sounds like a wonderful opportunity to celebrate all the different women God has created us to be! More information will be forthcoming.
theme verse for 2017 – Hebrews 10:24-25
“…and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking
our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another,
and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
Hitting the Links Can Help!
April is a great month for golf. That’s true not only for Augusta, Georgia, but for southeastern PA too. If you like to golf, then you should plan to participate in the Pastors Master Charity Golf Tournament held at the Talamore Country Club on Monday, April 17. This is an annual fundraiser for Love Cradle International, one that’s become quite popular with the crowd that chases that little white ball around.
Leidy’s Church hopes to have a foursome or two representing her at this event. There is a shotgun start at 12:30 with a reception at 5:30 followed by dinner and awards. Complimentary refreshments and amenities throughout the course are provided by generous sponsors. Grab a brochure from the narthex hutch for full details or go to the website at http//thepastorsmasters.org.
The beneficiary of this tournament – Love Cradle International – conducts a vital ministry among orphans in Ukraine. 100% of the proceeds will go to this work that brings tangible goods to orphans as well as the good news of the gospel of the Lord Jesus. Your hitting the links here will help orphans over there.
Inspirational Music & Delicious Desserts all for the SLMT!
Here are some questions for you: Do you love music that inspires and lifts your heart in praise and worship to God? Do you love sweet confections that excite your taste buds with satisfying delight? Do you love fellowship with other believers who enjoy those same things? If you can answer yes to these three questions, then you should plan to attend the SLMT Music & Dessert night on Saturday, May 13th at 6 pm.
A talented array of musicians and singers are prepared to engage, inspire, and encourage your walk of faith that evening. Headlined by The Three Tenors, other groups include the Lockmans, the Wilwert Sisters, and some surprise appearances.
A cadre of bakers and confectionary experts are making unique creations to excite your pallet with explosions of flavor. There will be cakes, fruit filled pies, candies, combos, and some exotic cheese cakes.
The cost to attend this evening of tastes and sounds is only $20 per person. All of the funds raised go directly to the SLMT. We hope to see you there.
Adult SS Elective
The adult Sunday School elective Case for Christ was so well received that another six week elective along the same lines is in the offing. Andrew Rosenbaum will be the leader for The Case for Faith. Based on the book by Lee Strobel, each session will include a 10 to 15 minute video segment followed by directed discussion.
The course is designed to deal with some of the major objections that people say prevent them from coming to faith in Christ. If God is good, why is there so much evil in the world? Isn’t the Christian faith awfully arrogant to say that Jesus provides the only way for one to be reconciled to God? These are the sorts of topics this course seeks to address.
The class begins on April 2nd and will meet on the Education level in room 125. A study-guide workbook will be available as well.
Inquirer’s Class to Start
A new Inquirer’s Class will begin on Sunday, April 23rd. This class will meet in the Conference Room during the Sunday School hour. It takes place for six consecutive Sundays with a different presenter each Sunday.
Intended to give folk a broad overview of Leidy’s Church, topics covered will include organizations of Leidy’s Church, some history of the area and of the congregation, our denominational background and where we are with that now, how we are governed, and a session on what we believe and why. Though not a membership class, to become a member one must have taken this course within the last several years.
If you or someone you know would like to be part of this class, please contact the church office or speak with Pastor Niederhaus.
It’s a Go!
You should have heard about it by now. It’s still a go. We’re talking about the kids’ musical production Go, Go, Jonah! Though most of us know the story of Jonah, the reluctant prophet, we do not know how our kids musical personnel are presenting his story in song. It is a rhythmic, toe-tapping, high-energy production that catches us up in the events of biblical history in the here and now.
Under the able direction of Donna Frueh, there will be two opportunities to be present for this production. At 7 pm Saturday April 8th Jonah will begin his sprint away from the Lord, yet certainly end up speaking to the Ninevites. Then on Palm Sunday afternoon at 4 it will all happen again. You can choose the showing that best suits your schedule, or come to both.
It’s a great opportunity to encourage the kids by your presence while hearing about God’s call on our lives, the truth of God’s Word, the need for mission outreach beyond our own comfortable surroundings, and how God remains sovereign over all the affairs of mankind. It’s a soul-searching and soul-stirring story.
A joyous inaugural concert featuring pianist Karen Burgman takes place on Sunday, April 23rd at 7 pm. Mrs. Burgman will be playing the concert grand piano that is in our sanctuary. A committed Christian artist, she will play a wide variety of music to demonstrate the range and caliber of this extraordinary instrument. Included in the evening will be opportunities for the audience to make request for songs to be done and occasions when the audience will be asked to join voices in singing along with Mrs. Burgman.
A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory with a degree in piano performance, Mrs. Burgman has performed as a soloist and collaborative pianist not only in the US, but also in Canada and Europe. Among the venues where she’s been featured are the Center for the Performing Arts in Toronto, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., New York City’s Carnegie Hall, and the Symphony Hall and Jordan Hall in Boston. She is one of the founders of the Hilltown Creative Arts Academy.
Locally, Karen Burgman is best known for her directorship of the Sola Gratia Musicians Choirs. As that name suggests, she has a lively personal faith in the Lord Jesus, a faith that enhances her piano accomplishments.
Refreshments will be available following the concert. Let others know about the remarkable evening being planned for April 23rd and encourage them to come out and be blessed with delightful music.
What’s Your Bid?
If it’s April that means it is Mission Auction time! The last Saturday of April is when we turn our attention to the voice of Len Walter, our auctioneer, as he calls us through a varied and enticing list of items to be auctioned.
It all takes place in the fellowship hall. Doors open at 4:30 and dinner begins to be served at 5. The bidding is due to start at 6:30. Ron Moyer and friends provide top-of-the-line beef sandwiches, there are assorted side dishes all made fresh, and a fascinating assortment of desserts from the culinary experts of the church. It’s a good place to eat a meal!
We’re always in need of good items to auction off. Have you given your auction item yet? If not, Pastor Steve wants to talk to you!
We’re also always in need of good bidders. While many good deals are gotten each year, at the auction that should not be your goal. The goal is to help raise funds for the mission trip to the First Nations people in Ontario this summer. So bid freely and often!
Help spread the news about the auction. Extend invitations to your neighbors, co-workers, extended family, and those who sit next to you at lunch.
The date is April 29th. The location is the Leidy’s Church fellowship hall. The occasion is the 2017 Stormer Lake Mission Auction. We bid you to come out and join in the fun.
A Reason to Pray
Yes, someone needs your prayers. That someone is one of our young people at Leidy’s Church. On Palm Sunday each year Prayer Cards are made available for distribution. All adults are asked to take one of the unmarked envelopes that contains a Prayer Card, then use that Prayer Card as a reminder to pray for the young person named on the card.
Each young person from nursery through high school has an individualized Prayer Card. The card will have the young person’s name, perhaps a picture, the birthday of the young person, and some suggestions for prayers for each day of the week. Some of the kids will have written a brief note saying something about themselves and, perhaps, something specific to pray for.
During the service of worship on Palm Sunday all the kids will be brought to the front of the sanctuary. It will be quite the crowd! We’ll see a video of some of their activities and Justine Smith will explain more about our ministry to kids and how we can each be part of it.
Leidy’s Church is a multi-generational congregation. The generations should know, appreciate, support, and encourage one another. The Prayer Card program is one way to help that happen. Get a Prayer Card and get a reason to pray.
Thirty Pieces of Silver
On Palm Sunday and on Easter Sunday you may bring your Thirty Pieces of Silver offering to the church. Special receptacles will be in the narthex to receive all such offerings.
All monies collected will be going to Glad Tidings India as part of the celebratory thanksgiving to God on the occasion of Bill Scott’s 90th birthday, and his 65+ years of missionary labors in India. Every $5 given will print one Bible in an Indian language. Bill Scott’s lifelong vision has been to have a Bible in every home in India. This is one step in helping that vision toward its goal.
Along with your Thirty Pieces of Silver offering, don’t forget to pray for India. Persecution is on the rise in India, and from the highest reaches of government. Recently, Compassion International was told it would have to cease ministering in that land. Reports continue to be received of much overt hostility to anything related to Christianity. So, let’s give and let’s pray.
Join Us for the Easter Pancake Breakfast!
The youth of Leidy’s Church look forward to serving you a delicious Easter breakfast of pancakes, sausage, fruit, and other tasty items. Come to the Fellowship Hall between 8 and 10 on Easter morning and good food will be brought to you. Grab a table with some friends or family members and enjoy fellowship and food.
That breakfast table, by the way, will have a full complement of food all the time you’re sitting there. It’s an eat-as-much-as-you-want event. Served family style by cheerful youth, they make certain you lack for nothing. So, bring your family and fill a table, or take a leap and eat with some folk you may not know. It’s Easter, be free.
The cost by the way is free – well, not exactly free, but for a donation. There is neither a minimum charge nor a maximum charge. You may give as much or as little as you desire. This is a faith-based event and all proceeds will be directed by the youth to a worthy benevolent project. There will be a spot for you in the Leidy’s Church Fellowship Hall to enjoy breakfast this Resurrection Sunday, so join us for Easter breakfast!
Business & Professional Breakfast
The spring BMCE Business & Professional breakfast takes place on Thursday morning, May 11th. It will begin promptly at 6:30 as those present enjoy a full country breakfast that is served family style. Franconia Heritage banquet center is the site for the breakfast, and tickets are $10 p/person for folk from Leidy’s Church. Tickets are available from Jack Parry or from Pastor Niederhaus.
Featured speaker that morning will be Dan Emr, founder of Worthwhile Wear. This is a US based non-profit focused on helping women in India escape the servitude of sex trafficking. By providing women employment opportunities making clothing and jewelry items, the cycle of exploitation can be broken.
Worthwhile Wear has founded The Well, a long-term housing and restorative program offered to survivors of human trafficking. Located on 82 peaceful acres in Bucks County, it has proved to be a blessed ministry since its inception in 2014.
Mr. Emr will tell how God confronted him with the stark reality of human trafficking and then led him to make a radical change in his life goals as a consequence.
Within the Fellowship
Our sincere Christian sympathy to Rich Kapusta and family at the death of his mother. May God be with them at this time.
Congratulations to Tim and Rachel Leidy at the dedication of their daughter, Lenora Elizabeth, and to Nathan and Bekah Kulp at the baptism of their daughter, Anna Faith. May God be with these families as they grow in Him.
Congratulations to EJ & Jena (Kulp) Swihart and who were united in Christian marriage in Manhattan, Kansas. May God be with them as they begin their life together in Him.
While the Consistory President and his family were off visiting Mickey Mouse, the rest of the Leidy’s Church Consistory met on the evening of March 8th to conduct the monthly business of the church. Below are some highlights from that meeting.
- Stan Ott led devotions with some thoughts about being a Christian in the workplace. His remarks focused on kindness. After citing more than a baker’s dozen of Scripture texts documenting his contention that kindness is a character attribute the Lord desires in His people, Stan made some applications of the same. In particular, we should be aware that we bear an aroma wherever we go, and if it is to be an aroma of Christ then it must have mixed in generous portions of kindness.
- In the financial report it was noted that for the first two months of the year we have a negative balance if all our bills were to be paid and all the designated monies distributed. Dana offered an analysis of the past few years that indicated our giving has remained about the same, but our regular expenses (e.g. utility bills, insurance, etc.) have steadily increased. As this first full year in the new facility unfolds, an eye must be kept on our maintenance costs.
- Received an update on the acoustical work to be done in the sanctuary and fellowship hall. Front fill speakers should be in the sanctuary by the end of the month if not sooner. Shortly to follow will be the acoustic panels for the back wall of the sanctuary and for the walls of the fellowship hall.
- Authorized the purchase of risers for use to accommodate larger singing groups such as the Zion Choral Society and SGM choir as well as orchestras, cantatas, and other musical productions. They will suit for use in the sanctuary as well as the fellowship hall. Dave Doran said storage would not be a problem, nor would the set-up and take-down process.
- A significant amount of time was spent reviewing and adjusting a new set of facility use documents. One packet is a “Use Application” set that will be given to all persons and groups interested in using our facility. In addition to an application, it contains an Introduction/Mission Statement as well as a list of General Policies. Any person or group who would want to use our facility would need to be in agreement with those policies and not do anything contrary to them. The second packet reviewed was the Use Agreement contract, a document that would require very specific information regarding what areas, equipment, personnel, etc. would be used and for what length of time. All uses of the building by either members or non-members must be authorized henceforth via this process. The office will maintain a complete listing of activities authorized for any given day in any given space and utilizing whatever equipment or staff and all other ancillary needs. This isn’t Kansas, Dorothy.
- The Tech Team continues to add members, but is always looking for more.
- Discussed the difficulties for some Elders who serve on both Consistory and Spiritual Council since those bodies meet on successive back-to-back evenings. It was decided that beginning in September the Consistory meeting will take place on the Wednesday after the second Sunday of the month.
- Received a variety of other reports from staff and committee liaisons.
Following a time of directed intercessory prayer and the unison praying of the Lord’s Prayer, the meeting was adjourned at 10:33 pm.
The Westminster Larger Catechism
You must hand it to those old Presbyterians; they knew how to squeeze all the blood out of the turnip, so to speak. In examining, explaining, and applying the Ten Commandments they are nothing if not thorough. This month we see what they do with the 6th and 7th commandments.
What the Scriptures Principally Require as the Duty of Man
Question 134: Which is the sixth commandment?
Answer: The sixth commandment is, You shall not kill.
Question 135: What are the duties required in the sixth commandment?
Answer: The duties required in the sixth commandment are all careful studies, and lawful endeavors, to preserve the life of ourselves and others by resisting all thoughts and purposes, subduing all passions, and avoiding all occasions, temptations, and practices, which tend to the unjust taking away the life of any; by just defense thereof against violence, patient bearing of the hand of God, quietness of mind, cheerfulness of spirit; a sober use of meat, drink, physic, sleep, labor, and recreations; by charitable thoughts, love, compassion, meekness, gentleness, kindness; peaceable, mild and courteous speeches and behavior; forbearance, readiness to be reconciled, patient bearing and forgiving of injuries, and requiting good for evil; comforting and succoring the distressed and protecting and defending the innocent.
Question 136: What are the sins forbidden in the sixth commandment?
Answer: The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment are, all taking away the life of ourselves, or of others, except in case of public justice, lawful war, or necessary defense; the neglecting or withdrawing the lawful and necessary means of preservation of life; sinful anger, hatred, envy, desire of revenge; all excessive passions, distracting cares; immoderate use of meat, drink, labor, and recreations; provoking words, oppression, quarreling, striking, wounding, and whatsoever else tends to the destruction of the life of any.
Question 137: Which is the seventh commandment?
Answer: The seventh commandment is, You shall not commit adultery.
Question 138: What are the duties required in the seventh commandment?
Answer: The duties required in the seventh commandment are, chastity in body, mind, affections, words, and behavior; and the preservation of it in ourselves and others; watchfulness over the eyes and all the senses; temperance, keeping of chaste company, modesty in apparel; marriage by those that have not the gift of continency, conjugal love, and cohabitation; diligent labor in our callings; shunning all occasions of uncleanliness, and resisting temptations thereunto.
Question 139: What are the sins forbidden in the seventh commandment?
Answer: The sins forbidden in the seventh commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required, are, adultery, fornication, rape, incest, sodomy, and all unnatural lusts; all unclean imaginations, thoughts, purposes, and affections; all corrupt or filthy communications or listening thereunto; wanton looks, impudent or light behavior, immodest apparel, prohibiting of lawful, and dispensing with unlawful marriages; allowing, tolerating, keeping of stews [you may ask jhcn what this means], and resorting to them; entangling vows of single life, undue delay of marriage, having more wives or husbands than one at the same time; unjust divorce, or desertion; idleness, gluttony, drunkenness, unchaste company; lascivious songs, books, pictures, dancings, stage plays; and all other provocations to, or acts of uncleanness, either in ourselves or others.
News from Kenya
Leidy’s Church is a partner with Chariots for Hope in ministry to orphans in Kenya. In particular, our support is directed to one orphanage: Mahiga. David Mbugua is the Manager at the orphanage. He files a monthly report about happenings at Mahiga. Below are some highlights:
- A new boys dorm is under construction. The front side of the building is about done, and on the back side the second layer of paint is going on. When the floor dries sufficiently, the tile will be installed.
- The high school students had a mid-term break and came back to the home.
- Purity (one of the elementary girls) broke her arm playing on the swings.
- Every Sunday afternoon there is a group of kids taking baptismal classes.
- Solomon has not been able to have a follow-up visit on his brain tumor because the doctors are on strike. He seems to be doing OK attending day school.
To find out more specifics about Mahiga, go the Chariots for Hope website [www.chariotsforhope.org] and click on the tab for Children’s Homes and scroll down to Mahiga. It has a wealth of information.
2nd Sandy Derr
9th Vicki Freed
16th Donna Frueh
23rd Diane Gehman
30th Deb Guerreiro
2nd Lorne & Susan Slack
9th Jim & Genie Smedberg
16th Ben & Evangeline Smith
23rd Skip & Donna Smith
30th Jeremy & Justine Smith
Usher Captains: Rich Kapusta, Dave Walbrandt
Ushers: Larry Anders, Justin Coale, Dustin Doran, Mario Guerreiro, Harold Holloway, Mike Hughes, Matt McVaugh, Brian Radcliff, Rock Rau, Carl Thompson.
The Emergency Committee for April is Ed & Darlene Schmidt.