February, 2017

Pastor’s Column

            I read a Bible verse this morning I had never read before. It was Genesis 23:2. Here’s what it says: Sarah died in Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan; and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. For the first time in my life I realized that Abraham cried when Sarah died. It touched my heart; tears welled up in my eyes.
            In my various thoughts over the years about Abraham, I had thought of him conniving to keep himself alive by telling others that Sarah was his sister, but not telling them she also was his wife. I could picture him traveling the three days to Mount Moriah with Isaac to offer him there as a sacrifice. In my mind I could see him looking up to the star-filled night sky and believing God’s promise that he would have more descendants than the number of those stars. Never once, however, had I seen him weeping for Sarah at her death. Sarah’s death touched his heart.
            This is February which means we’ll see lots of hearts leading up to Valentine’s Day and in its aftermath. Hence, it seems appropriate for us to think a bit about hearts.
            Let’s start by remembering Prov. 4:23: Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. Our hearts are extremely important. Our physical heart is the organ that pumps lifeblood throughout our body; if it shuts down we’re dead. Likewise, our spiritual heart pumps the lifeblood of our souls; from it flows the springs of life.
            A contemporary catchphrase is “follow your heart.” I read an article in the Huffington Post that said, “Your heart holds the key to your life. Your dreams, wishes, and desires are all embedded in your heart.” That sounds similar to the verse from Proverbs. It sees the heart as the source of all the important parts of life. That article also says your heart “speaks to you with kindness and hope. It never speaks fear and doubt, and it will never betray you. Your heart honors you, and when you listen to the guidance of your heart, your peace and happiness is restored.” The title of the article was Trust Your Heart.
            While that may sound like a repeat of the verse from Proverbs, there is a key difference. In Proverbs we are told to watch over our hearts; it says nothing about trusting our hearts. I agree with the article when it says our hearts hold the key to our lives. But I could not disagree more when it says your heart will never betray you.
            There is a verse in Proverbs that speaks to trusting in your heart: He who trusts in his own heart is a fool. [Prov. 28:26] That’s pretty plain speaking! Jesus was a plain speaker too. According to Him, . . . from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man. [Mark 7:21-24]
            When we watch the news and see all the terrible things happening, to what do we attribute them? Did circumstances get the better of some folk and force them to go in the wrong direction? Should societal pressures or cultural structures be considered the foundational cause of our ills? Then, there are matters that don’t make the news: a myriad of wrongs done, hateful words spoken, destructive actions pursued, and devious plans carried out. Just consider the list enumerated by Jesus; not only murders, thefts, and adulteries, but also sensuality, pride, and coveting. All such things come from the human heart. Your heart and my heart.
            Unless, of course, we’re watching over it with all diligence. When a person becomes a Christian it is not based on a decision he’s made, but upon the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in giving him a new heart. Ezekiel 36:26 is a passage the speaks of this quite clearly: I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. The decision one makes to follow the Lord is only possible with a new heart. And if God gives you a new heart everything will be different.
            True, but with qualifications. That old heart is not fully removed until we die. Let me explain what I mean. I had a powerful conversion experience. Everything was different. I loved God and wanted to do His will in every area of my life. It was wonderful.
            But then I sinned. Well, adjust that to “I became aware I had sinned and had done so willingly.” I don’t remember what it was. What I remember is that at church when Pastor Hackett gave the altar call, I raised my hand. I also kept my eyes open and he and I looked at one another. That was one of the very, very few times (in fact, I don’t recall any others, but there may have been some) when he did not ask those who had raised a hand to come down to the front of the church for prayer.
            As it turned out Pastor Hackett knew what was going on. I was engaged in a rocky bit Christian discipleship. I was learning that my new heart had not completely obliterated my old heart. I didn’t need to get saved again; after all, if one is regenerated then one is regenerated! What I needed to know was that I should not reject the discipline of the Lord or loathe His reproof. He was disciplining me, that is, taking me farther in my walk of discipleship. In fact, the sorrow I felt about my sin was a witness of His love for me.
            The Lord, you see, disciplines all those He loves. His Word is able to slice through all the human posturing and excuse-making to reveal the thoughts and intentions of my heart. It does show some of the wickedness still resident there, but it also shows that it is a heart that’s been renewed by the Holy Spirit who spread the love of God abroad in my heart. I really did (and do) love God. That love of God spread in my heart was not a one way thing. My love of God was precipitated by His unrelenting love for me.
            Remember Abraham? He had similar experiences. Though he loved God, he told a half truth [“she’s my sister”] as the whole truth [omitted saying she was his wife] which made it a whole lie. But God was gracious, revealed his sin, and brought him back on course. That’s what God does for His people. Abraham had not watched over his heart with diligence. He had given heed to worldly wisdom, conventional cultural behaviors, and did not stay in the land the Lord had promised him as an inheritance. But God brought him back.
            Abraham and Sarah were complicit in sin together. More importantly, they lived in faith together. Both are in Hebrews 11, the Hall of Faith chapter. Abraham wept at Sarah’s death. Then he got up and bought a parcel of land; the first piece of property he ever owned in the Promised Land. It was for her grave.
            Here’s a good prayer for each of us in this month of hearts. It’s Psalm 119:10-11 With all my heart I have sought You, Do not let me wander from Your commandments. Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
            That sounds like watching our hearts with all diligence. Let each of us trust in the Lord with all our heart, and not lean on our own understanding. As we do so, He will direct our paths.
                                                                                                In the Joy of the Lord,
                                                                                                John H.C. Niederhaus

February Pulpit Schedule

5th – Dark and Stormy Times – Psalm 42; Luke 22:28-34; Acts 27:13-26
            Human history is replete with dark and stormy times. Likewise, individual lives can undergo “dark night of the soul” experiences. The ship carrying Paul to Rome is a picture of just such a night – though in this case it was for fourteen nights. All those on board experienced the unrelenting fury of the storm. The situation was very bleak. For them, “all hope of . . . being saved was gradually abandoned.” Some years earlier Peter experienced such a time within his soul when he denied the Lord Jesus. For all such persons, Psalm 42 offers comfort and hope.
12th – Where Are We? – 2 Samuel 12:1-15; 1 Corinthians 11:23-32; Acts 27:27-38
            In 2 Cor. 13:5 Paul exhorted the Corinthians to “test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!” That, of course, has reference to Christian living. In an analogous way, the sailors on board the storm-tossed ship taking Paul to Rome came to the point where they had to take soundings to see if they could determine where they were headed. What those soundings revealed changed how they operated the ship. David strayed far from God’s path and God used Nathan to take the soundings of David’s soul. He found out exactly where he was.
19th – Savoring God’s Word Together – Psalm 19; Matthew 4:1-4; Colossians 3:16-17
          A fantastic steak (coffee, ice cream, insert your personal favorite) is sublime. Each bite filled with melt-in-your-mouth goodness meant to be savored slowly with a drink of choice. Do we ever savor God’s Word like a good steak? Colossians 3:16 tells us to let the Word richly dwell within us, to savor it. Just as we desire to share [or, maybe, overshare] on social media the deliciousness of our favorite meals, so also we should share the goodness of God’s Word with each other. That’s how we all may share in the feast that God has prepared for His people.
26th – Time to Act – Esther 4:5-16; 2 Corinthians 5:20–6:2; Acts 27:39-44
            The ship by which Paul and 275 other souls were seeking to reach Rome met a disastrous end. It was obvious to all aboard that if they did not act quickly and decisively all aboard would perish. It was a desperate time and decisions had to be made immediately. There were no easy choices. Julius, the centurion, chose life for Paul and the other prisoners. It was much the same with Esther. The Jews were in the cross-hairs of a genocidal plot and they were helpless to stop it. Esther had to act. She did, saying, “If I perish, I perish!” She didn’t perish; nor did the Jews.

From the Youth Pastor

Audience of One

            This year is the 20 year mark since I became free from the tyranny of an Australian private school education. As I think on this I wonder if I will get an invite to the reunion. The truth be told, I wouldn’t mind a bit if the invitation doesn’t make it over the Pacific, because I don’t want to go to such an event. Why? Because of the question that will constantly come up. You know the question, don’t you? It’s the classic, “So what do you do?” We all know that what’s behind this is my fellow students asking, “What have you made of yourself?” or “What have you amounted to?” or “Are you successful?” And then judging my response by their own interpretation of success. I really think I would prefer to go to the dentist than go through the whole reunion experience!
            Maybe I should be challenged to take such an opportunity as a way to share about Jesus through my answers to this question, but my lack of desire and an airfare will in the end prevent me from going the distance on this one. It’s sad, but deep down there is still something inside of me that wants to impress my high school peers. I want to be able to say, “Look at me now! I am a success!” But I know my secular liberal Australian class mates will not look at my career as a success, but as a foolish waste of time. But remember … the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”. [1 Cor. 3:19]
            Let’s face it; to say that you’re a Youth Pastor isn’t the world’s idea of a success. But you and I know that Christians aren’t to be defined by the world’s idea of success. I need to shake off my shallow outlook on this and be reminded of the privilege it is to serve the greatest organization on earth, the Church. I should be proud of my role at the reunion (someday when I attend) for I have served for the last twenty years as one of God’s leaders, which is such an honor.
            When you and I have struggles in our inner man like the above situation, who is it that we are trying to please? Obviously people, but ultimately it’s ourselves. People-pleasing is really about feeding our own pride and ego. We live in a culture that defines success by what we do and it appeals to our self-centered hearts! This view of “you are what you do” permeates our culture and even the Church at large. It comes from television, education, social media, and various social groupings. They all send us the subliminal message that success is based on our performance. But in whose eyes is the performance viewed as a success; who defines what success really is? I believe a successful life is a God-pleasing life rather than a people-pleasing life. As God’s people, we have to be more focused on what God sees as successful.
            What does it take to be successful in God’s eyes? Hebrews 11:6 says without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. Faith is what pleases God. If you want to please Him trust Him with your life! It still remains quite a challenge to please God in a people-pleasing culture, for the world will always be trying to make you perform. The Apostle Paul knew this tension well. In Galatians he says, Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. [Gal. 1:10-12]  It’s about our orientation isn’t it? Who is our focus when we do things? Colossians 3:23 succinctly says, Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. You see how it’s not so much about what you do, but rather who you do it for? Is it worship, and is it being done for the Lord?
            Daily we are called to live a life of faith that pleases God! Inevitably, you and I will face “High School Reunion” moments, and in those times you are going to have to decide “Am I going to please God or am I going to please others.” Most certainly there will be an audience of One, but which one will it be, you or God?
In Christ,
Andrew Edmonds

Ash Wednesday Worship

            Do you remember that in 2016 Easter was in March? Well, we’re glad it’s back to mid-April for 2017. That means Ash Wednesday avoids being in February this year, but just barely. In 2017 Ash Wednesday is observed on March 1st.
            That’s the day you might well see some folk walking around with dark smudges on their foreheads. When you watch the evening news it most likely will include some mention of – perhaps even some footage showing – churches observing Ash Wednesday. But by and large it will be a day pretty much like any other day in the lives of most folk.
            We hope it’s not for you. Leidy’s Church has a service of worship that evening. It begins at 7:30 and lasts for about an hour. We don’t put ashes on anyone’s head, but we do call for folk to look to the Lord Jesus. In many ways, Ash Wednesday functions on the church calendar much like Yom Kippur does on the Jewish calendar, namely, as a day of repentance.
            There is a deep, deep consolation in genuine repentance. It is a calling to God from the depths of one’s being. And it’s always a good thing to call upon the Lord. You’re invited to join others in calling on the Lord this Ash Wednesday at Leidy’s Church.

A Conference for Our Times

            How’s this for a title of a conference:
                 Finding Sexual Sanity When All Around is Chaos
            A veritable tsunami has rolled over our culture – that is, us and our kids and all those around us – resulting in a complete recasting of all the elements of sexuality. Our culture is in chaos.
            That’s what this Conference is designed to address. It takes place on Friday evening, March 24th and Saturday morning, March 25th. Though Leidy’s Church is the site for the conference, it is being sponsored by BMCE. Harvest USA (a ministry we support in our benevolent giving) is presenting the conference. The speakers are Ellen Dykas and Mark Sanders.
            Registration for the event may be done on-line at www.sanity2017.eventbrite.com. Registration cost is $10, which can be done at the on-line site with your credit/debit card, or, select the pay at the door option when you register.
            Two seminars will be presented on Friday evening. They are:
God’s Design and Cultural Lies
God’s Design Broken: Understanding Sexual Struggles and Sin
            On Saturday morning the two seminars presented will be:
God’s Design Redeemed: Breaking Habitual Struggles and Sin Patterns
Creating a Redemptive Community
            For over thirty years Harvest USA has been in the forefront of ministry to sexually-hurting people. They have experience and expertise based on ministering from a solid biblical basis bringing the truth, love, and help only found in Christ Jesus. They speak God’s order in the midst of cultural chaos.

Inspirational Music & Delicious Desserts at the SLMT Concert!

            Here’s a combination hard to beat: a joyous time of fellowship while sipping freshly brewed coffee, hot tea, or (for the truly discerning person) soda pop, as you savor another scrumptious bite of a delectable fruit pie or of a homemade cake or of a warm cookie. We have renowned bakers and confectionary geniuses making unique creations that will stimulate your pallet with mouth-watering flavors.
            Then envision a melodious collection of Christian music at a live concert that inspires and lifts your heart in praise and worship to God. We have a wonderful group of musicians and singers lined up to inspire, engage, and encourage your walk of faith through music, testimonies and singing. Musical arrangements will be performed by The Tenors, The Wilwert Sisters, and surprise appearances from other talented musicians and singers.
            You can have both of these wonderful experiences if you plan on attending the SLMT Concert & Dessert night on Saturday, May 13th at 6 pm. Some folks have already signed up during last year’s SLMT Auction. If you missed it, you can sign up during this year’s SLMT Auction that is scheduled for Saturday, April 29th. The cost per person is only $20. All the proceeds of this special night will go to the SLMT 2017 scheduled for July 13th through the 23rd.

Love Cradle Banquet

            Saturday evening, March 11th, is the date for the 2017 Love Cradle Banquet. It will take place in the Leidy’s Church Fellowship Hall. The meal begins at 5:30 and will feature solid Ukrainian fare made with a flare!
            We know much of what Love Cradle’s ministry has accomplished in our local area. In a similar way, many lives are being touched in other areas of our country through Love Cradle. But we should not forget the name of the ministry is Love Cradle International.
            The Transition Home in Ukraine is also a seat of much ministry. Children are now coming to the Transition Home and spending weekends there. They are learning how to cook, how to maintain a home, spending time in the Word, learning to praise and worship in song, and attending church on Sundays. Though it may not sound like much, those are the sort of fundamental life skills to which orphans need to be exposed.
            One of the Yagilnickys will be back to help give the latest update on the Love Cradle ministry in the US and internationally. If you would like to attend please call the church office at 215-723-8707 or send an email to lovecradleint@lovecradleint.org to reserve your dinner seat. There is no cost for the meal, but an opportunity to support the ministry will be presented.

It’s That Time – Looking North

            It’s February, often the coldest month of the year. So, where do the folk at Leidy’s Church begin to look in this coldest of months? Nope, not to Florida or Arizona or Tahiti or even South Jersey. We begin to look North, namely to the First Nation Reserves where Living Hope Native Ministries serves the Lord Jesus. In particular, we look to Pikangikum.
            Pikangikum is one of the largest First Nation communities in Northern Ontario. It has the highest on-reserve population in Northern Ontario, approximately 2,300. An estimated 75% of the population is under twenty-five years of age. Ordinarily, the VBS run by Leidy’s Church has 10% or more of the population out for VBS. Those kids are the reason we’re looking north!
            In 2017 SLMT is set to leave on the 13th of July and return on the 23rd. By then that cold land will be warm and welcoming. Travel arrangements are in place with Perkiomen Tours for a comfortable and scenic coach ride from Souderton to Red Lake.
            Our SLMT ministry has always been an intergenerational affair. You cannot be too old to go, nor too young. You simply need to be a ready and willing worker either with VBS materials and kids or with maintenance projects and tools.
            If there are sufficient volunteers, we would like to go to another Reserve as well. But Pikangikum is our first focus. We will do VBS there, but also try to have a team doing various repair and maintenance jobs.
            A sign-up sheet is posted in the narthex. Seek the Lord and see if you might be someone He wants to use in this year’s SLMT mission.

Women’s Ministry

Ladies of Leidy’s
            On Tuesday, February 7th at 7:00, Brian and Barbara S., currently staying in our Mission House, will be sharing about where they serve when in the field and what they do. They are not part of the Leidy’s Church supported missionaries, so we will have an opportunity to make new friends and hear how the Lord is using them overseas. All ladies are welcome to attend.
Women’s Event
            Awaken Conference for Women will be held here at Leidy’s Church on Saturday, April 22nd beginning at 8:00 a.m. and ending at 4:30 p.m. Cost is $30, which includes lunch. Check the website www.awaken2017.org for conference information and registration.

A Flying Update on the Pattons

            Charlie and Ruth Patton serve with New Tribes Missions. Charlie is a long-time pilot and Ruth does lots of communication work as well as personal discipleship. For the past few years they have been serving in Brazil, helping establish flight service to missionaries deep in the Amazon jungle. As of last fall that tour of service has ended.
            Now they are based at NTM aviation headquarters in Arizona. Here’s what Charlie says about the new assignment:
            Since our return from Brazil last September we are fitting in and finding joy in the work we do each day.  Whether it is preparing aircraft to ship overseas or having a part in the lives of missionary pilots and mechanics who are preparing to serve overseas, it is awesome knowing we play a part in easing the work load for tribal church planters.
            Recently, they helped oversee a two-week Candidate Evaluation program. From that came six new families that will receive specialized mission aviation training and eventual placement with NTM.
            Charlie and Ruth are especially excited about an R-66 helicopter received late last year thanks to funds raised by supporters. At the moment it is being taken apart, scraped, painted, and refurbished from engine to blades to shell to interior to electronics. Within the next few months it will be deployed to the Philippines where helicopters are essential in getting supplies to mission outreach centers that do not have even rudimentary air strips.
            Charlie’s official title is New Tribes Mission Aviation Maintenance Controller. He tracks and ensures that all required aircraft maintenance and inspections are done. A database is being created to help accomplish this enormous task. As time permits, he helps on the hangar floor doing maintenance projects.
            Ruth is helping with a variety of administrative tasks as she works with other NTM laborers, students, and visitors. She has a particular gift for hospitality!
            Learn more about all the missionaries we support by checking out the mission display in the narthex. It’s just across from the narthex hutch.

Overwhelming Grace

by Jerri Thompson
            For many years I’ve had this persistent (yet inaccurate) picture of when I get to heaven. Since I have not lived the best Christian life, I’ve always considered that they would let me in the door, but I would have to stand along the back wall of the banquet hall. Now since this will be heaven, I will be delighted because I will be able to see Jesus at the head table, and my heart will be filled with gratitude to Him.
            Well, a few weeks ago, the congregation was singing “Jesus, Thank You” on Sunday morning. When we reached the line, “Once your enemy, now seated at your table,” it dawned on me that my picture was inaccurate. Thinking in pictures as I usually do, I watched my heaven picture change in my mind. A waiter of some sort escorted me to a seat at one of the tables laden with food. I was still delighted because I could still watch Jesus at the front of the room, and I was still grateful to Him.
            However, that picture began to change even more. A voice in my head whispered, “You still don’t understand grace.” As I watched, the banquet hall changed. A dance floor like in the Italian weddings of my childhood opened up. My eyes searched questioningly for Jesus, but He wasn’t in His seat. Suddenly He was before me asking me to dance.
            “I’m not very coordinated,” I murmured.
            “But, you will be, with Me,” He smiled.
            So we waltzed magnificently, and I was grateful beyond grateful.
            I began to understand that I would not slip into heaven unnoticed, nor would I even be just one of the guests. I would be, by grace, Jesus’ special guest, His friend. Would I be the only special guest? Would each guest dance with Jesus? No and no. Each one there will be Jesus’ special guest, not just me. Each one there will receive from Jesus something that shows him that Jesus is glad he’s there. For one of my sons, that might include some kind of baseball game, certainly not dancing.
            I really don’t know what heaven will be like. Every time Leidy’s Church presents Judgement House, I wonder how accurate our depiction of heaven is. This picture I’ve shared is just another attempt to focus on the wonder of heaven for us sinners. Grace is not just entering heaven by the skin of our teeth. Nor is it only being one person among the multitude singing to Jesus. It is being overwhelmingly, specifically welcomed by the One who opened the doors wide to us.

Within the Fellowship

            Our sincere Christian sympathy to Ken Ritter, to Patty Kendall, Ken Godshall, and to June Burkholder at the death of their fathers, and to Esther Davis and family at the death of her husband, Harry.  May God be with them at this time.
            Congratulations to Jeremy and Justine Smith at the dedication of their son, Kaleb Joash. May God be with them as they grow in Him.
            Congratulations to Jake and Hannah Niederhaus at the birth of a son, Henry Franklin August. May God be with them as they grow in Hm.

Consistory Notes

            Meeting one week later than normal because of the lay of the calendar, the new Consistory of Leidy’s Church met on the evening of January 11th. Below are some of the highlights of that meeting.
  • Something that hadn’t happened in five years occurred when someone other than Glen Tyson called the meeting to order! It was new Consistory President Dave Reich.
  • Devotional remarks were forthcoming from Dave Walbrandt on the topic of responding to adversity. We should expect adversity; God wills it as Ps. 9:7b says, “For the righteous God tries the hearts and minds.” The question is whether adversity will bring forth character or compromise. Citing several biblical passages, Dave indicated we need to stand with character in these days, although discernment is necessary so that we know when the “character” action to take is to make adjustments. Prov. 2:1-11 provides sound exhortation for us to seek wisdom and discernment from the Lord.
  • The financial report showed we ended the year just over $1,250 in the black. Total giving to all our funds came to almost $1.5 million. Our mortgage balance at year’s end is $1,669,093.
  • A number of items remain on the Building Project punch list. Most will be addressed sooner rather than later. We will need to post a bond of about $150,000 with the Township for 12-18 months to insure all site improvements remain improved to their approval.
  • Received a report on the acoustics of the sanctuary and the fellowship hall. It was determined the committee working on that project should proceed sooner rather than later to arrange for proper adjustments. Included will be fabric-covered sound panels for the sanctuary and the fellowship hall, as well as hung speakers to provide coverage for the first three rows of pews and chancel frontage area.
  • Dana Gehman and Dave Walbrandt reviewed all the Building Fund resources on hand, anticipated future expenditures, reserve monies to be kept for unforeseen expenditures, costs for acoustical remediation, and six months worth of mortgage payments. Given the reality of those numbers, it was voted to apply $400,000 to the principal of our mortgage immediately. As a result, our new outstanding mortgage will be $1,269,093.
  • Received a report the Transition Committee for the Director of Children’s Education duties is functioning well so far. This committee will continue to help us have an uninterrupted Children’s Education program until a new person is hired.
  • Additional benches have been ordered for outside near the main entrance.
  • The Kitchen Committee has determined that a lock should be installed to the main gas valve feeding the stoves and ovens.
  • The Church & Community Committee is actively involved in recruitment for and helping with the Night to Shine Prom Event being led by Ridgeline Community Church and taking place on Feb. 10th at the Boys & Girls Club.
  • The Stewardship Committee reported the total spending on the Building Project from its start in 2007 through December of 2016 was $12.766 million. It was noted that our mortgage – after making the $400,000 payment – will be less than 10% of that cost. At the initiative of Greg Nase, the Doxology was sung with deep gratitude.
  • Other reports were received, assignments reviewed, conferences noted, and after a time of directed intercessory prayer the meeting was adjourned at 10:01 by the unison praying of the Lord’s Prayer.

The Westminster Larger Catechism

            We’re in the part of this catechism where the Ten Commandments are explained. This month we will only get through half of what it has to say about the Fifth Commandment concerning honoring one’s father and mother. The language used is startling to our ears.
What the Scriptures Principally Require as the Duty of Man
            Question 122: What is the sum of the six commandments which contain our duty to man?
            Answer: The sum of the six commandments which contain our duty to man, is, to love our neighbor as ourselves, and to do to others what we would have them to do to us.
            Question 123: Which is the fifth commandment?
            Answer: The fifth commandment is, Honor your father and your mother: that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God gives you.
            Question 124: Who are meant by father and mother in the fifth commandment?
            Answer: By father and mother, in the fifth commandment, are meant, not only natural parents, but all superiors in age and gifts; and especially such as, by God’s ordinance, are over us in place of authority, whether in family, church, or commonwealth.
            Question 125: Why are superiors styled Father and Mother?
            Answer: Superiors are styled Father and Mother, both to teach them in all duties toward their inferiors, like natural parents, to express love and tenderness to them, according to their several relations; and to work inferiors to a greater willingness and cheerfulness in performing their duties to their superiors, as to their parents.
            Question 126: What is the scope of the fifth commandment?
            Answer: The general scope of the fifth commandment is, the performance of those duties which we mutually owe in our several relations, as inferiors, superiors, or equals.
            Question 127: What is the honor that inferiors owe to their superiors?
            Answer: The honor which inferiors owe to their superiors is, all due reverence in heart, word, and behavior; prayer and thanksgiving for them; imitation of their virtues and graces; willing obedience to their lawful commands and counsels; due submission to their corrections; fidelity to, defense, and maintenance of their persons and authority, according to their several ranks, and the nature of their places; bearing with their infirmities, and covering them in love, that so they may be an honor to them and to their government.
            Question 128: What are the sins of inferiors against their superiors?
            Answer: The sins of inferiors against their superiors are, all neglect of the duties required toward them; envying at, contempt of, and rebellion against their persons and places, in their lawful counsels, commands, and corrections; cursing, mocking, and all such refractory and scandalous carriage, as proves a shame and dishonor to them and their government.

Abortion-healing Bible Study

            The Pregnancy Resource Clinic of North Penn is offering an eight week abortion-healing Bible Study. Called Surrendering the Secret, it will be held on Tuesday evenings beginning Feb. 7th at Calvary Church of Souderton, starting time is 6:30.
            Surrendering the Secret is designed to bring healing to women who have abortion in their past. Abortion is not a secret anymore; it is freely discussed in our society. Despite this openness, many women have pain and experiences they don’t feel comfortable telling anyone. Millions of women hold this secret deep inside and are suffering severe consequences. Surrendering the Secret allows women who need help to connect with women who can help.
            For more information, you may call 215-855-2424 or send an email to info@prcnp.org. One-on-one counseling is available for men as well.

February Ministries

Lay Visitors:
5th       Jack Edling
12th     Ron & Kathy Moyer
19th     Elaine Greene
26th     Jean Clarke
Tape Ministry:
5th       Pearl Walter
12th     Diane Weber
19th     Mim Weigner
26th     Donna Weiss
5th       Joe & Karen Sciacca
12th     April & Lizzie Sedares
19th     Phil & Renee Shafer
26th     Bob & Jacqui Shafer
Usher Captains: Ken Merritt, Stan Ott
Ushers: Ken Murphy, Frank Bivighouse, Rob Ruth, Josh Heebner, Joe Sciacca, John DiLenge, Jake Shoemaker, Jake Niederhaus, Jeremy Smith, Jim Foote.
The Emergency Committee for February is Brian Shoemaker and Melinda Ziegler.