July/August, 2017

Pastor’s Column

            Have you ever been flummoxed when praying the Lord’s Prayer in public? I have been and you may have been as well. This happens when we pray the Lord’s Prayer aloud with a mixed group of people. Now, by “mixed group,” I mean there are some who say “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” while others say “forgive us our trespasses as we also forgive those who trespass against us.”
            After the prayer, we all look around a bit sheepishly, while wondering why it is that so many people say it the wrong way! Must have had poor training.
            So, which way is the right way? Let me say at the outset that I don’t think either way is wrong. A better question might be: how did these different versions of the Lord’s Prayer come about? Is there any biblical basis for it? I think that’s what I’ll try to address in this column.
            The actual text for that portion of the Lord’s Prayer is found in Matt. 6:12. Here’s how our go-to translation at Leidy’s Church [New American Standard Bible] has it: And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
            My desk at the office and my desk at home are each stacked with different translations of the Bible. I have other translations on my computer and still more on my iPhone. Over 95% of them translate Matt. 6:12 as debts and debtors.
            The few exceptions are modern renditions such as The New Living Translation and the New Century Version. Invariably, they translate the passage in this manner:
forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.
What’s the difference? What’s the feeling one gets from this very small variance in translation?
            My sense is that when one thinks of debts, there is a perception that one has not fulfilled an obligation. There’s something left unfinished.
            On the other hand, when one thinks of trespasses or sins usually it’s in the context of something you’ve done wrong to the person, some violation of ethics.
            Even when one goes back to the original Greek, those are the distinctions most easily seen. A good example of that is in Luke 11:4. This is another version of the Lord’s Prayer, a more abbreviated one than in Matthew. Here’s what it says: And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
            So, this passage combines both senses. That makes it hard to argue against either one! What are we to do?
            We know there’s no question that debts and debtors is meant in Matt. 6 and not trespasses. The Greek word used for debts is opheilema [oh-fay-lay’-muh] and that used for debtors is opheletes [oh-fay-le’-tase]. You can see they are from the same word group. This is the word used in Matt. 18:24 when it describes how much a man owed to the king. He had not done anything wrong; he simply had not paid his debt. He was stealing by not doing, rather than stealing by doing. Do you see the difference?
            When we speak of sins and trespasses we’re thinking more in that latter category, that is, sinning by doing. The Greek for each of those words convey that sense, namely, missing the mark (sinning) or taking a false step (trespassing). My experience as a Christian seeking to walk in God’s will as well as my experience as a Pastor who works with sinners a lot (yep, that’s you!) is that we want to have pretty visible markers to indicate that we’ve done what’s required of us.
            The account of the rich young ruler demonstrates where we all tend to go. The man wants to know how to obtain eternal life. Jesus tells him to keep the commandments – and then lists several, mentioning murder, adultery, theft, etc. All that Jesus listed were from the second tablet of the Ten Commandments, those having to do with our dealings with others.
            The young man’s reply, of course, is that he has kept all such commandments from his youth onwards. There’s not a person alive who has any kind of case against him, is what he seems to suggest. Jesus tells him he lacks just one more thing: he’s got too much money. He needs to give it all away.
            Now why did Jesus say such a thing to a man who had no sins or trespasses to confess? Because in so doing He was showing the rich young man a debt he owed. Despite the young man’s uprightness, despite all his morality in his dealings with others, he had a deeper sin problem than he realized. What was it?
            When someone asked Jesus what was the greatest commandment, do you remember what He said? He said this:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul,
and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. [Matt. 22:37,38]
That’s what the rich young ruler had ignored or forgotten or set aside. Seemingly he was doing well with the second great commandment of loving his neighbor as himself. Not so much though with the first and greatest commandment. Thus, he was stealing by not doing. Despite all his morality, he was stealing the honor and respect and love that he owed God. That strikes deeper than mere doing, that strikes to the core of our being.
            My sense is that’s why Jesus is explicit in Matt. 6 when he teaches us to pray forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. Often I get so busy doing things and “being godly” that I don’t honor God. I bounce back and forth between anxious unbelief and undue confidence in my own competence.
            Neither form of the Lord’s Prayer is wrong. Both have biblical precedents. We need to pray both “senses” contained in those prayers. Yes, we need to pray for forgiveness when we break God’s moral code. We need to know, however, it’s not simply a moral code that we transgress, but a relational, affectional, and hierarchical obligation that we have as created beings to the One who is our Creator and Sovereign.
            As we head into the delightful season of summer, may we have our hearts set on giving to the Lord God Almighty all the honor and glory that we owe Him and desire to give Him.
                                                                                                In the Joy of the Lord,
                                                                                                John H.C. Niederhaus
P.S. So far as I can tell, it was Thomas Cranmer with the Book of Common Prayer who pushed to the forefront the use trespasses in place of debts. As we’ll learn in October, Cranmer died a martyr, a good man.

July Pulpit Schedule

2nd – Awe and Wonder – Psalm 2; Matthew 9:2-8; John 8:51-59
            Are you ready for some fireworks? It’s that time of year! During the course of history no one has caused more fireworks – in one sense – than Jesus Christ. The Messiah has been a point of contention from Genesis 3 forward. Our OT text indicates it is Jesus that causes the nations to rage and be in an uproar. Things are much different for the Christian. We look at Christ with awe and wonder, overwhelmed by the magnitude of who He is and what He does. We need a solid foundational understanding of the person of Christ. We hope to get that this Lord’s Day.
9th – Here’s Why – Leviticus 5:17-19; 2 Corinthians 5:20-21; Luke 24:13-27
            Two men on the road to Emmaus meet the risen Jesus but do not know it. As they walk and converse with Him, He is amazed at what they don’t know. They’d had their highest hopes crushed by the stone that sealed the tomb of Jesus. They had no clue that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer. Why? To make atonement for the sins of His people. Like those two men, most folk today have little awareness of the nature and necessity of atonement. Don’t leave this world without an experiential knowledge of Christ’s atonement.
16th – Tests! – Matthew 16:13-20; Romans 3:9-20; 1 John 1:1–2:11
            Teachers and professors use tests to measure students’ learning. What student looks forward to test day – none! Usually, test days are preceded by many painful hours of preparation, times when we know we’re going to fail! So, we endure all night cramming sessions seeking to fill our brains with the data needed to do well on the test. If, in the end, one earns a good grade, then it seems as though the stress and strain was worth it all. In 1 John the apostle lays out certain tests to prove if one has fellowship with God. Those are the tests we need to pass.
23rd – Distinguishing Truth from Error – Psalm 119:97-104; 2 Corinthians 10:1-6;
                                                               1 John 2:15-22; 4:1-6
            Lots of young people dream of being a doctor or a nurse or some other worker in the field of medicine. They want to help sick people get well. Medical practitioners do so by forming a diagnosis based on medical exams, medical tests. In a similar fashion, the Apostle John offers us diagnostics to verify truth so that we stay in fellowship with God, while avoiding spiritual errors promoted by adversaries that seek to impede our relationship to God. Let’s use these diagnostics to do self-examination to make sure nothing is obstructing our fellowship with God.
30th – The Joy of Zaccheus – Exodus 22:1-3; James 5:9-11; Luke 19:1-10
            Luke’s gospel tells the story of Zaccheus – yes, that wee little man! It’s a passage that displays Jesus’ compassion, while confronting our tendency to lack compassion for those who are hard to love. The account of Zaccheus demonstrates Jesus’ commitment to reaching the lost, and how the lost turn their lives upside down to follow Jesus when they accept Him. We also see the temptation to grumble at what God is doing instead of joining in His work of making disciples. In Zaccheus we see the joy of changed hearts that rejoice in reaching the lost.

August Pulpit Schedule

6th – It’s Real! – John 20:19-29; Ephesians 1:15-23; 1 Peter 1:1-5
            Do you remember the response of the Greeks in Athens when Paul told them about the resurrection of Jesus? They said he was an idle babbler! It’s a truth commonly accepted that when you’re dead, you’re dead. No one knows anyone who died, came back to life, and never died again. Well, except for Christians. Their testimony is that they know of just such an incident. It’s not made up. It’s not wishful thinking. It’s not a fabrication. It’s real! The physical resurrection of Jesus and His ascension to heaven are bedrock facts of the Christian faith.
13th – Potential or Problem? – Exodus 4:10-12; Proverbs 20:12; John 9:1-12, 35-41
            We live in a world of problems! No matter where one turns, there is an abundance of problems. Even as Christians we find it easy to be overcome with the problems that confront us and become more than a little discouraged. In today’s gospel text Jesus encounters a man born blind. Rather than pointing to the problems in the past, He urges His disciples to see the potential in what is taking place rather than the problem. Examples on today’s mission field illustrate that God’s potential to act is often found in the problem that is before us.
20th – Blessed Be the World – Genesis 49:8-12; Acts 13:22-33; Revelation 5:4-14
            A Bible verse we know quite well is Romans 3:23 which says “. . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We know it by experience if not by memory. It remains true even after our conversion. We still sin. And then sin again. Such will be the case until we reach glory. The question that arises is this: can God use us broken sinners for His purposes and glory? Yes! And, Yes again! In the patriarch Judah we will find a great example of God’s convicting a man of his sin to the point of repentance, and then using him as a blessing to all the nations.
27th –  The Hard One – Jude 1-4; Acts 6:7; 13:44-52; Romans 9:14-18
            There is no more difficult subject to address than the reality of, yet the distinction between, common grace and special grace. It has been a point of controversy and contention for millennia. It’s a hard topic, yet it is basic to our Christian faith. If you read the Bible you will be confronted with it. While some see the doctrine of election as a stumbling block, it is meant to be a source of comfort and hope. It also is a prompt to humility, that is, making little of one’s self; and it is a prompt to praise, that is, making much of God. Yep, time for the high, hard one.

Our Missionaries: Meet Them

            Having a tour coach take off for a 32 hour trip to Canada with a delegation of Leidy’s Church folk has become old hat for many of us. It’s so much a part of our normal expectations that we forget those are our missionaries going forth to bear witness to the Lord Jesus by word and by deed! They could not go without our support and they cannot do what needs to be done without our ongoing support.
            Each missionary has raised up a group of prayer supporters for this mission and for his/her particular part in it. But they are glad to have many, many more praying for them. Here’s a quick listing of who they are and what they’ll be doing. (An * indicates a person who’s never been to Pikangikum before, and a double ** means they’ve never been on the mission trip.)
            Team Leader and the Enforcer/Peacemaker for VBS is Tony Kapusta. He’s The Man!
            The Guides who lead the groups of students from activity to activity and then serve as an extra set of hands are: Val Weiss, Julia Martindell**, and Steve Paine for the Upper Elementary, while Kevin Weiss, Wendy Radcliff*, and Megan Weiss** do the same for the Lower Elementary.
            The Crafters will be engaging the kids in creative activities each day. They are: Grace Griffith, Lorraine Kroesser, and Clinton Radcliff** in the Upper division, while Hannah Thompson, Jill Griffith**, and Peter Thompson will cut, paste, and color with the Lower division.
            The Gamers get to lead the students in everyone’s favorite class: recess! Our games have a point, however, and will be led by: Mitchell VanDerbeek and Phoenix Smith in the Upper level and David Thompson and Collin** and Clinton Radcliff** on the Lower level.
            Bible Story Teachers help students work through particular stories from the Bible so they learn about God and the Lord Jesus. In the Upper division the teachers will be John Niederhaus and Ruth Thompson* while in the Lower division this ministry is carried out by Mary Beth Musselman and Calvin Radcliff**.
            The Community Workers are those who do a variety of repair and maintenance jobs that otherwise would never get done. They may work on a roof or a drainage system or a failed vehicle engine or a painting project or you-can-just-about-name-anything project. This year Francis Weiss** and Brian Radcliff* are the guys with the tools and the skills who will make things bright and right and running.
            This team — our missionaries! — will be leaving for Pikangikum on the evening of Thursday, July 13th. They would be happy to have you come see them off. Friends, family, supporters, and others will begin gathering at 6 pm with a brief service of send-off around 6:30 and then they want to be on the road by 7 pm.
            If all goes as planned, they should return to the church early in the morning on the 23rd of July. Please remember them and the Pikangikum community in your prayers daily. They are our missionaries sent to proclaim by word and deed the love of God in the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

New Members to be Received

            You were misled in our June Newsletter. It was stated that new members would be received soon, either on June 25th or July 2nd. While it’s true that new members are being received soon, the actual date turns out to be July 9th. Our apologies.
            If you have been through the Inquirer’s Class recently – that is, within the last couple of years – and would like to join the congregation, hooray! Contact Pastor Niederhaus or the church office sooner rather than later to make the necessary arrangements.

Deacon Nominations

            You’ll read in another article in this Newsletter the official call from Consistory for a Congregational Meeting on August 6th. What we want to do in this article is introduce you to the men being nominated to serve as Deacon on the Leidy’s Church Consistory. Their terms would begin in 2018 and continue for three consecutive years, thus ending in December of 2020.
            Four fellows are being nominated, one to a second three year term, one who has previously served two three year terms, and two who have never served on Consistory at all. Here’s a brief introduction to each one:
   ◊ Ed Schmidt is finishing his first three year term as a Deacon. He has agreed to be nominated for a second term. Ed is married to Darlene and they have two adult children, one of whom was very recently married. Ed has a heart to serve and minister the gospel to others. He does so via evangelistic work and by various works of mercy. Fittingly, he serves as the Consistory liaison with the Outreach Committee. He is one of the workers in our Special Needs class, though by trade he is a tough, skilled iron worker.
   ◊ John DiLenge served previously as a Deacon for two terms and yet he is willing to serve again! John and wife Tara are parents of four children ranging from pre-school to seventh grade. John has long been committed to working with and supporting mission endeavors. Most notably, he is one of the founding members of, and continues to serve on, the board of Love Cradle. The DiLenge family is intimately involved in many ministries at Leidy’s Church, from SS and VBS to Chicken BBQs. John’s day job is working in logistics.
   ◊ Jim Kinney has never served on Consistory, so he’s excited about the possibility of doing so. He and wife Angela have a growing household of three pre-school children with some pets thrown in. Jim is a willing volunteer in all sorts of activities at Leidy’s Church. He’s even been on am SLMT excursion to Pikangikum. He found it to be an exhilarating time of Christian ministry. An avid Phillies fan, his accounting job allows him the expertise to keep track of their voluminous losses in the current season.
  ◊ Tim Leidy is another newbie to the Consistory, though he has considerable background for it since his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and so on all served on the Leidy’s Consistory in past years and generations. Tim is married to Rachel and so far they have two children, both of whom are in the pre-school stage. Want a mind-twister, try this: Tim is married to his mother’s husband’s daughter. Involved in Leidy’s Church from birth onward, Tim puts bread on the table via his work in the field of pathology.

Women’s Ministry

Christian Writers Conference
            Are you a writer or a wanna-be? Write His Answer Ministry will hold the annual Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference at Cairn University in Langhorne, July 26-29. You can register for one or more days at www.philadelphia.writehisanswer.com or by contacting the conference director, Marlene Bagnull at 484-991-8581. She says, “As I consider the critical days we are living in, I cannot think of a more important assignment than to “Write His Answer” through screenplays, novels, non-fiction books, poetry, devotionals, and more.” This is a great opportunity to meet with authors, editors, publishers, and editors to equip and encourage your writing ministry.
Women’s Leadership Conference
            She Leads Leadership Conference is a training event to help women implement their passion to exemplify a servant-leader attitude with those they equip to serve Christ in the church, community, ministry and marketplace. We are all called to be leaders in some way. Two leadership events are held each year and this one is local! Our keynote speaker will be Jenni Catron, along with many breakout opportunities to further your ministry.
            Please join us at Fairview Village Church in Eagleville on September 30th.  More info at www.moreofhimministries.org or contact Jessie Seneca at 610-216-2730 or Verna (215-237-1370).
New Precept Class
            Acts – Part I: Learn how God spread the gospel through witnesses of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and from their examples, how we can witness to others.  Class begins on September 7th from 9-11:30, leader, Marci Stunkard followed by video teaching with Kay Arthur. To order workbooks or express a need for childcare, please contact Verna @ 215-237-1370. Workbook cost $18.00.

Communion Service Set

            According to the Leidy’s Church Constitution, the Lord’s Supper is to be served on certain designated days. Two of those days are Pentecost Sunday and World Communion Sunday. The former is ordinarily in May or June and the latter is the first Sunday of October. That leaves a pretty significant lapse of time between communion services.
            For that reason, each summer the Lord’s Supper is also served at a non-mandatory time to help bridge that gap. This year that day will be July 30th. Come to worship on that day prepared to participate in the Lord’s Supper.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame . . .

            Now’s your time to take your sweetie or your kids or your co-worker or just yourself out to the old ballgame! Saturday evening, July 29th, there will be a block of seats along the first base/right field line filled with folk from Leidy’s Church. You are invited to be among them.
            Wait! Which ballgame and which ballpark are we going to? To the IRON PIGS ballpark up in Allentown, good old Coca-Cola Park. That’s where the Phillie stars of tomorrow are playing today. While the Phillies have the worst record in the major leagues, the IRON PIGS have the best record in all minor league ball.
            The Iron Pigs are playing at a .667 clip, winning two-thirds of their games. A stalwart opponent is on tap for the 29th, the loathsome Durham Bulls. It’s no bull that the Bulls are pretty good, after all they have the second best record in minor league ball. A .606 winning percentage means they win six out of ten games ordinarily. Hence, a top matchup is scheduled for the 29th of July.
            The opening pitch is scheduled for 6:35, a bit earlier than normal. Tickets are $11 each and include a $2 voucher to help with ballpark foods or goods. Coca-Cola Park has some renown for its expansive array of healthy (or not) and tasty concessions. You may register for tickets after church or call the church office during the week to put in your order.
            There will be fireworks after the game and we’re sure a good time will be had by all. If you get to the ballpark early enough, you can see Pastor Niederhaus toss his feared forkball during the first pitch proceedings.

Congregational Meeting Scheduled

            This is the official announcement from the Consistory of Leidy’s Church that a Congregational Meeting is scheduled for August 6th immediately following the service of worship. Electing Deacons to serve on Consistory for the 2018-2020 term will be the main agenda item.
            Those being nominated by the Consistory to serve are: Ed Schmidt, John DiLenge, Jim Kinney, and Tim Leidy.

Meet & Greet This Summer

            We all are encouraged to greet and meet folk in a genial and hearty way all the time. There is a special group of folk, though, whom we would like to commend to you especially for such treatment: visiting missionaries.
            This summer we’ll see a good number of people we help keep on the mission field coming by to visit us. Ordinarily, they will be making an extended presentation about what’s happening on their field of ministry. That takes place in the Issues & Answers class meeting in the Fellowship Hall during Sunday School.
            Here’s the lineup as we know it thus far:
  • July 30th – Kevin and Maria Noyes, serving with DiscipleMakers on the main campus of Penn State. We have a student or two actively involved with and benefitting from their ministry. Kevin and Maria would love to meet you.
  • August 6th – Dan and Ana Istrate who are serving in Romania where Dan works as a Pastor and also a Professor. Their work is particularly focused on the Roma people – more familiarly known as Gypsies. The Istrate family will be living in our Mission House for all of August plus a couple of weeks on either side.
  • August 13th – Drake and Andrea Williams who serve with Tyndale Seminary in the Netherlands. Drake is Academic Dean and Professor of New Testament at Tyndale, but also a local Schwenkfelder fellow whom we know well. They look forward to reconnecting with Leidy’s Church folk.
  • TBD – Betsy Stoltzfus who serves with World Team in Spain. Betsy used to be our neighbor up the way on Cherry Lane. But now that house is sold, so she’ll be spending July and August on furlough in the parsonage apartment. We’ll have a chance to hear from her sometime, but don’t know just when. But be on the lookout for her so you can give her a hearty welcome.

Red Cross Blood Drive

            A second opportunity to give blood via a Red Cross Blood Drive happens at Leidy’s Church on Friday, July 28th. The unit will be drawing blood from 2 to 7 pm. There’s always a need for blood, so you 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.

Reformation Revival Concert

            Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. That was 500 years ago this year! All around the globe Christians are finding ways to celebrate and remember this world-altering event.
            Leidy’s Church will be doing some things as well. The very first thing on the agenda will be a Reformation Revival Concert on Saturday evening, September 30th. Coming all the way from the Midwest to do their first East Coast Tour will be the band My Soul Among Lions.
            One of the most significant aspects of the Reformation was its music. When God sends a revival it almost always results in a powerful upsurge of worship and music. Such was the case with the Reformation, particularly with regard to the singing of the Psalms. It just so happens that My Soul Among Lions is in the process of setting all 150 Psalms to music!
            Band members include Philip Moyer who is a native Soudertonian, as is his wife Amy (Nestor). The other members are Jody Killingsworth and Andrew Henry. They began as church musicians doing their best to figure out how to help God’s people in worship, week in and week out. They joined the hymn revitalization movement, and eventually started writing new songs of their own. Then they discovered the tradition of Psalm singing. The more they read and the more they worked, the more convinced they became that their church, and churches across the country, should be singing the Psalms. Thus, My Soul Among Lions was born, a modern folk band dedicated to setting all 150 Psalms to music. They’ve worked hard to bring Psalm singing to a new generation.
            More information will be forthcoming, but now is the time to clear your calendar for this kickoff event to the celebration of the 500th birthday of the Reformation.

God is on the Move . . .

Continuing the Conversation
            Calling all 18-45 year-olds!  Please join us for a Brown Bag Luncheon, just for you and your children, on Sunday, July 30th, in the Fellowship Hall beginning immediately after the service.  Beverages and paper products will be provided.  Child-care available 12:30-1:30 p.m. during the discussion which will follow. We will pick-up where we left off on June 11th.
            Look for YOUR new dedicated bulletin board in the Narthex where you can find additional information and sign up for this event.

Fellowship for the Socially Challenged

by Jerri Thompson
            Coming to church can be hard for an introvert. So many people in one space. So many conversations: How to join them? Should I join them? Are they private? How can I initiate a conversation?
            Being grounded in my belonging to Jesus changed how I viewed this dilemma. I still am a bit afraid of conversations, but I begin before I come to church with a prayer that God would help me to be an encourager. Then I encourage myself first, “You can do this, Jerri,” when I arrive at church.
            Then I search out people who are alone, sitting or standing off to the side. I wonder if they are lonely, or just alone. No matter, I go say hi. People usually smile and chat with me. Sometimes people thank me for coming over to them. One woman last week had a walker and couldn’t get around to visit with other folk at church. Another was a missionary couple back from the field who only knew a few people. Other times people are pleased if I ask how a prayer request from a week or so back worked out.
            It’s daunting. I don’t always know the names of the people I approach. Asking can be awkward especially if I know I met them before. Since we moved to the new building, I have stuck my foot in my mouth a number of times meeting people from the old first service and asking them if they are new. They seem to forgive this easily.
            Now some people can be a bit distracted. Soon they see someone behind me that they want to talk to. That can be disconcerting. They quickly excuse themselves. I shrug and move on to someone else.
            Other weeks I have been so busy through the workdays that on Sunday I am “socialled” out and don’t want to reach out. I actually may pray, “God, send someone to encourage me today.” It delights me when God does exactly that. One such Sunday Don Nase had some leftover business-type cards from his Sunday School class. He gave me one that read, “Relax. God has it covered…” And then the next week I was able to encourage again.
            Church can be a circle of fellowship. People encourage me, I encourage others. Introverts can join in as well as extroverts. Let’s not leave the welcoming only to the greeters; let’s all pitch in. Let’s not just greet the newcomers; even old attendees need a word of encouragement sometimes. Loving others is a mark of knowing and belonging to Jesus.

Within the Fellowship

            Congratulations to Jim and Angela Kinney at the dedication of their daughter, Bailey Donna. May God be with them as they grow in Him.
            Congratulations to Jonathan and Brittany (Foote) who were united in Christian marriage. May God bless them as they grow in Him.
            Our sincere Christian sympathy to Justin Lepping at the death of his step-father, and to Shirley Michalak and family at the death of her husband, Michael. May God be with them at this time.

Consistory Notes

            All the members of the Leidy’s Church Consistory were present for the June meeting which occurred on the 7th day of the month. Below are some notes and highlights.
  • Elder Ken Merritt presented devotional thoughts on the theme of wisdom. Among the many scriptural reference he cited was the example of Solomon in 1 Kings 3 where he acknowledges he’s but a little child, not knowing how to come in or go out with regard to ruling God’s people, and so asks God for wisdom. He mentioned some personal examples such as helping his sons learn to change a light bulb, highlighting again the need to ask for help or wisdom from the Lord. He gives it in plentiful supply.
  • The Search Committee for our Pastor to Youth and Children position now consists of Dave Doran, Dana Gehman, Matt Harris, Laura Heebner, Pastor Niederhaus, Wendy Radcliff, and Justine Smith. They are beginning to receive profiles and preparing to conduct some interviews.
  • It has been determined that one retention basin will need to be adjusted in order to have the required capacity. The builder and site contractor will see that is accomplished expeditiously. No charge should accrue to the church except for the additional inspection fees.
  • Feedback was received regarding Consistory nominations. Four Deacon positions are to be filled. Ed Schmidt has agreed to be nominated for a second consecutive term. Nominees not currently serving on Consistory will be John DiLenge, Jim Kinney, and Tim Leidy. A Congregational Meeting will be held following the service of worship on August 6th to bring these nominees before the congregation.
  • The Care Committee indicates good progress is being made with regard to registrations for the new Directory photos, though slots are still available.
  • Special Services Committee is busy with preparations for the Strawberry/Chicken BBQ event.
  • A marriage retreat/conference for parents/spouses of special needs people is being planned for the first weekend of October by the Church and Community Committee.
  • The Lay Ministry Committee is focused on the last couple days of July: another Red Cross Blood Drive on the 28th and they have tickets for a Leidy’s Church contingent to attend the Iron Pigs AAA game on July 29th.
  • It was mentioned that we need to follow up with H&K about a steel plate that’s preventing the discharge of water from one of the new rain gardens, thus creating a hazard.
  • Kitchen Committee reported Dennis Benner is installing extra electrical outlets in the kitchen; he’ll also put some in the Youth Room.
  • Pastor Chris agreed to look into an electronic flat screen for the narthex to announce events and their locations.
            Other reports and items were discussed and the meeting adjourned at 9:14 pm following a time of directed intercessory prayer and the unison praying of the Lord’s Prayer.

The Westminster Larger Catechism

            Apparently the fellows who wrote this Catechism expended so much energy on details about the 9th Commandment that the 10th Commandment is dealt with rather summarily, though aptly. But can we keep the 10 Commandments? And what makes one sin worse than another? Read on!
What the Scriptures Principally Require as the Duty of Man
            Question 146: Which is the tenth commandment?
            Answer: The tenth commandment is, You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox., nor his ass, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.
            Question 147: What are the duties required in the tenth commandment?
            Answer: The duties required in the tenth commandment are, such a full contentment with our own condition, and such a charitable frame of the whole soul toward our neighbor, as that all our inward motions and affections touching him, tend to, and further all that good which is his.
            Question 148: What are the sins forbidden in the tenth commandment?
            Answer: The sins forbidden in the tenth commandment are, discontentment with our own estate; envying and grieving at the good of our neighbor, together with all inordinate motions and affections to anything that is his.
            Question 149: Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?
            Answer: No man is able, either of himself, or by any grace received in this life, perfectly to keep the commandments of God; but does daily break them in thought, word, and deed.
            Question 150: Are all transgressions of the law of God equally heinous in themselves, and in the sight of God?
            Answer: All transgressions of the law of God are not equally heinous; but some sins in themselves and by reason of several aggravations, are more heinous in the sight of God than others.
            Question 151: What are those aggravations that make some sins more heinous than others?
            Answer: Sins receive their aggravations,
  1. From the persons offending: if they be of riper age, greater experience of grace, eminent for profession, gifts, place, office, guide to others, and whose example is likely to be followed by others.
  2. From the parties offended: if immediately against God, his attributes, and worship; against Christ, and his grace; the Holy Spirit, his witness, and workings; against superiors, men of eminency, and such as we stand especially related and engage to; against any of the saints, particularly weak brethren, the souls of them, or any other, and the common good of all or many.
  3. From the nature and quality of the offense: if it be against the express letter of the law, break many commandments, contain in it many sins: if not only conceived in the heart, but breaks forth in words and actions, scandalize others, and admit of no reparation: if against means, mercies, judgments, light of nature, conviction of conscience, public or private admonition, censures of the church, civil punishments; and our prayers, purposes, promises, vows, covenants, and engagements to God or men: if done deliberately, willfully, presumptuously, impudently, boastingly, maliciously, frequently, obstinately, with delight, continuance, or relapsing after repentance.
  4. From circumstances of time and place: if on the Lord’s day, or other times of divine worship; or immediately before or after these, or other helps to prevent or remedy such miscarriages: if in public, or in the presence of others, who are thereby likely to be provoked or defiled.

July Ministries

Tape Ministry:
2nd      Mary Beth Musselman
9th       Ruthie Niederhaus
16th     Ede Rupp
23rd     Deb Schatz
30th     Lorraine Shoemaker
Lay Visitors:
2nd      Don & Dianne Nase
9th       Dave & Flor Hughes
16th     Jill Ott
23rd     Rich & Juliana Kapusta
30th     Sandy Nase
2nd      David Thompson, Ruth Thompson
9th       Glen & Rachel Tyson
16th     Nicole Tyson, Krista Tyson
23rd     Lucas VanDerbeek, Mitchell VanDerbeek
30th     John & Fern Vasey
Usher Captains: Ed Schmidt,  Francis Weiss
Ushers: Michael Kehs, Allen Kraus, Tom Kraus, Jack Parry, Ken Ritter, Anthony Sciacca, Nicholas Sciacca, Andy Tawney.
The Emergency Committee for July is Randy & Cathy Annis.

August Ministries

Tape Ministry:
6th       Jerri Thompson
13th     Marge VanOmmeren
20th     Fern Vasey
27th     Pearl Walter
Lay Visitors:
6th       Nelda Metzler
13th     Pat Martindell
20th     John Schilling
27th     Matt & Cathy Connor
6th       Marge VanOmmeren, Mary Walbrandt
13th     Dave & Allison Walbrandt
20th     Pearl Walter, Betty Weber
27th     Bill & Mim Weigner
Usher Captains: Greg Nase, Stan Ott
Ushers: Nathan Kulp, Les Pross, Stan Radcliff, Steve Radcliff, John Schilling, Brent Talbot, Bryan Ziegler, Tim Ziegler.
The Emergency Committee for August is Ed and Darlene Schmidt.