Do you think Caiaphas the high priest consciously intended at the start of his mature life to be someone who would instigate the public execution of the Messiah? How about Pilate and his role in the crucifixion of Jesus – do you think his aim as he began his professional career was to be able to order the death of a man he knew was innocent of the charges against him? I don’t think so.
One of the complex, underlying stories of Easter concerns all those folk who were active participants in the public condemnation and execution of Jesus. How did they get there? We might ask the same thing about the disciples of Jesus who fled the Garden, abandoning Jesus on Maundy Thursday evening. How could they do such a thing? Each of us at various points in our lives will be compelled to consider how we arrived at a position, or took an action, something we would have thought unthinkable earlier in our lives. What happens?
What happens is drifting, or wandering. Distracted by a variety of other concerns, we forget what we’re about and where we ought to be going. In the NT we’re warned against such drifting by passages such as Heb. 2:1, We must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. We need to maintain our focus, remember who we are, who made us, and what our lives are about. A particularly poignant prayer found in verse 10 of Psalm 119: With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments. The Psalmist has a deep desire to follow God, yet realizes he is prone to wander. Isn’t that a line in song somewhere?
So how does this wandering and drifting occur? How can I be aware of it and take steps to prevent it? Here are some suggestions.
Foremost among all that we can do is steep ourselves in Scriptural truth, We should be convinced that it is the absolute and final authority in all that we do or think. It’s one thing to give lip service to such a notion, another matter to put it into practice.
Immediately after praying that prayer in verse 10 [and it is a good prayer, one we ought to pray regularly], the Psalmist says this in verse 11: Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You. It is good to read the Bible. We should have a regular intake of significant portions of Scripture, a chapter or two rather than a verse or two. We want to become familiar with the entire content and flow of Scripture, we should be eager to know it from front to back and all the places in between. This is an ongoing, life-long project.
But we also need to set aside some time to examine and ponder more deeply particular verses or sections of Scripture. Perhaps in our broader regular reading we come across a verse or set of verses that catches our notice. We ought to give such texts special attention. Study them. Follow the cross references. Memorize them and let them study us! This may take a few days or a week or a month. Not a problem: treasure them and let them teach you. As we read for breadth, and take time to dive for depth, we’ll find we have an anchor to prevent our drifting and wandering.
When we wander or drift, it may seem directionless. That’s not true. There always are currents, sometimes subtle, sometimes quite violent, that are pulling and pressing us in particular directions. All the drifting and wandering that occurs takes us away from God: specifically from His existence, from His goodness, and from His power. The underlying current in contemporary life is the presumption that the universe is self-existent, without any Divine overseer guiding it, subject to the whims of chance, and the machinations of the powerful. Pilate’s cynical question to Jesus typifies this: What is truth? [John 18:38] We are challenged by TV shows, magazines, co-workers, and sometimes family members who have a condescending attitude for those poor, ignorant, deluded chumps who still buy into the old canard about there being a God. If we’re around that enough, we begin to wonder if we are demented and deceived. Is there really a God? That’s the drift today.
Sometimes it comes with hurricane force. I was a radioman in the Navy. One time when our ship was in a powerful south Pacific typhoon, the progress we radioed out to the headquarters of the Seventh Fleet was seven miles – sideways! We held the correct direction, but could make no forward progress, but were blown seven miles to the east.
I think that is similar to where we are in the sexual revolution taking place in our culture. Even folk who maintain the right orientation get blown off course. Somehow it has come to be expected that teens will be sexually active, that marriages are subject to recall and divorce, that it’s pretty much normal for porn to be accessed by all. And that’s not even bringing up the issues of sexual orientation and gender identification. How did we ever get to this place! By drifting and wandering over several generations and now we’re in a hurricane of upheaval. Just like the ship on which I served, we need to hold firm to our ordered course regardless of the storm, knowing the storm is not and does not have the final word. That belongs to Him who is Master of the wind and the wave, for His order shall prevail.
It’s not easy not to drift or wander. One must be intentional to avoid it, carefully discerning where the line of compromise runs. Doing so means you will be accused of judging others, of being arrogant and uncaring. After all, what makes Christians think they have some exclusive hold on the truth? To not wander or drift comes at a cost. If one is not willing to pay that cost, to face those objections, then drifting and wandering are inevitable.
Easter morning answers those accusations and questions. Jesus did rise from the dead. The tomb was and is empty. There is final and ultimate truth. The world, despite all the protests to the contrary, is under the rule of a King. Jesus is the One who knew from where He came and where He was going. He did not wander or drift. May we seek Him with all our heart, and may He not let us wander from His commandments.
In the Joy of the Lord,
John H.C. Niederhaus
P.S. Go see the movie Risen to understand the significance of the body-less tomb Easter morning.
March Pulpit Schedule
6th – A Good Bad Example – Colossians 3:12-21; 4:7-18; 1 Peter 5:6-14; Acts 15:36-41
Is there a better or higher example of true Christian living than the life of the apostle Paul? For most folk, he is the gold standard for Christian behavior and belief. Paul was a man of deep character, one who followed through on all his convictions. God chose to use him to write the more books of the NT than any other author. His conversion is the model from which we get the Damascus Road experience. He walked the length and breadth of the Roman Empire planting churches. He died a martyr. Yet in the last verses of Acts 15 he sets a bad example.
13th – No Way! – 1 Corinthians 9:1-7, 19-23; 2 Timothy 1:1-14; Acts 16:1-5
The apostle Paul suffered over the issue of circumcision. He was vilified, imprisoned, driven out of towns, and stoned because he insisted circumcision was not necessary for someone to be part of the people of God. He had successfully defended that position before the apostles at Jerusalem. As he revisits churches he planted, delivering the decrees of the Jerusalem Council that circumcision is not required of Gentile converts, there’s no way he would circumcise someone just to satisfy the Jews. In today’s text he does exactly that. He circumcises Timothy.
20th – Frustration! – Mark 8:27-33; Luke 19:29-40; Acts 16:6-10
Palm Sunday finally ended the disciples’ frustration. To them it seemed as though Jesus kept His light under the bushel way too much. He kept telling people neither to talk about the great works He did nor to tell anyone that He was the Messiah. Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem changed things. Along with the crowds, His disciples rejoiced to declare Jesus was the Son of David, the Messiah. Paul experienced similar frustrations when the Holy Spirit forbad him to speak to certain people groups. He was stymied. He needed direction. God gave it.
27th – The Power of God – Matthew 28:1-20; Romans 1:1-6, 16-17; Acts 16:11-15
Easter is impossible. It cannot be true. Dead men – not just “mostly dead,” but entirely dead men – do not come back to life. Everyone knows this. Some folk have their dead bodies frozen so when we figure out how to bring someone back from death to life, it can be done to them. The message of Easter is that Jesus was completely dead, He was buried, sealed in a tomb. The End. But on the third day His body came back to life. Impossible! Except for the power of God. That is the same power that opened Lydia’s heart to believe. May God’s power roam freely among us!
Palm Sunday Choir Concert
On March 20th an a cappella concert of Orthodox Christian hymnody will be presented at St. Philip Orthodox Church. The concert begins at 2 p.m. with refreshments to follow. A freewill offering will be received to benefit the Crossroads Pregnancy Care Center of Quakertown.
The Orthodox churches follow a different church calendar than churches in the West. This year, for instance, Orthodox Easter is not until May 1st. Though March 20th will be Palm Sunday for us, it will be the first Sunday in Lent for St. Philip congregants.
St. Philip Church is located at 1970 Clearview Road, Souderton.
From the Youth Pastor
They Have a Way With Words!
They’ve made me feel like a prisoner/They’ve made me feel set free;
They’ve made me feel like a criminal/Made me feel like a king;
They’ve lifted my heart to places I’ve never been
They’ve dragged me down back to where I began.
Words can build you up/Words can break you down;
Start a fire in your heart/Or put it out.
– Hawk Nelson
The old saying is a lie! The one that says, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, But words will never harm me.” The intended meaning is that a physical attack may injure a person’s body, but a verbal attack cannot physically injure anyone. From this, some conclude a young kid should just let the bully’s words roll off the back like water off a duck’s back. As much as we might “buck up” to this advice and put on our brave face, we know deep down that the pen is mightier than the sword.
Words carry meaning and can cut oh so deep into the fabric of who we are. James 3:8 is spot-on about the dangerous impact of the tongue: But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. We all could give first hand accounts of how words can be a poison in our lives and the lives of others. Do you remember the time you let that thought slip past your lips and it caused great devastation to someone? Oh, how we would like to retract many words – and tweets, texts, and emails! We should follow the bunny’s advice in Bambi and not say anything if we can’t say anything nice, for Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is considered prudent. [Prov. 17:28]
Solomon wisely asserts, A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. [Prov. 15:1] Those harsh words have a tendency to “replay” over in our minds and hearts through the years. What further evidence do we need to realize that words can cause much harm? If you think about it, a gun can kill you physically very quickly, but you can be killed softly and slowly with words, as the old Fugees song suggests. So I’ll be honest with you, in the real world names and words can murder you!
They have a way with words. You know “them.” They are the critics, skeptics, the haters, the knockers in each of our lives. The teachers, coaches, family, friends, those who speak on behalf of the “father of lies” and accuse, judge, and bring you down at times. But if we are honest, we must acknowledge we all have played this role in someone’s life at some point or another.
What should we do when the words of others come at us? Well, even though they may have a way with words, we need to remember He has a way with the Word. We should go to the Word of God and let it speak and wash us in its truth. Here are some apt and applicable words about words from Ephesians 5:
. . . and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. [5:4] Watch what you say!
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. [5:6] Don’t listen to lies!
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. [5:15-17] Take care to be wise and understand His will (Word)!
speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord. [5:19] Use your words to edify each other and magnify the Lord!
Whose words matter most in your life? The Lord’s! Listen to them! For He has a way with the Word.
Easter Events at Leidy’s Church
Easter is early, again, in 2016. For the fifth time in the 21st century Easter happens in March. That’s five times in 17 years. The next 16 years feature only two March Easters. Easter is a time to remember that God is in control, regardless of what man may think. The resurrection power demonstrated on Easter morning is a testimony to the power God always wields. We’ll remember that in our various Easter events. Join us for them. Here’s the schedule for 2016:
- March 25th, Good Friday, we gather for Scripture readings and worship at 7 p.m. This year we will read the account of the passion recorded by John. We’ll go with Jesus to the Garden of Gethsemane and follow the course of action until the stone is rolled across the door of His tomb. During the course of the service the lights will gradually be darkened. Hymns and music appropriate to the events of that time will be sung as well.
- March 27th, Easter Sunday Sunrise Service begins at 6:30 on top of the cemetery hill. We hope it is warm by then! Those gathered will sing hymns, share in the Lord’s Supper, and hear a different sermon than that preached at the regular services that day. Attendees should dress appropriate to the occasion, including sunglasses since the congregation faces due east, and possibly gloves and a warm blanket to wrap around oneself.
- March 27th, Easter Sunday Pancake and Sausage Breakfast will begin filling up plates at 7 a.m. and continue to do so until 10:30. This is an activity of the Youth Fellowship and there is no charge for the breakfast — it’s on a donation basis. Be generous. More details are in another article in this Newsletter.
- March 27th, Easter Sunday Worship Services are held at 8 and 10:45. Each service will have special music, the Lord’s Supper, and a sermon this year that focuses on the power of God to do the impossible. During the course of the morning Thirty Pieces of Silver offerings may be placed in the specially designated receptacles in the narthex.
- March 27th, Sunday School takes place at 9:30 for classes from Nursery through 6th grade. Other classes are welcome to congregate around sausages and pancakes to enjoy fellowship and discussion.
You and those whom you would like to invite are welcome to be a part of each of these Easter activities.
Thirty Pieces of Silver
Here’s a timely reminder that on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday the Thirty Pieces of Silver offering will be collected. Specially marked receptacles will be in the narthex in which you may deposit your offering.
This year the Thirty Pieces of Silver offering is going to Church Without Walls. With many local contacts throughout the middle-east, Church Without Walls will use our funds to bring much needed assistance and aid to Christians living under severe physical and spiritual duress. As you participate in this offering, please remember to pray for those Christians in the middle-east who experience distress and dislocation as a regular part of life.
Palm Sunday is Prayer Card Sunday
Leidy’s Church is a multi-generational congregation. We think the generations should know one another. We think the generations should appreciate one another. We think the generations should support and encourage one another. Thus, we have the Prayer Card program.
Each young person from the nursery through Senior High is represented on an individual prayer card. On Palm Sunday Sherise Rittenhouse, our Director of Children’s Education, arranges for those cards to be in baskets in the narthex. Adults are asked to take an envelope and then be the prayer partner for that young person for the coming year.
During each service of worship that day Sherise will give a brief overview of the Children’s Education program. In the late service, all the kids will be brought in to circle the sanctuary. It’s quite a deal! Parents, please remember this and plan accordingly. Even if you attend the 8 am service, please plan to have your child(ren) present through the presentation time during the fellowship of the church at the 10:45 service.
This is a great way to invest spiritually in the lives of our young people. Prayer cards will be available after each service of worship.
Kids Musical Full of Bugs!
Don’t let the title of this article mislead you. The 2016 Spring Musical by the kids is not full of mistakes – after all, they’ve been practicing for a couple of months. Nope, the title of this article is to alert you to the setting of Big Shot, the title of this year’s production.
The show will be presented twice, so choose the time best for you. There is a Saturday evening show that begins at 7 pm on the 19th of March. If you prefer a Sunday afternoon, then come by on the 20th at 4 pm. The location is the Fellowship Hall of Leidy’s Church.
Big Shot takes place in an alternative universe where everyone is an insect, a bug! So the set is crawling with bugs. These bugs live in a beautiful garden. One problem though: there is a new owner of the garden property. His name is Mr. Phi S. Tyne. Another recent purchase of his is a big, bad Goliath DX 100 machine designed to exterminate the entire garden; we’re talking scorched earth policy here.
As you might imagine, the inhabitants of the garden are driven buggy with fright. What are they to do? How can they escape? Some run; others hide. In the midst of the chaos, their praying pastor, Pastor Mantis, reminds them of God’s faithfulness in the past and urges them to call upon the Lord. As events unfold it becomes apparent that it’s not how big you are, but rather how big your faith is that’s most important.
The kids invite you to join them for some music with a message.
Monday Night Bible Study
In April 2015 several ladies from our congregation went to the Answers in Genesis Answers for Women Conference. The speakers were women who have walked difficult paths themselves and have found that the help they need comes only through Jesus Christ and His Word. The Conference was taped and will be shown at the Monday Night Bible Study beginning March 7th. Below is an excerpt from the blog of Dr. Georgia Purdom of Answers in Genesis:
Embrace: Compassionate Answers for a Fallen World – What do you say when a friend confesses to adultery? When your sister tells you she’s a lesbian? When a niece aborts her unborn child? When a coworker’s baby is born with a debilitating disability? We often think of these as issues that are common outside the walls of the church, but we need to realize that the women sitting next to us in the pew are dealing with them as well. How do I help?
We certainly live in a fallen world, and we all know someone who has experienced the effects of this sin-cursed world . . . someone who is hurting. An important part of apologetics (defending the faith) is helping people understand the effects of sin in our fallen world and, when necessary, confronting people about their sin. But there is also what I would term a “practical” side of apologetics. How do I offer practical help and hope based on God’s Word found in Jesus Christ?
Join us for this five-week study as the speakers share compassionate answers from God’s Word that give us practical ways we can embrace those who are hurting. The solid biblical teaching will nourish your mind and heart and equip you to be a loving witness for Jesus Christ. We all need to keep fighting the good fight of the faith, and this study will help equip you to know the truth and lovingly serve those who are hurting.
Ladies of Leidy’s
The next meeting is Tuesday, March 1st at 7 p.m. in the Conference Room. At the March meeting, Ruth Bugge will be sharing her life, travels, family adventures and God’s faithfulness throughout the years. A business meeting will also take place. All ladies welcome!
Within the Fellowship
Congratulations to Kyle and Lavonda (Kulp) Weiss who were united in Christian marriage. May God be with them as they begin their life together in Him.
Congratulations to Justin and Julia Gregory at the birth of a son, Oscar Daniel. May God be with them as they grow in Him.
Our sincere Christian sympathy to Verna Bowman and family at the death of Jeff, and to Mim Weigner at the death of her mother. May God be with these families at this difficult time.
Pancake & Sausage Breakfast
For as long as we can remember, the Leidy’s Youth Fellowship has provided a Pancake & Sausage Breakfast on Easter Sunday morning. It’s a fund-raiser, but also a fun-raiser. What a delight to share Easter joy with family and friends around the breakfast table. Breakfast service begins at 7 and continues through 10:30.
Tables will have a full complement of food all the time you’re there. It’s an eat-as-much-as-you-want event. Our cheerful youth – unless you arrive before nine, then they’re still a little bleary-eyed! – will 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 the Building Fund. There will be a spot for you in the Leidy’s Church Fellowship Hall to enjoy breakfast this Resurrection Sunday!
Banquet at Yoder’s Restaurant
Living Hope Native Ministries hosts its 2016 banquet on Friday evening, April 1st. Yoder’s Restaurant in New Holland is the site. Starting time is 6:30. Tickets are free, but you do need to register. To do so, you may send an email to Banquet@LHNM.org or call 855-367-8199 (toll free) or register at www.lhnm.org.
Though this banquet takes place on April Fools Day, there will be no fooling around with the food or the program. Delicious food served family style will be tasty and plentiful and real! Likewise, the program will feature real people sharing stories, photos, news, and personal ministry experiences.
If you’re concerned about getting there, you may contact Mary Kirkpatrick at 610-324-0939 for a ride. Mary spent a year at Sandy Lake and continues to be involved with the ministry.
Love Cradle International extends an invitation to the members and friends of Leidy’s Church to its 2016 annual Family Banquet. It takes place on Saturday, March 12th in the Fellowship Hall of Leidy’s Church. Doors open at 5 p.m. and dinner is to be served at 5:30.
It is an evening set aside to celebrate what God is doing in the lives of orphan children. Table fellowship will take place while enjoying traditional Ukrainian dinner foods. Encouraging accounts of how God has worked in particular families and situations will be shared. We’ll be amazed at what God has done!
Get your reservation in via email to email@example.com or contact the church office.
March is Missions Month!
Missions Month in 2016 is going to be a bit different. Since Easter is in March we will only have three Sundays available for Mission speakers. Ordinarily, we hear from missionaries Leidy’s Church has supported for awhile. Such will not be the case this year. Each presentation will feature a mission with which we’ve not been connected in the past.
In case you’re not familiar with Missions Month, here’s the format. The mission presenters will have five minutes or so in each service of worship to introduce themselves and give a brief summary of their work. During the SS Hour, though, they will be in the Fellowship Hall to give a fuller explanation, take questions and answers, and get to know and be known by the folk of Leidy’s church. Our adult SS classes close down for the month and join in the meeting for missions. As an added inducement to attend, the Mission committee provides some tasty fare for folk to share each week. They call it Mission Munchies. They want to minister to the soul and the body! Here’s the line-up for 2016:
Chris & Kelly Kulp lead things off on the 6th of March. Those names may sound familiar. That’s because they are! Chris is the son of Jerry and BJ Kulp. Recently Chris and Kelly were accepted into the missionary force of 100 Fold Ministries. Within the year they hope to relocate to Cambodia where their professional training will be put to use in mission service. The Kulps are brand new to the mission field and are less than a month on the Leidy’s Church mission support list. You’ll want to hear what God’s call looks like in their situation.
Andrew & Brittany Martin will be at Leidy’s Church for the first time on March 13th. A young couple from Schuylkill Haven with two pre-school children, both became Christians during their teen years, then met one another through working with the youth program of their local church. The rest is history! Though Andrew is a self-employed builder, God has put missions work on their heart as a couple. God opened the doors and they have been accepted by African Inland Mission and given a two year assignment in the country of Madagascar. They have an interesting story to tell.
Scott Rittenhouse and crew are on the docket for March 20th, Palm Sunday. While Scott and crew are not new to us, the mission they will be reporting on is new. We’ve not had any mission teams head off to Guatemala before. How the Rittenhouse crew became involved in this mission is related in a separate article. What we will get to hear is the first-hand account of how their proposed mission endeavor actually turned out. They will have been back from Guatemala for just over a week, so everything will be fresh in their minds. The crew, by the way, includes Japheth, Taleh, and Mitch Moyer.
Over the years our congregation has developed good and fruitful relationships with missionaries and their families. We think of the Van Dykens, the Stiansens, the Maraioanos, and others. Missions Month has played a major role in the development of those relationships that have proved to be good for us and good for them. Come out and join in the weekly mission group hug that takes place in the Fellowship Hall during March!
Church Planters in India
For the next year Leidy’s Church will be underwriting the labors of two church planters in India. Both will be working in the large state of Karnataka in South India. One fellow’s name is Swamidass – that’s it, not a first and a last name, just Swamidass. The other fellow is Manik Peter. You might write down those names and include them in your prayers.
Karnataka has just under 61 million inhabitants! The biggest city is Bangalore, the hub for India’s fast growing IT and software industry. Most of the state, however, is rural and impoverished. There are over 700 different people groups in the state and 19 languages. Of those people groups 79 are unreached people groups – i.e. the name of Jesus and the truths of scripture are unknown to them.
It is our prayer that within the next couple of years two of those 79 unreached people groups will be reached – through the ministry labors of Swamidass and Manik Peter. We don’t know to which unreached people group Glad Tidings India has assigned each man, but we can pray for their labors nonetheless.
Karnataka is in the southwestern part of India with its western border being the Arabian Sea. Look at the plaque on the narthex desk to see the exact location, to find out more information about the state, and to see a picture of Swamidass and Manik Peter.
Off to Guatemala
Scott Rittenhouse has stayed close to some of his friends from high school days. In March that group of guys is doing something that’s been on their bucket list for awhile: do a mission trip together where they can use their practical skills, while bringing along a family member or two to help with other aspects of ministry.
Scott will be spending a week in Guatemala joining with his high school buddies helping build a pastor’s house. The church is the Iglesia Evangelica Central America San Pablo and is located in Puerto San Jose, Guatemala. His friend Blaine Anders has spent several weeks a year for a few years working with this congregation. He’ll be in Guatemala for several months this year. When his buddies arrive, Blaine and men from the congregation plan to have footers in place so the laying of blocks for the cement and block house can start right away.
Also going down with Scott will be Taleh and Japheth Rittenhouse, as well as Mitch Moyer. Each of Scott’s friends is bringing along a daughter or a son or wife as well. Some of those folk will be laying blocks and others will be focusing on children’s ministry. Attached to the church is a school named Colegio Evangelico Genesis which has some 120 students. There will be plenty of work to go around!
The Rittenhouse Mission Team heads for Guatemala on the 5th of March and will return in about a week or so. They solicit our prayers on behalf of the mission of which they’ll be a part.
A Canned Program
Each March the Mennonite Central Committee Mobil Meat Canner comes to our area. For three days volunteers from many local churches work together to process thousands of pounds of meat. In 2016 the dates for the canning project are March 14, 15, and 16.
Last year some 24,000 pounds of meat was processed during the three day work period. The goal for 2016 is to up that amount to 30,000 pounds. That seems feasible because of new technology, including a new mobile canner.
Over 100 volunteers are needed each day. The operation begins at 6 in the morning and continues until 7 in the evening. Volunteers are asked to work a two or four or six hour shift according to what best suits one’s schedule. Work to be done includes the filling, washing, and labeling of cans, preparing boxes for shipment, loading trucks, and general site clean up. If you would like to volunteer, please call the Mennonite Resource Center at 267-203-8074. All work is done on MRC site at 737 Hagey Center Drive, just off Schoolhouse Road near the Hagey bus terminal.
Through this program nutritious, protein-packed cans of meat are distributed around the world to help malnourished folk, especially those affected by tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, droughts, war, and other emergencies. In the past year the three countries receiving the most help were Ukraine, Haiti, and North Korea, areas where war and extreme poverty and political oppression were prevalent.
Coming in April: Adult Education Forum
Have you ever wanted to have input into the topics for mid-week educational classes or Sunday School classes being offered here at Leidy’s Church? Ever think you might like to try your hand at teaching a class but need some pointers on how to begin? Do you have ideas for changes in format or other innovations to spur additional interest in adult education as we plan to make the big move across the street?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, or if you’d like to the listen to a good discussion involving those who did, mark your calendar for Sunday, April 10th during the Sunday School hour. All adult classes will be suspended that day in favor of a forum being held in the Fellowship Hall.
Lorraine Kroesser, Sandy Nase, Dave Reich, and Jeremiah Rizzo will speak briefly about what motivates them to teach and how they overcame any initial feelings of inadequacy. Stan Ott will moderate what is hoped will be a free and full-ranging discussion between the panelists and all those in attendance – which we hope will include you!
Plan to attend and participate in helping shape the future of adult education at Leidy’s Church.
Because of Ash Wednesday falling on the normal meeting date, February of 2016 found an exceedingly rare event: the Consistory of Leidy’s Church meeting on a Thursday evening. That would have been February 11th and below are some salient points from the meeting.
- Devotions were led by Deacon Dave Doran on the theme of daily breath. Over the years Dave has been present three times when a family has breathed his or her last breath. It has caused him to reflect that each breath we get is precious and none ought to be wasted. He reminded the men breath can be wasted by telling tales, by slandering the character of others, or by fomenting discord. On the other hand, a well-used breath may exhort to be faithful or to encourage in a difficult time or to share gospel truth. As Consistorymen we need to use our breaths well. He closed by reading Psalm 15.
- It was noted with gratitude that though we had no services on the 24th due to the blizzard, many members obviously brought their offerings from the 24th on the 31st.
- The heavy snow on the 22nd and 23rd did result in some damage to the new building. Windblown snow accumulated in the steeple and when melted did ceiling damage. Also, damaged was a 60 foot section of insulation where the soffit was not yet installed. Repairs have been made and the insurance company has been contacted by the Builder.
- The date for completion of the building project continues to slide deeper into the year. At the moment, a date in early to mid-April is projected for completion. It will be a month or so from the time we get the keys before we could think about worshiping in the new facility.
- Dana Gehman reported that at this point our estimated mortgage – apart from any giving between now and then – is about $1.5 million.
- The Options Committee reported one church interested in renting our current facility is pursing another option. Another ministry is seeking to pull resources and ministries together to rent the entire facility. Nothing firm at this point.
- Francis Weiss reported about 30 persons have contacted him to help with the moving of materials to the new facility.
- The Furnishings, Finishing, and Dedication committees are each engaged in the tasks allotted to them.
- Following a report from the Worship committee, an extended discussion took place regarding the significantly enhanced technical aspects of the new sound system, integrating that system with all our music program, recruiting and overseeing volunteers, and making all this an integrated whole. Should a new staff position be put in place for this? Fiscal concerns were duly raised, but no resolution reached. To be discussed further at the next meeting.
- Greg Nase reported the indirect hot water heater was replaced successfully – and apparently just in the nick of time.
- The Christian Ed committee is working on a digitalized sign-in system for the new facility to aid in proper care for children in the nursery.
- The Kitchen committee is seeking for a representative to meet with the County inspection team regarding the new kitchen and requirements to be met.
- Authorized the purchase of a new bass amplifier.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:44 following a focused time of intercessory prayer and the unison praying of the Lord’s Prayer.
The Westminster Larger Catechism
We’re in that long section of the Larger Catechism that deals with what Scripture teaches us to believe concerning God. Of utmost importance in this regard is the doctrine of justification by faith, and that’s what we’ll find out about this month.
What Man Ought to Believe Concerning God
Question 68: Are the elect only effectually called?
Answer: All the elect, and they only, are effectually called: although others may be, and often are, outwardly called by the ministry of the word, and have some common operations of the Spirit; who, for their willful neglect and contempt of the grace offered to them, being justly left in their unbelief, do never truly come to Jesus Christ.
Question 69: What is the communion in grace which the members of the invisible church have with Christ?
Answer: The communion in grace which the members of the invisible church have with Christ is their partaking of the virtue of his mediation, in their justification, adoption, sanctification, and whatever else, in this life, manifests their union with him.
Question 70: What is justification?
Answer: Justification is an act of God’s free grace to sinners, in which he pardons all their sins, accepts and accounts their persons righteous in his sight; not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them, but only for the perfect obedience and full satisfaction of Christ, by God imputed to them, and received by faith alone.
Question 71: How is justification an act of God’s free grace?
Answer: Although Christ, by his obedience and death, did make a proper, real, and fully satisfaction to God’s justice in the behalf of them that are justified; yet in as much as God accepts the satisfaction as a surety, which he might have demanded of them, and did provide this surety his own only Son, imputing his righteousness to them, and requiring nothing of them for their justification but faith, which also is his gift, their justification is to them of free grace.
Question 72: What is justifying faith?
Answer: Justifying faith is a saving grace, wrought in the heart of a sinner by the Spirit and word of God, whereby he, being convinced of his sin and misery, and of the disability in himself and all other creatures to recover him out of his lost condition, not only assents to the truth of the promise of the gospel, but received and rested upon Christ and his righteousness, therein held forth, for pardon of sin, and for the accepting and accounting of his person righteous in the sight of God for salvation.
Question 73: How does faith justify a sinner in the sight of God?
Answer: Faith justifies a sinner in the sight of God not because of those other graces which do always accompany it, or of good works that are the fruits of it, nor as if the grace of faith, or any act thereof, were imputed to him for his justification; but only as it is an instrument by which he receives and applies Christ and his righteousness.
Want to Sing? Hallelujah!
According to Scripture, it is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to the Most High. Gary Filson, the Leidy’s Church Choir Director, has an opportunity for you to do that very thing: give thanks and sing praises.
On Easter Sunday morning at the 10:45 service of worship the choir is going to sing the Hallelujah Chorus. He wants to invite anyone from the congregation who has ever sung it before to come up and join the choir for this anthem.
If you would like to practice a bit ahead of time, there will be a special session on Wednesday evening, March 23rd at 7:30. The choir would be delighted to have you join them that evening.
6th Ralph & Shirley Clemens
13th Elaine Greene
20th Esther Davis
27th Jean Clark
6th Diane Gehman
13th Debbie Guerreiro
20th Helen Hahn
27th Beth Harbon
Greeters 8:00 10:45
6th Brett & Jacquie Fretz Bob & Val Hager
13th Stan & LaRue Friday Matt & Kate Harris
20th Dana & Barb Gehman Isaac & Janie Inyang
27th Carol Godshall, Elaine Greene Rich & Juliana Kapusta
8:00 Greg Nase, Captain; Josh Heebner, Dave Hughes, Bob Ott, Joe Sciacca, Brian Shoemaker.
10:45 Stan Ott, Captain; John DiLenge, Jesse Fletcher, Jim Foote, Jake Niederhaus, Jeremy Smith.
The A/V Booth technicians for March are Jeff Kirkpatrick & Allen Kraus.
The Emergency Committee for March is Randy & Cathy Annis.