Agent K is a hero of mine. I like him. Agent K, of course, is a fictional character portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones in the Men in Black movie trilogy. According to the story, he was one of the first humans to interact with extra-terrestrial beings when those beings first made their way to planet Earth. At that time Agent K saved planet Earth from those alien forces. He’s done so many times since. Let’s face it, if he doesn’t save planet Earth there cannot be a box-office busting sequel!
In these movies Agent K is long past the point where he can look up at the sky at night and simply enjoy the beauty and wonder of the cosmos. What he sees are worlds that are sending attacking forces to planet Earth. He sees threatening masses of invading aliens.
How about you? Do you think there are such beings as aliens? Do you think there are other life forms in the universe? Odds are you do, and odds are there are. Let’s look at the odds.
Our planet Earth is 24,000 miles in circumference, give or take a mile. The universe is estimated to be 45 billion light years in all directions. According to my sources, a light year is equal to 5,878,499,810,000 miles. Multiply that number by 45 billion (I know, my calculator won’t do it either!) and you get, more or less, 270,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. Divide this number by 24,000 and you will learn how big the earth is in comparison to the entire universe. It’s a speck of a speck of a speck of a speck of dust in the grand scheme of things.
That means there are lots of other “things” out there in the universe. Our Earth exists in a solar system that is part of an Interstellar Neighborhood of solar systems. Combined with other Interstellar Neighborhoods, they comprise the Milky Way Galaxy which is part of a local Galactic Group. That Galactic Group is a small part of the Virgo Supercluster which in turn is part of a (don’t be surprised by this!) local Supercluster Group. That particular Supercluster Group – our Group! – is one small dot, the equivalent to a grain of sand, in the observable universe. So, the earth isn’t that big of a deal, eh? Lots of Earth-like planets out there and, thus, lots of Earth-like life forms.
Here’s what one fellow says about that: “. . . consider that there are at least 10 trillion planetary systems in the known universe. Notice the “at least”. . . . Earth would be “1” of those. The idea that there is no life on any of those other 9,999,999,999,999 planets is absurd. Let alone that there has been no life in the past and there will be no life in the future!”
Guess that settles it, right? Since 1960 the US and other countries have been searching for other life forms in the universe. The original odds said that billions of planets should have life on them. And if they have life then the odds are that life should have evolved and produced intelligent life forms, even though they may not look like humans. Except after decades and decades of searching, calling out, waiting patiently, and watching anxiously, against all odds, the yield of responses has been zero.
The fellow [Frank Drake] who helped initiate the search for extraterrestrial life now says the search is doomed to fruitlessness. Having searched assiduously since about the time that Presley kid from Tupelo began shaking things up, he says if anyone were out there to hear us, they would have responded by now. Incredible as it may seem, there is no life in the universe except for that on planet Earth. That’s incomprehensible. Or, as quoted above, it’s absurd.
Except that is the way it is! Recently, a Swedish astrophysicist took things in the opposite direction from the status quo. In a technical paper he opined that the likelihood of replicating Earth’s conditions for life is one in 700 quintillion. In other words, he thinks Earth is unique in hosting life. How’s that for a change in odds?
Most of us would agree that it does not make sense to create such a large universe yet only have life on an infinitesimally small bit of it. What a waste! How pointless! Who would do such a thing, and why? You know the answers: Who = God; Why = to display His splendor and glory.
Here’s how Psalm 8 expresses it: O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth, Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens. All those Interstellar Neighborhoods, all those Galaxies, all those Supercluster Groups are declaring the glory of God . . . day to day pours forth speech and night to night reveals knowledge . . . their line has gone out through all the earth . . . in them He has placed a tent for the sun. [Ps. 19:1,3,4] From our perspective it may seem like a scandalously prodigious waste of resources. After all, we’re bottom line kind of people! But for God the bottom line is the manifestation of His glory, of His worthiness. And, when we pause to ponder for a moment, perhaps we recall other scriptural texts, such as, . . . whatever you do, do all to the glory of God [1 Cor. 10:31] and To Him be the glory forever [Rom. 11:33] and to Whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. [1 Pet. 4:11] All creation is meant to display the glory of God.
There’s one more aspect to this we must not forget. It is the most important part of all. It was to this small bit of cosmic dust named Earth to which the Son of God came. On this particular piece of the universe – and only on this piece – was the grand plan of God for redeeming a people for Himself worked out. Nowhere else in the entire universe may redemption be sought or found, rather only in what the Lord Jesus did here some two thousand years ago. That plan was worked out in a remote, tiny portion of the world. It was worked out in a way no one understood at the time. But like the plan of the entire universe, the plan of redemption proves to work out just exactly right!
Though I like Agent K, my response as I look upward to the heavens is much different from his. I don’t see or anticipate aliens. I see the handiwork of God. I’m assured He has all things under control, that His sovereignty rules over all! Let us not be anxious about aliens, but let us rejoice in the gracious provision of God.
In the Joy of the Lord,
John H.C. Niederhaus
April Pulpit Schedule
3rd – Discerning Bondage and Freedom – Deut. 18:9-14; Mark 1:23-28; Acts 16:16-24
Anyone who reads the Bible knows that evil exists. Not only does it exist, but evil is not some vague “force” “out there.” As our biblical texts for today demonstrate, evil has agents, spiritual creatures that seek to hold humans in bondage. The ministry of Jesus involved confrontation with evil and the casting out of demons. Paul on occasion had to deal with the same sort of thing. When Paul delivers a young slave girl from demonic bondage, the result is that he and Silas end up in bondage! Who is free and who is bound? We need discernment.
10th – More Miracles! – Psalm 107:10-16; Philippians 1:12-30; Acts 16:25-40
There are all sorts of definitions of miracles. Some consider it a miracle when a fortuitous synchronization of natural events results in a good outcome. Others think of miracles as events completely outside the realm of natural events. For others, miracles are some combination of the natural and the supernatural. In our text from Acts there is an earthquake. Is it a miracle? There is an aborted suicide. Is it a miracle? There are governmental officials who change their minds. Is it a miracle? There is a very unlikely baptism service. Is it a miracle? Well, let’s think about it.
17th – Let Us Reason Together – Isaiah 53:1-12; 1 Thessalonians 2:1-16; Acts 17:1-9
Today, more than ever before in our nation’s history, we are a people divided. Strong divisions exist on the political and domestic fronts. Tough legal divisions abound in issues of morality, gender roles, and labor equality. Sharp divisions are apparent regarding basic institutions, such as the church and family. Everything appears to be unraveling and many solutions seem to be absurd and irrational. But, there is an answer for such divisions if we will but listen to what God has to say. “‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the LORD.”
24th – High-Minded or Noble-Minded? – Psalm 119:17-24; John 7:37-39; Acts 17:10-15
The Jewish community of first century Thessalonica was high-minded, that is, those folk who were part of that community were intelligent and had strong characters. They were zealous for what they thought was right, willing to take extraordinary measures to insure the triumph of the right. Unfortunately, their high-mindedness did not go so far as to become noble-mindedness. It was different with the Jewish community at the nearby city of Berea. Luke, the author of Acts, describes the Bereans as noble-minded. By that he means they submitted themselves to Scripture.
Adult Education Forum: April 10th
Whether you regularly attend adult Sunday School or not, and whether you’ve ever taken one of the classes offered mid-week, you’ll want to come to the ADULT EDUCATION FORUM scheduled during the Sunday School hour on April 10th.
All adult classes will be suspended for the day as a panel of experienced teachers talks about what motivates them to teach, how they overcame any initial reluctance to do so, and how you might contribute to the adult education program at Leidy’s. There will be time allotted for questions and opportunities for input about new classes, subjects, and issues.
If you’ve ever thought about teaching but don’t know how to start, or if you have suggestions about how we might improve Leidy’s adult education program, mark your calendar and plan to attend. Lots of changes are in store for our imminent move across the street and the way we do adult education will likely be one of them. We’d love to see you and hear your voice on April 10th!
From the Youth Pastor
The Greatest Story Ever Told (Or Sung)!
Many Christians don’t like telling their testimony to other people. They say, “it’s not very interesting” or “it’s boring and predictable”. Do they not realize that it’s “the greatest story ever told?” How dare Christians not share the greatest story ever! Or, as Jason Petty puts it, “It’s the greatest story ever told that’s hardly ever told”. Maybe a better title to describe the state of many Christians who are timid with their testimony would be “The Silence of the Lambs”, which is sadly a true description of a horror story in the evangelical Church when it comes to sharing faith.
I wonder whose story we’re putting faith in when we say our testimony is too boring for others to hear? If the story is just about us, then yes, certainly, we do have reason to question its greatness. John Stott in his book Between Two Worlds mentions Scottish pastor-theologian James Denney who created a sign that said, “No man can bear witness to Christ and himself at the same time. No man can give the impression that he himself is clever and that Christ is mighty to save.” Our testimony/story must bear witness to Jesus and His greatness in our lives and it can’t just be about us. You see it’s the great One (Jesus) that makes our stories great. It’s His story working in our individual (and corporate) story that can impact somebody else’s story. So to say that our story is boring or not worth sharing is insulting the great author of our Faith who has relentlessly pursued our redemption at great cost. How can we not share or sing a song of gratitude for undeserved grace? It’s like the old hymn Blessed Assurance Fanny Crosby penned that says, “This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long”. What was Fanny’s story/song that she wanted to sing so badly and constantly? Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine! Her story was Jesus and what He had done for her. For it’s the gospel story within the personal story that makes the personal story (or song) great.
Easter is a great time for us all to consider and reflect on the notion that since the world began God has been writing a great story. It is a story of God’s love for His created people and the great lengths to which He has gone to restore relationship with them. The events during the first Easter are the critical piece of the redemptive plot, and history on either side takes on greater meaning because of the climax and impact of the cross of Jesus Christ. For the Christian this great story of redemption has our individual page written in it. No matter how mundane or plain it may seem to us, it is still powerful because it has the powerful gospel of Jesus Christ in it (Romans 1:16), so we dare not be ashamed to share it.
So what is the greatest story of all time? That God loves those He died for so much that he took the punishment for sin that they deserve. Jesus was crucified on the cross and because of this great sacrifice we can now be forgiven through faith and repentance and have relationship with God forever. This is the greatest story ever and no other story can trump what Jesus has done to save sinners, and the amazing thing is that we get to be in the story. If we have a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ, then we have God’s story in our story and our story is in God’s story. Your life is a miracle of God’s mercy and no one can take that away from you! What a powerful apologetic (your own story of faith).
But the greatest story ever told still has to be told! Romans 10:17 says “…faith comes through hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” The great Author of faith has a story that needs to be heard. If we know about and are part of the greatest story ever, why don’t we tell people about it? All we need to do is share about the goodness of God to save unworthy sinners and speak of the great gospel story that has changed our lives.
A modern Christian song encourages us also to this end; read these lyrics:
If I told you my story/You would hear hope that wouldn’t let go If I told you my story/You would hear love that never gave up If I told you my story/You would hear life but it wasn’t mine If I should speak then let it be/Of the grace that is greater than all my sin Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in To tell you my story is to tell of Him
To share our story is to tell of Him! Let us speak of the grace that covers all our sin! Let no lamb be silent any longer and may we proclaim the greatest story ever told.
“The author of my faith is writing the greatest story ever told.” – Five Iron Frenzy
Pastor Andrew Edmonds
Elders to Explain
At the Congregational Meeting in January among the actions taken was to amend in a significant way our Church Constitution. At that time some questions were raised about the role of the Spiritual Council and the Statements issued by that body from time to time.
Over the course of the next few months a series of Sunday School classes will be allotted for Elders to explain more fully the responsibilities that fall to them, as well as examine and explain the particular Statements that have been issued over the years.
The first such class takes place the first Sunday of April, that is the 3rd of April. Issues & Answers class is offering the venue for it, though all classes are welcome to come and participate. It is hoped one such class can be offered each succeeding month.
Here’s the agenda for April 3rd:
- An explanation of what the Spiritual Council is and the responsibilities assigned to that body by our Constitution.
- A short presentation of what a Reformed church is and ordinarily believes.
- A walk-through of the Leidy’s Church Statement of Faith.
- Some explanations of how the Spiritual Council decides topics that need clarification via an official Statement and the process followed to formulate such a Statement.
- A listing of Statements already issued and, perhaps, a schedule for when each will be presented in the coming months.
- Time for further questions and answers.
On the Move!
Here’s the scoop on our move from 276 W. Cherry Lane to 273 W Cherry Lane. It’s still not written in stone, but we are shooting to have our first service of worship in the new facility on May 1st. We’re not convinced that will absolutely happen, but if we wait till we’re absolutely certain, we won’t be moving in until Thanksgiving!
With the five Sundays of May to become familiar with our new surroundings, we hope to have the Dedication Service and Open House on June 5th at 2 in the afternoon. Keep that date open on your calendar for the Dedication Service.
During May we’ll be able to experience what many of the “normal” activities of congregational worship will be like. Different openings for worship, from Japheth and Rachel to Praise and Worship Teams to regular liturgy will happen. We’ll try and get accustomed to sitting in padded pews! Simple things like taking up the offering, choosing where to park, finding our way in and out, knowing where the bathrooms are, and finding our church mailbox will have new patterns because of our new location.
Because May 15th is Pentecost, we’ll be able to see what special services such as Confirmation will be like. Likewise, we’ll learn how communion is going to be done, what baptism will look like, and how the new fellowship hall will be for receptions and luncheons, such as that provided for our Confirmands on Pentecost.
More complicated matters such as registering, dropping off, and picking up children for Sunday School or Children’s Church will be undertaken. It will probably take a few Sundays to get accustomed to new procedures and places.
During this time of transition and settling in we’ll all need to exercise special forbearance and patience with others! Everything will be new and it will take awhile to figure out what “normal” really consists of. As we sort all this out, please try not to get out of sorts!
Remember, we’ll have new times for Sunday School and for church. Sunday School will begin at 8:45. That means we should arrive between 8:30 and 8:40 at the latest. Our service of worship will begin at 10. That’s a different time for all us, regardless which service we’ve been attending.
Join in praying for God’s grace to be extended to us in a special way as we go through this time of change and transition and settling in. May the Holy Spirit settle our souls.
Congregational Meeting Scheduled
The Consistory of Leidy’s Church has called a Congregational Meeting for Sunday, April 24th. It is scheduled to take place during the Sunday School hour from 9:30 to 10:30 in the Fellowship Hall. The purpose of the meeting is to vote on the Consistory’s motion to add a new full-time pastoral staff position, titled Pastor for Worship and Technology.
The Consistory will present how they came to consider this position necessary, and why this is an appropriate time to do so. In the process, the basic elements of the job description will be set out. Of course, there will be amply time for discussion as well as for questions and answers before the vote is taken.
All members and friends of Leidy’s Church are encouraged to be present for this Congregational Meeting.
Ladies of Leidy’s
The next meeting is on April 5th at 7 pm in the Conference Room. At that month’s meeting will be hosting a very special guest speaker. Karen Kutzner was a long-time member of Leidy’s Church and currently serves as the Program Director for The Well, a program of Worthwhile Wear. The Well is a long-term residential program for women who have experienced trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation with the goals of healing and restoration. Karen will give an overview of human trafficking and what’s being done locally to address this issue, so we encourage all ladies to attend.
Time of Prayer
Women’s Ministry will be hosting a time of prayer on Thursday, April 7, at 7 p.m. in the Youth Room. The focus will be praying for all that is involved with our new building – the move, adjusting as a church family to all the changes, health for all, and God’s wisdom as we prepare for ministry in the church He provided at 273 West Cherry Lane.
Monday Night Bible Study
On April 18 at 6:45 in Room 16 we begin a new series titled The Emotionally Healthy Woman by Geri Scazzero. In this eight-session DVD Bible study Geri provides you a way out of an inauthentic, superficial spirituality to genuine freedom in Christ. This study is for every woman who thinks, “I can’t keep pretending everything is fine!”
The journey to emotional health begins by quitting. Geri quit being afraid of what others think. She quit lying. She quit denying her anger and sadness. She quit living someone else’s life. When you quit those things that are damaging to your soul or the souls of others, you are freed up to choose other ways of being and relating that are rooted in love and lead to life.
When you quit for the right reasons, at the right time, and in the right way, you’re on the path not only to emotional health, but also to the true purpose of your life.
- Quit Being Afraid of What Others Think
- Quit Lying
- Quit Dying to the Wrong Things
- Quit Denying Anger, Sadness and Fear
- Quit Blaming
- Quit Overfunctioning
- Quit Faulty Thinking
- Quit Living Someone Else’s Life
For more information or to order the accompanying workbook, please contact either the church office or Sandy Nase 215-669-1421. We hope you will join us!
Full Finish Campaign
Completion of our Building Project is in sight. Hallelujah! When we began it was anticipated that we would need a mortgage of about $3.1 million to finish it. Between change orders, price elevations, add-ons not anticipated, add-ons we chose to do, and various incidental expenses, a sizeable amount has been added to the overall cost of the project. We’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Fundraising Committee is initiating the Full Finish Campaign to seek to eliminate as much of that mortgage as possible. At the moment, our mortgage is anticipated to be about $1,477,065 when all is said and done. That’s already over 50% below our starting mortgage projection thanks to generous benefactors, faithful givers, and providential provision from God. To the Fundraising Committee, however, the most beautiful words would be Zero Mortgage.
To that end the Committee is seeking wide participation in the Full Finish Campaign. Forms for participation in the program will be in the bulletin and also are available on the narthex desk. Contributions may be made in honor of someone or something, or in memory of someone and then applied to a particular item on the list. Persons memorialized or honored will be listed in the Dedication booklet.
The full finish for any project is when all the jobs are done and all the bills are paid. We can see the construction jobs being done soon. It would be good to have a full finish with all the bills paid as well. Be part of the Full Finish Campaign.
Want to Take a Tour?
In anticipation of our first service of worship in the new church building, it is hoped that tours can be offered to members of our church family a week or so ahead of time. While heads may still be swiveling around and trying to take it all in at our first service of worship, it would not be the first time for folk to be in the building. At least we’ll know the location of the restrooms!
Though the plans are still in the formative stages, it is anticipated that perhaps on Saturday afternoon/evening the 23rd of April and during the afternoon on Sunday the 24th, scheduled tours can be provided for Leidy’s Church worshipers who would like to do so. It might be similar to registering for Judgement House. Tours would be conducted in groups and have a specified route to follow.
Some have suggested the tours begin at the current facility with each tour member being given a box of items to be carried over to the new church! That might make it easier for the Transition Committee. We don’t think that will happen, but you never know.
Keep alert for notifications regarding tours – and perhaps keep some time open on the 23rd and 24th to come out and check out our new church home.
SLMT Mission Auction
With all the activity taking place regarding our move across the road, it could seem as though the SLMT Mission Auction is getting a bit squeezed. In fact, that’s true! We only have this tiny little space to remind you of the Auction that takes place on Saturday, April 30th. Doors open at 4:30, food begins to be served at 5 pm, and the live auction begins at 6:30.
Auction helpers as well as Auction items are still needed, so Pastor Steve Myers would be glad to speak with you about either. It’s a great evening; make sure you’re part of it.
Sinners in Need of Grace, Part II
by Jerri Thompson
After reading my article on grace for sinners in the February Newsletter, one of my children asked me, “Didn’t the people need to repent first?” Good question! Someone else gave voice to questions about the genuine Christian faith of someone like Martin Luther King, Jr. who repeatedly committed adultery. That didn’t look like repentance, so was he a Christian? I don’t know. As a result of these queries and other conversations, I started puzzling over the relationship between grace and repentance.
That very week I happened across a story in Philip Yancey’s Finding God in Unexpected Places which addresses a similar issue: A friend once asked Yancey if God would forgive him if he left his wife and three children for another woman. Yancey thought a long while before answering. Finally, he said, “Yes.” He cited the examples of Peter, David, and Paul in the Bible as sinners who were forgiven and still used of God. However, Yancey continued, “Will you even want forgiveness later [after you leave] especially if it involves repentance?” The friend left his wife and wandered away from God. As with forgiveness, so with grace.
Whenever I read the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15, I love how the Father is looking down the road for the son to come home, ready to welcome him, but something had to move the son to at least start back toward home on his own.
While there is grace available for all the people I mentioned in the previous article (Saeed Abedini, Martin Luther King, Jr. before his death, and women who have had abortions), I don’t know whether they ever came to the Lord and received it. Some miss it even though it is available.
New Morning Mercies, the devotional by Paul David Tripp that I quoted from in that same article, reminds me every morning that grace is available for me, and I rejoice. Simultaneously though, it reminds me that I am a sinner in need of grace to lead me to repent. And, again, grace to once more put God’s word and will before me as I try again to live the way God wants.
Grace is always available. Only a sinner recognizes how much he needs it, repents, and embraces grace. And there is more than enough for all who come.
Red Cross Blood Drive
The annual Red Cross Blood Drive takes place on Wednesday, April 13th. There always is a need for blood, so your donation will not be for naught. Red Cross workers will be drawing blood from 2 to 7 pm on the 13th.
If you would like to make an appointment to give blood, there are several ways to do so. The quickest and easiest way is to go to www.redcrossblood.org and enter leidyschurch in the Find A Blood Drive box. You’ll be able to see what times are still available and register according to what best suits your schedule. Or, you may call the church office at 215-723-8707 to schedule a time. Finally, and least efficiently, you may schedule an appointment by emailing Josh Heebner at email@example.com.
If you go to the Red Cross site, you’ll be able to register to make a regular blood donation or a couple of other options. One option is called Double Red Cells. A Double Red Cell donation collects the red cells but returns most of the plasma and platelets to the donor. These donors must meet specific eligibility requirements and have type A Neg, B Neg, or O blood. The other 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. Most folk simply make a regular blood donation.
Thanks in advance for your participation.
With strong hints of Spring in the air – but nowhere near the temperatures fellow-Consistoryman Scott Rittenhouse was experiencing on the west coast of Guatemala – the Consistory of Leidy’s Church met on Wednesday evening, March 9th, to go about their monthly meeting to conduct the business of the church. Below are some highlights of that meeting:
- Stan Ott shared devotional thoughts on the path of life. There was a period of time when he felt he didn’t need God that much. Turns out he had deluded himself about the truth. He did need the truth and the One who is the way and the truth and the life. Weaving scripture passages throughout the devotion, Stan exhorted the men to forget what lies behind and push forward to the future, always with an eye on the pole star of Truth. We can be confident that He who began a good work in us, will bring it to full completion.
- Some concerns were voiced regarding overnight security at the building site. Glen Tyson will speak with the Builder to insure consistent security is in place.
- Most of the work in the sanctuary should be completed by week’s end. The sound system is in process of being installed and tested. Full sound test for all music and worship personnel is scheduled for April 2nd.
- Installation of the stained glass window is now complete. It’s looking good.
- Projected mortgage at this point is $1.47 million. The original note we signed requiring interest-only payments expires on April 24th. An extension to the completion of the project will be requested.
- Considerable time was spent deliberating the possibility of adding a new full-time pastoral staff position. Discussion revolved around three major concerns: new, updated technology; integrated, full worship program involving all facets of church life; and the financial implications of the position. Realizing that finding one person competent (and desiring) to handle both aspects of the job is not to be taken for granted, time was spent going over a possible job description. This had been discussed off and on for a number of months and a consensus developed that now is the time to act. The title of the position will be Pastor of Worship and Technology, though there is flexibility to adjust if necessary. A motion was made and passed unanimously to present this position to the congregation for approval. A vote should be taken in the next month or two.
- The Furnishings committee had a detailed proposal for purchasing tables, chairs, and other items for the new church building. Alternate bids for several items are still being solicited. The Consistory approved the proposal recognizing the actual cost could vary by several thousand dollars in either direction depending on subsequent developments, but the number given is a good, solid ball-park number. The committee was encouraged to proceed without undue delay. A windfall of office furniture has become available from Univest and the committee intends to take full advantage of it.
- Approval was given for a digital check-in system for Children’s Ministry. The system is compatible with the church’s current database. Cost is $3,000 with monthly costs for supplies likely to vary from $20 to $45.
- The Options committee reported there was little to report! No renters for the current facility are lined up, though negotiations continue.
A variety of other updates and reports were received, and the meeting concluded at 10:26 following a time of directed intercessory prayer and the unison praying of the Lord’s Prayer.
The Westminster Larger Catechism
One of the more important distinctions to be made concerning the Christian life is that between justification and sanctification. As we’re working our way through the Larger Catechism that is one of the matters addressed in this month’s selection.
What Man Ought to Believe Concerning God
Question 74: What is adoption?
Answer: Adoption is an act of the free grace of God, in and for his only Son, Jesus Christ, whereby all those that are justified are received into the number of his children, have his name put upon them, the Spirit of his Son given to them, are under his fatherly care and dispensations, admitted to all the liberties and privileges of the sons of God, made heirs of all the promises, and fellow-heirs with Christ in glory.
Question 75: What is sanctification?
Answer: Sanctification is a work of God’s grace, whereby they whom God has, before the foundation of the world, chosen to be holy, are in time, through the powerful operation of his Spirit applying the death and resurrection of Christ to them, renewed in their whole man after the image of God; having the seeds of repentance to life, and all other saving graces, put into their hearts, and those graces so stirred up, increased, and strengthened, as that they more and more die to sin, and rise to newness of life.
Question 76: What is repentance to life?
Answer: Repentance to life is a saving grace, wrought in the heart of a sinner by the Spirit and word of God, whereby, out of the sight and sense, not only of the danger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, and upon the apprehension of God’s mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, he so grieves for and hates his sins, as that he turns from them all to God, purposing and endeavoring constantly to walk with him in all the ways of new obedience.
Question 77: Wherein do justification and sanctification differ?
Answer: Although sanctification be inseparably joined with justification, yet they differ, in that God in justification imputes the righteousness of Christ; in sanctification his Spirit infuses grace, and enables to the exercise thereof; in the former, sin is pardoned; in the other, it is subdued: the one does equally free all believers from the revenging wrath of God, and that perfectly in this life, that they never fall into condemnation; the other is neither equal in all, nor in this life perfect in any, but growing up to perfection.
Question 78: Whence arises the imperfection of sanctification in believers?
Answer: The imperfection of sanctification in believers arises from the remnants of sin abiding in every part of them, and the perpetual lustings of the flesh against the spirit; whereby they are often foiled with temptations, and fall into many sins, are hindered in their spiritual services, and their best works are imperfect and defiled in the sight of God.
PA Presidential Primary
On Tuesday, April 26th, all the madness of the Presidential primary voting comes to Pennsylvania. Record turnouts of voters are occurring all across the country. The same is expected in the land of Penn.
Leidy’s Church is a polling place for two precincts, so expect the 26th of April to featuring lots of cars in the parking lot and lots of folk in line to vote. From 3 pm on Monday through 9:30 pm on Tuesday the Fellowship Hall and the kitchen will be reserved for voting preparations and the actual voting.
You are encouraged to go to your polling place and vote. If you come to church on that day, please park farther down in the lot so those who are voting have the closest and most convenient parking spaces.
Within the Fellowship
Congratulations to Mike and Shannon Kehs at the birth of a son, Isaac Quinn. May God be with them as they grow in Him.
3rd Jean Saylor
10th Stan & LaRue Friday
17th Bob & Val Hager
24th Tom & Judy Leidy
3rd Dorothy Kehs
10th Alice Kraus
17th BJ Kulp
24th Denise Kulp
Greeters 8:00 10:45
3rd Helen Hahn, Beth Harbon Tom & Alice Kraus
10th Dave & Beth Guntz Mark & Sharon Kostishion
17th Josh & Laura Heebner Jerry & BJ Kulp
24th Tosha & Jordan Hostelley Hazel Krier, Julia Kulp
8:00 Scott Ritenhouse, Captain; Mike Hughes, Larry Anders, Justin Coale, Brian Radcliff, Rock Rau.
10:45 Glen Tyson, Captain; Harold Holloway, Mario Guerreiro, Carl Thompson, Jack Edling, Tom Merritt.
The A/V Booth technicians for April are Mario Guerreiro, Collin Radcliff.
The Emergency Committee for April is Ed and Darlene Schmidt.