Newsletter for June, 2015

 Pastor’s Column

            What do you think of when you think of the Judgment of God? I suspect most of us imagine scenarios in which God releases calamity on the earth. When we think of the Judgment of God we think of the earth being shaken, bombs going off, crashing thunder, and other spectacular blasting apart of kingdoms and of lives.

            Certainly such thoughts are biblical, but I don’t think they capture the full picture of the Judgment of God. A couple of decades ago my thinking was challenged, informed, and changed when someone asked me what I thought the Judgment of God on America (or any other nation) might look like. The question prompted me to search through the Bible and see what it said about this. I was startled by what I discovered.

            Usually the Judgment of God is NOT a catastrophic event obvious to all. Here’s my conclusion about when the Judgment of God begins: The Judgment of God begins when He allows a person, a community, a nation, or a culture to do whatever it wants and seemingly get away with it. There are no catastrophic consequences. Life continues as before. That pattern repeats itself: doing something wrong, but with no negative consequences. With each repetition there is less sense of guilt and less apprehension about a negative aftermath. This continues until all sense of guilt is gone and the future looks as rosy as can be.

            Now, when people ask me if I think God is going to judge America, I reply that God already is judging America. How do I know this? Because He’s allowing us to do whatever we want and we’re still prospering.

            The reason I mention all this is because sometime during this month of June the US Supreme Court will release its ruling regarding gay marriage. Almost everyone expects the majority of Justices to find in the US Constitution the right for gay marriage. If the Justices do rule in favor of gay marriage, what changes? Everything. Nothing. Here’s what I mean:

            Everything changes because God’s created order will be denied. Humans did not design or invent marriage, God did. Part of His purpose and design in marriage can be seen in how He makes each individual.

            Each of us comes with marvelously complex and complete systems. Think of it: your nervous system: complete; your cardio-vascular system: complete; your digestive system: complete. There is only one exception: the reproductive system. Each human being only has half of the complete human reproductive system. To make a complete reproductive system one must be paired with a complementary system. That is, a male reproductive system must be paired with a female reproductive system and vice-versa. That’s the created order.

            What if we want to violate or change that order? Can we do so? You betcha! In fact, there is a concerted effort to do that very thing. Here’s a quote articulating our current cultural mood:

            We no longer feel ourselves to be guests in someone else’s home and therefore obliged to make our behavior conform with a set of pre-existing cosmic rules. It is our creation now. We make the rules. We establish the parameters of reality. We create the world, and because we do, we no longer feel beholden to outside forces. We no longer have to justify our behavior, for we are now the architects of the universe. We are responsible to nothing outside ourselves, for we are the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever.            [Jeremy Rifkin. Algeny, Viking Press. p. 244]

            We can do whatever we want! It is our creation! We are now the architects of the universe! These are the thoughts of a culture under God’s judgment.

            Nothing changes, though, since God’s created order cannot ultimately be denied. Regardless what the Supreme Court rules, the ruling will not change the created order. Just as we cannot change the law of gravity and other laws of physics, so we cannot change God’s established laws of ethics. We do live in “someone else’s home.” That someone is God, and He is the architect and owner of all that exists.

            Well, someone asks, why don’t we experience immediate negative consequences when we break God’s ethical laws as we do when we break, for instance, the law of gravity? Simple answer: The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. [Ps. 103:8] If someone were to jump off a mile high cliff to prove he was not subject to the law of gravity, he would have about 18 seconds without negative consequences. After that, though, things would go downhill fast! If that person jumped out of a plane about 10 miles high he would have almost four minutes with no negative consequences.

            In the ethical sphere, that time between jumping off the cliff and meeting the ground is interspersed with God’s lovingkindness. He calls erring and rebellious individuals, families, cities, and nations to repent and turn back to His way. He helps them by giving them a conscience and by sending faithful human witnesses of His truth. If they persist in their erring rebellion, fighting against the goads of guilt and the call of the truth, that is a sign of God’s judgment. It is the beginning of God’s judgment.

            Regardless how the Supreme Court rules on gay marriage, we remain a nation that has all the signs of being under the Judgment of God. We must live with the awareness that as much as everything is changing, yet nothing is changing. We cannot deny what’s happening, but neither can we deny what is true reality.

            The idea of God’s Judgment being catastrophic is true in the long run. How far away it is, we don’t know. Yes, we’re under judgment, but it’s the beginning of judgment, not the final judgment.

            Yet.

            Like Israel of old, we could experience a crushing defeat at the hands of a foreign power which God uses as the “rod of His anger.” [see Isaiah 10:5] ISIS or North Korea or several other nations would be more than happy to serve that purpose.

            Or, like Israel of old, we could experience a national season of repentance, revival, and restoration as was the case with King Josiah. [see 2 Kings 23:3 and 2 Chron. 34:31]

            There is a final judgment, when the trumpet of God sounds forth, Jesus returns, and all peoples and nations that ever lived are called forth to stand before God’s judgment throne. In that day everyone will know whose house this is and whose rules reign.

                                                                                                In the Joy of the Lord,

                                                                                                John H.C. Niederhaus

June Pulpit Schedule

7th – Looking for the City – Genesis 12:1-9; Hebrews 11:8-16; Acts 7:1-8

            One of the familiar themes in literature is the “Wandering Jew.” Sometimes they are depicted as wandering because of oppression, being forced to flee to some other city or region. At other times their wandering is depicted as a searching for God. It’s this latter case that is true with regard to Abraham. As Stephen begins his defense of his Christian faith, the starting point he chooses is Abraham. We’ll see that Abraham is not engaged in aimless wandering. Instead, he is responding to the call of God. He and all his descendants are looking for the City of God.

14th – A Rejected Hero – Genesis 45:4-8; 1 Peter 2:4-10; Acts 7:9-16

            The situation is bleak. Joseph’s jealous brothers have sold our hero into slavery but there is hope! Pharaoh has raised Joseph up to be the administrator over all of Egypt. A good thing since his brothers need to be rescued from the famine that has overcome their land. Now is the time for the rejected brother to provide salvation for his family. Many centuries later another savior would arise who would not just protect His people from hunger, but save them from their sins. Let us follow Christ’s example by being faithful in rejection and exaltation!

21st – Preparing for the Promise – Exodus 1:6-12; 2:5-15; Jeremiah 17:5-6; Acts 7:17-29

            Moses is one of the great figures in human history. Through him God effected a great deliverance for a people held in cruel and hopeless bondage. Moses had a lot going for him. During his defense, Stephen describes Moses as “a man of power in words and deeds.” The deliverance God accomplished through Moses, however, was not because of his great gifts. In fact, something had to happen to Moses in order to prepare him to have a hand in that great deliverance. The same sort of thing had to happen to the Israelites in Egypt before their exodus.

28th – Raised Up! – Psalm 118:19-29; Matthew 21:33-46; Acts 7:30-43

            Moses lived on the backside of the desert – that is, in the land of Midian, or what is now Saudi Arabia – for forty years after fleeing Egypt. He assumed he would remain there for the rest of his life. He was wrong! God had other plans. God raised up Moses and sent him back to Egypt to bring out the people of God. But how will those folk receive Moses? They’ve been crying for help, but do they really want it? As Stephen continues his defense by laying out the history of Israel, he seems to assert they said “yes” to Moses with their lips, but in their hearts said “no.”

From the Youth Pastor

Are You Worth Your Salt?

            I love salt! Forget the sweet with me; just lead me to the savory. Give me bacon and a Bible and I have all that’s needed. (So glad I live in the freedoms of the New Testament era regarding pork products.) This love of saltiness must be in the genes, for I remember many a time when growing up being warned not to use too much salt on my food. Why? My grandfather died from eating too much salt (apparently clogged arteries led to a heart attack in his case). Despite the risks to my life I’m a firm believer that salt makes life greater, for it is the great enhancer of the ordinary.

            We often hear the expression, “worth one’s salt”. This is a way of deeming whether or not somebody is effective and deserving of reward for what they put into life. Spurgeon gives an example of the phrase from one of his sermons. He preaches, “You’d do well in Lubberland, where they have half-a-crown a day for sleeping. That is to say, you are a lazy fellow, not worth your salt” (Spurgeon, C. H. The Salt Cellars).

            Pastor John recently preached about Christians being salt in our culture, and thus creating spiritual thirst in the lives of those around us. How are you doing with creating spiritual thirst in those in your family, work place, sports team or school? Do they see your good deeds and praise their Father in heaven (1 Peter 2:12)? Do they hear your words and ask the big questions of life because of the way you live your life (1 Peter 3:15–16)? Do you live up to the challenge of Paul when he says, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.(Colossians 3:17) Basically we create thirst by being salt, but as a Christian are you worth your salt?

            There is no getting around it, for you are either salty or you’re not. Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.(Matthew 5:13) Then in Mark He says, “For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” (Mark 9:49–50)

            The “un-salty” is good for nothing. The Christian who isn’t salty is not worth their salt, they have no worth or benefit to Jesus. If you aren’t creating spiritual thirst in people then what use are you? So then, let’s be people who embrace the “Salt Life,” and do this by getting out of the shaker. To do this let’s unpack and embrace the following observations about what salt does and how it could help us function as Christians.

  1. SALT SAVES: In Jesus’s ministry context the primary value of salt was as a preservative. So when Jesus says we are the ‘Salt of the earth” we should understand that our presence and influence stops things from rotting! So in all places at all times Christians need to be taking up space and glorify God through godly lives. When this happens a part of the corrupt world has some real-estate redeemed for Jesus. Our moral actions serve as a preservative against the damaging effects of sin, and that’s why we need disciples scattered into all parts of industry, media, and government. Like a fridge keeping food fresh, a disciple can hinder and halt the deterioration the devil puts on this world. In the times before refrigeration it was the presence of salt that stopped food from rotting. Have you ever thought about your physical presence as a Christian acting as a preservative in a rotting world? Salt saves.

            But a note of caution: what good is it for Christians to stay in the ghetto of Christian culture and never interact with the real world? You know what happens? The Church has too much salt and gets clogged arteries and the result is that we let the world rot and at the same time we get unhealthy. Salt must be spread, for too much salt on one bit of food tastes horrible. This leads to the next point.

  1. SALT SEASONS: Salt is a flavor enhancer. MacArthur writes, “Pure salt cannot lose its flavor or effectiveness, but the salt that is common in the Dead Sea area is contaminated with gypsum and other minerals and may have a flat taste or be ineffective as a preservative. Such mineral salts were useful for little more than keeping footpaths free of vegetation.” If we are to be the salt of the earth then we are to bring flavor and freshness to life. Paul tells us to “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.(Colossians 4:6) Salt serves the purpose of making food taste good. It provides flavor, makes food enjoyable. What about you? Do you make life enjoyable? Do you bring flavor to the world in which you live? Are your relationships salt seasoned?
  2. SALT STINGS: I often think and pray about having a, “Holiness that hurts the eyes”. To live in such a God honoring way that its impact would be like the sting of salt water to open eyes or a fresh cut. For disciples should be willing to stand for truth even if the truth they profess seems to disturb others. Lets face it; it’s not easy to be the salt of the earth. It is uncomfortable at times, and you can face great mockery for following Jesus. It means stepping out and having a presence for Jesus in a sinful world. It commands honesty, vulnerability, and Christ-like character. These are things that go against the grain of secular culture. Being the salt of the earth therefore inevitably means lovingly hurting others with truth, and often getting hurt because you stand for that truth.

            Create thirst for Jesus by being a salty presence in this world. Be salt that saves through preservation, that seasons through words and deed, and that stings through living truth. All so you will be a ”good for something Christian” through shaking some salt around your world!

                                                                                    In Christ,

                                                                                    Pastor Andrew Edmonds

Joy in Glory Tackles Worship

            Meeting on Sunday mornings upstairs above the office area, the Joy in Glory class is preparing to undertake a new study beginning June 14th. Led by Jeremiah Rizzo, the class will focus on worship, specifically corporate worship on Sunday morning.

            The notion of pursuing God in corporate worship will be explored. Also, the role of desire for and delight in God in corporate worship.

            Each week some key truths from John Piper’s Gravity and Gladness seminar will be highlighted. The class will study the scriptures together to see what the Bible says regarding these worship truths.

            The class is interactive, so come join in the learning and discussing. All ages are welcome to participate in the class.

Ready for a Berry Good Time!

            What happens the second Saturday of June every year? The Leidy’s Church annual Strawberry Festival! It began decades ago as a fund-raiser for our softball team. Many other projects and causes have been supported since then. On top of it, all kinds of people have had a berry good time in preparing for it, working at it, eating at it, talking with friends at it, and keeping an eye out for passing thunderstorms from time to time!

            With no particular agenda, the Strawberry Festival allows individuals and families from throughout our area to drop by for good food, good fellowship, and some diversions from the cares of life. Be certain to invite some of your friends and neighbors!

            Here are the details for 2015:

Date: Saturday, June 13th

Time: from 4 to 8 pm

Format: eat inside or outside or get carry out

Cost: very reasonable

Menu items: BBQ, hotdogs, baked beans, sauerkraut, potato salad

Not to be forgotten: Strawberries, ice cream, and assorted homemade cakes and desserts

            Volunteer forms are in the bulletin and on the narthex desk. We need lots of folk to help make the potato salad, lots of strawberry cleaners and cutters, some good cashiers, plenty of setter-uppers and taker-downers, ice cream dippers, kitchen help, and just plain old helpers. Join in the fun of volunteering!

            This year the funds generated from the Strawberry Festival will go toward SLMT ’15, so eat hearty and invite others to join you.

AFTER 12

The College & Career Ministry of Leidy’s Church will be going on their Third Annual  Camping Retreat Friday, June 12th to Sunday, June 14th to Assateague State Park in Maryland. If interested please let Jim Foote know ASAP (jimfoote67@hotmail.com or 215-997-6978). Check out our “After 12” Facebook page or contact Jim Foote for more details. Friends Welcome!

First Sunday of June =  All Church Picnic at Men-O-Lan

            Almost before you finish reading this Newsletter — and there will be plenty of you who will read this too late! – the All Church Picnic at Men-O-Lan happens. In fact, the weekend after this Newsletter is published is the weekend of the picnic. Here are some things to remember:

  • On June 7th the 8 am service still takes place at church. There is no Sunday School, and the other service of worship begins at 10:30 at a delightfully shady grove on a creek bank at Men-O-Lan.
  • The meal is prepared/provided by Men-O-Lan. Each of us is asked to bring a dessert to share. Service ware and drinks are provided.
  • Volunteers are needed to help with all the tasks, so sign-up and show up.
  • Bring along your athletic equipment, fishing gear, and favorite relaxing chair. The fish will be biting, the softballs soaring, and mid-afternoon somnolence attacking.
  • The service of worship will conclude with a baptismal service at the swimming pool.
  • All the resources of the Camp Men-O-Lan will be available for our use: hiking trails, volleyball courts, swings, slides, merry-go-rounds, row boats, ropes courses, fishing pond, ball fields, and plenty of shade trees to go around.
  • You’re welcome to help defray the costs. Though hard to believe, the use of the camp is not free! Use a Second Mile envelope and mark it “Picnic.”
  • Help with the pick-up and clean-up.
  • The pool will be open in the afternoon beginning at 1 pm.
  • Rain or shine the event will go on. Provisions are available for indoor worship and other activities.
  • You may stay the whole day or be there for just a bit. It’s up to you.

Women’s Ministry  

Monday Bible Study – Hope Lives

            A new study begins June 8th at 6:45 pm in Room 16.  Hope lives, and that hope is personified in Jesus Christ. We can offer that hope to our world, but we are also to help relieve the pain and suffering so prevalent in our world.  Join us on a  journey into the heart of Jesus. A journey that transforms hearts. A journey in which the words of God are proclaimed and the works of God are done. A journey of restoration. Hope Lives, is a five week DVD and devotional series.

            If you have questions or want to order the devotional companion to the series, contact Sandy Nase at 215-669-1421. 

Summer Opportunities

            This summer our Children’s Ministry is providing two opportunities for our children to connect with GOD and fellow believers. Join us for one or both events – whatever suits your family’s schedule. 

POWER PLAY CAMP

Every Wednesday June 24 – July 29

            A weekly event for children who have completed the 1st through 6th grades and want to come and fellowship with their church friends during the summer. Every Wednesday morning from 9- noon the children will play games (water ones too), do crafts, and learn how to walk in a way that pleases the Lord Jesus Christ, through memory verses and the wonderful examples that He has placed in His word. Can we walk like Moses walked for God or how about like David? The morning will end with a light lunch in the Fellowship Hall for all. Registrations are on the Christian Ed table in the Narthex. Volunteers are needed to help oversee the different activities… Rec Leader, Kitchen Help, Infant Care Workers, Bible Study Leaders, Craft Leaders, Etc.

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL

“WALK THIS WAY!”

Every evening from 6 – 8:30 p.m.  – August 2-6

            This traditional VBS program is for children who have completed the 1st through 6th grades.  Every night they will play games, do crafts, and learn how to walk in a way that pleases the Lord Jesus Christ, through memory verses and the wonderful examples of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Registrations are on the Christian Ed table in the Narthex. Volunteers are needed to help oversee the different activities… Rec Leader, Kitchen Help, Infant Care Workers, Bible Study Leaders, Craft Leaders, etc. Please note: a light supper will be offered every night from 5:30 – 6:00 for all children and adults. Thursday, August 6 will be our closing program so mark your calendars!

            Do you like to be creative and make things beautiful? Come help the Christian Ed Committee decorate our SS wings for this summer’s theme… JUNE 6, 9-noon – all ages welcome – pizza following!

***AS ALWAYS — A PROGRAM HAS BEEN PLANNED FOR THE CHILDREN, TODDLER THROUGH KINDERGARTEN, OF THOSE FAMIILES THAT REGULARLY ATTEND LEIDY”S CHURCH OR WHO ARE HELPING OUT WITH OUR PROGRAM.

“Let us go to the mountain of the Lord, and He will teach us of His ways,

and we will walk in His paths.”  ~ Isaiah 2:3

Congrats to Grads!

            It’s June and that means graduations and all the celebratory events connected thereto. Leidy’s Church extends hearty congratulations to the graduates in our midst. May the Lord Jesus guide and protect and bless your pathway forward. Here’s the list as we have it:

Graduating from local high schools

            Gabrielle Sedares will pick up her field hockey sticks and head from Souderton Area High School to Arcadia University to major in Physical Therapy (will she practice on field hockey strains and bruises?). Her parents are Pete and April Sedares.

            Daniel Merritt, son of Ken and Connie, began high school in Ukraine but is graduating high school from Central Bucks West. His continued growth as a US citizen takes place at Bucks County Community College where he plans to begin this fall.

            Joseph Thompson has completed all the work to graduate from the Mustard Seed Christian Home School. The son of Carl and Jerri, he is already working, but considering a particular trade as he moves forward.

            Angela Caserta leaves Pennridge High School with many happy memories. The daughter of John and Debbie, she will be matriculating this fall at West Chester University to major in Marketing with a minor in Spanish.

            Jessica Ziegler bids fond adieu to the halls and hockey fields of Souderton Area High School as she follows her sister to West Chester University where she’ll major in Occupational Therapy and play field hockey. Tim and Melinda are her parents.

            Nick Sciacca is the youngest son of Joe and Karen. He’s graduating from Faith Christian Academy. He’s making the most of his time while waiting for the Lord to lead him to his next step in life.

            Mitchell Fretz has played his last game for Upper Perk High School. He’s both glad and sad, as are his parents Brett and Jacqui. Mitchell’s plans are still being made at the moment.

            Seth Brunner is the youngest of Ted and Wanda’s kids. Having finished up at Faith Christian Academy, Seth will bounce the ball down the road to Cairns University. He will be playing basketball for them, while enjoying the benefits of a Leadership and Academic scholarship.

            Jaclyn Parry designed her graduation from Souderton Area High School to include many pleasant memories. This fall she heads to Philadelphia University for more graphic undertakings as she majors in Graphic Design. Her parents are Jack and Karen.

            Nicole Tyson is cutting a fashionable figure as she exits the hallways of Pennridge High School for the campus of Albright University in Reading. Her parents, Glen and Rachel, think she has chosen well to major in Fashion Merchandising.

Graduating from Colleges and Graduate Schools

            Karli Weiss received a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, with a minor in Non-Profit Management and Spanish from Gordon College in Massachusetts. The wife of Kevin Weiss, she is working for The Pregnancy Resource Center of North Penn.

            Ellen Hill has finished all the work for her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Gwynedd Mercy College. She will continue to work (for a higher salary?) at the Telford Lutheran Community.

            Josh Brown stayed on at Arcadia University and now has an MBA in Global Business. The son of Gary and Karen, he is enhancing his degree with some travel time in Europe.

            Pam Kirkpatrick has calculated her way to a Master’s degree in Mathematics from Lehigh University. She’s going to continue at Lehigh as she pursues doctoral studies. Dave and Marcy are adding up how much time she’s been in school!

            Natalie Guerreiro graduated from Murray State University with a BS in Animal Health. Her parents, Mario and Debbie, soon may be making trips to Alabama as she is interning in Huntsville and interviewing for a teaching position.

            Anthony Sciacca is the oldest son of Joe and Karen. He recently received his Associates Degree from Bucks County Community College. He plans to pursue a degree in Exercise Physiology.

            Megan Brown is at work in Paoli, PA, for real pay! The daughter of Gary and Karen, she walked the aisle at Hawk Hill with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from St. Joseph’s University.

            Bryan Ziegler now possesses a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and is sifting through job offers. His degree is from Widener University. This is not shocking to his parents, Tim and Melinda.

            Lindsay Walbrandt, the eldest offspring of Dave and Allison, earned a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from Lock Haven University. She’s ready and waiting to be hired.

            Joel Gehman found the formula for getting a degree in Chemistry from Lee University in Cleveland, TN: do the work. Now he’s home, ready and willing to work. Dana and Barb are his parents.

            Collin Parry graduated from the Naval Academy and received his commission as an officer in the U.S. Navy. The son of Jack and Karen, he is headed down to Charleston, SC, for nuclear school with eventual destination intended to be service on a submarine. He’s down with that deal.

SLMT Update

            The 2015 edition of SLMT continues to shift around a bit. Some participants have had to drop out and others have been added. Flights in the north country are coming at a premium this year. It’s amazing how few planes can land on and take-off from short, gravel runways! We’re glad we know folk who have some such planes.

            Two things are not shifting: 1) need for support; 2) need for training.

            Each person making the trek northward needs financial and prayer support. One just doesn’t pick up and go to eight hours north of International Falls, MN. It costs some bucks. Likewise, it is a challenging spiritual trip as well. Each SLMT participant needs prayer supporters. So, if someone approaches you about supporting them for SLMT, please give them your best consideration. If no one asks you about support, but you want to support someone, let the church office or pastoral staff know. Someone will soon be speaking with you.

            SLMT VBS Training also is essential. It is the means by which the VBS workers become familiar with the curriculum they’ll be using in Pikangikum and Sandy Lake. Here are the details for that training:

Date: Tuesday evening, June 30th

Time: 7 pm to about 9 pm

Location: Fellowship Hall

Participants: All SLMT VBS volunteers

            This is a required training session. New curriculum will be introduced, assignments confirmed, and many details tweaked. Oh, there may be a snack or two also.

            Keep all the SLMT ’15 team in your thoughts and prayers.

 Holy Lands Ministries Banquet

            Usually the Holy Lands Ministries fund raising banquet is in the early fall. Not so for 2015. It is slated for Friday evening, June 26th. It will be held at the Conestoga Mennonite Church on route 23 in Morgantown. The banquet begins at 6:15.

            The banquet is early this year because June 26th is the only date that suits for Gregg and Rawda Doolittle to be present. Administrators of the Christian schools at Hebron and Bethlehem, the Doolittles have lots to share.

            A Tale of Two Cities is the theme for the banquet. God is at work in an area of the world that is brimming with controversy, an area that needs “the light of Jesus” to shine. That is what’s happening both at Hebron and at the new school in Bethlehem.

            Tickets for the buffet banquet are $15 each, or $115 for a table of eight. Contact the church office by June 15th if you would like tickets.

Words from Egypt

            This year’s 30 Pieces of Silver offering was sent to the Church Without Walls congregation in Egypt. It has been a tough time for members of that congregation over the past several years. Simply for being a Christian there are many doors closed to them vocationally and socially. Encouragement in any form is a blessing to them.

            Anees Zaka forwarded to us the following message from them:

            Peace to you from our Lord Jesus Christ. We are thankful for your prayers and generous gifts which we have received. It was shared with our people for food, medical needs, and clothing. As I gave to each one his/her portion of it, I saw their tears and heard their word of thanks for your church which gave, prayed, and cared for them. We are touched by your love. We are staying in our homeland as a light of Jesus in Egypt. We pray for you too.

The message was signed by Elder Nabeel.

            As Rev. Zaka skyped with Elder Nabeel he mentioned the commission and benediction used at Leidy’s Church each Sunday. Elder Nabeel asked for a copy (translated into Arabic by Anees) and says they will use it every Sunday also. He wants to remind them that Christians in America are praying for them and care for them as they face death on a daily basis.

Within the Fellowship

            Congratulations to Jim and Angela Kinney at the birth of a daughter, Mallory Beth; to Dave and Maxine Parfitt at the birth of a son, Atticus William Albert, and to Dustin and Ashley Doran at the birth of a son, Clayton William. May God be with these families as they grow in Him.

            Congratulations to Matt and Kate Harris at the dedication of their son, Harlo Locke, and Nate & Bekah Kulp at the baptism of their son, Noah James.  May the Lord be with them as they grow in Him.

Keeping Up with the Laws

            The Child Abuse Laws of PA are much more stringent in 2015. All volunteers working with any aged children must have certain state background checks and clearances. Leidy’s Church is required to be in compliance with this new legislation. That means all our volunteers and staff who work with kids from birth through 18 years of age will have to get clearances.

            To help walk folk through that process – and it’s not that hard – two information sessions will be offered. Everyone is encouraged to attend one of them.

            Sunday morning option: June 14th during SS in the Fellowship Hall

            Monday evening option: June 15th from 7 to 8 pm in the Fellowship Hall

            Each session will last about 45 to 50 minutes with time for questions and answers. We’ll find out the legal background for these changes, the spiritual basis for this, and how it will be handled at Leidy’s Church. The bulk of the time, however, will help us walk through the steps of each clearance.

            If you’re involved in any aspect of working with kids at Leidy’s Church – from baby sitting to teaching to SS helper to youth advisor to you name it – you should be at one of these sessions.

            These session will bring clarity to a confused situation! Make sure you’re there!

Mandated Reporter Training

            BMCE is sponsoring a three-hour Mandated Reporter training seminar. It will be conducted by NOVA of Bucks County. This training is required for some who work with youth and children, and recommended for all. There is no charge to attend the session. Here are the details:

Date: Thursday, June 25th

Time: 6 to 9 pm

Location: Leidy’s Church

Cost: There is no charge

            Under new PA legislation, all volunteers who work with any age children from birth through 18 are Mandated Reporters for child abuse and neglect. While all are Mandated Reporters, not all required to take this training, yet all will be held accountable for the standards the training teaches. Hence it makes sense for all to take it regardless of the requirements.

Consistory Notes

            The Consistory of Leidy’s Church met on the evening of May 6th. It was a lovely spring evening which they enjoyed in the Conference Room! Below are some salient points from that meeting:

  • Devotions dealt with the theme of glorifying God. Scott Rittenhouse used the analogy of pruning his fruit trees so they will produce more fruit. Likewise, God works His pruning work on us so that we might glorify Him more fully. Psalm 86 was read aloud with its heart cry from David for God’s work in his life so that he might glorify Him more.
  • It was noted with thanksgiving that at the end of April the General Fund was again in the black after a couple of months being in the red. Praise the Lord!
  • Glen Tyson reported on the building project. Site work is being intensified with asphalt soon to be applied to the parking lot. This will generate a marked increase in expenditures along with the escalation of work for the building trades. So far all the bills have been paid from our Building Fund, but that may change over the summer months.
  • The bid from the Spinnaker Company to design and install the components for the sound system, projection capabilities, and other electronic components was accepted. This is a larger figure than originally anticipated, though some of it will be offset by savings in other line items.
  • Proceeds from this year’s Strawberry Festival will go to the Stormer Lake Mission Trip. This will help augment the proceeds from the Auction and the funds raised by SLMT participants. It will be very helpful!
  • The stained glass committee plans to have a report/proposal for the June meeting.
  • The options committee has completed the preliminary study regarding what to do with the current facility. It is their recommendation to abandon consideration of mothballing the facility, but to begin discussions with other congregations or para-church ministries that would be interested in renting part or all of the facility. Any agreement would be on a yearly basis, so that adjustments can be made if necessary. The committee recommended the sale of the facility not be considered for a couple of years so that we can see whether or not we will have need of it down the road.
  • With great gratitude the Consistory was informed of a gift of almost $7,500 from Freedom Community Church. That congregation has dissolved and in disseminating its assets chose Leidy’s Church as one of three beneficiaries. A letter of thanks has been sent to the Chairman of the Elder Board of Freedom Community Church.
  • The proposed part-time pastoral staff information specialist position was discussed at length. Jeremiah Rizzo was present to comment on the feasibility of the itemized position responsibilities. It was a long, but very helpful discussion. Further refining of the position will need to take place. It was agreed that seeking to provide a much enhanced, user-friendly, resource rich, easily managed/updated website is desirable.
  • An open slot for Deacon occurs this year, so the nomination process was followed: reading from 1 Tim. 3:8-13, followed by listing of potential nominees, refining the list, and then having the names pulled by lot from a Bible in order to determine the order in which they would be asked to consider being nominated. Outgoing Deacon John DiLenge will make the appropriate contact(s) and report back next month.

            After a time of focused intercessory prayer, the meeting was adjourned at 10:11 by the unison praying of the Lord’s Prayer.

The Westminster Larger Catechism

            One of the documents produced by the Westminster Assembly back in the day, was this Larger Catechism. Not as well-known as the Shorter Catechism, it sets out in some detail vital elements of the Christian faith. It’s not easy reading, but it’s worthwhile reading.

The Westminster Larger Catechism

What Man Ought to Believe Concerning God

  1. How many persons are there in the Godhead?

            Answer: There be three persons in the Godhead: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one, true, eternal God; the same in substance, equal in power and glory; although distinguished by their personal properties.

  1. What are the personal properties of the three persons in the Godhead?

            Answer: It is proper to the Father to beget the Son, and to the Son to be begotten of the Father, and to the Holy Spirit to proceed from the Father and the Son from all eternity.

  1. How does it appear that the Son and the Holy Spirit are God equal with the Father?

            Answer: The scriptures manifest that the Son and the Holy Spirit are God equal with the Father, ascribing to them such names, attributes, works, and worship as are proper to God only.

  1. What are the decrees of God?

            Answer: God’s decrees are the wise, free, and holy acts of the counsel of his will, whereby, from all eternity he has, for his own glory, unchangeably foreordained whatsoever comes to pass in time, especially concerning angels and men.

  1. What has God especially decreed concerning angels and men?

            Answer: God, by an eternal and immutable decree, out of his mere love, for the praise of his glorious grace, to be manifested in due time, has elected some angels to glory; and in Christ has chosen some men to eternal life, and the means thereof; and also, according to his sovereign power, and the unsearchable counsel of his own will, (whereby he extends or withholds favor as he pleases,) has passed by and foreordained the rest to dishonor and wrath, to be for their sin inflicted, to the praise of the glory of his justice.

  1. How does God execute his decrees?

            Answer: God executes his decrees in the works of creation and providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will.

  1. What is the work of creation?

            Answer: The work of creation is that wherein God did in the beginning, by the word of his power, make of nothing the world and things therein, for himself, with the space of six days, and all very good.

  1. How did God create angels?

            Answer: God created all the angels, spirits, immortal, holy, excelling in knowledge, mighty in power, to execute his commandments, and to praise his name, yet subject to change.

  1. How did God create man?

            Answer: After God had made all other creatures, he created man, male and female; formed the body of the man of the dust of the ground, and the woman of the rib of the man, endued them with living, reasonable, and immortal souls; made them after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness; having the law of God written in their hearts, and power to fulfill it, and dominion over the creatures; yet subject to fall.

June Ministries

Lay Visitors:

7th       Marge VanOmmeren

14th     Norm & Donna Weiss

21st      Pearl Walter

28th     Randy & Cathy Annis

Tape Ministry:                                    

7th       Men-O-Lan

14th     Fern Vasey

21st      Pearl Walter

28th     Diane Weber

Acolytes:                 8:00                              10:45

21st                  Collin Radcliff              Micah Griffith

Greeters                        8:00                                                    10:45

7th                   Mabel Eisenhauer  & Gail Constanzer   Picnic @ Men-O-Lan

14th                 Rock & Astrid Rau                                     Delton & Laurie Plank

21st                  Scott & Sherise Rittenhouse                   Les & Bonnie Pross

28th                 Ken & Wanda Ritter                                Dave & Lorraine Reich

Ushers:

  8:00   John DiLenge, Brett Fretz, Mitchell Fretz, Landon Shoemaker, Sam Shoemaker, Ron Moyer

10:45    Rich Kapusta, Merritt Coale, Owen Lockman, Jonathan Parfitt, Peter Walbrandt, Alex Wilwert.

The A/V Booth technicians for June are Tony Kapusta, Jim Smedbergh

The Emergency Committee for June is Terry & Darlene Leidy, Melinda Ziegler.