Pat and I recently concluded a harrowing experience! Because we use the St. James Daily Devotional Guide for our morning devotions, we spent three weeks reading through the book of Judges. That book has 21 chapters and a chapter was assigned each day so it took three weeks to read it.
Judges is a book that gets off to a gloomy start and then darkens as it goes along! It has its brighter moments such as the triumphs of Gideon, but those bright spots soon are clouded over by the subsequent failures of the hero. Gideon, you remember, took the gold obtained from his victories and made it into an ephod, and placed it in his city . . . and all Israel played the harlot with it there, so that it became a snare to Gideon and his household. [8:27]
The very last verse of Judges describes the problem that plagued the Israelites during that period of their history: In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. [21:25] It wasn’t that God wanted them to have kings instead of judges; rather His design was that He should be recognized and honored as King throughout that land.
One of the primary functions of a king is to set out the rules by which those under his authority are to live, that is, to establish the moral and ethical boundaries of behavior. That’s exactly what God did during the journey from Egyptian bondage to the Promised Land. The Israelites knew what they were supposed to do, but they wanted to do other things! Does that have a familiar ring to it or what?!
It should have a familiar ring to it because one could use those same words to describe the situation in the United States today. Though we have a solid (but by no means perfect) moral and ethical heritage, it seems as though we’re intent on disavowing it and instituting in its place a “do as you will” ethic. If something seems right in your eyes, then go ahead and do it.
Back on the first Sunday of September during the course of the sermon I read a statement that I said reflected the reigning idolatry in our land today. Here is what I read:
At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.
That’s pretty heady stuff! Each of us can declare what life is all about, what it is that makes anything meaningful, what the universe is meant to be, and what it is that makes humans human. Sounds pretty good. What could possibly go wrong by adopting this perspective? Let’s just follow our hearts and all will be well!
Except that it doesn’t work that way. Instead, society slowly unravels and chaos ensues. The statement I read comes from the 1992 Supreme Court decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. That decision upheld the right to abortion, saying that choosing to have an abortion is part of the liberties guaranteed in the Constitution.
It is instructive to compare the biblical teaching about the human heart with that espoused by the Supreme Court and much of contemporary society.
Consider these words the Lord spoke through Jeremiah: Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from the Lord . . . [for] the heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind. [Jer. 17:5,7]
Jesus spoke to this when He said, For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these things proceed from within and defile the man. [Mark 7:21-23] It would seem that Jesus is not quite so confident about our trusting in our hearts, following our hearts, thinking we have the final say on the important matters of life.
It is true; we must and will make decisions about basic matters of life. But, the basis for such decisions should be something other than our own opinions and heart reflections. Scripture speaks to this quite frankly: . . . remember all the commandments of the Lord, so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you played the harlot. [Num. 15:39] That’s good advice that acknowledges we need to make life decisions, but that we need sound teaching to direct our decisions.
I mentioned above that society slowly unravels when the perspective enshrined in that 1992 Supreme Court decision holds sway. Society unraveling is an apt description of what’s taken place since 1992. The Supreme Court continues to issue decisions that shatter our previous ethical foundations. In each instance the statement about “the heart of liberty” from the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision is quoted as a supporting argument.
Now we’ve come to the place, seemingly, where each person can decide whether he really is a she or she really is a he! Scholastic Publishers just released a novel about George, a boy who knows he’s a girl. Targeted for middle school use, George decides to let his family and friends know about his feelings by auditioning for the part of Charlotte in his school’s production of Charlotte’s Web.
It’s beginning to feel a lot like . . . the book of Judges. With eyes wide open, leaders in our society find many ways to direct adults and kids down this destructive path, including publishing novels designed to disturb their souls by telling them they might be what they’re not.
October is the time when we remember the Reformation. It was on the 31st of October in 1517 that Martin Luther issued his 95 Theses that called into question the reigning views of his day. He did so not by an appeal to his heart, but by an appeal to Word of God. We are in a similar situation. Christians must stand against the reigning views of our day.
We do so by pointing to and telling about the One who is King! Yes, there is a King. Just as there was in the day of the Judges. He’s always been and always will be the King! Will we see Him? Will we submit to Him?
In the book of James there is a remarkable statement: There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy. [4:12] Ultimately, only one Lawgiver. Ultimately, only one Judge. Hooray!
Yes, God is able to save folk even in the midst of days like ours. We do not look to the government to redeem people – we look to the Lord Jesus, the King of kings. He redeemed us and made us His own. With the apostle Paul, we joyfully proclaim, Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. [1 Tim. 1:17]
In the Joy of the Lord,
John HC Niederhaus
October Pulpit Schedule
4th – Seeing Clearly – Psalm 32; Matthew 7:7-11; Acts 10:1-8
Cornelius was a Roman centurion. As a matter of fact, it seems likely there were many Roman centurions named Cornelius, since both the name and the position were fairly common in the world of Rome. For the past 2,000 years, however, whenever someone speaks about a Roman centurion named Cornelius a specific and unique person is meant. We meet him today in our reading from Acts 10. His distinguishing trait, what set him apart from the rest, was that this Cornelius was seeking after God. He was found of God! He saw clearly what he was to do.
11th – Perplexing Clarity – Mark 8:27-33; 2 Corinthians 3:4-18; Acts 10:9-23a
Peter is in a quandary. He sees a vision from God, three times in a row! God speaks clearly about the vision and its meaning. Yet Peter finds himself perplexed about its application. This is not the first time – nor will it be the last – when Peter clearly hears from God and yet does not perceive all that is meant. As far as he can tell, it seems as though God is changing the rules. What previously had been forbidden by God must now be done at the command of God. Peter is clearly perplexed. Perhaps in his perplexity we can find some clarity in our understanding of God.
18th – A Set Up – Esther 4:4-17; Mark 6:17-29; Acts 10:23-33
Despite the happenstance appearance of so many of life’s details, the scriptures are clear that God is working His good will in the midst of it all. Our texts for today attest that such is the case. Though Esther does not know it, she is walking into a situation which God has orchestrated so that she can bring deliverance to His people. King Herod, on the other hand, thinks he has all things under control. He doesn’t. Instead, the content of his character is set to be tested. When Peter enters the home of Cornelius, it becomes apparent that it is a set up. God is good at set ups.
25th – Lord of All – Isaiah 45:18-25; Mark 1:1-8; Acts 10:34-48
When Peter made the good confession that Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus told Peter, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” At that point neither Peter nor any of the other disciples had a clue what that meant. Among other things that Jesus had in view when He spoke those words to Peter, were the events that take place in the home of Cornelius. Peter shares the gospel with a room full of Gentiles. An unprecedented act. But God acts in the midst of Peter’s preaching and a second, sort of mini-Pentecost occurs. Peter realizes Jesus is Lord of all.
From the Youth Pastor
A Judgement House Recommendation
Leidy’s Church is about to embark on a significant evangelistic outreach to share truth to the world in which we live. The outreach I’m referring to is called “Judgement House.” It is a dramatic presentation of the gospel through an everyday storyline that an audience gets to walks through. This presentation is a great way to share the truth about Christianity with the community, as it especially gives opportunity for those who do not believe in Jesus Christ to trust in Him. The outreach also provides a great serving opportunity for the youth and adults of the church to experience being involved in gospel outreach in multiple ways and capacities.
Some of us have served in Judgement House many times and it can easily become just “something we do”, and we run the risk of losing sight of the significant impact the experience has on “first timers”. It is good for us to think about what Judgement House is like for a non-church person experiencing it. Well, a couple of years ago a “non-Christian” guest to our Judgement House wrote about the experience online. I think it may be helpful for us to read his comments in anticipation of our outreach this year. The blogger “Scary Crayon” had the following to say in response to the presentation:
“…despite my disbelief in the overall message of the story — I was really impressed with the Judgement House production. I can very much see how it might be an effective evangelistic tool: if not for converting agnostic/atheist attendees, then for strengthening the commitment of Sunday morning Christians. The drama effectively touched on the struggles of some teens (which could apply to people of all ages) and noted how lives can be tragically cut short in an instant, but all of the characters — even Lisa and her girlfriend — had some admitted belief in, if not complete devotion to, the Christian God. Lisa even noted that she just wanted to have fun now, in her youth, and commit herself fully later on. Accordingly, for Christians who share that line of thinking, seeing the need to dedicate oneself to Jesus now (especially given that that later day might never come) might actually prompt that desired response.
For someone who doesn’t believe in the God of the Bible or Christ the Savior — and who finds stereotypical depictions of Hell and Heaven to be sort of ridiculous (though fun and potentially interesting as fictional settings) — I doubt the production will elicit a religious commitment. Even so, if you’ve ever been the least bit fascinated by a Chick tract or thought about any of the haunted house or theater-related ideas discussed in this article (I’m not a theater person, so those with a background in the area might be well familiar with what I’ve only pondered), I strongly recommend checking out a Judgement House production. It’ll let you observe a compelling human drama, it’ll take you on a journey through Hell and Heaven… and it’ll urge you to decide where you’ll spend eternity (if you believe in that sort of thing). If nothing else, it’ll be an excellent conversation topic”.
In an age where many Christians struggle to engage non-Christians with their belief, here is an instance where an unbelieving person isn’t offended by Christian truth, but where he actually welcomes it as an “excellent conversation topic”. I’m taken back that a non-Christian blogger even recommends Judgement House to his readership circle (a challenge for us Christians to do likewise).
As we anticipate another year of Judgement House I think we should be encouraged by this “outsider” perspective, for it shows that people who have no church background are interested and willing to talk about things of a spiritual nature when given the opportunity. Who could you recommend Judgement House to this year? Let’s pray that Judgement House will again produce many interactions like the one above, but let’s also pray that it won’t stop at conversations but will lead to conversions. Amen
Within the Fellowship
Congratulations to Andrew and Carly (Hughes) Camuso who were united in Christian marriage. May God be with them as they begin their life together in Him.
Congratulations to Blaine and Nicole Moyer at the dedication of their daughter, Annalee Faith. May the Lord be with them as they grow in Him.
Our sincere Christian sympathy to Karen Parry and family at the death of her father, and to the four daughters and their families at the death of their father Jim Nunan. May God be with them at this time.
The week of October 12th is when our Fellowship Hall and surroundings are transformed with all the donated items we receive, and our community is invited to shop for their family wardrobes, linens, jewelry, books, toys, household items, and much more!
Many workers are needed. On Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. items are unpacked and arranged. On Wednesday (9 a.m.-8 p.m.) and Thursday (9 a.m.-6 p.m.) sale days we need friendly workers to bag items, serve as cashiers, and straighten items as many shoppers come to make their purchases. On Thursday at 6 p.m. we need willing hands and strong backs to transform our facilities back for ministry before Sunday. Mary Beth Musselman has a schedule she needs to fill, so be sure to speak with her if you can be plugged in at any time to help.
The funds raised at the Big “R” are disbursed where needed at Leidy’s Church and in our community by Ladies of Leidy’s. It’s a big undertaking, and with your help we can make it another great event.
This year we will go from whimpy to strong with Bible lessons based upon the “Diary of a Whimpy Kid”. Our first four weeks will focus on “Learning to be a kid who follows God.”
Every Wednesday, beginning October 21st through December 9th from 5-7:30 p.m. all children kindergarten through 6th grade are invited to come together for crafts, games, singing, and Bible lessons. We always finish up our evening with a time of fellowship around the dinner table with table parents and teens from our congregation – our Kids Klub families.
On October 21st a Kids Klub Family Night is planned. The theme is “Fall in love with following God!” The whole family is welcome to attend.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
What is Judgement House? A dramatic scene-by-scene portrayal of real-life type events that follows individuals as they deal with conflict, temptation, and the Gospel of Christ.
Who is it for? Though instructive and valuable for everyone, Judgement House is particularly designed to set forth the necessity of Christian faith for those who doubt its truth, or have not heard it.
Where and when will it be presented? It can be seen at Leidy’s Church during the last two weekends of October. Reservations are now being scheduled for Judgement House. A special night for members of Leidy’s Church is planned for Friday evening, October 23rd. Be sure to contract the church office to schedule your tour as soon as possible. Then on October 24, 25, 30, 31, and November 1 we open to the public. Tours begin each evening at 6 pm and are scheduled every 15 minutes through 9 pm.
This year’s Judgement House storyline follows the life of a young man named Noah Nelson. Despite the biblical background of his name, Noah is a teen who follows the ways of the world rather than the ways of God. He’s into the party scene. He can be an obnoxious bully. But God is God and He brings about changes in Noah’s life. By God’s grace Noah experiences the joy of new birth in Christ. Though a joy to Noah, some of those around Noah are less than happy about Noah’s conversion. His mom has questions, his friends have questions. Has Noah really been changed? Well, the title of the drama is Changed. As guests walk through the various scenes it will become clear who has changed and who has not changed. Also, all will become aware that a big change is coming!
Tours last approximately one hour. Individual or group reservations are strongly suggested, though walk-ins will be accommodated. To make a reservation, call the church office at 215-723-8707. The suggested donation is $3. Invite your friends!
As is usually the case, the presentation of Changed is not handicapped accessible. All tour participants need to be able to navigate stairways.
Remember, It’s October
Jesus spoke the words, “Do this in remembrance of Me” when He instituted the Lord’s Supper. For centuries churches have varied on how they understand the Lord’s Supper, how it should be observed, and how often it should be observed. For the past half century of so, though, churches around the world have concurred to observe the first Sunday of October as World Communion Sunday, a day when all Christian churches serve the Lord’s Supper. Leidy’s Church joins with other churches on October 4th to remember the Lord Jesus in the Lord’s Supper.
But October does not end on such a unifying note. Many Protestant churches observe the final Sunday of October as Reformation Sunday. This is to commemorate Martin Luther’s posting of his 95 Theses on the Wittenberg church door, usually considered the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. That happened back in 1517, or 498 years ago. Leidy’s Church will remember that history on the last Sunday of October, the 25th.
Brochures and sign-up sheets are posted on the narthex board for the following two local events:
v Iron Sharpens Iron for Women @ Calvary Souderton, Saturday, October 10.
v Women in the Word Workshop in Willow Grove on October 16 and 17
A sign-up is also posted for the Answers for Women Conference to be held in April of 2016 at the Creation Museum in Kentucky. The super early bird discount deadline is November 1st, and price includes conference, lunch Saturday, and 2-day museum admission. Travel, lodging, and food costs are to be determined.
Prayer Meeting Scheduled
Join the ladies on Tuesday, October 13th, at 7 pm in Room 18 (the Youth Room) as they gather to seek God and His will for our lives as well as for our households, families, and church family. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will see Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
Women’s Sunday School
A new 12-week DVD/discussion series using Unlocking the Mysteries of Genesis from ICR begins on October 4th at 9:30 in Room 19. This series supports a biblical worldview with scientific evidence and answers the most controversial questions of faith and science, providing the answers we need when what we believe is being challenged. Lorraine Kroesser facilitates the class.
Marvelous Monarch Butterfly Program
Tuesday evening October 6th Ladies of Leidy’s is presenting a program from 7-8 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. David and Audrey Harding will be presenting the program about their work to care for and preserve Monarch Butterflies. They have been raising Monarch butterflies at their home in Souderton since 2001, and have been sharing about their work in many places throughout the United States, and have even gone to Mexico to release some of their butterflies. Their goal is to stimulate interest in people of all ages to appreciate this beautiful creation of God, and to educate children and adults about how to support and help provide the best plants and environments to benefit these butterflies.
You are all invited to join us. Bring your whole family – young and old, male and female. Even your friends and neighbors are welcome to come & enjoy the beautiful visuals they will share.
Missionaries Coming & Going
Leidy’s Church is blessed to be able to provide housing for missionaries as they are on furlough or in transition or other sets of life circumstances. It’s been a full season for missionary housing in 2015.
The church planting family of Duncan and Shay Forbes enjoyed the coming in of the New Year in the Mission House. Along with their three children, they stayed until mid-February before returning to the projects of London. By the way, Shay gave birth to a daughter back in June.
Jared and Abby Alleman along with their three children were in the Mission House from mid-March to mid-August. In a transitional time with Cru, the Allemans are now serving at Cru headquarters in Orlando.
The Allemans had a special situation, so the Yagilnickys who usually are in the Mission House relocated to the apartment above the parsonage garage from March to August.
The Yagilnickys moved back to the Mission House just in time for Dave and Sonya DeFazio and their two boys to move into the apartment. Due to leave for permanent appointment with World Team to the Philippines at the end of November, the DeFazios sold their Quakertown home and needed a place to lay their collective heads. It’s good to report they are enjoying resting their heads at the parsonage apartment.
In early October a missionary couple serving in India with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod will be in the Mission House for about two and half weeks. Brian and Barbara S. need a place to stay while helping their UPenn graduate student son prepare for his wedding in mid October.
Soon after the S. depart the Mission House, Clay and Becky Walter with their three children will arrive! Serving with Mission Aviation Fellowship, the Walter family has been at MAF headquarters in Idaho for the past three years. They have received a new assignment beginning in 2016, namely to Papua, New Guinea. They will be in the Mission House from the end of October to the end of December.
With the exception of the S., all the missionary families mentioned above have their home roots here in southeastern PA and are among the missionaries we support via our mission budget and our prayers. We thank the Lord Jesus for calling them to go and for enabling us to help.
In the event you’re looking for a tour to take next summer, here’s some information that may be of interest to you.
Pastor Scott Nice of Christ Reformed Church at Indian Creek is leading a Reformation Tour in June of 2016. It is a ten day tour visiting many of the most illustrious sites from the Reformation era: from Wittenberg to Wartburg to Leipzig to Zurich to Berne to Geneva.
There also is a pre-tour extension to Belgium where the 100th anniversary of the Great War will be observed as well as many sites of solemn and historic significance.
Informational brochures with pertinent details are available from the Leidy’s Church office or you may call Pastor Nice at 215-723-4524.
Opportunities to Grow
Why are there adult Sunday School classes? Answer: in order to give opportunity for adults to grow in their Christian faith. Such growth may occur intellectually, relationally, spiritually, practically, or some combination thereof. At Leidy’s Church we want adults to experience ongoing growth and maturity in their Christian life.
Here are the options for Adult Sunday School this fall at Leidy’s Church. Make it your goal to get involved in one of these classes and grow in your life of faith.
- The Issues and Answers class will be doing The Family Project, a 12 week course from Focus on the Family. Dave Reich will lead this class. Each week will feature a 25 to 30 minute video presentation, followed by discussion and how the truths taught might be applied to life. God’s design for the family is a reflection of His own nature, and is part of the fabric of the universe. Our culture has lost a lot of wisdom about the family and this course is designed to help us recover, renew, and reclaim God’s design for the family. This class meets in the Fellowship Hall.
- Women’s Sunday School is led by Lorraine Kroesser and her allies. Meeting in room 19 in the basement of the new wing, this perennially popular class is working through some materials from the Institute for Creation Research. That means this class is taking an in-depth look at issues relating to creation and some of the controversies that entails. The series is titled Unlocking the Mysteries of Genesis and will address the intersection of faith and science. There will be ample time for comment and discussion each week. Here’s a class that will help you grow.
- Focused Bible Study is a thorough study of a particular book of the Bible. For as long as we can remember this class has been led by Pastor Steve Myers. It is a class where participants grow in knowledge of the Bible and in personal application of the text to one’s life. Over a year ago the class began working its way through the book of Genesis. Now they are studying their way through Joseph’s reign as Pharaoh’s vice-regent in Egypt and the prayers and blessings that mark the end of Jacob’s life, as he dies in Egypt and is buried in the Land of Promise.
- Joy & Glory really is the name of a Sunday School class! Meeting in room 20 of the upper educational wing, Jeremiah Rizzo is the teacher/leader of this class. This fall the class will be working through a yet to-be-determined book of the Bible. Each week a text will be put on the board and the class will work through it together, asking questions of the text, seeking to understand the author’s intention, and asking how that text speaks into our lives. This is a very interactive class with a goal of coming away with more love for and joy in God and His Word.
- Recovering Redemption is an adult elective lasting 12 weeks. Dave Walbrandt leads this class, which will utilize a teaching series by Pastor Matt Chandler. Each week a video selection will initiate the teaching/discussion that takes place in the classroom. The aim of the class is to come to grips with the implications of the gospel – that it has the solutions for which we long. If you’ve been a Christian for years this course will help you connect the dots between salvation and maturity. If you’re a seeker or a new believer, it will provide essential insights. The class will meet in room 13 in the lower level.
That’s our lineup. Be intentional. Select a class. Attend regularly. Grow in your Christian walk.
Here’s Some Exciting News –
TLC Growth Groups are Meeting Again!
Summer time normally is the time when our growth group ministry at Leidy’s Church takes a break. It’s true that some of our growth groups chose to meet regularly over the summer months. They did not want to break up the rewarding times fellowship Bible study and prayer. However, most of our growth groups took the summer off or elected a more relaxed schedule due to summer vacations, sports team commitments, and shifting home or work schedules.
In any case, all of our small group ministries are resuming their normal schedules this fall. They usually meet twice a month. Some groups meet on weekday evenings, others on the weekend. Some have chosen to rotate their meeting place while others meet at the same host home. Some group leaders are already contacting members of Leidy’s Church that want to attend a Growth Group this fall. How about you? There are several groups ready to have new members join them. Some are restarting with new materials, new venues, even new meeting times and dates. So if you would like to participate in the Growth Group ministry, now is the time to contact the church office. We will help direct you to a growth group that best fits you and your schedule.
Thursday Evening Class
From time to time Leidy’s Church offers Thursday evening courses. Such is the case this fall. Pastor Niederhaus will lead a nine week class dealing with the topic of True Worshipers: Seeking What Matters to God.
In many parts of the Christian world the topic of worship is a matter of some controversy. How should worship be done? What constitutes authentic worship? How much does musical style affect worship? Can one worship without music? What should one understand about worship to understand it properly?
Actually, the title of the class is the title of the book the class will examine. It is written by Bob Kauflin, the director of Sovereign Grace Music. He has much experience with worship and some keen insights.
There is no video component to this class, but participants will need to have a copy of the book, so register with the church office and sufficient copies will be on hand. Each class session will last for one hour, beginning at 7:15 and ending at 8:15.
The class will begin on October 8th and conclude on December 10th.
It takes awhile to get anywhere these days. We have lots of roads, but we also have lots of cars and trucks. Traffic congestion can make your trip a lot longer.
Such is not the case when you’re riding in the Jet Stream! On September 13th balloons were launched by our Sunday School students from the top of the cemetery hill. The approximate time of release was 10:15, give or take a couple of minutes. We saw the balloons ascend high in the sky and head in a generally easterly direction. But where did they end up going?
Each balloon had a card attached to it. Lines were provided to record the date and time and place where the balloon was found. Finders were asked to mail the cards back to Leidy’s Church. So far this year, three cards have been returned. Here are the details:
- The card most recently found was that of Verity Edmonds on Saturday, the 19th of September. It was found near Woodstock, NY. Yes, that Woodstock! Apparently, the balloons may have started out going east, but soon headed north.
- Earlier that week, on Monday the 14th of September to be precise, the card of Jaedyn Rittenhouse was found. Likewise it was found in New York state. Jaedyn’s card was found near Palenville, NY. The finder indicated she was hiking in the Catskill Mountains. Palenville is located about ten miles north of Woodstock.
- But there was a card found earlier than Monday the 14th. Genevieve McVaugh’s card was found on the same day it was launched, Sunday the 13th. A nine year old boy named Jonathan was out four-wheeling with his family and found it at 4 o’clock that afternoon. His location was 700 Whittier Road near Derby Line, Vermont! In case you’re wondering, Derby Line is way north and a bit east of Woodstock. It is within spitting distance of Quebec. You cannot get there from Souderton in a car even on a Sunday morning in the six hours it took the balloon to get there. By air from Souderton it is 363 miles, while if you go by road it is 461 miles. That means the balloon had to average 60 miles an hour to be there by 4 pm.
Well, that’s speedy traveling! Guess we need to get in the jet stream if we want to speed things up. The father of the boy in Vermont included a phone number to call “if you have any questions about our find.” We did. We wanted to know if it was really Sunday the 13th when the balloon was found. Yes, it was. And it was right around 4 in the afternoon. We sent a fast-food thank you coupon speeding its way to Jonathan, but suspect it took longer than six hours to get there.
After a long summer’s off-season, the Consistory of Leidy’s Church came back together on 9th of September. The guys still remembered one another, so formal introductions were not necessary. Soon they had prayed, been exhorted from the Word, and got down to business. Below is a brief recapitulation of some of those items:
- Devotions were led by Ed Schmidt and focused on Witness and Work. It can be hard to witness at work, or other places within our sphere of influence. Ed told of ways he’s tried to be faithful at witnessing at work, though it’s easy to get discouraged. He encouraged the men to be dependent on God, do their work with integrity, and do Christian witness by word and deed when opportunity comes. Ed read from several passages of John’s gospel and then ended with a quote from a book by a missionary to New Guinea who overcame challenges far greater than anything we’re likely to face.
- Glen Tyson provided an update on the building project. Work on the inside is progressing rapidly. Stone facing will soon be applied to the exterior of the sanctuary. The frame for the stained glass window should be installed by the end of the month. Likewise, the steeple should be in place in the same time frame. Laying of the macadam has been delayed, but landscaping of the parking islands is underway.
- Reviewed the finances of the building project. If giving stopped right now, the anticipated mortgage to finish the project would amount to about $1.5 million. Change orders continue to happen.
- The Options Committee reported they have met with five different churches/ministries interested in renting/leasing our current facility. Our goal is to have the cost of maintaining the building covered, but not necessarily turn a profit. Three of the ministries are ethnically diverse groups. The committee will meet with each of the ministries, explain our situation/desires, and see what they think can be worked out.
- Agreed that a Dedication Committee needs to be organized. Some names were circulated and contacts will be made.
- A new website is being worked on. We will need to get representation from various elements of the congregation together to brainstorm and dream and figure out what ought to be included in the website and how best to utilize this ministry avenue.
- In conjunction with the Care Committee, a celebratory dinner is planned for Saturday, November 7th. It will be a time to reflect and give thanks for all that has taken place in the Fellowship Hall and “new addition” since 1991. The Lord has been very gracious to us and we need to acknowledge the same in an appropriate feast/banquet.
- Judgement House preparations continue apace. Need lots of congregational involvement.
- Property Committee reported Randy Annis has fixed an air-conditioning unit outside the sanctuary. In so doing he saved the congregation a five figure replacement fee. Great appreciation was expressed by all present.
- A fuel oil contract for the 2015-16 heating year has been signed at a price of $2.399 per gallon.
- Discussed various elements relating to security issues, roaming in the halls, medical emergencies, unsupervised children, and other internal issues. Discussion to be continued.
Following a time of directed intercessory prayer, the meeting was adjourned at 10:12 by the unison praying of the Lord’s Prayer.
The Westminster Larger Catechism
Perhaps no more significant issue is found in biblical theology than that of covenants. This month’s selection from the Larger Catechism speaks of the two covenants of God with man.
What Man Ought to Believe Concerning God
- 30: Does God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?
Answer: God does not leave all men to perish in the estate of sin and misery, into which they fell by the breach of the first covenant, commonly called the Covenant of Works, but of His mere love and mercy delivers the elect, and brings them into an estate of salvation by the second covenant, commonly called the Covenant of Grace.
- 31: With whom was the covenant of grace made?
Answer: The covenant of grace was made with Christ as the second Adam, and in Him with all the elect as His seed.
- 32: How is the grace of God manifested in the second covenant?
Answer: The grace of God is manifested in the second covenant, in that He freely provides and offers to sinners a Mediator, and life and salvation by Him; and requiring faith as the condition to interest them in Him, promises and gives His Holy Spirit to all His elect, to work in them that faith, with all other saving graces; and to enable them to all holy obedience, as the evidence of the truth of their faith and thankfulness to God, and as the way which He has appointed them to salvation.
- 33: Was the covenant of grace always administered after one and the same manner?
Answer: The covenant of grace was not always administered after the same manner, but the administrations of it under the OT were different from those under the NT.
- 34: How was the covenant of grace administered under the OT?
Answer: The covenant of grace was administered under the OT by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the Passover, and other types and ordinances, which did all fore-signify Christ then to come, and were for that time sufficient to build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah, by whom they then had full remission of sin, and eternal salvation.
- 35: How is the covenant of grace administered under the NT?
Answer: Under the NT, when Christ the substance was exhibited, the same covenant of grace was and still is to be administered in the preaching of the Word, and the administration of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, in which grace and salvation are held forth in more fullness, evidence, and efficacy, to all nations.
- 36: Who is the Mediator of the covenant of grace?
Answer: The only Mediator of the covenant of grace is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, of one substance and equal with the Father, in the fullness of time became man, and so was and continues to be God and man, in two entire distinct natures, and one person, for ever.
- 37: How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?
Answer: Christ the Son of God became man by taking to Himself a true body, and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin Mary, of her substance, and born of her, yet without sin.
There are a couple of special events taking place in November that it would be good to get entered into your schedule now.
First, a church-wide celebratory banquet is planned for Saturday, November 7th. It seems likely this is the last season we use our current facilities for banquets, Rummage Sales, Kids Klub, and a host of other activities. It is entirely appropriate to have a banquet of thanksgiving to the Lord Jesus for His blessing us through these facilities. More details will be forthcoming as the Consistory and Care Committee work together to plan the evening. All of us, however, should mark it on our calendars as a date not-to-be-missed. Good food, good memories, and plentiful thanksgiving.
Second, the Fat Guys Chicken Take-out is slated to occur on Saturday the 14th of November. It’s a fund-raiser to benefit the Building Fund, but its main feature is great food. They (and their helpers!) know how to cook! It’s chicken grilled over an open pit, great side dishes, a salad, and dessert. All done on a take-out basis. They are perfecting the drive-through option in order to eliminate the need to leave your vehicle to pick up your order. Watch for order forms in the bulletin in the latter part of October.
4th Christopher & Katie Tawney
11th John Schilling
18th Dennis & Kay Monroe
25th Denise Kulp
4th Alice Kraus
11th BJ Kulp
18th Denise Kulp
25th Julia Kulp
Greeters 8:00 10:45
4th Pearl Walter, Betty Weber Dave & Allison Walbrandt
11th Drew & Laurie Weiss Steve & Sherry Walmsley
18th Francis & Judi Weiss Bill & Mim Weigner
25th Kevin & Karli Weiss Josh & Rebecca Wilwert
8:00 John DiLenge, Captain; Andy Damiani, Doug Elliott, Drew Weiss, Jake Shoemaker, Randy Annis.
10:45 Rich Kapusta, Captain; Dennis Doran, Steve Landis, Scott Taylor, Tony Kapusta, Randy Godshall.
The A/V Booth technicians for October are Jeff Kirkpatrick and Isaac Inyang.
The Emergency Committee for October is Terry & Darlene Leidy, Melinda Ziegler.