It is fascinating to watch our new church building take shape. Since the Groundbreaking service on April 27, 2014, new developments are just about a daily occurrence. That has stimulated my thinking about church building from time to time! Here are some of my thoughts.
The building that is taking shape and the grounds that are being re-shaped are not the product of a solitary workman! Though I don’t have exact numbers, most likely there have been over 200 different individuals who have spent time working on that project – so far. I recall when the preliminary bids went out and somewhere between 50 and 55 different trades were solicited for bids. Since then some others have been added, like a company that makes organs, a stained-glass studio, a company specializing in audio/visual components, and so on.
When the church building is finally complete it will not be the product of a solitary workman, nor of a single trade group. It will be a single building beautifully reflecting the skilled, disciplined, and complementary work of folk with vastly varied vocational callings. Plumbers, surveyors, electricians, crane operators, sound engineers, carpenters, inspectors, and many other vocations will have done their jobs with great skill, but in a disciplined way that follows the plan of the blueprint, and yet each trade will work in concert with other trades to complement their work. Pretty astounding when you think about it!
Those thoughts about church building lead me to think about another sphere of church building: the true church that is made up of human beings, not brick and mortar. The same elements that I’ve described above need to be present if the true church is to flourish and beautifully reflect God’s glory. The Bible is full of texts that speak to this matter. Here’s one from Romans 12:
For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not
have the same function, so we who are many, are one body in Christ, and
individually members of one another. We have gifts that differ . . .
Just as it takes many trades to build a church building, in a like manner it takes many different gifts to build the spiritual church body. The text in Romans goes on to mention gifts as varied as prophecy and service and teaching and giving and exhorting and leading.
The lists of gifts in the Bible are not meant to be exhaustive, but illustrative. There are lots of different gifts. Just as it is with our new church building, so it is with the spiritual church. No solitary workman and no single gifting group is able to build the church alone. Gifts from God are meant to be used in conjunction with other gifts He’s given within the body.
The text from Romans goes on to say how those gifts are to be exercised. Here are some of the attributes we’re to seek in exercising our gifts:
Devoted to one another in love . . . giving preference to one another in honor . . .
fervent in spirit . . . not lagging behind in diligence . . .pursuing hospitality . . .
rejoicing in hope . . . devoted to prayer . . . persevering in tribulation . . .
not haughty in mind . . . not wise in your own eyes . . . serving the Lord.
Here’s my question for you: How has God gifted you; how does the Lord Jesus want to use you in the spiritual body of Leidy’s Church? This question presumes two things: 1) God has gifted you; and 2) You want to be used by the Lord in the way He intends.
I would like to encourage you to step out in faith and ask the Lord to use you in the work of Leidy’s Church. We always have need of faithful Christian workers. Any activity that takes place needs multiple gifts to accomplish the goal. There must be some folk who have the vision for what is to be done. Others find their role to be in helping put the nuts and bolts into place for the vision to be carried out. Still others will find their role in being communication links to help make everyone aware of what’s going to take place. Of course, there must be those who serve, that is, do the actual work of the ministry.
Here’s an example. This fall we plan to do Judgement House. We’ll need scores of people to carry out this ministry. Already some folk are working on the script selection and laying out how the scenes will flow. Before it’s all said and done we’ll need people who can construct sets, others to be in charge of particular scenes, we’ll need lots of actors and actresses of all ages, some folk will do make-up, others will help provide snacks and refreshments, and the list goes on and on.
As we anticipate moving into the new physical church building, we need to think about new opportunities for ministry that will come with it. While it’s very clear what the new physical church building is going to look like, it’s not so clear yet all the ways that God wants to use us in the context of that building. It is a good time to re-evaluate what we have been doing with a view to making adjustments. It is a good time to consider what we’ve not been doing and plan how we might do some new things.
We should not forget that ministry crosses all generational lines. God gifts individuals of all ages. The church has young and old and all those in between! Each has something to contribute. Don’t consider yourself too young; don’t consider yourself too old. The Lord can and will use you.
May you and your household have a delightful summer. As we continue to watch the new church building take shape I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to stir in you a desire to be faithful to use the gifts God has given you.
In the Joy of the Lord,
John H.C. Niederhaus
July Pulpit Schedule
5th – A Paternity Case – John 8:31-47; Romans 2:17-29; Acts 7:44-53
Stephen made a masterful defense of the charges against him. At the end of this defense, he turns the tables on his accusers, accusing them of being the real blasphemers in this instance. He says they are not what they say they are. Unlike their presumptions, their father is not who they think he is. This is an issue that’s plagued mankind throughout history. Do you know what spirit you are of? Jesus confronts some folk with the same question. Paul sums up the problem by pointing out the necessary work of the Holy Spirit to establish true spiritual parentage.
12th – The Cure is from the Lord – Leviticus 13:1-8; 2 Corinthians 6:11 – 7:1; Mark 1:40-45
Have you ever watched folk who are healthy and whole respond in public to strangers with visible handicaps? Some will pay no attention. Some will express a sympathetic word. Still others will seek to avoid any eye contact, not knowing how to act. These kinds of reactions to handicapped people are not uncommon, for these types of responses often pass through our minds when we encounter a handicapped person. Today we will examine Jesus’ response to a man with a visible handicap and see how Jesus’ amazing cure changes his life.
19th – O, for a Heart to Win – 1 Corinthians 9:19-27; Hebrews 12:1-17; 2 Timothy 2:1-10
Do you and I have a heart to win? You might be asking, “Win what?” The answer might surprise you! It is not to win anything for yourself. In fact, it could cost you everything to have a heart to win. “OK”, you say; “Enough of the riddles . . . What is it that may cost me everything to have a heart to win?” The answer is: a heart to win a soul. That’s the kind of heart that beat fervently in the apostle Paul. He said he endured all things for the sake of winning those whom God had chosen. Let’s look at what it takes to have a heart to win another person for Christ.
26th – A Time to Kill – Jeremiah 26:20-24; John 8:48-59; Acts 7:51-60
Why does one person get martyred and another person goes unscathed? Look at Stephen: he presented a powerful defense, was man “full of grace and power,” was exemplary in his life, yet he gets stoned to death by an irate mob of religious folk. Stephen not only lived well, he died well! Some of the same folk who stoned Stephen had sought to stone Jesus a few years earlier, but were not able to do so. Why? An incident early in Jeremiah’s long prophetic ministry may give some insight on the question of why some are martyred and others are not.
August Pulpit Schedule
2nd – The Devil Did It – Genesis 11:1-9; Psalm 27:1-14; Acts 8:1-4
Is this the death knell of the church? A great persecution is raised against the apostolic church. Folk are heading for the hills. As those who come to bury Stephen loudly lament over him, are their lamentations a foreshadowing of the demise of the church? Well, we know the answer to that, but did they! After all, the devil is having his way. It seems he not only proposes as he will, he also disposes as he will. At such times as this it is good to take refuge in God’s Word. Psalm 27 – which we memorized a couple of years ago – provides a helpful exhortation.
9th – The Preaching of Jesus and the Joy of the City – John 4:39-42; Jude 1:24-25; Acts 8:4-13
The church is in a bad way, or so it seems. Under heavy persecution many have fled the city of Jerusalem for other cities less hostile. But the Christians did not go to the other cities silently; they went proclaiming the excellencies of Christ! Among the place they go is Samaria, a forbidden territory for Jews. During the course of His ministry Jesus had made one excursion into Samaria. There were extraordinary results. Now, with the dispersal of the church, Philip makes his way to Samaria, proclaiming Christ as he goes. The result: Joy in the City!
16th – A Valley of Dry Bones, two Apostles, and a Magician – Ezekiel 37:1-10; Luke 18:18-27; Acts 8:14-25
Last week we saw the joy brought to the city of Samaria by the preaching of Jesus. It seems like Ezekiel’s vision in the valley of dry bones is beginning to be grander than even the apostles expected. Well, cue the menacing background music because things are going to take a decided swing to the south! When Peter and John come to the joyful city of Samaria they prayed for folk to receive the Holy Spirit and they did! Now it turns out there’s a guy who wants to buy God’s favor. Can that be done? Even in our day we need to know the answer to that question.
23rd – What have you SNOT to lose? – John 20:19-22, Acts 1:8; Romans 15:13-21
Sometimes Christians lament not seeing conversions in our days as the early Church did. It seems as though folk are vaccinated against the gospel. Ultimately, we know, it’s the blowing of the Holy Spirit that determines who will be impacted by the gospel. Nonetheless, we are still accountable as carriers of this infectious gospel! We must cough, sneeze, and splatter on those we come into contact with. We must realize that our efforts need the power of the Holy Spirit. It was the Holy Spirit working in the disciples that made the gospel go viral in apostolic times.
30th – Tell Them About Jesus – Isaiah 53:7-8; Romans 1:16; Acts 8:26-40
In today’s text from Acts, the Holy Spirit leads Philip to initiate a conversation with a man in a chariot. The man invites him into the chariot, asking Philip to tell him about this Scripture text he’s reading from Isaiah 53. So, Philip tells the man about Jesus! He believes what Philip tells him. He wants to be baptized into Jesus, and Philip does so. The man goes on his way rejoicing. We, too, must tell others about Jesus. When we do, we can rest in the knowledge that the Gospel is the power of God to bring salvation to all who believe. What a joyful task.
From the Youth Pastor
Washed Away With The Current
Summer in Australia meant going to the beach! On one family vacation while we were enjoying the wonderful beaches, I took the family’s blow-up boat/raft out into the water and lay down to enjoy the gentle movement of the waves. I didn’t think my eyes were closed for very long but when I opened them and sat up I was startled to find that the gentle “motion of the ocean” had carried me quite some ways from the shore. As I looked in the distance I could see my concerned family waving at me to come back in. Alarmed by the situation, I knew I could swim back, but to do so would mean abandoning the boat/raft I was on. That was an easy choice! I said “good-bye” to the boat, jumped into the ocean, and started fighting against the current. As I slowly swam I saw that the boat continued to be pushed further out to sea. Exhausted, but thankful, I made it safely to the beach and my family. Not everyone was happy to see me, however. My older brother was quite concerned about the blow-up boat and he let me know his displeasure with my abandoning it. What happened next was deliciously delightful. After he finished verbally “ripping” me to shreds, my brother noticed a power boat coming to shore towing the boat I had abandoned. He raced off to collect it not realizing the captain thought he was me! The captain sternly yelled at my brother for being so risky and foolish in being blown out that far. This still amuses me to think about, for in my mind I was doubly blessed that day: not only did I get out of a spot of trouble, but I also got my brother into a spot of trouble. HA! Greater than that though, I did learn a powerful lesson that day. I realized all it takes to be washed away by the current is to do absolutely nothing at all.
The author of Hebrews blows the lifeguard’s whistle with this warning, “For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.” [Hebrews 2:1] By default, many in our day drift away in what is “current.” It happens by doing nothing at all, or by not thinking much at all, or worse still by not believing in much at all. Sadly in the West many Christians are indistinguishable from other people in the culture, and many go with the times and give in to popular or progressive opinion. The old saying “If you don’t stand for something then you will fall for anything” seems to be accurate as many people want to float with the flow, not fight against the current.
Where are the people who will take a stand and have a firm footing against the tide of our current day? Who will make a difference by being different? Who will be counter-cultural in a day where many would rather be “current” than “counter”? Some Christians have their eyes closed as they float along with the issues of homosexuality, gender roles, racism, abortion, marriage, justice, while all the time not realizing that by doing nothing they get lulled away in the current milieu. Some will sit up one day and say, “how did I end up here for I’m in over my head”. They will wonder about the distant shore while they sink in the soup of cultural sin.
David Platt writes, “But what if Christ commands us to make these issues our concern? And what if Christ’s call in our lives is not to comfort in our culture? What if Christ in us actually compels us to counter our culture? Not to quietly sit and watch evolving cultural trends and not to subtly shift our views amid changing cultural tides, but to courageously share and show our convictions through what we say and how we live, even (or especially) when these convictions contradict the popular positions of our day. And to do all of this not with conceited minds or calloused hearts, but with the humble compassion of Christ on constant display in everything we say and do.” Maybe the impact of your life will be made through deciding to stand for Christ and against the force of the current, and by doing so you are being different (which may well be the difference that’s needed).
St. Peter tells the Church that we are to be different because we are different. He admonishes by calling us “… a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.” [1 Peter 2:9–12] It is important to realize the Church is always to be counter-cultural, we are to live differently because God’s mercy has made us different.
Another Peter making a difference is Dr. Peter Jensen. He recently made comments at the Global Anglican Future Conference where he encouraged Christians to take their stand on the Word of God. This was in the wake of the Scottish Episcopal Church chosing to omit the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman from its canons, thus accepting gay marriage. Jensen said, “The ancient church provided the model for difficult times. The ancient world was won by those who preached and lived the biblical gospel with passion. It was the difference which made a difference; the difference with real content. It was the message that Jesus Christ is Lord and that he rules through the Scriptures, the word of God. The ancient Christians out-lived, out-thought, and out-loved their contemporaries. They did not do this by doubting the faith or changing it to suit the times. They did it by confessing the truth, even to death.” May God be gracious to us that we also would be like the ancient Church and stand for God’s truth. Please be a Christian that swims against the current for the sake of your own life and the lives of those you will influence. Be the difference that will make a difference!
Pastor Andrew Edmonds
The Lord’s Supper
It’s a long stretch of time between Pentecost Sunday, which is seven weeks after Easter, and World Communion Sunday, which is the first Lord’s Day in October. According to our Constitution those are two of the Sundays when we are to share in the Lord’s Supper. And there is not a Sunday between them when that requirement is in force.
As a consequence, in response to requests from members in previous years, Leidy’s Church ordinarily shares the Lord’s Supper on one of the later Sundays of July or an early Sunday in August. For 2015 the summer sharing of the Lord’s Supper is scheduled for July 26th. Please plan and prepare accordingly.
Within the Fellowship
Congratulations to Seth and Alison (Kulp) Grater who were united in Christian marriage on June 6th. May God be with them as they begin their life together in Him.
Congratulations to Alex and Ally Hager at the dedication of their daughter, Oaklie Rae. May the Lord be with them as they grow in Him.
We rejoice with Annabelle Martindell, Christian Rau, Collin Radcliff, Hudson Fletcher, Ruth Thompson and Megan Weiss at their believers baptism at Men-O-Lan. May God be with them as they continue to seek Him.
Our sincere Christian sympathy to Marie and Ron Miller at the death of husband and father respectively. May God be with them at this time.
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 6th will be our closing program so mark your calendars!
***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.
She Leads Conference
This year the event will be held in Frederick, MD, Saturday, July 25th from 8:15 to 4:15 p.m. Cost to attend is $40. Women under 35 attend free! If you are looking for a leadership conference designed to help you minister to women by God’s biblical standard, please go to http://moreofhimministries.org/she-leads for more information and to register on-line. Rachel Lovingood, author and Lifeway trainer will be the keynote speaker.
Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference
Are you a writer or have a desire to get the Word out to others? Come one day or all four days, July 29-August 1. Workshops, agents, editors, publishers all at one ministry conference! For more information contact Marlene at http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com or pick up a brochure in the narthex.
New Precept Class – Isaiah – Part 1
A new study begins on Thursday, September 10th from 9 to 11:30. Although it seems far off, it’s not. If you would like to pre-order a workbook, please contact Verna at 215-237-1370. Cost of the book is $31, to be paid in September.
Prophecies from Isaiah are mentioned in twenty-two places in the gospels, Acts, and Romans. We’ll meet the Holy One of Israel and find the destiny of the nations and future of mankind, including ours. Come and be part of our ever-growing class!
Do you have your summer reading material in hand, or in mind? For good summer reading material here’s all you need to remember: 28:19. That’s the brand name for the Mission Committee summer reading program.
It began on Memorial Day weekend and continues through Labor Day weekend, the traditional holiday markers of summer. Books for all ages are available. All the books are mission oriented in some way. There are biographies, accounts of revivals, remarkable instances of grace in the face of martyrdom, and testimonies of the work of the Holy Spirit. Some are very contemporary, documenting what’s happening now. Others speak of historic events that are indelibly etched in the annals of God’s people.
To provide extra motivation there are prizes! Those under the age of sixteen can choose a candy bar to their liking for every 100 pages read. For those who read 300 pages, a $5 gift certificate to Downtown Scoop ice cream shop is awarded. At 500 pages not only is the gift card to Downtown Scoop given, but also a Pizza Hut personal pan pizza.
The reader who is sixteen or over and reads the most pages will receive a $30 Wawa gift card and a choice of homemade cookies. Second place will receive a $20 Wawa gift card and a choice of homemade cookies. You’ll never guess what the third place reader gets: yessirree, a $10 Wawa gift card and a choice of homemade cookies.
Books may be checked out and returned on Sunday mornings only. Just come to the 28:19 display in the Fellowship Hall. What are you waiting for – let’s get reading!
Issues & Answers Summer Schedule
Don’t just pop in and pop out for services, stay for Sunday School. Here’s what you’ll find in the Issues and Answers class in the Fellowship Hall during July and August.
July 5th – Interdependence Day, on the day following Independence Day Matt Harris will leas a class concerning relationships in the body of Christ.
July 12th & 19th – Finding the Truth a two-part series taught by Dave Reich that utilizes insights from Nancy Pearcey’s new book of the same title.
July 26th – QCR Time which means “Questions, Comments, Rebuttals” led by Pastor Niederhaus. He’ll have some things to share, but participants will have plenty of QCR Time.
August 2nd – David & Sonja DeFazio new to our mission support list will tell all about their work in the Philippines.
August 9th – Bob Feller with Chariots for Hope, also new to our mission support list, will make us aware of a great orphan ministry taking place in Kenya.
August 16th & 23rd – Thoughts of the Day as Stan Ott leads both these weeks. As usual, Stan will cull info from current events and provide wise Christian perspective thereon.
August 30th & Sept. 6th – America, Imagine the World Without Her is a documentary film by Dinesh D’Souza. It will be watched in two parts. Dave Reich will facilitate discussion.
Hang around. Drink a cup of coffee. Get a bit of refreshment. And join the conversation taking place in the Issues & Answers class.
New Missionaries Coming to Leidy’s Church
The Mission Committee recently added two new mission labors to its support list: the DeFazio family and Chariots for Hope. Here’s a brief intro to each:
David & Sonja DeFazio are missionary appointees of World Team, the same organization with which Betsy Stoltzfus serves. Their appointment is to the Philippines, specifically to Catanduanes, one of the larger of the 7,000+ islands that make up the Philippines. David has been working with World Team as a recruiter. Turns out he recruited himself! The DeFazio family also has two young sons who will be heading to the mission field with them. Church planting is the focus of their mission as they join a team already engaged in that work.
Chariots for Hope is an orphan ministry in Kenya. A European organization worked for many years with the African Inland Church [AIC] in Kenya in developing a network of orphanages throughout the country. In 2008 the organization announced it was stopping all support within the next 18 months due to its own financial crisis. In 2009 Chariots for Hope was formed to help the AIC maintain/recover some of the orphanages. Now they have 10 orphanages that are part of the network which include two baby homes and eight children’s homes, providing love and care for nearly 1,000 vulnerable and orphaned children. Our support will be directed to the Mbooni Children’s Home located about 60 miles southeast of Nairobi.
The first two Sundays of August we’ll be introduced to these missions. The DeFazio family will be here on the 2nd, while Bob Feller with Chariots for Hope will be here on the 9th. Plan to be here to greet and meet them, as well as learn much more about the ministries they’re undertaking.
POWER PLAY CAMP
Every Wednesday July 1 – 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 until 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. Talk to Sherise to see if you could volunteer in some areas that are still in need of help.
It is that time of year when Consistory nominations are put forward. There will be a Congregational Meeting immediately after the 8 am service on August 16th to vote on the nominees. Consistory members serve three year terms, and may serve only two consecutive three year terms. For those who have served two consecutive terms, a respite of at least one year is required before being eligible to be nominated to serve on Consistory again.
There are four nominees this year, three of whom are finishing their first three year term. The fourth nominee is taking the slot that John DiLenge has filled on Consistory so ably for the past six years. Here is a brief introduction to each one:
§ Dave Reich is being nominated to the office of Deacon. He would be filling the slot John DiLenge currently occupies. Dave and his wife Lorraine are very active members of Leidy’s Church. Parents of two children – Natalie and Luke – they know much of the joys and labors of homeschooling! Dave has a gift for teaching and many of us have benefitted from adult classes he’s taught. He also serves as a Shepherd. Employed by Merck, this would be a new position for Dave.
§ Dave Walbrandt is being nominated to the office of Elder. He is finishing a three year term as Deacon. He and his wife Allison are the parents of five children and enjoying the wonders of helping kids get to and through college. Dave is employed at Univest. He is one of the members of our Construction Advisory Committee. For a number of years he was one of the teachers of the Truth Seekers class. As Consistory Liaison to the Worship Committee, he’s helped orchestrate the a/v transition to the new facility. This would be a new position for Dave.
§ Rich Kapusta is being nominated to a second three year term as an Elder serving on Consistory. Rich and Juliana, having raised seven children, are now beginning to experience the delights of grandparenting. Rich is self-employed as an architect and his firm is doing the architectural work for our building project. Over the years Rich has served as a Sunday School teacher, a Shepherd, been involved with various Committees, hosted a Small Group, and been a participant in the SLMT trips, as he is this year.
§ Dana Gehman is being nominated to a second three year term as an Elder serving on Consistory. He and Barb are celebrating the graduation of their third and final child from college. Let the good times roll! Employed by First Niagara Bank, Dana is our Treasurer, the fellow who keeps our financial books in order. And he enjoys it! He is an active member of the Mission Committee and also serves as a Shepherd. Serving on the Construction Advisory Committee, he keeps intimate tabs on all matters financial.
Heading North for the 21st Year
The twenty first consecutive Stormer Lake Mission Trip is set to take off on Thursday evening, July 9th. We are blessed with folk who willingly donate 10 days of their summer to ride a bus for 30+ hours each way in order to bring the gospel to boys and girls, youth and adults, in very remote villages in Canada. We need to pray for them.
As they go, they represent us. Indeed, without us, they could not go. Apart from the funds raised at the Auction each year, this mission trip could not happen. The financial support each team member raises is essential to the trip being able to be made. Parents and spouses provide encouragement and moral support that is indispensable for team members. A network of prayer support provides spiritual undergirding for the entire ministry that takes place. So, when the SLMT buses pull out of the parking lot on the evening of July 9th, in a very real sense they take us along with them.
All this is done so that the love and truth of the Lord Jesus may be shared with others. In this way we’re all representing Him, not just ourselves. The SLMT team will be among folk with great needs. They will have great opportunities. They will face significant challenges. We trust the Holy Spirit will work in and through them in many gracious and fruitful ways.
You’re welcome and encouraged to come and see our SLMT ’15 team off on Thursday evening, the 9th of July. People begin gathering about 6 pm, there is a short sending service about 6:40, and the buses are on the road by 7. Here are this year’s team members:
Andrew Edmonds, Capt. Ben Smith Mitchell VanDerbeek, Mary Beth Musselman, VBS Coord. Evangeline Smith David Thompson, Lorraine Kroesser, Food Coord. Chase Mahoney Linda Klein, Vangie Niederhaus Kevin Weiss Jaclyn Parry, Micah Griffith Karli Weiss Gina Shoemaker, Rich Kapusta Madison Lentz Chris Stine, Nick Smith
Sandy Lake Team
Tony Kapusta, Capt. Jon Repman Gabby Sedares, Hannah Thompson, VBS Coord. Lydia Wilwert Nick Smith, Rachel Rittenhouse, Food Coord. Maria Ronk Krista Tyson, Japheth Rittenhouse Mitch Moyer Merritt Coale, Cole Mahoney Jill Hager Joseph Thompson, Lizzie Sedares Kristen Parry
New Policy for Volunteers
Leidy’s Church has put in place a new policy regarding background checks for volunteers who work with children at any age from birth through 18 years of age. This is required by legislation adopted by the PA legislature and signed by the governor. All other churches and civic/community organizations who have staff and/or volunteers working with kids are required to have the same background clearances. Here are the clearances:
- PA Child Abuse History
- PA State Police Criminal Record Check
- FBI Criminal Background/Fingerprint Check
- Mandated Reporter 3-hour training
The church office has information that will tell you how to get those clearances on-line. We’re asking all our staff and volunteers to have these clearances to the church office by August 31st. If you have gotten these clearances for your job or because of coaching a youth sports team or whatever, then simply make a copy and bring it to the office.
All the clearances will be kept in secure, locked files only accessible to the relevant church staff personnel.
Thanks for all the cooperation in this explosion of paperwork! As a very wise person aptly opined, “This is rendering to Caesar what is Caesar’s. It doesn’t force us to deny our faith or do anything immoral. It’s just Caesar being Caesar.”
Mandated Reporter Training
Did you miss the three hour Mandated Reporter Training offered back in June? Well, you can still get it done. The quickest and easiest way to do so is on-line. Here are the details.
Go to www.reportabusepa.pitt.edu/ and you can do the entire training session on-line. There is no cost.
Wait, you don’t have three hours to spend on-line doing such a course? No problem. You do not have to complete the course in one session. At the end of each section of the course you’re asked if you’d like to continue or stop. If you stop, what you’ve done is saved. Then when you log back in the next time you will get a pop up message asking if you would like to resume where you left off. You click on “Okay” and pick-up where you ended your last session.
At the end of the training you will get a screen with your certification on it. Print it out and bring a copy to the church office.
Yep, that’s it. Easy-peasy.
Congregational Meeting Scheduled
A Congregational Meeting has been called for Sunday morning, August 16th. It will take place in the sanctuary immediately following the 8 am service of worship.
The purpose of the meeting is to elect Elders and Deacons to serve on Consistory. In another article in this Newsletter you can find information about the nominees. Nominations may also be made from the floor at the meeting, provided the person nominated meets the requirements of our Constitution and has consented to be nominated.
This article should be considered the formal notification of the Congregational Meeting as required by our Constitution.
On the evening of June 11th, the Consistory of Leidy’s Church met for its monthly review of church business. Among the items addressed that evening were the following:
- Personal ambition was the theme of John DiLenge’s devotional thoughts. He told the story of the transition of rulership from Solomon to his son Rehoboam. Illustrated in that transition is the fact that personal ambition is fine so long as it’s aligned with God’s purposes, but can be disastrous when not so aligned. Rehoboam experienced both. We need to seek to align ourselves with God’s word and purposes and then rest in the knowledge that He will guide and protect us. Psalm 90:15-17 is a good prayer for all.
- The May financial reports were reviewed. Praise God all were in the black! During May some $457,000 was disbursed from the Building Fund. Thus far no monies have been borrowed except for the initial closing costs. Bigger bills are anticipated over the course of the summer.
- Norm Weiss was present to report on the work of an ad hoc group termed the Focus Group. Comprised mostly, but not exclusively, of young adults, the group is seeking ways to maximize congregational involvement in the church’s ministries, and consider how to expand/renovate such ministries or introduce new ministries. To that end, the Focus Group is seeking to have the entire congregation present for Sunday School on the last two Sundays of September for presentations about the ministries of Leidy’s Church. The Consistory voiced its strong support of this endeavor.
- Received reports of activities on the Building Project. So far, everything is on schedule, or at least as much on schedule as one can predict on such a project.
- The Stained Glass committee submitted a proposal for the monumental window directly behind the chancel area. It is a nineteen by twenty-four foot window. The committee developed a basic design and then consulted with three stained glass studios about fabrication and installation. They selected the bid from Cumberland Stained Glass and presented it to the Consistory. A sketch of the proposed window was distributed. Discussion followed. In due time the recommendation from the Stained Glass committee was approved unanimously.
- The need to begin discussing service times at the new facility is now at hand. Various options were put on the table. Since we will have only one service of worship, it means everyone is going to have to make some changes! No final decision was made other than agreement that Sunday School should be prior to the service of worship. Proposals for SS start time ranged from 8 to 9 am, with start of worship options sometime between 9:30 and 10:30. This will make for good discussion over the summer!
- Received a written proposal for upgrading our website. This proposal is distinct from the upgrades that have been made recently. After a time of discussion the proposal was approved. In order to avoid unnecessary work and to maximize what’s available, there will need to be communication and cooperation between those working on the current website and the proposed website.
- Received a report that Dave Reich has consented to be nominated to serve in the office of Deacon. The Spiritual Council has a slate of men to be nominated to serve in the office of Elder. A Congregational Meeting to elect Elders and Deacons will be held on Aug. 16th immediately following the first service of worship.
- Discussed plans for meeting the new PA requirements for staff and volunteers working with children from birth through 18 years of age. Two separate information sessions will take place. Three background checks are now required. The church will reimburse our staff and volunteers for the fees required to get the checks done. We also will require staff and volunteers to complete the three hour Mandated Reporter training. That training will be held at our facility on June 25th.
- One of the two a/c units that cools the sanctuary is inoperable. Costs to replace or repair the unit will be significant, probably in the neighborhood of $5,000 or more. The units are 15 years old and no longer under warranty. This is something we must do so Dave Doran and the Property committee will handle it.
- Received a variety of other written and verbal committee reports.
- Reviewed assignments for communion and ushering through September as there will be no meeting of the Consistory until September unless something exceptional comes up.
Following a time of directed intercessory prayer, the meeting was closed by the unison praying of the Lord’s Prayer at 10:06 p.m.
The Westminster Larger Catechism
Adopted in 1648 as part of the work of the Westminster Assembly, the Larger Catechism addresses more fully the same topics presented in the Smaller Catechism. Our selection for this Newsletter sets out God’s providence and then the matter of sin and in the process talks about angels, how sin is passed from generation to generation, and other timely topics.
What Man Ought to Believe Concerning God
Q. 18: What are God’s works of providence?
Answer: God’s works of providence are his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures; ordering them, and all their actions, to his own glory.
Q. 19: What is God’s providence toward the angels?
Answer: God by his providence permitted some of the angels, willfully and irrevocably, to fall into sin and damnation, limiting and ordering that, and all their sins, to his own glory; and established the rest in holiness and happiness; employing them all, at his pleasure, in the administration of his power, mercy, and justice.
Q. 20: What was the providence of God toward man in the estate in which he was created?
Answer: The providence of God toward man in the estate in which he was created, was the placing him in paradise, appointing him to dress it, giving him liberty to eat of the fruit of the earth, putting the creatures under his dominion; and ordaining marriage for his help; affording him communion with himself; instituting the Sabbath; entering into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of personal, perfect, and perpetual obedience, of which the tree of life was a pledge; and forbidding to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death.
Q. 21: Did man continue in that estate wherein God at first created him?
Answer: Our first parents being left to the freedom of their own will, through the temptation of Satan, transgressed the commandment of God in eating the forbidden fruit; and thereby fell from the estate of innocency wherein they were created.
Q. 22: Did all mankind fall in that first transgression?
Answer: The covenant being made with Adam as a public person, not for himself only, but for his posterity, all mankind descending from him by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him in that first transgression.
Q. 23: Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
Answer: The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery.
Q. 24: What is sin?
Answer: Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, any law of God, given as a rule to the reasonable creature.
5th Carl & Jerri Thompson
12th Donna Moyer
19th Lani Kimenhour
26th Jeff & Debbie Schatz
5th Donna Weiss
12th Mim Weigner
19th Shirley Clemens
26th Sandy Cressman
5th Japheth & Rachel Rittenhouse
12th Jeremiah & Brittany Rizzo
19th Doug & Helen Roberson
26th Rob & Lois Ruth
5th Andrew Rosenbaum, Becca Coale
12th Ed & Darlene Schmidt
19th Harvey & Lorraine Shoemaker
26th April & Gabrielle Sedares
8:00 Francis Weiss, Captain; Mike Kehs, Anthony Sciacca, Nick Sciacca, Ken Ritter, Kevin Weiss
10:45 Ed Schmidt, Captain; Allen Kraus, Jack Parry, Andy Tawney, Tom Kraus, George Frueh.
The A/V Booth technicians for July are Curt Lockman and Allen Kraus.
The Emergency Committee for July is Brian Shoemaker, Jack Edling, Marilee Hughes
2nd Elaine Frank
9th Don & Dianne Nase
16th Dave & Flor Hughes
23rd Jill Ott
30th Rich & Juliana Kapusta
2nd Esther Davis
9th Vicki Freed
16th Donna Frueh
23rd Diane Gehman
30th Deb Guerreiro
2nd Jeff & Deb Schatz
9th Joe & Karen Sciacca
16th Phil & Renee Shafer
23rd Brian & Gina Shoemaker
30th Rodney & Yvonne Shoemaker
2nd Jeremy & Justine Smith
9th Jack Edling, Bonnie St. Onge
16th Ken & Velva Stevenson
23rd Andy & Joan Tawney
30th Scott & Angie Taylor
8:00 Dave Doran, Captain; Nathan Kulp, Joah Rittenhouse, Stan Friday, Tim Ziegler, Jim Smedberg.
10:45 Matt Harris, Captain; Les Pross, Brent Talbot, Bob Hager, John Schilling, Blaine Moyer.
The A/V Booth technicians for August are Brian Radcliff and Carl Thompson.
The Emergency Committee for August is Joe Sciacca, Ed & Darlene Schmidt.