There are some people who really enjoy Valentine’s Day. I am not one of them. “Why is that?” you might ask. Is it because of price gouging of greeting cards, chocolates, flowers, and dinner? Is it because of the cutesy hearts and cherubs and Cupid decorations? Is it because the day is no longer a commemoration of the early church father Valentine, who was martyred in Rome in 269? Or maybe it’s because of the social obligation to demonstrate romantic affection toward my wife, which apparently means more on that day than the other 364 days of the year? Yep, all of them. All of them are the reasons. Now this isn’t to shame those people who do enjoy it. I get it, it’s sometimes nice to set aside some special time to remember to show love and affection for significant others in your life. But I think what really drives my negative feelings toward the day is the commercialization of the day, that might trivialize love as simply a commodity.
You may or may not know, but in the original Greek of the New Testament, love is actually translated in several different ways that are situationally-dependent. There’s brotherly love (Philia), physical or sexual love (Eros), obsessive love (Mania), parental love (Storge), and selfless and sacrificing love (Agape). So in that regard, English is a bit weak to only have one word. But I think as a general rule, agape love is the kind that we all should be most often demonstrating. In John 13:34-35, Jesus says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Note that this isn’t a suggestion; it’s a command! There’s no “ifs”, “ands” or “buts” about it. Paul also contributes to the conversation with the first couple verses of Ephesians 5, telling us to “walk in love, just as Christ also loved [us] and gave himself up for us, an offering and sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” In short, our love isn’t just how we show others that we follow Jesus, but it’s the way we offer up a pleasing aroma to God Himself.
For you married folk out there, you know there’s some times where it’s really hard to love your spouse. Commit to approaching every disagreement knowing that you love the other person. It changes the frame with which to approach the disagreement. And by both committing to that, there’s the implicit understanding that whatever the fight is about, there isn’t a packing-up-and-going, and there certainly shouldn’t be a emotional tearing-down of the other person. It also shouldn’t be about winning and losing. Let’s suppose I’m arguing with my wife: even if I “win” the argument, because we’re one, when she loses I still lose. Sacrificial, selfless, agape love means that there should be mutual attempts to understand the other, and trying to come together and mutually win.
And above all, I definitely recommend using the Ephesians 5 approach: wives, be graceful and submit. I get it, that’s really tough when you know you’re right. Trust that your husband, as head of the household, has your (and the family’s) best interests at heart. Maybe he’s seen something you haven’t. And who knows, maybe you might just win your husband over after giving it additional thought. Husbands, you have the task to love your wife as Christ loves the church. You are tasked with laying down your life, figuratively and literally if necessary, for your wife. Your mission is also to consistently be bathing her in the word, that she might be holy and blameless. Men tend to be very competitive, and of course you want to win. Remember your wife is the person you vowed to walk through life with, and God has called you to be her physical and spiritual defender. The husband is called to lead, not out of fear or superiority, but out of sacrificial love.
There’s a lot of other things I can say about love in the Bible, but there’s only so much I can say in an article. Jesus outlines the two greatest commandments as loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and loving your neighbor as yourself. The other obvious one is 1 Corinthians 13, where love is described as patient, kind, not jealous, not boastful or arrogant. It doesn’t act unbecomingly or offensively, it’s not self serving…. The list goes on. My point ultimately goes back to Jesus’ words in John 13 we looked at earlier. We can use the abundant descriptions of what love looks like as a spiritual checklist on demonstrating godly love. Am I showing love by insulting that guy under my breath that cut me off in traffic? Am I loving my neighbor when I can’t even talk to him without feeling pangs of jealousy over his new car or that fancy vacation they just took? Am I still holding that grudge against that one guy who did that thing to me 10 years ago? Am I speaking about so-and-so behind her back, in an effort to make me look better? Ouch. I might need to do better on that checklist.
A wise man once shared his definition of love with me: doing what’s best for the other person (with God defining what’s best!), regardless of the consequences to yourself. We shouldn’t have to have one day like Valentine’s Day to remind us to be a little more Christlike in our attitude and interaction with spouses, family members, coworkers, or even strangers. I think it just takes a little repentance on the part of our human impulses, a pause to remember what Christ did for us, and an outpouring of selfless love toward others as a pleasing aroma to God.
Oh, and by the way. For those who are wondering . . . While I detest Valentine’s Day, I still participate and buy flowers for my wife and my daughter for three reasons. It’s a way to show sacrificial love to my wife, that in spite of my feelings toward the day, I still want to honor and appreciate her. I buy these tokens of appreciation for my wife as an example for my sons, so they know how to treat a woman with respect, affection, and romance. And I also buy them for my daughter, to demonstrate the kind of man that she should select in the future. One who cherishes her in the same way that her daddy does.
Until next time!
On the evening of February 14th, Leidy’s Church will have a 7:30pm worship service, which will include the Lord’s Supper. Ash Wednesday typically begins the Lenten season, roughly six weeks before Easter Sunday. It is a time of contemplation of the days leading up to the Lord Jesus’ Passion in preparation of His historic bodily resurrection from the dead. Lent is for Christians a time to pray, fast and exercise abstinence from routine activities of life to give time for acts of charity. We encourage you to attend this special service of worship.
Among the traditions of Leidy’s Church is the setting aside of monies during the time from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. It’s called the Thirty Pieces of Silver offering. It always goes to a designated benevolent concern.
This year the monies that come in via the Thirty Pieces of Silver offering will be going to the Good Samaritan Fund. Along with this newsletter you should receive a small plastic zip-lock bag to use when you bring in your offering on Palm Sunday or Easter Sunday.
You may have heard rumblings about this before, but here is the official announcement and calling out: the SLMT Auction takes place April 20, 2024. Here are some things you need to know/remember about it.
· It is called SLMT Auction because all the funds raised are used to undergird our Short Length Mission Trips during the course of any given year.
· It is called SLMT Auction because we have a grand auction event with lots of valuable items, good memorabilia, specialized items, and always a unique item or two up for auction. Highest bidder gets the item.
· The Auction includes tables for a Silent Auction as well as a Live Auction overseen by veteran Auctioneer Len Walter.
· The vast majority of the items auctioned off come from members of the congregation. Some items will be from local businesses.
· The live Auction is preceded by a dinner hour with hot roast beef sandwiches, potato salad, hot dogs, sauerkraut, baked beans, and a bevy of desserts.
· Auction donation forms will be distributed to the congregation to make certain your contributions are duly noted, and a tax-deduction letter can be issued to you.
· In addition to donating items for the auction proper, you may donate your time and/or services in several ways: help with the set-up or take-down of the Auction; work in the kitchen; serve as a cashier; provide one of the delicious desserts; or numerous other options as well.
· The Auction is open to all, so spread the word and invite friends to come out and join in an evening of spirited bidding, good food, hot deals, and all in support of mission endeavors.
This year funds will go to our Short Length Mission Trips doing a make-over for a classic Carriage House for Life Turning Point Ministries in Philly. Remember that LTP PHILLY helps homeless moms and their children get their life back on track and establish a Christian lifestyle for themselves and their children. Graduates have gone from homelessness to college graduation and home ownership. It is a ministry worthy of your donation (and volunteering!)
Get your thinking cap on and figure out what you want to donate to the 2024 SLMT Auction. It could be a game night; a specialty dinner at your home; a particular piece of sports memorabilia; a vacation opportunity; specialized services such as painting, landscaping, auto detailing, etc.; a memorable tour; a homemade pie; or you name it.
But whatever you do, don’t forget to donate to the SLMT Auction and don’t forget to come and participate in the energizing events of the Auction itself. Raise someone’s bid!
Ladies of Leidy’s
Inviting all ladies to join us Tuesday, February 6 at 7 pm in Room 123 for our monthly business meeting. We will be planning our annual March 5th potluck and fellowship dinner open to all ladies. Be on the lookout for a potluck sign up sheet that will be posted in the Narthex within the next few weeks. Please contact Karen Mirabella with any questions.
For all you Jeopardy! enthusiasts, it’s your time to shine.
On Saturday, February 24, 2024, Leidy’s Church will be hosting Wings & Trivia, an event to benefit the House of Jesús project the Missions Committee is sponsoring this year. Come for the food (wings, hot dogs, and salad bar) or come for the fun, but definitely come out and join us.
Doors will open at 5pm, when you can get wings ($5/6 wings or all-you-can-eat for $20), hot dogs ($1/dog or all-you-can-eat for $10), or enjoy our all-you-can-eat salad bar (just $5). Drinks and dessert will be provided as well, the food service will run until 7pm (or until the food is all gone!).
Trivia will begin at 6:30pm. There will be three rounds of trivia (10 questions each round) that will cover history, geography, some of the sciences, some of the arts, sports, and entertainment. If you are looking to compete in trivia, please register! Teams can be registered with up to 5 team members, with cost to register being $1 per team member. Again, there is a limit of 5 people per team. The registered team with the highest score at the end of the three rounds will be getting a trophy to show off what clever people they are. You can certainly follow along without registering, but we can’t acknowledge your greatness otherwise! Registration slips are available at the church office and can be turned in (along with registration fees) at the church office.
For those less inclined to be braggy about what they know, we’ll also have Bingo getting called between rounds of trivia ($1/card). We’ll have gift baskets to be won by the fastest Bingo, so come see what you can win!
If you’d like to increase your chances of winning trivia, invite your (knowledgeable) friends and neighbors! There are invitation cards available to give your friends at the Welcome Desk.
We are looking forward to having a great time! So don’t miss out- come out and join us on Saturday, February 24, 2024. Even hecklers are welcome!
The meeting was called to order at 7:33PM. Josh Heebner opened with prayer and citing Revelation 21:5, led devotions on the topic of God’s promise to make all things new.
Minutes from the Consistory Meeting of December 6th were reviewed. On motion of Brian Shoemaker, seconded by Brian Radcliff, the Minutes were approved.
General Fund giving for December totaled $71,829, while budgeted expenses totaled $46,042, resulting in a Total Fund balance of $83,195. Renovation Fund contributions for December were $9,390 and the $100,000 previously borrowed from this account was repaid via transferring $100,000 from the General Fund to the Renovation Fund. Renovation Fund disbursements include $8,805 for parsonage expenses (new flooring) and $35,765 to Penn Builders (the amount we owed) resulting in a balance of $219,217. On motion of Shaun Permar, seconded by Jim Foote, the financial report was approved.
Members of Consistory are working hard to organize their new teams. The AV & Tech Management team will be cataloging all equipment within the next 90 days and looking into reprograming all door fobs. Sunday School classes for all ages and youth group are all running smoothly. Regarding Adult Sunday School, The Christmas Carol series ends next Sunday and a study of Pilgrims Progress will begin after that (with a break midway through for Missions Month). John Schilling will begin his Bible Study class in February and the Women’s Bible Study continues to thrive. The Communications & Administration team continues to support Jenny Ernst in the office as she works to streamline our communications flow and learn various programs. The Food & Fellowship team are currently organizing the kitchen crew for upcoming meals, including the Congregational Meeting luncheon and Night to Shine. The Missions & Ministry Support team will be working to decide which benevolence organizations will continue to get funding and the funding amount. The Care Team is working on gathering info on current small groups as they work to organize and promote them.
The worship leader position is still posted and applications are still being accepted. Consistory is in the process of acquiring additional tenants at the HUB. Abundant Life Ministries will be given a 90 day eviction notice as they have consistently failed to honor the terms of their lease since initially occupying the building. Our main church building campus is still zoned residential, but should have been rezoned to institutional shortly after occupancy. Therefore, Consistory will begin the rezoning process. Several options and quotes to address our faulty hot water heaters were discussed. It was decided that a qualified volunteer who offered their services will be repairing them free of charge.
Josh led a time of intercessory prayer for spoken concerns and meeting adjourned with a unison praying of the Lord’s Prayer at 9:41PM.
Bean Me Up Scotty…That is not a typo…We had an awesome turn out for the Chili Cook-Off fundraiser in support of NTS. Over $1700 was raised for the main event on Feb 9.
Jack Parry took home over all best Chili, with Bean Me Up Scotty, going where no chili has gone before…his better half Karen, took home 2nd in Chicken category also…We had a great showing from the youth group kids, who ended up taking home 2nd best chili in beef category, 1st in chicken chili, 2 in mystery chili and best name overall with the Pew Rattler…Owen and Shaun Permar aka the Permar Boys can explain the name for you if you don’t understand😉
Chris H, who is Emma Coale’s nieces husband took home best beef chili
A huge shoutout to everyone who came out, entered chili, ate chili and maybe rattled a pew or two in the process.
We are still looking for some people to help with the big event on Feb 9…it’s gonna be a Night you will never forget…
Question 38: What is prayer?
Prayer is pouring out our hearts to God in praise, petition, confession of sin, and thanksgiving.
Psalm 62:8: Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.
Commentary - Abraham Booth
As the enemies of your soul are inveterate, subtle, and powerful, and your spiritual frames inconstant, it is highly necessary you should live under a continual remembrance of those awakening considerations. What more advisable, what so necessary for you, as to walk circumspectly; to watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation? A sense of your own weakness and insufficiency, should ever abide on your mind and appear in your conduct. As the corruption of nature is an enemy that is always near you, and always in you, while on earth; and as it is very strongly disposed to second every temptation from without; you should “keep your heart with all diligence.” Watch, diligently watch, over all its imaginations, motions, and tendencies. Consider whence they arise and to what they incline, before you execute any of the purposes formed in it. For such is the superlative deceitfulness of the human heart, “that he who trusteth in it is a fool,” ignorant of his danger, and unmindful of his best interests. This consideration should cause every child of God to bend the suppliant knee, with the utmost frequency, humility, and fervour: to live, as it were, at the throne of grace; nor depart thence till far from the reach of danger. Certain it is, that the more we see of the strength of our adversaries and of the danger we are in from them, the more shall we exercise ourselves in fervent prayer. Can you, O Christian, be cool and indifferent, be dull and careless, when the world, the flesh, and the devil are your implacable and unwearied opposers?
Prayer is the way you walk by the Spirit. Prayer is the way you walk by faith. In other words, it’s the breath of the Christian life all day long. Just breathe in, breathe out. It’s the way you live.
Let me illustrate for you with four elements from the catechism: confession, petition, praise, and thanks. I’m commending to you that any time you face any situation when you feel I need help here, you do it by prayer using these four elements.
Suppose I have to speak in front of a group, and I am nervous (you can pick your particular challenge). As the moment approaches, I wonder, “Am I going to be able to do this? Will I remember what I have to say? Will I make a fool of myself?” And at that moment I confess my need to God. I say, “Lord, I’m a sinner. I don’t deserve your help, but I need your help. I can’t do anything without you.” That’s the confession step of prayer.
And then I turn my confession to petition. “Lord, please help me. I need memory. I need articulation. I need the right spirit. I need humility. I need to look the people in the eye. I need all these things. I want to be helpful to my listeners. But I don’t have it in me to be all that they need. Help me.” That’s the petition step of prayer. A cry for help.
And then I need to reach out and take hold of something about God that will be worthy of my praise and worthy of my trust. Like God says, “I’ll strengthen you. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you up with my victorious right hand” (see Isa. 41:10). I take hold of that promise, that power, that love, that mercy, and I hold onto it. And I trust him and praise him. “You, oh Lord, can help me. I trust you to help me. I praise you for being the kind of God who is willing and able to help me!” That’s the trust and praise step of prayer.
Then I give my talk, trusting him. And when I am done, no matter what, I thank him. Since I trusted him for his help, I believe that he is going to use my effort, no matter how well I think I did. “Thank you, Lord!” That is the thanks step of prayer.
There they are— four key words from the catechism.
First, continually confess your need to the Lord. “I need you.”
Second, cry out in petition. “Help me.”
Third, lay hold of God’s promises with trust and praise for his ability to fulfill them.
And then when he helps you, go on your face and say, “Thank you.”
That’s the rhythm and the breath of the Christian life.
1 Chloe Olszyk
2 Jerry Kulp, Makenna Murphy
3 Carly Camuso, Andrew Leidy
4 Cheyenne Kehs
5 Shaun Permar, Sr.
6 Jim Foote, Delton Plank, Miriam Weigner, Herb Wolgemuth
10 Seth Brunner
11 Joy Myers
12 Jack Parry
13 Beth Harbon, Pearl Walter
14 Ed Hall
15 Reagan Hostelley
16 Shawnee Kehs, Lorraine Shoemaker
17 John Leidy
18 Owen Permar, Collin Radcliff
19 Dylan Camuso, Corbin Hostelley, Shannon Kehs
22 Tom Kraus
23 Ted Brunner, Jane Leidy
24 Mabel Eisenhauer
25 Sherry Moyer, Levi Smith
26 Robert Frank
1 Byron & Dottie Rimmer
2 Stan & Joan Radcliff
3 Peter & Bonnie Smith
4 Harvey & Lorraine Shoemaker
26 Phil & Renee Shafer