Stop and think for a second just how awesome bones are. Of course the most obvious purpose is mechanical, to give our bodies their structure and help you do things. They also give our muscles and tendons something to connect to, in order to help us move around and lift things. Our bones protect us (think about your ribcage which protects your innards, and your skull that protects your brain). The only exposed bones on your body (your teeth) help you to chew your food into smaller bites so you can digest it. But that’s not all that they do!
On a microscopic level, the two types of cells that make up your bones are called osteoblasts and osteoclasts. They are constantly reshaping and reforming your bones. The osteoblasts are builders; they will create new bone, by creating a hardened calcium housing around themselves like cement blocks. The osteoclasts are the demolition experts: they will not only break down old or broken bone to prepare it for new bone, but they’ll also break down bone if your body senses it needs more calcium for other bodily functions (which is why you always drink your milk, or you’ll get osteoporosis… where your osteoclasts break down too much calcium and give you brittle bones!) And we haven’t talked about one of the most important functions of bones, which is inside them, in the marrow. It makes your red blood cells to carry oxygen around your body, and waste away from your extremities. Bone marrow also makes the white blood cells, which protect you from viruses and bacteria and keep you healthy.
Even though all the things I described already show that your bones are very much alive, the fact is that when we think of bones or see bones, we think of death. Think of a pirate flag, or perhaps the labeling on the bottle of some poisonous chemical… What image do you think of? It’s the skull and crossbones, right? Because of that hardened calcium that they’re made of, it’s what makes them the last thing to decompose… and eventually it’s the only way that we know about creatures like the dinosaurs. All that are left of them are fossilized bones!
Which brings me to the book of Ezekiel, to one of my favorite stories and visions in the Bible. The book takes place during the exile of Israel and Judea, between the time of the kings and before Christ. In Ezekiel 37, God brings Ezekiel in a vision to the middle of a valley full of bones. He even goes as far to describe that these bones aren’t just recently dead and maybe have flesh on them, but he describes them as “very dry”. Folks, these are as dead as it gets. God’s Spirit asks Ezekiel if the bones can live, and I love his answer. I picture him skeptically looking at the tremendous pile of bones, turning to God, back to the bones, back to God and finally saying, “Uhhh… Oh Sovereign God, only you know.” I have a feeling that if it wasn’t God asking, I can’t imagine he’d have a good feeling about whether these would come alive again, especially because every decent and rational human knows that on their own, dry bones won’t move or come alive. (It was also before the time of Christ by nearly 500 years, so resurrection wasn’t something that commonly happened.) God tells him to prophesy over the bones and tell them that God will make them come alive again, so they know that He is the Lord. Sure enough, just as soon Ezekiel says it, the bones come together like a self-assembling puzzle, and flesh and skin appeared on them. But… they were still dead.
God tells Ezekiel to prophesy again, this time that the breath will come into them and that they would come alive. As before, the life enters the corpses and they stood on their feet, a vast army. God tells Ezekiel that the bones are just like the people of Israel, who currently feel defeated and hopeless. God tells Ezekiel to prophesy again, this time directly to the people of Israel: I will open your graves and bring you up from them… I will put my Spirit in you and you will live… Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken and done it. I don’t believe that the imagery nor the wording is coincidental. While obviously it was written to be an encouragement for the Jews living in the time of the exile, to turn their hearts to God, this is also something that Christians can look to for encouragement as well. When you flip forward to the New Testament to 1 Corinthians 15:20, Jesus Christ was raised from the dead as a firstfruit of those who have died. When He comes again, those who belong to Him will be raised up as well. The grave was opened for Jesus, and death holds no power over those who believe in Him. Further, just as the apostles received the Spirit at Pentecost in Acts 2, we too can know that God will put his Spirit into us so that we may live. And in this way, we know that it was God that did it.
At Leidy’s, we believe that “All of the Bible [is] for all of life.” How cool is it that the specific prophecies of the Old Testament foreshadow the promises found in the New Testament?
There is a familiar chorus we love to sing entitled “Give Thanks”, and on Thanksgiving Eve Leidy’s Church will be hosting a service of worship, where we can collectively give thanks to God for the many blessings in our lives. We all have a variety of reasons to give thanks as we reflect on the life God has given to us and all the provisions of life we enjoy, such as our families, our jobs, and our health and freedom to be sure. But the greatest thing God has blessed us with is salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ and the gift of eternal life in Him.
You are invited to come and join us at this special service that will focus on honoring and giving thanks to our God! The worship service will begin at 7:00 PM with elements of Scripture readings, prayer, testimonies, and of course corporate singing as we lift our hearts to God with thanksgiving and joyous praise.
So, on this solemn occasion whereby we as a nation celebrate Thanksgiving Day, may we as the people of God come together with gratefulness in our hearts to worship the Lord God, the Giver of every good and perfect gift.
Night to Shine planning is already underway for February 9, 2024!
Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God's love, for people with special needs. Leidy's Church has been a local host for this event for a few years now and it is such a blessing to the guests and volunteers alike! If you have any interest in celebrating such a special group of people with us, here is the link to register as a volunteer: https://leidyschurch.nighttoshine.com/. We will be sharing more info as the date gets closer, and detail some opportunities to get involved. It takes a lot of people to make this event happen. Please pass this onto anyone who you think might be interested!
Congratulations to Andrew & Carly Camuso at the baptism of their son, Maverick Gordon. May God be with them as they grow in Him.
On Sunday, December 3rd, all members and friends of Leidy’s Church are invited to our annual Advent Workshop, which is sponsored by the Ladies of Leidy’s group. This event is all-inclusive, meaning that all ages are encouraged to participate in assembling different holiday crafts, while enjoying the fellowship around the craft tables. A display table of “sample” crafts will be set up in the narthex near the main entrance of the Fellowship Hall, where people can choose a craft, and then sign-up on the sheets conveniently placed alongside each of the craft items. We do ask that parents assist their young child(ren) in selecting the craft.
Even if you think you are not crafty, do not let that stop you from joining in this fun-filled family-oriented holiday event. In addition to the craft-making there will be food provided for all in attendance. A delicious selection of pizza, beverages, and homemade desserts will be available for everyone to enjoy. So, if you do not want to do a craft, you are welcome to come for the meal and the fellowship time. Who knows, you might even get a chance to help one of the children with their craft as well.
We have some immediate needs for different roles and jobs that happen each Sunday at Leidy’s Church: Greeters, Childcare, and Coffee & Snacks. Please be thinking and praying about how you might help in one or more of these areas.
Please join us for our monthly LOL meeting on Tuesday, November 7th at 7pm in Rm. 123. Come see the Advent Workshop samples and sign up to assist or lead your favorite. We will also be nailing down plans for our annual Christmas Craft & Gift Sale. Join us to see how you can be plugged into all the fun and these worthwhile ministries. Questions? Feel free to contact Karen Mirabella.
All women are welcome to join us during the Sunday School hour for Not a Silent Night. Imagine Jesus from Mary’s point of view as we travel back in time from crucifixion to cradle witnessing His life and ministry together. Video teaching by Adam Hamilton along with discussion beginning on November 12th.
Zion Choral Society will be presenting one of their musical concerts in our sanctuary. the date is Sunday, November 12th. Starting time is 3pm, but you may want to get here a good bit earlier to get a seat. In fact, prelude music featuring organ and piano will begin at 2:30.
Zion Choral Society is a choir made up of men and women, young and old, from a variety of denominations, but all of whom delight in singing praises to God. Their concerts are intended to be worship experiences and will include some congregational singing.
There is no charge to attend the concert, but a free will offering will be taken. Invite someone to come with you and come to delight in the greatness of God and the salvation He’s provided through the Lord Jesus.
OPEN AUDITIONS & KICK-OFF PARTY
For Sonshine Players Spring Musical: Danny & the Shacks! Saturday, November 4th at 10:00 am (Room 123) Games…Snacks…Musical Preview! In particular we’re looking for bodybuilders, rockstars, and a few ferocious (cute) lions. Come and see how YOU can be involved…and bring a friend!
Grab your Christmas gift list and head to our Annual Christmas Craft & Gift Sale. Nothing says love like a homemade gift, and our variety of vendors will be able to help you find something for even the most difficult person to shop for. And don’t forget to come hungry too, since we’ll be offering delicacies for breakfast and lunch . . . as well as baked goods for your sweet tooth! Please spread the word to your friends, neighbors and co-workers and join us.
A lot more fun than shopping online by yourself, grab a friend and get in the Christmas Spirit! Give the folks on your list a gift that was made with love! Plus a portion of the proceeds benefit the Renovation Fund. Spread the word and help us make this the one “must attend” craft fair of the holiday season!
Palestine is much in the news these days – and with good reason. Leidy’s Church has an interest in Palestine that goes back several decades. You can find it in our budget under Holy Land Ministries. That ministry operates two Christian schools in Palestine, one in Hebron and one in Bethlehem. Here’s the backstory and the right-at-the-moment story.
Ida and Ada Stoltzfus from Lancaster County ran an orphanage in Hebron and the school grew out of that in 1954. God blessed the ministry of those two sisters and the school became an integral part of the Hebron community as it brought hope to may hundreds of children over the years. A group of Holy Land tourists from Leidy’s Church visited that school in 1996. It’s named the Hebron Evangelical School.
The first class in 1954 had 13 young boys as students. By the early 1980s the school had about 100 students. By the year 2000 the student population was about 300. With some creative reallocation of space, the enrollment has now been increased to its current 470 level.
In 2014 the ministry expanded by the founding of the Bethlehem Evangelical Academy, located in, guess where, Bethlehem. Yes, that Bethlehem. It now has an enrollment of 480 students. That means that in the past decade Holy Land Ministries ministry to youth in Palestine has grown from about 300 students to almost 1,000 students! Each school also has a substantial waiting list of those wanting to enroll.
You may have noted that each school has Evangelical as part of its name. That’s because each school is a clearly identified Christian school even though the vast majority of students is Muslim. What takes place at the schools? Just what one would expect: the teaching of basic subjects of education from grammar to history to art to biology and etc. The Hebron school is for grades K-6, while the Bethlehem school has classes for pre-K-12.
Included in each day’s activities is a morning chapel time with teaching from the Bible. The goal is to produce biblically minded graduates in an atmosphere of love and security despite being in an area of the world where violence and animosity often prevail. Holy Land Ministries is not concerned with politics. The ministry exists to minister to children and families in the West Bank by providing quality education in a biblically centered environment. Everything else is a distant second. The ministry is burdened to educate children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord regardless of religious or cultural background.
At this time, you might want to add Holy Land Ministries to your prayer calendar. Both schools are geographically in the thick of things in Palestine. Some Leidy’s folk support the school through a monthly sponsorship of a student. If that would be of interest to you, please contact Pat Niederhaus for more information.
Keeping track of time is important! Remember, that on November 5th, Daylight Savings time ends and our clocks will fall back one hour. Enjoy the extra snooze time!
Do you want to be a blessing? Of course you do. All we need from you is your signature, a word of encouragement, or a bible verse!
On November 5th we will be starting a church wide greeting card ministry to encourage individuals, and to let them know that we care about them and are praying for them as a church family. There will be four new cards out each Sunday in the Narthex for you to sign after church as you have your coffee and snacks. If you have someone in mind we should add to our list please contact Roger Jones or Phyllis Allebach and we will get to them as soon as possible.
Roger Jones: Cell Phone 267-718-4844; Email: email@example.com
Phyllis Allebach: Phone number 215-723-3397; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
God bless you for the blessing you have already been to so many of our church family.
I am sure you have seen the yard signs as you drive around town. Whatever you may generally think about politics these days, you have the right to vote on November 7th. Local schoolboard members are on the ballots, which will have an effect on the education of our children and grandchildren in public schools.
Leidy’s Church is a polling place for two precincts, which means that the Fellowship Hall and Kitchen areas are reserved for this election process, starting on Monday afternoon, November 6th, and ending on Tuesday evening around 9:30 pm.
If you are at the church during the voting hours on Tuesday, please park farther away, so that voters have access to the closest and most convenient parking spots. Please make it a point to out and vote, because your vote counts in this election.
Perhaps the person most responsible for the annual American observance of Thanksgiving Day is a woman named Sarah Josepha Buell. Among her literary works that included editing a number of influential women’s magazines over the years, she also is the author of the familiar children’s poem Mary Had a Little Lamb.
Though various American Presidents had proclaimed Days of Thanksgiving, a national observation was not in place. Mrs. Buell began advocating for such a holiday in 1846 and wrote letters to Presidents Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, and Abraham Lincoln. Her letter to Lincoln in 1863 in the midst of the Civil War and after the Union triumph at Gettysburg, struck a chord with Lincoln. He not only issued a Proclamation for a Day of Thanksgiving in 1863, but his example has been followed for the succeeding 160 years.
As Christians, as people of the Bible, and as Americans we have many reasons to observe Thanksgiving and many examples of such thanks being rendered to God.
Biblically, thanksgiving is urged upon the people of God early and repeatedly. Often it is given in words such as “remember” and “forget not.” Why should such be the case? Because we are prone to forget God and His blessings rather than remembering them. When our lives are drenched with setbacks and turn-asides, we murmur and complain and remember all that we think God has not done for us! But it is really at those very times that we should remember and not forget all that God has done for us. Such remembering will encourage us, sending us back to the refuge of the One who has our back and our front and our sides at all times.
Psalm 103 is a wonderful Psalm of Thanksgiving. This is a perfect time of year to read and review and meditate on it. Here are the first five verses:
Bless the Lord, O my soul, And all that is within me, Bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits.
Who pardons all your iniquities; Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit;
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things, so that you youth is renewed like the eagle.
Go ahead and read the rest of Psalm 103. It is filled with reasons for thanksgiving. The last two verses call for all creation to bless the Lord, and for us to join in the joyful crescendo of praise.
May each of our households have a blessed and joyous Thanksgiving in 2023.
Present: Brian Shoemaker, Jerry Kulp, Shaun Permar, Bob Ott, Aaron Vogelzang, Jim Kinney, Ken Merritt, Brian Radcliff, Jim Foote, Tony Kapusta, Josh Heebner, and Kendall Musselman Absent: Tim Leidy & Francis Weiss
The meeting was called to order at 8:10 PM. Brian Shoemaker opened with prayer.
Minutes: Minutes from the Consistory Meeting of September 6th were reviewed. It was noted that in the Business Manager section, Jenny Ertz should be edited to Jenny Ernst. On motion of Jerry Kulp, seconded by Brian Shoemaker, the Minutes were approved as corrected.
General Fund giving for September totaled $48,753, while budgeted expenses totaled $46,752, resulting in a Total Fund balance of $1,969. It was noted that we are no longer in the red, even if we paid pack the $100,000 we borrowed from the Renovation Fund. Regarding the Renovation Fund, contributions for September were $1,204 and interest and dividends in the account made $3,348. There were no disbursements made, resulting in a balance of $132,815.
Sunday school continues to run smoothly and monthly meetings are being held. Kid’s Quest has sufficient volunteers and an estimated 25-30 children attending each week. Inquirers class curriculum is being worked on and a class will be offered in the near future.
A four page list of items that need to be addressed at the currently vacant parsonage was distributed and discussed. Decisions are being made regarding what items can be completed by volunteers and skilled members of the church and what items will require contractors. Prior to the November Consistory meeting, the list will be organized in order of priority so that Consistory can begin to make decisions on items that will require church funds.
Work continues to be done to help Jenny Ernst, our new office manager, transition into her role. It was reported that the Missions Team completed their budget and as directed, it is relatively flat, with only a $100 increase this year. Outreach is in need of more grocery gift cards and they will be purchased with Good Samaritan Funds.
Members of Consistory got a “crash course” on how to operate the Fellowship Hall soundboard and it was noted that the volunteers who accessed the Wi-Fi have identified all the dead spots and are working on a solution.
Gaps were identified in our current ministry teams. These “gaps” include functions of the church that have not officially been designated to a team. A special meeting to address these gaps before the next Consistory meeting is being held. A revised ministry team document that addresses the identified “gaps” will be presented ahead of the next Consistory meeting for discussion and approval at that meeting.
The Pulpit Committee is planning to meet with members from the previous committee to gain insights from them regarding what they felt were best practices. After that, the committee will meet in early November. All members who were asked to be on the committee accepted.
The Worship Leader Position is still posted at Westminster and our church website. It will also be posted on Indeed. The need to put together a team to utilize local connections to help in the recruiting process was discussed and members were suggested. They will be contacted to see if they are willing to serve.
The Benevolence Committee will be meeting this month to complete work on the application process. It was emphasized that the goal of the application process is not to decrease benevolence funding, but rather to reallocate funds to organizations that need it most and that our church has a close relationship with. The team will draft a prioritized list of who we give to so that Consistory can potentially chose some organizations to give to in November.
Ken closed the meeting in prayer. The meeting adjourned at 11:17PM.
Question 35: Since we are redeemed by grace alone, through faith alone, where does this faith come from?
All the gifts we receive from Christ we receive through the Holy Spirit, including faith itself.
Titus 3:4–6: But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.
Commentary - Francis Schaeffer
We must realize that Christianity is the easiest religion in the world, because it is the only religion in which God the Father and Christ and Christ, Redemption, Grace the Holy Spirit do everything. God is the Creator; we have nothing to do with our existence, or the existence of other things. We can shape other things, but we cannot change the fact of existence. We do nothing for our salvation because Christ did it all. We do not have to do anything. In every other religion we have to do something . . . but with Christianity we do not do anything; God has done it all: He has created us and He has sent His Son; His Son died and because the Son is infinite, therefore he bears our total guilt. We do not need to bear our guilt, nor do we even have to merit the merit of Christ. He does it all. So in one way it is the easiest religion in the world.
This question deals with how believers come to faith and so receive the salvation purchased by Christ. It’s a question best asked in retrospect, as we look back over our lives and ask, “How did I, a fallen sinner, come to love Jesus and believe his gospel where so many others have not?”
In order to understand the magnitude of this, you have to understand that “the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing” (1 Cor. 1:18). Although we can intellectually comprehend the facts of the gospel, apart from the gracious intervention of God, we would reject it as folly. But the catechism reminds us that God does intervene. The Holy Spirit gives new life to sinners who were otherwise “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). As the gospel is preached, the Holy Spirit creates faith in our hearts so that we embrace the risen and reigning Christ as he presents himself through the gospel. Even faith (our obedient response to the gospel) is a gracious gift of God. This amazing truth has huge implications for how we view our salvation, the Christian life, and worship.
First, it confirms that our salvation is truly all of grace. None of us can boast that we’re saved because we made the most of the salvation offered to us. We certainly aren’t saved because we had enough moral and spiritual sense in and of ourselves to believe the gospel or because we were catechized so well (although that is important). No, we are saved only because, in his divine compassion, the risen Christ gave us the spiritual sight to believe the gospel. By his Holy Spirit, Jesus tilled the rocky soil of our hearts so that as the seed of the gospel was sown, it would bring forth the fruit of faith and repentance. If we believe the gospel, we should praise God for giving us the grace to believe it, for he is the only One who made the difference for us. Therefore, the Christian life must be marked by gratitude and humility. In and of ourselves, we are no better than our non-Christian neighbors. The only difference is that something (or, rather, someone) absolutely wonderful has come into our lives and changed everything.
Finally, knowing that our faith is a gift of God changes how we view public worship, particularly the preaching of the gospel. Through gospel proclamation, the risen Christ presents himself in saving power and transforms people for eternity. Eternal life does not begin when Christ returns; eternal life begins today as the Holy Spirit brings that life to us through the gospel, the power of God unto salvation. As we sit in our pews hearing the gospel, we are not just listening to a religious lecture. The greatest power in all the world is at work bringing new life to sinners. Heaven is coming to earth, a glorious “not yet” is breaking into the “here and now.” Public worship is the center of God’s redemptive action until Christ’s return when the world will behold him. Until that time, we behold him by faith, week by week, as we gather together in his name to worship him and hear his Word. And by the Holy Spirit, we are progressively being transformed in a way that will last for eternity.
3 Jaedyn Rittenhouse
4 Allison Walbrandt
6 Levi Kulp, Farrah McClaskey, Wanda Ritter
7 Vicki Freed
8 Lenora Leidy
9 Lorraine Kroesser, Drew Weiss
10 Dave Kirkpatrick, Ken Merritt, Diane Miller
11 Karen Focht, Nathan Kulp
15 Roger Jones, Donna Moyer
22 Sam Shafer
23 Beth Guntz, BJ Kulp
25 Ethel Greenawalt
26 Janice Peterman
27 Dorothy Kehs, Martha Wolgemuth
30 Bill Teate
3 John & Mary Leidy
7 Doug & Sue Lindner
8 Frank & Margaret Bivighouse
9 Bob & Jacqui Shafer
13 Justin & Emma Coale, Steve & Iryna Yagilnicky
14 Nick & Cassy Olsyzk
18 Don & Dianne Nase
19 Herb & Martha Wolgemuth
20 Ed & Cheryl Hall
26 Rod & Beth Harbon
George Frueh, Brandon Kehs, Dave Guntz, Roger Jones