One of the most affirming statements I've received recently is, "I'm reading the Bible now more than ever!" As your Pastor, this excites me greatly because I believe it is the Word of God that will "teach, rebuke, correct and train" all of us, as we become the people God desires us to be, (2 Timothy 3:16-17) This emphasis on the Bible, however, has raised some important and thoughtful questions within the life of the church. The primary questions I have heard are, "what place should the Bible take in our lives, or what kind of authority does the Bible have in the life of the church?" Though it may at times come with an anxious wrestling, I want to affirm that these are exactly the questions we need to be asking and wrestling with! What does it mean to follow the "Living Word" (Jesus) as we know him through the
"Written Word" (Scripture)? To this end, I'd like to recommend a small book that I've just finished reading. The book is entitled "The Last Word: Scripture and the Authority of God - Getting Beyond the Bible Wars" by N.T. Wright. It can be purchased from Amazon.com at this link:
http://www.amazon.com/Last-Word-Scripture-Authority-God--Getting/dp/0060872616/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1320849790&sr=8-1 N.T. Wright is a bishop in the Anglican church and one of the most respected biblical scholars of our day. In this small book he does a great job wrestling with these questions in a very thoughtful but accessible way. If you do purchase it, I'd love to hear what thoughts arise after you have read it!
For His Kingdom,
P.S. During Sunday's sermon I referenced a devotional entitled "My Heart, Christ's Home," by Robert Boyd Munger. Many of you asked where you could find this devotional in full. You can read and/or print the full devotional by clicking on this link.
Rev. Sidney Byrd from the Lakota Nation, November 16th, 6:15-7:15 pm
Sidney Byrd, a retired pastor and Native American historian who is 92 years old will be coming to speak at our church following tomorrow's Wednesday night dinner November 16th in Fellowship Hall. Reverend Byrd will be speaking about his experiences ministering to the Lakota People. As our church is strongly considering a mission trip to serve the Native American people of Arizona next summer, this would be a great time to come and hear more about Native American culture and ministry opportunities. Reverend Byrd will be sharing a number of great God stories. Come join us!
Baby Shower for Bethany Riegsecker, November 19, 1 pm
Tiny fingers, tiny toes, little itty-bitty clothes,
Dresses, bows, dolls, and curls,
You guessed it....Bethany's having a baby girl.
We're having a shower for Bethany Riegsecker, our Edge Band Leader.
You are invited to come shower and celebrate baby Riegsecker and mommy-to-be. on Saturday, November 19th, 1:00 p.m. in the church Fellowship Hall.
Please RSVP to Kristen Woodard (firstname.lastname@example.org
) or Stacey Tolbert (email@example.com
) by Sunday, November 13. Bethany and Gavin are registered at Babies 'R Us
Operation Christmas Child, November 20, After the Edge Service
On Sunday, November 20th all are invited to participate in Operation Christmas Child. We will gather in Fellowship Hall to build boxes (we will be using OCC boxes this year) and fill them and pray for the children who will receive them. We are collecting items to fill the boxes. Ideas for things to put in boxes are below. You may place your donated items in the boxes in Fellowship Hall or at the Welcome Station. There is an information sheet available on the collection boxes.
Toys - small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, small Etch A Sketch, toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries), slinky, etc.
School Supplies - pens, pencils and sharpener, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
Hygiene Items - toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), comb, washcloth, etc.
Other - Hard candy and lollipops (please double bag all candy), mints, gum, T-shirts, socks, ball caps, sunglasses, hairclips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries)
DO NOT INCLUDE - used or damaged items, war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures, chocolate or food, liquids or lotions, medications or vitamins, breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers, aerosol cans.
If you would like to donate $7 to help cover the shipping costs for the boxes, please make your checks payable to Samaritan's Purse with OCC on the memo line and place them in Lynn Bova's mailbox.
Christmas "Hanging of the Greens' November 28 and December 3
We soon will be preparing our church for the Christmas season. This is a time consuming task unless everyone helps just a little. This year we will need to take under consideration the construction that will be happening, so it may not be "everything as usual". Anyone who can contribute even a small amount of time, please call Carol Horstman at 419-349-7827. We will begin the "hanging of the greens" November 28 and complete on December 3. This means if you cannot attend on December 3, you may come and complete an area during that week. We will make certain we have someone to help you gain entrance to the church if that is necessary. After the Christmas Breakfast on December 3, we ask volunteers to come back to the church to complete the preparations for the Advent and Christmas Season. Let's make this a joyous occasion in readiness for Christ's birth!
All Church Christmas Breakfast, December 3, 8:30-10:30 am
Kick off the Christmas season with a time for food and fellowship at our Sixth Annual All Church Christmas Breakfast, organized by our Men's Fellowship Group. The breakfast is at Brandywine Country Club, 6904 Salisbury Rd, Maumee OH 43537. Tickets are $14.00 - Adult $7.00 - Children (Ages 6 -12). Click here to order tickets, so that you may be part of this great event in the life of our church.
Christmas on the Danube with Young at Heart, December 9, 5:30 pm
On Friday, December 9 Young at Hearters will enjoy "an armchair trip" on the Danube River in Europe with retired teacher Judy Pfaffenberger as their tour guide. More details to follow.
|Announcements|Edge Worship SurveyHave you attended the Edge Worship service? If so we would like your feedback. Please click here to help the Worship Committee with the planning of Edge Worship Services.We are soon going to have a new photo directory. Picture taking has finished, but if you were unable to get your picture taken during the scheduled times, we'd still love for you to be a part of the directory. Please submit a non-copyright picture by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by print copy to the church office.
Also, if you have any pictures you have taken at church events, worship, trips, etc. please submit those as well, as we would love to incorporate them in the directory and/or the church website. Make sure to be a part of this important publication for the life of our church. Questions? Contact John Pike or Dave Saunders.
As the Worship Commission makes plans to beautify our church for the upcoming Christmas Season, we would like to give everyone the opportunity to share in this endeavor. You are invited to purchase an outstanding red poinsettia in honor or in memory of a loved one. These names will be acknowledged in a bulletin insert on Sunday, December 18th. Donors may pick up their flowers on Christmas Eve following the services. Our Deacons will deliver those not claimed to our homebound members.
Please place your order by clicking here to print the form and deposit it in the "poinsettia box" on the Sanctuary foyer table or send it to the church office (attn Carol). Make checks payable to First Presbyterian Church ($12 each). Be sure to include your payment with your order. DEADLINE FOR ORDERING IS DECEMBER 4.
Kairos ReminderFor those in our church family who have short -term needs (meals delivered or transportation), your Kairos coordinator can come to the rescue. Every month, a Kairos coordinator is on call to match up members' needs with people in the congregation who can help to meet those needs. Meals for those who have just returned from the hospital or are coping with a disability or transportation to a doctor's appointment are examples of services that can be provided. If you have short-term needs, or know someone who does, please call the church office and they will help you to get in touch with the Kairos coordinator. First Presbyterian Church members are ready and willing to help, so please don't hesitate to call on the Kairos coordinator to connect you with help.
The Christmas holidays are just around the corner. Although ushers have been found for the Christmas Day service at 10:00 a.m., volunteers are still needed to serve as ushers for the Christmas Eve services at 4:30 and 8:00 p.m. Anyone who is interested in helping should contact Ben Driver at 419-893-2937 (email@example.com). Ben is also in charge of finding volunteers to help deliver Christmas poinsettias. There may be from 30-40 plants to be delivered, so any help would be greatly appreciated.
St. Paul's Community Center has asked for donations of new or gently used coats, socks, towels, hats, and mittens. With the approach of cold weather, it was decided to start on this project immediately rather than wait until January. A large box for donations will be located in the foyer, and another will be on the lower level. Thank you so much for your generous support.
The Deacons have sent Subway gift cards and good wishes to our college students. Exams are approaching, and it was our way of saying we're thinking of them and look forward to seeing them over the holidays. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
|Discipleship: Family Ministry|
This fall as we prepared for construction, we adapted our Education Hour and are offering a Children of God Bible Time for families. At Children of God Bible Time a story is told using manipulatives so not only are we hearing the story but seeing it also. After the story, we take time to ask some "wondering" questions. "I wonder if there is any part of the story we could leave out and still have all we need." Or "I wonder what part of the story you like best." It gets all of us thinking about the Bible story and what it means for us today. I would encourage you to join us! The conversation is always better when we hear the voices of all generations.
Kristin Woodard has added to our time together by leading us in song. We can always use some additional voices. Each week a devotional sheet is handed out for the families to use during the week and we end with prayer. So far this year we have talked about the church calendar, the Holy Family, and a variety of Old Testament stories.
This past week we had a special visitor for Veterans Day, Bryce Harbaugh, who shared his experience about faith and courage while serving our country.
This week we will gather in Fellowship Hall and pack boxes for Operation Christmas Child. This is one way we help our children understand service and mission. Please plan to join us. We always need extra hands for preparing the boxes. Donations are still being accepted and can be placed in the boxes in the hallway and in Fellowship Hall. Next, we will begin to prepare for Christmas with Advent lessons. We will be gathering in the Narthex for these lessons.
Session Highlights from October 24, 2011*
*Once official session minutes are approved they will be available in the church office.
Annual Joint Meeting with the Deacons
Met in groups of Deacons and Elders and discussed the relationship between Deacons and Elders and how each can support one another in the larger church. Some suggestions from these discussions were: How to help one another with duties, such as greeting/welcoming and assimilating new members. Communication was another key issue, with particular requests for a distribution of the homebound member list, clear communication of expectations from the nominating committee regarding deacon duties, keeping everyone in touch regarding changes due to construction.
The session approved the Consent Agenda which included the following:
Motion to approve the Clerk's Report of October 24, 2011.
Motion to approve Session minutes from September, 2011 meeting.
Motion to approve an "Edge Christmas Service" on Wednesday, 12/21/11 at 7 p.m.
Motion to approve celebrating worship on Sunday, December 25 (Christmas Day) with one service of worship at 10am in the sanctuary instead of our usual three services.
Motion to change the date of the December Session meeting from December 26 to December 19.
Motion to approve participation in Operation Christmas Child.
Treasurer's Report: Elder Mary Siefke
Pledge income for September was $7153 under budget with the non-pledge and loose categories pretty much on budget. There was no fund transfer last month so that decreases the total income by $12,505. In all, the combination of the lower pledge income and the funds transfer account for income $19,835 under budget for the month. Mary said that this time of year often lags behind and it is not a concern at this point. If the decreased income continues thru December then we should be concerned. Expenses are $15,125 under budget but this is mainly a timing issue. The large heat bills of winter will quickly deplete those surpluses. Year to date, income is right on target and expenses are $49,525 under budget. The endowments had another bad month due to the down market in September but our operating funds are well funded.
Report from Rev. Dan Hrach, Liason from the Committee on Ministry of the Presbytery
Rev. Hrach serves as mentor to Pastor Clint and liason from our church to the Presbytery. He met with a small group composed of Annette Blair, Judy Harbaugh, Jack Hemple and Pastor Clint to have a discussion concerning issues in the church. Pastor Hrach explained that the meeting was productive.
MO (Mission & Outreach): Elders Crawford Strunk & Wendy Price-Kiser.
Elder Strunk explained the four possible mission trips are being discussed for next year. A meeting will be held for those interested on November 2 at 6:00 p.m. The four options are: Mercedes, Texas; Kayenta, Arizona; Dominican Republic; and New Wilmington Conference.
Communication: Elder Andy Woodard
Kathleen Sheets explained the schedule for the new FYI email newsletter, which allocates a week each month for contributions from the various ministries of the church. She explained the schedule is not a strict guideline but the goal is to hear from everyone every month. The newsletter will be tied to the website more than the Visitor was. She also mentioned that the sermons from the Edge service can now be found on the webpage.
Personnel: Elders Gary Brown & Chuck Plymale
Elder Brown announced that they have interviewed for the bell director position and they have decided on director, Nick Kottman. He also explained that bell ringers will be asked to complete a survey regarding future scheduling and structure of the bell choirs.
Other Committees or Teams
Vision Team: Elder Judy Harbaugh
The Vision team met with commission chairs to cooperatively plan the Advent season. Elder Woodard revealed the theme this year will be "Reclaiming Christmas: This year, give presence. There are four areas to incorporate this thought into the life of our church: worship fully, spend less, give more, love all. There will be ads in The Blade and Mirror and cards with our Advent schedule that will be included in our Christmas baskets, given out at AA meetings, during caroling and the blood drive and during GriefShare.
Building Renovation Project Team: Elder Jim Calderone
The team has been working on conjunction with Rudolph Libbe and The Collaborative to remove $600,000 to $1,000,000 from the previous bids by deciding what we can do, what can be postponed, and what can be redesigned. The new plans will go out to rebid by the end of this week. Within two weeks we should have a new set of numbers to work with.
Memorials: Elder Sarah Platz
Elder Platz explained that since the Memorial Committee revised the memorial gift policies last May they feel it is important to standardize the way people can utilize the funds that are available. They ask that all requests for Memorial Funds be in writing and that the request include details as to the amount of the anticipated purchase and the reason the funds should be obtained from the Memorial Committee as opposed to other sources. Requests can be given to John Joslin (chair), Susan Platz (office manager) or Sarah Platz (elder representative on Memorials).
Pastor's Report: Pastor Clint Tolbert
Pastor Clint announced that he will be attending the "Fellowship Gathering" in Orlando in January and he would welcome others to join him at the conference.
Pastor Clint's explanation and opportunity for questions regarding "Growth Groups" will be next month.
Approved the following motion. The Resource Development Team, after carefully reviewing and discussing the Mission Exploration (Feasibility) Study conducted by Aly Sterling Philanthropy, requests Session approve a motion to affirm the study, move ahead with implementing the recommendations in the study and contract with Aly Sterling Philanthropy to serve as consultants in conducting a Capital Campaign with a goal of $1,500,000 with the Sterling fee included in the campaign budget.
Pastor Clint reminded Session that the Book of Order is advises a yearly review of the roles. He asked permission to ask Susan Platz for a list of active members that have not contributed monetarily in the past year. He, Susan, and Sarah Platz will then review that list to see if they have been seen at any event of the church in the past year. Only those "active" members that have not contributed nor attended will be brought to the session for removal from active status.
Special Christmas Services
We will be celebrating the coming of the Christ Child at First Presbyterian church with the following Advent and Christmas services.
December 14 - Christmas Pageant by the children and youth of First Presbyterian.
December 18 - 4:00 p.m. The Sanctuary Choir will be holding their annual Christmas Concert in the main Sanctuary followed by our annual Wassail Bowl celebration.
December 21 - 7:00 p.m. The Special Christmas Edge Service begun last year will be held in Fellowship Hall. Food, drama, music, and message.
December 24 - Christmas Eve Two services will be held at 4:30 and 8:00 p.m.
December 25 - 10:00 Combined service for the Christmas message
The Women's Retreat was held October -21 through October 23 at the Lial Retreat Center in Whitehouse. 22 women attended. The retreat was led by
Ginger Brown, a retired Episcopal Lay Pastor. The time away included spiritual study and exploration, personal connection with each other and wonderful worship including music led by Lynne Rayl. In addition to our inspirational sessions, the free time was filled with outside walks on the beautiful campus, massages for those interested and as always the fun times of games and frivolity. The retreat Committee works all year to provide us with an energizing weekend, and we were not disappointed.
Next year's retreat will be at The Pines in Fremont. If you have not joined us, please consider coming next year. It's a gift you give yourself and the rewards gained are immeasurable.
Circle of Friends Bible Study, 2nd & 4th Thursdays at 6:00 pm
This bible study group meets the second and fourth Thursday of the month at 6:00 PM at church. We finish for those who attend choir practice at 7:30. The group last met on November 10th, and will not meet again until January 12 due to Thanksgiving and no meetings scheduled for December. We will be starting a new study in January and will keep you updated on the title. We would welcome any new people to join us.
Wednesday Morning Bible Study, Wednesdays at 10:30 am
This group meets on Wednesday mornings at 10:30 AM at the Panera's on Dussel Dr. in Maumee. We are using Dietrich Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship. Currently we are on the chapters involving the Sermon on the Mount. If you are interested in joining us, please contact Lynn Bova as she can supply you with the book.
5 Fs Bible Study, Thursdays at 5:30 pm
This group meets on Thursdays at 5:30 PM at different locations, each chosen by that week's scheduled leader. We are currently studying the Kerygma study Into the World, the Acts of the Apostles. Each meeting provides time for prayer, study and fellowship, and united us as sisters in Christ. New members are welcomed at any time. Our next meeting will be November 17 at Zinful's in Waterville at 5:30 PM. For more information on location, contact Kristin Wacha, Diane Harper or Lynn Bova.
Joys and Concerns
Lois Driver The Laurels of Toledo Rehab
Kay Connor St. Luke's Hospital
Keith Roberts Home
Ralph Mattes Perrysburg Manor
Marcia Hebbeler Avalon by Otterbein, Monclova
Our home centered member of the week is Bonnie Richards. Members may send a card or note to her at Swanton Health Care, Assisted Living, Room #403, 214 S. Munson Road, Swanton, OH 43558.
Our collegiate members of the week are Brian Russell and Errin Brooks. Members may send a card or note to Brian at 1317 W. Lunt Avenue, Chicago, IL 60626-3031. Brian's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Members may send a card or note to Errin at 2322 E. Wooster Street, Bowling Green, OH 43402.
Please be sure to remember them this week in your prayers or with a card or note.
15th Todd Hendricks
16th Jeremy Coger, Rachel Plymale, Steven Secord
17th Larry Hubbell, Kristina Keeler, Bruce & Lucy Russell (32nd)
Glenn Meerdink, Betty Root, Judy Setterberg
18th Marianne Duvendack, Nancy Rasmusson
19th Ian Rubini
20th Andy Woodard
21st Jim & Janet (Russ-) Jones