A monthly journal of faithful living
February 2017
Inspiration from Our Pastor

Dear Friends, 

This is the month!  February.  Emilia becomes a big sister! And well, I am finding it harder and harder to wait patiently.  The nursery is painted, the crib is put together, Emilia is preparing!  Ali and I both want to say thank you for the very generous “sprinkle” that turned into a heavy rain of gifts to help us get ready and keep the Bugg boy clothed, diapered, and entertained.  Sunday January 22 felt to us like a huge hug to our whole family.  Thank you. 

I’ll try to contain my excitement.  I do want to share with you a passage of scripture that appeared in the lectionary last week alongside the Beatitudes.  It is from the prophet Micah, a minor prophet just pages from Matthew’s gospel.  He wrote a long time ago, and scholars continually debate when exactly his words were written.  His is the mantle of prophet, charged to lift the veil of the future to destroy false expectations and to unmask the political powers and the piety of religious authorities (so writes Hans Walter Wolff, a German Old Testament Scholar).  Micah is particularly effective at unmasking and the book of Micah reads with almost whiplash-inducing swings from judgment to grace.  Finally, in Chapter 6, we hear Micah recounting God’s argument to his people: Have I required too much of you?  To which the people Israel respond saying, “With what shall I come before the Lord?” They go on to suggest all things they might hold as valuable and worthy—rams, calves, “rivers of oil.”  But then, there is a response, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”  What a reminder for all of us in these days!  Doing justly means not exploiting others, and particularly not exploiting those of weaker social position; loving mercy means reflecting God’s spirit of generosity, loyalty and graciousness (hesed is the Hebrew word, difficult to translate into English concisely—it is faithful-loving-kindness, “the grace that binds humans to God and to our neighbors and friends.”)  And finally, walking humbly.  Walking humbly is, to quote another scripture, “living a life worthy of the calling you have received.” Living this way consistently and honestly imbues the ceremonies of life with meaning and purpose; they shall not be hollow, substance-less affairs.  

I’d like to teach that to my children. I want them to know that hope is present, even when the world seems uncertain.  I want them to have the certainty of the hope of God.  I want them to learn to embody what the Lord has called “good” in Micah 6:8.  And I want all Christians to hear Micah’s call to wage war on our own hypocrisy before anything else.  

As I write fastidious preparations are being made to host the homeless right at the beginning of the month.  I am consistently impressed with work of Wycliffe in this massive undertaking.  May each person through those doors experience Christ’s love and forgiveness within our walls.  And may each hand that purchased, brought in, opened doors, patted backs, directed, cooked, served or moved furniture find God’s blessing as God’s children are housed here for these few days.

—Pastor Bugg

A Prayer Based on Micah 6:8
Give us, O Lord, an eye for injustice.
For it is only when are able to recognize injustice and feel its awful sting that we will be moved to make things right.

Give us, O Lord, a tender heart.
Sometimes we are too hard-hearted to recognize when we have been uncaring, unfeeling, or unkind.

Grant us, O Lord the ability to view life from the dust.
All our lives we have been taught to make others proud, to be proud of ourselves, to hold our heads high -- all the while missing the virtues of being poor in spirit.

Teach us dear Lord, to do justice, love kindness, and to walk humbly with you. Amen.

Carolyn W. Dandridge, Discipleship Ministries
Africana Worship Book for Year A
Copyright Discipleship Resources. Used with permission.

Annual Meeting - February 12
The Session has called the Annual Congregational Meeting of Wycliffe Presbyterian Church to be held immediately following worship on February 12, 2017.  

The purpose of this annual meeting is to review and approve the minutes from our 2016 Congregational meetings on Feb. 21,  April 3,  and Sept. 25; to review and approve the terms of call for the pastor; to consider an easement along Great Neck Road with the City of Virginia Beach, and to receive the annual report which includes reports from the committees of the church, the approved 2017 budget and much more. 

Click HERE to view the Annual Report which contains the agenda for the meeting and a copies of the minutes and the terms of call which will be approved at the meeting.  If you would like a printed copy of the report please contact the Church Office. (496-2620) A few copies will be available for the congregation at the Annual Meeting. 
Focus on Ministry

Note:  For the past year the Translation has highlighted the committees and ministries at Wycliffe.  Each month we took an in-depth look at one of our ministries.  This article concludes this series.  It is from our music director, Sandi Billy

The Ministry of Music

Worship is the one hour of the week that gives meaning to all the rest, for through this gathering we take part in God’s “family reunion.”     Just as we might enjoy traditions at our own family gatherings, when we are part of God’s family reunion, we also take part in familiar practices and songs and customs that draw us closer to God and to each other. 

Very early in Christian history a basic pattern of worship developed.  It emerged from two roots:  the synagogue worship of ancient Judaism, and the Lord’s Supper experience of the Upper Room.  The early church fused what happened in the synagogue: singing, prayer, scripture, sermon; and what happened in the Upper Room: Jesus’ last meal with his disciples.  From its earliest days, the church practiced this two-part worship:  the Service of the Word, and the Service of the Table.  We see these examples in both Acts 2 and 20, and in Luke’s Emmaus story.   

Today we practice what’s known as a “4-fold pattern of worship” first described by Justin Martyr in his First Apology, written around 150 CE.    While a great deal of variation may occur from one denomination to another, we all follow the same basic pattern:   We Gather, We Hear God’s Word, We Respond to God’s Word, and We’re Sent into the World.  As each part unfolds, our encounter with God becomes richer. 

WE GATHER:  God calls us and we come.  We greet each other and create an atmosphere for people at all stages of faith and from all walks of life to offer our praise and thanksgiving.  Through baptism we are grafted into the family of God, and in the same way God called us, we extend the invitation to others. 

WE HEAR GOD’S WORD:   Our church follows the World Council of Churches’ “lectionary” which is a schedule of Bible readings for each week of the year.  Throughout this 3-year cycle we hear almost the entire Bible including passages from the Old Testament (including the most ancient texts of the Hebrews, words of the psalmist and the prophets), and from the New Testament (including both gospel and epistle readings). 

We are called to live transformed lives and it begins with the stories of God’s love.  We hear the stories of our faith read, and occasionally we become the ‘actors’ in the story as we read them aloud together.  We sing the stories of faith through hymns, hear them through anthems, and see them through symbols etched in the sanctuary window and portrayed in the stained glass, through fine art and images pictured in the Sunday worship guide, and in the 3-dimensional visuals such as the Pentecost hanging of hundreds of origami doves, or the simple stars given to everyone on Epiphany.    When we immerse ourselves in the Word of God, we become part of God’s story in the 21st century. 

RESPONSE:  We respond to God’s Word in a variety of ways.  Just as our ‘family reunion’ likely centers around a table, so, too, does our Sunday reunion as part of God’s family.  Through the sacrament of Communion we have a visible reminder of our union with Christ and each other, and become part of Christ’s fourfold action as we recall that he took, blessed, broke, and gave.   Another way we respond to God’s Word is to share our time, talent, and treasure as we commit ourselves to live as God’s people. 

SENDING:   Great fellowship and tremendous acts of service happen within the walls of our church, but when the last hymn is sung and the benediction is given, we leave the building in search of ways to serve both the spiritual and material needs of the world as Christ’s partners in earthly ministry. 

Women Sing!
All women are invited to join the ladies of the choir to sing in worship on Sunday, February 19.   No experience necessary!   Meet in the choir room that day at 9:30am and we’ll have a great time learning a lovely (simple) song with words found etched on the wall of a WWII concentration camp:  “ I believe in the sun, even when it’s not shining; I believe in love, even when I cannot feel it; I believe in God even when he is silent.”  
February Events
Ladies Lunch Out ~ February 8
Join us for our monthly luncheon on Wednesday, February 8. We will meet at 11:45 am at Bay Local Eatery, 2917 Shore Dr.  Guests are welcome. To make reservations, call Betty Douglas at 481-5854.
Culture Club ~ February 11
Join us on Saturday, February 11 as we attend a wine tasting.  We will meet at Tinto Wine & Cheese shop (640 Hilltop West Shopping Ctr) at 2:00 pm.  Tinto (which means red wine in Portuguese) offers a small diverse selection of wines from family owned wineries, primarily in Europe. The shop also offers tapas and cheese plates. Contact Rene Hudgins (481-9606) to make reservations.   

Presidents' Day - February 20
In observance of the Presidents' Day holiday, the office will be closed on Monday, February 20.

March Events

Ash Wednesday - March 1
On Ash Wednesday, March 1 there will be a joint service with the congregation of Virginia Beach Christian Church.  The service will be held at their church on  2225 Rose Hall Dr at 7 pm.  Please join us as we begin the holy season of Lent.

Presbyterian Perspective

We Choose Welcome

This is part of an e-mail which was sent to all Presbyterian churches from the PC(USA) offices in Louisville, KY.  We have included this message in the newsletter in order to convey this information to you.

I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matthew 25:35)

When we welcome refugees, we welcome the refugee Jesus. Warned in a dream, Joseph and Mary took the infant Jesus to Egypt to keep him safe from Herod. At that moment, he and his parents became refugees. 

Our recent observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day reminds us that our nation’s record of welcome is far from perfect. Jewish refugees fleeing persecution were turned away from our shore during that time. On countless occasions since, however, our nation has provided succor for those fleeing persecution, war, and violence. 

As this is being written, our nation, and we as Presbyterians, face another moment of decision. Will we welcome refugees in Jesus’ name or will we go along with policies that would turn away those unable to remain in their homes and forced to seek safety and security in other nations, including our own? 

This past week, the President signed an executive order that would halt refugee resettlement and would bar refugees from certain (mostly Muslim majority) countries entering the United States. Church World Service reports that the order suspends the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days for all populations, indefinitely bars Syrian refugees from resettlement in the United States and does not allow entry into the country of nationals from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen (this includes refugees and people with Special Immigrant Visas) for the next 90 days. The premise is that this will protect us from terrorists.

Presbyterians, along with people of other faiths and people of good will, have responded that we will not give in to fear and we will follow the call of Jesus to welcome. In a January 28, 2017 statement, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) said “We stand ready to welcome our new neighbors, friends, and family of all faiths and nations.Read the statement. Resources follow to support Presbyterians who seek to practice welcome in Jesus’ name. 

Policy Base

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and its predecessor denominations have consistently called the church to welcome refugees in the name of Jesus. This call began when the 160th General Assembly (1948) of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America called for the resettlement of persons made refugees and displaced by World War II and continued through the 222nd General (2016) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)  statement calling the church  to “respond to the ancient biblical directive to provide for the stranger and the sojourner. 

A statement from the Presbyterian Mission Agency
An agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

All 6th - 12th grade students are invited. Bring your friends!
February Activities
Hosting the Homeless
February 3
We are hosting the homeless dinner Friday, February 3. Meet at church at 7:30 and bring cookies/ brownies/ etc for dessert. Rene Hudgins will bring the fried chicken, mac and cheese, and salad. We will set up tables and chairs, serve dinner, and make sandwiches for their next day lunch. The guests should be there by 8:15, eating by 8:30. We should be finished by 9:30. Please tell your friends- more people  less work for all!

Cocoa & the Calendar
February 12
Come and enjoy hot chocolate and help to plan our activities for the coming year. Our meeting is Sunday, February 12 at 5 pm. Bring your calendars and ideas so we can plan for the next half of the school year. 

Watch the Wycliffe Youth Facebook page for the most current information about Youth events.

Clerk's Corner: Gail Schwartzer

At the January 25 session meeting the following actions were approved:

  • Accepted one time anonymous restricted $2500 gift to be distributed to staff as follows:  $1400 to Pastor Garrett Bugg; $800 to director of Music – Sandi Billy and $300 to Church Administrator, Mary Lou Crifasi.  The funds will be distributed no later than Feb. 1, 2017.  All taxes that may be due are to be paid by the recipients. 

  • Approved the baptism of Terry Lee Browning III on March 5, 2017, son of Lindsey B. and Terry Lee Browning. 

  • Approved Ruth Hogan & Adam Christopher’s wedding 12/16/17 @ 6:00 pm @ Wycliffe 

  • Approved 2016 Statistical Report.  

  • Approved Dave Carney & Jim Haynie as Trustees  for Wycliffe Presbyterian for next 3 years. 

  • Approved Jim Haynie as Financial Secretary for 2017. 

  • Approved Gail Schwartzer as 2017 Clerk of Session. 

  • Approved Vickie Burden as 2017 Treasurer.  Erin Tinaro will finish her term Jan. 31, 2017. 

  • Approved 4 special offerings in 2017 – Peace & Global; One Great Hour of Sharing; Pentecost; and Joy offerings 

  • Approved communion @ Wycliffe Presbyterian be served monthly- on the first Sunday of each month - as well as Maundy Thursday; Easter Sunday; Christ King Sunday; Christmas eve and Christmas. (Worship) 

  • Authorized & approved Cindy Hogan, Carol Gunter, Marsha Miles, Patty Werner, Robin LaVigne and Tom Carter as 2017 Collection Committee. 

  • Approved Thad Brake, Jim Haynie & Kelley Gangwer as authorized check signers of Wycliffe’s  checking account in 2017 

  • Approved Jodi Rossman, Barry LaVigne and Jim Haynie as authorized users of all bank and investment accounts in 2017.

  • Approved Annual Congregational meeting on Feb. 12 

  • Approved grant to the City of Virginia Beach of utility maintenance & easement not to exceed 20’ x 20’ adjacent to the west side of Great Neck Road along the right of way,  to maintain Wycliffe’s sewer line and clean out. 

  • Elected David Gangwer as vice chair of Nominating Committee for 2017. 

  • Elected G. Schwartzer as CRE for 1/28/17 PEVA meeting.
2017 Session Members

Administration, Stewardship & Finance: Jim Haynie & Lisa Sowell
Christian Education: Rene Hudgins & Lee Uittenbogaard
Christian Service & Missions:   Jackie Alcorn & Chuck Steenburgh
Facilities:  Garland Miles & Cathy Rotch
Fellowship: Francie Brake & David Gangwer
Member Care:  Darrell Kennedy & Beverly Parker
Outreach & Mission: Robin LaVigne & Carolyn Lindsey
Worship:  Josie Collier & Mark Via 
Planning & Review: Bob Prestridge
Clerk: Gail Schwartzer 
Pastor: Garrett B. Bugg


Vickie Burden - Treasurer                               Jim Haynie - Financial Secretary


Jim Haynie (2017)                                          David Carney (2017)  

Click heading or calendar to link to a larger calendar that can be printed.