September 7, 2020
Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” -Matthew 6:33

We have to back up from our memory verse for today and find out what “things” Jesus is referring to … In verse 25, Jesus says, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”

Even if your worries are not quite as dire as enough food and adequate clothing, in March of 2020, a reckoning of how fragile life is came into question for us all. And I don’t just mean the disruption of health that COVID-19 causes and its death toll. Through this pandemic we have also seen the fragility of our economic system, our government, our institutions like hospitals and schools. We have seen the fragility of relationships, that have fragmented over opposing views. And whether we are in pandemic times or not, every human has their own slew of things they worry for in their lives – ailing parents, struggling children, job stress, marriage challenges, health issues and more!

I firmly believe God is more than ok with us struggling with the words of the Bible. I like to think God smiles at that thing within us that pushes back or “kicks against the goads.” That being said, raise your hand if you want to line up with me one day at the gates of heaven and say to Jesus, “Really? Don’t worry? Is that even possible? Have you been down there on earth? Oh yes, you have! So, you know! Remember the Garden of Gethsemane? Remember your words from the cross about being forsaken? My loving and benevolent Lord, in a lifetime … there is so much to worry about!! How can you tell us not to worry??!!” 

Remember Mary challenged Jesus about the death of Lazarus, so such a challenge of your Lord is ok.

Jesus may say to us what he already states in scripture … “Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?” The answer to Jesus’ question is no, we can’t. Maybe Jesus would also add, “It is silly to think that life will not be scary and stressful at times, it is when worry becomes a habit that people lose sight of God’s kingdom. Remember there is no space that you can enter that I have not gone ahead of you.
In that answer are we then offered all that we need? Does that make each day sufficient unto itself?

These are my assumptions about how Jesus may answer our pleading, but in our memory verse Jesus actually says, “To first seek the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Remember what we learned this summer in our Beatitudes sermon series about the blessing of seeking God’s righteousness? Erik Kolbel, author of What Jesus Meant: The Beatitudes for a Meaningful Life, writes this on righteousness, “Put yourself in right relationship with God by putting yourself in right relationship with others. And put yourself in right relationship with others by putting yourself second and them first.”
If we did that, it seems to me Jesus’ words would be fulfilled and “all these things would be added unto us,” for if we REALLY put others first, I imagine there would be enough food, enough drink, bodies cared for, and all wrapped in God’s grace and blankets against the cold.

But in a world where we struggle to put others first, God still reigns and the kingdom we seek is still present! So do not make worry your habit, when all appears to be crumbling, hold onto to this sentiment also found in Kolbel’s book …. “One day a visitor found Francis of Assisi out in his garden, hoeing, the visitor asked him, "Francis, what if you were to learn that the world were to come to a calamitous end tomorrow? What would you do?" After pausing a moment, Francis looked at the visitor, smiled, and said, "I'd keep hoeing."

Be at peace for God’s kingdom is here! Seek God righteousness through love! And know you are cared for beyond the worries of the day! Amen!

~Leigh Sackett, Director of Christian Education
Parking Lot Picnics & Lunch Under the Oaks
This fall, we have two different Wednesday fellowship opportunities.
Parking Lot Picnics- September 16 and 30 at 6:00 PM
Lunch Under the Oaks- September 23 at 12:30 PM
Registration is required by noon on Monday the week of the event either using the online link in the This Week @ RCPC or by calling the church office, 540-343-5541 x 111 and leave Anne Currin a message. There will NOT be a paper sign up sheet in the Gathering Area. Meals are a suggested donation of $7 for an individual 12 years and up, $5 for children ages 4-11, and free for 3 and younger, with is a max of $20 for a family. Please bring the following:
  • chair, blankets, or whatever you wish to sit on
  • drink
  • donation in a sealed ENVELOPE with your name and # attending (*Note: there will be no change provided due to Covid precautions)
The Fellowship Committee will be wearing masks, gloves, and socially distancing to get the food into individual or family boxes. Plastic utensils and napkins will be provided. We ask that you place all trash in the provided garbage cans.

We always welcome new volunteer!. Please contact Maureen Guelzow at nanaguelzow@gmail.com or 540-529-5347 if you are interested.
RCPC Hike
Liz and Chad Heddleston are planning some outdoors fun for the church this fall! We kick off with a hiking trip on Saturday, September 19 at Falls Ridge Preserve. This trail is great for all levels. The main loop is about 1 mile, but very scenic with a waterfall, creek, and rock formation. There is an optional add-on for people wanting to hike farther. We will meet in the church parking lot at 9:00 AM. Pack a lunch to enjoy after the short hike, and plenty of water. This trail was actually their daughter Sophie’s first ever hike when she was just a few weeks old! Contact the Huddlestons to register: email Liz at lizcbarry@gmail.com.
RCPC Helps Bring a New Playground to Roanoke
 
RCPC Endowment contributed $15,000 to an effort by Kiwanis Club of Roanoke to build a new playground off of Melrose Ave beside the Goodwill complex. Before the completion of this playground the area lacked a play space for children and families. Now, a beautiful new playground including handicap accessible equipment and something for all ages—even a fitness circuit for adults and older youth, invites everyone to play outside. The playground was dedicated on Sunday, August 30.
Meal Train for Isabella Fagiani
We are so excited to welcome Isabella as our new Associate Pastor at Raleigh Court Presbyterian Church! Let's make her transition to Roanoke as stress-free as possible as she gets settled into the new routines. Rebecca Whaley has set up a meal train to last for 5 weeks, but let her know if you don't find a date that works for you and she can add a few dates as needed. This is a great opportunity to meet Isabella, introduce yourself, and welcome her to our beautiful city!

RCPC Preschool Update!
The preschool is in search of a teacher‘s assistant to work 3-5 days/week from 8:45-12:15. In Addition, we are looking for substitutes to fill in as needed. These are amazing opportunities to connect with and serve RCPC’s preschool Community and work in a loving and supportive environment. Please contact Betsy Prillaman if interested: betsy@rcpres.org or (540) 345-8035
September Opportunity for Generosity - Presbyterian Community Center
This month we challenge the RCPC community to support the Presbyterian Community Center with a goal of $5,000. In the past several years, we have submitted two teams for the PCC Train Tug, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no train tug this year. This is a loss to the center of registration dollars and sponsorship money. But we can still do our part!

The PCC is needed even more now than in other times. Their Pathways for Youth students are participating in an all-day program that allows them to complete their digital school work. The emergency assistance program has doubled in requests for rent assistance, and the suspension of evictions ends in September, promising to raise this need even higher for those who have lost their jobs in these months.

You can make your gift as a check to RCPC and note PCC in the memo line or donate online:
THANK YOU FROM WEST END CENTER

When the West End Center Friends Mission Group started the school supplies drive for the West End Center last month we weren't sure if the children were going to school or not, but we went ahead with the plans. Our congregation generously raised over $2100 and collected a fair amount of supplies to help the children as school starts virtually and hopefully in-person soon. That is most impressive and so helpful. The staff at West End Center thanks you very much! 

We soon learned that the center was going to serve as a Virtual Learning Center for Roanoke City Public Schools. To help the center prepare for this new purpose, 100 plastic school boxes were purchased and filled with supplies the children would need to use at their work stations. The center set up tables safely spaced for each child throughout their two buildings to serve the 97 students attending school there. The start of school, just like many of you at home with your children, has had its bumps. They are struggling with internet connectivity, hiring staff, and juggling virtual check-in and Zoom schedules for all the children. Meals are being provided by the school and that has helped greatly. 

No one knows what will happen over the next few weeks and if children will return to school for the second quarter, but if they do, supplies bags will be put together for each child. Until then we are helping them with miscellaneous expenses, like ether cables, related to hosting the Virtual Learning Center. Thank you again for your support and prayers.
Fall 2020 Service Times
Beginning Sunday, September 13:
9:00 AM - Sanctuary
11:00 AM - Sanctuary & Livestream
Children’s Worship at 11:00 AM Service
No nursery available at either service.

Children’s Worship will take place following the Children’s Time in the 11:00 AM service. When weather permits, Children’s Worship will take place in the Columbarium. During rainy or cold mornings we will have Children’s Worship in the Fellowship Hall.
Podcast
Did you know RCPC has a podcast on iTunes? Use your iPhone or iPad to subscribe today to the podcast. Each week the most recent sermon and the Wednesday Reflection are uploaded, so you can listen at your convenience as you walk the dog, take your daily run, or drive to the grocery store. Our spiritual lives are part of the daily routines. Use this podcast as a way to stay connected to your Church and God's Word throughout the week!

Click Below to Subscribe: Raleigh Court Presbyterian Podcast
SEPTEMBER BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES
Special Birthday Wishes:

Betty Walker celebrating her 93rd birthday on September 8.

Special Anniversary Wishes:

Kirk & Barbara Lashley on celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary on September 3.

Bob & Barbara Nesmith on celebrating their 57th wedding anniversary on September 22.
1 Ginny Smith
Pat Wade
2 Lauren Britt
Linda Brundrett
4 Carole Banks
5 Debbie Reynolds
6 Jane Powell
8 Betty Walker
10 Mila Reynolds-Saint
11 South Edwards Crawford
14 Jeff Bossert
Kathleen Carroll
Susan Clark
Daniel Owen-O'Quill
15 Sue Basham
Mary Frances Donnelly
Alton Knighton, Jr.
16 Lillian Alexander
Lado Moja
17 Henry Fox
18 Hannah Hertz
19 Megan Brown
20 Cecilie Hanslik
21 Carter Lee Naff
Colton Thomas Naff
Frank Plecity
22 David Hollingsworth
23 Sara Catherine Knappe
27 Mac Snead
28 Alex Abbott
Emma Kate Shaver
29 Anna Favor
Bill Haynie
Laura Jane St. Clair
THIS WEEK
The This Week is published every Monday morning via email. This publication is for weekly activities at RCPC. If you would like to receive this email please contact Julie Satterwhite at Julie@rcpres.org or call the church office at 540-343-5541.

The deadline for the This Week is noon on Wednesday prior to the Monday publication.
PRAYER REQUESTS
Helen Barranger, Mary Frances Donnelly, Chuck Foley, Bill Gordge,, the Holt Family, Dick Kepley, Susan Lindstrom, Bruce Long, Helen Lovelace, Irene Maygarden, Susan Moore, Jennifer Owen-O'Quill, Daryl Polythress, Marion Raney, the Rusgrove family, Bucky Thomas, Bryan Tims, Marcia Via, Betty Walker, and all caregivers.

Our sincere thoughts and prayers are with the family of Jeannette Cooley on her passing on August 27.

(Prayers request as of Friday, September 4)
Names in bold indicate an addition to the prayer list this week.
Monday, September 7
Labor Day - Church Offices Closed

Tuesday, September 8
9:00 AM - RCPC Preschool Orientation
12:15 PM - Preschool Board Meeting
6:30 PM - BSA Wolf & Bears
7:30 PM - C.A.R.E.

Wednesday, September 9
7:00 AM - Worship with Communion
8:00 AM - Fellowship Time
9:00 AM- RCPC Preschool First Day
7:15 PM - Bell Choir
Friday, September 11
9:00 AM - Preschool

Saturday, September 12
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM - Habitat House Build

Sunday, September 13
9:00 AM - Worship in Sanctuary
11:00 AM - Worship in Sanctuary
12:30 PM - Discover RCPC
5:00 PM - Youth Bells
6:00 PM - Youth Group
1837 Grandin Road SW, Roanoke, Virginia 24015  540.343.5541