NOVEMBER NEWSLETTER

We are a Christian community dedicated to doing God's work. God gathers us in a loving and healing environment to explore the mystery of our faith.

Pastor’s Perspective

.

November 2017

Christian mystics and contemplatives are those strange men and women who seek silence and solitude in order to hear. That sounds nutty. Why would someone intentionally enter silence and solitude in order to hear? It is, however, the preferred, some suggest the only way to truly hear God. Otherwise, there’s too much noise and clutter and this drowns the “still small voice” and nothing is heard except the chaos. These are men and women who, historically, retreated to the desert and lived lives of isolation and complete simplicity. Their life focused on the presence of God. The availability of deserts seem to be sparse today. But there are still some who seek them. Often these folks are found in the silent darkness of early morning meditating. Or, maybe, doing yoga or focused walking on a prayer Labyrinth. These folks seem strange, and are sometimes difficult to understand. They talk about odd topics, such as the dangers of “attachments.” In a culture and society which focuses on “having,” on attachments, this seem particularly odd. But what we are attached too, in the eyes of the contemplative, actually owns us.

It follows the old African story of how to trap a monkey. What is done is that the hunter cuts a whole in a heavy fallen log and hallows part of it out. Then the hunter places a large piece of fruit or banana in the hole. The monkey then comes down, cupping its hand, slips it into the hole and grabs the fruit. The trouble is the hole is too small for the monkey to take its hand out without letting go of the fruit. But it’s NOT going to do that! The monkey hangs on and fights and struggles and wonders why it can’t become free! But, it’s now attached to that piece of fruit and the monkey isn’t going to let it go even if it means a loss of freedom. The monkey hangs on and pulls and tugs and fights, when all it has to do to find freedom is let go. In the end, the “attachment” costs the monkey its life.

Stupid monkey, huh? Don’t rush to judgment. What in your life do you hold onto tightly which prevents real, authentic freedom and fullness in God’s Kingdom? What do you hold onto that you “have to have” which keeps you entrapped? As we approach Consecration Sunday this is a key question. What are my attachments and how do these limit my life? What won’t I let go of so that I might be authentically free and walk side by side with Christ? The words of Scripture speak the same truth, “You cannot serve two masters, you will love one and hate the other.”

Monkey’s need to eat. We need our time, the talent God gave us, and we need a certain amount of money to live. I’m not questioning this for a moment. The question which presents itself is have these changed in my life from tools to fulfill a need and been transformed into attachments? Prayerfully consider what in your life can be surrendered into the loving hand of an ever creating God. When you or I let go, what returns is tenfold compared to what is surrendered.

Peace,

Pastor Mike


A Thought to Ponder

It is because of our attachment to things we suffer. By letting go we have not lost anything except our attachment.

Sogyal Rincoche


50th Anniversary of First Worship Service in This Church Building

On Sunday, December 3, 2017, we celebrate fifty years, to the exact date, of our first worship service in this building. There are several wonderful ways we will enter into gladness and rejoicing around this landmark of Christ’s presence. One way is to develop a pictorial history and story of our church life. If you have pictures of the old or new church and its mission, please let us see them and use them. All pictures are to be returned. Contact Donn Atchison for additional information.

Let’s Go Caroling!

This December, the exact date(s) to be announced, we’re going caroling! We’ll walk the neighborhood, and maybe the assisted living facilities, to share the joy of Christmas! Bring your voice and a willing spirit, no training required. This is going to be fun! More details are provided as the time draws closer. Please consider this an invitation to come together with and in community sharing the hope of the Advent and Christmas seasons. If you are interested please talk to Jennifer Niemann.

THANK OFFERING 2017

It is the time of the year when our congregation receives the Thank Offering. As Presbyterian Women, our history is built on mission. Our foremother’s sacrificial giving to mission was to serve the needs of a hurting world, this tradition continues today thru the Thank Offering.

This offering is received during the season of Thanksgiving as we rejoice and give thanks for our blessings. 50% of this offering remains in our church for local mission and the remainder is sent to Presbyterian Women Churchwide.

Prayerfully consider this offering that will be received during the worship service on November 19.


Library Notes

Plainsong by Kent Haruf is featured this month. Haruf writes about several social problems that can be identified in our society. Through his characters he addresses situations that involve a teacher’s loneliness, a pair of boys who are abandoned by their mother, and a father who needs to continue his job as a teacher, but be the stable parent to his boys. He also includes two crusty bachelor brothers who add some humor to the story, in addition to their compassion. The simple story is set in eastern Colorado and will capture the readers attention to the characters struggles with human problems.

This month Horizons magazines (the-bimonthly magazine of Presbyterian Women) and Presbyterian Outlook magazine are on the reading table. Each magazine addresses an issue in our church and society.

Presbyterian Outlook May..2017..”What Would Jesus Tweet”

Horizons May-June 2017..”Being Presbyterian”.

Horizons May-June 2016..”Communication Justice…The Right to Speak and be Heard”

There are new books in the Library for children:

Olivia Becomes a Vet

Veggie Tales Family Devotions

Shiloh (a good quick read for adults, too.)

Little Bear

These books are on the little table. Enjoy other books on the shelves, also.


GREETERS FOR NOVEMBER 2017

5 (E)

(K) ANGIE TIETMEYER

(W) LINDA TOMS


12 (E) DALE NIEMANN

(K) BETH NIEMANN

(W) JIM BARR


19 (E) STEVE NICKEL

(K) CINDI NICKEL

(W) GREGG HEIDEN


26 (E) KARL SHERMAN

(K) JASON SHERMAN

(W) STEVE SHERMAN


COFFEE FELLOWSHIP

12 LORNA CLELAND

19 ANN PHILSON

26 KAREN BERGEN


CANDLELIGHTERS

MADELYN HEIDEN

12 RENEE KUCERA

19 CAMILLE ERDMAN

26 EMMA NOLAN


THE CHARGE

5 JUDI NORDLUND

12 CYNDI ATCHISON

19 ANN EDDY

26 SUE HODGE


SOUND SYSTEM

GALE BARNHILL

12 MARTIN WORKMAN

19 JOHN HOLMES

26 MARTIN WORKMAN


USHERS FOR OCTOBER 2017

JACK GARNER

 LINDA TOMS

GALE BARNHILL

KAREN BARNHILL


12 DALE OLSON

NANCY WALFORD

DALE KAHLA

ANN EDDY


19 DALE NIEMANN

BETH NIEMANN

STEVE NICKEL

CINDI NICKEL


26 GREG BERGEN

LORI HESER

JUDY MANEELY

LINDA TOMS


COMMUNION SERVERS

NOVEMBER 5

BETH NIEMANN

ORVILLE DAVIDSON

DONNA EHLERS

GARY HALL

DALE NIEMANN

JUDI NORDLUND

KARL SHERMAN

CINDY NABER

STAN JENSEN

GAIL NORDLUND


COMMUNION PREPARER

NOVEMBER 5

CINDY NABER