May 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

May 2018

Many of us participate in a highly “results driven” culture. Our work environment measures “productivity.” In retirement the results of our investment portfolios are often constantly being tracked. How “well” are my kids doing in school, what are their grades and class ranking? Am I progressing at work at a pace which is acceptable? Too often we even attempt to measure things we can’t begin to accurately measure. Am I well liked? How do I appear to others? Do the significant persons in my life really appreciate me? Do I have all I need/want?

Christian faith asks an entirely different question, “Am I faithful?” Notice, the requirement to be productive, to build or construct the Kingdom of God for God, is lacking in that question. Notice also there’s no long, protracted list of rights and wrongs, dos and don’ts regarding behavior. There is no measure on size of vocation or of the church. Take note that no comments are requested on the number of mission trips generated or Sunday school classes you’ve taught. The center piece question is “Am I faithful?” I readily admit being “faithful” opens the door widely for all kinds of other considerations. But at the foundation of being Christian is doing the loving thing, being faithful, and not being concerned with our own personal measurement of the outcome. I admit, it can becoming very frustrating or distracting to work hard in one’s prayer life, outreach and mission, in efforts as a teacher or church leader and feel like nothing measurable is happening. Nothing seems to change or grow! Still worse yet, despite one’s best efforts, things seem to all be going in the wrong direction! Through Christ’s grace, however, we’re gently drawn back to being faithful, nothing more, and nothing less. Do we really know what “success” is the mind and infinite eternity that is God?

Pentecost Sunday reminds us of this. It was the faithfulness of God in response to the faithfulness of Jesus which created resurrection and the first Easter morning. Jesus’ commandments to his disciples were to “love one another as I have loved you first,” and to “go into the world baptizing in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” When the disciples received the gift of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost Sunday Peter said we will “see visions and dream dreams,” and we are told that “Hades has not prevailed.” We’re command to love and be faithful, trusting in God for the rest.

We are invited to surrender into faithfulness and accept our own limitations as well as accept the depth and breadth of God. Another way to say it is to stop the illusion that you and I are God. Faithfulness is allowing God to be God and simply being and becoming what God calls us to be and become; nothing more, and nothing less.

Peace,

Pastor Mike

Graduation Sunday and Teacher Recognition

On Sunday, May 6th, we recognize our teachers and our high school graduates. This year’s high school graduates are Jesse Atchison, John Holmes, and Jocelyn Naber. The graduates will also be commissioned in worship for the next step in their journey. Join all who are being recognized for a reception which follows 10:30 a.m. worship.

CASA Ministry

Presbyterian Women have been supporting CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) for several years by providing blankets and mittens to the children/ youth and financial gifts. In recent months our ministry has expanded. At a CASA board meeting, a member of our church, Dale Kahla, suggested PW might be able to provide additional volunteer support that was needed. As a result, several women have participated by providing cookies and goodies for the Christmas fundraiser, treats for training meetings, preparing the newsletter for mailing, and contributing 12 blankets since January.

The women who have participated in this mission have enjoyed the experience and wish to continue helping. Anyone else that would be interested in this particular mission, contact a coordinating team member. CASA leadership is appreciative of our church’s support.


Library Notes

This month, The House of Unexpected Sisters by Alexander McCall Smith is a featured book. This series by Smith has been popular for some of our readers and this one is exceptionally entertaining. Precious Ramotswe, the owner of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, and her assistant, Mma Makutsi are asked to investigate a situation of a woman’s unjustified firing from her job. Of course, as inquiries are made, other surprises are discovered. Precious will find unexpected information that will bring light to friendship and family. There are additional books in this series in the library.

Ken and Joni Eareckson Tada have jointly written their untold love story, Joni and Ken. Perhaps you have read some of Joni’s books, but this is about their relationship. Being married to a quadriplegic brings many challenges and can be an overwhelming responsibility with many demands. Ken continues his job as a teacher as he works to help care for Joni. Despite their love, they find they must fight depression and pain that strains their marriage. This story is an example of love and God’s grace and forgiveness.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee is the third book for this month. Lee, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird, features many of the same characters in this story about Jean Louise Finch, “Scout” who returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Scout must face the transition of the South that she knew as a child to the new civil rights tensions and political turmoil. Written in the mid-50’s, it is relevant to the present time.

NEW CHILDREN’S BOOKS

Presbyterian Publishing has made available some excellent children’s books recently. Three have been purchased and hopefully, three more will be added soon.

Where Are You Hiding by Elisabeth Zarti is suggested for children three to six. The illustrations are outstanding and the text takes the child through nature and the house looking for God, with a surprise at the end of the story.

Amy-Jill Levine and Sandy Eisenberg Sasso’s book, Who Counts? The Bible stories, “The Lost Sheep”, “The Lost Coin” and the “Prodigal Son”’ are included in this book. The stories are told in the language of today and the illustrations are all characters resembling people of today. This book is suggested for children ages four to eight.

No One Like You by Siska Goeminne and Merle Eyckerman helps children learn about diversity, and despite differences everyone has something in common—we are all unique. The illustrations in this book are also outstanding. This book is suggested for children ages four to eight, also.

These new books are on the children’s table in the library. ENJOY!!!

2018 GUATEMALAN SPONSORS

Presbyterian Women would like to thank the sponsors for the month of May are Mike and Sharon Heath in honor of their grandchildren Cora, Calvin, Eva & Willa.


GREETERS FOR MAY 2018

6 (E) KARL SHERMAN

(K) LINDA TOMS (W) STEVE SHERMAN


13 (E) ANN EDDY

(K) JUDY MANEELY

(W) MILDRED BARR


20 (E) ORVILLE DAVISON

(K) SHARON DAVIDSON

(W) STAN JENSEN


27 (E) CHARLEEN KIMBERLY

(K) NANCY QUIRING

(W) LINDA TOMS



COFFEE FELLOWSHIP

KAREN BERGEN

13 LORNA CLELAND

20 ANN PHILSON

27 DONNA EHLERS


CANDLELIGHTERS

6

13 EMMA NOLAN

20 SKYLAR HUBER

27 RENEE KUCERA


THE CHARGE

6 SUSAN GALE

13 ANN EDDY

20 NANCY WALFORD

27 NANCY HALL


SOUND SYSTEM

GALE BARNHILL

13 SHANNON NOLAN

20 CARYN EICKHOFF

27 NANCY QUIRING


USHERS FOR APRIL 2018

CLINT PHILSON

ANN PHILSON

ANN EDDY

LORNA CLELAND


13 CINDY NABER

ALEX HILDEBRAND

GALE BARNHILL

KAREN BARNHILL


20 DALE OLSON

NANCY WALFORD

DALE KAHLA

LORI HESER


27 DALE NIEMANN

BETH NIEMANN

STEVE NICKEL

CINDI NICKEL



COMMUNION PREPARERS

MAY 6

LORNA CLELAND


COMMUNION SERVERS

MAY 6

SUSAN BEAUCHAMP

GREG BERGEN

ORVILLE DAVIDSON

JIM BARR

KARL SHERMAN

GARY HALL

DALE NIEMANN

LYNDA ZIEG

NITA WORKMAN

STAN JENSEN