Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New Devotion on the Prayer Line - Interruption or Opportunity?


Matthew 25:31-40:

31-33“When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left.

34-36“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:



I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’

37-40 “Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’”


Devotion by Jerry W. Krueger (Texas):

My morning began very early with a phone call that required a trip to a distant hospital to visit a seriously ill church member. The rest of my day as a pastor was filled with pastoral visits, meetings, paperwork, phone calls, and, finally, teaching the evening Bible study. The long day made me look forward to going home and resting.

As I walked back to my house I was greeted by two strangers sitting on my front steps. My initial thoughts were, What now? The strangers greeted me with a request for assistance. They were a homeless couple traveling to another town. They needed overnight lodging and a meal. In my tiredness I silently prayed, “Lord Jesus, let me see your face in these people. Let me serve you.” I arranged for accommodations and a meal for the travelers. As I returned home again late that night, I felt the presence of Christ near me. Christ had been with those homeless travelers, and Christ had been with me in my tiredness.

Christ comes to us in the unexpected, in the interruptions, and not on our schedule. Once again I had the opportunity to see my Christian service not as interruption or obligation but as opportunity to be in the real presence of the risen Christ.

Anniversary Marked by Myrtle McHendry Class

The Myrtle McHendry Class of Cove Presbyterian Church celebrated its 88th Anniversaiy with a catered dinner October 5.

In the absence of President Virtue, Vice President Bonnie Nichols welcomed all present. She presented a synopsis of the class by citing passages from an old cook book compiled by the CIC (Class in the Corner). This was the original name of the Myrtle McHendry Class. The class was established in 1955 with 62 members. We are still blessed with six original members: Rosalie Coxen, Ruth Gilmore, Mary Gracey, Mildred Kimmel, Marie Williamson and Thelma Longacre. A moment of silent prayer was observed for the deceased members and for Mrs. Myrtle McHendry.

Prior to the dinner, Dr. Rev. Rudiger led the group in prayer and blessed the food which was catered by Caleodis Catering. Following dinner, Vice President Nichols conducted the business meeting.

Ruth Gilmore led devotions. She began by calling on Floy Petty to read from Ecclasiastes Chapter 3. Ms. Gilmore then quoted an inspiring story in I stperson regarding a lady in the park and the importance of “hands”.

Evelyn Buckely, secretary, read the minutes of the previous meeting. Correspondence was read from Dorothy Sobolak and Thelma Longacre.

Treasurer Rhadine Ross gave the Treasurer’s report and reported 19 members and 5 guests in attendance. Julia Maine stated 15 cards were signed for the shut-ins. Audrey Vincent reported the flowers in the church sanctuary on Sunday were in honor of the class anniversary and in memory of deceased member, Myrtle McHendry.

Program Chairman Eleanor Cline introduced our entertainment for the evening, Marvin Whiteman, a blind music minister. He presented a wonderfiul inspiring message through gospel songs and hymns. He accompanied himself at the piano. He also gave his personal testimony throughout his program. It was very uplifting.

In the absence of the president and vice president at the November 2 meeting, the meeting was called to order by the Myrtle McHendry Sunday School class teacher Eleanor Cline. She read a poem dealing with Thanksgiving and the Psalms entitled Autumn Gold.

Eloise Evans led devotions. Ms. Evans read from a book, Promises and Prayers for Women, and told a short story about The 11th Box, ending with prayer.

Evelyn Buckley read her report and a thank-you card from Mary Jane Cummimgs.

Rhadine Ross, treasurer, gave the treasurer’s report. Ms. Ross also reported 11 members and 1 guest were in attendance.

Mission Chairman Penny Mourat advised 12 Christmas Stockings for the Salva tion Army are available to be picked- up and filled for the children for Christmas. It will also be announced in church that stockings will be available if any member would be interested in filling one.

Eloise Evans reported that Larry Shane has had a friend repair the old podium from the old church. Mr. Shane’s friend will receive a monetary “thank you.”

The class give Marcia Shane, Misty Preston and Doug Kerr a gift for Christmas.

Penny Mourat introduced Pam Makricosta who presented the program for the evening. She did a book review of Lydia, the seller of purple, by Lois T. Henderson. Hostesses for the evening were Ruth Coates, Julia Maine and Penny Mourat.

Evelyn Buckley
Secretary

Cove Women Have Busy Fall

Cove Presbyterian Women had a busy Fall Season. They collected for UNICEF on October28 at the Shop N Save in Weirton with 5243 .06 collected. Also the children of the church collected money on October 31 after Sunday ser vices. Thank you to everyone who donated for the needy children of the world.

The group hosted the Church Women United services at Cove Presbyte rian Church on November 5. They served soup, sandwiches and dessert to those attending the service from all churches in the Weirton area.

The upcoming mission plan is to assist Laughlin Chapel in Wheeling for Christmas by providing gifts for children 2- 12 years of age.

The Christmas meeting will be held atthe church on Decgmber 15 with a covered dish luncheon and some holiday fun. All women of the church are invited to join the holiday celebration and consider joining the group for a very rewarding experience in the name of Jesus Christ, Our Savior.

Suellen Lewis
Secretary

Cove Choir News

The Chancel Choir continues to practice every Wednesday at 6:45 p.m. and presents anthems at each church service. Much of the practice time was spent preparing the Patriotic Cantata for the Veterans Day Service. In addition to the patriotic music the choir is working ahead on Thanksgiving selections with Christmas next in line.

The members of the choir are such a faithful group of volunteers for God’s work through music. We know our Lord smiles as he looks down on these folks who are so dedicated to Him. If you want to be part of this choir, come to practice any Wednesday and you will be welcomed with open arms.

“Make ajoyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.” Psalm 100:1. You do not have to be a soloist to be part of the choir. You only need to enjoy singing.

There will be a Christmas Party following choir practice on Wednesday, December 22 in Fellowship Hall. The Choir will prepare ahead for January 2, 2011 and not practice on December 29 giving each member time to enjoy the Christmas Holiday.

In His Service,
Janice Torrance Choir Director/Accompanist

Birthdays & Anniversaries for December

01 Kitty Heilman
01 Gary Crawford
01 MontaVanGilder
03 Leah Nicole Hinchee
03 Jack Swaim
03 MattWillson
03 Jude Nikolas VanHorn
04 Richard L. Kimmel
04 Pam & Mike Weaver
05 Eleanor Williams
05 Abby Lynn Christman
05 Chris Roseberry
06 Pamela Weaver
06 Nick VanGilder
06 Vat VanGilder
06 Ryan DeLuca
06 Jennifer & Steve Orebaugh
06 Dean & Barbara Heinen
07 Charles Christman
07 Charles Christman IV
08 Fred Marsh
08 Lou & Renee’ Contumelio
09 Chad Galownia
09 Brianna Fierro
09 John Michael Maine
10 Christopher Flatala
11 Lissa Dulick
11 Irwin Stukins
12 Kimberly Trushel
12 Cory Peppler
12 Dianne & David Husick
13 Eric Redish
13 DanaAce
13 Bailey Donell
14 Randie VanGilder
16 Shirley Kurensky
16 Eric DeLancey
16 Judy Morris
17 ErinMarosi
17 Charles & Linda Caleffie
18 Roger & Gail VanHorn
19 Justin VanGilder
19 Jon Dellaria
20 Amy Shenton
20 Jim Williams
20 Mark & Barbara Trushel
20 Jackie & Bob Hawkins
20 Jennier & Michael Daugherty
21 Martha Haspel
21 Dan & Pat Grant
22 RuthanneValiga
22 Mason Drobish
24 Marjorie LeMasters
25 Colton Yensen
25 Bruce Tnishel
26 Edward Stemple
26 Frank & Mary Ann lanni
27 Elizabeth Patsch
27 Leota McPeek
27 Susan Liptak
27 Aubrey Bettis
28 Dorothy Sobolak
28 Gail Vanflorn
28 Jessica Kennedy
29 Betty Kraina
30 Ralph “Pete” Jones
30 Betty Morgan
31 Cindy Briscoe
31 Matthew P. Schlotter
31 Thomas L. Salvati

The Journey of the Magi

A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The was deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter."
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires gong out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty, and charging high prices.:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.


Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.


All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we lead all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I have seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Reasons for Thanks

Below are the Reasons for Thanks shared during yesterday's worship service:
  • I'd like to praise God that my aunt is responding well to the chemotherapy treatment. She has gone home after 3 wks in the hospital & her spirit is good. Thanks for all the prayers. Keep them coming!
  • Roger & I are blessed to have Captain Jonathan Criss home from Alaska on his way to Afganistan and Benjamin home from medical school.
  • Many "thank yous" to the deacons & others who decorated our church. God bless them!

Sunday's Sermon - Now’s the Time

Romans 13:11-14

11And this, since you know the time, that the hour is already for you from sleep to rise, for now our salvation is nearer than when we trusted. 12The night is far advanced, and the day is near. Now let us put off the works of darkness. And let us put on the weapons of light. 13As in the day, properly let us walk, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in immorality and debauchery, not in rivalries and jealousy. 14But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and the flesh, don’t make provision as to it’s desires.


Now’s the Time

“And indeed there will be time for the yellow smoke that slides along the street, rubbing its back upon the window-panes; there will be time, there will be time to prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet; there will be time to murder and create, and time for all the works and days of hands that lift and drop a question on your plate; time for you and time for me, and time yet for a hundred indecisions, and for a hundred visions and revisions, before the taking of a toast and tea.”

Now what I just read comes from my favorite poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, written by my all-time favorite poet (and how often do you hear those words used together now-a-days) T.S. Elliot. But some of y’all may already know that. It seems to me, I used this same poem to start another sermon in the last year or so. As a matter of fact, I may have read the exact same lines; I don’t remember.

But you know, I my opinion they’re worth hearing again, especially in light of the very brief passage I just read from Paul’s Letter to the Romans and the time of year we’re entering this morning. You see, it seems to me that we kind of have this Prufrock attitude as we both approach Christmas and for that matter, as we live our lives; there will be time, right? For example, how many of y’all have put up all your decorations? Just raise your hands. Of course, if you don’t put any up, you can put your hand down. Now keep your hands up, how many of y’all have bought all the Christmas presents you plan to give, if, that is, you plan to give any? Again, keep your hands up, how many of y’all have done everything, I mean, everything you plan to do before December 25? Now outside of me, no one has their hand up, right? And why don’t we have everything done? Because there will be time, right: time to decorate, time to max out the credit cards, time to become full of Christmas cheer. We’re still in November for crying out loud. There will be time.

And I’ll tell you, I think we often have the same attitude as we live our lives, don’t we? Regardless of our age, there’ll be time, right? There’ll be time to get everything done we wanted to do, you know what I mean, all that stuff we’ve been getting around to doing but never had the time. And there’ll be time to patch up the divisions that have this terrible habit of fracturing marriages and families and congregations. My goodness, since we all know it’s his fault or her fault or their fault, not mine, well, not much anyway, I’m just giving them the chance to come to their senses because we’ve got all kinds of time. But you know, even when there’s no incomplete project or unresolved emotion, I mean, even when everything is peachy, we still assume there will be time, don’t we: time to say and to do and to show those things we’ve felt but haven’t said and done and shown. And now I’m not talking just about how we relate to one another but also to God. But not to worry, there’s no need to rush. Because we all know there will be time.

Until, that is, there isn’t, and then it’s too late. And when we’re at that point, well, it really doesn’t help much knowing that our assumptions were wrong and that Paul was right, and I’m talking about when he said, “And this, since you know the time, that the hour is already for you from sleep to rise, for now our salvation is nearer than when we trusted. The night is far advanced, and the day is near.” And I’ll tell you, it really doesn’t matter whether we’re proven wrong by the return of Jesus Christ, something that I believe is going to happen some day in the future, or by our own death, it’s pretty hard to argue that our time on earth is anything but limited, and we can never be sure of when we’re going to leave this place.

Therefore, if we live our lives always assuming that we’ve got all kinds of time, that our future around here is unlimited, this false assumption can cause us to miss some pretty important things. In other words, we can miss the chance to heal and to strengthen our connection with one another, to enjoy the closeness of family and friends and Christian brothers and sisters. But maybe even more important than that, we can complete miss out on the peace and the hope that comes from a strong relationship with God, if, that it, we assume there will be time.

And I’ll tell you, for that reason, it might be a pretty good idea to toss aside that assumption and to recognize that regardless of our ability to read “the signs” and regardless of what we believe about ourselves and our own immortality, maybe we need to recognize that our time here on earth is limited. And if we want to live the time we’ve got to it’s fullest, we may want to start seeing life, our lives as gifts, gifts from God himself to be used. In other words, right now, right this minute, we may want to say that now’s the time to get it done. Now’s the time to live. Now’s the time to believe. Now’s the time.

And you know, it’s remarkable, isn’t that exactly what Paul suggested in the passage we read, and I’m talking about when he wrote, “Now let us put off the works of darkness. And let us put on the weapons of light. As in the day, properly let us walk, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in immorality and debauchery, not in rivalries and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and the flesh, don’t make provision as to it’s desires.”

In other words, now’s the time to move away from all the stuff that we may have allowed to dominate our lives, garbage that we know is holding us back from being everything God created us to be. And let’s get real, we don’t have to look very far if we want to know what this stuff is. I mean, give me a break, right here, Paul tells us all about these works of darkness, and if we miss it here, all we have to do is turn back to chapter one of Romans and read, “They were filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious toward parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. They know God’s decree, that those who practice such things deserve to die—yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practice them.” And if that doesn’t put you in the Christmas spirit, just listen to what he wrote to the Galatians: “Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Man, we should be tossing this trash out with all the “Black Friday” flyers, so that we can move toward what’s really important, what Paul called “the weapons of light,” those things that we can use not just to protect ourselves but to fight the forces of darkness that are constantly doing battle with the children of the day. Man, these are the things we should be claiming, these are the things we should be using, these fruits of Holy Spirit, things like “...love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.” These are the weapons of light.

And I’ll tell you, right here and now we can start using them, because God has already given them to us, and he’s given them to us to be used. You see, as Paul wrote, “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.” You see, brothers and sisters, now’s the time to move away from the darkness so that we can move into the light.

And you know, if we do, if we make this decision, if we decide to junk self-indulgence and immorality and the kind of personal pettiness that can rip apart relationships, if we put this aside and move ahead with love and peace and patience, my gosh, that decision can absolutely change our lives. I mean, just image the difference it could make in the present, as we move toward Christmas and the New Year. Imagine the difference it could make in our community when we get past what divides us and begin to work together so that our neighborhoods are better and stronger, so that our children are able to grow up in homes that are safe and secure and so that every American can enjoy the blessings of living in our country. And imagine our families when let go of the past so that we can see the wonderful gift God has given us in one another, and I’m talking about husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. And friends, imagine our congregation when whispering is replaced with praise and when people are more interested in good news than in gossip and when we come to the realization that grumbling and complaining are distracting us from proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ right here. My goodness, just imagine the Christmas we’ll have when we live as though tomorrow is too late to be kind and good and moral.

But also just imagine what we’ll be leaving behind when it’s our time to go. Now, I think we all heard the saying, a squeaky wheel gets the oil. And for some of us, we’ve kind of let that be the truth that guides our lives. But let me ask you, as you look back on the people who’ve become heroes within our society or the folks who have most touched our lives or the people of faith who serve as examples, are they the squeaky wheels, are they the ones who complained to get their way, are they the people who didn’t seem to mind pushing their way to the front of the line even if it means stepping on some folks to get there? Are those the ones who we want to shape our children? Or are they the kind of men and women who might have offered their seat on a bus, who, regardless of the situation, always had a kind word or a positive observation, I’m talking about people who seemed to make those around them happier and stronger and better? Aren’t these the folks we remember and hold up as examples for our kids? Now wouldn’t it be wonderful if becoming like them was the goal of every single one of us? What a gift we’d be leaving to the next generation.

Remember the poem I read at the beginning of the service, you know, the one about how there will be time. Well, near the end, he says, “I grow old . . .I grow old . . .I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach? I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. I do not think that they will sing to me.” You see, when he finally realizes that he’d been wrong his whole life about the time he had, in his mind, it was too late to change. But you know, it’s never to late for us, not so long as God’s life-giving spirit is within us. You see, as we approach Christmas and live our lives, well as Paul wrote, we can still “put off the works of darkness [and] put on the weapons of light.” And we can decide to “walk, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in immorality and debauchery, not in rivalries and jealousy, but [we can] put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” I’m telling you, it’s not too late for that. In other words, we can decide that now’s the time to see our lives on earth as opportunities to start living for God.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cove Announcements for November 28 - December 5

OUR NURSERY FOR CHILDREN . . .
(infant thru five years) is open during Sunday School and the Worship Service, under the direction of Jenna Maine. We still need some volunteer help. If you can spare time to supervise the little ones, please talk to Jenna after the service. We wish to thank you in advance for giving of your time to care for the future members of Cove Church.

DON’T FORGET SUNDAY SCHOOL . . .
we meet every Sunday morning at 9:45 a.m. Think about trying out one of our classes. We have a variety of classes to chose from to fit your needs.

WHEN WE BEGIN THE SERVICE. . .
our children are now carrying red, orange and yellow streamers. This represents the coming of the Holy Spirit, filling the sanctuary as we prepare to worship. At the end of the service, they carry the streamers out, challenging us to carry the Spirit out into the world.

JESUS TIME OFFERS THE YOUNGER CHILDREN . . .
of our congregation, between the ages of 3 and 11, the opportunity to worship in a special experience just for them. The children are dismissed to Jesus Time after a Special Time for Children.

AS WE ENTER THE SEASON OF ADVENT . . .
we’ll gather this evening at 6:30 p.m., for “The Hanging of the Greens.” During the service, we’ll decorate the sanctuary. We’ll also sing songs, hear the choir and share readings. So plan to come and bring the whole family as a way to enter into the Christmas season.

OUR MEN’S CLC BIBLE STUDY CLASS . . .
will meet on Monday, November 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room.

BOOKMARKS . . .
Cove's reading group will meet on Monday, November 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the church parlor.

FUN WITH SIGNING CLASS . . .
will be held on Wednesday, December 1at 4:30 p.m. in the boardroom. This class is open to school age children and their parents. For further information on the classes contact Deborah Smith at 304-914-5677.

ADULT HANDBELL CHOIR WILL PRACTICE . . .
next on Wednesday, December 1, at 5:30 p.m. We have 1 position that needs filled. We practice from 5:30 - 6:45 from September through May. We play once a month for Sunday services. If you are interested in joining, please contact Becky Korosec at 304-748-8449 for more information.

CHANCEL CHOIR WILL PRACTICE . . .
will be held on Wednesday, December 1, in the sanctuary. Please note practice begins at 6:45 p.m. this year. Everyone who wishes to praise our Lord through song is invited to join us as we prepare our music for the Christmas Season.

CHRISTMAS WISH LIST ITEMS . . .
are still needed for Project Christmas Smile children. If you would like to be a port of this wonderful project, please contact Sue Marsh at 304-723-1043 or 740-278-2058 to request a wish ornament. They will be wrapping gifts on Wednesday, December 1 at 6:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall if you would like to help.

THE BROWN BAG BIBLE STUDY WILL MEET . .
next on Thursday, December 2 , at 12:00 p.m. We’ll begin a study of Galatians, by looking at Galatians 5:13 – 6:18. Grab your lunch and join us as we study God’s word.

THE CHRISTMAS CIVERED DISH DINNER . .
for the Myrtle McHendry Class will be held on Tuesday, December 7 at 5:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. Following the dinner devotions entitled, The Christmas Nail will be given by Barbara and Lillian Losey. Betty Virtue, president, will conduct a short business meeting with the dedication of the stockings for the Salvation Army. The program, Reflections of Christmas will include carols by Bonnie Nichols and Sue Willson with Enid Williams at the piano. Ruth Gilmore will tell the story of The Christmas Visitor. Hostesses will be Eloise Evans, Eleanor Cline and Ruth Gilmore. Come and bring a covered dish and enjoy the evening with class members and friends.

CHRISTMAS CAROLING. . .
the youth of the church and the Chancel Choir will be going caroling on Sunday, December 12. We will meet at the church at 5:30 p.m. and return to the church at 8:00 p.m. for hot chocolate. If you like to sing and would like to spread some holiday cheer you are welcome to join us.

WE WILL HAVE OUR ANNUAL CHRISTMAS COVERED DISH DINNER . . .
and children's program on Sunday, December 19 beginning at 5:30 p.m. The evening will end with a special visitor for the children.

WE ARE BLOGGING!
We now have six blogs that you can check out for information and on which you can leave comments. They're listed below:
• The Cove Community (www.thecovecommunity.blogspot.com) - This is for the whole church. I'll post sermons and announcements. I also invite y'all to send in material that you'd like to share with other members of the congregation. And please feel free to comment on anything you might read.
• Cove Kids (www.covekids.blogspot.com) - This is tailored for the preteen young people in our church. Again I'll post announcements. You're also invited to send in any writings, photographs and art work you'd like to post. And they don't have to all deal with the church. We also post artwork from The Gathering service and Jesus Time.
• Glue (www.cove-glue.blogspot.com) - Our teens are running their own blog site; therefore, I have no idea what will be posted.
• Bible Talk (www.cove-bibletalk.blogspot.com) - We've established this blog to give pastors and lay people the chance to discuss Scripture. The weekly passages are from the Common Lectionary, and we're posting the pastor’s translation of the Greek text. We want you to read any or all of the passages and to leave any comment or ask any question that you feel is appropriate. Please include any research you've done. As we share our ideas and insights, we hope that we'll all come to a better and deeper understanding of the Bible. Each passage is linked to a website that offers some informative information.
• Let Talk About It (www.cove-talk.blogspot.com) - Through this site, we hope to encourage a conversation on a variety of topics. Since this blog is sponsored by a church, we expect most of the issues to involve the Christian faith. Still we don't want to limit ourselves or you. If you have a topic that you'd like us to discuss, include it as a comment to a previous issue. Please phrase it as a question and offer a summary of at least two positions. We'll add a new item to discuss every three weeks. We hope this challenges you to apply your faith and values to issues that are important to you.
• The Bible in a Year (www.cove-bibleinayear.blogspot.com/) - Each day, we'll post passages so that you can read the Bible in one year.

WHAT CHILD IS THIS? . . .
is the tile of this year's Christmas Joy offering. This offering enables Presbyterians to support the unmet needs of families who have devoted their lives to the mission of the Presbyterian Church USA and Presbyterian -affiliated racial ethic schools and colleges enabling students to develop their gifts and find their calling. There will be inserts in the bulletins each week during Advent telling how monies are used. Envelopes will be included in your bulletin on Christmas Eve for your contribution. We wish to thank you in advance for your contribution. Coin boxes are available for your use on the table in the narthex.

IT IS THE DUTY OF THE DEACONS,
to minister to those who are in need, to the sick, to the friendless, and to any who may be in distress both within and beyond the community of faith. If our Deacons can be of service to you, please contact a deacon or the church office.

SCOUT PROJECT CONTINUES. . .
The Shoe Box Project, by Kyle Truex, a Boy Scout with Troop 334, has extended his Eagle Scout Project to include continuous donations for Appalachian Outreach Inc. Informational brochures with envelopes attached are located on the table in the narthex.

MISSING A DISH, BOWL OR BAKING PAN?
Check the pantry in the church kitchen. There are a number of items, bowls, plates, sealed containers and utensils that have been left after various functions, one may be the piece your searching for.

REMEMBER WHEN HOLIDAY SHOPPING , SHOP ON LINE . . .
use Good Search and Good Shop search engines to find what you are hunting for. Just list Cove Presbyterian Church as your charity and a percent of your purchase will come back to the church. It’s a simple way to raise money for the Cove Deacons while shopping for yourself! FYI - The Deacons recently received a check for $ 35.59 from Good Shop. - Free Money!

IT IS OFTEN DIFFICULT TO HEAR PRAYER REQUESTS . . .
on Sunday mornings. If you would like to have someone added to the prayer
chain please drop a short note into the collection plate with their name and any
other information you would like to share.

PRAYER CHAIN INFO. . .
if you would like someone added to or removed from the prayer chain please contact Floy Fetty at 304-670-1561 or e-mail her at floyfetty@yahoo.com. You may also call the church office. Thanks to Floy’s dedication, the Prayer Chain is kept up to date.

IN THE HOSPITAL? HOMEBOUND? RECENT ILLNESS?. . .
if you are unable to attend services and would like to arrange for a visit by Rev. Ed Rudiger please contact the church office. Also if you would like to be included in our weekly bulletin mailings contact the church office.

WE CAN ALWAYS DO A BETTER JOB MINISTERING . . .
to the needs within this congregation, community and world. Please feel free to offer any suggestions as comments.

LOOSE CHANGE OFFERING . . .
Session has approved the Deacons collecting a “Loose Change Offering” that will be used to assist the Deacons with their utility assistance outreach program for Weirton residents or Cove Church members. We hope church members can help with the assistance program by donating some of their spare change. A container is placed in the Narthex each Sunday morning before church. The Deacons thank you for your continuing support of one of our projects. Over $ 500.00 was collected thru October!!

VASES OF FLOWERS, SILK FLOWERS OR PLANTS . . .
can be purchased for a service. The cost is $15.00 a vase or plant. Silk flowers can be purchased for an additional cost. The flower calendar is located on the far wall in the church narthex or you can contact Sue Marsh or the church office to place your order. You may pick-up your flowers after the service.

IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS. . .
newsletters from old friends or articles about or by members of Cove Church, check out the new bulletin board located in the hallway by the church offices. Items of interest and pictures of events at Cove will now be posted in that area.

WE’RE UPDATING OUR PRAYER AND DEVOTION LINE . . .
about four times a week. If you would like to call and hear a devotional, please call 304-748-7900.

ONGOING MISSION PROJECTS . . .
• Used can tabs are being collected for the Ronald McDonald House. Deposit your tabs in the container located in the main hallway downstairs.
• Used postage stamps are being collected for Stamp Camp USA. Place your used stamps in the container located in the main hallway downstairs.
• Campbell’s Labels are being collected by the Presbyterian Women and can be dropped off in the church office.
We thank you for your support of these valuable endeavors.

FOR THIS SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2010 . . .
the Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery asks that all churches join together to pray for:
New Martinsville, First - David Roberts, Pastor
New Matamoras, First - Vacant Pulpit

A New Devotion on the Prayer Line - Just a Playhouse?

1 Thessalonians 5:9-18:

9-11God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.

12-13And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!

13-15Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.

16-18Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.



A Devotion by Dolly Dickinson (North Carolina):

A few days before Thanksgiving, my 8-year-old grand daughter, Kate, took me to the edge of the woods where she had begun to construct her “playhouse.” She proudly showed me the various “rooms” and then enlisted my help to make a roof by wedging long sticks between trees. As she brought me smaller branches and pine needles to place across the top, she was delighted with this ragtag mess. I was pleased that she could find joy amid the financial trials her family was having after the company her father worked for went out of business.

Then, the day before Thanksgiving, I saw a picture from Darfur. A refugee family huddled under a makeshift stick dwelling as flimsy as Kate’s playhouse. I remembered that the Bible says we are to give thanks in everything — not necessarily for everything, but to live with gratitude no matter what. (See 1 Thess. 5:18.)

I do not know what desperate refugees give thanks for, but they remind me that struggling people all over the world need my prayers. In addition, their plight reminded me that I need to pay more attention to my attitude. I want to thank God for whatever I have and take delight in the small joys of life.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A New Devotion on the Prayer Line - A Renewed Mind


Romans 8:28-37:

28We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him. They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose, 29and he has always known who his chosen ones would be. He had decided to let them become like his own Son, so that his Son would be the first of many children. 30God then accepted the people he had already decided to choose, and he has shared his glory with them.

31What can we say about all this? If God is on our side, can anyone be against us? 32God did not keep back his own Son, but he gave him for us. If God did this, won’t he freely give us everything else? 33If God says his chosen ones are acceptable to him, can anyone bring charges against them? 34Or can anyone condemn them? No indeed! Christ died and was raised to life, and now he is at God’s right side, speaking to him for us. 35Can anything separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble, suffering, and hard times, or hunger and nakedness, or danger and death? 36It is exactly as the Scriptures say, “For you we face death
all day long.
We are like sheep
on their way
to be butchered.”

37In everything we have won more than a victory because of Christ who loves us.


Devotion by Earl Fuller (Iowa):

My wife had been fighting a terrible bout with depression and had been unable to work for nearly a year. I felt responsible to provide for our family, so I accepted as much overtime as I could. While she sank deeper into despair, I remained unable to understand or to be empathetic. I convinced myself that I was doing the right thing by working so much. But by doing so I became tired and lonely, even sometimes angry and volatile. I had abandoned my wife and my family, and I had allowed myself to ignore God altogether. Just when I thought life couldn’t get any worse, I lost my job.

The next Sunday morning as I sat in worship, a mirror on the organ reflected an image of Jesus carrying a lamb in his arms. At that moment I realized that God had wanted to help all along, but I hadn’t allowed it. My feelings of anxiety began to dissipate, and God’s grace gave me peace.

With a renewed mind, I knew that it was God’s will for our family to begin the healing process. Time off from work to focus all of our attention on God’s will for us and on our healing was exactly what our family needed.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday's Sermon - One Guy Got It


Luke 23:32-43

32And also two others, who were evil-doers, were led away with [Jesus] to be executed. 33And when they came to the place which was called “Skull,” there they crucified him and those who were evil-doers, one on the right and one on the left. 34And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.” And after they’d divided among themselves his clothes, they cast lots. 35And the people stood by watching.

And the chief priests began to sneer saying, “Others he saved; then let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, the chosen one.” 36And the soldiers also came and made fun of him by bringing to him cheap wine 37and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, then save yourself.” 38And there was also written above him, “This is the King of the Jews.” 39And one of the evil-doers who was hanging began to blaspheme him saying, “You’re the Christ, aren’t you? Save yourself and us.”

40But the other one answered and rebuked him saying, “Don’t you fear God, because you are under the same judgement? 41And to us it is just, for we received what was due considering what we did, but this person did nothing wrong.” 42And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you might come in your Kingdom.” 43And [Jesus] said to him, “Amen I say to you, today with me you will be in the garden.”


One Guy Got It

Every now and then, I like to share something about myself that y’all may not know. Of course I don’t want to hit you with it all at once; that may be a little much. But if I let it out slowly... Anyway, today I’m going to share something that y’all may not know, as a matter of fact, something that some of y’all might actually find shocking. And now that I’ve got your attention, here it is. I enjoy telling jokes. But that’s not the shocking part. Some people, I won’t mention any names because I don’t want to embarrass my wife, some people don’t believe I’m as funny as I think I am. Now, that’s shocking.

Of course, as any joke-smith will tell you, when you tell a joke, one of three things can happen. First, you tell the joke and everybody laughs. Now that’s joke heaven. I would have said nirvana but we are in church. That could happen. Or second, you tell the joke and nobody laughs, and what you do next is determined by whether they look angry, confused, or expectant, you know as though what you said couldn’t have been the punch-line; therefore, something better must be on its way. Of course that’s never happened to me, but I hear it can be really awkward, especially when it occurs in front of about five hundred people right at the beginning of the annual Greater Indianapolis Bowling Hall-of-Fame banquet, or so I hear. Now that’s the second thing that can happen. And the third situation is really a combination of the other two. I mean, you tell a joke, and some laugh and others look either angry, confused or expectant. But I’ll tell you, even if one person laughs, the joke-teller can leave the situation with at least a little dignity, because he can say to himself later that one guy got it. And that feels good, or so I’ve heard.

And I’ll tell you, I think that’s sort of what we’ve got going on in the passage we just read, at least with this business about “getting it.” I mean, think about it. According to Luke, we have Jesus being executed with two people Luke called “evil-doers.” They were crucified, which means nailed to a cross, and Jesus was in the middle. And after he said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing,” Luke wrote that they divided his clothes and cast lots as the people stood by watching. Now that was the scene.

And then into the story enter four groups or individuals and each react to not only what they see happening but also what they already know about Jesus. And when you think about how Luke wrote this account, they each do and say things that are kind of related, with the first three having a lot in common.

I mean, just consider those first three, people that don’t seem to understand who Jesus was
or what he came to do. First you have the chief priests who “...began to sneer saying, ‘Others he saved; then let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, the chosen one.’ And [second] the soldiers also came and made fun of him by bringing to him cheap wine and saying, ‘If you are the King of the Jews, then save yourself.’” And finally, “one of the evil-doers who was hanging began to blaspheme him saying, ‘You’re the Christ, aren’t you? Save yourself and us.’” Now, these were the first three groups.

And like I said, I think they really have a lot in common. I mean, all three approached Jesus with a negative, almost arrogant attitude. They “sneered” or they “made fun” or they “blasphemed,” all of which are pretty mean but also seem to demonstrate a certain amount of power or control they assumed they had over their victim. And I think that attitude carried over into what they said, because each one, in his own way, challenged Jesus to prove himself by doing something right now that would go against the stuff he’d been teaching the disciples. In fact, if you think about it, they sounded a lot like the Devil who, when he had Jesus in the wilderness, said, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread” and a little later, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from [the pinnacle of the temple].” Just like the Devil, these three challenged him.

But what made it worse was that they challenged him to “save himself,” something that clearly violated what he taught the disciples when he said, “...those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it.” You see, they couldn’t seem to understand that his job as the Christ, the King of the Jews, wasn’t to save himself, but rather, as he said a few chapters before, “...to seek out and to save the lost.” But evidently, that went right over their heads, and for that reason, by the end of the story, they didn’t hear a thing coming from Jesus. They completely missed any words of assurance or hope. They didn’t get it.

But of course, in this little story, they weren’t by themselves. Luke mentioned someone else who handled the situation very differently and who ended up hearing something the others missed. And now I’m talking about the other evil-doer, which I guess shows that, as it applies to understanding God and what Jesus came to do, well, it’s not based on how much or how little you show up for worship. No, this guy ended up doing and saying some things very different from the other three. I mean, for one, there was no arrogance in the way he approached Christ. As a matter of fact, he even “...rebuked [his buddy hanging on the other side of Jesus] saying, ‘Don’t you fear God, because you are under the same judgement? And to us it is just, for we received what was due considering what we did, but this person did nothing wrong.”Now that’s pretty humble, at least in my book. He was not only willing to take responsibility for the evil he’d done, he also recognized that Jesus didn’t really deserve what he was getting. Now that’s what he did.

And then, just think about what he said. Instead of telling Jesus to prove himself by doing something that might go against what he preached, this evil-doer simply said, “Jesus, remember me when you might come in your Kingdom,” a request pointed toward the future but that also showed that he believed that Jesus was exactly who he claimed to be and that he would do exactly what he promised he would do, and I’m talking about when he said, “and I confer on you, just as my Father has conferred on me, a kingdom, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom.” You see, this guy approached with humility and expressed faith. And after he did that, well, I think for him it was all worthwhile because “...[Jesus] said to him, ‘Amen I say to you, today with me you will be in the garden,’” a word that, in the Old Testament refers to the Garden of Eden. In other words, this crucified evil-doer heard that he would see the world as it was in the beginning and would be again, a restored paradise ruled by God himself. And the reason he heard it was because when it came to Christ, who he was and why he came, this one guy got it.

And brothers and sisters, right here there’s good news, because we can get it too. I’m telling you, regardless of who we are or where we’ve been, we can even be an evil-doer, man, we could even be one of those people who voted for Bristol rather than Brandy on “Dancing with the Stars,” yes we could even be that wicked, and yet we can still approach Jesus Christ with humility, not the self-righteous, self-absorbed, self-centered arrogance that seems almost par for the course now-a-days but rather with the kind of humility that enables a person to take responsibility for his or her actions. We can approach our Lord Jesus with a meekness that seeks to draw attention away from self, just like the guy in the passage.

And then we can choose to get rid of some of those stupid conditions people tack onto faith: “Lord, if you could just show me your love by healing my arthritis; Lord, if you could just show your power by enabling the Colts to beat the Patriots this afternoon; and Lord, if you could just show your gratitude by enabling my family to buy a new Mini-Cooper and a new Camri, then you’ve proved yourself to me, then you are who you said you were, then I’ll believe.” Man, we can toss this kind of nonsense out with the old Halloween candy, and then we can ask the one who is our Lord to simply remember us when his kingdom comes on earth as it is in heaven. You see, this is exactly what we can do. And if we do, we just might hear something that the others miss, that the day is coming, it may be today or a billion years from today, but the day is coming when God is going to restore his garden, and we’ll be there. You see, this source of hope and assurance is possible the minute we simply drop the attitude and open our minds to the truth. And when we do, man, we just might get it too.

At least for me, jokes are pretty much hit or miss. Every-now-or-then I get lucky and everyone laughs. And every-now-or-then I let loose with one and you can hear crickets chirp. But generally, well, it falls somewhere in between. And that’s what happened here in this passage from Luke and can happen to us as we relate to Christ. I mean, if we approach Jesus aggressively, with a bad attitude and if we lay-out a bunch of conditions, we could very likely end up standing there in silence. But if we approach him with humility and recognize that he is who he said he was and simply ask that he remember us in the future, in other words, if we get it, we just might hear the kind of good news that can transform a person’s life. Of course, if we choose to go the first way instead of the second, well, in the end the joke may be on us.

Reasons for Thanks Shared During this Morning's Worship Service

  • Thanks to everyone who took tags for Project Christmas Smile. We love all of you!
  • The bereavement committee of the Presbyterian Women wish to thank everyone who helped prepare and serve and donated toward the lunch served for the family and friends of Judy Testaguzza. They were so appreciative. Thank you again for caring so much.
  • Although he is absent, we should remember life-time church member Bob Cattrell, who is 90 years old today. God bless him and his family.
  • Thank you to all the loving and generous people we have in this church.

Prayer Requests Shared on Sunday, November 21, 2010

Below are some of the prayer requests that will be shared today during the worship service:

Adults
• Steve Nagy
• Virginia Welch
• Phyllis Manley
• Mary Jane Cummings
• Rita Mentzer
• John Brothers
• Catherine Zinc
• Pam & Bill Piccard
• Mike Cline
• Rhonda Bruich
• Jack & Mary Games
• Larry Gaston
• Paul Buck
• Barbara Losey
• Denni Stillwagoner
• Madeleine Jackson
• Bill Churchman
• Mr. & Mrs. Mario Whitehead
• Betty Kraina
• Mike Lacik
• Eileen Fazi
• Judy Dobbins
• Alan Whiteman
• Julie Whiteman
• Micky Crain
• Irwin Stukins
• John Kite
• Judy Jackson
• Dave Bever
• Julia Zatta
• Janet Paulin
• Kay Hyde
• Connie Francis
• Thelma Brooks
• Kim Draper
• Wanda Jamerson Penn
• Cheryl Hargest
• The Chlovachok family
• Bola Boii
• Wantok
• Chuckie Scott
• Dana Mears
• Paul Sramka
• George Russell
• Jackie Fowler
• Margie Watson
• Colleen Shaw’s sister Brenda
• Sydney Robinson
• Joan Staton and her mom
• Ajayi Horluwa Burlanley
• Linda Wright
• Geri von Ramin
• Malia Okimaw

Kids
• Jonah Becker
• Shelby Kamarec
• Brody McUmor
• Dustin Parr
• Zoe Purcell
• Daisy Emmerick
• Georgie Platt
• Audri King
• Alec Barnhart
• Brandon Wates

Military
• Michael Criss
• Jonathan Criss
• Chad Peppler
• Howard Fell

Teens & College Students

Troops:
Our troops all around the world need our prayers for strength, endurance, and safety.

Bereaved
• Family of Carl Mercer
• Family of Judy Testaguzza

Church Families:
• Deanna & Colton Yensen
• Dawn Zdinak
• Dean & Katy Allen

Local Church
• Trinity Lutheran Church

Friday, November 19, 2010

A New Devotion on the Prayer Line - A Trusting Child


Luke 18:15-17:

15-17People brought babies to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. When the disciples saw it, they shooed them off. Jesus called them back. “Let these children alone. Don’t get between them and me. These children are the kingdom’s pride and joy. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.”


A Devotion by Beulah Prasad (Bangalore, India):

As physicians, my colleagues and I often work among slum dwellers, even on hot and sultry days. One morning as we were administering vitamin drops, a child clung tightly to his mother, unwilling to come to us because we were strangers. When his mother chided him, he hugged her more closely; but in obedience, he finally opened his mouth to receive the health-sustaining drops.

When I saw how that child unconditionally trusted his mother, refusing to be separated from her, I remembered the scripture passage in Luke 18:15-17. I thought to myself, This is the kind of love that Christ expects us to have.

Many times when we are faced with problems, instead of coming closer to God we move away. We may even question God’s love for us. But we should ask ourselves, When times are tough, will I be enough like a child to cling to God, trusting that, God knows what’s best for me?

Announcement for November 21-28, 2010

OUR NURSERY FOR CHILDREN . . .
(infant thru five years) is open during Sunday School and the Worship Service, under the direction of Jenna Maine. We still need some volunteer help. If you can spare time to supervise the little ones, please talk to Jenna after the service. We wish to thank you in advance for giving of your time to care for the future members of Cove Church.

DON’T FORGET SUNDAY SCHOOL . . .
we meet every Sunday morning at 9:45 a.m. Think about trying out one of our classes. We have a variety of classes to chose from to fit your needs.

THE HOUR BEFORE . . .
the service begins, adults who aren’t already involved in a class are invited to attend a discussion of Francis Chan’s book, Crazy Love. The discussion is held in Fellowship Hall, with coffee and cookies served.

WHEN WE BEGIN THE SERVICE. . .
our children are now carrying red, orange and yellow streamers. This represents the coming of the Holy Spirit, filling the sanctuary as we prepare to worship. At the end of the service, they carry the streamers out, challenging us to carry the Spirit out into the world.

JESUS TIME OFFERS THE YOUNGER CHILDREN . . .
of our congregation, between the ages of 3 and 11, the opportunity to worship in a special experience just for them. The children are dismissed to Jesus Time after a Special Time for Children.

THE THANK OFFERING . . .
sponsored by the Presbyterian Women, will be collected this morning , November 21. We hope you will give as God has given you.

OUR MEN’S CLC BIBLE STUDY CLASS . . .
will meet on Monday, November 22 at 6:00 a.m. in the board room.

CLOSED. . .
the church and office will be closed Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26 in observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!

AS WE ENTER THE SEASON OF ADVENT,
we’ll gather next Sunday evening at 6:30 p.m., for “The Hanging of the Greens.” During the service, we’ll decorate the sanctuary. We’ll also sing songs, hear the choir and share readings. So plan to come and bring the whole family as a way to enter into the Christmas season.

CHRISTMAS WISH LIST ITEMS . . .
are still needed for Project Christmas Smile children. If you would like to be a port of this wonderful project, please contact Sue Marsh at 304-723-1043 or 740-278-2058 to request a wish ornament. They will be wrapping gifts on Wednesday, December 1 at 6:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall if you would like to help.

MYRTLE MCHENDRY CHRISTMAS COVERED DISH DINNER. . .
will be held on Tuesday, December 7, at 5:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. The evening program will be, Reflections on the Wonders of Christmas.

ADULT HANDBELL CHOIR WILL PRACTICE . . .
next on Wednesday, December 8, at 5:30 p.m. We have 1 position that needs filled. We practice from 5:30 - 6:45 from September through May. We play once a month for Sunday services. If you are interested in joining, please contact Becky Korosec at 304-748-8449 for more information.

CHANCEL CHOIR WILL PRACTICE . . .
will not be held this coming week, it will resume on Wednesday, December 8th , in the sanctuary. Please note practice begins at 6:45 p.m. this year. Everyone who wishes to praise our Lord through song is invited to join us.

BABY PLAY AND SIGN CLASS . . .
will next be held on Thursday, December 9th, at 10:00 a.m. in the nursery. This is the beginning of a new series. For more information, on classes for parents and infant children to preschool, contact Deborah Smith at 304-914-5677.

THE BROWN BAG BIBLE STUDY WILL MEET . .
next on Thursday, December 2 , at 12:00 p.m. We’ll begin a study of Galatians, by looking at Galatians 5:13 – 6:18. Grab your lunch and join us as we study God’s word.

WE WILL HAVE OUR ANNUAL CHRISTMAS COVERED DISH DINNER . . .
and children's program on Sunday, December 13 beginning at 5:30 p.m. The evening will end with a special visitor for the children.

WE ARE BLOGGING!
We now have six blogs that you can check out for information and on which you can leave comments. They're listed below:
• The Cove Community (www.thecovecommunity.blogspot.com) - This is for the whole church. I'll post sermons and announcements. I also invite y'all to send in material that you'd like to share with other members of the congregation. And please feel free to comment on anything you might read.
• Cove Kids (www.covekids.blogspot.com) - This is tailored for the preteen young people in our church. Again I'll post announcements. You're also invited to send in any writings, photographs and art work you'd like to post. And they don't have to all deal with the church. We also post artwork from The Gathering service and Jesus Time.
• Glue (www.cove-glue.blogspot.com) - Our teens are running their own blog site; therefore, I have no idea what will be posted.
• Bible Talk (www.cove-bibletalk.blogspot.com) - We've established this blog to give pastors and lay people the chance to discuss Scripture. The weekly passages are from the Common Lectionary, and we're posting the pastor’s translation of the Greek text. We want you to read any or all of the passages and to leave any comment or ask any question that you feel is appropriate. Please include any research you've done. As we share our ideas and insights, we hope that we'll all come to a better and deeper understanding of the Bible. Each passage is linked to a website that offers some informative information.
• Let Talk About It (www.cove-talk.blogspot.com) - Through this site, we hope to encourage a conversation on a variety of topics. Since this blog is sponsored by a church, we expect most of the issues to involve the Christian faith. Still we don't want to limit ourselves or you. If you have a topic that you'd like us to discuss, include it as a comment to a previous issue. Please phrase it as a question and offer a summary of at least two positions. We'll add a new item to discuss every three weeks. We hope this challenges you to apply your faith and values to issues that are important to you.
• The Bible in a Year (www.cove-bibleinayear.blogspot.com/) - Each day, we'll post passages so that you can read the Bible in one year.

SCOUT PROJECT CONTINUES. . .
The Shoe Box Project, by Kyle Truex, a Boy Scout with Troop 334, has extended his Eagle Scout Project to include continuous donations for Appalachian Outreach Inc. Informational brochures with envelopes attached are located on the table in the narthex.

MISSING A DISH, BOWL OR BAKING PAN?
Check the pantry in the church kitchen. There are a number of items, bowls, plates, sealed containers and utensils that have been left after various functions, one may be the piece your searching for.

REMEMBER WHEN HOLIDAY SHOPPING , SHOP ON LINE . . .
use Good Search and Good Shop search engines to find what you are hunting for. Just list Cove Presbyterian Church as your charity and a percent of your purchase will come back to the church. It’s a simple way to raise money for the Cove Deacons while shopping for yourself! FYI - The Deacons recently received a check for $ 35.59 from Good Shop. - Free Money!

2736 ITEMS COLLECTED . .
2658 food items and 78 books is the total collection from Scouting for Food. Great Job Scouts! Through these generous donations we were able to pack and distribute twenty-eight food baskets to area residents for the Thanksgiving Holiday.

IT IS OFTEN DIFFICULT TO HEAR PRAYER REQUESTS . . .
on Sunday mornings. If you would like to have someone added to the prayer chain please drop a short note into the collection plate with their name and any other information you would like to share.

PRAYER CHAIN INFO. . .
if you would like someone added to or removed from the prayer chain please contact Floy Fetty at 304-670-1561 or e-mail her at floyfetty@yahoo.com. You may also call the church office. Thanks to Floy’s dedication, the Prayer Chain is kept up to date.

IN THE HOSPITAL? HOMEBOUND? RECENT ILLNESS?. . .
if you are unable to attend services and would like to arrange for a visit by Rev. Ed Rudiger please contact the church office. Also if you would like to be included in our weekly bulletin mailings contact the church office.

WE CAN ALWAYS DO A BETTER JOB MINISTERING . . .
to the needs within this congregation, community and world. Please feel free to offer any suggestions as comments.

DUE TO BUDGET CONSTRAINTS . . .
the Board of Deacons has had to seriously cut back their outreach programs. Session has approved the Deacons collecting a “Loose Change Offering” that will be used to assist the Deacons with their utility assistance outreach program for Weirton residents or Cove Church members. We hope church members can help with the assistance program by donating some of their spare change. A container is placed in the Narthex each Sunday morning before church for any spare change you would like to donate. We thank you for your continuing support of our projects. We wish to thank everyone for their continued generosity, $ 510.21 has been collected thru October!!

VASES OF FLOWERS, SILK FLOWERS OR PLANTS . . .
can be purchased for a service. The cost is $15.00 a vase or plant. Silk flowers can be purchased for an additional cost. The flower calendar is located on the far wall in the church narthex or you can contact Sue Marsh or the church office to place your order. You may pick-up your flowers after the service.

IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS. . .
newsletters from old friends or articles about or by members of Cove Church, check out the new bulletin board located in the hallway by the church offices. Items of interest and pictures of events at Cove will now be posted in that area.

ONGOING MISSION PROJECTS . . .
• Used can tabs are being collected for the Ronald McDonald House. Deposit your tabs in the container located in the main hallway downstairs.
• Used postage stamps are being collected for Stamp Camp USA. Place your used stamps in the container located in the main hallway downstairs.
• Campbell’s Labels are being collected by the Presbyterian Women and can be dropped off in the church office.
We thank you for your support of these valuable endeavors.

FOR THIS SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2010 . . .
the Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery asks that all churches join together to pray for: New Martinsville, First - David Roberts, Pastor; New Matamoras, First - Vacant Pulpit

The Greatest Thanksgiving

“Are you going grocery shopping today?” my husband, Roy asked when I picked up the telephone.

“I plan to,” I answered.

Thanksgiving was only a couple days away. Everyone in our family would be coming to our house. My funds were limited; therefore, my box of coupons awaited me in the car. I knew I had to be creative in my shopping that day. I had to stretch every dollar.

For a few seconds, Roy sat silently on the other end of the line. “Why do you ask?” I uttered, fearing what he might say.

“Nancy, there’s a family with a half dozen kids that will not have anything to eat for Thanksgiving. The little one is only five-years-old.”

“So what are you saying?” I whispered.

“While you’re at the store could you possibly buy something for them?” Roy’s words echoed in my heart. Groceries, a five-year-old and eight in the family. My head began to spin thinking about the fifty dollars I had reserved for our family’s Thanksgiving dinner.

In the back of my mind I counted the hungry guests who would be coming to our house for dinner. I put my head down on my desk, already feeling defeated.

There’s no way possible, I thought. But the compassion I heard in my husband’s voice struck a nerve inside me.

“Sure,” I replied. “But only if God helps.”

“Thanks, sweetheart,” Roy whispered. “Just do what you can.” He then hung up the telephone. I finished my work and prayed all the way to the nearest grocery store.

I entered the parking lot. I noticed a big sign in the grocery store window: Turkeys - 29 cents a pound.

“This is the place, Lord” I whispered. I grabbed my box of coupons, went in side, secured two buggies, and headed to the frozen foods. The turkeys were indeed on sale, but I discovered one big problem. When I read the sign posted on the freezer door my heart sank. “Limit one.”

“But I need two,” I uttered to myself. I decided to find the manager. I explained the problem. He made an exception.

After tossing a turkey in each buggy, I began my shopping fury. It was amazing how many buy-one, get-one free items were being featured that day. The first item went into one buggy. The free item went in the other. In addition, I had all the right coupons to get exactly what both families needed for a hearty Thanksgiving dinner. I proceeded to the register and held my breath while the cashier rang up my groceries.

To my surprise, I had enough money. I was even able to purchase a package of cookies for the five-year-old who had stolen my heart, even though I had never met her.

Later that afternoon, Roy and I made a special delivery to a home filled with children of all ages. I will never forget the smiles on the six kids’ faces, as they made several trips from my car carrying numerous bags of groceries inside.

This event reminded me of a story. Even though He only had a few loaves and fishes, Jesus multiplied them and fed five thousand people. And to top it off, there was food left over. I wondered if God was doing the same thing that day.

By far, that was the greatest Thanksgiving Day of my life. My entire family shared a hearty meal with us. We had plenty to eat. We even had enough food left over for the evening meal.

That afternoon, when I had time to think about what had happened, I imagined a home, not far from where I lived. There was a mother and a father and six children sitting around the kitchen table, laughing and rejoicing. They enjoyed the same meal that our family had shared together that day.

Then I realized that miracles happen when we step out in faith and in steps God. For with us, some things are impossible. But with God, all things are possible.

Nancy B. Gibbs

Remembering Our Sister Judy Testaguzza

Memorial for Judith Testaguzza
Born in Steubenville, OH on Jul. 2, 1936
Departed on Nov. 18, 2010 and resided in Weirton, WV.

Visitation: Friday, Nov. 19, 2010
Funeral: Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010
Cemetery: Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens
Please click on the links above for locations, times, maps, and directions.

Judith L. Testaguzza, 74, of Weirton, died November 18, 2010 at the Weirton Medical Center.

She was born July 2, 1936 in Steubenville, OH, a daughter of the late J. Haydn and Thelma McClain Harris. She was also preceded in death by a son, Kurt S. Muhart, and her husband Angelo Testaguzza.

Friendly and outgoing to everyone she met; Judy enjoyed taking care of her family.

She was an active member of the Cove Presbyterian Church in Weirton.

Judith is survived by her son, Kenny (Stacie) Muhart of Weirton; daughters, Kim (Carmen) Angelo and Wendy (Ron) Castelli all of Weirton; step-son, James (Sue) Testaguzza of Westerville, OH; step-daughters, Debbie (James) Karnoupakis of New Cumberland, WV and Cherie (Stephen) Cook of Columbus, OH; sister, Joanne Mikula of Weirton; 7 grandchildren, Lindsay Syed, Ashleigh Kaufman, Ryan Angelo, Kaitlin Karpinski, Kandis Castelli, Reno Castelli, and Kenny Muhart, Jr.; 3 great-grandchildren, Mea and Ella Kaufman and Selina Syed; 10 step-grandchildren, Matthew, Andrea and Mark Karnoupakis, Chelsea and Tyler Cooks, Andrew, Stacie, Connor, Daniel and Caroline Testaguzza; her special aunt, Virginia Harris of Weirton, WV; the father of her children, Kenneth Muhart of Weirton. Her dog Bella and cat Frankie also survive her.

Friends will be received Friday from 2-4 and 6-9pm at the Greco-Hertnick Funeral Home, 3219 Main Street, Weirton. Additional visitation will be held Saturday from 10am until time of the 11am funeral service at the Cove Presbyterian Church 3404 Main Street, Weirton.

Reverend Dr. Ed Rudiger will officiate.

Entombment will be in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, Weirton.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Hancock County Animal Shelter 715 Gas Valley Road, New Cumberland, WV 26407 or to the Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street Weirton, WV 26062.

Share tributes and memories at http://www.grecohertnick.com/

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Remembering Our Brother Carl Mercer

MERCER, Mr. Carl Alvin, 73, of Gainesville, Ga., died November 12, 2010, in Smokey Springs Assisted Living.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pa., Mr. Mercer was the son of the late Delmar Knowles and Jeannette Arnold Mercer.

He was employed by Scott Lumber Company as a salesman and had served in the U.S. Army. Mr. Mercer was a member of the Cove United Presbyterian Church in Weirton, W.Va.

Survivors include his brother and sister-in-law, Jim and Charlotte Mercer of Flowery Branch, Ga. A number of cousins and other relatives also survive.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, November 19, 2010 at the Frankfort Presbyterian Church in Frankfort Springs, Pa.

Those wishing to send online condolences may do so at littledavenport.com.

Little and Davenport Funeral Home, 355 Dawsonville Highway SW, Gainesville, GA 30501 is in charge of arrangements.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A New Devotion on the Prayer Line - Stop and Listen


Luke 10:38-42:

38-40As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.”
41-42The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.”


Devotion by Monica Wood (Gauteng, South Africa):

I have been blessed with good health all my life. Recently, though, because of an accident I have not been as active as usual. My inactivity brought to mind a favorite Bible passage — the story of Jesus visiting the home of Martha and Mary.

I had always understood that Jesus chose the home of Martha and Mary because it was well known as a place of fellowship and hospitality and Jesus wanted as many people as possible to gather there to hear him. I saw Martha as the homemaker who wanted everything perfect for Jesus. I had always thought Jesus should have asked Mary to help Martha in the preparations so that Martha, too, could have sat at his feet and listened.

Because of my new limitations, I have been unable to offer that kind of hospitality to our friends. But reading again this story from Luke’s Gospel, I saw the wisdom of just being ready to listen. I can’t imagine keeping Jesus waiting while the scones baked or I put away the vacuum!

I am due for some more time of inactivity but I’m ready to sit at Jesus’ feet, to listen and learn from him. That is my main purpose as his follower.

Bud Hyde Retires from the Choir

It's with sadness that the choir says good-bye to Bud Hyde, who's retiring after many years of active service. His involvement will be missed. Below are some pictures taken at his farewell party at the Veterans Day service. Bud is the one in the white tie.






Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday's Sermon - Why We Need One Another


Luke 21:5-19

5And when certain people were talking about the Temple, that it had been adorned with beautiful stones and dedicated offerings, [Jesus] said, 6“These things at which you’re looking, a day will come when not one stone will be left upon a stone which will not be thrown down.” 7And they asked him a question saying, “Teacher, now when will these be? And what’s the sign that this must happen?”

8And [Jesus] said, “Look that y’all might not be lead astray. For many will come in my name saying, ‘I am’ and ‘The time is near.’ Don’t go after them. 9But when y’all might hear battles and disturbances, don’t be terrified. For these things must happen first, but the end isn’t immediate.”

10Then he said to them, “Nation will rise up against nation and kingdom against kingdom, 11great earthquakes and in places there will be famines and plagues, terrors and in heavens, there will be great signs. 12And before all these things, they will lay upon y’all their hands and they will persecute by giving [y’all] over to the synagogues and prisons, by taking [y’all] away before kings and governors for the sake of my name. 13It will result for y’all in witness. 14Now resolve in your hearts not to plan to defend yourselves. 15For I myself will give to y’all speech and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to stand against or contradict. 16And y’all will be given over by parents and siblings and relatives and friends, and they will cause your death. 17And y’all will be hated by everyone on account of my name. 18And a hair from your head will absolutely not perish. 19By your endurance, acquire your selves.”


Why We Need One Another

Having been a minister for almost twenty-five years, I’ve learned a lot of stuff. And I’ll tell you, one of those things is this: someone is probably going to be offended by almost everything you do or say. But it doesn’t just apply to me; I think every minister knows it’s true. Man, you can tell the most innocent joke and even thought ninety-nine people laugh, someone’s going to say that you don’t take things seriously enough. But you know, this offense business, it shouldn’t be surprising. I mean, if you look close enough, you can always find something to offend you.

Take for instance, the way I translated the passage we just read. Yes, I used the word “y’all.” But before anybody sends a tweet or text saying how bad you think that was, let me explain why I did it. You see, unlike folks from the south, Yankees have no way to separate second person singular from second person plural. It’s just “you,” whether I’m talking about you or you. But in the south, we have that wonderful contraction “y’all.” And although I guess I could have used “yuns,” I felt that might even be further across the line.

And so, on Thursday morning, when I passed the final draft of the bulletin to Marcia to be printed, the last thing I did was change all the “yous” to “y’alls,” because I think it’s really important for us to recognize that when Jesus was saying all this, he wasn’t just talking to you or to me, but rather to all of us, in other words, to y’all.

And to tell you the truth, I think that’s something we forget from time to time. I mean, we forget that the father’s love isn’t directed just to individuals and that Jesus called a group of disciples to follow him and that the Holy Spirit came and rested on a community. Now maybe it’s because we live in a society that stresses the individual or maybe it’s because the whole idea of community has kind of broken down, especially among younger people, I’m really not sure the reason. Still, I think “me and Jesus” Christianity is pretty popular now-a-days, and it’s been for a long time. And if you don’t believe me, just check out our thirty year-old hymnal and compare the number of hymns that start with the words “I,” “my” and “me” with the ones the begin with “we,” “us” and “our.” No, for whatever reason we seem to be living in the age of “lone wolf” Christianity.

And although that might be socially comfortable, when you think about it, there are several real problems with this perspective, one of which is right here in this passage, a conversation Jesus had with some folks who were talking about the Temple, one in which he used second person plural, y’all, over and over again. I mean, just think about what he said. There’s no question, at least in my mind, that Jesus was describing some pretty tough times that Christians could expect, you know, between the present and the time when “...nation will rise up against nation and kingdom against kingdom, great earthquakes and in places there will be famines and plagues, terrors and in heavens, there will be great signs.”

You see, before all that 2012, or maybe better Super 8 kind of stuff, we’re going face some really hard times. And according to Jesus, they’re going to come from three sources, all of which I believe we can see in the world right now. I mean, first, Jesus talked about folks inside the church, who claim to come in the name of Christ and who have the potential of leading good and sincere Christians astray. Now tell me there aren’t folks like that right here in this congregation, but you know, they’re every where, people who promote, even teach a brand of Christianity that has more in common with the Reader’s Digest or Fox News or maybe denominational headquarters than the gospel of Christ. I’m telling you, even though they drop the name of Jesus every now and then, sometimes it’s hard to figure out what they believe. Without a doubt, those folks are within the church. As are people who, for reasons I don’t understand, seem to enjoy spreading around lies and half truths, you know, just to cut down and hurt Christian brothers and sisters. They’re in here too. But you know, again we shouldn’t be surprised, because Jesus told us exactly what to expect and even warned us to not go after them. You see, that’s one source of trouble.

And second, he also talked about official authorities who are going to oppose us because of the name in whom we come. And although contrary to urban legends that this kind of thing happens all the time, I don’t know of anyone who’s gotten into trouble for what they believe, maybe what they did or said, but not believe. As a matter of fact, I think believing in God is actually an advantage when running for office. But having said that, I still believe there’s some real tension between what’s promoted by the world and how Christian are called to live. For example, I know I’ve raised more than a few eyebrows when I’ve said that as a believer I’m pro-life, which means I have a real problem with abortion and capital punishment. So where do I fit on the political spectrum? Man, I tick-off everybody. But you know, it doesn’t matter what party is in control, Christianity by it’s nature is counter-cultural; therefore, we’ll always face official opposition. That’s two.

But maybe most difficult of all is the third group about which Jesus warns us. Listen: “And y’all will be given over by parents and siblings and relatives and friends, and they will cause your death. And y’all will be hated by everyone on account of my name.” And sadly, this is true. Sometimes when you stand up for Jesus Christ, when you say that faith will now be a factor in how we spend both our money and time, and when you say that in spite of all the stuff that makes it tough, teaching our children about Jesus Christ is going to be one of our top priorities, when you’ve made that decision, well, I’ll pretty much guarantee that the loudest opposition isn’t going to come from city hall. For all kinds of reasons, those closest to us are probably going to be the ones who are least open to change. And along with some within the church and some of those with official power, they can really make our lives miserable.

And I’ll tell you, it’s for those reasons that I believe Jesus talked to y’all, to us, because when you get right down to it, we really need one another. In other words, unity can help us face the future, and I’ll tell you how. First, we’ll be able to face down those inside the church who could lead us astray, because together we can separate the truth from the lies. Now admitted, this is pretty tough to do by ourselves, but if we gather with our brothers and sisters and if through study and prayer we really listen to what God is saying through his word and spirit and then if we discuss what we’ve heard so that we’re not chasing rabbits or drifting around without direction, man, if we do that kind of thing, how could we not end up with a better understanding of what God has called us to believe. And as to those who just love to dish the dirty, well, together I think we’ll be able to separate the prime rib from the baloney, the truth from the lies. Together we should be able to keep our focus even when others would love to see us confused and upset. And I’ll tell you, that’s why we need one another. But that’s not all.

Second, when it appears as though we’re by ourselves in a hostile world and that when it comes to our faith, the official deck has been stacked against us, even when everything around us is saying “compromise,” together we can proclaim the truth. You know, Jesus made a remarkable promise in this passage. Remember he said that the official opposition we face “...will result for y’all in witness.” And then he said, “Now resolve in your hearts not to plan to defend yourselves. For I myself will give to y’all speech and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to stand against or contradict.” You see, God has given us his word and spirit, and he’s drawn each and every one of us into this community. But more than that, he’s given us a voice. And although if we’re all talking at the same time, saying whatever we think is right, we can sure make a lot of noise, if we’re proclaiming the same message: that God is in control and that in Jesus Christ he loved us before the foundation of the universe and that through the Holy Spirit we can understand his freedom and his love, and if we’re all saying it in rhythm and at the same time, man, we’re going to sound like a basketball crowd after the other team just shot an air ball. I’m telling you, it’s going to sound so pretty if we’re all saying “Jesus saves” together. And that another reason we need one another.

And finally, when those who are closest to us start giving us a hard time about who we follow, together we can support one another. Now Jesus didn’t pull any punches then he said, “And y’all will be hated by everyone on account of my name.” Hated, that ain’t good. But then he said, “And a hair from your head will absolutely not perish. By your endurance, acquire your selves.” Now when I younger, people talked a lot about “finding themselves.” Well, right here Jesus tells us how that can happen, through endurance. In other words, we become what God created us to be, we find our place, when we develop “an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance.” And right here, we can help one another, because this is something we can develop together. We can support and encourage one another. We can offer those who are stressed a safe place, maybe even a new family, one that listens and really cares.

When Jesus spoke to those guys about the Temple, I believe he did say “y’all,” and I’m glad he did. You see, I think we all know that our’s can be a difficult world. Whether you’re talking about some folks within the church or officials on the outside or even members of our own family, it’s full of challenges that could beat us down, if we have to face them alone. But praise the Lord, we don’t have to do that, because together we can separate the truth from the lies. And then together we can proclaim the truth. And though it all, together we can support one another. And to me, that why we need one another.