Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - Like a Tree

Psalm 1:1-6

1How well God must like you— you don’t hang out at Sin Saloon, you don’t slink along Dead-End Road,
you don’t go to Smart-Mouth College.

2-3Instead you thrill to God’s Word,
you chew on Scripture day and night.
You’re a tree replanted in Eden,
bearing fresh fruit every month,
Never dropping a leaf,
always in blossom.

4-5You’re not at all like the wicked,
who are mere windblown dust—
Without defense in court,
unfit company for innocent people.

6God charts the road you take.
The road they take is Skid Row.


A Devotion by Mike Smoot (Virginia)

I grew up the oldest of six children, in what could be called a dysfunctional family. My father’s alcoholism created for us an environment of uncertainty and, at times, fear. Growing up in such a home carried over into adulthood and resulted in a compulsion to try to control my life and to feel afraid when I cannot. Even now at age 54, I still struggle with the patterns established in childhood.

However, I have found hope in the Bible’s descriptions of those who trust in the Lord and who are “like a tree planted by the water”. If we plant ourselves next to the living water and send down our roots by praying and meditating on God’s word, we will be nourished. Trouble will come, but if we trust in the Lord, we do not have to live in fear. We can thrive.

Sometimes our struggles may be long, yet worry does not have to consume us. In fact, we can bear fruit even in times of prolonged challenge. If we turn to God and “trust in the Lord” in times of trouble, we not only endure but thrive, like a tree that has all it needs.

Sunday's Sermon - A Little Knowledge

1 Corinthians 8:1-13

1Concerning that which is sacrificed to idols, we know that all of us have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2If anyone thinks he has knowledge about something, then he doesn’t yet know what he must know. 3But if anyone loves God, then he is known by him.

4Concerning then eating that which is sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no idol in the world and that there is no God except one. 5For although there are things which are called gods whether in the heavens or upon the earth, indeed there are many gods and many lords, 6but for us, there is one God, the father from whom are all things and we are in him and in the Lord Jesus Christ through whom is all things and we are through him.

7But not all have the knowledge. But until now anyone who is accustomed to idols, as that which is sacrifice to idols eat, and their conscience being weak is defiled. 8But food won’t draw us close to God. If we might not eat, then we are no worse off, nor if we might eat might we gain.

9But see that your right doesn’t become a stumbling block to the weak. 10For if anyone might see you who have knowledge reclining at table with an idol, because his conscience is weak, will it not encourage him to eat that which is sacrificed to idols? 11For a person with a weak conscience perishes because of your knowledge, the brother for whom Christ died. 12But thus when you sin against the brother and wound him who’s conscience is weak, against Christ you sin. 13Therefore, if food causes my brother to fall, then I will absolutely never eat meat forever, so that I might not cause my brother to fall.


A Little Knowledge

Ever since I was a little boy, I remember hearing the expression “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” Now, as I recall, I usually heard it after I’d said something really profound, and it was generally said by adults who, when they said it, would either be kind of laughing to themselves or looking down with these furrows in their foreheads. Of course, how they looked was my cue either to laugh too or retreat quietly. And since, believe it or not, I was a kid who was just full of profound ideas, well, let’s just say I heard about a little knowledge a lot. And I guess for that reason, I was a little disappointed when I read this last week that the quote as I remember it is actually wrong. You see, it goes back to the English poet Alexander Pope who actually wrote, “A little Learning is a dang’rous Thing...” You see, Pope said “learning” and not “knowledge,” which would have given me something, if I’d known it at the time, I could have throw back at those patronizing adults.

But be-that-as-it-may, whether it’s “learning” or “knowledge,” the meaning is pretty much the same. Simply put, you can get into big trouble when you only know a little bit about something. Like when I did the funeral for a guy back in North Dakota. Now he was a man that I knew only slightly, and every time I talked with him, he was kind and gentle. To me, he was a good, up-right person. And his wife and daughter loved him to death and told me how he was this wonderful father and husband. And so, when I did his service, I talked about how we might want to follow Clyde’s example as we live our lives. Of course, that would have been fine if I hadn’t found out about a week later that, before he got sick, Clyde had been the town drunk. I can just see those adults now, because no matter how you say it, a little knowledge really is a dangerous thing.

But when you think about it, a lot of knowledge may be even more dangerous than a little. Which, kind of makes me a little nervous, because let’s face it, we live in a society when people claim to know everything. I mean, have you ever noticed how, in those public opinion polls, very few people say they don’t know. The question to the man on the street: “Will the European Union Emissions Trading System have an adverse effect on the petro-chemical industry within the Eurozone?” Fifty-one percent of Americans say “yes,” forty-seven percent say “no,” two percent say “I don’t know.” It’s amazing. They may not know who’s President of the United States, but they know how environmental policy will effects an isolated economic segment. You see, we all know.

And I’ll tell you, that applies to the church and to Christians as well. We all know what’s right and wrong, good and bad, right? Sure we do. Of course, we may not agree, but that doesn’t stop us from knowing. I mean, right now, think about some of the things you personally know Christians shouldn’t be doing, and I’m talking about things that are accepted within our society and maybe by some so-called “believers,” but that you know are wrong. Just make a little list in your mind. Well, I’ll tell you, even though I don’t know what’s on your list, I can guarantee that there are other Christians, maybe in this room right now who know that you’re wrong, because they know that they’re right.

And with everybody knowing so much, and so confident in their own knowledge, well, how could that not result in divisions and frustrations, when our knowledge clashes. In fact, I’ll tell you, that’s exactly the kind of stuff we see right now in the Presbyterian Church. And that’s a shame. It seems as though everybody’s gotten so mad with one another that few people talk, and nobody listens. But I’ll tell you, even worse, I think all this conflict is pushing people away from faith in Jesus Christ, and it’s happening right when, like I said last week, people are desperate to experience some sense of peace and to enter into relationships with other people without worrying about whether they’re going to be condemned or ignored. Man, they don’t know what to believe. But sadly, they generally don’t look here. And the reason, well part of it is because we all think we know so much, and the guy across the street, he doesn’t know squat.

And you know, it’s interesting, I think that’s the exact problem Paul was facing in the Corinthian church. Of course, when you read this passage, it’s pretty obvious that he faced an issue that means almost nothing to us now-a-days, but was a huge deal back in the day, and I’m talking about whether or not people should eat meat offered to idols. Now I said it means nothing to us, because last time I looked I didn’t any idol-meat at Kroger’s, but I’d bet a dollar on a donut with anyone here but Dar that if asked, most of us would have an opinion about whether eating this kind of stuff is right or wrong. Man, we’d know. And the reasons we’d give, I think they be pretty close to what people were saying back then.

I mean, some of them knew it was wrong, because we’re talking about idols for crying out loud, and if you can show me one verse in the Bible that says anything positive about idols, I want to see it. They’re idols, representing other gods, pagan gods; therefore, the meat has to be tainted, right? And as the cherry on top of the sundae, according to Acts, there were the four rules that applied to all Christians, everywhere: “[One,] you must also not commit any terrible sexual sins. [Two,] you should not eat any meat that still has the blood in it or [three] any meat of any animal that has been strangled.” And of course, [four, and in the actual list this was number one,] you should not eat anything offered to idols.” Case closed, right? We know it’s wrong.

But of course, not everybody knew that, because others believed just as strongly that it was alright to do. And it’s interesting, those are the ones to whom Paul was writing, because Paul seemed to believe it too. You see, they knew it was alright simply because, as Paul wrote, they knew that “there is no idol in the world and that there is no God except one.” And so we’re all clear on what he was saying, listen to how these verses have been translated in the Contemporary English Translation: “Even though food is offered to idols, we know that none of the idols in this world are alive. After all, there is only one God. Many things in heaven and on earth are called gods and lords, but none of them really are gods or lords. We have only one God, and he is the Father. He created everything, and we live for him. Jesus Christ is our only Lord. Everything was made by him, and by him life was given to us.” In other words, how can something that doesn’t exist taint anything. Dah. Case closed, right? We know it’s alright.

Now those were the two sides, and I’ll tell you, changing ordination standards was small potatoes
when compared to the rhubarb that erupted over this. And what made it so hard to solve was that both sides were absolutely convinced that they were right.

And I’ll tell you, for a lesser person, this would have been an impossible situation to resolve but not for Paul, because I want you to notice that before he said anything about the issue itself, he was clear about the real problem and it had nothing to do with prime rib offered to Isis. He wrote, “Concerning that which is sacrificed to idols, we know that all of us have knowledge. [Truer words have ne’er been spoken. He continued,] Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” You see, this whole mess and all the anger and frustration that it produced, man, it wasn’t about meat at all. It was about the knowledge they claimed to have. Man, that was the problem, because not only was this knowledge making them arrogant, little know-it-alls, it was also distracting them from what should be most important for people living together within the Body of Christ, and I’m talking about love. Again he wrote, “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” And then he suggested that if this was something that came as a surprise, then maybe they weren’t as knowledgeable as they thought they were. You see, for Paul, it was all about love, and that makes sense, because later in this same letter he’ll write that when all things have been written, faith, hope and love will be left. And the greatest of these is love. Now that’s what Paul believed was most important, far more important then their inflated sense of knowledge.

And as he applied this principle to the meat issue, I think Paul gave us a pretty good idea about how love might change things. I mean, even though they knew that since there’s only one god, idols are just hunks of stone and anything sacrificed to a hunk of stone is just meat and therefore could be eaten. Now that’s what both Paul and some of the guys in the Corinthian church knew and of course that’s exactly what their knowledge led them to do, to eat.

But if they also worked in a little love into the equation, well, their perspective would have to shift, but not because they’d have to recognize that they were wrong. Instead they’d realize that being right isn’t the “be all, end all.” You see, instead of seeing only a piece of meat which they could eat, they’d also begin to consider other people, folks that they were called to love, you know, brothers and sisters who didn’t have this knowledge yet. You see, these individuals who lacked knowledge, Christians whom Paul said had weak consciences, they might have things in their background that would make eating this meat difficult, even deadly for them. And for that reason, those who weren’t weak, you know, those who knew it was alright to chow down, they needed to be sensitive and gentle and understanding when dealing with their weaker brothers and sisters. Because let’s face it, wouldn’t it be horrible if knowledge caused a person for whom Christ died to stumble, especially over something as unimportant as food? In fact, maybe the strong should do the kind of thing Paul would later write to the Romans: “Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions.” You see, that’s something a loving person would never do. Now that’s what Paul wrote.

And you know, maybe this is something we might want to apply to ourselves. In other words, we could take Paul’s approach as we deal with all these issues both inside and outside the church where people disagree about what they know to be right, couldn’t we? My goodness, we could, before we entered into a debate or got all hot and bothered because the other guy doesn’t see things our way or worse, arrogantly condemned them and then stormed away from a brother or sister in Christ just because we disagree, I mean, instead of obsessing on the stuff we think that we know so well, we could let love trump knowledge for just a minute, couldn’t we? And then, we could begin to focus on the person rather than just the issue. That we could do, if we wanted. In fact, I think we could all apply in these situations the qualities that Paul listed, again later in this letter: “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

And I’ll tell you, if this was our attitude whenever we’re in situations where people disagree over conflicting knowledge, even if we never come to a single mind, it’s hard to see us getting frustrated and angry. You see, I think that would happen if we took Paul’s advice and used a little love.

Like I said a little while ago, Alexander Pope really didn’t write that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. But even though this may not be correct, Albert Einstein really did say this, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So is a lot.” And you know, I think Paul would agree. Knowledge, whether it’s a little or a lot, it can be extremely dangerous, particularly within the Body of Christ, if it comes without love. And so, as we approach this table, let’s do it with at least a little knowledge and a lot of love.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - Gracious Words

Ephesians 4:25-32

25We are part of the same body. Stop lying and start telling each other the truth. 26Don't get so angry that you sin. Don't go to bed angry 27and don't give the devil a chance.

28If you are a thief, quit stealing. Be honest and work hard, so you will have something to give to people in need.

29Stop all your dirty talk. Say the right thing at the right time and help others by what you say.

30Don't make God's Spirit sad. The Spirit makes you sure that someday you will be free from your sins.

31Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. Don't yell at one another or curse each other or ever be rude. 32Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ.


A Devotion by Jason Jones (Indiana)

Bob, my step-grandfather for 38 years, never hesitated to express an opinion. If he felt something needed saying, he said it. He told me who deserved our vote, who was going to win the game, and what I needed to do with my life. Sometimes I wished that God would gently take away Bob’s gift of speech for a day or two. But just when I would think I’d had enough of Bob, he would give me a hug and remind me that I was loved. During a rough passage in my life, Bob said, “God is going to take care of you.” No one had said anything like that to me before, but outspoken Bob did.

Ephesians tells us to keep unwholesome talk to ourselves and to speak words that give grace to those who hear them. In his outspoken way, Bob did just that. Mixed with his unfiltered opinions were the words he wanted me to hear above all others: that I was loved and valued by God and by him. In the end, the words of love were the ones I heard. I hope that I, like Bob, will not be shy about speaking words of grace.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sunday's Minute for Mission - Criminal Justice

In faith responding to our Creator, we celebrate the full humanity of each woman, man and child, all created in the divine image as individuals of infinite worth, by working for: ... A system of criminal rehabilitation based on restorative justice and an end to the death penalty.

These words from the Social Creed adopted in 2008 by member communions of the National Council of Churches, including the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), call us to a vision of restorative justice that is grounded in our understanding of the enduring possibility of repentance that is part of the hope we have in the Christian life.

Restorative justice calls us to consider the humanity of victim and perpetrator alike. Restorative justice calls for restoration through coming clean about the full costs of a crime. There is also hope for transformation through concrete strategies like significant community service, fines, and arenas for public repentance, restitution, and forgiveness.

There is reason to hope that restorative justice can bear fruit. Dr. Han Hallundbaek, prison partnership coordinator for the Presbytery of Hudson River and a key player in work to establish a General Assembly-mandated criminal justice network, points to promising results. In New York, privately sponsored educational programs have been established for perpetrators that include college-level work and even a master's program at New York Theological Seminary. Over the last 10 years, these efforts have contributed to reducing the prison population from 70,000 to 56,000.

In a country that incarcerates a higher percentage of its citizens than any other, where more than half are persons of color and are disproportionally poor and undereducated, the church is called to respond to victim and perpetrator alike. May we offer compassion and the hope of wholeness to those whose lives have been torn apart by violent crime, and both the vision of transformation and the means of achieving it to those imprisoned for their crimes.

— Elder Martha Bettis Gee, associate for child advocacy and networking, General Assembly Mission Council

Announcements - Sunday, January 29, 2012

Below are the announcements as they appear in the bulletin.

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 choose from to fit your needs.

ANNUAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING . . .
will be held today, Sunday, January 29 immediately following the morning worship service.

BOOKMARKS . . .
Cove’s Reading Group will meet on Monday, January 30 at 6:30 p.m. in the church parlor.

THE ADULT HANDBELL CHOIR WILL PRACTICE . . .
on Wednesday, February 1 at 5:30 p.m. under the direction of Becky Korosec. New members are always welcome and you do not have to read music to play. For more information contact Becky at 304-748-8449.

THE CHANCEL CHOIR WILL PRACTICE . . .
at 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, February 1. If you would like to lift your voice in song to praise our God, consider becoming a member of the Chancel Choir. For more information contact Janice Torrance at 304-797-1908.

THE BROWN BAG BIBLE STUDY . . .
will meet Thursday, February 2, at 12:30 p.m. We’ll look at Eastern Orthodoxy.

DEACONS MEETING . . .
Monday, February 6 at 7:00 pm. in the board room. All current members are encouraged to attend.

SESSION MEETING . . .
Tuesday, February 7 at 6:30 p.m. in the boardroom. Please note, Session will now meet on the first Tuesday of each month.

GREETING CARDS. . .
are being collected as a mission project of the Myrtle McHendry Class. Please drop off your Greeting Cards or just the front of the card in the box located in the main hallway downstairs. The cards are being sent to St. Jude’s Ranch to be remade into cards to be sold in their gift shop. Hallmark, Disney or American Greeting Cards can not be accepted as they are trade marked. We thank you for your participation in our new endeavor.

DO YOU HAVE A NEW ADDRESS,. . .
new phone number or new e-mail ? Please contact the church office so we can update our records. We like to keep everyone informed of our happenings, if you don’t receive mailings from us, we may not have your current/correct information.

HAND SANITIZERS . . .
as a way of combating germs, two hand sanitizers have been installed for your convenience. One is located on the right wall downstairs as you come in the double doors. The second is located on the far wall in the narthex as you go towards the back stairway or towards the elevator.

PLEASE REMEMBER TO CONTACT THE CHURCH OFFICE . . .
if you have a meeting change of any type - time, date or plan something different on your meeting night. There are multiple meeting each night, and to accommodate everyone we need to be aware of any and all changes either e-mail or telephone us. Also remember we follow Hancock County School’s schedule in the winter, if school is canceled due to bad weather evening activities are canceled as well. Thank you for your cooperation in these matters.

STOP IN THE CHURCH LIBRARY . . .
to view a picture of Holliday’s Cove from 1905 showing a view of Cove Church. The picture is compliments of the Weirton Museum.

IF WE MISSED YOUR BIRTHDAY OR ANNIVERSARY . . .
in the bulletin, we apologize but we do not have the information on our calendar. Please contact the church office with your information. Also, consider adding your dates to our Cove Community Calendar next year as a listing.

REMINDER, PLEASE COVER . . .
the top of the church’s tables before they are used for any activity. They will stain and are hard to clean, this can be avoided with a little cooperation.

ONLY ONE. . .
a Peg Game designed by Bruce Trushel, is available in the church library. The learning game is a unique way to learn and remember the Ten Commandments. The game can be ordered from:
Only One God Foundation
PO Box 2459
Weirton WV 26062

GREETERS NEEDED . . .
if you would like to serve as a greeter before a Sunday morning worship service, please contact Bonnie Nichols at 304-723-5134.

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 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’s 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 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.

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. You may also call the church office or e-mail the church with the information.

IF YOU LEAVE AN ITEM AT CHURCH . . .
for someone or for a specific function, please take a moment to write the information on the item. If there is no name on the item we will assume it is for the church in general.

IN THE HOSPITAL? HOMEBOUND? RECENT ILLNESS?. . .
if you are unable to attend services and would like to arrange for a visit from 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 their projects.

VASES OF FLOWERS. . .
can be purchased for a service. The cost is $16.00 a vase. 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 telephone the church office to place your order. After the service, the flowers will be placed in a plastic vase for you to take with you.

IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS. . .
newsletters from old friends or articles about or by members of Cove Church, check out the bulletin board located in the hallway by the church offices. Past event pictures are also on display 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 in Morgantown, West Virginia. Deposit your tabs in the container located in the main hallway downstairs.
• Campbell’s Labels are being collected by the Presbyterian Women for the Weirton Christian Center. The labels can be dropped off in the container located in the main hallway downstairs.

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - One Day at a Time

Lamentations 3:19-27

19-21I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:

22-24God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left.

25-27God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
It’s a good thing when you’re young
to stick it out through the hard times.


A Devotion by Peter Perich (New Hampshire)

“One day at a time.” That is my favorite saying as I live as a cancer survivor. Whether I am working at my job as an assistant high-school principal or officiating on the sports field, living one day at time has many implications; but the most important is that I need God to get me through each day no matter what I am doing or confronting.

On difficult days at school, I may pray for help as I work with a problem student. On the sports field, I ask God to help me make the right call. And as a cancer survivor, I thank God each day for my life.

For Christians, “one day at time” can mean starting and ending the day with Christ, whether it is through prayer and reading the Bible or listening to others as they witness to their faith. Nahum 1:7 says: “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.” Our Creator is present with each and every one of us, every day of our lives.

More Important than Knowledge

I hope y’all are having a great weekend. Well here we are, approaching the end of January. Of course, this is also the end of some other things. If you’re a football fan, next Sunday marks the end of the football season. And if you’re heart is in Penn State, an era officially ended with the passing of Joe Pa. And of course, if you’re a student, you’ve now got one semester in the bank.

That’s the case at the Rudiger house. Maggie finished the first semester of her last year at Weirton Heights Elementary. Now we’re fortunate; she did well. And that shows that she's picking up what she needs to know as she moves on to middle school. Now, I’ve got to tell you, that makes me feel good. You see, I’ve always put a high importance on learning and knowledge.

On Sunday, though, we’ll consider something more important than knowledge, in fact, something that, if lacking, makes knowledge dangerous. And so come on Sunday to find out what this thing is.

Prayer Requests, to be shared during Sunday's worship service

On Sunday, the Cove Presbyterian congregation will lift the follow needs to God:

Adults
Alden Edwards
Andrea Vincent
Andy DiRemigio
Ann Berach
Anthony Calpo
Bill Churchman
Bob Saffle
Charles Saffle
Cheryl Hargest
Christy Cybulski
Concepta Wekesa
Connie Francis
Dave Adler
Dave Bever
Diane Szymanek
Domenick Notarantanio
Doug Friends
Dryer family - Meyer, Welch & Hawkins
Ed Roach
Erin Marosi
Faith Bonyak
Fr. Donald Baier
Jack Games
Jan Moncrief
Jane Hamp
Jennifer Dahlem
Jim Hanna
Joan Gallagher
John Brothers
Judy Dobbins
Judy Mason
Karen & her son Daniel
Kelly Stephens
Ken Robinson
Lindsey Ward
Loretta Hess
Mr. & Mrs. Mario Whitehead & Joyce
Nick Palavis
Nora Coleman
Patty Neely
Paul Buck
Paul Maine
Rachael
Rhonda Bruich
Rich Jeffers
Richard Redfern
Sidney, Montana
Susan Ponville
T.J. Croft
Trina Lewis
Virginia & Paul Welch

Children
Audri King
Brandon Wares
Brody McUmor
Christian Truax
Emily Icard
Hunter Stafford
Jeffrey Konovich
Jonah Becker
Justus Loughry
Kyra Schwertfeger
Kylee Leathers
McKenna Popish
Michael Liptak
Shelby Kamarec
Zoe Purcell

Military
Chad Peppler
Chris Cameron
Jonathan Criss
Kendra Mader
Michael Criss
Stephen Mader

In the Hospital
Harry Hutch - Trinity East

Bereaved Families
The Family of James Waterhouse

Church Families
Jim & Jean White
Enid Williams & Family
Gary & Vicki Williams & Family

Local Church
Faith Baptist Church

Special Friend
Doris Lord - 196 Jenny Lane, Danville, VA 24541-6648

Presbyterian Churches
Hill Top Presbyterian Church, Toronto, Ohio - Rev. Robert Meyer
Roney's Point Presbyterian Church, Triadelphia, Ohio - Vacant Pulpit

Also Remember in Your Prayers
Alice Orr - Weirton Geriatric Center, 2525 Pennsylvania Ave, Weirton, WV 26062
Bob Morgan - Weirton Geriatric Center, 2526 Pennsylvania Ave, Weirton, WV 26062
Marge Black - Weirton Geriatric Center, Room 223, 2528 Pennsylvania Ave, Weirton, WV 26062
Mike Valiga - Weirton Geriatric Center, 2530 Pennsylvania Ave, Weirton, WV 26062
Russell Meadows - Weirton Geriatric Center, 2525 Pennsylvania Ave, Weirton, WV 26062
Ruth Gilmore - Grace Cottage Room, 40194 Eden Dr, Weirton, WV 26062
Thelma Longacre - Chambrel at Montrose, Unit 210, 100 Brookmont Rd, Akron, OH 44333-3091

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - Keeping God in Sight

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

4Listen, Israel! The LORD our God is the only true God! 5So love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, and strength. 6Memorize his laws 7and tell them to your children over and over again. Talk about them all the time, whether you’re at home or walking along the road or going to bed at night, or getting up in the morning. 8Write down copies and tie them to your wrists and foreheads to help you obey them. 9Write these laws on the door frames of your homes and on your town gates.

A New Devotion by Barbara Gail Bliss (Colorado)

The Bible verse on my daily calendar that morning — Matthew 28:20 — could have been a powerful word of hope to me because I have bipolar disorder and was going through a particularly difficult time. But I was so anxious that morning that I didn’t pay any attention to those words of scripture. Then as I started to put in my contact lenses, I lost one. It took me a while to locate it, but where I finally found it encouraged me to look at the day’s verse again: The lens had stuck to the calendar. My anxiety didn’t vanish that instant, but the Lord used my lost contact lens to remind me to focus on Christ’s promise to always be with me, especially in the midst of my anxious moments. And the Lord kept that promise

It took a long time for me to learn healthy ways of dealing with my illness and my anxiety, but the Lord never left me. Over and over again, reminders from a variety of sources directed me back to the Bible. I learned to pay more attention to the words of scripture and to surround myself with them as a sign of God’s constant presence

I still take medication to manage my illness, but my extreme anxiety is gone. As I learned to turn to scripture to help manage my fears, God has delivered me from them. These days, the Bible does more than help me find hope in hard times; it helps me to see and celebrate the life I have in Christ at all times.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sunday's Sermon - What If?

1 Corinthians 7:29-31

29But this I say, brothers, the time has been shortened; so that those who have wives should be as those who might not have 30and those who weep as those who don’t weep and those who rejoice as those who don’t rejoice and those who buy as those who didn’t have to buy, 31and those who use the world as those who don’t have any use [for it]. For the external form of this world is passing.


What If?

Now I think most of y’all know that before I came up here, I was a high school teacher down in Virginia. And even though I taught civics and economics and even English to a group of what you could call challenging eighth graders during Summer school, my real love was history. I taught world history to the year 1500 to freshmen, world history after 1500 to sophomores and United States history to juniors. And I’ve got to tell you, I had a great time. I just enjoy working with kids.

And back then, I was always looking for new approaches to these topics, you know, ways to structure a class that would put kind of a new spin on the subject. For example, I worked out a twentieth-century U.S. history class that would use movies, but not movies about history. They’d be films made a different times, you know like during the Great Depression or World War II or the Cold War, you know, films that reflected the attitude, the feelings of the period. You see, I could give the kids some background about what was going, and then we could watch the movies and talk about how they addressed the hopes and fears of that time. And I had it all worked out, with goals and objectives. And even though the administration thought it was an interesting idea, there just wasn’t any room in the schedule. We all had to teach the core classes. But I’ve got to tell you, some day I’d still like to teach that class.

And you know, I had another idea that I thought would probably be pretty cool. In fact I even bought a few books that would give the class a little focus. You see, I wanted to teach a history class that considered some “what if” questions. Let me tell you what I mean. Again after getting some of the historical background, we’d considered how the world might be different if, for example, we’d lost the American Revolution or if Hitler had defeated the Soviet Union in 1941 or, and this is my favorite, if General Robert E. Lee, that great Virginian, had won the Battle of Gettysburg. What if any of those things had happened. Or what about these, what if Martin Luther had been burned at the stake before igniting the Reformation or what if Lincoln didn’t free the slaves or what if Franklin Roosevelt had died a year earlier and Henry Wallace, not Harry Truman, had become president? Now just think about it, if any of those things had happen, how would the world have changed and maybe on a more personal level, how would our lives be different now. I’ve always wanted to lead a group in considering these questions, because that’s what history is really all about.

But you know, it’s not just history. I think this kind of things can be applied to our faith and our relationship with God and with others. I mean, take this short, little passage for instance. Tucked into a longer section dealing with issues of morality and marriage, Paul offered something pretty striking about the nature of reality and how this reality should affect people. Just look at the verses. Paul wrote, “But this I say, brothers, the time has been shortened;” in other words, the nature of time had changed. Since the coming of Christ, there just seemed to be less of it; therefore, the time people had was now really, and I mean really important. For Paul, it was almost precious, certainly too precious to be wasted. And the reason for this change, well Paul gave that too. He wrote, “For the external form of this world is passing.” You see, to him, Christ started a process that really changed everything. In other words, now that God had entered human space as a human being, nothing would ever be the same again, and all those little sources of security in which people could feel comfortable, all those “truths” on which we could rely, all those values that they just expected everybody to share, well, they were all, using the words of an old Paul Simon song “slip sliding away.” You see, for Paul, this was how reality had changed; therefore, people had to change too.

But the kind of changes Paul was talking about, I’m telling you, they weren’t just cosmetic. Man, they were radical. Just listen to what he wrote, “...so that those who have wives should be as those who might not have and those who weep as those who don’t weep and those who rejoice as those who don’t rejoice and those who buy as those who didn’t have to buy, and those who use the world as those who don’t have any use [for it].” You see, the changes that were occurring to time and to the world were so extreme that not only could you not live like nothing was happening, to fit in, you’d almost have to do what George Costanza did on an episode of Seinfeld, you’d pretty much have to do the opposite of what you thought was right. Up is down, black is white, the married are single, the mourning are rejoicing, the rich are poor, the worldly are no longer. Kind of like the Beatitudes, blessed are you who are poor and hungry and grieving and woe to you who are rich and well-fed and happy. Everything had changed or was changing, and in that way, Paul seemed to share Jesus’s vision that the world had been turned up-side-down.

Now that’s what he wrote and it’s right there in the Bible, and we have to believe it, don’t we; because Christians have to believe their Bible, right? I mean, what’s on that bumper sticker: “The Bible says it. I believe it. And that settles it?” And so on one level we have to say that it’s true, but let’s get real, do we really believe it? I mean, do we really believe time is limited and that the world and everything in it is passing away? Good night, that’s what Paul is selling, but are we really buying? Well, I don’t know about y’all, but I have my doubts. Just speaking for myself, I don’t live as though time is really limited. I say it, but I don’t live it. Because if I did, I wouldn’t become so distracted by all the little stuff that comes up. And I wouldn’t so easily lose my focus on what should really be most important, and I’m talking about three things, all commands right out of Christ’s mouth to my ear: to love God and to love neighbor and to make disciples of all nations. I’ll tell you, I generally live as though I have all kinds of time to do those things. Just like I act like nothing around me is changing at all. I can live my life as though everything is, down deep, just the way it’s always been. Man, I’ve said it hundreds of time; people really haven’t changed, right? And my view of the world and history, well, maybe I’m more Hindu than Christian, because I sure act as though everything runs in circles and if you’re just a little bit patient, what goes around, comes around. And so I’ll hang on to values and perspectives, to hopes and dreams, to frustrations and fears with white knuckles rather than to accept that, the times, they are a-changin, because the world, it’s a-changin too. And so, even though I’ll give lip service to the Apostle Paul, when I look at myself honestly and openly, that’s really all it is, lip service. Because my belief that “...the time has been shortened.... For the external form of this world is passing,” in reality, that has almost no affect on my behavior. But that’s just me. What about y’all, do really live as though Paul was right?

But suppose he was. I mean, what if Paul was correct in what he wrote about the compressed nature of time and the passing of the world. In other words, what if Paul was right on the mark when he suggested that our time is limited; therefore, right now we can and should be doing what’s most important, that right now we have the opportunity to demonstrate our love for God as well as for the guy who lives next door, and that right now, not next year or even tomorrow, but right now we have the chance to make disciples of all nations. Of course, we may not exactly know how to do it. We may have some ideas, but nothing concrete. But that right now, together we can start thinking about how, how we can take the most wonderful message that the world has ever heard, that God loved us before the foundation of the world and that he entered our space in the form of Jesus Christ to free us from sin and offer us hope and that his spirit, his presence surrounds us right now, it rests on his church and flows through his people giving them the ability to trust, to believe, to have faith, and with that faith to move mountains. Man, that’s our message, and right now God has given us the opportunity and the means to share it to the world. I’m telling you, the time is now.

And the nature of that world, well, that’s changing too. It’s external form is passing, which means all those barriers we may have faced in the past are coming down. People are no longer bound to old beliefs and superstitions that they use to have, things that generally didn’t make much sense and certainly didn’t offer much peace. I’ll telling you, people in our world are like blank slates, hungry for some direction, some assurance, something that they can trust. And here we are, with the greatest message of all. And even though we’re small in number, God has prepared the fields. God is opening minds and hearts. Now is our time, because the old, narrow world is passing. That’s what he wrote.

And brothers and sisters, what if Paul’s description of time and the world is right? Now, what are we going to do about it? This is the way things are and we know it, now how are we going to respond? That’s the question. And I’ll tell you, I think it’s a great question, because as I see it, we really have three options. I mean, first, I guess the easiest path is simply deny it, to deny what the Bible says and what we know to be true. You know what I mean, we can ignore that, because time is passing, now is the time to act. And we can pretend that the world hasn’t changed or isn’t changing, and that people aren’t anxious to hear and believe the good news announced in new and exciting ways. In other words, I can continue to live just like I’m living now, in fact, just like I’ve lived for the last twenty years with that wonderful assumption that everything will be the same in the next twenty years. My goodness, we can certainly deny it. That would be easy.

Or second, we can fight it. In other words, we can say to ourselves that Paul was right and that we can apply his words right here and now. And we can then assume that everything he wrote is bad news. I mean, we can say to ourselves it’s scary to think about how time is getting shorter and that now we have to act. And we can see all the changes happening around us as dangerous and threatening. And we can work as hard as we can to turn the clock back to a period when our time was unlimited and the world and people were predictable. But of course, unless you’re Superman, I’m not sure any of us can actually reverse history. But fighting it, well, that’s a possibility too, and that’s our second option.

But you know, instead of denying it or fighting it, what if we took what Paul wrote and not only accepted it, but embraced it. In other words, what if we, with joy and enthusiasm, claimed the chance we have. And what if we looked at the world as all prepared, all ready. And what if we, as individual Christians united by the Holy Spirit, stepped out in love, loving God and loving our neighbor just like Christ called us to do and used all the tools that God has given us reach a hungry world with the best news of all. What if we embraced our time and our world starting right here and now, imagine the difference we might see.

Remember when I told you how I love teaching history and thought about different ways I could do it? Well, in the spring I’ve got the opportunity to teach a class to a senior learning group over at Franciscan, and I think I’m going to use this “what if” idea. Of course, how I’m going to do it, well, that’s not completely clear, not right now. What is clear, though, is this. Paul wrote that our time is now limited and the old world is passing, and because of that, we have opportunities and possibilities we may never have had before. Now that’s what he wrote, something we can easily deny it or certainly fight it. But what if accept that he was right and what if right now we decide to reach out to a brand new world and to live a brand new kind of faith. Brothers and sisters, what if.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sunday's Announcements

Below are the announcements as they appear in Sunday's bulletin.

OUR NURSERY FOR CHILDREN . . .
(infant thru five years) is open during Sunday School and the Worship Service. We still need some volunteer help. We thank those of you in advance who help to care for the future members of our Cove Family.

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 choose from to fit your needs.

THE ADULT HANDBELL CHOIR WILL PRACTICE . . .
on Wednesday, January 25 at 5:30 p.m. under the direction of Becky Korosec. New members are always welcome and you do not have to read music to play. For more information contact Becky at 304-748-8449.

THE CHANCEL CHOIR WILL PRACTICE . . .
at 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, January 25. If you would like to lift your voice in song to praise our God, consider becoming a member of the Chancel Choir. For more information contact Janice Torrance at
304-797-1908.

THE BROWN BAG BIBLE STUDY . . .
will meet Thursday, January 26, at 12:30 p.m. We’ll finish our look at Roman Catholicism.

ANNUAL REPORTS . . .
committee chairpersons or treasurers, please turn your annual reports into the church office by tomorrow, Monday, January 23rd.

WINTER COMMUNION . . .
will be observed next Sunday, January 29 during the morning worship.

ANNUAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING . . .
will be held next Sunday, January 29 immediately following the morning worship service.

GREETING CARDS. . .
are being collected as a mission project of the Myrtle McHendry Class. Please drop off your Greeting Cards or just the front of the card in the box located in the main hallway downstairs. The cards are being sent to St. Jude’s Ranch to be remade into cards to be sold in their gift shop. Hallmark, Disney or American Greeting Cards can not be accepted as they are trade marked. We thank you for your participation in our new endeavor.

DO YOU HAVE A NEW ADDRESS,. . .
new phone number or new e-mail ? Please contact the church office so we can update our records. We like to keep everyone informed of our happenings, if you don’t receive updates we may not have your current /correct information.

HAND SANITIZERS . . .
as a way of combating germs, two hand sanitizers have been installed for your convenience. One is located on the right wall downstairs as you come in the double doors. The second is located on the far wall in the narthex as you go towards the back stairway or towards the elevator.

PLEASE REMEMBER TO CONTACT THE CHURCH OFFICE . . .
if you have a meeting change of any type - time, date or plan something different on your meeting night. There are multiple meeting each night, and to accommodate everyone we need to be aware of any and all changes either e-mail or telephone us. Also remember we follow Hancock County School’s schedule in the winter, if school is canceled due to bad weather evening activities are canceled as well. Thank you for your cooperation in these matters.

STOP IN THE CHURCH LIBRARY . . .
to view a picture of Holliday’s Cove from 1905 showing a view of Cove Church. The picture is compliments of the Weirton Museum.

IF WE MISSED YOUR BIRTHDAY OR ANNIVERSARY . . .
in the bulletin, we apologize but we do not have the information on our calendar. Please contact the church office with your information. Also, consider adding your dates to our Cove Community Calendar next year as a listing.

REMINDER, PLEASE COVER . . .
the top of the church’s tables before they are used for any activity. They will stain and are hard to clean, this can be avoided with a little cooperation.

ONLY ONE. . .
a Peg Game designed by Bruce Trushel, is available in the church library. The learning game is a unique way to learn and remember the Ten Commandments. The game can be ordered from:
Only One God Foundation
PO Box 2459
Weirton WV 26062

GREETERS NEEDED . . .
if you would like to serve as a greeter before a Sunday morning worship service, please contact Bonnie Nichols at 304-723-5134.

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 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’s 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 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.

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. You may also call the church office or e-mail the church with the information.

IF YOU LEAVE AN ITEM AT CHURCH . . .
for someone or for a specific function, please take a moment to write the information on the item. If there is no name on the item we will assume it is for the church in general.

IN THE HOSPITAL? HOMEBOUND? RECENT ILLNESS?. . .
if you are unable to attend services and would like to arrange for a visit from 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 their projects.

VASES OF FLOWERS. . .
can be purchased for a service. The cost is $16.00 a vase. 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 telephone the church office to place your order. After the service, the flowers will be placed in a plastic vase for you to take with you.

IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS. . .
newsletters from old friends or articles about or by members of Cove Church, check out the bulletin board located in the hallway by the church offices. Past event pictures are also on display 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 in Morgantown, West Virginia. Deposit your tabs in the container located in the main hallway downstairs.
• Campbell’s Labels are being collected by the Presbyterian Women for the Weirton Christian Center. The labels can be dropped off in the container located in the main hallway downstairs.

For a Snowy Evening

Since we got some snow yesterday and are expecting more tonight, I thought I'd share with you two poems that I think are appropriate for a snowy evening. The first is by Robert Frost and the second by John Tiong Chunghoo, both entitled Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. I hope you enjoy them.


Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sounds the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.


Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

a squirrel runs across
frosty evening on a plain
of white carrying a cosy
warmth i would love to have
light greyish coat impeecably
patched and stitched for the season

time runs across space
mindless as a clock which
has forgotten to crawl

everywhere the trees
gently whisper sweet nothings
and cavort away the evening
baring skeletons and bones
to the heavens to swear their love

snow falls like mannas
onto a million stretched hands
that grovel to receive every
trace of divine providence

breathless, breathless
the white glides and bounces
in an evening that holds onto
everything like forgotten time

Prayer Requests, to be shared during Sunday's worship service

On Sunday, the Cove Presbyterian congregation will lift the follow needs to God:

Adults
Alden Edwards
Andrea Vincent
Andy DiRemigio
Ann Berach
Anthony Calpo
Bill Churchman
Bob Saffle
Charles Saffle
Cheryl Hargest
Christy Cybulski
Concepta Wekesa
Connie Francis
Dave Adler
Dave Bever
Domenick Notarantanio
Doug Friends
Dryer family - Meyer, Welch & Hawkins
Ed Roach
Erin Marosi
Faith Bonyak
Jan Moncrief
Jane Hamp
Jennifer Dahlem
Jim Hanna
Joan Gallagher
John Brothers
Judy Dobbins
Judy Mason
Karen & her son Daniel
Kelly Stephens
Ken Robinson
Lindsey Ward
Loretta Hess
Mr. & Mrs. Mario Whitehead & Joyce
Nick Palavis
Nora Coleman
Patty Neely
Paul Buck
Rachael
Rhonda Bruich
Rich Jeffers
Richard Redfern
Sidney, Montana
Susan Ponville
T.J. Croft
Trina Lewis
Virginia & Paul Welch

Children
Audri King
Brandon Wares
Brody McUmor
Christian Truax
Emily Icard
Hunter Stafford
Jeffrey Konovich
Jonah Becker
Justus Loughry
Kyra Schwertfeger
Kylee Leathers
McKenna Popish
Michael Liptak
Shelby Kamarec
Zoe Purcell

Military
Chad Peppler
Chris Cameron
Jonathan Criss
Kendra Mader
Michael Criss
Stephen Mader

In the Hospital
Harry Hutch - Trinity West

Church Families
Pam Weaver & family
Virginia & Paul Welch
Doug & Sue Wesie & family

Local Church
Mt. Olive Baptist Church

Special Friend
Marge Black - Weirton Ceriatric Center, 3rd Floor Ext., Room 353, Weirton, WV 26062-3652

Presbyterian Churches
Pleasant Hill Presbyterian, Steubenville, Ohio - William Brown
First Presbyterian, Toronto, Ohio - Rev. Michael Bongart

Also Remember in Your Prayers
Alice Orr - Weirton Geriatric Center, 2525 Pennsylvania Ave, Weirton, WV 26062
Bob Morgan - Weirton Geriatric Center, 2526 Pennsylvania Ave, Weirton, WV 26062
Father of Mary Ann Ianni - Wyngate, 100 Wyngate Dr, Weirton, WV 26062
Marge Black - Weirton Geriatric Center, Room 223, 2528 Pennsylvania Ave, Weirton, WV 26062
Mike Valiga - Weirton Geriatric Center, 2530 Pennsylvania Ave, Weirton, WV 26062
Russell Meadows - Weirton Geriatric Center, 2525 Pennsylvania Ave, Weirton, WV 26062
Ruth Gilmore - Grace Cottage Room, 40194 Eden Dr, Weirton, WV 26062
Thelma Longacre - Chambrel at Montrose, Unit 210, 100 Brookmont Rd, Akron, OH 44333-3091

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A New Devotion on Our Prayer Line - Still a Caterpillar

2 Corinthians 3:7-18

7-8The Government of Death, its constitution chiseled on stone tablets, had a dazzling inaugural. Moses’ face as he delivered the tablets was so bright that day (even though it would fade soon enough) that the people of Israel could no more look right at him than stare into the sun. How much more dazzling, then, the Government of Living Spirit?

9-11If the Government of Condemnation was impressive, how about this Government of Affirmation? Bright as that old government was, it would look downright dull alongside this new one. If that makeshift arrangement impressed us, how much more this brightly shining government installed for eternity?

12-15With that kind of hope to excite us, nothing holds us back. Unlike Moses, we have nothing to hide. Everything is out in the open with us. He wore a veil so the children of Israel wouldn’t notice that the glory was fading away—and they didn’t notice. They didn’t notice it then and they don’t notice it now, don’t notice that there’s nothing left behind that veil. Even today when the proclamations of that old, bankrupt government are read out, they can’t see through it. Only Christ can get rid of the veil so they can see for themselves that there’s nothing there.

16-18Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.

A Devotion by Anita Kramer (Ohio)

On the third night of Vacation Bible school, our pastor asked the assembled students, “What happens when we invite Jesus into our hearts?” Little hands shot up. A five-year-old in the front row waved his arms, bursting to speak. “We change into a caterpillar,” he answered with confidence. As the one who had taught this class the story of how a caterpillar changes into a butterfly, I joined with his parents in a good laugh.

The next day the pastor suggested that maybe what the child had said is just what happens. Upon reading again about the stages of life for the butterfly, I agreed. The caterpillar has only two aims: eating and growing. It can grow only so much and then must shed its old skin to continue the transformation. This happens four or five times along the way to its becoming a butterfly.

So, even though I am a long-time follower of our Lord, I am still a “caterpillar.” Echoing Hebrews 6:1, we are all moving “on toward perfection.” In order to become more like Jesus, we feed on God’s word and grow. Yes, we may seem to stop growing at times. Whether from spiritual laziness or overwhelming trouble, we hold tight — refusing to let go of our old “skin.” Still, God is faithful — always and forever guiding us toward becoming more like Christ.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sunday's Minute for Mission - University of Dubuque Theological Seminary

Every January the senior class at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary divides into groups that go with faculty members on various journeys. It's a course called Evangelism and Mission in Context that immerses students in rural, urban, and Native American contexts. Frequently, it tests their sense of call as well.

This last January, I stood for over an hour in the cold with 10 seminarians around a fire pit next to the Red River in Des Moines. We were visiting the homeless people who lived in tents and shacks along the river in spite of snow and freezing wind. We wore boots and heavy coats; next to us stood a woman in bedroom slippers. Our guide, Dean, was formerly a homeless drug addict who had been won to Christ by the outreach ministry of a Des Moines congregation. Dean now led his fellow congregation members into an ongoing ministry of aid and relationship to the homeless along the river.

It was clear to us that the homeless folks only allowed us to ask questions because of their friendship and trust in Dean. Dean understood the context in which he was called to do ministry. He had no seminary training or degrees, but as he led us away from the river, Dean looked a lot like Jesus. We felt like we were leaving our boats behind us.

Later that week we worshiped and shared a meal with a congregation that serves breakfast for schoolchildren and an evening meal every night of the week in a neighborhood that speaks over one hundred immigrant languages. The smiles and joy around the tables were a foretaste of the kingdom.

— Leicester R. Longden, associate professor of evangelism and discipleship, University of Dubuque Theological Seminary

Minute for Mission - Christian Unity

The theme of this year's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity comes from Paul's first letter to the church at Corinth. "We shall be changed by the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ'' (1 Cor. 15: 51-58). What a fascinating theme for a focus on Christian unity! So much of the ecumenical work of the church is healing divisions born out of past struggles over differences between Christians - differences that resulted in labeling who's right and who's wrong - who will win and who will lose. At the same time, we are mindful of new divisions that emerge as a result of "irreconcilable differences.'' Unfortunately, one of the legacies of the Presbyterian/Reformed traditions is our proclivity for schism. Some divisions have been healed through reunion efforts, only to have other schisms emerge. Each scenario creates its own set of winners and losers.

In Paul's introductory chapters to the church at Corinth, he addresses the divisions that are within the early Christian community and asks, "Has Christ been divided?'' (1 Cor. 1:13). As he comes to the end of this first letter, Paul speaks of the ultimate victory of Christ over death and suggests that this victory will change us - not only in the life to come, but in this life today. Our task is to carry out the ministry given to us by Christ faithfully with the assurance that the question of winning or losing is moot, because victory is redefined by the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ.

Are we not called to find our way into relationship in the face of our differences and divisions and in so doing open ourselves to the liberating and transformative power of Christ? As we are changed, are we also able to celebrate the possibility of change in others as we seek to engage in the healing and transformation of the world and the glory of God?

— Rev. Robina Winbush, director, ecumenical and agency relations, Office of the General Assembly

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A New Devotion on the Prayer Line - God Understands

James 1:12-18

12Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.

13-15Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, “God is trying to trip me up.” God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.

16-18So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.


A Devotion by Bob Hicks (Missouri)

I was called into the office at the grocery store where I worked and told, “Your son has been taken to the hospital. You need to go.” As I sped across town, many thoughts ran through my head. What could possibly be wrong with my little boy? He had been fine that morning when I peeked in on him asleep in his crib. When I arrived at the hospital, my wife told me that our precious little boy, Nathaniel, had died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. He was 2½ months old. We were devastated, and I was angry. There was no one to blame, so I blamed God. At that time I didn’t even believe in God; but I needed to direct my anger somewhere, and God was convenient.

That was 25 years ago, and later we had three other wonderful children. I have never forgotten the fear, anger, and hopelessness I felt the day Nathaniel died. But God was patient with me. God took my anger and hateful thoughts and loved me anyway.

I still don’t understand why Nathaniel died, and I probably never will. But his death helps me realize how very much God loves us and how much it must have hurt when God watched Jesus die. I had no control when my son died; but God gave Jesus willingly for me, and I take comfort in that sacrifice of love.

Sunday's Sermon - Moving from Knowing to Doing

1 Corinthians 6:12-20

12Everything to me is allowed, but not everything is useful. Everything to me is allowed, but I myself will not be under the authority of anything. 13The food is for the belly and the belly is for the food. But also this and that God will bring to nothing. The body is not for immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. 14But God also raised the Lord, and he’ll raise us through his power. 15You know that your body members belong to Christ, don’t you? Then shall I take Christ’s members and make them members of a prostitute? Absolutely not! 16You know that when a person who is joined to a prostitute, he is one body [with her], don’t you? For it says, “The two will be one flesh.” 17But when a person is joined to the Lord, he is one spirit [with him]. 18Flee immorality. All sins which a person might do are outside the body. But the immoral person against his own body sins. 19And you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you which you have from God and you aren’t your own, don’t you? 20For you were bought at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.


Moving from Knowing to Doing

Last week, I think it was Thursday, Jessica Shuble, our Christian Ed. Director, came into my office and said something like, “OK, you’ve got to tell me about this passage.” Now, to tell you the truth, that question didn’t surprise me at all. You see, every week, Jessica takes the passage I preach, and she writes a lesson for the kids. Now that’s something we’ve been doing here for years. In fact, that’s what Jesus Time is all about. Every Sunday, adults and kids are hearing the same passage and basically the same message only on different levels so that they can go home and talk about it later.

And so this week, Jessica was left with the passage I read a little while ago. And it’s her job to apply it to children between the ages of about six to twelve. Piece of cake, right? I mean, these verses have “kid-friendly” written all over them. Well, she didn’t think so, and that’s why she wanted to know what I was going to do with this business about members becoming one with prostitutes so that she could teach it to the kids.

And although I certainly understood her problem, I’ve got to tell y’all, for us, and I’m talking about people over the age of twenty-one, for us, I think we also face a problem but it’s opposite from the one that Jessica faced. I mean, while she was struggling with how she would explain this to Tucker and Jacob, Summer and Sierra, I think most of us get it. In fact, I think we get it so well that it’s really easy for us to kind of read it, immediately come to a conclusion, and then move on to something else, you know, more challenging.

And Paul’s specific point, well, I expect for a lot of Christians, it probably doesn’t apply to them. I mean, give me a break, if the specifics of this passage applies to you, if this is your issue, don’t be shy, if you have a problem with prostitutes, please raise your hand. See what I mean; outside of one person in the back, this doesn’t apply to anyone here.

And even if we try to broaden it out a little bit, as ministers often do, and focus on this “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit” business, preachers who don’t smoke are going to talk about the dangers of tobacco and those who don’t drink will bring down some fire on alcohol and those who still have thirty-six inch waists, well, you know what I mean. Good night, if this passage is mentioned at all, it’s generally used to make us feel good and them, whoever “them” are, them feel bad. Now that’s often what we do.

But you know, I think Paul is doing a lot more than that in these verses. In fact, he’s not only presenting some stuff that’s pretty important for us to know, he’s also challenging us to do something about it. I mean, just take a look at the passage itself. Now, this comes at the end a larger section of the letter dealing with sexual morality, something that Corinthian society must have struggled with as much as we do. And they didn’t even have cable. My goodness, he started with a guy who had taken up with his mother-in-law, and in the section right before our’s he wrote this: “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. And this is what some of you used to be.” Sounds a little like parts of Steubenville around two o’clock.

And in our passage, well, he kind of brings it all to a head, but you know he does it in a really interesting way. I mean, first, he offered a general principle that we know is an important part of his theology, and I’m talking about the freedom we have in Christ, and without denying that we are free, he presented it in a way that was directly related to the craziness he saw happening in Corinth. Remember he wrote, “Everything to me is allowed, [in other words, I have complete freedom], but not everything is useful. Everything to me is allowed, but I myself will not be under the authority of anything.” And then he wrote about how some of the stuff that they used their freedom to do or not do really didn’t matter. You see, when you get right down to it, it was all about God anyway and how, just like he raised Christ from the grave, they’d be raised to. Put another way, I think he was saying that although they were free, they didn’t have to be stupid, because not everything would lead to good things. In other words, some stuff that Christians were free to do may restrain them or hinder their devotion to God or at the very least damage their witness. And even though they were still free, as Christians, they’d be pretty stupid to do them. Now that’s the first thing he wrote.

And then, to sort of prove his point, he asked the Corinthians three questions that had answers they already knew. As a matter of fact, based on how they were written in the Greek, there was only one possible answer to all three, and that was “yes.” I guess you could call them kind of da-questions, because based on what he’d already written, everybody already knew the right answer. I mean, they already knew that their entire body belonged to Christ. Da. And for that reason, everybody already knew that where they went, Christ went too. Double-da. And because of that, well, everybody already knew that because they belonged to Christ, the Holy Spirit was in them; therefore, they were Temples of that Spirit. Triple-dog-da. Of course that pretty much confirmed what he’d already said, that freedom didn’t have to be served with a big, heaping pile of stupid. Now that’s the second thing he wrote.

And if that was it, they could have left this passage with either a little guilt or a lot of shame depending on their situation. That’s what I think those wild Corinthians would have feel, if Paul had stopped here. But I want you to notice that he didn’t. He wrote something else. And even though it’s only one sentence, I think it brought together everything here, in fact everything he’d written in these last two chapters. He wrote, “Therefore, glorify God in your body.” That’s it, “Therefore, glorify God in your body.” But I’ll tell you, what it lacks in length, it makes up in power. You see, although it’s fine to think about all this information you already know, it doesn’t mean much if you don’t apply it, if you don’t live it. And for Paul, that was going to be up to the Corinthians themselves. You see, now that he’d reminded them of all this stuff they’d already been taught, they had to decide if they were going to stop with the foolishness and start living the way God wanted them to live, in other words, if they were going to act like they had a genuine relationship with their Lord. As he wrote in his second letter to this same church,“Through the testing of this ministry you glorify God by your obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ and by the generosity of your sharing with them and with all others...” You see, for Paul, Christians glorify God by cutting out the stupid and sticking to the good. And that was the third thing he wrote to the church in Corinth.

And I’m telling you, brothers and sisters, I’m telling you that if he were here today, I think he’d be saying the same sort of thing to us. Of course, I doubt that he’d be talking about sexual immorality; man, that was their problem, not our’s, not at least at Cove. But let’s face it, I think he’d still have a lot about which to write. And that’s why I think he’d probably write the same kind of thing to us that he wrote to the Corinthians just with a different example.

In other words, I think he say that we’re also free: free from the laws that people thought they had to do to please God, in other words, free from having to earn a seat at God’s table. Righteousness is still a gift from God. That’s as true now as it was two thousand years ago. But so is the fact that people can still do things that are not useful and cause themselves to slip under the power of something other than God. In other words, we can still be like Barny Fife. We can still shoot ourselves in the foot and lock our own cell doors. I’m telling you, we can still be stupid. Man, I think that’s what he would say to us.

Just like I think he’d remind us of some things that each one of us already knows, like now we belong to Christ and he lives is us; therefore, where we choose to go, Jesus goes too. And because that same Holy Spirit is in us right now, it’s flowing through our church and living in our hearts, we are bearing witness to God with every word we say and every decision we make whether we intend it or not. You see, we’re still Temples of the Holy Spirit and we have a pretty big say over whether that temple is inviting and compassionate and open or whether it’s run down, unconcerned and isolated. Now, I think that’s something else Paul would write to us.

And finally, I think he’d tell us that, because of all this, because of what he taught and because of what we already know, it’s time for us to do something about it. It’s time for us to glorify God right here and right now. And although without question, this means there’s stuff we probably should stop doing, our positive potential is almost unlimited. For example, as a church, we can continue to be a place of balance, one that takes seriously the needs of as many people as we can, without focusing only on a few. And we can continue to be a place of hope, one where people believe that because of presence and power of God, the future will be better than the past. But maybe most important of all, we can continue to be a place of love. Each day I send out an e-mail to everyone who’s address I have, and in it, I give the scripture passages for the day, a quote that I hope provokes some thought, and a verse. Yesterday, this was the verse of the day. It’s from John’s first letter. “But if we say we love God and don’t love each other, we are liars. We cannot see God. So how can we love God, if we don’t love the people we can see? The commandment that God has given us is: ‘Love God and love each other!’” Maybe John Lennon was right and “all we need is love.” It’s love for God and others that brings glory to him. Now that’s what I think Paul would write to us.

And when Jessica asked to me to explain this passage so that she could teach it to the kids, I hope that’s in the neighborhood of what I said. I mean, I hope I told her that I was going to follow what I think Paul did in this passage. I mean, I hope I told her that even though God sets us free from the Law, he doesn’t protect us from making stupid decisions and that we know that for good or for bad we reflect Christ to the world and that it would be best if we could focus on simply glorifying God. Now that’s what I’ve said to you, and I really hope I said the exact same thing to her, but given the fact that I worked on the passage for a couple of days after we talked, I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. What I did tell her, though, was this. I said that in light of these verses, it may be time to move from what we know to what we actually do. And that’s something that I think the kids can understand.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Session Meeting Agenda for January 13, 2012 – 6:30 p.m.

Call to Order
Prayer
Attendance
Approval of the Agenda
Examination of Joey Marsh for church membership
Reception of Minutes and Non-Session Reports
1. Deacon Minutes for December (attached)
2. Pastor’s Report for December (attached)
3. Treasurer's Report for December
4.

Report from the Constitutional Committee – Nominating

Reports from Session Ministry Areas
1. Stewardship
2. Evangelism
3. Fellowship
4. Music & Worship
5. Christian Growth

Reports from Session Administrative Committees
1. Academy Relations
2. Budget
3. Building and Church Use
4. Financial Review
5. Membership
6. Memorials
7. Mission Support
8. Personnel
9. Risk Management

Report from the Liaisons
1. To the Trustees
2. To the Deacons
3. To the Presbyterian Women

Old Business:
1. Shirts
2. Church cluster conversations

New Business:
1. Assigning the Trustees budget and financial management
2. Scheduling a joint meeting of the boards
3. Assigning responsibilities
4. Scheduling Congregational meeting

Correspondence:
1.

Next Meeting: February 21, 2012

A New Devotion on the Prayer Line - Good Morning

Psalm 5:1-3

1-3 Listen, God! Please, pay attention! Can you make sense of these ramblings, my groans and cries? King-God, I need your help.
Every morning
you’ll hear me at it again.
Every morning
I lay out the pieces of my life
on your altar
and watch for fire to descend.


A Devotion by Prabodh Diarsa (Gujarat, India)

At the age of 25, after I had a routine checkup, my doctors informed me that I had high blood pressure. At my age, this was disturbing news. However, the doctors consoled me by saying that there was nothing to worry about. They prescribed some medicines and advised me to take up regular exercise.

I have been going regularly for a morning walk ever since. Three decades have gone by. Morning times have become blessed times, both physically and spiritually for me. They have become times of remembering God’s mercy and compassion made new every morning. Each morning has become a time of remembering God who has remained with me during the night and will stay with me during each day.

Morning has also become a time of confession and thanksgiving, a time of praying for my family, my neighbors, my church, and my country. My mornings have become times of committing my day’s challenges to God, seeking divine grace, guidance, help, and strength for the day. Thank God for such mornings!

Announcements - Sunday, January 15, 2012

Below are the announcements as they appear in Sunday's bulletin.

OUR NURSERY FOR CHILDREN . . .
(infant thru five years) is open during Sunday School and the Worship Service. We still need some volunteer help. We thank those of you in advance who help to care for the future members of our Cove Family.

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 choose from to fit your needs.

THE TRUSTEES WILL MEET . . .
Monday, January 16, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room. All members are asked to attend.

THE SESSION WILL MEET . . .
Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. In the board room. All members are urged to attend.

THE ADULT HANDBELL CHOIR WILL PRACTICE . . .
on Wednesday, January 18 at 5:30 p.m. under the direction of Becky Korosec. New members are always welcome and you do not have to read music to play. For more information contact Becky at 304-748-8449.

THE CHANCEL CHOIR WILL PRACTICE . . .
at 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, January 18. If you would like to lift your voice in song to praise our God, consider becoming a member of the Chancel Choir. For more information contact Janice Torrance at 304-797-1908.

THE BROWN BAG BIBLE STUDY . . .
will not meet this week.

HAND SANITIZERS . . .
as a way of combating germs, two hand sanitizers have been installed for your convenience. One is located on the right wall downstairs as you come in the double doors. The second is located on the far wall in the narthex as you go towards the back stairway or towards the elevator.

MAILBOXES . . .
board members please check your mailboxes, new boxes will be set-up in the coming week.

ANNUAL REPORTS . . .
committee chairpersons or treasurers, remember that there is a Congregational Meeting January 29th, and reports must be turned into the church office by Sunday, January 22nd.

ANNUAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING . . .
will be held on Sunday, January 29 immediately following the morning worship service.

PLEASE REMEMBER TO CONTACT THE CHURCH OFFICE . . .
if you have a meeting change of any type - time, date or if you schedule something different on your meeting night. There are multiple meeting each night, and to accommodate everyone we need to be aware of any and all changes either e-mail or telephone us. Also remember we follow Hancock County School’s schedule in the winter, if school is canceled due to bad weather evening activities are canceled as well. Thank you for your cooperation in these matters.

STOP IN THE CHURCH LIBRARY . . .
to view a picture of Holliday’s Cove from 1905 showing a view of Cove Church. The picture is compliments of the Weirton Museum.

2012 OFFERING ENVELOPES . . .
are available on the table in the narthex. Please take your own and any neighbors or friends that you can deliver, saving us postage.

IF WE MISSED YOUR BIRTHDAY OR ANNIVERSARY . . .
in the bulletin, we apologize but we do not have the information on our calendar. Please contact the church office with your information. Also, consider adding your dates to our Cove Community Calendar next year as a listing.

REMINDER, PLEASE COVER . . .
the top of the church’s tables before they are used for any activity. They will stain and are hard to clean, this can be avoided with a little cooperation.

ONLY ONE. . .
a Peg Game designed by Bruce Trushel, is available in the church library. The learning game is a unique way to learn and remember the Ten Commandments. The game can be ordered from:
Only One God Foundation
PO Box 2459
Weirton WV 26062

GREETERS NEEDED . . .
if you would like to serve as a greeter before a Sunday morning worship service, please contact Bonnie Nichols at 304-723-5134.

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 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’s 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 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.

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. You may also call the church office or e-mail the church with the information.

IF YOU LEAVE AN ITEM AT CHURCH . . .
for someone or for a specific function, please take a moment to write the information on the item. If there is no name on the item we will assume it is for the church in general.

IN THE HOSPITAL? HOMEBOUND? RECENT ILLNESS?. . .
if you are unable to attend services and would like to arrange for a visit from 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 their projects.

VASES OF FLOWERS. . .
can be purchased for a service. The cost is $16.00 a vase. 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 telephone the church office to place your order. After the service, the flowers will be placed in a plastic vase for you to take with you.

IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS. . .
newsletters from old friends or articles about or by members of Cove Church, check out the bulletin board located in the hallway by the church offices. Past event pictures are also on display 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 in Morgantown, West Virginia. Deposit your tabs in the container located in the main hallway downstairs.
• Campbell’s Labels are being collected by the Presbyterian Women for the Weirton Christian Center. The labels can be dropped off in the container located in the main hallway downstairs.