Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - Living Alone


Romans 5:1-8 

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.


"I Alone"A Devotion by Christabel Thomas (Karanataka, India)

After my husband died, I went to live with my son and his family for a time. Later, however, they moved to another country because of my son’s business. I was left alone. Over time I grew discouraged, and self-pity was slowly taking control of me. As I prayed about my situation, I began to sense that Christ had some purpose for me. While I was praying and waiting for guidance, I discovered a group of women who were interested in studying God’s word. We began to meet, and I led them in studying the Bible. Soon I could see how obeying God’s word was changing their lives. Some of them needed encouragement and counseling, and I could see the Great Counselor and Encourager working in them. When I read the passage from Romans 5, I better understand how God can turn our difficulties into joys if we persevere. A good way to help overcome loneliness is to make ourselves available to God — to allow God to use our hands, feet, and voice to help and encourage those around us.

From The Upper Room.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Situation Report - Hurricane Sandy


October 29, 2012

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) continues to monitor Hurricane Sandy. Last week, PDA reached out to all mid-councils in the projected path of the storm to encourage them to be prepared, and to let them know that PDA is available for an immediate response upon request. The impact and needs will become more clear once the storm makes landfall on the U.S. East coast.
PDA has called members of the National Response Team (NRT) so they may be of service where needed. This includes an NRT member who will serve as a liaison to provide an interface between Presbyterian mid-councils and the American Red Cross. PDA has also been in touch with the Presbyterian Health Education and Welfare Association (PHEWA) to see if some of their members may be available to help with needs after the storm hits.
PDA is also aware that Hurricane Sandy has hit countries in the Caribbean. At least 69 people have died as a result of the storm in these countries, and thousands of homes have been damaged or destroyed. Especially hard hit once again is Haiti, where 52 people have died from the storm. Most of the deaths occurred in southern Haiti and in Port-au-Prince, where many Haitians are still living in temporary shelters as a result of the 2010 earthquake.

How you can help

Give. Share your financial blessings by designating gifts to DR000148. Individuals may give through their local Presbyterian congregation, online, or by mailing a check to Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) P.O. Box 643700 Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700. You can also text PDA to 20222 to donate $10.
Act.
  • Following storms in the United States, families face the daunting task of beginning to clean up. Find out how to prepare a Gift of the Heart Kit clean up bucket for response to U.S. disasters, or download a bulletin insert to share with your congregation.
  • There may be a future need for volunteer work teams. Contact Eden at the PDA Call Center, (866) 732-6121, to register your interest.
Pray. Our best response is prayer.
Holy God, You are our comfort and strength in times of sudden disaster, crisis, or chaos. By your Spirit, lift up those who have fallen, sustain those who work to rescue or rebuild, and surround us now with your grace and peace to face the challenges ahead. Grant us the assurance of your presence even in this time of uncertainty, and fill us with the hope of your new creation; through Jesus Christ, our rock and redeemer.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sunday's Sermon - Like My Mom

Hebrews 7:23-28

23And on one hand, the former priests were numerous because death prevented them remaining 4but on the other hand because he remained into the ages [Jesus] has an unchangeable priesthood, 25and so he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, since he lives always to intercede concerning them. 26For it is fitting for us also to have such a high priest, devoted, guileless, undefiled, because he’s separated from sinners and is high in the heavens, 27who doesn’t have the need, every day, like the former high priests concerning their own sins to offer sacrifices for those of the people. For he did once and for all by offering himself. 28For the law appointed as high priests those who have weaknesses, but the word of the oath which was after the law [appoints] a son into the ages who has been perfected.

Like My Mom

Now, as y’all have figured out from what I just read, this passage has to do with how Jesus is our high priest. And I’ve got to tell you, that’s kind of tough to preach, because well, we’re really not into priests, now are we? I mean, we’re certainly not ancient Jews: worshiping in a temple, watching a guy slaughter a bull or a sheep or maybe a couple of doves and drop them into a fire on the altar, and believing that this sacrifice would somehow result in our sins being forgiven. That’s not who we are. Man, we’re not even Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox: worshiping with pictures and statutes all around, watching a guy in elaborate robes waving a censor around what we call communion, and believing that this person can not only transform wafers and wine into body and blood, but that he can also listen to what we’ve done wrong and then tell us what we need to get right with God. My goodness, that’s also not us, is it? And so talking about how Jesus plays this role that most of us, and I include myself, that most of us really don’t understand, well, I’ve got to tell you, that’s tough.

And so last week, I tried to think of something or maybe someone with whom we might identify who sort of plays that role in our lives. And you know, on Wednesday, it suddenly hit me. A priest is really a lot my mom, especially as she dealt with the almighty god of our household, namely my father, a person who resembled the picture on the cover of the bulletin, at least, he did to me, but only when I was in real trouble. You see, at those times when I really needed some help, you know, to keep dad from squashing me like a bug, mom really was my priest. I mean, she was just different from all the other people to whom I might have turned for help, and I’m talking about my brother or sister or my friends. She was one of my parents, in other words, with respect to parenthood, she and my dad were one. But even more important than that, my dad listened to her. She had the power to turn away his wrath. In fact, she was probably the only one who could make intercession for the fallen, namely me. And I’ll tell you, that’s what she did. In other words, when a policemen drove me home one afternoon because Blaine and I had been caught running around a house under construction, when I threw a rock through the windshield of the Renesis’s new Cadillac, even when I nearly set the house on fire because I wanted to know what would happen if you plugged one end of a cord in the top of the electrical socket and the other end in the bottom, in other words, in situations in which I was sure that picture on the cover would come to life, belt and all, she helped her only son, well, not counting my brother. And even though I still knew I was guilty and I still paid the consequences, I’ve got to tell you, it sure made me feel better. And you know, in an interesting way, it actually drew us closer together. I mean, how could I not be thankful. If it hadn’t been for my mom, I may not have seen my twelfth year. You see, in dealing with dad, mom was my high priest.

And you know, even though I don’t think God is like a guy with a belt in his hands, Jesus does the same thing for us. He’s our high priest. And he has that role for just about the same reasons. You see, when it comes to this priest business, Jesus was and is unique. As the writer of this letter wrote, "the former priests[, and I’m talking about the human priests, they] were numerous because death prevented them remaining." In other words, they were limited, just like we’re limited. They were limited by space and time and power. In fact he wrote that, back in the day, "...the law appointed as high priests those who have weaknesses." And because they were limited, because they were weak, in other words, because they were sinners like us, when they slaughtered those animals and placed the remains on the altar, they weren’t making an offering just for the people. They were also offering a sacrifice for themselves, so that they might also be forgiven. You see, that’s way it was with every single human priest.

But in terms of his priesthood, well, Jesus was different. And again, it’s right here in this passage. I mean, according to the writer, because "...he remained into the ages [Jesus] has an unchangeable priesthood." In other words, instead of having to appoint one priest after another because no matter how righteous they are, all human priests die, the priesthood of Christ is eternal. And his character, well, it’s far above those who had come before. As it says right here, "it is fitting for us also to have such a high priest, devoted, guileless, undefiled, because he’s separated from sinners and is high in the heavens, who doesn’t have the need, every day, like the former high priests concerning their own sins to offer sacrifices for those of the people." You see, unlike the guys that came before, Jesus was absolutely pious. He was totally innocent. And he was pure right to the core. And even though he was human, we was separated from sin and sinners and is right now within the very being of God. You see, unlike the past, "...the word of the oath which was after the law [appoints] a son into the ages who has been perfected." And because of this, because of who he was and is, Jesus "...is able to save completely those who come to God through him, since he lives always to intercede concerning them."

Now I want you think about what this intercession business means. Right now, within God himself, there’s a voice speaking on our behalf. I mean, even when we’re silent, because we’re in Christ, the almighty God is constantly hearing our praise. He’s constantly hearing our confessions. He’s constantly hearing our prayers, even when we’re not saying a word. Of course, Paul also understood that this was happening and that’s why he wrote to the Romans, "But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. ...Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God." Now, let’s get real, this is pretty good stuff, right?

But you know, even better than that, not only is Jesus our priest, the one who intercedes for us within God, he’s also the perfect sacrifice. As the writer said, "...he did once and for all by offering himself." In short, Jesus has done, is doing and will continue to do exactly what a priest is suppose to do; he brings us into the being of God.

And I’ll tell you, that’s something pretty important for us to remember. I mean, it’s got to give us a sense of comfort, knowing that all our needs, all our fears, all our hopes, all our dreams are right now in the ears and mind and heart of God. And even our sins, those things that we’d rather leave hidden in the dark, all that garbage we allow to separate ourselves from one another and from God, all that mess has been heard and forgiven. Of course, if we choose to live as though it hasn’t, well, that’s our business. But that doesn’t change the fact that we’ve been changed, that we’ve been washed clean, and that right here and now we have the opportunity to live lives that glorify God. My goodness, just think about it: no matter where we go, no matter what we do, no matter who we become, we have an advocate within God. And even though we might have to face the earthly consequences of the wheres and the whats and the whos, we will never, and I mean never, be separated from God’s love for us. Again, as Paul wrote, "What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ...No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Now, if we believe this, I mean really believe this, man, how can we not feel comfort?

And you know something else, how can we not want to thank God. I’ll tell you, this is all his work. He loved us before the foundation of the world. And he entered our space so that we could better understand him and so that he could experience what it’s like to be us. And he continues to inspire us, he continues to enlighten us, he continues to intercede for us with moans to deep for words. This is what God has done. And us, well, we can live in ways that reflect our gratitude and appreciation. And when you think about it, that’s really the least we can do, especially when we consider all he’s already done. You see, that kind of thanks living comes when we appreciate that Jesus really is our high priest.

Now, when I was growing up, I’m glad mom interceded for me with dad. Of course, I’ll never really know what would have happened if she hadn’t. But as it concerns our relationship with God, well, we can have a pretty good idea of how things would be if Christ hadn’t come. You see, because we know that we have a perfect and an eternal spokesman within the being of God himself, we now have a reliable sense of comfort and a genuine reason for appreciation and thanks. And that’s all because right now and forever, Jesus Christ is our high priest.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - Unearthing Gold


Jeremiah 29:11-14 

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.

Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you.

When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart,

I will let you find me, says the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.


A Devotion by Trudy K. Snyder (Pennsylvania, USA) 

Twenty-five years ago, I asked God for the strength and willpower to overcome my addiction to cigarettes. For five years, I bounced back and forth like a pinball out of control: stopping, starting, cutting back — only to weaken later. Each time, I ended up back where I started, still smoking. Eventually, I realized that I was praying only to ask God to do something for me rather than praying to deepen my friendship with God. To establish a relationship with God, we must get to know God personally. I began reading my Bible every morning, unearthing bits of gold about the character of God. As I grew to know God better, my objective shifted from what I wanted to what God wanted for me. First and foremost, God wants relationship with us. As we allow God’s words to abide in us, we find that we are abiding in God. After that, the wonders begin. Although it’s been 20 years since I smoked my last cigarette, my journey has not been without trials. Still, I know that when we join forces with the Lord, we will find the strength we need to overcome those trials.

From The Upper Room.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sunday's Minute for Mission - Reformation Day

Eustache Le Sueur painting
Jesus healing the blind man by
Eustache Le Sueur, 1625-1650.

The doctrine of justification by grace through faith is the cornerstone of Reformed theology. We are saved not by any actions of our own, but by the free gift of God's grace. We receive this gift only through faith in Jesus Christ. This doctrine is expressed in a verse from Paul's letter to the Ephesians: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8). In Mark 10:46-52, the lectionary Gospel reading for today, we see this Word "made flesh." The doctrine of salvation by grace through faith is lived out in the way that Jesus responds to a blind beggar, Bartimaeus, on the road near Jericho.

The faith of Bartimaeus is evident in a number of ways. He calls out boldly for Jesus to heal him, even when he is rebuked. When he gets up to meet Jesus, he leaves his cloak behind, trusting that he will be able to find it when his sight is restored. (A friend who is blind called my attention to this detail.) Jesus commends Bartimaeus's faith, saying: "Go; your faith has made you well" (literally, has saved you).

The grace of Jesus Christ is equally clear. Bartimaeus is a beggar; he can only rely on Jesus' grace, so that is his prayer: "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Jesus is with a large crowd on the way to Jerusalem when he hears this cry for help, but he stops and calls Bartimaeus to his side. "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus answers Bartimaeus's prayer for sight immediately, not asking him to do anything in return.

Nevertheless, Bartimaeus follows Jesus on the way. That is what we are called to do, as individuals and as the church: to become disciples, living out our faith in faithfulness, responding with gratitude for God's grace.

- Rev. David Gambrell, associate for worship, office of Theology and Worship, Presbyterian Mission Agency

What’s Happening at Cove Presbyterian Church?


The announcements as they appear in Sunday’s bulletin are below.

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.

CHANCEL CHOIR WILL NOT PRACTICE . . .
on Wednesday, October 31.  Practice will resume on Wednesday,
November 7 at 6:45 p.m. in the sanctuary. New member are always
welcome!

THE BROWN BAG BIBLE STUDY . . .
will meet Thursday, November 1 at 12:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. We'll look at 2 Corinthians 10:1–13:13.

LET'S TRICK- OR- TREAT FOR UNICEF, UNITED STATES FUND . .
Each year in October Church Women United sponsors and promotes the UNICEF program. FYI:
    $       .25 gives 10 kids clean water to drink for a day
    $     1.00 pays for protein biscuits for a starving child
    $   17.00 keeps a kid safe from 6 killer diseases
    $   24.00 supplies an emergency first aid kit
    $ 257.00 buys a school-in-a-box so kids can learn anywhere
    $ 500.00 provides a water pump for a village or school
The Cove children will trick or treat at the doors of the church after worship today, Sunday, October 28th.  Please have your change ready as they will be collecting for such a worthy cause.
Eleanor Cline

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

WORLD COMMUNITY DAY . . .
will be celebrated by Church Women United on Friday, November 2 at 11:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church on Homewood Avenue. The theme for the celebration is Sights and Sound of Harmony as we abide together in community; coordinated by Joann Morrison of the First Christian Church. A luncheon will be served afterwards.  Mission for the day: Those attending are asked to bring after-school snacks for Dunbar Youth Center.

ANNUAL MEMORIAL SERVICE . . .
to honor those members and friends of Cove who have died during this past year will be held next Sunday, November 4 during the morning worship. If you had a loved one pass away please contact the church office so they can be remember during our service.

PAPER PRODUCT CHALLENGE  . . .
next Sunday, November 4th each group participating  will have a different display in the narthex. You the  congregation will  vote for the most unique display and the winning group will receive a pumpkin pie as a thank you from the deacons. All items will be distributed with the upcoming Holiday Food Baskets.  If you have any questions or need more information contact Kayla Violet at 304-374-6805.

EVENING OF WORSHIP . . .
everyone is invited to join Oakland Presbyterian Church on Sunday, November 4 at 6:30 to share an evening of -Worship-Praise- and Fellowship-. Come enjoy the music of Power Surge, a ladies quartet and a presentation of The 400 Years Between the Old and New Testaments, that is not recorded in the Bible.  A Fellowship Hour with refreshments will follow. We invite you to bring a friend or neighbor and enjoy the evening with us!

DEACONS MONTHLY MEETING . . .
will be held on Monday, November 5 at 7:00 p.m. in the boardroom. We will be discussing activities for the Holidays and setting a schedule, we ask all members to try to attend.

FUN & FELLOWSHIP WORKSHOP. . .
will be held by the Myrtle McHendry Class on Tuesday, November 6 at 12:30 p.m.  After a short business meeting we will be finalizing plans and begin labeling for our Christmas in November Sale scheduled for November 16 & 17.

BOARD OF SESSION MEETING . . .
Tuesday, November 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the boardroom.

COVE'S VETERAN'S DAY SERVICE . . .
to honor all military  will be held on Sunday, November 11 at 6:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. Please come and pay tribute to all who have served and those still serving to protect us and our country.

CHRISTMAS IN NOVEMBER . . .
is being sponsored by the Myrtle McHendry Class on Friday, November 16th and Saturday, November 17. The ladies are accepting jewelry, children's toys or books,  holiday decorations and new or gently used items that can be used or given as gifts. The items can be dropped off at the church at anytime, just mark what they are for and we will pass them along. Hand-made cemetery pillows will also be for sale. Home-made soup and sandwiches will also be available.

ASSISTANCE NEEDED . . .
we are in need of everyone's help. As you are aware, we no longer have a full-time custodian so we are asking for the groups that meet at the church to please take an extra minute and be sure the area you use is in proper order when you are finished. This will aide us immensely as often there are back to back meetings and there is no time for us to put the rooms in order. With your cooperation, your church will always look its best.

EXTERIOR DOORS . . .
at times do not close properly or completely, we are asking everyone to please take a moment to check to be certain the doors are completely closed behind you. This suggestion is for everyone's safety and also the security of our building.

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 events.  If you don't receive mailings,  we may not have your current/correct information.

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.

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 information 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 receive copies of the Sunday Bulletin 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 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 support of their projects.

VASES OF FLOWERS. . .
can be purchased for a service. The cost is  $16.00 a vase.  Silk flowers or live plants 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 . . .
Campbell's Labels are being collected by the Presbyterian Women for the Weirton Christian Center.  The labels including the bar code or just the bar code can be dropped off in the container located in the main  hallway downstairs.
Greeting Cards are being collected. 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.
Can Tabs are being collected for the Ronald McDonald House in Morgantown, West Virginia. Deposit your tabs in the container locate in the main hallway downstairs.
We thank you for your participation and support of our mission endeavors.

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


On Sunday, October 28, Cove Presbyterian Church will lift the following needs to God.

Adults
Alden & Delores Edwards
Alicia Parr
Andrea Vincent
Andy DiRemigio
Bill Moulds
Bob Saffle
Bobby Leonard
Cara Nicoloan
Carol Levesque
Charles Saffle
Christy Cybulski
Connie Francis
Dar
Darrell Glover
Diane Szymanek
Dick Bonyak
Dinny Walford
Domenick Notarantanio
Doug Friends
Emery Edwards
Ethel Grubner
James Mitts
Jamie Edwards
Jan Moncrief
Jeff Grant
Jesse Lescallette
Jim Hanna
Joan Gallagher
Joanne Westbrook
John Brothers
John Ross
Joshua Crow
Judy Mason
Kelly Stephens
Kevin Marsh
Lindsey Ward
Lisa Smith
Marjie Dinger
Martha Meadows
Mary Ola Taflan
Maurene Roth
Michelle Hano
Mr. & Mrs. Mario Whitehead & Joyce
Nick Palavis
Paul Moore
Peggy Murphy
Rhonda Bruich
Rich Jeffers
Richard Redfern
Rick Swain
Ron Taflan
Rose Sanders
Shirley Bails
Susan Ponville
Todd Majoris
Turner Family
Virginia & Paul Welch
Virginia Marsden

Children
Aksel Ace
Audri King
Brandon Wares
Brody McUmor
Cameron Lancaster
Emily Icard
Hunter Stafford
Jeffrey Konovich
Jonah Becker
Jonathan Marte
Justus Loughry
Kade Haines
Kya Schwertfeger
Kylee Leathers
Lily Ghrist
McKenna Popish
Michael Liptak
Shaw twins
Shelby Kamarec
Zoe Purcell

Military
Chris Cameron
Jason Kerr
Jonathan Criss
Michael Criss
Stephen Mader

In the Hospital
Kaylene Manley – Weirton Medical Center
Ronnie Taflan – Trinity

Church Families
Chuck & Linda May
Bess McCaffery
Mary Lou McKinley

Local Church
Weirton Heights Memorial Baptist

Special Friend
Connie Francis – 125 Joseph Blvd., Weirton, WV  26062-3017

Presbyterian Churches
Limestone Presbyterian Church, Moundsville, West Virginia – Rev. Larry Kline
First Presbyterian Church, Mt. Pleasant, 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
Harry Hutch – Villa Vista, Room 507, 1800 Sinclair Ave., Steubenville, OH  43953
Jim Hanna – Weirton Geriatric Center
Mike Valiga – Weirton Geriatric Center, 2530 Pennsylvania Ave., Weirton, WV  26062
Thelma Longacre – Chambrel at Montrose, Unit 210, 100 Brookmont Rd., Akron, OH  44333-3091

Can a Christian Celebrate Halloween?


Yesterday, I posted the announcement for Sunday’s Halloween Party on Facebook and received the following response:

True Christians do not celebrate Halloween. No matter what you call it or what you teach. Using Halloween is not right.

After I read this, I posted the following response:

Show me in Scripture where it says what you claim, please. Only God can judge who’s a “true 
Christian” and who’s not. I think this is one of the problems within the body of Christ. Too many people assume that God has given them the authority to determine who’s “true” and who’s not. It seems as though we spend more time judging and trying to convert one another than in announcing the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit to the world.

Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve received a negative response related to Halloween. I remember a few years ago, when we planning another party for kids, I was told that although we could invite them to wear costumes, we should call it a Fall Festival because the word “Halloween” is too controversial. Of course, I understanding the reasoning of those who object. Ghosts, witches and monsters are not exactly spiritual. But then neither are Christmas stockings, Easter bunnies and Fourth of July fireworks. On a deeper level, though, I don’t see the danger that some associate with Halloween. I mean, I’ve never heard of a little girl becoming a Satanist or possessed by demons because she dressed up like Snow White and went “trick or treating.” Sometimes I think we make mountains out of mole hills and become distracted from what’s really most important and most dangerous.

But having said that, it also seems to me that how we deal with Halloween is related to what Paul wrote to the Corinthians about eating meat that’s been offered to idols, a major issue in the ancient church. He wrote:

Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; but anyone who loves God is known by him. Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “no idol in the world really exists,” and that “there is no God but one.” Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as in fact there are many gods and many lords— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. “Food will not bring us close to God.” We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols? So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed. But when you thus sin against members of your family, and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them to fall. 

You see, Paul wrote that folks who are strong in their faith know that since there’s only one God and that other gods don’t exist, meat is just meat whether it’s be been sacrificed to an idol or not. Still, for whatever reason, some people can’t share that vision. For them, this meat is tainted by evil and shouldn’t be eaten by true Christians. In other words, sincere believers may disagree. And in these cases, what’s most important is that we remember that we’ve been called together into one body and we’ve commanded to love one another. As he wrote to the Romans, “Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. Who are you to pass judgment on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall.” And later, “Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for you to make others fall by what you eat; it is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother or sister stumble.”

Now that’s what Paul wrote about an issue that was dividing his church, and I think it also can be applied to celebrating Halloween. The bottom line is that it has absolutely no power in and of itself. And although one might have other problems with it, there’s nothing inherently evil about children wearing costumes and carving pumpkins. But if, by doing that, a person might become distracted from God, then he shouldn’t do it. This isn’t rocket science. And the one who celebrates Halloween shouldn’t look down on the one who doesn’t and the one who doesn’t shouldn’t judge those who do. In other words, we shouldn’t let Halloween divide the Body of Christ. I think it’s as simple as that.

And for those who have pleasant memories of past Halloweens, I hope you enjoy this poem by Walterrean Salley entitled, “Childhood Halloweens.”

Once I celebrated Halloween: 
It was a part of my childhood.
Everyone was so excited.
And dressing up
In ghostly costumes, 
We went trick-or-treating in groups.
We always received treats, 
And never had to trick anyone— 
As far as I can remember. 

But one time a fellow trick-or-treater, 
From behind, snatched my bag of candy.
What a mean trick! 

The bag was almost full 
As the candy spilled onto the ground. 
But others helped me to gather all of it, 
And the trickster’s plot was overthrown.
What a time those Halloweens were. 
Do kids still celebrate? 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cove’s Bulletin for Sunday, October 28, 2012


Below is a copy of Sunday’s bulletin. I’ll preach from Hebrews 5:23-28, and the title of the sermon is “Like My Mom.” And we ask the children to wear their Halloween costumes to the service. I hope to see you Sunday.









A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - My Purpose


Deuteronomy 4:39-40 

So acknowledge today and take to heart that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. Keep his statutes and his commandments, which I am commanding you today for your own well-being and that of your descendants after you, so that you may long remain in the land that the LORD your God is giving you for all time.


A Devotion by Donna Miller (Colorado, USA)

After journeying 40 years, the Israelites reached the land God had promised them. During their years of desert wandering, they learned to trust God. God met all their needs, and they learned that obeying God’s commands was vital. When they rebelled, God left them to their own resources; when they realized how difficult life without God was, they returned to God, whom they found waiting. At one time I wandered around as if in a desert, as if my life had no purpose. But God never left me and was constantly drawing me into relationship. I found God most powerfully in scripture. Through reading God’s word daily, I found hope. I found my purpose. That purpose is to acknowledge and obey God every day. I don’t have to do something spectacular or extraordinary; I just have to walk with God in my ordinary, often unexciting life. Spending time with God every day by reading the Bible and praying helps me to find joy in every circumstance.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - God’s Teachings


Isaiah 2:2-4 

In days to come the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it. Many peoples shall come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.


A Devotion by Jorge Roberto Rodigou (Cordoba, Argentina)

I was a teenager during the horrors of World War II. One day I said to my pastor: “I don’t understand. If God is a loving God, then why are there wars, poverty, misery, and other injustices?” My pastor answered, “Jorge, when a person is ill and goes to the doctor, the doctor prescribes a treatment plan. How should the patient respond? First, the patient has to have confidence in the physician and then follow a treatment plan. If he does not trust the physician or follow the prescribed treatment, do you think he will be well?” “I don’t think so,” I said. “The same happens to us. God gives us teachings to follow so there will be peace not war, and abundance not poverty, and so we can enjoy life and all God’s creation. But what happens? We do not put our trust in God. We doubt God’s word and do not follow God’s teachings.” I will never forget my pastor’s words. He made it clear to me how tragic it is for us to live without God. But if instead we live the way God teaches, we can help rid the world of injustice, war, and poverty.

From The Upper Room.

Sunday's Sermon - All about Confidence

Hebrews 4:16–5:10

16Now let’s enter with confidence to the throne of grace, so we might receive mercy and grace and we might find help in a time of need. 1For every human high priest, when he was taken from among people, was appointed to things of God, so that he might bring a gift and a sacrifice concerning sin 2to deal gently with those who are ignorant and those who are lead astray, since he also is beset with weakness 3and because of this he ought also, just as he does concerning the people, to make offerings concerning his own sins. 4And not to himself, a person takes the honor but the one who is called by God just as also Aaron.

5Thus Christ also didn’t glorify himself in becoming a high priest but it was said concerning him, "My son is you, I today have begotten you." 6Thus also in another place, he says, "You are a priest into the ages, according to the order of Melchizedek," 7who in the days of his flesh offered certain supplications and entreaties with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death and who was heard because of his reverence, 8and although he was a son, he learned from what he suffered obedience, 9and after he was perfected, he became for all who obey him a source of salvation into the ages, 10because he was addressed by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

All about Confidence


As some of y’all know, next Tuesday, Father Richard Davis and I are involved in the next installment of the Rose DeFede Lecture Series sponsored by the Academy of Lifelong Learning over at Franciscan University. Now, according to the newspaper, it’s intended to be "an evening of conversation." But to be honest, as of last Wednesday it sure looked like it might be an evening of nothing, because Father Davis and I hadn’t discussed what we’d be conversing. And I’ve got to tell you, I was getting a little concerned. Now let me be clear about this, I’m never nervous standing up in front of a crowd or teaching a class or preaching to a congregation and for the me, the bigger the crowd, class or congregation the better, if, that’s is, I’m prepared. You see, I’m not crazy about surprises. And I hate just winging it. No, I like to be clear about what’s going to happen and what’s expected of me so that I can be ready. I can set my goals. I can organize my ideas. And I can work out my structure. And with a lesson plan or a sermon or, at the very least, an outline, I can get up and do my thing comfortably for groups of any size. You see, for me, there’s a direct relationship between my preparation and my comfort. And as it relates to both the quality of the presentation and the amount sweat I feel running down the side of my face, well, it’s really all about confidence, something that I didn’t have before last Wednesday. Man, whenever you’re doing something named after a person, it’s got to be a big deal, right?

But you know, this business about confidence, it doesn’t just relate to a presentation or work or school. As a matter of fact, in all aspects of life, a little confidence can make the living a lot better. And I’ll tell you, I think that applies to our relationship with God too. In other words, I think life can a be a whole lot more comfortable when we can approach God with confidence. But you know, just saying that feels a little odd, because are we really supposed to approach God confidently and when I say "approach" I’m talking about in prayer or church, you know, stuff like that? To approach God with confidence, doesn’t that sound kind of arrogant, kind of stupid, kind of wrong? I mean, we’re talking about God for crying out loud, not the folks over at the Academy of Lifelong Learning (no offense to Betty Kraina or Floy Fetty), we’re not talking about Pinkie Beck or Linda Hill, two girls I asked out in high school (Pinkie said "yes," Linda didn’t), we’re not even talking about going up to your boss and asking for a raise or your teacher and asking for extra credit or your wife and asking her to make meatloaf like your mother. (From what I’ve read, that can get a guy in big trouble.) No we’re talking about God, the big Cohuna himself. Good night, when I approach him I’m suppose to be kind of guilty and ashamed, you know, ashamed of myself and what I’ve done and why I did it, guilty and ashamed of my sin. And no amount of preparation can change that, right? It’s kind of like that joke I’ve told about Presbyterians. We can do anything we want. We just can’t enjoy it. There’s no way I can be confident as I approach God; I’ve just plain enjoyed too many things in my life to do that. And of course, I don’t think I’m alone.

And although this stuff about not being confident may sound kind of humble, even spiritual on the surface, if this is our attitude, man, I think we could end up missing out on a lot. I mean, if I can’t approach God with something close to confidence, there’s no way that I can feel close to him. Good night, he’s up there and I’m way down here, and the gap between us is just too great. In other words, I’m probably going to feel separated from God. And even though that’s pretty tough all the time, it’s especially bad where there’s some kind of trouble. You know, I look at my daughter Maggie, and I remember that when I was her age I liked to feel as though I was doing things on my own, that I was in control, you know, that I was a man. It just felt great, that is until something bad happened, and then I was always kind of relieved to have a couple of parents pretty close, even though I doubt that I ever told them so. You see, when we feel separated from God, and the reason really doesn’t matter; when we have no real confidence in his presence, well, I think we just might feel pretty lonely when we’re facing trouble. At least that’s how it feels to me.

And the people who received this letter, I think they must have felt like that too. And maybe that’s the reason the writer suggested that his audience should "...enter with confidence to the throne of grace, so we might receive mercy and grace and we might find help in a time of need." You see, that’s what he wanted them to do. And then, he explained why that would now be possible, because unlike the high priests they may have known from the past, Jesus Christ, the incarnation of God himself, was now filling that role, that bridge between humanity and divinity. In other words, for this writer, because Jesus was the High Priest, we could approach God with confidence.

And that makes sense when you remember what a priest is suppose to do. You see, the job of a priest is to connect people with God, to be kind of a middle-man between the secular and the sacred. And this is how it works. You talk to the priest. The priest talks with God. God talks with the priest. The priest talks to you. You see what I mean? And it works the same way with sin, you know, some of that stuff that makes us guilty and ashamed and causes us to feel isolated and alone. On behalf of the people, a priest makes a sacrifice to God. And it’s through the priest, that forgiveness comes from God to the people. Now that’s system, but there was a problem and it had to do with every priest that came before Jesus. You see, they also needed to make sacrifices for themselves, because when you got right down to it, they also committed sins; therefore, they needed to be forgiven as much as we did.

But Jesus was different. I mean, unlike the guys who had to "...make offerings concerning [their] own sins," Jesus was the one about whom the psalmist wrote when he said "...concerning him, ‘My son is you, I today have begotten you.’" And in another place, "...he says, ‘You are a priest into the ages, according to the order of Melchizedek...’" You see, in that way, Jesus was different. And even though, according to the writer, he begged God to save him from death, which means he completely understands our fear and our sense of faith, "...although he was a son, [he was the son], he learned from what he suffered obedience, and after he was perfected, he became for all who obey him a source of salvation into the ages, because he was addressed by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek." You see, it’s through Jesus we have something that all those human priests could only approximate, through him we have a direct connection with God. In other words, through Jesus, the curtain has been torn apart and humanity can stand before divinity.

But more than that, in Jesus, humanity has been brought within the very being of God. Because Christ experienced fear, because he endured death, because he suffered isolation and abandonment, God understands exactly how we feel on our worst day. You see, in a real way, not only is Christ the revelation of God to us, he’s the revelation of us to God. And for that reason, we can do exactly what the writer of this letter suggested. We can approach the almighty God, creator of the universe, with confidence.

And I’ll telling you, when we do, when we follow this advice and confidently enter into the divine presence, now we’ll be able to feel fully the reality of God, and I’m talking about his mercy and grace and help. You see, the separation is gone; that gap that caused us to feel nervous and ashamed has vanished. And since we can be sure that God knows what we feel because he’s felt the same thing himself, we can never be completely isolated. We can never be totally helpless. And we can never be absolutely alone, because the one who’s with us is so much more than just a creator or judge, I’m telling you, he’s also a friend who knows our pain. You see, that’s who God is. And for those reasons, I think we’re going to be able to feel God’s grace and mercy, his love and compassion like we’ve never felt it before. Now we can simply talk with God, not with fear or shame, not while hiding what we really think and feel, but rather openly and freely, because God knows how it is to be human. But that’s not all, I’m convinced we’ll also be able to see God moving and working all around us. I’m telling you, if there are barriers between God and us, if we find ourselves wearing blinders that prevent us from seeing his presence and his will, brothers and sisters, we’re the ones who’ve put them there. And for that reason, we can take them down and take them off, so that we can feel the arms of God and see him moving all around us. You see, I believe this will happen, when we decide to approach God with confidence.

Now, Father Richard and I had lunch on Wednesday, and even though we didn’t go into a lot of detail about what we’re going to do in a couple of days, I have enough to go on to prepare myself for the lecture. And just like we can now to with God, because Jesus is our High Priest and we can now approach him with confidence, I feel a lot better about Tuesday evening. And I think that’ll be reflected in the presentation. Because, when you get right down to it, it really is all about confidence.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - The Meaning of Success


Matthew 6:19-21 and 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling— if indeed, when we have taken it off we will not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan under our burden, because we wish not to be unclothed but to be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord—for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.”


unstopable peak performance
A Devotion by Marcelina Dewi Kumalasari (Jakarta, Indonesia)

What is success? Success to many people means having a good career, a flourishing business, a high-ranking position, or great material wealth. However, these measures are from an earthly perspective. Success from the spiritual perspective is not about what people possess. All worldly “success” will end, but our spiritual success will last forever, into eternity. Recently, when my uncle died, I was reminded that we are only dust. When we die, we take nothing with us from this earth. Whatever material wealth we have amassed in this life will be meaningless. Lasting accomplishment is a life characterized by deeds of love. When we live out God’s will in this way, we succeed. The day will come when each of us will be accountable before Christ for what we do in this world. I want to live in ways that please God in whatever I do. That’s true success.

From The Upper Room.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sunday's Minute for Mission - Children's Sabbath


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. echoed Jesus' counter-cultural teaching in Mark 10:42ff when he said, "Everybody can be great because everybody can serve." We see true greatness all across our country on the weekend of the National Observance of Children's Sabbath each October. That's when Presbyterian churches and congregations of every faith unite in focusing on the urgent concerns of our children, such as poverty, abuse, and lack of health care; lifting up the call of each faith tradition to respond with compassion and justice; and putting faith into action to meet the needs of and seek justice for children on the Children's Sabbath weekend and throughout the year.

How great is this? A Children's Sabbath service at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis included a children's message and sermon on the needs of homeless children in the community, and the commissioning of Social Justice Advocates. After the service at the Faith in Action Fair, members found out how they could get involved. Congregants could help right away by contributing to Westminster's collection of coats and other cold weather items to distribute to the community. Towson Presbyterian Church in Baltimore engaged children in studying poverty and preparing parts of the worship service, which they led. On the Children's Sabbath, a bulletin insert included information about problems facing children in the United States; and the church collected school supplies, had a speaker on children's concerns, and distributed clothespin prayer dolls with the names of children in the church for whom congregation members will pray throughout the year. A Children's Sabbath at Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton, New Jersey, included a worship service focused on children and the call for justice, an adult education session on advocacy and service, and outreach to enroll uninsured children in Medicaid and the state's Children's Health Insurance Program. Download Children's Sabbath resources.

- Rev. Shannon Daley-Harris, The Children's Defense Fund

Cove’s Bulletin for Sunday, October 21, 2012


Below is a copy of Sunday’s bulletin. I’ll preach from Hebrews 4:16–5:10, and the title of the sermon is “Confidence.” I hope to see you Sunday.









What’s Happening at Cove Presbyterian Church?

The announcements as they appear in Sunday’s bulletin are below.


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.

APPRECIATION BRUNCH . . .
this morning immediately following worship Session is hosting a Pancake Brunch for the congregation. Stop down enjoy fresh delicious hot pancakes and fellowship.

CHANCEL CHOIR WILL PRACTICE . . .
on Wednesday, October 24 at 6:45 p.m. in the sanctuary. New member are welcome to join!!

THE BROWN BAG BIBLE STUDY . . .
will meet Thursday, October 25 at 12:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. We’ll look at 2 Corinthians 8–9.

LET’S TRICK- OR- TREAT FOR UNICEF, UNITED STATES FUND . .
Each year in October Church Women United sponsors and promotes the UNICEF program. FYI:
    $       .25 gives 10 kids clean water to drink for a day
    $     1.00 pays for protein biscuits for a starving child
    $   17.00 keeps a kid safe from 6 killer diseases
    $   24.00 supplies an emergency first aid kit
    $ 257.00 buys a school-in-a-box so kids can learn anywhere
    $ 500.00 provides a water pump for a village or school
The women of the church will be collecting at Weirton Shop n Save on Thursday, October 25th  from 10:00a.m. till 2:00p.m. The Cove children will trick or treat at the doors of the church after worship  on Sunday, October 28th.  Please have your change ready as they will be collecting for such a worthy cause.
 Eleanor Cline

A RUMMAGE SALE . . .
sponsored by Sacred Heart of Mary Parish, 200 Preston Avenue, Weirton, is scheduled for Friday, October 26 & Saturday, October 27, from 9am till 2:pm.

BOOKMARKS . . .
Cove’s reading Group will meet on Monday, October 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the church parlor.

ANNUAL MEMORIAL SERVICE . . .
to honor those members and friends of Cove who have died during this past year will be held on Sunday, November 4 during the morning worship. If you had a loved one pass away please contact the church office so they can be remember during our service.

EVENING OF WORSHIP . . .
everyone is invited to join Oakland Presbyterian Church on Sunday, November 4 at 6:30 to share an evening of -Worship-Praise- and Fellowship-. Come enjoy the music of Power Surge, a ladies quartet and a presentation of The 400 Years Between the Old and New Testaments, that is not recorded in the Bible.  A Fellowship Hour with refreshments will follow. We invite you to bring a friend or neighbor and enjoy the evening with us!

VETERAN’S DAY SERVICE . . .
to honor all military  will be held on Sunday, November 11 at 6:00p.m. in the sanctuary. Please come and pay tribute to all who have served and those still serving to protect us and our country.

THANK YOU . . .
to my wonderful Cove Church Family for all your calls, cards and wishes but especially for your prayers during my recent illness. Your prayers and love mean everything to me.  Thank You!
      Love
      Bonnie Nichols

OUR SINCEREST SYMPATHY TO THE FAMILIES OF:
• Wilma Dale Minor, mother of Millard Minor and grandmother of Eric Minor who passed away on Tuesday, October 2, 2012;
• Marjorie Louise Black, mother of Marge LeMasters who passed away on Saturday, October 13, 2012. Marge was a Fifty Year Plus devoted member of the Cove Family joining on July 15, 1934.

ASSISTANCE NEEDED . . .
we are in need of everyone’s help. As you are aware, we no longer have a full-time custodian so we are asking for the groups that meet at the church to please take an extra minute and be sure the area you use is in proper order when you are finished. This will aide us immensely as often there are back to back meetings and there is no time for us to put the rooms in order. With your cooperation, your church will always look its best.

PAPER PRODUCT NEEDED . . .
from to all groups within Cove Church. The Deacons need your help.
The Food Pantry is in desperate need of paper products for our Thanksgiving and Christmas Baskets. We need unopened single rolls of paper towels, toilet tissue- 4 roll packages-, liquid or bar soap, facial tissue, shampoo or conditioner.  We’re getting creative, each group wishing to participate is to contact Kayla Violet with their group name by Sunday, October 28th. Then on Challenge Sunday, November 4th each group will have a different display in the narthex. The congregation will then be asked to vote for the most unique display and the winning group will receive a pumpkin pie as a thank you from the deacons. If you have any questions or need more information contact Kayla Violet at 304-374-6805.

EXTERIOR DOORS . . .
at times do not close properly or completely, we are asking everyone to please take a moment to check to be certain the doors are completely closed behind you. This suggestion is for everyone’s safety and also the security of our building.

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 events.  If you don’t receive mailings,  we may not have your current/correct information.

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.

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.

CHRISTMAS IN NOVEMBER . . .
is being sponsored by the Myrtle McHendry Class on Friday, November 16th and Saturday, November 17. The ladies are accepting jewelry, children’s toys or books,  holiday decorations and new or gently used items that can be used or given as gifts. The items can be dropped off at the church at anytime, just mark what they are for and we will pass them along. Hand-made cemetery pillows will also be for sale. Home-made soup and sandwiches will also be available.

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 information 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 receive copies of the Sunday Bulletin 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 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 support of their projects.

VASES OF FLOWERS. . .
can be purchased for a service. The cost is  $16.00 a vase.  Silk flowers or live plants 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.

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


On Sunday, October 21, Cove Presbyterian Church will lift the following needs to God.

Adults
Alden & Delores Edwards
Alicia Parr
Andrea Vincent
Andy DiRemigio
Bill Moulds
Bob Saffle
Bobby Leonard
Cara Nicoloan
Carol Levesque
Charles Saffle
Christy Cybulski
Connie Francis
Dar
Darrell Glover
Diane Szymanek
Dick Bonyak
Dinny Walford
Domenick Notarantanio
Doug Friends
Emery Edwards
Ethel Grubner
James Mitts
Jamie Edwards
Jan Moncrief
Jeff Grant
Jesse Lescallette
Jim Hanna
Joan Gallagher
Joanne Westbrook
John Brothers
John Ross
Joshua Crow
Judy Mason
Kelly Stephens
Kevin Marsh
Lindsey Ward
Marjie Dinger
Martha Meadows
Mary Ola Taflan
Maurene Roth
Michelle Hano
Mr. & Mrs. Mario Whitehead & Joyce
Nick Palavis
Paul Moore
Peggy Murphy
Penny Mourat
Rhonda Bruich
Rich Jeffers
Richard Redfern
Rick Swain
Ron Taflan
Rose Sanders
Ruth Coates
Shirley Bails
Susan Ponville
Todd Majoris
Turner Family
Virginia & Paul Welch
Virginia Marsden

Children
Aksel Ace
Audri King
Brandon Wares
Brody McUmor
Cameron Lancaster
Emily Icard
Hunter Stafford
Jeffrey Konovich
Jonah Becker
Jonathan Marte
Justus Loughry
Kade Haines
Kya Schwertfeger
Kylee Leathers
Lily Ghrist
McKenna Popish
Michael Liptak
Shaw twins
Shelby Kamarec
Zoe Purcell

Military
Chris Cameron
Jason Kerr
Jonathan Criss
Michael Criss
Stephen Mader

In the Hospital
Kaylene Manley – Weirton Medical Center
Ronnie Taflan – Trinity

Church Families
Bill & Kay Manley
Kevin Marker
Fred & Sue Marsh

Local Church
Morning Star Baptist Church

Special Friend
Charles & Dorothy Saffle – 10 Wyngate Dr., Weirton, WV  26062

Presbyterian Churches
First Presbyterian Church, Mingo Junction, Ohio – Elder Kenneth Sickle
First Presbyterian Church, Moundsville, West Virginia – Rev. Timothy Wilt

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
Harry Hutch – Villa Vista, Room 507, 1800 Sinclair Ave., Steubenville, OH  43953
Jim Hanna – Weirton Geriatric Center
Mike Valiga – Weirton Geriatric Center, 2530 Pennsylvania Ave., Weirton, WV  26062
Thelma Longacre – Chambrel at Montrose, Unit 210, 100 Brookmont Rd., Akron, OH  44333-3091

Responsible Christian Citizens


As I’ve written before, I’m very disappointed by the nastiness of our presidential campaign. I guess what I find most disturbing, though, are the out-and-out lies that are being shared and promoted as truth. I mean even though he’s declared himself to be a Christian, worshiped in Christian churches most of his life, prayed with Christian ministers, and talked about how he knelt beneath a cross and felt God’s spirit; on a daily basis, I hear people talking about how Pres. Obama is a Muslim. But that’s no worse than someone who says that, since he’s a Mormon; if elected, Gov. Romney will remove restrictions on polygamy. Now, these are just a couple of the lies that are floating around the internet, but what’s really shocking is that people are not only accepting them, they’re passing them along as truth. I guess this election may be proving that Adolf Hitler was right when he said, “The great masses will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.”

And as a Christian, that bothers me. I try to teach my daughter not to lie, and this election is making that lesson challenging to get across. But I also recognize that it creates a problem. We all have our own opinions about who can best lead our country; therefore, we naturally want our candidate to win. As a matter of fact, we might passionately and sincerely believe that the outcome of this election will determine the future of the country. And if a lie helps our guy win... You see, because our feelings may be so strong, we might drift into an “ends justify the means” kind of mentality, and I think it can affect even Christians. But you know, when it does, the impact goes far beyond politics. I mean, if believers promote ideas and “facts” that aren’t true because it helps their political position, it’s got to damage their witness to Jesus Christ. I mean, why should someone believe that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, when we’re ready, willing and able to tell something that may not be true just to win an election?

And for that reason, I think we probably need to be careful. Now I’m not suggesting that we should refrain from stating our opinions and even sharing our hopes and fears. And as Christians voters, it’s important for us to stand up for the principles that we believe are significant and to explain why our candidate will promote them while the other may threaten them. In other words, I think it’s important to function as responsible, Christian citizens. But to be responsible, we may need to focus on issues and discuss policies and programs and to discuss them with sincerity and passion rather than to pass on innuendoes and call those who disagree nasty names. And we can discuss while standing firmly for the truth. In other words, when we encounter gossip and rumors, as responsible citizens, we might want to check them out before we pass them on. Of course that also means that we might need to listen to those with whom we disagree so that we come to a better understanding of what is truly true. For me, that’s just what responsible people do.

And as Christians, I think it’s vital for us to do two things. First, we have to allow our faith to shape our politics, recognizing that our shared dedication to Jesus Christ might lead Christian brothers and sisters to different conclusions. Personally, I’m not sure whom I’d identify as the “Christian” candidate in this election, because not only do both express their faith in ways different from how I express mine, both support and oppose paths that I, as a believer, would like this country to follow. My faith will shape my vote, and I hope it shapes your vote too. And second, I think we also need to recognize that God is in control and that his will will be done. God doesn’t need me to lie and cheat for him and to say nasty, sarcastic things to and about others so that he might accomplish his will. As followers of the creator of the universe, we can discuss and debate to our heart’s desire. But in the end, faith means affirming that God is in control.

Now I know the person who’ll receive my vote, but I don’t know who’ll win the election. My prayer is that whoever wins, we’ll unite as a country. I can’t see how we’ll resolve our issues by one side following a narrow political agenda and the other dedicating themselves to making that agenda fail. And as a responsible Christian citizen, I hope to be guided by both my love for God and love for country. But in so doing, I’m going to focus on issues and not gossip, and I’m going to make every effort to discuss them with my fellow citizens in an atmosphere of respect, humility and faith.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A New Devotion on the Cove Prayer Line - So Little?


John 6:5-15 

When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Six months' wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.” When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.


A Devotion by Andy Baker (Tennessee, USA)

A cell. An atom. An idea. A word. A small donation. One talent. Five loaves and two fish. Dorcas’s needle. David’s five stones. A quick touch of the hem of Jesus’ garment. A smile. A kind word. God has the power to take something that you and I would call little and turn it into something that becomes so much more. God has a way of multiplying our small gift, our small talent, and our small efforts and turning them into things that accomplish a great deal. Our reading for today tells of the boy in a large crowd with a small lunch that fed thousands. The boy offered what he could; Jesus prayed over it and then used it to feed a multitude. This boy’s simple lunch is something we’re still talking about today. What if we offered to God our small gifts, talents, and work, prayed about them, and asked God to use them? If we truly believe God’s power is at work in us and through us, our little could do much. In fact, if we just step back and look, we may see what God has already been doing. Looking at what God has done in our past can strengthen our resolve to make ourselves available in our future.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Minute for Mission - World Food Day

A garden
Community gardens, church gardens, and backyard gardens
are more visible as people work to develop viable local
 food economies. Photo by the Presbyterian Hunger Program.
See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit: you shall have them for food. (Genesis 1:29-30)

Food Justice Fellows, a group of 16 Presbyterians, are finding ways to create sustainable local food economies in the United States and to support such work by overseas partners through advocacy and campaign work.

"This really is a structured way to make our work more fruitful and to meaningfully reflect on how to care for creation,'' says the Rev. Leanne Reed, a Fellow and part-time pastor of Springville (Alabama) Church. She led an effort among pastors to plant a community garden to counter the brokenness of the global food system and to protect the earth. The Fellows link land, farmers, clergy, and volunteers to help communities grow their own food and to reflect theologically on why. Both efforts are in cooperation with the Presbyterian Hunger Program.

Roughly one billion people globally go hungry. Corporate influence in agricultural policy has led to dumping cheap food and killing farmers' livelihoods in impoverished countries. Land grabs, monopolistic practices, excessive speculation, and unfair trade agreements lead to an insecure food supply, higher prices, and loss of local control worldwide.

"You put the seed in the earth, bury it, and the seed gives new life,'' Reed says, adding that nothing speaks resurrection like a garden. "We just have to find more sustainable ways to grow our food and simple ways to nurture the creation in our care.''

- Rev. Alexa Smith, associate, Joining Hands, General Assembly Mission Council