Friday, November 30, 2012

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


On Sunday, December 2, Cove Presbyterian Church will lift the following needs to God.


Adults
Alden & Delores Edwards
Alicia Parr
Andrea Vincent
Andy DiRemigio
Anthony LaPosta
Beulah Mallory
Bill Stephens
Bobby Leonard
Cara Nicoloan
Carol Levesque
Charles Saffle
Cherryl Calijan
Christy Cybulski
Connie Francis
Dale Brant
Dar
Darrell Glover
Dean Allen
Delores Huey
Diane Szymanek
Dick Bonyak
Dinny Walford
Dolly
Domenick Notarantanio
Doug Friends
Doug Wesie
Elizabeth McCutcheon
Emery Edwards
Herman
James Mitts
Jamie Edwards
Jan Moncrief
Jeanne Stark
Jeff Grant
Jesse Lescallette
Jim Hanna
Joan Gallagher
John Brothers
Judy Mason
Kelly Stephens
Krim Family
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 Hvizdak
Rich Jeffers
Richard Ceraolo
Richard Redfern
Rick Swain
Ron Taflan
Rose Bell
Rose Sanders
Shirley Bails
Susan Ponville
Todd Majoris
Turner Family
Virginia & Paul Welch
Virginia Marston

Children
Aksel Ace
Aksel Ace
Audri King
Brandon Wares
Brody McUmor
Cameron Lancaster
Daniel Marchione
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
Valerie Kellenbarger
Zoe Purcell

Military
Chris Cameron
Jason Kerr
Jonathan Criss
Michael Criss
Stephen Mader

In the Hospital
Ronnie Taflan – Trinity East - Acuity
George Ferrrari – Weirton Medical Center

Church Families
Nick & Penny Mourat
Red & Bonnie Nichols
Susan O'Neill

Local Church
Tri-State Church of God

Special Friend
Joan Gallagher – 109 Sherry Court, Weirton, WV  26062-9667

Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery Churches
First Presbyterian Church, Powhatan Point, Ohio – Vacant Pulpit
Glen Robbins Presbyterian Church, Rayland, Ohio – Ms. Cindy Foster

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
Kay Manley – Weirton Geriatric Center, 2530 Pennsylvania Ave., Weirton, WV  26062
Jim Hanna – Weirton Geriatric Center, 2530 Pennsylvania Ave., Weirton, WV  26062
Margaret Heaton – Heritage Place, 608 N 10th St., Weirton, WV  26062-2423
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

What’s Happening at Cove Presbyterian Church?


Below are the announcements as they appear in Sunday’s 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.

COMMUNION . . .
will be observed this morning during the morning worship service.

CONGREGATIONAL MEETING . . .
for the election of members to  the governing boards of the church will be held this afternoon immediately following worship in the sanctuary.

DEACONS MEETING . . .
to finalize plans for the Christmas Holiday will be held tomorrow,  Monday, December 3 at 7:00 p.m. in the board room.  All deacons are encouraged to attend.

CHRISTMAS DINNER . . .
Myrtle McHendry will host their Annual Covered Dish Dinner on Tuesday, December 4 at 5:00 p.m.  Fun with Music, the program for the evening will be presented by Cove’s Chancel Choir under the direction of Janice Torrance.

CHANCEL CHOIR WILL PRACTICE . . .
on Wednesday, December 5 at 6:45 p.m. in the sanctuary.  We are working on our weekly anthems and music for the upcoming Holiday Season.  We are  also preparing to present a Cantata at the Christmas Eve Service.  New member are always welcome!

THE BROWN BAG BIBLE STUDY . . .
will meet Thursday, December 6 at 12:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. We’ll look at Hebrews 4:14–6:20.

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA . . .
sponsored by the Board of Deacons will be held on Saturday, December 8 from 10am till 12 pm. Breakfast will include pancakes, sausage, milk, juice or coffee.
Cost ~ ~  11 and under $ 3.00;  12 and over $ 5.00.  The proceeds will benefit deacon projects.

TRUSTEES MEETING . . .
Monday, December 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room.

BOARD OF SESSION . . .
will meet on Tuesday, December 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room.

PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN’S  MEETING . . .
will be held on Wednesday, December 12 at 12:00 p.m. in the fellowship hall. This will be a combined meeting due to the Christmas Holiday. All ladies are invited to join us for a study of God’s word and fellowship. You are asked to bring a bagged lunch, beverages will be provided.

COVE’S ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PLAY AND LUNCHEON . . .
will be held on Sunday, December 16 immediately following morning worship. Meat, rolls and beverages will be provided. You are asked to bring a covered dish to share and also your place settings. After dinner the children will perform a holiday skit. The afternoon will conclude with a “special visitor” for the children.

THE LADIES WOULD LIKE TO THANK EVERYONE . . .
who participated in their CHRISTMAS IN NOVEMBER SALE  in anyway. It is because of you- the people who donated items for the sale, the bakers, the cooks, the workers and the buyers - that their event was such a huge success.

HEIRLOOM ORNAMENTS . . .
are available for Cove’s Christmas tree in the narthex. The ornaments are cross-stitched with your last name. For more information or to order your ornament contact the church office. The cost of the framed ornament is $ 5.00.  Orders will be taken through Sunday, December 9th.

CHRISTMAS JOY OFFERING . . .
inserts will be included in the bulletins beginning today and each Sunday during Advent with stories of how the funds have been previously allocated.  On Sunday, December 23rd envelopes will be included in your bulletin for your donation.  The Christmas Joy Offering brings Good News of Great Joy to the poor in circumstance or sprit. This offering is  distributed equally  between the Assistance Program for the Board of Pensions and to support student scholarships at Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges.

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 work.

Happy New Year!


“Happy New Year!” Of course, I recognize that most of y’all think I jumping the gun. I mean, we haven’t even endured Christmas; it’s just too early to start talking about a new year. But you know, in the church, that’s exactly what we’re dealing with. According to the church calendar, the new year begins at the start of Advent, those four Sundays that lead to Christmas. And that makes sense. As Christians, our year is centered on following Jesus; therefore, focusing on his birth seems like the perfect place to start our year. And since on Christmas Day we remember “the babe wrapped in swaddle cloths and lying in a manger,” the first Sunday we begin to prepare for that birth feels like the right place to start our new year. And so, I say again, “Happy New Year!”

And because that’s the case, this is also a great time to make a few faith-related New Year Resolutions, and although I don’t want to dictate what the Spirit might be leading you to do, I do want to offer a few suggestions. For example, first, you can resolved to become more involved in your faith community. Now I believe coming to church is a habit, and it’s really easy to drift away. If this has happened during the last year, Advent is a wonderful time to become reinvolved. For instance, here at Cove, we’re moving into the new year with a special “Christmas-related” communion service this Sunday morning. Of course, if you’re not connected anywhere and you live in the Weirton area, let me invite you to Cove Presbyterian Church. This will be an exciting three weeks, and I think you’ll enjoy being here. Still, regardless of where you live, everyone can resolve to connect or reconnect with their faith community. Second, we can consider new ways by which we might help others. Christmas is a time for giving. What a difference we could make if we resolved to give to those less fortunate. This might be the perfect way to demonstrate our love for God and for neighbor. Third, right now we can make the decision to treat one another with more respect and kindness. We’ve just passed through a nasty political campaign, one in which slander and ridicule replaced thought and discussion. Sadly, this may be a sign of the direction other society is going. Even among Christians, sarcasm and name-calling is seen as an acceptable way to voice differences of opinion. Let’s decide to buck this trend and reintroduce civility and good manners into our relationships. And who knows, doing this may change the way things are discussed in our country.

Of course, I’m only suggesting three; there are all kinds of resolutions we may make. But regardless of what we might consider important, let’s view this Advent season as a time to make changes in who we are and how we relate to God and neighbor. And if we do, these resolutions just might change our we lives during both the church and the calendar year.

Now I think the joy of this advent season was expressed well by David Harris in his poem, “A Season To Be Jolly, A Season To Be Bright.”

Snow is falling 
on the hills and the glens; 
it looks like a white Christmas 
will be with us again. 
All the old songs 
will be playing once more. 
There will be carol singers 
going from door to door. 
Popcorn will be strung 
around the tree, 
along with mince tarts 
and all the party fare. 
We’ll look out the windows 
at the winter wonderland, 
as snowflakes will drift 
down from the sky. 
Jack Frost will decorate 
the windows each night; 
candles will burn 
until the morning light. 
A season to be jolly, 
a season to be bright. 
As Christmas will soon 
be within everyone’s sight.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cove’s Bulletin for Sunday, December 2, 2012


Below is a copy of Sunday’s bulletin. I’ll preach from 1 Thessalonians 3:6-13, and the title of the sermon is “An Advent Wish.” We’ll also share holy communion with a special Christmas-related service.









A New Post of Cove's Prayer Line - Growing in Grace


Facsimile Copy of Exodus 16 13-22 God Provides Quail and Manna to the Israelites PostersJoshua 5:10-15 

While the Israelites were camped in Gilgal they kept the passover in the evening on the fourteenth day of the month in the plains of Jericho. On the day after the passover, on that very day, they ate the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the Israelites no longer had manna; they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year.
Once when Joshua was by Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing before him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you one of us, or one of our adversaries?” He replied, “Neither; but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and he said to him, “What do you command your servant, my lord?” The commander of the army of the LORD said to Joshua, “Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.


A Devotion by William Smith (Virginia, USA)

While the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness, manna fell from heaven to sustain them each day. Once they entered the Promised Land, the manna ceased to fall and they became responsible for producing their own food. As with the Hebrews, at times God supplies our needs without any effort on our part, and at these times recognizing and celebrating the grace of God is easy. However, God is still at work even when we have to take on more personal responsibility.

I’ve seen both types of this grace in my career. My first two jobs came to me with little effort on my part. In seeking a third position, I had to interview at several places and suffered multiple rejections. After starting the job, difficult circumstances made me start thinking that the job wasn’t a good match for me. However, these difficult experiences built in me qualities of character, resilience, and confidence for which I came to thank God. I saw God’s grace when it was easy to find work. Then I saw God’s grace grow richer and fuller when the position came after initial disappointment and much effort.

As loving parents want to see their children mature and take on responsibility, so God wants us to grow in grace. Effort required on our part does not mean that God’s love is diminished. Being faithful through our work and our struggles shows gratitude for the grace of God.

From The Upper Room.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A New Devotion on the Cove Prayer Line - More Than a Teacher


Philippians 3:7-11 

Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.


Devotion by Rhema Joy Penaflor (Bulacan, Philippines)

I am amazed at how fans sometimes go to extremes to see their favorite celebrities. When a popular celebrity stages a concert in Manila, people from the farthest provinces try diligently to get there. When my favorite Christian band came to the Philippines for the first time, I saved money for tickets, reserved seats for my best friend and myself, and got my boss’ approval to leave early so I could attend the concert. This experience reminded me of the 5,000 people who went out to see Jesus. Imagine thousands of people from different places traveling on foot to see and hear the famous teacher. The crowds who followed Jesus wanted to make sure they could see him and hear him teach personally. But unlike many celebrities today, Jesus was never pretentious. Perhaps he even looked like any common person of that period. I wonder what it was about Jesus that made multitudes of people follow him. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). His wisdom and compassion attracted people wherever he went. People wanted to know him more and to witness his works of mercy. May we too follow Jesus, no matter where we are. He is more than a prophet and a teacher; he is our Lord and savior who sacrificed himself for us.

From The Upper Room.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sunday's Sermon - Like the Fighting Irish


Revelation 1:4b-8

Grace to you and peace from the one who was and is and is to come and from the seven spirits who are before his throne and from Jesus Christ, the witness, the faithful one, the first born of the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To the one who loves us and who washes us from our sins by his blood, and he made us a kingdom, a temple to God and his father, to him glory and might into the ages upon ages, amen. “Behold, he comes with the clouds, and every eye will see him, and those who pierced him, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn.” Yes, amen.

I am the alpha and the omega, says the Lord God, who is and was and is to come, the almighty.


Like the Fighting Irish

Well, as you can see in the bulletin, today is Christ the King Sunday, the last day of the church year, the Sunday right before the beginning of Advent. And although I think it makes a lot of sense to end the year focusing on what it means to say that Jesus Christ is king, this kind of creates a problem for us living in the United States. We’re just not into kings, now are we? I mean, even though we know what this king business is all about historically, it just doesn’t hit us where we live. And let’s face it, although it may have been a piece of cake back in the day, it’s kind of hard to relate an earthly monarch with Jesus Christ. I know, for me, when you mention kings, I tend to visualize either Charles I of England, an absolute monarch who’s so arbitrary and obnoxious that his own people wanted to cut off his head or maybe Mel Brooks in The History of the World, Part 1, a pretty clueless puppet who overeats, chases women, shoots peasants, and then looks into the camera and says, “It’s good to be the king.” My goodness, even if our view of kingship is more like the constitutional monarchs of the United Kingdom or Spain, none of these images seems to reflect on what it means to say that Jesus Christ is king.

And so yesterday, I started to think about another way to present what this really means. And I’ll tell you, praise the Lord, thanks to my love of football and my dedication to “Mike and Mike in the Morning,” a show on ESPN radio that I listen to every weekday, I think I’ve got another image that at least makes some sense to me. You see, one of the Mikes is Mike Golic, a retired professional football player who not only played for Notre Dame, but has two sons who play football right now and a daughter who swims for the Fighting Irish. Of course, since Notre Dame was undefeated and ranked number one last week, Golic spent a lot of time talking about the glories of the Irish, a team that was 11-0 as of yesterday afternoon. You see, as both an alumnus and a parent he talked about all the team strengths and about how well they’ve played. And as he talked, especially this last week, you could hear both excitement and pride about what the Irish might pull off this year.

And you know, it’s interesting, after listening to a week of this kind of stuff, yesterday afternoon, as I was working on this sermon, it sort of hit me that all this business about the Fighting Irish, well, it might be a better way to understand what it means to say that Jesus Christ is king than envisioning either Kaiser Wilhelm or Dom DeLuise, and if you know The History of the World, Part 1, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You see, in some ways, I believe there are similarities between a team fighting for supremacy in college football and Christ the king, although I’m guessing Dr. John Leithe, God rest his soul, the man who taught me systematic theology at Union Theological Seminary, would probably disagree, personally I think they’re real and helpful. Let me explain what I’m talking about.

You see, like a team that comes together for that dream season, the kingship of Jesus is grounded on three things, all of which I think are in this passage from the beginning of John’s Revelation. I mean, first, it’s all about who he is, and I’m talking about who Jesus Christ is, you know, the qualities he possesses that would make him the perfect king. And like I said, it’s right here. Just listen to how John of Patmos described Jesus. He wrote that Jesus is “the one who was and is and is to come ...the witness, the faithful one, the first born of the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth” and then at the end of the passage he comes back to it when he wrote “I am the alpha and the omega, says the Lord God, who is and was and is to come, the almighty.” You see, in these verses, I think John offered three traits that are tied up in Christ’s kingship. You see, as king Jesus is eternal. He encompasses the past and the present and the future. He truly is the alpha and the omega, because he was before the beginning and will be after the end. In other words, he transcends our limited time perspective. And for that reason we can be confident that there has never been nor will there ever be a minute, a second when Jesus is not king. In other words, even though in this world, and I’m talking about the world within which we live, people and nations and even species, they come and they go, there’s a constancy within our creator, because everything, and that includes us, everything is in the hands of “the one who was and is and is to come.” You see, Christ the king is eternal. That’s who he is.

And I’ll tell you, he’s also unchanging, something that in theology we call immutable. You see, because he is the one who’s faithful, we can count on his witness. It doesn’t change. Unlike us, he not driven by whims or self-interest. His perspective isn’t based on what’s comfortable or popular. And his will for creation doesn’t shift. Now, having said that, let me be clear. How we interpret that will, well I think that’s got to change, because our world is constantly changing and to suggest that it isn’t and we can apply the same interpretations forever regardless of what’s happening around us, I think that would deny one of the fundamental characteristics of creation. You see, I believe the Greek philosopher Heraclitus was right on the mark when he said, “The only constant is change.” But that’s us and our world; it’s not the one we call king. And for that reason, we can live confident that God will never change his mind about his love for us and that Jesus Christ will always be our savior and that God’s ultimate will for creation will always be, as Paul wrote to the Romans, mercy and compassion. Those things will never change, because our king is immutable. That’s who he is.

Just like he’s also omnipotent, all-powerful in his authority and purpose. Of course, we pray that every Sunday when we say “...thy will be done on earth as it is on heaven,” but sometimes I’m not sure we understand the implications of what we’re saying. You see, whether we believe it or not, we don’t have the power to frustrate the will of God. As a matter of fact, no emperor or king or president has the power to do it. Ultimate authority belongs to God. And just because we may not understand it, well, our lack of understanding doesn’t change the fact that God is in control. Therefore, no matter how “out-of-control” things seem to be, nothing, and I mean, nothing can slip through God’s fingers. You see, that’s who Jesus is as king. And that’s one.

But you know, in these verses, John also wrote about something else. He wrote about what Jesus did and does as king, and that’s the second way he defines Christ’s kingship. He wrote, “...to the one who loves us and who washes us from our sins by his blood, and he made us a kingdom, a temple to God and his father.” And I’ll tell you, if who Jesus is as king didn’t warm you on the inside, I think what he did and continues to do certainly will. I mean, just think about what these words mean. Jesus loves us. The eternal, the immutable, the omnipotent king loves us. Wow, that’s good stuff. And unless the Apostle Paul didn’t know what he was talking about, “...nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Of course, I recognize that a lot of Christians put a “but” at the end of that sentence. You know, “...nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord,” but if you don’t accept it..., but if you don’t give you life to Jesus..., but if you don’t make him Lord... (Personally, I think that’s the apodeme of arrogance, to assume that I can make Jesus Lord. Last time I looked, he’s Lord whether I accept that or not.) but... I mean, that’s what we often do, you know, so we can really feel like we’re in control. But you know, we’re not. And for that reason, maybe it’s time to get the “but” out of our faith, because both John and Paul wrote that Jesus loves us, period.

And according to John, he cleanses us, which, when you think about it, means so much more than just forgiving us. Have you ever heard a person say, “I can forgive, but I can’t forget”? Well, when you’re cleansed, everything, including the past is washed clean; it’s no longer relevant to God, and because of that, it shouldn’t be relevant to us either.

And then, according to John, he takes those folks whom he loves and he’s cleansed, and he brings them together into something new. He brings us into a new kingdom that will always be different from the world out there. You see, out there you have to be tough and you’re supposed to be fair. That’s what people expect, and if you’re not, well, they’ll let you know. But you know, that’s not the case in here. You see, in here, we’re not suppose to be tough and we’re not suppose to be fair. Instead, we’re called to turn the other cheek and to walk the second mile. And we’re called to be partial: to be partial to the God whom we love with everything we’ve got and to be partial to the neighbor whom God wants us to love with the same effort and attention with which we love ourselves. He loves us. He cleanses us. He unites us. That’s what Christ the king did and does. And that’s two.

And third, as this kind of king, well, it’s pretty clear how we’re called to respond. As John wrote, “...to him glory and might into the ages upon ages, amen.” Now, when we’re dealing with earthly authority, that’s often not what we feel. I mean, we may feel fear, because we’re afraid of what might happen to us especially when we’ve been threatened by those in power. Or we may feel disappointed when we compare what we have with what we want. Or we may even feel greed, knowing that, if you’ve got the smarts, man, you can manipulate the system for you own advantage. Of course, that may be what we feel as we deal with earthly authority. But with Christ the king, nothing short of praise seems right. And I’m talking about praise for the glory that he shows and for the might that he displays. And when you get right down to it, what more can you say than that. This is how we respond to Christ the king, and that’s three.

Last night, Notre Dame remained on track to be the king of college football. Of course, we won’t know that if they succeed early next year. And I have no doubt that Mike Golic will continue to focus on his team, on who they are and what they’ve done, and to do it was all kinds of enthusiasm. And as we consider what it means to recognize Jesus Christ as king, let’s do it based on who he is and on what he did and is doing and let’s do it, praising his glory and might. And when you think about, even if Notre Dame goes all the way, that’s better than the Fighting Irish could ever possibly deserve.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A New Devotion on the Cove Prayer Line - In Step


Psalm 13:1-6 

How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all day long? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O LORD my God! Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
and my enemy will say, “I have prevailed”; my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.
But I trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.


A Devotion by Shirley Smith (Hertfordshire, England)

Every morning I practice a gentle exercise routine that helps my aging joints to keep working. I have found music to fit in with my movements, which makes the practice even more enjoyable. This morning, I realized that I was out of step with the music. For a few moments I had lost my concentration, and the routine had gone all wrong. I had to start over.

This reminded me of how I feel when other things go wrong and I feel out of step with what is happening. My son’s cancer, my daughter’s marriage break-up, and my declining health have all happened quite suddenly and shaken my world. I did not always choose the best ways of coping in these situations. One way I responded — withdrawing from my normal activities and keeping my pain locked up inside me — did not help me regain my balance. Thankfully, I now know that having a personal relationship with God, praying about my sorrows and pain, and putting my trust in God will carry me through the bad times. God sets me back on track. And when I keep in step with God, I can keep my balance even when events shake me.

From The Upper Room.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - The Best Words of All


Psalm 19:7-14 

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the LORD are sure, making wise the simple;

the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eyes;

the fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb.

Moreover by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

But who can detect their errors? Clear me from hidden faults.

Keep back your servant also from the insolent; do not let them have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.


Devotion by Elaine Brown (Perthshire, Scotland)

When I was growing up, the highlight of our week was Friday when Mother bought six sweet buns from the bakery, one for each member of the family. It was the best of weekend treats! As I stepped into the shop with her, I always read the Bible quotation that was framed outside the door — Romans 5:8: “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (NIV). Even though I was quite young, the words impressed me and I remembered them long after we moved away. Some years later, I met a friend who was a “memory verse” enthusiast. As I rode on the back of her motor scooter, she would call out the first half of a verse and wait for me to complete it. Now I’ve memorized quite a number of verses, and I like to recall them as I fall asleep or when I wake in the morning. Sometimes they come to mind when I’m waiting in line or enjoying a walk. They are also a great help when I need the right words to complete a letter or card. More than once I’ve found myself saying, “Thank you, Lord, that I can use your words for the end of this note. They’re so much better than mine!” And there are many more verses yet to discover and memorize. I’ll never come to the end of them all, nor can anyone ever take them away from me. The psalmist put it well: The words of God are “sweeter than the purest honey” (Ps. 19:10, TEV).

From The Upper Room.

What’s Happening at Cove Presbyterian Church?

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

GUEST SPEAKER . . .
Karen Edwards will be the  Presbyterian Women’s guest speaker this morning.  Karen traveled to Malawi Africa and will provide us an update on her mission tour.

MISSION UPDATE. . .
Cove Presbyterian Women’s Association Committees are busy all year with missions - never ending projects. November is our annual THANK OFFERING, a mission we accept thru the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Women’s Association. Envelopes are being provided to members today, Sunday November 25  in our weekly church bulletin. Donations will be accepted thru December 9 . Our treasurer has to send in the funds by December 10, 2012. The Thank Offering assists 26 Ministries for health, education and building projects (13 national and 13 international).  All projects meet criteria provided by the Creative Ministries Committee of the Presbyterian Women’s Association. We thank our members for all the support you  provide enabling us to continue our  missionary giving.

BOOKMARKS . . .
Cove’s reading Group will meet on Monday, November 26 at 6:30 p.m. in  the church parlor.

CHANCEL CHOIR WILL PRACTICE . . .
on Wednesday, November 28 at 6:45 p.m. in the sanctuary.  We are working on our weekly anthems and music for the upcoming Holiday Season.  We are  also preparing to present a Cantata at the Christmas Eve Service.  New member are always welcome!

THE BROWN BAG BIBLE STUDY . . .
will meet Thursday, November 29 at 12:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. We’ll look at Hebrews 3:1–4:13.

CHRISTMAS DECORATING . . .
will begin today,  Sunday, November 25 after the morning worship. The deacons invite everyone to stay and help decorate the church for the upcoming Christmas Season.

COMMUNION . . .
will be observed on the First Sunday of Advent, December 2, 2012 during the morning worship service.

CONGREGATIONAL MEETING . . .
for the election of members to  the governing boards of the church will be held on Sunday, December 2, 2012 immediately following worship in the sanctuary.

DEACONS MEETING . . .
to finalize plans for the Christmas Holiday will be held on Monday, December 3 at 7:00 p.m. in the board room.  All deacons are encouraged to attend.

CHRISTMAS DINNER . . .
Myrtle McHendry will host their Annual Covered Dish Dinner on Tuesday, December 4 at 5:00 p.m.  Fun with Music, the program for the evening will be presented by Cove’s Chancel Choir under the direction of Janice Torrance.

TRUSTEES MEETING . . .
Monday, December 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room.

BOARD OF SESSION . . .
will meet on Tuesday, December 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room.

PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN’S  MEETING . . .
will be held on Wednesday, December 12 at 12:00 p.m. in the fellowship hall. This will be a combined meeting due to the Christmas Holiday. All ladies are invited to join us for a study of God’s word and fellowship. You are asked to bring a bagged lunch, beverages will be provided.

COVE’S ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PLAY AND LUNCHEON . . .
will be held on Sunday, December 16 immediately following morning worship. Meat, rolls and beverages will be provided. You are asked to bring a covered dish to share and also your place settings. After dinner the children will perform a holiday skit. The afternoon will conclude with a “special visitor” for the children.

THE LADIES WOULD LIKE TO THANK EVERYONE . . .
who participated in their CHRISTMAS IN NOVEMBER Sale in anyway. It is because of you- the people who donated items for the sale, the bakers, the cooks, the workers and the buyers - that their event was such a huge success.

HEIRLOOM ORNAMENTS . . .
are available for Cove’s Christmas tree in the narthex. The ornaments are cross-stitched with your last name. For more information or to order your ornament contact the church office. The cost of the framed ornament is
$ 5.00.  Orders will be taken through Sunday, December 9th.

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 work.

Cove’s Bulletin for Sunday, November 25, 2012


Below is a copy of Sunday’s bulletin. This is a special service that will focus on Karen Edward’s trip to Malawi.









Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sunday's Minute for Mission - Christ the King/Reign of Christ

Staggered by the news of the gang-related murder of Brandon Jackson, family members found themselves at an impasse. Gang retaliations had begun and in the midst of the tension, not one church big enough to host the funeral was willing to open its doors. The family turned to the Presbyterian church, the home of Japanese Americans who for decades have lived in the area with the African American community. As neighbors they sat down together, not knowing that they were being led.

The congregation was in the midst of a year-long exploration of the Lord’s Supper and its work of reconciliation. Small groups including the session used a liturgy that asked participants, after sharing the elements, to make room in their hearts for each other’s weaknesses and strengths. This practice gave participants a desire to share the reconciliation they experienced with members of their own families and their community. So when the funeral request came before the elders, they were prepared. After being assured of police protection, the elders unanimously approved the request.

Over 400 were in attendance. During the eulogy, Moses’ words rang out, “I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life.” Framed as a choice to “step out of the darkness and into the light of Christ,” over 185 stood up and provided contact information. In the days ahead, over 50 of the students made the church a Facebook friend. At a dinner hosted by the church, Brandon’s twin brother described what seeking the light was like for him, and many followed his lead. Indeed, the Lord is out ahead of the family and the church, fulfilling the promises of Revelation 1:5-6 and 5:9-10, “With your blood you purchased for God saints of every tribe . . . and made them to be a kingdom and priest to serve our God.” What a fruitful leading this has been and continues to be!

– Rev. Mark F. Buchanan, former pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Altadena, California

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


Genesis 1:27-31 

So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” God said, “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. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.


A Devotion by Tim Wymbs (Pennsylvania, USA)

I grew up without a healthy self-image. As a result, I competed in everything, trying to prove myself worthy while believing that most people had many more talents and gifts than I. When a major crisis came into my life, I didn’t think I could endure those thoughts anymore. At that point, I thought of suicide. Then, through the power of the Holy Spirit, I found healing in my heart. I felt new. After being drawn to God’s holy word, the Bible, I read the above scripture many times without realizing its deeper meaning. But as I studied the verse with others and surrendered to what God wanted to me to hear, I became whole, realizing that my worth comes not from what I do but from how I was created. Nothing I can say, do, or accomplish compares to knowing that I am created in God’s image. Life with its ups and downs will try to strip this assurance from us. But every time we read the above verse, we can remember how valuable we are and how much God loves us.

From The Upper Room.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday's Sermon - A Big Deal


Hebrews 10:11-14, 19-25

11And on the one hand every priest stands daily worshiping and often offering the same sacrifices which are not able to take away sins, 12but on the other hand, this one, for sins, after he offered a sacrifice forever, sat at the right hand of God, 13and since then, as he waits, his enemy might be placed as his footstool. 14For one offering has completed forever for those who have been made holy.

19Now, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy place through the blood of Jesus, 20which he instituted for us, a new and living way through the curtain, that is through his flesh, 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near with a true heart in assurance of faith because the hearts have been sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and because the bodies have been washed pure. 23Let us hold fast the profession of unwavering hope, for faithful is the one who was promised. 24And let us take notice of one another to spur love and good works, 25not abandoning gathering with one another, as is the habit of some, but encouraging [one another], all the more that you see the day draw near.



A Big Deal

As I think almost all of y’all know, I really enjoy football. And although I most closely follow one particular AFC South team that will remain nameless, one with a rookie quarterback and a six and three record (I just hope they have a lot of Luck this afternoon), even though that’s the way it is, I still keep track of what’s happening across the NFL. And I don’t know if you realize it, but last week, four starting quarterbacks were knocked out of their games and because of that at least three won’t be playing today. And of course that includes Ben Roethlisberger, who suffered a shoulder separation. Now during this last week, I’ve been listening to whether or not the loss of Big Ben will have an impact on the game tonight and the rest of the season. And the so-called experts are kind of split. Although they all say that Ben will be missed, some say the Steelers will continue to win even if he’s not under center, while others say that for Pittsburgh, losing Roethlisberger is a big deal. Of course, there’s no way of knowing who’s right; only time will tell.

But you know, this morning, I hope y’all leave here knowing about something else that I think really is definitely a big deal for all of us, and now I’m talking about what it means to have Jesus Christ as not only the perfect high priest but also the perfect sacrifice. And even though that’s really what the writer of this letter has been getting at in each of the passages we’ve looked at during the last month, he kind of brings it all together in the verses we’re focusing on this morning. And this reality, well I’m saying it can affect us. As a matter of face, it led him to challenge us in three way. You see, since Jesus is both the perfect priest and perfect sacrifice, we can recognize that we’ve been changed, we can live with hope, and we can work together with people who share our faith. And that’s why, well, I’ve got to tell you, this stuff really is a big deal, for us and for everyone else.

And like I said, that’s what he’s really writing about in what we just read. I mean, look at the passage there in your bulletin. And notice, that’s exactly what he wrote at the beginning. You see, before moving into his main point, he kind of summarizes what he’s said earlier on, and he does it by contrasting earthly priests with Jesus Christ. For example, he wrote that while the priests who performed the sacrifices in the Temple had to do them over and over again, Jesus offered “a sacrifice forever.” Of course, we kind of understand what’s he’s getting at here. He’s already written that the old kind of sacrifices really weren’t as effective as they were designed to be because neither the priest nor the sacrifice were perfect, but with the coming of God himself as Jesus, all that changed. You see, with the coming of Christ, God incarnate, the perfect priest, Jesus Christ made the perfect sacrifice, namely himself. In other words, the one who has authority over all things and who will forever rule creation, he sacrificed himself. Therefore, according to this writer, “...one offering has completed forever for those who have been made holy.” Now, this is what he wrote here, and that’s really just kind of putting in a few lines what he’s already written.

And in a real way, so is the stuff he said about how all this should affect us. He wrote, “Now, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy place through the blood of Jesus, which he instituted for us, a new and living way through the curtain, that is through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God...” In other words, because of everything he’s done, is doing and will continue to do, we have two things we didn’t have before. One, we have confidence to approach God. In other words, we know that regardless of what we’ve done in the past, the blood of Christ washes away our sins. And even if the City of Weirton or the State of West Virginia might not be so generous with traffic tickets nor our employer or teacher or spouse so forgiving with the out and out stupid things we do and say on occasion, that’s not the case with God. We can have confidence. That’s one.

And two, thanks to Jesus and his ascension, we have a continuing presence within God. Now notice I didn’t say “with” or “before” God; I said “within,” because, since “the father and son are one,” our priest and sacrifice is no less than God himself. And I’ll tell you, for that reason, we no longer need to be afraid or even intimidated when we lay our wants and our hopes and our fears before God, because we know that this stuff is already within his mind and heart. You see, with Christ doing what he did and being who he is, we have a source of confidence and continuing presence.

And I’ll tell you, because of that, this writer challenges us to do three things that weren’t even possible before. Again, look at the bulletin and notice that, first, he challenges us to recognize that we’ve been changed. He wrote, “...let us draw near with a true heart in assurance of faith because the hearts have been sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and because the bodies have been washed pure.” You see, right here, we’re really talking about something that goes beyond simple forgiveness. As he wrote a little earlier in the letter, just like “...Moses in accordance with the law, ...took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the scroll itself and all the people, saying, ‘This is the blood of the covenant that God has ordained for you,’” our hearts have been sprinkled with the blood of Christ, and we’ve been cleansed, and our bodies have been washed pure. And I’ll tell you, as I said, this is so much more than just forgiveness; our past has also been cleansed. Therefore, we have absolutely no reason to let who we were and what we’ve done shape the way we live in the present. As a matter of fact, if the mistakes we’ve made continue to fill us with shame, we really don’t believe that we’ve been cleansed. It’s time to let go of who we were so that we can become everything God created us to be, something that this writer challenges us to do because Christ is the priest and sacrifice. That’s one, but that’s not all.

Second, he challenges us to live with hope. He wrote, “Let us hold fast the profession of unwavering hope, for faithful is the one who was promised.” You know, we’re less than two weeks past the election, and I’ll tell you, I’m really sad by the number of people who at least sound as though they have no hope. Of course, I recognize that, if Governor Romney had won, a whole different group would have this same feeling. And even though I understand what they’re experiencing and to tell you the truth, after the campaign we endured, I think it would be nearly impossible for folks actually to feel good at having elected, in their minds, the lesser of two evils, I just wonder about the one in whom they’re putting their hope. I’ll be straight with y’all, if your hope is grounded on anybody, and I mean, anybody other than Jesus Christ, man, you’re setting yourself up for some major league disappointment. I mean, if you’re putting your faith a some guy’s who’s name is on a ballot rather than in the creator of the universe, you’re building your house on sand and don’t be shocked when it comes crashing down. Because Jesus is the priest and sacrifice, we can live with hope. That’s two.

And finally, because of Christ, we’ve been challenged to do something that’s truly remarkable in our fragmented world, to work together with people who share our faith. As he wrote, “And let us take notice of one another to spur love and good works, not abandoning gathering with one another, as is the habit of some, but encouraging [one another], all the more that you see the day draw near.” You see, right now God has put us in a new kind of community, one in which we all share one central value, the redemption done by Jesus Christ. I mean, although we may differ in many other ways, we have unity not by things as shifting and as unstable as politics or social position or emotional experiences. Instead we’re united into the Body of Christ by God. And as a unified community, we can do some things that we don’t see happening too often now-a-days. For example, we can encourage our brothers and sisters to reach out to others, to love God and neighbor and to accomplish good works, but not because they’re profitable or popular but rather because they’re right. And we’ll be able to gather together to share our faith and our experiences. Of course, how we gather, well, that may change with time. But still, whether it’s on facebook or in a church building or around a kitchen table, whether it’s sitting in pews or in front of a computer or in a restaurant booth, we’re still gathering, and we’re doing it for the exact same reason. And right now, I just want you to think about the possibilities. Imagine if we could put aside those secondary issues, and let’s face it, when it comes to faith in Jesus Christ, everything else is secondary, if we could put that nonsense aside and encourage one another to become better people, my goodness, I can’t see how our congregation and our community, our country and our world wouldn’t be a better place. To work together, that’s a challenge that’s possible because of our priest and sacrifice.

Now, by tomorrow morning, we’ll know how well the Steelers did without Big Ben. Without a doubt, they’re a good team and Leftwich is an experienced back-up. This injury may not be as important as some folks are saying. But you know, there is something that’s absolutely crucial for everybody here this morning, and it’s the fact that Jesus Christ is both the sacrifice and the sacrificer, the one who gives us confidence as we approach God and who is our continuing presence within God. And you know, because of who he is and what he did, we can recognize that we’ve been changed and we can live with hope and we can work together with people who share our faith. And regardless of who starts as our quarterback, that’s a big deal.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - A Savory Dish


Psalm 104:14-15, 27-30 

You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth,
and wine to gladden the human heart, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the human heart.
These all look to you to give them their food in due season;
when you give to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground.


A Devotion by Leon McBride (Georgia, USA)

A few months ago I planted a garden, eagerly anticipating the time when I would sit at the table and enjoy the taste of fresh, homegrown vegetables. The hard work of preparing the soil, sowing the seeds, watering, and weeding just heightened the anticipation. This reminds me of the work that God does to prepare us for harvest. God enriches the soil of our hearts by sending people into our lives to prepare the way for us to come to know Jesus Christ and commit to following him. Of course, in my garden I might pull up a certain plant because it was not doing as well as the others. At other times I destroy some plants because I am too careless while weeding. I am so glad that the Lord is not like me! In great love, God tends our souls and gives us what we need. Today I reaped some of the produce of my garden. Thinking of the savory dish I will soon enjoy from my garden’s produce makes me thankful that I did not give up when the days were hot and the weeds seemed out of control. The work I put into my garden makes me appreciate all that God does for us. God will never give up on tending our souls.

From The Upper Room.

Friday, November 16, 2012

What’s Happening at Cove Presbyterian Church?


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.

MISSION UPDATE. . .
Cove Presbyterian Women’s Association Committees are busy all year with missions - never ending projects. November is our annual THANK OFFERING, a mission we accept thru the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Women’s Association. Envelopes will be provided to members today, November 18 and Sunday November 25th       in our weekly church bulletin. Donations will be accepted thru December 9th . Our treasurer has to send in the funds by December 10, 2012. The Thank Offering assists 26 Ministries for health, education and building projects (13 national and 13 international).  All projects meet criteria provided by the Creative Ministries Committee of the Presbyterian Women’s Association. We thank our members for all the support you  provide enabling us to continue our  missionary giving.

CHRISTMAS IN NOVEMBER . . .
was sponsored by the Myrtle McHendry Class this past Friday and Saturday, the ladies invite you to stop in fellowship hall this morning and see if there is anything that catches your eye. Items are available for a donation.  Also check and see if there are soups, sandwiches or desserts available.

CHANCEL CHOIR NOT WILL PRACTICE . . .
on Wednesday, November 21.  Practice will resume on Wednesday, November 28 at 6:45 p.m. in the sanctuary.  We are working on our weekly anthems and music for the upcoming Holiday Season.  We are  also preparing to present a Cantata at the Christmas Eve Service.  New member are always welcome!

CHURCH AND OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED . . .
in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday and Friday, November 22 and 23.   Happy Thanksgiving!

MISSION TRIP . . .
plant to attend services next  Sunday, November 25. Karen Edwards will be the  Presbyterian Women’s guest speaker. Karen traveled to Malawi Africa and will provide us an update on her mission tour.

CHRISTMAS DECORATING . . .
will begin on Sunday, November 25 after the morning worship. The deacons invite anyone who wishes to stay and help decorate the church for the upcoming Christmas Season.

COMMUNION . . .
will be observed on the First Sunday of Advent, December 2, 2012 during the morning worship service.

CONGREGATIONAL MEETING . . .
for the election of members to  the governing boards of the church will be held on Sunday, December 2, 2012 immediately following worship in the Sanctuary.

DEACONS MEETING . . .
to finalize plans for the Christmas Holiday will be held on Monday, December 3rd at 7:00 p.m. in the board room.  All deacons are encouraged to attend.

CHRISTMAS DINNER . . .
Myrtle McHendry will host their Annual Covered Dish Dinner on Tuesday, December 4th at 5:00 p.m.  Fun with Music, the program for the evening will be presented by Cove’s Chancel Choir under the direction of Janice Torrance.

COVE’S ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PLAY AND LUNCHEON . . .
will be held on Sunday, December 16th immediately following morning worship. Meat, rolls and beverages will be provided. You are asked to bring a covered dish to share and also your place settings. After dinner the children will perform a holiday skit. The afternoon will conclude with a “special visitor” for the children.

HEIRLOOM ORNAMENTS . . .
are available for our Christmas tree in the narthex. The ornaments are cross-stitched with your last name. For more information or to order your ornament contact the church office. The cost of the framed ornament is $ 5.00.  Orders will be taken through Sunday, December 9th.

DEACONS SAY A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO. . .
• Broadview Elementary for their recent food drive for Cove’s Food Pantry. The classes collected approximately 2700 items to be used for our food  baskets.
• The various groups that participated in our Paper Challenge.  The paper products will be distributed with our Christmas Baskets. FYI. . . The Snowman display created by The Myrtle McHendry Class won first place and the pumpkin pie. The Tree and Gifts display created by Cove Kids won second place and  the children were treated to cookies.

DINNER A HUGE SUCCESS . . .
the Spaghetti Dinner sponsored by the deacons for the benefit of Project Christmas Smile was a wonderful success. Thank you to everyone who participated in anyway- those that contributed items for the dinner, the workers but especially the patrons. It is because of all of you that we can continue to assist those less fortunate in our area.

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 work.

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


On Sunday, November 18, Cove Presbyterian Church will lift the following needs to God.

Adults
Alden & Delores Edwards
Alicia Parr
Andrea Vincent
Andy DiRemigio
Anthony LaPosta
Beulah Mallory
Bill Stephens
Bobby Leonard
Cara Nicoloan
Carol Levesque
Charles Saffle
Cherryl Calijan
Christy Cybulski
Connie Francis
Dale Brant
Dar
Darrell Glover
Delores Huey
Diane Szymanek
Dick Bonyak
Dinny Walford
Dolly
Domenick Notarantanio
Doug Friends
Doug Wesie
Emery Edwards
James Mitts
Jamie Edwards
Jan Moncrief
Jeff Grant
Jeanne Stark
Jesse Lescallette
Jim Hanna
Joan Gallagher
Joanne Westbrook
John Brothers
Judy Mason
Kelly Stephens
Krim Family
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 Bell
Rose Sanders
Shirley Bails
Susan Ponville
Todd Majoris
Turner Family
Virginia & Paul Welch
Virginia Marston

Children
Aksel Ace
Audri King
Brandon Wares
Brody McUmor
Cameron Lancaster
Daniel Marchione
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
Valerie Kellenbarger
Zoe Purcell

Military
Chris Cameron
Jason Kerr
Jonathan Criss
Michael Criss
Stephen Mader

In the Hospital
Ronnie Taflan – Trinity East - Acuity
George Ferrrari – Weirton Medical Center
Bill Stephens – Weirton Medical Center

Church Families
Danielle Milliken, Ayden Munoz
Eric & Tracy Minor, Arden & Ben
Millar & Valerie Minor

Local Church
Church of Christ, Colliers Way

Special Friend
Harry Hutch – Villa Vista, Rm 507 B, 1800 Sinclair Ave., Steubenville, OH  43953

Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery Churches
First Presbyterian Church, New Martinsville, West Virginia – Rev. David Roberts
First Presbyterian Church, New Matamoras, 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
Kay Manley – Weirton Geriatric Center, 2530 Pennsylvania Ave., Weirton, WV  26062
Jim Hanna – Weirton Geriatric Center, 2530 Pennsylvania Ave., Weirton, WV  26062
Margaret Heaton – Heritage Place, 608 N 10th St., Weirton, WV  26062-2423
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

Prayers for Thanksgiving


Since we'll celebrate Thanksgiving in a few days, I thought you'd enjoy following article. It's entitled “10 Great Thanksgiving Prayers.”
 
Thanksgiving is a word that appears before the word Thanksgiving Day and after thanksgiver in the Mirriam-Webster Dictionary online. One of the definitions of the word is “a prayer expressing gratitude”. The first use of the word dates all the way back to 1533. The Old English word from which it is derived is “pancian” (to give thanks). It is translated in other languages as:
zahvaljivanje (Croatian), díkůvzdání (Czech), taksigelse (Danish), dankzegging (Dutch), pagpapasalamat (Filipino), action de grâces (French), Danksagung (German), hálaadás (Hungarian), gratiarum actione (Latin), dziękczynienie (Polish), mulțumire (Romanian), благодарение (Russian), zahvalni dan (Slovenian), acción de gracias (Spanish), şükretme (Turkish), diolchgarwch (Welsh)
No matter in what language you speak, thanksgiving prayers are often written in the form of poems or songs. These ten thanksgiving prayers can be used around the dinner table this November or any time of the year. One of the beautiful things about the Thanksgiving holiday is that it gives us a specific time to reflect on the wonderful blessings we all enjoy. While we may not have as many things as other people have, we can all be thankful for friends and family who love us and the life God has given us.
 
Moravian BlessingCome, Lord Jesus, our guest to be
And bless these gifts
Bestowed by Thee.
And bless our loved ones everywhere,
And keep them in Your loving care.
 
We Gather Together HymnWe gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known.
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.
 
Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, were at our side, all glory be Thine!
 
We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
And pray that Thou still our Defender will be.
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!
-Adrianus Valerius
-Theodore Baker (translator)
Thanksgiving
For each new morning with its light, For rest and shelter of the night, For health and food, For love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
We Give ThanksOur Father in Heaven,
We give thanks for the pleasure
Of gathering together for this occasion.
We give thanks for this food
Prepared by loving hands.
We give thanks for life,
The freedom to enjoy it all
And all other blessings.
As we partake of this food,
We pray for health and strength
To carry on and try to live as You would have us.
This we ask in the name of Christ,
Our Heavenly Father.
- Harry Jewell
Help Me Thanksgiving Day PrayerO God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
And remembering,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.
Amen.
-Samuel F. Pugh
Thanksgiving Dinner Prayer Heavenly Father, on Thanksgiving Day
We bow our hearts to You and pray.
We give You thanks for all You’ve done
Especially for the gift of Jesus, Your Son.
For beauty in nature, Your glory we see
For joy and health, friends and family,
For daily provision, Your mercy and care
These are the blessings You graciously share.
So today we offer this response of praise
With a promise to follow You all of our days.
-Mary Fairchild
A Thanksgiving Day Prayer Lord, so often times, as any other day
When we sit down to our meal and pray
 
We hurry along and make fast the blessing
Thanks, amen. Now please pass the dressing
 
We’re slaves to the olfactory overload
We must rush our prayer before the food gets cold
 
But Lord, I’d like to take a few minute more
To really give thanks to what I’m thankful for
 
For my family, my health, a nice soft bed
My friends, my freedom, a roof over my head
 
I’m thankful right now to be surrounded by those
Whose lives touch me more than they’ll ever possibly know
 
Thankful Lord, that You’ve blessed me beyond measure
Thankful that in my heart lives life’s greatest treasure
 
That You, dear Jesus, reside in that place
And I’m ever so grateful for Your unending grace
 
So please, heavenly Father, bless this food You’ve provided
And bless each and every person invited
 
Amen!
-Scott Wesemann
Abundant BlessingWe thank you for the turkey,
The gravy and the dressing.
Dear Lord, this table overflows
With Thy abundant blessing.
Let us always be aware
That all gifts come from You,
And may we serve Your heavenly will
In everything we do. Amen.
-Joanna Fuchs
Psalm 100Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
 
Serve the LORD with gladness:
come before his presence with singing.
 
Know ye that the LORD he is God:
it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
 
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
and into his courts with praise:
be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
 
For the LORD is good;
his mercy is everlasting;
and his truth endureth to all generations.
 
Humorous Thanksgiving PrayerWhen turkey’s on the table laid,
And good things I may scan,
I’m thankful that I wasn’t made
A vegetarian.
-Edgar A. Guest