Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - Marveling


Psalm 104:24-33 

O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
Yonder is the sea, great and wide, creeping things innumerable are there, living things both small and great.
There go the ships, and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.
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.
May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works –
who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke.
I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.




A Devotion by Judith O. Jolly (North Carolina, USA)

A retreat was held in a setting that offered mountains, forests, and a nearby lake — perfect places to explore and enjoy God’s marvelous creation. Before we ate our first midday meal, our retreat leader suggested that we spend our early-afternoon break wandering and relaxing in the area surrounding our cabins. “Go marveling,” she said. “Find something in nature to bring back with you.” That evening, we brought the items we had found during the afternoon: feathers, leaves, oddly-shaped limbs, seedpods, wildflowers, and rocks. We told the stories of our discoveries and celebrated God’s gifts. The gift of marveling at the works of our Creator energized us and brought us together. From that experience, I learned that I can go marveling most anywhere. When I see a brilliant red, orange, and gold sunset, I marvel. When I hear a bird singing, I marvel. When the air smells clean and the world grows still with the first snowfall of the season, I marvel. When fluffy clouds billow in the afternoon sky, I marvel. Sometimes I let the busyness of the day interfere with enjoying nature’s beauty, but I try to save part of every day to pay attention to God’s “wonderful works.”

Monday, April 29, 2013

Sunday's Sermon - While We Wait


Revelation 21:1-6

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For the first heaven and the first earth disappeared and the sea is no more. And the holy city, new Jerusalem, I saw coming down from heaven from God and it had been prepared as a bride had been adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice from out of heaven and it said, “Behold, God’s tent is with people, and he will encamp with them, and they themselves will be his people, and God himself will be with them and will be their God. And he will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and death will be no more nor will mourning nor crying nor pain be anymore, because the first things disappeared.”

And the one who sits upon the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new,” and he said, “Write, because these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It has happened. I myself am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty, I will give from the spring of the living water freely.”


While We Wait

I hate to wait. It drives me nuts, you know, just sitting around, doing nothing, killing time. And I’ll tell you, that’s the reason I’m almost never early for a meeting. As a matter of fact, although I’m not proud to admit it, I’m generally not even on time, and that’s why the people with whom I work on committees have started calling me “the late Ed Rudiger.” But you know, I don’t do it to be rude, although I guess it’s often how it’s taken; I just hate wasting time doing nothing, and so I try to squeeze in one more thing before I head off. Waiting drives me crazy.

And that’s probably why I can identify with Geno Smith. Now, if you don’t know what I’m talking about, let me explain. On Thursday evening, the NFL started their yearly draft, when professional teams choose college players. And even though I didn’t see it, I heard the next day that poor Geno Smith ended up waiting through the whole first round without ever hearing his name called. And based on what the experts had been saying, that was kind of a surprise. I mean, most thought he’d be the first quarterback selected, and that’s why the NFL invited him with a bunch of other prospects to come up to New York so that he’d be ready to walk on stage when he was selected. And even though it worked out pretty well for guys like Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel, it became a nightmare for Geno Smith. As more and more names were called and the room became more and more empty, there sat Geno waiting...and waiting...and waiting. And because the draft is now a big television event, and let’s face it, we’ve kind of fallen in love with reality TV, throughout the evening, the cameras kept coming back to him as he waited and waited and waited. And finally, after the Ravens took Matt Elam with the last pick of the first round and everybody started to get their stuff together to go home, Geno had to decide whether or not he was going to come back for the second and third rounds Friday evening. Now I’ve got a gut feeling that given what happened on Thursday, Geno Smith isn’t a fan of waiting, and so, along with his athletic ability, his size and his age, that’s just another way Geno is like me, or not.

But be-that-as-it-may, he and I don’t like to wait, but let’s get real, I think we’re not unique in that. I mean, even if we’ve learned to tolerate it, I think only a person with too much free time could say that he really likes waiting. And I think a lot of that has to do with not really knowing what to do with that waiting time. My goodness, even if we carry a book or a smart phone, often that usually doesn’t lead to effective use. It’s more like trending water. And you know, it’s interesting, it really doesn’t matter whether we’re waiting for something good or bad. We still don’t really know what to do. And so, we end up waiting and feeling anxious, or waiting and feeling worried, or waiting and just, plain feeling bored.

And although that may continue to be a fact of life in most of the situations we face, it doesn’t have to happen in that one thing for which, right now, we’re all waiting. You see, the time’s coming when we’re going to run smack into what’s in all of our futures, and it really doesn’t matter whether it comes by Christ’s return or our departure. Because our lives are limited, in a real sense, right now, we’re all waiting for the end, our end. And even though we can certainly feel anxious or worried or bored as we wait, I think there’s a better way. You see, when it comes to our ultimate destiny, I think we can be more effective as we wait.

Of course, as this passage reminds us, our ultimate destiny, in terms of quality, well, it’s really going to be off the charts, in other words, it’ll be well worth the wait. I mean, just think about how John of Patmos described it. He wrote about how the old was going disappear while the new would be coming in. Remember, he said, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For the first heaven and the first earth disappeared and the sea is no more. And the holy city, new Jerusalem, I saw coming down from heaven from God and it had been prepared as a bride had been adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice from out of heaven and it said, ‘Behold, God’s tent is with people, and he will encamp with them, and they themselves will be his people, and God himself will be with them and will be their God. And he will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and death will be no more nor will mourning nor crying nor pain be anymore, because the first things disappeared.’ And the one who sits upon the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new,’ and he said, ‘Write, because these words are trustworthy and true.’ And he said to me, ‘It has happened. I myself am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty, I will give from the spring of the living water freely.’”

Now this is pretty good stuff, isn’t it? I mean, in this vision, he saw everything change, and I’m talking about everything; both on earth and in heaven, it all will become new and clean and fresh. All the old stuff will disappear, and in it’s place, a new reality, the holy city, new Jerusalem, will come down out of heaven from God. And in this new reality, the old separation will be gone, that old division between heaven and earth will vanish. The veil between the sacred and the profane that was pierced by Jesus Christ will be erased forever. And in it’s place, we’ll have a new and complete relationship with God. Now that’s what he saw. That’s what he heard. While in the past, God’s tent, his shelter, his absolute protection covered heaven, in the end, it’ll extend to the edges of the recreated universe. And his indwelling, well that will touch every creature. I mean, no longer will there be those on the inside and those on the outside. No longer will we be bound to determine good from bad,  right from wrong. I’m telling you, no longer will we be forced to live east of Eden. All that will be gone, because the outside won’t exist. And we’ll enjoy complete freedom because the only possible choice will be the good and the right. In other words, the angel with the fiery sword will be removed, and Eden will be universal, and all the consequences of the fall will be washed away by grace, which means they’ll be no tears and no death and no mourning and no crying and no pain. That’ll all be yesterday’s news, because the first things will have disappeared. The alpha and the omega will come together and we’ll all share the living water freely. Now, that’s what John heard and saw. And that’s our future, brothers and sisters, that’s the reality for which we wait.

And in the meantime, I’m talking about the time between the already and the not yet, well, if we want to use it effectively, I think we can make the intentional decision to do two things, and let me tell you, they’re not radical nor are they unexpected, because y’all have heard them before. You see, if we want to make good use of the time we have, first, we can intentionally focus on God, on both his freedom and his love. I mean, imagine what our lives would be like if we decided that we’re not going to be distracted by all the mess that’s going on around us, but instead we’re going to stay focused on God. I mean, we’re going to stay focused on the one who created everything that is, I’m talking about the one who was before the beginning and who will be after the end, the one who extends beyond the edges of the universe and who’s within every single atom, the one who loved us before the foundation of the world and demonstrated that love by entering our time and space so that we could know him and he would identify with us. My gosh, imagine if we could stay focused on the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Then I think we’ll really understand what Paul was thinking when he wrote to the Romans, “if God is for us, then who can be against us.” You see, during this waiting time, we can sure focus on God. That’s one thing we can do.

And second, we can also focus on one another. You know, we really do have a lot to share. We know that God loves us. And we know that Jesus lived and died, he rose and ascended for us. And we know that the Holy Spirit has brought that awareness into our lives without our permission or help. This we know. Now remember, Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Wouldn’t it be sad if a person lived his whole life and never heard the good news because we decided not to share it in a way he could understand. We can share the gospel. But you know, this isn’t the only thing we can share. You see, even though I might claim that I’m not, I really have been blessed. I mean, while some folks don’t have bread for today, right now I’m thinking about where Debbie, Maggie and I might go for  lunch after the service. We’ve been blessed, and some of those blessings we can share with others. You see, that’s something else we can do, we can focus on one another.

Now, on Friday, Geno Smith came back, and that was probably a good thing, because he didn’t have to wait long to hear his name. Soon he’ll be a member of the New York Jets. And as it comes to our ultimate destiny, well, when compared to eternity, we won’t have to wait all that long either. I mean, the time is coming when everything is going to change, the old will disappear and a new world will dawn. And although we might only be able to glimpse it now, we can trust that it’s on the way. And right now, well, we can put the time we have to good use. You see, we can intentionally focus on both God and on one another. And I’ll tell you, if this is what we decide to do, I think we’ll really be effective, while we wait.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Remembering Our Sister Kaylene Manley


Kaylene Marie Manley 
Born in Steubenville, OH on Jul. 9, 1939
Departed on Apr. 24, 2013 and resided in Weirton, WV.  
   
Visitation: Saturday, Apr. 27, 2013, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm & 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm  
Service: Sunday, Apr. 28, 2013, 3:00 pm  
Cemetery: Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens  

 
Kaylene Marie Manley, 73, of Weirton died Wednesday April 24, 2013, at Weirton Medical Center.

Born on July 9, 1939 in Steubenville, OH, Kaylene was a daughter of the late Russell and Ethel Bucey Davis. She was also preceded in death by two brothers, Russell Wayne and Marvin Mansel Davis; and two sisters, Lois (Charles) Mitchell and Eileen (James) Boyles.

Kaylene was a homemaker who enjoyed spending time with her family, and taking care of her landscape around her home.

She was a member of Cove Presbyterian Church, Weirton.

Kaylene is survived by her husband, William Theodore Manley, whom she married on January 18, 1964; a son, William Thomas Manley; a daughter, Pamela Kay Manley Weaver; two granddaughters, Kelsey Elizabeth and Rachel Nicolle Weaver all of Weirton, WV; two sisters, Donna (Bob) McGranahan of Weirton, WV and Karen (Robert) Kane of Grove City, OH.

Visitation will be 2-4 & 6-8 Saturday at the Greco Hertnick Funeral Home 3219 Main Street where services will be held 3 PM on Sunday.

Dr. Ed Rudiger will preside.

Interment will follow at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens.

Share tributes an memories at www.grecohertnick.com

Cove’s Bulletin for April 28, 2013



Below is a copy of our bulletins for our 11:00 worship service. We’ll focus on how we might be more patient.









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


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

Adults
Al Contumelio
Alden & Delores Edwards
Andrea Vincent
Anthony LaPosta
Barbara Maze
Bill Moulds
Bonnie Bowen
Bonnie Kirtley
Charles Saffle
Christy Cybulski
Cindi Livingston
Conrad Criss
Dale Brant
Dee Campbell
Diane Szymanek
Dick Bonyak
Dino Buffington
Emery Edwards
Gen Meyer
Harman
Hattie Black Marcum
Heather
Holly
Jamie Edwards
Janice Torrance
Jeanne Buffington Rowland
Jeanne Stark
Jeff Grant
Jen's Mom
Joan Gallagher
Jodi Kraina
John Schlotter
Joy Zaslocke
Justin Vogel
Kermit Kowalski
Kevin Buckley
Linda Caleffie
Manuel Fraga
Maria Drennan
Marjie Dinges
Matthew Kirtley
Michael Hvizdak
Randy Willson
Rhonda Bruich
Rich Hvizdak
Richard Ceraolo
Robert Krupp
Rose Bell
Rose Sanders
Shirley Everhart Kirtley
Stacy Jo Vogel
Susan Ponville
Susie Kurcina
Wink Harner

Children
Aksel Ace
Audri King
Brody McUmor
Daniel Marchione
Devon Bragg
Isaac & Emily Stephens
Jeffrey Konovich
Jonah Becker
Jonathan Marte
Justin McKinney
Kade Haines
Kya Schwertfeger
Lily Ghrist
Michael Liptak
Shelby Kamarec

Military
Chris Cameron
Jason Kerr
Jonathan Criss
Michael Criss
Stephen Mader

In the Hospital
Corinne Ferguson – Weirton Medical Center
Manuel Fraga – Trinity East

Bereaved Family
The Manley Family on the passing of Kaylene

Church Families
Goldie & Melanie Baly
Ron & Amy Baker
Kathy Banks

Local Church
St. Nicholas Orthodox Church

Special Friends
Ila Mauk – 1234 Swearingen Rd., Weirton, WV  26062-4331

Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery Churches
Mission Outreach Committee – Ruling Elder Connie Quin, chairperson
New Church Development Committee – Rev. Dr. Ted Ludwig

Also Remember in Your Prayers
Alden & Dolores Edwards – Wyngate, Weirton, WV 26062
Alice Orr – Weirton Geriatric Center, 2525 Pennsylvania Ave., Weirton, WV 26062
Bob Morgan – Weirton Geriatric Center, 2525 Pennsylvania Ave., Weirton, WV 26062
Conrad Criss – Wyngate, Weirton, WV 26062
Eleanor Dueley – Brightwood Center, 840 Lee Ridge Rd., Follansbee, WV 26037
Harry Hutch – Villa Vista, Room 507, 1800 Sinclair Ave., Steubenville, OH 43953
June Virtue – Grace Cottage, 195 Eden Dr., Weirton, WV 26062-3664
Margaret Heaton – Heritage Place, 608 N 10th Street, Weirton, WV  26062-2423
Mike Valiga – Weirton Geriatric Center, 2525 Pennsylvania Ave., Weirton, WV 26062
Thelma Longacre – Chambrel at Montrose, Unit 210, 100 Brookmont Rd., Akron, OH 44333-3091

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


Matthew 6:25-34 

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?  And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin,  yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you–you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”


A Devotion by Deborah Jones-Norberto (New York, USA)

My husband has been out of work this past year. And this was not the first time; over the last 20 years he has been laid off five times. Each time has become more difficult for us as husband and wife and as a family. Our three children have endured many hardships and fears related to this. We’ve experienced days with no oil for heat or propane for hot water. We’ve had empty food shelves and no electricity. We even endured a three-week period without a car, making it difficult to get to school, stores, and church in our suburban area. Even though we’ve experienced hardships, we’ve also received care by unexpected means. People have given us food, cars, propane, money, and their prayers and support. These people served as God’s angels to us during these times, and we’ve learned to trust God to help us meet our needs. God has blessed us far more than the beautiful lilies Jesus described. When we know and accept God’s love, we can face tomorrow’s challenges with confidence that all will be well.

Friday, April 26, 2013

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.

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

THE BROWN BAG BIBLE STUDY . . .
will next meet on Thursday, May 2, at 12:30 p.m. We’re studying the last week of Christ’s life, and during this session we’ll look at Matthew 28.

“BEHOLD , I STAND AT THE DOOR AND KNOCK” . . .
is the theme of  MAY FRIENDSHIP DAY sponsored by Church Women United. The event  will be held on Friday, May 3 beginning at 10:00 a.m. at Oakland Presbyterian Church. All women are invited to attend.
 
CHANCEL CHOIR  PRACTICE . . .
will be held  on Sunday mornings, at 10:20 a.m. prior to the worship service in the choir room. We will be practicing our weekly anthems and the hymns to be sung at worship.  New member are always welcome!
 
DEACONS MONTHLY MEETING . . .
will be held on Monday, May 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room. All members are urged to attend.
 
SALADS SMORGASBORD &  MEETING . . .
of the Myrtle McHendry Class will be held on Tuesday, May 7  at 12:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall.
 
PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN’S BOARD MEETING . . .
will be held on Wednesday, May 8 at 10:00 a.m. in the board room. The regular monthly meeting and Bible Study for the Presbyterian Women will take place on Wednesday, May 15 at noon in Fellowship Hall. All women are invited to attend the regular meeting.
 
SPECIAL THANKS TO EVERYONE . . .
who helped to make the Deacons’ Flea Market & Bake Sale a success. Those who donated the items, the workers, the bakers and those who purchased our “treasures.” It is due to their combined effort that our project was a huge success.   
 
SHACK ITEMS ARE DUE BY MAY 8 . . .
Mission Opportunities Chairperson Penny Mourat announced that Cove P.W. are asking members to support “The Shack” with items of cleaning supplies and birthday party supplies in April. There is a box in the main hallway downstairs for your contributions. Our Spiritual Life and Stewardship Chairperson Rhadine Ross maintains Cove’s Prayer List.  A Circle of Prayer and Cove’s Prayer List is updated weekly per requests of concerned people.
 
PRESBYTERIAN  WOMEN . . .
are collecting the following items for The Shack Neighborhood House:
•  For the children’s programs: wooden puzzles for pre-schoolers,  magic markers,  coloring books, colored pencils, colored sidewalk chalk, dry erase markers, board games, jump ropes, nerf footballs, hand sanitizer, wet ones, small plastic cups and bowls, plastic forks and spoons, paper napkins, glue sticks, construction paper, and art supplies. 
• For baby layettes: Diapers, Onesies, baby shampoo, diaper cream, baby wipes, baby lotion, receiving blankets, and bibs.
• Cleaning supplies for families: laundry detergent, paper towels, disinfectant cleaner, dish liquid, scouring pads, and dish towels. 
• Personal items for families: shampoo, hair conditioner, deodorant, shaving cream, razors, soap- face and body, body lotion, soap in pump dispensers and tampons.
• Summer items: sun screen and flip flops.
Items that you wish to donate may be placed in the box located in the main hallway downstairs.  SHACK SUPPLIES DUE - MAY 8th.
 
2013 ENDOWMENT SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE: . . .
• The Chad Pickens Scholarship is available to high school seniors and students currently attending colleges or universities, etc. The applicant must be a member of Cove Presbyterian Church; must have a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and must plan on entering school in the fall of 2013 as a full-time student or a returning student. Applications are available in the church office.
• The Bud Schmidt Scholarship is available to any  member of the congregation of Cove Presbyterian Church who plans to attend a seminary in the fall of 2013. Applications are available in the church office.
• Applications for The Helen T Hamill Scholarship are available through the guidance counselor at the area high schools. To qualify the applicant must be a resident of either Brooke or Hancock Counties. Financial need must be demonstrated. A GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale is required. Completed applications must be returned to the school guidance counselor by Friday, May 10, 2013.
All applications and grade transcripts must be received in the church office by Sunday, May 19, 2013. Scholarships will be presented to the recipients during the morning worship on Sunday , June 2, 2013. PLEASE, PLEASE,  RE-REGISTER  . . .
Just a reminder, that you must re-register at Kroger Community Rewards Program after April 1, 2013, for Cove to continue earning rewards this year from your purchases at Kroger. It costs you nothing, only time to register, and Cove will receive quarterly checks from Kroger for monies spent. If you have any questions, please call the church office or The Kroger Company at 1-800-KROGERS. We wish to thank you in advance for your support in this endeavor.  FYI- to confirm that you are registered the bottom of your receipt should read - You requested Kroger to donate to Cove Presbyterian Church.

WE HAVE SEVERAL FOSTER FAMILIES . . .
within our church family and community, and God has given us the chance to help them in this very special ministry. If you’re interested in offering help, please contact either  Chris Connell, Ed Rudiger or the church office.
  
PRAYER CHAIN UPDATE . . .
we will be updating our prayer chain monthly. If you wish to have someone remain on the prayer chain for a longer period of time please contact the church office or Floy Fetty.
 
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 and/or correct information.
 
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 five 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.
• 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.
 
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.  Or you may purchase silk flowers or live plants, the choice is yours. 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.
 
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.  FYI . .. .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.

My Friday Essay - The Center of Living


Yesterday and today, I attending a series of letures at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary dealing with the nature of Jesus Christ. It was some pretty deep, theological stuff, and I loved it. But you know, as I'm writting this, I'm struck by how unusual it is for me to do this kind of thing. Although I try to read and study things related to being an effective minister or to some content that I might teach in the future, I seldom look at what must be at the core my faith. In other words, I find it easy to slip into techniques and forget about content.
 
But I think that's a temptation to us all. It's really easy to become so involved in getting the job done that we forget the reason why we're doing it, why we're working. As a matter of fact, the reason can get lost in the busyness. Now this can happen in daily living. We work so hard and run so fast just doing things, that we miss the reasons we work and run. And in our relationship with God, we can focus so much attention on applying and living our faith, that we lose touch with the nature of faith itself. It's easy for that to happen, and when it does, the applying and the living doesn't mean very much. It loses it's content. It loses it's focus.
 
And for that reason, I think it's important for us all, every now-and-then, to get back in touch with the one who stands in the middle, and I'm talking about the one who loved us before the foundation of the earth and who demonstrated that love through Jesus Christ and who continues to bring us close through the Holy Spirit. You see, it's God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, that can give our lives focus. And if it takes attending some lectures or some studies, if it means setting aside a Thursday afternoon or a Sunday morning, if it involves reading a good book or reading The Good Book to reconnect with what's most important, let's make the decision to do just that. Because I believe, when we do, our living and our applying will have a focus and content it may not have had in years.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sunday Minute for Mission - Pittsburgh Theological Seminary


Sally Henry ’12
I heard a loud voice speaking from the throne: “Now God’s home is with people!” (Rev. 21:3 GNT)

Shivers run up and down my spine when I read this portion of Scripture from the book of Revelation. The bride and the bridegroom are united! Our God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—dwells with us and we with God.

As elusive as our God might sometimes seem to us, we often feel his presence as we gather with others in his name. Just yesterday—a beautiful, sunny, and warm day—the local presbytery meeting was being held on our campus. I stopped in for a portion of the meeting and then took a break to walk outside to the seminary’s sun-dappled quad, where people were sitting, reading, talking, and laughing.

I sat with Kelsy, a recent alumna serving a church in south-central Virginia, and Sally, one of our current senior students. We chatted about ministry. I asked Kelsy what she wished she had known when she graduated from Pittsburgh Seminary that would have been useful in her ministry. She smiled and said, “How to be a treasurer—and budgets!” We laughed about the challenges of “running” a church and then came around to why both of these women had pursued ministry. Spreadsheets and stewardship campaigns had nothing to do with their decision, and they agreed that the motivating reason was God—the awesomeness of helping others see and capture God’s vision in this life. And at that moment when a loud voice from the throne says, “Now God’s home is with people!” I doubt that there will be any memory of spreadsheets or budgets. Hallelujah!

Thomas J. Pappalardo, vice president for advancement and marketing, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - People Sharpeners


1 Thessalonians 5:12-22 

But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to respect those who labor among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil.


A Devotion by Paula Geister (Michigan, USA)

The butcher I worked with in a small-town grocery store showed me the best way to sharpen knives. I watched as he used a round metal file to sharpen not only his knives but his cleavers as well. Then he taught me the technique. Today I own a file, and my knives are always sharp. The process of sharpening requires that iron meet iron. The friction wears away a dull edge to form a new one. My butcher friend told me that a dull knife isn’t safe; it’s actually more likely to cause serious injury. And a dull knife obviously doesn’t do the job as effectively as a sharp one. So sharpening makes a tool more efficient and prepares it for the next job. Similarly, our Christian friends can help us remain open to God’s work in us. Their counsel may seem like unwanted friction at times, but we need friends who remind us of God’s wisdom, keep us grounded in truth, and hold us accountable. Such accountability prepares us for the work God has for us to do.

From The Upper Room.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Minute for Mission for Earth Day

We declare that God created the earth and all in it and called it good (Gen. 1). We confess that God sent Christ to save the whole cosmos (John 3:16–17). Along with the psalmist, we sing of all creatures looking to God to provide food and satisfy desire (Ps. 145). Evidence of the love of God for God’s creation and of our human vocation to care for this creation is visible throughout Scripture. It likewise shows up in our hymns, The Book of Confessions, our Directory for Worship, and our celebration of the sacraments.

Yet conflict arises in faith communities when it comes to how, exactly, we live out our beliefs. There are different interpretations of which convictions and actions are most in line with God’s intentions. How might we be guided in our earth-care efforts as Christians?

Jesus’ question to the scribes and Pharisees in Luke 6:9, about whether it is lawful “to save life or to destroy it,” evokes an earlier admonition to “choose life so that you and your descendents may live” (Deut. 30:19). How do our Christian ministries seek to “save life,” both now and for future generations?

We engage in Christian environmental ministries as part of God’s intended Sabbath rest for the whole earth, a rest that leads to jubilee justice (Lev. 25) and to abundant life (John 10:10) for all. Choosing life for the earth will revitalize our congregations, strengthen our discipleship, engage diverse generations, and invite the Holy Spirit into our midst in new and surprising ways.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday's Sermon - When Crushed by the Sun


Revelation 7:9-17

After this, I looked and behold, a great crowd, which no one was able to count, from all nations and tribes and people and languages, stood before the throne and before the lamb, and they were wearing white robes and had olive branches in their hands. And they cried out in a great voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God, to the one seated upon the throne and the lamb.” And all the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living ones, and they fell before the throne upon their faces and they worshiped God, saying, “Amen, the praise and the glory and the wisdom and the thanksgiving and the honor and the strength and the power to our God into the ages upon ages, amen.”

And one of the elders asked me, “These ones who are wearing white robes, who are they, and from where did they come?” And I said to him, “My lord, you yourself know.” And he said to me, “They are the ones who came out of the great tribulation and they washed their robes and they were made white in the blood of the lamb. Because of this, they are before the throne of God and they serve him day and night in his temple and the one who sits upon the throne will spread his tent over them. They will hunger no more nor will they thirst, nor will the sun fall upon them, nor any heat. Because the lamb who is in the middle of the throne will shepherd them, and will lead them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away all tears from their eyes.”


When Crushed by the Sun

I’ll tell you, I always love studying scripture and writing sermons, but you know, every now-and-then an image will hit me that just kind of grabs me, one that seems perfect given what’s going on. Now it doesn’t happen every week, but when it does, it’s really cool. And that happened to me a few days ago. Just think about the passage we just read, some scripture from John’s Revelation. You see, as I was working with it, I was hit by verse sixteen, “They will hunger no more nor will they thirst, nor will the sun fall upon them, nor any heat.” Now that verse hit me and especially that business about the sun not falling upon them. And that’s how it literally reads in the Greek, and although some other very good translations use “will not strike” or “will not beat down on them,” I really like the idea that, because of his power and love, we’re protected from falling stars; therefore, no matter how bad things appear, we can trust that we won’t be crushed by the sun.

And you know, that seems especially appropriate for us to remember given the week we just had. I mean, just think about it. On Monday, we had that little bit of insanity up in Boston, where it sure appears as though two brothers planted and detonated bombs that killed three people and seriously injured many more. And then, there was that fertilizer plant exploding in West, Texas. Not only did it damage more than 75 buildings, at least fourteen people were killed and more than two-hundred others were injured.  And then, Saturday morning, I read about an earthquake in southwestern China, one that evidentially left at least 156 people dead and more than 5,500 injured. And I didn’t even mention a wave of bombings across Iraq that killed more than fifty people and injured approximately 300 others or the Senate for all practical purposes killing any expansion of background checks for gun sales over the internet, while the parents of the children killed in Newtown watched in the gallery. Not a good week. And even though I didn’t experience all the stuff felt by those involved, I imagine that when it all came down on them, they probably felt crushed: crushed by pain and grief, crushed by confusion and frustration, crushed by something over which they had absolutely no control; you know, as though the sun had broken loose and fallen directly upon them.

I’m telling you, I can sort of get my head around what they were probably feeling, because...well, there are times when I’ve felt crushed too. Has that ever happened to y’all? Now I’m not saying that failing an exam or getting laid off from a job or having surgery is on the same level as losing a loved one because of malice or stupidity or some force of nature. Still from my own personal experience, finding out that you might not graduate on time or you’re not going to bring home a paycheck next month or this might be the last time you have a chance to see your daughter, well, those things can feel just as crushing. And I know for us, for some of us right here this morning, that broken relationship or that bad diagnosis or that failing loved one or those mounting debts, well, they can all sure make us feel that it’s not the sky but the sun that’s falling.

But of course, we’re not the first folks in history who’ve felt this way. As a matter of fact, I think the book of Revelation was written to Christians who were literally being crushed by the world around them. I mean, the whole vision seems to have been offered to strengthen a group of churches that were facing some intense persecution. You see, using this style that’s called apocalyptic, John of Patmos showed them that even though their lives was really tough right now and that it sure looked like the world was “going to Hell in a handbasket,” that wasn’t going to be end of the story. No sir, instead, they could be confident that a day was coming when Jesus Christ would return both to judge and redeem. And in the meantime, man, they could keep moving, they could keep moving forward even though the distress, the affliction, the persecution, the tribulation that they might have to face really would be great. In other words, even though things seemed to be falling apart, they could trust, as he wrote right in this passage, “They will hunger no more nor will they thirst, nor will the sun fall upon them, nor any heat.”

And you know, that can also be true for us, and I’d say the same thing to those folks in Boston or outside Waco, those men and women digging themselves out of the earthquake or those parents who are going back home knowing that even the death of their children won’t move forty-six Senators to do something that over eighty percent of the American people want. You see, when we feel crushed by life, I think it’s absolutely essential for us to take a look at this particular passage and then to remember who God is and what God’s doing.

And like I said it’s all right here. I mean, take a look at what John wrote and notice that first he tells us about who God is. And he offers that from two different perspectives. From an earthly standpoint, he wrote, “I looked and behold, a great crowd, ...from all nations and tribes and people and languages, ...and they were wearing white robes and had olive branches in their hands. And they cried out in a great voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God, to the one seated upon the throne and the lamb.’” Now it’s important to note that a little earlier in the Revelation, this is how John described those who were wearing white robes. He wrote, “I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered for the word of God and for the testimony they had given; they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number would be complete both of their fellow servants and of their brothers and sisters, who were soon to be killed as they themselves had been killed.” In other words, these were the men and women who were giving their lives for the gospel; but in spite of their situation, they understood that salvation wasn’t controlled by the ones inflicting the pain, rather they were being saved by the who washed their robes clean in his blood. You see, that was their perspective. And from the heavenly creatures, you know, “the angels...and the elders and the four living ones, ...they fell before the throne upon their faces and they worshiped God, saying, ‘Amen, the praise and the glory and the wisdom and the thanksgiving and the honor and the strength and the power to our God into the ages upon ages, amen.’” You see, that’s how John wanted his people to see God.

And I think if he were here, he’d want the same for us. No matter how rotten things get, God is still in control. He’s still the author and the giver of salvation. And he’s still worthy, he’s still deserving of all the wisdom and all the thanksgiving and all the honor and all the strength and all the power we can muster. And I’m telling you that’s true whether you’re talking about exploding pressure cookers or exploding factories, impartial forces of nature or maybe unresponsive national leaders, God is still in control. And that’s going to be true regardless of our relationships or diagnoses, our ailing spouses or maxed out credit cards. God is bigger than all that stuff, and that’s the first thing I think John wants us to remember.

And second, I believe he also points us toward what God is doing now and will do in the future. Remember, he wrote, “And one of the elders asked me, ‘These ones who are wearing white robes, who are they, and from where did they come?’ And he said to me, ‘They are the ones who came out of the great tribulation and they washed their robes and they were made white in the blood of the lamb. Because of this, they are before the throne of God and they serve him day and night in his temple and the one who sits upon the throne will spread his tent over them. They will hunger no more nor will they thirst, nor will the sun fall upon them, nor any heat. Because the lamb who is in the middle of the throne will shepherd them, and will lead them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away all tears from their eyes.’”

Now, I’m no Polly Anna or Little Mary Sunshine. I don’t go around looking for cups that are half-filled. And I don’t think you’ll ever hear me whistle, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.” Those who really know me know that, unlike my wife, I’m much better at seeing grey clouds than silver linings. I’ve always believed in that old saying, “A pessimist is never disappointed.” And I don’t like being disappointed, much less surprised. In short, for better or for worse, I’m someone my mother used to call a Worry Wart.

But even a guy like me can find comfort in knowing that, as I move into the future, God is with me, sheltering me under his tent. And that the time is coming when hunger and thirst will be yesterday’s news, right along with tears and pain, suffering and death. All because the lamb is going to do something truly remarkable, the lamb is going to shepherd me, leading me to good water and lifting all that stuff that brings me down off my shoulders. In other words, regardless of life right now, my future is in the merciful and compassionate hands of God. My destiny is secure and my joy will be into the ages upon ages. You see, that’s what I can believe, and brothers and sisters, so can you. That’s exactly what God is doing and will continue to do. And that’s the second thing I believe John wants us to remember.

Now, I’ve got to tell, I hope we never have a another week like we just had, although I’ve kind of got a gut feeling we probably will. I mean, whether you’re talking about our world or our lives, I think we’ll probably continue to face issues that cause our stress to rise and our spirits to sink. But it’s at those times when I believe we need to remember who God is and what he continues to do. And that just might offer us some peace and hope, even when it feels like we’ve been crushed by the sun.

Sunday's Minute for Mission - McCormick Theological Seminary

Graduation day at McCormick Theological Seminary
When I describe McCormick Theological Seminary, I invite people to imagine a classroom in which the diversity is so rich that there is no racial ethnic majority among the students, where women and men from all sections of the theological spectrum—conservative, liberal, moderate—study theology together, and where the education transforms all, teachers and students alike. Sunday may still be the most segregated day of the week, but at McCormick we believe we are a learning community that mirrors the body of Christ in both its diversity and its unity. Census experts believe that by the year 2040 the U.S. will no longer have a statistical racial ethnic majority. At McCormick we already experience this reality and seek to learn faithfully in and through it.

Founded in 1829, McCormick Seminary remains a pioneer in theological education. Located in the great city of Chicago, McCormick draws from and contributes to the rich religious tapestry of this thriving metropolis and the people who practice their faith within it. A seminary of the PC(USA), McCormick trains leaders for the church and society in a way that is uniquely cross-cultural, urban, Reformed, and ecumenical.

Pray for seminaries and all who lean into the challenges that confront theological education and higher education in general. Pray for the future leaders of the church and our denominations. Pray that we might faithfully participate in God’s mission for society and the world.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A New Devotion on the Cove Prayer Line - An Awful Year?


1 Corinthians 15:1-8, 20 

Resurrection hopeNow I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you–unless you have come to believe in vain. For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died.


A Devotion by Drew Sappington (Florida, USA)

Although I am a lifelong Christian, I did not feel much like an immortal soul and did not have much confidence that I would rise to eternal life when medical tests revealed that I had cancer. But as I reflected on the Easter story, I found that I believed strongly in the resurrection of Jesus. And because Jesus rose, I had reason to believe that he would rescue me from death as well. Out of gratitude, I began to pray more regularly. Perhaps because of my weak faith, I did not pray for cure of my cancer; but I did take time to praise God each day for what I had. Sometimes as chemotherapy and radiation took their toll, my prayers were little more than incoherent babbling. But with the aid of the Spirit, I kept praying. (See Rom. 8:26.) I endured months of treatments, underwent three major operations, and had a colostomy for a while. My father died while I was going through all this. At the end of that awful time, my wife said, “This must have been the worst year of your life.” I thought about that for a minute, and I realized that throughout those difficult days I had been comforted with a profound sense of Christ’s presence. “You know,” I told her, “it may have been the best.” Knowing Christ is with us transforms us and our struggles.

From The Upper Room.

Friday, April 19, 2013

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.

STOP DOWN FELLOWSHIP HALL. . . .
this morning and browse the Deacons’ Flea Market and Bake Sale. The items you choose can be yours for a donation to the Deacons.

BOB EVANS COMMUNITY FUNDRAISER . . .
sponsored by Cove Deacons will be held this Wednesday, April 24 at Bob Evans Restaurant in Weirton from 10:00a.m. till 10:00p.m.   With the flyer, 15% of your sale will be donated to the Deacons to be used in their Outreach Programs. Please stop out enjoy a delicious meal without the work and raise money for the Deacons.   A flyer has been inserted in the bulletin for your convenience. Additional flyer can be obtained on the table in the narthex or in the church office.  A flyer must be presented at checkout for the Deacons to get credit for your purchase. We thank you in advance for your continued support!!

THE BROWN BAG BIBLE STUDY . . .
will next meet on Thursday, April 25, at 12:30 p.m. We’re studying the last week of Christ’s life, and during this session we’ll look at Matthew 28.

CHANCEL CHOIR  PRACTICE . . .
will be held  on Sunday mornings, at 10:20 a.m. prior to the worship service in the choir room. We will be practicing our weekly anthems and the hymns to be sung at worship.  New member are always welcome!

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

“BEHOLD , I STAND AT THE DOOR AND KNOCK” . . .
is the theme of  MAY FRIENDSHIP DAY sponsored by Church Women United. The event  will be held on Friday, May 3 beginning at 10:00 a.m. at Oakland Presbyterian Church. All women are invited to attend.

SHACK ITEMS ARE DUE BY MAY 8 . . .
Mission Opportunities Chairperson Penny Mourat announced that Cove P.W. are asking members to support “The Shack” with items of cleaning supplies and birthday party supplies in April. There is a box in the main hallway downstairs for your contributions. Our Spiritual Life and Stewardship Chairperson Rhadine Ross maintains Cove’s Prayer List.  A Circle of Prayer and Cove’s Prayer List is updated weekly per requests of concerned people.

PRESBYTERIAN  WOMEN . . .
are collecting the following items for The Shack Neighborhood House:
For the children’s programs: wooden puzzles for pre-schoolers,  magic markers,  coloring books, colored pencils, colored sidewalk chalk, dry erase markers, board games, jump ropes, nerf footballs, hand sanitizer, wet ones, small plastic cups and bowls, plastic forks and spoons, paper napkins, glue sticks, construction paper, and art supplies.
For baby layettes: Diapers, Onesies, baby shampoo, diaper cream, baby wipes, baby lotion, receiving blankets, and bibs.
Cleaning supplies for families: laundry detergent, paper towels, disinfectant cleaner, dish liquid, scouring pads, and dish towels.
Personal items for families: shampoo, hair conditioner, deodorant, shaving cream, razors, soap- face and body, body lotion, soap in pump dispensers and tampons.
Summer items: sun screen and flip flops.
Items that you wish to donate may be placed in the box located in the main hallway downstairs.  SHACK SUPPLIES DUE - MAY 8th.

OUR SYMPATHY . . .
Is extended to the family of Bertha Mae Means, grandmother of Cristopher Means who died on Wednesday, April 10, 2013.

2013 ENDOWMENT SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE: . . .
The Chad Pickens Scholarship is available to high school seniors and students currently attending colleges or universities, etc. The applicant must be a member of Cove Presbyterian Church; must have a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and must plan on entering school in the fall of 2013 as a full-time student or a returning student. Applications are available in the church office.
The Bud Schmidt Scholarship is available to any  member of the congregation of Cove Presbyterian Church who plans to attend a seminary in the fall of 2013. Applications are available in the church office.
Applications for The Helen T Hamill Scholarship are available through the guidance counselor at the area high schools. To qualify the applicant must be a resident of either Brooke or Hancock Counties. Financial need must be demonstrated. A GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale is required. Completed applications must be returned to the school guidance counselor by Friday, May 10, 2013.
All applications and grade transcripts must be received in the church office by Sunday, May 19, 2013. Scholarships will be presented to the recipients during the morning worship on Sunday , June 2nd, 2013.

DONATION MADE . . .
Cove Presbyterian Women made a donation of $100.00 through their Family Mission Program to Jacob & Jessie(Hall) Schwertfger who are missionaries in Zambia.

PLEASE RETURN . . .
your Lenten Prayer Boxes to the basket located on the table in the church narthex. Thank you!

PLEASE, PLEASE,  RE-REGISTER  . . .
Just a reminder, that you must re-register at Kroger Community Rewards Program after April 1, 2013, for Cove to continue earning rewards this year from your purchases at Kroger. It costs you nothing, only time to register, and Cove will receive quarterly checks from Kroger for monies spent. If you have any questions, please call the church office or The Kroger Company at 1-800-KROGERS. We wish to thank you in advance for your support in this endeavor.  FYI- to confirm that you are registered the bottom of your receipt should read - You requested Kroger to donate to Cove Presbyterian Church.

WE HAVE SEVERAL FOSTER FAMILIES . . .
within our church family and community, and God has given us the chance to help them in this very special ministry. If you’re interested in offering help, please contact either  Chris Connell, Ed Rudiger or the church office.

PRAYER CHAIN UPDATE . . .
we will be updating our prayer chain monthly. If you wish to have someone remain on the prayer chain for a longer period of time please contact the church office or Floy Fetty.

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 and/or correct information.

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 five 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.
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.

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.  Or you may purchase silk flowers or live plants, the choice is yours. 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.

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.  FYI . .. .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.


Friday's Essay - Surviving a Tough Week


This has been a tough week. First, we had to deal with the bombings in Boston, a senseless act that took the lives of three people and injured many more. And then, before we’d digested this tragedy, we were hit by the explosion at the fertilizer plant near Waco.

And even though it’s not often that we have to deal with two events like these every week, I think we all have to face senselessness and tragedies in our daily living. I mean, things happen, things that we certainly didn’t choose and over which we have almost no control. And when they do, they can throw our lives into confusion: physically as we attempt to pick up the pieces, intellectually as we work to figure out why, emotionally as we feel ourselves overwhelmed and pulled down, and even spiritually as we try to reconcile the love of God with the harsh realities of life. Dealing with bad news is a struggle for most people.

But as we wade through the troubles, I think it’s important for us to always remember that God is all about Good News. And even though we might feel as though we’re drowning, God does more than throw us a life preserver; he actually picks us up, dries us off, and points us in the right direction. Of course, I recognize saying that offers little comfort as we fight and scrap through life right now. It may seem like telling a starving man that the harvest is going to be wonderful in six months. Still, just knowing that God is always with us and that, as Paul reminds us in the ninth chapter of Romans, God always wills mercy and compassion, that awareness might give us the strength to endure and move through life’s problems and pain.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

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


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

Adults
Al Contumelio
Alden & Delores Edwards
Andrea Vincent
Anthony LaPosta
Barbara Maze
Bill Moulds
Bonnie Bowen
Bonnie Kirtley
Charles Saffle
Christy Cybulski
Cindi Livingston
Conrad Criss
Dale Brant
Dee Campbell
Diane Szymanek
Dick Bonyak
Dino Buffington
Doug Friends
Emery Edwards
Gen Meyer
Harman
Hattie Black Marcum
Heather
Holly
Jamie Edwards
Janice Torrance
Jeanne Buffington Rowland
Jeanne Stark
Jeff Grant
Jen's Mom
Joan Gallagher
Jodi Kraina
John Schlotter
Joy Zaslocke
Justin Vogel
Kermit Kowalski
Kevin Buckley
Linda Caleffie
Manuel Fraga
Maria Drennan
Marjie Dinges
Matthew Kirtley
Michael Hvizdak
Randy Willson
Rhonda Bruich
Rich Hvizdak
Richard Ceraolo
Robert Krupp
Rose Bell
Rose Sanders
Shirley Everhart Kirtley
Stacy Jo Vogel
Susan Ponville
Susie Kurcina
Wink Harner

Children
Aksel Ace
Audri King
Brody McUmor
Daniel Marchione
Devon Bragg
Isaac & Emily Stephens
Jeffrey Konovich
Jonah Becker
Jonathan Marte
Justin McKinney
Kade Haines
Kya Schwertfeger
Lily Ghrist
Michael Liptak
Shelby Kamarec

Military
Chris Cameron
Jason Kerr
Jonathan Criss
Michael Criss
Stephen Mader

In the Hospital
Corinne Ferguson – Weirton Medical Center
Manuel Fraga – Trinity East

Bereaved Family
The Family of Bertha Mae Means

Church Families
Lori Allen, Carly & Danika
Larry & Sachary Bails
Shirley Bails

Local Church
Shiloh Apostolic Church

Special Friends
Kitty Heilman – 1215 Glencairn Road, Weirton, WV  26062-4323

Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery Churches
The Committee on Preparation for Ministry – Rev. David Stammerjohn, Chairperson
The Evangelism Committee – Rev. Sam Gibb, Chairperson

Also Remember in Your Prayers
Alden & Dolores Edwards – Wyngate, Weirton, WV 26062
Alice Orr – Weirton Geriatric Center, 2525 Pennsylvania Ave., Weirton, WV 26062
Bob Morgan – Weirton Geriatric Center, 2525 Pennsylvania Ave., Weirton, WV 26062
Conrad Criss – Wyngate, Weirton, WV 26062
Eleanor Dueley – Brightwood Center, 840 Lee Ridge Rd., Follansbee, WV 26037
Harry Hutch – Villa Vista, Room 507, 1800 Sinclair Ave., Steubenville, OH 43953
June Virtue – Grace Cottage, 195 Eden Dr., Weirton, WV 26062-3664
Kay Manley – Weirton Geriatric Center, 2525 Pennsylvania Ave., Weirton, WV 26062
Margaret Heaton – Heritage Place, 608 N 10th Street, Weirton, WV  26062-2423
Mike Valiga – Weirton Geriatric Center, 2525 Pennsylvania Ave., Weirton, WV 26062
Thelma Longacre – Chambrel at Montrose, Unit 210, 100 Brookmont Rd., Akron, OH 44333-3091

Cove’s Bulletin for April 21, 2013


Below is a copy of our bulletins for our 11:00 worship service. We’ll focus on how we might endure problems and pain.









A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - Turbulent Flight


Isaiah 43:1-4 

But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you, I give people in return for you, nations in exchange for your life.


A Devotion by Luis Alberto Jones (Chubut, Argentina)

I frequently travel by plane, and generally the flights are pleasant. On one occasion, however, the pilot alerted us to buckle our seat belts because we would be passing through an area of turbulence. The flight attendant started to move briskly about the cabin, and I tensed up with fear. I was not prepared for such turbulence, and neither were the rest of the passengers. After what seemed an eternity, though in reality it was only a few minutes, the plane regained stability and I breathed a sigh of relief. As the pilot had said, the turbulence was localized. Later, when I recalled this incident, I thought of our earthly life. The Lord does not promise us a life without strife. On the contrary, we will all go through bumpy times. However, when they come we can remember that we are only passing through some turbulence and that God is with us. Our faith steadies us.

From The Upper Room.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

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


John 10:11-16, 27-29 

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away – and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
“My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand.”


A Devotion by Nancy Aguilar (Washington, USA)

As she prayed for me, my friend said to God, “Let Nancy know she’s your favorite daughter.” God doesn’t have favorites! I thought. I knew God couldn’t answer a prayer like that. Later that day, I came across photos of my dear friend Doreen, who had died of bone cancer years earlier. I remembered her memorial service. As friends and family told stories about her, several women described themselves as Doreen’s closest friend. They’re mistaken, I thought. After all, I was her best friend. Doreen had so lavishly, unselfishly loved us all that each of us thought we were her favorite. She lived so well Jesus’ commandment to love that I’d felt completely, unconditionally loved. The Lord interrupted my memories, speaking gently in my heart, “That’s like my love.” I told God that I didn’t understand. God said to me, “You don’t have to understand. Only believe.” And I do believe. Still, I wondered how God could love me. I am certainly no saint. Then I remembered the stories of David — a liar, an adulterer, and a murderer and yet was “a man after [God’s] own heart” (Acts 13:22). To my surprise, I realized that I am God’s favorite. Each one of us is.

From The Upper Room.

Church leaders offer call to prayer in the wake of the tragic events at the Boston Marathon


1 God is our refuge and strength,
   a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
   though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
3 though its waters roar and foam,
   though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

-Psalm 46:1-3 (NRSV)
Gracious Lord, you are our refuge and strength, our very present help in trouble. With sadness and questions in our hearts, your Spirit prompts us in this hour to pray for our sisters and brothers in the wake of the tragedy in Boston. Comfort with your generous grace in a way only you can, Lord, those who lost their loved ones in the bomb explosions today, those who are trying to connect with their loved ones, and those who are injured.  Strengthen first responders, medical personnel, and other authorities as they work through the day and night to come to the aid of many. Pierce the heart and soul of the perpetrator(s) of this act of violence. Forgive that individual(s) for they know not what they do.

Incline your ear to us, loving Lord, for we seek you, we plead to you to come to our aid, to hear our pleas and petitions for peace, for we long and groan for the day when the wolf will lay down with the lamb, where there will be no more bombs, no more loss, no more blood. Unite us as a human community, where neighbor loves neighbor, where our relating to each other is not through fear or violence, but through our common life, for in you and from you we live, and move and have our being.

In your strong love, hold us close to your heart. Anchor us in your love and secure us in your peace which surpasses all our understanding but which gives us the very confidence that in a Good Friday world, we are an Easter people, living in and with the power, possibilities and promise of your risen son, Jesus Christ.  In his Name and for his sake, we pray. Amen.

For information on how to join with other Presbyterians in responding to the acts of violence at the Boston Marathon or for worship resources (PDF) for use in times of disaster, visit the website of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, which was invited to send—and is preparing to deploy—an experienced team of first responders.


Neal D. Presa, Moderator of the 220th General Assembly (2012)
Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly
Linda Bryant Valentine, Executive Director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday's Sermon - The Problem with One-Winged Angels


Revelations 5: 11-14

And I saw, and I heard the sound of many angels in a circle around the throne and the living ones and the elders, and their number was ten thousand times ten thousand and one thousand times one thousand, saying in a great voice, “Worthy is the lamb who was slaughtered to receive the power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise.”

And every creature who is in the heavens and upon the earth and under the earth and upon the seas and all that is in them, I heard saying, “To the one who is seated upon the throne and the lamb, the praise and the honor and the glory and the sovereignty into the ages upon ages.” And the four living ones said, “Amen.” And the elders fell and worshiped.


The Problem with One-Winged Angels

This week, we’re starting a series of sermons based on passages from the Book of Revelation. Now I can see some of y’all kind of smiling and a few sort of shaking your head. And I can understand exactly where you’re coming from. I mean, let’s face it, Revelation can be a real bear to understand, much less preach, at least that’s what it seems to me.

Now, having said that, I also recognize that some of y’all have no idea what I’m talking about, because if you don’t know anything about the book itself, understanding may not seem like a big deal. I mean, it’s just another book in the New Testament, right; therefore, I think it’s pretty natural to assume that it’s like everything else, you know, a book with teachings and stories and stuff like that, all written to help us live a better life.

And I guess, on one level, you could probably say that’s true, but there is one thing about Revelation that kind of sets it apart, and I’m talking about the way it’s written. You see, it’s really, well, it’s really different from almost everything else in the Bible, because it’s written is a style called apocalyptic. Now, that’s from a Greek word that means “to reveal.” And in this particular style, the way the revealing takes place involves a lot of really symbolic language. I mean, there are all kinds of wild creatures, you know, like dragons and living ones that are covered with eyes, and numbers are really important. And as you read it, you’ve got to sort put reason aside and try as best you can to get into the images themselves, something that’s not always easy for us to do.

Anyway, since this is apocalyptic, it shouldn’t really come as any great surprise that in our first passage, we’ve got living creatures and elders and of course at least one hundred million angels circling the throne up there in heaven. Of course, I know that angels are kind of popular now-a-days; in fact I image that some of y’all may even collect them. And it’s not hard to figure out why. I mean, beyond the spiritual stuff, angels just look cool, don’t they; with their white robes and gentle faces and of course big wings. In fact, they’re so neat that they even show up in video games that have absolutely nothing to do with theology.

But it’s interesting, when they’re presented, they always have two wings, right? I mean, you never see a one-winged angel, because let’s face it, that angel would be in big trouble. My gosh, you can’t really fly if you only have one wing. I mean, I remember when I was little, I saw a fly who’d lost a wing. All he could do was kind of buzz around in a circle on the table, and unless you think they’re like Curly from the Three Stooges, that would never work for an angel. No, these messengers from God really need two wings to do their job.

And I’ll tell you something, in a real way, I think this passage reminds us that the same thing applies to Jesus Christ himself, the one whom John of Patmos, the writer of Revelation, called the Lamb. Just like a angel needs two wings to function, the lamb of God needs two dimensions to be totally effective. You see, Jesus needed to be both totally human and completely divine to be the savior of the world, to be our savior. And I’ll tell you something, when we understand this, when we understand that Jesus Christ, the slaughtered and exalted lamb, is both human and divine, I’m absolutely sure our sense of peace and hope will increase.

And like I said, I think that’s what John is getting at in the passage we just read. I mean, just think about what he saw. Using his own words, “I saw, and I heard the sound of many angels in a circle around the throne and the living ones and the elders, and their number was ten thousand times ten thousand and one thousand times one thousand, saying in a great voice, ‘Worthy is the lamb who was slaughtered to receive the power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise.’ And every creature who is in the heavens and upon the earth and under the earth and upon the seas and all that is in them, I heard saying, ‘To the one who is seated upon the throne and the lamb, the praise and the honor and the glory and the sovereignty into the ages upon ages.’ And the four living ones said, ‘Amen.’ And the elders fell and worshiped.”

Now according to John that’s exactly what these heavenly beings, you know, the angels and the living ones and the elders, and what the earthly creatures said when they saw the lamb who was slaughtered and who is now seated on the throne. And it’s interesting, if you look at the words used and how John used them in other parts of his revelation, they really break into two groups, two sets, both of which he applied to the lamb. I mean, first, you have words, you know, characteristics that may be applied to God but that generally have more to do with people, and I’m talking about words like “power and wealth and wisdom and strength...” In other words, for John, they represented the pinnacle of human achievement and authority, these traits, these attributes that also describe the lamb that was slaughtered. Now that was one group.

But then I want you to notice that there’s a second group of words in this passage, and these can only be applied to God. In other words, according to how he used these words in other places in this book, for John, God was the only one who should receive “the praise and the honor and the glory and the sovereignty into the ages upon ages.” You see, according to this passage, both sets of words apply to the same lamb, the lamb who was slaughtered and who is also the one who now sits on the throne. Now that’s what John wrote.

And you know, when you think about it, to have both sets apply to one being, well that only makes sense if that lamb, that person, and I’m talking about the one to whom all creatures offer “...praise and the honor and the glory and the sovereignty” and about whom “the four living ones [say], ‘Amen’ and before whom “the elders fall down and worship, this only makes sense if Jesus Christ, the lamb, is both human and divine, If that’s what he is, then both sets of attributes apply. And I’ll tell you, I think that’s exactly what John saw and believed.

And I’m telling you something, I think we can see that too. With the angels and the living ones and the elders and with “every creature who is in the heavens and upon the earth and under the earth and upon the seas and all that is in them,” we can also recognize that the lamb represents both the perfect God and the perfection of man. He’s both the divine word and the new Adam. He’s both the revelation of God to us and the revelation of us to God. You see, if we listen to John’s revelation this is what we can see.

And I’ll tell you, I think that’s pretty important, because when we do, when this is our vision, I’m absolutely convinced that two pretty incredible things are going to happen. Now, I’ve said both of these before, but I really think they’re worth repeating. You see, first, we’re going to have peace right now, and I’m talking about right this minute, and I’ll tell you why that will happen. Because God entered humanity through Jesus Christ, the lamb of God, we can trust that God has actually felt our pain. He’s experienced our doubts and he knows first hand our fears. In other words, God has walked in our shoes; therefore, when I question his will because my perspective is so limited, he understands. And when I become angry because I think life is unfair, he understands. And when I approach him and lay before him my arrogance and shame, my achievements and failures, my hopes and frustrations, I can trust that God almighty, creator of the universe, man, he understands. As a matter of fact, everything that makes us who we are is present within God, all because Jesus Christ, God in human flesh, “pitched his tent among us.” You see, first, because he was human, we can have peace.

And second, because the lamb is also on God’s throne, man, we can have hope. Now, it seems I talk about this all the time. Even though our lives here may stink on ice and even though we may feel as though an eight ball always right in front of us and even though in that great rat race called life, the rats appear to be winning, because God is in control and through Jesus, we believe he loved us before the foundation of the world, I’m telling you, we can also trust that our future is more than secure. Man, it’s going to be glorious. Just listen to how John described it later in his Revelation, and I’m reading this from Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase: “I saw Heaven and earth new-created. Gone the first Heaven, gone the first earth, gone the sea. I saw Holy Jerusalem, new-created, descending resplendent out of Heaven, as ready for God as a bride for her husband. I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: ‘Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone. The Enthroned continued, ‘Look! I’m making everything new. Write it all down—each word dependable and accurate.’ ...Never again will anything be cursed. The Throne of God and of the Lamb is at the center. His servants will offer God service—worshiping, they’ll look on his face, their foreheads mirroring God. Never again will there be any night. No one will need lamplight or sunlight. The shining of God, the Master, is all the light anyone needs. And they will rule with him age after age after age.” You see, this is our hope, because the lamb who was slaughtered is also the one on the throne.

Now I think we’d all agree that an angel with only one wing doesn’t make much sense. There’s no way that kind of angel could possibly get the job done. And it’s interesting, according to John of Patmos, the same can be said of Jesus Christ. He came to be both fully human and fully divine, and that’s something that can offer us peace and hope. I guess you could say, just like a one-winged angel, Jesus without either his humanity or his divinity, well, that just won’t fly either.