Friday, May 31, 2013

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

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

Adults
Andrea Vincent
Anthony LaPosta
Barbara Maze
Bill Moulds
Bill Phillips
Bonnie Bowen
Bonnie Kirtley
Charles Saffle
Cindi Livingston
Conrad Criss
Dale Brant
Dee Campbell
Diane Szymanek
Dick Bonyak
Dino Buffington
Eleanor Williams
Emery Edwards
Gen Meyer
Harman
Hattie Black Marcum
Holly
James Mitts
Jamie Edwards
Jeanne Buffington Rowland
Jeanne Stark
Jeff Grant
Jen's Mom
Joan Gallagher
Joan Pohlman
Jodi Kraina
John Jezerski
John Schlotter
Justin Vogel
Kevin Buckley
Linda Caleffie
Manuel Fraga
Maria Drennan
Marjie Dinges
Matthew Kirtley
Michael Hvizdak
Penny Mourat
Randy Willson
Rhonda Bruich
Robert Krupp
Rose Saunders
Shirley Everhart Kirtley
Stacy Jo Vogel
Steve Zubay
Susan Ponville
Susie Kurcina
Wink Harner

Children
Aksel Ace
Audri King
Brody McUmor
Daniel Marchione
Devon Bragg
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
Manuel Fraga – Trinity East
Eleanor Williams – Weirton Medical Center
Penny Mourat – Weirton Medical Center

Church Families
Robert & Juanita Buchanan
Evelyn Buckley
Patrick, Tawnya, Jenna & Leyton Burket

Local Church
St. Peter’s AME Church

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

Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery Groups
First Presbyterian Church, Barnesville, OH – Rev. Michael Mistic
Bellaire Presbyterian Church, Bellaire, OH – CRE Pete Walburn

Also Remember in Your Prayers
Alden & Dolores Edwards – 100 Wyngate Dr., 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
Charles & Dorothy Saffle – 100 Wyngate Dr., Wyngate, Weirton, WV 26062
Conrad Criss – 100 Wyngate Dr., 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 – Weirton Geriatric Center, 2525 Pennsylvania Ave., Weirton, WV 26062
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

Friday's Essay - The Religions of Our World


Beginning on Wednesday, June 5, I’ll start a series on world religions. We’ll meet for seven sessions from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and we’ll discuss some of the fundamental beliefs of the religions with whom we share this world. Of course, I’m a Christian; therefore, my faith will influence how I present the material. But this will not be a series focused on why Christianity is right or how Christians might convert others. Although I won’t pretend to be impartial or indifferent, I hope to focus on the faith and traditions of different religious systems as accurately as I can.

And I think that’s important, because I know too many Christians who seem almost afraid to consider other ways of viewing God and humanity. They sound as though any discussion is dangerous if it’s not demeaning and judgmental. Of course, this isn’t a purely Christian fear. I’ve had discussions with many people who practice different faiths, and they seem to have that same attitude toward Christians. You see, they seem to believe that they’re abandoning their faith by listening to the beliefs of others.

Now, I think that’s a shame for several reasons. First, it denies us the opportunity to grow and learn from others. Since I’m a Christian from the Reformed tradition, I believe our ultimate salvation is in the hands of God, not our efforts. For me, that salvation was assured by Jesus Christ, the one in whom we’ve been united by the Holy Spirit. In other words, God is in control of our redemption. My job is to share this good news, but not to separate those who’ve been chosen by God from those who haven’t. Therefore, other ways of viewing God aren’t threatening to me and really shouldn’t be threatening to us. As a matter of fact, I think there’s a lot we can learn from others about living the faith. For example, even if we disagree about theology, I can be a better, more loving person by following the example of some of my Jewish and Muslim friends, as they might be able to learn something from me. And if “eastern-style” meditation brings me closer to the one who was revealed through Jesus Christ, how can I consider that dangerous or evil? I think we can become better Christians by listening to men and women outside our faith.

Second, if I cut myself off from other faiths, I damage my ability to function in an increasingly pluralistic society. I mean, even if there was a time when we could pretend that every American was a Christian, we all know that’s not true. It really wasn’t in the past, and it’s certainly not the case now. We live in a society that reflects the world, one where there are people with many different perspectives on God and life as well as men and women with no perspective at all. If we don’t intentionally learn about these views, we’re going to be increasingly isolated from those around us.

Third, if I won’t reach out to others, I’m going to find it difficult to share my faith with them. I mean, why should anyone listen to me if I refuse to listen to them? God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. I think learning about other religions is how we might begin the listening process. And you know, when we listen, we’re going to find that we have a lot in common with other people of faith. Now I’m not suggesting that the differences aren’t real, because they are. But so are the similarities. And without abandoning our faith, we can begin to work together to solve some of the real problems faced by everyone in this world that God has given us to share.

And so I believe learning about other religions is important. Therefore, I hope you consider coming on Wednesdays so that together we can learn more about those men and women who view the world in ways that are different from us.

Thursday, May 30, 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.

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!

THE BROWN BAG BIBLE STUDY . . .
will be taking a break for the next couples of months.

SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS ...
Chad Pickens Scholarships are being awarded to ~
Lauren Rosnick, daughter of Robert and Christine Rosnick;
Justin R. Taflan,  son of John and Tina Taflan;
Allison Grace Viakley, daughter of Terry and Tina Viakley.
The Helen Hamill Scholarship is being awarded to ~
Angelline Marie Smith, granddaughter of Richard and Donna Smith. Angeline is a graduate of Brooke High School and will attend Glenville State College in the fall.

LEFT SIDE vs RIGHT SIDE . . .
to replenish items needed for the Food Pantry is being held today, Sunday, June 2  by the Deacons. We thank you for your support of our project!

BOARD OF DEACONS MEETING. . .
tomorrow, Monday, June 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room. This will be our last meeting till September. All members are urged to attend as we finalize plans for our upcoming summer events.

FRIENDSHIP  PICNIC...
for the Myrtle McHendry Class will be held on Tuesday, June 4 beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the Serbian-American Cultural Center.  Lunch will be served at noon. We are looking forward to a Fun Afternoon for all!!

IF YOU’RE INTERESTED IN LEARNING ABOUT OTHER RELIGIONS . . .
Pastor Rudiger will lead a class on some of the great world religions. During the seven-session series, we’ll look at the following:
Session 1 - What Is Religion
Session 2 - Christianity
Session 3 - Judaism
Session 4 - Islam
Session 5 - Hinduism
Session 6 - Buddhism
Session 7 - Religions of the East
Course will begin on Wednesday, June 5, at 10:00 a.m., in Cove Presbyterian Church. It’s free of charge and open to the entire community.

BUILDING UP OUR NEIGHBOR, JUNE 9 . . .
is the theme of this year’s  Presbyterian Women’s Birthday Offering.  “Each of us must please our neighbor for the good purpose of building up the neighbor. . . so that together (we) may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. - Romans 15: 2, 6 Since 1922, Presbyterian Women have facilitated a long succession of new and innovative mission projects through the annual Birthday Offering. You are encouraged to give as you have been blessed, generously and as lead by the Holy Spirit.

PASTOR RUDIGER WILL BEGIN A CLASS FOR YOUTH . . .
on Sunday, June 9, immediately after worship. We’ll talk about the Christian faith and how that faith might be living as member of the Presbyterian Church. We’ll consider the following questions:
Session 1 - Who are we?
Session 2 - Who is God?
Session 3 - What did Jesus do?
Session 4 - Why is the Holy Spirit important?
Session 5 - How can we respond?
At the end of the series, those involved will be offered the opportunity to accept the love and grace that God offers.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES . . .
meeting will be held on Monday, June 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room. This will be our last meeting till September.

BOARD OF SESSION WILL ALSO MEET. . .
on Monday, June 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.

PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN’S BOARD MEETING...
will be held on Wednesday, June 12 at 10:00 a.m. in the board room.

2013 GRADUATES...
Alex DeLancey, son of Matthew and Jennifer Caleffie is a graduate of Brooke High School. Alex plans to attend West Liberty University;
Lauren Katherine Rosnick, daughter of Robert and Chris Rosnick. She is a graduate of Weir High School and  will attend West Virginia University;
Justin R. Taflan, son of John and Tina Taflan a 2013 graduate of Brooke High School. Justin will be  attending West Virginia University this fall.
Congratulations, graduates! Good Luck in your future studies!!

SPECIAL MUSIC . . .
if anyone would like to sing a solo, duet, trio or share another musical talent during the months of June, July or August, please contact Janice Torrance at 304-797-1908. There is also a sign up sheet on the choir room bulletin board. All special music is welcome and will be greatly appreciated while the choir takes a much deserved break.

COVE’S WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION . . .
June - The Presbyterian Women’s Birthday Celebration will be on June 9. We will provide envelopes in the June 2 bulletin and collect on June 9, 2013.
Our Women’s Association will send these funds to the Upper Ohio Valley Women’s Association to be distributed to the needy and hurting people.
Laughlin Chapel in Wheeling, West Virginia needs school supplies for the year 2013-2014.  We annually ask for supplies from  our congregation for this mission. Boxes will be supplied thru the end of July for this need. Thanks.
Pastor Rudiger will have re-dedication of Cove Presbyterian Women’s Officers at the regular meeting on Wednesday, June 19 at 12, noon. We will have our Summer Luncheon on this date, our little party- come if you want! FOODS GOOD!
The congregation has been faithful with your gifts. We are grateful for your help and once again - THANK YOU!
Your in Christ,
Moderator, Linda Spencer

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.

OUR SERMONS ARE NOW AVAILABLE ON . . .
covepresbyterian.podbean.com and iTunes (search Cove Presbyterian).

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.

Cove’s Bulletin for June 2, 2013

Below is a copy of our bulletin for our 11:00 worship service. We’re talk about what’s special about the good news of Jesus Christ.









Sunday's Minute for Mission - Multicultural Church/Immigration

Rev. Dr. Rhashell d. Hunter 

A young girl went out to dinner with her family in downtown Dallas. This was not just a family dinner, however. They went to meet friends who were part of a community group called The Amigos.

The group was started by the girl’s father, Charles, an African American Presbyterian pastor, and Jane, a European American businesswoman. What was unusual about Amigos dinners was that there were adults, children of all ages, and many races gathered together for the meal. This was decades ago, and at that time multicultural dinners were uncommon in Dallas.

Charles’s and Ann’s daughter and Jane’s and Bob’s daughter played together, sailed together, and ate together with other Amigos families, and these early experiences shaped who they became, persons who are blessed to have seen firsthand God’s beloved community of diverse races and cultures joining together in unity.

Psalm 96 declares God’s glory among the nations and God’s marvelous works among all the people. The psalmist encourages all families of nations to rejoice before God.

Images of cross-cultural community, of all people rejoicing before God, are not just images for these daughters, now women. They live, work, and make their way in the world in cross-cultural community. Because of their early experiences playing, singing, and discussing topics with Latinos, African Americans, European Americans, and Asians, they notice when such diversity is not in the room. They realize who is missing. They long for the sisters and brothers of their family when they are not present or invited to share a meal or work or play together.

If their parents had not taught them to welcome persons of different cultures and walks of life into their homes, how different their lives might be.

I know it would be different, because I am Charles’s daughter. How brave it was for Cindy’s mother, Jane, and my father to decide to meet together for dinner and invite their multicultural friends. Thank God they did.


A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - Cricket Catching

Luke 5:17-26 

One day, while he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting near by (they had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem); and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. Just then some men came, carrying a paralyzed man on a bed. They were trying to bring him in and lay him before Jesus; but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus. When he saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.” Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, “Who is this who is speaking blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” When Jesus perceived their questionings, he answered them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”–he said to the one who was paralyzed–“I say to you, stand up and take your bed and go to your home.” Immediately he stood up before them, took what he had been lying on, and went to his home, glorifying God. Amazement seized all of them, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen strange things today.”


A Devotion by Stephen Bishop (North Carolina, USA)

As a boy, I mastered the art of catching fish bait. First, I had to find a patch of tall grass. Then I walked systematically through the grass, with one foot sweeping forward in a slow scythe-like motion. Scared crickets would leap, at which point I would crouch, cup one hand, and pounce. Somewhere along the line, I lost my passion for catching crickets — and on a much larger scale, for mastering new things. From fear of failure or disapproval, I now stay safely in my comfort zone. In fact, as an adult, I live more like a cricket than a person, hiding and leaping in fear. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus says, “Fear not.” He appreciates faith-driven courage and boldness, such as that of the paralytic’s friends (in Luke, chapter five). In 2 Timothy, Paul reminds Timothy to rekindle the gift of God that was in him. Although Timothy was loyal and dependable, he apparently struggled with being timid, just as I do. Paul urged him to remember that God’s power was at work in him. In times when I feel small and scared, like a cricket, it’s comforting to know that God’s powerful Spirit is also in me, encouraging me, “Take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

From The Upper Room.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - My Father's Love

Ephesians 6:1-4 

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother" this is
the first commandment with a promise: "so that it may be well with you and you may live long on
the earth." And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the
discipline and instruction of the Lord.

A Devotion by Matthew L. Reger (Ohio, USA)

When I was 16, I was told that before I was born my grandfather had spent a year in a mental
hospital. Grandpa had always seemed a bit odd to me, but I never thought he was mentally ill.
When I asked my dad why he had not told me this earlier, his response revealed something
important about love. He acknowledged that his father was mentally ill and that the disease had
caused much pain. But he had not told me about the illness. He did not want me to judge or be
frightened of my grandfather. He wanted me to love his dad as my grandfather, as he had loved
him as his dad. The fourth commandment tells us to honor our father and mother and follows with
the promise: "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth." Twenty-five years
have passed since I learned about my grandfather, and I have kept that moment alive as a
testament to what loving and honoring a parent means. I saw in my dad a testament to the love of
God, who loves us no matter what our circumstances, diagnoses, or past acts.

From The Upper Room.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sunday's Sermon - Easy for You to Say

You can also find a podcast of this sermon at http://covepresbyterian.podbean.com/ or iTunes (Cove Presbyterian Church). 


Romans 5:1-5

Then because we’re made righteous from faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we’ve also gained access by faith to that grace in which we stand. And let us boast in hope of the glory of God. But not only this, but let us also boast in the pressure, because we know that the pressure produces patience, and patience proven character, and proved character hope. And the hope doesn’t disappoint, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through a Holy Spirit that was given to us.


Easy for You to Say

As I think y’all know, on Monday afternoon, what they call an EF5 tornado, with peak winds estimated at 210 miles per hour, hit Moore, Oklahoma, and some of the surrounding areas. The tornado was part of a larger weather system that had produced some other tornadoes over the previous two days. This particular tornado touched down west of a little town called Newcastle at 2:45 p.m., and it stayed  on the ground for about 50 minutes over a 17-mile path. It crossed through a heavily populated section of Moore. And at it’s peak, the tornado was about a mile and a half wide.

Between 12,000 to 13,000 homes were destroyed or damaged and 33,000 people were affected. The majority of a neighborhood just west of the Moore Medical Center was completely destroyed. Among the hardest hit were two public schools: Briarwood Elementary and Plaza Towers Elementary, where 75 children and staff were present when the tornado struck. On May 21, officials said the search for survivors was nearly over. Fire Chief Gary Bird said he was “98% sure” there were no more survivors or bodies to recover from the rubble. On May 22, authorities released the identities of the 24 people, including 10 children, who were killed.

Of course, as a country, this wasn’t the first natural disaster nor will it be the last nor will it be the most severe, except for the people involved. For them it’s the worst thing that could ever happen. And as a parent, again I’m back to where I was right after Sandy Hook, thinking about what I’d do if I found out that Maggie wouldn’t be coming home from school ever again. And frankly, if that were the case, I don’t know what I’d do or what I’d feel.

What I do know is that an awful lot of the words that I’d probably be most tempted to say to a father in Oklahoma or Sandy Hook, man, I wouldn’t want anyone to say them to me, not by someone who couldn’t possibly know what I’m going through. You see, I wouldn’t want to hear them, because it’s really easy for you to say all kinds of comforting and spiritual-sounding stuff when it’s not your daughter who is gone forever. I mean, let’s face it, sometimes the words we use to offer comfort, well, sometimes they seem pretty shallow and empty, even to us, the ones saying them. And you know, it doesn’t have to involve a natural disaster or crazed shooter. We know people who are wrestling with their own personal disasters, things like saying goodbye to a spouse who was never supposed to go first or a parent who had to put up with way too much or a marriage that we expected to last forever.

And as good Christian folks who want to offer something, you know, something positive, something optimistic, something hopeful, there we stand: seeing the pain, seeing the confusion, seeing the despair. I mean, we want to give hope; my gosh, we want to give hope, but we don’t know what to say. And so the words that come out, words that may sound a lot like the passage we just read, you know about pressure and patience and character, words that we want to offer comfort and clarity and strength, so often they just don’t sound right; you know like, “Some things we’re not supposed to understand” or “There must be a reason” or “God has a plan.”  My gosh, we end up saying something that sounds like we got it from a fortune cookie rather than something that can make a real difference to a real person who’s feeling real pain. At least that’s how those words sound to me. And even if the other person is polite enough to nod and thank us, I mean, even if they either care enough about us
that they don’t want to appear unappreciative or are so numb that it just doesn’t matter anymore, I know, man, we know that we’ve offered them nothing, don’t we? Even if they never say it, we still know. We still know.

And you see, that’s a problem, even for Christians, as we try to reach out and offer comfort and focus and strength. And that problem, that discomfort is still there even when we mouth some of these words of Paul. But you know, before we push those words aside, I think it’s really important that we look carefully at this passage and recognize that Paul did something here we don’t generally do. You see, he wrote about hope only after he explained what God had already done. In other words, he didn’t offer spiritual comfort until he’d clearly established the nature and the work of God.

And even though he started describing it way back in chapter three of this letter, he kind of summarized who God was and what he’d done at the beginning of this passage. I mean, before saying anything about how those Romans could deal with the issues that they faced, Paul said this. He wrote, “Then because we’re made righteous from faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we’ve also gained access by faith to that grace in which we stand.” You see, this was the basis, the reason Paul could offer comfort. And when he did, he explained how claiming this gift from God might offer hope. You see, It could offer hope as they looked to the future. “And let us boast in hope of the glory of God.” And it could offer hope as they tried to survive in the present. As he wrote, “But not only this, but let us also boast in the pressure, because we know that the pressure produces patience, and patience proven character, and proved character hope. And the hope doesn’t disappoint, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through a Holy Spirit
that was given to us.”

Now that’s what Paul wrote, and personally, I find it remarkable. You see, I believe he realized that knowing that we have reason to hope was meaningful only when we could accept what God had already done for us. Let me put it another way. Real hope, genuine hope, and I’m talking about the kind of hope that can help us deal with pain and confusion and despair, it’s grounded in what God has already done. At least, that’s the way it was for Paul.

And I’ll tell you, I think it should be that way for us as well. I mean, in the face of terrible situations and as we try to comfort those who may be overwhelmed by grief, I believe our words can have real meaning when we remember that God is the foundation of all genuine hope and share that truth to those who are suffering. And for that reason, before we talk about the future and present, we probably need to focus on the past, and I’m talking about what God has already done. I mean, just think about this passage and consider what’s right now a done deal. First, God has made us righteous, in other words, God has drawn us into a right relationship with himself. Man, God has already done the heavy lifting, and we didn’t have to do one blessed thing, you know, to show God that we deserved it. It’s a done deal, and to make it complete, all we have to do is to accept that it was done. Man, that’s crazy. It’s like being given a car and all we have to do is to accept the keys. And yet that’s exactly what God did for us and for them, and it doesn’t matter who the “them” are. And I’ll tell you, that’s something we need to share before anything else.

And second, those who may be hopeless, I think they need to hear that we now have peace with God, and that’s good, because we all know that just being in a relationship doesn’t mean we going to feel peace. And yet, we have peace with God, because thanks to his entering our space as Jesus Christ, God can do something that most people never seem able to do. He can understand us, he can identify with us, he can experience exactly what’s felt by us, the ones with whom he’s in relationship. We have peace with God, because he knows us so well and loves us anyway.

And third, man, people need to hear that they, that we have access to grace. And I’ll tell you, I think this is really cool, because I believe grace is more than a theological concept. You see, grace is God giving us the ability to participate in the divine. It’s God uniting us to himself in Jesus Christ. And it’s God sealing that unity through the Holy Spirit which is right this minute pouring the love of God into our lives and bringing our joy and sadness, our confidence and fears, our dreams and frustrations into the very being of God. Now, tell me that’s not cool? Man, we’ve been made righteous. We have peace. And we’ve been given access to grace. That has already happened without our permission and help. And it’s going to be meaningful to us the second we accept that it’s real. That’s what God has done, and it’s something we need to share first.

And then, once we’ve done it, now all this hope business makes a lot of sense. I mean, without God, by itself, hope is just wishful thinking. But with God, I’m talking about knowing the one who established a relationship with us and knowing the one who became like us so that we could understand him and he could share our experiences and knowing the one who constantly draws us into the divine and the divine into us, now our hope has chops, it has substance. It’s real. You see, now we can be confident as we look into the future, because it just stands to reason that since God has already done all this for us in the past, our future is going to be glorious.


But you know, it’s not all about the future, because thanks to God we can have hope as we survive in the present. Of course, Paul wrote that we can “...boast in the pressure, because we know that the pressure produces patience, and patience proven character, and proved character hope. And the hope doesn’t disappoint, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through a Holy Spirit that was given to us.” You see, for us, God isn’t just involved with the past and the future. He’s holding us in his hands right now. And he’s doing more than just enabling us to survive. He’s helping us grow and developing into the men and women he’s created us to be, using even the pressures and the problems and the pain that we face to empower us to show better our love for him and for others. And this is something we can believe, because it’s the Holy Spirit that is pouring his love into our hearts and lives. You see, when grounded on the nature and work of God, suddenly the hope we share has real power.

In some very real ways, the survivors of that tornado will never be the same. I mean, as the rest of the country jumps to the next disaster or scandal, their lives have been profoundly changed. But I think we all know, you don’t have to go to Oklahoma to find people who are struggling with situations that have left them feeling pain and confusion and despair. And as they face this stuff, there we stand, trying to help but not knowing what to say. And even though, sometimes what we say may sound a little empty and shallow, it doesn’t have to be. You see, we can focus our attention on Paul and recognize that hope is truly meaningful when we accept what God has already done for us. And if this is the message that we share, we just might find fewer and fewer people thinking to themselves, “Well, that’s easy for you to say.”

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - In Training

Hebrews 12:1-13 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as children–“My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, or lose heart when you are punished by him; for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child whom he accepts.” Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline? If you do not have that discipline in which all children share, then you are illegitimate and not his children. Moreover, we had human parents to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not be even more willing to be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share his holiness. Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.



A Devotion by Charles D. Kelsey (Iowa, USA)

In my area, the month of June kicks off the season of triathlon racing. These contests of varying distances include swimming, biking, and running and are held one after the other. Over the last five years I have competed in triathlons and will participate again this year. In order to complete a triathlon, an athlete needs to prepare for it. Workouts that balance all three areas are better for the body and more helpful in completing the races than are workouts that focus on just one area. A spiritual journey is a lot like a triathlon. To fully engage in the spiritual journey we need balance in prayer, Bible study, and worship. These three activities will strengthen our spiritual lives so that we can accomplish what the writer of Hebrews calls “the race marked out for us.” Some might add a fourth area — service. But I am a firm believer that service is actually an outward expression of prayer, Bible study, and worship. When we train by praying, reading the Bible, and worshiping with others, we can persevere in the race marked out for us, the race that leads to an experience of God that is eternal.

From The Upper Room.

Friday, May 24, 2013

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

On Sunday, May 26, Cove Presbyterian Church will lift the following needs to God.

Adults
Andrea Vincent
Anthony LaPosta
Barbara Maze
Bill Moulds
Bill Phillips
Bonnie Bowen
Bonnie Kirtley
Charles Saffle
Cindi Livingston
Conrad Criss
Dale Brant
Dee Campbell
Diane Szymanek
Dick Bonyak
Dino Buffington
Eleanor Williams
Emery Edwards
Gen Meyer
Harman
Hattie Black Marcum
Holly
Jamie Edwards
Jeanne Buffington Rowland
Jeanne Stark
Jeff Grant
Jen's Mom
Joan Gallagher
John Jezerski
Jodi Kraina
John Schlotter
Justin Vogel
Kevin Buckley
Linda Caleffie
Manuel Fraga
Maria Drennan
Marjie Dinges
Matthew Kirtley
Michael Hvizdak
Randy Willson
Rhonda Bruich
Robert Krupp
Rose Bell
Rose Saunders
Shirley Everhart Kirtley
Stacy Jo Vogel
Steve Zubay
Susan Ponville
Susie Kurcina
Wink Harner

Children
Aksel Ace
Audri King
Brody McUmor
Daniel Marchione
Devon Bragg
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
Manuel Fraga – Trinity East
Eleanor Williams – Weirton Medical Center

Church Families
Staci & Patrick Breen
Patti & Melanie Brown
Jesse Bryniarski

Local Church
St. Thomas Episcopal Church

Special Friends
Penny Murat – Valley Haven Geriatric Center, RR 2 Box 44, Wellsburg, WV  26070

Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery Groups
Synod Commissioners – Rev. Robert Nagy and Mrs. Nancy Browder
Training and Development Committee – Ruling Elder Cindy Foster, Acting Chairperson
Worship Committee – Ruling Elder Mary McElroy, Chairperson

Also Remember in Your Prayers
Alden & Dolores Edwards – 100 Wyngate Dr., 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
Charles & Dorothy Saffle – 100 Wyngate Dr., Wyngate, Weirton, WV 26062
Conrad Criss – 100 Wyngate Dr., 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 – Weirton Geriatric Center, 2525 Pennsylvania Ave., Weirton, WV 26062
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

Friday's Essay - Memorial Day

Since Monday we'll celebrate Memorial Day in the United States, I thought I'd give you a little of the history. There's an article from The Office of Veterans Affairs focusing on the history of the day. And then, I've included a poem by Joyce Kilmer.


Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.

The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.

Local Observances Claim To Be First Local springtime tributes to the Civil War dead already had been held in various places. One of the first occurred in Columbus, Miss., April 25, 1866, when a group of women visited a cemetery to decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers who had fallen in battle at Shiloh. Nearby were the graves of Union soldiers, neglected because they were the enemy. Disturbed at the sight of the bare graves, the women placed some of their flowers on those graves, as well.

Today, cities in the North and the South claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day in 1866. Both Macon and Columbus, Ga., claim the title, as well as Richmond, Va. The village of Boalsburg, Pa., claims it began there two years earlier. A stone in a Carbondale, Ill., cemetery carries the statement that the first Decoration Day ceremony took place there on April 29, 1866. Carbondale was the wartime home of Gen. Logan. Approximately 25 places have been named in connection with the origin of Memorial Day, many of them in the South where most of the war dead were buried.

Official Birthplace Declared In 1966, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y., the “birthplace” of Memorial Day. There, a ceremony on May 5, 1866, honored local veterans who had fought in the Civil War. Businesses closed and residents flew flags at half-staff. Supporters of Waterloo’s claim say earlier observances in other places were either informal, not community-wide or one-time events.

By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.

It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.

Some States Have Confederate Observances Many Southern states also have their own days for honoring the Confederate dead. Mississippi celebrates Confederate Memorial Day on the last Monday of April, Alabama on the fourth Monday of April, and Georgia on April 26. North and South Carolina observe it on May 10, Louisiana on June 3 and Tennessee calls that date Confederate Decoration Day. Texas celebrates Confederate Heroes Day January 19 and Virginia calls the last Monday in May Confederate Memorial Day.

Gen. Logan’s order for his posts to decorate graves in 1868 “with the choicest flowers of springtime” urged: “We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. ... Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”

The crowd attending the first Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery was approximately the same size as those that attend today’s observance, about 5,000 people. Then, as now, small American flags were placed on each grave — a tradition followed at many national cemeteries today. In recent years, the custom has grown in many families to decorate the graves of all departed loved ones.

The origins of special services to honor those who die in war can be found in antiquity. The Athenian leader Pericles offered a tribute to the fallen heroes of the Peloponnesian War over 24 centuries ago that could be applied today to the 1.1 million Americans who have died in the nation’s wars: “Not only are they commemorated by columns and inscriptions, but there dwells also an unwritten memorial of them, graven not on stone but in the hearts of men.”

To ensure the sacrifices of America ’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579, creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. The commission’s charter is to “encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity” by encouraging and coordinating commemorations in the United States of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance.

The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”

Below is a poem by Joyce Kilmer entitled “Memorial Day.”

“Dulce et decorum est”

The bugle echoes shrill and sweet,
But not of war it sings to-day.
The road is rhythmic with the feet
Of men-at-arms who come to pray. 

The roses blossom white and red
On tombs where weary soldiers lie;
Flags wave above the honored dead
And martial music cleaves the sky. 

Above their wreath-strewn graves we kneel,
They kept the faith and fought the fight.
Through flying lead and crimson steel
They plunged for Freedom and the Right. 

May we, their grateful children, learn
Their strength, who lie beneath this sod,
Who went through fire and death to earn
At last the accolade of God. 

In shining rank on rank arrayed
They march, the legions of the Lord;
He is their Captain unafraid,
The Prince of Peace . . . Who brought a sword. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cove’s Bulletin for May 26, 2013

Below is a copy of our bulletin for our 11:00 worship service. We’re talk about how we might deal with unexpected tragedy, like the one face by the folks in Oklahoma.









A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - Tomorrow’s Pharisee

You can also find a podcast of this devotion at http://covepresbyterian.podbean.com/ or iTunes (Cove Presbyterian Church).

Luke 11:37-44 

While he was speaking, a Pharisee invited him to dine with him; so he went in and took his place at the table. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not first wash before dinner. Then the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? So give for alms those things that are within; and see, everything will be clean for you.

“But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and herbs of all kinds, and neglect justice and the love of God; it is these you ought to have practiced, without neglecting the others. Woe to you Pharisees! For you love to have the seat of honor in the synagogues and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces. Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without realizing it.”


A Devotion by Dan G. Johnson (Florida, USA)

A pastor of mine once said, “The Christians of one generation tend to become the Pharisees of the next.” The Pharisees had started out on the right track; they wanted to live for God. But keeping the law became an end in itself. They forgot that the law was meant to draw them closer to God. Today’s reading shows what happens when our focus on outward cleanliness becomes an obsession, blocking out the more important part of the inner life. Jesus’ words cause us to step back and look carefully at what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. The three “woes” in today’s reading remind us not to focus on appearances while the inner life is in disrepair. The first tells us that if we love God, we will desire justice and give to the poor. Then Jesus says that if we are humble, we will not care about having the “important” seats. Finally, if we neglect the inner life, Jesus tells us, we will become like an unmarked grave, trampled underfoot. But if we nurture it, we will be vital and spiritually alive.

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.

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!

THE BROWN BAG BIBLE STUDY . . .
will be taking a break for the next couples of months.

CHURCH & OFFICE CLOSED . . .
Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day.

SCHOLARSHIP SUNDAY . . .
to honor all scholarship recipients and current graduates will be held next Sunday, June 2 during the morning worship.

LEFT SIDE vs RIGHT SIDE . . .
to replenish items needed for the Food Pantry will be held next Sunday, June 2  by the Deacons. Items that need to be restocked are pancake mix and syrup, cereal, hygiene products, and gravy.

BOARD OF DEACONS MEETING. . .
will be held on Monday, June 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room. This will be our last meeting till September. All members are urged to attend as we finalize plans for our upcoming summer events.

MYRTLE MCHENDRY MEETING & SOCIAL . . .
will be held on Tuesday, June 4 at the Serbian-American Cultural Center. If you are interested in attending please contact Betty Virtue at 304-748-8196 for more details.

IF YOU’RE INTERESTED IN LEARNING ABOUT OTHER RELIGIONS . . .
Pastor Rudiger will lead a class on some of the great world religions. During the seven-session series, we’ll look at the following:
Session 1 - What Is Religion
Session 2 - Christianity
Session 3 - Judaism
Session 4 - Islam
Session 5 - Hinduism
Session 6 - Buddhism
Session 7 - Religions of the East
Course will begin on Wednesday, June 5, at 10:00 a.m., in Cove Presbyterian Church. It’s free of charge and open to the entire community.

BUILDING UP OUR NEIGHBOR, JUNE 9 . . .
is the theme of this year’s  Presbyterian Women’s Birthday Offering.  “Each of us must please our neighbor for the good purpose of building up the neighbor. . . so that together (we) may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. - Romans 15: 2, 6 Since 1922, Presbyterian Women have facilitated a long succession of new and innovative mission projects through the annual Birthday Offering. You are encouraged to give as you have been blessed, generously and as lead by the Holy Spirit.

PASTOR RUDIGER WILL BEGIN A CLASS FOR YOUTH . . .
on Sunday, June 9, immediately after worship. We’ll talk about the Christian faith and how that faith might be living as member of the Presbyterian Church. We’ll consider the following questions:
Session 1 - Who are we?
Session 2 - Who is God?
Session 3 - What did Jesus do?
Session 4 - Why is the Holy Spirit important?
Session 5 - How can we respond?
At the end of the series, those involved will be offered the opportunity to accept the love and grace that God offers.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES . . .
meeting will be held on Monday, June 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room. This will be our last meeting till September.

BOARD OF SESSION WILL ALSO MEET. . .
on Monday, June 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.

SPECIAL MUSIC . . .
if anyone would like to sing a solo, duet, trio or share another musical talent during the months of June, July or August, please contact Janice Torrance at 304-797-1908. There is also a sign up sheet on the choir room bulletin board. All special music is welcome and will be greatly appreciated while the choir takes a much deserved break.

MAY THRU JUNE . . .
the Cove Presbyterian Women’s Association are always collecting and giving. Thanks to all members who donated to the “Shack” in Morgantown, West Virginia - one of our annual projects- April. Church Women United of Weirton Churches met for a May Friendship Day to keep in touch with “The Neighbors”. Our women’s association members Eleanor Cline and Eloise Evans participated - May. Monetary Support: Annual support to “Loaves of Bread”. Cove women donate monthly to this program and the monies is distributed  to: World Vision 50% and Cove’s Deacon’s Outreach Fund 50%. - May Presbyterian Women’s Birthday Celebration, envelopes for support will be offered in the June 2 bulletin, the offering will be collected on Sunday, June 9.  Cove’s Women’s Association will send these funds to the Upper Ohio Valley Women’s Association to be distributed. Providing support thru this gift to the needy and hurting people. - June All women are invited to join us for our monthly meetings the 3rd Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. with a bag lunch for our meeting and Bible Study in fellowship hall.
Yours in Christ,
Linda Spencer

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.

OUR SERMONS ARE NOW AVAILABLE ON . . .
Podbean.com (seach “covepresbyterian) and iTunes.

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.

Sunday's Minute for Mission - Presbyterian Heritage

A farmer’s tractor rescues a Chevy belonging
to a medical missionary.
Cotton camps, San Joaquin Valley, 1932.
During the first half of the twentieth century, agricultural workers throughout the United States and Mexico often viewed California as a promised land. The state’s mild climate allowed for a long growing season with staggered planting and harvesting cycles. Migrant workers from Mexico played an important role in California agriculture, and they were joined in the 1930s by Midwestern farmers driven west by the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Worker surpluses frequently drove down the average pay for migrants, and many found they could not support their families with such wages. Presbyterian and ecumenical missionaries sought to alleviate suffering resulting from these socioeconomic conditions. They established camps for migrant workers and provided medical and educational services to families.

The Home Missions Council of North America, which later became part of the National Council of the Churches of Christ, was active in California during the 1930s and 1940s. This 1932 photograph shows a missionary nurse’s truck stuck in the mud during wet weather. According to the accompanying report, “More than once, a tractor had to come to the assistance of ‘Chevy,’ for getting stuck seemed to be a favorite pastime.” That year, Home Missions Council workers made almost 2,000 health calls to California migrant camps.

In the following decades, Presbyterians persevered in mission to migrants, and clergy typically visited workers in the community. In 1981 the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico, the UPCUSA, and the PCUS formed a joint committee to investigate Mexican migration in the United States. Their actions constituted an ecumenical effort to positively influence the lives of Mexican migrants both in California and elsewhere.


—The staff of the Presbyterian Historical Society

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Situation Report - Oklahoma Tornado




Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) will be responding with One Great Hour of Sharing funds and members of the National Response Team to a devastating tornado that struck Moore, a populous suburb of Oklahoma City, Okla.

survivor of a tornado stands amidst her destroyed homeThe 200 mph, F-4 tornado struck Monday evening and destroyed whole neighborhoods. Two elementary schools were in the tornado's path and one school sustained a direct hit. Of the 51 confirmed deaths from the storm, 20 were children. Additional causalities are expected.

Five counties in Oklahoma have been declared federal disaster areas. The Oklahoma VOAD has reported that many unsolicited volunteers have been showing up. They have pleaded that the information get out that volunteers are not yet needed. First responders need first to complete their work.

PDA previously responded to the 1999 tornado in Moore that caused $1 billion worth of damage, including extensive damage to the First Presbyterian Church in Moore. PDA will be working with Presbytery leadership to help meet the needs of families most impacted by this crisis.


How you can help

 You can stand in the GAP for disaster survivors, and help the church in its response:
Give
Share your financial blessings by designating gifts to DR000015 – USA Disasters and Emergencies.  Individuals may give through your local Presbyterian congregation, online, or by mailing a check to Presbyterian Church (USA), P.O. Box 643700 Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700.  Please note “DR000015 – Oklahoma” on your gift.  You can also text PDA to 20222 to donate $10 for disaster response; or call PresbyTel at (800) 872-3283 to give by credit card.

ACT
  • Following disasters in the United States, there is a need for cleanup buckets for those returning home to begin the daunting task of cleaning up what the disaster left behind.  Learn how to assemble a CWS Cleanup Bucket.
  • Volunteers may be needed for future recovery efforts.  You may email the PDA Call Center (pda.callcenter@pcusa.org)  or call (866) 732-6121 to discuss your interest in serving.  You will then be notified if/when the communities are requesting volunteers.  Please keep in mind that volunteers at this time are not requested, while first responders are completing their work.  Please keep them in your prayers.
 PRAY
As part of the body of Christ, our first and best response is prayer.  Please pray for those who survived the storm and will face hard days ahead, for those who mourn loved ones lost, and that the response of the church will be an example of the faithful love of God.
Church leaders have issued a call to prayer.  A Prayer in the wake of the May 20, 2013 tornado in Moore/Oklahoma City and a hymn written by Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus are available to download and print for use with your congregation.  See the resources section below for additional worship resources.

Church leaders call for prayer in the wake of the May 20 tornado in Moore-Oklahoma City


May 21, 2013
Office of the General Assembly
Communications Coordinator
Louisville


Neal Presa, Moderator of the 220th General Assembly (2012), Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, and Linda Valentine, Executive Director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, today issued a call to prayer for all those affected by the Oklahoma tornado, and share the following prayer and hymn written by Laurie Kraus, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) coordinator:

A Prayer in the wake of the May 20 tornado in Moore-Oklahoma City

O God of love, whose Spirit in creation moved over the face of chaos, bringing life: hear our prayers, as we bear witness this day to the awful power of wind, whose might raged over your people in Moore, Oklahoma, changing lives and landscapes in an instant. Even now, as first responders still labor to seek those who are lost and succor those who are bereaved and bereft, even as stories of terror and hurt are still unfolding,
WE TOUCH YOUR HAND OF MERCY.

In teachers who sheltered with their bodies the children entrusted to their care, as you, O God, like a mother hen spread her wings over her people Israel:
WE SEE YOUR FACE, AND FEEL YOUR TENDER EMBRACE.

In neighbors who rallied to one another’s need, in houses of worship which opened their doors to give shelter, in volunteers who set their personal needs aside to assist those in grave danger and those awaiting a hand of compassion
WE FEEL THE HEART OF YOUR COMPASSION.

In the courageous resolve of first responders, who listen for cries in the dark, dig through the rubble, tenderly bind up wounds and comfort the bereaved,
WE EXPERIENCE THE STEADFASTNESS OF YOUR LOVE.

We are grateful for the signs of your presence in responders, neighbors, strangers and families of faith, who come together as one common body to save, support, and salve the wounds of those who suffer.
FOR ALL THESE VISIBLE SIGNS OF YOUR INVISIBLE GRACE, WE BLESS YOUR NAME.

Our Rock and Redeemer, who from the bonds of death rose to resurrection life for the sake of Love, be a strong presence among those who, having survived this chaos, now face grief, uncertainty and weary days:
BE IN US AND THROUGH OUR PRAYERS AND ACTIONS A SOURCE OF HOLY COMFORT AND A CHANNEL OF HEALING GRACE.

MAY THE PEACE OF GOD MOVE THROUGH US, THE REST OF GOD ABIDE WITH THOSE WHO HAVE ENDURED TERRORS AND SORROW, AND, IN THE SEASON OF REBUILDING, MAY THE LIFE OF GOD BRING OUT OF FORMLESS CHAOS, A NEW CREATION. AMEN.

---the Rev. Dr. Laurie A. Kraus, Coordinator, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

Through Cloud and Out of Chaos: A Hymn for a Hard Season

Text by the Rev. Dr. Laurie A. Kraus, Coordinator, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
To be sung to the tune Es Ist Ein’ Ros’ 7.6.7.6.7.6  (Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming)


O, God of Hosts, restore us.
Turn toward us in your grace.
Stir up your might and save us,
Teach us to seek your face.

Your people cry in pain.
Bereft, adrift, and longing:
God, make us whole again.

Come, God of present danger,
Return, and guide us home.
Speak to us, Friend and Stranger:
We trust in you alone.

We watch and work and pray,
The Spirit’s Life revealing
To wait the Coming Day.

Through cloud and out of chaos
Your people speak Your Name
In darkness, God will stay us,
In Christ, the winds are tamed.

Toward hope our hearts are drawn
Your healing Life abounding,
Your Love, our steadfast song.


Visit the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) website for updates on PDA’s ongoing response.