Monday, July 29, 2013

Sunday's Sermon - Nailed It!

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

Colossians 2:6-15

Now, as you received Jesus Christ the Lord, in him walk, having been rooted and built in him and established in faith just as you were taught, being right in thanksgiving. See that no one will take you captive through philosophy and empty deceit according to the traditions of people, according to the principles of world and not according to Christ, because in him the whole fulness of the Godhead dwells bodily, and you, in him, have been made full, the one who is the head of every ruler and power. In him also, you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands by the taking off of the fleshly body, in the circumcision of Christ, when you were buried with him in the baptism, in which you also were raised together through the faith in the working of God who raised him from death; and when you were dead in the trespasses and uncircumcision of your flesh, he made you alive with him, forgiving us all the trespasses. After he wiped away the certificate of indebtedness that was against us which was opposed to us, he himself has also once and for all removed it from your midst by nailing it to the cross; and when he disarmed the rulers and the powers, he made examples of them openly, leading them around in a triumphal procession by it.



Nailed It!

Have y’all ever had the experience of really nailing it; I mean, of getting something so right that it kind of makes you feel good as look back. Well, I’ve got to tell you, this very thing happened to me last week. You see, Audrey Kocher, a member of the church, is directing a summer program for some kids over at Jefferson Elementary in Fallonsbee. And I volunteered to be a reader, in other words, to come over to the school and read to the kids. And that’s what I did on Wednesday morning. Now, you’ve got to understand, reading stories to a group, I’m telling you, right along with teaching and preaching, that’s one of the things I really love doing. And so on Tuesday evening, I picked out what I was going to read or maybe better, what I was going to perform, but since the groups ranged in age from about six to twelve, I felt I needed to prepare two stories. You see, for the kids ten and under, I’d read Horton Hears a Who, but to the one group of boys who were eleven and twelve years-old, I didn’t think Horton would really hold their interest. And so I decided to read them “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe, and since that story is written in the first person, I figured I could be really dramatic in my reading.

Anyway, I got to the school only five minutes late, which for the guy who’s known as the late Ed Rudiger, was pretty good, and I started reading. Now the first four or five groups, I don’t remember the exact number, got Horton, and although it went pretty well, the last group probably got the best reading, because I kind of settled on the voices for the different characters that seemed to work, at least for me. But then, for the last group, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and I’ve got to tell you, I think it went really well. I mean, as I told the story from the perspective of the guy who killed his roommate and than tried to cover it, man, I think I sounded crazy. My volume went up and down. My rhythm was good. And I even squirmed in my seat, showing how uncomfortable it was making me. And when I got to the end and read “‘Villains!’ I shrieked, ‘dissemble no more! I admit the deed! – tear up the planks! here, here! – It is the beating of his hideous heart!,” I knew I had them.

And so as I was going back to my car, I couldn’t help thinking that I’d come in prepared. I’d given it my best shot. And I’d nailed it. And man, I felt good. Now, having said that, I want you to understand, that kind of thing really doesn’t happen all that often, at least it doesn’t for me. I mean, more often than not, I leave situations thinking about all those things I haven’t done very well. I guess I tend to dwell a little bit on the negative, and the bigger the mistake, well, the more impact it has.

Of course, I don’t believe I’m alone in that. As a matter of fact, I think we’re all pretty sensitive to the times when we sort of stumble, you know, when we do or forget to do things that disappoint or hurt others, maybe even hurt ourselves. And even if we’re able to justify what we’re doing, so of course, we can continue doing it, I mean, even it we’re able to explain it away or to blame it on someone else, more often than not, eventually our own chickens come home to roost. My gosh, suddenly there’s no where to run and no place to hide. The past simply catches up with us. And when it does, I’ve got to tell you, it can really knock us down. I mean, have you ever done anything of which you’re ashamed? Have you even made some comment or took some action, maybe because you were mad or jealous or even hurt, it really doesn’t matter, have you ever done something that was really self-indulgent that it ended up damaging others? I’ll tell you, it’s happened to me. Man, I’ve done it. How do you feel? How do you feel when you walk in a room and everybody there knows exactly what you’ve done or said, everybody knows the pain you’ve caused, everybody knows the trouble you’ve created?  How do you feel?  And how do you feel when you walk by a mirror, knowing exactly what you’ve done; and you know, and I’m talking about in your heart of heart, you know that all those wonderful explanations and all those wonderful justifications and all those wonderful excuses aren’t worth a plug nickel and everybody knows it, but more important you know it? How do you feel? Well, I’ll tell you, unless you’re some kind of sociopath, and then you’ve got a whole new set of problems, I think most of us would feel pretty bad, right? I know I would. Man, I know I have. And I’ll tell you, if we’re not careful, we could end up living our lives looking back. In other words, we can allow those mistakes, those stumbles, using a good biblical word, those trespasses to control our future. And even if we don’t fall into the trap of assuming that since a leopard can’t change his spots; we’re bound to do the same stupid stuff over and over again; I mean, even if we don’t stumble into that hole, I’m telling you, it’s pretty tough to move forward while looking back.

As a matter of fact, at least in my opinion, it would be almost impossible to live the kind of life Paul challenged the Colossians to live at the beginning of this passage. I mean, I think he was pretty clear that we’re supposed to be looking forward, not back. And that’s why he wrote, “Now, as you received Jesus Christ the Lord, in him walk, having been rooted and built in him  and established in faith just as you were taught, being right in thanksgiving. See that no one will take you captive through philosophy and empty deceit according to the traditions of people, according to the principles of world  and not according to Christ...”

In other words, Paul commanded them to do two things.First, he wanted them to walk in Christ. As he already said this letter, he wanted them to “...lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as [they] bear fruit in every good work and as [they] grow in the knowledge of God” and a little later, he’ll tell them to “...conduct [themselves] wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time.” You see, that’s how Paul expected the Colossians to walk, how he expected them to live. And then second, he wanted to them to them to resist being carried away by what’s popular at the moment, to avoid being taken captive by the latest trends. You see, Paul didn’t want them, and if he were here now, I don’t think he’d want us to stumble backward into the future. Instead, I believe he’d want us to move forward with confidence and faith.

And I’ll tell you, for him, that was possible, in other words, we can do that for one reason and one reason alone. It’s because Jesus Christ came. That’s it. That’s why we can face the future. That’s why we can walk in the faith. That’s why we can resist what’s easy and popular. As he wrote, this is possible because of who Jesus was, I mean, “...in him the whole fulness of the Godhead dwells bodily...”, in other words, Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. That’s who he is. But that’s not all . It’s also possible because of what he did. Paul wrote, “and you, in him, have been made full, the one who is the head of every ruler and power. In him also, you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands by the taking off of the fleshly body, in the circumcision of Christ, when you were buried with him in the baptism, in which you also were raised together through the faith in the working of God who raised him from death; and when you were dead in the trespasses and uncircumcision of your flesh, he made you alive with him, forgiving us all the trespasses.”

Now I know that sounds really complicated, but when you cut through all the fancy words, it’s really pretty simple. Just listen to how these same verses are translated in the Contemporary English Version: “Christ has also taken away your selfish desires, just as circumcision removes flesh from the body. And when you were baptized, it was the same as being buried with Christ. Then you were raised to life because you had faith in the power of God, who raised Christ from death. You were dead, because you were sinful and were not God’s people. But God let Christ make you alive, when he forgave all our sins.” You see, Christ came to deal with those mistakes that we’ve already made. He came to address those stumbles that we now regret. He came to forgive those trespasses that can, if we let them, dominate our lives in the present and distort our vision of the future. The almighty God, the creator of the universe, the one who is over all and around all and in all, came to save us from ourselves.

And this is how he did it. Listen to Paul, “After he wiped away the certificate of indebtedness that was against us which was opposed to us, he himself has also once and for all removed it from your midst by nailing it to the cross; and when he disarmed the rulers and the powers, he made examples of them openly, lading them around in a triumphal procession by it.” According to the Contemporary English Version:“God wiped out the charges that were against us for disobeying the Law of Moses. He took them away and nailed them to the cross. There Christ defeated all powers and forces. He let the whole world see them being led away as prisoners when he celebrated his victory.” And according to Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase, The Message: “All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s cross. He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.”

You know, it doesn’t matter how you say it, I’m telling you, it’s a done deal. We’ve been more than forgiven; we’ve been cleansed. Brothers and sister, regardless of our mistakes, regardless of our stumbles, regardless of our trespasses, the weight has already been lifted from the present and the future is wide open. In other words, as it relates to the past that can hold us back, man, Christ nailed it. He nailed it right to the cross.

And I’ll tell you, that’s something on which we can depend, not like those times when think we’ve done it. I mean, remember me telling you about how I felt after reading to the kids on Wednesday. Well, it just so happened that Debbie, my wife, read to them the next day, and Maggie went with her. And so, naturally, after Debbie did her thing, I asked Maggie what the kids said, and I fully expected her to tell me that they said that I’d done a better job, not only because I’m a professional, but I’d told the kids to tell my wife that I was a better reader. But when I asked Maggie, she said that they all liked mom way more than me. I was crushed. I asked her why, was mom really a better reader than me? And Maggie said, “No dad, that’s not why the kids liked mom more. You see, mom brought candy.” Looking back, I guess we both did fine.

And I think we can say the same thing as we move into the future. You see, we can walk in faith because Jesus Christ came and our trespasses have been forgiven. In other words, as it comes to cleaning up our past and opening our future, Christ nailed it.

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - Peace at Last

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

Psalm 37:1-11 

Do not fret because of the wicked; do not be envious of wrongdoers,
for they will soon fade like the grass, and wither like the green herb.
Trust in the LORD, and do good; so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.
He will make your vindication shine like the light, and the justice of your cause like the noonday.
Be still before the LORD, and wait patiently for him; do not fret over those who prosper in their way, over those who carry out evil devices.
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath. Do not fret – it leads only to evil.
For the wicked shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.
Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look diligently for their place, they will not be there.
But the meek shall inherit the land, and delight themselves in abundant prosperity.


A Devotion by Mark A. Carter (Texas, USA)

I have never been patient. Even in childhood, I met any situation I didn’t like with quick anger; this only grew worse as I aged. I lost jobs, friends, and girlfriends because of my anger. When a health condition forced me to stop working, my anger increased. I felt trapped, frustrated with myself, and helpless, yet I did not know how to change. Then one day I met a young pastor who, unlike most everyone else I knew, did not flinch and leave when I became angry. Instead he told me gently, “I can help you cool the anger that is burning you alive.” Amazed and intrigued, I was willing to listen to this calm voice. He took me to a Bible study group at his church. The people accepted me and truly cared about me. As I studied scripture regularly I began to feel at peace for the first time. This was the life I wanted; from that day on, I have been able to better control my anger, though it is an ongoing process. I have not looked back. After years of anger, I finally found peace through studying the words of scripture with a group of people who love me as I am.

From The Upper Room.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Remembering Our Sister Eleanor Williams

Eleanor Lucille Williams,79, of Weirton passed away Thursday,July 25,2013 at the Weirton Medical Center. She was born on December 5,1933 in Mannington, WV,a daughter of the late Mary Michael and William Earl Snodgrass. On January 20,1951 she was joined in marriage to her husband Wayne Williams in Mannington,WV. Eleanor was a member of the Cove Presbyterian Church in Weirton as well as a member of the Star of the Valley Rebekah Lodge No.73. She was a devoted Steelers fan, and she also enjoyed sewing, playing cards, and puzzle books. She had a wonderful sense of humor and she loved telling jokes as well as stories and experiences that she encountered while growing up in a family of 10 children. Along with her parents,Eleanor is preceded in death by three brothers: Claude, Walter, and Wilbur Snodgrass; and one sister Eileen Pride. Eleanor is survived by her husband Wayne Williams; daughter Vicky Williams; son Greg (Debbie) Williams; brother Sam (Rosemary) Snodgrass; sisters Ethel Neff,Janie Nerad,Joy Cross,and Maxine Floyd; one sister-in-law Bertha Snodgrass; Grandchildren Stephanie Lynch (Ben) Hilt, Daniel Williams and his fiancee Katrina Savage,and Joshua (Carolyn) Williams; and Greatgrandchildren Hayden Hilt and Riley Williams. Visitation will be at the Steel and Wolfe Funeral Home and Cremation Services,Inc.,380 Penco Road, Weirton, WV 26062 on Sunday, July 28 from 1-3 and 6-8 p.m. Funeral services will be conducted on Monday, July 29 at 11 a.m. at the funeral home with Reverend Dr. J.E. Rudiger officiating and assisted by Reverend William Stout. Burial will follow at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to either Cove Presbyterian Church 3404 Main Street, Weirton,WV 26062 or the American Lung Association 1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 800 Washington,DC 20004. Online condolences may be addressed to www.steelandwolfe.com

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - The End Is Near!

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

1 Peter 4:7-11 

The end of all things is near; therefore be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers. Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.


A Devotion by Marion Speicher Brown (Florida, USA)

Every once in a while someone announces publicly that the world will end soon. A few preachers even predict an exact date. People respond to such predictions in various ways: most disregard them; others mock them; some hoard survival supplies or give away their possessions as they await the end. In today’s reading, written twenty centuries ago, Peter tells us, “The end of all things is near.” From his point of view, we are never far from the fulfillment of all things in Jesus Christ — the end is always near. So as I considered this passage, I was eager to discover how Peter advises us to live here and now. What is the best way today to prepare for the end of the world? Rather than urging us to stockpile food or dispose of property, Peter encourages us to pray with a clear mind; to love others deeply; to serve wholeheartedly with our God-given abilities. The best preparation for the end of the world is to keep praying, loving, and serving so that “in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.”

From The Upper Room.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Cove’s Bulletin for July 28, 2013

Below is a copy of our bulletin for our 11:00 worship service. We’ll talk about the importance of the cross.









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

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

Adults
Aaronlee Archer
Andrea Vincent
Anthony LaPosta
Barbara Maze
Bill Phillips
Bonnie Bowen
Bonnie Kirtley
Bonnie Nichols
Catalin
Charles McClure
Charles Saffle
Cindi Livingston
Conrad Criss
Dale Brant
Dee Campbell
Diane Szymanek
Dick Bonyak
Dino Buffington
Emery Edwards
Harman
Hattie Black Marcum
Holly
James Mitts
James Woolfolk
Jamie Edwards
Jeanne Buffington Rowland
Jen's Mom
Joan Gallagher
Joan Pohlman
Jodi Kraina
John Schlotter
Jonathan Serafine
Josh Boyd
Justin Vogel
Manuel Fraga
Maria Drennan
Marjie Dinges
Mary Ellen Grove
Matthew Kirtley
Mike Terri
Penny Mourat
Randy Willson
Rhonda Bruich
Robert Krupp
Rose Saunders
Ryan
Shirley Everhart Kirtley
Stacy Jo Vogel
Steve Zubay
Susan Ponville
Susie Kurcina
Teresa Brown
Tim Bradley
Wink Harner

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

Military
Chris Cameron
Jason Kerr
Jonathan Criss
Michael Criss
Stephen Mader

In the Hospital
Dorothy Saffle – Weirton Medical Center

Bereaved Family
The Family of Eleanor Williams

Church Families
Allison, John & Ella Dietz
Lynn & Edalo Dintini
Rhonda Donahoo

Local Church
Church of Christ, Colliers Way

Special Friends
Margaret Heaton – Weirton Geriatric Center, 2525 Pennsylvania Ave., Weirton, WV  26062-3652

Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery Groups
First Presbyterian Church, Chester, West Virginia – Rev. Matt. Camlin
Westminster Presbyterian Church, Chester, West Virginia – Rev. Katrina Lewis

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

What's Happening at Cove Presbyterian Church?

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

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

DON’T FORGET SUNDAY SCHOOL  . . .
we meet every Sunday morning at 9:45 a.m.  Think about trying out one of our classes.

OUR SYMPATHY IS EXTENDED TO THE FAMILIES OF. . .
Rhadine Ross, who died on Saturday, July 13, 2013 . Rhadine was a very devoted and dedicated friend of our Cove Family, involved in numerous activities and organizations over the years;
Gerry Paulin, brother in law of Dean Allen who died on Wednesday,
July 17, 2013;

CHRISTMAS IN JULY . . .
Is being sponsored by Cove Deacons during the month of July. Christmas in July is being spearheaded to aide in Project Christmas Smile. We are asking anyone willing to please donate toys, books, games, cars, trucks or baby dolls that will be used as gifts for children who will be the  recipients of our 2013 Project Christmas Smile. You can bring in your contributions anytime during July and place the items under the Christmas Tree in the narthex. Last year, 22 children enjoyed a special Christmas with the help of the congregation and various fund raisers. If you have any questions please contact Tina Viakley at 304-723-5558.

COVE’S NINTH ANNUAL COMMUNITY CALENDAR. . .
Is being finalized this week. To see your special dates in print ,please have all information turned in to the church office by Wednesday, July 31st. We thank you for your continued support of this yearly fund raiser.

MARK YOU CALENDAR . . .
Sunday, August 11 will be Cove’s Annual Church Picnic at Marland Heights Park in Shelter 2.

SUMMER CAMPS . . .
are being held at Beaver Creek and Camp Presmont for children of all ages.  There are also camps available for children accompanied  by an adult.  If you are interested there are brochures posted on the main bulletin board downstairs or contact the church office to receive a copy of the various camps being offered. Scholarships can be obtained to help defray the cost.

SPECIAL MUSIC . . .
if anyone would like to sing a solo, duet, trio or share another musical talent during the month of  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 . . .
needs your help for Laughlin Chapel in Wheeling, West Virginia. The chapel is in need of  school supplies for the year 2013-2014.  We annually ask for supplies from  our congregation for this mission project.  Boxes will be available in the main hallway downstairs thru the end of July for this need.

DEACONS USHERING SCHEDULES...
for the months of August and September have been posted on the far side in the narthex (next to the Flower Calendar), if you are available to usher for a service,  we are  asking you to please sign-up.

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.

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.  You may also 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 - Like Little Green Turtles...Sort Of

You can also find a podcast of this devotion at http://covepresbyterian.podbean.com/ or iTunes (Cove Presbyterian Church).
Hatchling Red Ear Slider Turtles for sale
This last week, I got a little, green turtle. I ordered him from TurtleShack.com, and he arrived in a small container, packed with damp paper. Now, I had to order him online, because it’s illegal for pet stores to sell them in West Virginia. I think it has something to do with salmonella. Anyway, after he arrived, I put him in a small container filled with water and a large rock in the middle. And since I’m keeping him at the church, every morning I do two things. First, I drop five little food pellets into him little home, and second, I move him to the ledge below my window. You see, he likes to lay up on his rock and sun himself. That’s become my life with my turtle, which to this point is still unnamed.

And when you think about it, the way I greet my turtle every morning is very similar to the way God treats us. I mean, he both provides what we need and wants us to be as happy as we can be. Of course, as with all metaphors, this turtle-God image breaks down in two very important ways. First, one day I might forget to feed my turtle or for some reason, leave him on my counter and never move him to the window sill. In other ways, I might become so distracted by other things that I fail to provide for my little green friend, something that God would never do to us. As Jesus taught, even though he holds the universe, God not only feeds each sparrow but clothes the wild flowers with more beauty than we could ever create. And second, we’re not turtles. Frankly, I don’t know if my turtle is content in his little world, but I haven’t heard any complaints. We, on the other hand, often we want more and better. And as a result, we become dissatisfied even though we have more than we need, and we fail to appreciate the good things that we do possession. And even though, we can’t and shouldn’t become two-legged, shell-less turtles, I do think we can become more attuned to and appreciative of the things we’ve been given.

Right now, my turtle is reaching up, as though he’s standing with his two rear legs with his little turtle feet on the bottom. You see, even though he’s a water turtle, he still has lungs, not gills; therefore, he needs oxygen to live. Even though I give him both food and sunlight, I can’t make him breathe. And as men and women loved and cared for by God, we can be thankful for providing with our needs and some of our wants. But we might also want to remember that how we use them is still up to us.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

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

1 John 4:7-12 

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.


A Devotion by Marilyn McGinnis (California, USA)

I was waiting outside the exam room as the nurse tended my 92-year-old father. “Who’s that pretty young lady out there?” the nurse asked about me, though I am neither pretty nor young. To my surprise, my father replied, “A very dear friend.” I realized then that dementia was taking its toll; he was beginning to forget who I was. But in spite of the dementia, he never forgot to say, “I love you.” When his prostate cancer turned aggressive, I knew he didn’t have much longer to live. Just hours before he died, he suddenly mouthed the words, “I love you, Marilyn.” He was too weak to say the words out loud, but I could read his lips easily. Caring for a loved one with dementia is difficult. But the love of God gives us moments of grace that shine a little light into the darkness. Like a loving parent, God cares for us unfailingly throughout our lives. “If we love one another,” says John, “God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

From The Upper Room.

Sunday's Minute for Mission - Metropolitan/Urban Ministry

Artwork created as part of the urban ministry
gathering
In 2011 each San Francisco PC(USA) congregation sent two representatives, ruling elders, or pastors to explore “Urban Ministry: What Will Be Our Legacy?” How do we together create a lasting presence in the city? Centered in worship and using the conversation model of World Café, we spent time getting to know one another.

We examined, reflected on, and shared our understanding of leadership, the dynamics of our context, the challenges of our ministries, and how we imagine our legacy. We discovered that collectively we had more to offer each other than we realized.

Ministry in the city is challenged by cultural shifts, changing community needs, competing activities tugging at people’s time, and increasing living costs, so we must be adaptable to stay relevant, connected, and in touch with our community. We need to try new things, leave room for creativity in worship, and be a welcoming people, opening our doors to folks who may shift our congregational culture.

When focusing on our challenges, congregations often feel lonely and isolated. However, we need not be discouraged because, as Presbyterians, we are a connectional church. We are discovering ways to support each other by sharing resources, ideas, space, energy, prayers, and ministry. We discovered that together we have far more to offer than we ever imagined and that God is extending our reach, our resources, and our nurture of one another and the community beyond what we thought possible. For more about this event, please visit.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - Picture Perfect

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


Psalm 139:13-18 

For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well. 
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 
Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed. 
How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 
I try to count them – they are more than the sand; I come to the end – I am still with you. 


A Devotion by Emma Angela Athyala (Auckland, New Zealand)

My two-year-old daughter loves having me read to her. She stands, hands outstretched, in front of the cupboard where we keep her books, and yells, “Book, book, book!” I pick her up to let her choose the book she wants. Then she snuggles into my lap, and we read together. One of her favorite books is her photo album. She loves looking at pictures of herself as a baby or seeing pictures of herself in her prettiest dress, with her granddad, or in her daddy’s arms. My daughter has seen pictures from the ultrasound I had before she was born. As we look through the photos, I tell her what was happening when the pictures were taken. 

The Bible says that God has a book about us, in which all the days of our life were written down before we were born. I imagine that God’s book is a little like my daughter’s photo album, filled with the places God wants me to see and the people God wants me to help. I look forward to seeing, one day in heaven, what is written about me in God’s book. I hope to read that I lived up to the good plans God had for me on earth. 

From The Upper Room.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday's Sermon - The What and the So What

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

Colossians 1:15-28

[Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, first-born of all creation, because by him everything in heaven and upon earth was created, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers, they have all been created through him and for him; and he himself is before all things and all things in him have been established, and he himself is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, first-born of the dead, so that he might have first place in all things, because in him, he was pleased that all fullness should dwell and through him all things be reconciled in him, having made peace through the blood of his cross, through him whether upon the earth or in the heavens.

And you who have once been alienated and an enemy in mind by evil works, but now reconciled by his fleshly body through the death to present you holy and unblemished and irreproachable in his sight,  if you’re remaining in the faith which has been established and stable and not shifting from the hope of the good news which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I Paul became a servant. 

Now I rejoice in the sufferings for your sake and I’m completing what is missing in Christ’s suffering in my flesh for the sake of his body, which is the church; and I myself became a servant according to the God’s commission that was given to me for you to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which was hidden from the ages and from the generations – but which now was revealed to his holy ones, whom God willed to make known what was the wealth of glory of this mystery in the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory, whom we ourselves proclaim when we admonish all people and teach all people in all wisdom, so that we might present all people perfect in Christ.



The What and the So What

I’ve got to tell you, something truly remarkable happened yesterday afternoon, as I was working on this sermon. In fact, I can even pinpoint the time it happened, 4:35 p.m. Now, let me give you a little bit of the background, you know, the stuff that led up to this monumental event. And let me tell you right off, this week wasn’t especially different. I mean, on Tuesday I did what I always do on Tuesdays, I took the passage for this particular week, and I translated it from the ancient Greek, in other words, the language in which it was originally written. Now that’s what I did on Tuesday. And on Wednesday, when I always do the rough draft of the bulletin, I gave a title for the sermon. And since the passage seemed pretty straight forward, you know, really basic, I decided to go with what you see in your bulletins, “The What and the So What,” because that sure seemed what Paul was getting at, right here at the beginning of his letter to the Colossians, you know, first, the significance of Jesus Christ, and then second, why that was important. And then on Saturday, I researched the passage. I worked on the structure and the language, and again, it seemed pretty obvious. Before getting into specifics, it seems clear that Paul wanted the everybody in the Colossian church to be on the same page, and so he spent a little time talking about what was fundamental to our the Christian faith. Now, to this point, I thought this sermon was going to be a piece of cake. 

But you know, it was right here that I ran into trouble. You see, even though this passage was really basic, really fundament, no minister wants to preach a sermon that people leave saying “dah.” You want to preach something exciting, something intellectual, something complex. And a little humor wouldn’t hurt. But right here, I had a pretty big problem, I was stuck with Colossians, chapter one, verses 15 through 28. 

And so, even though the passage itself wasn’t complex and even though the title I gave the sermon was straight forward and even though after my research I came to the conclusion that my reading of the passage was right and the title was right on the mark, that wasn’t going to be good enough for me. Man, I needed to make this passage apply to some specific situation we’re facing in the world today, you know, like Travon Martin or steroids in baseball, or Justin Bieber. I needed to manipulate it so that it would address some specific problem we have in the church. My gosh, I needed to take this passage and make something it was never intended to be and then write a message that would knock your socks off. And that wasn’t going to be easy, and I knew it. Socks are hard to knock off, especially during sandal weather. And so I worked on a bunch of different outlines and a bunch of different interpretations to make the sermon, you know, relevant. And I tried out all these different illustrations that I thought were really clever and cute. But I’ll tell you, after about an hour it just wasn’t coming together. I’d even written half a sermon that wasn’t good at all, because the only way I could get the passage to do what I wanted it to do was to the change the passage. 

And so, around 4:00 I did something I hadn’t done in, I bet, ten years. I took a walk. I went through the Education Building. I passed through the classrooms and the sanctuary. I wandered through the kitchen even though I already knew there wasn’t really anything in there I to eat and I’d already drunk all my coffee. I even paced up and down the hall outside my study. And then, like a bolt of lightning, or maybe better, the movement of the Holy Spirit, it hit me, maybe I was getting in the way of God’s word. And maybe it was my desire to move beyond the basics into something more complex, more profound, more deep; maybe I was the one making something that should have been easy hard. In other words, maybe, at 4:35 p.m., maybe it was time for me to get out of the way, because maybe, as we try to live in a world that becoming more and more complicated and confusing, maybe it’s the very simplicity of this passage that we need to hear this morning. Because I’ve got to tell you, I think in these verses Paul points with a laser beam at something that we probably all need to hear every now-and-then but that, for some reason, often gets lost in the shuffle. And now I’m talking the what and the so what of the gospel. Let me show you what I mean.

Just think about what Paul wrote. As I read it, he was crystal clear about who Jesus was and is and how his coming can change our relationship with God and others. Let me explain. You see, in my opinion, first, Paul explained in a way that was plain and unambiguous the “what” of faith, and I’m talking the person of Jesus Christ. I mean, right here, we can get a pretty good understanding of who Jesus was with respect to God. According to Paul, he “...is the image of the invisible God, first-born of all creation.” In other words, not only did he make visible the invisible, not only did he embody the infinite and eternal, I mean, not only did he bring into our reality something that we’re just not able to get our heads around, he was the one who created all things. He called into being everything, and I’m talking about things that we can see and those things we can only imagine. Good night, according to what he wrote, even “... thrones [and] dominions [and] rulers [and] powers, they have all been created through him and for him; and he himself is before all things and all things in him have been established...” In other words, every aspect of creation has it’s beginning in our Lord Jesus Christ. Wow. But that’s not all, as God in human flesh, “...he himself is the head of the body, the church.” Now, to me, this is pretty neat, because right here, in this place and at this time, we know that not only is Christ with us, but that he’s leading us into the future. Now that’s who Christ is with respect to God.

And with respect to us, “..he is the beginning, first-born of the dead, so that he might have first place in all things.” In other words, he was the beginning of something that one day will affect us all. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “...in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ.” You see, Christ came to bring life. As Paul wrote, “he was pleased that all fullness should dwell and through him all things be reconciled in him, having made peace through the blood of his cross, through him whether upon the earth or in the heavens.” You see what that means? In him, by him, through him, all hostility between ourselves and God has been put to death, and I’m talking about death on the cross. And we can now live in peace, because that’s exactly what Christ came to bring. You see, whether you’re talking about his relationship within God or with us, Jesus Christ, he’s the “what” of our faith. And that’s one thing to which Paul points in this passage.

And second, I think he also gives us a pretty good sense of the “so what,” in other words, the reason why Jesus Christ can be important to us all. You see, for Paul, because he came, our relation with God and with one another can change. I mean, it certainly changes our relationship with God. As he wrote, “And then you who have once been alienated and an enemy in mind by evil works, but now reconciled by his fleshly body through the death to present you holy and unblemished and irreproachable in his sight...” Now tell me that’s not good news. In the past, we were aliens, strangers to the promises of God. As Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “...remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” And a little later in the same letter, he was really describing us before we knew Christ, when he said, “They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart.” But if that wasn’t bad enough, we were also enemies of God. Now that’s pretty bad. But because of God, that’s all changed, hasn’t it? Now we’ve been reconciled, united with the Father in the Son by the Spirit, so that now we’re seen as holy and blameless and without a single blemish. I’ll tell you, this is the work of God, and it’s something we can experience the second we simply trust, the second we simply believe it’s been done. How simple is that. In other word, when we hang on to that faith which we’ve been given, that foundation that God has established in our hearts and minds, that good news which stands firm and can never be moved, I’m telling you, when we believe, man, we’ll understand the past. As Paul told the Ephesians, we’ll understand that God “...chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.” But not only that, we’ll also be able to face the future. Just listen to what he wrote to the Corinthians, “he will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” You see, our relationship with God will change. 

And so will our relationship with one another. And to show how much it’ll change, in this passage, Paul used himself as an example. You see, because of Christ, he could now actually “...rejoice in the sufferings...” for the sake of the folks to whom he brought the good news. And he could dedicate himself to the church, to the brothers and sister whom God had called and reconciled and empowered. And as a believer he could now be the kind of servant God had called and equipped him to be, a person commissioned to share the mystery of Christ and to “...admonish all people and teach all people in all wisdom, so that we might present all people perfect in Christ.” Now this was Paul’s special work, the job he’d been created and called to do. And for us, well, God has also given us something special too, a special work that glorifies him, a special job that helps other, a special mission and ministry that he’s given for us and only us to accomplish. You see, when we recognize the what, both our relationship with God and one another changes, and I’ll tell you that’s the “so what” of faith. 

Now if I’d been a little more creative as I applied this passage, maybe I’d have come up with something that was really cute. And if I’d have kind of veered away from these verses, maybe I’d have written a message that was incredibly clever. And if I’d worked on this sermon a little harder yesterday, maybe I’d have given you something really complicated to chew on this afternoon. Maybe, but you know, I really don’t care now, because I still think this passage is remarkably straight-forward and maybe that’s exactly what we need to hear. You see, it focuses on the coming of Jesus Christ and on how his coming can change our relationship with God and one another. And without a lot of extra stuff, that’s what I believe is the what and the so what of our faith.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - Eternal Hope

John 14:15-19 

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.

“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live.”


A Devotion by Barry N. Hopkins (Georgia, USA)

In the time since my mother died, I have thought of her and missed our times together. Thankfully, I am surrounded by many things that offer comfort: the colorful patchwork quilt, pieced by her hands, that brightens my bed; the rose bush near my back deck that started as a cutting from her yard; the loving note she placed in a safe-deposit box for me that read, “Trusting in God and walking by faith can carry you far. A mother’s love never dies.” Certainly the greatest comfort of all is the promise of Jesus Christ that gave her hope for so many years: “Because I live, you also will live.” I know that I will continue to miss my mother. It is natural to feel the loss of those we love so much, but through faith in God we can experience joy even in times of sorrow.

From The Upper Room.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Cove’s Bulletin for July 21, 2013

Below is a copy of our bulletin for our 11:00 worship service. We’ll talk about the importance of both faith and knowledge.









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

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

Adults
Aaronlee Archer
Andrea Vincent
Anthony LaPosta
Barbara Maze
Bill Phillips
Bonnie Bowen
Bonnie Kirtley
Bonnie Nichols
Catalin
Charles McClure
Charles Saffle
Cindi Livingston
Conrad Criss
Dale Brant
Dee Campbell
Diane Szymanek
Dick Bonyak
Dino Buffington
Eleanor Williams
Emery Edwards
Harman
Hattie Black Marcum
Holly
James Mitts
James Woolfolk
Jamie Edwards
Jeanne Buffington Rowland
Jen's Mom
Joan Gallagher
Joan Pohlman
Jodi Kraina
John Schlotter
Jonathan Serafine
Josh Boyd
Justin Vogel
Manuel Fraga
Maria Drennan
Marjie Dinges
Mary Ellen Grove
Matthew Kirtley
Penny Mourat
Randy Willson
Rhonda Bruich
Robert Krupp
Rose Saunders
Ryan
Shirley Everhart Kirtley
Stacy Jo Vogel
Steve Zubay
Susan Ponville
Susie Kurcina
Teresa Brown
Wink Harner

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

Military
Chris Cameron
Jason Kerr
Jonathan Criss
Michael Criss
Stephen Mader

In the Hospital
Eleanor Williams – Weirton Medical Center
Dorothy Saffle – Weirton Medical Center

Bereaved Family
The Family of Rhadine Ross

Church Families
Chris & Wendy Cutright, Dakota & Silas
Ethlyn Dellaria
Shirley DeLuca

Local Church
Christian & Missionary Alliance

Special Friends
Ruth Ann Oestering – 3932 Hanlin Way, Weirton, WV  26062-4308

Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery Groups
Wolf Run Presbyterian Church, Cameron, West Virginia – CRE Cindy Foster
Concord Presbyterian Church, Centerville, Ohio – CRE Danny Aderholt

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

What's Happening at Cove Presbyterian Church?

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

THE FLOWERS ARE IN APPRECIATION . . .
for the staff, educators, and volunteers who work so diligently to spread the good news of Christ and display the love of Christ. Thank you for your service.

GUEST SOLOIST. . .
The guest soloist this morning is Carolyn Clements, soloist at the First United Methodist Church of Weirton.  We welcome her and thank her for contributing to the worship service.

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

DON'T FORGET SUNDAY SCHOOL  . . .
we meet every Sunday morning at 9:45 a.m.  Think about trying out one of our classes.

CHRISTMAS IN JULY . . .
Is being sponsored by Cove Deacons during the month of July. Christmas in July is being spearheaded to aide in Project Christmas Smile. We are asking anyone willing to please donate toys, books, games, cars, trucks or baby dolls that will be used as gifts for children who will be the  recipients of our 2013 Project Christmas Smile. You can bring in your contributions anytime during July and place the items under the Christmas Tree in the narthex. Last year, 22 children enjoyed a special Christmas with the help of the congregation and various fund raisers. If you have any questions please contact Tina Viakley at 304-723-5558.

HOT DOG LUNCHEON. . .
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Cove's Fellowship Hall
Menu:   Hot dogs, chips, cake & beverage
Immediately following worship
Cove's teachers and staff will be honored

MARK YOU CALENDAR . . .
Sunday, August 11 will be Cove's Annual Church Picnic at Marland Heights Park in Shelter 2.  The day will begin with worship at the park at 11:00 a.m. Details will be forthcoming in future bulletins.

COVE'S NINTH ANNUAL COMMUNITY CALENDAR. . .
Is winding down.  To see your special dates in print ,please fill in the blank order form here in the bulletin and return to the church office. The cost is - $4.00 per calendar and $.15 a listing. We would like all listing information including  corrections and additions turned into the church office by Monday, July 22. If you have any questions contact the church office.

SUMMER CAMPS . . .
are being held at Beaver Creek and Camp Presmont for children of all ages.  There are also camps available for children accompanied  by an adult.  If you are interested there are brochures posted on the main bulletin board downstairs or contact the church office to receive a copy of the various camps being offered. Scholarships can be obtained to help defray the cost.

SPECIAL MUSIC . . .
if anyone would like to sing a solo, duet, trio or share another musical talent during the months of 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 . . .
needs your help for Laughlin Chapel in Wheeling, West Virginia. The chapel is in need of  school supplies for the year 2013-2014.  We annually ask for supplies from  our congregation for this mission project.  Boxes will be available in the main hallway downstairs thru the end of July for this need.

DEACONS USHERING SCHEDULES...
for the months of July thru September have been posted on the far side in the narthex (next to the Flower Calendar), if you are available to usher for a service,  we are  asking you to please sign-up.

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.

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.  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 - Action without Action

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

File:LaoGod.jpgOn Wednesday, I finished my series of classes on world religions. During this last session, we looked at the religions of East Asia. Now as I was researching for this session, I ran across something in Taoism that I found fascinating. It’s called wu wei. According to Wikipedia,

Wu wei (simplified Chinese: 无为; traditional Chinese: 無爲; pinyin: wú wéi) is a central concept in Taoism. The literal meaning of wu wei is “without action”. It is often expressed by the paradox wu wei, meaning “action without action” or “effortless doing”. The practice and efficacy of wu wei are fundamental in Taoist thought, most prominently emphasized in philosophical Taoism. The goal of wu wei is alignment with Tao, revealing the soft and invisible power within all things. It is believed by Taoists that masters of wu wei can observe and follow this invisible potential, the innate inaction of the Way. In ancient Taoist texts, wu wei is associated with water through its yielding nature. Taoist philosophy proposes that the universe works harmoniously according to its own ways. When someone exerts their will against the world, they disrupt that harmony. Taoism does not identify one’s will as the root problem. Rather, it asserts that one must place their will in harmony with the natural universe. [Wikipedia]

Now, like I said, I found this really interesting, because I don’t think it’s something that we follow in our society and yet, if we did, we might improve our situations considerably. As I look around, I see a lot of people taking action immediately, without much thought or consideration. In fact this seems to be the nature of the culture in which we live, where hitting the “send” button may be just too easy. And I believe this attitude effects Christians just like it does everyone else. I had a person tell me recently that it doesn’t matter what we do, we just need to do something. Now that’s what he said, and even though I see his point, I’m afraid the consequences of unconsidered and ill-conceived action may be severe. I wonder if the issues that we face, and in particular issues facing the church, can be solved by taking the bull by the horns and storming ahead. I’m afraid we could very well make the situation worse.

And so instead of taking action for action’s sake, maybe we should take a cue from the Taoists and align ourselves with the creator of the universe. In fact, when you think about it, this is the same advice offered by Isaiah when he wrote,

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. 

Although there are many situations where action maybe the answer, there are times when we may need to step back and look for the movement of God’s spirit. And if we do, we might find that God is far better at working through problems then we.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sunday's Minute for Mission - Smaller Membership Church

Brighton’s garden helps to bring new life.
For most of us, our journeys of faith involve crisis. At the time I write this, the congregation I serve, Brighton Presbyterian Church in Zanesville, Ohio, is journeying through crisis. Like the many other small congregations preparing for life without a full-time pastor, we are renegotiating what it means to be the body of Christ in our neighborhood. In this new configuration, how do we create disciples? How do we study and worship together? How do we carry out our mission and ministry? Our comfortable faith is being challenged.

Though we are journeying through difficult times, Brighton continues to trust in the promise of new life. For four years now, we have offered our neighbors the ingredients for growing their own vegetable gardens. This includes seeds, some plants, and even bags of compost. We have expanded this opportunity by developing a community gardening space for those who have no yard. New community bonds are being forged, and we have a new awareness of God’s providence hard at work.

The transformation of Brighton to a congregation with a part-time pastor also means, of course, a crisis for me. Can I help nurture a new seed that will grow to provide a new model for living in this time of shrinking resources? I don’t know what will come from this moment, but I’ve been through crises before. I know that God is always at work to bring new life, and that is what I expect.


Rev. Suellen Skinner, Brighton Presbyterian Church, Zanesville, Ohio

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - The Work

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

John 17:1-5 

After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.”


A Devotion by Karin Hust (California, USA)

Visiting Africa on a recent mission trip was an incredible experience, while at the same time very disheartening. Starvation, sickness, and general poverty abound; and the needs of the people are overwhelming. Our team offered aid in various ways, but I despaired of making a difference. One morning, while preparing to work in a very poor village, I read John 17:1-5. As I read Jesus’ prayer about the work he had been given to do, I was flooded with a sense of his love for the Father and his love for the world. Jesus embraced the work he was given to do on earth, leaving its outcome in his Father’s hands — an outcome that turned out to be more wonderful than any of us could have imagined. The work God has given each of us to do will be difficult at times. But we can share Jesus Christ’s goal — to bring God glory on earth. God can and will make all the difference. To work with all our might “as though you were serving the Lord” (Eph. 6:7, ceb) is the way to glorify the Father. The outcome is completely in God’s hands, and it will be more wonderful than any of us can imagine.

From The Upper Room.