Saturday, August 31, 2013

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - Always Bearing Fruit

Psalm 92:12-15 

The righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God.
In old age they still produce fruit; they are always green and full of sap,
showing that the LORD is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.


A Devotion by Anne N. Cremons (Minnesota, USA)

As my husband and I rode along the Adriatic coast, our guide pointed out an island called Brijuni. She told us about an olive tree on this island that is around 1,700 years old and still producing olives each year. This tree has endured centuries of drought and war and yet continues to bear fruit. It probably has seeded many new generations of olive trees now producing their own bounty. Hearing about this tree has caused me to consider the fruit I am bearing and the seeds I am sowing. Have I stood firm during stormy and troubled times, patiently and bravely bearing fruit, not worrying about what lies ahead? In today’s quoted verse, Jesus tells us that we have been chosen to bear “fruit that will last.” Long after our time of planting seeds and bearing fruit has passed, the fruit of our life’s work will continue to contribute to the bounty of love, wisdom, peace, and joy that is the kingdom of heaven. All these will start from the simple yet faithful contributions we make today, here and now, to reflect the love and care of God.

From The Upper Room.

Friday, August 30, 2013

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

On Sunday, September 1, Cove Presbyterian Church will lift the following needs to God.

Adults
Aaronlee Archer
Andrea Vincent
Annette Goff
Anthony LaPosta
Barbara Maze
Bill Phillips
Bob Horvath
Bonnie Kirtley
Bonnie Nichols
Boris Odani Mensah
Catalin
Charles McClure
Charles Saffle
Cindi Livingston
Conrad Criss
Dean Allen
Dee Campbell
Diane Szymanek
Dick Bonyak
Dick Watson
Dino Buffington
Doug Haller
Eloise Evans
Emery Edwards
Ethlyn Dellaria
Gen Meyer
Hattie Black Marcum
Holly
Jack Hatala
James Mitts
James Woolfolk
Jamie Edwards
Janice Torrance
Jeanne Buffington Rowland
Jen's Mom
Joan Gallagher
Joan Pohlman
Jodi Kraina
John Schlotter
Jonathan Serafine
Josh Boyd
Justin Vogel
Mandi Smith
Manuel Fraga
Maria Drennan
Marjie Dinges
Mary Ellen Grove
Matthew Kirtley
Megan Dughton
Mike Terri
Paul Walsh
Penny Mourat
Randy Willson
Robert Krupp
Rose Sanders
Ryan
Shirley Everhart Kirtley
Stacy Jo Vogel
Steve Zubay
Susan Ponville
Susie Kurcina
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
Kya Schwertfeger
Lily Ghrist
Michael Liptak
Shelby Kamarec

Military
Chris Cameron
Jason Kerr
Jonathan Criss
Michael Criss
Stephen Mader

Bereaved Family
The Casinelli Family
The Pinnell Family

Church Families
Joanne Fell
Corinne Ferguson
Elaine Ferrari

Local Church
First Christian Church

Special Friends
Phyllis Manley – 3651 Riverview Dr., Weirton, WV  26062-4449

Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery Congregations
Longs Run Presbyterian Church, East Liverpool, Ohio – Rev. Stephen Kramer
Please pray for our new building campaign
Trinity Presbyterian Church, East Liverpool, Ohio – Rev. Stephen Kramer
Please pray for our growing Sunday School

Also Remember in Your Prayers
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
Dolores Edwards – 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
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.

CLOSED. . .
the church and office will be closed on Monday, September 2 for the Labor Day Holiday.

MYRTLE MCHENDRY CLASS. . .
will meet on Tuesday, September 3 at 6:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. Music and Mission is the title of the program that will be presented by members of the Mission West Virginia Team.  Everyone is invited to attend to hear of the wonderful ways the mission team, whose members include Cove's Kayla Violet, Tim and Chris Connell, aide those less fortunate in downstate West Virginia.   Hostesses for the evening will be Barbara Losey and Jenny VanGilder.

CHANCEL CHOIR PRACTICE . . .
will begin on Wednesday, September 4 at 6:45 p.m. in the sanctuary. Everyone who wishes to praise God thru song is welcome to join us.

BOARD MEETINGS. . .
The Three Boards of the church will all resume their meetings on Monday, September 9 at 6:30 p.m.
The Board of Trustees will meet in the church parlor,
The Board of Session will meet in the church library and
The Board of Deacons will meet in the boardroom.

PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN'S BOARD MEETING . . .
will be held on Wednesday, September 11 at 10:00 a.m. in the boardroom.

MONTHLY MEETING . . .
of the Presbyterian Women will be held on Wednesday, September 18 at noon in Fellowship Hall.

BULLETIN BOARDS . . .
the boards fellowship hall are being redone. We are asking everyone for their co-operation and to refrain from using staples, nails or any other material what will put holes in or mark the boards. Please use tape, or double stick tape only, no masking or packing tape. Also, please remove all items from the boards when  the function concludes.

SUNDAY FUNDAY . . .
the kick-off for our children's fall program is scheduled to Sunday, September 15, at the church and beyond. More information is on it's way.

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 - The Church of the Future

PillarsOfTheEarth.jpgDuring the last couple of weeks, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the church of the future. You see, I just read the book, The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett. Now if you haven’t read it, it’s about the building of a cathedral in the town of Kingsbridge, England, and it’s set in the middle of the 12th century. Of course, like most novels, a lot of stuff happens that has little to do with building a church, but since that’s really the focus, there’s a lot of material about the nature of Christianity during that time. And although some things, both good and bad, will probably always stay the same, I found it striking how much other things have changed.

Of course, I guess that shouldn’t be a great surprise. I mean, we’re talking about over a thousand years. Still, the church is often viewed from within and without as the place where nothing changes...ever. Often it seems to take a seismic cultural shift to move the church and denominations, even congregations to make any change at all. And often, when they’re achieved, it’s over all kinds of opposition. In fact, sometimes I think there are Christians who would prefer to see their congregation wither and die than to change and grow into something that might communicate the gospel within a changing world.

And, of course, that’s a shame. Not only does it make it more difficult for the next generation to hear a message that can still transform lives, it’s absolutely unnecessary. You see, we can present the truth in different ways and within different structures. But that won’t happen if we don’t approach the future with creativity and faith. I mean, we’re not limited to one vision of the church. Instead we can look beyond the pews and the stained glass, beyond an 11:00 worship service preceded by Sunday School, beyond each congregation maintaining it’s own building and having it’s own pastor even when it can no longer afford either. With a little creativity, we can solve the problems facing the modern church.

Of course, all the creativity in the world means nothing if it’s not guided by faith. And the faith I’m talking about is focused on the God whom we worship: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It’s not centered on a denominational structure nor political position. You see, when our creativity is used to communicate better our faith, I believe the Kingdom is best served.

I have no doubt that in a thousand years, Christians will look at our system with the same curiosity I had as I read the Ken Follett book. And that’s really the way it should be. I mean, as the world changes, so must the church. And if those changes are guided by God-given creativity and faith, I think the church of the future will be glorious.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Cove's Bulletin for September 1, 2013

Below is a copy of our bulletin for our 11:00 worship service. During the service, we’ll focus on the nature of brotherly love. Everyone is invited.









A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - The Paper Cross


Mark 16:1-7 

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?" When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you."


A Devotion by Malinda Fillingim (North Carolina, USA)

Although my young daughter had spent three months in the hospital, her health continued to decline because of an undiagnosed illness. I prayed daily as I sat beside her bed, watching her cry in pain. One day, I went to the interfaith hospital chapel. As I knelt to pray, I felt a strong need to bow down before a cross, the symbol of power and faith and the assurance of Christ’s presence with me. But there was no cross in the chapel. So I tore a piece of paper into the shape of a cross and set it before me as I knelt to pray for my daughter. The cross represents the foundation of my Christian faith, the resurrected Jesus Christ. It reminds me that death has no victory and darkness has no sting; the cross guides me, empowers me, and equips me to face the valleys of my life. The cross, even a paper one marked with a mother’s tears, is evidence for me of the love of God, the power of Jesus, and the presence of the Holy Spirit. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift of love through Jesus Christ. (See 2 Cor. 9:15.)

From The Upper Room.

Sunday's Minute for Mission - Christian Vocation

Matthew Yascolt, in Scotland on
an Alma (College) Choir tour
Matt Yascolt remembers being very involved in church activities as a young person. For him, church was more of a social function, and he was willing to attend with his family and help out as an usher.

Add to that the influence of some friends he came to know through his involvement in a band, and the result is not one of deepening faith. In fact, he remembers having to listen to a great deal of sarcasm and stereotypes about the life of faith from his bandmates.

Music continued to be important to him, though. So it is no surprise that his connection to God began through a particular song he heard while on a high school retreat. While listening to the words and feeling the music, his legs went limp and he began to sob. It was through that music that Matt felt God moving in his life—an experience that has changed his life completely.

Sing aloud to God our strength. (Ps. 81:1a)

While a student at Alma College (Alma, Michigan), Matt continued his faith journey by leading music in the chapel program. Although a quiet soul, Matt wants to share his story: “I think it would have been helpful for me as a young high schooler to hear someone else was struggling with their faith. That struggle is all part of a faith journey and helps ultimately to bring you closer and to bring more trust with God.”

May we all listen for and identify God’s movement in our lives. God calls each of us.


—Elder Martha Miller, associate for certification and Christian vocation, Office of the General Assembly

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - A Glimpse of God

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

John 14:5-14 

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.”


A Devotion by Elaine T. Snider (Ohio, USA)

When my daughters joined the cast of a local passion play, I volunteered as one of the supervisors for children in the cast. Throughout the production, I noticed the same reaction from viewers in every performance. When the actor who portrayed Jesus walked among the audience in one scene, people reached out to shake his hand. Some even held up their babies for him to touch as he walked by. And after the play was over, audience members sought him out.

The response to this young man illustrated the desire we have to see God — to know and be known by God. One day, we will see God face to face. Until that time, we can still discover what our Creator is like. The Bible reveals God’s nature, love, plans, and goals for us. Prayer enables us to have a one-on-one relationship with God. The church provides opportunities for further instruction, encouragement, comfort, and strength from other believers. Most importantly, as we draw closer to Jesus, we get a glimpse of the Father, for Jesus is the “radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being” (Heb. 1:3).

From The Upper Room.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday's Sermon - A Tale of Two Mountains

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

Hebrews 12:14-29

Peace pursue with everyone and holiness, without which no one will see God, and watch that no one comes late to God’s grace, that no bitter root, when it grows up, might cause trouble and through it, many might be defiled, that no one is a fornicator or godless like Esau, who in exchange for one dish of food sold his own birthright as elder son. For you know that also later, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected. For he found no occasion for repentance although with tears he sought it. For you have not come to something that can be touched and that had been set alight in fire and in darkness and in gloom and in a whirlwind and a trumpet sound and a voice whose words which the hearers begged that not an additional word be spoken to them. For they couldn’t bear that which was ordered: “If even an animal touches the mountain, then it will be stoned”, and so awesome was the spectacle, Moses said, “I’m terrified and trembling.” But you have come to Mount Zion and to a city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem, and to a myriad of angels who’ve gathered and to the church of the first born who are enrolled in the heavens and to God who judges all and to spirits of those who are righteous and who have been made perfect and to the mediator of a new covenant, Jesus, and to sprinkled blood that speaks better than that of Abel.

See that you might not disregard the one who speaks. For if they didn’t escape from the earth when they disregarded the warning, then how much less will we who turn away from the one from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth, but now has promised, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” But the words “yet once more” shows the removal of what was shaken as that which has been made, so that what is not shaken remains.

Therefore, because we’re receiving an unshakable kingdom, let us have thanks; through which, let us worship in a way pleasing to God with reverence and awe. For our God is also a consuming fire.


A Tale of Two Mountains

Have you ever noticed that sometimes you don’t appreciate how much things have changed until something happens that brings it all really up close and personal? Well, I’ve got to tell you, something like that happened to me a couple of days ago. You see, for my daughter Maggie, school started this last Thursday. And so we did what we always do on a school day. In fact, it’s pretty much the same thing we’ve done for the last six years. I got her up, and I’ve got to say that I’m lucky because Maggie has always gotten up really well. And she got dressed while I went down to fix her something for breakfast. Of course, getting dressed now involves putting on some mascara and eye shadow, but other than that, it’s pretty much the same. And so is breakfast: a small bowl of carrots and another small bowl of Cheese-Its. Not exactly the breakfast of champions but probably better than “Super Sweet, Mega-Sugar Flakes” or some other kind of kid’s cereal. Well, we got her lunch together and her book bag packed. And I drove her to Weir Middle to start the sixth grade. And even though I don’t go with her to the door like I did when she was little, she still gave me a kiss before getting out of the car and running over to her friends. Everything pretty much the same, right?

Well, that’s what I thought until a little later that morning. You see, I had to pick up some dry cleaning over on Pennsylvania. And as I was heading back to the church, I went by Weirton Heights Elementary, Maggie’s old stomping grounds, and I passed right when some of the kids were being taken to the school. And I’ve got to tell you, it shook me up more than a little bit. You see, they were all so little, holding on to a parent’s hand, all nervous about the first day. And Maggie, well, not only will she never hold my hand again in a public place, you know, like the mall, sometimes she doesn’t even want people to know we’re related. Somehow, I’m not sure I understand it, but somehow the world changed in these last six years, and my little girl has become a prener, and life, well, life will never be the same. And if I were going to be all dramatic, I’d might even call it a tale of two schools.

And I’ll tell you, that really leads me to the passage we have before us this morning, because, in a very real sense, we’ve got a tale of two mountains and of course, what they represent. You see, with the coming of Christ, we’ve moved from one to the other, and because we have, I’m telling you, life can never be the same. Let me explain what I’m talking about.

You see, according to the imagine that the writer of this letter used, in the past we were living on or at least by an old, unnamed mountain, maybe it was Sinai, maybe not. I don’t know. But this I do know, life on that mountain was not all that hot. I mean, in terms of our relationship with the world, this is how we lived. We ended up acting a lot like Esau, you know Jacob’s brother, the guy who traded his birthrights for a bowl of portage. You see, while we were on that mountain, we really didn’t understand or appreciate God’s grace, and I’m talking about the love that the Lord has for the people whom he created. And because we didn’t value what God feels for us, well, it distorted the way we lived. I mean, without any understanding or appreciating of who we are and what we were created to be, sadly we drifted into behavior that hurt ourselves and those around us. Without that solid grounding in God, we acquired a bitter root that led us to become defiled and trouble-makers. As he wrote, like Esau, we become fornicators, in other words, immoral, and we became godless. But you know, that’s not all. We also started to live lives full of frustration and fear, lives of rejection and isolation, lives of disappointment and despair. You see, on that old mountain, our relationships with everyone and everything around us was distorted. But that’s really no surprise, since looking out from that vantage point, our world was a pretty dismal place. Just listen to how this writer described it. It was like something that “...had been set alight in fire and in darkness and in gloom and in a whirlwind...” This was a world where the strong survive and the weak were crushed, one where good guys finished last and evil came out on top, one in which injustice flowed like water and righteousness was dammed and reduced to a trickle. Now since this was our world, no wonder our relationships were so messed up.

But our relationship with God was really no better, not around that old mountain. I mean, on this place, we tried to escape God, not embrace him. We wanted to shut his mouth because what he had to say was more than we wanted to hear. You see, like Adam and Eve after eating the fruit, we wanted to hide because of our shame, and like Cain, we tried to deny responsibility because we thought we could deceive the one who ultimately makes all people accountable. And so we turned away from our creator, from the one who is our father, I’m talking about from the one who breathed into the man of dust and made him live. You see, this was how we lived in relationship with God, because he really was the one to be feared and obeyed. My gosh, he was the one who “...ordered: ‘If even an animal touches the mountain, then it will be stoned’,” and who’s sheer power was so awesome that “Moses said, ‘I'm terrified and trembling.’” I mean, this was the God “...whose voice then shook the earth,” and that’s why fear and quivering obedience was really the only thing we had to offer, and I’m talking up there, when we lived on that old mountain.

And I’ll tell you, if nothing had changed, there’s where we’d still be. If nothing had changed, our relationship with the world would be distorted by our isolation and lack of understanding and our relationship with God would be controlled by our fear and our desire to hid who we really are. If nothing had change, that would still be our lives. But you know, it did. It did change. God, as Jesus Christ, came to us, experiencing our lives, and then he returned and everything changed.

And with that change, using the imagine of this writer, so did our mailing address. I mean, instead of being stuck on that sad, old mountain, we were moved “...to Mount Zion and to a city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem, and to a myriad of angels who’ve gathered and to the church of the first born who are enrolled in the heavens and to God who judges all and to spirits of those who are righteous and who have been made perfect and to the mediator of a new covenant, Jesus...” That’s where we live now.

That’s our home address. And as new residents of this glorious place, this gift of God, our relationship with the world can change. I mean, we can actually do some of the stuff that seemed impossible when we were living with frustration and fear, you know what I’m talking about, when we were following the example of poor, old Esau. Instead, we’ll be capable of walking in the footsteps of Abel, you know, the one who offered the sacrifice that God truly loved. In other words, as we relate to the world and the people around us, we can actually “pursue peace with everyone and holiness”, while at the same time, we can avoid the traps that swallowed up folks before. I mean, we can “...watch that no one comes late to God’s grace, that no bitter root, when it grows up, might cause trouble and through it, many might be defiled.” You see, this is how we can live in our world, because our view of the world has changed. I’m telling you, no longer is it a place of darkness but rather a place of light, because it’s full of the presence of God. He’s the one in control, and even though there may be moments when we doubt it, ultimately God judges all and a new covenant has arrived and God’s will will be done on earth as it is in heaven. In other words, we’ll realize that all that mess that scared us the most are just a bunch of shadows that will be eliminated when God’s light illumines all. Standing on Mount Zion, our new home, both our vision of and our lives in the world changes.

And so does our relationship with God. All of a sudden, God is not just the one who made the earth shake and the great men of faith tremble, I’m talking about the one who’s demands were so high that we wished he’d stop speaking. Instead of that God, we now have someone to whom we can listen, someone whom we don’t want to disregard when he speaks. But more than that, he’s also the one to whom we can give thanks and we can “...worship in a way pleasing to God with reverence and awe.” You see, instead of being the one we approached with fear and trembling, on our new mountain, God is the one we address with songs and praise. And the reason, well it all has to do with how our understanding of God shifts. I mean, instead of seeing him as the one who shakes the heaven and the earth, for us, God is the one who has given to us “an unshakable kingdom”, a spiritual foundation that won’t be moved, a solid rock on which we can build our lives. On Mount Zion, this is the one with whom we have a relationship. And I’ll tell you, that’s a huge change from what we had before.

By the time I got back to the church on Thursday, those two schools brought into the focus the change that had occurred in my life. My daughter was no longer that totally dependent child who entered her kindergarten class with fear and trembling but a confident young lady who would, even though it might be at times painful to me, continue to grow into the person God created her to be. And even though there are times when I wish I could still hold her hand as we walk through the Fort Steuben Mall, I know that I’m doing what God has called me to do, to raise Maggie as best I can so that she’ll be an adult who loves both her God and her neighbor. And as it relates to our lives, well, we’ve changed too. Using this image of mountains, we’ve moved from one that distorted our relationships with both the world and God, and we’re arrived onto Mount Zion, a place where we can pursue peace and approach God with thanks and worship. And you know, when we decide that that’s how we’re going to live, that really completes this tale of two mountains.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - Preparing a Room

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

John 14:1-4 

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.”


Devotion by Claudius Tewari (Uttar Pradesh, India)

Claudius Tewari and his wife
My wife rushed me to the hospital when I suffered a heart attack. I do not remember anything from the time I left home until I regained consciousness. When I found myself in the hospital, with doctors, nurses, and relatives around my bed, I realized that God had given me a new life. I was quite comfortable in the hospital, but not as comfortable as I would be in my bed at home. When the doctors discharged me, my wife told me to stay while she went to prepare the bedroom for me. Then she would come back and take me home. She went ahead to prepare the room so that I would be comfortable. My wife’s preparing a room for me reminded me of Jesus’ telling his disciples, “I go to prepare a place for you.” When Jesus called his disciples, they left everything and followed him. How comforting it must have been for them when Jesus reassured them that they would one day have a room where they could rest with him! I believe that in every situation, Jesus prepares a room for us. Sometimes, he moves ahead to prepare a room for us in a new situation to comfort us and to assure us of his presence.

From The Upper Room.

Friday, August 23, 2013

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

On Sunday, August 25, Cove Presbyterian Church will lift the following needs to God.

Adults
Aaronlee Archer
Andrea Vincent
Anthony LaPosta
Barbara Maze
Bill Phillips
Bob Horvath
Bonnie Kirtley
Bonnie Nichols
Boris Odani Mensah
Catalin
Charles McClure
Charles Saffle
Cindi Livingston
Conrad Criss
Dean Allen
Dee Campbell
Diane Szymanek
Dick Bonyak
Dick Watson
Dino Buffington
Doug Haller
Eloise Evans
Emery Edwards
Ethlyn Dellaria
Gen Meyer
Hattie Black Marcum
Holly
Jack Hatala
James Mitts
James Woolfolk
Jamie Edwards
Janice Torrance
Jeanne Buffington Rowland
Jen's Mom
Joan Gallagher
Joan Pohlman
Jodi Kraina
John Schlotter
Jonathan Serafine
Josh Boyd
Justin Vogel
Mandi Smith
Manuel Fraga
Maria Drennan
Marjie Dinges
Mary Ellen Grove
Matthew Kirtley
Mike Terri
Paul Walsh
Penny Mourat
Randy Willson
Robert Krupp
Rose Sanders
Ryan
Shirley Everhart Kirtley
Stacy Jo Vogel
Steve Zubay
Susan Ponville
Susie Kurcina
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
Kya Schwertfeger
Lily Ghrist
Michael Liptak
Shelby Kamarec

Military
Chris Cameron
Jason Kerr
Jonathan Criss
Michael Criss
Stephen Mader

Bereaved Family
The Family of Alden Edwards

Church Families
George & Eloise Evans
Joanne Fell
Corinne Ferguson

Local Church
Faith Baptist Church

Special Friends
Corinne Ferguson – 243 Ritchie Ave., Weirton, WV  26062-4114

Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery Congregations
Glenmoor Presbyterian Church, East Liverpool, Ohio – Rev. Velis Veis
Grace Presbyterian Church, East Liverpool, Ohio – Vacant Pulpit

Also Remember in Your Prayers
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
Dolores Edwards – 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
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 SYMPATHY. . .
is extended to the family of Alden Edwards, husband of Dolores Edwards and father of Linda Caleffie, who died on Saturday, August 17th, 2013.  Alden was a Fifty Year Plus member of the Cove Family joining on April 14, 1957.

PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN'S PLANNING MEETING . . .
will be held on Wednesday, August 28 at 10:00 a.m. in the board room. All officers are encouraged to attend as we will be finalizing our agenda tor the coming year.

CLOSED. . .
the church and office will be closed on Monday, September 1 for the Labor Day Holiday.

MYRTLE MCHENDRY CLASS SOCIALS RESUME . . .
on Tuesday, September 3 at 6:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. Music and Mission is the title of the program that will be presented by members of the Mission West Virginia Team.  Hostesses for the evening will be Barbara Losey and Jenny VanGilder.

CHANCEL CHOIR PRACTICE . . .
will begin on Wednesday, September 4 at 6:45 p.m. in the sanctuary. Everyone who wishes to praise God thru song is welcome to join us.

BOARD MEETINGS. . .
The Three Boards of the church will all resume their meetings on Monday, September 9 at 6:30 p.m.
The Board of Trustees will meet in the church parlor;
The Board of Session will meet in the church library and
The Board of Deacons will meet in the boardroom.

A HEARTFELT THANK YOU . . .
to everyone for all the prayers, cards, well wishes, telephone calls and other acts of kindness during my recent hospital stay.
Eloise Evans

FALL MEETINGS . . .
will be starting in a few weeks. We ask that you please contact the church office with a schedule of your upcoming plans, there are quite a few organizations that meet and we need to make arrangements so we can accommodate everyone.

USHERS ARE STILL NEEDED ...
for the month of  September. The schedule is 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 - It's Never Easy Saying Good-Bye

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

It’s never easy saying good-bye. Now I was reminded of that by two things that happened this past week. You see, we all said good-bye to outstanding man, Alden Edwards, whose funeral I led on Wednesday. But the day before, I met with a young lady who was also grieving. In her case, it involved the death of a relationship and with it, her home and sense of security. And I’ll tell you, in both cases, the grief was real and deep.

Of course, I think we all know about grieving. It just seems to be a part of living. Whether you’re talking about a spouse or a parent, a job or even a house, everybody deals with loss. In a sense, I felt some of that myself yesterday. You see, it was the first day of school, and I dropped my daughter off at Weir Middle. And as she was getting out of the car to join her friends waiting at the door, I remembered when her mother and I took her to Weirton Heights Elementary six years ago and left her in the care of Mrs. Placek, her kindergarten teacher. Even thinking about it now makes me tear up a little bit. Maggie is maturing into the person that God created her to be, and that’s certainly a good thing. Still, I feel this pang of lost, because that little five-year-old is now eleven and counting. And let’s face it, it’s never easy saying good-bye.

But fortunately, we don’t have to do it alone; God is always with us. And I think that’s important to remember. You see, I don’t believe God enables us to avoid grief nor does he make the pang and pain magically go away. Instead, he’s with us as we move forward. In other words, he’s with us during that foggy time when what we grieve seems like a bad dream. And he’s with us when we’re so angry we could spit, and I’m talking about being angry even at God, because it’s all too unfair and too soon. And he’s with us when the sadness hits and we begin to wonder whether we’re going to make it at all. You see, I believe that God leads us through the grieving process, because he reminds us that the universe is in his hands, that his is the final answer, and that in his care, we’ll be fine. Of course, knowing this doesn’t make the grief go away, but it might reduce some of our pain and fear as we move to the other side.

In my life as a minister, I’ve moved many times and led many funeral services. I’ve been with individuals, families and congregations as they struggle with change, folks who know they can’t stay but who also don’t want to go. And personally, I’ve had to grow from the innocence and optimism of youth, a time when everything and anything is possible, to the more settled reality of middle-age, where the possibilities of this present life are far more limited. I’ve seen and said good-bye many times, but so have we all. And each time it hurts: sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. But knowing that God is with us, well that might just might reduce some of the pain and enable us to move into the future with hope.