Monday, September 30, 2013

Sunday's Sermon - A Low Risk, Long-Term Investment

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


1 Timothy 6:2b-16

These things teach and urge. If anyone teaches something different and doesn’t adhere to healthy words of our Lord Jesus Christ and godly teaching, then they have become conceited and know nothing, but pine for debates and controversies about words, from which comes envy, rivalry, blaspheme, suspicions based on ill-will, mutual friction among people who have corrupt minds and who have been deprived of truth, because they consider godliness to be profitable.

But godliness with contentment is greatly profitable. For nothing we brought into the world, so that nothing we might be able to bring out, but because we have sustenance and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and many senseless and harmful desires which plunge people into ruin and destruction. For a root of all evil is the friendship of money, which, because certain people crave, they are caused to wander away from the faith and shoot themselves through with many sorrows. But you, who are a man of God, flee these things.

But pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, fortitude, gentleness. Fight the good fight from faith. Take hold of eternal life, into which you were called and have professed the good profession in the presence many witnesses.

I charge you in the presence of God who keeps all things alive and Christ Jesus who witnessed before Pontus Pilate the good profession, to keep the commandment without spot and without blemish until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will, in his own time, show that he is the one who’s blessed and is the only power, the king of the kings and the lord of lords, the only one who has immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable, whom no person has seen nor is able to see, to him is honor and might eternally, amen.



A Low Risk, Long-Term Investment

When I was in Indianapolis, there was an attorney in my church named Joe Woods. Now, Joe was a great guy; in fact, he was chair of the committee that called me to Southminster. And I’ll tell you, if you’ve ever seen a southern lawyer from an old movie, that was Joe. I guess the best way to describe him was that he was a lot Foghorn Laghorn, except Joe didn’t have feathers. I mean, he was a big man, with a lot of white hair that sort of swept back, and he had this booming voice and talked with a southern accent. And I’ll tell you something, having dealt with him on session and watched how he’d work a room full of elders to get what he wanted, man, if I were on trial and my life was on the line, I’d sure want Joe Woods to be at my side.

Now Joe was a loyal, church-goer. If the building was open, he was there. And you could count on him being in his pew every Sunday morning, even during football season. Of course there was one exception to that rule. Every now and then, Joe would be out of town for a couple of days. And I remember, the first time it happened I ask Joe where he’d been. And as I recall, he kind of put one of his big hands on my shoulder and said, “Well son, I was making some high risk, short-term investments.” Now, as it turned out, he’d been right. You see, about twice a year, he’d drive down to Louisville and bet on the horses.

And I’ll tell you, after I read this passage in which Paul talked about profitability, I thought about Joe and in particular his occasional trips to Kentucky. And it hit me that all of us make what I think you could call investments, maybe not of money but certainly of time and attention and effort, and we do it with the hope that we’re going to get something back in return. I mean, just think about it. We all want to get something out of life, right? And even though that “something” may change over time, it usually involves stuff like happiness or satisfaction, even contentment. Of course, when we’re young it may come in the form of a new car or becoming a doctor or maybe marrying the boss’s son or daughter. And later, it may have more to do with good things that we hope to see happen for our children and grandchildren. But regardless of the timing, it really still comes down to the same thing, doesn’t it? We still want our work to produce something good, you know, like satisfaction or security. And we still want our activities, our hobbies to generate feelings like happiness and joy. In other words, we still want our investment of time and of effort and of attention to yield something positive that we can bank on. And I think that really makes sense, because I’ve got to tell you, I’ve never met an person who would, with all things being equal, choose one with low returns over one that’s higher. I guess, when you’re talking about life, we all want to hold high yield investments.

And although, like I said, that’s really to be expected, how we get there may not be the best. And it’s right here where this business about risk and term come in. You see, as we try to get what we want out of life, I think we may end up following a strategy that looks good on paper, but really carries a higher risk and a shorter term than we may have realized. Let me tell you what I mean. How many of y’all would like to be happy? How many of y’all would like to feel a sense of satisfaction? How many of y’all would like to be content? Thanks. Now, I think that’s pretty accurate. I mean, I hope you saw my hand up every time. This is something we share.

But that’s not all. I think a lot of us kind of have the same idea about how we can get there, you know, get what we want. You see, I believe most if not all of us feel as though we’ll have these things that we want as soon as we get more. Now notice, I said more, but not necessarily more money, although I’m not excluding cash. I mean, even if we buy into that business about money not being able to buy happiness, I think most people still want more of it, right? But if it’s not money, it’s something else. Is there anyone here who’d be happier if they could afford a little more stuff for themselves and their families,  maybe even their church? You don’t have to raise your hands, I know there’s some out there.  Is there anybody here who’d be satisfied if they received a little more recognition and appreciate at home or at work? And is there anyone here this morning whose contentment meter would go up if they didn’t have that bad back or pain in the neck, and I’m not talking about the one sitting next to you in the pew. Now that’s what I’m talking about when I say more: more money, more approval, more health. I think deep down we sincerely believe we’ll be happier when we get more of this stuff, and so that’s where we invest our energy.

And even though, this sure sounds like it makes a lot of sense, there’s just one problem; it doesn’t work, and now I’m talking about the risk and the term. I mean, when I do this, it doesn’t take me long to realize that this is really a very short-term investment, at least in terms of it’s yield. It’s like the parable of the guy who believes that building bigger barns will insure his future happiness only to find that he’s going to die before he can even lay the foundation. I mean, let’s face it, nothing lasts forever. In fact, in this very passage, Paul saw that that was true. He wrote, “For nothing we brought into the world, so that nothing we might be able to bring out...” It’s like that great poem by Robert Frost:
“Nature’s first green is gold, 
Her hardest hue to hold. 
Her early leaf’s a flower; 
But only so an hour. 
Then leaf subsides to leaf. 
So Eden sank to grief, 
So dawn goes down to day. 
Nothing gold can stay.” 
That’s short term.

But that’s not the only problem, both the price and the risk are pretty high. I mean, what happens when we plow everything we have and are into getting that little bit more; what happens to us on the inside, you know ourselves, our souls? I mean, I think Paul understood the risk involved. First he wrote, “If anyone teaches something different and doesn’t adhere to healthy words of our Lord Jesus Christ and godly teaching, then they have become conceited and know nothing, but pine for debates and controversies about words, from which comes envy, rivalry, blaspheme, suspicions based on ill-will, mutual friction among people who have corrupt minds and who have been deprived of truth, because they consider godliness to be profitable. And then, second, he wrote about how this desire can really mess us up, and although he was talking about money, I think this same thing could apply to any of the stuff we pursue for the sake of happiness. Remember, he wrote, “But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and many senseless and harmful desires which plunge people into ruin and destruction. For a root of all evil is the friendship of money, which, because certain people crave, they are caused to wander away from the faith and shoot themselves through with many sorrows.” You see, when it comes to how we generally try to get what we want, I’m telling you I think this investment is every bit as high risk and short-term as watching the ponies run.

And I’ll tell you, that little bit of news would be downright depressing, if Paul hadn’t given us another possibility, and I’m taking about something else in which we can invest our time and attention and even money. I mean, without changing what we fundamentally want, you know, things like happiness and satisfaction and contentment, we can follow a different strategy, we can make a different investment to get there. And like I said, it’s right here in this passage. Just listen, “But you, ...pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, fortitude, gentleness. Fight the good fight from faith. Take hold of eternal life, into which you were called and have professed the good profession in the presence many witnesses.” You see, instead of chasing after things that don’t last and that won’t really satisfy, we can decide to strengthen our relationship with God and to live lives that reflect that relationship. And we can learn as much as we can about the faith we talk about and then put those words into loving action. And we can do all this with patience and endurance and perseverance while also showing a gentleness to those around us. I’m telling you, if we really want to be happy over the long haul, if we really want to be satisfied into the future, man, if we really want the kind of contentment that lasts, this, brothers and sisters, this is the kind of investment we might need to consider.

And you know, if we do, we’re going to find that it’s not only high return, as a matter of fact, the highest return, it’s also both low risk and long-term. Remember how Paul ended this passage. He wrote, “I charge you in the presence of God who keeps all things alive and Christ Jesus who witnessed before Pontus Pilate the good profession, to keep the commandment without spot and without blemish until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will, in his own time, show that he is the one who’s blessed and is the only power, the king of the kings and the lord of lords, the only one who has immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable, whom no person has seen nor is able to see, to him is honor and might eternally, amen.” Now, that’s what Paul wrote.

And you tell me, what’s more long term than investing in God: the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, the one “...who will, in his own time, show that he is the one who’s blessed and is the only power...the only one who has immortality?” And what investment is more secure than one that’s been made in the creator of all things, the one who surrounds the universe and who’s within every quark, the one who’s called “...the king of the kings and the lord of lords...” Man, you can’t get that kind of security, even at the Hancock County Saving Bank.

Now, when Joe came back from Louisville, he seldom came back richer. Although I know he enjoyed the experience, his high risk, short-term investments rarely paid off. And I’ve got to tell you, neither do ours. I mean, even though we all want the same kind of return, our personal investments often end up being pretty short-term and when you consider what it may do to our relationship with one another and with God, the risk is pretty high. But you know, I think that changes when we focus on the one who loved us before the foundation of the world and who will one day lead us into glory. I’m telling you, in my opinion, that’s one high yield, low-risk, long-term investment on which we can count.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cove's Bulletin for Sunday, September 29, 2013

Below is a copy of our Sunday bulletin. During the service, we'll focus on how we might find more happiness and satisfaction in our lives.









A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - Angry with God

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

John 13:36 – 14:4 

Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered, “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now; but you will follow afterward.” Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Very truly, I tell you, before the cock crows, you will have denied me three times.

“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.”

A Devotion by Walter A. Puciata (Arizona, USA)

While in graduate school, I was falling in love with a woman I wanted to marry. But it was not to be. I was so brokenhearted that I grew disillusioned and angry with God. In fact, while on a walk in the woods one day, I felt so angry with God that I picked up a downed tree limb and smashed it into pieces against a tree. Though disappointed and angry with God, I continued to read my Bible. One day, I was reading the end of John 13, where Jesus foretold Peter’s denial, and I thought about my own anger with God during that walk in the woods. But, remembering that chapter divisions did not exist in the original manuscripts, I read on. I suddenly understood for the first time that the very questions Peter was asking Jesus in John 13, Jesus continued to answer in John 14! Jesus had not spoken the words “Do not let your hearts be troubled” into thin air; he was speaking to Peter and the other apostles. These words could be for me as well. How comforting are the words of Jesus — especially in the context of Peter’s questions. Jesus loves us so much and is so very confident in his ability to save us that he is preparing a place for us.

From The Upper Room.

Friday, September 27, 2013

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

On Sunday, September 29, 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
Carol Mowl
Catalin
Charles Saffle
Cindi Livingston
Conrad Criss
Dean Allen
Dee Campbell
Diane Szymanek
Dick Bonyak
Dick Watson
Dino Buffington
Doug Haller
Elisa Archer
Eloise Evans
Emery Edwards
Ethlyn Dellaria
Evan Pulice
Fred Metz family
Gen Meyer
George Bownlee
Hattie Black Marcum
Holly
Jack Hatala
James Mitts
James Woolfolk
Jamie Edwards
Janice Torrance
Jean Jeffrey
Jeanne Buffington Rowland
Jenny VanGilder
Jen's Mom
Joan Gallagher
Joan Pohlman
Jodi Kraina
John Schlotter
Jonathan Serafine
Josh Boyd
Justin Vogel
Katy Allen
Kelly Stephens
Mandi Smith
Manuel Fraga
Maria Drennan
Marjie Dinges
Mary Ellen Grove
Matthew Kirtley
Megan Dughton
Mike Terri
Paul Walch
Penny Mourat
Randy Willson
Robert Hans
Robert Krupp
Rose Bell
Rose Sanders
Sally Marple
Sharon Johnson
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
Eliza Mazezka
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

Church Families
David & Karen Gould
Jeff Grant
Dan & Pat Grant

Local Church
Mt. Olive Baptist Church

Special Friends
Ron Taflan – 145 Colliers Way, Weirton, WV  26062-4043

Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery Congregations
Ridge Presbyterian Church, Jewett, Ohio – Rev. John Visser
Bethel Presbyterian Church, Key, Ohio – CRE Kurt Turner
Please pray for our pastor's health and for the youth of our church and community

Also Remember in Your Prayers
Alice & Kenny 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.

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

BOOKMARKS . . .
Cove's Reading Group will meet on Monday, September 30 at 6:30 p.m. in the church parlor. The book being discussed is titled, The Woman at the Light by Joanna Brady.

NINETY-FIRST ANNIVERSARY DINNER . . .
of the Myrtle  McHendry Class will be held this  Tuesday, October 1st, 2013 beginning with a catered dinner by Caleodis Catering  at 5:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall.  Entertainment for the evening will be "Music, Music, Music" presented by singers of the Weirton's Women's Club.

CHANCEL CHOIR . . .
is back presenting anthems each Sunday.  It's a great time to join the choir, if you want to lift your voice in song to the Lord. Anyone in high school or older is welcome each Wednesday evening at 6:45 in the sanctuary as we practice our anthems for the coming weeks.  There is no shortage of Christian fellowship and good times.

OUR BROWN BAG BIBLE STUDY . . .
will meet on Thursday, October 3, at 12:30, in the Fellowship Hall. In the next few months, we'll be looking at the Pastoral Letters (1 & 2 Timothy and Titus) During this session, we'll look at 1 Timothy 2:1–3:16.

WORLD COMMUNION. . .
will be observed next Sunday, October 6 during the morning worship.

THE FUNDAMENTAL BELIEFS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH . . .
will be the focus of a new study that Pastor Rudiger will lead, beginning Wednesday, October 9, beginning at 6:00 p.m.

COVE'S 14TH ANNUAL MEMORIAL SERVICE . . .
will be held on Sunday, November 3rd during the morning worship. If you had a loved one who has died during the past year, please contact the church office so we can include their name on our memorial list, thus remembering them in a "special way" during our service.

MARK YOU CALENDAR. . .
Sunday, November 3 will be the Deacon's Annual Spaghetti Dinner to support Project Christmas Smile. Details to follow in the coming weeks.

JENNA MAINE IS HOSTING A ZUMBATHON CHARITY EVENT . . .
called Purple with Purpose on Sunday, November 10, 2013 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at Cindy's Fusion Fitness 2 (3133 Pennsylvania Avenue in Weirton). Proceeds will benefit the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network as November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and the birthday month of my dad Paul Maine who passed away a year ago from pancreatic cancer. Tickets are $10 if purchased in advance, $15 at the door. To purchase tickets in advance, please contact me Jenna Maine at 304-374-5107. Remember, Zumba is for everyone, all shapes, sizes, and ages! But there will also be raffles, food, beverages, and more for those of you who do not wish to Zumba but simply want to come support the cause!

THANK YOU. . .
to everyone who has contributed to the Deacons Loose Change Collection.  Thru September 22, 2013 a total of 233.05 has been received to be used in our Utility Outreach Program. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!!

SUPPORT YOUR FAVORITE SCOUT. . .
and buy some delicious popcorn. The boy and cub scouts are selling both "ready popped and pop your own" popcorn  in a variety of flavors for the holidays. Contact your "scout" and place your order between Tuesday, October 1st thru Thursday, October 31st.

A SPIRITUAL MESSAGE . . .
can be found by calling 304-748-7900 Cove's Prayer Line. You can call at anytime to hear a message by Rev. Rudiger. The messages are changed every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. You can also hear the devotion at covepresbyterian.podbean.com and iTunes (search Cove Presbyterian). You can also read the devotion at www.thecovecommunity.blogspot.com.

KROGER COMMUNITY REWARDS PARTICIPANTS. . .
Cove Presbyterian just received a check for $ 254.72 as a quarterly dividend. THANK YOU to everyone who is registered! If you are not signed-up please take a moment to do so, it costs you nothing but raises money for the church. If you have any questions please contact the church office.  The bottom of your receipt should read-  -
You requested Kroger to donate to Cove Presbyterian Church

WE HOPE THAT EVERYONE WILL ENJOY THE "FACELIFT" . . .
that has been done to Fellowship Hall. The floor has been stripped and waxed along with the partitions being redone and decorated. We are asking everyone to please take an extra minute, to help us maintain our church. We can not do it alone but,  with everyone's cooperation we will be able to have our church at its best at all times.

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 - Faith and Peace

A couple of weeks ago a good friend told me that he may be having major surgery soon. Of I was concerned, both about the operation and his feelings as he was approaching it. And so I asked him how he was doing, and I was ready to talk about how God can strengthen us as we move into the future. You see, I was ready to respond to an expression of fear and concern, but that’s not what he said. Instead he told that he felt peace, because he knew that God was in control and that God’s will would be done regardless of the outcome. Now, to tell the truth, I really wasn’t completely surprised by his answer. My friend has a deep and growing faith in Jesus Christ, and what he said was a lot like what I felt going into my surgery a few years ago. I think we both felt and feel that God holds our lives in his loving hands; therefore, ultimately, we have absolutely nothing to fear.

And as I think about it now, I believe that’s what faith is all about. It’s the ability to trust that we’re simply loved by God and that he holds our futures in his hands. In other words, he’s in control our lives, and that’s true whether we give our lives to him or not. God doesn’t become God because of us. He isn’t Lord because we make him Lord. And we’re not loved by him because we’ve made ourselves loveable. “In life and in death, we belong to the Lord.” And we can trust this, because of the life, death, resurrect and ascension of Jesus Christ. I mean, by his life, he showed us how to live. When he died, we died in him, and when he was raised , we received a tangible sign that one day we’ll rise too. And because he ascended, we know that right now we have an advocate within the Godhead itself. But you know, what I think is most amazing is that this ability to trust isn’t something we’re expected to create ourselves. Rather it’s a gift of God, communicated through the Holy Spirit, God’s indwelling within us. Now, for me, that’s faith.

Therefore, it’s really not surprising that the faithful feel peace. As a matter of fact, I don’t think it’s possible to trust in God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, without feeling peace. As the Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, “What can we say about all this? If God is on our side, can anyone be against us? God did not keep back his own Son, but he gave him for us. If God did this, won’t he freely give us everything else? If God says his chosen ones are acceptable to him, can anyone bring charges against them? Or can anyone condemn them? No indeed! Christ died and was raised to life, and now he is at God’s right side, speaking to him for us. Can anything separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble, suffering, and hard times, or hunger and nakedness, or danger and death? ...In everything we have won more than a victory because of Christ who loves us. I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love–not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, and not powers above or powers below. Nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord!”

And since this is what my friend believes, he can feel peace even in the face of surgery. And so can we as we face our futures. Although we might worry about the immediate and even fear pain, our future is secure, and we can claim this clear truth, “Nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord!” And then with peace and confidence we can share this with those who live around us by the words we say and the lives we live.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - Living in the Moment

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


2 Corinthians 4:16-18 

So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.


A Devotion by Roger C. Palms (Florida, USA)

Our cousin’s daughter shared an insight she had while watching her father and her young son eating ice cream cones together. Her father was battling dementia, each day a bit less cognizant of what was happening around him. Her son was growing more aware of his surroundings and his place in the world with each passing day. Now they have passed each other — her father sliding downward and her son growing upward. But for a moment they met around those two ice cream cones; for that short time, they were both in the same moment. Our moments are just that, moments. They don’t last; they disappear and we move on. We live in the moment, and those moments keep changing. God is with us in the moment, even in our difficult moments. Our troubles are far outweighed by the eternal glory ahead. God of our past and God of our future is right here with us — in the moment. 

From The Upper Room.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sunday's Minute for Mission - Evangelism

Volunteer barbers and hair stylists gave more
than 50 free haircuts in two hours.
They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, . . . so that they may take hold of the life that really is life. (1 Tim. 6:18–19)

When leaders at C. N. Jenkins Memorial Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, began using Engage, a Presbyterian Mission Agency resource, they started praying and reading Scripture together. In the process, their faith stories came alive, touching 94 people who made professions of faith, 63 becoming new members.

The congregation also became engaged in new service opportunities in its community, partnering with Covenant Presbyterian Church in “Impact Charlotte.” More than 800 volunteers worked together on 50 service projects. C. N. Jenkins hosted a one-stop shop offering clothing and free haircuts and shaves. “One of the homeless men thanked us for allowing him to go home with dignity,” says Pastor Jerry Cannon. “There was another guy looking for a coat,” project head Michelle Stewart adds, “but we were out, because coats were the first thing to go. One of our volunteers gave him the coat off his back.” According to Stewart, one little girl who lives in the city shelter and came to the shop with damaged hair was “so excited about her new bouncy haircut that she didn’t want to leave.”

Cannon says seeing this little girl and hearing the homeless has caused his congregation to shift its focus from attendance and programming: “Engage has given us new language to describe why we do what we do. We are connecting people to God and each other.”


Rev. Paul Seebeck, Mission Communications, Evangelism and Church Growth

Minute for Mission - Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence

Dozens of the faithful join Heeding God’s Call in public
witness at a notorious Philadelphia gun shop.
My only brother, FBI Special Agent Mike Miller, was one of three law enforcement officers shot and killed at Washington, DC, Metropolitan Police Headquarters in November 1994 by a lone gunman wielding a loaded and concealed assault pistol.
For a long time after Mike’s death, which came just before Thanksgiving, I could not countenance the holiday. Thankfully, I eventually did two things: I turned to the God who in Psalm 91 promises to protect, and I devoted myself to action to keep others from suffering as my family has and does. I now follow Christ’s admonition to love my neighbors by acting to save lives from the scourge of gun violence and am confident that the Christ who gave his life so all may live wishes me and others to do so. I have embraced the challenge of 1 John“Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action” (3:18).
I work with a growing movement of people of all faiths who seek to persuade gun shops to quit selling to gun traffickers and those who buy for them—“straw buyers.” The guns they buy are the ones that end up in the hands of those who cannot pass background checks due to felonies, domestic violence, mental illness issues, or, all too often, because they are underage.
We are heeding God’s call to prevent gun violence and save lives. And I love and live Thanksgiving each day as we act in God’s name.
—Bryan Miller, executive director, Heeding God’s Cal

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - Baby Steps

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

Isaiah 40:28-31 

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.


Jada and Jubilee
A Devotion by Jada Pryor (Illinois, USA)

The first steps of my one-year-old daughter, Jubilee, brought me overwhelming happiness. I spread my arms wide to receive her, and she joyfully bounded into my embrace. Becoming sure of her new footing took time, and she often stumbled. Every fall made me cringe, but I helped her to her feet and encouraged her to take a few more steps. As her parent, I knew the freedom that walking would give her.

My journey with Christ is similar. When I first began to walk with him, I was thrilled by my new discovery. With the feeling of lightness in my heart and the excitement of moving toward Jesus, I could hardly keep from running. Upon being saved, I thought that my life would be easy, that I could move about freely as a follower of Christ and never stumble or fall again. That is not what God promises. God knows that we grow tired and slip in our faith, but God also assures us. If we continue to move toward the Lord, God will reach out a hand to steady us and will guide us back to the path laid out before us. God, like a good parent, knows the freedom that lies ahead.

From The Upper Room.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sunday's Sermon - Prayers and Practice

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


1 Timothy 2:1-7

Now first of all, I urge that petitions, prayers, appeals, [and] thanksgiving be made for every person, for kings and all who are in high places, so that tranquil and quiet lives we might live in all piety and dignity. This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come into the knowledge of truth. For there is one God, and also one mediator between God and humanity, the human Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for many, the witness at the appropriate time. For this, I was appointed a herald and an apostle, I speak the truth and don’t lie, a teacher of the gentiles in faith and truth.


Prayers and Practice

As I look back on my almost thirty years as a minister, a lot of people have influenced me. I mean, I was really lucky to have some remarkable men and women teach me about the Christian faith back when I was a student at Union Theological Seminary. I can still close my eyes and see people like John Leith and Jack Dean Kingsbury, Jim Mays and the Achtemeiers, Paul and Elizabeth. For me, they were giants of the faith and had forgotten more about the Bible than I would ever know. And what I’ve read, you know books by great theologians like John Calvin and Karl Barth, Reinhold Neihbor and Jürgen Moltmann, in one way or another, they still shape every sermon I preach and lesson I teach. 

But you know, on a more personal level, I look at two men who really were mentors for me. One was a minister named Andy Gullick who had a church in Keyser, West Virginia and under whom I worked as a summer intern. And the other, his name was Jim Carriker, a good, ol’ North Carolina farm boy who had the biggest smile I’d ever seen, a remarkable man who showed me an alternative to the rigid fundamentalism I used to follow, a kind of Christianity that I’m not sure offers much hope and joy to anybody. You see, he taught me about grace, and for that I’ll never be able to thank him enough.

But I’ve got to tell you, Jim taught me something else, and it was never to take yourself too seriously, even when you’re talking about Christianity. I mean, he was the kind of guy who’d remind you, ever so gently, that you probably weren’t as smart as you thought you were, and neither was he. In fact, I remember he said something to me that has kind of stuck with me for over thirty year. As I recall, I’d said something about how I’d be praying for him, and he looked me right it the eyes and in this Carolina drawl, he said, “Well Ed, that’s great, because I need the prayer and you need the practice.” Now that’s what he said.

And I’ve got to tell you, I think it’s one great line, in fact one that I’ve used more than once myself, because it really kind of crystalizes what prayer is really all about, at least it does for me. I mean, not only does it benefit the one for whom the prayers are made, it also impacts the one who’s doing the praying and the more it’s done, and I’m talking about the more practice you get, the greater the impact. In other words, when we pray, we receive something. In a very real way, we’re changed, and that change can be dramatic and substantial, if that is, we let it happen.

And you know, I think that’s something Paul was writing about in this passage to Timothy. I mean, it’s pretty obvious that he thought prayer was important. Good night, he wrote, “Now first of all, I urge that petitions, prayers, appeals, [and] thanksgiving be made...” Now right here, Paul used four different words that, when taken together, offer four different dimensions of prayer, but they all one thing in common. They all four involve the kind of prayer we can make for other people. For example, he starts with a word I translated “petitions,” but I could have just as easily used “supplication” or “entreaty.” You see, when we do this, when this is how we pray, we’re laying before God a need or a concern, but not offering a solution. You see,  that’s how the word is used in the Old Testament. And the next one, the one I translated “prayers,” well, it’s similar to the first, but a little different in terms of attitude. You see, this really has more to the act of praying than the content of the prayer. In other passages, it’s associated with fasting, because it has to do with humbling yourself before God. In fact, again according to the Old Testament,  it’s done when you kneel to pray. And then, when you talk about prayer as making an “appeal” to God, well, that’s kind of like presenting to God a petition, you know, like making a specific request. You see, here you’re doing more than just stating a problem; you’re offering to God a possible solution. And finally, Paul wrote about how we should be offering prayers of thanksgiving, and since the other three involve others, that’s probably what he had in mind here. In other words, I think Paul wanted us to be thankful, you know, grateful and appreciative for those whom God has put into our lives. Now, for Paul, that’s the kind of thing he urged Timothy to do.

And for whom were these prayers to be made, in other words, whose needs should we be lifting to God, for whom should we be approaching God with humility, who should be the focus of our requests and thanks? Well, for Paul, that was obvious. Remember, he wrote, “...I urge that petitions, prayers, appeals, [and] thanksgiving be made for every person, for kings and all who are in high places...” For whom should we be praying, everybody, right? 

OK, that’s pretty clear, but let’s face it, that’s not always easy or comfortable to do, and I guess because of that we often tend to limit or restrict our prayers. For example, we just pray for people within our church. My goodness, if we didn’t, our prayer list would be way too long, and God wouldn’t want that, right? Or we restrict our prayers for only people within our faith, you know for only Christians. I mean, we’re not going to pray for Buddhists and Hindus and atheists, and certainly not for Muslims. Dah, right? Or we limit our prays for just people who are just like us and who want the kind of things we want, the people who think the way we think, you know, the guys who play for our team. My gosh, God couldn’t expect us to be praying for the Chicago Bears later this evening, right? I mean, sometimes that’s how we think, isn’t it? 

But that’s not what Paul wrote. Instead he said, I urge you to pray for “every person.” I urge you to pray for every person, both inside and outside our church. I urge you to pray for every person, both inside and outside our faith. I urge you to pray for every person, both inside and outside our team. I urge you to pray for every person. Man, that’s tough. But you want to hear something even tougher. He put a special emphasis on “...kings and all who are in high places.” In other words, we should make a special effort to lay before God the needs of our leaders, our bosses, our teachers. We should approach God on their behalf with humility. And we should make requests that really are beneficial to them. And this may be the most challenging, we should be thanking God for them. In other words, I think Paul is challenging every Republican here to offer a prayer of thanksgiving for President Obama, and every Democrat to offer a pray of thanksgiving for the House of Representatives and Tea Party Congressmen. Ouch. Now, let me be clear, this doesn’t mean we have to agree with them; we just have to pray for them. And I’ll tell you, before anyone says, “Well, Paul didn’t know how bad things would be in the future, and how far our leaders would have drifted from the truth,” before anyone allows their minds to drift that direction, just remember who was in charge when Paul was writing this. Man, when he was alive the pagan Romans where calling the shots, I’m talking about the ones who’d soon be throwing Christians to the lions, something I think is a lot worst than Obamacare or deregulation. And yet he still wanted first-century Christians to pray for their leaders, and that’s what he wants us to do as well. And the reason, well, for Paul that was easy, “this is good and pleasing in the sight of God our savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come into the knowledge of truth.” And so, why should we pray for everyone? Well, using the words of Jim Carriker, because they need prayers.

But you know, according to Paul, that’s not the only reason we pray. And although Jim said that it was because we need the practice, Paul offered another benefit. I mean, take a look at the passage again and notice that Paul was clear about what we receive when we start praying for everyone, especially our leaders. He wrote, “...I urge that petitions, prayers, appeals, [and] thanksgiving be made for every person, for kings and all who are in high places, so that tranquil and quiet lives we might live in all piety and dignity.” 

You see, for Paul, this is what happens when we get rid of the restrictions and erase the limitations 
so that we pray freely for everyone. Not only will our lives become more calm and still, we’ll actually be able to develop a godliness and a concentration we may have never had before. I’ll tell you, if we believe that Paul knew what he was talking about, this is going to happen when we decide to pray for everybody, including folks we don’t like. And you know something, if you take a half step back and think about it, this really makes sense. I mean, when I decide to do something that doesn’t necessarily comes naturally, and I start praying for everybody, I believe three things will happen. First, all of sudden my focus will shift, won’t it? Man, it has to, if I’m praying to God. Instead of looking only at the world around me, now I’m focusing my attention on the one who stand above all my frustrations and fears, and now I’m talking about the one about whom Paul wrote when he said, “...there is one God, and also one mediator between God and humanity, the human Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for many, the witness at the appropriate time.” That’s where I’m focusing my attention. And that’s one thing that has to happen. And second, when I pray for everyone, my emotions have got to calm down, and I’ll tell you why. It’s pretty hard to be all fired up about a person, you know, feeling anger and resentment and maybe even hatred, man, it’s hard to feel those things, after you’ve humbly prayed on their behalf. I mean, it’s pretty tough to be furious with someone for whom you’re offering appeals and petitions to God. And I think its impossible to hate a person for whom you’re offering thanks. Pray calms the one who prays. That’s two. And third, when we have the courage and faith to pray for everyone, man, our lives change. I think Paul is right, our lives will become more tranquil and quiet and we’ll free up a lot of time to work on both our piety and dignity. I guess, when you get right down to it, when prayer becomes part of our practice. It changes who we are. 

And that’s really what Paul wants for us. Of course, I guess we can ignore what he said and we can limit both the kinds of prayers we make and the people for whom we make them. But wouldn’t that be a shame. I mean, wouldn’t it be a whole lot better if we offered to God prayers for everybody, especially all our leaders and those who have authority over us. And wouldn’t it nice to feel the tranquil piety and quiet dignity that’s possible when we offer to God these prayers. Personally, I think it would be great, because, well, they really do need the prayers, and we need all that comes with the practice.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Cove's Bulletin for September 22, 2013

Below is a copy of our bulletin for our 11:00 worship service. During the service we'll focus on the benefits we receive from prayer. We'll also welcome into our congregation Monte, Briella, Talea, and Frank Junior Guntrum who will be baptized during the worship service. They’re the children of Frank Guntrum and Laura Headland. We’re delighted to have these young people become a part of our church family.









A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - Hesitation to Listen

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


1 Samuel 8:1-9, 9:15-17, and 10:1 

When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel. The name of his firstborn son was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beer-sheba. Yet his sons did not follow in his ways, but turned aside after gain; they took bribes and perverted justice. 

Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, ‘You are old and your sons do not follow in your ways; appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations.’ But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, ‘Give us a king to govern us.’ Samuel prayed to the Lord, and the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. Just as they have done to me, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so also they are doing to you. Now then, listen to their voice; only—you shall solemnly warn them, and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.’ 

Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed to Samuel:‘Tomorrow about this time I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be ruler over my people Israel. He shall save my people from the hand of the Philistines; for I have seen the suffering of my people, because their outcry has come to me.’ When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord told him, ‘Here is the man of whom I spoke to you. He it is who shall rule over my people.’ Samuel took a phial of oil and poured it on his head, and kissed him; he said, ‘The Lord has anointed you ruler over his people Israel. You shall reign over the people of the Lord and you will save them from the hand of their enemies all around. Now this shall be the sign to you that the Lord has anointed you ruler over his heritage:’


A Devotion by Georgia Bruton (Florida, USA)

Samuel heard the Lord speak clearly. He didn’t hesitate or question; he followed through immediately and anointed Saul as king. Samuel knew what God desired because Samuel listened. However, our reading for today tells of Samuel’s wicked sons who failed to walk in the ways of their father. When I read that chapter I wondered why Samuel’s sons had not followed his example. I don’t know. I feel sure that this godly man prayed for his family. But I know sometimes I’ve felt like a failure as a parent, even though I’ve tried to be a good example. I’ve prayed for myself and for my children, asking for wisdom about how to rear them. But still they don’t always choose wisely, and sometimes I feel that their mistakes are my fault. Then I remember Samuel. His problems with his sons could have caused him to waver and doubt his ability to hear God. Instead, he continued to listen to God and to obey. I have that same choice: I can let my failures, perceived or real, keep me second guessing my ability to hear God; or like Samuel, I can choose to listen and obey. 


From The Upper Room.

Minute for Mission - International Day of Peace


From my office window, I see a sculpture in front of the United Nations Headquarters, of a revolver tied into a knot. Carl Fredrick Reuterswärd created this famous sculpture as a tribute following the violent death of his friend John Lennon, who sang a song asking us to “imagine all the people living life in peace . . . sharing all the world.” The sculpture was given to the United Nations by the government of Luxembourg in 1988, six years after the first International Day of Peace was celebrated.

The gun barrel tied into a knot renders the gun harmful to the shooter rather than the target. Imagine a world where those who intend harm were themselves harmed. Imagine a world where those who oppress became oppressed themselves. Imagine a world where we honored our neighbors as ourselves.

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus tells the crowd, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God” (Matt. 5:9). Shortly thereafter, he adds that he has come not to abolish the law or the prophets but to fulfill them (Matt. 5:17). Jesus emphasizes here that he has taught them a way to a blessed life; the path of blessing includes being active peacemakers.

Let us join Jesus on this path and work together for peace.


Ryan D. Smith, Presbyterian representative to the United Nations, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations

Friday, September 20, 2013

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

On Sunday, September 22, 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
Carol Mowl
Catalin
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
Evan Pulice
Gen Meyer
George Bownlee
Hattie Black Marcum
Holly
Jack Hatala
James Mitts
James Woolfolk
Jamie Edwards
Janice Torrance
Jean Jeffrey
Jeanne Buffington Rowland
Jenny VanGilder
Jen's Mom
Joan Gallagher
Joan Pohlman
Jodi Kraina
John Schlotter
Jonathan Serafine
Josh Boyd
Justin Vogel
Katy Allen
Mandi Smith
Manuel Fraga
Maria Drennan
Marjie Dinges
Mary Ellen Grove
Matthew Kirtley
Megan Dughton
Mike Terri
Paul Walch
Penny Mourat
Randy Willson
Robert Krupp
Rose Bell
Rose Sanders
Sally Marple
Sharon Johnson
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
Eliza Mazezka
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

Church Families
Joan Gallagher
Trevor, Jean, Chad & Kara Galownia
Pat Gasser

Local Church
Marland Heights Community Church

Special Friends
Genevieve Meyer – 4018 Palisades Dr., Weirton, WV  26062-4329

Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery Congregations
United Presbyterian Church, Hopedale, Ohio – Vacant Pulpit
Jewett Presbyterian Church, Jewett, Ohio – Vacant Pulpit

Also Remember in Your Prayers
Alice & Kenny 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 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.

THIS MORNING WE WELCOME INTO OUR CONGREGATION . . .
Monte, Briella, Talea, and Frank Junior Guntrum who will be baptized during the worship service. They’re the children of Frank Guntrum and Laura Headland. We’re delighted to have these young people become a part of our church family.

CHANCEL CHOIR . . .
is back presenting anthems each Sunday.  It’s a great time to join the choir, if you want to lift your voice in song to the Lord. Anyone in high school or older is welcome each Wednesday evening at 6:45 in the sanctuary as we practice our anthems for the coming weeks.  There is no shortage of Christian fellowship and good times.

OUR BROWN BAG BIBLE STUDY . . .
will meet on Thursday, September 26, at 12:30, in the Fellowship Hall. In the next few months, we’ll be looking at the Pastoral Letters (1 & 2 Timothy and Titus) During this session, we’ll look at 1 Timothy 2:1–3:16.

THE UPPER OHIO VALLEY WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION . . .
will hold their Fall Gathering at Cove Presbyterian this  Saturday, September 28 from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm. Come and gather with us, see what we are about, Lunch is on me!  – Linda Spencer

BOOKMARKS . . .
“Cove’s Reading Group” will meet on Monday, September 30th at 6:30 p.m. in the church parlor. If you are interested in joining and would like more information, please contact Becky Korosec at 304-748-8449 for further details. The book  we will be discussing in September is titled, The Woman at the Light by Joanna Brady. Our group has been meeting since January 1999.  If you like to read, this is the place for you!!  Please join us!!

NINETY-FIRST ANNIVERSARY DINNER . . .
of the Myrtle  McHendry Class will be held  on Tuesday, October 1st, 2013 beginning with a catered dinner by Caleodis Catering  at 5:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall.  Entertainment for the evening will be “Music, Music, Music” presented by singers of the Weirton’s Women’s Club.

WORLD COMMUNION. . .
will be observed on Sunday, October 6 during the morning worship.

THE FUNDAMENTAL BELIEFS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH . . .
will be the focus of a new study that Pastor Rudiger will lead, beginning Wednesday, October 9, beginning at 6:00 p.m.

OUR SYMPATHY . . .
is extended to the family of Charles “Chuck” McClure, brother of Jenny VanGilder who died on Friday, September 6, 2013.

KROGER COMMUNITY REWARDS PARTICIPANTS. . .
Cove Presbyterian just received a check for $ 254.72 as a quarterly dividend. THANK YOU to everyone who is registered! If you are not signed-up please take a moment to do so, it costs you nothing but raises money for the church. If you have any questions please contact the church office.  The bottom of your receipt should read-  -
 You requested Kroger to donate to
Cove Presbyterian Church

WE HOPE THAT EVERYONE WILL ENJOY THE “FACELIFT” . . .
that has been done to Fellowship Hall. The floor has been stripped and waxed along with the partitions being redone and decorated. We are asking everyone to please take an extra minute, to help us maintain our church. We can not do it alone but,  with everyone’s cooperation we will be able to have our church at its best at all times.

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 mem-bers 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 - You Mean a Christian Can Believe That?


This morning, when I got to the church, one of the first things I did was go online. Now I do that every day. I like to get the Bible readings out as soon as possible just in case someone has gotten in the habit of reading them in the morning. Anyway, before I put together the readings, I looked at the stories as they scrolled by on the AOL Welcome screen, and I’ve got to tell you, one really intrigued me. It was entitled “Vintage ad we can’t believe ran in print”, and it involved these advertisements that were really, and I mean really sexist. Of course I had to check it out, and what amazed me weren’t the ads themselves. As a matter of fact, I’m old enough to remember seeing some of them in magazines. No, what I found interesting was how ridiculous they appear now. I mean, we’ve changed a lot as a society, and even though we may still have some growing to do, the way we see gender roles is nothing like I remember growing up in the ’60s.

But this doesn’t just apply to the way we see the appropriate roles for women and men. As a child of the south, our view of race has radically changed in my 56 years. Even our view of what’s socially acceptable is different. When I was growing up, I remember that cigarette cloud that always filled the Nassau Inn, a family restaurant where we had the occasional Sunday dinner, something that I don’t think my daughter has ever seen. And I also remember, in that same restaurant, the cigarette machine there at the door where you could not only buy your smokes, a quarter a pack, but where people often left the book of matches that came with every purchase. The world, it is a-changin.

And I think we all know that that’s just the way it is. No matter how hard we try, we’re just not going to be able to stop the earth from rotating. But having been a minister for about thirty years, I’ve got to admit that the church is often the last place that “a-changes.” I mean, for a lot of reasons, some of which I believe to be very reasonable, the church is often that place where one can find security in a world that seems to be moving too fast. When everything else is up for grabs, the church is often seen as that constant, that rock surrounded by sand.

And even though, as I wrote, I certainly understand this, sometimes this perspective has damaged our ability to communicate our faith within a modern world, something I’ve written about before. It’s also put us in the role of supporting some social positions that may no longer be relevant to people within our society. Of course, we ground these positions on passages of scripture, even though we’re not nearly as interested in applying the verses that often surrounding the one on which we’ve focused. I mean, we read one verse and say it’s absolute and eternally applies, while another verse, maybe in the same chapter, is purely cultural and no longer applies at all. And even this focus shifts over time. I clearly remember when, as a sixteen-year-old Virginian, we were debating whether God wanted women to hold office in church or approved of interracial dating. And I can assure you, those who said “no”, backed their positions with all kinds of isolated quotes from the Bible. Now, as I look back, those arguments seem as dated as those sexist advertisements and smoke-filled restaurants.

And it’s for that reason, I believe Christians need to look careful at what we believe and do. I mean, in an atmosphere of openness, respect and faith, maybe we need to discuss what is truly essential within our faith, to take seriously that question: “What would Jesus do?” And maybe we should ask it without assuming that we already know the answer. In other words, without calling one another names, without entering the discussion with our opinions set in concrete, and without threatening to leave if we don’t get our way, maybe we can all get together over some open Bibles and ask God to help us better understand what’s right rather than to enable us to prove the other believer wrong. And once we have that core, wouldn’t it be exciting if, together, we worked to share it so that the people around us could hear the good news of God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and see how that good news might be lived.

There’s an old saying, “time stops for no one,” and I believe that applies to the church just like it does everything else. But as Christians, things should be a little different. You see, we’ve been called together by God himself. And we have Jesus Christ as the definitive example of life and love. And we have the Holy Spirit that inspires both us and scripture so that the Bible becomes a living word rather than a static relic. You see, I’m convinced that when we trust the one whom we claim to worship, we’ll never have to worry about a future generation looking at the church and seeing what I saw in those advertisements.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - The Missing Link

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


John 14:15-23 

“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. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?”

 Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.


A Devotion by Charlene T. Eubank (Tennessee, USA)

As I put on my favorite necklace, I realized one of the links was missing. I had not known it was broken when I placed it in the drawer, but now the necklace was useless to me until the links were joined again. A week earlier I had seen a small silver link on the carpet. Not knowing where it came from, I had picked it up and placed it on the side of the sink. Now I could repair the necklace.

Like the broken necklace, we can become broken in our spiritual life. This brokenness can happen when any one of life’s devastating losses comes our way — illness, death of a loved one, job loss, divorce. Feeling disconnected from God can happen when we have an argument with a family member or a friend, or when we have an unpleasant encounter with a co-worker or even a stranger at the store. Our brokenness can be repaired through prayer, personal devotional time, and meditation. We can reconnect with God through Bible study, Sunday school, and community worship. God always provides a link for us if we will take advantage of it.

From The Upper Room.

Sunday Minute for Mission - Native American Day

American Indian Youth Council leadership
It was late, but it was the beginning; there were whispers, but then the voices became stronger and louder; there were soft chuckles, but then came the gut-busting laughter.

Such were the transitions for 10 Native American youth when they first met as the leadership team for the American Indian Youth Council of the PC(USA) over a weekend in April 2012. These young people, ranging from 14 to 16 years of age, came from Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Idaho, and Alaska to begin a three-year commitment to providing leadership for Native American youth in the church.

They are gaining knowledge and experience that will help them plan the national conference for Native American youth scheduled for summer 2014. In addition to planning for the conference, they will be developing leadership skills. With the help of four adult advisors, the youth will participate in team-building activities, undertake communication and public-speaking exercises, learn to moderate meetings, and facilitate small groups.

The Extra Commitment Opportunities contributions designated for Native American Youth cover some of the costs for this ministry. The future of our Native churches looks very promising because of the leadership skills being developed in these youth. This initial group may be small, but we trust that God, in increasing both their faith and their understanding of the church, will multiply the ministry benefits for Native churches.


—Krista Langley, adult advisor to the American Indian Youth Council, Indian Presbyterian Church, Livingston, Texas