Saturday, November 30, 2013

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - First Things First


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

Matthew 9:1-8 

And after getting into a boat he crossed the sea and came to his own town. And just then some people were carrying a paralyzed man lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” Then some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”–he then said to the paralytic--“Stand up, take your bed and go to your home.” And he stood up and went to his home. When the crowds saw it, they were filled with awe, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to human beings.


A Devotion by Robert L. Stephens (Virginia, USA)


Like many children, I tried to apply my own sense of order to my life. What was wrong with having at least a taste of dessert before the meat and vegetables? Why couldn’t homework come after television time? Fortunately, my mother found even my most compelling arguments less than convincing. Inevitably, her priorities won out, and my life has been better as a result. Jesus also attached great importance to priorities. Before addressing the paralytic’s physical maladies, Jesus attended to the man’s spiritual illness. Only after healing the sickness of the spirit did Jesus heal the man’s physical paralysis. In approaching the situation as he did, Jesus taught a valuable lesson. Today, time once devoted to setting and attending to priorities is now spent mastering a different approach: multi-tasking. Tasks completed at the same time hardly need an assigned priority. Yet Jesus chose to put spiritual well-being first. I can see my mother giving a knowing smile at that idea. “Like I always said, son, ‘First things first.’” 

From The Upper Room.

Friday, November 29, 2013

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

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

Adults
Aaronlee Archer
Andrea Vincent
Annette Goff
Anthony LaPosta
Audrey Vincent
Barbara Maze
Bill Phillips
Bonnie Kirtley
Brett Hannah
Bruce Oiler
Carol Mowl
Charles Saffle
Cindi Livingston
Conrad Criss
Dee Campbell
Diane Szymanek
Dino Buffington
Doug Haller
Elisa Archer
Emery Edwards
Ethlyn Dellaria
Evan Pulice
Gen Meyer
George Bownlee
Hattie Black Marcum
Jack Hatala
James Woolfolk
Jamie Edwards
Jean Jeffrey
Jeanne Buffington Rowland
Jen's Mom
Joan Gallagher
Jodi Kraina
John Schlotter
Jonathan Serafine
Justin Vogel
Kelly Stephens
Manuel Fraga
Maria Drennan
Marjie Dinges
Mary Ellen Grove
Marybeth Lewis
Matthew Kirtley
Megan Dughton
Mike Churchman
Mike Terri
Patricia Mitchell
Paul Walch
Pauline Oiler
Randy Kirtley
Randy Willson
Robb Starck
Robert Hans
Robert Krupp
Ronnie Buffington
Rose Bell
Rose Sanders
Sally Marple
Sam Bosnic
Sharon Johnson
Shirley Everhart Kirtley
Stacy Jo Vogel
Steve Zubay
Susan Ponville
Susie Kurcina
The Ingram Family
Tim Bradley
Wink Harner

Children
Aksel Ace
Audri King
Daniel Marchione
Devon Bragg
Eliza Mazezka
Jeffrey Konovich
Jonathan Marte
Justin McKinney
Kade Haines
Kya Schwertfeger
Lily Ghrist
Michael Liptak
Robbie Lucas
Shelby Kamarec

Military
Isaac Stephens
Jason Kerr
Jonathan Criss
Lisa Burk
Michael Criss

Hospital
Joan Gallagher – Lifeline Hospital

Church Families
Denise & Casey Krofchek
Linda Krynicki
Lori & Allen Lancaster, Cameron & Conor

Local Church
St. Nicholas Orthodox Church

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

Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery Congregations
First Presbyterian Church, Powhatan Point, Ohio – Vacant Pulpit
Glen Robbins Presbyterian Church, Rayland, Ohio – CRE Cindy Foster

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 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

Cove's Bulletin for Sunday, December 1, 2013

Below is a copy of our Sunday bulletin. During the service, we’ll focus on how we might be peace-makers in our family and communities. We’ll also celebrate a special Advent communion service.









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.

PROJECT CHRISTMAS SMILE  GIFTS . . .
with the gift tag attached are to be returned to the church tooday,  Sunday, December 1.  We thank you for your generosity!

DEACONS MONTHLY MEETING . . .
will be held  tomorrow, Monday, December 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the home of Linda Caleffie, 3809 Marlamont Way, Weirton.  All members are urged to attend as we finalize our agenda for the Christmas Holidays.

ANNUAL COVERED DISH DINNER . . .
of the Myrtle McHendry Class will be held on Tuesday, December 3 beginning at 5:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall.  The program for the evening is entitled, "Christmas Joy." Eleanor Cline will give the Christmas Devotions.  The evening's program, "Christmas Joy"  will include some "Old Fashion" Christmas fun. Hostesses for the dinner will be Diana Durst and Enid Williams. Members are also reminded to bring their Christmas stockings.

CHANCEL CHOIR . . .
will practice on Wednesday, December 4  at 6:45 in the choir room. We will be practicing  our anthems and songs for the coming weeks.  Anyone in high school or older is welcome to join us! It's a great time to join the choir, as we  prepare our selections for the Advent and Christmas Seasons.

OUR BROWN BAG BIBLE STUDY . . .
will meet on December 5, at 12:30 p.m. 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 Titus 1:1-16

BOARD OF SESSION . . .
will meet on Monday, December 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the church library.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES . . .
will meet on Monday, December 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the church parlor. Incoming board members are invited to attend.

MEETINGS . .
The Presbyterian Women's Board will meet on Wednesday, December 11 beginning at 10:00 a.m. in the board room.
The monthly meeting of Presbyterian Women and Bible Study will be held on Wednesday, December 18 at noon in Fellowship Hall.

CHRISTMAS JOY INSERTS . . .
are being included in the bulletin beginning today thru the Fourth Sunday of Advent. This special offering is shared by the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions and Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges for education.  The inserts indicate how monies previously donated have been used.  Envelopes will be included your  Sunday, December 22nd bulletin and/or  Christmas Eve bulletin for your contribution.

FOOD PANTRY . . .
we are once again appealing to you for your help. The food panty is in need of restocking for our Christmas Baskets. We need: cereal, stuffing mix, boxes or packages of instant potatoes, noodles, cake mix, soap- both bar and liquid, toothpaste and shampoo.  If you could just pick-up an item or two when you are shopping it would be a tremendous help as we aide those in need.

HEIRLOOM ORNAMENTS  . . .
are once again being made for the Christmas Tree in the narthex. The hand-made cross-stitched ornament will display your last name. If you would like to have an ornament placed on the tree please contact the church office to place your order. The cost is $5.00. Orders will be taken thru Sunday, December 15th.

ANNUAL HOLIDAY LUNCHEON
will be held on Sunday, December 15 after the morning worship service.  We ask that you bring a covered dish to share and your place settings. After lunch the children will perform a narration of The Nativity and entertain us by playing the children's handbells. At the conclusion of the program there will be a "Special Visitor" for the children.

CHRISTMAS EVE CANDLELIGHT SERVICE
will be held on Tuesday, December 24 beginning at 6:00 p.m.

COMMUNION & CAROL SERVICE . . .
will be held on Christmas Day at 10:00 a.m.

DOORS . . .
with the change in the weather we ask that you please check to be sure the door is closed when you enter of leave the building.  Hopefully this will help with the heating costs.

IF YOU'VE WONDERED ABOUT OUR SANCTUARY PROJECTOR . . .
there's a problem with the fan. Once it is repaired it will be re-installed.

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.

WE WILL BE UPDATING OUR PRAYER CHAIN . . .
regularly. If you wish to add someone to the prayer chain contact the church office.

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  in the Narthex for your contribution. The Deacons thank you for your support of their projects.

IF YOU DON'T PLAN TO TAKE YOUR BULLETIN HOME . . .
feel free to drop it in the purple container at the back door so that if can be recycled.

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 - A Change for the Better


wicked broadway wallpaper
Something very interesting happened to me a little while ago. I’ve been listening to the musical Of Thee I Sing, written by the Gershwin brothers, and I wanted to find a company performing one of my favorite songs, “Wintergreen for President.” And so I went to YouTube and found what I was looking for, and I shared in on my FaceBook time line. Anyway, on the side of that YouTube page, there were a bunch of related videos, and one caught my eye. It was from the musical Wicked, and is entitled “For Good..” If you’re interested in seeing z clip with the lyrics, you can go to the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzrGFQysfYU. In the song, two friends express their thanks to one another for how their relationship changed their respective lives. And since I believe that God is always directing us to find some meaning in our living, I believe there was a reason for me stumbling on this video.

You see, as we go through life, it’s easy for our past to become a blur. As a matter of fact, we might be so anxious to claim the cleansing we have through God and to move beyond the mistakes we’ve made that we might forget all those for whom we can be thankful, men and women who’ve touched our lives in special ways. As it says in the song, because they’ve been a part of our lives, we’ve been changed for good.

And so with that in mind, I want to take this opportunity to thank three groups of people whom I’m thankful, folks who influence every day I live. First, I thank my family, and I include in that my extended family. Although my mom, my dad, my sister, and my brother shaped and continue to shape who I am, I don’t want to neglect my grandparents on both sides and all my aunts and uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces, and of course, my in-laws and out-laws. I thank all of you for being a part of my life. Second, I want to thank everybody who’ve strengthened by faith and understand of God. Of course, there’s an overlap with family, but there have been others, Christians brothers and sisters, who taught and lived the faith I claim. From the teachers in Sunday School at Ocean View Presbyterian Church to the teachers at Norfolk Christian High School, from the minister who first taught me about grace to the professors who instilled in me a love of learning and teaching, from those who encouraged, challenged and supported me, for y’all, I’m thankful. And finally, I can’t thank enough all the people whom I’ve gotten to know in the churches I’ve served. Many of y’all have been examples of faith in how you approach God and patience in how you’ve dealt with me. And I even appreciate those who haven’t been particularly nice to me and family; I know you had your reasons. And of course, to all those whom I’ve let down and hurt, to those who’ve been disappointed by what I’ve done or said, and those who blame me for some pain I may have caused, I ask for your forgiveness.

As we move beyond Thanksgiving into the Christmas season, let’s all be challenged to remember all those for whom we can be thankful. And let’s try as hard as we can to see in all situations and with all people, a change in us for the better.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

PRAY FOR PEACE IN MOZAMBIQUE

Presbyterian World Mission asks for your prayers today and in the coming weeks for the people of Mozambique as the country experiences increasing conflicts.
In October, Mozambique’s main opposition party, RENAMO, declared an end to its 21-year-old peace accord with FRELIMO, the country’s ruling party.  The 1992 accord had ended a 16-year civil war that killed roughly one million people, displaced five million more, and left the countryside littered with deadly landmines.  In recent months, dozens of people have died in clashes between RENAMO and Mozambican security forces or in RENAMO attacks on civilian targets.  The conflict threatens to disrupt democracy and development in Mozambique and could draw neighboring countries into a broader regional conflict.
Mozambique’s churches have called for a national day of prayer on 1 December 2013 to promote peace and democracy across the nation. Please join our sisters and brothers in Mozambique in praying for:
  • Peace, justice and security for all of Mozambique’s people;
  • Wisdom, insight and safety for Christian leaders in Mozambique, including the PC(USA)’s partners in the Presbyterian Church of Mozambique (IPM) as they seek to build peace and promote equitable development in the country;
  • Just use of Mozambique’s resources to enable all of the nation’s people to enjoy fullness of life.

A prayer by Rev. Mark Koenig, Director, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations is below. Please pray with us for the people of Mozambique.
Creator God,
you give life,
you establish justice,
you make us for each other.

We pray for the
people of Mozambique
who after many years of peace
face the renewal of violence,
violence that could disrupt democracy
and derail development.
Turn the people and the leaders from violence.
Inspire them to seek peaceful solutions
to differences that lead to justice and security
for all the people of Mozambique.
Guide the Christian leaders and community of Mozambique.
We pray especially for the Presbyterian Church of Mozambique.
Bless their efforts to make peace
and promote development that will benefit all the people.
Grant wisdom and vision
so that the nation's resources are used 
to help all the people enjoy the fullness of life you intend.
We pray in Jesus' name.
Amen.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - Steelworker Surprise

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


1 Peter 2:9-12 

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as aliens and exiles to abstain from the desires of the flesh that wage war against the soul. Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that, though they malign you as evildoers, they may see your honorable deeds and glorify God when he comes to judge.


A Devotion by Daniel Favor (British Columbia, Canada)


In high school I excelled in drama, public speaking, and English. However, for the last eight years I have worked in a steel-welding shop of 30 employees. A career in steelwork was never in my plans. I’ve often asked myself, Why am I here? The answer is becoming clear to me. I am the only Christian in my workplace. I am one of the crew, which has given me the opportunity to talk about spiritual issues with men who rarely even consider them. Many have never attended any church. If my pastor were to try to share the gospel in our lunchroom, he would be ignored; so perhaps God has placed me there instead. Each of us spends our day somewhere — whether in an office, at home, on vacation, shopping in a grocery store, or working in a loud, dirty steel plant. We might be where God has put us to fulfill a specific purpose or accomplish a special mission. 

From The Upper Room.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sunday's Sermon - Some Time after the Pumpkin Pie

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


Colossians 1:11-20

With all strength, may you be made strong according to the power of his glory in all fortitude and patience; with joy, giving thanks to the father who made you fit for the portion of the inheritance of the holy one in the light; who delivered us out of the power of darkness and removed us to the Kingdom of his beloved son, in whom we have the redemption, the forgiveness of sin, who is the image of the invisible God, first born of creation, because by him all things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, things that are visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or powers, all things through him and in him were created, and he himself is before all things and all things by him are held together, and he himself is the head of the body which is the church, who is the beginning, first born from the dead, so that he might become preeminent in all things, because in him, all the fullness was pleased to dwell and through him to reconcile all things in him, because he made peace through the blood of his cross, through him upon the earth and in the heavens.


Some Time after the Pumpkin Pie

When I was growing up, Thanksgiving was my absolute, number one, favorite holiday. For me, it was above Halloween, Easter and my birthday. I’ve got to tell you, it was even better than Christmas. When I was a kid, there was nothing better than Thanksgiving. And I think, looking back, it all came down to what I call the four Fs of Thanksgiving. I mean, first, down in Norfolk, Virginia, Thanksgiving was the time that you really experienced Fall in all it’s glory. The leaves had all turned. The air was brisk. And of course, there was zero percent chance of snow. For me, Thanksgiving meant Fall. And then, second, of course, there was football. And you know, even though there’d been games every weekend since the beginning of September, somehow Thanksgiving football was different. Good night, it might be the only time you’d see Detroit on television all year. There’s nothing better than Thanksgiving football. And then, third, around the Rudiger house, there was always family. As a matter of fact, I think Thanksgiving was the one meal a year we shared with my grandparents Rudiger. And it was so important that we ate in the dinning room, of course with a table cloth and real cloth napkins. And Mom used the sterling silver. And my brother, sister and I all wore our Sunday best. Family was a big deal at Thanksgiving, the third F. 

But I’ve got to tell you, they all faded when compared to big, number four, and I’m talking about food. Man, on Thanksgiving we had all kinds of stuff we never had the rest of the year, you know, stuff like turkey and oyster stuffing and that cylinder of jellied cranberry sauce, still with the rings so you knew it came out of a can. But in my book, the best food of all was what can came last, that beautiful pumpkin pie, with the homemade crust and a squirt of Ready Whip, later a dab of Cool Whip, right on top. It was like returning to Eden. And so, even though Fall and football and family, well, they were fine, I’m afraid that, when I was a kid, they faded in comparison with food in general and in particular, that blessed fruit of the pumpkin in pie form, that’s what motivated me to give thanks on the fourth Thursday in November every year. 

Of course, I recognize that if I went around the sanctuary this morning and gave y’all the chance, everybody would have some special reason they’re thankful on Thanksgiving. And I’d bet most would have roots somewhere in the past. But regardless of what they are, I think there’s something, if we’re not careful, that just might get lost in the shuffle, something that I believe is more important than the Fall and football and family, even food. 

And you know, it’s something we can see in the passage we just read from Paul’s letter to the Colossians. I mean, of all things for which we can be thankful, personally I now believe God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, God should hold the top spot. And like I said, I believe that’s what Paul had in mind when he wrote, “With all strength, may you be made strong according to the power of his glory in all fortitude and patience; with joy, giving thanks to the father...” 

But, you know, Paul didn’t just tell us to give thanks to God, I think he also told us why, and I believe that’s in the passage too. I mean, first, we can certainly thank God for what he has done for us. Writing to the Colossians, he said, God “...made you fit for the portion of the inheritance of the holy one in the light; who delivered us out of the power of darkness and removed us to the Kingdom of his beloved son...” In other words, right here God has done three pretty important things for us. I mean, he made us “fit” or put another way, he equipped us or made us able to receive the eternal salvation
which God has assigned to those whom he loves. That’s one. 

And he’s also delivered us. He’s rescued us from forces that are just too strong for us. I mean, it’s like he wrote to the Romans, when he asked this question and then answered it himself: “Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” And then, again talking about God, he wrote to the Corinthians, “He who rescued us from so deadly a peril will continue to rescue us; on him we have set our hope that he will rescue us again...” He delivered us, and that’s two. 

And then he removed us to the Kingdom of his beloved son. In other words, without our help and without our permission, God took hold of us, and he moved us from a world which is ultimately ruled by death and decay and transferred us to his eternal rule, a kingdom of light, a reality where death no longer calls the shots, and that’s three. 

Man, we’ve been fit and delivered and removed, and for that we need to be thankful, because I’ll tell you, these are some things we sure wouldn’t be able to do on our own. I mean, without God, we’d be stuck right where we are. But because of what he did, what he freely did for us, we can now look to the future with hope, knowing that regardless of what may be happening right now, regardless of the pain and disappointments we may be facing in life, regardless of what others are telling us to expect, our lives, man, our destinies are in the compassionate and merciful hands of God, and I’m talking about the one who couldn’t love you more than he does this minute. I’m telling you, for what he’s done for us, that’s the first reason we can give him thanks. 

And second, we can certainly thank him for how he’s changed us. Remember, Paul described God by writing that “...in whom we have the redemption, the forgiveness of sin.” You see, this is how we’ve been changed. I mean, we’ve been redeemed. We’ve been repurchased as it were. We’ve been bought back through the blood of Jesus Christ. It’s like he wrote to the Romans, we “...are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” and then to the Ephesians, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace...” I’ll tell you, it’s like the words to that old, Fanny Crosby hymn: “Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it! Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; Redeemed thro’ His infinite mercy, His child, and forever, I am.” Man, we’ve been redeemed, but that’s not all, because we’ve also been forgiven. Our sins have been forgiven and our history has been cleansed. And for that we can sure be thankful, because all of sudden, through the work of God, our view of the past has changed. I mean, no longer are we bound to repeat past mistakes; they have been forgiven. And no longer are we forced to relive past failures; they have been cleansed. In God’s sight, the slate is clear, and we have the opportunity to write a brand, new story. You see, this is how God has changed us, and that’s the second reason we owe him thanks.


And third, we can surely thank the almighty God for who he is. And I’ll tell you, that’s really what Paul talked about in the rest of this passage, the identity, the nature of the one we worship, and in particular the person to whom we look for salvation, and I’m talking about Jesus Christ. Now I’ve already read it from my own translation, but listen to how Eugene Peterson paraphrased this description: “We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels — everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body. He was supreme in the beginning and — leading the resurrection parade — he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe — people and things, animals and atoms — get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.” 

You see, this is who Jesus is; he’s the image of God, in other words, a mirror-like representation, an exact reflection of its source. In other words, Christ is the very image of God, and as such he is the revelation of God to us. But he’s more than that, because he was also the one who made peace with God through his blood on the cross. In other words, he took upon himself the very depth of human suffering, bringing into God all our pain and fears and doubt. You see, Jesus becomes the place where heaven and earth touch. He’s the one who pierced the curtain separating the sacred from the profane. He’s the one who enables us to see God and who enables God to experience us. And for this, we can give God great praise and that’s the third reason we owe him our thanks.


Of course, Thanksgiving has changed a lot since I was a kid. I mean, around here, the end of November has more to do with winter than fall. And since I’ve married Debbie and become Maggie’s father, my football watching has become more limited. And all my grandparents have passed away. As a matter of fact, it’s really only the food that’s stayed the same. I mean, on Thursday, Maggie and I will stuff and bake the turkey. And Debbie will make a pie. And some time after the pumpkin pie, I’m going to thank God  intentionally for what he did for us and how we’ve been changed and who he continues to be. And even though it doesn’t start with an F, I think that’s an outstanding addition to what’s still my favorite holiday.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Minute for Mission - Christ the King/Reign of Christ

W hat can you do?” muttered the grief-stricken teenage son of a heart-attack victim during the dark morning hours at a community hospital. Having only been a hospital chaplain for a few weeks, I had no answer for him. Instead, I offered what I could: “I could pray with you or call your spiritual leader?” He shook his head and turned back into the dim room where his mother and siblings were.
I sat down at the nurse’s station, feeling completely helpless. I was only a student chaplain, there to fulfill a requirement for ordination. Yet somehow here I was: the chaplain to a grieving family; helpless.
It is easy to keep those who sit in darkness at arm’s length, whether they are grieving the loss of a loved one, drowning in debt, or dealing with abusive relationships. We can sit next to them and have no idea how dark their shadows are. That night I could no longer keep those sitting in darkness at arm’s length, and I saw with new clarity how that person was me. I and this family sat in death’s shadow that night—the death of a loved one and the death of the self-reliant me.
The reign of Christ is no longer an abstract concept for me. In Luke 1:78–79, we are reminded that even in the midst of the deepest darkness God will bring the dawn and somehow guide our lives and world into the way of peace. Christ’s reign can be embodied in us each time we act on the prayer “Thy will be done.” It is not our helplessness that makes us weak but our unwillingness to be the body of Christ for the world.
I was not helpless that night, but I had made a mistake. My mistake was thinking that what the family needed was me.
Emily Hope Morgan, student at Princeton Theological Seminary and author of the blog Fight the Bees!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - Don’t Get Too Comfortable

I just left a new message on the Cove Presbyterian (Weirton West Virginia) devotional line. If you're interested, call 1-304-748-7900. You can also find a podcast at http://covepresbyterian.podbean.com/ or iTunes (Cove Presbyterian Church).


Romans 12:9-15 

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.


A Devotion by John UpChurch (Tennessee, USA)

The hunt for our first house stretched out for months. My wife and I scoured realty magazines and websites. We surfed by, drove by, and walked through dozens of potential homes. The red house we finally purchased had a shimmering newness to it. The rooms echoed with space, the arched doorways dressed up our furniture, and the wood floors reflected the sunlight. But when we brought our first daughter home, those rooms that had seemed so big suddenly shrank. We had become so familiar with our home that the excitement of having found it slowly lost out to thoughts about why it didn’t work for us anymore. We lost our sense of wonder about the red house. As with our house, the events in the Bible — even the miracles — lose the power to impact us if we get too cozy with them. We’ve read about them and heard sermons about them. But when was the last time we thought about them as actual events? After all, it’s not just the story of Jesus’ resurrection that makes the difference; it’s the reality of that empty tomb. 

From The Upper Room.

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

On Sunday, November 24, Cove Presbyterian Church will lift to God the following needs.

Adults
Aaronlee Archer
Andrea Vincent
Annette Goff
Anthony LaPosta
Audrey Vincent
Barbara Maze
Bill Phillips
Bonnie Kirtley
Brett Hannah
Bruce Oiler
Carol Mowl
Charles Saffle
Cindi Livingston
Conrad Criss
Dee Campbell
Diane Szymanek
Dino Buffington
Doug Haller
Elisa Archer
Emery Edwards
Ethlyn Dellaria
Evan Pulice
Gen Meyer
George Bownlee
Hattie Black Marcum
The Ingram Family
Jack Hatala
James Woolfolk
Jamie Edwards
Jean Jeffrey
Jeanne Buffington Rowland
Jen's Mom
Joan Gallagher
Joan Pohlman
Jodi Kraina
John Schlotter
Jonathan Serafine
Justin Vogel
Kelly Stephens
Manuel Fraga
Maria Drennan
Marjie Dinges
Mary Ellen Grove
Marybeth Lewis
Matthew Kirtley
Megan Dughton
Mike Churchman
Mike Terri
Patricia Mitchell
Paul Walch
Pauline Oiler
Randy Kirtley
Randy Willson
Robb Starck
Robert Hans
Robert Krupp
Ronnie Buffington
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
Daniel Marchione
Devon Bragg
Eliza Mazezka
Jeffrey Konovich
Jonathan Marte
Justin McKinney
Kade Haines
Kya Schwertfeger
Lily Ghrist
Michael Liptak
Robbie Lucas
Shelby Kamarec

Military
Isaac Stephens
Jason Kerr
Jonathan Criss
Lisa Burk
Michael Criss

Hospital
Joan Gallagher – Lifeline Hospital

Bereaved
The VanGilder Family
The Saffle Family
The Fraga Family

Church Families
Joe & Becky Korosec
Emily Korosec
Betty Kraina

Local Church
Shiloh Apostolic Church

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

Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery Congregations
First Presbyterian Church, Newell, West Virginia – Rev. Matt Camlin
Piney Fork Presbyterian Church, Piney Fork, 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

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.

WE WILL HAVE OUR ANNUAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING . . .
to elect the new board members this morning, November 24 after our morning worship.  Nominations will also be accepted from  the floor. Please speak to the individual before the meeting to be sure they will consent to the nomination. The Nominating Committee will offer the following brothers and sisters for consideration:
For Elder - Suellen Lewis, Bill Manley & Rob Starck
For Deacon - Staci Breen, Sue Ann Livingston & Debbie Rudiger
For Trustee - Bernie Huey & Kim Carfagna

BOOKMARKS . . .
Cove's Reading Group will meet on Monday, November 25 at 6:30 p.m. in the church parlor.

CHANCEL CHOIR . . .
will not meet this week. Our next practice will be on Wednesday, December 4  at 6:45 in the choir room. We will be practicing  our anthems and songs for the coming weeks.  Anyone in high school or older is welcome to join us! It's a great time to join the choir, as we  prepare our selections for the Advent and Christmas Seasons.

CLOSED . . .
the church and office will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 28 and 29 for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!

OUR BROWN BAG BIBLE STUDY . . .
will not meet this week.

PROJECT CHRISTMAS SMILE  GIFTS . . .
with the gift tag attached are to be returned to the church by Sunday, December 1.  We thank you for your generosity!

DEACONS MEETING. . .
will be held on Monday, December 2 at 6:30 p.m. at Mario's Restaurant. All members are urged to attend as we finalize are agenda for the Christmas Holidays.

ANNUAL COVERED DISH DINNER . . .
of the Myrtle McHendry Class will be held on Tuesday, December 3 beginning at 5:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall.  The program for the evening is entitled, "Christmas Joy."

FOOD PANTRY . . .
we are once again appealing to you for your help. The food panty is in need of restocking for our Christmas Baskets. We need: cereal, stuffing mix, boxes or packages of instant potatoes, noodles, cake mix, soap- both bar and liquid, toothpaste and shampoo.  If you could just pick-up an item or two when you are shopping it would be a tremendous help as we aide those in need.

OUR SYMPATHY . . .
is extended to the families of
+ Sherri VanGilder niece of Jenny Vangilder who died on Tuesday, November 12, 2013;
+ Dorothy Saffle, wife of Charles Saffle, who died on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Dorothy was a devoted Fifty Year Plus member of the Cove Family having joined on January 6, 1946.
+ Joyce Fraga, wife of Manuel Fraga and mother of Phillip and Pamela Fraga, who died on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Joyce was a devoted Fifty Year Plus Cove member of the Cove Family  having joined on April 13, 1949.

HEIRLOOM ORNAMENTS  . . .
are once again being made for the Christmas Tree in the narthex. The hand-made cross-stitched ornament will display your last name. If you would like to have an ornament placed on the tree please contact the church office to place your order. The cost is $5.00. Orders will be taken thru Sunday, December 15th.

UPCOMING DATES . . .
December 15 will be our Annual Holiday Luncheon after the morning worship service.  We ask that you bring a covered dish to share and your place settings. After lunch the children will perform a narration of The Nativity and entertain us by playing the children's handbells.
The Christmas Eve Candlelight Service will be held on Tuesday, December 24 beginning at 6:00 p.m. A Communion and Carol Service will be held on Christmas Day at 10:00 a.m. Additional information will be published as it becomes available.

DOORS . . .
with the change in the weather we ask that you please check to be sure the door is closed when you enter of leave the building.  Hopefully this will help with the heating costs.

IF YOU'VE WONDERED ABOUT OUR SANCTUARY PROJECTOR . . .
there's a problem with the fan. Once it is repaired it will be re-installed.

A SPIRITUAL MESSAGE . . .
can be found by calling 304-748-7900 Cove's Prayer Line. The machine has been repaired. 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.

WE WILL BE UPDATING OUR PRAYER CHAIN . . .
regularly. If you wish to add someone to the prayer chain contact the church office. Also if  you wish to have someone remain on the prayer chain for a longer period of time please contact the church office.

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  in the Narthex for your contribution. The Deacons thank you for your support of their projects.

IF YOU DON'T PLAN TO TAKE YOUR BULLETIN HOME . . .
feel free to drop it in the purple container at the back door so that if can be recycled.

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.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Cove's Bulletin for Sunday, November 24, 2013

Below is a copy of our Sunday bulletin. During the service, we’ll focus on the single, most important reason we can offer God thanks.









Remembering John F. Kennedy

Since today marks the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy, I’ve printed a copy of his inaugural address. If you’re interested is seeing a recording of this speech, please go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLmiOEk59n8. 

Vice President Johnson, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, President Eisenhower, Vice President Nixon, President Truman, Reverend Clergy, fellow citizens:

We observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom–symbolizing an end as well as a beginning–signifying renewal as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forbears prescribed nearly a century and three-quarters ago.

The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe–the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans–born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage–and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

This much we pledge–and more.

To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided there is little we can do–for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.

To those new states whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom–and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.

To those people in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required–not because the communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

To our sister republics south of our border, we offer a special pledge–to convert our good words into good deeds–in a new alliance for progress–to assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty. But this peaceful revolution of hope cannot become the prey of hostile powers. Let all our neighbors know that we shall join with them to oppose aggression or subversion anywhere in the Americas. And let every other power know that this Hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house.

To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support–to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective–to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak–and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run.

Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction.

We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.

But neither can two great and powerful groups of nations take comfort from our present course–both sides overburdened by the cost of modern weapons, both rightly alarmed by the steady spread of the deadly atom, yet both racing to alter that uncertain balance of terror that stays the hand of mankind’s final war.

So let us begin anew–remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.

Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.

Let both sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms–and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations.

Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths and encourage the arts and commerce.

Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah–to “undo the heavy burdens . . . (and) let the oppressed go free.”

And if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved.

All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.

In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.

Now the trumpet summons us again–not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need–not as a call to battle, though embattled we are–but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation”–a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself.

Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility–I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it–and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.