Friday, October 31, 2014

Cove Kids: Children Bulletins for Sunday, November 2, 2014

Cove Kids: Children Bulletins for Sunday, November 2, 2014: Below are puzzles for children focused on Joshua 3:7-17. There are two “bulletins,” one for ages 3-6 and the other for ages 7-12. Feel free ...

Cove's Bulletin for Sunday, November 2, 2014

Below is a copy of our Sunday bulletin. The sermon will focus on how we step out with faith and confidence. During the service we'll also remember those members and friends who've passed in the last year.








What's Happening at Cove Presbyterian Church?

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

CHANCEL CHOIR PRACTICE . . .
is being held at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings in the choir room. Anyone wishing to praise God through song is welcome to join us!

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

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.

COVE'S FIFTEENTH ANNUAL MEMORIAL SERVICE . . .
to honor deceased members and friends who have died within the past year will be observed today, November 2 during our morning worship service.  After the service a designated family member may take a white rose as a remembrance.

SPAGHETTI DINNER . . .
to benefit Project Christmas Smile is being held in Fellowship Hall today from noon til 2:00 p.m. . Menu includes spaghetti with meat sauce, bread and butter, dessert and beverage.
Adults – $ 5.00   Children 10 & Under –  $ 3.00

THE CHOIR WILL PRACTICE . . .
at 1:30 p.m. today, November 2 with Oakland Presbyterian Church. They are preparing for the musical Land of the Free to be presented Sunday, November 9 at 2:00 p.m. in the sanctuary.  Everyone is invited to join us as we honor our military!

BOARD MEETINGS . . .
The Deacons will meet on Monday, November 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room.
Session will meet on Monday, November 10th at 6:30 p.m. in the board room.
The Trustees will meet on Tuesday, November 11th at 6:30 p.m. in the board room.

THE MYRTLE MCHENDRY  CLASS. . .
will meet on Tuesday, November 4 at 12:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall.  This will be a work day as we prepare for The Olde Christmas Shoppe.  We will be sorting and pricing the many items for our sale. Dee Sobolak will have Devotions. Enid Williams and Diana Durst are the hostesses for our social.

FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT THEIR BIBLE. . .
we're offering an introduction to the New Testament. Lead by Pastor Rudiger, we'll consider the historical and theological background for the different books within the New Testament. This study will offer an outstanding overview for the part of the Bible that's distinctively Christian, and everyone is invited to come.  During this next session, Tuesday, November 4 from  6:30 to 8:00 p.m., we'll look at the letters of John.

OUR BROWN BAG BIBLE STUDY . . .
will meet Thursday, November 6 , beginning at 12:31 p.m., we'll discuss Acts 24.

CHURCH WOMEN UNITED . . .
will celebrate World Community Day on Friday, November 7 beginning at 11:00 a.m. at the First Christian Church; Main Street and Lee Avenue. The program "We Are in God's Hands" will be coordinated by Donna Durkin of the First Baptist Church. Third year delegates will participate. Lunch will be served after the program. Mission Project is snack foods for Dunbar Recreation Center. Everyone is invited to attend.

YE OLDE CHRISTMAS SHOPPE . . .
will be held next Saturday, November 8, from 10:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m. Sponsored by The Myrtle McHendry Class, you'll be able to select from a collection of slightly used and
some new Christmas items, such as decorations, tree trimmings, jewelry, knick knacks, and more.  Lunch and a variety of soups will also be available. Any questions call  Bonnie Nichols at 304-723-5134 or Betty Virtue at 304-748-8196.

"LAND OF THE FREE" . . .
is the title of the patriotic cantata that will be presented next Sunday November 9 at 2:00 p.m by members of Cove Presbyterian Church & Oakland Presbyterian Church Choirs. Please join us as we honor our military personnel past and present.

PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN. . .
will hold their monthly board meeting on Wednesday, November 12th at 10:00 a.m. in the board room. Regular monthly meeting and Bible Study will be held on Wednesday, November 19th at noon in fellowship hall.

WE'RE OFFERING A FREE . . .
television and stereo that are no longer being used (both in working order). You just need to pick-up. For more information contact the church office.

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 information on  upcoming events 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.

SERMONS, DEVOTIONS, LESSONS, AND ESSAYS ARE AVAILABLE ON . . .
the Cove PodBean page (covepresbyterian.podbean.com) and iTunes (search Cove Presbyterian).

WE ARE BLOGGING!
We now have eight 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 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.
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.
Living the Faith in the Real World (http://livingthefaithintherealworld. blogspot.com/) - Our beliefs shape both our opinions and actions. And even though that's true for everyone, often people of faith struggle to apply their understanding of the divine to both practical and political issues. This becomes particularly challenging when we hear multiple voices, all claiming to represent the truth but coming to different conclusions. This Blog will provide a forum where we might share how our faith shapes our perspectives on some specific issues. We hope that through this sharing, we might all better understand how the sacred impacts the profane. We'll pose a question and invite you to respond. We only ask two things of you. First, we ask that you avoid profanity and demeaning language. Second, we want you to write the truth as you see it.
The Question of Faith (http://thequestionoffaith.blogspot.com/) - I believe that there are basic ideas that all people of faith share, but once you get below those "basics," there are many different ways to understand God and our relationship with the divine. Even within Christianity, Christians disagree about the nature of God, the identity and work of Jesus Christ, and how we might or should respond to his coming. As a matter of fact, some people consider certain things absolutely essential to the Christian faith while other believers are indifferent to the same ideas and actions. We hope this Blog provides us the opportunity to share and to understand better what we believe. We'll offer a question, and you'll have the chance to respond. And even though many of the questions will be distinctively Christian, we hope that you'll still share your insight even if it's from other faith traditions.
O, That's Interesting! (http://cove-talk.blogspot.com/) - The great thing about being part of a community is that you have the chance to share with other folks. Now, there are times when you're dealing with matters of great weight. But other times you may be talking about general plans, special memories, and personal hopes. Through this site, we hope to encourage you to share your thoughts and feelings on a variety of topics that may be meaningful to you. We hope you see this Blog like a water cooler or a kitchen table, in other words, as a place to share.
Growing in Grace (http://sproutsoffaith.blogspot.com/) - Although we're saved by God's grace, we can grow in our understanding of grace. At Cove Presbyterian Church, we offer a variety of different classes for children and adults, many of which are recorded and the podcasts posted on our PodBean (covepresbyterian). In this Blog, we'll offer the link to the podcast and notes from the particular session. You may also ask any question you might have and enter into a discussion with others.

IF YOU'RE ONLINE...
"like" us on Facebook (Cove Presbyterian Church,  https://www.facebook .com/Covepresbyterian) or join our Facebook group (The Cove Community, https://www.facebook.com/groups/115579235630/). You can also connect with Pastor Rudiger on Instagram (rev_ed).

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 or to receive communion 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 . . .
drop it in the purple container at the back door so that it 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.  You may  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 used 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.

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

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

Adults
Alice Bembow
Andy DiRemigio
Annette Goff
Audrey Vincent
Barbara Maze
Bill Manley
Brenda Violet
Cameron Gray
Carlyn
Chad Wilson
Charles Saffle
Chuck May
Cindi Livingston
Conrad Criss
Dean Allen
Deloris Chesebro
Dick Spencer
Elizabeth Sue Hunt
Emery Edwards
Evan Pulice
Gen Meyer
George Bownlee
Hargun Sandhu
Helen Shivers
Janet Holmes
Jen's Mom
Jo Magnone
Joanie Lawrence
Jodi Kraina
John Guglielmo
John Schlotter
Josh Boyd
Kelly Stephens
Lou Ann Seevers
Marcia Cooper
Martha Meadows
Matthew Kirtley
Michael Frank
Michael Hvizdak
Mike Churchman
M'Liz Held
Patty Channing
Paul D. Welch
Peggy Stewart
Phyllis Manley
Randy Willson
Reann Daily
Rob Roy Jones
Ronnie Buffington
Rose Bell
Ruth Ann Oesterling
Sally Marple
Sam Fortunato
Sharon Wheeler
Shirley Everhart Kirtley
Stacy Jo Vogel
Susie Kurcina
Tim Bradley
Twinkle Smith
Wink Harner

Children
Aksel Ace
Audri King
Daniel Marchione
Devon Bragg
Jeffrey Konovich
Joey Cowher
Jonathan Marte
Kade Haines
Kya Schwertfeger
Lily Ghrist
Michael Liptak
Shelby Kamarec

Military
Cory Shumard
Isaac Stephens
Jason Kerr
Jonathan Criss
Lisa Burk
Michael Criss

Church Families
The Haspel Family
Ken & Loretta Hass
Courtney Hatala

Local Church
Christian & Missionary Alliance

Special Friends
Doris Lord – 196 Jenny Lane, Danville, VA  24541-6648
Margaret Heaton – Weirton Geriatric Center, 2525 Pennsylvania Ave., Weirton, WV 26062-3652

Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery Congregations
Coalbrook Presbyterian Church, Neffs, Ohio – Rev. David Demarest
First Presbyterian Church, New Athens, Ohio – Vacant Pulpit

Also Remember in Your Prayers
Alice & Kenny Orr – Weirton Geriatric Center, 2525 Pennsylvania Ave., Weirton, WV  26062
Charles Saffle – Wyngate, 100 Wyngate Dr., Weirton, WV  26062
Conrad Criss – Wyngate, 101 Wyngate Dr., Weirton, WV  26062
Dolores Edwards – Wyngate, 100 Wyngate Dr., 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

Friday’s Essay – Ready to Build

Below is an essay I sent to those on the Cove Presbyterian Church e-mailing list. If you're interested in hearing this essay, you can also find a podcast at Podbean (Cove Presbyterian Church).

Something very interested happened to me this past Monday evening. I left a meeting feeling energized and excited about how we might glorify Jesus Christ and help people better understand the one who loved them before the foundation of the earth. But before I talk about what happened about five days ago, let me be clear: in no way is this meant to be critical of other meetings that I have attended in the past and will attend in the future. Although I must admit, I’ve left more than a few emotionally and spiritually drained, feeling as though I’ve just played football without a helmet, most meetings are more like vanilla ice cream, something that’s fine and necessary depending on what you’re serving but not very exciting.

But like I said, Monday was different, because on Monday evening, we had a special session meeting to focus on one topic, and it wasn’t getting a new copier, approving future church dinners or deciding who might take down our data projector so that we can get it fixed. We talked about Christian education and in particular, how we might effectively prepare our children and young people to live in the real world and to move into the future with faith and focus. And although it was really tempting to start the discussion by looking at what was done in the past or is being done in other congregations, we began with a question that I think has to be answered before we should either look back or look around: What is the purpose of our Christian education program? In other words, what goals do we have as we work with children, youth and adults? I mean, if a parent asked us “why should I bring my child to Cove Presbyterian Church?”, what would we say, beyond either “they’ll have fun and they’ll like it” or “that’s what we’ve always done and that’s just what parents are suppose to do.” Using some good military terminology, we considered the goals of the campaign before discussing either strategy or tactics. Or as I think most cooks would tell you, we looked at what we wanted to make before we started searching for recipes and gathering ingredients. And since we don’t have the resources to do everything, we need to be focused so that we might use what we have most effectively. And so this is what we discussed on Monday evening.

And you know, by the end of the meeting, we’d come up with and defined a goal that should focus our energies and communication. You see, we decided that the most important part of our job as a church is to make disciples, and we defined disciples as people who have a solid foundation in the faith and who can apply what they understand and believe so that they might make better practical decisions in the real world. And although we spent a little time talking about how we might do that effectively, something we’ll consider in our next focused meeting, I felt excited about what we’d done, because I think we left that meeting with a clear purpose on which we can build our program.

And I’ll tell you, I think this idea of building is not only important but profoundly biblical, because both Paul and Peter used construction language to describe the church. I mean, according to Paul,
The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done. If what has been built on the foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward. If the work is burned up, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire. Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. (1 Corinthians 3:8-17)
And Peter wrote, “Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:4-5)

You see, God has called us to build, to build on what he’s already provided for us but also to build something new and flexible because not only has the world changed in the last twenty years but it’s also constantly changing. And since we have a responsibility to ourselves and future generations but most importantly to the one who holds our destinies in his hands, I think we should do the best job possible.

Of course, we’re right at the beginning of this new stage, of this new journey that will define who we are as the Body of Christ in Weirton, West Virginia. We’ve still got a lot of road in front of us. And although a trip begins with knowing where you want to go, you still have get there and of course, eat first. But I’m really excited about where we are right now, because I believe God is leading us into something brand new. And to do it well, we need the help and insight of as many as we can get. Send me your ideas. Talk with an elder. And if you were disappointed or became disillusioned in the past, try to put that in the rear view mirror so that we can move into the future. And since what we’re going to construct will help all of us, but particularly our children live in the world we have, not the world we want, let’s all come together. Let’s roll up our sleeves. And let’s get ready to build.

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for October 31, 2014

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for October 31, 2014: Today our passages are Lamentations 4:1–5:22; Hebrews 2:1-18; Psalm 103:1-22; and Proverbs 26:23 . The readings are from The Mess...

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A New Devotion on Cove’s Prayer Line – A Climate We Need to Change

Below is a new devotion I just left on the Cove Presbyterian Church prayer line. If you're interested in hearing this devotion, call 1-304-748-7900. You can also find a podcast on the church page at Cove Presbyterian Podbean page (covepresbyterian).

Luke 12:4-7

“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God's sight. But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

A Climate We Need to Change

Although we hear about the dangers of climate change all the time, personally I think there’s a climate that we might want to change as soon as possible. And right now I’m talking a climate of fear that seems to affect folks outside and within the faith. Now, for me, this was brought home by two conversations I’ve had in the last twenty-four hours. First, on Facebook, I conversed with a man who claimed to understand the “signs” of the end and based on his understanding, stated that President Obama is, not might be, but is the anti-christ, “the beast” of Revelation fame, and we’ll see the rapture very soon. And to drive home his point, after about every other comment he’d write, “TICK, TOCK.” Now that’s what he wrote; and even though he was vague about what he’d do if his interpretation turned out to be wrong and his prophecy false, I noticed that more than a few Christians shared his fear. That was one. And second, just a few minutes ago, I was talking with a mother of girl about my daughter’s age, and we were comparing Halloween when we were kids with Halloween today. And I think we both agreed that there’s a lot more fear now than then, and I’m not talking about fear coming from scary costumes. I mean, since some Christians talk about the danger of the demon possession that might come from dressing up like Elsa and asking for candy and since some parents seem to be drifting into what’s close to paranoia over abductions and poisoned cats, for a lot of folks a day that should be filled with child-like fun has become a period of unrelenting stress. And these are just two examples. I’ll tell you, we live in a climate of fear. And if you have any doubt, just spend an hour watching either FoxNews or MSNBC, two of the most effective purveyors of fear in our society.

But you know, this climate of fear that we’ve allowed to surround us isn’t grounded in anything in the Bible. Jesus challenged us not be afraid. As a matter of fact, if we’re going to fear anyone, it should probably be God, the one who, according to Paul, loved us before the foundation of the world and from whose love we can’t separate ourselves. You see, when you get right down to it, I think fear and faith maybe be like oil and vinegar. And for that reason, without swinging to the other extreme and being reckless and irresponsible, I think we can trust in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit and then live our lives as best we can. And you know, if we do, maybe we’ll see a different kind of climate change.

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for October 30, 2014

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for October 30, 2014: Today our passages are Lamentations 2:20–3:66; Hebrews 1:1-14; Psalm 102:1-28; and Proverbs 26:21-22 . The readings are from The M...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bible Talk: The Lectionary Passages for Sunday, November 2, 20...

Bible Talk: The Lectionary Passages for Sunday, November 2, 20...: Below are NRSV translations of the lessons from the Psalms (Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37), Old Testament (Joshua 3.7-17), the Letters (1 Thessalonia...

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for October 29, 2014

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for October 29, 2014: Today our passages are Lamentations 1:1–2:19; Philemon 1-25; Psalm 101:1-8; and Proverbs 26:20 . The readings are from The Message ...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A New Devotion on Cove’s Prayer Line – The Discomfort of Divine Mercy

Below is a new devotion I just left on the Cove Presbyterian Church prayer line. If you're interested in hearing this devotion, call 1-304-748-7900. You can also find a podcast on the church page at Cove Presbyterian Podbean page (covepresbyterian).

Jonah 3:1–4:1

The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, "Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you." So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, "Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!" And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth.

When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. Then he had a proclamation made in Nineveh: "By the decree of the king and his nobles: No human being or animal, no herd or flock, shall taste anything. They shall not feed, nor shall they drink water. Human beings and animals shall be covered with sackcloth, and they shall cry mightily to God. All shall turn from their evil ways and from the violence that is in their hands. Who knows? God may relent and change his mind; he may turn from his fierce anger, so that we do not perish."

When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.

But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry.

The Discomfort of Divine Mercy

I think few things can make Christians more uncomfortable than divine mercy, and I’ll tell you exact when it happens. I think mercy makes a lot of folks uncomfortable when we see it applied to or claimed by people who don’t deserve it, at least, not from our perspective. You see, we may have no problem believing that God is merciful to us and to our families and to our church and other Christians, in other words, folks that we either personally like or with whom we theologically agree. It’s fine for God to be merciful to them. But to those on the outside, and I’m talking about people who aren’t within our circle or who live in ways that make us uncomfortable or whose faith is different from our own, well, it may be difficult to entertain the possibility that God might actually be merciful to them. As a matter of fact, just like Jonah felt when God showed mercy to the pagan city of Ninevah, the capital of an empire that had conquered and scattered ten of the twelve tribes of Israel, we might actually feel angry.

And even though, given our human limitations, those feelings may be natural, we might still want to remember that God is in charge. As the Lord said to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” That’s the will of God, not the will of us. And because of it, we have the choice of either accepting and celebrating mercy that’s divine and undeserved or assuming that we have it in our power to determine it’s scope, in other words, to dictate to God whom he might love and whom he might hate. You see, this choice belongs to us. Of course, if we accept the first, I think we’ll feel joy. But if we delude ourselves into believing the second, I think we’re setting ourselves up for a lot of discomfort.

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for October 28, 2014

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for October 28, 2014: Today our passages are Jeremiah 51:54–52:34; Titus 3:1-15; Psalm 100:1-5; and Proverbs 26:18-19 . The readings are from The Messag...

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sunday's Sermon - “We’re the people that live.”

Below is a copy of the sermon I preached on Sunday in Cove Presbyterian Church, Weirton, West Virginia. and Two Ridges Presbyterian Church, Wintersville, Ohio. You can also find a podcast of this sermon at on the Cove Podbean page.

Deuteronomy 34:1-12

Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho, and the Lord showed him the whole land: Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, the Negeb, and the Plain—that is, the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees—as far as Zoar. The Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants’; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.”

Then Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab, at the Lord’s command. He was buried in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor, but no one knows his burial place to this day. Moses was one hundred twenty years old when he died; his sight was unimpaired and his vigor had not abated. The Israelites wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; then the period of mourning for Moses was ended. Joshua son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, because Moses had laid his hands on him; and the Israelites obeyed him, doing as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Never since has there arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. He was unequaled for all the signs and wonders that the Lord sent him to perform in the land of Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants and his entire land, and for all the mighty deeds and all the terrifying displays of power that Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.

“We’re the people that live.”

“We’re the people that live.” Now, if you didn’t recognize the quote, it’s from one of my all time favorite movies, in fact one that I’d show to every one of my US History classes back when I was teaching. You see, I love The Grapes of Wrath, and even though the book is wonderful, I think I probably like the movie a little better, in part, because of the scene in which this quote occurs. You see, it’s right at the very end of the film, after Tom Joad has gone off and what’s left of the family is heading down the road.

And as they’re talking about the stuff they’ve already endured, Ma says this to Pa. She says, “Rich fellas come up an’ they die, an’ their kids ain’t no good an’ they die out. But we keep a’comin’. We’re the people that live. They can’t wipe us out; they can’t lick us. We’ll go on forever, Pa, ‘cause we’re the people.” Now that’s what she says, and because of that little speech, the movie ends in away that’s very different from the book.

And based on some of the stuff I’ve read, this was all about John Ford, the director, you know, it was about his vision, one that was a lot more positive than Steinbeck’s. You see, for Ford, the future can’t be defined by what happening right now. Something greater is going on. Therefore, even if things look really bad, you know, really hopeless and scary, and even if you honestly feel as though you’re not going to make it, the world will keep turning and people will keep coming. In other words, the future isn’t going to be dictated by what’s happened to you right now. My goodness, even for the Joad family, after all they endured and would endure, they were still “the people that live,” and those people will “go on forever.”

And I’ll tell you, I think that’s something that a lot of Christians have forgotten now-a-days. I mean, they allow their feelings about what’s happening to shape both their understanding of the present and their expectations for the future, as though everything is determined by what they see occurring right now. Of course, it’s not hard to understand why it happens. These folks look around and they feel discouraged by what they see. For example, they look at some of the stuff that happening in the world and in our country, in our communities and in our church, good night, they look at some of the stuff that’s happening within their own lives, and they start feeling a lot like a balloon with a slow leak. Good night, from their perspectives, when it comes to worry and fear, the Joads and those other Okies had nothing on them. As a matter of fact, like a man told me just the other day, in his opinion, we must be getting close to the end of the world because things can’t get much worst; therefore, in some ways, during the Great Depression, the world was in better shape than it is today.

And it’s not just one person, I think that’s how a lot of folks feel, and I don’t know, they may be right or at the very least, it may be like Uncle John said about Muley Graves, also from The Grapes of Wrath: “He is telling the truth...the truth for him.” You see, that’s their truth; that’s how they see it; that’s what they feel; therefore, it really shouldn’t come as any great surprise that so many people, even within the church, feel discouraged. They feel worried and hopeless as they’re living in present, and instead of moving into the future, they try to wrap themselves up in the past and pretend that nothing has really changed and long for the world that they remember. I mean, that’s what they do. And you know, if this is all there is and both FoxNews and MSNBC are right about our world and country and decline is all we have to define our community and church and George Carlin was right when he said that “life is really is tough and then you die,” man, if that’s all there is, then being discouraged is exactly how we should feel. Anything else would be stupid, right?

As a matter of fact, if everything I just said is true, we’re pretty much in the same place as the children of Israel according to the passage we just read. I mean, I think they had excellent reason to be discouraged, don’t you? Good night, there they were, after wandering around for 40 years in the desert, a bunch of former slaves a long way from home, looking into a land that they would have to conquer, but not just any land, because remember, this was the scouting report: “The land that we have gone through as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people that we saw in it are of great size. There we saw the Nephilim...; and to ourselves we seemed like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.” Hardly, good news. But to make matters worse, the man who’d led them out of Egypt had just died, and we’re talking about a guy that the writer of Deuteronomy described like this, “Never since has there arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. He was unequaled for all the signs and wonders that the Lord sent him to perform in the land of Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants and his entire land, and for all the mighty deeds and all the terrifying displays of power that Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.” Man, he was now gone, and all they had was Joshua son of Nun, and even though he “...was full of the spirit of wisdom,” no wonder “the Israelites wept for Moses.” If I’d have been there, I’d have done I’m telling you, I think they had every reason and every right to be discouraged.

And yet, when we read this passage, that’s really not how they felt, not based on what’s written here. I mean, “...because Moses had laid his hands on [Joshua]; ...the Israelites obeyed him [this rookie], doing as the Lord had commanded Moses.” You see, they saw a lot more than their current circumstance or their perceptions. Instead, they saw God, and they trusted that the same Lord that was with Moses was also with Joshua. And that turned what should have been discouraging upside down, offering the Israelites confidence as they stood on the Plains of Moab. But more than that, it gave them the courage to move forward, and I’m talking about forward into the Promised Land, forward through the Jordan just like they passed through the Red Sea right to the walls of Jericho, forward behind the one the people acknowledge with these words: “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you, as he was with Moses! Whoever rebels against your orders and disobeys your words, whatever you command, shall be put to death. Only be strong and courageous.” You see, because they could see God above and around their situation, while their worry and fear could have held them back, their faith moved them forward with confidence and courage.

And I’ll tell you, I believe it can do the same thing for us. Now, understand I don’t own a pair of rose-colored glasses nor am I suggesting that we’re not living in the worst of days. Personally, I don’t think so, but I’ve been wrong many times in my 57 years and frankly, right now you may be going through all kinds of stuff that I can’t imagine. Everything may be heading to Hell in a handbasket, and if that’s all we can see, we may have good reasons to be discouraged and to be worried and hopeless and to feel so scared that we turn our backs to the future.

But you know, if that’s all we can see, we might want to broaden our vision, because I think we’re missing something, or maybe better, we’re missing someone who’s crucially important. And now I’m talking about the one who was with Israel as they entered the Promised Land, the one who was the light that entered our dark world, and the one who surrounds us right now. Man, if all we can see are reasons to be discouraged, we’re missing the Lord of the past and the present and the future. We’re just plain missing him. And as a result, of course, we’re discouraged.

But you know, if we make the decision to change that, you know to trust him and to open our eyes and minds and hearts, we’re going to see the God who loved us before the foundation of the earth. And we’re going to understand that, since he’s always with us, we really have no reason to be worried and hopeless as we live in the present nor to be scared as we anticipate the future. And I swear, we’re going to feel all that discouragement melt away. And in it’s place, I believe we’re going to experience a surge of confidence, and I’m talking about genuine confidence even though our world and our country, even though our community and our church, even though our own lives may not be what we want them to be. I’m telling you, regardless of what those things cause the guy across the street to feel, that will not be the case with us. Instead, we’re going to feel all kinds of peace and hope.

But more than that, this new attitude is going to give us courage and focus to move into the future. And you know, that’s a good thing, because no matter how much we may wish things would go back to the past that we remember, if we make the decision to back into the future, we’re probably going to trip over our own feet. Like it or not, the world is changing. Tomorrow’s going to be different from today. And what worked yesterday may be an abysmal failure next week. But you know, that doesn’t need to scare us, because we’re not moving into this future alone. Instead the Father of the creation and the exodus, the Son of the cross and the empty tomb, and the Spirit of presence and intercession, this God whom we worship; man, he’s surrounding us. He’s leading us and he’s supporting us and he’s there beside us as we move into a future that he controls, one in which his will will be done and his kingdom will come. You see, we can live with confidence and move forward with courage, and it’s going to happen when we decide to accept the fact that God is in charge.

And although the reason may have been different with Ma in The Grapes of Wrath, her attitude and her expectations were really the same, and I’m talking about when Ma Joad looked pass all those genuine reasons she had to be discouraged and when she decided that something greater than he experiences was involved and as a result she felt confident as she talked with Pa and courage as they drove into an unknown future. In other words, she did the same thing Israel did after the death of Moses. And it’s the same thing we can do when we decide to trust the one who stands above whatever it is we’re facing. I mean, like her and them we can feel both confidence and courage, because, when you think about it, since God is always, and I mean always with us, it’s really us; we’re the people that live.

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for October 27, 2014

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for October 27, 2014: Today our passages are Jeremiah 51:1-53; Titus 2:1-15; Psalm 99:1-9; and Proverbs 26:17 . The readings are from The Message by E...

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for October 26, 2014

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for October 26, 2014: Today our passages are Jeremiah 49:23–50:46; Titus 1:1-6; Psalm 97:1–98:9; and Proverbs 26:13-16 . The readings are from The Messa...

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A New Devotion on Cove’s Prayer Line – A Worshipful Attitude

Below is a new devotion I just left on the Cove Presbyterian Church prayer line. If you're interested in hearing this devotion, call 1-304-748-7900. You can also find a podcast on the church page at Cove Presbyterian Podbean page (covepresbyterian).

Psalm 122

I was glad when they said to me,
          “Let us go to the house of the LORD!”
Our feet are standing
          within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem — built as a city
          that is bound firmly together.
To it the tribes go up,
          the tribes of the LORD,
as was decreed for Israel,
          to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
For there the thrones for judgment were set up,
          the thrones of the house of David.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
          “May they prosper who love you.
Peace be within your walls,
          and security within your towers.”
For the sake of my relatives and friends
          I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,
          I will seek your good.

A Worshipful Attitude

Now, I think people attend worship services for a variety of reasons, some of which are very spiritual while others somewhat less than noble. For example, some folks go to church to learn about Jesus Christ and to join with other believers in a common focus and to do certain things that bring them closer to God. Of course, there are others who go because they’d feel guilty if they didn’t or because it’s a habit or because this gives them the chance to see and be seen by their friends. Some may even go to services to hear the dirty first-hand, before it’s sent speeding through the phone lines, and to complain about all the stuff they don’t like. Like I said, I think church folks are motived by a lot of different interests and desires.

But even though the “why” may be different, I think it’s important for all worshipers to share a common attitude. The Psalmist said, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD!’” And I’ll tell you, I think this points to the attitude we need to carry into worship. You see, regardless of our motivation, I believe we can all enter worship with joy and a desire to praise the Lord. As Paul wrote, we can “...sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, as [we] praise the Lord with all [our] heart[s].” And I’ll tell, when this is our attitude, I think something remarkable happens. Our original motivation will fade, and we’ll find ourselves more open to the movement of God’s spirit and more united as God’s people.

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for October 25, 2014

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for October 25, 2014: Today our passages are Jeremiah 48:1–49:22; 2 Timothy 4:1-22; Psalm 95:1–96:13; and Proverbs 26:9-12 . The readings are from The ...

Friday, October 24, 2014

Cove Kids: Children Bulletins for Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cove Kids: Children Bulletins for Sunday, October 26, 2014: Below are puzzles for children focused on Deuteronomy 34:1-12. There are two “bulletins,” one for ages 3-6 and the other for ages 7-12. Feel...

What's Happening at Cove Presbyterian Church?

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

THIS MORNING WE WELCOME INTO OUR FAMILY . . .
Rhonda Fulmer-Lazaroff. Rhonda is affirming her faith in Jesus Christ, and his grace is being confirmed through the waters of baptism.

CHANCEL CHOIR PRACTICE . . .
is being held at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings in the choir room. Anyone wishing to praise God through song is welcome to join us!

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

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.

OCTOBER IS UNICEF MONTH . . .
and we thank the ladies who collected at Weirton Shop n Save on Thursday and look forward to enjoying the paper product creations in the Narthex today.  Each display made of paper products will be donated to the Deacons Outreach Program and the collection boxes for each one will go to UNICEF.  Money in the boxes, will be a vote for your favorite display.

BOOKMARKS . . .
Cove's Reading Group will meet on Monday, October 27 at 6:30 p.m. in the church parlor. The book selection for the month is War Brides by Helen Bryan.

THE SESSION WILL MEET . .
for a special meeting to discuss how we might better address the needs of our children and youth, on Monday, beginning at 6:30 p.m.. If you have any ideas, please pass them on to one of our elders.

FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT THEIR BIBLE. . .
we're offering an introduction to the New Testament. Lead by Pastor Rudiger, we'll consider the historical and theological background for the different books within the New Testament. This study will offer an outstanding overview for the part of the Bible that's distinctively Christian, and everyone is invited to come.  During this next session, Tuesday, October 28, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., we'll look at the letters of Peter and Jude

OUR BROWN BAG BIBLE STUDY . . .
will meet Thursday, October 30, beginning at 12:31 p.m., we'll discuss Acts 23.

ON NOVEMBER 2, THE CHOIR WILL PRACTICE . . .
at 10:30 a.m. and at 1:30 p.m. with Oakland Presbyterian Church.

COVE'S FIFTEENTH ANNUAL MEMORIAL SERVICE . . .
to honor deceased members and friends who have died within the past year will be observed next Sunday, November 2 during our morning worship service. If you had a loved one who has passed away within the past year, someone who was not a member of Cove Church, please contact the church office so they may be included in our Service of Remembrance.

SPAGHETTI DINNER . . .
to benefit Project Christmas Smile will be held next  Sunday, November 2 from 12-2pm. Menu includes spaghetti with meat sauce, bread and butter, dessert and beverage.
Adults – $ 5.00   Children 10 & Under –  $ 3.00

BOARD MEETINGS . . .
The Deacons will meet on Monday, November 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room.
Session will meet on Monday, November 10th at 6:30 p.m. in the board room.
The Trustees will meet on Tuesday, November 11th at 6:30 p.m. in the board room.

THE MYRTLE MCHENDRY  CLASS. . .
will meet on Tuesday, November 4th at 12:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall.  This will be a work day as we prepare for The Olde Christmas Shoppe.  We will be sorting and pricing the many items for our sale. Dee Sobolak will have Devotions. Enid Williams and Diana Durst are the hostesses for our social.

YE OLDE CHRISTMAS SHOPPE . . .
will be held on Saturday, November 8, from 10:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m. Sponsored by The Myrtle McHendry Class, you'll be able to select from a collection of slightly used and
some new Christmas items, such as decorations, tree trimmings, jewelry, knick knacks, and more.  Any questions call Diana Durst at 304-723-4469, Bonnie Nichols at 304-723-5134 or Betty Virtue at 304-748-8196.

"LAND OF THE FREE" . . .
is the title of the patriotic cantata that will be presented on Sunday November 9 at 2:00 p.m. Please join us as we honor our military personnel past and present.

WE'RE OFFERING A FREE . . .
television and stereo that are no longer being used (both in working order). You just need to pick-up. For more information contact the church office.

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 information on  upcoming events 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.

SERMONS, DEVOTIONS, LESSONS, AND ESSAYS ARE AVAILABLE ON . . .
the Cove PodBean page (covepresbyterian.podbean.com) and iTunes (search Cove Presbyterian).

WE ARE BLOGGING!
We now have eight 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 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.
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.
Living the Faith in the Real World (http://livingthefaithintherealworld. blogspot.com/) - Our beliefs shape both our opinions and actions. And even though that's true for everyone, often people of faith struggle to apply their understanding of the divine to both practical and political issues. This becomes particularly challenging when we hear multiple voices, all claiming to represent the truth but coming to different conclusions. This Blog will provide a forum where we might share how our faith shapes our perspectives on some specific issues. We hope that through this sharing, we might all better understand how the sacred impacts the profane. We'll pose a question and invite you to respond. We only ask two things of you. First, we ask that you avoid profanity and demeaning language. Second, we want you to write the truth as you see it.
The Question of Faith (http://thequestionoffaith.blogspot.com/) - I believe that there are basic ideas that all people of faith share, but once you get below those "basics," there are many different ways to understand God and our relationship with the divine. Even within Christianity, Christians disagree about the nature of God, the identity and work of Jesus Christ, and how we might or should respond to his coming. As a matter of fact, some people consider certain things absolutely essential to the Christian faith while other believers are indifferent to the same ideas and actions. We hope this Blog provides us the opportunity to share and to understand better what we believe. We'll offer a question, and you'll have the chance to respond. And even though many of the questions will be distinctively Christian, we hope that you'll still share your insight even if it's from other faith traditions.
O, That's Interesting! (http://cove-talk.blogspot.com/) - The great thing about being part of a community is that you have the chance to share with other folks. Now, there are times when you're dealing with matters of great weight. But other times you may be talking about general plans, special memories, and personal hopes. Through this site, we hope to encourage you to share your thoughts and feelings on a variety of topics that may be meaningful to you. We hope you see this Blog like a water cooler or a kitchen table, in other words, as a place to just share.
Growing in Grace (http://sproutsoffaith.blogspot.com/) - Although we're saved by God's grace, we can grow in our understanding of grace. At Cove Presbyterian Church, we offer a variety of different classes for children and adults, many of which are recorded and the podcasts posted on our PodBean (covepresbyterian). In this Blog, we'll offer the link to the podcast and notes from the particular session. You may also ask any question you might have and enter into a discussion with others.

IF YOU'RE ONLINE...
"like" us on Facebook (Cove Presbyterian Church,  https://www.facebook .com/Covepresbyterian) or join our Facebook group (The Cove Community, https://www.facebook.com/groups/115579235630/). You can also connect with Pastor Rudiger on Instagram (rev_ed).

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 or to receive communion 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 . . .
drop it in the purple container at the back door so that it 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.  You may  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 used 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 – When All Else Fails

Below is an essay I sent to those on the Cove Presbyterian Church e-mailing list. If you're interested in hearing this essay, you can also find a podcast at Podbean or iTunes (Cove Presbyterian Church).

Now, I recognize that the phrase “When all else fails” refers to something we might do, generally against our wills and better judgement, as a last resort. For example, a man might say, “when all else fails, I’ll ask for directions” or “when all else fails, I’ll read the instructions.” Of course, this is a phrase I know well, because I’ve used more than once myself.

Well, that’s not really what I have in mind here. Instead, I’m talking about what we might feel when everything around us seems to be falling apart. I think y’all know what I’m talking about. We get a bad medical report. We feel stress at work. We’re struggling with problems at home. And even if we’re able to take one failure in stride, we might even be able to handle two, when a whole bunch hit at the same time, we could end up facing a perfect storm or maybe better, an avalanche. And there we are, feeling as though we’re in the middle of a hostile ocean with no shore in sight or buried with virtually no hope of digging our way to the surface. But you know, regardless of the metaphor we use, I think we’ve all felt the drain and sadness that occurs when all else, when everything else fails.

But I’ll tell you, when we’re ready to throw up our hands and throw in the towel, I think it’s important to remember that, since God is in charge, neither the waves nor the snow will have the last word. I mean, even though we might feel as discouraged as we’ve ever felt and confused by things that don’t make sense and just plain tired, so tired that it’s a challenge to get moving, we need to remember that “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” You see, regardless of the circumstances we might be facing and the hurt we might be feeling, God hasn’t given control over to something or someone else. He still holds our destinies in his hands, and as the Apostle Paul reminded the Romans, that destiny ultimately leads to compassion and mercy.

You see, this is our future. This is our future, and it doesn’t matter what’s happening around us. And this is something we need to remember, especially when the stuff occurring has either hit us like a 2x4 to the back of the head or is slowly pressing into grey mass that we don’t understand or like. Of course, remembering won’t alter the situation. It won’t restore vision or hope. And it probably won’t provide either a working radio or a shovel. But it just might offer is a glimpse into the future and shaft of light in the darkness. And I’ll tell you, that just might help us survive, when all else fails.

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

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

Adults
Alice Bembow
Andy DiRemigio
Annette Goff
Audrey Vincent
Barbara Maze
Bill Manley
Brenda Violet
Cameron Gray
Carlyn
Charles Saffle
Chuck May
Cindi Livingston
Conrad Criss
Dean Allen
Deloris Chesebro
Dick Spencer
Elizabeth Sue Hunt
Emery Edwards
Evan Pulice
Gen Meyer
George Bownlee
Hargun Sandhu
Helen Shivers
Janet Holmes
Jen's Mom
Jo Magnone
Joanie Lawrence
Jodi Kraina
John Guglielmo
John Schlotter
Josh Boyd
Kelly Stephens
Lori Lancaster
Lou Ann Seevers
Marcia Cooper
Martha Meadows
Matthew Kirtley
Michael Frank
Michael Hvizdak
Mike Churchman
M'Liz Held
Patty Channing
Paul D. Welch
Peggy Stewart
Phyllis Manley
Randy Willson
Reann Daily
Rob Roy Jones
Ronnie Buffington
Rose Bell
Ruth Ann Oesterling
Sally Marple
Sam Fortunato
Sharon Wheeler
Shirley Everhart Kirtley
Stacy Jo Vogel
Susie Kurcina
Tim Bradley
Wink Harner

Children
Aksel Ace
Audri King
Daniel Marchione
Devon Bragg
Jeffrey Konovich
Joey Cowher
Jonathan Marte
Kade Haines
Kya Schwertfeger
Lily Ghrist
Michael Liptak
Shelby Kamarec

Military
Cory Shumard
Isaac Stephens
Jason Kerr
Jonathan Criss
Lisa Burk
Michael Criss

Church Families
Robert and Carol Hall
Carl Hamill
Edna Harrison

Local Church
All Saints Greek Orthodox Church

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

Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery Congregations
Limestone Presbyterian Church, Moundsville, West Virginia – Rev. Larry Kline
First Presbyterian Church, Mt. Pleasant, Ohio – Rev. Lorraine Dill

Also Remember in Your Prayers
Alice & Kenny Orr – Weirton Geriatric Center, 2525 Pennsylvania Ave., Weirton, WV  26062
Charles Saffle – Wyngate, 100 Wyngate Dr., Weirton, WV  26062
Conrad Criss – Wyngate, 101 Wyngate Dr., Weirton, WV  26062
Dolores Edwards – Wyngate, 100 Wyngate Dr., 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