Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Thought from the Word - A brief thought based on Psalm 136:1, 26

The Lectionary Passages for Sunday, December 4, 2016 (Second Sunday in Advent)

Bible Talk: The Lectionary Passages for Sunday, December 4, 20...: Below are NRSV translations of the lessons from the Old Testament ( Isaiah 11:1-10 ), the Psalms ( Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19 ), the Letters ( Roma...

The Happenings Around the Presbytery - November 30, 2016

Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery
907 National Road
Wheeling, WV  26003

Office Hours: Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
In an emergency after office hours: Call 740-359-1813

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Bill Betteridge
Karen Edwards
Ed Mooney
Leura Nancy Macon
Vernon Brown
Jack Visser
Nancy Mountz
David Brocklehurst
Bob & Sue Shearer
Ed Rudiger
R. H. “Mac” McCuen
All our service men & women
Ginny Zoric
Karen Byrne
Delbert McNear
Helen Beatty
Hayden Kestner
David Bruce
Domasi Partnership
Malawi food crisis
Dakota Partnership
Sheryl Looking Elk
Alberta Crawford
Connie Quinn
William Popa and Family
Family of Ava Grace Zoric

Please keep us informed of any prayer concerns you may have.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
PRAYER FOR UOVP PASTORS: Select one of these pastors and remember him/her in your prayers this week: Darrin Jones, Richard Kantz, Philip Keevil, Christina Kestner, Larry Kline.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
DEAR FRIENDS of Beaver Creek Church Camp: We are sending this letter to thank you for your support of Beaver Creek Church Camp this past year. We really appreciate your commitment to the camp. Attendance remains rather low, but the 80 some campers that came had a great time. We hope each year that camping will become more popular with our youth. It is nice to get away from TV and spend time outdoors. The weather has certainly changed today. A coating of snow reminds us that it is Thanksgiving time. A time to give thanks for all our blessings. The members of the Camp Board are very thankful that God has given us a beautiful camp, dedicated workers, and faithful supporters. You are indeed a blessing. May God Bless You, Beaver Creek Church Camp
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * CLERKS AND PASTORS: Forms to file your annual reports are now available on our website Click on “Annual Reports” in the top blue box. Please contact Frank Lewis or Patty if you have any questions.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
WRITING FIESTA. If you like writing stories, we have something which might interest you. It is “A Writing Fiesta for the Young and Young at Heart.” We are looking for stories which focus on Giving the Gift of Peace at Christmas. This is sponsored by the UOVP Peacemaking Subcommittee. The stories can be non-fiction or fiction. Word limit—500. Prizes will be given. All authors who submit stories give permission to the Peacemaking Committee to have their stories published on our new, soon to be launched, peacemaking website. We encourage persons of any age to submit your story by e-mail to These can be stories which actually happened or made up stories. Please bear in the mind the focus—Giving the Gift of Peace at Christmas. Questions? Contact
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
THERE WILL BE A MEETING OF ALL PASTORS--ordained, commissioned, lay, honorably retired, pulpit supply—with food and fellowship, on Wednesday, December 7th, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Presbytery Office, Potter Chapel. Please RSVP by 9:00 a.m. Monday, December 5thto or 304-232-3490.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * GOD CALLING YOU? Maybe you (or someone you know) is being called by God to: Learn more about the faith, explore pastoral and other leadership roles, develop talents and skills for ministry. The Inter Presbytery Leadership Formation pro­gram will be accepting new participants in January, 2017. If you are a Ruling Elder and you have considered pursuing CRE training or you are just interested in growing as a disciple, this may be for you! For more info, please contact the Presbytery Office You can also find some info on our website www.uovpresby.orgunder “Items of Interest.” Click on: Training for Ruling Elders in Particular Pastoral Service—Inter Presbytery CRE Booklet Fall 2016 Spring 2018.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
HOST CHURCHES are needed for Presbytery Meetings. Would you like your congregation to host a presbytery meeting? These are the 2017 stated meeting dates:
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - 5:00 p.m. Dinner, 6:00 p.m. Business Meeting
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - 5:00 p.m. Dinner, 6:00 p.m. Business Meeting
Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 5:00 p.m. Dinner, 6:00 p.m. Business Meeting
If your session would like to invite presbytery to meet at your church, please send an e-mail to the Rev. Dr. Frank Lewis, Stated Clerk,, stating the date you will be available.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
MISSION TRIP. Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery, in partnership with the Domasi Presbytery, Blantyre Synod, Church of Central Africa Presbyterian, is seeking to send three travelers on a mission trip in September of 2017 to Malawi, Africa. Is God calling you to make this journey of faith? Many have found this to be a life changing and faith enriching experience. This is a wonderful opportunity for some new folks to have their faith deepened. After prayerful consideration, if you are interested, please find trip details and requirements and application questions on our website under “Items of Interest.” Fill out the form, sign and return with your answers on a separate sheet of paper along with your session endorsement letter.
        Tentative dates of travel: September 15, 2017, to September 27, 2017.
        Applications must be received in the Presbytery Office, 907 National Road, Wheeling, WV 26003, by Wednesday, January 11, 2017.
        Interviews for those who apply will be held on Thursday, January 19, 2017, at First Westminster Presbyterian Church, Steubenville, OH.
A bulletin insert can also be found on the website under “Items of Interest.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"Accept chaos. – Give back calm. – Provide hope."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
SPECIAL OFFERING NEWS. Grace and Gratitude is the heartbeat of Reformed Christianity. God’s grace is boundless and we find it all around us, and this inspires the only thing we have to offer; our gratitude. Thanksgiving, then, is a joyful opportunity for Christians to make known all the places and ways we have seen God’s grace at work. Even our gift-giving during the Christmas season might be shaped around our gratitude, as a parallel to God’s gracious gift of Jesus Christ for which we are thankful. We offer gifts recognizing the gift we have already received. The Special Offerings provide several opportunities during this special time of year for gifts to be offered in gratitude for the grace we have received. Through the Presbyterian Giving Catalogyou can purchase alternative gifts for friends and loved ones that make a Big Impact in the world instead of battling the black Friday crowds. And the Christmas Joy Offering received during the Advent and Christmas season provides an opportunity to show our gratitude for our church leaders—past, present and future. Gifts to the Offering benefit the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions for church workers and their families who need critical financial assistance, and invests in the gifts of future leaders through the education and development of students at Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges. During this season, we hope you find much that you are grateful for. God has given so generously to us. It is our hope that the Special Offerings will provide you and your congregation ways to offer gifts of gratitude that make a difference for people with particular needs.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
PRESBYTERIAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY Newsletter November, 2016, can be found on our website under Items of Interest.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
BIG TENT. Save the date for Big Tent 2017! The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)’s Big Tent biennial gathering will be held on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, July 6–8, 2017. Mark your calendar and plan to join in three days of worship, workshops and the opportunity to engage and connect with other Presbyterians. Learn more.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
CONFLICTS, prayer, and reconciliation. Mission co-worker Rachel Weller, facilitator for Community Health Evangelism in the Gambella region of Ethiopia, writes about the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus organizing a meeting of its members. The government provided troops to establish order. After the morning meeting of fasting and prayer, along with a message of forgiveness and peace, there was a foot-washing ceremony. “The joy was uncontainable as the people danced and sang their way to the center of town to proclaim to all that they had forgiven and been forgiven!” Read more.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
KICK OFF THE “HOLIDAY GIVING SEASON” by giving life-changing gifts from the Presbyterian Giving Catalog.Around this time of year, popular culture tends to focus on the “holiday shopping season”—the door busters and the latest toys and gadgets. But, no time of the year better highlights the truth of Jesus’ words, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” On behalf of the little ones in your family, purchase a gift of linens and blankets, and tell them how their gift can help children feel warm and safe. Or, for the green thumb that you know, choose a container garden which can help families in Haiti grow food more easily during long dry seasons. Whatever might be close to the hearts of your loved ones, you're sure to find a meaningful gift in the Presbyterian Giving Catalog.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
New in the Being Reformed: Faith Seeking Understanding curriculum, Baptism introduces and reviews ways the church understands Baptism, drawing from both Scripture and the experience and reflection of the historic church as a self-guided study, as a group study, and as a ready reference for personal reflection.
Lenten Reflections on the Confession of Belhar is a book of devotions based on the Belhar Confession as congregations and individuals contemplate Scripture and the meanings that emerge as the Confession is studied phrase by phrase during the season of Lent. Written by a variety of Presbyterians, the forty-seven devotions cover the days of Lent, plus Sundays.
From our Being Reformed: Faith Seeking Understanding series, is Race and Reconciliation. This workbook looks at the Confessions of 1967 and the Belhar Confession and helps readers claim the ministry of reconciliation in a world and a church deeply divided by race, nation, gender, economic status, and religion.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
PRESBYTERIAN OLDER ADULT MINISTRIES NETWORK 2016 Holiday issue of POAMN Newsletter ~ Resource Guide for Older Adult Ministries, ISSUE 44
A Message from the Presbyterian Network News Editor: Good Morning from Oregon, The theme of this issue of PNN is, Embracing Middle Adults. All too often middle adults are taken for granted by the church as though this stage of life was just a straight line path on level terrain. However, the path is not straight; there are predictable turns and changes in the path. During the years from 42 to 62, many of us have encountered, or will encounter, totally unexpected events that can change and shape us dramatically. In this issue of PNN you will find an article entitled Embracing Middle Adults.
ARMSS and POAMN held their 2016 joint conference in Richmond, Virginia, during October. Several articles tell about events during that enjoyable and inspiring week:
  • 2016 Joint ARMSS/POAMN Conference in Richmond by Quentin Holmes
  • Reflections on the 2016 ARMSS/POAMN Conference in Richmond by Lillian Rhudy
  • NEW FACES: New POAMN Officers by Steve Aschmann
Click here to download and read the complete Holiday PNN.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
THE MOST UP TO DATE Pulpit Supply list can be found on our website.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
THE MISSION YEARBOOK daily entries are available at (Hard copies are no longer printed).
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
2017 LITURGICAL COLORS CALENDAR: To find a printable liturgical calendar with the liturgical colors for paraments, go to, or you can find it on our website under Spotlight, or let me know and I can mail you a hard copy.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for November 30, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for November 30, 2016: Today our passages are  Daniel 7:1-28; 1 John 1:1-10; Psalm 119:153-176; and Proverbs 28:23-24 .  The readings are from  The Messag...

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Thought from the Word - A brief thought based on 1 Chronicles 16:8

Cove Hangs the Greens

On the first Sunday of Advent, November 27, we hanged the greens. Under the direction of our wonderful deacons and with the assistance of some dedicated members and friends, we decorated Cove for Christmas. Below are some pictures, first of the decorating crew followed by the decked-out church. Of course, these are only pictures. You're invited to attend worship any time during this season (Sundays at 11:00 a.m.) to see the church first hand and to join with your friends and neighbors as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - How We See the Vineyard

Below is a new devotion I just left on the Cove Presbyterian Church prayer line. You can find a recording of this devotion on the prayer line (1-304-748-7900) or on the Cove Presbyterian Church Podbean page. You might also want to visit the congregational website ( for more church information.

Luke 20:9-18

He began to tell the people this parable: "A man planted a vineyard, and leased it to tenants, and went to another country for a long time. When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants in order that they might give him his share of the produce of the vineyard; but the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Next he sent another slave; that one also they beat and insulted and sent away empty-handed. And he sent still a third; this one also they wounded and threw out. Then the owner of the vineyard said, 'What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.' But when the tenants saw him, they discussed it among themselves and said, 'This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance may be ours.' So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others." When they heard this, they said, "Heaven forbid!" But he looked at them and said, "What then does this text mean: 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone'? Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls."

Related image
How We See the Vineyard

You know, as I read this passage, it struck me that how those tenants saw the vineyard shaped how they responded to the son. You see, their problem was that they saw the vineyard as something that they possessed rather than something they’d been given to use. And because they assumed it belonged to them, so did the entire crop. Of course they might be willing to offer something that didn’t cost them much, but certainly not a share of what they produced with their own hand from their own land. Now that seems to be what they assumed. And you know, that assumption caused them make all the mistakes they made in dealing with the owner, his slaves and his son. And that assumption also moved the owner to do what almost any owner would do when tenants violate the agreement they established. He came down on them like white on rice. And all that was the result of how those presumptuous tenants saw the vineyard.

And it seems to me, that’s an important message for us to hear as well. I mean, we can convince ourselves that we have the right to possess all that we’ve been given and that we can use and exploit the earth around us as we see fit and that even our salvation and our relationship with God is based on our words and work. Now that’s how we can see ourselves and the world, and if we do, it’s doubtful that we’re going to offer to God anything that we believe is too valuable, at least not to us. Of course, that’s certainly going to affect our relationship with both the Father and the Son. And sadly, we’ll lose something precious, that glorious assurance that both the world and our lives are in hands a lot more secure then our own.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Sunday's Sermon – The House Across the Street

Below is a copy of the sermon I preached on Sunday, November 27, in Two Ridges Presbyterian Church, Wintersville, Ohio and Cove Presbyterian Church, Weirton, West Virginia. You can find a podcast of this sermon on the Cove Podbean page. You might also want to visit the congregational website ( for more church information.

If you find this sermon meaningful, please consider supporting this ministry by sending an offering to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal.

Matthew 24:36-44 

But concerning that day and hour, no one knows: not the angels of the heavens, not the son, but only the father alone. But just like the days of Noah, thus will be the return of the son of man. For as in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah went into the ark. And they didn’t know until the flood came and took them all away. Thus the return of the son of man will also be. Then two will be in the field, one will be taken and one left. Two will be grinding in the mill, one will be taken and one left. Now be awake, because you don’t know what kind of day your lord is coming. But know this: if the master of the house had known in what watch the thief comes, he would have been awake and wouldn’t have allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, because you don’t know the hour the son of man comes.

The House Across the Street

Now, some of y’all may not know this, but there’s been an addition to the Rudiger family. You see, about three months ago we were blessed with a bouncing baby dog. I’d say she looks just like me, but it’s hard to tell, because she’s covered with hair and I’m becoming more and more, well, like a hairless. Anyway, we got a dog, but technically that’s not right; Maggie got a dog. Therefore, she got the right to name her, and the name she picked: Coco Chanel, you know, just like the perfume, which I’ve discovered is an interesting choice especially when Coco’s been out in the rain.

But be-that-as-it-may, since it’s her dog, Maggie named her. And since Maggie’s a teenager and since she already did the hard part, she’s graciously given her mother and I responsibility for a lot less important things, you know, like feeding her and cleaning up after her and of course taking her for walks because we feed her and really don’t want to clean up after her. And walking her, well, that’s kind of my job when I’m home or she’s here at the church. I mean, I take her out in the morning before I get Maggie up for school, and if I’m home in the evening, I’ll generally take her around the neighborhood on what I call “business trips.”

And I’ll tell you, that’s exactly what I did on Thanksgiving evening. I mean, instead of getting ready for the Pittsburgh-Indianapolis game, (and by the way, I’m thinking about requesting a recount) I was walking Coco Chanel. And as I was waiting for her to start circling, I noticed a house across the street. Now, “noticed” isn’t really strong enough, because it was all decked out for Christmas, and I’ve got to tell you, it was and it is drop down beautiful. I mean, there are wreaths in every window, upstairs and down. And on the wreaths, there are strings of white lights. And on every windowsill there’s a single white candle. Now that’s what I call classy. And even though I know I’m taking a risk and y’all may end up thinking that Coco and I are Peeping Toms, I could see this gold and red Christmas tree right in the living room. And as I stood there, I thought that, as it comes to decorations, man, this house is all set. And since I think we may still have some Halloween stuff out, man, Coco and I hated them for it. I’m just kidding...sort of.

But you know, even though they had their decorations up, I bet they still have a bunch of stuff to do before the twenty-fifth, because preparing for Christmas, man, that’s a big job. Now I don’t know about y’all, but we’ve got all kinds of stuff to do before the big day. A tree needs to be trimmed. Presents need to be bought. Cards need to be mailed. Cookies need to be baked. And then Debbie told me yesterday, that somewhere in all that, Coco needs to get her picture taken with Santa. I can’t stand it.

But if preparing for Christmas is a big deal, that fades in comparison to the kind of preparation that Jesus was talking about in the passage I just read. My gosh, we’re talking about the return of the Son of Man. And what makes this really tricky is that, unlike Christmas, according to Jesus himself, “...concerning that day and hour, no one knows: not the angels of the heavens, not the son, but only the father alone.” In other words, because we can’t know, we have to be constantly prepared. And in that way, his second advent is an awful lot like our final leaving this mortal toil, and now I’m talking about death. You see, that’s something we don’t know either, but for which we need to be prepared. I mean, let’s face it, we’re often more like that rich farmer in a story that Jesus told, a guy who decided to build bigger barns, never realizing that he would die that very night, man, we’re more like him than a person who’s got all his ducks in a row. In other words, whether it involves his return or our departure, I really doubt that many of us are any more prepared then those people during the time of Noah, you know, the ones who “...were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage.”

Of course, that’s not because a lot of folks aren’t trying. I mean I think plenty of people try to deal with this mystery by doing some things that seem to make a lot of sense at the time, but turn south pretty fast. For example, some try to figure when it’s all going to happen, you know, so that they can kind of get a jump on either his coming or their leaving. And it’s easy to spot these folks because they’re always talking about the “signs of the end,” and they tend to use the same words whether they’re talking about the Book of Revelation or their latest visit to the doctor. Inquiring minds want to know, and so do some folks. And others, well they just pretend it’s not going to happen at all. Jesus just isn’t coming back, at least not anytime soon. And death is so far away, you just don’t need to think about it. I’ll tell you, it’s the kind of philosophy by sister’s first husband followed. He believed if he never went to the doctor, he’d never hear bad news, God rest his soul. That’s what he believed, and sadly, he thought the same thing about dentists. If you pretend it won’t happen long enough, then it won’t, right? That’s what some seem to believe. And still others, well, they worry all the time. Man, they’re not ready, and they know it. But when push comes to shove, that’s really the only thing they do about it; they just worry, but they still don’t prepare. And for all those who pretend that it won’t happen and that everything will just continue forever, well, that works, that is, until it doesn’t and they’re forced to face something they just can’t deny anymore. And it doesn’t take long for all those sign seekers to discover that, if you’re got a little imagination and creativity, you can always find signs of the end. And if you don’t mind being disappointed over and over again, you can keep listening to folks who claim to know what Jesus said couldn’t be known. But I’ll tell you, neither pretending that it can’t happen nor assuming that you really know, man, doing that won’t help you become alert and ready any better than staying awake at night. Although these folks may be expending all kinds of energy, in terms of being prepared, they’re really doing nothing constructive at all.

But you know something, that doesn’t have to be the case with us, because I’m telling you, we can start doing something about this right now. Trust me, whether it’s Christ’s return or our departure, we can be alert. We can be ready. We can be prepared. And that’s going to happen when we do two things that are more than possible. And let me tell you what they are.

You see, we can be prepared, first by trusting God. That’s it, by simply trusting that God’s done, is doing and will do what he’s promised. Now, I’m telling y’all, that’s the first step. And as we look at the passage we just read, it means trusting that when Jesus said, “...two will be in the field, one will be taken and one left [and] two will be grinding in the mill, one will be taken and one left,” we’re going to be the one taken. And we can be confident that it’s going to happen because we believe that the Father chose to love us before he laid the foundation of the universe, and because we have faith that Jesus died and was raised for us almost two thousand years before we were born, and because we trust that the Holy Spirit has filled us, opening our eyes to that we can see and our minds so that we can understand and our hearts so that we can feel. You see, part of being prepared is to trust in God. And that’s possible when we decide to do it. You see, we have the power to decide that we’re going to believe that whatever we’ve done in the past has been both forgiven and cleansed. And we have the power decide that we’re going to have faith that regardless of how things may appear, the day will come when the good shepherd is going lead us through the valley of the shadow of death into a new and glorious future. And we have the power decide to trust that in spite of all the mess that comes up in life and in spite of all our failures and shortcomings, nothing, and I mean, nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. I’ll tell you, if we want to be alert, awake and prepared, first, we can simply trust God.

And second, we can also decide to love one another as best we can. And you know, maybe that’s why, when Jesus was talking about the return of the Son of Man, he used words like “awake” and “ready.” You see, he didn’t tell his people just to drift along, waiting for what’s coming. And he didn’t want them to hid out in some cave or bomb shelter until the bad stuff passed.  And he sure didn’t command them to do the kind of nonsense that some self-proclaimed “end of the world” prophets tell their followers to do, you know, like go to some mountain top and wait for the mother ship. He didn’t say anything like that. Instead, he wanted them to be active and engaged. And I think that’s what he expects from us too. And if we want to know what it is we can do, I don’t think we can find a better guide than a another passage from Matthew that described the return of Christ. Just listen: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’” I’m telling you right here and now, if we want to be ready for his return or our departure we really need to love one another. That’s the second thing we can do.

Now, do you remember the house I talked about at the beginning of the sermon, you know, the one that was all decorated on Thanksgiving evening? Well, both Coco and I would like to think that the people who live inside still have a lot to do before Christmas. Of course, that just maybe wishful thinking. But as for us, as we consider our lives right now, I hope we all understand that, whether we’re talking about return of Christ or our departure from this earth, we can best prepare ourselves by trusting God and loving one another. Now that’s something we can do. And if we do, as it comes to our future here, we’ll be a lot like the folks in the house across the street.

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for November 28, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for November 28, 2016: Today our passages are  Daniel 5:1-31; 2 Peter 2:1-22; Psalm 119:113-128; and Proverbs 28:19-20 .  The readings are from  The Messa...

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for November 27, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for November 27, 2016: Today our passages are  Daniel 4:1-37; 2 Peter 1:1-21; Psalm 119:97-112; and Proverbs 28:17-18 .  The readings are from  The Messag...

Saturday, November 26, 2016

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - Hideouts

Below is a new devotion I just left on the Cove Presbyterian Church prayer line. You can find a recording of this devotion on the prayer line (1-304-748-7900) or on the Cove Presbyterian Church Podbean page. You might also want to visit the congregational website ( for more church information.

Luke 19:45-48

Then he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there; and he said, "It is written, 'My house shall be a house of prayer'; but you have made it a den of robbers."

Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people kept looking for a way to kill him; but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were spellbound by what they heard.


Related imageWhen I was a kid, I remember watching old westerns on Saturday morning. And although the actors differed from movie to movie, the blot was pretty much the same, at least the ones that didn’t involve Indians. You see, some guys in black hats were doing what guys in black hats tend to do. I mean, they were rustling cattle or harassing the young woman who’d just inherited the ranch or terrorizing simple town folk. And because this was their thing, they were opposed by a man wearing a white hat who was determined to bring them to justice. But before he could do that, because they were polecats, they always had a hideout somewhere out in the brush, maybe hidden in a canyon or secure amid the rocks. And it was in this hideout where these thieves and robbers planned their next crime.

And I’ll tell you, when Jesus talked about how people like the chief priests and scribes and leaders of the people, how they’d turned the Temple into a “den of robbers,” I think this was exactly what he had in mind. You see, they’d turned the Temple into a hideout, secure and protected from the people they were suppose to serve, plotting to make the lives of simple folk more difficult while enhancing their own. The Temple was their center of secret operations. And as we hide behind stained glass and keep the problems of the outside world away while trying to figure out how we might better serve ourselves, I think this image hits pretty close to home. You see, whether you’re talking about the Temple or the church, the house of God should never be a hideout.

Weir Key Clubbers attend rally

Weir High School Key Club members, including First District Lt. Gov. Abby Wallace, Class Representative Devin Price and freshman members Peri Dimitriou, Autumn Duckworth and Maggie Rudiger represented Weir High at the West Virginia Key Club's 2016 Fall Rally Nov. 11-13.

The rally is an informal two-day convention for Key Clubbers where members can network, get service hours and enjoy themselves.

"The environment (at Fall Rally) was really warm and welcoming," Duckworth said. "They all made you feel like you belonged there. You were never excluded, and I was smiling the whole night. The groups we were put in made us do a lot of teamwork, which is really what Key Club is all about At one point in the night, our group leaders set us on an impossible task, literally. If you gave up, you had to raise your hand and ask for help. That's how you did it - the entire exercise was to show you that sometimes you have to ask for help and you can't do everything alone."

When asked if she would return, Duckworth said, "Fall Rally is something I definitely look forward to for next year, and it's really made me want to attend the other conventions. I made new friends and I got to learn so much about them in the little time we had together. I couldn't have had a better weekend."

Dimitriou described her experience with similar enthusiasm, stating, "I am so thankful I had the opportunity to go, because I made forever memories and friends from all over West Virginia. While there, we participated in team bonding game 'Olympics,' performed creative skits (and) dance all night."

The most impacting experience was hearing ho other Key Clubbers had impacted their own communities, she said.

"I was so touched by what I heard and really realized the full potential I have to help others which is something we, as Key Clubbers, strive to do whenever we can," Dimitriou said. "I hope in the future more Key Clubbers consider taking the time to experience Fall Rally, because it was truly worthwhile and I am so grateful I was able to attend. Whether you impact your entire community or one person, the difference we make is just as significant."

"We were all so excited," Price said. "It was really fun, and we hope you all go to (District Convention). We are!" He added, laughing, "Make sure you vote Devin Price for lieutenant governor."

"It's lit," current Lt. Gov. Abby Wallace said "I'm excited for DCON next, and ICON. I don think anyone from our district has gone in a few years, and I hope to change that this year."

Friday, November 25, 2016

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

On Sunday, November 27, Cove Presbyterian Church will lift to God the following needs.

Amy Slisik
Audrey Vincent
Betty Michael
Bruce Mader
Carol Baker
Chad Pepper
Chad Wilson
Cindy Kuzel
Darcy Keffer
David Johns
Debbie Zuccaro
Debi Edge
Emery Edwards
Gen Meyer
Greta Billham
Jan Jackson
Jim & Shelley Pearson
Jim Neil
Joanie Lawrence
Josh and Dee
Karen Lombardi
Kay Hyde
Kevin Kuzel
Linda Spencer
Marcia Cooper
Marge Oslett
Matthew Kirtley
Michael Shade
Mike Churchman
Minnie Pazich
Patricia Cox
Phyllis Manley
Randal Kane
Richard Ballard
Rocco Zuccaro
Ronnie Buffington
Sally Robinson
Sandra Duckworth
Sharon Wheeler
Shirley Everhart Kirtley
Stacy Jo Vogel
Susie Hawkins
Twinkle Smith
Vicki Williams
Wayne Channing

Elijah Parker
Jameson Criss
Jeffrey Konovich
Jonathan Marte
Lily Ghrist
Meadow Abbett
Michael Liptak
Mitch Almason
Wyatt Smith

Isaac Stephens
Jason Kerr
Jonathan Criss
Justin Schmalstieg
Kara Criss
Michael Criss

Bereaved Families
The Family of Kevin Marker
The Family of Goldie Baly

Church Families
Shirley Kurenski
Jim & Carolyn Longacre
Laura Lewis

Local Church
St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church

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

Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery Congregations 
Calvary Presbyterian Church, Salineville, Ohio – CRE Paul Todd
First Presbyterian Church, Scio, Ohio – Rev. John Visser

Also Remember in Your Prayers
Alice & Kenny Orr – Weirton Geriatric Center, 2525 Pennsylvania Ave., Weirton, WV  26062
Carl Hamill – Serra Manor, Apt. 11, 205 Serra Manor, Weirton, WV  26062
Dolores Edwards – Wyngate, 100 Wyngate Dr., Weirton, WV  26062
Harry Hutch – Villa Vista, Room 406, 1800 Sinclair Ave., Steubenville, OH  43953
June Virtue – Grace Cottage, 195 Eden Dr., Weirton, WV  26062-3664
Theresa Skiles – Weirton Geriatric Center, 2525 Pennsylvania Ave., Weirton, WV  26062
Ruth Ann Oestering – Woodland Hills, 608 North 10th St., Weirton, WV  26062

What's Happening at Cove Presbyterian Church?

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

“The word is derived from a Latin root which means ‘coming’ or ‘arrival’, and the season was developed in the Western church as a preparation of the festival of the nativity. ...Advent has come to mark preparation for the coming of Christ in a double manner, first in his incarnation as the babe of Bethlehem, which is obvious, and in second coming at the end of time, which is perhaps less so. Modern observance of Advent tends to be overshadowed by the all but universal anticipation of Christmas, necessary in scholastic institutions, unfortunate if perhaps inevitable elsewhere

the Rev. Rudiger pours water into the baptismal font even though we might not have a baptism on that particular Sunday. Here’s the reason. Since baptism is one of the pillars of our identity as Christians, this is a reminder that we’re united as members of the Body of Christ. It represents a gift given to us by God, one that we can’t earn and don’t deserve. As we move forward as a congregation, it’s important to remember and to celebrate the sacrament that unites us. And since Jesus said that part of making disciples of all nation involves baptizing them, it’s also a reminder of the mission we’ve been given.

play during the service.

in a special way. Many of the prayers and responses will be sung to Christmas carols.

to the families who’ve recently lost loved ones.
For Pat and Beth Patsch and the Marker Family on the passing of Kevin Marker on November 14.
For Michael, Melaine and the entire Baly family on the passing of Goldie on November 17.

all our children and young people. This Sunday School experience offers them the opportunity to learn the Bible story and apply that story to their lives. “Jesus Time” meets at 11:00 a.m. and runs until the end of the Worship Service. If you have children and teens, ask one of the greeters to direct you to the children’s location.

immediately after the service to elect officers for the next year.

after the congregational meeting, and they could use your help. Please stay and get our church ready for Christmas.

will meet on Tuesday, November 29, at 6:30 p.m. to continue a series entitled “On the Road Again: A Study of Luke/Acts.”  During this session, we’ll look at Luke 8:22 – 9:50.

will practice on Saturday, at 11:00 a.m.

Sundays, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. They’ll rehearse in the choir room each Sunday from 9:30 to 10:30.

The Board of Deacons will meet on Monday, December 5 at 6:30 p.m.
The Session will meet on Sunday, December 11 at 9:00 a.m. in the boardroom.
The Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, December 12 at 6:30 p.m. in the boardroom.

will hold the final meeting of the year on Tuesday December 6, at 12:15. A catered meal will be served at 12:30.  The cost is $10.00 and reservations are a MUST.  The telephone committee will be calling to secure reservations. Eloise Evans & Karen Edwards will host.  Enid Williams will lead the devotions.  The program is titled "Christmas Everywhere"  and is a program of Christmas music, presented by Enid Williams and Bonnie Nichols. The Children's Christmas stockings for the Salvation Army will be dedicated. Installation of officers for the New Year will be held. All ladies are welcome but reservations are a MUST.

and will be held on Sunday, December 11 at 12:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. The meal will be provided. We ask that you please bring a desert to share & your place settings. There will be a surprise visitor for the “little ones”.

In the narthex, there’s a plate where you’re invited to leave any pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters you might have rattling around in your pocket or purse.

We have something which might interest you. It is “A Writing Fiesta for the Young and Young at Heart.” We are looking for stories which focus on Giving the Gift of Peace at Christmas. This is sponsored by the UOVP Peacemaking Subcommittee. The stories can be non-fiction or fiction. Word limit—500. Prizes will be given. All authors who submit stories give permission to the Peacemaking Committee to have their stories published on our new, soon to be launched, peacemaking website. We encourage persons of any age to submit your story by e-mail to These can be stories which actually happened or made up stories. Please bear in the mind the focus—Giving the Gift of Peace at Christmas. Questions? Contact

on #GivingTuesday, November 29, 2016. We invite you to join fellow Presbyterians in the fifth annual #GivingTuesday on Nov. 29 and support Presbyterian mission and ministry worldwide. The Foundation has partnered with the Presbyterian Mission Agency to support this special day when the world comes together to celebrate generosity and give more, give smarter and give great. With most giving done online and religious organizations receiving 40 percent of all donations on #GivingTuesday, the Presbyterian Mission Exchange makes it safe and easy to give to your congregation and all of your favorite Presbyterian ministries in one place. #GivingTuesday is about ordinary people coming together to do extraordinary things.

will be presented at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1443 Belleview Blvd., Steubenville, Friday, December 16, at 7:00 pm.

Advent Devotional is available online. The Seminary is pleased to offer once again its Advent devotional beginning Nov. 27. This free online resource provides a devotional for each day of Advent based on the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s daily lectionary. The devotionals are written by the PTS community and are available in two formats—written text and audio files—and can be accessed in various ways: Read online or print and share. or Receive daily e-mails. Enter your information and select “Devotionals (Advent & Lent).” Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Download our free Android or Apple app. Visit the store and search for "Devotions - Advent & Lent." Request your printed copy. Call 412-362-5610 or e-mail

are on the table in the narthex.

will be available after the service to hear your suggestions and concerns.

their time and special gifts to the church. In particular, we thank the following:
We thank Ray Seifert for directing our choir, Sue Willson for directing the bells, and Peggy Baldt for running our sound system during the service.
We thank Dean Allen, Rick Baldt and T.J. Smith for the repairs they’ve done around the church.
We thank Chris Connell, Debbie Seifert and Diana Durst for volunteering to chaperone the scouts.
We thank Chris Pierce to donating and presenting a wreath at Friday’s Community Veterans Day service.
Wendy Cutright and Ray Seifert for all the Weir High material that we used to decorate the Fellowship Hall for the dinner theater.
Heather Campbell, Peggy Baldt, Debbie Rudiger, and some of the school-age children from The Academy for helping setup and distribute our Thanksgiving baskets.
The Girl Scouts who meet in the church for their generous gift basket and $100 cash.
Finally, we thank the city for cutting down that tree that was clogging the strainer in air conditioner.

who received a disguised on their state tests:
Elizabeth Flesher
Melia Palavis
Abby Dowler
Bobby Shuble
Ella Dietz
Maggie Rudiger
Oliva Dowler
Spencer Vida
They were recognized at a special ceremony at the Weir High School on Wednesday, November 16.

we need volunteers for Wednesday evenings to chaperone the Cub Scouts. If you’re available, please tell the pastor or call the church office.

are available for Project Christmas Smile children  on the tree in the narthex.  We ask that you please consider taking an ornament from the tree to give a deserving child a “Special Christmas.”  If you have any questions contact a Deacon member or the church office. Wrapped gifts are to be returned to the church by Monday, November 30.  We thank you in advance for your generosity.

is quickly approaching: October 15 through December 7. This is an excellent time to review your Medicare supplemental coverage, especially your prescription drug coverage. Your Church Secretary is also a licensed insurance agent who specializes in Senior Insurance Products.  Contact Heather (304-374-0778) to set up a confidential coverage review.  All information is HIPPA protected.

we’ll have the opportunity to order some of the best pepperoni rolls in the Ohio Valley for the incredible price of $2.00/roll . Starting next week, we’ll be able to take your order, so think about how many you might want. And all proceeds will go to our youth. This is the last week, so place your orders today.

is available on the back of the bulletin.

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 and iTunes (search Cove Presbyterian). You can also read the devotion at

by go on the link you can find in our daily e-mails and on our website ( and all our blog. We can also help you set up a PayPal account, if you don’t already have one.

regularly. If you wish to add someone, contact the church office.

your enrollment is valid for 12 months from the registration date. You will need your Kroger rewards card number. To confirm that your registration is still active or to re-register you can contact Kroger customer service at this number: 1-866-221-4141. If you need to re-register all you'll need is your Kroger Card number and  our Cove Church number which is 80270. All that is required is that you go to; Community; Rewards; Enroll Now; type in Cove and hit search; click on Cove Presbyterian; click on Enroll Now. Please check your receipt the next time you shop, the bottom should read You requested Kroger to donate to Cove Presbyterian Church. If you need help with this process just call the church office, and Heather Campbell will be happy to assist you.

you get the same products and service we expect from Amazon except the Church gets .5% of every qualifying purchase. The Amazon Smile registration for first time users is You only have to register once then go to to place orders.

that you can check out for information and on which you can leave comments. They’re listed below:
The Cove Community - This is for the whole church. I’ll post sermons and announcements.
Cove Kids - This is tailored for the 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.
Bible Talk - We’ve established this blog to give pastors and lay people the chance to discuss Scripture. The weekly passages are from the Common Lectionary.
The Bible in a Year - Each day, we’ll post passages so that you can read the Bible in one year.
Growing in Grace - 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 posted on our PodBean page (covepresbyterian).

so that some of homebound members are able to attend our worship services, please tell the pastor or another member of session.

the Cove PodBean page and iTunes (search Cove Presbyterian).

“like” us on Facebook (Cove Presbyterian Church) or join our Facebook group (The Cove Community). You can also connect with Pastor Rudiger on Instagram (rev_ed).

f you know of someone who is in the hospital please contact the church office, due to privacy laws the hospital is unable to contact us. 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 the Sunday Bulletin contact the church office.

drop it in the purple container at the back door so that it can be recycled.

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.  Telephone the church office to place your order. After the service, we’ll place the flowers in a vase for you to take.

Campbell’s Labels are being collected by the Presbyterian Women for the Weirton Christian Cent er.  The labels including the bar code or just the bar code can be dropped off in the container located in the hallway downstairs.
Greeting Cards are being collected by the Myrtle McHendry Class. Please drop off your used Greeting Cards or just the front of the card in the box located in the main hallway downstairs. No envelopes -please. 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 by the Presbyterian Women for the Ronald McDonald House in Morgantown, West Virginia. Deposit your tabs in the container located in the hallway downstairs.