Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - The Life of a Cicada

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. 

If you find this devotion meaningful, please consider supporting this ministry by sending an offering to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal. And no contribution is too small.


Ecclesiastes 2:16-26

For there is no enduring remembrance of the wise or of fools, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How can the wise die just like fools? So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me; for all is vanity and a chasing after wind.

I hated all my toil in which I had toiled under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to those who come after me – and who knows whether they will be wise or foolish? Yet they will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity. So I turned and gave my heart up to despair concerning all the toil of my labors under the sun, because sometimes one who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave all to be enjoyed by another who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. What do mortals get from all the toil and strain with which they toil under the sun? For all their days are full of pain, and their work is a vexation; even at night their minds do not rest. This also is vanity.

There is nothing better for mortals than to eat and drink, and find enjoyment in their toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God; for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? For to the one who pleases him God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy; but to the sinner he gives the work of gathering and heaping, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind.

The Life of a Cicada

Right now, we’re at the end of seventeen year cicada life-cycle. And I’ll tell you, it’s really neat. You see, after the baby cicadas hatch, what’s called the nymphs, they drop to the ground and borrow up to eight feet down in the dirt. And for seventeen years, they live down there, feeding on the sap from tree roots. And then, after waiting so long, they emerge, shed their exoskeletons one last time, and then they mate, lay eggs which hatch, and the process continues. Of course that happens if they’re lucky. If they’re not, they get eaten by a bird or a snake or a squirrel. Or maybe they get stepped on, intentionally by a kid with some latent homicidal tendencies or accidentally by a guy who just wants to pull out of his driveway. But regardless of the motivation, the result is the same, another cicada has joined the choir triumphant and gone to meet his maker. Put another way, after seventeen years, there’s a rush of freedom and then splat.

And as the writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us, there are times when we wonder if our lives have as much meaning as a cicada. I mean, we think and study and learn, but then splat, we die just like the fools. And we work hard our entire lives to leave a small legacy for our families, and then splat, they spend it all on lottery tickets. In other words, often it seems as though all our efforts are no better than chasing the wind. And even though I believe feeling this kind of frustration is just part of being human and not a cicada, I think it’s important to remember that there’s a God who stands above the apparent emptiness of life, and not only does he secure our future, if we look to him for direction, he gives meaning to the present.

Celebrating the Retirement of Janice Torrance

On Sunday, May 29, immediately after the worship service, Cove Presbyterian Church Choir bid farewell to our retiring choir director/organist with a surprise reception for Janice Torrance. The congregation presented her with lovely long stemmed red roses, and the choir gave her a beautiful bracelet, engraved hour glass, and a gift of money. Master of Ceremonies Tim Connell sang his gorgeous "Angels Among Us" and the choir sang a tribute "I Have Felt the Touch." It was such a wonderful party for a wonderful lady!!

Below are some pictures from the event. You can find a podcast of the program on Cove's Podbean page.






















Sunday's Sermon – Us and Them

Below is a copy of the sermon I preached on Sunday, May 29, in Two Ridges Presbyterian Church, Wintersville, Ohio and Cove Presbyterian Church, Weirton, West Virginia. You can also find a podcast of this sermon on the Cove Podbean page. 

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.



1 Kings 8:22-23, 41-43

Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands to heaven. He said, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and steadfast love for your servants who walk before you with all their heart... 

“Likewise when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a distant land because of your name—for they shall hear of your great name, your mighty hand, and your outstretched arm—when a foreigner comes and prays toward this house, then hear in heaven your dwelling place, and do according to all that the foreigner calls to you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and so that they may know that your name has been invoked on this house that I have built.

Us and Them

Of course, I think everybody here knows that tomorrow is Memorial Day. And even though, as I said in an essay I wrote on Friday and sent out to the people on Cove’s e-mailing list, it’s kind of drifted away from it’s original intent, I also think most of us know the reason for the day. I mean, I know some folks talk about the last Monday in May as the unofficial bringing of summer, with all that entails, while some others see it as kind of a blending of July Fourth and Veterans Day, and that’s exactly how it’s celebrated. Still, Memorial Day has a meaning and an importance that’s deeper and more significant than identifying the time to open the pool and break out the white shoes or to sing “God Bless America” and to recognize men and women who’ve served and are serving in the armed forces. I believe we have other days we can do all that kind of stuff. But Memorial Day is different, because it gives us the opportunity as a country to commemorate and to honor those who’ve given their lives in service to the United States. And for that reason, tomorrow would seem to be day for prayer and reflection rather than parties and rallies. I remember, when I was in my first church out in the little town of Fairview, on Memorial Day the whole community gathered in the local cemetery for a worship service. And frankly, that’s something I’ve missed in the nearly twenty-five since I left eastern Montana. Because, for what it’s worth, in my opinion, I think that’s what Memorial Day should be all about.


But you know, even if we’re able to shift our focus to those who died in conflict, sometimes I think we’re a little off about the reason they died. But before I say anything else, let me be clear, I’m not really talking about the Saving Private Ryan image, where guys are fighting and dying not for geopolitical ideas but rather for the guy standing next to them. Now that may be true, but having never been in combat, I really don’t know. But I’m not talking about that anyway, instead I’m talking about the reason we, as a country, became involved in the conflict in the first place. You see, even though we might say that they died for us, you know, so we could be free, more often than not, they actually died for others. I mean, the last time a war was waged by a foreign power in one of the united states was in 1846 when Mexican troops crossed the Rio Grande into a disputed part of Texas, territory that both sides claimed. And even though national interests were always involved, excluding the American Civil War, every armed conflict since then, whether it was called a war, a police action or something else, they’ve all taken place somewhere else. 


Which meant our service men and women who died, they did two things. First, they went outside the United States, almost always overseas. Man, they went to Cuba and to the Philippines and to France. And they went to North Africa and to western Europe and to the South Pacific. And they went to Korea and Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. They left their homes, and they went to where they were needed. That’s one thing they did. And second, in that foreign land, they sacrificed themselves for others. They gave their lives for people who spoke a different language and often worshiped a different god. Good night, they died for folks they didn’t even know. And even if we say they died for their country, the results of their sacrifice were first felt by people on the other side of the world. And I’ll tell you, I think that’s important for us to remember, especially tomorrow on Memorial Day. They went to where they were needed and sacrificed for others.


And you know, this focus on others, I think something very similar is going on in the passage we just read, and I’m talking about when Solomon dedicated the Temple. Now, I’ve got to admit, this is kind of surprising, because I think most of us see the Jews as a people with a pretty strong sense of who was on the inside and who wasn’t. I mean, even the word we translate “gentile” and that we use to indicate folks who weren’t Jewish, that word in Greek is ἐθνός and it can also be translated “nation.” You see, in the Bible, when the Jews talked about the Gentile, they were actually referring to the nations, all the nations. In other words, for them, there were Jews and then everyone else. And the Jews, not the Greeks or the Romans or the Egyptians, but the Jews and only the Jews were God’s people. Why? That’s simple, because they were Jews, dah. Now that’s how they saw themselves. 

And yet, in this passage, where a Jewish king was dedicating the Jewish Temple, Solomon talked not just about his own people, but also about foreigners. He said, “Likewise when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a distant land because of your name—for they shall hear of your great name, your mighty hand, and your outstretched arm—when a foreigner comes and prays toward this house, then hear in heaven your dwelling place, and do according to all that the foreigner calls to you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and so that they may know that your name has been invoked on this house that I have built.” Now personally I find this amazing. 


You see, in his words, Solomon was saying two things that really challenged his people to shift how they saw themselves and others. I mean, first, he was telling them to be faithful, to trust that not only was God free from their assumptions and opinions, but that he was actively exercising his freedom by doing things beyond the limits of their expectations. Man, he was moving within the nations, and he was leading foreigners to himself and to his Temple. That’s one. And second, because of that, the people needed to be open, and I’m talking about open to men and women who spoke in different languages and who came from different backgrounds and who had worshiped radically different gods. You see, when they started to come so that they could pray “...toward this house,” his house, his people, the Jews needed to be ready to follow Solomon’s example and actually pray for the stranger, according to the passage, that God “...do according to all that the foreigner calls to you.” And the reason: so that those guys from Greece or Rome or Egypt would know that the glory of God extends beyond a race or a language or a place. Man, it encompasses the entire world. You see, just like those service men and women we remember tomorrow went to and sacrificed for others, when he dedicated God’s Temple in Jerusalem, Solomon told the people to do something very similar, to be faithful with respect to God and to be open to the foreigner, to the stranger, to other.


And I’ll tell you, I think both these situations offer a fantastic lesson for all of us here this morning. I mean, let’s get real, often as a country we act a lot like those ancient Jews. Sometimes I think we sound as though there are Americans and then everybody else, you know, the ἐθνόι, the nations, the gentiles. And often we carry that same view inside our faith. We get the idea that Christianity is really about us; it’s about our thoughts and values and opinions, even our prejudices. And then we assume that the church is really for us; it’s for people who like what we like and who want to worship the way we worship and who want to serve God in the way we think God should be served. And if they don’t, then they’re probably not going to feel comfortable with us until they do. Am I right? I’ll tell you, I think it’s really easy for this idea to creep into the Christian faith and take root within the church and the hearts of believers.

But, brothers and sisters, it doesn’t have to. Instead, we can choose to follow the examples of those men and women who died fighting in foreign lands and the words of King Solomon when he challenged his people to change the way they saw the foreigner. And let me tell you exactly what I’m talking about. 


Like those who died in places that we can’t even pronounce, we can also do two things. I mean, we can certainly decide that we’re going to go out to where the people actually are, because it’s out there where the needs actually exist. But I recognize that’s not as easy as it sounds. For example, one of the reasons telling people to invite their non-Christian friends to church generally doesn’t work is that most Christians really don’t have a lot of non-Christian friends. Christians tend to hang with other Christians; that’s just the way it is. And even though it would be great if we could all step away from our comfort zones and make all kinds of new friends, we’re probably not going to do it. But I’ll tell you, there are other ways we can show people out in the world who we are and what we believe, things as simple as walking away when a conversation has crossed the line into an area that makes us uncomfortable or having a Bible that we actually read sitting on our desk at work. And I haven’t even mentioned all the stuff we can do through Facebook and Twitter and other forms of social media. Man, we can even help and support those who feel called to reach out. Going out, like our service people, that’s one thing we can do. 

And like them, we can also be willing to sacrifice ourselves for their sakes, for the sake of others. Now I acknowledge that we’ll probably not going to be willing to die for them, although Jesus did say, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” But even if we’re not going to lay down our lives, we can give some of our time to folks who are feel isolated and alone. And we can offer some of our talent to someone who’s struggling to do something we just happen to do really well. And frankly, we can contribute some of our money to our congregation so it can do what God has called it to do right here in Weirton, West Virginia. You see, just like those service people who didn’t come home, as Christians, we can go to where we’re needed and we can sacrifice for others. 


And to show that we’ve really heard what Solomon said, we can also decide to respond to the two challenges he laid out. For example, we can sure be faithful as we look toward God, trusting that the Psalmist was absolutely right when he said, “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us.” Or as Paul wrote to the Romans, “O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?’ ‘Or who has given a gift to him, to receive a gift in return?’ For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.” You see, right now, we can believe that God is doing things that we’ll never understand and doing it through people we often ignore and overlook. In spite of what we think, we can be faithful to God; that’s one. 

And then we can open ourselves to this new thing that God is doing. And we can prepare ourselves to welcome those whom God is right now leading to Jesus Christ through his Holy Spirit. And we can get ready to talk and to listen, to teach and to learn, but above all else to praise him together. And that’s two. I’m telling you, just like Solomon challenged his people, we can be both faithful and open.

And if we decide to take up this opportunity and challenge, wouldn’t tomorrow be a perfect day to start doing it? I mean, on this special, almost holy day, when we remember those who’ve died in conflict, we can claim their example by going out and sacrificing. And hearing the words of Solomon, we can trust in God and become open to his movement. And you know, if this is something we decide to do, as we live in a world where the walls between us and them are often immovable and insurmountable, within Christ’s Body, man, there’ll be only us. 

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for May 31, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for May 31, 2016: Today our passages are 2 Samuel 17:1-29; John 19:3-42; Psalm 119:129-152; and Proverbs 16:12-13. The readings are from  The Messa...

Monday, May 30, 2016

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

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for May 30, 2016: Today our passages are 2 Samuel 13:1-39; John 17:1-26; Psalm 119:81-96; and Proverbs 16:6-7. The readings are from  The Message  ...

Sunday, May 29, 2016

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

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for May 28, 2016: Today our passages are 2 Samuel 13:1-39; John 17:1-26; Psalm 119:81-96; and Proverbs 16:6-7. The readings are from  The Message  ...

Saturday, May 28, 2016

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - The Problem with Money

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. 

If you find this devotion meaningful, please consider supporting this ministry by sending an offering to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal. And no contribution is too small.


1 Timothy 6:6-16

Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.

But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will bring about at the right time-he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

The Problem with Money

I remember, some time years ago, I was having a discussion about this passage with a friend of mine, a man who was fairly successful in business and who believed that you could use personally wealth to determine many traits about a person, you know like work ethic and common sense and even spirituality. And as I recall, he said something like, “See, Paul never said money was evil. He just said that the love of money was the root of all evil.” And of course, when he said it, I recognized that he was right, which I’m sure reenforced everything he believed about the value of money to determine character.

And over the years, I still believe he was right, at least in what he said about this verse. You see, I believe money is actually morally neutral. By it’s nature, it’s neither good nor bad. Rather, morality enters the picture when you consider both how it’s used and what it might cause people to do. And it’s this latter issue that I think concerns Paul here. You see, money or maybe better, the desire to possess more of it than we’ll ever need, well, that can really distract us from living the kind of life we’ve been called to live. I mean, if acquisition of wealth is my motivation, it might lead me to make compromises when it comes to things like righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. And for that reason, even though it’s not evil in and of itself, money can become a distraction, and if it does, then, at least for us, money has become a real problem.

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

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for May 28, 2016: Today our passages are 2 Samuel 13:1-39; John 17:1-26; Psalm 119:81-96; and Proverbs 16:6-7. The readings are from  The Message  ...

Friday, May 27, 2016

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

On Sunday, May 29, Cove Presbyterian Church will lift to God the following needs.

Adults
Amy Slisik
Audrey Vincent
Betty Michael
Bill Manley
Bruce Mader
Carol Baker
Chad Wilson
Cindy Kuzel
Darcy Keffer
David Craig
David Johns
Debi Edge
Deloris Chesebro
Diane Roney
Edward Morgan III
Emery Edwards
Evan Pulice
Gen Meyer
Georgette Gordon
Goldie Baly
Greta Billham
Jan Jackson
Jeff Grant
Jim & Shelley Pearson
Joanie Lawrence
Jody Johnson
John Guglielmo
John Schlotter
Karen Edwards
Karen Lombardi
Kathryn Heilman
Katy Allen
Kevin Kuzel
Marcia Cooper
Marge Oslett
Mary Kay McSwords
Matthew Kirtley
Michael Shade
Mike Churchman
Nick Mourat
Olivia Shelton
Patricia Cox
Peggy Stewart
Penny Mourat
Rob Pepper
Rob Roy Jones
Ronnie Buffington
Sandra Duckworth
Sharon Wheeler
Shirley Everhart Kirtley
Stacy Jo Vogel
The People of Dancan's Village
Vicki Williams

Children
Aksel Ace
Audri King
Devon Bragg
Elijah Parker
Jeffrey Konovich
Jonathan Marte
Lily Ghrist
Mitch Almason

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

Church Families
Michael Weaver
Pam, Kelsey & Rachel Weaver
Doug, Sue, Steven & Summer Wesie

Local Church
New Life Worship Center

Special Friend
Eleanor Deuley – Brightwood Center, 840 Lee Road, Follansbee, WV  26037

Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery Congregations 
Stewardship Committee – Jim Cochran, Chairperson
Training and Development Committee – Rev. Dr. Steve Cramer

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 SEASON AFTER PENTECOST
“We have seen…that the half of the year following Pentecost is different in character from the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany and Lent, Holy Week, Easter.  Whether it is called ‘ordinary time,’ or ‘Season After Pentecost,’ or ‘Kingdomtide,’ each Sunday stands on its own as the Lord’s Day and should be considered in the light of The Scriptures to be read that day.  …The Season After Pentecost is just that; it is not the Pentecost Season…” (Handbook of the Christian Year, p. 241)  Green, the color of abiding life, of peace, nourishment, rest and constancy, is the traditional color for this time of year.

WITH MUCH SADNESS, WE SAY GOOD-BYE TO JANICE TORRANCE . . .
who’s retiring as our organist and choir director after nine years of service to our congregation. Her contribution to our worship service has been immeasurable. We’ve been truly blessed to have her use her God-given talent with and for us. Fortunately, we’re not losing her as a member of our church family.

WE’RE LAUNCHING A NEW WEBSITE . . .
The address is covepresbyterian.org. Now it’s still under construction, but we want to hear what you think. Please visit the site and give us any suggestions you might have. Establishing a website for those in our area looking for a church home was part of our Action Plan.

CHANCEL CHOIR PRACTICE  . . .
is being held in the sanctuary on Sunday mornings beginning at 9:30 a.m.  Everyone wishing to praise our Lord thru song is welcome to join us!

DON’T FORGET SUNDAY SCHOOL  . . . 
we meet every Sunday morning at 9:45 a.m.

“JESUS TIME” IS SPECIAL TIME FOR . . .
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 nursery, for younger children, or the library, for young people.

OUR TUESDAY EVENING STUDY . . .
will  meet on Tuesday, May 31, at 6:30 p.m. to continue our study of Genesis. During this session, we’ll discuss the stories of Isaac and Rebekah. in Genesis 24:1 – 25:18.

THE BLING BLING LADY IS COMING . . . 
to Cove Presbyterian Church, on Saturday, June 4, from 11:00 am. to 1:00 pm. with designer inspired purses, wallets, jewelry, clothing, belts, shoes, and much more. Look for her bus for the very best fashions on the go!

ENDOWMENT SCHOLARSHIPS. . .
will be awarded during our next worship service, June 5. During that same service, we’ll also recognize those in our congregation who have graduated.

RULING ELDER ROCKY CAMPBELL . . .
will be available after the service to hear your suggestions and concerns.

WE APPRECIATE BURNIE AND NOAH HUEY . . .
who are volunteering their time to care of our grounds, but they could use some help. If you’re will to volunteer, give Burnie a call, 304-224-0507.

WE WANT TO THANK CHRIS ROSNICK . . .
and The Children’s Academy staff for making the flower bed near their entrance so attractive.

CONGRATULATIONS TO DEBI SMITH . . .
on the publication of her second children’s book, “Alfred the Alligator Loses a Tooth.”

PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN OF COVE CHURCH . . .
are collecting cleaning & party supplies that we will deliver to the “Shack” in Morgantown, W.V. by the end of May.  Please put your donations in the box located in the downstairs hallway.

EVERYBODY INTERESTED IN JOINING A NEW BELL CHOIR . . .
either call Sue Willson (304-748-5338) or talk to any member of session.

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 ARE UPDATING OUR PRAYER CHAIN . . . 
regularly. If you wish to add someone, contact the church office.

IF YOU’RE IN THE KROGERS COMMUNITY REWARDS PROGRAM . . .
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 Kroger.com; 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.

WE NOW HAVE FIVE BLOGS . . . 
that you can check out for information and on which you can leave comments. They’re listed below:
The Cove Community (www.thecovecommunity.blogspot.com) - This is for the whole church. I’ll post sermons and announcements.
Cove Kids (www.covekids.blogspot.com) - 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 (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.
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.
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).

ATTENTION HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS: 
Information and an application for the Russell Scholarship can be found on our website, www.uovpresby.org. Deadline for applications is MAY 27, 2016. If you have questions concerning the application, please call Cindy Foster 740-359-2750. Online applications will not be considered.

GREETERS NEEDED . . . 
if you would like to serve as a greeter before a Sunday morning worship service, please contact the church office.

IF YOU’RE ABLE AND WILLING TO PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION . . .
so that some of homebound members are able to attend our worship services, please tell the pastor or another member of session.

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

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 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.

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

ONGOING MISSION PROJECTS . . . 
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 main  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.

Cove's Bulletin for Sunday, May 29, 2016

Below is a copy of our Sunday bulletin. As you may be able to tell by the cover, this will be a Memorial Day-themed service. The title of the sermon is “Us and Them”, and we’ll look at how we can follow the example of many who’ve died in conflict for people they barely knew and sacrifice ourselves for others.









Friday's Essay - Restoring Memorial Day

Below is an essay that I sent to those on the Cove Presbyterian Church e-mailing list. You can hear a podcast of this message by going to the Cove Presbyterian Podbean page. 
If you find this essay helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal.
In a few days, we’re going to celebrate Memorial Day, one of those civic holidays we remember each year here in the United States. But it seems to me that when you compare it with all the others, you know, like Labor Day and President’s Day and Thanksgiving, how we see this day has drifted farther from it’s roots and original focus than any of the others.

I mean, it seems that Memorial Day has acquired two very different meanings, at least if you considered how it’s generally celebrated. For example, on one hand, it marks the unofficial beginning of summer. I heard someone mention that on the radio just yesterday. You see, Memorial Day marks the time when schools wind to a close, when backyard pools are opened, and when women are free to break out their white shoes. On one hand, Summer begins on the last Monday in May. But for others, let’s say of a more serious, patriot inclination, Memorial Day is important national holiday. Unfortunately, though, it’s not the kind of day that it was originally intended to be. You see, it’s become sort of a blend of July Fourth and Veterans Day, a time to celebrate the greatness of our nation and to recognize all those who have served and are serving in the military. For many, this what Memorial Day has become. And both these perspective shape what we do.

But as I said earlier, this is really not what Memorial Day was originally intended to be. Although it didn’t become an official, national holiday until 1971, the celebration goes back to the time right after the American Civil War, as a way to remember those who died on both sides. And after the First World War, the day was broadened to include all Americans who died in service to their country. And that fact was intended to shape how the day was to be remembered. In fact, according to federal law, “the last Monday in May is Memorial Day. The President is requested to issue each year a proclamation—calling on the people of the United States to observe Memorial Day by praying, according to their individual religious faith, for permanent peace; designating a period of time on Memorial Day during which the people may unite in prayer for a permanent peace; calling on the people of the United States to unite in prayer at that time; and calling on the media to join in observing Memorial Day and the period of prayer.” You see, Memorial Day was intended to be exactly what the name suggests, a day when people memorialize and commemorate those who have died and also to pray that, in the future, people will no longer need to make that sacrifice.

And as I remember, that’s the way we remembered the day when I was in my first church out in Montana. You see, every Memorial Day everybody in the little town of Fairview, right there on the North Dakota line, we’d gather at the community cemetery. And all the local ministers, which included me, would be there. And one would preach a sermon, usually about service and sacrifice, and the rest of us would lead the people in prayers, readings, and songs. And then after the high school band played something sober and serious, the American League and the VFW would pass out poppies, and we went out and put them on the graves of those who’d died in war. Now for us, that’s what the day was all about.

And maybe this is something that’s worth recapturing. I mean, we already have an official beginning of the summer season. And if we want something that’s unofficial, any day will suffice. And as to celebrating our nation and recognizing veterans, well, both Independence Day and Veterans Day are national holidays, and they offer perfect times to do these other two things as a country. But maybe not on Memorial Day, because maybe we need to time to seriously consider the most important cost of war. I mean, maybe we need a special day to remember those who actually sacrificed far more than time and opportunities for a cause greater than themselves. You see, maybe we need to make a sober memorial to them and to do it with dedication and faith. And even though it might not be easy and those other meanings that have become attached will probably always be entrenched, for the sake of those who’ve died, I think it may be time to restore Memorial Day.

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

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for May 27, 2016: Today our passages are 2 Samuel 12:1-31; John 16:1-33; Psalm 119:65-80; and Proverbs 16:4-5. The readings are from  The Message  ...

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

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for May 27, 2016: Today our passages are 2 Samuel 12:1-31; John 16:1-33; Psalm 119:65-80; and Proverbs 16:4-5. The readings are from  The Message  ...

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - It’s God’s Job

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. 

If you find this devotion meaningful, please consider supporting this ministry by sending an offering to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal. And no contribution is too small.

Matthew 13:24–30

He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”

It’s God’s Job

Now has this ever happened to you? Someone asks you to do a job that’s right up your alley. I mean, both you and the other person know that you are more than capable of doing the work. As a matter of fact, it actually involves something you do pretty well, and so you’re excited about getting started. But as soon as you’ve got your duck in a row and you’re ready to move forward, you find out that someone’s already finished it. And to make matters worse, they haven’t done it very well. Of course, when you ask, he says that he thought he was doing you a favor. And even though that may prevent you from blowing your stack, you still feel frustrated as you walk away because you know that you’ll probably have to redo what’s already been done. Has that kind of thing ever happened to you? Well, I can tell you; it’s happened to me.

And you know, I think it happens to God all the time, and we’re the ones doing it. You see, we believe that God is the ultimate judge of the world and that he holds our destinies in his hands. In other words, where we spend eternity is up to him. And even though that’s the way it is, for some reason, that doesn’t satisfy us. And so we develop our own standards to separate the sheep from the goats, and we apply those standards to ourselves and to others, which actually enables us to condemn those things we don’t like and spiritualize those things we do. Put another way, we step in and try to do something that only God has the power to do. And even though I don’t believe our actions will frustrate his ultimate will, it certainly changes how we see the mission of the church and the relationships we build on both sides of the stained glass. Using the image in the parable, we start pulling the weeds while also uprooting the wheat; therefore, the damage we end up doing is great. But maybe, instead of going in this direction, we’d all be better served if we recognized that, as it relates to separating livestock and wheat from weeds, that’s really God’s job.

The Sermon Preached at the Memorial Service for Bob Bowlen

Yesterday, I had the honor of leading the memorial service for Bod Bowlen. Below is a copy of the sermon I preached. If you want to hear the entire service, go to the Cove Podbean page. You can also find the obituary on the Greco-Hertnick website.

I’m about to do something I’ve only done at one other memorial service, the one I did about 3½ years ago for Jim Hanna, but I’ll tell you, I think it’s the right thing to do this evening as we remember Bob. In fact, based on some of the stuff y’all have told me about him, I think he’d have appreciated it. You see, I’m going to start my little address here with a joke, and I just wanted to warn y’all, so it wouldn’t catch you off guard or maybe better, I didn’t want to throw you a curve ball. And so, for what it’s worth, here it is. There were two friends, both of whom absolutely loved baseball. As a matter of fact, they couldn’t get enough of it. They were involved in the youth leagues, and they’d go to as many games as they could and when they couldn’t go, they watched it on television. They were text-book baseball buddies. Well, the day came when one of the friends died, and his buddy was now alone. And one evening, when he was sitting all-by-himself, there in his man cave, all of a sudden his friend appeared, sort of like a vision, right there in front of the big screen. And he looked kind of like Marley’s ghost from A Christmas Carol, but instead of chains, he was wearing a baseball uniform. And the deceased friend said, “I come from heaven and I bring you good news and bad news.” Well, after he got past the initial surprise and fear, the guy sitting on the sofa, with all kinds of excitement, said, “Please, tell me the good news.” And his ghostly friend smiled and said, “Heaven is wonderful. We play baseball all the time. And we all bat .400 and we all have an ERA under two. And we all love to practice. And we play with the all-time greats, and I’ll tell you, heaven’s team never losses. That’s the good news.”

Now I’m going to stop here for just a minute, because in a real way y’all are in the same situation as the man who was left behind in the story. Like I said at the beginning of the service, y’all are here because of Bob, a man who’ll be missed and who’ll be remembered. And you know, this afternoon I was thinking, if he could come back right now, I think he’d have good news for y’all, good news about himself and good news for us all. And since all the physical issues that kept Bob kind of quiet these last few years will be gone, you know he’s going to be champing at the bite to tell y’all what it is in great detail, regardless of when the bank closes.

You see, first, I think he’d tell y’all not to feel sad because he knows, right this minute, that his future is going to be wonderful. I mean, he’d tell y’all that all that stuff they talk about in church is right on the mark and that, right now, he’s secure in the hands of God, in his loving and merciful hands. And just like John wrote about in his Revelation, all the past weakness is past and forgotten. The strokes are ancient history, and he’s now as active as he was in his prime. And the world around him is wonderful. The outfields are green, the sun is shining, there’s mountains of bubble gum, and the young people, the kids are all excited to learn about how to throw a curve ball. And of course, he’ll tell y’all about all the people he’s met and the old friends he’s seen again, and how they all talk as much as they want, you know swapping stories (which I think y’all know would be the definition of heaven for Bob). And he’ll tell y’all he’s told them the things that are most important to him, you know like how proud he is of Bob and Brett and the men they’ve become and just how much he loves Kathy and how much you being there when he was in the home, how much that meant to him. You see, I think that’s the first little bit of good news he’d share.

But then, second, I think he’d also tell y’all that you’re going to see him again. You see, he’d remind y’all that Christ died and rose for us all. And I think he’d want y’all to know that our ultimate destinies are still in the hands of a God who couldn’t love us more than he does right now and that the Apostle Paul was right when he wrote, “Nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This he’d want us to remember. You see, I think he’d tell y’all that right now, you’re just facing a time of separation, that’s all it is, just a time of separation. And that during that time, y’all can keep his memory alive by doing two things. One, y’all can tell and retell all the stories that y’all know, particularly the funny ones. And two, y’all can incorporation some of those qualities that made him so special into your lives, and I’m talking about things like the tremendous drive and focus that enabled him to rise from a tough childhood to be a success in every sense of the word as well as the compassion and concern he had for everybody, you know, like tenants who’d fallen on hard times and needed some help. You see, he’d tell y’all to remember and claim what was best in him for yourselves. And the reason, well, he knows that Beau will be a better person if he knows who his grandfather was. I’ll tell you, if Bob were here right now, I think that’s the second piece of good news he’d past on.

Now, remember how I started this sermon with a joke. Well as y’all have probably figured out, I never got to punch line, and you know, that’s not fair. And so, here it is. After the dearly parted says, “Heaven is wonderful. We play baseball all the time, and heaven’s team never loses;” his friend replies with, “That’s great! Man, I can’t think of anything better. Now, what’s the bad news?” And his ghostly buddy says, “You’re pitching next Tuesday.” For better or for worse, there it is.

Of course, none of us have any idea when we’ll be pitching. I guess it could be next Tuesday, I just don’t know. What I do know, though, is this. Bob is in God’s hands and in his next conscious moment, not only will all his infirmities be gone, but he’ll be together with everyone whom he loved. And I also know that right now, we’re all in those same loving hands, and time will come when we’ll be reunited with our loved ones in that one great kingdom of God’s love. This I believe. And although it doesn’t make the missing any easier, it just might help us move into to the future with a little more peace and hope. And that, my friends, is no joke.

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for May 26, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for May 26, 2016: Today our passages are 2 Samuel 9:1–11:27; John 15:1-27; Psalm 119:49-64; and Proverbs 16:1-3. The readings are from  The Message ...

Sunday's Minute for Mission - Medical Benevolence Foundation

A young mother tends to her chores, as she helplessly watches her child lying listless on his mat. Without immunization, this precious life may end up a statistic. This scenario plays out every day in remote villages of developing countries around the world. It is why MBF exists—partnering with individuals and churches in the United States to build sustainable health-care systems in developing countries, proclaim the gospel and serve the most vulnerable populations.
Life-saving immunizations that we see as routine ease the weary mind of Sasha Wangui’s mother. At eight weeks old, Sasha has been given a precious gift—she has been vaccinated. Immunizations avert an estimated 2 million to 3 million deaths each year, but almost 19 million infants worldwide still miss out on basic vaccines. While the cost of vaccinating one child is only about $25, for the average Kenyan, who lives on less than $1 a day, it is out of reach.
At MBF, we believe that sustainable health-care systems are one of the most critical components for lifting communities and individuals out of the cycle of poverty. Our goal is to help our in-country church partners develop strategies and programs to build their own sustainable health-care ministries. But we also address current needs by investing in patient care programs to help our partners serve the poorest, most vulnerable in the population—children like Sasha and her mother, who have no resources and nowhere to turn.
We are grateful for the opportunity to partner in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ through healing ministries.

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Let us pray

Loving God, thank you for MBF’s work with mission hospitals that serve the most vulnerable members of society. Open doors and lead MBF into doing even greater work in your name this year. Amen.

The Happenings Around the Presbytery - May 25, 2016



Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery
907 National Road
Wheeling, WV  26003
304-232-3490

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


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PLEASE CONTINUE TO KEEP IN YOUR PRAYERS:
Marie Luckhardt
Karen Edwards
Ed & Dorothy Mooney
Leura Nancy Macon
Ronald Wolf
Kenn Sickle
Nancy Mountz
David Brocklehurst
Bob & Sue Shearer
Ed Rudiger
Mary Jane Knapp
All our service men & women
R. H. “Mac” McCuen
Carol Schoolcraft
Mary Myers
Jack Visser
Dakota Partnership
Domasi Partnership
Malawi food crisis
Hopa & Alberta Crawford
Please keep us informed of any prayer concerns you may have.
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PRAYER FOR UOVP PASTORS: Select one of these pastors and remember him/her in your prayers this week: Tyler Bayless, Frank Bohach, Mike Bongart, Royce Browder, Claudia Brown.
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THE PRESBYTERY OFFICE will be closed Monday, May 30th – Memorial Day.
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ATTENTION HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS: Applications for the Russell Scholarship (found on our website) must be postmarked by Friday, May 27, 2016, or brought in to the Presbytery Office by 4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 26.
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THE JUNE prayer requests can be found on our website under “Spotlight” or in the Calendar.
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY:
May 26  ~
Mike Lenno, PO Box 661, Dillonvale, OH 43917
May 31  ~

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FIRST PRESBYTERIAN Church, 4100 Central Ave., Shadyside, OH, invites those interested to join them in hearing about the trip their pastor, the Rev. Dave Roberts, and his Mom Sue Roberts, took to Belgium, Holland, and Berlin, with a slide show at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 5. Subjects discussed can be the Brussels bombing and the Muslim situation that contributed to it, post World War II rebuilding, and politics, and the state of the church in those countries. AND tulips, tulips, and many more tulips! Snacks from those countries will be provided.
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FAITH BASED RESPONSES TO SUBSTANCE ABUSE.Wednesday, June 8, 2016, 8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at Interact for Health Conference Center, 3805 Edwards Road, Suite 500, Kennedy Room, Cincinnati, OH 45209-1948. Cost: $10 (includes breakfast and lunch); Scholarships available (for information about scholarships, email smoon@lpts.edu). From a spiritual perspective, how do we faithfully respond to the ever-growing problem of substance abuse that affects our lives and those in our community? Sponsored by Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Interact for Health, Norwood Drug/Alcohol Abuse Coalition, the Presbyterian Pastoral Care Network and Synod of the Covenant. Get more informationRegister Now! Registration limited to 30 participants. Registration closes May 31, 2016.
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MARK YOUR CALENDAR and register now at www.poamn.org for the 2016 Joint POAMN/ARMSS Conference, “Christian Discipleship: People of the Spirit, People of Hope,” on October 11-14, 2016, at Four Points by Sheraton, Richmond, Virginia. Read more from President Michele...
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PRESBYTERIAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY Newsletter for May, 2016, control+click here.
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LOMBARD MENNONITE PEACE CENTER Continuing Education Opportunities ~ August, 2016 – May, 2017: control+click here.
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Control+click: PC(USA) General Assembly Committee 12 Preview: Peacemaking and International Issues committee explores reconciliation, connections.
Control+click: US prepares to dump 500 metric tons of peanuts on HaitiMany groups believe importing foreign foods is a root cause of poverty.
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A WORKSHOP for pastors on teenage depression and suicide will be held Tuesday, August 30, 2016, at the House of the Carpenter, 200 S. Front Street (Wheeling Island), Wheeling, WV. Registration is at 9:30 a.m. with the workshop running from 10:00 a.m. to Noon. There is no cost for the workshop. They ask that you reserve a spot by calling Mike or Michelle at the House of the Carpenter @ 304-233-4640 or by email tomlinger@houseofthecarpenter.com. The workshop will be led by the Rev. Gary Nelson who is an author, counselor, and nationally recognized speaker and authority on teenager depression and the effects that lead to suicide. National health networks recognize 20% of all teenagers suffer from depression today.
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CHECK OUT GREAT PRESBYTERIAN CURRICULA FOR FALL 2016:
https://gallery.mailchimp.com/60164bdda6e4064d943bed8b2/images/07ddd27f-4fac-4456-8b6d-0e00d4583b7f.jpgThe acclaimed Growing in Grace & Gratitude children’s curriculum kicks off year two. Follow Moses and his people as God leads them to freedom. Order a 9-month subscription for the best deal! New this year: Stories, Colors & More color resources are downloadable. Simply order the downloadable leader’s material and you receive it automatically.



https://gallery.mailchimp.com/60164bdda6e4064d943bed8b2/images/7fad4480-e760-49b8-9648-cae142f95826.jpg

Faith Questions studies for youth offer your ministry a time-tested approach to supporting youth through the searching phase of faith.



https://gallery.mailchimp.com/60164bdda6e4064d943bed8b2/images/bf1a88ae-0a30-41cd-a356-4387fc560370.jpg

Being Reformed: Faith Seeking Understanding adult studies bring renewed energy to theological discussions and promote active faithful responses. Try Charles Wiley’s study of Grace & Gratitude.


https://gallery.mailchimp.com/60164bdda6e4064d943bed8b2/images/fa3099a8-1bea-4b81-810a-e5295c4e0ddf.jpg

The Present Word offers solid Bible teaching to adults who want to engage the Scriptures faithfully. New this year: a large print Leader’s Guide! Just what so many have been asking for!


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THE FOLLOWING ITEMS HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY RUN:
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ON THE OCCASION of their 50th Wedding Anniversary, Royce and Nancy Browder cordially invite you to attend a service for the renewal of their marriage vows on Sunday, May 29th2:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 110 S. Marietta St., Saint Clairsville, OH. Refreshments following the service. The Browder’s address until June 10th: 10 Willow Road, St. Clairsville, OH 43950. After June 10: 71 Laurel Lake Drive, Franklin, NC 29734.
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TWO RIDGES PRESBYTERIAN Church, 1085 Canton Road, Wintersville, OH, invites you to The Kramers in Concert on Friday, June 10th, at 7:00 p.m. Their Evangelism Committee is hosting this national and international gospel group. Following the concert, light refreshments will be served. A love offering will be received. For more info, call 740-264-3443.
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POAMN (Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries Network) Offers Conference Scholarships. If you are attending the POAMN Conference in Richmond, October 11-14, 2016, for the first time, or attend a Small Church (defined as 500 or less in worship on average), you are eligible for partial scholarships to help defer some of the cost to attend. Applications for each scholarship are attached and can also be found atwww.poamn.orgHurry and apply, as scholarships are awarded on a first come first serve basis and are limited to 4 First Timers and 12 Small Church Scholarships.
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CRE TRAINING: A new Inter-Presbytery Leadership Formation (IPLF) team has created a new model for training CREs. The main purpose is to train those called to be a pulpit supply preacher or Commissioned Ruling Elder. However, the courses and workshops will be open to all Ruling Elders, CREs, Clerks of Session, or anyone interested in continuing education. This is a joint effort by the Presbyteries of Washington, Redstone, and Upper Ohio Valley.
THREE DIFFERENT FORMS: Courses: The CRE training cohort forming now will participate in four courses. These have face-to-face class meetings at least three times during a 15-week term, plus reading and online assignments. Workshops: Will be offered at each presbytery as ½ day events. You may attend a workshop in any presbytery. Field Education/Practicum: Courses and workshop participants will have opportunities to practice leadership skills in supervised settings.
SEVERAL DIFFERENT TOPICS: Courses: Biblical Literacy Part 1; Biblical Literacy Part 2; Reformed Theology; Reformed Worship and Sacraments. Workshops: Proclaiming the Word; Pastoral Care; Ethics and Boundaries; Evangelism; Polity; Spiritual Formation. Field Education/Practicum: Worship and Sacraments; Pastoral Care; Preaching; Church Leadership. The CRE training cohort forming now will begin in the Fall, 2016. The first workshop will be offered in Redstone Presbytery on September 10, 2016. Contact our UOVP Chair for the Commissioned Ruling Elder Committee for more info: Bob Willits sbwillits@yahoo.com.
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PITTSBURGH THEOLOGICAL Seminary Continuing Education News – May 2016: Click here.
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PRESBYTERIAN MISSION Agency New Church New Way newsletter May 2016 click here.
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Control+click: Support grows for national boycott of Wendy’s RestaurantsPresbyterian Church (U.S.A.) endorses the initiative.
Control+click: PC(USA) General Assembly Committee 8 PreviewMiddle East Issues Committee will consider divestment, two-state solution and child-detention.
Control+click: PC(USA) General Assembly Committee 9 PreviewImmigration and Environmental Issues Committee will mull fossil fuel divestment.
Control+click: PC(USA) General Assembly Committee 5 PreviewCommittee on Mid Councils considers eight overtures.
Control+click: PC(USA) General Assembly Committee 6 PreviewCommittee on Church Polity and Ordered Ministry takes up 14 overtures.
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FOR THE PRESBYTERIAN Peace & Justice May newsletter, “Helping God’s Children,” control+ click here.
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ECUMENICAL SCRIPTURE WORKSHOP, Evil: Human and Otherwise! June 20-24, at St. John XXIII Pastoral Center, Charleston, WV: click here for the brochureIt can also be found on our website under “Items of Interest.”
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HAVE ANY PHOTOS from your church event, special dinner, Sunday School or youth event (make sure it’s okay with parents) that you would like to share on our website? E-mail one to us for our website slideshow. Include what and where. Photos in landscape view work best.
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OPEN HOUSE MINISTRY is an outreach to those in need in the Wheeling area. We provide dinner, fellowship, and share a movie every Saturday night from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 1307 Chapline St., Wheeling, WV. You are cordially invited to join us! Volunteers are also always needed.
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THE NEW WILMINGTON MISSION CONFERENCE, July 23-30, 2016, meets in scenic New Wilmington, PA, just one hour north of Pittsburgh. We gather on the campus of Westminster College for a week of worship, learning, and service. Annually, more than 30 states and 30 countries are represented at this multigenerational mission conference with scholars and missionaries from around the globe. There is programming for all ages – infant through adult. You can bring the whole family. There are hands on service projects and opportunities for a select group of young adults to participate in a short-term mission scholarship experience. Visit the website www.nwmcmission.org for speakers, schedules, program details, and more information.
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