Posted on Wed, Nov 30, 2016
A Word from Our Pastor
Let me share with you a story I received years ago from the U S Navy’s Deputy Chief of Chaplains. It originally appeared in Guideposts:
Wallace was nine. Larger than most of the kids, he was also slow—slow in body and perhaps slow in mind. But the children all liked him. He was so much bigger than they, but he never bullied them. In fact, he was the everpresent defender of the smaller boys.
Wally wanted very much to be in the Christmas play that year. He hoped he could be a shepherd. But the teacher had a much larger part in mind. Wally is big enough to be the inn keeper, she reasoned. And so it was that Wallace Purling got the part of the inn keeper. He was given his part. Oh, how he practiced.
The night of the play, everything went beautifully. No one even missed a line. At last the play came to the time for Mary and Joseph to knock at the door of the inn. “What do you want?” Wallace said, opening the door with a brusque gesture.
“We seek lodging.”
“Seek it elsewhere,” Wally said, “The inn is filled.”
“But sir, we have tried elsewhere, and we have come a long journey. We are very tired.”
“Go away,” Wally properly commanded. “There is no room in my inn for you.”
“But sir, my wife is with child. Do you not have some corner where we could get out of the cold?”
For the first time the inn keeper broke his icy stare and looked at Mary. There was a long silence. The audience was tense with embarrassment because they thought Wally had forgotten his lines.
“No, begone,” the prompter whispered.
“No, begone,” Wally said, halfheartedly.
Joseph sadly placed his arm around Mary as they began to move off the stage. Suddenly, this Christmas program became different from all the others. Wally could stand it no longer. Big he was, but cruel he could never be. With big tears welling up in his eyes he gave a performance others would never forget.
“Wait, don’t go Joseph!” Wallace called. “Bring Mary back.” Wallace Purling’s face grew into a bright smile. “You can have my room, and I’ll sleep out in the cold.”
Some say the pageant was ruined. But others knew differently. They knew that Wally had caught the real spirit of Christmas, that of giving and sacrifice. Christmas is God’s great gift and sacrifice in Jesus Christ.
May God grant us all the true spirit of Christmas.
At its meeting on November 20 the Session conducted the following business:
Rev. Nolen informed Session that communion was taken to 6 shutins. Randy attended Austin Seminary’s continuing education event in Albuquerque.
Clerk of Session, Dorinne Lykins, reported that our Session, Called Meeting, and Congregational Meeting minutes for 2013, 2014, and 2015 were reviewed and approved on November 12, 2016.
Chair Ann Dye of the Communications Committee will put dates in paper for the Christmas Eve and Blue Christmas services.
Chair Margy Dye of the Christian Education Committee is continuing to send care boxes to troops. A Bible study will be on 1st Samuel.
Chair Marno Talbott of the Mission & Stewardship Committee distributed updated “Minutes for Mission” calendar.
Chair John Martinson of the Personnel Committee discussed changes to Manual of Operations on leave/sick days for parttime employees—proposed changes will be presented to Session next month for vote.
Chair LaVerne Monteith of the Worship Committee informed Session that Betty Hanson will buff the candlesticks, and that poinsettias have been ordered.
Upcoming Dates were reviewed as followed:
November 24 – 1 pm Thanksgiving dinner
December 18 – 2 pm Blue Christmas service
December 24 – 7 pm Christmas Eve service
Thought for the Day
The outward characteristic of a Christian is JOY.
We will discuss Lesson 4 “Who Is Jesus…according to John?” on Monday, December 12 at 9:30 AM.
Hostess will be Dorothy Straley and the lesson leader will be Dixie Loy.
Hope to see you all there.
During the November business meeting Goldene reported that a CASA family had been chosen for them to sponsor.
Our family consists of a single dad, a rambunctious 4yearold girl, and a very outspoken 5yearold boy.
“Nikole” loves playing with Barbie’s and combing people’s hair. Would enjoy anything pink. Likes to draw pictures. Wears size 71/2 shoes, and 4T clothes.
“Gabriel” loves being outside and playing with Lego’s. Enjoys playing his Play Station 3. Wears size 11 shoes, size 5 Slim pants, and size 4 or 5 tops.
“Dad” is very modest and didn’t say he needed much, but any outdoor toys for the kids or bins to store their Lego’s would be awesome. Wears size Large jackets, sweaters, and sweatshirts. Men’s toiletries would be appreciated.
Boxes will be placed in the narthex for gifts. Please do not wrap! Sunday, December 18, is the deadline for dropping off presents. Thank you all for allowing God’s love to shine through you!!
Food for Thought
“Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words.”
St. Francis of Assisi
The best use of life is to invest in something that will outlive life.
Remember Westminster in your will.
Dec. 4 Ann Dye
Dec. 11 Larry Loy
Dec. 18 Jim Monteith
Dec. 24 Veloy Millett
Dec. 25 Dorinne Lykins
At our last Session meeting, our Elders were made aware of a need that our members might like to assist in alleviating. Dorinne Lykins told us of a homeless men’s shelter located on a street behind her, and she has been cooking the men meals that have been greatly appreciated. The Christian Outreach Ministries of Roswell Men’s Home, under the care of Pastor Joe Diaz, sent a lovely thank you card to both Dorinne and Pastor Randy Nolen. The shelter currently has twenty-three men, and last week twenty-four quilts, made by our quilters, were delivered to them for use during the upcoming colder weather.
Pastor Diaz has communicated to us, through Jeanette East, Outreach Director, that the shelter could use anything to help keep the men warmly clothed during the winter. Perhaps some books, magazines, or games would be enjoyed by the men. Pastor Diaz mentioned shirts and we might be able to provide a variety of sizes. Actually he said anything would be appreciated.
Any gently used items may be dropped off at the church office. Dorinne (who has graciously offered to be liaison) will deliver “whatever” to the shelter.
It’s time to help out Hungry Harold, once again. He says for December 2016, he is in need of KoolAid and/or Drink Mixes along with Pastas and Dried Pinto Beans. Many thanks are given for the blessings he has received from members and friends of Westminster Presbyterian Church.
Community Kitchen received the following in November:
5 lbs. beans
5 lbs. rice
Thank you Westminsterites!
Outreach Progress Report
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
This is a wonderful time of the year, because as a nation we celebrate our Thanksgiving to God for all the blessings He has bestowed on us both corporately and individually. What a great God we serve, because as the Psalmist declared, He is truly good.
On the flip side, at this time of the year we experience the cold settling in, and the cold can cut to the bone causing daily activities to be just a little more difficult. Many of us are blessed with warm cozy houses we can nestle in while frigid temperatures rage outside. But there are many in our community who really struggle this time of year, as they do not have adequate housing or warm shelter. This is when the importance of the Outreach Ministry becomes very evident. Many of those who come in for help are seeking aid so that their gas or electric bill will not be turned off that they and their families, many with small children, can stay warm. With the help we offer them they can keep their homes warm for a season when it is so vital to have heat.
When my daughter Lydia was around 8 years old, she decided to write her own song. It was around November, and the weather was just turning cold as it has this year in the last few days. I do not remember most of the song, but I remember the opening line. It went, “It is so cold without Jesus”. What a neat perspective! We often hear of how empty life is, or unpeaceful, or unloving, without Jesus. But I had never considered that it is cold without Him. It is a true statement, though. Without Him, no matter how warm the sun is shining or what kind of heat is blazing around us, our hearts are left feeling cold and empty without Him.
So as people come in to obtain help with their utilities so that their houses may stay warm, may they also feel a touch of the warmth of God’s love so that their hearts may feel warm. That they can join us in giving thanks to the Lord for His steadfast love that endures forever!
Jeanette East, Director
From the Music Makers
Hallelujah!! And Praise the Lord!! You will have noticed two new faces in the choir loft. The ladies are Louise Montague and Gina Montague. Both are very involved with the Little Theatre. Both are longtime members of the Enchanters. Both are good friends. And I am thrilled to have them in the choir. O.K., now let’s pray for a couple of men to materialize. I’m never satisfied.
More good news: Barbara Cain and Cheryl Hughes will again sing the Christmas Cantata with the choir, which will be on the 18th of December.
In the meantime, Ricardo Valenzuela will have played the flute with our anthem on November 27th. Sara Montgomery will play her cello with the anthem on December 11th.
The chimers are suffering from absenteeism. We hope that Julia will finally get well enough to come back. We have an empty slot on the High G. That is only one chime to play. Surely, there is someone out there who would care to take a shot at it. We will, of course, keep praying for Tom Berckes to return to the ranks. (He’s our ace in the hole.)
Thank you for your support. God bless us all.
The new address for Peggy Stokes is as follows:
6565 Central Park Blvd #223
Abilene, TX 79606
The Synod of the Southwest met for its Annual Meeting, October 2122, 2016 at Memorial Presbyterian Church in Phoenix, AZ. Greetings were given by our host Church’s pastors: Martha Lopez de Garcia, CRE and the Rev. Cynthia Jennison. The Friday evening communion service was blessed by dramatic scripture readings, led by the Rev. Shelly Moe, and a powerful sermon offered by our Synod Moderator, Maribeth Culpepper: “Do What You Have the Power to Do”.
Highlights from the Assembly include:
Reports from each of our four presbyteries (de Cristo, Grand Canyon, Santa Fe, Sierra Blanca), with each undergoing significant change while venturing forward in faith and hope,
Approval of the DREAM Grant application for St. Mark’s Presbyterian in Tucson,
Invitation to participate in the ”Serving the Marginalized” event, led by Rev. Dr. Carolyn Helsel from Austin Seminary, Nov. 45, in Tempe,
Theocademy Synodwide training of leadership in our Native American churches is launching into its second unit of curriculum,
Approval of both Stated Clerk/Executive, Conrad M. Rocha, and Associate Stated Clerk/Executive Assistant, Robin Thomas, to serve additional five year terms, through the 2021 Annual Meeting,
As new business, approval to move Synod funds from Wells Fargo bank into a local credit union which invests in nonprofit organizations,
The viewing of the “Doctrine of Discovery – Unmasking the Domination Code” and a discussion about how the Synod can respond to, and increase awareness about, the horrific historic mistreatment of native people on this continent.
The next Synod meeting will be March 1718, 2017 in Phoenix.
Wisdom from Andy Rooney:
I’ve learned that everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.
I’ve learned that there’s nothing sweeter than sleeping with your babies and feeling their breath on your cheeks.
I’ve learned that no one is perfect until you fall in love with her.
I’ve learned that life is tough, but I’m tougher.
I’ve learned that opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.
I’ve learned that when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.
I’ve learned that one should keep his words both soft and tender because tomorrow he may have to eat them.
I’ve learned that a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
I’ve learned that I can’t choose how I feel, but I can choose what I do about it.
I’ve learned that when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, you’re hooked for life.
I’ve learned that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.
I’ve learned that it is best to give advice in only two circumstances: when it is requested and when it is a lifethreatening situation.
Sunday, December 18, at 2:00 PM Blue Christmas service.
Saturday, December 24, at 7:00 PM Christmas Eve Service.
I came across something interesting and a bit different the other day and thought it worthy of sharing. Since none of us were born with an owner’s manual, these guidelines, of unknown origin but which I suspect may be influenced by Eastern philosophy, are designed to make our lives work better.
You will receive a body. You may love it or hate it but it is the only thing you are sure to keep the rest of your life.
You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a fulltime informal school called life on planet earth. Every person or incident in yours is the “Universal Teacher.”
There are no mistakes—only lessons. Growth is an experimental process. Failure is as important in the process as success.
A lesson is repeated until it is learned. It may be presented to you in many different forms until you learn it. Then you can go on to the next lesson.
If you don’t learn easy lessons, they get more difficult. External problems are a precise reflection of your internal state. Clear inner obstructions and your world changes.
You will know you’ve learned your lesson when your actions change. Wisdom is practice. A little of something is better than a lot of nothing.
“There” is no better than “here.” When your “there” becomes a “here” you will simply obtain another “there” that again looks better than “here”.
Others are only mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another unless it reflects something you love or hate in yourself.
Your life is up to you. Life provides the canvas; you do the painting.
You always get what you want. Your subconscious rightfully determines what energies, experiences and persons you attract.
There is no right or wrong. But there are consequences. Moralizing doesn’t help. Judgments only hold the patterns in place. Just do your best.
Your answers are inside of you. Children need guidance from others. As we mature, we trust our hearts, where the Laws of Spirit are written. You know more than you have heard, have read or been told. All you need to do is look, listen and trust.
You will forget all this.
You can remember it anytime you wish!
Thoughtprovoking stuff, isn’t it? Have a happy and healthy holiday season!
Mark Your Calendars!
Dec 1, 5:00 PM CASA
Dec 4, 9:30 AM Communion Sunday
Dec 7, 5:15 PM Chimes Practice
Dec 7, 6:30 PM Choir Practice
Dec 8, 9:30 AM Community Kitchen
Dec 8, 5:00 PM CASA
Dec 11, Congregation/Corporation Meeting after Worship
Dec 11, 11:00 AM Session Meeting
Dec 12, 9:30 AM PW Morning Circle
Dec 14, 5:15 PM Chimes Practice
Dec 14, 6:30 PM Choir Practice
Dec 15, 5:00 PM CASA
Dec 16, CHIMES DEADLINE
Dec 18, CANTATA during worship
Dec 18, 10:45 AM Evangelism & Concern Committee Meeting
Dec 18, 2:00 PM Blue Christmas Service
Dec 21, 5:15 PM Chimes Practice
Dec 21, 6:30 PM Choir Practice
Dec 22, 9:30 AM Community Kitchen
Dec 23, Office Closed
Dec 24, 7:00 PM Christmas Eve Service
Dec 25, MERRY CHRISTMAS
Dec 25, Cents Ability Collection
Dec 26, Office Closed
Dec 26, 9:00 AM Piece Makers Day
Dec 26, 10:30 AM Mission & Stewardship Committee Meeting
Dec 28, 5:15 PM Chimes Practice
Dec 28, 6:30 PM Choir Practice
October Treasurer’s Report
For the month of September:
Percent of Budget Received 60.44%
Percent of Budget Spent 85.36%
Percent of Year Elapsed 83.00%
Offerings YTD $97,908.72
Spent YTD $138,288.13
2016 Budget $162,000.00
Be willing today to be used by God!
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