Posted on Fri, Jan 27, 2017
A Word from Our Pastor
As we approach the season of Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday, March 1, we find ourselves in one of two seasons of the church year known as Ordinary Time. Ordinary Time runs from the Sunday following the Epiphany until Ash Wednesday, and from Trinity Sunday, the Sunday after Pentecost in late May or early June, until Christ the King Sunday, the Sunday before Advent begins in November. It is called Ordinary Time because it fills in the time between the major festivals of the church year. It is the only season of the church year that does not have a defined length.
Advent is four weeks, Christmastide is the “twelve days of Christmas” from Christmas Day until the Epiphany on January 6. Lent is forty days, commemorating the forty days Christ was tempted in the wilderness. Eastertide is fifty days, culminating in Pentecost, which means “fifty”. The Jewish feast of Pentecost was fifty days after Passover. For Christians, the fifty days between Easter and Pentecost commemorate the forty days Jesus spent with his followers after the Resurrection and the ten days they spent in hiding before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. This is followed by Trinity Sunday, which reminds us of the threefold nature of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The rest of the year is Ordinary Time. But is it really? With God, is any time really “ordinary”?
The Roman, Orthodox, and Anglican churches have any number of days commemorating various events throughout the year: the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (which appears nowhere in Scripture) and the feast days of various saints. In the Protestant and Reformed tradition, we don’t single out special people for sainthood. All believers are “saints”. Yes, there are those like the Apostles, Paul, Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, and others, including some like Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Knox (who the Catholics would certainly not consider “saints”) who did extraordinary things in the history of the Church. There are more contemporary people, like Albert Schweitzer, who was not only a doctor, but a worldclass organist, who spent his life bringing medical care to the poor in the Congo in Africa; Dr. Tom Dooley, who did the same in the jungles of Viet Nam; Mother Theresa of Calcutta, who founded an order of nuns who serve the lepers of India; and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who taught his followers to overcome evil with good, to fight segregation with peaceful resistance rather than violence.
With God, all things are possible. We, too, are “saints”. We, too, may be called to do great things. If God has a mission for us, we will be able to accomplish it, with God’s help. Just being a faithful disciple is an extraordinary accomplishment in today’s world. Ordinary Time should probably be called Extraordinary Time, because, with God, every day is extraordinary. God is always doing amazing things, and using us as his hands, eyes, ears, and heart.
Let us continue to be extraordinary.
At its meeting on January 8 the Session conducted the following business:
Rev. Nolen informed Session that shutins were visited; the Presbytery meets January 27 and 28 in Portales; and the BOP meeting in Roswell was cancelled.
Suggestions from the Clerk of Session that the Blue Christmas service be held at the regular service time and the Christmas Eve service be held during daylight hours were met with unanimous approval. All the yearly reports have been completed and submitted.
Chair Ann Dye of the Communications Committee reported that she had taken care of all the ads.
Chair Margy Dye of the Christian Education Committee informed Session that the adults will study the gospel according to John.
Chair Phyllis Lester of the Fellowship Committee stated that the Christmas decorations will be taken down tomorrow, and no meals are planned until Easter.
Chair Marno Talbott of the Mission & Stewardship Committee reported that the Minute for Mission on January 22 will be for the “Souper” Bowl.
Chair John Martinson of the Personnel Committee informed Session that all employees are doing good.
MSP to display a nativity scene on the altar during the Cantata. MSP to have a Congregational Meeting on February 19 to elect Elders for 2020; 3 congregational members for Nominating Committee; 1 congregational member for Endowment Committee class of 2020. MSP to have Ash Wednesday service at noon on March 1.
Thought for the Day
The outward characteristic of a Christian is JOY.
The next meeting of the PW Circle will be held on Monday, February 13 at 9:30 AM, and Lesson 6 “Who Is Jesus… according to Hebrews?” will be discussed.
Hostess will be Margaret Johnson and the lesson leader will be Dorothy Straley.
Hope to see you all there.
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.
Feb. 5 Bill Shue
Feb. 12 Betty Hanson
Feb. 19 Larry Loy
Feb. 26 Dorinne Lykins
Hymn of the Month
If anyone has a favorite hymn, one you just like to sing, or even an unfamiliar one that you would like to learn, let the office know so your selection(s) can be considered for the Hymn of the Month.
We would like to accommodate as many members as possible, so please submit those hymn numbers or names.
It’s time to help out Hungry Harold, once again. He says for January 2017, 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.
January was a slow month for Hungry Harold. Only 5 lbs. of beans and 5 lbs. of rice was collected and delivered, but we know things will look better in February.
To start the month we’ll be collecting canned food for Souper Bowl Sunday on February 5. Last year we delivered 69 cans of vegetables, 29 10oz. cans of soup, 48 boxes of Ramen noodles, 16 cans of chicken and 18 cans of tuna for a total of 27 sacks of groceries. Let’s see if we can top that this year.
Thank you Westminsterites!
From the Music Makers
There are few, if any, words left to be said about the music makers. They are my life and my joy. But, the following may be something you haven’t heard before:
For thus says the Lord, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: “I am the LORD, and there is no other.”
Carl Boberg, a 26-year-old Swedish minister, wrote a poem in 1885 which he called “O Store Gud”—“O Mighty God.” The words, literally translated to English, said:
When I the world consider / Which Thou has made by Thine almighty Word
And how the webb of life Thou wisdom guideth / And all creation feedeth at Thy board.
Then doth my soul burst forth in song of praise / Oh, great God, Oh, great God!
His poem was published and “forgotten”—or so he thought. Several years later, Carl was surprised to hear it being sung to the tune of an old Swedish melody; but the poem and hymn did not achieve widespread fame.
Hearing this hymn in Russia, English missionary, Stuart Hine, was so moved he modified and expanded the words and made his own arrangement of the Swedish melody. He later said his first three verses were inspired, line upon line, by Russia’s rugged Carpathian Mountains. The first verse was composed when he was caught in a thunderstorm in a Carpathian village, the second as he heard the birds sing near the Romanian border, and the third as he witnessed many of the Carpathian mountaindwellers coming to Christ. The final verse was written after Dr. Hine returned to Great Britain.
Some time later, Dr. J. Edwin Orr heard “How Great Thou Art” being sung by Naga Tribespeople in Assam, in India, and decided to bring it back to America for use in his own meetings. When he introduced it at a conference in California, it came to the attention of music publisher, Tim Spencer, who contacted Mr. Hine and had the song copyrighted. It was published and recorded.
During the 1954 Billy Graham Crusade in Harringay Arena, George Beverly Shea was given a leaflet containing this hymn. He sang it to himself and shared it with other members of the Graham team. Though not used in London, it was introduced the following year to audiences in Toronto.
In the New York Crusade of 1957, it was sung by Bev Shea ninetynine times, with the choir joining the majestic refrain:
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee, / How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
God is my strength.
In my prayer times—my quiet moments with God—I make a conscious connection with strength, poise, and power. These words from the “Prayer of Faith” help ready my mind for that Divine connection:
God is my help in every need;
God does my every hunger feed;
God walks beside me, guides my way
Through every moment of the day.
I now am wise, I now am true,
Patient and kind, and loving, too;
All things I am, can do, and be,
Through Christ the Truth, that is in me.
God is my health, I can’t be sick;
God is my strength, unfailing, quick;
God is my all, I know no fear,
Since God and Love and Truth are here.
The Lord is my strength and my might.—Exodus 15:2
Excerpt from the Daily Word.
Mark Your Calendars!
Feb 1, 5:15 PM Chimes Practice
Feb. 1, 6:30 PM Choir Practice
Feb 2, 9:30 AM Community Kitchen
Feb 2, 5:00 PM CASA
Feb 5, Communion Sunday
Feb 8, 5:15 PM Chimes Practice
Feb 8, 6:30 PM Choir Practice
Feb 9, 5:00 PM CASA
Feb 12, 11:00 AM Session Meeting
Feb 13, 9:30 AM PW Morning Circle
Feb 14, HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY
Feb 15, 5:15 PM Chimes Practice
Feb 15, 6:30 PM Choir Practice
Feb 16, 9:30 AM Community Kitchen
Feb 16, 5:00 PM CASA
Feb 17, CHIMES Deadline
Feb 19, Congregational Meeting
Feb 22, 5:15 PM Chimes Practice
Feb 22, 6:30 PM Choir Practice
Feb 23, 5:00 PM CASA
Feb 26, Cents Ability Collection
Feb 27, 9:00 AM Piece Makers Day
Feb 27, 10:30 AM Mission & Stewardship Committee Meeting
December Treasurer’s Report
For the month of December:
Percent of Budget Received 71.78%
Percent of Budget Spent 99.19%
Percent of Year Elapsed 100.00%
Offerings YTD $116,287.22
Spent YTD $160,690.55
2016 Budget $162,000.00
Be willing today to be used by God!
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