Posted on Tue, Feb 28, 2017
A Word from Our Pastor
In spite of the fact that we live in what some have called a “post-Christian” society, there are still three Christian saints who are embraced by the prevailing culture—St. Nicholas, St. Valentine, and St. Patrick. All three have lost most of their religious significance; St. Nicholas and St. Valentine are most associated with giving and receiving presents, and St. Patrick’s Day is an excuse to drink green beer. Of the three, the most reliable historical evidence concerns Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.
Patrick was born in Britain in the late fifth century, although the actual date is not certain. When he was 16, he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and taken to Ireland, where he was forced to work as a shepherd. After six years, he escaped, made his way to the coast, and managed to convince a ship’s captain to take him on board, returning him to Britain. It was during his time as a shepherd that he converted to Christianity.
Several years after returning home, he had a vision in which he heard the voices of the Irish calling, “We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.” After studying in Europe, he was ordained to the priesthood, and returned to Ireland as a missionary. He baptized “thousands” of people and ordained priests to lead new Christian communities. He was particularly active among the wealthy and the ruling class, converting the daughters of the wealthy, who, in many cases, became nuns, and the sons of the leading families. Patrick is credited as the chief person responsible for the conversion of Ireland. He is considered the patron saint of Ireland, and is honored by the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox, and Lutheran churches. He seems to have been accepted as a saint by common consent, since he was never officially canonized by any pope.
There is controversy over the date of his death, with most authorities accepting March 17, 492 as the most likely date.
Patrick is credited in legend as having driven all the snakes out of Ireland, although scientists maintain that any snakes that may have lived in Ireland did not survive past the last ice age. Patrick is also closely associated with the shamrock, the national symbol of the Irish. It is said that he used the plant, with its three leaves joined in the middle, as a teaching aid to teach the Irish about the Trinity.
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.
Thought for the Day
The outward characteristic of a Christian is JOY.
At its meeting on February 12 the Session conducted the following business:
Rev. Nolen informed Session that shut-ins were visited; a funeral service was held for Jean Rockhold; and the Presbytery meeting in Portales was attended.
MSP for Sharon to print the updated Manual of Operations with all references to “choir director” changed to “Music Director”, Ann Dye’s update to the Columbarium section, and John Martinson’s update to personnel vacation.
Commissioner’s Report stated that Larry Loy and Adam Soliz were recommissioned—and ten new CRE’s were commissioned at the Presbytery meeting.
Chair Margy Dye of the Christian Education Committee informed Session that the adults will study Ezra.
Chair Sharon Berry of the Evangelism & Concern Committee related that “get well”, “birthday”, and “comfort” cards had been sent.
Chair Marno Talbott of the Mission & Stewardship Committee reported that food received from Souper Bowl was delivered.
Chair Jim Monteith of the Property Committee informed Session that a water leak in the basement was repaired, problems with the janitor, tape on the fellowship hall floor for skits but can be removed, have a gopher problem. MSP to not rent Fellowship Hall to nonmembers for events.
Chair LaVerne Monteith of the Worship Committee will order palms. MSP to have a Music Service one Sunday including other churches.
MSP to reschedule the Congregational Meeting to March 19. MSP to encourage Larry Loy to vote for the two proposed amendments (16D.1 and 16D.2).
The next meeting of the PW Circle will be held on Monday, March 13 at 9:30 AM, and Lesson 7 “Who Is Jesus… according to the non-Canonical Gospels?” will be discussed.
Hostess will be Ann Dye and the lesson leader will be Randy Nolen.
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.
Mar. 5 Phyllis Lester
Mar. 12 Loris DeKay
Mar. 19 Margy Dye
Mar. 26 Margaret Johnson
Robby Lee Perkett
Ryan & Travis Nolen
It’s time again to help out Hungry Harold. He says for March 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.
For February we delivered the following:
50 lbs. pinto beans
30 lbs. pasta
8 lg. cans KoolAid Mix
In addition, 15 sacks of groceries collected in our Souper Bowl Drive went to St. Peter’s Good Sam.
Thanks to all!
From the Music Makers
STAY TUNED!! We are going to do something really nice for you although we don’t know just yet when we will do it.
This has nothing to do with the above. Lent is upon us, and that calls for somber, and sometimes even sad, music. We have beautiful Lenten music and we love singing it. But comes Palm Sunday and Easter, all joy breaks forth.
After Easter we look forward to a few weeks of music that doesn’t have to comply with anything, except on Communion Sunday.
And then it is all over. How sad! Well, not really. We get to hear guest vocalists or instrumentalists from the community, and isn’t that a blessing!!
I am already thinking about the summer schedule. If you know someone I should invite to fill a summer slot, let me know who it is including a contact number. I have a good list, accumulated over the years, but more is better.
The music makers work hard for you. So, please stand by. We are preparing a gift for you. Until next time. God bless us all.
Peggy Stokes has changed homes recently and her new address is as follows:
4609 Coyote Run
Abilene, TX 796028239
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
The ministry is going very well, and we have had a steady flow of people come in and be ministered to through help provided to them. As a result of your continued generosity the finances continue to be in good shape this month.
Recently the little ranch my girls and I have has produced several baby goats and newborn lambs. Being new to the whole farming thing, the differences in the two groups of animals has been very striking to me and it has made the above parable in Matthew come to life.
Goats are very independent animals. If I decided to go on vacation for a week and left the goats to survive on their own, they could probably do it. Goats also have huge appetites and will eat anything and everything to satisfy their hunger. A goat owner has to be careful, because a mama goat will often eat every bit of the food put out for her babies, leaving them to go hungry. She just uses her head to bump them out of the way so she can have their dinner! Another thing about goats is that they’re motivated by their own desires. For example, let’s say a goat likes the weeds’ taste on the other side of the fence. It is all I can do to keep the goats in their pasture as they jump, climb, push, and headbutt in an attempt to get out to get to those tasty weeds.
Now let’s look at sheep. They are completely different from the goats: hanging out in their pasture, grazing all day, playing with other sheep in the sunshine and content to stay in their designated areas. In fact they never try to get out, even when the fence is left open. They also share their feed with their own babies and are very protective over them. They panic easily when I am not around, and what is really amazing is that they know my voice and come when I call them. They have learned to trust me.
To me it seems like the parable is referring to two groups of people that go to church that can be compared to goats and sheep. One group has failed to put themselves completely under the care and provision of Almighty God, so they feel they have to fend for themselves and therefore go after their own desires not really considering others.
But the other group, the sheep, have learned to place their confidence and trust in God to take care of them, so they are more content with what they have knowing that God will meet their needs, and it helps them to not have to go after their own needs knowing they are already taken care of, but instead put on a heart of love and help others.
So in conclusion I want to say, thank you for being sheep. And I mean that in the absolutely best way possible. Thank you for loving and trusting God enough to have a heart for others. And not for just what you as a body do to bless this ministry, but for all each of you do to touch the lives of others.
In His love,
For those of you who have wondered about Pauline Blossom, the office has recently been notified of the following information:
Pauline died on December 1, 2015. Funeral services were held at the First Baptist Church of Fairport with entombment at White Haven Memorial Park in Fairport, NY.
We are sorry to hear of her passing, but delight that she is now a member of the Church Triumphant.
Many of you remember Elizabeth Bennett, daughter of Fred Bennett, who attended services here for years. She is currently serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Costa Rica.
Carl Dickerson from GiveABook shared a letter of request that Elizabeth prepared for Rotary in case a Rotary Club would consider sponsoring her set of books. They are eager to find a sponsor for Elizabeth as her Peace Corps Service is ending in July.
GiveABook has been providing books to schools, community libraries and churches in Costa Rica for more than 15 years. Mission teams, Churches, Rotary Clubs, student groups, and individuals sponsor the books and deliver them to the schools and churches. A Costa Rica Rotarian businessman donates the ware house for GiveABook in San Jose where the books are stored and sorted into sets.
A donation of $800 to GiveABook will sponsor a set of 150 new reading and educational books in Spanish and simple English for the school. The books will provide an invaluable resource for the school and students. It would also enable Elizabeth to complete her Peace Corps Service with a successful and lasting project for her host community.
September 4, 2016
Dear Members of the Rotary Club,
My name is Elizabeth Bennett, and I am very excited about the prospect of collaborating with you all through the GiveaBook Project. I came to Costa Rica from New Mexico, where I was studying as a Masters International student at New Mexico State University. After I complete my Peace Corps service I will return to NMSU to finish a dual Master’s Degree in Social Work and Public Health. Throughout my life I have developed a love for service and Peace Corps was a natural next step in continuing to share with and learn from the global community. I have been serving as Youth Development Volunteer in Toro Amarillo de Guápiles, Limón, Costa Rica for about a year and it has been a roller coaster of discovery, both personal and professional.
Toro Amarillo is a community of about 4,500 residents located 2 km west of the city center of Guápiles. Toro Amarillo has a rich history in farming, and agriculture, largely influenced by the development and eventual removal of the railroad between San José and Limón Centro. In the last two decades the community has grown substantially, however there has not been sufficient growth in sources of work, education, or recreation to provide a satisfactory quality of life for the young families who have relocated to the area. Much of my work as a Peace Corps Volunteer involves connecting members of the community with existing opportunities for art, recreation, and personal development, as well as creating new opportunities by bringing people in the community together to work towards common goals.
During my year of service I have spent a considerable amount of time at the local elementary school, working with the school counselor to design and implement various workshops for both students and parents. The fifty year old school has a long history in the community, and in the last couple of years it has developed considerably. Today the students enjoy a fully equipped computer lab, help maintain a school vegetable garden, collaborate in a recycling program, and participate in local and regional art and science fairs. Despite all of these advances the school has never included a library, nor is there a public library in the local town or surrounding area. Although quality books are hard to come by, the importance of reading is not lost on the school staff. When presented with the possibility of receiving books from GiveaBook, the Director of the school responded enthusiastically saying that “despite new technology, we must not lose the culture of books.” Each teacher is expected to incorporate at least twenty minutes of reading into their daily schedule, however this is often a challenge when they have little to no access to appropriate books.
With the generous support of the Rotary Club and the GiveaBook project, we will be able to facilitate and strengthen the culture of books in Toro Amarillo. With the addition of a library in the elementary school I will be able to work with teachers of all grade levels to implement “Library Time” as part of their regular schedules. During this time students will be able to borrow and enjoy books while also benefiting from incentives and activities that promote their continued interest in reading. I will also be able to begin a Recess Reading Corner that will give students the opportunity to have the shared experience of story time, while also allowing older students to practice reading out loud.
Many thanks for your interest in our corner of the jungle. I am excited to work towards and share the invaluable benefits of bringing books into the lives of the children of Toro Amarillo.
The Perfect Church
I think that I shall never see,
A church that’s all it ought to be;
A church whose members never stray,
Beyond the straight and narrow way;
A church that has no empty pews,
Whose pastor never has the blues;
A church whose deacons always seek,
And none is proud, and all are meek;
Where gossips never peddle lies,
Or make complaints, or criticize;
Where all are always sweet and kind,
And all to others’ faults are blind.
Such perfect churches there may be,
But none of them are known to me.
But still, we’ll work, and pray, and plan,
To make our own the best we can.
Daylight Savings Time
Remember to set your clocks one hour ahead on Saturday, March 11, as Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday, March 12, 2017.
Mark Your Calendars!
Mar 1, 12:00 Noon Ash Wednesday Service
Mar 1, 5:15 PM Chimes Practice
Mar 1, 6:30 PM Choir Practice
Mar 2, 9:30 AM Community Kitchen
Mar 5, Communion Sunday
Mar 8, 5:15 PM Chimes Practice
Mar 8, 6:30 PM Choir Practice
Mar 12, 11:00 AM Session Meeting
Mar 13, 9:30 AM PW Morning Circle
Mar 15, 5:15 PM Chimes Practice
Mar 15, 6:30 PM Choir Practice
Mar 16, 9:30 AM Community Kitchen
Mar 16, 5:00 PM CASA
Mar 17, CHIMES Deadline
Mar 19, Congregational Meeting
Mar 22, 5:15 PM Chimes Practice
Mar 22, 6:30 PM Choir Practice
Mar 23, 5:00 PM CASA
Mar 26, Cents Ability Collection
Mar 27, 9:00 AM Piece Makers Day
Mar 27, 10:30 AM Mission & Stewardship Committee Meeting
Mar 29, 5:15 PM Chimes Practice
Mar 29, 6:30 PM Choir Practice
Mar 30, 9:30 AM Community Kitchen
Mar 30, 5:00 PM CASA
January Treasurer’s Report
For the month of January:
Percent of Budget Received 8.28%
Percent of Budget Spent 9.68%
Percent of Year Elapsed 8.33%
Offerings YTD $12,423.52
Spent YTD $14,526.68
2017 Budget $150,000.00
Be willing today to be used by God!
is published monthly by
Westminster Presbyterian Church
(575) 622-2801 phone
(575) 625-2806 fax
Pastor office hours:
Monday – Thursday 9 – 1
And by Appointment
Admin. Asst. office hours:
Monday Friday: 8:30 – 1:00
Contributions are kindly requested by the third Friday of each month.
Editor Ann Dye
Layout Sharon Howell
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