Posted on Mon, Mar 5, 2018
A Word from Our Pastor
We are now in the church season called Lent. It began on Ash Wednesday and lasts until Easter. The day before Ash Wednesday is called Fat Tuesday, which, in French, is Mardi Gras. Did you know that Mardi Gras was originally a religious celebration? In English it is sometimes called Shrove Tuesday. Many churches used to hold pancake suppers on that day, but that practice is becoming rarer. The reason for the Fat Tuesday name and the pancake suppers is that it is the day before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. In times past, Christians, particularly Roman Catholics, were expected to give up meat, fatty foods and fried foods during Lent. On Fat Tuesday, whatever meat and fat were left in the house were eaten, because you don’t want to just throw food away, even if it is for religious reasons. The fat and oil were mixed with flour to make cakes. This final feast before forty days of deprivation eventually degenerated into the Mardi Gras we now know.
The name of the season in English, Lent, has no theological significance. It comes from the ancient AngloSaxon for to lengthen: the season comes in the early Spring, when the lengthening of the days becomes apparent.
The season of Lent is a period of forty days, from Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday, commemorating the forty days of temptation Jesus faced in the wilderness. It is a time of meditation and repentance, preparing our hearts for Holy Week and Easter, the commemoration of Jesus’ arrest, suffering on the cross, and glorious resurrection. As part of the observance of this season, Christians have traditionally made some sort of sacrifice during this season. In the Roman Catholic tradition, as mentioned above, meat and fried foods were forbidden.
In Eastern Orthodox tradition, eggs were also given up during Lent. The practice of giving decorated eggs (originally dyed red) as gifts to celebrate the end of Lent originated with the Eastern rite churches. The decorating of the eggs reached its high point under the Russian czars, when the jewelers of Faberge created incredibly intricate and expensive jeweled (Easter) eggs for the Russian rulers. Today, we are back to the simple practice of dying the eggs, although we don’t limit ourselves to red, give them as gifts, or enjoy them for the first time in forty days.
Protestants generally do not have a prescribed item they are expected to give up during Lent, but the practice of making some sort of sacrifice is still a valid spiritual discipline. I leave it to each of you to decide what an appropriate sacrifice might be.
Whatever you decide, I call upon each of us to use these forty days for meditation, for reflecting upon our lives and our faith, for sacrificing those things which interfere with honoring Christ in all that we do, and for preparing ourselves to greet the risen Lord with renewed vigor, dedication, and purity of heart.
At its meeting on February 11 the Session conducted the following business:
Rev. Nolen informed Session that communion was served to shut-ins in January; and communion for February will be taken today. He also related that at the Presbytery meeting held in Roswell on January 26-27 he was installed as moderator of the Presbytery.
Chair Barbara McNallen of the Evangelism & Concern Committee advised Session that she had given a report to Presbytery.
Chair Phyllis Lester of the Fellowship Committee informed Session that an Easter Dinner is being planned for 12:00 PM on April 1—church will provide ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, and carrots.
Chair Marno Talbott of the Mission & Stewardship Committee provided Session with a list of changes for bylaws.
Chair Jim Monteith of the Property Committee informed Session that the new phone system and FAX had been installed. The organ needs a new on/off switch; Sharon has located one and Jim will find someone to install. Jim will solicit bids for carpet cleaning and see about a security system for the church.
Chair Margaret Johnson reminded Session that Ash Wednesday service was at 5:00 PM and Maundy Thursday service would be at 6:00 PM. Also stated that palms and lilies had been ordered.
MSP for Josefa (with CASA) to rent the fellowship hall on February 17 for $100. MSP to waive the fee.
MSP to not place any ads for Easter services.
MSP to allow Adam Soliz to hold a baptism service on March 17.
Thought for the Day
Christianity is not a theory—it is a life!
Mar. 4 Barbara McNallen
Mar. 11 Barbara McNallen
Mar. 18 Barbara McNallen
Mar. 25 Barbara McNallen
Lesson 7—In Community with The Hope of the Future will be discussed at our next meeting on March 12, 2018 at 9:30 AM in the library.
The Lesson Leader will be Randy Nolen and Margaret Johnson or Ann Dye will be hostess.
Hope to see you all at the meeting!
The 2018 Churchwide Gathering of Presbyterian Women will be held August 25 in Louisville, Kentucky. There is one scholarship available to attend, and for further information contact Dixie Loy. A registration form is available in the narthex.
Food for Thought
“We know truth both by reason and by the heart.”
From the Music Makers
The following is an unsolicited contribution to this column:
“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” Psalm 98:4
Christians love music! It gives voice and expression to spiritual feelings not easily spoken.
Music is mission.
Hymns are a vehicle for teaching and interpreting the gospel. Their poetry can give comfort, promise forgiveness and redemption, and simply speak as joyful praise.
Music is worship.
From the beginning of the service, the organ calls us to quiet our mind and lift our spirit in prayer and reverence.
Music connects us:
To God and to each other in Christian community.
Be glad for our music at Westminster Presbyterian Church, for our tireless and gifted musician, Sharon; for our joyful and creative music director, Veloy; and for all our choir members and chimers (wouldn’t you like to be among them?). They enrich our worship and urge each of us to “make a joyful noise unto the Lord.”
A grateful WPC congregant
And to this I say amen and amen!! Thank you for your encouragement and support.
You will have noticed Ray Lewis has removed himself from the choir and is now supporting us from the front row. God bless Ray Lewis!! For some time we practiced on Friday morning because Ray couldn’t drive at night. At age 98 he should have some privileges. He has been so faithful over the years; he leaves a very large hole. Ray has been an encouragement to me, personally, and has supported the choir program whatever it has been. And Ray and I talked—Ray has a LOT to say that is worth hearing. Again, I say: God bless Ray Lewis.
And God bless us all.
Robby Lee Perkett
Ryan & Travis Nolen
The best use of life is to invest in something that will outlive life.
Remember Westminster in your will.
And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness”. Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Anyone who has lived more than a few decades, as well as the wiser, younger ones, understands that life is fragile. In our youth we feel invincible and stronger than any superhero, but as time goes on and circumstances out of our control cause things to not go the way we had planned, it starts to sink in that we are not as powerful as we had thought we were. Or are we?
The conundrum is that we are and we aren’t. We aren’t as elevated as we tell ourselves we are. In spite of what we like to think of ourselves, we are not always able to influence the world around us in the way we would hope we could. On the flip side of this is the fact that we have a very real enemy who wants to discourage us and cause us to think that we are unable to have any authority or influence in our circumstances. He wants to beat us down and make everything seem dark. In fact, we have tremendous power and authority when we operate in the love of Christ Jesus our Lord. Leaning on that strength and not our own is always the challenge.
My 15-year-old daughter, Christiana, has a serious seizure disorder. She has grand mal seizures that continuously endanger her and take a strong toll on her body. When she endures one, I feel like my world falls apart and that I am tremendously inadequate, as there is absolutely nothing I can do to stop them. I just watch helplessly as her body convulses and depletes itself of oxygen. She turns purple and shakes violently. At those times I am acutely aware of how fragile her life is. As I desperately sit next to her as she is going through one, what is going on in my mind is always, “There must be something, anything I can do to stop this. But what??!!” And there is never an answer, so I realize I am more powerless than I ever thought myself to be. The upside is that I serve a God who holds all power and might in His hands, and I will keep pleading with Him until I see this seizure disorder defeated.
The truth is, each of us has been given a certain amount of ability by Almighty God, and when we operate in our own strength we will be severely limited by our natural strengths. But if we operate in the power and authority of Almighty God through our relationship with Christ Jesus our Lord, then our strength is based on His authority and might. We know that is unlimited. We are told in Romans 8:11, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you”. Jesus declared in Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed”. And He told His disciples this in Luke 10:17, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you”.
So our true authority isn’t in what we can or can’t do, but rather in whom we place our trust and confidence. Our power is derived from our ability to put our circumstance in God’s hands, and allow Him who has created the earth and all that is in it, to take over everything that concerns us. Since I am fully unable to stop my daughter’s seizures, I entrust her care to Almighty God. I trust that He, as a loving Father, will do what is best for her. I know He will because I trust him completely. This confidence causes me to declare with the Psalmist, “Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion”. Psalms 103:24
In conclusion, in whatever you are going through, do not try and handle it on your own. Doing so can stress you out and wear you down. Instead, allow the tender love of the Father to take it from you, and trust Him to do what is right. He truly is good, and He genuinely cares. I pray you are able to fully lean on God and let His strength enable you to accomplish what He requires of you and to know that He will accomplish the rest.
Jeanette Schaffer, Director
It’s time again to help out Hungry Harold. He says for March 2018, 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.
Hungry Harold received the following in February:
83 cans soup
74 lbs. beans
624 oz. KoolAid mix
16 lbs. pasta
5 lbs. rice
Way to go Westminsterites!
Hymn of the Month
The hymn of the month for March will be “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”. Do you see a pattern emerging?
One of the greatest hymn writers of all time composed this beautiful hymn. Isaac Watts (1674-1748) was a very bright preacher’s kid who grew up in England. At that time it was the practice of almost every congregation of the Church of England to sing only Old Testament psalms (poorly written and poorly sung) in their public worship. However, Watts had grown to dislike this because it restricted the Christian from being able to explicitly celebrate in song all those aspects of the gospel that are fulfilled and illuminated in the New Testament.
At the age of eighteen Watts was one day ridiculing some of the poor hymns, when his father said to him, sarcastically, “Make some yourself, then.” Accordingly, Watts set himself to writing a hymn, and produce the lines beginning: “Behold the glories of the Lamb”. That was the start of his eminent career as a hymnwriter. During his lifetime, he wrote approximately 750 hymns, many of which are among our favorites yet today—hymns such as Joy to the World and O God, Our Help in Ages Past.
Watts became a clergyman, but illness compelled him to give up the pastorate, and for 36 years he remained at the home of St. Thomas Abbey at Theobaldo (in England), continuing his hymn writing which had reached its highest expression in this particular hymn.
Once, after this hymn had been sung in the Church of Saint Edmund, London, Father Ignatius repeated to his congregation the last two lines of the hymn impressively—“Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.” And he added: “Well, I am surprised to hear you sing that. Do you know that altogether you put only fifteen shillings in the collection bag this morning?”
Isaac Watts wrote “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” in preparation for a communion service in 1707. It was first published in 1707 in Watt’s collection Hymns and Spiritual Songs. It’s the first known hymn to be written in the first person, introducing a personal religious experience rather than limiting itself to doctrine. In Watts’ day such hymns were termed “hymns of human composure” and they stirred up great controversy. At the time, congregational singing was predominately ponderous repetitions of the Psalms. But this hymn gave Christians of Watts’ day a way to express a deeply personal gratitude to their Savior. The wellloved song continues to stir our hearts today.
Watts wrote five stanzas for the original version of “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”. However, he put his fourth stanza in brackets, indicating it was the most likely one to be left out, if need be:
“His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree:
Then am I dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.”
“When I Survey” is a hymn which is saturated with theology and a call for an emotional response from the singer. This hymn was transformed into a statement of faith that crosses denominational lines and generations. This hymn is a masterpiece that marks the genius of one man and his influence on millions of singers throughout the ages.
Watts’ giftedness for writing hymns, combined with his courage in publishing them, would eventually turn the tide against singing only psalms and set a new standard for Christian worship in the English language. Today Watts is widely recognized as the “Father of English Hymnody”. “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” is his greatest hymn.
Excerpts from challies.com, umcdiscipleship.org, songsandhymns. org, reasonabletheology.org, and sermonwriter.com.
Daylight Saving Time
Remember to set your clocks one hour ahead on Saturday, March 10, as Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 11, 2018.
Westminster will hold a Maundy Thursday service on March 29 at 6:00 PM with an Agape Meal to be served at 5:00 PM.
Easter Sunday is on April 1 and we will have a potluck at 12:00 PM with Westminster providing ham, mashed potatoes, gravy and carrots. A signup sheet will be provided to get an accurate count of the number of people attending, as well as indicating what side dishes will be brought to share.
Be sure to join us as we celebrate the glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ.
An order form for Easter lilies follows with the deadline to reply by Palm Sunday, March 25, 2018.
Some people are kind, polite, and sweetspirited
Until you try to sit in their pews.
Many folks want to serve God,
But only as advisers.
People are funny; they want the front of the bus,
Middle of the road,
And back of the church.
In Memory of:
In Honor of:
Please do not forget your $10.00 donation for each flower ordered.
_______ Pick up Flower(s)
_______ Leave in Display
You can cut out and mail this form with donation to the church at:
Westminster Presbyterian Church
2801 W 4TH Street
Roswell NM 88201
1. Just for today I will try to live through this day only, and not set farreaching goals to try to overcome all my problems at once. I know I can do something for 12 hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.
2. Just for today I will try to be happy. Abraham Lincoln said, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” He was right. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me. I will chase them out of my mind and replace them with happy thoughts.
3. Just for today I will adjust myself to what is. I will face reality. I will try to change those things which I can change, and accept those things I cannot change.
4. Just for today I will try to improve my mind. I will not be a mental loafer. I will force myself to read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.
5. Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do a good deed for somebody – without letting them know it. (If they find out I did it, it won’t count.) I will do at least two things that I know I should do, but have been putting off. I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt; they may be hurt, but today I will not show it.
6. Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, talk softly, act courteously, and speak ill of no one. Just for today I’ll not try to improve anybody except myself.
7. Just for today I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it, thereby saving myself from two pests: hurry and indecision.
8. Just for today I will have a quiet half hour to relax alone. During this time I will reflect on my behavior and will try to get a better perspective of my life.
9. Just for today I will be unafraid. I will gather the courage to do what is right and take the responsibility for my own actions. I will expect nothing from the world, but I will realize that as I give to the world, the world will give to me.
Mark Your Calendars!
Mar 1, 9:30 AM Community Kitchen
Mar 1, 5:00 PM CASA
Mar 4, Communion Sunday
Mar 7, 5:15 PM Chimes Practice
Mar 7, 6:30 PM Choir Practice
Mar 8, 5:00 PM CASA
Mar 11, Gifts of Women Worship Service
Mar 11, Session Meeting
Mar 11, DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME BEGINS
Mar 12, 9:30 AM PW Circle
Mar 14, 5:15 PM Chimes Practice
Mar 14, 6:30 PM Choir Practice
Mar 16, CHIMES Deadline
Mar 18, 10:40 AM Worship Committee Meeting
Mar 21, 5:15 PM Chimes Practice
Mar 21, 6:30 PM Choir Practice
Mar 22, 5:00 PM CASA
Mar 25, Cents Ability Collection
Mar 26, 9:00 AM Piece Makers
Mar 26, 10:30 AM Mission & Stewardship Meeting
Mar 28, 5:15 PM Chimes Practice
Mar 28, 6:30 PM Choir Practice
Mar 29, 9:30 AM Community Kitchen
Mar 29, 5:00 PM Agape Meal
Mar 29, 6:00 PM Maundy Thursday Service
February 14 (Ash Wed.).…….......13
January Treasurer’s Report
For the month of January:
Percent of Budget Received 10.25%
Percent of Budget Spent 10.07%
Percent of Year Elapsed 8.33%
Offerings YTD $15,376.12
Spent YTD $15,104.20
2018 Budget $150,000.00
We can learn to do most things that Jesus did!
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