Posted on Thu, Sep 28, 2017
A Word from Our Pastor
The western hemisphere has seen terrifying natural phenomena lately on an unprecedented scale. Please pray for those affected by the Mexico earthquakes as well as the devastating hurricanes. Natural disasters frequently bring out the crazy in people. “Evangelical” leaders have claimed that Hurricane Harvey is God’s punishment on Houston for embracing homosexuality. (Houston had a lesbian mayor, but I believe there has been an election recently and that is no longer the case.) A prominent actress spouted the claim that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were a punishment on the United States for electing Donald Trump as president.
There are several problems with these assessments. First, Harvey flooded and damaged a large portion of the Gulf coast, not just Houston. Given the area of the country affected, it is probably safe to say that the majority of those affected do not support homosexuality. Second, the damage to the nations of the Caribbean was far more serious than the damage to Florida. Why would God obliterate nations which had nothing to do with the election of Donald Trump?
When people and insurance companies talk about “acts of God”, they always mean something bad that happens. Hail damage to your car? Act of God. Went 50 years and never had a claim? Just lucky. The problem with this approach is that God does not do evil and God does not cause evil. God is ultimately good. Theologians argue over whether God can do evil. If God is not able to do evil, then God is not omnipotent. If God is omnipotent, then God can do evil but chooses not to. My personal belief is that God is omnipotent, and therefore able to do evil, but that God’s nature is so good that God will never choose to do something so counter to God’s nature.
Things happen. Hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, forest and brush fires: these are all part of the natural order of things. Many of them affect us only because of our own bad choices. We build and rebuild houses on flood plains, on steep hillsides, in the middle of the forest, over known fault lines, and then when our houses wash away, slide down the hill, burn up in a forest fire, or collapse in an earthquake, we call it an “act of God”. Let us stop blaming God for things that are our own fault, and give God credit where credit is due. Love, joy, peace, kindness, generosity, caring: these are the true “acts of God”. Let us strive to make them our acts, as well.
Grace and Peace to you all.
At its meeting on September 10 the Session conducted the following business:
Rev. Nolen informed Session that shutins were served communion in August.
MSP to accept Nancy Armstrong’s resignation from Session with deepest regret.
Chair Phyllis Lester of the Fellowship Committee related to Session that a Thanksgiving potluck will be held at the church.
Chair Barbara McNallen of the Evangelism & Concern Committee informed Session that the committee is in the process of developing an information phone tree to get important news to the congregation.
Chair Jim Monteith of the Property Committee informed Session that GardenCrest had trimmed the cottonwood tree and it looks great. We also have received an anonymous donation to completely cover the cost of a new sign out front and it will be ordered.
Chair Margaret Johnson of the Worship Committee confirmed that communion cleanup (cups from pews, etc.) is to be done by the group serving communion. The option of liturgists serving for an entire month rather than just one Sunday was discussed.
The Presbyterian Women informed Session that the ladies from First Presbyterian have been invited to join them.
Thought for the Day
The outward characteristic of a Christian is JOY.
Oct. 1 Jim Monteith
Oct. 8 Ann Dye
Oct. 15 Dottie Berckes
Oct. 22 Dorinne Lykins
Oct. 29 Abel Esquibel
Food for Thought
“Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words.”
St. Francis of Assisi
From the Music Makers
Here I am again. You know what I want. You know what is needed. Singers and chimers!!
The choir took a big hit with three ladies not returning. The chimers need two more players. Seriously, I do NOT know where to look for singers and chimers.
So, why do we need music anyway? We need music because it brings us great joy. Personally, music IS my joy. Joy reflects God’s love for us. Music makes that love real to us. In music, we can pass that love and joy on to whomever may hear it.
When I was really little, like 80 years ago, I learned a little ditty stating “I have the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart”. It went on “I have the love of Jesus…”, and “I have the peace that passeth understanding…”. I love that little song. It took me until I was about 50 years old to realize the truth in those words. I don’t know that I ever doubted God’s love for me. I don’t know that I even ever thought about whether or not God loved me. I think I was just “in it” without having to reason whether yes or whether no.
And then, from out of nowhere, Jesus/God revealed that undying, everlasting love to me. I wasn’t in any kind of crisis. I wasn’t particularly happy, but I had a good job and a decent place to live. I had been in worse fixes. So why, at that time, did God choose to reveal his love for me? Who knows?
What I do know is when we are presenting our music in praise of God/Jesus, I cry for joy, knowing that wonderful love will never leave me. There are some songs I cannot sing all the way through. When the choir sings “Leaning on Jesus”, or the chimers play “Rejoice, the Lord is King”, or the congregation sings “How Great Thou Art” or “Amazing Grace”, tears flow, and I can’t help it. I cannot contain the JOY.
May the love of God that passes ALL understanding be with us all.
The best use of life is to invest in something that will outlive life.
Remember Westminster in your will.
I hope you are well and blessed in the precious name of Jesus Christ. The ministry is going well. We have had a constant stream of people coming in, along with the funding to cover the need. It has been a blessing.
As an encouragement I want to do something different in this article. How we perceive God impacts our understanding of who He is and the way we approach Him. In ancient Hebrew the names people were given were not merely something someone was called, they were considered identifiers of who they were, whether it was to recognize authority positions or attributes they carried, names carried a lot of meaning. It is the same with God. The names He calls Himself in His Word are powerful descriptions of His characteristics. It is important for us to know His names because it helps us understand what He longs to be to us. So I want to list some of the names He has given to Himself in His Word, as a reminder to our body of what we have in Christ.
The Lord Who Sanctifies (Lev. 20:8)
The Lord Who Heals (Exodus 15:26)
The Lord My Victory (Exodus 17:15)
The Lord My Peace (Judges 6:24)
The Lord My Provider (Genesis 22:14)
The Lord My Righteousness (Jer. 23:6)
The Lord My Shepherd (Psalm 23:1)
The Lord Who Is Present (Ezekiel 48:35)
The Lord My Strength (Psalm 27:1)
The Lord My Defense (Psalm 89:18)
The Lord Thy Redeemer (Isaiah 49:26; 60:16)
The Lord Who Saves (Psalm 29:9)
“Our Father Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name.”
It’s time again to help out Hungry Harold. He says for October 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.
Nothing was delivered to Hungry Harold in September, but I’m sure we will make up for it in October.
Elsie DeWolf has moved into assisted living and her new address is:
John Knox Village #121
1704 NW O’Brien Rd.
Lee’s Summit, MO 64081
Ernestine Harrison is out of rehab and now living with her daughter at:
1204 W. Fourth St.
Roswell, NM 88201
Nancy Armstrong is enjoying being near her family at:
647 S. 375 W.
Ogden, UT 84404
Monday, October 9, at 9:30 AM will be our regular monthly meeting.
The second lesson in our new series entitled “In Community with the Living God” will be discussed.
Lesson leader will be Dorothy Straley and Hostess will be Goldene Mondragon.
Hope to see you all there!
Hymn of the Month
“Children of the Heavenly Father” will be sung in October for our Hymn of the Month so we are providing some background information on this hymn.
Scandinavian Christians have a rich heritage of congregational song and folk music. This heritage comes together in the beautiful hymn “Children of the Heavenly Father”, by one of the most beloved Swedish hymn writers, Caroline (Karolina) Wilhelmina SandellBerg (1832-1903).
Karolina Sandell was born in Froderyd, Smaland, Sweden, the daughter of a Lutheran minister who was influenced by 17th and 18th century pietism and the Moravians. She found her voice in the poetry of hymns, writing as many as 2000 hymns, 650 of which were published in three collections.
Per Harling, Swedish Lutheran minister and Sandell’s most recent biographer, notes that at “the age of 21 her first collection of poems was published (1853), followed by one more two years later. The collections had no author’s name though. She did not want to pride herself upon her writing… Lina Sandell became Sweden’s first successful female head of a publishing house. She would never have called herself the head of it though, but rather what others called her: ‘Stiftelsens lilla piga’, which means ‘The little maid of the Association’”.
Many commentaries on this hymn state that SandellBerg wrote the original Swedish hymn “tryggare kan ingen vara” in 1858 as a result of her father’s tragic death by drowning. Mr. Harling, drawing upon research by Swedish hymnologist Oscar Lovgren, suggests that Sandell wrote the hymn much earlier, around 1850 when she was only 17 or 18 years of age:
“By the end of the 1840s and the beginning of the 50s Europe was… chang(ing)… In France the February revolution riots in Paris in 1848 had spread to other European cities, including Stockholm. Sweden had in 1850 sent troops to help Denmark, which combated a rebellion in SchleswigHolstein in Germany. The conservative ideas of King Karl IV were superseded by strong liberal forces, who wanted to completely change Swedish society. In 1848 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published their revolutionary thoughts in The Communist Manifest. Industrialism (was replacing) agricultural (life in) in Sweden.
“In the midst of these revolutionary and turbulent…times a small and sick Lina Sandell sat in her favourite ash tree in the garden of the vicarage and wrote about the safety of the faithful crowd. Her first (version of the) text said nothing about children, only about the faithful crowd of Christians throughout history. The first verse started: ‘No one can be safer than the faithful little crowd’. Probably she thought of the martyrs of the Christian story. Later an editor changed her text and put in the image of children. Thus it became a song about and for children.”
Mr. Harling puts “Children of the Heavenly Father” in the context of contemporary Swedish life: “Today it is the baptism hymn in Sweden. Almost no baptism can take place without singing this hymn. At the same time it is quite astonishing that this hymn has become a baptism hymn, since it does not say anything about baptism. And the Swedish text is full of pictures and metaphors derived from the Biblical story, which almost nobody…knows anymore in the very secular (culture of) Sweden. But still it is sung and loved.”
This hymn promises amazing life and hope from a woman who lived in great pain and anguish. Much like Horatio Spafford’s timeless hymn, “When Peace like a River”, Lina SandellBerg’s “Children of the Heavenly Father” was written under the influence of incredible grace amidst heartwrenching pain. The gorgeous tune is just as comforting as the lyrics, lifting the soul and calming the spirit. Christ’s words in Matthew 6:26 perfectly match the hymn when he says, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
The text of this hymn reassures the people that there is an eternal father who can never be taken from us in life or death—a father that comforts, protects, tends and nourishes unceasingly.
The translator of this hymn, Ernst W. Olson, was born on March 16, 1870 in Skane, Sweden. His family emigrated to America in 1875 where he attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. He worked for Swedish newspapers, and for a publisher in Chicago, and later became editor of the Augustana Book Concern (191149). He wrote four original hymns, and translated almost 30 more. In 1948, the King of Sweden made Olson a knight of the Royal Order of Vasa. He died on October 6, 1958 in Chicago.
Dr. C. Michael Hawn
Professor of sacred music at Perkins School of Theology
Food for Thought
If you have a great ambition, take as big a step as possible in the direction of fulfilling it, but if the step is only a tiny one, don’t worry if it is the largest one now possible.
Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.
Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom, “holding a wake”.
England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people; so they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bonehouse, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be “saved by the bell” or was “considered a dead ringer”. And that’s the truth.
Now, whoever said history was boring!!!
Christian Outreach Ministries of Roswell
One small Roswell church, the Christian Outreach Ministries of Roswell, led by Pastor Joe Diaz and his wife Alma Diaz, is seeking a new way to help those troubled souls who are suffering addictions.
The Diaz’s have, at the moment, 22 men and women fighting
against the curse of addiction. Joe Diaz is also working with the jail system, Sunrise Health Center, and hospitals in Roswell, Albuquerque, Carlsbad, and Las Cruces.
The Diaz’s understand those who are struggling with addictions, which makes it easier for them to approach those who seek help. Joe Diaz grew up as a gang member in Los Angeles where he was into drugs. Alma Diaz suffered abuse as a child and became an alcoholic.
COMR’s next goal is to have a safe place for women to recover and overcome addiction.
With the theater piece, “When The Party Is Over”, the church and its members are trying to reach others who have problems and to let them know that there is help. It’s the fourth time COMR is performing this play.
Some of the scenes in the play will remind older audience members of the 1961 movie “West Side Story”, in which gangs and their struggles were featured in a softened style typical for Hollywood. The struggles however, were as real as they are today.
“We hope that this play will reach youngsters. We are trying to help the best way we can. That’s our hope, to save their lives, to save their souls,” Joe Diaz said.
The play will be performed at COMR, 101 S. Sunset Ave. on October 7 at 6 P.M.
For more information, visit comor88203.wix.com/christianoutreachnm or call 575-627-5470, cell 575-317-7884.
Submitted by Dorinne Lykins, who supports COMR with a weekly meal.
In the Beginning there were 82, with 12 Still Remaining
Harriet Pinkerton requested a reprint of this article; first, because it was beautifully written, and second, it is very informational.
This report was written and orally presented by charter member, Veva Byrd, at the Session Retreat held on May 4, 2002. Its content was so well done and interesting, the Session asked that it be published in the CHIMES for all to read the history of this wonderful church. With some updating of more recent events, we reprint this history once again as this May 16, 2005 is the fortieth anniversary of the dedication of our church building.
In the beginning, there were 82 charter members of which there are twelve remaining. All had been members of First Presbyterian Church, who felt that First Church had become too large to really be able to meet the needs of all the congregation, and that a second church would give people a choice of attending a larger church or a smaller, more intimate congregation. Granted, there were persons who did not agree or understand our concerns. After prayerful consideration and many meetings with Presbytery officials, and in the homes of the interested persons, Presbytery granted permission to proceed with the organization of a Presbyterian Fellowship to see if there were enough interested people to organize a second Presbyterian church in Roswell. This was a unique approach to New Church Development. Usually there is a demographic study to analyze the population, then Presbytery would send in an organizing pastor and proceed from there.
To be continued…
Mark Your Calendars!
Oct 1, Communion Sunday
Oct 4, 5:15 PM Chimes Practice
Oct 4, 6:30 PM Choir Practice
Oct 5, 5:00 PM CASA
Oct 8, Session Meeting
Oct 9, 9:30 AM PW Circle
Oct 11, 5:15 PM Chimes Practice
Oct 11, 6:30 PM Choir Practice
Oct 12, 9:30 AM Community Kitchen
Oct 12, 5:00 PM CASA
Oct 15, 10:40 AM Worship Committee Meeting
Oct 18, 5:15 PM Chimes Practice
Oct 18, 6:30 PM Choir Practice
Oct 19, 5:00 PM CASA
Oct 20, CHIMES Deadline
Oct 22, Cents Ability Collection
Oct 23, 9:00 AM Piece Makers Day
Oct 23, 10:30 AM Mission & Stewardship Committee Meeting
Oct 25, 5:15 PM Chimes Practice
Oct 25, 6:30 PM Choir Practice
Oct 26, 9:30 AM Community Kitchen
Oct 26, 5:00 PM CASA
Oct 29, Food Drive
August 27 ...………………………37
September 3 ..…………………….37
September 10 ..…………………...35
September 17 ..…………………...39
September 24 …………………….43
August Treasurer’s Report
For the month of August:
Percent of Budget Received 57.66%
Percent of Budget Spent 67.50%
Percent of Year Elapsed 66.67%
Offerings YTD $86,486.07
Spent YTD $101,248.58
2017 Budget $150,000.00
Real Christianity is a new, courageous, joyful life.
All people smile in the same language.
We can learn to do most things that Jesus did!
is published monthly by
Westminster Presbyterian Church
(575) 622-2801 phone
(575) 625-2806 fax
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And by Appointment
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