Posted on Wed, Jul 28, 2010
Due to technical difficulties, there will be no August article from Dr. Harry.
The following was taken from the Santa Fe Presbytery website:
The PC (USA) has a history of conducting extensive and thoughtful studies on issues of social and theological relevance which it believes will have an impact on the church, the nation, and the world. Over the years such papers have been produced on topics ranging from care for the elderly to homosexuality to right-to-life issues, including abortion and euthanasia. In 2008, such a study was commissioned. A committee was named by the General Assembly to "prepare a comprehensive study, with recommendations, that is focused on Israel/Palestine within the complex context of the Middle East," and then to report back to the gathered body in 2010. (GA Minutes 2008)
The Middle East Study Committee completed its work and prepared a study paper, "Breaking Down the Walls," which was presented at the GA which concluded last week in Minneapolis. (OGA-10-094)
Such papers presented to the PC (USA) are not binding upon its members. Since 1788, Presbyterians have affirmed that "God alone is Lord of the conscience…Therefore we consider the rights of private judgment, in all matters that respect religion, as universal and unalienable." (G-1.0301) In that spirit, members of the denomination are invited to be informed by such studies and engaged with them in dialogue, perhaps even led by them into new courses of action, but are not to be bound by them in their beliefs and actions. To hold any such study as binding would be to place that study on a theological par with Scripture, a notion which to Presbyterians is untenable.
Last week in Minneapolis the Presbyterian Church (USA) unanimously approved the study, with a series of modifications. It rejects divestment and unambiguously recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign nation within secure and internationally recognized borders. It also lifts up the often neglected voice of Palestinian Christians, emphasizing the hope of liberation, non-violence, love of enemy, and reconciliation.
Because of the controversy which has swirled around this particular study, we in the Presbyteries of Santa Fe and Sierra Blanca wish to share the following beliefs and commitments.
As Stated Clerk and Regional Presbyter for the Presbyteries of Santa Fe and Sierra Blanca, here in New Mexico, I value our relationship with the New Mexico Jewish community, which dates back to the establishment of the first Presbyterian Church here in the 19th Century. We have a committed history of inter-faith dialogue and working together
to assist vulnerable individuals across our state. With this longstanding relationship in mind, I have asked Sam Sokolove, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation, to join me in issuing this statement:
Together, we affirm our historically close relationship and commitment to continuing our ongoing dialogue on important issues for us as Americans, New Mexicans and as faith-communities. This report will not negatively impact local, inter-faith relationships.
We also recognize the sufferings of the Palestinian people. The conditions that they live in are often deplorable and must be ameliorated. Economic hardship, including unemployment and hunger, is endemic and leads to desperation. The Palestinian people must be able to return to a place of normalcy and healing. We call for a two-state solution where both peoples can live in peace and stability.
The Jewish people have an eternal connection to the land of Israel. This is immutable. While New Mexico’s Jewish community --like the American Jewish community as a whole -- is in no way monolithic, we recognize that most Jews today support the Jewish State. Thus, we reject the agenda of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement which seeks to equate Israeli policies with Apartheid-era tactics. These comparisons are unfair and do not create an environment conducive to seeking peace. While we often question Israeli policies, we affirm the right of the Jewish State to exist and reject those who call for its de-legitimization and destruction.
Furthermore, we are particularly distressed by the deteriorating condition of Christian communities in the Middle East, and seek both Christian and Jewish advocates to help protect these vulnerable, minority populations throughout the Muslim world.
Despite conflicts in the Middle East, today the Presbyterian and Jewish communities in New Mexico affirm that we will continue to work towards greater understanding and continued friendship. We urge the government of Israel and its Palestinian counterparts to move hastily towards a lasting and just peace agreement, and we intend to work toward that justice in our own communities in New Mexico. We pray for the day when God's peace will reign throughout the Middle East for people of all faiths, when the prophecy of Isaiah will be fulfilled:"they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isaiah 2:4, NRSV).
Just a reminder that there will be no meeting of PW in August. Beginning in September, PW will be meeting on the 2nd Monday of each month but at the same time (9:30) in the fellowship hall.
Did you notice we had visitors for a week in July? The North Liberty Mission Team from Grove City, PA, headquartered out of Westminster while they were in Roswell assisting with the Iglesia Hispanic Bible School July 10–16. Seventeen church members (14 adults, 3 teens) spent each morning during their week’s stay here conducting Bible School for the 20 plus children from the Dexter/Roswell area. Lunch was provided by them for all the participants and the afternoon was spent helping Adam and Esther Soliz with repair and renovation chores on the facility. North Liberty and churches in Shenango Presbytery have been great supporters of Sierra Blanca and have contributed generously with their time and money over the past two decades. We are certainly indebted to them. (You can see and read the Trip blog by going to their website: www.shenango.org. Click on “congregations” then “North Liberty” next “2010 Mission Trip Blog” and sit and enjoy their daily entries about their trip along with pictures.)
Hungry Harold is in need of Jello, Canned Fruit and Kool-Aid for August.
On August 15, there will be an "Old Fashioned Church Picnic." We hope everyone will plan to attend. There will be a sign up sheet to indicate the dish you plan to bring - suggestions are fried chicken, potato salad, deviled eggs, cole slaw, watermelon, or anything else you remember from those by-gone days. The committee will furnish iced tea, bottled water, and ice. If you prefer to drink something else, you will need to bring your own soft drink. BE SURE TO BRING YOUR LAWN CHAIRS, PLATES, GLASS, AND CUTLERY.
We will meet in the park below the church, about 4:30 p.m., and plan to eat at 5:00 p.m.
In September, we would like you to share pictures of your summer adventures. We plan to have a "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" program, after the pot luck supper. The date will be September 19.
Westminster has a lovely library, comfortably furnished, a place where people gather—Session, committees, adult classes, etc.--to share knowledge, ideas, plans, both on Sunday and during the week. Of course, it also offers shelves and shelves of useful and interesting books.
For some time we have been actively engaged in sorting, cataloging, shelving books that had been donated from all over the place. We have almost completed that chore. Thanks to the Property Committee, we acquired two, new, big bookshelves on the east wall, which now house specialized collections. There you can find biographies, books of fiction, and our reference section—Bibles, commentaries, concordances—to aid anyone interested in studying the Word.
Along the north wall the books are arranged according to the Dewey Decimal System. Anyone who is not familiar with Dewey can consult the little poster on the top shelf of the desk—a chart of basic categories listed by number. Midway in the north wall are two shelves dedicated to size of book, Talls for those too large to fit on the other shelves and Smalls for the little ones that would otherwise get lost in the shuffle.
The card catalog is available to anyone who wants to look for a book. There are two cards for each book, by title and by author. Later we will finish one that catalogs by subject. If you check out a book, just sign your name to the book card and leave it in the little box on the desk. Your librarian is usually there on Tuesday mornings and available Sundays if you would like some help in finding something.
The renovation is still a work in progress. We want to set up a section specifically designed for study materials and another for magazines, and lurking in cabinets under the counters are many volumes that haven’t even been explored in a long time. Also it will soon be time to take inventory. Meanwhile, we hope you will come in and browse. Check it out.
Anne the Librarian
Thanks to the following members and friends who gave memorial gifts to Westminster this part month:
And a big thank you to Gwen Reed who donated yards of double knit plus numerous other items from the estate of her mother, Asa Paschall. The Piecemakers will be making use of the double knit in the months to come, and the cotton fabric received has been given to the St. Mark’s quilters for their use. Other items were distributed to the Rivers of Life Shelters and the Community Kitchen.
Adam Soliz from Iglesia Hispania Presbyteriano here in Roswell recently received an award for the Best Bilingual CD "He'll Be There" from the Country Western Gospel Assn. Adam presented the Westminster women who toured the Presbyterian Outreach project in June with a copy of the CD.
The time is nearing, and the choir is reappearing. That's right. Aug. 25th the choir will be back in swing, and we are asking all that can to come out and make a joyful song unto the Lord.
I challenge you all to pray about this and consider giving the choir a try. Even if you think you can't carry a tune in a bucket, come and sing with us. I would like to see the choir loft overflowing with singers. This year we have plans for a wonderful Christmas cantata, and I will need readers for this. If you are looking for a way to serve the church, this is a fantastic way. Remember, you do not have to be a professional to apply. Last season our motto was "few but strong when the Lord surrounds us."
This year I want to be strong and mighty, overflowing with the love of Christ. So please come out Wednesday, the 25th from 7 to 8 pm. If you need a ride, call me, and I will arrange a ride for you. (For my telephone number, please consult your church directory or contact the church office.) God bless you as you consider this opportunity to help lead the congregation in worship.
Before Elsie DeWolf moved, she passed along some material that she thought appropriate for our Chimes. Though the source is unknown, here is one of the articles. Thank you, Elsie.
When I meditated on the word Guidance, I kept seeing “dance” and the end of the word. I remember reading that doing God’s will is a lot like dancing.
When two people try to lead, nothing feels right. The movement doesn’t flow with the music, and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky.
When one person realizes that and lets the other lead, both bodies begin to flow with the music.
One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back or by pressing lightly in one direction or another.
It’s as if two become one body moving beautifully. The dance takes surrender, willingness, and attentiveness from one person and gentle guidance and skill from the other.
My eyes drew back to the word Guidance. When I saw “G” I thought of God, followed by “U” and “I”. “God,” “U” and “I” dance. God, you and I dance.
As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust that I would get guidance about my life. Once again, I became willing to let God lead.
A prayer for you today is that God’s blessings and mercies be upon you on this day and every day. May you abide in God as God abides in you.
Dance together with God, trusting God to lead and to guide you through each season of your life.
The daily lectionary is on a table in the narthex. The Sunday lectionary for August is below:
Aug 1: Hos 11:1-11; ps. 107:1-9, 43; Col. 3:1-11; Luke 12:13-21.
Aug 8: Isa 1:1, 10-20; Ps 50:1-8, 22-23; Heb 11:1-3, 8-16; Luke 12:32-40.
Aug 15: Isa 5:1-7; Ps. 80:1-2, 8-19; Heb 11:29-12.2; Luke 12:49-56.
Aug 22: Jer. 1:4-10; Ps. 71:1-6; Heb. 12:18-29; Luke 13:10-17.
Aug. 29: Jer. 2:4-13: Ps. 81:1, 10-16; Heb. 13:1-8, 15-16; Luke 14:1, 7-14.
August 3, 7 pm. Property Comm.
August 4, 2:00 pm. Evangelism & Concern Committee
August 9, 2 pm. Mission & Stwsp
August 10, 2 pm. Fellowship Committee
August 10, 7:00 pm. Session
August 12, 9:30 am. Community Kitchen
August 12, 19, 26. 5:30 pm, CASA
August 19, 9:30 am. Community Kitchen
August 22, Cents-Ability collection
August 23, 9 am. Piece Maker’s Day
August 26, 9:30 am. Community Kitchen
August 29th. Food Bank Collection
Ray & Patti Mitcham
Annette & Julie & Abel Esquibel
July 4………………………..... 57
July 11….………………….. 75
July 18……………………… 60
L. Goins, T. Gresham, C. Hughes, D. Blossom, C. Snider, Rev. J. Mahaffey, L. Covert, A. Covert, G. McClmonds, T. Pizor, E. Eperthener, C. Pizor, D. Mager
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