Posted on Fri, Jan 27, 2012
From Our Pastor
As we approach the season of Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday, February 22, 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 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 three-fold 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 (whom 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 world-class 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.
Rev. Randolph Nolen
About our New Pastor
Rev. Randolph C. Nolen was born October 2, 1951, in Charlotte, NC, was baptized in the Presbyterian Church in Erwin, Tennessee, where his grandmother taught Sunday school for over 30 years, and spent his first seven years attending Avondale Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, except for a two-year period, during which his father was recalled to active duty in the Army during the Korean Conflict, and the family lived with relatives in South Carolina. (His mother worked for the Navy Department in Washington, DC, during World War II, and his father served in the 82nd Airborne, earning a Bronze Star.)
After Korea, Rev. Nolen’s father remained in the Army, serving as a drill sergeant for the 101st Airborne at Ft. Jackson, SC, before transferring to Army Air Defense, where he finished his career, retiring in 1976. The Nolen family moved from Charlotte to Ft. Bliss, TX, Germany, and back to El Paso, settling in El Paso in 1965 and attending Meneeley Presbyterian Church, where he was active in the choir and folk singing group and served as sponsor of the junior high youth group. He was elected a deacon at 18--the youngest ever at that point.
Rev. Nolen attended the University of Texas at El Paso, graduating in 1973 with a degree in microbiology, and went to work for the Texas Health Department Laboratory in Austin. In 1975, he transferred to the Emergency Medical Services Division, inspecting ambulances, training EMT’s, and administering the state licensing exams to EMT trainees. During this period, he received both EMT and paramedic training. In 1977, he went to work for Mecklenburg EMS in Charlotte and was one of the leaders of the community organization which brought about the upgrading of Charlotte’s EMS from private- ambulance service to county-run Emergency Medical Service.
After attending Air Force Officer Training School in 1978, he returned to El Paso and was in the first group of EMT’s hired by the city when it established its EMS system. In 1979, he went to work for Core Laboratories in Casper, Wyoming, as an environmental radiochemistry technician, while working for the hospital-based EMS on weekends. He also was a free-lance reporter for the Casper Star-Tribune, reporting on energy issues, and was Public Affairs Officer and Medical Officer for the Casper Civil Air Patrol squadron. He attended First Presbyterian Church in Casper, where he was once again elected a deacon, and was a member of the choir and the hand- bell choir.
In 1983, Rev. Nolen enrolled at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He completed in one-year internship at First Presbyterian Church in Ft. Stockton, TX, in 1986 and a summer-long clinical pastoral- education unit at St. Joseph Hospital in Albuquerque, NM, during the summer of 1986. He completed his seminary education in December, 1986, although formal graduation ceremonies were not held until May, 1987. He was endorsed for military chaplaincy by the Presbyterian Church, USA, in February, 1987, and ordained at Fort Stockton on March 28, 1987. He served as stated supply pastor of Big Lake Presbyterian Church from January, 1987, until entering the Navy in July of 1987.
After completing Navy Chaplains’ School at Newport, RI, Rev. (now lieutenant JG) Nolen was assigned to Destroyer Squadron 8 at Mayport Naval Station, Jacksonville, FL, where he, along with two other chaplains, provided pastoral care and spiritual guidance for the crews and families of 18 ships--two Spruance-class destroyers, three minesweepers, and 13 Oliver Hazard Perry -class guided-missile frigates, including USS Stark. He was involved in the aftercare program for the crew and families of USS Stark after its return to Mayport following the Iraqi missile strike, and in the notification of families in the Jacksonville area following the USS Iowa explosion and the sinking of the ferry carrying USS Saratoga crew in Israel. He also conducted underway Holy Week services for five ships en route to the Middle East. During his time at Mayport, he was promoted to lieutenant and awarded the Navy Achievement Medal.
In 1990, he transferred to Cecil Naval Air Station, also in Jacksonville, where he was one of five chaplains at the Naval Air Station chapel and had pastoral care responsibility for Air Anti-submarine Wing One, as well as for the remote Pine Castle bombing range in central Florida. While at Cecil Field, he served on the Family Advocacy Board, which handles cases of domestic abuse within military families, was on the Cecil Field Boy Scout troop board, and coached his volleyball team to a second-place finish in the station volleyball league. During the Haitian refugee crisis in 1991, he was sent to Guantanamo Naval Station in Cuba for three months as part of the Joint Task Force, where he served as deputy command chaplain.
In 1992, he was assigned to a newly-constructed guided missile cruiser, USS Lake Erie. Joining the crew in the frozen wastes of Bath, Maine, he sailed with the ship down the East Coast, through the Panama Canal, across the Equator, (where he joined the ranks of the shellbacks), and to its home port of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where, in June of 1992, it became the first United States warship ever commissioned at Pearl Harbor. While assigned to Lake Erie, he coached the ship’s volleyball team to a second-place finish in the intramural league and in the Pacific Fleet Olympics.
In 1994, Rev. Nolen was granted disability retirement from the Navy and joined his wife in St. Louis, MO, where she was the volleyball coach at St. Louis University. He was called as pastor of Richmond Heights Presbyterian Church in May, 1995, where he served until May, 1997. From October, 1997, until November 2001, he served as stated supply pastor of Berkeley Presbyterian Church in St. Louis. He was enrolled in the PhD program in Historical Theology at St. Louis University from 1998 until the twins were born in 2000.
In 2001, he was called to First Presbyterian Church in Killeen, TX. While there, he started a youth Sunday School and a series of VBS’s, which increased the youth membership of the church from 2 to 30. He also sang in the choir and played in the hand-chime choir. He studied American Sign Language as part of the church’s deaf ministry, organized a joint communion service for member churches of COCU during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, helped plan and host two Grace Presbytery meetings, and, with the pastor of the Copperas Cove Presbyterian Church, planned and conducted a Darkest Night service for those who experienced loss during the Christmas Season. He served as one of four volunteer chaplains to the Killeen Fire Department, was active in Community Theater, and sang with the Schola Cantorum, a community choir. In addition, he served on several Presbytery committees, and was moderator of the Communications Working Group of the Synod of the Sun.
While serving as supply pastor of Big Lake Presbyterian Church, Rev. Nolen met his wife, Marilyn, whose parents were members of the church. She was women’s volleyball coach at the University of Florida at the time, and his assignment to Jacksonville, FL, several months later was providential. She was a member of the U.S. Olympic team at the 1968 Olympics, and retired as the third most successful all-time women’s college volleyball coach, with over 800 victories. She won three national volleyball championships and is still the only woman to coach a women’s national championship team. They were married July 3, 1988. Their twins, Ryan and Travis, were born March 22, 2000.
Rev. Nolen’s hobbies include volleyball, photography, and acting. He has appeared in more than 35 community theater productions, as well as two local commercials, and two university film projects.
Power, Water and Wood
Last month, the Property Committee got a call from the church office, that there appeared to be more water on the west side of the building than just normal snow melt. Bill Berckes went out and discovered that a pipe in the area of the air conditioner units was spewing water. He and Tom Berckes turned off the water to the church and, after looking around, discovered a broken gate valve. Bill called a plumber the church has dealt with, and he came over about noon, replaced the valve and a section of pipe, and we were back in business.
On the next Saturday, Bill noticed that there were lights out, the furnaces would not come on and the security lights had been activated. He then contacted the electric company and met with the on-call man at about 7:00 pm. The worker determined that the problem was in the underground lines. The crew that works on those could not start for a couple hours and could not guarantee the work would be completed in time for Church. Bill advised him to wait until Monday.
On Monday Bill arrived at 8:00 am, and the electric crew had determined that squirrels had eaten the lines on the post across from the church. It was necessary to pull two lines from our transformer to the pole. This was completed about 12:30. The decision to wait at least brought those attending Church closer together.
During the last heavy snowstorm, someone came down the hill and took out our sign. We have been able to salvage the address portion, and the top of the Presbyterian sign. With our new pastor, we will have to make a new information portion. Bart Buxton has stepped forward and will be making new posts to hold the sign. He is a stainless-steel wielder; however he and his crew are presently in Dallas, so it may be a while before the posts are in. With these posts, the next time anyone hits the sign, the sign will be there as well as the vehicle that hits it. We owe a big thank you to Bart.
Submitted by Bill Berckes
On Sunday evening, December 11, the Fellowship Committee hosted the annual Soup and Sandwich Supper. There was a big question mark about how many friends would come to see if there was heat in the fellowship hall. Some lights worked and others didn’t. We did find enough outlets working to keep our soups warm despite most of the power being off in the building.
Our favorite story teller, Loris DeKay, used her talent to entertain us with a touching Christmas story. Thank you to Lois and the eighteen friends who came and enjoyed the evening together. We will let you know about any plans made for a February get together.
Presbyterian Women Circle
The next meeting will be on Monday, February 13, at 9:30 am. All ladies are welcome to come and join us.
This year, we are studying the Beatitudes, this lesson will be #5 “Greatly Honored are Those Who Show Mercy.” Our lesson leader will be Connie Berckes who is taking the place of Phyllis Zumwalt. Thank you Connie. The hostess will be Harriet Pinkerton, also a thank you to her. Hope to see you all there. God’s Blessings
The Worship Committee would like to thank all who purchased poinsettias for Advent. There were excess funds after the purchase of the poinsettias, so we were able to put money into our flower fund, and we hope we can do as well with Easter lilies also.
I feel we should all be glad to have a faithful friend and pastor in the Reverend Bob Williams, who has stepped up to fill a void after the Rev. Cole left. We would also like to thank all of you who have volunteered to be liturgists and ushers and well as those who bring flowers to enhance our worship. You are appreciated! Current members of the Worship Committee are Tom Berckes, Sharon Howell, Margaret Johnson, Marno Talbott (session member), the Rev. Bob Williams, and Phil Zollars (session member).
Chairman, Worship Committee
MSP to receive treasurer’s report subject to audit. Dorothy will give the books to LaVerne Monteith for audit.
MSP to give congregation only Annual Statements of their giving instead of quarterly. We will be happy to run off a quarterly one for anyone who asks.
The Rev Randy Nolen is here and will fill the pulpit 15 January.
Memorial for Gloria Mac Ewen will be held in the Columbarium 12 January
Report of Clerk of Session:
Lane Ellison Parsons, son of Dottie & Jason Parsons was baptized on 01 January 2012.
Report of Commissioner: Presbytery will meet 17 and 18 February 2012.
Committee Reports and Recommendations:
MISSION & STEWARDSHIP – no meeting – noted. We had rec’d $711 for the Joy Offering by 31 December.
EVANGELISM & CONCERN– Friendship pads have been removed and “Visitor Cards” are on order – written report
FELLOWSHIP – will hold a reception for Rev Randy on 15 January and will host a potluck dinner on 29 January 2012 after the Annual Congregational Meeting.
PROPERTY – written report – Recommendation from the committee to deny request for use of building on 31 March 2012 - This passed
CONGREGATION COMMITTEES – Endowment committee – stated that Jerry Makowski is still a member of this committee
The Annual Congregational Meeting will be on 29 January 2012 for the 2012 budget to be received.
Received a note from the Roswell Gideon Camp that they are praying for us and have placed a Gideon Recognition Bible in Recognition of Dr. Harry Cole.
It’s time once again to help out Hungry Harold. He says for February, he is in need of Powdered Kool-Aid/Drink Mixes along with Canned Fruit and Dry Pinto Beans. He continues to give his thanks for the many blessings he has received from members and friends of Westminster Presbyterian Church.
The next Presbytery of Sierra Blanca meeting will take place February 17 & 18, at the First Presbyterian Church of Los Cruses. The Presbytery of Santa Fe will also be in attendance. Officers and officials will be elected, information forth coming in the next issue of the Chimes.
Souper Bowl Sunday, February 5, 2012
“Lord, even as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help us be mindful of those who are without a bowl of soup to eat.”
Using the energy of the Super Bowl to mobilize youth in a united national effort to care for people in their local communities who are hungry and those in need.
Transform the time around the Super Bowl into the nation's largest celebration of giving and serving.
The idea for Souper Bowl of Caring is a gift from God
People have the ability to serve and should be given opportunities to lead their communities in helping others
Every dollar collected through Souper Bowl of Caring should be donated directly to a charity selected by each participating group
People of all backgrounds and beliefs can work together
Hunger and poverty have a negative impact on individuals and the communities in which they live, yet there is joy in serving and giving to those in need
The excitement and energy surrounding the Super Bowl can be used to engage young people in service while producing lasting hope for all people
The Souper Bowl of Caring utilizes Super Bowl weekend in America to mobilize young and older people to fight hunger and poverty in their local communities. Its vision is to transform Super Bowl weekend (the weekend of the first Sunday in February) into America's largest weekend of giving and serving. Monetary and food donations are collected during the week leading up to Super Bowl Sunday. 100% of the money and food is then given directly to local charities of the group's choice.
Westminster would like to show the world that as a mission church, we can generously support this nation/state wide effort.
There will be bags available in the Narthex for this event during this time. Please donate what you can of non-perishable items. Westminster this year is contributing our donations to the Community Kitchen and the St. Peter’s Good Samaritan Program. There will be a count of how much was donated in our name posted on the souperbowl.org website.
Shirley & Bill Umberger, in Memory of Gloria Mac Ewen. Thank you to the Westminster Evangelism & Concern committee for the reception after the service.
The best use of life is to invest in something that will outlive life.
Remember Westminster in your will.
Just a Little Extra
-- CASA has started another 10 week class. We have 10 boys and 4 mentors. Patti Vorhees, Stacye Hunter and Phyllis Lester are working with them in the Fellowship hall every Thursday evening.
-- Please remember NOT to unplug either one of the coffee makers in the kitchens.
-- Clean up the kitchens after you use them. Please leave them as you found them.
--If you know the whereabouts of the white plastic tablecloth, please tell it to return to the church. It has been missed.
January Worship Attendance
January 1 .......... 52
January 8 .......... 57
January 15.......... 67
January 22.......... 58
Mark Your Calendars!
February 1, 2 pm. Evangelism & Concern Committee Meeting
February 2, 5 pm. CASA
February 3, 3 pm. Worship Committee Meeting
February 5. Communion Sunday/Souper Bowl Sunday
February 7, 7 pm. Property Committee Meeting
February 9, 9:30 am. Comm. Kitchen
February 9, 5 pm. CASA
February 12, 11 am. Session Meeting
February 13, 9:30 am. PW Circle
February 13, 2 pm. Mission & Stewardship Committee Meeting
February 16, 5 pm. CASA
February 17. CHIMES Deadline
February 23, 9:30 am. Comm. Kitchen
February 23, 5 pm. CASA
February 26. Cents-Ability Collection
February 27, 9:30 am. Piece Maker’s Day
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