Posted on Mon, Jun 25, 2012
From the Pastor
July kicks off with a civil holiday, Independence Day. It is usually just called July the 4th because that is the day it is celebrated. Does Britain have a July 4th? Yes, it comes just after July 3rd. It is not called Independence Day in Britain, although, given the rocky state of relations between the US and Britain lately, perhaps they might begin celebrating Good Riddance Day.
Actually, we celebrate the wrong day, because the Declaration of Independence was ratified on July 2. It was signed by many of the delegates on July 4, but some of the signatures were not affixed until late August. But, like so many other events, it is the symbolism, rather than the actual date, that is important.
I am sure you have heard people excuse bad behavior on their part by saying, “It’s a free country.” But there is a difference between freedom and license. Freedom entails responsibility. License is irresponsible. License is punching you in the nose. Freedom is having enough respect for you and the rules of society that I don’t punch you in the nose, even if I want to. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter said,
“Your freedom to swing your fist stops at the end of my nose.” The Supreme Court also ruled that freedom of speech does not allow you to yell, “Fire!” in a crowded movie house (unless it really is on fire. My seminary roommate, John Williams, used to wonder if it was permissible to yell, “Movie!” in a crowded fire house.)
We are no longer a free country; we are a country of license. The problem with that is we are all so conscious of our own “freedoms” and “rights” that we think that they are more important than anyone else’s. So when we feel our “rights” are being infringed, we cry out for laws to protect us from others. The rule book expands, common sense goes out the window, and, ironically, we all wind up less free.
The apostle Paul talks of the difference between freedom and license. License is a lack of freedom, an enslavement to the desires of the flesh, a fixation on the treasures of the world. We feel that we are free to do evil, when in reality we are enslaved to the powers of darkness. It is when we throw off the yoke of evil and bind ourselves to Christ that we become empowered to live truly free lives. We have the liberty to love, to give, to serve, to be the people we were created to be, to live as Christ lived. Let us free ourselves from bondage to sin, and be the children of God, free to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, forgive the sinner, and to love God and one another as we were created to do.
The Rev. Randy Nolen
With the fire above Ruidoso, many people have been displaced and without basic necessities. As most insurance companies take only the main items lost into consideration, this leaves a number of people without simple items, such as blankets, towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, trash bags, pillows, etc.
First Presbyterian Church Ruidoso is taking up a collection of items and storing them at the Boys’ & Girls’ Club there. Tim Coughlin of the B&GC along with Tony Chambless (Pastor of First Pres. Ruidoso) are working to try to make life easier on the residents as they return to the area to repair the damages left by the wildfire.
Take a look around your own home, see what smaller items you would need if you had lost everything. We will have bins in the Narthex to collect items for the people of the Ruidoso fire. Once they are filled, we will be able to arrange pickup with the Presbytery Office.
We are now collecting funds and Walmart gift cards for the Ruidoso area, so that the people can purchase things they need.
It’s that time once again to help out Hungry Harold. He says for July he is in need of Kool-Aid/Drink Mixes along with Instant Mashed Potatoes, and Canned Fruit or Vegetables. He continues to give his thanks for the many blessings he has received from members and friends of Westminster Presbyterian Church.
As many of you know, I was locked up this past week. I was honored to participate in the Jail & Bail event to raise funds for the March of Dimes to help in the fight against birth defects and address maternal and child health issues. Thanks to Applebee’s, which hosted the event and fed the “prisoners.”
Thanks also to the members of the congregation who contributed to my ‘Bail.” Because of your generosity, we were able to raise $220.00. God Bless all of you.
Rev. Randy Nolen
Update on NM Fires
Pictured left is the Whitewater -Baldy fire as seen from the backyard of Glenwood member Al Glick. The largest fire in NM history is now under control, but the coming monsoon rains will not be a blessing to the area. Volunteers are busy preparing sandbags which they expect to be used in the next 1-2 weeks when rain is predicted.
The Little Bear fire near Ruidoso is also under control, but as reported earlier around 250 homes have been lost in the area. Sandbags are also being prepared there. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance reports that, in order to restore a house to its previous condition after a fire, 22 months on average is needed. The recovery time will be lengthy in the Ruidoso area.
Just yesterday, (July 20th), another fire began in Corrales, just west of I-25 and north of Albuquerque near Sandia Pueblo. Flames could be easily seen from the interstate, and this morning the Sandia Mountains were crested with billows of smoke. Depending on wind conditions today, this situation could worsen rapidly.
Santa Fe is sending $500 in Walmart gift cards today to the Glenwood area, and Sierra Blanca is sending the same to Ruidoso. Thank you to the many churches and individuals who have contacted the presbytery offices to express concern and offer your help; many are planning drives locally for assistance with the fires.
From Sallie Watson,
Wall of Crosses
The east wall in the church entrance is for crosses from our members and friends. If you have a cross or crosses that you would like to have hung with the others, bring them to the church and give them to Barbara McNallen.
Chase Martinson graduated in May with his Associate’s Degree in Engineering and Design Technology from Eastern New Mexico University – Roswell.
He is currently working for the U. S. Forestry – Smokey Bear Ranger Station in Ruidoso, NM. He has been working at the Little Bear fire on an engine crew. He will work there this summer until school starts in August. He plans to attend ENMU-Ruidoso to continue work towards a Bachelor’s Degree. He also plans to take courses in Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) this fall.
He will continue taking college classes and will work again at Ski Apache this coming winter and spring. He enjoys the wild-land firefighting and, of course, really enjoys skiing and snowboarding.
He appreciates all the support and prayers that Westminster congregation has given him.
Session at Work
Pastor’s Report: visited Otis – noted that Julia Esquibel was installed as a ruling elder on 27 May 2012 and Bill Berckes was installed as a ruling elder on 10 June 2012. Joe Albrecht will be installed next Sunday.
Communications: Tom has given the annual report to Church Secretary, ready to print
Christian Education: Vacation Bible School will be held the week of 16-20 July – Adult CE will be studying The Presbyterian Handbook. Looks like it’s going to be fun!
Personnel: Written report – one action item – Session voted to hire Veloy Millett as choir director pending a meeting between her and Pastor Nolen.
Our Wall of Crosses have all been donated by members and friends. If you would like to add a cross to the wall please give to Barbara McNallen.
Changes and appointments as committee chairs:
Property: Bill Berckes
Worship: Larry Loy
Fellowship: Julia Esquibel
Mission/Stewardship: Joe Albrecht
Top Ten Reasons
(Reprinted from argentapres.org)
I’ve just seen one too many articles on why people aren’t coming to church. Admittedly, there are some good reasons. But I’d like to share my top 10 reasons why you should be coming to church. Others will have different reasons, and some may disagree with the ones I have listed, but here they are.
10. Coming to church doesn’t mean you have no doubts about God or faith or religion. It means you have a place you can share with people who have their own doubts.
9. Bad stuff is going to happen in your life. It just is. A church community cannot be everything to everyone in times of crisis, but when the bottom falls out of your world, it’s great to have a community to lift you back up.
8. Bad stuff is going to happen in your life, part two. The time to build a relationship with God is not when life turns ugly and you’ve run out of all other options. Attending worship regularly helps build a relationship with God and others that will give you a solid foundation when the winds blow and the storms come.
7. Not all churches are anti-something. Most of us are for people, for acceptance, for hospitality. Really, we’re out there. We just don’t get the good press.
6. Any church worth its salt has really good food on a regular basis.
5. Churches offer paint-by-number opportunities to serve. Many people would like to help the poor, the hungry, and the homeless, but they don’t know how to get involved, how to make the time to be involved, or what they can do to really make a difference. Churches offer you ways to plug in to help those who need it most.
4. You’ve got a gift. Probably two or ten of them. Becoming involved in the ministry of a church will help you discover and use gifts you never even knew you had.
3. Not all churches are after your money. Good churches want you have a healthy relationship with money. Sure, churches need to pay the electric bill and the pastor and the youth director, but money and the church is more about you than it is about the church. It’s about your own relationship with money. World events have proven that it’s much better to put faith in God than in a bank account. Church can help you with that.
2. Taking a break from our hectic lives to come to church is accepting the gift of Sabbath. Wayne Mueller says “(Sabbath) dissolves the artificial urgency of our days because it liberates us from the need to be finished.” We don’t take Sabbath and come to worship because we have time and have finished up everything that needs to be done. We take Sabbath because it is time to stop, and we are designed to stop, rest and reflect. Those who don’t are destined to crash and burn.
1. Jesus is really cool. Even if you don’t know if you can believe in the whole Son-of-God thing, even if you refer to the resurrection as the Zombie Jesus event, and even though those of us already in church often do a lousy job of following him, come to church to get to know Jesus. The more you get to know him, the more you’ll understand why people call his way The Way.
–Rev. Anne Russ
North Little Rock, AR
Just a quick note to let everyone know that between the Piece Makers and the Layette Ladies, 122 layettes and 63 quilts were created between June 2011 and June 2012. The layettes have been delivered to the Maternal Health Clinic of Roswell, and 41 quilts were sent to El Paso for the Border ministries, 6 to Good Samaritan with 16 left on hand.
It is obvious that summer is upon us. We at Westminster who are putting together this issue of the Chimes are hard put to find family news to print. It seems our membership, while having information to share do not have the inclination to email the office or call me on the telephone. While I have heard of health conditions of some of our members, there is a privacy issue that prevents me from writing about these lovely people in this issue, but you can do so, or at least let me know what you would like included in our news letters to our members. Only those sitting in the congregation with a bulletin in their hands are aware of the happenings within our church. The concerns told to the congregation don’t get heard by those not in attendance. Don’t forget, there are quite a few members and friends who receive the Chimes and this is the only way of our being able to share our family news.
We were treated this last Sunday, Father’s Day, to a piano solo performed by a very talented young lady, Hannah Martinson. We appreciate her sharing her talent with us, and others are encouraged to share their abilities—singing, instrumental renditions, readings, whatever contribution that lifts the spiritual joy of our service. While the choir is taking a summer break, Rev. Nolen welcomes our assistance in the morning worship service.
Joe Albrecht was installed as an Elder during worship service Father’s Day. While it took three separate Sundays to install the Elders for the Class of 2015, we now have them ready to contribute their leadership to the session. Bill Berckes and Julia Esquibel round out the three-member class.
The church is updating its files, and there are new information sheets available on which changes can be made to addresses, telephone numbers, in the event of death or emergency data and so forth. If you need to have a copy mailed to you, please let the office have your address. Attending members may pick up a copy in the Narthex.
The church also has in its files the forms needed to write out a Living Will and/or the 5 Wishes pamphlet. The 5 Wishes is used to let your family know the following information.
1) The person I want to make care decisions for me when I can’t.
2) The kind of medical treatment I want or don’t want
3) How comfortable I want to be
4) How I want people to treat me
5) What I want my loved ones to know.
Again, if you would like to have any of those forms on file with the church, please pick them up in the office, or call to have the church mail them to you.
I will close this corner with a poem appropriate to this month. It comes from a little book given to my mother in 1954 by a dear friend of hers. I inherited the book, Moments of Eternity, by Betty W. Stoffel, and would like to share “Fourth of July Celebrations” with you.
“Let there be prayers as well as great parades,
Let hymns combine with patriotic songs,
Let there be leaders of the future days
With heroes of the past amid the throngs.
Let reverent silence punctuate the noise,
Let God be praised for this great land of ours,
Let sober meditations balance joys
And grave humility mark crucial hours.
Let statesmanship grow from this nation’s need,
Let citizenship be equal to these days,
That godly men who gave their lives in deed
Be not betrayed by dull, indifferent ways.
Let joyfulness, not wildness, mark the Free,
That God may find us worth our liberty!”
The best use of life is to invest in something that will outlive life.
Remember Westminster in your will.
Mark Your Calendars!
July 1. Communion Sunday
July 4th. Independence Day! Office Closed
July 6, 3 pm. Worship Committee Meeting
July 7, 8 am. Men’s Prayer Breakfast
July 9, 2 pm. Mission & Stewardship Committee Meeting
July 14, 8 am. Men’s Prayer Breakfast
July 20. CHIMES Deadline
July 21, 8 am. Men’s Prayer Breakfast
July 23, 9 am. Piece Makers’ Day
July 26, 9:30 am. Comm. Kitchen
July 28, 8 am. Men’s Prayer Breakfast
July 29. Lend-A Hand food drive
June 3 65
June 10 55
June 17 N/A
June 27 45
is published monthly by
Westminster Presbyterian Church
(575) 622-2801 phone
(575) 625-2806 fax
Pastor’s office hours:
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And by Appointment
Admin. Asst. office hours:
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Contributions to the Chimes are kindly requested by the third Friday of each month.
Editor Ann Dye
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Larry & Dixie Loy
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