Knowing that you have heard enough about the coronavirus/COVID-19 to last you a lifetime, I will not mention it again in this column.
We should be fascinated by Jesus’ final journey to Jerusalem. Oswald Chambers alerted me to that fact decades ago. He cited Mark 10:32 which reads like this: They [the disciples and Jesus] were on the road going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking on ahead of them; and they [the disciples] were amazed, and those who followed were fearful. And again He took the twelve aside and began to tell them what was going to happen to Him.
This is a classic Lenten scenario. Jesus on the road to Jerusalem. He knows full well what awaits Him there. Mocking. Being spit upon. Scourging. Condemned to death. Crucifixion. Jesus tells His disciples what is going to happen. No wonder they are fearful.
Yet, He was walking on ahead of them, leading them. The text says the twelve were “amazed.” Perhaps their amazement lay in the fact that Jesus knew clearly what awaited Him and yet He resolutely went forward. Perhaps they didn’t really believe all the bad stuff He was telling them. For they believed He was actually on His way to bring in His Kingdom. We know the mother of James and John, two of His leading disciples, asked for special places for her sons in Jesus’ kingdom. This happened just prior to the Triumphal entry on Palm Sunday.
So, which was it? Was Jesus going up to experience horrendous public shaming, agonizing physical pain, and a gruesome death, or was He going up to establish a new kingdom, the kingdom of God? The answer, of course, is both! More about that in a minute.
Following in Oswald Chambers’ steps, we ought to ask how it was that Jesus knew what awaited Him in Jerusalem and why He was so determined to go? Want answers? Turn to Isaiah.
In Isaiah 50:4 the underlying source of Jesus’ thoughts and actions are revealed: The Lord God . . . awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple. Jesus had a disciple’s ear! He was focused with great intensity to hear what the Father would say. This is the type of ear that will pick out that one voice in a crowd even when the surrounding noise would drown out the voice.
Let me give you an example of what I mean. Recently I officiated at the funeral of Phyllis Wilwert. She had that type of ear and that type of hearing, when it came to her son Tony. Just a few days before her death there were lots of folk in her room. She wasn’t saying anything. Her eyes were closed. For all they knew she was sleeping, or she was off in her own little world. There was plenty of conversation in the room. It wasn’t quiet at all. Tony wasn’t one of the people talking. But in the midst of other conversations, Tony had a little cough happen. Immediately, Phyliss said, “Tony, you need to see about that cough.” Her ear was tuned to hear her son, even if it was just his cough!
That’s the type of ear and hearing Isaiah 50:4 refers to. Jesus had that type of ear for the Father’s voice. One of my prayers for some decades has been that I might have such an ear. I want to have the ear of a disciple when it comes to God’s Word. I want to be awakened morning by morning to listen for His voice, to read His Word. God has answered that prayer.
When I was in college, prior to my conversion, I was known for being able to sleep through anything. One time some of my friends played a recording of a jet taking off. They turned the sound up as loud as it would go. I still snoozed. My ears were tuned out and turned off. My disposition was to not hear anything.
Nor did I like to get up early. When signing up for classes, I would make sure I had no classes before noon, since if I did, I’d fail, because I would never get up in time to attend them. Not long after my conversion, my cousin Don pointed out Isaiah 50:4 to me. It pierced into my heart. Next thing you know I was getting up an hour earlier so I could read the Bible. By the end of the semester I was getting up at the ungodly hour of 6am. Just to read the scriptures. It was a very good, a very blessed time.
The Isaiah passage goes on to describe what surely is a prophetic word about the Lord Jesus and His mornings with the Father:
The Lord God has opened My ear; And I was not disobedient nor did I turn back.[Is.50:5-6]
I gave My back to those who strike Me, and my cheeks to those who pluck out the beard;
I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.
This passage from Isaiah illumines how Jesus knew what awaited Him in Jerusalem. He had an intimate fellowship with the Father via the Word, He knew the Father’s voice.
Why was Jesus so determined to go up to Jerusalem, knowing full well what awaited Him there? Let’s go back to Isaiah 50 again, verse 7 this time:
For the Lord God helps me, Therefore, I am not disgraced;
Therefore, I have set my face like flint, And I know I will not be ashamed.
He who vindicates Me is near.
The words “I have set My face like flint” proclaim resoluteness of will. He will not be deterred. He knows that ultimately He will not be ashamed. He will be vindicated. Both elements stand in bold relief in Luke 9:51, When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined [read: set His face like flint] to go to Jerusalem. The Greek word for determined is stēridzo. It’s like our word “steroid.” Jesus was muscled-up in His inner man to go to Jerusalem.
He was going to set up His kingdom. The disciples were correct about that. But they dismissed all notions of suffering, humiliation, and death. Jesus didn’t; He knew it was both. Notice the Luke passage speaks of “His ascension.” Jesus knew about His crucifixion. He knew about His resurrection. He also knew about His ascension. Here’s how Hebrews 12:2 describes it: . . . Jesus . . . for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem provides a paradigm for our journey through this life. We need to have an intimate relationship with God. We need to fix our faces like flint. We need to be willing to accept the costs of discipleship. We need to know the joy set before us, the joy of hearing the Master say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” That’s the best way to let our light shine.
In the Joy of the Lord,
John H.C. Niederhaus
April Pulpit Schedule
5th – Palm Branches and Grapes of Wrath – Exodus 13:3-10; Luke 19:28-34; Revelation 14:1-20
The sermon title seems to send a mixed message: how is it possible that Palm Branches of Joy are mixed with Grapes of Wrath? It’s not a mixed message; it’s an indication there are two different messages that are very much connected. One message is of ultimate Triumph, of a victory that is unassailable. The other message is of a final Judgment that is eternal. Luke’s record of the events of Palm Sunday includes an incident rarely read with the other events of that day. His record is a harbinger of events Revelation 14 will describe in more prophetic, agonizing detail.
12th – Victory in Jesus – Exodus 15:1-18; Matthew 28:1-15; Revelation 15:1-8
God’s people have experienced many victories over thousands of years, from Genesis to the present day. Two stand out from all the rest. The Red Sea victory and the Garden Tomb triumph. The one was the best foreshadowing of the other! Those victories are front and center in the minds of the saints in heaven as they stand on a crystal sea before the throne of God. With the harps of God for accompaniment, they sing the Song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb. It’s one song. All victories are defeats for one side. There is a stark reminder of that as this song is sung.
19th – Just Deserts – 2 Chronicles 36:15-19; Hebrews 12:25-29; Revelation 16:1-21
Arguably, Revelation 16 is the most frightening chapter in the Bible. In it one reads of the seven bowls of God’s wrath poured out in quick succession at God’s command. Whereas the seal judgments and the trumpet judgments were always partial judgments, the bowl judgments are total judgments. Everything in the sea dies, the sun scorches men with heat, utter darkness envelopes the kingdom, and a mighty earthquake splits the city into three parts. What’s most frightening, however, is that no one repents. A voice from the altar of God declares, “They deserve it.”
26th – Finally, Some Explanations – Isaiah 10:5-7, 12-15; Romans 2:17-24; Revelation 17:1-18
Reading through Revelation, one can get rather confused and disoriented. Apparently, when John was being shown these prophetic visions, he also became a bit disoriented. In chapter 17 one of the angels who had the seven bowls of wrath finally spoke words such as these to John: “Come here, I will show you” and “I will tell you the mystery” and “Here is the mind that has wisdom” and “What you saw are” and “Whom you saw is.” While things still are not perfectly lucid, chapter 17 is a big help. Isaiah 10 and Romans 2 will be instructive for us in understanding these things.
March was a challenging month in the life of Leidy’s Church. With services suspended for the last three Sunday of the month, no regular offering was received. That could be a recipe for financial disaster.
Such was not the case, however, and we say Thank You to all who have made certain your tithes and offerings made it to the church anyway. There was a big surge in online giving. Others have dropped off their envelopes/checks to the office. We’ve also had lots of offerings arrive through the U.S. mail. Your support is very encouraging.
Even when we don’t have church, we still have utility bills, salaries, insurance bills, and more than a few missionaries and ministries that are counting on our regular support. Praise God for faithful Christian disciples who make sure their tithes and offerings arrive in a timely fashion!
From the Pastor to Youth & Children
In the midst of the chaotic and confusing world of Covid-19, while we are all dutifully engaged in social distancing, we need to recognize another plague in our midst. Sadly, this plague does not have the awareness in our society and world that it should. It has a near 100% transmission rate (that means it is spread from person to person nearly 100% of the time), and it has a 100% mortality rate (that means that 100% of people who get this plague die from it). You may be wondering what the plague is called, how to avoid it, and if there is a cure.
The plague is called the Hamartavirus and no amount of social distancing can protect you from its spread. It is communicated from parents to children and has done so for thousands of years. Symptoms of this plague (just in case you wanted to know if you were infected) affect body, mind, and soul. We see this plague in the spread of other diseases, in the anger, hatred, and bitterness between those afflicted, and in the desire to replace God in the hearts of those living with it. With such widespread action, it is surprising that we do not hear more about it on the news. Truthfully, we do hear about it, but it is never called Hamartavirus. Instead it is often called autonomy, freedom, or self-determination and is often prized in our fallen and broken world. When we talk about it within the church, we give it a more accurate name. The virus that has ravaged the world for thousands of years is properly called sin.
Hamarta, the Greek word for sin, acts as a plague upon the earth. Paul tells us that sin has spread from Adam to all mankind. Further, he writes . . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. [Rom. 3:23] The effect of this disaster is felt on a daily basis. Because of our sinful hearts, people do not want to listen to God. Both the Scriptures and the world around show the disastrous effects of sin. As we watch in isolation and the world deals with the fallout of Covid-19, we should also remember the Hamartavirus. Covid-19 has caused death and destruction, but it is merely a symptom of the Hamartavirus. Because of sin, we will all die, and our bodies will decay. The suffering caused by Covid-19 should give us cause to reflect on the course the Hamartavirus has run through us.
The Psalmist writes, . . . If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord who could stand? [Psalm 130:3] If the Lord looks upon us and judges us according our sins (the Hamartavirus running through our veins), we are lost, and there is no hope. Thanks be to God, there is a cure for this plague. The Lord Jesus, God’s only Son, was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Because of His special conception, the Lord Jesus did not sin. He bore no symptoms of the Hamartavirus. Instead, He died to save His people from it.
When we consider the suffering, sin, and dying in the world, we must reflect upon our own mortality. We need to be people who recognize that we have sinned and are in need of a Savior. We need to run to Jesus our faithful Savior; He is the only cure for the sicknesses of sin. In Him, we find comfort in all circumstances, even COVID-19.
To the Praise of His Glory,
Easter at Leidy’s Church in 2020
Ordinarily Easter is one of the high points of the year for all Christian churches. In 2020 Easter is looking very uncertain. We don’t know if public worship services will be able to take place on April 12th. Plans are in place for now that should be able to work regardless if the Coronavirus restriction are lifted or are in place. Here’s what’s planned:
- April 5th, Palm Sunday, services are still suspended. Our service will be livestreamed. If it develops that public worship is open again, then we will have the service at church. Even if we do the worship in our sanctuary, Prayer Card Distribution Day will not happen on this day. It will take place later this spring/summer.
- April 10th, Good Friday, we plan to gather at 7pm for a Good Friday service. There will be hymns and the reading of the Christ’s Passion from one of the Gospel accounts and perhaps some special music as well. If we’re not able to meet, the reading of Christ’s Passion will be livestreamed at 7pm.
- April 12th, Easter Sunday Sunrise Service is scheduled to take place at the top of the cemetery hill. It will begin at 6:30am. The sermon and songs and Scripture readings will be altogether different from those at the 10am service. Bring sunglasses and blankets and other gear as the weather of the morning dictates. If we’re not able to meet, this service will not take place.
- April 12th, Easter Sunday Breakfast is on our schedule. The Youth will be ready to serve you beginning at 8am. There is no charge for the breakfast of sausage, pancakes, fruits, and other satisfying edibles. Donations are gladly accepted and, once our expenses are covered, will go to help Christians in the Middle East. Since there is no Sunday School this day, enjoy a good spiritual discussion around one of our breakfast tables.
- April 12th, Easter Sunday Worship Service could be our first service together as a congregation since March 8th. The focus this year is how Christ is always the basis for victory for God’s people. This is also the time to bring in Thirty Pieces of Silver offerings. If we’re not able to meet, the service will be livestreamed.
There you have our plans. We hold them very loosely! But we cherish very deeply all that Easter means to the people of God. We will celebrate Easter in 2020, though it may be as house churches rather than a gathered congregation. Regardless, we rejoice that Christ is Risen, He is Risen Indeed!
25 YEARS – It’s Hard to Believe!
It’s hard to believe that Immanuel Leidy’s Church has been going on mission trips to Ontario Canada for 25 years! The Lord opened this door to share the Gospel to the 1st Nation people a quarter of a century ago! Through the years we have witnessed some of the spiritual fruit of our laborers as generations of 1st nation’s people, who joined in VBS as children, grow up as believing adults, get married, blessed with children, and purpose to send their young children to our VBS program. And a few of the parents have volunteered to help at our VBS program.
It’s hard to believe that we still have an open door of ministry to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the 1st Nations people at the Pikangikim Reserve; it being one of the largest of the reserves in northern Ontario, Canada. Over the years we have developed a deepening relationship with the people and with Colleen Estes, who has committed herself to serve the Lord by living and ministering to the community at Pikangikim. We are looking forward to joining Colleen this summer as we send our missionary team there to carry out a new fruitful gospel ministry among the people of Pikangikim and to complete work projects at the reserve.
It’s hard to believe our SLMT outreaches continue to expand. Last year we were able to send a team to Cucuta, Colombia. They worked with the Luz y Verdad congregation in ministering to Venezuelan refugees. We plan to send another team to Colombia this year. In 2020 another expansion is taking place: a team is prepared to head for Mala Vyska, Ukraine, in May. The goal is to help further renovate and make useable for ministry portions of the Love Cradle Transition home currently not useable.
It’s hard to believe that the major fund-raising event for our SLMT Mission Trips is less than four weeks away. All of us can take part in the 2020 SLMT Auction on April 25th. You can help with the auction set up. You can donate special services like housecleaning, car detailing, dog-sitting, and educational trips. You can donate specialty items like collectibles, hand-made wood crafts, hand-sewn placemats, scarfs, or blankets. You can donate your talents in music, art, and culinary skills. You can assist in our church kitchen making side dishes and serving food on auction night. You can bake homemade cakes, cookies and pies to be sold during the mealtime as dessert items. All donations and services are gratefully received and appreciated.
It’s hard to believe that the time to respond to this year’s SLMT Auction is now! Please ask the Lord how you can contribute to the AUCTION!
It’s hard to believe each of these mission endeavors is contingent on something that didn’t exist a year ago: the Coronavirus. Join us in praying that God will make a way for us to go by arresting the spread of Covid-19.
Blood Drive: Need is Urgent
The Red Cross Mobile Blood Unit will be at Leidy’s Church on Tuesday, April 7th. Donors may arrange for appointments between 2 and 7 pm. Because of the extraordinary conditions in recent weeks, the need for donors is extreme. Even if restrictions are still in place on the 7th, the Blood Drive is considered a life-issue and is excluded from the restrictions.
Extra precautions will be in place to preclude any spread of the Coronavirus, such as:
- No donors accepted who have traveled to China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, Italy, or South Korea in the previous 28 days.
- No donors accepted who have had contact with a person who has or is suspected to have the virus.
- Pre-donation temperature screening for all donors.
- Enhanced disinfecting, donor beds sanitized between each donor, and other measures.
- Social distancing will include separated drive set up to allow as much distance as possible between donors.
- Staff wellness and protection procedures in place.
There are several ways for you to secure an appointment to give blood. The quickest and easiest way is to go directly to www.redcrossblood.org and in the “Find a Blood Drive” box type in leidyschurch. [no spaces, no apostrophe] Click on the link and you’ll be able to see what times are still available. Choose the time that best fits your schedule. You may get a call from someone from the Fellowship Committee to see if you would like to give blood. The church office also will take calls from folk who want to register to give blood but haven’t received a call and don’t want to go to the website.
If you go to the Red Cross site, you’ll find there are several options for giving blood. The one most folk select is just the regular blood donation. One of the other options is called Power Red. A Power Red donation collects the red cells but returns most of the plasma and platelets to the donor. These donors must meet specific eligibility requirements and have type A Neg, B Neg, or O blood. The final option is to donate Platelets. This type of donation collects the platelets and some plasma and returns the red cells and most of the plasma back to the donor. This donation takes approximately one and-a-half to two and-a-half hours. Again, the bulk of folk choose to make a simple, regular blood donation.
Thanks in advance for your participation.
Within the Fellowship
Congratulations to Peter and Bambi Martindell at the birth of a daughter, Sylvia Ann. May God be with them as they grow in Him.
Congratulations to Mitchell and Kaitlyn (Rittenhouse) VanDerbeek who were united in Christian marriage. May God be with them as they begin their life together in Him.
Our sincere Christian sympathy to family and friends at the death of Arlene Heller. May God be with them at this time.
Prospects for Normality
As this Newsletter is being published [i.e. March 27th], it is very difficult to say how quickly the Coronavirus restrictions will be lessened or rescinded. That makes it very difficult to plan a church calendar for the next month.
Our suspicion is that it will be the latter part of April or early May before the quarantine measures are relaxed. As of this writing Pennsylvania public schools are scheduled to reopen on the Monday after Palm Sunday. President Trump says he would like to see group gatherings and business matters back to some semblance of normality by Easter. Will either of those happen? We don’t know!
Here is how Leidy’s Church is planning for the next month or so:
- Services will be suspended through Palm Sunday.
- If all develops as our leaders hope, we will have services on Good Friday and Easter.
- The Love Cradle Banquet scheduled for April 4th is now slated for May 9th.
- The Kids’ Musical scheduled for the 18th & 19th of April is postponed with a new date still to be determined.
- The SLMT Auction scheduled for the 25th is still on, but we’re prepared to postpone it if necessary. Do continue to prepare your items for the Auction. They will be part of the Auction regardless when it takes place, but we especially need them if it happens on the 25th.
- The SLMT-Ukraine work project is still on, but we’ll have to see how things develop. Right now, Ukraine is closed, but it may open by late April.
- While it is too early to call what will happen with SLMT-Pikangikum, we want to move ahead on the presumption it will take place. We will have to extend the sign-up time to the end of April instead of the end of March.
- The same is true for SLMT-Cucuta. We’re planning to send a team but will have to see how things work out. With Venezuelan strongman Nicolaus Maduro now a wanted man by the U.S. Justice Department, a new set of uncertainties is injected into the picture.
- All manner of events we associate with normality are in a precarious place right now: Rummage Sale, Strawberry Festival, Confirmation, etc.
Of course, once “normality” is restored, how long will it take for folk to begin behaving and participating as if it were normal? Will there be a new normal? We don’t have the answers to those questions. Stay tuned, as this unprecedented crisis continues to unfold. Don’t forget to pray, to seek God’s intervention for us and that His purposes in all this will be accomplished.
Prayer Cards Update
Our collection of photos for use with the Prayer Card program experienced an unavoidable delay! The Covid-19 isolation mandate forced its way into our plans. Yikes! What shall we do?
We shall carry on, but at a later date. Because of the current quarantine measures, we are postponing our Prayer Card Sunday. We don’t have a new date picked out yet. Like everyone else, we don’t know when we will be able to begin to plan for normality.
Here’s what we are asking you to do. Please continue to pray for the youngster you currently have. We will let you know when the new Prayer Card Sunday is chosen. In the meantime, we will continue collecting pictures in order to prepare them for distribution on that day.
How to enjoy a Leidy’s Church Taco – or, Easter Breakfast
We begin with a perfectly cooked pancake. Then we wrap that finely textured pancake around a link of succulent Leidy’s sausage. [Stop your drooling!] Next, we drizzle this attractive and edible creation with a solution of warm, Maple syrup. Finally, we joyously eat this with sufficient slowness to enjoy it thoroughly. Then we repeat it – perhaps, again and again!
You need to remember those instructions; they will be important! Presently, the youth are still gearing up for the traditional Easter morning breakfast. That means that you all should be gearing up as well! Your soul may be filled with spiritual food from the Sunrise Service, or it may be rubbing its eyes (so to speak) from just rolling out of bed, but everyone’s belly will be yearning for some of that delicious Leidy’s Church Taco. This Easter Sunday, April 12th, the youth invite you to another delicious pancake and sausage breakfast. We begin serving at 8 and will conclude at 9:45, just prior to the 10am worship service.
Cost is on a donation basis. Once our costs are covered, all donations will go to support believers in the Middle East through our partnership with Church Without Walls and Dreams Alive. In addition to pancakes and sausage, there will be fresh fruit, pastries, and juice for your enjoyment! Come, join us. We will delight in serving you.
Watch out, you’re standing in the splash zone!
The 2020 VBS program is taking place in the evenings of June 22-26 from 6-8, with family dinner starting at 5:30. We will look at the book of Jonah and seek to understand what it means to be part of God’s people.
We are looking for participants. VBS is a wonderful time for kids to come, engage with the Bible, and learn eternal truths that can be applied to their lives. Our prayer is that the Lord would use our VBS to reach the elementary students (kindergarten through 5th grade) and draw them to Himself.
You can be a significant part of that effort. Not only do we need helpers of all kinds (kitchen helpers, guides, builders, de-constructors, and others), we also need participants. If you have children in K-5th grade, please sign them up at leidyschurch.org/children. If you do not have kids, but know some kids in your neighborhood, help us get the word of God to them this summer. Tell them about and invite them to VBS. If you have questions about how to help or how to register someone, please contact Pastor Michael or the church office.
Colombia and India
Gospel Gleanings and In This Time of Need are two major ministry initiatives by Leidy’s Church. The one takes place among the Erukulu people group in India, and the other is focused on Venezuelan refugees in Cucuta, Colombia. We wonder how this pandemic is affecting them.
All of India’s one billion plus population is under a Shelter in Place mandate from the Government. Even before the government issued those restrictions, our partner ministry in India made the decision to shut things down for a month to await developments. As a consequence, the outreach to the Erukulu people group is delayed for a month at this point. Perhaps that is to give us more time to pray for them prior to the ministry teams going among them, or perhaps this is meant to remind them (and all of us) how fragile a grip we have on life and raise questions about what happens after this life. Please continue with your Gospel Gleaning contributions and your daily intercession on behalf of the Erukulu people.
Colombia is also in a Shelter in Place situation. Pastor Dagoberto indicates they can hold no services of worship, nor any small group meetings. The government has expelled all illegal Venezuelan refugees from Colombia and increased border police to enforce the edict. We need to pray much for the Venezuelan refugees and that country, particularly since Venezuelan President Maduro is now on the Wanted List of the U.S. Justice Department for dealing drugs on a massive scale. Pastor Dagoberto also relates that many grocery shelves have reduced stock or are barren. More shortages are anticipated. We should make the pastor and people of Iglesia Luz y Verdad a regular part of our prayers along with the Venezuelan people.
Thirty Pieces of Silver
Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday are the days when the Thirty Pieces of Silver offering are usually collected. That is still the case this year, though we’re not certain if we will be able to bring the offerings to a church service!
If it develops that services are still suspended for those Sundays, you may send your offering by mail or drop it off at the church office during normal business hours. What you cannot do, unfortunately, is give it via our on-line giving service. At this point all those monies go to the General Fund as the service is not set up for any designated giving.
This year the Thirty Pieces of Silver offering will be sent to Morning Star Ministries to help cover the costs for a new roof on their house for women in crisis pregnancies. We praise God for all the women and children blessed by that house over the past 30 years. It is a fruitful dwelling. Soon it will have a new roof.
Resources for Folk Sheltering in Place
Here are some freebie possibilities for us to consider while holed-up at home:
- Good articles from Tabletalk magazine may be accessed at: https://tabletalkmagazine.com
- Westminster Bookstore has a Read-Slow program with many valuable books available for access to read slowly. Just go to https://www.wtsbooks.com/ and you’ll see it.
- For a daily M-F update from a Christian worldview via podcast by Albert Mohler, President of Southern Seminary in Louisville, go to https://albertmohler.com/the-briefing. It’s usually about 25 minutes in duration.
- Pastor Niederhaus is doing a daily devotional M-F. It can be accessed via video or in written form on our website under Pastor’s Ponderings. It can be accessed only via video format on the Leidy’s Church Facebook page. It’s usually 5-8 minutes long.
Ladies of Leidy’s
The next Ladies of Leidy’s meeting will be April 7th, Tuesday, at 7pm. We invite all women of the church to attend. Our speakers will be our Rummage Empress, Mary Beth Musselman, and her Director of Inventory, Alice Kraus. They are going to give us some history, growth and success stories of our “World Famous” Leidy’s Rummage Sale. If the school restrictions are still in place, then our meeting will be cancelled. But we hope to be with one another on April 7th.
Boomeranging Bottles Yield Cash
Way back in February Leidy’s Church did a Baby Bottle Boomerang to benefit the North Care Women’s Clinic. Those little baby bottles brought in big bucks, to the tune of $2,436.15! The Clinic extends thanks to all who participated and asks for our continued prayers, concerns, and involvement.
On a mild Wednesday evening in March, the 4th to be exact, the Consistory of Leidy’s Church met to conduct the business of the church. Below are some salient details of the meeting:
- Walking his fellow Consistorymen through the book of Job, Deacon Kendall Musselman dealt with the theme of dealing with trials we face in life. Questions such as, “Why are You doing this to me, God?” and “You made me, why now are You seeking to destroy me?” are common temptations when we go through hard times. Using many examples, Kendall concluded, when facing trials we need to be faithful to God and remember that He is in control and will work everything out in His own way, and it will be for our good.
- General Fund giving was average, but expenditures were high. We spent more than we took in. Our overall balance is very good at this point, but it will be good to have a five Sunday month in March.
- Peter Martindell gave a report from the Pulpit Committee. They have met three times and completed much of the background work necessary to list a pastoral position on specific sites. A landing page has been created for potential candidates to become familiar with our basic faith tenets, the job description, facts about the make-up of the congregation, etc. Candidates will be able to submit their resumes via that means as well. Peter commented on the amazing unity experienced by the Committee and their very real sense of prayer support behind them.
- Discussed various options to consider having in place on July 1st when our pastoral position will be vacant. This will be addressed more fully a little further on.
- Two security cameras are installed at the main entrance.
- Discussed at some length the Night to Shine event. All agreed it was a tremendous evening of ministry. Total attendance was over 600 people including guests, caregivers, volunteers, and various support staff. The Coordinating Committee of Melissa Moyer, Sara Shoaf, Pastor Steve Myers, and Denise Kulp were to be highly commended. It was agreed that we would like to host the event again in 2021.
- Discussed insurance protocols for groups that use our facility on a regular basis. They must have an insurance umbrella liability policy of at least $1 million.
- Tim Leidy reported on the Property Committee’s investigation on the windows in the HUB office area, i.e. the original church. A number of contractors have submitted estimates to replace the windows. The Property Committee was authorized to select a contractor and have the windows replaced.
- Shaun Permar reported the Christian Ed Committee is working on a new format for summer Sunday School. It still is in the formative stages but envisions enhanced parental involvement.
- John DiLenge reported the full complement of workers is in line for the SLMT-Ukraine endeavor in May. The Mission Committee still plans on sending SLMT groups to Pikangikum, Ontario, and Cucuta, Colombia.
Other Committee reports and items of information were received as well, and the meeting concluded with Kendall praying for identified prayer concerns and then he led in the unison praying of the Lord’s Prayer at 9:21.
The Second Helvetic Confession
Henry Bullinger wrote a confession of faith in 1562 for his personal use, to indicate the faith by which he lived and hoped to die. He revised it in 1564 when a pestilence [the 16th century equivalent of the Coronavirus] raged in Zurich and he thought he was on his death bed. He wasn’t, and in 1566 when the Elector of the Palatinate, Frederick III, desired a full expression of the Reformed faith, it was suggested to him that Bullinger’s private confession would do admirably well. It did do well. With the exception of The Heidelberg Catechism, it became the most widely recognized expression of the Reformed faith. We begin the chapter on repentance this month.
Chapter 14: of Repentance and the Conversion of Man
1) The doctrine of repentance is joined with the gospel. For so has the Lord said in the gospel: “Repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in my name to all nations.”
2) What is repentance? By repentance we understand the recovery of a right mind in sinful man awakened by the word of the gospel and the Holy Spirit, and received by true faith, by which the sinner immediately acknowledges his innate corruption and all his sins accused by the word of God; and grieves for them from his heart, and not only bewails and frankly confesses them before God with a feeling of shame, but also with indignation abominates them; and now zealously considers the amendment of his ways and constantly strives for innocence and virtue in which conscientiously to exercise himself all the rest of his life.
3) True Repentance is Conversion to God. And this is true repentance, namely, a sincere turning to God and all good, and earnest turning away from the devil and all evil. Repentance Is a Gift of God. Now we expressly say that this repentance is a sheer gift of God and not a work of our strength. For the apostle commands a faithful minister diligently to instruct those who oppose the truth, if “God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth.”
4) Laments Sins Committed. Now that sinful woman who washed the feet of the Lord with her tears, and Peter who wept bitterly and bewailed his denial of the Lord show clearly how the mind of a penitent man ought to be seriously lamenting the sins he has committed.
5) Confesses Sins to God. Moreover, the prodigal son and the publican in the Gospel, when compared with the Pharisee, present us with the most suitable pattern of how our sins are to be confessed to God. The former said: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.” And the latter, not daring to raise his eyes to heaven, beat his breast, saying, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” And we do not doubt that they were accepted by God into grace. For the apostle John says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
6) Sacerdotal Confession and Absolution. But we believe that this sincere confession which is made to God alone, either privately between God and the sinner, or publicly in the church where the general confession of sins is said, is sufficient, and that in order to obtain forgiveness of sins it is not necessary for anyone to confess his sins to a priest, murmuring them in his ears, that in turn he might receive absolution from the priest with his laying on of hands, because there is neither a commandment nor an example of this in Holy Scriptures. David testifies and says: “I acknowledged my sin to thee, and did not hide my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’; then thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin.” And the Lord who taught us to pray and at the same time to confess our sins said: “Pray then like this: Our Father, who art in heaven, . . . forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors.”
7) Therefore it is necessary that we confess our sins to God our Father, and be reconciled with our neighbor if we have offended him. Concerning this kind of confession, the apostle James says: “Confess your sins to one another.” If, however, anyone is overwhelmed by the burden of his sins and by perplexing temptations, and will seek counsel, instruction, and comfort privately, either from a minister of the church, or from any other brother who is instructed in God’s law, we do not disapprove; just as we also fully approve of that general and public confession of sins which is usually said in church and in meetings for worship, as we noted above, inasmuch as it is agreeable to Scripture.
- Lay Visitor:
- 5th – Denise Kulp
- 12th – Jill Ott
- 19th – Elaine Frank
- 26th – Rich & Juliana Kapusta
- 5th – Desireé Steve
- 12th – Linda Stretch
- 19th – Bill & Elaine Teate
- 26th – Andy & Joan Tawney
- Usher Captain Coordinator: Brian Shoemaker
- Usher Captains: Tim Leidy, Peter Martindell
- Ushers: Frank Allebach, Gary Brown, Jim Foote, Kevin Godshall, Randy Godshall, Josh Heebner, Mark Kostishion, Bob Ott, Jake Niederhaus, Calvin Radcliff, Joe Sciacca, Nicholas Sciacca, Jeremy Smith.
- The Emergency Committee for April is Diane Weber.