Assistant Pastor’s Column
Before seminary, I worked for the Navigators. As I started to get ready to fundraise and prepare myself for the post, I spoke to a friend who was a student in the ministry. When he heard of the position, he said that the work had been described to him as “Here’s two hand grenades and there is the enemy.” To be crystal clear, I was working at the University of Arkansas which was a long way from Iraq or Afghanistan. Yet, though I lived in relative safety firmly located in the Bible Belt, it was still warfare. This should not have been surprising. Paul wrote to the Ephesians that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood. He also wrote that we are, before we know Christ, under the authority of the prince of the power of the air. He wrote to the Galatians that Christians are crucified with Christ and no longer live. At least they no longer live on their own. The life they continue to live is lived with Christ. This transformation is violent. It requires a person to die to the self. Sometimes we forget this, and we assume that the move from unbelief to belief is a simple intellectual operation. We must always remember that the Christian life is a life of warfare.
Because the Christian life is a life of warfare with the passions and desires of the old nature at war with the passions and desires of a Christian’s nature in Christ, it requires us to know God. Christians need to know that God is who He says He is as He has revealed Himself in His Word. This means that we need to know that God is the Creator of heaven and earth (Genesis 1). This means that we need to know that God has authority over all things (Daniel 7). This means that we need to know that His Kingdom is going to advance and fill the whole earth (Acts 1:8)!
Not only do Christians engaged in this spiritual warfare need to know God, they also must know themselves. They need to know that they are created and therefore finite (Genesis 1-2). They need to know that their first parents were sinful, and that sin impacts their ability to know God (Romans 5). Though they are born in sin and are sinful themselves, Christians must understand the righteousness they have before God does not come from their theology, their deeds, or their desires. A Christian’s righteousness before God is sure because the Lord Jesus took his sin and gave him His own righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Christians rightly seeking to know God and to know how they are righteous before Him must continue the fight. In addition to the remaining sin in our hearts, Christians must also contend with an enemy who seeks to stop the spread of God’s Word and its application throughout all of life. In order to continue to labor and fight, Christians must train their hearts and minds by the careful reading of God’s Word. We must read it and meditate upon; we must ruminate on the ideas of Scripture like a cow chews on its cud. Only then is our mind formed and our heart attuned to the Lord. When we understand the Lord and we understand ourselves in light of God’s revealed Word, we are able to follow the Lamb wherever He leads us. When our hearts and minds are filled with God’s word, it means that whether our days are filled with peace or distresses we can joyfully say, “Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all the day.”
To the Praise of His Glory,
Thirty Pieces of Silver
During the Lenten season Leidy’s Church members have been putting aside daily or weekly offerings for the Thirty Pieces of Silver. We have designated Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday as the time period for you to bring in your Thirty Pieces of Silver offering.
This year’s funds will go to the Good Samaritan Fund. Please use the zip-lock bag you received in the March newsletter or a Second Mile Envelope for your donation.
Easter week is a wonderful opportunity for Christians to reflect on reality Christ and His atoning work as it has been applied to His people. Join us for a service of worship as we reflect upon the earthly foolishness of Good Friday. The service will begin at 7:00.
On Saturday, May 6th beginning at 11:00, Ladies of Leidy’s will be sponsoring a tea as an outreach to all the ladies of Leidy’s Church and their families and friends.
This is a catered event so reservations must be made for each guest by April 16th. See the display in the narthex for details.
Come join us for a special time of food & fellowship, followed by a fun presentation from Marion & Friends. We look forward to seeing you there. Sign up today!!
Women’s Sunday School
On April 16th the Women’s Sunday School Class will begin to look at the book of James. If you have any question, speak to Lorraine Kroesser. All ladies are welcome to attend.
Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology
Here We Stand: Philadelphia is coming April 28-30 at Proclamation Presbyterian Church in Bryn Mawr. Leidy’s Church is trying to organize a group to go and learn more about why we believe what we believe. The cost is $95.00. The church is looking to organize for a group rate and to carpool. Please contact the office if you are interested.
Vacation Bible School Volunteers
Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Calling all children’s ministry volunteers! VBS is not too far away and we need your help!
Vacation Bible School will be on June 19-23! During that week, we are going to gather in the evening for an exciting outreach to the children and families in our community! We will have hilarious skits, energetic songs, fun games, creative crafts, and transforming Bible teaching! All of which will be pointing children to believing in the Gospel and building their lives on the truth of God’s Word!
Would you consider partnering with us by serving at VBS? We need group guides, station leaders (games, craft, Bible lesson), song leaders, decorators, snack hander outers (I know, quite an official title :), and set builders.
To help, fill out this registration form: https://leidysvbs.myanswers.com/keepers-of-the-kingdom/volunteer/ or contact Pastor Zach for more information! email@example.com
Wednesday Central is returning for April and May. We are excited to learn how God has spoken through His Word and continues to lead us every day. Join us as we gather for fellowship, singing, and to hear God’s Word taught and applied to life. Each Wednesday we will have a family meal and childcare (9 and under). Please sign up at leidyschurch.org/Wednesday or contact the church office.
Blood Drive at Leidy’s Church
The Red Cross Mobile Blood Unit will be at Leidy’s Church on Thursday, April 6th to receive blood donations from 2 to 7 pm from people who have registered as donors. There are two ways you can register as a donor. First, you can sign up for an appointment by going directly to the Red Cross website, which is www.redcrossblood.org and click on “Find a Blood Drive” and then go to the box type listed as leidyschurch. (no spaces or apostrophe). When you click on that link, you will see the times available to schedule your appointment. The second way to sign up is by calling the church office or signing up in the narthex before or after the worship service on Sunday mornings. Also, there are options of blood donation one can choose, from the normal red plasma to donating blood platelets. The amount of time may vary depending on the procedure, but the average completion time is between one and one-half to two and one-half hours.
We want to thank everyone who sign up to donate blood at the spring blood drive.
Come join us for breakfast on Easter morning! The youth will be cooking and serving breakfast of pancakes, sausage, and fruit from 8:30am-9:30am. There will be donation boxes on each table in the fellowship hall and proceeds will go to the Gospel Outreach of Child Evangelism Fellowship. You are welcome to invite neighbors, family, and friends!
All You Need to Know About the SLMT Auction
First of all, you need to know the date and time. That would be Saturday evening, April 22nd with doors opening at 4pm and the live auction beginning at 6:30.
Next, you need to know the location. That would be the Fellowship Hall of Leidy’s Church. The perimeter of the room will be ringed with silent auction tables while the center of the room will have a dining section as well as a seating section. A food line will be in the area near the kitchen.
Food, did you say? What and when? A hearty menu that includes delicious roast beef sandwiches, hot dogs (sauerkraut available), barbeque, baked beans, and Leidy’s Church’s own potato salad. A variety of drinks will be on hand and an abundance of homemade cakes, pies, cookies, and other delicacies. There may be a milk shake stand as well. Food will be available beginning at 4:30. Prices are more than reasonable, and the atmosphere can’t be beat.
What’s going to be available? Just about anything you can imagine. The silent auction tables always abound with knick-knacky items that can attract the attention of a six-year-old as well as treasures that will allure a 76-year-old: wreaths, glassware, a food chopper, prayer shawl from Israel, Lenox cookie jar, silver tongs (not “tongues”!), Kitchen Boa (not a slithering reptile), red wallet (check for money left in it), magnetic fishing puzzle, big old stuffed Teddy Bear, and lots of other treasures you’ll want to examine.
The live auction will feature an assortment of articles to satisfy a wide range of interests and appetites. For instance, a Baked Apple Pie, and a Baked Cherry Pie. Each will have been baked that very day by Wendy Radcliff. There is a Back the Bacon BBQ where all the entrees are wrapped in bacon! A Culinary World Tour for Two by the Kapusta Brothers that will touch all our cultural inclinations. An Ice-Cream Bar & Backyard Movie Night for singles, whole families, or retired persons who desire to get out and mingle. To top off the appetite schedule, there is a Paella dish for 20+ — it’s made with rice, vegetables, lots of seafood (almost everything under the sea!) and will be served when requested.
For the more competitive minded, there will be a Marbles Tournament – i.e. a tournament for up to 40 players of the Marble Game the Gehmans have introduced into our fellowship. Our understanding is that local constable and medical personnel will be on call that evening.
A calligraphy piece, illuminated and double-matted framed, of the Aaronic Benediction (Numbers 6:24-26) is a classic piece of beauty. Speaking of calligraphy, there will be framed J.T. Realmuto autographed baseball in glove with case – all authenticated. While we’re into sports memorabilia, there’s also a signed Jalen Hurts photo nicely framed and ready for hanging. If you’re into sports and athletic things, then you might be interested in some iFly tickets! Yeppirs, you can make like you’re skydiving and learn how Tom Cruise and does it.
You can bid on a long weekend at the beach in Lewes, Delaware, or bid on a tour of the Gettysburg battlefield.
For the more practically minded, there will be State Inspection w/ Lube and Oil certificates up for bid, a 400 watt Black and Decker Juicer, and a priceless circa 1979 Leidy’s Church plate!
We could go on for a couple more pages, but you get the idea. Come out and get a bidding card, enjoy a delicious meal, fraternize with friends, and get some stuff you’ve always wanted and explain it away by the fact the proceeds go 100% to the SLMT Mission Trips sponsored by Leidy’s Church. It’ll be a great evening. Don’t miss it!
Sunday Night Youth
Each Sunday the youth gather in the youth room and gym for an evening of fun, fellowship, and Bible study. There have been several new students that have been brought by friends. We are so grateful for the growth we are seeing numerically in this program. We have been taking time to study the authority that God’s Word should have on our lives the past several weeks. We have engaged on topics surrounding why God’s Word is our authority. We have also discussed the effect that takes place when we hold God’s Word high as our authority. Please pray for this teaching time and other times I have opportunity to speak into the lives of the youth. Pray specifically that they would hold the Word of God high so that the Gospel of Jesus would show its radical effect in their lives.
Within the Fellowship
Our sincere Christian sympathy to the family and friends of Buck Landis who passed away. May God be with them at this difficult time.
Kids Musical Slated for Two Presentations
Join The Sonshine Players on Saturday, April 29th at 6:30 and on Sunday, April 30th at 4:00 as the God Squad jumps into action! Their mission? To help rescue students who have been swayed by the alluring powers of the deceitful ME Dominion, a dreadful and un-Christ-like group espousing a lifestyle that focuses on SELF-self-help, self-satisfaction, and self-fulfillment. Faced with the huge battle ahead of them, the God Squad knows that it will take the full Armor of God to deliver the school from the ME Dominion.
Will the God Squad get there in time??!! Can they help turn the kids’ minds from being self-obsessed to being Christ focused??!! Are they ready for the challenge of defeating the ME Dominion through their faith in God’s saving power??!! Find out what’s next in God Squad!!
Street Mission Outreach
A Philadelphia Street Mission Outreach is being planned for Saturday, April 22nd. Needed are as follows:
Speak with Ed Schmidt if you have any questions. A box has been provided in the coat closet for donations.
Present: Shaun Permar, Michael Nowling, John DiLenge, Tony Jones, Jim Kinney, Aaron Vogelzang, Brian Shoemaker, Dana Gehman, Dave Reich, Ed Schmidt, Kendall Musselman, Jeff Schatz, Sam Im, Tim Leidy, and Tom Leidy.
Absent: Jeff Pike and Zach Darrow
Dana Gehman opened the meeting at 8:07 P.M. with prayer.
Tony Jones presented a devotional from Ephesians 5:1-2 where God’s people are called to mimic the love of God in their actions toward one another. After the devotion the minutes from February 8 consistory meeting were reviewed and approved along with minutes from the January 2023 congregational dinner on motion of Brian Shoemaker and seconded by John DiLenge.
Special guest Tom Leidy presented information about the cemetery and its board describing how it is a shared responsibility with Emmanuel Lutheran Church. He noted the availability of plots and the current cost of $1,000 dollars for a standard plot with $500 for plots in walkways.
Dana Gehman presented a summary of Spiritual Council’s discussion on the late February letter recognizing some of the distress that it has caused. He reported the agreed upon plan to have Tony Jones address the congregation as well as send a second letter of apology full of warmth and grace to those who received the first as well as a way forward as Spiritual Council continues to review membership.
Jeff Schatz presented the monthly financial report. General giving totaled 54,202 and budgeted expenses totaled 95,738. This growing deficit prompted a discussion about cost cutting with urgent calls to reduce expenditures to only essentials. Dana and Michael are scheduled to meet with an insurance agent to examine the possibility of reducing our insurance burden. Additionally, there were discussions surrounding how to decrease utility costs and the feasibility of Tyler performing an energy audit. On motion of John DiLenge and second of Dave Reich, the financial report was approved. Given the financial reality and the need to decrease ongoing expenditures, Michael Nowling moved that we suspend benevolence giving through the second quarter of the year. The motion was seconded by Shaun Permar and carried with one dissension. Additionally, Jim Kinney moved that the general fund borrow $100,000 dollars from the renovation fund in order to ensure expenditures are covered. John DiLenge seconded the motion and it was unanimously passed. The Strategic Team was tasked with developing an austerity budget to be presented by the April consistory meeting.
Michael Nowling presented a plan to steward well the resources of the church by asking for suggested donations for use of the youth room, gym, sanctuary, and fellowship hall for non ministry usage. It was further decided that this would be opened to nonmembers of Leidy’s church provided they accept our building usage policy which includes support for the broader mission of the church. Suggested donations for the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall were set at $300.00 for members and $600.00 for nonmembers as well as $150 for the gym and youth room and $75 for the youth room only. Shaun Permar made a motion to accept the suggested donation structure. John DiLenge seconded the motion and it was approved.
Jeff Schatz reported on the HUB rental payment of $14,250 which contains the majority of their delinquent rent. He enumerated the plan going forward to receive the rest and will be following up with the Pastor of Abundant Life Ministries.
Pastor Sam presented the new website and announced that it was going live on Monday March 27th. Finally, the church will be transition to both to a paid version of Mailchimp and Planning Center in order to better understand how to communicate with our people. The meeting closed at 11:06 P.M.
New City Catechism
Question 29: How can we be saved?
Only by faith in Jesus Christ and in his substitutionary atoning death on the cross; so even though we are guilty of having disobeyed God and are still inclined to all evil, nevertheless, god, without any merit of our own but only by pure grace, imputes to us the perfect righteousness of Christ when we repent and believe in him.
Ephesians 2:8-9: For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Commentary – Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Being justified by faith, we have peace with God. Conscience accuses no longer. Judgment now decides for the sinner instead of against him. Memory looks back upon past sins, with deep sorrow for the sin, but yet with no dread of any penalty to come; for Christ has paid the debt of his people to the last jot and tittle, and received the divine receipt; and unless God can be so unjust as to demand double payment for one debt, no soul for whom Jesus died as a substitute can ever be cast into hell. It seems to be one of the very principles of our enlightened nature to believe that God is just; we feel that it must be so, and this gives us our terror at first; but is it not marvelous that this very same belief that God is just, becomes afterwards the pillar of our confidence and peace! If God is just, I, a sinner, alone and without a substitute, must be punished; but Jesus stands in my place and is punished for me; and now, if God is just, I, a sinner, standing in Christ, can never be punished. god must change his nature before one soul for whom Jesus was a substitute can ever by any possibility suffer the lash of the law. Therefore, Jesus having taken the place of the believer—having rendered a full equivalent to divine wrath for all that his people ought to have suffered as the result of sin, the believer can shout with glorious triumph, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” Not God, for he has justified; not Christ, for he has died, “yes rather has risen again.” My hope does not live because I am not a sinner, but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died; my trust is not that I am holy, but that being unholy, he is my righteousness. My faith does not rest upon what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in what Christ is, in what he has done, and in what he is now doing for me. On the lion of justice the fair maid of hope rides like a queen.
In Acts 16, Paul and Silas are in prison when a violent earthquake occurs. Prisoners are escaping, and the jailer wakes up and is absolutely dismayed that everyone is running off. The jailer is about to kill himself, and Paul stops him. And the jailer asks this very famous question: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (v. 30). Paul gives him the short, biblical, absolutely beautiful answer: “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household” (v. 31).
“What must I do to be saved?” there’s no more important question in this life or for the next life. The answer to our catechism question provides a wonderful summary of what it means to have faith in Christ—the sort of faith that saves—and how God saves through faith. This summary contains two key words. first is the very first world: only. Only faith in Jesus Christ. You see, it wouldn’t be terribly controversial to talk about faith. People are into faith and believing something. But it’s only faith, not faith plus something else. It’s not faith in addition to your background, faith plus your family of origin, faith plus how many good things you can do for social justice, or faith plus how often you pray. It’s only faith, and it’s faith in Jesus Christ—there is an object to it.
Many people will wax on and on about faith and belief and say, “I’m a person of faith” or “You’ve got to have faith.” But faith by itself doesn’t mean anything. It is the object of faith that saves us. It’s a mystical belief in spiritual things that saves us. It’s faith in Jesus Christ. He’s the object. It’s the object of our faith that saves us. Faith is only an instrument. It’s not the one good deed that God sees and says, “Well, you don’t have much going for you, but you have faith, and I really like that.” No. Faith is what joins us to Christ, and then he saves us. It’s the object that matters.
Growing up in a cold part of the country, I often went ice skating and played hockey. I might tiptoe out onto that first freeze of the year, and sort of wonder, “Is this ice thick enough?” Someone else might be on the ice zipping around skating with great freedom and having a lot of faith in the ice, while I’m gingerly tiptoeing and have just enough faith to get out on the ice. But what makes both of us secure? It’s not the level of faith, though you’d like to have the strong faith that’s zipping around there, but it’s the thickness of the ice.
It’s the object on which you’re standing that saves you. And that’s Jesus Christ. So it’s only faith in him.
The other word that is so crucial here is imputes. It is essential to the gospel and to the Christian faith that the righteous life that Christ lived is imputed to us. That means it’s reckoned to us. It’s counted to us. It’s sort of a wire transfer of funds. And there’s a difference between a righteousness that is inherent in us, infused in us, a king of righteousness that says, “Well, look at me, I’m righteous. I do righteous things.” that’s not what this is talking about. This is talking about the righteousness of Christ that is outside of us, but because we’re joined to Jesus by faith, it gets counted as our righteousness, so that God can be both the just and the justifier of the wicked.
That’s the problem in Romans 3, and that’s the good news of the gospel—that though we are still sinners, God justifies us. And he is just to do so not because he waves a magic wand or says sin’s not a big deal (wink-wink); it’s because we belong to Christ and his righteousness is our righteousness that God can be just and we can be justified.
Birthdays & Anniversaries
1 – Bonnie Pross
2 – Tony Jones
3 – Michael Kehs, Quinn Mahoney
4 – Allison Hall, Phil Shafer
5 – Gabriel Martindell, Henry Shafer
6 – Doug Elliott
7 – Brody Kinney, Evangeline Smith
9 – Bob Hager
10 – Maikil Yagilnicky
11 – Ron Moyer, Greg Nase
13 – Brian Radcliff, Joan Radcliff
14 – Justine Smith, Kalbe Smith
15 – Stan Ott
16 – Betty Curry, John Davie, Naomi Nowling
17 – Martha DeFrancesco, Aleks Yagilnicky
18 – Ava Permar
19 – Verna Bowman, Sue Landis
20 – Jean Frederick
21 – Noelle Im
24 – Jim Kinney
25 – Mariah Foote
26 – Peter Martindell
27 – Aaron Vogelzang
28 – Mallory Kinney, Tara McVaugh, Peter Smith
29 – Sandy Derr