December 2019 Newsletter

News and announcements from the Immanuel Leidy's Church community.

Pastor’s Column

Have I told you about my wisdom tooth? I do have one, you know. It is a special one, full of wisdom. Let me explain.

I had a wisdom tooth that was impacted and giving me great pain. This was only a year or so after my conversion. During the four-hour drive home from Purdue to be with my parents on one of their more significant wedding anniversaries, one of my wisdom teeth began to be more than a little bit sore. First it was dull pain. Then, during the weekend, it ratcheted up to include occasional piercing pain.

In the year since my conversion I had learned a lot about the Lord Jesus and about the Bible. I knew that Jesus could heal anything that came along. It did not matter what the disease or issue was, the Lord could heal it. I had been present on numbers of occasions when Christians gathered to pray for healing for someone. 

That knowledge was going through my mind as the pain of my impacted wisdom tooth morphed from a dull throb accompanied by an occasional piercing stab, to a continual high-alert pain with increasingly frequent occasions of off-the-chart jabs! What was I going to do?

Here’s what I did, finally: I walked out of my parents’ house, into the backyard, and prayed out loud, “Lord Jesus, help me. Heal my tooth. Take away the pain.” I don’t even know that I added “Amen” to that prayer. The words had barely left my mouth when all the pain was gone and it has never returned! 

I was flabbergasted. Was I just imagining this? Was it a momentary blessing of relief that would be forgotten in a minute or two when things returned to normal? Things never returned to normal with that particular wisdom tooth. I get excited about what God did even as I write this. Hallelujah! God really is real. He really does help His people. We can call on Him. Indeed, we ought to call on Him. He invites us to do so. 

That, by the way, is a good definition of wisdom: God is real, He exists, and He is always delighted to help His people. And I learned it from one of my wisdom teeth! As Psalm 111:10 states it: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Hebrews 11:6 states it positively: . . . he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. It’s the fool who says in his heart, There is no God. [Ps. 14:1] 

About a year and a half later I had the same problem, but with a different wisdom tooth. Good thing I knew what to do! I prayed. Then I prayed some more. Then I prayed harder; and took some pain relievers. I prayed intensely (and took pain killers) throughout the night because I couldn’t sleep. My jaw began to swell. By 8 o’clock the next morning it was a pretty good-sized balloon. It was exceedingly tender to the touch.

I went outside for a walk. I would walk off the pain. In that West Lafayette neighborhood, I walked past a dental office. But it was closed. Then I saw movement inside. So, I went up to the door, but it was locked. I knocked on the door. A man opened it. He looked at me and without my saying a word he told me to step inside! It was the dentist, Andrew Lincoln. He and I had never met before. He always took Saturdays off, but on that Saturday morning he was in, cleaning up his office

Long story short, the impacted wisdom tooth was infected. Dr. Lincoln punctured the bubble, got all the pus out, put me on antibiotics, and a couple of weeks later extracted that wisdom tooth. 

So, why weren’t my prayers answered? Why did I have to get treated by a dentist? Those were the questions pressing into my soul. So far as I knew, I had just as much faith with the second impacted wisdom tooth as I had with the first. True, the fact that the dentist was in his office as I walked by that morning could be an answer. But that seemed weak to me. After all, God didn’t need to use dentists to heal my tooth problems. I didn’t have any good answer to my questions.

Less than a year later I was home, back at my parents’ house for a couple of weeks – it was squirrel season! Wouldn’t you know it, another wisdom tooth got impacted and was giving me problems. So, I prayed. And I waited. My tooth throb didn’t get better. So, I prayed and didn’t wait any longer. I made an appointment to see my hometown dentist. He took some x-rays and said I should have the tooth pulled. I agreed. He did it right then. Problem solved.

When he took the x-ray, he noted that wasn’t the only wisdom tooth I had, though it was the only one impacted at the moment. He offered to take all of them out. I declined. In due time another wisdom tooth gave me problems and I had it extracted as well. At the time the dentist offered to take out both remaining wisdom teeth. Nope, just the one giving me the pain would be sufficient. 

That meant I had only one wisdom tooth left. That’s still the case to this very day. It is the one in my lower right jaw, number 32 in dental hygienist parlance. Because God healed it, I see no reason to extract it. Instead, it provides an ongoing testimony to God’s wisdom, power, and presence. Even Dr. Ed Fisher in Berne, Indiana, is willing to let that one alone. He knows my story.

What I learned is that God is always present with us, and He is working His Plan A out in our lives. Sometimes Plan A is immediate healing, sometimes it’s via a dentist’s expertise. Sometimes it’s both. Let me give you an example of it being both.

In mid-August my wife Pat developed a tooth abscess. She dealt with it. For awhile. But it was becoming more and more uncomfortable. It was a big problem because she could have no work done on her teeth until early October. She had received certain medications as part of her multiple myeloma treatment that could have catastrophic complications if she had any dental work prior to October. It would take that long for the medications to work out of her system.

What were we to do? We remembered tooth 32 in my lower right jaw! We called for some Elders to come, anoint her with oil, and pray. Norm Weiss and Rich Kapusta came to our home on Labor Day and did just that, and then left. Pat’s pain subsided. For an entire month! In the second week of October she had a root canal with no complications! Well, it was a root canal.

Immanuel. God with us. That’s worth remembering every day of the year, not just Christmas Day. The Lord Jesus taught us to pray beginning with, Our Father. Fathers deal with their children differently at different ages. A 2-year-old child is treated differently than a 12-year-old child who is treated differently than a 16-year-old child who is treated differently than a 30-year-old child. No matter the age, fathers love their children, even though they treat them differently, or, treat them appropriately according to each one’s age and each one’s circumstance. 

Because God is our Father, may the Holy Spirit direct our hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ. Immanuel. God with us!

In the Joy of the Lord,
John H.C. Niederhaus

December Pulpit Schedule

1st – A View of Heaven – Isaiah 6:1-7; Luke 1:26-38; Revelation 4:1-11
Christmas is about heaven coming to earth. That’s what the angel Gabriel’s visit to Nazareth is about. If heaven doesn’t come to earth, then we’re all toast! In Revelation 4 the opposite happens: someone from earth is taken into heaven! It is the apostle John. Jesus, who has been speaking with John, suddenly bids John to come up. There are things Jesus wants John to see. It is a revealing view of heaven. Looking over John’s shoulder, as it were, we receive a view of heaven as well. A good way to begin Advent is by seeing and hearing heaven along with John.

8th – Quodlibet – Psalm 119:97-104; 1 Thessalonians 5:14-24; Matthew 1:18-25
It’s the second Sunday of Advent. That means the Preacher’s been off all week! After all, he didn’t even have to prepare a sermon for today. All he must do is read some questions from the congregation and then provide profound, accurate, and in-depth answers off the top of his head! Quodlibet means ask whatever you wish. Like Joseph, you might have questions about the Virgin Birth. Or, maybe some youth are wondering how they can have more insight than all their teachers. Or, what do we do when someone treats us in an evil fashion? Ask whatever you wish.

15th – Weeping – Genesis 3:20-24; Matthew 2:1-8, 16-18; Revelation 5:1-5
Our world is filled with weeping. Something is out of whack. It’s been that way since the Garden of Eden. Driven from Paradise by God, Adam and Eve and all their descendants are unable to gain access to the Tree of Life. Guarded by angels with flaming swords, access to the Tree is severely restricted. God’s original plan and purpose for the world cannot be fulfilled. It is sealed with seven seals and no one can open it. John sees this plan in heaven and weeps because no one is able to open the plan. No one is able to bring it to pass. The Herods of the world seem to win.

22nd – Rejoicing! – Isaiah 45:20-25; Luke 1:39-55; Revelation 5:6-10
Last week John wept because the plan and purpose of God was thwarted. No one was worthy to put it into action. The word to describe the situation: hopeless. Well, with men it was indeed a hopeless situation, but with God all things are possible! John’s weeping turned to rejoicing in an instant. It was the miracle of Christmas. Just as Mary, the virgin of Nazareth, rejoiced as she realized God’s plan and purpose would be fulfilled, so every tribe, tongue, people, and nation will have cause to rejoice at God’s great goodness. We, too, have cause for great rejoicing.

24th – Worthy – Psalm 103:1-22; Matthew 2:1-12; Revelation 5:11-14
Here’s the scene: the apostle John is caught up into heaven; he sees a Lion and a Lamb; this Lion who is the Lamb is the One who unseals and brings to completion the plan and purpose of God; 24 Elders sing the praise of this Lion/Lamb. Now, something more majestic unfolds before John. He hears a perfectly pitched choir of voices that rises and rises as crescendo after exploding crescendo of praise is voiced by a choir composed of myriads of thousands of thousands of angels. The song has one refrain: Worthy is the Lamb. All creation joins in the song. So should we. 

29th – Done – Isaiah 40:1-11; John 1:1-18; Revelation 5:1-14
Christmas is over. It is done. It cannot be undone. By Christmas, of course, we mean the irruption (not eruption) of God into this fallen world to bring about the redemption, reconciliation, and restoration of the people of God. In the fifth chapter of Revelation the apostle John sees the full outworking of what he wrote about in the first chapter of his gospel account. It’s worth our examining again. We are among those who share the burden given to John the Baptist in the words of Isaiah to get up on a high mountain and declare, “Here is your God! He will tend His flock.” Come to Him.

Thumbs Up for Christmas Activities

Don’t twiddle your thumbs; get them to work UP-loading into your electronic devices significant dates and times for this Christmas season. To assist you in that process, here’s a  heads-up on some info we encourage you to give a thumbs up to:

Each Sunday morning in December there is worship happening at Leidy’s Church. Yes, it will be great to have you present for worship during Advent!

✔ The Advent Workshop take place on December 1st, beginning at 4pm. Craft activities for all ages happen. The event concludes with a pizza and shared desserts. Yummmm.

✔ The 8th of December is the second Sunday of Advent and that means our Quodlibet Sunday and time for questions. Maybe some answers.

✔ At 2pm on the afternoon of December 15th carolers from Leidy’s Church will head out to spread Christmas cheer. This is a service project that morphs into a fun project that morphs into a worship project. Caroling is a tradition Christians continue to perpetuate, and rightly so.

✔ At 6:30pm on that same day, namely the 15th, the Penn View Brass Band will be in concert at Leidy’s Church. It will be a festive event with a free-will offering to help fund Night to Shine.  

✔ At 7pm on Christmas Eve Leidy’s Church will rejoice in remembering the steadfast, purposeful love of God in His promise to bring deliverance to a fallen world enshrouded in darkness. Entitled The Lights of Christmas, it will document God’s light shining in the softly radiant beams from the infant Christ’s face to the brilliantly illumined heavenly hosts that startled the shepherds out in the fields tending their flocks. A musical service, it will consist of songs and instruments and congregational carols ordered and arranged around biblical texts. Pre-service music featuring Darlene Schmidt will begin at 6:30. The service concludes with the candlelight singing of Silent Night.

✔ At 10:30pm on Christmas Eve a more formal service of worship will take place. It will be a preaching service, this year focusing on the Worthy One who is the Lamb and Lion seen by the apostle John when he is caught up into heaven. The service culminates in the sharing of the Lord’s Supper and closes with a candle lighting service and singing of Silent Night. 

      Christmas is an awesome time. Participate fully this year. 

Blasting Away!

Make that iBlasting Away, that is! Indeed, iBlast has lifted off, but there is still time and opportunity to join in. If you have a young person in the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth grade, then you’re invited to have them be part of the iBlast crew. Or, if you have an acquaintance that has such a young person, invite them to consider this invitation.

The main requirement is that the young person enjoys having a great time and learning along the way. iBlast happens each Wednesday evening. The last session this semester is December 18th. That means three Wednesday we’ll be blasting away.

For those who so desire, there is a family meal starting at 5:15, with iBlast proper beginning at 6. We hope to see you on Wednesdays in December.

From the Pastor to Youth & Children

Not long ago I was driving around town and I saw three kids walking down the sidewalk with what looked like string hanging between them. As I watched them, I thought it was pretty neat that in 2019 kids still had fun making soup-can walkie talkies. Just in case you have forgotten, soup-can walkie talkies are made with two soup cans and a length of string. The string is attached to the bottom of each can and stretched taut. When one person speaks into one soup can the sound travels down the string to the other. In this way friends can talk across the yard or even around the corner. As I was thinking how cool soup-can walkie talkies were, I drove by and realized that these three friends were each holding their smart phones in their hands. What I had thought was string turned out to be charging cables which two friends were using to charge their phones from a battery in the pocket of the third. It was the new soup-can walkie talkie!  How the times have changed!

2019 is certainly different from 2009, 1999, and 1989 (I can’t go back any further).  Information now flows more quickly than at any time in human history. Just in case you needed proof, did you know that there are 89 countries smaller than the state of Indiana. This factoid took a mere 30 seconds to look up. In the fall of 1997, I spent a couple of hours poring through encyclopedias to come up with the answer to the same question. How the times have changed!

Our increased knowledge goes far beyond geography. With the advent of social media, I now know the eating habits of more than a few congregants of Leidy’s Church. To find out which of you delight in chocolate desserts, I did not have to spend time hiding in the bushes outside of your favorite restaurants; I just had to take a gander at your posts on Facebook. By your likes, I know where you like to shop, your vacation plans, and your political leanings. This is by no means bad. Social media has allowed my family (and likely yours) to share information and pictures of loved ones my grandparents could have only dreamed of. How the times have changed!

Yet, the digital world which we inhabit is not always benign. Some use social media to bully and intimidate. Others use platforms like Facebook and Instagram to make money. While I am not opposed to financial gain, some seek to profit unfairly by publishing sensational and false material again and again in order to boost their “likes” and increase revenue. Particularly in the political arena, individuals prey on our sinful nature by posting material designed to elicit rage and fury. They then use that to drive their own financial gain. Paul in writing to the Romans reminds us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. [Rom. 3:23] Given our age of over-information, it should not then surprise us that this generation has turned wonderful technology to fear-instilling sin exuding profit machines that fit conveniently in the palm of our hands. Before I sound like an advertisement for the 1950’s, remember that whether you belong to the cell phone generation, the soup-can walkie talkie generation, or indeed the telegraph generation, all have sinned and rebelled from God. All generations require the saving grace of God. How the times remain the same!

How are Christians to navigate this “changing” world. First, we must recognize that God is sovereign and in control. Second, we must recognize that as Paul wrote the days are evil. [Eph. 5:16] Third, we must remember that in Christ alone is the forgiveness of sins (ours included). Finally, we must, along with all past generations, proclaim the message of Christ to an unbelieving people and pray that the Lord would change hearts and minds. How great is our God!

To the Praise of His Glory,
Michael

Forty-Seven Years!

Friday, January 24, 2020 will mark the 47th annual March for Life to be held on the mall in Washington, D.C. This year’s theme is Life Empowers: Pro-Life is Pro-Woman. This theme was chosen because 2020 marks the 100th year anniversary of the 19th ratification of the Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That’s the Amendment that guarantees women the right to vote.

President of March for Life, Jeanne Mancini, reminds us the early suffragists were unanimously pro-life. They understood that abortion terminates living persons and harms women: 

Courageous suffragists like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton who fought for women’s right to vote, also opposed abortion. Pro-lifers should be inspired by the early suffragists who understood the true dignity of women, and that every person, born and unborn, deserves equal rights and protections under the law. The success of the suffragists in achieving a guaranteed right to vote for women gives us hope that one day all persons, born and unborn, will be guaranteed the right to life,

Speakers at the Rally on the Mall are always inspiring and share good accounts of what God is doing. We are thankful for the many members of the Congress who will be present and introduced. Their faithfulness in the political arena is crucial. The Rally will not be without music as the popular band We Are Messengers will be presenting some of their music during the Rally as well.

Leidy’s Church has secured a comfortable Perkiomen coach to take a contingent of folk down on the 24th of January. It will depart from the parking lot at 6am and should return between 8 and 9pm. Thanks to the continued financial support of the Church & Community Committee, the cost per person is still only $12 person. A sign-up sheet will be posted in the narthex during December. Get your name on it sooner rather than later. 

Background Checks

It was back in 2015 that Pennsylvania begin to require background checks for individuals who work in any way or come into contact with children under the age of 18. If you remember, we had some meetings about that and there was a sustained flurry of activity to get those background checks taken care of. Without them, one could not volunteer in the nursery, go on mission trips, help with the youth, and all sorts of things. 

As time has rolled on, now is the time when those background checks need to be renewed. Apparently, it’s not only Santa Claus who’s checking up on folk! But, no need to worry. The process is a breeze. Friendly and efficient ladies from our office will be reaching out to individuals who need to get recertified. And they will be glad to assist you in any way necessary.

Thank you so much for your continued support of the children and youth of Leidy’s Church and the surrounding area!

Let Your Light Shine with Singing!

Music and Christmas are intertwined in most folks’ minds. A bountiful number of wonderful Christmas hymns and carols have been written over the years. Carolers from Leidy’s Church will light up homes with joyful singing on the 15th of December this year. Below is a song announcing the same, though whether it could ever be sung is open to question:  

On the Sunday before the Sunday before Christmas this year,
Enter this date into your digital calendar with cheer,
for whatever the weather, be it sunshine, rain, or snow,
It’s a date to see faces lit up with a glow,
As carolers from Leidy’s a’Wassailing go!

Not quite sure what tune should be used to sing that verse, but you get the idea, right? Leidy’s Church is sending out carolers on the afternoon of December 15th

Included in the bulletins during December will be registration forms for those who want to be part of a caroling crew from Leidy’s Church. Because crews must be organized and itineraries set up, it’s important to know who all is on the roster! If you sign-up, we’ll gather in the Youth Room at 1:45 to get our marching orders and find out with whom we’ll be caroling and to whom we’ll go caroling. 

Beginning about 2 p.m. the various caroling crews will weave their respective paths in and out of our community’s highways and byways singing Christmas carols to a wide variety of folk. If you know of appropriate persons or places for our carolers to visit, you may list them on those slips provided in the bulletins.

Between 5 and 5:30 the carolers wind up back in the Youth Room where plenty of warm food will await them as well as warm and cold drinks. Often the fare consists of hot pizza, some delectable quiches, comforting hot apple cider, and other tasty items. [Then they can head to the sanctuary for the Penn View Brass Band! Maybe they can be induced to display their caroling talent for those gathered!]

Want to be a blessing to someone? Well, sign up for caroling on the 15th and you will be!

Ladies of Leidy’s

The Ladies of Leidy’s annual pot luck Christmas meting takes place on Tuesday, December 5th at 6:30 in the Fellowship Hall. All ladies are welcome to attend . . . Just sign up for what you would like to make on the sheet posted in the narthex. Following the meal our business meeting will be held. If you have questions, speak with 2019 President Alice Kraus.

We Need Your Signature!

It’s December and that means it is sign-up time at Leidy’s Church. Listed below are some options you should consider. They run the gamut from a one-time commitment to a varied commitment to a steady commitment. Each, though, is necessary for particular facets of our ministry to take place. Consider what’s available and affix your signature on the right sheet.

  • Committee Sign-up: Leidy’s Church has a number of committees that do a ton of work. Committee membership runs on a yearly basis, following the calendar year. All the committees will be listed on a table in the narthex along with a brief description of what each one does. If you need more info, ask one of the ladies in the office or talk with a Consistory member or someone on the Pastoral Staff.
  • Meal Ministry: Volunteers provide meals at various times during the year for folk who have been in the hospital or have some other occasion to need some help with meals.
  • Flower Chart: Each Sunday the flowers in the sanctuary are sponsored by an individual or family. Sometimes they are given in memory of someone, sometimes they’re given just for the glory of God. You can sign up for the Sunday of your choice on the chart posted on the narthex wall – if you get there first!
  • Prayer Chain: There is no sign-up sheet for this ministry. But we always need people to intercede, so this is a good place to let you know how you can be involved. Simply talk to the ladies in the office and they’ll sign you up. This ministry is conducted via email, so if the ladies know you want to be on the list, they’ll put you there. Prayer requests are given to the office and the office personnel passes them on to those on the Prayer Chain list.
  • A/V Technicians: There is no sign-up sheet for this either. We are always on the lookout for personnel to help with the vital ministry that takes place in the sound booth. No expertise needed; we’ll provide the training. Though you may think A/V ministry only takes place during Sunday services, you would be quite mistaken. We have lots of events that require A/V techs. Speak to either Pastor Steve or Pastor Michael and get lined up to be part of this significant work.
  • Night to Shine: If you want to help make a special night for some special needs folk, then sign up to volunteer for some facet of this event. Pastor Steve has many details. There is a sign-up available for this, but it is on-line. Let your light shine by volunteering for Night to Shine ministry.

    Our thanks to all who give of time and talent and energy to these volunteer ministries.

In This Time of Need

The following message was received from the Iglesia Luz y Verdad, our partner church in Colombia with the In This Time of Need Project:

Thank you to Immanuel Church for giving us the privilege of serving by taking the gospel to many needy refugees. May God continue to use you greatly.

During the month of December the feeding program will close down as people travel and visit over the holiday period. It will begin to function again with the turn of the New Year. 

As we look back on this past year it is amazing to realize all that Leidy’s Church has been able to do in the humanitarian crisis with the Venezuelan refugees. A year ago we were hoping to find a way to help out. Now we have Iglesia Luz y Verdad as a faithful partner congregation. They have used our funds to establish the Good Samaritan feeding program for refugees. We sent a mission team to Cucuta in August. We know first-hand what happens down there, and we know personally the folk who do it. Praise God for Pastor Dagoberto, his wife Marley, and the faithful volunteers who carry on this vital humanitarian and gospel outreach. This is still a time of need.

Gospel Gleanings

December is our first month of gleaning one dollar a day from our pocketbooks to give towards gospel outreach among the Erukulu and Mucherukala people in India. Here are some facts about this people group to help in your prayers:

  • an ancient people group who have lived in the forests
  • expert with the bow and arrow
  • untouchables with regard to the caste system
  • live a hand-to-mouth existence
  • no knowledge of hygiene
  • illiterate, children don’t go to school
  • no Christian church or witness for Jesus among them

Given those facts, how might we pray?

  • For awareness that God has made them a people from long ago
  • For openness as Bibles for India church planters come among them
  • For good response to invitations to literacy classes
  • For God to stir a desire in their hearts for something more
  • For the Holy Spirit to shield them from demonic deception

If you have not yet signed up for this year-long Gospel Gleanings ministry, stop by the office to sign up and get your silk purse. 

Thanks! A Job Well Done!

On the final Sunday of 2019 there will be an official changing of the guard on our Consistory. Two new Consistorymen and one old Consistoryman will be ordained and/or installed, while two men will officially end their terms of service on Consistory – for this time around, anyway. 

In our July/August Newsletter we introduced the incoming Consistorymen: Kendall Musselman and Shaun Permar. They’re the new guys. They each will be ordained and installed as Deacons. The old Consistoryman is John DiLenge. He won’t be going off Consistory just yet but will be ordained and installed as an Elder and join the Spiritual Council. 

The men who are going off Consistory are Stan Ott and Matt Harris. Here’s a brief recap of Stan and Matt’s service on Consistory:

  • Matt Harris is finishing his first stint on Consistory. He’s served as the liaison with the Outreach committee and the Christian Ed committee at different times during his two 3-year terms. He’s also been very active with the Construction Work Team. He’s also worked with the Safety committee on our security plan. Not afraid to speak out, his voice of information and counsel will be missed.
  • Stan Ott is finishing his umpteenth stint on Consistory! His Committee responsibility these past two 3-year terms has been with the Church & Community committee. In addition, he has excelled in his role as Consistory Secretary, providing accurate, timely, and well-written Minutes. Trained as a lawyer and with years of judicial experience, his counsel and insights will be sorely missed. 

We give thanks to God for the years of faithful service rendered by Stan and Matt. They have been faithful servants of the Lord Jesus and a rich resource of blessing for our congregation. We pray God’s continued blessing on them now.

Congregational Dinner & Business Mtg.

The second Saturday of 2020 is when the annual Leidy’s Church Congregational Dinner and Business Meeting takes place. That would make it the 11th of January, with the meal beginning at 6 p.m. Registration forms for the meal will be in the bulletins and at the Welcome Desk.

As is usually the case, a hearty meal will be prepared by our very capable Kitchen Committee. Please register for this event so the committee knows how much to thaw out in some cases, how much to cook in other cases, and how much to order in other cases.

Following the dinner, the annual business meeting takes place. Please note that if you are the Treasurer of an organization within the church, then your financial records should be included in the Annual Booklet which means you should have that information to the church office by December 30th if possible, and in no event no later than January 5th.   

Child care is provided during the Business Meeting for children age 11 and under. Those older than 11 are expected to remain for the Business Meeting unless designated as part of the child care corps by the appropriate designating authority – i.e. Pastor Michael.

This Newsletter column should be considered the official notification to all members of Leidy’s Church of the annual Business Meeting.

Let Your Light Shine – Nearby 

Christmas is about Christ, specifically, the Christ Child. We all exchange gifts that are meant to be a celebration of and reminder of God’s great gift to the world in the baby born in a manger, the Lord Jesus. 

This Christmas we as Leidy’s Church members are each encouraged to reach out with a gift beyond the limits of our families. We might give a gift to those who are our neighbors or our co-workers or our fellow students or someone we see at the gym regularly. We simply want to let our light shine.

Christmas gifts might consist of some hand-made item, or an extra batch of cookies you’ve baked. Some might consider giving a knitted washcloth or towel. Maybe a special ornament or a flower of some sort. 

Our office has prepared special seasonal invitations giving details of our Christmas Eve services. We can include that along with our gift. The office also has available some well done Christmas devotional booklets. One is titled The Gift and gives a simple, understandable explanation of what the gift of Christ means for a person. 

As we join in reaching out to those nearby, our desire is that the true meaning of Christmas shines forth and touches lives with the Good News of Jesus Christ. He is the Christmas Gift, and He is the Light that continues to shine into the darkness.

Youth Fellowship Lock-In

Here is a clarion call to all 6th through 12th graders:

December 27th is THE NIGHT

It’s the stay-up-all-night-having-fun-eating-pizza-playing-games-sharing-life-carrying-on night. That means you need to clear your calendar. You need to get your gear ready. Let’s do this!

The Lock-In will start at 8pm and continue to 8am. 

If you are naturally insomniastic, or, simply love the youth of Leidy’s Church, please let Pastor Michael know. He would love to have your help with the Lock-In. Coffee will be available (for volunteers only!). Rowdy adolescents will be subject to a thrilling documentary, the redoubtable classic When Paint Dries at 1:30.

See you-know-who for further details. 

Let Your Light Shine!

We’re underway with Let Your Light Shine. Remembering the statement of the Lord Jesus to His disciples to Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven, we’re seeking to share the soul-enlightening news of the gospel of Jesus Christ near and far. 

We are reaching out far away in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India among the Erukulu and Mucherukala unreached people group. On a wider local scale, we’re in the midst of much preparatory work to hosting a Night To Shine prom event for special needs folk from throughout our area. On a smaller local scale, we’re sharing gifts with neighbors and co-workers that include invitations to come to Christmas services.

What else should we do? We don’t know! We’re asking the Holy Spirit to show us how else we might let our light shine. Maybe your household will be stirred to suggest something. Or, perhaps in your small group there will be a perfectly wonderful idea that you’re amazed no one thought of it before. So, pray about letting your light shine; think about it. Then share your ideas.

Here’s one that has come up already. Karen Parry is going to host a Bible Book Club for women. Intended to be intergenerational, every age is welcome. The format is simply that of a book club: everyone read one book a month, then come and discuss it. Karen’s vision is to begin with Genesis and go right on through Revelation. What a great idea! So, if you’re a woman and interested in reading the Bible one book at a time, talk with Karen and see when she plans to meet.

How about you? Is God giving you some insight on how you or others might let your light shine and bring glory to God?

Within the Fellowship

Our sincere Christian sympathy to Harry Barger and family at the death of his wife, Doris. May God be with them at this time.

Consistory Notes

On the brisk and chilly evening of November 6th, the Consistory of Leidy’s Church met to conduct the business of the church. Below are some highlights of that meeting:

  • Ron Moyer spoke about tithing in his devotional remarks for the evening. Insights gleaned from his years of teaching the Financial Freedom Seminar were brought forward. They included: 1) God owns everything; 2) He expects us to be good stewards of it; 3) God expects us to work; 4) He provides for us according to His timetable, not ours; and 5) God will provide for all our needs. Citing verses from Malachi, 1 Tim. 5, and Proverbs 27:23-25, Ron distinguished between tithes and gifts, with tithes being 10% God requires to be brought to the storehouse and gifts being above and beyond that. He indicated we will never know financial freedom without faithfully tithing from a grateful heart.
  • Representatives from Consistory met with the architects to go over a six-page report detailing information explaining the cause of the wicking issues we’ve had. This info was obtained from an excavated area outside the gym. The report will be given to the builder as well. The report indicates improper installation. Remedial work will need to be done, which could be extensive. Discussions with Penn Builders should take place soon.
  • The Leidy’s Church application to be a host site for a Tim Tebow Foundation Night to Shine event was approved. An accompanying approval indicated a financial grant would be provided to help with some of the costs incurred. Leidy’s Church and Ridge Line Community Church are co-hosting the event. Pastor Steve Myers is overseeing our involvement. 
  • The preliminary draft of the 2020 calendar year budget was worked through line-by-line. Dana Gehman was a special guest to lead the Consistorymen through this exercise. Before accounting for payroll increases, the budget increase is at $2,150. More adjustments will be made in the next month, and a final budget to be presented to congregation will be adopted at the December Consistory meeting.
  • Pastor Michael Nowling gave a report on Judgement House. Approximately 1,100 persons went through the presentation. Feedback was mostly positive, though there’s always some constructive critique. Pastor Michael was especially appreciative of the 60+ volunteers who did set construction, acting, counseling, registration, tour guide assignment, security, and other facets of the ministry. It is to be hoped that funding will be available to upgrade some of the technical materials used in the production.
  • One of the concerns to arise from the Judgement House was the need for better First Aid kits throughout our facility. After discussion, approval was given for the purchase of three upgraded First Aid kits, one for each level.
  • Discussion was had regarding the need to enhance our A/V technical capacity to produce better presentations on-line and for the streamed services to other parts of the facility. There are technical issues to be resolved, but further investigation is warranted.
  • The Annual Congregational Dinner and Business meeting will be held on Saturday, January 11, 2020, the Lord willing. The Kitchen Committee will decide on the menu and preparations thereof. 

Various other reports were received without comment and the meeting adjourned at 10:23 following a time of directed intercessory prayer and the unison praying of the Lord’s Prayer.

The Second Helvetic Confession

What did the work of Christ Jesus accomplish? It accomplished something that is unique and cannot be matched by any other person, faith, or religion. He’s the only Savior of the world.

Chapter 11: Of Jesus Christ, True God and Man, the Only Savior of the World

15) The Fruit of Christ’s Death and Resurrection. Further by his passion and death and everything which he did and endured for our sake by his coming in the flesh, our Lord reconciled all the faithful to the heavenly Father, made expiation for our sins, disarmed death, overcame damnation and hell, and by his resurrection from the dead brought again and restored life and immortality. For he is our righteousness, life, and resurrection, in a word, the fullness and perfection of all the faithful, salvation, and all sufficiency. For the apostle says: “In him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,” and, “You have come to fullness of life in him.”

16) Jesus Christ Is the Only Savior of the World, and True Awaited Messiah. For we teach and believe that Jesus Christ our Lord is the unique and eternal Savior of the human race, and thus of the whole world, in whom by faith are saved all who before the law, under the law, and under the gospel were saved, and however many will be saved at the end of the world. For the Lord himself says in the Gospel: “He who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber . . . I am the door of the sheep.” And also in another place in the same Gospel he says: “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” We therefore believe that we will be saved through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, as our fathers were. For Paul also says: “All our fathers ate the same spiritual food and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock which followed them, and the rock was Christ.” And thus we read that John says: “Christ was the Lamb which was slain from the foundation of the world,” and John the Baptist testified that Christ is that “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”

17) Wherefore, we quite openly profess and preach that Jesus Christ is the sole Redeemer and Savior of the world, the King and High Priest, the true and awaited Messiah, that holy and blessed one whom all the types of the law and predictions of the prophets prefigured and promised; and that God appointed him beforehand and sent him to us, so that we are not now to look for any other. Now there only remains for all of us to give all glory to Christ, believe in him, rest in him alone, despising and rejecting all other aids in life. For however many seek salvation in any other than in Christ alone, have fallen from the grace of God and have rendered Christ null and void for themselves.

18) The Creeds of Four Councils Received. And, to say many things with a few words, with a sincere heart we believe, and freely confess with open mouth, whatever things are defined from the Holy Scriptures concerning the mystery of the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, and are summed up in the creeds and decrees of the first four most excellent synods convened at Nicaea, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon – together with the creed of blessed Athanasius, and all similar symbols; and we condemn anything contrary to these.

The Sects. And in this way we retain the Christian, orthodox, and catholic faith whole and unimpaired; knowing that nothing is contained in the aforesaid symbols which is not agreeable to the word of God and does not altogether make for a sincere exposition of the faith.

December Ministries

Tape Ministry:

  • 1st Donna Frueh
  • 8th Diane Gehman
  • 15th Beth Harbon
  • 22nd Dorothy Kehs
  • 29th Shannon Kehs

Lay Visitor:

  • 1st Donna Moyer
  • 8th Elaine Greene
  • 15th Ted & Wanda Brunner
  • 22nd Lori Maxwell
  • 29th Roger Jones

Greeters:

  • 1st John & Janelle Rittenhouse
  • 8th Ken & Wanda Ritter
  • 15th Ede Rupp
  • 22nd Rob & Lois Ruth
  • 29th Jeff & Debbie Schatz

Usher Captains:  Stan Ott, Jeff Schatz

Ushers: Frank Allebach, Steve Bandura, Bob Bugge, Sherman Focht, Jerry Kulp, Delton Plank, Bob Shafer, Norm Weiss.

The Emergency Committee for December is Ed Schmidt.

Questions?