The Power of Forgiveness
Lately, I have been reflecting on the fragility of human life as it relates to broken relationships between individuals, family members, and among believers in Christ, which has damaging effects ranging from poignant instability to chronic social struggles, to frosty callousness of heart.
We know from Scripture that our lives here on earth are transient in nature. As the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 90:10, “As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength eighty years, yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; for soon it is gone and we fly away.” In James 4:13-15, we are warned about presumptuous and pretentious sins, as people make future life and business plans, but leave out God in their strategies. We read, “you … say, Today or tomorrow we will go … spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”
This is underscored by Jesus dealing with the sin of greed, by His use of a parable about a rich man tearing down his barns to build larger ones to store his goods and live for many years. We read in Luke 12:20, “But God said to him, ‘You fool!’ This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared? So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
As we consider the ephemeral nature of our lives on earth, let us turn to the matter of broken relationships with other people. First, we must ask the question, what is most valuable in life after being reconciled to God by faith in Jesus Christ? The answer undoubtedly would be God-honoring relationships with people created in God’s image.
In both cases God’s love, grace and forgiveness are key ingredients for these relationships to grow and flourish to the glory of God. It is no wonder that when a lawyer asked Jesus, which is the greatest commandment in the Law, Jesus said, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND. … The second is like it, YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40
Of course, we all know of or have personally experienced broken relationships. And long-term irreconcilable differences are one of the major reasons for divorce in America. The unresolved disparities between a man and a woman in marriage fall under the headings of “unrealistic expectations”, “argumentative”, or a “lack of commitment or equality” in the relationship. However, these same issues spill over into most, if not all relationships, where the two parties involved suppose that offenses, disagreements, and/or abuses are beyond repair, irreconcilable, beyond the means of a peace-loving resolution. So, the offended and offender remain at odds, injured, angry, and this once treasured relationship lingers broken and at times discarded.
God’s loving and grace-filled response to irreconcilable differences, which by the way has its origin in sin, is providing redemption paid for by the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross; whereby sinners, given the gift of saving faith, are forgiven of sins and fully reconciled to God.
When the disciples ask Jesus to teach them how to pray, Jesus said, “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed by Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debt, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Then Jesus gives us an admonition we often forget, for Jesus concludes, “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” Matthew 6:9-14; (see also Mark 11:25-26; Luke 11:2-4)
Paul writes in Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
May we reconsider the power of God’s forgiveness of us in Christ and share the Gospel message of forgiveness in Jesus Christ, while lovingly exercising by His grace the power of forgiveness toward one another all to the glory of God!
To the glory of God,
Steven L. Myers
Gospel Gleanings in India
Here’s the long and short of it: we don’t know the current state of the Erukula people in India. Has the Literacy program continued? Don’t know. Have they experienced covid outbreaks? Don’t know. Are the 10 church planters who will work among the Erukula in year two of Gospel Gleanings ready to go among them? Don’t know. Have the 10 women who received the tailoring machines been able to use their new machines? Don’t know.
We have barraged Bill Teate with these questions to the point where he is pulling out the remaining hairs on his head! But Bill does not know and cannot find out. He is not God, after all.
What we do know is that God does know. What we do know is that our prayers for God’s work among the Erukula people are heard and answered. What we do know about the Erukula people in India is that some of them have experienced regeneration, new life in Christ Jesus. What we do know is that the Holy Spirit will continue to work in and through those new believers. Hence, Praise be to God for what we do know.
Let us purpose to continue to be faithful in our daily prayers for the Erukula people, trusting the Lord Jesus to cause the knowledge of His Good News to grow and expand even when we don’t know what’s going on.
July Pulpit Schedule
4th – The Dead Made Alive in Christ – Ezekiel 36:22-28; John 3:1-16; Ephesians 2:1-10
How dead is dead? For a coroner to pronounce a person dead that person must be clinically dead. All vital signs of life expired. But what does it mean that sinners are dead in sin? How dead are we? Are all vital signs of spiritual life expired? Is there a way we can resuscitate our spiritual deadness? We will discover we cannot, only God can, and God does in Christ.
11th – Aliens Become Citizens by the Blood of Christ – Hosea 2:14-20; Matthew 22:11-14; Ephesians 2:11-22
There is a flurry of news about people trying to immigrate to this country. Many are trying to enter illegally, others lawfully. In both cases, these people are known as either legal or illegal aliens, not citizens. The road to US citizenship happens to those who fully comply with all of the legal requirements of US citizenship. Paul teaches us how those formerly alienated become citizens of heaven in Christ.
18th – The Mystery of Christ’s Church Realized – Daniel 2:19-23, 27-28, 44-48; Mark 4:10-20; Ephesians 3:1-13
I am certain all of us have been captivated by a good mystery, whether reading a mystery novel or viewing a mystery film. In most cases, the solving of the mystery does not happen until the end of the story, when the writer of the book or producer of the film chooses to disclose it. Paul refers to a mystery hidden in the past, but now revealed to the Church, and we will see its purpose for our lives.
25th – Holy Spirit Empowers to be Filled with God’s Fulness – Ezekiel 36:22-28; John 16: 12-15; Ephesians 3:14-21
The Apostle Paul’s prayer for believers is a prayer every believer should want to see answered by God in their lives. Paul’s request for divine grace and power to become devoted to God by the Holy Spirit is the ultimate goal for every believer in Christ. Let us examine this inspired prayer in hope that we make it the chief motivation of our prayers and walk with the Lord.
August Pulpit Schedule
1st – Preserve Unity by Living Worthy of God’s Calling – Isaiah 43:8-12; John 17:13-23; Ephesians 4:1-6
In response to being in Christ, Paul exhorts believers to live worthy of their high calling. As we do, our conduct preserves the unity of the Spirit among the people of God. In a world fractured by division and driven by greed and selfishness, we will see how living for Christ is attractive and appealing to people living without the hope of God in this world.
8th – Christ Gifts His Body for Spiritual Service & Maturity – Exodus 31:1-11; Romans 12:1-8; Ephesians 4:7-16
Do you like to receive a gift? I know I do. I have not heard of anybody refusing a gift. Gifts are usually given on special occasions or in celebration of an achievement. Paul teaches that Christ issues special gifts to believers, so they may accomplish divine works that build up and promote spiritual unity and maturity within the body of Christ. As we examine Christ’s gifts to His Church may we gain more insight about how these gifts are helping us grow by faith in Christ.
15th – Put Off Old Ways & Put On Christ’s New Way – Luke 9:57-62; Ephesians 4:17-32; 1 Peter 2:21-25
An estimated 45 million Americans go on a diet each year, with more dieting today than ever before. More people attempt to take off the pounds, yet obesity is up from 34% to 42% in the USA according to CDC reports, which may cause death. What is the problem? Old eating habits are not replaced with new healthy eating habits to keep off weight. Spiritually, Paul exhorts believers to put off old ways that result in corruption by learning to put on Christ’s new way, which produces righteousness and holiness of truth for life.
22nd – Be Imitators of God – John 12:20-26; 1 Peter 1:13-19; Ephesians 5:1-21
The word “imitation” has different meanings determined by its usage in context. Imitation can mean either genuine or counterfeit, to truly reproduce or artificially resemble. When Paul teaches that we are to be imitators of God he tells us what it actually means in contrast of what it does not mean. We will examine how being imitators of God distinguishes us from others who are living a contrary lifestyle.
29th – Marriages Matter to God – Genesis 1:26-28; 2:18-25; Matthew 19:3-12; Ephesians 5:22-33
God instituted the covenant relationship of marriage between a man and a woman for life at the beginning of His creation of Man. Since the Fall of Man, sin cursed humanity, in rebellion against God, has sought to redefine and reformat God’s design of marriage to conform to their sinful appetites and sensual practices. Despite humanity’s revolt, God’s design of marriage remains unchanged, and we will see why marriages matter to God.
Summer Communion in July
Every summer Leidy’s Church serves Holy Communion at a selected service of worship. This summer is no exception. The date for the summer Communion will be on the last Sunday of the month, July 25th. This notice may help people planning family vacations and who do not want to miss the worship service when Holy Communion is to be served.
Within the Fellowship
Congratulations to Jake and Hannah Niederhaus at the birth of a daughter, Evelyn June Kay. May God be with them as they grow in Him.
Our sincere Christian sympathy to Rick Kehs and family at the death of his father, and to family and friends at the death of Joy Amstutz. May God be with them at this difficult time.
From the Pastor to Youth & Children
Something amazing happened on June 13th. To be fair, I am sure many amazing things happened on June 13th, but at Leidy’s Church, there was at least one. We took an offering. I need to make a HUGE qualification. The pastors, staff, and consistory have all been overwhelmed with the generosity of God’s people for the past 15 months of uncertainty. I am honored and humbled that you have called me to serve at Leidy’s Church and my family has been immeasurably blessed by God’s people here. Even with all of that, the offering on June 13th was amazing. It was so because of its place IN the service. For 15 months, if we took an offering, it was deposited outside of the service of worship (either on your way in or your way out) in beautifully constructed pillars in the rear of the sanctuary. On June 13th, in response to the preached Word of God, we passed the plates down the aisles and took an offering. In this article, as we continue looking at various aspects of the worship service, we are going to take a moment to reflect on the place of the offering in worship.
The basic flow of the worship service at Leidy’s church is an invocation, songs of praise, the reading of the Word, preaching, a confession of sin, an assurance of pardon, and then an offering. The service is then concluded with a pastoral prayer, hymn of response, and benediction. I have already noted that making an offering in a service of worship is a big deal. In fact, it is such a regular part of church life that our now glorified brother Norm Weiss once remarked that a service without an offering was a miracle. Part of the reason why it is a big deal resides in its location in the service. After we begin with a statement of purpose and asking the Lord to bless the assembly, we praise the name of the Lord, and we hear from His Word. If the Word is rightly presented, it not only convicts of our sin (that is the confession part) it also directs us to the Lord Jesus and the forgiveness we have in Him (that is the assurance of pardon part). After a confession of faith, the offering is our first opportunity to display the reality of our faith (based upon the preached Word of God).
It is not always straightforward to see how offering offerings is a right display of our faith. This is all the more the case when Jesus says that in regard to giving DO NOT LET YOUR LEFT HAND KNOW WHAT YOUR RIGHT HAND IS DOING. First, I do not mean “to display” as though in giving offerings we stand up and loudly proclaim how blessed we are to give to the Lord. Rather, I mean that as we present our offerings, we are displaying to God our thanks and our understanding that He is the one who owns THE CATTLE ON A THOUSAND HILLS. We understand that all things are His. In presenting our offerings to Him we are in essence saying, “All that I have is Yours, oh God. All my righteousness is given to me by Christ. All my possessions are given as part of Your providential care. Take this portion which is already Yours, and help me to depend on You for all my needs.”
As we think about the manner in which we should be presenting offerings, I would like to draw yourself to two paradigmatic verses on our disposition toward the Lord and material possessions. The first, from 1 Corinthians 10:31, WHETHER, THEN, YOU EAT OR DRINK OR WHATEVER YOU DO, DO ALL TO THE GLORY OF GOD. The second, from 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, NOW THIS I SAY, HE WHO SOWS SPARINGLY WILL ALSO REAP SPARINGLY, AND HE WHO SOWS BOUNTIFULLY WILL ALSO REAP BOUNTIFULLY. EACH ONE MUST DO JUST AS HE HAS PURPOSED IN HIS HEART, NOT GRUDGINGLY OR UNDER COMPULSION, FOR GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER. These two ideas when taken together help us understand how we are to respond to the Lord in the giving of tithes and offerings (particularly in the service of worship). We are to recognize that everything we have is the Lord’s and we are to glorify the Lord with our use of everything. At the same time, we need to give as we have purposed and not under compulsion for the Lord loves a cheerful giver.
In closing, I would like to say thank you again for your continued sacrificial giving. By God’s abundant provision and grace, we have remained open through this year when so many churches have been forced to close. We thank God for that. We also thank you for your cheerful responses to God’s Spirit working in Yours.
To the Praise of His Glory,
Michael W. Nowling
On July 30th, Leidy’s Church will be hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive from 2 to 7 pm. It is important that we understand that donors of blood are urgently needed. There will be precautions in place to ensure that the donors and the medical personnel remain safe through the process of blood donations.
- Here are a number of things to keep in mind at you come to donate.
- No donors will be accepted who had been in contact with a person suspected to have the virus.
- No donors will be accepted who have recently travelled outside the US to countries where the COVID virus is at pandemic condition.
- All donors will undergo wellness screenings prior to donating blood.
- Social distancing practices and staff wellness and protection procedures will include disinfecting measures and donor bed sanitization practices at all donation locations.
There are several ways you can sign up to make an appointment to donate blood. The simplest way is to go directly to www.redcrossblood.org and locate the menu box “Find a Blood Drive” and type in leidyschurch. When you click on this link you will see a list of times available to sign up. On this website, you will see options for giving blood, and choose your type of blood donation. You may also sign up by contacting the church office or register at the Blood Drive site in the narthex either before or after the Sunday morning worship services.
Thank you for your willingness to participate as a blood donor during this blood drive.
Gospel Walkthrough Update
The end of October is still more than a season away, but efforts to work on our Dramatic Gospel Presentation are already underway. This year, our drama (which is strictly confined to the acting in the scenes…) is going to center in part around a medical theme. If you have items that might be suitable for props, please contact the office. We are also going to need some help getting rooms ready (yes even now during the summer). If you are able to help in ways large or small, please let us know.
Usher Captains: Nathan Kulp, Ken Merritt
Ushers: Phil Shafer, James Mylin, Doug Guest, Mike Kehs, John Vasey, Dave Freed, Brett Keeble, Larry Frederick, Dave Guntz, Anthony Sciacca, John Caserta, Ken Murphy, Tony Kapusta, Aaron Vogelzang.
Usher Captains: Kendall Musselman, Aaron Vogelzang
Ushers: Ken Ritter, George Frueh, Francis Weiss, Rod Shoemaker, Jim Smedberg, Jack Parry, Frank Bivighouse, Steve Radcliff, Mike Hughes, Leroy Gehman, Tom Kraus, Andy Tawney, Jim Eakins, Stan Radcliff, Tom Merritt.
Covid Relief in India
On the last two Sundays of May and the first Sunday of June Leidy’s Church received a special offering for Covid Relief in India. We were able to send almost $3,000 to India. The following letter was relayed to us by Bill Teate. It is from a recipient of GTi Hope help in India.
My name is Korra Janku, age 48 years, living in Yellapuram Thanda village in the Nalgonda district of Telangana state, India. I belong to the Banjara Gerejana caste, Lambadi community. I have 4 sons and 2 daughters. I can only speak the Banjara language.
I and all my village people live in a remote forest area. Prior to literacy classes, most of the people in our village were illiterate. We have no school in our village.
Now I am educated through Adult Literacy night school and able to read and write. During the literacy program, I took baptism and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour.
The government imposed a lockdown as the corona virus began spreading . . . The source of our income was reduced as we were not able to work. We ran out of money in the family and struggled with hunger. We have deteriorated in terms of health due to hunger without getting food at the right time in our house.
GTi Hope and their partner in India recognized this situation of hunger and provided us with rice and food grains and 12 types of commodities free of cost.
I would like to express my gratitude to everyone involved with supporting our family by providing us with groceries in times of hardship due to unavailability of labor or food.
Though this man was not a direct recipient of materials we provided, he typifies the sort of person and situation to which our relief supplies will flow. We praise God for allowing us to help in this substantial way.
Our thanks to all who participated.
A new Precept Bible Study class series will begin on Thursday, September 9th, in Room 118 from 9 to 11:30. Join us in the book of SAMUEL as “God’s search for a man after His own heart” reveals the importance of a life of obedience and how it’s lived out in the midst of interpersonal conflict. The cost of the workbook is $18.
After summer vacations and relaxed schedules, September sees the start not only of a new school year but many activities for young and old at Leidy’s Church. We mark this each year on Rally Day (September 12, 2021)! Join us as we celebrate what God has done in our families, learn about new activities going on at Leidy’s Church, and eat excellent food. Come at 8:45 to the fellowship hall to join in the fun. If you get lost, follow your nose!
News and Thanks from Thailand
Recently Leidy’s Church took a special offering to help meet the urgent needs of refugees fleeing Myanmar/Burma to Thailand. Steve Marks, the missionary whom we support in Thailand, is part of contingent of folk seeking to render some aid to folk who have nothing but the shirts on their backs with no place to stay and nothing to eat. Here’s part of his response to us upon receiving the funds we sent his way.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your support and expression of God’s love through the church has been the difference between life and death for many less fortunate living in the jungles of the border region between Thailand and Burma. The complexity of the war situation is far beyond the scope of this letter and it changes daily, however suffice it to say the number of IDP’s (internally displaced persons) and refugees along the border is increasing exponentially. As the rainy season is now upon us, thousands of men, women, and children who ran into the jungle to escape the onslaught of war are now without shelter and food.
Thanks to your support and prayers, we have been able to provide some relief in very difficult circumstances. Tarps have been provided to give shelter from the daily rainstorms. In all my years living in the USA, I never experienced rain as fierce as we see in the tropics. The tropical rains are often torrential, as if the sky is opened up to a great flood.
As you can imagine, medicine is also very scarce, but illness from disease and malnutrition is at an all-time high. COVID-19 takes a back seat to the immediate needs of those suffering the ravages of war and homelessness. Recently we were made aware of a patient battling with tuberculosis (TB), a fatal disease we rarely even hear of anymore in the USA. Fortunately, TB can be cured with long-term treatment of the right medications, but these drugs are expensive and impossible to source in the jungle. With the border closed due to COVID, transport to a hospital in Thailand is impossible. However, through the local church at the border and friends working with a hospital here in N. Thailand, we were able to obtain the necessary medications and get them to the medic at the camp. Please know that your donations made this possible and your prayers are shining brightly and bringing hope to a very dark place.
Finally, I also want to thank you for helping to supply 8,000kg of complete dietary supplement in the form of a rice/soy/corn congee to assist with the dietary needs of nearly 4,000 men, women and children living along the border region.
Please pray for the people of Myanmar, regardless of their ethnicity, religious beliefs, or political position and join us as we do what we can from Thailand to help those in need. The needs are great. We pray that in a post-COVID world the border region will re-open for migrant work and allow relief work to quickly and completely transition from dependency into self-sufficiency. Most of all, we pray for peace and that many will come to know the Prince of Peace in a very personal way.
If you want to provide more funding for this work, just use a Second Mile envelope and mark on it Thailand Refugee Help. And pray for Steve and Kelly Marks and their work.
Going Up Fast!
What’s going up fast? The prayers for this summer’s SLMT Work Weeks. Also, quickly falling into place are the details for what the weeks will entail. Below are some summary facts:
- 40+ individuals have signed up to be part of SLMT ’21. Praise God for volunteers! And they span all age ranges and all skill levels. They are joined in their faith and their willingness to work.
- All the necessary hoops through which to jump to get a Building Permit are now known, lined up, and ready to be jumped through! That’s a huge relief. The township officials and inspectors are up for what’s going up. Praise God!
- Framing materials have been ordered and will be delivered (dv) on July 9th. We should be set to go for week one (July 12-17) and week two (August 2-7).
Three windows to be installed in the addition are purchased and in-hand.
A patio door is being ordered as this is being typed.
As the above bullets indicate, concern about the availability of materials is the one thing that has gone down, not up!
The cost of SLMT ’21 is up to between $25,000 and $30,000. This year we have minimal transportation expenses, but elevated materials expenses. Those are our ballpark numbers; we won’t be mad if we go below them, but we hope not to go above them.
With those kinds of expenses, our volunteers are out raising support. If you’re asked to support someone, give them serious consideration. This gives our volunteers an opportunity to experience a regular feature of missionary work: fund raising!
Alongside financial support is prayer support. Here are some things you might raise up to the Lord whether you’re a financial supporter or not:
- For good weather on the work weeks. There is no Plan B. People have off when they have off and it would be impossible for everyone to adjust to new
- For good relations with the Township officials. While matters are looking good at the moment, it is necessary to have Building Permits in-hand, not just
- For safety for all the workers, whether it be in the church kitchen, operating a saw at the site, using a weed-eater, painting a wall, transporting volunteers, etc.
- For the ministry of WorthWhile Wear. It is their ministry that we’re supporting with our SLMT Work Weeks.
- Finally, if you’re one of our volunteers, remember to get your completed forms into church office in a timely fashion.
We give thanks to God for all the folk He has raised up to be involved in this project one way or another. May His blessing be upon each one and may we be fruitful for His kingdom.
On Wednesday, June 9th, the Consistory of Immanuel Leidy’s Church was called to order at 7:31 pm, and minutes were taken of the meeting, from which relevant notes are listed below.
Peter Martindell led in devotions on the topic of adequacy. He shared that, as men, feeling adequate is important to our self-image and feeling inadequate can make us feel vulnerable. Then Peter read from Psalm 127:1-2 and Psalm 33:17 to make the point that we are all inadequate, for our sufficiency is in Christ for doing God’s will. Peter ended with reading 2 Corinthians 12:9 to help us see our adequacy in what Christ has done for us.
Minutes from the May 2021 meeting were reviewed and approved. The financial report for the month of May was presented by Ron Moyer, who commented that our General Fund monthly giving was healthy, while noting that it was a five Sunday month. Ron noted that remediated funds of a pastor’s salary be recorded as salary and dispersed quarterly. It was also discussed that certain disbursement and donation need to be specified more clearly on the financial report. With these items noted, the financial report was approved.
Items of business were discussed, which included elders going off of Consistory at the end of 2021 and elders nominated to serve on Consistory in 2022. The elders finishing their terms are Dave Reich and Ron Moyer,
and the elders nominated by Spiritual Council for the 2022-2024 term are Brian Shoemaker and Joe Sciacca. There were no deacon vacancies.
Dave Reich reported on the wicking waterproofing remediation at the foundation of gym wall and classroom wall section below the location of the sanctuary. The coordination between Penn Builders and the waterproofing contractor has been lacking and steps may be necessary to complete the project. The seams and flashing of the steeple are to be inspected and any deficiencies corrected in the month of July.
HUB sidewalk repairs will be repaired in June, parking lot repairs at the HUB and cracks in the church parking lot are being researched by the property committee. The HUB assessment committee met with the current lead tenant, who presented a proposal for future use of the HUB facility. The HUB assessment committee has scheduled in late June an additional meeting with another party interested in the HUB facility. Consistory will meet in July to discuss both proposals and evaluate the recommendations of the committee.
Pulpit Committee asked Consistory to approve the hiring of a consulting company, at the cost of $5600.00 to provide additional qualified senior pastor candidates that match our church profile. Consistory approved the hiring of this consulting firm at the cost of $5600.00.
It was recommended by Spiritual Council and approved by Consistory that we return to pre-COVID procedures for the collection of the offerings and the serving of the elements of Holy Communion during the worship services, with the provisions for offering drop-boxes and the elders serving elements of Communion to those viewing the worship service in Fellowship Hall.
A playground equipment proposal was presented to Consistory and approved up to a cost of $15,000.00 to purchase and install the equipment. The pavilion proposal presented at last month’s meeting was revisited and Consistory decided to form a committee, to review current designs, re-evaluate the purpose for that area, and then report back to Consistory.
The Usher Captain Coordinator position was discussed as deemed unnecessary due to the usher captain’s training and experience to carry out the usher responsibilities.
A proposal was presented by Pastor Michael to pursue a Doctor of Ministry degree at Knox Theological Seminary while concurrently serving at Leidy’s Church as pastor of children & youth. Pastor Michael plans to complete this educational program via virtual learning, which will take three to four years to complete. Consistory agreed to approve the proposal and pay 2/3 of his tuition costs and support in prayer and guidance throughout his education.
Pastoral staff reports were submitted highlighting preparations for VBS ministry and summer shepherding and preaching revisions and schedules.
Committee reports submitted were reviewed. Property reported that the cleanup workday had 15 participants; their focus was on cleaning up the beds around the church. Further projects at the Mission house and the removal of tree stumps at the corner of the church property will be examined. Mission’s along with Church & Community mentioned SLMT mission project with Worthwhile Wear this summer.
Summer Communion scheduled for July 25th was cited and assigned duties before Peter Martindell prayed for enumerated concerns after which the meeting adjourned with a unison praying of the Lord’s Prayer at 10:08 pm.
Youth Fellowship Schedule
Along with the summer comes a modified Youth Fellowship Schedule. We have three pool parties this summer (7/11, 7/25, and 8/15). We are going to head to Peace Valley Park (8/1). We will be headed to Dorney Park (8/21). In addition to those times, the Youth are highly encouraged to come to either or both of the SLMT weeks. Please contact the office if you have any questions.
Need Help! Needing Help?
Leidy’s Church needs some help. We are looking for folks who would be gifted at offering respite care during the service of worship. If you would like to be a blessing to others in our fellowship particularly young families, please contact the church office.
(The following paragraph is semi-autobiographical written anonymously by a pastor who may be named later). Do you or someone you know have ants-in-the-pants-itus? Perhaps sitting is not the problem, but overcoming your case of the constant talkies is overwhelming? Perhaps, like me, you have been afflicted with both at the same time? In any event, we recognize that the service of worship can be challenging for some folks particularly our youngest who are still learning what it means to be part of the assembled people of God worshiping in spirit and truth. Not only do we recognize that fact, we are here to help. If you would like or need an extra set of hands to help occupy and direct the focus of wandering minds, please contact Pastor Michael.
News Flash! – Sunday In the Shade Coming August 2021
On Sunday morning, August 15th, our worship service will be held on the parsonage lawn beginning at 10:00 am. It has been a while since we have congregated for worship outside, so let me give you the low down on what to expect. First, bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on. Second, your attire should be conducive to being outdoors in the heat of summer, although we will set up the podium and seating areas under the shade of exceptionally large trees. Third, please bring your Bibles or Bible apps to read the Scriptures. Fourth, please note that we will be enjoying a picnic lunch and time of fellowship together immediately after the worship service, so please come prepared to eat and have an incredibly good time. Oh, by the way, I almost forgot to tell you, you might want to bring sunglasses, sunscreen, cold bottled water, and most importantly your heart prepared to praise and worship God together in spirit and in truth.
Consistory Calls a Congregational Meeting!
The Consistory of Leidy’s Church has called for a congregational meeting on Sunday, August 8th immediately after the worship service, for the purpose of electing Consistory men for the 2022-2024 term.
The Spiritual Council has nominated two elders to replace two elders completing their terms as elders on Consistory. The two elders nominated for the 2022-2024 term are Joe Sciacca and Brian Shoemaker. The two elders going off are Ron Moyer and Dave Reich.
Ron Moyer and Dave Reich have served the Lord and our congregation with distinction and sacrifice, and both men are to be commended for their service as elders, shepherds, teachers, counselors, and godly examples. May the Lord Jesus Christ richly reward them on that day.
Brian Shoemaker is the husband of his wife, Gina, and father of two adult sons. Brian served on Consistory before as an elder and currently serves on the Missions, Outreach, and Shepherding Committees and as an elder on Spiritual Council.
Joe Sciacca is the husband of his wife, Karen, and father of two adult sons. Joe has also served on Consistory as an elder, and he now serves on the Outreach, Pulpit, and Shepherding Committees. In addition to these duties, Joe is the facilitator of one of a small group and an elder on Spiritual Council.
The Consistory did not nominate anyone for the office of deacon because none were needed at this time.
Continuing Ripples after the SPLASH
VBS has returned to port and the kids had a whale of a time. (I can hear your groaning.). The kids learned how Jonah did not appreciate God’s Word and His promises which led to Jonah’s disobedience. May we all remember that God has never failed His people or failed to keep all of His promises. VBS could not have happened without a vast army of supporters. Thank you all who helped set up, tear down, cook, teach, craft, guide, and anything else! Your labors have been vital as we raise our kids to know the Lord.
Improving Your Time
Want a good way to improve your time – that is, make use of those odd moments that slip through cracks? Leidy’s Church provides an excellent tool to help with such improvement. It is the monthly Acts and Facts that you find in your church mailbox.
If you keep it lying around on your table or near your favorite chair or on a shelf in the bathroom, you’ll find it handy for reading for just a minute or two from time to time. And you’ll get some quality information and encouragement.
For example, in the June issue you could read a one-page article about Marine sponges. Boy, doesn’t that sound exciting! Well, maybe not initially. But then if you read it, you find out that scientists are looking at the structure of marine sponges “as inspiration for the next generation of stronger and taller buildings, longer bridges, and lighter spacecraft.” Design engineers are looking to the work of the Master Designer for inspiration. That’s a good place to look!
Or you could read the article about the Florida Everglades and how that unique ecological ecosystem demonstrates two basic truths the Bible teaches. This article includes fascinating and amazing pictures, including one of a python that swallowed an alligator. Turns out the alligator was so big it burst the python’s torso during the digestive process! Talk about eyes bigger than your belly!
Improve your time and improve your understanding of what God has done in and through His creation: read Acts and Facts.
Global Disciples Chad/Niger Update
Global Disciples is our partner for reaching unreached people groups in Chad and Niger. They’ve just released to us the schedule for trainings taking place in those countries during the rest of 2021.
August will see activity picking up in Niger as a Program Directors training takes place August 2-12. Somewhere between 10 and 15 Program Directors will be trained to lead programs for clusters of churches. Usually there will be about 14 or 15 individuals trained in each of those programs. Those 14 or 15 individuals will lead training for individuals looking to go to unreached population groups. It is hoped that two or three new churches will emerge from each training.
A training for Small Business Development Directors takes place in Chad over October 12-21. A dozen or so leaders will be trained to lead Small Business Development trainings for church planters. Each trained leader will seek to train 10 or more church planters to enable them to be self-supporting as they start new businesses that also will help them make contacts in the communities where the go. Part of what the church planters do is pass on business skills to members of the churches they plant. This helps the local economy as well as develops self-supporting congregations.
November 16-23 is the date set for a Leadership Development Directors Training in Niger. This is training leaders how to train and lead leaders! Those trained will work with church planters to provide nurture and leadership for new emerging churches.
While the dates for these trainings are set, it is more problematic for folk to attend than we might imagine from our perspective. Everything from violence to weather to lack of transportation to fear and intimidation can conspire to keep folk from actually coming to the trainings. As you put your daily dollar in the Gospel Gleaning pouch, also lift up you daily prayers for those planning to attend these trainings, that they are not hindered from attending.
Opportunity to Stand and Be Counted
Though September is a fair ways off, now is the time to put one date into your September scheduling device: Monday, September 27th.
On that day the Pennsylvania March for Life will take place in Harrisburg. Because of the pandemic, this year’s annual March for Life in Washington D.C. was cancelled. Here’s the opportunity to stand and be counted for life in Pennsylvania.
The Church and Community Committee is helping to arrange for a bus to transport folk to the PA March for Life. Cooperating with the Pennsylvania Family Institute, it appears a generous donor is funding the buses to take groups to the PA March for Life.
More details will be forthcoming, but since we do not have another Newsletter until September, it seemed like now is the time to raise awareness so that we can stand and be counted for life.
Words from Pastor Dagoberto
Last month this Newsletter carried information about a proposed outreach to our partners in the Gospel in Colombia. Martha Wolgemuth had plans to conduct a Precept Bible Study workshop for the women of Iglesia Luz y Verdad and via Zoom with women from San Cristobal, Venezuela.
How did that go? That’s a good question! It seems a good way to answer the question is to let Pastor Dagoberto speak. He and John Niederhaus communicate regularly via WhatsApp. Here are some snippets from their correspondence.
- How did the women of Luz y Verdad feel about the proposed workshop? My wife and other women are very animated waiting for the arrival of Sister Martha. We are praying because at this moment the country goes through a difficult time for protests against the government.
- How did the workshop work out? Good evening, Pastor John. Thank God it was a good time of fellowship and learning. God helped Sister Martha in her talk to the women. From Venezuela it was impossible for them to come because the government of Venezuela limited mobility this week. However, Pastor Jésus managed to come and go. Thank you for his support and your generosity to our church. May God continue to work mightily.
- So, what about those Venezuelan women? Yes, Pastor John, the idea is that the women of Venezuela receive the introduction of what has already been seen. Then they continue through Zoom so that they can grow in grace and knowledge of our God.
- Did Pastor Dagoberto have any final words? Good afternoon, Pastor John. I want on behalf of all the women and the entire Light and Truth Church to thank you for this time with Sister Martha. It was a good time of learning. I also want to inform you that the money you sent for this activity with our women has remained about 60 dollars, you will tell me what I can do with that money. God bless you.
Rumor has it that Martha is to tell about her experience in Cucuta in Ladies of Leidy’s meeting in the near future. Keep your ear to the ground for specifics.
The New City Catechism
Question 10: What does God require in the fourth and fifth commandments?
Fourth, that on the Sabbath day we spend time in public and private worship of God, rest from routine employment, serve the Lord and others, and so anticipate the eternal Sabbath. Fifth, that we love and honor our father and our mother, submitting to their godly discipline and direction.
Leviticus 19:3 – Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.
Commentary – John Calvin
It is now easy to understand the doctrine of the law—viz. that God, as our Creator, is entitled to be regarded by us as a Father and Master, and should, accordingly, receive from us fear, love, reverence, and glory; nay, that we are not our own, to follow whatever course passion dictates, but are bound to obey him implicitly, and to acquiesce entirely in his good pleasure. Again, the Law teaches, that justice and rectitude are a delight, injustice an abomination to him, and, therefore, as we would not with impious ingratitude revolt from our Maker, our whole life must be spent in the cultivation of righteousness. For if we manifest becoming reverence only when we prefer his will to our own, it follows, that the only legitimate service to him is the practice of justice, purity, and holiness. Nor can we plead as an excuse, that we want the power, and, like debtors, whose means are exhausted, are unable to pay. We cannot be permitted to measure the glory of God by our ability; whatever we may be, he ever remains like himself, the friend of righteousness, the enemy of unrighteousness, and whatever his demands from us may be, as he can only require what is right, we are necessarily under a natural obligation to obey.
If we read the entire Bible, Old and New Testaments, we come to see that the command to remember the Sabbath day has two aspects to it.
First, it’s a crucial practice. In our lives we’re commanded to have a rhythm of work and rest, and we are forbidden to overwork.
We’re also commanded to nurture our bodies and our souls. We’re not supposed to nurture only our bodies. We’re to rejuvenate our souls through fellowship and through prayer and devotion and worship every week.
It’s also true, however, that the New Testament shows us that the Sabbath day points to a deeper kind of rest. Hebrews 4 in particular says that when we believe in Christ and the gospel, we rest from our works. Which means the great burden of having to prove ourselves and having to earn our salvation is lifted from us. In this life we get much of that deeper rest, and yet it’s only completely realized in the future in the new heavens and new earth. And we look for that and we long for that. It’s deeply consoling especially at times in which we’re very weary.
The fifth commandment to honor our parents should also be read in light of the gospel. The command says that as children, we should obey our parents. As adults, we should respect and listen to our parents. And yet the gospel also reminds us that God is our Father, by grace we’re brought into his family, and he is our primary source of love. And if our primary phileo relationships is with him, then we are able to love and honor our parents well, not looking to them to provide what can be found in God alone.
The Trip of a Lifetime – by John and Pat Niederhaus
Woo-hoo! We had a great time. We left on May 22 and returned June 1 for our trip of a lifetime. It was given to us
by you, the members of Leidy’s Church. So, thank you!! Now, we’ll try and give a brief description of what took place.
You put us up in a $475 p/night room on the shores of Lake Jackson in Grand Teton National Park. We’re more accustomed to the $8.88 a night specials, so this alone was special. We figured it out after a bit: $400 was for the view while $75 was for the room! We looked out directly at the Teton mountains. Other than Lake Jackson there was nothing between us and them. Spectacular!
The Jackson Lake Lodge is 34 miles north of Jackson Hole and 23 miles south of Yellowstone Park. Wildlife abounded in whichever direction we traveled. During our time out west, we saw buffalo by the bundles, one lone grey wolf on two occasions, lots of female elk though no males, two grouchy grizzlies punching it out, a couple of elusive sandhill cranes, a group of big horn sheep, pronghorn antelope, and soaring eagles and hawks. One afternoon a momma grizzly and her three cubs walked within 25 yards of our room. We didn’t see her, but our neighbors did and got it on video. We were asleep at the wheel!
We explored the city of Jackson Hole and learned of a new profession: shed hunters. Those are guys whose job consists of collecting antlers shed by deer and elk and moose. There’s a huge market for those antlers – just look at the Jackson Hole town square which features arches of antlers on all four sides. But we also enjoyed shopping and eating in Jackson Hole. Our favorite place to eat was the Silver Dollar Bar & Grill attached to the Wort Hotel. What do we recommend? The Bison and Smoked Garlic Chili and the Silver Dollar Nachos.
We also did lots of traveling while out there. In fact, we put 2,060 miles on our rental car. Almost a hundred of those miles were accrued by ascending and descending Lemhi Pass – 13 miles up and 13 miles down. We did it three times. It’s a winding dirt mountain road. One of Pat’s dreams for some years has been to ascend Lemhi Pass. That’s where Merriweather Lewis (of Lewis and Clark fame) on August 12, 1805, was the first European to step across the Continental Divide. Our first trip up was complete with cries of despair, white-knuckled hands, fervent prayers for deliverance, and occasional glances to the depths of the valley just outside our vehicle. Pat almost decided she didn’t want to ascend Lemhi Pass after all, but she gritted her teeth and persevered! Coming down was exciting too!
To get to Lemhi Pass we had to go into Idaho, specifically to the area of Salmon, Idaho. We ended up spending three nights there. Salmon is the “hometown” of Sacagawea, the young Indian woman who was part of the Lewis and Clark expedition. No, Salmon the town wasn’t there, but the valley was home to the tribe to which she belonged. She had been kidnapped several years earlier by a tribe from North Dakota. When Merriweather Lewis crossed Lemhi Pass he met a group of native Americans and it turned out their chief was Sacagawea’s brother! That proved to be a pivotal connection for the expedition, enabling horses to be bought and a guide was provided to lead them to a pass that would take them to the Columbia River.
The most beautiful part of the trip was unplanned. One morning we decided to drive from Salmon to Challis, following the Salmon River. The winding 50 minute drive was gorgeous. High cliffs on either side of a swift flowing, sparkling clean, twisting this way and then that way, here some rapids and there some rapids, remote river. The rocks of the cliffs changed color and composition offering a fresh canvas of God’s handiwork every few miles.
We saw Old Faithful. He spouted right on schedule. We walked around Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic Spring. We snacked on candy thrown to us in a Virginia City, Montana, parade that closed down highway 287, its Main Street for an hour or so – first, to our chagrin, then to our enjoyment. We surveyed Traveler’s Rest, now a state park near Lolo Pass, where Lewis and Clark stopped for a couple of weeks both going to and returning from the Pacific. Enjoyed a fascinating drive along the Hoback River [and unexpectedly saw the spot where Samuel Parker preached the first Protestant sermon west of the Mississippi] to visit the Museum of the Mountain Man.
But you can’t leave southeast PA far behind. The church we attended in Jackson Hole is pastored by Don Landis, who grew up in Quakertown. The drummer in the band graduated from Christopher Dock! Who woulda thunk it!
Best of all: we traveled together and spent lots of time together. We travel together well. It was the trip of a lifetime and we say THANK YOU for your kindness and generosity.