How do you pray for other folk? How do you pray for your loved ones? How about those who work with you, or live in your neighborhood? And, how do you pray for yourself? Over the years I’ve appreciated so much the example of prayers that are found in the Bible. I’ve found them instructive for my intercessions on behalf of others, as well as illuminating for my personal prayers. In this column there is one particular prayer I want us to consider. It’s found in Philippians 1:9-10.
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent.
That’s a prayer for our times! We live in a time when it seems everything is up for grabs. We’re called to make decisions about matters we thought were settled; we’re called to make decisions about issues we never thought we’d have to make decisions about at all. The decisions we’re called to make are decisions declaring right and wrong, assessing as truth or error.
At the forefront of such issues are all those related to the sexual revolution: homosexuality, gay marriage, and transgender issues. Not far behind are issues in health care: contention about end-of-life care, restricted or unrestricted abortion, sex reassignment surgery, and legalizing euthanasia. In economics there’s renewed affirmation for socialism and the larger and larger role of government in such a system. And I’ve not even mentioned legalization of marijuana, the crisis in immigration, on-line sports betting, and the hot topic of our globe’s climate!
So, what’s going on? I believe the first and great commandment is under attack. Whoa, you say, what’s the first and great commandment? That phrase comes from the lips of Jesus in answer to a question a man posed to Him: “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” That’s a very good question! In other words, given all the rules and regulations in the Bible, is there any one law we should respect above the rest?
Jesus does not equivocate; He does not try to evade the question. He gives a straightforward answer. “And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.” [Matt. 22:36-38] Given that love for God should be the greatest of our aspirations and the goal of all our actions, then you know the devil will try all sorts of ways to keep that from happening.
Virtually all the issues up for grabs in our culture are ones about which God has spoken in His Word very clearly. Yet the devil is an expert at confusing the issues. He raises questions that sound right and humane and good; but they are wrong and soul-destroying and wicked. Here’s a basic example that we can recognize today. It’s all about love.
God is love; therefore, God wants us to be in loving relationships. He doesn’t care about the mechanics and particulars of the relationships, so long as they are loving relationships. That basic satanic argument has been recycled countless times over many years. But it is misguided at its core.
What’s really under attack is one of the core, creational law of God: the sexual binary. What’s the sexual binary? Simple, it is that God made humans to be either male or female. That’s it. That’s all. It’s a binary. One or the other. The sexual binary is not a social construct, it is a creational, foundational fact of life determined by God.
If anyone is going to love the Lord our God with all his heart and mind and soul and strength, he will need to receive, embrace, and rejoice in the sexual binary.
That’s easier said than done in our day! Which is why the prayer from Philippians 1 is so helpful. The prayer that “your love may abound more and more” refers to our love for God. It’s right in line with the first and foremost commandment. With our whole being may we seek to honor Him and lift up His glory. May He have first place in our lives. May we know that He is the one who is the Lord of heaven and earth, the One who gives to all people life and breath and all things. He is Lord. May we run to Him!
Moreover, the prayer asks that such love result in an abundance of “real knowledge and all discernment.” This part of the prayer presumes the activity of the devil, injecting confusing and misleading notions just as he did at the Fall in Genesis 3. He has continued that strategy in each succeeding generation. Contemporary “knowledge” says the sexual binary is false, a mere social construct; “real knowledge” knows better, as it discerns God’s basic patterns and rules for life.
This discernment, then, should culminate in our “approving the things that are excellent.” In other words, there must be a decision about such things. Either one will approve them, or one will reject them. There is no neutrality.
These are worldview issues about which each of us must come to firm conclusions. It may be the case that in your day-to-day living you are more likely to deal with issues of patience and anger when you’re ignored by the paint clerk at Home Depot, or, your need to persevere in cleaning up those messes your kids make – over and over, again! – but you will have to think through and come to a resolution on these foundational issues. Why? Because the devil is arrogant enough that he wants no one to love God; certainly not to love Him with a knowledge and discernment that results in one’s heart, soul, and mind eagerly receiving the instruction of God’s Word.
So, how might I pray for Roger or Kendra or Dave or Rachel? This way: Lord, may he/she have a love for You, a love that abounds more and more, so that he/she may have real knowledge and all discernment in order to approve the things that are excellent.” You may also be sure that I pray that same sort of prayer for John, that is, for me. I pray it for you, too.
Thank God for these times in which we live. The creational, foundational laws of God are up for discussion and consideration. May He help us take part in this discussion, so that we have these matters settled in our hearts and ready on our lips.
In the Joy of the Lord,
John H.C. Niederhaus
June Pulpit Schedule
2nd – God Gives Us His Final Word! – Acts 1:1-8; 2 Peter 3:10-18; Hebrew 1:1-4
This Sunday is Ascension Sunday! Thursday marked Jesus Christ’s ascension into heaven. While Jesus’ disciples watched, He ascended into heaven. They stood gazing skyward and two men dressed in white clothing said to them, “This Jesus . . . will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” Jesus’ first coming included His living, dying, rising, and ascending. Each was in accord with God’s Word. Likewise, His second or final coming is certain from His Word. As Jesus’ disciples we can faithfully live in the certain hope of Christ’s return.
9th – Taste and See – John 8:49-53; Acts 2 s.v.; Hebrews 2 s.v.
The Psalmist says we should taste and see that the Lord is good. What the disciples tasted and saw on the Day of Pentecost was so powerful all the folk around them thought the disciples were drunk! They were not drunk! Instead, the Holy Spirit had given them eyes to behold the mighty deeds of God. As Peter preached about the deeds of God, the gathered crowd wanted to know what they should do in response to the deeds of God. What those crowds experienced is what chapter two of Hebrews is all about. They needed to touch God and to be touched by God.
June 16th – So, How Often Do We Have to Encourage Others? Grumble, Grumble, Grumble – Numbers 14: 1-11, 20-23; Psalm 95; Hebrews 3:7-19
We are called to encourage one another as long as it is called “today.” Even tomorrow, when it gets here, will be “today.” Think about that for a minute! Why is it so important to encourage one another? Because biblical encouragement is an antidote to grumbling. Grumbling, you see, hardens our hearts and turns them [and us!] away from the Lord. Israel grumbled, hardened their hearts, and died in the wilderness due to their unbelief. From this we learn we are to encourage one another that we might hold fast to faith in the Lord Jesus.
June 23rd – Rest: The Product of Diligent Faith, or, The Sloth’s Idol? – Joshua 22:1-6; Psalm 95; Hebrews 4:11-16
Living in a culture which prizes comfort and ease beyond nearly everything, we are constantly bombarded with messages of comfort and rest. The author of Hebrews talks about rest, and he says Christians should be diligent to enter that rest of which he speaks. On the surface this appears to be an oxymoron: diligent rest! We need to know what exactly is rest and how does a Christian find it? To do so, we will look to the Word of God, for we learn in Hebrews that God’s Word pierces as far as bone and marrow, but tender hearts will believe, obey, and find rest.
June 30th – Becoming a Priest – Isaiah 53:1-12; Matthew 22:41-46; Hebrews 5:1-14
Hebrews 5, when speaking of the priesthood, tells us “no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was.” We want to consider how it was that Jesus came to understand that He was THE priest to whom all the promises of God pointed. Jesus did think about this, as His conversation in Matt. 22 with the Pharisees demonstrates. He stumped them, but He wasn’t stumped. So, what did He understand His task to be as a priest according to the order of Melchizedek? Why should this matter to you and to me and to all people? We’ll see.
Sunday School Thank you!
June marks the end not only of the academic school year but also the Sunday School year. As the year concludes, a big THANK YOU goes out to all the Sunday School teachers. Preparing lessons each week is not easy. Thank you for your love for and dedication to the children of Leidy’s Church.
From the Pastor to Youth & Children
Though I was raised in Indiana, I went to seminary in Pennsylvania. One Thanksgiving while I was in seminary my father joined me on the return trip from Indiana to Pennsylvania. As we covered the vast expanse of Ohio, I attempted to work through an outline for a forthcoming paper. While I was working tying various ideas together, my dad asked what particular words or ideas meant. It seemed like a good way for the two of us to talk a little about my studies as we covered many miles on the trip. Eventually, my dad asked me what it meant to be “reformed.” Because there were no “Reformed Churches” in the town where I grew up, the word was (and still is) most often associated with those who had been sent to Reform School! As I tried to summarize how various denominations have developed in the last 400 years, I began to understand how confusing and messy church history is. My dad, due in part to my poor explanations, likely already knew it was confusing and was praying for the trip to end.
As I reflect now on this conversation, the church is still just as divided and messy as it was back in the day 400 years ago. Never has it felt further from the Paul’s description in Ephesians 4. There he writes that Christians should preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace because THERE IS ONE BODY AND ONE SPIRIT, JUST AS ALSO YOU WERE CALLED IN ONE HOPE OF YOUR CALLING; ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM, ONE GOD AND FATHER OF ALL WHO IS OVER ALL AND THROUGH ALL AND IN ALL. In the mind of Paul (and Jesus) the Church is to be the One people of God, and yet it feels as though we are as fragmented and divided as ever.
Some divisions occur within the Church as people work to have and maintain correct doctrine. 1 John 2:19 alludes to this. John describes a situation in which false teaching is present and separation occurs because of that false teaching. There are many groups who fall under the wide umbrella of the term Christian, but who believe ideas that our congregation would label false or heretical. As a result, it would not be fitting to partner with such groups.
Other groups under that wide umbrella of Christian agree in essentials with Immanuel Leidy’s Church. Even though we may disagree on some (or many) peripheral issues, we can and should partner with these groups for the sake of the Gospel and the glory of Christ. For three days in mid-May, the Anglican Diocese of the Living Water (formerly known as Cana East) met in our church for their annual Missions Conference and Synod. While there was a lot of work involved, it was a delight to have our brothers and sisters in Christ come worship and sing, teach and learn, pray and seek God, address business concerns, ordain deacons and elders, and celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
In the days leading up to the synod, I was asked a number of times “What is an Anglican?” Anglican is the Latin word for England. The Anglican Church is simply another way to say the Church of England. The group that came to Leidy’s Church has broken away from the Church of England because of corruption of that church’s doctrine and practice. Those of the Diocese of the Living Water have stood firm on their belief that the Bible is the Word of God. Even though they have a bishop, though they wore cassocks and stoles, and on occasions the bishop wore a mitre hat, and it all looked very unusual in our sanctuary, nonetheless they preached from the Word of God, made confessions of sin and of faith we would recognize, and sang great songs of worship we could all celebrate. In short, it was an amazing opportunity to remember that we are part of one Church with one Spirit. May it help us look beyond our walls to see what the Lord is doing among His people around the world. It certainly was a help to me.
To the Praise of His Glory,
Ladies of Leidy’s
Ladies of Leidy’s meets on Tuesday, June 4th at 7:00 p.m. in the Conference Room. Our speaker will be Bob Wendt of Abundant Honor Ministries who will speak on the lessons he has learned from his time spent out on the Last Frontier (Alaska). He believes the mission in Alaska laid the groundwork for his present ministry counseling families impacted by a disability. The mission of Abundant Honor Ministries is to provide help, hope, comfort and guidance for families affected by disability. This ministry helps support these families with counseling and by advocating for their needs and for the use of their gifts within the Body of Christ.
This is the last meeting until September. All women are welcome to attend.
Lysa Terkeurst is coming to the Lancaster area on October 11/12th at Manheim LCBC. Seating is limited so register early. For information and registration go to https://www.lifeway.com/en/events/the-word-alive.
SHE LEADS has partnered with Lifeway for a pre-conference to the Word Alive event with Lysa Terkeurst. She Leads is a training event led by seasoned ministry leaders to help better equip you for serving Christ in your home, church, ministry and marketplace. Please join us on October 11 from 8-3pm at Manor Church in Lancaster (ten minutes from LCBC). Save $15 if you register by September 1st. Contact Jessie at www.moreofhimministries.org for more information ~ or Verna 215-237-1370.
Women’s Bible Study
Beginning Monday, June 3rd at 7:00 p.m. in Room 118, the Monday night class will be starting Restless, Because You Were Made for More by Jennie Allen. Our lives are full. Full up to the brim with jobs, children, homes, family, friends, and church, to name a few. And yet, despite life’s fullness we often feel empty, bored, and restless. Jennie Allen will give practical advice on how to identify your gifts and passions, even your suffering, to uncover the divinely placed threads in your story.
Women’s Sunday School
Throughout the summer the class will be looking into the lives of twelve women of the Bible. Life changing stories for women today.
Statement of Faith Issued
The Spiritual Council of Leidy’s Church approved an updated Statement of Faith at its May meeting. It’s really not so much updated as it is overhauled! New categories are identified and issues not ordinarily in Statements of Faith through the ages are included because of the times in which we live. A significant portion of each Spiritual Council meeting since early last fall was given to working on the Statement of Faith. Now, the Elders are excited to issue this new Statement of Faith to the congregation and other interested persons.
Immanuel Leidy’s Church Statement of Faith
These are the truths to which we at Immanuel Leidy’s Church hold:
Doctrine of God
That there is one God, eternally existing in one essence, who has revealed Himself in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All three persons are equally divine, all are equally eternal, yet each is distinct in identity and role within the Godhead.
Doctrine of Creation
The one God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – created from nothing all that exists in six days and continues to exercise sovereignty and dominion over all creation.
Doctrine of Mankind
Mankind was created in the image of God as two distinct biological sexes. The male, Adam, was created by God from the dust of the ground, and the female, Eve, was created by God from Adam’s side. The entire human race is descended from these two persons. Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, and all his and Eve’s descendants thereby incurred not only physical death, but spiritual death, alienation from God, putting mankind at enmity with God. All human beings are conceived with a sinful nature and are subject to God’s righteous judgment.
Doctrine of Christ
God became human in the person of Jesus Christ. Mary, a virgin, gave birth to Jesus having conceived Him through the overshadowing power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ of Nazareth was truly human and truly divine; that is, He was subject to all human temptations and fleshly frailties, but never sinned. In a manner incomprehensible to us, in the midst of His humanity He remained God but laid aside His divine prerogatives.
Doctrine of Redemption
Jesus Christ atoned for the sins of His people, bearing the just wrath of God, by the shedding of His blood on the cross. On the third day He was bodily resurrected from the tomb never to die again. All who believe in Him are justified and reconciled to God on the basis of His shed blood. During a period of 40 days He appeared to His disciples and others to bear witness to His resurrection. At the end of the 40 days He ascended bodily into heaven and was enthroned at the right hand of the Father where He intercedes as High Priest and Advocate for His people. He is the only means by which anyone is reconciled to God. There is no other way – neither through good works nor through creeds – by which anyone can be redeemed from sin apart from the shed blood of Jesus Christ and the resurrection power He imparts to all who receive Him in faith.
Doctrine of Salvation and Sanctification
Salvation is the regenerating, sovereign work of the Holy Spirit by which individuals are made willing to respond to God’s offer, repent of their sin, and receive the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ in a personal way, whereby they are assured of their eternal destiny. Faith is not only a personal experience of salvation in Christ Jesus, but also a transformed life that reflects the continued working of the Holy Spirit to conform each individual believer to the image of Christ. This is the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit whereby believers fight against sin and the devil with a free and good conscience throughout this life, putting to death the deeds of the flesh. As they do so, the fruit of the Spirit is manifest more and more in their lives. All this is done as an expression of gratitude for the redemption freely given them in Christ Jesus.
Doctrine of Scripture
The Bible, contained in the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is God’s Word written by men inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is inspired, infallible, and of divine authority on all matters that it affirms. It does not err, but is totally trustworthy and to be believed, embraced, and obeyed. Through Scripture we discover who God is, who we are, and the way of salvation, which is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.
The two sacraments given to the Church by her Lord, Jesus Christ, are baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Both are visible signs and seals pointing to the gospel promise of redemption and new life in Christ.
Baptism may be administered to persons of moral age who make a credible confession of repentance and belief. It may also be administered to children of believing parents, even as circumcision was given to Abraham, the father of faith, to administer to his children. Those baptized as infants need not be re-baptized as adults.
The Lord’s Supper is to be administered in both elements as each points to and confirms the reality of redemption through Christ’s broken body and poured out blood. The bread is not changed into the actual body of Christ, nor is the juice or wine changed into the actual blood of Christ. By these visible signs the Holy Spirit assures believers that all Christ’s sufferings and His death are certainly for their benefit.
Marriage is the permanent, covenantal relationship instituted by God to be between one man and one woman whereby they become husband and wife. Because marriage is instituted by God, it is ordered and regulated by His Word. It is the one relationship where male and female are meant to be joined in spirit, soul, and body. The physical union of male and female is restricted exclusively to marriage. Male and female refer to one’s sex, which is determined by the XX or XY chromosomes present at birth.
Doctrine of the Church
There is only one Body of Christ, the Church. This one Body stretches chronologically from Adam and Eve to the moment when the final coming of Christ occurs. This one Body includes redeemed persons elected from every tribe, tongue, people group, and nation. This one Body is now, always has been, and through all succeeding ages shall be gathered, protected, and preserved in the unity of true faith by the sovereign work of God through His Word and Spirit.
The Church is blessed by the Holy Spirit to bear the fruit of the Spirit and to be empowered by gifts of the Spirit. Without the presence and life-giving work of the Holy Spirit there can be no Church. This work of the Spirit finds expression in adoration and worship to the one, true, living God; prayers for one another and for the world; in relationships that encourage and nurture spiritual growth; and in the proclamation of the gospel to all nations, teaching them to observe all that Christ, her Head, has taught.
The one Church is made up of many members. Due to the common limitations of our humanity, no one part of the Church is able to comprehend accurately all of God’s truth, or to live out fully all that God’s truth entails. Hence, there are differences in the Church, both in theology and in polity. We allow for these differences so long as in essentials there is unity.
Two esteemed creeds which give expression to the essentials of the Christian faith are The Apostles’ Creed and The Nicene Creed. The particular heritage of this congregation is articulated in The Heidelberg Catechism. While recognizing the value of these statements, we confess that none of them is inspired, nor is this Statement of Faith itself inspired, for each has been composed by imperfect human beings. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the only inspired human writings to which we give our entire trust and faith.
Doctrine of Last Things
The great longing of the Church, the Body of Christ, is for the return of her Head, the Lord Jesus. His return will be the great Day of Judgment. He will summon to God’s judgment seat all who are alive at the time of His return, and all who have died at any time since creation. Though no one knows the day or the hour of Christ’s return, it will be personal, visible, and universal.
On that day each person will be called to render an account for the deeds done in the flesh. Those who have received and believed the promise of God, shall enter into the fulness of eternal life. Those who have rejected God’s purpose for themselves by persisting in unbelief, shall be cast into everlasting darkness apart from Christ.
On that day there shall come forth the new heavens and new earth wherein righteousness dwells. There will be no need of sun or moon or other luminaries, for the glory of God shall illumine it and the Lamb will be its lamp. Then all the elect of God, that is the Bride of Christ, shall sit down to feast at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. There will be glory forever and ever, without end. Amen.
Play Ball! Strawberry Festival
When the second Saturday of June rolls around you know it’s time for the annual Leidy’s Church Strawberry Festival. This annual event began as a fundraiser for our softball team, but many other projects and causes have received support over the years. In 2019 the profits from the Strawberry Festival will go into the fund designed to let us all enjoy the call to Play Ball. We are seeking to make the athletic fields on the western side of our property usable and build a spacious, useable pavilion as well. The upshot is, we want to hear the call to Play Ball.
Preparing for the Strawberry Festival is a delightful experience for many. Making the one-of-kind potato salad, cleaning and slicing strawberries, figuring out the logistics, and talking with old friends (and making new ones) while doing so makes it a berry good time indeed. So be among those who help get it all ready.
It’s a great day for visibility for Leidy’s Church. Individuals and families from throughout our community drop by for good food, good fellowship, and some diversions from the cares of life. Be certain to invite a few of your friends and neighbors to drop by. For those who so desire, there will be an opportunity to try your hand at some indoor mini-golf.
Here are the details for 2019:
Date: Saturday, June 8th
Time: From 4 to 8 pm
Format: Eat on-site or get a carry-out
Cost: Most reasonable!
Menu items: Barbeque, hot dogs, baked beans, sauerkraut, & Leidy’s Church famous potato salad
Last but not least: Strawberries, ice cream, and assorted homemade cakes
Volunteer forms are in the bulletin and the narthex desk. We need folk to help make the potato salad, lots of strawberry cleaners and cutters, cashiers, setter-uppers and taker-downers, ice cream dippers, kitchen help, servers, and just plain old helpers.
We’ll need to get rid of a lot of berries to get a good start on listening for the call to Play Ball!
Summer Sunday School
Yes, Sunday School continues through the summer months! And for all our kids! It’s a good time.
But each year we like to give our regular Sunday School teachers a break over the summer months. That means we need help. If you would like to help serve the kids of Leidy’s Church this summer, may we suggest a good way to do so would be to teach a Sunday School class for a week – or two!
Sign-up sheets are located in the narthex for you to be a blessing to kids and teachers alike! Thanks for your help!
Leidy’s Church has two Short Length Mission Team [SLMT] projects taking place this summer. One is heading way north, and the other is heading way south. Here’s a quick update on each of them:
SLMT—Pikangikum is a bit misnamed now. As it turns out, we’ll have teams going to Pikangikum and Sandy Lake reserves in far northwest Ontario. Each team will do a 5-day VBS program focusing on the fruit of the Spirit. At Pikangikum there also will be a construction/handyman contingent doing who-knows-what and a little-bit-of-this-and-a-little-bit-of-that. Next month the team members will be listed, and more full description given of their tasks. For the time being they’re raising prayer support and financial support. They are scheduled to depart for the north on July 11th and return on the 21st.
SLMT—Cucuta is just getting organized. Cucuta, of course, is in Colombia where the In This Time of Need Project is taking place. Team members will be going down to assist in that program and learn just what all takes place to make it happen. The Light and Truth congregation is extremely excited to have a team coming down and will house team members. Cucuta is not that far from the equator, so it is way down south. Fortunately, it is 1,050 feet above sea level, so the temperature usually stays below 100! Plans are for the team to leave on August 14th and return on August 21st.
Both teams need our ongoing prayers as they continue preparations to go forth this summer.
A Marketplace Menagerie
It’s Jerusalem in AD 50. Just imagine how it would look to see soldiers and tax collectors walking around, beggars along the side of the street, and tradesmen selling their wares in smalls shops. Imagine the sounds of banging coming from the blacksmith’s anvil, the raised voices of the traders negotiating, and the chaos of crowds headed to the temple. Sniff the air as the arid dust fills your nose, the heat causes perspiration, and the animals… wait, skip the smells.
From June 17th through the 21st, the Marketplace is coming to Leidy’s Church along with all the sights and sounds, but hopefully NOT the smells. It is our VBS. And it is this month! Yikes!
In order to raise and populate the marketplace, we still need a lot of help and lots of personnel. Specifically, we need guides and builders and townspeople and care-givers. If you would like to help in any way, please sign up on the sheet in the narthex, or, contact the church office.
If you have children or grandchildren or neighborhood children who can come, registration for VBS may be done at www.leidyschurch.org/vbs. Or, contact the church office.
Luke 19 Harvest
The agreed upon date is Sunday, June 23rd. That’s the day when the harvest from the Minas that were sown on March 31st will be brought to the storehouse! We only have a twelve-week growing season, but it promises to be a good one this year.
What a flurry of activities and possibilities have arisen during this growing season. It’s been heartening to see all age groups from within the congregation become engaged in growing their respective Minas. We’ll have to collect some stories of how the Minas have been planted, that is, what projects/ideas have come forth. Some have borne much fruit, some have been a challenge, and some still have to be determined.
Despite all the news of maneuvering in Venezuela, in twelve weeks not that much has changed. Maduro is still in charge in Venezuela and the crisis only grows darker and more challenging each week. Our Luke 19 Harvest will help fill hungry bellies and provide many Bibles and tracts for hungry souls.
Bowling for Babies
On June 9th the whole youth group is going to go Bowling for Babies. This fundraiser, which supports Morning Star Ministries, is a way for Leidy’s Church to love folks in crisis. Specifically, funds raised will support a local home for pregnant women in crisis.
In the meantime, our youth group kids will be asking for sponsors. Be encouraged to support them (and make them work…). For instance, you might encourage them not to throw any gutter balls or any other bowling related criteria that comes to mind.
If you would like to support Morning Star Ministries but do not know any of the youth personally, please visit the table in the Narthex where there should be some smiling faces to greet you and help you get signed up as a sponsor.
Judgement House Tour
2019 is a Judgement House year! Hooray! That means this October we’ll see 1,200+ people come through our doors and hear the gospel of the Lord Jesus. The Gospel will be proclaimed through a dramatic presentation put on by us – like you and me!
You know what this means. We have a great need for folks to help act, build, do logistics, and help in score of other ways to support the work of sharing the gospel with our guests. We’re calling the Judgement House team The SDMT (that is, the Somewhat Dramatic Missions Troup). The SDMT will meet on June 9th at 4:00 p.m. for a walkthrough of this year’s Judgement House script. If you would like to be involved in any way, please come.
Kudos to the Graduates
It’s June and that means graduations and all the celebratory events connected thereto. Leidy’s Church extends hearty congratulations to the graduates in our midst. May the Lord Jesus guide and protect and bless your pathway forward. Here’s the list as we have it:
High School Graduates
Meagan Walbrandt is dribbling her way from Souderton Area High School to DeSales University where she will investigate studies in Health/Biology and play some basketball. Her parents are Dave and Allison Walbrandt.
Chase Mahoney leaves the hallowed halls of Souderton Area High School to start earning a real paycheck. He’s employed as a machinist at Laboratory Testing, Inc. He’s still considering doing some traveling via the U.S. Navy. His parents are Tara McVaugh and Scott Mahoney.
Ruth Thompson is taking her leave of the Mustard Seed Christian Homeschool where she’s been for 12 years. After taking a gap year, she plans to enroll at Montgomery County Community College to study Early Childhood Education. Her parents are Carl and Jerri Thompson.
Brian Lafty has blocked his way out of Pennridge High School after four years of football and will be heading to Franklin and Marshall College where he’ll play more football and pursue a degree in government. His parents are Brian and Jenny Lafty.
Reagan Hostelly has calculated her way out of the halls of Souderton Area High School as she heads to Montgomery County Community College. She’ll pursue General Ed Studies with a focus on Math. Her parents are Mike and Tosha Hostelly.
Collin Radcliff picked up the beat and beat it out of Souderton Area High School. An accomplished drummer, he has begun an apprenticeship with the Modern Male Barbershop to see if he can cut it, literally. His parents are Brian and Wendy Radcliff.
Christian Rau is squeezing out of Faith Christian Academy. He’s gainfully employed, but is looking to take a class or two at Bucks County Community College in the fall. His parents are Rock and Astrid Rau.
Nicole Tyson is graduating from Albright College with a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising & Design. She’s also designing her marriage for later this fall. She hopes to work in the fashion industry in the Philly area. Glen and Rachel Tyson are her parents.
Brittany Weiss splashed away for three years to get a Bachelor’s degree in Business Project Management from Liberty University. Having a year of NCAA eligibility left and a scholarship to boot, she’s hanging around another year to get her MBA. Francis and Judi Weiss are her parents.
Angela Caserta has managed her way out of West Chester University with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Management. She’s also managed her way to a job in downtown Philly with the Frank Recruitment Group. John and Debbie Caserta are her parents.
Kaitlyn Rittenhouse completed her work for a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Liberty University focusing on Psychology and Education. She is working at the Penn Foundation, and looking forward to marriage in 2020. Her parents are John and Janelle Rittenhouse.
Sarah (Tyson) Wright is still a Terrapin. She’ll be getting her Master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Maryland and will be working in the planning division of Ayers Saint Gross in downtown Baltimore. Her husband is Charlie, and her parents are Glen and Rachel Tyson.
It was a rare day in May, no rain and clearing skies! The Consistory of Leidy’s Church met under such promising conditions to conduct the monthly business of the church, of which some highlights are listed below:
- Devotions focused on the frightful introspection that overtakes all of us from time to time. Tim Leidy recently experienced this and explained how Psalm 121 was a wonderful balm to him. The Psalmist asks from whence comes his help? The answer: from the Lord who made heaven and earth. Tim related the recent black hole photograph and the massive size of it and the dimensions of the universe – all under God’s control. Tim finished by reading 1 Peter 5:6-7 which tells us to cast all our cares on the Lord, for He cares for us. Strong comfort and encouragement, indeed!
- Our mortgage balance at the end of April was $122,146. We continue to whittle away at it bit by bit. It was noted the SLMT Auction generated some $18,000. Funds have come in to help the Forever Young Veterans organization send some D-Day vets and spouses to France for the 75th anniversary. Stan and LaRue Friday will be among those going! God bless them, all agreed!
- Negotiations continue to determine how much escrow money we will get back from the Township and when. Reconciling of the Building Project costs between the books of the Township, Penn Builders, and Leidy’s Church is quite the task. It seems to just about be resolved. The Township will require a bond or cash or letter of credit or collateral in the amount of $25,000 to $29,000. This is to insure we can pay for any things that run amok in the next two or three years. We’re evaluating our options.
- The placement of a flat screen monitor in the narthex that could carry announcements, directions, alerts, and salient information was discussed. After a thorough discussion of the options, it was voted to move ahead with this project.
- Ed Schmidt read the qualifications for Deacon as stated in 1 Timothy 3 as a prelude to the discussion of nominations for the office of Deacon. This year there will be Deacon slots open and a list of nominees was vetted and then placed in a Bible by Stan Ott. Matt Harris drew the names out, which is the order in which men will be approached until the nomination is filled.
- Continued discussion of the Emergency Plan. A Safety Committee is being organized. The Usher Meetings helped with education of some key personnel. Now education must be taken to the wider congregational body.
- A script for this year’s Judgement House presentation has been sent to the JH Headquarters for review/approval.
- Plans are underway for VBS, for SLMT-Pik curriculum, AV tech training, and for getting a new meat slicer for the kitchen.
A variety of Committee and Staff reports were received and then the meeting was adjourned following a time of directed intercessory prayer and unison praying of the Lord’s Prayer at 9:58.
Within the Fellowship
Our congratulations to Jake and Hannah Niederhaus at the dedication of their daughter, Audrey Ann Gertrude, and to Gus and Sunhwa Niederhaus at the birth of their daughter Alicia Patricia Hyeonseo Lee. May God be with them as they grow in Him.
Our sincere Christian sympathy to Ted Brunner and family at the death of his father, and to Larry Anders and family at the death of his brother. May God be with them at this time.
Second Helvetic Confession
Predestination is a Christian term. It’s biblical term. It’s a controversial term. After all, what does it mean? How should we understand it, to understand it faithfully? How the Second Helvetic Confession treats this will be seen over the next couple of months.
Confession and Simple Exposition of the Orthodox Faith
Chapter 10: of the Predestination of God and the Election of the Saints
1) God Has Elected Us out of Grace. From eternity God has freely, and of his mere grace, without any respect to men, predestinated or elected the saints whom he wills to save in Christ, according to the saying of the apostle, “God chose us in him before the foundation of the world.” And again, “Who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not in virtue of our works but in virtue of his own purpose and the grace which he gave us in Christ Jesus ages ago, and now has manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus.”
2) We Are Elected or Predestinated in Christ. Therefore, although not on account of any merit of ours, God has elected us, not directly, but in Christ, and on account of Christ, in order that those who are now engrafted into Christ by faith might also be elected. But those who were outside Christ were rejected, according to the words of the apostle, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are holding to your faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”
3) We Are Elected for a Definite Purpose. Finally, the saints are chosen by God for a definite purpose, which the apostle himself explains when he says, “He chose us in him for adoption that we should be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption to be his sons through Jesus Christ that they should be to the praise of the glory of his grace.”
4) We Are to Have a Good Hope for All. And although God knows who are his, and here and there mention is made of the small number of the elect, yet we must hope well of all, and not rashly judge any man to be a reprobate. For Paul says to the Philippians, “I thank my God for you all” (now he speaks of the whole church in Philippi), “because of your fellowship in the gospel, being persuaded that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is also right that I have this opinion of you all.”
5) Whether Few Are Elect. And when the Lord was asked whether there were few that should be saved, he does not answer and tell them that few or many should be saved or damned, but rather he exhorts every man to “strive to enter by the narrow door”: as if he should say, It is not for you curiously to inquire about these matters, but rather to endeavor that you may enter into heaven by the straight way.
6) What in This Matter Is to Be Condemned. Therefore we do not approve of the impious speeches of some who say, “Few are chosen, and since I do not know whether I am among the number of the few, I will enjoy myself.” Others say, “If I am predestinated and elected by God, nothing can hinder me from salvation, which is already certainly appointed for me, no matter what I do. But if I am in the number of the reprobate, no faith or repentance will help me, since the decree of God cannot be changed. Therefore all doctrines and admonitions are useless.” Now the saying of the apostle contradicts these men: “The Lord’s servant must be ready to teach, instructing those who oppose him, so that if God should grant that they repent to know the truth, they may recover from the snare of the devil, after being held captive by him to do his will.”
Matthew & Peter
by Jerri Thompson
Anyone remember the TV movie (minseries?) from the 1970s, Jesus of Nazareth? One scene still pops up in my memory from time to time. It’s not exactly faithful to the sequence of the biblical narrative, but it is faithful to the personalities of the persons involved and to the biblical theme of reconciliation.
Did you ever think of how Peter, a Jewish fisherman, would react to Jesus selecting Matthew, a collaborator with Rome and a tax collector, to be a fellow-disciple with him? The movie portrays Peter as the brash fisherman in contrast to his more bookish, spiritually-minded brother Andrew. Peter hates paying taxes.
Well, it turns out his tax collector is Matthew. That’s who comes to remind Peter after he caught all those fish (courtesy of Jesus, of course) that he has taxes to pay. Peter is furious, but Jesus is standing there and invites himself to Matthew’s house for dinner. A little later, the disciples argue with Jesus about how this dinner will defile him, and Peter goes off in an angry fit to his boat. Jesus does not rebuke him, but instead goes into Matthew’s house.
That house, of course, was as full of debauched people as television could show back then. The disciples stand outside the door. Even Peter who comes back and watches, though apart from the others. Matthew’s guests ask for a teaching. Jesus tells the parable of the Prodigal Son. At the end of the story, Peter very publicly enters Matthew’s house and says to Jesus face-to-face in a broken voice, “I am just a stupid man.” (I know the Bible reads “sinful man,” but this is Hollywood.) Jesus looks at him, then at Matthew. Peter goes to Matthew and touches his shoulder. They clasp hands.
I have never forgotten that reconciling touch. One could say the Pharisees were not the only Pharisees in Israel; it seems the ordinary citizens followed suit. Financially speaking, the ordinary citizens had even more reasons to hate the tax collectors than the well-off Pharisees.
Peter did not want to associate with Matthew whose doctrine and lifestyle were all wrong. Jesus invited Matthew to be his friend and, soon after, Matthew’s doctrine and lifestyle would change. And Peter’s lifestyle was also changed by the love of Christ for him in his angry state. Jesus led with love. Do I? Do we, as a church?
- 2nd – Donna Frueh
- 9th – Diane Gehman
- 16th – Beth Harbon
- 23rd – Dorothy Kehs
- 30th – Shannon Kehs
- 2nd – Don & Dianne Nase
- 9th – Pearl Walter
- 16th – Nelda Metzler
- 23rd – Joann Elliott
- 30th – Jean Frederick
- 2nd – Donna Moyer
- 9th – Ken & Wendy Murphy
- 16th – Ron & Kathy Moyer
- 23rd – Kendall & Mary Beth Musselman
- 30th – James & Danielle Mylin
Usher Captains: Matt Harris, Jeff Schatz
Ushers: Dave Doran, Alex Hager, Bob Hager, Rich Kapusta, Mark Kostishion, Christian Rau, John Rittenhouse, Lucas VanDerbeek, Drew Weiss.
The Emergency Committee for June is Ed Schmidt.