A fascinating Bible study for a wet Saturday afternoon would be to go through the whole New Testament and to identify all the “one another” verses. The phrase “one another” is derived from the Greek word allelon which implies a reciprocal mutuality. It occurs 100 times in the New Testament, and approximately 59 of those occurrences are specific commands teaching us how to relate to one another. This is not mere advice, but an Apostolic command, which means that obedience is imperative. These commands form a good barometer of the health of any church and a good checklist for us all. So we are to love one another (John 13:34 – this command occurs at least 16 times); to be devoted to one another (Romans 12:10); to honor one another above ourselves (Romans 12:10); to live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16); to build up one another (Romans 14:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:11); to be likeminded towards one another (Romans 15:5); to accept one another (Romans 15:7); to admonish one another (Romans 15:14; Colossians 3:16); to greet one another (Romans 16:16; to care for one another (1 Corinthians 12:25); to serve one another (Galatians 5:13); to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2); to forgive one another (Ephesians 4:2, 32; Colossians 3:13); to be patient with one another (Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 3:13); to speak the truth in love to one another (Ephesians 4:15, 25); to be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32); to speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19); to submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21, 1 Peter 5:5); to consider others better than yourselves (Philippians 2:3); to look to the interests of one another (Philippians 2:4); to bear with one another (Colossians 3:13); to teach one another (Colossians 3:16); to comfort one another (1 Thessalonians 4:18); to encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11); to exhort one another (Hebrews 3:13); to stir up one another to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24); to show hospitality to one another (1 Peter 4:9); to clothe ourselves with humility towards one another (1 Peter 5:5); to pray for one another (James 5:16); to confess our faults to one another (James 5:16).
Each of these commands were perfectly kept by Jesus, and motivated by the grace that unites us together in Him we now strive by His Spirit to become more Christlike in character. The picture is of an active, energetic church, not of passive passengers but active partners all serving together and striving in unity towards the same great goal of growth in Christ. But if we are to relate like this we must as a church structure ourselves so as to facilitate this pattern of living.
Excitingly, we have therefore now taken the decision to introduce coffee and Danish pastries after the service at 11:15am in the narthex/foyer to provide a chance for us to chat, encourage and show hospitality to one another. And because we need to be a prayerful church, we will now meet monthly in the Fellowship Hall for our new Monthly Prayer Meeting (MPM) beginning on Thursday, March 24th from 7-8:15pm to pray for God’s blessing on us as a church. The prayer meeting will serve as a new hub of fellowship and of communication of our vison as we set out where we are planning to go, asking for God’s grace and wisdom. Coffee and pastries will be served and please make this a central priority in your calendar.
For His Glory,
Have you ever noticed how once a year, usually in February or March, there are a lot of people walking around with an ash cross on their foreheads? Many of us see it but are unsure of what it signifies. Ash Wednesday, often called the Day of Ashes, marks the beginning of Lent, a time for the Christian to focus on repentance and prayer. Ash Wednesday is an urgent reminder of the necessity of repentance, and a humbling reminder of human mortality. In the service a cross of ash is traced on the heads of each with thin the congregation, a powerful reminder that we need to put right the things that separate us from God. As the cross is traced the words the words “Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return”. By receiving the ash we acknowledge our frailty and our mortality, that the grave is our destiny.
In 1 Corinthians 15:47 Paul explains that “The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven”. By nature we all belong to the man of dust, Adam, who was created from the earth, only to return to the earth in death for his sin. But the miracle of grace is that we have been included into Christ, the man from heaven. Through the merits of Jesus’ saving death on Good Friday and his mighty resurrection on Easter Sunday, though we are people of dust, yet, beyond the grave awaits the resurrection and transformation of the body into the perfection of the new creation. Join us on for our Ash Wednesday service, this Wednesday as we ponder our mortality, and the great gracious gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Jesus is a king with sovereign authority. Join us as continue our series in which Mark will show us the astonishing authority of Jesus over every area of his world. Why not bring your friends and neighbors too.
- March 2, Mark 3:7-35 – Authority to call a new people
- March 6, Mark 4:1 – Authority to save and judge
- March 13, Mark 4:1-25 – Authority to establish his kingdom
- March 20, Mark 4:26-34 – Authority to defeat cosmic evil
- *March 27, Mark 4:35-5:20 – Authority to reverse the agony of death (Guest service)
A bulletin board has been set up in the Prayer Room (Rm. 117) on the first floor where you can tack up your prayer request and praises (answers to prayer requests). Stop in anytime the church is open and utilize this new way of receiving prayer requests and allowing our members and friends to join in praying for them.
I suggest you date your requests. I hope many of you will take time and effort to come and pray adding your support. In these difficult days the requests are overwhelming. The more pray’ers the better the results. Also a reminder that prayers for our missionaries we support happens on the first, third, and fifth Saturdays of every month from 10 a.m. to noon. Stop in anytime that is convenient for you.
From the Pastor of Youth & Children
Recently, I lost my voice. My family’s shouts of joy and exultation are still reverberating off of Ridge Road. Sitting on my couch in forced silence, I reflected on the irony. I have been called as a pastor and that comes with the task of preaching and teaching. One of the words used in the New Testament for this sort of ministry is khrussw. Most basically this was the New Testament word which described the preacher as a herald or a proclaimer. As I meditated upon that idea, I conjured in my mind the scene from Sleeping Beauty. The great and the good of the land had gathered to welcome the new princess. The three good fairies arrived, and a herald announced their coming. This has been the task of all Christians generally and pastors specifically all down through the ages of the Church. We have been tasked with the announcement that the eternal Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ has come. Not only has He come, but He lived, died, and rose again that death might lose its sting and so that we His people might dwell with Him forever.
How was I, with no voice, to function as a herald of the Lord Jesus Christ? To press the point even further, I considered Romans 10. There Paul wrote, HOW THEN WILL THEY (all people) CALL ON HIM IN WHOM THEY HAVE NOT BELIEVED? HOW WILL THEY BELIEVE IN HIM WHOM THEY HAVE NOT HEARD? AND HOW WILL THEY HEAR WITHOUT A PREACHER? HOW WILL THEY PREACH UNLESS THEY ARE SENT…SO FAITH COMES FROM HEARING AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF CHRIST. There I sat, growing in morosity and wondering how I could possibly be effective for kingdom ministry. This was not a mere pity party where I wondered if I would have to start finger signing words for others to understand my thoughts or begin carrying a tablet of slate to scratch out my words in written form. Rather I spent the time reflecting on the Lord’s design for the pastors of His Church to be heralds. Preachers have been raised up through the generations, sent around the world (and around the block), and have been used by the Lord to proclaim the truth of the gospel as it has been revealed in the Scriptures for thousands of years. The kingdom of God has advanced through the preached Word of God down through the centuries.
In the due course of time amidst rasping and empty whispers, my voice returned (largely with the groanings of my family…). However, the importance of losing my voice remained. It produced two responses within me. The first was a powerful reminder to praise the Lord for the ability to use my voice and communicate. It would simply not do for folks to become forced to sift through my grammatical errors if I were forced to write everything down. The second and even greater response was to be reminded of the power of the preached Word of God. I by no means thought that the sermon on Sunday had a strange brew of hocus pocus that I needed to hear. Rather, I remembered that the Lord has revealed Himself through His Word. As a result, when the preacher has proclaimed the Word of the Lord, he has given a God written description of the character and acts of redemption.
Now, removed from my infirmary, I encourage you all (as well as myself) to not neglect God’s Word particularly as it is proclaimed each Sunday. In offering this exhortation, I have in my mind Isaiah 55:11. It says, SO WILL MY WORD BE WHICH GOES FORTH FROM MY MOUTH; IT WILL NOT RETURN TO ME EMPTY, WITHOUT ACCOMPLISHING WHAT I DESIRE, AND WITHOUT SUCCEEDING IN THE MATTER FOR WHICH I SENT IT. In short, it is through the preached Word of God that the Holy Spirit works and changes hearts of flesh into hearts of stone, or if you prefer instead, the power of the Gospel is salvation, and when it is presented, it has the ability to make dead men come alive. Therefore, read it, listen to it, delight in it, and be glad.
To the Praise of His Glory,
Michael W. Nowling
Be at Sunday School for Mission Month
March is Mission Month at Leidy’s Church. It’s a month we combine all our adult Sunday School classes as we meet in the Fellowship Hall to hear each week about a mission we support. It’s also a call-out to folk who do not attend Sunday School to come out and enjoy learning about how Leidy’s Church is helping undergird mission efforts locally and around the globe. Here’s what you’ll get at a typical Sunday session in Mission Month:
- Mission Munchies – that is, good finger food to enjoy while getting informed about our mission efforts from mission partners.
- An opportunity to hear first-hand what is happening in the field with our missionaries. Sometimes that will be in locations as local as Souderton and Lansdale and Philadelphia; and sometimes that will in locations as distant as Bangladesh or Thailand or France. [We even have a missionary in the UK, though now the UK has sent one direct to Leidy’s Church!]
- Each Sunday there will be opportunity to ask specific questions of the missionary folk present – in fact, they look forward to your questions.
This is your invitation to explore the world of missions as experienced from the perspective of those whom you help support and keep in the field. Take advantage of this opportunity!
Sonshine Players – News Flash!
Don’t miss the upcoming broadcast of Faith News…Heaven’s number one source of news! Join us inside the Pearly Gates and hear our team of news anchors and roving reporters as they interview people from the Bible during the most defining moments in their lives. Our broadcast will spotlight the best of the Heavenly Headlines, and will encourage you to believe anything is possible when we follow God’s plan for our lives. Two shows only…Saturday, March 26th 6:30 pm and Sunday, March 27th at 4:00 pm. This is a great opportunity to invite non-churched friends and neighbors to hear a cute multigenerational program that happens to be chock full of Gospel truths. Our cast has been working hard for months…so come on out and bring a friend! We hear a lot of FAKE news every day…it’s time to share some FAITH NEWS!
Report from Niger
In February a training session was held in Niger by Global Disciples. Folk at Leidy’s Church knew about it and prayed about it. Here are some reports just in from that training. As you’ll read, our prayers were needed!
- We had our training and trained 14 disciples in an area in which we started church planting activities. It was not easy, but the Lord helped us. And the facilitator as well. During the training many testified concerning the manifestation of God’s power in their lives. Many have testified that even though they are in areas threatened by terrorists and jihadists, there were many healings of sick people and converts and many were delivered from evil spirits. Please keep praying for peace and security in these areas. One of the disciples, a former Muslim young man, became now so bold in evangelism, he called himself an evangelist. He has brought 12 of his fellow Muslim brothers to be brothers in the Lord.
- Here’s a personal testimony: I really thank the Lord for the teaching received on persisting Prayer. I experienced it while we were coming to Niger from Mali. We started praying at the very beginning of our journey. Our journey had many insecurities and the presence of too many check points. It was not easy and was very challenging but by prayer, the Lord protected us, and we were able to reach Niger safely.
Here are some prayer requests that came from that meeting:
- Pray for security and peace in Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Mali that prevented 9 directors from abroad to be with in this event.
- Pray that the work of transformation started in the lives of the Participants will be brought into its fullness.
Guest Service | Life…beyond the Grave
Do you have any unbelieving friends, family members, colleagues, neighbors or tea mates? Why not invite them to join us at our guest service on Sunday, March 27th when I will be preaching from Mark 5:21-43 on the subject of death, and our hope. The service will follow the normal pattern and the sermon will be accessible for unbelievers, and at the end there will be a time of questions and answers. Our prayer is that this will lead guests to return for our Easter Sunday service two weeks later, that they might join us regularly, and come to find out more at our new Inquirers’ Class beginning after Easter.
Some Guys You’ll Want to Meet
For almost three years the congregation of Leidy’s Church has been giving to and praying for the work of evangelization among the Erukula people group in India. For the last six months our prayers have often focused on the 12 Church Planters that are now working among the Erukula. Wouldn’t it be good to know their names and something of their background? Yes! Most certainly!
We’re glad you think so. Thanks to the labors of Bill Teate, we have some background information on each of the 12 Church Planters. It would be a lot to put all that information into one article. So, we’ll introduce three Church Planters each of the next four months. That means by the end of June we will have met each of them and know just a bit about them. Because the names are so different from what we’re accustomed, we will forego first names and simply identify each Church Planter as Mr. XYZ.
- Mr. M. Subbaiah is 41 years old. He is married and has two sons. He was baptized in 2006 and has been engaged in ministry since 2011. Here is part of his testimony: I am from a Hindu family. We have Yadav background. [ed. note: a term referring to a caste type, namely, a non-elite, peasant caste.] My brother was converted first and entered God’s service. By noticing me as a useless one [ed. note: that’s what his testimony says.] he shared with me everything he learned about God. Through his witness, I started believing in God’s great things and accepted Jesus Christ as my own Savior. I am happy to be part of the School of Evangelism program and am eager to establish new communities of believers in surrounding villages.
- Mr. V. Srinath is 29 years old and is not married. He was baptized in 2015 and has been engaged in ministry since then. Here is part of his testimony: I was born in a Hindu family and had no knowledge of Jesus Christ. Actually, my grandmother used to go to a church. Through her I found out about a pastor named Ajay Kishore of the Hallelujah Pentecost Ministry. I began to go to his ministry regularly. He taught me and I was baptized. Now I have a strong desire to learn and preach the Word of God, so am happy to be in the School of Evangelism.
- Mr. T. Nataraju is 28 years old and is not married. He was baptized in 2010 and has been involved in ministry since 2016. Here is part of his testimony: I am born into a Hindu family. When I was in school, I had sickness. Then great believers prayed for me. Then I was completely healed. Then I came to know the love of God. I started reading the Word of God regularly and started to feel that I should also give time to preach. But I lacked the knowledge to do so. Now, in the School of Evangelism, I will be taught and have the opportunity to preach God’s Word to the unreached people in the villages.
These are among the men we’re praying for as they minister among the Erukula people. Our Gospel Gleanings offerings of two years ago are providing the funding for their training and ministry. If you would like to see a picture of these fellows, then head back to the Mission Wall and you’ll see two plaques. Each has six photos, and together they make up the 12 Church Planters. We need to continue to thank God for raising them up and ask Him to bless them and make them fruitful in their labors among the Erukula people.
Photos to Check Out
It may be rather old-school in this digitalized age where everyone includes video clips with emails, but photos still have a place for us. The example to consider is the Mission Wall at Leidy’s Church. It’s located in the narthex between the sanctuary and the Fellowship Hall, and between the two sets of doors into the Fellowship Hall.
This wall has photos of all the mission folk supported by Leidy’s Church. Also on the wall is a world map where the various places where “our missionaries” serve are identified. Sometimes our geography is in need of some review – after all, who can locate the Maldives or Bangladesh or London, England!
Two new photos are located right beneath the world map. They are of Pastor Dagoberto Angarita and Pastor Jésus Ramon and their families. Serving in Colombia and Venezuela respectively, they bring humanitarian aid and the gospel message to the beleaguered residents of Venezuela, the country where the worst humanitarian crisis in the Western world continues to unfold. Pastors Dagobert and Jésus will appreciate your prayers for their labors.
Our connection with these two Pastors also has resulted in a Women’s Bible Study conducted from here but taking place via Zoom in Colombia and Venezuela. Martha Wolgemuth leads that Bible Study every Thursday evening. There are between 15 and 20 women participating on any given week. Martha is a native Colombian, so has no difficulty with the language! Martha would appreciate your prayers for the Bible Study as well.
Do something a little retro: check out the photos on the Mission Wall. Then ponder what the Lord can do. They pray that the Lord would do it!
Usher Captains: Jim Kinney, Dana Gehman
Ushers: Rock Rau, Dennis Doran, Brandon Kehs, Skip Smith, Matt McVaugh, Brian Radcliff, Rich Kapusta, Samuel Murphy, Collin Radcliff, Dave Reich, Glen Tyson, Tony Wilwert, Adam Foote, Corbin Hostelley, Bill Weigner
Within the Fellowship
Our sincere Christian sympathy to family and friends of Elsie Jo Cardone at her death, and to Beth Harbon at the death of her father. May God be with them at this difficult time.
Mission Month Line-Up
The 2022 Leidy’s Church Mission presenters feature two completely new faces we haven’t seen before and two who are familiar to us. There’s a heavy taste of Philadelphia in this year’s slate of speakers, though we have some far eastern flavors and a bit of Hispanic taste as well. Here’s the line-up:
- March 6th – Rita Whitaker from Life Turning Point of Philadelphia. Rita is the absolute newbie in our line-up. Our support of her only began in January of this year. You may have heard her on a KYW feature recently, though you may not have been aware that we know her! Her ministry is to homeless women and children in Philadelphia. It is a thoroughly biblically based program of reclamation and restoration of women’s lives. Rita has much experience and will relate how the Lord Jesus is at work in Philly even now.
- March 13th – Hector Torres from The Haven of Hope. Hector is the absolute oldie in our line-up, both chronologically and as far as longevity of our support. The Haven of Hope has been up and it’s been down. Now, Hector has exciting news to share about the center they’re opening in Puerto Rico. Growing up on the streets in Philadelphia, Hector has an intimate knowledge of what’s going down where. He’ll have some challenges for us. And, he will look forward to your asking him some good questions.
- March 20th – Tom Stevens from The Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia is a combination of newbie and oldie. We’ve never had a Pro-Life Union speaker at Leidy’s Church, but we’ve supported the Pro-Life Union for decades. Given that 2022 could be a signal year in pro-life efforts in our land with the possible reversal of Roe v. Wade, Tom will have some timely words for us. During all the vicissitudes of the pro-life movement over the years, this organization has been a rock of stability and hope.
- March 27th – Chris and Heather Christensen serve with ABWE in Bangladesh. We’re fortunate to catch them home on furlough. We began supporting the Christensens when they were in their initial phase of raising funds with the hope of going to the mission field. Now, they are old veterans and have grown greatly in how the Lord is using them. Chris is the Supervisor of the Outpatient Dept. at Memorial hospital ABWE operates in Bangladesh. He also teaches Bible classes and works with pastors.
On Wednesday, February 9th, the Consistory of Immanuel Leidy’s Church met, and minutes were taken during the meeting, from which salient notes are listed below.
Brian Shoemaker opened the meeting in prayer and led devotions on the topic of the Holy Trinity. Brian shared how he has moments to share his Christian faith with others in the workplace and that there are debates with people of other faiths, such as Muslim faith. When discussing the God revealed in the Bible, disputes arise over the Holy Trinity. Brian shared several passages from the OT and NT which reveal the one true God is a Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and how it is good to know these passages as we are building relationships with people who may or may not know the true and living Triune God of the Bible.
Minutes from the January 5th, 2022 were reviewed and then approved by Consistory.
Dana Gehman presented the monthly financial report for January 2022, noting that the General Fund has a healthy balance with weekly contribution averaging at a consistent level. Renovation Fund continues to have a good balance with only a minor disbursement during the month of January. The Jones Family Moving expenses still has a healthy balance as well. The financial report was approved by Consistory.
A partial disbursement from the Good Samaritan Fund was sent last month Pikangikum Trailor Project. The balance of those authorized funds was approved by Consistory to be sent to Church Without Walls to aid needy Christian families in Egypt and Syria.
Update on the wicking and steeple issues was presented by Pastor Steve citing that the steeple caulking repairs to remedy the leaks are working and will be monitored in the future. A request to determine the lifespan of this repair will be pursued with Penn Builders along with their reason for choosing the caulking method over against an install of new flashing. Penn Builders continues the process of preparing the interior walls affected by the wicking condition to prepare them for sealing epoxy coating application. Additional coordination and scheduling between Penn Builders and church will be pursued to minimize any further delays so that the affected rooms can be addressed, and the project completed.
The HUB property subdivision committee met with our architect and lawyer to discuss the timeline of events to process the subdivision of the HUB property from the deed. It was estimated that the entire process will take approximately one year to complete at A cost OF $10,000.
The HUB Fellowship Hall roof replacement and church parking lot repairs and Mission apartment repairs were presented. A revised quote for the HUB roof replacement will be ascertained, the parking lot repairs will be completed in March or April, and the apartment repairs will be addressed.
Team Logic Wi-Fi and firewall installation is not expected to be installed until mid to late April due to supply chain delay.
A report was presented to address potential risks of our real estate tax-exempt status as a church in hosting homeschool groups on campus. A consultation with a tax attorney revealed low risk for any legal action. Consistory decided to allow both groups to continue to meet in our facility, while monitoring this issue in the future.
Mission’s Month slated for March is fully scheduled and finalized.
Pastor Steve and Pastor Michael submitted their monthly reports.
Other committee reports and items of business were discussed. Missions Committee alerted to a possible SLMT project. Fellowship Committee highlighted plans for congregational luncheons, with a focus on Confirmation graduation luncheon in June. Christian Ed Committee cited good attendance at i-Blast. Church & Community Committee reported on 32 people attending the March for Life in Washington, D.C.
We concluded the meeting with intercessory prayer for certain requests and concerns and adjourned after praying together the Lord’s prayer at 10:22 PM.
New City Catechism
Question 17: What is idolatry?
Idolatry is trusting in created things rather than the Creator for our hope and happiness, significance and security.
Romans 1:21 & 25: For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. . . . They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator. . . .
Commentary – Martin Luther
What is it to have a god? Or, what is one’s god? Answer: To whatever we look for any good thing and for refuge in every need, that is what is meant by “god.” . . . Many a person imagines that he has God and everything he needs, provided he has money and property. . . . The evidence for this appears when people are arrogant, secure, and proud because of such possessions, but desperate when they lack them or lost them. I repeat, to have a god means to have something on which one’s heart depends entirely.
Question and explore your own heart thoroughly, and you will find out if it embraces God alone or not. Do you have it in your heart to expect nothing but good things from God, especially when you are in trouble and in need? And does your heart in addition give up and forsake everything that is not God? Then you have the one true God. On the other hand, is your heart attached to and does it rely on something else, from which you hope to receive more good and more help than from God? And when things go wrong, do you, instead of fleeing to Him, flee from Him? Then you have another god, a false god, an idol.
The last catechism answer showed us that sin is rejecting, ignoring, and rebelling against God, not treating God as God, and not giving him the honor that is his due. In the Bible, the most frequently described way that human beings do that is through the sin of idolatry. Idolatry is loving anything more than Jesus Christ. Idolatry is treating anything as more important than Jesus Christ for your meaning in life, for your happiness, for your security and hope, or for your self-regard. The reason why it’s so important to understand the sin of idolatry is that it can be growing in a part of your life for a long time and get very deep without it right away leading to clear, visible, and easily seen violations of God’s law.
So, for example, if affluence and your career have become too important to you, they’ve become idols, and that can lead you to working too hard and exhaustion. It can lead you to becoming ruthless. It can block the development of a loving heart and the fruit of the Spirit. It can thin out your relationships. It can hurt your family relationships. It can hurt your friendships. And all these things can be going on for a long time before it leads to a real overt example of lying or cheating or adultery, because idolatry can lead to those things.
So what’s important to grasp is this: sin is not just doing bad things. It’s turning good things into ultimate things, because it ruins your soul, destroys community, and dishonors God.
Lent Book – Holiness by J.C. Ryle
This Lent, why not join us as we read Ryle’s great classic as a church family. The book is a radical call to live a life set apart from the world and set our minds on things above. The book is easy to ready and was formed from his sermons, and each chapter provides a powerful call to turn to Christ in repentance and faith. Bishop J.C. Ryle served the Lord in ministry in the Church of England for almost the entire length of the Victorian Age. Although Ryle was committed to all forms of evangelism, his heart beat strongest for mass evangelism in the cities. Much of his immediate influence on Victorian evangelism stemmed from his prolific number of tracts. Several million copies of his more than 200 different tracts were distributed in a variety of languages throughout the land. I first read the book when I was 20 and will be reading it again this Lent. Get ready for a loud wake up call, to radical wholeheartedness. Through written two centuries ago, the book is amazingly contemporary, and will lead you to a personal revival of Scriptural holiness. Copies will be available at the welcome desk, or you can drop by the office during the week, the price is $10. At the end of Lent we will schedule a meeting to discuss our reading together.