Have you ever jumped to a conclusion before getting all the facts? I know that I have done this very thing. We all have this tendency to come to our own conclusion, be it right or be it wrong. When we come to a conclusion, without searching for or hearing all of the facts, our decision or the course we set can lead us away from the truth, but it may also cause division and/or disturbing results among people who are involved or impacted by the decision we have made.
One of the best ways to avoid this from happening is obvious to us all. We need to search out and learn all the facts before coming to any conclusion or course setting. Recently, I have been posting a weekly devotion from the book of Proverbs on the internet. Proverbs is identified as “wisdom literature” because of its ageless, inspired, legendary instruction; which if a person listens and follows will become wise. One of those proverbial sayings salient to this article is Proverbs 18:13, which says, “He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him.” Just as it is folly and shame to answer before you hear, so it is to conclude a matter before obtaining and /or hearing all the facts.
Candidly, there are people, we come in contact with, who are convinced they do not need to investigate to find out the facts before coming to a decision because they are persuaded in their own mind that their conclusion is the correct one. This attitude of confidence has shown itself on many fronts during the COVID crisis. I for one admit that the process of trying to discover the facts from the fiction about this virus and its impact on our society has been perplexing because there are so many conflicting and inflated reports of infections and causalities from health agencies and acclaimed experts. Tied with these inconsistencies is the political spectrum of interpretations and opinions, which has left me a bit puzzled and skeptical about the underlining motivations of the news reports published for public consumption.
One thing is certain in these days of alleged uncertainty is that God is not a God of confusion! And though there are many scientific voices heralding conclusions about how to prevent and/or combat this pandemic and reduce casualties by their prescribed methods, we, as the people of God, must not fall into their fearful mantra of thinking that science, with its preemptive and preventative prescriptions, is somehow extending the days of our lives or stopping our deaths.
God alone is the giver of life and death, not science! A Psalm of David, Psalm 139, reveals God as all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present, and in verses 13-16 the psalmist writes, “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.”
So, whether it is viral or bacterial or cancer or incurable diseases or accident of any sort, though taking precautionary measures, we must know, without a doubt, that our lives, body and soul, are in the almighty hands of the LORD.
We must confidently say in faith, that whether we live or die we are the Lord’s, and that all believers share this refrain, that to live is Christ and to die is gain.
To the glory of God,
Steven L. Myers
Pulpit Committee Update
As we move from summer to fall we see our church life working to return to normal. Often the summer is a period where life moves at a slower pace but for the Pulpit Committee that has not been true. We have continued to meet weekly throughout the summer in order to review applications and conduct interviews. We have had the pleasure of talking with men who love the Lord and are seeking to fulfill the great commission on the path that the Lord has placed them. We remained unified in spirit and outlook as we seek to discern God’s will and identify the man He has called to serve here. We have been encouraged through this process and do not think that this time has been unproductive or not used of God. God has His timing and it is rarely ours.
We do ask that you continue to pray for us as a committee and here are some guidelines:
- Discernment – in our reviews of resumes, viewing of sermons, and discussions with candidates.
- Patience – in not rushing to fill the position, but to seek God’s will and His timing.
- Preparation – for our future pastor’s heart to hear the call on his life to serve our congregation.
- Blessing – for those who will be stepping in to preach and provide other support to us during this time of transition.
September Pulpit Schedule
6th -The Covenant Prosecutor- Jeremiah 1:4-10; Ephesians 4:11-16, Micah 1:1-7
Throughout the history of the Church (and world) people have been interested in prophecy. People have longed to know what the future holds. However, that is not the only purpose Biblical prophecy fulfills. Throughout the Scriptures, Biblical prophets not only foretold events they also forthtold events. This is to say that they interpreted the actions of the people in light of the commands of Scripture. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit they often served as prosecutors highlighting Israel’s infidelity. They do the same for us today.
13th – Watch Where You Are Going! – Proverb 4:20-27; Matthew 16:5-12; 1 Peter 5:6-11; 2 John 1-13
Every parent’s nightmare is teaching their child to drive. Some parents opt out by paying someone else to get into a vehicle with their child. I was too cheap and proud to think someone else could teach my child to drive. However, things did not go as I planned. I can hear me say, “Be Careful!” “You are going to hit something!” Or “Watch where you are going, or you will end up in a ditch!” This is not only true in drivers ed, but in life. God tells us, “Beware!” “Watch!” where we are going, or we will end up where we did not intend to go.
20th – The Day of the Lord – Joel 3:9-2; 2 Thessalonians 4:13-5:3; Matthew 7:21-23
The Church longs for Christ’s return. When God’s people are united physically with their Savior to dwell in endless joy truly is something to look forward to. Sadly, however, the day of the Lord will not be pleasant for all. God’s Word tells us that the Day of the Lord will be terrible and awful for those who do not know Christ. Throughout the Scriptures there are warnings both for God’s people and the nations of the world to direct them to repentance and faith. We also must heed these warnings as we seek to live in the world today!
28th – All Hallows Eve – Deuteronomy 18:10-14; Psalm 31:1-5; John 14:1-7
In our message today we will make a close examination of 1 Samuel 28. This story is commonly known as “The Witch of Endor” and it’s actually been used to defend necromancy, the supposed practice of communicating with the dead. Was this woman a witch? Did she conjure up Samuel from the dead? Should Christians consult with mediums to speak with the dead? The Bible has much to say about witchcraft, sorcery, and calling upon the dead. Bring your Bible and come explore this fascinating text with me.
New to the Library
We have a some suggestions to get the Fall Season off to a good start…. Here are a few good books you will find in the library.
- If God is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering & Evil by Randy Alcorn (in the non-fiction section).
- Journey through the ARK Encounter Answers in Genesis (in the Creation Section).
- I’m So Glad You Told Me What I Didn’t Want to Hear by Barbara Johnson (in the Home & family section).
- A Shot of Faith (to the Head): Be a Confident Believer in an Age of Cranky Atheists by Mitch Stokes (in the Life in the Spirit section).
From the Pastor to Youth & Children
One of the reasons that I love being a pastor at Leidy’s Church is that we believe that ALL OF THE BIBLE IS FOR ALL OF LIFE. That is a pretty sweeping statement. It means that we should expect that God’s Word, all of God’s Word, is useful for every facet of our lives from birth to death. This is the recognition that ALL SCRIPTURE IS INSPIRED BY GOD AND PROFITABLE FOR TEACHING, FOR REPROOF, FOR CORRECTION, FOR TRAINING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS. As a pastor called to proclaim the truth of God’s Word, it is reassuring to serve in a congregation that is so committed to the Old and New Testament. In the current culture, this sort of understanding about the Bible is a rare commodity.
Even as we understand and exclaim that ALL OF THE BIBLE IS FOR ALL OF LIFE, we also have to admit that the Bible is not always an easy book to read. There are parts of it that are difficult, confusing, and downright weird. It might lead us to think or ask, “Do we really mean ALL the Bible?” Many people through the ages have answered this question by removing parts of the Bible. If they could not understand or agree with something, they simply removed it. While this solution certainly makes yearly Bible reading plans easier, the Bible is God’s Word and shall NOT be tampered with.
Bible believing Christians must work hard to understand and apply the Word of God to their lives. As we acknowledge that even Peter found some of Paul’s writings difficult, we should not be surprised if studying the Word of God takes time and effort. May I suggest two practical ideas to help you as you spend time reading and studying the Scriptures. First, remember that the Bible is written by the Holy Spirit through men and that it communicates precisely what the Lord intended. Second, understand that the Bible was written over many years, in different languages, and to people of a different culture. As you come to a difficult passage of Scripture and are uncertain how to understand it, try to determine what the author was trying to communicate to the original audience. Then, try to apply it to your life.
Let me give you an example. 1 Chronicles 1:21-22 are some of my favorite verses. They say, HADORAM, UZAL, DIKLAH, EBAL, ABIMAEL, SHEBA. These verses simply contain six names which are barely pronounceable. Before we ask how this part of the Bible can be for all of life, remember that God inspired these verses. He has breathed them out, and He wanted them to be in His Bible. Second, put yourself in the mind of an Israelite. Remember that they were God’s chosen people, they rebelled against the Lord, and they were sent into exile. In time, the Lord restored Israel to the land. How does 1 Chronicles 1:21-22 fit into an Israelite’s thinking? It is part of the reminder that God is faithful. As Israel continued to sin and run away from the Lord, God remained faithful. He allowed them to continue as a people and provided for them through a period of exile. This idea is magnified over the course of nine chapters and many generations. They are full of hard-to-pronounce name after hard-to-pronounce name.
The six names in 1 Chronicles 1:21-22 help us as we think about our faithful heavenly Father. As we stumble and sin, faulter and fail, our Father continues to love us and care for us. As we remember the continuing work of God in our lives, we can have full confidence that He will sustain us all the days of our lives and beyond.
To the Praise of His Glory,
Michael W. Nowling
The hot summer days are mostly behind us, schools are starting, and that can mean only one thing: iBLAST IS BACK! iBLAST starts September 16, 2020. That is only a few days away! This year we are going to look at the life of Daniel and how to faithfully follow God even when it might be difficult. We are also going to look at the coming of Jesus and what the Old Testament prophets expected. In addition to learning about Daniel, we will have crafts, games, snacks, and fun! If you are in 1st through 5th grade, sign up at www.leidyschurch.org/iblast. A family meal will start at 5:15 with iBLAST starting at 6:00. If you have any questions about COVID procedures, please contact the office. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Pastor Michael.
Calling all students in 6th through 12th grade. Join us on Sundays from 6-8 in the youth room for Youth Fellowship. Come when you want to have fun. Come when you are tired. Come when you are sad. Come when you are hungry. Well, you get the idea. No matter what come. We will spend time thinking about who God has called us to be and how we are to interact with the world. Along the way we will have a lot of fun, play a lot of games, and eat some food. If you are a parent and want to make sure that you get emails about Youth Fellowship, please contact Pastor Michael. If you are not a youth but interested in helping the youth come to know more about the Lord, His Word, and His people, then let Pastor Michael know.
We love to pray for our kids. One way that we accomplish that at Leidy’s Church is through prayer cards. Normally we assemble the children in front of the congregation on Palm Sunday and we distribute cards with biographical information to help prayers pray for each child at Leidy’s Church. With COVID hitting in March, this became impossible. We are going to have a Prayer Card Sunday on September 20th. While we will not have the kids assemble in the front of the sanctuary, there will be multiple opportunities for you to see the kids, interact with them, and pray for them in the coming year. If you are a parent, please submit a photo of your child no later than September 6th to email@example.com.
Growth Groups are Gearing Up!
The cogs of the wheels turning the engine of progress have slowed down this summer; but with the launch of a new academic year plans are moving full steam ahead at Leidy’s Church. We are gearing up to provide a full range of fall ministries for children, teens and adults.
With summer family vacations and other summer activities ending, we all are looking forward to school resuming and family life returning to common routines. Our children and youth are gearing up to a hybrid school schedule of education, which includes on and off-site classes. Sports and other extra-curricular activities are planning to adapt to present-day realities. Yet, with these minor variations the hopes of our families, businesses, and academic institutions are that this year will be the best year ever for learning and growing for the benefit of all.
Likewise, we, as a church, want to faithfully move forward to minister the life transforming truth of God’s Word to our entire church family. As you already know, the official date for Sunday School, women’s ministries, committees, and other church groups is Rally Day, September 13th.
We want to encourage everyone to get involved by participating in these ministry opportunities. One of those ministry startups is the I.L.C Growth Group ministry, and we want to extend a hearty invitation for you to attend I.L.C. Growth Groups, which are resuming their regular meetings this fall. The I.L.C. Growth Group leaders are actively preparing schedules by selecting biblically based curricula, and by encouraging our members to meet as a small group for Bible study, prayer and fellowship together.
If you are not a member of a I.L.C. Growth Group, and would like to join one this fall, please contact the church office or speak to Pastor Steve and they will take the required steps for you to join a growth group.
Know What is NOT cancelled?
The Ladies of Leidy’s Annual Christmas Craft & Gift Sale on November 21!! While of course no one knows when and how all this will all end, we are cautiously optimistic that we can hold our show in a way that is safe for vendors and shoppers alike! So if you learned a new skill or found a new recipe while stuck at home, and might be interested in a table at the Christmas Craft & Gift Sale email Donna Frueh @ firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. And mark your calendars for November 21…cause Christmas is definitely NOT cancelled at Leidy’s Church!
Ladies of Leidy’s
The Ladies of Leidy’s are excited to begin their fall season, you are invited to join us. Our first fall meeting will be Tuesday, September 1st at 7:00 pm. We will be meeting in Room 123 to give us a little more room. Here are some of the events you won’t want to miss, mark your calendar:
- BIG, BIG, BIG Rummage Sale event, October 14 & 15,
- Exciting Craft Show, November 21st
- Fun, Church Wide Advent Craft Event, November 29th
- Delicious Cooks, Pot Luck Dinner, December 8th
- Don’t miss out, come along and serve the Lord with us.
Women’s Sunday School
The ladies Sunday School class, which meets in Room 118, will start a new DVD series on September 20th. Entitled Sacred: Embracing God’s Design for Sexuality, it was originally presented at the 2019 Answers for Women Conference in Kentucky. The sessions deal with difficult issues raging in our homes, churches, neighborhoods and workplaces today. It’s vital our thinking is deeply rooted in God’s life-giving Word and that we’re equipped to provide practical help and gospel-centered answers to others. If you have questions, please speak with Lorraine Kroesser.
4 Myths about Rally Day
- Rally Day is a long way away. That is a big negative. Rally Day is going to be September 13, 2020. In just a couple of weeks we will gather at 8:30 for the start of the Sunday School Year.
- Rally Day is just for kids. While it is true that Rally Day is when many of the kids will meet new Sunday School teachers, Rally Day is an important day for the whole church. We can spend time remembering God’s faithfulness to us through another year and His purposes for us as we learn and grow. Adults, come and hear the many amazing opportunities to continue to learn about the Lord.
- Rally Day forces me to miss breakfast. Not true! Rally Day comes complete with breakfast! What could be better? You get time with friends and a scrumptious breakfast. Just follow the scintillating smells into the Fellowship Hall and delight in Cowboy Casserole. If you do not know what that is, do not worry, it is excellent! There will also be fruit cups and drinks for you.
- Pastor Michael built a catapult to launch 1st Grade students into the pond. This is false; it is for Junior High School students. One blessing of Rally Day is the presentation of Bibles to 1st Grade students. We hope and pray that the Word of God will shape them throughout their days.
Love Cradle Update
While the ability to travel has prevented some of the ministry activity, the work continues in the Ukraine out of the Ministry Centre. The orphanage children cannot leave due to quarantining, but we’ve been able to connect to children and families in crisis due to the Covid19 isolation in the community and hopefully prevent children from becoming orphans. At this time we have started a women’s Bible Studies for new Believers, ESL classes and humanitarian care activities all in the central Ukraine area. We’ve also been able to connect with more churches through music holding praise and worship events and are preparing to bring this special worship outreach to orphanage and schools in the near future.
For upcoming events, the annual banquet (typically held in the Spring) is still on but planned for September 19 in the Banquet Hall! Please come join us and celebrate the work God is doing.
Please continue to pray for them and the ministry. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a shift in the way the ministry is operating but also a big adjustment in the community creating new isolated situation for children. Pray for individuals/families to serve at our ministry outreach center (Ministry Centre). In addition, please consider getting involved, for we have opportunities to visit the Ministry Centre in Ukraine and spend time with the children, gardening, or light construction. Finally, please consider giving to the Love Cradle ministry as donations have been down. It is a great opportunity to be part of the work happening in the Ukraine and US as God is opening new doors for us.
A special note: Love Cradle has received a special $25,000 matching grant. All donations received from August to the Banquet on the 19th of September will contribute to this matching grant.
Love Cradle Banquet
The Love Cradle International Annual Family Banquet is being planned for September 19th.
We would love the congregation to join us for a night of fellowship and sharing. The evening will consist of a Ukrainian dinner, music and learning about what God is doing in the lives of orphan children. If you would like to come please let the church office know by September 14th. A freewill offering will be received. If you would like to help with the preparations please sign up via the forms in the upcoming bulletin. We look forward to sharing in this event with you.
On Wednesday, July 15th, the Consistory of Immanuel Leidy’s Church met, and minutes were taken from the meeting, from which salient notes are listed below.
Ron Moyer led devotions on the topic of evangelism. He gave personal testimony of sharing his faith with co-workers and clients by comparing Bible truth to current life topics and opinions in the context of selling insurance. Ron citied John 3:16 and noted that Jesus is the best life insurance of all and that if we believe in Jesus, we can be part of His kingdom in heaven forever.
Discussion ensued about the foundation wicking issue as we evaluated a June 24 Moisture Intrusion Report by RKCO based on a second dig performed by general contractor Penn Builders on the sanctuary end of the building. This second report corroborated the initial report from last November concluding that the original waterproofing application around the foundational perimeter walls of the church building was inadequately applied, which has exposed the block walls to ground moisture leaching through the walls to the interior of the church building. The Consistory approved an exterior remediation to the wicking issue which will be discussed with Penn Builders, the general contractor responsible for ameliorating the issue. The steeple repairs are on hold until the wicking issue is resolved.
The HUB window renovation project is scheduled to begin the first week in August with final measurements and ordering of materials to be completed by the contractor. A HUB sub-committee was formed to do an assessment of the long-term financial stewardship of the building. This committee is directed to research and give a report to Consistory, along with options at our September meeting.
A part-time IT position was proposed as increased demands warrant such a position to be considered. The two pastors on staff were asked to prepare a job description to submit to Consistory.
An evaluation of re-opening for worship services was discussed and it was the consensus that the measures taken for COVID-19 were satisfactory. It was also reported that ample seating area in Fellowship Hall is available to accommodate additional people to join in our worship services via livestream projection.
The Christian Education programs that were suspended due to COVID-19 are to be reinstated on the Sunday following Rally Day. This includes all children, youth, and adult Sunday school programs and mid-week ministries such as iBlast, Women’s Bible Studies, and Growth Group ministries. This also includes the resuming of all committees, such as, Ladies of Leidy’s, Missions, Outreach, Church & Community and other related meetings.
A Congregational Meeting on August 9th to vote first and second term deacons and elders to serve on Consistory for the 2021-2023 term was approved. Aaron Vogelzang is nominated by Consistory as a first-term deacon.
Other committee reports and items of business were discussed, but nothing noteworthy.
We concluded the meeting with intercessory prayer for certain requests and concerns and adjourned after praying together the Lord’s prayer at 10:18 pm.
Within the Fellowship
Our sincere Christian sympathy to Stan and Judy Ott and family at the death of their daughter Sarah. May God be with them at this time.
We rejoice with Alex and Ally Hager at the birth of a son, Brett Robert. May God be with them as they grow in Him.
Feasting on God’s Word
Men’s Bible Study meets every first and third Friday of the month. Early bird start at 5:30 a.m. in the Youth Room. Donuts and coffee. All welcome! Any questions, see Dave Doran.