September 2022 Newsletter

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

Pastors Column

Just about every skilled activity in life requires training. People wanting to run a marathon would be in very bad shape if they just woke up and started to run 26.2 miles. It involves weeks and weeks of training, learning to pace yourself so that you do not start too quickly, developing patience as you train your body for the rigors of running. The same could be true for jobs around the house. Before we moved here, Rodney Shoemaker came and expertly fixed the kitchen sink. He has trained his hands and his mind over a lifetime of plumbing to know what to do in order to repair old equipment and install new. I would hazard a guess and say that he has had to deal with folks who tried, without any knowledge or training, to fix their plumbing which has gone horribly wrong. Of course, we could say much the same about pilots, soldiers, doctors, and a whole host of others. Training is important. Without it, disaster is usually close at hand.

Paul tells us that we were DEAD in our trespasses and sins. This is not just because Christians are extra awful, this is the product of the fall of Adam and Eve. When they disobeyed the Lord, they condemned all of humanity with them. This in light of the gospel produces two good and necessary responses.  The first is gratitude. Dead people do not get better. This is not only true for physically dead people but spiritually dead people. That means that we are alive in Christ not because of anything we have thought, said, or done, but by the person and work of Jesus Christ alone. As our sins have been removed and Jesus’ perfect righteousness is given to us, we have moved from death to life. We have moved from aliens and strangers toward God to His very sons and daughters. There is no better news in all of life that this gospel message. Our first response from moving from death to life is thankfulness for what the Lord has done.

The second response is concern. You see, even though our culture has historically been shaped by Christianity and Christian thought, it is running away from the Lord. Therefore, even though Christians are a people who have been made alive in Christ, they are surrounded by those who remain dead in their trespasses and sins. This should concern us. It does so because we now must live as Christians in an increasingly hostile world which has not only rejected the Lord but also His people. It should also cause us to be concerned for the welfare of those who remain apart from Christ. Because we do not know the number of our days (or anyone else’s), there is a sense of urgency as we think about those whom the Lord has placed in our life who do not yet know Him. We need to be a people who live as salt in light in a dark and dying culture. We need to be people who step out with courage and conviction to share the gospel with others around us.

The Bible tells us that God draws people to Himself by His Word. We then need to be a people who understand God’s Word not only so that we can apply it to our own lives but also so that we can communicate it to others. There is no doubt that sharing the Word of God with people who are spiritual dead and potentially hostile can be daunting. It is for this reason that we are launching Wednesday Central this September 14. This 10-week course will run through November 16 and will speak about the gospel and how we can communicate to others. We are all called to come to Christ.   We are also all called to go and live for Christ as a light shining in a dark and dying world. Come to Wednesday Central as we share a meal, encourage one another, and seek to grow in our understanding of and love for God. Please sign up at leidyschurch.org/Wednesday. I pray that the God who can do immeasurably more than we can expect or imagine will work through His Word at Immanuel Leidy’s Church this fall and beyond!

                                                                        Tony

The Searches Are On!

Spiritual Council and Consistory would just like to thank everyone for their questions, comments, and other input as we have spent the summer reflecting on the vision of ministry moving forward which includes one new full-time pastor to oversee the Youth & Children’s ministries and one new part-time pastor to oversee the Young Adult & Worship ministries. Working together in setting out the vision and hearing feedback has been a wonderful exercise in congregational unity, reflected in the overwhelmingly positive votes in favor of both of these positions.

Immediately after the congregational meeting on August 14, Spiritual Council and Consistory met to establish search committees. The committee for the Youth & Children’s position comprises John DiLenge, Tony Jones, Tony Kapusta, Angela Kinney, Bambi Martindell, Shaun Permar. Please pray for them. This is a difficult task. May the Lord give them wisdom and discernment as they meet with candidates, assess strengths and weakness, and contact references. Pray also for the man who would fill the spot. May the Lord draw the man of His choosing to Leidy’s Church. We have advertised in a number of local and regional places including BMCE, Cairn University, Reformed Episcopal Seminary, Reformed Presbyterian Seminary, Westminster Seminary, and some of our missionaries on college campuses.

The search committee for the Young Adult & Worship position includes Emma Coale, Sam Im, Tony Jones, Rachel Leidy, Peter Martindell, Calvin Radcliff, Lorraine Reich, Jeff Schatz, and Nancy VanDerbeek. These posts have been added to our website and will remain in the bulletin each week until the ideal candidate is located. Once the search committees find the candidates for each position, the committee recommendation will go to Spiritual Council and Consistory for appointment. Please pray Matthew 9:38 (that the Lord would raise up his workers for this His harvest field) and that these folks would also have discernment as they meet with candidates and seek to find the best fit for Leidy’s Church. We pray the men whom the Lord has chosen for this position would work well not just with children, youth, and young adults but with the volunteers they work alongside. May they fit into the life of the church bringing their unique skills to bear for the glory of God and the edification of His people.

Questions about Wednesday Central

How can I help with Wednesday Central?

We have needs for people to help in the kitchen before and after dinner is prepared, we have need for volunteers to work with our youngest kids, we have need of folks to bring desserts. You can see a complete list right here. You can also just indicate how you would like to help on the attached paper sign up and we will reach out to you. Please consider how you might serve and reply as soon as possible as we try to plan out the semester.

What about my kids?

Children in first through fifth grade will be welcome to go through iBLAST as they learn about the God who wins. Youth sixth grade through eight will continue in iBLAST serving as guides, and those above eighth grade will participate in a youth-oriented study. It will cover very near the same topics as Wednesday Central but in a fun and inviting way at Youth Central.

What about younger kids?

We will be providing childcare for kids under first grade. Which will mean that we are also in need of volunteers to help. If you are able to help for a week or two, please let us know.

What about the Monthly Prayer Meeting?

Our Monthly Prayer Meeting will take place during Wednesday Central. Once a month, we will gather and pray with and for one another instead of the normally scheduled instruction, Q and A, and discussion.

Can I bring my friends?

We are a people who long to see the Gospel reach to the ends of the earth. We would be delighted for guests to come and learn from the Scriptures about the Lord and the life He has called us to.  However, we also recognize that guests coming might not understand everything that is said.  Sometimes Christianese is hard to translate…. Also, we recognize that folks coming in as guests will disrupt the continuity of the discussion groups. For this reason, we are placing guests in one of two newcomers’ discussion groups. One will be led by Pastor Steve and the other by Pastor Michael.

Judgement House is Coming

Judgement House is a walk-through drama that presents the truth of people’s choices and the consequences of their decision both in this life and the next. It’s a creative way to present the gospel and give individuals the opportunity to reflect on their beliefs and choose a personal and saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

We will need actors, kitchen help, guides, security, counselors, construction, scene staging and much more! There is a sign-up sheet on the book table outside the sanctuary. Judgement House is a great way to get to know others in the church, and more importantly, present the gospel to hundreds of people over the course of two weekends in October.

BMCE Breakfast Features Mark Bergey

The twice-a-year BMCE Breakfasts provide a breath of fresh air for our community. Held at the Franconia Heritage Banquet Center, good food is always part of the agenda. Timeliness is a hallmark of the Breakfasts as they begin at 6:30 and conclude by 8. Encouragement and outreach are fostered via special speakers from the business community who speak of how their faith has figured in their business experience. The breakfasts are events to which we can invite our unchurched colleagues, friends, neighbors, or family members knowing they will hear a fascinating story of faith lived out in the real world of business. They’re not free breakfasts as tickets cost $17 p/person.

This September the BMCE Breakfast is slated for Thursday morning the 8th and will feature Mark Bergey as special speaker. For over thirty years Mark has served at his family’s company business, Bergey’s Family Corporation, which was established in 1924 by his great-grandfather Norman Bergey.

Growing up in the business, Mark witnessed Norman and following generations incorporate their faith into their daily business lives. These experiences helped form his belief that his workplace is his ministry field. This inspires him to think about how he can glorify God at work to have a positive impact on those in his circle of influence. What does discipleship look like in today’s workplace? How do we share the gospel without offending those who believe differently? How do we mentor those within our organization to be disciples to others?

Mark and his wife Darla have been married for 31 years and have four children: Lincoln, Elle, Lane, and Tess. They are looking forward to a new phase of life as Lincoln’s wedding to his fiancé, Jill, is quickly approaching this October.

When he is not at work, Mark enjoys serving through various roles at Franconia Mennonite Church, Dock Mennonite Academy, and Global Disciples. His favorite hobbies center around spending time in nature, specifically cycling and hiking, as well as listening to leadership podcasts and reading.

Tickets may be obtained from Jack Parry, John Niederhaus, or the church office.

Love Cradle Banquet

We would love the congregation to join us for a night of fellowship and sharing on Saturday, September 24th at 5:30. The evening will consist of a Ukrainian dinner, music and learning about what God is doing in the lives of orphan children.  A freewill offering will be received.  We look forward to sharing in this event with you.

There are 2.5 million homeless children in the USA. There are over 140 million orphans worldwide including over 100,000 children in Ukraine. Many will end up as a target for trafficking or in the drug trade. We can change those statistics with God’s help.

Women’s Ministry

Ladies of Leidy’s

A welcome and invitation to all ladies . . . Please mark Tuesday, September 6th on your calendar and come join the Ladies of Leidy’s meeting at 7:00 pm in room 123. Come hear Emma Coale  and Lorraine Reich share about their missions trip to Puerto Rico. We look forward to gathering together. Whether you are new or a long time member, please join us. Feel free to contact B.J. Kulp if you have any questions.

Women’s Sunday School Class

Scripture Women begins September 18th. In this ten session study we will take a deeper look into the lives of ten familiar women and how their story relates to ours today. Come out every Sunday or whenever you can drop in!

When Seasons Change

This meeting is open to church and community for women at any stage of widowhood. If you are in need of encouragement and fellowship, please join us September 27th in room 211 from 6:30-8pm.

New Precept Bible Study

A new Bible study begins on Thursday, September 8th at 9 am. in Room 118. Please join us for 1 Thessalonians ~ Blameless at His Coming. Contact Verna 215-237-1370.

Road Trip For the Ladies

A group plans to travel to Williamstown, Kentucky (a 9-hour drive), in March 2023 to participate in the Answers for Women Conference (March 30-April 1). The Conference fee is $119 if booked before September 30th. Travel and housing expenses will be additional and will depend on how many attend. If you are interested, sign up on the sheet posted in the narthex or contact the church office. For more info go to AnswersForWomen.org.

Within the Fellowship

Our sincere Christian sympathy to family and friends of Harold Holloway at his death, and Gerald Moyer and family at the death of his father, Norman. May God be with them at this difficult time.

Guest Services

We maintain that every Sunday is a guest Sunday at Leidy’s Church. However, September 11, 18, and 25 are three Sundays set aside specially for guests. Be thinking about the people in your life who need to hear the gospel and how it can transform their lives. Invite them to one of the guest services and pray that the Word of God would penetrate their hearts and mind.

Hope Explored

Leidy’s is a church which is committed to God, His Word, and His People. It is also a church which is deeply committed to the spread of the kingdom of God around the world. We know that we live in a fallen and broken world and that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation. However, if we are honest with ourselves, it is often easier to send money to a missionary around the world than to share the love of Christ personally with a neighbor around the block. I think that speaks to the hardness of hearts in our land. If you are looking to grow in your ability to communicate the gospel to others or if you know someone who needs to hear the gospel, come to Hope Explored. It is runs on Monday night at 7:45 p.m. It will be at the Broad Street Grind September 26, October 3, and October 10.  Come, enjoy some coffee and fellowship, hear the gospel and how to share it. If you have any questions, please email michael.nowling@gmail.com.

Prayer Card Sunday

We seek to be a prayerful people recognizing that God answers the prayers of His people. One of the ways in which we seek to pray at Leidy’s Church is for our children. For those who remember this happening in the spring, Prayer Card Sunday was one of the things COVID changed. Thankfully it couldn’t stop the praying. On September 18 we will have cards to distribute for each of our kids. You all are encouraged to take one and pray for the child every day for a year. Let’s watch together and see how the Lord answers our prayers.  Parents, if you have not done so, please submit pictures to the office ASAP. We want to have as many smiling faces as we possibly can!

Extra Sausage Sizzles in September!

Rally Day is quickly approaching. It is September 11 this year. You will recognize the day because the wonderful aromas of breakfast will be wafting throughout the corridors. Please join us for breakfast at 8:45. Not only will we have excellent food, but we will also have a presentation of the 1st grade and confirmation Bibles, an opportunity to learn a little about the coming year’s Sunday School plans for children as well as adults, and share life with one another over a good meal.

Senior’s Fall Feast

Come out on Thursday, October 6th for some food, fun, fellowship and fabulous music! Are you ready to laugh, are you willing to sing? Then come on out, make sure to bring a friend. If you need a ride you can contact the church office or email Denise at denise@leidyschurch.org. The fun begins at 11:30 in the Fellowship.

We hope to see you there!

A New Twist for an Old Building

The two SLMT ’22 work weeks are history! The Carriage House at 5200 Wayne Avenue is shining forth with renewed splendor. Almost one third of its exterior service was covered with a heavy growth of ivy which made water retention a serious issue and caused significant damage to the structure. But what was hidden in ivy is now clearly visible and able to take in freely the warm, drying rays of the sun.

Week One [July 25-29] saw most of the work done to clear the building of the heavy covering of foreign material. It was labor! There were also wooden facings to be scraped and painted. All the work was done on energy provided by hearty meals from a kitchen crew headed by Gina Shoemaker, while Bob Ott headed the work crew.

The Week Two [August 15-19] work crew was strawbossed by Brian Radcliff, while Jacqui Shafer led the kitchen crew. More substantial work was done during this week. A chimney was removed that was non-functioning except as a conduit for water to make its way inside. Two badly rotted dormers on the rear of the building were repaired and made watertight with the windows being replaced. The large center dormer on the front of the building along with two smaller side dormers – also badly rotted – were repaired and prepared to receive new windows. But with the arrival of Friday the 19th of August, the week ended. So, the windows were wrapped and made watertight until a crew could return at some future date and complete their restoration.

An interesting incident occurred on the afternoon of Tuesday, August 23rd. About 2pm a representative from Philadelphia’s Licensing and Inspection Bureau pulled up and parked in front of the Carriage House. When Rita inquired about their presence, the representative said they had received a complaint that work was being done on the property without a permit and there was also a complaint about the windows being wrapped. The inspector was very accommodating, though, and told Rita he was dismissing the complaint because he didn’t see anyone working on the building and probably the windows had been wrapped to protect them from the weather since the building is vacant. Then he asked Rita, “And you wouldn’t replace any windows on a historical building, would you?” Being a true Philadelphian, Rita replied, “No.”

What Rita meant, of course, is that she wouldn’t do that to any building that she knew was a designated historical structure. She checked, and, sure enough, the buildings at 5200 Wayne Avenue are on the historical register! They are Second Empire structures, with the Carriage House being especially significant and is known as The John C. Winston Stable designed by William L Price. Who woulda thunk it!

There you have it: a new twist for an old building! Currently, Rita Whitaker and the folk at Life Turning Point are investigating what steps need to be taken so that our work can continue, and that our work will be in compliance with the requisite regulations for historical structures such as the Carriage House. We should put this matter on our prayer lists and ask for the Lord to guide Rita as she works through this and that a way can be made so our work can continue. That will be an old twist to the new twist – seeking God’s help in unanticipated circumstances! To be continued.

New City

Question 22: Why must the Redeemer be truly human?

That in human nature he might on our behalf perfectly obey the whole law and suffer the punishment for human sin; and also that he might sympathize with our weaknesses.

Hebrews 2:17: There he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

Commentary – Athanasius of Alexandria

For the Word, perceiving that no otherwise could the corruption of men be undone save by death as a necessary condition, while it was impossible for the Word to suffer death, being immortal, and Son of the Father; to this end He takes to Himself a body capable of death, that it, by partaking of the Word Who is above all, might be worthy to die in the stead of all, and might, because of the Word which was come to dwell in it, remain incorruptible, and that thenceforth corruption might be stayed from all by the Grace of the Resurrection. Whence, by offering unto death the body He himself had taken, as an offering and sacrifice free from any stain, straightway He put away death from all His peers by the offering of an equivalent. For being over all, the Word of God naturally by offering His own temple and corporeal instrument for the life of all satisfied the debt by His death. And thus, He, the incorruptible Son of God, being conjoined with all by a like nature, naturally clothed all with incorruption, by the promise of the resurrection.

Thabiti Anyabwile

We human people are so fallen, and we’ve been so fallen for so long, that we actually think that we are the measure of what it means to be human. It’s striking. We say things like “to err is human.” And we unwittingly then begin to define humanity in terns of that fallenness, in terms of its brokenness, in terms of its incompleteness. But if you define humanity like that, what do you do with Jesus? What do you do with Jesus who takes upon himself our humanity, yet, as the Bible tells us, is without sin, who does not err?

What we see in Jesus is true humanity. What we see in his incarnation, his earthly life and ministry, is what humanity was meant to be, what Adam was created to be but ruined in his sin and his fall. So, as Romans 5 teaches, the first man Adam sins, and through his sin death enters the world. But here comes a second Adam, a true Adam, Christ, who is truly man. What Christ does in his humanity is nothing short of remarkable. In his humanity, he offers to God everything that we owe God. In his humanity, in his perfect obedience to God’s commands, he offers to God the obedience that we refuse to give him (and could not give him) because of our fallen, sinful nature.

It’s absolutely essential that what we see in Christ is perfect righteousness, because he’s supplying that righteousness on our behalf. All the righteousness we will ever need is in the Son of God who took upon himself our flesh, our likeness, our human nature. Not only does he positively supply the righteousness, but on the cross, our Savior dies and pays the penalty that humanity owed. He dies in our place. We owe God not only righteousness, but now because we didn’t supply that righteousness, we also owe God our lives, our death, our blood. Christ takes our place, and he supplies to God the sacrifice on our behalf that satisfies God’s demands for righteousness and his righteous determination to punish sin.

And so in order to be for us a perfect High Priest, in order to be for us a perfect offering, Jesus had to be one with us. He had to take upon himself our nature and in that nature demonstrate what humanity is, what it was meant to be—righteous before God, obedient to God, worshiping God in all things, loving him fully. And he also demonstrates what humanity owes when he pays the penalty on Calvary’s cross for our sin. And so to be that High Priest, a perfect High Priest, who also now sympathizes with us, knows our suffering, knows our failures, knows our troubles, and knows them intimately because he experienced them in our flesh, he can look to humanity with sympathy and represent humanity to God with perfection.

And so it was necessary that he be made like us in every way, but without sin.

Questions?