We are a family in Christ called together by the Holy Spirit to serve God in our community. We are placed here to worship, to nurture and serve, and to make the joyous life in Jesus Christ more accessible to our neighbors. Sept. 2015Vol 25, No 9 The Pastor’s Monthly Column
The Peace of September
Today is Monday, the traditional Sabbath day for ministers. I have a lot of work to do, and my list is ready.
But first, I deserve to linger a while over my morning coffee. I am here on the back patio, sitting in a cheerful patch of sunlight in my sunglasses and straw hat. I’m taking some precious time for myself just to sit and have a moment that’s not stressed, not rushed, and not obligated.
I’m surprised to find that this simplicity and gentle pleasure is here for me. I’m feeling grateful for it.
Just in this moment, in spite of everything, I feel at peace.
It has been quite a while since I felt it. The summer was hot and chaotic. I’ve got challenges galore facing me.
But I recognize the peace that has come over me. That this is a gift.
In spite of everything, I am not afraid. Maybe not forever, but for now.
Although our Sunday worship at Annandale Reformed Church yesterday has come and gone, I know God is everywhere with me, all the time. We don’t have to make an appointment or go to God’s place of business to connect with God.
I pray that those who’ve been away from our church all summer found other churches to attend on Sundays, other spiritual venues, and that the Spirit Moved.
Meanwhile, a squirrel jumps along the top of the fence from the tree like a tightrope walker, on a surface less than three-quarters of an inch wide. How does he do that? The rabbits in the garden are looking for stray lettuce. Look! A hummingbird! Magical, impossible, glistening, vibrating.
We are all here, together, in the morning of a new day.
Not very far away, the highway roars its dull-sounding engines and the sound of rubber against pavement. But here, even in the roar, there is a quiet.
Somehow, amazingly, there is the peace of September.
I am safe; I am loved. God looks on with infinite patience and infinite sorrow and infinite love for His kingdom. That includes you and me.
We all know in every faith walk, God has given us free will. Each and every one of us has free choice.
That’s the deal—the terms of employment for the job of Human Being on planet earth. And what we choose, God’s universe provides.
But we don’t have to play the bad guy. We don’t have to make stupid choices. We don't need to run rampant with evil ideas and brush up against the grain of nonsense and foolishness.
We have a choice.
And so I have chosen peace. I ask you to choose peace as well. The beauty of God’s wondrous world should be glory enough for all of us. It should be fame enough, and power enough.
For me, I am ecstatic sitting right here in the back patio of this McMansion development, coffee in hand, on the edge of a cornfield in eastern Pennsylvania.
God’s beautiful world lives in quiet glory here, with mowers hissing, kids laughing, glittering autumn sunlight, and astonishing grace.
I’ve learned.... That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.
That just one person saying to me, ‘You’ve made my day!' makes my day.
From the Worship Committee If you haven’t been able to find a church to attend while you were away, please remember that all of Ken’s sermons have been recorded and uploaded onto our web site where you can hear the messages that you missed while away.
Log onto our web site:
go to Ministries, then click on Worship and then scroll down to the bottom and click
Thank you to Sharon & Chip Riddle, Debbie Carvatt, Lynn & Craig Hughes, Nancy Gasparetti and Lisa Zambito for helping to weed the church gardens. It may not look like it but it took 11 hours to weed and plant flowers! A special thanks to Chip for spraying for weeds and also for painting the church bench.
We would love to have others join us so the job is not so much for such a few people.
Sunday School Sunday School starts September 20th. We are looking forward to another fun year of learning about God's love for us. Look for more information about classes, guidelines and upcoming projects by email. We are very excited to see all the children and their smiles!
Remember, friends are the family we choose for ourselves.
Sunday Morning Preludes
We want to thank Craig for the beautiful music he has selected to play as a prelude to our worship services each Sunday morning.
He is a passionate and talented musician and the music he plays helps us prepare ourselves for our time with our Lord
“Not Angie’s List”,but
“ARC’s List” Notary Public:
Lisa Zambito: 908-268-5340
Quality Auto Service Center, LLC
All makes & models autos (and
boats and planes)
Rick Lebbing: 908-806-6014
I see that it says in here that Worship will start at 10:30 am on Sunday, September 13th. It also says that communion will be celebrated on that day as well. (not on the usual first Sunday of the month)
September's Mission of the Month - The Joy of Sox!
The organization with this catchy name supplies socks to homeless people. Why socks? Because people overlook donating this article of clothing. We tend to think of clothing donations as giving away gently used apparel. Therefore, while we donate used shoes, shirts, slacks, dresses, etc., we throw out old socks (for health reasons, of course). Consequently, those who can't afford socks are subject to numerous foot problems, such as athlete's foot, fungus and other infections; cracked and chafed skin; and, of course terrible foot odor. In addition, in winter, they suffer from extreme cold, because their abdominal and groin regions drop in temperature to compensate for their freezing feet.
The Joy of Sox was started by Tom Costello of Pennsylvania. While volunteering at a shelter soup kitchen in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, he found out that many residents were walking around without the support and protection offered by socks. Costello later returned to the shelter with several pairs of socks to hand out. One of the recipients was so touched that she burst into tears, saying no one had ever given her socks before. At that point, Costello decided to found his organization to bring socks to more homeless in and around Philadelphia. The socks are collected through efforts such as sock drives and corporate sponsorship. Over the years, his organization has expanded to help the homeless in other states, such as California, Vermont, North Dakota, New York, and New Jersey. Socks were even sent to Afghanistan and Mexico.
To support healthy feet, we'd like to ask our congregation to bring in socks of all sizes, for adults, adolescents, and children, during September. Send your love to Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love! You can leave your donations in a bin in the narthex. Don't forget that some people could benefit from special socks for the diabetic. In early October, we will ship your donations to The Joy of Sox to distribute to a nearby homeless shelter.
I September Ushers Sept 6 Nancy Gasparetti
Sept 13 Nancy Gasparetti & Jeannette Betza
Sept 20 Lunger Family
Sept 27 Lebbing Family
Please remember to insert one of the envelopes for the mission of the month if the box is on the table Please remove old bulletins, etc. after the service. (See Usher Guidelines on door to closet in narthex and on bulletin board outside of the office downstairs). And please don’t forget to take the count when the service begins (it is easier to do when the children are sitting up front for the children’s sermon)
f you'd like more information about this organization, please visit their website at http://thejoyofsox.org/
For those of you who are ready to dig deeper into the joys and mysteries of the Bible, our fall semester Bible study begins again Sunday mornings starting September 27.
In fact, the name of the Bible study is “The Joys and Mysteries of the Bible.” We will delve into both well-known and well-loved Bible stories, as well as the more confounding and confusing Biblical texts. How did the Bible get written? Is everything true? Who chose what books stayed in and what was left out?
The goal is to come to some sort of common resolution, or honest differences, as we continue our faith walk here in the 21st century (dealing with issues the ancient Israelis never would have dreamed of).
Led by Pastor Lobb, the Bible study will run eight consecutive weeks. Weekly attendance not mandatory, though the more you come, the more you’ll know. And the more you'll appreciate this wonderful ancient instruction book of ours.
The format will be similar to past semesters. The location is downstairs in the fellowship hall. Please arrive by 9 a.m., and enjoy a homemade snack or meal (volunteers to cook and/or prepare accepted!). We will start the class at 9:15 sharp, and conclude between 9:45 and 10 a.m., according to the choir schedule.
So mark your calendar for September 27, October 4, 11, 18, 25, and November 1, 8, and 15.
Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!
New CEO A successful businessman was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business.
Instead of choosing one of his Directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together.
He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you." The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued. "I am going to give each one of you a SEED today - one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO."
One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Every day, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.
Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew.
Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing.
By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn't have a plant and he felt like a failure.
Six months went by -- still nothing in Jim's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing.
Jim didn't say anything to his colleagues, however, he just kept watering and fertilizing the soil - He so wanted the seed to grow.
A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection.
Jim told his wife that he wasn't going to take an empty pot.
But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room.
When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful - in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!
When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives.
Jim just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown," said the CEO. "Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!"
All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the Financial Director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified.. He thought, "The CEO knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!"
When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed, Jim told him the story.
The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, "Behold your next Chief Executive Officer!
His name is "Jim!" Jim couldn't believe it. Jim couldn't even grow his seed.
"How could he be the new CEO?" the others said.
Then the CEO said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead - it was not possible for them to grow.
All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!"
Gift Certificates for Shop Rite are on sale downstairs following worship each Sunday or call Sherry Howe at
Nancy Gasparetti and Sharon Riddle are helping sell the certificates.
Send contributions for Connections to Joyce Murphy at
email@example.com Next Issue
September 27th Contribution Deadline
Remember, if you have information about someone sick, in need of some sort of assistance, celebrating a very special event, suffering from the loss of a loved one, or someone who needs our prayers and/or help, call Shirley Waldeck if a card is appropriate. (908-835-1371), Peg Weightman (908-832-2246) or Jill Meyer (908-545-4818) for any of the following:
Meals for someone who is sick,
Transportation to and from appointments
Run small errands
Or any other need that we can help with.
Joyce Murphy(908-963-3346) to request prayers and/or clergy needs.