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Monthly Archives: July, 2018

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  1. Sermons : More Than Enough

    John 6:1-15

    “Food, glorious food, “the poor boys in an orphanage sing near the beginning of “Oliver Twist.”  “Is it worth waiting for?  If we live for 84 all we ever get is gruel,” they start, and then they dream of “Food, glorious food, hot sausage and mustard. While we’re in the mood, cold jelly and custard….” Ending with “What wouldn’t we give for that extra bit more. That’s all we live for. Why should we be fated to do nothing but brood on food – magical food, wonderful food, marvelous food, beautiful food, food, glorious, glorious food!”  Whatever our diets may include, no one can live without food.  We need it to live.  Today’s story is a miracle story about food.  It is an important story because it is the only miracle story to appear in all four of the Gospels.  In this story, Jesus provides food for thousands of people.  Since only men were counted at that time, the numbers were much larger when women and children were added.  And Jesus fed them with 5 barley loaves and 2 fish. Everyone had enough, and there were leftovers.  Yes, that is a miracle!  How could it be?!?

    Some have tried to logically explain it away.  Everyone was very polite and only took a small bit, as we do at the communion table.  Or people had food with them and added it to the pile as it went by them.  Or maybe Jesus did this miraculous thing.  It harkens back to an OT story where a man came to offer the first fruits with 20 loaves of barley bread and fresh ears of grain.  Elisha told him to give it to the 100 men gathered, and his servant, like the disciples, was incredulous to hear that this small amount of food might feed 100.  But, says the story, Elisha “set it before them, they ate, and had some left, according to the word of the Lord.”  (II Kings 4:42-44)  As usual in the Gospel of John, the story points beyond just the facts.  So it reminds us of God’s bounty over and over again, and how generous God is.  “Give us this day our daily bread,” Jesus taught us to pray in the Lord’s Prayer.  Food is a basic need, and God provides.

    But especially in John, God does not provide just bread and fish.  If we continue reading in chapter 6, it tells us that the next day Jesus went away alone and the crowd went looking for him.  When they found him, he said, in the mysterious way that Jesus often speaks in John:  “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.  Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.”  “I am the bread of life,” he said to them. “Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”  (These are words we hear often in communion.)  But then he said, “But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.”  This, the text tells us, is when the Jews began to complain about Jesus, because he said “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”  (John 6:25-27, 35, 36, 41)  Jesus revealed himself with these words, yet he was not fully understood.

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  2. Articles : Volunteers Needed for Families Moving Forward, August 13-14

    Westminster provides dinner, dinner hosts, and childcare on Monday and Tuesday nights during our volunteer week with Families Moving Forward. Parents attend house meetings and receive life skills training, while volunteers watch the children after dinner. Volunteers are needed to pick up, deliver, and set up dinner; eat with the families and help clean up; and play with the kids while the parents attend the FMF program. Sign up to help at http://bit.ly/FMFmission.

     


  3. Articles : Celebrating Taylor and Betty

    Special plans are underway to honor beloved pastors Taylor Lewis Guthrie Hartman and Betty Berghaus as they each embark on the next adventure God has in store for them.

    A Farewell Celebration for Taylor, August 12
    Join us as we give thanks for Taylor, pray God’s blessings on her next adventure, and gather for a celebration in her honor. If you would like to contribute to the Love Offering for Taylor, you may drop a check into the offering plate or mail it to the church (write “Hartman Love Offering” on the memo line).

    A Retirement Party for Betty, August 26
    Please mark your calendars for this important day, when we will celebrate our beloved Betty Berghaus after the worship service. There will be an opportunity to contribute to a retirement gift for Betty. You can send a check made out to WPC (write “Berghaus Love Offering” on the memo line) or place one in the offering plate by Sunday, August 19.


  4. Articles : Adult Church School: Program Offerings for the Fall

    Bible Roundtable: A Closer Look at the Apostle Paul
    Beginning Sept. 16, 2018
    Sundays, 9:45-10:45am, Room 207
    Facilitators: Gene Brannon, Eric Wolf

    Missionary, theologian, and religious genius, Paul is one of the most powerful human personalities in the history of the Church. Many of us are familiar with the letters written by the Apostle Paul, but what do we know of Paul the man? This year we will first explore the life, mission, and thought of the apostle Paul before exploring one of his letters. Whatever your knowledge level, you will find this class insightful and compelling.

    Adult Church School Elective, Term 1: alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving Your Neighbor in Their Time of Trial
    Beginning Sept. 16, 2018
    Sundays, 9:45-10:45am, Room 204
    Facilitators: Betsy Mangum, Richard Watson, Marty Warburton, JoAnn Lytle-Olson

    Whether it’s cancer, death of a loved one, long-term illness, loss of a beloved pet, or another significant challenge, we all know someone facing trials. What can we do to help? How many times have you wanted to do the practical thing when someone you know is in a hard place, but had no idea where to start? In this collection of stories, we’ll explore what is actually needed and what is truly appropriate depending on the depth of the relationship.


  5. Articles : Summer Choir

    All are invited to sing with our Summer Choir, which provides anthems for worship through September 2, rehearsing only on Sunday mornings at 9:00am in the Music Room. Whenever you are in town, please plan to join us. Bring your friends and family members along, too. Children are welcome to sing, but those under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Summer Choir is a great way to sample choral singing with minimal time commitment, while providing a great service to your church.

    Contact: Monica Rossman, 919-489-4974, ext. 113


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