Memo Press The Newsletter for Memorial Presbyterian Church March/April 2015 The Spiritual Life; Listening, Renewing, Responding “God has to work in the soul in secret and in darkness because if we fully knew what was happening, and what Mystery, transformation, God and Grace will eventually ask of us, we would either try to take charge or stop the whole process.” - St. John of the Cross Throughout the month of March we will be creating silence in our souls to hear God. The mystery and transformation that offer the deepest level of contentment and peace require that we let go of our lives and empty ourselves before God. In reality, we have to let go of the goals of peace and contentment and set our goal on denying ourselves and silence our lives for God to enter. Because the image of God dwells within us, there is a part of us that makes an agreeing nod to this statement. However, a fear of letting go and a worry that the unknown will overtake us stops us in our tracks. We need to trust that there have been others that have let go and survived; to giving God control will not make us religious fanatics, but people grounded in the love of God. The small groups, the book The Power of a Whisper, and the worship as a community are all meant to help us deny ourselves and make room for God to speak to us and transform us. At this time, go up to the quote at the top and read it again 2 or 3 times. Allow the quote to sink in. What words are most striking? Sit in silence for a minute or so and ask God to speak. What did you hear God say? For me, the word Mystery stuck out. We only know a small part of God and the Mystery is that part of God that we don’t know. Throughout our lives we deepen our understanding and a small part of the Mystery becomes new insights and discoveries of who God is. Allowing our small understanding of God to grow is a significant part of our spiritual journey. When our understanding of God grows we usually are called to transform and follow God in ways we didn’t understand or even feared in the past. Let God take charge of your view of yourself and the world around you. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:8-9 God Bless, Pastor Keith Our Church Family: George Dunn, Sandra Dunn, Elaine Helm, Caroline Henry, Jim Jubb, Charles Power, Bud Rose and Sally Weil. Remember our HOMEBOUND MEMBERS with Prayers & cards…. Sandra Dunn is in an assisted living facility - Terraces at Parke Place, 661 Delsea Drive Sewell, NJ 08080. If a member of the congregation, or anyone, who would desire a Pastoral visit or is hospitalized, please call Rev. Reed on his cell phone @ (609) 969-2217 Let us pray for you. Simply fill out the form on our website www.wenonachpc.org. This request will automatically go to Reverend Reed, Linda our office secretary and select Deacons. Prayer requests will be “posted & active” in the church bulletin for 4 weeks unless otherwise requested. News of the Family: Frank Eggert passed away on Tuesday January 15, 2015. Our prayers are with his family. Sacrament of Holy Baptism: Jacob Randall Hack was baptized on Sunday, January 11, 2015. The proud parents are Randall & Shannon Hack. If you are aware of any joys or concerns for a member of our Memorial Presbyterian Church family, please contact one of the Deacons. MPC Board of Deacons *Deacon Moderator – Floss Turton - 423-0774 Lynne Hack 468-7939 Carol Perry 468-5404 Pat Hart 582-6535 Jane Petrilli 468-7052 Barbara Price 464-1941 Jill Ryan 468-4851 Sandy Lader Karen Ognibene (609) 941-7902 468-2492 If you are in need of transportation to any Sunday Worship Service or a church function, please contact Warren Nelson at (856) 468-8733. MPC Church Session Head of Council – Rev. Keith Reed (609) 969-2217 Jack Hart 582-6535 Adam Pierce 467-0953 Janet Jeffers 423-1917 Doug Rose 468-3021 Peggy Murphy 468-8032 Annmarie Sparks 468-5698 Betsy Ostrander 468-8029 Clerk of Council - Kim Vassallo 468-8382 Memorial Presbyterian Church Administration and Finance: Fellowship Committee: Jack Hart (Chair, Inside), Doug Rose (Manse, Outside), Members: Rev. Keith Reed, Dave Sellen, Ellen Lanciano, Larry Miller, Adam Pierce and Art Squyres Kim Vassallo (Chair), Members: Kathy Forsman, Ellen Lanciano, Sue Lord, Keith Mease, June Mease, Susan Miller, Peggy Murphy, Jane Petrilli, and Mary Scheidell Flowers Grant: Wendy Kearns (Chair), Members: Jack Hart Nominating Committee: Annemarie Sparks (Chair), Members: Carol Dongarra, Adam Pierce and Carol Perry Personnel: Adam Pierce (Chair), Members: Barbara Price Spiritual Growth Peggy Murphy (Chair), Members: Maryanne Loughran, Sunday School Teachers, Kathy Recipi (YG) Stewardship: SOS: Jack Hart (Chair), Members: Doug Rose Worship & Music: Betsy Ostrander (Chair), Members: Janet Jeffers, Larry Miller, Sue Sole, Jill Ryan, Floss Turton, and Bruce Yurko (Music Director) March 14th – John Barry March 16th – Barbara Price March 24th - Pat Sole. March 30th-Keith Reed April 3rd – Marjory Townsend April 25th – Ellen Lanciano. If you would like to donate an Easter flowers for our Easter Sunday Worship Service on April 5th, fill out the below form and place it in the offering plate or send it to the church office, no later than March 15th. Kindly note “Easter flowers” on the check. Thank you. Donor Name(s) Flowers given to the glory of God, and in Memory of in Honor of _____ Daffodil _____ Lily _____ Tulip Total # of flowers _____ x $10.00 each = $_______ (Total Amount Enclosed) STATE OF THE CORPORATION Even with all the many problems facing us last year, heater repairs, snow removal and high heating cost, we were able to end the year with a balanced budget thanks to several groups in the church and the generous contribution from our members. Thank you all for your assistance. It has been nice to watch the completion of the food pantry in memory of Nahida. She would be very proud of the effort on everyone’s part. ABS Electric has replaced the timer that controls the lights in the front narthex and tower. We continue to experience problems with the heating system, thankfully nothing major at this point. We have been experiencing problems with the fire alarm system going off in the trouble mode. GCSI our contractor has been unable to locate the problem to date. This does not affect the alarm if there is a fire in the building; it is just an annoying problem at this point. Our main concern as we enter the New Year is the condition of our buildings. There are five projects that we must face in the very near future. 1. Education wing roof and the walkway roof. Our roofer has inspected both and informed us that the replacement should occur as soon as possible: estimated cost - $20,000 to $30,000. If we put this off any longer, we run the risk of a total roof failure and the possibility of the need to close down this building. 2. Boiler/heating system failure. Our current heating system (steam) is over 55 years old. Currently we are paying between $6,000 and $10,000 a year for repairs, which does not include heating cost of another $12,000. The engineer from Hawks Heating was in to inspect the entire building for a heating and air conditioning upgrade. It was noted that because of our standing on the National Historic Register, the appearance of the church building cannot change with any upgrade. He did note that we will have to add another 300 to 400 amps of power to the electrical system. He will supply additional information in the future. We estimate the cost for this to be between $50,000 and $80,000. 3. Pointing of stonework on the church building. It has been noted that in several places on the church, the pointing has started to disintegrate. We have signed a contract with Joseph Dugan, Inc. to perform the work at a cost of $7,375.00. This work will be performed as soon as the weather is suitable. 4. Upgrade of the electrical system. We are now at a point that we cannot add any additional load to the system without an upgrade. ABS Electric is reviewing the system and will give us an estimate in the near future. 5. Disposition of the manse. Since Pastor Wilkins left the manse, we have been actively trying to find a renter. Because of tax codes and the fact we are tax free on the building, we can only rent it to a pastor, assistant pastor or youth pastor. To rent to anyone else, we would have to give up our tax free status. In its present condition and paying taxes, it would be extremely difficult to rent it at a profit. Over the past several months we have sent out letters to over 180 surrounding churches offering it to their clerical staff. We received two inquiries; however, no takers. At this point we are out of options. Currently our cost just to maintain it empty is between $3,000 and $4,000 per year and one of the reasons we have a deficit budget for 2015. We are exploring with the Boro what would be required if it was decided to put the building up for sale. By doing so, we would have the funds to maintain the church complex and still have money for investment. These are very hard decisions that we face. However, reality has set in and we must face what is best for the future of the church. I dislike being the bearer of bad news; however, we must face reality and do what is best for our congregation and the property that we own. Jack Hart, President of the Corporation 2015 One Great Hour of Sharing Presbyterian Disaster Assistance The Waters of Hope Imagine walking 11 hours every day, just so your family can have water to cook, clean, and drink, the path so arduous that every drop carried must be used for only the very basic necessities. Little, if any, remains for hygiene for yourself or your children. This was the daily struggle faced by women in the rural Kitui area, traditional homeland of Kenya’s Kamba people, before the borehole well and sand dam projects supported, in part, by Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. “The two water projects serve a small, developing Presbyterian community as well as the larger community around it,” says Laurie Kraus, director of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. “Prior to these projects, the community members were widely scattered and very dependent on government food aid, and women and children had to walk to a distant river to get water. This was a difficult, dispiriting life.” PDA and its partner, the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA), worked with a local church with a congregation of less than 30 people. As the projects neared completion, things began to change. “The pastor told me how, after the water came, the community grew in number and in hope,” remembers Kraus, who recently visited the site of the projects. “The water eased the life of the people and drew newcomers to the congregation. And the women, whom previous visitors had described as shy and distant, met our group with warmth and friendliness.” The women and children no longer travel hours for water. Instead, it takes just 30 minutes. An area that was once barren is now dotted with small trees, vegetables, fruit, and flowering bougainvillea. “When the sand dam is fully operational this rainy season, they expect the farming efforts to expand locally,” Kraus says. “This project arose from a disaster circumstance of chronic drought—and its successful completion will represent the kind of disaster-to-development work that is critically important for the well-being of communities.” Your gifts through the One Great Hour of Sharing are the core funding to support small and collaborative projects like the wells and sand dams, bringing attention and resources to places that deserve but don’t often command public and media attention. Their work is not done. PDA is now focused on providing work for the community members. PCEA has proposed beehives and beekeeping, the traditional livelihood of the people in the region. Your support means we’ll complete our work there and leave families in a place where they are self-reliant within a resilient community. Please give generously to the One Great Hour of Sharing. Crop Walk May 3rd 2pm Starts at Mantua Methodist 19th Annual Greater Woodbury CROP Walk 10K Walk begins at Mantua United Methodist Church, 201 Mantua Blvd., Mantua and ends at St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, 230 N. Evergreen Ave, Woodbury 25% of proceeds benefit local food pantry 5 local churches join together A great way to get exercise and support a worthy cause Sign-up sheets in Fellowship Hall during the month of April! Hunger and poverty can and must be fought. CROP Hunger Walk funds will benefit the overall work and ministry of Church World Service working around the world to help those in need help themselves through refugee assistance, self-help development programs, advocacy, and disaster relief. This is a national event!! 1,300 walks per year 116,000 participants $12 Million Dollars Raised Annually Prayer Vigil Empty Yourself and Listen to God May 22nd -23rd Starts: 6PM Friday Ends: 6PM Saturday Sign up for one hour Where: Chapel and Friendship Hall Contact: Cindy Cipriani - [email protected] What is a Prayer Vigil at Memorial Presbyterian church? The Prayer Vigil is held over 24 hours, from 6PM Friday to 6PM Saturday, during which people take successive hour-long time slots to pray, read scripture, walk a labyrinth, and write in a journal. This offers 24 people the chance to pray in a deeply spiritual setting. The chapel and friendship room are specially prepared for the prayer vigil. o The chapel has candles, a table and chair, a prayer guide manual, and a journal. o A labyrinth is created in the adjoining friendship room, accompanied by simple guidelines to help make walking it more meaningful. Each participant spends an hour alone in the church. (At night there is someone in another room to offer a sense of security). They are free to pray in their own way or use the helpful prayer guides that are provided. The vigil deepens our understanding of where God is leading us as a church. Please contact Cindy Cipriani at [email protected] if you have questions or would like to participate. For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13 Our new members’ class is an orientation for those considering membership with us. It is a warm and informative introduction to Memorial Presbyterian Church. Attendance is not required for those who have been members of a Presbyterian church, however, the class is a great way to meet other newcomers and learn about the church. Most people enjoy the opportunity to build new friendships and learn about what we believe and how we live out our faith through action. Below are the class dates and topics, as well as other dates important to becoming a new member. Please let Pastor Keith know if you plan to attend (email, [email protected] or phone 609-969-2217) April 19, Sunday – Who We Are: sharing personal stories of faith, life in the church, who God is, and how God relates to us. April 26, Sunday – The Tools of Faith: fundamental scripture, prayer, worship, and community. May 3, Sunday – Getting Involved: church programs, committees and finance. May 10, Sunday – No class May 12, Tuesday – Meet with Session at 7pm in the church library May 17, Sunday – Review of PCUSA Catechism – contemporary issues, a big tent church. May 17, Sunday - Install New Members. Hello everyone. I'm Floss Turton new Moderator of the Deacons. What are Deacons? The office of deacon was established early in the New Testament church to make sure food was distributed to widows and others in need (see Acts 6:1–6). The leader of the first group of deacons was Stephen, whose witness cost him his life (Acts 7). At MPC we understand the role of deacons to include: Operating the Nahida's Pantry Helping the church members get involved in local service projects like Kid's Alley, the Mitten Tree and other projects. Visit the sick and homebound Pray for our deacons that they have the compassion and energy to serve the church! **Kid's Alley: In January, the mittens and hats were taken to Kid's Alley by Bill Noble, who is a bus driver for them. He lives in Wenonah and was more than happy to deliver them. In March we will be making 100 sandwiches to be taken to Sicklerville for their Easter Rally. They will be distributed along with 100 sandwiches from another church to kids from Camden. Usually, Kid's Alley is at St. Mary's in Haddon Heights. More about Kid's Alley later. **Panera Bread: On Thursdays we pick up day old bread from Panera Bread and bring it back to the church to be rewrapped and distributed to Pitman Food Pantry. Art and Carol Perry are so kind as to deliver it. **Nahida's Pantry: Nahida's Pantry, headed by Jane Petrilli, will be dedicated on February 22 nd after church. The Deacons spend about $500 a month on 12 families and even more than that during the holidays. Easter is coming up so there will be a need for extra food, turkeys and hams, stuffing and gravy. We will keep you posted for what the needs are. Thank you all for helping with you donations. When we give from the heart we share the love of Christ with all who are on this wonderful journey in the love of God. Floss Turton, Board of Deacons Committee The Fellowship Committee NEEDS HELP!!!!! If interested in helping out during the year, please see a Fellowship Committee member. HAM & CABBAGE DINNER – March 14th (4 – 7pm) - Adults $10.00 ($1.00 off for can of food donation) Children $7.00 (under 10 years old). Dinner includes sliced ham, cabbage, carrots, soda bread, coffee/tea, and dessert buffet. PANCAKE BREAKFAST – May 2nd (8 – 11am) - Adults $7.00 ($1.00 for can of food donation) Children $4.00 (under 10 years old). Breakfast includes pancakes, bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, juice, and coffee/tea. Kim Vassallo, Chair Preparing Our Children for Abundant Life in Jesus Sunday School 1 John 3:1 See what love the Father has given During March our sermons and us that we should be called small groups will be focused on children of God; and that is what different bible passages than our we are. children. PLEASE ask your children Read this with your child and ask them what it means to be God’s children. We have the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Tell your child or another person how they live as a child of God through their actions, thoughts, and feelings. what they have learned in Sunday School! In April the sermons and Sunday School will once again be using the same bible verses. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. Acts 4:33 Our children will only know about the power of the resurrected Lord if we share how God is a part of our lives. Talk to our children about your faith and watch their faith grow. Teen Bible Study The Youth Group is currently working through a 7 week confirmation program titled "We Believe". Each student is on their own journey working through the concepts of who God is, who Jesus Christ is, who the Holy Spirit is and so on. During the month of March we will read through the Lent small group book and participate right along-side the congregation. Our youth will be confirmed on Sunday, March 29th during the worship service. Activities: March 15th - Escape The Room Philly March 29th - Spa Night/Girls Mystery Night/Boys (with Pastor Keith) April 11th - Paint Balling Excursion April 25th - Clean Communities See Kathy Repici for details: 856-723-3610 Would you like to serve the Lord? Do you enjoy singing? Why not consider joining one of the choirs of our church. Junior Choir will sing during the following services: Family Sunday, March 8th, Palm Sunday, March 29th and Mother’s Day, May 10th. Rehearsals Sunday: Junior Choir – 10:30 – 10:50 AM Thursday: Handbell Choir @ 7:00 – 8:00 PM Senior Choir @ 8:00 – 9:15 PM Submitted by Bruce Yurko - Music Director We hope you are looking forward to the warmer weather and longer days ahead. In fact, the word “lent” in its Old English translation means, “lengthen”. The season of Lent, along with its longer days, brings renewed hope as we begin to see some of God’s most beautiful creations come alive after a long winter’s rest. The Lenten season also offers the opportunity to “come alive” in our Christian faith as we reflect on the teachings of Jesus and His last days on earth. We encourage your attendance in the weeks to come as we learn the importance of listening for God’s leading st in “The Power of a Whisper”. The four-week study begins March 1 . If you haven’t already, please consider joining a small group for this Bible study series. Then, please join us for these upcoming Holy Week Services: March 29th – Palm Sunday Service at 11AM – The celebration of the entry of Jesus into the City of Jerusalem April 2nd – Maundy Thursday Service at 7PM – commemorating the Last Supper and Jesus’ final hours April 3rd – Good Friday Service at 7PM – Come hear a powerful performance depicting the crucifixion “Trilogy” – explores the eyewitness accounts of Mary Magdalene, Peter, and a Centurion as they experience the imminent death of Jesus. Each brings a unique perspective as to how they feel about Jesus, His life and His death. Different in their experiences with Christ Jesus, they are united in grief. April 5th – EASTER Service at 11AM – Rejoice! He is Risen! Please see the order form for your opportunity to order Easter flowers! And don’t forget . . . Daylight Savings Time begins March 8th . . . turn your clocks AHEAD one hour! Memorial Presbyterian Church is a proud supporter of the Eco-Palm Project. Ever wonder why we use eco-palms? Here are just a few of the reasons The palms are gathered and sold in a socially and environmentally just way. Harvesters are paid a fair price per palm based on quality, so they take fewer palms out of the forest, which protects important nature reserves. Community members sort, package and sell the palms themselves — not via middlemen — so more of the money paid for the palms stays with the people who worked to provide them. Because there is a steady market for the palms, locals are motivated to protect the forests (their source of income), ensuring harvests well into the future. Harvesting communities receive 5-6 times the normal payment per frond (stem). In the typical palm trade: Large floral export firms encourage over-harvesting: they pay by volume for palms and then throw away large amounts that aren’t export quality. Over-harvesting damages forests where the palm plants thrive. Forests are depleted and palm-selling communities lose this important source of income. To learn more about eco-palms visit: ecopalms.org. Women's Guild is open to anyone in our congregation who would like to meet once a month for prayer, bible study, socialization, and Christian support. We meet at the homes of various Guild members on the first Wednesday of every month except August. Our March 4th meeting will be held at 7:00 PM at the home of Ellen Lanciano: 325 Westwood Drive, West Deptford NJ 08096 (856) 357-2582. The Guild has been listening to and discussing audio devotions from the Beth Moore "Lifeway Women Devotions." We are planning a women's ministry event March 13 & 14, when a group of women from the congregation will hear Beth Moore speak at the Atlantic City Convention Center. Our Guild has been sending birthday cards with a small monetary gift to the residents of the Fulks' Boarding Home for several years now. This year we hope to be able to present a birthday cake to them with their name(s) on it (one cake per birthday month). We are inviting any willing congregation members to bake a cake that we can deliver. Karen Battle made our first cake in honor of the two residents who had birthdays in January. We have another birthday coming up in April - any takers? Please see Peggy Murphy to coordinate! Thank you. Peggy Murphy Moderator Flowers for Sunday Worship Services in 2015 Memorial Presbyterian Church 202 East Mantua Avenue, Wenonah, NJ 08090 856-468-5121 If you are interested in donating flowers, please complete the form below and either put it in the Offering Plate on Sunday, or mail it to the church office. The flowers will be ordered by the church office from The Lamp Light Florist in Sewell, at a cost of $25 per vase. Additional donation forms are available in the church office. THANK YOU * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Name _________________________________________________________________ Phone _______________________________________________ I would like to provide flowers for our worship service on Sunday, (Date) PLEASE COMPLETE for the Sunday Bulletin: The flowers this morning are dedicated to the Glory of God and placed by ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ in Memory of / In Honor of (circle one) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ I wish to provide 1 2 arrangements at $25 each (circle one). My check _____ Is enclosed/attached, _____ Will be mailed to the Church office a week prior to the designated Sunday, or _____ Will be put in the Offering Plate prior to the designated Sunday. (Please write “SUNDAY FLOWERS” on the subject line of your check) ____ I wish to take the flowers with me following the service. or ____ I want the flowers to be given to a shut-in or someone in need.
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