The Silence of God - Fourth Presbyterian Church

Fourth Press
May/June 2015
Volume 39, Issue No. 4
www.4thpres.org
The Silence of God
Rob Norris, Senior Pastor
God. Yet there is
We are often distressed at the seeming silence of
alem, can strengthen our souls and should
a silence that, on that day it shall be said to Jerus
est of committed responses. As the prophet
call from us the loudest of praise and also the deep
hands grow weak. The LORD your God is
Zephaniah wrote to the people of God, “Let not your
rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet
in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will
you by his love.” (Zeph. 3:16-17)
to enjoy the divine rest for our souls. The rest
It is both a call to faithful service and an invitation
God and the certainty of eternal life amid the
offered to Christians is that of enjoying peace with
ity we enjoy as we labor for God is assured
challenges and pains of the present world. The secur
ed it. Divine justice is silent, because love
because divine wrath is silent, because love has hush
emned it. Satan is silent, because love has
has satisfied it. Sin is silent, because love has cond
but its own.
vanquished him. God's love has silenced every voice
the memories of sins committed, or duties
This means that when our souls torment us with
the world accuses, we can answer the
undone, or divine commands unheeded, or when
silenced every accusation. Just as when an
accusations with the assurance that Christ has
presence of Jesus, and He was called upon
accusation was brought against a sinner in the
ped down, and with His finger wrote on the
to judge in the case, it is recorded that He "stoo
, because of His love!
ground, as though He heard them not." He was silent
the sinner brought to repentance by His grace
There is nothing that His love has not covered for
freedom.
and sacrificial love. It is the reason we can live in
Inside this Edition
Spring Festival......................................................................3
Adult Education....................................................................4
In Our Libraries................................................................. 4-6
Women of Fourth............................................................. 7-9
Milestones..........................................................................10
Youth Ministry.............................................................. 11-12
FROM THE PASTOR'S STUDY
On Prayer and Spiritual Warfare
by Charles H. Spurgeon
In preparing for the lecture on Angels and Demons, one of
the issues that motivated the whole series was the reality
of spiritual warfare. In the face of so much writing that
is bizarre and wrong, it was helpful to return to Charles
H. Spurgeon’s On Prayer and Spiritual Warfare. In these
sermons he not only produces material that is profoundly
biblical, but also that which is a comfort to the soul of the
believer.
Spiritual warfare is seen in a balanced and pastoral way,
as he deals with practical subjects like divine assurance
in God's promises when others disappoint us. He also
provides understanding as to how we can face the
assaults of the evil one. The book contains some of his
actual prayers, which I have always found to be a source
of blessing.
Spurgeon reminds us that the Lord has already done
everything by the covenant with His Son and would never
break His word to His own Son, thus assuring Christians of
the victory over evil that has already been accomplished
by our Lord Jesus Christ. This is a book to be relished anew.
On Prayer and Spiritual Warfare, by Charles H. Spurgeon, is available for checkout from Fourth’s Media Center.
We also have 33 other books by this author and 133 other books on prayer in the Media Center.
About Fourth Press
FOURTH PRESS is published eight to nine times a year through the Communications and Media Services Ministry,
Fourth Presbyterian Church, Bethesda, MD. Current and archived copies may be read on our website, www.4thpres.org.
Hard copies of current issues are available in the Media Center and throughout the church.
Materials to be included in the next (July/August) issue should be sent
to [email protected] by 5pm on June 17.
Renewal Line
Need to renew your books, movies, CDs, or DVDs?
Email [email protected]
or call 301-320-3434, x465 and leave a message.
We’ll take care of it for you.
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Fourth Press
MANAGING EDITOR
PRINT LAYOUT & DESIGN
PROOFREADERS
Jeri Weaver
Natasha Gilliam
Bob Klassen
Esther Steele
Joe Ann Stenstrom
What will YOU be doing May 16?
Come join Fourth Presbyterian Church as we reach out to our local community and neighborhood with
the annual SPRING FESTIVAL! There will be activities for people of all ages, and everything is FREE!
 Play bingo for prizes
Listen to live bluegrass music and attend a rock concert
View the car show
Play in a video game challenge
Enjoy the obstacle course, inflatables, train rides, crafts, fire equipment, free food…
And SO MUCH MORE!
You, your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers are
invited to the Spring Festival!
If you’d like to volunteer for an hour or more, contact Alison
Muscato at [email protected]
Visit www.springfestivalbethesda.org for more information!
May/June 2015 3
Adult Sunday School Classes
Summer 2015 • June 6 - July 26
Keys to Maturing as a Disciple of Jesus Christ
Tom Tarrants (C.S. Lewis Institute)
9:30 and 11am – Chapel
How do we mature into faithful and fruitful disciples of Jesus
in daily life? Our transformation progresses as we come
to more fully understand and obey all that Jesus taught
His original disciples (Matthew 28:20). A growing, grateful
love for the Father and the Son propels us forward in joyful
obedience (John 14:15). In these classes, we probe the
meaning and practical application of key teachings of Jesus
that can help us become more conformed to His image.
Hebrews 11: Faith on Display
Rob Yancey, Dave O’Connell, Ron Meyer
9:30 and 11am – Room 146 (Handbell Room)
Rising to the Call of Leadership:
The Making of a Leader God’s Way
Steve Liston
9:30am – Room 132
God calls every one of His people to positions of leadership
and influence—in our homes, communities, churches, and
ultimately the world. In this study from Precept Ministries
International, we’ll look at four important leaders of Israel—
Eli, Samuel, Saul, and David—and explore key leadership
principles, including how to make wise decisions under
pressure, deal effectively with mistakes, and set a course
that others will follow. Most important, you'll learn what God
expects of you, and how you can rise to the call of effective
leadership. There is a charge of $8 for materials.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction
of things not seen.” As we think about the faith required to
live the Christian life, we can all admit there is a lot we hope
for and a lot we do not yet see. We all would like to live with
more faith in the promises of God, especially in times of trial
and persecution. Join us as we look back to the faith of the
Old Testament saints as a means of strengthening our faith.
Where Did All These Books Come From?
Jeri Weaver, Director of Communications and Media Services
Members of the Fourth family love to read!
The first mention of a church library at Fourth is in Session
records from 1877. Even back then, we already had 475
books!
Today, while many other church libraries have fewer than
500 volumes, we have more than 10,000. A little research
brought out another fact: More than 1,000 of those books
came from YOU!
We are often asked if we take donations, and the answer
is YES. More specifically, we DO want new and like-new
Christian books and DVDs. If your books are older and/or
annotated, we will put them on the Halverson Hall book cart.
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We also appreciate your donations of Bibles (we give them
out to anyone who needs one), reading glasses (people often
forget theirs!) and calendars (we share them at the start of
each year).
At this time we DO NOT need any loose CDs, cassette
recordings, or movies on video. (If you accidentally bring us
those, we do recycle them.)
Do continue to bring your like-new Christian books to US!
If we don't have them (OR if your copies are better/newer
than ours), we'll add them to our collection. Your donations
of Christian books and movies enrich our collection -- AND
save us money!
SEVENTH IN A SERIES
“I donated this book to the
Media Center because...”
Thomas Myrick, Director of Community Groups
Editor’s Note: This is the seventh article in a new series that gives
you a chance to write about a book or movie that you have donated
to us. If you’d like to donate something (and write about it), contact
Jeri, at [email protected] We continue to welcome your
recommendations and donations.
I want to do something big for God. Since seventh grade I’ve
dreamed about reaching my school for Christ, helping my
city come to know the Lord, watching revival sweep across
the nation, and taking the gospel to unreached people
groups all around the world. If you’re like me, we don’t want
to settle for comfortable cultural Christianity. We want to do
awesome things for our Awesome God.
What’s that? You have a plane ticket for a pastor’s conference
in São Paulo, Brazil? My bags are packed! There’s an
opportunity to disciple Muslims coming to Christ in Chicago?
Let’s go today! A US Senator wants help seeing how the
Bible informs his law-making? I’m available! Waking up on
a rainy Tuesday morning, making the monotonous commute
to a mid-level job in a window-less office? Oh. Can I pray
about that?
I don’t need courage for the radical. I need faith for the
ordinary. Tish Harrison Warren writes, “I’m slowly realizing
that, for me, being in the house all day with a baby and a
two-year-old is a lot more scary and a lot harder than being
in a war-torn African village.”
In Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World
author Michael Horton agrees. “Even more than I’m afraid
of failure, I’m terrified of boredom. Facing another day, with
ordinary callings to ordinary people all around us is much
more difficult than chasing my own dreams that I have
envisioned for the grand story of my life.”
This fabulously refreshing book will remind you of biblical
themes that we prefer to forget. “We’ve forgotten that God
showers his extraordinary gifts through ordinary means of
grace, loves us through ordinary fellow image bearers, and
sends us out into the world to love and serve others in
ordinary callings.” Rather than searching for the Next Big
Thing we are receiving a kingdom that our Heavenly Father
is giving to us in his Son by his Spirit.
Michael Horton’s newest book, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith
in a Radical, Restless World is available for checkout from
Fourth’s Media Center. There are more than 20 other books
by Michael Horton in our library as well.
May/June 2015 5
N
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Children's Reading Club—Mid
June through July
Holly Gochnour, Children's Librarian
S
Everyone enjoys finding treasure. Going on a treasure
hunt and discovering hidden treasures is fun and
rewarding. Do you have a treasure? Or are you still
looking?
The Bible says “...store up for yourselves treasures in
heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy and
where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your
treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
The Children’s Library welcomes all treasure lovers,
seekers and collectors this summer. Join the Children’s
Library Summer Reading Crew for the 2015 Reading
Club “Digging for Treasures.”
The treasure hunt begins on Sunday, June 21, and
continues for five weeks through the month of July. The
official Reading Club Kickoff is on Thursday morning,
June 18. This is a time to sign up, meet other club
participants, play games, and check out your first books.
The club is for children, ages 3 to 12, including those
entering sixth grade in the fall.
Children who can’t yet read can earn points for listening
to stories; older children also earn points for reading to
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younger ones. This summer, read books about biblical
spiritual truths and treasures, books about God’s
promises to us, and the Bible, which points us to God as
the Ultimate Treasure. Children who read books from
the Children’s Library (or Christian books from other
libraries) and memorize Bible verses will earn points
that can be traded in for prizes. Special prizes will go to
top readers and Scripture memory participants.
As you read Christian books, you absorb gems of God’s
truth. The more you read, the more you acquire and the
larger your treasure will be. Readers will collect gems
and jewels (stickers) as they read. Will you find only a
few gems or enough to fill a treasure chest? Join the
club and find out.
Plan to attend the Thursday Story Hour at 11am when
readers present the newest books from the Children’s
Library. Kids earn points just for attending and listening.
The first Thursday Story Hour is June 25.
To get a head start on the “Digging for Treasures” Club,
come to the Children Library. We are open Sunday–
Thursday, closed Friday and Saturday. Or register online
at http://4thpres.org/registration
What's New with
Women of Fourth?
Book Clubs
Tuesday nights, June 16 - July 21, 7-8:15pm
This is our third summer for book clubs and we can't wait!!!! Join us Tuesday nights 7:00-8:15 from June 17 to July 22. More information
will be available soon, but for now - choose your book(s) and mark your calendars! Here are this summer's choices...(These are the
books we will be discussing. The preferred editions will be communicated soon.)
GROUP 1
Led by Janis Glenn............................................ Room 132A
A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken
Surprised by Joy C. S. Lewis
GROUP 3
Led by Diane Jones.................................................. Chapel
Pride and Prejudice, Emma by Jane Austen
Miniatures and Morals:
The Christian Novels of Jane Austen by Peter Leithart
GROUP 2
Led by Esther Steele..........................................Room 132B
The Certainty of Faith by Herman Bavinck
GROUP 4
Led by Kim Pomponi and Liz Yancey.................... Room 130
Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are
by Shauna Niequist
May/June 2015 7
Summer 2015 Women's Brochure
What else is happening with Women of Fourth?
To find out which events are planned, and how you can connect with other
women, pick up a new summer brochure. You’ll find them in the racks
throughout the church.
Family Beach Vacation
Summer 2015
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Taste of Fourth Cookbook!
We still need your name in our book!
We've extended the cutoff date so we can include your recipes
in the "official" cookbook of Fourth Presbyterian's Women's
Ministries. Please send in your very favorites to 4thpres.org/
cookbook or place handwritten copies in the WOF cookbook
file located in the cabinet under the mail slots in the Church
Office. (We'd love to see them ASAP!)
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May/June 2015 9
Fourth Family Milestones
Information reported to these sources will automatically be included in this monthly listing unless you request otherwise.
Births and Adoptions: Amanda Westly, x219, [email protected]; Marriages: Jean Erskine, x205; [email protected];
Anniversaries: Jeri Weaver, x206; [email protected]; Deaths: Alison Muscato, x216; [email protected]
We welcome your pictures! Email photos to accompany your announcements to [email protected]
Or bring them to the Media Center. Please do not send photos through the mail.
Birth
Betsy Grace Dobish
Born March 16, 2015
Parents: Julia and Mark Dobish
Grandparents: Ron and Michele Meyer
Anniversary
Ted and Carol Smith | 50th Anniversary
Married on June 26, 1965
in Brooklyn, NY
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Prayer Requests
for May and June
Chelsea Custer, Youth Ministries
Pray for the Youth Ministry team (Rob, Nate, Devan,
Garrett, and Chelsea) who will lead and shepherd the
summer staff interns this summer. Pray for strength and
joy through long hours and a ministry-intensive summer.
Pray for the college-aged men and women on summer staff
who will disciple middle and high school students May 23
through August 7. Pray for their fruitful relationships with
our students. Pray for the Holy Spirit to work through them
and use them to draw students closer to the Lord. Pray for
the summer staff experience to be spiritually challenging
and rewarding in their lives.
Pray that our middle school and high school students
would feel loved, welcomed, and cared for, in the name
of Jesus. Continue to pray for our community to be a safe
and welcoming place for students to bring their friends
and for these friends to be welcomed into fellowship and
community.
youth
Focus on
Bubble Soccer
We hosted about 40 kids at the YMCA off Old Georgetown Rd. for a
fun outreach event consisting of large blow-up plastic bubbles and
soccer balls. We played a round-robin tournament with the winner
taking home $250 in Chipotle gift cards!
Pray for rest for our Sunday school teachers and Wednesday
night Bible study leaders who take the summer off while
summer staff is here. Pray for the Lord to raise up more
adult leaders to pour into our middle and high school
students on Sundays, Wednesdays, and throughout the
year.
Pray for The Rock (MS) and The Root (HS) programs on
summer Tuesday evenings. Pray also for the Sunday
morning studies that the summer staff will lead through
the book of Ephesians. Pray for students to feel loved and
welcomed in Jesus’ name. Pray for students to hear and
respond to the gospel as they hear from speakers about
what it looks like to commit and follow Jesus. Pray for real
relationships to develop among students and their peers.
Pray for middle and high school students away at Summer
Camp on June 17-21 at Camp Sandy Cove in High View,
WV. Pray for the Lord to move in students' hearts and
lives during this intentional week away. Pray for them
to develop relationships with one another and become
a Christ-centered community. Pray for Rob Yancey as he
speaks on Following Jesus. Pray for our full-time staff,
summer staff, and volunteers as they share the gospel
with students this week.
Pray for students to develop a heart for service in Jesus'
name to their communities and neighbors. Pray that God
would stir in their hearts a desire to serve and further
understand the gospel. Especially pray for those students
who will serve on June 27 middle and high school service
days.
May/June 2015 11
Senior Florida Trip
Sixteen high school seniors and six leaders went to St. Augustine, FL, for a time of fellowship and teaching around the idea of Becoming
the Body of Christ. We spent days at the beach building sandcastles, playing frisbee, etc. and then spent evenings hearing about
leaders' experiences in college and the challenges in trying to walk with the Lord post high school.