October 2013: Quarterly Newsletter (Volume 14)

 STEWARDSHIP  IN  ACTION

Van Wyck Presbyterian Church                Published Quarterly – October 2013 – Volume 14

“Nothing happens in the church until someone gives something.  According to the Word, God did exactly that.  God gave us grace, undeserved and unconditional love.  God did not allow that offer to expire, but continues his covenant to give us grace, unendingly.”        –Ed Krause—

                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 

Dear Friends,

There is a style of life that pleases God. Jesus expresses it this way:  “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

 

What is it that God is looking for in us? It is this: that we realize we are created by God to give and not simply please ourselves.  If you miss that truth, you will miss the abundant joy-filled life that God has in store for you.  God is not looking for people with clenched fists.  What is mine is mine; what I get, I keep. God is looking for people who will unclench their fists and learn how to live open-handed lives.

 

Ask God, “what do you want me to do with what you have given me? How can I use what I have to count for something? God wants us to know the contentment that generosity brings. That is the attitude God is looking for.

 

God gives us the privilege to worship Him. He gives us gifts and talents to serve Him. All we have in material wealth belongs to the Lord. When the Body of Christ, the Church asks you to give, will your response be, “Here I am Lord, send me”.

 

In Christ’s Service,

Bill Johnson

“My Church, My Challenge”

 

This year’s Stewardship campaign will encourage you to create or renew your ownership of Van Wyck Presbyterian Church, its programs and activities, and ask you to connect with the local community to grow our congregation.

 

We are led by Isaiah 6:8, which says, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’”

 

Remember Jack Leedy’s decorated shopping cart? To kick off this campaign, we asked you in February that instead of giving up something for Lent, that you give back to help others, our friends and neighbors in need. After two weeks, we collected and delivered 118 food items to HOPE in Lancaster. I don’t know how it all fit in the back of Richard Vaughan’s pick-up truck!

You also showed generosity during our “One Great Hour of Sharing” collection that collected nearly $1,000.

We hope you will join us the first two Sundays in November to talk about “My Church, My Challenge” as we kick off our Stewardship campaign. Your pledge and your support are important as we decide what we can do in 2014.

Our church budget is more than numbers. The money you give reaches people, helps people and changes lives. It funds our children’s programs, including our new Children’s Church. It enables us to celebrate life’s milestones such as marriages, babies and milestone birthdays and hold hands with those who are ill. It supports our historic sanctuary and beautiful grounds, a gem of Van Wyck and Lancaster County.

“Here I Am, Lord”

Dan Schutte was a young Jesuit, studying theology in Berkeley, California, when a friend asked him to write a piece of music set to the text of Isaiah chapter 6.

Schutte was sick with the flu and his deadline was two days. He said he remembers asking God to be his strength during that time.

The result was “Here I Am, Lord,” one of the most favorite Christian songs of all time and our “My Church, My Challenge” song. It was written in 1981.

Schutte wrote:  “From the very beginning, people loved the piece and clearly identified with the dialogue between God and us that is the core of the song. In the years following, so many have spoken to me or written how they had their own experience of God ‘calling in the night’ and being given the courage to respond.

For me, the story of “Here I Am, Lord” tells of the God who overshadows us, giving power to our stumbling words and the simple works of our hands, and making them into something that can be a grace for people. The power God gives is far beyond what we could have planned or created.”

 “Here I Am, Lord”

Written by Dan Schutte

 

I, the Lord of sea and sky

I have heard my people cry

All who dwell in dark and sin

My hand will save:

I who made the stars and night

I will make the darkness bright

Who will bear my light to them?

Whom shall I send?

Here I am Lord

Is it I Lord?

I have heard you calling in the night

I will go Lord

If you lead me

I will hold your people in my heart

I the Lord of snow and rain,

I have borne my people’s pain,

I have wept for love of them,

They turn away…

I will break their hearts of stone

Fill their hearts with love alone

I will speak my word to them

Whom shall I send?

Here I am Lord

Is it I Lord?

I have heard you calling in the night

I will go Lord

If you lead me

I will hold your people in my heart

I, the Lord of wind and flame

I will tend the poor and lame

I will set a feast for them

My hand will save:

Finest bread I will provide

Till their hearts be satisfied

I will give my life to them

Whom shall I send?

Whom shall I send?

Here I am Lord

Is it I Lord?

I have heard you calling in the night

I will go Lord

If you lead me

I will hold your people in my heart

 

 

Dimes for Hunger

Can you give one dime per meal for a month?

October is “Dimes for Hunger” month at VWPC, and our very own Rosa Sansbury, a member of the Hunger Action Team, will be telling us all about this program.

Since the late 1970s, the people in our Presbytery have reached into their pockets and contributed to the Dimes for Hunger Offering in a caring and generous manner.

That money has been used to support local feeding programs in the five counties of Providence Presbytery and to support self-help and development programs in Honduras and Guatemala in Central America and, more recently, in Malawi, Africa.

If you eat three meals a day, it comes to 93 meals in a 31-day month.  Your $9.30 can make a huge impact in the life of someone who has no idea what it would be like to have three meals in one day.  Best of all, there are no administration costs so 100% of your donation goes to purchase food for someone in need.

Your donation can be marked as “Dimes for Hunger” and given to Linda Vaughan, our Treasurer.

 

Skip Lunch, Buy a Hymnal

The new “Glory to God” hymnal, offered through PCUSA, is available for $17.50 each. It has taken the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song (PCOCS) a decade to complete this songbook.

 

The blue hymnals we currently use were published in 1990, and have limited range. The new hymnal offers more worship and praise music and includes hymns from Christian communities around the world. It also brings back old favorites.

 

“Glory to God” is organized according to the history of salvation, beginning with creation and finishing with the church’s hope for the Lord’s return. The first hymn is “Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord, God Almighty.”

We hope that you will accept the challenge to skip going out to eat lunch and instead, buy a hymnal. Our goal is to buy 100, for a total of $1,750. If each VWPC member buys a hymnal, we will have it!

Honors and memorials can be added to your books. Donations can be given to Linda Vaughan, our treasurer.

 

Children’s Church

We have started a new program – Children’s Church.

 

We will worship God, kid-style, with a Bible message, music and activities.

 

Children in grades K through 5 will be led to the McSpadden Fellowship Hall after the “Moment with the Children” and be brought back into the sanctuary to sit with their family during the final hymn.

 

We hope the youth of our church can join us on:

October 13

October 20

November 3

November 17

… and thereafter on the first and third Sundays of each month, unless otherwise noted.

 

Adult leaders and high school helpers are needed. If you are interested in helping with this new program, please contact Julie Graham at scjules@hotmail.com or 803.804.4604.

 

Presbyterian Women & Friends Learn How to Listen to God

Surrounded by the beauty of the mountains of North Carolina, members and friends of the Presbyterian Women were uplifted during a Bible study on listening to God’s voice at the group’s annual fall retreat in Montreat, N.C.

 

For the sixth year, PW stayed at the South Carolina Inn and enjoyed local shopping, restaurants and fellowship. Seventeen ladies attended the weekend organized by PW Moderator Pat Oglesby with the Bible study led by Laine Ardrey.

 

“We had fellowship time together, sharing our faith stories and getting to know each other better,” Pat said. “The late summer weather was warm and the mountains welcoming. We returned home refreshed and ready to begin a new season of Presbyterian Women at Van Wyck.”

The retreat coincides with the study on “Discerning the Voice of God” by Priscilla Shirer that the women have been discussing on Tuesday mornings at the church.

 

“The study has been inspiring and we feel we have all grown in our relationship with God,” Pat said.

 

The next meeting of VWPW is 7 p.m. on October 15th. All are invited to attend.

 

OTHER DATES TO REMEMBER

October            “Dimes for Hunger” month

Oct. 26             Halloween Party at Community

Building

 

Dec. 1              VWPC Children’s Christmas

Party

 

Dec. 7              Christmas Parade with Grand

Marshall, Alex Sims

Dec. 8              The Lighting of the Way

Dec. 15            Chili, Soup and Caroling

 

Happy 100th Birthday, Alex!

Please join us in celebrating Alex Sims’ 100th Birthday!

The Presbyterian Women have started making plans for Alex’s birthday party with a covered dish lunch at 1 p.m. on Saturday, November 23rd. Please bring a dish to share.

He was born November 28, 1913, and 100 years later, his birthday falls on Thanksgiving Day. 

His son, William, and the Presbyterian Women are inviting the entire VWPC congregation as well as friends in the community. Please come to celebrate this special milestone with Alex!

 

TREASURER REPORT

 

Just one more quarter in 2013!  Looking back at the first three quarters of Van Wyck Presbyterian Church, our giving and expenses have continued to be very close.  Even though we are behind in our giving, our expenses have continued to be under our giving for the first three quarters. Hopefully our giving will pick up for the remainder of 2013 in order to meet our adopted budget.

 

2013 General Fund Budget    = $126,070.00

 

1st Quarter (January – March)                                =     31,753.75

2nd Quarter (April – June)                       =     27,147.00

3rd Quarter (July – September)              =     25,088.08

Needed 39 weeks @ $2,425                     =     94,575.00

 

Behind Budget  at Week 39                   = $   10,586.17

 

2013 Building Fund Outstanding Pledges  = $3,890.00

As of September 23rd, the principal loan balance is $54,622.21.  If you wish to give to the Building Fund, please indicate on your check “Building Fund”.

 

Those who contribute in cash are encouraged to use the pew envelopes in order to be credited for your contributions. Pew envelopes are available and you can pick up a supply from the basket in the vestibule.  If you would like to take advantage of the direct deposit program, please see me for details.

 

As church treasurer, I want to thank you for your continued faithful support in the ministry of Van Wyck Presbyterian Church.

 

Linda Vaughan, Church Treasurer

 

Organ Repair

On July 10th, a severe electrical storm rolled through the Van Wyck community causing serious damage to the Ardreys’ home next door, as well as causing damage to our organ.  Thankfully, our insurance covered $4,480 of the $4,980 cost to repair the organ.  The $500 deductible was incurred by the Grounds & Maintenance Committee’s budget.  Although we enjoyed the piano music for a couple of months, we are very grateful to have the beautiful organ music as part of our Sunday worship services.

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