Stewardship In Action Newsletter, January/February 2014


Van Wyck Presbyterian Church                Published Quarterly – January/February 2014 – Volume 15

“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—



A Message from the Pastor

I feed birds in our backyard. I feed sunflower-enriched wild birdseed to attract all kinds of wonderful birds. This poem caught my attention:

“His feathers a flame the cardinal hunched into the rough, green feeder – but ate no seed.

Through binoculars I saw festered and useless his beak, broken at the root.

Then two: one blazing, one gray rode into my vision and lighted at his side.

Unhurried, as if possessing the patience of God, they cracked sunflowers and fed him beak to wounded beak choice meats.

Each morning and afternoon that odd triumvirate, that trinity of need, returned and ate their sacrament of broken seed.”

Day after day those two cardinals cracked sunflower seeds and fed their friend through his broken beak. The Bible says: “Stir up one another to love and good deeds.” Is there a wounded, broken friend who you need to feed your love and encouragement today?


In Christ’s Service,

Bill Johnson


A Giving Heart

It’s really remarkable how many times, when you listen, you hear about people with giving hearts.

A few weeks ago, I interviewed a 92-year-old man who prepares taxes through the free AARP tax program at a local library. He’s been doing it for 23 years. I asked him what he liked about his job and what surprises him every year.

“You get a lot of satisfaction from doing taxes for people who don’t have the money to pay for it,” he said. “Most have modest incomes. It’s extraordinary. How do they do it? How do they live on so little?”

He continued, “So many are so generous. They give their churches a lot of money. You would be surprised how many people tithe. They have so little money, and they give 10 percent to the church. It’s amazing how giving these poor people are.”

This man who gives his free time to volunteer to do other people’s taxes – not the most exciting volunteerism – shared his gift and learned about generosity from his clients. It was a message I needed to hear that day. When you give, you get back – twofold.

Following the thoughts of the 92-year-old tax preparer, it’s remarkable to me that our little church supports itself and ministers so well to the community on so little money.

Our budget is set at about $120,000, and we meet it. Not by much, but by enough that we don’t have to cutback.

For that, I thank you.

— Julie Graham, Stewardship Chairwoman

“My Church, My Challenge” Update

We implemented year-round Stewardship for the first time at Van Wyck Presbyterian Church, and we are encouraged that we received 25 pledges for 2014.

Thank you for accepting the challenge during our “My Church, My Challenge” campaign.

Hymn of Promise


We dedicated our new “Glory to God” hymnals on Sunday, February 2nd. Thank you to everyone who has contributed.


Glory to God Hymnals


Joseph K. Bath II by Richard & Linda Vaughan & Family

Henry C. “Phil” Belk, Jr. by Wilma R. Belk

Henry C. & Kathleen B. Belk, Sr. by Wilma R. Belk

Bill & Barbara Bogardus by Gay Watson

Charles T. Broome by Betty F. Broome

Charles T. Broome by Tommy & Faith Broome

Bobby Davidson by Charles & Juanita Moss

Dillon Denton by Don & Julia Willingham

Charlene Dobson by George Dobson

Brenda F. Flowers by Giles (Sonny) Fox

George & Winnie Fox by Barbara F. Pursley

Loyd & Louise Fox by Tommy & Faith Broome

Floyd & Thelma Goodwin by Tommy & Faith Broome

Marvin (Sam) Helms by his Grandchildren Jennifer, Erica, Matthew & Mikey

Roy & Doris Howard by Lynne & Jay Jones

Annette Howell by Marty & Laurie Barnes

Henry & Carmen Kempton by Paul & Di Kourkoubes

George & Gertrude Kourkoubes by Paul & Di Kourkoubes

David Moss by Charles & Juanita Moss

Ronald, Earnest & R. L. Parker, Jr. by Maggie F. Parker

Wesley & Kate Plyler (Charter Members) by Jim & Jane Massey

George & Eileen Schuetz by George Schuetz

Robert & Ruth Vaughan by Richard & Linda Vaughan

Albert L. Williams, Jr. by Roy & Rosa Sansbury

Albert L. Williams, Jr. by Don & Julia Willingham

Julius & Jo Eva Yoder by Lynne & Jay Jones


David Alexander by Don & Julia Willingham

Maria & Daniel Cunnane by Lance & Julie Cunnane

Dr. William M. & Sandy Johnson by George & Eloise Williams

Dr. William M. Johnson by Dr. & Mrs. C. M. Calcote

Reverend J. R. McSpadden by Dr. & Mrs. C. M. Calcote

Reverend Randy & Kay McSpadden by Don & Julia Willingham

Don & Julia Willingham by Lance & Julie Cunnane

Miscellaneous Donations

John & Shirley Cauthen

David & Krista Cook

George C. Dobson

Ralph (Sonny) & Garnella Howell

Claudia Thompson

George Schuetz & Gay Watson

The set up of the new hymnal is different than previous books. It 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.”


During the dedication, we sang a wonderful new song – “Hymn of Promise — In the Bulb There is a Flower.”


These are the beautiful words, written by Natalie Sleeth:


In the bulb there is a flower; in the seed, an apple tree;

In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!

In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be,

Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.


There’s a song in every silence, seeking word and melody;

There’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.

From the past will come the future; what it holds, a mystery,

Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.


In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity;

In our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity,

In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory,

Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.


It is said that the writing of this hymn was brought about by a line from the poet T.S. Eliot that reads, “In the end is my beginning.” Sleeth became inspired. Her husband heard the song shortly before he died and asked that it be sung at his funeral.


Report from the Strengthening Committee

The Strengthening Committee met in February and started making plans for church wide events during 2014 – the first event being the Valentine Party on February 16th.  From all reports, everyone had a blast!  The pizza, salad, cookies, brownies and ice cream sandwiches were delicious and there were plenty of Valentine candies and balloons to go around.  Attendance was excellent – total count of 71!!   A special thanks to Dr. Bill and Sandy Johnson, Dr. Mack and Vivian Calcote, and Andy and Diane Harrell for sharing their love stories with us. Each couple entertained us with tales of their dating days!  Also, a special thanks to Ken Cook and Annette Denton for demonstrating the shag and leading us in the Cupid Shuffle line dance.   Ken did a fine job conducting and judging the Kissing Contest.  If you missed the Valentine Party this year, we hope you will plan to join us next year.

On Sunday, April 20th, the church will have our Easter Breakfast.    The breakfast will require all committees and church members participating with the plans and furnishing the food items.

Strengthening Committee has plans for church functions during late spring and summer, and we welcome any suggestions you may have.  We will keep you posted and encourage you to join us for fun and good church fellowship.

–Lynne Jones and Claudia Thompson


Grounds & Maintenance

The Sunday school porch renovation project is underway. We plan to revamp the area so that it can serve as an extra meeting room. The seed money for this project was given by our former minister, the Reverend Randy McSpadden.

We wrapped the trees again this year to help prevent the damage caused by canker worms to our wonderful old oak trees and others.

All are welcome to help us clean and beautify the church buildings and grounds during our workday, set for Saturday, March 29th. We will start at 9 a.m.

–Jack Leedy & Richard Vaughan


Report from Presbyterian Women

The Van Wyck Presbyterian Women recently changed their meeting day and time. We now meet on the third Monday of the month at 10 a.m. in the McSpadden Fellowship Hall. Many of our women had expressed that they are not able to come out at night and that a daytime meeting would be easier for them to attend. Our church is growing at the rate that, hopefully, in the future an additional group of PW may decide to continue to meet at night for conducting mission work in the church and the community, Bible study and fellowship time.

The new officers for 2014-2016 are: Moderator Pat Oglesby, Vice Moderator Laine Ardrey, Secretary Eloise Williams and Treasurer Lynne Jones.

In November 2013, the Presbyterian Women sponsored a 100th Birthday celebration for Alex Sims. His actual birthday was Thanksgiving Day. The party was a great success and was attended by many of Alex’s family from out of town, friends from the community and church members. A large banner wishing Alex a Happy Birthday welcomed guests as they came in. A table with pictures and memorabilia was set up in the entrance to the McSpadden Fellowship Hall. An absolute bounty of food was prepared and spread out for everyone to enjoy. Children and adults had a wonderful time of fellowship and celebration in honor of Alex. Alex was presented with a South Carolina state flag. Janesta Williams played “Happy Birthday,” and everyone sang their wishes to Alex.

The Presbyterian Women’s group again decorated the sanctuary and other church rooms for the Christmas season. We appreciate the help of the men of the church who assisted us in this. The tree in the sanctuary was more beautiful than ever with the addition of many small white lights. The fresh greenery in the windows and on the choir loft added to the atmosphere with a wonderful scent of the season.


Presbyterian Women assisted the CE committee with the annual Children’s Christmas party by hosting the Santa’s Secret Shop where the children shopped for gifts for their parents. They learned the value of giving to others. PW and other church members donated small gifts for the children to select from, and they were put in gift bags for the children to take home.


The Presbyterian Women enjoyed their December meeting at the home of Moderator Pat Oglesby.

In January, PW hosted a baby shower for Kara and Harry Cargill who were expecting a little girl. Kara received many beautiful outfits and useful baby items from family and church friends. Congratulations to Harry, Kara and Harrison on the birth of Lily Jean Star on January 15th.

Another function of PW is taking meals to members who have been hospitalized or in other situations. These food groups have functioned several times during the fall and winter months.

We are looking forward to our annual Fall Retreat to the South Carolina Inn at Montreat, N.C., again this September. Please see Pat Oglesby if you are interested in attending.

All women of the church are invited to attend our meetings. Please contact any PW member if you need assistance in getting to the church.

— Pat Oglesby, moderator

Sunday School for all ages

Please join us from 10 to 11 a.m. each Sunday for Sunday School. We have classes for all ages – toddlers through seniors.


Tuesday Morning Bible Study

A great group of ladies, under the leadership of Laine Ardrey, are meeting on Tuesday mornings for a very meaningful time of fellowship and learning. In 2013, we enjoyed two studies by Priscilla Shirer – “Discerning the Voice of God” and “He Speaks to Me”.  On February 18th, we began Kay Arthur’s devotional study “Lord, I Want to Know You”. Ladies, join us if you can.


“Sweet Tea and Southern Grace”

We have an author among us in Glenda Manus. She recently published her first book, “Sweet Tea and Southern Grace,” with a wonderful story that centers around a small Southern town and a Presbyterian church.

Though the book is Christian fiction, the description of the sanctuary, a few of the events and some of the characters are very real to those of us living in Van Wyck.

We are so proud of you, Glenda!




Treasurer Report

Can you believe it!! 2013 is gone and we are gearing up for a great 2014 at Van Wyck Presbyterian Church.  Your support in making our church’s Stewardship Campaign a success is much appreciated and without commitments like yours, we could not go into the New Year with confidence that our ministry in the community could continue.  Let’s join in prayer that God will lead us through 2014 with energy and enthusiasm for shared ministry.

2013 General Fund Budget      = $126,855.00


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

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

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

4th Quarter (October – December)           =       40,542.85

Total Giving for 2013                                    =    124,531.68

Behind Adopted Budget                               =         2,323.32

Total Expenditures for 2013                         =     113,382.83


Expenditures UNDER Giving Amount     =  $    11,148.85


2013 Building Fund Outstanding Pledges  = $3,890.00

As of February 10, 2014, the principal loan balance is $53,077.70.  If you wish to give to the Building Fund, please indicate on your check “Building Fund”.


2013 Special Offerings

One Great Hour of Sharing              =   $    937.00

Mother’s Day Offering                      =         574.00

Dimes for Hunger                                             =      1,143.00


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



Check out the website for the calendar of events of our church and community.  Sunday morning worship service bulletins are now on-line.  Visit the website and click on the Sunday’s date or previous dates to read the bulletin on-line.

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