Stewardship in Action

 STEWARDSHIP  IN  ACTION

Van Wyck Presbyterian Church                Published Quarterly – January 2016 – Volume 23

“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—

                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 

Pastor’s Corner

Many of you know how much I love poetry. I recently received Mary Oliver’s newest book, “Felicity.” A podcast interview with Oliver revealed that she writes poetry as she listens to the stillness of nature. Her poem, “The Gift,” stands out to me most:

Be still, my soul, and steadfast.

Earth and heaven both are still watching

though time is draining from the clock

and your walk, that was confident and quick,

has become slow.

 

So, be slow if you must, but let

the heart still play its true part.

Love still as once you loved, deeply

and without patience. Let God and the world

now you are grateful.

That the gift has been given.

Our journey of faith is one that encourages us to find moments of stillness to search for whispers of God gift among us. One of the greatest gifts we have been given is God’s grace. Our hearts and minds are often touched by the full measure of God’s grace as we celebrate the coming of the Christ Child anew into the world. We certainly experienced that last month with the Lighting of the Way and our Christmas Eve candle light services. God’s grace breathes sighs of new life, new beginnings, and new hope into all of life’s impossibilities. But as the holidays fade and the barrenness of winter surrounds us, our walk becomes a little slower as Mary Oliver says.

Our souls begin to stir to find God’s grace in our times of need. Our souls long to find the full measure of God’s gift as we search for ways to face grief, healing, forgiveness, and worry. I encourage you to join me for the next five Sundays (January 10 – February 7) as we journey through Scripture to find glimpses of grace. Let us walk slowly to find and savor God’s great gift so that “the heart may still play its true part” – living in gratitude for all God has done, is doing, and will do in the future.

Let’s look for glimpses of grace this year so that we might grow in spirit, service, and number to be the body of Christ in a beautiful yet broken world.

Your Sister in Christ,

Carson

Christian Education

 

As the end of the year flew by, Christian Education had a few activities to end 2015.  We had a large group of kids and adults brave the Hall Farm corn maze in October.  We managed to bring everyone back out of the corn.  We had a great time.

The youth group had a good time going to see the movie “In to the Heart of the Sea” in December.

 

Please join us for Sunday School.  We have classes for all age ranges.

 

We will have our first ever Lock-in for the youth group (6th through 12th grade) on February 5th.  See Andrea Helms for details.

 

Save the date for Vacation Bible School.  All ages welcome including adults – June 3rd and 4th.  More details to follow.

 

–Stuart Graham, Chairman

Strengthening Spread Christmas Cheer

After experiencing a meaningful Advent Season at VWPC, we are beginning to settle into another New Year. 2016 is starting out to be an exciting year in the life of our church. We are thankful for God’s many blessings!

Many thanks to all of you who helped represent VWPC in the Christmas Parade. We handed out candy canes.

 

Our annual Valentine Party is being planned and pertinent information will be published in the weekly church bulletin.

 — Lynne Jones and Claudia Thompson,

            Co-Moderators

 

 

Betty Broome honored by Presbyterian Women

Presbyterian Women meets the third Monday each month at 10:00 a.m. for fellowship and a program from the Horizons Bible Study, “Come to the Waters.”

In September, new officers were installed by Pat Oglesby, our outgoing Moderator. Pat Oglesby was installed as District II Liaison at the Presbyterian Women Fall Gathering at Bethelwoods. On October 22, members and friends journeyed to Montreat, N.C., for a three-day retreat of fun, fellowship, and study, with a few tricks and tales thrown in.

In December, members beautifully decorated the sanctuary and the live Christmas tree, installed and lighted by the men of our church. Decorations were taken down and put away by the women and Jay Jones after Christmas. The members enjoyed a Christmas Brunch and meeting at the home of Annette Denton.

On December 20, the Presbyterian Women presented memorials to four past members who had collectively worked 115 years for the church. They were Annette Howell, Jean Lee, Louise Moore, and Ida Nisbet. Also, an Honorary Life Membership was presented to Betty Broome for her many contributions to the work of the church and Presbyterian Women. A reception followed the Worship Service for members and family members of the honorees.

Women’s Bible Study begins Gospel of John

The Tuesday Morning women’s bible study group meets at the church each Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m. to noon. The purpose of the group is in-depth study of the Bible and how the principles and traditions of our reformed faith apply to our daily lives. The leader/facilitator of the group is Laine Ardrey.

Our current study has just begun and is a study of the Gospel of John. Study books are available for $9 from Laine. We currently have 20+ women attending the study, many from our church and others who are friends of members or are residents of our community. The group is also a prayer group and seeks to support others through weekly petitions of prayer.

We would like to invite any women in our church or community to join this dynamic group. We are a safe, compassionate group of various ages who have grown closer to God through our studies and sharing laughter, understanding and life experiences with one another. If you have prayers concerns you would like addressed by the group, please contact Laine Ardrey. These will be kept confidential or anonymous. Following the group experience, there are usually plans for lunch decided on and attended by anyone interested.

 

Wireless Headsets Available for Worship

We are grateful to offer new wireless headsets and receivers for visitors and members who have hearing deficiencies. Our hope is for this new technology to allow everyone to fully participate in worship.

 

Simply ask an usher for a wireless headset, place the headset on your ears, turn on the receiver to an adjustable volume and experience God’s peace and presence in worship. Please do remember to turn off the receivers when not in use.

 

Many thanks to our Session elders for purchasing this needed technology.

 

Mission Team Helps Neighbors

Over the Holidays

The Mission Team has been busy over the holidays! We assembled and delivered three Thanksgiving baskets to some of our Van Wyck neighbors. Rosa Sansbury did all the shopping and the baskets included turkey, side items, and even dessert for their Thanksgiving meals! In God’s providence, the delivery team was greatly blessed as they were able to bless our neighbors with the baskets and even prayer with Carson!  

At Christmas, the team adopted an Indian Land family that included a single mother and three kids. Gifts were bought from a “wish list” for all family members, and Emily Helms and Claudia Thompson delivered the presents. Even though this endeavor was anonymous, the team was excited about and rewarded richly as God provided for both the giver and the recipient!  

Several of us will be going to the Red Bird Mission in the coal country of Kentucky in April. Please be in prayer for our week there, or maybe you’d be interested in going with us.

Please come to our next meeting. All are welcome to come check us out!

— Laine Ardrey, Mission Committee Chairwoman

“Love is a Verb” Collection for HOPE

 

We are collecting items in the Vaughan Room for the food pantry at HOPE in Lancaster through Sunday, January 31. Our goal is for each VWPC member and friend to purchase one item to help the hungry in our county.

 

The requested HOPE items include canned potatoes, canned tomatoes, canned meats, canned vegetables, cereal, jelly, dry beans, and pork and beans. Other foods that are accepted at food pantries – such as flour, sugar, grits, juice, soup, etc. – are welcomed.

This collection is part of our continued commitment to take action, making love a verb – an idea that we introduced in our “Next Chapter” Stewardship campaign in November. We are led by 1 John 3:18 that reads, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

 

— The Stewardship and Mission Committees

Stewardship looks back in thanks –

We’ve come a long way.

Betty Broome suggested we republish this newsletter entry, which was published in March 2007. The McSpadden Fellowship Hall is well used, much loved and paid off, as of last year!

We have so much to be thankful for. Here’s where it all began:

Growth and Opportunity

Session approves Social Hall addition

(Published March 2007)

 

In an exciting move, the Session approved a recommendation from the Building Campaign Committee to proceed with a first phase building project that would give Van Wyck Presbyterian Church a new Social Hall.

Though the building plans and approval from the Presbytery are not finalized, this step signifies the beginning of a building campaign for expansion of our facilities for our growing membership.

“Our church is alive and well and growing,” Rev. Randy McSpadden told members of the Building Campaign Committee. “Let’s step out in faith together.”

 The Building Campaign Committee voted at its February meeting to recommend the construction of an addition for a new Social Hall. That same night, the Session voted in favor of proceeding with constructing more fellowship space.

Plans from Architect Neil Brown of Garner & Brown Architects PA of Charlotte, which have not been approved, show a fellowship hall addition at the back of the church building with a new kitchen, bathrooms and storage room. The current Social Hall would remain untouched, while the current kitchen would be used for a hallway to get to the new fellowship area.

 The vision is to have twice as much space for Social Hall activities as well as a functional kitchen and food serving area.

 More details will be given as the first phase plans are finalized.

 — Julie Graham, Stewardship Chairwoman

Treasurer Report

 

2015 General Fund Budget                = $118,570.00

Week 52

1st Quarter (January – March)                =  $   24,603.55

2nd Quarter (April – June)                       =       35,191.27

3rd Quarter (July – September)              =       27,804.76

4th Quarter (October – December)         =       31,102.88

Total Amount Received at Week 52      =     118,702.46

Needed each week                                 =         2,280.00

Needed at Week 52                                =     118,570.00

Ahead Adopted Budget at Week 52      =             132.46

 

Looking back in 2015, many blessings were received by the Van Wyck Presbyterian Church. Just to name a few, the McSpadden Fellowship Hall loan was paid off; we welcomed our new minister Carson and her family; and we met our budget. 2016 proves to be an exciting year for our members and friends!

The Stewardship Committee and I thank you very much for your prayers and faithful financial support of Van Wyck Presbyterian Church.

In God’s Love,

Linda Vaughan

PLEDGE CARDS FOR 2016

It is not too late to turn in a pledge card. If you are not sure you turned one in, please see Treasurer Linda Vaughan. Cards are available on the narthex table and you can place it in the offering plate or give directly to Linda.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please accept our heart-felt gratitude for your sweet cards, gifts, and Christmas bonus. My family and I deeply appreciate the generosity of the families here at Van Wyck Presbyterian Church. We look forward to all that God has in store for us in this New Year of 2016!

With Thanks and Love,

Rev. Carson, Doug, Devon and Ashley Overstreet

 

 

 

 

Glimpses of Grace: A Sermon Series

We enter this New Year of 2016 trusting that a gift has been given to us. God’s gift of grace is beyond measure. It is a gift that guides us through our daily struggles into God’s possibilities. The next five weeks we will journey together to catch glimpses of God’s grace in the healing stories of the gospels. We will look for glimpses of God’s grace in the midst of our daily struggles of facing grief, healing, forgiveness, and worry.

Together we will respond to God’s grace in our time of need with an Intercession for Healing and Wholeness on February 7. Following the sermon, a prayer for healing will be given and all will be invited to come forward to receive a blessing and to be anointed with oil on the forehead in the shape of a cross (I promise it’s only a small amount of oil!).

January 10 –Glimpses of Grace in Grief: John 11: 28-35

January 17 – Glimpses of Grace in Healing: Mark 5: 25-34

January 24 –Glimpses of Grace in Forgiveness: Luke 15: 11-32

January 31 – Glimpses of Grace in Worry: Matthew 6: 25-34

February 7 Glimpses of Grace in Anointing: John 12: 1-8

Let us begin this New Year searching for glimpses of God’s grace among us.

Rev. Carson

As there were in Old Testament times elders for the government of the people, so the New Testament church provided persons with particular gifts to share in discernment of God’s Spirit and governance of God’s people… Ruling elders are named because they are chosen by the congregation to discern and measure its fidelity to the Word of God, and to strengthen and nurture its faith and life. Ruling elders, together with teaching elders, exercise leadership, government, spiritual discernment, and discipline and have responsibilities for the life of a congregation as well as the whole church, including ecumenical relationships. (Book of Order, G-2.0301).

 

Join us Sunday January 31 as we plan to ordain and install our Elder Class of 2018: Julia Willingham, Charles Moss (ordained), and Roy Sansbury (ordained). It will be a special day for certain!

 

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