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Watercolor painting by E. J. Kirsch

August 2018 Bulletin

Jul 27, 2018

Pastor’s Pen
Rev. Paul Copeland

Navigating Transitions with the Prophet Habakkuk

People often ask me why I’m drawn toward transition—as opposed to “real”—pastoral  ministry.   Perhaps the shortest answer is that I’m an opportunist.  I believe pastoral transitions present unique opportunities to plant or nurture seeds of church renewal.  Of course, they rarely seem that way to church members.  Instead, transitions tend to be seasons of increased anxiety about the future of the church.   Some folks use the time between settled pastors to rethink their commitments.  Congregational leaders can feel overwhelmed by the loose ends that seem to materialize in the “empty space” where the former pastor used to be.   And, just about everybody seems to have diminished expectations.   The transition is something to “get through”—a bit like driving across (or preferably flying over!) Kansas to get to the Colorado Rockies.

So for me, the first challenge of transition ministry is raising expectations.  This means helping people see this time with all its apparent uncertainty as an opportunity.  Ultimately it’s about helping people stay connected with the heart of their faith.  There’s no special message for times of transition--only the same Good News from and about God.  In fact, transition times are ultimately no more or less certain than times we regard as “normal.”   God is the only certainty of all our times.   As the writer to the Hebrews said, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb. 13:8) and again, (quoting the prophet Habakkuk—you all remember him, right?) “My righteous one will live by faith” (Heb. 10:38)   So, where is there room for diminished expectations?  

When we remember that this watchword of the gospel—“the righteous will live by faith”—comes to us from the prophet Habakkuk, we can begin to appreciate the potential opportunities of unlikely times.  The prophet prayed, "O Lord, I have heard of your renown, and I stand in awe of your work.  In our own time revive it; in our own time make it known; in wrath may you remember mercy."  (Hab. 3:2 NRSV, italics added) Habakkuk prayed for renewal in their own time--in this case, the years of moral and political decline that led to the Babylonian captivity in 586 B.C.  Judah could look back upon the fading power of King David’s dynasty and ahead to the glorious age when the Messiah would come, but right now they were in the "in-between-time" of God's judgment.  Wisdom, it might seem, would be to lay low and mark time.  But, Habakkuk saw even such unlikely days as a space when God could begin a work of renewal.

After nearly forty years in the ministry I am persuaded that all pastorates are transitions of sorts--interludes between a church's past and its future.  God willing, my time with you will be one of the shorter interludes.  But, in this unlikely space between your past and what you hope for in the future, the Holy Spirit challenges us to look in faith for the Lord's work of renewal.   In “our own time” God can let us see it! 
         
Grace and Peace,

Pastor Paul

 

Clerks Corner


At its July 9, 2018 regular meeting the Session:

 

  • Examined the financial summary prepared by treasurer Carol Gentry.  Expenditures are right on target.  The financial statements were approved by voice vote. Session members were encouraged to examine financial information submitted by the Board of Deacons.
  • Was informed of the repair and maintenance work by the Buildings and Grounds Committee and discussed the outsourcing of mowing and snow removal operations.  It also approved the donation of surplus outdoor benches to our next door neighbors of Faith Church.
  • Noted that the fall instruction curriculum for youngsters in our Congregation has been finalized. All teaching positions have been filled. With the exception of the Greek Study group there are currently no definite plans for adult education classes.
  • Approved a request for use of the Fellowship Memorial Hall on Friday, September 28, 2018, to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of John and Cathy Skene.
  • Was brought up to date on the current status for the continuing search of a successor to Pastor Horner.
  • Granted a request for use of the sanctuary to hold a memorial service on July 28, 2018 for Mark Leier, a longtime former visitor to Faith Church.
  • Engaged in a discussion on the tasks faced by Elders or Deacons when they assume the duties of their office, as set forth by the handbook and additions to it.


Set the next regular Session meeting for August 13, 2018.

Submitted by
J.M. Honig
Clerk of Session

 

Worship Information

August 5, 2018
Working for Food
Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15, John 6:24-35

August 12, 2018
Taught by God
1 Kings 19:1-8, John 6:35-45a

August 19, 2018
The Life of the World
Proverbs 9:1-10, John 6:45b-59

August 26, 2018
Coming to Faith
Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18, John 6:60-69

 

Birthdays

August     9   Donald Winship   
August    10   Anna Johnson
August    10   Everett Johnson
August    12   Shana Cress
August    13   Josephine Parker
August    13   Kari Clase
August    15   Miranda Bosler
August    17   Ann Freeman
August    18   Mayim Stith
August    21   Glenn Sparks
August    22   Andy Kirby
August    22   Lucy Elliott

 

Anniversaries

August     6   Josh & Jennifer White
August     8   Jerry & Emily Matthews
August     9   Morgan & Melissa Sparks
August    12   Jurgen & Jo Honig

 

Community Worship Services

Sunday, August 5
St. Mary’s Worship
2:30 p.m.

Sunday, August 12
Tippecanoe Villa
1:30 p.m.
Friendship House
3:00 p.m.

 

A heartfelt thank you to the greeters and
ushers for the month of July.

If you would like to volunteer to greet fellow worshippers, please contact Emily Matthews at 583-4111 or mattheer@purdue.edu.

Thanks for the consideration.

July     1     Rob & Holly Donaldson 

July      8    Gayle Weast & Olivia Wood

July    15    Dave & Kris Stith

July    22    The Saputo Family

July    29    Dennis & Nancy Dunn

For the Deacons,
Emily Matthews

 

Greeters for August

August    5     Dorothy Bethel & Nancy Linnemann

August  12    The Kucik Family

August  19    The Kain Family

August  26    The White Family

 

* Our turn to help out at the Tippecanoe County United Food Pantry is just around the corner.  We have been asked to work on Thursday, August 2nd from 3:45-6:15 p.m. and on Friday August 3rd from 11:45-3:00 p.m.  Three people are needed each day - please consider volunteering for this community service opportunity!  Call Marilyn Hinze 620-0056 or Ann Freeman with questions or to agree to help.

 

* Men’s breakfast Fridays, 7:30 a.m. at Christos New City Grill West Side. All men are invited to join us for food, fun, and fellowship. 

 

* L2 Single Ladies Group is planning to have lunch at the Village Pub at Westminster Village Monday, August 6th  at 11:30 a.m. All single women are invited to join our group. Questions?   Contact Jean McCoy.

 

* The Adult Choir practices start on Wednesday, August 15th at 6:30 pm.

 

* Sunday School classes for all ages begin Sunday, August 19!
Sunday School is a good opportunity for us to grow in our knowledge of
God, and to enjoy fellowship and to encourage each other in our faith.

Pre and School age Classes and their teachers:

Pre-School - Kindergarten - Sophia Bergmann & Betsy Wagner
Grades 1 - 4 - Carol Goodrich & Kris Stith
Grades 5 - 7 - SueAnne & Mike Bergmann
Grades 8 - 12 - Debbie Fleetham

  Adult Classes and their teachers:

Adult Class - Pastor Paul Copeland
Biblical Greek - Jurgen Honig

 

* Our Faith Presbyterian Mission of the Month for August is the Local Emergency Aid Program (LEAP).  This is our own outreach program to local residents who need a little assistance with utilities or rent. In June we were able to assist 24 families. We like to give each family a “ Goody Bag” every other month when “Goodies” are available.  This charity is run AT Faith Presbyterian by Faith Presbyterian members so it is your chance to help out neighbors and locals who have fallen on hard times. 

We are asking for donations of Shampoo, Toothpaste, Tooth Brushes, Soap and Toilet Paper (preferably 4 packs for ease of  distribution).

Questions? Please contact Dave Stith .

 

* Habitat 2019 Apostle Build — Faith will be participating in the Habitat Apostle build again in 2019. The cost of sponsorship ($65,000) for the house will be divided among the 12 churches meaning we are hoping to raise $5,400 toward the build.

If you would like to make a contribution, you can give it to Daniel Trinkle, or send it directly to Habitat for Humanity of Lafayette.  All contributions should be marked for "2019 Apostle Build."

Habitat is organizing a fundraising concert in September.  All proceeds will go toward the 2019 Apostle Build.  The concert will feature the Singing Contractors (www.thesingingcontractors.com) at Long Center on September 7th, 7:00 p.m.  Tickets will be available through the church office or Daniel Trinkle later in August.  We hope you can join us.

 

* Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I thank all  of you for the wonderful retirement dinner you gave to Diane and I, and our family and friends from out of town.

The program was wonderful and my thanks to Nancy Dunn, Barb Knox and Lou Ann Johnston.  I also thank Lou Ann for making the beautiful quilt and I thank all of you who signed it.  I also thank all of you who cooked, set up, and cleaned up.

Diane and I are also grateful for the large financial retirement gift from all of you.

My time as your Pastor was a high point in my life, and I look forward to seeing all of you again, sooner or later.

By the way, retirement is great and I highly recommend it for those of you who are not already in it.

Dave Horner