From Pastor Jane Stewardship and Buttons of Grace by wpr1947


									                               The Park Press — October/Novem ber 2009
                    A Publication of Park Presbyterian Church — “Tending God’s Garden”

                     From Pastor Jane

                            Stewardship and Buttons of Grace
    An ingenious High School counselor sent me to a 9th grade sewing class, at her peril. I was
an interesting 9th grader destined for a particular direction if I had things my way. As I stormed
out of her office and away from her immoveable resistance to my plans I warned her that I
would be seeing her soon with my "drop" slip. My long suffering teacher along with the sewing
machine I sat before offered that which undermines all fortitude: grace. Working together they
both, human and machine, taught me to master control and direct energy and strength. I never
did see my wise High School counselor again, though I think of her every time I sit before my
faithful sewing machine. I made my own clothes for years and years and discovered a peace in
the process and an abiding peace in the Lord God who creates sustaining life everyday, just as
easily as a seamstress generates creations to wear or use.

    As a young adult learning stewardship and faithfulness I continued making my clothes and
added regular tithing to my call to discipleship. I remember well the first year I made a pledge
for a year of tithing based on a shaky income. That year I modified my goals and thoroughly
enjoyed watching the unexpected happen: there was always enough to make my pledged tithe;
until . . . until I made a new outfit out of fabric I had saved for this one purpose. I had all that I
needed until . . . until I realized I didn't have enough buttons; I needed 7 of the same buttons.
About the time I realized I didn't have enough buttons my tithe was due. I was young, God was
understanding, and grace was assured, so why would God care if I just bought buttons this week
and caught up with my tithe another week. But somehow I cared deeply. So I made my pledged
tithe, did without those buttons and stared at the incomplete project. It was a lovely pale green
and it seemed content to wait for me.

    What actually transpired to cause the extra money to come my way is lost to me. I just
remember my complete surprise at having exactly the amount I needed to purchase the buttons I
was hoping for. To this day I remember those buttons, simple though they were they represent to
me the beauty of stewardship: unexpected
surprises. In my mind God gave me those
buttons. They were not a reward for waiting or      Stewardship is not something we do for
a particular blessing earned. They were buttons     God or for the church. Stewardship is
of grace: an unexpected surprise.                   something we do for ourselves.

Participating in something bigger than
ourselves allows us to have a far greater reach and to benefit from unexpected blessings, like
buttons of grace. This experience caused in me a recovery of gratitude, a recovery of patient
waiting, a recovery of tangible faithfulness. I was so grateful to have those buttons, to finish that
sewing project and to tell others of my buttons of grace. I had participated in something larger
than myself.

   Participation in something larger than ourselves frees us from the myth of control: we
control all that happens to us.
                                       The Park Press — October/Novem ber 2009
                            A Publication of Park Presbyterian Church — “Tending God’s Garden”

          Stewardship is participation: all that you are and all that you have is blessed by God's
                 Spirit working in our lives.
          Stewardship is both an assurance: seeing God at work in our midst, desiring to see God
                 more at work in our midst.
          Stewardship is personal: I would like to be involved in God's work in our midst.
          Stewardship is a risk: God at work in our midst may not look like what I expected.
          Stewardship is a recovery of gratitude: giving God thanks for the beauty of ministry.
          Stewardship is a journey: a journey of discipleship, leaning on God, trusting God, and
                confidence God is working in and through each one of us.

       CHRISTIAN EDUCATION CONTINUED :                           mornings to read and talk through the lectionary
          Elders: Sue Arkels (Ch), Beth Berosek                  texts. We will consider the texts set for the previous
                                                                 week—and so talk about what the preacher could
WHAT THE PREACHER COULD HAVE SAID :                              have said. We will also preview the texts for the
NEW SUNDAY MORNING ADULT STUDY GROUP                             present week—and so have a chance to consider
The Common Lectionary provides four readings                     what the preacher should be thinking about for the
from Scripture every Sunday: 1) Old Testament, 2)                sermon of the day. Full title for the new group:
Psalms, 3) Epistle (including Acts and Revelation)               What the Preacher Could Have Said and/or Should
and 4) Gospel. The preacher of the day may wish                  Be Thinking. Look forward to seeing you there,
to have all four texts read or, possibly for reasons             and to hearing your thoughts on the lectionary
relating to the theme of the sermon or flow of the               readings and where they might have taken/will take
service, the preacher may decide to use only a few               the preacher.
of the texts. On some Sundays, the four readings                 David Esterline
appear to fit together quite nicely, with a clear
theme running through them. On other Sundays,
the preacher (and congregation) might well wonder
how the set texts relate to each other at all.
This past Sunday (September 20) you might have
noticed that the text from James had several things
to say about the main theme of the sermon, but I
didn’t mention the James reading at all, preferring
to concentrate on the gospel text. You may also
have noticed that we had a reading from Psalms,                  Come, enjoy all we have to offer each other:
but no other reading from the Old Testament. Were                9:00 a.m... . . . . . Parenting and Beyond in room B4
these good choices? Yes or no, it is clear that I, the           9:00 a.m... Seekers Bible Study led by David Esterline
preacher, could have said a number of different                  9:00 a.m... . . . Godly Play for PreK-6 in Park Place
things, or even taken the sermon in a completely                 11:45am. . . . . . . . 7th - 12th Grade in Youth Room
different direction, based on readings set by the
lectionary for the day.                                          10:30 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Worship Service

Beginning in October, we (including the Seekers
and anyone interested) will meet at 9am on Sunday

                                       The Park Press — October/Novem ber 2009
                            A Publication of Park Presbyterian Church — “Tending God’s Garden”

                 WORSHIP & MUSIC                                 neighbors. Carry-outs will be available. If you
       Elders: Suzanne Finefield (Ch), Peggy Goerne              wish to help with a donation or serving, please
                                                                 contact a committee member.
We hope to see all of our regular members, along                 Member Care committee is planning a Salad
with anyone wishing to join us. Questions?                       Luncheon on November 3, 2009 in Park Place. The
Contact Terri McTaggart at 815-433-6034.                         menu will include sandwiches, salads, desserts and
                                                                 drink. Serving time will be 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.
                                                                 The cost will be $5.00 per person with carry outs
                    MEMBER CARE                                  available for $6.00.
           Elders: Joan Long(Ch), Beth Loving
                                                                 All members are encouraged to donate either a
                                                                 salad or a dessert. More information will be
                         WATERS OF BAPTISM                       available closer to the event.
                         Addison Irving
                         Daughter of Nicole Wilson &             If you enjoyed last year’s luncheon, plan to join us
                         Chad Irving                             again for this delicious event. Bring a friend.

The J.O.Y. Senior Group Schedule:
10/21 11:00 a.m. Alzheimer's / Kelly Klobucher                   MORNING STAR QUILTERS
       11:30 light meal                                          Morning Star Quilters meet from 9-11 on the first
11/18 TBA                                                        and third Saturday of each month. From time to
12/16 11:00 a.m. Sing-A-Long at 702 E Broadway                   time the schedule may vary so be sure to check for
The J.O.Y. Senior Group will sponsor "Light Up                   an e-mail message of any date changes. You may
Streator Marketplace" on Saturday, Nov 28th from                 direct any questions to Judy (672-4611) or Helen
11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Park Place. There are (26)             (249-6677).
twenty-six booths available in the main room for a
usage fee of $25.00 per booth (with one table, two
chairs, additional table $10 ea. [maximum two                                   MISSION & STEWARDSHIP
                                                                           Elders: Janice Hart (Ch.), Andrew Downey
tables per booth]. Anyone interested in reserving a
booth, may contact Karyn (815-672-9411).

Park Church Member Care committee will again
host the annual Spud Luncheon on Sunday,
October 18, 2009 in conjunction with Relay for                   S UNDAY, N OVEMBER 1st, a big event will be
Life’s Music for A Cure. Following church                        held at Park Church. At 11:30 AM, after the
everyone is invited to Park Place for baked                      service, we are inviting and encouraging the
potatoes with lots of toppings such as cheese,                   congregation to come to Smith Hall to see the
broccoli, chili and more!                                        displays prepared by our committees and groups.
                                                                 They will be showing us what each committee and
Drink and dessert are included and the only charge               group does. We also encourage you to invite friends
is a free-will offering. Serving will be from 11:30              to visit that day. This event reminds us of all the
am until 1:30 pm, just in time to get to the concert.            good things that are going on around Park. There
Be sure to spread the word to friends, family and                will be refreshments and lots of fun.

                                      The Park Press — October/Novem ber 2009
                           A Publication of Park Presbyterian Church — “Tending God’s Garden”

The groups preparing displays are: Evangelism,                  One who believes in the good soil of my soul
Finance, Member Care, Music and Worship,                        saying to me, You are enough! Poor, little, broken,
Christian Education, Properties, Mission and                    sinful, wounded! Joyful and sorrowful! You are
Stewardship, Deacons, JOY Group, Historical                     enough! Compassionate, idealistic, fearful!
Committee, Choir, Food Ministry, Relay for Life,                Restless, seeking, anxious! You are enough. Go
and Morningstar Quilters.                                       simply, then, dancing the gift of yourself into my
                                                                world. Take nothing on your journey. You are
We will see you in Smith Hall and the Fellowship                enough! You are loved! You are the beloved."
Chapel immediately after church November 1st!
                                                                (Marcrina Wiederkehr, "You are Enough" in The Song of the

                        d                                       Seed, pp. 58-59)

A message from Mission/Stewardship Committee.
With fall upon us, you will soon be hearing about
all the wonderful things going on at Park Church in
connection with the Fall Stewardship Renewal.
                                                                EQUAL EXCHANGE COFFEE ORDERS
You will be receiving two letters in October. The               The past few years Mission/ Stewardship
first letter will come in mid-October. The second               Committee has made available coffee and chocolate
letter, arriving later in October, will contain your            products from "Equal Exchange", a co-op to help
pledge card. Please read these carefully.                       farmers in many countries sell their products
                                                                directly to customers, rather than facing the high
Pledge Sunday is on November 8th. You are                       profits made by "middlemen". Orders will be
asked to return your pledge card on or before                   taken on November 15th and 22nd. The orders will
Sunday, November 8th. With our new leadership at                be delivered in plenty of time for Christmas, so
Park Church, will you consider increasing your                  have your Christmas giving list include these
pledge and your donated time to help Park Church                delicious products. We will see you by the coffee
continue to serve the needs of our church, our                  pot ready to take your orders.
mission work, and our Deacons' projects, as well
as many other areas of concern??
Plan to attend “WE ARE Park Church” in Smith                                           FINANCE
                                                                       Elders: Bruce Harbert (Ch), Betty Brassfield
Hall on November 1st.
                                                                FINANCE UPDATE AS OF AUGUST 31, 2009
                                                                2009 Pledges ($139,646). . . . . . . . . . . . . $78,418.32
                                                                2009 Per Capita @ $34.34 ($4,000) .. . . . $3,551.86
Marcrina Wiederkehr
                                                                2009 Power of One ($3,400) .. . . . . . . . . . $2,254.74
wrote "You are Enough", a
                                                                            2009 Per Capita — $34.34
testimony on offering ourselves as                                     Please remember Park Church in your Will,
stewardship to God:                                                                 Trust, or IRA.
"A scripture passage found me and has been a help
in my struggle. It is the text of Philippians 4:11: ".                                   d
I have learned to be content with whatever I have."
Though this Word of God has not yet become a                    RELAY FOR LIFE -
reality in my life, I often allow those words to                Join us on Sunday, October 18th at 2 PM for our
move through me, singing up the country of my                   5th Annual MUSIC FOR A CURE Concert.
heart. Repetition is good for the soul. I am                    Returning as performers this year are, Sharon
reminded again of that text as I hear the words of              Loudon on the organ, Alison Coyer on the hammer
Jesus, "Take nothing on your journey." As feelings              dulcimer, Ricardo Dittmer vocal, young Alivea
of fear and resistance stir in my heart, the seed of            Cline on the Violin as well as the fiddle, the voice
this Word of God cracks open. I hear the song of                of Lauri Driscoll from Ottawa, Nancy Mueller on

                                     The Park Press — October/Novem ber 2009
                          A Publication of Park Presbyterian Church — “Tending God’s Garden”

the piano, the young voice of Andie San Gabriel,                      OUR CHURCH WEBSITE IS A MINISTRY .
as well as Kathy Tombaugh.                                       
Debbie Cassady and Suzanne Taylor will be                      Our church website is more than a few pages of text
returning this year doing a duet, Jenny Berosek                and graphics on the Internet; it is more than an
will add her vocal talents, Jonathan Berosek and               electronic church bulletin. A good church website
his harmony group from College will help round                 can touch people's lives and minister to people that
out the selections. Tickets will be available at the           our church may not be able to contact by other
Park Church office, Flowers Plus and at the door               means. People exploring new churches will begin
for $10.00 per person. All proceeds will benefit               with the website.
Relay For Life, the signature event of the
American Cancer Society. For more information                  A church website should live and grow with the
call Karen @ 815/252-2091 or                                   church. It is never finished; something new will                                    always be added. The calendar is updated
                                                               frequently; photos are added so people get a sense
                                                               of the activities. Articles change on a regular basis
                                                               to show new ministries and ventures.
                                                               The website is part of our outreach, teaching, and
                                                               support ministries and enhances our ministries by
             PARK CHURCH TO HOST                               showing how inviting, informative, and
     C OMMUNITY T HANKSGIVING D INNER                          encouraging we are as a church.
           N OVEMBER 26 TH AT N OON
The Streator Area Community Thanksgiving
Dinner will be hosted by our church this year in
Park Place. We will be joined by the Streator
Ministerial Association and many volunteers from
around our area to provide a full turkey dinner with
stuffing, mashed and sweet potatoes, green beans,
assorted salads, desserts, and beverages.
This meal is provided for anyone who may
otherwise be alone on Thanksgiving Day. Meals
will be available for carry-outs or dine in. All
churches in the Streator area will be contributing
pies, vegetables, and salads to round out the meal.
Though every church will send volunteers to this
community meal, Park Church will need extra
volunteers to help coordinate the set up, serving,             Special dates
and clean up on November 26. Dinner will be                    • World Communion Sunday, October 4, 2009
served at noon. This is a special ministry to our              • Columbus Day Observance, October 12, 2009
community and a wonderful opportunity to share                 • Reformation Sunday, October 25, 2009
the love of Christ with many. Please call the                  • Reformation Day, October 31, 2009
church office to volunteer to help by donating food            • All Saints’ Day, November 1, 2009
or donating time to set up, serve, or clean up.                • Daylight-Saving Time ends, November 1, 2009
                                                               • Veterans Day, November 11, 2009
                                                               • Christ the King Sunday, November 22, 2009
                       d                                       • Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2009
                                                               • National Bible Week, November 22-29, 2009
                                                               • First Sunday of Advent, November 29, 2009


To top