Note: The Annual Congregational Meeting will be this Sunday, February 12, at 10:00am, between the two services. During this meeting, we will also elect new officers for 2018.
This Sunday's gospel text is Matthew 5:21-37:
“You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire. So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
“Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.’ But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one."
Wow - there's an awful lot of stuff going on here, and to be blunt, Jesus' words are unsettling to many of us, and likely on several different fronts. Anger? Insult? And I mean, really, if I'm going to hell if I've ever called someone a fool, then I might as well just give up now and start shopping for asbestos underwear. And then we get Jesus' thoughts on divorce, and remarriage after a divorce. This is a teaching that strikes deep within both pew and pulpit alike. Frankly, it affects church attenders even more than the general public since, statistically speaking, we're slightly more likely to get divorced than is the public at large (in all fairness to us, that doesn't mean we're worse than the general public at making marriages work; it's more because church attenders are slightly more likely than non-churchgoers to get married to begin with).
As we think about Jesus' words here - and they are blunt, to be sure - it can be helpful to recognize that when Jesus uses the kind of extreme, over-the-top hyperbole as he's doing here, it should be a signal to us that the core issue underlying whatever he's talking about is a very important issue to him. That makes sense - aren't we ourselves likely to speak the most stridently about something that we're very passionate about?
Given that, I invite you to carefully read through Jesus' words again, at least momentarily setting aside any personal discomfort that you might feel in the words, and trying to get "underneath" the specific issues he mentions. Go ahead, re-read it; I'll wait for you...
...OK, are you back? Great. As you read that again, did you see any underlying commonality in these comments? Based on these warnings, what is it that Jesus seems to be driving at, that prompts him to speak so harshly, and that must be of such vital importance to God?
I'll offer some thoughts about that on Sunday. Hope to see you then.
Grace and peace,
Music This Week:
(please follow the links provided to hear these if you aren't familiar with them)
Gathering Song - Come, Now Is the Time to Worship
Opening Song - Come As You Are
Response - Hymn #654 In the Lord I'll Be Ever Thankful
Sermon Song - All Who Are Thirsty
Offering Music - Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies)
Communion Song - Hymn #530 One Bread, One Body
Sending Song - This Is Amazing Grace
Prelude - Here I Am, Lord
Opening Hymn #628 - Praise, I Will Praise You, Lord - According to the notes found in Glory to God, this song came out of a morning devotional for a group touring through the Alps. It was later incorporated into the programs and soon spread throughout Europe and the world as a favorite of many. Here's a link to an a capella version of the song. Can't you just imagine the simple beauty of this song carrying through the air at daybreak on some Alpine mountaintop?
Response Hymn #624 - I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art (stanza 3) - possibly the most Presbyterian of hymns, as it may - or then again, may not - have been written by John Calvin.
Anthem - Lord of Our Life
Sermon Hymn #693 - Though I May Speak - This short but beautiful hymn, set to a traditional English folk melody, first appeared in our 1990 hymnal and quickly became a much-loved favorite of many.
Response - Hymn #4 Holy God, We Praise Your Name (stanza 4)
Sending Hymn #320 - The Church of Christ in Every Age
Postlude - Spirit Song
Assisting in Worship This Week:
Greg Nickels (9:00)
Debbie Martin-Herrell (11:00)
Tim Hagan (9:00)
Mike Coomes (11:00)
Bernie & Becky Backert
Larry & Cathy Weishaar (9:00)
Ed & Nancy Lewis, Tim Banerjee, Dennis McNulty (11:00)
Lynne & Trent Browne (9:00)
Scottie Theiss, Frances Moore (11:00)
Sarah Abraham (9:00)
Donna Sheffer (11:00)
Notice of Annual Congregational Meeting and Meeting to Elect New Officers
Our annual congregational meeting will be held this Sunday, February 12th, at 10:00am - between the two services. At this same meeting, the congregation will elect new officers for 2018.
Kentucky Council of Churches Prayer in Action Days
Te KCC is sponsoring gatherings for prayer and social witness at the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort, 9:30 am, every Tuesday through March 14, 2017, regarding a particular topic/issue each week. Those gathered will pray for government officials to act on behalf of Kentucky's most vulnerable citizens. The next three Tuesdays:
2016 Giving Statements
Several members have already picked up your 2016 giving
statements but many have not. They are located in your mailbox! Please pick yours up today and save us the cost of mailing them.
Dementia Wise Family Caregiver Support Group
A support group can help people cope with their unique situation. This free support group will meet every Tuesday at Springdale Presbyterian Church for five weeks from 6 - 8 PM. The next meeting is February 14.
New Hot Topics Book Club (Fiction & Non-Fiction)
Hosted by Springdale Presbyterian, meetings begin Tuesday February 21 at 1 PM in the library and the 3rd Tuesday of each month thereafter. Please call 502-425-1760 to register. The first book we will read is The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.
NO SPIRITUAL NURTURE THIS WEEK because of the Annual Meeting
Childcare is provided during the Annual Meeting, at Grace Place in Rooms 204/208 on the main level, across from the Choir Room.
Children and Youth are encouraged to participate in the Annual Congregational Meeting. (Youth Worship Folders will have additional materials for elementary age
Second Sunday Youth TONIGHT 6:00-7:30 PM in the Youth Room. Supper is provided. Dwain will join us as we begin he conversation about what Springdale’s
ministry with youth can be. Bring your hopes, concerns and ideas.
Knitting for the Needy
A group of knitters have decided to get together the last Tuesday of each month from 1:00-3:00 PM to knit hats and mittens for kids and adults who are in need. These women are asking for yarn to be donated to this group. If you are able to donate yarn or would like to join them on their project, please call Terry Gillespie at 270-576-8398 or Frankie Moore at 615-512-2545.
Get your singing voices charged up and join a group who will go to the Forum at Brookside Senior Living facility in Middletown to sing hymns for residents, some of our own members are living there. This will take place February 17. See Allan Podbelsek.
Campfire Worship with Innova
Our friends at the Innova Worshiping Community have invited us to take part in their monthly “Campfire Worship,” a way to build community around the ancient practice of gathering around a fire which, over the years, has provided light, warmth, protection, a way to cook food, and a place to share stories. The event is scheduled for Sunday, February 19th, from 5-6pm, at Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve. Wrap up warm, bring your dogs, your family and friends, and let’s join our Innova friends for a time of fun, fellowship, warmth around the campfire, and s’mores.
The 2017 Card Care Ministry
Lists will be available in the Gathering Area before and after church. See Dayle Darby.
If you would like to sponsor flowers in recognition of a special person or event, there is now a sign up sheet in the Gathering Area. Please feel free to pick a date and sign your name. On the form, you can indicate whether the flowers are placed in memory of, in honor of, or in celebration of someone, or something. The flowers are yours to bring home following the 11:00am service. The cost is $35.00. Questions? Contact the church office, by phone at 425-1760, or by email at email@example.com.
Online, Direct Deposit, and Online/Mobile Giving
Options for financially supporting the church other than dropping something into the traditional offering plate are quickly becoming the norm for many people. In order to make your stewardship efforts as easy as possible, Springdale offers online giving on our website and automatic transfer of funds. For an authorization form or information, contact the church office - 425-1760. An even easier option is to simply set up a regularly scheduled automatic payment to the church, as you might do for your cable/internet service or other recurring charges, through your bank's online/mobile banking feature.
Support Springdale’s Mission by Supporting our Endowment Fund
The SPC Endowment Fund, currently valued at over $150,000, is maintained to provide for the ongoing upkeep of the church. In addition, an annual distribution is used for general purposes of the mission of the church that would not ordinarily be possible to accomplish through the regular offering. Please consider contributing to the Endowment Fund as part of your overall financial and/or estate planning. Gifts such as cash, appreciated securities, real estate and life insurance policies can provide you with immediate tax deductions. Other gifts can provide you with an income for life, and the residual value goes to the church. You may also want to consider a gift through your will or revocable trust, or naming the church as a beneficiary of your retirement assets or investment accounts. Please consult with your financial advisor for more information about these opportunities to support Christ's mission in the world.
NEXT WEEK’S SERVERS - February 19, 2017
Liturgist (9:00a): Sarah Locke (11:00a): Barbara McClain; Audio (9:00a): Trent Browne (11:00a): Loren Hincker; PP Presentation: Larry Weishaar; Prepare Slides: Jane Jones; Hosts: The Coomes Family; Ushers (9:00a): Jenny Pritchett, Stacey Webb; (11:00a): Rae Guernsey, Milt Tyree, Jane Jones, Leslie Carmichael; Greeters (9:00a): The Locke Family (11:00a): Marcia Jumblatt, Ruth Wilder; Welcome (9:00a): Dottie Willis (11:00a): Joy Cashman; Flowers: None
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