Sunday Worship Calvary UCC Reading

March 29, 2020


Today’s Thought                                        April 1, 2020

There is a misunderstanding about the Bible that many people hold to be true, and I would like to deal with that today. There are a couple of places where Jesus says, “Whatever you ask in in my name, you will receive.” This appears most of the time in the Gospel of John, most famously in John 14. This is problematic because it leads people to believe that no matter what, God will give them the thing they desire. Ask it – receive it – done. This is a problem because all of us have had to deal with unanswered prayers. Whether it was for a job, a relationship, or the healing of a loved one who is ill – every person has asked God to make it right, and – let’s be honest – most of the time, it hasn’t happened. This is frustrating and demoralizing, and has led many to either lose faith, or fall into the “everything happens for a reason” trap. The idea that God is in control and responsible for everything is an idea I reject. Here is why.

Think about the Bible – the very first story in Genesis 2 is about free will. The story – and it is a story, not history – shows how God creates Adam and tells him to eat anything except for the fruit from one tree. Adam, like a toddler – or some adults – goes and disobeys. He and Eve are cast out of Eden for this act of rebellion. Did this happen as part of God’s plan? I would say no – Free Will is in operation at all times, and even though I believe God whispers in our ear, or nudges us, God does not control us or know the future. God is in the here and now with us, trying to guide our stubborn wills and, most of the time, failing. So, why does this matter?

Human beings can’t control everything – there is chaos and there are 7+ billion people using free will, so lots of people are bound to get hurt and lots of things we can’t anticipate are bound to happen. But we can – to a large extent – control ourselves. We can make good choices. We can choose to do everything in our power to be safe – to limit opportunities to get infected – to be healthy. We might still get sick, but we have been given Free Will so as to not make the mistake of thinking that God will fix our arrogant acts of defiance. There are always things out of our control, but we still have choice. To make it though this, we all have to make good choices. And wash our hands. Take care of yourself today.

Prayer – O God, we know that Your love is unlimited, but You expect us to do our part. Help us to make good choices and caring decisions, so that others might be well and we might be well. Amen.



CHURCH UPDATES



A WORD (OR TWO) FROM PASTOR STEVE
When I came to Calvary in 1999, I told the congregation that someday we would stop using paper for newsletters and deliver it by email and by posting it on our website. This is finally going to happen – now. If you don’t have email, we will send it in the mail, or if email doesn’t work for you, let us know, and we will mail it to you by snail mail. It is my hope that this accomplish a number of things:
1 – Save us money and the hassle of dealing with postal problems.
2 – Allow us to get the news to you faster and more often.
3 – Save some trees and help the environment.
Let us know what you think – we want you to be informed so that you can be more active in the life of the church. I look forward to your comments.

  • You may already know that we have ceased person to person activities at Calvary.
I have said all along that we would follow the lead of our State government, and have attached a link to the Governor’s decision.
https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/spl/pennsylvania-coronavirus-shutdown-statewide-governor-tom-wolf-20200316.html
So, we will not have Sunday activities, including worship, for the next 2 weeks, and will stay aware of the situation. We will have some meetings via the internet, and I will be working on a short Facetime worship on Sunday morning. I will send a link by email to everyone on this list – I urge you to share this via email with others – maybe those who don’t have a church or go to a church that isn’t able to do this yet.
We will have someone in the office every morning, and food will be distributed from 11-1 M-F. If you would like to volunteer during that time, please call the office. Thank you for your understanding.
Mostly, I want to let you know that I am available to talk, pray with you, commiserate about being alone – we are together in this.

  • + Holy Week + Services
Services will be posted on YouTube and a link will be sent out via email. We will have Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday services on-line.

  • Bible Study –
For those who would like to attend on-line bible study every month, a Zoom link will be provided for you to join on this website, by email and could be found on our monthly newsletter.

  • Easter Brunch –
Has been cancelled

  • Food Pantry Needs
Our Food Pantry has been very busy the last month. If you would like to donate, please call the office to make sure someone is in.
As always, your help is greatly appreciated!

**********************************************************

 

 

 

1/1 Louise, Grim                               7/24 Joan, Graeff    
1/2 Harold, Hamsher                        7/31 Ann, Kidd   
1/14 Joan, Hoge                               8/4 John, Master & Alan, Readinger
1/24 Shirley, Miller                            8/5 Patricia, Waltz    
1/27 Arthur, Grim                               8/7 Edwin, Guldin
1/28 Steven, Bennett                         8/15 Eleanor, Hill  
1/30 Margaret, Walter                        8/18 Jacqueline, Yeich    
1/31 Richard, Gilbert                          8/25 Patricia, Huyett    
2/4 Harrison, Rahn                             9/2 Jacqueline, Geiger     
2/11 Joyce, Covely & Anita, Matz       9/11 Patricia, Wolfe
2/13 Stella, Dunkleberger                    9/21 Ralph, Bailey
2/21 Emily, Hansen                              9/22 Elizabeth, Schaich
2/22 Doris, Rahn & Sandra, Angstadt  9/25 Geraldine, Zeiber
3/1 Larry, Strauss                                 10/5 Martin, Mohn Jr 
3/17 Gene, Waltz                                 10/8 Martha, Eubanks
3/22 Marcia, Reed                               10/9 Barbara, Kittrell 
3/25 Jack, Rothermel                          10/13 Thomas, Kidd 
3/28 Worthington, Fister      10/14 Elizabeth Geiger & Rosanne, Dell         
4/4 G. David, Schlegel                         10/17 Donald, Delp            
4/7 Margaret, Boyle                             10/20 Darlene, Cook 
4/12 Susan, Eckert                              11/4 John, Frymoyer
4/18 Elizabeth, Wolfe                          11/5 Nadine, Embree 
4/19 Dennis, Eubanks                         11/9 Phillip, Hall
4/26 Sharri, Northeimer                     11/10 Donna, Hall 
5/6 Gail, Sharman                              11/14 Judith, Masleh 
5/12 Jean, Gassert                              11/15 Sylvia, Andrulevich 
5/17 Jacqueline, Unger                      11/18 Nancy, Kuhlman 
                 &                                                           &
        Sylvia, Geise                                        Ann, Naugle
5/18 Iva, Weeast & Mildred, Berger       11/21 Jack, Gassert 
5/19 Russel S , Hummel                           11/25 Marilyn, Roth
5/20 Joseph, Andrulevich                        12/3 Margaret, Mohn
5/23 Catherine, Readinger                      12/4 Barbara, Master
                                                                                  &
                                                                        Kathleen, Bailey 
5/27 Milton, Embree                                12/5 Steven, Fisher
5/30 Deborah, Guldin                   12/6 Gloria, Delp & Louise, Fisher
6/7 Merlin, Conrad                                 12/11 Shirley, Batdorf
6/8 J.Sherry, Boone                                 12/20 Galen, Hill 
6/16 Dennis, Naugle                                12/21 John, Boyle
6/18 Larry, Rush                                     12/22 Sandra, Weidman
7/11 Betty, Corvaia                                 12/26 Francis, Deitrich   
7/21 Janet, Schlegel                                12/29 Shirley, Hamsher

 


Interfaith/Ecumenical Connections – We are a unique congregation when it comes to our work with others. We have welcomed 5 other congregations to nest in our building:
Path of Holiness (a Pentecostal Spanish Language Congregation)
All Soul’s (an Ecumenical Catholic Congregation)
Shalom 7th Day Adventists (Spanish Language)
In His Hands (a 12 Step gathering)
Iglesia Pentecostal El Neuvo (a Pentecostal Spanish Language Congregation