Message from the Pastor, Saturday, July 29th, 2017

Back in the saddle again.” We drove past the church building yesterday, and it is still standing! I have been working on a report to give you about my Study Break. I learned much, saw, listened, and read about LCCP’s Presbyterian roots in Northern Ireland, and got to spend time with my Scotch-Irish Presbyterian relatives and new friends.

Tomorrow is going to be pretty exciting! Heidi Miller will tell us about the successful Art Camp held the first week in July. This will be followed by the congregation’s receiving six new members, and hearing their faith stories. No sermon from me (please don’t make that your reason for coming!).

I have been praying for a vision for LCCP this coming year. Last year my vision was a bee-hive: people coming in and out, using the building, activities, and services to grow spiritually. This year my vision is a heart: that we will be the heart for God that the Litchfield community needs. I pray that none of us will be “Tin Men” and that our church will not be a “Tin Man”. We care. We have heart. (Yes, we went to see the Wizard of Oz at the Palace Theatre.)
HOLY HUMOR

PRESBYTERIAN AIRLINES, INC.

If you are traveling soon, consider Presbyterian Air, the no-frills airline. You’re all in the same boat on Presbyterian Air, there is no First Class on any Presbyterian Air flight.  Flying Presbyterian Airlines is an uplifting experience.

Meals are potluck.  Rows 1-6, bring rolls, 7-15 bring a salad, 16-21 a main dish, and 22-30 a dessert.  Basses and tenors please sit together in the rear of the aircraft. Everyone is responsible for your own baggage. All fares are by freewill offering and the plane will not land until the budget is met.

Pay attention to your flight attendant, who will acquaint you with the safety system aboard this Presbyterian Air 666.  Loss of cabin pressure would probably indicate the Second Coming, and I wouldn’t bother with those little masks on the rubber tubes. You’re gonna have bigger things to worry about than that. Like whether you are going up or down.

In the event of a water landing, remember your baptism, and start saying the Lord’s Prayer. Just hope you get to the part about forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us, –some people say “debts,” which isn’t right, but what can you do?

The use of cell phones on the plane is strictly forbidden, not because they may interfere with the plane’s navigational system, no, it’s because if God meant you to use a cell phone, he would have put your mouth on the side of your head.

We’re going to start Coffee Hour right about noon and it’s buffet style with the coffee pot up front.  Then we’ll have the hymn sing…  hymnals in the seat pocket in front of you.  Don’t take yours with you when you go or I am going to be real upset and I am not kidding!

Right now I’ll say Grace…  “Come Lord Jesus be our guest and let these gifts to us be blest.  Father, Son and Holy Ghost, may we land at the airport or pretty close.  Amen.

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A church had a picnic and invited the entire community to come. The Pastor placed a basket full of apples on one end of a table with a sign saying, “Take only one apple please – Remember that God is watching.” On the other end of the table was a plate of cookies where one of the children had placed a sign saying, “Take all the cookies you want — God is watching the apples.”

Helen plays harp in Litchfield

A young lady, Helen, came and uplifted the hearts of all at Litchfield Community Church Presbyterian by playing a few songs on the harp at our Sunday, July 23rd service.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful gift of music.

Message from the Pastor, Friday, July 21st, 2017

“Hi, Honey, I’m home.” A beautiful day for flying 8 hours in the sky. A full plane with lots of children. Now to process, read, and pull together what I learned about the Irish roots of our Presbyterian church in Litchfield. Terms like Session, Teaching Elder, and Ruling Elder are the same. Their Book of Order is called The Code. Some things such as the times of their worship services are different. 11:00 or 11:30 so the farmers can finish milking.

Then there are the unexplainable differences such as the fact that even the oldest churches have multiple screens on their walls, and a projector system for hymn words and sermon points, whereas members of our church have wanted to stay traditional without these!

There is also the church clothes issue. Presbyterian men wore dress shirts, ties, and sport coats to church. (My farming cousin looked very handsome in them!) Roman Catholics go to church in t-shirts and jeans. The Roman Catholics say, “Those Presbyterians, all dressed up in their fine clothes, a sign of hypocrisy, covering their sins.” The Presbyterians say, “Those Roman Catholics, no respect for God. Their clothes show they don’t care about God and church.” The ministers are reversed: the priest wears an elaborate cassock and the Presbyterian minister dresses like the congregation.

Probably people have been making rules about clothes since the Garden of Eden, and many a church has tried hard to shove clothing rules into drawers of certain Bible verses, but let us not forget that God created us to be born naked!

“As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12

I am home finishing my Study Break this week, putting together the information gathered from interviews, conversations, first-hand experience, their daily newspapers, and published resources. Feel free to contact me if you have something urgent that needs tending.

We are looking forward to July 30 when 6 new members will be introduced to the congregation!

 

HOLY HUMOR

A little boy opened the big and old family Bible with fascination, and looked at the old pages as he turned them. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible, and he picked it up and looked at it closely. It was an old leaf from a tree that had been pressed in between the pages. “Momma, look what I found,” the boy called out. “What have you got there, dear?” his mother asked. With astonishment in the young boy’s voice, he answered: “I think it’s Adam’s suit!”

A man, down on his luck, went into a church which catered to the “uppity”. Spotting the man’s dirty clothes a deacon, worried about the church’s image, went to the man and asked him if he needed help. The man said, “I was praying and the Lord told me to come to this church.” The deacon suggested that the man go pray some more and possibly he might get a different answer. The next Sunday the man returned. The deacon asked, “Did you get a different answer?” The man replied, “Yes I did. I told the Lord that they don’t want me in this church and the Lord said, ‘Don’t worry about it son; I’ve been trying to get into that church for years and haven’t made it yet.”