Presbytidings – April 2015
The Newsletter of First Presbyterian Church
216 West Third Street, Wayne, Nebraska 68787
(402) 375-2669 + www.fpcwayne.org
“Our chief end is to glorify and enjoy God forever.”
A WORD FROM THE PASTOR
On Facebook I follow a page called “Humans of New York” (or HONY for short). Basically, a photographer named Brandon wanders around New York City, looking for interesting people. He listens to their tales—sometimes sad, sometimes joyful, sometimes pathetic, sometimes heroic—he captures them in a photograph, and then he shares their stories on Facebook and on his blog. This past week, HONY followed the story of Omar Samra, an Egyptian adventurer and mountain climber. Omar is a member of the Highpointers Club, meaning he has climbed the highest mountain peaks on every continent. But sadly, Omar lost his wife, Marwa Fayed, two years ago, shortly after she gave birth to their daughter, Teela. Here is his description of the day he lost his wife:
“The birth went fine. Teela was born early so they took her and put her behind glass under a blue light. For the next few days, I went back and forth between Marwa’s room and the room where Teela was under the blue light. Eventually Marwa got better to the point where she could sit in a wheelchair, so I pushed her down the hall so she could meet our daughter. We all took a picture together. Later that afternoon we were preparing Marwa for a CT scan, and her sister was helping to take out her hair extensions. Suddenly Marwa sat up really fast, and she looked so scared, like she’d seen a ghost. She fell toward me and I took her in my arms and she started having a seizure. The doctors pulled me away and I started fighting with them, but they wheeled Marwa away to the ICU. They told me it would be fine, and I could go home, but I slept in the waiting room, and that night the doctor called my cellphone and said, ‘Come now.’ When I got to the ICU, they told me, ‘We lost her for a bit, and if she comes back now, we don’t know how much of her will come back.’ It didn’t feel real. It was like the movies. I was standing right over her and her heart rate monitor would go flat, and these two huge men would start hammering her in the chest, and she was so tiny, and her heart would beat for a couple more minutes and then it would go flat again. And then I heard the doctor say ‘Let’s give it one last try.’ And then I heard the doctor say ‘Time of death.’ And then he turned to me and said, ‘We’ll leave you here. Take all the time you need.’ And when they left me alone, I was like a madman. I didn’t know what to do. I started taking photos of her hands, and her feet, and I cut off bits of her hair. And when I walked out of the room I felt so empty. Like I was nothing.”
And although few of us have experienced exactly Omar’s circumstances, we have all lost loved ones. We can all sympathize with the feeling of having Death pull someone away from us, no matter how much we try to hold on. It’s a universal experience. But how we respond to Death is important, and it depends on our beliefs.
’m not sure of Omar Samra’s faith, but he said in a Facebook post, “When we deal with a loss so great, we have a choice. To give up on life or to fight.” And typical of his adventurer’s heart, he decided to fight: to battle against the darkness of despair and hopelessness. He chose to keep on living.
Thankfully, God himself has already fought on our behalf against the darkness. Jesus willingly embraced our suffering and our death when he was beaten and hanged on a cross. By dying a human death, God has fully identified with us: with our pain, with our struggle, with our darkness, with our sense of abandonment. And while that knowledge may not make everything magically better, it at least reminds us that Death no longer has the last word. It admonishes us that there is always, always, always hope.
But when Jesus died, it wasn’t just a passive acceptance of the inevitable. Like a crocodile pulling its unsuspecting prey into a death roll and drowning it, God lured Death to take the bait until he put Death itself to death. Like a python slowly squeezing the life out of its prey, Jesus took hold of Death and crushed the power out of it. And by rising from the grave, Jesus proved that Death could not hold him, and that he was victorious over all the powers of darkness and evil.
Omar Samra was correct: We all have a choice in life. We can choose despair and darkness when we meet our oldest enemy. Or we can choose to rely on the good news that Jesus has overcome Death on our behalf. I pray that we will all choose the latter, and that we will put our hope in God’s power revealed in the resurrection.
LENT AND EASTER SCHEDULE
Join our congregation as we follow Jesus to the cross and the empty tomb.
- April 2: Maundy Thursday service with Communion, 7:00pm
- April 5: Easter Brunch, 9:00am
- April 5: Easter Sunday worship with Communion, 10:00am
ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING
Since 1949 Presbyterians have joined with millions of other Christians through One Great Hour of Sharing to share God’s love with those in need. Your generous gifts assist those affected by natural disasters, provide food to the hungry, and assist in helping to empower the poor and oppressed. We will take up the One Great Hour of Sharing offering on both Palm & Easter Sundays.
We will celebrate the Lord’s Supper on Easter Sunday, April 5.
All are welcome to share in a fellowship brunch on Easter morning, Sunday, April 5, at 9:00am. A sign-up sheet is on the Opportunity Table for anyone who would like to provide food. Youth grades 7-12 are encouraged to be there at 8:55 to help bus tables and serve food.
NO CHURCH SCHOOL
There will be no church school on Easter Sunday. We will resume on April 12. The last day of church school will be May 10 (Mother’s Day).
- High School Youth: 4/1 & 4/15 from 7:30-8:30pm.
- High Youth: 4/8 & 4/22 from 7:30-8:30pm.
The Session will gather on Monday, April 27, at 7:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
Please help us decorate our sanctuary for Eastertide by bringing your Easter lilies and placing them on the chancel.
Presbyterian Women will meet on Wednesday, May 6, at 6:30pm. Judy Lindberg will lead the Bible study. Joyce Voyles will be the hostess.
The Sewing Souls will meet on Wednesday, April 15, at 6:30pm. Elaine Francis will be the hostess.
BROWN-BAG BIBLE STUDY
The Brown-Bag Bible study will meet on Wednesdays, April 15, 22, and 29, in the Goldenrod Room. We will not meet on April 8.
Our new directories are available on the Opportunity Table. Keep track of each other!
We will do our spring highway cleanup after worship on Sunday, April 26. Wear work cloths to worship! We will depart after worship to our stretch of Highway 35 (markers 33-35 east of Wayne). If we can get twenty people to help, the work will go very quickly. This is a great time for families to do a service project together. With plenty of help, this project takes less than one hour.
If you have younger children in your family (too young to be out on the highway), and they want to help—don’t despair! We will have an adult located at the church to watch the kids. Our current plan is to have them do their own cleanup project in our church yard. We look forward to your help on April 26! Thanks in advance.
Help us pack backpack bags for our Food Pantry’s Wayne Community Schools Backpack Program on Wednesday, April 30, at 7:00pm. We will meet in Fellowship Hall and stuff bags for children in our school district who don’t have enough to eat on the weekend. Anyone can come and help, but we would like to know how many in advance so we can set up the stations properly. Please sign-up on the Opportunity Table, or give us notice at firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks for your support!
MISSION GROUP’S DISASTER RELIEF WORK
Our church will be hosting a mission work group from Westminster Presbyterian church in Lincoln the week of April 20. They will be camping out in our church school rooms, showering at the Community Activity Center, and working in Pilger building houses during the day. They will be staying four nights with us: April 20-23. Please sign up at the Opportunity Table to provide an evening meal for the group at least one of the evenings. There will be about 12 adults staying here. Thank you for your hospitality!
As of March 29, our church has raised $26,450 for our sanctuary plaster repair project. Way to go! And thank you for your generosity! In the coming weeks, the session will be making final decisions about the bids that are being proposed to us, and, importantly, how we will pay for the work. We estimate that the project will cost in the neighborhood north of $65,000. So we will need to raise funds as well as tapping some of our existing funds. Thank you for your support and your patience as we do this project right. If you have questions, please contact our property team leaders, Russ Urbanec and Greg Worner.
EMPOWERED TO CONNECT CONFERENCE
The Empowered to Connect Conference is a two-day conference designed to help adoptive and foster parents, ministry leaders and professionals better understand how to connect with “children from hard places” in order to help them heal and become all that God desires for them to be. The conference will be held at Journey Christian Church, April 10-11, from 9:00-5:00. The conference is free. Pre-registrations are being taken at email@example.com or call them at (402) 375-4743.
PIPE ORGAN REDEDICATION
You are invited to join the congregation of the New Zion Presbyterian Church for the rededication of their 1931 Moller Pipe Organ on April 19, 2015 at 2:00pm. The church is located at 4th & Maple in Clarkson, Nebraska. A reception will follow the service.
GREAT PLAINS WEE KIRK CONFERENCE
This is a great opportunity to be inspired, motivated, encouraged and refreshed! Join other Presbyterians who understand the special needs and opportunities of small member congregations May 4th – May 6th at Calvin Crest. See the bulletin board in Fellowship Hall for more details or check out www.fellowship.community/weekirk
SERMONS ON THE WEB
Pastor Ray’s sermons can be heard on our Web site: www.fpcwayne.org/media.
WAYNE STATE COLLEGE TRIVIA NIGHT
Help support WSC Soccer, and join the fun! Saturday, April 25, at 6:30pm. The venue will be held at the Armory in Wayne. See the event on Facebook at Trivia Night 2015 or https://www.facebook.com/events/1527232764221573/
A NOTE FROM PAT STRAIGHT:
“Dear Ones—Thanks for your birthday greetings. You must have put out the word in church as many of my cards came from friends at church. Thank them for me. I really enjoyed getting them…Love to all, Pat.”
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First Presbyterian Church – Wayne, Nebraska
PLEASE PRAY FOR:
- The O’Leary Family
- Our community
- Our schools and teachers
- Our unchurched neighbors
- All who are battling cancer
- All who live in care centers
- Peace in the Middle East
- Persecuted Christians in Egypt, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, and North Korea
GREETERS – APRIL 2015
5th – The Peterson Family
12th – Ken & Jan Liska, Jim Lindau & Joyce Reeg
19th – Pat & Glenda McDonald, Scott & Lindsay McLaughlin
26th – Milton & Jackie Owens, Jim & Shari Paige
GREETERS – MAY 2015
3rd – The Peitz Family
10th – The Worner Family
17th – The Heese Family
24th – John & Ania Fuelberth, Phil & Jean Griess
LECTORS – APRIL 2015
5th – Milton Owens
12th – Sydney McCorkindale
19th – Tami Worner
26th – Mark Hammer
LECTORS – MAY 2015
3rd – Larry Heese
10th – Jodi Pulfer
17th – The Heese Family
24th – Karen Johnson
ACOLYTES – APRIL 2015
5th – Taytum Sweetland
12th – Ethan Wibben
19th – Henry McCalla
26th – Maria Ras
ACOLYTES – MAY 2015
3rd – Braydn McCorkindale
10th – Emily Worner
17th – Bralen Murphy
24th – Genevieve McCalla
April 2015 – First Presbyterian Church
| Each Sunday Morning:
o Handbell Choir 8:45
o Church School 9:00
o Worship 10:00
o Fellowship 11:00
6:30 Presbyterian Women
High School Youth
7:00 Maundy Thursday worship with communion
9:00 Easter Brunch
10:00 Easter Service with
3:45 & 6:00 Scout Den Meeting
Jr. High Youth
6:30 Sewing Souls
High School Youth
3:45 & 6:00 Scout Den Meeting
Jr. High School Youth
11:00 Highway Cleanup after worship
No Youth Group
7pm Backpack Packing Night
(Would you like to see your birthday listed here?
Just contact the church office 402-375-2669 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
1 Genevieve McCalla, Jorge Dunklau
4 Bev Beeson
6 Shari Dunklau
8 Andrew Pulfer
9 Kevin Armstrong
19 Taylor Racely
23 Jill O’Leary Scott
24 Gina McDonald
26 Phil Griess, Levi Heese
27 Stacey Alexander, Verianne McClain
29 Heidi Armstrong, Addie Murphy
30 Greg Bloom
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