November 2018


Genesis 4:1-16 contrasts two brothers: Cain and Abel. Clearly, the biblical author wants us to recognize that these two brothers are vastly different from each other. Nonetheless, they are still brothers—a point underscored numerous times (vv.1, 8, 9, 10,11).    
     
                            Abel:                                                   Cain:  
Name means: “breath, or vapor”

Name means: “acquire, or buy”

A keeper of sheep (v.4)

A tiller of fruit of the ground (v.3)

An offering of firstlings of his flock, their fat portions (v.4)

An offering of the fruit of the ground (v.3)

The LORD had regard for Abel and his offering (v.4)

The LORD had no regard for Cain and his offering (v.5)

Abel is killed by his brother (v.8)

Cain killed his brother (v.8)

      Many interpretations of Genesis 4:1-6 tend to speculate on one brother’s offering over and against the other’s sacrifice. However, with the brevity of the description of the two sacrifices and the general lack of information, each of the brothers’ disposition and intention behind their respective offerings amounts to an “incidental report of the first sacrifice.”[1]  
                 Instead of wandering through such a speculative rabbit trail I find myself drawn to Cain’s famous response to the LORD, “Am I my brother’s keeper” (v.10)? The knee-jerk response often given from the pulpit and Sunday school teachers is usually a resounding “Yes!”. I suspect there is an old sermon manuscript on my computer’s hard drive with me proclaiming the same. However, in the Hebrew the correct answer to Cain’s question is “No, you are not your brother’s keeper.” W. Sibley Towner argues, “No is the usual response in the Hebrew Bible to a positively stated rhetorical question.”[2]  Read more…


Block 20

 

Block 20

  1. Mabel C McEwen (Mabel Case McEwen; b ~1883, d 5/13/1933, daughter of George V & Eva Winchester Case; married George B McEwen 6/26/1906; mother of Clarence & Earl; sister of H Burton Case)
  2. Mrs Sara Tredo (Sara Neill Tredo, b 12-16-1883; died 7/20/1965; married William Bert Tredo 11-16-1916 in Westfield; daughter of Robert & Elizabeth Galloway Tredo; sister of Robert, Elizabeth, Nellie, Maggie & Clara; no children)
  3. Mrs Emma McCartey (Emma Jennie Pomeroy McCartey, b 9/1861; joined 10/1/1922; married James F McCartey in 1881; mother of Florence, Ethel & Alice; daughter of Luther & Harriet Pomeroy, sister of Rebecca Pomeroy)
  4. Mrs Mabel Herbst (Mabel H Peterson Herbst Fairbanks; b 8/12/1890, d 9/25/1964, married 1st – Paul F Herbst; married 2nd – Guy Fairbanks, mother of Boyd Ferdinand Herbst, Earl, Darwin & Lylas; daughter of xxx Peterson)
  5. Mrs Charles McEwen (Mary McEwen, b?, d 1/14/1945, Wife of Charles McEwen, mother of George & Ethel)
  6. Cora E Ottaway (b 4/8/1863, d 5/7/1941; daughter of John Edwin & Sarah Hosmer Boorman Ottaway; never married; sister of Osmer Arthur , Susan, Fred)
  7. Mrs E L Jones [no information found] Read more…


Easter Letter 2018

 
 
Let the church with gladness hymns of triumph sing, for our Lord now liveth; death has lost its sting.”
–Edmond L. Budry, in Thine Be the Glory
 

Greetings,

The tomb was empty; the body was gone. In the wonderful book The Undoing of Death author Fleming Rutledge announces, “all four Gospels report this [faith claim.]” There are many discrepancies between the gospels; Luke tells of Jesus’ birth in the small town of Bethlehem, Mark offers no birth narrative. In the gospel of Matthew Jesus helplessly laments on the cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me” (Matthew 27:46)  but in the gospel of John Jesus fully in control offers stage directions to his mother and the disciple whom he loved from the cross saying, “Dear woman, here is your son, here is your mother” (John 19:27). Nonetheless, among the beautiful and rich variety contained among the gospel all state emphatically, the tomb was empty; the body was gone.

Read more…



Christmas Letter 2017

 

For nothing will be impossible with God.”

 (Luke 1:37)

 

In his Advent devotional, Why This Jubliee? James Howell remarks, “God comes to people who aren’t seeking God at that moment.” This holds true for Mary living in Nazareth two-thousand years ago. Mary’s story has played in the lives of women and men since the dawn of creation of two people “pledged to be married” (Luke 1:26). So far, there is nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, we have a handful of upcoming weddings already on the church calendar for the coming year.

This marks Howell’s words as notable, “God comes to people who aren’t seeking God at that moment.” As a society we spend little time “seeking God” during the Advent season. Much of our time is trying to find that “holiday spirit” through movies, music, and Christmas parties. Dragging out the years of accumulated decorations we beautify our homes and our church. We do our part of driving around town admiring the Christmas lights, baking and eating sweets, or trying to decide which gift to buy for a difficult relative. The moments pile up like a snow drift; Christmas comes and goes, and the next thing we know we are dragging, as are our neighbors, the tree to the curb.

It is refreshing to know that “God comes to people who aren’t seeking God at the moment.” This is what happens to Mary who is doing the typical things to prepare for a first Century Jewish wedding in Galilee. God comes to Mary through the angel Gabriel, she is “greatly troubled” by the angel’s announcement:

Don’t be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end (Luke 1:30-33).

Mary questions, “How will this be” (1:34)?  After all, she never submitted a multipage resume of her spiritual accomplishments or a curriculum vitae (C.V.). Mary doesn’t exactly apply for the job the angel handed to her. It’s the question that we all must ask. How is it that we bear not just a child but this child? God chooses the unlikely, a virgin to give birth to Jesus. God chooses unlikely people today “who aren’t seeking God at the moment.” The angel answers Mary’s deep question with a profound response,

The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God…For nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:35;37).

 

This Advent and Christmas seasons, it is my prayer that you encounter the God who throughout history has made the impossible possible: uttering the world into existence, granting a child to an elderly and barren couple, parting the Red Sea, calming stormy seas, healing the sick, and raising Jesus from the dead nearly two-thousand years ago on that first Easter, to filling the church with the gift of the Holy Spirit. In your disbelief or shock may you respond in obedient faith as Mary who made herself available to the God who makes the impossible possible, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38).

Blessings,

 

Nicholas Perry, Pastor

 

Advent Schedule

December 10 – 2nd Sunday of Advent

7pm – Bible Study

5:30 pm – Evening Family Worship

                                  

December 17 – 3rd Sunday of Advent

Children will sing during 10:45 Service

5:30 pm – Evening Family Worship

7pm – Bible Study

                                  

December 24 – 4th Sunday of Advent – Cantata

Combined 10 am service (No Sunday School)

December 24 – 7pm Candle light Service

NO – 5:30 pm – Evening Family Worship

                                  

Christmas Week

Office closed December 25

Open 9 -3 on Dec 26

Open 9 – noon on December 27, 28, 29

December 31 – combined 10 am Fireside Service (No Sunday School)

NO – 5:30 pm – Evening Family Worship

All 2017 giving is due by Sunday, December 31

                                  

Office closed January 1, 2018