A WORD FROM THE PASTOR: Choose Your Path Wisely
The McCalla family has officially made the Great American Pilgrimage: we traveled to Mt. Rushmore—and lived to tell about it. It was the first time for everyone in our family except our matriarch, Rachelle, so there were plenty of oohs and aahs heard on our trip. We saw the faces, picked up a little sunburn, had our picture snapped by a friendly fellow-tourist, and used the restrooms at the famous national memorial before moving on to other points along our journey.
After a pleasant lunch in the village of Keystone, we decided to take a little drive and relax before we landed at Wind Cave to round out the day. So based on our maps, we chose the innocent-sounding US Highway 16A—also known by its more descriptive name, “Iron Mountain Road.” If you’ve ever done Mt. Rushmore, you probably know the one I’m talking about. The road twists and turns up and down the mountains and features hairpin turns and ram’s horns designed to give you that roller coaster sensation in your very own car. The occasional glimpses of Mt. Rushmore and the tunnels blasted through the rock were welcome delights. But the swaying, motion-sick sensation that afflicted everyone in our van were not so much welcome.
And here’s the catch: US 16A just keeps going and going and going. Once you commit to that route, you are stuck with it. You must drive it all the way to the end: dozens of twisting, restroom-less miles until you are able to exit to the flatter terrain of state highway 79.
Our experience on US 16A is a parable for life. To a large degree, we have choices of which paths we choose in life. We can’t pick our parents or our basic circumstances, but we can choose our friends, our spouses, our careers, and how hard we try in school or at work. And most importantly, we can choose how we treat others, how we respond to temptation and tragedy, and how we conduct ourselves in business and in family. We can even decide what we will do with the God who created the craggy mountains of western South Dakota and who sent his Son to rescue a wayward humanity.
But here’s the other catch: our choices—like those made on a family car trip—lead us directly to their inevitable consequences. Good or bad, our behavior produces certain, predictable outcomes. So we may find ourselves in an uncomfortable situation, and we may be tempted to cry out, “Why did you do this to me, God?” But I’m not so sure that God is always to blame for where our chosen paths lead us. The better question we should ask is, “What did I do to end up in this spot? And how I can I change course?”
The good news is that, unlike US 16A, God allows us to exit the road we’re on and to choose a different way. We can repent of our mistakes and try a new path, walking with Jesus. That doesn’t mean that we will always be able to escape the negative consequences of our choices, but we can always start a new direction with our forgiving God. So in car trips—and in life—let us always choose our paths wisely!
The Session will gather on Monday, August 27, at 7:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
SING TO THE LORD A NEW SONG!
Our congregation is organizing a choral ensemble for the fall! We will be having an organizational meeting and rehearsal on Sunday, August 12, at 9:00 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall. For more information, please contact Jim Curtiss (369-2188; email@example.com).
HAND BELL CHOIR RESUMES
The Presbyterian Pealers will resume rehearsal on Sunday, August 19, at 8:45 a.m.
High school youth: The Presbyterian Youth Triennium is coming next summer! July 16-20, 2013, at Purdue University. A group from Homestead Presbytery will be traveling out. Funding from our congregation and the presbytery is available to make this amazing experience affordable. Talk to Pastor Ray with any questions, and visit www.presbyterianyouthtriennium.org for all the details.
Church school classes will resume again the Sunday after Labor Day (September 9) at 9:00 a.m.! We will also have our Sundae Sunday celebration (featuring ice cream sundaes) after worship on that day. Thanks to all the teachers who help and to the students! It will be a great year!
CHURCH OFFICE HOURS
Starting Tuesday, September 4, we will resume our regular church office hours: Tuesday-Friday, 8:30-11:30 a.m. Please feel free to call and leave a message at 402-375-2669 or e-mail the church at firstname.lastname@example.org if you ever have any questions.
PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN & SEWING SOULS:
Will not be meeting during the month of August. We will start the new year of PW on Wednesday, September 5, at 6:00 pm with a potluck supper.
The Annual Tea was a big success! Over 90 women of all ages enjoyed hearing about fashions through the decades from Sue McClain. Following the program we enjoyed a variety of sandwiches and desserts. Thanks to everyone who came and to those who provided the wonderful treats.
Pastor Ray will be on vacation from 7/30 through 8/12. If you have a pastoral need, please contact the church office (375-2669; email@example.com) or Pastor Charity Potter from Wakefield (870-1059; firstname.lastname@example.org).
FPC AT THE MAJESTIC
Our church will again be volunteering at the Majestic Theater in Wayne August 23 – 26. It is anticipated that the movie will be The Bourne Legacy. Last year we had a great turnout of volunteers. Sign-up sheets will be available at the Opportunity Table in August. Please volunteer to help out the community and earn concession dividends for the church. We hope to see you there!
THE POAM/OWLS FALL CELEBRATION: A POTPOURRI OF FAITH:
The Presbyterian Older Adult Ministry & The Older, Wiser, Livelier Saints (OWLS) Celebration at Calvin Crest will be held September 18-19, 2012. This will be two fun-filled enlightening & spiritual days. Overnight accommodations and great food are included. Check at the church office for details or go online at www.calvincrest.org.
THE 15th ANNUAL BBQ & QUILT AUCTION
Will be held Saturday, August 25, at Calvin Crest. Quilts go on display at 10:00 am, followed by the BBQ lunch at 12:00 noon. The live quilt auction begins at 1:00pm. See our bulletin board for more details.
DEAR CHURCH FRIENDS: Thank you for your prayers for my mother during her illness, and for your thoughtfulness to our family at the time of her death. Your prayers and cards will always be remembered. Love, Audrey Harder & family
PLEASE PRAY FOR:
- Rick and Bonnie Lund;
- Rain and cooler weather;
- Those affected by fires, especially in Keya Paha county;
- Those affected by the shooting in Aurora, Colorado;
5th – The McElwains & The Paiges
12th – The Ras Family
19th – The Fuelberths & The Beesons
26th – The Peitz Family
2nd – The Pulfer Family
9th – The McCorkindale Family
16th – The Urbanec Family
23rd – J. Proett, P. Straight & Griesses
30th – The Armstrong Family
5th – Greg Worner
12th – Marilyn Yates
19th – Ken Liska
26th – Glenda McDonald
2nd – Jim Curtiss
9th – Kevin Peterson
16th – Luke Pulfer
23rd – Gail McCorkindale
30th – Karen Johnson
5th – Haley McElwain
12th – Aaron Ras
19th – Jacob Beair
26th – Solomon Peitz
2nd – Marta Pulfer
9th – Bradyn McCorkindale
16th – Maddie Urbanec
23th – Eleanor McCalla
30th – Bo Armstrong