Newsletter- Tidings

Elk Grove Presbyterian Church

Striving as Christians to make a difference in the world by serving God and all God’s children through our faith, words, and actions

New Year’s Resolutions

Will you make any resolutions for 2019?   Some people are very enthusiastic about committing to a fresh start each year, while others are too busy to think about making changes.  Yet for many, the thought of another year of failing to keep their resolutions keeps them from making any.

No matter which one of these categories you fall into, there’s one lesson we should all try to learn in 2019.  No doubt we will all face challenges and decisions and we won’t know exactly what to do. 

Well, we have two possible directions we can take, we can either go our way or God’s way.  If we want to live in a manner that pleases the Lord and brings us His blessings, we need to learn to follow God’s path instead of our own.

The choice should be obvious, right?  In theory it’s the desire of every Christian to follow God.  Yet our natural impulses and reasoning are sometimes so strong that we forget about God and plow ahead without giving Him a second thought!

Consider what God can do in your life if you follow His path.  Proverbs 3:5 tells us to trust in the Lord and not on our own understanding.  He has provided us with commandments, principles and examples of how to live in His way.  We also have direct access to God through prayer and we have the Holy Spirit to guide us.  If we rely on these resources, He will direct our steps, give us the patience to wait for His timing and provide us with what we need to accomplish His purposes. 

Although our New Year’s resolutions may quickly go down the drain, God’s plans never fail.  If we make it our 2019 goal to learn to walk in His way rather than our own, we may be pleasantly surprised! 

There is no better time than now to surrender to God’s way.

Have a Blessed New Year!

Helen

 

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for the various ways you gifted me in the last weeks of my time with you.  The Potluck Lunch was delightful and the memory box was priceless, as the box itself is beautiful and the thoughts held within warm my heart.  I thank you for the bouquets of flowers that greeted me each Sunday morning during my last month and I thank you for the numerous individual gifts you bestowed upon me.  I continue to hold you in my heart, thoughts, and prayers.  As Christmas grows ever closer, may you be blessed with the joy and the truth of God’s gift of love and light.

Holy Day Blessings,

Lynne

 

Pastoral Care

Spread the Good News!!

It is with great excitement and hope that we let you know that session has approved and Rev. Barbara Gorsky has accepted to be our Stated Supply Pastor beginning January 6th.  We are blessed to have such a faithful and gifted individual.  Most of us know her as she has often filled in on Sundays when Rev. Lynne was on vacation.  Most recently she officiated at Gil Wishon’s memorial service.  She has often said that when she comes to our church, she feels like she has come home.  And now we can welcome her to her new home as our Pastor!  

Reverend Barbara Gorsky received her MDiv from McCormick Theological Seminary and most recently her Doctor of Ministry Degree from Columbia Theological Seminary with an emphasis on Christian Spirituality. She became an ordained minister more than twelve years ago, beginning as a chaplain, learning about grief and loss, serving as an interim pastor, providing transitional leadership, and becoming a Spiritual Director through her Doctoral work. She has also been developing management and leadership skills while serving as the Moderator of the Commission on Ministry (COM) for the Chicago Presbytery.   She has just finished as Transitional Interim Pastor at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Arlington Heights.  

Her first Sunday preaching will be Sunday January 13th.  Let’s welcome her “home”.

Also in the life of our congregation, December 30th will be the date when the new elders will be installed and ordained:  Mark Barnett; Rick Heller; Mead Killion and Helen Robles.

 

Women’s Bible Study

Bible Study continues to meet and learn.  We are still studying the Book of Acts, and still enjoying it.  We have a few chapters left and then we will start on a new study.  Join us!  We share joys & concerns.  We take time out to go to brunch for Christmas.  It is an amazing group of ladies.  We meet Tuesday from 9:30-11 am

Advent Study

During advent, working around busy schedules, a small group read and shared the book “When God Comes Down”.  It was a wonderful example about watching, waiting and preparing for the coming of the true light of God’s presence in Jesus Christ.  Spending time on what Christmas is really about.

 

Little Churches

 I recently read some information that talked about Mega churches and the decline of many community churches amongst all denominations.

There were many statistics that I had heard before and I’ve come to learn they are surprisingly universal across denominational lines and geographical regions.

Over 90 percent of our churches are under 200 in weekly attendance, and 80 percent are under 100.

Thinking about the numbers seemed pretty bleak to me at first. For some reason we’re always counting heads each week and then we have to post it in the service folder to remind everyone what our attendance was. What if this wasn’t such a bad thing?  What if we turned our focus elsewhere? What if when Jesus said “I will build my church” what He had in mind wasn’t a bunch of pastors and congregations wringing their hands because their congregation’s attendance isn’t as big as someone else’s congregation?

What if Jesus’ idea was for churches of all sizes to work together, with mega, big, small, and house churches each contributing something special to the whole?  Instead, in the last generation or two, we’ve made big- and megachurches the standard, one that most churches will never reach and one, I believe, many of us aren’t supposed to reach because we’re called to be small. There’s nothing wrong with big and megachurches; They serve their purpose and I’m grateful for them. How can we not celebrate it when 2,000 worship Jesus?  That’s fantastic!

But it’s also cause for celebration when 2,000-20,000 people are worshiping Jesus across 20, 200, or more different churches in groups of 10, 50, 200, 500. Jesus has been building His church for 2,000 years using all kinds of people, all types of methods, all styles and sizes of churches. Great churches don’t happen by mistake. No matter what size they are. They take prayer, planning, hard work, cooperation, and the calling of God. But no church can be a great church if they don’t know they can be a great church. Too many small churches are laboring under a false impression that their church can’t be great until it becomes bigger. We need to put that notion to rest, starting in the heart and ministry of every member and pastor of every small church.

Instead let’s say “So what?!” So what if our church is small? So what if we’re one of my denomination’s 90 percent? So what if half then people in our denomination are attending small congregations instead of big ones?  If they’re doing good, outreaching, Jesus-honoring, kingdom work, so what if they’re small?  If each of would take the time to focus on doing everything we can to make sure each and every person in our congregation is being taken care of including our Pastor, Ministers of Music, church administrative assistant, shut-ins and hospitalized it’d be great. It’s a big job.  Maybe even bigger than those at a Mega church.

by Jerry Jacobson

 

New Year’s Prayer

 Another year is dawning

With the chance to start anew.

May I be kinder, wiser, Lord,

In all I say and do,

Not so caught up in selfish gain

That I would fail to see

The things in life that mean the most

Cost not a fancy fee.

The warm, kind word that I can give,

The outstretched hand to help,

The prayers I pray for those in need

More precious these than wealth.

I know not what may lie ahead

Of laughter or of tears;

I only need to know each day

That you are walking near.

I’m thankful for this brand new year

As now I humbly pray,

My hand secure in Yours, dear Lord,

Each step along the way.

by Kay Hoffman

 

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