The Life and Times- August-2014

August, 2014

““For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.

—1 Corinthians 1:21 (ESV)

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Over the course of the year we are examining in these missives, the five elements of worship in our life together.  The third of these elements, we listen to God’s Word read and proclaimed is the subject of this letter.

In my last letter to you all I addressed the need to confess our sins in light of the Word of God.  When we have to face our sins squarely and are lead to confess our sins, being assured of our pardon, our attention draws us once more to the Word of God where we hear the Good News of Jesus Christ once again.  It is this turn to the Word of God that forms the heart of our worship.

The proclamation of the Word is mandated in Scripture and the Apostle Paul (quoted above) is clear that it is in the preaching of the Word of God that God makes himself known.  Since our salvation is based upon a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ, knowing God is paramount to our faith and its proper aim.  Yet, the Apostle is equally clear that the proclamation of the Word is seeming foolishness.  The simple act of reading the Word of God together and listening to one expound upon it seems far too simple to make an impact or lead to transformation.  The act is too small, too old-fashioned or too ineffective—or, at least, so say the ancient and modern critics of the church.

The Reformers, however, had a vastly different opinion.  Together with prayer and sacraments, the proclamation of the Word was considered an ordinary mean of grace.  It is in the reading and proclamation of the Word that God communicates his grace to us.  While we may come looking for a great many things in worship, God has deemed the heart of worship to be the hearing of His Word and, through this hearing, the reception of His grace.  Our confession, the Westminster, puts it this way:  “The gift of faith makes it possible for the souls of the elect to be saved by believing in Jesus Christ.  This gift is the work of the Spirit of Christ in the hearts of the elect and is ordinarily accomplished by the ministry of the word.  It is also increased and strengthened by the word, by prayer and by the administration of the sacraments” (WCF 14-1).

To be stated simply:  People ordinarily come to faith and have their faith strengthened in the reading and proclamation of God’s Word since, through the Word in the power of the Spirit, we receive grace.  It is little wonder, then, that we devote a significant amount of our worship service to the reading and proclamation of the Word!  Therefore, let us all the more diligently attend to the Word of God.

In my next letter, we turn our attention to the response to the Word of God, namely, praise and service.  In the meantime, continue to make use of the ordinary means of grace through the regular reading of Scripture and the regular attendance of worship to hear the Word of God proclaimed.

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Pastor Bill

News You Can Use

Second Saturday women’s group will meet September 13th from 8:30-10:30. All ladies are welcome. Please note, Second Saturday will not meet in August.

Join us September 5th at 7pm for an evening of gospel music as the Liberty Quartet perform.  Admission is free!

The Westminster Bell Choir is looking for new ringers. If you are interested please call the church office or Marian McClanahan.

The Deacons will NOT meet for the month of August, but will meet September 10th at 2pm in the church library.

Session Highlights

At the June 10th Meeting:

  • Josiah Lamb was accepted into membership.
  • Pulpit substitutes were approved in the event Pastor Bill is unable to preach.
  • A motion was made and seconded to approve the ESV version for the new pew Bible.
  • A motion was made and seconded to change the ages of CAT. 3-8 year olds may attend.
  • Giving for June was $17,996.54

Choosing the English Standard Version

By Pastor Bill

At the June meeting of Session, after much debate in the Discipleship Committee, the Session elected the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible to serve as the official translation for the pews.  Up to this point we had been using the 1984 New International Version (NIV’84), which is now out of print due to the 2011 update.

The ESV is currently used in every aspect of the ministry of CPC except worship.  Bible studies, youth groups and adult Sunday School rely upon this excellent translation.  It seemed the natural move to bring our Sunday worship in line with the practice of the church.

So what does this mean for you?

For starters, the Genesis series, which begins August 10, will be preached from the ESV.  Second, at some point, when funding becomes available, you will notice the pew Bibles change from the NIV to the ESV.  Third, it may mean nothing for you personally.  The NIV’84 has been the standard issue Bible for evangelicals for 30 years.  While it has its faults, it is a reliable translation of the Hebrew and Greek.  The ESV is as well, though perhaps a bit better.  What Bible you use for your personal study, you bring to worship and even use in small group is still a matter of your choice.  What has happened now is that the Session has made a move to a translation that attempts to be more accurate in relaying the underlying original languages.  As a result, change is coming.  For the time being, expect to see the NIV’84 in your pew backs, but change is coming.

REGULAR SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Sunday
9:30 am, Worship
6:30 pm, High School Youth Group

Monday
12:00 Noon, Men’s Bible Study
6:30 pm, Middle School Youth Group

Tuesday
10:00 – 11:00 am, Staff Meeting

Wednesday
12:00 pm, Prayer for Evangelism

Saturday
6:00 pm, Sanctuary

First Sunday of the Month
Communion

Second Sunday of the Month
Apple Springs, 2:30 pm

Third Sunday of the Month
Manfisher Meal Served, 1:30 pm

Second Tuesday
Session Meeting, 7:00 pm

Second Saturday
Second Saturday Women’s group, 8:30-10:30

PRAYER CHAIN

Please call the church office during church office hours for prayer chain requests 826-1290, Monday – Friday, 9:00 am - noon; 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm. If after office hours call: Pastor Bill (509) 557-3551

SUPPORTED MISSIONS

Care Net                                              Manfisher Ministries   

Christians in Action                            Jail Ministry    

The Father’s Ranch                              Erik Brucker – Young Life       

Erin Dienst – CRU, UW                        

Will and Cindy Kraske - North American Indigenous Ministries (NAIM)