The Life and Times- July-2013

July, 2013

“Then Moses made Israel set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” And he cried to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.”

—Exodus 15:22-25

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
On June 22, 2013 at approximately 10:20 a.m. the Presbytery of Central Washington took the final and decisive action to dismiss our congregation from our former denomination to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. A process of dismissal that began in January 2012 will reach its conclusion this Sunday, July 7 at 2 p.m. as we are formally installed into our new denomination.  You are invited to come and celebrate this important event in the life of our congregation!
I was asked last week by a well-meaning friend what we would do now that this major milestone had been reached.  I thought about all of the major things we are being called to do—preaching the Gospel, making disciples, growing in our faith, lifting up the name of Jesus through our service.  Then the Holy Spirit turned my attention to Exodus 15.  I told my friend that the first thing we were going to do was celebrate—and that is precisely what we will do Sunday afternoon.  “Then,” I said, “we need to breathe for a minute.”  After my conversation I went and read Exodus 15 again and was reminded that the chapter does not end with the celebration, but with a journey.
After the people of Israel were led out of Egypt they found themselves in an unfamiliar wilderness.  The first stop in the wilderness was Marah (which means bitter).  The people who had just been delivered by the hand of God found themselves in a strange place where they could not even drink the water.  What was going to happen next?  They did not know and so, like most of us in similar situations, they grumbled.  What is going to happen next for us?  The truth is we do not know, but let’s resist the temptation to grumble.
It was true that the water was bitter at Marah, but what the Israelites missed was that God could take the bitter and make it sweet.  Through Moses, God made the water drinkable and the way forward became a little more clear.  We need to trust that God will make the way forward for our congregation a little more clear in the coming months. 
If you continue to read on in chapter 15, after leaving Marah the Israelites come to Elim which was overflowing with good water and palm trees.  Marah was a rest area on the way to something better, which was itself a rest area on the way to the promised land itself.  Trust that God is leading us on to the best of all, the Kingdom of the Beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.  The way forward may be mysterious just yet, but with God leading us, we can follow with confidence.

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

Wow, where has all the time gone?  It’s amazing to me that it was July 1st, 1998 when I started this job.  That means that I am starting my 15th year as the youth director for our church.  A lot has happened over the course of this time, but one thing that has remained consistent through all of this is God’s faithfulness!  I appreciate all of you and all this church has done in support of youth in the Omak Community.  I am very thankful for the experiences God has blessed me with and the amazing number of people God has enriched my life with.  It’s been an incredible ride and I thank God every day for the opportunities he has given me through this ministry.

Ok, enough with the walk down memory lane, let’s get on with what is happening this summer.

Looking back at June:  June was a blast and filled with lots of activities. 
Our middle school group took a trip to the waterslides and had a very joyous and fun filled time at our lock-in.  We are continuing to study the book of Philippians in our regular youth group meetings and we are excited about the new faces that have started attending over the summer.  Middle school youth group meets weekly on Wednesday nights from 7:30 to 8:45.
Our high school group also had a very active June with a trip to Crawfish Lake, a movie night at my house, and several other exploration adventures close by.  The high school group has also enjoyed seeing some new faces and I am very excited to report we had one of our biggest groups in several years last Sunday.  The high school group meets Sunday nights from 7:00 to 9:00.

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL – VBS will be the week of July 8th – 12th.  We have everything in order to make this summer’s VBS a huge success.  We can always use more helpers though and any middle school or high school student that would like to help out is welcome to come.  VBS will run Monday thru Friday from 9:30 to noon.  We will have a VBS staff meeting Sunday, July 7th immediately following worship for those that are interested in helping.

High School Backpacking trip – High School students please let me know as soon as possible if you are planning on going.  Our numbers are growing rapidly, we are at 15 right now, so if you want a spot you need to let me know!

Transitions - Summer is a time of transitions for our youth ministries here at the Presbyterian Church.  It’s a great time to start coming to youth group if you have not come before, and it is the time we transition from one grade level to another.  So, if you are an incoming 6th grader you are officially welcome to begin attending our middle school group.  If you are an incoming 9th grader you are officially welcome to begin attending our high school group. 

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to give me a call at 322-3088.

EPC Installation Service: Celebrate with us the Installation of Community Presbyterian Church of Omak into the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) Denomination on Sunday, July 7th, 2013 at 2:00 pm. Rev. Pat McElroy of Saddlerock Evangelical Presbyterian Church (Wenatchee) will be preaching. Celebration and reception to follow.

Vacation Bible School: “SonWest Roundup” VBS, Monday-Friday, 9:30 –noon July 8th -12th for children entering Kindergarten through 5th grade. Come at 9:00 am on the first day for registration. We are still looking for a few volunteers to help out with snacks, etc. Call the church office if interested.

The Annual Church Picnic date and location have changed! The picnic will now be at the home of Jim and Sandy Freese at 11 Home Place Lane, Omak, on Sunday, August 4th. Food will be served at 11:30 so you may have time to go home first and pick up your food, change clothes etc. To get to the Freese’s home, drive up Kermel Grade and turn right on Home Place Lane (there will a sign) and stay to the right to the top the hill.  Bring a salad or desert.

Women’s Retreat at Hidden Hills Saturday, August 24th and Sunday, August 25th. Erin Dienst will be speaking on evangelism. $125 fee includes overnight lodging and meals. You can attend the Saturday sessions for $75 without staying overnight. Checks are payable to “Hidden Hills” and can be mailed to the church or dropped off at the church office.

EPC Leadership Camp- July 28th through August 2nd for youth grades 7-12 from EPC congregations. If enough youth from our church register, we will receive a discount and our church will provide transportation to and from Tall Timber. More information is available through the church office.

Community Presbyterian Church is now recording worship services on video and there is a security camera that records motion in the sanctuary at other times.

Library Volunteers Needed – We are seeking a few volunteers to organize and maintain the church library. Contact the church office if interested.

9:30 am, Sunday School
9:30 am, Worship
7:00 pm, High School Youth Group

9:00 – 10:00 am, Staff Meeting

7:30 pm, Middle School Youth Group

First Sunday of the Month

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

Care Net
Manfisher Ministries
Christians in Action
Jail Ministry
Mission Aviation Fellowship
The Father’s Ranch
Erik Brucker – Young Life
Erin Dienst – CRU, UW
Scott and Terri Sasaki (New Guinea) - New Tribes Ministry
Will and Cindy Kraske - North American Indigenous Ministries (NAIM)

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:
Evelyn Minnich 826-1177 or Mary Lou Brantner 826-1617.

Ethlyn Apple (Apple Springs)
Lorraine Swallom (North Valley, Tonasket)
Ken Cunningham (Riverside)
Del Mundinger (Apple Springs)
Verna Hitchcock (Apple Springs)