February 14, 2018

Today is ASH WEDNESDAY. Join us at 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary and begin the journey to the cross with a service of prayer and music. The choir will rehearse after the service. (No choir rehearsal tomorrow, February 15.) Property Ministry will also meet tonight after the service.

1 John 4:16-21
So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.
God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the Day of Judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.

Dear Friends,

As you know, today is Valentine’s Day. It is also Ash Wednesday. You are invited tonight to share in our worship service from 7:30 to 8:00. I have found it to be very meaningful -the beauty of the candlelight, the peace of the songs, and the imposition of ashes. We even had a little service with ashes this morning for the “Morning for Moms” group. Ashes represent not only our mortality but our desire to be transformed by God’s love.

This morning I was reading through 1 John, and these words struck a chord in my heart. “Because as he is, so are we in this world.” John is telling us that we are God’s presence in the world, spreading God’s love. The big question is, then, do we love the way God would like us to love? The Apostle Paul puts it this way: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” The old sayings are true – sometimes you are the only Bible anyone might read. We are windows for people to look through and see God.

Love God, love neighbor, and love one another. Take it from here.

Love, Wendy
Your pastor, partner, and friend

P.S. If you can’t be in church on Sunday, be the church where you are. Think you are the church when you shop, buy gas, and drive. Does that influence the way you go about shopping, buying gas, and driving? The following Sunday, February 25, is Luminaria Sunday, a day that we can demonstrate love in the midst of a dark world.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

ASH WEDNESDAY TAIZE SERVICE tonight, 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. Start your journey to the cross with music, prayer, and ashes.

WOMEN’S CIRCLE meets this Friday, February 16. Join us in the parlor at 9:30 a.m. for a program led by Karen Hall from the Glen Ellyn Historical Society about the early history of our village. Wendy Boden, Betty Eichin, and Carol Rapp will be hostesses, and Roma Moye will give devotions.

The Session of Southminster Presbyterian Church has called a SPECIAL MEETING OF THE CONGREGATION this Sunday, February 18, immediately following worship to consider a proposed amendment to the church’s by-laws. Please see the document attached to these enotes for the wording of the proposed change.

LUMINARIA SUNDAY: This Sunday, February 18, is your last opportunity to obtain luminaria bags to honor or remember those touched by cancer. The bags are available, before and after worship, for $10 each; the money collected will go to the American Cancer Society. Our 7th annual Luminaria Sunday will be February 25, when the illuminated bags will be placed around the sanctuary during the worship service and the names of those honored or remembered will be read during the Prayers of the People.

THIS SUNDAY IN WORSHIP (February 18, 2018)
Liturgist: Linda Wolf Jeziorski
Elder: Janey Sarther
Deacon: Lynn Ferino
Ushers: Lanny Russell, Jim Messmore, Marge Engdahl, Parin Schmidt
Children’s Moment: Janey Sarther
Fellowship: Beth Bonde
Valet Parking: Steve Kozich
Please let the office know immediately if there are any changes to this schedule.
Thank you!

JUBILEE BUCKS THIS MONTH – You can order gift cards on February 18, with pick-up on 25.

Moms, the group that’s just for you has started up again! MORNINGS FOR MOMS meets on Wednesday mornings 9:30-11:00 in the parlor every now through March 21. Come for quality coffee and tea, good conversation, and free child care. Invite a friend to come with you!

CHRISTIAN ED. NOTES:
– BIBLE ADVENTURE: Since the first session of Bible Adventure was snowed out last Sunday, our first session of Bible Adventure will now be Sunday, March 11, in Fellowship Hall from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Scripture building blocks and fun are all on tap for this 3-session class. We hope to see all second through fifth graders there!
– EASTER EGGS! We have hundreds of plastic eggs to fill for our Easter Party and Egg Hunt on the Saturday of Easter weekend. You can help! We are looking for Easter-themed or non-themed candies that will fit in small plastic eggs. Pre-wrapped candy only (not loose candies). Please, no peanuts, peanut butter, tree nuts, hard candy or chewing gum. Popular items are “Fun Sized” (mini) chocolates (but remember no nuts or nut butter), small packets of plan M&Ms, chocolate eggs, chocolate kisses, Tootsie Rolls (chocolate or fruit flavors), Starbursts, etc. Please, no Valentine’s Day candies.
– STUFFING THE EGGS! Every Sunday through March 11, we’ll gather in the narthex around 11:00 after Fellowship Time and stuff eggs. Come join the fun!

WHAT’S AHEAD IN CHRISTIAN ED.?
February 18: No Sunday School – President’s Day weekend
February 25: Jairus’s Daughter
March 4: Mary Honors Jesus
March 11: Bartimaeus Shouts to Jesus; Bible Adventure at 11:00 (2nd to 5th graders)

ADULT EDUCATION
– SUNDAY MORNING CLASS: Our study of the prophet Jeremiah continues this Sunday, 11:00 a.m. in the Parlor.
– The WOMEN’S SUNDAY EVENING BIBLE STUDY GROUP meets at 7:00 in the parlor.

YOUTH:
+ Two events this Sunday: 1. Mission Trip meeting: all those interested in our 2018 Mission Trip to Greeley, CO, meet at 4:00 p.m. this Sunday—along with your parents. 2. Pizza and Games then begins at 5:00 p.m. This Pizza and Games is a “Family Pizza and Games,” so invite your parents and siblings to join us. Gotta show them the fun of SPY!
+ Remember also our Cascade trip Mar. 9-10 and Talent Show Mar. 18. First, though is Youth Sunday rehearsal on Feb. 25 and Youth Sunday Mar. 4. Keep working on ideas for our Peter’s Denial message.

Next Tuesday, February 20, is the DEADLINE FOR THE MARCH DIALOG and for any event that you would like to have publicized by Welcome and Outreach.

PRESBYTERIAN READERS will meet next Wednesday, February 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the parlor. The book for the month is “The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend” by Katarina Bivald.

The “LADIES WHO LUNCH” are not meeting in February. Instead, their next lunch will be Wednesday, March 7, at 1:00 p.m. at Raymes on Rt. 53 in Lisle.

The sign-up sheet for EASTER FLOWERS is now posted in the narthex. We want to have a colorful array of lilies, tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths. Lilies are $23.00 each; the others are $9.00 each. Sign up by March 18.

TALENT SHOW AND SPAGHETTI DINNER: Sunday, March 18! This annual event is so much fun and so nutritious. The food will be there, but we need your talent. Sign-ups for talent and attendees are on the bulletin board in the Narthex, so polish your act and sign up.

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February 7, 2018

ELDERS AND DEACONS: Remember the CHURCH OFFICER RETREAT at Southminster this Saturday. Come with a prayerful heart! We’ll meet from 8:45 a.m. to noon. Refreshments will be served.

Ephesians 2:8-9 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—not the result of works, so that no one may boast.

Dear Friends,

Did you watch the big game on Sunday? I have a friend who gambles on football games. He bets every weekend. It’s not about his team winning. He doesn’t bet out of loyalty. He bets on every game, and the betting is the game for him. I called him Monday to ask how he felt about the Super Bowl. He had bet on the Eagles, and he won! However, his satisfaction didn’t come through winning, but because he didn’t owe his bookie anything. Through the season, with all of his betting, winning, and losing, he arrived at zero. He was satisfied with that. He wins some, and he loses some.

Grace is not about winning and losing. Grace is not a game. As Christians we don’t need to balance the scales of justice, because Christ tips the scales in our favor. Grace is a gift from God, but sometimes don’t we try to live life as a game? Do we make excuses or justify ourselves? That is a temptation. The temptation is to keep a tally in our heads about our wins and losses, our good moments and our bad moments. You don’t need to live a life of wins and losses because of the grace of God in Jesus Christ. Live freely, knowing that your life is tipped in the direction of grace. Your life is not a game, so live with joy knowing that you have the gift of grace. Take it from here.

Love, Wendy
Your pastor, partner, and friend

P.S. If you can’t be in church on Sunday, be the church where you are. Who might need a touch of God’s grace in your life? A waiter? A cashier? Your family? Breathe in deeply God’s love for you and breathe out grace on the people you meet.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Moms, the group that’s just for you has started up again! MORNINGS FOR MOMS meets on Wednesday mornings 9:30-11:00 in the parlor every now through March 21. Come for quality coffee and tea, good conversation, and free child care. Invite a friend to come with you!

LUMINARIA SUNDAY: On February 11 and 18 luminaria bags to honor or remember those touched by cancer will be available before and after worship. The bags are $10 each; the money collected will go to the American Cancer Society. Our 7th annual Luminaria Sunday will be February 25, when the illuminated bags will be placed around the sanctuary during the worship service and the names of those honored or remembered will be read during the Prayers of the People.

Next Wednesday, February 14, is ASH WEDNESDAY. Join us at 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary and begin the journey to the cross with a service of prayer and music. The choir will rehearse after the service. (No choir rehearsal on Thursday, February 15.)

THIS SUNDAY IN WORSHIP (February 11, 2018)
Liturgist: Jessica Parks
Elder: Lanny Russell
Deacon: Deb Bohi
Ushers: Tom & Bobbi Frey, Mike Hume, Dave Zink
Children’s Moment: Marta Sundquist
Fellowship: Susan Vanderford
Valet Parking: Hal Ellinghausen
Please let the office know immediately if there are any changes to this schedule.
Thank you!

JUBILEE BUCKS THIS MONTH – You can order gift cards on February 4 and 18, with pick-up on February 11 and 25.

CHRISTIAN ED. NOTES:
– “SOUPER BOWL” SUNDAY! – Thanks to everyone who brought canned goods to our food drive that will benefit the People’s Resource Center’s food pantry.
– BIBLE ADVENTURE: Calling all second through fifth graders! Our first session of Bible Adventure is this Sunday, February 11, in Fellowship Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Note the special time for this session only!) Scripture building blocks and fun are all on tap for this 3-session class. We hope to see you there!
– Join the fun of STUFFING EASTER EGGS! We have hundreds of plastic eggs to fill for our Easter Party and Egg Hunt on the Saturday of Easter weekend. You can help! Beginning this Sunday and for the next 4 Sundays following that, we’ll gather in the narthex around 11:00 after Fellowship Time and stuff eggs. Come join the fun!

WHAT’S AHEAD IN CHRISTIAN ED.?
February 11: Sunday School – The Four Friends; Bible Adventure – 11:30 in Fellowship Hall
February 18: No Sunday School – President’s Day weekend
February 25: Jairus’s Daughter
March 4: Mary Honors Jesus

ADULT EDUCATION
– SUNDAY MORNING CLASS: After our time off to eat and party last week (the Cook Off), we return to our study of Jeremiah at 11:00 a.m. this Sunday in the Parlor.
– The WOMEN’S SUNDAY EVENING BIBLE STUDY GROUP will resume on February 11 at 7:00 in the parlor.

YOUTH:
+ Pizza & Games this Sunday. Usual deal: 5-7 p.m., bring $4 for the meal, bring a friend, and bring a smile. We will be working on our message for Youth Sunday (Mar. 4) on Peter’s denial of Jesus, or “What happens when a friendship goes wrong?” Also, be sure to put our Cascade Trip (Mar. 9-10) on your calendar.
+ THANKS to all who participated in the CHILI/SOUP COOK OFF. Laurels go to the 3rd place tie winners, Andrea Schmidt and Angela Smith, the silver to Marta Sundquist (yes, soup can beat chili!), and first place to Susan Galle! Gratitude goes to our other contestants: Steve Johnson, Paul Davidson, Sue Knisely, and Steve Shierry. Thanks also to all who ate, judged, and donated to the Youth Mission team. $656 was raised for the workcamp trip to Greeley, Colorado, this June.

An invitation from the community:
The MEN OF SOUTHMINSTER are invited to the Winter Men’s Breakfast at First Pres. Glen Ellyn this Saturday morning, February 10, from 7:30 to 9:00. The cost is $10 for a full hot breakfast and program. Our facilitator will be the Rev. Dr. John Powell, who recently relocated from California to Wheaton be near his grandkids. (He is the father of Rev. Dr. Jennifer McNutt.) The topic is “Character: Now and Always.” Questions? Contact Dan Branda at 630-469-4532 (h), 630-767-9483 (c), or sandanbran@comcast.net.

WOMEN’S CIRCLE meets on the third Friday of the month, which in February will be the 16th. Join us in the parlor at 9:30 a.m. for a program led by Karen Hall from the Glen Ellyn Historical Society about the early history of our village. Wendy Boden, Betty Eichin, and Carol Rapp will be hostesses, and Roma Moye will give devotions.

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