Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Musings

Resolved: To live our lives as part of the Kingdom of God.

Resolved: To welcome others as we have been welcomed by Jesus Christ.

Resolved: To find the place where our passions meet the needs of our community, and use that passion to meet the needs.

Resolved: To explore our spiritual gifts and the best way to use them.

Resolved: To look at our personal and family finances and support mission instead of consumerism.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Giving

This year for the first time, Community Presbyterian Church of Malverne adopted three families in need for Christmas. Some went shopping for Christmas presents. Some donated complete Christmas dinners. The deacons provided grocery store gift cards. The best kind of shopping is shopping for those who really need the things we're buying. Who need the joy of a festively wrapped Christmas present and the sustenance of a good meal--both physical and spiritual.

We were also reminded that, there but for the grace of God, go we. One event--the loss of a job, a home foreclosure, a medical emergency--could put us in these same circumstances.

As you celebrate Christmas this year, pray for the three families we adopted as part of our church family. And remember, it can be hard to see those who are struggling, even when they live right next door.

Take a gander at these pictures:

Many thanks to Mary for her hard work connecting with the families for sizes and details and organizing this mountain of presents!!

Pastor Fritz, the Yangs, and the Moons dropped off presents for these kids and their mom.

This family has promised to light their candle during our Christmas Eve service, to pray for us as we are praying for them. Hallams, Engleses, and Beatrix played Santa.

The Birchs and Pages dropped off gifts for the third family. The smiles on everyone's faces tell you how meaningful this project was for everyone--the givers and the receivers.

One of the mothers we delivered to said that she hopes that next year, she'll be the one delivering presents to another family in need. We hope so too!!

This is what Christmas is all about. As Rob said, it's Jesus' birthday, and this is how we give him a birthday present.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Christmas Caroling is still on! The rain is supposed to stop sometime this afternoon, and lots of people are counting on our cheerful singers to brighten their day.

So, there will be a quick, light supper at 5:00, and carolers will head out around 5:30.

Bundle up and bring your Christmas spirit!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


In her sermon on Sunday, Marilyn Johns called Community Presbyterian Church stubborn. The nerve! The gall! The.... Oh, yeah--she meant it as a good thing, at least in part. We cling to our church, determined to keep it going despite all the societal pressures that seem to be pushing us toward extinction.

She also, though, suggested that some stubbornness is not necessarily something to be proud of: the refusal to look at new ways of doing things, the deliberate blindness to those same societal pressures we're battling and possible new ministries they might require of us.

Being a small church is not a Bad Thing. If we had 300 people in worship every week, do you think we'd still be able to describe CPC as a family? I know that's something that a lot of members really value about our small church. Being a small church is not something to be fixed. It's something to be embraced--and that means recognizing that we have particular gifts (remember those spiritual gifts Pastor Fritz has been talking about?), and we have certain strengths. It's a matter of figuring out what those are and how to use them.

It's time to think about the true purpose of the church. Is it:
  • To make money?
  • To do God's will?
  • To show up the Church of the Intercessor with our Sunday morning attendance?
  • To spread the gospel?
  • To be a static presence in a changing neighborhood?
  • To serve our neighborhood, no matter how it's changing?
Everyone will have a different answer or combination of answers. Let us know what you see as the purpose of CPC and how we can fulfill it.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Kingdom of God

One of the many arguments against Jesus being the Messiah is that the prophesies, like the one we read in church yesterday--swords into plowshares, spears into pruning hooks, etc.--all promise that with the Messiah will come the Kingdom of God. Eternal peace and harmony, no hunger, thirst or tears, the rule of God only. Clearly that didn't happen.

Here's what I think: The Kingdom of God must start inside each individual. We must have peace within ourselves and allow God alone to rule over us. Only then can the Kingdom begin to spread. Jesus, as the Messiah, showed and taught us what we need to do to achieve the Kingdom of God. Now it's up to us.

If that lion and lamb are ever going to lie down together, we'd better get to work.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Lighting of Malverne

Don't forget to come by our table at Lighting of Malverne tonight! We'll be set up right by the ATM entrance at the Bank of America on Nottingham. Cookies, cider, and friendship for all!


During Pastor's Coffee House this past Sunday, we talked about the passage from Philippians (2:1-11) which we sometimes use as a statement of faith during worship:

Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,

But emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.

But we often leave off the beginning of this passage (not being part of the confessional hymn). Verses 3-5 read:

"Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus..."

One of the things we are called to do as Christians is to emulate and imitate Jesus. While we can't exactly give up our (non-existent) equality with God, we can live in humility, as Paul instructs.

How would the world change if all who declared themselves Christians lived this way, looking to the interests of others rather than ourselves?

Leave a comment. Be bold. Be daring. Dream big. But live with humility.