Monday Morning
I shall not be moved PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pat Ireland   
Friday, 18 January 2013 14:08

 

From the Internet:

“WBC TO PICKET THESE WHOREHOUSES, MASQUERADING AS CHURCHES OF KANSAS ON SUN., JANUARY 20TH: …

10:05-10:20 AM First Presbyterian, 200 Maple St. Cottonwood Falls, KS.”

Those who trust in the Lord "will be like trees panted by the streams, whose roots read down to the water.  The won't fear... their leaves will remain green.   Jeremiah 17:8


The Westboro Baptist Church has announced that they will protest are ministry on Sunday, January 20th.   All I can say is:

Come and See.”

We are God’s people, created, chosen and called to love and serve, to worship praise and enjoy God and God’s creation.

 

We prayerfully seek god and god’s ways for our lives

faithfully serve Christ and his family

joyfully share the Spirit of the living Lord.

We feed the hungry

Visit the Sick

Clothe the naked

We work for equal rights and opportunities for all people.

We study God’s word seriously with open heart and mind to allow the Spirit to speak to us through them of God’s desires for our own lives.

We celebrate together God’s work in our midst.

Made in God’s image, we encourage men and women, young and old, married or single, to discover and use all the gifts, talents and skills that God has given them for the common good.  We cherish and celebrate the variety of those gifts. In Jesus we are freed to be the people we were meant to be.

I don’t know if WBC show up; but if they do we will show them what being church is really about!  We don’t need any outsiders trying to tell us how to be Church, we have our hearts and heads focused on Jesus, who partied with sinners, called tax collectors to follow, loved the one who betrayed him and forgave his executioners.  And we invite you to join us in following Jesus even in the face of conflict.

Hospitality at 10 AM and Worship at 10:30 AM

Pat

Rev. Patricia Ireland, Pastor

 

“WBC will picket the First Presbyterian Church in Cottonwood Falls, KS. It takes very little to see that the commandments of God and obedience to them means very little to this "church." What part of NO WOMEN PREACHERS is so hard to understand?

For there to be any truth, knowledge, light, or understanding in that place, you must first know and understand the basics. You clearly do not. These passages are not difficult to understand, and until you repent of the mess you have created by allowing women to usurp the authority of that place, you have zero chance of having any light or wisdom.

Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. 1 Corinthians 14:34-35

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 1 Timothy 2:11-12

Further, by allowing divorced and remarried people to be members in good standing, the Presbyterian dog-kennel masquerading as a church teaches them to commit adultery.

And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. Matthew 19:9”  (sic)


 

Last Updated on Friday, 18 January 2013 14:37
 
Resolutions PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pat Ireland   
Thursday, 03 January 2013 14:36

 

A recently retired colleague called my attention to these simple resolutions for the new year.  They were originally published in the  America Magazine and shared by the Jesuit Post. I am adopting them and hope you'll consider it too.

Okay, we all like making lists of New Year’s Resolutions.  And most of the time – well, much of the time – we have a really hard time keeping them because they’re so difficult.  Lose 20 pounds.   Read a new book a month.  Never get drunk again.  Avoid all sodas.  Don’t eat any chocolate again.  Stand up to my boss.  Go to the gym every day.  Sometimes you feel defeated by January 2.

But how about five simple things you can do to be happier – which you really can do?  Here are five easy things you can do for a happier life next year.  And they’re a lot easier than losing 20 pounds.

1. Be a Little Kinder. I think that 90% of the spiritual life is being a kind person.   No need to have any advanced degrees in theology or moral reasoning, and no need to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the world’s religious traditions, to get this: Be gentler and more compassionate towards other people.  In other words, say “Thank you” and “Please.”  Ask people how they are.   Listen more carefully when they speak to you.  Don’t say snotty things about them behind their backs.  Basically, give them the benefit of the doubt.  I know that sometimes you feel like acting like a jerk – you feel justified because of the way you’re being treated – but you don’t have to.  Most of the time you have a choice: I can be a jerk or I can be kind.  Be kind.   You’ll find that you’ll be happier with yourself at the end of the day.  And, as an added benefit, everyone around you will be happier

2. Relax a Bit More.  Let’s not belabor the point: a lot of us are rushing around like lunatics these days. Overbooked.  Overscheduled.  Overworked.  Crazybusy. Exhausted. Checking our phones and iPads and blah blah blahs every five seconds.  Do you really, really, need to be checking in every few minutes? Can you set those things aside for a just a little bit?  And aren’t there just a few tasks you can let go of?   A few months ago I realized that I had completely booked myself for the next few months and started to get a little overwhelmed.  The more I thought about these supposedly fun things, the more depressed I got.  I had to ask myself: How many of these things did I really have to do?  For me the answer was about three-quarters of them.  The other quarter I could let go of.  Maybe the proportion is different for you, but looking at cutting back a bit is a good exercise.  Relaxing a little bit more can lead to more creativity, more time to think, and more time to pray.  Paradoxically, it may make you more productive.  It’ll certainly make you happier – and again, everyone around you happier because you’re not stressing everyone else out with your stress.  I’m not saying check out completely, or quit your job, or tell everyone that you’re stopping every activity you presently do.  Just relax a little more.  You’re a human being not a human doing.

3. Enjoy Nature More. Look up at the sky.  It’s pretty amazing.  Every moment of the day. Yesterday where I was staying it was a brilliant blue.  Clear. Cloudless. Ahhhh.  Enjoy it.  How about noticing something as beautiful as the trees in your neighborhood?  Are you watching them cycle from spring green to green to red to barren?  Give yourself a few seconds to be aware of that.  If you live in a city, can you notice the wind on your face or the occasional burst of sunshine peeping through the gray buildings?  If you’re lucky enough to live by the ocean or a lake, well, I envy you!  Notice nature a little more.  It’s always changing and so it’s always a surprise.  And can you thank God for the natural things that you notice every day?  Natural beauty is, I think, happy-making for most of us; and being more grateful to God will add even more to your happiness.

4. Be a Little More Grateful.  Try this: Notice the small daily things that you tend to overlook. The stuff you take for granted or like, but don’t really consider “special.” The taste of your favorite cereal or coffee or juice in the morning.  An unexpected phone call from a friend.  Your child’s laugh or a nephew’s or niece’s giggle.  Your cat’s crazy antics.  A funny TV show.  A small house job finally finished.  Stop and savor those little things. And say thanks to God. I’m not saying that you can’t be sad or bummed out.  Life’s really tough some times.  Most times.  But I’ll bet that there are a few things in your life that make you feel lucky.  Just a few seconds a day is all it takes.  Gratitude is the gateway to the spiritual life.  Open that door today.  You’ll be a happier person once you step through.

5. Pray Just a Tiny Bit More. I’m not saying that you need to enter a monastery or take out a mortgage out on a hermitage.  But just a few more minutes a day is enough to jumpstart your spiritual life.  Think of it as a relationship.  If God is important to you, wouldn’t you want to spend some one-on-one time with God?  That’s what prayer is.   And there’s no best, or only way to pray.  Whatever works best for you – imagining yourself with God, quietly meditating on a favorite Scripture passage, or reciting an old prayer that comforts you – is what’s best for you.  Just a little bit of prayer will help you feel in closer touch with God.  And that relationship, because it connects you to the transcendent and makes you feel less alone in those tough times I mentioned, will make you happier.

There.  Those aren’t so hard are they?  Be kind.  Relax a little bit.  Enjoy nature more.  Be a little more grateful.  Pray just a tiny bit more.  You can do all those.  And in doing those you’ll be happier.  And have a Happy New Year.

Pat

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 January 2013 14:51
 
Advent 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pat Ireland   
Tuesday, 27 November 2012 17:55

Let our Calendars reflect presence,

not just presents...

 

For many, Christmas is the most exciting and exhilarating time of the year!  School vacations.  Breaks in the daily routine.  Lights and decorations that brighten the darkness of winter.  Clubs, parties, television specials, parades and candlelight services.  Secretive behavior and knowing glances at the table.

 

And what’s it all about?   An event heralded by angels to shepherds on a judean hillside 2000 years ago:  “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”  And, we are told, those who heard the good news went with haste to see and worship the newborn Messiah.

 

Ironically, we have trouble hearing the angel’s message because of all the hubbub of pre-Christmas activities.  From October to December we are under continual assault of sight, sound and commercials, that say BUY!  It is a wonder that we can't hear anything else?   How can we celebrate with joy and integrity?  Here are some simple suggestions:

 

• Spend some time every day in silence, listening to your heart and faith instead of TV commercials.   There are an assortment of devotionals available at the back of the sanctuary and on line.

• Restore meaningful gift-giving practices that are personal and thoughtful with gifts whose worth is not measured by the price-tag.

• Remember whose birthday it is by giving 25% of your Christmas budget to those who really need it and by including in your celebrations people who would otherwise be alone.

•  Invite your neighbor to worship and bring the family to Advent and Christmas Eve services.

Join us in Worship 10:30 am

 

Dec 6th - 2nd Sunday in Advent:  Communion Service followed by Congregational Meeting to  elect elders and officers.

 

Dec 13th - 3rd Sunday in Advent:   Christmas Fellowship Meal follows worship.

 

Dec 20th - 4th Sunday in Advent:  Family Worship.  Betty Brown and their teachers will lead the kids in retelling the story.

 

Dec. 24th -  Christmas Eve Communion 7 PM

 

Dec. 27th - Christmas Sunday, Carols and Stories.   Rev. Ireland's last service with the congregation.  She's retiring!

 

Living Water for the World


Use the links below to learn about the Presbytery of Northern Kansas Mission trip to Honduras to install purified drinking water in the village of Azacualpa.  Thanks to this generous congregation for their support!

Day One Day Two Day Three Celebration Part One Part Two

 

 

Last Updated on Monday, 30 November 2015 17:56
 
Thanksgiving PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pat Ireland   
Thursday, 15 November 2012 17:53

 

This week I am thankful for a voice that works most of the time.  I was struggling with my annual bout of laryngitis last Sunday.  (Why is it that we notice our gifts more when they are gone!?)

I have joked this week, that 'I had the congregation sitting on the edge of their pew'.  It was not because what they wondered if I was going to be able to say it!  The sermon is posted below, just in case you missed content because of your concern for the preacher!   Unfortunately, I was forced to cut the poem I'd hoped to close with and so I share it here followed by a thought from this week's devotions which seemed to follow.

Widow in the Temple

by Susan Jones

Widow

A word to strike fear

Into the heart of every Jewish woman

Widow

A hard word synonym for defenseless

Poor.  Alone.  Nothing.

For in your world you were nothing without a man

Only father, husband, brother or son

Gave you validation

For you, the fear has come true and here you are

Widowed,

One of the poor ones

Life hanging by a slender thread

A tissue-thin connection

Between you and hunger

Between life and death

Poor widow

Nothing on which to come and go

Just two small coins in your hand

Enough for the next meal, perhaps

But you

Make your way bravely to the Temple treasury

Ringing with the noise of many coins

Thrown ostentatiously into brass trumpets.

Quietly you slip between the crowd

And drop in

Your offering.

Did you wonder whether anyone would notice?

Whether your two small coins would make any difference?

Someone did see

One who rated your two coins more highly

Than all the clattering money thrown in that day by scribes

Who make stripping widow's assets an occupation.

And down the years

Your act tugs at our heartstrings

And makes our overloaded purses

Heavy with shame

And any time we offer something small

We commemorate your gift as we say

"It's just a widow's mite."

Thank you, widow woman

For daring to come out of the obscurity

Of your status-less life

Refusing to let poverty restrict you

Refusing to be a nobody

Daring to be one

Who gave the most priceless gift of all.

All she had.

 

PS:   From this week’s devotions:  "Look around right now; See all that you possess, All that is yours.  Now remind yourself that it all belongs to God.  It is in your hand for just a moment. Live your life today grateful?For the abundance of grace that is yours to give away.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Pat

 

Last Updated on Friday, 16 November 2012 14:37
 
Time Change PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pat Ireland   
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 18:58

 

Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend.

Turn your clocks back one hour Saturday Night  (11/3) before going to bed.

It is good to be back in Kansas after my Mission Trip to New Orleans.  I’m looking forward to sharing the experience with you in worship this week (11/4).  It is a special Sunday because it is communion and dedication of our pledges for the work of the congregation in 2013.  It is clear that we smaller but there we have an important mission in this community.  That’s why we look forward to the future without fear but with trust in God to provide.  Your pledge of financial support is one way to express your love and gratitude to our Triune God: Father Son and Holy Spirit!

I owe an apology to those of you who might check this website regularly.   It has been too long since the last update!  IT is not that we haven’t been doing anything but that we’ve been so involved in Kingdom work that we’ve not taken time to write about it!

We continue to provide a special place for children in our heart by including them in worship and providing a Sunday School learning education.  Plans are underway for our Christmas Family Worship.  If you know kids that would enjoy the experience bring them to church!

The Clothes Closet continues to recycle good used clothing and household items to those who can use them while generating funds for local ministry.   The Food Pantry distributes food to about 150 families a month.  The congregation for Peace in the community and around the world through the Peacemaking Offering received in October.  Our mission giving through the Synod supports ministries of evangelism and emergency assistance.

In addition, members of the congregation are working on community development issues including housing and education.

We may be small, but God has always chosen the small and unlikely to further the work of the Kingdom.  We are grateful to be a part.

Pat

Rev. Pat Ireland, Pastor

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 October 2012 19:25
 
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