Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Morning Worship, 12/27/09

When you feel as though your life is threatened, how do you respond? Like Herod, do you break down others to protect what is yours? Or like Mary and Joseph, do you do the difficult thing and nurture life? Do you panic, or do you act prudently?


Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Eve Communion, 12/24/09

We gathered at 11pm to await the arrival of the Christ childand were inspired by the music of the Chime Choir, Rodger & Leah Trent, Katrina McCoy, and Taylor Hill.

The sermon began with a poem written by Mary Oliver that goes like this: "Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it." In three simple lines, Mary captures the heart of Christmas: Christ is present, because of God's love, and that is the Good News we must tell the whole world.

Finally, we celebrated Communion together (at which point the audio fades significantly...we apologize).


Candlelight Worship, 12/23/09

Each year, we host a community Candlelight service of liturgy, special music, Scripture readings, and a Christmas sermon. In this service, hear the Trents play "That Night in Bethlehem", Sandy Murphy sing "O Holy Night", Ali Johnston sing "In the Bleak Midwinter", and Stephen preach on the meaning of the manger and importance of there being no room in the inn.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Candlelight, Wednesday @ 5:30

Candlelight has been rescheduled for Wednesday evening at 5:30pm due to the snow, snow, and more snow! Spread the word...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Jesus often made a point by contrasting two strongly marked antitheses. Luke 9.46-48 is one such instance, and it shepherds us, this time of year especially, to the space between Advent and Christmas.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Morning Worship, 11/15/09

Jesus talks with the disciples about living "in the meantime". Stephen imagines the shape of their conversation, which gives him inspiration to write a piece of poetic rhetoric about stewardship.

On Sunday evening, Stephen asked the YOUth what they thought of his "rap" sermon. They said, "It was...different." Your thoughts?

Time to Decorate the Sanctuary!

This coming Sunday, November 22, we'll decorate the sanctuary for Christmas at 3pm! The Christian Education Team will do craft-making for the younger kids downstairs while everyone else decorates upstairs. Come and sew visual seeds of the Spirit!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Morning Worship, 11/8/09

Sorry for the hiatus...our recording equipment malfunctioned the previous two weeks. We're back now, though, with the third installment of a Stewardship Series.

It's taboo to talk about money in the church, which is odd considering how often Jesus did. Here in Mark 12, Jesus teaches us that it's not about how much money you give to the church but the spirit with which you give.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Morning Worship, 10/11/09

A Service of Wholeness

For the prelude, enjoy Hutton Cobb singing and Leah Trent playing (on harp) "Be Still My Soul".

For the sermon, hear the story of Job as told alongside the five stages of grieving. In the 23rd chapter of Job, he's in the second stage--anger. How does he move forward? When? What can we learn about the grieving process from Job?

For wholeness, later in the service the congregation comes forward to be anointed with oil and find refuge in the grace of God, which is with us no matter what we grieve.

May the Lord's face shine upon you.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Paul confidently claims that God will complete what God began. That means God's not finished with you! If you feel like a house under construction, there's no need to be ashamed of your cracks, leaks, or dust. No need to fade away in a cloud of guilt for not being perfect. Being under construction is a blessing!

Be sure to listen to Leah & Rodger's Scottish prelude!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Rev. Dr. Nuhad Tomeh to Visit RPC

The Rev. Dr. Nuhad Tomeh, a Presbyterian Mission Co-Worker from the Middle East, will visit RPC on the evening of October 10 for a covered dish dinner and discussion. Nuhad is coming to the USA as part of World Mission Challenge 2009, an effort by the PC(USA) to connect our churches to our missionaries working all over the world. His first stop in West Virginia will be at our church, and from here he’ll travel the state telling folks about the work he does.
Saturday night will begin with a covered dish dinner in Fellowship Hall at 6pm. (If you’re able, please bring something to share with everyone.) When we finish eating, Nuhad will make a presentation about his work as a Christian pastor and peacemaker in the Middle East. He’s currently in charge of the Iraq Rehabilitation and Recovery effort of the Middle East Council of Churches. (Ample time for question & answer will be provided.)
Mark your calendars for this unique opportunity and interesting discussion!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Morning Worship, 9/27/09

James cautions not to "boast about tomorrow." Does that mean we shouldn't plan? Or does it mean we should plan, always praying that our plans are pleasing to God?

Today's service was special in that the congregation joyously confirmed Ashley Morgan and commissioned her to full and active participation in the life of our church.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Morning Worship, 9/20/09

From Kanye West to Serena Williams to Joe Wilson, we seem to be losing our sense of sensibility. Have we ceased being civil with one another? If so, from a Christian perspective, we've got work to do as a culture.


Morning Worship, 9/13/09

"Invite-a-Friend" Sunday. Folks from the congregation invited their friends and family to join us in worship this week!

Rodger and Leah offered several special musical selections--harp, piano, and organ!

The sermon was titled Sincerely Imperfect. Here's the idea: The church is ambivalent. It can help people, and it can hurt people. James urges us to abort ambivalence by being careful with our words. By speaking out in love rather than hate. By being sincerely imperfect.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Morning Worship, 9/6/09

Today's New Testament reading os from the book of James. James cared about real people in their real lives, so he did his best to make religion...real. When people practiced discirmination in the church, he said, "Enough!" James called for a church where everybody is somebody.

(A prize awaits the person who correctly identifies the pop culture inspiration for the sermon prior to its unveiling in the sermon.)


Invite-a-Friend Sunday

You know you want to join us for worship...so here is your opportunity! Come on Sunday, September 13!

Worship begins at 11am and lasts an hour or so. Some folks "dress up", while others come casual. Our service is traditional, though it incorporates some informal and modern elements too. Our musicians are fabulous. Rodger and Leah Trent will dazzle your souls on the harp, grand piano, and organ! We also place an emphasis on children's ministries, so bring the whole fam!

We deal with real issues affecting real people in their everyday lives, so feel free to come and join us. No pressure. Just an open invitation to worship God with your friendly neighbors.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Morning Worship, 8/30/09

"Be quick to listen and slow to speak," James counsels us. We're not very good at that, are we? How often do we take time to listen for the sounds of God? Do we hang on God's every word like the lover in the Song of Songs?


Monday, August 24, 2009

Morning Worship, 8/23/09

Everybody's talking about health care--politicians, citizens, health insurance companies, doctors, nurses. Everybody--except churches. Is health care not a religious issue? Was it not churches who began hospitals in the name of Jesus, the Great Physician?

After worship, we had a great "talk back" session where everyone shared their perspective on the state of health care in America. Feel free to do the same on this blog or wherever you live!

*9/22/09 UPDATE* Thanks to Gin Blake, who just alerted us of a problem with the media player. It played a random, previous worship service rather than the 8/23 service on health care. We've fixed the problem now. Thanks for your patience!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Morning Worship, 8/16/09

Sophia--the female personification of wisdom in Proverbs--invites the "immature" into her house, offering them "insight" instead. In a world with too many people created by God as children who never grew up, Sophia offers practical advice about how to help.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Morning Worship, 8/9/09

The church was in trouble. People talked terribly about and to each other, saying things ouf of anger. The writer, presumably Paul's student, responds to their anger with a "toolbox" of Christian ideas for right living.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Happy Kids Project

A New Initiative from the Mission Team

The Mission Team at Ronceverte Presbyterian Church is in the process of planning a children’s outreach initiative called, The Happy Kids Project. There are two goals:
· to be a resource for obtaining school-related needs for children and youth of low- income parents, boosting their self-confidence and self-worth in school
· to also be a resource for supporting after-school activities and community involvement, planting resiliency factors in the lives of children and youth where few, or none, exist.

Happy Kids referrals will come directly from: local schools and local children’s agencies.

By forming an alliance among ecumenical and civic groups in Greenbrier County, we hope to build a network of support for The Happy Kids Project. Each community will have sponsor groups, or “home bases,” that will be asked to provide very specific school-related needs -- gym shoes, band/choir fees, field trip fees, graduation apparel, and other items that families could not, otherwise, afford. When a need is encountered for an anonymous child in their community, a home base will be notified. It would be their responsibility to develop a donor list, or “team members” within their church or organization, who could be contacted on a rotational basis to provide one need at a time. If anyone is unable to provide an item when they are called, the next person will be called, and so on. Folks can help when they are in a position to help, but they have the option to pass (no questions asked) whenever they cannot. No names will ever be shared.

This program will make a significant difference in the school life of each child it serves. And by working as multiple teams within each community, we will be able to help many children and youth in Greenbrier County. Ronceverte Presbyterian will serve as one of several home bases for Ronceverte Elementary School. If you are willing to be placed on a list of folks to be called on a rotational basis throughout the school year, please let the church office know. The more folks on the list, the fewer times each will be called. This will be an easy program to say yes to in terms of commitment, yet it will provide a valuable resource for our county schools, teachers, and students. Thanks in advance for considering this. Please call or email us today!

Darfur Update

A Report from the Mission Team

While the world watches . . .
In last month’s newsletter the RPC mission team provided an update on the conflict in Darfur. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, please see the post in our archives; unfortunately, nothing has changed for the better. The janjaweed continues to attack and oppress the people of Darfur as their own government watches and thwarts humanitarian aid efforts. Darfuris are still starving, being forced to live on land that is uninhabitable. They are sick, but there is little to no health care available. Orphaned children, who we would consider to be babies, have taken on adult responsibilities. The daily goal is survival. And the government’s goal--to isolate the remaining Darfuri people until they perish--is slowly succeeding.
“Senators Kerry and Lugar are holding a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Thursday, July 30, to question Special Envoy General Scott Gration . . . Long-term peace in Darfur hinges on the international community uniting behind a tough and comprehensive plan for changing the Sudanese government's behavior.”
-- http://www.savedarfur.org/

Ask and you shall receive . . .
It is a terribly complicated and politically-charged situation that has left us asking what we might do for our neighbors in Sudan. Recently our President called on world leaders and citizens to “make education the new currency.” That challenge, coupled with a drive to do something for the innocent people of Sudan, led to the answer --working with the Southern Sudan Project.
Aweil is a community in Southern Sudan that has been greatly affected by the tragedies of civil war for two decades. Although it is one of the more densely populated areas, there is only one primary school in Aweil. The mission of the Southern Sudan Project is to build a secondary school, so children will have the opportunity to continue their studies and graduate from high school.
Some day, those children may be the new leaders of Sudan! Although a great wall has been built around Darfur (figuratively speaking), we can effect positive change from the outside. “Help us help them. Together, we can build a school, a town, a nation.”
-- http://www.southernsudanproject.org/

Who is your neighbor?
“The tragedy of the situation in Darfur has been largely ignored and dismissed by the world community as a whole and the church in specific. Yet the words of Jesus direct us to love our neighbor, using the standard of the Good Samaritan to define our neighbor. This directive should shape the response of the Christian community.”
-- posted by shoppedude, You Tube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Whnr6Du6YE

How can we help our neighbors in Sudan?
The Ronceverte Presbyterian Mission Team--in partnership with the Southern Sudan Project and with organizational assistance from the SAVEDARFUR Coalition--is planning a community event. The goals are simple: to raise awareness about the conflict in Sudan and to give folks specific opportunities to effect change from right here in Greenbrier County. We will keep you posted as plans progress.

“We will for Aweil!”

Monday, August 3, 2009

Morning Worship, 8/2/09

Do you believe in "karma"--that what you put out into the world comes back to you? (In the Bible, we call this "sowing and reaping".)

Do you believe in grace--that no matter what you put out into the world God loves you and wants something better for you?


Monday, July 27, 2009

Morning Worship, 7/26/09

*Our recording equipment malfunctioned, so the audio file begins during the Prayer for Illumination, just prior to the sermon. Sorry!

David did everything right--held the heart of a king, defeated Goliath, united his people, and protected the Ark of the Covenant. He did everything right...up to this point. This is the story of David's downfall.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer Worship Schedule

July & August: Worship at 9:30am, Sunday School at 11am

Last August, the Session asked the congregation to try a new worship schedule. In order to capitalize on cool mornings in the sanctuary, we held worship at 9:30am and Sunday School at 11am in Fellowship Hall. (Normally, Sunday School precedes worship.) Because that change worked so well, especially for our young families, they’ve decided to adopt that same worship schedule this year during July and August. Because these two months are our hottest, we’ll worship in the sanctuary at 9:30am and hold Sunday School in the basement at 11am. We’ll return to our normal schedule on September 6.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Morning Worship, 7/19/09

What do you do when you can't catch a break, so you take a break, and people break it up? How do you deal with...interruptions? Jesus demonstrates his advice.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Morning Worship, 7/12/09

What do you do when you're so happy you can't stand it? David danced--out of joy and in response to God's grace. Do you allow yourself to dance? Do you take time to respond to God's grace by allowing joy to flow from your soul?


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Morning Worship, 7/5/09

Paul has a problem in 2 Corinthians 12.2-10. Sheep-stealing mud-slingers are talkin' up a big mess about God. Paul knows their theology is hurtful and untrue, but God instructs Paul not to fight back. God says, "My grace is sufficient."

What does it mean that God's grace is "sufficient" for us?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Everybody knows the story of David Goliath. Everybody knows what happens--against all odds, David defeats Goliath. But why?

If you've ever faced a 9-foot tall problem that seemed insurmountable, you'll want to know why, as David has much to teach us about problem-solving.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Morning Worship, 6/21/09

Check out the prelude! Our Music Director, Rodger Trent, plays our new baby grand piano for the first time in worship this week.

The sermon is titled, God: The Persuasive Parent, and examines what Father's Day means practically and theologically.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Save Darfur Coalition Update

An Update from the Mission Committee, Who Support the Save Darfur Coalition

Imagine a militia descending on Ronceverte -- raping, murdering, and driving the surviving population out -- and then so thoroughly destroying every home, every business, and every structure that literally nothing remained.

More than 2,000 entire villages have been destroyed in Darfur. Their ghostly remains consist of scorched shells of buildings in some places to mere nothingness. More than 300,000 are dead and another 2.5 million are crowded into camps where they face starvation, disease, and further attacks. And the world continues to watch.

On July 16, 2008 the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court submitted a request for an arrest warrant for Sudan's President, Omar al-Bashir, for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. On March 4, 2009 the International Criminal Court charged Bashir with seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity stemming from the slaughter of 300,000 people in Darfur, the first such indictment of a sitting head of state by the tribunal. In retaliation Bashir expelled 13 nongovernmental organizations including Médecins Sans Frontières, CARE, Oxfam Great Britain, and Save the Children, accusing them of spying for the court.

Relief groups have reported that more than one million people are without adequate food, clean water, and health care as a meningitis outbreak looms. United Nations workers remain, but Bashir said he wanted all foreign relief organizations out within a year. The Obama administration denounced the expulsions.
On March 18, 2009 the White House announced that President Obama had named Maj. Gen. J. Scott Gration, a Swahili-speaking retired Air Force officer who grew up in Africa as the son of missionaries, to be his special envoy to Sudan. General Gration has his work cut out for him.

In April there were rallies, discussions, and vigils held in more than 450 communities across this country, forming a constituency of conscience to honor the past and to call for action now in Darfur. In his Holocaust Day of Remembrance remarks, President Obama reflected on the atrocities we have all witnessed. He added that he has been inspired by SAVEDARFUR:

"We find cause for hope . . . in a movement to save Darfur that has 1,000 high school and college chapters in 25 countries, and brought 70,000 people to the Washington Mall -- people of every age, faith, background, and race united in common cause with their suffering brothers and sisters half a world away."

If you want to make a difference…

Keep informed and/or contribute at www.savedarfur.org
The Save Darfur Coalition is an alliance of over 180 faith-based, advocacy, and human rights organizations whose mission is to raise public awareness about the ongoing genocide in Darfur and to mobilize a unified response to the atrocities that threaten the lives of more than two million people in the Darfur region.

Pray, daily: Please keep the refugees, the relief workers, and all who are trying to make a difference through advocacy and diplomacy in your daily prayers. Pray for President Omar al-Bashir--that he will end the genocide! Be bold: Please pray for an immediate--and peaceful–-resolution that will end the suffering.

Monday, June 15, 2009

July Book Study: "The Shack"

During the month of July, the adult Sunday School Gathering will meet at 11am in Fellowship Hall. We'll study the popular book, The Shack. In the book, a man experiences deep loss, which leads to an involved conversation with God.
Our books should be in by early next week for those who ordered a copy through the church.
Some people love this book, others can't (under)stand it. We're hopeful that people of all persuasion will come for the discussion, so that we can learn from one another how to be more faithful Christians and how to handle loss.

Morning Worship, 6/14/09

This week's sermon is entitled, "All the Time!" People think they know everything, but only God knows our hearts. The beginning of David's story makes this abundantly clear.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Morning Worship, 6/7/09

We live in the information age--iPods, video cameras, HD, Google, YouTube, perezhilton.com, PDAs, wikipedia. How do we discern reliable sources from those which are unreliable? In other words, how do we distinguish God's breath from the whispers of people?


Monday, June 1, 2009

Morning Worship, 5/31/09

Pentecost Sunday. God breathes wind in the valley of dry bones, and they live! Drawing on the ideas of St. Francis of Assisi as we contemplate the church today, we learn that living life is about being constantly attuned to the wind.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ascension Sunday!
No, it's not just a Catholic thing...it is a proud part of our tradition, for it symbolizes a time when we (through Christ) are pulled closer into the heart of God. The church and national calendars couldn't coincide more appropriately than they do today, for our men and women in uniform know much about the meaning of Ascension Sunday.
The Mays family sings an amazing prelude after the announcement. Listen, and enjoy!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


The kids kidnapped our Pastor and sent this ransom video. They need financial help to attend Bluestone Camp this summer and are holding him until they receive the necessary funds. If you can help us get our Pastor back by contributing, please do so!

Monday, May 4, 2009

RPC Seeks Sexton

After years of good and faithful service, Connie Stone resigned as Sexton to spend time taking care of herself and her husband. The Session extends deep gratitude to Connie for her hard work and is now moving towards filling the position. Angie Jackson has been hired on a temporary basis while we conduct an open and full job search. If you or someone you know wants to apply, please send us an email or call the RPC office.

Morning Worship, 5/3/09

We've heard it one thousand times: Jesus is the Good Shepherd. But what does that mean? Relying on the John 10 in addition to local stories and international reporting on shepherds, Stephen unpacks the metaphor.

If we want to live, we follow the shepherd.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bluegrass Worship, 4/26/09

Sidney Trent and friends led us musically in worship this week with traditional bluegrass music. We sang old favorites like "I'll Fly Away" and "Will the Circle Be Unbroken". The sermon, based on work by the Rev. Dr. Brad Braxton, concerns what happened between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, and is titled: To Hell & Back.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Morning Worship, 4/19/09

The Power of Priming

Jesus primed the disciples for peace by saying, "Peace be with you," over and over in the midst of a quiet chaos. Can you hear him saying the same today? Can you hear him whispering "peace" as violence rages? Can you hear him calling us to the new life of resurrection?

Earth Day

Kim Thomas and Alyson Dotson organized an Earth Day event at RPC this year to raise awareness about the importance of God's creation and our stewardship responsibilities as God's children. Check out our cardboard robots, polite children, excited recyclers, and eager relayers.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Worship, 4/12/09

Christ the Lord is risen today! As people of the resurrection, called by God to new life beyond sin and death, we worship God with hymns of praise, the receiving of a new member, partaking in communion, and reading the Easter story according to John's Gospel.

With Mary, proclaim the Good News, "The Stone Is Gone!"

Good Friday Worship, 4/10/09

Monday, April 6, 2009

Morning Worship, 4/5/09

As Jesus arrived in Jerusalem from the east, humble and riding on a donkey, Pilate arrived from the West, military might proudly on display. The two entrances couldn't have been more different, for they conveyed opposite messages.

Enjoy A Dignified Donkey!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Morning Worship, 3/29/09

You asked multiple questions relating to sin this week, and the sermon title reflects the introductory (and most important) question: What Is Sin? Building on the Biblical notion that "sin" means "missing the mark", Stephen reflects on how God feels about sin, what forgivess means, and the role grace plays in that mix.



Monday, March 23, 2009

PWV Amendment Votes

On Saturday the Presbytery of West Virginia (PWV) voted on constitutional amendments from the General Assembly. We've been trying to do a better job of communicating throughout that process, and towards that end we're posting a document written by Stephen, our minister, which is meant to address people's questions about the amendments.


Feel free to respond with questions.

Morning Worship, 3/22/09

Stephen continues to preach the Any Questions? series, inspired by your curiosities about all things religious. This week's question resonates deeply with many folks, for it affects everyone: What happens when we die?


Take hope in the Good News: Because Christ died, we can live!

Daily Devotions

During this season of Lent, folks often recommit themselves to a discipline of prayer and study. Several people have asked for devotion recommendations. If you prefer to do online devotions, check out this site: http://www.d365.org/. Sponsored by the PC(USA) and Episcopal Church, D365 has much to offer--relaxing music (none of that ringtone-esque organ music), content written by respected theologians, and beautiful artwork, all in a user-friendly format. A wonderful resource!

If you're looking for print editions, please contact Stephen or the church office for more info. Thanks!

Monday, March 16, 2009

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Morning Worship, 2/24/08

Yesterday's service on righteous indignation (unfortunately) didn't record. Conspiracy theories abound! Instead, we're posting a Lenten service from last year, Feb 24, 2008. The sermon deals with sowing, reaping, and the labor required of Christ's disciples.



Monday, March 9, 2009

Morning Worship, 3/8/09

We all have questions about God, the church, and the world. Stephen argues that if we honestly ask our questions of God and each other, we will deepen our faith.



Friday, March 6, 2009

World Day of Prayer, 3/6/09

Nine Ronceverte churches gathered together to celebrate the World Day of Prayer in the sanctuary of Ronceverte Pres. Beautiful liturgy and special music centered on the theme chosen by the women of Papua New Guiniea, "In Christ there are many members, yet one body."



Tuesday, March 3, 2009

World Day of Prayer

This Friday at Noon RPC will host a worship service in celebration of the World Day of Prayer. The host country this year is Papua New Guinea, so the liturgy is written and inspired by the women there. Our own Betty Ralston planned our gathering and has folks from every church in Ronceverte participating. A light lunch will be served afterwards in Fellowship Hall. Please plan to attend this service of prayer.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Morning Worship, 3/1/09

The Rev. Bill Caperton led worship yesterday and preached a powerful sermon to begin Lent entitled: Trusting Your Baptism.



Monday, February 23, 2009

Did you see the article in the paper?

Kay, Faye, and Basil made it in the local papers! Check out the Daily News and Mountain Messenger to see their smiling faces in print. Here, Kay presents a check to benefit the Food Pantry from the Souper Bowl offering RPC received in early February.

Morning Worship, 2/22/09

We continue our series, For the Love of God, with this week's installment on loving Others.



Monday, February 16, 2009

Morning Worship, 2/15/09

We continue our series, For the Love of God, this week with an installment titled, Self. Can we love anyone else if we don't love ourselves? Can we be loved if we don't love ourselves? Can we care for others if we don't care for ourselves?



Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Workcamp Interest Meeting

It's time! Ready...set...let's go on a workcamp!

This Sunday immediately following worship the Mission Committee will host a Workcamp Interest Meeting in the sanctuary. We'll begin to think about when and where we'll go to do spread the Good News!

Last year we stayed at Avondale Pres in Charlotte, NC, and worked in the community feeding the hungry, listening to stories of folks who are homeless, assisting with a daycamp for kids, and other things we can't tell you...unless you go this year.

No commitment required! Come and explore the possibility of letting God change your life on a workcamp! Young and old, skilled and unskilled, male and female. Come!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Morning Worship, 2/8/09

We continue February's Series, For the Love of God, with this week's installment, Justice.



Tuesday, February 3, 2009

SUPER Souper Bowl Offering

Thanks to you and the Mission Committee, we were able to raise over $700 this past weekend (in addition to boxes upon boxes of canned food) for the Ronceverte Food Pantry! We shared a sensational meal together and gave thanks to God for our many blessings. The Souper Bowl meal is supposed to be a simple one so that we are reminded of those who do not have enough to eat. With times as tough as they are, hunger is on the rise. But so is generosity.

Jane Gillespie, John Gillespie, and Kay McCoy (of the Mission Committee) did an outstanding job providing an opportunity to give back, and all of you stepped up to the plate, serving God by serving your neighbors in need. Thanks to everyone who contributed, made soup, served drinks, washed dishes, and participated in the meal! When God's people pool their gifts, great things happen!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009

Souper Bowl Offering

Each year, churches across the world participate in the Souper Bowl Offering on Super Bowl Sunday. All funds raised by a church are sent to local agencies who fight hunger. Due to increased demand on the Ronceverte Food Pantry in this year, our Mission Committee has organized a huge Souper Bowl Offering to benefit the Food Pantry. You can support this cause in several ways.
1) The Mission Committee is hosting a soup luncheon this Sunday following worship in Fellowship Hall. Donations are accepted but not required. All donations will benefit the Ronceverte Food Pantry. Homemade soups include: potato, tortilla, vegetable, chicken, chili, taco, and bean. Grilled cheese sandwiches and cookies from Paulette's Pastries will also be served.
2) Bring canned food to the church and it in the boxes stationed throughout the building. In addition to normal canned items, the Food Pantry needs diapers, baby food, and formula.
Thanks for supporting the needs of your community! See you at the Souper Bowl!

Difficult Dialogues

During last week's Session meeting, a theme emerged: Today's church needs to talk about several difficult issues it faces, but we're a bit confused about how to do so. In response, Stephen agreed to lead two 4-week classes as part of a Difficult Dialogues series. Both will occur during the adult Sunday School Gathering on Sunday mornings from 9:30-10:30am in Fellowship Hall. The first session will begin February 1 and involves the role sexual orientation plays in the church: To what extent should sexual orientation affect one's participation in the church, and on what theological basis? The second session involves evangelism: How can we practically spread the Good News to our neighbors (despite our reservations and nervousness), and what is our theological basis for doing so?

February's Difficult Dialogue comes at a pivotal time for our denomination. In March, the Presbytery of WV will vote on a variety of amendments proposed by the General Assembly (as other Presbyteries across the nation are doing), and at the root of several amendments is a question: To what extent should sexual orientation affect one's participation in the church? This issue divides the church deeply, as people of good faith sit on both sides of the fence (while many more straddle it). Our plan is to dialogue about sexual orientation and the church. In Week 1, we'll agree to some guidelines for a healthy dialogue and familiarize ourselves with the topic by looking at a case study. In Week 2, we'll examine the point of view that non-heterosexual orientations are sinful, including Biblical interpretations which support this position. In Week 3, we'll examine the point of view that all of God's children, including people of various sexual orientations, ought to be included fully in the life of the church, including Biblical interpretations which support this position. In Week 4, we'll engage in another case study where we must pastorally respond to a family in crisis. After four weeks, we may or may not reach conclusions; that's not our aim. Our aim is to faithfully discern God's will for this world by enegaging in dialogue with each other.

The members of the Session will be present for this important dialogue, and we hope you will be too. Stephen will facilitate, making every effort to ensure a safe and fair space for talking and listening to each other's stories.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Morning Worship, 1/25/09

Yesterday we received two new members during worship, Marge Farren and Tom Long. Both are fine folks whom we are fortunate to count as part of our church family! The audio of the service can be played below:


The sermon is titled, "Come and See."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Special YOUth meeting

Want to give back to those in need?

This Saturday night at 6pm, the Mission Committee is hosting a special YOUth meeting for all children ages 5 (and their parents) and up at the manse. Not only will this give them a chance to see what YOUth will be like when they're old enough to join, but it also provides them and their parents the opportunity to give back to their community. We'll be creating a publicity campaign to raise money and awareness about hunger in Greenbrier County as part of the Souper Bowl Offering on February 1. The YOUth and younger YOUth will make posters and boxes for folks to donate money or canned food, all of which will benefit the Ronceverte Food Pantry.

On February 1, the YOUth and younger YOUth will serve a soup luncheon at the church following worship. All donations received will benefit the Food Pantry.

See you Saturday night at 6pm!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Morning Worship Blast from the Past, 12/30/07

Despite ice yesterday, we gathered for worship! Unfortunately, due to a bad CD the service did not record properly. Just because you can't worship in the same way we did yesterday doesn't mean you can't worship...enjoy this blast from the past: Morning Worship from 12/30/07.

The sermon is titled, "At Risk Behavior." Enjoy!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

ICE in Ronceverte

The River City is frozen! A thin layer of ice is covering all roads and sidewalks. Sunday School this morning is cancelled. Worship will go on as scheduled for those who come. Please take great caution if you do decide to venture out, though, as the roads are slick! The sidewalks at the church have been salted and should be clear by 11am.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Biblical Hebrew Class

ask and you shall receive...

you asked for an introductory class to Biblical Hebrew, and you're receiving one! this coming Tuesday night (Jan 20), we'll begin our Biblical Hebrew Class at Ronceverte Pres. we'll meet from 6-7pm each week for a period of six weeks. this will be a difficult but highly rewarding study for us all. in order to maximize learning, we'll need to make efficient use of our time. please come on time. there will be no preparation required for the first class, but there will be work required prior to each subsequent class.

please let Stephen know what questions you have. see you in the conference room (beside the sanctuary) on Tuesday!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Morning Worship, 1/11/09

Each week, we'll be posting the audio for the previous Sunday's worship service. You can access this week's service, "Don't Give Up...Give Back!" via the player below:


Just push the play button, and you'll be able to listen to the service on your home computer. (If you have a dial up connection, you'll have to push play and the quickly push pause so that the player can download the service. After a few minutes, you can press play and listen.) Listen when you can't make it to church, when you want to hear a piece of music or the Penny Lane story again, or share the service with a friend.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hey YOUth! Sundays at 6pm

Hey YOUth! Come out every Sunday night at 6pm (beside the church at Stephen & Kerry's house) for youth group. You'll get to do great things...like corny poses on fake front porches for a workcamp picture (see left).
We do a little bit of everything...bake cookies for new neighbors (and ourselves)...Bible study using music, movies, and TV shows...play Wii...pray..."check in" with each other to share what's going on in our lives.
Come out and give us a try! Every Sunday night at 6pm. See you there!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Pray for our Community

Greenbrier County received terrible economic news this week. The sawmill in Ronceverte is closing indefinitely once they finish their current orders (due to the housing decline, their products are no longer in demand). The Greenbrier Resort, the county's largest employer, announced a strategic review to be conducted by Goldman Sachs. The review is expected to determine the 229-year-old resort's future. In the meantime, the resort is conducting another round of layoffs.

Southern West Virginia is already one of America's most economically-depressed regions. These developments only deepen the problem.

People in Greenbrier County are hurting. The Ronceverte Food Pantry faces increased requests for food and decreased supplies. As layoffs continue, families suffer. Churches are receiving unprecedented numbers of requests for housing, food, and energy costs.

Please pray for our community. Pray for families who are struggling. Pray for hard-working men and women who are trying to keep their loved ones warm and fed. Pray for children who rely on the school system's meal programs. Pray for seniors who feel more fear than they ever have. Please--pray for God's children near and far.