SPARTA PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH NEWSLETTER
November 29, 2017
Lectionary Scripture Isaiah 64: 1-9; Mark 13: 24-37
Minister: Bryan Hovey
A MESSAGE FROM THE PASTOR
If we were to look up the word transitional in the dictionary we would most likely see, “……consisting of a passage, movement, or change from one state to another, as a passage in music.” In the church the easiest way to define transition is moving from one pastor to another, from the past to the future. However, how we transition is important to the continued success of the Church of Jesus Christ and the community it serves.
When the church loses a beloved pastor, the congregation may feel hurt, lost, or question their functionality. There may be a void in leadership, old wounds may be opened or new ones developed, or maybe the congregation is questioning its self-worth. These experiences are not unusual and can be dealt with effectively.
There are several steps to a successful transition. SPC has already begun by hiring the Transitional Minister. I have tried to make myself available to the entire congregation. The door to the Pastor’s Study is always open and my cell number and email are listed in the newsletter. I will continue to visit you in your homes, in the community, and at church gatherings.
I am here on campus from Sunday mornings through Wednesday mid-afternoons. Carol and I will also be spending several weekends in the community and when possible, we look forward to participating in local events. Finally, when I am not in Sparta please know that Concord is not that far away. I am available.
In January we will look back at some of the history of SPC. If you have any old photographs or any written history about the church please bring that to our gathering we hope to have in January. We will develop a time line, talk about some of the major events in the life of the church, and have some fun just sharing old stories.
I thank the Transitional Committee and the congregation for allowing me to be part of this wonderful, engaged, and active congregation. Our journey will require work, but it will also be fun and rewarding. We will work together examining the past with our eyes focused on the future.
Blessings of Peace and Joy,
We may not be in Great Britain, but boxes are needed at Sparta Presbyterian Church so that needy children here in Alleghany County will have gifts to open on Christmas. The church will be hosting another GIFT WRAPPING WORKSHOP for the “Children’s Christmas Outreach” program on Friday, December 1, at 10:30 am in the Fellowship Hall and have all the supplies needed to wrap the gifts except larger boxes that can be used to package shoes, coats and odd-shaped toys. Please join us as we “wrap” this one up for the children!
MEN’S PRAYER BREAKFAST AND FELLOWSHIP
Please join us for the next Men’s Breakfast. A hearty breakfast will be served and Steve Zimmerman will share a devotion from Isaiah 9:6-7. We will continue our time of prayer and discussion on our mission to the community. Put this on your calendar and join us at the church on Saturday, December 2, at 8:00 am for breakfast, fellowship, and prayer. Please contact Dave Moulton at firstname.lastname@example.org or (336) 262-6300 if you have questions or need additional information.
Sparta Presbyterian Church and Mountain Laurel Moravian Fellowship will host a “Candle Trimming” workshop on Wednesday, December 6, at 2:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall. The community Lovefeast will be held at Sparta Presbyterian Church on Sunday, December 17, at 6:00 pm.
Christmas at Genesis Healthcare, Alleghany Center
One of the Outreach Committee’s favorite projects each year is the collection of gifts for residents of Genesis Healthcare. We invite you to make life a bit more comfortable for the residents by donating bed pillows, body wash, lotion, or non-skid slippers. Gifts should be wrapped or placed in gifts bags, indicating male or female on the outside. Collection boxes will be placed in the first floor hallway and near the front door of the church. Please bring gifts by Sunday, December 17. Thank you so much.
Norma Whitfield, Chair
As we are all eagerly preparing for the Christmas season and the very special birthday of our Savior, let us come together to bring joy to our community and our congregation. Let’s all plan to celebrate once again before the year is over by coming together for our December Fellowship Lunch. December 17 is the date, and this is the day we also celebrate Joy Gift in the morning worship and Love Feast in the evening.
We will gather in the Fellowship Hall immediately after worship. Turkey and ham have been donated, so we are looking forward to all the wonderful sides and desserts our talented church family bring to share. The date is on the church calendar, and we look forward to sharing the table with all of you.
Reverend Hovey is available for emergencies outside of office hours at 980-622-1494 or e-mail him at email@example.com.
Join us for a new and interesting Advent Study which began Tuesday, November 21, at 11 am and will continue meeting every Tuesday for 4 weeks. The book we will be discussing is Walking Backwards to Christmas by Stephen Cottrell. This unique Advent devotional starts at the end of the story, with Jesus’ presentation to Anna and Simeon at the Temple, and moves backwards through Herod’s slaughter of the innocents, the wise men’s visit, Jesus’ birth in a stable, Mary’s pregnancy and finally to the much earlier hopes and dreams of Isaiah and Moses. Telling the Christmas story through the eyes of both famous and imagined characters, Cottrell invites us to experience Jesus’ birth anew. Sheryl James will facilitate the discussions and the cost of the book is $5. They are available in the downstairs hallway or contact Sheryl at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Message From Larry Myers, Director of the Food Closet:
Because of the wonderful generosity of our folks, churches, businesses, and organizations our food shortage is resolved. Thanks and blessings to everyone!!
December Food Closet Item is Toothbrushes and Toothpaste
Presbyterian Women’s December 13 luncheon will be at the home of Carol Norris. PW meeting at 10:30 am and luncheon at noon. All ladies of the church are invited to the luncheon at noon. If you will be attending please RSVP at 336-657-8300 or email@example.com. There will be carpools available leaving from the church. For more information contact Carol Norris or Beth Holcomb (336-657-0901). Hope to see everyone there.
Hard to believe, but it’s that time of year again for all currently trained church staff & volunteers to update their certification; all folders are on the table in the Fellowship Hall. Please be sure to pick yours up, sign the log-sheet and return your form to the Worship Committee Chairperson (Beth Holcomb) by 12-31-17.
BEYOND THE WALLS
Beyond the Walls short story discussion group continues to meet every Tuesday at the Pizzeria at
4 pm,. Because it is a short story format, you are welcome to join in ANY Tuesday. Come for one story or come for all of them! There is always an interesting and lively discussion. The following list is a schedule (provided the weather cooperates) for the stories we will be discussing in the coming weeks. There are still a few books available on the hallway bench in the education building of the church. Come see what all the buzz is about!
|A Simple Composition by Shruti Swamy
Storm Windows by Charles Haverty
Train to Harbin by Asako Serizawa
Dismemberment by Wendell Berry
will not meet
Exit Zero by Marie-Helene Bertino
Cigarettes by Sam Savage
Temples by Adrienne Celt
Safety by Lydia Fitzpatrick
Bounty by Diane Cook
A Simple Deliberate Thing by Zebbie Watson
The Crabapple Tree by Robert Coover
Winter, 1965 by Frederic Tuten
They Were Awake by Rebecca Evanhoe
Slumming by Ottessa Moshfegh
Happiness by Ron Carlson
CHURCH LIBRARY NEWS
Some of the books in your Church Library were given in honor of, or in memory of, someone the donor wanted to honor. The library offers this service to anyone who donates a book which is accepted by the library. A label giving the name of the donor and the name of the one being honored or remembered, (as well as a few words if desired), will be placed in each of these designated books. The library will then send a card or letter to the person being honored, or to his/her family giving the name and author of the book and the name of the one presenting it. If this is given as a Christmas or birthday gift we will use an appropriate card and also enclose a short message if the donor so wishes.
These are a few books on the library’s “wish list:” The Complete Jewish Bible translated by David H. Stern and published in 1998 by the Jewish New Testament Publishers Inc. The Small Woman by Alan Burgess, a biography of Agnes Aylward, a missionary in China for many years. The Hiding Place, by Corrie ten Boom with John and Elizabeth Sherrill. In My Father’s House, by Corrie ten Boom, with C. C. Carlson. We would like to have more biographies of other inspiring lives which were/are non-political.
From the Library Ladies
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of age.” Matthew 28:19-20
This scripture is commonly known as the Great Commission, Jesus’ last command to the disciples. As Christ’s modern-day disciples, it is still our call today. The Christian Education committee is desperately seeking disciples willing to lead in the Kingdom Youth group or with Sunday school and other classes. Education materials and lesson plans are provided and you will be working in conjunction with experienced teachers. If you would like to ?tag team? with one or more, that helps to share the load. Please contact Sheryl James or Debbie Brady if you would like to offer your talents. Many hands make light work!
WALK OF HONOR
The Alleghany County Veterans Advisory Committee has started selling engraved bricks to build a “walk of honor” adjacent to the Memorial in Veterans Park on Duncan Street in Sparta. You may purchase a brick for any honorably discharged veteran. They don’t have to be from Alleghany County. The committee is a 501c3 organization so donations are tax deductible. Small bricks cost $50 and large bricks are $100. Engraved service emblems cost an additional $30. Please look for a poster and application forms in the church or contact Tony League at (336) 816-5070 or RAL4009@AOL.COM.
If you have articles for the church newsletter, please submit them to Julie Duncan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church office at 336-372-5045 by noon on Tuesday of each week.
PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN continue to collect boxtops for education and school supplies. Containers are on the table in the fellowship hall and narthex.
December 3: Frankie Pittman/Debbie Saddler
December 10: Kay Bodeen/Julie Duncan
December 17: Debbie Brady/Norma Whitfield
December 24: Frankie Pittman/Debbie Saddler
December 31: Kay Bodeen/Julie Duncan
Christmas Arts and Craft Show – December 2, 2017, Emerson Black Building.
The Highland Camerata presents “A Girl Called Mary”
Friday, December 1 at 7:30 pm–Sparta United Methodist Church
Sunday, December 3 at 3:30 pm—First Christian Church, Galax, VA
Tuesday, December 5 at 7:30 pm—The Historic 1908 Courthouse, Independence, VA
The Singing Christmas Tree presents “Were you There on That Christmas Night?”. Tickets available in the First Baptist Church Office, or you can call 336-372-8446 for more information. Tickets are free. Two performances will be held. December 1 and 2, 2017 at 7:00 pm
December 3, 2017 at 4:00 pm
NC author Libby Bagby book signing at Touch of Grace, Friday, December 1, from 11:30-2:00 and on Saturday, December 2, from noon until 2:00 at Ophelia’s.
The Elkin Community Christmas Concert will be presented on Sunday, December 3, at 4:00 and 7:00 pm at the United Methodist Church in Elkin.
THE CHURCH IN PRAYER
|Clay Benson, 10/11
Lynda Benton, 10/11
Lewis Bobbitt, 7/10
Gail Brandt, 7/26
Rhys Churchwell 10/16
Patsy Cokernak, 11/29
Edna Cox Family, 11/29
Rose Dukes, 11/22
Carolyn Ebright, 9/6
Jim Evans, 10/3
Dixie Friend, 10/3
Nancy Friend, 8/8
Gary Gambill, 6/21
Tam Gambill, 2/22
Pat Hardee, 11/14
Joan Hynes, 11/22
Joshua Jacobson, 11/22
|McKay Jacobson, 10/11
Barry Kaye, 10/11
Lois Landreth, 8/2
Michael Landreth, 10/11
Gail Lank & Family, 10/11
Stan Mackey, 10/3
Joseph Martin Family, 10/11
Bob Matthias, 9/30
Susan Miles, 8/15
Karen Miller, 9/26
Cari Morrell, 10/2
Harold & Peg O’Conner, 10/11
Barbara Phillips, 11/14
Mack Pittman, Sr., 11/22
Paul Poetzsch, 10/16
|Paul Powers, 8/30
Craig Schulze, 10/11
Marjorie Schulze, 10/11
Marsha Schulze, 10/11
Joan Scott, 9/27
Lewis Shelton, 10/16
Ben Shores, 11/14
William Sparks & Family, 10/11
Doris Stoker Family, 10/30
Glenn Stone, 11/08
Doughton Tedder, 10/16
Barbara Thomas, 11/22
Mitch Winstead, 9/6
Larry Woodie, 10/11
Myra Wright, 10/16