C.U.P.S. (Communities United in Prayer and Service) is gearing up to make over 1,000 gift baskets for needy families this Christmas! FPC is collecting items they need.
Right now is the perfect time to pick some up because school is just around the corner and sales are starting. Office Depot, Walgreens, and CVS usually have wonderful weekly deals. Please buy the special deals on pencil bags or boxes, pens, notebooks and composition books for the Elves. Now is also the time to stock up on crayons (CrazyArt at Walmart for a quarter.) The Elves continue to need coffee packets and baby lotion, wash, and oil.
Donations can be dropped of during our normal office hours (M-F 8:30a-12:30p).
Perhaps you have heard about Presbyterian Cursillo (pronounced cur-see-oh). It is a spiritual renewal retreat. It is focused on the love of God for God’s children through the presence of Jesus Christ and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Presbyterian Cursillo weekend retreats conform to reformed teaching and are made up entirely of common elements– worship, teaching, singing, discussion, laughing, sharing, and new friendships.
Cursillo retreats are coed. They are lay led and clergy supported.
On behalf of a group of Louisiana Presbyterians who have experienced the joy of participating in a Cursillo weekend retreat, we invite you to attend a Cursillo weekend and discover this joy for yourself. The next retreat is Aug 23 to 26, 2012.
There are some things in this life that you just can’t stop. We like to think that we can control and channel the elements of nature - and to some extent we always have. Crops have used the power of the sun and rain to feed our families. Winds have been harnessed to blow ships through the sea and air for centuries. We have even used the gravitational pull of the earth to balance out the thrust and and extension of our hand into the depths of space.
We can do all of these things. We have done all of these things, and we will do more. But we still can’t stop the tide. We can use inertia, but we cannot change the fact that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Likewise, we can not always predict the reaction we are going to illicit!
When it works the way we want it to we call that a job well done. When the reaction exceeds our expectations we might even call it providence or grace. And when things happen that we do not want or like, well, we call that a lot of different things - some of which I won’t say from a pulpit.
A tired Jesus slumps into a commercial fisherman’s boat, says, “Get me out of here!” and falls asleep. I bet it was a good sleep, too. Just yesterday I had been working on projects in the yard all day. We had dinner in the back yard, and I fell asleep in my chair. It was a good sleep. My daughter had been at a friend’s house the night before and stayed up very late. She fell asleep on the couch – barely waking when the dog was encouraged to lick her face. It was a good sleep.
This passage is one of those that affirms the humanity of Jesus for me. I know, he gets all metaphysical before it is over with, but the man was tired! And when he woke up he simply looked death in the face and said, “Peace. Be still.”
This word, peace – shalom in Hebrew – is not as simple a word as we might like it to be. In the tradition of the Jews it was used as a greeting – still is by some – and can mean hello or goodbye. Shalom means an end to conflict, yes, but it also means completeness. Shalom is also an expression of care for the other – an expression of hope that all is well with you. Even stronger – it is an expression of faith that all will be well with those who love the Lord.
Please join me in a moment of silent reflection on the scriptures we have read and the hope they proclaim... Amen.
Have you ever hoped for something so strongly that it seemed like there were no options left if that hope remained unanswered? Have you ever wanted something so terribly that it felt like nothing else mattered? Have you ever had the experience of waiting, expecting, and longing for something that turned out so entirely different from your hopes that it changed the way you understood who you are, who God is, and what the relationship between you and your Creator is truly about?