This Weeks News!

ELMER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH – news wk 05/25/15:

 

Rev. Mouris Yousef began his Pentecost Sunday sermon “Too Deep for Words!” by reading Scriptures Joel 2:28-32 and Acts 2:1-13 in both English and Egyptian as a reminder of the importance of the day. Pentecost commemorates a watershed event in Christian history. This day became significant for Christians because, fifty days or seven weeks after the resurrection of Jesus, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon Christ’s first followers, thus empowering them for their mission and gathering them together as a church. In Acts chapter 2 we read “And when the day of Pentecost had come, the first followers of Jesus were all together in one place . . . and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit gave them the ability to speak.” The languages given to the followers of Christ that day were the languages spoken by thousands of Jewish pilgrims who had come to Jerusalem to celebrate Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks. “Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?” Peter preached his first sermon, interpreting the events of that morning in light of a prophecy of the Hebrew prophet Joel, in which God promised to pour out His Spirit on all flesh, empowering diverse people to exercise divine power. This would be a sign of the coming “day of the Lord”. What is the message of Pentecost to our lives as followers of Christ today? To the Elmer Presbyterian Church as it carries on its ministry and mission in this community?

Pentecost is the celebration of the gift of the Holy Spirit. Before He was taken up into heaven, Jesus promised the disciples in Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” The gift of the Holy Spirit, God’s dwelling in their lives, was the gift that made the whole difference. From the day of Pentecost to this day, authentic Christian communities have become witnessing communities. That is the challenge I’ve put before you over the last few weeks as we launched together the “Come and See” initiative.

On the day of Pentecost, there were people from the four ends of the earth. Those people took the Christian message to their homeland. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit enabled the followers of Christ to speak the languages of the people around them. We are called to speak a language that those around us can understand. Napoleon Bonaparte once pointed to a map of China and said, “There lies a sleeping giant. If it ever wakes up, it will be unstoppable.” Today the American church is a sleeping giant. Each Sunday, church pews are filled with members who are doing nothing with their faith except “keeping” it, rather than sharing it with others.

Next Sunday, May 31st, is Youth Sunday, with the children and youth of the church leading the service. Members of the Sr. Youth Group will offer mediations based on Matthew 5 and the Beatitudes.

 

The Community Bible study, led by Rev. Yousef, meets on Tuesdays at 10:00 am. If you’d like to learn more about the Word of God this is a great opportunity to join others in lively and informed discussions of the Bible.

The Women’s Association meets Tuesday, June 2nd at 6:00 pm.

The Men’s Bible study meets on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm.

 The Way youth group meets weekly on Wednesday in the Church, with Bible themed study, activities and games. Junior youth in 4th through 7th grades meet from 6:30-8:00 pm, while senior youth 8th grade and up meet from 6:30-8:30 pm. All youth in the area are invited to participate in the activities.

Our Clothes Closet will next be open Tuesday, June 16th, from 6-7 pm, offering serviceable used clothing for children and adults to those in need at no cost. However, if you need assistance before then, please call the church.

The Elmer Presbyterian Church is located at 107 Chestnut Street (Rt. 40) in Elmer, at the intersection of Rt. 40 and Front Street. The church is handicap accessible, with parking available behind the church. If you would like information about any of our worship services or programs, or need transportation, please call 856-358-8888.

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