Life at Littlefield - May 2015
LITTLEFIELD PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
7560 Littlefield Boulevard
Dearborn, Michigan 48126-1699
MINISTER - FRAN HAYES
We’re celebrating 85 years of mission and ministry, so over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about Littlefield Church’s history. If you haven’t yet visited our new Facebook page, “Littlefield Presbyterian: 85 Years of Mission,” I hope you’ll check it out and “Like” / Follow it and share it with your friends. We’ve been hearing from people whose lives have been touched by this congregation, and people are starting to contribute photographs of their own by posting them.
I’ve been enjoying going through the history booklet we produced for the 75th Anniversary and old photos. As I looked at the photo of Littlefield children in the 1950’s learning how to pray, I started wondering: “How many children have learned to pray at Littlefield Presbyterian Church over the years?” That led to other questions, like “How many people have been challenged to grow in their faith at Littlefield, and to love ‘in truth and action’?” How do we measure the value of Littlefield’s ministers and members in the community, leading the way in reconciliation, bridging cultural differences and promoting understanding?
As we celebrate 85 years of mission and ministry, we can be inspired by how each generation of Littlefield Christians has struggled to respond faithfully to the challenges of their time. “The changes in the community in the 1970's had the result of reducing the size of the Littlefield congregation and expanding the mission.” Looking back on this time, a church mission study observed, "In the face of tremendous social changes going on all around it, Littlefield Presbyterian Church did not split apart or turn in on itself, it didn't close down or lose faith…. The church was blessed with strong clergy and lay leaders and a congregation committed to new ideas and approaches. With these assets, the church survived the turmoil of the '60s and '70s." Littlefield not only survived, but was given new dreams and visions for the future.
This is a very challenging time in the life of the church at Littlefield, and also for the church in North America. Yet there is so much reason for thanksgiving and for hope. May God bless us as we seek God’s dreams and visions for the years to come.
William G. Gepford, American-Arab Relations
I have tried to find a different title for this, my last reflection, on the community of which we are a part, but the keyboard always jumps back to what you see, interfaith relations, because that’s been our vision, and members of Littlefield and the broader Presbyterian community, as others, have supported it.
Thank you, thank you, for calling me to this position some 36 years ago. At the time I had other options, local, national and international. But Littlefield was (and still is) committed to working in the Lord’s larger vineyard. Imagine, at the time, it was only good for a two-year contract! I guess we just knew that we were meant for each other. I never knew a person could stay this long. It wasn’t our past experience.
In 1953, Barbara, expecting our first, and I, went from my seminary graduation, McCormick in Chicago, to full-time teachers at two Presbyterian secondary schools in Sidon, Lebanon, on a three-year term. After further studies we returned to Lebanon for language study in Tripoli, on full terms. Before we finished this study we accepted an offer to join the AUB administration, in Beirut.
After two years there, political upheavals caused our return to the States where I entered San Francisco Theological Seminary to complete a doctor’s degree, followed by a PCUSA assignment to Hong Kong.
While there, I was director of the Student Christian Center serving students in the city. It was during the Vietnam War. We joined anti-war demonstrations with many others who had a moral commitment against the war, which our government didn’t fully appreciate. We lost our work permit for Hong Kong!!
In 1972, with the support of the PCUSA, I was offered the opportunity to join the staff of Muskingum University as chaplain, in New Concord, Ohio, until 1979. The rest is history!
We have learned so much from so many wonderful, loving and faithful people. And now it’s time for, what is it they call it, oh yes, retirement! But your commitment continues.
Again, thank you, from both of us. And we can never forget Dr. Geissinger who made it all possible in the first place and Fran who has so skillfully kept things moving and added significant moments.
We have been most fortunate and blessed.
Bill and Barbara
(Based on Revised Common Lectionary)
May 3 First Lesson-Acts 8:26-40 Psalm 22:25-31 Epistle Lesson-1 John 4:7-21 Gospel Lesson-John 15:1-8
May 10 First Lesson-Acts 10:44-48 Psalm 98 Epistle Lesson-1 John 5:1-6 Gospel Lesson-John 15:9-17
May 17 First Lesson-Acts 1:15-17, 21-26 Psalm 1 Epistle Lesson-1 John 5:9-13 Gospel Lesson-John 17:6-19
May 24 - Pentecost Old Testament Lesson-Ezekiel 37:1-14 Psalm 104:24-34, 35b Epistle Lesson-Romans 8:22-27 or Acts 2:1-21 Gospel Lesson-John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15
May 31 - Trinity Sunday Old Testament Lesson-Isaiah 6:1-8 Psalm 29 Epistle Lesson-Romans 8:12-17 Gospel Lesson-John 3:1-17
God's Garden (portion of poem)
The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,--
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
- Dorothy Frances Gurney
Ask rain from the Lord in the season of the spring rain,
from the Lord who makes the storm clouds,
and he will give them showers of rain,
to everyone the vegetation in the field.
- Zechariah 10:1 (ESV)
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Wherever I go and whoever I be, let something of Jesus be seen in me.
HEALTHY WOMEN HEALTHY FAMILIES MOTHERS DAY PROJECT 2015
The Healthy Women Healthy Families Mother’s Day Project is an exciting opportunity to provide medical care for needy women and children, and will also provide literacy, education and leadership training as well as support for community development projects.
The Mother's Day Project supports life- changing activities with overseas partner churches of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Local water and sanitation programs, improved farming methods, and other health education and community development projects chosen by local Community Health Evangelism (CHE) committees are some of the programs supported. These activities are long-term responses to families trapped in cycles of poverty and poor health.
Special Mother’s Day cards are available again this year in exchange for donations to the Healthy Women Healthy Families Mother’s Day Project. Cards will be available in the library during Coffee Hour through May 3, or by contacting the church office. Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10. You can always make a contribution to this worthwhile project, even if you don’t need the Mother’s Day cards.
TAIZE WORSHIP SERVICE - TUESDAY, MAY 5 at 7:00pm
Our next Service is Tuesday, May 5, @ 7:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. All people regardless of faith background and age are welcome. Invite a friend!
The Presbyterian Women of the Presbytery of Detroit (PWPD) will be at Allen Park Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, May 6, from 9:45 a.m. through lunch for the May Gathering. Regina D. Jemison, Littlefield Seminary Intern, will provide the devotions and Charlene Smith, member of St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Detroit, will share her reflections of the recent United Nations Conference of the Status of Women, which she attended as a PC(USA) delegate. The Gathering will also include voting on the proposed bylaw changes, election and installation of leaders, recognition of honorary members, the Birthday Offering dedication, and the commissioning of members attending the 2015 Churchwide Gathering. The cost of lunch will be $7. Reservations should be made to the churc office by Friday, May 1.
The Second Mile Center needs our help in collecting Health Kits for their Mobile Health Fair on July 20. Kits will be collected at our Gathering. Items needed are:
- Individually wrapped toothbrush
- Toothpaste (6.4 oz)
- Dental floss
- Bar of soap (bath size)
- Shampoo – min. size-15 fl. oz.
- Conditioner – min. size 15 fl. oz.
Bring each Health Kit in a plastic bag. If anyone would like to fill a health kit but cannot attend the gathering, please give it to the church office before May 6.
The PW Birthday Offering has been moved to Sunday, May 10 during the worship service.
INTERFAITH NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER
THURSDAY, MAY 7 @ 4 p.m.
At The Dearborn Administrative Center
16901 Michigan Ave., Dearborn
The Council Chambers West Entrance
Sponsored by the Dearborn Area Interfaith Network-DAIN
MEN’S STUDY GROUP
The Men's Group will meet on Monday, May 18 at 6:30 p.m. for dinner followed by their study. The men will continue with Lesson 2 of “The Spirituality of Dietrich Bonhoeffer” by John P. Burgess. This study looks at the life and ministry of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, including his decisions to become a theologian, to give his life to the church, and to remain in Germany in an attempt to overthrow Hitler. All men are invited!
LITTLEFIELD MUSIC CONCERT
Our second annual fundraiser concert to benefit the Littlefield Presbyterian Church Music Program will be held in our sanctuary on Wednesday, May 20, at 7:00 p.m. The concert will feature the Littlefield Church vocal and instrumental musicians and our special guests, the Henry Ford College Concert Choir and Blue Fusion, a vocal jazz group, both directed by G. Kevin Dewey. A free-will offering will be taken and a reception will follow. Invite your friends to join you for a wonderful evening of musical entertainment at Littlefield.
PENTECOST SUNDAY, MAY 24
You are invited to wear red and orange to symbolize the coming of the Holy Spirit like tongues of fire.
CHURCH & SOCIETY COMMITTEE
“God, from my youth you have taught me” Psalm 71:17
On May 24, Pentecost Sunday, we will celebrate the coming of the Spirit who empowers followers of Jesus Christ to proclaim the transforming redeeming love of God that makes the impossible possible. When you give to the Pentecost Offering, you help bring that love to children at risk, guide and nurture young people’s growing faith and provide opportunities for young adults to become spiritual leaders.
The Pentecost Offering is the 2nd special offering of the Presbyterian Church each year and it supports ministries with children and youth. 60% of the money collected goes to GA and 40% remains at Littlefield. The last couple of years, we have used our portion to help support our Peace Camp program. The GA divides their portion up 3 ways; using 10% for child advocacy, 25% for ministries with youth, and 25% for Young Adult Volunteer opportunities. Read your bulletin inserts for specific programs that are supported by our giving to the Pentecost Offering and give generously for our children and youth.
Our next 2-cents-a-meal collection will be on Sunday, June 21. It has been 105 days since our last collection. At 3 meals/day x $.02/meal we should have collected $6.30. Realizing that many of us eat more than 3 times/day and that food prices have increased, donations of any size are always welcome. Our portion of this offering will be given to the Detroit Presbytery Hunger program. Please give generously!
THE PRAYER SHAWL KNITTING GROUP
MAY 28 @ 1:00 P.M.
All those interested in knitting are invited to participate in this ministry. This group meets on the 4th Thursday of the month at 1:00 p.m. in the Tozer Room of Littlefield church. If you have any questions about this ministry, please contact the church office.
Many thanks go out to the ones who give of their time and talents to this ministry. Those that receive a shawl, in their respective times of need, feel the love of God through the shawls.
LITTLEFIELD’S HOMECOMING CELEBRATION
85 YEARS OF MISSION AND MINISTRY!
On Sunday, June 7, we will recognize the 85th Anniversary of Littlefield’s charter as a congregation in 1930. A special morning worship service with a reception following is being planned. Longtime members will be recognized and former pastor, Rev. Del Meester, will be in attendance. Watch for more information to follow.
We're celebrating! Have you checked out our new page on Facebook, Littlefield Presbyterian: 85 Years of Mission? We've started posting historical information and old photos. We hope it will be interactive and that people will participate by sharing their own memories and thanksgivings and photos, and identifying people in photos.
SAVE THE DATE:
WORSHIP IN THE PARK AND CHURCH PICNIC
SUNDAY, JULY 26 at the HEMLOCK PARK SHELTER
MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
PEACE CAMP 2015
JULY 28, 29, & 30
It’s that time of year again when we are looking for childcare help for the summer. This would involve only one or two Sundays. There will be a sign-up sheet in the library for your convenience. For any concerns or questions, please contact the church office.
EVANGELISM & MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE
“I think you're going to like that picture!” That's how every episode of the 1950's television show “Love That Bob” starring Bob Cummings began. Bob played the role of a photographer. One of our goals this year is to create a new church directory. Our current directory is three years old, and there have been many changes in the last three years. So, someone from Littlefield will be playing the role of a photographer and will be asking to take your picture. We will also be updating the directory information by asking you to verify the data we currently have. We hope to have the new directory published by Christmas. I think you're going to like that directory!
This summer we would like to gather informally in one of our parks in order to fellowship and to discuss a book. Each would provide their own food for the gathering. If you are interested in meeting a couple of times this summer on a Tuesday evening (about 5:30pm) for such a gathering, please talk to Fran Hayes or the church office. Once we know who is interested, we will decide on what book to choose and what dates to meet.
Our new web site (www.littlefieldchurch.org) has been built and is ready to go on-line. The new site has the content of the old site but wrapped in a new package. Our goal is to have it active by May 1. We encourage you to visit the new site and let us know what you think. Please note that the address for the site has not changed; only the format of the site has changed.
PW SPRING TEA AND SILENT AUCTION
Littlefield women and their guests enjoyed tea, sandwiches, scones and sweets on Saturday afternoon, April 18, at our sixth annual PW Spring Tea. The lounge was transformed into a Tea Room with beautiful linens, china, silver and flowers on each table. Guests choose hats to wear from our collection if they didn’t have their own. Thank you to all who helped set up, serve and clean up afterwards.
The Silent Auction was a great success. Attendees generously bid over $600 for the many gift cards, tickets, gift baskets, ceramics and other items on our Silent Auction table.
We thank the following for their kind and generous donations: Al-Ameer Restaurant, Tipping Point Theatre and Players Guild of Dearborn.
Thanks to everyone who donated items. All money raised will go toward PW mission projects both near and far. Thank You sisters!
CHURCH MISSION STATEMENT
Who we are:
We are a community of ordinary people
committed to growing together as disciples of Jesus Christ
through worship, fellowship, learning, prayer, and mission.
Why we exist:
To love God, one another, and all people.
To show God's love in our work for peace and justice.