MINISTER - FRAN HAYES

As I write this message, the church and our nation are in a time of mourning for nine Christian brothers and sisters who were gunned down in their church when they were at prayer. For many of us, this is a time of grieving more lives lost, a time of trying to make sense out of what happened - specifically, how a baby-face 21-year-old could be so filled with hate that he could do such a thing, and more generally, how much violence we have in our society and how many precious lives we continue to lose.

For a lot of people, it's painful to acknowledge that racism was the driving force in the Charleston massacre, even though it quickly became clear that was the case. For a lot of people, itís scary to talk about difficult and divisive issues. But if we listen, we can hear Jesus saying, as he did in the midst of the stormy sea, “Peace! Be still!” If we listen, we may hear him asking, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith? ”

When we follow Jesus, we may be commanded, like his first disciples, to cross over to the other side and encounter others who are different. We are called to “pursue peace with everyone.” (Hebrews 12:14) We are entrusted with the ministry of reconciliation. (2 Cor. 5) If we are going to follow Jesus, we need to follow him into the storm and into territory that is outside of our comfort zone.

I've been heartbroken over what happened last week in Charleston, and that people keep dying. But I also want to be hopeful and faithful. I believe now is the time for us to stop being afraid of the hard conversations about race and privilege and gun violence in our society — conversations that can lead to the healing of the sickness in our society. Maybe you're wondering: But what can we do? Where would we begin? It feels so overwhelming.

I believe now is the time for us to re-commit ourselves to living into the Beloved Community, which is just another way of talking about the Kingdom of God. Now is the time to find ways to come together with our neighbor congregations, to find energy and encouragement with one another, because weíre all in the boat together.

A few days ago, I met with my friend and colleague Colleen Nieman, who is the pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, and we were asking those very questions. We talked about how important it is to build relationships, to build community that works together for change. One possibility is to form an ecumenical/interfaith group that meets to prepare and share a simple supper once a month and to have some of the hard conversations and to encourage and challenge one another as we grow into Beloved Community. We're hoping that a few people would join us for a simple sandwich supper this summer in a local park to discuss an article and then prayerfully consider how we might be called to work together for a more just and peaceful society. If this sounds like something you'd like to be a part of, please help us to plan a workable date for a first gathering by filling out the Doodle scheduler this week.

Jesus never promised us that we could stay safely on the shore, where things are familiar and comfortable. But we have faith in the One who can calm the storm, and who promises to be with us always.

Salam • Shalom • Peace.

SCRIPTURE READINGS
(Based on Revised Common Lectionary)

July 5
Old Testament Lesson-2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10
Psalm 48
Epistle Lesson-2 Corinthians 12:2-10
Gospel Lesson-Mark 6:1-13

July 12
Old Testament Lesson-2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19
Psalm 24
Epistle Lesson-Ephesians 1:3-14
Gospel Lesson-Mark 6:14-29

July 19
Old Testament Lesson-2 Samuel 7:1-14a
Psalm 89:20-37
Epistle Lesson-Ephesians 2:11-22
Gospel Lesson-Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

July 26 Worship in the Park
Old Testament Lesson-2 Samuel 11:1-15
Psalm 14
Epistle Lesson-Ephesians 3:14-21
Gospel Lesson-John 6:1-21

August 2
Old Testament Lesson-2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a
Psalm 51:1-12
Epistle Lesson-Ephesians 4:25-5:2
Gospel Lesson-John 6:35, 41-51

August 9
Old Testament Lesson-2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33
Psalm 130
Epistle Lesson-Ephesians 4:25-5:2
Gospel Lesson-John 6:35, 41-51

August 16
Old Testament Lesson-1 Kings 2:10-12, 3:3-14
Psalm 111
Epistle Lesson-Ephesians 5:15-20
Gospel Lesson-John 6:51-58

August 23
Old Testament Lesson-1 Kings 8:1, 6, 10-11, 22-30, 41-43
Psalm 84
Epistle Lesson-Ephesians 6:10-20
Gospel Lesson-John 6:56-69

August 30
Old Testament Lesson-Song of Solomon 2:8-13
Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9
Epistle Lesson-James 1:17-27
Gospel Lesson-Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

PRAYER MINISTRY

Summer Rainbows
The wild, sweet rain of Summer spills
On pale-blue larkspur on the hills,
On crimson apples and leaf-green bough,
On fields turned by a spinning plow.
It scrubs the sunflowerís golden face
And shines the meadow grass in place,
Gold dust sprinkled through the haze
Unveils Godís precious Summer days.
Mist sweeps the woods where lilies grow
And leaves Godís glorious world aglow.
His fresh, green earth,
towering mountains highÖ
Godís radiant rainbows
span the Summer sky.
- Elisabeth W. Winstead


SCRIPTURE
Help carry one anotherís burdens,
and in this way you will obey the law of Christ.
- Galatians 6:2


Thought for Today
If I am too busy to spend time quietly with God today,
I am busier than God wants me to be.
- Olive M. Cooper

WORSHIP INFORMATION

Remember that summer vacations are a wonderful time to bring friends to Sunday Worship in a more casual setting at 10:00 a.m. We will resume our normal worship schedule on September 13 at 10:30 a.m.

In addition, we are happy to announce that the Adult Bible Study will resume on September 13 at 9:15 a.m. Watch your bulletins for more information on that.

Have a safe and spiritually refreshing summer!

WORSHIP SERVICE AND CHURCH PICNIC IN THE PARK
JULY 26

We hope you will join us for our annual church picnic on Sunday, July 26, at Hemlock Park.

We have rented a shelter and will have our morning worship service there at 10:00 a.m. before the picnic. The shelter is very close to the parking lot, accessible to all and has its own bathrooms. We hope you will come and bring your friends for a unique worship experience followed by the usual food and fun. We will provide the meat and buns for grilling, condiments and beverages; you may sign up to bring salad, chips or dessert.

The city has added a "Splash Pad" at Hemlock Park! So, bring a towel and a change of clothes if you want to go play in the water!

For planning purposes, if you are attending, please sign up on the sheet in the library or call the church office.

ANNUAL PEACE CAMP 2015
JULY 28, 29, & 30

Peace Camp will be here soon and for the 16th year! On July 28, 29, & 30 our Fellowship Hall will be transformed into a creative space for children, 6 to 12 years old, to make a neighborhood of peace. They will sing songs, share meals, play games and learn the tools for living peacefully in community.

If you are able to help with food preparation, registration, set-up, clean-up or assisting, please donít hesitate to place your name on the Peace Camp Volunteer Sheet that you will find in the Library. If you are not able to be there to help, you can still participate by sharing registration forms with youngsters you know, or by bringing in some of the following items that we can use: cardboard tubes from paper towels, or wrapping paper, packing corners/supports that children can use as architectural features, lace trim, fringe, beads, paper egg cartons, and especially newspaper (this item is very much needed but not the glossy ads). Just bring these to church and place in the collection boxes in the Littlefield foyer or the narthex. Please, NO Styrofoam or shoe boxes.

Registration forms, in both English and Arabic, are available from the office, on our website, or the Library table.

Please join us in this wonderful, intergenerational community experience!

PEACE CAMP 2015 DATES AND TIMES

Thursday, July 23
Registration deadline for children.

Monday, July 27
Lay Visqueen on floor and set-up Fellowship Hall
6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – Orientation for youth and adult leaders

Tuesday, July 28
5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
First day of Peace Camp

Wednesday, July 29
5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Second day of Peace Camp

Thursday, July 30
5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Last day of Peace Camp

  • 7:15 p.m.- Begin parade through neighborhood
  • 8:00 p.m.- Ice Cream Social/Photos/ visit with families
  • 8:35 p.m.- Clean-up will begin as soon as children leave

NEXT TAIZE SERVICE
SEPTEMBER 1

Our Taize Worship Service will NOT be offered in July and August.

Join us Tuesday, September 1 @ 7:00 p.m.

SAVE THE DATE
OCTOBER 10, 2015

Gleaners Food Bank - Saturday, 9-12 Noon

SAVE THE DATE - OCTOBER 10

Gleaners Food Bank, 9am - 12 Noon

EVANGELISM AND MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE

The newly formatted Littlefield web site (www.littlefieldchurch.org) has been on-line for almost two months now. If you have yet to visit our site, please take a moment and take a look. Please note that our Littlefield Facebook feed streams to our web site. So, even if you don't have a Facebook account, you can follow our Facebook posts.

Recently we posted information on Peace Camp 2015. If you need dates and times or registration forms, simply go the web site and click on the link on the home page.

YOUR DONATIONS ARE APPRECIATED!

As you travel this summer, staying at hotels/motels, please remember the Presbyterian Ingathering is in need of personal care items for personal kits. These kits are distributed to homeless shelters around the Detroit area.

We need SAMPLE sizes of: toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, bar soap, shampoo, conditioner, razors, mouthwash; not needed are shower caps and sewing kits. There is a basket on the table in the library for donations.
Thank you.

THANK YOU for your contributions to the Pentecost Offering. We collected $651 to support ministries with children and youth. Our 2-cents-a-meal collection from March was $236.50 and our portion will be sent to the Presbytery Hunger Program. The figures are not in yet for the June collection. God is good all the time. All the time God is good!

KITCHEN COMMITTEE

We are almost there! Our renovated kitchen is nearly completed using funds received from our insurance company and a gift from the Presbytery of Detroitís disaster assistance funds; we were given a budget of $6,000 and should be able to complete the project just under budget. We have two new double gas stoves, new cupboards, walls and ceiling repaired and painted and flooring repaired and cleaned.

The Kitchen Committee will continue to meet to finish up with decisions about the furnishings for the kitchen. When decisions are made about these furnishings, I am sure we would be open to donations for those items yet to come.

Stove vents and piping are yet to be installed and will be completed soon. A larger sink has been installed for washing dishes and a new faucet for rinsing.

Several church members have put in considerable time to get to this point in the kitchen renovation project. Many thanks to them!

Come and see! We think it looks great and will plan an event to use the kitchen soon.

ON BEING PRESBYTERIAN

Being a member of Littlefield Presbyterian Church means you are a part of a ìconnectionalî denomination. We share resources and support one another whenever possible. Every church is a part of a regional body called a presbytery. In our case, we are a part of the Presbytery of Detroit; the offices are located at Westminster Church of Detroit.

The Presbytery of Detroit meets five (5) times each year to worship, conduct business, study issues before the church and have a Bible study. Every teaching elder (minister) is a member of the presbytery with a voice and vote; ruling elder (RE) commissioners are allocated by the number of communicant members and the total number of REs equal the number of ministers. Currently Littlefield is allocated one RE commissioner who has voice and vote; generally, this responsibility is shared amongst the members of the session.

This Presbytery is also a part of the Synod of the Covenant which encompasses all PC(USA) churches in Michigan, Ohio and tiny slivers of Kentucky and Indiana. The Synod of the Covenant is one of 16 regional units. Currently, the place of synods in the PC(USA) is being studied and all expectations lead to there being fewer synods in the recommendation coming to the 2016 GA.

When the General Assembly went to holding biennial assemblies some years ago, a part of the agreement to do so was the promise of another event to be held each summer which would bring together Presbyterians for education, worship and fellowship without the business of the General Assembly. This event is called The Big Tent. The 2015 event with the theme Live Missionally will be held July 30 – August 1 on the campus of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. It is always a good opportunity to meet mission personnel, worship, attend workshops and participate in the family reunion. Unfortunately, this event overlaps with our Peace Camp this year.

Even though it may, at times, seem as if we are out here all alone, we are an important part of the larger body of keeping one another in prayer and keeping Godís mission in front of us. More of ìOn Being Presbyterianî next time.

85TH ANNIVERSARY & CELEBRATION

What a joyful time we had celebrating Littlefieldís 85 years of mission and ministry on June 7. Our worship service focused on remembering, rejoicing, and re-committing ourselves to Christís mission. The event was so well attended (approximately 175 people) that we ran out of worship bulletins! It was wonderful to gather so many people for whom Littlefield is important.

As part of our rejoicing, Elder Diane Bostic-Robinson, a former Moderator, represented the Presbytery of Detroit, as she gave thanks for Littlefieldís unique mission. Eide Alawan represented our friends in the interfaith community and shared memories of Littlefieldís ground-breaking interfaith work over the years. Mayor O'Reilly presented a Citation from the city, recognizing Littlefield's contributions.

The service concluded with celebrating the Lordís Supper. Then we renewed old friendships and made some new friends at a special reception. More photographs can be seen at our Facebook page, Littlefield Presbyterian: 85 Years of Mission.

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.