MINISTER - FRAN HAYES

One generation shall laud your works to
another, and shall declare your mighty acts...
They shall celebrate the fame of your abundant
goodness, and shall sing aloud of your
righteousness. Psalm 145:1-7

This year we've been celebrating 85 years of mission at Littlefield Presbyterian Church. We've enjoyed looking at photographs and hearing stories of Littlefield's history of mission and ministry. We've been remembering the faithfulness and generosity of Littlefield saints and how they celebrated God's abundant goodness through word and deed over the generations.

The annual stewardship emphasis invites us to reflect on God's abundance and generosity. The Bible teaches us that God is good, merciful, and generous. When we hear the voices of our culture insisting that there isn't enough, that our security and happiness is something we need to provide for ourselves by consuming and accumulating material goods, we need to gather together to remember that Jesus promises a life of abundance. This was such an important part of Jesus' message that all four of the gospels tell the story of how, In a time of scarcity, Jesus took a few loaves and fishes and blessed and broke them, and shared the food, and all who ate were satisfied. In this act he demonstrated abundant life: if bread is broken and shared, there is enough for all.

Littlefield Presbyterian Church has a long history of generosity and commitment to mission in the local community and beyond. As the membership of the congregation has decreased, the average giving per member has grown. We keep growing in our understanding of what a privilege and joy it is to give out of our abundance. Time and time again, when we gather incredible numbers of hygiene kits or pile tables high with baby layette and other items, when we give to Fort Street/Open Door, as we support mission outreach through the Presbyterian Church, Church World Service, various women's health initiatives, and more, we amaze ourselves with what a small number of people can do. As some of you have commented: “It feels good! It's fun!”

In addition, many of our members give generously of their time, serving on session, deacons, and committees, maintaining and improving the building and grounds, enhancing our music ministry, nurturing our children, and serving in a variety of ways.

I believe that when love and gratitude overflows in generous sharing, it helps those in need and also transforms and blesses the givers. I think that habit of generosity has transformed generations of Littlefield Presbyterians to help make the congregation the special community it is.

One of the challenges of our faith is to learn to trust in God's goodness, to grow in generosity, and to share out of our abundance, even in the face of apparent scarcity. This stewardship season and beyond, how shall we celebrate God's abundant goodness? We have an opportunity to pass on the faith to future generations. Let us pray that we will continue the Littlefield tradition: generations of generosity.

Salam...shalom...peace!

SCRIPTURE READINGS
(Based on Revised Common Lectionary)

November 1
Old Testament Lesson-Isaiah 25:6-9
Psalm 24
Epistle Lesson-Revelation 21:1-6a
Gospel Lesson-John 11:32-44

November 8
Old Testament Lesson-Ruth 3:1-5, 4:13-17
Psalm 127
Epistle Lesson-Hebrew 9:24-28
Gospel Lesson-Mark 12:38-44

November 15
Old Testament Lesson-1 Samuel 1:4-20
Old Testament Lesson-1 Samuel 2:1-10
Epistle Lesson-Hebrew 10:11-25
Gospel Lesson-Mark 13:1-8

November 22
Old Testament Lesson-2 Samuel 23:1-7
Psalm 132:1-18
Epistle Lesson-Revelation 1:4b-8
Gospel Lesson-John 18:33-37

November 29 – First Sunday of Advent
Old Testament Lesson-Jeremiah 33:14-16
Psalm 25:1-10
Epistle Lesson-1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
Gospel Lesson-Luke 21:25-36

PRAYER MINISTRY

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Reflect on your present blessings, of which
everyone has many; not on your past
misfortunes, of which all of us have some.
– Charles Dickens

PRAYER
Lord, no matter what our personal battles are
this coming holiday season, we rest assured
that you are with us every moment. What
better time to focus on all the blessings we
have. Deliver us from any ill will, Lord, and
keep us focused on all the reasons we have
to be thankful.
– A Woman's Daily Prayer Book

SCRIPTURE VERSE
And now, our God, we give thanks to you and praise your glorious name.
– 1 Chronicles 29:13

TAIZE WORSHIP - NOVEMBER 3 @ 7:00 p.m

Light, prayer and music are woven together in a contemplative prayer service. Short, simple songs, repeated again and again, help one enter into a meditative state. Thus, this meditative singing becomes a way of listening to God. All are invited, regardless of faith background and age, to come and renew your spirit. You are invited to dress comfortably and casually. Invite a friend!

PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN

Please join us on Wednesday, November 4, from 9:45 a.m. through lunch at the Second Mile Center in Detroit. Bring your friends and listen to a two-part program dealing with gun violence and human trafficking. The Remember Me Quilt Project of Michigan will be presented on gun violence; and a state trooper will present a program on what is being done to track down those involved in the crime of human trafficking. This topic has been one of the major concerns of the PWPD Committee on Justice and Peace.

Further, the Second Mile Center is busy planning for their Thanksgiving food baskets and need our assistance. Please bring the following non-perishable items to help the hungry:

  • 1 box of elbow macaroni
  • 2 cans cranberry sauce
  • 2 cans green beans or corn
  • 1 large can of yams
  • 1 container frosting
  • 1 box cake mix or brownie mix
  • 1 box or bag white self-rising corn meal

Lunch will be served immediately after the program and will cost $8. Please make reservations by Friday, October 30, with the church office.

Looking Ahead - Mark Your Calendars
Friday, November 6, the PW Coordinating Team will meet at 12:00 p.m. in the lounge. Please bring your own sack lunch and beverage.

Saturday, November 14, will be our baking day for Christmas cookies. We'd love to have any of you who like baking and enjoy fellowship with one another, to join us from 9:00 a.m. to noon in Fellowship Hall. Many hands make light work! These cookies will then be sold at our annual Christmas Cookie Sale on Sunday, December 13, (after church). It's a fun morning and gets us in the holiday spirit a little bit early, plus it's all part of the Littlefield PW's missions fund raiser.

Thursday, December 3, at 7:00 p.m., starting in the Sanctuary is our annual Advent Tea and program. This is a wonderful way to usher in the Christmas season. Please join us for this special evening of worship, music, fellowship, and refreshment.

Sunday, December 13, in Fellowship Hall following church, will be our Annual Christmas Cookie Sale. Don't forget to ask your friends to come to church that day so that following the worship service, they can purchase delicious cookies and bars for the holiday season and support the PW missions at the same time.

A TIME FOR FAITHFUL IMAGINATION & NOVEMBER 15

“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” –Jeremiah 29:11

If you are an elder, deacon, committee member, or anyone who cares about the future of Littlefield Presbyterian Church, you are invited to join us for A Time for Faithful Imagination on Sunday, November 15. A simple lunch and time for visiting will begin at 12:30 p.m. in the church lounge, with choir members joining in when they arrive, and our program beginning at 1:00 p.m.

For some time our Session has been talking about scheduling a time for listening to various voices in the congregation, for conversation about possible futures for the Littlefield congregation, and about a time of discernment, to help us move forward with faith and hope. We will have an update on the congregation's finances, time for identifying what is strong and unique about Littlefield, listening to people's concerns, and viewing the future with eyes of faith. This will be the beginning of a process that will continue with a visioning/planning retreat in April or May.

We look forward to a faithful, hopeful, enjoyable, and productive time together. Please mark your calendar and plan to join us for this time of faithful imagination. An RSVP would be very helpful for planning the lunch. If you need childcare, please let the church office know.

HANGING OF THE GREENS – SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28 AT 9:00 a.m

Ever wondered how the church was transformed each Christmas season? Come lend a helping hand and find out! The more people that come to help, the sooner everyone goes home to enjoy their day. An added bonus, you get to have some great fellowship and laughs!

WARM FUZZIES

With a winter chill already in the air, the need for hats and mittens has become apparent. The Presbyterian Women will again be collecting “Warm Fuzzies” to benefit several local shelters. Please bring your donations of hats, gloves and scarves (men's items are especially needed) and put them in the library on the following Sundays: November 29, December 6 and December 13. Remember to leave on the price tags so we can determine the value of our donations. Thank you!

MEN'S STUDY GROUP & NOVEMBER 30

The men will meet on November 30 at 6:30 p.m. for dinner, followed by their study. They will continue the study of, “The Spirituality of Dietrich Bonhoeffer,” Session Four, The Cost of Discipleship. All men are invited to join them for dinner and the study.

PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN ADVENT TEA

Thursday, December 3 at 7:00 p.m. is a date for your calendar! The Presbyterian Women in Littlefield Church will host their Advent Tea once again and you won't want to miss it. Not only will there be caroling and festive desserts, but this year our program will be very special. THE ROSE FLUTE ENSEMBLE of the greater Detroit area will perform for us. The Rose Flute Ensemble was formed in 1981. Over the past 25 years, the group has performed concerts for their own enjoyment and to support social justice and environmental organizations. Members, play various flutes, including the alto flute, piccolo, bass flute and the concert C flute. Director, Susan Lazar, has arranged over 100 pieces for the Rose Flute Ensemble. Please join us in the sanctuary on December 3 for a lovely evening of spirit filled music and fun. All are welcome and the only fee is your attendance!

MEN: SAVE THE DATE – SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12
Annual Presbyterian Men's Communion Advent Breakfast

Come join men from across the Detroit Presbytery to create a network for good in the community. The keynote speaker this year is Jason Hanson, retired football player from the Detroit Lions. Jason spent his 21-year career with the Lions. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. with communion, breakfast, and program starting at 8:00 a.m. This year's program is at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 17567 Hubbell, Detroit 48235. Tickets are $15 by advanced reservations only by December 3. For more details, please see the Mission Board across from the church office.

THANK YOU!

Dear Members: Thank you to all who donated foodstuffs and miscellaneous to the Presbytery Hunger Program. The churches that are part of the Hunger Program really appreciate it.

Another church has joined the team bringing the number to eight churches that participate in the program.

Sincerely,
Ruth Allen, Secretary

MISSION NIGHT 2015

Diane Agnew, Hunger Action Coordinator for the Presbytery of Detroit,spoke at our annual Mission Night, sponsored by the Presbyterian Women, held on October 5. Diane shared some surprising statistics about hunger in the communities of metro Detroit and highlighted the wonderful feeding programs and food pantries offered by churches in our Presbytery. Our 2-cents-a- meal collections also help support these programs.

CHURCH & SOCIETY

Our morning of volunteering at Gleaners was Saturday, October 10, from 9 a.m. till noon. Eleven people attended and we packed weekend bags of food for children to take home on Fridays. We worked in an assembly line with people from another church. Pastor Fran was given another task to do that involved packaging fresh corn on the cob. The assembly line packed over 1000 weekend bags and we were stopped early so that there would be work for the afternoon volunteers. THANK YOU to the people who came to Gleaners.

We will be making donations to various mission programs during November from our Community Mission and Hunger Programs allocations in the 2015 budget. We have also decided to send support to two new Mission Co-workers.

EVANGELISM & MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE

We are making great progress on our new updated Church Directory. For the first three Sundays of October we turned the lounge into a photo studio and took pictures of both members and non-members. Thanks to all who took the time to come over to the lounge to have their picture taken. Our next steps are to confirm all of the contact information, collate the photos, and publish the directory. Our goal is to have it done by the end of the year.

Advent is just around the corner. This year we will have a daily Advent meditation and prayer booklet entitled, Unto Us a Child is Born by Henri J. M. Nouwen. “Each day begins with a line of Scripture, followed by words of wisdom from Henri Nouwen and closes with a brief prayer to focus on throughout the day. The Advent season calls us to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus, our loving Savior. Henri Nouwen, with his unique pastoral sensitivity to our needs, remains an ideal companion.” (Found on the back cover of the booklet).

On Sunday, October 25, we held an inquirer's session for those who wanted to learn more about us (and for us to learn more about them). The gathering lasted for two hours during which time we ate a wonderful lunch, shared our spiritual journeys, talked about how we came to Littlefield and what we find special about Littlefield. In addition we explored what it means to be both a Christian and a Presbyterian. Questions were asked and answers provided. At the end of our time together, four people remained for a brief special meeting of session for the purpose of being received into membership at Littlefield. On November 8th we will receive our new members in worship.

It's hard to believe that 2015 is almost over. Who knows what 2016 has in store for our membership!

PROPERTY COMMITTEE

Everybody's Talking!

I own a shirt that says “Believe the Good in Detroit!” If you read just the white letters on the shirt, it says “Be the Good!”

For everyone who offers criticism, I say, “Are you going to be a part of the problem, or are you going to be part of the solution?” Our parents did not do much talking; they just did things.

We are still working out details of church care with the Iglesia Church. However, we have made much progress and continue to move forward.

The Bible study for the September session meeting was about seeing OTHER CHRISTIANS as very special in the eyes of God. As we moved further in conversation, we were challenged to be more open in our relationships with other Christians.

Living and working together and sharing space is hard work and we need to practice communicating respectfully and constructively with one another. So please, before you criticize or spread rumors consider this:

  • Is it fair to all concerned?
  • Is it the truth?
  • Will it build good will and better friendships?
  • Can I do something about the situation or do I just want to talk?

Let us talk about the GOOD at Littlefield; better yet let us BE THE GOOD at Littlefield and SHOW WE ARE CHRISTIANS BY OUR LOVE!

PW MISSION INGATHERING REPORT

Once again, the Presbyterian Women of Littlefield (with the congregation's help) have met our PWPD Ingathering assignment and have exceeded expectations for additional donations. The value of our 2015 requested assignment was $1,317 and the value of our additional donations was $4,231 for a total of $5,548! This includes the amount from the "Warm Fuzzies" given last Christmas ($568), the food collected for the Presbytery Hunger Program throughout the year ($428), the school supplies collected ($276) and the donations given to the Mother's Day Card Project ($269).

Some of the items donated to the Ingathering from Littlefield were personal kits made with toiletries donated by the congregation (20 kits this year), new clothing, layette items from the PW baby shower, toys, school supplies, bedding, towels, craft supplies, and handmade baby caps and baby blankets for hospitals in Malawi and the Congo. The total also includes cash donations made by the PW to eight local agencies. Thanks to everyone who sewed, knitted, purchased and collected items.

All the donated items were collected, sorted and packaged at the PWPD Ingathering, held at Westminster Church on October 19-21. Eight Littlefielders helped during one or all of the days. The items were delivered to 35 metro Detroit locations such as shelters, hospitals and nursing homes. Everything was very gratefully received. Thank you Littlefielders!

ON BEING PRESBYTERIAN

Some of the ministries of the Presbyterian Church (USA) that do not get a lot of publicity include Self Development of People (SDOP), the Office of Public Witness (OPW) and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations. Each of these represent the PCUSA at its best.

Self Development of People (SDOP) has been a partner in grassroots projects around the globe that seek to improve the lives of poor and underserved people since 1970. Working with the staff, the elected committee reviews grant applications from projects, both in the U.S. and internationally. SDOP is funded with one-third of our gifts to the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering.

In 1980 and with Bill Gepford's help, A.C.C.E.S.S. (Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services) received a $50,000 grant from SDOP. At the time, it was the largest grant ever from SDOP. This grant helped A.C.C.E.S.S. to go from a struggling service organization in the South end of Dearborn to one that now has several offices and serves people all over Dearborn and Southwest Detroit.

One recent recipient of SDOP funds is We the People of Detroit, a grassroots initiative, formed in 2008 to fight city government's takeover of the public school system. Over the years, its mission has grown to improve the quality of life for city residents, focusing on such issues as workers' rights, pensions and ensuring people have access to clean water. Group leaders said they found mothers knocking on doors seeking water for baby formula and people who had been living without water for lengthy periods of time. We the People of Detroit has worked to prevent water shut-offs and SDOP has stepped in to assist. “This partnership couldn't have come at a better time,” said Monica Lewis-Patrick, co-founder of We the People of Detroit. “It allowed us to be catapulted into action and led to our involvement in water litigation and the drafting of state and federal legislation.”

The Presbyterian Office of Public Witness is the public policy information and advocacy ministry of the PCUSA. Located in Washing, DC, just steps from the nation's capital, this ministry bears witness with elected leaders to the church's deep convictions about justice, peace, and freedom.

The church has a long history of applying biblically and theologically based insights to issues that affect the well being of the nation and the world. Since 1946, the PCUSA has supported this ministry which interprets the social witness perspectives and policies of our denomination to the nation's leaders.

The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations represents the PCUSA at the United Nations. Presbyterians have long recognized the deep connections within our human family around the world and understand that the United Nations plays a key role in awakening a spirit of international community and cooperation. Since its founding in 1945, Presbyterians have affirmed the goals and work of the UN in almost 200 actions of the General Assembly, including the ground- breaking document, Peacemaking the Believers' Calling. Unanimously received by the GA in 1980, this document has continued to educate, inform, and guide the work of Presbyterians in mission and witness.

Some of you may remember that in October 2013, the Rev. Mark Koenig, director of the United Nations ministry, preached here at Littlefield after he had been in Detroit for another event.

More next month.

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.