MINISTER - FRAN HAYES

“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

A few weeks ago we celebrated Pentecost—the gift of the Holy Spirit to the church. Through Peter and the prophet Joel, we heard God's promise: “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.”

As a congregation, Littlefield has seen some challenging times and transitions in the past, and continues to face the challenges of this new time. We have been in a time of spiritual discernment, to help us move forward with faith and hope and holy purpose. Back in 2014, we developed a brief mission statement for a new time: Why we exist: To love God, one another and all people. To show God's love in our work for peace and justice.”

This is a time for us to be open to the Spirit, for prophetic conversations, visions and dreams to guide us into a faithful future. Since we don't have unlimited resources (people/time/money/energy) to do everything, we need to discern our priorities and give priority to those things that are consistent with our stated mission and with this congregation's core values.

Last November, 30 of us gathered for A Time for Faithful Imagination, and we generated a large number of ideas that people think of as our core values. The day before Pentecost, 17 people met for Faithful Imagination (Part 2), to follow up on the work we did in November. The Rev. Beth Delaney facilitated our process, as we worked to discern which values are at the core of who we are as a congregation. We discovered that a number of the values clustered around compassion, joyful faith, inclusiveness, peacemaking, openness, mission, and hospitality. We still have some work to do to address redundancies, overlaps, and clarity. After that, we would like to bring the core values to a congregational meeting and invite all to affirm it.

This is about holy purpose, being one in mission, and being focused as we go forward. We tend to be a permission-giving congregation when we have energy for new mission initiatives. Our Peace Camp started years ago as a new mission initiative, as did the Taize service and a blues music night and a week-night informal worship service. Some new initiatives will “fly,” and some others may not have enough interest or energy to sustain them over time. As in the past, we may discern that we need to drop something we've been doing that isn't working well or may not be needed any more, in order to free up energy or resources to try something new.

As Presbyterians, we try to do things “decently and in order” as we follow the leading of the Spirit, but that doesn't mean a team that discerns a need and has energy about a new way to address it would need to get bogged down in a long process to get permission to try a new initiative. If it's consistent with our stated mission and our core values and you have the energy to move it forward, let's talk and pray about it and encourage one another as we live further into God's will for our world.

This is a challenging and exciting time to be church in our fast-changing world. But we can trust in God's promise: God surely has plans for us—plans for a hopeful future.

Shalom – Salam – Peace.

SCRIPTURE READINGS
(Based on Revised Common Lectionary)

June 5
Hebrew Scripture-1 Kings 17:8-24
Psalm 146
Epistle Lesson-Galatians 1:11-24
Gospel Lesson-Luke 7:11-17

June 12
Hebrew Scripture-1 Kings 21:1-21a
Psalm 5:1-8
Epistle Lesson-Galatians 2:15-21
Gospel Lesson-Luke 7:36-8:3

June 19
Hebrew Scripture-1 Kings 19:1-15a
Psalm 42 & 43
Epistle Lesson-Galatians 3:23-29
Gospel Lesson-Luke 8:26-39

June 26
Hebrew Scripture-2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14
Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20
Epistle Lesson-Galatians 5:1, 13-25
Gospel Lesson-Luke 9:51-62

PRAYER MINISTRY

Laughter is medicine for the soul, but sometimes, amid the stresses of the day, we forget to take our medicine. Instead of viewing our world with a mixture of optimism and humor, we allow worries and distractions to rob us of the joy that God intends for our lives.

So the next time you find yourself dwelling upon the negatives of life, refocus your attention to things positive. And, if you see your glass as “half empty,” rest assured that your spiritual vision is impaired. With God, your glass is never half empty. With God as your protector and Christ as your Savior, your glass is filled to the brim and overflowing. . . forever.

Today, as you go about your daily activities, approach life with a smile on your lips and hope in your heart. And laugh every chance you get.

PRAYER
Lord, You have given us so many reasons to celebrate life.
Today, let me be a joyful Christian- quick to smile and quick to laugh.
And, let Your love shine in me and through me, this day and forever.
Amen.
– 100 Days of Praise for Women

SCRIPTURE
A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.
– Proverbs 17:22 MSG

EVANGELISM & MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE

Our new book group, Engage!, has stirred up a lot of interest and some questions. I have been asked if Engage! is open to everyone. Yes, indeed, we invite anyone who so desires to join us. I have also been asked if participating in Engage! requires a large commitment of time. No, in fact, quite the opposite. We plan to meet once for each book selected. If you decide to engage with us to read a book, you will have several weeks to read on your own time. Then spend an evening together where we will engage in a discussion of how the book challenges us in our faith. We are looking forward to our first Engage! meeting where we will discuss Marilynne Robinson's newest novel, “Lila.” On Tuesday, May 31, we will gather in the Church lounge for a pizza and salad dinner at 6:15 p.m. and then begin our discussion of the book at 7:00 p.m. If you plan on attending, please let the church office know so the proper planning for food can be accomplished.

By the way, we have selected the next book for this summer. We will meet to discuss, “I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity,” by Izzeldin Abuelaish. We have not yet set a date for this discussion.

On Thursday, June 16, we will walk the labyrinth at the Northminster Presbyterian Church in Troy. We will be leaving Littlefield at 6:30 p.m. and plan to arrive at Northminster at 7:00 p.m. Of course, if you live (or work) close to Northminster you can meet us there at 7:00 p.m. The address of the Church is: 3633 West Big Beaver Rd., Troy, MI 48084. Prior to the labyrinth walk, there will be a short talk about labyrinths and spiritual growth.

Save the Date! Our Annual Littlefield Worship In The Park is scheduled for Sunday, July 17. We will gather under the Hemlock Park pavilion in Dearborn (near Schaefer Rd and Hemlock St.). As in the past, we will first worship under the pavilion and then have our picnic.

On a final note, we have planned a trip to the Charles Wright Museum in Detroit. Admission to the museum is free every second Sunday of the month. We have planned to go on the second Sunday of October (October 9th). We will leave the Church at 2:30 p.m. The museum is open from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. We will have more information about this event in future newsletters.

WORSHIP COMMITTEE

On Sunday, June 5, we will celebrate and recognize our worship, education and music leaders. What we are blessed to enjoy at Sunday worship is the result of many hours of planning, preparation and rehearsal on the part of those in our music program. We also appreciate those that are involved in the teaching and caring for our little ones. If you attend any of the Bible studies or Lenten book studies, you are benefiting from the planning and preparation of those leaders as well. Help us say “Thank You” at a cake reception to these saints that share their gifts.

We are now planning our worship schedule for the summer months. If you are interested in being a liturgist for worship or sharing your musical talents with us, please contact the church office with the dates you are available. Thank you to all who are willing to serve Littlefield Church!

MUSIC, TEACHER & WORSHIP LEADER RECOGNITION - SUNDAY, JUNE 5

We hope you will plan on joining us for worship and a special reception to celebrate our worship, education and music leaders. Help us say “Thank You” to these saints that share their gifts.

TAIZE WORSHIP

Our next Service is Tuesday, June 7, at 7:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. There will not be a service in July or August. All people regardless of faith background and age are welcome. You are invited to dress comfortably and casually. Invite a friend!

SUMMER WORSHIP SCHEDULE

Starts June 12
Worship is at 10:00 a.m.
No Sunday school for the summer.

CHURCH & SOCIETY COMMITTEE

Planning for Peace Camp, July 26-28 is underway. A planning meeting has been held and the leadership team is working on specific needs for this year. There will be a sign-up sheet on the library table by June 5 for you to indicate where you would like to help. Please prayerfully consider how you can participate as Peace Camp is not possible without everyone's help. Please see separate article just about Peace Camp.

Our next collection for the Cents-Ability Offering (also known as 2 cents-a-meal) will be June 12. It has been 105 days since our last collection. If you calculate your offering at three (3) meals/day x $.02/meal x 105 days, the offering should be $6.30. Realizing that many of us eat more than three times/day and food prices have increased, donations of any size are always welcome. Our portion of the offering will be given to the Second Mile Center for their summer meal program. Please give generously!

WORSHIP & PICNIC IN THE PARK

The summer season is almost here!

We hope you will join us for our Annual Church Picnic on Sunday, July 17 at Hemlock Park. We have rented a shelter and will be having our morning Worship Service in the park before the picnic. We hope you will come and bring your friends for a unique worship experience followed by the usual food and fun. So that proper planning for food can be accomplished, look for the sign-up sheet on the Library table closer to the event day.

15th ANNUAL PEACE CAMP - JULY 26-28

Peace Camp will be here soon and for the 15th year! On July 26, 27 & 28 our Fellowship Hall will be transformed into a creative space for children, 6—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.

As usual, we need YOUR HELP to make this a successful 3 days for the campers. If you are able to help out with set-up, food preparation, registration, crafts, clean-up or working with small groups of children, please place your name on the Peace Camp Volunteer Sheet that you will find on the Library table.

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 inside any paper products, shoe boxes, paper egg cartons, packing corners/supports that the children can use as architectural features and newspaper (no inserts). Just bring these to church and place in the collection boxes in the Littlefield foyer or the narthex. This year we DO NOT NEED: silk flowers, ribbon, yarn, fringe, fabric, beads, wrapping or wall paper, dairy containers, or anything Styrofoam. If you have questions, please contact the church office.

Registration forms in English, Arabic and Spanish will be available from the office, on our web site, or the Library table. We will again be collecting school supplies at Peace Camp for needy children.

Please join us in this intergenerational community experience!

PEACE CAMP 2016 – DATES AND TIMES

Thursday, July 21 — Registration deadline for children

Monday, July 25 – 10 a.m.
Cover Fellowship Hall floor with Visqueen and set up

Monday, July 25 – 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Orientation for youth and adult leaders

Tuesday, July 26 — 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
First day of Peace Camp

Wednesday, July 27 – 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Second day of Peace Camp

Thursday, July 28 – 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Last day of Peace Camp. Outside rally, parent visitation and Ice Cream Social

SAVE THE DATE – OCTOBER 8, 2016

Gleaners Food Bank
Saturday, 9 - 12 Noon

PROPERTY COMMITTEE

A successful Work Day: On Saturday, May 7, we had 18 people come and beautify the grounds, weeding, planting grass seed, and spreading mulch and dirt (about two cubic yards). Two of the Iglesia Church folks also installed a retaining wall for us! When we finished, we had lunch together. Many hands make light work!

MUSIC AT LITTLEFIELD

Wednesday, May 25, was a special night at Littlefield as our third annual concert fundraiser for music was held in the sanctuary. The evening began with three selections from The Cherry Hill Consort, a group composed of recorders, strings and voices. The Littlefield choir then shared several of their favorite selections. Various solos and duets from our Littlefield vocalists and instrumentalists followed. The Littlefield Folk group performed several selections including a recent composition by Pete Caldwell for “The Longest Day,” a fundraising event held to raise money for the Alzheimer's Association. Our special guests, the Renaissance Voices, a women's vocal choir under the direction of Kevin Dewey, performed a beautiful choral Mass. The concert concluded with the all the vocalists joining together for two selections including the Hallelujah Chorus, the soulful version. Over 90 people were in attendance and almost $900 was raised! After the concert a lovely reception was held in the library. We thank all of the musicians and many others who helped make the evening a success, including our greeters and ushers, and the Presbyterian Women who coordinated the reception. And thank you to all who donated so generously to keep music alive and well at Littlefield Church!

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.