“As a fire is meant for burning with a bright and warming flame, So the church is meant for mission, giving glory to God's name. Not to preach our creeds or customs, but to build a bridge of care. We join hands across the nations, finding neighbors everywhere.” – Ruth Duck

For those who long for a better, more peaceful world, it's painful to see the violence in Charlotte and Tulsa and Seattle and across the globe. I want to do something to help make a more peaceful world a reality. That's why I'm grateful for the Presbyterian Church's Season of Peace, which culminates with the Peace & Global Witness offering on World Communion Sunday. The ministries of peacemaking and reconciliation witness to the Prince of Peace. It is good to be reminded that, with all the discord, pain, and conflict in our communities and in the world, we serve a God who promises harmony and responds to violence with reconciliation and peace, a God who desires to work through us to change the world, together with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and with interfaith partners.

Littlefield Presbyterian Church has a long-time commitment to mission and connection to all of Christ's Church. In recent decades, Littlefield has been strongly committed to building bridges with our neighbors and making peace and has helped to lead the way in nurturing relationships in the interfaith community in metro Detroit and beyond. So it's good to see those early efforts bearing fruit as some of our neighbors grow in their commitment to promote unity and understanding. It was wonderful to celebrate our unity with Muslim and Jewish neighbors on September 18, in our Interfaith Prayers for Peace.

The month of October offers many opportunities for us to grow in our commitment to unity, peacemaking, and mission. We begin with World Communion Sunday, when we celebrate Peace and Global Witness. At the Presbyterian Women Mission Night, we will gather an amazing number of baby layettes and other items to contribute to our presbytery-wide Ingathering and hear a mission speaker from Focus: Hope. We will observe World Food Day on October 16.

We live in the hope of the vision of peace and well-being that is described so vividly in the scriptures. Until peace and well-being for all abounds in our world, let us unite with our brothers and sisters in the local community and throughout the world, praying and working for peace.

Peace – Shalom – Salam.

(Based on Revised Common Lectionary)

October 2
Hebrew Scripture-Lamentations 1:1-6 or Lamentations 3:19-26
Psalm 137
Epistle Lesson-2 Timothy 1:1-14
Gospel Lesson-Luke 17:5-10

October 9
Hebrew Scripture-Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7
Psalm 66:1-12
Epistle Lesson-2 Timothy 2:8-15
Gospel Lesson-Luke 17:11-19

October 16
Hebrew Scripture-Job 31:27-34
Psalm 119:97-104
Epistle Lesson-2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
Gospel Lesson-Luke 18:1-8

October 23
Hebrew Scripture-Joel 2:23-32
Psalm 65
Epistle Lesson-2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
Gospel Lesson-Luke 18:9-14

October 30
Hebrew Scripture-Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4
Psalm 119:137-144
Epistle Lesson-2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12
Gospel Lesson-Luke 19:1-10


Gleaners Food Bank - October 8
Our next volunteer day will be on Saturday, October 8, at the Taylor Distribution Center on Northline Road from 9:00 a.m. until noon. Please join us as we work to help people in our area that are food insecure.

Peace & Global Offering
For many of us, it is easy to see the violence around us and hear of the violence across the globe and feel as though it is a wilderness we are abandoned to. There are stories shared through this offering that show a few of the ways that God spreads a table of peace where the world offers violence and division. They serve as reminders of times when people have been brought together at “tables” of all types. From tables where hard conversations have taken place, to tables where people sat in protest against injustice, to tables where seemingly intractable hate was transformed into compassion and community. All these tables are God's. Even in our doubts, our fears, or suffering, God can spread a table of peace for all to share. It is revealed anew at the communion table.

The Peace & Global Witness Offering provides opportunities for Presbyterians to respond to cultures of violence, around the corner and around the world. Gifts to the 2016 Peace & Global Witness offering helps invite others to the table, both near and far. A violent and broken world calls all of us to play our part in looking at our world and our lives and asking, “Can God spread a table even in this wilderness? Even in my wilderness?” To which God responds and says, “Come to the table of peace.” Through our gifts, we join in God's mission of peace and reconciliation. Please give generously to the Peace & Global Witness Offering on World Communion Sunday, October 2, 2016.


Humble yourselves, therefore, under
God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in
due time. Cast all your anxiety on him
because he cares for you.
— I Peter 5:6 -7


The power of prayer: these words are so familiar, yet sometimes we forget what they mean. Prayer is a powerful tool for communicating with our Creator; it is an opportunity to commune with the Giver of all things good. Prayer helps us find strength for today and hope for the future. Prayer is not a thing to be taken lightly or to be used infrequently.

Is prayer an integral part of your daily life, or is it a hit-or-miss habit? Do you “pray without ceasing,” or is your prayer life an afterthought?

The quality of your spiritual life will be in direct proportion to the quality of your prayer life. Prayer changes things, and it changes you. Today, instead of worrying about your next decision, ask God to lead the way. Don't limit your prayers to meals or to bedtime. Pray constantly about things great and small. God is listening, and He wants to hear from you now.
— 100 Days of Praise for Women

The greatest power that God has given
to any individual is the power of prayer.
— Kathryn Kuhlman

Thank you, Lord, for the powerful gift of
prayer. May we use your gift often and wisely. Amen


The PWPD will meet on Wednesday, October 5, from 9:45 a.m. thru lunch at the First Presbyterian Church of Farmington in Farmington Hills. Because this is “Mission Month,” the program will focus on both local and global mission work. Diane Agnew who is the Hunger Action Coordinator of the Presbytery of Detroit will discuss the causes of hunger in our communities and the programs that are available to address it. Carol Hylkema is the Director of Pal Craftaid: Compassion, Hope, and Healing for Palestinians. She will talk about daily life in Palestine and tell stories behind the artisans who craft the items she will have for sale. Lunch will cost $8.00. Please call the church office for reservations.

Looking Ahead:
Mission Night and Baby Shower – Monday,October 3, in the Littlefield Lounge at 7:00 p.m.
Baking Day (Christmas Cookies) – Saturday November 12, in Fellowship Hall from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Presbyterian Women of Detroit Ingathering
The PWPD will hold their annual Ingathering of mission donations on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 17, 18, and 19, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Detroit. Many hands are needed in order to receive, sort, count and distribute items brought in by about 40 churches in the Detroit Presbytery, including Littlefield. These items are then delivered to over 35 agencies in the metro Detroit area. Both men and women are needed to help. Please contact the church office if you are interested in volunteering.

OCTOBER 4 @ 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 to come and renew your spirit. You are invited to dress comfortably and casually. Invite a friend!


If you're a relative newcomer or anyone who isn't an official member of Littlefield, you are invited to join us for a simple lunch and conversation in the Littlefield Lounge on Sunday, October 23. Included in this conversation will be some other newer people, the pastor, and a few other Littlefield folk. We'll start with a light lunch at 1:00 p.m. and plan to be done by no later than 3:00 p.m.

We look forward to conversation that helps people get better acquainted and learn from one another. People who have been members for a very long time need to hear new perspectives, as we seek ways to reach out to new people. We'll talk about worship and what kinds of learning, fellowship and service opportunities people are interested in. Our leaders need feedback on how we're doing at being inviting and welcoming. We'd love to hear about where people are on their spiritual journeys and how they're experiencing Littlefield.

Nobody is going to twist your arm to try to get you to become an official, on the roll member of Littlefield. That's not the purpose of this meeting. We hope this time of listening and learning will be enjoyable for all who attend.


On the last evening of August, we traveled to Northminster Presbyterian Church in Troy, MI to walk the labyrinth. Six of us were greeted by Pastor Charlotte Sommers who gave a brief presentation of the historical significance of the labyrinth and the ways that the labyrinth can be walked. We found the labyrinth experience to be peaceful. It is a great way to calm down and center on the presence of the Lord. We are now planning to have a labyrinth walk in the fellowship hall. The Presbytery has a portable labyrinth that is available to us. We are currently working on a date for another Littlefield labyrinth walk.

On September 7, the Engage! Book Group met for the third time. Eight people gathered to discuss Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry. During our time together we discussed what it means to live a life defined by love. We also explored the tensions that exist in transitions and relationships. We all were impressed by Berry's style of writing and how he stirred us to ponder things spiritual while grounding his story in a small Kentucky town. Our next book is The Round House by Louise Erdrich. The review states: “One of the most revered novelists of our timeóa brilliant chronicler of Native-American lifeóLouise Erdrich returns to the territory of her bestselling, Pulitzer Prize finalist The Plague of Doves with The Round House, transporting readers to the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. It is an exquisitely told story of a boy on the cusp of manhood who seeks justice and understanding in the wake of a terrible crime that upends and forever transforms his family.” We will be meeting on Wednesday, November 2, to discuss The Round House. As in the past, we will meet in the lounge at 6:15 p.m. for a pizza and salad dinner. Discussion will begin at 7:00 p.m. All are welcome.

We have planned a trip to the Charles Wright Museum in Detroit. Admission to the museum is free every second Sunday of the month. So, we have planned to go on Sunday, October 9. We will leave from church at 2:30 p.m. from the E. Morrow Circle side. The museum is open from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays.

If you're a relative newcomer or anyone who isn't an official member of Littlefield, you are invited to join us for a simple lunch and conversation in the Littlefield Lounge on Sunday, October 23. Included in this conversation will be some other newer people, the pastor, and a few other Littlefield folk. We'll start with a light lunch at 1:00 p.m. and plan to be done by no later than 3:00 p.m.

October 24 @ 6:30 p.m.

The group will continue the study of Islam and Christianity, Session 4, Accept the Prophet. Dinner will be at 6:30 p.m. with the lesson/discussion to follow at 7:00 p.m. If you have any questions, please contact the church office. All men are invited.


We collected 47 School Kits for Church World Service! They were delivered to the CWS depot in Maumee, Ohio on Sept. 14. From there they will be delivered to the CWS warehouse in Maryland to await distribution to children in poverty, disaster or refugee situations who may not be able to purchase even simple school supplies. CWS values each school kit at $15, so our gift total is $705. Thank you Littlefielders!


The Presbyterian Women of Littlefield invite everyone (women and men!) to join us for our annual Mission night on Monday evening, October 3, at 7 pm in the Lounge. At this event we will gather in the items we have been collecting for our mission Ingathering and bless them for distribution. We have also made it a tradition to bring new baby items (with price tags attached) on this night to be distributed to needy mothers and babies in our area.

Our program will be given by Bill Wenzell who is the Manager of Volunteers & Community Outreach for Focus: HOPE. He will talk about the history of Focus: HOPE, including how and why it was founded. His presentation will also include details about the programs they offer, including the Education & Training programs, the Hope Village Initiative and the Food Program. They rely heavily on volunteers for all of these programs, so he will talk about volunteer opportunities as well as their upcoming annual event, "Eleanor's Walk for Hope." Light refreshments will be served after the program. Don't miss this inspiring evening.


What a wonderful time we had at our annual observance of International Day of Peace. Friends and neighbors from the Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities joined us. During the interfaith worship service, we heard wisdom from the three Abrahamic traditions and prayed together for peace.

Cantor Roger Skully from the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue sang scriptural songs in Hebrew and English and also sang a benediction at the end of the service. Two young men from the Islamic House of Wisdom recited and translated verses from the Qur'an. Imam Mohammed Ali Elahi from IHW and Pastor Fran Hayes both preached a message of peace and reconciliation. After worship, we encouraged conversations and making new friends while people enjoyed refreshments.

This event is about finding common ground shared by our religious traditions and building bridges of friendship and understanding. When we have these events, we are truly witnessing to God's love and building bridges of understanding.


Bread for the World Sunday is an opportunity to engage in God's work to end hunger. In our worship and prayers, we remember all those in need. We join thousands of Christians who speak up for those who struggle to survive. Moved by God's grace in Jesus Christ, we reach out to help our neighborsówhether they live next door, in the next state, or on the next continent.

Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39

In developing nations, one out of four persons lives in extreme povertyóon less than $1.25 per day. In our own country, one of five children lives in a family that struggles to put food on the table.

We have the knowledge and resources to end widespread hunger. Churches have led the way in providing emergency food here in the U.S.A. and in helping farmers in Africa and elsewhere grow more food. But our nation's decision makers must also change the policies and conditions that allow hunger to persist. Today and in the weeks ahead, you can turn your faith in God's promise of new life in Christ into action when you:

  • Pray for all those who struggle with hunger and poverty
  • Learn more about the causes of hunger in the U.S.A. and abroad and about how to end hunger
  • Supportówith your time and moneyó local and international efforts that provide food for hungry people
  • Speak up for hungry people by writing or calling your members of Congress. Urge them to create a circle of protection around funding for programs vital to hungry people in the U.S.A. and overseas.

Bread for the World is a collective voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. Working with both Republican and Democratic leaders, Bread for the World is supported by all major church bodies. Bread for the World equips and inspires us for being God's agents of love and compassion, encouraging us to use citizenship to change the policies and conditions that allow hunger to persist.

On their website are resources for those that wish to get more involved. Among these resources are: “What You Can Do to End Hunger” booklet and “Exodus from Hunger” a book written by David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World and winner of the 2010 World Food Prize. For more information, you can go to You can also contact them at 1-800-822-7323.

Prayer for Bread for the World Sunday: O God, we remember all those who suffer from hunger and hardship. May our faith in Jesus move us to persist in urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger in your world. We give thanks for Bread for the World and all those who inspire and support us to be agents of your love and compassion. In the Spirit of the Risen Christ, we continue to live in joy and hope. Amen.

You can be God's hands and feet in the world: creating new hope and opportunity for hungry people.

The theme scripture for 2016 is Luke 18: 1b, 7a: Pray always and do not lose heart, And will not God grant justice to His chosen ones who cry to Him day and night?

We will recognize Bread for the World Sunday on October 16.


This year is shaping up to be a historic one for American elections. For Presbyterians, 2016 has already proven memorable.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) recently elected its first African American Stated Clerk, J. Herbert Nelson. In the contest for the nation's presidency, the first woman to be nominated by a major political party faces an opponent who grew up attending a Presbyterian congregation, though some inside and outside the denomination have questioned his Christianity.

One hundred years ago, few doubted Woodrow Wilson's Presbyterian faith. The son of Joseph Ruggles Wilson, Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church in the United States from 1865 to 1898, Woodrow Wilson was educated at the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.-affiliated Davidson College in North Carolina and later served as president of Princeton University in New Jersey.

Some of the major issues this presidential election cycle are income inequality, immigration, and ISIS. When Wilson ran for his second term in 1916, World War I was the top concern. Most Americans wanted to remain neutral. Both Wilson and his Republican opponent, Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes, pushed a platform centered on neutrality. Wilson's campaign motto was “He kept us out of war.” German Americans were especially keen on maintaining American neutrality, and both political parties courted their vote. One of Wilson's strongest allies in persuading the public of his neutral intentions was fellow Presbyterian William Jennings Bryan. Bryan had served as Wilson's Secretary of State until 1915, when he retired over what he considered to be Wilson's heavy-handed treatment towards Germany after the sinking of the Lusitania. Still, in 1916 he campaigned for Wilson as a private citizen, and helped to steer many German Americansóespecially those living in the Midwestótowards the Democratic nominee. In November 1916, Wilson and his Presbyterian running mate, Thomas R. Marshall, would win cities with heavy German populations such as Milwaukee and St. Louis.

If the Minutes of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. are any indication, Wilson need not have worried about the Presbyterian vote. So adored was he by Presbyterians that a resolution was passed at the 1915 General Assembly in Rochester, New York, asking that God "continue to guide and sustain [Wilson]” and offering gratitude to God for “the wisdom and tact which have marked [Wilson's] leadership of the nation during the trying days already past.” The General Assembly's Committee on Resolutions of Thanks reported that “we are proudly thankful that at this crisis in American history we have at the White House, a Christian statesman, of equal firmness and self-restraint.” The committee pledged its sympathy, loyalty, and prayers to Wilson and his cabinet.

The Church's official position during that time of American neutrality was to push for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Along with the Federal Council of Churches, it called upon President Wilson to declare a day of peace; letters including a peace hymn were sent out to 130,000 churches within the council. And yet many Presbyterians backed military intervention against the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary. Henry Van Dyke advised Woodrow Wilson against American neutrality. According to the book Preachers Present Arms, it was reported to the British that Charles Henry Parkhurst, pastor of Madison Square Presbyterian Church, claimed he had been defiantly anti-Germany since the war's beginning.

In April 1917, five months after Wilson won reelection, the campaigner who had "kept us out" asked Congress to declare war against Germany, prompted by the resumption of U-boat attacks and the Zimmerman Telegram. Mainline protestant denominations rallied behind the war effort. According to the Federal Council of Churches, 41 percent of pastors in the Presbytery of New York gave up their pastorates for some form of war service. The denomination's Moderator and Stated Clerk issued a statement for the General Assembly pledging to President Wilson, “our support in holding the American people to the high idealism with which we entered this war.” They also thanked the president for creating a zone around training camps “from which the saloon and other incentives to immorality are excluded.”

In 1918, the Executive Committee of the General Assembly passed a resolution “to support in every possible way, and with all resources, the Government of the United States in the just and necessary war in which it is now engaged.” According to government data, only seven clergymen of the Presbyterian Church bucked the pro-war fervor by asserting themselves pacifists. One such minister, Edmund Chaffee, would later become head of New York City's Labor Temple. On April 29, 1917, Chaffee and his co-pastor at Greenwich Presbyterian Church, William Fincke, delivered a sermon entitled “A Ministry of Reconciliation” in which they claimed they would not pray for the war effort but instead work for the peace of the world. Fincke also refused to allow the congregation to be used as a recruiting center. By May 1, the church session passed a resolution requesting the co-pastors' immediate resignation.

Fincke went on to serve in the medical corps in France and later worked again with Chaffee at the Labor Temple, as a pastor. Woodrow Wilson would complete his second successive term as president, the first Democrat to do so since Presbyterian Andrew Jackson in 1828. Widely remembered as a champion of international peace owing to his efforts on behalf of the League of Nations, his presidency has recently undergone increased scrutiny due to his role re-segregating the federal civil service.
Taken from PHS Matters, the monthly newsletter of the Presbyterian Historical Society; July 2016 (


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.