Life at Littlefield
LITTLEFIELD PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
7560 Littlefield Boulevard
Dearborn, Michigan 48126-1699
MINISTER - FRAN HAYES
I've always been kind of partial to Mark's version of the gospel. It starts off by announcing, “The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” The movement is fast- paced. The Spirit immediately drove Jesus out into the wilderness after his baptism. The first disciples immediately left their nets and followed Jesus. The Pharisees disapproved of Jesus' teachings and immediately started conspiring against him. A lot of things happen immediately in Mark.
Another theme in Mark is how honest he is in telling about all the failures, how the disciples just don't get the meaning of a lot of his teachings, how Jesus asks, “Don't you understand?”
In the story of Christ's Passion, we heard on Palm/Passion Sunday, we heard how some were angry that the woman at Bethany “wasted” the valuable ointment by anointing Jesus, rather than selling it and donating the money to the poor, but Jesus told them that this woman is the one who gets it and that she'll be remembered for it. Jesus knew that his disciples would desert him and that some would betray him, but he promised that after he was raised up, he would go before them to Galilee. Judas did betray him, and then Peter did. Peter, James, and John kept falling asleep at Gethsemane while Jesus was praying. And they all seem to have deserted Jesus at the time of the crucifixion, except some of the women who followed him.
When the women went to the tomb after the Sabbath, the angel told them, “Don't be afraid. Jesus has been raised.” He told them to go and tell his disciples that Jesus was going ahead of them to Galilee, and that they would see him, just as he had promised. But the women were overcome with terror and amazement, and they didn't say anything to anybody. That's how Mark ends his gospel: with another failure.
This seems like a terrible, disappointing ending. But maybe not. Maybe this isn't the ending. Maybe this is Mark's way of telling us that Jesus meets us at the point when we are broken, when we have failed, and turns what seems like an ending into a new beginning: “The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Everything that comes after that can be an opportunity for us to live resurrection lives, as God's Easter people. God's love is so amazing, so divine that we can only begin to comprehend it. God has been working to redeem the world, but the work isn't finished. God is still working to set us free to know ourselves and all God's people as beloved children of God and to love God and neighbor. God gives us courage, through the Spirit, to work for God's good purposes in the world, trusting in God's promises.
We know that, even though the first disciples failed initially, they must have gone out and shared the good news, or there wouldn't be a community of Jesus' followers today, making new beginnings and working to share God's love, justice, freedom, and newness. We have Christ's promise that he goes on ahead of us and that he will be with us always.
Christ is risen! Alleluia!.
April 1 Resurrection/Easter Sunday
Hebrew Scripture-Isaiah 25:6-9
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-29 or Psalm 114
Epistle Lesson-1 Corinthians 15:1-11 or
Acts 10:34-43 or 1 Corinthians 5:6b-8
Gospel Lesson-John 20:1-18 or Mark 16:1-8
or Luke 24:13-49
First Lesson-Acts 4:32-35
Epistle Lesson-1 John 1:1-2:2
Gospel Lesson-John 20:19-31
First Lesson-Acts 3:12-19
Epistle Lesson-1 John 3:1-7
Gospel Lesson-Luke 24:36b-48
First Lesson-Acts 4:5-12
Epistle Lesson-1 John 3:16-24
Gospel Lesson-John 10:11-18
First Lesson-Acts 8:26-40
Epistle Lesson-1 John 4:7-21
Gospel Lesson-John 15:1-8
Jesus had promised his followers that he would die, then rise again. Sometimes he spoke in parables, though, and perhaps they thought (or hoped) he was speaking metaphorically. But then on that morning– that mind-blowing morning–when Jesus exited his tomb in triumph over our nemesis death, there was no doubt that he had meant what he had said. “Look!” the angel exclaimed. In other words, “See for yourself that it's true.” Jesus has risen, and he opened the way to eternal life for all who trust in him.
— A Woman's Daily Prayer Book
God Has You In His Care
God, give us eyes to see the beauty of the Spring, And to behold Your majesty in every living thing - And may we see in lacy leaves and every budding flower The Hand that rules the universe with gentleness and power - And may this Easter grandeur that Spring lavishly imparts Awaken faded flowers of faith lying dormant in our hearts, And give us ears to hear, dear God, the Springtime song of birds With messages more meaningful than man's often empty words Telling harried human beings who are lost in dark despair - 'Be like us and do not worry for God has you in His care. Helen Steiner Rice
But [the angel] said to [the women], “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; his is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him.” —Mark 16:6
Sunday, April 1 Resurrection Sunday
This festive service, which begins at 10:30 a.m., is the most joyous in the Christian year. Come and hear the good news, enjoy the beautiful music and leave with a “Hallelujah” in your heart. Invite your friends to worship with you and celebrate Christ's resurrection. Childcare will be available.
ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING
In 1946, in an effort to provide aid and relief from the devastation of World War II, Presiding Bishop Henry Knox Sherrill of the Episcopal Church set a goal for Protestant churches to raise one million dollars a year for World Relief. He got on national radio and urged members to raise "one million dollars in one hour." Well, I'm not sure how close he actually got to that ambitious goal in that hour, but Episcopalians did raise $3.8 million in the first three years.
The annual offering ended up taking on the name "One Great Hour of Sharing," and it is supported by anywhere from eight to twenty-nine different denominations, including Presbyterian Church (USA). Its collection of $20 million a year is a testament to the great work Christians can do when we unite for a common goal.
The 3 goals of this offering are: 1) Restoring Hope, 2) Reducing Hunger and 3) Partnering in Progress. Your contributions help people in over 100 countries (including the US and Canada) who are recovering from natural or human-caused disasters. Your contributions help initiate and support sustainable food systems to bring people out of poverty. Your contributions provide education and resources to the oppressed and disadvantaged, empowering them to overcome injustices.
We are collecting this offering now and until April 1, Easter Sunday. Thank you for your contributions to Restore Hope, Reduce Hunger and Partner in Progress.
REMINDER: MARY CIRCLE - APRIL 2
This month's Mary Circle is meeting April 2. All who are interested in this group, please contact the church office.
TAIZE WORSHIP SERVICE
Our next service is Tuesday, April 3 @ 7:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. All people regardless of faith background and age are welcome. You are invited to dress comfortably and casually. Invite a friend!
PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN BIRTHDAY OFFERING
SHELTER: We all need it, and some of us have it. What about those who don't? The 2018 Presbyterian Women Birthday Offering will address the situation in three projects: The amount for each project will be determined by the size of the offering. The 2018 Birthday Offering Recipients are the following:
- Cottage Village, a Tiny-house Community for Low-income Residents Cottage Grove, Oregon: Cottage Village will provide quality, affordable housing and a safe, structured social community for individuals and families with low or very low incomes.
- Village of Grace Center for Physical and Spiritual Health Tegucigalpa, Honduras: Originally established by Presbyterian mission co-workers, the retreat center will be managed by Presbyterian women in Honduras. It will offer international hospitality for retreats, workshops and mission teams from the PC(USA), Solar Under the Sun, and Living Waters for the World.
- The Dwelling Place Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota: The Dwelling Place was established in 1998 to provide for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of women and their children following their escape from a violent partner.
The scripture chosen to help in understanding the birthday offering is this: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” –Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV). Please give as you have been blessed, generously and as led by the Holy Spirit to support these life-changing projects.
Littlefield will be collecting for this offering on a Sunday in April during the worship service.
CHURCH WORLD SERVICE HYGIENE KITS
The Presbyterian Women will be collecting Hygiene Kits for Church World Service (CWS) this spring. CWS Hygiene Kits are collected in the US and stored until needed for victims of natural disasters, war, poverty or other causes all around the world. In 2017, more than 132,000 Hygiene Kits were shipped to Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and Cuba in response to the hurricanes. Kits must be returned to the church and placed in the library no later than Sunday, April 15. If you are unable to shop and prepare kits, you can donate money for their shipment overseas ($2 processing fee per kit). Please make your checks out to “Church World Service Kit Program.” For more information visit www.cwskits.org.
Hygiene Kit contents:
- One hand towel measuring approximately 15" x 28" to 16" x 32" (no fingertip, bath, dish towel or micro-fiber)
- One washcloth
- One wide-tooth comb removed from the package (available at beauty supply stores)
- One fingernail or toenail clipper removed from the package
- One bath-size bar of soap in the original package
- One toothbrush in the original package
- Ten standard size Band-Aids
All items need to fit inside a one-gallon plastic zipper closure bag. We will provide bags and a list of kit contents on the display table in the library. Last year we collected 29 kits. Can we increase that number this year?
HEALTHY WOMEN HEALTHY FAMILIES MOTHER'S DAY PROJECT 2018
The Healthy Women Healthy Families Mother's Day Project is a mission activity that Presbyterians have generously supported since 2001. The Mother's Day project has expanded beyond the four African countries that were originally supported to include a range of partners around the world. Your donations to Healthy Women Healthy Families through the Mother's Day Project will empower women and protect children by supporting vital programs and services such as prenatal care, primary education, food security initiatives and trauma healing.
Special Mother's Day cards will be available again this year in exchange for donations to the Healthy Women Healthy Families Mother's Day Project. Cards will be available at the PW Spring Tea on May 12 and in the library during Coffee Hour on April 15, 22, 29 and May 6, or by contacting the church office. Mother's Day is Sunday, May 13.
CALLING ALL FEATHER BOWLERS - SUNDAY, APRIL 15
It is time to sign up for our annual Feather Bowling outing. The big event is scheduled for Sunday, April 15, at the Cadieux CafÈ. We will begin at 4:00 p.m. with two hours of feather bowling followed by dinner. We hope you will add your name to the sign-up sheet in the library, and as always, we encourage you to extend the invitation to those outside the Littlefield congregation.
EVANGELISM AND MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE
The Engage! Book Group will meet on Wednesday, April 18, to discuss Octavia Butler's work of fiction entitled Kindred. We will gather at 6:15 p.m. for a pizza and salad dinner. In Kindred, the main character, a black woman named Dana, is transported back in time to an ante-bellum plantation in the South. In a creative play between present and past the reality of the slave condition is brought to life. Reviewing Kindred, Sam Frank of the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner states: "One cannot finish Kindred without feeling changed. It is a shattering work of art with much to say about love, hate, slavery, and racial dilemmas, then and now."
On Sunday afternoon, March 11, a group went to see the Arab-American National Museum special exhibit entitled “Them: Objects of Separation, Hatred and Violence.” Several members of the group thanked us for organizing the event and giving them the chance to view the exhibit–an exhibit that showed very graphically the way that certain groups are stereotyped and scapegoated.
Our Lenten Study Group finished discussing the book Always with Us? What Jesus Really Said about the Poor by Liz Theoharis, an ordained PC(USA) minister. If you have not read this book, we encourage you to check it out of our library where we have several copies available. Being this is the 50th anniversary of the Poor People's Campaign, our PC(USA) Moderators are recommending the whole church should read this book in 2018.
We are continuing to work on updating our Church directory. Our goal is to have this project completed by Easter.
Feather Bowlers–mark your calendars. We will make our Annual Feather Bowling trip to the Cadieux Cafe in Detroit on Sunday, April 15. We will bowl from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. and then have dinner in the cafe. All are welcome. Feather bowling is a uniquely Detroit experience and great fun.
MEN'S STUDY GROUP
The Men's Group will meet on Monday, April 23, at 6:30 p.m. for dinner, followed by the study from the Being Reformed series, Faith Seeking Understanding, Session Five, “The Church for Presbyterians.” All men are invited to mark their calendars and come for dinner and the study. Please contact the churc office for more information.
SPRING TEA MARKETPLACE
Can you help? Do you have a spare gift card to a restaurant or perhaps a frequently visited vendor or restaurant who might supply you with one? Do you have the talent for making handmade cards, sewn items, scarves, jewelry, soaps…anything that might attract a discerning buyer? Do you have classic art, glass, china or silver in your home which you no longer need? Do you subscribe to an arts group, theatre or museum and perhaps could donate a pair of tickets or passes to an event?
If you do, we need you! The Presbyterian Women in Littlefield have been able to support many mission projects and deserving organizations by raising money in different ways over the years. One of the most successful means has been the Annual Spring Tea. The Tea has usually included a Silent Auction, this year we are trying to simplify and are changing the auction to a Marketplace. If you are able to donate any of the above (or other things ~ use your imagination!) we would appreciate it.
The Tea is Saturday, May 12. The items to be sold at the Marketplace are needed by Saturday, May 5. If you have something to share, please bring it to the church or contact the church office to arrange pickup. We ask that you put a suggested value or price on each donated item.
With your help we will once again be able to give substantial amounts to the agencies who do such good work in our community and beyond.
God bless you and thank you!
THE PW SPRING TEA
PARASOLS, FANS, HANKIES AND GLOVES… have you ever wondered where they went or why they were around in the first place? On Saturday, May 12, at 2:00 p.m., we will gather in our church lounge to learn the answer.
The Presbyterian Women in Littlefield Church will hold their annual Spring Tea on the Saturday before Mothers' Day. What a lovely opportunity to bring someone special to a special event! This annual fundraiser for the PW Mission Fund transports us each year to a time when fine china, linen and good manners were the norm.
Join us in our Victorian Tea Room to enjoy a fare of finger sandwiches, scones, sweets and a variety of teas. All of which will be served to you on fine china and linens by our wait staff.
This year we will once again enjoy the musical stylings of Mr. Alonzo Luzod at the piano. We will also be enlightened by our friend, Phyllis Barkey, as to the history, purpose and ultimate fate of “PARASOLS, FANS, HANKIES AND GLOVES.” Phyllis will take us back to a time when costume accessories such as these were fashionable. She'll share their history and the occasions they were used, in a fun program where you'll be able to see the actual items.
Tickets are $15.00, payable to Presbyterian Women, and the proceeds will benefit the PW Mission Fund.
This year we will have a Marketplace (just in time for Mothers' Day) featuring gift cards for dining and entertainment, art items, hand crafted items, jewelry, china and more.
Tickets will be available April 1 from Presbyterian women members. We recommend purchasing early as this is a popular event and we only have seating for 40. Bring a friend and step back into a simpler time when ëtaking tea' was a means of restoration and refreshment.
SAVE THE DATE: Music Fundraiser Concert
Tuesday, June 19 @ 7:00 p.m. More details closer to the date.
SAVE THE DATE: PEACE CAMP - JULY 24, 25 & 26
Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday
SAVE THE DATE: Sunday, August 12
Annual Worship in the Park & Church Picnic at Hemlock Park.
More details will follow closer to the event.
DID YOU KNOW…?
Some people who have missed a Sunday or just like to ponder some idea they heard in the sermon have shared they enjoy listening to it again or reading it. You can listen to Littlefield sermons at www.littlefieldchurch.org /sermons.html. While you're there, you may want to check out the rest of the website. If you prefer to read Fran's sermons, you can find them at the blog, at revfranmusings.blogspot.com. A link to the most recent sermon is posted at the Littlefield Facebook page. Or, you can sign up to follow the blog and have posts emailed to you.
MISSION OUTREACH TEAM
On Saturday, March 3, several us met at Zaman International for a tour of their facilities and to offer our service where needed. We had a great turnout, with 10 from Littlefield Church and a woman from the neighborhood who had heard about our event on Facebook.
The volunteer coordinator, Abby, shared the detailed history of how founder, Najah Bazzy, began by helping one local family in need, and how she has grown this passion into an organization that serves women, children and families all over the community. While Zaman does have an extensive retail store (which caught many of our eyes and wallets), it offers so much more. It conducts social work services to provide families with groceries from their food pantry and household items and furniture which they can buy with a monthly voucher. Zaman also believes in empowering women and offers ESL education classes, sewing courses and cooking instruction. Two of our Littlefield members are volunteering their time in the kitchen during the week.
Our group helped by organizing many of the donations that come in daily. We sorted toys and household items, office supplies, fabric for the sewing program and helped shred paperwork that the office staff doesn't have the time to do. Volunteers are always welcome at this local non-profit. After such a positive and inspiring day there, I doubt this is the only time Littlefield will partner with Zaman.
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 a Sunday after church in the near future. 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 welcome new people. We'll talk about worship and what kinds of learning, fellowship and service opportunities people are interested in. We'd also be happy to answer questions about why we do things in a particular way, what we believe, or any other questions you've been wanting to ask. 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 will 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. However, we would be happy to talk further with anyone who would like to become an official member. We hope this time of listening and learning will be enjoyable for all who attend. Please watch for more information about this opportunity in the very near future.
Reflections on the life of Margaret
from PHS Matters (March 2018
Forward from Carol Hylkema: In the early years of Bill Gepford's ministry at Littlefield, former missionary Margaret Purchase came to Dearborn to help assess our Middle Eastern community and to begin ESL classes on a small scale; look where these efforts led to now in the present day. The following article is from the Presbyterian Historical Society newsletter. While Margaret's ministry at Littlefield is not mentioned, after her retirement from the mission field, she spent many weeks in Dearborn staying with a congregation member and returning several times. In retirement, she was very involved in Christian-Muslim interfaith dialogue and interpreting the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. You will also note that she was the Christian educator at the church in Big Rapids when Ben was in his early teens.
Micah 6:8 “And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” ? The preceding verse of scripture provides an apt description of Margaret Purchase (1926-2009), a missionary, Christian educator, and activist. The Margaret Purchase collection of papers speak to the remarkable life of a woman over the span of seven decades. The papers document Ms. Purchase's missionary service in Iraq and Lebanon, her activism in retirement to increase understanding of Islam and the Middle East among her fellow Americans, as well as her time as a director of Christian education in the United States. The papers include correspondence, journals, and numerous photographs and slides.
Purchase served as a missionary in Iraq from 1956 to 1969 with the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. She began her mission career as a teacher of English, Bible, and physical education at the American School for Girls in Baghdad, later renamed Baghdad High School in Mansour, and eventually served as the principal.
When Americans were forced out of Iraq in 1969, Purchase transferred to Beirut, Lebanon, where she served as the executive secretary of the Christian Education Division of the Near East Council of Churches.
Prior to serving as an overseas missionary, Purchase was the Director of Christian Education at the United Church (Congregational-Presbyterian) in Big Rapids, Michigan, from 1949 to 1956. She returned to the United States in 1974 to serve as the Director of Christian Education at the First Presbyterian Church in Reading, Pennsylvania. In 1979, Purchase returned to Lebanon to teach English in the School of Nursing of Hamlin Hospital under the auspices of the Near East Foundation and as a Presbyterian Overseas Associate.
Her papers at the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia include a large volume of correspondence with family and friends during her time in Lebanon where she touches on political conflicts taking place in the region as well as light hearted experiences, such as learning new technology to keep up with the changing times.
Upon retirement in 1986, Purchase settled in her home state of Michigan and became involved in Christian-Muslim interfaith dialogue. Deeply concerned about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, she made several mission trips to the Middle East in the 1990s. In the spring of 1992, Purchase participated in a Friendship Service Project in Ibillin sponsored by the Presbytery of Lake Michigan and the Institute for Global Education. The service project assisted the Ibillin community with new buildings at the Ibillin High School and Community College.
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.