MINISTER - FRAN HAYES

We are in a time known in the Presbyterian Church (USA) as a Season of Peace, which culminates on World Communion Sunday. Although we haven't talked a lot about a specific season of peace, we've been making peace. A team of us got together this week to debrief following our summer Peace Camp. Tuesday evening a Littlefield member did a wonderful job telling the Presbytery of Detroit about various ways Littlefield works to make peace, including Peace Camp, our neighborhood block party, and our annual Interfaith Prayers for Peace service on September 23. Also, we recently hosted a group of Muslims from Chechnya to share with them some of the ways we work to build bridges in our community and to have a conversation with them. Over the years, we have hosted interfaith groups from Indonesia, Latin America, and former Soviet bloc countries, as a part of a program through the State Department.

The first Sunday in October is designated as World Communion Sunday, which celebrates our oneness in Christ with all our brothers and sisters around the world. So, it's appropriate that World Communion Sunday is also the time when we receive the annual Peace and Global Witness Offering as a way of continuing the ancient Christian practice of sharing what we have with brothers and sisters in need.

I learned recently that World Communion Sunday is a gift of the Presbyterian Church to the larger ecumenical church. The first celebration took place at Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, PA, in 1933. The pastor, the Rev. Dr. Hugh Thompson Kerr, first conceived the idea of World Communion Sunday during his year as moderator of the General Assembly, as an attempt to bring churches together in a service of Christian unity and be reminded how each congregation is interconnected with one another.

The concept spread very slowly in the beginning. But during World War II, the spirit caught hold, because it felt like they were trying to hold the world together. In a spiritual sense, it emphasizes that we are one in the Spirit and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We live in a broken and fearful world. In this chaotic world, we find strength in knowing that God is always near. Our faith reminds us 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.

The month of October offers a number of opportunities for us to grow in our commitment to unity, peacemaking, and mission. We begin with World Communion Sunday and the Peace and Global Witness offering. We have opportunities to help the people impacted from recent storms and flooding and the longer-term recovery through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. Also, we will address hunger when we observe World Food Day on October 14.

As followers of Christ, our call to witness and work for peace begins in our own neighborhoods and extends to the ends of the earth. Until peace and well-being for all abound in our world, let us live into hope as we pray and work for peace.

Peace…Salam…Shalom.

SCRIPTURE READINGS

October 7 World Communion Sunday
Hebrew Scripture-Job 1:1, 2:1-10
Psalm 26
Epistle Lesson-Hebrew 1:1-4, 2:5-12
Gospel Lesson-Mark 10:2-16

October 14
Hebrew Scripture-Job 23:1-9, 16-17
Psalm 22:1-15
Epistle Lesson-Hebrew 4:12-16
Gospel Lesson-Mark 10:17-31

October 21
Hebrew Scripture-Job 38:1-7, 34-41
Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c
Epistle Lesson-Hebrew 5:1-10
Gospel Lesson-Mark 10:35-45

October 28
Hebrew Scripture-Job 42:1-6, 10-17
Psalm 34:1-8, 19-22
Epistle Lesson-Hebrew 7:23-28
Gospel Lesson-Mark 10:46-52

PRAYER MINISTRY

GOOD FRIENDS
Good friends make us better people by keeping us sharp. If we allow our friends to challenge our perspective, discuss the meaningful stuff of life, and keep us accountable to what is true and right and good, we understand the value of being sharpened.
And if we're willing to reciprocate— sometimes even at the risk of hurting our friend out of a heart of love for them—then we understand the value of being good sharpeners.
It's true that this sharpening process isn't always pleasing, but it's always good. True friends embrace this reality.
- A Woman's Daily Prayer Book

WORDS OF WISDOM
Blessed are the ones who love their brother and sister as well when they are far off as when they are by their side, and who would say nothing behind their back they might not, in love, say before their face.
- Francis of Assisi

THIS MONTH'S PRAYER OF PRAISE
Dear Lord, You have given me 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

BIBLE VERSE
Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens the wits of another.
- Proverbs 27:17

MARY CIRCLE October 1 @ 7:30 p.m.

If you have an interest in this Women's Circle, please contact the church office. The study will cover Lesson 2, God's Promise – I Am with You. This circle normally meets the 1st Monday of every month and shares a devotional, study and dessert. All women are welcome!

TAIZE WORSHIP OCTOBER 2 @ 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. Invite a friend!

PEACE & GLOBAL OFFERING

On October 7, Worldwide Communion Sunday, we will end our four-week “Season of Peace” by receiving the Peace and Global Witness Offering. Twenty-five percent of this offering stays with our congregation to be used for ministries that our members feel are most important, such as peace education and training for children. The rest will be sent to The Presbyterian Mission Agency to be used where it is most needed throughout this country and the world. As followers of Christ, our call to work for peace begins in our own neighborhoods and extends to the end of the world. Your gifts express your commitment to a more just and peaceful world.

BREAD FOR THE WORLD SUNDAY

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 neighbors—whether they live next door, in the next state, or on the next continent.

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus tells his disciples that “for God all things are possible” (Mark 10:27). As we rejoice in Christ's abundant grace in our lives, we are called to share in God's vision of a world where all people “will hunger no more” (Revelation 7:16).

In developing nations, 836 million people live in extreme poverty—on 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
  • Support—with your time and money— 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 www.bread.org. You can also contact them at 1-800-822-7323. You can be God's hands and feet in the world—creating new hope and opportunity for hungry people.

Prayer for Bread for the World Sunday: Loving God, we are grateful for your blessings to us. We pray that we may imitate Jesus in embracing service to others. We pray for those who lack food and who are without loving family and friends. We pray that our public officials may accept their responsibility for all our neighbors, both here and abroad, especially the poor and vulnerable. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

The theme scripture for 2018 is Mark 10:35- 45. In this scripture, Jesus teaches, “Whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant.” Ending hunger requires charity and justice-binding the wounds of those who are hurt but also addressing those with the power to lord it over others.

We will recognize Bread for the World Sunday on October 14.

PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN OF DETROIT INGATHERING

The PWPD will hold their annual Ingathering of mission donations on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 15, 16, and 17, 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.

MEN'S BIBLE STUDY GROUP October 22 @ 6:30 p.m.

The group will continue the study of Interrupting Silence: God's Command To Speak Out. Dinner will start at 6:30 p.m. with discussion following at 7:00 p.m. If you have any questions or would like the study material, please contact the church office. All men are invited.

EVANGELISM & MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE

On September 12, ten members of the Engage! Book Group met for a pizza dinner followed by a discussion of Colson Whitehead's, The Underground Railroad: A Novel. We had a good conversation about the author's creative approach to revealing the injustice of slavery. Using a science fiction style of creating alternate universes, Whitehead depicts the depths of evil of racism and the struggle for human dignity. We were both challenged and disturbed by this novel.

Our Engage! Book Group will meet on Wednesday, November 7. Before the discussion begins at 7:00 p.m., we will gather at 6:15 p.m. for a pizza and salad dinner. We will discuss bell hooks', All About Love: New Visions. Author bell hooks is well known as a cultural critic and feminist. In this book of 13 essays, she focuses on the presence and lack of presence of love in our society. She calls for a new way to define love and to put love into practice. She draws upon both her personal experience, as well as, the literature of love that has been handed down to us as a culture. In these days of broken relationships and acerbic politics, it is refreshing to encounter a serious discussion of the centrality of love in our life. We encourage all to join us.

On Sunday, October 28, we are planning to go to the Holocaust Memorial Center located on Orchard Lake Rd. just north of 12 Mile Rd. in Farmington Hills. We will meet at the Holocaust Memorial Center at 3:00 p.m. The Center closes at 5:00 p.m. If you are interested in going and need a ride, please contact the church office. The admission fees are: Adults - $8.00; Senior Adults (62 and Older) - $6.00; University/College Students (w/ID) - $6.00; Middle and High School Students - $5.00. After our visit we will meet for dinner at a restaurant in the vicinity of the Center.

We have ordered our 2018 Advent Devotional. We will be spending our Advent time with inspiration from Henri J. M. Nouwen's, The Father's Love. The devotionals will be distributed prior to the beginning of Advent.

PROPERTY COMMITTEE

We are planning an outside work day on Saturday, November 3, to do fall cleanup of leaves and other debris that collects on the church property. If weather does not permit, we will move that date to Saturday, November 10. Bring your rakes and join us to get the church property ready for winter. Burrr!!!

LOOKING AHEAD:

The Annual Baking Day will be held on Saturday, November 10, from 9:00 a.m. through 12:00 p.m. Ladies are invited to come to the church to bake or decorate cookies that will be sold at the PW Cookie Sale in December. Please contact the church office for more information.

ADVENT CELEBRATION

Mark your calendars for the Presbyterian Women's annual Advent Celebration on Wednesday, December 5, in the church Lounge at 7:00 p.m. Everyone is welcome to come and celebrate the beginning of Advent with some devotions, caroling and refreshments. In addition, a performance by Paul Demick, a marimba player, will delight us with classical and holiday music. Save the date and invite your friends to this free event. There will be more details in LIFE at LITTLEFIELD in November.

CHURCH WORLD SERVICE SCHOOL KITS

We collected 31 School Kits for Church World Service! The kits were delivered to Lansing, MI on September 21. 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 $465. Thank you Littlefielders!

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.