MINISTER - FRAN HAYES

The Hebrew scriptures assure us with God's promise that God will open graves and put the divine spirit within us and give life, that God speaks and will act. The spirit of the LORD took Ezekiel out and set him down in the middle of a valley full of dry bones, and the LORD said, “Mortal, can these bones live?” Ezekiel answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then, the Lord said to him, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.’” Ezekiel prophesied as he had been commanded, and the dry bones came together and were covered in sinews and flesh and skin. He prophesied again, and the bones had breath.” (Ezek. 37)

We also hear God speaking through the prophet Isaiah, saying “Don't be afraid. I will be with you,” and promising new life. “Don't keep focusing on the good old days. I am about to do a new thing. It's spring forth now. Don't you perceive it?” (Isaiah 43) People who were discouraged and hopeless in exile heard God speaking through the prophet Jeremiah saying, “Surely I know the plans I have for you, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”

We are entering the season of Lent, which begins as we remember that Jesus was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days to be tested. This holy season is our annual invitation to grow closer to God and to open ourselves more fully to God's steadfast love and promises. On Sunday mornings in Lent, we continue our journey together, listening for God's word to us in the scripture texts. Our Lenten hymns invite us to ponder the mystery of divine love that is “so amazing, so divine” that it “demands our souls, our lives, our all. “

This year, during this time, our Session will be working to find a transitional leader to provide pastoral leadership during the time of transition after I retire and to help the congregation to discern a faithful, hopeful, and loving path forward into God's future. I hope you will keep our Littlefield leaders and this congregation in your prayers daily during this.

I hope that Lent will be a time of spiritual renewal and growth for all of us, and that we will be prepared to see afresh the small, slow signs of God's newness and transformation in our lives, in the life of the church, and in the world. Just as bulbs that have been planted and fed in the fall are getting ready to bloom as the soil warms in the spring, may our spirits be fed and our hearts be warmed by our Lenten disciplines, so that we will be ready to bloom anew as God's Easter people.

“In the bulb there is a flower, in the seed, an apple tree.
In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter there's a spring that waits to be,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.”

SCRIPTURE READINGS

March 3
Hebrew Scripture-Exodus 34:29-35
Psalm 99
Epistle Lesson-2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2
Gospel Lesson-Luke 9:28-43

March 10
Hebrew Scripture-Deuteronomy 26:1-11
Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16
Epistle Lesson-Romans 10:8b-13
Gospel Lesson-Luke 4:1-13

March 17
Hebrew ScriptureñGenesis 15:1-12, 17-18
Psalm 27
Epistle Lesson-Philippians 3:17-4:1
Gospel Lesson-Luke 13:31-35

March 24
Hebrew Scripture-Isaiah 55:1-9
Psalm 63:1-8
Epistle Lesson-1 Corinthians 10:1-13
Gospel Lesson- Luke 13:1-9

March 31
Hebrew Scripture-Joshua 5:9-12
Psalm 32
Epistle Lesson-2 Corinthians 5:16-21
Gospel Lesson- Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

PRAYER MINISTRY

NOT DEATH BUT LIFE
It was Easter Sunday. The church pulpit area included special decorations made by several members. One was a crown of thorns that had been woven from the branches of a rose bush.

During the sermon, the pastor began explaining the symbolism of each decoration. When he turned to the crown of thorns, we noticed it was covered by small leaves that had burst open just before the service began. It was like a miracle. Almost before our eyes, those branches had burst into life.

For me it was a symbol of the message of Easter. That crown had represented scorn, abuse, pain, and finally death itself. But on this Easter morning it represented new life.


PRAYER
Dear God, when we are pierced by the cruel thorns of life, help us to remember that Christ came that we might have new life.
Amen.


BIBLE READING
Then they made a crown out of thorny branches and placed it on his head.
   – Matthew 27:29


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
God offers us hope for today and for eternity.

MARY CIRCLE - MARCH 4

This month's Mary Circle is March 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the church Lounge. The study will cover Lesson 6 from the God's promise-I Am With You study. If you are interested in this circle, please contact the church office. All women of the church are welcome!

TAIZE WORSHIP SERVICE

Tuesday, March 5 @ 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!

MISSION & OUTREACH TEAM

Socks for Students Drive
Thank you for all your generous donations to our January sock drive! We received 375 pairs of socks for the students of McDonald School. The socks were bundled by size into groups of 5 and delivered to the school. The principal was very grateful for Littlefield's help in providing for a true need. The 50 student recipients of the Blessings in a Backpack program all received 5 pairs of socks and the remainder will be distributed as needed.

Blessings in a Backpack Fundraiser
Join us Tuesday, March 5, for a Mac and Cheese dinner at Christ Episcopal Church (120 N. Military, Dearborn) from 5:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m. Suggested donations for the meals are $8 (adults), $3 (child 6-12), 5 and under free. 100% of the proceeds go toward the Blessings in a Backpack program. Dinner includes mac ën' cheese (gluten free/vegan options), beef meatballs, salad, homemade dessert, and beverage.

Cents-ability Offering
Our next Cents-ability Offering will be Sunday, March 24. We will have accumulated $3.36 since our last offering in January. Our portion of the offering will go to the Blessings in a Backpack program.

ASH WEDNESDAY POTLUCK

As we look forward to the beginning of Lent, the Littlefield Presbyterian Women would like you to join us for a potluck supper to be held on Wednesday, March 6, at 6:00 p.m., prior to the Ash Wednesday worship service at 7:00 p.m. A sign-up sheet is on the table in the library so that you can let us know if you'll be bringing a main dish, salad, or vegetable. We will refrain from eating dessert that evening in the spirit of observing the Lenten Season.

EVANGELISM & MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE

Our Lenten Book Study will begin on Tuesday, March 12, and will meet weekly until April 2. We will begin with a simple soup and salad meal at 6:15 p.m. followed by the book discussion at 7:00 p.m. This year we are reading Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks by Diana Butler Bass. In regard to this work, Amazon states: “The author of the multiple award-winning Grounded and leading trend spotter in contemporary Christianity explores why gratitude is missing as a modern spiritual practice, offers practical suggestions for reclaiming it, and illuminates how the shared practice of gratitude can lead to greater connection with God, our world, and our own souls.” The book is available on Kindle, as well as, through book stores. Since this book costs $18.00, we will have a few copies available on a “pay as able” basis. Please contact the church office for more details.

For our Lenten devotional we will be using our denomination's publication entitled Awakening to God's Beauty ñ A Lenten invitation to pray with art. This devotional “invites us on a spiritual and visual pilgrimage through the holy season of Lent . . . through the final days of our Lord's ministry . . . his passion . . . his death on the cross . . . and finally his glorious resurrection at Easter.” [quote from the PC(USA) web site]. Drawing from the Psalms as well as art pieces, we are challenged to see God at work in a broken world.

Feather Bowlers mark your calendars! We will be making our Annual Feather Bowling Trip to the Cadieux Cafe in Detroit on Sunday, March 31. We will feather bowl from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. and then gather for dinner in the cafe. All are welcome. Feather bowling is a uniquely Detroit experience and great fun.

We are currently planning Pastor Fran's Retirement Party to be held on May 19, at 4 p.m. at Park Place in Dearborn (on Park St. near Michigan Avenue and Outer Drive). Mark the date! We will give more details about the event once our planning is complete.

PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN RETREAT

The Presbyterian Women of the Presbytery of Detroit (PWPD) are sponsoring their 2019 annual Women's Retreat on Saturday, March 23, at the First Presbyterian Church of Farmington. The theme of this year's retreat is: “Perfect Love –Mind, Body & Spirit.” This will be a day of spiritual renewal, fun, and fellowship. Christine Bertram will be our keynote speaker. Christine has her Master of Divinity degree from Liberty University, and is a professor of World Religions and Bible at Oakland Community College. In addition to Christine's morning address and small group sessions, afternoon break-out sessions include: “Reckless Love,” “Praying Prodigals Home,” “Perfect Love in the Journey,” “Liturgical Dance,” “Ignatius Examen,” and “Labyrinth.” Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m., with a fee of $30.00 which includes a catered lunch. The program will conclude at 3:00 p.m. Registration forms are available in your copy of the Prism (PWPD) Newsletter (which most of you have received). Advanced reservations are highly encouraged by early March (by filling out the form in the Prism newsletter and sending it in with the fee). Childcare is available (refer to the registration form).

MEN'S STUDY GROUP

The Men's Study Group will meet Monday, March 25, at 6:30 p.m. Details for dinner arrangements and the lesson will be found in the bulletin closer to the date. All men are invited for an evening of eating and study. If you have any questions, please contact the church office.

CALLING ALL FEATHER BOWLERS

SUNDAY, MARCH 31

Save the date for our annual Feather Bowling outing. The big event is scheduled for Sunday, March 31, 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.

EASTER FLOWERS

As we enter the season of Lent, we look toward Easter and the coming of spring. We will adorn the cross with both spring plants and lilies. If you would like to purchase plants for Easter, the deadline for orders will be no later than the first week of April. The price has not been given to us yet from the florist. This is a wonderful way to express your gratitude for someone or something, remember special people or a loved one. What glorious things God has done for us!

SPRING TEA — 2019

On May 11, there will be a transformed Littlefield Lounge. It will most closely resemble a Victorian Tea Room. There will be tables set with fine linen, china and silver. These tables will ultimately be laden with pots of steaming teas, delectable scones, fingers sandwiches and a variety of sweets. The air will be filled with the sounds of classical piano, soft conversations and the clink of crystal and china. Diann Dupuis of Questers will share her knowledge of the midcentury fad of Mothers Verses and their effect on American culture.

If you would like a closer look at this picture you may attend this event of the Presbyterian Women of Littlefield Church. It is our annual Spring Tea fundraiser. At 2:00 p.m. on May 11 we will have between 44 and 48 seats available to those who would like to travel back to a simple afternoon of tea and society. Tickets will be available in April and will be only $15.00. All profits from this event will go the Mission Giving of Presbyterian Women.

In addition, we will be holding a Raffle this year. If you are interested in preparing a basket to be raffled, please contact the church office. Save the date and plan to purchase your tickets early. We have limited seating!

PEACE CAMP 2019

Each year, we at Littlefield Presbyterian Church, hold a Peace Camp. Hmm……what, pray tell is a Peace Camp, you ask? It is a delightful way to share God's love with a hurting world beginning with those who have not yet learned to hate: our children. Our children ~ the children in our neighborhood; the children in our congregation; the children in our families; the children we know in other neighborhoods across town or across the nation.

Peace Camp is a nondenominational, intergenerational, cross-cultural experience for children and adults. The campers are ages 6 – 12. The leaders are youth of 13 years or more and adults of all ages. We gather for one evening of leadership training for those interested in working with the children in small groups and then three evenings of music, games, crafts and educational components designed to lift up the causes of anger and conflict and the tools for resolving same.

This year we will hold Peace Camp on July 15, 16, 17 & 18. There are many opportunities for us to grow as Peacemakers as we facilitate the growth of the young people who attend. Please give some prayerful thought to where the Spirit may be calling you to serve in our Peace Camp preparations and event.

FAVORITE HYMNS SURVEY

So far, we have received 15 responses to our recent survey of favorite hymns. More than 85 favorite hymns were suggested. The number one hymn with 7 votes is “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” then “Be Thou My Vision” with 6 votes and “Amazing Grace” with 5 votes. It is not too late for you to participate. Pick up a blue survey form in the Library and fill it out to let us know your favorite hymns both old and new. Forms can be returned to choir members or the church office. We hope to use your suggestions to assist with worship planning during our transition between pastors.

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.

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.