Life at Littlefield
LITTLEFIELD PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
7560 Littlefield Boulevard
Dearborn, Michigan 48126-1699
PASTOR: NANCY BASS, CRE
A Beautiful Fall Have you noticed how each new year begins with such hope? Then as we get busy, how quickly even the things we love start to pall. As our commitments continue to grow, often we allow ourselves little or no soul space - and so vital parts of us start to fall asleep. The more stressed and busy we become, the more our soul aches. It cries out - urging us to slow down a little, to be clear about our boundaries, to nurture our precious life's energy.
As we watch the trees shed their beautiful leaves, we learn something essential about life. When we let go of what we no longer need, all the things that await us begin to flow to us. Moreover, just as the falling leaves fertilize the ground for spring, when we let go of what we no longer need, we enrich our own futures. There's a beautiful practice we can perform each night that helps us let go. Just before you go to sleep, simply hand every part of your life and your being back to the Great Spirit. Hand back all you have experienced during the day, all you have achieved, all that you wish to achieve, all you possess, all those you love. Hand back your life also. When you are able to let go in this way, you will then start to discover what it's like to live each and every moment of your life.
'When you have accomplished all that you can, lie down and go to sleep. God is awake'. - Victor Hugo
A View from the Steps.......
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him. Lam 3:21-24
No slogan, no publicity, no pressure will ever compel us to be responsible stewards. Rather, the stewardship we demonstrate comes from within our souls and is rooted in the spirit of gratitude we possess. The way we choose to live, the attitudes we demonstrate, the gifts we share should be forged and tempered by our thankfulness.
If we acknowledge what we are today is a result of what God has done for us, if we believe that others have helped us along our life's journey, if we know the church to be a place of sustenance and support equipping us to be faithful and hopeful, then we will be generous stewards. It will flow from the depth of our souls as a grateful response.
My mother used to say to me: “It's not what you say, Nancy, it's how you say it that matters.” This is also true for our lives as Christians. If we only mouth Christian virtues but do not demonstrate sincerity and consistency by the way we live, our words are hollow and our stewardship will be fragile.
Our stewardship must be shaped by the overwhelming conviction that God has claimed us, shown us salvation and offers us hope for both this life and the life to come.
Grace and gratitude
Hebrew Scripture-Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4
Epistle Lesson-2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12
Gospel Lesson-Luke 19:1-10
Hebrew Scripture-Haggai 1:15b-2:9
Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21 or 98
Epistle Lesson-2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17
Gospel Lesson-Luke 20:27-38
Hebrew Scripture-Isaiah 65:17-25
Hebrew Scripture-Isaiah 12
Epistle Lesson-2 Thessalonians 3:6-13
Gospel Lesson-Luke 21:5-19
Hebrew Scripture-Jeremiah 23:1-6
Epistle Lesson-Colossians 1:11-20
New Testament Lesson-Luke 1:68-79
Gospel Lesson-Luke 23:33-43
God loved the world so much that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die, but have eternal life. – John 3:16
A DAY WORTH WHILE
I count that day as wisely spent in which I do some good
For someone who is far away or shares my neighborhood
A day devoted to the deed that lends a helping hand
And demonstrates a willingness to care and understand.
I long to be of usefulness in little ways and large
without a selfish motive and without the slightest charge.
Because in my philosophy there never is a doubt
That all of us here on earth must help each other out.
I feel that day is fruitful and the time is worth the while.
When I promote the happiness of one enduring smile.
Lord, we pray today with heartfelt thanks, as you have unlocked the door that has kept us confined within our own struggles. With your guiding hand, we can keep on the right pathways. Amen>
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience, and that is not learning from experience.
The Presbyterian Woman of the Presbytery of Detroit will gather on Saturday, November 2, at the Second Mile Center of Detroit for our annual Work Day from 9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. including lunch. We will be collecting and sorting food donations, cleaning and organizing the kitchen, pantry, and craft rooms and doing some light yard work.
The PWPD will also gather on Wednesday, December 4, at the First Presbyterian Church of Dearborn from 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. for a Christmas program. Details will follow.
Mark Your Calendars
Wednesday, November 13, will be our baking day for Christmas cookies. We'd love to have any of you who like baking and enjoy fellowship with one another to join us from 9:00 a.m. to noon in Fellowship Hall. These cookies will then be sold at our annual Christmas Cookie Sale on Sunday, December 15, after church. It's a fun morning and gets us in the holiday spirit a little bit early, plus it's all part of the Littlefield PW's missions fund raiser.
Wednesday, December 4, is our annual Advent Celebration. This is a wonderful way to usher in the Christmas season. Please join us at 7:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary for this special evening of worship, music, fellowship, and refreshment. Details are in another article within this newsletter.
Sunday, December 15, in Fellowship Hall following church, will be our Annual Christmas Cookie Sale. Invite your friends to join you at church that day and following worship help support the PW mission by purchasing some delicious cookies and bars for the holiday season.
November 4 @ 7:30 p.m.
If you have an interest in this Women's Circle, please contact the church office. The study will be over Lesson 3, Love Carved in Stone: A Fresh Look at the Ten Commandments. This circle normally meets the 1st Monday of every month and shares a devotional, study and dessert. All women are welcome!
November 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
We have had a great time getting to know the ESL students who come to Littlefield for classes. There have been between 9-15 participants each session, and we split into 3 groups to allow more talking. We've had a great group of leaders. Each will tell you that it's easy and quite a bit of fun. Our next meeting dates are Thursdays, November 7, 21 and December 5. The circle runs from 10:20 a.m.-11:20 a.m. in the Lounge. Please contact the church office if you're interested in joining us!
Fall Service Day at Zaman
Eight Littlefielders participated in our service day at Zaman International (3 of whom were new to Zaman)! We spent the morning sizing and sorting new winter coats to prepare for their coat drive, and we measured and priced fabric remnants for an upcoming sale to benefit their sewing program. We got a lot accomplished for Zaman and even did a little shopping of our own in the Good Deeds store. Thank you Littlefielders!
OUTDOOR WORK DAY
Saturday, November 16 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
The leaves are falling and we need to clean our church campus. Please bring your gloves and rakes and join us to clean up the outside around the church before winter.
With a winter chill already in the air, the need for hats and mittens has become apparent. The Presbyterian Women will again be collecting “Warm Fuzzies” to benefit several local shelters. Please bring your donations of hats, gloves and scarves (men's items are especially needed) and put them in the library on the following Sundays: November 17 & 24 and December 1 & 8. Remember to leave on the price tags so we can determine the value of our donations. Thank you!
MEN'S STUDY GROUP
Monday, November 25
The group will continue the study of Interrupting Silence: God's Command To Speak Out, Chapter 7-Truth Speaks To Power. Dinner will be provided at 6:30 p.m. The study will follow 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.
HANGING OF THE GREENS
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30 @ 9:00 a.m.
Ever wondered how the church is transformed each Christmas season? Come lend a helping hand and find out! The more people that come to help, the sooner everyone goes home to enjoy their day. An added bonus, you get to have some great fellowship and laughs!
PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN ADVENT CELEBRATION
Wednesday, December 4
As we approach the ëseason which is the reason' for celebration, the Presbyterian Women in Littlefield would like to invite you to join us for our annual Advent Celebration! This year we will gather in the sanctuary on December 4 at 7:00 p.m. to be informed and entertained and generally celebrate the coming of our Christ. This year we will be entertained by the Silver Strings Dulcimer Society. What a wonderful way to hear the music of the season but on the traditional instruments of hammered dulcimer, fiddle, autoharp and mountain dulcimer as it was heard a century ago. Silver Strings' unique blend of music continues the tradition where all ages come together to be part of the experience ~ listening, toe-tapping, clapping or singing along. Seasonal sounds, carols and hymns will be enjoyed. This will be followed by seasonal sweet and savory treats. Please plan to attend and bring the whole family! This is a free event sponsored by your Presbyterian Women. However, you will have an opportunity to contribute to our Thank Offering if you choose.
MEN: SAVE THE DATE
Annual Presbyterian Men's
Communion Advent Breakfast
Saturday, December 14
Come join men from across the Detroit Presbytery to create a network for good in the community. The keynote speaker this year is Miguel Thornton, President, Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., Detroit Chapter. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. with communion, breakfast, and program starting at 8:00 a.m. This year's program is at Grosse Pointe Memorial, 16 Lakeshore Dr., Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236. Tickets are $15 by advanced reservations only by December 7. For more details, please see the Mission Board across from the church office.
EVANGELISM & MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE
Our next Engage! Book Group meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. We will be discussing The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Tolan. Tom Segev, author of One Palestine Complete and 1949: The First Israelis states: “This truly remarkable book presents a powerful account of Palestinians and Israelis who try to break the seemingly endless chain of hatred and violence. Capturing the human dimension of the conflict so vividly and admirably, Sandy Tolan offers something both Israelis and Palestinians all too often tend to ignore: a ray of hope.” We will gather at 6:15 p.m. for a pizza and salad dinner. The discussion begins at 7:00 p.m.
For our Advent Devotional we will be using, Straw for the Manger: Creating a Matthew 25 Advent Season. In the introduction of the devotional, the author, Sherry Blackman, states: “This Advent let us explore the ways that we as individuals of all ages and as faith communities can be a 'touchable God', offering one another the gift of God's presence and living our faith through the actions we do in Christ's name. Let us ready the manger with the straw of loving deeds and kindness.”
Since Fran's retirement, a few Littlefielders have taken some responsibility for keeping the Littlefield connection to the Dearborn Area Interfaith Network (DAIN). This group has done some really good things over the last several years and is growing into doing some more long-term programming.
On October 10, several Littlefielders participated in the first of a series of programs leading towards the election of 2020. This is a time of guided and constructive conversation that gives everyone an opportunity to answer the questions and to learn listening skills around topics that could be difficult. Since the evening started with dinner, it was also an opportunity to begin to get to know new folks who may come from a different culture and/or religious tradition. These “Weaving the Fabric of Community” conversations will help us to gain clarity about our own beliefs and values and to respect those of others.
This series of conversations, “Weaving the Fabric of Community” will continue in January and most months through October. We invite you to consider participating in several, or all, of these opportunities. You do not have to have attended the first event to participate in future events. We will promote the upcoming events as we have the details and hope that some of you will join us in the future. Any questions? Contact the church office. It is a good way to spend a couple hours on an evening once each month.
PW MISSION INGATHERING REPORT
Once again, the Presbyterian Women of Littlefield (with the congregation's help) have met our PWPD Ingathering request and have exceeded expectations for additional donations. The value of our 2019 requested assignment was $1,567 and the value of our additional donations was $4,122 for a total of $5,689! This includes the amount from the "Warm Fuzzies" given last Christmas ($522), the CWS Hygiene and School Kits ($1,479), the donations given to the Mother's Day Card Project ($175) and the cash donations the PW makes to eight local social service agencies from the proceeds of the Spring Tea and Christmas Cookie Sale ($1,250).
Some of the items donated to the Ingathering from Littlefield were personal kits made with toiletries donated by the congregation (8 kits this year), new clothing, baby layette items, toys, school supplies, bedding, towels, craft supplies, and backpacks. Thanks to everyone who purchased and donated items.
All the donated items were collected, sorted and packaged at the PWPD Ingathering held this year at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Detroit on October 21-23. Several Littlefielders helped during one or all of the days. The items were delivered to 30 metro Detroit locations such as shelters, pregnancy centers, hospitals and nursing homes. Everything was very gratefully received. Thank you Littlefielders!
Our Prayer Shawl Ministry is alive and well at Littlefield. If you attended church on October 13, you would have witnessed Pastor Nancy's blessing of the Prayer Shawls. Although our group is not meeting in the church on a regular basis there are still knitters working at home to create Prayer Shawls. If you would like to join the ranks and you knit or crochet, we would be happy to have you. There are yarns, patterns and tools available for anyone who would like to join. We will also be happy to give you instruction or assistance if you are a ëlapsed' knitter as I was when I began. If you would like to give someone a shawl, we have a small supply on hand. These are suitable for men, women or children. We will begin creating Pocket Patches and infant shawls/blankets in the near future. If you have any interest in joining us to create or need to find a Prayer Shawl for a friend please contact the church office.
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.