First Presbyterian Church December 2017 A Stone of Hope
My family and I went to Washington, DC over Thanksgiving to visit some of Genevieve’s relatives who live there. In addition to the family reunion, we went on sightseeing trips to the Smithsonian museums and some of the monuments at our nation’s capital. There are many wonderful things to tell about all that we saw and did there; however, I will focus on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in particular. This was the only monument that I had never seen before, and it was amazing to behold.
His statue is carved into a massive slab of granite, and on the side of it is a quote from his “I have a Dream Speech”. “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.” The statue itself is surrounded by a granite wall with other inscriptions from his speeches and sermons, including a paraphrase of the Gospel of John 1:5. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." (1963, Strength to Love)
This scripture verse is often quoted during Advent, along with the rest of the first chapter of the Gospel of John, as an explanation of why God came down to earth in human form. Teaching and preaching are all well and good, but even divine words are not enough to move the mountains of despair that is an integral part of human history. The ultimate expression of God’s love had to come down in human form to drive out our hateful nature and shine a light into our darkness.
The Kingdom of God may have taken a giant leap forward when Jesus came, yet it is not fully manifest on earth as it is in heaven. We all have to do our part to let the light of his love in our lives, so that it may shine forth in a broken and hurting world. One of the curious facts about the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is that it is on a direct line between the Jefferson Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. I find it interesting that each of these men lived about a hundred years apart, and they all strove to advance God’s reign on earth in their own time and place.
Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that all were created equal and “endowed by their Creator with unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. However, this promise was only partially attained during the American Revolution. Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address is inscribed on his monument, and it talks about how he tried to further Jefferson’s ideals. “That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of Freedom-and that government by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
God’s ways are always higher than our ways, and I do not want to equate even these great Americans with Jesus himself. However, their universal message of love and inclusion are much like what Christ’s coming meant for our troubled world. I pray that we all might once again experience this kind of unconditional love and grace during this Advent season. Come Lord Jesus! Amen!
Rev. Walter Stuber
First Presbyterian Church
11988 W. Main St., Wolcott, NY 14590 585-217-6030 firstname.lastname@example.org
The food and toy distribution will be December 8th, all day. We will be making food boxes, setting up and getting ready all week. If you can help in any way, please let me
Church Christmas Program
- Mary Lou
The program will happen during church time on December 17th. There will be a dish-to-pass dinner after the service. Hope you can all make it.
- Mary Lou
Jeff Sawyer Concert
The concert will be on December 10th at 3 p.m. We will need cookies. If you are able to
help, you may bring them to church in the morning.
- Mary Lou
Food Pantry Wish List: jams & jellies, pork & beans, baked beans, canned pasta, fruits, mayo, salad dressing, juice, and cereal.
- Mary Lou
The Youth will help with the Jeff Sawyer Concert. They will be going to Rochester for a Christmas Pageant on December 17th. They will also be putting a tree in the park for the Festival of Trees.
Our checkbook balance was $4,086.75. Cans and bottles collected $54.50, making our new balance $4,141.25 - our tickets for the show of $635.50 makes our new balance $3,505.75.
Thank you, everyone, for your support.
Two Cents a Meal
- Mary Lou
November’s collection was $57.00, making our total to date $775.00. Thank you all for your support.
- Mary Lou
Bulletin Board Reminder
Take a few minutes to review the bulletin board. This shares many “things” going on in the area, posts many community activities going on, and posts many cards from friends and neighbors. It’s nice to share and is available for your use.
Sunday, December 3rd: Communion
Friday, December 8th: 8 a.m. – till Christmas food and toys give away
Sunday, December 10th: 3-5 p.m. Jeff Sawyer Concert
Monday, December 11th: 6 p.m. Cookie Exchange at Susan Vezzose’s, 5849 New Hartford Street
Ecumenical choir rehearsals for Christmas Eve will be at the Presbyterian Church at 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 14th and Wednesday, December 20.
Friday, December 15: Choir Christmas party
Sunday, December 17: Christmas Pageant during the church service & dish-to-pass dinner to follow
Youth Group will be going to Rochester for a Christmas
Sunday, December 24th: 10:30 a.m. service - Lessons and Carols; 2 cents a Meal 7 p.m. Ecumenical Christmas Eve service
No choir rehearsal on Wednesday, December 27th