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Weekly Letter

Not Perfect, But Excellent

September 21, 2018
By Connie Weaver

A friend of mine posted a photo on Facebook of the house her family owns at Holden Beach, North Carolina. The island had just been re-opened following Hurricane Florence, and her family’s beach house there had weathered the storm in good condition. I was a little surprised by the sentiment evoked in seeing that picture. It’s the house our family rents for our own summer vacations, and I’d been concerned about that property in the face of the hurricane. But I hadn’t realized how worried I’d actually been; both for the sake of the owners, and because it’s become a special place for our own family.

It got me to thinking about how particular places become repositories for our memories; some good, some bad. There are a couple of places I’ve been in my life that I don’t ever care to go back to, because of the memories I associate with those places. There are other locations that hold beautiful memories for me, and still others that are a mixed bag; repositories of both positive and negative memories (read: high school!).

Churches can be one of those places that holds mixed memories for us; both good, and bad. Because of the nature of what “church” is and what we do there, both good and bad memories can get amplified in our minds because of the intense feelings we associate with our church experiences. It is, after all, about our relationship with the Lord of the Universe! But church is also about our relationships with one another, and because we are imperfect people, the memories we associate with our church experiences will never be “perfect.”

Somewhere in my reading over the years, I encountered the idea that perfection is not required in order for something to be excellent. I absolutely believe this to be true. If you think about things in your life that you would consider to be excellent, it’s doubtful you would insist that any of those things is also perfect. Even the most excellent of family relationships, or ideas or art, or the craftsmanship of the things we produce, are not perfect.  Sometimes we even find beauty in the imperfections; especially because it can be the mending of the broken aspects of our experience that produce the most beauty and joy.

My friend’s family has enjoyed their house at Holden Beach for four generations. I doubt that every single thing that has occurred there has been positive. It has, after all, been occupied by humans! But I also know that for this family, that place and the beach nearby is a focal point of their relationships with one another and of their happiness as a family. The perfection of their experiences there is not required in order for their memories to be excellent. As my friend says, it is her “happy place,” as she and her husband watch their son (fifth generation!) enjoy it just as she has over the years. 

That’s what I hope Hebron Presbyterian Church can be like, for us. The church is always going to be a mixed bag of memories, because it is occupied by human beings. But as we’re continually putting those memories – and everything we have and are – into the hands of our perfect Savior, the church can be a place of excellence. It can be the focal point of our happiness as a family of God, even in its imperfection. May it be so!

NOTE: As we see and hear stories of the continuing effects of Hurricane Florence, our hearts go out to those who’ve lost loved ones, or who’ve lost their homes, or their livelihoods, and whose lives have been disrupted in so many ways. If you feel led to help financially, one good way to do that is through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance at www.pda.pcusa.org.

The sermon text for this Sunday, Sept. 23rd, is 1st Samuel 1:3-20. It’s the story of Hannah’s praying to the Lord in her deep need. It will be the third in a series of sermons about prayers in the Bible. There will be a brief congregational meeting following worship this Sunday, for the purpose of electing a nominating committee to secure new candidates for the offices of deacon and elder for the coming year.

This Sunday, Sept. 23rd, and Sunday, Oct. 7th, will be the final opportunities for you to share a Hebron memory to be videotaped for our Heritage Celebration in October. If you’ve been thinking about doing this, please finalize your thoughts and come to the Ralph Fields room in the education wing after worship and let us record your memory!

You also still have time to sponsor a new hymnal/Bible set for the sanctuary. We’ll soon be using our new hymnal, Glory to God, and our new pew Bibles. It’s our hope to have sponsorship in by this Sunday, Sept. 23rd, so that we’ll have time to get all the book plates completed before we begin using our new Bibles and hymnals on October 14th. There will be a form in this Sunday’s bulletin. Sponsorships are $25 each for a Bible/hymnal set.

I hope you have Wednesday Night Special on your calendar, beginning on October 3rd. We’ll gather for a weekly meal together through mid-November. Our study will be taken from a book called Concentric Circles of Concern, by Oscar Thompson. We’ll take a break from our study on Oct. 17th, to hear a presentation from Ronnie Nuckols about his recent mission trip to Niger.

Sunday, October 14th, will be our Stewardship Commitment Sunday at Hebron. Those of you who are on our mailing list will be receiving information about our 2019 budget and ministries of the church, as you consider your giving for the coming year. We thank you, in advance, for your commitment to God’s work in and through Hebron Presbyterian Church.

Heritage Weekend at Hebron – As part of our 175th anniversary celebration, we’ll host a concert on Friday, Oct. 19th, featuring the Hebron Boys and young musicians from our congregation. We’ll also enjoy singing some hymns from our new hymnal, Glory to God. Then on Sunday, October 21st, we’ll celebrate in worship together, with the Rev. Walter Mann as our guest preacher, and lunch to follow in Holman Hall.

See you Sunday!

Connie Weaver

Pastor

It's All Good

September 15, 2018
By Connie Weaver

As you might have expected due to the softening of our weather forecast, all activates at the church this Sunday are ON. I'll look forward to seeing many of you in worship this Sunday. Please continue to be in prayer for those most affected by Hurricane Florence. 

The sermon text for this Sunday, Sept. 16th, is Exodus 32:7-14. This will be the second in a series of sermons on prayers in the Bible. 

Remember that Children’s Worship has begun for the fall, so kids aged 4 through 2nd grade will be dismissed following Drawing Near to the Word, to go with our DCE, Lori Alford, and a volunteer helper, for Children's Worship.

There’s still time to share your memories about Hebron Presbyterian Church, in preparation for our Heritage Celebration. Come to the Ralph Fields room after worship this Sunday, and we'll videotape your “memory” about being part of this congregation. These brief recordings of your special memories will be shown during our 175th Heritage weekend in October.

As part of our upcoming 175th birthday celebration for Hebron Church, you have the opportunity to sponsor a new Bible & hymnal set for the sanctuary, including (if you choose) to have your name or the name(s) of others noted inside the book. Inserts for this are in the Sunday worship bulletins. You may also contact the church office to have a form emailed to you. Please plan to complete your form and return it with your $25 (per set) payment by Sept. 23rd.

There will be a brief congregational meeting after worship on Sept. 23rd, to elect members of the nominating committee that will be securing new officer nominees for the coming year. 

Wednesday Night Special – Beginning October 3rd, we’ll enjoy a weekly meal together through mid-November. Our study will be taken from a book called Concentric Circles of Concern by Oscar Thompson. The “concentric circles” concept helps us look at how we talk about our faith in the context of our personal relationships. If you would like a copy of the book, please leave word with the church office, and we’ll order one at a cost to you of $11.00. We'll take a break from our WNS study on Oct. 17th, to hear a presentation from Ronnie Nuckols about his recent trip to Niger. 

Heritage Concert, Friday, October 19th - As part of our 175th anniversary heritage celebration, there will be a concert on the Friday evening before our Heritage Sunday. There is more info on this event in our September church newsletter.

Heritage Sunday, October 21st – Hebron Presbyterian’s 175th “birthday” as a congregation will be celebrated with a special service of worship and a luncheon to follow. Our guest preacher will be the Rev. Walter Mann.

And there's so much more! Keep up with events at Hebron Presbyterian Church through these weekly posts; and if you'd like to receive our monthly newsletter, email our secretary at hebronpresbyterian@comcast.net.

Connie Weaver

Pastor

News & Updates

September 07, 2018
By Connie Weaver

Greetings from your pastor! I hope your week is treating you well. Please take a few minutes to look over these announcements and updates about life together at Hebron Presbyterian Church:  

The sermon text this Sunday, September 9th, is Genesis 3:8-21. The sermon title is, “In the Garden with God.” This will be the first Sunday in a series on prayers in the Bible.  

Children’s Worship – This Sunday, Sept. 9th, we’ll begin fall Children’s Church for kids aged 4 through 2nd grade. Children will begin worship in the sanctuary and then be dismissed with Children’s Church leaders after the “Drawing Near to the Word” portion of our service. Sunday evening Youth Activities will also resume on Sept. 9th

New this Sunday – After enjoying and observing worship for several months here at Hebron Church, I’ve decided in consultation with other staff to introduce a new Affirmation of Faith to our Sunday service. This contemporary affirmation was adapted from one used by the Presbyterian Church in Canada, and has been enjoyed, learned and loved for many years by members of my former congregation in North Carolina. This will not replace the Apostles’ Creed on communion Sundays. On non-communion Sundays, this new affirmation will follow our final hymn, and I hope it will become a familiar and meaningful part of your departure from worship each Sunday.    

Stewardship Kick-off September 9th - We seek to be good stewards of God's gifts all year long, but on Sept. 9th, we'll kick off our annual stewardship emphasis. This will be a time to give prayerful consideration to your giving plans for 2019. Dedication Sunday will be October 14th. 

There’s still time to share your memories about Hebron Presbyterian Church, in preparation for our Heritage Celebration. Megan Compton will be in the Ralph Fields room after worship again this Sunday, to videotape your “memory” about being part of this congregation. There is a sign-up schedule on the office door, but please come on down if you are ready to share a memory this Sunday. These brief recordings of your special memories will be shown during our 175th Heritage weekend in October.

Prayer for Schools - After worship this Sunday, Sept. 9th, you’re invited to meet in the parking lot following worship, to be part of School Prayer Carpool to our local public schools. We’ll divide in to groups and travel to Randolph Elementary School, Goochland Middle School and Goochland High School. We’ll find a place to pray, and ask God's blessings and protection on all who will study and serve at our local schools during this coming year. We recognize that other schools are represented in our congregation, and all area students, teachers and administrators will be included in our prayers. 

Memorial Service – The family of Nancy Amos has planned a memorial service on Saturday, Sept. 13th, at our church cemetery. The service will be at 10:30 a.m., and all who wish to attend may do so. Nancy was active at Hebron Church until a few years ago, when her family moved her to Charlotte. There will be a visitation in Holman Hall after the service, with refreshments provided by the family.

New Hymnals & Bibles – As part of our upcoming 175th birthday celebration for Hebron Church, you have the opportunity to sponsor a new Bible & hymnal set for the sanctuary, including (if you choose) to have your name or the name(s) of others noted inside the book. There will be an insert in this Sunday’s worship bulletin. You may also contact the church office to have a form emailed to you. Please plan to complete your form and return it with your $25 (per set) payment by Sept. 23rd.

Niger Presentation – Elder Ronnie Nuckols has agreed to provide us with a presentation on his recent Niger trip on Wednesday, Oct. 17th. We’ll pause our regular WNS study so that we can hear from Ronnie that evening. 

Wednesday Night Special – Beginning October 3rd, we’ll enjoy a weekly meal together through mid-November. Our study this fall will be taken from a book called Concentric Circles of Concern by Oscar Thompson. The “concentric circles” concept helps us look at how we talk about our faith in the context of our personal relationships. If you would like a copy of the book, please let us know in the church office, and we’ll order one at a cost to you of $11.00. It won’t be necessary to have read the book to participate in the study, but your appreciation of the material will be enhanced if you’ve had a chance to read the book. 

Heritage Concert, Friday, October 19th - As part of our 175th anniversary heritage celebration, there will be a concert on the Friday evening before our Heritage Sunday. There is more info on this event in our September church newsletter. 

Heritage Sunday, October 21st – Hebron Presbyterian’s 175th “birthday” as a congregation will be celebrated with a special service of worship and a luncheon to follow. Our guest preacher will be the Rev. Walter Mann.

Our Operation Christmas Child "Packing Party" is set for Friday, Nov. 2nd. Watch for more details, and in the meantime, pick up a few more items to place in the tubs in the hallway outside Holman Hall. Thanks so much for all you've donated so far! 

Daylight Savings Time ENDS on Sunday, Nov. 4th. Be sure to change your clocks Saturday night before you go to bed, in order to “Fall Back” an hour on Sunday, Nov.4th.

See you Sunday!

Connie Weaver

Out of the Invisible

September 01, 2018
By Connie Weaver

        "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by...faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible." (Hebrews 11:1-3, NRSV) 

         These verses from the New Testament letter to the Hebrews came to mind recently when I was thinking about prayer. The practice of prayer is so essential to our relationship with God and to the carrying out of our discipleship under Jesus Christ; yet for many of us, “prayer” can seem like a nebulous concept we can’t quite grasp. As Christians, we know we should be praying – we may even deeply believe that prayer changes things – but we may feel unsure how to go about having “a good prayer life.” We ponder questions such as, “How much prayer is enough?” Or, “What counts as a prayer?” Or, “How can I talk to someone I can’t see?” We might see a movie like, “War Room,” or hear about people who are “prayer warriors,” and be inspired by what prayer can accomplish, but still feel unsure about how to go about living a prayerful life of our own. 

          Even as a pastor, I still sometimes think about these questions; and I know I’m not alone. It’s no wonder that we seek out programs and books to help us do something that should come as naturally as breathing to those of us who are seeking after Christ. Prayer is, after all, a conversation; it’s a conversation with a Person who loves us supremely and in Whom we can place ultimate trust. Prayer is amazing in the way it brings visible things out of the invisible. And yet, we struggle with the conversation. 

          In thinking about fall preaching, I’ve been drawn to the subject of prayer. But rather than giving a series of sermons “about” prayer, or about “how” to pray, I’ve decided to look at passages from the Bible that describe conversations between people and God. We’ll see what we can learn from these passages that might encourage us and inform our own practices of prayer. We might even encounter a few surprises to our way of thinking about prayer. The series will begin September 9th with a passage from Genesis, and end on November 18th with a passage from Revelation. We’ll take a break on Heritage Sunday on October 21st, when Walter Mann will be our preacher. 

          There are all kinds of good things going on at Hebron Presbyterian Church. I hope you’ll take time to read through the announcements, below, and join us in what God is doing in and through this blessed congregation. 

Connie S. Weaver

The sermon text this Sunday, September 2nd, is Ephesians 5:21-6:9, as we wrap up our series on this New Testament letter. The sermon title is “Subject to One Another.”  

This Sunday is our last Summer Choir Sunday – That means you can come and rehearse during the Sunday School hour (at 9:00 a.m.) and sing with the choir this Sunday, even if you are not a regular choir member. Regular choir rehearsal resumes on Sept. 5th

Have you signed up, yet? We’ll be continuing to capture Hebron Church memories on video as part of our 175th anniversary observance. Our thanks to Megan Compton, who will be in the Ralph Fields room after worship again this Sunday to capture your memories. There is a sign-up schedule on the office door, but please come on down if you are ready to share a memory this Sunday. These brief recordings of your special memories will be shown during our Heritage weekend in October. 

New Hymnals & Bibles – As part of our upcoming 175th birthday celebration for Hebron Church, you have the opportunity to sponsor a new Bible & hymnal set for the sanctuary, including (if you choose) to have your name or the name(s) of others noted inside the book. There will be an insert in this Sunday’s worship bulletin. You may also contact the church office to have a form emailed to you. Please plan to complete your form and return it with your $25 (per set) payment by Sept. 23rd.

Women's Bible Study - Our Tuesday and Thursday Bible study groups resume on Sept. 4th and 6th. The Tuesday group will be using a Beth Moore study on the book of Daniel. The Thursday group will be using a Precept study on the gospel of Luke. For more info and to register, contact Lori Alford at hebrondce@comcast.net.  

Children’s Worship – On Sunday, Sept. 9th, we’ll begin fall Children’s Church for kids aged 4 through 2nd grade. Children will begin worship in the sanctuary and then be dismissed with Children’s Church leaders after the “Drawing Near to the Word” portion of our service. Sunday evening Youth Activities will also resume on Sept. 9th

Stewardship Kick-off September 9th - We seek to be good stewards of God's gifts all year long, but on Sept. 9th, we'll kick off our annual stewardship emphasis. This will be a time to give prayerful consideration to your giving plans for 2019. Dedication Sunday will be October 14th. 

Prayer for Schools - After worship on Sunday, Sept. 9th, all who can and wish to do so are invited to remain at church to be part of car pool teams to Randolph Elementary School, Goochland Middle School and Goochland High School. The purpose of this event is simply to travel to the schools, find a place to pray together there, and to ask God's blessings and protection on all who will study and serve at our local schools during this coming year. We recognize that other schools are represented in our congregation, and all area students, teachers and administrators will be included in our prayers. Traveling to our public schools on Sept. 9th will be a way for us as a congregation to extend our witness and care into our local community.

Wednesday Night Special – Beginning October 3rd, we’ll enjoy a weekly meal together through mid-November. Our study this fall will be taken from a book called Concentric Circles of Concern by Oscar Thompson. The “concentric circles” concept helps us look at how we talk about our faith in the context of our personal relationships. If you would like a copy of the book, please let us know in the church office, and we’ll order one at a cost to you of $11.00. It won’t be necessary to have read the book to participate in the study, but your appreciation of the material will be enhanced if you’ve had a chance to read the book. 

Heritage Concert, Friday, October 19th - As part of our 175th anniversary heritage celebration, there will be a concert on the Friday evening before our Heritage Sunday. There is more info on this event in our September church newsletter. 

Heritage Sunday, October 21st – Hebron Presbyterian’s 175th “birthday” as a congregation will be celebrated with a special service of worship and a luncheon to follow. Our guest preacher will be the Rev. Walter Mann.

Our Operation Christmas Child "Packing Party" is set for Friday, Nov. 2nd. Watch for more details, and in the meantime, pick up a few more items to place in the tubs in the hallway outside Holman Hall. Thanks so much for all you've donated so far!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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