Chatter May 2010
“We will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before us, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:12)
VIEWS AND REVIEWS “NOT SPIRITUAL BUT RELIGIOUS” No doubt, it is the contrarian in me that makes me want to say to people, “I’m not spiritual, but I am religious.” Everybody claims to be spiritual these days. What counts as spirituality? Taking time to smell the roses? Enjoying a certain kind of music? Preferring documentaries to action/adventure movies? Eating organically grown foods while shunning fruits and veggies grown with chemical fertilizers? Thinking thoughts that produce “empowerment”? Yes, all this and more. I’m not very enthusiastic about spirituality because by meaning too much, it means too little. It is too vague and contentless for me. Contemporary spirituality is much like the earth was described as being at the beginning of creation: “without form and void” (Genesis 1:2). Spirituality pertains to indistinct feelings of the numinous and experiences of consolation. Spirituality is about “me.” It is too centered on the individual psyche. It lacks accountability, discipline and the necessity of other people. On the other hand, religion isn’t all about me. First of all, it is about God. Not God who is an aspect of myself, tucked within me somewhere but God who is Other than me and who chooses to come to us. Note that word: “us.” Religion is not individualistic. Religion is not a solo endeavor. It is something that comes to life in a community of faith. It takes other people who love and encourage and support and join with me and you to worship, learn and serve. When the Christian experience is spoken of in scripture, it is never just a “me and Jesus” affair. Rather it is life in “the body of Christ” which is the church indwelt by the Holy Spirit. “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body…for the body does not consist of one member but of many” (1 Corinthians 12:13, 14). We find our spiritual wholeness and completion in the give and take of being church, with all the frustrations and joys that come with Christcentered life together. But our togetherness is not just a nice cozy, insular sort of thing. Rather
we are together so that we might reach out to others, offering words of gospel-infused hope, extending help for the poor and giving acceptance for the shunned. Individualistic contemporary spirituality lacks staying power. It tends to flounder and fail for lack of a community of conviction. The church is such a community. Regular participation is not optional but essential for anyone who takes their religion seriously. The ancient Christians showed wisdom that is lacking in much of the spirituality around us and so scripture says, “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together… encouraging one another” (Hebrews 10:24-25). Let’s encourage each other by faithfully coming together every week in worship. When we do, faithful religion and truly Christian spirituality will be the same thing. Grace and Peace, Craig
THE CURRENT NEED OF OUR SHARED MINISTRY We have been blessed, and we are instruments of blessing. Our church is touching lives. People in our church are not too shy about telling how their lives have been given greater joy and meaning through the other members, the ministries and the worship of our church. People who have been hurting are being helped. People short on hope are being given hope. We wish we could do more. We are a small church that does much with limited resources. We are thankful for the people who have devoted their time, gifts and funds to serve the Lord who gives us life that is life indeed. The fact is that we continue to run short of the money necessary to support the ministry God has given us. Each of the first three months of this year we have been approximately $3,000 short for what we need to pay our bills. In other words, so far in 2010 we are about $10,000 short of what we need to do the good work we are doing. We do not receive outside support nor do we have large reserves. Contributions of members sustain our ministry. We want all our members to be aware of the situation. God is doing good work at Royal Palm Christian Church, and we are confident God wants that work to continue. Everyone’s help is needed to ensure that it happens. Scripture tells us, “God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8). Please prayerfully consider how God is calling you to give. Grace and Peace, Craig
“GOD IS BIGGER” The camp directors have begun preparing for this summer’s camp adventures! The dates for the various camps are listed below, and camp registration forms are available on the youth room door. In order to receive the discounted Camp Fee listed, all registrations should be turned in before May 11th. Adults…there are camp counselor positions available also. If you haven’t ever been to camp, find time to speak to Coral, Libby, Ingrid or Cheryl…they have first hand experience! Camp CYF Conference Genesis Camp Junior Camp 3rd Grade Camp ChiRho Camp
Grades 9th – 12th 5th – 8th 4th - 5th 3rd th 6 - 8th
Dates 6/20 – 26 6/27 – 7/2 7/11 – 15 7/18 – 22 7/25 – 30
Cost $295 $285 $245 $245 $280
PRESCHOOL NEWS FROM MS. SUZANNE Our school year is quickly coming to an end, and we wonder “where did the time go?” This has been a remarkable year for all of us. We have worked really hard with 145 little children, helping them discover and grow. Their developing skills, self-esteem, love of God and love of each other have added to our days. We thank God we had the opportunity to share this year together.
MAY PRESCHOOL HAPPENINGS 2nd Preschool Appreciation Sunday (at 10:45 Worship Service)
3rd – 8th 6th & 7th 18th & 19th 26th 27th 28th 31st
Teacher Appreciation Week Jumping Rope for the American Heart Association Sharing with Pastor Craig Preschool Staff Meeting Science Fair for 3’s Classes Planning Day – Preschool Closed Full Time Care Open Holiday – All Closed
Mark Your Calendars: 6/8 VPK Graduation (at 7:00 p.m.)
YOUTH ON WEDNESDAYS Our youth are meeting every Wednesday evening at 7:00. The D-Unit group [Middle & High School youth] meets in the Youth Room and Sanctuary. The younger youth are also meeting. JYF [Junior Youth Fellowship for Elementary kids] happens on the 1st, 3rd & 5th Wednesdays, and Kidz Praiz happens on the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays. Come have some fun with us!
RECIPES PLEASE… FOR A NEW CHURCH COOKBOOK We have experienced so many wonderful meals provided by various members that the Communications Committee decided to prepare a cookbook for the Church. All proceeds will go to the ministries of RPCC. We are looking for recipes to fill our cookbook, and we would love to include one (or more) of yours. All recipes need to be in by May 30th. Advanced sale prices for the cookbooks will be $12.00 each. After June 30th they will cost $15.00 each. If you have questions, please call Loni (954-214-7787), Rose (954-309-0801) or Teri (954-825-3235).
MAY BIRTHDAYS nd
2 4th 7th
10th 11th 14th 15th 16th 17th 18th 20th 22nd 23rd 25th 29th 31st
Jennie Balducci Billie Abell Faith Herman Brittney Herman Carolyn Johnson Richard Walker June Derby Nicholas Angle Dawn Boentgen Michael Zahn Jeanie Brock Romeo Espiritu Rob Worst Jamie Zorabedian Justin Wolff Sharon C. Matiska Ken Wiedman Wade Matiska Janice Tilghman Mattie Brown
MAY ANNIVERSARIES 6th 19th 23rd 27th 29th
Fernando & Betsy Medina Tom Begier & Trinidad Ortiz Dan & Sharon Williams David & Jennifer Bramley Michael & Kathy Rucinski
[We apologize if your name is not on the list. Please call the office to update your information!]
A WARM WELCOME Jane Fenelon was attending a local church that was going through some changes when her friend, Carmen Williams, invited her to try RPCC with her. It was our blessing to receive her into our family on April 18th. Jane was born in St. Lucia in the Caribbean, and she has lived in this area for 22 years. Her son is a Minister for the United Church of Christ – and that brings added joy to her life. Jane is looking forward to being baptized on Pentecost Sunday (May 23rd). RPCC extends an embracing welcome to Jane. We are glad you’re part of our church family!
BLESSINGS God is at work in our community! Do you have a blessing you would like to share with your RPCC family? If so, email it to the church office [firstname.lastname@example.org] and we’ll include it in an upcoming Chatter. Patti & Scott Johnson share the following: “We'd like to say thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, to our caring church family for all the beautiful gestures of love we have received over the past months. We were deeply touched by those who had been praying for my mom and us, those who sent cards to encourage and console us, those whose hugs and kind words of support let us know we were not alone, and all those who took the time out of their day to be with us at the visitation and the burial. There are no words to express how much their thoughtfulness and presence have meant to us during this difficult and sorrowful time. We are truly blessed!”
ATTENTION GRADUATING SENIORS We would like to recognize and celebrate all graduating seniors during our Worship Services on Sunday, June 6th. So…if you fall into that category, please let us know – and then join us for worship.
EMAIL PRAYER GROUP You’ve seen and prayed for those listed in our bulletins each Sunday. Did you know that we also have a group of people who are contacted throughout the week as prayer needs and requests are made known? Prayer requests are routinely sent out via email to the pastor, elders and prayer group. If the request is confidential, it goes to the pastor and elders only. If you have a prayer need, please let us know. If you would like to participate in the prayer group, call or email Alice in the church office (954-753-2383 or email@example.com). It is an honor to pray for those who request prayer.
CELEBRATION On Sunday, May 23rd, we will be celebrating Pentecost. For those unaware of this particular celebration, it is the fiftieth day after Easter and commemorates the day on which the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus’ disciples as told in the second chapter of Acts. It is also referred to as the birthday of the church. This year a few people have made the decision to be baptized, so we will celebrate with baptisms during Worship. After church we will celebrate with a Pot Luck Lunch. The entrée and beverages will be provided by our Christian Men’s Fellowship…sides and desserts will be provided by the rest of us! Everyone is invited.
V IEWS AND R EVIEWS “We will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before us, and all the tr...