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MOnday Morning News

August 13, 2018

Hi All,
  We ordained and installed Bob Payne as a new ruling elder in Dayton yesterday. I’m sure you have noticed how many questions we ask of our church officers each time we ordain and/or install them for a new term of office. There are nine of them covering everything from faith in Jesus Christ, to faithfulness to the work, to guidance from Scripture and tradition. Probably the question with the most content asks:
Do you sincerely receive and adopt the essential tenets of the Reformed faith as expressed in the confessions of our church as authentic and reliable expositions of what Scripture leads us to believe and do, and will you be instructed and led by those confessions as you lead the people of God?
It is those “essential tenets” that I’ve been addressing in a series about them. This month we are up to the seventh of the essentials of the Reformed faith: “the Covenant life of the church.” If you went through Sunday School as a child the word “covenant” is probably no stranger to you. Throughout the time of the Old Testament the Covenant was God’s special promise to God’s people.
  - God made a covenant with Noah to build the ark and so save Noah’s family from the flood. After the flood God made a covenant to never flood the earth again – it’s sign is the rainbow.
  - God made a covenant with Abraham, giving Abraham a claim on the land of Canaan and promising to make Abraham the father of many nations.
  - God’s covenant to Abraham is renewed by God as Moses and the people of Israel receive the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai.

A striking feature of these various covenants is that they tend to be lopsided. The greater responsibility of the relationship is always upon God. Make no mistake, God makes it plain to Moses and the people of Israel there are consequences to breaking the covenant, but there is never the consequence that God will break faith with them. Even when God’s people are disobedient, they are still God’s people. God will never leave them… or us!
What, then is a covenant? A covenant is a promise. It begins with God, binding God to God’s people. And since, by God’s Covenant we are bound to God, we are bound to one another. Covenant is about community – our community with God and with one another. And this is the whole point about the phrase “Covenant Life.” The making of a covenant is not enough. Covenants are meant to be lived, not merely agreed to.
One of the greatest mistakes of our time is the way that we try to follow Jesus without paying attention to others who follow Jesus. Christianity is never about “me and Jesus;” Christianity is about “us and Jesus.” We cannot live out our faith without one another because God calls as to be God’s people together. A single ember, swept away from the fire, will quickly die. It needs the heat of the fire to keep glowing. Trying to keep faithful on our own will never work in the long-haul – we need each other for strength and life. I was once listening to one of my favorite radio programs, “On Being.” It was an interview with the poet Christian Wiman. Speaking about how church is important to him he says,

“I do need to go to church. I need specifically religious elements in my life. I find that if I just turn all of my spiritual impulses — if I let them be solitary, as I am comfortable in being — I’m comfortable sitting reading books and trying to pray and meditating. Inevitably, if that energy is not focused outward, it becomes despairing. It turns in on itself, and I will look up in a couple of months, and I find that I’m in despair.”
It’s no great secret that I’m a bit of an introvert. Like most introverts I gain energy from being alone. I can get very comfortable all by myself. Reading, writing, fishing, working in the garden – all my delights – are solitary activities. But I’ve learned something through the years: when I’m having a bad day one of the best ways to improve my outlook is to spend time with others. In conversation with others, whether it is deep or delightful (or both,) I am reminded that God creates us to live with one another, to support one another, to love one another. Covenant life is about that. It’s about living our faith together: living as a community brought and bound together by the Spirit of God that we might live abundantly.

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Scriptures for August 19, 2018

First Kings 2:10–12; 3:3–14
Psalm 111
Ephesians 5:15–20
John 6:51–58

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Prayer Requests from August 12, 2018

Laura, Jenn, Gary, Helen, Val, Rocky, Mary, Rica, Barbara, Robin, Steve, Firefighters and Fire victims, Kerry, Gary, Israel and Palestine

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WEDNESDAY, August 15
Polson – Caregivers Support Group 1:30 – 2:30 PM

FRIDAY, August 17
Polson – Alanon Meeting 8:00 PM

SATURDAY, August 18
Polson – Men’s Bible Study 8:30 – 10:00 AM
Polson – Deacons 10:00 AM

SUNDAY, August 19
Dayton-Worship 9:00 AM
Polson – Adult Study 9:00 AM
Polson - Worship 11:00 AM

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Beloved Community,
This week we are praying for the Synod of the Rocky Mountains.
Just as each presbytery encompasses a specific region of congregations, sessions and pastors, each presbytery is in a synod, which is comprised of a number of presbyteries.
We are in the Synod of the Rocky Mountains, which contains eight presbyteries: Utah, Western Colorado, Pueblo, Denver, Plains and Peaks, Wyoming, Yellowstone and us - Glacier Presbytery.
We are grateful for grants from the Synod that have helped us offer classes
from San Francisco Theological Seminary (next one on Sept. 9) and the Church Communication Strategies Workshop (Sept. 27 in Helena.)
Please keep the Synod of the Rocky Mountains, its staff in your prayers. Our own Rev. Scott Wipperman (of Helena) is the Moderator of the Synod.
To learn more about the Synod go to:
Peace be with you,

Marsha Zell Anson
General Presbyter/Stated Clerk for Glacier Presbytery
P.O. Box 1482, Polson, MT 59860 (406)871-2135

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Please note that the Polson Deacons will be meeting this Saturday, August 18th at 10:00 AM.

Dayton Days are approaching and will be celebrated the weekend of September 8th. Our Dayton Congregation will be serving a brunch and having a bake sale and mini-bazaar. We especially need pies for the bake sale!

Polson Community Dinner: On a very hot Friday afternoon we served over 90 people a great dinner of pulled pork sandwiches, corn on the cob, salads and desserts. One wonderful surprise – a great number of salads donated from our brothers and sisters at the Catholic Church! A big thank you to everyone who helped out!

Polson Photo Directory: Our Polson photo directory is coming together well. There will be two more opportunities to have your picture taken. This Wednesday, August 15th, Gail and Mary will be photographing groups but you can also come in for an individual or family photo. There will be a final opportunity this coming Sunday, August 19th. Please give Mary and Gail a call to arrange an exact time at 883-9308 or (830) 515-8389

Loaves and Fish Contributions: Loaves and Fish is our Community Food Pantry in Polson. Be sure to look for the donations baskets in the coming weeks and months.


San Francisco Seminary Class at the Camp on September 9-11, 2018

Another great offering from San Francisco Seminary is coming up in just a few weeks. Christopher Ocker, a professor of church history at the San Francisco Theological Seminary, will be sharing with us about the effects of the Reformation.
Church history does nothing for us, unless it shows us how the past sheds light on our own times. But times change, and our sense of the past often becomes antiquated. The Reformation is case in point.
People commonly think of the Reformation as a triumph of heroic reformers. The 500th anniversary of Luther’s protest against indulgences last year rekindled many unlikely, sometimes preposterous claims. But this hinders rather than helps us understand the world in which we live. It's time to reconsider the Reformation, what it was, how it happened, and precisely how it changed the world, and how it did not.
In five lectures, illustrated with original texts and interpretations of Renaissance art, this course will study
1) Martin Luther as others knew him, as a contested reformer competing with other reformers,
2) four surprising issues that shaped the Reformation as a sixteenth-century movement, and how,
3) the relationship of the Reformation to Christianity's conflicts with Judaism and Islam,
4) how the Reformation gave birth to both critical secularism and evangelism,
5) what the Reformation should mean for Protestants, for all Christians, and for the world today.

To Register: Contact Marsha – 406-871-2135 or

- Commuters (includes Sunday Dinner, Lunch on Monday and Tuesday) $55/person
- Single Room (all meals included) $160/person
- Double Room (all meals included) $97/person.
Our Schedule:
- September 9: 4:00 – 5:00 Check in; 5:00 Dinner; 6:00 Lecture 1
- September 10: 8:00 Breakfast; 9:00 Lecture 2; 12:00 Lunch; 1:00 Lecture 3; 4:00 Lecture 4; 6:00 Dinner
- September 11: 8:00 Breakfast; 9:00 Lecture 5; 12:00 Sack lunch



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