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MOnday Morning News

Oct. 15, 2018

Hi All,
 It’s time to get back to that series I’ve been doing about the Essential Tenets of the Reformed Faith. Dr. Jack Rogers, professor emeritus at Fuller Seminary cites ten of them. If you’ve been keeping track you’ll know that we are up to his ninth one: the reality of the sin of idolatry, which makes anything created – including our modern day devotion to money and power – the ultimate center of our life and universe, rather than the One who created us.

I’ve never been a great one for keeping lists like this in my mind. As I have said before, since I was brought up in the tradition, Reformed theology is something I know when I hear it. I also tend to spout it without much conscious reference to those who have given it far more thought than I ever have. I was once asked, “What is the most basic human sin?” After some cogitation I replied, “Idolatry.” I can’t remember how I got there exactly but I will try to give you something of my thoughts.

When God gives the great Ten to Moses the very first commandment is “You shall have no other gods before me.” By making this commandment first the Lord tells us that God is first and most important in all that is. Everything that exists owes its existence to the One who created it: earth and sky, space, stars and galaxies, rocks and seas, algae, plants, animals, we ourselves. They are all here flowing into a seamless whole because of the One who made them and continues to call them into being. Without God all would cease, all would disappear, it would be as if nothing ever was.

God gives life and meaning to all that is and so is logically the center of all that is. And yet, self-centeredness comes so easily to us humans. We act like little children and see the world only from the perspective of our own selves. We strive to be the center of the world – a world which we seek to control in every possible way. It is that need for control that begins the web of idolatry surrounding us.

Since the chaos of change frightens us, we want things to be predictable and reliable. We think: “If we can just control those circumstances that call the shots in our life our fears will dissipate and we will be happy.” In ages past that control came from worshipping the gods in the right way. Saying the right words, thinking the right thoughts, giving the right gifts, making the right sacrifices, all these would keep those gods happy and us in control. Power and security came from having the inside line to the gods. Today, we find security in money. Money means power, and power means security from the chaos of change.

And so we buy insurance and save money, we hold political and religious convictions, all so that we can feel safe and secure. I need to be clear here: I’m not saying that these things are wrong. It is good to be ready: Life has its ups and downs. It is good to hold convictions about ideals and truth: Without them we fall into little clumps of tasteless goo. What I am saying is this: to place our trust in our money and influence, our right thinking and holding fast to what we find to be true, is to seriously misplace our faith.

To trust in what we do is to trust in ourselves, to be self-centered. And that, of course, is sin: placing ourselves in the center of things, making it all about me. Whatever and whoever it is that I might seek to worship and trust in an effort to be in control, that is my idol – and my true idol is not the object upon which I focus, the true idol is myself. How wonderfully it is put in the 100th Psalm:
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come into his presence with singing.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he that made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.
For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

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Scriptures for October 21, 2018
Isaiah 53:4–12
Psalm 91:9–16
Hebrews 5:1–10
Mark 10:35–45

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Prayer Requests from October 14, 2018
Wesley, Roger and Lillian, Val, Rocky, Kitty, Lenore, Jenn, Helen

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MONDAY, October 15
Dayton - Session Meeting 1:00 PM
TUESDAY, October 16
Dayton - Bible Study 10:00 - 11:30 AM
Dayton - Ladies Aid 11:30 AM
Polson - Session Meeting 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, October 17
Polson - Bible Study 9:30 - 11:00 AM
Polson – Bell Choir Rehearsal 5:00 PM
Polson – Chancel Choir Rehearsal 6:30 PM
FRIDAY, October 19
Polson – Alanon Meeting 8:00 PM
SATURDAY, October 20
Polson – Men’s Bible Study 8:30 - 10:00 AM
SUNDAY, October 21
Dayton-Worship 9:00 AM
Polson – Adult Study 9:00 AM
Polson – Children’s Learning Time 11:00 AM
Polson - Worship 11:00 AM

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Beloved Community,
This week we are praying for the Rev. Tim Lanham and the session and congregation of Sunrise Presbyterian Church in Great Falls.
Tim has accepted the call from the Camp Board to be the next Executive Director of our Camp. He will begin his new call mid-November. Tim has a deep history with the Camp; he has served on the Camp Board several times, has raised funds for the camp, volunteered, initiated the San Francisco Theological Seminary classes that take place at the camp several times a year and led his own very popular Lanham Lecture series for eight years. Tim loves the camp and its ministry and also has the background and practical knowledge to accomplish what needs to be done in order to make the ministry flourish.
While we celebrate Tim’s new call, we know this brings a time of sadness and transition to the Sunrise congregation. Tim has served God at Sunrise for 20 years.
Please keep Tim and the Sunrise congregation and session in your prayers while they go through this transition.

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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The Lake County Health Department will be offering flu shots in the Dayton Fellowship Hall on Thursday, October 25th from 11:00 to 1:00.

Our week-day Bible Studies have begun. In Dayton, we meet on Tuesdays from 10:00 to 11:30 and in Polson on Wednesdays from 9:30 to 11:00. In Dayton we’ll be reading the Old Testament book of Ezra. In Polson reading in Matthew’s Gospel chapters 12 through 14.

Dayton Ladies Aid is meeting this Tuesday, October 16th at 11:30 AM immediately following the Tuesday Bible Study. We will be planning our coming year. All women are welcome to be a part of Ladies Aid. Please bring along a sack lunch.


Glacier Camp: Attention Quilters! The Camp still needs about 20 quilts for twin-size beds. They are also in need of the use of a hutch (4 – 6 ft. long). The hutch will have pride of place in the dining room and will be repurposed as a coffee station. If you know of a hutch that could be donated, please call or email me.

Thank You to everyone who helped with our Polson Community Dinner last week. It couldn’t be done without so many of us pitching in to serve our community.

Polson College Kids: In past years we have collected goodies for our college kids to put into care packages. With the cost of postage becoming so high, the Deacons have decided to send gift cards instead. Over the next few weeks the Deacons will be collecting donations of either cash or gift cards to send to our college kids. Look for the envelope in the Fellowship Hall after worship. We will be collecting funds until Wednesday, October 24th.


There are many opportunities to respond to the great need of folks in the Southeast who have been hit by hurricanes these past few weeks. One of those ways is through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA). If you would like to give through the PDA please use the following information to guide your giving. All money given to the PDA is used for direct assistance. Overhead costs are paid from other funds
Financial support for relief efforts can be designated to DR000169, which supports the church’s response to hurricanes impacting the U.S. Gifts can be made:
-Over the Internet at Look for the red “Donate” button at the top right of the page.
-By cell phone. Texting “pda” to 20222 will send a $10.00 donation
-By phone at (800) 872-3283,
-By check, which can be mailed to Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), P.O. Box 643700, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700. Be sure to put DR000169 on the memo line.


No More Fundraising!
What is your congregation's purpose, your “why?” What distinguishes your church from a non-profit organization? Rev. Rosemary Mitchell, and Rev. Rhonda Kruse, both from the Presbyterian Mission Agency, will facilitate an afternoon of conversation about the important connection between stewardship and mission.
Starting with scripture, we will explore the role gratitude plays in both mission and stewardship, and its importance in our discernment of God’s purpose for the church. We will also look at how the Presbyterian practice of partnership strengthens our corporate witness in the service of God's mission.

- Registration begins at 12:30 Retreat starts at 1:00
- To Register contact Marsha Anson 406-871-2135 or

Please note that Presbytery is over a University of Montana (Grizzly) home football game. All are encouraged to secure their accommodations early.



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