Posted by: Elmer Presbyterian Church | September 15, 2014

Coming Up !!

Rev. Mouris Yousef’s sermon for next Sunday, September 21st, “But Peter Followed Him at a Distance!” will be based on Scripture readings Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Matthew 26:57-68. All are invited to attend our service at 10:00 am. Sunday school follows worship from 11:30 am–12 noon for children ages 4th through 8th grades.

The Women’s Bible study meets Monday, September 22nd at 7:00 pm.

The Community Bible study, led by Rev. Yousef, meets on Tuesdays at 10:00 am. If you’d like to learn more about the Word of God this is a great opportunity to join others in lively and informed discussions of the Bible.

The Men’s Bible study group meets on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm.

The Way youth group meets weekly on Wednesday in the Church, with Bible themed study, activities and games. Junior youth in 4th through 7th grades meet from 6:30-8:00 pm, while senior youth in 8th grade through one year out of high school meet from 7-9 pm. All youth in the area are invited to participate in the activities.

Our Clothes Closet will next be open Tuesday, October 21st, from 6-7 pm, offering serviceable used clothing for children and adults to those in need at no cost. If you, or someone you know, has need for these items, please come visit us at the church on that date. However, if you need assistance before then, please call the church.

The Elmer Presbyterian Church is located at 107 Chestnut Street (Rt. 40) in Elmer, at the intersection of Rt. 40 and Front Street. The church is handicap accessible, with parking available behind the church. If you would like information about any of our worship services or programs, or need transportation, please call 856-358-8888.

Posted by: Elmer Presbyterian Church | September 15, 2014

Elmer Presbyterian Church Wk. 9.14.14

“Father Knows Best?” was the title of Rev. Scott Morschauser’s sermon last Sunday, based on the story of the Prodigal Son from Luke 15:11-32. Augustus, the first emperor of the Roman Empire, bemoaned the lack of morality in Rome and passed legislation to restore Roman religion and morality. His daughter, Julia (the Elder) fought his edicts and created scandals, and Augustus exiled her to the island of Pandateria. Although she begged for mercy, he refused to see her ever again. Though she was alive, to Augustus she was dead. While today this sounds extremely harsh, at the time this custom of cutting off children from family life was common.

So, Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son would have been shocking to those listening. Welcome your son back after he took his inheritance and left, squandering it all? Run to greet him and arrange a banquet to celebrate his return, saying “For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found”? The older brother’s angry response is the only logical one: “Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.” Does father know best? Or is this the story of a crazy dad? A story of shame on the father and family?

Jesus’ parable is really teaching about God. For those whose dignity and status are paramount, this story tells us that the honor of God is the love of God, and that we’re willing to bear any weight or humiliation in the love of God. My son was lost and now he is found. The dead are alive, the lost are found. That is what the Kingdom of God is all about. That is how deeply we can trust in God.

Posted by: Elmer Presbyterian Church | September 9, 2014

Coming Up!!

Next Sunday, September 14th, we welcome back Rev. Scott Morschauser to share his message with us while Rev. Yousef is on vacation. All are invited to attend our service at 10:00 am. Sunday school follows worship from 11:30 am–12 noon for children ages 4th through 8th grades.

The Community Bible study, led by Rev. Yousef, meets on Tuesdays at 10:00 am. If you’d like to learn more about the Word of God this is a great opportunity to join others in lively and informed discussions of the Bible.

The Men’s Bible study group meets on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm.

The Way youth group meets weekly on Wednesday in the Church, with Bible themed study, activities and games. Junior youth in 4th through 7th grades meet from 6:30-8:00 pm, while senior youth in 8th grade through one year out of high school meet from 7-9 pm. All youth in the area are invited to participate in the activities.

Our Clothes Closet will be open Tuesday, September 16th, from 6-7 pm, offering serviceable used clothing for children and adults to those in need at no cost. If you, or someone you know, has need for these items, please come visit us at the church on that date. However, if you need assistance before then, please call the church.

The Elmer Presbyterian Church is located at 107 Chestnut Street (Rt. 40) in Elmer, at the intersection of Rt. 40 and Front Street. The church is handicap accessible, with parking available behind the church. If you would like information about any of our worship services or programs, or need transportation, please call 856-358-8888.

Posted by: Elmer Presbyterian Church | September 9, 2014

Elmer Presbyterian Church News Wk. 09.07.14

Rev. Mouris Yousef’s sermon last Sunday, “Revival in our Time?” was based on Scripture readings Jonah 3 and John 20:19-23. My message this week is a reflection on the story of Nineveh, one of the largest spiritual awakenings in human history. I wanted to bring this message to you as we commission our Christian Education leaders for a new church year. So wicked was Nineveh that they provoked God Himself, who sent Jonah to preach against it. Nineveh was the capitol and the center of the Assyrian Empire. Assyria had the strongest military power at the time, but things were about to change as a more powerful military, the Babylonian army, would overtake Assyria, and the days of this nation were numbered.

What is revival? Revival is something that God does for us. We do not do it for God. Revival is nothing more or less than a new beginning of obedience to God. The Church needs revival. Revival is a restoration. Revival is a process through which we go back to the place God wants us to be. Jonah delivered God’s message and Nineveh repented. If God can bring a mighty revival in Nineveh with no better representative than Jonah then certainly the Lord can do the same for Elmer. Just as Jonah was revived and re-commissioned by God, so too the revival starts with us. The challenge is: nothing can happen through us until something happen to us.

Four great awakenings can be identified in American religious history. The Third Great Awakening took place around 1857-1859 when Jeremiah Lanphier began prayer meetings on a street in New York City. He began slowly, but then exploded, and one of the things that caused it to explode was the crash of the stock market caused by the Panic of 1857. During those two years an average of 50,000 thousand people a week came to know Christ. What is unique about the Third Great Awakening is that it started with a simple prayer meeting and it turned into a wave that rolled across the nation. We cannot live in the past, but we can learn from it, and we need to pray, Lord do it again. I believe we need another spiritual awakening in the United States today. We have a new whole generation now that needs their own revival, their own awakening.

The story of Nineveh is a spiritual awakening, an entire city turning to God. What I find amazing is that they turn to God after a sermon like this, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” This reminds us that no one is beyond the reach of God. The city of Nineveh was wicked, yet God saved them. Do you know someone who is wicked, a sinner, someone you cannot imagine walking around with a Bible saying, “Praise the Lord”? God can save this person. I challenge you to start praying for these people and share the good news of Jesus with them. We need to attempt great things for God, and expect great things from God. Before and after anything else, Ecclesiology, the study of the church, tells us that the church is a missional body. We must do the works of Him who sent us. As I said last week, something remains to be done; the job is still unfinished.

Posted by: Elmer Presbyterian Church | September 2, 2014

What’s Coming Up?!

Rev. Yousef’s sermon for next Sunday, September 7th “Revival in our Time?” is based on Scripture readings Jonah 3 and 2 Peter 3:14-18. During the worship service the Christian Education Leaders will be commissioned for the school year, and we’ll celebrate the Lord’s Supper, with an Open Table for all who confess Christ as Lord and Savior. All are invited to attend our service at 10:00 am. Sunday school resumes this week, following worship from 11:30 am–12 noon for children ages 4th through 8th grades.

 

The Women’s Bible study group meets on Monday, September 8th at 7:00 pm for the first meeting of the season.

 

The Community Bible study, led by Rev. Yousef, meets on Tuesday, September 9th at 10:00 am for the first meeting of the season.

 

The Women’s Association meets on Tuesday, September 9th at 6:00 pm for a picnic dinner and first meeting of the season.

 

The Men’s Bible study group meets on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm.

 

The Way youth group meets weekly on Wednesday in the Church, with Bible themed study, activities and games. Junior youth in 4th through 7th grades meet from 6:30-8:00 pm, while senior youth in 8th grade through one year out of high school meet from 7-9 pm. All youth in the area are invited to participate in the activities.

 

Chancel choir rehearsals begin Thursday, September 11th at 7:30 pm.

 

Our Clothes Closet will next be open Tuesday, September 16th, from 6-7 pm, offering serviceable used clothing for children and adults to those in need at no cost. If you, or someone you know, has need for these items, please come visit us at the church on that date. However, if you need assistance before then, please call the church.

 

The Elmer Presbyterian Church is located at 107 Chestnut Street (Rt. 40) in Elmer, at the intersection of Rt. 40 and Front Street. The church is handicap accessible, with parking available behind the church. If you would like information about any of our worship services or programs, or need transportation, please call 856-358-8888.

Posted by: Elmer Presbyterian Church | September 2, 2014

Elmer Presbyterian News Wk.of 9.1.14

“Before The End of Summer!”

Jeremiah 8:20; 2 Timothy 4:1-5

 

In a few days the birds will be packing to return to the South, to hide from the cold to come. It is almost the end of the summer holidays. Some people can get depressed at the end of the summer. They don’t like the idea of the days turning shorter. They don’t like the look of the leaves that are falling. Not everyone is happy to go back to school. In many ways, summer is a season of freedom and relaxation, and sometimes it is hard to say goodbye to these good days.

 

Jeremiah takes that picture and applies it to the spiritual life of the nation of Israel. In Jeremiah 8:20 we read: “The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.” What does Jeremiah mean? It might be helpful to give a brief historical background of Jeremiah’s ministry to understand the reason behind using this image in chapter 8:20. Jeremiah prophesied in troubling times. The Barbarians were rumbling to the north. Israel, the Northern section of the divided Kingdom, had been plundered and destroyed two centuries earlier. By the 6th century B.C., King Nebuchadnezzar ruled the Middle East from Babylon. He would soon over-run Judah and destroy Jerusalem, and the long and dark days of “The Babylonian Exile” would begin.

 

Jeremiah was sent by God to warn the Southern Kingdom of Israel that their nation was in trouble. His message was simple: commit yourselves as individuals and as a nation to the Lord and God will take care of you and bless you mightily. If you refuse, God will simply walk away and leave you to fend for yourselves. There is always a chance to turn your life around. There is always a chance to get it right.

“The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not yet saved.” Jeremiah’s message was so simple, yet it was so alarming. Listen again: “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not yet saved.” As I mediate this morning on Jeremiah 8:20 and as I think about the days that just fly by, I would like to make two important observations.

 

First: Missing the Harvest

“The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.” In order to understand what Jeremiah is saying here, we need to know the times and seasons of harvest in the Middle East. There are two major harvest seasons in the Middle East: early summer and late summer. Jeremiah 8:20 refers to both of them. “The harvest is past” ~ Jeremiah refers to the time of the early harvest, in the beginning of the summer. This harvest was the first and major chance of survival of the winter to come. But there always was a second chance, in the harvest of the fruits in the end of the summer. “The summer has ended” in Jeremiah 8:20 means the second chance is gone. “The early harvest is past, the summer harvest has ended – and we are not saved.” Jeremiah is saying we, as a nation, have missed one chance after the other. We have missed the early summer and late summer harvest seasons.

 

God sent Jeremiah, the “Weeping Prophet of Israel” to a nation that cared very little about the God of their fathers. Israel had worshipped false gods, and she refused to have the Lord rule in her life. As a result, Israel went into the Babylonian captivity, and Jerusalem was destroyed. Yet, before all this took place, God sent Jeremiah with a new chance of grace to the nation of Israel. It is true that the people have missed the first and second harvest chances, but here is a new one. It is true that we stand empty handed, no grain, no fruits, but the priceless unfailing love and compassion of God.

 

Friends, throughout the Scriptures, God always offers a second chance. He allows us to start over. That is the whole story of the Bible. That is the nub and central message which Jesus taught to a very religious man called Nicodemus: “You must be born again.” In other words, “you can begin anew.” There is always a chance for those of us who did not get it right the first time.

 

Second: What Did We Miss Anyway?

“The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.” The nation of Israel did not miss a small thing. They missed the harvest. It is a matter of life and death. They missed their salvation! They missed the time of God’s coming to them. Jesus Himself wept over Jerusalem for the same reason. They missed their last opportunity. When we study the context, Jeremiah is not referring to our modern use of the word “saved” at all. We tend to glorify salvation as a personal gift, our ticket into heaven, which is true, but this is not what Jeremiah means here. Jeremiah is referring to a community event, to the recovery of their equilibrium, the renewing of their way of life, to find themselves again. The little things they had done to bolster their lives and circumstances had caught up with them. All the compromises they had made through the decades were beginning to tip the scales against them. Jeremiah’s prophecy had a dual purpose: to build up and to tear down. To build up those whose countenance had fallen, but to tear down those who were too proud. Jeremiah challenges us to stop for a minute, near the end of summer, and think about where we are and what we should be. God still has a claim upon your life.

 

Friends, as I conclude, let me summarize my message. Jeremiah likens Israel’s missed opportunity to turn to God and to do its job to that of a missed harvest: “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” The purpose of my message this morning is twofold. First, to appreciate the many opportunities the Lord is offering you to grow up your faith. As I look ahead to the next few months here at the Elmer Presbyterian Church, we will have a great variety of ministries for all age groups. We will have ministries for our children, our youth, and our seniors. We are having worship opportunities, Bible study groups, mission opportunities, fellowship for women, and fellowship groups for men. My hope for everyone is to make an effort and allow God to take you into a deeper walk with Him. I urge you not to miss the harvest.

 

Second, is to stir our hearts for the lost. There is a mission field outside your front door. We are surrounded by people who have missed so many opportunities. They are our co-workers, they are our family members, they are our neighbors, and they are the people we meet on the street every day. May I say to you this morning, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few.” The world is full of men and women and young people who need Christ. The question is: “Who will reach them? Who will tell them if we are not doing that?

 

“The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.” In other words, something remains to be done; the job is still unfinished. We have a long way to go and not much time to get there. Don’t delay your opportunity for joy, for newness. Don’t be cautious when God calls you to something new. Some folk I meet know everything and say ‘no thanks.’ Some are like Samuel, “Speak Lord for your servant is listening.” “The harvest is passed; the summer is ended, and we are not yet saved.” You can do something about it: you can start anew, and you can end renewed. In the Name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Posted by: Elmer Presbyterian Church | August 26, 2014

Check Out What’s Coming Up!

While some may be sad that the end of summer is coming soon, we can all look forward to the many fall activities that will be starting in September! Here’s a look ahead:

* Women’s Association meets Tuesday, September 2nd at 6:00 pm.

* Commissioning of our Christian Education Leaders during worship service on Sunday, September 7th.

* Sunday school begins September 7th from 11:20 am–12 noon for children ages 4th through 8th grades.

* Women’s Bible study meets Monday, September 8th at 7:00 pm.

* Community Bible study begins Tuesday, September 9th at 10:00 am in the church.

* Chancel choir rehearsals begin Thursday, September 11th at 7:30 pm, Sunday singing on September 14th.

Our Clothes Closet will next be open Tuesday, September 16th, from 6-7 pm, offering serviceable used clothing for children and adults to those in need at no cost. If you, or someone you know, has need for these items, please come visit us at the church on that date. However, if you need assistance before then, please call the church.

 

The Elmer Presbyterian Church is located at 107 Chestnut Street (Rt. 40) in Elmer, at the intersection of Rt. 40 and Front Street. The church is handicap accessible, with parking available behind the church. If you would like information about any of our worship services or programs, or need transportation, please call 856-358-8888.

 

Posted by: Elmer Presbyterian Church | August 26, 2014

Elmer Presbyterian Church News Wk. 8.25.14

While Rev. Mouris Yousef was on vacation last Sunday, Rev. John Lore visited and offered his message, “Anxious? Feeling Down? Depressed? Have I Got Good News for You!” based on Scripture readings Psalm 94:17-19 and Philippians 4:1-18. The World Health Organization recently did a 30 country study on which country’s population had the most anxiety, depression and stress. The USA was first, followed by Columbia and then Ukraine. How is it that the richest, most powerful county in the world placed first, ahead of crime and drug ridden Columbia and war torn Ukraine? Anxiety and depression are nothing new. Many significant figures in the Bible suffered from depression, and the Israelites have suffered oppression and anxiety for centuries. In the New Testament, the apostles suffered depression after Jesus was crucified, and it took them a long time to recover.

 

Here’s the good news: if you want to get rid of anxiety, depression and stress here are some “tools” for your tool box. We begin with the internet, where there are sermons from many sources available, including from notable evangelists like Billy Graham. And we have the power of prayer. If you want or need change in your life, you need to increase your prayer time. Another tool is to start your prayers with thanksgiving. Begin with a good look at what you do have in your life before asking for what you don’t have. A pair of sharp scissors is a good tool to cut loose of the unnecessary things you’re holding onto, such as grudges from long ago, or bad memories, and free yourself to forgive other who have hurt you. You need a telescope to look through at other people. When you’re down, stop focusing on yourself and start doing things for others. And, you could use a “reminder” to help you remind yourself of the good people in your life and the good things that have happened to you.

 

Lastly, to help reduce life’s anxiety and stress, listen to Proverbs 3:5-8: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”

 

Rev. Yousef returns next Sunday, August 31st with his sermon “Before the End of Summer!” based on Scripture readings Jeremiah 8:20 and 2 Timothy 4:1-5. All are invited to attend our service at 10:00 am.

Posted by: Elmer Presbyterian Church | August 19, 2014

ELMER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH – news wk 08/18/14:

Rev. Mouris Yousef’s

sermon last Sunday was part two of “I am My Beloved’s!” based on Scripture readings Song of Songs 2:16-17 and 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

This week we conclude our meditations on Song of Songs chapter 2:16, “My beloved is mine and I am His.” The Song of Songs is a book that is full of Christ, presented not only as our God, but also as our Bridegroom, our Beloved! The Song symbolizes in such a beautiful way God’s grace in His love for His covenant people Israel under the Old Covenant, and the Christian church, the Bride of Christ, under the New Covenant, the covenant of grace.

This short verse brings to us a great truth because throughout life humans, believers and non-believers alike, are constantly trying to figure out who they are. For us, followers of Christ, we are only one thing, the “Beloved of God”.

 

Why is this truth so important to us today?

Because we are not what we do or what we have. We are simply and profoundly God’s children and He fully defines us and loves us. We have to hear this not only with our minds but with our whole hearts.

Last week we covered the first half of the verse, “My beloved is mine.”

This week we’ll focus on the second, “And I am His” which is very much our response to God’s grace and God’s love given to us so abundantly in Jesus Christ. The first half of the verse speaks of our privilege, while the second half speaks of our responsibility. “My beloved is mine” speaks of our true identity in Christ being the “beloved of God”, while “I am His” speaks of how to show forth the fruit of God’s dwelling in us.

 

Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to “love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.”

And the second is like it, “love your neighbor as yourself.”

So what went wrong? Sin entered our world and our love became misplaced and misdirected. The heart of what the Bible calls “sin” is a misdirected love causing us to love the wrong things. That’s the fundamental human problem. That’s why our first instincts are not to seek God but to hide from Him. As mentioned earlier, while the first half of Songs of Songs 2:16 speaks of our privilege, the second half speaks of our responsibility. It is our response to God’s grace so richly given to us in Jesus. Let me ask you followers of Christ: How do you respond to that great truth that Christ is all yours? Do you give to Jesus what He’s given to you? You and I struggle with ourselves to give Jesus a portion of what He has already given us. I think it’s time for a lot of Christians to buy Jesus a ring and stop dating, so to speak. You see, a lot of Christians want all the benefits of Christ, without having to commit to Christ.

 

Friends, Jesus has always demanded one’s all in following Him. Some of us have gotten our priorities right. And some of us are still a work in progress. Over the next few weeks we’ll be looking at how the apostle Paul provides a theological framework for what it means to follow Christ totally and the consequential changes it makes in a person’s life. God expects unconditional surrender. Once made, a metamorphosis takes place that changes a person into the real life they seek. I hope this message provided you an ‘ah-ha moment’. God loves you personally.

That action of love demands an action from our side. “My beloved is mine and I am His.”

 

Next Sunday, August 24th, Rev. John Lore

returns to offer his message while Rev. Yousef is on vacation. All are invited to attend our service at 10:00 am.

 

The Way youth group meets weekly on Wednesday in the Church, with Bible themed study, activities and games.

Junior youth in 4th through 7th grades meet from 6:30-8:00 pm, while senior youth in 8th grade through one year out of high school meet from 7-9 pm. All youth in the area are invited to participate in the activities.

 

The summer Men’s Bible Study concludes this Tuesday, August 26 at 6:00 pm.

Entitled “Leadership and the Lukewarm Church”, this study explores the leadership of men in both the church and the family. Open to the community, men (of all ages) are invited to join us.

 

Our Clothes Closet

will next be open Tuesday, September 16th, from 6-7 pm, offering serviceable used clothing for children and adults to those in need at no cost. If you, or someone you know, has need for these items, please come visit us at the church on that date. However, if you need assistance before then, please call the church.

 

The Elmer Presbyterian Church is located at 107 Chestnut Street (Rt. 40) in Elmer, at the intersection of Rt. 40 and Front Street. The church is handicap accessible, with parking available behind the church. If you would like information about any of our worship services or programs, or need transportation, please call 856-358-8888.

Posted by: Elmer Presbyterian Church | August 11, 2014

COMING UP!!

The Way youth group meets weekly on Wednesday in the Church, with Bible themed study, activities and games. Junior youth in 4th through 7th grades meet from 6:30-8:00 pm, while senior youth in 8th grade through one year out of high school meet from 7-9 pm. All youth in the area are invited to participate in the activities.

 

The summer Men’s Bible Study continues on Tuesdays, August 19 and 26 at 6:00 pm. Entitled “Leadership and the Lukewarm Church”, this study will explore the leadership of men in both the church and the family. Open to the community, men (of all ages) are invited to join us.

 

Movie Night is Monday, August 18th at 6:30 pm. We’ll be showing “Heaven is for Real”, based on the incredible true story of a small town father who must find the courage to share his son’s extraordinary life-changing experience with the world. Refreshments will be provided, and all are welcome to the showing of this family oriented movie.

 

Our Clothes Closet will be open Tuesday, August 19th, from 6-7 pm, offering serviceable used clothing for children and adults to those in need at no cost. If you, or someone you know, has need for these items, please come visit us at the church on that date. However, if you need assistance before then, please call the church.

 

The Elmer Presbyterian Church is located at 107 Chestnut Street (Rt. 40) in Elmer, at the intersection of Rt. 40 and Front Street. The church is handicap accessible, with parking available behind the church. If you would like information about any of our worship services or programs, or need transportation, please call 856-358-8888.

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