Posted by: Elmer Presbyterian Church | December 16, 2014

Operation Christmas Child

Santa’s Helper (Manny Nowak) loads the sleigh (their van) with Christmas shoe boxes filled with things for kids in preparation for taking them to the Samaritan’s Purse regional drop off point in Vineland for their Operation Christmas Child program.

Santa’s Helper (Manny Nowak) loads the sleigh (their van) with Christmas shoe boxes filled with things for kids in preparation for taking them to the Samaritan’s Purse regional drop off point in Vineland for their Operation Christmas Child program.

christmas boxes 2014 #2 picture

Operation Christmas Child is in high gear as Cheryl and Manny Nowak load almost 100 shoe boxes packed with school supplies, personal hygiene items and small toys in their van to bring them to the Samaritan’s Purse in Vineland.

 

Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization, annually sponsors their Operation Christmas Child program where churches and community organizations around the world fill shoe boxes with school supplies, personal hygiene items, small toys, and articles of clothing for boys and girls in more than 150 countries and territories. Started in 1993, this program has helped hurting children with over 100 million shoe box gifts in places such as Bosnia, Honduras, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Uganda, India and Timbuktu. In a recent Special Report issued by Samaritan’s Purse, President Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, stated, “Multitudes of children around the world are rejoicing with Operation Christmas Child. These gifts have enabled us to share the Gospel in some of the darkest corners of the world”.

The filled shoe boxes are collected in November of each year at regional drop off points, and then sent in tractor trailers to Boone, SC where the boxes are checked, Gospel literature in native languages included, and then prepared for shipment to villages and towns around the world. Each year the destinations are identified in cooperation with churches in the area. Last year alone over 9 million boxes were collected and distributed.

Locally, the Elmer Presbyterian Church has been a participant in the program for 15 years. Members of the church, their families and friends join in filling the boxes with items they’ve gathered, knowing that each box will find a deserving boy or girl.

If you would like more information on Operation Christmas Child please call the Elmer Presbyterian Church at 856-358-8888 or visit Samaritan’s Purse on line at http://www.samaritanspurse.org.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Elmer Presbyterian Church | December 16, 2014

Elmer Presbyterian Church wk. 12.15.14

Youth Group members Lauren Cerione, Caleb Sulik, Kassidy Tirelli and Cheyenne Yelle opened worship last Sunday by lighting the Third Advent Candle, the Candle of Joy. Rev. Mouris Yousef’s sermon “The Witness of the Prophetess!” was based on Scripture readings John 4:39-42 and Luke 2:36-38. Anna the Prophetess had things to see and places where God would use her. Luke 2:38 tells us that Anna “began to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.” She couldn’t help but tell other people about what she has seen because she has seen the one who would bring the redemption of Jerusalem. How could she not tell people that? Anna was a prayer warrior who prayed night and day. When God chose a handful of believers who testified at His Son’s birth, God chose Anna. Through prayer she gained an insight that many failed to grasp. Anna saw mighty things of God that others missed. Anna prayed and God used her to tell others about Christ. Friends, the only way to get our unsaved friends into the presence of Jesus is through prayer. You may not be able to convince a lost friend to attend church, but you can bring your friend before the throne in prayer. Let me encourage you today to pray for at least one person.

 

We need to pray consistently, but we must also be ready to take the next step of proclaiming boldly. Anna recognized what an awesome privilege she had been given to testify of the Messiah. Holy boldness like Anna’s is stepping out of a comfort zone, by faith, to share the great news of eternal life with those who need it and are ready to receive it. Through holy boldness, we keep sharing because we refuse to be intimidated by darkness, ridicule, or a calloused heart of a lost soul. You cannot read this story without noticing the emphasis on Anna’s age, with the text saying she was “very old.” She had longed for this day for many years, and God granted her the desire of her heart. She provides a powerful example to never give up. Perseverance is doing what you can, where you are, with what you have. Far too many saints complain or get discouraged about what they don’t have or can’t do. There were some things Anna could not do that she once did, but she kept on serving. What are you doing with what you have?

 

A major lesson from Anna’s life is not to let age or any other barrier prevent you from making a significant contribution to the Kingdom. Anna’s story challenges all of us to stop making excuses and start making a difference with the opportunities and resources that we do have. Anna spent her final days on earth telling others about Christ. How will you spend your life? Friends, Anna couldn’t keep it to herself. She had to tell somebody, anybody, who was looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. This is how the gospel is spread in the world, because people have to tell somebody about this thing that changes their life. When was the last time you invited someone to come to church? When was the last time you witnessed to someone?

 

The Chancel Choir presents their Christmas Cantata “I’ll be Home For Christmas” next Sunday, December 21st during the 10:00 am worship service. Rev. Yousef’s meditation for the Fourth Sunday of Advent will be “Are You Going Home For Christmas?” based on Scripture readings Psalm 116:7 and Luke 2:3. All are invited to attend our service at 10:00 am, with our annual Christmas luncheon immediately following.

 

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

 

Rev. Mouris Yousef concludes his Advent Bible study series on Tuesday, December 23rd at both 10 am and 6 pm. Lesson four is “Prepare the Way: He is Glorified” (Luke 2:1-20). This special series is open to all who are looking to prepare their hearts and minds for the birth of Jesus.

 

Our Family Christmas Eve candlelight worship service is on Wednesday at 6:00 pm. We invite families in the community to share in this special service that gives us the opportunity to welcome Jesus Christ.

 

The Way youth group is on winter break. Bible themed study, activities and games for junior youth in 4th through 7th grades and senior youth in 8th grade and up will resume on Wednesday, January 7th.

 

Our Clothes Closet will next be open on Tuesday, January 20th, from 6-7 pm, offering serviceable used clothing for children and adults to those in need at no cost. 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 | December 16, 2014

Children’s Christmas Program

The children of the Elmer Presbyterian Church presented their Christmas Pageant “The Reason for the Season”. Telling the Christmas Story in an animated and musical program.

The children of the Elmer Presbyterian Church presented their Christmas Pageant “The Reason for the Season”. Telling the Christmas Story in an animated and musical program.

Posted by: Elmer Presbyterian Church | December 16, 2014

Elmer Presbyterian Church wk. 12.14.14

 

CHRISTMAS at ELMER
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

Last Sunday during worship service the Sanctuary was filled with anticipation, joy and celebration-along with angels, shepherds, wise men, animals and, of course, Joseph and Mary with their baby Jesus as the children of the church presented their Christmas Pageant “The Reason for the Season”. Telling the Christmas Story in an animated and musical way, the pageant featured narrators Kassidy Tirelli and Cheyanne Yelle; Madeline Downer as Mary with Caleb Sulik as Joseph; Lauren Cerione as the head angel with Graham Colon, Remington Colon, Cecily Downer and Miral Yousef as the other angels; Alex Vega as King Herod; wisemen Josh Osvold, Eden Sulik and Moshier Yousef; innkeeper Mikayla Vega; Eric Sulik doing double duty as a donkey and a young Jesus; Chenoa Yelle as a sheep and Giana Vertolli as a cow; shepherds Hunter Colon, Morgan Colon, Adelane Sulik, Aly Tirelli, Connor VanHorn, and Jimmy Vega; Salvation Army bell ringers James Vega and Paul Trumbull, Jr. and shoppers Kellie Tirelli, Sheri Vega and Karen Cerefice. Stage Managers were Karen Cerefice, Allison Downer and Heather Sulik.

This coming Sunday, December 21st, the Chancel Choir, led by Music Director Becky Puff, will present their Christmas Cantata “I’ll be Home For Christmas” during the 10:00 am worship service. This cantata is a classic celebration with heartfelt stories of Christmas. The combination of these captivating stories and narration with incredible songs of the season makes this a very special Christmas musical you’re sure to enjoy. Rev. Mouris Yousef’s meditation for the occasion asks the question “Are You Going Home for Christmas?” The annual Christmas luncheon (with a VERY special guest!) will be held immediately following worship service.

Rev. Yousef concludes his Advent Bible study series on Tuesday, December 23rd at both 10 am and 6 pm. Lesson four is “Prepare the Way: He is Glorified” (Luke 2:1-20). This special series is open to all who are looking to prepare their hearts and minds for the birth of Jesus.

Our Family Christmas Eve candlelight worship service is on Wednesday at 6:00 pm. We invite families in the community to share in this special service that gives us the opportunity to welcome Jesus Christ. Rev. Yousef says, “Christmas is about “re-ordering” our love for the ONE who has come into our world in a stable in Bethlehem. Christmas is a celebration of hope realized, affirmation that the Word became flesh and lives with us-the only Christmas gift that really matters.” The folks at Elmer Presbyterian Church welcome you, not only during this wonderful time of the year, but anytime.

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 | December 8, 2014

Coming Up!

The Children’s Christmas Pageant will be presented during the worship service next Sunday, December 14th. Rev. Yousef’s sermon for the Third Sunday of Advent will be “The Witness of Anna the Prophetess!” based on Scripture readings John 4:39-42 and Luke 2:36-38. 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.

 

Rev. Mouris Yousef is leading a four week Advent Bible study series that meets on Tuesdays at both 10 am and 6 pm. The lesson for December 16th is “Prepare the Way: He Finds Favor in Us” (Luke 1:39-59). This special series is open to all who are looking to prepare their hearts and minds for the birth of Jesus.

 

Our Clothes Closet will be open Tuesday, December 16th, from 6-7 pm, offering serviceable used clothing for children and adults to those in need at no cost. However, if you need assistance before then, please call the church.

 

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 and up meet from 7-9 pm. All youth in the area are invited to participate in the activities.

 

The Chancel Choir will present their Christmas Cantata “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” on Sunday, December 21st during the 10:00 am worship service. Rehearsals are on Thursdays at 7:30pm-all are welcome!

The annual Christmas luncheon will be held following the Cantata and worship service.

 

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 | December 8, 2014

Elmer Presbyterian Church News Wk. 12.08.14

Elaine and Paul Trumbull, Jr. opened worship last Sunday by lighting the Second Advent Candle, the Candle of Peace. Rev. Mouris Yousef’s sermon “Embracing Jesus in Confusing Times!” was based on Scripture readings Hebrews 10:35-39 and Luke 2:25-35. Last Sunday we looked at the life of Simeon from Luke 2:25-35, a man who had been waiting for the coming of the Messiah and the “consolation of Israel.” Advent is a time of waiting, a time of longing for God’s intervention in the Person of Jesus Christ. It is a season of hope and, like Simeon, our hope may be shaken by the silence of God. Would this hope ever become reality? What would you do when you feel that God is silent? A great thing we notice about Simeon is that he was a man who patiently continued to put his trust in the Word of God and in the promises of God, and he lived his life looking forward to the coming of the Messiah. Simeon had the Scriptures that everybody else had. He knew the Savior would be born in Bethlehem, be from the tribe of Judah, and be a descendant of David. He knew the Savior would be the fulfillment of the promises made to Adam and Eve back in Genesis 3, and to Abraham.

 

Simeon knew all of this, but things were getting worse every day. It had been a thousand years since the days of great national power, and we know from the Bible that God was basically silent (in terms of sending prophets) from the closing verses of the book of Malachi until the coming of John the Baptist, a period of roughly 400 years. During that time, the Jewish people were persecuted, abused and dominated by various nations. So it is safe to say that Simeon was living during a difficult time in history. Simeon, however, put his trust in God’s promise, in the word of God. Despite his disappointment, we still find Simeon in worship. He did not quit his faith, he did not abandon the promises of God. Simeon was richly rewarded for waiting so patiently. The Lord opens Simeon’s eyes to recognize the long-awaited Messiah. What a great reward! When Simeon encounters this child he takes the infant into his arms and begins to sing praise to God. He speaks of God’s fulfillment of his promise–both to send a Messiah for Israel, and the promise to Simeon, that he would personally see this Messiah. God’s salvation is made known through Jesus Christ, this little baby, wrapped in Simeon’s embrace.

 

Friends, Simeon was a saint who embraced Jesus in very confusing times. Jesus is so good, so satisfying and so rewarding that we will leave all we have and all we own and all we are in order to find our fullness in Him. The Messiah has come and He still comes to us every day. The Messiah has come and gone, but He has promised to return. Are we looking forward to that day with the attitude of Simeon? If we know that Christ is coming back, how does that affect us? How does that change the way we live each day? May we all have the same level of anticipation that Simeon had. Let us look forward to the coming of Christ more than anything.

 

The Children’s Christmas Pageant will be presented during the worship service next Sunday, December 14th. Rev. Yousef’s sermon for the Third Sunday of Advent will be “The Witness of Anna the Prophetess!” based on Scripture readings John 4:39-42 and Luke 2:36-38. 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.

 

Posted by: Elmer Presbyterian Church | December 1, 2014

Coming Up!

 

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

Rev. Mouris Yousef is leading a four week Advent Bible study series that meets on Tuesdays at both 10 am and 6 pm. The lesson for December 9th is “Prepare the Way: He is Among Us” (Luke 1:26-38). This special series is open to all who are looking to prepare their hearts and minds for the birth of Jesus.

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 and up meet from 7-9 pm. All youth in the area are invited to participate in the activities.

Our Clothes Closet will next be open on Tuesday, December 16th, from 6-7 pm, offering serviceable used clothing for children and adults to those in need at no cost. However, if you need assistance before then, please call the church.

Chancel Choir practice is on Thursday at 7:30pm in the sanctuary-we are working on our Christmas cantata. All are welcome to join in the fun of making a joyful noise!

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 | December 1, 2014

Elmer Presbyterian Church News Wk. 12.01.14

The Runyon family (Kevin, Heather and son Zach) opened worship last week by lighting the First Advent Candle, The Candle of Hope. Rev. Mouris Yousef’s sermon “Christ, the Hope of the World!” was based on Scripture readings Habakkuk 2:1-3 and Luke 2:25-35. Soon after Jesus was forty-days-old, His parents brought Him to the temple in Jerusalem to offer sacrifice for Him as their firstborn male. Most people in the temple ignored this poor couple and their baby, but the face of one old man, Simeon, lit up with joy. He took their baby in his arms and exclaimed “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” Here is an old man with true light and true hope, centered in that little baby, the Lord Jesus Christ. I want to remind you that it is not a fairy tale or legend. Luke begins his Gospel by saying “so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.” This account is factual history, not make-believe. That’s important to keep in mind, because hope based on fairy tales is not solid hope. Hope built on truth will do for you what it did for Simeon: Release you to live in peace and to die in peace. Simeon was an ordinary person like you and me, not a priest or a Levi, he did not possess an unusual genius or powers of perception to recognize baby Jesus. In Luke 2:26 we read, “It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.” The Spirit led Simeon into the temple that day at precisely the time that Joseph and Mary came with the baby Jesus and with eyes of faith, Simeon saw in their arms the Light of the world, born to bring hope to all peoples. To see Him today, to recognize Jesus today, you must also look with eyes of faith that have been opened by God’s Spirit. In Luke 2:34-35 Simeon tells Mary, “Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” Simeon is telling Mary that salvation will not come without pain and sacrifice.

 

Luke’s Gospel begins with an acknowledgement that Jesus is both a universal Savior and a divisive figure. Those who oppose Him will fall in judgment. Those who accept Him will rise in salvation. The phrase, “a sign that will be spoken against” underscores the fact that although Jesus is the Christ, many would reject Him. Jesus’ life and ministry would expose the inner hostility of those that opposed Him. You can’t be neutral toward Jesus Christ. He demands that you take sides. Either you acknowledge Him as God’s Christ, or you think, “I’ll do it my way,” and you will “fall” in judgment. Friends, this is the First Sunday in Advent, a season of waiting for the coming of the Messiah. Pray this Advent Season that the Holy Spirit may reveal more of Jesus to you. Simeon’s hope rested in God’s promise to send the Savior. May we rest in God’s promise to send us the Savior this Christmas season in a fresh and deeper way.

 

Rev. Yousef’s sermon for the Second Sunday of Advent on December 7th will be “Christ, the Joy of the Heart!” based on Scripture readings Hebrews 10:35-39 and Luke 2:25-35. We’ll be celebrating the Lord’s Supper during our Worship Service, 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 follows worship from 11:30 am–12 noon for children ages 4th through 8th grades.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Elmer Presbyterian Church | November 24, 2014

Coming Up!

November 30th is the First Sunday of Advent and Rev. Yousef’s sermon “What Are You Waiting For?” will be based on Scripture readings Habakkuk 2:1-3 and Luke 2:25-35. 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.

On December 2nd Rev. Mouris Yousef begins a four week Advent Bible study series on Tuesdays at both 10 am and 6 pm. This special series will help prepare you for Christ’s birth as you make the journey to Bethlehem with Mary and Joseph through the Bible.

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

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

Chancel Choir rehearsals on Thursday at 7:30pm in the sanctuary-come join us for our Christmas cantata practice-everyone is welcome!

Junior youth in 4th through 7th grades meet from 6:30-8:00 pm, while senior youth in 8th grade and up meet from 7-9 pm. All youth in the area are invited to participate in the activities.

Our Clothes Closet will next be open on Tuesday, December 16th, from 6-7 pm, offering serviceable used clothing for children and adults to those in need at no cost. 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 | November 24, 2014

Elmer Presbyteian Church Wk. 11.24.14

Rev. Mouris Yousef’s sermon last Sunday “God is Able!” was based on Scripture readings Isaiah 40:27-31 and Ephesians 3:20-21. In Ephesians 3:20-21, Paul says, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever, Amen!” Scholars call these verses a “Doxology”, or a type of phrase or sentence that frequently occurs in the Bible. Although Paul has already asked for strength, depth, apprehension and fullness in verses 14 to 19, God can and is willing to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. It’s one thing to do what someone asks you to do. It’s another thing to go beyond what they ask you to do. But it’s something else to go infinitely beyond what they ask you to do. God’s ability is so great it can’t even be imagined. Therefore, this verse is teaching us the “exceeding, abundant, immeasurable, infinite ableness of God.”

 

As we unfold this doxology in Ephesians 3:20-21, we look at the mystery of our prayers and God’s sovereign will. You may ask if God is not just able to do beyond what we ask, but abundantly beyond, why we do not get to see this more often? Why do we have unanswered prayers? If God’s power has no limit, why we do not get to see this power whenever and wherever we need? I want to be really Biblical in understanding and applying this text. There are certain mysteries about the interaction between our prayers and the sovereign will of God that I cannot explain. I am painfully aware of many situations where God has not answered my prayers for Him to do for His glory far more than I could ask or think. There have been lost people for whom I have prayed that they would be saved, but they were not. There have been broken Christian marriages that I have prayed would be restored, but they were not. There have been sinning Christians for whom I have prayed that they would repent, but they did not. Yet I want to motivate you to pray big prayers with faith in a mighty God, who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think according to His sovereign will. The will of God is more important than seeing things go our way. This is why I am saying today there is a mystery about our interaction between our prayers and His sovereign will.

God’s power works within us and through us. So, we should pray big prayers. All too often our focus is on our problems when it ought to be on God. If you look at your own weakness, the logical conclusion will be discouragement, doubt and frustration. But if you focus on God’s unlimited power, you will find faith and hope in spite of your circumstances. God is able to strengthen us when we are weak; able to answer far more than we ask. He is able to lift our burdens in the time of crisis, and guide us when we have lost our way. Friends, God wants us to pray. God invites us to pray. God waits for us to call upon Him. If we do our part, God cannot fail to do His. This doxology challenges us, “In case you think that it is too much to ask God to fill His saints to all of His fullness, remember that He is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to His sovereign will.”

November 30th is the First Sunday of Advent and Rev. Yousef’s sermon “What Are You Waiting For?” will be based on Scripture readings Habakkuk 2:1-3 and Luke 2:25-35. 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.

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