Thursday, May 25, 2017

Reflections: Parting Gifts

The question of the week in Bible study was "What going away gift have you given/or have been given that still warms your heart and makes you smile ?" 

I immediately thought of the tea cup that a very elderly neighbor gave to me when we were moving. Milt and Noonie were in their late 80's and lived in the other half of our rented duplex. They were wonderful and often very surprising. They had rowdy and ruckus Sunday afternoon dinners with their family that always involved lots of wine and laughter that could be heard through the walls. They firmly believed in 5 p.m. cocktail hour and taking a break every morning to sit and have a cup of tea. 

When we moved, Noonie gave me a tea cup and saucer and said it was her family tradition to give this as a going away present. The tea cup always reminds me of Noonie's wisdom, her joyous spirit, and her terrific habit of taking a little time each day to rest, have a drink, and appreciate what God has made. 

 This week in scripture we are reading the account of Jesus' Ascension. 

Read Acts 1: 6-4.

Jesus, after his death and resurrection, is lifted up into the clouds and scripture says he disappears. His parting gift to his very confused and amazed followers was the message that they are to wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit and that they are the ones that will tell his story, the story of God's great love for us. 

So, today I think I will have a cup of tea in honor of Noonie and reflect on all the good things in my life that God has made. 

What going away gifts have you received/given? 
What are some ways that you can tell the story of God's love?

Monday, May 22, 2017

Books, Books, Books! - Things i Recommend

Looking to add some new books to your shelves? Here are some books that I have found recently and think would be great for exploring over the summer.  We have copies of all of these at the church for borrowing. Enjoy!

  (They are also available on

 " Journey to the Heart: Centering Prayer for Children " by Frank Jelenek 
This book is a great guide to introduce the practice of centering prayer to children.  It has beautiful pictures and explains the process with clear directions and encouragement. (For ages 3-10) 

"Maybe God is Like That Too" by Jennifer Grant
This is my favorite book in this whole bunch.  Just like most kids, a small boy who lives in the city with his grandma wonders were God is and how he can see God. Grandma tells him to  pay attention - and the author uses the fruits of the Spirit  (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control ) and people they encounter around the city to show him what God might be like.  ( For ages four to eight.) 

"Somewhere in the World RIght Now" by Stacey Schuett
This story is about a young girl lies in bed thinking about the next day. The story shows that when the girl's day is ending in other places in the world it is just beginning for some. The book takes readers on a journey to busy cities and family homes, rain forests and swampland. The words encourage the readers and listeners to  find details in the pictures and is perfect for kids interested in travel and geography. (For ages 3 to 7)

"Talking Walls" by Margy Burns Knight
Talking Walls introduces kids to different cultures by exploring the stories of walls around the world and how they can separate or hold communities together. (For ages 5-13) 

 "The Giving Book: Open the Door to a Lifetime of Giving" by Ellen Sabin
This is a great spiral bound workbook-type book with fun stories and activities to inspire kids to give back to the world. (For ages 4 to 8)

 "Who Counts?: 100 Sheep, 10 Coins, and 2 Sons" by Amy-Jill Levine and Sandy Eisenberg Sasso 

This book has three stories retelling of parables using modern-day characters.  The stories of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son shows the readers that we all counts in God s eyes and that everyone should feel counted. (For ages 3 to 8)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

What We Are Reading - May 2017

 Here are some books that we have been enjoying this month. All available through Carnegie Libraries!

Duck on a Tractor by David Shannon
Beware of the Frog by William Bee 

A Fish named Glub by Dan Bar-el

It Came in the Mail by Ben Clanton

Pomelo Begins to Grow by Ramona Badescu
The Wonderful Book by Leonid Gore

Friday, May 19, 2017

Family Retreat 2017

We had a great experience at our 

Family Retreat at Camp Crestfield. 

Here are more picture!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Reflections: Can you hear me now?

Note: Each week (usually on Thursdays) I post a weekly devotion on our Sixth Youth Facebook and on our Sixth group Instagram page.  A few people have suggested that I start posting it here as well. So I will! 

     I am thinking this week about how I can better listen and watch for the Holy Spirit that is at work in the world around me.

     Pentecost is usually the go-to story when it comes to the Holy Spirit. But one of the scripture passages for this week reminds us that Jesus talked about the Holy Spirit long before the ever-famous "tongues, as of fire" and "rush of a violent wind" from the book of Acts.

Check this out:
Read John 14: 15-31

     In this chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus is talking to the disciples and tells them soon they will no longer see him - but God will send the Holy Spirit through which he will always be with us. "I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you all that I have said to you." 

     What is God teaching me today? Perhaps I need to shut my mouth, open my eyes wide, and give myself the space to take it all in. What's causing the noise in your life today? Today might be chaotic and hectic. It might be filled with groans and side-eyes and sighs.

   But, I think today might also be filled with the Holy Spirit and the voice of God. And we just might hear it if we are quiet enough to listen. What could God be teaching you today?
 #sixthyouth #shh...listen

Friday, May 5, 2017

Kids Helping Kids - Sharing our Mission

Nicaragua 2017:  Share in Our Mission

 Kids Helping Kids!  

Looking for a way to get kids involved in mission?  Join us in supporting the young people at El Povenir in Nicaragua.
Sixth Presbyterian Church has been visiting the community of El Porvenir (The Future) in Leon, Nicaragua, for nearly seven years.  El Porvenir is a cooperative of organic, fair trade coffee farmers.  About 42 families live on the farm and work the land.
The partnership we have built with El Porvenir has allowed us to develop life-long relationships, learn about the Nicaraguan culture, the history of the United State's involvement in Central America and explore our own faith and our own call as followers of Christ. We are excited that a group from Sixth will be visiting again in June.   We will be talking about our upcoming trip and our friends in Nicargua with the kids at Sixth in Sunday school and Extended Session in the coming weeks.
We are collecting art supplies for the school at El Porvenir! This would be a great way to talk about mission with your children! Here’s how you can participate:
Have your kids pick out their favorite art and school supplies to donate.  Have your kids write a short note about themselves and include a picture! 
We will share your kid’s notes, pictures, and donations with our friends in Nicaragua and bring back notes and pictures from the school children at El Porvenir! 
Donations and letters from kids can be brought to Jenny Newman in the church office by June 15. Donations should be packable items like crayons, paper, markers,  sketch pads, watercolors, charcoal, etc.  Also school supplies like pencils, sharpeners, pens, etc.
We are also collecting first aid/medical supplies (band aides, alcohol swabs, first aid creams, etc. ) for the community at El Porvenir.  You can also make a one time monetary donation through our E-Give link at
Most importantly, we ask for your prayer support. Include our mission group and the kids and families 
Please contact Jenny Newman or Sara Berg for questions about what to donate.