The Acorn
Starr Presbyterian Church
January, 2020

From Your Pastor

Dear Church,
This year we are focusing on forgiveness. Jesus unconditionally calls us to forgive, “seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:22. As part of our focus, I am inviting our church to take 14-21 days to pray The Compassion Prayer, printed in this newsletter.
What does forgiveness really mean? I invite you to take this forgiveness quiz, borrowed from Rick Warren’s Daily Hope:
1. A person should not be forgiven until asking for it. T/F
2. Forgiving includes minimizing the offense and the pain caused. T/F
3. Forgiveness includes restoring trust and reuniting a relationship. T/F
4. When you see somebody hurt, it is your duty to forgive the offender. T/F
5. Forgiveness is once for all. T/F
Let’s consider these one at a time.
First, “a person should not be forgiven until asking for it.” This is false. Colossians 3:13, NLT: "Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others." There is no caveat for people who don’t repent or don’t seek your forgiveness.
Next, “forgiving includes minimizing the offense and the pain caused.” This is also false. “I, the Lord, invite you to come and talk it over. Your sins are scarlet red, but they will be whiter than snow or wool” (Isaiah 1:18, CEV). God doesn’t sugar-coat our sin, and we should not sugar-coat the pain others have caused us. An important part of forgiveness is naming and acknowledging the pain.
“Forgiveness includes restoring trust and reuniting a relationship.” This is false. Jesus told His followers, “Do not throw your pearls before swine.” Matthew 7:6. Abusive situations are a good example of when forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation. In that situation, to restore the relationship would be to enable sin. Forgiveness in an abusive situation means praying for the person, wishing them well, and letting go of the hurt, but it does not by any means mean returning to the relationship until it is safe to do so.
“When you see someone hurt, it is your duty to forgive the offender.” This too is false. Forgiveness belongs to the person who is wronged and not to anyone else. “And if the same person sins against you seven times a day, and turns back to you seven times and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive” (Luke 17:3–4 NRSV). “Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.” To usurp another person’s ability to forgive is to minimize and dismiss their pain. Take inventory of your own resentments and don’t worry about those of others.

“Forgiveness is once for all.” That’s false; forgiveness is truly a process. When Jesus says we forgive seventy times seven, I think He’s referring to a process. We rarely forgive in one big dramatic moment, but rather, over and over, each time we feel ourselves harboring negative thoughts or emotions toward another.
Whatever rituals you use—prayers, writing down the pain and journaling forgiveness, or calling the person to say “I forgive you,” forgiveness means letting go of the pain and loving a person who has hurt you. I wish you forgiveness today.
Pastor Marianne

You are invited to make this prayer part of your prayer life for 14-21 days. Research has demonstrated this prayer to be 80-90% effective in forgiving and feeling compassion for others.
Daily Compassion Exercise
(Printed with permission from Greater Impact Ministries)
…to be prayed slowly to God in the morning and in the evening. Feel free to adapt the prayer to keep it sincere. Results are based on using over 50% of the content daily.
Directions: Please read this prayer aloud to yourself first thing in the morning and last thing before bed. Be thoughtful and allow the mind He gave you to slowly take in the images.
Lord God, King of Kings, Creator of the Universe, I humbly come before You, eager to grow in intimacy with You.
I declare Your presence always here, and ask that Your Spirit quiet my mind and often troubled heart.
I humbly invite You to join me during this time. I know You are here, Father – I simply mean that I need Your Spirit’s revelation.
Father, I collect distracting thoughts and put them on paper, so that I can come back to them later and not let them interfere with our time together here now.
Father, I confess I’m short-sighted and have difficulty tuning my heart to Yours to receive encouragement and blessing from You. Sometimes it is a struggle to focus on the blessings in my life, how I am grateful for You, how You’ve created me, and those in my life. If I am struggling with what to say to You in prayer, Oh God, help me just sing praises to You, dwelling on the many blessings in my life until the time is up. Help me see them.
Now, Lord God, I ask You to help me as I intentionally choose to renew my mind. Your Word says in Ephesians 4:22-24 that, in reference to our former manner of life, I lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that I be renewed in the spirit of my mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.…
Your Word says in Romans 12:2 that we are to not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind. Then we will be able to test and approve what God's will is--Your good, pleasing and perfect will.
We are told in Lamentations 3:22-23 that it is through the LORD’S mercies we are not consumed, because Your compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 2:16 when he quotes from Isaiah, “As the scripture says, ‘Who knows the mind of the Lord? Who is able to give him advice?'” … and then he says at the end of that - "We, however, have the mind of Christ.”
We are told multiple places in the Bible that we are to put on compassion, to be kind, gentle, tender-hearted with one another, to bear each other’s burdens. We saw over and over again in the Bible how Jesus’s compassion consistently preceded miracles. Lord, I pray for Your Holy Spirit to fill me in this way, that I would be able to obey and follow Jesus into compassion.
And so, I come at this time, seeking to have the compassion of Christ, just as You do for us. I let my mind dwell now on a vision of our Savior, bloody and bruised, dragging His cross up Calvary’s hill…
I see Him being nailed to the cross, and as the soldier places each nail, I hear the hammer strike, I feel the vibration of screaming pain through His nerves, and I remember that He does this for me. I sit in wonder at His great compassion and love for me…
I am in the crowd, watching His death. I hear Him cry out to You, “Why have You forsaken Me?” as the greatest pain tears through His soul, as He is separated from God.
I hear His words, “forgive them, they know not what they do,” and I sense His love for me as warm light from His heart to mine, emanating from the cross, and this warmth fills me. His love is like a sweet, warm, comforting light that fills me…
I think of a few of my recent sins… a lie I have told, a critical remark I have made, when I didn’t do my best, harsh words I spoke to others and myself…
And I know I am responsible for each nail, for His sacrifice…
Father, forgive me…
And I see Him in my mind, however I picture Him, smiling at me, arms open to receive me, and his great love once again like a warm bright yellow light comes from His heart to me, bathing me in warmth, love, comfort…and I step into his embrace, I feel His arms wrap around me, His hand on the back of my head, stroking my hair…I feel His breath on my neck, the warmth of His strong arms and chest… I feel safe… Loved… known… accepted…
And I receive this Love, accepting it, closing my eyes, taking it all in, knowing I am known, loved, cherished, prized…
And I pray back to God aloud,
“Father, thank You for Jesus,”
‘Thank You for blessing me
Thank you for loving me this much
Thank you for forgiving me
I receive and accept Your Great Love and Grace
Lord, help me love You with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Help me love my neighbor as myself.’
And now I think of that person with whom I struggle, and I bring that person into my vision with Christ. I sense Jesus inviting me to share His compassion, His love, with this person. The three of us stand there, and looking at Christ, I receive God’s hand. He smiles at us. And He begins to glow with His light of love. The light grows and the warmth spreads, and I am encompassed by it. He looks to the person standing there with me, and Christ’s love flows out of both of us onto them. The warmth and glow of His light of love surrounds the three of us.
I say these things aloud to our Lord, and with each one, I see a surge of even greater love come from Christ, envelope us, and wash over the person.
I pray for this person as I stand there in this Great Love, “Father, will you bless _________? Will you bring joy to __________? Will you comfort and ease _________’s suffering?”
“Father, will you bless _____________?” Will you bring joy to _____________?
Will you comfort and ease _____________’s suffering?”
And now I think of a suffering this person has endured, a time of struggle. If I don’t know of one, I think of one they may have gone through because of their circumstances. I dwell on what happened, vividly imagining the struggle as if it were happening to me.
Lord, will You help me have compassion for this person the way You do? Help me focus for a few moments on what that struggle must have been like for _________, how __________ must have been afraid,
how __________ must have worried, felt out of control, been hurt, been angry…
I sense Jesus inviting me to share His compassion, His love, with this person. The three of us stand there, and looking at Christ, I receive God’s hand. He smiles at me. And He begins to glow with His light of love. The light grows and the warmth spreads, and I am encompassed by it. Jesus continues to look at me this time, as Christ’s love flows out of both of us onto the other person. The warmth and glow of His light of love surrounds the three of us.
I say these things aloud to You Lord, and with each one, I feel a desire deepening for Your blessing for _________. The desire for blessing grows stronger with each word I pray. I see a surge of even greater love come from Christ, enveloping us, and then washing over ____________. I pray for this person as I stand there in this Great Love, “Father, will you bless _________? Will you bring joy to _________? Will you comfort and ease ________’s suffering?”
“Father, will you bless _________?” Will you bring joy to _________? Will you comfort and ease ________’s suffering?” Will You give me Your compassion for __________ and help me wish the best for _______?
Thank You Jesus, for this time with me.
Lord, will You reveal what is true in my heart now? What is different about me compared to when I started this today? Is my heart softer? Did I resist Your love or extend Your compassion to this person? Reveal to me anything that is blocking my reception and acceptance of Your love for me, my compassion for myself, and my compassion for __________. Thank You Father, for being gentle and truthful with me.
In Jesus’ Name I pray.

*Thank you to all who helped by purchasing a gift for the Salvation Army Angel Tree. 
It was a great success!
*Thank you for donating to the flower fund
in order to have the colorful poinsettias
placed around the church! 

*Thank you to all who helped make the Joy of Christmas a success again this year!
Next Session Meeting
Session will meet again  on
Tuesday, January 12, 2020
at 6:00 p.m.

 Book Donations Needed!

We are participating in Royal Oak’s
community celebration with the Royal Oak Pastors’ Association and have committed to providing 50 books for preschool age children. Please bring ***new*** books to the Church office by Sunday, January 12, and plan to join us at Berkley High School on Monday, January 20, to pack a small backpack for Royal Oak’s children
in honor of MLK Day.

A Time for Change!

New Year, New Ideas!

The time has come for me to retire!
Will you help?
I have done the Angel Tree and flower jobs for a number of years but now it’s time for someone else to continue this mission! The first responsibility would be Easter flowers, followed several months later by the
Christmas flowers and gifts.
Please give this some thought and offer your time to Starr and to the community.
Thank you for coming forward!
Margaret Rossnagel

Music Notes

*Bell choir will begin on
Thursday January 9th at 7:45pm.

*Coffee House is coming
Saturday, February 8
Watch the music bulletin board for
sign-up sheets!

~Ron Coden will be performing so mark your calendars!~

Starr’s 2020 Warming Shelter

Sunday, January 19, 6:00 pm-
Sunday, January 26, 7:00 am
Volunteers are needed for all shifts.
Please see the sign-up sheets on the bulletin board.
If you have any questions, please contact
Janie Castle,



Serving in the Lord’s House
Thank you to all who are assisting this month!

Communion Servers:
January 5:       Lon Kuehn 
                        Greg Kolch

                       Shari Alston
                       Cindy Eastman
January 5:   Don Reinke
January 12:  Becca Castle
January 19:  Stephanie Smith
January 26:  Susie Regula

 Please contact a member of Session if you are interested in serving as a Liturgist during our Sunday Morning Worship.

January 5:   Margaret Rossnagel
January 12:  Karen Thomson
January 19:  Mary Christl
January 26:  Mike Woodcox
Sunday School Teachers:
The schedule will be posted outside of the Sunday School room. Please check there for details!

January Birthdays

2: Donald Doty
4: Penny Brady
9: Grace McCullough
21: Dan Grano
22: Diana Grano
30: Craig Barnaby
31: Virginia Herron

January Anniversary
20: Teri and Craig Barnaby


 Preaching in January

January 5:  Citizens of Heaven on Earth:
                God's Judgment, Not Mine
    1 Kings 19:11-13
       Romans 14:1-12

January 12:
  Citizens of Heaven on Earth:
Being Whole
Genesis 3:1-7
Romans 14:13-23
             January 19: Citizens of Heaven on Earth:         
       Living in Harmony
Psalm 133
Romans 15:1-20

January 26:
Citizens of Heaven on Earth:
                The Connectional Church
Nehemiah 1:1-11
Romans 15:21-33
The Year of Forgiveness


Watch for more details!
Please Remember to Recycle
Your Ink Cartridges
at Starr Church!

Please drop off your used ink cartridges for recycling!
We’ll take them to Staples
to receive store credit.
This helps to pay for many of our office supplies
which is helpful towards our office budget!
There is a basket in the church office
to deposit the cartridges.

Thank you!
Ramp Replacement Fund
Anyone wishing to donate to this fund can do so by check or cash.
Envelopes are available on the table in the hallway 
or mark your check 
"Handicapped Ramp Fund"
Thank you for your support.  
~Sandra Woodcox

Volunteers Needed!
If you have a car that’s easy for anyone to get into, will you help?
Volunteer to drive a member when needed and you might just
learn something new about him or her as you share a car!
Please leave your name and phone number in the office if you would like to help!

To see what is coming up at Starr Church, click the link below: 
Starr Church Calendar
Bottle and Can Returns
Please donate your returnable cans and bottles here.  Proceeds will be given to: Second Mile Center, Detroit Rescue Mission, Starr’s rotation of the Warming Shelter. Collection boxes are in both kitchens. Thank you!

Online Giving!
You can give to any of our ministries online including:
· General Fund
· Warming Shelter 
· Capital Improvements    
· Gideons
· Flower Fund      
· Children and Youth
· Wycliffe Bible Translators
· PCUSA Special Offerings
(One Great Hour of Sharing)
Simply visit the church website,, and click on "Gifts and Tithes." You can set up an automatic payment for your convenience or if you are sometimes out of town or miss church. You do not have to create an account to use this service!

Prayer Chain
If you have a concern that you would like us to put
on the prayer chain, 
please contact

Deb Collins at 

or Sandy Woodcox
at 248-320-3182.
Prayer Page
Please keep the following members and friends in your prayers:
* For our nation, world and leaders, we pray for unity and kindness,
as we work together to further our mutual goals of justice and peace.
* For those who travel.
* For the homeless and hungry.
* For those who mourn.
* For those suffering/recovering from natural and man-made disasters.
* For our military members; those deployed; veterans; for military families; first responders and their families.
* For pastors, church leaders and those who serve tirelessly with mission work. Steve & Marge Doty; and Amy.
* For those seeking employment. 
* For those fighting addictions.
* For families that struggle or need patience.

* For all concerns not articulated or spoken, but on our hearts and minds.

* For persecuted Christians.

* For our homebound members: Cerise Blyth, Don & Helen Doty, Don Olson, Velma Wills

* For the medical concerns of: Rosemary Beauchamp, Carol Eads, Joshua Hummel, Don Olson, Michael Sutherland, Bill Weaver and Velma Wills.

*For those fighting cancer: Ryan Collins, Garry Smith, Janice Warner, and Darlene Watson.

Note:  To add or remove someone to the Prayer List, please contact the church office at (248) 288-3230 or via email:

Starr Presbyterian Church Contacts

Rev. Marianne Grano:            313-649-4040   (home)           
                                                  313-585-1211   (cell)

Clerk of Session
Rick Smith                   248-670-8327
Shari Alston               248-545-6157
Cindy Eastman           248-730-9989
Jim Hetu                     248-320-6141  

Greg Kolch                  248-459-6232
Lon Kuehn                  248-506-9982 
Sandy Woodcox        248-320-3182
Trustee Contact
Matt Reinhardt         248-825-1199

Don Reinke                 248-399-9053

Norm Rossnagel       248-585-7417

Church Office:            248-288-3230
Penny Brady, Office Administrator   

Kristen Reinhardt,
Office Administrator/Custodian         

Teri Lynn Barnaby, Music Director

Starr Presbyterian Church Links

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