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The Acorn
Starr Presbyterian
Church News  

Feburary 2017

From Your Pastor
Dear Church,
 
Reading the Old Testament is essential to understanding the New. When Christians read the Old Testament, we see Christ in every book. For example, in Genesis, the near-sacrifice of Isaac prefigures God's sacrifice of His son (Genesis 22); and in Numbers, the serpent lifted up prefigures our sin lifted on the cross (Number 20). Yet some passages in the Old Testament are hard to understand. Here are a few questions you may have. I've consulted Jewish authorities on some of these topics as well, because they obviously take the Old Testament very seriously and in many cases have good insights!
 
1) Why is polygamy practiced in the Old Testament, but in the New Testament, marriages are monogamous?

 
God created the first human, Adam, and then created a "helper as his partner" in Genesis 2:18, "ezer kenegdo" in the Hebrew. This Hebrew phrase is nearly impossible to translate: a perfect translation would be "a helper as one standing across from him," but that doesn't quite capture it, since usually, the Hebrew word "helper" references God, and it does not have the condescending connotation we give it today (the "help"). The image is of salt and pepper shakers perfectly made for one another. It's to this verse that Jesus refers in Mark 10 and Matthew 19 when he describes two people becoming one flesh. If this is what God intended for marriage, why did God allow polygamy? First, note that God never commands polygamy. Rather, it seems that God is working with what He has, so to speak. Humankind is very fallen indeed from the state we were in in the Garden. Rabbi Daniel Flesker explains that it's clear that polygamous relationships are rife with problems; in Hebrew, these relationships are described in the Bible as "tzora." "Tzora" means "tough!" Over time, humankind grows in our relationship with God and our understanding of holiness, and Jesus explains that God allows divorce, for example, due to our "hardness of heart," but God's intention for marriage was for a lifelong physical and spiritual union—of two!
 
2) Why are there so many details about the Tabernacle and the Temple? Is it really important that they use loops to join one linen sheet to another?

 
Rabbi Flesker offers helpful explanation: the Tabernacle was the first time God's people learned how to experience God's presence into their lives.

Therefore, every detail has meaning! For example, the ark had a wooden frame, but was completely covered in pure gold. What are we if not living vessels of God's Word—little arks? The Rabbi says, "This teaches that someone who wishes to be a worthy vessel of G-d’s word must have purity and sincerity of thought that matches his or her actions." He goes on to say, "Perhaps the central idea we can take away is this: 'Make for Me a Tabernacle and I will dwell amongst you' (Exodus 25:8) can be homiletically understood that each one of us has the ability to make room for G-d in our hearts and in our lives; and if we do, G-d will surely fill that space." Christian commentator David Gurzik has this to say about the loops: "the spiritual principle illustrated with this method of joining the curtains is unity in diversity." That is, the curtains are not sewn together, but they are held together by a common bond, the way God's people each have our own conscience, character, and calling, but we have a common bond, our unity in Christ.


 3)   What is the significance of the food laws?
 
There are several important messages here. First, God set His people apart from others. They were to be different, in every aspect of life, from their polytheistic neighbors. This separateness helped to keep them in rightful worship and holiness of life. Second, Christian scholar Walter Kaiser explains that these laws, to some extent, prevented the people from experiencing diseases like "tapeworm, trichina in pork, tularemia in rabbits, and infection in shellfish." Third, according to Jewish scholar Michael Dallen, the kosher laws demonstrate respect for animals: "the kosher food laws exist to ensure the good treatment of the animals we eat, and that the human beings who follow the laws will behave as human beings ought, as G’d’s stewards over this planet, as the elect of His Creation, and not just as fellow animals, competing like dogs for good eats….animals…are dispatched as painlessly and unexpectedly as possible." As the Gospel spread to Gentiles, God revealed to the Christian community that the kosher laws weren't as important as sharing the Good News with the whole world. But our first diet, in the Garden, was vegetarian (see also Daniel 1), and according some interpretations of Revelation 21:4, we will not eat meat in heaven. There's no reason a Christian can't go back to kosher if you wish to, so long as you don't pass judgment on others (Romans 14)! Hope these explanations help you to receive some of the many lessons Scripture has to teach us!
 
Love,
Pastor Marianne


Year of the Bible: Don't lose heart! The Word of God is the lamp unto our feet and the light unto our path. The Old Testament can be challenging, but it deepens and strengthens our understanding of God, and of the New Testament as well. Make sure to consult commentaries or email Pastor Marianne about passages that are confusing for you. Oftentimes resources can shed some light on what you're reading, and give you historical context to understand why it was important and how it applies to today. You can submit any questions about what you've been reading to Pastor Marianne at m.grano@yahoo.com, and she'll address them during the sermon. 

February Reading Schedule
1 Leviticus 1-3
2 Leviticus 4-7
3 Leviticus 8-10
4/5 Leviticus 11-15
6 Leviticus 16-17
7 Leviticus 18-20
8 Leviticus 21-23
9 Leviticus 24-27
10 Numbers 1-4
11/12 Numbers 5-8
13 Numbers 9-12
14 Numbers 13-16
15 Numbers 17-20
16 Numbers 21-25
17 Numbers 26-30
18/19 Numbers 31-33
20 Numbers 34-36
21 Deuteronomy 1-4
22 Deuteronomy 5-7
23 Deuteronomy 8-11
24 Deuteronomy 12-16
25 Deuteronomy 17-20
26 Deuteronomy 21-26
27 Deuteronomy 27-30
28 Deuteronomy 31-34

Serving in the Lord’s House
February 2017
 

Thank-you to all who are assisting this month!
 
Liturgists:
February 5:   Susie Regula  
February 12:  Andy LeCureaux
February 19:  Don Reinke
February 26:  Janie Castle
 
       
 Please contact a member of Session if you are interested in serving as a Liturgist during our
Sunday Morning Worship.
  
Greeters:
February 5:   The Reinke Family
February 12:  Margaret Rossnagel
February 19:  Volunteer Needed
February 26:  Mike Woodcox
 
 
See Margaret Rossnagel if you would like to be
a greeter

 
Sunday School Teachers:
February 5:   Shari Alston and Debbie Collins
February 12:  Linda Finn and Don Reinke
February 19:  Sue Smith  and Garry Smith
February 26:   Don Reinke and Becca Castle

February Anniversaries
13       David and Denise Angle
15       Susie and Paul Regula
15       Linda and Brian Finn


 

February Birthdays 
1  Braydon McNamara
4  Donald Olson
5  Betsy Bunge
8   Lucy Reinke
9   Steve Doty
12  Grace Kuhn
15  Peggy Beal
16  Betty  Groh
19  Brian  Finn
22  Mary Guss
24  Debbie Collins
 

 
Prayer Chain
If you have a concern that you would like us to put on the prayer chain, please contact Deb Collins at  248-649-3692 or Sandy Woodcox at 248-320-3182.

Prayer Page  
⦁ For our nation, world and leaders, especially during these times of tension and turmoil.
⦁ For those who travel.
⦁ For those who mourn, especially the families of Michael Bennett and Esther Chaney who recently entered God’s Kingdom.
⦁ For our military members; those deployed; veterans; for military families; first responders/their families.
⦁ For pastors, church leaders and those who serve tirelessly with mission work. We think especially of  Steve & Marge Doty and Amy.
⦁ 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 shut-ins.
⦁ For the medical concerns of: Amanda, Betty, Dave, Dick, Gail, Jennifer, Joe, Linda, Richard, Rosemary, Sally, Sarah and Graham, Scott, Dave Angle, Rosemary Beauchamp, Gene Bryant, Megan Burlee, Rachel & Will Klaus, Carol Eads, Bill Gleason, Richard Horn, Betty Kingstrom, Susan Kahn, Grace McCullough, Tom McCullough, Robert Mertz, Michelle Nesbitt, Don Olson, Terry Raredo, Bev Schell, Lisa Somers and Velma Wills.
⦁ For those fighting cancer: Andy, Evonne, Ethan, Robin, Michelle, Steve, Carol Anderson,  Jerry Edmonds, Gloria Farris, Christine Fetterhoff, Marian Johnson, Sheila Judd, Carol Kaiser, Dennis Kennedy, Tom McCullough, Mark Stamat, Janice Warner and Sandy Warner.
⦁ For those experiencing personal struggles: Those needing comfort during transition and change; those seeking employment, the homeless; those who are losing their homes; families experiencing effects of natural disasters/bad weather.
⦁ For those struggling with addictions and those recovering, that they may continue to heal.

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

Starr Presbyterian Church Contacts

Session
Shari Alston  248-545-6157      
sharbear641@sbcglobal.net

Janie Castle  248-961-6565     
janiecastle@aol.com

Linda Finn  248-221-7252       
lindafinn@yahoo.com

Lon Kuehn  248-506-9982    
Lon.Kuehn@att.net
 
Michael Woodcox  248-320-3179     
mikewmi26@aol.com

Sandy Woodcox  248-320-3182     
Imsandyw@aol.com

Trustee Contact
Rick Crawford 248-548-4878

Don Reinke 248-399-9053

 
Norm Rossnagel 248-585-7417
email: nmrossnagel@sbcglobal.net
 
Office
Jennifer Taub, Office Administrator
email: office@starrchurch.org

 
Rev. Marianne Grano:
(home) 313-649-4040
(cell) 313-585-1211
email: m.grano@yahoo.com

 
Web Address: www.starrchurch.org

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/starrpres


 
2017 Special Offerings
As we plan to share in God's work over the year, it has been suggested that we revisit our special offerings. God cautions us to always give with a cheerful heart, not reluctantly or out of a sense of guilt. (2 Corinthians 9:7) We will continue to offer many opportunities to give, knowing that different people feel called to participate in different ways, and not every person may be called to give to every offering. In order to help our members plan and consider giving opportunities, Session has adopted the following schedule for our special offerings in 2017:
 
March:
⦁ Wycliffe Bible Translators—Global Bible Translation and Evangelism

April:
⦁ One Great Hour of Sharing—Hunger, Disaster Assistance, Self Development of People
⦁ Easter Flowers—For Sanctuary


June:
⦁ Pentecost Offering for At-Risk Children and Youth

September:
⦁ Wycliffe Bible Translators—Global Bible Translation and Evangelism

October:
⦁ Gideons Bible Distribution and Evangelism

December:
⦁ Christmas Joy Offering for the Board of Pensions and Education for Minorities
⦁ Poinsettias—For Sanctuary
God Sightings
We are bringing back the God Sightings during Lent!
 
Have you seen God at work—through answered prayer, miracles, the kindness of others?

Please email Pastor at m.grano@yahoo.com if you have a God Sighting you would like to share as we journey together toward the greatest God Sighting of all:
the cross,and the empty tomb. 

Lenten Messages:
Would you like to receive a daily text message or email from Pastor Marianne during the forty days of Lent? These are simple, brief messages from Scripture or spiritual quotations to help us deepen our faith and remember to pray throughout the day.

If you'd like to receive these messages,
simply email Pastor Grano at m.grano@yahoo.com

 

In Memory of Michael Bennett
We lift up in prayer the family,
following the passing of Michael Bennett.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, February 5
12:00 pm -5:00pm
at Lynch and Sons, 1368 N. Crooks Road, Clawson, Michigan 48017

 
A Memorial Service will be held on Monday, February 6
at Starr Presbyterian Church,
The visitation will begin at 10:30 am.
The funeral will start 11:15 am.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. ~Matthew 5:4

 

In Memory of Esther Chaney
We lift up in prayer the Chaney family,
following the passing of Esther Chaney
on January 21, 2017. 

She was 102 years old.
 
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. ~Matthew 5:4
Preaching this February:
 
February 5:
Exodus 33:12-23 ~
The What of Worship
February 12:
Leviticus 23 ~
The Why of Worship
February 19:
Numbers 21:4-9 ~
With All Due Respect
February 26:
Deuteronomy 11:18-28 ~ Rules

 

From your Session
Pertinent Notes from the January Session Meeting

* Cooley Construction to complete repairs on the wall in chapel- original bid of $1,400; however, an additional $2,200 in repairs need to be done prior to the carpet being installed. 
 
* Pastor’s vacation/study, Friday, January 20; March 13-22 (1 Sunday) and November 9-12 (1 Sunday).
 
* Transfer funds from the Seeds of Faith into budget account to cover budget shortfall.
 
* Small chapel carpeting. Session members went into the chapel and picked out a carpet sample. 
 

Respectfully submitted,
Emily Burke, Clerk of Session  
 

Women’s Association News
February 2017

The Women’s Circles, Gatherings and KnitWits will meet again in March.
 
The Women’s Board Meeting will be held in February.
To see what is coming up at Starr Church, click the link below: 

https://calendar.google.com/calendar/embed?src=office%40starrchurch.org&ctz=America/New_York

 

Online Giving!
You can give to any of our ministries 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, www.starrchurch.org, 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!
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!
Recycle Your Ink Cartridges Here
Please bring in your ink cartridges to help defray our office expenses. We turn in the ink cartridges to Staples and in return we get store credit that helps pay for the paper that the bulletin and other church publications are printed on. There is a basket in the church office to deposit the cartridges.
Thank you!
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