Rev. Dr. Timothy Oleksy
Sermon Title: It’s Like… Love
Service begins at 11:00am * All are Welcome!
Old Testament: Ruth 1:1-18
Gospel: Mark 12:28-34
In early Christian tradition, saints’ days began as a way to mark the anniversary of a martyr’s death — his or her “birthday” as a saint. By the middle of the church’s first millennium, there were so many martyrs (particularly due to the persecution of Diocletian) that it was hard to give them all their due. All Saints’ Day was established as an opportunity to honor all the saints, known and unknown.
All Saints’ Day has a rather different focus in the Reformed tradition. While we may give thanks for the lives of particular luminaries of ages past, the emphasis is on the ongoing sanctification of the whole people of God. Rather than putting saints on pedestals as holy people set apart in glory, we give glory to God for the ordinary, holy lives of the believers in this and every age. This is an appropriate time to give thanks to members of the community of faith who have died in the past year. We also pray that we may be counted among the company of the faithful in God’s eternal realm.
All Saints’ Day has been celebrated on November 1 since the year 835. Previously it had been connected with the Easter season as a feast of all martyrs.
The Thank Offering has long been a tradition of Presbyterian Women. It has provided and continues to provide much-needed financial assistance to numerous worthwhile programs not included in ongoing General Assembly mission support. Each year, domestic and international projects are carefully and prayerfully selected by the Creative Ministries Offering Committee to help meet a crucial need. Forty percent (40%) of this offering is used to support hospitals and community health programs that place priority in helping the most needy members of God’s community. The remaining sixty percent (60%) is used for new creative ideas for mission, un-designated in advance. The generosity of Presbyterian women and their families and congregations as demonstrated through their Thank Offering gifts help chosen recipients find real solutions for projects related to health, education, economic development, and needs of women and children.
Green Hill members wishing to contribute to this annual Thank Offering may use one of the special envelopes located in the pew racks.
In March 2018 eighty-three applications were submitted for grants from the 2017 Thank Offering. 16 of the projects were chosen for funding. 12 are ministries serving people in US and 4 are international. More than 40% of the projects are health ministries.
The entire list is posted on the Women’s Board in the fellowship fall. One of the projects funded from our Synod of Living Waters is in Lexington Kentucky. The grant will be used to purchase a refrigerated food truck so that Lighthouse Ministries (a partner agency with God’s Pantry and Feeding America) nonprofit and faith-based, may transport food from local grocery stores and restaurants safely and efficiently to impact the hunger community. The food transported will be shared with food insecure individuals and people who are homeless.
Our other project is an international project in the outskirts of Cairo Egypt. It is a health program that seeks to provide hope, dignity and security to women who are heads of household of destitute families. Health and nutrition education are the primary focus of the grant. Shelter and improved economic skills will provide households with long-term sustainability and improve families’ quality of life.
Please give generously to our Thank Offering every year and just as Eliza Clokey did many years ago, encourage others to do the same. Your support has made, and will continue to make this world a better place. Thank you.
On the eve of All Saints Day,
Jack-O-Lanterns light the way.
God’s children need no longer fear,
the ghosts and goblins gathered here.
For evil ghouls with icy breath,
must bow to Him who conquered death.