January 8, 2021
From the Desk of Pastor Linda
Greetings to all God’s children,
Happy New Year and Joyful Epiphany to you!
Praise God for God’s presence in our world! This last Wednesday was Epiphany, January 6th! Epiphany is the celebration of God’s manifestation or self-revelation to the world in Jesus Christ. In particular, we celebrate the revelation of God’s promise and purpose to the nations of the world, as the magi came from the East to worship the Christ child, and God’s covenant of grace is extended to all who believe the good news of Christ Jesus. I can suppose for many of us, Wednesday, January 6th this year we had our hearts broken and minds in disbelief as we witnessed NOT the peace that God can only give, but violence, destruction and even death in our nation’s capital. If ever there is a time to remember that Jesus said the greatest commandment was to “love God and oneanother” this is the time.
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
We may all have various words, opinions or thoughts about the goings on Wednesday, on Covid restrictions and the list may include many other issues but let us move into this new calendar year of 2021 fully loving God and one another.
Serendipitously our “Sermon Series” for January is on “Courage in the way of Christ”. This is how the series is described by the authors: “Our world often tells us that being courageous is about strength, bravery, and heroic acts. This series explores what courage looks like in the New Testament and expands our understanding of courage”. Together, we will learn how courage can help us raise other people up, transform our communities, and face new and challenging situations. Through Jesus’ courage to be vulnerable, he became like those he came to save, so that we could know the heart of God is for humanity and not over/against it. Jesus courageously became vulnerable to the point of death for the sake of others, for the sake of all, instead of trying to overpower his opponents. Paul was teaching the Philippians who were in conflict among themselves and with outside groups. Paul was advising the Philippians to have everyone’s interest in mind, as Jesus did, rather than trying to prove themselves right or better.
With God’s help, blessings and full joy in the Lord you and I can share the “light” of the world that came to bring all humanity true life.
Peace and Blessings
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
13 I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
Each Sunday we will be recording the service to post on our YouTube channel in time for Sunday morning worship in the comfort of your own homes. Due to the current COVID-19 conditions we anticipate doing this for the foreseeable future, as disappointing as that is for all of us. You can access the video services via our website, www.olccp.com, and clicking on the Video worship box, or by going directly to YouTube and entering our church name in the search box. We will continue to assess conditions and various health and government guidelines as the weeks go by.
OLCC,P on You Tube
In Our Prayers
- Continued healing and health for: Fiona Bell, Alexander Bogaerts, Carol Brooks, Nancy Burton, Ron Carlson, Rebecca Caufield, Bud Conrad, Tom Conrad, Peter Cooper, Alan Coopland, Joan Coss, Irene Guymer, Herbert Jarvie, Jackie Johnson, Larry Lankford, Fred Laskos, Gordon Lyon, Bill Marvin, Jean Mattinen, Trudy Morse, Dick Mudge, Joyce Pitchford, Sarah Robertson Nadeau, Sally Russell, Greg Sables, Don Schimmel, Kay Schimmel, Dara Sperstad, Mark Stone, Pam Sturgeon, Charlie VanSwearingen, Linda Vermeulen, Doris Wiegert, Morgen Wright, Madie Zurkan.
- Sympathy to the family and friends of Judy Day on her death.
Thank you, OLCC,P!
Jan and I have been blown away by the incredible and humbling expressions of appreciation and affirmation you have shared with us over these past weeks, as well as by the incredible generosity extended to us in your gifts and recognitions honoring our retirement! So many have come anonymously, so we wanted to be sure and offer a general “thank you” to everyone so you all know how much we have appreciated your farewell to us. Thanks to all who contributed to our incredibly generous “retirement fund”! Thanks to the Deacons for a gift in our honor to Open Doors in Waterford, to the Mission Team for a gift in our honor to Ft. Street Open Door, and to the Stephen Ministry for the beautiful Christmas ornament. Special thanks to our church staff for their special farewell luncheon, and to the Personnel and Gathering Ministry Teams who “conspired” together in planning the amazing “Drive-By” recognition event in December. It afforded us the opportunity to speak with many of you individually which could not and may not have happened at a larger gathering. For that we are truly grateful and thankful!
I write this on the first true day of my retirement when I would normally have headed into the office. The morning afforded me an opportunity for an extended time of meditation and prayer in scripture which is a truly wonderful gift! We “graduate” into new adventures with 11 years of treasured memories and friendships which we will always carry with us. As the saying goes, we do not know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future! We know God has specific plans for us and for OLCC,P which will unfold in the days and weeks and months ahead. We welcome your prayers for our journey as we will pray for God’s blessing in this time of transition and living into new possibilities for OLCC,P! “Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God through him.”
With great gratitude,
Pastor Paul and Jan Thwaite
Our New Interim Pastor
.After an intensive search process, Session is pleased to announce we have hired a new Interim Head Pastor. Rev. Dr. Judi McMillan will be starting as our Head Pastor on Monday, January 25, 2021. Pastor Linda will continue as Interim Associate Pastor and will be leading our staff until Rev. Judi arrives. As you may know, we will soon be embarking on a journey of self-evaluation and charting the course for the future leadership of OLCC,P. Rev. Judi's extensive experience as a Head Pastor and Interim Head Pastor with multiple congregations in the Detroit area will be a great asset as we navigate this process.
Rev. Dr. McMillan was ordained in 1998 after completing her Master of Divinity at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Most recently she earned her Doctor of Ministry at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 2018. She also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from James Madison University. Rev. Judi comes to us from New Life Presbyterian Church in Sterling Heights where she has been the Head Pastor since 2019. Prior to that she held Interim Pastor positions at St. Thomas Community Presbyterian Church in Shelby Twp. and First Presbyterian in Howell. For eight years she led First Presbyterian in Troy as their Pastor.
Judi lives in Troy across from the new dog park. Her daughter and son graduated from Troy High. McKayla is now a Junior at Western and Caleb is working in Kalamazoo. Judi’s parents and grandma live near Little Rock and she loves to visit and work in their wood shop on vacation. Most recently, she and her Dad made a keepsake box and last summer Judi and McKayla made cutting boards. She enjoys photography, drawing, hiking and is an avid cyclist. If you know of some excellent trails, please let her know. She is thrilled to be joining us to engage in God’s work together. Please join us in welcoming Rev. Judi to the OLCC,P family
Stewardship Update 2021 – Our “Overflowing Generosity” 2021 Stewardship Campaign is in progress. Please prayerfully consider how you can share in Overflowing Generosity to support and advance our ministries and activities in 2021. You can return your 2021 Faith Promise Card by mail, or go to www.olccp.com and click on the Giving tab where there is a secure link for you to make your 2021 Faith Promise online. Additional stewardship packets are available at the church office if you did not receive one. Thank you in advance for your faithful support for OLCC,P.
New Office Hours
New Office Hours: Our office will be closed on Monday and Friday's. However, the office will be open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with the following hours being held by each staff member:
- Pastor Linda Cochran: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and contacted outside of those hours at 586-549-8657 (Friday will be her Sabbath)
- Martha Piesko (Director of Christian Education): Tuesday and Wednesday
- Emily Grakul (Parish Nurse): Tuesday and Wednesday
- Stacey Cheff (Business Administrator): Available for business or financial questions on Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and always via email.
- Jennifer Taub (Office Administrator) Working from home, is available on her cell phone number 248-854-2124, Tuesday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
- Nancy Ratajczak volunteers in the office on Thursday.
Please know your church staff is working outside the posted hours above from home. Do not hesitate to reach out if you have a need to hear our awesome voices! We all care deeply for the ministry we do and for each of you!
As before, with continuing COVID-19 concerns, we ask that you only come to the office personally if absolutely necessary, follow the health screening protocols, and that you call first to make sure someone will be available to help you.
Worship and Building Update
In accordance with our COVID-19 Response Plan approved by the Session calling for us to follow protocols of our County and State health officials, OLCC,P will be limiting all in person activities for the foreseeable future. Worship services will be recorded and made available on Sunday mornings for the duration of this time as well. We will reassess all these plans as conditions warrant.
Notice is hereby given of the 2021 Annual Congregation/Corporation meeting of OLCC,P to be held on Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. via Zoom. The purpose of this meeting is to receive the 2020 Annual Reports including the 2021 budget approved by the Session. All members of the congregation are encouraged to attend this important meeting. Copies of the 2020 Annual Report will be available online Wednesday, January 20 and the report will also be sent out via email.
Per capita is a fundamental way in which all Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations support the work of the wider Church.
Each year it costs OLCC,P over $30 for each member. When the full amount is not covered by the congregation, the money comes out of our Mission Budget. If all of the members of OLCC,P would prayerfully consider paying their own family’s per capita, it would allow your Mission Team to have more to give to others in need.
The 2021 Per Capita offering is $30.55 per OLCC,P member. To provide your per capita online, please visit the OLCC,P website, select the “Giving” tab, select “Donate Online” found on the top right side of the page, and follow the instructions.
(If you use offering envelopes, a Per Capita envelope is included.)
Thursday Bible Study Classes 9:30 a.m. and 7:15 p.m.
Who were the disciples/ apostles? How did they respond to Jesus commandments? And in what type of environment did they start the Churches of Christ and what can we learn from them daily in our lives and can emulate. Next week is Andrew on January 14, and the next few weeks are: James, son of Zebedee on January 21, Thomas on January 28, Matthew on February 4 and Nathanael/Bartholomew on February 11.
E-mail John Vermeulen for the ZOOM link for the class, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Courageous- Sermon Series
Our world often tells us that being courageous is about strength, bravery, and heroic acts.
As we move into a new year we will explore what courage looks like in the New Testament and expand our understanding of courage. Together, we will learn how courage can help us raise other people up, transform our communities, and face new and challenging situations. Certainly this is a great tool for the world we are living in today!
January 10, Week 1: Courage to be Vulnerable | Scripture: Philippians 2:5-11
Jesus shows us that there is courage in being vulnerable and calls us to follow his example.
January 17, Week 2: Courage to be Gracious | Scripture: Philippians 1:2-12
In hard situations, God’s grace can give us courage. As we allow God’s grace to shape us,
we can become courageous enough to give others grace too.
January 24. Week 3: Courage to be Last | Scripture: Philippians 2:1-5
Sometimes, we are courageous for our own sake and to achieve our own comfort.
But how can we be courageous for the sake of others and their wellbeing?
January 31, Week 4: Courage to be First | Scripture: Philippians 3:10-16
It takes courage to take the first step forward to face evil, to dare to be extraordinary for God.
Chancel Flowers for 2021
You can sign up for flower dedications in honor or memory or loved ones. You can sign up online by clicking here.
Open Door Donations
Open Door continues to serve the needs of our community during these times. We will have the collection bins by the tents on Sunday mornings for your donations to help serve others. Items recommended include: Cereal, Peanut Butter / Jelly, toiletries, canned chicken / tuna, pasta sauce and noodles, soups, and the ever popular mac n’ cheese! Thank you in advance for your support!
Online Resources from The Upper Room
Resources for Spiritual Wellness in Anxious Times. For navigating the pandemic, this link makes available to you a robust list of timely practices—for individuals and families as well as your faith leaders. Included are digital devotionals, videos, eCourses, podcasts, etc., all of which can be accessed and distributed free of charge to everyone in your congregation.
A PDF File of the September/October issue of The Upper Room is available to our standing order churches. Because you are a paid subscriber, we want to provide this service to you since we realize many readers are currently reticent or unable to pick up their copy of the devotional guide because of the virus or closed church office. We encourage you to freely share with everyone in your congregation as a gift.
Resources for the Spiritual Work of Overcoming Racism. For addressing the spiritual virus of racism that continues to tear our society apart, we’re compiling and adding more content each week to this list of helpful resources. Included is my blog which sets the context for the formational work of anti-racism—Reaching In, Reaching Up, Reaching Out: The Spiritual Work of Overcoming Racism.
OLCC, P Calendar
Our calendar is available to browse live 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at OLCC,P Calendar. You can browse all events coming up. You can also subscribe to the calendar on the same page.
Message from Jennifer Taub, Office Admin
Dear Members of OLCC,P,
I am working from home. I am able to receive phone calls for myself from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday. My cell number is 248-854-2124. You also can reach me at email@example.com by e-mail.
Rev. Dr. Paul H. Thwaite (Sr. Pastor): firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Linda Cochran (Temp. Supply Assoc. Pastor) email@example.com
Margaret Bell (Organist): firstname.lastname@example.org
Stacey Cheff (Business Administrator): email@example.com
Emily Grakul (Faith Community Nurse): firstname.lastname@example.org
Martha Piesko (Director of Children’s Ministries) email@example.com
Bruce Snyder (Director of Music Ministries): firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Taub (Office Administrator): email@example.com
Doug Wilson (Sexton)