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IN MEMORIAM
Please keep the family of
Barbara Remington
in your prayers

PRAYER LIST
Please keep members of our
Church Family in your prayers:


Bob Cross
Lucy Diener
Philip & Roseanne Frye
Bev Grant

Olga Kehoe
Natalie Klohck
Mary Niles


And any prayers
you may have in your heart

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Consider this—
God, thank You for the beautiful promise of a home. Please bring peace to our world, and provide for the needs of all of Your children.
God promises His children a peaceful home in His kingdom.
.
(Our Daily Bread
June-August)



InstallationCharge
Rev. Leonard Sponaugle receives the charge during his installation

 

Sermons & Prayers

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PASTOR'S PONDERINGS


I Kings 21:1-21 Later the following events took place: Naboth the Jezreelite had a vine-yard in Jezreel, beside the palace of King Ahab of Samaria. 2 And Ahab said to Na-both, "Give me your vineyard, so that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house; I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its value in money." 3 But Naboth said to Ahab, "The Lord forbid that I should give you my ancestral inheritance." 4 Ahab went home resentful and sullen be-cause of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him; for he had said, "I will not give you my ancestral inheritance." He lay down on his bed, turned away his face, and would not eat.
5 His wife Jezebel came to him and said, "Why are you so depressed that you will not eat?" 6 He said to her, "Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite and said to him, 'Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if you prefer, I will give you another vineyard for it'; but he answered, 'I will not give you my vineyard.'" 7 His wife Jeze-bel said to him, "Do you now govern Israel? Get up, eat some food, and be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite."
8 So she wrote letters in Ahab's name and sealed them with his seal; she sent the letters to the elders and the nobles who lived with Naboth in his city. 9 She wrote in the letters, "Proclaim a fast, and seat Naboth at the head of the assembly; 10 seat two scoundrels opposite him, and have them bring a charge against him, saying, 'You have cursed God and the king.' Then take him out, and stone him to death." 11 The men of his city, the el-ders and the nobles who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them. Just as it was written in the letters that she had sent to them, 12 they proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth at the head of the assembly. 13 The two scoundrels came in and sat opposite him; and the scoundrels brought a charge against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, "Naboth cursed God and the king." So they took him outside the city, and stoned him to death. 14 Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, "Naboth has been stoned; he is dead."
15 As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, Jezebel said to Ahab, "Go, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead." 16 As soon as Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab set out to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.
17 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying: 18 Go down to meet King Ahab of Israel, who rules in Samaria; he is now in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone to take possession. 19 You shall say to him, "Thus says the Lord: Have you killed, and also taken possession?" You shall say to him, "Thus says the Lord: In the place where dogs licked up the blood of Naboth, dogs will also lick up your blood."
20 Ahab said to Elijah, "Have you found me, O my enemy?" He answered, "I have found you. Because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the Lord, 21 I will bring disaster on you; ....


This last week I have found it hard to concentrate. No matter what I have been doing my mind has wandered back to the sight of Nazis walking down a street in broad daylight in our country. I am not alone in this. For example, several veterans of WW2 have been interviewed and they have been dumbfounded that Nazis are back.

I am not sure what to do. I participated in a public protest last Sunday and that felt right. I considered writing a hellfire and brimstone sermon for this coming Sunday. I chose not to because I don't think any of you need to be convinced that Nazism is one of the great evils of humanity. Nor do I think I need to prove my righteous understanding of things. Still, surely a response is called for!

A pastor of my last church, Bower Hill Community Church, in Pittsburgh, PA marched at the now famous march in Selma AL. His choice and action were not universally praised at the time - that is an understatement. Now that congregation proudly touts his participation in that protest in much of their public documents. Are we now in a moment that it is necessary to publicly take a position. But in front of who?

The Scripture above is from the story of Naboth's Vineyard. King Ahab together with his wife Jezebel conspired to have Naboth murdered so they could steal his vineyard. God send the Prophet Elijah to condemn the king. That is an example of God insisting that humans confront evil.

I have decided that I must take a public stand against the reappearance of Nazism and its underlying rot of eugenics. I will look for opportunities to publicly protest. I invite you to prayerfully reacquaint yourself with 1 Kings 21 and the story of Naboth's Vineyard as a way of deciding whether you want to find a public opportunity to proclaim your opposition to this old evil that has returned.

Faithfully,
Leonard

Email for Pastor Leonard: pastor@johnstownpresbyterian.org

FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
37 S. Market St., Johnstown, NY 12095
Ph: 518.762.8263 Fax: 518.762.2981
Email: office@johnstownpresbyterian.org