Presidents, Elections and Hope
Well, as usual, the first week of November in an even numbered year, divisible by four has been an interesting week. The whole world watched as America went to the polls to elect a new president, finally concluding what has been one of the longest and most depressing election seasons ever. It didn’t matter who won, as either candidate would face an especially difficult task of trying to prove worthy of the challenges that awaited them in office. No matter who won, a great number of people, who voted and many who didn’t vote, would be severely disappointed and upset. Sadly, that is the world we live in today.
Mankind, from the beginning, has been searching for something or someone to identify with. Today, many see their identity in their professions, their children, a sports team (the Cubs are World Series Champions), a religious movement or a political party. If the nastiness of the recent campaign didn’t trouble you then the realization of what we have become should.
Whether it is temporary or permanent, America has ceased to be a land of dreamers. We no longer want to dream of great things for ourselves, our families and our nation. No, what we crave now is comfort and safety. Hopefully, as Christians we know that the election of any politician doesn’t lead ultimately to safety or comfort for anyone.
We can find this truth beautifully spelled out in Psalm 146:3-4, where the psalmist writes, “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.” While we know that our salvation does not lie in any mortal man, these words should comfort us because the psalmist admits his, and our, temptation to find hope in men, to put our trust in princes, presidents or sports figures. We know the futility of trusting in men. We know salvation does not come from man. Men were created from the dust of the earth and to the dust they shall return. But we are still prone subconsciously to try to find our hope in them.
Interestingly, there are two sides to our temptation to glorify men, or women. This temptation is not only to ground our hope in politicians but to also ground our despair in them. Not only are we tempted to find our joy in the election of our candidate, but also to sink dejectedly in the election of the person I did not vote for. Whether I am jubilant in the election of one or distraught and protesting in the streets at the election of another, I am declaring that I have put my trust in what a man can do for me rather than what God has already accomplished for me. Ultimately, it is God who rules over and through the imperfect rulers and leaders of this world. Too much excitement for my favorite candidate or the one I voted against—either is a symptom of the same problem.
The writer of the psalms understands this problem. He points us in the right direction in Psalm 146:5, “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God.” He goes on to explain in the next four verses why God and God alone is worthy and deserving of our confidence. God is the one who created the world out of nothing, He is the one who breathed the breath of life into humanity, He is the one through whom all creation exists and is sustained, He is the one who keeps faith, who executes justice, who provides for our needs, He brings those who are wicked to ruin. He is the one who rules through good rulers and bad ones, through the ones I would have chosen and those I cannot stand.
Psalm 146 ends with, “The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD!” Whoever it is that wins elections, whoever has a mandate from the people for their agenda, it is still the LORD who reigns. Truly, it is His agenda that will be furthered, it is His Kingdom that rules. It has always been that way and it will always remain.
Our annual Thank Offering service and potluck will be Sunday, November 20th. The Thank Offering is during our normal worship service time. This is a time that allows people to reflect on what they are thankful for and, if they so choose, to share what they are thankful for with the congregation and to give financially. We encourage you to join us for a potluck meal in the fellowship hall after the service.
This year the financial recipients of our Thank Offering will be:
For youth to attend Camp Quaker Heights summer church camps
- Mesquakie Friends Church, Tama, IA, serving the Meskwaki Settlement and surrounding area, led by Mac & Berny McDonald
- Wings of Refuge, Iowa Falls, IA, an organization that works with survivors of domestic sex trafficking
- Belize Friends United Meeting, Belize City, Belize, a Quaker ministry that operates a non-traditional school for at-risk inner-city youth
- Right Sharing of World Resources, a Quaker organization that provides small business loans to women in the developing countries of Kenya, Sierra Leone, and south India
Financial giving may be designated for a specific recipient of one's choosing, and any funds that are not designated for a specific recipient will be split evenly between the recipients.
More information about these organizations will be available in a flyer (coming soon) and on the missions bulletin board in the fellowship hall.
Monday Night Bible Study
Something New! On the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month, Pastor Matt will conduct a Bible study of John from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm at the church.
This is a casual, very informal study, with a good deal of discussion. This is an opportunity for those who teach classes for DEEPER and Sunday School to have a chance to sit in a class and be fed as well. Everyone is welcome.
Our mission’s emphasis for the October-November-December quarter will be Mesquakie Friends. On Sunday, October 16th Mac & Berny McDonald were here and brought us up to date on their work there during the Sunday School hour,
News From Mesquakie
Prayers Concerns & Needs
Pray that Mac, Berny & at the church, continue to build personal, professional, intimate relationships throughout the community.
Mesquakie Friends worship Saturday nights at 5:00 pm. This allows Mac & Berny to travel on Sunday to carry the message of the ministry here.
Christmas Gift Donations
As we did year, we will be accepting “gifts” & contributions towards our “Happy Birthday Jesus Party”. God & Santa’s Helpers were able to provide a “Gift-Bag” to every youth (approximately 50 youth) who attend our Friendly Kidz & Friends Youth programs. This event is very special for the kids/families we serve.
Pastor, Mac McDonald & Berny McDonald
Home/ Church Phone
641-484-2329 Mac’s Cell 515-339-1423
Address: 1898 350th Street 52339
We have the opportunity to assist HOC with their Adopt-A-Family project to provide Christmas to folks who would not have gifts without our help. You do not have to be wealthy to care for a family in need. Together our $ add up. HOC recommends 2-3 gifts (totaling under $50) be given for each child or teen. A $20 gift card plus household supplies OR a food box is to be given for the adults in the family. (Adults will note their preference when they signup.)
A Sunday School or DEEPER class could adopt a family together. 2 or 3 church families might decide share a larger family. There are all age singles & couples... from 20 – 80. $50 would cover their gift card & household supplies OR food box needs. If you would like to adopt an individual or family, tell Margaret the number of people you wish to help by Nov. 16. After you receive your family’s information, you will call and tell them they have been adopted and ask any questions regarding their requests. Then purchase the gifts and call again to set a time to deliver by Dec. 21.
There will be a family chosen for our church to share. Let Margaret know if you would like to buy 1 or more gifts for this shared family so she’ll know how big of a family to choose. If you are unable or prefer not to shop, you may give funds and Margaret will shop for you. Thanks for helping to give smiles this Christmas.
Volunteers Needed: The House of Compassion needs volunteers to staff their Supply Closet. (Over 500 eligible clients choose 3 personal household items each month.) The requirements for this job include a welcoming smile and willingness to visit with the clients, knowing your ABC’s for general filing, being able to lift 1-2# jugs of laundry soap, etc. to give to clients, and occasionally stocking shelves. We want to have 2 people for each shift. 1 more worker is needed at each of the following times: Mondays 9:50-12:00; Wednesdays 12:50-4:30; Thursdays 12:50-4:40; and the 1st Tuesday of each month 9:50-12:00. If you are available or have questions call Karen at 752-5999. Please remember to prayer for Karen and the HOC clients. I have found that giving my time to HOC often brings blessings in return. Margaret Good and the Supply Closet Team
New Bangor Liberty Cookbooks are Here!
Our new cookbooks have arrived and are available at the church for $10 each. Checks should be made out to Bangor Liberty Friends Church when you pick up your copy of the cookbook. Contact the church office if you wish to have a copy mailed to you. Additional fees will be charged for mailing.
Library Ledge: Come visit our new library & take home a book to read.
HOC MEAL REPORT:
On Oct. 27th 18 people were involved in preparing, serving and cleanup for 57 guests. Our meal was: goulash, green beans & bacon, garlic bread sticks, baby carrot, leftover coleslaw, frosted cupcakes or cherry dump cake, chocolate pudding, milk & coffee.
Thanks to our great volunteers: Bob & Veronica, Reg & Melidy James & Sharon, Blake & Alicia, Matt & Robin, Chuck & Ann who provided food or funds; Betty, Vi, Diane T, Wayne, Neil, Jo G and Darla who helped with the meal. Also thanks to all who brought items for the Supply Closet in October.
Because Thanksgiving night was requested by a family, we will not provide a meal in November. Our next meal will be Dec. 2