MINISTER - FRAN HAYES

“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD.” - Psalm 31:24 I think too often people think of stewardship in the church in terms of preservation, frugality, and limiting risk, and encouraging people to give more to support the work of the church. But our stewardship seasons over the past several years have taken their main theme from 1 Timothy 6:18-19: “[Followers of Jesus] are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.” They emphasized living freely, simply, and generously. This year, the theme of our stewardship emphasis is “Live Courageously.”

We're living in times that are troubling and fearful for many of us. In times of danger and uncertainty and tremendous change, our faith calls us to “be strong and let your heart take courage.” The people of ancient Israel knew something about being refugees and being afraid. Like so many psalms, Psalm 31 was composed to ask God to deliver God's people from danger and from their enemies. As part of their prayers for deliverance, the people proclaimed that in their precarious situation, they would seek refuge in the Lord. Even as refugees, they knew where their hope rested.

Of course, the people of Israel didn't pretend that it was easy to be strong and to take courage during fearful times, but they kept reminding themselves that it was possible for “all who wait upon the Lord” (Psalm 31:24) Waiting upon the Lord isn't about waiting passively, but living expectantly, trusting in God's love and mercy and generosity, trusting in God's promises. This is an active trust that calls us not to build walls, not to focus on survival or managing scarce resources or sharing out of a sense of duty, but instead to be active stewards of the future of God's kingdom of love and abundance and justice.

God has chosen to work through us to transform the world and calls us to steward the kingdom vision. This is a call to active and courageous stewardship that will require us to live differently and to engage personally, publicly, and politically.

It takes courage to follow Jesus and live a life trusting in God, especially if we're seeking to be good stewards, or managers, of all God has entrusted to usóincluding our own lives and the Good News itself. It takes courage to keep moving forward. If we trust in God's goodness and God's promises, we can learn to trust that nothing is impossible with God, and that there will be enough. We can believe that we can move the needle on the scale of poverty, injustice, ecological devastation in the direction of God's goodness and justice. We can grow in our understanding that God's provision for enough is fulfilled when we all share from what we have.

This all requires courage. But with God's help, we can “do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.” And that is good news!

Peace…Salam…Shalom.

SCRIPTURE READINGS

November 4
Hebrew Scripture-Ruth 1:1-18
Psalm 146
Epistle Lesson-Hebrews 9:11-14
Gospel Lesson-Mark 12:28-34

November 11
Hebrew Scripture-Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17
Psalm 127
Epistle Lesson-Hebrews 9:24-28
Gospel Lesson-Mark 12:38-44

November 18
Hebrew Scripture-1 Samuel 1:4-20 or 1 Samuel 2:1-10
Epistle Lesson-Hebrews 10:11-25
Gospel Lesson-Mark 13:1-8

November 25
Hebrew Scripture-2 Samuel 23:1-7
Psalm 132:1-18
Epistle Lesson-Revelation 1:4b-8
Gospel Lesson-John 18:33-37

PRAYER MINISTRY

Scripture Verse
In all this I have given you an example
that by such work we must support the weak,
remembering the words of the Lord Jesus,
for he himself said, “It is more blessed to give
than to receive.”
   – Acts 20:35


Thanksgiving Grace
We bow our heads dear Lord, to You,
For all the special things You do,
For all Thy brethren everywhere
We offer You this humble prayer.

Oh mighty Lord who art above
Bestow on us Thy gracious love,
Please bless us as we sit to dine
To break some bread and sip of wine.

For all these foods You do provide
Your presence cannot be denied,
We bow our heads in silent prayer
To have You know we really care.

We thank Thee Lord for all Thy good
You offer to all brotherhood,
And especially for this gathering,
We thank Thee, Lord, for everything
   – Joseph Ferrara


Thought for the Day
How can I share God's blessings with those in need?
   – Marion H. Duncan


Thought for the Month
I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.
   – Henry David Thoreau


Prayer
God in heaven, help us give openly,
warmly, and sacrificially to those in need,
even when we don't know who they are.
Amen

OUTDOOR WORK DAY
Saturday, November 3
from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

The leaves are falling and we need to clean our church campus. Please bring your gloves and rakes and join us to clean up the outside around the church before winter.

Note: The alternate date is Saturday, November 10 if there is bad weather on the 3rd!

REMINDER: DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME ENDS ON NOVEMBER 3

Set your clocks back 1 hour on Saturday night!

MARY CIRCLE
November 5 @ 7:30 p.m.

If you have an interest in this Women's Circle, please contact the church office. This month's lesson is Lesson 3, God's Promise – I Am with You. This circle normally meets the 1st Monday of every month and shares a devotional, study and dessert. All women are welcome!

TAIZE WORSHIP
November 6 @ 7:00 p.m.

Light, prayer and music are woven together in a contemplative prayer service. Short, simple songs, repeated again and again, help one enter into a meditative state. Thus, this meditative singing becomes a way of listening to God. All are invited, regardless of faith background and age, to come and renew your spirit. You are invited to dress comfortably and casually. Invite a friend!

EVANGELISM & MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE

Our next Engage! Book Group will meet on Wednesday, November 7. Before the discussion begins at 7:00 p.m, we will gather at 6:15 p.m for a pizza and salad dinner. We will discuss bell hooks' All About Love: New Visions. Author, bell hooks, is well known as a cultural critic and feminist. In this book of 13 essays, she focuses on the presence and lack of presence of love in our society. She calls for a new way to define love and to put love into practice. She draws upon both her personal experience as well as the literature of love that has been handed down to us as a culture. In these days of broken relationships and acerbic politics, it is refreshing to encounter a serious discussion of the centrality of love in our life. We encourage all to join us.

We have ordered our 2018 Advent Devotional. We will be spending our Advent time with inspiration from Henri J. M. Nouwen's “The Father's Love”. The devotionals will be distributed prior to the beginning of Advent.

On October 5 and 6, a few Littlefielders attended the “Healthy Congregations Seminar” at the Sterling Heights United Methodist Church in Utica. This seminar is designed by the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center. Through it we learned about how family dynamics apply to congregations and what elements lead to healthy communications and growth.

PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN

The Presbyterian Woman of the Presbytery of Detroit (PWPD) will gather on Saturday, December 8, at the First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor from 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. A Christmas program is planned. Details will follow.

Mark Your Calendars
Saturday, November 10, will be our baking day for Christmas cookies. We'd love to have any of you who like baking and enjoy fellowship with one another to join us from 9:00 a.m. to noon in Fellowship Hall. These cookies will then be sold at our annual Christmas Cookie Sale on Sunday, December 9, after church. Please let the church office know if you will be “baking” so we can plan on how many baking ingredients to buy. It's a fun morning and gets us in the holiday spirit a little bit early, plus it's all part of the Littlefield PW's missions fund raiser.

Wednesday, December 5, is our annual Advent Celebration. This is a wonderful way to usher in the Christmas season. Please join us at 7:00 p.m. in the lounge for this special evening of worship, music, fellowship, and refreshment. Details are in another article within this newsletter.

Sunday, December 9, in Fellowship Hall following church, will be our Annual Christmas Cookie Sale. Invite your friends to join you at church that day and following worship help support the PW mission by purchasing some delicious cookies and bars for the holiday season.

WARM FUZZIES

With a winter chill already in the air, the need for hats and mittens has become apparent. The Presbyterian Women will again be collecting “Warm Fuzzies” to benefit several local shelters. Please bring your donations of hats, gloves and scarves (men's items are especially needed) and put them in the library on the following Sundays: November 25, December 2 and December 9. Remember to leave on the price tags so we can determine the value of our donations. Thank you!

MEN'S STUDY GROUP

The men will meet on November 26, at 6:30 p.m., for dinner followed by their study of Interrupting Silence, God's Command to Speak Out, Chapter 2, Prophets Refuse to be Silenced. All men are encouraged to join the men for dinner and study. If you have any questions, please contact the church office.

HANGING OF THE GREENS
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1 At 9:00 a.m.

Ever wondered how the church is transformed each Christmas season? Come lend a helping hand and find out! The more people that come to help, the sooner everyone goes home to enjoy their day. An added bonus, you get to have some great fellowship and laughs!

Wednesday, December 5

PW ADVENT CELEBRATION

What happens every year in December? Christmas! Yes! No! I mean, of course, but what else happens every December? The Presbyterian Women hold an Advent Celebration! Of course. So, what is happening this year? Music! Devotions! Caroling! Holiday sweets and treats!

This year we will welcome Paul Demick of Marimba Music. Paul did not start out wanting to play the beautiful marimba, no. He began in elementary school with the clarinet. After a few too many squeaks and squawks and a good amount of frustration, 10-year-old Paul's mother allowed him to switch to percussion. Good choice! This earned him a music scholarship to Wayne State University. Paul is happy to play the marimba and to educate audiences about the instrument and the composers whose music he plays.

In addition to our musical guest we will have all of the above mentioned. The festivities begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Lounge. Admission is a heart ready to welcome Advent or a heart open to being readied for Advent. Come and prepare for the coming of the Lord. Bring your friends. Celebrate!

MEN: SAVE THE DATE
Annual Presbyterian Men's
Communion Advent Breakfast
Saturday, December 8

Come join men from across the Detroit Presbytery to create a network for good in the community. The keynote speaker this year is John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press Senior Columnist. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. with communion, breakfast, and program starting at 8:00 a.m. This year's program is at Northbrook Presbyterian Church, 22055 W. Fourteen Mile, Beverly Hills, 48025. Tickets are $15 by advanced reservations only by December 1. For more details, please see the Mission Board across from the church office.

MISSION & OUTREACH TEAM

Blessings in a Backpack
This fall marks the start of the second full year of partnership with McDonald Elementary, the Blessings in a Backpack program and Littlefield Presbyterian Church. McDonald Elementary is our neighborhood elementary school of about 300 students with about 90% of the students coming from low- income families, many of which are new immigrants. Blessings in a Backpack is a national supplemental food program which delivers food to elementary schools to give to students for the weekend. The Dearborn chapter is run by volunteers and serves 215 students from McDonald, River Oaks, Long, Nowlin, Whitmore Bowles and William Ford elementary schools.

The program relies on donations to buy the food and volunteers to pack and deliver the food to schools. Littlefield helps in all these areas. We have committed to give the program $1,200 this academic year 2018- 2019, which covers the food cost of 12 students in the program. One Littlefield member helps with monthly food transportation from Meijer to the program headquarters at Christ Episcopal Church (CEC). We also have about five Littlefielders who help once a month with the weekly packing of the 215 bags for the Dearborn program at CEC. And finally, about four Littlefielders help with the weekly (for River Oaks) and biweekly (for McDonald) delivery of food to the schools.

Mission Service Day
Join us on Saturday, December 8, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. for a service day at Zaman International. Last spring's trip was so well- received we are heading back. Zaman provides services for women, children and families in need right in our own communities. In addition to its retail store (where proceeds go right back into funding social services), Zaman provides a regular food pantry and works to empower women through its cooking, sewing and ESL classes. If you haven't seen their facility, it's truly remarkable to witness their story. We hope you'll come to the service day. There will be tasks for all ages and capabilities. Please contact the church office if you're interested in participating.

Alternative Christmas Giving
Between November and December, we're going to ask you to think about Christmas giving differently. How about giving the gift of clean water? Or materials to build a livable shelter? Honeybees to aid farmers? Or sending a girl to school? Join us as we fundraise for Heifer International and work towards ending world poverty and hunger. Stay tuned for more information on different ways of giving and donate on our group page at fundraise.heifer.org/team/195623.

Outdoor Food, Hygiene & Resource Pantry
As you may have noticed, our Outdoor Pantry is starting to see some activity (including maybe a few ants)! We were able to use the remaining grant money to kickstart things with $140 worth of supplies. Session approved our application for Phase 2 of the Faith in Action Grant, which, if awarded, will help us stock our pantry for a year, beginning March 2019. We are gathering data from neighborhood resources to see which items may be most useful, like hygiene supplies (diapers, feminine products, etc.) that are expensive to purchase on a low budget. We welcome any donations you'd like to give, and if you'd like specific ideas, please see anyone from the Mission & Outreach Team. We ask that if donating food, that it be non- perishable, non-glass and halal out of respect for our neighbors. Please also take into consideration the size of the pantry, as larger bottles/packages will not fit.

PW MISSION INGATHERING REPORT

Once again, the Presbyterian Women of Littlefield (with the congregation's help) have met our PWPD Ingathering assignment and have exceeded expectations for additional donations. The value of our 2018 requested assignment was $1,274.50 and the value of our additional donations was $5,115.70 for a total of $6,390.20! This includes the amount from the "Warm Fuzzies" given last Christmas ($600.50), the CWS Hygiene and School Kits ($1,215), the donations given to the Mother's Day Card Project ($245) and the cash donations the PW makes to seven local social service agencies from the proceeds of the Spring Tea and Christmas Cookie Sale ($1,400).

Some of the items donated to the Ingathering from Littlefield were personal kits made with toiletries donated by the congregation (12 kits this year), new clothing, baby layette items, toys, school supplies, bedding, towels, craft supplies, and backpacks. Thanks to everyone who purchased and donated items.

All the donated items were collected, sorted and packaged at the PWPD Ingathering held this year at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Detroit on October 15-17. Six Littlefielders helped during one or all of the days. The items were delivered to 33 metro Detroit locations such as shelters, hospitals and nursing homes. Everything was very gratefully received.
Thank you Littlefielders!

AN OPPORTUNITY TO EXPLORE
AMERICA'S HISTORY OF CIVIL
RIGHTS FIRST HAND

The Equal Justice Initiative opened a new museum in Montgomery, Alabama ~ The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration in April of 2018. Henry Ford Village is arranging a tour of this one-of-a- kind museum which explores America's legacy of slavery racial terror, segregation, and mass incarceration. Additionally, the tour will include the newly opened EJI National Memorial for Peace and Justice. The trip will also include time in Selma with a walk across the infamous Edmund Pettus Bridge, site of the Selma to Montgomery March of 1965. The tour is entitled the Village Legacy Tour and will take place on September 13 through 16, 2019. Details can be attained by contacting Robert Cosey at 313-581-8452. There are a few spots left and reservations need to be made soon. Please, join us.

CHURCH MISSION STATEMENT

Who we are:
We are a community of ordinary people
committed to growing together as disciples of Jesus Christ
through worship, fellowship, learning, prayer, and mission.

Why we exist:
To love God, one another, and all people.
To show God's love in our work for peace and justice.