MINISTER - FRAN HAYES

“What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” - Micah 6:8

It was my privilege to be one of the speakers at an interfaith service held at the Greater New Mount Moriah Baptist Church in Detroit to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King on April 4, 1968. I remember exactly where I was when I heard Dr. King was killed, just as I remember where I was when President Kennedy and Robert Kennedy were killed. These were formative events in my life, along with the Vietnam war and the civil rights movement, even though I wasn't an activist at that point in my life.

During the last few years of his life, Dr. King sensed a call to advocate for the poor and oppressed whoever and wherever they were. He worked to bring together people of all races and parts of the country, anyone who was impacted by poverty and injustice. He spoke out against the triple evils of materialism and economic injustice, of militarism, and systemic racism. In December 1967, Dr. King announced a Poor People's March on Washington he was organizing.

When we look around and listen to “voices long silenced,” the voices of those who have been marginalized or oppressed, we know that the work is not done. Our society hasn't yet lived fully into the promise of “liberty and justice for all.” I have to admit that off and on I struggle with discouragement when I look around at the injustice in our society.

Fifty years after the first Poor People's Campaign, a growing number of people from faith communities, organized labor and other activists are coming together to be part of a new Poor People's Campaign, a National Call for Moral Revival, under the leadership of Bishop William Barber and the Rev Dr. Liz Theoharis. This is not about partisan politics or left or right, but about right and wrong and shifting the moral narrative.

In recent months, many of us have been studying about how the prophets spoke truth to power. Many people have been thinking about what kind of world God desires for all of God's children, asking what kind of world we want to leave for our children and grandchildren, and praying for discernment, in terms of what God is calling us to do. Beginning on the day after Mother's Day, there will be a series of actions on Mondays in at least 40 state capitals around the nation. I hope you will all hold in prayer those who feel called to speak truth to power and show God's love for all people through peaceful action.

I pray that we will all be faithful. By our engagement in the suffering of the world, may we transform the world even as we are being changed. To God be the glory!

Peace…Salam…Shalom.

SCRIPTURE READINGS

May 6
First Lesson-Acts 10:44-48
Psalm 98
Epistle Lesson-1 John 5:1-6
Gospel Lesson-John 15:9-17

May 13 Mother's Day
First Lesson-Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
Psalm 1
Epistle Lesson-1 John 5:9-13
Gospel Lesson-John 17:6-19

May 20 Pentecost Sunday
First Lesson-Acts 2:1-21 or Ezekiel 37:1-14
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
Epistle Lesson-Romans 8:22-27
Gospel Lesson-John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

May 27
First Lesson-Isaiah 6:1-8
Psalm 29
Epistle Lesson-Romans 8:12-17
Gospel Lesson-John 3:1-17

PRAYER MINISTRY

SCRIPTURE VERSE
God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”
  Genesis 9:12–13


RAINBOW SIGN
God gave the rainbow as a sign of his promise to never flood the entire earth again. The colors that spread out in spectrum, as sunlight passes through water droplets in the sky, speak of God's faithfulness in keeping his promise to Noah and to all the generations that have followed. Faithfulness marks God's character. It is who he is, through and through. Let every rainbow we see remind us of God's faithful love and let praise flow from our hearts to the one who always keeps his promises.
   A Woman's Daily Prayer Book


PRAYER
Lord, thank you for rainbows and all other reminders of your faithful love to me. Open my eyes to see each one today so I can delight in your promises and give you praise.
   A Woman's Daily Prayer Book


SPRINGTIME GLORY
Flowers buried beneath the snow
Awakening again to live and grow—
Leaves that fell to the earth to die
Enriching the soil in which they lie—
Lifeless-looking, stark, stripped trees
Bursting with buds in the Springtime breeze.
Are just a few examples of the greatness of
God's power and love,
And in this blaze of Springtime glory,
Just who could doubt the Easter Story!
   Showers of Blessing by H. S. Rice

TAIZE WORSHIP SERVICE

Our next Service is Tuesday, May 1, @ 7:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. All people regardless of faith background and age are welcome. Invite a friend!

PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN

The Presbyterian Women of the Presbytery of Detroit (PWPD) will hold its May gathering at St. John's Presbyterian Church in Detroit on Wednesday, May 2. It will be held from 9:30 a.m. through lunch. An overview of the 2018-2019 Horizon Bible Study, God's Promise, I Am With You, will be provided. We will also be collecting and dedicating the birthday offerings, recognizing Honorary Members, and installing Officers. Lunch is $8.00 and reservations should be made to the church office by Friday, April 27.

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER OBSERVANCE

The event is posted as a Facebook event on the Dearborn Area Interfaith Network Facebook page, and you can share from there if you wish.

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER: INTERFAITH PRAYERS
Thursday, May 3
3:30 - 4:00 p.m.
Dearborn Administrative Center
16901 Michigan Ave, Dearborn 48126

Prayers for our community, our neighbors, our state, our nation, and the world. Prayers for our fellow citizens, our leaders and elected officials, our first responders and public servants, and for all in need. Please join us as we join together in prayer.

This event is sponsored by the Dearborn Area Interfaith Network.

SPRING TEA MARKETPLACE

Can you help? Do you have a spare gift card to a restaurant or perhaps a frequently visited vendor or restaurant who might supply you with one? Do you have the talent for making handmade cards, sewn items, scarves, jewelry, soaps…anything that might attract a discerning buyer? Do you have classic art, glass, china or silver in your home which you no longer need? Do you subscribe to an arts group, theatre or museum and perhaps could donate a pair of tickets or passes to an event? If you do, we need you! The Presbyterian Women in Littlefield have been able to support many mission projects and deserving organizations by raising money in different ways over the years. One of the most successful means has been the Annual Spring Tea. The Tea has usually included a Silent Auction, this year we are trying to simplify and are changing the auction to a Marketplace. If you are able to donate any of the above (or other things) we would appreciate it.

The Tea is Saturday, May 12. The items to be sold at the Marketplace are needed by Saturday, May 5. If you have something to share, please bring it to the church or call to arrange pickup. We ask that you put a suggested value or price on each donated item.

With your help we will once again be able to give substantial amounts to the agencies who do such good work in our community and beyond.

God bless you and thank you!

PW MARY CIRCLE IS MAY 7

The Mary Circle is meeting May 7 at 7:30 p.m. If you have any questions or interest in this ladies group, please contact the church office.

PW SPRING TEA

It is almost here and you won't want to miss it! The Presbyterian Women in Littlefield are holding their annual fundraising Spring Tea on Saturday, May 12 at 2:00 p.m.

We welcome again Phyllis Barkey who has delved into the history of 'tea' and the culture around it. This year she brings us her program on PARASOLS, FANS, HANKIES AND GLOVES. Phyllis will take us back to a time when costume accessories such as these were fashionable. She will share their history and the occasions they were used.

We will also enjoy a delicious variety of teas, scones, finger sandwiches and homemade sweets! All of this will take place in the church lounge which will be transformed into an elegant Victorian Tearoom for a few hours. Complete with the piano music of Alonzo Luzod; servers to take good care of you; and fine linens and china.

When you are not partaking of your tea, you will be encouraged to peruse our Marketplace which will have a variety of items which, when sold, will also go to benefit the Mission Fund of our P.W.

Purchase your tickets very soon as we have limited seating! Tickets are $15.00 and can be purchased from the church office. Checks made payable to Littlefield Presbyterian Women.

HEALTHY WOMEN HEALTHY
FAMILIES MOTHER'S DAY
PROJECT 2018

The Healthy Women Healthy Families Mother's Day Project is a mission activity that Presbyterians have generously supported since 2001. The Mother's Day project has expanded beyond the four African countries that were originally supported to include a range of partners around the world. Your donations to Healthy Women Healthy Families through the Mother's Day Project will empower women and protect children by supporting vital programs and services such as prenatal care, primary education, food security initiatives and trauma healing.

Special Mother's Day cards will be available again this year in exchange for donations to the Healthy Women Healthy Families Mother's Day Project. Cards will be available at the PW Spring Tea on May 12 and in the library during Coffee Hour on April 15, 22, 29 and May 6, or by contacting the church office.

Mother's Day is Sunday, May 13.

MISSION & OUTREACH TEAM

Cereal for Summer
Runs: Sunday, May 13 – Sunday, June 10

Littlefield will be participating in the Presbytery of Detroit's third annual CEREAL FOR SUMMER campaign. While our Blessings in a Backpack program greatly helps children during the school year, 1 in 6 families in metro Detroit are still food insecure during the summer months.

The most appreciated food item for these families is a box of cereal. Last year this program provided breakfast for over 26,000 people. We can contribute to this great – and easy cause. During the drive period, please bring boxes of cereal to Littlefield. Any kind will be accepted, but ideally we'd like cereal with whole grains and those that are low in sugar and sodium. Then, as specified by the Presbytery, half of these collected boxes will go to the presbytery for distribution through their programs – and we will keep the other half to supply our own food pantry or another local meal program.

Thank you for your support to feed the hungry!

As Jesus said, “For I was hungry and you gave me [Cheerios]…” Matthew 25:35

PENTECOST SUNDAY, MAY 20

You are invited to wear red and orange to symbolize the coming of the Holy Spirit like tongues of fire.

NEWCOMER CONVERSATION

If you're a relative newcomer or anyone who isn't an official member of Littlefield, you are invited to join us for a simple lunch and conversation in the Littlefield Lounge. On Sunday, May 20, after worship, this conversation will include some newer people, the pastor, and a few other Littlefield folk. We'll start with a light lunch at 1:00 p.m. and plan to be done by no later than 3:00 p.m.

We look forward to conversation that helps people get better acquainted and learn from one another. People who have been members for a very long time need to hear new perspectives as we seek ways to welcome new people. We'll talk about worship and what kinds of learning, fellowship and service opportunities people are interested in. We'd also be happy to answer questions about why we do things in a particular way, what we believe, or any other questions you've been wanting to ask. Our leaders need feedback on how we're doing at being inviting and welcoming. We'd love to hear about where people are on their spiritual journeys and how they're experiencing Littlefield.

Nobody will twist your arm to try to get you to become an official, on the roll member of Littlefield. That's not the purpose of this meeting. However, we would be happy to talk further with anyone who would like to become an official member. We hope this time of listening and learning will be enjoyable for all who attend.

If you are interested in attending, please call the church office.

PENTECOST OFFERING

“O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.” Psalm 71:17

Our second, church wide, offering this year is the Pentecost Offering. This offering helps our youth begin life with a strong start- a solid foundation of faith formed in the first third of life, from childhood through young adulthood.

Each year on Pentecost Sunday, we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the church. This celebration is also marked by receiving the Pentecost Offering which is used to nurture the faith of children, youth, and young adults. Pentecost Sunday is May 20 this year.

Forty percent of this offering remains with our congregation to support ministries with children and youth in our church and local community. Twenty-five percent of this offering goes to the (YAV) Young Adult Volunteer experience which, for example, trains and equips volunteers to engage in mission work at more than 20 sites in the U.S. and around the world. Twenty-five percent supports ministries with youth, ages 12-18, and those called to accompany them. The final ten percent supports the “Educate a Child, Transform the World” national initiative, whose goal is to inspire Presbyterians to better the lives of one million children by 2020.

Since the Pentecost Offering started in 1998, Presbyterians have raised more than 14 million dollars for ministries that benefit younger members of God's family. We believe we are called to do even more-to support and care for young people as they build a strong foundation of faith.

EVANGELISM & MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE

The Engage! Book Group met on Wednesday, April 18, to discuss Octavia Butler's work of fiction entitled Kindred. In Kindred, the main character, a black woman named Dana, is transported back in time to an ante-bellum plantation in the South. We all agreed that Kindred very powerfully brought to life the atrocities and complexities of slavery in America. The author dramatically shows how our past touches our present and shapes our future.

The next Engage! Book Group meeting is Wednesday, June 13. We will discuss Bryan Stevenson's book, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. In this work, Stevenson sheds light on the injustice in our justice system and calls attention for the need for reform. Ted Conover wrote in a New York Times review: “The message of this book, hammered home by dramatic examples of one man's refusal to sit quietly and countenance horror, is that evil can be overcome, a difference can be made. 'Just Mercy' will make you upset and it will make you hopeful.” Before the discussion begins at 7:00 p.m. on June 13, we will gather at 6:15 p.m. for a pizza and salad dinner. We encourage all to come.

Even though it was a cold and rain drenched day, we had twenty-three people at our annual Cadieux Cafe Feather Bowling Event. As usual, we divided into four teams that bowled in two lanes. After bowling for two hours, a winner was declared. For some it was their first-time feather bowling. In fact, the first-place team had two bowlers who were feather bowling for the first time! As in the past we all had a great time.

We have scheduled a Newcomer Conversation for Sunday, May 20. More details on this event are found elsewhere in this newsletter.

We are finishing updating our Church directory. During the month of May, your deacon will give you the new 2018 Littlefield Directory. If you already have a directory, the new one will completely replace the sheets in the directory you currently have. In other words, you will replace all of the sheets in your current loose-leaf binder with the sheets that you will receive.

MEN'S STUDY GROUP

The Men's Group will meet one week early in May due to the holiday. They will meet on Monday, May 21, at 6:30 p.m. for dinner, followed by the study. The study is from the Being Reformed series, Faith Seeking Understanding, Session Six, “The Future for Presbyterians.” All men are invited to join the group. This will be the last meeting until September and a new study topic is started. Please contact the church office for more information.

MUSIC, TEACHER & WORSHIP LEADER RECOGNITION
SUNDAY, JUNE 10

We hope you will join us for worship and a special reception to celebrate our worship, education and music leaders. Help us say “Thank You” to these saints that share their gifts.

SAVE THE DATE: LITTLEFIELD MUSIC CONCERT

Our fifth annual fundraiser concert to benefit the Littlefield Presbyterian Church Music Program will be held in our sanctuary on Tuesday, June 19, at 7:00 p.m. The concert will feature the Littlefield Church vocal and instrumental musicians and our special guests, Renaissance Voices, directed by G. Kevin Dewey. A free-will offering will be taken and a reception will follow in the library. If you enjoy our Sunday morning worship service music, you will not want to miss this event. Invite your friends to join you for a wonderful evening of musical entertainment at Littlefield.

FAITH IN ACTION GRANT AWARDED TO LITTLEFIELD

In March, Littlefield sent a proposal to be considered for one of the many Faith in Action grants generously donated to the Presbytery to be used by congregations to put their faith in action in new ways. We have been notified that our proposal was accepted and we will be receiving a check for $1,000 to carry out our outreach project! This is truly a blessing – and especially so considering that 21 other local congregations had also submitted proposals on the first day they could be received. The Presbytery had said they'd make the grants available to the first 30. We made it!

Our grant will fund an event that will promote the (re)building of interfaith relationships with our own Muslim and Arab neighbors surrounding Littlefield. The demographics have changed and we don't know our neighbors like we used to. Our goal is to reach out to our changing community, listen to the needs that they have, and faithfully consider how we can serve them better in this new time.

To do this, Littlefield will host a Neighborhood Block Party & Concert on Saturday, July 14. Our own Littlefield Folk will be providing music and we'll be looking for a local Arabic musician or ensemble for an enriching musical exchange. We're hoping to talk to our neighbors about a potential outdoor community food pantry and other ways we can serve them. Peace Camp will be just a couple weeks away and it'll be a great opportunity to get the word out about that as well. Please save the date, plan to attend, and talk to me about how you can help! We'd appreciate assistance with planning, set-up, grilling and other tasks. If you want to be involved or have input, please contact the church office.

SAVE THE DATE: Sunday, August 12

Annual Worship in the Park & Church Picnic at Hemlock Park.

More details will follow closer to the event.

CHURCH WORLD SERVICE HYGIENE KITS

Thank you to everyone who packed Hygiene Kits for Church World Service. Fifty (50) kits were packed this year! CWS requests that $2 per kit be sent for shipping costs. If anyone would like to contribute to the shipping costs, please make a check out to Littlefield PW (or cash) and give it to Pat Lawson, our PW Treasurer. On the memo line please indicate “CWS Kits Shipping.” It's good to know that our efforts will make a difference for someone who receives our kits in a disaster or refugee situation.

PRESBYTERIAN HERITAGE

In May we celebrate Presbyterian Heritage. Did you know the name Presbyterian comes from the Greek term in the New Testament for elder, presbuteros, a term used 72 times in the New Testament?

Did you know that Presbyterians trace their history to the 16th century and the Protestant Reformation? Our heritage, and much of what we believe, began with the French lawyer John Calvin (1509-1564), whose writings crystallized much of the Reformed thinking that came before him. Calvin did much of his writing from Geneva, Switzerland. From there, the Reformed movement spread to other parts of Europe and the British Isles. Many of the early Presbyterians in America came from England, Scotland and Ireland. The first American Presbytery was organized at Philadelphia in 1706. The first General Assembly was held in the same city in 1789. The first Assembly was convened by the Rev. John Witherspoon, the only minister to sign the Declaration of Independence.

Presbyterian church government emphasizes that the leadership of the church is shared between those called to be ministers and church members called to be elders within the congregation — we use the terms Teaching Elder to refer to ministers and Ruling Elder to refer to church members called to be elders. This strong emphasis on Presbyterian church government is our heritage from Scottish Presbyterians.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is distinctly a confessional and a connectional church, distinguished by the representation of elders in its government. The church has a membership of 1.6 million in all 50 states and Puerto Rico with nearly 10 thousand congregations and worshiping communities.
   From Presbyterian Mission Website

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.