The Olive Branch MAY 2013

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1 The Olive Branch MAY 2013 Olive Branch Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Richard D. Cline, minister Pat Dressler, secretary Web Address: (office) Office Address: Happy Birthday, Ruby! I have shaken the hands of two centenarians in my life. One was Mr. Fouke who lived up the road from my parent s home in Pfafftown, N.C. He was a retired farmer, lived by himself, and walked a mile a day. My father as a teenager had worked for him during the summer. The second was Almer Atwood, a friend of Olive Branch Church who attends when he is able. He was in church just after his 100 th birthday, and as part of the children s sermon shook the hand of every young boy and girl. And come May 1 st, I will be able to give a big hug to a third person: our own Ruby Jones! Ruby is such an inspiration to me. She always has a smile, she is gracious and kind, she springs up the steps of the sanctuary building without using the handrail, she raised three wonderful daughters: Barbara, Judy, and Connie, and she always seems to have about her that inner peace that comes from trusting in the Lord. I don t know if all these things contributed to her long life. But I do believe that a person who trusts in the Lord has a different way of looking and reacting to life events. I think it is said best in Psalm 27:1: The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? So all this raises the question: what gift do you give to a person who reaches 100? Apparently it depends on the country in which you live. Here in the United States you can receive a card from the president and have your name read on The Today Show. In the U.K., the queen will send you a card. In Japan, you receive a silver cup and a certificate from the Prime Minister. But in Ireland, the government gives you a gift of 2,540 euros called the Centenarians Bonus, which at this time is worth $3, I like that gift! Perhaps it is a reward for having to hear Danny Boy, sang countless times! Sorry, Ruby; you will not be getting a bonus from your Olive Branch family. But you will get a party in your honor, this Sunday, May 5 th, after the 11:00 worship. And I hope all of your church family will turn out to celebrate with you. So Happy Birthday! And may the Lord bless you with many more! Memorial Day, May 27, 2013 Blessings, Richard

2 May 5 May 12 May 19 May 26 May 5 May 12 SERVING IN MAY Elders Jim Thacker, Kim Riffle Norm Harbour, Missy Harbour Sheila Yeatts, Doug Dill Bob Schmidt, Donna Perger Deacons Cleve Wright, Michelle Wright Roy Sullivan, Ellen Sullivan Lewis Williams, Carole Kerr Dawn Gormus, Sean Gormus Please note: Our Prayer List for Family and Friends is being restarted. If you have someone you wish to include and/or relist, please contact the church office: HOMEBOUND Tommy Hoar, Audrey White Church Family: Pat Allred, Jimmy Allred & family, Betty Barber, Judy Biggs, Duie Brantley, Tracy Creech, Maddy Elam, Judy Eley, Janice Floyd, Steve Garrett, Sean Gormus, Jesse Hall, Lucy Hall, Pastor Bill Howard, Lena Jeffries, Cheryl Johnson, Bruce Kerr, Joann Mitchell, Murray & Paulette Moyce, Helen Pruitt, Norma Senediak, Chuck Sheppard, Norma Stockton, Russell & Sarah Waid, and Robert Wilkins. May 19 May 26 V al Mason, Emily Friend Danny Pitts, Elna Pitta Denise Cooper, Barbara Schmidt Abby Matschke, Arnold Cooper Acolytes May 5 8:30/11:00 Zach Cooper, Todd Meadows May 12 8:30/11:00 Lauren Ries, Patrick Gormus May 19 8:30/11:00 Bryant Walker, Emily Lang May 26 8:30/11:00 Maggie Sheppard, Sam Lang Family and Friends: The women and men of our Armed Forces, Newborn Baby Aidan, Cathy Blackwell (friend of Dawn Gormus), Karen Disse (David & Carole Pitts daughter), Freddie Hughes, William Tommy McMichael, Betty Mae Nixon (Phyllis Taylor s sister), William Phares, Jr. (Debbie Johns son), Kathleen Schumann (Jeanne Bell's mother), and Eddie Williams (friend of Cleve Wright). (Underlined bold print indicates new person on the Prayer List.) NOTE: To add or remove a person s name from the Prayer List, please contact the church office: A current Prayer List is posted on the Bulletin Board in the Educational Building. Please feel free to add someone who needs prayer. A new list will be posted as persons are added/deleted. Be sure to notify the church office if someone can be removed from the list. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Deaconess Connie Cason May 5 May 12 May 19 May 26 Kid s Club Jessica Morse Tonya Meadows Marney Brickhouse Tracey Hutton The following families joined our Olive Branch Family in April 2013: Sunday, April 1: Sunday, April 21: Rich and Christina Jones Freddie & Clemmie Williams

3 Thank you for being a Blessing to those Facing Hard Choices! T his is my first time having to rely on a food pantry. I have been cleaning houses but barely made $500 last month. I am normally a book-keeper. I cannot find work and have been out of work since last October. A long-time ago I took a friend to this food pantry and that is how I knew about it. My son works but he is a full-time student so he can t really contribute. I am excited about the bread. I haven t had bread in weeks. I get shampoo from fast food restaurants by squirting what hand soap I can into a cup. I get napkins from fast food places to use as tissue. I am washing dishes with just water now. I am an educated woman. I don t do drugs. I am finding myself in a weird spot. These are tough times. Olive Branch s regular donations to the food pantry have made a difference in the quality of life for over 100 families a month, right here in Williamsburg. Our donations have doubled over the last year. Thank you for your continued support. Let s see if we can double our contributions again this year! Devon and Beth Nease Sunday, May 5 th, after the 11:00 a.m. worship service Celebration for Ruby Jones 100 th Birthday Saturday, May 11 th, at 2:00 p.m. CWF All Daughter s Tea in the New Fellowship Hall Sunday, May 12 th Mother s Day and Blanket Sunday Monday, May 27 th Memorial Day (Office Closed) Please make these directory: changes to your church JONES, Rich & Christina: change address to read: Toano, VA Please ADD the following to your church directory: WILLIAMS, Freddie & Clemmie Poplar Trail Gloucester, VA Phone: (804)

4 Christian Women s Fellowship ALL DAUGHTER S AFTERNOON TEA SATURDAY MAY 11TH AT 2:00 PM IN THE NEW FELLOWSHIP HALL Tuesday Morning Circle: Tuesday Circle met at Interlude April 16 th ; glad to have nine ladies and three of our honorary members in attendance. Missed those who were unable to be there. The food was plentiful and oh so good. I know all got much from Elaine s study, thanks Elaine. Ladies be on the lookout for information on our All Daughters Tea, coming up May 11 th. Our next meeting will be will be May 14th. Hope to see you there. Donna Haulsee Join us for a COLORFUL afternoon of fun and festivities. Please dress in your favorite COLOR and if you wish, bring a Bible verse which compliments your COLOR. We will put the verses in a basket and see if anyone can guess who matches them. We are planning some "COLORFUL" entertainment including songs and poems from our talented youth. Tea Bag Bingo and "T" Word Game should provide some "COLORFUL" prizes. A panorama of "COLORFUL" desserts including "RED" Strawberries and Cream, "BLUE" Blueberry Muffins, "GREEN" Key-Lime Tarts, "YELLOW" Lemon Squares, "ORANGE" Peach Cobbler, and CHOCOLATE Surprise should tickle your taste buds. We will be giving our "DAUGHTER OF GOD" award to a most deserving candidate. Can t say who as it would spoil the surprise. Please let us know if you plan to attend and any guests that you may be bringing so we can make a special place card as a memory to take home with you of this very "COLORFUL" and "SPECIAL" day. God's love is a mountain It is soaring and majestic It is solid, yet bursting with life It is for all of us. Even for those who don't marvel at it It waits...patiently...for us to explore and ascend It has been here for thousands of years and will be for thousands to come Like a rock God s love is strong Like a fern God s love flourishes even in the shadows Like a fawn God's love is gentle and beautiful Like a mountain stream God's love always finds a way; over, around or through any obstacle Oh, to ascend Experience the mountaintop Feel the power Through God s creation I am gifted with purpose and I am loved Oh, to shout God s praises from the mountaintop And declare love to the world Beth Nease 30 April 2013

5 Christian Women s Fellowship NEWS FROM CWF: On April 13 th, six ladies and one young lady from OBCC attended SPA Days (Spirit/Prayer/Action) at Slash Christian Church. We journeyed through the Bible, reflected, and prayed. When Maggie Shepherd read a verse, it was a beautiful moment for all of us, and I am sure her Grandma in heaven, Nancy Bradshaw, was smiling down upon her. Just as a side note about our day, we saw a picture of Richard, who was the pastor there in the 80s, and he was almost as good looking then as he is now. We are really excited about our up and coming Mother/Daughter Tea on May 13 th at 2:00 p.m. A copy of the invitation is in the newsletter, and also has been included in the Sunday Bulletins. We hope all will plan to attend, as it will be a colorful and special occasion. Each day is a blessing. Share those blessings with another and you will be twice blessed. Marney Brickhouse CWF President Virginia Disciples Women, SPA Day at Slash Christian Church Left to right: Barb Schmidt, Marney Brickhouse, Shirley Harrison, Maggie Sheppard, Donna Webster (Regional Minister of Disciples Women), Margie Hodson, Nancy Sheppard and Irma Gustafson.

6 Update from the Program Planning Team Advocates The Necessity of Evangelism The Olive Branch needs a touch of love and kindness. Let's make this world a better place, if we can. Go ahead, "Reach out and touch somebody s hand..." I love you, in Jesus' name, Louise Smith PPT Evangelism Advocate As I write this, it seems we are being bombarded on every side with bad news within our country and throughout the world. There was the mass destruction at the Boston Marathon where life and limbs were lost and bodies mutilated by someone else's hatred. In West, TX lives were lost, some of them while responding to a fire, for the good of their fellow citizens. We wring our hands with the question after "why?" of "What can I do?" And a thought came to my mind in the form of a song by Diana Ross back in 1970 called, "Reach Out and Touch Somebody's Hand". These are some of the words: "Just try, take a little time out of your busy day, To give encouragement to someone who's lost the way. Just try, or would I be talking to a stone if I asked you To share a problem that's not your own, oh no, We can change things if we start giving... Why don't you reach out and touch somebody's hand, Make this world a better place, if you can." Isn't that what Jesus instructed us to do? To give a cup of water, to visit the sick and those in prison, to feed His sheep both physically and spiritually. If we in the church don't "reach out and touch", who will? God gave us His Holy Spirit at Pentecost that we might be empowered to do the work He calls us to do. I am grateful to the "Care Givers" who have come forward to offer their hand of love and friendship to our shut-ins. I am grateful to all our teachers who feed our spirits that we would grow in our relationship to the Living God as He revealed Himself to us through His son, Jesus the Christ. I am grateful to our Elders who help Richard in caring for the flock. And I am grateful for Richard who is not only our spiritual leader but also our faithful friend. We are indeed a blessed body of believers. Let us share from our abundance with a world that Easter Offering WOW!!! Thank you for generously supporting the Easter Offering by either participating in the 30 Pieces of Silver as a part of your spiritual walk through the Lenten Season or placing your gifts in the envelopes in the pews. Giving through 30 Pieces of Silver was $1,537 and giving from the envelopes was $1,045 for a total of $2,582. The generosity of the Olive Branch Family is truly inspirational. Thank you!!! Pentecost Offering May 19 and May 26 Our Disciples family is growing! Your Church is growing! When Dick Hamm, former general minister and president of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), introduced the 2020 Vision in 2001, he challenged the Christian Church to look like the face of America. He also set forth a challenge to start 1,000 new Disciples congregations by No one could imagine then where God would take us. Today, Disciples have started 800 new communities of faith and counting! More than 50,000 new lives have been brought to Christ, and 18 languages are spoken at Disciples churches. Now, that s good news worth celebrating! New Disciples churches are being planted and new mission fields are being created throughout the United States and Canada. On May 19 and May 26, 2013, Olive Branch will collect the Pentecost Offering to fund the new church movement. We need your support. This offering is creating opportunities to share the

7 Gospel of Jesus Christ in places that don t have a Disciples witness. When you give to the Pentecost Offering, one half of your gift stays in the Region where you live and one half goes to Hope Partnership for Missional Transformation to support the recruitment, assessment, training and coaching of new church pastors, spouses and core team members. Carolyn Hunt PPT Outreach Advocate May 5 May 12 May 19 May 26 Caleb & Marney Brickhouse Phyllis Taylor Connie Cason The Cooper Family The 2013 Flower Chart is posted on the Narthex Bulletin Board. If you wish to donate flowers for the Sanctuary sign up by the appropriate week (PLEASE PRINT). You are asked to bring your flowers and place them on the floor in front of the communion table by 8:00 a.m. on your Sunday. Notes from the Wild Side April was a great month. We participated in two fund raisers. We did yard work for a family that comes to VBS. And we hosted Godspell. My kids are awesome. We did both events on the same day. Thank you to everyone that helped provide refreshments. The teens had to do interviews with some of the members of our church. We will meet 5/5, 5/19, 6/2, and 6/30. CHECK OUT OUR FACEBOOK SITE!! Abby Matschke and Courtney Holt MAY BIRTHDAYS 1 Ruby Jones 3 Connie Cason 7 Ginny Hammack 8 Donna Haulsee 10 Michael Heslink 14 Susan Pruitt 16 Duie Brantley 17 Vicki Anderson 23 Katherine Jones 24 Elizabeth Poland Richard Thiel 25 Kim Canny 29 Randy Houchens 30 Kim Trexler Meredith Trexler NOTE: If your birthday is not listed, and you would like it included, please contact the church office.

8 West Virginia Project What s happening with the Almost Heaven Connection? There have been many changes since we last loaded the truck, but all is well and the mission continues. Due to a major windfall, Bluefield Union Mission was well-supplied for winter and does not need our help for a while. We probably will be hearing from them soon about the resumption of our services. In the meantime, local needs have increased sharply. We are supplying a carload a month to Fair Oaks Church, located between Sandston and Highland Springs. Several carloads have been donated to homeless shelters in the Newport News area. In Virginia Beach a family of 5 was found living on the front porch of a vacation home. We sent a carload of blankets, sheets, and coats to the church that was helping them. We also had the opportunity to help fill the 48 foot Gunnoe s Sausage truck both times it carried relief supplies to Hurricane Sandy Victims. We are hoping to have a give-away for the seniors at Burnt Ordinary soon. The garage is not full by any means and there is some room for donations. Thrift for Life, the Massey Cancer Center thrift store, continues to make their weekly carload donation and several churches already have or are scheduled to donate the gleanings from their yard sales. Two schools will donate their Lost & Found collection in early June. What kinds of things are needed? We have been asked NOT to send ladies high heels, toys that require batteries, and electrical items. It is spring cleaning time for most of us. If you have things you would like to donate, please call me at (804) or bring the it ems to church. They can be placed in the pre-school Sunday School room (next door to Pastor Richard s Office). Thank you so much for your support! Emily Friend Gently used clothing and shoes especially kid s shoes. Sheets, blankets, towels Dishes & pans nothing needs to match Baby items Small furniture School supplies and backpacks Men s work socks Gloves any king Coat s & hoodies Gently used toys

9 Vacation Bible School is NEXT MONTH! NEW DATES!!! June 24th-28th, 5:30-8pm This summer we are going to take our children on a global celebration with the look and feel of a world s fair. Children will make friends with neighbors around the world, including Japan and Australia, and discover that God s love can be found everywhere, including their own neighborhoods. Children will be introduced to special places from all over the world and discover that we are all children of God. KIDS, be sure to ask your parents or grandparents to help you get registered through our OBCC website: (and we will have options to handle offline registrations, too). Look for registration forms in the Narthex and Education Building. For the PRE-TEENS AND TEENS, there will be a class for you again this year as well. We will not be organizing an adult class this year so as to keep our focus on YEAR OF THE YOUTH. And adults: we need your help with tasks from decorating to meals, to leading Bible lessons (we have the curriculum) to helping send cards to our VBS participants. Volunteers are encouraged to contact Jessica Morse or Christy Jensen, VBS Coordinators, for more information. We appreciate your prayers and support! Jessica: Christy:

10 The Olive Branch Hey, Kids!! This is YOUR page in The Olive Branch, and will be included in each newsletter. "Seeing Is Believing! SCRIPTURE: Then Jesus told him (Thomas), "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. John 20:29 Do you find it easy to believe what someone tells you, even if what they tell you seems impossible? Sometimes we must see something before we believe it, don't we? On the evening of the first Sunday after Jesus had been crucified, his disciples were together in a locked room. They were afraid that those who had crucified Jesus would also want to put them to death. Suddenly, Jesus appeared there in the locked room with the disciples. It was hard to believe, but they saw him and Jesus showed them his wounds in his hands and his side, so they knew it was him. One of the disciples, whose name was Thomas, was not with the others when Jesus came to them. When they told Thomas that they had seen Jesus, he did not believe them. He had seen him crucified and buried; how could he be alive? Thomas said, "Unless I see the wound in his side and put my finger in the holes where the nails were in his hands, I will not believe it!" A week later, the disciples were in the locked room again and this time Thomas was with them. Again, Jesus came and stood among the disciples. Jesus, said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." Thomas fell on his knees and answered Jesus, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. "You and I have never seen Jesus with our own eyes. The question is, will we be a doubter, or will we be one of those who Jesus said were blessed because they believe, even though they have not seen? We, like Thomas, sometimes have to see to believe LET S PRAY: Dear Father, help us to believe in our heart the truths we find in your Holy Word, even though we have not seen them with our eyes. Amen. Can you find this story in the Bible? Luke 24:36-40 John 20:19-29

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14 Non-Profit Organization U. S. Postage PAID Norge, VA Permit No. 2 The Olive Branch published by Olive Branch Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) 7643 Richmond Road Williamsburg, VA (757) *Note: If you no longer wish to receive our newsletter, please contact the church office.