Message from the Pastor
– The Rev. Dr. James C. Butler

For the past twenty-five or so years, LPC has reserved one Sunday each year to worship outdoors at Lakewood Park. I’ve been around for eighteen of them. All but two took place under tranquil blue skies next to the massive blue waters of Lake Erie. One Sunday was just a slow rain. The other started out fine, and then a fierce storm blew in from the west as I was finishing up my sermon. After a quick benediction and amen, we all ran for cover inside the Woman’s Pavilion and enjoyed lunch while the rain poured.

Most of us enjoy this annual service and the always delicious potluck lunch inside the air-conditioned pavilion. But I hope everyone understands the extra work it requires, undertaken by a handful of people. A special speaker system has to be hauled out of storage, transported, and set up by our sound system team. It’s no easy task, so thanks guys! A speaker’s podium, offering baskets, bulletins, and sometimes musical instruments also have to find their way there. And then there is the lunch! Members of the Fellowship and Member Care Ministry oversee this part of the project. All sorts of picnic items, table service and serving supplies have to be boxed up and taken to the park. Oh, and then there is the clean-up afterwards.

So, please join me in thanking those generous LPC worker bees who will gladly do all this behind-the-scenes work so that the rest of us can simply enjoy a lovely Sunday morning service in the park. I will see you there, rain or shine!

Summer Bible Study
July 9, 16, 23 & 30 ~ 9:15am

The 2019 Adult Bible Study for men and women at LPC this summer is “Love Carved in Stone” from the 2019–2020 Horizons Bible Study. The study takes a fresh look at the Ten Commandments and offers surprising perspectives. The group will meet on Tuesdays July 9, 16, 23 and 30 in the Reed Room. Gathering time begins at 9:15 a.m. with the study finishing by 11:30 a.m. Joyce Olson and Mary Ann Redifer will facilitate the study.

Call the church office (216-226-0514) to register for the class. Child care will be available by reservation only. Please let Aliyah Kennedy know of your need for child care by the end of Sunday worship before each Tuesday meeting.

Sing with the Summer Choir
July 14 & August 11

During the summer, LPC’s regular Chancel Choir is on vacation, and instead we have a monthly “pick-up” Summer Choir. This is a great time to try out choral singing if you’ve never done it before, or for people with busy schedules, to join in a one-rehearsal piece. The music is always accessible to newer singers, and less experienced singers can sit next to Chancel Choir members to have someone to follow. The group meets for a relaxed rehearsal at 9 a.m. and sits in the front pews during the service. Mark your calendars for the next Summer Choir dates, and come have fun singing with us!

Worship in the Park
July 21 ~ 10am

View of Lake Erie

One of our cherished traditions here at LPC is the annual outdoor worship service at Lakewood Park (Lake Avenue at Belle). The tradition began back in the late 1990s. On Sunday, July 21 at 10 a.m., we will gather under the giant oak trees behind the Woman’s Pavilion. Limited bench seating is available, so plan to bring a chair or a blanket. The congregation faces north looking out over Lake Erie. The abbreviated service will include prayer, scripture, children’s message and sermon in addition to familiar hymns.

Immediately following the service, we will enjoy a potluck brunch/ luncheon in the pavilion. Please bring a potluck dish that will serve 8 – 10. Dishes can be dropped off at the pavilion prior to the service. Please let us know if the dish needs to be refrigerated or kept warm. Beverages, plates and paper products will be provided.

In case of rain or extreme heat, we will worship inside the pavilion.

Yes, There ARE Christian Presbyterian Pastors in Iraq!
July 30 ~ 7pm

On Tuesday, July 30 at 7 pm in the Reed Room, all are invited to hear the Rev. Amgad Samir, pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Basra, Iraq. He will be introduced by his close friend who worked with him in Egypt, LPC Parish Associate Rev. Dr. Steve Gorman. Amgad is an Egyptian missionary to Iraq; his wife, Mary, and two young children, Joyce and Jon, accompanied him. His English is excellent. He will share his experience in this volatile part of the world on the southernmost border of Iraq tucked between Kuwait and Iran. This event is free and open to all. Dessert will be served. His speaking is sponsored by LPC’s Mission, Outreach and Justice Ministry.

Help Students Succeed in School
Drop-off dates: July 28, August 4 & 11

Lakewood Presbyterian will again participate in the Supplies for Success drive, which provides school supplies for lower income children in grades K-12 in all Lakewood public schools. Guidance counselors assigned to each school work to provide children with what they need to succeed throughout the school year.

Image of school supplies

This year the focus is on collecting these items:

  • 3-ring binders
  • Pencil box/pouch
  • Folders (pocket/3-prong)
  • Notebooks
  • Pens/pencils
  • Tape/glue sticks
  • Post-it Notes/index cards
  • Colored pencils
  • Dry-erase markers

However, any general school supplies will be collected. Please provide new or very gently used items. Collection will take place in the Atrium on July 28, August 4 and August 11.

Community Meal Program Needs Volunteers

The Community Meal Committee is updating their list of volunteers who could help with LPC’s Community Meal held on the last Sunday of each month. You would be contacted several weeks in advance to see if you are available for the following:

  • 9:00 a.m. – Help prepare a meal once every three months.
  • 11:30 a.m. – Serve beverages tableside and serve meal cafeteria style at noon.
  • 12:45 p.m. – Clean up tables and kitchen as needed. Also, strong people are needed to stack tables and chairs.
  • Other opportunities:
    • Back-up dishwasher if Scott is unavailable.
    • Order food online from Cleveland Food Bank.
    • Be the LPC contact person for the Food Bank and send monthly statistics reports.

If you would like to help with any of these tasks, or would like more information, please contact:

  • Kay Jones in the church office every Wednesday morning.
  • Contact Sandy Shaw.
  • Leave a message on the church answering machine.

LPC: A Vital Member Congregation of the Presbytery of the Western Reserve

One of the reasons there was a Protestant Reformation of the medieval Holy Roman Church was the abuse of power and privilege among clergy and church leaders. Power and authority were often vested in one person, whether in a local parish congregation (priest), a regional body of churches (bishop/diocese), or at the global head of the church (Pope/Vatican). Protestant leaders (often disaffected priests and theological scholars like Martin Luther and John Calvin) envisioned a new Christian church in which power and leadership was shared by clergy and laity within relationships of accountability — every person or governing body was accountable to a higher governing body; no one person or group would be independent or autonomous and thus, less likely to abuse power.

The Reformers’ vision of more egalitarian church leadership was based on the Apostle Paul’s theology in his First Letter to the Corinthians in which groups of Christian believers are the new, physical body of the Risen Christ, continuing his ministry in the world. For the Protestants who were eager to restore the authority of the church’s scripture, church governing and leadership structures had to be drastically reformed so that they reflected the teachings of Jesus and the apostles.

This is why our congregation is led and governed by a “Session” of clergy and 15 lay people ordained as “ruling elders,” and the reason LPC is an active member of a regional body of 38 Presbyterian congregations called the Presbytery of the Western Reserve. Presbyterian pastors have very limited power and are called to lead a congregation in collaborative and collegial relationships with elected lay members installed on the Session. The pastor is accountable to the Session and to the local Presbytery of which s/he is a member.

So, the function of a Presbytery is to be a structure providing oversight and accountability for member congregations and ministers within a geographic region. Ministers (pastors, chaplains, presbytery leaders, teacher-scholars and those in “validated ministries”) are members of a Presbytery, not a local congregation. Like the local Session, regional Presbyteries are led by ministers and ruling elders from among the congregations. In fact, ordination vows for ministers and ruling elders include a promise to serve in “the higher councils of the church” such as the regional Presbytery. Presbyteries have the following responsibilities: oversee the calling and dissolution of relationships between congregations and pastors; guide and support people discerning calls to Ministry of Word and Sacrament; provide oversight of purchase/sale and financial encumberment of church properties; support collaborative ministry among the member congregations; oversee ecclesiastical disputes within congregations and hear cases involving alleged misconduct among ministers and ruling elders; commission ministers and elders to represent the Presbytery at the Synod and the General Assembly and to serve on committees and commissions.

Our Presbytery fulfills its ministry responsibilities through funding received from “Per Capita” payments from congregations based on membership, and also from voluntary mission support pledges given by most local congregations. LPC currently provides approximately $20,000 each year via Per Capita apportionment payments and a mission support pledge given to the Presbytery, Synod and General Assembly. The Presbytery of the Western Reserve has a small staff including a General Presbyter, Rev. Sharon Core; a Stated Clerk, Judy Mitchell; Hunger Action Advocate, LPC member Laura VanDale; and an Office Administrator, Josh Daum. The responsibilities listed above and others not listed are overseen by nine standing committees served by equal numbers of ministers and ruling elders from the 38 member churches. LPC is home to several people who have been called into leadership in our Presbytery. LPC Pastor Jim Butler has just been elected as Moderator of the Committee on Ministry (COM), which oversees pastoral relationships with ministers and congregations. Rev. Arvid Whitmore, one of our many retired ministers involved at LPC, is also a member of the COM. Kathy Sands serves on the Committee on Preparation for Ministry, which guides and supports seminarians and those who are discerning a call to ministry. Rev. Jody Lefort, also retired, and Will Limkemann are members of the Permanent Judicial Commission, which hears accusations of misconduct and conducts subsequent trials. Sharol Cremeans is a Past Moderator of the Presbytery and is currently involved in the newly formed Homeless Ministry Network. Parish Associate Rev. Steve Gorman serves on the Committee on Leadership and Parish Associate Rev. Cinda Gorman serves on the Committee on Outreach and the Homeless Ministry Network. Sheryl Buckley is currently offering her skills to the Committee on Church Vitality and serves on an Administrative Commission assisting one of our member congregations. Claudia Meyke is part of the Presbyterian Women leadership team.

Flag Collection & Retirement

June 14 is Flag Day, an anniversary celebration of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the official U.S. flag in 1777. As you prepare to display your flag this summer, please evaluate its condition and suitability for display. The United States Flag Code states: “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”

The LPC Boy Scouts of America Troop 115 and Cub Scout Pack 115 would be happy to honor your flags needing retirement and disposal. A collection box will be available in Lawther Hall where you can place your retiring flags throughout the year. The scouts will take the collected flags on their campouts and dispose of them by fire in a fitting ceremony. Please contact Rebecca Shaw if you have any questions.