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Fallen Heroes from Elevating Entertainment on Vimeo.

"Look Into The Face of A Fallen Hero" Executive Producer: Keith Crews, Directed by Dave Moody, Performed by Donnie Denny and Autumn Letendre, Song written by Keith Crews, Fallen Hero portraits by artist Michael G. Reagan.


Combat PTSD: What are the Symptoms?

If you're a returning combat veteran having some difficulty readjusting to civilian life, you may be wondering what's going on. Why am I angry all the time? Why am I feeling detached?

If this sounds like you, you may want to review the following list of some of the general symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Click on 'Article Link' below tags for more...

The following is a composite of PTSD symptom descriptions culled from the Journal of Clinical Psychology Expert Clinical Guidelines Series; the always informative National Center for PTSD website; and the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia.

What You Need to Know

  • Traumas happen to many competent, healthy, strong, good people. No one can completely protect him- or herself from traumatic experiences.
  • Many people have long-lasting problems following exposure to trauma. Up to 8% of individuals will have PTSD at some time in their lives.
  • People who react to traumas are not going crazy. They are experiencing symptoms and problems that are connected with having been in a traumatic situation.
  • Having symptoms after a traumatic event is not a sign of personal weakness. Many psychologically well-adjusted and physically healthy people develop PTSD. Probably everyone would develop PTSD if they were exposed to a severe enough trauma.
  • When a person understands trauma symptoms better, he or she can become less fearful of them and better able to manage them.
  • By recognizing the effects of trauma and knowing more about symptoms, a person is better able to decide about getting treatment.

PTSD Symptoms/Signs

So, let's take a look at the symptoms or signs of combat-related PTSD. They generally fall into 3 main categories:

Intrusive - Re-experiencing of the traumatic event(s)

  • Distressing recollections
  • Flashbacks (feeling as if you're back in combat while awake)
  • Nightmares (frequent recurrent combat images while asleep)
  • Feeling anxious or fearful (as if you're back in the combat zone again)
Because trauma survivors have these upsetting feelings when they feel stress or are reminded of their trauma, they often act as if they are in danger again. They might get overly concerned about staying safe in situations that are not truly dangerous. For example, a person living in a safe neighborhood might still feel that he has to have an alarm system, double locks on the door, a locked fence, and a guard dog. Because traumatized people often feel like they are in danger even when they are not, they may be overly aggressive and lash out to protect themselves when there is no need. For example, a person who was attacked might be quick to yell at or hit someone who seems to be threatening.

Re-experiencing symptoms are a sign that the body and mind are actively struggling to cope with the traumatic experience. These symptoms are automatic, learned responses to trauma reminders. The trauma has become associated with many things so that when the person experiences these things, he or she is reminded of the trauma and feels that he or she is in danger again. It is also possible that re-experiencing symptoms are actually a part of the mind's attempt to make sense of what has happened.

Avoidant - Drawing inward or becoming emotionally numb

  • Extensive and active avoidance of activities, places, thoughts, feelings, memories, people, or conversations related to or that remind you of your combat experiences
  • Loss of interest
  • Feeling detached from others (finding it hard to have loving feelings or experiencing any strong emotions)
  • Feeling disconnected from the world around you and things that happen to you
  • Restricting your emotions
  • Trouble remembering important parts of what happened during the trauma
  • Shutting down (feeling emotionally and/or physically numb)
  • Things around you seem strange or unreal
  • Feeling strange and/or experiencing weird physical sensations
  • Not feeling pain or other sensations
Because thinking about the trauma and feeling as if you are in danger is upsetting, people who have been through traumas often try to avoid reminders of the trauma. Sometimes survivors are aware that they are avoiding reminders, but other times survivors do not realize that their behavior is motivated by the need to avoid reminders of the trauma.

Trying to avoid thinking about the trauma and avoiding treatment for trauma-related problems may keep a person from feeling upset in the short term, but avoiding treatment means that in the long term, trauma symptoms will persist.

Hyperarousal - Increased physical or emotional arousal

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability or outbursts of anger
  • Difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly
  • An exaggerated startle response (triggers bring you back to a certain combat zone event)
  • Hypervigilence, being overly angry or aggressive (feeling as if you need to defend yourself from danger)
  • Panic attacks
Triggers can include any of the following:

  • Specific scenes - crowded streets, sunsets, sunrises, familiar clothing
  • Movement - someone rushing towards the individual
  • TV - even if the story is unreal, the subject or the environment may cause thoughts which act as a trigger
  • Sound - helicopters, songs, unexpected loud noises
  • Smell - jungle or bush, rain, smoke, blood, cordite or explosives
  • Reading - or discussion about subjects of trauma
  • Touch - gun metal, webbing, blood
  • Situational - being crowded, walking across open spaces, feeling vulnerable or not in control

Just Remember

Although you may be overwhelmed by your symptoms, you do have many resources available to you. Please make use of them. If you need immediate help,
please get it. If you'd like to talk to someone about what you're going through, there are a lot of people and organizations you can turn to you may not be aware of. If you'd like to learn more, there are a wide variety of PTSD resources waiting to be explored by you.

And if you're seeking professional help, you've a lot of
options to help you find relief and resolution to your PTSD.

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ARTICLE FROM:  Combat PTSD: Winning The War Within





NOTE: Please indicate clearly which question(s) is/are being responded to.




1. Mt. St. Joseph Academy West Hartford, CT HS Diploma 1965

2. Northwestern CT Winsted, CT AS 1984

Community College Human Services

3. Charter Oak College Hartford, CT BS 1987


4. The Consultation Center New Haven, CT Training in 1984

Of the CT Mental Health counseling

Center and Dept. of interventions

Psychiatry -- Yale in sexual

University School of assault


5. Susan B. Anthony Torrington, CT Training in 1984

Project for Women violence; crisis




6. Northwestern CT Winsted, CT Study of Sign 1987

Community College language and to

Deafness 1989

7. Tantur Institute Jerusalem, Israel Study program 1990

in/on the Holy

Land & faiths

8. UCC - Litchfield Goshen, CT Completion of 1995

North Association Studies for

M.Div. Equ.

9. Hartford Seminary West Hartford, CT MA 1996

Religious Studies

10. Hartford Seminary West Hartford, CT Certificate 1996

Black Ministries



Rev. Lin McGee Date: 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 11)



EDUCATION (continued)

11. Hospice Foundation Teleconference Living With 1999

Of America Pittsfield, MA Grief: At Work,

At School,

At Worship


Awarded: A one year subscription to eInterpretation: A Journal of Bible and

Theologyf; given by William P. Brown and John T. Caroll,

Co-editors of the publication; gbased upon a recommendation from

the faculty of Hartford Seminaryh; award given yearly to three

outstanding students of Bible and theology at the seminary.

Member: American Association of Christian Counselors; member in good

standing for the year 2001-2002; presently studying through this

group a course called eExtradinary Womenf.




I am the mother of eleven children (nine natural children and two which were adopted at 16 years of age); I am the grandmother of nineteen little ones (and some not so little any more!); and when I married my husband a year and a half ago I was also blessed with his three children, his two step-children, and his twelve grandchildren. I am sure that my husband will be listing the erequiredf names and dates for his children on his profile, so I will list my children before my marriage to him (girls and years of birth - boys and years of birth -- as the profile asks). Neither of us have any edependant children living at homef.



JamesPeter Michael 12/18/67 Ellen Jean 07/04/65

Michael Edward 12/02/68 Santina Cara 08/17/69

Andrew Norman-Michael 08/24/70 Heather Elizabeth 10/01/72

Daniel William 06/17/76 Shannon Mary-Colleen 10/04/73

Thomas Chad 12/13/78 Kimberly-Lin Rebecca 10/16/84

Patrick Edward-Gregory 09/22/80


Rev. Lin McGee Date: 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 12)






On a separate sheet of paper, please write a statement about your understanding of ministry and your personal ministerial style.

Ministry is anything I can do to serve the Lord my God in relationship to others that He places on earth with me. Ministry is worship, hand holding during death or crisis, building homes for those in poverty, talking when someone is lonely. The touch of God comes through us, as we reach out to let others know that God is with them in a very real way.

For me, my ministry deals with reality. I am in ministry wherever I go, and with whomever I am helping. My ministerial style is to ebe withf, to etalk withf, to elearn withf, to eworship withf those God has placed me amongst. The church is a great place for ministry, but then again, so is Godfs wide, wonderful world!



On a separate sheet of paper, please state your long and short-term professional goals.

My long term and short term professional goals are the same: to bring people to Jesus Christ and teach them of His wonderful, never ending, saving love.

To be more specific, I originally had hoped to work in the field of eprofessional ministryf through a church or an institution at which I could serve others through faith. I felt a strong call from God to be eout theref - ein the fieldf - helping, giving hope, bringing people through difficult times, and setting an example of what faith can bring us to and through. (Or should I say eWHOf faith can bring us to -- and then through!) I trained specifically in the fields of youth, disabilities, crisis intervention, advocacy, networking, health, music, elderly issues, and abuse. The programs I was putting together as Director of Special Ministries at the First Church in Winsted reflected this. I enjoyed the wonderful music programs there and tried to participate in them and help the youth to participate in them too. I also tried to include the youth during worship time. And, I attempted to create an atmosphere of awareness within the church concerning the needs of youth, of those who face difficulties and hardships, and of those in need of special care in ministries and in life. I tried to teach about, be inclusive of, and

Rev. Lin McGee Date: 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 13)




provide programs and facilities for people who faced difficulties that stemmed from physical, mental, emotional, social, age related, financial,

family, and/or spiritual problems. Understanding and care are the first steps in helping people reach the potential they have within them; and, I might add, helping others in this way also allows those helping to reach the potential they have inside of them too.

I enjoyed this ministry at the First Church and was quite content with continuing to develop it when God seemed to have another plan in store for me, and I was called as the pastor of the First Congregational Church in Torrington, CT. As it would be advantageous spiritually for the people I was ministering to as the Director of Special Ministries and as I was nearing completion of my requirements for ordained standing, the denomination I was serving and training under (UCC) licensed me with privilege of sacrament to carry out this ministry. This conferring of licensed status, placed my name and other pertinent information into the denominationfs national system of record keeping for licensed, commissioned, and ordained ministers -- and, of course, into the process of matching churches with potential pastors. Thus, came the call from the Torrington church.

I have been a solo pastor since that time (1994) until my recent marriage in 2001. As solo pastor I loved most of the eworkf, but found myself unable to devote the time to especial ministriesf that was my first love. I pastored in Torrington for two years intending when I left to again return to and concentrate on a ministry such as I was developing at the First Church in Winsted. But, again, God had an alternate plan for me!!

I became the pastor of the First Congregational Church in Otis, MA -- the pastor of The New Boston Congregational Church -- the chaplain for the Sandisfield Fire Department -- and the chaplain for the New Boston Convalescent Home. To understand this ministry, one has to realize that there was not another pastor for a half hour driving radius from the two churches!! I was very much alone in that geographical area and I ministered to all that were there. It was a tremendously huge ministry -- which I tried to keep on a one on one personal contact level with all the people. I was doing more funerals a month than other pastors were doing in a year; I was serving convalescent homes and hospitals that were not only a half hour to an hour away from the church - but that were at least an hour apart from one another; I was ministering to towns rather than parishes; I covered all ages, all problems, and all faiths; and, eventually it became necessary for me to also take on the responsibility of being the organist and choir director for these two churches at the same time that I was pastoring them.

Rev. Lin McGee Date: 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 14)




I loved being at these churches and I loved the ministry I was doing, but it was a job that needed about twenty pastors, not one. I was finding that I had little time for my own spiritual growth and nurturing, for my family and itfs care, and for the development of the special ministries which I love. I was also finding that I was becoming physically unwell because of the tremendous hours I was putting in per weekly (over 100) and the lack of sleep I was getting. I had been at these churches for approximately six years -- loved it greatly -- but went to the Lord in prayer because I felt I could no longer continue at that pace and I knew there was no other answer but to leave that ministry because there was simply so much ministry to do and no other clergy people coming to help do it.

I was ever so diligent in my depth of soul prayer to my Lord concerning my direction in ministry. I knew I needed to leave the ministry I was serving, yet I knew the Lord would have me to stay there at that time. I prayed, eLord, send me someone to help me if you want me to stay.f A constant prayer -- and one which the Lord answered richly. I met my husband, David in January of 2001 and married him in April of that year. When we met, we knew that the Lord had brought us together and that He would have us to serve Him in ministry together. We knew not which direction our ministry would take, as I was a liberal Congregationalist from the north and he was a fundamental Baptist from the south. But we did know -- for certain -- that the Lord would have us serve together. And we knew too, that if that was the Lordfs will, then He would give us the place to serve and provide us with the answers and understanding of how to do it if we would be obedient and listen to Him in prayer.

And that is what we did, and the Lord asked us to serve together here in the north. I had originally put in my resignation to the two churches I was serving, but one (The First Congregational Church of Otis) asked us to stay, with the understanding that David would help me with the ministry there as co-pastor of the church. This was the biggest blessing of my life and of my ministry for the Lord!!

David is an excellent Bible scholar, preacher, and teacher. He is well versed in his studies and enjoys and excels in teaching what he knows. I, on the other hand, love to present homilies, teach by story and example, and develop the artistic forms of Bible presentation. David is diligent about Christian Adult Education and finds it an essential form and completion of the Sunday preaching experience. I prefer to work in this area with adults who are considered echallengedf (i.e. who have mental or emotional learning disabilities and need special care as they learn).

David is also excellent at and enjoys leading menfs study groups and/or

Rev. Lin McGee Date: 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 15)



groups with a more evangelistic nature to them. I enjoy programming and leading womenfs groups and minister and teach better in a very hands on, realistic way. He runs meetings well and is a good administrator -- I keep the records straight and provide us with needed printed materials. He ministers well to young adults and teens -- I to small children and babies. He likes to do the preaching at convalescent homes while I provide the music -- we both love to do the visiting. He counsels well as people are in need of information, guidance, and direction -- my skills come in the form of crisis intervention, hospice, bereavement, and grief. He baptizes adults in believers baptism and follows up with discipleship -- I bless the children through our sacrament of baptism and complete this act with confirmation classes and confirmation. He does well at weddings -- I at funerals. He brings stability and strength to the ministry -- I bring compassion and fun. He is formal and straight forward -- I am laid back and experiential. He delights in my ministry -- and I in his -- and we learn together as we teach others and lead them to the saving knowledge of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

I have found that in ministry, I am only half of the equation -- only half of the information -- only half of the spirit with which God wishes to bless his people. I find that David and I are an excellent ministering team and that we are able to reach far more types of people and far more needs of people together than we are separately. I shall go back to the original question asked: eWhat are your long and short-term professional goals.f Again I shall answer -- eMy long term and short term professional goals are the same: to bring people to Jesus Christ and teach them of His wonderful, never ending, saving love.f

How do I now see this happening in my present and future ministry? I see this happening as a ministry team with my husband. He the more formal, more straight forward preaching, teaching part of the co-pastorate and I the more ebeing withf, more compassionate, supportive part of the co-pastorate.

Our former co-pastorate position allowed each one of us to develop, to utilize, and to share our most positive pastoring skills to their fullest. We were able to help one another and support one another in the ministry setting and in the necessary preparation for that setting. We enjoyed working together and find that the Lord has set in our hearts not to work apart in our ministries. Thus, we will be applying together now and in the future for co-pastorate positions where we can serve the Lord as we seek to bring others to Jesus Christ and to teach them of His wonderful, never ending, saving love.


Rev. Lin McGee Date: 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 16)





Under this section there were eight questions asked -- two of them listed as enumber 5f. As I feel that one of the # 5 questions requires a lengthier answer than all the other questions (it deals with particular theological positions), I will put that at the end of this paper under a separate heading (ePROFESSIONAL INFORMATION -- EXTRA QUESTION # 5f). The other seven questions will be listed here in this section marked by number, with the question repeated, and the answer given. There was no # 6 in this section.



Participation in and concern for the field of religious education and youth:

eReligious educationf is a term that is often associated only with youth. This is unfortunate because it tends to limit our understanding of what true religious education is, what it does (or is able to do), and who it is intended for. We are all on a journey with Christ; we are all on a faith journey in our lives. We need to seek our Lord continuously and increase our knowledge of Him and his saving grace. We are never too old to learn about God. There is such a vast wealth of information and inspiration for all of us to avail ourselves of. Christians need to study together, to prayer together, and to worship together. That is what strengthens us in our daily walk and what brings us to a fuller understanding of the God we so love.




Attitude toward and practice as regards pastoral visiting:

I have always tried my best throughout my pastorates to continually visit people in their homes, in hospitals, and in convalescent homes. Pastoral visitation is a lifeline to the church and to faith; I might add, however, so is visitation by church members. It takes everyone to be a family of God -- not just the clergy who are serving that family. Visitation is a means of bonding hearts, solidifying friendships, empowering faith, and supporting one another as you travel the road of life. People need people.

I attempt to visit all parishioners and others the church is serving the best I can as time allows; visitation to those hospitalized, shut-in, bereaved, elderly, or in crisis is, however, critical, imperative, and takes precedence over all other visits.

Rev. Lin McGee Date: 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 17)





Understanding of and attitude toward the role of preaching in worship:

Preaching is the central core of worship. However, if the hymns, prayers, readings, and Scriptures do not contain a unifying theme, the sermon looses its impact. The total liturgy must also be relative to life and address the concerns, needs, and questions the parishioners have as they relate to both their faith life and their daily life. Preaching should teach; preaching should instruct; preaching should inspire; preaching should cause one to think and question. Preaching needs to be alive and have the ability to make Godfs Sacred Word relative, interesting, and hopeful. Preaching should make one hungry to learn more and more about the God they love; it should lead one to knowing God better on both a faith and a personal level; it should bring about the desire to say eyesf and ethank youf to the Lord for the precious gift of salvation through his Son!!




Attitude toward the administrative function of the pastorate:

There is an extensive amount of administration that a pastor must do to be an effective leader for the church. It takes quite a bit of time to eprocess the paper workf, but it improves the effectiveness of all the other tasks that the pastor is responsible for. Administration is a broad term and should include levels which deal with the church itself, the church and the community in which it exists, the church and itfs denomination, the wider church on ecumenical terms, and the church and society. The pastor should keep himself/herself abreast of all that is going on and be able to effectively relate that to the church, effectively keep records, and effectively offer leadership advise concerning the issues involved. Administration also involves meetings, office time, phone calls, e-mails, and other types of contact formats. The ability to effectively plan, implement, and carry through ideas and programs is also a must.




Interest in and attitude toward pastoral counseling:

Pastoral counseling is a must for a helping pastor. Faith and spirituality cannot expand if pressing issues need to be addressed. People are distracted from their faith growth if they are stuck behind the hurtles of

Rev. Lin McGee Date: 11/10/02 -- Profile updated from 3/7/96 (pg. 18)




life. Pastoral counseling should be able to help people over these hurtles

and onto the road of health. It should also offer a substantial, concrete, long standing basis on which to build (or re-build) onefs life by offering Godfs Word to those in need in a relevant and meaningful way. People need to know that their life has value, that God cares about their problems, and that He can offer them a way to not only get past their difficulties but to actually thrive and grow in the midst of them.




On a separate sheet of paper, please comment on your thinking with regard to social issues within the church. How do you think the local church as a body should react to social questions and issues?

This is a difficult and sensitive area of ministry. Naturally, we must individually, and as a body, remain faithful to our Scriptures whenever we seek direction in regard to social questions and/or issues. Unfortunately, with the enew realmsf of social reality today (particularly within the field of medicine -- such as with bioethics) exact Scriptural reference cannot always be found for precise situations. We then, consequently, find that social, cultural, and personal einterpretationsf jump into play as conclusions are drawn -- some brought about by much intelligent and diligent study, others, however, derived through avenues of prejudice and/or preconceived notions.

We must remain faithful and at all times be careful to call upon the Lord for His guidance in these matters. We must remain open minded as we seek out the truth of the Scriptures as it relates to our present day questions and concerns. And we should very cautiously, very critically, and very wisely ascertain through our studies the most scholarly spiritual consensus that there is concerning the matter (or matters) at hand.

We must remember that if there is no precise directive and/or conclusive statement within our Bible concerning a particular social question or issue, then we must stand strong and unwavering for that which we have come to believe is the truth according to the Word of God while, at the same time, respecting and acknowledging the view point of others who have come to a different understanding of Godfs Word after much personal, serious, open minded, spiritual, and scholarly study. Respect is the key. A congregation should never be expected to support and uphold the opinion of a church leader on difficult or divisive subjects which are not clearly defined in the Bible simply because of his/her leadership position.

Rev. Lin McGee Date: 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 19)





We must also remember, however, that if there is a precise directive

and/or conclusive statement within our Bible concerning a particular social question or issue, then we must never, under any circumstances, equalifyf, cheapen, change, disregard, disrespect, over look, set aside, lessen, or

depart from Godfs Holy Word. The Word is the same yesterday, today, and forever irregardless of social, cultural, or popular opinion changes. We must not be a part of the slippery slope that moves us further and further away from the truth of the Word of God as we accept or try to efit inf to popular beliefs, be non-confrontational, be epolitically correctf, or simply take the road of least resistance. This stand we must take does not, however, preclude us from ministering with an open heart to those in need who may have made a choice for or be living by others standards.

Concerning esocial happeningsf, I feel that if a church as a body wishes to support certain causes, missions, or events, it should do so. There are many social concerns and issues today, the support of which can be backed up by Scripture.




What is your attitude toward the emphasis upon local church autonomy and voluntary fellowship which distinguishes Congregational polity?

Local church autonomy allows Christians to determine, define, and develop practical theological issues in the way that is most suited to their mission, ministry, church culture, membership size, location, needs, interests, abilities, finances, and goals. Each church family is unique and, through the principle of autonomy, they are able to design and implement that which they understand to be the best avenues for success in their particular church. It is also important for us to remember as we discuss local church autonomy, that it is the correct Biblically standard for church operation.

It is a treasure that autonomous churches are offered the opportunity to fellowship with one another on a volunteer basis. Support is offered, ideas are shared, skills are sharpened, knowledge is transferred, resources are brought to light, inspiration is given, and Christian friendships and bonds are established. Voluntary fellowshipping amongst the churches does not infringe upon the local churchfs autonomy; it does, however, offer a strength that one cannot find alone.



Rev. Lin McGee Date: 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 20)




On a separate sheet of paper, please make a statement regarding your theological position. In particular, your statement should include, but not be limited to, your views on salvation, baptism, communion, church membership, scriptures, etc.

Jesus Christ is my personal Lord and Savior, and I envision my sense of God through my understanding of Him. It is important to me that God came to us in the form of a human on earth. I do not know how to understand life or make decisions concerning life without the example that Jesus set while He was here on earth. I study Godfs Word daily and try to apply all of Christfs teachings to my life situations. I believe that God implants the Spirit within us, and thus enables us to hear and understand His Holy Word.

I do not know what I would do without Christ as my Lord and Savior. How does one live in this world without the blessed assurance of heavenly hope through his precious gift of Life?

Concerning specific theological terms:


and has delivered us from evil. A continuing process, our concept of salvation has developed from the redemptive acts we have attributed to God throughout human history. Initially in the Old Testament, the idea centered around rescue from harm, captivity, and/or death. After the Israelites escaped from the hand of the Egyptians, our eSong of Moses and Miriamf recounts this saving act, and the recognition of God as the saving factor for his people: (eThe Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.f Exodus 15:2). Understood, is that the people faced something that they could not save themselves from -- they are distressed, overwhelmed, suffering, helpless. Interjection into the situation from which the people cannot escape without a powerful, loving, concerned deliverer takes place through the hand of God. Safety, security, happiness, and peace come about for the selected people through the action taken. God is recognized to be both the initiator and the procurer of the action taken, thus, thanksgiving and gratitude for the new state of being for the people belongs only to Him.

Though the concept of salvation from harm in the New Testament was a continuation of the thought, actions, and proclamation established in the Old Testament, the emphasis of redemption began to focus more and more on

Rev. Lin McGee Date: 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 21)

-- Salvation is a preservation and a deliverance. Historically, we are a people who believe that our God has been with us




deliverance from the powers of Satan, sin, and eternal death. This deliverance was to come about through the direct actions of Jesus Christ. (eChrist Jesus came into the world to save sinners.f 1 Timothy 1:15). We are to believe in the Christ, profess Him as Lord and Savior, have faith in his promises, and follow his commands. (eI am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved.f John 10:9). The main emphasis also shifts from etemporalf salvation to eeternalf salvation. (eWhosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.f John 3:15).

Again, the New Testament presents the helpless/deliverer/redeemed/grateful process for salvation. For Christians this would denote that we confess to the Lord that we are helpless on our own against the powers of evil, that we believe in and rely upon the powers of Jesus Christ to save us from this evil, that we recognize Him as our Lord and Savior, and that we are forever grateful to Him for this gift of life. We also recognize that we do not have to wait for our physical death to be saved. We believe that we are ein processf as we live out our lives through the grace of God. We understand ourselves to be his people, loved and cared for, protected and sustained, his heirs through the actions of Christfs life. (eYou are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.f Galatians 3:26). Satan does not control our lives, we have the power to strive towards God day by day in every action we take through Jesus Christ.

Through Christ comes about the enew creationf. His life, death, resurrection, and ascension will bring about the presence of Godfs eternal Kingdom. When we think of this promised time to come, we recognize that the esalvationf given incorporates all creation since beginning time. Our Scriptures say, gAnd he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment -- to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.h Ephesians 1:9. The historical event witnessed so long ago, is both the means by which salvation is brought about, and the guarantee from our God that this eternal promise will come. That which we live now through our faith, is the forerunner of the time of the Second Coming of our savior Jesus the Christ, where will be found the fullest and final understanding of salvation.




Rev Lin McGee Date: 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 22)

-- Sacraments are an outward sign of that which is taking place within your soul; they are given by God and are profoundly sacred; they allow us to experience Godfs touch upon us more intensely; and




they were (according to our mainline Protestant theology) established

and ordained by Christ as He walked the face of the earth: (Baptism: gAs soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.h Matthew 3:16. Communion: gWhile they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying eTake and eat; this is my body.f Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying eDrink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.f Matthew 26:26-28).

The term sacrament comes from the Latin word sacramentum, which means

oath. Inclusive within this meaning are allegiance, promise, fidelity, loyalty, obedience, and trust. Originally referring to the pledge given

by the Roman soldier to Caesar, Christians have appropriated the term

to signify this faithfulness to the Lord. Theologically, of course, Christians have differed over the centuries (and even at the present time), on the precise scope of what is or is not to be considered a sacrament. Hugh of St. Victor, who lived in the twelfth century, listed approximately thirty sacraments in his work, De Sacramentis Christianae Fidei. Peter Lombard, in his greatest work, Sententiarum Libri Quatuor (approximately 1156-7), was insistent upon recognizing only seven sacraments; offering great insight in the work on distinguishing sacraments from sacramental. (The seven sacraments being baptism, communion, confirmation, penance, extreme unction, orders, and matrimony.) Of course, there was a lot of debate about his teachings too; until, finally, the Council of Florence (1439) and the Council of Trent (1545-63) affirmed the validity of his work. At that time, the Roman Catholic church and the Eastern Church accepted the decision of the Councils. The Protestant viewpoints (which differ) emerged as our traditions began to develop. As stated above, the mainline Protestant fellowship to which we belong (as with most mainline Protestant denominations) recognize only two sacraments (baptism and communion) and substantiate the validity of this claim by seeing in our Scriptures that Christ instituted and ordained them through a visible sign or ceremony, whereas he did not institute or ordain the actions considered to be sacraments by other theological groups. (Interestingly, the Quakers and the Salvation Army of today do not recognize any sacraments.)

For me, the sacraments outwardly profess the faith I experience in my being; they are signs to me that Godfs love is always present and always available to us if we are faithful and obedient; they represent promises given and promises fulfilled by our God; they offer us strength in times of trouble, hope in times of grief, enrichment in daily living; my deep respect for them empowers me to make right choices in life, enables me to

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have a greater depth in my prayer life, and facilitates my communication with God. They bring me tremendous hope and blessing as I realize that God

reaches out and I must respond, I must accept and I must be faithful. They

bring me peace, enrich my faith, and help me to both experience and fulfill my deepest spiritual needs and longings. They are that which I can etouchf in relation to the God I so love.

The eprecise scope of what is or is not to be considered a sacramentf was not the only thing that Christians differed theologically on over the centuries in relation to the sacraments. Allow me to address the two sacraments recognized in Protestant theology separately:


For us, within the tradition of our mainline Protestant fellowship, although we certainly do recognize ethe rite of purification by waterf, we stress the covenantal character of the sacrament more than its relationship to sin. In the baptism of infants, this covenantal character would be inclusive of God, the child, the parents, the spiritual sponsors (the Godparents), and the members of the congregation in which the child is being baptized. We recognize that those who speak on behalf of the child take upon themselves certain spiritual obligations and responsibilities

Rev. Lin McGee Date: 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 24)

-- Over the centuries Christians have disagreed on what baptism accomplishes, what the purpose of the baptism service is, to whom it should be administered and at what age, how much water should be used and what action should be taken with that water, if the acts of anointing with oil and the laying on of hands should be included or not, what precise words must (or should) be spoken at the time of the baptism, how important the act of baptism is in a personfs faith life, how many times a person can (or should) be baptized, what a person is required to know or profess before the sacrament is administered, who is permitted to administer the sacrament to the person, where the sacrament takes place, if the person (or child) needs spiritual sponsors or not, what the requirements are for the spiritual sponsors, if a eChristian namef is conferred to the person at the time of the baptism or not, if the sacrament must take place within a formal service or not (and what that service must include and how embellished that service must be), if there is a particular time of the year at which the service must take place or not, if the baptism is a requirement for local church membership or not, and even ewhatf the sacrament is to be called. The few points of agreement are that water is the essential element used in administering the sacrament, that the sacrament takes place efor the remission of sinsf, that it professes a covenantal relationship between God and his people, and that the act incorporates the person receiving the sacrament into the family of God (the universal church for all time).



which are intended to nurture, lead, teach, and guide the child toward the ability to understand and accept Jesus Christ as his/her personal Lord and Savior. The eact of baptismf is only half of the equation in the process of an individualfs profession of faith. The other half of the equation is eConfirmationf. This is the time when, after the people who have stood before God and committed themselves to the spiritual care of the child have completed their task of bringing that child fully to Christ, the child himself or herself stands before God and the people of God to econfirmf those promises which were made on his or her behalf as a child or infant. They econfirmf that eyesf, these promises were true and of the faith which they now believe fully in -- they are the promises which the child (now young adult) accepts and takes on for him or herself; they econfirmf that eyesf what was spoken is now what is in their heart -- that they live that life of faith -- and that Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior. The purpose of the sacrament, the meaning of the sacrament, the validity of the sacrament, the spiritual implications of the sacrament are not complete until both pieces of the equation (the act of baptism and the act of confirmation) take place. They are the two parts of the whole.

When we baptize infants or young children the most common form of administering the water itself within our fellowship of churches is by aspersion (sprinkling) or affusion (pouring). Most pastors use the form of aspersion as it allows for the action of making the sign of the cross on the child when saying, gI baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.h It is also advantageous for making less of a mess and soaking the child or the childfs hair. I do use this method with infants and with children and believe it is wonderful; but I also use affusion when it is feasible because the poured water reminds us of the flowing water, the living water that is Christ.

It is uncommon, but certainly not unheard of, for our fellowship to utilize the method of immersion (totally immersing the person in water) when baptizing someone. This method is usually reserved for the baptism of adults for safety purposes and issues concerning location. Our preference is to baptize within the church, during a worship service, with the members of the congregation present. Immersion presents a problem for us under these conditions because it is extremely rare that our buildings are equipped with a baptistery. Immersion is an important aspect of adult baptism, however, because though the Greek word baptein (from which we derive the word baptism) means eto dipf, we generally recognize that the English words ebaptizef and ebaptismf come from the Greek root word ebaptizrf which means eto immersef. It is also important to remember that when Christ Jesus himself when through the act of baptism He was, in fact, totally immersed in the water of the Jordan. Thus, setting the example for

us, immersion becomes an important consideration in the baptism of adults.

Rev. Lin McGee Date: 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 25)




It is important that we adhere to Biblical standards as we live out our faith. Christ was baptized as an adult; thus, adult baptism is correct. Those of us who practice infant baptism and/or the baptism of young children (and itfs counterpart, confirmation), believe that this form of baptism also has credibility from a Biblical standpoint. In the Old Testament we read, gThen God said to Abraham, eAs for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant that you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner -- those who are not your offspring. Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people, he has broken my covenant.f (Genesis 17:9-14). Our God is a God of covenant and promise; and He made circumcision the necessary rite through which males were brought into his covenant with Abraham. Circumcision represented the outward sign of the inward reality. (As baptism is also the outward sign of the inward reality.) The ritual of circumcision accomplished onefs entry into the Old Covenant. (In the New Testament we see that the ritual of baptism accomplishes onefs entry into the New Covenant.)

Our Scriptures state in Genesis 17 that the infants and young children were to receive the outward sign and enter the old covenant. They did not give their consent or proclaim their desire to enter into the covenant with God; rather God decreed that it should be so. The entire household entered the covenant. It was the same Jewish people from the Old Testament that entered into the New Covenant through Christ Jesus. Peter told them on Pentecost, gRepent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off -- for all whom the Lord our God will call.h (Acts 2:38-39).

If the New Covenant did not included infants and young children as much as the old covenant, would not Paul have given them this instruction in his letters to the churches? If they were continuing in their practice of, gAs for me and my household we shall serve the Lord.h (Joshua 24:15) and it was an incorrect action within the New Covenant, would it not have created the need to establish the new rules which would exclude their children from the blessings of the Lordfs covenant with his people? Rather, we see in Acts 16:15 that the Lord opened Lydiafs heart to respond to Paulfs message and

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eshe and the members of her household were baptized.f Paul himself states in 1 Corinthians 1:16, gI also baptized the household of Stephanas.h

Concerning our other practices as they relate to the sacrament of baptism:

We baptize eIn the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spiritf, as we are a people who believe in a Triune God. We baptize one time, and one time only. The sacrament is administered by our clergy with the assistance of a deacon or a deaconess of the church; preferably during a Sunday morning worship service at a church. In general we do not use anointing oil or lay hands on the person being baptized unless it is requested by the person or the personfs family. Though desirable, baptism is not usually a specific requirement for membership into our churches. One of the questions directed to the parents during the baptism of an infant or young child is, gBy what name shall this child be called?h - an indication of the fact that our Lord God knows each of us by name and wishes a personal relationship with each and every one of his children. The act of baptism can take place at any time of the year. We call it eThe Sacrament of Baptismf.

The important thing to remember is that (no matter what the specifics of our particular faith traditions) baptism in and of itself does not save a person. We are saved only through our faith and belief and acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. gFor it is by grace you have been saved, through faith.h (Ephesians 2:8). Baptism does not save us, rather it is the outward sign by which we profess the faith within us. For adults (believers baptism) it signifies and proclaims that we have, indeed, taken the Lord Christ as our Savior and that we choose to live out our lives in such a way that it reflects our personal relationship of faith and obedience to Him. For infants and children, it affirms that a faith such as this lives within those who stand before God and his people and pledge to care for the infant/child being eblessedf, ededicatede, epresented to Godf, ebaptizedf, eChristenedf, ebrought ritually into the care of the family of Godf, in such a way as to lead, direct, teach, guide, and set the example for that infant/child which will bring them to the place where they will eprofessf, eproclaimf, econfirmf for themselves, the faith proclamations and promises made for them. eConfirmationf (as we call it) is the sacred act whereby the baptized child, now an adult, stands before God and his people him/herself and outwardly states their faith believes and that eyesf, they have entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and they have accepted Him as their Lord and Savior.

We want to remember that the sacramental/sacred act itself does not save anyone. And the same is true in relation to those who have not gone through the outward sacramental/sacred act before they die. We are saved

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only by his grace through our faith -- not esavedf by the sacramental/sacred act or eunsavedf because of the lack of it.


Some of the points which they have disagreed on where: is Christ truly present in the sacrament or is it a symbol and representation of Him?; what is the sacrament called?; who is allowed to administer the sacrament?; how often and under what circumstances is the sacrament performed?; who is or is not allowed to receive the sacrament?; what is the recipient required to do before receiving the sacrament?; what elements are to be used for the body of Christ and the blood of Christ?; what are the words of institution and consecration for this sacrament?; how should this sacrament be administered and received?; in what order are the elements given?; when should the sacrament be offered; is the sacrament necessary for salvation? The points of agreement would be these: the origin of eThe Lordfs Supperf; who instituted eThe Lordfs Supperf; for what purpose was it instituted?

Our God has always been a God of deliverance. Christ came that we might have eternal life. It was He himself that instituted this esacramentf while He was on earth. We see in the Bible that He shared a Passover meal with his disciples at which He etook bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, eThis is my body given for you; do this is remembrance of mef. In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying. eThis cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of mef.h (1 Corinthians 11:24-25)

As we can see, straight from the Bible we know for sure that the Lordfs Supper originated from the Passover Meal, it was instituted by Christ himself, and it was put into place that we might all remember Christ and the tremendous sacrifice that He gave which was to bring us eternal life.

Within our tradition, we understand that the elements of communion represent (are symbols of) the Christ. We do not believe in transubstantiation as some faiths do -- which is the doctrine that states that the elements are the literal (actual) body and blood of Christ.

This esymbolf of the Christ is certainly a powerful means of calling to mind (remembering, as Christ asks us to do) the gift of salvation that He brings unto us, the tremendous and loving sacrifice He made for us, and

the reality of who He is to us (the Messiah, the Savior, the Holy One, our Lord). This esymbolf of the Christ also brings to mind that we are to fellowship together as his family, as his disciples, as the body of Christ

Rev. Lin McGee Date: 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 28)

-- As with the sacrament of baptism, Christians have also disagreed theologically over the centuries in relation to the faith aspect of and the practical aspects which concern the sacrament of communion.




on earth. We see clearly in the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 10:16-17: gThe cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.h) that partaking of this sacrament draws us into the family, the body, of Christ; it reminds us that we are one in Him; it reminds us that we are to continue in his ways on earth; it reminds us that we are a faith family following the commands of our God. This esymbolf also offers us hope, brings us feelings of comfort and peace, strengthens us for the journey, calls us into covenant, teaches us humility, and places us in touch with the holy.

Within our tradition, we most commonly call this sacrament eThe Sacrament of Holy Communionf. Others refer to it as eThe Eucharistf (which means thanksgiving), eHoly Communionf, eThe Lordfs Supperf, eThe Last Supperf, eMemorial Supperf, eLove Feastf, eBreaking Breadf, ePassoverf, eThe Passover Mealf, eThe New Passoverf, eBody and Bloodf, eThe Mealf, eBread and Winef, eThe Great Thanksgivingf, eThe Sacrament of the Tablef, and eThe Sacrament of the Altarf. I believe that the etitlef used indicates the important aspect of the meal to those celebrating the sacrament. In other words, are they emphasizing thanksgiving, or sacrifice for sins, or fellowship, or spiritual food, etc. I believe our fellowshipfs most commonly used and accepted etitlef indicates that we respect the sacrament as a tremendously sacred, holy way of being in communion with our God.

Within our tradition the ordained clergy or licensed clergy with privilege of sacrament consecrate the elements of the sacrament. It is then distributed (usually) by the members of the deacon board of the church to those who wish to participate. Others may also distribute the elements, but in general it is done by the deacons and deaconesses.

Within our tradition the sacrament is offered in our churches on the first Sunday of every month during the Sunday morning worship service; and with great regularity at the Easter and the Christmas worship service. We also take this sacrament to those who are in the hospital, in the convalescent home, or shut-in at home. We do administer it to the sick whenever they request it; we do not, however, consider it a part of the sacrament of elast rightsf (extreme unction). The sacrament can be requested at any time and administered at any time, but in general we adhere to the times just mentioned. It is unusual for us to include the Sacrament of Communion at a wedding service, a baptism service, or a funeral. People may receive this sacrament as often as they wish. They are not, however, obligated or required to receive the sacrament a particular number of times, at particular times, or for particular reasons.

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Many churches practice eclosed communionf (only members of the church can partake), some eopen communionf (all those wishing to receive the Lord may

partake), and some a system of partially closed communion (those who meet certain criteria may partake whether they are members of the church or

not). Within our tradition, those wishing to receive the Lord may call themselves into repentance, examine their conscience, ask forgiveness of their sins, prepare their hearts to receive the Lord, and then partake. You do not need to be a member of the particular church in which you are receiving, nor do you need to be a member of our particular faith fellowship. Some individual churches do restrict very young children or those who have not yet been baptized from receiving. We do not recognize the need for a econfessorf before God, the need to abstain from food or drink for a specified period of time, or the requirement of certain prayers prior to receiving the sacrament.

To administer the sacrament, we use different elements of echoicef. In general, the most common practice is to use bread which has been cut into small squares (regular white bread, which can be purchased at the local supermarket) and grape juice. It is not uncommon for many of our churches to choose wine as an element rather than grape juice, though this practice is becoming more uncommon than it was in the past. It is an important theological symbol to use ethe fruit of the vinef for the purpose of representing Christfs blood; within our practical theology, however, it is not crucial which efruit of the vinef is used. In my thought, grape juice is the better choice because it offers the opportunity to participate in the sacrament to more people. Often, with the use of wine, those with particular personal preferences, physical afflictions, medical situations, or age situations will not be able to participate. (Do remember, in all theological discussions about the eproperf elements that it is we who place these requirements upon ourselves and it is God who gives the blessing -- in other words, we do not bring about the blessing of the sacrament through the elements we choose to use; nor do we negate the blessing God chooses to bestow upon us by using a edifferentf available liquid or even symbolic representation of a liquid (such as in times of war when a liquid is unattainable) to represent the life giving blood of the new covenant with Jesus Christ.) For the bread, though not a common practice, we also substitute other types of bread (rye, wheat, etc.), processed communion wafers, and/or motzo. Many insist on unleavened bread because that is what Christ used at the Passover meal. Unleavened bread was a representation to the Jews of the purity of being Godfs people, a reminder of the affliction and bondage that they lived under in Egypt, and a sign that God delivered them when they (in great haste) left the land of Egypt. All important theological considerations but, again, rather than concentrating on the element itself, concentrate on the blessings of God. One time, a church I

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was serving, was to receive communion during the Easter sunrise service

which took place at the near-by river. The deacons, however, forgot to bring the elements. Gram crackers and juice that the kids and I had in the

car were made use of -- and, we were all blessed!!

Our words of institution and consecration for this sacrament will come directly from our Scriptures; many using: gThe Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, eThis is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.f In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, eThis cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.h (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). Most also will consecrate the elements and have the deacons take them out to the people in the pews rather than any of the means used for distribution when the people come forward to the alter. The bread is consecrated first and then the cup, and we tend to ecommune togetherf (with at least the cup if not with both the cup and the bread). This is one of the reasons we make use of the small, individual (glass or plastic) communion cups. In general, it is not our custom (although it is certainly permissible) to include other church offerings at the time of the celebration of this sacrament (such as and agape meal, a baptism, foot washing, anointing, etc. There is no time during the year or day when we are not eallowedf by church tradition to celebrate this sacrament.

We do not believe as some that participating in the sacrament is morally

necessary for salvation (which means to them that without the grace of this sacrament it would be impossible to resist the temptations which lead us into the sins which keep us from attaining eternal life.) Remember, we believe that we are saved only by His grace through our faith (as the Scriptures tell us).

For me, the sacrament of communion is a tremendous blessing; a means by which God touches my soul in such a powerful, holy, and eternal way. Each time I come to the Table I am reminded so powerfully that God is God and there is no other; that through the Lord Jesus Christ I might come to eternal time with my God; that it was his great sacrifice and gift which provide me my one and only way to salvation. I am bless and renewed and strengthen each time I receive; I am empowered that I might live my life more faithfully as a disciple of Christ. I am so thankful for this gift, this offering of hope and peace, this offering of strength for the journey, that I am filled with the joy and love of my Savior each time I receive.

When serving communion I prefer to have a whole slice of bread before me which can be held and broken before the people with these words of consecration, ethis is my body, broken for you. . .f ---- I also prefer to

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use a chalice which can be raised to the Lord in thanksgiving with these words of consecration, ethis is my blood, the blood of the new covenant, shed for you. . .f ---- I also prefer that the small squares of bread distributed to the people be white bread so that the risk of someone having a problem with nuts in breads, seeds in breads, bitterness in breads, etc. is eliminated. The use of white bread also eliminates the sound of ecrunchingf when a group of people are consuming a hard element (such as motzo or crackers), which tends to distract people from the sacredness of the sacrament. Cutting the bread into the small squares before distributing them helps with sanitary concerns (when people are breaking off their own piece of bread from a larger loaf) ---- I also prefer to use grape juice because it allows for the opportunity to include more people who would like to participate. ---- I appreciate and usually use the method of consecrating the Bread and having the deacons distribute it to the people and then having the people commune together; next, consecrating the Cup and having the deacons distribute it to the people and, again, having the people commune together. I do use other methods of distribution, but this is the one that I am most theologically comfortable with. The format I use in the sacrament service are these: communion hymn, invitation to the Table, consecration and sharing of the Bread, consecration and sharing of the Cup, prayer of thanksgiving, communion hymn. Though not required, I believe it is an important act of respect for a clergy person to wear (at least) a liturgical stole while consecrating and/or administering this holy Sacrament.

As Christ is our Messiah, our Savior, our Lamb of God, it is important to connect the theme of edeliverance from sinf within the two testaments (seeing the permanent fulfillment in Christ). As I mentioned before, our God has always been a God of deliverance. The lambs sacrificed in the Old Testament under the Old Laws brought about a temporary relief from onefs sin; The Lamb sacrificed in the New Testament under the New Law brought about a permanent relief from the consequences of onefs sin. Our God is a God of deliverance and all that was told and promised in the Old Testament came to pass -- our God is a faithful God!! Our God is a God of deliverance and all that was told and promised in the New Testament shall come to pass, for Jesus Christ is the true, permanent, unfailing, irrevocable, God given sacrifice which etaketh away the sins of the worldf.

(John 1:29, gLook, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!h) -- our God is a faithful God!!

I find the correlation between the Old Testament sacrificial lamb and the New Testament sacrificial Lamb interesting and theologically important:

We know that God had instructed Moses (in the Old Testament) eto take some of the blood [of the Passover lambs] and put it on the sides and tops of

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the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.f (Exodus 12:7). This was so that when the Lord passed through Egypt that night bringing judgment and striking down every firstborn - both men and animals - in every household, he would ePassoverf the houses with the sacrificial lambfs blood upon the doorframes. Christ is certainly our Sacrificial Lamb (Romans 3:25, eGod presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.f). Thus, accepting Him as such and placing His blood (the blood of the new covenant) upon the ehomesf in which we live (our bodies) (another reason why holy communion is so important to me), the Lordfs wrath epasses overf us on the day of judgment and He does not send us into eternal damnation (our due for our sins) because the sacrifice for them has been given. We are not eternally punished, but rather allowed to live in eternal time because the true sacrifice, the true Lamb of God, has paid the price for us; and though the sacrifice of the Passover lamb of the Old Testament was temporal and needed to be repeated, the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb of the New Testament is permanent and eternal.

The Lord did say, (Exodus 12:13) ewhen I see the blood, I will pass over you.f He also said, (Exodus 12:14) eThis is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord -- a lasting ordinance.f The Passover meal continues to be held in Jewish households today, commemorating their deliverance from the bondage of slavery under Pharaoh; our Passover meal continues to be held in churches today, commemorating our deliverance from the bondage of sin

under Satan.

We see in Exodus 12:5 that the Passover lambs had to be eyear old males without defectf. eYear oldf signifies ematurityf, for that is when the young lamb was able to fully exist independently of itfs mother. The term emalef indicates that the lamb had to be of the male gender rather than the female. And ewithout defectf meant that it could have no blemish upon it. It is interesting that Biblically we find that Christ, our Lamb of God, met all three of these erequirementsf. Luke 3:23 tells us, eNow Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministryf; Numbers 4:3 gives us the ematurityf requirements for priests: eCount all the men from thirty to fifty years of age who come to serve in the work in the Tent of Meeting.f We know certainly too that Christ was both eof the male genderf (Luke 2:6-7, eWhile they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.f) and ewithout blemishf (2 Corinthians 5:21, eGod made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in

him we might become the righteousness of God.f) (1 Peter 1:19, ethe precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.f)

Interestingly, the Passover lamb of the Old Testament had to be examined

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for three and a half days to ensure that it was free from any eblemishf

(Exodus 12:3) etell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family. . . (Exodus 12:6) etake care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.f Christfs public ministry, a time of incredible scrutiny by so many, was to last approximately three and a half years; culminating in his sacrificial death on the cross at etwilightf, approximately 3 p.m. (Matthew 27:45, eFrom the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.f The ninth hour = 3 p.m.).

The Old Testament also stated, (Exodus 12:46) eDo not break any of the bones.f [of the Passover lamb]. We know that when the soldiers came to break the legs of Jesus to accelerate his dying process so that his body could be taken down off of the cross before Sabbath began, they were to find (surprisingly) that He had already died (eBut when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.f John 19:33); thus, the bones of our Passover Lamb were also to remain unbroken.




To start with, it should be eobviousf and ean expectationf that someone seeking membership in a church family would be a person who takes the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior and wishes to serve Him in the local, living body of Christ on earth. Unfortunately, this is not always the case; people will seek to join because of family pressure, obligation, responsibility, or harassment, ebecause it is the thing to dof, because their friends are joining, because they have been involved in a ministry of the church (such as music or womenfs group) and the pastor is pressuring them to join, etc. Church leadership should never assume that a person is seeking membership for the eobviousf and eexpectedf reasons. Rather, it is the responsibility of the church leadership to make sure that the person seeking membership has a clear understanding of exactly what church membership is, what it entails, and what it means in relation to their commitment to God. It is also their responsibility to make sure that the person is joining for the eright reasonsf. To ensure that these two responsibilities are carried out, the majority of churches have a process through which most people seeking membership must go. This process usually

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-- Church membership is a term that is applied when someone ejoins a churchf. We recognize that, though our churches are autonomous and set their own erulesf for joining and belonging, in general, there are typically several econditionsf or estandardsf that are in place in the majority of churches.




includes spiritual, personal, and eteachingf meetings with the pastor, sessions with other people in leadership positions in the church, a confession of faith, a church vote, and (often times) a course to be studied and completed. There are others who are seeking membership who do not go through this general process because they are ecoming inf by letter of transfer, baptism, or confirmation.

Most who are coming in by letter of transfer have already gone through the process of joining a church (usually of the same denomination or fellowship) and have been examined, given instruction, and prayed over concerning their relationship with Jesus Christ and what that would mean to them as a church member. They have also usually been instructed as to the policy and polity of the church and the denomination or fellowship they are ejoiningf. Typically people come into a church by letter of transfer because they have moved from one area to another and wish to be a part of a local church where they are presently residing.

Others come in by virtue of baptism or confirmation. When we understand that people become members by baptism we are speaking of adult (or believerfs baptism). It is understood that they have studied and have accepted and professed Christ as their Lord and Savior. If someone has come into the care of the church (and are members of the echurch universalf throughout time) through infant or childrenfs baptism, they become members of the particular church they are attending when they complete their confirmation classes and, hence, have studied and have accepted and professed Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Churches may include other erulesf for joining, but the above are the typical conditions set by the churches. Most of these econditionsf are spelled out in the churchfs Constitution and/or By-laws to some extent. Typically in a Congregational church there will be a vote taken by

the congregation concerning the candidate for membership whether the candidate comes in by confession of faith, letter of transfer, baptism,

or confirmation. There will also, typically, be a service (usually during Sunday morning worship) at which the candidate will be asked a few questions, where the membership will pledge to walk in faith with this person, and where the person is given their membership card and other church paperwork and/or symbols of the churchfs choice.

As we said, it is of utmost importance that the leadership of the church sees that this whole process is carried through and is carried through properly and for the right reasons. People should not join a church because it is the one that is located in their neighborhood, or because

their parents took them there as a child, or because they went through Rev. Lin McGee Date: 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 35)



confirmation classes with their friends there and all their friends are joining, or because the pastor is pressuring them, etc. People must know and understand Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, they must understand the purpose of the church, they must recognize and be willing to fulfill (to the best of their ability) their responsibilities as a member of a church, they must know and understand the theology, the polity, and the practice of the church and the denomination or fellowship to which it belongs. One must be in agreement with the basic theology, mission, ministry, polity, policies, and practices of the church and the denomination/fellowship in order to be a good and supportive member.

Membership responsibility usually includes (and, again, is usually written out to some degree in the Constitution and/or By-laws of the church) attending worship and other spiritual services on a regular basis, financially supporting the church with tithes and offerings, and working for the benefit of the church on projects and other endeavors. Membership means being a part of a family and family members care for and take care of one another. Membership means being the living body of Christ on earth and as such having the responsibility of bring the Word, the care, and the hope of Christ to others outside of the church. Membership means belonging to the family of God which means living your life by certain standards set for us by Christ himself in the Holy Scriptures.

There are usually provisions written into the Constitution and/or By-laws too which will give the process by which a member can be disciplined and/or dismissed from the church membership for extreme improper or immoral behavior. This has been a long standing historical practice within our Congregational church system though it is not general put into practice in todayfs society.

However one joins a church, worships in a church, supports a church, or behaves in the church and society, is it imperative to understand that being a church member is an extremely serious and an extremely sacred thing. It is not a social club, a place to exercise authority at meetings, a place to drop children off so you can go shopping, a place to complain and criticize. Rather, it is a place to learn about God and his Holy Word, a place to know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, a place to give God all the praise and glory due Him, a place to help others to know the love of the Lord and the blessing of the wondrous gift of his Son. This is a place that has to do with eternal time!!! Our Scriptures say this:

gWhere two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.h

(Matthew 18:20)

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gThen have them make me a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.h (Exodus 25:8)

gCome, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker, for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.h (Psalm 95:6)

gGo up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored, says the Lord.h (Haggai 1:8)

gAscribe to the Lord, O families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength, ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name, bring an offering and come before him; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.h (1 Chronicles 16:29)

gTo you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God.h (Psalm 25:1)

gMy house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.h (Isaiah 56:7)

gHear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry for help come to you.h (Psalm 102:1)

gIn my distress I called to the Lord; I called out to my God. In his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears.h (2 Samuel 22:7)

gYou will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.h (Jeremiah 29:13)

gI sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.h (Psalm 34:4)

gCome, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways so that we may walk in his paths.h (Micah 4:2)

gServe him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind.h (1 Chronicles 28:9)

gWorship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.h (Psalm 100:2)

gKeep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.h (Acts 20:28)

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gWe are Godfs fellow workers.h (1 Corinthians 3:9)

gWhatever the God of heaven has prescribed, let it be done with diligence

for the temple of the God of heaven.h (Ezra 7:23)

gLove the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.h (Deuteronomy 6:5)

gEnter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.h (Psalm 100:4)

gIt is by grace you have been save, through faith.h (Ephesians 2:8)

gFaith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.h (Romans 10:17)

gThe Lord announced the word, and great was the company of those who proclaimed it.h (Psalm 68:11)

gThe Lord is my strength and my song, he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my fatherfs God, and I will exalt him.h (Exodus 15:2)

gTo all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.h (John 1:12)

gEveryone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?

As it is written, eHow beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!fh (Romans 10:13-15)

gWe are therefore Christfs ambassadors, as if God was making his appeal through us.h (2 Corinthians 5:20)

gTherefore, my dear brother, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know your labor in the Lord is not in vain.h (1 Corinthians

gSing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.h (Psalm 96:2-3)

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gLove the Lord your God and serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.h (Deuteronomy 11:13)

gCome, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.h (Psalm 95:1-2)

gDeliver to the God of Jerusalem all the articles entrusted to you for worship in the temple of your God.h (Ezra 7:19)

gWorship the Lord your God.h (Exodus 23:25)

gAscribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. (Psalm 96:8-9)

gThe glory of the Lord filled the temple of God.h (2 Chronicles 5:14)

gAs God has said: eI will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my peoplee (2 Corinthians 6:16)




The eChristian Churchf, of course, began with Christ. We believe that Jesus was about 30 years of age when He went about the countryside of Judea gathering together his first followers. These men and women were to travel with Him for approximately a three years period of time, watching Him teach, preach, and heal. These visual actions of the Jesus of History were to lay the foundational beginnings for those who were soon to become the followers of the Christ of faith.

Originally, those that followed Jesus were, as He was, Jewish. Their tradition professed a monotheistic belief system, with their God residing in eheavenf. When we consider the other religions that existed at the time and their concepts of egodsf, espiritsf, and epowersf, I feel that it is an important and significant fact that our Christian religion developed out of this particular ideology. This is not to say that our church eseasonsf and

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Church membership takes on itfs importance because of itfs immediate and intimate relationship with God. It is also eimportantf because of the sacredness, the holiness, the Godliness of the echurchf itself. Yes, the people are the ebody of Christf, the echurchf; yet, we must also consider the developing church itself down through the ages.




efestivalsf did not originate from the secular, pagan celebrations of the time; but it is to say that our core concept of creation, relationship, and life relates to one -- and only to one -- God. This becomes dramatically more significant as we confess our beliefs about the Christ in relation to eternal salvation. (gIf you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be

saved.h Romans 10:9)

Eternal salvation was that which Jesus promised his followers if they were to believe and keep the ways of the Lord. And He asked that they go forth and make this known to all people in all times. His command to them was to gGo forth and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.h (Matthew 28:19). The task was immense, difficult, and often times dangerous, yet the Christ promised too that they (we) would not be alone on this endeavor.

Before Jesus ascended into heaven after He had been raised from the dead, his promise was this: gAnd I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, that he may be with you forever.h (John 14:16). And this ehelperf is our mighty Holy Spirit of God.

Of course, the Spirit of God has always been with us, but it was at the time of Pentecost that the force, strength, and power of this Spirit was to be felt and understood by Christfs followers. We see in our Scriptures that the promise of this ehelperf gFilled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Sprit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.h (Acts 2:2-4). I believe this to be the promise fulfilled, the empowerment of the disciples, the birth of our eChristian churchf.

Though, originally, the members of this echurchf did not have buildings such as we envision when we use the word echurchf today, they had ecommunityf. They were Christfs people, believers in the Word, and evangelizers of the message of the risen Lord. They began traveling about delivering the Good News of the gospel to others though they did not have the written Word as we have it today. Rather, theirs was an oral tradition.

It was not until approximately 70 A.D. that the eChristian traditionf began to be written down. As the early church was forming and growing, it needed a cohesive understanding of itself and the basic beliefs to which it held. The documents which were compiled at that time by those who were with Jesus or knew of Him through one who was, contained his words and deeds and

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proclaimed their critical connection to human salvation. This written apostolic witness of event (Jesus himself) and interpretation (the meaning of his life and teachings) is considered by believers (both then and now) to be Godfs revelation to his people. Thus, this initial apostolic information has been respected down through the ages in the church as that by which we understand ourselves and our relationship to God. We as Christians have determined our roots, formulated our belief system, and intrinsically connected Godfs Word as we understand it to our own personal faith concepts through it.

The key component of our belief system is the death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ. This redemptive act within human history establishes salvation for all time for those who believe and follow Christfs way. As the church developed down through the ages, the formulation of itfs doctrines, dogmas, and creeds, were dependent upon this. Today, we also center our church year, celebrations, sacraments, and worship around it.

Though we realize that culture and society have certainly played a role in the development of the church throughout time, we recognize that this redemptive act of our still now Living Lord defines who we are. Within this framework, basic theological tenants have been proposed and accepted within the eChristian churchf.

Before the time of our ancestral fathers, there was no comprehension of the immediate presence of a loving and caring God. Deity existence exemplified majestic powers which determined, controlled, and punished both man and nature at the slightest whim. This is a devastating thought for me -- dehumanizing to the point of rendering manfs existence totally irrelevant. That is why I stress in my church theological understanding that Jesus and his followers were Jewish. Their ways and their beliefs are very important to me in relation to my corporate and my personal understanding of church and faith. Our belief system is developed and derived from a people who held to a monotheistic belief system rather than to empty, purposeless, paganistic concepts of magic, demons, and divination. (Imagine if you possibly can what our faith and our church would elook likef and eproclaimf had this been our beginning!)

Our ancestral fatherfs ancient writings (which now comprise our Old Testament) tell of the birth of their nation (Exodus 19:5 eNow if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.f; Jeremiah 7:23 eObey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people.f) They recognize this nation

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to be Godfs, they recognize themselves to be Godfs, and they recognize that this relationship is based on covenant. These are all very significant aspects to me, because it says to me that the ancestors from which I (we) came have a erelationshipf with God. For me, there is no other way to worship, to believe, or to understand God except through relationship with Him.

For this enationf of people (as with myself), history and faith -- and everyday life events and faith -- are inextricably related. The Lord is as He says and does. Though patriarchal history and life were basically concerned with progeny, land, and blessing, the covenantal relationship still hinged on promise made and promise fulfilled. Godfs election of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and His relationship with them sets the stage for me for successive acts of both revelation and promise fulfilled.

It is now the duty of the organized church (as it has been throughout time) to take this message of revelation and promise fulfilled forward, to bless and to inform, to teach and to preach, to bring others to the saving knowledge of the this Word, Jesus Christ.




Inspired writings from the hand of God are certainly expected to influence and inspire the lives of the people who confess belief in them. They hold authority for defining behavior, experience, and reality for individuals and the group to which they belong.

We as Christians believe the above to be true. For us, our Scriptures are called the Holy Bible. This is our revealed ewordf of God; as such, we rely on it to tell us about God and about his will for us, his people.

(2 Timothy 3:16,17 gAll Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.h) The Bible stands at the center of both our lives and our worship of the Lord we love.

The collection of literary writings which make up our Holy Bible are

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-- Scriptures are sacred writings. Religions of the world that have Scriptures consider them to be divinely inspired. As such, it is understood that these written documents contain some kind of divine power or influence. They are believed to have been written down by men to whom the Lord revealed the information contained therein. Thus, they are to be believed as truth, honored as sacred, and treated at all times with the highest respect.




divided into two sections, the Old Testament and the New Testament. Though our Old Testament differs in the order for the books, the number of books, the names for the books, the chapter and verse numberings within the books, the endings for four of the books, and the underlying texts used, our Old Testament is more like the Hebrew Bible of the Jewish people than it is different. The Jewish people refer to these sacred Scriptures as Tanakh. They believe that Moses received the first five books of the Tanakh (the written Torah) and the oral Torah (which was passed on until it became transcribed by the rabbis into the Mishnah) from God himself at Mount Sinai. (The revelation given pertaining to God and his nature, the covenant relationship He has formed with his people, and the expectations and laws governing onefs life.)

As Christians, we divide our Old Testament into three main groups:(1) the Pentateuch, consisting of the five books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy); (2) the prophets, subdivided into the former prophets (Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings) and the latter prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the twelve minor prophets); and (3) the writings: Psalms, Proverbs, Job, and the five scrolls (Songs of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentation, Ecclesiastes, Ester), Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1 & 2 Chronicles. There are thirty-nine books in all. In order, the names of the books of the Old Testament are: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings,

2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.

Our New Testament consists of twenty-seven books which are divided into four major classifications: (1) Gospels, of which there are four, so named because they tell the egood newsf of Jesus Christ including his birth, baptism, ministry, death, and resurrection; (2) church history in the first thirty years or so after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; (3) twenty books in the form of letters (twenty-one if you include Hebrews, which is actually a homily); and (4) the last book, which is an apocalypse, or a revelation of Godfs will for the future. In order, the names of the books of our New Testament are: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, and Revelation.

The Jewish people have also preserved their books known as the Apocrypha. Most Protestants do not accept the fourteen books included in these

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writings as canonical. We have since the fourth century A.D. traditionally

recognized only the other above mentioned writings to be sacred Scripture.

Our measure for testing the authenticity of sacred writings would be:

(1) if the writing was apostolic,(2) if it showed true doctrine, and (3) if it had widespread geographical usage.) Although we do not recognize the Apocrypha as sacred Scripture, we do, however, appreciate the value of the writings and often print them as a separate section between the Old and New Testaments in our Bibles, or place them separately at the end of our Bible, or (usually) place them together in a separately bound book. The Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church do accept these writings as canonical and distribute them (more or less chronologically) throughout the Old Testament.

The original text of the Old Testament is written in the Hebrew language with a few brief passages in Aramaic; the original of the New Testament is written in Greek; the original of the Apocrypha (except one book) was written in Greek. Almost from the beginning though, all of the books of the Bible have been translated into other languages. Today we have not only a multitude of various language translations (well over a thousand), but we also have different eversionsf within the various language translations themselves. The major ones constructed over time in the English language would be: the Cloverdale Bible (the first complete Bible in English 1535 A.D.), the Jerusalem Bible, the King James Bible, the Amplified Bible, the American Bible, the American Standard Bible, the Revised Standard Bible, the New American Standard Bible, the Good News Bible, the Living Bible, the New American Bible, the New International Bible, the New King James Bible, the New English Bible, and the New Revised Standard Bible, the Todayes English Version, the New Jerusalem Bible, and the New Living Translation. It is important for us to recognize the differences between the versions, especially in times of study. One recognizes that the older versions may be harder to understand or listen to, however, some newer versions may be paraphrases rather than accurate translations (making them are more of an interpretation than a proclamation). We must know and remember this when reading or teaching.

As a Christian, I emphasize Jesus Christ in my life, in my worship, and in my teachings. For me, the Scriptures revolve around Him, with the Old Testament being used as prophecy which lead the way to Him and the New Testament descriptively and interpretatively teaching that He is the Lord and Savior, fulfillment of all that was, is, and will be. Whereas the Jewish people understand themselves connected to God through the old covenant given to Moses, I understand myself and other Christians to be in relationship through the new covenant established by Jesus Christ. This Rev. Lin McGee Date: 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 44)




ideology produces a distinct difference in perspective, with the Jews holding law in the highest regard and the people of the new covenant viewing love as the most essential element of our theology. We recognize the greatest commandment of our Lord to be: gYou shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind... And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.h (Matthew 22:37-39). Jesus lived His life this way, and it is expected the we should too.




The Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 12:2,3,7 states: gI will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all people on earth will be blessed thorough you... To your offspring I will give this land.h; and Genesis 15:5,18: gLook up at the heavens and count the stars -- if indeed you can count them. Then he said to him, eSo shall your offspring be... To your descendants I give this landf.h Genesis 17 reiterates this covenantal promise, giving specifics of intention. Then it proceeds to proclaim the longevity of it, and to request reciprocal covenant from the people: gI will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.h (17:6,7). gAs for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come.h (17:9).

This is a covenant that is the key to our understanding of our personal relationship with God. gThe Lord your God is a merciful God; He will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed by oath.h (Deuteronomy 4:33). We express this personal, individual aspect of the covenant each time we baptize: The promise is ours, faithfulness shall extend from both sides (ours and Godfs), and

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-- Covenant is an important Christian concept descriptive of the aspects of Godfs relationship with his people. (gDoes he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?h Numbers 23:19). Inclusive within this concept are promise, oath, pledge, obligation, fulfillment, and care; and as such, it becomes a means of communicating truths and intentions from God about God. Hebrews 7:7 tell us that, gBecause God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.h Godfs promise and promise fulfilled, constitute the basis of trust for the faith that we have in Him. Our Bible identifies six major covenants that God has made with his people.




fulfillment will be the blessing of our lives.

Second, let us look at the Mosaic or Law Covenant. This was a continuation of the spelling out of the promise obligations; it also pronounced what would happen to the covenant people if they obeyed or disobeyed these obligation. We find this profoundly detailed and intricate Biblical story in Exodus. This is the part of the Old Testament section of the Bible upon which Israel defined how it was to live as Godfs chosen people. It dictated the specifics of the religious, cultural, social, and civil

aspects of life both nationally and personally.

Abrahamfs descendants received this law, as Moses was leading them forth into the land of Godfs promise, after they had been in exile for four hundred years in Egypt. Freedom and prosperity were to now be theirs as they lived out their covenantal lives as His echosen peoplef in accordance with his law. Right from the start, however, they disobeyed and reaped punishment upon themselves. Throughout their history, they were constantly unfaithful to Godfs command until finally, the culminating judgments and punishments brought against them as a nation ended in the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple and the deportation of all the Jewish people form that area in 586 B.C.

It seemed at this point, that the end had come for Godfs people, Israel. Leviticus 26:14-39 and Deuteronomy 28:15-68 were quite descriptive of Godfs anger and wrath -- and, yet, immediately after the judgment and punishment came words of restoration and renewal (Leviticus 26:40-46; Deuteronomy 30:1-10). Godfs mercy and love would be re-established and prevail, if

his people would but obey.

A third major Biblical covenant is the Davidic Covenant. This covenant was established with Israel during their time in the promised land. Our Scripture tells us in 2 Samuel 7:16, that the prophet Nathan came to King David with the revelation of a special epromisef from God: gYour house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.h Kingship in Israel was subject to the law of the Lord and word of the prophet: gSamuel explained to the people the regulations of the kingship. He wrote them down on a scroll and deposited it before the Lord.h (1 Samuel 10:25); it was an instrument for the Lordfs rule over his people: gYet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away.h (1 Samuel 12:25); and it was to continue to recognize the Lord God as the ultimate Sovereign: gIf you fear the Lord and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the Lord your God -- good! But if you do not obey the Lord, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against

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you, as it was against your fathers.h (1 Samuel 12:14,15).

Thus, we understand this kingship to have been established in the context of covenant, and covenant renewal. Under King David the Lord fulfilled His promise to Abraham, as the people prospered, defeated their enemies, and extended their borders from Egypt to the Euphrates; and established the Davidic line from which the eternal, most holy, King of all would come.

As the royal line was established through David, the priestly line was established through Phinehas: gPhinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites, for he was as

zealous as I am for my honor among them, so that in my zeal I did not put and end to them. Therefore tell him I am making my covenant of peace with him. He and his descendants will have a covenant of a lasting priesthood, because he was zealous for the honor of his God and made atonement for the Israelites.h (Numbers 25:10).

Thought chronologically, the priestly line was established prior to the kingship (before they even reached the promised land), the function of both were to end simultaneously with the previously discussed destruction of the nation in 586 B.C.

We all know the beloved story of the covenant God made with Noah, that brings such hope and promise. gSo God said to Noah, gI am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth . . . But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark -- you and your sons and your wife and your sonfs wives with you.h (Genesis 6:13,18). gI now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you . . . Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood.h (Genesis 9:9,11).

Noah and his family and the creatures he took with him onto the ark were preserved from annihilation because of his mighty faith in God, and his faithful obedience. The covenant promise given to him was to extend down through the generations, for Noah was now the enew father of humanityf once the flood waters had subsided. A new start, a new beginning, a new hope. Ironically,(?), he was the first man born after the death of Adam!

Abraham, Moses, David, Phinehas, Noah -- faith brings people to covenant relationship with God -- God extends the promises to the descendants of the covenant. Will the promises come true? We saw as we discussed the Mosaic Law that the people of God lived in such disloyalty and disobedience to his commands that they were dispersed, sent out, separated. No longer living a

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covenant life in their promised land with their priests and kings established by God, many believed that the promises of God had changed or been withdrawn.

Jeremiah, however, states clearly that the promises still stand: gOnly if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done,f declares the Lord.h (Jeremiah 31:37). And He promises to the people yet another covenant to come: gThe time is coming,h declares the Lord, gwhen I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with

the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their

forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them.h (Jeremiah 31:31-33).

Not only a new covenant, but a new type of covenant. It is here that we look at our sixth major -- and certainly most profound -- Biblical covenant.

Though it was Jeremiah that foretold of this covenant, it was not until New Testament times that the covenant actually came into being. It was in, through, and by our Christ that the new covenant was instituted and took form. Christ was sent that we might know God on a personal level; He was sent that a new type of covenant might be made; He was sent as promise, and promise fulfilled.

This new covenant was not to the people, but ewithinf the people. God states this time in Hebrews 10:16, gI will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.h Surely a fulfillment of Jeremiah 31:33-34 which states: gThis is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time. . . I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. . .they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.h And we know Him through Christ our Lord, who says, gIf you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.h (John 14:6-7).

The New Testament covenant -- the covenant of love and hope, the covenant of peace and life, the covenant of sacrifice and salvation -- created, instituted, and declared by The Christ: gThis cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.h (Luke 22:20).

gNow the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.h (Revelation 21:3). The old covenant of law is replaced with the new

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covenant of love. The promise extends into, but does not begin with, the future. Individual and personal aspects take root. Eternity becomes central. The new covenant promise: forgiveness and salvation; promise given, faithful response, promise fulfilled. We are His through Jesus Christ.




explicit theological implications. For the Christian, the Incarnation is God with us in the flesh. This is a promise and gift from the Lord God himself: gTherefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.h (Isaiah 7:14). And so it was to be. . . gThe Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.h (Luke 1:35).

We as Christians believe that God, loving us so much and wanting to save our souls for all eternity, chose to enter our earthly habitat through the physical being of Jesus of Nazareth. gHe is the image of the invisible God.h (Colossians 1:15). We believe this eJesus of historyf to have lived some 2000 years ago in the land of Palestine. This eJesus of historyf is the eChrist of faithf who suffered and died for our sins so that we could be united with God for all eternity: gAll this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting menfs sins against them.h (2 Corinthians 5:18).

Jesus the Christ revealed Godfs nature to us through His being: gIf you really knew me, you would know my Father as well.h (John 14:7). He tells us of his Fatherfs wishes: gThe words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, doing his work.h (John 14:10). Thus, manifested in Jesus, was the eWordf. gThe Word because flesh, and made his dwelling among us.h (John 1:14).



-- To be incarnated means to be given a concrete form; as caro comes form the Latin for flesh, specifically we refer to the concrete form as embodiment. Once capitalized (Incarnation), the term takes on


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-- Protestants are basically of two thoughts, those who believe in the doctrine of the Trinity and those who do not (Unitarians). Those who do not, deny the divinity of Jesus Christ and profess that God is one, single, divine entity. Our fellowship of churches (Congregational Christian Churches) -- and I personally -- profess belief in a triune God.



Conceptually, we recognize three divine entities that are unified into God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. We recognize that our God has existed and will exist eternally in this way.

We are taught that the doctrine of the Trinity was defined and supported by the ancient church fathers at both the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. and at Constantinople in 381 A.D. It was important that they should substantiate the teachings of the Trinity, especially in light of the heresies that existed at the time. I am glad to have their findings and teachings behind me. However, for me the more substantial confirmation of the affirmation of the existence of the Trinity is Scriptural.

Though the word etrinityf is not found in the Scriptures themselves, (it was first used by Theophilus of Antioch in approximately 180 A.D.), we can readily recognize this theology both explicitly and implicitly in our studies. In John 10:30, our Christ says, gI and my Father are one.h We see in the opening sentences of Johnfs gospel that this was a efrom eternityf and eto eternityf thought in that it designates that it always was and always will be. The Spirit of God would be incorporated into this time line when we see such terminology used in Genesis 1:2 which tells us that even at the time of creation, g the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.h In my mind, the Scriptures indicate that there never was a time when the three did not exist as one. When we read through Ephesians Chapter 1, we are able to see that each entity has a particular purpose.

I have heard a lot of analogies which attempt to explain how the three persons of God could exist as one (such as Augustinefs tree one which depicts the root, trunk, and branches as separate yet one; or the egg one that depicts the shell, white, and yoke as separate yet one; or the water one, where water can be ice, liquid, or a vapor) -- for me, I think of it the same as time. I guess there is just that much oneness to it for me. Time consists of three epartsf, past, present, and future; yet time is time and each tense must be present to formulate the concept. The one the kids relate to the easiest is the one that deals with the erolef aspect of peoplefs lives. As I taught the confirmation class and we were all discussing it -- I told them that I was only one person -- but sometimes I am a pastor, sometimes I am a drummer, sometimes I am a mother, etc. -- Though each part of me always exists, each part of me is with different people and helps different people in different ways. My purpose at the time defines my role, yet I am always emef and in my own, one body.



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9. SIN

We see in our Scriptures that this sinful nature and activity is transferred into the nature of others by virtue of einheritancef : gTherefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.h (Romans 5:12). Though we may now be sinful by nature, we believe fully in the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:21), gFor since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.h)

It is impossible to stay esinlessf, human nature just doesnft work that way. But we are endowed with free will and that free will can choose to take the right paths as well as the wrong ones. If we make the wrong choice, are truly sorry, and repent, we will always be forgiven by our loving and righteous God. I often tell my people who I am counseling that are having a tough time liking themselves and/or forgiving themselves that Godfs love is bigger than anything we could ever imagine. Bigger than our sins, bigger than our disappointment with ourselves, bigger than anything in this world. Thus, though we should always try to make the right choices, if we fail and are sorry, when we come to the loving Father He will always forgive us.

-- In my mind, a sin is that which we think, feel, or do that is directly against the will of God. We know that though we were originally created esinlessf, Adam and Eve made a conscious choice to disobey Godfs rules (Genesis 3:6, gSo when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of itfs fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.h And in this act came about alienation from the Lord and death.

10. EVIL

Scripturally we can see, it was Adam who brought sin into the world, and

it was Lucifer who brought evil into the hearts of men. In Isaiah 14:12-14 we see that once someone thinks he is on Godfs level, once one believes that he and his wishes are as important or more important then Godfs, then comes evil. gHow you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the

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-- For me, evil is (once again, as with sin), tied up with the concept of free will. gIf you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword.h (Isaiah 1:19-20). When we choose to do -- or to not do -- something, we know as rational, intelligent, beings, that our decisions are laced with a knowledge of moral implications, and that the actions we finally choose carry consequences based on these implication. I do not believe that God himself creates evil, but that it is brought into being by the choices we make that alienate us from his ways of being.




nations! You said in your heart, eI will ascend to heavenf I will raise

my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.h

What is in our hearts is who we are.

Some people believe that God creates evil as well as good; and they even refer to Scriptures such as Isaiah 45:7 to make their point: gI form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.h I believe that they misconceive the Lordfs Word at this point -- it is not the ecreationf that is being spoken of, but, in fact, the ejudgingf. The Lord creates good and beauty, and expects his people to uphold the standard set for them; we, his people, make our choices; eI do all these thingsf indicates the judgment -- reward and/or punishment -- that will come upon us for the good that we do or the evil that we do.

There is evil all around us -- in relationships, in angry acts of aggression, in crooked business deals, etc. -- it is everywhere; not because God put it there or chooses for it to be there -- but because it comes about through the choices we make to go against Godfs will. If we would all just stop going against the will of God -- if we would all just keep Him central in our lives and in our thinking -- then the world would not be as it is. This, of course, is an unrealistic thought of mine, but it is none the less true. In my heart, however, I believe that when Godfs Kingdom does truly come, this is the way our eworldf will be.




-- Clearly, grace is that by which we are saved: (Ephesians 2:8 -- gFor it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast.h) The generous, powerful, life-giving gift of our Father to us, his people.

Ephesians 2:1 (gAs for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins

. . .h) relates to the time before the gift is accepted -- the time in which we live in esinf, the time our souls are temporal because they have not received the gift of eternal life from the Lord = dead to eternal time.

Because of our nature, we are unable to please God on our own. We are temporal, helpless, hopeless beings until our God grants us the blessing of salvation. (gSalvation comes from the Lord.h Jonah 2:9). He does this for us through the gift of his Son, Jesus Christ: gFor God so loved the world,

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That he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should

not perish, but have everlasting life.h (John 3:16).

Expressed in relationship, we see that the grace of God is a freely given favor/benefit to us, and our appropriate response to this gift would be thanksgiving/gratitude. The relationship is established, sustained, and enacted through our union with Jesus the Christ. We see in the concepts set forth in Romans Chapter 6 that we are intricately united to his process of life/death/eternal life; thus, granted salvation and sealed into the realm of Godfs grace.

Christians everywhere recognize the concept of grace. We agree that it is from the Lord, and we agree that we will fail to achieve Godfs favor without it. We do not agree, however, on exactly how grace operates within our Christian experience.

Determining that grace was a Divine energy working in the soul of a human, Tertullian was the first to attempt to put together a Christian doctrine of grace (approximately 200 A.D.). It was his works that paved the way for Augustinefs later theological stand on the efallf and eoriginal sinf. Augustine simply could not understand us as anything but sinful; a result of Adamfs eoriginalf sin. Augustine understood us to inherit it, be liable for it, and be saved from it only by the grace of God. Because of the efallf, man could do nothing but sin -- thus, there was no chance for good work, until we received (through baptism) remission of said sins, and the grace of justification.

Pelagianism, a movement which arose in Rome around 380 A.D., was in direct contrast with the thoughts of Augustine. Itfs founder, Pelagius, taught that Godfs grace was not needed for man to do good works. He proposed that man himself apart form God and Godfs grace could, in fact, by his own efforts take the steps necessary to become saved. The people who followed this teaching understood the grace of God to be a helpful but unnecessary commodity for performing good works.

The controversy was to continue through the centuries, with grace being sub-defined buy such terms as ecommon gracef, eprevenient gracef, esubsequent gracef, esufficient gracef, eefficacious gracef, ehabitual gracef, and eactual gracef. Today we draw these distinctions, which determine our final theological viewpoint on the doctrine of grace.

For me, the designated operating procedures connected to the developed terminology are irrelevant. God bestows grace -- it is a gift -- unearned, undeserved -- just given to us through his generous and loving nature. It

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comes to us so that we can gain eternal life -- that is the main point of giving the gift. It comes to us in our original, sinful state caused by the fall of man -- we do not need to wait until we are egoodf to receive it. It creates in us the ability to live our life in relationship with Jesus Christ -- we chose sacramental procedures which strengthen us in Godfs grace. We do good works because we are thankful for this wondrous gift from the Lord -- not to gain this gift from the Lord.




Old Testament concepts of returning to God are centered, of course, around adherence to the laws: gIf a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die.h (Ezekiel 18:21). The New Testament, however, centers around Jesus Christ: gRepent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you -- even Jesus.h (Acts 3:19).

Repentance is inclusive of faith, forgiveness, and fulfillment. There will be no future time without it: gBut unless you repent, you too will perish.h (Luke 13:3). I guess it should be the fear of perishing that creates the repenting act; however, for me, it is the fact of how much I have hurt Christ by my sins that brings me to my knees in sorrow. I am engulfed with a horrible, overwhelming, sickening sensation when I consider the pain I have caused Him. I repent in order not to hurt my God. Once I have in truth fully repented, I become overtaken by the recognition I have of his tremendous generosity towards me, and I have immense gratitude for the love and forgiveness I am given. I repent not so much with the thought of being saved foremost in my mind, but the thought of not causing my God pain. Naturally, I rejoice in the fact that I will someday be with Him -- and that He makes that possible for me through his astounding gift of Jesus Christ.

This gift demands of me total commitment to Him and total faithfulness to

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-- Repentance is a sense of sorrow which is implicit of action which would turn one from wrong to right, from bad to good, from false to true. It is a choosing of going from that which is against Godfs ways, to that which is eGodfs wayf. There are elements of remorse, choice, positive change, return, and commitment involved in the concept of repentance. Woven into our covenant relationship to our God, we recognize a human expectation factor which seeks erewardf or efavorf for the feeling expressed and the action taken. The decision to repent is directly connected to our desire for future life with the Almighty.




his ways. Though because of my innate, human nature, my need to repent occurs time and time again, I do strive at all times to live my life in a holy manor, congruent with his example and teachings. Repent = turn away from, turn completely away, go in another direction, with the intention of never returning to the old way again.




In itfs broadest sense, worship is ea way of lifef. If we experience and acknowledge Him, praise and love Him, trust and obey Him in all we do as we live out our daily life, we live in worship of our God. We understand worship in this context when we define our existence through faith, hope, and love. gThough you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him, and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.h (1 Peter 1:8,9). Life is a journey into the continuation of being, through Christ Jesus.

To live always in relation and respect to who God is is the highest form

of worship, gLove the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.h (Deuteronomy 6:5). We understand that

a Christian life is a spiritual life in which we express praise and honor to God through each thought, word, and action, gTherefore I urge you, brothers, in view of Godfs mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God -- this is your spiritual act of worship.h (Romans 12:1).

As humans, we have an inward, insatiable, need to express this life of worship in concrete, definable acts of intense communication with God. This expression may take the form of inward or outward acts that are private or public, formal or informal, elaborate or simple, structured or unstructured, individual or corporate. Often we reach out to God through inward prayer or petition, seek Him out in meditative study, or sense his glory in his creation around us. (gYou will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.h Jeremiah 29:13) Often too, we cannot contain the joy in our hearts we feel for Him. We go about preaching his mighty

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-- Central to our faith experience is worship; our encounter with God in which we pay respect and homage to Him through acts of praise, adoration, reverence, admiration, thanksgiving, gratitude, love, and devotion. Worship is a form of encounter with God which defines our relationship with our Maker, establishing that He is all powerful, all mighty, all merciful, and all loving -- and we are the created being, totally dependent upon his care for us.




Word (gPreach ye upon the housetops.h Matthew 10:27), singing out his mighty praises (gSing the glory of his name, make his praise glorious!h Psalm 66:2), and proclaiming his might deeds (gMake known among the nations what he has done.h Psalm 105:1). Whichever form these acts take, if we live in a way in which God takes central importance in our lives, in a way in which He is our omnipotent God, and if we love Him with our whole heart, and our whole mind, and our whole soul, our concrete inward and outward acts of worship will have tremendous credence and create spiritual elation, comfort, and peace. If, however, we do not live our lives themselves as acts of worship to the Lord, then any inward or outward act of eworshipf will have little or no value.

However, wherever, and whenever specific inward or outward eactsf of worship are held they must express that which is living within us and that which we are thus living out in our lives. They need always to focus on God and his magnitude and glory; they need to express our total dependence upon Him and our appreciation and thankfulness for his care; they need to facilitate our communication with him; and they need to enhance our relationship to Him. If the worship is corporate, it is important to keep in mind that God does not want us to simply be present while others eworshipf -- rather, He wants each of us to actively worship Him in spirit and in truth -- gThe true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind or worshipers the Father seeks.h (John 4:23). One must be a participant not a spectator at corporate worship to fully experience Godfs presence and to truly hear and understand what He is saying to them at that time.

Historically, as Christians, we have placed particular importance on the corporate gatherings which take place on the Lordfs Day. (Sunday -- the resurrection of the Lord was on the first day of the week -- thus, resurrection = the day of rising = the eday of the sunf = Sunday.) It is here that over the centuries we have generally expressed and experienced our most intense form of eworshipf. Incorporated into these services are as many aspects of proclamation and praise to our Lord God as there can be to show our tremendous gratitude to Him; we know that this is Biblical: gCome, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob.h (Micah 4:2) gBefore me every knee will bow, by me every tongue will swear.h (Isaiah 45:23). We know also that this form of eworshipf is Biblically portrayed in heaven: gWhenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say, gYou are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were

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created and have their being.h (Revelation 4:9-11).

Various Christian belief systems have developed their own forms of order and organization within these worship services which they generally adhere to. (This is also true to some extent for individual churches within a denomination or fellowship.) Basically, however, the structure of these services (particularly in reference to Scripture reading), formulated out of the Jewish worship format. Though Christians more and more develop their own liturgical style of worship in accordance with their theological beliefs, primarily we find the following elements to be present in the greater majority of services: Scripture reading, prayers, sacred music, confessions, doxologies, celebration of sacraments, and benedictions.

Many denominations and fellowships today (including ours) have prepared what is known as a ebook of worshipf that leaders may follow as they design and present a structured, corporate worship service. These books would be inclusive of not only the Sunday worship service, but also other services such as funerals, weddings, instillations, ordinations, baptisms, and other sacred gathering times before the Lord.




During the third century, the creed appeared in a question and answer format. The structural presentation we adhere to today was developed by 600 A.D.

It is often used at baptisms because it follows the Lordfs threefold baptismal command in Matthew 28:19, gTherefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.h

Most Christians in the Western churches recognize it as one of the principal, traditional, affirmations of their central belief system.

The theological statements it contains can each be found in Christian Scripture.

Rev. Lin McGee Date 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 57)


-- A statement of faith used by the Western churches. Many believe its original form was composed by the apostles shortly after Pentecost. Others deny itfs apostolic origin. Whichever the case, the present day form through which we profess our faith beliefs contains alterations and additions to the original more simplistic proclamation. 



Through this ordered system of celebration and study, we can methodically follow Christfs life from birth to and through ministry, his death, resurrection, and ascension, and the birth of his church and what it means to be an active witness in it. Within the course of the yearfs time, we tell our Biblical story of Jesus Christ and his people as we worship in our church communities each Sunday.

The fyearf begins with the season of Advent, our preparation time for the birth of our Lord; after this we celebrate his birth in the Christmas season; his manifestation as Godfs anointed one during the Epiphany season; our Lenten season is another preparation time for our souls in which we take a serious look at ourselves in relation to what God has done for us; the Easter season allows us to rejoice in the resurrection of our Lord and the opportunity for eternal life that this allows us; and the Pentecost season is the time in which we study the life of the church and our relationship to it as Christfs disciples.

The word Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, meaning coming or arrival. The observance of Advent originated in France during the fourth century. Celebrated initially with the same solemn, penitent observances as those of Lent, this time of preparation made ready the peoplefs hearts for the coming of Christ into their lives (and what that meant for their future salvation).

The Eastern church begins this season in mid-November whereas, the Western church begins its observance on the Sunday closest to St. Andrewfs Day (November 30th). Though we no longer fast during this season, most still adhere to a somber attitude as they examine their lives and repent for their transgressions. A quiet, respectful sense of joy underlies the atmosphere as we express our hope in and thanksgiving for the gift to come (Christ). A more festive sense is gradually now beginning to fill this season.

Theologically, Advent is a continuum; as we spiritually re-enact the Word made flesh in the birth of the Babe in Bethlehem we open our lives to not only the magnitude of this past experience of Godfs goodness and glory but also to the present promise of God with us in our lives today and the promise of the second coming in the end time. Ultimately, through the totality of the experience, we prepare our souls for eternal like with God through the gift of the past, present, and future coming of Christ.

Rev. Lin McGee Date: 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 58)

 -- A one calendar year time frame (365 days) which is divided into seasons. The basis for establishing the seasons and the especial daysf acknowledged therein is the life of Jesus Christ.




The season of Advent is culminated in the especial dayf of Christmas Eve. Our Biblical way of understanding time designates that we start our day with the eve before it: gAnd there was evening, and there was morning -- the first day.h (Genesis 1:5). Thus, the celebration of Christmas Day begins on itfs eve. The time of preparation has ended, the time of transition into the new season has begun, the time of celebration has arrived.

The especial dayf of Christmas inaugurates the Christmas season. There is no way to precisely determine the exact date of Christfs earthly birth. The first Christians celebrated it in combination with the Epiphany and Christfs first miracle (January 6th). It was not until the fourth century, when the Roman emperor Constantine became converted to Christianity, that it was appointed the separate celebration date of December 25th. (The earliest date we see it noted on a calendar [the Philocalian Calendar], was 336 A.D.) Originally, this day was a pagan festival associated with rituals of light; a natural choice as the Christians began to appropriate the known cultural celebrations and interject Christian content into them

-- Christ, the Light of the World. As the days began to lengthen and bring more light, so too did Christ bring more light into the world.

Though the Armenian Church in the East still recognizes January 6th as Christmas Day, the other Christian churches of the world recognize December 25th, as per the Roman tradition. For me, the development of the selection of the precise date is not as important as the incredibly overwhelming theological concepts held therein. Christmas for me is just what the word says -- Christ Mass. (Christ -- our Savior and Lord; Mass [coming from the Latin, missa] -- meaning Eucharist, Holy Communion.) This is the whole message of the gospel given us by our God -- that the Word made flesh had come about; that the process by which He would bring about salvation would occur; and that He would, indeed, return for us that we might have eternal life with Him. This is why it is especially important to me to offer the Lordfs Supper at this time.

The season of Christmas, as with the other times of the Christian year, developed slowly over time. Starting out as a celebration of only a few days, the length of time incorporated within the different church traditions varied until the etwelve days of Christmasf was established by the English as they ended the Christmas festivities on the Twelfth Night (the eve of the Epiphany). Whatever the time frame over the centuries, the Christmas season was a time of great happiness, joy, and celebration because of Godfs incarnation. As we spend the season reflecting on just what this gift means, how can we be anything else but elated?

Rev. Lin McGee Date: 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 59)




Epiphany as a especial dayf is a day in which Christians rejoice in Godfs profound announcement of his presence amongst us; recognize the great power of Godfs good over all evil; and understand Godfs declaration that He is for all people of all time who profess belief in Him. In the course of history, Epiphany has been know by other names such as: Feast of the Manifestation, Feast of Lights, Feast of the Appearing of Christ, and Feast of the Three Kings.

Originating in Asia Minor and Egypt early in the second century, Epiphany was at first a unitive festival which celebrated both the birth and the baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ on the date of January 6th. The festival was divided in the fourth century when December 25th was appointed as the birth date of our Lord (see above under Christmas).

Over time, as the Christian tradition developed, so too the understanding of the celebration of eEpiphanyf developed and took on more meaning. Epiphany, a Greek word meaning manifestation, to make known, a showing or shining forth, to reveal, was to become a season in which Christians recognized not only the birth and baptism of the Light of the world, but also his ministry and the miracles He performed while carrying it out. Specifically, the evisit of the Magif and the ewedding feast in Canaf are associated with this feast in a way that manifests Christ as Godfs Son and Savior of the world.

For sociological and cultural reasons, various segments of the Christian church were to emphasize different aspects of the Epiphany celebration. In the Eastern Church it was important to concentrate on Christfs baptism, for the Gnostic heresy was claiming that Jesus became the Son of God only at his baptism. In the Western Church the visit of the Magi takes precedence. They were to present openly, for all the world to see, gifts that announced and witnessed what their understanding of and relationship to the incarnated God was. One brought gold, and thus declared with his gift that Christ was a King; one brought frankincense, which represented worship, because he knew Him to be the High Priest; and one brought myrth, signifying that he recognized Christ as the Savior of the world. Thus, for the Western Church, Epiphany inaugurated the season of witness, worship, and Light emphasized through evangelism and mission.

For us, the revelation of the manifestation begins with the visit of the Magi to the Babe in the manger -- it proceeds to the crying out from heaven by our God at the time of Chrisfs baptism of his approval of the Christ and the announcement that He is his son -- it declares his power and glory when He is able to change water into wine at Cana -- and it concludes with the dazzling worship experience of the Christ on Mount Transfiguration.

Rev. Lin McGee Date: 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 60)




The light of God in Christ was to grow brighter and brighter until it illuminated in the brilliance which shined forth during Christfs intense prayer experience on the Mount.

Transfiguration Sunday falls three days before Ash Wednesday -- the beginning of Lent. Thus, it is not only the climax of the Epiphany season, but it is also the bridge to the Lenten season and the transitional event from Christfs ministry to Christfs mission.

Ash Wednesday is a especial dayf of repentance. It takes itfs name from the ancient practice of covering oneself with ashes as a public sign of penance. Through this act one signified that they were truly sorry and wished to turn their lives around. Christians have used ashes in this manor as far back as the second century. Utilizing the concepts incorporated in this practice, the Christian tradition, by the fifth century, established eAsh Wednesdayf as the beginning of itfs Lenten season.

On this day, Christians around the world go to their places of worship to ereceive their ashesf. In a small eceremonyf the ashes are placed upon the forehead of the Christian in a sign of the cross while the words from Genesis 3:19 are recited: gRemember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.h With that, we remember our mortality, our frailness, our sinfulness, and our tremendous need for the Saviorfs love and forgiveness. We begin our journey of self-examination and repentance, recognizing that there is no hope without the generous gift of life offered to us through

our Lord Jesus Christ through his suffering on the cross.

The Lenten season, beginning with Ash Wednesday, extends throughout a 40 day calendar period (not counting Sundays) in which we prepare our hearts, and minds, and souls, for the magnificent eEasterf events of our Lord. Spiritual preparation through self-examination, repentance, and growth in faith are brought about by actions of self-denial, intense prayer and meditation, and an increase of ministerial works. The term of time (40 days) is reflective of the time Jesus spent in the desert. Thus, He becomes our model for overcoming the temptations of the world and of growing closer to God.

Before Lent evolved into the above described season, it was originally (in the first century) a period of 40 hours (reflective of the 40 hours Jesusf body laid in the tomb) in which candidates for baptism entered an intense time of preparation and study for their baptism which would take place on Easter Sunday. By the third century, the 40 hours were eextendedf backward to include the six days preceding Easter as the appropriate preparation

Rev. Lin McGee Date: 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 61)



time. In the fourth century, these six days were designated by the authorities in Jerusalem as eHoly Weekf. Services were held throughout the city at this time in the respective places where the final events of the Lordfs life took place. (When the tradition began to be celebrated in the West, the stations of the cross were substituted for the exact locations in the Holy City.) The days of the week were designated: Palm Sunday -- entry

into Jerusalem; Holy Monday -- the cleansing of the temple; Holy Tuesday -- the Discourse on the Mount of Olives; Holy Wednesday -- Jesus anointed in Bethany and Judasf betrayal; Maundy Thursday -- The Last Supper, arrest, trial; Good Friday -- Jesusf crucifixion and burial; Holy Saturday -- time Jesusf body was in the tomb.

The six day observance grew into a six week observance (six week days, not counting Sundays) which eventually became the present 40 days observance. The four extra days which were added on consisted of Ash Wednesday (which was originally titled gBeginning of the Fasth until 1099) and the three days prior to the first Sunday of Lent (not in Lent, but of Lent). (Exception: the Eastern Orthodox church observes Lent over an eight week period and excludes Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays as part of the season.)

The events of Christfs last days on earth and their relevance for our faith are still assigned to and celebrated on particular calendar days during the week immediately preceding Easter. This week is an intensification of all that we have experienced and claimed as our own in relationship with God during the Lenten Season.

Our week begins with Palm Sunday. The Scriptures which are read describe Christfs triumphant entry into Jerusalem -- yet, before the service has ended, we also proclaim the Lordfs suffering which is to come. This is for two reasons, first, you cannot go from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday with nothing in between. Many people today do not attend week day services at church, thus, it is important to epreparef them appropriately for the Lordfs resurrection. Also, second, the readings for Passion Sunday (which traditionally was observed on the fifth Sunday of Lent -- the week before Palm Sunday) tell of the crucifixion. It causes confusion and disorientation when one goes from the crucifixion on one week, to the triumphant entry the next week -- and then back to the crucifixion the following Friday before the resurrection on the following Sunday.

For these two reasons, the modern church has found it more beneficial to the spiritual life of itfs members to combine Palm and Passion Sunday into one observance -- the Sunday before Easter. Also, the majority of churches now only have weekday services on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday; a few

Rev. Lin McGee Dare: 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 62)





observe the Great Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday.

Maundy Thursday -- Maundy comes from the Latin word for commandment -- thus, we recognize and honor this day the commandment that Jesus gave his disciples at the Last Supper -- to love one another. Often a service of foot washing is included in this service to signify the humility and sincerity with which Jesus loved and served others. Whether this ceremony is acted out or not, the underlying theological implications must be brought forth in the service. Of important also, of course, is the Sacrament of Holy Communion. As a matter of fact, this day was once called enatalis calicisf = Birthday of the Chalice. Some churches (Roman Catholic and Episcopalians) celebrate the institution of the priesthood on this day. Often the service includes Tenebrae, in which candles are extinguished one by one during the service as the Scriptures recounting the events leading up to Christfs crucifixion are read. Finally, somberly, the people leave in darkness to await the observance of Good Friday. (Tenebrae can also be celebrated during or after any observance of Holy Week -- it can also be held as a full service itself.)

Good Friday -- we call Good Friday egoodf because the event of Christfs death on this day brought about the salvation of all of mankind. Traditionally, the worships service is a quiet, meditative one in which the eseven last words of Christ from the crossf are expounded upon.

As the candles of Tenebrae are extinguished during Holy Week to symbolize the Light going out of the world, the Easter Vigil service announces the approach of the resurrection of the Light of the world as more and more candles are lit throughout the readings recounting the story of salvation history.

The Easter Vigil, sometimes also called the Paschal Vigil, begins anytime after sundown on Saturday evening. It began to last throughout the whole night by the year 225 A.D. It is one of the oldest liturgical observances in the history of the Christian church. As with everything else, the Vigil service has been marked with changes throughout the centuries, however, one very important event which has always been recognized in it is baptism. It can be the sacrament of baptism or the renewal of baptismal vows, but it is important to keep this aspect of the celebration alive in the service. (We remember that Lent was originally the time in which candidates prepared for their baptism). The Sacrament of Word and Holy Communion are also celebrated.

With the sunrise, we rejoice in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior of the world. The Lord has risen and our eEasterf

Rev. Lin McGee Date: 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 63)



begins. This is the greatest and the oldest celebration in the history of the Christian church. Though Easter does not begin the church year in the West (Easter does mark the beginning of the church year in the East), it is the heart of the Christian year and the source for all that it contains. As Christians, we recognize that our Lord rose on the efirstf day of the week -- thus, every Sunday after was celebrated as a elittle Easterf. With this emphasis, we have changed our day of worship from the Sabbath (Saturday) to the Lordfs Day (Sunday). Thus, Christfs resurrection

is celebrated each Sunday of our lives.

We know that Paul speaks in truth when he tells us in 1 Corinthians

15:17, gAnd if Christ has not been raised, your faith is in vain.h The resurrection validates all of our faith beliefs because it gives credence to Jesus Christ and his life and ministry; it also testifies beyond a doubt that God has triumphed over all earthly evil -- even death itself. As we preach, praise, and worship on our elittle Eastersf, we are called anew each week to die to sin and be alive to what is good and eternal in the risen Lord Jesus Christ.

As with other Christian festivals, Easter also was originally appropriated from a celebration in the pagan society which surrounded us when we began. The name gEasterf is adapted from the name of a Teutonic goddess -- eEastref (the goddess of spring and dawn) -- whofs festival was celebrated at the evernal equinoxf -- the time of the year when the duration of daylight equals and begins to surpass that of darkness. Christians, however, were not in agreement concerning the date of our Easter festival. At the council of Nicea in 325 A.D., we were instructed to determine the date thus, gOn the first Sunday after the full moon on or after the first day of Spring, March 21, or, if the full moon is on Sunday, the next Sunday after.h This should have settled the argument, which in actuality it did

-- however, the churches in the East and the churches in the West still celebrate Easter on different days than one another because we in the West establish our time frame in accordance with the Gregorian calendar and much of the East still uses the Julian calendar (which is ten days behind ours) -- hence, the difference. (Easter is also related to the Jewish festival of Passover, the date of which would be determined by the lunar [Gregorian] calendar also.)

Easter is not only a special day in the church year, but it is also a season of the church year. Initially, the ancient church began celebrating the festival of Easter for eight days. Services were performed each day and those what were baptized on the first day were expected to be in attendance at each service garbed in their white baptismal robes. eEaster Sundayf was referred to at this time as eThe Lordfs Day of Resurrectionf and/or ePaschal Day of the Resurrectionf, and the following Sunday was

Rev. Lin McGee Date 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 64)





referred to as eWhite Sundayf. This time was devoted to study, meditation, and reflection on the depth of meaning the resurrection of our Lord held for our human lives.

Eventually, the season developed to include 50 days -- the Great 50 Days, the Pasch. The expansion came about because of the Biblical understanding of the Ascension and Pentecost, and their relation to the life of the developing church. The extended Easter season was to become the foundation for establishing the church year as we have it now. As a season, Easter is a eweek of Sundaysf (the seven Sundays of Easter). A time of learning about the tremendous capacity of our Lord God, a time for incorporating that knowledge and itfs power into our lives, and a time for celebrating in joy and thanksgiving for the victory that God offers us in a life lived through his Son.

Included within the Easter Season, on the 40th day, is the Ascension of our Lord. This event completes Christfs resurrection experience, in that it brings Him efull circlef back into the presence of the Heavenly Father -- and it inaugurates his heavenly reign. Scripturally, the account of this is told in Mark 16:9-20; Luke 24:45-53; and Acts 1:3-11.

Traditionally, as far back as the last part of the fourth century, Ascension Day began to be celebrated on the sixth Thursday after Easter Sunday. Today, however, again because most Christians do not attend church services during the week anymore, celebration of The Ascension of the Lord is usually combined with either Easter 6 or Easter 7.

The 50th day of the Easter season is Pentecost, and it officially bring the Great 50 Days of the Pasch to a close. The word Pentecost is taken from the Greek, pentekoste, which literally means efifty daysf; the concept behind the festival is derived form the Jewish festival of Shavuot. This Jewish festival (celebrated 50 days after the Passover began) recognizes the establishment of the new relationship between Israel and God which began when Moses received the Law on the Mount. The Christian festival of Pentecost recognizes the establishment of the new relationship between God and the followers of Christ. As such, we turn to Acts 2 in our Scriptures where we as Christians record the ebirthf of our church.

The breath and Spirit of the Lord is released on this day into his church and becomes our teacher, comforter, and counselor. This Spirit empowers us and remains with us in the absence of the physical Christ. We celebrate both the gift of the Spirit itself and the gifts brought by the Spirit. This coincides with the ancient Feast of First Fruits which the Jewish people also celebrated on Pentecost, at which they gave thanks for their

Rev. Lin McGee Date: 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 65)





Modern times finds Jewish boys having a eBar Mitzvahf, at which they ceremonially become adult men and assume full responsibility to be obedient to the Law. Likewise, the Christian Church recognizes this occasion to confirm its youth into full membership with a local church. It is important to understand these connections because of our roots in the Jewish religion.

Pentecost originally was but one day (though, often, the whole of the Pasch would be referred to by this term by those who recognized the 50th day as Whitsunday. This is a etake offf term on White Sunday by those who considered this a secondary baptismal time. All candidates for baptism and confirmation on this day wore white robes as they did on Easter Sunday and the week immediately following.)

Basically, up until the seventh century no provision had been made for the period from Pentecost to Advent and the whole second half of the church year (which begins on Pentecost) remained devoid of any special significance. At that time, however, the doctrine of the Trinity began to take on great significance in the life of believers and as it continued to gain popularity many began to designate the Sundays between Pentecost and Advent as eSunday after Trinityf (Trinity Sunday being the first Sunday after Pentecost). In 1570, the Roman Church began using the name eSunday after Pentecostf to count their time and the Eastern church followed suit. In 1970, when our new unified lectionary came out, Protestants too began to recognize the season of Pentecost rather than the season of Trinity.

Pentecost is the longest season of the Christian year. In it we learn what it means to be true disciples and to follow the ways of the Lord. We have been instructed in faith within our sanctuaries during the first part of the year; now we are sent out into the world to deliver the message of the Word to all. We are the new body of Christ on earth working with the Spirit of the Lord within us. The Lordfs command is clear: gAll authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.h (Matthew 28:18-20).

The season of Pentecost closes with the celebration of Christ the King Sunday. This is the day in which we proclaim again the majesty and glory of our Lord Jesus. Christ is worshiped as sovereign ruler over all creation. Our story is retold and our loyalty is professed to He who has

Rev. Lin McGee Date: 11/10/02 -- Profile update from 3/7/96 (pg. 66)


brought us salvation, the Mighty Counselor, the Prince of Peace.

After this point, we would again enter our eChristian Yearf at Advent time and journey anew through the Christian year from a different eperspectivef. We travel in three year cycles -- year A being the study from the perspective of the writer of the gospel of Matthew, year B being the study from the perspective of the writer of the gospel of Mark, and year C being the study from the perspective of the writer of the gospel of Luke. (The gospel of John is dispersed within each year.) It is an exciting journey of faith, love, and salvation which never grows old. It is a journey of truth, of expectation, of eternal life and the One who brings it to us.


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Lin McGee

111 Marshall St.

Winsted, CT 06098





I began my emusical educationf when I was three years old. My parents enrolled me in dance classes with a local instructor, Miss Lois, initially beginning my studies with ballet movement and form. Other types of dance and movement instruction and study were added over the years as I progresses in my studies and skills. Forms of dance included in these studies were the art of tap, acrobat, Irish step dancing, toe, and jazz.

I studied locally (within CT) with several teachers throughout the years, and also danced in two troupes as a teenager which traveled to perform: Peggy OfNeils Irish Step Dancing Troupe from Hartford, CT, and Mary Ducey Walchfs Dance Troupe from New York, NY. As an older adult I studied and taught locally in order to be able to provide dance instruction lessons for my own children.

When I began my professional scholastic theological studies, I became interested in liturgical dance and the various forms and presentations it included. I was enriched as I saw liturgy flowing in the form of movement in worship. When I was ordained, a local dance artist blessed us with a very moving visual of eAmazing Gracef presented in dance form. I would eventually like to develop a liturgical dance team at a local church.

I have also studied the art of Christian Clowning and was able to be a member of the Glory-Be Clown Troupe in Suffield, MA when I was pastoring churches in that area. eSeeingf Scripture enacted in mime is a powerful and very moving blessing to young and old alike if it is done with great clarity, great emotion, and great reverence. The art of Christian Clowning with itfs use of facial and bodily Scriptural visual presentation, for me, was another reenactment of the beautiful holistic sensation of egivingf Scripture through movement that I had enjoyed while esingingf hymns with American Sign Language; both seem to impart and touch within our humanness, great spiritual beauty and depth.


Along within my artistic studies of dance, American Sign Language, and Christian Clowning, were, of course, studies which included the art of musical instrumentation. I began this study at the age of seven at the studio of a local piano instructor, Miss Ann Breshnan. Miss Ann was to teach me the basis of my musical knowledge and skills which I later applied to various eband instrumentsf in the local public school system. It was there that I studied flute, trumpet, trombone, and drums.

I continued my studies with Miss Ann at the piano throughout my younger years until I reached high school. I also continued my studies with the local public school band instructor, Mr. Gibb, throughout the same time period. When I reached high school level in academics, I entered the Putnam Catholic Academy in Putnam, CT. There I studied piano, organ, and voice under the direction of Sister Charles d.h.s. I was involved in many plays and musicals under her direction. I remained at Putnam Catholic Academy for two years, transferring my academic studies to Mount St. Joseph Academy in West Hartford, CT, in my third year of high school.

Throughout the four years that I was away for my high school scholastic studies, Miss Ann and Mr. Gibb both had me return home for musical presentations; Miss Ann incorporating me in her annual piano recitals and Mr. Gibb having me play and march with the Gilbert School Band.

When I was in college I played the piano and guitar for a lot of gatherings with friends, but this was for fun, enjoyment, and fellowship. I was not involved in professional musical studies or playing again until after I had had several of my eleven children. It was approximately the same time that I was involved with dance study/instruction for the benefit of my childrenfs learning opportunities that I also resumed study and instruction of piano under the direction of Miss Ann here in Winsted, CT, for the same reason.

As my children matured and I wished to continue my scholastic education, being a single parent, money was very tight. The use of their support money for the purpose of my academics was unacceptable to me. Thus, along with many other types of financial endeavors, I also began playing the keyboard with small local bands.

I was ordained in 1996 and certainly began to utilize my studies of music in weekly and other worship services. When I pastored at the First Congregational Church in Torrington, CT, we had an organist and an adult choir director; but we had no one who was


working with the children of the church in the musical setting. Consequently, I began a little musical band with them through which they blessed Sunday and other special worship services every so often. I also sang in the choir there, played the piano for special music presentations, and filled in on the organ when the regular organist could not be with us.

I also had a friend at this time who I did a great deal of duet practicing with (utilizing the piano, organ, and the flute on my part) and with whom I did some musical presentations at local churches. I also played the piano or organ for various clergy groups when we got together for worship or fellowship. I was also asked to play at several funerals.

About a year after I began pastoring churches in MA, the organist at one of the two churches I was at needed to move on to another church. She did return to do special duet music with me from time to time when her other church duties did not hamper that time wise; but basically the church was without a musician and was unable to find one. Consequently, along with being the pastor, I also applied for the position of organist and choir director and was allowed to take the position. This was at the New Boston Congregational Church in Sandisfield, MA.

Also along with the two positions mentioned above at the Sandisfield church, I was the pastor at the First Congregational Church in Otis, MA, and was very heavily involved in their music program. I served on the music committee, played duets with the organist (utilizing either the piano, organ, or flute), and sang in the choir. I was asked, too, at this time (in CT and MA) to play as the pianist or organist at funerals and weddings (some at which I was only the musician and some at which I was both the officiating clergy person and the musician).

About two years after I began pastoring at the First Congregational Church in Otis, the employed organist was involved in a car accident and was, unfortunately, unable to continue playing for us. As I was already the organist and choir director for the Sandisfield church and was enjoying it immensely, I also applied for the position of organist and choir director at the Otis church, concurrent with pastoring both churches. I was accepted for this position and began playing all the music for every service and also, certainly, all the special services and weddings and funerals. I was also being asked at this time to play weddings and funerals by other churches in CT that were unable to find an organist when they needed one (particularly during the week).


I continued in the position of pastor, organist, and choir director for both the New Boston Congregational Church and the First Congregational Church until I resigned my position as pastor at the churches (New Boston in August of 2001 and Otis in September of 2002). While working in these positions I also was involved at the Church In The Wildwood in Colebrook, CT. This is a small vesper church located in North Colebrook, CT, which offers evening services on Sundays throughout the summer months. Basically, I would attend and be available for each evening service because sometimes the piano player was unable to come (or a pastor didnft realize that they needed to bring their own piano player), and so I would help out in playing the music if needed. Basically, there is a twenty minute hymn sign there where the people pick the hymns and the first line or two are sung, then there is the regular vesper service. I did this from 1994 or so until the summer of 2001; reason being, that I had married in April that year and my husband and I had begun co-pasturing at the Otis church. We offered three worship services a Sunday in Otis, one being in the evening (which conflicted with the Wildwood services time wise) and I was playing the music for all three services.

During the time that I was leading the choir in the MA churches, I also was doing some work with combined choirs. I incorporated the marvelous voices of the New Boston Congregational Church, the First Congregational Church of Otis, St. Maryfs of Otis, the Winsted United Methodist Church, and the Barkhamsted Center Congregational Church, traveling to the different churches to present musical programs that I designed and often wrote the speaking parts for. These singers, musicians, and readers did a wonderful and blessed job!! They were just wonderful!! Prior to this, I had worked with combined choirs as I programmed the worship service and music for my ordination service. There were six choirs, additional singers, multiple instrumental musicians, and a liturgical dancer who participated.

When I resigned as pastor of the First Congregational Church in Otis, my musical position at that church also, of course, was included in that resignation. I believed that my husband and I would momentarily present our profiles to other churches for consideration by search committees concerning a co-pastoring position. However, approximately a week after leaving Otis, I was involved in a bus crash on the interstate in IN when the driver of the bus I was riding on ran into the back of an 18 wheeler.

When I returned home, I was unable to seriously consider another pastorate at that time due to the injuries I had sustained in the bus accident. Prior to leaving CT on the bus, however, I had


been watching my ehome churchf on TV, channel 13 (local access), and had offered to fill-in or help out the regular organist at any time in any way (realizing that she was 93 years old) until my husband and I began pastoring again. My offer was accepted

and extended to a weekly position with the understanding that the church would be looking for a permanent organist/choir director through their denomination (Methodist) and I would also be looking for a co-pastorate position with my husband when I was well.

The position as organist and choir director at the Winsted United Methodist Church went from weekly to eI will stay until after Christmasf to eI will stay until after Easterf -- etc. I absolutely loved it there and enjoyed working with the pastor and the choir. What an exceptional choir; both attitude wise and musically. You just could not ask for a better group of people.

I also played for weddings and funerals throughout my time as organist and choir director at the Methodist church. I have kept up with my piano, organ, and flute playing and with choir directing; sad to say, however, I have let my other training on musical instruments go. Often, however, I think of rejoining a marching band where I can again play my quad-drums. My children and I always marched with local drum corps when the children were younger. It afforded us group musical playing opportunities, an inexpensive and rewarding family activity, and the ability to serve our community. We played for concerts, marched in parades, and competed in local and regional events. It was great fun, a great musical experience, and (hopefully) a good service to the community.

After leaving the Methodist Church as the organist/choir director and in the summer of 2003, I began to serve as the summer musician at the North Congregational Church in New Hartford, CT. I was also still playing for weddings and funerals when asked and was at that time also involved in a ministry to the Cherry Brook Health Care Center in Canton, CT, where my husband and I offered worship services and hymn sings. I was able to use a piano which they had there for services and I believe the people really enjoyed singing the old hymns. We began with just three or four people coming, but were eventually able to reach about twenty-five a Sunday!! Praise the Lord!!

Presently, I am playing the organ for our little house church which meets on Sundays in the afternoon and on Wednesday evenings. Too, we visit the Geer Nursing Home in Canaan, CT quite often where we have a parishioner living, and I am able to play the piano there for our services. Presently, I am also


serving on a National Hymnal Committee with my denomination (Congregational Christian Churches) and we are studying the Pilgrim Hymnal, updating it, and will be presenting

it for re-publication for use within the Congregational

church system sometime this year.





I would like to apply for the position of organist and choir director at your church. I understand that this position will be opening in August of this year (2005). I am available to interview with your church by playing a service on any upcoming Sunday; I am also, of course, available for verbal interview.

I have prayed greatly before applying for this position. I do not take this position or the responsibility of fulfilling it lightly. I understand that it is a committed, spiritual, responsibility that comes under the direction of the spiritual leadership of the church.

I would be available to the church for each Sunday morning service, choir rehearsal, special music programs at during seasonal times, special events, and funeral and wedding assignments.

I would also enjoy working with choirs (both adult and youth); and developing a musical instrumentation program for the children if they and the church would be in agreement with this.

I would be willing to supervise the care, tuning, and maintenance of the church musical instruments should your church need me to do that. I have been working in this capacity for many years in other churches (and with my home instruments).

I gain a great deal of spiritual strength through music ministry and appreciate the opportunity to apply for this position with your church.

Thank you very much. Blessings,



Lin McGee
















At this point, concerning my own future pastoral position, of which I am sure you must have a question, my intention is to go very slowly under Godfs direction for my ministry service. Momentarily, my mother is very ill and I am her (only child) care taker. I am understanding this to be a sign from the Lord to me that I am to go very slowly before entering into another pastorate, that I am not to enter another pastorate without it being a co position with my husband, and that I am to do much praying, healing, and study before entering the pastorate again.

My intention is to work with my denomination in learning how to develop a enew startf church. My husband has started many churches and missions throughout the country prior to our marriage which have met with great success. The Lord is leading us to do this, but He tells me that my musical ministry and the ministry that my husband is doing at the Kolburne School in MA as a resident counselor with the boys is to be our primary ministry at this time with intention for and preparation for a new start church in the future.

eWhat would this mean in relation to the position I am applying for at North Church?f Hopefully, one would strengthen the other. By that I mean that I gain a great deal of spiritual strength through music ministry. I would hope that this would help to make me better able to serve a new start church. Conversely, I would hope that any endeavors that I would have in beginning and sustaining a new start church would intensify my ability and desire to express my spirituality through the music ministry at your church. It would be necessary for my husband and I to plan our worship services and other church functions at a time other than that which would conflict with the needs of the position as Director of Music at North Church for me and the needs of the position of resident counselor at Kolburne School for him.

We are now interested in and praying about a place that we would be able to rent to begin this new start church in. It would, of course, start very small with worship services and Bible studies.

The Lord would lead us from there in both the development of the church itself and where to eventually settle the ministry building wise.

I have read through both the posting for the position of Director of Music and the job description for this position that your church has put out. In relation to comments made in them I wish to say:




I do understand the statements in the job description, they are much like the ones in the contracts I have signed with the churches as pastor. I understand working with church committees such as the Search Committee, the Music Committee, and the Personnel Committee. I also understand the process of and need for reviews and the like.

Yes, I would work under the direction of the pastor and would report to and work with the Music Committee for the benefit of the church music ministry.

I am unfamiliar with submitting budgets for music, as I have always worked for small churches and have consequently purchased and paid for all of their music and music supplies myself. I am willing to learn this aspect of music ministry within the church and itfs budgeting system, however.

Basically, pertaining to the purchase of music, I would travel to a city (usually Phoenix, AZ) and spend several days at a music center (usually Quickfs Music and/or Cokesbury) studying and playing what they had available, then I would purchase it, ship


it home, and use it for the church when I returned.

I am also unfamiliar with eco-ordination of publisherfs permission for the use of copyrighted materialsf. The churches I served purchased a copyright license and I have always worked under that. Again, however, I am willing to learn the way you proceed with this endeavor.



Thank you for the opportunity for the interview and for being able to serve the church. I have really enjoyed playing for worship as the summer musician.










1. Mt. St. Joseph Academy HS Diploma 1965

West Hartford, CT


2. Northwestern CT AS in Human Services 1984

Community College

Winsted, CT


3. Charter Oak College BS in Psychology 1987

Hartford, CT


4. The Consultation Center Training in 1984

Of the CT Mental Health counseling

Center and Dept. of interventions in

Psychiatry -- Yale sexual assault

University School of


New Haven, CT


5. Susan B. Anthony Training in 1984

Project for Women violence; crisis

Torrington, CT intervention;

advocacy; counseling


6. Northwestern CT Study of Sign 1987

Community College Language and to

Winsted, CT Deafness 1989


7. Tantur Institute Study program 1995

Jerusalem, Israel in/on the Holy Land

and faiths


8. UCC -- Litchfield Completion of 1995

North Association studies for

Goshen, CT M. Div. Equ.

9. Hartford Seminary MA in 1996

West Hartford, Ct Religious Studies




10. Hartford Seminary Certificate in 1996

West Hartford, CT Black Ministries



11. Hospice Foundation Living With Grief: 1999

Of America At Work, At School,

Teleconference At Worship

Pittsfield, MA


Awarded: A one year subscription to gInterpretation: A Journal

of Bible and Theologyf; given by William P. Brown and

John T. Caroll, Co-editors of the publication; gbased

upon a recommendation from the faculty of Hartford

Seminaryh; award given yearly to three outstanding

students of Bible and theology at the seminary.

Awarded: American Association of Christian Counselors; member in

good standing for the year 2001-2002; presently studying

through this group a course called eExtradinary Womenf.



Rev. Charles Lanham

1129 Wolcott St. Apt 12

Waterbury, CT 06705


Mrs. Carol Hague

464 Greenwood Rd.

Torrington, CT 06790


Mrs. Debbie Storrs

498 Brightwood Ave.

Torrington, CT 06790


Mrs. Rose Crittendon

22 N. Main Rd. PO Box 307

Otis, MA 01253


Mrs. Paula Martin

230 Main St. Lot #2A

Yalesville Square

Wallingford, CT 06492


Rev. William McGee

111 Marshall St.

Winsted, CT 06098


Mrs. James Funk

170 E. Wakefield Blvd.

Winsted, CT 06098





Rev. Lin McGee

Pastor Lin is presently serving our church as Pastor, Minister of Music, and Pianist.  She is part of our husband / wife pastoral ministry team with Pastor David McGee.

Pastor Lin is the mom of eleven children and five step-children, the grandma to thirty-three little (and not so little) ones, and the great-grandma of six.

She and Pastor David's sons Jim (Army) and Dan (Marines) serve our country in the War on Terror with the United States Military.  Each son has (thus far) completed a tour of duty in Operation Enduring Freedom, and; Jim has completed two tours of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom; Dan has completed one tour of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom.   

To honor their service and that of all who have served past and present, Pastor Lin has founded the first Chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. in Connecticut -- the Connecticut Blue Star Mothers, CT Chapter One.  She works among the other mothers as President, Pastor, Blue to Gold Officer, VAVS Rep, Veterans Service Coordinator, Media Manager, Patriot Guard Riders Rep, Patriotic Instructor, and Website Manager. 

She serves the national organization, the Blue Star Mothers of America Inc.  within Connecticut as the Connecticut State Liaison for the Chapters and the Connecticut State VAVS Rep.  On the national level, she serves the BSMoA in the capacity of National Chaplain.  Previously she has served as the National Patriotic Instructor. 

Pastor Lin is the Connecticut State Chaplain for the Missing In America Project  which is organizing members nation wide to locate, identify, and inter the remains of our nation's veterans (and their families) who have been cremated, yet unclaimed for burial.    

Though a 'cager' and not a 'rider', Pastor Lin is a proud member of the Patriot Guard Riders and the Connecticut Patriot Guard Riders.     

Along with her mother, Norma, she is a Lifetime Member of the VFW Post #296 Ladies Auxiliary in Winsted, CT.  They are proud to belong to the Post through the foreign war service of Pastor Lin's father, James Funk, in WWII; Pastor David's service in Vietnam; and Jim and Dan's service in the War On Terror.  Pastor Lin serves the Post's Ladies Auxiliary in the capacity of Chaplain and also Patriotic Instructor.

 If you are a 'stitcher' (either hand or machine), Pastor Lin would very much appreciate your help with a project that she is a part of which gives embroidered memorials to the families of the fallen.  Pastor Lin is the State Rep for Connecticut, New Jersey, Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana -- and also the district, Washington, DC.  If you stitch (hand or machine) and would like to join the project, please contact Pastor Lin at  or  placing 'Stitching For The Fallen' in the subject line.  To find out more about the project itself, go to the following websites:

'American Soldiers Memorial Project' website -- it is for hand stitchers, but is the sister site of the machine stitchers website.
'No Soldier Left Behind' website -- it is for machine stitchers, but it has a lot of information and pictures for both.

If you knit or crochet, prayers shawls, prayer cloths, and lap robes are very much needed for the Gold Star Families; winter hats, lap robes, and gloves are very much needed for our veterans; and dark colored hats and scarfs are very much needed for our troops.  The Connecticut Blue Star Mothers and the Precious Stars gift these items to our heroes and their families.

To serve the Lord faithfully as she ministers to our military and veteran families, Pastor Lin is affiliated with Military Ministry and Christian Military Fellowship  If you have any difficulty reaching these ministries or live in the New England area and would like resources from these ministries, please contact Pastor Lin at

Pastor Lin is the founder and pastoral director of the international women's ministry:  Women of Ministry / Women of Faith International.    and of the military / veteran support ministry Precious Stars     She co-founded and serves Faith and Life Ministries International with Pastor David  

Pastor Lin loves music and has recently finished her work on the Hymnal Committee for the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches.  Hymns for a Pilgrim People: A Congregational Hymnal, which was published in June of 2007 and has sold over 8,000 copies.   She is also a member of the NACCC National Choir. 

She has authored devotional studies, prayers, workshop literature, poems, sacred musical presentations, and retreat programs.  She has written patriotic informational articles for the BSMoA, a contributing chapter for an upcoming military family book, and is working on her own book in relation to mothers of the military which will include original music, prayers, poems, and inspirational thoughts.  She loves birds, butterflies, and people.  She is a musician, Christian clown, and loves to do hand crafts.  PASTOR LIN DOES NOT COOK!

The following is part of Pastor Lin's bio:

Pastor Lin Is A Member - Of The Ordained Clergy - With:

  • The National Association of Congregational Christian Churches (Oak Creek, WI)
  • The Fellowship of Connecticut Congregational Christian Churches (Hartford, CT)
  • Eagle Rock Congregational Church (Thomaston, CT)
  • JESUS - My Lord and Savior - Church  (Winsted, CT -- mission church of West Gulfport Baptist Church, Gulfport Mississippi)

Pastor Lin's Ordination Has Been Recorded In The Permanent Records Of:

  • The West Coast Congregational Library (Los Angeles, CA)
  • The Congregational Library (Boston, MA)
  • The Congregational Library (Oak Creek, WI)
  • The Hartford Seminary (West Hartford, CT)
  • The First Church of Winsted  (Winsted, CT)
  • The First Congregational Church of Otis (Otis, MA)
  • The New Boston Congregational Church (New Boston, MA) 

Pastor Lin Presently Serves In The Following Ministry Capacities:

  • Co-Pastor, Eagle Rock Congregational Church
  • Music Director/Pianist, Eagle Rock Congregational Church
  • Co-Pastor,  JESUS - My Lord and Savior - Church  (Winsted, CT)
  • Co-Founder, Faith and Life Ministries (Winsted, CT)
  • Team TV Ministry Program Provider with David McGee for: 'A Message From God' (Cable 13, Winsted, CT area; Cable 5, Torrington, CT area)
  • TV Ministry Program Provider for: 'Women's Faith Time' (Cable 13, Winsted, CT area; Cable 5, Torrington, CT area)
  • Founder,  'Women of Ministry / Women of Faith'  INTERNATIONAL
  • Member, National Association New Hymnal Committee  (Oakcreek, WI)
  • Member, NACCC National Choir
  • Member, Missions Committee (CT Fellowship)
  • Member, Christian Education Committee (CT Fellowship)
  • Board of Directors, The Church in The Wildwood (Colebrook, CT)
  • Board of Directors, Asian Faith Mission of India (Kerala, India)
  • Board of Directors, Agape Children's Home (Kerala, India)

Pastor Lin Was Selected For and Has Received The Following Awards/Recognitions:

  • Award, Alumni Of The Year for Outstanding Achievements 2004, Northwestern Connecticut Community College (Winsted, CT)
  • Recognition/Award, Given to the Top Three Outstanding Students of Bible and Theology Class of 1997 -- Granted Through 'Interpretation', A Journal of Bible and Theology -- Per Recommendation of The Faculty of The Hartford Seminary (West Hartford, CT)
  • Membership, Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society
  • Membership, Empire Who's Who (Mineola, NY)
  • Membership, Madison Who's Who (Long Island City, NY)
  • Membership, American Association of Christian Counselors (Forest, VA)
  • Freedom Team Salute Certificate of Appreciation and Army Parent Pin from the US Army in July 2005 for outstanding support as a military parent, the support of Soldiers fighting the Global War on Terrorism, and contributions and personal sacrifices in preserving freedom and the security of our Nation.
  • Certificate of Appreciation for support of the 443rd CAB serving in the Iraqi Theatre and around the world in America's Global War on Terrorism; from, 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Operation Iraqi Freedom COB Speicher, Iraq; United States Army.
  • President's Volunteer Service Award and Pin from President George W. Bush for serving over 5,000 volunteer hours in ministry, mission, and the support of our military, veterans, their families, and the families of the fallen.
  • Certificate of Appreciation from the United States President's Council on Service and Civic Participation in recognition of commitment to strengthening our Nation.
  • Certificate of Recognition from the Connecticut Blue Star Mothers of the United States President's Call to Service Award for over 5000 volunteer hours given in the area of 'International Service'. 
  • Certificate of Appreciation, Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. in recognition of outstanding accomplishments, dedicated service, and commitment to excellence as Patriotic Instructor, 2009-2010.
  • Recognition trophy presented at the 68thy Annual Convention of the Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. for outstanding commitment to the duties of National Patriotic Instructor.
  • Freedom Team Salute Certificate of Appreciation and Army Pin from the US Army in December 2010 for outstanding contributions to the United States Army and personal sacrifices made to preserve the freedom and security of our Nation.

Pastor Lin's Fields of Studies Include:

  • Northwestern Connecticut Community College (Winsted, CT) --  AS Degree in Human Services, 1984
  • Charter Oak College (Hartford, CT) -- BS Degree in Psychology,  1987
  • The Consultation Center Of the CT Mental Health Center and Department of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine (New Haven, CT) -- Training in counseling interventions in sexual assault, 1984
  • Susan B. Anthony Project for Women (Torrington, CT) -- Training in violence, crisis intervention, advocacy, counseling, 1984
  • Northwestern Connecticut Community College (Winsted, CT) -- Study of Sign Language and Deafness, 1987-1989
  • Tantur Institute (Jerusalem, Israel) -- Study program in/on the Holy Land and Faiths, 1990
  • United Church of Christ, Litchfield North Association (Goshen, CT) -- Completion of Studies for Master of Divinity Equ., 1995
  • Hartford Seminary (West Hartford, CT) -- Masters of Arts Degree in Religious Studies, 1996
  • Hartford Seminary (West Hartford, CT) -- Certificate in Black Ministries Program, 1996
  • Hospice Foundation of America, Teleconference (Pittsfield, MA) -- Living With Grief: At Work, At School, At Worship, 1999

Pastor Lin is Skilled in The Following Areas of Ministry:

  • Biblical and Theological Studies
  • Liturgical / Sacred Writing
  • Women's Ministries
  • Hospice and Bereavement
  • Music, Dance, Flag, and Artistic Ministries
  • Christian Counseling and Crisis Intervention
  • Disabilities Ministries
  • Military / Troop Ministries
  • Veterans Ministries
  • Military Families Ministries
  • Christian Clowning
  • Worship, Worship Resources and Retreats



111 Marshall Street   Winsted, CT   06098 



Knitted Helmet Liner


Cascade 220 or any soft wool yarn that will knit to gauge. Approx. 175 yards. (5 hanks of 220 will make six hats) The reason the pattern calls for 100% wool yarn is because the headgear the military issues is made of synthetic fiber, which is not as warm as wool. Our troops who are subjected to sub-zero wind chills are still cold in synthetic headgear. The goal is to keep them warm by using 100% wool yarn.

COLORS ALLOWED BY THE MILITARY are black, charcoal, brown, tan, olive drab. (Black is the preferred color.)
Size 8 ¨C 16¡å circular needle, or size to get gauge
Size 8 double point needles (DP), or size to get gauge
Size 6 ¨C 16¡å circular needles for ribbing.
One stitch marker
GUAGE: 4.5 st. /inches in stockinet stitch

NECK: With smaller circular needle, cast on loosely, 84 stitches. Place marker. Join in round and knit in 2X2 ribbing for 6 inches. (This added length is preferred, so it doesn¡¯t gap at the throat when pulled up over the mouth.)

HAT PORTION: With larger circular needle, knit 32 stitches off smaller needle. Leave smaller circular needle in the rest of the stitches. Cast on 59 additional stitches, place marker to mark beginning of round, join in round, Knit even for 4¡å.

(Knit even means¡­..knit every stitch in every row.)

1st Decrease row: *K11, K2 tog,* repeat to end of round.

Next Row: Knit even.

2nd Decrease Row: *K10, K2 tog.*, repeat to end. Next row: knit even. Change to DP needles when necessary.

Continue decreases as established until K2, K2 tog. After this, decrease every row until 7 stitches on needle.

Cut yarn 8-9¡å long, feed through remaining stitches and weave in.

RIBBING AROUND THE FACE: With smaller needle still in neck portion, pick up stitches around face. Join in circle and knit 2X2 ribbing for 1 inch. On last row of ribbing, decrease in a total of 4 PURL stitches by purl 2 together.

(2 sets on each side of face, i.e. 10:00, 2:00, 4:00, and 8:00)

Designed by Bonnie Long, Knit Wits, 3419 Chatham Rd. Springfirel, IL. 62704. 217-699-6100. All rights reserved. Copies may be made only for the purpose of donating helmet liners to our active service personnel. In any case design attribution must remain.


War Dogs

American Wars

Air Force - killed in car crash AZ

Constitution facts

In the United States, we have many days of recognition in the month of April.  I would like to share many of the major ones with you here.  I have separated them out by Presidential Proclamation (month, week, day) and other special anniversary recognition dates that we celebrate.
Recognized by Presidential Proclamation:
The Month of April is Recognized by Presidential Proclamation as:
Special Weeks in April  Recognized by Presidential Proclamation:
Special Days in April  Recognized by Presidential Proclamation:
Special Notice on Flag Status:
Special Times of Recognition In The Month Of  April:


ARMED FORCES DAY - May 15, 2010
In May of 1962, on Armed Forces Day, President John F. Kennedy gave this 'Word To The Nation':  "Guard zealously (the) right to serve in the Armed Forces, for without them, there will be no other rights to guard."
Each year we in America set aside the third Saturday in May to honor the Armed Forces of our country.  With great gratitude we remember the sacrifices given by the men and women who serve and who have served this great nation.  Their total commitment to freedoms, their deep dedication to patriotism, their loyalty and courage in the face of all danger in order that they might preserve the American way of life.   We the people of the United States gather to recognize, thank, and salute these brave souls who so gallantly have given so much to sustain 'our rights'!
It was President Harry S. Truman that first forged through to create a unified day on which the citizens of our nation would be able to honor our United States Military in such a way.  Until 1949 there had been multiple celebrations stemming from individual recognition days within our individual military branches (i.e. Army Day, Air Force Day, etc.)  However, when the branches of the military became unified under the newly created Department of Defense, it seemed fitting to some to also unify the celebrations.  On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced 'Armed Forces Day' to replace the other separate Days.  It was requested that the military leagues and orders for the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard drop sponsorship of their specific branch Days and join in support of the unified day of recognition.  The Army, Navy, and Air Force leagues did adopt the newly declared day of recognition.  The Marine Corps League, on the other hand, although agreeing to support Armed Forced Day, clearly declined dropping their support of Marine Corps Day.  
Today, although the Coast Guard has become part of the Department of Homeland Security (2003) and although each branch of service opts to also recognize and celebrate their own specific recognition Day, all branches of the military observe and support Armed Forces Day.  This Day (the third Saturday of May) and Armed Forces Week (which begins on the second Saturday of May and ends on the third Sunday of May) are annual celebrations.  Due to the nature of unique training schedules, although they observe the traditional dates for Armed Forces Day and Armed Forces Week, Reserve Units and the National Guard may hold the actual celebrations of such during any period in May. 
In 1963, President Dwight D. Eisenhower stated: "It is fitting and proper that we devote one day each year to paying special tribute to those whose constancy and courage constitute one of the bulwarks guarding the freedom of this nation and the peace of the free world."
The very first Armed Forces Day, which was celebrated on Saturday, May 20, 1950, was themed 'Teamed for Defense'.   Not only was it a day to show honor and respect to our Armed Forces, but it was also a day to learn more about them, more about their new relationship with one another within one government department, and to view the military equipment they use to protect our country.  President Truman said in his Presidential Proclamation in that year:  ".....the Armed Forces, as a unified team, are currently performing, at home and across the seas, tasks vital to the security of the nation and to the establishment of a durable peace." 
It was stated by our country's leadership that: "Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 1950, marks the first combined demonstration by America's defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, towards the goal of readiness for any eventuality.  It is the first parade of preparedness by the unified forces of our land, sea, and air defense. "  The readiness of our unified forces was demonstrated to our civilian population through displays, literature, lectures, and other means of education and information.  
The day was also celebrated across our States by military and civilians alike with all types of gala gatherings, receptions, air shows, exhibits, open houses, and parades.  Within just the parade in Washington, DC itself over 10,000 military personnel from all branches marched in recognition of this day.  The branches of our Armed Forces were unified, as were the people of our country in honoring and celebrating their service.  
In 1967, General Earle G. Wheeler (former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) said: "Armed Forces Day, above all, honors the dedicated individuals who wear the uniforms of their country.  Each serviceman, wherever he may be, whatever his task, contributes directly and importantly to the defense of the nation.  The task of each one is the task of all the Armed Forces: to protect the freedoms which underlie the greatness of America."
In 1972, The Honorable Melvin Laird (former Secretary of Defense) stated:  "At home and abroad, military men and women are showing purpose and dedication in defending American ideas. They are performing in our country's best traditions under circumstances both difficult and complex. Thanks to their determined spirit of patriotism and professionalism, our country has a powerful and unified defense team, employing its forces in the constant quest for peace and freedom."
And today, in honor of those who are serving and who have served, the President of the United States has issued the following Presidential Proclamation for Armed Forces Day, May 15, 2010:
                                       ~ Rev. Lin



Nineteen years after the landing of the Mayflower at Plymouth,  what is often considered the first 'constitution' of our country was drawn up by colonists from Hartford, Windsor, and Wethersfield, titled:  'The Fundamental Orders'.  This document, which limited the power of government and gave men the right to vote, set forth and established a 'representative sytem' of government.   Though colonists were under the rule of Great Britain, they sought to establish an ecclesiastical society which would be subject to  their own rules and regulations.
The January 14, 1639, orders were adopted and transcribed into the official colony records, becoming the 'constitution' for the colonial form of government (which, by the way is why Connecticut is called 'The Constitution State').  People wanted a democratic form of government ~ they wanted to escape tyranny ~ they wanted to live under their own rule.
The colonists were unhappy with British rule and the unrest and discontent grew.  There was also the issue of taxation.  Though the colonists paid their taxes to Britain, they did not have any representation there and thus were unable to have a say in what took place.  The "Taxation without Representation" issue, lead to King George sending extra troops to the colonies to keep under control any ideas of rebellion.  Tensions grew, and while the King's troops were advancing on Concord Massachusetts in April of 1775, Paul Revere was to make his famous ride during which he gave warning to the people, "The British are coming, the British are coming!".  The 'unofficial' beginning of the War for Independence began with the 'shot heard around the world' which was fired at the Battle of Concord.
In June of 1776, a statesman from Virginia,  Richard Henry Lee,  proposed a motion of an 'independence resolution' to the Second Continental Congress which called for the colonies' total independence from Great Britain's rule.   A committee was formed to draft the declaration, which became the 'Declaration of Independence'.  Members of the committee included Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman.  Chairman of the committee was Thomas Jefferson (later to be the third president of the United States).   He wrote the first draft of the Declaration which was presented to the congress on June 28.
On July 2, the Congress voted in closed session to declare independence from Great Britain, accepting Richard Henry Lee's 'independence resolution'. 
Franklin and Adams made minor changes to the first draft of the Declaration, presenting a final draft to Congress on July 4.   A vote was taken from the representatives of the 13 British colonies ~ 9 voted in favor (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia), 2 voted no (Pennsylvania and South Carolina), 1 was undecided (Delaware), and1 abstained (New York).    
On July 4, 1776, the  British colonies approved and adopted the wording of the Declaration which declared their independence from Great Britain, rejected any allegiance to the British monarchy, and claimed a new and sovereign nation ~ the United States of America.  The President of the Continental Congress, John Hancock, then signed the Declaration, making it an official document.
July 4, 1776 ~ INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!!
The very next day, copies of the Declaration were distributed to the people; it was printed in the Pennsylvania Evening Post on July 6; and was read in public on July 8 in Philadelphia's  Independence Square. 
On July 19, 1776, when New York  moved from 'abstain' to 'yes', Congress ordered the Declaration to be engrossed on parchment and signed by all members.  On August 2, 1776, 50 members of Congress were to sign the 'Declaration of Independence'.   The signers were:
CONNECTICUT - Samuel Huntington, Roger Sherman, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
DELAWARE - Thomas McKean, George Read, Caesar Rodney
GEORGIA - Button Gwinett, Lyman Hall, George Walton
MARYLAND - Charles Carroll, Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone
MASSACHUSETTS - John Adams, Samuel Adams, Elbridge Gerry, John Hancock, Robert Treat Paine
NEW HAMPSHIRE - Josiah Bartlett, Matthew Thornton, William Whipple
NEW JERSEY - Abraham Clark, John Hart, Francis Hopkinson, Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon
NEW YORK - William Floyd, Francis Lewis, Philip Livingston, Lewis Morris
NORTH CAROLINA - Joseph Hewes, William Hooper, John Penn
PENNSYLVANIA - George Clymer, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Morris, John Morton, George Ross, Benjamin Rush, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson
RHODE ISLAND - William Ellery, Stephen Hopkins
SOUTH CAROLINA - Thomas Heyward Jr., Thomas Lynch Jr., Arthur Middleton, Edward Rutledge
VIRGINIA - Carter Braxton, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Jefferson, Francis Lightfoot Lee, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Nelson Jr., George Wythe
The first celebration of Independence Day took place on July 4, 1777, and has since been celebrated annually throughout the United States to commemorate the signing of our 'Declaration of Independence' which took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1776!!! 
In 1941, Congress declared July 4 as a federal legal holiday.
For 2010, the President of the United States has issued a message about Independence Day, and it can be found here:

~ Rev. Lin


The Mothers, Fathers, and Associates
of the
CT Chapter One - Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc.
Send Appreciation To Each Service Member, Veteran, and Military Family Member For All They Have Done For Our Country
We Wish You A Very Blessed, Happy, and Peaceful Thanksgiving and Thank You For Our Opportunity To Be Able To Enjoy This Special Day In The Land Of The Free
Thanksgiving Day - November 23, 2006

Thank you for your service -- Thank you for your sacrifice
Official Chapter Statement
Rev. Lin McGee, President Connecticut Blue Star Mothers


National Flag Day Website


The Mothers, Fathers, and Associates
of the
CT Chapter One - Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc.
Send Heartfelt Thanks to Each Veteran and Their Families on this
Veterans Day - November 11, 2006
Thank you for your service -- Thank you for your sacrifice
Official Chapter Statement
Rev. Lin McGee, President Connecticut Blue Star Mothers
As we all watch the sun fall in the West, let us think about the hope of the morning dawn as it rises in the East.

With each new day, let us remember

All those who gave their yesterdays
All those who left their youth on the battlefield
All those who still wait to see the sun rise in American soil
All those who continue to serve Our Nation.

Our military, our Veterans, our POWs, our families along with the families of the Fallen
have kept the flame of Freedom burning and the hope of Peace a reality
We thank them for our tomorrows.

Susan Naill, Past National President, BSMA
Proud Mom of Jason (USMC Persian Gulf)



The Mothers, Fathers, and Associates
of the
CT Chapter One - Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc.
~~ With Great Appreciation For Our Freedoms ~~ 
Wish Each Service Member And Veteran

Thank you for your service -- Thank you for your sacrifice
Official Chapter Statement
Rev. Lin McGee, President Connecticut Blue Star Mothers



The Mothers, Fathers, and Associates
of the
CT Chapter One - Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc.
Send Our Prayers, Love, Support, and Thankfulness
To Each Veteran and Their Family on this
Memorial Day / Memorial Day Weekend 2007
We Remember All Those Lost For Our Freedom
We Stand By Our Troops That Serve This Day

We Thank Everyone For Their Service
We Thank Everyone For Their Sacrifice
Official Chapter Statement
Rev. Lin McGee, President Connecticut Blue Star Mothers
The Memorial Day Foundation
On this most sacred day of Remembrance and Reflection

May Beauty and Peace Surround Each of You on this Memorial Day as
Those who are no longer with us are Remembered
Those who suffer the pain of loss are Shielded
Those who must be returned are not Forgotten
Those who are in harm's way are Protected
Those who wait are Comforted
and Those who see through the eyes of the Veteran are Honored
written by SN May 2006

Susan Naill, Past National President, BSMA
Proud Mom of Jason (USMC Persian Gulf)


The Mothers, Fathers, and Associates
of the
CT Chapter One - Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc.
~~ With Great Appreciation For Our Freedoms ~~ 
Wish Each Service Member And Veteran
July - 2007
Thank you for your service -- Thank you for your sacrifice
Official Chapter Statement
Rev. Lin McGee, President Connecticut Blue Star Mothers


Military Families Appreciation Month Highlights Service, Sacrifice
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 2006 - Today kicks off Military Families Appreciation Month, an annual tribute to the family members who, President Bush and other U.S. and military leaders frequently recognize, serve the country alongside their loved ones in uniform.
The month-long observance, with events planned at Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps bases around the world and in communities nationwide, highlights the contributions and sacrifices military family members make every day.

Bush thanked families for that service during an Oct. 28 visit to Charleston Air Force Base, S.C. "As the president of the United States, I want to tell you plain and simple," he told military families, "(that) the American people respect you, they appreciate you, and I'll do everything in my power to make sure the families and those who wear the uniform have all the support necessary to win this war on terror."

Bush emphasized the important role military families play in U.S. national defense when he introduced Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to U.S. troops and their families at Fort Belvoir, Va., earlier this summer.

"Mr. Prime Minister, when I speak to our troops, I also talk to their loved ones, because you can't have a strong United States military without the support of the military families," Bush told Maliki during the July 26 session. "Our troops have sacrificed, and as they have done so, so have our military families. And so today we pay respect for the men and women who wear the uniform and their loved ones. We're proud of you."

Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed a similar sentiment earlier this month at the "Memorial Concert and Tribute to Today's Heroes" in Worcester, Mass. "When we go off to combat, our families wait at home and pray that we're safe," Pace told the audience, which included 400 Gold Star families who lost a family member in military service. >


By Carmen L. Burgess
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29, 2006 - The Hallmark Channel marked its membership with
the America Supports You program by teaming up for a holiday card drive and
the premiere of its newest movie, scheduled to air Dec. 2.

In a press conference here yesterday, Hallmark Channel President and Chief
Executive Officer Henry Schleiff announced the company's partnership with
Operation Gratitude to send more than 50,000 cards and care packages to troops
overseas. He also said the Hallmark Channel planned to premier its new movie
"The Christmas Card" at Fort Belvoir, Va., that evening.

"Just as our courageous troops represent America's best, the Hallmark
Channel is proud to participate in the America Supports You program, because it
represents the very best of what our network, as well as what we as Americans,
stand for," Schleiff said.

"The Department of Defense is thrilled to welcome Hallmark to the America
Supports You team," said Allison Barber, deputy assistant secretary of defense
for public affairs and the program's founder. "The 'Cards for Troops'
campaign and the debut of the movie 'The Christmas Card' not only remind Americans
of the importance of sending letters to our troops, in particular around the
holidays, but provides them a perfect way to do it."

ASY is a Department of Defense program recognizing citizens' support for the
military and communicating that support to members of the Armed Forces and
their families, at home and abroad. Operation Gratitude is one of the more
than 230 ASY member organizations.

Schleiff said the movie "The Christmas Card" is one of the most impressive
and powerful stories the network has produced. Emmy-award winner Ed Asner ></SCRIPT>
Operation Gratitude volunteer Jennifer Parsley, who has written thousands of
thank you notes to troops overseas, was surprised with a satellite meeting
with her fiance Marine Sgt. Jeremy Harshman. The couple first met in 2005 when
Harshman opened a care package with her card and began corresponding with

"It's amazing the difference that one person can make," Parsley said. "What
are the odds? I wasn't looking for anyone by sending notes of thanks, but
look at the result. If you only reach just one person you can still make a
difference in their life."

[Web Version:]







By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29, 2006 - The Marine Corps is renowned for its fighting
ability, but the organization also is famous for its nearly 60-year tradition
of ensuring needy children don't have empty Christmas stockings.

The "Toys for Tots" program began in the fall of 1947 when a group of Marine
Reservists based in Los Angeles collected and delivered 5,000 toys to local
needy children, according to the Toys for Tots' non-profit foundation Web

Toys for Tots distributed $200 million worth of new toys to more than 7
million needy children in 2005, Bill Grein, vice president for marketing and
development for the Toys for Tots' foundation, said during a telephone interview
with American Forces Press Service. Grein's office is located at Quantico
Marine Corps Base, Va.

More than 550 Marine Corps' Toys for Tots distribution centers are located
across the country, Grein said, noting the program's busy time starts after
Thanksgiving and runs right up to Christmas. Collected toys are distributed
through local social welfare agencies and other organizations.

Toys for Tots enables families of limited means to provide something for
their children on Christmas, Grein said. Besides toys for young children, the
program also seeks gift donations suitable for teenagers, such as hand-held
video games, purses, watches and other items.

"We think it's important for these children to go back to school and to be
able to say: 'I got something, too,'" he said. "It's a positive experience in
their lives, and when you look back on your childhood, that's what you

Grein, a retired Marine major, has worked at the foundation since 1991, when
then-Secretary of Defense Richard B. Cheney authorized the Marine Corps to
work with the foundation on behalf of Toys for Tots.

The foundation augments the Marines' efforts by conducting year-round
solicitations for new toy donations and money from U.S. corporations to buy toys,
Grein said.

"The Marines just didn't have the time, other than for the toy-collection
process that goes on in November and December every year," Grein said. "We know
that our Marine units out there are going to run out of toys before they run
out of children.

"It happens every year, sadly," he said.

From 1947 through 1979, the Marines collected both new and used toys to
provide to needy children for Christmas. During that time Marine Reservists would
refurbish and repair the used toys on their drill weekends.

In 1980, the reserve components were incorporated into the Defense
Department's total force concept, resulting in greatly reduced time for reservists to
refurbish donated used toys for the program. Efforts were then focused on
collecting and providing only new toys.

The Marine Corps continues to work to ensure needy children have memorable
Christmases, Grein said. In 2005, the Marines collected and distributed about
$50 million worth of new toys through their Toys for Tots program, he said.
Foundation-solicited sponsors contributed another $150 million worth of toys.

"What's happened is that the foundation has provided additional means of
providing toys so that we can reach more children," Grein said.

[Web Version:]




The holiday season is upon us and while many Americans will be enjoying the company of friends and family, more than 160,000 service men and women serving overseas will not. Instead of sharing in the laughter and smiles the holidays bring -- especially for the children in their lives -- they will be defending us at lonely outposts around the world.

Help the USO put a smile on their faces by giving them the very special gift of reaching out to their loved ones for the holidays. Make a donation to either the USO's Operation Phone Home or United Through Reading programs and help brighten the day of a lonely service member. Giving these men and women the opportunity to speak to and interact with their loved ones over the holidays will provide an immeasurable boost to their morale.

Operation Phone Home - Prepaid, international phone cards are distributed free of charge to service members, especially those in Afghanistan, Iraq and other overseas locations.

United Through Reading - At participating USO centers, service men and women can stay connected with the children in their lives by videotaping themselves reading a children's book. The USO sends the DVD and a copy of the book to the children back home. The parent or caregiver is encouraged to photograph or videotape the child's excitement while watching the DVD and following along with the book, and sends photos or DVD back to the deployed service member.

Let them know they are not forgotten!


By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2006 - Silver Star Families of America, a group dedicated to supporting wounded servicemembers and their families, is thinking outside the box this Christmas.

A member of America Supports You, a Defense Department program highlighting ways Americans and the corporate sector support the nation's servicemembers, the group has undertaken a program to send holiday cheer to military and veterans hospitals.

"We concentrate on sending Silver Star banners to the wounded," Steve Newton, the organization's founder, said. "But the members wanted to do something special for the wounded for Christmas."

Through "Project Christmas," Silver Star Families is sending at least one box of goodies to a military hospital, a Veterans Affairs medical center or a combat support hospital in every state in the U.S., and to Germany and Iraq, Newton said.

The effort got under way a mere three weeks ago, and the organization has nearly met its goal. All boxes for overseas locations have been shipped to ensure they arrived in time for the holidays. As for the stateside venture, only a handful of states remain to be checked off the list. "This has been a big project for us," Newton said. "We usually don't tackle care packages on this scale. But we've had a lot of support."

That support has come from within, with members donating items to stuff the boxes, and from the celebrity realm, including best-selling author Dean Koontz. The author shipped "cases and cases of autographed books," which meshed well with the group's goal of sending "fun" items. Other items donated for the packages include signed baseball, football and other sports memorabilia, as well as items with musicians' signatures.

"We got pencils from the Chicago Cubs, just hundreds and hundreds of pencils," he said. "The Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team sent us, I bet it was 150 ... T-shirts, beautiful T-shirts."

The Silver Star members also are taking it upon themselves to pick up any slack, Newton said. One member from the Washington area stepped up to cover the postage for all of the packages being sent from the national headquarters in Missouri. Other members are sending packages on their own to ensure as many wounded servicemembers as possible have a great Christmas.

"If you'd asked me a week or two ago, I'd have said, 'I don't ever, ever want to see any kind of box again," Newton said with a laugh. "But I think we'll do this every year."

[Web Version:]


 American Forces Press Service

SANTA ANA, Calif., Nov. 17, 2006 - Just in time for the holidays, Operation Homefront has launched "eCarePackage," an online service that allows caring citizens to send care packages to deployed troops and their families.

Operation Homefront is part of, a community for military wives, and is a team member of America Supports You, a Department of Defense program connecting U.S. citizens with members of the military.

Servicemembers and families can register on, which protects their identity and location, and visitors can "adopt" them based on common interests. Then visitors select individual items to create a customized care
package for their chosen servicemember or family and include a personal message.

Operation Homefront's team of volunteers takes the order, boxes the selected items and ships them directly to the servicemember or family - always protecting their identity and physical location.

"There's nothing like a care package to cheer a deployed soldier or a lonely military family, especially during the holidays," said Amy Palmer, executive vice president of operations for Operation Homefront. "With operational security for the troops so tight, we were concerned that care packages weren't getting through. So we built eCarePackage to ensure our troops and families continue to
'feel the love' from Americans."

Items available in the eCarePackage store range from toiletries and necessities to games, books and candy. Most items were donated from sponsors, particularly The Dollar Tree, which runs its Operation Appreciation program in most stores nationwide.

Donated items are not marked up, so eCarePackage visitors often pay only the cost of handling and shipping - making eCarePackage less expensive than doing it yourself. Moreover, Operation Homefront has partnered with DHL, which provides postal service to overseas troops, to ensure direct and timely delivery of all
care packages to deployed troops.

The eCarePackage program is an extension of Operation Homefront's mission to provide emergency support and morale to our troops, the families they leave behind during deployments, and wounded warriors when they return home. Operation Homefront recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Defense
Department to ensure greater collaboration.

(From a news release.)

[Web Version:<WBR>/News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=2147]






Wreaths Across America


Army Times

The Trees for Troops program will be stopping at Fort Benning, Ga., on Tuesday to deliver about 700 Christmas trees to troops and military families, according to a post press release.

Other trees will be delivered the same day to Fort Bragg, N.C., and Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Fort Campbell, Ky., and Fort Stewart, Ga., get their turn Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

The Trees for Troops program is part of FedEx Special Delivery, a nationwide program that provides transportation and logistical assistance for community and non-profit organizations. It is also sponsored by the Christmas Spirit Foundation.

For the second consecutive year, Christmas tree growers and
retailers nationwide have donated real Christmas trees for military families.

This year, more than 11,000 trees from 27 states are expected to be delivered to 25 military bases in the United States and overseas. In 2005, the program delivered more than 4,300 trees to bases across the United States.

Prior to 2005, members of the National Christmas Tree Association donated trees to military families in their local area if they could cover the shipping and transportation costs. In 2005, the Trees for Troops program came to life and developed into a nationwide initiative with the support of FedEx.

The 2006 Trees for Troops program launched Nov. 14 when the first shipment of trees from Ohio's Operation Evergreen and the Indiana Christmas Tree Association departed from the FedEx Express Hub in Indianapolis, destined for overseas bases.

The program started Nov. 27 and runs through Dec. 11.

On Friday, trees were delivered to Fort Carson, Colo., Fort Drum, N.Y. and Fort Lewis, Wash.


The Mothers, Fathers, and Associates
of the
CT Chapter One - Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc.
Send Special Wishes of Peace To Each Service Member, Veteran, and Military Family Member That Celebrate the Advent and Christmas Seasons 
December 2006
We Appreciate Your Service And Sacrifice - Especially  At This Time Of The Year
Official Chapter Statement
Rev. Lin McGee, President Connecticut Blue Star Mothers


The Mothers, Fathers, and Associates
of the
CT Chapter One - Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc.
Send Appreciation To Each Service Member, Veteran, and Military Family Member For All They Have Done For Our Country
We Wish You A Very Blessed, Happy, and Peaceful New Years Eve and Coming New Year
We Pray For Our Soldiers To Come Home Soon
 We Thank Each Soldier and Veteran For The Opportunity To Be Able To Enjoy Our Lives In The Land Of The Free Because Of Your Brave Service
The New Year - 2007
When Are You Coming Home

Thank you for your service -- Thank you for your sacrifice
Official Chapter Statement
Rev. Lin McGee, President Connecticut Blue Star Mothers


The Mothers, Fathers, and Associates
of the
CT Chapter One - Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc.
Send Heartfelt Thanks and Love to Each Member of The Military, Our Cherished Veterans and Their Beloved Families on this
Valentines Day - February 14, 2007
Thank you for your service -- Thank you for your sacrifice
We Wish You A Day Filled With Love, Hope, And Peace
Official Chapter Statement
Rev. Lin McGee, President Connecticut Blue Star Mothers


The Mothers, Fathers, and Associates
of the
CT Chapter One - Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc.
Send Special Wishes of Peace To Each Service Member, Veteran, and Military Family Member That Celebrate Hanukkah 
December 2006
We Appreciate Your Service And Sacrifice - Especially  At This Time Of The Year
Official Chapter Statement
Rev. Lin McGee, President Connecticut Blue Star Mothers


June 14, 2010 marks the 235th Birthday of the United States Army!
Happy Birthday United States Army!!

Stemming from the conviction that British actions toward the Colonists demanded measures of defense be taken, it was determined continental forces must be unified for what was to become American Liberty.  On June 14, 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the enlistment of ten companies of riflemen to serve the United Colonies in the fight against Great Britain, thus creating the Continental Army.

On June 15, 1775, General George Washington was appointed as the first Commander-in-Chief of these companies, and took formal command in Boston on July 3 of that year.  On June 30, 1775, the Continental Congress adopted the Articles of War and the Revolutionary War officially began at the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775.

The Continental Army won victory over Britain for the independence of our country with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783.  As the war closed, the US began to disband the Continental Army, the majority of said action complete when it was realized the new nation had need of an organized, trained, standing army.  Thus, Congress officially created the United States Army on June 3, 1784. This 'United States Army', which is the Army of today, considers itself the descendant of the Continental Army and dates its inception back to the June 14, 1775 founding date.

Many major recognition dates for this honored branch of the United States Armed Forces would be:

June 14, 1775 - ARMY INFANTRY - The Continental Congress authorized by resolution, ten companies of riflemen.

June 16, 1775 - ADJUTANT GENERALADJUTANT GENERAL - The post of Adjutant General established.

June 16, 1775 - CHIEF ENGINEER FOR THE ARMY - Authority for position established by Continental Congress.

June 16, 1775 - PAY DEPARTMENT - Created on June 16, 1775; became Finance Department, July 1, 1920; became Finance Corps in 1950.

June 16, 1775  - QUARTERMASTER DEPARTMENT - Established June 16, 1775; now named Quartermaster Corps.

July 27, 1775 - ARMY HOSPITAL - Established July 27, 1775; headed by a Director General and a Chief Physician. Medical Department established 1818; Army Nurse Corps February, 2 1901; Dental Corps March 3, 1911; Veterinary Corps June 3, 1916; Medical Service Corps June 30, 1917; Army Medical Specialist Corps April 16, 1947. Medical Department renamed Army Medical Service by Army Organization Act of 1950. Army Medical Service re-designated Army Medical Department, June 4, 1968.

July 29, 1775 - CHAPLAINS - Provision of pay for Chaplains established July 29, 1775; Office of the Chief of Chaplains created in 1920 by National Defense Act.

July 29, 1775 - OFFICE OF JUDGE ADVOCATE - Office created July 29, 1775; Judge Advocate General's Department established 1884; designated Judge Advocate General's Corps in 1948.

November 17, 1775 - AIR DEFENSE ARTILLERY and FIELD ARTILLERY - Henry Knox elected Colonel of the Regiment of Artillery on November 17, 1775; regiment entered service formally on January 1, 1776.

December 12, 1776 - CAVALRY - Authorized by Continental Congress December 12, 1776; first continuous mounted service, Regiment of Dragoons, organized 1833.

June 3, 1784 - ARMY REGIMENT - Oldest regular Army infantry regiment, the 3d Infantry Regiment, constituted as First American Regiment.

March 11, 1779 - CORPS OF ENGINEERS - Authorized by Congress on March 11, 1779; became present day Army Corps of Engineers on March 16, 1802.

May 14, 1812 - ORDANCE DEPARTMENT - Established by Congress on May 14, 1812; became Ordnance Corps in 1950.

March 3, 1813 - ADJUTANT GENERAL'S DEPARTMENT - Established March 3, 1813; re-designated Adjutant General's Corps in 1950.

July 4, 1838 - CORPS OF TOPOGRAPHICAL ENGINEERS - Authorized by Congress on July 4, 1838; merged with the Corps of Engineers in March of 1863.

June 21, 1860 - SIGNAL DEPARTMENT - Established June 21, 1860, with the appointment of Assistant Surgeon Albert J. Myer to be Signal Officer; authorized by Congress as a separate branch of the Army on March 3, 1863, the Signal Corps.
April 23, 1908 - ARMY RESERVE - created when Senate Bill 1424 passed.

March 5, 1918 - TANK SERVICE - Tank Service formed, March 5, 1918. tracing origin from Cavalry; becomes Armored Force on July 10, 1940; and a permanent branch of the Army in 1950, Armor branch.

June 28, 1918 - CHEMICAL WARFARE SERVICE - Established June 28, 1918; became permanent branch of the Army in 1920 through the National Defense Act; re-designated the Chemical Corps in 1945.

September 26, 1941 - CORPS OF MILITARY POLICE - Regular Provost Marshal General and Military Police Corps established. (Provost Marshal appointed at periodic times since 1776; and Provost Corps utilized as early as 1778.)

May 14, 1942 - WOMEN'S ARMY AUXILIARY CORPS - Celebrated as Women's Army Corps Birthday.

June 19, 1942 - RANGERS - 1st Ranger Battalion activated.

July 31, 1942 - TRANSPORTATION CORPS - Organized, July 31, 1942; prior to that time transportation operations were the responsibility of the Quartermaster General.

July 1, 1962 - MILITARY INTELLIGENCE - Intelligence and Security Branch established in the Army by General Orders No. 38 3July1962, effective July 1, 1962; branch re-designated Military Intelligence, July 1, 1967.

April 12, 1983 - AVIATION - Aviation within the Army became a separate branch on April 12, 1983, as a full member of the Army's combined Arms Team.

April 9, 1987 - SPECIAL FORCES - Special Forces Branch of the Army established April 9, 1987 by General Orders No. 35 19June1987; the first Special Forces units had been formed on June 11, 1952. (Also known as Green Berets.)

August 17, 1955 - CIVIL AFFAIRS - Army Reserve Civil Affairs / Military Government Branch established August 17, 1955; re-designated Civil Affairs Branch October 2, 1959; became basic branch per General Order 29 12January2007.

October 16, 2006 - PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS - Established as a basic branch per General Order 30 12January2007.

January 1, 2008 - LOGISTICS - Established by General Order 6 272007.

The Army has adopted and teaches as basic warrior traits, "The 7 Army Core Values", which are as follows:

LOYALTY – Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit, and fellow Soldiers

DUTY – Fulfill your obligations.

RESPECT – Treat others as they should be treated.

SELFLESS SERVICE – Put the welfare of the nation, the Army, and your subordinates before your own.

HONOR – Live the Army Values.

INTEGRITY – Do what's right, both legally and morally.

PERSONAL COURAGE – Face fear, danger, or adversity, both physical and moral.


~ Rev. Lin


NAVY DAY - October 27th

In 1922, the Navy League of the United Stated selected October 27th as 'Navy Day', a day in which to recognize and celebrate our Naval Forces.   Chaired by former Navy League National President Breckenridge, the first national Navy Day celebration was held that year with Navy shore stations and ships hosting 'open houses' across the nation.  With great pride and enthusiasm, people gathered to see the Navy on display!
The Secretary of the Navy, Edwin Denby, received the following note from President Warren Harding at that time:
"Thank you for your note which brings assurance of the notable success which seems certain to attend the celebration of Navy Day on Friday, October 27, in commemoration of past and present services of the Navy. From our earliest national beginnings the Navy has always been, and deserved to be, an object of special pride to the American people. Its record is indeed one to inspire such sentiments, and I am very sure that such a commemoration as is planned will be a timely reminder."
"It is well for us to have in mind that under a program of lessening naval armaments there is a greater reason for maintaining the highest efficiency, fitness and morale in this branch of the national defensive service. I know how earnestly the Navy personnel are devoted to this idea and want you to be assured of my hearty concurrence."
President Calvin Coolidge, Harding's successor, continued support of Navy Day and our Naval Forces, stating in a letter dated August 29, 1923, that our United States Navy is our nation's "first line of defense".
Chief of Naval Operations designate Navy Day (10/27) and the Navy Birthday (10/13) to be the two dates to be celebrated Navy wide on an annual basis.  Parades, educational lectures, government proclamations, and celebrations sometimes lasting several days, have given rise to a greater appreciation for our Navy and Naval heritage as we have marked the celebration of Navy Day across our country.
The specific date for this special day of honor and celebration was selected by the Navy League in recognition of the birthday of President Theodore Roosevelt, who had served as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy and who adamantly supported the concept of Navy Day and the ideals of the United States Navy.  October 27th was also the anniversary date of the report issued by a special committee of the Continental Congress in 1775 calling for the purchase of merchant ships which established our Continental Navy.   
Though attempts have been made over the years to move the celebration of Navy Day to October 13, the 'Birthday of the Navy' and even to 'Armed Forces Day' which is celebrated in May, it remains recognized on October 27th.  In 1945, the October 27th celebration coincided with the return of hundreds of naval ships to the continental United States after their overseas service in WWII.   President Harry S. Truman reviewed the fleet in the New York Harbor, joined in the parade and other festivities, and delivered his 'Navy Address' to the nation in which he paid tribute to the men and women of the United States Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard and the ships which had carried them to victory in the war.  President Truman's address can be found here:  
Though many countries establish a date on which to celebrate and honor their own Naval Forces, the United States Navy has remained the largest and most powerful Navy in the world since WWII.  A branch of the United States Department of Defense, the Department of the Navy includes the United States Marine Corps and during wartime engagement, the United States Coast Guard.  It is headed by the Secretary of the Navy and is the branch of our military force responsible for defending  our nation at sea and maintaining security on the seas wherever United States interests extend.

~ Rev. Lin



October 13, 1775 - October 13, 2009

Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Friday, October 13, 1775, the Continental Congress of the Untied States voted in key legislation which would establish the Continental Navy.  Within a few days of that vote, the Congress also established a Naval Committee which would oversee all areas of naval operation. 
Though growing to over fifty, our country's first fleet began with only two armed vessels, dispatched with the intention of intercepting British ships carrying ammunition supplies.  At the close of the Revolutionary War, Congress disbanned the Continental Navy, selling the ships, and releasing the sailors from duty. 
On April 30, 1798, our country's Department of the Navy was formed, as Congress had been authorized to re-establish the Navy when our Constitution was ratified in 1789,  Thus, originally named the Continental Navy, today's Navy has its roots in and celebrates its birth date as October 13, 1775.  This was first officially recognized in 1972 by order of the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo. R. Zumwalt.
Please see slide show:

Happy 234th Birthday to the United States Navy, October 13, 2009!

~ Rev. Lin




November 10, 2009

Around the world this day, Marines will stop to remember and celebrate the high ideals and incredible values on which the United States Marine Corps was founded!  "Happy Birthday Marines!  November 10, 2009"
Two hundred and thirty-four years ago, a committee of our Continental Congress met in Philadelphia to draft a resolution which would establish two battalions of Marines to fight for a democratic people's independence on sea and shore.  This resolution was approved on November 10, 1775, officially forming our 'Continental Marines', the naval infantry.
With Captain Samuel Nicholas as the first commandant and Patriot Robert Mullan as the first captain and recruiter, the Marines were 'ready for action' by early 1776.  Serving aboard our Continental  Navy ships, it was the Marines duty to provide security for the ships whether in or out of port and for the ship's officers against any mutiny attempts.
Since that time, the duties and responsibilities of our Marine Corps have evolved and expanded according to the defense needs of the United States, advancing military doctrine, and American foreign policy.  Their mission taking new form and direction, their pride and honor growing as the noble and glorious legacy of the Marines took shape over the years.
In the year 1921, the Marine Corps began officially celebrating it's birthday on November 10, the anniversary of its founding.  General John A. Lejeune issued the Marine Corps Order No. 47, Series 1921 which directed that the history, traditions, and mission of the Corps would be read to all Marines on that date. 
Though certainly taking many forms over the years depending on location and circumstances, the celebration of the Marine Corps Birthday is one of the most famous Marine customs.  Often festivities, which include a formal ball, will begin at the end of October and continue until mid November.  The first formal Marine Corps Ball to celebrate the birthday of the Corps was held in Philadelphia in 1925.
At the ceremonies, a sword is used to cut the birthday cake, a reminder that Marines are a unique band of warriors.  The first piece of cake is to be served to the guest of honor -- by tradition, cake is then presented to the oldest and youngest Marine attending; a legacy shown,, the nurturing of those following Marine Corps footsteps. 
An excerpt from the Marine Corps Manual is read along with the current year's 'birthday message' from the Commandant of the Corps. 

The following is the 2009 message from General James T. Conway:

Date Signed: 10/5/2009 
ALMAR  Active  Number: 033/09 
R 051329Z OCT 09
ALMAR 033/09






For those serving and those who have served, the Birthday of the Marines is a special day to celebrate their heritage, their legacy, and their distinguished service.  Many are away this year in the battles of war; may they know the high regard and pride their country holds them in.  My they celebrate within their hearts, for wherever Marines are, the Marine spirit , values, and virtue are there also!


Happy 234th Birthday to the United States Marine Corps, November 10, 2009!

~ Rev. Lin


FLAG DAY -- June 14, 2010
In the United States of America, "National Flag Week" is recognized in June during the week in which the 14th of June falls.   June 14th itself being, "Flag Day", the date in 1777 when the Second Continental Congress adopted the official flag of the United States.
July 4th, Independence Day, is the date set for the celebration of the birthday of our country.  June 14th, Flag Day, the date set to celebrate our national flag, which we so dearly love.
It was on June 14, 1861, in Hartford, Connecticut, during the first summer of the Civil War, that  the United States Flag was first flown in a Flag Day celebration.   Although the annual observance of this celebration did not become a tradition in Hartford, it was recorded in the Kansas: a Cyclopedia of State History, published in 1912 by the  Standard Publishing Company of Chicago, IL, that one George Morris of Hartford, was the first person to suggest the day: 
"To George Morris of Hartford, Conn., is popularly given the credit of suggesting "Flag Day," the occasion being in honor of the adoption of the American flag on June 14, 1777. The city of Hartford observed the day in 1861, carrying out a program of a patriotic order, praying for the success of the Federal arms and the preservation of the Union."
More widely known is one Bernard Cigrand, who is often sited for the initial suggestion of the observance of Flag Day, as he wrote the popular article printed in the Chicago Argus Newspaper in June of 1886, "The Fourteenth of June".  As a grade school teacher at the Stony Hill School in Waubeka, Wisconsin, he had had his students formally observe the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of our flag  as 'Flag Birthday' in 1885.  And he continued to actively advocate for such an observance, calling it "Flag Birthday" or "Flag Day", believing it should be recognized annual as a national tradition.  He spoke and wrote extensively as the President of the American Flag Day Association,  and later the National Flag Day Society.
On June 14, 1891, the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia held its first Flag Day celebration.  It is believed that Betsy Ross, an official flag maker for the Pennsylvania Navy, may have stitched the 13 white stars on a blue background, 13 red and white striped flag, used on June 14, 1777, when the Continental Congress authorized 'The Stars and Stripes'; Old Glory, The Star Spangled Banner, our nation's flag.  Though the number of stars have changed over the years to reflect the number of united States (now being 50 in number), there remains 13 equal, horizontal, red (top and bottom) and white stripes (though for a short time there were 15), representing the original 13 colonies (which were the first States in the Union).   
In 1894, it was directed by the governor of New York, Roswell P. Flower, that the United States flag be displayed on all public buildings on June 14.  It is believed that Fairfield, Washington, has held the longest (oldest) continuous observance of a Flag Day parade, beginning as early as 1909 or 1910.  And it was in 1916 that President Woodrow Wilson issued the proclamation calling for a nationwide observance to take place on June 14 of that year.
Pennsylvania was the first state to celebrate "Flag Day" as a state holiday (beginning in the town of Rennerdale, Pennsylvania), on June 14, 1937.  And on August 3, 1949, President Harry Truman signed legislation that was to officially designate June 14 of each year as "Flag Day".
On June 14, 2004, the 108th Congress voted on H.R. 662, which officially declared that Flag Day originated in Ozaukee Country, Wisconsin. 
Although not a federal holiday, "Flag Day" is a nationwide observance;  and  Title 36 of the United States Code, Subtitle I, Part A, CHAPTER 1 which outlines 'Patriotic and National Observances';  is specific to 'Flag Day' in § 110.    In 1966, our Congress made request that each United States President would hence forth annually proclaim the week in which June 14th occurred, National Flag Week.
"Flag Day" is celebrated with flag raising events, patriotic programs, ceremonies, parades, essay contests, music tributes, and the like, which show our patriotism and pride in all that our nation stands for.  The flag is to be treated with the utmost honor and respect, and handled with great dignity and care.  The national flag is not a toy, but rather that which represents the life blood and blood shed for the establishment and preservation our nation.  It holds hope in a future of peace gained by the sacrifices of today.  The twenty-one day time period following "Flag Day" is known as 'Honor America Days'.  This period of time lasts from the celebration of "Flag Day" through the celebration of "Independence Day".  This is the time to honor America and all that our nation stands for. 
Each year, the President of the United States calls for the flag to be displayed on all government buildings and urges all US residents to observe the celebration of "Flag Day".  This years proclamation can be found at:
 ~ Rev. Lin