Seaview Good News

February 27, 2021

Black History Month comes to a close tomorrow. Several of the quotes included in Seaview Good News this month have come from the prophet Martin Luther King, Jr. His words are not always easy to hear, yet they are important to ponder.

“We must remember that it’s possible to affirm the existence of God with your lips and deny his existence with your life. The most dangerous type of atheism is not theoretical atheism but practical atheism—that’s the most dangerous type. And the world, even the church, is filled up with people who pay lip service to God and not life service. And there is always a danger that we will make it appear externally that we believe in God when internally we don’t. We say with our mouths that we believe in him, but we live with our lives like he never existed. That is the ever-present danger confronting religion. That’s a dangerous type of atheism. And I think, my friends, that that is the thing that has happened in America” Martin Luther King, Jr. (From the sermon “Rediscovering Lost Values” delivered February 28, 1954)

How are you at keeping promises? What’s your batting average? Most of us would hope that average is better the average baseball player. A player batting .300 or above is considered good. But that means only one out of three promises get kept. God bats 1.000. God consistently keeps promises. Our worship tomorrow will center on God’s faithfulness as told in the story in Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16. There El Shaddai, the God who is powerful, reaffirms the promise that God will use that power to make good on the promise given to Abram when he was instructed to leave his home and go to a land that would become a new home for his family. Our God is a Covenant Keeper.

Are you beginning to collect hygiene items for the drive on March 20 from 11:00 to 1:00, when we partner with Kiwanis again to care for the hurting and the homeless? A trip to the dollar store will help your donations go a long way. Items needed are soap, shampoo, toothpaste and brushes, deodorant, shaving cream and razors, feminine hygiene, combs, tissues, wipes, etc. Bring them around to the back of our building during the allotted time or bring them early and leave them in the bin in Fellowship Hall. Thank you for caring.

Sue DelBiondo has been moved to a rehab center to recover her strength after a long haul with Covid-19 in the hospital. We have prayed for Marguerite Heaton-Colella as she went through testing and the results reveal that her heart is pumping well. Thank you Lord. Mike Carney had a good check up this week and will begin 30 rounds of radiation therapy on March 10. Jean Stewart joined the ranks of those who have had their first Covid-19 immunization this week. She came through it well and is beginning to feel a bit stronger. Amelia Balderas is very much confined to bed these days and is always glad to know that she is being prayed for and loved on by her Seaview family.

On Wednesday evenings, our Discipleship and Prayer group, meeting by Zoom, is listening to the teaching of N. T. Wright. This week at 7:00 PM, we will consider judgement as it is spoken about in the Bible. He is curious about why we Americans are so determined to know who belongs in Hell and who escapes it. Be part of the Lenten growth and discussion by asking Pastor Frank for the Zoom link. On Mondays, a Bible Study is held in person at Fellowship Hall at 1:00 to grow in understanding of the 2 Corinthians. Attendees must be masked and distanced.

If you would like to enter into some deeper discipleship conversation and have questions about scripture as well as what it means to have a growing friendship with God, Pastor Frank invites you to give him a call, an email, or a text. He will be glad to speak with you and set time aside to help. Ask, and it shall be given unto you.

Jessica Foss is our administrative assistant to the pastor. She can be found in the office weekdays from 10:30 to 12:30. She will be glad to answer questions, take information for inclusion in the bulletin and help you arrange appointments with Pastor Frank.

February 20, 2021

“The church is the one place where a doctor ought to forget he’s a doctor. The church is the one place where a Ph.D. ought to forget that he’s a Ph.D. The church is the one place that the schoolteacher ought to forget the degree she has behind her name. The church is the one place where the lawyer ought to forget that he’s a lawyer. And any church that violates the ‘whoever will, let him come’ doctrine is a dead, cold church, and nothing but a little social club with a thin veneer of religiosity… [The church] is the one place where everybody should be the same, standing before a common master and savior. And a recognition grows out of this—that all men are brothers because they are children of a common Father” – Martin Luther King, Jr. from the sermon “The Drum Major Instinct” delivered February 4, 1968. 

Noah and the Ark is usually told as a delightful children’s story. But stop a minute and think about it. Yes, there are cute animals being herded into the giant ship. Yet they are leaving a world behind about to be destroyed by a flood. The reason for this is because God sees the mass “wickedness of of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was evil continually.” (Gen 6:5) Many people have questioned why God even made humans if God knew they would become so evil. It’s grace. It’s all about grace. And that will be the theme of our worship tomorrow. Grace. Amazing Grace, Wonderful Grace of Jesus and Grace Greater Than Our Sin are some of the songs we plan to sing. Pastor’s sermon from Genesis 8-17 is entitled Serious About Grace. Come worship with us in person or live-streaming on Facebook at 10:30.

Discipleship Training and Prayer meets Wednesdays at 7:00 PM by Zoom. This week we return to our spiritual growth using a series by N. T. Wright, one of the most balanced and approachable theologians of our day. We will look at the subject of Divine Sorrow. How does a disciple approach sorrow from a Kingdom perspective? You are invited to join us. Ask Pastor Frank for to be included in the Zoom link. No reading ahead of time is required.

A Search Committee has been formed to seek a new lead pastor, as Pastor Frank will relinquish that position when a new person comes. The first piece of this process is a discernment retreat for the committee to ground them spiritually so that they are able to work according to the leading of the Spirit of God. Our moderator, Karen Flexer will be contacting Associate Regional Pastor Eric Hoheisel to take that next step. The average length of the process is about 18 months. 

Administrative Assistant to the Pastor, Matthew Foss, has had his responsibilities increased at Canada Dry where he works as a warehouse supervisor. That job is transitioning into the hands of a new Administrative Assistant, Jessica Foss, who has done similar work experience. Yes, they are husband and wife so Matt has an easy understudy to take the job. A warm welcome to Jessica as she comes on board. She grew up in Williamstown and lives with Matt and a host of dogs and cats in Northfield. She is a great lover of animals and has worked in a veterinary hospital. And a hearty thank you to Matthew for the good work he has done. We will still see him from time to time. 

On March 20, we are invited to be part of Nor-Lin Kiwanis’ mission to provide Hygiene items for distribution to homeless and under resourced people in the area. The includes toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, deodorant combs, tissues, wipes, etc. It will be a drive by drop off from 11:00 to 1:00.

Linda Slaymaker has had to say goodbye to her stepmother, Sue Slaymaker. She passed into the arms of the Lord on February 9. We surround Linda with our prayers and our care. Many have prayed for Sue DelBiondo, a local teacher and good friend of Marguerite Heaton Colella who was taken to Cooper Hospital for intense treatment. She has begun to respond to that treatment for Covid related pneumonia. Thanks be to God. Yesterday, John Koch was taken to the hospital for Covid related double pneumonia. He says it was one of the worst days he could remember. His fever came down overnight. We continue to pray for those in need. Feel free to use our private Seaview Prayer Page on Facebook. If you are not a member of the page, simply ask Pastor Frank to invite you

February 14, 2021

It’s a day devoted to love. It’s also Transfiguration Sunday. And while today’s message at Seaview centers on personal and societal transformation, our wise counsel to you is to watch via livestream this morning. Some of the roads are ice covered. As much as we would love to see you, we want to make sure you do not get hurt trying to be at the building. Stay well and healthy to continue to be part of the transformation. Our worships leaders plan to be live-streaming at 10:30 as usual


February 6, 2021

Curiosity … it’s the quality that brings us to the edge, to peer over and wonder. Casey Tygrett has written a book titled Becoming Curious. He asks us, “What if this curiosity helps us understand what St. John of the Cross so eloquently stated, “A soul will never grow until it is able to let go of the tight grasp it has on God”? To repent of our control of God through certainty and instead to embrace curiosity in our walk with him is what it means to accept the invitation to change our minds. I believe that chasing questions is an act of taking Jesus’ invitation to repent. Walking with the teachings of Jesus, and by default the questions of Jesus, with this kind of curiosity rewrites the story of God that we’re living. Questions rewire us to see the kingdom of God as it is and as it can be in this moment, this time, and this place in our story.” 
Tygrett, Casey. Becoming Curious (p. 27). 2017: InterVarsity Press. 

Tomorrow’s worship moves us further into Mark 1 (29-39) where Jesus keeps an unbelievable schedule as the crowds press in form healing. How did he do it? Where did he find the strength? He is God, of course. Yet he is God in the flesh and flesh tires and longs for rest. In that sense, he’s like us. “Finding Our Strength” will also take us back to the prophet Isaiah in 40:21-31. 

Normally we celebrate the feast of the Lord’s Table on the first Sunday of the month. But the Deacons continue to feel it prudent not to share in the table once again, considering the situation on a month to month basis. This is due to the dangers of Covid-19 and the development of yet more contagious and deadly strains. We miss this communion tremendously. So bear with us as we seek wisdom to know when to once again offer this important and grace filled ordinance.

On Saturday, February 13 from 11:00 to 1:00, a soup drive will take place in our parking lot by dropping off canned soups for our local food pantry. Just come around to the back of the building and somebody will take your donations without even having to get out of your car. This is a partnership effort between Northfield Linwood Kiwanis Club and our church.

Ash Wednesday is coming quickly. You are invited to our live-streaming worship service on February 17 at 7:00 to consider the seriousness of our sin and the depths to which God will go to rescue us from it’s consequences. There will be room for some folks to be with us in person. Yet if you would rather, we encourage you to tune into our Facebook page to worship with us.

Sunday evening is the unofficial holiday of Super Bowl. It is almost second nature to gather even if you are not interested in football for a Super Bowl Party.  Let’s be careful, however, that it does’t become a Super Spreader. We have learned that even small gatherings can communicate this insidious disease that has the potential of becoming a killer. Let’s encourage one another to be very careful. Stay safe, Stay home. Stay covered.