This site is devoted to providing teaching, admonition, encouragement, and information to my people at Faith Presbyterian Church, Gainesville, Florida. Pastor Marion Clark.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Want to Help? 

If you want to rake, pick up debris, or clear off roofs, let me know. I probably can hook you up with someone who needs help.


Jeanne picked up where Francis left off battering some of our church members' homes. Three of four elders had trees fall and roof damage - Jeff Ward from Francis and Bill Montgomery and Chad Preston from Jeanne. Jim and Betty Edwards had the roughest experience - a tree crashing on their roof in each storm. The Thompsons endured flooding, though the Freese and Ward men came to the rescue during the last storm and diverted much of the water flow. Many others endured power outages, trees down, fallen large branches, etc. David and Katie Young have a crushed car due to a fallen tree from a neighbor's yard.

I am hesitant to name names of "good neighbors" who have helped others because of omitting some who have worked hard and because these helpers don't like being named, but...
Tony and Marty Freese formed a dynamic duo going to the aid of several homes, and I learned it's hard to beat Brenda in hauling branches and logs. I went to someone's home today thinking they might need help, only to find that the Stakely's had already cleaned up the yard. This person does not like being named, so I will let you figure what the initials stand for, S.K., and if you know her then you know who I am talking about. Besides bringing meals, she took boxes of dirty dishes to clean.

The Thompsons thank the Freeses, the Wards, the Meyers, SK, and the youth group for coming to their aid in both storms.
Here is the weekend's missions conference itinerary:
Friday (10/01)
6-7pm — Sandwich Supper (provided)
7-8:30pm — “Understanding Islam”
- David Thomae will give an introduction to the fundamentals of Islam for the benefit of those who do now know much about the religion. This may include theological views, general ideas held by Muslims about Christians, cultural perspectives (such as the general attitude towards women), common faux pas committed when talking to and witnessing to Muslims, and so on.

Saturday (10/02)
9-10:15am — “Ministry to Muslims”
- David Thomae will share his testimony, giving a historical perspective with his work in Nigeria and explaining how he is preparing theologically and ideologically for a new work in Europe. This session may also include general information on how to share one’s faith with a Muslim.
10:15-10:45am — Coffee Break: Coffee, bagels, and donuts will be made available.
10:45am-12:00pm — “Sharing Your Faith With Muslim Men and Women”
- The group will be split in two: David will address the men and Jan w9ill address the women. Since it is not normally “socially acceptable” for people to talk with members of the opposite sex, this time will be devoted to effectively sharing the gospel in a Muslim setting, as well as speaking about cultural norms and protocol.
12-1pm — Lunch: Lunch will be provided
7-8pm — Youth Meeting
- David Thomae will challenge and encourage the young people in their views on serving the Lord in missions.

Sunday (10/03)
9:15-10:15am — Joint Sunday School
- David Thomae will show pictures/slides/video, share practical needs in beginning a new ministry, and encourage prayer and financial support from individuals.
10:30-11:45am — Worship Service: David Thomae will preach.
6:00-7:pm - Evening worship: Pastor Clark will preach on Shorter Catechism question 102, "Thy Kingdom Come."

Saturday, September 25, 2004


Worship service to this Sunday (9/26) has been cancelled due to Hurricane Jeanne.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Ralph and Caroline Celebrate 

This past Sunday Ralph and Caroline Clifford celebrated their 68th anniversary. Congratulations!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004


Saturday morning I need a couple of men to help me move a church member's furniture to a storage place. Ross Prange is helping and bringing his moving truck. With two more men, we could be done by noon easily. Give me a call if you can help.


Ivan is missing us but heading near my daughter Sarah in New Orleans. She left town last night and should be arriving at my sister's in Fort Worth, taking 15 hours to take an 8 hour trip.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Disaster Assistance 

The following is taken from a flyer given to the church regarding financial help from FEMA. "If you sustained losses or damage in one of the counties declared a federal disaster area, you may be eligible for federal and state disaster aid. Apply by phone: 1-800-462-7585. When you apply for disaster assistance, please have the following available: SSN (including spouse), address, directions to the damaged home or property, telephone numbers where you can be reached during the day. Help may include: grants for temporary housing, repairs and personal property for individuals and households, low-interest loans to homeowners, renters and business owners." By the way, I heard on the news of scam operators who call up people pretending to be from FEMA and asking for bank account numbers. FEMA will not ask for such information. Be on alert!

Monday, September 13, 2004

Changes in Meetings 

Please note the following changes in upcoming meetings.

Circle meetings: Hope will meet next Monday night; Charity next Tuesday morning; Joy will wait until next month. (You may still have hope, charity, and joy right now, though!) Ladies' Bible Study tomorrow is still on, as is the Wednesday morning prayer group. The International Supper planned for Tuesday night will not be held. Keenagers Bible study is still on for Wednesday.

Sunday Highlights 

But real peace comes when we know the holiness and righteousness of God; when we learn to tremble before him as sinners; and when we know the great power of God the Son, to take the wrath of the just king in our place and leave us with peace. Our Lord Jesus Christ has reconciled us to this mighty king, who now, by his power, gives us strength to live for his glory. Let nature’s storms raise your eyes to the greatness of your God; if you see wrath in the storm, let it display to you the wrath of God against wickedness, against your wickedness and sin; and contemplate how it was that Jesus Christ came between you and that wrath; and what you are left with is the peace that follows the storm...

Finally, we can learn from the example of David. The storm that he experienced no doubt caused him to tremble before its fury. But instead of bemoaning his condition; instead of cowering before God as though the Lord was a big bully, he exulted in the majesty, in the strength, in the glory of his God and King. Let us learn to exult in the greatness of our God. Let us learn that whether the sky is blue and the sun shines peacefully down on us; or the sky is filled with swirling clouds with wind and rain beating furiously against us; let us learn to glorify the Lord God Almighty. Let us ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name and worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

ResCare Help 

Our neighbors across the street, ResCare, need help with cleanup. Several trees down and lots of debris. If you can help on Saturday, call me or Tony Freese. Bring whatever you can - saws, clippers, rakes, wheelbarrows. It really is a mess over there and they have no one scheduled to help.

Generator Need? 

Do you need to borrow a generator? I may have access to one or two.

Game Night Friday 

Game Night is still on for Friday night. Food starts serving at 6:00. Come share your storm stories!

Can You Help? 

Tony Freese is going to at least two yards today and Saturday to help with clean up. If you can help, give him a call on his cell phone. You can call into the church for that number. Of special welcome would be those with chain saws. By the way, add the Taylors to the list of houses with a tree on their roof.

Free Sandbags 

Cathy Weiss passed on this information. Free sandbags are available at the Department of Public Works Wayside Park on 441 heading towards Alachua, in Hague.

"Coming Out" in The Sun 

The Gainesville Sun's Daybreak section features several articles on "coming out" of the closet. You may want to refer to my sermon on homosexuality. You can reach it by clicking the "Sermons" section of the church website (www.fpc-gnv.org) and go to the June 8, 2003 sermon. We will have printed copies available Sunday, as well as a church statement that was passed the the Session in 1993. A helpful website by a ministry endorsed by the PCA is www.harvestusa.org.

Ron Taber 

Ron Taber died peacefully Monday. His last activity was singing gospel songs with his wife Ruth and mother and sister. His funeral will be Friday, noon, in Ocala at St. John Lutheran Church where he first turned his life over to the Lord.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Provide Help 

If anyone can help with yard clean up, let me know. Call the church at 377-5482.

Church Conditions 

I went by the church around 6:00 pm Monday. It is weathering the storm fine. One small leak in the narthex, which now has a bucket under it. Also one piece of flashing down behind the main building. No trees or big branches down.


Does anyone need help of some kind. Call me (or any officer) and we will do what we can to get help to you.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Gay Grenninger Update 

Gay gives an "out of the frying pan into the fire" story, which for her is but a story of going from God's grace to God's grace:

Dear Friends, I am writing to you from my 4th floor apartment in Okinawa and it does seem a bit of a miracle that I am here once again after the events of the past 2 days. After my son Ron dropped me off at curbside check-in at Orlando International Airport at about 5 a.m., the "fun" began. The line outside the terminal did not allow me to read the sign that said for international travelers I must check-in inside the terminal. (I should have remembered that, but fortunately after a little while of patient waiting, I was redirected to the United Airlines counters inside.) Those waiting on that line stretched endlessly. Due to the scheduled closing of the airport by noon on Friday with the approach of Hurricane Frances, there must have been about 200 people waiting and it appeared they were trying to bring some order by having ALL passengers wait in this huge line. As time came close to actual scheduled departures, a woman called for all on a certain flight to follow her to the front of the line. By 6 a.m. I was still waiting in that line, but things did not improve once my baggage had been checked in. The security lines were beyond description in length. At 6:45a.m., I spoke to an airport official who, looking at my 6:55 departure time, said I was going to miss my flight. What happened to get me through the endless line and to the plane before it took off was the grace of the Lord, but by 7:35 a.m., I was the last person to board the flight for Chicago. Everything went smoothly in Chicago. Arriving in Osaka on time, I had several hours to walk leisurely around the airport, and stop at Starbucks for a bit of java to keep me going till bedtime in Okinawa. However, seated in the waiting lounge, we were informed that there was a typhoon near Okinawa and that though the plane was taking off, it just might have to return to Osaka if conditions were too bad to land. When we touched down in Naha, the typhoon condition was 1-C (1-Caution) and Donna Russell met me as planned. By the time we were back at the school, the condition was 1-Emergency. This typhoon is headed straight for Okinawa, and is due to pass within 30 miles of Kadena Air Base. It should make landfall within the next 24 hours. So here I am, in the safe comfort of my apartment, with plenty of time to unpack and settle in before I will even be able to make my way over to the school building to do anything in my classroom. How thankful I am for the Lord getting me here safely!There is no news in English from the outside world on the TV at the moment, so I am unable to find out much about the hurricane that I left in Florida. All this makes me feel more than ever that I am supposed to be here. So, thank you for your prayers. The Lord has truly answered. Please pray that I would be able to adjust quickly to the time change and would be able to fit right into the schedule in the elementary. I am rejoicing over the great time that I had with family these past few weeks. In Atlanta, San Antonio, and Orlando, I was privileged to have wonderful fellowship with my children and grandchildren. We are excited to have little Amelia Grace on board with the Greninger clan in Orlando. She is a little angel!! Thank you for remembering the family in your prayers as they train up the next generation. In His grace, Gay

Storm Stories 

I've been calling around to church members. No one I've talked to has been injured. Most are without power and some have been without phone service. The Wards watched two trees snap off in the back, then heard a crash in their bedroom. A large branch had broken in their window. They got that repaired only to find later that the roof was damaged and was starting to leak. Picture Jeff and Daniel on a latter in the rain putting up tarp underneath the branch still leaning on the roof.

Others who have lost trees, but no house damage: Mary Singer, Lorene Junkin, the Bococks, the Taylors. Mikey's house has been hit with two trees, with one coming into his bedroom, but he is all right. Barbara Thompson has had near flooding.

Let us continue to hold up one another in prayer and check up on each other.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Worship Services Canceled 

Worship services for tomorrow have been canceled due to the severe weather projections.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Some Spurgeon Sermon 

I came across this from Charles H. Spurgeon:

You are sick and wounded with sin, you are in the storm and hurricane of Almighty vengeance, and yet the question which you would ask of me, this morning, would be, "Sir, what is the origin of evil?" You are mad, Sir, spiritually mad; that is not the question you would ask if you were in a sane and healthy state of mind; your question would be: "How can I get rid of the evil?" Not, "How did it come into the world?" but "How am I to escape from it?" Not, "How is it that hail descends from heaven upon Sodom?" but "How may I, like Lot, escape out of the city to a Zoar." Not, "How is it that I am sick?" but "Are there medicines that will heal me? Is there a physician to be found that can restore my soul to health ?" Ah! you trifle with subtleties while you neglect certainties.

Hurricane Hospitality 

We have not received new calls from evacuees. And for now have a fair number of places for people to stay if needed. Thanks for the help.

Sunday Worship? 

Plans are still to have worship on Sunday unless weather officials advise otherwise. If you have questions Sunday morning, call me or any of the officers.

I have changed the scripture and sermon title. The text will be Psalm 29 and the sermon title "The Voice of God," taken from the text. Don't forget that communion will be observed. Also the new SS classes begin.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Email Troubles 

It is possible that emails sent to the church this morning did not reach us due to technical difficulty. If you sent an email at that time, you may to double check that we received it.

Church Sunday? 

Just had a call asking if we will have church services. That, of course, depends on what the storm does. We are preparing for service as usual, though expect a change in the sermon. With two unprecedented hurricanes hitting the state within three weeks, the scheduled topic of the role of women in the church doesn't seem pressing. Even a die-hard "preach through the book" preacher like me thinks I should change the subject. Pray for the Lord to guide me in choosing the text and subject.

More Calls 

Another call has come in asking for shelter. The couple will arrive late tonight, depending upon the course of the storm. Here is our situation. Either the hurricane will hit us and we need to be alert to helping one another, or the course will miss us and evacuees from other places will come to us. Either way, we need to keep watch and be prepared to help.

Calls Coming In 

We have received two calls from evacuee families. Right now we are making reservations in homes. Because of uncertainty of the storm's path, they may or may not end up here.

Hurricane Update 

Thanks to those of you who volunteered to house hurricane evacuees from Vero Beach. As of yet we have not received calls from anyone. I'm not too surprised. If I were there I would head southwest instead of northwest. Will keep you posted.

Please be thinking of our widows and elderly who may need help with moving outside furniture and items, as well as a place to stay. Should it become clear that the hurricane will hit our area, we will contact them as we did for Charlie. If you want to volunteer to help when we know of needs, call in to the church.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Hurricane Preparation 

Do you need help preparing for the hurricane? Help with shopping, moving outside furniture, boarding up, etc. Call in to the church; we will contact deacons or other men to assist. If you can offer help, let us know.

Call for Help 

I just received a call from Katie Young's aunt, Winnie Paauw, who is a member of Indian River PCA Church in Vero Beach. At present, Hurricane Francis is headed to hit in that location. She is looking for places for church members to evacuate to and asked if we can help. The hotels in Gainesville are booked. Can you open your home? We may get no calls or many. I gave her Faith's phone number to pass on to her church members, should they want to come here. I may get calls today or tomorrow. Let me know if you can offer space by calling in (377-5482) or emailing (mclark@fpc-gnv.org).

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