Volume 45, Issue 2 February 2015

The Centennial Plans Are Unfolding
We are four weeks into our 100th year as a congregation! In case you had not heard, celebration
plans continue to come together under the direction of our excellent and dedicated Centennial
Anniversary Committee: Jack Corley (chair), Cherry Corley, Marjorie Adams, Margaret
Cardwell, Phil Coltrain, Bob Copeland, Cheryl Jacobs, Lewis Rosebro, Judy Waldron, and
Christopher Tweel.
Here are just a few of the things this crew has accomplished to date:
 Designed and completed a Centennial Crest.
 Designed and produced a Centennial Banner (dedicated in worship on January 25.)
 Ordered Centennial Aprons for the Food Committee, and they are currently in use!
 Designed and ordered over 300 invitations for the Centennial Celebration on Sunday, April 19. These will
be sent later this spring.
 Contacted all living former pastors and invited them to participate in the service of worship on Sunday,
April 19. Nine former ministers are planning to be there!
The committee is continuing its work in the following arenas:
 Completing the plan for special presentations to be given on Wednesday evening and Sunday morning
during the month of April.
 Ensuring effective publicity in the Fan, throughout Richmond, and in our Presbytery. News articles and
social media will assist in getting the word out.
 Coordinating the meal plan for April 19. We expect quite a crowd!
On top of all the great work being done by this committee, the Building Fund has generously decided to
participate in the celebration by renovating and updating various parts of our property. Most notably plans are
unfolding to have the Fellowship Hall renovated this summer.
Of course, even the best celebrations and renovations are but a noisy gong if we have not love motivating us
continued on page 3
1

Christian Education and Discipleship
Sunday School
is held every Sunday from 9:30-10:30 a.m. The nursery crib room and Sunday School are available
for children ages 2 and up.
The Vanguard Class, Basement, Room B4: The class has begun a new study on how "to be
the men that God wants us to be this day," with focus upon our attitude as men in the greater
church of Christ and our relationship and action to injustice in the world.
Grace Bible Class, Second Floor, Room 212: The Grace Bible Class is being taught be John
Nevin and regularly engages in the study of a book from scripture.
The Forum Basement, Room B7Class: Dr. Tom Miller will continue to lead the class through
lessons on the theological principle Grace.
Connections Classes, Third Floor, Room 303: Connections Class has become the Good Books
Class! (se below)
This class entails reading and exploring good books
about God in our everyday lives. Our discussions will
be framed devotionally through scripture, hymns, and
prayer (including prayer for each other) that relates to
the book we will be exploring. Nelson Reveley will be facilitating this class (in room 303), and we
will begin with John Leith's book The Reformed Imperative: What the Church Has to Say That No
One Else Can Say from Jan. 4-Feb. 15. If you would like to join in this class, please contact
Nelson Reveley at nmr2uf@virginia.edu or 387-8094. Due to a generous gift, a limited number of
free copies of the book are available, simply contact Nelson Reveley.

Small Group for Parents! The first one met on Sunday, January 25 at the home of
Cheryl and James Atchison and 22 folks (children and adults) attended! The Parents’ Small
Group plans to continue meeting monthly through the end of May, and all parents/
children are welcome to join in. The next small group will be on Sunday, February 22 at
5:00pm. Location TBD.
Questions? Contact James Atchison (jwatch@gmail.com).

Combined Sunday School on Sunday, February 15
Come hear from Valentin and Sveltana Chicu, our missionaries from Moldovia.
They will be sharing about their ministry and all that God is doing through their
work. Class will meet at 9:45 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall on February 15.

2

continued from Centennial Plans Unfolding…

and pouring through us toward God and neighbor. Paul makes this point quite clearly in his first letter to the
Corinthians! So, amid all the exciting programs, celebrations, and changes let us remain in prayer –
connected to Christ who is the source of all Love. In this way, our every effort this year will be, most truly,
a sharing of Christ’s love.

Congregational Meeting
The Annual Congregational Meeting for presenting the 2015 budget and approving the Terms of Call for Reverand Bobby
Hulme-Lippert will be in the sanctuary immediately following worship on Sunday, February 8, 2015.

Justice Ministry Small Group,
Jan.-May 2015
Interested in becoming more engaged in seeking
God's justice in our communities? A monthly
Justice Ministry small group began meeting this
January to read and discuss Timothy
Keller's Generous Justice together as well as at times plan for local Justice Ministry efforts. Please feel free to
join us! For questions or more information please contact Nelson Reveley (nmr2uf@virginia.edu).
Dates (2nd Wed. of the month): Jan. 14, Feb. 11, Mar. 11, Apr. 8, May 13
Time: 6:50-8:00 p.m.
Place: Grace Covenant, Room TBD
Reading: Timothy Keller's Generous Justice
Format: 1. Prayer, Hymn, and Scripture; 2. Discuss passages and questions from book; 3. Updates and
at times planning on our Justice Ministry efforts; 4. Hymn and Prayer
Discussion/Reading Schedule: Jan. 14 (Intro); Feb. 11 (Chap. 1-2); Mar. 11 (Chap. 3-4); Apr. 8 (Chap.
5-6); May 13 (Chap. 7-8)

All Circles Meet Tuesday, February 10
1
PW Circle
ircle
Evening C
.
7:00 p.m
Avenue
1502 Park
s
eryl Jacob
h
C
:
s
s
e
t
s
Ho

PW Circle 2
11:00 a.m.
Vanguard Room
Hostess: Brenda Harris

PW Circle 3
9:30 a.m.
Social Room
Hostess: Mary Gray

3

Chelsea Chen
International Concert Organist
Artist in Residence, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida)

Friday, February 27, 7:30 p.m.
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church
1627 Monument Avenue
Ola Gjeilo (b. 1978)
Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
trans. Chelsea Chen

George Gershwin/
arr. Rod Gorby (b. 1978)
Chelsea Chen
(b. 1983)

4

Sinfonietta (2002)
Children’s Corner
Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum
Jimbo's Lullaby
Serenade of the Doll
The Snow is Dancing
The Little Shepherd
Golliwogg's Cakewalk
I Got Rhythm
Taiwanese Suite (2003)
Hills in the Springtime
Moonlight Blue
Mountain of Youth

Jehan Alain
(1911-1940)

Litanies

Ad Wammes
(b. 1953)

Miroir

Marcel Dupré
(1886-1971)

Magnificat No. 1: My Soul Doth Magnify the Lord
from 15 Pieces Founded on Antiphons

New Office Hours – Our
new office hours are in place. As always, for those of you who have key
cards, those cards will continue to
give you access to the building between the hours of 7am and 7pm
Monday-Friday. Below is the new
schedule.





Monday- 9:00a.m. - 3:30p.m.
Tuesday- 9:00a.m. - 3:30p.m.
Wednesday- 9:00a.m. - 4:30p.m.
Thursday- 9:00a.m. - 3:30p.m.
Friday- 9:00a.m.-12:00 noon
(volunteers–only)

BEACH BLAST!
Beat Those Winter Blues
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 7
2:00 to 5:00 P.M.
Overbrook Presbyterian Church
2605 Dumbarton Road
Bring a Friend!

Pew Bible Replacements
In conjunction with the church’s observance and celebration of our 100 th
anniversary, the Session has authorized replacing the current pew Bibles. The current
Bibles are over 60 years old and many are in poor physical shape. The replacement
Bibles will be very similar in appearance to the current ones: burgundy with GRACE
COVENANT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH imprinted on the front. The translation
will be the New Revised Standard Version.
The congregation will have the opportunity to donate Bibles either as memorials or in honor of a family member or friend. Sign-up sheets will be available on the
sign-up table outside the Social Room. Completed sheets can be placed in the available plastic boxes.
The cost will be $20 per Bible.
You may also simply e-mail me with your information or if any questions:
dem23221@gmail.com.
Thank you for your interest!
Dana McKnight

5

Ash Wednesday Service Background and
Details
I grew up in a Presbyterian Church that did not have an Ash
Wednesday service. The whole idea of “Ash Wednesday” struck me
as something for “other people,” and I really had no appreciation for
it one way or another until I began serving a couple of different
Presbyterian congregations which had the service.
As many of you know, there is no biblical requirement to hold an
Ash Wednesday service or to use ashes – much as there is no biblical
requirement to celebrate Christmas or Easter (though we celebrate
the truths behind them year-round). Still, Ash Wednesday has been
observed by many Christians for at least the past ten centuries. It is the day that marks the beginning of Lent
– a six-week period preceding Easter (“Lent,” too, is not in the Bible).
Around the tenth century, Christians began placing ashes on their forehead to signify their need for
repentance, presumably emulating the likes of Job who repented “in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6). Notably, the
ashes were done in the shape of the cross – a symbol of the Good News. Thus, even as the ashes spoke of a
need to repent (turn to God) they also spoke of resurrection power and hope.
The first time I had ashes placed on my forehead, it didn’t “do” anything (and never does!). However, the
visible ashen mark helped me consider again my need for grace even as the cross-shape prompted me to give
thanks for the Life in which I already stand because of what Jesus has done on the cross. The ashes also made
me face anew the fact that I will die one day , which renewed my hope and thanks for the hope I have in
Christ Jesus. Paradoxically, then, the ashes-receiving proved uplifting! Of course, this is in keeping with the
Gospel which always “cuts to the heart” (Acts 2:37) and convicts even as it heals and binds up wounds.
After receiving ashes, I went to research the topic in more detail. I realized that while there exists no Bible
verse that says we must observe Ash Wednesday or impose ashes, there is a good theological reasoning
underpinning the service. In many ways, the service enacts our call to confess our sins to another, to weep
with one another, and to know anew the Gospel hope (which can only be appreciated by naming, not
avoiding, the darkness).
To be sure, there is nothing magical about the service or the ashes. Indeed, when calling the people of God
to repentance, the prophet Joel says, “rend your hearts not your clothing” (2:13). The prophet Isaiah likewise
tells the people to stop fasting and repenting in dust and ashes and instead get up and do justice (Isaiah 58:58). In other words, the prophets are calling the people out for thinking that they can perform external acts of
worship (like tearing their clothes or wearing ashes in repentance) that will take the place of actually giving
their hearts and doing the real work of the Lord in the world. We are wise to avoid any imposition of ashes if
we think they gain us favor with God or have some power in and of themselves.
However, because the ashes can be a particularly poignant way for many Christians to know anew our hope
in Jesus Christ, ashes will be offered at our Ash Wednesday service at 7:00p.m. on Wednesday, February
18 in the sanctuary. The ashes will be entirely optional – you may choose whether or not you come forward
to receive them. If you do come forward, I will put the ashes on your forehead in the shape of a cross with
the words, “Consider yourself dead to sin and alive in Jesus Christ” (Rom 6:11). My prayer is that through
the service of worship God will meet us in such a way that we are renewed in our hope and assured once
again that we rest in the promise of the One who has come to bring Life and Life Eternal.
6

Tom Cutting's Memorial Service will be Saturday, February 7 at 11:00 a.m.
at Second Presbyterian Church.

Bequest Gratitude
Late last year the church received a bequest in the amount of $65,000 from the estate of long-time member, Robert Vaughan (a member for 81 years, who joined in October of 1933). We are humbled and grateful for
the immense generosity of Mr. Vaughan. It is because of the generous forethought of Mr. Vaughn and others
that Grace Covenant continues to offer a vibrant witness in Richmond and various places around the world. We
pray and trust that God will lead us to steward wisely the gift with which we have been entrusted.
To date, the Session has voted to place the $65,000 in our Reserve Fund, which had been depleted after
the 2008-09 recession. This Fund helps ensure ministry and mission viability. If you have not already considered putting Grace Covenant into your will but would like to do so, please contact Deacon Jennifer Schooley,
esq (jennifer.schooley@gmail.com, 307-7544). She will assist in making this happen free of charge.

Ash Wednesday Service
February 18, 2015
7:00 p.m.
Sanctuary
5th Sundays Luncheon and Information Meeting
Every 5th Sunday in 2015 you are invited to a congregational luncheon in the
Fellowship Hall after worship! The Fellowship Committee will be pulling together the meal – more details to come as we near the first date.
At these luncheons, the Session will take some time to present to the congregation the various things on which they have been working and praying. There
will also be a time for Q&A. The hope is that we can enjoy the gift of fellowship
and continue to enjoy a strong connection between the congregation and the leadership as God leads us into the next 100 years.
Luncheon Dates for 2015:
March 29, May 31, August 30, and November 29.
7

Bobby’s Trip Abroad in the Holy Land!
Israel and Palestine, 2015

Standing on Masada, an ancient fortification on the eastern edge of the Judaean Desert, overlooking the Dead
Sea. Herod the Great built palaces for himself on this
mountain. The backdrop provides an idea of how challenging it could be when the Israelites wandered in the
desert!
Joel Morgan (pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church on
Monument Ave) and I standing on the Mount of Olives.

Boat Ride on the sea of Galilee.

Caption: Standing next to Jacob¹s Well located in the West Bank under a Greek Orthodox Church and recalling Jesus’ words
alongside the well: "but those who drink of
the water that I will give them will never be
thirsty” (John 4:14).

8

Bobby has returned safely from his time in Israel and the West
Bank. and he looks forward to sharing about the experience! If
you’d like to hear about the trip, there are two upcoming
opportunities (outside of sermons where you will regularly hear
stories and anecdotes):
 Wednesday, March, at 6:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall
following Wednesday Night Supper
 Sunday, March 8 at 9:30 a.m. in the Grace Bible Classroom

Also @ Union Presbyterian Seminary Presents their Dawe Lecture:
"Caged Chickens or Free-Range Chickens? Can Christian Theologians Fly the
Coop to Learn from Other Religious Traditions?”
The lecture features Dr. John Thatamanil, associate professor of theology and world
religions at Union Theological Seminary in New York. He will explore the
relationships between people of various world religions as we struggle to live together
in peace. Registration is not necessary for this event, which begins at 7:30 p.m. For
those who can’t attend in person, the Dawe Lecture will be streamed live on
union.live.org.
9

February
Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

1 Souper Bowl of Caring
9:15 Prayer Team
9:30 Sunday School
10:55 Worship
12:15 Fellowship Hour

2

3
9:45 Staff (GCPC)

8
9:15 Prayer Team
9:30 Sunday School
10:55 Worship
12:15 Fellowship Hour
POJ Youth Event

9

10

Wednes

4
4pm Care Te
4:30pm Car
12noon Men’s Luncheon 7:00 pm August Musicales 5pm Junior
Committee Meeting
6pm WNS
7:15pm Cha

12noon Men’s Luncheon
6pm Ukirk
7:00pm Worship
Committee Meeting

6pm Finance Meeting

11
4pm Care Te
4:30pm Car
5pm Junior
6pm WNS
7:15pm Cha

15
16
17
9:15 Prayer Team
9:30 Combined Sunday School
-Missionaries from Moldova!
10:55 Worship
12noon Men’s Luncheon
12:15 Fellowship Hour

18
4pm Care Te
4:30pm Car
5pm Junior
6pm WNS
7pm Ash W
Service
8pm Chance

22
9:15 Prayer Team
9:30 Sunday School
10:55 Worship
12:15 Fellowship Hour

25
4pm Care Te
4:30pm Car
5pm Junior
6pm WNS
7:15pm Cha

10

23
12noon Men’s Luncheon
6pm Ukirk

24

sday

Team
rol Choir
Choir

** Reminder!
February 20 is the deadline for submissions
for our March edition of Grace Notes.
Thursday
5
10am CDC Chapel

Friday
6

Saturday
7
2-5pm POJ Youth Beach Blast!
5-8pm Parent’s Night Out

ancel Choir

Team
rol Choir
Choir

12
10am CDC Chapel

13

19
10am CDC Chapel

20

14

6:30 People Group @
Westminster Canterbury

ancel Choir

Team
rol Choir
Choir

Wednesday

RISC Meeting 21

RISC Meeting

9-1pm Shalom Farms
7pm Session meeting

el Choir

Team
rol Choir
Choir

ancel Choir

26
10am CDC Chapel

27

28
9:30-12noon AGO Meeting

7:30 PM Organ
Recital
Chelsea Chen

11

12

Honduras KHISH
Team Returns!
The fifth annual “Brigada de Ojos” (or
Eye Brigade) traveled to Southern Honduras
from January 1-8, 2015, in conjunction with the
KHISH medical/dental team’s tenth trip. Three
American ophthalmologists (Dr. Carlos
Martinez from Long Beach, CA and Drs. Keith
Kellum and Theresa Turla from Houma, LA)
and three American surgical nurses (JoAnn
Lightfoot and Shannon Atkinson from Houma
and Jaqueline Diehl from CA) joined with Ron
and Susan David and a host of Honduran team members to perform eye exams, dispense glasses, and screen
for potential surgical needs. The team was hosted by the public hospital in San Lorenzo. We were privileged
to be joined this year by Dr. Kristo from El Progreso, who was an artist in the operating room. The team of
Honduran professionals was led, as always, by good friend Melvin Tejada. In all, 499 individuals were
screened for surgery. Of these, 192 underwent surgery, mostly for cataracts and pterygium, with some
miscellaneous other procedures. Hundreds received reading or prescription glasses through a separate process
led by Rev. Mark Wright, Presbyterian
missionary to Honduras. At the close of the
week’s work, we were invited to a meeting with
the Hospital San Lorenzo’s leadership. They
have pledged to pre-screen patients in the four
months leading up to the 2016 brigade, in an
effort to streamline the process and maximize
the surgical team’s efficiency and productivity.
They also pledged to be our partners in the long
term goal of building a permanent eye care
facility to serve the residents of the South of
Honduras. In turn, we pledged to return next
January for our sixth Brigada de Ojos.
The medical/dental teams included Helen
Lanier Reveley, Sallie Leys, and Itunu
Adekoya. Poor Helen Lanier had the unlucky distinction of having American Airlines cancel her flight BOTH
WAYS and so got to spend extra quality time in airports and hotels along her way. We juggled the schedule
of clinics to accommodate late arrivals. We had our usual clinics in Nacaome, Puerto Grande, Moropocay
(twice) and Las Crucitas, approximately 750 medical visits and 250+ pulled teeth. An unpleasant and
unexpected new wrinkle was the appearance of a mosquito-borne disease called chikungunya in the Western
Hemisphere. We encountered a few acute cases and many dozens of folks who had gotten through the acute
illness but were left with lingering joint pains and difficulty walking weeks later. We found ourselves flying
through our supply of NSAIDs very quickly and having to find more. Thanks to lots of insect repellant, we all
returned home safely and chikungunya-free.

Many thanks to the people of Grace Covenant for their ongoing support.
Thanks be to God!
13

February Birthdays
1– Joy Nevins
2– Merelyn Hammett
3– George Plunkett
4– Ainura Satterfield
6– Janet Miller
8– Margaret Valentine
8– Sue Bridenstine

Fellowship Hour

9– Edward Richardson
11– Gordon Gray

February 1

Wood

13– Grace Cardwell

February 8

Jacobs

16– Jean Appich

February 15

Holmes

February 22

Savage

17– Logan R. Moorhead
20– Laura Leigh Savage
20– Cameron Baird
24– Patrise Sears

Friday as Sabbath Day for Bobby
As of last Monday, January 26 I
have switched the day that I take a Sabbath. I have been taking Mondays as
my Sabbath day for the past year and a
half, but now am taking Fridays as my
Sabbath day.
This means I am generally available
in the office and/or by cell phone at anytime Sunday-Thursday. I am also available for emergencies via cell phone on
Friday.
As usual, Saturdays will often involve participation in ministries like
Shalom Farms or those of the POJ.
14

25– Carl McMillin
28– Sally Warthen
28– Rick Nochta

Date Night
Grace Covenant is happy to offer this blessing up to our families again
on Saturday, February 7, from 5:00 p.m. –8:00 p.m. A charge of $5
per child will help defray the costs of child care, though there is a $10
maximum per family with more than two children. Please RSVP to
Vanessa Strait at info@grace-covenant.org or 359-2463 with name of
child and age.
Looking forward to next year be sure to keep these dates on your
calendar. These dates below will be from 5:00 -8:00 p.m.
March 14, April 11, and May 23.

STEWARDSHIP CORNER

After some anemic numbers in the months of the late fall,
contributions finished the year unusually strong, with a total
of $84,600 in December. The year’s total of $510,900 was
down 1.4% from the prior year due to contributions received
in 2013 attributable to 2012 pledges. Other income in
December included $4,000 from the Building Fund to
reimburse prior capital expenses and prior restricted
donations of $16,100 utilized to fund mission payments.

Expenses of $73,800 in December were also high, but
they included mission donations of $21,200. Income for the
month exceeded expenses by $40,900, resulting in a surplus
over expenses of $15,600 being realized for the year.
Our Joy Gift in December amounted to $1,944, our Five Cents Per Meal offering $240, Loaves
and Fishes $730, and Mercy $196. Other significant activity in the Restricted Funds included a bequest
from the estate of Robert Vaughan, and a donation designated for the Zobule Translation Project.

Food Donations Needed!
Please continue to remember the William Byrd Community
House food donation areas. Now in two places!
There is a small basket beside the nursery and the large cart at
the bottom of the back stars as you enter the basement level. Keep
this incredible and ongoing ministry in mind as we continue to help
Richmond feed needy children who are try to do well in school! It’s a
wonderful program that we support through food donation.
15

Stop and See Selections from
Our Archives
During 2015, the 100th anniversary year of Grace
Covenant, the main hall display case will feature changing
items from our archives collection. These displays will
provide a glimpse of some of the history which features
Grace Covenant; for example, world missions, Christian
education, music, community outreach, Presbyterian
Women, and others.
Marjorie Adams, archivist

GCPC Softball Team Interested in joining the spring softball team? We need at least 16 men to join in! The West Men’s Richmond
Softball League runs from mid-April and runs through late July. Games begin
on April 13 and 14 (specific schedule to be announced in March). We will
compete against other church teams in the city at the Westhampton Field at
901 Maple Ave. near St. Mary’s Hospital. Cost per person: $30. Email Bobby
you have interest in being on the team (bobby@grace-covenant.org).

if

Don’t forget that we have available these locations for recycling
placed around the church. Be sure
to recycle all office paper and any
other recyclables before
heading to the
trash can!!

16

Wednesday Night Supper Menu
February 4: Brunswick stew, bread sticks, salad, pineapple upside-down cake
February 11: No-peek beef, noodles, peas, salad, brownies
February 18: Baked mac and cheese, stewed tomatoes, black eyed peas, salad, brownies
February 25: Pasta fagiola, bread sticks, salad, lima beans, fruit and cookies

GCPC Members,
This time of fellowship and demonstration of love and
caring was a great way to transition to our next month’s
theme of Friends, Family, and Love! Children will start the
month by comparing physical characteristics to those of
their friends: Am I a boy? Am I a girl? What color is my
hair? How tall am I? With art projects such as “Me Dolls”
and math activities such as comparing heights, the children
will learn about themselves as well as their friends!
Moving on from friends, children will learn all about families: What makes a family? Who is
in MY family? What do we do with our family? They’ll explore their own individual
habitats, comparing houses to apartments and going for walks to look at the neighborhood.
They’ll discuss what kinds of houses animals live in, and what kinds of animals live in
houses! This will be a great time for children to bring in things from their own homes and
share their own personal cultures with one another. This is also an excellent opportunity for
children to learn about different family structures and different cultural traditions of sharing
and demonstrating God’ Love.
This is also a great opportunity for anyone who has wanted to become more involved
with the CDC! You could come read a story about families to the older classes, or even bring
in a few pictures of your family to share. We are also going to have a Valentine’s Day party
in each classroom, so anyone in the
mood to prepare a sweet treat and join
us is more than welcome! If you are
interested in exploring these or other
possible volunteering opportunities,
please e-mail me at
director.gccdc@verizon.net!

- Nicole Flournoy, Director of the
Child Development Center

Picture caption: Even a discarded box is fun with the right friends!

17

Text
Luke 18:1-8
[18:1] Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
[2] He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. [3] And
there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.'
[4] "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about
men, [5] yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't
eventually wear me out with her coming!' "
[6] And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. [7] And will not God bring about
justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?
[8] I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man
comes, will he find faith on the earth?"

The Value of Persistence (18:4-5)
"For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with
her coming!' "

The phrase "keeps bothering" translates two Greek words. Parecho, "to cause to happen or be brought
about, cause, make happen,"[8] is in the present tense, which here indicates continued action in the present. The second word is Greek kopos, "a state of discomfort or distress, trouble, difficulty," originally "a
beating". The idea here is "cause trouble for someone, bother someone."[9]
This weak little widow is starting to make the powerful judge feel some heat. The phrase "wear me out" is
Greek hupopiazo, literally, "give a black eye to, strike in the face." The judge may have been speaking in
hyperbole or exaggeration -- she wasn't threatening him with bodily harm. But a figurative meaning of the
word is "to bring someone to submission by constant annoyance, wear down, browbeat," or perhaps
"slander, besmirch."[10] This widow's constant appeals were hurting the judge's reputation. Whatever he
had been paid wasn't worth the hassle she was causing. He decided to grant her what she was due just to
get rid of her.
This wasn't a real widow, of course, nor a real judge, but Jesus' hearers had met widows like her, and had
experience with judges like him. All over the audience you could see people nodding their heads. They'd
met people like that. The story was true-to-life.

God's Sure Justice (18:6-8a)
Now that Jesus has is audience with him, he brings the application:

"And the Lord said, 'Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones,
who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and
quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?' " (18:6-8)

18

Now for the unjust judge and the widow, Jesus substitutes God and his elect (eklektos, "chosen ones"). Wait
a minute, you say. God isn't unjust! No, and that's just the point. Jesus argument is from the lesser to the
greater: If an unjust, selfish judge will see that justice is done in response to persistent requests, how much
more will the just God bring justice to his own beloved people who pray constantly for relief.
The phrase "bring about justice" (NIV) or "avenge" (KJV) is the noun form, ekdikesis (found here and in
verse 8), of the verb ekdikeo used in verses 3 and 5 above. It means "giving of justice, see to it that justice
is done."[11]
I think of a poignant passage in the book of Revelation:

"When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God
and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, 'How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true,
until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?' Then each of them was given a white robe, and they
were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they
had been was completed." (Revelation 6:9-11)

Sometimes we cry, "How long, Lord?" Sometimes it seems that God will never answer. In the sentence, "
Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly" (18:7), the phrase
"keep putting them off" (NIV) or "bear long" (KJV) is Greek makrothumeo, "delay." This is the only place in
the NT where this meaning occurs. Usually it is translated "have patience" or "be patient."[12]
Jesus answer is firm: "He will see that they get justice, and quickly" (18:8). The word "quickly"
is Greek tachos, "speed, quickness, swiftness, haste" or with the preposition en as an adverbial
unit, "soon, in a short time."[13] Our word "tachometer" (measuring speed of rotation) comes
from this Greek word.

Prayer
Lord, I know what it's like to come to a place of discouragement so deep that it's hard to pray any longer,
hard to hold out hope. Some of my brothers and sisters are there right now and you are speaking to their
hearts. Lift them, today, I pray. Turn their eyes to you afresh. Strengthen their faith, freshen their hope,
enliven their prayers -- until you come. Come soon, Lord Jesus! Amen.

Questions
1. Describe the judge in this parable. What do we know about his motivations? (18:2, 4-5)
2. Describe the widow. What makes her tick? Why do you think she is so persistent? (18:3)
3. What is the stated purpose why Jesus told this parable? (18:1)
4. What kinds of things can happen that cause us to lose hope, and lose any heart to pray consistent and
believing prayers? How can we get out of these "pits"?

5. He can we believe in swift justice from God when he hasn't brought it yet?
6. Do YOU think Jesus will find faith on the earth when he returns? Why or why not?

19

The Staff
Bobby Hulme-Lippert
Pastor
bobby@grace-covenant.org
Chris Martin
Director of Music and Organist
martin@grace-covenant.org
Christopher Tweel
Director of Christian Formation &
Pastoral Assistant
christopher@grace-covenant.org
Martha Rubin
Interim Office Manager/Bookkeeper

bookkeeper@grace-covenant.org
Rex Childs
Seminary Intern
Rex.Childs@upsem.edu

Church Officers

Our Elders serve the church as leaders.
Our Deacons lead the church in service.
Please feel free to approach them
with any questions or feedback about
Grace Covenant’s ministries.
CLERK OF SESSION: Everett Reveley
ELDERS
James Atchison (’16)
Virginia Hudson (’17)
Cheryl Jacobs (’15)
Caroline Leith (’15)
Katie McCullough (’16)
Everett Reveley (’15)
Lewis Rosebro (’17)
Pete Sizemore (’16)
Rob Turner (’17)



-

Linda Pitts
Seminary Intern
linda.pitts@upsem.edu

DEACONS
Itunu Adekoya (’16)
Lisa Cardwell (’15)
Courtney Clements (’15)

Church Office Hours:

Phil Coltrain (’16)

Mon—Thurs, 9:00 am— 3:30 pm
Fri, 9:00am –12 noon
Phone: (804) 359-2463
Fax: (804) 278-6298
www.grace-covenant.org

10:55 a.m.
12:00 noon

Cynthia Holmes (’17)
Jan Kessel (’16)
Dottie-Ray Koch (’17)

Sundays:
9:30 a.m.

Mary Gray (’15)

Sunday School for all ages in
the Education Building
Worship Service in
the Sanctuary
Congregational Fellowship in
the Social Room

Sallie Leys (’17)
Jessica Reveley (’16)
Jennifer Schooley (’15)
Dawson Watkins (’17)

Grace Covenant Child Development Center
Nicole Flournoy
Director
(804) 213-0200
director.gccdc@verizon.net
www.gracecovenantcdc.com

20

TRUSTEES:
Caroline Leith (’14)
John Roberts (’15)
Warren Zirkle (’16)

Finance (C-M)
Mission (M), Nominating
CE (M)
Property (Co-M), CE
Administration (M)
Stewardship (M)
Property (Co-M)
Administration (Co-M)
Worship (M)
- Prayer (M)
- Flowers (M)
- Visitation (Co-M),
Fellowship
- Glass Office (M),
Deacons’ Fund
- Meals (M),
Visitation (Co-M)
- Fellowship (M)
- Care Team (M),
Transportation (M)
- Fellowship
(Food Committee Liaison)
- Greeters/Ushers
- Justice (M)
- Guests Follow-Up,
New Members (M),
Deacons’ Fund
- Deacons’ (M),
Care Team

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.