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Volume 14
Winter Issue, 2015
Every Wednesday
6:30 pm Bible Study
7:50 pm Choir Practice
6 Tuesday
Season of Epiphany begins
11 Sunday
Baptism of our Lord
Un-green the church
25 Sunday
Annual Congregational
15 Sunday
Transfiguration of Our Lord
Festive Day before Lent
18 Wednesday
Ash Wed. Service
7:00 pm (Lent Begins)
25 Wednesday
Soup Supper &
Mid-Week Lenten
Service Begins
8 Sunday
Daylight Saving Time
14 Saturday
First Day of the Korean
School Spring Semester
29 Sunday
Passion/Palm Sunday
Holy Week Begins
2 &3
Maundy Thursday & Good
Friday Service
7:00 pm
5 Sunday
Potluck Brunch
The Least of These
“Just as you did it to one of the least of these who
are members of my family, you did it to me.”
(Matthew 25:40)
These passages call the congregation to
engage in the social ministry of compassion to the
needy, and they are also a popular source for
slogans of benevolent institutions because they
direct the reader’s attention to the hungry, the
thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, and the
imprisoned. They become the place for the Son of
Man. They become his designated
representatives, so that in serving them, we serve
the Lord who is coming as the ultimate Judge at
the end of time.
To our surprise, the criterion of judgment
in the last judgment day is not a confession of
faith in Christ. Nothing is said of grace,
justification, or the forgiveness of sins. What
constitutes the decisive criterion of judgment is
whether one has acted with loving care for needy
people. This might make us uncomfortable since
we do not believe that Christian life is solely for
helping the needy.
Then why is Matthew writing this in his
Gospel? This question has been disputed since
the earliest days in Christianity. There is one
question that matters in our text: Who are “the
least of these who are members of my family?”
Matthew’s congregational life in the later
first century was not like ours at all. There were
constant threats of persecution and indictment
from the Romans and their own people, the Jews.
According to historical facts, even in the middle of
their suffering, Matthew’s Church sent out a great
deal of Christian missionaries into the world.
These missionaries, sent out from
Matthew’s congregation, were the most needy
and vulnerable people at the time because they
simply followed Jesus’ instructions: “You received
without payment; give without payment. Take no
gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for
your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff.”
(Matthew 10:8b-10a)
Therefore, their life sustenance was
solely dependent on the support from complete
strangers in the villages they entered. I am certain
that the leaders of the church of Matthew received
numerous reports that their missionaries had
been beaten, starved to death, fallen sick during a
missionary trip, or sometimes, even thrown into
prison. And so, the hungry, the thirsty, the
stranger, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned
were all expressions of the experiences a
Christian missionary typically endured at the time
of Matthew. We can ascribe “the least of these” to
the Christian missionaries in Matthew’s historical
Now let us come back to the present in
our own context of modern day in the United
States. We do not have those kinds of poor
missionaries in the mainline Protestant churches.
So how can we identify “the least of these” in our
lives? A simple way is this—we always have “the
least of these” as long as we belong to any group
as a community: in our family, our church, our
work place, our local community, or even the
global community. Identifying “the least of these”
in the community is not static, but rather, it’s a
dynamic process that we constantly keep our
eyes on as time passes. We are called to respond
to marginalized people with resources, integrity,
and discretion. In this New Year, it is our call to
find the face of Christ in them. Amen.
Pastor Jongkil Na
In this Issue
Page 1
Calendar/The Least of These
Page 2
Message from the President
Page 3
Cantor’s Notes/Prayer Section/Birthdays
Page 4
A Salute to our members
Bible Study Notes
Page 5
Theatre Project Beltsville (TPB)
Page 6
Active APLC member passes away
Page 7
In Memory of Mona Mertens
Page 8
December Activities
Page 9
Our Christmas Brunch
Page 10
The Baffling Christmas Carol
Page 11
Council Report
Page 12-14
News from the Pews
Page 15
Trivia Corner
Page 16-19
Serving in Worship
10774 Rhode Island Avenue, Beltsville,
Maryland 20705
(301) 937-7646
Page 2
Message from the
Christians all over the world
have celebrated the birth of
our Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ, and we are very
grateful for all that God has
bestowed upon us. The
spirit of Christmas should
not be for just one day but
should last for the whole
I hope everyone had a very
joyous Christmas. It will
soon be time to take down
all the Christmas
decorations. I know it will
not be fun to do, but we
As the New Year begins,
many of us will have New
Year's resolutions.
Whatever they are, I hope
they are good ones and that
you have the will power to
live up to them.
I thank everyone for making
the holiday season at our
church a very joyous one
with all the delicious food at
our Christmas potluck, the
tasty cookies made by the
ladies who participated in
the cookie exchange, and
the fun we had with our gift
exchange game.
I wish you love, joy and
peace throughout the
coming year. May all your
dreams be fulfilled.
Thanks to all for your time
and talent and for making
our church a beautiful place
in which to worship.
Annie Gajadhar,
Thanks Received
Joy and Tom Loomis
contributed funds to APLC
to be used for benevolence;
the funds were directed to
two Gifts of Hope agencies
and Maryland Food Bank.
Pastor Anne Dwiggins sent
a note of thanks for our
contribution in honor of her
As the Korean Pastors’
Conference was not held
this year, Council decided
to award the $1,000
previously designated for
the conference to Michaels’
House (founded by Michael
Craig) on whose board
Pastor Taylor served.
Michael’s House aids the
elderly destitute, chiefly, but
not exclusively, in Ethiopia.
We received a thank you
note from CUCE
(Congregations United for
Compassion and
Empowerment) for the $)
forwarded this quarter.
CUCE, a part of our regular
budget, assists individuals
in the Route 1 corridor who
are in need of financial help
or are in need of referrals to
counseling or employment.
Also part of the 2014
budget, was the payment of
$2,000 to the American
Wheat Mission, which
serves individuals with
Totals for the current
Maryland Food Bank and
Gifts of Hope campaigns
will be reported in the next
issue of Abiding’s Tidings.
The family of Ray Schar
sent a donation of thanks to
the congregation for its
attention to Ray and
participation at his funeral.
Donna Mertens has
expressed her thanks for
the support given to her and
for flowers sent for her
mother’s funeral.
Anna Graeber,
Outreach Committee
Page 3
Cantor’s Notes
Well, 2014 has come and gone. The years have a tendency to do that.
We continue to make an effort to keep our worship meaningful and our lives as a
congregation equally so. We have added many new hymns to our repertoire during the year,
which surely has the effect of increasing the effectiveness and freshness of our worship.
We continue to bask in the glory of our four choir singers and our three bell ringers. Having
any kind of bell group in a church this small is quite something to be pleased about and
grateful for.
Our new theatre program, THEATER PROJECT BELTSVILLE mounted a very successful
production of three one act plays in the fall. The support for this program continues to grow,
both financially and in terms of behind the scenes work. A large part of our community is
participating, and it is important to note here that simply attending a performance is an
important form of support. So, if all you did was come to see it, you may be proud of
January 25, 2015 will be the beginning of an expansion of the theatre program. There will be
a public reading of two new one act plays by Charles Sleeth, a Prince Georges County
resident. After the readings, the audience is invited to offer feedback to help the playwright
polish his work in anticipation of a full performance later on.
Immediately after Easter, rehearsals will begin for our spring productiion of “2 Across” by
Jerry Mayer which will feature Donna Mertens as one of the two actors in the play. More
specifics will be forthcoming as we shall be happy to hear from anyone who would like to
help mount this production.
The future looks great for us!
Frank Akers, Cantor
In Our Prayers: Members: Franklin Akers, Anna Graeber, Laura Kalshoven, Kenneth Buck,
Martha McKisson, Murzeena Gajadhar, and Ming Yee Chen. Our Friends: Ana, Bernadine,
David, Jimmy, Julia, Karen, Kevin, Kristine, Les, Linda, Lisa, Michael, Mick, Nancy, Raz,
Carl, Steven, Mike, Sam, Jamie, John, Tom, Harold, Ricardo, Chris, Richard, Li, Walter,
Wayne, Wol-Mak Park, and Zally.
Happy Birthday to: Jan Kalshoven (Jan 1), Jongkil Na (1/20), Marlon Gajadhar(2/10),
Sherlon Gajadhar(2/10), Frank Akers (2/23), Ming Yee Chen (2/24), Josephine Kalshoven
(2/25), Stephanie Boyd(3/1), Chris Ham (3/18), Joshua Ham (3/19), Pat Thornberg (3/20),
Martha McKisson (3/22), Betty Wellborn (4/8), and Ramesh Das (4/20)
Page 4
A Salute to Our Members – Steve McKisson
In this issue of our newsletter, we salute one of the mainstays of our small, but talented
choir - Steve McKisson. Steve has been a member of Abiding Presence since 1994, when
he and his wife, Martha, came to us from St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. Their loss was our
gain, as we acquired a faithful choir member and sometime cantor to enhance our services.
Both Steve and his wife are that rarity- both were born in the District of Columbia.
The McKissons have three children, several grandchildren, and several great -grandchildren
- hard to believe from their youthful appearances! Steve retired in 2005, having spent
several years in the Air Force, but primarily his time was with Western Electric, which was
bought out by AT&T, then Lucent Technologies evolved from that union. During that time, he
worked on the repair and maintenance of telephone equipment in the main offices. Today,
he still works part time with one of his sons-in-law on the repair and servicing of vending
machines all across the state .
In his spare time, Steve does a lot of bicycling - sometimes 20 to 30 miles at a stretch! Of
course the weather can be a limiting factor in that pursuit, so he also likes to work/play with
the computer when he’s indoors.
We are happy to have Steve’s voice in our little choir, which brings us so much pleasure in
our services.
Bible Study Notes
This fall we moved from the spring study of the Gospels to the book of Romans. While the
Gospels tell us of Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection, the letter writers take on the task
of interpreting the meaning of those events. While not the earliest of Paul’s letters, Romans
is likely the one that most clearly details his theological beliefs.
These writings were crucial to many including Augustine and Luther, and our Lutheran
theology has been heavily influenced by Pauls’ writings. Ideas stressed by Paul and central
our Lutheran theology includes: our worth before God is received from God through faith,
not by our works; and we are justified and reconciled to God by Christ’s death.
Probing the meaning of Christ’s death as atonement for our sins is a crucial but difficult to
comprehend (a matter of faith?) belief with which the group grappled. The contrast between
Adam’s introduction of sin and Christ’s atonement for sin stirred lots of discussion in the
group. In the context of Paul’s time with the young church undergoing persecution from the
Roman emperors, he also emphasized Christ’s coming for the Gentiles as well as the Jews.
that Gentiles did not need to become Jews to become Christians, and some benefits of
suffering. Our reading of Chapter 6 led us to examine Paul’s and our understanding of
Anna Graeber
Page 5
Theater Project Beltsville (TPB)
On weekends between October 24 and November 8, Theater
Project Beltsville presented 7 performances of three plays, under the
collective title, Cold Shoulders: The Stronger, Fourteen, and Starman, Wish Me
Prior to the performances, the director, Frank Akers, had to locate plays
suitable to our space and other resources, call for and audition actors, conduct
rehearsals, orchestrate publicity and the program, seek props and sound
effects, and arrange for help with lighting, the front of the house, etc. Frank
found help within and outside the congregation for these tasks, but the chief burden of all
these activities fell to him. Thank you Frank!
Rehearsals resulted in some change in cast, but the final list of major actors included
Rachel Duda, James (Jan) Kalshoven, Julia Kalshoven and Frank himself. Annie Gajadhar
and Keisun Na also acted in a small cameo role. Jason and Lydia Kalshoven provided
lighting and sound effects. All these cast members act for the joy and experience of doing
so. Thanks to all who made the Cold Shoulder production a reality.
Strindberg’s The Stronger is essentially a dramatic monologue. The threatened wife, played
by Rachel, vents her scorn and flaunts her supposed superiority at another lady, played by
Julia, whose body language and facial expressions are an important part of the play. All
audience members were captivated by Rachel’s wrath and claims of advantage as well as
by Julia’s reactions. Who was the stronger character in this play?
Gerstenberg’s Fourteen is a short comedy about Mrs. Pringle (Rachel) determined to follow
the social conventions for a dinner in the early 1900s, host exactly 14 people, find an eligible
bachelor for her daughter Elaine (Julia), keep herself on the list of venerated hostesses, and
keep her household on somewhat of an even keel with the help of her butler, Dunham (Jan).
Rachel maintained her role as the proper but excitable Mrs. Pringle throughout the play;
Julia portrayed the elegant and obedient-to-a-point daughter with just the right eye rolling
when her mother got into a test of wills with her or changed her opinions of folks for the
slightest reason. And Jan, as Dunham, provided the steady hand adjusting to the numerous
changes in the number of guests, keeping for the most part the number of squabs, gelatin
molds, and ices in order. Jason and Lydia provided ringing phones and doorbells in a timely
In Burton’s Starman, Wish Me Luck, both homeless Starman (Frank) and down on her luck
and into drink Contessa (Rachel) share their histories and spar on a cold Christmas Eve.
Despite their strange pasts, voiced mistrust, and occasional hints of giving one another the
cold shoulder, they find ways to comfort one another. Both actors must follow the script
that consists of a great deal of non sequitur, stream of conscious dialogue. Starman, is the
work of a local author, Nicole Burton, who came to one of the rehearsals as well as one of
the performances. Talk about pressure! Frank and Rachel were convincing characters; and
if one of them missed a line here or there only Nicole Burton would know. The police sirens
and flashing lights were ably managed and added to the cold, city atmosphere.
Some of the performances were very well attended, others not so; but all the audiences
were most appreciative. TPB, an outreach endeavor of Abiding Presence Lutheran Church,
exists to bring good, reasonably priced, theater to people in our community and those
nearby. The APLC Council has acted to approve a spring performance, 2 Across, currently
scheduled to begin May 8. See you there!
Page 6
Active APLC Member Passes Away
Raymond D. Schar, Sr. – Ray Schar passed away on Thursday,
October 2, 2014 at Hill Haven Nursing Home. He was 91 years
old. Ray was born on April 9, 1923 in Butler County,
Pennsylvania to William and Pearl Schar and grew up in Evans
City, PA. Ray was an active member of the Lutheran Church of
the Abiding Presence for over 50 years. He was also active in
his local chapter of the VFW.
Ray married Mary Cary in 1944. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps and served as a pilot
during WWII. He was shot down twice and was taken as a POW when his plane was shot
down in April of 1945. Ray taught school briefly after the war. Then he, Mary, and their sons
moved to Sate College, PA where Ray completed his degree at Penn State. After college,
he went to work for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, and the family moved to
Franklin Town, PA.
In 1959, the family moved to Beltsville, MD, and Ray began working for the U.S. Department
of Agriculture at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center where he coordinated the poultry
improvement program. Ray was retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1984.
After his retirement, he and Mary did a great deal of traveling in their RV. They traveled
across the country several times until Mary’s death in 2004.
The funeral service and viewings for Ray were held at the Borgwardt
Funeral Home located at 4400 Powder Mill Road in Beltsville, MD on
Monday, October 6th and Tuesday morning, October 7th. Pastor Na
presided over the funeral service at the Borgwardt Funeral Home and
gave the homily. Other family members shared remembrances of
Ray that were warm and at times funny. Jean Opeka read the
lessons during the service, and Bette Deller served as Assisting
Minister reading the prayers. Laura Kalshoven sang a beautiful
rendition of Amazing Grace, and Frank Akers played on an electronic
keyboard provided by the funeral home with great feeling. Our church sent a beautiful floor
basket of flowers with a patriotic color scheme to honor Ray’s military service. It was called
the Patriotic Tribute Floor Basket Arrangement. It had white football mums, red carnations,
blue delphinium and a bright, blue ribbon attached to the front of the basket.
Ray was survived by 2 sons, 6 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren. His youngest son,
William, died in 2003. His remaining sons, Ray Schar, Jr. and John Schar, were in
attendance at the funeral along with other family members. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out
to all of Ray’s family. We will miss this kind and gentle soul here at Abiding Presence, and
will remember him with great fondness.
Page 7
In Memory of Mona Mertens
A memorial service and funeral for Mona Mertens, mother of Donna
Mertens, took place in Palm Springs, California on November 21st.
Mona was one of five women tragically killed in a weekend car
crash in Salton City as they traveled to a luncheon for Beta Sigma
Phi. A sixth woman suffered serious injuries but survived. The
women, all in their 70s and 80s, were on their way to a luncheon for
the Beta Sigma Phi sorority when the crash occurred. The women,
all in their 70s and 80s, were on their way to a luncheon for the Beta
Sigma Phi sorority when the crash occurred. The service club was
one of several causes that kept Mona and the other women busy.
The luncheon was a chance to reconnect after a summer apart, an annual kickoff for a
group of women who family and friends said embraced the knowledge, and not the frailty,
that comes with age. They were longtime friends all living in the Coachella Valley and
heavily involved in social causes, including the Beta Sigma Phi service organization, which
was putting on the Saturday lunch in Salton City.
Mona Mertens, 87, of Cathedral City was a mother of 12 with 35 grandchildren and 27 greatgrandchildren. She was active at St. Teresa and clubs including the Desert Princess
Women’s Gold Club, Red Hat Society, the Beta Sigma Phi service sorority, the Knights of
Columbus, and Widows and Widowers. She was remembered as a devout Catholic and
lived life to the fullest until the very end. She was celebrated as a woman of deep faith, who
grew up in a Catholic family in Washington State and sent her children to Catholic schools.
Our hearts go out to Donna Mertens and her family at this sad and unexpected loss of
Donna’s mother, Mona.
Donna Mertens (Row 1, far right) and her Living Brothers and Sisters
Page 8
December Activities
The Greening of the Church – December 7th was set aside as the date for
decorating the church for Christmas. Pastor Na, Bette Deller, and Annie
Gajadhar went to the storage locker on Saturday, December 6th to bring the
decorations to the church to be ready. Bette and Annie put up the wreaths, jar
candles, and tacked greens around each doorway on Saturday to make it
easier to decorate the tree on Sunday. Laura Kalshoven prepared a lovely lunch for our
coffee hour. Everyone pitched in, had a good time and when everything was done, the
church looked very festive!
Cookie Exchange – Seven members participated in our Christmas cookie
exchange this year. Each participant packaged 6 cookies to exchange with the
other participants of the cookie exchange and baked an additional dozen to
share with the membership at the holiday brunch on December 21st. Each
participant went home with a nice assortment of cookies to share with their family and
holiday guests made by the other participants in the exchange and we all enjoyed a
sampling at our holiday brunch.
Chinese Gift Exchange – This game has become a new tradition at Abiding
Presence. Thirteen people signed up to participate this year and buy a gift
suitable for either a man or woman priced under $20. The gifts were wrapped,
and numbers were drawn to determine the order in which participants would
choose either a wrapped gift or take a gift away from someone else who had already had
their turn. Every year one gift seems to be the favorite and makes its way through the
hands of several players before the game is over. This year three players took a present
away from another player, and those three got to choose another gift. We had a lot of
laughs, and everyone went home with a gift.
Page 9
Our 2014 Christmas Brunch
We had a wonderful time on Sunday, December 21st at our Holiday Brunch!
This year the fellowship committee suggested a menu like the typical
Christmas dinner. Many members signed up for one of the traditional foods,
and we also had some Korean favorites and other non-traditional contributions. For dessert
we enjoyed a variety of Christmas cookies made by the seven ladies who participated in our
annual cookie exchange. Each participant went home with a bag of cookies from the other
six to share with their families.
After a delicious meal, and some tasty cookies, we drew numbers for the Chinese
gift exchange we play and have come to enjoy. President, Annie Gajadhar, donned an elf
hat and directed the game as one of Santa’s elves. First, Elf Annie, gave presents from the
congregation to the church youth. They all seemed to like the gifts selected especially for
them. Thirteen members then participated in the gift exchange game by bringing a gift to be
exchanged as part of the game, and all thirteen went home with one. The devil was in the
details. According to the rules, you draw a number which determines the order in which you
choose a gift. You can either choose a wrapped gift from the table or take one from
someone else who has already had their turn and opened their gift. If your gift is taken away
by someone, you can then select another gift to replace the one taken away. This year we
had three people who took gifts away from others, which made the game full of laughs. In
the end, everyone was happy with the gift they received…even though they initially hated to
part with their original one… as you can see from the pictures below. The gifts were very
clever and appealing this year and we all had a wonderful afternoon together.
The Cookies to Be Exchanged
Jean Opeka Selects Her Gift
Elf Annie Prepares for the Game
Jan Kalshoven Takes it Away
The Youth Receive Special Gifts
Keisun Na Takes Anna’s Gift
Page 10
There is one Christmas Carol which has always puzzled me. What do leaping Lords,
drumming drummers and partridges have to do with Christmas? Here is the simple
From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics were not permitted to openly practice their religion.
Someone during that time wrote this song with two levels of meaning: the surface meaning
plus a hidden meaning known only to church members. Here is what the Twelve days of
Christmas is really all about:
The Partridge in a pear tree was really Jesus Christ.
The Two Turtle Doves were the Old and New Testaments.
The Three French Hens stood for faith, hope and love.
The Four Calling Birds were the four gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
The Five Golden Rings represented the Torah, or Law, the first five books the Old
Testament .
The Six Geese A-Laying stood for the six days of creation.
The Seven Swans A-Swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution,
Leadership, and Mercy.
The Eight Maids A-Milking were the eight beatitudes.
The Nine Ladies waiting were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit - Love, Joy, Peace,
Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness,
and Self-Control.
The Ten Lords A-Leaping were the Ten Commandments.
The Eleven Pipers Piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
The Twelve Drummers Drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in The
Apostles’ Creed.
Additional Note to Our Readers………..
So, here is your history lesson for today. We make no claims as to its veracity, as it
came over the internet, and we know that can’t always be trusted, but it is
an interesting story.
Jean Opeka
Page 11
Council Report
September – Pastor Na reported that Ray Schar had been moved to Holy Cross Hospital on Tuesday,
10/23/14. He visited Ray there on Thursday, 10/25/14. He also reported that Ming Yee Chen had
been moved back to her apartment at Riderwood after treatment for broken ribs from a fall at the
Arbor Ridge Rehab Center. Pastor Na announced plans to attend the wedding of his best friend in
South Carolina on December 14th. The council decided to publish a new phone directory without
photos since we have been unable to obtain photos for everyone. The fellowship committee
reported that they were preparing for an Oktoberfest to be held on October 12th. The theater
project report indicated that rehearsals for “Cold Shoulders” were underway and opening night
would be Friday, October 24th. The council voted to subscribe to 5 copies of The Lutheran magazine
at a reduced group subscription rate members to borrow and read at home.
October – Pastor Na thanked everyone for helping out during his absence Sunday, October 5th, while
he was in New York officiating at a wedding in the Gajadhar family. Ray Schar passed away on
October 7th, and members from Abiding Presence participated in the funeral service for him at the
Borgwardt Funeral Home in Beltsville. A thank-you letter was received from Anne Dwiggins in
appreciation for the retirement gift the church sent to her. Pastor Na reminded us that deceased
friends and family members will be honored on All Saints Day, November 2nd. The issue with WSSC
over a required inspection of the backflow preventer was resolved. Bette Deller checked with the
condo association and learned that it was their responsibility to do that inspection, and was told
that it had already been completed, paid for, and was passed. Bette sent a letter to WSSC to that
effect. The council voted to reimburse the fellowship committee for out of pocket expenses for
special events in the future. Money allocated in the budget for the Sunshine/Fellowship categories
will be used.
November – Pastor Na thanked everyone who helped with the Theater Project in October. It was a
great success. He had dinner with Ming Yee Chen at Riderwood and reported that she was doing
well and is trying to be independent. The church received a donation from Ray Schar’s family for
conducting Ray’s funeral service. Anna Graeber volunteered to handle Gifts of Hope, the Synod
charity event, this year during the holiday season. Bette Deller had our web page with the Maryland
Food Bank set up again for the holiday season. Donations can be made at
A mini-potluck was planned for the coffee hour on November 23rd. Dates were set for December
events. The church will be decorated for Christmas on December 7th. Newsletter articles are to be
submitted by December 21st, and the annual Christmas cookie exchange and Chinese Gift Exchange
will be held on December 21st as well. The annual meeting will be held on January 25, 2015. Please
put that on your calendar.
December –The council did not meet in December. The next meeting will be on January 4th.
Bette Deller, Council Secretary
Page 12
News from the Pews
Donna Mertens – On January 6th we had our first snowfall of 2015…supposedly 1-3
inches. It turned out to be more and was a disaster for traffic in the area. People stuck
in traffic sat in their cars from 3-4 hours. Donna Claus came to the rescue of a stranded
motorist in front of her house. In her Santa suit with her new snow shoes, she drove
the motorist’s car 2 miles to nearest cleared road. Then she put on her snow shoes and
walked back to her house. Donna thanks her son, Nathan, for the snow shoes he gave
her for Christmas!
- Your prayers are needed for Kenneth Buck, who is recuperating from an extensive illness in a
Virginia rehabilitation center. After sustaining a slight wound Kenneth developed severe infections,
leading to a massive infection which kept him hospitalized for weeks. He continues to fight the
infection, but other problems have arisen necessitating stays in the hospital. Our prayers are with
his wife, mother Erica and brother as they keep a vigil over this holiday season.
- After serving on our Synod’s Candidacy Committee for over ten years (3 as secretary and 3+ as
chair), Anna Graeber left the committee chairpersonship this June and the committee this
- Rafeena and Sherlon’s Wedding: October fourth twenty fourteen started out as a rainy day; but
the clouds parted an hour before the ceremony was to begin for two lovely young people. With the
sun shining, Pastor Na, of the Abiding Presence Lutheran Church, officiated the union of Rafeena
Bacchus and Sherlon Gajadhar at the gardens of Chateau Briand in Long Island, New York. The
reading of the first Corinthians was done by the president of the church, Annie Gajadhar. It was
followed by a reception in the Normandy Room with 200 of their closet family and friends.
Page 13
-Annie Gajadhar and Bette Deller took Ming Yee Chen to Teppanyaki’s Buffet for a pre-Christmas
meal of Chinese Food on Thursday, December 18th. Ming Yee really enjoyed it and loved the
food. She also had a chance to reminisce about her husband because this is the restaurant where
she hosted his memorial lunch three and a half years ago. This time Ming Yee selected the food she
wanted cooked and had it prepared for her as she watched. Bette & Annie also surprised Ming with
a small Christmas gift since she could not attend the Holiday Brunch and gift exchange at church on
the 21st. She loved the festive red, long-sleeved tee shirt with three snowmen on its chest and the
matching snowmen earrings. She plans to wear them to the holiday activities at Riderwood. We all
had a good time and plan to take her there again for her 80th birthday in February.
-Ming Yee Chen, who is a member of our congregation living in Riderwood,
wanted the congregation to know of her status. In early August she was dizzy
and fell in her Riderwood apartment. This fall resulted in admission to Holy
Cross Hospital where it was determined she had sustained four rib fractures on
her left side as well as lumbar 2 spine compression. She was eventually
transferred to Riderwood’s Arbor Ridge Rehabilitation Center, where she
remained until September 23. Lori Campanella, her second grade student, came
often to bring or buy needed things for her. Ming Yee’s daughter, Terra Chen from Seattle brought
her mom back her apartment and bought her a wheel chair so she could go out of her apartment.
Donna Merten, Pastor Na, and Bette Deller provided Ming Yee support during that stressful
time. Anna Graeber's get well greeting cards also brought comfort. While sleeping Ming Yee has
been wearing a neck brace and braces on both wrists (after a fall on her driveway black ice,
1/21/11). Ming Yee is now much better; she walks quickly for exercise and only uses a walker when
she needs to carry things. She walks to the big Riderwood Chapel every evening, using the walk for
exercise and the chapel for prayer.
Among the things that Ming Yee takes delight in are her grandchildren, three in Switzerland (Kira
11), Kiea and Kiana 5-year old twins) and Leo (6) in Seattle. She is also quite honored that some of
her former second grade school students continue to keep in touch with her. Recently Dr. Sean
Enkiri, now a cardiologist in Colorado, dropped by RIderwood to greet her.
Ming Yee wishes the congregation to know that while she attends the Protestant Chapel Service at
Riderwood and sings in their choir, Abiding Presence is her church and the APLC choir is her choir.
Kira, the first line, second from left
Leo in Seattle
Page 14
- Donna Mertens’ Adventures: It’s cold in Kyrgyzstan in December! The country is now independent
of Russia, but their history museum is mostly about Russia with a little Kyrgyzstan thrown in.
(Donna spent two days in Turkey in mid-December the then came home.)
December in Kyrgyzstan
Donna at the Kyrgyzstan Museum
Pictures from Turkey
Donna had a wonderful walking tour in Turkey. She saw the Blue Mosque, the Hagias Sophia basilica
that was turned into a mosque then back to a church with Muslim artifacts, and the Topaki Palace.
Oh, and she bought two Turkish rugs and some crazy boots. She also planned a trip to a Turkish bath
before coming home. Donna wrote: “The mosaic is from a Christian church that was turned into a
mosque, but the Muslims did not destroy the mosaics. They just covered them with plaster of Paris.
When the mosque became a museum, they found the mosaics, and they are beautiful. Sufi dervish
dancers must go into a trance. The Bazaar was wonderful, and then we had fire dinner with Sufi
whirling dervish dancers. I like Turkey. Turkey now has a president who is taking the country
backwards by jailing journalists and is starting a very conservative Muslim initiative. Before long all
women will be required to wear scarves on the heads and then full burka. More women's rights are
expected to disappear in the new future.”
Page 15
Trivia Corner
January – January is the first month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian
calendars and one of seven months with a length of 31 days. It is, on average,
the coldest month of the year within most of the Northern Hemisphere, where it
is the second month of winter. The first day of the month is known as New
Year's Day. The birthstone for January is the garnet, and the flower is the carnation. In leap
years, January always begins on the same day as April and July. January is National Soup
Month in the United States. Since it is a cold, wintery month, it’s a great time to warm up
with some hot soup.
February – The word February is believed to have derived from the root
'februo' meaning to purify by sacrifice. The name of the month is taken from the
Roman Festival of Purification. Groundhog Day, celebrated on February 2,
came about because of a German superstition. They thought if a hibernating
animal cast a shadow on February 2nd that winter would last for another six
weeks. If there was no shadow, spring would come early. February 1865 is the only month
in recorded history not to have a full moon. February’s birthstone is the amethyst, and its
flower is the violet or the primrose.
March – The word March comes from the Roman word Martius. This was
originally the first month of the Roman calendar and was named after Mars, the
god of war. The Christian churches calculate Easter as the first Sunday after
the first full moon on or after the March equinox. The official church definition
for the equinox is March 21 so the earliest possible Easter date in any year is
therefore March 22. The latest possible Easter date in any year is April 25. The
birthstone for March is the aquamarine or bloodstone, and its flower is the daffodil.
April - April starts on the same day of the week as July in all years, and
January in leap years. April ends on the same day of the week as December
every year. The Romans gave this month the Latin name Aprilis, but the
derivation of this name is uncertain. The traditional etymology is from the verb
aperire, meaning "to open", in allusion to its being the season when trees and
flowers begin to open. The Anglo-Saxons called April Oster-monath or Eostur-monath.
Eostur is the root of the word Easter. The birthstone for April is the diamond, and its flower is
either the daisy or the sweet pea.
Bette Deller
Page 16
Chancel Care
Billy Clark
& Jean Opeka
Jason Kalshoven
Ann LaVigna
Jean Opeka
Annie Gajadhar
Anna Graeber
Annie Gajadhar
& Pat Thornberg
Chancel Care
Anna Graeber
& Annie Gajadhar
Nathan Na
Annie Gajadhar
Steve McKisson
Chris Ham
Bette Deller
Anna Graeber
& Jean Opeka
Josephine Kalshoven
Julia Kalshoven
Lydia Kalshoven
Anna Graeber
Richard Moore
Bette Deller
Annie Gajadhar
Billy Clark
& Chris Ham
Bette Deller
Billy Clark
Josephine Kalshoven
Bette Deller
Ann LaVigna
Donna Mertens
Ann LaVigna
Annie Gajadhar
& Bette Deller
Page 17
Chancel Care
Anna Graeber
& Jean Opeka
Julia Kalshoven
Billy Clark
Anna Graeber
Jean Opeka
Keisun Na
Billy Clark
& Chris Ham
Chancel Care
Anna Graeber
& Jean Opeka
Lydia Kalshoven
Annie Gajadhar
Bette Deller
Anna Graeber
Annie Gajadhar
Anna Graeber
& Annie Gajadhar
Annie Gajadhar
Keisun Na
Jason Kalshoven
Anna Graeber
Annie Gajadhar
Laura Kalshoven
Ann LaVigna
Jean Opeka
& Pat Thornberg
Billy Clark
Ann LaVigna
Nathan Na
Bette Deller
Betty Wellborn
Annie Gajadhar
Bette Deller
Bette Deller
& Betty Wellborn
Page 18
Chancel Care
Anna Graeber
& Annie Gajadhar
Josephine Kalshoven
Betty Wellborn
Billy Clark
Bette Deller
Betty Wellborn
Billy Clark
& Chris Ham
Chancel Care
Billy Clark
& Nathan Na
Jason Kalshoven
Jean Opeka
Richard Moore
Donna Mertens
Keisun Na
Annie Gajadhar
& Bette Deller
Chancel Care
Anna Graeber
& Keisun Na
Nathan Na
Steve McKisson
Ann LaVigna
Laura Kalshoven
Anna Graeber
Anna Graeber
& Pat Thornberg
Bette Deller
& Keisun Na
Julia Kalshoven
Billy Clark
Jean Opeka
Chris Ham
Jean Opeka
Anna Graeber
& Pat Thornberg
Jean Opeka
Josephine Kalshoven
Lydia Kalshoven
Richard Moore
Steve McKisson
Jean Opeka
Ann LaVigna
Billy Clark
& Chris Ham
Page 19
Chancel Care
Annie Gajadhar
& Bette Deller
Josephine Kalshoven
Ann LaVigna
Bette Deller
Anna Graeber
Annie Gajadhar
Annie Gajadhar
& Bette Deller
Chancel Care
Jean Opeka
Julia Kalshoven
Jason Kalshoven
Annie Gajadhar
Ann LaVigna
Chris Ham
Betty Wellborn
Ann LaVigna
& Anna Graeber
Billy Clark
Nathan Na
Julia Kalshoven
Anna Graeber
Passion Sunday
Annie Gajadhar
Bette Deller
Billy Clark
& Chris Ham
Annie Gajadhar
Keisun Na
Lydia Kalshoven
Betty Wellborn
Anna Graeber
Donna Mertens
Jean Opeka
Annie Gajadhar
Pat Thornberg