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This Week at JMPC 8.5.18

JMPC Sunshine
In the movie “My Cousin Vinny”, Vincent Gambini is an inexperienced lawyer called from New York to represent his cousin who has been charged with murder in Alabama. The reason? Because he was always able to figure out stuff when he was a kid, from magic tricks to riddles. While the movie mostly portrays Vinnie as a bumbling incompetent, Vinny shows that he can make up for his ignorance and inexperience with aggressive, perceptive questioning during the trial. The first witness testifies seeing Vinny’s nephew arrive at the murder scene parking lot before he started cooking his breakfast grits and saw him flee from the scene after hearing a gunshot. Vinny points out that it takes 20 minutes to make real grits (as opposed to instant grits which no self-respecting southerner would ever use) and so 20 minutes had actually passed between those two events, thus suggesting that there may have been two different cars involved. An elderly “eyewitness” cannot identify how many fingers Vinny was holding up at half the distance she had been from the getaway car in which she claimed to see Vinny’s cousin. Another eyewitness is forced to question his own identification of the defendant when Vinny points out he had been looking through a “dirty window, crud covered screen, a bunch of leaf-covered trees, and seven bushes on his property”. These scenes are priceless because Vinny discredits those whose “testimony” supports an injustice – something that is simply not true.
Our text this week is kind of like that. Jesus is being cross examined by the religious authorities. They want to discredit Jesus’ “testimony”. But then something interesting happens. Jesus seems to get a “friendly question” from a lawyer of all people: “Which commandment is the first of all?” What follows is a brief conversation that teaches us “What Makes Jesus Glad?” which is the title of Pastor Jeff’s message this week which is based on Mark 12: 28-34. Pastor Jeff has preached on this before, but times have changed, though the message has not. Come and hear about it Sunday August 5 at 9:30 at John McMillan Presbyterian Church.
Sojourner House : Pastor Jeff is on the Board of Sojourner House, a rehabilitation facility for women where they can live with their children while in treatment. Sojourner House is affiliated with Sojourner MOMS, a post treatment residential facility for graduates that gives them a place to live away from the place where they became addicted. Sojourner MOMS is gearing up for residents to start moving into a new Sojourner MOMS facility in August. They are in need of household items for all of the units. They are hoping their boards might be able to assist in either directly donating some of the below items (new or gently used) or by reaching out to others who may be able to assist us. Any help JMPC could give would be most appreciated. Many thanks in advance. Donations can be brought into the church office.

6 sets of pots and pans
6 sets of dishes including drinkware
6 sets of Silverware
6 sets of utensils such as spatula, mixing spoons, etc.
6 can openers
6 sets of Kitchen towels
6 brooms and dustpans
6 shower curtains
6 sets of four bath towels, hand towels and washcloths
6 double bed sheet sets
18 single bed sheet sets
6 cleaning buckets with basic cleaning supplies (laundry soap)
6 double bed blankets/comforters
30 pillows (new)

Christmas Affair : Ah, August! Time to be thinking of and planning for…..”The Christmas Affair”. It takes a lot of work and many hands to provide monies for local and national missions and n0n-profits. Thank you to those who have already made samples to show me or said that they will donate new, hand-made items to our “GIFTS FROM THE HEART” booth. Won’t YOU consider sharing your talent? Do you sew, quilt, knit, crochet, paint, make items from wood, make jewelry, Christmas decorations, wreathes…….? Watch for the poster and sign-up sheet in the narthex later this month and/or contact me: Linda Pelan at or (412) 653-6256

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