Reflections from the border
PC(USA) delegation says there is much to do for people seeking asylum in the U.S. Here is the link: http://www.pcusa.org/news/2018/12/21/reflections-border/
Joining the Interfaith Caravan of Hope Read about a Presbyterian delegation's trip to McAllen, Texas. Here is the link: https://www.presbyterianmission.org/story/joining-the-interfaith-caravan-of-hope/
New book charts the decline of white Christian America. Robert P. Jones of the Public Religion Reseach Institute wins $100,000 prize from Louisville Seminary and the University of Louisville. Read about it on this link:
How can we, hundreds of miles north of the Mexico border, help? Read how here: https://www.presbyterianmission.org/story/hundreds-of-miles-north-of-the-mexico-border-you-too-can-help/
What do Presbyterian Native Americans think of Thanksgiving? Read about it at this link: https://www.presbyterianmission.org/story/pt-1118-exploring/
The Woodbury-Union Presbyterian Church in Warwick, R.I. suffered major damage due to fire on Wednesday, November 21. Its pastor, the Rev. T.J. DeMarco, was installed there one month ago on October 21. According to the Providence Journal, the building is a total loss although no one was injured in the blaze. T.J. said: “We’re going to grieve together. Whether we have a building or not, we’re going to continue to be a vibrant church. We’re going to continue to serve Christ in the way we’ve done for over 100 years and that’s not going to change. The church is not a building. The church is the people.”
Please keep the entire congregation and the Rev. Mr. DeMarco in your prayers.
For these stories below and many more, check the PC(USA) News page:
Peacemaking Travel Study Seminar concludes Korea trip. DMZ, comfort women, No Gun Ri were among the peace and justice issues addressed. Eric Markman, quoted at the beginning of the piece, is the husband of our Resource Presbyter and Co-Moderator of the denomination, Cindy Kohlmann. Here is the link:
The congregation grew by four on November 11, with the addition of Lindsay Crawford, Kevin Delude, Meredith Estes, and Steve Howald, all folks who had attended for years, finally and formally becoming active members. The church family rejoiced!
Small Church, Big God! 15-member church has raised $30,000 for Living Waters for the World. Click here for the story:
Stated Clerk urges U.S. leaders to take new approach with migrants. J. Herbert Nelson, II, calls on nation to respond with “radical love and hospitality.” Here is the link: http://www.pcusa.org/news/2018/11/2/stated-clerk-urges-us-leaders-take-new-approach-mi/
Small Ministry, big mission helps Syrian refugees thrive! St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Billings, Montana is at the center. Here is the link: https://www.presbyterianmission.org/story/small-ministry-big-mission-helps-syrian-refugees-thrive/
The Stated Clerk responds to the new United Nations report on climate change. Read the full statement here:
Presbyterians mobilizing to help in Hurricane Michael recovery.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is at work in the Florida panhandle, southern Georgia, and the southeast U.S. Here is the link:
Weekly dinner church and a monthly spiritual and theological conversation venue at a local pub.
1001 New Worshiping Community reaches out to millennials who have sworn off church. Read about it here: https://www.presbyterianmission.org/story/sanctuary-at-dinner-church-monthly-pub-talks/
Presbyterian Church leaders ask for healing in Chicago.
Mid Council Gathering holds prayer as verdict announced in police officer’s murder trial
Read about how the leaders of our presbyteries and synods, meeting in Chicago at a conference named "Fearless Dialogues," reacted to the verdict. Here is the link: http://www.pcusa.org/news/2018/10/6/presbyterian-church-leaders-ask-healing-chicago/
Puerto Rico’s “Rise and Shine” initiative draws praise from Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) delegation
Monthly community gatherings bring hope to a hurting people
Read about the Co-Moderators' trip to Puerto Rico last month and what they found there. Here is the link:
Pastor and Congregation offer shelter, food, and hope in Florence's aftermath.
What's it like to weather the eye of the storm? Read about it here:
Presbyterian mobilize to help southeast U.S. recover from Hurricane Florence. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance seeks to bring hope and healing in the midst of this tragic event. Read about it here: https://www.presbyterianmission.org/story/mobilize-hurricane-florence/
The Session met after church on September 9. It heard a report that the new heating system, now propane, had been installed, a new back door has been put in, and the driveway out back has been paved. A new bathroom, compatible with the Americans with Disabilities Act, is being built and should be finished this month. Concerning worship, the session is looking into the possibility of having a reception following the service at least occasionally. And we received a request from Janet Fuhrmeister, a member of the Barre church and our Commission on Ministry Liaison, for help with a client of hers who needs lenses for a pair of glasses. The session voted to contribute $70 toward that need. Plans are also afoot for community events at the church across the months to come (more information as it becomes available), and one of the Co-Moderators of the 223rd General Assembly (2018) of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Cindy Kohlmann, who is also the chief executive of the Presbytery of Northern New England, will be preaching here on October 21!
News from the Pastor Nominating Committee: the PNC continues to receive referrals from the Church Leadership Connection in Louisville and is following up on those referrals. And it will also be contacting all eleven of the seminaries in the denomination and several other seminaries and divinity schools in the northeast to make sure word of this leadership opportunity is out there among graduating seniors.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance produces a documentary on Syrian refugees -- close-up!
"To Breathe Free" is showing in Washington, but worth knowing about up here! Read about it at:
Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico continue long road to recovery one year after hurricanes.
Rebuilding process is slow, but resilience is strong. Read about it here, at:
Kofi Annan valued the perspectives of people of faith.
The former U.N. Secretary General, who died on August 18, consistently listened to people who were seeking peace from the vantage point of faith. Read the article from the Presbyterian News Service here.
Regarding ruling elders:
a monthly series for spiritual leaders --
The Creative Tension of Spiritual Leadership
One does not need to be an elder to learn from this article. Read it here:
Pastor Nominating Committee Update, August 9, 2018
The PNC had met and picked 9 candidates to call for interviews. Seven were not interested or had already accepted a call elsewhere or did not respond to phone calls. Two were interviewed in July. The PNC decided not to pursue either of them further.
The PNC met on August 6 and went over inappropriate and appropriate questions for interviews and then selected appropriate questions for each PNC member to ask during a Skype interview. Between the five new matches from the PCUSA website and the original 25 matches, the group picked 5 more folks to contact for interviews. We will ask them to respond by August 17 for a possible Skype interview on August 19.
Dottye Ricks informed the group that she is no longer able to do this work. Tracy Delude will come on as a regular member instead of as an alternate. She has already been confirmed by the congregation. The PNC will elect a new chair at its next meeting.
The next meeting is scheduled for August 19.
Presbyterian Agency Works to Boost Child Well-Being in Three States. Read about it here:
The Presbyterian Women march in Louisville, Kentucky draws attention to "The Ninth Street Divide." Read about it here:
On Sunday, July 29, Dr. William Koch preached at church on "The Gideons."
The First Presbyterian Church of Marshalltown, Iowa offers meals and sanctuary after tornadoes ravaged the community. Read about it here:
The General Assembly adjourned on Saturday, June 23 after an 8-day meeting. News from General Assembly can be found at https://www.pcusa.org/news/2018/6/29/highlights-actions-223rd-general-assembly-2018-150/.
For a brief synopsis, please see Dr Jones's sermon of July 1, "Reflections on General Assembly: Touching Base with the Kin-dom" on the <Good News! Past Sermons> tab.
Cindy Kohlmann and Vilmarie Cintron-Olivieri elected Co-Moderators at General Assembly -
At 9:01, on the 4th ballot, on Saturday, June 16 in St. Louis, our own Resource Presbyter (and the Presbytery of Boston's also) and a Ruling Elder from Tropical Florida Presbytery were elected Co-Moderators, after coming in second out of three on the first two ballots and gaining a small plurality but not enough to elect on the third. A majority of votes is required to elect. On the fourth ballot, Cindy and Vilmarie passed the threshold with 266 votes to 253 for Eliana Maxim and Bertram Johnson to 5 for Chantal Atnip. Vilmarie and Cindy were installed as Co-Moderators immediately. The Assembly will reconvene Sunday afternoon.
One cannot imagine the power and spirit apparent in the opening worship service of any General Assembly. It must be experienced to be believed! Today's service featured a sermon by Denise Anderson and Jan Edmiston, outgoing Co-Moderators of the Church, whose two year term ends tonight with the election of a new Moderator or Co-Moderators. Speaking alternatively and in a complementary way, they asked repeatedly about the place of the Church in a broken and hurting world, a world where injustice is being openly perpetrated. The service included unparalleled music, accompanied by members of the St. Louis Symphony Brass and a Native American flutist playing both before and during the service. The theme of the waters, appropriate for the city at the confluence of the Missouri, Ohio, and Mississippi Rivers, ran through the service. Elements of the service, like the Prayer of Confession and a couple of hymns, including "Draw the Welcome Circle Wider" commissioned for the Assembly, we will experience in our congregation.
Election of the Moderator is at 7:00 tonight. More anon.
General Information on General Assembly
The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) meets in even-numbered years, and it consists of commissioners elected by each of the 173 presbyteries. The GA is full of activities: business sessions, committee meetings, an exhibit hall, incredible daily worship services, and mission tours.
The Assembly acts on hundreds of items of business, which it receives through the reports and recommendations of various assembly entities, and through overtures from synods and presbyteries.
The 223rd General Assembly (2018) will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, June 16 - 23. Deadra Ashton, pastor of Christ Church Presbyterian in Burlington is the minister commissioner from the Presbytery of Northern New England. Our Resource Presbyter (the equivalent in other presbyteries of Executive Presbyter), Cindy Kohlman, is running with Vilmarie Cintron-Olivieri for Co-Moderator, a two-year term as the top representatives of the Presbyterian Church (USA)! Our own pastor, Lawrence Jones, will be in St. Louis for the election and will report on General Assembly at the July 1 service here.
standard worship time: 10:00 in the morning
but during the month of June, worship in a church you've been wanting to go to for ages -- or to a new church you've just come across!
Return to the First Presbyterian Church of Graniteville in July
Sunday, July 1: The Rev. Dr. Lawrence Jones, preaching.
All are welcome!
Come as you are, from wherever you are on this journey of life, and however you think life is treating you. In our Sunday worship, there are words of comfort, words of challenge, words of hope, and words of inspiration.
Come as you are, but you just might leave renewed, refreshed, reinvigorated, and resolved to make the world a better place!