For almost two weeks in June, ruling elders and teaching elders, presbytery executives and national office staff gathered in Portland, Oregon, for the biennial meeting of the General Assembly of the PC(USA).
Prior to this assembly, the church’s magazine, Outlook, published several articles that focused on the Presbyterian Church as an institution, or the larger church and religion in current society, or moving from past changes into a unified future. I’d like to share some comments from those articles with you.
Editor Jill Duffield wrote of churches being dinosaurs, cockroaches, or unicorns. Dinosaurs are antiquated and out-of-touch, clunky and slow. Cockroaches survive even in hostile conditions to regroup, revamp, and renew. “Then there are the unicorns,” she writes, “that rare breed of congregations that imagine they can fly. They have the audacity to believe that through them God is changing the world.”
Another way to stay in touch with your church family is to join one of the Sunday school classes available for everyone each Sunday beginning at 9:45 am.
There are 2 classes for our younger members – Preschool through elementary members gather in the preschool classroom. Our youngest are learning about God’s love and grace through lesson and activity. Middle and high school members meet in the lower level of Ellenburg Hall. The challenges our youth face are discussed. Practice and example of how to use God’s Word and trust in His promises to meet these challenges are taught.
There are also 2 class offerings for our Adult members Adult One meets in the last classroom on the left of the main hall- this class is using The Present Word for class study. In July, they will be studying various passages related to the theme “A World Gone Wrong” in the New Testament which provide assurance of God’s presence with us each day.
Adult Two meets in the upper level of Ellenburg Hall. This class is studying from The Wired Word, an on-line study discussing current events and applying a biblical context to today’s events.
Blessings, Cyndi Everette
We use the word “hope” in such a casual way, I believe it has lost some of its power.
“I hope it rains this week so I don’t have to water my garden.”
“I hope my husband remembers to pick up my medicine on his way home.”
“I hope the traffic isn’t terrible on the way to the beach.”
“I hope it doesn’t rain this week to ruin my vacation.”
Paul writes in Romans, “Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God” (Rom. 5:1-2). Hope is a gift of the Spirit that carries us through dark times, difficult times. Hope is a sign of the faith we have that God is always present with us. Hope is what tells us that, even when tragedy strikes, the peace of God will sustain us.
I hope you will open your heart to the presence of God and to the sustaining power of the Holy Spirit.
In June, Missions will be again collecting different foods each month for the local Food Pantry. This month we will be collecting canned vegetables. Last year we tried a different route for collections but found we really did better having everyone bringing in donations each month. Thanks to all for your help in this project, together we can all make a difference for others in need.
Our church fellowship hall may be rented for special occasions such as wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, day-time retreats, family reunions, meetings, anniversary dinners, etc.