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MISSION A R Y MESSENGER J U L Y | A U G U S T | S E P T E M B E R | 2 0 1 2

CUMBERLAND PRESBYTERIANS Stepping Out & Touching Lives In

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UGANDA

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HEALINGHANDS Loaves and Fishes

VERSE: MARK 10:16 “AND HE TOOK THE CHILDREN IN HIS ARMS, PUT HIS HANDS ON THEM AND BLESSED THEM.” (NIV) The image often seen in scripture of hands reaching out to heal, to restore, to affirm, to nourish and to bless is the focus of the Loaves and Fishes program for 2012. Especially we think of the hands of Christ touching the untouchable, healing the sick, and blessing the children. Also we are inspired by the call to be God’s co-workers with our own hands. The Loaves and Fishes offering is designated to help support the Cumberland Presbyterian mission work in Guatemala. Presently the Missions Ministry Team maintains a medical clinic that serves the Casa Shalom Orphanage located in a secluded area about one hour away from Guatemala City. Loaves and Fishes can expand this ministry by establishing a second medical clinic in Guatemala City itself, a metro area with a population of 4 million people. A counseling program is to be developed, using a psychologist to work with the parents whose children have been placed in a children’s home by court order. The counselor will assist those parents in making changes in their lives, assuring that Guatemalan judges have the opportunity to reunite these families. Loaves and Fishes will provide funds to help feed children in a poor neighborhood in Guatemala City as another outreach of the new Guatemala City clinic. So this clinic will have a holistic “hands reaching out” approach, healing bodies, healing families, and providing food to the needy. The Missions Ministry Team, through its missionary in Guatemala and its new partnership with Comunidad de Fe Church in Guatemala City, will also be attentive to the spiritual needs of those we reach out to. Offerings for Loaves and Fishes will start this new ministry, but there is an ambitious, long-term goal for this effort. Over the next two years we will support the new clinic and its outreach with the anticipation that it can become financially self-sufficient. The offerings to Loaves and Fishes will help us initiate what we hope will be a lasting expression of hands reaching out to heal, to restore, to affirm, to nourish, and to bless.

The inside of the front and back cover is the Loaves and Fishes poster of this year. In the center of the magazine is an order form for you to use when ordering L+ F coin boxes or additional posters.

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LOAVES & FISHES


VOL. 1, NO. lll

2012

cover: Uganda Youth Trip

GIVING / LOAVES & FISHES Offerings for Loaves and Fishes will start this new ministry, but

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WAITING AND WAITING

It has been said that the last thing that someone

there is an ambitious, long-term

loses is hope. In our case

goal for this effort.

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we are almost to that point.

UGANDA YOUTH TRIP Uganda, a rich land of woods and plains, of coffee and cotton, abundant with rivers and Lake

Women’s Ministry (CPWM) began and ended with worship.

people.

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MEXIC

Cumberland Presbyterian

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beauty in all of Uganda is the

The 2012 Convention of

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CITY

unique birds, but the greatest

2012 CONVENTION

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Victoria, majestic beasts and

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COLOMBIA

features


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J U L|A U G|S E P|2 01 2

EDITORIAL

{ VOL. 1, NO. lll}

In life there’s nothing more constant, perhaps, than change itself.

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NEWS & NOW Bob Watkins has retired.

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STEPPING OUT The grassroots movement Step Out grew with enthusiasm at GA this June.

VISIT US ON THE WEB https://ministrycouncil.cumberland.org/currentissue

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2ND MILE PROJECTS

Entering the Mission Field, PAS goes Global

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BIBLE STUDY/DEVOTIONAL

Love God = Love Neighbor, A Radical Combination

To read the previous issues of The Missionary Messenger Visit us at:

https://ministrycouncil.cumberland.org/mmarchives

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✒ E D I

EDITORIAL

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/ " CH A NGE "

by George R. Este s

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n life there’s nothing more constant, perhaps, than change itself. Sometimes the change is so gradual we hardly notice, like when we look up one day and that little girl or boy is suddenly walking across the stage at graduation. Other changes happen abruptly and unexpectedly, as when a home is destroyed by fire or we receive notice of a job transfer. Most of us have learned to adapt to change fairly well. After all, we can hardly remember The real question isn’t whether how we got along before cell phones or we are changing or not, but computers! But there’s whether we are intentionally an innate resistance to change in us, too, changing in the direction the especially when we have many of life’s gospel is calling us. needs met and feel good about the future. Someone has said that people don’t change until they have to. That’s because change is rarely easy, even if it is a positive change. It sometimes escapes our attention that the gospel is about change to a great degree. When our Lord called the first disciples, he did not say, “Follow me and I will make sure you stay as you are.” The spiritual rebirth Christ discussed with Nicodemus requires a whole life transformation, a new direction for one’s life arising from the relationship with Christ. For the apostle Paul this

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transformation was nothing short of dying to one’s old ways and taking up the life of Christ, though he did not feel that transformation was easy or complete. Paul’s “old man” was always hanging around, pulling him back and away from the new self he knew he could be in Christ. Churches are notorious for being slow to change. Certainly we wish to preserve the essentials of faith, and we should be vigilant against any sort of change that would divert us from biblical truth. Yet the fact is, churches do change, and they change rather significantly. The real question isn’t whether we are changing or not, but whether we are intentionally changing in the direction the gospel is calling us. The gospel calls us to a deepening relationship with God, a widening of our love and compassion for other people, a sacrificial concern for the disadvantaged, a commitment to “make disciples” among all nations. Perhaps it’s worth asking if our changes are moving us in those directions. With this issue of The Missionary Messenger we are experimenting with a new format and approach. The changes are unquestionably minor compared to the life-changing experiences of a mission trip, or a conversion at camp, or a choice of vocation. But change, even in a church publication, evokes responses, and we welcome your ideas and suggestions. We want The Missionary Messenger to serve the Church in its gospel-direction change by offering inspiration, information and motivation for missions.


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NEWS & NOW

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BOB WATKINS HAS RETIRED

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Bob Watkins has retired from the staff of the Missions Ministry Team, having faithfully served the Cumberland Presbyterian Church as a pastor, presbyter, missionary, and denominational staff as global missions director and most recently as fund development and Asia ministry facilitator, in a ministry career spanning over forty years. One of Bob’s passions throughout his life has been the opportunity to interact across cultures and nations for the cause of Christ. He is a world citizen in the truest sense, having visited most of the continents on Earth, and deriving great enjoyment from meeting people from many walks of life, tasting a wide array of cuisines, finding humor in daily experiences with people very different from himself, and sharing the gospel of Christ in innovative ways. Bob’s ministry with congregations and individuals of the CP Church will long be remembered. We of the Missions Ministry Team join with the whole Cumberland Presbyterian Church in expressing special gratitude to Bob for his dedicated service, his wisdom and wit, and his devotion to missions. We thank God for his ministry and pray for him as he sets his sights on “other shores.”

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Gifting Through Your Estate As You Gave During Your Life By Bob Watkins

Christians have given faithfully to the church since individuals supported the ministry of Jesus and his disciples. And, hence, the gospel has now been spread to most of the corners and cultures of the world. But, the need for the continuing evangelistic outreach to people being born everyday remains a necessity. Your church and denomination hopes that you will include a gift to them in your will or living trust. Just as you have sup-

ported the ministry of your faith during your life, it seems wise to leave a portion of your blessings to the church or denomination upon your death. In this way, your benevolence lives into the future through an outright gift or through the establishment of an endowment that gives perpetually into the future. The process is really quite simple whether you are writing your first will or amending an existing will with the use of a brief codicil. The official bequest language is “I, (name), of (city, state, and zip), give, devise and bequeath to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, (city, state, and zip) (written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property) for its unrestricted (or specific) use and purpose.” Your attorney or representatives of the Ministry Council will be glad to assist you. To create a specific endowment, such as a gift to benefit missionaries, made in the name of a loved one, use wording such as: “To the Missions Ministry Team, Cordova, TN, I give, devise, and bequeath $100,000 (or ‘my vacation home in Bartlett, New Hampshire’: or ‘50% of my investment account with Hilliard Lyons’, or some other asset or amount) to create an endowment to be named the John Doe Endowment with the income to be awarded to one or more missionaries serving Asia.” You can edit this language to fit your wishes, but it is a good idea to check with the recipient agency of the endowment (for example the Missions Ministry Team) to be certain it can be honored. The Ministry Council and its teams now administer more than 8 million dollars in endowment investments in support of ministries of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The perpetual gifts make a large portion of the programming of the CP Church possible. And, your generous estate gift can make a significant growth or ministry possible. J u ly /A u g / S e p 20 12 |

MISSIONARY MESSENGER J U L | A U G | S E P |2 0 1 2

{ VOL. 1, NO. lll} π

MISSIONS MINISTRY TEAM

Cumberland Presby terian Church

8207 Traditional Place Cordova, TN 38016-7414 phone 9 01.276.4572 fax 9 01.276.4578 messenger@ cumberland.org

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ART DIRECTOR Sowgand Sheikholeslami: ext. 211

EDITORS George R. Estes: ext. 234 Pam Phillips-Burk: 901.276.4572 ext. 262 Lynn Thomas: 901.276.4572 ext. 261 T.J. Malinoski: ext. 232 Jinger Ellis: ext. 230

π π PRINTER

A1 Printing Memphis, Tennessee

MEMBER •

Associated Church Press

Evangelical Press Association

Evangelical Press Service (EP)

SUBSCRIBER •

News Network International (NNI)

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Cover photo credit: Nona Thomas

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Stepping Out At GENERAL ASSEMBLY

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By T.J. Malinoski

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The grassroots movement Step Out grew with enthusiasm and interest at General Assembly this June. The Tuesday night program was focused on the 2011 General Assembly approved plan that emphasizes sharing the gospel of Jesus in our local community and to new areas where there is currently not a Cumberland Presbyterian presence.

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he program featured elected Missions Ministry Team members Jimmy Byrd, Sherry Poteet and Sam Suddarth. Their contributions to the program included Jimmy with the welcome and opening prayer, Sam singing two songs and Sherry leading those attending in an affirmation of faith and closing prayer. T. J. Malinoski, MMT staff for evangelism and new church development, led the evening presentation entitled Step Out! The presentation began by highlighting Step Out goals for the local church, the presbytery and denomination. As with any movement, there are challenges and difficulties to overcome. Two were addressed in the program: 1) why go to church? 2) fear. The attendees watched a short video interviewing people on the street as to why church is not for them. Reasons included obligation, boring, need my Sunday off, and contradictions among churches. A second barrier that we, as Christians, have is a fear by association, where manipulation, emotionalism and cheap grace is offered under the name of evangelism which we cannot sanction as ministry.

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Those gathered were challenged to Step Out into places where the gospel of Jesus is needed in both word and action. With this challenge came achievable goals for the individual Christian, the congregation and the presbytery. The individual Cumberland Presbyterian was encouraged by four general rules to follow when sharing the faith: be honest, be friendly, be approachable and have fresh breath! Being honest in faith sharing goes a long way with another person. When we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know the answer to a biblical question, for example, but can seek it out together. Being friendly also falls under the four rules in that our friendliness needs to be genuine. The tone in our voice, for example, can affect our interactions with others. Being approachable is another rule in faith sharing and on how receptive we are to others. Our body language, from how we hold our shoulders, to crossing of our legs and/or arms can indicate how open we are to others. Having fresh breath closed out the four rules. While the rule itself sounds rather humorous, making an impression or developing a relationship can be hindered by foul breath. Following these four rules came practical areas where we may find ordinary opportunities in our everyday lives to share our faith. For instance, our neighborhood presents an opportunity to reachout. When we have that seasonal cookout in the backyard or that holiday party at our home, we can invite Christian and church friends over but also invite neighbors who are not faith connected. This will allow them to see Christians outside the church context. The workplace was another area discussed in the presentation. We spend many hours a week in the workplace and it is here that we can share our faith in very concrete ways. We can take a


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sincere interest in our co-workers lives; children, aging parents, job stress, humor. If a co-worker opens up about a difficult situation they are in, you can share with them a time when your Christian friends helped you through and how your church family was there to support you. The local congregation was another area where achievable goals could be accomplished in stepping out. Congregations were encouraged to be more user friendly so that newcomers would be able to locate everything in the building from the sanctuary to the restroom. Congregations were encouraged to use greeters to achieve this goal to assist the visitor in both directions and worship. The presentation also shared examples of congregations serving their communities. One congregation that was mentioned was working with the local fire department and being among the first responders to a house fire providing essentials such as bottled water, travel-size toiletries, phone numbers to local hotels, shelters and even area insurance companies. There could also be a follow up the next day with the person or family to see if transportation was needed. Another example was a congregation that is located directly across from an elementary school. Recognizing that many children in their community were staying at home alone, the church opened its doors every day for an afternoon school program that consists of tutoring, recreation time, a devotion and a light supper. These examples were shared to give us real ways of getting out from behind the stained glass windows of the sanctuary and stepping out to share our faith in tangible ways. The third area the presentation covered was the local presbytery. Presbyteries were encouraged to recast the presbytery meeting, moving from how quick business can be completed and how good the lunch is into a progressive, productive judicatory of the Church. To do this is to re-center and prioritize the importance of presbytery meetings. Both clergy and lay committed during the time of ordination to participate in the judicatories of the Church. Attendance at a scheduled presbytery meeting is only two to three times a year with notification given well in advance. Participation was also given as an achievable goal. The presbytery is the place where we get to see the Church in action and that action can include adopting a mission field or missionary, or planting a Cumberland Presbyterian Church where there is no church, thereby holding the congregations accountable in their evangelistic efforts.

These achievable goals and examples were given so the individual Cumberland Presbyterian, the congregation and presbytery can feel empowered to Step Out and to take back to their homes and churches some guidelines to set for their own setting and circumstances.

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Reactions to the presentation included a sense of pride that our denomination is stepping out into the 21st century to address the needs of the local community through our faith. Another reaction is that Step Out provides an outline of examples that “we can emphasize as individuals and as a church – in this day and time.” Others reaction to the presentation was the hunger to know more about Step Out and what other resources are available for them and their local community.

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The Tuesday night program can be seen as the beginning of a movement growing within our denomination to intentionally focus on sharing our faith with those who need Christ in their lives. The Step Out Movement acknowledges our need as Christians to find intentional and real ways to connect to those who do not know Christ. It is becoming a grassroots movement within our churches who are seeking ways to Step Out.

And when we are truly not sure what we ought to do, we can stop and think if what we are doing is taking us towards or away from God’s kingdom and ministry…so let us Step Out with a greater determination. Towards the end of the presentation, it was said, “As long as we keep stepping out towards the kingdom of God we will be alright as Cumberland Presbyterians. And let us move on these powerful days of challenge, these days of opportunity to make the Cumberland Presbyterian Church a better denomination.” Note: The Tuesday night presentation has been made available as a resource in manuscript and PowerPoint form on our website at http://ministrycouncil.cumberland.org/evangelism_1.

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a rich land of woods and plains, of coffee and cotton, abundant with rivers and Lake Victoria, majestic beasts and unique birds, but the greatest beauty in all of Uganda is the people. The Cumberland Presbyterian youth and adult leaders who traveled to this country in Africa will testify that the greatest wealth and beauty is found in the children, women and men of this land.

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by Nona Thomas

The Uganda Youth Mission Team began the journey to Uganda on May 31st with orientation at New Hope Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The youth came from churches across the denomination. The team was led by Lynn and Nona Thomas, Susan Groce, Dianna Wolf, Candace Salcido and Brett Brandewie. The leaders had met throughout the year to prepare for the task of leading 20 youth to Kampala, Uganda. Orientation began with games, food and team-building activities. The next few days we prepared for the activities we would be presenting at the God is Good church school and the Heritage International School. We were requested by Delight and Kenneth Hopson, missionaries to Uganda and our hosts, to present the gospel through sports and activities camp.

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e drew from the talents of the leaders and team members and created stations that the children would rotate through on a daily basis. We had a sports station every day, which included teaching skills about soccer, kickball, baseball, and Frisbee. The other stations included Drama, Praying in Color, Redemptive Art, Creation Station, Community Building and Music. All the team members prepared a personal faith testimony to be shared at one of the sessions during the next three weeks. On June 3rd we packed two church buses with fifty something suitcases full of enough bug spray and sunscreen for a year. We headed to Atlanta to the new terminal and British Airways. Our check in went very smoothly. All bags were tagged to go all the way to the Entebee Airport in Uganda and we were ready to fly. Just a few hours wait and we boarded and settled down for our all night flight to Heathrow International Airport in London. We spent the day in the airport, most of the team slept on the floor, while others shopped and ate interesting English entrees. Later in the evening we found ourselves getting anxious as we were finally boarding our last leg of the trip to reach our destination. Another eight hours of restlessness and we landed in Uganda. All luggage arrived, we showed our shot cards and paid our fifty dollar visa fee, rolled our massive amounts of luggage out to met the Hopsons outside the doors, and loaded the bus that would become our second home for the next three weeks. It is now June 5th, we lost eight hours along the way. Arriving at our duplex next to the Hopson’s residence we were happy to have a place of our own. Cultural tidbits and instructions from Kenneth, along with sub sandwiches filled the afternoon. Team members were assigned to rooms and beds and we settled 26 people into a three bedroom and two and half bath house. Our first camp beginning on June 6th at God is Good school was tremendously gratifying as we worked with grateful, beautiful, amazing and delightful children. Our program was called “Spirit in Motion”. The children were like sponges soaking up every lesson, every craft activity, every drama and song. Each day we taught a Biblical story attaching it to a theme. Our themes included: Hope; The Paralytic having hope to be healed, Love; The Good Samaritan, Faith; Moses believing God by raising his hand, Respect; Jesus washing the disciples’ feet and Courage; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego remaining true to their convictions. These faith stories were powerful tools that ministered to the students and teachers that attended each day. Each day at the God is Good church, which is also a school, we ate a typical Ugandan meal that had been cooked over a fire, consisting of rice, posho (corn based mush) and red

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beans. All the children at the school were served lunch this week as part of the Spirit in Motion camp. We, the Americans (and the guest) were served first with a heaping serving. Polite and gracious women of the church had hovered over the three large pots all morning in order to serve over 150 people. As we ate we were reminded of the wealth that we experience in our culture pertaining to food and material items. Lunch served as a time of meditation and self reflection for many of the team members. We were honored to be ministering to fellow Christians not only with the Living Water, or the spiritual, but we were ministering to them with rice, corn and beans, reaching out to their physical needs.

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n June 10th our first Sunday to attend a Ugandan church service took us back to the God is Good church. We were welcomed by many of the students and teachers that had become our friends. The service was joyful. We worshipped God, we were blessed by word and we got to hug and be with the children one more time. The next week, beginning on June 11th, was a change of pace for our team. We were now at an International School , which was an eclectic group of students from many countries. We no longer had to take our bumpy and traverse bus ride since we were just 10 minutes from this school by foot. We presented our “Spirit in Motion” themes to the International students and found them to be receptive as well. The drama, music, arts and crafts and sports were taught by the youth team members with an adult leader in each group. Each theme was well presented and taught. On June 17th we were privileged to travel to another location for worship. The church is set among chicken coops. The entire youth team was presented to the church. We presented a song of worship to them along with two testimonies from the team. A lady pastor shared a Bible story about Elisha and the poisoned stew. [2 Kings 4:38ff ] She made an interesting point about how our lives can be contaminated by things of this world. The remedy is to get rid of the poisons through our faith in Jesus Christ.

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quired, we traveled to Kampala , made one last souvenir run, frantically packed bags and spent one more quaint night in our Ugandan home. It is true to say that we had life changing experiences while in Uganda. The young people encouraged, challenged and shared their hearts with each other. They were a team with a purpose. They fulfilled their calling as missionaries and represented the Cumberland Presbyterian Church well. They left a great testimony in Uganda and with me. J u ly /A u g / S e p 20 12 |

Nona Thomas, former missionary to Colombia, SA, member of the Rocky Ridge CP Church, wife of Lynn Thomas, director of Global Missions. This is the fourth youth mission trip she was privileged to travel on.

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s our journey was coming to a close we headed out to Murchison Game Park on June 18th to go on a safari. It was a long seven hour adventurous ride and sing a-longs at 4 in the morning were frowned upon but did not stop the morning people from singing. Upon our arrival at the resort we found ourselves transported to another world. We were looking out over the Nile from our rooms. The next two days were filled with laughter, good food and fun and the thrill of seeing African wildlife. As we saw more natural beauty than should be allowed in two days our hearts and minds were still embracing the joy we had experienced with the children of Uganda. Now it was time to face the fact that we had to take the bumpy road back to Kampala and our duplex with two-and-half baths to pack up to leave on the 22 of June. As duty re-

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eep dark brown eyes, arms stretched out in hope, hearts full of joy and song. Children and youth gathered under the red tin roof of the dirt floor sanctuary. A sense of peace and pure happiness surrounded the faith community that had grown deep over the past four days. Lives were about to be touched - ours and theirs. Presenting the themes of love, hope, and faith had been shared over the past days. We gathered together for one last time to look for understanding of respect in the Christian context. The scripture of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet was presented through drama. Peter wanted to deny Jesus the opportunity to minister to him- not wanting his feet washed. As it happened long ago Jesus washed Peter’s feet. As a part of our mision trip experience, we washed the feet of others. The pastor of the church was asked to come up; Lynn washed his feet out of respect for who he is and what he is doing at that school. This set the tone for us, the white Americans to wash the feet of young Ugandan children. It was my privilege to be in the drama rotation on this day. In this station we presented the story of Jesus washing the feet of Peter to small groups. As each group came we asked them to take off their shoes and socks. Some were hesitant, just like Peter. Others were wide-eyed with expectation and wonder, wanting their feet to be cooled by the clean water. One by one we washed dirty feet and watched the red clay trickle off into the bucket. As we washed, we prayed for each child, we dried, we gave them a blessing. You are special to God. God has a plan for you. Jesus loved you and died for you on the cross. The cool water washing feet as the action of respect was warmly received. The spoken blessing flowing over them brought a peace over the sanctuary. Never underestimate the power of humility and the pouring of cool water. All feet were washed, all were blessed and many cried. Nona Thomas MISSION A R Y MESSENGER

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“Entering the Mission Field : PAS Goes Global”

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MISSIONS MINISTRIES Project #34381 Supplemental Second Mile Project

THE NEED The Program of Alternate Studies (PAS) is a certificate program of Memphis Theological Seminary that has offered non-degree courses necessary for ordination in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church for over 25 years. Each summer, the PAS Summer Extension School (SES) is held in July on the campus of Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennessee. There has been a growing need to offer this type of program in Colombia, South America, and increasingly, in other parts of the global Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Following much investigation, conversation, work and planning, a model program is being developed and implemented. The two Presbyteries

(Cauca Valley and Andes) have selected an advisory council and Dean of PAS-Colombia, Reverend Michelle Gentry. The goal is to offer Cumberland Presbyterian History, Polity, Theology I and Theology II in 2012. Each year new PAS courses will be added until a full curriculum is available in Colombia. Initial cost estimates are $5,901 which includes – course development, production of materials, administrative expenses, plus one scholarship. In keeping with the historic commitment of Cumberland Presbyterian Women’s Ministry in global missions, this was proposed and selected as a project for the calendar year 2012-2013.

FINANCIAL DATA :

Amount Needed from Second Mile $5,901.00 Amount Contributed to Date $ 0.00 Total Amount Needed for the Project $5,901.00

DURATION :

July 2012 - December 2013

CONTRIBUTIONS:

Please make check payable to the Missions Ministry Team and mail to 8207 Traditional Place, Cordova, TN 38016-7414.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Pam Phillips-Burk, pam@cumberland.org, 901.276.4572.

For more information about all of these projects go to www.ministrycouncil. cumberland.org/secondmileprojects. Click on the Second Mile Project link for downloadable posters and expanded project descriptions. 12

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SUMMARY OF ADDITIONAL

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ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE – PROJECT #34379 Funding to provide opportunities for a group of 20 immigrants to participate in an “English as a Second Language” pilot program. The class is based on a nontraditional methodology, focused on the development of basic conversational skills in order to face the daily life demands of many immigrants. Amount Needed: $580; Amount Contributed to Date: $325 For more information contact: George Estes at gre@cumberland.org, 901.276-4572. Send contributions to the Missions Ministry Team, 8207 Traditional Place, Cordova TN 38016-7414. WEBSITE REDESIGN - PROJECT #320006 Funding to help build a new denominational web site that will be more efficient and effective in sharing news and resources with both seekers and Cumberland Presbyterians. Amount Needed: $12,000; Amount Contributed to Date: None For more information contact: Mark J. Davis at mdavis@cumberland.org, 901.276.4572 x216 Send contributions to the Communications Ministry Team, 8207 Traditional Place, Cordova TN 380167414. CLERGY CRISIS FUND - PROJECT #35004 Funding to provide financial support to clergy who are in crisis and in need of support and care. Amount Needed: $12,000; Amount Contributed to Date: $8,177.75 For more information contact: Milton L. Ortiz at MOrtiz@cumberland.org, 901.276.4572. Send contributions to the Pastoral Development Ministry Team, 8207 Traditional Place, Cordova, TN 38016.

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INTERNATIONAL YOUTH PARTICIPANTS – PROJECT #33097 Funding to bring two representatives (from each country where we currently have CP churches) to Triennium and the Cumberland Presbyterian Youth Conference. Amount Needed: $24,000; Amount Contributed to Date: $400 For more information contact: Susan Groce at scg@cumberland.org, 901.276.4572 Contributions for the following projects should be sent to the Missions Ministry Team, 8207 Traditional Place, Cordova, TN 38016-7414 indicating on the check the project number. MISSIONARY TO MEXICO SETUP FUND - PROJECT #34303 Funding for a Set-up Fund which will be used to handle onetime expenses such as: plane tickets, visa legal expenses, furniture, appliances, office equipment, deposits for school enrollment, etc. Amount Needed: $12,000; Amount Contributed to Date: $19,596.97 For more information contact: Lynn Thomas at lynndont@gmail.com, 901.276.4572 MISSIONARY INTERNSHIP PROGRAM – PROJECT #34034 Funding to pay for travel and lodging expenses for missionary interns, including a small stipend. Amount Needed: $10,000; Amount Contributed to Date: $3,000 For more information contact: Lynn Thomas at lynndont@gmail.com, 901.276.4572 YEC 2012 – FOLLOW! – PROJECT #34202 Funding will help make it possible for the young people of our church to attend the 2012 Youth Evangelism Conference. Amount Needed: $5,000; Amount Contributed to Date: $834 For more information contact: Pam Phillips-Burk at pam@cumberland.org, 901.276.4572 or Susan Groce at scg@cumberland.org, 901.276.4572.

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{ par t 1}

 M I S S I O N A R Y / N

Manizales, Colombia April 17, 2012

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By Carlos Rivera,

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Missionary to Mexico, Translated by Erin Daza Sigler

WAITING, WAITING….

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t has been said that the last thing that someone loses is hope. In our case we are almost to that point. For the past four months we have been hearing the same question over and over from the members of our congregation. “When are you leaving for Mexico?” Every time that we hear that question it breaks our hearts. Waiting in God’s time is one of the most common words of advice that you hear among believers. If the circumstances that we’re hoping for don’t work out quickly, we express that, “We should wait in God’s time”. It is so easy to say this to others while it is so hard to apply it to ourselves. Many of us need to learn to embody what we teach so that we can lead others by example. In 2011, after serving as pastors in Manizales at the same congregation for 13 years, we applied to serve as missionaries in a project of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Mexico. Our hearts were bursting with hope and light shined through our faces, joys and farewells. It was time to start anew. We prayed and placed the entire situation in God’s hands. Planning everything stirred up very deep emotions. We were so excited; the moment had arrived to leave!

pastoring our church because we had thought we were leaving. Questions come and go and hope is no longer kept peacefully in our hearts, the light in our faces is flickering and our joys have been replaced with questions. Do we need to say any more good byes? To be reminded of the situation hurts and projects in Mexico get put off, and we are left praying to Heaven: Lord have mercy on us! We don’t know when it will be time to leave… Being taught patience can weigh down one’s heart. It is even more painful when you know that nothing can be done to change the situation. Despair starts to replace hope and the stillness creates disappointment. Seeing the time go by and not achieving what we want drowns the enthusiasm that we started the project with. If it was up to me I probably would have quit, but it’s not up to me, it is a call from God to serve in the church and it is an invitation to participate in a project of God’s Kingdom. Our profound commitment with this Kingdom is to not allow ourselves to lose heart. Hope is not reborn from our hearts, but rather it is a gift that God allows to germinate in the deepest parts of our being. Joy comes as a divine gift and not as a product of emotions; it is in this way that we should exclaim together with the Apostle Paul as he said: “16 Therefore I urge you to imitate me. 17 For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.” 1 Corinthians 4:16-17 NIV

More than six months have gone by and we are still in our city with the support of our Presbytery and our congregation but waiting. We are no longer 14

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{ par t 2 }

ME

XIC

Mexico City May 16, 2012

O

O C I X E M

Y T CI

M I S S I O N A R Y

By Carlos Rivera,

Missionary to Mexico, Translated by Erin Daza Sigler

THANKS BE TO OUR GOD

T

hanks be to our good God and Savior, Lord of heaven and earth. After a long waiting period, we arrived in Mexico on the 16th of May at 7:00pm, overwhelmed by the enormous city. One of our first surprises and signs that we were in a new place was that the sun set at 8:00pm. (For us it always sets around 6:00pm year round since Colombia is located so close to the equator.) In the midst of this strange feeling of being out of place, we were received by a Mexican pastoral family who welcomed us and made us feel at home. Upon venturing out in the city, we became familiar with the various forms of transportation: micro bus, trolley bus, metro bus and the famous metro train that travels through the city with 11 different lines. It is very easy to get lost and for that reason we decided that the secret was to walk together and if we were to get lost, it would be together. It is a beautiful city full of “Ate” (A typical Mexican quince jelly), people and a lot of street vendors. Something that was completely new for us was Mexican food known for its wide varieties, diversity of colors, and richness in creativity and most of all for its extraordinary spiciness. The food is so spicy that smoke comes out of your ears, your lips go numb and your heart leaps from the emotion of experiencing that sensation in everything that you consume. Even children´s sweets have chili, and fruits are served with this little red garnish in order to improve its natural flavor. The population is mostly Catholic with very ingrained traditions, more by name than necessarily active. Nevertheless many are highly reluctant to receiving the gospel, preferring a religious aspect that is found in the cult of the ¨Santa Muerte¨ (Holy Death), in which a mixture of voodoo, Santería and

Catholicism are highlighted. A large number of people follow this idea and it is common to see the idols in the streets that people worship. We have had many moments of ignorance even though we speak Spanish, but many of the sayings are very different, or common words have different meanings. The words leave us confused, we miss the idea and we are left with an intellectual void. It is like experimenting the Tower of Babel in person. One day a woman asked me to buy her a ¨mica¨ (a female monkey in Colombian Spanish). I was left thinking of a hairy little female animal that does silly things, however Carlos Rivera is a Colombian CP she was referring to a name tag. And, pastor from Manizales who began I won´t even mention when someone asks us for an address. Here the his term serving as a missionary streets are named (unlike Colombia this May with his wife Luz Dary where all the streets are numbered and set out on a grid). Can you and son Daniel Jacobo in Mexico imagine a city of 22 million people whose streets only have names?! City, Mexico. Carlos and his famThe good thing is that nationals ily will be working with the growand foreigners are equally as lost! God has been good to us and we ing Mexican CP church for the have been able to find a pool where next several years. our son Jacob can continue swim training like he did in Colombia. We have also found a house and we will be moving in two weeks. We are anxious to find a school for Jacob and we ask that you keep us in your prayers. We have visited several congregations that are part of the Mexico Council, met pastors and started to create relationships as part of the Kingdom of God. The church here needs our prayers for its growth and strengthening. Our contributions will allow their ministry to achieve their established goals and our hope has grown to see an expanding Kingdom of God in this country. To God be the glory, worship and honor.

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/ N E W S


CONVENTION

2 012 MEETING PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE

WOMEN’S MINISTRY OFFICERS PRESIDENT – Carla Bellis, Orange CPC, (Missouri South Region/Synod of Great Rivers) (Mailing address: 17246 Highway K, Aurora, MO, 65605; 417.678.5467; carlabellis1959@hotmail.com)

PRESIDENT-ELECT – Melody Dierking, Marshall CPC, (Missouri River Region/Synod of Great Rivers) (Mailing address: 805 Mar, Marshall, MO 65340; 660.886.4473; melodydierking@sbcglobal.net)

SECRETARY – Sondra Gould, Salem CPC, (Magnolia

Region/Synod of the Southeast) (Mailing address: 1220 Highway 487 E., Walnut Grove, MS 39189; 601.750.3642; sondragould@att.net)

SECRETARY-ELECT – Robin Wills, Jerusalem CPC &

Mt. Tabor CPC, (Murfreesboro Region/Tennessee Synod) (Mailing address: 4607 E. Richmond Shop Road, Lebanon, TN 37090; 615.449.3258; robinrush24@aol.com)

MEETING PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE MEETING PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE…. THROUGH OUR FINANCIAL GIVING There were two projects selected for the coming program year: 1) Entering the Mission Field: PAS Goes Global – the project will help to establish a course of study in Colombia, SA to help train and educate CP pastors. It is also the vision that PAS Colombia will become a model for future training and educational programs around the globe. The target amount is $5,901. Make checks pay-

PAST PRESIDENT – Mary Ann Cole, Bowling Green

CPC, (Cumberland Region/Synod of the Midwest) (Mailing address: 620 Plum Springs Road, Bowling Green, KY; willard.cole@insightbb.com)

NEW NOMINATING COMMITTEE MEMBERS PAST OFFICER – Pat White (North Central Region, Synod of the Midwest)

MEMBER-AT-LARGE – Connie Ricketts (New Seekers Region, Synod of Great Rivers) 16

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able to Missions Ministry Team, and indicate it is for Project #34381. 2) Children’s Fest 2014 – this project will help to provide funding for two children’s festivals to be held simultaneously on the campuses of Bethel University and the Children’s Home in Denton, TX during the summer of 2014. There will be worship, Bible study, service opportunities and fellowship times. The targeted goal is $15,300. Make your check payable to Missions Ministry Team, and indicate it is for Project #34382. Convention made a historic decision to support a multi-year focus called Set Them Free, a campaign to end modern-day slavery around the world. The Convention offerings for the next three years (2013, 2014, 2015) will go toward the following ministries –

2013 – THISTLE FARMS, a two-year residential program in Nashville which helps to re-establish young women after a life of prostitution. The target offering is $15,000.

2014 – NATIONAL FARM WORKER MINISTRY, which

serves to help bring about justice for farm workers across the country. The CP Church has an ongoing partnership with NFWM. Our financial goal for 2014 is $20,000.

2015 – HEADS OF FAMILIES projects in Colombia, South America. This is a ministry which many in the States are familiar with since it was a Convention offering and project five years ago. Women in Colombia who participate in this program are able to find ways to support their families through small micro-businesses and skills training. Make your Convention offering check payable to Missions Ministry Team, and indicate it is for Project #34380.

LEANNE KERNER AWARDED SCHOLARSHIP Congratulations to Leanne Kerner for being awarded the 2012-2013 CP Women’s Ministry Scholarship at Bethel University. Leanne is a 20-year old candidate for ministry from Covenant Presbytery. Originally from Oakland Cumberland Presbyterian Church, she is currently serving as the Youth and Children’s director at Margaret Hank Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Paducah, KY. Leanne is pursuing a call towards ministry in whatever direction God leads; for now, it seems to be with youth, but she says that she is looking forward to seeing where God will take her in the future. Leanne is entering her senior year at Bethel University with a major in Human Services, and is a member in several campus organizations. The most recent project she has been involved in is helping establish a Cumberland Presbyterian Ministry on the campus. Leanne says that attending Bethel has helped her appreciate the heritage of the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination. She says it is a privilege to be part of the ever-changing and growing university and denomination. Bethel has helped her form

lifetime friendships. With the help of the Religion and Human Services departments, Leanne has grown as a person and in all aspects of her life as a Christian. “I am very thankful for both the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and Cumberland Presbyterian Women’s Ministry for honoring me with this scholarship. As I look back I realize how much I have enjoyed growing up in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Some of my favorite memories involve Bethel, camps, past General Assemblies, and Women’s Conventions. I look forward to making many more memories throughout the years.”

MEETING PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE WORKSHOPS There were several outstanding workshops designed to help folks minister to people in a variety of places and situations. Some of these workshops were shared with General Assembly participants on Monday. Tressy Hart from Union Hill CPC, Hope Region had this to say about her workshop experience –“There was an opportunity to attend three different workshops during Wednesday of Convention. Each of the workshops I attended were geared to help me better understand and apply the theme for this year. So many times you KNOW things, but don’t stop to think about WHAT you know! All of the workshops I attended reminded me of my strengths and my calling. They reminded me of how we are the same and yet different; how we can use our differences to support each other; how the only real constant in life is change. I left each workshop with ideas I want to try - a community-needs assessment, a life transition workshop, and setting up mentors for EVERY woman in the church. I am energized and excited and really want to go out (and do the same within my church!) and meet people where they are. The same thing was repeated by everyone – officers, staff, workshop presenters – about respecting and loving each and every person and creating relationships. If we not do this, how will we be able to look Jesus in the eye?” Marilyn Estes (Orange CPC, Missouri South Region) shares her thoughts about the workshops – “They were GREAT! One “especially” was meeting a need that I hadn’t thought of until I attended it. It gave me insight of the volunteer “ job.” I volunteer at “ full-time” capacity. The ideas were some I could put to use and would be helpful to really jump-start our group back home. Wow! The young women I met in the panel discussion (“Meeting Young Women Where They Are”) were helpful in opening my eyes as to how to bring younger women into our Women’s Ministry. A wonderful suggestion was to have a mentor for each young woman, rather than trying to get her to attend a meeting. What young women need is companionship or friendship, not necessarily a “group.” This was certainly eye-opening for me. Also, rather than simply “ inviting” a young woman to your group meeting, go pick her up, be intentional in your invitation. Wonderful workshops!”

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MEETING PEOPLE AT THE DOMESTIC ABUSE CENTER CP women across the denomination gathered up and brought with them to Convention personal care products for women and children who are served by SafePlace of North Alabama – a domestic abuse agency. Box upon box was loaded into a pickup truck on Thursday morning. When all the donations were loaded the bed of the truck was filled to capacity, along with the trunk of a car. Thanks to everyone who helped SafePlace meet hurting women and children with a gift of love.

PEOPLE HIGHLIGHTS! Convention Choir led by Chuck Brown! There were about 30 participants this year and not only did they sing during Convention, they sang during the Wednesday evening General Assembly worship! Meeting the Woman at the Well – a dramatic monologue by Susan Gray, Pineville CPC, White River Region/Arkansas Presbytery. Taking a peek at all 12 Bible Studies for the coming year! This time of study was led by Samantha Hassell, one of this year’s Bible study writers. The other writer was Cardelia Howell-Diamond. Hearing gifted storyteller, RheAnn White, keynote speaker and former missionary to Japan. Learning more about Hong Kong Presbytery and the exciting things that God is doing there through the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and missionary Glenn Watts (he also wants us all to invite him to come to our church before he leaves the States). Check out the Missions website for travel information and details. Daily prayer walks led by Mary Ann Cole and T.J. Malinoski. Greetings brought from Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America by Mrs. Gladys Cantey, President of CPCA Missionary Society Auxiliary. A moving prayer experience during the Regional Council meeting led by Regional Delegate (North Central), Pat White. Introduction of the Convention Banner – created by New Seekers Region (Glynda Corbin and Marlene Krueter). Introduction of the NEW Women’s Ministry banner designed and created by Margie Shannon. Convention Offering Total – $4,581.45 (Prep 1:8, a missionary recruitment and training program). Convention Luncheon Offering Totals - $365.00 (Loose Change to Loosen Chains, an anti-human trafficking campaign of International Justice Mission). 18

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For more information and resources visit the Women’s Ministry website -

http://ministrycouncil.cumberland.org/womensministry.

MISSION A R Y MESSENGER


{ Bible Study / Devotional }

Love God ≧ Love Neighbor A Radical Combination

By T.J. MAL INOSKI

Mark 12:28-34 NRSV One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other command greater than these.” Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’; and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’ – this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, ‘”You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

"Which commandment is the first of all?” It is an important question. Another way to frame the scribe’s question is to ask: what is most central to living? What matters most? What does it mean to take God seriously? Jesus answers the scribe’s question by quoting two passages from the Jewish Bible. From Deuteronomy, he cites the classic Jewish affirmation of loyalty to God; “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind, and with all your strength” (6:5-6). Jews recited this text daily during morning and evening prayers. It was also sometimes put into small containers that were mounted on doorposts and worn on the arm or head. Then Jesus quoted a second passage, this one from Leviticus: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (19:18). The twofold great commandment – to love God and love neighbor – is so familiar to us that it has become a Christian cliché. But behind the familiarity is a radical meaning to Jesus’ summary of his message: to love God above all else means giving to God what belongs to God: our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love one’s neighbor as one’s self means to refuse the divisions perceived by humans that keep us apart.

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{ Bible Study / Devotional } DIVISIONS BETWEEN: · · · · · · · ·

the respected and the marginalized the able bodied and the disabled the dark and light-colored skin the aging and the young the rich and the poor friends and enemies people of other nations people of other religions

Jesus’ radical combination of these two commandments from the Jewish scripture elicits a positive response from the scribe. He says, “You are right, Teacher…this is much more important than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.” Then in words that assert both nearness and distance, Jesus says to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” He is not far from the kingdom of God because he knows its heart, but he is not in it. To be in it means more than just knowing this. It means living it. This is the hardest part for us as Christians. We are all familiar with this text; we may even know it by heart. In knowing it, we are close to God’s kingdom but are we in God’s kingdom? The answer to this question may be compared to our driving habits. We know the laws of the land have speed limits on the roads, streets and highways we travel on. They are even posted for us to see, in case we are in doubt about what the traveling speed limit is. But how often do we find ourselves fudging on the speed limit? Do we live it out when we are in a hurry? Do we live it out when we are late for an appointment? Do we live it out when we are trying to get home? If we are honest, we would say, “No, not all the time.” We try to remain within the limit, or at least we follow the spirit of the speed limit, inching five or ten miles over, but we do not always follow it or live by it. The same goes for the two greatest commandments. “Love God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength” and “love your neighbor as yourself.” Sometimes we are

right on the mark on following these commandments on how we worship God, on how we live and how we treat others. Often times, like the speed limits of our roadways, we observe the spirit of the commandments but we do not follow them with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. It is a challenge for us to keep these teachings of Jesus because it asks something great of us: it asks us to put ourselves second; second to God and second to others. No one wants to be second. To be second means that we are not first and our egos and personalities will not allow it. We are taught to be number one; number one in athletic competitions, number one at work, number one at school. To place our desires, our dreams, our needs secondary to God’s calling and to a neighbor is countercultural to our upbringing and our drive to succeed in the world. Jesus teaches that to love God, with all your heart, soul, mind and strength is not about being number one. We find ourselves in a dynamic tension between what we want for ourselves and the call to love others. This tension is set up by the urge to take care of our personal desires, dreams and needs – and the imperative of sharing the good news through our time, talents and energies. Such tension is not a contradiction but an inward pressure of God asking of us our best. Instead of tearing away at our daily living, cutting our choices and bruising our egos, the two great commandments empower us. We are relieved from our private agendas to live honestly and openly. Our faith is mended to reflect an ever-growing trust in the future and we are healed to love God with all of our being and to love our neighbor just as we want to be loved. When control is no longer our task, we have room to love God and neighbor as Jesus prescribes. We not only know of God’s kingdom but we are living out the kingdom here on earth. Our heart, soul, mind and strength will turn toward progressing relations between friends and enemies, rich and poor and the many divisions that keep us separated. We will become more “missionminded” in the sense that our perspective is broadened to an understanding that the kingdom of God is all encompassing.

QUESTIONS: 1. The writer lists “divisions” that keep us as humans apart. What divisions are keeping you separated

from your neighbor? What divisions are keeping your church separated from its community? 2. What areas in your life do you strive to be “number one”? 3. In what ways can you live out the two great commandments? At work? At home? In your community? 4. Describe a situation where you put the love of neighbor above your own desires and agenda. How long ago was it? Can you do it again? 20

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LOAVES & FISHES

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For more information and resources visit our website at https://ministrycouncil.cumberland.org/loavesandďŹ shes.

8207 Traditional Place, Cordova, TN 38016-7414, phone 901.276.4572

Missions Ministry Team | Ministry Council of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church


POLICY: THE MISSIONARY MESSENGER is published for the Cumberland Pres­by­te­ri­an Church by the Missions Ministry Team. Opinions expressed by the individual writers are not nec­es­sar­i­ly those of the publisher or the editors. THE MISSIONARY MES­SEN­GER does not accept advertising. Address change: send new address and label from a recent newspaper to the Circulation Secretary at the address below. THE MISSIONARY MESSENGER (ISSN 08868344) is published quarterly by the Missions Ministry Team of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 8207 Traditional Place, Cordova, TN 38016-7414. Periodicals postage paid at Memphis, Tenn. The magazine is sent free of charge to each household in the denomination. POST­M AS­T ER: Send address changes to: THE MISSIONARY MESSENGER, 8207 Traditional Place, Cordova, TN 38016-7414.

Date: December 27-30, 2012 Location: 4-H Center Little Rock, Arkansas Make plans to attend the 3rd Youth Evangelism Conference. Together we will worship, learn, play and practice what it means to follow Jesus. Participants: 6th grade – college freshman and adult workers with youth Early bird registration: October 1, 2012 - $209 Registration: December 1, 2012 - $229 Late registration after December 1, 2012 (as space allows) - $269 For more information and registration go to: http://www.cumberland.org/cpyouth/ Keynote speakers: David Bowden, executive director of the non-profit Give A Goat Kathleen Murphy, director of an outreach ministry called My Own Backyard


Missionary Messenger JUNE/AUG/SEP 2012