Kingdom Sight • 4 God’s Plan A • 8 Where Christ Is • 12
AUGUST 2010 First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs
Dear Friends, The Astrodome in Houston was the first indoor baseball field in major league baseball. It was sorely needed in Houston because outdoor baseball in the summer was a pretty uncomfortable thing with the humidity and the mosquitoes. But a problem quickly emerged – grass would not grow inside without letting in so much light through the roof that players could not see the baseball. That problem brought about one of the most argued solutions in baseball outside of the Designated Hitters – artificial turf. The debate over real grass versus fake grass raged. Mathematicians and scientists even got in on it, churning out a few studies that analyzed differences in batting performance and injury incidents on the two surfaces. I suppose the game could have come to a standstill until the controversy was resolved. Instead, players kept going out onto the field. As Christians in 2010, we can be tempted to spend more time discussing the features of the field rather than getting into the game. But Jesus was clear when he spoke to his followers in Matthew 9:37-38. “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his field.” All we have to do is see his field, then go play ball. The First Pres Magazine this month is all about our worldview. It’s about seeing that the field is all around us, everywhere. It’s as near as our own homes and as far away as India. Jesus is already in all these places, and he’s inviting us to join him. Our love, grow, go—together sermon series continues this month as well, by looking at what it means to go and get in the game with the Spirit. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross has opened the door for the whole earth to be rescued from the curse of sin. With this victory already secured, we are sent out to be the Gospel in word and deed, demonstrating the Kingdom of God already in our midst. So let’s do it. Let’s go out into the field, no matter what the turf is made of. Let’s follow God’s heart for the world. In Christ,
Jim Singleton, Senior Pastor First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs
Kingdom Sight . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Katie Dayton Feeding God's Starving Children . . . . . 7 Paul Batura God's Plan A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Wess Stafford Where Christ Is: Photo Feature . . . . . . 12 Alison Smith • Mattea Sportel 8
in every issue First Pres Spotlight: One in Spirit . . . . . 6 Christina Harrell First Pres North: Looking to the Future . . 10 Hugh Eaton College/Young Adults: See Better . . . . 11 Adam R. Holz Love, Grow, Go—Together . . . . . . . . 14 Events Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Contributing Writers: Paul Batura, Katie Dayton, Hugh Eaton, Christina Harrell, Adam R. Holz, Wess Stafford Contributing Editors: Susan Buenger, Joe Farrell, Nicole Lowell, Paul Moede, Ray Parry Photographers: Alison Smith, Mattea Sportel Proofreading Team: Daisy Jackson, Sandy Johnson, Marty Kelley, Karen Kunstle, Linda Pung, Gretchen Murphy-Bowman All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, © 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. First Pres Magazine, August 2010, Volume Two, © First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs, CO. Published by First Presbyterian Church, a non-profit organization. To contact First Pres Magazine: 719-884-6162 or 219 E. Bijou Street, Colorado Springs, CO 809031392 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Printed in the U.S.A.
By Katie Dayton
was eight years old when it started. I was minding my own business, watching television, when I realized that I needed to squint or tilt my head at a slight angle in order to see the TV. The squint/head tilt worked for a while, but the fuzzy images and blurred vision just got worse. I had to tip my head at an ever-increasing angle. The television set didn’t move; it was right in front of me, but I couldn’t see it. Eventually my mom noticed that her beloved middle child was watching Full House at a tilt, and pretty soon I had a pair of glasses on my face. Finally, I could see what was right in front of me. Being able to see—really see—is no small thing. Eight-year-old me quickly realized that. Unfortunately, 18 years later, I am a little bit slower in embracing this truth. When we look at the world around us, when we look at our city, when we look at our own lives, are we able to see, really see? Do we see what God is doing all around us? Jesus turns to his followers in John 4 and says, “Open your eyes and look at the fields, they are ripe for the harvest.” The disciples had just gotten food supplies and had missed the exchange between Jesus and the
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Samaritan woman at the well. I wonder if the disciples wanted to laugh when Jesus first said that to them. Open your eyes. Fields. Ripe for the Harvest. “Um, no Jesus….this is Samaria. No harvest here. No way.” In the land of halfbreed Samaria? Maybe they would have been less astonished if Jesus had said that as he gestured towards the temple or the religious folk, but Samaria? Fields ripe? Here? Do we see what God is doing in the world? God is always at work. Always moving. Always ushering in HIS kingdom. We, as his followers, are called to embrace a kingdom way of seeing. Kingdom sight. We may not always see his movement at first. We might need to tilt our heads and squint a little. For those times when we don’t really see, when it’s fuzzy shapes and blurred vision, we might be tempted to bring Jesus to our workplace, usher him into our school, or take his hand and lead him into our neighborhood. We might start to believe that it is up to us to build this kingdom. (Or perhaps, tragically, we might be tempted to think it is best to play it safe and do nothing). The reality is, though, that it’s not my kingdom, it’s not your kingdom, and it’s not the kingdom of First Presbyterian. It’s God’s Kingdom, which means we are talking about, as Shirley Guthrie says, “What God has done, is doing, and will do.” A kingdom way of seeing recognizes that in every sector of society, every facet of culture, God is at work. Guthrie says, “There is no place we can go where Christ is not already at work before us…. We can go thankfully, confidently, and joyfully, because we go not to take but to meet him.” I went to Paris a few summers ago. There were many things I loved about Paris (hello, nutella-filled crepe, I am looking at you) but perhaps my favorite spot was the Musée d’Orsay home of various impressionist pieces of art. Impressionism is known for capturing ordinary, everyday life. Cafés, ballet classes, work places, and wide open fields. As one art critic put it, Impressionism captures, “what the eye sees rather than what the head knows.” It isn’t just a snapshot of a given locale or event. The Impressionists capture what is really going on but not always seen by a photograph or still
life. The Impressionist captures a deeper level of reality. There is the motion of light that stills you, a movement that seizes your attention. We need a sight like that. A kingdom way of seeing that is about the deeper level of reality. When you look around Colorado Springs, what do you see? There is more going on than first meets your eye. In the ordinary—cafés, ballet classes, work places, and wide open fields— God is at work. Sweeping through downtown, moving through our neighborhoods, there is a motion of light breaking in, a movement of a King that seizes our attention. It’s His Kingdom of life, justice, freedom, and peace breaking in all around us. Maybe we want to laugh, “Um, no Jesus… this is just Colorado Springs. This is just my office building. This is just the area where people in homeless situations camp out. This is just City Hall. No harvest here.” A kingdom way of seeing recognizes that there is no separation between the sacred and secular. God’s movement spills out into the whole earth. So we, as his followers, walk out into those fields that are ripe for the harvest. Do we see what God wants to do in and through us? When we embrace a Kingdom way of seeing, we humble ourselves before the King saying, “Open my eyes.” We go out into the world, into the city, knowing that God is on the move. We live and love, striving to see what the Spirit is up to so that somehow we might lean into his movement with our entire lives. Katie Dayton’s favorite pastimes are reading blogs about the missional church, playing baseball with Jim Singleton, and watching the Spirit swoop in.
This week, walk through your neighborhood, walk around downtown, virtually walk through a city or government webpage, walk through the stories in the newspaper or walk through a book like Operation World. Talk with God, saying: open my eyes, help me see the harvest that is all around me. Help me see what you are doing in this world.
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FIRST PRES SPOTLIGHT
It’s early Sunday morning—a time when most activities at First Pres Downtown have yet to start. But at 8 a.m. the Worship Team is abuzz tuning their instruments and catching up with each other. I hear tidbits of conversations about what happened with the sewer line at home interspersed with details of a certain song to be played in only moments. The team is clearly enjoying one another and concisely preparing for their worship rehearsal. This is a balance that I, at first, have a hard time reconciling. What motivates this group of people to play music at the contemporary services at First Pres? Is it relationship or musicianship? That question only briefly crosses my mind as I listen to their sharing of the behind-the-scenes worship team experience. When asked what they do in their life apart from the worship team, the answers vary from being a stay-at home mom to playing in the Air Force Academy Band to teaching 6th grade. Yet for all their vocational diversity, they are unified in purpose when it comes to their contribution to First Pres on Sundays. To a person, they are very clear about their personal worship to the Lord being the key to the authenticity evident when they’re in front of
the congregation. Jeff Rudder (electric guitar) says, “Let’s put it this way, I worship best with a guitar in my hand.” Worship leader Matt Holtzman is an essential link contributing to their desire to engage the congregation in Christ’s name rather than carry out a performance. During the week, the worship team can expect a detailed e-mail containing the set list and music he has often personally prerecorded for the worship team’s benefit. As I ask them one last question, they become particularly energetic in their response: What is one thing you want the congregation to know? The summary of so many of their heartfelt responses is that they are not interested in performing. This is not a show. The First Pres Worship Team has a united and sincere heart to serve the body of Christ where their giftedness and the Holy Spirit intersect. Holtzman adds, “My hope and prayer is that people would leave a worship service understanding the gravity of what they just experienced, and in doing so, go out and tell the story of God’s power in their lives.” Christina Harrell has been a First Pres member since 1985. She likes coffee ice cream, reading, and spinning.
One in Spirit
Photo by Alison Smith
By Christina Harrell
Worship Team members, left to right, Jeannette Adelmann, Matt Holtzman, Tim Stombaugh, Dave Dillard, Charlie Simpich
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B Y PA U L J . B AT U R A
athy Klamm, a member of First Presbyterian since 2002, can point to the precise moment when she knew volunteering for the Feed My Starving Children program was to be more than a single act of personal outreach. “We were being briefed on the process of packing the meals,” she recalled, “when it was mentioned that many children in Haiti are so poor and so hungry that their parents feed them mud cookies because their stomachs hurt so badly from the lack of food.” The “cookies” are comprised of crudely sifted dirt mixed with salt and vegetable shortening. “It was a very moving and startling story,” Kathy reflected. “I have four grandsons—you want to do whatever you can to help children who are not so fortunate.” Feed My Starving Children is a Minnesotabased nonprofit Christian organization with the simple but significant mission of ministering to children in both body and spirit. Kathy and her planning team at First Pres are hoping to recruit 500 people to help pack 100,000 meals designated for hungry children in as many as 60 countries. Dried meals are carefully prepared and measured to insure they contain a proper balance of nutrition. A typical serving will include rice, soy nuggets, dehydrated vegetables and various vitamins and minerals. “This is a really good family service opportunity,” said Susan Buenger, Associate for World Missions. “Kids between the ages of 5 and 8 years old can pack with their parents,
and ages 9 and over can come independently. Those who cannot stand can do jobs that allow them to sit. So, everyone can participate!” Members from more than 25 local churches have been invited to join the three-day packing event. In 2009, nearly 1,000 volunteers working in Colorado Springs packed 212,524 meals in seven two-hour shifts and raised $36,849 in donations. In 2010, organizers would like to pack 1,000,000 meals (100,000 of them at First Pres). Each volunteer is asked to consider donating $39 to cover the cost of the 240 meals (@ 17 cents each) that are normally packed within an individual’s two-hour shift. The contribution is optional and not required for participation. “It’s a really fun experience,” said Kathy. “There’s an assembly line set-up and after each group reaches a certain number of meals packed, the whole room lets out a big cheer. It’s a good time!” Fans of the stage may recall a poignant line from George Bernard Shaw’s play Major Barbara, whose main theme revolves around the politics of charitable giving. “I can’t talk religion to a man with bodily hunger in his eyes,” says the character Barbara Undershaft. Members of First Presbyterian who would like to do just that—share the Good News of Jesus Christ—and who are in search of a practical and missional outreach—need to look no further than Feed My Starving Children. Paul J. Batura is a writer and member of First Presbyterian Church
FMSC MobilePack Event South Colorado Springs at First Presbyterian Church Downtown Weber Street Center Thursday, August 19th: 4:30pm; 7:00pm • Friday, August 20th: 1:00 pm; 3:30 pm; 6:00 pm • Saturday, August 21st: 9:00 am; 11:30 am Call 884-6108 for more information • Go to www.first-pres.org/serv/volunteersignup/FMSC to register for a time slot 8/10 | www.first-pres.org | 7
God’s Plan A First Pres Magazine recently caught up with Compassion International's Wess Stafford to find out what he is seeing in churches around the world. First Pres Magazine: What do you see as the greatest challenge for the North American Church in the next 10 years? What about the Global Church? Wess Stafford: I think the Church in North America will face great challenges both internally and externally. Internally, the next 10 years will see the rise of the next generation of Church leadership. As I watch the values of our society unravel in so many ways, I believe it will fall to that next generation to truly live out the values of the Kingdom of God in an environment that is deteriorating. But we cannot wait 10 years to invest in that generation or they simply won’t be within the church walls. Externally, I see the immediate challenge for the Church to be salt and light—but in a loving way. I don’t think we’ve left much doubt in the world’s minds about what we are “against.” The challenge of the next 10 years is to show the world what we’re “for,” and show them in love. And I have a bold conviction. The next generation of the Church is very aware of the needs of the world. They have generous hearts, souls and spirits, and they want to roll up their sleeves and tackle the challenges of extreme poverty. I’m convinced that generation will push extreme poverty off the planet. Now here’s the key. They will either do it through the Church or they will do it through other organizations. I believe the Church is God’s Plan A for addressing the hurt in the world. Truth be known, He has no Plan B. He is trusting us with this crucial mission and I believe this next generation “gets it.” For a church that wants to be vibrant and relevant in 10 years, doing nothing about the poor will simply not be an option. It has to 8 | www.first-pres.org | 8/10
begin close to home, just like First Pres is uniquely positioned to bless our own city— and does. FPM: But there are global challenges as well? WS: In many ways the global Church has the exact same challenges as the Church in North America, but in a different context. In every community where poverty lurks, there is inevitably a little family of believers called the Church. In many ways they are immersed in the heat of the battle against injustice, oppression and poverty. I can tell you that they have heart and courage and spirit! They are undertaking heroic efforts for the Kingdom of God. As these churches address the physical and spiritual needs of their people, they grow rapidly. They become the pivotal community institution, carrying out the grassroots mandate for compassion and integrity. The global Church is perfectly poised to transform society in Jesus’ name. However, they often lack financial resources and technical training to be as effective as they could be. We need to contribute what we uniquely can so they can contribute what they uniquely can. Part of what I’ve seen on both sides of the world is that the global Body of Christ really needs one another. Believe me, the Church in the developing world has things that we desperately need as we address the materialism and other challenges of our own society. FPM: First Pres is participating in the Churchto-Church partnership pilot project with Compassion. Tell us about why Compassion started this project. WS: Compassion started the Church-to-Church
With Wess Stafford
program in recognition that we are at the dawn of a new day in world missions. I am a product of the old model where Americans were sent to the far ends of the earth to do missionary work. This next chapter is possible because those who went before us have been hugely successful. However, I believe the future of world missions goes beyond individuals. It will be the Body of Christ reaching out to one another, church-to-church in co-ministry. That will affect great change. These types of global relationships are possible today due to advancements in technology, communications and awareness. This is clearly the missions strategy of tomorrow. FPM: Our First Pres team described their meeting our partner church, Free Presbyterian Church of Kalimpong in north India, as being “totally Spirit driven.” What are your
hopes for the outcome of the Church-toChurch pilot project? WS: I have every confidence that each church partner will bless the other, and I wouldn’t be surprised if our US churches get blessed the most! We’re hearing inspiring stories of how God is pairing these first churches with commonalities that show His clear presence in creating these new relationships. I’m seeing the Scripture lived out in real-time. I’m seeing the whole Body growing and building itself up in love, as each part does its work, just as Paul says it in Ephesians 4:16. Wess Stafford is President and CEO of Compassion, International, a ministry dedicated to releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.
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FIRST PRES NORTH
Looking to the Future By Hugh Eaton
“Jesus therefore said to them again, ‘Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’” John 20:21 The First Pres Ministry Master Plan states: “... At the core of our calling as a church is the notion of being sent into this world. The movement of the church should flow outward rather than inward.” FP North will reflect the values and goals of the First Pres Ministry Master Plan, even though it serves a different geographical community. As the Campus Team planned for startup, the comparison of priorities and limited funds available meant the beginning of Sunday worship services and outreach to the surrounding community would have top priority. International mission efforts will come at a later stage of development. Even so, God has begun work on FP North’s international mission program. It’s obvious from the people He has sent to be members. Marv and Evie Bowers are a good example. Marv’s mission service includes seventeen years with Mission Aviation Fellowship, with twelve as a pilot, mechanic and manager of
Marv Bowers today and during his days flying for MAF 10 | www.first-pres.org | 8/10
Ralph Gates and friends during a visit to a church in India
two locations in the Congo (DRC). He flew doctors into the country’s remote areas. Since 1985, Marv has been Founder and President of Information & Learning Systems International. They develop the technological tools to find, develop and equip missionary leaders, including an application to provide missionaries world-wide with a thousandvolume library, in their own language, available on their iPhone or smartphone. The company is a leader in precise and detailed mapping all over the world. Elder Ralph Gates is the Chairman of the FP North Campus Team. During Ralph’s twenty years with David C. Cook Publishing Company, he was Senior Vice President of International Missions. Ralph made twenty trips to China, providing leadership and study materials to developing churches. He and Susan Buenger, First Pres Associate for World Missions, recently visited a church in Kalimpong, India, to set up a church-to-church liaison in conjunction with Compassion International. Ralph says, “I see FP North carrying on First Pres’ long tradition in international missions of aiding developing churches and religious leaders around the world.” There are a number of others in the FP North congregation with many years of experience in international missions, who are eager to serve when this part of the ministry is ready to begin. The congregation looks forward to taking God’s Word “…into all Judea, and Samaria and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Independent writer and editor Hugh Eaton is one of the founding members of First Pres North.
COLLEGE/YOUNG ADULT MINISTRIES
ee S Better By Adam R. Holz
n Shakespeare’s play, King Lear, an old monarch loses his grip on sanity and begins to believe the worst of his advisors and family. As his descent into dementia accelerates, one brave soul admonishes Lear to recognize that his vision of reality is warped by speaking three small-but-powerful words: “See better, Lear.” Most of us aren’t kings. And, hopefully, we’re not going crazy either. But no matter where we’re at, that admonition—see better—is worth reckoning with. The way we see life is encapsulated in the term worldview. Usually, this word gets used in academic contexts. It describes what a person or a group of people believe. But I think it’s a word that’s worth reclaiming from academia, because how we see influences everything. Whether we’re aware of it or not, all of us have a worldview that answers several critical questions: What is true? What is good? What is worth our attention and devotion? Each person’s worldview is an organic grid shaped by a patchwork of influences, including family history, political beliefs, economic status, intense experiences and, of course, our spiritual convictions. When Jesus comes into our lives, He’s interested in remaking how we see the world. Like Lear’s faithful friend, He wants us to “See better.” Jesus put it this way in Matt. 6:22-23: “The eye is the lamp of the body. If
your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” It’s beyond my theological acumen to fully unpack the implications of Jesus’ words. But at the very least, He’s saying that how we see the world matters a great deal. When our vision is clouded by greed, lust, anxiety or selfishness, the consequence is a life “full of darkness.” So how do we begin to “see better,” you ask? The Apostle Paul gives us a glimpse of that process in Romans 12:2: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” To see better, we must encounter truth in God’s Word and among His people in such a way that it seeps deeply into our hearts, which gradually reshapes our perspective of reality. For me, that process began when I was in college. It can start at any time, of course, but I think that the earlier we begin to let God’s Word mold our seeing, the stronger our foundation will be when we face life’s storms, and the more we’ll view everything and everyone we encounter through the eyes of our Savior. Adam R. Holz is Senior Associate Editor at Focus on the Family’s Plugged In Online.
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Photos by Alison Smith and Mattea Sportel
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Love, Grow, Go—Together. It’s a journey. It’s a state of mind. It’s who we want to be here at First Pres. For more details about the serving communities mentioned in this issue of First Pres Magazine, read on. Compassion Church-to-Church Partnership. Sponsor a child through our partner church in Kalimpong, India. Call the Missions office at 884.6108 for more information. Compassion Sponsor Card Party. Gather with First Pres Compassion sponsors in October to make Christmas cards for our children around the world. A great event for families! Watch Happenings or call 884.6108 for more information. Communion Set-up and Clean-up. If you would love to contribute to worship for the whole congregation, but you’re not comfortable being “up front,” communion set up and clean up is for you! Contact Judy Anderson at 884.6114 or email@example.com. Ecumenical Social Ministries (ESM). Located on the corner of Weber & Bijou Streets, First Pres is one of eight downtown churches supporting this front line ministry for the working poor and homeless. For further
information, call Michelle Swanson, 884.6111 or online at www.ecusocmin.org English as a Second Language (ESL). First Pres hosts an ESL class for political refugees identified through the Lutheran Family Services and District 11 Adult & Family Education Program. We work alongside teachers from D-11. For further information, contact Michelle Swanson, 884.6111 or firstname.lastname@example.org. First Pres North. There are many places to volunteer at First Pres North. Whether it’s spending time with children, greeting visitors, setting up for the band or bringing the brownies, First Pres North welcomes you to this special community. For information call 884.6141. Habitat for Humanity. Help build our eighth Habitat House for the Greathouse family! Call Michelle Swanson at 884.6111 or mswanson@ first-pres.org. We build every Saturday. Worship Team. If you would like to get involved with the worship music ministry at First Pres, please contact Matt Holtzman at 884.6710 or email@example.com.
Other opportunities to serve? www.first-pres.org/volunteer Nicole Lowell 884-6162, firstname.lastname@example.org
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Events Calendar AUGUST week of 1–7
Sunday, August 1 Bible Reading Brunch
Saturday, August 7 Habitat Build Day
week of 8–14
Sunday, August 8 Baptism Seminar
Friday, August 13 Men’s Golf Classic
Tuesday, August 10 Engine Room Prayer Service
Saturday, August 14 Habitat Build Day
Sunday, August 15 Baptism Sunday
August 19–21 Feed My Starving Children
Wednesday, August 18 Men’s Lunchbreak
Saturday, August 21 Habitat Build Day
Tuesday, August 24 Grilled Cheese Tuesdays Start
Sunday, August 29 Worship Under the Tent FP North
week of 15–21
week of 22–28
Saturday, August 28 Men’s Horn Creek Climb
Join us in Worship on Sundays
Downtown Campus – 219 E. Bijou Blended Worship with Choir, Sanctuary, 8:20 a.m. & 9:45 a.m. Contemporary Worship band-led, 9:45 a.m. Fellowship Hall and 11:10 a.m. Sanctuary Contemplative Worship, Sanctuary, 5:30 p.m.
First Pres North – da Vinci Academy Contemporary Worship, 11:00 a.m.
First Pres Online – first-pres.org Sanctuary Services live broadcast beginning at 8:20 a.m.
For church information, call 719-884-6144 or email@example.com
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