Dear Friends at First Pres, I am so glad you have picked up our February magazine. In this edition you will find an article about one of my mentors in the faith, Dr. Dale Bruner, a long time professor of Bible at Whitworth University. I met Dale in 1986 when I picked him and Kathy up at the airport and drove them to a weekend retreat in the Hill Country of Texas. The two hour drive from the airport was one of those trips that caused me to think I had just met someone who would be a big influence in the rest of my life. Sure enough, that serendipitous meeting was the start of a relationship that eventually had Dale suggesting my name to a church on the campus of Whitworth. That church later called me to be their pastor, and my arrival led to a weekly mentoring relationship lasting six years until his retirement. I have likely learned more from Dale than any single individual teacher along my spiritual journey. Dale will be here for our Christian Life Conference on the first weekend of March. Dale has been to First Pres several times before, for he has known John Stevens for decades. His teaching style is uniqueâ€”something you will want to experience. Dale is now almost 80 years old and it is not known how many more years he will visit churches like ours. He has a two-volume commentary on Matthew. His commentary on John will be published in 2011. There is another article in this issue about Henrietta Mears. Make sure you see that, for she was a mentor to Dale from the college ministry of First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, CA. February will also find us still in Ephesians on Sunday mornings. I am excited to be teaching through the great spiritual theology in this pointed New Testament letter. My hope is that we will all find ourselves in a small community during this month to connect with other people around this epistle. A summary of the statistics from 2010 that comprise a big part of the annual meeting are included in this magazine as well. May God guide us every step of 2011, that we may be found faithful. Yours in Christ,
Jim Singleton, Senior Pastor First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs
FIRST PRES M
FEBRUARY 2011 contents First Pres Annual Meeting . . . . . . . . 4 Alison Murray Meet Dale Bruner . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Paul Batura Henrietta Mears: Alight for the Gospel . . 12 Dorothy Alvarez
in every issue Missions: Co-laboring for the Kingdom . . 7 Nicole Lowell
Young Adults: Loved Letters . . . . . . . 10 Anne and Joe Farrell Our Story: Brotherhood Legacy . . . . . 11 Dale McClure Alive to God’s Desire: Community . . . . 14 E-News and Worship . . . . . . . . . . 15
Contributing Writers: Dorothy Alvarez, Paul Batura, Anne Farrell, Joe Farrell, Nicole Lowell, Dale McClure, Alison Murray, Jim Singleton Contributing Editors: Susan Buenger, Adam Holz, Nicole Lowell Graphic Design: Beryl Glass, Mark Rantal Proofreading Team: Christine Dellacroce, 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 February 2011, Volume Three, © 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 80903-1392 or email@example.com. Printed in the U.S.A.
ANNUAL MEETING When you attend the Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 30th, in addition to the business of the church and the elections of our Elders and Deacons, you will hear about the 7 Strategic Priorities for First Pres. These 7 priorities were developed and discerned over a period of months by the Staff Senior Leadership and Session and they are expected to provide us with a framework for planning and decision-making for up to two years.
ANNUAL MEETING AND POTLUCK FELLOWSHIP HALL
SUNDAY, JANUARY 30 4:30 –6:30 p.m.
LAST NAME A - M - Main Dish LAST NAME N - S - Salad LAST NAME T - Z - Dessert
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This is not entirely new. The discernment process really started in 2006, with the development of the First Pres Ministry Master Plan (find a copy at first-pres.org/MMP). Its call was to become a missional community and under that umbrella, the Ministry Master Plan (MMP) outlined several ways that First Pres would work to achieve a missional community. Our call last spring was to continue the work anticipated in the Ministry Master Plan and further refine how we achieve those goals. 7 Strategic Priorities Live our vision statement, Alive to God’s Desire, in every aspect of our life together. In order to achieve our vision, we want to be alive to God’s desire. We acknowledge and embrace that it is in recognizing his call for First Pres and for each of us individually, that we ultimately succeed in any of our endeavors.
Increase the number of small communities. In the MMP, there are several references to community and a distinct call for us to develop deeper relationships with each other in small communities. First Pres Communities, large and small, gather in the church, in homes, at coffee shops, at the park, and in our workplaces. We envision all of First Pres involved in small communities. Support and engage young adults and families. This is a true mission field right in our midst. Only 7% of young people 18–25 are churched and so few stay connected to the Church once they leave home. We need to provide welcome and support to our younger generations. Multi-site worship. The MMP specifically references the establishment of a satellite campus. We launched our first last year—First Pres North. In conjunction with the call to outreach and connecting with as many people as we can, we want to look at the potential of a multi-site strategy to support outreach and further God’s Kingdom. Celebrate God’s successes in our midst. As we progress on this journey together, we want to recognize where God is moving among us and we celebrate God’s successes in our midst. Empower and Support Lay Led Ministry. In a missional church, it is the laity that leads. Historically, First Pres has been a staff-led church and as we move to a lay-led culture, there are many processes and procedures that need rethinking and restructuring. This includes priority number seven which entails the alignment of budget and ministry planning to support community priorities. Jim Singleton will lead us in worship on January 30th, after the business of the church is conducted. Through worship we celebrate God’s successes in 2010 and vision together our path for 2011. See you on the 30th.
WHAT IS A
MISSIONAL CHURCH? A missional church is to exist as an outpost of the Kingdom of God. As North America has increasingly become a “post-Christian” culture, we realize that people are more and more wary of coming to us inside our churches. Jesus invites us to respond by following His example— going out to meet people right where they are, living out the Gospel in our homes, neighborhoods, offices, and gathering places— anywhere that everyday life happens. [Adapted from the Ministry Master Plan, page 4.]
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Increase the number of small communities Support and engage young adults and families Expand multi-site worship opportunities to further God’s Kingdom
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COMMUNITY LIFE $863,725
COMMUNITY LIFE $874,048
STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL
$ 26,497,557 $ 17,558
Total Liabilities & Net Assets:
26-45 - 724
46-55 - 704
- 1465 59
Align budget and ministry planning to support community priorities
Continue building staff infrastructure to empower and support lay led ministry
MEMBERS RECEIVED IN 2010: CONFESSION OF FAITH - 39 RESTORED - 15 REAFFIRMATION - 60 TRANSFER IN - 48
Celebrate God’s successes in our midst
Live our vision statement, Alive to God’s Desire, in every aspect of our life together
REMOVED FROM ROLL - 95 TRANSFER OUT - 14 DEATH - 53
INFANT 38, CHILD 2, ADULT 6
Missions CO-LABORING FOR THE KINGDOM
By Nicole Lowell
The church we are part of is bigger members coming from 240 families, it is part than we ever imagined. Sure, it includes the thousands who attend Worship every Sunday and the hundreds who meet together on Wednesday nights. But it doesn’t stop there. It reaches halfway around the world. Our partnership in the Gospel is intimately connected with believers in India. Through Compassion International’s Churchto-Church Partnership program, First Pres Colorado Springs is walking side-by-side with the Presbyterian Free Church of Kalimpong. “When you’re a pastor in North America, you just do not get what goes on in the rest of the world until you sit down and talk with somebody about it,” Jim Singleton says. “So, I want my horizons widened. I want my prayers deepened, and I want my understanding opened to what those brothers are facing [as Christians in the Buddhist and Hindu cultures of India]. I want to learn!” This passion for learning and relationship is echoed by the pastor in Kalimpong. Rev. Matthias Subba shares a deep enthusiasm for his “partnership and friendship” with us. “I [feel] a strong bond in Jesus Christ,” he writes. “I [see] a passion in your heart for the Kingdom of God. I, along with my senior pastors and leaders, strongly believe that we can work together in partnership for the extension of His Kingdom.” Presbyterian Free Church, Kalimpong was founded in 1973. With about 600 individual
of a growing denomination of 26 churches. In fact, leadership for the denomination mostly comes from this church. Like First Pres Colorado Springs, they are also working on a multisite strategy. Currently, they have four worship centers that will become churches, and another three fellowship centers. We have something else in common with Presbyterian Free Church, Kalimpong: an outreach to the children and families of our local communities. The Compassion Child Development Center opened in their church in 2003. Through this sponsor-supported program, their congregation ministers to 270 local children, releasing them from poverty in Jesus’ name. “This is an opportunity for us to truly be the Body of Christ, to learn from one another, to share prayers, praises, struggles and to celebrate together,” says Susan Buenger, First Pres Associate for Global Missions. “Our friends in Kalimpong are innovative and missional in their community. Their outreach is inspiring! As we get to know their leaders, and they get to know ours, the relationships will make for rich exchange and encouragement. The ability to be true partners, co-laboring for the Kingdom, will be a journey full of loving, learning and growing together.” First Pres member Nicole Lowell loves the stories God is telling in our church.
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Meet Dale Bruner s it possible to offer the right words at the wrong time? Dr. Frederick Dale Bruner, a professor emeritus of religion at Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington, thinks so. The retired theology teacher, renowned speaker and popular author of several powerful biblical commentaries, remembers the first time he “witnessed” on the streets of Hollywood, California. A product of Hollywood Presbyterian Church and its revered Director of Education, Henrietta Mears, the young Bruner was confident and loaded for bear. “I was excited and eager to tell people about the Lord. I spotted a United States Marine and decided to approach him. I asked if he knew Jesus and whether he wanted to spend eternity in heaven or in hell.” The encounter fell somewhat short of expectations. “If you don’t get out of my face,” thundered the irate Marine, “I will kill you!” How did he respond to the threat? “I took him at his word!” Bruner reflected with a laugh. But the exchange taught him a valuable lesson. “It reminded me that if I wanted to be an effective evangelist, I just needed to start a regular conversation with the
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person. People will listen and engage about eternal matters if you’re willing to first talk with them about everyday things.” Now 79 years-old, Dale Bruner is still that same happy and winsome spirit who had the courage and tenacity to engage a square-jawed, muscle-bound Marine on Hollywood Boulevard. He continues to see his work as more of a calling than a career. Though he transitioned from Whitworth in 1997, Bruner is anything but idle. “I retired into my work,” he recently said. “I continue to have a tremendous passion for teaching the Scriptures.”
By Paul J. Batura
His goals are the same today as they were in the classroom: to help others see the power and practicality of the Bible His goals are the same today as they were in the classroom: to help others see the power and practicality of the Bible— and to teach in a way as to allow church doctrine to come alive. At Whitworth, Dr. Bruner’s classes were always filled to capacity. Students clamored for seats. During his tenure, the number of theology degrees granted quadrupled and the number of credits taught by the department increased by 70 percent. Whitworth College has now become one of the most popular feeder schools to both Princeton Theological Seminary and Fuller Theological Seminary. Dale Brunner is a story-teller with a flair for breaking down complex themes into simple and digestible lessons. Before teaching, he served on the mission field in the Philippines and quickly came to appreciate the pull and power of telling people about the Bible in straight-forward fashion:
On the Incarnation: “It is the central Christian conviction that the Great Invisible God became a real human being and lived among us as the historical Jew, Jesus of Nazareth, between 6 BC and AD 30 in Palestine.” On prayer: “A little bit will do it. Prayer is not an intelligence briefing for God. The Lord’s Prayer really is the ‘Creed’ that most connects the world’s Christians.” On Baptism: “Baptism is the last great ‘handing over’ of the passion-resurrection of Jesus. For in baptism, discipled people become the beneficiaries and children of a new Father, new siblings in the Son, and fresh companions of the Spirit.” Those fortunate to attend any or all of Dr. Bruner’s upcoming teaching sessions during his brief time here at First Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs will see one of the most exciting things in all the word: a person at work who is passionately engaged in the very thing God made them to do. Paul J. Batura is a local writer and member of First Presbyterian Church.
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oved etters L L
hen Anne was in college, she became pen pals with her Grandma Garnett Hughes. For many years, they regularly exchanged letters. Grandma did not e-mail, so each of these letters was in her own handwriting. When one of her letters would arrive, it was immediately obvious that it was from Grandma Garnett just by the distinguishing tilt of the handwriting on the envelope. Sometimes, Grandma’s handwriting would become even messier and more irregular—indicating that she was particularly passionate about what she was writing. We didn’t need any “emoticons” to tell us what she was feeling. We knew her and her handwriting well enough that we could simply “read between the lines.” Grandma passed away a few years ago, but these letters are some of our family’s most treasured keepsakes. The letters were not about anything profound, but just sharing our ordinary days together. The sharing of our lives together is a profound part of the Christian faith. The ordinary and mundane act as mortar cementing the relationships we build. We might prefer to share the big events, the greatest highs, and the deepest struggles, most often putting our best foot forward, but without the knowledge of
By Joe and Anne Farrell
the day to day, our relationships are left lacking. The letters with Grandma Garnett will never be considered great literature or deep theology; they are certainly not John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Faith, but they are still profound in the simplest way. We realized the true value of these letters when they were lost after one of our crosscountry moves. On one end, they were safely packed in a box where they would not be damaged, destroyed, or misplaced. After all, they were one of the few things we owned that was irreplaceable. But upon arriving at our new home, and after weeks of unpacking, we had the unsettling feeling that something was missing. Grandma’s letters were not to be found. Today, very few people can identify the handwriting even of their close friends. Computers, keyboards, and touchpads have exponentially increased the rate at which we communicate with each other, but they’ve also taken away some personal connections, like recognizing a friend’s handwriting. It’s not that these tools should be avoided, but what are we doing to go beyond the text message or Facebook status update? Are we in communities that know us well enough to “read between the lines?” For those wondering about the letters— after two more moves, as we were unpacking here in Colorado, Grandma’s letters turned up! And we knew just by looking at the handwriting. Anne Farrell is part of the First Pres MOPS ministry, her husband Joe is the Associate Pastor for Marriage and Young Adults.
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Brotherhood Legacy By Dale McClure
he first recorded organized Men’s Ministry at First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs was the Brotherhood Bible Class, created in 1907. Sunday school for adults was not the popular notion in 1907. According to church records, First Pres had only two adult classes at that time, segregated by gender: the Ladies’ Bible Class for women and the Brotherhood for men. Highly organized, the Brotherhood class had a teacher, a president, a vice-president, secretary, assistant secretary and a treasurer. They also had committees—committees for Devotions, Membership, Visitation, Employment, Finances, Music, Reception, Civics, Publicity and Entertainment. And in an early twentieth century version of small groups, they created 23 “captains of ten” so each man could be part of a smaller community. Sunday morning Bible study was their first task, but the First Pres Brotherhood understood “Go together” even in 1907. On Sunday afternoons, teams of men would go to the outlying communities where there were no organized churches and hold worship services. In 1926, the men purchased two crystal radio sets for “shut ins.” A letter sent to the class members said that they would have
liked to have purchased more but the class treasury was low on funds. Each set cost $6.50. The Brotherhood also reached out across generations, sending several young people to the Presbyterian Youth Council each year in Beulah, Colorado. The men had great confidence in the work of the Boy Scouts as well and supported Troop 2. Scouts met in our building then just as they do today. The integration of public service and personal conviction marked the lives of several Brotherhood members. Oliver H. Shoup, the retired governor of Colorado, was a member of the class in the 1920s. One of the founders of the class, Dr. John R. Robinson, taught for its first 17 years. Dr. Robinson was an ear, eye, nose and throat specialist and an active politician. He was elected to the city council in 1892 and was elected mayor twice. With all those interests, he still had time to be an elder for First Presbyterian Church. There was a Sunday in 1911 that Dr. Robinson had to be away. Instead of finding a substitute teacher for the Brotherhood Class, it was decided to combine the men’s class with the ladies’ class and Mrs. C. W. Robinson (not Dr. Robinson’s wife) would teach the combined classes. Most everyone enjoyed having the two groups together and asked if it could be done permanently. The next Sunday this item appeared in the church bulletin: “The main reason for not making a permanent merger of the two classes was the extreme bashfulness of some of the younger men in the presence of so many young ladies.” Dale McClure can often be found uncovering First Pres history in our archives.
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Henrietta Mears: Alight
was about two. My mom was a Sunday school teacher at the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood. She was doing something important; dropping off materials, or picking up supplies, or talking with the superintendant of the Sunday School in the house that held the offices of the Children’s Ministry Department. I had lost interest in whatever she was doing and wandered off into another room—this one had a closet with toys! So, in I went and happily I played. When my mother discovered that I had wandered into this office, she was chagrined and embarrassed. “Oh, Miss Mears, I am so sorry!” “Let her stay. She can’t hurt anything.” The only reason I know the story, of course, is that my parents loved to repeat the account of my trespassing into the office of Dr. Henrietta Mears. The story has all of the elements of high drama—a young innocent unwittingly tromping into a sacred, almost fearsome, space and receiving a last minute pardon from a benevolent authority. Now, if you had asked my parents, or pretty much anyone else at the church, they would have told you that Henrietta was mortal. No one really doubted that, if the question were phrased clearly enough, but the emotional response to her was something a little more elevated. Miss Mears was the stuff of legends.
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And she worked at our church! We never really could get over that. Henrietta was committed to the Lord. She wanted nothing less than to be obedient to His will. That began in her with a deep confidence in and love for the Scriptures. She was also an educator to the core. She brought these together and they have forever shaped the Sunday School at Hollywood Presbyterian and countless Sunday Schools around the country. When she began at Hollywood, in 1928, she reviewed the materials that were being used and was dismayed to find that there was a very haphazard approach to teaching the Bible. Some stories were repeated often, some never told. Children had lost interest by fourth or fifth grade. Materials were not written to accommodate the different learning styles of different ages. Some didn’t even acknowledge the divine or miraculous. One lesson from a book for older children taught that Paul had survived the shipwreck (told about in Acts 27) because he ate his carrots and was healthy. Henrietta decided that a new curriculum needed to be written. It should be interesting, pretty to look at, age appropriate, and honoring of scripture and God’s power. She began writing out lessons each week for the different ages in the Sunday school. Ethel May Baldwin and Esther A. Ellinghusen wrote, typed and mimeographed the lessons, stapling booklets together in time for
for the Gospel each Sunday. They cut pictures out of old calendars to decorate the booklets. Soon they had the beginnings of a solid curriculum. An evidence of the strength of the curriculum can be seen in the growth of the Sunday School. In two and a half years they grew from 420 students enrolled from pre-school through high school to 4,200. Of course, it was not just curriculum, but teachers who wanted to teach because they loved the Lord and His Word. Miss Mears was not interested in second rate curriculum or half hearted teachers. She recruited the most successful members of the congregation to teach; men and women who would put the same effort into teaching that they put into their lives. The result was children who grew up seeing an integration between public life and personal beliefs. The curriculum took on a life of its own. Sunday Schools around the country wanted copies of their own. Henrietta knew they were stretched to the limit just preparing it for their Hollywood church. As a result of a team of people with the vision and ability, Gospel Light was formed and a strong Biblically based, age-appropriate, interesting curriculum was available all over the country. Years later GLINT (Gospel Light International) was founded to publish educational materials in many languages for use around the world. Miss Mears died before I came close to joining her college class and sitting under her teaching as John Stevens, Dale Bruner, Bill Bright and countless others did. The motto of the college class still hung on a beautifully
By Dorothy Alvarez
carved plaque in the front of the room when I attended, “To know Christ and to make Him known.” Men and women from that class got to know Christ and left Hollywood to go into the farthest reaches of the world to make Him known. Only in heaven can anyone measure the benefit of the salt and light that went out into the world because Miss Mears believed that the Gospel was worth all of a person’s energy. The biggest impact Henrietta Mears made in my life was undoubtedly through the Gospel Light curriculum and the teachers she recruited, trained and inspired. I grew up being taught the Word of God, by the people of God, and I loved it. I did not get to live with Miss Mears across the street from UCLA, as Bill and Vonette Bright did while they began Campus Crusade for Christ. I did not get to join her in prayer at College Briefing conferences at Forest Home as Dale Bruner did. But, then, they did not get to play with the toys in her closet! Dorothy Alvarez is a member of First Pres and mom to Forrest and Bethany.
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to God’s Desire for Community “You…are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” Ephesians 2:22. Here are a few opportunities to join with others and become alive to God’s desire together. Doorways New Member Class (Feb 6-Mar 6, 11 a.m., Sheldon Jackson Room) 884.6140 Join your story to the larger community of God’s story at First Pres. Gather and grow with others who are making the commitment of becoming members of our congregation. CROSSroads (Sunday mornings at 9:35 a.m. in Room 210, ongoing) 884.6117 This new Sunday morning community is geared for married parents of school-aged children. Engage in great teaching and discussion with others in the same stage of life. Marriage Retreat: Extreme Makeover, Heart Edition (Feb. 11-13, Estes Park, CO $295/couple) 884-6117 The Master Designer has exciting plans for your relationship. Join the project crew for this fun and transforming Valentine’s Day weekend with Jim and Sara Singleton.
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E-News Every corner of First Pres is alive with opportunities to discover God’s desire. The magazine only scratches the surface of all the places we can build relationships, serve, grow, and worship. Dig deeper with our many specific e-newsletters. Find them all at www.first-pres.org/enews. Children’s Missions MOPS Women’s Ministry Community Life If you don’t have access to a computer, call Congregational Care at 884.6144 for further details about these ministries.
Join us in Worship on Sundays Downtown Campus—219 East Bijou Blended Worship with Choir—Sanctuary, 8:20 a.m. & 9:45 a.m. Contemporary Worship—Fellowship Hall, 9:45 a.m. & Sanctuary, 11:10 a.m. Contemplative Worship—Sanctuary, 5:00 p.m.
First Pres North – daVinci Academy Contemporary Worship—11:00 a.m.
First Pres – Inn at Garden Plaza – 2520 International Circle Traditional Worship—10:00 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 2/11 | www.first-pres.org | 15 2/11 | www.first-pres.org | 15
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ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED
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Friday and Saturday, March 4-5 | Call 884.6144 for details
A Weekend in the Gospel of John with Dr. Dale Bruner
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