ugodâ€™s special children | 8 parentâ€™s morning out | 10 the woman with no name | 14
Dear First Pres Family, It’s hard to believe that May is finally here. As we come to a turning of the year — with graduation and the start of summer fast approaching — it’s great to take stock of all that’s happened thus far in 2013. We started off the year talking about grief, then transitioned to how we can be a part of God’s plan for justice and mercy in this world. We celebrated the resurrection of our Lord at Easter, and just last month we bid farewell to our friend, Jim Smith. It has already been a full year, and all the while we’ve considered the ways God is calling us to worship, and how that worship can bring us together. I am excited that throughout this month we will continue the GO Series, which began April 21. This is an expository series in that it looks at all the instances where God encourages His people — and by extension us — to go. But it’s also a series about Getting Out and Going Out to transform our city and our world. I have been encouraged by the response so far, and I hope that as we continue this series throughout May and June you will consider how God is calling you to go in your own life. I encourage you to check off the items on the bulletin insert provided on April 28 and to visit the list of GO projects and opportunities to get involved in the work of the Kingdom going on all around us. Visit www.first-pres.org/go for more information. This month we’ll also have plenty to consider and celebrate each Sunday. On May 5 and 12 we’ll have an opportunity for you to meet your Deacon. The Deacons at First Pres are a very special and dedicated group, and they serve as part of the mechanism of congregational care at First Pres. This is another way we seek to build fellowship and community together. On May 12 we will honor mothers as part of Mother’s Day. The following Sunday, May 19, we will celebrate graduation and the end of another school year. This is always a special time for reflection and celebration as we mark the advancement of our children and youth. On May 19 we will also celebrate Compassion Sunday. In March we had a chance to hear from outgoing Compassion President Wess Stafford, and I was moved by how much this congregation has invested in the work of Compassion by adopting children in need around the globe. I hope that on May 19 even more of you will consider taking on this challenge. It will be a busy and exciting month as we prepare to welcome summer. I hope to see you on Sunday or as you GO out into the community.
Graham Baird Senior Pastor First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs
FIRST PRES M
MAY 2013 contents Waking Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Eunice McGarrahan GO: Forging Kingdom Connections Throughout the World . . . . . . . . . . 6 Matthew Fox God”s Special Children . . . . . . . . . . 8 Lori Dewhirst A Little Time for Parents . . . . . . . . . 10 Matthew Fox
Ministrying to McGhee . . . . . . . . . 12 Scott Boss The Woman with No Name . . . . . . . 14 Dale McClure First Pres Shows its Artistic Side . . . . . 15 Lisa Hallock Contributing Writers: Scott Boss, Lori Dewhirst, Matthew Fox, Lisa Hallock, Dale McClure, Eunice McGarrahan
Contributing Editors: Matthew Fox, Alison Murray Graphic Design: Beryl Glass Proofreading Team: Mary Bauman, Christine Dellacroce, Betty Haney, Daisy Jackson, Marty Kelley, Karen Kunstle, Linda Pung 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 May 2013, Volume Five, © First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs, CO. Published by First Presbyterian Church, a non-profit organization. To contact First Pres Magazine: 719-884-6175 or 219 E. Bijou Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80903-1392 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Printed in the U.S.A. Cover photo: L to R: Amy Eckert, Abby Dewhirst and Monique Domme at the Cheyenne Mountain High School homecoming.
By Eunice McGarrahan
By Eunice McGarrahan As part of The Year We Are to Worship at First Pres, Eunice McGarrahan is offering a six-part series on ideas from Mark Labberton’s “The Dangerous Act of Worship.” This is part three of the series, which began in the March issue.
n one episode of How I Met Your Mother, the characters have a frenetic discussion about the burdens and challenges of relationships and what it means to love thy neighbor. When one couple expresses a desire to get to know the neighbors in their apartment complex, they are warned not to do this. They are told that the only selfpreserving way to deal with neighbors is to greet them guardedly in the hallway and to check up on them if you haven’t seen them for
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weeks...but only if there is a bad smell coming from their apartment. In other words, loving your neighbor actually means don’t let your neighbor get in the way of your own life. By shining a light on a very cynical view of relationships, that episode demonstrated a yearning for something more in life. But we all know that we don’t necessarily have to be cynical in order to ignore our neighbor. We just have to be busy. We just have to have a limited vision of our world.
Our suburban neighborhood in Northern When Mark Labberton, in The Dangerous Virginia was one in which lives were lived at Act of Worship, tells us that worship wakes us work and inside the walls of our comfortable up, he is not talking about whether we doze off homes — our retreats from the intensities of judging the sermon. What he means is that work in a capital city. One spring day, I true worship will help us to reinterpret where looked out of my window and saw a neighwe live and how we see our neighbor. He says bor playing with some kids. He had built a that “We live in God in our circumstances trebuchet — simply put, that’s a catapult rather than living in our circumstances with with a slingshot. Trebuchets can launch stuff God.” In other words, I don’t live at 123 Maple for great distances. In this case, my neighbor Street. I live in Christ at 123 Maple Street. And was launching water balloons. that changes everything. When we wake up to As an old youth our true address, here’s what ministry person and a happens: we no longer see We live history major, I was others through the lens of drawn in by both the our own expectations or in God water balloons and the standards. We are able now trebuchet. I grabbed my to see them, really and not in our video camera and sentimentally, with the love headed out to meet my of Christ. Neighbors are no circumstances neighbor for the first longer a duty or an obligatime. After introducing tion but an opportunity to rather than myself and learning his pour out all that love that name, I apologized for God has poured out on us. taking so long to get to On a hot summer day, living know him. He laughed there is hardly anything and said, “Well, yeah... better than jumping into a in our there’s nothing like a pool of refreshing water. For medieval siege weapon the moment, that is where circumstances to bring a neighborhood you live. The water invites together!” you to be immersed in it, to with God. Love thy neighbor. be invigorated by it and then Just what does that mean to joyfully shout to those on and what does worship have to do with it? In the shore, “Come on in...the water’s fine!” In worship, as we focus on the character, words our baptism and in our worship we are and deeds of Jesus, we soon realize that we immersed in the Living Water of our Lord are being invited to share in his life. We are, Jesus Christ. That should wake us up to where in fact, being asked to live within the family we truly live and, wide awake, we can invite created by the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. our neighbor to join us. The Water is fine. Worship helps us to understand where we Eunice McGarrahan is the lead Parish Associate for First Pres. She live. Worship wakes us up to the reality that frequently serves as the minister at the 5 p.m. service. whatever our physical address is, the place where we live is in Christ.
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Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. —Matthew 28:19-20
By Matthew Fox
FORGING KINGDOM CONNECTIONS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD ow do you forge lasting Kingdom connections half a world away? That is both the challenge and the driving question for Global Missions at First Pres. In fact, it’s what a First Pres missions team spent a week considering in February as part of a partnership training conference with Mongolia Campus Crusade for Christ and leaders from the Mongolian church. In part, it requires a fundamental change in how we approach missions. The typical formula driving global missions moves from an identified need, to how it is to be solved and finally arriving at why we do it. But that formula is limiting when it comes to longterm connections in the body of Christ because it is task-driven, rather than relationship driven. To change that requires starting with different questions — why are we being led to develop this relationship? Where is God at work and how do we join Him? Starting with the why allows you to move to what and how as part of an ongoing relationship and partnership in the Gospel. It sets the focus on the process of creating community and fellowship as mutual and equal partners rather than completing tasks together. 6 | www.first-pres.org 5/13
Team of 14 from First Pres at Mongolia parenting conference March 13
“The question is how are we approaching mission in a partnership paradigm,” said Susan Buenger, Director of Global Missions. “Typically in mission it’s more about doing — what are we going to go and do. We’re trying to move out of that paradigm to why we are compelled to do this together. It’s because we’re in relationship; because we’re part of the body of Christ.” Currently First Pres has four long-term global missions partnerships. The first is in Mongolia, where First Pres has been partnering with the Mongolia Campus Crusade for Christ and the first-generation church in that region. That has included many trips to Mongolia as well as hosting staff members of Mongolia Campus Crusade for Christ when they visit Colorado Springs. That will continue this summer as Uuganaa Chuluunbaatar and his wife, Una, along with their daughter, Ninjin, come to Colorado Springs
so Uuganaa can study at Fuller Theological Seminary. In addition, First Pres has an ongoing partnership in Egypt. The partnership began in 1996, and the goal of the Cairo Connection is to help spread the Gospel in a city that serves as the gateway to the Arab world. Another First Pres partnership is with the church in India. More than one billion people live in India. Within predominately Hindu India, there are 4,635 distinct people groups speaking 438 different languages. The goal of Impact India is to help share the Gospel in the region through partner ministries. Finally, First Pres has a connection with the church in Havana, Cuba. In 1999 a Cuban Presbyterian visiting his aunt here in Colorado Springs joined First Pres for worship. He was invited to attend the Becomers Sunday School class. He developed relationships with members of the class, and those eventually led to a partnership with the First Presbyterian Reformed Church of Havana in 2009. The goal with each of these long-term partnerships isn’t so much to complete projects as to build the bonds of Christ with believers around the world. Trips taken each year to these regions help to forge lasting bonds and connections. That has continued in 2013. A team went to Cuba in March, a group of teachers will be heading to Mongolia in June and First Pres will be leading a Compassion Child Sponsor
Cuba team leader Don Wallace with First Pres Havana Baseball team and coach
Worshiping together in Mongolia
tour to fellowship with our partner church in Kalimpong, India in November. But the mission outreach of First Pres isn’t limited to those four long-term partnerships. In December a group will head to El Salvador to complete a well project. The funds for the project were a part of the gifts given through the Something Significant for Christmas catalog. This trip will be a culmination of the efforts of several groups at First Pres. But being part of the work of God in the world isn’t just about money or trips outside the United States. There are plenty of opportunities to connect with the work of the global church in Colorado Springs. With each of the long-term global missions partnerships there is a group at First Pres that meets to pray for the partners, share stories of God’s work in that place and to fellowship with each other. In short, everyone at First Pres has a chance to be a part of the move of God in the world through the connections and fellowship with the global church forged by First Pres. To learn more about global missions at First Pres or to connect with communities in Colorado Springs focusing on the global church, visit the Serve Global tab at www.first-pres. org. Join the First Presbyterian missionary e-mail prayer group to receive occasional urgent prayer requests from our missionaries and partners around the world. E-mail email@example.com to request to be added to the list and receive the monthly missions e-blast. Matthew Fox is the Manager of Communications at First Pres.
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By Lori Dewhirst
God values character; godly character.
We cling to the values of the world. As Christian mothers and fathers we know that God wants us to look at the inner man and the qualities of a gentle and quiet spirit when teaching character to our children (1Peter 3:4). God wants us to put aside our desire to raise our children to have worldly success and power. This is hard to do! Man values success, power and physical beauty. God says, â€œDo not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heartâ€? ( 1 Samuel 16:7). God values a pure heart. Almost 20 years ago, our third daughter was born with Down Syndrome. At the time of her birth, my husband and I were a bit 8 | www.first-pres.org 5/13
shaken and fearful about the future and raising a child with special needs. We, like all parents of disabled children, were told that our baby was born imperfect, not pretty, strong or smart enough to make it in the world. As the years have unfolded, we have seen these worldly opinions shattered by what our Abby has accomplished and continues to accomplish in her life. God has never left our side in our raising of Abby. He has given us guidance and strength for many challenges. He has even had Abby teach us a thing or two! Praise and thanksgiving go to Him. Our Abby has a good heart. Medically speaking, her heart has a few imperfections, but nothing too serious. Spiritually speaking, her heart is amazing! Nearly every day Abby performs a thoughtful deed for others. She gives a hug that makes you feel so appreciated.
She lends a helping hand with the groceries, the laundry and unloading the dishwasher. She will even help you put on and take off your shoes and coat. Abby senses when feelings have been hurt. She recognizes when there is a need for some “cheering up.” She brings tissues and puts her arm around you and just holds you close. This brings a smile to your face and you forget about being weary. She will even pray for you. I have learned that her prayers go directly to the Lord! It’s good to be the recipient of Abby’s prayers! Abby has limitations with her speech. She struggles with expressive speech but has excellent receptive speech. In spite of her speech difficulties, Abby communicates well with others. She understands and practices compassion towards others. She never seems concerned about whether or not she is personally receiving accolades or gifts of kindness. She has many friends probably because she looks beyond what the world values and sees that the “not so pretty” and the “not so smart and successful” are wonderful people and they make good friends. This past fall, Abby was honored by her classmates and selected as Homecoming Queen for Cheyenne Mountain High School. She was so happy. She wore her crown for two days straight! It was fun having royalty in our home. She is a blessing in our lives. Another area of blessing for us is our church, First Pres. Abby attends the high school Sunday School program and is always welcomed. For some families of disabled children; however, it is harder to feel welcomed. For these families their children may have greater physical and behavioral challenges. The parents feel overwhelmed about whether or not their child will be accepted and properly cared for in Sunday School and church. These parents do not receive the spiritual nurturing that comes with regular church attendance and is necessary for Christian growth. We all need regular worship, solid Bible teaching and Christian fellowship with other believers.
First Pres has always been a church that “takes a stand” for the things it feels God is calling it to do. First Pres is currently launching Access Ministries (special needs).It’s a partnership between missions and family ministries focused on serving individuals with special needs and their families. First Pres will also go out into the Colorado Springs community and partnership with community organizations who serve those with special needs. The program is in its initial stages, but much has already occurred. First Pres hosts Capernaum — the Young Life program for Special Needs individuals — on the third Wednesday of every month. In April, the Colorado Springs Down Syndrome Association held a teen party at the Weber Street Center with a “Pirates of the Caribbean” theme. The First Pres family ministries staff helped with the set-up and sound system operation for the party. Many wonderful First Pres staff members are working hard to see that Access Ministries grows and blesses many families at First Pres. Please pray for this ministry and its faithful leaders. For more information on Access Ministries, visit www. first-pres.org/Access. Lori Dewhirst is a mother of a special needs child and part of the First Pres family.
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A LITTLE TIME for Parents By Matthew Fox
ometimes when you’re a parent, you just need a little time to yourself. A program at First Pres provides that break for parents while providing time to enrich children’s lives. And the program is undergoing some changes beginning in June. Parent’s Morning Out — formerly known as Mother’s Morning Out — is a Christcentered program to provide a break from the intense schedule and responsibility of parenting. And the program is making some changes — including its name — to help parents out. Beginning in June the hours will change to 8:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. The shift of 15 minutes from its former hours — 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — is to accommodate parents who have children in the First Pres Preschool and Get Set programs, which typically begin at 9 a.m. The change in the program name is reflective of 10 | www.first-pres.org 5/13
the fact that it’s not just moms but dads who make use of the program. Parent’s Morning Out has two sessions — one that runs during the summer months from June through August and one that runs during the school year from September through May. Children from three months old through the fall of the kindergarten year can participate in the program during the school year, with kindergartners allowed to participate during the summer session. Though Parent’s Morning Out offers parents a break or a chance to run errands and attend appointments, it’s not a babysitting service. A qualified and caring staff provides a wellstructured enrichment program where children are introduced to Christ’s love through Bible stories, crafts, songs and fun activities. “We teach a Bible story every time the kids come then we build on it with crafts and
games,” said Beth Morrison, First Pres Nursery Manager. “I love going into each classroom and seeing the teachers interacting with the kids. We try to have the same teachers in the same classrooms each time so they can build that relationship with the parents and the kids.” Morrison, who assumed her position in December 2012, said she loves the early childhood stage and working with the children and parents at First Pres. Her goal is to continue making connections with the families at First Pres. She also welcomes feedback from the families so the Parent’s Morning Out and nursery programs continue to improve and meet the needs of families at First Pres. As part of the program this summer — in addition to Bible lessons, art projects and crafts — there will be fun days. Some of the themes for the fun days include a water day and a teddy bear picnic day. The program is offered on Monday and Wednesday mornings. The monthly cost for Parents Morning Out is $80 for one day a week or $150 for two days a week. The monthly cost is $70 per month for one day for each additional sibling and $130 for two days a week for each additional sibling. There is also a $50 materials fee for the session that runs from September through May and a $10 materials fee per child for the summer session. “This isn’t daycare, it’s a program for the kids,” Morrison
said. “We use the Gospel Light curriculum, so each time they come these kids are getting a Bible lesson. We have the privilege of teaching the Bible, which should be the most fun thing ever for kids. We have the best job in the world — getting to lay down that foundation for these kids.” Matthew Fox is the Manager of Communications at First Pres.
For more information on Parent’s Morning Out or to enroll, visit www.first-pres.org/nursery
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Ministering to McGehee By Scott Boss
team of 20 high school students and adults went down to McGehee, Arkansas during the week of Spring break. In partnership with Gateway Presbyterian Church, we worked with First Pres of McGehee in caring for the community in a number of ways. Service projects performed included tearing up and replacing a floor in the local food pantry, creating a community garden for the local elementary school, cleaning and caring for the local library, helping repair bikes at the bike factory which are sold to help provide college scholarships for local students, building maintenance at an unplanned pregnancy center, yard work at an at risk teen center and an after school program for elementaryaged kids.
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It was an amazing trip for our group of high school students. Never before have I had such deep and meaningful discussions with a group of high school students. Seeing them assist the locals in caring for their community was incredible! The most amazing part of the trip was hearing the stories of those we rubbed shoulders with during the week. They shared stories of passion to care for their communities in the areas where there is hurt, stories of how God has moved their hearts to care for those that often donâ€™t have a fighting chance and stories that instill in our hearts a passion to come alongside them in any way we can in order to encourage them in their pursuit of being the hands and feet of God. The most striking story comes from an African American woman who grew up in McGehee during all the strife of the civil rights movement. Her name is Ruby, and she is a woman who left McGehee and obtained bachelors and masters degrees from Purdue University. God had other plans and ended
up bringing her back to her hometown to care for her community, specifically students that would likely never go to college. Her story is impactful not because of her past experience in McGehee, but because of her determination to create a movement in this small town. Over the past several years she has met many struggles that would make most people turn away from such pursuits, but she has continued on. I think the important take-away is the understanding that to make a change in the world means putting in the hard work to follow where God is leading us. So many of us want to be a part of something big in the world, a movement that will change the course of history, but very few of us are willing to build such a movement from the ground up. Of all the mission trips I have been on with teens, even to remote cities around the world in dire need of love and financial assistance, this one has been the most meaningful. Itâ€™s nearly impossible to leave such a place without a deep desire to find the passion they have for their small town and turn that into a passion for our growing city. What would our city look like if we cared for it the way these people in McGehee care for theirs? Rubyâ€™s journey is but one of the many stories of those attempting to make a change in their city. Be sure to stop one of our students who went to Arkansas and ask them about their experience. Scott Boss is the Director of High School Ministries for First Pres.
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By Dale McClure
he first name of Mrs. W. C. Robinson is obscured by the conventions of her time. She lived in an era where many women found their identity in their husband’s name. Thus, we only know her as Mrs. W. C. Robinson. Mr. Robinson was an attorney and politician. Mrs. Robinson established the Women’s Bible Class in 1907 on a Sunday that just happened to be her birthday. Each year when the women celebrated the anniversary of their class, they also feted her birthday. She mentored her sisters for 12 years. Missionary work was another of her passions. Shortly after joining the church in 1896, she attended the Women’s Missionary Society meetings and was promptly appointed secretary. Subsequently she was elected to the presidency of that organization. Her fervor and organizational skills caused her to be elected president of the Presbyterial Missionary Society as well as the Synodical Missionary Society. She was frequently asked to share her knowledge and enthusiasm in various women’s ministry groups.
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She was a member of the pastoral search committee in December of 1904, which recommended that we call Dr. Edgar W. Work as our seventh senior pastor. The church was so impressed by her piety and her caring nature that she was hired to do hospital visitation and to call on our elderly church members. When she and her husband moved away from Colorado Springs in 1919, Session drafted a letter of appreciation. They wrote: “Not only in your Bible class is there universal sorrow, but we believe that there are many members of the First Church who will miss you, for you have been in so many sick rooms, and given so many words of comfort, that they will not know just where to turn for like help and comfort.” The elders also acknowledged that she was instrumental in bringing several people to Christ and closed the letter by saying, “We are confident that there will be many stars in your crown.” And when she receives that crown in heaven, we will at last know her name. Dale McClure is the archivist for First Pres.
First Pres Shows its SIDE
By Lisa Hallock n Friday, May 3, the fourth annual Art Exhibition will begin at First Pres with an opening reception from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The exhibition, running through Monday, July 15, features artwork by members of the church and invited artists from the community. The artwork will include a variety of media such as watercolor, oil/acrylic/ mixed media, pastel, assemblage (stained glass, fabric hangings and ceramics), graphics and printmaking, photography, sculpture, woodcarving, beading and quilting. Previous exhibitions have displayed works from artists of all ages, from teenagers to octogenarians. Through shared artistic expression, participants have built relationships and have enriched one anotherâ€™s lives. As artists share their life journeys and convey their stories through a myriad of visual arts, we see Godâ€™s work in their lives and His wisdom, wonder, grandeur and diversity displayed in remarkable ways. The reception is free and open to the public. Please plan to attend and invite your friends. Music at the reception will be provided by members of the Peakharmonic Youth Orchestra.
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