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Mar. 10, 2010 QUICK CALENDAR

Mission Yearbook Prayer

Mar. 10, NOM Mtg. @FPC-Moore, 1p Mar. 11, CPM Mtg. @INP Office, 10a Mar. 16, CC Mtg. @Memorial, 10a Mar. 25, INP Foundation Mtg @INP, 1:30p Apr. 9-10, Leadership Retreat @INP Office (time TBD) Apr. 16-18, Youth Quake @Hinton, OK, 7p

Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you for the ministry to youth and young adults at Rainbow Glacier Camp. We ask that the congregations of the Presbytery of Alaska continue constant in your service and abide in your peace. Amen

Spotlight on Westminster Presbyterian Church Sincere thanks to The Rev. Dr. Bryan Eckelmann, Lisa Mencer, Linda Zahn and John Engell and all the staff and church members who graciously made the February, 26-27 2010 Stated Meeting a success. Dr. Eckelmann made Westminster available to host the meeting when Chisholm Trail-Yukon suffered ice storm damage. Among WPC's Service for Others program Westminster moms including Lori Randolph, Susan Turpin, and Sally Marso and Rose Lane (assistant director of Youth Ministries) donated time, money, supplies and goodies for 65 Valentine’s Day care packages which were sent to all of the church’s college students.

More Youth doings at Westminster: twelve eighth-grade students will be confirmed at the church on March 28. They have been preparing since January including going to classes, attending a retreat, giving community service and lots more. Congratulations!

Mission Projects ~~ Weatherford Federated After School ProgramThe After School Program provides a safe, nuturing environment for children who need assistance with their schoolwork. Meals on WheelsMembers volunteer to deliver Meals on Wheels during the month of June and at other times as needed. Food PantryMembers volunteer at the Food Pantry on scheduled basis. We also volunteer to sort food collected by the Weatherford USPS carriers which is donated to the Food Pantry, Catholic Church and Agape Clinic. Quilts for Shut-insLadies of the Church make quilts for our members who are in assisted living centers or nursing homes.


Easter Focus Grace and peace to you from Central Presbyterian Church. We have been serving Christ through worship, study, and mission for 102 years. Thoughts on Music and Liturgy for Easter by Jan McDaniel, Choir Director/Organist

Once more, the church around the world has entered the time of penance and preparation known as Lent. And the profound themes associated with the Lenten season have always produced great art whether it be painting, sculpture, drama, or music. Each year, we at Central Church sing some of the greatest hymns of all Christendom. As many of you know, my favorite hymn is one that we sing at this time of the year. The text was written in 1664 by Samuel Crossman, an Anglican priest from Suffolk, England. The tune associated with this poem was written by British composer John Ireland during lunch; Ireland scribbled staff lines and penned the melody on the back of a menu after being handed the poem by his friend Geoffrey Shaw. “Here is your tune,” Ireland is reported to have said as he pushed the menu across the table to Shaw. The Chancel Choir sang this as an anthem on the First Sunday of Lent, and it is my hope that we will sing the hymn at least once as a congregation before the season concludes. But I wanted to reprint the entire poem for you below. Perhaps you can meditate on these words during your Lenten meditation. I cannot imagine a better foundation upon which to build a meaningful Lenten attitude!

My song is love unknown, My Savior’ love to me; Love to the loveless shown, That they might lovely be. O who am I, that for my sake My Lord should take frail flesh and die? He came from his blest throne Salvation to bestow; But men made strange, and none The longed-for Christ would know: But O! my Friend, my Friend indeed, Who at my need his life did spend. Sometimes they strew his way, And his sweet praises sing; Resounding all the day Hosannas to their King Then “Crucify!” is all their breath, And for his death they thirst and cry. Why, what hath my Lord done? What makes this rage and spite He made the lame to run, They rise and needs will have My dear Lord made away; A murderer they save, The Prince of life they slay, Yet cheerful he to suffering goes, That he his foes from thence might free. In life, no house, no home My Lord on earth might have; In death no friendly tomb But what a stranger gave.

What may I say? Heav’ was his home; But mine the tomb wherein he lay. Here might I stay and sing, No story so divine; Never was love, dear King! Never was grief like thine. This is my Friend, In Whose sweet praise I all my days could gladly spend. He gave the blind their sight, Sweet injuries! Yet they at these Themselves displease, and ’ainst him rise. They rise and needs will have My dear Lord made away; A murderer they save, The Prince of life they slay, Yet cheerful he to suffering goes, That he his foes from thence might free. In life, no house, no home My Lord on earth might have; In death no friendly tomb But what a stranger gave. What may I say? Heav’ was his home; But mine the tomb wherein he lay. Here might I stay and sing, No story so divine; Never was love, dear King! Never was grief like thine. This is my Friend, In Whose sweet praise I all my days could gladly spend.


First Presbyterian Church of Ada ‘We are Proud of You’

A few weeks back, our Kids for Christ, had the wonderful idea (on their own) to hold a baby shower for the babies in Haiti. The shower was held at the church on Feb. 24, during the weekly ‘ednesday Night Live’program. Many people came and brought wonderful gifts and donations for the babies of Haiti. The project was a wonderful success. Kids, we are so proud of you!

The first gathering of Presbyterians in Ada met on March 31, 1898 in a two-story frame lodge building. This first gathering was in the name of the Cumberland church. While this church grew with the town, the First Presbyterian Church (U.S.) was formed on February 16, 1902.

Youth Quake

Indian Nations Presbytery's Retreat for 6th-12th Graders April 16 18, 2010 Canyon Camp, Hinton, OK Cost: $75 per person - Deadline to Register Group: March 22, 2010 -Group Supervision: 1 adult per every 5 youth required - Registration materials: Available at your church or www.okinp.org Youth groups will arrive between 6-8 PM on Friday, April 16 and we will be finished by 11 AM on Sunday, April 18. The theme is "In God We Trust." The keynote speaker is Josh Melcher of First United Methodist Church in Wichita, KS and the music/worship leader is Corey Fisher, who has led music at Dwight Mission and is a member of Memorial Presbyterian Church in Norman. The camp minister is Rev. Dr. Jim Burns and the camp nurse is Mimi Luna, RN. Co-Directors are Molly Rambur, Director of Children and Youth Ministries atMemorial Presbyterian in Norman and Rev. Everett Miller, Associate Pastor for Youth at First Presbyterian in Norman. There will be workshops this year and the massive game of Mission Impossible will make a comeback. Please contact Molly at mollybrambur@yahoo.com or Everett at youthpastoreverett@gmail.com with questions or concerns.


March 1 ‘We can heal the future’ Girl in Vietnam War photo uses her experiences to help children affected by war ue Boardman Special to Presbyterian News Service ATLANTA — The people of the North Avenue Presbyterian Church here have a passion for mission. That passion was nearly palpable when about 300 of them gathered Feb. 21for the second week of the church’s 53rd annual . Worship began with a compelling visual affirmation of the conference theme as the faces and voices of North Avenue, in all their diversity, claimed: Every day I will worship … grow … go. This night was about growing. And the speaker, Kim Phuc, was an expert. The world first met Kim Phuc in June of 1972 when a picture taken by Associated Press photographer Nick Ut changed both her life and the way the world sees war. The picture, of course, was the iconic shot of a little girl running, naked and screaming, from the napalm bombs rocking her village.[Read More.]

Presbyterians respond quickly to earthquake in Chile PDA working with partners, waiting for assessment of damage byBethany Furkin Presbyterian News Service LOUISVILLE — The earthquake that struck Chile Feb. 27 has killed more than 700 people, but that toll — like much of the information about the effects of the disaster — is expected to change. Presbytery Disaster Assistance (PDA) has committed $25,000 to its partners, Church World Service and the Lutheran World Federation. Those agencies are conducting a damage assessment in Chile and will report back in a few days, said PDA Coordinator Randy Ackley. “We have no idea yet what the full scope of this disaster is,” he said. The $25,000 comes from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s One Great Hour of Sharing offering, which is usually collected during Lent. [Read more.]

March 2 PC(USA) leaders ask for prayer in wake of Chilean earthquake PDA working with ecumenical partners to assess relief needs by Bethany Furkin Presbyterian News Service LOUISVILLE — Leaders in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have offered a prayerful statement in the wake of the earthquake that struck Chile Feb. 27. The statement is also available in Spanish. Presbyterian Disaster has committed funds to assessment work being done in Chile this week. More than 700 people are thought to have died from the earthquake, with 1.5 million homes having been destroyed. A situation report from PDA states that PDA is working with several ecumenical partners, including Church World Service and the Latin American Council of Churches. [Read more.]


GAMC forwards papers on Christian-Jewish and Christian-Muslim relations to GA Papers focus on theological understandings, seek to avoid politics by Jerry L. Van Marter Presbyterian News Service LOUISVILLE — The General Assembly Mission Council (GAMC) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has recommended to the upcoming 219th General Assembly approval “for study and reflection” a paper intended to “reexamine and strengthen the relationship between Christians and Jews.” “Christians and Jews: People of God” has grown out of eight meetings between PC(USA) theologians and representatives of the National Council of Synagogues and four larger consultations involving Presbyterian pastors, theologians and governing body staff members and rabbis from the Conservative, Reformed, Orthodox and Reconstructionist branches of Judaism. The paper — commissioned by the 2004 General Assembly in response to a controversial and now closed new church development in Philadelphia, Avodat Yisrael, that portrayed itself as a “Messianic synagogue — seeks to build on a 1987 paper, “A Theological Understanding of the Relationship between Christians and Jews.” The current paper, as well as the 1987 paper, is a theological document, not a political one, said the Rev. Joseph Small, director of the GAMC’s Theology Worship and Education ministries at the council’s Feb. 24-26 meeting here. “Biblical realities should not be read into contemporary political realities,” Small told the council’s Discipleship Committee. [Read more.]

March 3 GAMC approves guidelines for decision making ‘Fiscally sustainable’ decisions will ‘serve the mission of the whole church’ by Bethany Furkin Presbyterian News Service LOUISVILLE — After much discussion as a council and within its committees, the General Assembly Mission Council (GAMC) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved a set of 11 “guiding principles for planning decisions” Feb. 26. The guidelines aim to focus and prioritize the council’s service on “the mission of the whole church,” acknowledging that “there are good ministries that we can no longer support within the General Assembly Mission Council.” The most immediate use of the guidelines will be seen in the 2011-12 General Assembly Mission Budget. The GAMC will have to adopt that budget at its May meeting. In a Feb. 25 presentation to the council, Joey Bailey, the GAMC’s chief financial officer, showed projections that anticipate reduced unrestricted income of 15 percent in 2011 and 4 percent in 2012. One guideline states that the council will “operate according to fiscally sustainable principles in a commitment to live within our means and in alignment with funding trends.” [Read more.]

PC(USA) Stated Clerk issues call for end to violence against Christians in Mosul Urges leaders worldwide to speak out against violence toward all people of faith by Bethany Furkin Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — A leader in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has added his voice to those of other Christian leaders to call for an end to recent bursts of violence in northern Iraq.


The Rev. Gradye Parsons, stated clerk of the PC(USA)’s General Assembly, stated that the church urges U.S. and international leaders to speak out against all such religious violence. According to the Assyrian International News Agency, Chaldean Bishop Emil Shimoun Nona said that hundreds of Christian families left Mosul, Iraq, Feb. 24. They fled after a series of attacks that left five Christians and a family of five dead. Upcoming national elections March 7 are thought to be a catalyst for the violence — attackers could be hoping to benefit from the political instability caused by the attacks, the news agency reported. [Read more.]

Sowing seeds of the future PHP raises money for Haitian farmers to buy seeds by Jerry L. Van Marter Presbyterian News Service LOUISVILLE — With the spring planting season nearing in earthquake-stricken Haiti, an emergency effort to raise money for Haitian farmers to buy seeds is under way now through the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP). Corn and beans are typically planted in March when the spring rains begin on the island nation.PHP will release monies to FONDAMA, a national coalition of peasant farmers and rural organizations. The group partners with several U.S. congregations and individuals through PHP’s Joining Hands’ program, which advocates on issues determined by the farmers themselves. With the influx of displaced people to Haiti’s countryside, local food systems will be taxed to feed the increasing numbers of people who are leaving cities demolished by the January earthquake. [Read more.]

March 4 Heidelberg Catechism Special Committee approves final report Recommends extension to 2012 to explore joint translation with Reformed churches by Sharon Youngs Communications Coordinator Office of the General Assembly LOUISVILLE — The General Asembly Special Committee on Correcting Translation Problems of the Heidelberg Catechism has unanimously approved its final report to the 219th General Assembly (2010) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The report, approved March 2, recommends that the current special committee continue its work to 2012 in order to continue conversations with the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA) and the Reformed Church in America (RCA) about a joint translation of the Heidelberg Catechism. The report, approved March 2, recommends that the current special committee continue its work to 2012 in order to continue conversations with the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA) and the Reformed Church in America (RCA) about a joint translation of the Heidelberg Catechism. “The report brings great news to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.),” said the Reverend Neal D. Presa (Elizabeth Presbytery), who chairs the committee. Presa continued, “This group of fifteen ministers and elders, who represent a true cross-section of the PC(USA) in theological, gender, racial ethnic, and geographic diversity, unanimously approved the report. We are speaking with one voice, and our work together is demonstrative of the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” [Read more.]


Presbyterians favor pushing corporations not to promote violence Poll shows strong support for ‘two-state’ solution in Israel/Palestine by Jerry L. Van Marter Presbyterian News Service LOUISVILLE — At least two-thirds of Presbyterians believe the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) should try to dissuade corporations from doing things that “directly or indirectly” support violence against Israeli or Palestinian civilians, and at least three in five Presbyterians believe that the denomination should shift its investment funds away from corporations that continue to support such violence despite pleas to stop. These are findings of the August 2009 Presbyterian Panel survey of representative samples of members, elders, pastors, and other ministers. “Presbyterians don’t want companies supporting violence in the Middle East,” said Perry Chang, Panel administrator. “And they don’t think we should keep our investments in companies that continue to do so.” The denomination currently avoids investments in corporations involved in alcohol, tobacco, gambling, militaryrelated production, and human rights violations. [Read more.]

March 5 East Study Committee approves final report & recommendations to General Assembly First of report’s three parts released today by Sharon Youngs Communications Coordinator Office of the General Assembly LOUISVILLE — After almost two years of study, travel and discussion, the Middle East Study Committee of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has approved its final report to the 219th General Assembly(2010). The report, “Breaking Down Walls,” will be released in three parts. The first part of the report, which contains the introduction and a series of letters to multiple audiences, is now available at www.pcusa.org/middleeastpeace. “We begin our report with these letters because we recognize that our ministry must be focused on relationships,” said the Rev. Ron Shive, chairman of the committee. “Our primary audience is the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). But we know that others are eager to read our report and will bring their own expectations. We want to speak directly to them so that they hear the rest of what we say in light of this conversation.” [Read more.]

GAMC approves new strategic direction for Presbyterian World Mission Goal for next 3-5 years is developing ‘communities of mission practice’ by Jerry L. Van Marter Presbyterian News Service LOUISVILLE — The General Assembly Mission Council (GAMC) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has adopted a “strategic direction” for its Presbyterian World Mission (PWM) over the next three to five years that seeks to knit together the myriad ways Presbyterians are engaged in mission around the world into “communities of mission practice.”


The new strategic direction acknowledges the “massive” shift since roughly 1960 “from one highly centralized agency into thousands of highly decentralized agencies” that “invites Presbyterian World Mission to reform its self-understanding and the focus of its work to include many U.S. Presbyterian mission constituents…” states a background paper accompanying the two-page strategy paper. “We know that there are hundreds of valid international mission agencies out there doing good work,” PWM Director Hunter Farrell told the GAMC’s Evangelism Committee Feb. 25. “We also know that brand loyalty is less of a factor, so we began work on the strategic plan about two and a half years ago.” During that time, Farrell said, PWM has consulted with more than 900 global partners, PC(USA) mission personnel, mission leaders around the denomination, ecumenical colleagues and other PC(USA) leaders. Seventeen “white papers” on various aspects of mission were developed to guide the deliberations and PWM officials “looked at regional priorities around the world,” he added. [Read more.]

Eugene Peterson wins top writing honor ‘The Message’ author to accept Writers Guild award at 2010 GA by Jerry L. Van Marter Presbyterian News Service LOUISVILLE — The Rev. Eugene Peterson, author of Gold Medallion Book Award-winning The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language, has been named recipient of the David Steele Distinguished Writer Award by the Presbyterian Writers Guild (PWG). The biennial award — named after the late poet, essayist and humorist the Rev. R. David Steele — will be presented at the PWG’s General Assembly July 8 luncheon during the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s 219th General Assembly in Minneapolis. In a prolific career spanning more than 30 years, Peterson has written more than 30 books, including three series — five volumes on pastoral theology and five volumes on spiritual theology for Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, and the six-volume Praying With the Bible series for Harper San Francisco. Peterson is probably best known for The Message: The Bible in Comtemporary Language (Navpress Publishing Group, 2002), which was written to make the original meaning more understandable and accessible to the modern reader. [Read more.]

Partners with a purpose Presbyterians, Lutherans start new church development for Hispanic population in New Mexico by Toni Montgomery Presbyterian News Service STATESVILLE, N.C. — All good ideas have their time to come alive. For more than a decade, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America had been in conversation about starting a ministry for immigrants in New Mexico, but things just never came together. But the churches never forgot about the idea, and the pieces finally did fall into place, forming the Camino de Vida new church development. Both churches saw the need for a Hispanic ministry in the Albuquerque area. [Read more.]


Issue: 293

March 8, 2010

STATIONS OF THE SEARCH by John Vonhof How would your church and its board react if your pastor announced today that he or she had accepted a call and would be leaving in two months? Could you manage the journey with the capable effort it deserves? When your pastor announces that he or she is leaving, whether by retiring or by accepting a call to another church, your congregation embarks on a journey with many way stations. The period of ministry with your church is ending, and another ministry will begin. Closure is necessary. Church boards should acknowledge this change in pastoral leadership with special worship services, a potluck, an open house, or other celebration or recognition. Board members will focus on the termination with the current pastor. They might help determine a ministry ending date, decide whether a parting gift will be given, plan the events to say good-bye, reassure the congregation that the board is in control, and of course support the pastor as he or she prepares to leave. And now the road winds towards uncertainty. The period of vacancy and search will be trying to many. Some will leave your church; others will experience crisis and ask why God has taken away the pastor they had grown to love. Many will step up to make sure your church's ministry continues at its present level of excellence. Continue Reading "Stations of the Search"

NEW BOOK! The Pastoral Search Journey: A Guide to Finding Your Next Pastor by John Vonhof It's not a common occurrence to seek out a new pastor, so pastoral search committees can sometimes feel as though they are inventing the process from scratch. In The Pastoral Search Journey, John Vonhof provides detailed guidance for search committees to ensure a good match between pastor and congregation. This is Vonhof's third book about the pastoral search--but the first to discuss interim pastors, transitions between pastors, and the use of the Internet and digital media. "This book attends to the emotional and relational needs of both congregation and pastor in a time of transition while providing a rich supply of practical resources, adaptable for almost any denominational system." --Judith Schwanz author of Blessed Connections: Relationships That Sustain Vital Ministry


FEATURED RESOURCES A Change of Pastors... And How it Affects Change in the Congregation Beginning Ministry Together: The Alban Handbook for Clergy Transitions

So You're on the Search Committee

When God Speaks through Change: Preaching in Times of Congregational Transition

The Alban Institute | AlbanRoundtable Blog | Congregational Resource Guide


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