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pcpc Vol. XXII, No. 2 • Park Cities Presbyterian Church (Presbyterian Church in America) • MAY 2011

Looking back now, it is clear that God had a plan for us all along. Perhaps we should have known He would do things in a most unpredicatable way. What made the formation of Park Cities Presbyterian Church so unusual was that it happened so suddenly, without any real human plans in place. There was no minister, no staff, no one with much experience in such things. In fact, no one hoping to start a new church in a big city like Dallas would ever do it this way; but it could not have worked out better.

”He has caused His wondrous works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful.” Psalm 111:4

A costly but priceless renovation of the heart 4 Church plant in North Dallas celebrates


Finding a new freedom behind bars


Women spend weekend in the Word


Javier learns an eternal language at ESL


For Micah, adoption conference is worth it


Army of servants heads to West Dallas


Interceding for those in need of justice


Following our Rabbi in this century and culture 12 Gospel alive and well in ravaged Haiti 14 A new ministry to Lao youth in our midst


Opening young hearts to the joy of missions 16 Teachers renewed while teaching our toddlers 17 Youth learn compassion as they learn to see 18 Knowing the Solid Rock as time rolls on


Childcare is available for children birth through kindergarten— call 214-706-2797 by Thursday, May 12 Questions? contact or 214-224-2632.



PCPC met as a church for worship the first time on May 19, 1991. Our celebration of 20 years of God’s great grace to us and His ministry through us begins with the Praise and Prayer service on May 15 and continues into the fall with an all-church event in October. In order to celebrate the future the Lord has for us, we should

first look back to those early days and be encouraged by God’s amazing grace to this body of believers. The following article (edited for length) offers a snapshot of our beginnings. It was originally published in the national magazine of the Presbyterian Church in America, the denomination that PCPC joined within months of its formation. It was called “Tracks up the Mountain.”

In our former church, many of us were concerned about the policies and practices of the denomination. Over a period of several months, meetings were held to discuss our questions, and eventually it came down to a vote to see whether the church would remain in the PC(USA) or seek a new affiliation more suited to our evangelical beliefs grounded in the historic, confessional Presbyterian tradition. Fifty-seven percent of the members actually voted for the change, but by the rules of the denomination, a 66 percent vote was needed to authorize such a transfer. Within hours after the vote, a continued on page 2

20th Anniversary continued from page 1

meeting called by word-of-mouth took place to discuss our options.

The first Women in the Church Board, 1991: front (l to r), Nina Thompson, Judi Clifford, Laney Koenig, Carole Chiles; back, Barbara Shawver, Peggy Skidmore, Mary McGill, Gail Heinonen, Barbara Stewart

What could we do? Where would we go? It was decided to arrange a worship service at the local high school auditorium to meet with others of like mind and discuss the possibility of a new church.

A commitment to prayer

Prayer became the foundation for everything. With the meeting place arranged, Dr. Luder Whitlock, president of Reformed Theological Seminary, agreed to give the sermon. Music was to be provided by two talented members of the congregation [Jenni Till Rasberry and Stephen Nielson]. Each step was an answer to prayer. But would anybody come? Elder David Burgher, who had been asked to give the pastoral prayer, describes what happened at that first meeting. “I was sitting on the stage with Luder Whitlock when the first few people started filing into the auditorium. After a few minutes there were 300 or so, and Luder asked me, ‘David, how many people are you expecting?’

Dealing with reality

New blessings just kept pouring out on the fledgling body as volunteers stepped forward to manage church business, Sunday school, and every area of logistics. Miraculously, during the second week, a nearby Baptist church offered to share its facilities until we could find a home. Dr. Whitlock agreed to serve as interim minister during that first summer, and then Dr. Grady Crosland took on the responsibility for filling the pulpit. Thirty-nine men graciously responded to his requests that first year.

“I said, ‘Maybe 400. I don’t really know.‘ But they kept coming, and before long the room was completely full, with more than 1,500 people. More than 100 people were packed into the lobby. It was standing room only, and there was not a dry eye in the house.”

Without a pastor, the congregation conducted its business, elected a session, chose its name, petitioned the PCA for membership, and inducted its first 1,250 charter members. Elder Jim Chenoweth described the first year of the session’s

Another elder, Robert Mighell, was the first to speak. He looked around the room and said, “Hallelujah!” More than 1,500 voices responded, “Hallelujah!”

work as “laying the tracks as fast as we could for the runaway train coming up just behind!”

“It was overwhelming,” said Burgher. “As I looked out across that incredible group of people, I knew that prayer was the catalyst that accessed the power and reality of God’s grace to make something like this happen.”

Then, after a thorough search, the pulpit committee recommended the first minister to visit Park Cities, the Rev. Joseph F. (Skip) Ryan from Charlottesville, VA. Skip Ryan accepted the congregation’s call and preached his inaugural sermon to a packed house on April 5, 1992.

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Worship: the Priority

In his first sermon our new pastor spoke of the many mountaintop encounters of God and His people in scripture. He then declared that “worship is the most important thing we will ever do as a church. It is our center. It is our identity. It is who we are as we meet God on the mountaintop.” We would seek to be people who go faithfully to where God’s presence is revealed in the glory of Jesus Christ. We are called there to listen, ready to be surprised, ready to obey, but never bored in the presence of such glory! Skip warned us that no programs, plans, or activities at PCPC will ultimately bear fruit unless they are responses to God’s revelation of Himself. Skip’s leadership immediately began to help us crystallize the vision we believe God has for our body. We started looking farther out and plotting where our tracks should go. They would always run in the mountains, with ready access to the peaks, yet stretch far beyond our place of worship. They would go over some hills and around others. Some valleys in between could not be avoided if we were to be faithful in reaching the destination given us. Not long after Skip’s arrival, the session approved our statement of purpose: “Park Cities Presbyterian Church exists to extend the transforming presence of the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ in Dallas and to the world.” PCPC WITNESS WITNESS PCPC

That covers our worship, church and home life, our troubled city, and our needy world. Every member will be needed!

Responding then and now

Looking back at how PCPC came about, and seeing how God has been revealing His special plans for us, we can only go up the mountain for worship and remain a people of prayer. The practical and daily requirements are unrelenting, and very real. But what they support is a church where God is exalted; and that is the most gratifying part of what is happening here. For God has been honored, and He has moved in our very midst. We worship Him for that. How else could we respond in the face of such a miracle? —Jim Nelson Black and Terri Speicher

Above (l to r), the first PCPC Session with our new senior pastor in 1992: front: Ron Wideman, Jim Chenoweth, Robert Mighell, David Burgher, Boots Nowlin; middle: Arthur Wood, Bob Rasberry, Skip Ryan, Rick Laymon, Bill Hill; back: Bill Farrell, Henry Morgan, Pete Deison, Harry Hargrave, John Denman Right, the first VBS was held in 1993. Here a group celebrates how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. PCPC PCPC WITNESS WITNESS


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Jesus asked Peter, “So, could you not watch with Me one hour?” Well, I sure couldn’t. After ten minutes of prayer, I wouldn’t know what to say or I would fall asleep.


The Men’s Prayer Group started last September with Mark Davis stressing these preliminaries: 1) Find a place to pray where you will not be distracted and will feel comfortable speaking out loud; 2) Find a time to pray every day, seven days a week, no exceptions; and 3) Make it the most important appointment on your calendar.

an index card with an outline of our prayer focus for the week and instructions for each day of the week. These tools encourage me to do those things that I would not be inclined to do on my own. We all need our Teacher. Mark and Pete lead us; but it is the Holy Spirit who teaches and reminds us. He gave to Mark and Pete the call to communicate it to all of us there who break into groups and pray together following the instruction.

The impact

This was hard for me—not that I had a busy calendar—but finding the place. I don’t have a prayer closet where my wife and I live. Where could I go to pray where I would not disturb my wife and she would not distract me? This took some time to figure out, but I believe God selected 5:00 am for me when she is still sleeping. It is God’s grace that gets me up each morning. That was the first hurdle.

I cannot say that I am happier as a result of this study; I cannot say things are easier; and I cannot say that I have fewer difficulties. In many respects things have become more difficult. But I should not be surprised by this.

What I have learned

So what does one say for an hour? I think this is hard for men because we just don’t have that many words! Pete Deison taught us to pray God’s words. This was a tremendous revelation to me. OK, so I am playing back to Him His own words, praising Him with His words, thanking Him with His words, confessing my sins with His words, and worshiping Him with His words. When I pray God’s words, it is always fresh and cannot be exhausted. And when I pray God’s words, I begin to perceive by His Spirit what His thoughts are on a matter. Prayer is a long road and I know this side of heaven it will always be a learning experience for a Christian, for He is inexhaustible.

First, when I pray, “Lord, revive Thy work in me,” and “Lord, renovate my heart,” exactly what do I expect Him to do? Our Father is indeed the Master Designer, and when He renovates, as C. S. Lewis said, He doesn’t just hang up curtains and put on a new coat of paint; He starts knocking out walls and changing the floor plan. He begins to prepare us for His habitation, and He intends for it to be perfect. It’s a painful process.

a perspective

I am learning that prayer is indeed a two way-conversation. When you pray God’s words, you can already hear, in a sense, what He is saying. I am learning to be quiet and to meditate on His Word. This is where I begin to hear God’s voice within my own heart. And now what I hear in my own heart is trustworthy, because they are again His own words from the Bible being brought back to my remembrance by the Holy Spirit. Each Tuesday morning we are given some instruction for about 25 minutes along with

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Second, the enemy doesn’t want us to pray. Prayer is our intimate communion with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is an intimate communion and our strength, because He is our strength. I have been attacked more in my mind with temptations, lustful thoughts, vain imaginations, critical thoughts of others, and accusations against me because the enemy hates my communion with the Lord. Some days I am brought low with shame remembering some of the things I have done or neglected, then on some days I have a peace and a joy that I cannot explain. Then the renovations start again. I know now better than I have ever known before that Jesus is with me, that He will never leave me, and He will never forsake me. I trust Him more, and His rod and His staff, they comfort me. I feel a firmer footing. —Frank Zerangue



Providential planting

PCPC has planted 103 churches since 1997 as part of its 2020 Vision to extend the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. In 2005 our session called for a large number PCPC families to plant a new church in North Dallas under the leadership of David Rea. Here is the exciting story of its last five years!


On Sunday, January 22, 2006, my family and I attended the very first Providence Sunday School class at PCPC. It is hard to believe that five years have passed since that day! We knew David and Stefani Rea from his years as the RUF minister at SMU, and we were looking forward to sitting under David’s teaching in this setting. During our first eight months, the church plant met as a Sunday School class at what was then the Park Place Motors building across Oak Lawn from PCPC. We soon transitioned from that location, in September, 2006, to Franklin Middle School at Hillcrest and Meadow. And on Sunday, January21, 2007 (almost one year after it began), Providence Presbyterian Church particularized at a service at PCPC, which means PPC became self-sustaining and elected its first elders. We found many challenges in not having a building of our own, such as having no midweek events or services during Advent and Holy Week. Also, PCPC WITNESS

the pastors were located in a separate office building until just recently. I would say, however, for me, the most difficult transition was not seeing our PCPC friends each week.

Finally, a church home

But on Christmas Eve of last year we enjoyed the wonderful privilege of worshipping in our very own church building! I have been amazed watching all the Lord has provided for our small church plant as we moved away from PCPC. When the property for our current location was found on Royal and Midway, a complete tear down of the existing building was planned. That plan was eventually revised, but you would never know this wasn’t the original plan all along. The building is a renovation, but it looks brand new. The Sanctuary seats about 400 comfortably. In the north wing there are eight children’s classrooms, while the south wing houses the administrative offices and four adult classrooms. Ever since our first Sunday in the new building, we are putting it to good use, with Bible studies during the week, our first midweek rehearsals of our choral ensemble, and youth activities. Current projects include finishing our new playground and expanding our parking lot.


Ronnie Rowe reads scripture during a worship service.

We have many new families coming to PPC, many of whom have had relationships with David through RUF. We also have many families from PCPC involved in the ministry here. Our elders include Wes Boyd and Chris Floyd. Janet Lewis teaches in the middle school Sunday school class, while Dick Lewis is one of our deacons. Brady Sparks is teaching a Bible study during the week. Jonathan Smith is our music director and his wife, Jill, is our pianist every week. Hannah Mowrey is directing one of our newly formed children’s choirs. Through these years we have added to our pastoral staff to support David in teaching and preaching. Ronnie Rowe joined PPC as Assistant Pastor after ten years as the Southwest Area Coordinator for RUF. And in July, PPC will be welcoming another assistant pastor, currently the RUF campus minister at TCU, Rob Hamby. It is humbling to see the Lord’s hand in His provision through the early years of Providence Presbyterian Church. As we settle into our permanent location, we are praying to be a presence in our new neighborhood to draw people to the Lord. While we are settling in, we will never forget our roots at PCPC. —Nancy Heath MAY 2011

Women’s prison ministry

Lord, are You here?


Never do I remember a time when I was drawn to a prison ministry. A year ago, however, I was feeling a strong pull to pour into others outside my family. That’s when I discovered PCPC’s prison ministry to the female inmates at the Dawson State Jail, located near downtown Dallas. One morning in the God Pod unit at Dawson and I was hooked! I remember entering with fear and trepidation, completely unfamiliar with the world of prisons, sensing a cold, hard, dangerous place filled with uncertainty. First, I have to make it through the security check: “Put your belt, keys, pen, Bible, and shoes in the basket. Now walk through the metal detector. Turn around, arms out.” They check me for contraband. “OK, you’re good to go.” Soon I am riding up the stark elevator with other volunteers—veterans at this prison Bible study who chat with the “rookies” in an effort to calm us. All the while I am silently praying “Lord, what in the world are You doing, bringing me here?” As we exit on the eighth floor, I see only sterile, whitewashed prison walls and rows of locked doors. We come to the next guard, hear a click, enter through a door, and wait for the click again which locks that door behind us. Then, more guarded, locked doors, waiting for click after click as we go deeper into the bowels of Dawson State Jail. “Lord, are You here?”

Light pierces the darkness The final door unlocks, and I step into a new world, a brightly colored prison unit surrounded by bunk beds on the edges and picnic tables in the center. But all I feel at that moment is a room overflowing with the presence of the Holy Spirit. I literally have to stop and catch my breath. The bright blue walls are painted with colorful, childlike Bible scenes: oceans and fish, trees, flowers and birds all flourishing under a bright yellow sun. Only two small windows hint at life outside the unit. Then I see the inmates—54 women all dressed in matching white jumpsuits. They are old and young, big and small, from every ethnicity. Some are smiling and talking, others are waiting patiently for Bible study to begin. Each are preparing, in their own way, to welcome us into their temporary home. These women are beautiful! “Lord, help me. I don’t know what to say!” God places Ephesians 6:19-20 on my heart: “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” No problem! These inmates are so hungry to learn more about the love of Christ that they draw me right in. I sense, at that moment, they believe in me more than I believe in myself.

Betsy Keith (center) studies with her God Pod friends

During our small group sessions, I began to sense their brokenness, shame and guilt, and the pain and hardships they have endured. They have hit rock bottom and have nowhere to go but up. I’m more like them than I previously realized. I also began to see their hope and rediscover my own. These dear ladies cling to every word of scripture, every encouraging comment—ever so slowly beginning to grasp the reality that they are daughters of the King— pure and holy and forgiven when they repent and believe in Christ. It is a beautiful thing to watch and a privilege to be a part of. I am humbled every week by the ladies in the God Pod: by the young woman who eagerly accepted her very first Bible; by a leader on the unit who always has a smile and an encouraging word for others; by “Kelly,” who was raised to not trust others and has never had a friend; by “Janice,” who writes eloquent poetry with beautiful scripture woven throughout; by the woman who identifies herself as “the bad twin”; by the 4’10” truck-driving grandmother (I love her spunk!); by “Debra,” at 81, who is loved and cared for by the others as if she were their own grandmother. I’m humbled by the ladies who, week after week, stand before us all and recite scripture by memory and encourage and support each other as sisters, part of a unique family. I sense that God is well pleased. I have much to learn in the God Pod, like loving more deeply, being less critical and more compassionate. I’m learning what grace really looks like and to be more bold in sharing my faith. I’m learning not to worry so much about the little things in life and to be more thankful for the blessings of each day and the freedoms I enjoy. What a journey it has been loving and serving these inmates! It didn’t take me long to figure it all out. Lord, You knew exactly what You were doing, sending me to Dawson. Thank you for this rich gift—for allowing me to share your love with these women and for blessing me abundantly more than I could have dreamed by knowing these precious sisters in Christ. Amen. —Betsy Keith

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Women in the Word: A Workshop

How I almost missed a central idea


The blurb in a November’s This Week was captivating to me: “Have you ever wondered about a practical way to talk about scripture with your neighbor? Perhaps you always wanted to know how to apply the Word of God to everyday life situations. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to have confidence leading a small group in your home, teaching a lesson from the Bible in front of a larger group, or giving a thoughtful answer to a question from a skeptic. If so, this conference is just the place for you!” I thought to myself: Wow, this is just what I need—practical help to prepare me for my new ministry with Apartment Life. Hopefully, in the apartment community at Gables Highland Park, I will meet neighbors who might want me to lead a small group Bible study or I might encounter an antagonistic neighbor. My tools need sharpening. This conference is just the thing!

—in my own life

myself that I would cancel later when I had a few extra minutes. I stuck the papers in my Bible. Matthew 6:33 popped into my head: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God…” Every time I opened my Bible, the papers fell out and haunted me. I was surprised by how strong my fear of man/fear of rejection was. Yes, public speaking is man’s #1 fear, but I thought I had conquered that in my speaking ministry. Plus, I reasoned again, I did not have time to prepare. Again, I did not have time to cancel.

Most of the time we listened to Constance Wieler, who took us through the book of Haggai. She skillfully disclosed glorious New Testament meanings in this minor Old Testament prophet.

I knew the approaching holiday season, a January wedding, and a household move would leave me little time for study, but I was sold. My excitement overcame my reluctance and I signed up for the January event: Women in the Word: A Workshop.

Next, I read that I would be evaluated on my presentations. Now I really did not have time for this. Deep-seated fear began to surface. I mumbled to

Kay taught us that however interesting material is, if it does not fit under the umbrella of the central theme, the audience may be confused. Since the main idea of all of scripture is Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the main idea of any passage is Jesus. The challenge is to determine how the passage points to Him. A teacher who understands the importance of the main idea will often state it clearly at the beginning, which has the effect of setting up a mental file folder for the information to follow. The teacher then limits remarks to those that pertain to the central theme.

The blurb continued: “Study groups are included so that we can practice the skills of sound interpretation. You will be assigned passages of scripture to study in advance of the workshop.”

Fear tries to rule When the thick envelope arrived in December’s Christmas mail, my enthusiasm turned to dread. Somehow, I had missed the word workshop! I did not have time to study two Bible passages, identify the central idea, and prepare five-minute lessons for each. I felt I had made a mistake.

The two-day workshop finally arrived. It opened with a thought-provoking three-minute video by Tim Keller speaking of how Old Testament characters and stories foreshadow Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Then PCPC Bible teacher Kay Gabrysch shared an inspiring message, “What’s The Big Idea?” Kay gave three practical reasons for teachers to have a central idea: Speaker Focus, Speaker Sanity, and Listener Clarity.

Constance Wieler

Clearly my fear was common. The instructions read: “Pray that your main concern will be to understand the text and communicate the main idea rather than be concerned with putting together a ‘good’ presentation.” Excitement takes over I began to pray. Amidst my busyness I found pockets of time for study. God started replacing my anxiety with excitement about what I was learning and getting to share it.



Relying on the main theme The study group sessions for which I had harbored such fear, turned out to be my favorite part. The six ladies in my group all confessed that they, too, had felt scared and wanted to cancel. We were all surprised at our nervousness about being evaluated and laughingly confessed that fear of man had been our main theme. I am grateful for the tools and the reminder to seek the main theme first. In scripture as in life, Jesus Christ is the central idea. —Ruth Meek MAY2011 2011 MAY

ESL speaks a heavenly language


Javier Quinteria was new to the ESL program this past September. He could speak almost no English when he first enrolled, and though he didn’t have time to learn much in the short time he was with us, through his experiences he touched the lives of many, and ministry flourished. Javier had been absent from class for a couple of weeks, but one late October morning he appeared again, wearing a baseball hat to cover a scar on the side of his head. Though his level 1 teachers spoke little Spanish, he managed to communicate that doctors had removed a cyst, and through an MRI scan, had discovered that he had brain cancer.

Javier’s class prayed for him, and students from other classes became concerned when Javier missed the next day of classes. He returned for the following class, still wearing the baseball cap. That day we all met together following classes to sing a praise song. Several students surrounded Javier and prayed for him.

Peace not as the world gives

That was the last day that Javier ever came to class. Students and teach-

ers signed cards for him, and a few students visited him in the hospital. Ricardo Ortiz announced one morning that Javier was at peace even through his long treatments, now that he knew the Lord. What? I had not known that Albert, a PCPC sexton who is also an ESL student, had led Javier to the Lord following our praise service on his last day of class. Throughout this experience our students showed an outpouring of love.

He didn’t stay for classes that day, but let he us know that his ride to Parkland would come by to pick him up from our church—the only church home he would know in Dallas. He came by my desk in the hallway to show me his scar. Ricardo Ortiz, a level 3 student and a volunteer with our program, engaged Javier in conversation in Spanish, and the three of us went to our knees in prayer; we were soon joined by Pastor Julian Russell.

Blake and Jennifer talked about various notes and chords. By the end of the hour, Jennifer could play “Smoke on the Water.” Although Jennifer was shy and anxious to talk at the beginning of the lesson, she was all smiles and giggles by the end.

Above, Gracie McCormack (center), a high school senior who volunteers with ESL Kid-Care, recruited a classmate, Blake Zerdoon, to teach Jennifer some basics on guitar. Jennifer’s mom had told Gracie of Jennifer’s desire to play.

How gently the Lord must teach all of us how to follow Him. At first it can be uncomfortable or even painful, like getting callouses on fingers that haven’t played guitar before; however, with practice and patience, it becomes sweet and beautiful music. —Kathy Dunn

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Remarkably, except for a couple of students, no one had known Javier prior to our classes. One evening, a student who had never met Javier asked me for a large envelope. He put $6 in it, fumbled in his pockets for more and said that he would bring more money later in the week. A line of students formed behind him, some with $1, $2, or even $10—whatever they had. They had learned that Javier had been supporting his family in Mexico and that he could no longer work. Shortly thereafter Javier’s wife arrived in Dallas, and at his request, took him home to Mexico. A few days later, the Lord took him to his eternal home. Javier’s rebirth began at PCPC ESL through God’s sovereign plan. —Kathy Dunn PCPC WITNESS

It was worth it!

Attendees talk with an adoption agency representative

First adoption conference held at PCPC


If one child is adopted through our efforts with this conference, it will be worth it. During preparations for the first conference on adoption at PCPC, that one thought kept crossing my mind. On February 18 and 19, families interested in adoption came from all over the Metroplex, and even from Houston! They heard about everything concerning adoption: the need for adoption, God’s heart for adoption, adopting domestically and internationally, adopting the special needs child, the impact that adoption can have on your family, and practical steps in beginning the process. We also had a parents panel where frank questions were asked and answered concerning fears surrounding the whole process. On Saturday, agencies were on hand to answer specific questions that prospective adoptive parents had.

Adoption is scary!

It is a great pit of the unknown. You are scared to death about who the mother of this child is going to be. Will she be healthy carrying my child? Will the baby be healthy? What will he look like? Will she be cute? Will people stare at us? How can we afford it? Will my child have developmental or behavioral problems? Will I love him? While preparing to speak at the conference, I got scared— really scared that God was going to do something to my heart as I started walking down this road of thinking about adoption again. I continued to pray. I continued to study. I continued to research all about the plight of the orphan and God’s heart for the orphan. As I was reading Adopted For Life, by Russell Moore (a must read, by the way), God taught me that if we continue to pray about adoption, and it is His plan for our family, He will change our hearts to make it happen. God also shared with me that an adopted child will never seem like a consolation prize. I knew all this! We have already adopted once. Caleb Porter is not our consolation prize. He is our beloved son, a tremendous blessing, a gift from God to us that we would never give up!

You would think we had figured it out. But no, those same fears crept up on me again. Satan hates orphans, and he really hates adoption. Satan does not want the people of God modeling on earth Jesus’ adoption of us! The enemy seeks to make the process extremely scary and intimidating so that no one will seek to care for the orphan as God commands. And so I realized we were about to miss it! But by the grace of God, He removed the scales from our eyes, and we will not miss out on His blessing. Reid and I are expecting again. We will be adopting a little girl this time. She is Chinese, and her name is Micah. Please pray for us as we enter into this process again. Please pray for Micah—wherever she may be right now. Reid and I see the need for orphans to be adopted, but more than that, we realize that if we don’t adopt this little girl, we will be missing out on His gracious blessing for our family. Praise be to our God in heaven, the Father to the fatherless, for showing us the light again. The adoption conference was worth it. By the grace of God, many more children, in addition to our precious Micah, will be adopted because of this conference. —Ellen Porter

A hall table displayed the photos of several adopted children in the PCPC family.


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former drug houses. The prayer walk was concluded with a neighborhood block party.

Right after the gathering fellowship time at the church, and in less than two hours, members from the 60+ Community assembled 2,000 sandwiches which were distributed to all the various locations for all the workers’ lunches.

Volunteers from Builders of Hope and PCPC were elated when they were joined by 15 volunteers from Union Gospel Mission. Together, they tore down one house, painted another, and landscaped a third.

At Advocates for Community Transformation (ACT), volunteers went on a justice prayer walk in the neighborhood where other volunteers were working with Builders of Hope to tear down four

The Young Adults class, along with several other PCPC volunteers, helped reorganize a 2,000-square-foot warehouse at Dallas Leadership Foundation (DLF). Some of the volunteers had so much fun they returned a few days later to finish the project.


Two groups of volunteers served at Adult Rehabilitation Ministry (ARM). One assembled welcome bags for new residents. The other group started remodeling a house that will be used by six to twelve new residents.



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A group of volunteers deep cleaned and reorganized rooms at Dallas Pregnancy Resource Center (DPRC), while others created gift bags for new mothers and children.


The Go! Group led the team at Exodus that transformed the donation center back into a livable apartment.

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m iss io n

of th e


Beyond Ourselves is the place you want to be in late February if you want to see what God is doing through PCPC in Dallas and the surrounding communities. On Saturday, February 26, 850 volunteers from PCPC and 750 from the community worked at 15 locations to complete 60 projects. Meals were shared, relationships were built, and many memories were made.

The West Dallas Community School team

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Projects at Interfaith Housing were a collaborative effort. The Young Couples Community, Young Women’s Bible study and other PCPC members joined Interfaith Housing’s youth and children’s ministry and youth from Young Life West Dallas to deep clean the facilities, landscape, and prepare apartments for new occupants. PCPC hosted lunch on the grounds. Volunteers at Mercy Street prepared Easter projects and organized the kitchen. In addition, they grilled hot dogs for children participating in the Saturday school at Carver Elementary School. The Vineyard Class and other PCPC members cleaned hallways, classrooms, and the auditorium at Carver Elementary and did a large gardening project in the courtyard. The Shepherds of Souls (SOS) class cleaned hallways and windows at Pinkston High School as an incentive for 300 students who were preparing to take the TAKS test the next week. Hot dogs and hamburgers were shared by volunteers and students. The Tuesday Night Bible study deep cleaned the Center of Hope shelter, worked on landscaping and had a cookout. The New Creations Class washed windows, shampooed carpets, organized areas, and painted locker room floors at Union Gospel Mission—Calvert place. At the end of the day they shared a meal together.


At Voice of Hope, PCPC youth prepared and delivered fruit baskets for 50 families. Volunteers read to children in the reading program. Others cleaned vans and made hygiene kits. They also stained a recently installed door at a local church. The group finished the day with a meal. Eighty PCPC volunteers came together with 50 volunteers from the community at West Dallas Community School and washed windows, cleaned classrooms, hallways and so much more. But it was really Jesus Christ who did all this— by the power of His Spirit in the lives of His people. —Julia Lawrence and Christiana Spruill George Hanson, with nephews Blake and Davis Malouf, and Tracy Wood clean at Interfaith Housing.

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In the Rabbi’s steps


All eyes are on Jesus at Bible Alive conference

I didn’t really know what to expect at Bible Alive, but I suspected it would involve maps. Instead, it turned out to be similar to the cherished conversations I had with my mom, which usually began with, “Mom, what was it like when you were a kid?” I would sit at her feet completely entranced as she described her childhood in Chicago in the 1940s during World War II. I learned every major battle along with its political aftermath and the reactions on the home front through the eyes of my mom and dad and their families’ experiences. I am a huge fan of history, but it’s the history I heard from my parents that truly resonates with me because I “lived” it through their telling of it. In my head, I’ve observed how the Bible must be similar. It’s in the Bible we learn about who God is, who God’s adversary is, our rebellion or mutiny against God, the consequences of mutiny which defines our human condition, and our Rescuer and His plan for our restoration to Himself. Our rich spiritual history, identity, rituals, the wisdom that guides us and the hope that comforts us—all are recorded in the Bible. It’s our cherished family album. It is our Father’s words for us. And yet, I’ve never experienced the Bible in this way until recently.

Discipleship as a vocation

At the Bible Alive conference, Doug Greenwold shared details about the geography of the Promised Land and told us about the culture and some of the local customs that existed in Jesus’ lifetime. He showed us pictures of Jesus’ homeland and told us stories about what it was like for Him when He walked on earth as a man. I was quite moved by what we learned about discipleship as understood in the observant Jewish community of Jesus’ day. Discipleship wasn’t a part-time job, passing interest, or hobby. Discipleship was apprenticeship toward a vocation. To become a disciple, boys had to show an aptitude for learning and be accepted by a

prominent rabbi for instruction. When a rabbi accepted a disciple, he would say, “Follow me.” Once a disciple, the boy accepted everything his rabbi believed and taught. He spent every waking minute seeking to understand God’s Word as his rabbi interpreted it and absorbed everything about his rabbi so that he could imitate him. He didn’t pick and choose what he imitated—he imitated it all. If a rabbi had a funny walk, the village probably recognized that rabbi’s disciples by the same funny walk. A disciple tried to reason, talk, and live the way his rabbi did—to literally replicate one’s rabbi. Once he died, his disciples were to carry on his work, scholarship, and teaching.

How can I love God like that? By learning everything I can about Jesus, earnestly seeking Him in His Word, in prayer, in worship, and desiring to be like Jesus in every way. I understand that I cannot replicate Jesus, but I take comfort and encouragement by Jesus’ calling me to try and that He’ll empower me in the effort by His Holy Spirit. I am reminded of when Jesus told His disciples to abide in Him (John 15:5) and that He is the true vine and we are the branches.

Left, (l to r) Vern Gillis and The Montague absorb the rich teaching Below, speaker Doug Greenwold visits with Diana Vick

Lukewarm or on fire for Christ?

Upon hearing this vivid description of discipleship, I thought about how we, who confess Christ as our Lord and Savior, are also called to be His disciples. I confess that when I compare my understanding of discipleship to what it was like in Jesus’ time, I find my own vision shallow and wanting. It reminds me of how God scorns the lukewarm (Rev 3:15-16 ) and despises those who go through the motions with no love for Him in their hearts (Isaiah 1:11-14). However, God takes pleasure in those who seek Him with all their mind, strength, and heart.

MAY 2011


Did I mention that we learned about vineyards in Jesus’ day? Well, trust me, you’ll want to hear about it. If you weren’t able to attend Bible Alive, you will be encouraged to know that the PCPC library purchased a few of the resources sold at the conference, among them a recording of the conference itself. —Laura Knight PCPC WITNESS

The Crime Ain’t Gettin’ Any Better ACT volunteers pray outside a former drug house.

Bringing justice to West Dallas

In an effort to address the crime and urban blight in our inner city, ACT (Advocates for Community Transformation) was started. ACT’s vision is for Dallas citizens to experience the transforming presence of Jesus Christ through safer, more stable neighborhoods free from crime and urban blight.

She lives down the street from 3733 Vineyard, a house whose owners allowed it to be a drug house for many years. The Dallas Police Department made over 20 arrests for narcotics there in the last few years. Prostitutes frequented the property, trash littered the yard, and the house was in violation of numerous city codes.

By representing inner city residents and mobilizing volunteer lawyers, ACT supports the ongoing efforts of community leaders and the city to hold owners of crime-ridden and abandoned properties accountable. Through empowering local residents to become advocates for transformation in their own community, ACT promotes sustainable systemic change and long-term prosperity.


“The crime ain’t gettin’ any better,” Mrs. Goffney told me as I sat in her West Dallas home. At 87, Mrs. Goffney is one of many widowed matriarchs in the West Dallas community who is tired of feeling imprisoned in her home.

Unfortunately, Dallas has hundreds of crime-ridden and abandoned properties like 3733 Vineyard threatening the safety of many. Crime-ridden and abandoned properties adversely affect the quality of life for people living around them. Perpetuating neighborhood deterioration, these properties are also conducive to crime, rodent infestation, noxious odors, and are hazards for children playing in the area. Additionally, the City of Dallas has limited resources. A large segment of the West Dallas population lacks the education, financial means, and political clout to achieve the benefit of systematic transformation on their own.

Modeling our Intercessor

ACT is founded on Christ’s challenge to pursue justice on behalf of the oppressed. Jesus interceding on our behalf gives us the model to intervene on behalf of others in order to share with them freedom from spiritual oppression and new life in Christ. Currently, ACT is providing legal representation for more than 20 West Dallas residents who are fighting to reclaim their neighborhoods by holding the owners of 25 troubled properties accountable. ACT has garnered support from over 40 volunteer lawyers who have



given over $1,000,000 in pro bono legal support. As a result, residents in the community have shut down and cleaned up numerous drug houses and dilapidated properties, including the drug house at 3733 Vineyard. The act of transforming crime-ridden and blighted properties promotes safer, more stable neighborhoods. Men, women, and children can live, work, and play without fear and experience a quality of life that many people take for granted. Mrs. Goffney and her neighbors are given a voice in an otherwise seemingly desperate situation. Through our work, we are able to bring about God’s redemptive plan on this earth and use justice as a platform to share the love of Christ with others. Billy White, the neighborhood association president in Mrs. Goffney’s neighborhood, has seen a noticeable drop in criminal activity. As a result of shutting down 3733 Vineyard, he has noticed that children are now riding their bicycles up and down the street.

You don’t have to be a lawyer!

Will you join us in the fight for justice in the inner city? ACT is looking for partners including lawyers, law-related professionals, bilingual interpreters, and other business individuals to support our mission. We are also looking for men and women who will support the Lord’s work of justice through prayer and intercession. Learn about volunteer opportunities and community needs at www. —Reid Porter MAY 2011

A gospel big enough for Haiti


Meredith Scudder and I had the opportunity to go to Haiti for a week at the beginning of March and spend time at an orphanage in Montrouis, Haiti, called Canaan. Pastor Henri and Sister Gladys run the orphanage, and on April 4, the orphanage celebrated its twentieth year. Currently, there are 75 kids there ranging from six months to 17 years old. The purpose of the orphanage is not to necessarily have all the kids adopted, but rather to raise them to be godly men and women in Haiti who potentially come to the States for college and then return to Haiti. Not only do they provide housing and an education for the kids, there is also a clinic on site that provides medical care to people throughout the town and surrounding towns who can’t afford medical care. After spending a week there last year I couldn’t help but want to return and continue to build relationships with these kids. This year, I walked away from our time there being more convinced of the gospel— reenergized by the purpose of the gospel and how big and sufficient it is—and reminded that the American way of Christianity isn’t always God’s way. It was so good for my heart to step away from life in Dallas for a few days and spend time with some of the most precious children you could ever imagine.

Our days were spent spending time with the children and helping get the new clinic ready to be opened. I had a memorable conversation with one of the little girls in which after I asked about her brothers and sisters, she turned to me and said: “But, I don’t have a mom and dad.” In moments like these all I could do was hug them and remind them over and over that they’re special, loved, and not rejected.

Explaining and showing God’s love One of the biggest challenges these kids face is understanding the love of God. It’s so hard for them to understand the love of God when their own mother and father are gone or don’t seem to love them. How could a God they can’t see possibly love them? Meredith and I also spent one morning giving the cooks and housemoms manicures. They don’t speak any English, and often when people come to Canaan they do a great job loving the kids, but not reaching out to the Haitian women who work there. It was a great opportunity to love them without being able to communicate with them verbally and to pray for them that the Lord would continue to bless the work of their hands.

MAY 2011


As a freshman in high school, Meredith was amazed by the things she saw: On the drive from Port of Prince to Canaan, it struck me how the people in each town or village we drove through lived under tarps with no plumbing, electricity, running water, or any of the things I take for granted. Once at Canaan, it was also convicting to see how content the babies were with just one book. The children were also very happy even though they had so little to play with. Through this trip the Lord taught me a lot about my priorities and how important it is to live my life for the Lord. Amidst the continued pervading sense of hopelessness in Haiti, there are glimpses of hope, as God is evidently at work in this country. He is and will continue to redeem this country and these people. We were so blessed to see and be a small part of what He is doing there. —Amy Westervelt (l to r) Amy and Meredith with Canaan kids


New mentoring for LPF children


Have you noticed a good number of Laotian children in the hallways of our church and wondered where they come from or to whom they belonged? They are part of our Laotian Presbyterian Fellowship here at PCPC. This fellowship began at Highland Park Presbyterian in the 1980s and came over to Park Cities Presbyterian Church shortly after it was formed. Their families have been at our church longer than the majority of our members. They are God’s covenant children.

On the positive side, many of the children have Christian parents who are working hard to teach them about Christ, bring them to PCPC, surround them with Christian influences, and pray for their

is coming alongside them to help their children grow up in the love and admonition of the Lord. Our first event together was a group outing to Main Event in Grapevine, which was a hit with the kids. Right now we have

salvation. We also have dedicated PCPC members who love and teach both the parents and kids. Robert and Kay Mighell have been involved with the LPF since it began at Highland Park Presbyterian. Robert is a great support to King and his ministry, and Kay not only teaches today’s children but has taught their parents. Phyllis Jones has been teaching the Sunday School and now is teaching ESL to the ladies. Curt and Sue Dobbs are involved in the ministry in so many ways and it was they who asked us to participate. Winsome Thomas has also been a great help with the children.

six mentors, but we need more and are in urgent need of three more male mentors for our three boys who have already turned in their paperwork.

You may be like us; we were not even aware of this fellowship until we went on a mission trip to Thailand and Laos. Then we met King Sribounheuang, their pastor, who was our translator. God has placed this group on our hearts ever since. Then we were asked to teach the LPF children once a month and have gotten to meet their families and fellowship with them. It is a great blessing! When the idea of having mentors for the children was brought to us, we immediately knew it was a good idea. Ron has been a mentor in West Dallas since it began when David, his mentee, was in fourth grade, and he is now a senior. He has seen what a great program it has been. We at PCPC promise to nourish and teach the covenant children of our church, and this is a good way to fulfill that promise. The Laotian children face the same challenges and temptations of all kids growing up in today’s society—the world, Satan, and the flesh. Many live in urban communities similar to West Dallas and are influenced by gangs, drugs, and criminal elements. In fact, one of the teenage boys fell into the gang life some years ago and has not returned. A lot of them are the first generation born in the U.S. and speak much better English than their parents, which creates its own set of challenges. Another big temptation for them are the temple parties given by their Buddhist friends. Those parties are especially luring to the teenagers. PCPCWITNESS WITNESS PCPC

New program is off the ground Our mentoring program has officially begun this January. We have had a tremendous response from the Laotian community. The parents are really excited about it and are so thankful that PCPC

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In some ways the LPF at PCPC is seen but not seen. We can’t say they are forgotten, but maybe overlooked. Perhaps it is not the right season for you to become a mentor, but we ask that you pray that God will put these Christian brothers and sisters and their children on your hearts. One meeting a month with your mentee and a couple of phone calls can make a huge difference! May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit guide you in your prayers. If you would like to become a mentor, please call Marzena Dunham, 214224-2523 or Sharon Baxter, 817-8015335. —Ron and Sharon Baxter MAY2011 2011 MAY

Children minister to children PCPC kids learn early about missions


Clean the whole house, have a lemonade stand, do extra chores, have a bake sale, hold a car wash. These are some of the ideas the children in Bible Explorers came up with in order to personally raise money for the Josephine House, an orphanage in Cusco, Peru. We had just told them about this special home for children one recent Sunday morning. The Josephine House was started by MTW missionaries Keith and Ruth Powlison in 2008 as an outreach to address the needs of many Quechan families and orphans. It serves as a home for orphans and for children whose parents can’t care for them in hopes that one day they will return to live with their parents, or be adopted either domestically or internationally.

the vehicle of this vital ministry. We have spent the last several months introducing the Bible Explorer children to the Josephine House and the many children who live there. It has been encouraging to see their excitement and enthusiasm to reach across cultural barriers to embrace their peers in the orphanage. The Bible Explorer offerings during the month of February were designated to the Josephine House. After learning more about the ministry, the children voted to designate the funds they raised towards a birthday and Christmas gift fund for their new friends in Cusco. Our goal in engaging PCPC children was twofold: 1) to open their eyes to missions and children in other parts of the world and give them a tangible way to participate in a way that they can understand; and 2) to be a blessing and encouragement to the Powlisons and the children they serve. It has been evident to us through their enthusiastic participation and due to the fact that we have been stopped outside of class to discuss the Josephine House that this message has resonated in their hearts. —Catherine and Trey Richards On a past mission trip to Cusco: Left, Catherine Richards reads to Hilda Above, Bill Dickenson, holding Fabricio Below, Trey Richards and baby Catherine

Many children appointed to live in the Josephine House by the Peruvian courts have special needs. Each child has a tangible story of rescue as they have experienced firsthand the care and love of Christ through MAY 2011



Heeding the Call to “Play Ball!” The crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, the peanuts and Crackerjacks—to excited Americans of all ages these can mean only one glorious thing—baseball! Sixty spectators from the PCPC Preschool scored a homerun April 3 at the Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco for the opening season weekend of Rough Riders baseball. Mark Koellner made an assist in the third inning when a foul ball came into the stands, bounced off his hand and landed with kindergartner Paul Flowers. Mark says of the event, “The kid friendly activities, and the chance for [my] boys to redeem their dad’s missed attempt at a foul ball, kept each of my three boys (10 and under) focused all nine innings!” Another ball landed five feet from Ellen Porter in the seventh inning who “had a ball at the Rough Riders game” and suggests wearing “a hard hat next time!” It was a beautiful day spent with friends, new and old, enjoying the great American pastime and fellowship. —Heather Holmes

Davis and Weston Holm

Children: (l to r) Stella Kate Greenwell, Davis Holm, Ruthie Cave, Will Loukas, Mason Smith Volunteers: (l to r) Lauren Maggard, Bryan Keyes, Scott Maggard, and Susan Keyes

Bringing the gospel to little hearts


Every Sunday, hundreds of faithful servants plant God’s Word in the hearts of our covenant children, shaping their stories as they rock babies, teach a Bible lesson, assist in a craft, lead group singing, push a wheelchair, or implement scripture memorization. But, there’s another story being shaped in the Sunday School classrooms. On April 3, Mark Davis told the congregation that those who had never served our little ones would be blessed through doing so.

Before Grandchildren) the very thought of helping preschoolers caused us to shudder. We were inexperienced and felt woefully inept, but God worked to make us barely willing but resolvedly obedient. And He never stopped creating in us a love that wouldn’t quit and equipping us to nurture and guide those little hearts and minds in gospel understanding. These children need us, and I discovered that we needed them— for God to transform our perceived inadequacies and give us a joy unlike any other. —Laney and Karl Koenig, Preschool Volunteers 5+ years

“Working in the Nursery has strengthened our prayer life, provided the privi- “The call to this ministry is renewed lege of serving Christ, and blessed our weekly, as we gladly anticipate workmarriage with the opportunity to serve ing with our First Grade ‘Mighty Men in ministry together. Many people tell of God.’ The Bible stories and activius what a gift we are to their children, ties illustrating God’s directives and but being among the first to present desires to trust, obey, and serve are the gospel to these covenant children not only there to guide (and to encourthe boys, but to inspire oods W age and and strengthen our ever ie d n Sa harlotte disciple developing love for the shows C er her Harp their parLord. We, too, are fueled . n o reflecti ents) has by the boys’ energy, actually creativity, and quesbeen God’s tions that reflect their gift to us.” maturing relationships —Suzy and with our Heavenly Bob Mighell, Father. How can we Nursery not count teaching Room Leadthese youngsters as ers 10 years anything less than an honor and privi“BG (that lege in ultimately forgettable serving Him.” Jan time of life and Darel Herbst, Elementary Lead Teachers 5+ years The stories being shaped not only belong to the next generation, but to all those who obediently heed the call to serve. Come shape a story with our Children’s Ministry team! Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Matthew 9:37). —Gale Emerson


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Youth Ministry

Project Austin: we want our sight! “Jesus stopped and called them, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ ‘Lord,’ they answered, ‘we want our sight.’ Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him” (Matthew 20:32-34).

mandy. She wears Guess jeans, I wear Kohls jeans. I have two children, they have too many children. I never stop joking, she never stops laughing. Evaluating and differentiating is almost as natural as sleeping. It is also natural to see without ever seeing. What is unSeeing is a sticky thing. Always has natural is seeing deeper than the difbeen. Jesus often intimated that the ferences. It is unnatural to see beneath ability to see the skin and into the soul of means little if “To have true compassion, a person. But once you do, you can’t see you see yourself, because you must look into what should inside we all have the same actually be another person’s face and disease, the same need, and seen as you the same cure. see yourself staring back.” look at something. Like I Project Austin, the annual said, sticky. Sometimes seeing gets as spring break mission trip to Austin, sticky as fly-paper, like when the blind is a wonderful experience for middle see better than people with eyesight. and high school kids to begin seeing The two blind beggars from Matthew below the surface. The trip is inten20 are the only ones who rightly see tionally centered on service projects Jesus and, despite the rebuking crowd, to build compassion. The highlight proclaim Him as the Son of David, the of each trip is a Sunday visit to the promised and realized King. May we Church Under the Bridge, which all be so blind that we can actually see! caters to the homeless. It is a unique exercise in seeing. Compassion may be one of the hardThis year’s particular version was a est ways to see. It is a form of blindsunless, blustery Sunday sporadically seeing. To have true compassion, you interrupted by rain. The temptation must look into another person’s for all forty of the PCPC participants face and see yourself staring was to focus on the immediate difback. When we normally meet ferences: the unkempt hair, the unanyone, we instantly drum up every visible difference: washed clothes, the nearly intoxicating smell of drunkenness, the sun they live bleached faces, the awkward smell on Bevof a missed trip to the bathroom, the erly, I live on Norsometimes incoherent ramblings, and






the lingering cloud of desperation. The kids, however, ignored the differences and soon crowds of PCPC students were praying in groups around homeless individuals, sharing the love and compassion of Christ.

Eyes touched for seeing

One student met an older man who seemed to have been living on the streets for a long time. He had long hair threatening to become dreadlocks and an equally long beard. He was not the worst nor the best looking homeless person attending that morning. The conversation between them started as normal as could be expected in such a situation, but soon the man was confessing a deep need in his life. He hadn’t seen his daughter in years and thought that she would never want to see him again because of his living situation and because of the wrong things he had done as a young man. In fact, he soon confessed that he doubted God wanted anything to do with him. He didn’t believe God would be able to forgive him. The student related that as soon as he said this, she realized the man needed the grace and forgiveness of God just as much as she did. She was able to communicate the powerful story of redemption to this broken man and then a group of students prayed for him. On that rainy Sunday beneath a bridge surrounded by homeless people, two people who appeared to be so different began to see their common problem and their common divine solution. Jesus reached out, touched their eyes, and gave them sight. —Josh Keller

MAY 2011

The Solid Rock behind the roll


Baby Boomers were first defined in Landon Jones’ book, Great Expectations: America and the Baby Boom Generation. There Landon defines the years as 1946 when troops returned home after World War II and the American Dream had become possible through the GI Bill, until the end of 1964, when the birth rate decreased by 4,000,000 overnight. Today, these individuals born between 1946 and 1964 make up the single largest generation in society–and that is also true of our church communities. They have a unique perspective on life from the prior generation and from all following generations. For the first time in American history, media played a dominant role, and the word latchkey was invented. An entire new world was opening for Christ to work His saving grace. She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah When America’s culture historians look back at the influence of the Baby Boomers generation, one thing will stand out: rock ‘n’ roll. In 1964, a

pcpc Vol. XXII, No. 2 • MAY 2011 Park Cities Presbyterian Church 4124 Oak Lawn Avenue Dallas, Texas 75219

record-setting 73 million people tuned in to watch the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, a seminal moment in television history. Nearly fifty years later, people still remember exactly where they saw it. PCPC’s Baby Boomers enjoyed revisiting the culture of their youth on Saturday, April 16, at a dinner and dance that was the creative vision of Pete Deison. The Design District venue afforded a splendid warehouse ambience with comfort food and sides of puffed cheese balls that made their pop culture debut in 1971 with Frito Lay’s mascot, the Cheetos Mouse. Even though the party was labelled an event for Baby Boomers (ages 47–65), a handful of early 40s came and many in the group were over the technical age limit. Eighty-year-old great grandfathers grooved to the music with as much agility as younger guests. Event chair Patty Smith (known to many as the “Duchess of Parties”) waived her creative wand and turned a simple, empty warehouse into what she termed “The Elbow Room Lounge” complete with cocktail tables, dance floor, and psychedelic walls.

Periodical Postage Paid at Dallas, Texas

However, the music was the real treat. PCPC members Bobby Payne, Russell Johnson, Joel Pustmueller, and Steve Williamson, were joined by good friends Rob Hankinson and Jon Ware to form the the band The Antiques. From their first song, the space was electrified, and it continued throughout the night with hardly any room remaining on the dance floor. Three of the band members, (Jon, Bobby, and Steve) have played in a band together since 1965 when they were all in middle school together. The night went on until the band just had to bug out. HE loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah Unlike the discos in the 1970s where table talk focused on the violent deaths of J.F.K., John Lennon, and Martin Luther King, the conversations this evening were about fellowship, blessings, and the awesome life Christ provides. The Vietnam war and Watergate were only passing moments for a generation where some Boomers, including these partygoers, discovered enduring values and eternal life itself in the True Rock behind the roll of time. These Boomers realize that pop culture helped form them, but that the real groove in life is provided by Christ Himself! Outta sight! —Lawan Glasscock

Party girls Joni Baker and Patty Smith

The Antiques (l to r) Jon Ware, Bobby Paine, Rob Hankinson, Steve Williamson (seated), Russell Johnson, Chris Sharp (who was absent), and Joel Pustmueller

WITNESS: May 1, 2011  

PCPC WITNESS is the quarterly magazine of Park Cities Presbyterian Church

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