WITNESS Vol. XXIII, No. 3
Pa r k C i t i e s P r e s by t e r i a n C h u r c h
(Presbyterian Church in America)
see pages 2, 3
“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law.” —Psalm 119:18 New pastor shares vision, excitement....................................................4
Loving by being there in Japan.............................................................7
Multi-church worship kicks off season of SERVE365................10
High school Florida trip life-changing for many.....................14
Young adults find points of connection.............................................5
Inheriting all the riches God gives the Ward family.........................8
Children develop gifts to worship and serve..........................12
Middle schoolers on the move the summer.................................16
ESL student discovers real freedom in US........................................... 6
The snack packers strike again... and again....................................9
New life infused into PCPC’s DivorceCare outreach........................13
Roped into helping out with VBS: Mary Ann Denton, Melanie Jackson, Barrett Ball, Claire Baker, Tommy Overton, Mark Harrison, Phil Vandermeer, James Madden (Shep) and Brian Tenpenny (Deptuty Ross) Cover photo: Laura Dawson (l) and her friend, Morgan Hassell
LIVE IT OUT
oots and bling took on a
whole new meaning this summer in Dallas as 200 volunteers donned their boots, hats, and big belt buckles to teach the Gospel truth during a dusty, rowdy, frolic-filled week. June 10-13, PCPC was transformed into an Outlaw Outpost for 500 buckaroos who attended Vacation Bible School. Along with the children of New St. Peter’s and Providence Presbyterian Churches, our children learned of the saving grace that is freely given
to us by our Heavenly Father. Our motto for the week was, “We were sinners, stuck in the jail of sin, but Jesus died and set us free. Yee Haw!”
The week centered on Psalm 119:18, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law.” Bible stories helped illustrate how we need to fully rely on Jesus Christ to help us live out His law. Monday and Tuesday, we learned through the story of Samson that God wants us to be obedient, and only through Him will we have strength. We also learned that Samson, who was chosen by God, was a sinner, but that God uses sinners for His glory. Wednesday we studied the trial of Jesus to portray that only Jesus lived out the law perfectly. On Thursday,
The Hippy-Ka-Ya-Yay Boys and song leaders rounded up by Brian Piper (3rd from left) and Laurie Hargrave (4th from left)
...Shout it loud. Show the world What love’s about!
we looked at Philip and the Ethiopian to learn that the Holy Spirit was sent by God to be our Helper. Romans 8:12 tells us, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” The children learned that through the power of the Holy Spirit, they can do the things which God has asked of them.
The VBS team, led by representatives of each church, worked hard to incorporate the lessons into all the activities. It was fun-with-a-purpose. All week the little outlaws worked on one special craft—a wanted poster, featuring THEMSELVES! They worked tirelessly on their mosaic portrait, making it as lifelike as possible, being taught in the process that we are all outlaws, living out the law through the power of the Holy Spirit! During recreation, the lessons were reinforced through activities. Each day the cowboys and cowgirls followed directions in a fun and entertaining warm-up dance. Throughout the week, the children enjoyed a host of westernthemed games: Needle in a Haystack,
PCPC WITNESS • AUGUST 2013
where they searched for treasure in a pile of hay; Bandana Tag; an obstacle course that included riding stick horses, lassoing a cone, hopscotch, a water gun shooting range, and broom ball.
In music and skit time, Cowgirl Lolly (Laurie Hargrave) and the Hippy-KaYa-Yays (Brian Piper and his band of outlaws) taught the children new songs and dances. The students were also introduced to our fearless leader, Shep (James Madden), a laid back cowboy who was the proprietor of the Outpost, and Deputy Ross (Brian Tenpenny), a rule-following, sure-of-himself, man of the law. Using well written skits and beautifully crafted videos, Shep showed Deputy Ross that in order to fully live out the law we need to rely on Jesus Christ. Shep taught Ross that God is the only Lawmaker; that we are all lawbreakers; that only Jesus lived out the law perfectly; and that the Holy Spirit gives us the power to live out the law. Once Deputy Ross understood what God intended for him, he knelt down in the Outpost and humbly asked Jesus into his law-abiding heart.
In missions, Jolene (aka D’Ann Moxley) and her team, taught our children about the importance of going and building His Kingdom. Through a series of lively skits and really fun music, she took our children away from the Mission Frontier to Rescue, Protect, and Grow God’s Kingdom! Our outlaws started their mission trip in the Wild Wild West and traveled to Senegal, Hong Kong, and Peru. They met all sorts of bandits along the way and, using the Gospel Fuzzies’ song, they shared the Good News and watched God’s Kingdom grow. The children were amazed at Bryan Varenkamp’s mission experience stories each day.
The preschool students enjoyed their own music and skits in the library. The Cummins family brought back Pappy and Elmer to delight the children in an Outlaw Outpost puppet show, and Lynda Fray led them in a special music class.
VBS culminated with Family Night. Children brought their parents for chow, visiting, and assorted games including
an old fashioned mechanical bull! The VBS worship team led our families in a festive time of fellowship with our Lord. By the grace of God, our week at the Outpost was awesome! We praise God for the 500 children who attended and for the many gifted volunteers whom HE called to serve. We pray that our children will remember that we are all OUTLAWS living OUT the LAW through the power of the Holy Spirit! —Barrett Ball and Claire Davis
Go to www.pcpc.org to watch the videos shown each day.
Lots of prayer filled the week.
Spellbound at the missions skit
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Getting to know Chad We recently interviewed our newest pastor, Chad Scruggs, who joined the PCPC staff on July 1. He will be installed in his role as a pastor in our worship services on Sunday, October 6.
this life by God’s grace. It is “God in us” and “us in Him.” The Incarnation, Cross, and Resurrection of Jesus, as well as the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost, are all for this end—that we may be near to God. I think that’s the core.
What will be your ministry at PCPC?
What excites you most about this new venture?
Beyond my general pastoral call to love God, love the Church, and love those outside of the Church, I’ll be giving most of my attention to the vitality of “spiritual life” at PCPC. This involves helping to deepen and align some of our current communities and structures (Vespers, Midweek, etc.), as well as fostering new places of formation where there might be some gaps (lay leadership formation, ministries of restoration, etc.). To put it simply, I’ll be focusing on what it means for us to abide in Christ as those loved by Him.
How did RUF prepare you for this role?
Where do I start? I’m excited about being of part of PCPC. I’m excited about my particular role in the church. I’m excited about the other pastors and staff I get to work with. I’m excited about the friendship we get to continue and the new friends we don’t yet know. I’m excited for my wife and kids. I’m excited about seeing my graduated students who have made PCPC their home, and being close enough to SMU to see my old students who are still in school. I’m excited about learning new things. I’m excited about the vision of our church. I’m excited about seeing God at work in our community. It’s hard to pick one, so these will have to do for now!
RUF has been incredibly important in my life for the past 15 years, not only as a young pastor, but as a husband, father, friend, neighbor, etc. I learned the language and life of grace through RUF— through golf, lunches, and early mornings at Waffle House with I should qualify this by letting my campus minister, John Stone, Chad and his wife Jada recently welcomed their fourth child you know that I’m a nerd. I and first girl, Hallie, to the family. while I was at the University of love to read moral philosophy Tennessee. And then I had the privilege of being a part of and classical fiction. Right now, I’m reading What Is a a community of other young pastors where I found the Person? by Christian Smith, and the final installment of the space to make mistakes, the camaraderie to identify them, Divine Comedy, Dante’s Paradiso. I’m not sure I understand and the grace to not be crushed, to try again. In many half of what I read, but I catch enough to enjoy it. ways, RUF taught me to be comfortable in my own skin instead of struggling to be someone else. This has been a great gift to me. I remember a time (about three kids ago) when I used to
What books are you currently reading?
Any hobbies these days?
What is at the core of spiritual formation? This is such a hard question, but an important one! I would say that at the core of spiritual formation is God Himself— the life of Trinitarian love shared between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Spiritual formation is our participation in 4
have hobbies. They included reading, fishing, playing basketball, tennis, golf, games, etc., watching sports (there was a time when Tennessee had a respectable football team), gardening, and cooking. I still watch sports if you count tee ball. And I still cook if you count macaroni and cheese—the organic, free-range kind of course. AUGUST 2013 • PCPC WITNESS
Connecting points O
ur church’s desire to reach out to individuals in their 20s and 30s in Dallas continues to be an exciting process. The young adult demographic is one of the fastest growing groups at PCPC, and we are so thankful to see the Lord continue to bring more young adults into deep relationship with Him. You can find these young adults in a variety of places at PCPC—in the church choir, on mission trips, in our worship services, and serving in the children’s area, just to name a few! During the week our Tuesday night gathering for young adult singles exists to be a welcoming place for seekers and the unchurched, as well as a place for those already connected to our church body to grow in their walk with Christ. We have a time of singing, teaching, and fellowship over dinner afterwards. Many young adults at PCPC came to our church body through this weekly outreach gathering.
ultimate goal is for each young adult to consider being a part of a small group. Small groups are led by men and women of strong faith at PCPC who are committed to meeting on a regular basis with a group of 4-15 men or women. These groups are a place where prayer, accountability, the study of God’s Word, and deep knowing of one another take place. We invite you to join us at any of these connecting points for young adults, and also ask that you invite young adults you may know who need Christ and community with the Body. TUESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY Weekly gathering of young adult singles 7:00 pm, Oak Lawn East, south end SUNDAY MORNING COMMUNITIES Doulos Class 11:00 am Room 301 New City Class 11:00 am Room 302 SMALL GROUPS E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up to be in a small group. These groups meet at a variety of places and times throughout the week. YOUNG ADULT STAFF John Paul Schulze Director of Young Adults email@example.com
You will also find young adults in our Sunday Morning Communities, specifically the Doulos and New City communities—both meet at 11:00 am. These classes are great places to connect with other young adults in our church of a variety of ages and stages. While Tuesday evening and Sunday morning are wonderful places to begin connecting at PCPC, our
McKenzie Edwards Young Adult Women’s Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org Paul Goebel Assistant Pastor email@example.com For more information, visit pcpcyoungadults.com. Above left, Taylor Fisher, Mary Borland Above right, Carlton Cornelius, Grant Bills, Brian Mullen
PCPC WITNESS • AUGUST 2013
A note from our new Young Adult Director, John Paul Schulze What do I seek? This is a question asked by many, including young adults. It plays itself out in a variety of pursuits in the heart of this city. We seek answers through our possessions, positions, professions, and pleasures. At PCPC, we want young adults in their 20s and 30s to find the answer. Where will you seek to find fulfillment or identity? Join the young adults at PCPC to find the answer. Whether you have been following Jesus for a long time or are interested in who Jesus is for the first time, come and see why Jesus asked His first followers, “What do you seek?” Our hope is for you to come ask this question in a non-threatening, grace-filled community and find it in the Person and work of Jesus. He alone will satisfy the desires of your heart and give you the identity you are seeking to have. If you have questions, please e-mail us. We would love to meet you.
In the Father’s hands
ESL student tells her story of rescue
I’m Maria. I’m from
Guanajuato, Mexico, mother of four children. Three were born in Mexico and continue living there. One was born here in Dallas, Texas, and is the only one that is by my side. I have been in this country since 2001. I got here with the dream to learn English and go to Culinary Art School. I’m the oldest of 12 brothers and sisters. Two died and ten are alive. I started to work when I was 10 years old to help support my family. I never had time for fun and could not stay in school.
A golden cage
When I was 20 years old, I thought it was time to find the man with whom I would spend the rest of my life; and so I met an attractive man, hardworking, educated, 21 years older than me. We fell in love and lived together for seven years. We lived in a beautiful house which was a jail to me. The father of my children was possessive, jealous, and verbally aggressive. He never allowed me to go anywhere, talk or share anything with anyone, not even my family. One day I decided to leave. This was the most difficult decision of my life. I left my children with my mother, and that’s where they have always been. I left behind children, family, and the comfortable life my children and I had. That life killed my dreams and my opinions. It doesn’t matter if the cage is made of gold, it is a prison anyway. I was born and raised on a farm surrounded by nature and freedom where I woke up with the birds singing and fell asleep with the sound of crickets. I always thanked God the Father for nature. From my ancestors until today my family has been sustained and fed from what God the Father and Mother Nature provide. Walking in the rain or cutting
wildflowers for me is the best in the world. But, seeking freedom and the possibility to give life to my dreams, I left and came to this wonderful country.
Unfortunately I found negativity and people who instead of encouraging me would tell me that what I wanted to do was impossible. Wherever I went I felt invisible. A number. A thing. In my mind I was saying it is not possible in this beautiful country that I admire so much that I do not feel human. I’m alone in the middle of millions. With severe depression and a sack full of problems, one day I reached Park Cities Presbyterian Church seeking help to learn English. This was in February 2012. I was accepted, and since then my life has changed for good. I found caring people who treat me as a human being. My teachers not only teach me English, but also teach me the Word of God, which I was away from for so long. And not only that, my teachers help me, guide me, listen to me when I most need it. For me, this is a miracle that only comes from the hand of God.
right way. Thank God for the leaders who make possible our learning, and with this, change our lives for the better. Thank God for my teachers, my classmates, and for the sextons who work hard in the classrooms after our classes. Thank God for letting me get to this community that is my only family in this country. While I was writing this, my son came to me and said he is happy to attend the church with me. When I started to attend my son refused to join me. Now he is the one who keeps me running to be on time. This change in my son is thanks to God and the encouragement he received in ESL Kids’ Club. Father God, I’m in your hands. You decide what will be the best for me. Wherever God takes me, all of you will be in my heart forever. –Maria del Rosario Rodriguez
Justin and Maria following an ESL awards ceremony
Currently I attend the service of Cristo Rey Presbyterian Church because I want to learn from the Word of God. I feel blessed to be with this wonderful family. Thank God the Father and Jesus for all the people who make my dream of learning English a reality. My dream of going to the Culinary Art school will come true someday. My sack of problems is much lighter, now. God is with me and giving me the opportunity to develop my faith in the
AUGUST 2013 • PCPC WITNESS
Present and loving in Japan How was Japan? What did you do? I’ve been asked those questions many times by friends and
family since returning from PCPC’s annual mission trip to Chiba. And I’ve struggled to give clear answers. Japan was beautiful! Japan was impeccably clean! Japan was humid! I’ve found it difficult to describe our team’s experience there and explain the services we hoped to provide. I believe this is because our mission trip was not centered on meeting physical needs. Japan is a wealthy country. We didn’t construct churches, repair homes, or provide medical relief. But we did provide love.
We provided love by listening to women as they gathered in a small church and discussed the challenges of motherhood. By rising early and taking the first train of the day to attend a men’s Bible study. By sharing a testimony to a crowded room of preschoolers and their curious parents. By sitting quietly with a church member as she sadly disclosed her husband’s unbelief. We provided love by being present. The Christians in Chiba do not need physical support. But they, just like you and I, are hungry for love and encouragement. And our small mission team of six sought to love them as Christ does by being present and active in their lives.
Most of our trip was spent in Chiba, but on a few occasions we traveled into Tokyo. On one of those days, we helped with a church’s homeless meal service. In all honesty, the church did not need our assistance. Our presence was more of an encouragement to the ministry than anything else. But the experience is one I treasure.
About 150 homeless men sat silently
in perfect rows under a large highway overpass. The sky was gray, and a typhoon was expected to hit that night. Despite the impending storm and their immense hunger, the men sat patiently and waited to receive a meal. They listened to our host pastor as he shared a message from the Bible. They sang along humbly, honestly, and beautifully as a volunteer played “Amazing Grace.” And they continued to sit patiently as we served them bowls of food. They passed the bowls down their rows, and only after their neighbor had received food did they allow themselves to eat. It was a small gesture
to observe, but I believe those men understand the importance of loving their neighbors more than I ever will. In those moments, all I could think about was Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand. We certainly did not perform a miracle that day, but I believe our actions under that bridge reflected the love of Christ. We loved that ministry and those homeless men in the simplest but sincerest of ways—with our presence. And as God always seems to do, He blessed me in return with an image of love that I will never forget.
The beauty of missions is that God allows us to partake in His work. He can accomplish all that He desires on His own. Yet He calls us to be His hands and feet, and He blesses us in the process.
So what is my answer to that second question? What did we do in Japan? We loved. —Lauren Rozanski
Top left, Savanah Stewart holds a friend Top right, Aaron Iwema (r) finds a Ranger-loving student
Middle, the gathering of homeless men under the bridge Below, Lauren Rozanski and Deborah Green with their charges
PCPC WITNESS • AUGUST 2013
goo d an d gracious
We didn’t start our married life thinking that we would adopt a child one day. But we know now that it was always God’s plan for us. It was His Plan A—His good and perfect plan, and our story is filled with examples of God’s sovereign love and grace. We always wanted two children. Our first child, Catherine, was born in 1993. Mary Jo had no trouble getting pregnant, but the delivery was complicated and dangerous. Recovering from that took several years of doctors’ visits and some surgeries. And then we were unable to conceive. There wasn’t a great explanation for why, but we now know it was the Lord working His will. One day a new doctor made it very clear to Mary Jo that it wasn’t safe for her to be pregnant again and we should either be content with one child or adopt. Mary Jo called John from the car on Central Expressway and said, “We’re adopting!” When Mary Jo’s mom heard the news she said, “It’s like you’re pregnant. Now we know a baby is coming someday.” We applied with Bethany Family Christian Services in December and began the waiting process. While we were waiting, two college kids learned that a baby boy was coming in August. They made some brave decisions and decided to pursue adoption. Joseph’s birth mother finished the school year and went to live with a Bethany shepherding family in Denver for the summer. She and the birth father combed through profiles and met with a long line of couples, but they just couldn’t get comfortable with any them. They asked to see Dallas families because they had friends from Dallas and had visited here, so it was familiar. When they came across our profile, several things struck a chord. One was 8
Catherine. It was very important to them that this baby boy have a big sister. We had worried that birthparents would want their baby to be the first child and that our having a six year old would be a negative. This was just one of the surprises the Lord had for us along the way. Bethany had advised us to be very careful about the photos we included in our profile with no identifying elements like license plates, addresses, names of schools, etc. We were so careful—but God had other plans! There was a picture of Catherine wearing a t-shirt from the Highland Park High School Cheerleader Camp. The couple had friends from our neighborhood and had been here, so they could picture their son growing up in this community. It reminded them of where they had each been raised.
We got the call in July that they wanted to meet us—including Catherine! Could we be in Denver the following week? God beautifully ordained that we were planning to be in Colorado that week anyway! When we walked into that room at Bethany it was a little tense, but our son’s precious birth father set us at ease with the perfect icebreaker. We are crazy Texas Longhorn fans, and the quarterback controversy at the time was huge! This nervous college kid (who isn’t from Texas) said, “So, who should be the starting quarterback—Major Applewhite or Chris Simms?” Because the Lord brought us together with such a fun topic, it was almost like He was physically there, weaving our lives together. The meeting was amazingly comfortable. Our Bethany caseworker later told us that she has never been so unnecessary.
Joseph’s birth parents told us that night that they wanted us to be their son’s family and that they wanted us at the hospital when he was born. A few weeks later a nurse walked into the waiting room and handed us this tiny, beautiful baby boy swaddled in blankets. We gasped. We were his parents! Joseph is 12 years old now and living the life they wanted for him—days filled with family, tennis, Boy Scouts, this church, school, travel, and much more. He’s loved, protected, prayed over, and treasured. We send his birth parents pictures and letters every year on his birthday and at Christmas. It’s always a blessing to sit down and tell the latest chapter of Joseph’s story. His birth parents are our heroes.
Heirs of all the riches
Joseph’s adoption is a constant reminder of our adoption as God’s children. Just as Joseph has all of the rights and privileges of our daughter, we have the rights and privileges that Jesus has as God’s Son. We chose to make Joseph our son just like God chose to make us part of His family. We didn’t set out to become advocates for adoption. We just wanted another child. But along the way God opened our eyes to this wonderful redemptive option. Now we do what we can to raise awareness and share our testimony. Part of that is serving on the PCPC Adoption Assistance Oversight Committee. An anonymous donor has given PCPC funds to help couples in our church with the costs of adoption. The committee is tasked with overseeing the distribution of these funds. If you are pursuing adoption and need financial assistance, please contact Bill Lamberth, 214-224-2744. —Mary Jo and John Ward AUGUST 2013 • PCPC WITNESS
ow in its second year of Nserving the Metroplex,
Snacks of Blessing has brought together many PCPC youth with young people from surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth church youth groups. They arrive at 8:30 am on Saturday mornings in April and September to listen to a devotion, pack 1,600+ snack bags, and enjoy fellowship. The Lord has blessed this ministry that began from the heart of our member, Campbell Williams, who sought to show young lives how to serve the hungry, the poor, and the fatherless. They share with those who receive these Snacks of Blessing that every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17). The ministry began with about 20 youths and has grown to over 60+ from diverse backgrounds, of all ages, eager and all willing to serve. The Lord has grown the list of recipients as well, from our own 16 Urban Ministries partners to churches like Oak Lawn United Methodist, Greater Mt. Hebron Missionary Baptist Church, Iglesia Luterana Ft. Worth, and several more. We serve a faithful God! Join us as we pack our next Snacks of Blessing this upcoming September and be blessed to see the excitement in the hearts of these young servants! â€”Imelda Ottmers Upper left, Grayson Baird and Campbell Williams, Jr. Upper right, Carolyne Flowers Left, Brent Baker leads a devotional time.
PCPC WITNESS â€˘ AUGUST 2013 2013
SERVE365kicks off with worship
Above, Les Taylor (West Dallas Community Church) conducts the choir as Alvin Evans (Golden Gate Missionary Baptist Church) leads the congregational singing. Left, Bobby Sparks accompanies on the keyboard.
than a decade ago, PCPC challenged its members to become more committed to the community of West Dallas. While this congregation had already developed partnerships throughout the city, West Dallas was added as a place where its members could focus their time, talents, and treasures in building inter-cultural relationships with the residents of West Dallas.
In time, PCPC would witness
hundreds of its members crossing the urban-suburban divide and becoming deeply involved in the lives of many across social, ethnic, and economic lines through mentoring and inter-cultural collaboratives. Further, several families have relocated to that under-served community and have become significant catalysts for true and lasting change in West Dallas and beyond. These members each testify of the sense of joy and privilege in serving the Lord and His people. They talk about the surprising benefits—mutual transformation—that
Longing to change the world together! Helenmay Nichols:
We express our immense gratitude for this opportunity during SERVE365 to seek out people full of God’s grace, drawn to His ministry, and willing to consider joining us at Write-Way Prison Ministries. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity granted to all of us “in ministry” for the focus which SERVE365 presented to our body of believers at PCPC on April 21 and to our associated churches. May God continue to bless Urban Ministries for their commitment to outreach.
The Urban Ministries expo was a great time of praise to our God. Being with believers from all over the city was such an encouragement. It really felt like we were all on the same team. God’s love can break down the socio-economic and racial barriers that the devil loves to put between brothers and sisters in Christ. That night was a real victory in the effort for our city to be “one” in Christ.
I was truly blessed by the combined worship service during the SERVE365 kickoff in April. It was a joy to see the different congregations worshiping
and praising the Lord together. (I think we may have even cracked the walls!) The corporate worship was a good reminder to me that there is only One Church in Dallas (to borrow a phrase from a recent sermon by Mark Davis).
What a fellowship! I am quite sure God was well pleased with the gathering of His people who represented all areas of Dallas and surrounding cities, people of every birth, faith, and culture coming together honoring Him with songs and words of praise. My heart was encouraged to see all of what God has done. The speakers were all dynamic! The choir was amazing! The reception was delightful and impressive, and the displays in the hallways were a great opportunity to meet and learn oneon-one about each ministry and take an active part in Urban Ministries!
It brought tears to my eyes to see Mark Davis and Vincent Parker (Golden Gate Missionary Baptist Church) standing side-by-side behind the altar serving communion. It still does when I remember it. I expect that it always will. AUGUST 2013 2013 •• PCPC PCPC WITNESS WITNESS AUGUST
PCPC PCPC WITNESS WITNESS •• AUGUST AUGUST 2013 2013
from Katie Pedigo, (NFNL), Dr. Jeffery Parker, (ROD), and Mrs. Kellie Macatee, PCPC member and chair of the Serve/365 sub-committee. We also heard from Pastor Wilson, a wellrespected and key leader in the West Dallas community, and the city of Dallas. We heard a fitting sermon from our own Mark Davis, who also led us in a joint observance of the Lord’s Supper.
We heard testimonies
as PCPC does, that the Lord has called His people to do so to acknowledge and testify of God’s sovereignty over all of His creation. They strongly encourage these inter-cultural partnerships so that “followers of Jesus of all classes from all tribes and nations can work together to bring the Good News to the poor and excluded.” Ron Sider, John Perkins, Wayne Gordon, and Albert Tizon have more than 150 years of studying suburban churches’ efforts to cross this divide and build partnerships with urban churches and
5 6 3
of J. Marty Cope and the PCPC Worship and Arts Ministry, we also witnessed a most glorious time of singing praises to the Sovereign Lord. We had a combined choir comprised of members from the already-mentioned churches as well as those from several West Dallas churches—Bill Harrod Memorial Baptist Church and Progressive Baptist Church—and PCPC’s choir. It was an awesome privilege to both see and hear the wondrous things of God in the voices of His people. —Julian Russell IS
Expert urban practitioners believe,
Thanks to the efforts
they receive from working alongside, and witnessing God bless both the West Dallas and PCPC communities at the same time.
organizations. What PCPC witnessed last Sunday, April 21, was monumental in bridging this complex suburbanurban divide. The goal was to celebrate how the Lord has blessed these inter-cultural relationships, while covenanting to deepen our mutual partnerships for the future. This congregation hosted its 16 ministry partners and those churches in West Dallas which its Home Church Urban Missionaries have developed mutually transformative relationships. PCPC also invited several suburban churches who also work and serve the West Dallas community. What a beautiful of the church we all witnessed that evening!
Above, men from Golden Gate Baptist Church enjoy the fellowship at the reception following the worship service. Left, a cake decorated as the cover of our Serving the City booklet was served at the reception. Find the booklet in our literature racks to learn about all our Urban Ministries Partners. Below, leading in worship were (l to r): Vincent Parker, Golden Gate Missionary Baptist Church; Billy Matthews, West Mt. Horeb Missionary Baptist Church; Andy Wildmon, Grace Bible Church; Julian Russell, Arrvel Wilson, West Dallas Community Church; Ron Scates, Highland Park Presbyterian Church; and Mark Davis.
Learning to use gifts to God’s glory
On a recent Tuesday morning in a former storefront in PCPC’s Oak Lawn East building, a group of mothers and young children circled up laughing, singing, and dancing. The next day, the lobby in the Winspear Opera House echoed with the voices of children singing “I Won’t Grow Up” from Peter Pan. The common thread? Both groups are a part of the Arts Academy at PCPC, and both programs fulfill the vision that started the Academy years ago: to train students to use their gifts and talents to glorify God and worship Him well. The Musikgarten program consists of age-specific group classes aimed at building early musical knowledge and familiarity. Always aware of the developing whole child, we seek to help the children learn movement control, social skills and listening skills through music. In the youngest classes, parents (or grandparents!) attend with their children encouraging bonding through shared experiences. As children mature and reach the older classes, they begin learning how to read and write melodic and rhythmic patterns. Classes are taught by our licensed Musikgarten teacher and New St. Peter’s member, Deborah Waterman, who brings over 12 years of experience in teaching the Musikgarten curriculum.
Above left, Georgia Huddleston prefers tasting rather than shaking her jingle bell. Above right, Ryan Park enjoys playing drums with his mother, Naomi Kim. Below left, Taylor Hargrave coaches Wendy, (Emelie Wong) and the mortally injured Tinkerbell (Madeline Talbot). Below right, Laurie Hargrave reviews a scene from “Peter Pan” with some PC Players.
Children explore the performing arts
The Park Cities Players, a recent addition to the Academy, is a musical theater program begun by PCPC member, Laurie Hargrave. After spending years in theater business in New York City, she wanted to bring the best of those experiences here. Through improvisational techniques, games, scene work, singing, and dancing, children learn confidence, public-speaking skills, and teamwork. After her son attended the spring class, one mother shared the improvement in his confidence. “Before the class, my son would barely look up during class presentations. Now he marches up to the front and has no problems speaking in front of everyone!” Classes are for boys and girls, grades two to six. The belief that musical training helps develop the whole child is a part of why the Academy at PCPC exists. As stated in the philosophy of Musikgarten, “Language development, self expression, memory skills, concentration, social interaction, fine motor skills, listening, problem solving, teamwork, goal setting, and coordination are all impacted by early music education. What’s more, as a child learns to play music, other areas of development—creativity, family bonding, self-esteem, confidence, emotional development—are also positively impacted.” The Arts Academy seeks to provide (fun!) opportunities for families to explore the performing arts in a safe environment with instructors who love God; to raise children who desire to worship God well, and to teach students to use their practical skills for His glory. To learn more about the Park Cities Players and Musikgarten classes, please visit our website: www.pcpcartsacademy.org, or contact me, 214-224-2633 or firstname.lastname@example.org. —Frances Cope
PCPC WITNESS • AUGUST 2013
tatistically with half of all marriages ending in divorce and almost half of all children experiencing the break-up of their parents by age 18, caring for divorced people was a desired ministry of PCPC beginning in 2007. My husband Jim and I were asked to join an advisory committee to research and pick a divorce curriculum for this ministry. After several meetings, discussions, and prayer times with Jeff White, PCPC’s Pastor of Counseling, we decided to incorporate and use
the DivorceCare (DC) curriculum for hurting people who are experiencing separation or divorce. After training classes, we launched DC, and it was a great success as an outreach ministry, as most participants are not PCPC members. For about five years, we had great participation, trained more facilitators, and had been helping people through this terrible valley of life and pointing them to Christ for hope and healing. Then in 2011 we found ourselves with more facilitators than participants in the ministry. We as facilitators found it a privilege to help others in an experience that we all ourselves had experienced, and we wanted to continue to provide these folks with healing from Christ, new friendships, joy in life again, and to give them hope. But, in order to continue DC, we needed to know if the church wanted us to continue this ministry, and if so, we needed help in getting the word out to the church and community. In the spring of 2012 the Session affirmed its support of DC, and Mark Davis was instrumental in getting us the help and resources we needed to spread the word. We advertised! We put up banners clearly visible on the corner of Oak Lawn and Wycliff and on lampposts on the street and later found that 90% of participants attended because they were driving by and saw a sign. We printed cards for the literature racks in the hallways, put contact information on the PCPC website, as well as the
DC national website, hung posters, and announced in both the printed and e-mailed THIS WEEK that DC would be held. We printed cards to hand out to friends, neighbors, and family members who were going through a separation or divorce. We did our part to get the word out about this
fabulous outreach and Christian-based ministry to PCPC and to the Dallas area. Now it was in God’s hands if He wanted us to continue, and it was for Him to bring us the participants. And, of course, He provided. Last year we had over 35 inquiries and an average of 26 participants weekly. We now know that the Lord wants us to continue this ministry. It is amazing to see the glory of God working in the lives of His people. The pain of being rejected by the one you loved and trusted is heartbreaking and devastating. Jesus Christ knows how this feels. We get the opportunity as facilitators to offer His compassion and love, kind words, and prayers. We get to assure the participants that Jesus loves us no matter what and is waiting for us to give of ourselves, our hurts, pain, and disappointments to Him. What a great spiritual experience to witness the Carpenter reconstructing each individual as they go through the 13 week sessions in DC. We are humbled that the Lord uses us to help others. What a great job to have! —Patty Moody and the DC Team
Wednesdays, September 4-December 11 7:00-8:30 pm, Room 263 • Open to the community • $25 for materials • Register: e-mail email@example.com or call 214-224-2683
PCPC WITNESS • AUGUST 2013
s May came to an end and schools closed their doors to the regular academic school year, the doors to summer and Texas heat were thrown open as the High School MInistry embarked on the 2013 Florida Trip. The youth team, along with 41 volunteers and 216 high school students, loaded five Greyhound buses bound for Laguna Beach Christian Retreat in Panama City, Florida. Not even the 13-hour bus ride, nor an unexpected mechanical pit stop, could quench these students excitement for the first week of summer spent on the white beaches of Florida. This week in Florida was full of a ridiculous amount of fun. Students enjoyed volleyball, spike ball, smash ball, the pool game, tanning oil, bowling night, hilarious skits and videos, sunburns, and so much more. Although this week is known to be full of fun and excitement, this trip more importantly allows for students and leaders to
wrestle with the truths of the Gospel while under the teaching of God’s Word. We were blessed to get to sit under the teaching of a return speaker, Jonathan McIntosh, from Christ City Church in Memphis, Tennessee. Jonathan prayerfully constructed five evening sermons to walk through portions of Romans 7 and 8. With these chosen passages of Scripture, Jonathan was able to lay out the depth and weight of sin, which elevated the glory and beauty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is
safe to say that all 257 people on this trip heard the Gospel preached every single day, and the Spirit of God was at work. Each day began with breakfast and a morning assembly, where we could show videos, play games, and make announcements. From there each student had the opportunity to listen to one of our four seminars or
enjoy an hour of personal devotion. After one hour the two groups would switch. After the morning program and lunch the students would enjoy six hours of completely free time until we met back together for dinner and our evening assembly. Our evening assemblies had three aspects to them: worship, testimonies, and teaching. Before each evening assembly, the staff and volunteers would gather to share stories of rescue, personal convictions, and a time of prayer for the Spirit to be present in our assembly. We prayed that believers in Jesus Christ would be encouraged and empowered, while those that didn’t know Him would be given eyes to see their dire need for our Savior. We prayed for the Lord to kill the fear that paralyzes so many of us from being able to truly worship God and that our eyes would be enticed heavenward. It is safe to say the Lord broke down barriers during this week and we saw students, and leaders, freely worship and encounter God, some for the very first time.
AUGUST2013 2013 •• PCPC PCPCWITNESS WITNESS AUGUST
Celebrate the surprising fruit
For months we prayed for the Lord to surprise us with what He would do in and through both leaders and students during our time in Panama City. Now we have the perspective to look back and see that God most certainly surprised us beyond anything we could have imagined. On the last night we gave students 20 minutes of silence on the beach and then entered into a time of sharing. It is hard to describe what a blessing it was to hear from students about what the Lord was teaching them during this
trip. We also had the students fill out a response card so that we could rejoice in the Lord’s work and also be faithful to follow up post the Florida Trip. Here are a few highlights that we ask you to join us in celebrating (170 response cards filled out): • 25 professed faith in Christ • 88 students are interested in talking with someone about what it means to become a Christian; • 59 students want to meet with a leader one-on-one.
We praise God for the blessing of being a part of His work on the Florida Trip this summer. We praise God for the 25 names that are now written in the Book of Life and included as sons and daughters in the family of God. We praise the Lord for His protection and grace that He lavished on the travels and logistics of taking over 250 people nearly 800 miles and back. We thank God for the truth of His Gospel and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Lord planted many seeds during this week in Panama City and we ask that you join with us as we beg the Lord to cause sweet growth in the youth of this community. Thank you for your prayers and support for this amazing, God-glorifying trip. —Philip Koons
PCPC WITNESS • AUGUST 2013
Middle School Ministry
Summer service with sizzle June brings a mixed bag of emotions. On the one hand, it’s the reality of saying goodbye to our maturing eighth grade class. Yet, it’s the exciting moment when we welcome our new fifth grade class! Like every sport, school, or ministry, each one has its starting point. June is the starting point for our middle school youth as we transition into another ministry year. With summer and sports camps around the corner, we kick off early with two summer events: Summer Sizzle (the first Monday and Tuesday of June) and Summer Night Live (SNL: the first Wednesday and Thursday).
Summer Sizzle, our fifth-sixth grade event, started at Curtis Park with a cookout, kick ball, and swimming at the UP pool. Tuesday night was a huge social event at Goar Park, when our middle school kids invited their friends and wore camouflage to play capture the flag (we like to call it BlackOps; it sounds cooler). Instead of sleeping in until noon, our Summer Sizzlers spent all Tuesday morning serving in West Dallas. This provided our students the opportunity, to not only have fun, but to serve. We cleared out, organized, and rearranged an outdoor storage facility. It was hot, smelly, and dirty, but they continued to serve. A few students, took the initiative to lead our group in un-cluttering this storage unit. It was a wonderful time for them to serve fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who were unable to deal with the storage issue because they were constantly being the hands and feet of Jesus to residents in West
Vol. XXIII, No. 3 • AUGUST 2013
Park Cities Presbyterian Church 4124 Oak Lawn Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75219 www . pcpc . org
Periodical Postage Paid at Dallas, Texas
Dallas. Tuesday night, we rented Inwood Theater to host our annual Oscar Night, where our middle school youth dress up like their favorite actor/actress or movie character. The kids do get creative and comical with their outfits!
Summer Night Live started out with our seventh and eighth graders at Main Event, where they played arcade games, laser tag, and bowling. The second day they woke up early and headed to Voice of Hope for a service project. Even though it rained, our youth selflessly committed themselves to joyfully cleaning and washing Voice of Hopes vans. Service projects allow them to put into practice everything they’ve been learning from their daily devotions to Sunday school lessons about loving and serving others. We keep the pace throughout the summer by doing outgoing, social, and fun events every Tuesday (fifth-sixth) and Thursday (seventh-eighth) night with one major event each month. In July, we went to Six Flags for the day. It was a wonderful time for our youth to fellowship with other kids, have fun, eat a lot of junk food, and, most of all, face their fears on exhilarating rides! —Brett Stokes Above, Preparing to ride The Batman at Six Flags—front: Lily Overton; middle row: (l to r) Hannah Vandermeer, Kendall Hines (intern), Lottie Featherston, Kathryn Yancy back: Katie Nance, Elli Overton, Abby Snelling, Jenni Jones Katie Nance, Hannah Vandermeer, Elli Overton, Lily Overton, Abby Snelling, Lottie Featherston, Kathryn Yancy, Jenny Jones Below left: Lily Overton Below right: (l to r) Mason DeYoung, Max Lipscomb, Christian Clarke, Nicholas Clarke