Nonprofit Organization US Postage
Permit # 911 Richmond, VA 23232
ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED
Branching through Presbytery of the James VOL. 13,
2 ~ JULY,
P UBLISHED BY: P RESBYTERY OF THE J AMES~ 321 8 C HAMBERLAYNE A VE. , R ICHMOND, V A 2 32 2 7
A 9.0 earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan. Thousands were stranded on roof tops, surrounded by water left by the tsunami that washed over the low-lying farmland of the hardest hit area, sweeping away homes, cars, railroads and businesses.
Flooding and other disasters are nothing new to the crawfishermen, casino workers, hotel housekeepers, barge skippers, watermen and other working-class individuals who make their living from the Mississippi and the Gulf. But so many problems coming so closely together are taking a toll.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
As always, the Presbyterian Women came through with an impressive effort by collecting 637 Hygiene Kits, 90 School Kits and 196 Baby Kits. Collected at the Annual Meeting in Charlottesville, the Presbytery Staff packed the boxes and transported the boxes to Church World Service in New Windsor, Maryland.
NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, estimated that there were 173 tornadoes in one day, setting a new record. The death toll topped 300. President Obama said, “We can’t control when or where a terrible storm may strike, but we can control how we respond to it, every American has been hurt by the situation.”
Donate to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. Donate on Presbytery of the James website: www.presbyteryofthejames.org Account NO. DR 000015. This is a general fund that will be used as needed. For Japan specify Account No. DR000117.
REVIEW OF THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH STATED MEETING
BOB BLUFORD NAMED VIRGINIAN OF THE YEAR
PAGE 4 CAMP HANOVER STAFF TRAINING CANOE TRIP
PAGE 8 ELEVATORS BOOST ATTENDANCE FOR ELDERLY
P R E S B Y T E RY I N R E V I E W
S EVENTY -E IGHTH S TATED M EETING ~ J UNE 21, 2011 ~ B RANDERMILL C HURCH
The Presbytery of the James held its 78th Stated Meeting on Tuesday, June 21, 2011, at Brandermill Church, Midlothian, VA. The meeting was a pleasant, relaxed, and productive one. The facility was extremely accommodating for free flowing movement of the Commissioners and sufficient spaces for all the activities of the day. Moderator Janet James led the meeting which saw a number of actions taken. We welcomed the following ministers into the presbytery: Rev. William May, Honorably Retired, from Grace Presbytery Rev. Vicky Bethel, Stated Supply Pastor for Education, Westminster Church, Charlottesville, VA from Mackinac Presbytery Rev. Steve Starzer, Pastor, Fairfield Church from Susquehanna Valley Presbytery We participated in the Commissioning of Rev. Vicky Bethel as a Certified Christian Educator. We approved Michael Clang, Brandermill Church, as a candidate for ministry in the Presbyterian Church (USA). We approved for ordination the following: Bob Shenk, Boston Presbytery to become Staff Chaplain, Bon Secours Health System; Stephen Hitchcock, POJ, to become Chaplain, Manager and Volunteer Coordinator of the Haven, Charlottesville, VA; and Jeremy Cannada, Charlotte Presbytery, to become pastor, Amelia Church. Worship included the Lord’s Supper. We heard the Rev. Shannon Kiser preach. Shannon is a member of National Capital Presbytery and is working with our New Church Development Purpose Group. Her sermon was inspiring about our call to go into the world to share the love and compassion of Christ with others. An Order of the Day at 11:15 was the consideration of the Belhar Confession to be included in our Book of Confessions. Dr. Dawn DeVries presented arguments supporting the inclusion of the Confession and Dr. James Goodloe presented arguments in opposition to including the Confession. A good debate alternating between persons speaking for and against the Confession was had. Five minutes of prayerful discernment led by Rev. Carla Pratt Keyes and Rev. John Daniel prepared the body to vote by written ballot. The vote was 128 in favor of including the Confession and 122 in opposition to include the Confession. (Note: Because
the number of presbyteries already casting their votes for Belhar were so many against including it in the Book of Confessions, the minimum of 2/3 of Presbyteries approving its inclusion was not reached and the Confession will not be added.) I would add that this vote again illustrates the importance of votes by Commissioners at Presbytery meetings. On another important amendment this year, our presbytery was tied in that debate, 153 in favor and 153 against thereby meaning the motion was defeated. Attending Presbytery meetings and voting does make a difference! During the lunch hour, four interest groups were held on various topics: Young Adult Opportunities for Mission Service in the Presbyterian Church (USA) Military/Veterans Family Retreat Planning Session for an event at Camp Hanover. Disaster Response Team presentation. Amendment 10-A conversations and update
In addition, the following actions were taken by the presbytery: Approval of the June, 2011, Presbytery minutes. Elected Elder Roger Clark to the Leadership Connections Team and Rev. Nancy Summerlin as Moderator of the Leadership Connections Team. Received for a first reading the Funding Task Group’s Report and recommendations. These recommendations will be acted on at the October, 2011, Presbytery meeting and, if approved, enacted in 2012. Approved the 2009-2011 Form of Government of the Book of Order as the Transitional Manual for the Presbytery of the James. (All Sessions are encouraged to take the same action for their Transition Manual). Elected the Camp Hanover Executive Search Committee consisting of Rev. Joel Morgan, Elder Lisa Tully, Elder Bruce Harvey, Rev. Dan Hale, Rev. Patrick Dennis, Rev. Gay Lee Einstein. The Search Committee will elect their own Moderator and leadership. Approved the validation of the following positions: Staff Chaplain, Bon Secours Health Systems, Richmond; Chaplain, Manager and Volunteer Coordinator, the Haven, Charlottesville, VA; and Executive Director of Friends of Forman Christian College, Richmond, VA.
Approved changes in terms of call for 2011 for ministers; approved 2010 Member At Large reports; approved 2010 Validated Minister’s Reports; approved 2010 Certified Educator’s Report. Granted Member at Large Status to Rev. Patrice Bittner (Jan 19, 2011); Rev. Fred Rose (November 22, 2010); Rev. Steve Cobb (January 1, 2011). Granted Honorably Retired status to Rev. Etta C. Rossman, July 31, 2010. Approved a 2012 Minimum Compensation Criteria policy which is 2.5% higher than 2011. Respectfully submitted, H. Carson Rhyne, Jr., Stated Clerk
Johnson appointed Executive Director, Forman College Dr. James A. Tebbe, President, Friends of Forman Christian College and Rector Designate, Forman Christian College has announced the appointment of Dr. Robert Johnson as Executive DiDr. Robert Johnson rector for Friends of Forman College for the United States. Dr. Johnson, along with his wife and two children, lived at Forman Christian College in 2008, where he served as Dean of the Chapel and Associate Professor for Religious Studies. He also taught historical theology at Gujranwala Seminary. During his tenure as Dean of the Chapel, he instituted a large Christian Life program for Christian students, who are a small minority in Pakistan. The program included a wellattended Chapel as well as weekly prayer Bible Studies, prayer groups and leadership committees. This program is still going strong and student’s lives continue to be transformed. Dr. Johnson’s recent position was as Interim Pastor at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church in Richmond. He began his work with Forman Christian College on June 1, 2011.
A Message from Dr. Robert Johnson On the night Bin Laden was killed, I watched the Pakistani newspaper sites, and the Facebook postings of my many Pakistani friends begin to fill with worry about what would happen next. In a country that has borne earthquakes, floods and typhoons in the past decade, the greatest fear still is of someone in a oversized coat standing near you in the bazaar, or at jumah prayers with a gut full of resentment and cultivated anger. I don’t want to minimize what will happen in Pakistan, or in the world, over the next couple of years. We know there are intensely angry people who will try to make OBL’s death the reason for indiscriminate violence. Unfortunately, some of that violence will be in Pakistan, directed at targets the haters believe stand against their cramped and skewed view of the world. What hope can there be for a place like Forman Christian College in a place like that? Should we fear, and make a strategic retreat in order to be safe? In truth, the nearly 150 years of Forman Christian College’s existence has been in the midst of conflict and ferment. That is precisely why FCC is in the right place, and why now is the right time for us not to flag in our dedication to educating new leaders for Pakistan and the world. We stayed when the original Forman Christian College closed when illness ravaged the small faculty. We stayed when the subcontinent roiled with anti-colonial sentiment in the early 1900s. We stayed when the death trains rolled into Lahore, blood streaming out of the carriages, in 1947. We stayed in 1965 when jets screamed over the campus, and artillery fire could be heard as India and Pakistan battled nearby. We were forced to give up the campus in 1972, but after 30 years of prayer, persuasion and negotiation, we came back again to remain true to our calling today. I cannot deny that there are unique dangers in today’s Pakistan. However, our commitment to our mission as a college, and to the people of Pakistan has never been dependent on what was safe or comfortable. Our pledge, in both our missionary calling, and in our abiding belief in the power of education is to be where the need is, and that is where we are. Your support, in prayer, advocacy and money helps us to stay right with that need. There may be no more important place in the world to be. Together, we can stave off the heading for the exits that so many seem to favor and stay, as we always have, at the corner of Zahoor Elahi Road and Canal Boulevard.
Published by Presbytery of the James, 3218 Chamberlayne Ave., Richmond, VA 23227. Editorial Rights Reserved. Articles without by-lines are written by the editor. The Vine is a publication mailed free to members of Presbytery of the James congregations. Submissions, corrections, letters or requests for additional copies should be sent to: Clifton Edwards, Editor; Presbytery of the James; 3218 Chamberlayne Avenue., Richmond, VA 23227 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Young Adults selected for India, Kenya Mission Two local young adults, Nicole Childress and Amelia Volger have been selected by the General Assembly Mission Council to serve in mission on behalf of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). They will serve with the International Young Adult Volunteer program. Nicole Childress will serve in India and Amelia Vogler will serve in Kenya. The International Young Adult Volunteer Program offers opportunities in Christian service and learning for young adults (21-30 years of age) in six sites around the world. The job descriptions for the volunteers depend both on the needs of the partner and the skills of the Young Adult Volunteer. In each placement, the volunteer works with a church or organization, develops Christian community, and meets regularly for prayer and Bible study with other Young Adult Volunteers. Nicole and Amelia recently attended the Placement Event on the campus of
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary where the volunteers had the opportunity to discern their placement in the midst of a community that included other volunteers, international site coordinators and the Young Adult Volunteer Program staff. Funding for their time serving internationally is shared by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Young Adult Volunteer, supporting congregation(s) and presbyteries, as well as family and friends. The appointment as a Young Adult Volunteer is considered a full-time position, and volunteers are not allowed to secure other employment while they are serving overseas. They receive a small stipend to cover basic living expenses in the country where they will live and work. With the approval of the General Assembly Mission Council, mission workers are asked to help raise funds to help defray the costs of supporting them and their work where they are assigned.
By Zachary Reid Richmond-Times Dispatch
something good is what prompted a former Hampden-Sydney College classmate to nominate him for the award. “It’d be impossible for me to tell you over the telephone everything,” said Sumpter Priddy, who suggested the nomination. “I can’t think of a more giving, or more forgiving man than Bob.” Bluford was a B-24 pilot in World War II—and again, briefly, last year, on a flight from Charlottesville to Richmond. Bluford has worked tirelessly and continues to work for the preservation of the historic Polegreen Church site in Hanover County, and commemorate the struggle for civil and religious freedom.
To the amazing life of the Rev. Robert Bluford, Jr., add (at least) one more accomplishment. The one-time pilot, preacher, historian, preservationist and medical visionary was named Virginian of the Year by the Virginia Press Association at the group’s annual conference. He was honored for the humble, often selfless manner in which he has pursued nearly everything in his life. “I’d really rather the focus not be on me,” he said, “but if this increases awareness of the various causes I’ve supported, it’s all right.” In years past, the retired Presbyterian minister’s passions have included the Fan Free Clinic, which he helped found in 1968, and Civil War site preservation. Now at 92, he’s still a causeoriented activist, with better treatment of Virginia’s Native Americans and a Civil War memorial among his top pursuits. “We need to make amends for the rather shabby treatment we’ve given to Native Americans in Virginia,” he said. His Civil War dream, he said, is planting a tree for every American killed during the war along a 100-plus mile stretch of U.S. 15. Bluford’s never-ending pursuit of
Rev. Bob Bluford in costume.
Amelia Volger Second Presbyterian Church Richmond
Nicole Childress First Presbyterian Church Richmond
(left to right) Mary Lambert, Karen Westbook (director of music), Norita Guild, Judy Bowles.
Salem receives $1000 McComb Award By Sandi Shaner
Salem Presbyterian Church, Studley, is the first winner of the Louise McComb Award for congregations that are creatively meeting vital Christian Education needs of older adults in the church community. This award is presented by Union Presbyterian Seminary. Salem is a small church located in rural Hanover County, built in 1829, and composed largely of older adults. In July of 2009, pastor Sandi Shaner and Music Director Karen Westbrook decided to promote a program for those who are available in the mornings and to include other small churches in the area who are also lacking in programs. It began with a vision to gather and sing hymns and have some light-hearted fun, but the monthly “Sing-A-Long” has turned into a ministry of Christian outreach, education, and fellowship. The first Thursday of each month at 10 am, 30-45 people arrive representing up to 16 different churches of all denominations. After a big welcome and prayer, many beloved hymns are sung and new ones learned. Each month features a
“Hymn of the Month.” The attendees learn about the origin of the hymn, the life of the composer and/or poet and their faith journey, and are made more aware of the scriptures through singing the hymn. All seem to love this approach and look forward to learning each month. Guest musicians are periodically featured and members of a neighboring church’s hand bell choir come approximately twice a year, bringing chimes to teach “ringing.” There is a special time in each gathering when special days (birthdays, anniversaries, and other celebrations and milestones) are recognized and there is a “roll call” of churches to recognize the churches represented. If time allows, some “fun songs of yesteryear” close the session. After prayer and blessing, a time of fellowship with light refreshments gives all a time to get better acquainted. There is the praising of God, learning of scripture and hymn history, Christian fellowship, the sharing of religious beliefs and traditions along with reaching out to others, bringing them into the joy of being with other Christians. Vine—July, 2011—3
‘Stamps for Missions’ exceeds $8,500 By Molly Ashby
Presbyterian Women have provided Peggy Reinhold, our “Stamp Lady” and retired mission worker to Congo, with many stamps to be sold to stamp dealers. She provides funds for the printing press in Congo where Christian Education materials are printed. She purchases Bibles and hymnals for pastors and lay leaders. She also provides scholarships for pastors who wish to attend seminary in Congo as well as funds for further education in Belgium. Stamps needed are commemoratives (large oblong stamps), definitive. There are series of stamps that ar e v alu a b le: Fl ag s of N at i o n s , G a m e s , O l y mp i c s , S t a r Wars, Wonders of America, Ma rv e l Comics, etc. CLIP carefully around each stamp leaving 1/2 to 1/2 inch of single thickness of envelope. This is called a “frame”. Take stamps to any PW meeting or to your local church.
Canoe Training Exercises McMurry publishes Forgotten Awakening Roughly corresponding in time to the Great Awakening in the east, there was an extraordinary outpouring of prophecy among the tribes of western Montana, Idaho and eastern Washington. Occurring prior to the arrival of white people, these prophecies began to alert there tribes to the Christian gospel, soon to arrive on their doorstep. One prophecy told of a Savior born long ago, whose birth they should celebrate annually. Another revealed “a talisman of terrific strength”—the cross. A third revealed a book—”leaves bound together”—that “white-skinned one” would bring, to tell of God. Based on 25 years of research in original historical documents, Douglas McMurry has created a running narrative to rappers, business executives, tribal chiefs and missionaries that will keep your attention, destroy all your stereotypes, and introduce you to an era of American history that few remember today. 4—Vine—July, 2011
Report of Stamps for Missions 2010 On hand Jan 1, 2010 ................................... $ 297.34 Received from stamp sales .......................8,210.28.00 Purchase of Bibles ........................................... 3,000.00 Bible Studies ........................................................2,100.00 Scholarships ........................................................... 416.00 Transportation Costs ........................................... 316.00 Rabbitt & Palm Projects........................................ 811.50 Repairs in Upreco housing ................................... 25.00 Medications .............................................................. 60.00 Linn’s Stamp News .................................................. 45.95 Shipping costs ....................................................... 298.46 Staples (store) ........................................................... 35.11 Total ................................................................. $ 8,507.62
News release By Bob Pryor
On June 10 and 11, 2011, two groups of Camp Hanover summer staff participated in a training canoe trip on the South and North Anna Rivers. Water levels were low and necessitated some walking in the river and dragging boats across sunken logs. Though the groups took plenty of water and were encouraged to drink at regular intervals, the newness of the situation for many of the staff members, the physical exertion, and the heat all led to six members of one of the groups becoming dehydrated. Through the fine efforts of the Caroline and Hanover Rescue Squads, these staff members were evacuated from the river and taken to Regional Memorial and VCU hospitals where they were rehydrated. By Friday evening the Regional Memorial patients were released and returned to camp. As of Saturday at noon, the VCU patients were released and had returned to camp. We celebrate with their families and friends their safe return to camp and give thanks for all of you who lifted them up in prayer since the incident. Camp Hanover has been taking canoe trips like these for more than fifty years. Safety for all participants is always paramount as we seek to provide experiences which nurture the individual as well as building a Christian community. This is the first time such an incident like this has happened. As a camp accredited by the American Camp Association, Camp Hanover has policies and procedures in place which dictate how out-of-camp trips are prepared for and implemented. These procedures were followed. However, as is our protocol, when any situation occurs that requires medical attention, all relevant policies and procedures will be reviewed and changed if deemed necessary. In particular, the camp staff will review the policies which deal with unusually hot and dry weather conditions. We encourage parents and families preparing for outdoor activities this summer to plan for safe fun in the sun, with plenty of hydration. Hanover will open its 55th summer of building a Christian community on June 20, 2011, when the first of approximately 900 residential campers will arrive. Sessions last from two days to two weeks in length. Camp Hanover is non-profit, and is owned and operated by Presbytery of The James.
CO LL EGI AT E MI NIST RIE S PU RP OS E G ROU P
Embracing Middle Eastern immigrants By Cary Estes Presbyterians Today
By Rev. Bob Azzarito Campus Minister
The Campus Christian Community is an ecumenical ministry on the campus of the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA and is supported by the Presbyterian, United Methodist, and Lutheran and Episcopal denominations. This has been both an exciting and challenging year for us. We entered 2011 with a $12K budget deficit due mostly to the financial stress being felt by many. But with the help of many of our area churches, our alumni and many friends, we were able to make up about 7K of that deficit within the first few months. Our students also pitched in by having fund raisers and keeping expenses down whenever possible. We’ve also been making a much bigger effort to let our area churches know more about our ministry and the impact this program has on students. Students have been volunteering in church youth programs, packing lunches for community meals, providing mission moments in services and presentations at Sunday School classes. Our student ministry team has also created a “church” newsletter and sent it out to stay in touch with congregations. We took a group of students back to Honduras in December and they had a very rewarding trip. They participated in repairing/building schools in several villages surrounding El Progreso. They also volunteered in the Nutrition Center for malnourished babies. IHNFA, the state run orphanage, as well as “Our Little Roses,” an all girls home for abandoned girls. We’ve implemented a new program this year, called “coffeeology” on Sunday nights. Students gather at 7 pm, drink coffee and discuss big questions about life and theology. It’s been a big hit. Campus ministry is tasked with the job of making leaders for tomorrow’s church and world and one aspect of this effort is providing a safe place for students to think and examine these important matters of life and faith. We continue to have regular Table Talk programs on Thursdays with about 50 students with dinner provided by one of our churches. We are privileged to have so many supportive churches and caring people who are interested in developing the next generation of leaders. Students, board and staff
members of the CCC thank all of you for your on-going interest, sacrifice and participation.
By Rev. Laura Sugg Associate Pastor, Westminster, Charlottesville
Westminster Presbyterian Church (WPC) in Charlottesville was founded in 1939 as an outreach to the University of Virginia. In the 1950’s, the Synod bought the white house next to the church and, not long after, sold it for about $1 to the church for its use. Situated on Rugby Road, two blocks from Jefferson’s Rotunda, both the church and the house, now known as Common Grounds, are in a key location to serve the University Community. The white house was known as the Prism Coffeehouse for decades, but the musical venue left the building in 2006. After a two-year process, the church renovated the first floor to make it warm and inviting to students, moving the campus ministry events to the white house from the basement of the church office building in August 2008. With the new visibility, came increased attendance on Tuesday nights, and Presbyterian Student Fellowship continues to flourish. University Mission is now concluding its third academic year there. Non-profits (currently Building Goodness Foundation and AA regional office) still occupy the space upstairs at reduced rents. The Associate Pastor at Westminster Church has long also served as the PCUSA campus minister at UVA, with the church’s University Mission Committee coordinating all aspects of the ministry. The heart of the congregation’s outreach is Presbyterian Student Fellowship and its Tuesday meetings for dinner, fellowship and prayer, and the Sunday lunches. Average attendance for each is 15-20 students. Church members provide the meals for both—and that means about 30 lunches and 30 suppers per academic year! A fall retreat to Massanetta Springs was a nice getaway for a small group of students and Laura Sugg the campus minister. Students also volunteer with the twoweek hosting of PACEM, the homeless shelter for about 40-50 men; and they help with IMPACT the interfaith congregationally-based community.
out because of religious persecution. They often arrive hurriedly in the United States, unprepared for life in the new country. Yacoub and other church members meet the immigrants at the airport. The congregation helps them find housing, complete with furniture and basic kitchen and household
What began as a Bible study attended by a small number of Middle Eastern immigrants has grown over the past 15 years into the thriving Christian Arabic Church. Membership in the congregation is near 100, but regular attendance for the Arabic-language Sunday services held at Third Presbyterian Church is closer to 150. Many visitors and new arrivals are pulled in by the church’s welcoming outreach efforts. “This church has become a community for the new immigrants,” said Amgad Beblawi, former associate for Middle Eastern congregation support in the United Stated for the PresRev. Fakhri Yacoub, baptizing new member. byterian Church (U.S.A.)’s items. They are given a week’s worth General Assembly Mission Council. Pastor Fakhri Yacoub sees Chris- of groceries and aid in obtaining any tian Arabic Church as being both a necessary medications. Most of all, the members of the spiritual ministry and a service proChristian Arabic Church throw open vider for new immigrants. Many of the immigrants—mostly their arms and assure the immigrants from Egypt but some others are from that they are not alone in this strange, throughout the Middle East, forced new world.
Dedication for Louisa’s new faciliites By Brian Cain, The Central Virginian
Members of Louisa Presbyterian Church gathered on Sunday, June 5, to dedicate their new fellowship hall. Rev. Todd McCoy told the congregation that the completion of the hall isn’t the completion of the church’s work. “It is merely a tool.” McCoy said membership had dwindled to 28 when the church formed the building committee for the fellowship hall six years ago. “But they knew Christ wasn’t finished with this church,” said McCoy.
Since the formation of the building committee, the membership has doubled. According to McCoy, the building project, which cost over $400,000, received a boost when one of the church’s members left a considerable donation in her will. Since its completion, the fellowship hall has been put to good use for Calvin’s Closet, by Moms Club of Louisa, Cub Scouts and the congregation. “It is what we do here that makes the building special . . . .” McCoy said. “It is special because we gather in the name of the Lord.”
Louisa Presbyterian Church showing new fellowship hall.
By Cindy Mabry First Presbyterian Church, Richmond
Thoughts from mission workers. “Having lived through the earthquake in Port-au-Prince and safely travelling to the US Embassy, we felt so helpless and unable to do anything meaningful for the Haitians we had traveled to work with on our mission trip. At the same time our church was organizing a team to go to Clean Water U. with an opportunity to travel back to Haiti and help in a meaningful way, by providing clean water to those who are in such need, is a gift from God to those of us who want to do something that truly helps the people in Haiti.” said Corell Moore “Medical mission trips have provided me opportunities to share the friendship, joy and faithfulness of the people of Bluefields, Nicaragua in an environment so different from my own. Living Waters for the World program provides the chance to help them experience the health benefits of clean water.” said Steve Sigel In frequent travels to Haiti we see children lugging heavy water bottles for miles. For many this water is not even clean. So many precious Haitian children spend much of their lives getting water, the basic building block of health. We feel so privileged to be able to help bring clean water to communities in Haiti. After the outbreak of cholera, the need and desire for water purification systems is even greater. Water is a fundamental human need, and yet over one billion people lack reliable access to this precious resource. More than three million people die each year from water-related illness, and most of them are children, with immune systems that cannot handle contaminated water. This photograph of a woman in Nicaragua walking for water for her family is on my screensaver. It reminds me of the distance (3.7 miles) and tremendous amount of time each day that women and children must walk to get water for their families. And it isn’t even CLEAN! Ten members of First Presbyterian Church (FPC) attended Clean Water U in the spring of 2010 (through Living Waters for the World Mission teams), have collectively installed over 340 systems in 24 countries throughout the world since the early 1990’s. Our FPC Clean Water Ministry team has chosen two partner communities, —one in Bluefields, Nicaragua with Central Moravian Church, where we have had ongoing relationships and a Medical Mission for over ten years and the second partner is Haiti Micah in Mirebalais, Haiti. This is a school serving 850 students. In July, we will be traveling to Bluefields to teach our partners how to install their own water filtration system and to teach the community leaders about health, hygiene and spiritual education. Having a strong partnership is the key reason for the success of this ministry. It empowers local communities and their leaders to ultimately have a sustainable system that they will own and operate over many, many years. FPC has also recently teamed with a partner in Mirebalais, Haiti just north of Port au Prince. Plans are being made to install a water filtration system with solar power in the fall. In Haiti, there is an unreliable Filtration System 8 —Vine—July, 2011
source of electricity and solar power is required. Two members of our team were trained this spring at Solar Under the Sun to learn how to install solar and evaluate other sites. God has blessed this ministry with teams, partners in mission, training and funding. In fact, much of this year was spent raising awareness and funds to support these installations. The cost for one standard filtration system, like we will use in Nicaragua, is about $3,500 to $5,000. In Haiti, solar power is also a component and its cost adds another $8,000 or $9,000 to the total. Our first FPC “Walk for Water” in March raised almost $9,000 to support an installation—and it was a great opportunity to bring people of all ages in the congregation together for a wonderful cause. Part of our time as a mission team is to learn to grow as individuals in our spiritual life. This is our link to a larger purpose. It opens the door for the Holy Spirit to be present and a part of our gathering. Working with extremely poor communities in Nicaragua and Haiti teaches me about life and wakes me up to the active work of Jesus Christ in all parts of the world.
Presbyterian Church of Congo By Ruth Charles Brown Ginter Park Presbyterian Church
While staying at Methodist-Presbyterian Hostel (an inn for international, interdenominational missionaries, private and public development workers, and for parents in the child adoption process), waiting for a “visa in lieu of passport” for travel to Kananga during the two months needed to process a permanent visa, I was able to visit programs of the Kinshasa Presbyterian Church during Holy Week. My first visit was to learn about the Presbyterian Women’s program of the Presbyterian Community (Church) of Kinshasa was on Good Friday, and I found the church we visited to be a powerful example of God’s decree to “be kind to widows and orphans.” The members of the Presbyterian Women of L e mb a P r e sb y t er i a n Church of Centre Synod, who themselves are struggling to feed their families in the sweltering inner city, where soil is poor and scarce and where public water and electricity are almost nonexistent. Every September these
Presbyterian Women provide all the children entering school with all their school supplies and funds for books. Every Wednesday, throughout the school year, these church women bring grain from their homes to provide lunch for the children in the orphanage who are not attending school. The women of Lemba Presbyterian Church provide outreach, with food and garden plants, and prayer, and prayer support to 60 widows. They sell small jars of moringa leaf powder for $5 and $10, and hand-crafts for support. Ruth Charles Brown
Freedom House—shelter, food and power to change Cindy Barton, Freedom House Grant Administrator
What does the face of hunger and homelessness look like to you? Is it the man or woman living under the bridge? The panhandler on the street corner? Well those are not the typical faces we see at Freedom House. The face of hunger is the grandfather utilizing the Soup Kitchen at the end of the month to help feed the grandson he has custody of. It is the ex-offender who is doing his best to work, but can only find work at the temp agency. If not for the Soup Kitchen he could not afford to eat. It is the man who lost his job, then his housing, and now lives at the Community Shelter to help him rebuild his life. It is the woman who succumbed to drugs, sought help at the Community Shelter to overcome her addiction and is now permanently housed. Founded in 1983 by a group of volunteer churches, Freedom House began by serving an Evening Meal to over 150 people each night – now called the Conrad Center Soup Kitchen. As other gaps in service were identified in the homeless services system, Freedom House responded by opening two transitional housing facilities for single adults; The Community Shelter (1987) and Sean’s Place (1993). For the last 28 years we have provided a strong and responsive continuum of programs for people in crisis that engages individuals and families in services, sustains them through our feeding and shelter programs, and supports them through their return to independence. The continuum of care we provide helps us form an effective partnership built on trust and respect with those we serve. The Conrad Center program provides a daily breakfast, bagged lunch and dinner to the homeless and work-
ing poor—over 48,000 meals per year. Meaningful long-term alleviation of hunger is rooted in the alleviation of poverty. The Conrad Center's feeding and services programming not only provides hunger relief but also addresses the root causes of hunger—costly health issues, lack of mainstream benefits, and low wages and unemployment—by providing meals within a one-stop supportive services center. Central Intake, the single port of entry to shelter, is co-located in our Center. All meals clients have access to Central Intake for housing supports and crisis case management. Social Services, Veteran's Affairs and the Daily Planet Health Care programs all provide services at our Center. Last year we referred 664 individuals and families to housing, health screenings and mainstream benefits, all of which positively impacts individuals and families with the greatest needs. Freedom House was started by volunteers and continues to thrive because of our volunteers, hundreds of which are members of Presbytery of the James churches. The Conrad Center is the only daily breakfast and dinner program of its' kind in the area. This feat is only achieved through our collaborations with an army of over 800 members of community and faith based organizations that purchase, prepare and serve over 48,000 meals a year. Volunteer groups also donate household supplies on a regular basis and help with fund raising and special programming for clients. Freedom House strongly believes in the effectiveness of employing those that have overcome homelessness. Two of the Case Managers, 3 overnight staff and 4 of the 5 staff members at our Soup Kitchen are all past graduates of the Community Shelter. These staff members serve as role models and mentors for others,
giving them hope that they too can overcome their barriers to independence. Over the last 12 years that we have focused on making this a best practice within the organization, we
have witnessed countless incidences where the interaction between these staff members and those in crisis have been the catalyst for positive change in the lives of those we serve.
Bethlehem breaks ground for new sanctuary
It was on Palm Sunday, April 17, 2011 that Bethlehem Presbyterian Church made history—they broke ground for a new sanctuary! “Celebrating our heritage and proclaiming our faith,” Bethlehem turned the sod with six “golden shovels” that symbolized their dream, their vision, their future, their history, their tradition, and their faith. More than thirty members participated in the “turning of the sod,” each representing various groups within the congregation. More than 150 members and friends attended the outdoor ceremony and worship service, along with special guests from Hanover County, neighboring congregations, supporting agencies, and local representatives. Their contractor, Mr. David Norman of Norman Company, Inc. was in attendance, as were representatives from their architectural firm, Huff Morris Architects, Inc. of Richmond. Preaching that day was their pastor, the Rev. Rebekah J. Johns, and presiding at the ceremony was our General Presbytery/Stated Clerk, the Rev. H. Carson Rhyne, Jr. Bethlehem is one of our many historic congregations within the Presbytery of the James. Once part of the Samuel Davies Churches (Bethlehem, Salem, Beulah) for more than one hundred and thirty eight years, Bethlehem became “independent” in 1973 and for thirty-eight years has remained vital and relevant in the Old Church community of Hanover County. Elder Willie H. Hunley (now deceased), along with his wife, Betty Hunley (a Presbyterian Women’s elder-leader), generously gifted the congregation in the mid-1980s with a challenge to match their contribution and build “new” facilities at Bethlehem. Now that that goal is reached, Bethlehem is moving forward to the next step. The site work has begun on the 8200 square foot addition, and all the hard work of the planning phase is now being brought to life—a fully handicapaccessible sanctuary seating 225, plus a full basement. So much has been accomplished in the last few years, a feasibility study, congregational meetings and surveys, fund-raising, planning, etc., in preparation for this moment, and while there is still so much to be done, Bethlehem has a steady hand and a strong heart to complete the task for occupancy in the Spring 2012—just in time for their 175th Anniversary celebration that fall. Indeed, Bethlehem continues in “celebrating our heritage and proclaiming our faith,” believing that God has brought them to this historic moment to bring glory to God. “This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.” Psalm 118.23
Former residents become workers at Freedom House.
Chapel named to honor Bulla
Testing the National Covenant
On Tuesday, May 24, 2011, at 1 pm, at Building 2601, the last chapel being used at the Army at Fort Pickett, was dedicated in honor of Chaplain/First Lieutenant Thomas McNeill Bulla who died from combat wounds in World War I. Engraved on the marker insert below: “Thomas McNeill Bulla was born in North Carolina on 4 Jan. 1881. Ordained a Presbyterian minister, he was called here to the First Presbyterian Church of Emporia in 1911. In April 1917, he became chaplain of the 116th Infantry Regiment. 29th Infantry Division, and in June 1918 sailed to France. There he joined the troops in the trenches, often venturing into no-man’s-land to rescue wounded soldiers. On 15 Oct. 1918, during the Battle of the Meuse, he was himself wounded. He died two days later, the only chaplain of a Virginia regiment to lose his life in the war.”
Kirk Hall—South Plains Presbyterian Church The first new building in the Long Range Planning Committee’s focus was dedicated on June 6, 2011. The new facility contains a large fellowship room with kitchen, classrooms, a choir room, pastor’s study and office space. The spacious facility, to be know as the Kirk Hall, will be used for church dinners and other events and will allow room for the entire church family to gather. This congregation has a mission for the future.
On Sunday afternoon, April 17, 2011, a new grill at the Norfleet pavilion was dedicated. The gift of the grill was made possible by gifts from family and friends as a living memorial for Joan Bell Norfleet. Approximately 40 members of the Bell and Norfleet families and their friends were part of the beautiful afternoon of remembering Joan and her love for Camp Hanover. This generous gift provides those who use Norfleet pavilion with a convenient and effective means for cooking meals. It will be a constant reminder of Joan’s lifelong association with Camp Hanover, first as a camper, then a staff member and later as an advocate for the ministry. Her two children, Sarah Norfleet Baird and William Norfleet hosted the event.
“Wise, clear, profound, and eloquent, William F. May’s new book should be read by anyone who cares about America. He puts on display our runaway fears and desires. He traces the ways those anxieties and appetites have distorted our international policy, and our domestic policy, and our economic life. It is a prophetic indictment of our culture, but it is no mere jeremiad. It is a hopeful call for a course correction for a turning (or a returning) to the tradition of covenant. The concluding chapters eloquently contrast and point the way to a better common life in America.” —Allen Verhey, Professor of Theological Ethics Duke Divinity School
Norfleet and Bell family and friends gather in Norfleet Pavilion for dedication of new outdoor kitchen.
A little church history
From Manchester to Chesterfield The increase in the number of churches in the Manchester area, around the turn of the century was in response to the growth in the business and residential sectors. The first meeting of the Presbyterians in Manchester occurred when Parson Turner established a Sunday School at the old Masonic Hall on 5th Street in 1812. In 1870 a meeting, sparked by Miss Margaret Allen, was held to organize the First Presbyterian Church of Manchester. The first elders were William Buell and Henry Fitzgerald and the Deacons were O. H. and W. T. Lithgow. In July, 1889 construction began on the First Presby10 —Vine—July, 2011
terian Church of Manchester at 10th and Porter Streets. The name was changed to Porter Street Presbyterian Church in 1910 when Manchester consolidated with Richmond. In 1966 the congregation left for a new church, Southminister Presbyterian Church in Chesterfield County and the Porter Street Church was torn down. The church manse, built in 1895 still stands today at 1008 Porter Street. Pictured at left is the Order of Worship from April 12, 1936. After 29 years as pastor of Southminster Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Richard H. Lindsey Jr. has retired and is “enjoying a lot of unscheduled time.” His retirement plans will need to evolve, said Dick, who stepped down March 31, 2011. “I really am enjoying the break from the church schedule. I really never had a real sabbatical, so I feel like this time is it.”
Millsaps wins prestigious Red Smith Award Bill Millsaps, Moderator of the Permanent Judicial Committee and former sports editor at the Times-Dispatch has received American sports writing’s highest honor, the Red Smith Award, given annually by the Associated Press Sports Editors for “major contributions to sports journalism.” Millsaps brought his straightforward prose and behind-the-scenes reporting to a variety of sporting events,
from high school games to the Olympics, World Series and Super Bowl. Over the past three years, he has mined those experiences to write features for BOOMER Magazine on covering the Masters gold tournament and the Richmond Braves. He also has interviewed such figures as golfers Curtis Strange and football coach Frank Beamer. The Red Smith award, established in 1981, has been given to such luminaries
An open letter to the POJ Community Dear Presbytery of the James Community, Thank you so much for supporting my mission trip to Uganda. It was such an incredible experience. It is really hard for me to describe with words what happened, but I will try my best. In the mornings we hung out with kids, who lived and slept on the streets, for about an hour before reading and interpreting a message from the Bible for them. After that we give them 2 chapatti (or tortillas) and a banana for lunch, and for many of them it was the only meal they received that day. In addition to food, we gave them one thing per day: toothbrush, notes of encouragement, t-shirts, shoes and Bibles. They cheered every single day and were so excited. When they got the Bibles they just kept coming up to us and saying “Auntie, Auntie! Let me read to you!,” or “Auntie, take a photo of me with my Bible!” They were so precious and extremely grateful. So thank you for helping us collect those items and the money we spent toward food for them. After we left the field with the homeless kids, we went to visit the boys in the orphanage. When we arrived they swarmed the car and were just so happy to greet us with “You are most welcome.” It usually took at least ﬁfteen minutes to say hello because they all just wanted to talk to us so badly. When we were ﬁnally able to settle down we split up into small groups and had Bible study for about an hour. They were so attentive and thoroughly enjoyed that time. We got so close to those boys and really got a chance to see their hearts. The attitudes, love, and perspective of life, God, and friendship/brotherhood makes it difﬁcult to be back in America because of the sharp contrast, but I am starting to see God’s love again here. God is everywhere, and the life and freedom he offers isn’t just in Uganda, it is in His words and obeying His commands. It wasn’t until I started talking to or hanging out with the lonely, depressed, and homeless here in America that I realized I can’t limit God to Africa; I can only limit myself. I learned some very valuable lessons and my life has been changed. “My” things are no longer mine. They belong to whoever needs the them most (that could be me, but most likely not for very long). I learned about the present and urgent needs that they have and cannot wait to help them out more as the resources become more available (most likely after I graduate but who knows how God will provide until then!) I have not only fallen in love with about Ugandan smiles and hearts, but my purpose in life, love of God, and passion has grown down to my core. Not only have I changed, but I know those boys have been encouraged and loved through emotional, physical and spiritual means. God is go good and I cannot thank you enough for helping me go on this enlightening trip. Michelle Gordon
as Jim Murray, Shirley Povich, Dave Kindred, Dave Anderson, Jerome Holtzman, Dick Schaap and Mitch Albom. Misssaps Received the 2011 award June 24 at APSE’s convention in Boston. Millsaps retired in 2005 after serving as Managing Editor and Executive Editor of the TimesDispatch.
William H. Millsaps
POJ/Shenandoah joint retreat By Gordon Lindsey
By the waters of Massanetta Springs, adults from both POJ and Shenandoah churches gathered on May 5 to explore the appeal of the Psalms to Christians. The day retreat was an outgrowth of the work of the POJ purpose group, Older Adult Ministries. This purpose group has been sponsoring an annual retreat for POJ older adults at Camp Hanover for many years. They have proved popular. Speakers have addressed a variety of topics— from health to spirituality--that concern older adults. The purpose group found, however, most attendees came from Richmond area churches. “We began asking how we might better serve older adults in the western fringe of the presbytery,” says Gordon Lindsey, purpose group member. “We had the idea of sponsoring a similar retreat in cooperation with Sh en ando ah Pr es b yter y a t Massan e tta Springs.” The purpose group approached Shenandoah and found a strong response to the idea. So a pilot retreat was planned. It drew 105 registrants, onethird from POJ churches and two-thirds from Shenandoah churches. The day was beautiful at Massanetta. Bright sun shone on blooming trees and flowers. The keynote speaker was the POJ’s Jane Govan, pastor of Cove Presbyterian Church. She titled her presentation: “Songs of the Faithful Heart: The Psalms Speak to All God’s People.”
Sh e no ted for example that the Psalms are the most quoted book of the Old Testament in the New Testament. “Quo ting th e Psalms among the Jews was much like our Rev. Jane Govan quoting our hymn books. All one had to do was recite the first line, and the rest of the whole psalm would come to mind,” she said. She incorporated both commentary on specific psalms into her talk and diverse exercises to help attendees connect with the psalms. They included a slide show on creation, sharing exercises, questions for personal reflection, and an opportunity to draw the theme of Psalm 1 with crayons. Pat Valentine from South Plains Presbyterian and her friend Jonne Clemmer expressed the psalms in music. “It was a great way to ponder the Psalms,” said one attendee afterwards. “We are hoping that this pilot retreat can become an annual ministry shared by the two presbyteries,” says Lindsey. “Such joint projects are another expression of our Presbytery’s pr ior ity on conn ection isms .” The purpo s e group will hold its next POJ retreat at Camp Hanover on October 13.
Group gathers for a walk around the Massanetta grounds. Vine—July, 2011—11
Three from Gayton-Kirk traveled to Costa Rica
Sworn in as U.S. Navy Chaplain
By Janet James Gayton-Kirk Presbyterian Church
The group from Gayton Kirk that went to Costa Rica learned a lot thatweek. We experienced God as an artist. We saw shades of green we had never seen before. Red is RED and yellow is YELLOW in the rain forest. We also learned of God's expansive abilities: a frog is not always green and hopping around. Some of the frogs we saw were red with what looked like blue jeans on their legs. And we learned about the God who wants to relate to us and who wants us to relate to others. During our visit to Arbolitos, Costa Rica, Sharon Adams, Mac Pence and I saw first hand the hardship of those who have limited access to education. I realized that it is very difficult for human beings to reach our full potential if we are not provided with opportunities to explore the environ-
On March 16, 2011, Caitilin Richardson-Hoy was sworn in as Lieutenant Junior Grade in the U.S. Navy to begin her service as a Chaplain on August of this year. “I am (l to r) Janet James, pastor, Gayton Kirk, Mac Pence and Sharon Adams in Costa Rica.
ment with our whole selves: minds, hearts and souls. The community of caring people in Arbolitos now has more opportunities to learn about God's world and explore their responsibilities as stewards of God's creation. Thank you, Gayton Kirk, for being a Siga Ministry partner.
Through our contributions we have helped the floating library supply schools with books, assisted in building a library for the community and have reassured our brothers and sisters in the faith that they are not forgotten. And, we have done this in the name of Jesus our Lord.
honored and eager to begin serving our military men and women, to aid them as they labor in defense of our freedoms under intense physical and emotional challenges”, said Rev. Richardson-Hoy.
Installation of elevators credited for lift in attendance Ashland Ashland Presbyterian Church has a second floor fellowship hall with kitchen where we have many events during during the year. Breakfasts, Lunches and a few years back we had a play that ran two nights to full houses. Out congregation is aging, and the elevator was installed and running before the play was performed. A great many people who had not been seen in the hall were there thanks to the new elevator. We stationed our few youngsters to demonstrate how to operate it.
Brett Reed Brett Reed Memorial Presbyterian Church has recently completed a remodeling of the entire church at a coat of $250,000. This remodeling included the installation of an elevator and a new
portico on the back of the church. Above the portico a room was gained for meetings and as a small prayer chapel.
for the installation of the elevator. Rivermont expresses it’s appreciation for all the work that went into get this monumental task.
It was a great day of blessing and celebration as members of Rivermont Presbyterian Church came together to dedicate the new elevator installed in February. They all joined hands in prayer with thanks and joy as the Pastor Caitilin Hoy, said a blessing, dedicating the elevator to the praise, honor and glory of God. Rivermont is a caring, wholehearted, committed and growing congregation dedicated to carrying out the great mission of the church. The elevator was made possible by Ralph Lewis Hayslett, who was a dear friend and fromer member of the church, who graciously left us a generous financial gift which allowed
Included in the new Kirk Hall is a new elevator. The elevator is equipped with a phone in case of an emergency. If there is no answer locally, it automatically initiates a call to Schindler Elevator for safety and service. It is recommended that children under 10 not be allowed to operate it without an adult.
SOUTH PLAINS Elearnor Dickerman, June Mueller
12 —Vine—July, 2011
New portico at Brett Reed
BREET REED Dorothy Walker Krewatch