Nonprofit Organization US Postage
Permit # 911 Richmond, VA 23232
Kathryn Lester-Bacon, p 2
Nelson Reveley, p 2
85th Stated Meeting Bethlehem Church, Review, p2
Todd Davidson, p 2
Sandy Creek Gospel Bluegrass Band– p. 6
Mosaic of Peace—p. 3
PUBLISHED BY PRESBYTERY OF THE JAMES 3218 CHAMBERLAYNE AVE., RICHMOND, VA 23227
Camp Hanover Winter Camp?, p4-5
VOLUME 12, NUMBER 3 ~ NOVEMBER, 2013
EDITORIAL RIGHTS RESERVED. SUBMISSIONS, CORRECTIONS, LETTERS OR REQUESTS FOR ADDITIONAL COPIES SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO: CLIFTON EDWARDS, EDITOR, PRESBYTERY OF THE JAMES, 3219 CHAMBERLAYNE AVE., RICHMOND, VA. 23227 or call 804-262-2074
Salisbury breaks ground for new Education Wing Expansion
Salisbury Pre-School Wing by Clifton Edwards
Salisbury Church broke ground for a new Pre-School Wing addition on Sunday, September 8th, 2013, following worship services. The new addition will provide a two-story, 16,000 square-foot state-of-theart educational facility for the
church's successful pre-school program. The expansion project includes 14 new classrooms, 8 of which are designed to provide pre-school specific spaces for the successful preschool program. Offices and storage space will support the new wing and
Tappahannock Under Construction See details Page 7
security features will add an enhanced level of safety for the youngsters in the program. The project will also include the complete renovation of the church's Administration wing and access corridor to the existing sanctuary, including new carpet as well
as new wall and ceiling finishes. New lighting, data, and audio/visual systems will be added to complete the renovation. The new Pre-school and Administration wings will be completely accessible to the physically handicapped. New parking, landscaping and access drives will
Lord Jesus Korean Under Construction See details Page 7
Bethlehem Church Stated Meeting October 26, 2013
Presbytery of the James Called meeting-August 26, 2013 Stated Meeting-October 19, 2013
Tuckahoe Church, Called Meeting August 26, 2013
PRESBYTERY IN REVIEW Called Meeting of Presbytery of the James August 26, 2013 Over two hundred and twenty people gathered at Tuckahoe Presbyterian Church on Tuesday August 23 for a called meeting of the Presbytery of the James. The presbytery was called together to deal with three items of business: to act on a report from the Committee on Nominations, to examine candidates for ordination, and to have a general discussion about settlement agreements with congregations wishing to depart from the Presbyterian Church (USA). New pastor, Rev. Patrick Dennis welcomed the presbytery to the Tuckahoe Church. The meeting went well and the hospitality was excellent by the church. We examined for ordination and approved the following: Kathryn Lester-Bacon (Philadelphia Presbytery), to become Associate Pastor, Second Church, Richmond, VA Todd Davidson (Three Chopt) to become Associate Pastor, Three Chopt Church, Richmond, VA. Nelson Reveley (Grace Covenant) to become Chaplain at St. Christopher’s School The presbytery had a discussion concerning settlement agreements with congregations requesting dismissal from the PCUSA. Three questions helped to structure the discussion. 1. What is the impact on the Mission of the Presbytery of the James and what are the Presbytery's fiduciary responsibilities when churches choose to depart leaving no denominational presence in a community? 2. What are the most important things you consider are the greatest value, significance or importance in assessing a congregation's mission value to our fellowship? 3. How does the Presbytery determine the fair value of all assets of the departing congregations in light of what we know it costs to replace a PC(USA) witness? Teaching Elder Sarah Nave led in prayer for the presence of the Spirit of God to give the presbytery calm and clear discernment. Teaching Elder Robert Johnson spoke about the spiritual aspects of the issue, emphasizing that our Lord's command to love applies above all during hard times, such as the presbytery faces now. Teaching Elder Arch Wallace explained the implications of a case recently decided by the Permanent Judicial Commission of the General Assembly, Tom v. Presbytery of San Francisco. At 5:15 PM Moderator Wallace declared the meeting adjourned and led in the closing prayer.
PRESBYTERY IN REVIEW Stated Meeting October 19, 2013 The Presbytery of the James held its 85th Stated Meeting on Saturday, October 19, 2013, at Bethlehem Presbyterian Church in Mechanicsville, VA. The meeting was well attended and the Bethlehem hospitality was gracious. We were privileged to meet in the new sanctuary of the Bethlehem Church. The congregation had worked very hard to welcome us and we are indebted to them for their fine work. We welcomed new ministers to the presbytery: Todd Davidson (Three Chopt) Wonho Chang (Praise the Lord Korean) Caitlin Deyerle (Southminster) Marvin Lindsay (New Covenant) Roger Nicholson (HR) Nelson Reveley (St. Christopher's School) Kendall Pearson (Charlottesville First). We examined four inquirers who were approved to become Candidates to become Teaching Elders in the PCUSA: Lynne Clements (Orange) Andy Morgan (Richmond, Second) James Taneti (Ginter Park) Jaechul Pi (Three Chopt) We examined and approved for ordination James Edward Salyers, candidate from Redstone Presbytery, to be Pastor, Mechanicsville Church, Mechanicsville, VA We honored Rev. Starke Cauthorn for 30 years of service as Hunger Committee Moderator. We heard from Eric Hoey, Dirctor of Evangelism and Church Growth, PC (USA), about new programs in evangelism.
Attendance: 99 of 195 Teaching Elders attended: 95 of 195 Ruling Elders attended: 75 of 111 congregations represented: In addition, the following actions were taken by the presbytery: Approved the June, 2013, Presbytery minutes. Authorized the Stated Clerk to appoint three persons of the Session Records Committee to conduct General Administrative Reviews of Sessions which do not submit records for review. Endorsed Ruling Elder Heath Rada for Moderator of the 221st General Assembly to be held in June, 2014, in Detroit, MI. Elected Ruling Elder Jack Corley (Grace Covenant Church) as 2014 Moderator for the presbytery. Elected persons to various teams, committees, and commission. Elected Commissioners to the 2014 General Assembly to replace Alternate Commissioners who attended in 2012: Rev. Steve Hodges, Rev. Clay Macaulay, Rev. Mary Jane Winter. Elected Alternate Commissioners to the 2014 General Assembly: Rev. Brenda Halbrooks; Rev. Joshua Andrzejewski; Rev. Rebekah Johns; Rev. Gordon Mapes; Elder Tonya Johnson (Eastminister); Howard (Mack) Curle (Hebron); Elder Deborah Rexrode (Orange); and Elder Melissa Phillips (Salisbury). Approved the Camp Hanover Purpose Group Board to assume the function of the capital development of the Camp. Approved for sale property in Sussex County owned by First Church, Hopewell. Approved the balancing of commissioners to (Continued on page 3)
A Presbyterian Peacemaking Conference in Israel/Palestine
NOVEMBER, NOVEMBER,1013 2013
April 28-May 10, 2014 Apply online pcusa.org/mosaicofpeace
MOSAIC OF PEACE As participants in the conference, individuals will be: This is a kairos moment for the church, a time of urgency and opportunity to hear and heed the call for peace coming from the Holy Land. In a faithful and hope-filled response, the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program’s Mosaic of Peace conference invites Presbyterians to experience this remarkable and troubled region, encounter its diverse people, explore its rich history and complex current situation, and engage with those who seek its peace.
September 2012-August 2013
RULING ELDERS Amelia ............................... Douglas Edward Anderson Bethlehem...................................... Annie Wingo Kratz Bon Air ......................... Bill Bonacum, James Williams Clayton Richardson Campbell Memorial ..............................Robert Mason Chester ....................................... Lubomyr (Lou) Zapar Cove ................................John Walter (Walt) Levering Colonial Heights ................................ Paul Reid Collier Emporia First ........................... Sudie Dunton Brothers Fredericksburg .. Harry W. (Bud) Helman, Neil L. Corry Ginter Park ......................................... Delmont Lohuis Gregory Memorial....................................Darrell Allen Kirk O’Cliff .................................................. Sara Harris Madison ............................ Thomas Hamilton Fletcher Pennie Louise Kinsey, Evelyn Fray Watts Mechanicsville ....................... Louise Lacy Timberlake Mitchells ......................... Judy Chase, Rodney Dotson Montrose ..... Claude J. Dawson, Jr. Henry E. Walls, Sr. New Covenant............................................ Billie Bland Orange .......... Louise Lord, Donald Ober, Wendell Nix Providence Forge ............ George Merrifield Pomeroy Richmond Second .... Frances E. Johns, John Pasco, Jr. Salem .......................................... Olive Myers Wolters Salisbury .......... Basil R. Snyder, Jr., James K. Timmons South Hill......Doris Crawford, Annette Kelly, John Riel Southminster ................................................ John Hall St. Andrews ....... Norris Chamberlayne, Robert Miller, Jeanne Kling, Bonnie Shelton, Patricia Taylor Swift Creek .......................................... Marianne Rose Three Chopt .... Rowena B. Clark, Roland C. Houghton Trinity ............................................. Jack Hetherington Westminster Charlottesville .............. Benjamin Johns
TEACHING ELDERS Paul Achtemeier William Robert Floyd James T. Snoke Norman D. Nettleton
INSPIRED as they hear the stories of Christian peacemakers in the Holy Land, walk in the footsteps of the Prince of Peace and encounter contemporary Palestinians and Israelis; EQUIPPED as they engage with Christian, Muslim, and Jewish leaders, experience contextual theology, and study peacemaking practices within the framework of PC(USA) policy; CONNECTED with global and local partners to take meaningful action for a just and lasting peace in the region.
(Continued from page 2)
presbytery meetings for 2014. Approved the transfer of the title to the Lord Jesus Korean Church from the Trustees of Presbytery of the James to the Trustees of the church. Validated the following positions: Religion Teacher at St. Christopher’s School; Chaplain at Riverside Pace Hospital; Chaplain at VCU; Provost and Dean of the Faculty, Colgate University. Changed the Sexual Misconduct Policy to reflect implementation of the policy in the presbytery. Voted to change COM policy to allow candi-
dates for ordination to remain in the meeting while the body discusses their examination. Heard and approved the report of the Administrative Commission for Christ Presbyterian Church to be dismissed to the Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians denomination. Heard and approved the report of the Administrative Commission for Third Church, Richmond, to be dismissed to the Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians denomination. Bethlehem Church contributed $583 from meal ticket sales to the Hunger Program. Respectfully submitted,
H. Carson Rhyne, Jr.
Bon Air break-in Nets $400 plus Burglary, arson, robbery, computer crime, vandalism—these aren’t fun topics to think about, let alone every day. But churches with their own buildings and properties must think daily about these issues, and what they are doing to protect their people and their assets. If your church hasn’t spent much time evaluating ways to minimize its risks when it comes to these issues, now is a good time to start. If your church has addressed these topics, it’s always a good time to review policies, and systems, just to ensure new vulnerabilities haven’t arisen. On Sunday, October 6, someone broke into Bon Air Church and made off with $400 cash, the church credit card, the financial computer and a back-up drive. Employees and church members have been notified and encouraged to watch their bank accounts over the next few months. This can happen to any church at any time. We suggest that this be a topic of discussion at your next Session meeting.
Stated Clerk 2014 Stated Meetings February 15, 2014 ................... New Hanover Church June 17, 2014 ............................... Invitation Needed October 18, 2014 ......................... Invitation Needed
Thompson celebrates 65 years John E. Thompson is celebrating 65 years since his ordination. Born in Tazewell, Virginia on November 11, 1924, he earned his BA degree from HampdenSydney College in 1945 and an MDiv degree from Union Seminary in Virginia (now John E. Thompson Union Presbyterian Seminary) in 1948. Ordained by Lexington Presbytery, PC (USA) on June 27, 1948. He has served pastorates in West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. He served in the Navy during World War II, later completed a twenty-year career as a Navy Chaplain during the Korean and the Vietnam Wars. He is an honorably retired member of St. Augustine Presbytery PC(USA) where he has been a member since 1959. He and his wife, Marion Elizabeth Martin of Lynchburg, VA reside at Lake Monticello, Palymyra, Virginia and attend South Plains.
CAMP HANOVER .
Denominational Study: Significant Spiritual Growth & Learning Takes Place at Camp Have you had one particular learning or spiritual growth experience that had great significance in shaping your Christian life? If you answered yes, there’s a good chance you are thinking about a time you spent at a camp,
conference or retreat. And you’re not alone. Church members, ruling elders and teaching elders were asked this question in a recent study by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). Over one-third of those surveyed identified an experience at a camp, conference or retreat as the one they considered the singular most significant experience contributing to their own faith formation. The study, known as the Presbyterian Panel, consists of three nationally representative samples of groups affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.): church members, ruling elders currently on session, and teaching elders. First created in 1973, the Presbyterian Panel provides a means for informing denominational leaders of the opinions and activities of the rank and file across the church. New samples are drawn every three years and Panel surveys are conducted quarterly. The Presbyterian Panel is maintained and directed by the office of Research Services, part of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The third survey completed by the 20122014 Presbyterian Panel focused on Spiritual Growth Experiences and was initially sampled in the Fall of 2011. The sample size consisted of 3,910 panelists. The full report of the current Presbyterian Panel and a summary of the results are now available online at www.pcusa.org/research/panel.
Camps and Retreats are Integral to Developing Our Future Leaders Camp and retreat experiences contribute to our understanding of faith and life very powerfully, but are not the most important way we learn about what we believe. Not surprisingly, worship and sermons rank highest in creating the foundation for a spiritual life and understanding one’s faith. Camp creates a bridge,
providing opportunities for us to take what we learn on Sunday mornings during worship or in Sunday school and put it into prac-
tice daily in real, tangible ways. Camp is often thought of as a ministry to the youngest in our denomination, the school -age children and youth who have fun frolicking in the summer sun – splashing about in the pool, playing elbow tag in the field, roasting marshmallows over an open fire. But the study reveals that there is more to it than that, especially for young adults, a demographic that we see disappearing from our congregations. While around a third of members report a camp (33%) or retreat (38%) as being formative in their own faith journey, around twice as many members believe camps (70%) and retreats (65%) are very important or important in the development of young adults as leaders.
When asked how old they were when they had their most significant spiritual growth experience, respondents to the survey pointed to young adulthood. The median age for these significant learning and growth experiences was 25 for members, 30 for ruling elders, and 20 for teaching elders. Camps and retreats are where these 20 to 30 year-olds stay connected to the church and deepen their faith. At camp, these young people discover and develop their leadership skills, serving as camp counselors, small group facilitators and activity leaders. Ministries like that which occur at Camp Hanover have the most ability within our denomination to reach this group and create a path for leadership development. And the research backs this up. Forty-three percent of Pastors serving in
the pulpit today reported their most significant spiritual growth experience occurred at a camp, conference or retreat. As indicated above, the median age among pastors for this experience occurred at 20 years old, and so, the experience which some of the pastors in the study identify may have occurred at later in life, after following a call into ministry and becoming a pastor. But what about for those who had such a significant experience when they were 19 years old (or younger), before they attended seminary and pursued ordination? The most common setting, according to the Panel study – no surprise – was at a camp, conference, or retreat. When Did You Last Take Time To Retreat? Retreats in particular are rated by twothirds of members (65%), 71% of ruling elders, 86% of pastors, and 79% of specialized ministers as very important or important for Christian young adult leadership development. A majority of congregations (67%) held or sponsored at least one retreat in the two years prior to the survey, and a little more than half of members and nine in ten pastors report that they would be likely to attend a retreat sponsored by their congregation in the next two years. If your congregation hasn’t gone on a retreat in two years, maybe it’s time to head out to our Presbytery’s “Place Apart” on the outskirts of Mechanicsville, and have your own significant spiritual growth and learning experience. Camp Hanover is your camp, and the staff are ready to guide and assist you in creating a retreat experience that promises to be a time for renewal and growth in an environment of Christian hospitality.
Camp Hanover Hires Program Directo
After much prayerful consideration and a thorough search mendous number of qualified candidates, the Camp Hano the Presbytery of the James is pleased to announce that H been hired to serve as Program Director, a role vital to Cam outdoor ministry and small group Christian camping. In h bronner will be responsible for leading the day to day op ver’s vibrant Summer Camping program and for develop special events throughout the year that amplify the Camp place apart for renewal and growth in an environment of C A lifelong Presbyterian, Harry's experiences attending su large role in shaping the person he is today. Zweckbronne the Johnsonburg Presbyterian Center, where he oversaw th has also served on the board of the Presbyterian Church C tor for the American Camp Association. Before answering the call to camp ministry, Harry rece Florida State University, spending 7 years as a high schoo Jersey. Family life is a priority for Harry. He loves spending Kathryn (8), and Will (6). He also likes to cook, coach you
. . . a place apart
Benefits of Camp: A Pastor’s View By Rev. Allison Unroe River Road Church
My first summer working as a counselor at Camp Hanover was between my Rev. Allison Unroe junior and senior years in college. When I went back to school I was that camp kid who couldn’t stop telling camp stories. In my stories I often referred to “my kids.” About halfway through fall semester one of my classmates said, “How many kids do you have?” That was the first of many times that I would explain that I have no biological children, but, as a youth worker, I do accept responsibility for helping bring up hundreds of children and youth in their faith. As a Youth Pastor (and as a Christian living into the baptismal covenant) I take the responsibility of contributing to the faith formation of children and youth very seriously, and I know that faith formation is rooted in loving, intentional relationship. Because I love “my kids,” I believe that the greatest gift you can give a Youth Pastor is to love their kids. It is the greatest gift because none of us is perfect. “My” youth need to have role models in faith beyond me and their parents. They need to see and hear from people who interpret scripture differently, who live into their call uniquely, who relate to God distinctively. The more diversity they experience in a life of faith, the better chance they have at forming their own unique authentic deeply rooted faith in Christ, and isn’t that what all of us want for our kids? That is what being a Pastor in Residence at Camp Hanover is about. Pastors in Residence accept that responsibility not only for the hundred plus campers with whom they work, but also for the large staff of young adults who
h process involving a treover Ministries Board of Harry Zweckbronner has mp’s continued growth in his new position, Zweckperations of Camp Hanoping retreat programs and Hanover experience as a Harry Zweckbronner & Family Christian hospitality. ummer camp as both camper and staff member played a er has served for the past ten years as Program Director at he summer camp and year-round retreat programs. Harry Camp and Conference Association and is a Standards Visi-
eived degrees in history and social science education from ol history and peer leadership teacher in Florida and New
g time with his wife, Ann, and their children Molly (11), uth sports, and is an avid sports fan.
serve with them. Here are a few ways that relationships fostered by the Pastor in Residence program at camp benefit so many. Evangelism. When a pastor spends a week (or two) at camp on behalf of their church, hundreds of campers and staffers become familiar with them and the mission of their congregation. It is a great opportunity for a pastor to plant seeds in the community and start relationships that could grow in the future. Service. When a church sends their pastor to camp they are serving the larger church by giving of their resources and time, which lives faithfully into the servant-leadership to which God calls us and sets a good example for our congregations. Witness. Pastors in Residence are essential to the quality of program that camp can offer. They support staff and campers alike through ministries of presence and pastoral care. They plan and lead Bible studies and devotions. They help campers plan and lead vespers. Pastors in Residence strengthen the faith forming witness offered by Camp Hanover to their staff and campers. Renewal. Serving as a Pastor in Residence provides a pastor the same place apart for renewal and growth in an environment of Christian hospitality that attracts so many campers and returning staff each year. It is an opportunity to spend some time in God’s creation with a unique group of people doing distinctive ministry that almost always challenges pastors to grow in ways they may have long since thought they’d finished growing. The relationships in which a pastor invests during their time at camp are deep and meaningful and nourishing. Pastors in Residence usually leave feeling spiritually energized, renewed and hopeful. Summer of 2013 was my second summer serving as a Pastor in Residence at Camp Hanover. It was a time of learning, growth, great joy, meaningful connection, and spiritual retreat for me that I sorely needed in the context of a busy, bustling programmatic year. My church was generous in their support of camp, investing in the strength of camp’s programming and witness by sharing me with camp for two weeks. I know that was a sacrifice for my congregation, and one that I am deeply grateful for their willingness to make, since I truly believe that we all benefit from such graciousness within the body of Christ. When we share our resources (be they money or things or time or talents or people power) we are all stronger for it, and the kingdom of heaven is made manifest in our cooperation and sacrifice for the sake of the Gospel. So I challenge you: how will you support Camp Hanover this year?
Tuckahoe Youth Helps Camp Care for Creation Becoming a model of environmental stewardship and teaching othGus Beane ers to care for the creation which God has entrusted to us is a Camp Hanover core value. Thanks to Gus Beane of Tuckahoe Presbyterian Church and the members of Boy Scout Troop 770, Camp Hanover has expanded it’s recycling program and is making an even larger impact in our earth-care efforts. As part of his Eagle Project, Gus coordinated a group of scouts as they constructed five attractive and sturdy recycling bins for the collection of plastic bottles, aluminum cans, paper and cardboard refuse. The colorful bins are located outside of Wise Lodge, Koinonia Lodge, Knoxwood Lodge, Kirkwood IV and the Picnic Pavilion. Because guests who use Camp Hanover for retreats during the year now have highly visible, practical and easy -to-use recycling receptacles, there has been a three -fold increase in the amount of material that Camp has been able to collect and recycle, items which were winding up in landfills before the bins were installed.
You’re Invited . . .December 13 & 14
A Hanover Christmas
A candlelit trail winds through the woods, transporting you back in time. Along your journey, meet other travelers, shepherds, kings and angels. Immerse yourself in the greatest story ever told... You are cordially invited to join us for a candlelit stroll through the woods, sharing in music and drama to celebrate the birth of Christ. The first annual “A Hanover Christmas” takes place on the evenings of December 13 and December 14 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. This free event is open to the public and is suitable for all ages and physical abilities. More than “just another live nativity” you’ll experience interactive dramatic re-enactments, enjoy performances by local musicians, a cappella groups and area church choirs, and fellowship with others as you relax and sample some tasty treats. The evenings are meant to be “come and go as you please” outings, so you are welcome to stay as long as you like. For those traveling from afar, overnight accommodations are available. The event also provides opportunities for service. Roles for individual or groups of volunteers include:
Greeting and Parking Making Costumes Baking and Serving Refreshments Singing and Musical Performances Playing a character along the candlelit walk Lighting Candles. Lots and lots of candles Decorating and stringing up the lights Publicizing and Promoting the event around town Making Christmas Ornaments for use as a Campership Fund Raiser Cleaning up after the event.
For more information, or to get involved with this program call (804) 779-2811 or visit www.CampHanover.org
Music For Missions By Sandra Austin
The sanctuary of Rennie Memorial Church in Amelia was almost filled to capacity with members and guests waiting to hear the sounds of good old gospel music. This event, coordinated by the church’s Mission Committee, was an effort to raise money for local mission support. Special musical were the Sandy Creek Gospel Bluegrass
Band from Amelia and the Old Time Gospel Singers from Crewe. Song selections ranged from old favorites like “Amazing Grace” and “Old Time Religion” to original songs written by the groups. Also included In the program was the reading of several passages of Scripture which emphasized our call to witness through faith and service, and how our compassion toward others follows the example set by Jesus Christ. At the end of the program, an offering was received for missions. Over four hundred dollars was received and added to Rennie’s mission fund, which is used to support organizations such as the Amelia Food Pantry and Madeline’s House, and individual families in the community that are in need. The program was closed with a prayer by Dana Vaughn. Refreshments followed, prepared and served by the ladies of the church. Good food
Sandy Creek Gospel Bluegrass Band, The Old Time Gospel Singers and Rennie Memorial.
and fellowship was enjoyed by all. It was indeed an evening filled with praise and glory of God!
YoCo attended Triennium by Lyndsey McCall
In July, the Youth Ministry Purpose Group hosted a delegation trip to the national Presbyterian Youth Conference at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Our group from Presbytery of the James joined with a delegation from the Presbytery of the Peaks for one great adventure. The beginning of our trip started a bit rocky when our bus broke down and numerous other unexpected mishaps occurred. Yet, spending several extra hours on a bus together bonded our two Presbyteries. By the time we arrived at Purdue our two Presbyteries were one big happy family which made for an even better experience for all. The Triennium experience itself was inspiring and entertaining.
POJ & Peaks delegation.
During the event we watched a documentary called “I Am” which helped guide our discussion on the impact that we all have in our world. From there, we were lead into a large missional activity of Stop Hunger Now. With each speaker we were encouraged in our faith and reminded that young people can make a difference in our churches and in our world.
THE CHURCH IS NOT A CHARITY
Triennium Worship on the hill.
With that said, the YMPG is praying for all as you kick-off your youth programmatic year! May your youth be inspired in faith and lead to do great things in the name of Jesus Christ. Please keep in mind our Presbytery sponsored events. Your presence is requested not only for your own faith development, but also for others. Let us support one another and grow together in faith! by Dr. William “Chip” Summers
Most of us give to a number of charities. There are over 500,000 nonprofit groups now active in the United States. There are still a huge number of groups committed to worthy causes. Nevertheless, giving to the church is different. The church is the only place where God is the priority and our relationship with him (righteousness) is the goal. Strictly speaking, the church is not a charity at all. It is a group of people who are loyal to the truth of God's victory in Jesus Christ for the salvation of the world. It has a mandate different from all others: The great ends of the church are:
The proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind The shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God The maintenance of divine worship The preservation of the truth The promotion of social righteousness The exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world
Strictly speaking, the church is not a charity at all. Its goal is to encourage righteousness which is reconciliation with God. Paul says to the Corinthians that their gifts of money which will feed the hungry in Jerusalem will result in a harvest of righteousness. Those who give will be blessed as well as those who receive. Both groups will offer honor and glory to God because of the gift. The true goal of the church is to promote righteousness. Here and here alone, God is the priority. We don't go to the United Way to hear, "A new commandment I give you, that you love one another." The Boy Scouts of America don't recite," I go to prepare a place for you and If I go, I will return for you so that where I am, you will be also." The American Red Cross doesn't sing, "I Greet Thee Who My Sure Redeemer Art" It is true that the church is the mother of all charities because this is where we first learned, "it is better to give than to receive." As a church, we do try to promote social righteousness, but we do so to honor God, and to honor God is a righteous thing.
The Cross A Sermon by Rev. John Grotz
To anyone who is thinking of leaving the PCUSA church, I understand. I grew up in a Unitarian-like household. We were taught that there was just one God above all religions and faiths. And I understand this teaching because at times, Christian Theology can be overwhelming and divisive. It would be so easy to slip back into the ways
Lord Jesus Korean from page 1 New Social Mission Center Building. “To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” Micah 6:8 Lord Jesus Church has funded one-third of its budget every year to missions. In recent years, the congregation of Lord Jesus Korean Church has committed itself to social missions known as the Social Mission for Love & Justice, which has resulted in wide recognition and rapid growth of church membership.
Tappahannock, from page 1 5,100 square feet, seating for 90, expandable to 146. Brick veneer construct, vinyl clad windows and exterior doors to minimize maintenance. 17’ all glass front with glass area above for display of cross visible from Rt. 60. Construction to be complete by March, 2013.
Construction progress as of October 24, 2013.
Tappahannock Floor Plan
of my youth and my upbringing, believing that all spiritual roads lead to heaven. That is what is natural and comfortable to me. That is what is easy for me. Or in the words of 2 Timothy, I want to go where my ears itch. I understand those people who want to leave the PCUSA, but probably for different reasons. In my life, I have learned that I needed more than my parents’ teaching, more than a philosophical upbringing. I needed much more than my ears to itch; I needed my soul to be filled and my spirit satisfied. I needed to be saved and I found this in Christ. In the Christian faith, I have found that I love Christmas and preaching and leading the Christmas Eve worship. The mystery of God in an infant baby named Jesus is the most inspiring teaching in all of human history. And then there is Easter, the open tomb, the resurrection. There is no better job in the world than being a minister when it comes to preaching on Easter morning. Heaven is more real to me than anything or anyone on this earth. But most important to me is the cross: THE CROSS. In Mark 15 when the centurion, that Roman soldier whose one talent was killing other people, heard Jesus’ cry “My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me,” the Roman soldier said, “Truly this is the son of God.” I hear his words and know that’s me. If a sinful, coldblooded Roman soldier can find God up on the cross then so can I. To me there is no better picture of God in all the religious and secular libraries of the world than Jesus up on that damned, but glorious cross. Surely, this is the son of God. I have learned that there is great power in Christ and the cross. In my experience, Christ and the cross’ greatest power can be found in Ephesians 1:10. The Epistle says there will come a time when Christ will bring all things in heaven and earth together under one head. There is the power of the Christ and the cross. Everything in heaven, all things on earth united. There is God’s goal, God’s vision. The cross is the strongest force in the universe. Now I have my struggles in discovering this power. When I first thought of becoming a minister, I was actually a member of EPC, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. After accepting me as a ministerial candidate, my church dropped their support upon learning that I planned to attend Duke Divinity School. Duke offered too broad an education for their tastes. So I joined PCUSA, but don’t worry I had plenty of problems with New Hope Presbytery in North Carolina. The CPM committee put me through an obstacle course. I had to take extra classes, special tutoring and literally spend an extra year at school. I scored all threes on my ordination exams. I had my battles with PCUSA, too. No matter what struggles I had, I couldn’t get away from the cross. Surely, this is the Son of God. You see there are two things the cross teaches that we can’t run away from: truth or falsehood. We can’t run away from truth for obvious reasons. If you are humble enough to possess the truth, you must take it where there is false teaching. Either way you can’t run. Because Jesus headed toward Jerusalem, Jesus headed toward evil and sin. Jesus headed toward false teaching. Jesus headed toward the cross. The light always heads toward darkness.
The cross means, “this is my body broken for you.” The cross means what Queen Esther said in the face of danger, “If I perish, I perish.” The cross means what Alexander Solzhenitsyn said to the Harvard graduating class of 1978: “Truth is seldom sweet but bitter.” The cross means what Jesus said to Peter in John 21, “I will lead you where you do not want to go.” The cross is love for fallen humanity, no matter what the cost or the situation. In my experience the cross shows us who is right when it comes to disagreements and divisions. It is not the side who is the loudest, nor the side who has the most conviction, nor the side who quotes the most scripture, but it is the side who is willing to give up their lives for the people, not the issue, but for the people on the other side. The power of the cross brings all things on heaven and on earth together: under one head, even Christ. So any division within the church is an unrepentant sin. Division is sin. This sin hangs over PCA, EPC, PCUSA, ECO, Cumberland, fill in the blank with any other Presbyterian denominations, because there is enough power in the cross for all things to be one under the heavens and the earth. We just don’t choose to humble ourselves before Christ. Division is an unrepentant sin. In my research, there are 41,000 different Christian denominations in the world. I may be off give or take 10,000. In light of Christ, that too is an unrepentant sin. We are here for Jesus. If we base our unity on Jesus we will never divide. If we base our unity on issues we will always divide. The power of Christ can bring all things in heaven and earth together Division reminds me of the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18. Two men went up to the temple and to pray. The Pharisee said, “God I thank you that I am not like other people-robbers, evildoers, adulterers or even this tax collector over here. I fast twice week and give a tenth of all I get.” While the tax collector beat his breast and said, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” I would love some day for a Presbyterian denomination stand up and say, “We are the sinners. Don’t come to us, the other Presbyterian denomination down the road is more holy than us.” Instead, in my experience what I hear is, “God, I thank you that I am not like those other denominations. I thank you that we have different alphabetical letters to our denominational name.” I became a Christian and I am a Christian, not because it was the right thing to do, but because I was lost. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. That is why I am a Christian. Jesus did not come to seek and save those who are right. I am comforted by one truth and one truth alone and that is Jesus saves. If we can’t find unity in those two words, then may God have mercy on our souls. May the Lord have mercy on all the denominations if we can’t find unity in the most simple and powerful truth of all: Jesus saves. Wasn’t it C.S. Lewis who said that hell is people getting farther and farther apart: well, welcome to Presbyterian Hell. This is Satan: people getting farther and farther apart. This is Jesus: bringing all things in heaven and earth together under one head. The short and narrow way, the hard way, the way of the cross, the Christian way, heaven’s way, the way of eternity is that Christ will bring together everything in heaven and earth. Let us yield our
Center for Dialogue and Action
By Dr. Robert Johnson
POJ YO at Jumpology.
Youth with a purpose by Lyndsey McCall
Are you a small church with a few youth? Join the new youth ministry program designed for small churches and churches with a few youth. In August, POJ YO (Presbytery of the James Youth Organization) had their first event at Jumpology in Glen Allen, VA. The 15+ youth that have been attending are from congregations of Grace Covenant, Woodlawn, Overbrook, Ginter Park and Forest Hill. Since the Jumpology event they have had a movie night for a faithful conversation about "Sandlot" as well as a trip to Carter Mountain to pick apples. Virginia Hudson, Grace Covenant, leads the group in Bible Study and devotion at each event. Part of their ministry is to offer adult leadership to attend POJ Youth Council events held at Camp Hanover and in the Presbytery. They look forward to continuing to grow and reach out to other congregations that may be in similar situations. Many people think that they do not have youth in their church because they don't have as many as they used to OR assume that youth are too busy to be involved. We believe that there may be more active youth in your churches than you may even know. Grandchildren? Neighborhood kids? We would love to support the youth that may be connected with your churches, especially if you're struggling to do so. Help get the middle or high school youth, that you know, connected with POJ YO. For more information please contact Katherine Laybourn at Grace Covenant via Katherine.firstname.lastname@example.org
When most people think of Pakistan, they think of violence, reliDr. Amineh Hoti gious intolerance and sectarian strife. Doubtless, in many parts of the nation this perception is, all too unfortunately, true. But at Forman Christian College, there is a new and emerging vision of Pakistan, a vision of dialogue, mutuality and concerted action for peace, freedom and mutual prosperity. Beginning in the spring of 2014, the college's Center for Dialogue and Action will begin offering classes and seminars. Enabled by a grant of $150,000 from the USIP (United States Institute for Peace), the twoyear project will promote peace, interfaith and intercommunity harmony in our own students, and in the larger community as well. This pilot project will offer courses in the Religious Studies Department, as well as bringing speakers of international repute to the campus to address larger audiences. The intent is to develop a plan and curriculum that is interdisciplinary, and that draws in other institutions as well. Founded and led by Dr. Amineh Hoti, daughter of alumnus Dr. Akbar Ahmed, with substantial assistance by Forman's Charles Ramsey, this center will be a resource for a forward thinking vision of civil society in Pakistan. Some may think that in a nation of 190 million people, one such center is not enough to effect change. Those in the church understand, however, that a single witness CAN change the entire world. If you would like to partner with Forman Christian College in this work, please contact Robert Johnson at email@example.com.
Volunteer to serve in mission with the Presbyterian church by Mary Jane Winter
Want to put your faith in action? Want to serve God and see more of the world? Want to discern what is next for you? If you are between ages 19-30, consider a year of service for a lifetime of change. The Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program of the Presbyterian Church (USA) offers a variety of sites for service both internationally and in the United States. Presbytery of the James offers financial assistance to those who are accepted. http://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/yav/sites
To learn more and to apply for this life changing opportunity see mission website. There are 14 recent YAVS in the presbytery and two more currently serving. Cindy Corell Begins Work in Haiti Pray for Cindy Corell as she begins her work in Haiti, the new missionary that POJ commissioned, and for her work in Haiti. Become one of Cindyâ€™s supporting churches. Read her very human blog. http://thelongwayhomeblog.org/
YoCo Installation at Oct. stated meeting by Lyndsey McCall
Presbytery of the James Youth Council was installed at the October 19th POJ meeting. We are proud of all 31 youth and adults who accepted the call to serve on the 2013/2014 Youth Council. In September, YoCo met for a Leadership Training Event held at the Lord Jesus Korean Presbyterian Church. We thank LJKPC for their wonderful hospitality that welcomed us as a host site, fed us, worshipped and played Corn Hole with us. During the weekend event, our Youth Council spent much time on how to be leaders out of our own vulnerability. We thank Joy Crawford, especially, for her time and talent that she shared leading our group in exercises that reminded us to be vulnerable as leaders of faith. The Youth Council is excited about their upcoming events. During the Leadership training, after much discussion, we identified our theme for both the High school and Middle school event which is simply "Hello." Please mark your calendars for the upcoming High School Event held at Camp Hanover on Dec. 7 -8, 2013. Let us worship God together! YOCO Event at Lord Jesus Korean
YOCO fellowshipping at acac
Youth Councilâ€”2013-14 Amelia Adair, Youth Council Moderator ....... Tuckahoe Madelyn Negaard ............................................. Bon Air Rachel Paz ........................................................ Bon Air Coleman Paz ..................................................... Bon Air Nicole Gallini .................................................... Bon Air Chloe Mapes .................................................... Chester Candice Dodd ................................................... Chester Hillary Messan .............................................. Forest Hill Justin Walton ........................................Mechanicsville Katelyn Lane ..........................................Mechanicsville Caroline Ring ............................................... River Road Paige Steward ............................................. River Road Kathryne Thompson ....................................... Salisbury Jon Hostetler .................................................. Salisbury Will Hostetler ................................................. Salisbury Chris Endries........................................... Southminster Matthew Endries .................................... Southminster Coleman Behme ....................................... Three Chopt Mary Jane Gardner ................................... Three Chopt Forrest Sprouse ............................................. Tuckahoe Marshall Cooke ............................................. Tuckahoe Owen Ayers ................................................... Tuckahoe Corrine Burch ................................................ Tuckahoe Adult Leaders Lyndsey McCall ...................................................... Staff Elizabeth Eason ............. Union Presbyterian Seminary Alex Miller ..................................................... Tuckahoe Jordan Buck .................................................Bethlehem Alex Bracken ................................................ Woodlawn Shelly Blackstone .......................................... Tuckahoe