Nonprofit Organization US Postage
ON THE INSIDE Recap ..........................2 Edward Adams ...........3 Year of Discernment ..3 Camp Hanover............5 Operation Inasmuch ..6 St. Andrews ................7 Izzie Rogers ................8
PA I D Permit # 911 Richmond, VA 23232
JULY, 2008 ~ VOLUME X, II
Worship Conference to feature John Bell Why do God’s people sing? — Teaching congregational song — Worship & congregational singing
he was still a student. This was part of and two posts in church youth work, The Third Annual Worship Cona trend for student rectors in Scotland he became employed full time in the ference will feature Rev. John Bell, a at that time (which areas of music and worship with the hymn-writer, a Church included e.g. Gordon Goose Resource Group. He is a of Scotland minister, a October 11, 2008 Brown at the Univer- Wild past convener of the Church of Scotmember of the Iona hosted by land’s Panel on Worship and also sity of Edinburgh) Community, a broadSalisbury Presbyterian Church convened the Committee to revise the but the rules were caster, and former stuChurch Hymnary. later changed to predent activist. vent students from standing for this In 1999 he was honoured by the He first emerged as a significant post. figure in 1974 when he was elected as (See John Bell, page 8) After a period in the Netherlands president of Glasgow University Students' Representative Council. His election represented a significant ‘We are all gravely concerned’ breakthrough as it was the start of a few years' control by the left wing of GU SRC. Bell was quite open about his Christian religious beliefs, wearing a wooden cross-shaped pendant. In 1977 he was elected as Rector of the University of Glasgow, while provided by Virginia Interfaith Center “This preliminary ruling puts every hierarchical denomination on In a chilling decision by Fairfax notice that a group of persons who no Circuit Court Judge Randy I. Bellows, longer wish to be part of the particular the court has ruled that a splinter denomination can now split off, form group of disgruntled former members a new group, selfof an Episcopal Church d ec lar e th ey are a can divide an autonomous, staffed by two women to cook and branch of the original self-governed, hierarchiserve and a pastor or elder to keep group and assert rights cally structured religious records of the children and provide under law regardless of denomination against the spiritual nourishment in the form of the denomination’s denominations will. Christian hymns, bible verse memoriown rules,” says Smith. “I am stunned that the zation, and bible story telling. Those bodies most Court has disregarded the This went so well that in 1992 likely to be impacted governing structure, Canthey established two more feeding by this ruling include ons, rules and polity of a centers, and another two centers The United Methodist hierarchical denominaopened in 1993. These five centers Church, The Christian tion.” says the Rev. Doug were the core of their efforts at that Methodist Episcopal Smith, Executive Director time. Church, The African of the Virginia Interfaith In 1994, they heard stories of Methodist Episcopal Center for Public Policy. people (mostly women) who had to Church, The EvangeliRev. Doug Smith “It seems that government travel long distances to get their corn Executive Director, Virginia Interfaith cal Lutheran Church in is attempting to take over ground into meal. Most of the time, America, The Presbygovernance of The Episco(See Haiti Fish Farms, page 8) terian Church USA, The Episcopal pal Church.” Church, and The Roman Catholic While the ruling is not final, this Church. preliminary ruling amounts to a gov“We are in conversation with the ernmental intrusion into a denominaleadership of those denominations and tion's right to self-governance and other leaders of the faith community,” reaches far beyond the Episcopal added Smith. “We are all concerned.” Church and issues of property.
Fairfax Circuit Court rules in favor of splinter groups
Fish farms may be only chance for survival as prices skyrocket Mark Hopkins and Hendrik Vingerlin made their first trip together to Haiti in 1991. This was Hein’s second trip and Mark’s first. They went to build a church for a congregation whose original building was falling to pieces. They accomplished that, but their main effective outcome was the establishment of the first feeding center. Both Hein and Mark were deeply touched by the malnourished children they saw on their way to and from the construction site. They did some quick math and found that they could feed 80 children four meals a week for $150.00 per month. The feeding center was to be
Haiti is in deeper trouble than ever before!
Christian Arabic Church receives grant
Hendrik Vingerlin oversees building of first fish pond.
The Christian Arabic Church NCD has received a grant from Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., Office of Mission Program Grants, Mission Development Resources Committee for Evangelism and Church Growth in the amount of $100,000. The funds will be disbursed over
the next seven years in a graduated cycle until 2014. With a membership approaching one hundred, the Christian Arabic Church meets at Third Presbyterian Church, 600 Forest Ave., Richmond. Rev. Fakhri Yacoub is the organizing pastor.
D E N O M I N A T I O N A L & H O L I D A Y C A L E N D A R
The Vine — JULY, 2008
— Presbytery of the James
R E S B Y T E R Y
T H E
A M E S
Sixty-Ninth Stated Meeting, June 17, 2008 Hosted by: River Road Presbyterian Church & Louisa Presbyterian Church Held at: River Road Presbyterian Church, Richmond, VA (Please copy & distribute to all Church Officers & Leaders) Dear Friends: The Presbytery of the James met for its 69th Stated Meeting on June 17, 2008 at River Road Presbyterian Church, Richmond, VA. It was a good day to worship, to do business, and to be equipped through educational opportunities. We completed the business prior to lunch. The gracious members and staff of River Road and Louisa Church hosted the meeting with grand hospitality and ease. The facilities were very accommodating and provided a good space for this meeting. EDUCATIONAL EVENTS:
Pay Day Loans: Nancy Summerlin shared information about how congregations can become involved in working on the issue of Pay Day Loans and their impact on the most vulnerable persons in our society. Small Church: Rev. Todd McCoy shared information about how to strengthen our smaller congregations by bringing them together to share in mission and ministry. He will be reaching out to the smaller churches in our Presbytery to discover the strengths and the challenges facing your congregations. Hispanic Ministry: Hector Rodriguez shared information about Hispanic Ministry in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Pakistan: Robert Johnson & Marianne Vermeer shared information about Forman Christian College and their recent work there. (Note: the educational events have been well received; suggestions of topics for future presbytery meetings would be appreciated. Send your ideas to the Stated Clerk) Attendance: 79 congregations out of 113 represented (70%); 138 Elder Commissioners (59%); Minister Commissioners 116 (50 %); 1 Certified Educator; 5 Certified Educators/Elders; and 30 visitors.
PEOPLE: We welcomed the following ministers into the presbytery or recognized changes in ministries: Rev. Hank Postel (POJ) as Interim Associate, Second Church, Richmond. Rev. Gordon Pace, Associate Pastor, Southminster Church, from St. Andrew Presbytery We gave thanks for Rev. Caroline Price-Gibson’s ministry as she accepts a call to Grand Island Church, Grand Island, Nebraska and to Rev. Stephen PriceGibson as he seeks a call in Nebraska with Caroline. Retirement Recognition Service for: Rev. Nancy Ferguson, effective June 1, 2008; Rev. O. Benjamin Sparks, effective April 30, 2007 and Rev. Judith A. Sutherland, effective June 1, 2008. Examined and enrolled as a candidate: Murray Withrow (Third Church, Richmond). Actions of the Presbytery: Approved the minutes of the February 16, 2008 Stated Meeting. Dissolved the Third Church Second Site Administrative Site Commission with thanks. Adopted the June 17, 2008, Docket. Elected Elder John Flournoy as Moderator of Committee on Nominations. Elected Elder Beverly Walters, District 9, Committee on Nominations, Class of 2008. Approved final 2008 Budget. Approved a revision to the policy about honoraria for presbytery sponsored events: Current Reading: Ministers of the Word and Sacrament who are members of the Presbytery of the James, educators and employed professionals within congregations of the Presbytery of the James will be paid expenses only. Outside presenters will be paid through negotiations with the appropriate program boards and/or committees. New Reading: Ministers of the Word and Sacrament and Certified Educators who are members of the Presbytery of the James will be paid expenses only. Non-certified educators and employed professionals within congregations of the Presbytery of the James and outside presenters will be paid through negotiations with the appropriate program boards and/or committees. Elected persons to serve on various boards and committees of the presbytery. The following ministers were honorably retired: Rev. Judith A. Sutherland, May 31, 2008.
Rev. Nancy Ferguson, May 31, 2008. Rev. Virginia Martin, November 30, 2008. Rev. Doris A. Rossell, June 30, 2008. Rev. Virginia Martin, Member-at-Large, effective July 1, 2008. Validated the position of Dunamis Fellowship Faculty member for Evangelism and Missions in the Americas with the Presbyterian Reformed Ministries International. (Rev. Chris Walker will occupy the position). Validated the position of Associate Director, Presbyterian Frontier Fellowship. (Rev. Donald Marsden will occupy the position). Validated the position of Director and Founder of Caring Community Ministry Education, LLC (CCME). (Rev. Jan Humphreys will be in this position). Approved 2007 Validated and Member at Large Annual Reports. (COM found all reports to be in order). Approved the 2008 terms of call for pastors. Approved Examinations Procedures Policy of COM. Approved minimum terms of call for 2009 be increased by 3.9%. Cash Salary, Housing/Utilities/Furnishings Allowances or Manse Rental Value/Utilities/ Furnishings Allowances: $39,701; Pension 19.5%: $7,543; Major Medical 12%: $4,764; Self-Employment Tax 7.65%: $3,037; four weeks vacation, two weeks Study Leave; Auto/Travel: IRS rate; Continuing Education: $822. Inock Kim, Candidate, POJ, examination for ordination was sustained in its entirety. (Professor of Presbyterian College and Theological School, Seoul, Korea). Sandra Shaner, Candidate POJ, examination for ordination was sustained in its entirety. (Designated Pastor, 2 years, Salem Church). Elected Rev. John Storey as Moderator-in-Nomination of the Presbytery of the James. Elected Nancy Clark, Jack Corley, Todd McCoy, and Greg Govan as readers of ordination exams at the October 2008 reading session in Raleigh, NC; and appointed Charles Holmes as alternate reader.
Cents-ability Offering: $38.07 NEXT MEETING: The 70th Stated Meeting of the Presbytery will be Saturday, October 18, 2008, Lord Jesus Korean Church, Richmond, VA. H. Carson Rhyne, Jr., Stated Clerk
. . . Judicial ponderings In a small Texas town, Drummond's bar began construction on a new building to increase their business. The local Presbyterian church started a campaign to block the bar from opening with petitions and prayers. Work progressed right up till the week before opening when lightning struck the bar and it burned to the ground. The church folks were rather smug in their outlook after that, until the bar owner sued the church on the grounds that the church was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means. The church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the building's demise in its reply to the court. As the case made its way into court, the judge looked over the paperwork. At the hearing he commented, "I don't know how I'm going to decide this, but as it appears from the paperwork, we have a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer, and an entire congregation that does not."
Presbytery of the James — JULY, 2008 —
2008 Year of Discernment The Presbytery decided that 2008 would be a Year of Discernment to determine what God is calling the Presbytery to be and do. The year began with the development of a Discernment Guide which was distributed to all congregations in February 2008. The intention of the Guide is to provide ways in which congregations can work on discerning God’s Will for their ministry and mission as well as looking at the ways the Presbytery can be faithful. The Guide is available on the Presbytery website: www.presbyteryofthe james.org. At the February, 2008, Presbytery meeting, Rev. Brent Keyes preached on Discernment for the worship service. An outline of his sermon can also be found on the website. A “homework assignment” was given to all congregations after the Presbytery meeting with the following two questions: • Which of your current ministries have come about in response to the discernment of God’s Will for your congregations? • How can other congregations and/or the Presbytery help you develop these ministries that have come about in response to God’s Will? Over 50 congregations responded to these questions and their responses are located on the Presbytery website. The discernment Committee culled through the responses and provided a
2008 Year of Discernment summary as part of the June 17, 2008 Presbytery meeting packet. At the June Presbytery meeting Rev. Brenda Holbrooks preached on the topic of how to discern God’s will. Districts met over lunch to discern what congregations have shared and to answer one question:
“What is God calling Presbytery of the James to be and do?” Following the June Presbytery meeting, the Discernment Committee gathered the responses provided by each district and will prepare a presentation of their findings for the October POJ meeting for consideration.
Distinguished volunteer award presented to Edward Adams The 2008 Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Award for distinguished volunteer leadership was presented to Edward R. Adams at Westminster Canterbury’s annual observance of the birthday of the late Mrs. Evans. The award is presented each year to express appreciation for continuous and outstanding dedication and service to the mission and advancement of Westminster Canterbury Richmond. Mr. Adams has volunteered with Westminster Canterbury for more than three decades and served on the committee for fundraising and construction of the community. He is a founding trustee, serves on the residents’ WCR Forum Committee, Financial Liaison Committee and is a member of the Foundation’s Annual Fellowship Fund Committee.
He was instrumental in initiating the War Stories, a project to collect, share and celebrate residents’ military service experiences. Ed Adams and his wife Marjorie are members of Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church.
J U L Y
Lord Jesus Korean Church Intercultural Music Festival Lord Jesus Church had their second annual Intercultural Music Festival on Sunday, May 4, 2008. Bon Air United Methodist Church, Eastminster Presbyterian Church, Living Water Pentecostal Church, Lord Jesus Korean Church, Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church and Southminster Presbyterian Church participated. Each church sang two songs reflecting their unique culture. Rev. Bae, pastor of Lord Jesus Korean Church prayed that peace and justice continuously grow in the Greater Richmond Community through this Music Festival for cultural exchange and racial harmony.
RDINARY TIME. Most of the Seasons of the Christian Church Year are organized around the two major festivals that mark sacred time, Christmas and Easter. The Christmas Season encompasses the time of preparation during Advent and the celebration of the Twelve Days of Christmas and Epiphany in early January (the 6th). The Easter Season encompasses the time of preparation during the 40 weekdays of Lent and Holy Week, and is linked with Pentecost Sunday 50 days later. While there are other individual holy days within the church year, these seasons mark the movement of sacred time within the church calendar.
he rest of the year following Epiphany and Pentecost is known as Ordinary Time. Rather than meaning "common" or "mundane," this term comes from the word "ordinal," which simply means counted time (First Sunday after Pentecost, etc.), which is probably a better way to think of this time of the year. Counted time after Pentecost always begins with Trinity Sunday (the first Sunday after Pentecost) and ends with Christ the King Sunday or the Reign of Christ the King (last Sunday before the beginning of Advent).
MMIGRATION, July 6. The office of Immigration Issues at PC (USA) has created a Family Care Plan for use by congregations. The purpose of the packet is to provide a plan should a member find him or herself in a situation where they have been detained by law enforcement. The Family Care Plan can be ordered from PC(USA). www.pcusa.org/ legal/immigration.htm
ETROPOLITAN AND URBAN MINISTRY. July 27. The Presbyterian Church (USA) Washington Office has developed an educational advocacy resource on affordable housing issues. “A Stranger and You Invited Me In: Affordable Housing Advocacy for Presbyterians” includes information on government housing programs and simple advocacy suggestions and features ways that Presbyterian congregations are involved in affordable housing advocacy and higher minimum wage campaigns.
DAY. August 6. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nuclear attacks during World War II against the Empire of Japan by the United States at the order of U.S. President Harry S. Truman. After six months of intense firebombing of 67 other Japanese cities, the nuclear weapon "Little Boy" was dropped on the city of Hiroshima on Monday], August 6, 1945, followed on August 9 by the detonation of the "Fat Man" nuclear bomb over Nagasaki. These are to date the only attacks with nuclear weapons in the history of warfare. The bombs killed as many as 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki by the end of 1945, roughly half of the total killed on the days of the bombings. Since then, thousands more have died from injuries or illness attributed to exposure to radiation released by the bombs. In both cities, the overwhelming majority of the dead were civilians. A day of prayer for all mankind. IROSHIMA
OMELESSNESS & Affordable Housing. August 10. The fall issue of Housing Assistance Council’s magazine, Rural Voices, illustrates some innovative ways rural homeless providers are accessing and using resources, is free on the Rural Home Web site. One print subscription per organization is free from Luz Rosas, HAC, (202)842-8600.
Edward R. Adams
OFFERING, received on World Communion Sunday, (Oct. 5) Offering distribution: 25% to congregational peacemaking ministries, 25% to presbytery and Synod peacemaking efforts, 50% to Presbyterian Peacemaking ministries of the General Assembly. EACEMAKING
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Richmond, VA 23227 — 804-262-2074 EDITORIAL RIGHTS RESERVED. ARTICLES WITHOUT BY-LINES ARE WRITTEN BY THE EDITOR.
Submissions, corrections, letters or requests for additional copies should be sent to: Clifton O. Edwards, Editor; 3218 Chamberlayne Ave., Richmond, VA 23227
1 2 3 4 Independence Day
14th Sunday in Ordinary time. Immigration
7 8 9 10 11 12 13 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Celebration of Small Church
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 17th Sunday in Ordinary time. Metropolitan/ Urban Ministry
28 29 30
The Vine — JULY, 2008
A U G U S T 1 2 3
18th Sunday in Ordinary time
4 5 6 Hiroshima Day
7 8 9 10 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time Homelessness Affordable Housing
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
— Presbytery of the James
By Marianne Vermeer
He has shown you, o man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 Humility is not something those who know us would use to describe our personalities. Heaven knows we’ve been humiliated plenty of times, so you think we’d have learned by the time we headed off to Pakistan to serve as mission co-workers at Forman Christian College in Lahore. It took some poverty-stricken laborers, some dedicated students, and the faithful prayers of you here in the US to teach us what it means to walk in humbleness with our God. . The laborers were the gardeners, sweepers, janitors, security guards, and carpenters who worked hard to make our life in Pakistan as comfortable as possible. For three years, they fixed our broken light fixtures, tried to re-route pipes to increase our water pressure, guarded our house and our lives with their lives, carried our furniture in and out and up and down for the several moves we had to make, and hack-sawed locks Marianne closed with keys inside. They never asked for a tip (highly unusual in Pakistan); their constant refrain was that their job was to serve us because we had come to serve them and their country. Talk about humbling. Then there were the students, both Muslim and Christian. When our son Nathan suddenly lost sight in one eye last fall due to a rare viral infection, the offer of prayers was overwhelming. We had to cancel classes to take him to ophthalmologists and
our students emailed to check on him, telling us how they had prayed for his sight. One night, a ring at the door brought 12 Christian students into our living room, who knelt down and said they felt they needed to come to pray with us for Nathan’s eye. We were amazed . . . and humbled that these young men and women who knew Nathan primarily by association with his parents, felt called by God to come to comfort and encourage us with prayer. When had we done that for someone we barely knew? (Those prayers were answered: Nathan’s sight is now fine.) And finally, we were humbled by the prayers and interest shown by people here in the US. We have been gratified by the welcome and response we’ve received from churches in the Presbytery of the James since our return. Hearing how you’ve worried about us and prayed for our safety makes us realize we were not in this alone: we were buoyed and buttressed by the prayers of the faithful here. It was not our work alone, then, but the work of all of you who cared, emailed, prayed, and even worried. That’s a heavy dose of humility as well. We are now back in the US, duly humbled, finishing our term of service by speaking in churches and reestablishing our ties in central Virginia. While we complete our commitment on June 30, we are open to speaking at churches in the Presbytery as long as there is interest. Feel free to email Marianne.firstname.lastname@example.org. Robert Johnson, Marianne Vermeer, Nathan and Peter
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Higher Education
18 19 20 21 22 23 24 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time. Youth in Church & World
25 26 27 28 29 30 31 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
(l to r) Gordon Mapes, pastor, The Brandermill Church and Connolly Gamble.
To celebrate their 30th anniversary, Brandermill Church held a single day offering. Using techniques discovered in a decade old book on stewardship, the goal of $400,000 was set for the day. By necessity, the 12 week roll out of this plan was shortened to only 9 days preparation, but the project still raised over $316,000 in only one day! Among the proposals to use the money was for Brandermill to build a Habitat House on their own. The council voted to fully fund and build a Habitat for Humanity house and dedicate it to the memory of Melba Burgess Gamble, who spent much of her life in work for the church. Mrs. Gamble died on December 14, 2006. She was the wife of Dr. Connolly C. Gamble, Jr.. The house will be located on Walmsley Blvd. in South Richmond. A number of other houses are being constructed at this location, and are being built and sponsored by various groups: Presbyterians, Methodists & Philip Morris employees.
(back row, l to r) Barbara Kump, Carol Spalek, Ruth Edwards, Joyce Palas, Yvonne Royster, Pam Perry, (sitting, l to r) Heland Terry and Betty Chaplin.
Operation Toasty Toes Support for our troops comes in many forms. A relatively new form is called Operation Toasty Toes. Operation Toasty Toes grew out of a sailor’s request in 1997 to his grandmother to make him and a few of his buddies her famous slippers. The grandmother had previously made a pair worn by her husband when he was a P.O.W. for two years in Korea. She and two friends made 100
pairs to start with and when delivered to the ship, all 100 pairs were gone in no time at all. Her grandson wrote to her again for an additional 220 pairs for the remaining crew. She enlisted the aid of 50 family members and friends and they made a commitment to send 100 pairs by the end of January. From the three original ladies, the operation now has 21 chapters. The Ladies Mission Team at Greenwood Presbyterian Church in ‘Chesterfield County has joined in this effort for our troops serving at home and overseas.
Swift Creek launches International Justice Mission campaign with youth Swift Creek Presbyterian Church has launched a new 4-phase, 5-week curriculum called The Justice Mission, from International Justice Mission. In this curriculum students learn from the Scriptures how God hates oppression and desires that we be His hands and feet to bring relief to a suffering world. For $500, IJM can gain the release of a person in bonded slavery (i.e. forced labor in rock quarry camps, brick laying and cigarette rolling, etc.). Many of these slaves around the world are children, ages 615. For $1,000 IJM can gain the release of a child/teenager forced into prostitution. During the study it becomes apparent that inaction is simply not an option. Students at Swift Creek became involved and started the following 4-phase program immediately: 1. Spaghetti lunch: free spaghetti lunch, congregation-wide, served by the students, Alicia Leite from IJM presented a brief but intensive program, proceeds went to IJM. 2. Change for Change: Pick up a coin can, take it home, fill it with loose change, return it to the church, all proceeds to IJM. 3. Work for Freedom: Students can
(l to r) Alecia Leite from IJM, Chris Newcomb, Swift Creek Youth Director, Brittany Slade, Senior High Representative.
be hired by the congregation or their neighbors for odd jobs. Their earnings are donated to IJM. 4. RockF.I.S.H. 2008: This studentled outreach event drew nearly 125 students. Suggested donation of $10 was the entry fee. Freedom T-shirts were available for $15, $5 of which went to IJM. The goal was just to raise awareness but the outcome was a meaningful project not only for the students but for the congregation and an accomplishment of free some children and teenagers from their forced labor bondage.
Presbytery of the James — JULY, 2008 —
It’s time again to rip, roll, return by Bob Pryor
“. . . Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”
A number of years ago I was on a three day canoeing trip on the Shenandoah River with a group from Camp Hanover. At the end of the trip a huge thunderstorm blew up and drenched all of us. We had planned to spend the last night of our trip at Hawksbill Shelter just off the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park. The storm left clouds hanging blindingly low as we drove to the Skyline Drive parking area where we would begin the hike to the top of the mountain. The density of the clouds engulfed us, as we carefully hiked up the shrouded path. Upon arriving at the shelter late in the afternoon, we were exhausted, wet, and cranky. Directly in front of the shelter was a west facing steep drop-off that normally provided a wonderful view of the Shenandoah Valley. On this particular day, the cloud cover was so thick that one could barely see beyond the length of one’s arm, much less the valley floor. It seemed that it was prematurely growing dark. An eerie silence drew each of us to the cliff’s edge where we sat quietly, sensing an unspoken bond. And then, as if watching the curtain go up in a theater, the dark cloud lifted and there spread before us was the valley floor bathed in the most spectacular array of sunset colors I have ever witnessed. You could hear a collective gasp, an awe-inspired gasp, as each of us, still silent, knew that we were in the presence of God…that at this moment a place that had always been special, had suddenly become sacred space, holy ground. As Moses witnessed a natural phenomenon at Horeb, he became acutely aware of being in sacred space. I too witnessed an incredible display of God’s creative power, and knew that I was on holy ground, in the presence of God. Camp Hanover is one of those sacred spaces, set aside to provide a place where people can encounter God’s presence. Our theme this summer is “Handle With Care.” We are called to care for our sacred spaces, to treat them as holy ground, to make wise decisions concerning their use, to
provide points of entry to these places where God’s people are invited to know the redeeming love of Jesus Christ. Might each of us be willing to answer that call, as Moses did, by saying, “Here I am.”
(l to r) Beverley Turner, Jo Smith, Shirley Chronister, Lyn Johnson, Heide Schumann and Sandy Day.
In 2007, South Plains requested left over sheets or sheet pieces from a local linen service to rip into strips and roll into bandages. Pray a lot and you will get a lot, they received 100 boxes of sheets, each box weighing 20 pounds. That’s a ton of sheets! This provided a great opportunity to this church that has always had an emphasis on mission. Last year they ripped and rolled thousands of bandages but there are still plenty of sheets left. Experience has proven that ripping sheets creates lint, now that the weather is warm, outside on the porch with friends is a perfect place and way to participate in
this project. Members of South Plains, friends, neighbors, anyone is welcome to help. Training is simple, only a matters of minutes and the work can be done at your own place and pace. Take a case (or two) of sheets home, rip, roll, and return. Ripping sheets into strips is therapeutic, it’s even considered arm exercises by savvy mission promoters. The goal is to finish the ton of sheets by the end of the summer. Whether it’s baby caps, stuffed toys or bandages, South Plains shows its big heart for mission projects year after year.
Providence Forge receives 2008 Sarah Hill Brown Award In celebration of receiving the 2008 Sarah Hill Brown Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Education, over sixty invited guests gathered at Providence Forge Recreation Center on Sunday, April 20, 2008.
S E P T
The award is presented by Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education. The invited guests were from a list of previous students and teachers. Cathy Davis, Director of the Sunshine
Nursery School prepared a timeline covering 33 years of the nursery school history from 1975 to the present with photos of former students and teachers. The display can be seen in the fellowship hall.
2 3 4 5 6 7 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Christian Ed. Week Begins
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Theological Ed.
15 16 17 18 19 20 21 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time International Day of Peace
22 Native American Day
23 24 25 26 27 28 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Evangelism (adults, l to r, back row) Sherry Mills, a Sunshine Nursery teacher, (holding child) Cathy Davis, director of Sunshine Nursery and teacher; Thomas Evenly, former student of Sunshine Nursery; Sylvia Coates, one of the first teachers of Sunshine Nursery and Becky Coates, a current teacher.
The Vine — JULY, 2008
O C T 1 2 3 4 5
27th Sunday in Ordinary time World Communion & Peacemaking Offering
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
28th Sunday in Ordinary time Presbyterian HIV/AIDS Awareness
14 15 16 World Food Day 17 18 Presbytery Meeting
19 29th Sunday in Ordinary time Children’s Sabbath, Domestic Violence Awareness
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
United Nations Day
30th Day in Ordinary time Reformation Sunday
27 28 29 30 31
— Presbytery of the James
Operation Inasmuch By Alice Roye
To paraphrase Winnie the Pooh, “it all comes from being such a tiny church.” Four years ago the congregation of Tappahannock Presbyterian Chapel, which numbered around 40 with a weekly attendance of only 18-22, wondered how such a small group of people could make a difference in Essex County. They had just hosted a seminar of speakers from various segments of the community—the schools, law enforcement, the courts, social services, and Bay Council on Aging. The needs were staggering in this small county of less than 12,000 people with a median annual income of $24,000 a year and one of the most under-served counties in the state. Where would they start? What difference could this handful of caring Presbyterians make? With the encouragement of the congregation and then-pastor Rev. Terry Robertson, Kathy Hughes and Alice Roye held several meetings with representatives from different races and denominations to discuss the overwhelming task. From this small group grew Essex Churches Together (ECT), an alliance of all Christian denominations in the county. For the first four years the primary service of the organization had been communication--sharing needs, seeking volunteers, and learning about resources in the community by hearing speakers from groups and agencies at each monthly meeting. Church representatives reported to each other about projects and programs that were going on within their walls while other churches were invited to join in. Last year the focus was the church’s role in community disaster. Support was given to the establishment of a Red Cross Chapter in Essex County. ECT became a member of VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters). Information was shared with the county emergency services about facilities the churches could offer, and disaster preparedness and neighborhood disaster plans were disseminated to the congregations through ECT representatives. As the year came to a close it was decided that the emphasis for ECT for 2008 would be on the youth, the elderly, and the homeless. It happened that Mrs. Hughes was attending a funeral at Sandston Baptist Church. She picked up the church newsletter and became interested in their outreach project which was Operation Inasmuch. Intrigued with the project, she called Troy Westerman, her deceased friend’s grandson, and asked for more information. Troy was invited to speak to ECT and share the experience with them. They contemplated for 6 months about sponsoring such
an effort and it seemed right in line with their stated emphasis for the year. The Rev. David Crocker, founding pastor of Operation Inasmuch in Fayetteville, North Carolina, came to Tappahannock to lead a workshop on
. . . an alliance of Essex County Christian denominations
garet’s Episcopal School for Girls and the Seventh-Day Adventist Tappahannock Junior Academy, Boy Scout Troop 304, and the Seventh-day Adventist Community Services. The Contractor Yard, a local business,
Volunteers working on house in Tappahannock, Em Hughes (on the roof) and Dave Canby (on the ladder) both are members of Tappahannock Presbyterian Church. (photo courtesy Rappahannock Times)
how to implement the program. ECT members served hot soup, sandwiches and homemade cake. When more than 100 people came out on a cold bleak January night to a meeting about a topic new and different it was evident that something big was going to happen. The spirit and momentum was awesome, right from the beginning. The program gets its name from the Matthew 25 scripture “inasmuch as you have done it for the least one of these you have done it unto me.” Beginning in Fayetteville, North Carolina, an army town, the term “operation” was obvious. OIAM (Operation Inasmuch) has been going on in Baptist Churches throughout North Carolina since the mid-1990’s and has spread throughout the United States as well as Canada, England and Japan. Slowly other denominations have begun to take the idea and accomplish their goals in different ways, usually by one or two churches. When the county joins together the accomplishments can be phenomenal. A Planning Team began in February to meet weekly all the way up to the day of the big event. At first ECT representatives received reports and suggestions and carried information back to their churches. Then contacts were designated specifically as communicators about Operation Inasmuch for each church. Social agencies in the area were consulted about needs. April 26, 2008 finally arrived. Twenty churches were represented along with 2 church schools, St. Mar-
supported the effort in a big way, donating many of the materials and lending their building as command center for the day. In addition, many of their employees became committed to the idea and offered their expertise and hard labor. Counting the volunteers who contributed time and goods prior to the day, there were over 500 participants. That Saturday hundreds of people, all in blue Operation Inasmuch tee-shirts, gathered on the lawn of St. Margaret’s School for an 8:00 am service to be commissioned to go and serve their neighbors. The sea of blue shirts against the Rappahannock River and the Downing Bridge was a moving scene. Sixty projects were developed, ranging from roof repair and building wheelchair ramps to giving out quarters at the Laundromat, to making bibs, lap robes, and wheelchair bags for nursing home residents. Tappahannock Memorial United Methodist Church was the site for a workshop for making prayer shawls and they were explained and some created during the morning session. First Baptist church in Tappahannock was the site for a “Free for All” where clothes, household goods, and food were given away. Free health screening and consultation with doctors and nurses was available as well. At St. Margaret’s School, toiletry kits were assembled for foster children, for women entering a nearby shelter, and for seasonal farm workers. Suit-
cases were collected for Social Services to have something better than a black trash bag to put foster children’s belongings in when they had to be removed from their homes. Students from St. Margaret’s entertained young children of the volunteers and they put together and delivered some 380 bag lunches during the day. A choir of children and adults sang for residents of two nursing care facilities and then visited individually with them. A lunch party was held for the assisted living group and their staff. Several houses were painted on the outside. A volunteer returned to replace the porch screen on one the next day and a whole team volunteered to work again the following week-end to get to a project there had not been time to complete from the week before. Rooms inside homes were painted, steps built or repaired and handrails were installed. Yards over-run with trash and debris were cleaned out and reseeded. A large area near the RiversideTappahannock Hospital Emergency Department was cleared and colorful plants were installed. A new atrium garden was built by the scouts and an interior garden and gazebo in the hospital were cleaned and freshened up with new plantings. The Free Health Clinic received new paint on its walls, and the interior of the Social Services Department was brightened with new paint as well. The remarkable thing about the day, though, was not the number of projects or the number of volunteers involved. It was the people of all ages and races and Christian denominations working side by side on these projects, and reticence and suspicion were replaced with smiles and hugs. Teams bonded and friendships formed. The youngest participant was 3, the eldest a spry 95. People became aware of the conditions of some of their neighbors. On that day there were no Baptists or Presbyterians or Catholics or Methodists or Pentecostals or Adventists. There were only brothers and sisters living the love of Christ to people they had never met. Church members became sensitive to what had been left undone and were inspired to continue throughout the year. The brushes have been washed, the hammers put away, and tee-shirts are laundered (what’s left of them!). Of Tappahannock Presbyterian’s 54 members, 27 participated, many of them project leaders. In the near future, members are participating in the shower trailer project being headed up by St. Andrews Presbyterian Church of Kilmarnock. A TINY CHURCH, INDEED, WITH A VERY BIG HEART.
Presbytery of the James — JULY, 2008 —
St. Andrews Mission Outreach The Saint Andrews Mission Outreach Committee has undertaking a project to convert a surplus trailer into a shower facility. Upon completion of the project, the shower trailer will be given to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance for use in the volunteer villages. This project was motivated by the (clockwise) Surplus trailer delivered to church parking lot. Judy Thomson primes metal understructure. New siding goes on. Trailer nearing completion. Plans are to have the trailer dedicated and delivered to the Olive Tree Volunteer Village in New Orleans in July, 2008.
experience of the Saint Andrews Katrina hurricane relief volunteers where, after long hard days of providing work assistance to hurricane victims, there was a real need for a place to get a warm shower. The surplus trailer was obtained and is being transformed into a shower facility to meet the need. Volunteers from St. Andrews, with help from the other four Rappahannock River Presbyterian Churches (Campbell Memorial, Milden, Tappahannock and Wesley) worked diligently to be ready for the next emergency.
N O V 1 All Saints’ Day
2 31st Sunday in Ordinary time Christian & Citizen Daylight Saving Time Ends
3 4 Election Day
Ferguson authors Retreat for Renewal and Christian Educators’ Guide Nancy Ferguson is an ordained minister, certified educator and member of Presbytery of the James. She has over 30 years of experience leading retreats and camps. In her ministry as an outdoor con-
sultant and freelance writer, she produces resources for camps and congregations nationwide. Nancy is a member of the American Camp Association and Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference
Payday loan industry may still collect 391% interest on by-weekly loans Working through the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Police (VICPP), Presbytery of the James joined a broad coalition to work for legislation in the 2008 Virginia General Assembly to limit the interest charged by the payday loan industry to 36%—consistent with usury laws. POJ churches held information meetings at Wednesday night suppers and in their communities—and members supported the VICPP by signing the pledge to support an interest rate cap at 36%. Coalition efforts were up against a well-funded industry that spent over $100 million on advertising, lobbying, and contributions to political campaigns. In the end, the bill that eventually was signed into law (effective Jan. 1, 2009), favors the industry by limiting interest on loans to 36%, while also including additional fees that actually increase the cost of borrowing. Currently, payday lenders charge $15 per $100 borrowed (up to $500) for loans that must be paid by the next pay period (391% APR for those paid bi-weekly), with no limits on the number of loans that can be taken at one time. According to the Center for Responsible Lending, 99% of payday borrowers take more than one loan, and the average amount paid back on a $325 loan is $800. Effective January 1, 2009, borrowers can take only one loan at a time (up to 10 per year) and have two pay cycles to repay. However, lenders will be able to charge $20 per $100 borrowed, plus $5 per loan tracking fee, plus 36% interest. Emboldened by the lenders’ legislative success,
other predatory lending practices– such as car title lending–are beginning to proliferate in Virginia. In response, the Public Ministries Board is inviting other presbyteries across the Commonwealth to find ways they might work together with VICPP to bring about meaningful changes in lending practices that target the working poor—especially monitories and single mothers. This effort will be guided by the PCUSA statement: “A Reformed Under-
standing of Usury for the 21st Century” William E. Staples, Director of Gift Planning for Union-PSCE, conducts a tour of the Union-PSCE campus as a part of an all-day workshop for church administrative assistants and secretaries sponsored by Presbytery of the James. The tour also included the new Presbytery offices and lunch and a tour at Camp Hanover.
Association and the project manager/ editor of New Earth: Christian Resources for the Outdoors. Through her writings, people of all ages find a shared story, learn about one another and discover those things that bind them together in Christ.
5 6 7 World Communion Day
8 9 32nd Sunday in Ordinary time Stewardship Commitment
10 11 Veterans Day
12 13 14 15 16
33rd Sunday in Ordinary time Care Giver
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
Christ the King Reign of Christ
24 25 26 27 Thanksgiving
28 29 30 1st Sunday of Advent. Begin Lectionary Year B
The Vine — JULY, 2008
— Presbytery of the James
VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY CELEBRATES THE LIFE OF
Dr. Isabel Wood Rogers Resolutions presented to the Virginia General Assembly might implore the United States Congress to take certain action, direct a state agency to study a particular social problem, express aspirations of the legislature, or draw attention to people who have made significant contributions. In the latter category, not surprisingly, a resolution has been introduced commending the iconic Oliver W. Hill. Of special interest to the Presbytery, as well as to the church at large, is House Joint Resolution 256, entitled “Celebrating the life of Dr. Isabel Wood Rogers.” It recounts, albeit briefly, highlights of both her background and her accomplishments, such as her long teaching career and her service as Moderator of the Presbyterian General Assembly. The resolution also conveys something of the qualiDr. Isabel Wood Rogers ties which made Dr. Rogers such a towering, yet beloved, figure. She is characterized as “an inspirational religious leader and teacher,” “a great advocate for young people,” and “dedicated to helping her students ‘to raise questions, to think for themselves, and to forge their own faith.’” HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 256 Offered January 18, 2008 Celebrating the life of Dr. Isabel Wood Rogers. ---------Patrons—(Congregational supporters of the Resolution)—Hall, Alexander, Dance, Jones, D.C., Loupassi, McClellan, Morrissey, O'Bannon, Shannon, Spruill, Tyler, Ward and Ware, O’Bannon; Senators: Deeds and McEachin
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HEREAS, Dr. Isabel Wood Rogers, an admired professor emerita at Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education, died on March 18, 2007; and HEREAS, born in 1924, Isabel Wood Rogers grew up and went to high school in Tallahassee, Florida; and HEREAS, Isabel Rogers received an undergraduate degree from Florida State University, a master of arts degree from the University of Virginia, a masters of Christian education from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education, and a doctoral degree in ethics from Duke University; she was awarded honorary degrees from Austin College, Westminster College, and Centre College; and HEREAS, affectionately know as Dr. Izzie by her students and colleagues, Isabel Rogers taught applied Christianity at the Presbyterian School of Christian Education (PSCE) from 1961 to 1998; and HEREAS, before joining PSCE, Isabel Rogers served as campus minister and chaplain, as director of campus religious activities at Georgia College and State University from 1949 to 1952, and was honored by the university in 2000 for her many contributions; and HEREAS, an effective communicator and a unifying leader, Isabel Rogers was elected to the high position of moderator of the 199th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. in 1987, especially significant because her election came just four years after the national reunion that ended more than a century of schism within the Presbyterian Church; and HEREAS, Isabel Rogers was the author of five educational books for Presbyterians entitled Christian and World Affairs, In Response to God, Our Shared Earth, In a Word, and Sing a New Song; and HEREAS, a great advocate for young people, Isabel Rogers was dedicated to helping her students "to raise questions, to think for themselves, and to forge their own faith"; and HEREAS, an inspirational religious leader and teacher, Isabel Rogers will be fondly remembered for her kind and generous nature and will be greatly missed by her sister Elizabeth Green McCord, her two nephews Rogers and Dykes Green, and her numerous friends, admirers, and colleagues; now, therefore, be it ESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly mourn the passing of an outstanding educator and fine Virginian, Dr. Isabel Wood Rogers; and, be it ESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the family of Dr. Isabel Wood Rogers as an expression of the General Assembly’s respect for her memory.
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Haiti Fish Farms (Continued from page 1)
the millers would cheat or charge large amounts of money for this basic process. So Mark and Hein helped to build a grist mill. The only charge for the milling is one tenth of their grain with an emphasis on them giving a tithe. The corn that was given to us went straight into the feeding centers. This was so successful that at the time we did not need to buy any corn for the feeding centers. In 1995, the Canadian government decided to shut down the five feeding centers that they were running but Hein and Mark were able to find funding to support these centers. Now there are ten feeding centers, each with the same conditions that were established with the first one. If one does the math, 80 (children) x 4 (meals) x 10 (centers), they are feeding 3,200 meals per week or 12,800 meals per month. During this same trip to Haiti, they were asked to help start an orphanage. Both Hein and Mark began to see that this mission effort was quickly out growing the church they attended in Fayetteville, Georgia. In 1996, they formed a 501(C)(3) nonprofit charitable organization, named Matthew Twenty-Eight, Inc. That same year they started construction on the orphanage and in 1996 accepted the first eight orphans. The orphanage now has 42 children from the ages of 6 months to 17 years. These children receive food, clothing, medical attention, schooling, but most of all are brought up in a loving Christian environment. Hein and Mark are now working on the construction of fish ponds and a canal system. The canal system will bring water to the fish ponds and also to many families to help improve their small farms. The fish will provide a protein source for the orphanage and families in the area. They are also pursuing an agricultural project to raise food for the orphanage and feeding centers. Hein and Mark went to Haiti in March, 2008, and were distressed by the severe increase in food costs. The prices of most foods have tripled in the last three years. This has led to some extremely sad and poor conditions. At one of the medical clinics they were horrified by the condition of the children. They all had bloated stomachs and red hair (both signs of severe malnourishment). As they asked the mothers what they were feeding their children, they held their heads in shame as they were embarrassed to tell us they could only afford to serve their children a small handful of corn every other day. Mark and Hein couldn’t believe that these children were still alive on such low levels of poor nourishment. Haiti is in crisis. The price of rice has gone from $280 for 50 lb. to $490 per 50 lb. The increase in oil prices
Cement lined canal under construction to fill ponds and for irrigation of crops.
has caused shipping charges to triple. As they have done many times before, Mark and Hein, along with two nurses held a clinic in a small village on a mountain top. The condition of the children was far worse than can be imaged, they have orange hair, worm filled bellies and an array of skin diseases, all signs of malnutrition. Presbytery of the James Hunger Committee gives $3000 to this mission for the year, which only supplies one feeding station for one month. The fish pond project will be a constant supply of nourishment for the feeding stations and orphanage but that is still months away. No one knows how many of these children will still be alive by then.
John Bell (Continued from page 1)
Presbyterian Church in Canada and the Royal School of Church Music which bestowed a Fellowship on him, and in 2002 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Glasgow. John has produced (some in collaboration with Graham Maule) many collections of original hymns and songs and two collections of songs of the World Church. These are published by the Iona Community in Scotland and by G.I.A. Publications (Chicago) in North America. He is an occasional broadcaster, and has presented a programme Songs of God's People on BBC, which included religious songs from various parts of the world. Bell lectures in theological colleges in Britain and the U.S., but is primarily concerned with the renewal of congregational worship at the grass roots level. Conference brochures are available from the POJ office. $25 per person for members of sponsoring denominations, includes lunch if paid by October 8. Group registrations for sponsoring denominations, $100 per church, up to 6 people, additional persons $10 each. $40 at door. The Worship Conference is endorsed by the Richmond Chapter, American Guild of Organists; partially funded by PAM Seed Money Grant; The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and the Virginia Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.