The theme of light runs through the whole Bible like a shining thread that is sometimes dimmed and or even covered up, but never completely put out. From the dawn of creation (Genesis 1:3) to the New Jerusalem lit by the Lord God (Revelation 22:5) we are reminded that while God is the true light of the world, we are also called upon to bear witness to the light in a world of darkness. Last year I encouraged all of us to spend the whole year dwelling in the account of the Sending of the Seventy in Luke 10:1- 12.
In this new year I invite you to join me in pondering 2 Corinthians 4:1-12. During the year I will suggest some reflection questions around this text, but today I invite you to notice all of the references to light, sight (or blindness), and to making things clear found in this text.
What is the character of God’s light for the world?
How is the church called to share that light?
What other biblical texts come to mind?
May God’s light always guide us toward him who is our only light!
2 Corinthians 4:1-12
Therefore, since it is by God’s mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2We have renounced the shameful things that one hides; we refuse to practice cunning or to falsify God’s word; but by the open statement of the truth we commend ourselves to the conscience of everyone in the sight of God. 3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
5For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. 6For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. 8We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.
11For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh. 12So death is at work in us, but life in you.
~ Bill Reinhold, General Presbyter/Stated Clerk Reflection
The Peacemaking Subcommittee of Coastal Carolina Presbytery
will offer two $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors
enrolling in college by the fall of 2016.
Rules for Scholarship Consideration:
1. The student must be a senior in high school.
2. The student must be a member of a Presbyterian Church in Coastal Carolina Presbytery.
3. The student is asked to submit an essay in response to the following question:
How have you participated in God’s work of peacemaking in the past and what is your vision for participating in peacemaking in the future?
4. Essay must be typed, properly referenced, not exceed 1,000 words and include the student’s name, contact information, home church, and college they are attending.
5. All essays must be received by May 15. *Email submission is preferred.*
6. The scholarship winners will be notified and then presented with their award at a June community presbytery meeting.
Essays may be submitted to: Rev. Whitney Wilkinson Cameron Presbyterian Church P.O. Box 68 Cameron, NC 28326 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Essays Due May 15, 2016
Contact Rev. Whitney Wilkinson, Cameron Presbyterian, for more information.
The Hunger Sub-committee of the Committee for Mission and Outreach is composed of Presbyterians from across the Presbytery. They meet quarterly to discuss hunger issues, to consider grant applications, and to disburse monies received through the Cents-Ability program of the PCUSA. Often called 2-Cents (or 5-Cents)-A-Meal programs, donations are collected in many of our churches and at Presbytery functions. Churches may keep 25% of their collection to help with local hunger projects, if they wish.
Of the money received by the Presbytery, these recipients have been selected:
The Committee for African American Ministries (CAAM) has scheduled regular meetings for the first Saturday of each month. These meetings will be held in different African American churches throughout the presbytery. This practice will result in committee members becoming more familiar with church locations and with members of the various congregations, as host churches will be encouraged to have members participate in the meetings.
Inter-congregational cooperation and support will be further enhanced through the newly instituted practice of holding a CAAM-sponsored or CAAM-supported event at one member church each month. The first of these programs was held at Dothan Presbyterian Church on January 26, 2013.
During 2013, CAAM contributed to the expenses of one member to attend the Big Tent and the National Black Presbyterian Caucus meeting.
Are you interested in becoming an ordained Presbyterian minister? Then you have come to the right place. The process begins in your session and continues with the Presbytery. For more information, contact the chair of this committee or the General Presbyter. Meanwhile take a look at this helpful item, Discerning Your Call.
For continuing Inquirers and Candidates: Annual Consultations are in February each year. Contact your CPM liason for more information.
It is the responsibility of each inquirer or candidate to keep in touch with the committee and stay current on all paperwork and meetings. For Annual Consultations A completed Form 3 should be submitted in advance of the meeting.
The committee prefers to receive all forms by email
to Tim Beach Verhey at email@example.com
or they may be mailed
to CPM Moderator,
c/o Presbytery of Coastal Carolina,
807 W King St.,
Elizabethtown, NC 28337
Some things to keep in mind when browsing our resources below…
Remember that Revitalization is a deeply spiritual process. Pray often that God’s will be done in your congregation and ask specifically for help in revitalization. “Ask and it shall be given unto you, seek and ye shall find!”
Consider working with our coaches, Beverly & George Thompson. They offer hands-on help to congregations in discovering who they are, who their neighbors are and what God is calling them to do. They won’t tell you the answers, but will guide the congregation in discovering God’s calling for themselves. (Learn more here)
Know your context – God needs YOUR church to reach certain people who would otherwise not be reached. How is your congregation relevant to neighboring people who typically do not go to church?
Eat the meat, throw away the bones. Enjoy the resources that make sense to you and work. Ignore the techniques that do not fit your context. Change and alter things to make them work for you.
Use the forums tab to comment on YOUR “A Ha” moments from these resources or other books and let us know what is working in YOUR congregation.
Try focusing on some of these areas:
1) Hospitality: make your church truly welcoming and visitor-friendly (signage, greeter training, etc…)
2) Sharing your faith with others
3) Community Engagement: help folks make a difference in their community
Discern God’s new vision for your congregation
Find ways to build bridges / open doors to groups of people outside your church’s walls
Chris Walker says to focus on: 1) Hospitality 2)Evangelism 3)Community Engagement
Click the links below from Chris Walker (speaker at our 2012 Revitalization Retreat). He recommends churches do at least 2 of these successfully:
Owen Carriker puts the wisdom of the Committee on Revitalization into a one document. A great read and starting place, especially to help give you an overview of the various pieces of the puzzle for how to revitalize a congregation.
“HOW TO” Papers (AMAZING)
How to attract first time visitors, how to shrink your inactive list, how to assimilate new members and guests, how to increase Sunday School Attendance. Download, read, print and share these well-thought-out “nuggets” of best practices with your Session and congregation.
Share Your Faith – Presbyterian Style!
Engageis a new resource from the Office of Evangelism, that helps every Presbyterian learn ways to share their faith with others. Talk to Kaye Bledsoe to check out a copy from the Presbytery’s Resource Library or read online.
Tom Bandy, from CCRT Retreat 2013
Check out some of the free documents from Tom’s website.
The Committee for Mission and Outreach Congregational awarded these Grants for 2013.
2013 Grant Recipients for Mission Programs
a. Community Presbyterian Church, Pinehurst – $1,000 – Home Ramp/Repair Ministry
b. Pink Hill Presbyterian Church – $1,000 – School Books Initiative
c. Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church – $900 – Single Mother Oil Change Outreach
d. Beulaville Presbyterian Church – $1,000 – Summer Tutoring Program
In line with Presbytery’s five year plan to focus on our congregations. These grants were awarded to congregations who need seed money to implement a mission project or sustaining funds for an ongoing ministry.
Serving PCUSA Churches in Southeast North Carolina