June Newsletter Column
Stewardship is often relegated to the fall months of the year as we begin to prepare our budgets for the next year but actually, stewardship is year round. Everything we do has a connection to stewardship. In the summer months, VBS could not be done without the stewardship of time, talents, and treasure. Imagine trying to set up a VBS without any of those things. Another use of stewardship in the summer is camp scholarships. Without generous people and willing children and young adults, camps would not happen. Then there as those churches who have special music during the summer so the choir can take a break. Again, wonderful use of time, talents and treasure. I guess my point is that we should not just talk about stewardship during budget time, but instead mention it all through the year so people can be more aware that stewardship is not just about money, but about being faithful with all our time, talents and treasure. The Rev. Charles Spencer talked to us about stewardship at the May Presbytery meeting and will be doing another presentation on October 21st at Equipping the Saints. I hope everyone gets at least one chance to hear him as he gives us wonderful suggestions as to how we can do stewardship better.
Have a wonderful June.
May Newsletter Column
Stewardship is one of those staples of the church. It is also one of those things that is approached differently in every church, but the basics are the same. This important issue will be the focus of our Presbytery Meeting on May 18th in Shell Knob, MO. Our Guest Speaker will be The Rev. Charles Spencer, the Executive Presbyter in Heartland Presbytery. Rev. Spencer has worked in churches of various sizes, has worked with stewardship at the denominational level and facilitated and presented at the recent Stewardship Conference in Kansas City. He will be preaching at the morning worship service and be giving a presentation for our educational time. It promises to be informative and inspiring.
Also, for the first time at a Presbytery meeting, we will have our newly purchased portable labyrinth set up for use during the meeting. This will give you the opportunity to have a quiet time of prayer in the midst of our busy day. There will also be a couple of resources on Praying the Labyrinth and Living the Labyrinth by Jill Kimberly Hartwell Geoffrion for use as you walk the labyrinth.
I look forward to seeing you at the meeting. Everyone is invited to attend.
April Newsletter Column
One of the things about being Presbyterian that I love is our connectionalism. From the local congregation to congregations around the world, I believe our connectionalism helps us better understand one another in different contexts. A part of that connectionalism is our representative government. We elect people to represent our congregations at the higher levels of our government. We elect commissioners to go to Synod Assemblies for the Synod of Mid America and to General Assemblies for the PC(USA). I mention this because it is time to begin applications for commissioners to GA. The General Assembly will take place in St. Louis, Mo in 2018. We heard a report from the Committee on Local Arrangements for this assembly at our last Presbytery meeting. This is as close as it has been to us in a very long time so we will have opportunities to serve in ways that we normally do not have. We can volunteer to help at the assembly or, you might want to become more involved by being a commissioner. John Calvin is allowed to send two commissioners and one Young Adult Advisory Delegate. The commissioners next year, according to our alternating process, are to be a female ruling elder and a male teaching elder. If you would like to serve as a commissioner, please fill out the application (found on the website) and send it to JCP, PO Box 787, Shell Knob, MO by August 15, 2017. General Council will be reviewing those applications and recommending commissioners for election at the November Presbytery meeting. I am hoping we have many applications and many volunteers who want to serve at this assembly. The connectionalism at these meetings is wonderful.
March Newsletter Column
In my travels around JCP, I am often asked about Shared Mission. Shared Mission is the portion of the budget which supports what God has called us to do as a Presbytery. There are many missions which are supported by our Shared Mission dollars. First there is the work of the Mission and Nurture Committee. They are the heart of mission in JCP. Right now they are working on Equipping the Saints, a Presbytery wide leadership event which will be held on October 21, 2017 at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Springfield, MO. Our keynote speaker will be Joan Gray, author of the book, Sailboat Church: Helping Your Church Rethink Its Mission and Practice. Mission and Nurture is also responsible for distributing camp scholarships and the Peace & Global Witness grants. Shared Mission also funds, along with offerings at Presbytery meetings, the Creative Ministry Grants given out each August, as well as the Small Church Resource Grant, JCPDA, Living Waters for the World, Triennium, Boundaries Training, Emergency needs for pastors, office supplies, insurance, accounting services and salaries for the Pastoral Presbyter and the Recording Clerk.
As you can see, Shared Mission is a big part of our overall call as a Presbytery to reach out to others in the name of our Lord. As you consider your giving as a church and as individuals, I would encourage you to consider a gift to Shared Mission. It can make a difference in the lives of many people in JCP and around the world.
Rev. Susan Rosenbaum