March Newsletter Column
The season of Lent is upon us. Many churches have special studies and events going on at this time of year. It is also a time when I like to remind churches of the grants which are available through John Calvin Presbytery. We have the Small Church Resource Grant, which is used to help with small needs in a church such as a sound system upgrade or crash bars for doors. We have the Peace & Global Witness Grant, which is for peace & global witness in the community. We have the Creative Ministry Grant, which is for a new ministry of one or more congregations. And we have the Transformation/New Worshipping Community Grant which helps fund a radical transformation or a New Worshipping Community. The applications for all these grants can be found on our website under the Home/Grants tab. If you have questions or would like help filling out the applications, just give me a call at 620-674-1844.
Blessings to you all.
Blessings to you all.
February Newsletter Column
February is one of those months when we often plan to catch up on all those things we put off for the holidays. This year, however, Ash Wednesday is on the 14th of the month so we are beginning the disciplines of Lent a bit earlier. Lent gives us an opportunity to look at our lives through a different lens. It can be a time when we take on a new discipline for ourselves as we seek to be closer to God. This year I will post a Lenten Study on our website which you might consider using for your Lenten discipline. It is based on the book Meditations on the Cross by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It is a six week study covering about fifteen pages a week. My hope is that it will help you to think more about your faith and where that faith may take you in the future. Books are available at the PC(USA) Store at this location:
Blessings to you all.
January Newsletter Column
Happy New Year! I have heard that saying many times in my life. The new year seems to bring to mind so many possibilities and many people are ready for a fresh start. I find it interesting that a new year will spark something in us that speaks of new beginnings and yet, many times during the rest of the year, we have those same opportunities and they go unnoticed. I guess it seems more logical to begin anew on January 1. As church members, what new beginnings do you see as possibilities in 2018? What new ministries are needed in your communities? I would like to remind you that JCP has the Creative Ministry Grant available for new ministries and while they are awarded in August, the beginning of the year is a good time to start thinking about how to make those ministries a reality. I am hoping to see lots of applications for 2018. In the meantime, I hope you have a wonderful, faith filled 2018.
December Newsletter Column
I am so looking forward to Advent. It is one of my favorite times of the year. One of the things I like about it is that it reminds us that we are waiting. Waiting is not always fun. In fact, sometimes it is difficult and painful. Yet, it is what we do in Advent and we do so with a purpose. This season, I will be leading an Advent study based on the book, “God Is In the Manger” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. These Advent readings are based on his many works throughout the years and they paired with scripture each day. If you are looking for an Advent study or just a devotional for this season, I encourage you to try this one. It give a great perspective on Advent.
Hope you all have a wonderful Advent and a meaningful Christmas.
November Newsletter Column
I am writing you today to share with you my upcoming retirement from the Pastoral Presbyter position in John Calvin Presbytery on June 30, 2018. As I look back on my last six years in this position, things are very different than they were when I began. We have shared joys and heartbreak, laughter and tears, and a lot of change. In the midst of all the change, we have together sought to discern and follow God’s leading. I am thankful for the people in JCP and their willingness to work together for the glory of God. This position has been a blessing to me and my family during the time I have served and I believe God is now calling me to a different ministry in foster care.
In light of my retirement, the Administrative Ministries Committee and the General Council have adopted a plan to present to the Presbytery at the November 4th meeting at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Springfield. This plan includes hiring a consultant to help us envision our future and in the midst of transition, calling Melana to function as the Presbyter of JCP. As we travel this road together, my prayer is that JCP will continue to strengthen our connections and seek, with God’s help, to be the people, churches, and presbytery that God calls us to be.
Blessing to you all,
John Calvin Presbytery
October Newsletter Column
October is an exciting month for John Calvin Presbytery. For the first time in over two years, we are hosting Equipping the Saints, a leadership development event for the entire Presbytery. This event will be held at Southminster Presbyterian Church beginning at 8:45 in the morning on October 21, 2017 and lasting until about 3:30 PM. Our keynote speaker is the Rev. Dr. Joan S. Gray, author of Spiritual Leadership for Church Officers and Sailboat Church. There will also be six different workshops offered during the day on a variety of topics, from stewardship to ruling elder training. Registration after October 1st is only $25 and that includes, along with the classes, a midmorning snack, lunch and an afternoon snack. If you haven’t registered, a registration form is found in the Notices each week or on the JCP website. Register soon and join us for this educational event. I look forward to seeing you there.
Pastor Susan Rosenbaum
September Newsletter Column
The next two months are exciting for John Calvin Presbytery. We will be having three presbytery wide events which are open to everyone. The first on is a continuing education event for everyone in the Presbytery. It is a six week online interactive series called “Worship Reboot” which will be taught by Dr. Marcia McFee. More information can be found on the website. Second, our International Peacemaker, Doug Baker, will be with us from September 22-28 and during that time, JCP will host a time with him on Saturday, September 23rd at 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Hillcrest Presbyterian Church in Springfield, MO. Third, Equipping the Saints with keynote speaker, Joan Gray, will be on October 21st at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Springfield, MO beginning at 8:45. This event offers many different workshops along with the plenaries with Joan. More information is also on the website. I would encourage you to participate in as many of these events as possible as we work to keep our connections strong in JCP.
Pastor Susan Rosenbaum
August Newsletter Column
The month of August is a month when a lot of things are happening. School resumes and many of our churches are involved in some type of school supply ministry and there are other ministries that offer services to help prepare children for the start of school. There is also a Presbytery meeting on Monday, August 7th at the United Methodist/Presbyterian Church in Ash Grove, MO. At that meeting, we will be celebrating our connectionism by awarding two Creative Ministry Grants as well as electing and installing leadership for the coming year for our Presbytery committees. Our focus for this meeting will be prayer with K.O. Noonoo and Peggy Wobbema presenting classes on different types of prayer. The labyrinth will also be set up for those who would like to participate in that type of prayer experience. All are welcome to join us for this wonderful prayer focused gathering.
I would also like to remind you that in September, the 22nd to 28th, our International Peacemaker, Doug Baker from Northern Ireland will be here and on October 21st, we will have Equipping the Saints, a Presbytery wide leadership event.
Hope to see you at one of our upcoming events.
Pastor Susan Rosenbaum
July Newsletter Column
During the Summer, we are often so busy that we don’t give a second thought to events in the future. So I would like to take this opportunity to talk about two events that are in the future of John Calvin Presbytery. The first event is the visit of the International Peacemaker. This year we will host Doug Baker from Northern Ireland. The dates will be September 22nd to 28th and we are working on a Presbytery Gathering to meet him while he is here. Please put those dates on your calendar.
The second event is Equipping the Saints on October 21st at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Springfield, MO. This event will feature Joan Gray, author of Sailboat Church: Helping Your Church Rethink Its Mission and Practice. This all day event will also include workshops on stewardship, resources, elder training, conflict management, and doing church differently. We hope that all churches bring several people to help make this event an amazing success.
Hope to see a lot of you at these exciting Presbytery events.
Pastor Susan Rosenbaum
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