Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What I believe . . .

I seek to encourage, teach and proclaim a Christian witness that actively embodies in the life of our church a full range of theological perspectives and interpretations of our Holy Scripture. For me, this is our opportunity to make a faithful, strong witness to our culture. Our culture is increasingly fragmented, and often bitterly divided, between republicans and democrats, between rich and poor, between urban and rural, between Anglo-Saxon whites and other races, between sportsmen and gun-control advocates, between hawks and doves, between evangelicals and mainline Christians, between young and old, etc. and etc. Likewise it would be easier, following the example of our culture, for our church to retreat into our own, like-minded, theological caucuses and name our own caucus “the truth” or “our tradition” or “the biblical way.” I believe we now have a higher calling. Our calling fights against all the pressure from our culture to fragment, divide, and retreat into like-mindedness. We have an opportunity to proclaim that we do not need to be like-minded to be united; we do not need to think the same to serve the same Lord, we do not need to compel others to believe as I believe to be together in the same Church; we do not need to hold our convictions so tight that we must name others as wrong. This is the church I am striving to build.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"Thank You" to our Twelve leading Shared Giving congregations.

Thank you!

These twelve congregations are leading the way in our presbytery. These congregations have pledged a total of $280,620 in Shared Mission Giving in 2014. Our total Shared Mission Giving budget for the Presbytery in 2014 is $330,000. Thus these twelve congregations are contributing 85% of our Presbytery’s total Shared Mission Giving budget in 2014. Thank you!

Thank you for your continuing and generous support.

Derry, Hershey
St. Andrews, Lebanon
Market Square, Harrisburg
Middle Spring, Shippensburg
Second Carlisle
First United, Newville
Pine Street, Harrisburg
Paxton, Harrisburg
Lower Marsh Creek, Gettysburg
East Waterford

Report from Honduras: A Growing Partnership

This report was written by Pastor Kim Wadlington, the chairperson of our Presbytery's Mission Advocacy Committee and a fellow traveler to Honduras:

In October a team from the Carlisle Presbytery went to Honduras to participate in a week of conversation with many pastors and congregation members from Honduras. World Mission staff members, Hunter Farrell (World Mission Director), Tracey King-Ortega (based in Nicaragua and serving as liaison for Central America), and Juan Sarmiento (PCUSA evangelism catalyst) were also present for conversation as well as members of both Tampa Bay Presbytery and the Presbytery of Arkansas who serve in Honduras. The team spent two days travelling the Honduras countryside visiting with pastors and their congregations, hearing about the hopes, dreams, and challenges.
We rejoiced in the growth of the Honduran church and were bolstered by their faithfulness in sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with their neighbors despite sometimes being persecuted for doing so. We received reports on many of the ministries the Honduran Church has undertaken together including the housing ministry in which we participate, scholarships for young people to further their education past the required 8th grade, healthy snacks and uniforms provided for young school children, and more.

Additionally we heard reports about the distribution of food aid supported by our Presbytery. Together we sent a total of $8,300.00 for food aid to Honduras with donations from many individuals, the September Offering received at Presbytery meeting and donations from our Mechanicsburg, Lost Creek, Dickinson, and First United churches. We were gratified to hear that in each place aid was offered, it was offered to the entire community, not just church members! Presbyterian Women in Honduras headed up this operation, purchasing the food, organizing it in bags with a message from the churches, and then travelling for distribution. They are a powerful agent for ministry within the Honduran church and it was our privilege to partner with them in this effort.

Lastly we were privileged to see the progress made on the Retreat Center and to present to the Presbytery of Honduras a gift from our Mercersburg and St. Andrews Lebanon Church to help with building that center. There will be another trip to Honduras next year to participate in the building of the Retreat Center. Mark your calendars for April 13 - April 20 and consider joining us. We always come home with spirits enlightened and faith emboldened by our relationships with our Honduran brothers and sisters!