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Monday in Ministry - August 11, 2014
Monday in Ministry - August 11, 2014
Monday in Ministry
August 11, 2014
Dear Friends of Cayuga-Syracuse Presbytery, welcome to this week's edition of our e-letter, Monday in Ministry. Our goal is to highlight things going on throughout the Church: within our Presbytery, in our congregations, as well as in the Synod of the Northeast and across the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Your input is valued, and your comments are always welcomed!
In This Issue
Ordination and Installation
From the Stated Clerk/Communicator
Around the Presbytery
Around the PC(USA)
Ordination and Installation - August 24
On Sunday, August 24, at 3:00 p.m., Ms. Lorrie Cooney will be ordained as a Teaching Elder and Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). She also will be installed as the new pastoral leader of New Hope Presbyterian Church in Parish. Everyone in the Presbytery is warmly invited and encouraged to join Lorrie and the saints at New Hope for this special Presbytery worship service! Please see the invitation here: http://cayugasyracuse.org/index.php/blog/invitation-ordination-and-installation-service/, and please pass along this invitation to others in the Presbytery.
From the Stated Clerk/Communicator
How do you pray? Do you have a set place or places in which you pray? Do you have a set time or two each day that you pray? Do you use a specified form for your prayers, or do you pray what's on your heart and mind at the moment, or do you use some combination of the two?
There are a multitude of models for prayer. Some of these are:
The monastic model - Monks and nuns observe eight traditional "hours" (periods) of prayer during the day when they gather together.
William Law - An 18th century English clergyperson, Law adapted the monastic model for individual use, suggesting that times of prayer each day should focus on different things:praise and thanksgiving
grace for resignation to God's will
meditation upon death
Dietrich Bonhoeffer - This 20th century German theologian suggested that we spend time each day in meditation upon a portion of Scripture and its meaning for us in that moment, prayer for strength and guidance and spiritual growth, and prayers for others.
The Jesus Prayer - Used mainly in the Eastern Orthodox tradition of the Church, the Jesus Prayer is a model for trying to attain St. Paul's injunction to "be constant in prayer." (Rom. 12:12) It consists of a constant repetition in the heart of the simple prayer, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."
Silence - In the 46th Psalm, we read the words, "Be still, and know that I am God." The early Desert Fathers and Mothers -- those spiritual leaders of the Church during the early centuries of the Christian Era -- valued being silent before God above most everything else. One of those leaders, Abba Arsenius, once said, "I have often repented of having spoken, but seldom of having remained silent."
Spiritual Direction - The art of spiritual direction is an ancient discipline of spirituality in the Church. It is the practice of putting yourself under the direction of someone more experienced in the Faith, more experienced in prayer, more experienced in life in the Spirit.
Use of Prayer Books or other Devotional Books - Sometimes it helps to have words to guide and inspire our prayers, because sometimes we simply have no words to pray, and sometimes such guides remind us of other things and people for which to pray.
In the last couple of weeks, I've experienced yet another way to pray... a kind of prayer only possible with 21st century social media and technology. Two different groups have invited people to join on Twitter for a time of prayer together. The host sends a tweet that opens the time in prayer, and then suggests in a new tweet a subject around which to gather our prayers, and people may either pray on their own or reply with a tweet of something for which they'd like those gathered in cyberspace to pray. After a set amount of time, the host tweets a closing prayer. I don't know how to explain it, and I know it sounds pretty "out there," and I didn't think I would like it, but it works. I wouldn't want that to be my only discipline of prayer, but it was a new, refreshing way to be with others in prayer in a very real and intentional way.
So, back to the beginning... How do you pray? Do you join regularly during the week with others to pray? Do you follow a particular form for your prayers? I'd love to hear something of the spiritual discipline that you follow, and, with your permission, I'd love to share some of your responses.
Blessings and peace, friends,
Around the Presbytery
Church Musician(s) sought
The United Church of Fayetteville, NY, seeks a Director of Music Ministries or would consider two church musicians who would assume the jobs of Organist and/or Choir Director for its strong music program. Some duties include: providing organ music for Sunday worship, directing choirs (vocal and handbells) or instrumentalists and participating in weekly rehearsals and one worship service. Candidates must be experienced organ/piano accompanists and proficient in choral and handbell conducting. UCF has a 27 rank Johnson pipe organ rebuilt and maintained by Kerner & Merchant Pipe Organ Builders and a four-octave set of Schulmerich handbells. For more information see www.theucf.org. Send a letter of intent with a résumé to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to: Music Search Committee, The United Church of Fayetteville; 310 E. Genesee St., Fayetteville, NY 13066.
Cabaret at Robinson Memorial
Come to the Cabaret at Robinson Memorial Church on Aug. 22, 6:00-8:30. Advance tickets are $15; $18 at the door. Nick Ziobro, Mary Sugar and friends. BYO. Free appetizer and dessert buffet. Only 45 tickets left. Call 468-2509 to reserve tickets.
Ordination Anniversary Celebrated
Family, friends, and past and present church members gathered yesterday at Taunton Memorial Presbyterian Church to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the ordination of Sandy Sanderson. Good food and fond memories were shared, and several folks from the Presbytery joined in this special time. We give thanks to God for the continuing ministry of Sandy, who, of course, also is beginning his two years of service as the Vice-Moderator of our Presbytery.
Preschool Staff Sought
Available positions at Liverpool First Presbyterian for a preschool teacher and an aide. The teacher position is in the 3 year old class, 8 hours per week on Tuesday and Thursday. Two teachers are assigned to the class. The aide position is in the Pre-K classroom for approximately 4 hours per week. Please contact director Becky at 457-3254 or elder Eileen at 668-8281 if interested.
Volunteers Needed for Committee on Ministry and Committee on Preparation for Ministry
Two of the Working Groups of our Leadership Team are the Committee on Ministry (COM) and the Committee on Preparation for Ministry (CPM).
•COM works with churches in transition, churches that are facing difficulties, and the teaching elder members of the Presbytery... among many other things. If you'd like to find out more about how you might help on this committee, please call the chairperson, ruling elder Charlie Smith, at 673-2476. Also, there will be a training event for people who would like to help Pastor Nominating Committees. This will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 9, from 7:00-9:00 p.m., led by teaching elder Ginny Smith. Again, please call Charlie if you're interested. You may read more about what COM does by clicking here: http://cayugasyracuse.org/index.php/blog/volunteers-needed-committee-ministry/.
•CPM works with individuals who are in the process of discerning a call to ordained ministry as teaching elders in the Presbyterian Church. This committee also needs people who would be available to help in this important ministry of the Presbytery and its sessions. If you'd like to find out more, or would like to volunteer to help, please call the chairperson, the Rev. Caroline Simmons, at the Collamer Church: 463-4939.
Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Right now, in Pittsburgh, seminarians are dreaming of planting new churches. A pizza-and-ice cream shop might use recipes from local households in the hope of building community and seeing a new church sprout from those relationships. A house church called the Porch might seek stability in a tumultuous neighborhood. And a group of animal lovers could pray together while walking their dogs and meeting in one another's homes for worship and Bible study.
These aren't the newest ministries in the 1001 New Worshiping Communities initiative, but they could be soon. These ideas are actually the result of a new MDiv option at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary: a church-planting emphasis.
From March through May of 2014, a team of church-planting leaders joined Jannie Swart, Pittsburgh's associate professor of world mission and evangelism, to teach Planting and Leading New Churches. Our team included Vera White-the Presbyterian Mission Agency's associate for 1001 New Worshiping Communities-and local church planters BJ Woodworth and Michael Gehrling. We weren't your typical seminary teachers, and this wasn't a typical seminary class.
As we planned the course together, we agreed that we wanted to see the students grow in attentiveness and discernment. That meant helping them listen more intentionally to the Holy Spirit and to their community.
To create space for such listening and reflection, our students were placed in cohorts and sent to various neighborhoods around the city. Each group's assignment: identify the makeup and needs of the neighborhood, listen deeply to its people, pray while walking its streets, ask what God is already doing there, and then dream about what a new Christian community could look like in that place.
Interested in finding out more? Check out Pittsburgh Seminary's Church Planting Initiative: http://www.pts.edu/church_planting_initiative.
The Rev. Steven W. Plank, Stated Clerk/Communicator
P. O. Box 6010
Syracuse, NY 13217-6010
"I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear
much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5
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