Archives for 2015
While the votes are not officially tallied and updated yet, the presbyteries of the PC(USA) have voted to approve a change to the Book of Order that allows, but does not require, teaching elders and congregations to perform same-sex marriages.
You can view a video from the Stated Clerk of the PC(USA), Rev. Gradye Parsons regarding this vote.
You may also visit the PC(USA)’s webpage on marriage.
For official vote tallies, please visit this page and download the PDF.
For unofficial vote tallies related to marriage, you can check out the Covenant Network’s page. (This is not the official vote tally and the Covenant Network of Presbyterians has been vocal in their support of this amendment.)
This vote reminds us that we are called to be of one spirit, but not necessarily one mind. As the Charleston-Atlantic Presbytery, we understand that our members have different points of view on this issue. We, therefore, join with those who celebrate this development and we also join with those who mourn this change. We challenge every member, and every one who seeks God, to love each other, to be gentle and kind, and to remember Paul’s words: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:38-39).
The Thoughtful Christian A one session study on Ash Wednesday and Lent is available from www.thethoughtfulchristian.com This study explores themes and Scriptures that help participants reflect on the meaning of the liturgical season and its impact on one’s Christian discipleship.
Being Reformed: Faith Seeking Understanding: Here are several six session studies. Each study has a leader’s guide and participant’s book. Illuminating Lent; Temptation in the Desert, Looking at the Cross; and Seven Days to Glory.
Final Words From the Cross by Adam Hamilton- This six session series includes a book, DVD, and leader’s guide. The sessions include: “Father, Forgive Them”; “Today You Will be with Me in Paradise”; “Behold Your Son…Behold Your Mother”; “My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?”; “I Thirst”; and “It is Finished…Into Your Hands I Commit My Spirit”. In this study participants will examine Christ’s dying hours and his final works as seen and heard by those who stood near the cross.
Living into Lent by Donald McKim- Imagine the transformation of God’s church called into a common learning. The Lenten journey is a shared journey- Christians join with others along the way of faith, following Jesus, and seeking to live out the will and purposes of God. This resource allows time for readers to reflect on their Christian identities, listen to God’s Word and will, and discipleship. Readings are enhanced by a six session study guide and questions for consideration.
Lord Teach Us to Pray: Six Studies in Spirituality and The Lord’s Prayer by John Purdy- This study explores the Lord’s Prayer in its biblical context, what the Lord’s Prayer teaches about the activity of prayer, and what all of this teaches about biblical spirituality.
24 Hours That Changed the World by Adam Hamilton- This series contains a book, DVD with seven sessions, leader’s guide, and 40 day devotional book. The sessions include: “The Last Supper”; “The Garden of Gethsemane”; “Condemned by the Righteous”; “Jesus, Barabbas, and Pilate”; “The Torture and Humiliation of the King”; “The Crucifixion”; and “Christ the Victor”. The aim of the series is to help participants better understand the events that occurred during the last 24 hours of Jesus’ life, see more clearly the theological significance of Christ’s suffering and death, and reflect upon the meaning of these events for your life.
Something for youth:
A Look at Those Who Knew Jesus In this Thoughtful Christian study youth will explore how the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Zealots, and Disciples were touch by their encounters with Jesus.
Let Us Break Bread Together by Michael Smith and Rami Shapiro- This Passover guide provides a complete guide (plan and script) to a meaningful Seder experience. The authors share a deeper knowledge of the great themes of the Exodus story, in combination with Christian insight, and opportunities for a better understanding of Lent and Holy Week.
Forgiveness: Finding Peace Through Letting Go by Adam Hamilton- This DVD based study is designed for use in a four session study based on the book by the same title. The sessions are “The Divine Answer”; “For Better, For Worse”; “Seventy Times Seven”; and “The Dreamcoat”. Participants will be shown how to receive the freedom that comes with forgiving- even if the person needing to be forgiven is ourselves.
Something for children:
A Rooster’s Tale– This resource includes Easter dramas, speeches, and recitations for children. There are 14 different scripts that take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to perform with one to twelve parts. This can be used with an intergenerational group.
Easter Garden: A Lenten Experience for Children by Daphna Flegal and Marcia Stoner- This Lenten study moves children (younger and older elementary) through Holy Week, from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday. This study may be done in preparation for a congregational mean and worship experience. Children will create a garden setting for the meal, filled with symbolic meaning; banner symbols for worship; and table decorations for the congregational meal.
Writing to God: Kids Edition by Rachel Hackenberg- This idea-packed book shows children how their prayers don’t have to be perfect to reach God; don’t have to have big or fancy words; may tell a story using words or pictures; can be happy or sad; and may have misspelled and crossed-out words.
Something for the whole church:
The Way by Adam Hamilton- In this church-wide six session plus epilogue study for children through adults, Hamilton takes participants to the Holy Land to explore the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. You will “visit” the Jordan River, where Jesus was baptized and the wilderness where Jesus was tempted; Capernaum, where Jesus healed the sick and taught on the mountainside; the Sea of Galilee, where he calmed the sea and the wind; Samaria, where Jesus visited with outcasts and sinners; and Jerusalem, where Jesus spent his final days. There is a book, devotional book, and DVD with study guide to use with adult groups; a youth guide; and a guide for children. There are suggestions for including some intergenerational activities with this study.
Throughout the month, we will be highlighting Back History Month resources available in the presbytery resource center:
African American Presbyterian Clergywomen: The First Twenty-Five Years by Karen V. Brown and Phyllis M. Felton- This book celebrates 25 years of service of African American Presbyterian clergywomen, whose ministries grace the PCUSA.
African American Congregational Histories– This notebook is a result of the Committee on Reunion and African American congregations in collecting their histories and putting them in written form.
All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes by Maya Angelou- In her third autobiographical book, Maya Angelou tells of her time in Ghana and what it means to be an African American on the mother continent.
Call to Worship: African American Liturgical Resources edited by Kimberly Long- The essays in this edition of Call to Worship offer readers a deeper understanding of the history, theology, and practice of African American worship. It grew from the work of a task force of African American Presbyterian musicians, pastors, and scholars convened by the Office of Theology and Worship.
Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood by Bell Hooks- This book shows the unfolding of female creativity and one strong-spirited child’s journey toward becoming a writer. She learns early on the roles women and men play in society, as well as the emotional vulnerability of children. She sheds new light on a society that beholds the joys of marriage for men and condemns anything more than silence for women. In this world, too, black is a woman’s color—worn when earned—daughters and daddies are strangers under the same roof, and crying children are often given something to cry about. Hooks finds good company in solitude, good company in books. She also discovers, in the motionless body of misunderstanding, that writing is her most vital breath.
The Education of a British-Protected Child by Chinua Achebe- This collection of essays provides a vivid portrait of growing up in colonial Nigeria; considerations on the African-American diaspora, glimpses into the author’s extraordinary family life, and thoughts on the potent symbolism of President Obama’s election.