Moving Violations

March 12, 2012

Now that I have fully recovered from shingles I want to return my voice into the fray on a variety of issues confronting my beloved Presbyterian Church.  Last week we auctioned off the pews and pulpit from First Presbyterian Church of Bonny Lane.  It was a sad event.  We took down the cross and gave the Red Hymnals to the Ethnic congregations.  History, fellowship and pot lucks of over 89 years dissolved in that one afternoon.  I know that the Presbytery already has an offer from a developer to tear it down and build a Sam’s club.  This would be ironic since some of the only money that we spend on New Churches comes from a Walton fund.  They might as well get the land from a closed one as well.

I heard somewhere that we are closing 9 churches a month in the Presbyterian church and I wanted to remember them well.  It is not just the current 3 members of a place that made Bonny Lane special.  It was 89 years of faithful servants who made that place wonderful.  The years of confirmations, Sunday School, baptisms, communion and prayer.  That is why I hope that this presbytery does something thoughtful and life-giving with the money from it’s sale.  There is already talk that it would be nice to use to pay for the 5 staff members in the Presbytery office, especially with this year’s budget shortfall.  I do not support it going to Terry’s salary.  I just do not see the need for Parliamentary historian.

So, to all the Bonny Lanes kudos!  We hope that we will be faithful to your memory by remembering what it means to start something new.

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New Sunday School Material At Presbytery Office

March 11, 2012

The new curriculum called “Dissecting the Hermeneutics of Exegetical New Testament Studies For the Laity” has arrived at the Presbytery office.  It is an exciting new study that uses the most up-to-date Biblical scholarship from the top Biblical professors around the country.  Don’t let your laity have a cursory understanding of scripture when they can sit through an hour lecture by some of the most verbose scholars of the early 21st century.  Erudite talks and it also comes with the twenty pages of bibliography for further reading.  I can see our Adult Sunday Schools growing all over the presbytery.  Hurry before it jumps off the library’s shelves.

Liberal Group Holds Discussion and Education Forum

January 18, 2012

The liberal group PITY Presbyterians for Inclusivity, Tolerance and Yearning met at First Presbyterian Church of Cosgrove Willows on Tuesday night.  The meeting was to talk about issues that divided them as Presbyterians.

Executive Director Molly Peoples characterized the event as an unmitigated success.  “I think that the meeting went well.  We have decided to have 14 more discussions over the course of 6 months.  This will allow us to really understand each other and we know that education is the only way in which people change.  If everyone just had enough education they would be more tolerant and inclusive.”

The smaller break out sessions at the event were: Proof Texting For the Homosexual, How to Correct Someone Who Is A Young Adult, Duck and Cover (What to do When You Encounter Hostility), Education and Discussion: Our Only Hope and Sophia Loren: Reimagining Films We Love.

PITY will be holding meetings at First Church on Mondays and Wednesdays for the next 6 months at 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and hope to have a large turn out.  Please bring your own lunch.

Who Says You Can’t Take It With You?

January 17, 2012

In a daring attempt to disprove the old saying: “You can’t take it with you” Marvin Shots’ funeral was filled with the influence, power and money that he so dearly loved in life.  As his solid Platinum casket was carried by his Hedge Fund Managers to the front of First Presbyterian Church of Withering Hollar the reliefs of stations from his life could be seen embossed on the side of the box of his final rest.   At the viewing Marvin could be seen laying on a bed of bundles of $100 bills instead of the customary lining and pillow.

During the funeral Rev. Mary Simpkins symbolically nailed a Gold plate on the front of the new iron and wood crafted pulpit that Mr. Shots had newly donated to the congregation.

“There is no secret that as a billionaire Marvin Shots was generous to this church.  Every year he gave at least $30,000 toward this church’s budget, and according to his wishes this summer we will be erecting a statue in the foyer celebrating his kind giving.”  Rev. Simpkins related.

Marvin made his billions in starting drive thru hardware stores with products made in a manufacturing zone on the small island of Zyphinia in the South Seas.  His Hot Shots Drivethru Hardware Stores are now ubiquitous on the rural and strip mall landscape.

His generosity was not only local, but one of the worst kept secrets is that he has donated literally hundred of thousands of dollars to help start New Church Developments in the Presbyterian Church.  This seed money has been opposed by some as ill gotten gain, but since no one ever uses it in the denomination this seems to be a mute point.  Simply put the Presbyterian Church doesn’t really do New Church Development and many have thought the money would be better spent in starting and supporting already existing Shady Thoughts Presbyterian Retirement Homes.

We grieve with his family and friend.  Goodbye Marvin and may we all strive for your witness in this world.

Third Generation Presbyterian Comes To The Presbytery

January 11, 2012

 

Welcome to Rev. Gaylord Finkle to our Presbytery!  Many of you know well the name Finkle.  Gaylord’s father Merton and his grandfather Theophulus both pastored within the bounds of this Presbytery.  As a third generation Presbyterian we know that Gaylord will be one of us.  He will bring the new life blood to First Presbyterian Church of Moaning Bend needed in these changing times.

New Congregation Caters To Zombie Survival

January 11, 2012

In what Pastor Cletus Emory says it is his undying belief in zombies First Presbyterian Church of Bowlers Green has started a ministry to help the congregation deal with the imminent zombie attack.  Every Thursday there are lessons on firearm practice for head shots, the glory of freeze drying and what to do if a family member is bitten by a zombie.

“We are trying to contextualize our ministry toward our immediate community,” Pastor Emory relates.  “It is only a matter of time before the undead return, that has to happen before the rapture.”

The church has begun to hoard provisions in the unused Sunday School building and has built quite an arsenal of weapons.

Betty Downer relates, “You never know around here what could happen.  With the church being in such close proximity to the cemetery it is always good to be prepared for the Lord’s return.”

Presbytery Supports Occupy

January 10, 2012

The Last Protest by PSWP that we could find in our Historical Society

In a move that seemed to stun Charles Brandy and his conservative bloc at Presbytery on a vote of sizable margin the Presbytery of Silly Walks in the Pines decided to act in solidarity with the Occupy movement in Stuart’s Hollow.

“They have a General Assembly every day and they have about 15 committees for only about 10 people, what could be more Presbyterian?” Frances Wolverton stated as she prepared her famous Rhubarb Pie to give to the protestors.

“It is an exciting time for the country and we want to be on the forefront of it.  We are thinking outside the box.” Elder Clement Sidewinder boldly asserted.

Members of the Presbytery will join the Occupy Hollow group in an action to build a barn in Stuart Hollow’s cemetery.

Frances Wolverton’s Moving Violations

June 8, 2011

I am so steamed that you could fry an egg on my forehead. I have been an active participant in my First Church’s Presbyterian Women Circle for more years than I intend to reveal (a lady does not give out her age). It was our monthly gathering to darn socks for the missionaries. I love this time because I am able to gather news on the members of our church. This gives me an opportunity to pray for them. For instance did you know that Charlie Denson had an affair with Mary Lou Henderson. It is tearing poor Cindy up. They need extra prayer this week. I think I will put it on the “prayer chain”.

Oh well, back to my peeve. It is not often that Pastor Margaret is able to join us during circle. We have been pressuring her for months. So, she showed up to help us darn socks. Bless her heart. It looked like she had never seen a needle or thread.

Well, in the coarse of our regular concerns for our faith community Terri decides to start talking about the pastor. Now we all know that Terri has low self esteem, but that doesn’t give her an excuse for being rude. She just kept going on and on about how young Margaret looked.

“You don’t look like you are older than 12!” she declared and laughed like it was actually funny.

Let me tell you Terri that is not acceptable behavior. We like our pastor and want to keep her. Show a little respect. I know for a fact that when you were thirty you acted like a twelve year old. Margaret is a very mature adult with children! When I was 35 years my daughter was 17 years old and I would have put you over my knee and spanked you for saying something like that. Terri if you cant behave yourself in circle consider me gone!

New Ad Blames Conservatives For Denominational Decline

June 7, 2011

In a move that shocked and surprised many this Sunday the advocacy group Restore Presbyterianism put out full page ads in major markets across the United States. The ads are controversial because they implicate Conservative groups who barred the ordination of LGBT members in full standing as the reason for the decades of membership decline in the United States. With a graph whose arrow is rapidly moving southward the ad proclaims in big letters: “Guess Who We Have To Blame For This?”

The Ads also make an appeal for the church to live out its promise of love of the stranger, mercy and love for our neighbor. The campaign is part of a push back against conservatives who have used ham handed efforts to exploit the new approval of 10A by a majority of Presbyteries.

Restore Presbyterianism’s President Mallory Jinkins contends, “These people are not interested in truth or democratic process, they are interested damage. They now are talking about non-geographical presbyteries for conservatives. Yet, they refuse to even make their per capita giving. They are not being connectional as many opportunities as the denomination has tried to placate them. Many of us stayed true to the denomination, even when we felt the Book of Order was unjust. Now they are stirring schism. We want to show them that we are not afraid. We will grow and flourish.”

Vision Conference Drafts Paper

June 1, 2011

Vision is a gathering of people who are concerned with the church. Each year they gather to think about the possibilities for the church’s future trajectories. Each year a document is circulated that sums up the discussion of each year’s gathering. This year’s paper came up with the clever acronym TIM which is the name of Vision’s founder Tim Poweder. Tim stands for:

Transformational
Intergenerational
Missional

Tim explaned that “over the past 21 years the hope of this gathering has been that we would generate an actionable, concrete plan to move the church forward. We have participated in many discussions and a writing group tries to synthesize them all into a “Vision” statement. We now have 21 Vision Statements and working through Bread and Wine Press we will put them together into a historic document for the church. We are hoping that it will be a time capsule in which future generations can understand the church that we hoped would exist in this moment.”