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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Pastor Appreciation Day

Today was Pastor Appreciation Day. The entire congregation was able to keep a very big secret! In honor of Spike and Lindy and all that they do for everyone we surprised them with a covered dish dinner after the service. They were also presented with cards and presents from the children and youth, the circles and the bible study groups. The congregation presented them with a beautiful print for their home.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Five Finger Prayer

  1. Your thumb is nearest to you. So begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you. They are the easiest to remember. To pray for our loved ones is, as C. S. Lewis once said, a "sweet duty."

  2. The next finger is the pointing finger. Pray for those who teach, instruct and heal. This includes teachers, doctors, and ministers. They need support and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction. Keep them in your prayers.

  3. The next finger is the tallest finger. It reminds us of our leaders. Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry, and administrators. These people shape our nation and guide public opinion. They need God's guidance.

  4. The fourth finger is our ring finger. Surprising to many is the fact that this is our weakest finger; as any piano teacher will testify. It should remind us to pray for those who are weak, in trouble or in pain. They need your prayers day and night. You cannot pray too much for them.

  5. And lastly comes our little finger; the smallest finger of all. Which is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. As the Bible says, "The least shall be the greatest among you." Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself. By the time you have prayed for the other four groups, your own needs will be put into proper perspective and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively.
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Monday, October 23, 2006

Bill Carter and the Presbybop Quartet

Presbybop Music exists to create jazz music that glorifies God, renews the Christian church, and models the integration of faith and the arts. They are there to help you infuse the life of faith with the swinging pulse of jazz!

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Presbybop Music is a musical venture of Bill Carter, jazz pianist and Presbyterian minister.

After years of pretending to split the life of faith from the music of jazz, Bill has been trying to find links between the two halves of his brain. Presbybop Music is his attempt to integrate his strong Presbyterian faith with the rhythms of bebop.

In 1993 he formed the Presbybop Quartet with Al Hamme, his college music professor from Binghamton University. Beginning with original lineup of drummer Tom Whaley and bassist Tony Marino, the band has evolved into a consort of musicians who have been turning heads on the musical scene - and adding new dimensions to the faith and worship of the Christian church.

Based in northeastern Pennsylvania, this group of consummate professionals has presented concerts and jazz worship services in churches around the country. Their music has been widely acclaimed. To date, Bill's Presbybop Quartet has recorded five compact discs: Faith in a New Key, Dancing Day, Fragile Incarnation, Stand On Your Head, and Jazz According to John.

Bill Carter spends most of his time as a busy pastor in a bustling church. Yet he keenly senses that God wants him to use his musical gifts as a means of reaching people with the good news of God's grace, peace, and joy. His jazz ministry has received national recognition, and has served as a model for integrating the arts in Christian ministry.

Listen to the music here!


Dr. Scott Sunquist on World Mission

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On Saturday, October 14, 2006 Scott Sunquist presented a seminar at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, sponsored by the church and the Charleston Atlantic Presbytery. Dr. Sunquist has, for the past ten years, been the W. Don McClure Associate Professor of World Mission and Evangelism at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Dr. Sunquist writes in the areas of Asian Christianity, global Church history and missiology.

He was a dynamic speaker as he shared with us his presentation on mission in Asia. The entire weekend was an eye opening experience as he shared statistics on mission and the growth of Christianity in other parts of the world. You can visit Back to Jerusalem to see more indepth information about Asian Christianity.

The following touchstones are one of the key highlights of his presentation from that weekend.

  • Christian mission is our participation in the MISSIO DEI: The mission of God.
  • Christian mission is Trinitarian: The Father sending the Son, the Father and Son sending the Spirit and teh church being sent by teh Triune God into the world.
  • Christian missionis centered on witness to the coming Kingdom of God.
  • The Good News of the Kingdom is for all people and all of creation.
  • Christian mission must avoid reductionisms and dichotomies that have misrepresented the witness of the Kingdom in the past.
  • Christian mission involves continuing the sufferings of Christ for the world.
  • Christian mission must be ecumenical, inclusive, exclusive, and sacrificial.
  • Christian mission must be done in bold humility, representing in what is done, who it is we represent.
  • The local church is the missionary presence in each context, and the sending body to the world.
  • Christian mission means crossing barriers.