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Churchville, Maryland

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A Spiritual Genius

In her book, Spiritual Genius, Winifred Gallagher makes an optimistic confession of faith. She says that within all of us, God has placed a “spiritual genius.” She doesn’t say we are all spiritual genius’s. She says we have this ability – all of us – a God-given source of strength and wisdom.

There is a passage of scripture that talks about a “peace that surpasses understanding” and we can rest in that. By God’s spirit, we have access to a strength that transcends our ability to comprehend or master the information about the circumstances that surround us. We have stories in the gospels about a ‘power’ that is asleep in our boat in the midst of the storm. That old line ‘Hope was asleep at the back of the boat’ is a funny reminder that we are provided in the Christian narrative a peace in the midst of the storm.

All of us use our spiritual genius some of the time. We might not recognize it as such, but we tap it whenever we “just know” that something is happening for a reason…Spiritual genius tells us that, despite the chaos and confusion around us, everything is all right, so we might as well be nice. It tells us that if we take on a worthwhile challenge, we’ll somehow find the necessary strength and help. It tells us that our true self is more than a bunch of personality traits and problems. Like a compass, spiritual genius always points us toward a reality larger than the ego and the status quo. Once we realize God wants to use us in the grand design, we’re able to gather up the pieces of our everyday lives, and make a coherent picture out of what can seem like an impossible puzzle.

Receive comfort today from knowing God has a use for you and if we tap into the Source, we will be able to do far more than we could ever hope or imagine. Let us do the work of God and do it in a nice way.

 

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Church: A model community of the imperfect

 

Eugene Peterson, from his Introduction to the book of James.

 

            When Christian believers gather in churches, everything that can go wrong sooner or later does. Outsiders, on observing this, conclude that there is nothing to the religion business, except, perhaps, business – and dishonest business at that. Insiders see it differently. Just as a hospital collects the sick under one roof and labels them as such, the church collects sinners. Many of the people outside the hospital are every bit as sick as the ones inside, but their illnesses are either undiagnosed or disguised. It’s similar with sinners outside the church.

            So Christian churches as not, as a rule, model communities of good behavior. They are, rather, places where human behavior is brought out in the open, faced and dealt with.

 

Together in Christ,

Stephen

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“A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH”

The Presbyterian Church was an unexpected offspring of a religious movement called “The Reformation.”  Two of the leading Reformers of the time, Martin Luther (1483-1546) and John Calvin (1509-1564), had no intention of forming a new church, at least not initially.  Their desire was to reform the present day Catholic Church, to purge the Church of corruptions and set it more in line with the traditions and theology of Scripture and of the early church.  The Reformers became known as “Protestants” because their requests for change sounded more and more like protests.

The Presbyterian Church is one of several churches that can trace their origins to the Reformation.  Presbyterians get their name from the Greek word “presbuteros” which means “elder.”  The term refers to the system, in apostolic times, of choosing leaders from among the wisest members of the church.  A prominent doctrine of the Reformation was “the priesthood of all believers.”  Reformed churches designed themselves in ways that gave more power to the congregation.  The Presbyterians established a representative system where elders, presbyters and commissioners were elected.

The French organized the first congregation in 1555 and the French Huguenots were one of the first Presbyterians to reach America, followed closely by the English, Dutch, German, Irish and Scottish.  In 1706 the first American presbytery was formed in Philadelphia and soon after the Synod of Philadelphia in 1716.  1789 marked the First General Assembly in Philadelphia.

The Church grew and diversified as it headed westward.  By 1800 there were 20,000 members.  In another thirty-seven years, there were 220,000.  With the growth in numbers came an increase of conflict, separation and sometimes reunion.  “Old School” and “New School” divisions plagued Presbyterians for years.  The most infamous of issues was slavery.  The Civil War severely divided the Church.

The next 120 years saw movements toward reunification.  In 1958 the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (PCUSA) and the United Presbyterian Church of North America merged to form the Presbyterian Church in the United States of American (UPCUSA).  In 1983 the two largest Presbyterian Churches united at the Atlanta General Assembly (G.A.): the southern-based Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS) and the northern-based (UPCUSA).  In 1985 the G.A. approved a seal for the new Church. There are some powerful images in the symbol which reveal what is important to us as Presbyterians. Today there are about 2,000,000 members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A), the largest of the mainline Presbyterian denominations.

“Unexpected” may seem like a good way to describe the beginnings of the Presbyterian Church.  But for Presbyterians it has always been the “providence of God.”

Together in Christ,

Stephen

 
 
Contact Us  
Churchville Presbyterian Church

2844 Churchville Road
Churchville, Maryland 21028
Map  •   Directions
Phone 410-734-7344
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* Family Movie Night *

 

Friday, 1-19-18  Fellowship Hall 

Movie To Be Announced

Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Movie starts at 6:00 p.m.

Pizza, Popcorn, Drinks

All are welcome!!