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  • Jack and Ssuan Blalock

 

With the recent and not-so recent tragedies of gun violence in Minneapolis and now in Dallas, our hearts go out to the families of Philando Castile and the families of the five Dallas police officers who were serving the public good by adding security to a peaceful demonstration. In addition to the five dead officers, seven other police officers are injured.

We offer this prayer:

Heavenly Father, in the last several years we have seen too many innocent people become the victims of senseless violence. Places where we often gathered for laughter and entertainment have become the hunting ground of people whose hearts are twisted by hate. Even churches and schools are not safe. We worry about our children and sometimes we fear the intentions of those dedicated to provide for our safety. Lord, there is simply too much violence and too much narrow-mindedness. Send your Holy Spirit upon us that we may find ourselves with the mind of Christ and able to be instruments of His peace. Bring comfort to those who just today are stunned and distraught, especially the friends and families of the Dallas police officers. Stir within our country a politcal will to make policies which discourage such violence. We pray all this and more in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Amen.

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God in our joys:

When you taste a delicious peach, you taste the body of God, The joy you feel looking at the face of your friend, your lover, or a child in the street is actually the soul’s rapture at the presence of the divine in universe. The music you thrill to is actually one facet of the great voice of the Creator. When you understand this, you understand that the divine is not far away from you, but is actually dancing fierily in the core of your life at every moment. - Andrew Harvey

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Saint Theresa’s Prayer 

May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. 
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing,
Dance, praise and love. 
It is there for each and every one of us.

Amen.

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Prayer in Response to Orlando Tragedy

God of mercy, whose presence sustains us in every circumstance, in the midst of unfolding violence and the aftermath of terror and loss, we seek the grounding power of your love and compassion.

In these days of fearful danger and division, we need to believe somehow that your kingdom of peace in which all nations and tribes and languages dwell together in peace is still a possibility.

Give us hope and courage that we may not yield our humanity to fear.., even in these endless days of dwelling in the valley of the shadow of death. We pray for neighbors in Orlando, who have been violently assaulted, their lives cut off without mercy.

We often feel like we are hostages to fear, caught in an escalating cycle of violence whose source is evasive and whose end cannot be seen.

We open our hearts in anger, sorrow and hope: that those who have been spared as well as those whose lives are changed forever may find strength in the days of recovery and reflection that come. We give thanks for strangers who comfort the wounded and first responders who run toward the sound of gunfire and danger..

We pray in grief, remembering the lives that have been lost and maimed, in body or spirit.

O Lord, we pray for that time when the lion and the lamb will dwell together, and terror will not hold sway over our common life.

In these days of sorrow, open our eyes, our hearts, and our hands to the movements of your Spirit, who flows in us like the river whose streams makes glad the city of God, and the hearts of all who dwell in it, and in You.

In the name of Christ, our Healer and our Light, we pray, Amen.

Pastor Steve

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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
Announcements
Summer Worship Schedule Began June 19th:
One Worship Service at 9:30 a.m.
Adult Class meets at 9:00 a.m. - Youth Sunday School will resume in September
Winter Worship Schedule Resumes September 11th