Mission Presbytery Meeting
Mission Presbytery (of which Parkway is a member congregation) met at West Lake Hills Presbyterian Church on March 2 and 3.
Laurie Kraus, a representative from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance who works out of the denominational offices in Louisville, Kentucky was present to review the work PDA is doing in recovery effort following Hurricane Harvey.
Jill Duffield, the Editor of the national magazine, "The Presbyterian Outlook," attended the meeting. She noted that when she became the magazine's editor a friend asked her about taking a job for a printed magazine in a mainline denomination. Jill laughed, admitted that it might not make great sense, but that she loves her work, and that with a web-site, a Facebook page, and other electronic forms means that the publication isn't just a print magazine any longer.
Chris Holmes, the newly hired Director for John Knox Ranch was introduced. John Knox Ranch is the Presbytery's camp. Chris first worked for John Knox Ranch when he came from England to the United States through an organization Camp America. One of his criteria was that he didn't want to serve as a church-related camp. He ended up at John Knox, loved the camp, converted to Christianity, met and married his wife, who was on the camp staff. For the past 15 years Chris worked for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department culminating in the role of Director of Outreach, Education and Interpretive Services for Texas State Parks. Chris laid out a comprehensive plan including promoting the camp beyond the church, improving the facilities, and updating the management system.
A report was received on the closing of First Presbyterian Church in Robstown. The church engaged in a unique ministry, but the recent death of the Lay Pastor has made continuing the ministry impossible.
There were several Overtures offered for discussion and vote on whether or not the item is to be forwarded to the General Assembly. Several Overtures will be considered by the General Assembly this summer having to do with climate change and the Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment. The Presbyterys and Synods in states, like Texas, with significant economic ties to the oil and gas industries are encouraging processes of engagement with rather than calling for divestment from those companies.
Lita Simpson was honored upon her retirement after 30-years working with Mission Presbytery. Lita began as a Resource Center Librarian in the Valley area. That position morphed into serving as the Youth Ministry Resource person for the Presbytery. Lita managed the annual Mid-Winter Retreats at Mo Ranch for Middle School and Senior High students. A few years ago Mo Ranch launched a program "Mo in the Valley," to offer a Mo Ranch summer camp program for children and youth. Dick Powell, the Executive Director of Mo Ranch, turned to Lita Simpson to help with all of the necessary local arrangements. Dick said that at the end of every day at camp there are awards given to the campers. At the end of the week there is an award given to one camper for outstanding cooperation and leadership. That award will now be named the "Lita Simpson Award."
It has also been reported that there was a stirring sermon delivered during worship by Dr. Allen Mosiman, but don't believe everything you hear.