Sparks from the Flint
November-December 2019

Reflections from our Executive Presbyter
If you’ve been at a presbytery meeting in the last year, you noticed that John’s story of the unbound Lazarus (John 11) has been our shaping scripture for our shared life of faith.

I n June, the unbinding of Lazarus was used as a metaphor for denominational grants which are unbinding congregations.    Many denominational agencies are providing financial resources to those congregations and campus ministries who are willing to risk new ways of being church.  Remember that blue folder that was given out at our June presbytery meeting?    It was chock full of financial resources to help pastors and congregations stretch dimes into dollars.  Pull it out and look at it again in preparation for 2020. Can’t find it? Follow these links to see the resources that were shared at this meeting: Presbyterian Foundation and 1001 Worship Communities .

During our October meeting, the unbinding of Lazarus was a metaphor for the  congregations in our midst who are willing to be loosened from binding – even blinding! -- practices or tight traditions.   

Scripture requires repeat percolation. 
It becomes more flavorful the more you savor -- and sit in --
its rich and robust truths.
As we prepare for Advent and the swaddling-bound Savior, I hope you’ll use these questions as a means of personal and communal conversation – and conversion –with your Sessions and congregations!

Jesus completes three significant acts as this Biblical narrative draws to a close, inviting the gathering community to do the following:

  • roll away the stone
  • overhear his prayer, so that they might know that God sent him into the world
  • unwrap and set free the enlivened Lazarus

Jesus has never been a “solo pilot” Savior. 

Intentional and invitational,
he calls  each unsteady soul or uncertain community 
to collaboration and cooperation. 

His commitment to community makes all the difference. 

Questions for Individual or Group Reflection


  1. What are the stones which are separating us from abundant life with Jesus? Personally?  Communally?
  2. Are there healthy and faithful ways to remove those stones in our shared life?
  3. How can we become empowered and equipped to remove these stones?   
  4. What will we do specifically to become empowered and equipped and how will we partner with one another in accountability and encouragement?


  1. How might we pray in such a way that the world wants to “lean in” and hear?  What kind of words will this type of prayer require? What kinds of actions? What kind of listening?
  2. What is it that we hope people will come to know specifically about our Savior Jesus Christ and the God who sends him – and us – into the world?

  1. What binds us?  Positively? Negatively?
  2. How can we unbind one another from that which constricts us from serving our Savior? What can we do to encourage one another as individuals?
  3. How can we collaborate and cooperate with congregations or campuses that need to be unbound? 
May this Advent find you wrapped up in the birth of Jesus
and the blessings that this newness of life brings!

I f you'd like to include these questions in your weekly bulletin,
a bulletin-friendly copy of this Bible Study can be found here .


Missed our last presbytery meeting?

Then go to Facebook
and like our "Flint River Presbytery" page.

You'll be able to trace the day from start to finish with photos.
Thanks so much to Marilyn Tucker-Marek as well as a host of dedicated photographers (Stephanie Boaz, Sommer Bower, and Anghaarad Teague-Dees) who documented the wonderful celebrations of the day!
Presbyterians Today
Digital Version
Explore Presbyterians Today’s new digital edition!

Looks like print — and so much more!

Presbyterians Today’s sleek new online digital edition lets you thumb through the magazine just like the familiar paper copy. 

But that’s just the beginning.

Navigating is a breeze. If you’re on a mobile phone or tablet, you can swipe with your finger to move around pages. On a desktop computer, use your mouse or keyboard. You can easily zoom in or out to make the print as large as you’d like.

A robust search function lets you hunt for exactly what you’re looking for — either in the current issue alone or in the online archive of the past year’s issues.

When you find something that you want to keep, you can download or print it — a range of pages or the entire issue. With the tap of a button, you can also share an article on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest — or by email.

And of course, the links in every issue are live. Just tap on any web address, and a new tab will open with the content you’ve selected.

Reading Presbyterians Today has never been easier! We invite you to explore the new digital edition today! 
Flint River Presbytery Calendar
Be sure to check this out as some clergy gathering dates have changed!
Rise Against Hunger
Advent Resources
This Family Advent Devotional is designed to give your family a simple, fun, and intentional way to point your hearts to Christ every day of this Christmas season. Click here for details.
A beautiful Advent devotional written by one of our approved pulpit supply preachers. This devotional can be found on Amazon (click here) and Dana's coloring coloring book, A Family Advent Devotional, can be downloaded for free!
Night Visions
A beautiful resource full of colorful art and powerful poetry, it is a wellspring of strength from any disciple!

A daily devotional prepared annually by the Frontier Fellowship. For more information regarding future publications, you can talk to George Haugen, pastor at Edgewood (Columbus) at or
Draw Near
A publication by Sanctified Art which was commissioned by Northminster (Macon) congregant, Dr. Lynn Denny. For more information about Sanctified Art and how to enlist their aid in encouraging our walk with Jesus Christ, please reach out to Lynn at or
Have some Christmas shopping to do? Check out this website which was created after young adult Katie Davis participated in our 2018 trip to Guatemala! The products are all made by co-ops of Guatemalan women with whom we have long-standing relationships.

Don't forget to go to  and select "Flint River Presbytery" as your charity of choice. 0.5% of your purchases will be donated to our presbytery in order to further our mission and ministry.
makes a difference to our
Many retirement accounts (IRAs, etc.) require that you take a "minimum distribution" each year after you turn 70.5. 
If you don't need the extra income,
we hope you will consider a charitable donation
to your congregation and your presbytery.  

The deduction for your charitable contribution offsets the additional income and the taxes you would otherwise pay. There are many needs within our congregations -- and within our presbytery -- that would deeply benefit from your generosity.   THANK YOU!
Exciting News for the NEW YEAR:

Healthy Clergy and Healthy Congregations
January 23, 2020 from 11am-4pm
Presbytery Office in Albany ~ Free and Open to Anyone

Clark Simmons from the Board of Pensions
and Robert Hay of the Presbyterian Foundation 
are hosting a marvelous workshop at the Presbytery office absolutely FREE and open to ANYONE.    
Healthy Clergy and Healthy Congregations  
is a must-attend for anyone looking for ways
to get your personal (or congregational) finances in shape
for the New Year. 

More specifically, it will include the following: 
  • new offerings in the Board of Pensions that ANY employee in our congregations can use, 
  • ways to stretch dimes into dollars, and 
  • a wonderful new initiative that offers $10K to called and installed pastors who come with 5 leaders.
  • plus lots of tips about how to create planned giving with wills and endowments in congregational giving.   

Organization in Ministry
January 28, 2020 from 10am-3pm
Northminster (Macon) ~ Cost: $25 includes lunch

Ralph Hawkins, pastor at Northminster (Macon) will teach "Organization in Ministry,"
a workshop for pastoral leaders. 
This workshop will explain and illustrate the use of
helpful (and economical) apps and computer systems that organize and streamline the administrative parts of being clergy in a technologically savvy world. 
Cost for this workshop is $25 and includes lunch.       

Space is limited, so SIGN UP today for both workshops by emailing
Flint River Presbytery
826 Liberty Expressway SE
Albany, Georgia 31705