March 22,  2018
Getting into a Position to Win!

by Steve Breazier, United Church of Pender

A former basketball player Dave Chadwick asked the question, "When do you win a basketball game?" His answer was "not until the buzzer goes off, and you are one point ahead." Everything before that was just leading up to that one second. Dave described every other second of the game as simply doing whatever you are able to do to "get into a position to win!" 

Dave's message applies to almost everything in life, not just basketball. In basketball, you know where you want to be when that buzzer goes off. You know that every second of the fame leading up to that buzzer provides you with an opportunity to do something that will improve the chance that you will be where you want to be when the game us over. Likewise, any time you recognize that you have a goal that you hope to reach at some point in the future, you have the opportunity to ask yourself what you can be doing NOW, to get yourself into the position you want to be in so you can "win" in the end."

As a Christian, as a church, as an individual, do you have a goal, or an "outcome," that describes what you want to accomplish or hope to become?  If I want to attain something or achieve something or become something, then I really need to ask myself, "What can I do so that when the final buzzer sounds, I have gotten myself into a position to win?"

New Hymn
"Prayer of the Children"

By Kurt Bestor

Can you hear the prayer of the children?
On bended knee, in the shadow of an unknown room
Empty eyes with no more tears to cry
Turning heavenward toward the light

Crying Jesus, help me
To see the morning light-of one more day
But if I should die before I wake,
I pray my soul to take

Can you feel the hearts of the children?
Aching for home, for something of their very own
Reaching hands, with nothing to hold on to,
But hope for a better day a better day

Crying Jesus, help me
To feel the love again in my own land
But if unknown roads lead away from home,
Give me loving arms, away from harm

Can you hear the voice of the children?
Softly pleading for silence in a shattered world?
Angry guns preach a gospel full of hate,
Blood of the innocent on their hands

Crying Jesus, help me
To feel the sun again upon my face,
For when darkness clears I know you're near,
Bringing peace again

Dali cujete sve djecje molitive?
(Croatian translation:
'Can you hear all the children's prayers?')

Explore Good Reads 

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In this thoughtful study, respected Old Testament scholar Patricia K. Tull explores the Scriptures for guidance on today's ecological crisis. Tull looks to the Bible for what it can tell us about our relationships, not just to the earth itself, but also to plant and animal life, to each other, to descendants who will inherit the planet from us, and to our Creator. She offers candid discussions on many current ecological problems that humans contribute to, such as the overuse of energy resources like gas and electricity, consumerism, food production systems-including land use and factory farming-and toxic waste. Each chapter concludes with discussion questions and a practical exercise, making it ideal for both group and individual study. This important book provides a biblical basis for thinking about our world differently and prompts us to consider changing our own actions. Visit inhabit for links to additional resources and information.

Presbyterian Covenant Community Fund
 "Per Capita is an opportunity for all communicant members of the Presbyterian church through the governing bodies [mid councils] to participate equally, responsibly, and interdependently by sharing the cost of coordination and evaluation of mission; and of performing ecclesiastical, legislative, and judicial functions that identify a Reformed Church, while at the same time strengthening the sense of community among all Presbyterians." (GA Minutes, Part 1, 1995)

In essence: Per capita is a set amount of money (apportionment) per member that congregations par to the larger Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Said another way, it is a Presbyterian Covenant Community Fund -- part of the glue that holds Presbyterians together. Because every Presbyterian shares in the benefit of the PC(USA)'s system of government, the expenses associated with coordinating and performing the functions of that system should be shared by everyone as well.

Congregations (through their sessions) pay an annual amount of money per church member--per capita apportionment--to their respective presbyteries. The per capita amount requested from a congregation is a combined total of request from that congregation's presbytery, the synod in which the presbytery is located, and the General Assembly--based on their respective budgets for the coming year(s).

The Presbytery pays all of the per capita due to Synod and General Assembly even if the session does not contribute. So in effect, other congregations are subsidizing those which underpay.

Did you know?
The first-known mention of per capita dates back to 1734 in a letter to ministers!

Keep Thinking...

"Individually we manifest parts of Christ.
Together we are the body of Christ." 

Pictures from the Presbytery

Panama gets excited about Food Distribution Day!