I hope that everyone is looking forward to our June 8, 2019 meeting of the Presbytery at Second Presbyterian Church in Little Rock. Our hosts are providing a continental breakfast beginning at 8:30 am, which is also when registration begins. The gavel to begin the business of the meeting will be at 9:30 am. The Host Packet is on the Presbytery’s website with information on lodging, directions to the church, etc.
As the final preparations for June’s meeting are put in place the Presbytery needs congregations to consider helping with the October 4-5, 2019 meeting which will be held at Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center again this fall. The joy of gathering in such a beautiful setting surrounded by God’s creation was so inspiring last fall that we would like to meet there again. But not having a host church has its challenges. That’s where other congregations come in.
This is YOUR presbytery, and rather than relying on only larger congregations who have more resources to host a meeting, when we meet at Ferncliff many congregations can play a hosting role. Last year Kirk in the Pines Presbyterian Church of Hot Springs Village co-hosted the meeting alongside Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center. But there are so many aspects to being a host, and so many congregations who don’t get the opportunity to share their gifts and talents with the Presbytery, that we hope that other congregations will volunteer to take on a responsibility.
Here is what is needed:
* A Church (or campus ministry or churches) to Plan and Lead the evening Worship Service — When the Presbytery is hosted by a congregation the host church takes the lead in planning the Friday evening worship service, along with the assistance of staff of Presbytery and the Coordinating Team. When we meet at Ferncliff we need a congregation to assume this role. It includes working with leadership on the theme for the service; preparing the bulletin; and providing the music; having ushers, money counters, and elders to serve the Lord’s Supper; and preparing and bringing the elements for the Lord’s Supper. Two or more congregations could work together to plan and lead worship on Friday night. So many congregations have gifted musicians, and volunteers eager to be more involved in the life of our presbytery, so this is your opportunity to lead!
* A Church (or campus ministry or churches) to Plan and Lead a morning devotional time — It could be that there will be a candidate to be examined, which would change worship plans, but last year we found that having a morning devotional alongside the lake, as well as a short time together once we gathered inside for the meeting, centered us in God’s Spirit in preparation for the day’s work. We would like to do that again.
* A Church (or churches) to Host a Friday evening cookout at Ferncliff – And prayers that it won’t rain this year are also appreciated! Last year we had a hamburger and hotdog cookout — it was very simple. Those eating paid around $5 per person to supplement the costs. This year we hope to actually use the outdoor grill beside the lake and eat on picnic benches.
* A Church (or campus ministry or churches) to provide babysitting services – At least two qualified individuals will be needed.
* First Presbyterian Church of Springdale has already volunteered to host the Friday evening reception following worship and the Saturday morning continental breakfast and morning snacks. Many thanks go out to our friends at First, Springdale – the first “multi-church-host”!!!
The Presbytery does not budget costs for a Presbytery meeting. Those attending have paid for their lunch and the host congregation has covered additional food, printing, and childcare costs. It is hoped that by sharing the responsibilities of Presbytery meetings that there will not be undue burden on any individual congregation, and that all congregations will be blessed through greater participation in the work of God’s church.
Please contact Temporary Stated Clerk Leslie Belden at 479.466.1061 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like to take a part in hosting the meeting in October.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Leslie Belden
Temporary Stated Clerk
Presbytery of Arkansas