11/21 Presbytery Pastor Message

To:      Ministers, Commissioned Ruling Elders, Certified Christian Educators, Candidates and Inquirers

From: Tom Sheffield

Date:   November 21, 2014

The December Service of Communion will be held on Thursday, December 11, at Peoples Church.  If you are receiving this message, you are personally invited to attend this time of worship and sacrament and gather with other colleagues for some great food and conversation.  The service will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the church and, following the service, we will go to a near-by restaurant for lunch together.  Cost of the lunch will be between $10 and $15.   I know it will be Advent and things are getting more and more pressured in congregational ministry, but I also hope that you will allow this season to be one of forming deeper relationships and new friendships with other servants of the Church.  Please RSVP no later than Tuesday, December 9 to 303-777-2453 or judy@denpres.org

Colleagues at Iliff Share Their Work
Iliff is one of the nation’s premier schools of theology.   I am prejudiced to believe that its strength, in no small measure, comes from the Presbyterian faculty that teaches there.  Today we continue our series of highlighting authors in our midst by recognizing the recent publication of one of our Presbyterian colleagues at Iliff School of Theology: Carrie Doehring.  Watch for more highlights of Iliff faculty as well as other colleagues in the Presbytery in future messages.            

From Carrie Doehring, author of The practice of pastoral care: A postmodern approach (Revised and expanded ed.). Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox.

“Since its publication in 2006, the first edition has sold over 17,000 copies and is used as an introductory textbook in pastoral care in many seminaries and schools of theology and programs in clinical pastoral education in the United States and Canada. The revised expanded edition available in January, 2015 provides a graduate level textbook on pastoral care and theology that:

  • Enables spiritual caregivers to integrate their theological education and formation through a step-by-step narrative, relational, embodied approach to spiritual care that respects the unique ways people live out their beliefs and values, especially in coping with stress, loss, and violence
  • Grounds care in the goal of spiritually integrated liberation for persons, families, organizations, and communities
  • Uses a fully embodied approach to care that begins with spiritual practices fostering self-compassion and relational experiences of God’s compassion
  • Defines theological reflexivity as a cocreative process that helps people of faith first identify life-limiting embedded theologies formed by social oppression and then cocreate spiritually integrative intentional beliefs, values, and spiritual practices that guide daily life
  • Differentiates spiritual care from behavioral healthcare by highlighting the central role of spiritual practices and theological reflexivity in helping people change
  • Brings cultural studies of intersecting socially oppressive systems into dialogue with psychological research on religious coping and the neuro-science of compassion in order to develop a practical theology of intercultural spiritual care focused on lived religion defined as lived theology: the values, beliefs, and coping that persons, families, and organizations put into practice.”

Prayers are asked for Margaret Bell, wife of John Bell.  Margaret is having surgery today. Please also pray for Julie Swaney whose father died this week.  Julie and her family are now in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for services for her father.  We offer prayers of blessing and thanksgiving with two colleagues who now are engaged.  Anne Scheiber is engaged to Nathan Sjostrom and Matt Johnstone shares that he and Andrea DiPaolo are engaged.  

Other Ministries and Opportunities for You 

A Celebration of Service honoring Stated Clerk Anne Bond takes place on Thursday, January 15 at Wellshire Church.  This gathering will include a time to Meet and Greet with Anne at 5:30 p.m., a program beginning at 6:30 and dessert at 7:30.  You are asked to RSVP to the Presbytery of Denver by sending a check for $20 per person. 

The Next Presbytery Assembly on January 27, 2015 will be held at Calvary Church.  It will be a full and important Assembly that will include:  the installation of our new moderator, Ruling Elder Diane Ritzdorf, and our new vice-moderator, The Rev. Mark Vickstrom; the recognition of the ministry of our current moderator, The Rev. Dr. Dee Cooper; a report from the Interim Stated Clerk Search Committee; a recognition of our relationship with The Colorado Trust; updates on Committee on Preparation for Ministry policy redevelopment; debate and voting on changes to the Book of Order; information about allocations for mission partnerships and covenant communities; the election of synod commissioners; a presentation of and vote on a new Vision Statement for the Presbytery; and recognition of the service of Stated Clerk Anne Bond.  The pre-assembly time will focus on the proposed changes to the Book of Order with particular emphasis on the proposed changes to the definition of marriage.  More information about the pre-assembly presentations and dialogue and other items of business will be available next month. 

Being Leaders:  Living into Your Call is a special event for teaching elders, ruling elders and deacons, sponsored by the Council’s Leadership Work Group.   It will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Brighton, on February 28, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  The Rev. James Gale, Coordinator of Theocademy, a discipleship and leadership training series for Presbyterians, will be the leader and there will be opportunity for exploration and dialogue about the challenge, opportunity and possibilities of being a leader in our congregations. 

Swim with the Dolphins is a special trip offered by Montview Blvd. Church and to be led by Dee Cooper, August 2-8, 2015.  Full information is found on the Presbytery website (www.denpres.org) under Events.  Deadline for registering is December 31.