There is a River...

Tom Sheffield, Presbytery Pastor

“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God.”  Psalm 46
    “As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O                  God.”  Psalm 42
           “He leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.”  Psalm 23


Over and over the Book of Psalms uses the imagery of water to describe our lives that both yearn and “thirst” for God and also are renewed by the “everlasting stream” of God’s Presence. This imagery, of course, points to the essential nature of water in all life. The work of four Presbytery of Denver mission partnerships also reflects the power and importance of water. The Guatemala Mission Partnership is preparing for another trip to remote areas of Guatemala and to the village of Nueva Esperanza. There they have worked and will continue to work to make sure women, men and children are provided with clean water for healthy, sustainable living.  The mission partnerships that relate to Zimbabwe (Connecting Mission Partnership, Lomagundi Clinic Mission Partnership, and the Zimbabwe Mission Partnership) are working together to find ways to mark the Tenth Anniversary of our Partnership with the Presbytery of Zimbabwe with a joint water project.  Already these mission partnerships work in different areas and ways to bring water to communities and schools.  Now they also are exploring a shared venture to make a life-changing difference in Zimbabwe.  Watch for more about the journey of the Guatemala Mission Partnership and also news of the cooperative work in Zimbabwe.  

In addition, the theme of water and the need to draw near to the streams of living water continues in a Lenten devotional, created for Presbyterians Today.  Written by Lynne Baab and illustrated by her husband, Dave Baab, Draw Near uses the Psalms as a way for our lives to be “planted by streams of water.”   Limited numbers of the devotional are available at the Presbytery Center.  You also may order the devotional by calling 800-524-2612 and asking for PDS 17116-14-013. Single copies are $4.50; reduced amounts for ordering multiple copies also are available.  

The Tenth Anniversary of the Rev. Amy Mendez’ Service to Denver Presbytery as our Pastor of Church Development and Multi-Racial Ministries will be celebrated in a truly spectacular meal and service, hosted by Divino Salvador at First Aurora Church on Sunday, March 1, beginning at 1:00 p.m.  Join with people across the Presbytery in thanking Amy for her gifts and grace and enjoy the sumptuous food of this celebration.  Please RSVP to the Presbytery Center (email judy@denpres.org or call 303-777-2453) that you will be coming no later than Monday, February 23.  

Our new Interim Stated Clerk, the Rev. Cathy Ulrich, will begin her ministry with us on Monday, March 2.  Do not hesitate to reach out to Cathy as she begins her time with us and also to Anne Bond as she concludes her service to the Presbytery of Denver.  Let us pray in thanksgiving for Anne and let us pray blessings for Cathy and her husband, Tom, as they say their farewells in Arkansas and move to Denver.  

Other Opportunities, Events and News for You and Our Churches

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.  You can  register on-line for this event at www.highlandscamp.org.  Please note:  the deadline for registering is February 23.  Your encouragement of your Sessions and Boards of Deacons to attend and announcing about this event to your congregations in services of worship would be greatly appreciated.

“What Are Presbyterians, Anyway?” is a one-hour webinar that will “explore grace and gratitude as Presbyterian identity” and is presented by Charles Wiley, Coordinator of the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Office of Theology and Worship on March 3 at 12 noon, MST.  To register, go to https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1390218467976801282.

Stewardship Kaleidoscope will be held March 9 to March 11 in Kansas City, MO, at the Airport Hilton.  This is the  Presbyterian Church’s premier event for all those who are concerned about or called to lead congregations in their stewardship.  To register for this event go to www.stewardshipkaleidoscope.org.  
 
Our Next Presbytery Assembly on March 24 will meet at Good Shepherd Church in Northglenn. The pre-assembly event, beginning at 3:00 p.m., will welcome the Rev. Cynthia Holder Rich from the General Assembly Committee to Study The Confession of Belhar and who will present insights about the Confession.  Later in the Assembly the Presbytery will be asked to vote on whether the Confession should be included in the Church’s Book of Confessions.   In the 6:00 p.m. meeting in the sanctuary, we also will be installing the Rev. Cathy Ulrich as our Interim Stated Clerk and celebrating the Sacrament of Holy Communion in the service of worship; recognizing the retirements of four ministers; receiving further information about policies from the Committee on Preparation for Ministry; hearing a report from Ben Blake of the Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program; and receiving reports from Highlands Joint Committee, Commissioners to the Synod of the Rocky Mountains and the Partnership of Zimbabwe and Denver Presbyteries Committee.  Dinner will be served in Shepherds Hall beginning at 5:00 p.m.  Remember, too, that our May Assembly is May 26, the day after Memorial Day and will be held at the Presbytery Center.

The 2015 Summer Pastors’ School, sponsored by the Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation, will be held June 7 – 13 at Hastings College in Hastings, NE.  This outstanding event offers renowned leaders and incomparable hospitality all at minimal cost.  For more information email opsf@opsf-omaha.org or call, 1-888-244-6714.  

The Untamed Mind of Christ is an experiential wilderness immersion designed to help Christian men encounter, explore and embody the four facets of our innate human wholeness, the image of God, and the Christ nature in our journey to becoming fully human.  To be held August 14 – 16 at Shadowcliff Mountain Lodge in Grand Lake, its cost is $520, which includes guide fees, lodging and meals for three days and two nights. The guides are Dr. Brian Stafford and Associate Pastor at Grace Church, the Rev. Matt Syrdal.  You can obtain more information by calling 303-548-0823, going to the website www.Eco-Psyche-Artistry.com or speaking with Matt Syrdal.