A Humble Response

O God, hear their cry.
The children are crying in the streets of Aleppo.  The bombs have left their homes, their mosques, their churches, their hospitals in ruins.  The bodies of their neighbors, their teachers, their friends, their relatives, their parents are mangled beyond recognition.  Food is rare.  Hope is rarer still.  O God, hear their cry.

                                        A Humble Response
This past week the Presbytery Council voted to send half of the Presbytery’s portion of the Peace and Global Witness Offering to the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon for relief work.  Your gifts can also go to this or other churches and organizations seeking to offer compassion, healing, hope and, we pray, peace.

O God, hear their cry.
The children are crying in the streets of Haiti and Jamaica and Jacksonville.  The winds have ripped their homes apart.  Schools are left without walls.  With the cessation of the winds comes the threat of disease.  Fear, hunger, despair are ruling.  O God, hear their cry.

                                         A Humble Response
 Already Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is at work.  It will come early and it will stay for the long journey of real and lasting recovery.  Already through the One Great Hour of Sharing you have participated in that work.  If you want to give additionally, you can offer your gifts to PDA through www.pda.pcusa.org.

O God, hear their cry. 
The children are crying in the streets of Charlotte and Orlando and Oklahoma City.  The children are crying for brothers killed in Cleveland and New York.  The children are crying for fathers and mothers killed by those they thought should protect them.  Other children are crying for fathers and mothers killed because they did try to protect the innocent.  The children are crying because the color of their skins still, yet, always forces fear to rule them, too.  The children are crying because no one will hear, no one will pass laws, no one will say “no” to hate, no one can tell them when this will end.  The truth is, children are crying because we do not hear and we do not act.   O God, hear their cry.

                                        A Humble Response
The Racial Ethnic Diversity Work Group in the Presbytery does hear and they are responding with new possibilities to speak in our congregations about race in our lives, in our world and in our churches, too.  You can open the doors of your church and welcome them to speak with you, listen to stories and find a way to deeper understanding and greater action.  You can contact the Presbytery at any time to find out more.

You also can join the Leadership Event, “Courageous Listening” at Highlands on November 11 and 12.  You can talk with one another, learn what it means to “hear the voices of those long silenced,” and discover a new way to build community in that time of retreat and when you return to your churches.  If what has been happening in our nation and world touches you, I encourage you to register today for this time together.  Go to www.highlandscamp.org or call 303-747-2888 to register.   
Celebrate Ordination Anniversaries

Jacqueline Decker Vanderpol  ~ Ordained on October 1, 2006
 Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of her Ordination

Robert Flory ~  Ordained on October 11, 1981  
Celebrating the Thirty-fifth Anniversary of his Ordination

Rebecca New  ~  Ordained on October  11, 1986
Celebrating the Thirtieth Anniversary of her Ordination

Stuart Plummer ~ Ordained on October 14, 1956
Celebrating the Sixtieth Anniversary of his Ordination

To God we give thanks for each of these servants, for the power of their unique ministries and for all they have done to build up the Church of Jesus Christ.  Strengthen them each, O God, for ministry today and always.  Amen. 

Some other opportunities for you:
Dee Cooper invites all ministers to join together with her for a new series of gatherings, held on the third Wednesday of each month, 12 – 1:30 p.m. at the Presbytery Center.  These gatherings have been extraordinary gifts from Dee and times for us all.  Please bring your lunch. The next time of gathering is October 19th and the theme is “Emotions:  Friend or Foe.”

Mental Health First Aid on November 17th at the Presbytery Center
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a groundbreaking, internationally recognized evidence-based training program committed to empowering individuals to identify, understand and respond to those in mental health and substance abuse crises.  MHFA encompasses a core program tailored for adults called Adult Mental Health First Aid. This is an interactive 8-hour course to strengthen your ministry and the ministry of congregations. You can register on-line at click here.

Advent Luncheon, December 8th and noon at the Presbytery Center 
You will not want to miss this time together during the Season of Advent.  It will be a great time to be together and to enjoy a spectacular meal of barbecue from a renowned restaurant. Woven through our luncheon and time together will be the unforgettable words from Adrian Miller about the history and meaning of barbecue in our country.  Adrian, executive director of the Colorado Council of Churches, is a recognized expert on barbecue and an award winning author.  All ministers, certified Christian educators, candidates,  inquirers and their guests are invited. Plan now to attend this not-to-be-missed occasion.