COMMUNITY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
From the Pastor-
I am always amused when I hear about the "ten best preachers in the western world", in various church publications. What amuses me is that, depending on who is making up the list, there are always more than ten of them and one wonders who the real ten best are....
One of them who would make any such list, Dr. Thomas Long, of Emory University in Atlanta, came to Tucson last week to lead our annual minister's retreat. While I had not heard him in person before, I had certainly had heard of him and knew of his reputation as an outstanding preacher and teacher of same. His subject matter for the weekend was preaching from the parables of Jesus, which is always a winner with most congregations, and as he lead us through a number of them he dwelt on one in some detail- the parable of the Sower in Matthew 13. Most of us know the story- the sower spreads seeds all over the place- on the pathway where the birds ate them, on the hard ground where the seeds dried up and blew away, in thorns where they choked, and finally in fertile soil where they yielded a great harvest.
This parable doesn't always make sense at first reading. Most of us have been taught that the lesson to be taken from the story is that we should be like the seeds that fall on fertile ground and our lives and witness should be as fruitful- 100 times or so- as those seeds were. However, Tom pointed to another way of looking at the parable, which focused not on the seeds but on the sower himself. First of all, what kind of farmer is this that he just flings seeds all over the place, not caring one wit where they fall? Did he not learn anything in Agricultural School, or have any sense of economy over his business? And, if he knew that the seeds were so good at what they did when planted correctly, why wasn't he more careful? In short, here was a very reckless seed sower. And that is the penultimate point....
Let us focus on the sower as Jesus, who dispenses seeds as an act of grace, an overwhelming abundance of love, mercy and power, whose potential is limitless if those of us who are called by him in the parable listen to what he says. But, we are also called upon to watch what he does. Jesus, the sower, persists. He knows as he dispenses grace upon grace, as the beginning of John’s gospel puts it, that most of it will be wasted. But he keeps at it, through one discouragement after another. Defying Einstein's definition of insanity- as doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results- Jesus never quits. He strives for the fulfillment of his expectation that every seed he plants will bear fruit until the harvest is gathered in and the Kingdom of God is established.
We are the seed he plants. We are the church. The ultimate point of this story is that we are not to wither or retire from our task as bearers of good news to a world where so much human potential is wasted and so much human misery prevails. We persist; we do not stop at the first obstacle. We find a way to do good. We are the only means by which God's kingdom can break in and make peace.
Consider this as an ongoing task for your church - even as you are in transition.... The call of Christ never changes
Dr. Harry A. Cole
Cinco de Mayo Potluck: Sunday, May 7th following worship in Fellowship Hall hosted by Liz & Trudi. Refried beans and flour & corn tortillas will be provided along with shredded lettuce, cheese, and chopped tomatoes. Please bring your favorite Mexican food dish and join us
Next Session Meeting on Sunday, May 21 this month due to Mother's Day.
From the Worship Committee
We need you! Ushers and lay readers are needed for the summer months please sign up on the sign-up sheet located in the back of the church. We would like to get the months of May, June, July and August covered as soon as possible. Serving as an usher is a great way to meet others that you may not normally come into contact with on a regular basis. Did you know that the definition of an usher means doorkeeper? As an usher you have the opportunity to impact the lives of new and existing people in the church! Ushers provide the first impressions of CPC .
Ushers duties include arriving at church at 9:30 am, fold the bulletins that are on the back pew, welcome arriving congregation with a warm, friendly smile, being alert to issues that may need your attention, Provide directions to the restrooms, children’s church, nursery, etc. and assist the elderly and handicapped out of their cars and into the church. Ushers are also required to count attendance and record it in the attendance book weekly. Please consider signing up. You may contact Liz Lopshire-Kading for questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
CHOIR PRACTICE … Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary. Join us!
MEN’S BREAKFAST GROUP Will now meet 6:30am -8am Tuesday mornings at the Horse Café, until further notice.
PRESBYTERIAN WOMENS GROUP NEWS
The Presbyterian Women’s Group: Our last Presbyterian Women’s Group meeting will be on Monday, May 8th at 12:00pm, this will be a potluck.
After that-hope to see you in September
The Presbyterian Women’s Group have been invited to the United Methodist Church Thursday May 11, at 11:30 am for Punch & Fellowship-Lunch furnished at noon. Special speaker will be Rebecca from Youth Haven Ranch. She will speak about life-changing Christ oriented experiences for disadvantaged children.
RSVP: Nancy Iverson 586-3611 or Theresa Bennett 586-7868
Prayers for Carol Sipes & Family, Carol’s mother Elsie who turned a 103 yrs old in April is now in hospice in Sierra Vista
Prayers for Liz Lopshire-Kading & Family for the recent loss of her cousin
Prayers for Rose Judah who had a recent knee replacement surgery, we wish her a speedy & good recovery
Prayers for those affected by the Saw Mill Fire
Praises for the recent containment of the Saw Mill Fire & to all the hardworking men & women of the Fire & Emergency Services
Thank You so much to Their Nation our custodian on her wonderful job keeping our church clean and beautiful!
Congratulations to our newest installed Deacon Ina Jones
New Church Key Policy
The Session has approved a new key policy which will become effective in May. Please review the policy carefully as there are changes which may affect you or your group getting access to new keys. There will be dates posted as to when you would be able to sign for a key or pay a deposit (if required). Below is this new policy. Individual copies can be printed by request.
Community Presbyterian Church of Benson, Arizona
590 South Huachuca
Benson, Arizona 85602
As faithful stewards of God’s resources, we affirm that properly securing the building at the Community Presbyterian Church is a shared obligation of the staff, ministry leaders/teams and any groups/organizations who use the facility on a regular or temporary basis. It is for this purpose that a policy to manage the distribution and return of keys to the facility has been developed.
In order to ensure the safety of people using the buildings of Community Presbyterian Church and to protect the resources God has provided, the issuance of keys shall be strictly controlled and accounted for.
This policy consists of four sections.
Section I lists the names of those authorized to issue or loan keys as well as to whom keys may be issued or loaned.
Section II governs the use of keys by members of the CPC body.
Section III consists of the procedure by which members may obtain keys.
Section IV outlines the procedure for issuing keys to external parties that are not members.
It is important that the provisions of this policy be observed as specified. The policy is subject to periodic review and update as required to ensure that the building is adequately secured without placing undue burden on user access.
Section I: Key Use Authorization / Persons Eligible to Receive Keys
The following individuals are authorized to approve the distribution of keys on either a permanent or temporary basis.
The church secretary will record the distribution of keys. The church secretary will hand out the keys to the individual as authorized by the Session.
Permanent keys may be issued only to the following individuals:
· Teaching Elders
· Church Secretary
· Assistant Treasurer
· CPC Preschool personnel
· Others as authorized by the Session
In all cases, keys issued on a permanent basis must be returned to the church office upon termination of employment or expiration of term of service. Individuals, who do not return their key(s) will be have to pay for replacing the key and re-keying.
Temporary keys may be issued to the following individuals:
· CPC members at least 18 years of age
· External groups
· Contractors and other service providers
Section II: Policies Governing Keys Issued to CPC Members
Policies governing the use of keys by CPC members are intended to balance ease of building access with adequate security considerations. Borrowing of keys is a privilege available to all members 18 years of age or older and brings with it great responsibility. Failure to adhere to this policy or to exercise appropriate precautionary measures relative to care of the facility when in private use may lead to revocation of this privilege at the discretion of the Session. Loss of keys loaned to CPC members exposes the church to considerable financial and security risk. Borrowers of keys must exercise great care to ensure that keys issued to them are in their control at all times.
The policy for use of keys by CPC members is as follows:
A. Keys may be requested from any authorized individual as identified in Section I.
B. Keys will only be loaned to members when the proposed use of the facility is consistent with the church’s Building Use Policy.
C. The requestor or spouse must obtain the keys in person at the church office. Children will not be permitted to accept keys for their parents.
D. All keys shall be individually etched with an identifying mark or number. DO NOT DUPLICATE will be on the key(s).
E. The member to whom the key is issued must verify his or her address and phone number prior to obtaining the key. The Church Secretary (or alternate) shall note the member’s name, address, phone number, key identification number, date of issue and return due date on the Key Control Log.
F. All members to whom a key is loaned will be given a copy of this policy and will be required to initial the Key Control Log before receiving the key.
G. It is understood that loaned keys MUST be returned to the church office by the specified date and in person. Keys must not be mailed or left in the church office. The Church Secretary or other authorized individual will acknowledge the key’s return and note such in the appropriate column on the Key Control Log.
H. It is understood that keys will not be duplicated, loaned or made available to others. Each key will be numbered and stamped with “DO NOT DUPLICATE”.
I. Report lost or stolen keys immediately to the church office at 520-586-2771.
J. The holder of a key to any portion of the facility assumes responsibility for the safekeeping of the key and its use. When leaving the building, all doors and windows must be secured as they were upon arrival.
K. Persons to whom keys are issued are responsible for replacing lost or broken keys and for rekeying.
L. Session reserves the right to request the return of any loaned key at any time.
Section III: Procedure for CPC Members to Obtain Keys
Members desiring to borrow keys must utilize the following procedure:
1. Call or stop by the church office during regular business hours. It may be advisable to call ahead to verify that the keys desired are available for pick-up.
2. Read the policy governing issuing of keys to CPC Members (Section II).
3. Receive the key(s) from any authorized person (Section I).
4. Sign for the key(s) on the Member Key Use Agreement.
5. Return the key(s) by the required date.
Keys will only be available for pick-up during regular business hours
Section IV: Keys Issued to Contractors and Other External Parties
Before keys may be issued to a contractor or other external party, a representative of the company will be required to sign a document stating that he is authorized to receive keys on behalf of that company and that the company or party is assuming complete financial responsibility for all re-keying required to restore security due to keys lost or not returned. This document must be signed by an appropriate officer of the company or by the external party. Loss of keys may require re-keying at the church’s discretion and cost hundreds of dollars.
The policy for use of keys by contractors and other external parties is as follows:
A. The authorized representative to whom the keys are given must personally sign for all keys. Each person who receives a key will pay a $50 deposit which will be refunded when the key is returned.
B. All keys issued to contractors shall first be etched with an identifying mark or number.
C. It is understood that keys will not be duplicated, loaned or made available to others.
D. Report lost or stolen keys to the church office immediately at 520-586-2771. The person signing for the keys will be responsible for paying for the replacement of the key(s) and rekeying.
E. The holder of a key to any portion of the facility assumes responsibility for the safekeeping of the key and its use. When leaving the building, ensure that all doors are secured as they were upon arrival.
Alyce Bethanne Bledsoe
Larry & Carol Dempster