CRESCENT HILL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH ANNUAL REPORT 2016
Annual Report of the Pastor—2016
When I think back over the last year I am struck by what ordinary things we were about—and how very extraordinary those things actually were.
I think we sometimes simply take it for granted that we care for one another, that we proclaim the reign of God with both words and actions, that we reach out to our neighbors, that we let our world be expanded, that we let ourselves continually learn and grow, that we give generously, that we pray. All of those things are very ordinary parts of our life together, ordinary expressions of who we are. And yet, they are extraordinary gifts—to ourselves and to the world.
It is no small thing to gather each week to sing and pray together, to teach our children and encourage our youth, to come face to face with other people.
It is no small thing to give willingly and generously of both money and time to ensure that immigrant neighbors learn English, that a refugee family from Syria is resettled in this country, that an old building that has housed generations of Presbyterians continues to keep us dry as we worship.
It is no small thing to give some young people the experience of being with thousands of others at Youth Triennium, to send a team to Guatemala to visit—and be encouraged by—our partners there, to host Garden Camps.
It is no small thing to continue to challenge ourselves through new efforts for racial justice and earth care.
And it is no small thing to thoughtfully, prayerfully ponder where the God who called us into being is calling us now.
In a world crying out for justice and compassion, for hope and healing, these simple ordinary acts that we do are extraordinarily meaningful and transforming. I think about this past year and am deeply grateful for the opportunity to be in ministry with such an extraordinary group of gifted and faithful people.
Nurture Council Annual Report 2016
“Nurturing faith and the everyday life of faith”
Participants on Nurture Council in 2016: Megan McCarty (co-chair), Elizabeth Wild Thiele (co-chair), Mary Love, Eva Stimson, Gail DeMarsh, Jennifer Thalman-Kepler, Sandy Weldy-Cook, Cara Bridgman
The primary role of Nurture Council is to facilitate Christian education programs for all ages and sponsor fellowship activities to strengthen relationships within our congregation and community.
Coordinators of Faith Formation
Paul Kepler and Jennifer Thalman-Kepler are continuing to give valuable leadership as Coordinators of Faith Formation. The goal of this shared part-time position is to help CHPC more effectively nurture children, youth, and families and help them grow in Christian discipleship. Jennifer and Paul help coordinate a growing ministry with young families. Jennifer worked with Nurture Council to create a new Children’s Team, which is seeking ways to include children more intentionally in all aspects of the church’s ministry. Paul worked with the Youth Team to coordinate CHPC’s youth ministry. (See separate report on Faith Formation for details.)
Nurture Council agreed to take on oversight of the nursery, which had been handled previously by Worship Council. In 2016 both councils worked cooperatively to hire a part-time nursery coordinator, Claire Palmer, who has been well received by parents and children using the nursery. An advisory team for the nursery has been put in place to assist Claire as needed.
Adult Sunday School
The adult class explored a range of thought-provoking topics: “Praying Like a Pentecostal,” “All About Jesus,” study of the book Chosen (the Middle East), “Miss Lucy’s Saints,” the Confessions, faith and the presidential candidates, the new Directory for Worship, and Advent hymns. Teachers included Amy Pauw, Tim McNinch, David Johnson, Don Mead, Lucy Steilberg, Chrissy Westbury, Gary Cook, Jerry Van Marter, and Carol Cook.
Sunday School for Children and Youth
The younger children’s class is using Seasons of the Spirit curriculum. The older children are using the PC(USA)’s Growing in Grace and Gratitude curriculum.
Debbie Dierks continued to lead a 10-minute gathering featuring music and prayer for children, youth, and their parents at 9:45 each Sunday morning, as a kick-off to the Sunday school hour.
Thanks to our faithful Sunday school teachers:
• Pre-school–Grade 1—Brad Wigger, Elaine Trautwein, Jerry Van Marter
• Grades 2–5—Eva Stimson, Allen Bridgman, Kate Husk
• Grades 6–12—Ben Langley, Molly Casteel, Dave Bush, Stewart Bridgman, Megan McCarty, Shannon Bostrom, Christy Westbury, Paul Kepler
A Discipleship/Confirmation Class for high school and middle school youth began in October. The class is being led by Chrissy Westbury and Megan McCarty.
Nurture Council helped recruit a team of gifted and committed adults to lead our church’s youth program. (See separate report on youth activities.)
Cedar Ridge Camp
Nurture Council provided scholarships for children and youth to attend camp in summer 2016.
Along with the entire congregation, the Nurture Council celebrates the growing number of young adults who are sharing their gifts and presence with us. The young adults meet occasionally for fellowship and have provided support for various church activities.
Nurture Council organized or helped with a variety of events aimed at building and strengthening relationships among CHPC members and welcoming newcomers. Events in 2016 included:
• Cottage Suppers
• Sunday School Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
• All-church worship and picnic at Camp Cedar Ridge
• Sunday School Kick-Off Breakfast
• Attending Louisville City FC soccer game
• Hike at the Parklands
• Intergenerational Palm Sunday and Advent events during Sunday school hour
• Facebook group to connect and inform CHPC members
• Thursday evening bring-your-own suppers—Nurture Council hosted these at the church each week, September through November.
Submitted by Eva Stimson
Faith Formation 2016 Annual Report
There is a small but dedicated team of adults working with the youth this year. The Youth Team consists of Megan McCarty, Shannon Bostrom, Nikki Green, Donna Philips, Debbie Dierks, Paul Kepler, and Jennifer Thalman Kepler. Others adults who have been a part of the Youth Team in 2016 included Erin and Chris Denny, Rebecca Barnes, Ginna and Andy Bairby, Blake Collins, Melissa Rift, and Rachel Reyes. The youth meet every Sunday after church for lunch and fellowship. There are anywhere from 5-15 youth in attendance each week.
Highlights from the year include:
• A very cold and snowy retreat at Camp Kavanaugh
• A successful Souper Bowl of Caring with $425 and 470 food items collected
• Peace Education sessions with Dirk
• A Lenten focus on immigrants and refugees
• The annual Talent Show and Silent Auction to raise funding for summer mission opportunities
• An end of the school year pool party at the Rogers’
• Dani Perry, Ross and Caroline Hartmans, and Paul went to Presbyterian Youth Triennium in Purdue, IN with other youth from Mid-Kentucky Presbytery
• A messy Middle School overnight with MKP at Cedar Ridge
• A refugee simulation at Highland Presbyterian
• A stroll around EP Tom Sawyer park to raise money for the Hunger Walk
• The weekend retreat at PYOCA for 10 high schoolers
• Choices: An Interactive Play on Cyberbullying and Suicide Prevention at 2nd Presbyterian
• Raising $902 to shop for 6 children through UCHM’s Christmas Connections
• Hosting the annual Christmas Potluck
Children and Families
Jennifer and Beth Yeager facilitated an intergenerational Easter Sunday workshop that walked participants through the passion and resurrection story.
Jennifer attended the Nurture Council meetings and weekly staff meetings. She led the search and hiring of Claire Palmer the new Nursery Coordinator.
The young families fellowship meets on the 4th Saturday morning of each month. Jennifer posts faith formation resources for young kids on the young families Facebook group.
A Children’s Team was established in the fall to discern how to effectively support children (birth-5th grade) and families in their faith formation. The Children’s Team is Jennifer Thalman Kepler, Laura Proctor, Elisabeth McNinch and Beverly Bartlett-Turner. Erin Veliquette and Martha Gee will join us in 2017.
The role of the Children’s Team is to:
• guide and challenge our whole congregation to live more intentionally into our value of being an intergenerational community.
• provide opportunities for families and children to deepen our relationships with each other and with God.
The team met with each council to ask them to consider how they integrate children and families into their work. Each council was asked to commit to three ways that they will be more intentional about including children and families in their work. The Children’s Team is working on how to support the councils in that work.
The Children’s Team also hosted an advent workshop designed to equip families to celebrate advent at home. The team vetted and selected home advent resources for families through Illustrated Children’s Ministry and made copies available to the congregation. Jennifer also worked with Jane and Debbie to integrate children into the advent worship services through the special children’s offerings and the procession and advent candle lighting.
Submitted by Jennifer Thalman Kepler and Paul Kepler, Co-Coordinators of Faith Formation
Outreach Council 2016 Annual Report
Highlights of 2016 for the Outreach Council were:
● New faces on Outreach Council! We welcomed Justin Banks (session), Seth Craigo-Snell (session), Ben Langley (session), Tim McNinch, and Gary Cook.
● Coordinated four special offerings in partnership with our denomination (One Great Hour of Sharing; Pentecost; Peace & Global Witness; Christmas Joy). Distributed congregation-directed portions of the Pentecost and Peace & Global Witness Offerings to local recipients.
● Facilitated a church-wide effort to help resettle a Syrian refugee family in partnership with Shelbyville Presbyterian Church and Kentucky Refugee Ministries.
● Supported and encouraged the work of a Racial Justice Catalyst Group: hosted Food for Thoughts, vigils, direct actions, local peacemaking offering recipients, listening project, etc. Suggested to session about more direct actions going forward.
● Coordinated Bread for the World Offering of Letters to Congress, seeking increased funding for maternal and child nutrition efforts around the world.
● Pioneered a Newcomers’ Coffee Hour to periodically help repeating visitors make connections and learn about the church. Discussed process for encouraging and welcoming new members. Several folks have joined the congregation.
● Increased our support for CHPC’s English Language Learners program.
● Continued to financially support eight Mission Coworkers around the world.
● Continued support for United Crescent Hill Ministries and hosted and provided scholarships for one week of UCHM’s summer camps.
● Grew support for Guatemala Partnership.
● Institutionalized commitments in support of the Earth Care team.
● Brainstormed, in conjunction with the CHPC Children’s Team, ways to actively engage children in the outreach efforts of our church.
● Provided for small emerging ministry ideas/missions during the year.
● Explored issues of interpretation and planned minutes for mission, bulletin board content, and materials that help widen the circle of ministry and mission.
Submitted by Tim McNinch
Refugee Resettlement Coordinating Committee 2016 Annual Report
During the Fall of 2016, under the leadership of the Refugee Resettlement Coordinating Committee, with oversight from the Outreach Council, and in partnership with Shelbyville Presbyterian Church and Kentucky Refugee Ministries, the congregation assisted with the resettlement of a Syrian refugee family. During the months of August and September, members of CHPC and Shelbyville Presbyterian Church volunteered over 500 hours in various activities related to the family’s resettlement here in Louisville.
In the months before the arrival of the family, congregants became familiar with the process for helping a family resettle, were educated regarding Syrian culture and the ongoing Syrian conflict, shopped for food to stock the family’s pantry, contributed furniture for their apartment, and contributed clothing for the family. The Refugee Resettlement Coordinating Committee collaborated with Nurture Council and Youth Leaders to involve youth where possible in these learning opportunities and activities.
The family was greeted at Louisville airport late in the night (early morning hours) of August 19 by a coalition of members from both partnering churches. During the evening prior to their arrival, Youth and adult volunteers from CHPC gathered at the family’s apartment in West Louisville to finish stocking their pantry and preparing a home-cooked Syrian meal. The family arrived safe, but exhausted.
In the time that followed their arrival, congregants from CHPC and Shelbyville Presbyterian Church provided support in areas such as:
• Transportation of the family to various medical, dental, school, shopping, and driver’s license/KY ID related appointments.
• English language tutoring.
• Fun activities (e.g. Louisville Bats baseball game, fishing at Pratt’s farm, Cedar Ridge, Zoo, Riverfront Park water park, World Fest, Mulberry Orchard, etc.).
• Visiting and helping the family learn the bus routes and help with the first day of school for children.
• Thanksgiving with the Welch family and delivery and set up of a Christmas tree.
The family is adjusting well to life here in Louisville, but visiting continues to be important for troubleshooting and to demonstrate that the family is more than just “people who need our help” – but rather that we are friends.
Submitted by Shannon Bostrom
Earth Care Team Annual Report 2016
In 2016, the Earth Care Team talked with the youth group about climate change (United Nations climate talks).
We obtained an energy audit of the church facilities done by the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center. In 2017 we intend to implement several of the environmental sustainability opportunities identified by the audit such as occupancy sensors, programmable thermostats, and more efficient lights.
With First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethtown we presented to the Mid-Kentucky Presbytery at its February meeting an overture calling on PC(USA) to divest from holding stock in fossil fuel companies. The overture was passed by the Presbytery and then at the June General Assembly meeting was referred to MRTI for more corporate engagement.
The CHPC John Leake Memorial Community Garden was the site of the 14th annual summer gardening day camps which teach lifelong skills in gardening, food processing and cooking to hundreds of children that reduce our carbon footprints, among many other positive results. No paper plates or utensils or air conditioning were used. Much of the food consumed in the camp was grown in the garden or as part of SAL 3 sisters community crops. Approximately 40% of campers were on low income scholarship support.
We joined with Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light in their work in the metro Louisville area and throughout the state, supported them financially, and helped provide food at their annual Hope in Action awards dinner.
We held a worship service with an Earth Day emphasis in April. We prepared monthly articles for Westminster Ways.
CHPC became a member of Presbyterians for Earth Care.
Individual members took part in rallies and demonstrations in Louisville and Frankfort focused on environmental issues, including working on the Empower KY plan with KFTC and others.
English Language Learners (ELL) Education Ministry Annual Report 2016
A festive early December winter holiday gathering and international potluck supper capped off a successful and more or less stable year for the English Language Learners (ELL) education ministry whose activities take place mainly at Crescent Hill Presbyterian Church. Second Presbyterian Church generously helped finance children’s activities leadership and Oxford Picture Dictionary and News for You curriculum purchases. For the first half of the year, Beechmont Presbyterian Church hosted one of two conversation groups that met Wednesday and Thursday evenings. CHPC also provided financial support out of the 2016 church budget.
By the fall term, the ministry had streamlined to Developing and Expanding classes Monday nights at CHPC, with supper at 6:00 PM and classes and children’s activities between 6:30 PM and 8:00 PM, and conversation groups 6:30-7:30 PM Wednesday nights. A total of 52 English language learners from 13 countries participated in the classes and groups over the course of the year. French, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Lingala, Urdu, and Arabic were some of the languages heard most, besides English, during supper and before and after class and group.
Helping teach classes Monday nights were Justin Banks, Barbara Barnes, Mark Barnes, Emily Brown, Izzy Jones, Diana Stephen, Eva Stimson, and Gayle Trautwein. Anna, Doug, Emily, and Kim Aycock, Cara Bridgman, and Joseph Rogers helped lead children’s activities. A couple of dozen CHPC folks helped out with Monday night food preparation, set up, and clean up, including: Ada Asenjo, Kim and Emily and Anna Aycock, Stephen Bartlett, Justin Banks, Rachel Brewer, Dave Bush and Molly Casteel, Lee and Joanne Cybulski, Hunter and Ruth Farrell, Sandra Duverge, Deborah Fortel, Claudia Foulkes, Stephanie Gregory, Nikki Green and Daylen Payton, Alicia Hardesty, Andrew Hartmans, Peter Kemmele, Tricia Lloyd-Sidle, Carol Roderick, Judy Steer, Andrea Trautwein, Elaine Trautwein, Jerry Van Marter, and Erin Veliquette. Perry Chang and Andrea helped coordinate Monday nights, with help from Andrew Hartmans and Elaine Trautwein. Judy Steer coordinated the Wednesday night conversation group and Soni Castleberry the Thursday night conversation group. Helping out with the groups were Shannon Bostrom, Brad Castleberry, Kara Castleberry, Blake Collins, Jeanne Marie Rogers, Todd Rogers, and Paula Tibbs.
Jane Larsen-Wigger, Soni Castleberry, Perry Chang, Judy Steer, and Andrea Trautwein helped lead the ministry. Stephanie Gregory, Jack Leake, and Patti Marcum also pitched in.
Submitted by Perry Chang
Guatemalan Connection Annual Report 2016
2016 began with a glorious February celebration of CHPC’s Guatemala mission partnership, complete with a Central American dinner, music from Mundo Brew, and a silent auction. Dozens and dozens of CHPC folks and other supporters participated, by contributing silent auction items, by making silent auction purchases, by buying dinner tickets, and by dining and listening and enjoying the food, music, and festive atmosphere. A follow-up Friday family film festival took place in April. Shannon Bostrom, Soni Castleberry, Stephanie Gregory, Peter Kemmerle, Amy Linfield, Mary Love, and Doug Yeager were among those who helped organize these activities.
These activities helped finance a first-time-in-four years Guatemala visit by CHPC folks. Ten folks – Ben Bridgman, Cara Bridgman, Elisabeth McNinch, Jane Larsen-Wigger, Ben Langley, Shannon Bostrom, Perry Chang, Doug, Soni, and Stephanie (with Ben and Guatemala national Presbyterian church (IENPG) staffer Jose Alfredo helping take the lead) – made the visit to Guatemala City, El Estor, Panzos, La Guitarra, Puerto Barrios, Livingston, and Rio Dulce. The team visited nine churches, led activities with the children and youth of the Q’eqchi’ Estoreño Izabal Presbytery, and met with presbytery female leaders and partnership leaders. Team members also learned more about the part of Izabal that fronts on the Gulf of Honduras coast, by visiting – with two Estoreño Presbytery leaders (Ramiro Quib and Raul Contreras Tut) – the Puerto Barrios harbor, the Garifuna-Ladino-Q’eqchi’ community of Livingston, and the coast near the border with Belize. They also connected with PC(USA) international mission co-workers Leslie Vogel, Debbie Welch, and Richard Welch and former CHPC session member Ana Lara.
Another high point was visiting for the first time the Hijo del Dios Vivente Church in La Guitarra, in the mountains on the border between Izabal and the Peten. Here, folks from a slightly different variant of Q’eqchi’ culture live and Presbytery President Gerardo Pop Ich, who visited CHPC in 2011, had recently settled as pastor.
Challenges along the way included serious illness to one of the team members (Cara) and immersion in an Estoreño Presbytery internal conflict.
No church budget funds were used to finance the visit, but several dozen CHPC folks supported the visit by serving as prayer partners with individual team members and still others supported the visit financially by participating in the February dinner/concert/silent auction, the April film festival, and early August St. Joseph’s Orphan Picnic parking.
All in all, $1,500 in church funds were sent to Estoreño Presbytery this fall, and they have gone to help fund the ministries of the presbytery’s Presbyterian Women organization, the construction of fellowship halls for many of the churches, and – eventually – to subsidize the participation of a limited number of folks from the presbytery in theological education. CHPC folks also prayed with and for one Estoreño Presbytery ministry team or congregation each week of the year, as well as for special needs, including support for Estoreño Presbytery leaders as they helped start the formation of a six-presbytery Q’eqchi’ Presbyterian synod that will be part of the IENPG.
2017 may see one or two additional visits, with two CHPC folks slated to participate in PC(USA)/IENPG Guatemala Mission Network Gathering in Guatemala City in late January-early and others possibly to participate in an Estoreño Presbytery PW gathering in El Estor in April.
Also participating in 2016 in Guatemalan Connection activities were: Allen Bridgman, Carrie Bridgman, Stu Bridgman, Sandra Duverge, Claudia Foulkes, Janine Linder, and Megan McCarty. These and others stayed in touch with Estoreño Presbytery folks more or less throughout the year via phone call, Facebook, and e-mail.
Submitted by Perry Chang
Racial Justice Catalyst Group Annual Report 2016
Guided by the suggested structure of a Showing Up for Racial Justice program, the group planned activities in three areas.
Reflection/study: Youth and others attended Merton Exhibit that included photographs of the civil rights movement in Louisville; two Food for Thought events; resource suggestions in monthly and weekly newsletters.
Public Action: “Blessed Ramadan” sign on church lawn; made signs for and participated in a rally/march organized by Black Lives Matter/Stand up Sunday.
Worship: Sharing of prayer concerns during Sunday service.
The congregation selected Louisville Black Lives Matter as the recipient for the local monies of the Peace and Global Witness Offering at our suggestion. Signs were voted on for the congregation yard and together we read Pre-Post-Racial America: Spiritual Stories from the Front Lines by Sandhya Jha.
Submitted by Molly Casteel and Tricia Lloyd-Sidle
French-Language Outreach Ministry (FLOM) Annual Report 2016
At the start of Advent in November 2016, FLOM began its seventh year offering a weekly worship service. Our very first worship service was on the first Sunday of Advent in 2010. It has been an interesting journey!
One of the highlights of the year was the visit by Denis Ngonde on May 28. Mr. Ngonde is truly a world-renowned singer of Christian music, known all over Africa and even in Europe. He was visiting in Champaign, IL, and the invitation was made that he visit us here. In the African fashion, the concert that was supposed to start at 3:30pm started at 5:45pm instead. So many of those attending had to leave before it really got started. But those that stayed saw an amazing concert. In fact, it was too amazing. Unbeknownst to us, Mr. Ngonde’s program included smoke and strobe lights. We were lucky that the electric systems didn’t short out, but the smoke caused the air conditioning to malfunction. (Again unbeknown to us.) Our sincere and grateful thanks to those who diagnosed the problem the next day and fixed it. For other happenings that evening, such as leaving a general mess, we acknowledge our fault. We have made strong efforts since to make sure we leave things in the good order in which we find them.
Another “highlight” was the day of prayer and solidarity on December 17. Responding to the looming political and social crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we offered a special time of prayer for all of Africa. Truly, there are so many places in the world that need help and prayer.
This year, Rev. Kashama and Paula Tibbs were able to attend the Congo Mission Network conference in Montreat, NC. It was a time to connect with people doing amazing mission work in and for Africa, a time to share, to learn, to be inspired.
Our attendance continues to vary, as most in our congregation are newcomers to this country. That means that they accept whatever work they can find, they make themselves available for less desirable shifts, they work more than one job (as the jobs they get don’t pay very well). Add to that the physical adaptation from tropical climate to temperate climate, recurring malaria, visits from family and friends at any time (in the African fashion)—all these factors cause our attendance to shift from one week to another. But some of our Saturday night people are also starting to attend the Sunday morning worship service when they can. They consider themselves members at CHPC.
But we are very hopeful. Mr. Chrispin Mbaya has joined our congregation. He helps with liturgy, prayer and witness. Mr. Farrell Kashama, the oldest son of Rev. Kashama, has moved to the United States. Farrell livens up the worship service with drumming and leading hymn-singing.
We continue to be extremely grateful to Crescent Hill Presbyterian Church for their support and welcome. Thank you so much for giving FLOM a home.
We will continue to offer worship and pastoral support to those who come to us. As in other years, this year we have prayed for many, many people. We have rejoiced in the good news, mourned at the bad news, offered special services of memoriam and prayer. We will keep walking on this path until and unless God bids us do otherwise. Merci ! Que Dieu vous bénisse !
Submitted by Rev. Lengulula Kashama and Paula Tibbs, FLOM Leaders
Stewardship Council Annual Report 2016
Past year’s members of the Stewardship Council: Marsha Berry (chair), Dave Bush (clerk), Stewart Bridgman, Ruth Farrell, Jack Leake, Alan Pauw, Ted Trautwein, and Andrea Trautwein.
Budget vs. Actual
We ended the year with a loss of $1,896.22 with total expenses of $321,228.88 and revenues of $319,332.66.
We re-roofed the north side of the Sanctuary. We put on a metal roof which should last many years. The old roof was slate and we think it may have been installed in the early 1940’s.
1) New sump pump was installed in the stairwell, the sanctuary ceiling was painted, toilets were replaced in the Education Building, the wooden ramp on the south side of the sanctuary was torn down, and the first pew was removed to make room for our growing choir.
2) The Building Subcommittee continued to be active (Dave Wilding and Bob Gordon) and they were especially active while working on the roof issues.
3) A vendor has been engaged to provide weekly maintenance for our church building. And Henry continues to provide walk around services to look for any issues.
4) Meghan and Shannon led the painting of the Youth Room.
Financial review was completed by Laura Sullivan and she met with Jack Leake.
Held 3 clean-up days (June 4, September 17, and November 25).
1) Noah Wilding and his Carbon Free Lawn Service provided lawn service and trimming.
2) The Landscape Committee is active again and they were very helpful in making suggestions and assisting with vendors.
3) I cannot thank all the members enough who helped with all the landscaping throughout the growing season.
St. Joe’s Parking
Guatemala Partnership did parking fundraiser and CHPC and GP split the cost for the off-duty policeman.
1) Building Use policies which were updated last year have continued to provide a structure of events.
2) Contract with Amanchara for rent was increased for 2016 but will remain the same amount in 2017 ($250 per month).
Generosity Group continues to do great work in helping us see that stewardship is a shared value in our congregation.
Submitted by Marsha Berry
Worship Council Annual Report 2016
Council members: Ada Asenjo, Gayle Trautwein, Kristy Hubert, Bill Young, Carol Roderick, Rick Roderick, Jerry Van Marter and Ada Asenjo (co-chairs). Staff: Jane Larsen-Wigger, Debbie Dierks, and Jennifer Thalman-Kepler. No new members joined the Worship Council in 2016 – we are hoping to add new members in 2017!
Responsibilities: Worship Council guides the worship and prayer life of the congregation to allow services to flow smoothly and to enable us to praise God in all that we do. Each Sunday, the Council ensures there are persons prepared to preach, lead our music and serve as liturgist. In addition, Council members see that we have greeters and ushers, sound system operators, baptismal water pourers, Joyful Noise leaders (children’s time), nursery volunteers and activity packets for children who stay in worship.
In addition, Worship Council oversees the following:
• Communion scheduling, preparation and clean-up
• Prayer chain
• Flowers for worship, liturgical banners and special décor during church seasons
• Special worship services during Lent, Holy Week, Advent and Christmas Eve
• Healing and Peace services every other month
• Worship service and summer picnic at Cedar Ridge Camp
• Inclusion of our Guatemalan partners in our prayers
• Integration of our children and youth into services
• Our attention to environmental, eco-justice issues
• Stellar preaching – Jane’s messages reminded us of God’s presence in our world and in each of our lives even in challenging times. The depth of her sermons and insights from prayerful preparation challenged and blessed our congregation and visitors. We also were fortunate to have heard from an international peacemaker, mission co-workers, our student interns, the Rev. Mark Howell of United Crescent Hill Ministries, the Rev. John Odom (Presbytery for Community Life for Mid-Kentucky Presbytery), the Rev. Rebecca Barnes of the Eco-Justice Worship Collective, former pastor the Rev. Mark Barnes, the Rev. Hunter Farrell, and other ministers within our own congregation.
• An amazing music program – Debbie led our choir and children’s music program as well as planned a diverse music program to meet the interests of our diverse congregation. Debbie also graced us with her expertise as a pianist and organized/led a number of special programs.
• Excellent administrative support – Patti Marcum did so much to prepare and produce worship bulletins, Westminster Ways, email blasts and reminders, phone calls and countless other tasks. She continues to perform many tasks for Worship Council above and beyond her regular church office duties, for which the council is profoundly grateful.
• Involvement of children – Children are an integral part of CHPC and of its worship life. In October, during the Children’s Sabbath service, the names of children in our church were distributed to members with encouragement to get to know them and their parents. Worship Council held a lengthy consultation with Beverly Bartlett-Turner of the Children’s Team to discuss further enhancing worship for children. Joyful Noise continues under the sterling leadership of Jen and Paul Thalman-Kepler. A major staff addition was our new nursery coordinator/attendant Claire Palmer, who began in July. Responsibility for the nursery has been transferred to Nurture Council.
• Healing and Peace services – Dana Butz faithfully continued to plan these services. An on-going blessing to many, they also attracted new worshippers facing special needs. Services are held every other month on the third Wednesday.
• Worship and environmental justice – CHPC continued to support the Eco-Justice Worship Collective; environmental justice was the primary focus of Earth Day Sunday worship; once again in 2016, Worship Council promoted worship activities that contributed to CHPC’s successful recertification as an Earth Care Congregation.
• Cedar Ridge Camp worship and picnic – Worship Council again in 2016 joined with Nurture Council to sponsor outdoor worship and picnic at Cedar Ridge Camp on Aug. 21. We were particularly blessed to have our Syrian refugee family present for the event.
• Sound system volunteers – Coordination of the sound system on Sundays was handled ably by Shannon Bostrom. New volunteers are always welcomed. Let us know if you would like training.
• Lent and Holy Week – During Lent, an art group and a separate study group met. We again joined with the French Language ministry and the Anamchara Catholic community for Maundy Thursday service. Hand/foot washing was included.
• Advent/Christmas – After two years, CHPC discontinued an early contemplative service on the four Sundays in Advent. A readers’ theatre presentation of “Adventually” was presented during worship on December 4. Of particular significance and meaning was the “Blue Christmas” healing and peace service on Dec. 21. The 5:30 Christmas Eve service again rivaled Easter as the most heavily-attended service of the year.
Help wanted: Worship Council is always looking for volunteers to help fill such roles as greeters, head ushers, communion preparers, sound system operators, and others. Please contact Jerry or Ada if you wish to serve in any of these ways.
Report prepared by Jerry Van Marter, Worship Council co-chair
Music Annual Report 2016
Diverse musical styles and languages of the world were staples in the growing ministry of our choir and congregation…Swahili, a bhajan (an Indian spiritual song), Spanish, “contemporary Christian” as well as traditional anthems added to our tapestry.
Continue praying, singing, and participating in this vital ministry.
Submitted by Debbie Dierks
2016 Annual Report: Presbyterian Women
The second Tuesday morning of the month is the time when you can find Presbyterian Women (PW) in the Gathering Room enjoying a variety of things, especially morning coffee and goodies. In January and February, there were no voices or laughter coming from that room because winter stormy weather required us to cancel our meetings.
This year we were saddened by the deaths of Wanda Abrams and Mary Dulworth who had been faithful participants in the Circle. Katherine Futrell’s move from the area dropped another link. We were delighted to welcome Joy Lindauer, Carol Roderick, and most recently Beverly Machin.
Our Bible study, Come to the Waters, had us reflect on scriptural passages related to water and also think of ways in which we can work toward the provision of clean and safe water for all. With the new program year, our Bible study calls us to consider the question, Who Is Jesus?, as recorded in scripture and as the foundation of our faith.
We were delighted to greet the Immokalee Workers in March and to assist in providing breakfast for the group as they traveled through the area seeking justice for those who provide the food that we eat.
Mid-Kentucky Presbytery’s PW held Gatherings in the Spring and Fall. In the Spring, food justice and sustainability, especially in urban areas was the theme. In the Fall, the focus was on peace in the lives of children. Launched by PW, the Presbytery assembled hygiene kits for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance as part of the Mayor’s Day of Service.
Gena’s Tree—in memory of our dear Gena Chilton—continues to thrive, thanks to the support of the whole congregation. We gathered school supplies for UCHM, new and gently used clothing for the Coalition for the Homeless and Wayside’s Center for Women and Children, books for children at the Breckenridge-Franklin Elementary School, diapers and wipes for the babies at LaCasita.
Our mission giving, during our program year, totaled $1,475, given to: World Mission, UCHM, USpiritus, Buckhorn, Furlough Home, Wayside Christian Mission, LPTS Book Ends, LaCasita, Cedar Ridge Camp, Habitat for Humanity, Heifer Project, Dare to Care, Church Women United, and our own CHPC visit to Guatemala. An additional amount supported the Least Coin, a project of Church Women United that extends globally.
Christmas cookies were shared with those who are homebound and our awesome CHPC staff.
Our PW Circle always has room for more. Come by on the second Tuesday morning of the month at 10:00 AM and join us in fellowship, prayer, Bible study, mission opportunities, and caring for one another and for CHPC.
Submitted by Diana Stephen
2016 Deacon Annual Report
The Book of Order indicates that the ministry of deacon as set forth in scriptures is one of compassion, witness, and service after the example of Jesus Christ. The deacons of CHPC provide and lead the congregation in providing the ministry of loving care and compassion. This includes, but is not limited to the following:
1. Intentional visitation to the homebound, hospitalized, or those in nursing homes
2. Coordinating the ministry of Friendship (meals, rides, etc.)
3. Coordinating homebound communion
4. Being aware of concerns of the larger community and rallying us as a congregation to respond
(copied from the CHPC Mission Structure)
Under the leadership of Parish Associate Gary Cook, the deacons for 2016—Kim Aycock, Mary Duncan, Claudia Foulkes, Dawn Pendleton, Carla McMillin, and Hilda Zuniga—together with God’s help, answered the call in several ways this year:
• Along with our Pastor Jane, developed care groups to allow the congregation to participate in caring for one another
• Continued to send cards with prayers for those in need, distribute prayer shawls, carry meals and visited in hospitals, nursing homes, and at home
• Coordinated the reception for Wanda Abrams’ funeral service
• Participated as listeners and scribes for 20/20 Vision gatherings
• Celebrated birthdays with cake and fellowship each month
• Provided several youth lunches
• Prayed with those wishing to stay after service on communion Sundays
The Deacons’ ministries could not be offered without assistance from members of the congregation and we thank those care groups for answering the call to love one another.
We thank Mary Duncan, Carla McMillin, and Hilda Zuniga for their service and welcome Gail DeMarsh, Barbara Hedspeth, and Todd Rogers to this ministry.
Submitted by Kim Aycock