CRESCENT HILL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Pastor’s Report 2019
Prepared by Rev. Roger Veliquette
In January of 2019, the pastor’s office was empty, but the congregation was at work. The ad hoc Coordinating Team, which included Eric Proctor, Soni Castleberry, Mary Love, and Gary Cook administered many of the pastor’s roles in cooperation with the staff and with Gary Torrens, who moderated session. Music Director Debbie Dierks took on added responsibilities for leading and supporting staff and coordinating worship services. The ad hoc Pastoral Care team provided added support for deacons and elders in the situations of both ongoing and acute needs in the congregation. As parish associates, Mary Love and Gary Cook added pastoral support to the staff and to the ongoing care of the facility.
The Pastoral Nominating Committee was also hard at work. It was a joyful day when we met together with the Mid-Kentucky Presbytery Committee on Ministry on August 5th, moving an important step closer to beginning God’s new call for our congregation. I began preliminary meetings through the month of August to gather background. On August 25th, Amy Pauw led worship by preaching a memorable sermon on the experience of wandering through the wilderness. The congregation held a meeting and chose to welcome me, Erin, and our children into this call.
After starting on August 26th, we enjoyed a number of special events, sermons, and visitors. Alton Pollard, the president of Louisville Seminary, used his sermon to invite our community into prayer. My ordination service was in October in Michigan, where president Pollard also spoke. At the installation service on November 3rd, we heard energizing and challenging messages from Debra Mumford, Shannon Craigo-Snell, and Angela Cowser. The personal relationships, reputation, and physical location of our church provide remarkable opportunities for the life and ministries of the congregation.
In September, Connie Foss stated her intention to resign from the position of administrative assistant in order to pursue another call on her life. Connie served the church through a season of transition and remained dedicated to the work through the full interim period. I’m grateful to Connie for the ways that she assisted with my transition into my role as pastor of the church.
Working with session, I formed an ad hoc hiring committee, which included Patti Marcum, Jeanne-Marie Rogers, Elaine Trautwein, and me. Our recruiting and advertising efforts generated great interest with more than 50 people submitting applications for the position. The committee met with a talented, well-qualified, experienced, and caring group of candidates. We were pleased to offer the position to Faith Grady, and we are pleased that she accepted. She began work with us mid-November, and she has proven to be dependable, resourceful, and quick-to-learn. I look forward to seeing the ways that she can continue to grow in the position.
In my sermons through the fall, following the lectionary, we kept revisiting the idea of using the phrase God’s New Way of Being in place of the Kingdom of God. We spent time in the Gospel of Luke where the author frequently uses this imagery of a world where things are reversed and God brings liberation to people who the gospel writer calls the “poor.” In modern terms, we read Luke’s message of liberation to be for all those who are impacted by the politics, economics, and intersectionality of race, gender, and class. The language of kingdoms and realms doesn’t resonate well for our community, and God’s NWB adds a few extra syllables that do not fit neatly into our current hymns. May God continue to give us language for the promise of God’s Word.
In the absence of a pastor, many of you chose to continue the work of doing church together as community. In the absence of a pastor, many of you chose to continue the priestly work of worship, the pastoral work of caring for each other, and the prophetic work of seeking the redemption of our world in the places where we can see it.
You chose to sit with people in their times of need and pain.
You chose to be servants to each other and to wander together in the journey of this church.
You chose to be disciples of Jesus, weeping together with those mourned and laughing when it was the only thing you could do.
You chose to be disciples of Jesus by singing to God in a harmony that is born of all you’ve known together in Christ’s love.
And, we’re not done. The road ahead will be hard. It will have its joys, but it will take everything we have together with the strength from the Spirit in order for our church to be a prophetic voice in this time and in this city. May God bless the road ahead, and may God bless our time together in 2020!
Spirit of the Living God, move us now!
Deacons Annual Report 2019
Submitted by Patti Marcum
According to the Book of Order, the ministry of deacon as set forth in Scripture is one of compassion, witness, and service, sharing in the redeeming love of Jesus Christ for the poor, the hungry, the sick, the lost, the friendless, the oppressed, those burdened by unjust policies or structures, or anyone in distress. (G-2.0201). At Crescent Hill Presbyterian Church, Deacons lead the congregation in the ministry of care and compassion often through care groups.
Deacons have established six care groups, each led by a Deacon of the Month, within the CHPC congregation to provide the ministry of care for our congregation and, in some instances, beyond our congregation. Each care group becomes the first line of care during two months throughout the year. Some of the ways we care are by remembering members in prayer, taking a meal or providing a ride, visiting someone in the hospital or at home, sending a card, or making a phone call.
In 2019, Deacons met monthly to coordinate this work. We also coordinated special events:
- Reception following the ordination service of Melanie Harrison
- Reception following the Witness to the Resurrection Service for David Johnson
- Assisted with the reception following the wedding of Jessie Dierks-Washington and Cody Keeling
- Reception following the Witness to the Resurrection Service for Jim Welch
- Received, set up, and cleaned up food for the Christmas Potluck
We thank all who responded to our requests and helped spread God’s love around the congregation.
Outgoing 2019 Deacons
Nurture Council Annual Report 2019
Submitted by Bruce Whearty
Participants on Nurture Council in 2019: Bob Abrams, Doug Aycock, Mark Barnes, Soni Castleberry, Sandra Duverge, Paul Kepler, Bev Machin, Todd Rogers, Lucy Steilberg, Jennifer Thalman-Kepler, Erin and Roger Veliquette, Marcus Perry (co-chair), Bruce Whearty (co-chair).
Nurture Council has two primary functions: we facilitate Christian Education for all ages, and we sponsor activities to strengthen relationships within our congregation and community.
In helping fulfil those primary functions, we oversee the Children’s Team and the Youth Program. We also administer scholarship programs for camp, college, and special outings for children sponsored by Mid-Kentucky Presbytery.
Under the leadership of Nurture Council, Crescent Hill . . .
- continued adult and children’s Sunday School throughout the school year;
- recognized Sunday School teachers at the close of the Sunday school year (May);
- hosted Shakespeare in the Park and Louisville Bats fellowship opportunities (June and July);
- hosted (with Worship Council) the worship/picnic at Camp Cedar Ridge (August);
- hosted a Sunday School kick-off breakfast (September);
- advocated for session to hire two seminary students as teachers for the Youth Sunday School for the 2019-2020 school year, teaching the OWL program on human sexuality;
- coordinated the church nursery to ensure that one paid teacher was present weekly, and recruited a volunteer to assist each week;
- continued overseeing the Prayground to include children in worship services;
- organized monthly First Sunday Potlucks, except for September (Sunday school kick-off breakfast) and December (Advent potluck);
- inventoried, organized, and cleaned the kitchen;
- from the Jean Leake Youth Fund, approved
- $2040 for five kids going to Cedar Ridge Camp.
- $550 for housing costs for five youth going to Montreat.
- $1150 for registration costs for those five youth going to Montreat.
- $330 for one youth going to Middle School Montreat.
- $300 for one youth going to Triennium.
- Summary: $4370 helping eleven different kids;
- from our half of the Community Children’s Fund (split evenly with Outreach), approved $1500 for Sustainable Agriculture of Louisville (Garden Camp);
- from the Woosley-Leake Scholarship Fund, approved scholarships totaling $5000 for five youth; and
- began planning “Get to Know Roger” small group meetings.
Outreach Council Annual Report 2019
Submitted by Eva Stimson
Outreach Council members: Eva Stimson (chair), Justin Banks, Molly Casteel, Perry Chang, Gary Cook, Katharine Griswold, Ben Langley, Chris Snyder, Doug Yeager
Anyone is welcome to join us! If you have ideas for ways CHPC can reach out beyond church walls to make a difference in our community and world, please come to one of our meetings.
Outreach highlights of 2019:
- For the second consecutive year, CHPC sponsored a Build-a-Bed project. Close to 100 CHPC members, friends, and neighbors came together on a Sunday afternoon in July to build beds for 30 children who had previously slept on floors or couches or doubled up with family members. The children also received books, teddy bears, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and bedding donated by CHPC members. Build-a-Bed organizers made sure everyone who participated—from toddlers to grandparents—had meaningful work to do and was part of the community. A team from CHPC also participated in a Build-a-Bed event at a local middle school in April. CHPC received national recognition for its participation in Build-a-Bed when the project was featured in a mission flier produced by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Outreach Council is committed to sponsoring another Build-a-Bed event in July 2020. Stay tuned for details!
- Outreach Council oversees the funds CHPC gives to our Mission Partnerships (benevolences). Along with the Generosity Team, we encourage generous giving so that at least 10%, and preferably 20%, of the CHPC budget is allocated to mission beyond our congregation. Mission partnerships in 2019 included gifts to United Crescent Hill Ministries, Bread for the World, Covenant Network, Cedar Ridge Camp, Presbyterian theological education, and the shared mission of Mid-Kentucky Presbytery, the Synod of Living Waters, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly.
- We coordinated 4 special offerings in partnership with our denomination: One Great Hour of Sharing; Pentecost; Peace & Global Witness; Christmas Joy. We distributed congregation-directed portions of the Pentecost Offering to the youth work of United Crescent Hill Ministries and of the Peace & Global Witness Offering to Build-a-Bed. Contributions to the Peace & Global Witness Offering in 2019 totaled $3,268—the most ever given to this offering by CHPC members.
- We worked in partnership with Kentucky Refugee Ministries to provide spiritual and emotional support and financial assistance to German Lainez and Kelin Medina and their four children. This family from Honduras is seeking asylum in the United States. As directed by session, Outreach is organizing a team to provide consistent, ongoing support for this family God has placed in our midst and to give guidance to the congregation in this ministry. We are grateful to Doug and Beth Yeager, Soni Castleberry, Connie Foss, and others who have provided transportation, translation, tutoring, and other assistance.
- Outreach Council coordinated CHPC support for 5 mission coworkers around the world: Brian and Sandi Thompson-Royer (Guatemala), JoElla Holman (Caribbean), Jeff and Christi Boyd (Congo). We welcomed JoElla as a guest preacher, and we sponsored a potluck supper with Jeff and Christi, giving them opportunities to tell about their work. We also met with Ross Hartmans and gave him a $1,000 gift to help support his year of service in New York City through the PC(USA) Young Adult Volunteer program.
- We welcomed two new members joining CHPC in 2019, along with three others who expressed interest in joining in early 2020. We also helped regular visitors make connections and sponsored a breakfast gathering for those interested in learning more about the church.
- Outreach supported the formation of a Gun Violence Prevention Team, led by Lucy Steilberg, which has grown to include representatives from four congregations and is exploring possibilities for a “community-read” on the topic of gun violence.
- We reached out to members of the Children’s Team and Nurture Council to begin work on a tote bag project that will make available children’s books on faith and justice.
- We also supported and encouraged the work of the Racial Justice Catalyst Group, Earth Care Team, English Language Learners program, Guatemalan Connection, and French Language Outreach Ministry. We made a small financial gift to Lengulula Kashama to help celebrate the 30th anniversary of his ordination to ministry.
- Outreach encouraged CHPC to continue to host the summer Garden Camp, organized by Stephen Bartlett in cooperation with Sustainable Agriculture of Louisville. For 17 years the camp has enabled up to 20 children a week to experience the beauty of the natural world while learning sustainable gardening and cooking skills.
- We coordinated a Bread for the World Offering of Letters to Congress, seeking continued, consistent funding for poverty and hunger programs.
Stewardship Council Annual Report 2019
Members: Ted Trautwein, Jack Leake, Dave Wilding, Stephanie Gregory, Marsha Berry, Stew Bridgman, Bob Gordon, Eric Proctor, Bill Young, Alan Pauw (chair)
Activities/Actions in 2019:
- Snow Team (Stew, Mary Love, Alan, Dave W) battled the snow drifts couple of Sundays.
- Stewardship repaired large air conditioning unit for back part of sanctuary. Taking bids for replacement of 35-year old A/C unit.
- Took bids and awarded contract for hand/guard rail on exterior stone steps leading up to old office. Job approx. $ 4K
- Grounds Comte (Marianne Booth, Janine, Lee Cybulski, Amy Linfield, Levitia, Marsha B) met several times to review bids for landscaping, weeding, mulching and trimming. Accepted one bid, Down to the Blade.
- Conducted yard/clean-up day on April 20.
- Received and reviewed 6-7 building use requests.
- Stewardship reviewed investment results on 6-month CD’s. Continue to look for higher yield cash investments. No decisions made by year-end.
- Discussions about painting breeze-way with Amy L. (ongoing)
- Negotiated painting contract for painting in Pastor Kashama’s office.
- Closed 2019 with $ 46K surplus. Thanks to all who contributed!
- Stewardship prepared draft 2020 budget for review/approval by Session.
Those are the highlights! If you have any interest in what we do, or would like to attend a Stewardship meeting, please let Alan Pauw know. We welcome new members!
Many THANKS to Stewardship members and all who helped this year
Worship Council Annual Report 2019
Submitted by Jerry Van Marter and Ada Asenjo
Council members: Gayle Trautwein, Carol Roderick, Rick Roderick, Jerry Van Marter and Ada Asenjo (co-chairs), Beverly Bartlett-Turner, Jean-Marie Rogers, Mary Love. Staff: Debbie Dierks, Roger Veliquette. Worship Council hopes to add more new members in 2020!
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
- Regular Minutes for Mission to highlight particular ministries and opportunities.
- Training of worship liturgists.
- Combined worship with the French Language Ministry.
- Pastoral transition: the Worship Council continued to take on additional responsibility during and after the transition to Roger Veliquette’s installation as pastor in November. Worship Council’s goal was to ensure continuity and stability in worship leadership during the transitional period.
To accomplish this, Worship Council established a pattern of asking two pastors from the congregation to share worship planning and leadership for various lengths of time rather than having a different preacher/worship leader each Sunday. We did this also with “prayer pastors” to lead the congregation in Prayers of the People for defined periods of time.
Worship Council is grateful to those Ministers of Word and Sacrament in the congregation who planned and led worship during 2019. We were fortunate to have heard from an array of guest preachers during 2018 and give thanks for the preaching skills and theological insight they all brought to CHPC worship: Rick Roderick, Gary Cook (parish associate), Melanie Hardison, Joella Holman (missionary in Cuba/Caribbean), Mark Barnes (former pastor), Barbara Barnes (former co-pastor), Jerry Van Marter, Deborah Fortel, Stewart Bridgman (the Ancient), Amy Pauw, Dave Bush, Molly Casteel, Jim Hubert, Ben Langley, Andrew Hartmans, Paul Seebeck, Carrie Mook Bridgman, Robin Blakeman (former seminary intern), José (Chris) Tshitenga (guest of the
French Language Outreach Ministry, Angela Overton (Louisville Seminary student) Stephen Bartlett, youth of the church. (We may have missed one or two).
- An amazing music program – Debbie led our choir and rejuvenated children’s music program as well as planned a diverse music program to meet the interests of our diverse congregation. CHPC probably has the largest choir relative to membership of any church in the presbytery. Debbie also graced us with her expertise as a pianist and organized/led a number of special programs.
- Excellent administrative support – Connie Foss and then Faith Grady have been indispensable in preparing and producing worship bulletins, Westminster Ways, email blasts and reminders, phone calls, distributing minutes and countless other tasks that would otherwise fall through the cracks. They continued to perform many tasks for Worship Council above and beyond their 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. The youth program continues under the sterling leadership of Paul Kepler. Jennifer Thalman-Kepler concluded her service as coordinator of children’s ministry in August but continues to be actively involved. Volunteers and The Family Tree and the congregation continue to do a wonderful job. Responsibility for the nursery has been transferred to Nurture Council, though Worship Council regularly consults. Worship Council has also played a role in the development of the Prayground, and continues to search for ways to meaningfully involve children and youth in the worship life of CHPC
- Healing and Peace services – Dana Walker 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. A particularly meaningful service is Blue Christmas, which in 2019 was December 18.
- Worship and environmental justice – CHPC continued to support the Earth Care Team and program of the church. Earth Day Sunday was again observed in worship, which was planned and lead by the Earth Care Team. And once again the Worship Council promoted worship activities that contributed to CHPC’s successful recertification as an Earth Care Congregation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
- Cedar Ridge Camp worship and picnic – Worship Council again in 2018 joined with Nurture Council to sponsor outdoor worship and picnic at Cedar Ridge Camp on Aug. 18. Attendance at this annual mid-summer event continues to be strong.
- Sound system volunteers – New volunteers continue to be sought of operation of the sound system in the sanctuary on Sundays. Worship Council is also preparing to offer simultaneous translation of worship services into Spanish and French.
- Lent and Holy Week — Deborah Fortel and Jerry Van Marter planned and led worship during Lent. We again joined with the French Language Outreach Ministry for Maundy Thursday service, though we missed our brothers and sisters of the Anamchara Community, which no longer worships in our building. Attendance remains strong for the midday Good Friday service.
- Advent/Christmas – A full slate of programs and services highlighted Advent and Christmas in 2019. The 5:30 p.m. Christmas Eve service again rivaled Easter as the most heavily-attended service of the year at CHPC.
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 Van Marter or Ada Asenjo-Bartlett if you wish to serve in any of these ways.
Music Annual Report 2019
Submitted by Debbie Dierks
- The Year of Living Dangerously.
January – August
- While continuing to maintain a dynamic, weekly leadership role in worship, the Adult Choir learned new anthems, responses, and re-visited some favorites as the many preaching voices worked closely in planning all aspects of our worship services. Every member of the Adult Choir should receive a firm affirmation of their commitment to the life of this church.
- The Children’s Choir learned songs about the 10 Commandments. Enough said.
- As the Youth Group begins a new direction in their schedule, I’m hoping to be a larger part in their musical, dramatic, and spiritual development.
- Our individual soloists (instrumental and vocal) present their talents with such excellence and dedication. We are indeed blessed with their ministry.
- On a completely different “note”, (did you see what I did?), I took on the role as “head of staff”. I’ll be honest, there were challenges, personally and professionally within the staff, but these challenges were mostly met with love and care, in the spirit of unity during our time without a pastor. Many thanks to Connie, Mary, Gary, Jen, Paul, and Soni Castleberry in their leadership roles.
- As August rolled around, and we called Roger Veliquette as our fearless leader, my role as “head of staff” was graciously relinquished to become, once again, your humble Director of Music.
Thank you for our mutual trust, and by the way, Roger and I are getting along just fine, thank you.
Here’s to 2020!
Co-Coordinators of Faith Formation Annual Report 2019
Submitted by Jennifer Thalman Kepler and Paul Kepler
Youth We have had a wonderful, event-filled year full. The Youth have had many opportunities to grow in their faith, fellowship, and service. While it has been a struggle to maintain a Youth team in 2019, we have had support when needed by dedicated parents. The Youth Team consists of Debbie Dierks, Paul Kepler, Todd Rogers, and Jennifer Thalman Kepler, with support from Kim Aycock, Rebecca Barnes, Jen Van Beek, and Nikki Green. The youth meet on Sundays after church for lunch and fellowship. We led an extensive Youth Task force in order to ascertain how to best serve the Youth. In the fall we tried to change things up, meeting twice a month. There are anywhere from 3-9 youth in attendance each week. Attendance is usually higher for retreats, overnights, and other service project/special events (away from CHPC).
Highlights from the year:
- A successful Souper Bowl of Caring with over $400 and 200 food items collected
- Bouncing around at House of Boom
- 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’
- A fulfilling week at Montreat with 5 Youth, Claudia Foulkes, Eva Stimson, Jerry Van Marterm and Paul
- A start-of-the-year overnight retreat at Cedar Ridge, attended by 9 Youth and 4 adults
- A stroll around Waterfront Park to raise money for the Hunger Walk
- The weekend retreat at PYOCA for 2 high schoolers and Paul Kepler
- A day at Lazer Blaze
- Baking Christmas Cookies with the Huberts, and serving the cookies after worship.
- Raising over $1,400 to shop for 7 children through UCHM’s Christmas Connections
- All the wonderful volunteers who served us lunch. Many THANKS!
Children and Families In 2019 the Children’s Team (Jennifer Thalman Kepler, Martha Gee, Claudia Foulkes, Laura Proctor & Todd Rodgers):
- Had a half day planning meeting
- With approval from Nurture and Worship councils, maintained a Prayground in the sanctuary for young children.
- Made adjustments to the Prayground and nursery
- Claudia Foulkes served up as Volunteer coordinator.
In addition to these activities, Jennifer has attended Nurture Council meetings and weekly staff meetings and has provided leadership during the transition in pastoral leadership. Jennifer stepped down from her role as co-coordinator of Faith Formation in August 2019.
Earth Care Team Annual Report 2019
Submitted by Mark Barnes
We said goodbye this year to Bill Young who was our excellent and faithful convener. We miss him but our loss is Boulder, Colorado’s gain.
Earth Care Highlights for 2019 included:
- Re-certification as an Earth Care Congregation by Presbyterians for Earth Care
- Wrote monthly articles for the Westminster Ways.
- Brought Earth Care-related concerns and joys for the Prayers of the People.
- Sold reusable shopping bags and used the proceeds (over $300 in all) for energy saving.
- Worked with the Stewardship Council on the problem of the not-up-to-code stove.
- Worked with Worship and Nurture Councils to move to re-usable name tags on Sunday mornings.
- Worked with Nurture Council on first Sunday potlucks to encourage the avoidance of red-meat and of single-use dishware.
- In February, provided a five-session Intergenerational Class on Climate Change.
- In April, members participated with church youth in the annual Earth Day Walk.
- On May 12, presented an Earth Care-themed liturgy which included Rev. Robin Blakeman preaching.
- On May 19th and 26th, Stephen Bartlett and Rebecca Barnes continued Earth Care themes in their sermons.
- ECT members and others participated in the Climate Strike and the Save Bernheim rally.
- Stephen Bartlett directed the 19th Annual Summer Garden Day Camp.
- On September 29th, spearheaded the first Carpool Sunday.
- Maintained CHPC membership in Presbyterians for Earth Care and Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light.
- Thanks primarily to the efforts of Tim, our facilities manager, CHPC continues to implement energy savings that were identified in the 2016 audit of church facilities.
English Language Learners (ELL) Program
Annual Report 2019
Submitted by Soni Castelberry
2019 Summary: We celebrated another successful year of our English Language Learners (ELL) Program and our 10th continuous year in operation. Three terms in 2019 averaged eight weeks each and included: Winter (January – March), Spring (April – May), and Fall (September – November). We also held a Summer Fun Night in July with a pizza party and a Winter Gathering in December to share a potluck meal, games and holiday traditions. We registered 23 students from nine countries. Weekly attendance averaged 10 students and six volunteers.
CHPC’s annual budget included $1,750 primarily to cover curriculum materials and stipends for children’s activities leadership. We offered two student levels: Beginners/Developing and Intermediate/Expanding. We used the Oxford Picture Dictionary in the student’s language choice and additional textbooks in both classes. Intermediates also used “News For You,” a weekly English tabloid newspaper to study national and international events. Typically, we follow the Jefferson County School Schools’ calendar thus honor their holiday/break times, and weather closings.
Ten Years Changing Lives: In August 2009, Mid- Kentucky Presbytery’s Hispanic/Latino Commission invited churches to an orientation to consider direct mission and ministry with new immigrants by teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). Fifty persons attended and after smaller follow up meetings across the Presbytery, a joint training was held and classes began that fall. Our program evolved out of interest from CHPC members and friends, James Lees Presbyterian on Frankfort Avenue in the Clifton neighborhood, Covenant Community (which met in James Lee’s building), and Second Presbyterian Church on Brownsboro Road in St. Matthews. We met at James Lee and offered free meals, child care, and classes two nights a week. This way, members and friends within the congregations could be involved based on their interests, skills, and available time. This approach helped our students to learn English and helped us and them to get to know each other and build relationships – many of which have grown and continue today. Programs in other areas included: Beulah Presbyterian in Fern Creek, Beechmont in South Louisville, First Presbyterian in Bardstown, and Buechel Presbyterian farther out in south Louisville which continued a program it already had.
We changed our name to English Language Learners (ELL) Program after realizing that for most students English was not their second language, but a third or more. We also relocated to the CHPC building several years ago after James Lee dissolved its congregation and their property was sold. A few members of James Lee and Covenant Community volunteered for a while and Second Presbyterian provided financial support and help with meals for several years. Eventually, however, this ELL program became just CHPC’s. Besides Monday night classroom studies, for one year we held Conversation Night on Wednesdays at CHPC and at Beechmont Presbyterian. These efforts ended and CHPC continued its Mondays only model with conversation over dinner and classroom studies. From the beginning, we have believed that this ministry is a way to let our partnership with a presbytery far away in Guatemala to impact our ministry and life in our neighborhood.
2019 Weekly Involvement: Becca Baird, Justin Banks, Barbara and Mark Barnes, Soni Castleberry, Connie Foss, Izzy Jones, Shannon Langley, Diana Stephen, and Eva Stimson. 2019 Meal Rotation: Jessica and Justin Banks, Molly Casteel, Soni Castleberry, Abby Drane, Sandra Duverge, Deborah Fortel, Connie Foss, Karen Hensel, Bev Machin, Eva Stimson and Jerry Van Marter.
French Language Outreach Ministry Annual Report 2019
Submitted by Lengulula Kashama
2019 has been a year of change and reflection. The leadership has been
looking at the changing aspects and needs of the African/Francophone
immigrant community, with the goal to see how we best can serve. We
have not had regular worship services this past year. With so many of
our target community moving, working, changing locations, a regular
service has not been as helpful as in past years. But we do continue
to serve the community. Rev. Kashama continues to visit members and
attend various events as FLOM/CHPC representative. And we had the sad
task this year of assisting in two funerals for families whose
children had died from gun violence. But there were also marriages and
births and other deaths—the cornerstones of life and faith.
Rev. Kashama was elected president of the Congo Community, in which
capacity he can serve a specific community but also reach out, as
president and as Presbyterian pastor, to the other African and
American communities. His wife Nelly has been able to join him and has
become an added support and source of help in the community. In
addition, Rev. Kashama celebrated his 30th (actually 31st) anniversary
as a Presbyterian pastor. In the African way, there was much food and
music and speeches.
Paula Tibbs stepped down as a leader of FLOM but continues to help
members of our francophone community.
FLOM is looking forward to continuing its discernment of service to
God’s call. We continue to be grateful to Crescent Hill Presbyterian
Church, where we have found friends and support and a home. Thank you.
Generosity Team Annual Report 2019
Submitted by Andrea Trautwein
Our most recent activity of 2019 was the 2020 pledge campaign. Members from the Generosity Team provided Minute for Missions on three Sundays this fall. We expressed the numerous ways in which your financial commitment keeps our church, the staff, the mission, the programs and the property thriving.
The pledge campaign resulted in 81 financial commitments for 2020. This total includes four new pledges and five pledges from households that had pledged in 2018 but not 2019. Two-thirds of the 72 households pledging for both 2019 and 2020—48 households—increased their pledged amounts from 2019, including 22 that increased their pledged amounts by 10 percent or more. At the end of the year, Generosity Team members were in the process of sending hand-written thank-you notes to each pledging household.
We welcome three new members to the generosity team, Justin Banks, Kristy Hubert and Jim Turner. When asked why they said yes, Kristy replied, “So why did I say yes to joining GT? I joined because someone asked me directly. I felt I had the time required to give. I hoped that I could contribute creatively, spiritually and practically to the discussion of giving within our faith community. I prayed, and pray still, that I might be helpful to the community in this way and that I might also be helped through my involvement.”
And Jim shared, “I was excited to receive an invitation last year to join the Generosity Team. The people who were already on the team all seem to want to have fun with it, while also getting the important work done. When I attended my first meeting and someone referred to the group as the Generosity Club, it made me smile. They’re a great group and make it a joy to participate.”
We welcome Rev. Veliquette to our congregation and look forward to new ways we support our mission both inside and outside of our faith community. We thank all of you—the members, ministers, and other participants of Crescent Hill Presbyterian Church—for your generosity throughout 2019, both financially and in the many other ways you contribute to our common life.
In God’s Grace and Peace,
The Generosity Team:
Justin Banks, Dave Bush, Kristy Hubert, Jack Marcum,
Laura Proctor, Andrea Trautwein and Jim Turner
Guatemalan Connection Annual Report 2019
Submitted by Perry Chang
Formalized in spring 2009, the partnership between Crescent Hill Presbyterian Church and Eastern Guatemala’s Q’eqchi’ Estoreño Izabal Presbytery marked its 10th year in 2019.
CHPC followed up on two 2018 visits to Guatemala by supporting the partnership through:
- Funds in the 2019 church budget earmarked for the partnership
- Donations and volunteering (thanks, Sue Krause!) in connection with the monthly Second Sunday Soup Spectacular
- Volunteering to park cars during the early August St. Joseph’s Orphan’s Picnic event
Thanks to this involvement, the church was able to send $3,000 to the presbytery during the course of the year.
$1,500 is how much CHPC has been sending each year lately, to help the presbytery with theological education, women’s ministry, etc. The second $1,500 was sent in response to proposals for capital/church campus improvement received by CHPC in 2018. In the end, the presbytery opted to share an equal fraction of the $1,500 with each church in the presbytery, along with two presbytery-wide ministries.
Throughout the year Guatemalan Connection folks and presbytery leaders stayed in touch via email, Facebook Messenger, and telephone calls. Guatemalan Connection folks kept presbytery leaders updated about CHPC’s pastoral transition, and Estoreño Presbyterians prayed for the transition and then for Pastor Roger. CHPC folks also prayed each week for a different Estoreño congregation or presbyter-wide ministry. CHPC and Estoreño folks both tried to keep abreast of the relatively chaotic situations in each other’s countries.
Guatemalan Connection and Estoreño Presbytery folks have been gearing up for a larger-scale summer 2020 intergenerational visit, with a mix of folks of different ages and different levels of familiarity with the partnership. Families are encouraged to consider participating. The visit will include workshops CHPC will lead, church visits, and a small construction project or two.
Pastor Nominating Committee Annual Report 2019
After almost a year of discernment, prayer, interviews, and seeking, your Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) was delighted to announce that God answered our prayers for a new pastor and that Roger Veliquette accepted our call to pastor Crescent Hill Presbyterian Church. Roger began his ministry with us on August 26, 2019.
Through our conversations with Roger, what was immediately apparent to us was his deep affection and commitment to our congregation. As he spoke about his first experiences with CHPC, we heard a familiar story – one that resonated with the reasons so many of us have found a home here.
- An instantly welcoming community
- A genuine affection for his children
- A commitment to social justice
- An environment that accepts and even celebrates questioning
- An outward-facing ministry that cares about the world
- “We knew this was a place where we could get really involved if we wanted to.”
More than that, the PNC was also struck by his rich life experiences, his leadership ability, his talent for leading worship and his commitment to social justice.
The value that Roger places on cultivating relationships has been clear to us throughout. In his PIF, Roger wrote that he sought a congregation “where all are welcome, and where collaboration, tradition, and the creativity of the spirit coexist.” He talked about seeing “the youth as vital for life and leadership of the church” and how “each generation bears the fruit of vibrant perspectives and experiences that enrich and enliven the whole congregation.” Roger is eager to be in ministry with us, helping discern the gifts we each have to offer as we celebrate and live out God’s love and grace for one another and the world.
This decision to call Roger was made unanimously and enthusiastically by the PNC, though we also hold in our thoughts and prayers many other wonderful candidates we came to know. Our year of searching has left us full of gratitude for the many gifted persons God has called to ministry.
To say that the PNC has spent the last year in close community might be an understatement. We’ve held over 40 meetings and served over 1,000 hours together. (It’s a good thing we like each other!) We’ve laughed, cried, wondered, listened to sermons on podcasts, worried, hugged, read PIFs, hoped, watched sermons on YouTube, celebrated and prayed (and prayed and prayed) for this church, this process and the hope we have for the future. We have often found ourselves in awe of the CHPC Nominating Committee, who brought us together in the first place. Their thoughtfulness had a huge impact. And throughout, we have continued to find ourselves humbled by the honor of serving this community. We have always been thinking about you.
As we begin this journey, we knew we wanted to be as open and inviting as possible, conducting a search that would welcome a wide and diverse group of candidates both geographically and demographically.
- 83 PIFs were reviewed.
- 17 candidates were selected for initial interviews.
- They resided in 8 different states.
- They were women and men.
- They were married, divorced and single.
- They were solo pastors and clergy couples.
- They had up to 30 years of experience.
- They were LGBTQIA+ and heterosexual.
- 9 candidates were selected for second interviews.
- 4 pulpit visits, in 4 cities in 2 states, were attended including shared meals with candidates.
Among this talented field, Roger especially challenged our assumptions and invited us to share a vision for a vibrant future for CHPC.
- Through thoughtful and creative preaching, we were inspired by his passion for social justice.
- Through visioning discussions, we dreamed of a future for CHPC.
- Through open conversations, we heard the importance of generosity and financial dialogue.
- Through existing mission, we saw dedication to CHPC, our community and the world.
- And throughout all of this, we felt his calm presence through a genuine, authentic approach.
Roger holds a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary where he also completed a certificate in Black Church Studies. During his time at LPTS, he participated in Anti-Racism Training, consultations for Black Church Studies, and served as a member of the Presidential Search Committee. In seminary, Roger enjoyed forging unlikely friendships and relationships for building community. He was known by many at the seminary to occupy a certain chair in the library where he enjoyed the opportunity for study and devotion. He also enjoyed meeting with classmates and faculty for meals to build thick communities across the typical social groupings within the seminary community. Roger completed his CPE (supervised work as a hospital chaplain) at Baptist Health and Field Ed Internship at Central Presbyterian Church.
The PNC plans to remain active as an advisory committee during Roger’s first year at CHPC.
We are so thankful for ongoing demonstrations of support throughout this process. It continues to be clear how much love and trust run through this community. We are grateful for each of you and look forward to this new chapter in our life together.
With Joy and Gratitude,
CHPC Pastor Nominating Committee
Beverly Bartlett Turner
Stewart Bridgeman Jr.
PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN ANNUAL REPORT 2019
Submitted by Diana Stephen
On the second Tuesday of the month, Crescent Hill’s Presbyterian Women’s (PW) Circle gathers for Bible study, prayer, mission, and caring for one another and for the congregation. Following are our activities for the year:
- welcoming Polly Cushman, Nellie Ngandu, and Jean Welch to our Circle;
- delighting in the call of our new pastor, Roger, and welcoming him to our Circle;
- praying for the joys and concerns of our Circle members and the congregation;
- concluding our Bible study, God’s Promise: I Am With You Always;
- starting our new Bible study, Love Carved in Stone: A Fresh Look at the Ten Commandments, and appreciating Janice Catron introducing us to this study;
- continuing our primary mission project, Gena’s Tree, in memory of our dear Gena Chilton, and being thankful for the generosity of those in the congregation who contribute “blossoms” for the “tree” that include warm clothes, blankets, and sleeping bags for homeless people; books for elementary school children; school supplies for the children served by UCHM, and diapers and baby wipes for LaCasita, as well as craft materials for the STEAM program in JCPS;
- endorsing a request for a PW Thank Offering Grant from Life Focus that anticipate producing media materials that address the trauma of war that children, living in the Middle East, experience;
- supporting Kentucky’s Overground Railroad through a special gift of $100 in memory of Ruth Craddock;
- sharing $1,744 of our offering with Buckhorn, LPTS Book Ends, Church Women United, Furlough Home, Least Coin, UCHM, Wayside Christian Mission, PC(USA) Worldwide Ministries, Cedar Ridge Camp, Habitat for Humanity, LaCasita, Dare to Care, Uspiritus, Grannies Respond (Overground Railroad), and Young Adult Volunteer Program to support Ross Hartmans;
- participating in the Presbytery’s PW Gatherings—in the Spring at Harvey Browne PC, that addressed immigration/asylum seeker issues, and in the Fall at Hebron PC that celebrated women’s suffrage;
- attending the Presbytery’s PW Annual Prayer Service at Central PC;
- distributing Christmas cookies to the CHPC staff and others.
All women are welcome to join our PW Circle. There’s always room for more and you’re sure to have a lot of fun!
RACIAL JUSTICE ANNUAL REPORT 2019
Submitted by Molly Casteel
2019 funds for RJCT were used for membership in ICIJ and for purchase of books for the tote bag project that is a joint effort of Outreach and Nurture Councils. 12 books (2 copies of 6 different ones) were ordered in December and will be used in 2020. Justice topics of concern for spiritual formation include diversity of race and languages, bullying, earth care and God’s deep concern for all.