2018 Annual Report


CRESCENT HILL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

Deacons Annual Report 2018

 CHPC’s Deacons seek to lead the church in showing care and compassion to members, friends, and neighbors of the congregation.  Each year, six active deacons work with their Care Teams to pray for those experiencing life’s trials and to provide meals, rides, visits, and other expressions of the love that we share as a Christian community.  We try to provide special care to members facing long-term illness and work with pastors to make sure that those who cannot attend worship receive home communion.

In 2018, we met monthly to coordinate this work, pray for those facing illnesses and other challenges, send cards expressing our support, and plan for special events.

We also help the congregation mark occasions of joy and sorrow by hosting receptions.  In 2018, these included funeral receptions and family meals at the passing of Alan Steilberg and Conrad Crow, and receptions to help the congregation express our appreciation to Patti Marcum and Elisa Owen.

Each Deacon served two months as Deacon of the Month.  During those months we were the congregation’s “first responders.”  We called upon our Care Teams for prayers, meals, rides, and other expressions of caring.  We thank all of you who responded to those requests and helped spread God’s love around the congregation.

2018 Deacons: Gail DeMarsh, Sandra Duverge, Barbara Hedspeth, Janine Linder, Carol Mead, Todd Rogers

Nurture Council Annual Report 2018

“Nurturing faith and the everyday life of faith”

Participants on Nurture Council in 2018 were: Marcus Perry (chair), Soni Castleberry, Doug Aycock, Beverly Bartlett Turner, Dalen Peyton, Sandra Duverge, Jennifer Thalman Kepler and Erin Veliquette

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.

Nurture council had many new members this year and with grace and enthusiasm many good things were accomplished!

Under the direction of Nurture Council:

  • Gun violence education was a central focus this year after the horrific shooting at Parkland.  The emotional impact in our congregation was significant and we together learned how to process such tragic news and continue striving for a less violent world.
  • Nurture organized several summer fellowship opportunities including Shakespeare in the Park and a Louisville Bats game. Members came out and enjoyed time with each other.
  • A back-to-school dinner was well attended and helped us as a church let our teachers and students know that we support them.
  • Made significant strides toward communicating with other councils more directly, ultimately reducing the need for a future pastor to function as a hub for all communication.
  • Organized a Prayground:  The children began joining us in worship this year. Their presence added joy to our worship services and together we all learned more about how to dwell in the stillness of the Lord.
  • Held an all-church worship and picnic at Camp Cedar Ridge
  • Moderated a private Facebook group to connect and inform CHPC members
  • Organized monthly potlucks that have been consistently well-attended.

As a council we are looking forward to helping CHPC “develop and strengthen new relationships” in 2019!

Co-Coordinators of Faith Formation Annual Report 2018

Jennifer Thalman Kepler and Paul Kepler

Youth

We have had a wonderful, full, event-filled year. 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 2018, we have had support when needed by dedicated parents. The Youth Team consists of Debbie Dierks, Paul Kepler, and Jennifer Thalman Kepler, with support from Kim Aycock, Rebecca Barnes, Blake Collins, Jen Van Beek, and Nikki Green. The youth meet on Sundays after church for lunch and fellowship.  There are anywhere from 3-7 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 include:

  • A successful Souper Bowl of Caring with $450 and 250 food items collected
  • Attending the March for Our Lives in Washington, DC with Becca Baird, Anna Aycock, Jo Rogers, Kim Aycock, and Paul Kepler and others from Mid-Kentucky Presbytery
  • 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 7 Youth, Maryanne Booth, and the Keplers
  • Leading worship at the annual picnic at Cedar Ridge
  • A stroll around Waterfront Park to raise money for the Hunger Walk
  • The weekend retreat at PYOCA for 7 high schoolers, Ross Hartmans, and Paul Kepler
  • Sharing Interesting, relevant, and engaging Sunday school topics with the adults
  • An engaging overnight at the Linfields where 8 Youth learned about environmental concerns in Louisville. Thank you Ken, Amy, and the Earth Care team!
  • Pitching in to help make relief kits for asylum seekers passing through Louisville
  • Raising over $1,400 to shop for 5 families (9 children) through UCHM’s Christmas Connections
  • All the wonderful volunteers who served us lunch. Many THANKS!

Children and Families

In 2018 the Children’s Team (Jennifer Thalman Kepler, Martha Gee, Claudia Foulkes, Laura Proctor, and Erin Veliquette):

  • Had a half-day planning meeting with children’s Sunday school teachers
  • Supported Sunday school teachers as needed
  • Ensured purchase of Sunday school curriculum
  • Researched various options about children in worship
  • With approval from Nurture and Worship Councils, established a Prayground in the sanctuary for young children.
  • Solicited congregation and parent feedback and consulted with the fire marshal
  • Made adjustments to the Prayground and nursery
  • Welcomed Claudia Foulkes as she stepped up to become Volunteer Coordinator.
  • Hosted an Advent Intergenerational Sunday School event
  • Organized a children’s offering

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.  Paul and Jennifer also continually communicate with families and youth, pray for them, and bring concerns to deacons, staff, and session.

Outreach Council Annual Report 2018

Prepared by Eva Stimson

Outreach Council members: Eva Stimson (chair, August–December), Seth Craigo-Snell (former chair, January–July), Gary Cook, Molly Casteel, Perry Chang, Justin Banks, Ben Langley, Chris Snyder, Carol Young, and 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 2018:

  • The Build-a-Bed project brought more than 80 CHPC members, friends, and neighbors together on a Sunday afternoon in July to build 28 beds for children who had previously slept on floors or couches or doubled up with family members. Among the grateful recipients of the new beds was a grandfather who had just gotten custody of his grandchildren and needed places for them to sleep. Other beds went to a family that had lost everything in a house fire. Build-a-Bed organizers made sure everyone who participated—from toddlers to grandparents—had meaningful work to do and felt part of the community
  • Outreach Council oversees the funds CHPC gives to our Mission Partnerships (benevolences), which in 2018 totaled more than 14% of the CHPC budget. These 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 also helped support 6 mission coworkers around the world: Brian and Sandi Thompson-Royer (Guatemala), JoElla Holman (Caribbean), Jeff and Christi Boyd (Congo), and Nancy Collins (East Central Africa).
  • Coordinated 4 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 Offering to the Build-a-Bed project and the Peace & Global Witness Offering to YMCA Safe Place.
  • Worked in partnership with Kentucky Refugee Ministries to provide financial assistance to German and Kelin Lainez and their four children, a family from Honduras seeking asylum in the United States. We are grateful to Doug and Beth Yeager for their ongoing support of the family, including providing transportation to worship.
  • Joined Nurture Council in sponsoring a potluck lunch/outreach event to assemble hygiene and food bags for Grannies Respond to give to asylum-seekers passing through Louisville on Greyhound buses. The asylum-seekers, many of whom are mothers and children fleeing violence in Central America, are on their way from the U.S.-Mexico border to the homes of host families across the U.S., where they will wait for their appeals for asylum to be heard.
  • Welcomed and provided sponsors for three new members joining CHPC in 2018. Worked on procedures to help repeating visitors make connections and learn about the church. Organized process for encouraging and welcoming new members.
  • Supported and encouraged the work of the Racial Justice Catalyst Group, Earth Care Team, English Language Learners program, French Language Outreach Ministry, and Guatemala Connection.
  • Coordinated a Bread for the World Offering of Letters to Congress, seeking continued, consistent funding for poverty and hunger programs.

English Language Learners (ELL) Program Annual Report 2018

Bringing God’s Love to China: Among the students attending English language (ELL) classes at CHPC in early 2018 were members of a family from China. Kevin and his wife, Feilan, and their daughter, Peichen, took part in English classes while their son, Shin Shin, an energetic toddler, played in the child care program. Feilan, a scientist, had been sent by the Chinese government to do research in the United States.

Each week before class, Kevin and his family enjoyed getting to know the other ELL students and CHPC volunteers over dinner provided by various people from the church. Kevin began bringing his favorite Chinese noodle dish to share. Then one week he and his family prepared the entire meal—a bountiful spread of Chinese foods for their new friends to sample.

ELL students and volunteers were sad when the Chinese government abruptly called the family back home in April. Kevin wrote in an email from China:

Our family arrived at my hometown Chongqing on the evening of May 1st. Thank you for your concern for our family. Thank you for praying for us. Thank you for inviting us to dinner and teaching us English free every Monday.

You are so friendly, I am deeply moved. I will always remember your help to our family. I will bring your love to China. . . . If I become a Christian one day, I will tell you.

In later emails, Kevin said that when he and his family began attending ELL classes, they were “surprised by your loving actions and your selfless efforts. In my country, at least, I have not encountered or heard of this phenomenon. I hadn’t bought a car yet, and every Monday afternoon my family walked from where we lived to the church. Every day we look forward to coming to church.”

Kevin also wrote that he had been praying and reading from the English Bible every morning. “Every time I pray,” he said, “I thank God for letting me know you in America.”

-Eva Stimson

 P.S.  Special thanks to all of those folks who made ELL a success in 2018:

  • Folks who served as ELL administrators, children’s activities leaders, food preparers, students, and teachers
  • The staff of Crescent Hill church and the Mid-Kentucky Presbytery who supported the program
  • Donors who contributed money to CHPC, whose 2018 budget helped cover the cost of curriculum and children’s activities leadership

French Language Outreach Ministry Annual Report 2018

During the past year, we have continued to seek the will of God for this ministry and to make ourselves available to the members of the African immigrant community, especially those from Congo. We have offered worship services on Saturday evening; one innovation was to offer a Bible study instead of a sermon. It has been exciting to see and hear how others explore their own theology as they study and ponder Biblical texts. There may be some budding pastors among our young people! As usual, attendance has varied due to the varying demands on our community.

In addition to regular worship, we have continued to respond to the spiritual needs of our people: weddings, graduations, funerals, illnesses, babies born. Also, those praying for family and friends back home: it was a tumultuous year in the Democratic Republic of Congo, waiting for elections. Some of our folks are waiting for visas to be granted, so that families may be reunited. Others are still waiting and working to begin the long immigration process of reuniting their families.

We want to recognize a couple of special celebrations:  Rev. Kashama celebrates 30 years as a pastor: he was ordained in the Congo Presbyterian Church in 1988.  We hope to have an “official” celebration in 2019. Another celebration is the wedding of (Daddy) Arris Manduma who came back to Louisville to get married. Arris and his wife returned to South Dakota where he has a good job as an engineer. Arris continues to be an example and role model to newcomers of someone who came here, studied and worked hard, got his degree at U of L and a very good job.

Challenges in the past year have been the varying schedules of our community, which make regular meetings difficult, and the fact that Rev. Kashama is working two jobs, which leaves him without enough time to visit with folks as he wants and to do the theological study that pastorship requires. But we continue to pray for God’s guidance in this ministry.

As always, the French-language Outreach Ministry is very grateful to the people of the Crescent Hill Presbyterian Church for their support, their prayers, their guidance, and their friendship. Please know that this support continues to touch people’s lives, faith, and future.  Thank you.

Rev. Lengulula Kashama and Paula Tibbs, leaders

Guatemalan Connection Annual Report 2018

Soup, visits/gatherings, and new folks characterized the year for the Guatemalan Connection, the Crescent Hill church group that helps facilitate CHPC’s ten-year-old partnership with the Q’eqchi’ Estoreño Izabal Presbytery, a largely Mayan presbytery in eastern Guatemala.

Throughout most of the year Connection folks prepared soup each month and offered it to folks leaving worship at Crescent Hill.  Dubbed the Second Sunday Soup Spectacular, these events helped generate generous donations from CHPC worshipers, mostly of money but occasionally of soup.  Sue Krause in particular added her delicious soups to the mix of soups available almost every month.  The soup spectacular helped generate about $2,000, fed many Crescent Hill folks, and also contributed soup for the deacons and others to share with homebound, convalescing, and grieving Crescent Hill folks. Among those who spearheaded the soup spectacular were Soni Castleberry, Stephanie Gregory, and Doug Yeager.

A second food-related activity took place on the third Saturday evening of each month at St. Matthews’ El Tarasco Mexican restaurant.  Here folks who dined and told their server that they were there as part of CHPC Guatemala night saw 15 percent of their bill go to CHPC’s Guatemala mission fund.

During the first half of the year, money generated in these two activities helped lower costs for participants in two CHPC visits to Guatemala.  For the second year in a row, in April, a group of Crescent Hill women traveled to Guatemala to observe and participate in the annual gathering of Estoreño Presbytery’s Presbyterian Women’s (PW) organization.  There this group joined some 60 or 70 Guatemalan women (and a few men) from the dozen or so congregations of the presbytery for worship, prayer, planning, and the selection of presbytery PW leaders for the coming year.  This past April CHPC’s visit team included not only Soni Castleberry (an elder on session) but also three pastors/ministers (Carrie Mook Bridgman, Sharon Kutz Mellem, Elisa Owen) who were all new to CHPC Guatemala visits.  (Crescent Hill folks will continue to hope these women can be role models for the Guatemalans.  There are not yet any female pastors and only a few female elders and deacons in this presbytery.)  The group stayed in a home in a little far-flung village, La Guitarra, where the gathering was held.  The visit included some rain and an adventurous drive from the main road to La Guitarra.

This year like last year, Crescent Hill sent two visiting teams to Guatemala.  In July, a coed group of again four people (Soni and Sharon returning, along with Perry Chang and Doug Yeager) made a more traditional CHPC visit to Rio Dulce, El Estor, and Puerto Barrios.  There they visited half a dozen congregations and a nature preserve, participated in conversations about the partnership, and stayed with families.  They also visited two out-of-the-way congregations never seen before by Crescent Hill folks.  One of these was a two-hour drive from Puerto Barrios:  San Carlos El Pourvenir’s Monte Sinai church, home church of Rosa Marina, an elder who had visited Crescent Hill in 2014.  Building on conversations during the April visit, Estoreño Presbytery leaders presented to the CHPC visiting team a set of well-documented proposals for building and grounds improvements to about half a dozen Estoreño churches.

While in the country, the visiting team got a bird’s eye of some of the ongoing conflicts in Guatemalan society, as they were caught up/delayed by a day-long protest about water rights.  This was in addition to noticing changes in the Izabal area that suggested both positive and negative effects of agro-business and mining development there.  (The July visit also included a first-ever visit to the offices of the national church in Guatemala City and connections made there with national church leaders, as well as a social visit with Carlitos Lara, formerly of Crescent Hill, and his wife and stepson, in Antigua.)

Donations generated by the Soup Spectacular and El Tarasco fund-raiser in the fall transformed into a modest Crescent Hill contribution to the Estoreño church improvement fund, to help defray the costs of whichever of their ongoing projects the presbytery chooses to fund.  Ben Langley spearheaded the relationship-building and logistics associated with this contribution, as well as a similar-sized contribution of funds from the CHPC budget, likely for theological education for church leaders in the presbytery and the presbytery’s PW groups, earlier in the year.  (In both cases, Crescent Hill for the first time went through the national Guatemalan church, making contacts that helped generate the Guatemala City visit in July.)

September saw another visit/gathering.  In this case, it was North American Presbyterians involved in Guatemala mission partnerships visiting Louisville.  Crescent Hill, the Presbyterian Center, and the downtown Hampton Inn hosted a gathering of these folks, meeting as the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Guatemala Mission Network.  In addition to taking care of much of the planning and logistics for the gathering (mainly, Soni, Perry, and Mary Love), Crescent Hill folks were able to share about the joys and concerns related to the Crescent Hill-Estoreño Presbytery partnership and hear similar stories from others.  News from Guatemala and the U.S.-Mexican border were also shared, partly by Beth Yeager, Sharon Kutz Mellem, and Grannies Respond.  (Sharon had returned from Guatemala and worked with Beth to helped organize efforts to assist would-be asylees (many of them from Guatemala) coming into the United States through Mexico.)

Along the way this year, the half a dozen plus folks involved in the Guatemalan Connection shared personal joys and concerns and welcomed and said good-bye to several new folks, including Elisa, Sharon, and Celine Tshimbalanga.  Becoming active in the Connection in 2018 was also church administrator Connie Foss, joining frequent participant Janine Linder.

As the year ended, Crescent Hill folks continued to hear more news about the dire, deteriorating political situation in Guatemala, even as folks thought ahead to January 2020, when the church may send a small team to participate in a follow-up Guatemala Mission Network gathering, this time in Guatemala.  At year’s end, Crescent Hill folks also not only continued to pray with and for the congregations of the presbytery but also with and for a number of individuals.  These included three-time Crescent Hill visitor Ramiro Quib Caal, who was ordained as a pastor in 2018 and currently serves the largest congregation in the presbytery but continues to suffer from health problems, and for the family of Macaria, who visited Crescent Hill in 2011 but went to be with the Lord this past year.  Throughout the year the congregations of Estoreño Presbytery continued to pray for Crescent Hill and its pastoral transition, as well as for a country (United States), like Guatemala, racked by conflict and corruption.  Lord, have mercy.

Racial Justice Annual Report 2018

Prepared by Tricia Lloyd-Sidle

During 2018, we continued to cry out against violent practices and policies that target people of color in our community and our country, to advocate for changes and to reach out with compassion to those who suffer the most as a result of racism. We did so as a worshipping community, as committees and small groups, and as individuals.

CHPC became a member church of ICIJ (Interfaith Coalition of Immigrant Justice) in late 2017. Throughout 2018, we continued to learn and serve with ICIJ; we accompanied immigrant families thrown into economic crisis by the detention/deportation of a family member; and joined an interfaith march against hate when a white supremacist group threatened “Camp Compassion,” a multi-day presence at the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) building organized by Mijente and Black Lives Matter.

We provided English-Language Learning for refugees and immigrants; we welcomed a Central American family seeking asylum.

We shared our concerns about police brutality in Louisville’s African-American community with elected officials and candidates for elected office; we participated in the Refugee and Immigrant Day at the Capitol in Frankfort; and we proclaimed Black Lives Matter with a yard sign in front of the church building.

We traveled to the southern U.S. border to witness first-hand the inhumane treatment of immigrants seeking asylum, particularly the separation of children from their families.

We supported the radical hospitality of La Casita Center (which serves Latinx families in Louisville) and of Grannies Respond/KY Overground Railroad (which serves asylum seekers passing through Louisville) with diapers, food, and funds.

We participated in the churchwide book read of Waking Up White and in events sponsored by Mid-Kentucky Presbytery’s Beloved Community initiative and Louisville Showing Up for Racial Justice.

Noting that the text of Hymn 747 is singular in the original Spanish, Enviado soy de Dios, and plural in the English translation, The Lord Now Sends Us Forth, our hymnal editors suggest that “singing in both languages helps to show how the call to action in the world is both corporate and individual.” We give thanks for the many ways CHPC embodied this PCUSA declaration: As followers of Jesus Christ, we stand against racism in all its myriad forms. (Facing Racism: A Vision of the Intercultural Community).

Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) Annual Report 2018

Your PNC is comprised of eight members of our congregation. PNC members were nominated by the congregation’s Nominating Committee (the same committee that nominates session members and deacons) and were elected by the whole congregation. The members of the PNC are: Ada Asenjo, Stewart Bridgman Jr., Dave Bush, Ben Langley, Amy Plantinga Pauw, Laura Proctor, Elaine Trautwein, and Beverly Bartlett Turner.

The PNC held its first meeting within an hour of being elected on August 12, 2018. It continues to meet regularly. During its 2018 meetings, PNC members discussed the many self-study documents created by the session and the congregation: “Final Vision 2020 Provocative Proposals” (January 7, 2017), “Circles of Conversation Transition Team Findings” (Spring 2018), “Revised Summary of Responses in Two Circles of Conversation” (April and May 2018), “Empowering Life-Giving Congregations” (March 18, 2018), “Final CHPC Self Study” (July 26, 2018), and “CHPC Congregational Demographics” (August 22, 2018). The PNC then wrote the Ministry Information Form (MIF). The MIF is like a job description.

The MIF (with some changes) was approved first by our congregation’s Session and then by the presbytery’s Commission on Ministry (COM) before being “made active” on the denomination’s Church Leadership Connection (CLC) website. The approval of the MIF was announced to the congregation with much fanfare, fun, poetry, and cake on December 9. An easy link to the MIF is found on CHPC’s website.

If you would like to recommend someone to be the next installed pastor at CHPC, please encourage them to apply through the CLC website or email their Personal Information Form (PIF) to the PNC at pnc@crescenthill.church.

The PNC is enjoying its work, and we’re having a lot of fun together! We want to thank the congregation for respecting the confidentiality of the call process – particularly in the months ahead as we prayerfully read PIFs and contact candidates.

Shalom,  Your PNC

Presbyterian Women Annual Report 2018

 On the second Tuesday of the month, Crescent Hill’s Presbyterian Women’s (PW) Circle gathers for worship, prayer, mission, Bible study, and caring for one another and for the congregation.  Following are our activities for the year:

  • celebrating the lives of Ruth Craddock and Tillie Oberheim;
  • sharing grief with Lucy Steilberg at the death of her dear Alan;
  • welcoming Marissa Roderick to our Circle;
  • concluding our study of the book of Hebrews through the Horizons Bible Study, Cloud of Witnesses: The Community of Christ in Hebrews;
  • beginning our new Bible study, God’s Promise: I Am With You Always, and appreciating Janice Catron’s leadership in 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; diapers and baby wipes for LaCasita; and craft materials for the STEAM program in JCPS;
  • inviting the congregation to offer the components that make up the hygiene kits for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance;
  • enjoying the Annual Interfaith Coffee, sponsored by The Temple, with the theme: Major Jewish Holidays;
  • attending the PW of Mid-Kentucky Presbytery-sponsored PW Gatherings—one in the spring and another in the fall;
  • celebrating the 65th anniversary of the Presbyterian Furlough Home (a PW project) and being impressed by the apartments, located on the LPTS campus, while thanking Gayle Trautwein for her continuing service on its Board;
  • endorsing an application for a PW Thank Offering Grant from Down Syndrome of Louisville after visiting the facility and learning about its programs;
  • sharing $1,555 of our offering with Buckhorn, LPTS Book Ends, Church Women United, Furlough Home, Least Coin, UCHM, Wayside Christian Mission, Worldwide Ministries, Cedar Ridge Camp, Habitat for Humanity, LaCasita, Dare to Care, and Uspiritus;
  • distributing Christmas cookies to the CHPC staff and to those who are home-bound.

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!

Stewardship Council Annual Report 2018

Members:  Ted Trautwein, Jack Leake, Dave Wilding, Stephanie Gregory, Marsha Berry, Stew Bridgman Jr., Bob Gordon, Eric Proctor, Bill Young, and Alan Pauw (chair)

Activities/Actions in 2018:

  1. Began 2018 with a number of items that required repairs for continued insurance coverage. A GuideOne Insurance Co. inspection (November 2017) noted several deficiencies which were addressed: electric panel, handrail (south-side door), and downspout and gutters on the back building.  Total costs approximated $5,000.
  2. Next came (January-February) an inspection by the Louisville Metro Fire Department. To comply with fire prevention regulations, we fixed/replaced the following: door re-hung south-side sanctuary, emergency lights upgraded/repaired, south-side sanctuary hall cleaned up.  New “no-fry” rules apply for the kitchen oven as a result.
  3. Oven Team met in the spring and elected to postpone any new purchase.
  4. Stewardship obtained 3 bids for window replacement on back building (6 windows). Estimates ranged from $2,300 to $10,000.  Stewardship decided to forego new windows and asked Tim Miller to repair (paint/glaze) when his schedule permits.
  5. In November, Louisville Water Co. inspection required replacement of a backflow preventer. Cost was $920.
  6. Water heater was replaced in back building.
  7. Grounds Committee (Marianne Booth, Janine Linder, Lee Cybulski, Amy Linfield, Levitia McLemore, Marsha Berry) met several times to review bids for landscaping, weeding, mulching, and trimming. Accepted one bid for 2019.
  8. Conducted yard/clean-up day on July 14.
  9. Chair prepared draft contract for Faith Community Nurse.
  10. Stewardship made investment in 6-month CD’s for higher interest income.
  11. Amy Linfield put up lights in the breeze-way.
  12. Roof leak near pulpit isolated to chimney. Repairs to be made in 2019.
  13. 2018 ended with a budget deficit of $16,000. Stewardship prepared a draft 2019 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, and we appreciate your financial support.

Earth Care Team Annual Report 2018

The Earth Care Team held an overnight youth retreat which included talks by a solar panel installer, by team members about renewable energy, and by a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives.  The group toured the area of the Cane Run Coal Ash facility and heard from a resident of the neighborhood about the contamination from the facility.

We held a worship service with an Earth Day emphasis in April.  We offered a weekly Earth Care prayer during prayer time of the worship service each week.  We prepared monthly articles for Westminster Ways.

The CHPC John Leake Memorial Community Garden was the site of the 16th annual summer gardening day camps, which teach lifelong skills in gardening, food processing, and cooking to hundreds of children, skills 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 Sustainable Agriculture of Louisville 3 Sisters community crops.  Approximately 40% of campers were on low income scholarship support.

Individual members took part in hearings, rallies, and demonstrations.  These included the United Nations climate change conference COP24 in Poland and a Louisville Metro Council committee meeting on a resolution calling for the city to convert to 100% clean energy.

The team sold Earth Care grocery bags with proceeds going toward energy saving at the church.

Team members participated in the Fossil Free PC(USA) walk from Louisville to St. Louis, MO., the site of the General Assembly meeting, in June.  The overture calling on the PC(USA) to divest from holding stock in fossil fuel companies passed the committee but was defeated in the plenary session.

CHPC continued to implement the environmental sustainability opportunities identified in the energy audit of the church facilities performed in 2016.

Team members now drive five hybrid cars and one electric car.

Generosity Team Annual Report 2018

 “Generosity is grounded in a profound understanding that we all are in this together . . . . 

It is only in fruitful alliances with others that we can do great things.”

 –David Herman and Warren Bennis

The Generosity Team was active throughout the year.  Every quarter, we sent individual financial statements to contributors that included a short vignette describing one way that donations to the church were being used to “change lives through generosity.”  That phrase became the theme of the fall financial pledge drive, which included a newly designed pledge card and a narrative budget brochure highlighting the ways church funds are spent on mission and ministry.  In worship, each council presented a minute for mission on its work, and Elisa Owen, Gary Torrens, and Deborah Fortel preached stewardship-themed sermons in the weeks leading to Commitment Sunday on November 11.

The pledge campaign resulted in 79 financial commitments for 2019.  This total included four new pledges.  More than half of those pledging for 2019—42 households—increased their pledged amounts from 2018, including 29 who 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.

The team continued discussing and implementing ideas from J. Clif Christopher’s book Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate during 2018.  In April, we organized a well-attended and well-received four-week series of discussions of the book for the adult Sunday school class.  We also incorporated learnings from the book in a letter to the Pastor Nominating Committee, recommending that the new pastor:

  • Actively participate in the Generosity Team
  • Articulate, or be willing to develop, a “theology of giving”
  • Deliver at least four sermons throughout each year on financial stewardship
  • Know the financial giving status of individuals and families
  • Talk with individuals and families about their financial giving as needed
  • Write, throughout the year, thank-you notes to members of the congregation for their financial and other contributions to the congregation

We thank all of you—the members, ministers, and other participants of Crescent Hill Presbyterian Church—for your generosity throughout 2018, both financially and in the many other ways you contribute to our common life.  Crescent Hill Church has shown its resilience during this year of transition, indicating a strong foundation as we seek, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to discern who best will lead us forward as a community of faith in 2019 and beyond.

In God’s Grace and Peace,

The Generosity Team:  Dave Bush, Jack Marcum, Laura Proctor, and Andrea Trautwein

Worship Council Annual Report 2018

 Council members: Gayle Trautwein, Carol Roderick, Rick Roderick, Jerry Van Marter and Ada Asenjo (co-chairs), Beverly Bartlett-Turner. Staff: Debbie Dierks, Elisa Owen (through October). Worship Council hopes to add more new members in 2019!

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. Also, 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 and Anamchara.

2018 highlights:

  • Pastoral transition: the Worship Council continues to take on additional responsibility as the transition to our next installed pastor proceeds. With the departure of Elisa Owen as transitional pastor on November 1, 2018, Worship Council moved to ensure continuity and stability in worship leadership for the remainder of 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 the Revs. Mark and Barbara Barnes, who planned and led worship during Advent. In early 2019, worship planning and leadership will be done by:

  • Molly Casteel, Marcia Myers and Dave Bush in January
  • Amy Pauw and Melanie Hardison in February
  • Deborah Fortel and Jerry Van Marter for Lent (Ash Wednesday, March 6 through Easter, April 21.

In addition to Transitional Pastor Elisa Owen, we also 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 (mission co-worker in Cuba/Caribbean), Mark Barnes (former pastor and co-pastor), Barbara Barnes (former co-pastor), Amy Pauw, Dave Bush, Molly Casteel, Bruce Whearty, Jim Hubert, Ben Langley, Andrew Hartmans, Jose Luis Casal (director of Presbyterian World Mission), Paul Seebeck, Carrie Mook Bridgman, Roger Veliquette, and the 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 – Patti Marcum and then Connie Foss 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. Our Administrative Assistant (now Connie) 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. Children and youth ministry continues under the sterling leadership of Jen Thalman Kepler and Paul Kepler. Claire Palmer, our nursery coordinator/attendant, has left us, but volunteers and The Family Tree 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 2018 drew a large crowd on December 19.
  • 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 August 19. Attendance at this annual mid-summer event continues to be strong.
  • Sound system volunteers – New volunteers continue to be sought for operation of the sound system in the sanctuary on Sundays.
  • 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. This ecumenical service will change in 2019, as the Anamchara Catholic community has disbanded.
  • Advent/Christmas – A full slate of programs and services highlighted Advent and Christmas this year. Because of the ongoing pastoral transition, no new Advent services or programs were attempted. The 5:30 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.

Report prepared by Jerry Van Marter, Worship Council co-chair

Music Annual Report 2018

Prepared by Debbie Dierks

At the beginning of 2018, I was feeling a little proud – not in the 7 deadly sins way proud – but I took personal pride in the musical development of this congregation’s music “ministry” – yes – ministry!  The singing, intellectual knowledge about music in general, instrumental talent, enthusiasm, financial and prayerful support, appreciation for the various musical styles, “theological” awareness of the importance of music…stop me before I get on a roll!

Specifically, we have begun to again develop a Children’s Choir, but not in the traditional sense.  The children in pre-school and elementary Sunday school meet with me for “Debbie time,” and we have been learning songs about each one of the 10 Commandments, and this was going exceptionally well until we got to “Thou shalt not steal.”  Apparently, a few folks took our Reggae-style “Kalepo the Monkey” to a level of interpretation that I had not even thought about.  I apologize for any misunderstanding and/or hurt feelings that may have resulted from this song; BUT, I want to put it out there that the song was about a little monkey named Kalepo, and the lesson he learned from Old Desmond, the LION.  We will continue our exploration of the 10 Commandments this year.

For those of you not in the Adult Choir, I truly appreciate your appreciation of the musical staple that is our Adult Choir.  Week after week, season after season, these folks come every Thursday evening for fellowship, singing, and prayer.  They come early on Sunday mornings to rehearse the anthem one more time to make sure it is a worthy offering to God, our Creator.  We lift many of our members and friends up in prayer every Thursday after rehearsal.  Our level of musical excellence does not happen by chance – it is our own spiritual discipline that we are faithful in the “small things” (like notes, rhythms. dynamics, phrasing, text expression, etc. etc. etc.).  Please take a moment to thank a member of the choir for their commitment to God through music.

We began what I hope will become a new tradition during Advent, and that is a Christmas musical gala.  Once again, because of the enormity of the talent in our midst, we were able to put together a Christmas program that I believe left all of us joyful and in the true Spirit of Advent and Christmas – from “O Holy Night” to “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.” This concert was so well-received, I’ve decided, with your help, to put together another concert next year.

Talent abounds in our congregation, from woodwinds to brass to percussion, jugglers, vocalists and actors.  We are overflowing with musical and theatrical blessings.  None of this would be possible without the love from inside and outside these walls.

THANK YOU!

Debbie Dierks