The Future We Come Back To - Telling our stories 2017

One of the things that attracted me to this congregation over ten years ago was a statement in your description of the church – what’s also reflected on our sign out front – that here the ministers are all the members of the church. The pastor serves a particular function, but the strength of this congregation is understood to be in its membership, and in the variety of gifts God’s Spirit activates in us and inspires us to share for the common good.

Carla Pratt Keyes

She explained that her young son had run from the bathtub straight into her office, naked, and her husband had chased him with a towel, eventually catching him and carrying him out.

In that moment, everyone on the Pastor Nominating Committee wanted to meet this Carla face to face.

Anne Westrick and the PNC

As one who was privileged to be a mentor in this awesome confirmation process, that was part of what I had to say – that doubt is not a disqualifier. It’s not a disqualifier for life as a Christian, it’s not a disqualifier for life as part of Ginter Park Presbyterian.

This is a place of learning. This is a place of open minds and open hearts. This is a place of God’s grace. I’ve been part of Ginter Park for 25 years now. It has helped me change and I trust it’s not through helping me change.

Randy Hallman

The joy and peace of being part of God’s community crept into my heart gradually. As our country seems more and more divided and imperiled by forces that are everything our church does not stand for, I yearn to commit to something and see it through, to be of use in this community that gives so much. And so when I was asked to join the Session, I felt excited and honored.

Shannon Lindbloom

The people of the Bible wanted this Jesus to be a Messiah—a savior—and in so many words, he told them: if you want a savior, go spend time with someone who’s lonely. Go rock a newborn baby with fetal alcohol syndrome. Go identify the systemic wrongs in your community and seek out ways to right those wrongs. Stop looking for salvation in all the wrong directions.

Anne Westrick

This week our Session voted to welcome a refugee family into our community, and to join the Richmond broader network of Sanctuary supporters. What this means for our weekly affirmation that we are one in Christ is that we really let that sink in, “ Somos uno en Cristo somos uno, somos uno, uno solo, un solo Dios, un solo Senor, una sola Fe un solo Amor, un solo Bautismo, un solo Espíritu, el Espíritu Consolador”. One in Christ, who made us distinct in identities, but one in faith. Find me in the pew, singing in Spanish, but one with y’all.

Mati Moros

As a parent of teenagers, I can’t advocate for removing our hands from the steering wheel when the driving gets scary. But, when one of the kids in my car asked if Jesus could really take control of a moving vehicle, I had to accept the gift of being asked a faith question by my kids and set aside my liberal theological background for a minute. “Yes, kids. Jesus can take the wheel.”

Doug Brown

… as we were preparing to go to Joanna’s memorial service, I was actually hitting my dresser over and over and saying, “I cannot go to this service and repeat all those words of hope and promise we’re going to say.” My mother stepped close, wrapped her arms around my frantic and flailing ones, and said, “That’s okay. You don’t have to say them today. We’ll say them for you.”

Ann Knox

… I see you, and I love you.

If I, one member of this GPPC family, can see all of this light, can you imagine what we all see collectively? Can you imagine how much more God sees? Can you imagine how much more Christ loves all of us? It’s not surprising. It IS breathtaking. It’s grace. Love-filled grace. It’s for ALL of us. And how lucky are we that we can take that out into the world when we leave this place?