Welcome to Providence Presbyterian Church
in Gum Spring, Virginia!
We are a small, historic, country church serving a big, living, world-loving God.
Our mission is to share God’s abundant love in the counties of Goochland and Louisa
(and beyond!) … and we have been doing it since 1747!
Whether you are looking for a church home or just plan to visit,
we invite you to come and see what God is doing in our midst.
Providence is beginning a time of close study of the apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Galatia was a Roman province located in what now is central Turkey. Paul had introduced Christ to the citizens of Galatia by sharing the gospel that Jesus himself had given to Paul. Jewish Christians later told the Galatians that more than Paul’s gospel was needed. They subtracted nothing from Paul’s message but added to it requirements of the Jewish faith, including circumcision. Paul wrote his letter to counter this error. The scripture passage from Galatians on May 29, verses 1-12 of chapter 1, introduces his conflict with the Jewish Christians and the Galatians themselves, who had “astonished” Paul by “so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ” and “turning to a different gospel – which is really no gospel at all.” 1:6-7.
Pastor Karen Witt’s May 29 sermon addressed this conflict and explained why Paul was so unhappy with the Galatians. Because Christ himself had charged Paul, he had authority from God to share the gospel. And Paul’s gospel centered on God’s grace, which is undeserved and comes to us at God’s initiative, by His call, and not because of anything we have done or can do to deserve it. Paul boldly asserted that additions to that gospel were perversions that deserved God’s curse!
Karen’s sermon is a lovely meditation on the authority of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We pray that it inspires you to join in our study – and appreciation – of Galatians.
I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them – though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.
1 Corinthians 15:3-11
1Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. 4The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 8Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10Then the disciples returned to their homes.
11But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 12and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14When she had said this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). 17Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
This Sunday, March 27, is Easter Sunday! Please plan on joining us for a full morning of celebrating the resurrection of our Lord! We will begin with a sunrise service (8:30am) with Communion led by our youth in our amphitheater. Then, we will enjoy food and fellowship at 9:15am with our annual Easter Breakfast (hosted by the men of the church) in the Fellowship Hall. Finally, we will worship again at 11:00am, celebrating the Lord’s Supper and feasting on Christ’s presence and love. Our choirs will be singing, and we will be collecting the One Great Hour of Sharing special offering. We hope that you will come as you are and celebrate with us!
For those of you who may be interested in attending Holy Week services, the following is being offered in our area: Thursday, March 24: Maundy Thursday Service @ 7:30pm, Gum Spring United Methodist Church, 191 Cross County Road, Gum Spring, VA 23065.
Providence marked the first day of Holy Week on Palm/Passion Sunday with a remembrance of Jesus’ celebratory entry into Jerusalem (Luke 19:28-40). Pastor Karen Witt’s sermon then reminded us that, while the people greeting Jesus hoped for a leader to free them from Roman rule, Jesus was, is and always will be a different kind of king. Following Karen’s sermon, we made a sharp, jarring transition to the Holy Week events of Thursday and Friday (Mark 14:32-42, 15:1-39). If you missed Sunday worship, or just want to listen again, the gospel lessons and Karen’s sermon are available here.
Please plan on joining us for worship this Sunday, March 13, the fifth Sunday in Lent. Focusing on Philippians 2:1-13, we will be considering Jesus’ humble descent to the cross and what that means for those of us who follow. We hope to see you there! Lectionary passages for this Sunday are Isaiah 43:16-21; Psalm 126; Philippians 3:4b-14; John 12:1-8.
Holy Week officially begins next Sunday as we worship on Palm/Passion Sunday. We will celebrate with palms at the beginning of our worship service, then transition into a dramatic reading of the passion narrative. Please plan on joining us for this moving time of worship as we remember Jesus’ last week on earth in human form. Following worship, there will be an Easter Egg Hunt for the children. Parents and volunteers are asked to bring eggs pre-filled with candy for the hunt.
Providence’s Easter Sunday schedule is the following:
8:30am – Easter Sunrise Service in our amphitheater (led by our youth).
9:15am – Our traditional Easter Breakfast (hosted by the men of the church) in the Fellowship Hall.
11:00am – Easter Worship Service with the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. We invite all of you to consider spending the entire morning with us as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord! And, please invite your friends!
On the second Sunday in Lent, Pastor Karen Witt preached on what it means to follow Jesus to the cross. Karen noted that a quality associated with really following Jesus is courage. And how can a person be imbued with the courage to go all the way to the cross with Jesus? The Gospel lesson for the day gave us some hints … and our wise, loving pastor shed light on them for us.
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem … how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings ….” Luke 13:34. God himself gathers us, protects us, covers us and walks with us to Jesus’ cross. Hear Karen’s sermon and be inspired to trust and follow in the footsteps of your loving Savior.