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.
Karen Witt preached on November 8 on Mark 12:38-44, which includes the story of “the widow’s offering,” also known as “the widow’s mite.” Jesus “sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.'” In both human history and current economic circumstances, most Americans give to their church “out of their abundance.” Karen’s sermon meditated on how a disciple of Christ can “put in everything she has” — not focusing on money but, rather, the disciple’s heart, mind, body and soul.
PPC Sermon 11-8-15
On All Saints Day, Pastor Karen Witt began her sermon by posing the question, what does the word “saint” mean? She noted that Webster’s defines a saint as (among other things) a holy person; and she went on to describe how the Bible identifies “holy” with people and things that God sets apart for His purposes. In other words, anyone whom God has chosen to do God’s work is a saint! And in baptism every Christian is made holy in accordance with God’s will and purpose! Karen weaved these themes into the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead … during which Jesus gave the people witnessing that miracle a job to do (John 11:32-44). Hear Karen’s sermon and be inspired to live out your sainthood!
PPC Sermon 11-1-15
Pastor Karen Witt’s October 25 sermon focused on the spiritual vision of a man named Bartimaeus who, despite his physical blindness, recognized who Jesus is and his own need for all that Jesus had to offer him. Bartimaeus’ story is in Mark 10:
“They came to Jericho. As [Jesus] and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Jesus stood still and said, ‘Call him here.’ And they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Take heart; get up, he is calling you.’ So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man said to him, ‘My teacher, let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has made you well.’ Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.” Mark 10:46-52.
I commend to you Karen’s sermon to hear her insights about Bartimaeus’ encounter with Jesus and what it means to have “eyes of faith.”
What do the ancient Gauls, most Americans, and the rich young man whose meeting with Jesus is described in Mark 10 have in common? The answer is not obvious … and you will have to listen to Pastor Karen Witt’s October 11 sermon to find out!
Mark 10:17-27: “As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. ‘Good teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ ‘Why do you call me good?’ Jesus answered. ‘No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: “You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.”’ ‘Teacher,’ he declared, ‘all these I have kept since I was a boy.’ Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’ At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!’ The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, ‘Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’ The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, ‘Who then can be saved?’ Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.’”
PPC Sermon 10-11-15
After years of great effort and many generous contributions, Providence has a new, commercial water well, providing fresh drinking water to our members, visitors, preschool students and staff, and also fulfilling the church’s other water needs. It may be a stretch to say we are drawing this water from the well of salvation (paraphrasing Isaiah 12:3), but it sure is a welcome addition to our little church’s grounds.
During and after the worship service on October 18, the people of Providence will dedicate and celebrate our new well. The celebration will include a covered-dish luncheon in the fellowship hall starting at noon. We invite and hope to welcome friends and visitors — come celebrate with us!
This Fall, Providence will explore Stewardship in its broadest sense, the essence of which is beautifully captured in this quote: “Christian stewardship is the practice of the Christian religion. It is neither a department of life nor a sphere of activity. It is the Christian conception of life as a whole, manifested in attitudes and actions.” W.H. Greever (1937). Our theme during this exploration of stewardship will be “This Is Our Story” — borrowed from the old hymn Blessed Assurance. We will be celebrating and remembering the long, rich history of Providence and imagining and looking forward to our future. We will be naming and claiming God’s active presence in our midst, both in the past and now.
During this time current members, former members, former pastors and friends of Providence are invited to share their stories about the church — any memories or experiences that have been meaningful to you. All stories are welcome, especially those about times during which you experienced the blessings of this community of God.
We also are inviting everyone to dream and imagine the possibilities for Providence’s future. What do you envision happening in the next chapter of the Providence story? Where do you see God acting in our midst and calling us to grow?
Please write your stories and email them to Pastor Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail them to her at the church’s address, P.O. Box 13, Gum Spring VA 23065. Pictures are welcome, too!
On September 20, Pastor Karen Witt preached on Psalm 1: “Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night. They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” (NRSV)
The wicked are constantly on the move, always in pursuit of their next scheme. Scoffers are autonomous, self-reliant and self-centered. Their punishment is self-inflicted; they self-destruct.
In contrast, the “happy” delight in God’s law, or “Torah.” They find value and “delight” in connection with God and with fellow believers. They stand together in community, sharing not only one another’s happiness, but also one another’s burdens and pains. They recognize that all they have comes from God, and they share those gifts with others as God moves them.
Karen’s sermon addresses these themes and the motivation of the righteous to be good stewards of God’s gifts. Her thought-provoking sermon is accessible here.
PPC Sermon 9-20-15