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.
The Rev. Donald Marsden spent Sunday morning (April 19) with us at Providence. Donald is a great friend of the church and a frequent guest preacher. Donald is an Associate Director with Presbyterian Frontier Fellowship. (See http://www.pff.net/staff/donald-marsden). PFF’s vision is “For Every People, An Indigenous Church; For Every Church, A Mission Vision.” Donald has served churches in Virginia and Pennsylvania as pastor, spent 11 years in Russia as a missionary, and now focuses on inviting folks to become involved in frontier mission. On Sunday he led the Adult Sunday School Class with an interesting series of questions on the history of church mission work and a presentation on the work of PFF. Donald then helped Pastor Karen Witt lead the worship of God by proclaiming God’s Word in a wonderful sermon on the role of worship and prayer in frontier mission. The people of Providence will make a special offering to help support the important mission work that PFF and Donald do in Christ’s name. Providence is blessed to be able to call Donald a friend, a spiritual guide and a role model of evangelism both locally and throughout the world. May God continue to bless you and your work, Donald!
The April 12 lectionary passages (John 20:19-31 & Acts 4:32-35) are jam-packed with important stuff about the early church of Jesus Christ. The transition from frightened disciples in locked rooms and “Doubting” Thomas (needing to see and touch the risen Christ in order to believe) to the church as body of Christ carrying out His mission throughout the world is a big story! And some of the characteristics of the early church, which practiced radical generosity in the face of persecution and poverty, remain eye-opening for us 2,000 years later. Pastor Karen Witt tackled these challenging issues — and mixed in several references to pudding — in her sermon. Listen here …
PPC Sermon 4-12-15
UPCOMING EVENTS and OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE
• April 12 – The Session will meet after worship.
• April 18 – Stewardship Workshop at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 9am – 1pm. Please let Stewardship Elder, Dan Jordanger, know if you have an interest in attending this seminar.
• April 19 – The Rev. Donald Marsden will be with us. He will offer a brief presentation on his work with the Presbyterian Frontier Fellowship during the Adult Sunday School hour (9:45-10:45am in Fellowship Hall). Then, he will help lead us in worship by proclaiming God’s Word.
• April 26 – Enjoy a Fun (Free!) Day at Camp Hanover, 2-6pm. If you are considering signing up for camp this year, this is a great way to check it out. Guests will get to enjoy: s’mores; hayrides; hot dogs; canoes; paddleboats; goats; chickens face painting; 4-square; campfire cooking; hiking; fishing; and much, much more! Camp Hanover is located at 3163 Parsleys Mill Road, Mechanicsville, VA. For more information, visit: http://www.camphanover.org.
• June 15 – 19 – Vacation Bible School, 9am-12noon. Mark your calendars now for this exciting week of fun, during which kids will have a BLAST exploring God’s love through Gospel Light’s SonSpark Labs! Contact Marti Wunsh for more information, 804-837-0450.
• Providence Preschool Open Enrollment 2015-2016 is currently underway! Please help spread the word and direct all inquiries to Preschool Director, Jennifer Cullinan: 804-556-7960; email- jenncullinan@gmailcom; http://www.teacherpage.com/providence.
A SPECIAL THANK YOU …
• To our wonderful choir for adding a joyful sound to our Palm Sunday and Easter worship services.
• To the men who helped provide such an amazing Men’s Breakfast on Easter Sunday. We had a wonderful turnout for a delicious feast!
• To everyone who supported and participated in our Preschool BBQ Dinner! $2,475 was raised and applied to the Playground Project. The balance required to complete this project is $970.
Jane Atkinson; Matthew Wunsh (recovering from surgery); Kevin Conklin, the husband of Cindy Edmonds’ cousin; Lisa Jones’ mother; Betty Gayle Miles; Larkin Murphy’s father, Dewey Murphy; Lyn Peple; Judy Waters (having eye surgery on April 14); the Houck family (in the loss of Dave’s father); Laurel Edmonds.
The Kingdom of God is wonderful AND mysterious. This Lent one of the mysteries of God on my heart has been this: Christ in me … and me in Christ. Both are true, at the same time. But how can this be? A helpful passage for me is Paul’s explanation in chapter 8 of Romans of our union with God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ: “1There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit…. 9[Y]ou are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.” Romans 8:1-4, 9-11 (emphasis added). (Also see John 14:20-23.)
Easter at Providence! We celebrate the power of God over death in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and this year we enjoyed the Lord’s Supper as well. Pastor Karen Witt’s sermon reminded us, however, that the first followers of Jesus to experience the resurrection of Christ first had to suffer a crippling, blinding grief due to his brutal murder … and then were confronted with the unimaginable way in which God moved by raising Jesus from the dead. No wonder the women finding the empty tomb were left speechless! How is anyone supposed to act in the obvious presence of God? Jesus had spoken to his disciples of the Kingdom of God drawing near. And God speaks even today in the empty tomb with a love that will not be silenced or contained or stopped. Karen encouraged us to let that uncontainable love of God flow through us to touch a hungry, lonely, grief-stricken world. Listen to her sermon here.
PPC Sermon 4-5-15
The Saturday between Good Friday and Easter is a crucial in-between time when nothing appears to be happening … but important things actually do happen! We Christians cannot jump from Friday to Sunday, there must be Saturday! In the Jewish tradition, Saturday is the day of Sabbath rest, and even the dead body of Jesus rests on Saturday, waiting for His Father to act. The prophets gave voice to the hope in which Jesus himself lived (and died), and that we too can grasp. “After a day or two Yahweh will bring us back to life; on the third day God will raise us up, and we shall live in his presence.” Hosea 6:2. On Saturday we have faith … resurrection is coming!
14Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. He said to the Jews, “Here is your King!” 15They cried out, “Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!” Pilate asked them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but the emperor.” 16Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus; 17and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. 18There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. 19Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. 21Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written….” 28After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.” 29A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit…. 38After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. 39Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. 40They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. 41Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. 42And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
John 19:14-22, 28-30, 38-42