Welcome!

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.

Enlightened Eyes of the Heart

May 17 is Ascension of the Lord Sunday in our lectionary.  We recall Jesus’ time with his disciples after his resurrection, his promise to them of a Comforter, the Holy Spirit, and his ascension into heaven.  Acts 1:1-11.  Pastor Karen Witt’s May 17 sermon weaves the Acts passage with a heartfelt prayer of the apostle Paul:  “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.  I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.”  Ephesians 1:17-20.  You can hear Karen’s lovely, hopeful sermon here.

PPC Sermon 5-17-15

Onto Perfection

Passages from one of yesterday’s lectionary readings and an insightful devotional series gave me a sense of calm assurance in a storm.  From Hebrews 6:1-3:  “Therefore let us go on toward perfection, leaving behind the basic teaching about Christ, and not laying again the foundation:  repentance from dead works and faith toward God, instruction about baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.  And we will do this, if God permits.”  Having a strong foundation for our faith (leaving behind “dead works,” faith in God, baptism as union with Christ, prayer, hope for resurrection), what is it the author(s) of Hebrews would have us do?  Or, perhaps the better question is, how do we permit God to do it for us?  Today I am thinking it might be something along these lines:  “the counter-intuitive nature of the Jesus-journey shows it is not at all about getting, attaining, achieving, performing, or succeeding (all of which tend to pander to the ego).  Jesus’ spirituality is much more about letting go of what we do not need anyway…  Jesus taught us the way of descent, which we later called ‘the way of the cross’…  [L]ive a simple life … a life lived in constant presence to what [is] right in front of [us] … an always present doorway to the divine…  [I]ntegrate the negative — forgiving and accepting the imperfection and woundedness of life.  [As Paul wrote] the supposed inferior or weakest are, in fact, ‘the most indispensable.'”  (Excerpted from Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation, “A Spirituality of Subtraction” (May 18, 2015).)

To God be the glory.  May we grasp hold of and share with the world His love that is “right in front of us.”

From Whom All Blessings Flow

Mother's Day Flowers

Mother’s Day!  Hospitality Committee elder Lisa Houlgrave blessed all of Providence’s mothers with a beautiful corsage, and Pastor Karen Witt evoked a vivid picture of God as our heavenly Mother (as well as our Father) with her moving sermon.  “Can a mother forget the infant at her breast, or walk away from the baby she bore?  But even if mothers forget, I’d never forget you — never.  Look, I’ve written your names on the backs of my hands.”  Isaiah 49:15-16 (The Message).  Listen here to Karen’s sermon … and say a prayer of thanks for our mothers … and for our God!

PPC Sermon 5-10-15

God on the Loose!

The story in Acts of Philip giving his testimony about Christ to the Ethiopian eunuch was the inspiration for Pastor Karen Witt’s sermon on May 3.  Acts 8:26-40.  Not only did the Holy Spirit move Philip (in every way) to witness, but God included in this new community an unclean outsider (the eunuch), showing that all are invited through Jesus to God’s Kingdom.  You can hear Pastor Karen’s sermon here.

PPC Sermon 5-3-15

The Good Shepherd’s Prayer

It is helpful to be reminded on occasion that our Lord Jesus was a Jew who was shaped in the Jewish tradition and steeped in the words of the Hebrew scriptures.  Among the most beloved of those scriptures is Psalm 23.  It is easy to imagine Jesus praying to His Father using the words and images of the psalm.  In John’s gospel Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep….  I know my sheep and my sheep know me — just as the Father knows me and I know the Father — and I lay down my life for the sheep.  I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen.  I must bring them also.  They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.”  John 10:11, 14-16.  With congregational participation, Pastor Karen Witt preached on April 26 about the good shepherd’s prayer to His Father through the words and images of Psalm 23.  Her lovely, moving sermon is at this link.

PPC Sermon 4-26-15

Response to Earthquake in Nepal

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) enables congregations and mission partners of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to witness to the healing love of Christ by caring for communities adversely affected by crisis and catastrophic event.  PDA is reaching out to the Presbyteries concerning ways in which Presbyterians can assist our brothers and sisters in the incredible earthquake in Nepal.  The devastation from the news reports is overwhelming.  However, there is hope, and PDA is a great way to participate and contribute.  PDA encourages Presbyterians (and all followers of Christ) to pray, to act and to give.  Donations to PDA can be made through the Presbytery of the James or on-line.  A link to the on-line donation page is available here.  http://www.presbyterianmission.org/donate/make-a-gift/gift-info/DR000148/

Donations by mail can be made to this address:

PRESBYTERY OF THE JAMES
NEPAL DR999999
3218 Chamberlayne Avenue
Richmond, Virginia 23227

Presbyterian Frontier Fellowship

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!