OGHS: Restoring Streets in Syria

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In 2012, civil war broke out in Syria, where ISIL’s presence continues to create violence and fear. More than 250,000 people have been killed, and 13.5 million others have had to leave their homes to seek safety in Lebanon, Europe, and the United States.

Thanks to our gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) was able to respond to this refugee crisis soon after it began. Working with churches in the region, primarily the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, PDA helps Syrian refugee children in Lebanon continue their education and provides refugee families food, shelter, and heating oil. Across the denomination, PDA assists efforts by congregations to resettle Syrian refugees. Their welcoming hands bear witness to our biblical imperative
to extend hospitality to the stranger and the foreigner.

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Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper!

IMG_0764Central Presbyterian Church’s Annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper is Tues. Februrary 28th at 5:30 pm! Bring the family for a heaping helping of Pancakes, Bacon, Sausage, and all the fixings! Then come back on Wednesday for our Ash Wednesday service at 5:30 pm. Begin Lent with Central Presbyterian Church!

Chili Bowl & Souper Bowl

2017_posterThe Men of the Church will be holding a Chili fundraiser on Saturday, Feb 4th, at 11 am. You can dine in or take one to go! Then, Sunday, Feb. 5th, we’ll be collecting canned goods and monetary donations for Neighbor to Neighbor of Pine Bluff during the annual Souper Bowl of Caring following worship! Thanks for supporting our church and we hope to see you there!

Welcome Pastor Jai Kwak!

14067973_10207133065154164_950544093235807198_oCentral Presbyterian Church is proud to announce Pastor Jai Kwak has accepted a call to join us as Pastor/Head of Staff. Pastor Jai arrives from Chattanooga, TN with his wife Young Ju Oh. They are parents of two sons, who are both currently attending college in Georgia.

Pastor Jai has served as a Trauma and Oncology chaplain, a staff chaplain at a long-term care facility, and an associate pastor of an immigrant church. Central Presbyterian is thrilled to welcome Pastor Jai and his family to Pine Bluff and can not wait to see where the Lord will lead us in the future!

The General Assembly

ga222-circle-colors-vector-smaller-border-300x292Every other year when Our General Assembly meets, it’s helpful to remind ourselves what it is. It’s helpful to remember, too, how we are organized. The Presbyterian Church, USA is a “representational” Church. We are not a “hierarchical” church where many key decisions are made by a bishop or a central body. We are not a “congregational” church, independent from all other congregations and church bodies,
making decisions that apply only to us.

  •  We follow a pattern we find in the Scriptures. We are led by “ruling elders,” elected by a congregation, and “teaching elders,” church pastors and others in different ministries.
  • A group of Presbyterian congregations in a geographical area is a “presbytery.” Central, Faith, and First here in Pine Bluff, along with almost 90 other congregations, are part of Arkansas
    Presbytery.
  •  Groups of Presbyteries in different regions of the country are called a “synod.” Presbyterians in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana, are in the Synod of the Sun.

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Cave Quest VBS is Coming Soon

imagegenGear up for an over-the-top underground adventure! We’ll be helping to ground kids in the rock-solid foundation of God’s Love, a love that takes us through life’s dark times. The Cave Quest VBS will be July 14 through 16th. Meals will be provided! We’ll have fun music, crafts, and a Bounce House on Saturday. An Adult Bible Study will also be held. Evening Classes will run from 5:30 p to 8:30 p. Saturday we’ll be starting at 9 am and ending at 3 pm. Download the official VBS apps from Google Play or the Apple App Store! We hope to see you there!

The Minute for Mission

stop-watch-icon-hiWe’ve traditionally used the PC(USA) Mission Yearbook for our “Minute for Mission” during worship each Sunday. But, some of you have had questions about it recently. Here is some of what we’ve heard:

  • “Why do we have a Minute for Mission every Sunday?”
  • “Why is it about people and places we don’t know about?”
  • “Why is it always a lot more than a minute?”

Those are the kinds of questions we pastor-types enjoy hearing. That means you’re taking worship seriously.

One of the ways we Presbyterians have talked about worship over the centuries is that “through the Word and Sacrament the church is empowered to serve God in the world.” Notice that last phrase: “to serve God in the world.” When we come together to worship it isn’t to hide out from a harsh world. We worship to give thanks for God’s presence in our lives and to help us see more clearly that God is active in our world. Worship will give us more commitment and energy to serve God beyond the church walls.

So, to make that part of our worship more clear and less boring, we’re going to be doing some things differently:

  • The Minute for Mission will be more focused, more clear, more condensed;
  • It will include more information about church mission in our community, our state, and our region, as well as the rest of the world;
  • It will help us learn more about how our mission dollars and other gifts are being used in the name of Jesus Christ to ease people’s burdens and give them hope;
  • It will challenge us to find ways to give thanks for God’s blessings to us by making gifts that will help others also experience God’s blessings.

We hope to see you Sunday!

Pentecost Sunday

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The First Third of Life, Your First Impression of the World

We all know the importance of a first impression. As kids, we all learned about strong handshakes and heard, “First impressions are the most lasting,” and “You don’t get a second chance at a first impression.”

Think of all the firsts in your life: your first best friend, your first day of school, your first car, your first job. And on a deeper level, your first understanding of family and your parents’ love, your first experience of God’s grace, your first connections with neighbors and your community.

Now, think of how all of those firsts played a part in who you are today—how you think and act, how you experience joy and hardship, and how you seek and understand God.

The vast majority of these experiences occur during “the first third of life”—the time from childhood through young adulthood when we all develop our first impressions of how the world works and how we fit into God’s plans for it.

The Pentecost Offering Is Your Chance to Help Make the Best Impression Possible
The ministries supported by the Pentecost Offering provide positive, faith-filled mentorship, experiences, and service—to support children, youth, and young adults as they grow and encourage them to consider what God has in store for their lives.

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