“Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.” – Proverbs 16:31
“Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.” – Job 12:12
“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31
One of the variety of hats I wear professionally is that of official photographer for the Presbytery of New Hope. The work is a challenge for me to pull off, but I really do enjoy the opportunity to look at events from a different perspective, and – thus far – everybody has been pleased with the results.
When I wrote for the United Methodist News Service I got in trouble for “scooping” stories in my blog! But my agreement with New Hope allows me to retain both ownership and first rights to all the images, so there’s no restriction on sharing. In fact, the sentiment is quite the opposite, because any publicity regarding the good work and ongoing mission of the greater church is win-win for everyone involved.
PHOTO-SHOOT: So Sunday afternoon I zoom-zoomed my Golf TDi over to First Presbyterian in Rocky Mount, to document the Presbytery’s Service of Recognition for Outstanding Older Adults. 62 faithful followers of Jesus from more than 50 congregations were honored, and the sanctuary, along with the overflow annex, was bursting at the seams with hundreds of enthusiastic, grateful Presbyterian disciples.
They came from towns I know well – like Raleigh and Durham, from places I know of – such as Smithfield and Greenville, and places I didn’t even know exist – including Hurdle Mills, Four Oaks, Leggett, Willow Spring, and many more. They were supported by their families, their friends, their pastors, and their communities.
What impressed me most was the joy and celebration from the honorees themselves, people who have always seen their hard work and commitment as opportunity and privilege. There’s no sense of obligation when it comes to following Jesus in the service of others, just an obvious response to the imperative of love that defines God’s goodness, mercy, and grace.
I’m preparing a Powerpoint for the Presbytery website that will post later this week. For now, here are a handful of the best photos that help tell the story of what is really going on in the church – people serving God and one-another.
(Here are a handful of the best pictures that tell the story:)
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.