The church’s one Foundation
is Jesus Christ her Lord;
she is His new creation,
by water and the Word;
from heav’n He came and sought her
to be His holy bride;
with His own blood He bought her,
and for her life He died.
I’m not sure if the planning was deliberate, but the timing of yesterday’s meeting of New Hope Presbytery could not have been better. Reformation weekend, the 500th anniversary, and our Presbytery gathered together to spend the entire day testifying to the power of grace, and reformation, and new life in Jesus.
The day was a huge and an undeniably positive answer to my question in yesterday’s post, “Is the Reformation still alive?”
You should hear these pastors and elders sing! You should listen to the stories they share about what God is up to in the churches! You should hear the passion in the voices of young adults answering the call into ministry! You should listen to them pray! You should see the tears in their eyes as they talk about the goodness of God and the power of the gospel to transform lives!
I’m working at these Presbytery events, running all over the place with my Nikon and taking photographs, but when communion is served I pause and join the crowd in line to receive the bread and the wine. Somehow, making that transition is always deeply emotional for me. It may be the sheer weight, the gravitas, of spiritual depth and energy in the sanctuary. It may simply be the undeniable reality of what I am doing when I turn intentionally toward God. Whatever it is it is real, and I am full with the truth of God.
There are way too many photographs in this slideshow, but they tell the story so eloquently and I want to share them with you.
This is the real thing, friends! God is at work in the Presbytery of New Hope, and we all stand as witnesses to this great joy!
(a few of my photos Saturday, from First Presbyterian Church of Goldsboro)
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.