How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!
It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.
It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore. – Psalm 133
To me, unity among people is one of the most beautiful aspects of a positive, encouraging faith community.
This photograph of people receiving communion, with the font – representing baptism – in the foreground, speaks volumes to me. We are children of God together, sisters and brothers because of Jesus.
I have no interest in uniformity – that’s a whole other “check your brain at the door” idea – but unity in and around Jesus. This is why I enjoy being a part of The Presbytery of New Hope so much. To spend the day around several hundred people who represent literally scores of different opinions, ideas, points of view, nuances of theology and doctrine – and so much more – yet who love Jesus and are committed to the life and ministry of the church.
Tuesday we spent the day on the campus of Peace Presbyterian Church near Greenville. The order of the day was worship, workshops, and business. Again, the impression was one of vitality, passion for ministry, love for one another, and respect in talking about difficult issues.
The predominant conversation was around justice, and how we can better represent the love of Jesus for all people in and through the work of the church.
And of course I was proud of Rebekah, who helps lead the team that guides those called to ministry through the process of inquiry, candidacy, and preparation. She gave a “charge” to a candidate that was a powerful inspiration for the whole body.
Today’s photographs are a snapshot of the event. You will see the community at worship, the communion service, participants in the exchange of ideas, new ministers being welcomed, and the beautiful architecture of the Peace Presbyterian campus.
If you want the full picture, more than 100 will be posted at the Presbytery of New Hope website and Facebook page.
Peace, love, and continued blessings – Derek
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.