In today’s ever-evolving culture, it is important that churches develop creative and comprehensive annual stewardship programs that reach across all generations and utilize a variety of communication approaches. I look forward to being with you and participating in an interactive workshop that explores how sharing your vision, using storytelling and creating a year-long stewardship emphasis can build a spiritually-based culture of generosity in the local church. I am available for individual consultation with churches that want to build a culture of generosity.
September 21, 2019
8:30am - 12:30pm
(lunch is provided)
Rev. Dr. Hagan works with pastors and church leaders to cultivate generosity and promote stewardship within their congregations. He also meets with donors to assist them in making gifts to support their church and other ministries. Before joining the Foundation, Rob was serving as Pastor and Head of Staff at Kennewick First Presbyterian Church in Kennewick, Washington since 1990.Previously, he served in various roles at Calvary Presbyterian Church in Fresno, California, Glenkirk Presbyterian Church in Glendora, California, and Valley Community Presbyterian Church in Raleigh Hills, Oregon.
Lessons from a Good Samaritan
While delivering supplies in April for the upcoming Presbytery meeting at church, I ran outside to get another load from my car. As the door closed with a fateful click, I realized that I had left my purse, keys, and cell phone in the church. Oh NO! I walked around the outside of the building checking every door (and there were several) hoping maybe one had been left unlocked. NO such Luck! I looked over at St Stephens and saw no cars around there so I figured no one was probably there either. I remembered the Loaf & Jug just across Wyoming Blvd and figured, if nothing else, maybe I could use a phone there. When I got to the convenience store, there was a young woman at the check out counter chatting with the Cashier. The store’s phone rang, and while the cashier was talking on the phone, the woman looked at me and smiled. “Do you happen to have a phone with you?” I asked. “Yes, I do. Do you need to use it?” I told her the story of the locking door and my keys and purse and cell phone. After I used her phone to leave a voice message for my husband, the woman asked if she could give me a ride somewhere. I felt bad for being such an imposition, and she saw my dilemma and my need. “Really it’s not a problem.. I’d be happy to give you a ride.” She said she just lived across the street, and she would drop off her dogs and return for me. As she walked out the door, she turned around and said, “If you don’t mind dogs, you are welcome to come with me. It will only take a minute.” I told her I like dogs so yes I would go with her, so I got into the car with her and her two beautiful, friendly, and very large dogs. As we passed the church, I told her that was where I went to church, and where my keys, purse, and phone were.
As she arrived at her apartment complex, I recognized it as the new low-income housing that was causing such a stir among some people. I told her it looked like a very nice place, and she agreed and told me how she likes living there. She told me that although the apartments were for low income families, her fiance was a quadriplegic and that was how they qualified. I felt like she carried the same stigma I had growing up in North Casper, the feeling of inadequacy that so often accompanies not being a person of means. I invited her to join us for worship at Shepherd, that our Pastor is an absolutely wonderful person and that she and her fiance’ would be warmly welcomed there. It did not take long for me to realize that God put me in that young lady’s car that day. The ride from Shepherd to my house is seven minutes.
After arriving home my husband showed up within just a few minutes. I told him about my experience and he agreed that there was a reason I was locked out of the Church that day. As he was driving me to the church to pick up my car, we talked about this profound experience and I told him I really felt that God was trying to tell me something. We talked about how it would be great if we had a picnic and invited the people from there. I later spoke to Lynn about my belief that God was speaking to Shepherd through me, that we should reach out to our neighbors. Perhaps through a barbeque or some activity we could reach out to our new neighbors across the street.
And so, here we are.
It is hard not to believe in miracles when I think of the improbable events that led us to this point. That I would grow up in North Casper, where the “poor” people – “those people” – live. That I would grow up in Winter Memorial Presbyterian Church, and had the benefit of some of the most wonderful clergy that a church could have. That I would have found my way to Shepherd of the Hills, and that I would overhear comments about low income housing that made me relive the pain once felt by this girl from North Casper. That I would find healing through Lynn and other wonderful people, and become an active member of our community. That I would be unloading supplies and lock my keys and phone and purse in the kitchen, and I would remember the Loaf and Jug and happen to walk in at the moment a person happened to call. That this wonderful person offered me a phone to call and to give me a ride to more comfortable surroundings at home, and we would have a chance to talk just a little longer.
As we learned early in Bible study, God has spoken to us through burning bushes and thundering voices from the clouds. We also learned that He has also used angels, disguised as humble strangers, to deliver powerful messages to humanity. Perhaps our new neighbors are these humble strangers we need to listen to.
I am forever grateful to my Good Samaritan not just for rescuing me from a problem one day but for opening my eyes and giving me a life full of lessons to learn.
submitted by Sandra Turner, Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian, Casper
September Presbytery Meeting
Friday, September 27, at Guernsey United Presbyterian Church
Saturday, September 28, at Community Presbyterian Church in Ft. Laramie
The program for the meeting will begin on Friday morning with Jason Moore of Midnight Oil Productions. Jason was with us at the April meeting and gave a presentation on creative worship. This time his presentation will be on how churches can become places of welcome and hospitality.
On Friday afternoon, Elizabeth Thompson, a consultant and coach with Eremos Consulting Group in Denver, will lead us in boundary training. Please note: This training is required for all pastors and CREs.
Presbytery business will include:
A vote to extend the call to Rev. Kellie Thomson as Stated Clerk
Election of a new Presbytery Moderator and Committee Members
Welcoming Rev. Michelle Bacon as Pastor at Laramie United Presbyterian Church
Welcoming Rev. Karl Heimbuck as Pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Sheridan
Receiving and considering a report from the Camp Story Review Committee
An exploration of a Proposed Rule of Life for the Presbytery – practices that all committees and meeting would engage in- will be proposed.
Report from Triennium 2019
Celebrate Presbytery of Wyoming! July 15-20, 27 youth and 4 adults participated in the Presbyterian Youth Triennium. It was amazing and extremely hot and humid time. What a week of transformation and community! Co-Moderator of the General Assembly Vilmarie Cintron-Olivieri sent the following text to General Presbyter Steve Shive:
Hey Steve! Vilmarie here. I served un Triennium as a small group leader and one of your Wyoming youth was in one of my small groups: ....What a great person! I also had a chance to meet some of the other young people from the delegation. They are amazing young people! I hope they continue to nurture their faith. Just wanted you to knowing. Blessings, my brother.
Rev Sara Shields and the Evanston and Mountain View churches as she begins as their pastor
Sara Shields upon the death of her mother, Saralee Shields, on Monday, August 5th.
The Presbytery as it learns to go into its neighborhoods
Peace in Syria, Palestine and Israel.
Libby Tedder-Hugus and Shayla Graham as they lead pioneering work in the New Worshipping Communities in Casper and Pine Ridge!
Rev. Shayla Graham, pastor at Pine Ridge New Worshipping Community, for healing of the seventh cranium nerve after her surgery to remove a tumor on her auditory nerve.
The United Presbyterian Church of Riverton as they discern a way forward.
Rev. George Pasek and the Powell Church as he serves as their Interim Pastor.
Community Federated Church, Thermopolis, as they begin the call process for a new pastor.
Rev. Amir Issak and the Tyre Evangelical Center as they live out the love of neighbor among the many refugees in their community!
The Worland Church as they have pulpit supply this summer and as they discern what kind of pastoral leadership they need for the future.
Community Federated Church, Thermopolis, Union Presbyterian Church, Powell and Star Valley Community Church, Thayne as their Pastoral Nominating Committees continue their Mission Study and begin to compile their Ministry Information Form.
Rev. Michelle Bacon and United Presbyterian, Laramie as she begins as their pastor on August 12th and preaches and leads worship on August 18th.
Rev. Karl Heimbuck and First Presbyterian, Sheridan as he begins as their pastor on Sunday, August 1st.
Dan Weisshaar, son of Trenda, our Treasurer, who is having heart surgery on Friday, August 9. Prayers for Trenda are appreciated as well as she will be in Washington, DC with him.