Presbyterians Today

AUG-SEP 2018

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Pr e s by te r i a n s To d ay | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2018 11 to immigration facts, lawyers, and ways to help and ways to receive help. An active, updated website with online giving is a must. It is cheaper and easier than you think. PT: Any final words of advice? Hegar: Be in prayer. Ask Jesus through the Holy Spirit to use you. Empty your wills to fulfill the needs of God's people with the gifts you have to offer. To co-opt Frederick Buechner's words, "Your gifts and the world's need intersect, forming a cross." Pray for that to happen. What Presbyterians are saying Baptism is the ultimate anti-separation policy. As members of God's family, we belong, body and soul, to God. Nothing and no one can ever separate us from God's love in Christ. —Associate Pastor Kaci Clark-Porter, First & Central Presbyterian Church, Wilmington, Delaware Repurposing a pulpit Shortly after the Rev. Gusti Linnea Newquist arrived at First United Presbyterian Church in Troy, New York, she realized that major changes were ahead. Among those changes for the congregation was her habit of coming down from behind the pulpit on a Sunday morning and preaching from the floor of the sanctuary. As she continued this preaching style, the ornate wooden pulpit, once the focal point of a preach- er's sermon, was gradually pushed to the side. In 2017, as renovations began in the sanctuary, the congregation wanted to ensure that the pulpit, which was a gift to the church in 1901, was in a home where it would continue to be used. The city of Troy was approached to see if the municipal building could use the pulpit. The answer was "yes." Project "Repurpose the Pulpit" quickly became a collaborative effort, with the local Commission on Economic Opportunity's YouthBuild program, which provides vocational training for young people, lending a hand. The project involved removing, redesigning and replacing the upper portion of the dais. Added to the newly restored pulpit was a mahogany city seal carved by a local carpenter. When asked why First United would let go of a still-sturdy pulpit, Newquist said, "Because Jesus is on the loose — and the Sunday sermon is a conversation, not just a proclamation." She added, "Now may all the prophetic sermons that have been preached from this pulpit seep into the fabric of city government." Troy, New York, Mayor Patrick Madden welcomes members of First United Presbyterian Church and the YouthBuild program to unveil the new podium at City Hall. COURTESY OF FIRST UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH ELLEN OILER

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