Presbyterians Today

FEB-MAR 2018

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Pr e s by te r i a n s To d ay | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018 5 'I found the face of Jesus' Reflections from a refugee camp By Lisa Culpepper Last summer, members of New Harmony Presbytery in South Carolina visited the Moria refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece, where more than 6,000 people fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and the Democratic Republic of Congo are crowded in a space meant for 2,000. The Rev. Dr. Lisa Culpepper of St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, Hemingway, South Carolina, was on that trip and shares her God moment. The camp in Moria, a former prison installation, is a setting of contrasts, where babies and barbed wire keep company together. During my time there, I served meals, monitored gates, assembled tents, processed paperwork, wiped away tears and listened to pleas for help. Moria was both the best place I had ever been and the worst place I could ever imagine. As each day passed, I reflected on the Jesus who came not for an eight-hour shift, but who came as one seeking asylum among us. I reflected upon the Word made flesh, who, for the joy set before him, endured the cross, despis- ing the shame of homelessness, sex trafficking, unemployment and poverty. One day among the tents, my new friend Afif asked me, "Why are you here?" I answered, "Because you are here." While I believed this answer to be true, I also knew I had come in desperate search of something I needed. There, among unforgiving barbed wire, I found that for which my heart had been yearning. At Moria, I found the face of Jesus. Look what's new: God Moments and more Presbyterians Today wants to share your God moments — those moments when you have seen God at work or have felt God's nudge leading you or your community to some amazing path or new ministry. Email your stories to editor@pcusa.org. Stories should be 200 to 300 words. Also new this year: • Encountering God in the Silenced — Presbyterians Today's first bilingual column • Thinking Small — Challenges and blessings of small-church ministry • Exploring Our Differences — A forum in which to begin exploring tough issues • Church Matters — All things church-related • Moved by the Spirit — Stories of God's Spirit at work • Just Living — Servants advocating for a just world 'Unplugging' for Lent Last year during Lent, the Presbyterian Church of Chestertown, Maryland, invited its congregation to unplug from technology and to build relationships the old-fashioned way — by visiting friends, holding a game night, sharing a dinner. Other ideas that associ- ate pastor Caitlan Quinn Gartland offered were to pray, read Scripture, take a walk, nap or watch the sunrise or sunset. Unplugging for Lent coincided with the National Day of Unplugging, a movement that began in 2003. This year's National Day of Unplugging is set for March 9–10. Learn more at nationaldayofunplugging.com. Culpepper shares one of her many sketches from inside the Moria refugee camp. PC(USA) Snapshot Source: Religious and Demographic Profile of Presbyterians, 2015: Findings from the Initial Survey of the 2015–2017 Presbyterian Panel. Louisville, KY, 2017. Graphic by Jeffrey Lawrence 78% of Presbyterians pray privately daily or several times a week. Some other spiritual practices done as often: • Read the Bible privately — 37% • Read devotional materials — 30% • Say grace before meals — 55%

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