Presbyterians Today

APR-MAY 2018

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PC(USA) Snapshot Pr e s by te r i a n s To d ay | APRIL/MAY 2018 5 Did you know? Presbyterian Publishing Corp. recently launched Flyaway Books, a children's book imprint dedicated to creating titles to inspire the next generation to "fly." The new imprint will offer books that incorporate themes of diversity, inclusion, self-esteem, kindness, compassion and care for our world. Many of the books will help children understand today's most pressing social issues, and the books will be intentionally multi- cultural in their artwork and characters. The first two books to carry the new Flyaway Books logo will be released in May. Visit flyawaybooks.com for more information. What Presbyterians are saying The single greatest challenge that we face is making sure we hand over to our children and grandchildren a natural world that will sustain their lives and the lives of all creatures. We can't save the world in the abstract. What we can do is to preserve and protect our commu- nity most effectively. — The Rev. Stuart Taylor at the launch of the 2017 Earth Day Festival organized by Elkin Presbyterian Church, Elkin, North Carolina. The church is holding the festival again this year. Comfort in Communion A special-needs child leads the way By Katy Stenta He looks me right in the eye, holding his cup in front of him all aquiver. Westley has been waiting — and waiting — for the moment when we all drink the grape juice, the blood of Jesus Christ, together. Westley has autism and ADHD. Seven years old, he is more or less nonverbal. He loves church, though. He loves the ritual, the predictability, the music and the prayers. Sensory seeking, he delights in the rich experiences of church. But more than that, Westley loves the community. When he is in church, he knows the simple truth: He is loved. This is why, even on his difficult days, Westley wants to stay in worship. It's the only hour he isn't seeking screen time to ease his anxiety. It's the only time he doesn't walk in soothing circles. Communion is his favorite part of church. He takes the crumb of bread just like everyone else. And while we might be distracted by to-do lists and feelings of unworthiness, Westley isn't. He is communing with God, the people and the messy drops of juice. By watching Westley, we all get to taste God and commu- nity with him. Katy Stenta is pastor of New Covenant Presbyterian Church in Albany, New York. She has started a new worshiping commu- nity for special-needs children, adults and their families called TrailPraisers. Source: Pew Research Center, May 12, 2015, "America's Changing Religious Landscape." Graphic by Jeffrey Lawrence Right and wrong: Sources of guidance on ethics and morality among Presbyterians 29% Religion 49% Common Sense 12% Philosophy 7% Science 4% Don't know The Rev. Katy Stenta's son, Westley, has opened her eyes not only to the holy in the time of celebrating Communion. Westley has inspired her to create a new worshiping community for children and adults with special needs. KATY STENTA Have a God moment? Presbyterians Today would like to hear from you. Send stories, 300-400 words, to editor@pcusa.org. PC(USA Snapshot

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