Friday, May 16, 2008

Appalachia/environment discussion

Ada Asenjo
Becca Barnes-Davies
Stew Bridgman, Sr.
Katherine Futrell
Barbara Hedspeth
Luke Hemming
Amy Linfield
Ken Linfield
Mary Love
Andrea Trautwein

The Appalachia/Environment discussion began with sharing information about the Appalachia region, the impact of mountaintop removal on the area and a review of the Stream Saver Bill. The group agreed that there needs to be constant pressure on the government, continually lobbying and writing to make these election issues.

We need to make a direct connection between MTR and the personal use of electricity. We need to educate ourselves and others regarding the consumption of power from a coal burning power plant. We hope to find a tangible measure of energy saving habits and then demonstrate that to the congregation (i.e.: switching to mini fluorescent light bulbs = saved energy = this much coal not used …). We need to find and use sustainable energy. We would like to have bulletin and newsletter updates about our church’s progress in its efforts to save.

We also discussed creating a program for children about saving energy and encourage them to motivate their parents and other adults.

-- Andrea Trautwein

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Farmers, farm workers, & food consumers conversation

Participants: Ana Lara, Marianne Booth, Jo Ella Holman, Jen Tamborski, Andrew Black, Jeff Gilbert, Stewart Bridgman, Stephen Bartlett (facilitator), Andrew Kang Bartlett (notetaker)

Stephen gave a brief history of recent and ongoing work that CHPC has been involved with:

1) Hosting of Coalition of Immokalee Workers and support of there advocacy efforts with fast food corporations
2) CHPC Community Garden – Summer Gardening Camp is in its 6th year this summer with 4 weeks of camp. All weeks are full for June. One participant came up with a “Our Garden Camp is a Growing Thing” phrase for a possible t-shirt. The need for an descriptive wood sign for the garden was mentioned.
3) A few CHPC folk are members of the Community Farm Alliance (CFA).
• CFA has started a farmers market at Victory Park in west Louisville, which needs support and involvement of volunteers.
• One challenge for them is getting more youth involved.
• CFA advocacy efforts include pushing Metro to in-act a buy local policy. The platform also includes asking for a subsidies program ($100K) to provide incentives to some of the 67 corner stores in west Louisville to stock fresh, healthy foods. They are also pushing for Metro money to create a Community Kitchen.
• This spurred conversation about the merits of having one big Community Kitchen or many smaller kitchens spread around the city and taking advantage of the facilities in existing churches and other institutions. We wondered whether United Crescent Hill Ministries might be one such place. We also thought it would make sense to consider upgrading the CHPC kitchen if remodeling is done on our buildings to certification standards for community kitchen purposes. Talk of cooking and nutrition classes.

Then, we went around the circle and introduced ourselves and spoke briefly about our interest and involvement in these issues – why we came to this breakout group.
• Jo Ella was a CFA member in North Carolina years ago and has been hearing about what CFA is trying to do in the West end.
• Jen is moving to Florida and wants to keep working in support of Committee of Immokalee Workers
• Andrew Black will be the Associate Director of Religious Live at Eckerd College and plans to bring these issues to the college
• Jeff talked about the need to think about local activities also as mission
• Lowell said something funny
• Andrew Kang Bartlett is also a member of CFA and works on these issues at work, so likes the idea of working on them here in Louisville
• Stewart worked on the organic garden at Warren Wilson College and has agarden in backyard
• Ana wants to do volunteer work and is interested in local, fresh foods
• Marianne is a avid new gardener and was THRILLED with her first tomatoes and likes sharing gardening with her grandchildren

Other Louisville initiatives include the farmers’-owned local local foods distribution business called Grasshopper at 18th and Main Street; growing new farmers, transitioning mostly former tobacco farmers to become direct marking farmers; and more people growing their own food in community gardens and at home.

There seemed to be most energy around linking with churches in the west end and supporting the Victory Park Farmers Market, the community kitchen idea, and also checking out Stephen’s new curriculum on this stuff.

We decided to stay in touch on these issues via email and others are welcome to get in on that loop. It was suggested to put a summary of our activities in the church newsletter and on the web site along with opportunities for people to become involved. Stephen said he would write up something describing opportunities, and an email list was circulated. Stephen invited people to volunteer for the Gardening Camp that takes place for four week-long sessions in June.

-- Andrew Kang Bartlett

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Presbyterian mission co-workers conversation

Present: Bob and Wanda Abrams, Larry Ann Bridgeman, Gail Bingham, Sally Pendleton, Bill Gee, Peter Kemmerle (scribe).

Most of the people present have had serious experience with PC(USA)’s mission sending work: Larry Ann and Stu Bridgeman were mission co-workers in Taiwan and in Bangladesh. Bob and Wanda were mission co-workers in India. Bill Gee worked for the General Assembly Council as a photographer, videographer, and video producer and has traveled the world photographing mission co-workers. Gail Bingham works with mission workers doing health ministries. Peter K was missionary in Brazil from 1989 to 1995 and since 1995 has worked for GAC helping mission workers tell their story.

Bob presents information about CHPC-related mission co-workers.

CHPC members who are mission co-workers: Jeff and Christi Boyd, Ruth Farrell, Tricia Lloyd Sidle (clergy member), Dorothy Hanson, John Strong, Bruce and Lora Whearty, Irene and Michael Sivalee, Nancy Collins. Bob says that that he has known Irene Sivalee since she was a “mish kid.”

It’s noted that the Furlough Home at LPTS has contributed greatly to the forging of links between mission workers and CHPC.

The question is: As a first step, “How can we enhance our relationship with our mission co-workers?” (The second step is implicit: “How can we prepare ourselves to be led and informed by our mission co-workers to become more deeply involved in servicing the needs of the world, with which the mission co-workers are more experienced and knowledgeable?”)

Bill Gee wants to know if we are still supporting the work that the Farrells were doing in Peru? Bob clarifies that funds for their ministry was not in our budget, but we’ve always sold the handicrafts made by the Peruvian artisans who Ruth worked with.

Gail explains that she works with the International Health Ministries Office of Presbyterian World Ministries. She suggests that we take advantage of email and write them encouraging emails—let them know that we care, that we’re interested, that we’re praying for them. During our correspondence we shouldn’t make too many demands. We should write regularly but briefly. Gail has talked to many mission workers who have told her how much they appreciate their service. She cautions against offering to send equipment, which can be costly and be more work and expense than its worth.

Sally suggests that we provide a link from the CHPC Web site to the missionconnections Web site, which is at

Wanda remembers the days in the 1950s when women used to send birthday greetings to the missionaries and their children. This ministry seemed to be well appreciated by the missionaries and their families. Birthdays of all mission workers and their children are available on the Web at the Mission Connections site.

Larry Ann recalls how grateful she was when she’d get a magazine that someone would send. She recalls one time she was home alone with nothing to read and had to take to reading cereal boxes.

Peter K recalls how encouraging it was when people wrote to him and showed genuine interest in what he was doing.

Bill Gee wonders about the new way the denomination seems to be putting in place of funding missionaries, that is, requiring missionaries to be much more involved in the raising of funds? How does that effect us? Bob says it’s unfortunate that missionaries are now having to be more active in raising funds. Bob regrets that the old culture is gone and now missionaries have to plead for money.

Bill suggests that maybe we should give more money.

Larry Ann cautions against this because it can favor missionaries who are good speakers and not necessarily good mission workers.

Bob praises the Mission Connections Web site, says it’s by far the best resource for finding out who is doing what where.

Sally suggests that an effective way to help would be simple to ask straightforwardly of the missionaries, ”What would you like from us?”

Bob cautions that we shouldn’t expect immediate or detailed replies to our inquiries because sometimes missionaries are too busy to write detailed responses to everyone who writes them.

Peter K shares how important it is for missionaries to have the chance to tell their story, to share the burden of being a witness to poverty and oppression.

Sally lived in the Philippines. Her dad was in the State Department. She lived in Manila. She recounts to us what a a great time she had sharing with Mary Nebelsick (PC(USA) missionary in Philippines) over Christmas.

Wanda says that the Whearty girls will need household utensils this year because they’ll be living together in an apartment while their parents are serving in Ethiopia. We should keep in touch with them to let them know that we’re still their part of their community. This will ease the Wheartys’ minds.

-- Peter Kemmerle

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Louisville/Kentuckiana mission conversation

Izzy [Jones] gave some information on what CHPC is already doing.

Presbyterian Community Center
• CHPC serves meals at the Kids CafĂ© the third Tuesday of each month.
• PCC needs more tutors.

United Crescent Hill Ministries
• One Monday per month during the school year a group serves a meal.
• UCHM also has a senior program.

Habitat for Humanity
• One Friday and Saturday a month, three people each day are needed to volunteer.
• Sometimes difficult to find volunteers. Maybe this is not what we should be doing now.
• May 16 and 17, CHPC taking lunch to those working on the house.
• The old guys really know what they are doing.
• Habitat for Humanity gives lessons on how to handle money.
• Houses are not given to people.

• CHPC sells fair-trade coffee.
• CHPC Mother’s Day cards.

Comments and Suggestions from the Group

• We need to hear more about organizations (PCC, UCHM, and Habitat).
o Have directors come to CHPC and discuss what is going on, and what they are doing.
o Give directors sermon time.
o Will get best audience if directors speak during service rather than afterwards.
• Move beyond organizations and build relationships.
o Maybe partnership with another faith community – maybe from South Louisville.
o Do this as a congregation and/or one on one.
• Meals.
• Involved with Cottage Suppers.
• Work together on local mission.
• Work together on local social justice issues (new munitions depot).
• Joint worship service a couple of times a year.
• Once at CHPC.
• Once at other congregation’s worship space.
• Or at a neutral location (such as the zoo).
o Maybe joint service with the congregation worshiping in our building Sunday evenings.
• Don’t want all CHPC members to just show up one Sunday evening and scare the other congregation.
• Maybe joint dinner with the other congregation followed by attending the worship service.
o We don’t know what fruits will be born from building relationships.
o Find out what other churches associated with UCHM are dong and attach ourselves to their mission projects.
o Make sure to involve children and youth in such activities.
o Talk with presbytery to see if they have model for churches in partnership.
o Talk with Kentucky Association of Churches for model of churches in partnership.
o Talk with CHPC members who work at other united ministries about possible church connections.
o Members of St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church were in Washington, D.C. lobbying and joined up with CHPC people there. Worked well together.
o When looking for partnership, do we want to stay within the “church” [within Protestant denominations or Christian faith] or go outside?

-- Dave Bush

Friday, April 11, 2008

CHPC Mission Co-Workers

Furlough Home (pictured above), Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the Presbyterian Center have been sources for Crescent Hill Presbyterian Church relationships with mission co-workers. When people arrive in Louisville on assignment, CHPC members in the Center invite them to attend worship, which has then developed into a more lasting relationship. In addition to prayer support,

CHPC sends annual financial support to each person.

Several co-workers are members of CHPC: Christi, Jeff, Matthias, Salome and Naomi Boyd; Hunter (clergy member), Ruth, Ndaya, Billie and Andrew Farrell; Dorothy Hanson; Tricia (clergy) Elena and Sam Lloyd-Sidle; John Strong; Bruce, Lora, Kinsey and Emily Whearty.

Christi and Jeff Boyd with their children Matthias, Salome and Naomi returned from the Congo and came to us from the Furlough Home. They transferred membership to CHPC and when they left for another term in Cameroon, CHPC shared support for them.

Rev. Tricia Lloyd-Sidle. Coordinator for Cuba, came from the Center. She, husband Phil, children Elena and Sam had served in Ecuador. Phil is now pastor of nearby James Lees Presbyterian Church and when Tricia was re-assigned as a mission co-worker to Cuba, part of her support came from CHPC.

John Strong was already a CHPC member when he married Kim who had been serving in China. Together, they serve as mission c-workers in Hong King with their son Ben.

Rev. Michael and Irene Sivalee, of Brazil came from the Furlough Home to CHPC when invited by former Brazil co-workers, Peter Kemmerle and Maria Arroyo. Irene is a "mish kid" whose parents served in Brazil. I had the privilege of working in campus ministry in Oxford, Ohio with her father during a furlough, when she was a little girl.

Nancy Collins and son Charles also came from the Furlough Home while preparing for another term in Egypt. Her work with CEOSS, the social outreach agency of our partner Coptic Evangelical Church, provides literacy training along with skill training and health care.

Ruth Farrell and husband ,Rev. Hunter, served in Peru after years in the Congo. Children Ndaya, Billie, and Andrew assisted with children's work in the Andes mountains. Ruth is now "missionary-in-residence" and Hunter has moved from mission co-worker to Director of World Mission.

Dorothy Hanson was on the Center staff when she began worshiping at CHPC. As a "mish kid" in Ethiopia she accepted a call to serve there again, as part of the PC USA effort to prevent the spread of AIDS.

Bruce and Lora Whearty, and their daughters Kinsey and Emily, came from a term in the South Pacific island of Vanuatu to the Furlough Home, and to CHPC. All have joined as church members, active in the choir, as Session members and committee members. Lora is missionary-in-residence at the Center while Bruce will soon complete an advanced degree in education. Both daughters are enrolled at the University of Louisville and will stay in Louisville while Bruce and Lora leave in August for a new assignment in Ethiopia.

(The "Presbyterian Mission Co-Workers from Our Congregation" link, to the right, i connected to the church Web page with pictures of most of these folks.)

We are grateful for the faithful witness and courageous work these servants of Christ provide to people in need of Christ's love in their lives. Thanks are also given to Peter Kemmerle and Maria Arroyo who completed service in Brazil and to Ben and Shannon Langley for their term of service in the Dominican Republic.

-- Bob Abrams

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Louisville/Kentuckiana (and elsewhere)

In our own town, Crescent Hill members and friends have helped build Presbyterian House (house currently under construction pictured above) each year for 8 or 9 years (with 12 other churches)! We work with the partner-families to put up the frames, put on the roof, nail up blue board, insulation, siding, doors, windows, painting, whatever job we're taught to do, we do our best....----and by the grace of God, Presbyterian House gets built each year and is dedicated and celebrated by the family who works so hard to buy and build it -- and by the people who help them. We work 1 or 2 weekends a month for about 4 months (as a church).

At the Presbyterian Community Center we do several different jobs. Two of us go to a liaison idea time at the center with other Pres churches to see how we can best be helpful. A group goes down on 3rd Tues. to serve Kids' Cafe to any children who come in from the community--about 60-80 children (or sometimes even more) each time. We've been doing this for 5-6 years. Others of us work as tutors to the children and still others work to help neighborhood families do their tax returns.

At United Crescent Hill Area Ministries we serve Kids' Cafe dinners to a much smaller group of children on 1st Mon. of the month. Several of our members have served on the board Some have helped with the very active Senior Citizens group.

Some members of the church take the many warm coats, scarves, caps, gloves, and backpacks that we all bring to church, down to the Homeless Coalition.

One church member started a church garden (with the help of another member), on a plot in the back yard of the church and invites children (ages --to--) to come to Garden Camp. Children who wouldn't otherwise have opportunity to learn about growing one's own food, making meals, and canning salsa from it, are invited and transportation provided.

In our Gathering Room at the entrance to the sanctuary, we have a cabinet that holds many delicious coffees, teas, cocoas and cooking chocolate from Equal Exchange which we love to buy in aid of the Presbyterian Coffee project.

In the spring we sell the Mothers' Day cards from the Presbyterian Network program in order to buy treated mosquito nets for women and babies in Malawi to save their lives.

In the summer we love to bring our money to provide the funds for as many wells as we can for villages in Africa which so desperately need clean water.

We are very blessed to know and be close to the 9 mission co-partner families that are associated with our church. Their work is very important to us and we want to and try to be helpful where we can.

We have also been blessed to know the Immokolee Farm Workers and some church members have been to their work and living place in Florida. Then when they came here to Louisville to seek justice for the tomato pickers, we were able to have them come to our church to eat and sleep, and to worship together.

--Izzy Jones