How do you use your Mission Yearbook?
Thousands of Presbyterians use the Mission Yearbook for their personal devotions, to open meetings and to learn more about the connectional church. What are the ways you use your Mission Yearbook? Submit your story and we will share it with others.
Making the yearbook part of congregational life
Don Lincoln, pastor of Westminster Presbyterian writes, "We use each Sunday's Mission Yearbook prayer in our worship—sometimes tweaked a bit—as our unison dedication prayer following the offering. We also read the Mission Yearbook at every session meeting as part of our gathering devotional."
Westminster Presbyterian Church, West Chester, Pennsylvania
To connect our congregation with the whole church
How big is the church to which you belong? “Oh, I go to that big Presbyterian church at 130 W. Miner St. We have over 2,100 members.”
But that is only a minute fraction of the church into which Christ called you and me!
When you get up on Sunday morning and think about going to church, do you think only of 130 W. Miner? Lift up your eyes and see the millions you will join! Seventeen hours ago Sunday began out in the Pacific Ocean, and as the sun rose the great procession began — people going to huts, little churches, caves, warehouses, medium sized churches, secret rooms, outdoor fields, cathedrals. Do you see and feel the great company of which you are a part?
You may respond, “Now pastor that’s an interesting idea, but I can’t honestly say I feel it.”
Have you given yourself a chance to experience it?
What you need is the Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study. It’s the handbook for being a world Christian. It will make a difference in your Christian life.
There’s a page for each day of the year. There are pages about the Christian life in each of the 71 countries in which we have mission co-workers and about our relationship with the hundreds of branches of the Christian church.
When Christ said, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” That wasn’t a suggestion. “But, pastor, you know I can’t go, and we do send missionaries to those countries. Doesn’t that take care of that?” But you CAN GO with them by reading about them and praying for them.
There is a page for each of our 173 presbyteries, covering the entire United States. Learn something about them in all their variety of service. Feel the pulse of the Presbyterian churches across the nation and pray for them.
It will take you five minutes a day. After the service go to the Fellowship
Hall and get your handbook for being a world Christian in 2011.
Don’t cheat yourself by only belonging to the church with a little “c”— the local church. Belong to Christ’s Church with the big “C”— around the world. Get to know the multitude with which you walk, and pray for them. Many of them are praying for you!
Will you do it?
The Rev. Ed Brubaker
First Presbyterian Church, West Chester, Pennsylvania
In Centering Prayer services
Karl Morthole, elder at Lakeside Presbyterian Church, San Francisco, writes that his congregation uses the Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study in Centering Prayer services. These services, held on Sunday and Wednesday mornings, rely on the Mission Yearbook for mission emphasis. They open with prayer and a period of silent Centering Prayer, followed by Lectio Divina, using a Scripture passage from the daily lectionary, which appears on each day’s page. Participants then read and discuss the day’s Mission Yearbook reading and a reading from the previous week. They close the service using the prayers from the two articles. “These contemplative prayer services are greatly enriched by the input we get from the Mission Yearbook,” writes Karl.
Lakeside Presbyterian Church, San Francisco
To energize our congregation for mission
With a heart for mission, First Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville, Illinois, has relied heavily on the Mission Yearbook for inspiration and interpretation. Each year we order dozens and place one in each pew and a few more in the church library. Each Sunday, the bulletin includes both a meditation thought and a direct reference to the yearbook, encouraging folks to use it to center their thoughts before worship.
In a former congregation, a gentleman considering membership asked me about the Mission Yearbooks he saw in the pews. He said, "Do you mean to tell me that this denomination is involved in that much mission all over the world?" I said, "Oh. Yes. Absolutely." He replied, "Well, then, I want to be a part of that kind of church!" He joined within weeks.
The Rev. John Kay
First Presbyterian Church, Jacksonville, Illinois