Wednesday, January 9
The Presbytery of San Gabriel
When the Mideast Evangelical Church (MEC) in South Pasadena found itself in search of a new pastor, it eagerly sought out possible candidates. Yet members soon realized that the pool of eligible Arabic-speaking candidates in the U.S. was limited. Prayerful discernment led MEC to consider candidates living in Egypt, as more than 95 percent of its members are of Egyptian heritage. In partnership with the presbytery and World Mission’s coordinator for the Middle East, Europe, and Central Asia, a theologically trained commissioned ruling elder from Egypt was invited to serve as MEC’s spiritual leader. Since arriving in June 2011, Maher Makar has blessed the congregation with many gifts.
Under Makar’s care, MEC’s worshiping congregation has doubled. A renewal of spirit and hope has been birthed, profoundly embodying the multiplication of loaves. Recently leaders of the church started a new ministry—Caring Friends—serving refugees in the U.S. from Iran and Iraq. MEC is committed to responding in concrete ways as it seeks to share the blessings of the gospel with others.
This is just one of the multicultural realities shaping the DNA of the Presbytery of San Gabriel. With half its 44 congregations (9,626 members) worshiping in languages other than English (10 languages in all), the presbytery embodies the spirit of Pentecost. Its partnership with the Peruvian Synod of Ayacucho has grown, as two water purifications systems have been successfully installed. In partnership with Living Waters for the World, teams will once again travel to Peru in the coming year to further deepen this relationship.
The presbytery continues to be thankful for the leadership of retired Presbyterian clergy and missionaries residing in three retirement communities.
Let us join in prayer for:
Rev. Ruth Faith Santana-Grace, executive presbyter
Rev. Robert Wendel, stated clerk
Twila French, office administrator
Pat Collins, bookkeeper
Wendy Gist, advocate for peace, justice, and the integrity of creation
Let us pray
Eternal God, thank you for the boundless generosity of your Spirit. May we reflect that boundless generosity in our hearts and minds, so that the world might experience the multiplication of the loaves in all we do. Amen.