Saturday, September 26
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Global Week of Action against Gun Violence / Season of Peace
New Castle Presbytery
“Heineken!” That was the first thing my spouse and I heard from Daniel. We learned that he had a daughter and a girlfriend and that he had moved to Delaware the same month we did. We also found out that “anything church, I’ll show.” He spoke slowly, choosing his words with care. Daniel, you see, doesn’t speak English. And we speak as much Spanish as he speaks English.
Daniel had come to one of MarketPlace’s Theology on Tap sessions in downtown Wilmington. He didn’t say a word, and soon it was time to leave. People left. Daniel stayed.
Sitting alone with a stranger whose language you don’t speak is undeniably awkward. But we sat, just the three of us. That’s when he started talking. Without onlookers, Daniel felt comfortable enough to attempt English and was kind enough not to laugh at our Spanish. We came to learn that this was the only conversation he’d had in months. “Familia.” If we weren’t listening, we’d have missed the heart of his words. “My family,” he said, his arms motioning in an embrace of the table. All of us were displaced, but there, at that table, we were family, united by what we lacked.
In my work as a starter of a fresh expression of church in New Castle Presbytery, I have found it is hard to say what I do. It is hard to explain what a fresh expression is without telling stories like this one. But this is exactly where the church needs to be, in a place where our struggles lead us to stories, where our inability to speak brings us to family, and where the narthex of the secular world brings us to the sanctuary of stories filled with the word of God.
New Castle Presbytery serves 53 congregations and emergent ministries.
—Holly Clark-Porter, starter, MarketPlace, Wilmington, Delaware
Let us join in prayer for:
Rev. James L. Moseley, executive presbyter
Rev. Dr. Jacqueline E. Taylor, associate executive presbyter and Speer Trust director
Reid K. Beveridge, stated clerk
Donna L. Scully, executive assistant
Rachel C. Sykes, administrative assistant and communications coordinator
Elder Mark Olson, moderator
Elder Julius Jackson, vice moderator
Rev. Sara Holben, chair of council
Rev. Tom Davis, interfaith peacemaker
Elder Pam Ruarke, disaster recovery coordinator
Elder Terry Dykstra, mission advocate
Rev. Nona Holy, campus ministry pastor
Rev. Kate LeFranc, campus ministry pastoral associate
Rev. Laurie Hiller, parliamentarian
Rev. Doug Gerdts, treasurer
Susan Wilson, bookkeeper
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Cindy Pope, PAM
Rev. Irv Porter, PMA
Larisa Posternak, BOP
Let us pray
God, we give you thanks. And we ask, Maker of words and wisdom, for a voice as well as the craft to piece together the vocabulary of your good news, so that even in our struggles we may find peace in the stories we make together. Amen.