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st. james presbyterian church
Preaching on John the Baptist, whose ministry centered on preparing people for one more powerful than he and who would baptize with fire and the Holy Spirit, the Rev. CeCe Armstrong began her sermon on Luke 3:15-17, 21-22, with these words: “You belong to God.”
When he portrayed Private Gomer Pyle during the mid-1960s, actor Jim Nabors employed a number of catch phrases, including “gall-lee” and “Shazam.” But Pyle, who hailed from fictional Mayberry, North Carolina, which is in the same state as the very real Montreat Conference Center, the setting the Presbyterian Association of Musicians’ Worship and Music Conference, was best known for recounting mixed-up stories punctuated by this phrase: “Surprise, surprise, surprise!”
The Rev. Grace Bowen, interim pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of Newtown in Elmhurst, New York since September 2019, has died at age 69.
“It’s time to go,” the Rev. CeCe Armstrong told the thousands of people gathered for closing worship Saturday at Presbyterian Youth Triennium. “We often forget that mission starts at home — your own house or your own church. We’ve experienced things here, but if we don’t take them back, the church doesn’t change but you have. Hallelujah!”
It was an event that stretched through three U.S. time zones and whose impact will be felt around the world.