New Mission Design & Our Missional Challenge

Dear Friends in the Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy,
The Presbytery adopted a new Organizational Plan for Mission at our last Presbytery Gathering. Many currently serving in leadership have agreed to carry on their work through the transition to the new framework for our mission together. The Committee on Representation/Nominations is busy calling members of the Presbytery to serve on the Vision, Congregational Vibrancy, Dynamic Leaders, Mission and Outreach, and Administration and Support Teams. In addition, COR/NOM is identifying those willing to be elected to the teams and administrative commissions. If you receive a call from a member of the hard-working Committee on Representation/Nominations, please prayerfully consider saying yes to this opportunity to assist in our mutual mission. If you have suggestions for others to serve, please contact Rob Cardwell, Chair of COR/NOM or another member of the Committee. In particular the Committee would appreciate suggestions of diverse ages and various racial/ethnic identities.
The new design we created for our work together will allow us to become more nimble as we adapt to our rapidly changing world. Most of us realize that the church must learn new ways in order to thrive in our current context and nurture Vibrant Congregations and Dynamic Leaders.
While church attendance in North America and Europe has been declining since the latter quarter of the 20th Century, it has been exploding in Latin America, Asia and Africa. Fortunately for us in the United States, people from these areas of the world are immigrating to the United States, bringing new life to our tired denominations. In worshiping with fifty of our congregations since I began ministry in Giddings-Lovejoy, I have experienced some of the most enthusiastic, Spirit-filled worship in our immigrant congregations. What can we learn from our recently arrived neighbors?
Being missional means drawing closer to God and closer to others. The growth of the church is about neighbors meeting neighbors and inviting relationship, caring about those who live around us, and, working together for justice and wellness, loving others, and bearing witness to our relationship to God through Christ. Jesus told his disciples to go into the world and make other disciples. How’s that going for us?
Let’s tell our stories to one another about the adaptive changes we are making in our congregations and the new life we are witnessing. God has joined us in community so that we may learn from and support one another, and bear witness to God’s love and desire for shalom. We are discovering anew how to bring the Good News in a diverse world. Spanish author, Antonio Machado, wrote “…there is no road, the road is made by walking.” As we move forward in our mission, may the power and presence of the abiding and guiding Spirit be with us.
Yours in Service to Christ,
Anita Hendrix, Presbytery Leader

General Assembly Moderator to Visit Giddings-Lovejoy

General Assembly Moderator to Visit Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery
Dr. Heath Rada, moderator of the 221st General Assembly will be our guest at the Presbytery Gathering on June 4, 2016 in Caledonia. Last fall I invited Dr. Rada to visit Giddings-Lovejoy and we are blessed to have the GA Moderator present for the celebration of 200 years of Presbyterians within the bounds of Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery.
The following information comes from information at the General Assemby website:

A native of Richmond Virginia, Dr. Rada is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Union Presbyterian Seminary and NC State University. He has also studied at St. Andrews University and Harvard University. Dr. Rada is ruling elder, retired from the position of CEO of the Greater Richmond Chapter of the American Red Cross where he served as coordinator for the work of that organization in Virginia and the District of Columbia. He also held the positions of interim CEO of Red Cross Chapters in San Diego, Minneapolis- St. Paul, and Ft. Worth. Prior to his work with the American Red Cross, Dr. Rada served as President of the Presbyterian School of Christian Education (now Union Presbyterian Seminary) in Richmond.
As an active church member, Dr. Rada has served in numerous capacities on the local, presbytery and national levels of the Presbyterian Church. Currently he serves on the boards of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, the Montreat Conference Center, and the Presbyterian Homes of North Carolina. He recently rotated off the board of the National American Red Cross Retiree’s Board. Previously he has served on numerous community boards in North Carolina and Asheville, including the Richmond Rotary Club, Sheltering Arms Hospital, Mission Hospital Foundation, Collegiate School, Council for America’s First Freedom, the National Conference for Christians and Jews (NCCJ), among others. He is a published author, a noted speaker, and has been honored numerous times for his contributions to his work and his community. He was North Carolina’s first Community Educator of the Year, the first recipient to receive an honorary Paul Harris Award from the Richmond Rotary Club, the recipient of the Margaret Bowen Award in Christian Education, and was named one of Richmond’s Humanitarians of the Year by the NCCJ. (This information and more is available at the PCUSA website.)
Dr. Rada has led the PCUSA with wisdom and grace during these past two years. He has listened around the country to the concerns, hopes and dreams of members and ruling and teaching elders.
Moderator Rada will be preaching at our Gathering on Saturday, June 4, and on Sunday, June 5, he will preach and lead a conversation at Dardenne Presbyterian Church. Dardenne welcomes all who would like to attend and interact with Moderator Rada.
“You never know what God has planned, and the best we can do is to make ourselves available to do God’s work in whatever capacity God works out for us. If we do that, it is not a matter of winning or losing. It’s a matter of being open to all sorts of possibilities and being faithful to God’s will as it plays out.” – Dr. Heath K. Rada
I hope many of you are on hand to welcome Dr. Rada on June 4.  See below about the Moderator’s call to the church.

View testimonials about Dr. Heath Rada by following this link.

Presbytery Leader, Anita Hendrix