Thursday, April 24, 2008
The Friendliest Place On Earth
Alamogordo (in southeastern New Mexico) is my current location; it styles itself as "The Friendliest Place On Earth". I drove down this morning to attend Presbytery and in this post I will attempt to convince you that Presbytery is of interest.
Three times a year the leaders from the churches in our region (NM, AZ, and a part of TX) meet together as a court of the church (based on the connectionalism we find in Acts). We call this meeting Presbytery--i.e. a gathering of elders from different churches. Today was a good example of the work we do. We joyfully started two young men down the road to becoming pastors and solemnly disciplined and sadly removed one of our own number from the pastorate.
In a sense the nations gather at these meetings; we welcomed a pastor from Bethlehem (Palestine) to learn about the plight of the only Presbyterian church left there and the sermon today was from a Mexican pastor laboring across the border for the gospel.
There is much prayer as we labor to plant new churches and provide campus ministries across our region. Fellowship was enjoyed when we took a dinner break and heard an impressive lecture on postmodernism and the pulpit from one of the pastors who recently received a PhD.
While I was enjoying this conference-like atmosphere--eating well, fellowshipping, meeting new people--Kristin was sacrificing at home so that I could attend. She's awesome, and Deacon Mike at church gets big thanks for taking Isaiah out to the East Mountains today to frolic in the snow that surprisingly is still there in abundance!
Alamogordo may strive to be the friendliest place on Earth, but as Spurgeon has noticed, the Church is the dearest place on Earth.