Pastoral Reflection for Annual Report 2011-2012

Certain passages from the Scriptures come to mind as we continue to traverse through the year ending and into the coming new year.


In Numbers 13, the Lord tells the prophet Moses to send leaders to explore the land that the Lord is giving to the people of God. Among those sent in leadership are Caleb and Hoshea (or Joshua). Upon together submitting their report to Moses and Aaron, Caleb speaks out and says, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” But others instead express fear and reluctance, saying, “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”


In Judges 6, the people of Israel again did evil in the eyes of the Lord. Still, in the midst of their disobedience, a messenger of God was sent. The angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” “But sir,” Gideon replied, “if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us?” The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” “But Lord,” Gideon asked, “how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” The LORD answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together.”


This year has marked a beginning for our exploration in leadership to discern the Lord’s leading, seeking God’s will and favor as a church congregation gathered in the unity and fellowship of the Holy Spirit. In view of the new and changing denominational landscape of the old mainline churches, and particularly in our Presbyterian Church (USA), the leadership of First Presbyterian Church of New Castle, Indiana is embarking on exploratory initiatives to determine our course of action for the near and foreseeable future. Varied trajectories are open before us, available for due consideration. The time is at hand for this process to further unfold over the next year. A number of your Elders in leadership will be in attendance as The Fellowship of Presbyterians convenes their covenanting conference in Orlando this January 2012, following their inaugural gathering which I attended in Minneapolis last August 2011.


Prayer of the faithful continues to be critical along this journey. I pray we continue and proceed with the same mindset as Caleb’s. Let us go up and take the land the Lord our God is giving us! And also, like Gideon before us, let us go in the strength we have and be witnesses sent by the Lord, Who is our salvation! As we contend with the challenges before us, may we experience God’s success and presence with us in the Lord, our mighty warrior. Let the leaders’ journeying continue and let the New Year begin!


In the Mighty Presence and Spirit of the Lord our King,

Rex Espiritu


~ by prayersForMelissa on January 3, 2012.

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