South Plains Presbyterian Church

Honoring our traditions and building the future

Reflections From the Pastor PDF Print E-mail


 Membership Privileges and Responsibilities

As we continue our introduction to Presbyterian Polity, I want to address what it means to be a member of the Presbyterian Church. Church membership has both its privileges and its responsibilities.

We believe that God calls people to faith and membership in the Church, the body of Christ. In our baptism, we affirm that call and claim on our lives, and through baptism, we are received into the membership of the church. In the PC(USA), we welcome all persons who have placed their faith and trust in God and especially his grace offered to us in Jesus Christ.

One may go about joining the church three ways. 1) By making a public profession of faith; and if not previously baptized, then the one making the professing shall be baptized: 2) By certificate of transfer from another Christian church of which the person is a member: 3) By reaffirmation of faith when a person has previously made a public profession of faith and has been baptized.

It is not only a joy and privilege to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, but it also includes a commitment to the life and ministry of the church, more especially the particular church to which one is a member. According to the Book of Order, such involvement includes:

  • Proclaiming the good news in word and deed.
  • Taking part in the common life and worship of a congregation.
  • Lifting one another up in prayer, mutual concern, and active support.
  • Studying Scripture and the issues of Christian faith and life.
  • Supporting the ministry of the church through the giving of money, time, and talents.
  • Demonstrating a new quality of life within and through the church.
  • Responding to God’s activity in the world through service to others.
  • Living responsibly in the personal, family, vocational, political, cultural, and social relationships of life.
  • Working in the world for peace, justice, freedom, and human fulfillment.
  • Participating in the governing responsibilities of the church, and
  • Reviewing and evaluating regularly the integrity of one’s membership, and considering ways in which one’s participation in the worship and service of the church may be increased and made more meaningful.

Membership also includes privileges according to the category of membership in which one finds oneself.

There are three categories of membership.

1) Baptized members are those who have received the Sacrament of Baptism, but who have yet to make a public profession of their faith in Jesus Christ. Baptized members are entitled to receive the pastoral care and instruction of the church and may participate in the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.

2) Active membership requires the public profession of faith in Jesus Christ, having undergone the Sacrament of Baptism, and voluntarily submitting to the government of the church. In addition to the privileges of a Baptized member, one may be elected to the office of Deacon or Elder and serve on the governing councils of the church.

3) Another, not well known category of membership is the Affiliate Member. These are individuals holding dual membership. When an individual is temporarily away from his home church (i.e., serving in the military, attending college, etc.) and they desire to continue to worship and work in a church in their temporary community, they can become affiliate members in a local congregation.

The temporary congregation receives an affiliate member into membership for a designated period of time (normally for 2 years). An affiliate member may participate in the life of the congregation in the same manner as an active member. However, they may not vote in a congregational meeting or hold office in the church where they hold affiliate membership.

Those persons who are not members of a particular church are welcome and may participate in the life and worship of the church, receive its pastoral care, and if baptized are invited to the Lord’s Supper.

Pastor Kevin

Haiti Clinic PDF Print E-mail


In the Spring, the Mission Crafters group approved a new project, thanks to a suggestion from Debbie Garth who had recently traveled to Haiti on a volunteer mission trip. Debbie wrote: “Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Better than half the population is undernourished, illiterate and living below the poverty line. Maternal and child health is almost nonexistent for much of the country. A Haitian woman is 49 times more likely to die in childbirth than an American woman. There are no services for women who live in the mountain regions, and many die along the rugged paths as they walk seeking help with difficult pregnancies.

It is the mission of Family Health Ministries, an NGO founded in 2000 in Durham, NC, to provide health care to women and children and to prevent needless deaths. 2014-2015 should see the building of the Leogane Family Health Center in Leogane, Haiti, and the Women’s Health Center along the Jacmel Road in the mountains. Services will include access to pre-natal and post-natal care, childbirth services, education, contraception and transportation from the mountain communities to the Center for emergencies such as caesarean sections.

I had the opportunity to meet Kathy Walmer, Executive Director of FHM, in January 2014 while I was part of the beginning work of the Family Health Center. The memory of all those wonderful baby caps and gowns draped everywhere in the sanctuary of South Plains came to mind. We could provide a starting layette to each mother who would come to the Center. Thus, a mission to the women of Haiti has begun with 100 sets ready to be delivered by the end of the year. Thanks to all the Mission Crafters at South Plains.”

Sincerely, Debby Garth

Worship Bags Available for Church Services PDF Print E-mail

Parents – please note that we now have blue cloth worship bags available in the Narthex of the Sanctuary for your children to bring into the worship service. We hope this will enhance their experience during worship. We appreciate Heide Schumann’s generosity in donating the fabric, Linda Makranczy for sewing the bags, and for Pastor Kevin providing the worship worksheets that follow the liturgy of the day. Please help your child remember to return the bag to the Narthex as they leave the Sanctuary

New Program for South Plains PDF Print E-mail

Currently sermons are available on the website,,  in both printed and audio form. We realize that everyone does not have access to a computer and that the sermon is only part of the service. Beginning September 7, the entire service will be recorded and then transferred to individual CDs. When we have the technology, we will include video using DVDs. The CDs will be made in the office and distributed to those unable to attend services. If you would like to be included on the list of people to receive the CDs, of if you know someone who would like to receive them, please contact the Church office.

Adult Study PDF Print E-mail



Starting on October 26 and running for six consecutive weeks through November 30, Bob Tracinski will present illustrated programs on the adventures of the Apostle Paul. 

He will provide tours of such ancient cities as Athens, Ephesus, and Jerusalem, including Herod’s Temple. On the last Sunday, he will give a walking tour of downtown Rome in ancient times. His presentations explore the geography, culture, and religions of the key cities where Paul was challenged to spread the Gospel. The presentations begin at 9:45am in the classroom next to the Church Library 

  • October 26 First Missionary Trip (smaller cities of Asia Minor) 
  • November 2 The famous Jerusalem Council 
  • November 9 Second Missionary Trip (tour of ancient Athens) 
  • November 16 Third Missionary Trip (tour of ancient Ephesus)
  • November 27 Paul’s Arrest ((tour of ancient Jerusalem and Herod’s Temple)
  • November 30 Fourth Missionary Trip (walking tour of ancient Rome) 

Each presentation stands alone, so attend when you are able.

PW News Update PDF Print E-mail

November News - Presbyterian Women at South Plains

PW Meetings in November:

PW - Presbytery of the James - Fall Gathering

Meadow Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville

8:30-9:15am - Coffee and registration

9:30-noon - Meeting

Please call Barbara Shaffer, if you need a ride.

PW Meeting and Bible Study - Monday, November 10

9:30-11:30am - Kirk Hall - Lesson 3

PW Circle Meeting and Bible Study - Monday, November 10 7-8:30pm - Kellee Eastwood’s home - Lesson 3 4 Fleetwood Drive in lake Monticello

If you are not a regular attendee and need to be called into the Lake Monticello gate, please let Kellee know. Please note that you do not need to attend each month in order to participate in PW gatherings - we welcome your presence any month that you can join us. At our November 10th meetings, we will be collecting the Presbyterian Women Thanks Offering. Hope to see you then!


May you have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Barbara Shaffer




Library Update PDF Print E-mail


Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas explains how a highly intelligent man from a gifted and scholarly family chose to follow God in Christian service. It also shows how a so-called Christian nation – Germany in 1933 – could descend by almost imperceptibly small degrees to the barbarity of death camps, gas chambers, and crematoria. Most of us don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the fact that Christian men followed the orders of a ruthless dictator to invade peaceful countries, to round up innocent people, and to torture and murder men, women, and children. German soldiers did all this while wearing a belt buckle that proclaimed – GOTT MIT UNS (God is with us). Eric Metaxas describes the process of Nazification of the Christian church and demonstrates how people of goodwill can be led astray by making a series of tiny compromises and small accommodations that belie their most basic Christian principles.

Eric Metaxas reveals an aspect of World War II history that up till now has not been fully explored. Why did Christians accept a series of laws that undermined everything they believed in? How did the Nazis take control of the Christian church? Who among the millions of Christians stood against the dictator? Dietrich Bonhoeffer was among the first Germans to detect what was happening. He faced two choices – either travel to the UK or the US and lead an underground movement and be available for postwar reconstruction of the church, or risk staying in Germany to set an example of how Christians should behave when their faith is challenged by the state. He made the courageous decision to stay. He helped organize the few dissenting churches that tried to support Christian principles, was eventually placed in prison where he demonstrated Christian love and mercy while ministering to his fellow prisoners, and in the end joined the legion of Christian martyrs who reinforce the meaning of commitment unto death.

Read Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy for a fascinating story of Christian resistance against organized evil.


Check it out … in the church library.


Bob Tracinski

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