South Plains Presbyterian Church

Honoring our traditions and building the future

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Reflections From the Pastor PDF Print E-mail



Anne Florence Carter, Leonard Pitts Jr., Walter Brueggmann, Rolf Jacobson, Will Willimon, Otis Moss III, Karoline Lewis, David Lose, and Pastor Raphael Warnack and the Choir from Ebenezer Baptist Church, were among the many amazing lectures, sermons, and worship services with which I was blessed at the Festival of Homiletics in Atlanta, GA. What an inspiring, uplifting, and challenging week of continuing education. I would like to thank the members of the Administrative Committee, the session, and congregation of SPPC for providing this opportunity.
The theme for the week was “Prophetic Preaching in Times of Change.” Respected experts came from across the country demonstrating the finest preaching and cutting-edge thinking and the church and culture. One presenter referred to it as “Woodstock for Pastors.” I learned a lot and was challenged to a new way of thinking about the world around us and what God is calling the church to do. Changes are taking place, not only in our culture and around the world. The sands are shifting and we can no longer do church the way we have been doing it.
One of the highlights for me was to sit in a sanctuary filled with close to 500 preachers and hear them sing hymns of praise and adoration to the Lord and our God. What a powerful sound. We worshiped to the sounds of a multi-ranked organ, blues, bluegrass, gospel, and contemporary praise bands. I renewed old friendships, made new ones, ate too much, purchased books, walked a few miles, and laughed a lot. When our Jewish brothers and sisters finish the Passover meal, they close with the words, “next year in Jerusalem.” We closed the Festival of Homiletics with the shout, “next year in San Antonio.” Maybe I will go again. We shall see.
With all of this excitement, there is truly no place like home. It is good to be back.
Summer Mission Trip PDF Print E-mail
Travel to Guatemala
Once you visit, your life and faith will not be the same
Join the mission trip to Guatemala July 23-30, which is jointly sponsored by the Presbytery of the James and the Presbytery of the Peaks. Grow in your experience of how God is at work through the unique ministry of our Presbyterian mission partner CEDEPCA (Center for Pastoral Education).
• Participate in Biblical classes in the rural areas of new outreach
• Bring hope and affirmation to those seeking to follow Christ
• Meet and encourage child laborers who are fed through our Hunger Offering
• Learn about immigration from a Guatemalan perspective
• Discover the culture, history, and economic context of Guatemala, as you enjoy the exquisite beauty of Guatemala and Mayan culture
• Learn and grow in your faith as you make new friends in a shared witness
Estimated cost $1,700 (all inclusive)
Contact Mary Jane Winter, Moderator, World Mission Purpose Group
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 804-359-5599
Alliance for Interfaith Ministries PDF Print E-mail

Vacation Bible School 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Worship and Music News Update PDF Print E-mail
Celebrating 20 Years - The History of the South Plains Praise Team
In May 1996, Ruthanna Foard’s adult Sunday School class was studying Blackaby’s Experiencing God. We were presented with the situation of a neighbor of Grace Hampton, one of the class members, being admitted to the assisted living facility known as Winterhaven in Pantops. The neighbor, Nellie, had no family except for some 4th cousins in the Midwest. She was in her late 90s, and social services had determined that she could no longer safely live alone on her farm. We determined to act as her family by visiting her weekly with devotions and singing. Experiencing God had just reached the part where we were asked to respond to “Go into all the world and preach the good news to ALL people.” Previous chapters had challenged us to act on our recognizing needs in others. Thus was born the Friday AM Praise Team from South Plains PC.
Marion and John Thompson were familiar with the staff at Winterhaven, having been frequent visitors to Marion’s sister, Rebecca, who was a resident there for a while before moving to another facility. They helped us set the routine with the administration so that we could hold group devotionals for any who cared to attend.
Ruthanna brought her keyboard, and Marion created songbooks (in LARGE PRINT). We received permission from session to act on behalf of SPPC, and launched our regular Friday morning congregation. When a second side was opened, the visiting group split in two, Ruthanna leading one side and Marion leading the other. Marion played her own keyboard, and we shared song leader/devotion leader. Grace Hampton, Charlotte Durham, Annette Behnke, Joanne Addotta, Mitt Clabaugh, and Anna Koontz were some of the original members of the group. We tried adding Riverside Assisted Living Facility for a couple of years, but they could not accommodate us after a while. Winterhaven changed hands and name a few years ago. It is now called Heritage Inn. The members of SPPC’s Praise Team share God’s love with anyone who wishes to attend our gatherings, making sure we visit those who feel a little under the weather and stay in their rooms. We try to keep God’s presence apparent to widows, orphans, the needy, the forgotten, the weak and the sick.
New members are always welcome to join us, His loving presence is always here. We are still experiencing God.
PW News Update PDF Print E-mail

Presbyterian Women News


We enjoyed our first combined morning and evening group potluck and study at the home of Lonne Clapp to finish out our 2015-16 program year. Now we set our sights on September and our upcoming Horizons study, “Who is Jesus: What a Difference a Lens Makes.” Study author Rev. Judy Siker will lead us on a journey looking at Jesus through the eyes of the writers of the four New Testament Gospels. She then looks at Jesus through Paul’s writing, biblical literature not included in the canonization of the New Testament, and other faith communities.
This should be an interesting study, and we welcome new members to join us as we learn more about God’s plan for our lives and share our faith journeys.
If you would like a study book ordered for you, please contact Kellee Eastwood or Barbara Shaffer. We will continue in September with our 2nd Monday of the month daytime study beginning at 9:30am in Kirk Hall and evening study at 7pm, meeting in PW member homes.
Bits 'N Pieces PDF Print E-mail



--Church Music Conference at Massanetta Springs, July 24-30. More information:
--Fluvanna Meals on Wheels thanks us for our support and is always looking for volunteers: fluvannamealsonwheels@ “We are neighbors helping neighbors one meal at a time.”
--The Arbor Charlottesville thanks us for our support and reminds us to contribute to their program to navigate freedom for women surviving human trafficking. “More women are waiting to join The Arbor’s roadmap to recovery.”
--Barbara Shaffer has found a nonprofit in Charlottesville where folks can donate used medical equipment. She would be willing to help deliver items to their site, if you would like to donate.
--If you can see sunshine through the sanctuary windows, thank God, and then thank Larry Day who spent many hours cleaning them. If you’re enjoying the clean red carpet - again, thank you, Larry Day!
--Catherine Wheeler will be traveling to Africa in July to participate in the World Cup!
--The church picnic was such a rousing success, thanks to Diane and Preston Stallings. Even in the rain, under the pavilion, we had a roaring fire in the fireplace, lots of wonderful food and drink, lively fellowship, and even a scavenger hunt.
--June 4 - Work Day at SPPC
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