All Posts By

Kevin Yoho

Find hope here at Cold Spring Church

Cold Spring and Charlottesville, At the Crossroads

By Intersections

 

Find hope here at Cold Spring Church

A cemetery is the setting for transformation.

We care about the world, and we are all troubled by what we have witnessed in Charlottesville, Virginia during the week of August 14, 2017. How can love, hopefulness, mutual respect, inclusion, and equality overcome the hatred and fear we observed by White supremists and Nazis who railed and raged against human beings who were different than them? Jesus also confronted racism and hatred (i.e., Jews vs Romans, region vs region, rich vs poor, religious vs secular, etc.) that while timeless, is especially relevant to Charlottesville today. The hate-filled challenges to freedom by white supremacists and Nazis were opposed by those who stood at the crossroads, and life was sacrificed. (You can listen to a message entitled, From Chaos To Hope from Mark 5:1-20 about these crossroads of conflict, by clicking here. Discover what one person could not do alone could be accomplished by meeting Hope. He became the talk of the town.)

Since before the first Revolutionary War hero was buried in our cemetery, Cold Spring Church recognized that hatred had no place in this country. No place. As followers of Jesus, we are citizens of faith who continue to do whatever it takes to ensure freedom, justice, and liberty for all. Our own declaration as a Presbyterian congregation and our affirmation of freedom predates the Declaration of Independence by 60 years!

More than 300 years ago, citizens in greater Cape May got together to put their faith on the line at the crossroads of life when they established Cold Spring Presbyterian Church. We are connected to that stream of faith, and our own stream has even branched out to start other vital faith communities, too. The Living Water flows at Cold Spring Church.

As followers of Jesus Christ we not only share core Christian beliefs with others in our worship, but core Christian practice in mission as agents of God’s blessing in and with the communities at large. Among our core values are love, hopefulness, mutual respect, inclusion, and equality for all. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn it, but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:16-17). We are on a mission. A mission from God.

The Apostle Paul said we must never exclude based on religion, social status, or gender (Galatians 3:28-29), and it is not about conservative or liberal, young or old, or personal preferences. We engage, respect, and even seek and welcome a diversity of thoughts, opinions, beliefs, and even distinctives about theology because all of us grow when all of us are involved in listening and learning together, and holding each other accountable for positive change and behaviors. We are against what hates.

Cold Spring Church stands for something at the crossroads. We are a sign of God’s presence, peace, and power to bring hope and abundance to all. We continue to listen, pray, and work together as we seek to offer everyone access to spiritual energy. We keep finding new, creative, ways to tell the old, but greatest story ever told in ways that makes sense and can be truly heard by others, not just rehearing it by ourselves.

Please join with me in prayer for all of us as a nation, particularly those most affected by the hatred-fueled violence in Charlottesville. Let’s continue to be people of inclusion and peace in our families, neighborhoods, and places of recreation, work, and education. What we do in our life matters.

When we stand at the crossroads, we stand with Jesus, with others, and we need not despair because we know that the hope, peace, and courage Jesus offers us “has conquered the world” (John 14:28-29, 16:33).

Dr. Kevin Yoho

 

God Questions

By Intersections

The Clerk’s Corner, by Rob Riehl, clerk of session, ruling elder

It was someone I hardly knew. A person who existed on the fringe of my life, not even to be considered an acquaintance. I made no effort to engage in any level of conversation with this person. I went my way, and this person went his way. We were aware of each other but did not really know each other. What we knew of each other was basically that we both existed –nothing more than that! And it was that way for many years. But one day an unanticipated personal crisis occurred. When those closest to me were unexpectedly “unavailable”, I felt the shock of instant isolation rendering me feeling helpless and hopeless! My world was crashing around me and my life shattered. Did anyone care enough to reach out to me?

Miraculously a “Good Samaritan” somehow found out about my situation, called me, and followed up with a visit. it was this stranger who I have kept at a distance. It was both unsettling and yet comforting to have someone seemingly come out of nowhere to be there for me! Over time, with several visits and meaningful conversations, we gradually came to know and appreciate each other more favorably. As these conversations evolved, we built a level of trust whereby we could share our deepest fears and concerns about life and our future. A personal relationship had been formed to the point that I can now say that this person is indeed a faithful, trusted and true friend. Who would have thought that my life could turn around so dramatically because of the lovingkindness of one goodhearted person who mysteriously entered my life and became my best friend!

Does this revelation resonate with you –or with someone you know? This disclosure is not uncommon; many of us have come to know God in this way. In the testimony above, God is the mysterious person who knows about us, cares about us, and loves us unconditionally.

He can enter our world quite suddenly and change the direction of our life. If we truly seek Him, He will respond! He desires us to abide with him both now and into eternity. All we need do is to surrender to his loving call; he will be with us!

Though we can know God through his creation and his revelation, we can know him personally through Jesus Christ. When we have self-identified with Jesus, we can truly say “What a friend we have in Jesus”! And yet, because of who God is, we cannot on this side of Heaven comprehend the fullness of God or understand the seemingly paradoxical aspects of his being. Abundant mystery remains! And what is a mystery as it pertains to God? Theologically, a mystery is a religious truth incomprehensible to human reason and knowable only through divine revelation. Another definition: “Some mysteries are not questions to be answered, but are just a kind of opaque fact –a thing which exists to be not known.” God has made sure that we know enough about him for the present; the rest shall remain mysterious until the afterlife.

There are many questions one could ask about God. Do you have any questions about God? Ask yourself these questions: Are you curious about God? Do you ever wonder about him? Have you sometimes doubted God? Do you know what he is like? Do you know what he does? Have you ever wondered why he created us? Do you know what he expects of us? Do you know what he has planned for us? Do you trust God? How is God present in your life? Why do you suppose God is invisible? Why is he so mysterious?

Do you have some unanswered questions about God? Ponder this before you answer: “If you could ask God just one question — and you knew he would answer — what would you ask him?” ***

Have you considered praying to God for the answer to your question? Have you listened for his answer?

In September, our church will be participating (with several area churches ) in a six-week program entitled “The Explore God Project”; it is about knowing God –and hopefully answering your questions about him. Details to come!