Category

Intersections

Cold Spring Church has been at the crossroads of our community for more than 300 years, and Intersections is our blog of engaging ideas designed to get you connected to what matters to you!

Our Vision and Mission Shape Community-Focused Ministry

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Energize Your Spirit — Transform Your Life

Our Vision

We believe that everyone deserves to experience God’s love in relevant, accessible, and authentic ways, and that our faith in practice represents an amazing opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals, communities, and the world. Our thriving faith community puts God’s love into action to help make greater Cape May a better place. We welcome people of all ages to joyfully love and serve God and our neighbors in the name of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. God loves Cape May, and we demonstrate that love every day of every year!

Our Mission

Cold Spring Presbyterian Church energizes spirits and transforms lives by delivering  resources and experiences that are rooted in the Good News of Jesus Christ through  inspiring worship, practical teaching, innovative programs, and community-focused events and ministries.

Established in 1714, Cold Spring Presbyterian Church is a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and a member of the Presbytery of West Jersey. We invite you to become a part of our hopeful future.

(Our vision and mission was drafted by our Transformation Pastor and was updated received by the session in September 2019. It emerged from the work of the Mission Study Team including Marty Bowne, Kevin Beare, Taylor Burkhardt, intentional transformation journey our congregation began in 2016, including community-directed worship and events, congregational surveys, feedback, and the Focus Your Vision day in 2018. The comprehensive Mission Study will be completed in November 2019.)

Who is the Mission Study Team:  While the Mission Study Team (MST) was open to new folks joining in and helping out as we go along, the team to date included: John Stalford, Chuck McPherson, Melissa Arnott, Marty Bowne, Lenore Bowne, Larry Hume, Taylor Burkhardt, and Kevin Beare. Pastor Kevin led the team.

Why We Need A Mission Study: 305 years is a long time. And over three centuries, even since 2016, every community, everyone, experience change. More than you may at first recognize. Being in a community for a long time can so familiarize us to what we’re used to, that’s we cannot clearly see what has changed and who our neighbors have become. Cold Spring Church does many things, but the future belongs to ministries that can focus their resources to deliver amazing, life-transforming ministry the community really needs. We want to take best advantage of existing community resources, and convince our congregation and other friends that our story and program is worth supporting and investing in. In order to do that, we need to create as thorough and as balanced a profile of our community and our congregation as we can. . . . God is already at work in our community. Our task is to find out where Cold Spring Church can enter that picture moving forward.

Mission Grant Creates New Community Connections And Opportunities

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Thanks to a special community-directed $5,000 mission grant from the Presbytery of West Jersey, the session approved and has begun to implement our very exciting two-part mission initiative. Here is a summary of our project.

  • Podcasts and Streaming Videos: As part of our mission we will develop new ways to engage those who find it difficult or impossible to attend worship services, and those who are homebound, remote members, by delivering the worship experience as a video livestream, with post-worship video download as a podcast/online via our website. Anyone with a computer, tablet, or smart phone can participate. Eventually, we may take realtime prayer requests, as well. This initiative is expected to incur costs of under $4500.
  • Conquering the Opioid Abuse Epidemic: As part of our mission, we will support families affected by addictions, especially affected by the opioid crisis, through group ministry of spiritual resources, small groups. Last year, more than 35 attended our Opioid Abuse and Prevention training in partnership with Rutgers University and Youth Advocate Program. Our new initiative, Thriving Families, will be implemented in 2020 and is not expected to incur costs over $500.

Getting Started—Campus Online Access: To extend our reach into the community, we encourage you to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media share the good news with your friends and followers. Post photos or maybe a inspirational Bible verse or something you heard in the message, or song.

Facebook: coldspringchurch — Twitter: @coldspringnj

We want our WiFi network to enhance your experience while attending worship or another event, you may use our networks as listed below:

Price Hall Network Name: ColdSpringChurchWiFi Guest (no password required).

Red Brick Church Network Name: CSPCRedBrickWifi Password: See the password printed isn’t he weekly bulletin.

We are grateful for our friends in West Jersey Presbytery for their commitment to community mission and investing in our mission! Get connected and share your experience!

 

 

Share the Good News at Cold Spring Church

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Share Your Good News! To share your organization, team, or event news, or announcements and sign-up forms in our weekly Worship Bulletin and Connections, or the monthly Brickette, please send your information to Connor, our Communications Coordinator, at hello@coldspringchurch.com. The publication deadlines are:

  • Worship Bulletin: 11:00 AM Wednesdays
  • Connections: 11:00 AM Thursdays
  • Brickette: 11:00 AM last Wednesday of every month

If you’d like your announcement to be shared at the beginning of the worship service, please contact Marty Bowne (Worship and Music Team leader), or Pastor Kevin, prior to worship.

Thank you for sharing your good news at Cold Spring Church.

2019 Annual Fall Picnic — Double the People, Double the Fun

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Our Fall Picnic was enjoyed by more than 70 people, doubling last year’s crowd! We celebrated our newest members, Lynda, Norris, and Larry & Carlene, and Beverly! Special thanks is expressed to the West Cape May Fire Company for the grill and cooking expertise of Chuck and Dave. Mister Softee made an appearance everyone enjoyed, especially the many children! (Thanks Kevin Beare!) Delicious salads, a Brownie Buffet, and other homemade items were made by generous individuals. Our special thanks to our church staff for setting up the tables and chairs making everyone feel welcomed! Thank you all! — Marjorie Wetherill, for the team.

New Members Welcomed on September 29, 2019

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Get To Know and Welcome Our Newest Members!

During worship on September 29, 2019, the congregation welcomed its newest members.

” The new disciples praised God, and they enjoyed the goodwill of all the people of the city. Day after day the Lord added to their number everyone who was experiencing liberation” (Acts 2:47, The Voice).

Lynda McCartney: Lynda is a Philadelphia native who has enjoyed Cape May for 20 years. She has three children (so far!) and enjoys fine dining, cooking, reading, swimming, walking, and film, not necessarily in that order. Lynda brings a 15-year history of teaching Sunday school as the Director of the AWANA program and a nursery and visitation worker. She is excited to join us and see how God will use her in our community.

 

 

 

Norris Clark:  Norris is the managing partner of Princeton Strategic Communications. He has been heavily involved in the local community as a board member of the local Big Brothers Big Sisters, the MAC, the NJ Delaware Bayshore Council, Historic Cold Spring Village, the Friends of the Fishing Creek School, and TEDxCapeMay. Norris served as Deputy Mayor of Lower Township, and is a seminary graduate with a Masters in Religious Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and he holds a BA in Philosophy from Covenant College.

If you don’t pray more after reading this, you didn’t read this!

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What Is Prayer Actually Worth To You?

Photo credit: Joshua Hanks

“The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live” (1 Timothy 2:1-3).

What is your response when someone offers to pray for you? You welcome the prayer, right? Have you ever replied, “No thanks, I don’t want your prayer”? Some people may resist the suggestion of prayer for any number of reasons, but most of the time, people welcome prayer. Our congregation’s active prayer list engages us and every week as we share requests and answers to prayer encourage all of us. But how much is prayer actually worth to you?

What is Prayer?

Prayer may best be described as a conversation with God. While folding our hands is frequently associated with someone praying, hand-folding is not required for God to hear us, of course! Eyes open or closed. Standing, sitting, walking, driving, or any possible activity can be a perfect context for taking to God. Remember, the apostle Paul said to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Since we can pray anywhere, we can also pray about anything and about the full range of life’s experiences. Alone or with others. No special formula, language, or method is required, either. No practice is necessary to make a connection to God. Just direct your thoughts to God. God even offers the Holy Spirit to help us when we just don’t know how to pray (Romans 8:26-27).

Our prayers may be for ourselves or others, silent or spoken aloud, expressed in words, art, music, or dance, or any other medium. Prayer can be urgently offered in crisis or during planned, peaceful, or contemplative moments. Succinct or expansive, and capturing our every possible feeling and emotion, and concerning any and every imaginable situation, prayer with God is an amazing, personalized, way to be in touch with God through Christ.

Prayer In the Bible

In God’s word, people interacted with God believing that prayer was also a method of changing a situation or themselves for the better. Abraham prayed that God would not destroy the city, Jacob prayed for strength when he was going to a stressful family reunion, Moses prayed for mercy for his people, Joshua confesses his people’s sins, Hannah prayed for a family, Daniel for freedom, Nehemiah for transformation, Job prayed for his friends (Job 42:10) and Solomon prayed for wisdom (1 Kings 3:1-15). The Book of the Psalms is filled with prayers from requests to expressions of anger and sorrow, including intercessions, praise, and thanksgivings. Certainly there must be value to prayer because interacting with the Creator is a real life experience. People correlate praying with results, either experienced inwardly, or externally.

Jesus practiced what he preached about prayer and made it a priority, both in private (Mark 1:15, Matthew 14:23), and in public (Luke 22:32, 41-44), and famously from the cross where he died for the sins of the world, praying, “Father, forgive, them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Jesus taught us how to pray (Matthew 6:9-13, Luke 11:1-13), to not use prayer to get attention from others (Matthew 6:5-6), to pray before making an important decision (Luke 6:12-13), to pray boldly (Mark 11:24), and pray for the success of God’s mission (Luke 10:22, Matthew 9:38). Jesus continually prays for us, too! (Romans 8:34). If prayer didn’t matter, would Jesus pray?

The letters of the New Testament are similarly filled with reminders of the value of prayer. In James’ letter, “…pray for each other…” because, “the prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with” (James 5:17). The apostle Paul wrote, “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life” (Philippians 4:6-7 The Message). We are to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), and to pray for our civic leaders and neighbors (1 Timothy 2:1-3, 1 John 5:14-15, 1 Peter 3:12, Colossians 1:9-12).

What About “Thoughts and Prayers”?

In our experience, prayers matter. But can we learn anything about what people ion general think about prayer? Following natural disasters, mass shootings, or catastrophes, politicians and religious leaders often offer up their “thoughts and prayers” to victims. Our nation historically values prayer. For example, both houses of Congress open each session with prayer, the government continues to provide chaplains for the armed forces (an important part of their ministry is prayer), and other civic, public, and private organizations may include prayer in their proceedings. Detractors criticize the phrase, “Our thoughts and prayers are with you,” as meaningless, asserting that prayer offers no real value. In a recent issue of the Journal of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers sought to quantify the value people attributed to prayer. Critics argue that the phrase is cheap, and it doesn’t equate to real action. It may be offered to sound like “I really care,” but really means “I won’t do anything.” Christians frequently seek other’s prayers, especially during difficult or painful times.

The researchers took an economic approach to determining the value of thoughts and prayers. (For the full article, “The Value of Thoughts and Prayers,” visit https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/09/10/1908268116.)

For example, the findings showed that recipients of prayer often expect some kind of direct benefit (improved health or Increased wealth), or gain feelings of hope and connection to others, or to reduce their anxiety. Participants in the study self-identified as one of three groups: Christian, atheist, or agnostic. In the experiment, they were told that a stranger would be learn about their recent hardship and in return, the participant would receive that stranger’s thoughts and prayers. The experiment evaluated how much the thoughts and prayers mattered to each group. On average, Christian respondents valued the gesture, but nonreligious people negatively valued the gesture when offered by Christians, and were indifferent to receiving the thoughts and prayers from other nonreligious people. The study also suggested that while others may sincerely offer their thoughts and prayers, when no other gesture was offered, its impact was less recognized. Everyone agreed that the words alone were secondary if not also linked to other actions.

Prayer In Motion

Wait, that sounds like what we read in James’ letter when he wrote about faith in action:

“Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?” (James 2:16-17).

The bottom line? Pray. It matters. To you. To (most) others. And, it actual

The bottom line?

Pray. But remember prayer may be like like faith, without a corresponding action it is, well, using the words of James, dead. Look for opportunities to do more than pray. Don’t stop sharing with God, listening, and learning with God’s Spirit in community with others. Pray. Do. That’s why faith communities gather…to provide spiritual resources to follow Jesus with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love! There are amazing benefits to prayer, both to the one praying and to the recipients of those prayers. (And when you want to offer prayer for others and want them to know you are praying for them, its a great idea to politely ask if they’d welcome the prayer to begin with.) Whatever their response can be a wonderful moment for engagement. Active, authentic prayer is always connected to active, authentic action.

Pastor Kevin

How To Recharge Your Spiritual Batteries

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In 1800, Alessandro Volta created the first true battery. While it was large and weak compared to today’s standards it was the real beginning of stored electrical energy. Nowadays batteries are everywhere from mobile devices to vehicles and medical devices like pacemakers and prosthetics. So much of our lives are battery-powered.

Many homes around us, perhaps yours, along with Price Hall, collect solar energy to provide for our electrical needs. Our solar panels generate so much power that we earn energy credits back that can be converted into cash back. But most of the solar power collected is either used or lost. What if you could take the one area of your life where you consume the greatest amount of electricity, your home, and run it off a battery? Or if you could run your neighborhood with batteries? All of Cape May? Wow. That would be a lot of power.

Elon Musk, of Space-X, Tesla, and PayPal fame, has a new company called Tesla Energy. This new endeavor offers a suite of batteries for homes, businesses, and utilities fostering a clean energy ecosystem and helping wean the world off fossil fuels. It’s very interesting. You can learn more at: www.teslamotors.com/powerwall.

God cares about the energy we produce, and consume! “Storehouse villages, and villages for chariots and horses. Solomon built widely and extravagantly in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and wherever he fancied” (1Kings 9:19).

Churches are storehouses. Cold Spring Church is a storehouse, and even more, a distribution point for spiritual energy on God’s spiritual network through Jesus Christ.

Notice the use of the word power in what the Apostle Paul wrote to his friends: “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come” (Ephesians 1:18-21).

How To Replenish Spiritual Power:

Here are a few suggestions if you want to supercharge your life this August:

  1. Know you are loved! Remember that God in Jesus Christ loves you, forgives you, and has given you the Holy Spirit to give your life purpose and power. (John 1:14, 3:16-17)
  2. Read the Greatest Story ever told. The Bible may be the most widely published book, but is likely the least applied! God’s love letter is the Bible, and its written just for you! This month, pick a Gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) and make a commitment to not only read it, but let it read you! Let those words touch your mind, heart, and soul. Keep a journal to capture what you discover. Share what you learn. Practice what what you see in Jesus’ life. Ask God to help the Jesus Story transform your life and see what happens!
  3. Get connected with others. The early disciples knew that getting together was a powerful experience (Acts 2:42-27). Attending worship is not a command, and its much more than an obligation. It’s an opportunity to hang out with neighbors like you wanting that abundant life Jesus promised. Experience God’s word read and preached. Pray together. Give together. We are all seekers. We all struggle. We all want to experience God’s grace in our life. Make August a month for gratitude. Think of worship as a spiritual locker room to receive resources and training you need to fulfill your life’s mission out in the community. Watch and wonder at what God does through you!
  4. Receive, then give. When Jesus called you to follow him, whether thirty years ago or 3 months ago, you are on a journey with Christ that never ends. Consider the many shops and restaurants within three miles of Cold Spring Presbyterian Church. everyone of them receives and a gives something of value. What if the raw ingredients went into the restaurant, were prepared, but only the chef and staff enjoyed a meal? What if a store owner the store shelves stocked to the ceiling, but never sold anything to customers? Or what if a person studied to be a great lifeguard, but never went out on the beach to rescue people? Likewise, God has invested in you. God believes in you. You have resources, not just to store up for yourselves, but to give away, to invest in others, to serve and provide so others may be blessed. This month, for every gift, insight, blessing you receive, pass it on. After all, if your storehouse is always full, there will be no room for what’s to come!

All these activities will recharge your spiritual batteries. Consider what kind of energy you are storing? With whom do you share? Who can access it? What does it cost? And most importantly, how is is being replenished?

Cold Spring Presbyterian Church is in the spiritual energy business and all of us have time, energy, and attention (TEA) energy to share. This August, let’s figure out how to replenish our individual and congregational energy and improve the ways we deliver that energy so that everyone in our community is supercharged with God’s Spirit and experiences the abundant life!

Thank you for the positive, powerful, energy you share!

Pastor Kevin

Supercharge Your Life at Cold Spring Church

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Supercharge Your Life!

You’re Ready! You’re Invited!

Our next Explorer Group is starting July 21, meeting before worship on the 2nd floor of the Red Brick Church at 9:15 AM. During the three (3) consecutive Sundays, July 21, 28, and August 4 (with make-up dates available if you run into a schedule conflict!) you can discover abundant resources to live the abundant life!

Hello friend,

I hope now is the time for you to say “Yes!,” and attend our informal and informative Explorer Membership Orientation starting Sunday, July 21st.

RSVP today! Call 609-884-4065, or email pastor@coldspringchurch.com.

We are delighted that you have found many reasons to be involved at Cold Spring Church! You have worshipped with us, attended our events, volunteered in numerous ways, and have become an important part of our community of faith! We are honored by your current connection with us. But I think you may be ready for something more.

We will gather for three Sundays: July 21, July 28, and August 4. Our 45-minute sessions will begin at 9:15 on the 2nd floor of our Red Brick Church Worship Center!

Bring your questions, doubts, and stories as we get to know one another and find out what others have discovered to be the life-enriching benefits and responsibilities afforded to members, as we consider the foundations of the Christian faith, and the unique place Cold Spring Church has in God’s mission right here in Cape May.

Let me know this week that you want to build a new future as an Explorer in 2019! This is the year of possibilities that starts right now! However you choose to connect, we are delighted that you are part of our community!

RSVP today! Call 609-884-4065, or email pastor@coldspringchurch.com.

I hope to see you at 9:15 for our first class on the 21st.

Pastor Kevin

Transformation Pastor

Our Session Leadership Team

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A Session is the leadership team for a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregation, a denomination that Cold Spring Presbyterian Church has been a member of since, well, before the denomination was formed! The Session is comprised of nine (9) women and men who are Ruling elders elected by the congregation to terms of service. The Session Meeting gathers monthly with the Transformation Pastor, Dr. Kevin Yoho, who serves as the Session Moderator. The Session is responsible for the spiritual vitality of its members and listening to the Spirit of God and the voice of the congregation to best serve the community of Greater Cape May, New Jersey.

2019 Session Team Leadership: Our elders lead one of four ministry teams. Speak with them to share your ideas, concerns, joys, learn more, or please, join a team that interests you.

  • Congregational Life: Marjorie Wetherill, Pamela Barsby
  • Worship-Music: Martin Bowne, Rob Riehl
  • Finance-Personnel: Vickie Banks, Tom Imperato, Charles Keister
  • Cemetery-Church Property: Bob Olivieri, Kevin Beare

The Top Ten Session Responsibilities include:

  1. Mission of the church (working with the congregation, inspiring the congregation, and equipping the congregation to achieve the vision and mission of Cold Spring Presbyterian Church)
  2. Worship (providing regular, spiritually energizing and equipping, experiences)
  3. Transformation (learning and growing in community-directed ministry)
  4. Evangelism (sharing the Good News about Jesus)
  5. Community (serving the community of Cape May)
  6. Education (providing learning experiences for all ages)
  7. Stewardship (promoting the joyful participation of our time, energy, and attention to support God’s work)
  8. Finance (setting the annual budget, financial review and accountability, and investing resources)
  9. Administration (works with the pastor to pro five supervision and training to all staff)
  10. Higher Governing Bodies and Ecumenical Relationships (regularly participating in the regional ministry of West Jersey Presbytery, the national ministry of the Presbyterian Church, (U.S.A.), and local ecumenical partners)

Additional session leadership resources are discussed in the, The Presbyterian Trustee, A Guide, (Geneva Press, 2004).

 

How To Create A Thriving, Growing Church. Great Ideas + Thoughtful Action = Transformational Change

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  “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Hi friend,

What are you thinking about? Got a few great ideas? Whatever it is, pay attention to it because what we think about affects our actions. Thinking, while important, is just well, thinking, unless those good thoughts are put into positive action.

Our Time, Energy, and Attention represent what we believe. (For more on TEA, read my post about Charlie Brown, here.) Our attention is not only influenced by our faith in Jesus, but our thinking including our experiences, biases, fears, hopes, and dreams, also influence our thinking!

Psychologists, pastors, and educators all know that our thinking is influenced by our actions and attitudes. Visualization coaches and trainers recognize that realizing high achievement requires mastery over our thoughts. Take a minute and consider your thinking habits.

Getting control over our thinking begins by changing unhelpful thinking habits into more productive ones. Once you can identify your unhelpful thinking styles, you may become aware they often occur just before and during distressing situations. If this is your experience, you can try different techniques to refocus your mental frame of reference and choose alternate thoughts empowering yourself to see the situation in a different and more helpful way.

The Mental Filter- Some thought habits can function like filters allowing us to notice only what the filter allows or wants us to notice, and we dismiss anything that doesn’t. Like looking through dark lenses or paying attention to only the negative stuff, anything more positive or realistic is dismissed. Ask yourself, Do I only notice the bad stuff? Am I filtering out the positives? Am I wearing those dark glasses that cloud my thinking? What would be more productive and realistic?

“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse” Philippians 4:8 (MSG).

What thoughts help you grow and change? Remember, “…the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” Let’s make July a month of great thoughts that are transformed into action by God’s Spirit. Thank you for all you think about… and then do! Great Ideas + Spirit Led Action = Transforming Change!

Let’s keep creating A Thriving, Growing Church. Great Ideas + Thoughtful Action = Transformational Change!

All the  best,

Pastor Kevin