I couldn’t agree more with Jayne Devlin’s opinion [posted April 8, 2010] of kicking ministers out of the PCUSA who don’t abide by the confessions, creeds and Reformed theology that this denomination is based on. While many in our denomination strive to bring others to a point of spiritual salvation through Jesus Christ, there are others (John Shuck) who are pulling these same people in the other direction. It should be up to individual presbyteries to deal with these heresies that are broiling in their own backyards. For some reason they do not since they rely on individuals to file an accusation. Certainly if the congregation of First Presbyterian Church in Elizabethton wants to fire their pastor, they can do so. I have to assume that the congregation is totally on board with John Shuck since he has been there for nearly five years, expounding and teaching his angry, leftist brand of humanism, while leaving the teachings of Jesus Christ on the doormat of his church for all to trample on.Even my "angry, leftist brand of humanism" is not enough motivation for Rick to complete a fill-in-the-blank form in the Book of Order, Form 26 on page 329.
Don’t assume that all churches in Holston Presbytery are like this. Compare the Web sites of First Presbyterian in Elizabethton with First Presbyterian in Bristol. The language and content on these Web sites are vastly different from one another. Praise God for churches like First in Bristol. However, this epitomizes the overall problem in our denomination. We definitely are not of one accord and barring a miracle from our Lord, this will continue.
He did get one thing right.
First Presbyterian Church of Bristol is a congregation worthy of praise.
A few years ago this congregation invested in geothermal energy. According to this article in Bristol Tennessee Essential Services News:
The church will have one geothermal heat pump system, which includes 14 miles of underground pipe in the front yard,to heat its two buildings.The pipes have a 50-year lifespan.First Presbyterian Church of Bristol will be a great resource for the Green Interfaith Network that is now forming in the Tri-Cities. This is a network of congregations pooling resources and ideas to save energy, preserve our environment, and be good economic stewards like FPC Bristol.
Although the initial expenses associated with the project are significant, they are outweighed by the long-term advantages. The church will reduce its electricity bill by nearly 50 percent, and the project is expected to generate a payback within six to
eight years. Church officials plan to have heat available using geothermal energy by mid-November 2008. In addition to opting for geothermal energy, the church replaced 168 windows and added insulation to its ceilings. The stained-glass windows in the sanctuary are in the process of being checked and re-caulked, if necessary.
“The more money we can save now, the more resources we have available to serve the community,” explains Dr. Gordon Turnbull,Pastor. “That is what we are here for, to serve our Lord and to serve our community.”
In addition to serving as pastor of FPC Bristol, Gordon is our presbytery's moderator. How about that! Another person to whom the BFTSs can send complaints about me! I am always concerned that Gordon doesn't have near enough to do. When you complain to Gordon, you might ask him about his congregation's geothermal energy source.
I am tickled that the LayMAN and its readers are interested in the work of Holston Presbytery. Visit our website. Send youth to our camp. Check out our campus and youth ministry. Take a peek at our fine congregations. And if you are a clergy person looking for a call, here are some opportunities!
And if you can't stop, at least throw us a kiss!