I Am Cumberland Presbyterian

I am Cumberland Presbyterian. More specifically, I am an ordained minister who comes out of the Cumberland Presbyterian tradition. I am a pastor with a unique call, serving people who are experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty.  The ministry through which this work takes place is Sacred Sparks Ministry.

This small but mighty ministry was entrusted by God to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and I was a called to serve as its pastor.  I am constantly overwhelmed with the support I get from all walks of people, and from all walks of faith. I am constantly grateful for everyone who sees God at work in Sacred Sparks Ministry and decides to support or get involved in some way. However, right now I want to take a moment to lift up and shout out my gratitude for my Cumberland Presbyterian church family. They amaze me every day in their support of this ministry!

Each and every day I feel the prayers of my CP family. When the days get long and the work gets hard, it is the chorus of encouraging words I can remember from my many CP friends along the years that keeps me going.

When I get to a place where I think I know what’s best and nobody can tell me how to live out this call any better than me, myself, and I, it is my CP friends who reel me in, slow me down, reorient me, tell me they love me, make me rest, encourage me to regroup, and get me back to work, serving as I have been called.

And when the friends I serve are in need, my CP family responds with a passion and love that is hard to explain with words, but let me try.

This month, April 2017 marks the two year anniversary of the Laundry Ministry. Two years washing clothes for 25-30 friends each week, two years of lunch provided to those friends, two years of fellowship and pastoral care, two years of church in a laundry mat. Two years of funding, quarters, soap, pizza, provided primarily by CP church families and CP friends.

And speaking of Laundry Ministry, it was a CP church who prayed about what to do with their church van when they purchased a new bus. That same CP church prayed and felt led to donate that van to Sacred Sparks Ministry. With seating for 13, it is a game-changer for Laundry Ministry!! Whenever my friends ride in that van with their laundry, they are surrounded by a tangible symbol of love that the Cumberland Presbyterian church has for them!!

And speaking of my friends, it is a CP church that has embraced two of my friends and has surrounded them with a circle of support that will enable them to make major improvements in their living conditions.  This church needed work done and had no members physically able to do the work easily. They took a chance on a friend of mine, providing payment up front and a list of chores to complete. The payment up front allowed for a purchase that has provided something much more stable and functional than a tent, even though it is not quite a permanent dwelling.

And speaking of that not quite permanent dwelling, it was a CP minister, led with his huge heart for people and social justice who decided to take a risk and allow my friends to place their new home on his business’ property for the summer months, allowing them the opportunity to find work and to take the next step in bettering their lives.

I could go on and on about stories from my CP church family and how they support this ministry, these are just some of the most recent happenings I have mentioned here. Take a look at my social media presence and you will get a good feel for these awesome people called Cumberland Presbyterians and how they support and love on my Sacred Sparks friends.

I am Cumberland Presbyterian, and today I am so very thankful for this tradition out of which my faith and my call has been, and continues to be, shaped, cultivated, and molded.

 

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