Soon we, the members of this church, will meet to discuss the next moment in the historic life-giving ministry of Rock Spring. As we prepare to do so, let us celebrate the joy of the past year in mission. We:
• declare praises for God’s healing and protective touch over those on our prayer list
• rejoice in having helped people of Atlanta find housing through the Intown Cooperative Ministry or stave off hunger with a brown bag lunch twice a week at our own doors.
• celebrate the welcome Georgia State-Agnes Scott-Emory students will receive from the UKIRK campus ministry we support.
• are grateful for the people who have received medicine and medical support though Mercy Care because of our support.
• offer gratitude for being part of a denomination that has an international disaster response ministry that serves communities long after others have left town to which you have contributed.
• give thanks for 149 years of worship in Atlanta, and thousands of people who have gathered in our sanctuary, our classrooms, and our lawn to glorify God and enjoy God always.
Pondering the end-of-life is never easy. Certainly many of us have endured that sorrow with those we love; and; doing so with our beloved church family is no less grievous. Like all families, we take stock of the life we have lived and wonder if we have fulfilled our purpose and made a difference. The few examples listed above are a small portion of the gospel we have shared with the world for the glory of God. Regardless of the difficulties we face that bring us to this moment, nothing can detract from more than a century of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ from the Rock Spring Presbyterian Church.
Now we come to a crossroad and must still listen for the voice of Christ who has always called to...
“the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.”
After many deliberations and through faithful service, the elders of the church have discerned that “losing our life for the sake of the gospel,” actually means letting the old, beloved church pass away so that God’s new thing might spring forth (see Isaiah 43: 19; 2 Corinthians 5: 17). As the elders, deacons, and members have followed the vision and mission over the past year, each step led to innovative new avenues of ministry. And each demonstrated more clearly that we had approached the time to pass the baton to a teammate we have not yet met, much less imagined.
The elders rejoice that we have the opportunity to pass on some very concrete gifts as legacies of this church to commemorate these 149 years of service. Those gifts, the ones being handed over, are the members whose service will continue in new places of life-giving mission, funds that have been entrusted to the use of the church for the glory of God, and a blank canvas in the shape of the building itself as new disciples discern the mission of the “gospel at the Rock.”
Many people will weigh in from many different communities surrounding RSPC. But, the members of RSPC remain focused on God’s ongoing vision and mission for us:
Alive in Christ Finding Common Ground for the Common Good,
even though it means losing our life for the sake of the gospel.
We do not know what the future holds as we stand at this crossroad; but, this we do affirm: in life and death, we belong to our faithful savior, Jesus Christ.
The details of the two gatherings for members are as follows:
September 8 -- 5:00 p.m.: Potluck Supper and congregational Town Hall Meeting
Members will have the opportunity to discuss the ministry and the future of the church. NO vote will be taken at this meeting.
September 15—following worship: formal Congregational Meeting
Members will participate in a business meeting and will vote on the unanimous motion from the Session to dissolve the congregation.
The motion reads as follows:
request the Committee on Ministry of the presbytery to appoint an Administrative Commission for the purpose of dissolving the Rock Spring Presbyterian Church on a date to be determined.
Alive in Christ, Finding Common Ground for the Common Good
Rev. Beverly Friedlander (she, her, hers)
Interim Pastor, Rock Spring Presbyterian Church