Friday, July 12, 2024

Gentle Faith: Who Is the Presbyterian Church USA Today?

Standing on our previous discussion "What Does it Mean to be a Presbyterian?" we now turn to exciting new ways that we are joining in community and worship. Each Sunday morning at 10:00, we'll be learning about new ways that today's Presbyterian church has innovated, created and re-created, practiced being the church in a secular world, and expanding traditional modes of worship to include all God's people. We'll be led in discussion by Rev. Merri Alexander. Please join us! All are welcome. 

Monday, July 1, 2024

July Newsletter - Hot off the Presses!

Time to check your emails, or click on the link below for our new monthly newsletter, "I Lift Mine Eyes..." That title will be familiar to any reader of the Psalms, for it is the start of the beloved Psalm 121: I l lift mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help? My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth." 

The idea behind the title is to evoke the beautiful mountains in which our town and our church building is nestled, somewhat closely, against. But it's also an invitation to recall the remainder of that verse, which reminds us that our help comes not from tangible things we can see and touch, not from politicians or financial securities, not from nations or states, but from the mysterious, all-loving, all powerful creator of all that is and ever has been, all that ever will be, seen and unseen. We make our plans and schedules---indeed, you'll find many of them carefully noted in this newsletter!---but ultimately we are here to serve our Lord and our neighbors in ways both large and small, and to love one another as we are loved. 

Painting of a series of gentle mountain ranges from a distance, trees leafed in green, tinged with gold and reds.

"Blue Ridge Splendor" - painting by Pat Gower, currently on display at Zuma's coffeeshop

Download your newsletter here: July Newsletter


Thursday, June 6, 2024

The "Sandwich Sessions" have begun!

On Sunday June 2, we kicked off the "Sandwich Sessions," a series of church-wide conversations we're having regarding who Marshall Presbyterian has been, who we are currently, and who we envision becoming in the future. We're engaging in these discussions as a vital part of the process of discerning who might be our next pastor. You can see from the photos that it's not all hard work!

Sandwich Sessions will be held on the first Sunday of every month following the 11:00 worship service. Join us for our next session, July 7. You don't have to bring a thing: sandwich makings, soup, and sides will be provided!

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Introducing a new MPC monthly newsletter!

This is the first of what we hope will be a monthly newsletter from Marshall Presbyterian. Let us know what you think!

I Lift Mine Eyes - June 2024

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

What does it mean to be Presbyterian?

Questions are a valuable part of our faith journey as we seek to understand more clearly who we are as Christians. Ours is a “faith seeking understanding” as the classic definition of theology suggests. The nature of our faith to impels us to search for answers to our questions. We are people who seek to grow in our knowledge of who God is, what God has done in Jesus Christ and what it means to be Christian in the 21st century.

People arrive in Presbyterian pews from a variety of faith traditions and Christian traditions with great questions such as: What do Presbyterians believe? What is the “Reformed Tradition” and what beliefs are essential? What practices do Presbyterians share with other Christian churches? What is the authority of the Bible and how is it lived out in everyday situations? How do beliefs about God, Jesus Christ, the Spirit, and the church affect my values and decision making? 

These are among the questions we will explore in the “Gentle Faith” discussion at Marshall Presbyterian Church on Sunday mornings at 10:00 beginning April 7*. The door is open, the coffee is hot, and all are welcome!  Please join the discussion.

*Please note: MPC will be sharing services with Walnut Presbyterian, at Walnut, on Sunday April 21, so no Gentle Faith class will be held on this day. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Welcoming Rev. Merri Alexander as our Interim Minister

Since the retirement of Rev. Melissa, we at Marshall Presbyterian have been enjoying hearing from a range of excellent ministers. Honestly, it's been invigorating to receive the Good News of the Gospel in so many different "dialects," since every minister has their own voice, their own preaching styles. We're now ready to enter the next phase of our church life together. 

We're delighted to announce that Rev. Merri Alexander has accepted the charge to shepherd us through the process of searching for a permanent pastor. She'll be leading us in worship on Palm Sunday, and again on Easter Sunday, before formally starting on April 1. Please join us in welcoming her to our congregation, and our Madison County community! 

One of the first things she told us is that God has already chosen our next pastor. We can't help but think that Holy Spirit has led us to find Merri as our interim pastor as well. 

White woman with light short hair and glasses, smiling, wearing an orange top. She's shown in portrait style, in front of a black background
"I’m convinced without a doubt that God has already chosen your next pastor. The trip you’re on is to journey towards that person. That person has no idea yet that they’ve been chosen to be your minister." 

Merri Alexander is a retired minister member of Western North Carolina Presbytery and currently serves as the chairperson of the Committee on Preparation for Ministry. Most recently specializing in transitional ministry, Merri has served congregations in North Carolina and Tennessee as they journeyed through changes in pastoral leadership. Prior to entering pastoral ministry, Merri served over a decade as a vice president at Montreat Conference Center responsible for adult conferences, partnership development, and Sunday worship. Merri holds degrees from the Southeastern Center for Photographic Studies, St. Andrews University, and Union Presbyterian Seminary. 

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Join us Easter Sunday with musical guests Newfound Gap

 Please join us for our Easter Service on Sunday, March 31 at 11:00. We'll be led in worship by Rev. Merri Alexander, and special music will be provided by siblings (who also happen to be award-winning musicians) Bayla, Sylvie, and Judah Davis who perform together under the name Newfound Gap. Some of you might remember them from the Christmas Concert Fundraiser for Neighbors in Need, where they brought the house down! Others may have heard them play at venues including Merlefest, The Earl Scruggs Festival, Folkmoot, Woodsongs, The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, and many more. 

Black and white photo of three young people, aged around 12-16, smiling at the photographer. They're dressed casually and standing in a rural mountain setting.

We're very excited to welcome them back to Marshall Presbyterian. 

Friday, February 23, 2024

Taizé Services during Lent

Gather together Sunday evenings, at 5:00 p.m., through March 24  for quiet, meditative Taizé  services.

Taizé is a simple, meditative form of worship that prompts us to dwell deeply on Christ’s presence—around and within us.  It’s based on an ecumenical style of worship developed in the 1940s by the Taizé community, located in eastern France, in Burgundy, among rolling hills covered with vineyards.  This service is comprised of sung prayers, music, silence, and prayers.