Mission Crossroads

FAL 2018

Mission Crossroads is a three-time-a-year magazine focused on worldwide work of the PC(USA). It offers news and feature stories about mission personnel, international partners and grassroots Presbyterians involved in God's mission in the world.

Issue link: https://missioncrossroads.epubxp.com/i/1024538

Contents of this Issue


Page 15 of 23

14 | Fall 2018 Strangers discover their connection as children of God Pastors from three countries find renewal at Montreat Kathy Melvin John McCall Guatemalan, U.S. and Taiwanese pastors sing a hymn in Spanish. ometimes faith renewal happens in ways you would never imagine. Mission co-worker John McCall, who has served in Taiwan for more than 20 years, works to build the leadership skills of the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan. He leads groups of pastors who meet monthly to find encouragement and challenge, but he felt called to do more. He wanted to give the pastors he was mentoring an opportunity to find spiritual renewal. He was successful, but the ripple effect went much further than anyone expected. John served as pastor of Black Mountain Presbyterian Church in Western North Carolina for more than seven years. Black Mountain is next to Montreat Conference Center, a bucolic complex in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Short for "Mountain Retreat," Montreat encompasses 4,000 acres. e conference center's permanently protected 2,500 acres are now a dedicated wilderness area listed in the North Carolina Registry of National Heritage Areas. John thought the setting would be the perfect location for busy pastors to be renewed and refreshed. ere they would have the time and the space to remember who they were and why God called them. With the help of Bobbie White, Western North Carolina Presbytery's executive, the "Sowing the Seeds of Understanding: Ministry in a Global World" retreat was first offered in 2009. Building on the success of that event, the retreat was offered again in 2016. is time organizers invited three Guatemalan pastors, reflecting the presbytery's long history of mission partnership with Guatemala. Two of those pastors were able to get visas to attend. "We brought together this diverse group, from city and mountain, from different countries, to live together in community in a big, old house," John said. "Every day, in everything we did, we used Mandarin, Spanish and English and learned how to trust each other. Among the Taiwanese we had at least five different people groups. And God did a beautiful thing among us. Each day as we shared meals together, worshiped together, studied the Bible together and shared life together, we caught a glimpse of God's kingdom in our midst." ey had silent time, "an hour to meet God in nature," as well as small group discussions. e group also traveled to a Methodist church in Black Mountain, to eat at their Open Table with the elderly, the lonely and the homeless. One pastor washed the feet of a homeless veteran, who told the group, "e last time I was face to face with an Asian, I was shooting at them. Now this Asian man is washing my feet in the name of Jesus." Another pastor said, "I had forgotten to enjoy Jesus. When I go back, I'm going to help our members remember how to enjoy the Lord." John said that in today's divided world it was a joy to see strangers S

Articles in this issue

view archives of Mission Crossroads - FAL 2018