Mailing address: PO Box 490, Maysville, KY, 41056.
“Move to Maysville!”
by Pastor Jim Dougans
When Jennifer and I met and married in New York City the population was in decline. During the decade of the 1970s, New
York City lost 823,000 residents and ended up with 7,072,000 people in 1980. The city gained population from the 1980s
onward, peaking at 8,500,000 people in 2016. Since then the population has started to decline again. While still our country’s most populous city, New York City is becoming increasingly unaffordable.
Author Sarah Smarsh has a theory about the decline of New York City and other major U.S. cities. She cites a Gallup poll in 2018 that found “while roughly 80 percent of Americans live in urban areas, rural life was the most wished for.” Smarsh
writes there is a national homecoming underway that cuts across the generations and has them longing for “less bustling spaces.” Smarsh also cites a University of Minnesota researcher’s finding of a “brain gain” in rural America. This researcher found that “from 2000 to 2010 most rural Minnesota counties gained early-career to midcareer residents with ample socioeconomic assets. A third of them are returning, while the rest are new recruits.” Urbanites are leaving big cities and moving to smaller cities.
Things are also looking up in Nebraska. One of my favorite pundits, David Brooks, tells two telling stories about the intimacy and joys of small-town living. One woman he met came home and noticed her bedroom light was on. She thought it was her husband home early. But it was her plumber. She’d mentioned at the coffee shop that
she had a clogged sink, so he’d swung round, let himself in and fixed it. Another woman, when she needs some auto work done, leaves a blank check on the front seat of the car. The town mechanic comes by when he can, drives the car to his garage, does the work and fills out the check. As Brooks travels about the country it is in rural America that he finds “more moral coherence and social commitment than we have in booming urban areas.”
I will end this column with a word to recent college graduates:
consider Maysville as your home. Political scientist Samuel Abrams finds you “don’t have to live in a big city to succeed
economically and socially.” Abrams found that “65 percent of educated rural residents said that they knew their neighbors well--compared with a notably lower 55 percent who live in urban areas.” Abrams also found the data to show that “educated rural Americans are content with their job opportunities and optimistic
about the future.”
Move to Maysville if you live elsewhere. Stay in Maysville if you are already here. Worship at First Presbyterian
Church if you are looking for a church home. See you Sunday.
Ten Recommended Books on Christian Spirituality
The Spiritual Development Committee asked that I recommend ten books on Christian spirituality. Here are
1. An On-going Imagination by Clover Beal and Walter Brueggemann.
2. Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster.
3. Gospel Medicine by Barbara Brown Taylor.
4. Knowing Christ Today by Dallas Willard.
5. On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old by Parker Palmer.
6. Practicing Our Faith edited by Dorothy Bass.
7. Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense by N.T. Wright.
8. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.
9. The Attributes of God, Vol. 1 by A.W. Tozer.
10. The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris.
What books have been meaningful to you? Let me know and I will include them in another list of books
that have enriched our lives.
From Outreach Director Erik Wesley
This month my wife Lori and I had the fortunate opportunity to attend the Inter-Geo
convention in Stuttgart, Germany along with the international team at Carlson Software.
Anyone familiar with the region can tell you that late summer/early fall is a wonderful
time to visit. The weather is perfectly temperate, the fields are full of crops and
everyone is out and about on foot or by bicycle between the peak of summer and the
coming winter months.
The pastoral landscape, with it’s neighborhood gardens, bakeries, butcheries and Gasthaeuser (like bed and
breakfasts, but with a much larger kitchen and tavern attached) stand in great contrast to the ultra-modern
Stuttgart convention hall and the bleeding-edge technology industry firms that it was welcoming, despite
being separated by naught but a mile worth of corn and cabbage. Europe, and modern Germany in particular,
is a land of great contrast. The old and the new intertwine in ways that are very unprecedented to the
Despite being doubly busy with helping to translate German on behalf of the sales team and helping to
translate for Lori at the various shops and restaurants, there was indeed time for some unexpected and
unique fellowship. One of the exhibitors, indeed perhaps the oldest, was the Deutscher Christlicher Techniker
Bund and has been attending Inter-Geo (and its predecessors) since 1872. The DCTB is an organization
of Christian technical professionals (executives, theorists, professors and theologians) from all sorts of
fields, including Civil Engineering.
Whenever the words German, Christian and technical appear in the same sentence, the only card I have to
play (in the “sounds like you know what you are talking about at the dinner party” sense) is the great contemporary
apologist Dr. Werner Gitt. Dr. Gitt is a data scientist, has been working with computers since the
1970’s and is one of the original architects and theorists of artificial intelligence. In our culture, where science
vs. religion is often billed like a heavyweight fight, people like Gitt seem contradictory. In Germany,
the birthplace of the reformation and powerhouse of theology for over 500 years, people like Gitt are
selbsverstaendlich (a matter of course, literally self-understandable).
Luckily, dropping this name was just the thing to do. As it turns out, Dr. Gitt is a member of the DCTB, and
his work is what informs the vast majority of their literature and marketing materials! The piles of fliers
around me, in 32 different languages, were all excerpts from his work! The mutual proclamation of fandom
from myself and the DCTB exhibitors instantaneously transformed my simple visit into an instance of
brotherhood and friendship as guided by the Holy Spirit. We concluded by literally putting Maysville on the
globe, adding a place marker along with the countless others from every corner of the map to mark our visit
and display the breadth of God’s influence.
If anyone is interested in Dr. Gitt or his work, please feel free to ask me or search for the titles listed below.
Most of his works have been translated into English and provide compelling scientific arguments for the
necessity of a creator. Dr. Gitt argues that the abundance of structured information in the natural world, primarily
in the form of DNA, could not have self-organized, and points out the manner in which many principles
of evolutionary theory are taken as articles of faith, despite masquerading as scientific conclusion.
To Dr. Gitt, the logos (word) is all around us, inscribed in every living cell.
Titles: Did God use Evolution? (1993), In the Beginning was Information (1997), The Wonder of Man
(1999), Time and Eternity (2001) Websites: www.wernergitt.com, www.dctb.de/en
International Presbyterian Peacemaker to Visit Maysville
Lucy Awate Dabi, a 2019 International Presbyterian Peacemaker from South Sudan, will be speaking at First Presbyterian Church at 6:00pm on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. The church is located at 21 W. Third Street, Maysville, KY. This is a free event. Please call 606.564.3639 for more information.
Lucy Awate Dabi is a social worker by profession and works with RECONCILE International, the Resource Centre for Civil Leadership in Yei, South Sudan. RECONCILE works with communities in South Sudan, marred by civil war, to build trust, heal the wounds of trauma, transform conflict into peace, and promote reconciliation. Lucy has been a community worker for 13 years working at grass-roots and institutional
levels. She writes, “I was once a victim of trauma, but now I am a survivor of trauma. As such, I work tirelessly to build peace and positive change in my society, healing the chronic wounds of the recurring cycle of violence. I am always learning new things that impact my life and can positively transform my society.” Lucy is married and the mother of four children.
The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program makes it possible for leaders from partner denominations and partner organizations around the world to visit the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) each year to interpret issues of peace and justice. Since 1984 approximately 300 International Peacemakers from 60 countries have been hosted by Presbyterians.
The PW Evening Circle Bible Study will meet on Wednesday, October 9th at 6:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of the church. The Evening Circle Bible Study for 2019-2020 is entitled “Love Carved in Stone” , a fresh look at the Ten Commandments, written by Eugenia Anne Gamble. We welcome all women to join us!
Chili Cook-Off and Silent Auction!
Come join the fun on Sunday,
October 27th at 5:00 p.m.
There will be games for all ages, corn hole, and the annual chili cook-off contest. Everyone is invited to bring their favorite chili (enough to share).
Bring sandwiches or desserts and join the fun! There will also be a silent auction of cakes, pies, cookies, candy, and any baked goodies! Bake up your favorite recipe and help raise money for a great cause...bringing clean water to areas that desperately need it.
The proceeds will go to the Living Waters ministry, so get out those favorite recipes!
Pastor’s Open House
will be held on Sunday, October 20th from 2-5 p.m.
Pastor Jim and Jennifer reside at
1022 East 2nd St., Maysville.
The Session will meet Monday,
October 28th at 5:30 p.m.
Our facebook site is: www.facebook.com/maysvillepcusa.org/
The “Daily Bible Reading Schedule for One Year” cards are on the back table in the sanctuary.
Church mailing address is P O Box 490, Maysville, KY 41056.
The post office will not deliver if addressed to 21 W. 3rd St. Thank you!
Pickers and Grinners Autumn Market: Volunteers are needed for the church booth for Living Waters for the World at the Pickers and Grinners Autumn Market on Saturday, October 12th from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Please see our Outreach Director, Erik Wesley for more information.
World Communion Sunday is October 6th. The Peace and Global Witness offering exists to ignite a movement of Presbyterians engaged in the Christian witness of peacemaking and reconciliation. For generations, and to the ends of the earth, Presbyterians have borne witness to Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.
Our witness has been profound in our own communities and in places we ourselves have never been, around the corner and around the world. Twenty-five percent of the Offering stays with our congregation, and twenty-five percent with mid-councils. Fifty percent of collected funds are remitted to the Presbyterian Mission Agency to support ministries of peacemaking and reconciliation.
The Maysville Police Department is holding a “Meet and Greet” at the Rotary Park this Tuesday evening, October 1st at 6:30 p.m.
New Class: Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m., Erik Wesley our Outreach Director, will be teaching a Western Philosophy 101 class. Beginning with the pre-Socratics and ending in the 20th century, Erik will devise a comprehensive curriculum to introduce any interested parties to the Western tradition which, when combined with Biblical thought in the 1st Century A.D., gave birth to the Christian tradition as we know it. Feel free
to contact Erik: firstname.lastname@example.org to register and/or ask questions. Study materials will be provided, notebooks highly recommended.
The Spiritual Development Committee needs your help. What more should the church be doing to advance the spiritual growth of members? Please write your suggestions on the pink response cards and place them in the offering plate. Also, share your suggestions with Committee chair Mike Denham or Pastor Jim.
Nominating Committee: It’s that time of year, time to elect Session members for the Class of 2022. Please prayerfully consider joining this energetic, optimistic group in continuing the church’s ascent into the next year. If you are interested, please contact any of the Nominating Committee: Kenny Ross (chair), Mike Denham, Missy Hendrickson, Bill McNeill or Pastor Jim. We would like to have our nominees in
place to be elected by October 27th. Thank you.
PW Fall Gathering will be held on Saturday, October 5th at Camp Burnamwood in Irvine, KY. The guest speaker will be Jennifer Webb, Paralegal Specialist for the U. S. Attorney’s Office. The topic is “Shining a Light on the Opioid Crisis. Registration is from 9-10 a.m. The cost is $12. Please contact Linda Reed about attending this event. Phone number 606-763-6125.
Grief Workship at Circle H Ranch will be held on Saturday, October 12th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost is $40 and includes lunch. Contact 859-640-2544 or 606-584-8900, questions/registration. Must be 18 or older.
Over 200 families are served by the Mason County
Food Bank each month. Please keep bringing nonperishable
food donations each week to our basket in
Fellowship Hall. Please also consider a financial
contribution to Limestone Ministries, Inc. and/or the
Mason County Food Bank, because despite regular food donations
from area churches, food still needs to be purchased each month.
Mason County Food Bank is the only one available since the Calvary
Baptist Food Bank closed. Any non-perishable item will be accepted,
but the most needed items are: spaghetti sauce, boxed spaghetti,
macaroni & cheese dinners, dried beans, saltine crackers, cornbread
mix, peanut butter, oats, cereal, canned soup, canned vegetables, and
canned fruit. Cash donations are welcome also! If you write a check,
please make it payable to the First Presbyterian Church and put
‘FOOD BANK’ on the memo line. Or you can send funds directly to the Mason County Food Bank, located at 1679 Forest Avenue, Maysville, KY 41056.