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14175Prayer Request for Sycamore RPC

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  • trygvesson@aol.com
    Dec 9, 2005
      Dear List Members:
      There has been an ongoing expansion plan of the Kokomo Indiana city library board to demolish the building that Sycamore RPCNA uses for a worship and outreach location, which sits kiddy corner to the public library in downtown Kokomo.
      For over a year now the library board has been considering different plans for expansion and renovation. One of the plans, the one the library board finds most attratcive and one recently discovered on their website, in the area labelled "demolition," involves the "removal of the Presbyterian church" which is of course, the Sycamore RPC building.
      The congregation of Sycamore Reformed Presbyterian Church was able to purchase this historic church building in the downtown Kokomo, Indiana, area in 1998. With the sanctuary's curved wooden pews and great acoustics serving well the preaching and singing of God's Word, the many classrooms enhancing their educational ministry, and its location allowing them to be a church home to the poor in the city, they have been very thankful for this particular building.
      Being near the downtown area has given them a greater vision and opportunity for reaching the city of Kokomo with the gospel and its precious doctrines. The Lord has been blessing the ministry of Sycamore RPC  greatly in recent months, as they have many seekers and new Christians in their midst. This location is very important to the ministry and outreach that Sycamore RPCNA has to the city of Kokomo, and especially to the poor and indigent population in the downtown area of Kokomo.
      I was very encouraged to read the following e-mail update [attached below] from Sycamore RPCNA Pastor York. This below is a summary of the first meeting between Sycamore RPCNA and some of the Kokomo library board representatives.  
      I pass this along that we might be enabled to offer praise and also to pray for the specific needs of Sycamore RPC and the upcoming December 19th meeting.
      Christopher Coombes
      ---begin e-mail from Pastor York---

      Dear Friends,

      Last week I wrote regarding Sycamore RPC's potential conflict with the downtown library board, as they are wanting to expand and, with reminders to us of their eminent domain powers, are looking our way.  I apologize for the lengthiness of this prayer request, but do want those interested to know how to specifically pray for us.

      First of all, I want to thank you for the many notes you have sent with assurances of prayer support, ideas of approaches we could take, and offers of help.  It has been a great encouragement to our congregation to know the saints from Seattle to Cambridge and everywhere in between have been praying for us.  We also are starting to use several of the ideas you have offered, websites you have given, or resources that you have made available.  Please accept this general note as our thank you to all, as you can understand I have not been able to respond to each individual e-mail.

      Our session along with our deacons met for two hours with the library board president and the director last night.  Many things happened that were startling, clarifying and/or even amazing, a few of which are
      *    Of the three sites they are considering, each a four-block area in the downtown Kokomo area, the site our building sits on appears to be the one the board is leaning toward currently. 
      *    They based all their information on our building's availability on a Kokomo developer who does not even represent them.  
      *    They are weary of confrontation with the mayor, city council and other entities, and want a quick and peaceful solution to site location. If they choose this site, they spoke of potentially leaving the church building here, putting the park area and parking lot around us, and letting us use it, but of course this would have to be decided by the board.   
      *    The library representatives clearly heard that based on our vision to reach the downtown area with the gospel and to show care for the poor that are all around us, the suitability of our building for worship and education, and the historical value of its architecture, we were committed to staying.  Though we emphasized a desire to be good neighbors and work out a peaceful solution, we also told them that, if needed, we would fight an attempt to overtake us. 
      *    Perhaps the most amazing thing was they allowed us to pray for them, and afterward, since we had mentioned our acappela psalm singing and the great acoustics of our sanctuary, they requested for us to sing a psalm.  So as they sat in the pews, we nine men belted out Psalm 122B "I was glad to hear them saying, 'To the Lord's house let us go!'"  They expressed appreciation, and fifteen minutes after they left, the director returned back to our meeting and encouraged us to meet with the rest of the board so they "could see our spirit." We remain hopeful but concerned.  During this meeting we politely appealed their request for a survey and asked them to take any plan involving the removing this building off the table, thus making their need to survey the building an unnecessary expense.  They are to meet as a board on December 19th where they will consider our appeal.  Knowing that "the king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes" (Proverbs 21:1), please pray the Lord would turn their hearts in a direction that would best water the ministry of Sycamore.  We are working out a plan to resist this if need be, but our great need is prayer.  Our session will be asking our congregation to fast and pray on December 14th.  Anyone who would like to join us is certainly welcome.

      In Christ,

      Barry York

      P.S. For a meditation on our views of some of the Scriptural principles at stake, see my blog at:
      ---end email from Pastor York---
      Christopher Coombes
      Lynchburg Reformed Presbyterian Fellowship,
      Lynchburg, VA
      Member, Triangle RPC

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