Ascension Presbytery Inquires of North Georgia Regarding

Worship Service with Baseball Theme

At its October 16-17, 1998, stated meeting, Ascension Presbytery voted to inquire of North Georgia Presbytery regarding the worship practices and Lord's Day observances of Parkview Church, a PCA congregation in Lilburn, Georgia. The action came in response to a document presented by the Session of Rocky Springs Presbyterian Church, Harrisville, PA. Entitled "A LETTER OF CONCERN TO NORTH GEORGIA PRESBYTERY FROM ASCENSION PRESBYTERY," the document reads as follows:

WHEREAS, Parkview PCA of North Georgia Presbytery did on Sunday, August 23, 1998, have as its morning worship service a baseball theme which centered the attention of the congregation on baseball rather than on the Word of God, and

WHEREAS, no Scripture was read during the worship service, and

WHEREAS, there was an opening song which employed a baseball theme to make a spiritual point followed by applause, and

WHEREAS, this was followed by the singing of the Star Spangled Banner followed by more applause, and

WHEREAS, a music video, featuring scenes from a baseball game, was shown in order to encourage teamwork, and

WHEREAS, a congregational meeting was called in the midst of the service without a formal adjournment of the meeting, and

WHEREAS, the pastor's daughter, who has cerebral palsy, was introduced by her mother. Mrs. Adams, the pastor's wife, explained that Melissa had a great desire in her swim meets to finish in other than last place. Melissa prayed and prayed that she would beat somebody. . . . Mrs. Adams thought about offering $50.00 (to someone). At long last Melissa finished next to last. The mother further explained that Melissa wanted desperately to come in first. Melissa then went to the platform and said, "After she had prayed and prayed, all the other swimmers were disqualified, so I got first place." The congregation applauded thunderously. Whereupon Melissa exhorted, "God cares about everything, even blue ribbons", and

WHEREAS, the above violates the Biblical Regulative Principle of worship, and all this seems to make a mockery of true worship and proper observance of the Lord's Day:

THEREFORE, Ascension Presbytery petitions and encourages North Georgia Presbytery to investigate Parkview Church's worship practices and Lord's Day observance and initiate corrective measures to insure proper worship and Lord's Day observance in her churches in order to bring honor and glory to God according to Scripture. Also, we respectfully ask North Georgia Presbytery to respond to Ascension Presbytery as to their action in this matter.

Ascension Presbytery voted to do three things: 1) instead of adopting the overture, to send a letter to North Georgia asking if they had inquired into this service relative to its conformity to the regulative principle and, if so, if they would be willing to share what they found; 2) to direct the Clerk to follow up by telephone if he does not hear from the North Georgia Presbytery in one month; and 3) to circulate any response from North Georgia Presbytery to Ascension Presbytery within a week after it is received.