|The. Rev. Dr. James Birchfield|
Prior to entering the ministry in 1992, Birchfield held several senior executive positions in the advertising and magazine publishing businesses, including a tenure as senior vice president for the Detroit office of international advertising agency Campbell-Ewald. “I was called into parish ministry after 12 years in the business world,” he explains. “I came to Christ as a young man, 32-years old, and gradually found my priorities and interests changing as I began to serve in our church and in our community. The call to leave the business world came four years later.”
Born in 1956 in Waukegan, Illinois, Birchfield received his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and, after leaving the business world, a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary. His first call was as director of high school ministry at Bel Air Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles, California. While at Bel Air, he also served as director of missions and ministry to singles before leaving in 1996 to become associate pastor for young adults at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, California. Over thirteen years there, Jim held a variety of positions and led short-term mission trips to Egypt, Malawi, Romania, Poland, and Kenya.
His sermon for July 29, “Now What?” is based on Isaiah 46, Psalm 27, and Romans 8, which he chose because of a desire to remind people of “what we know” with regard to God’s presence and work in times of trial.
Also part of the worship series, Montreat Conference Center’s Theologian-in-Residence, the Rev. John LaMotte, concludes his July Bible Study at 9:00 am in the Walkup Building as he takes less familiar or more controversial passages of scripture and puts them up for discussion in a new light. This final session, open to all, is titled “Christ in You, the Hope of Glory: A Reflection on the Lord’s Supper.” Participants are encouraged to bring their Bibles.
Childcare for children six months through completed kindergarten is available during worship at the Updike Center on Texas Road. Following worship, from 11:45 am until 1:30 pm, the traditional Sunday buffet luncheon is served in Assembly Inn’s Galax Dining Room.
All summer visitors, cottagers, conferees, vacationers, conference leadership and those from the local community are welcome to this special time to gather together around Font, Word and Table, offering God special praise through music, liturgy, and creative expression. For more information, go to Montreat Conference Center’s website www.montreat.org or phone 828.669.2911 or 800.572.2257.