Presbyterians Comfort Divorced Parishioners

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The Community Presbyterian Church has deep roots in the community. In addition to worship services, the church hosts many outreach programs plus a child learning center.

This year the congregation celebrates 70 years as an organization, but in reality the roots of the church go much deeper.

The "Stafford House," or "manse," was built in 1917 and the original log church dates back to 1936. The large church building which services are presently held in was built in 1980.

"We see ourselves as a community church, open to everyone in the community and open to community needs." Rev. Charles "Chuck" W. Proudfoot said.

Deacons of the church support an ongoing ministry for the needy including, counseling and working with local food banks. Pastor Proudfoot coordinates the chaplain's program at the hospital. The church also hosts the monthly Jazz in AZ concerts.

A year and a half ago, Community Presbyterian started a divorce recovery group. The seven-week course is for people who are separated, recently divorced, or have been divorced for some time. It covers such topics as how to understand and deal with an ex-spouse and how to care for children in a divorce situation. Two counselors from Rim Guidance Center provide part of class on their own time. The fee is $25 for the book used in lectures and small group discussions. The next group starts in January.

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Barbara Harris, director of the Child Learning Center at the Community Presbyterian Church, and Lynetta Working take care of children. The community is invited to center's 25-year celebration from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. Jan. 29, 2005.

Bible studies are open to anyone who wants to come. Beginning Jan. 3, Pastor Proudfoot will offer a seminary level of study of the Book of Matthew. Other Bible studies include "A Walk Through Galatians" which is a conversational, devotional study and Kerygama that focuses on belief based on a theme.

"We are always looking and listening to see what it is the community needs that isn't being done," he said.

The meeting that is held one evening a week is the newest opportunity to worship at the Community Presbyterian Church. The congregation wanted to offer something different and so this contemporary meeting, at 6 p.m. Thursdays includes a light meal.

Plans are already in the works for a new facility but also, because of increased demand by community service employees and several round-the-clock businesses, members are considering expanding their outreach program for children to run day and night.

"Over 13,000 students have been through the Community Presbyterian Church's Child Learning Center in the past 25 years," Proudfoot said. "So we have had a major impact on the community."

The CLC, which accepts children 1-year-old and walking through age 11, always has a waiting list.

Two of the buildings being used by the church's Child Learning Center are the manse and the log church. The manse is the home that was built in 1917 to house the church's pastor.

Sunday school at the Community Presbyterian Church begins at 9 a.m.; "Favorite Hymn Singing" is at 10:15 a.m., and worship service follows at 10:30 a.m.

To learn more about the Community Presbyterian Church, call (928) 474-2059.

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