First Presbyterian Church Blog

Easter Food Baskets

EASTER FOOD BASKETS

Do you know a family who would be blessed by receiving an Easter Food Basket?  If so, please stop by the Deacons’ Table after worship today. This ministry of the Deacons enables those in need to celebrate Easter with a special meal.   Your faithful support of this ministry is a blessing!      
You can help in one, or all, of three ways:
  • Drop non-perishable food donations off in the church entryways or Fellowship Hall before or after services through April 2.
  • Cash donations will be used to purchase hams, potatoes, sweet potatoes, fresh fruit, eggs, rolls butter and dessert.
  • Sign up to deliver a basket at the Deacon’s table in Fellowship Hall. (Delivery will be on Saturday, April 8.)

 



Second Wednesday Potluck on March 8

 
Join us Wednesday, March 8 from 6:00-7:00 pm for our monthly Wednesday night potluck. Spend an evening sharing stories and fellowship with others in our church. Please bring either soup, salad, entree or dessert to share as well as beverages for your own family. We will supply tables, plates, and cutlery. Because of allergies within our church, please don’t bring anything with nuts and label anything that contains gluten. For more information, contact Richard Shepard.


How to Be a Faithful Christian in the Midst of Political Divisions

Many Christians right now are wondering about how they and their churches might respond in a constructive manner to the current political divisions in our country. FPC’s Session (Board of Elders) held a discussion of this topic at its recent meeting in February, and our Elders and Pastor Eric decided to recommend that interested FPC members watch a recent sermon on this topic by Pastor John Ortberg, who leads a fellow ECO Presbyterian church in Menlo Park, California. Our Elders do not necessarily endorse absolutely everything Pastor Ortberg says, but they do think he has a lot of good insights for Christians to prayerfully consider in our current situation. You can watch or listen to or read the sermon, which is titled “National Reflections.”
 


New Adult Sunday School Class

NEW SPRING ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS

BREAKING THE HUDDLE Beginning March 12th 9:15am S. Chapel

Pastor Eric Jacobsen teaching.

For the past few years, we have been working hard at becoming an ‘Inside Out’ church.  We are striving to be a church that exists for the sake of those who are not already members of our fellowship.  We’ve made great strides in this, but we still have a long way to go before we reach our goal of seeing new people regularly come to faith in Jesus through the ministries of First Pres.  This class will present a strategic church wide plan for moving from a huddled church, to a witnessing church, to a conversion church.   It is based on the book

Breaking the Huddle

by Everts, Gordon, and Schaupp.  Books can be           ordered through Amazon or will be available in the church library. 

 



2nd Wednesday Potluck

2nd WEDNESDAY POTLUCK

Wednesday, March 8th 6:00pm Fellowship Hall

Contact Richard Shepard for details rshepard42796@gmail.com

 



Easter Food Baskets

EASTER FOOD BASKETS

Preparations for the Easter Food Baskets are now underway. What better way to celebrate the joy of the Easter season than by sharing compassion in our community? This Deacon ministry enables those in need to celebrate Easter with a special meal for their families.

You can help in one, or all, of three ways:

  • Drop food donations off in the church entryways or Fellowship Hall before or after services through April 2nd. (See insert) 
  • Cash donations will be used to purchase fresh items.
  • Sign up to deliver a basket on April 8 at the Deacon’s table in Fellowship Hall, where you can get your questions answered and find out more details.

 

 



Jericho Unearthed: HS/MS Sunday School, March 5

 
The battle of Jericho is one of the most enduring biblical stores. The description of the “walls falling down” is among its most well-known accounts. Yet for more than fifty years, some scholars have built a wall of doubt against the historical accuracy of the Bible using Jericho as one of its cornerstones. Join the High School/Middle School class as we watch the documentary Jericho Unearthed and return to the site of one of history’s most important battles in order to explore the crucial question relating to Joshua’s conquest: Did the walls of Jericho really come tumbling down? The HS/MS class meets in the Gold Room (South Building) on Sundays at 9:15 am. All High School and Middle School students are invited to come on March 5. As long as there is room, interested parents and other adults are also welcome.
 
 


Tuesday, February 28—For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever, Amen.

“[Jesus] must have been either the prince of impostors or what He really was, the lord of lords, the king of kings, the savior of mankind,” claims William Booth.
 
Jesus was born during the reign of Caesar Augustus, the most powerful man in the world. Augustus’ kingdom was enormous, and he was able to enforce a strict peace (the Pax Romana) within its borders. In many ways, Augustus was the best the world could offer as far as power and glory were concerned. Against this imposing king we see the familiar setting of the nativity—a poor couple away from home and a young woman giving birth in a room occupied by animals. It does not seem very impressive at all; yet the nativity is very much about the competition between two rival kingdoms, one represented by Caesar and the other by a little, wailing baby called Jesus. Where did the real power and glory exist?
 
Augustus caused the known world to be counted in his census; the birth of Jesus caused the angels to sing in the heavens. Augustus altered the course of a young couple’s lives, making them journey to Bethlehem for the birth of their son; the birth of that son altered the course of world history forever. Augustus used the threat of his armies to force a temporary peace amongst men; Jesus used obedience, humility, and suffering to bring about an eternal peace between God and humanity. It was under the authority of another Caesar that Jesus was put to death; that death and His subsequent resurrection made salvation possible for all who call Jesus lord. Augustus and Rome reflected all the glory of the world; Jesus reflected all the glory of the God who made the world.
 
The kingdom that Jesus introduced was and is the dangerous, radical alternative to the powers of this world. By praying this last part of the “Lord’s Prayer,” we are declaring that we pledge our allegiance to the kingdom of God. We also are declaring that we will dedicate our lives to seeing this alternative kingdom become a reality here on earth. It is thus a prayer of mission, a subversive prayer, and a commitment to not simply accepting the kingdoms of this world or their values.
 
It is also a prayer of empowerment. Jesus spoke and acted the way He did because He was the rightful king of kings. We are His children and, therefore, are rightful heirs to the kingdom. We have within us the very Spirit of Jesus, and that is a Spirit of true power, authority, and glory.
 
Finally, this is a prayer of confidence. It is only because God is king that we can pray the rest of the “Lord’s Prayer” with conviction. We pray with boldness because we are praying in the name of the king, the victor over evil, the true light of heaven who outshone the glory of this world with the glory of the cross.
 
Jesus showed us that the world’s understanding of power and glory is flawed. Real power and glory is found in obedience, humility, grace, justice, love, forgiveness, and all the things that characterized His life. This is the power and glory that exists in the kingdom of God.
 

Study and Prayer Suggestions

  • Write a list of things that count for power and glory in this world. Then write the things that count for power and glory in the kingdom of God. Pray that your life and the life of your family, friends, and other Christians will find its identity in the kingdom of God.
  • Read Revelations 5:1-14. Jesus is described here as both a lion and a slain lamb. What images do both of these descriptions bring to your mind? In a small group, discuss what these images tell you about the power and glory of Jesus, and how they can help you in your prayer life.
  • Take some time to reflect on what you have learned about the “Lord’s Prayer.” Give all the praise and the glory for the week of study you have had to God, including your prayers that will be answered in the future.


Monday, February 27—Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

“To cry out to the God of life in the midst of darkness, to hold on to joy while walking in a valley of tears, to keep speaking of peace when sounds of war fill the air—that is what prayer is about. It is indeed clinging to the Lord when all is being torn apart by greed, hatred, violence, and war,” says Henri Nouwen.
 
There is a recurring theme in Jewish thought that says salvation will come out of pain and suffering. An image that often was used for this was childbirth; the pains of giving birth are great, but out of those pains comes new life and new hope. Jesus truly lived out this theme, as His life was characterized by temptation, trials, and suffering. Perhaps the moment of Jesus’ life that best symbolizes all of these things is in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus prays that He might be spared from the cross. Jesus shrinks momentarily from His duty but does not yield to temptation. He resolves to give Himself over fully to the will of the father. This is obedience staring evil in the face and defying it. It was out of this trial, this temptation, and pain that eternal salvation was brought to the world.
 
So why, if we are trying to imitate Jesus, are we taught to pray “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil’?” When Jesus prayed this prayer, the father refused His request. Jesus was delivered into the hands of the evil one, but that is precisely why we can pray this prayer with confidence; Jesus defeated evil on the cross so that we could be delivered.
 
This does not mean that evil no longer exists or that temptation and times of trial will not occur in our lives. There are generally three wrong ideas we have about evil. The first is to believe that evil does not exist or does not matter. The second is to see only evil in everything and to forget about the good of creation. The third is to become self-righteous and to believe that deliverance will come as a result of our own virtue. The reality is that to pray this prayer is to recognize our own weakness and the danger of sin, but at the same time to know that we have a savior who is strong enough to deliver us. The evil one is powerful and active in this world, and he is opposed to God’s good creation and perfect will, but the victory of Jesus is more powerful and more active. This prayer asks that we would not be tempted more than we could bear and that with the strength of Jesus we would be able to resist evil and pass safely through the testing of our faith.
 
We do have some responsibilities when it comes to this part of the prayer. We need to be disciplined in our attitude toward sin. We should not be seeking out temptation nor should we allow sin to go unchecked in our lives. This is also a prayer for the world. We are asking for the forces of evil to be bound and for the light of God to shine into the darkest places. This is not a request that can be made from a safe distance. Christians need to live and pray right in the place where the world is in deepest pain. In a way, we need to allow the kingdom of God to be birthed in and through us into the sin and brokenness of the world. This requires sacrifice and pain on our parts, but we have the promise that through our trials and because of the victory of Jesus, new hope and new life will be birthed into the world.
 

Study and Prayer Suggestions

  • Read 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 with a partner. Discuss what temptations exist in your life and pray for your partner, family, friends, and others that God would reveal the way out. Discuss some practical ways of avoiding or dealing with temptation and commit to praying for each other and holding each other accountable.
  • Take a walk around your community and look for the strongholds of sin that need prayer. Make a list of them and pray that God’s deliverance would break into them.
  • Reflect on the cross. Praise God for the victory He won over evil through the death of Jesus.


Expedition Bible: New HS/MS Sunday School Class for March

 
On March 5, 12, and 19, the High School/Middle School Sunday School class will be exploring what we can learn about the truths of the Bible from modern archeology and from visiting the Holy Land. On March 5, we will watch Jericho Unearthed, which examines whether archeologists have proven or disproven the Bible’s account of the Battle of Jericho. On March 12, we will watch The Soul Shepherd, which explores what it means for God to be our shepherd by following the lives of Bedouin shepherds tending their sheep in same places Abraham and David watched over their flocks thousands of years ago. Finally, on March 19, we will watch The Jesus Tomb Unmasked, which investigates explosive claims that archeologists have discovered a “bone box” containing the remains of Jesus! ? The HS/MS class meets in the Gold Room (South Building) on Sundays at 9:15 am. All High School and Middle School students are invited. As long as there is room, interested parents and other adults are also welcome.



Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.