FPC News and Announcements

Monday, February 20—Our Father

Mother Teresa commented, “I think that every time we say the ‘Our Father,’ God looks at His hands, where we are etched. ‘See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands…’ Isaiah 49:16 What a beautiful description which also expresses the personal love God feels for each one of us!”
 
These two words that form this opening phrase are essential in order to understand the “Lord’s Prayer.” The word “our” determines the nature of the whole prayer. It can be prayed in private, by individuals, but in essence it is a corporate prayer. All of the pronouns in the prayer, starting with this first one, are plural. It is a prayer that is designed to be experienced by the whole Christian community, not just by one isolated member of that community.
 
The word “father” obviously tells us to whom the prayer is addressed. Many people do not have a positive image of their fathers, so this term may cause some difficulty. After all, if the word father brings up memories of abuse, shame, or absence, it would be hard to carry on with this prayer. So what kind of father is God? To whom are we praying?
 
There are many instances in the Old and New Testaments where God is revealed as a father to His people, but the most striking example may be in the story of the prodigal son. Luke 15:11-32 The son rejects his father, demands his inheritance (saying in effect that he wished his father were dead), and squanders that wealth. When the son finally returns home, his father—in total contradiction to what would have been expected or even respectable in those times—runs out to meet his son and pours out his love for him. Some have suggested that this story should really be called the prodigal father because the father is so free and wasteful with his love, expecting nothing in return. This is the father that we address when we begin the “Lord’s Prayer.”
 
Although it costs us nothing to be the recipients of the father’s great love, the opening words of the “Lord’s Prayer” should not be uttered lightly. For these words represent our desire to be imitators of Jesus in our relationship with his father. In Israel at the time of Jesus, children would watch their fathers carry out their work and would learn their trades. Jesus became a carpenter by watching Joseph and helping him in his work. So when Jesus addresses God as father, He is not just using a term of intimacy; He is claiming to be working alongside the father in His great work of building the kingdom. Jesus’ great task in this work was His suffering and death on the cross; therefore, when we imitate Jesus in calling God our father, we are stating very boldly where we want to be in relation to God. We are saying that we want not only to share the intimacy that Jesus had with the father, but also that we want to be considered apprentices in the work of His kingdom. To be apprentices in that work, we need to take the road that Jesus took—that of ultimate humility and servanthood.
 
Although we already have been made children of the father, we are not yet the people God wants us to be. So in calling God our father, we also are asking that He would prepare us to be more and more like our older brother, Jesus.
 

Study and Prayer Suggestions

  • Spend time in communal prayer. Represent this by holding hands or linking arms as a group. Pray in particular for the return of those who have left your fellowship (friends, family) and who have rejected their father’s love.
  • Write down the characteristics of God that make Him a father. Then, write down what it means for you to be God’s child.
  • Write a modern Psalm. Work either by yourself or in a group, praising God for His prodigal love for you.


New Members Class

NEW MEMBERS CLASS

Saturday, April 1st 9:00am-1:00pm Gold Room                                                

Light Lunch Served/Childcare available with RSVP

Are you interested in becoming a member of our congregation? Do you have questions about what it means to be a Presbyterian? Then this class is just for YOU!!!  Come with your questions for Pastor Eric and learn about what it means to be a member of our church community. RSVP through the church office at 253-272-3286 or email Karen Ackerson at kackerson@fpctacoma.org

 

 

 



Ash Wednesday Service

ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICE

Wednesday, March 1st – Soup Dinner at 6:00pm in Fellowship Hall                                                                                         and Service at 7:00pm in the Sanctuary.

Please join with us as we begin our Lenten journey with a worship service of contemplation and reflection. Dinner is $3.00 per person or $10.00 per family .

 



Choral Evensong “Seeking the One who found us”

CHORAL EVENSONG – “Seeking the One who found us”

Sunday, February 26th at 6:00pm  Sanctuary

Evensong has been part of Christian worship since 1549 with roots in the  English monastic tradition of the Middle Ages. The Chancel Singers lead the service which includes sung psalms, hymns, and gospel readings. Evensong is an ecumenical service offered to our community – those who are spiritually curious, the religiously overworked, and all who seek a deeper relationship with God.

Please join us for this contemplative service of spirituality and worship.

 



FPC School Auction

FPC SCHOOL AUCTION

Saturday, March 18th at the Courtyard Marriott 5:30pm-10:30pm

Tickets on sale NOW for THE GREAT GATSBY GALA & AUCTION!         
Join us for an evening of vintage glamour & celebration supporting FPC School! Tickets are $90.00. Buy a table of 10 for $700.00. www.fpcschool.org

 

 



Ash Wednesday Service

ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICE

Wednesday, March 1st – Soup Dinner at 6:00pm in Fellowship Hall  and Service at 7:00pm in the Sanctuary.

Please join with us as we begin our Lenten journey with a worship service of contemplation and reflection. Dinner is $3.00 per person or $10.00 per family .

 



Choral Evensong

CHORAL EVENSONG – “Seeking the One who found us”

Sunday, February 26th at 6:00pm  Sanctuary

Evensong has been part of Christian worship since 1549 with roots in the  English monastic tradition of the Middle Ages. The Chancel Singers lead the service which includes sung psalms, hymns, and gospel readings. Evensong is an ecumenical service offered to our community – those who are spiritually curious, the religiously overworked, and all who seek a deeper relationship with God.

Please join us for this contemplative service of spirituality and worship.

 



Congregational Meeting This Sunday

CONGREGATIONAL MEETING THIS SUNDAY

Sunday, February 19th Directly after the worship service

Members, please stay for a quick congregational meeting for the purpose of electing corporate trustees.

 



New Members Class

NEW MEMBERS CLASS

Saturday, April 1st 9:00am-1:00pm Gold Room                                                

Light Lunch Served/Childcare available with RSVP

Are you interested in becoming a member of our congregation? Do you have questions about what it means to be a Presbyterian? Then this class is just for YOU!!!  Come with your questions for Pastor Eric and learn about what it means to be a member of our church community. RSVP through the church office at 253-272-3286 or email Karen Ackerson at kackerson@fpctacoma.org

 

 



Our Stories: Suzanne Messenger

Suzanne Messenger, originally from Idaho Falls, has lived in Tacoma since 1971. She has been a member of our congregation since she accepted Christ in 1977 through a friendship with Susie and Bill Givens and also by being a part of the FPC Women’s Bible Study. Her life verse is Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, with loving kindness I have drawn you.” (KJV)
 
In her early years at FPC, she was one of the Friday night youth leaders and whole-heartedly joined in with the youth in various activities. She laughs as she says, “I’ve pushed everything with my nose, while on my hands and knees, up and down the gym floor before it was carpeted!” She is currently involved with Women’s Bible Study and the Prayer Shawl Ministry.
 
Suzanne is also a lifelong reader and finds beauty in words and how authors frame sentences. She has fond childhood memories of riding her bicycle to the library every week to get a basketful of books! Last summer she led the Women’s Summer Book Group.
 
Suzanne has learned much about prayer from many people in this congregation who have prayed for her over the years. She is confident that God speaks to each of us and interacts with each of us individually, as well as corporately. “We always have a choice between fear and faith. I listen for His voice and even though I am not in charge, I am not afraid to ask and speak the power of His name.” Suzanne has prayed for many people, including those she has never met and looks forward to seeing them in heaven. “Prayer is such a privilege God has given us to join with Him in our lives and in the lives of others,” she adds.
 
Prior to recent cataract surgeries, she had to stop wearing her contact lenses for a few months for her eyes to regain their natural shape. “Waiting was very challenging, but God is faithful. Pauses in life can give us a glimpse of His perspective on our lives.” Now she exclaims, “It is absolutely amazing to see better than I ever have!”



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