First Presbyterian Church Blog

Save the Date: Celebration of Carols Concert on Dec. 8!

Christmas is coming! Plan now to come to our wonderful FREE Christmas concert on Saturday, December 8 from 4:15-5:30 pm. Sing your favorite Christmas carols accompanied by choir and orchestra at this free annual holiday event for the entire family that combines audience participation with selections by choir, soloists, orchestra, and a pipe organ with more than 3,000 pipes! Held in our soaring sanctuary, A Celebration of Carols is a one-of-a-kind event not to be missed. A holiday reception with cookies and hot cider will follow immediately after the concert concludes.



Common Questions about Giving

 

This year, Consecration Sunday will be this Sunday, Nov. 18th. At the end of the service, we will invite people to place their estimated giving card in a basket on their way to the Fellowship Hall. Followed by a Celebration Brunch and sharing of stories of God’s faithfulness over the past year. As we prepare for this Sunday, Pastor Eric has answered some of the most common questions about giving.

TWO REASONS NOT TO TITHE:

 

  1. DESPERATION/COERCION— You shouldn’t give to the church because you feel that without your contribution, the church will fail. And you shouldn’t give to the church out of a sense of guilt. 2 Cor. 9:7 tells us that, “God loves a cheerful giver.” Our giving should always be rooted in the confidence that God will accomplish His will in our lives and in the work of His church.

  1. GENEROSITY— Generosity is a good thing, but it is not an appropriate way to think about our tithe. The Biblical standard for the tithe is 10% of your income. The other word for this standard is the first fruits, which refers to the first 10% of the crops that were harvested. Tithing was not described as being based on generosity because the tithe was considered to be God’s property. Tithing is a recognition that all we have belongs to God rather than a portion of our belongings that we ‘give’ to God. The early church made a distinction between charity (which was given over and above the tithe) and the tithe (which was expected).

TWO REASONS TO TITHE:

  1. WORSHIP— Hebrews 13:15 tells us to, “continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise.” When we come before God on Sunday morning, we offer to God our voices, our thoughts, our hearts, our bodies, and our experiences from the week and ask God to receive them as acceptable in His sight. Our financial contributions during the worship service are a tangible way to express our intention to offer our whole being to God as sacrificial praise. Believe it or not, the practice of tithing does more for the spiritual health of the congregation of a church than it does for the facilities and programs of the church. When I was living on the East Coast, I witnessed a number of property rich churches that didn’t teach about tithing because they could cover their expenses without any contributions from their members. Without fail, such churches were beautiful on the outside and spiritually dead on the inside.
  1. FREEDOM— It is very common for people from all ends of the socio-economic spectrum to feel that they need just a bit more money in order to feel comfortable and secure. The reality is that we will never feel completely comfortable and secure financially until we realize that our comfort and security rest in a generous God not in our bank accounts and assets. There is no other way to learn this important truth than begin the practice of sacrificial giving and experience God’s abundant generosity directly.

 

HOW MUCH SHOULD I TITHE?

10% IS THE GOAL— The Biblical standard for the tithe has traditionally been understood as 10% of your income. The other word for this standard is the first fruits, which refers to the first tenth of the crops that were harvested. It may be difficult to reconcile the notions that we are not to be coerced into giving and that there is a Biblical standard for our contributions to the church. How can giving be both sacrificial and cheerful? I believe that God really does want us to contribute at least 10% of our income to His work, but I also believe that He is a gracious God who accepts us right where we are and then through His power gently leads us to greater obedience.

GROWING TOWARDS THE GOAL— If you have never made a tithe commitment before, I believe that making a 1% tithe commitment would be the first step in a wonderful journey of discovering more about God’s faithfulness and generosity in the coming year.

PASTORAL DISCLAIMERS— I feel that it is an important aspect of our pastoral responsibility to provide clear teaching on this issue, but we will make a few qualifications of we have written above. First of all, we need to avoid legalism on this issue. Many of you are on fixed incomes and have fixed expenses and may not have very much ‘wiggle room’ in your budget. Additionally, some of you are facing special crises this year because of factors outside of your control. I believe that there are cases where one can be completely faithful to God’s calling while giving less than 10% of one’s income. Only God knows our hearts, and there are many ways that we can express that all we have belongs to him. Secondly, I am your pastor, but I am also a struggling disciple of Christ myself. In any given year, we struggle with this issue as I’m sure many of you do and still have a lot of growing to do. Thirdly, we are only guessing that many of you struggle in this are because we never have and never will see either your commitment cards or your giving records. As much as we want to challenge all of us with clear teaching, we also value your privacy on this very sensitive area.



Veterans Day Service 2018

Thanks to Chip Van Gilder you can watch and listen to some of the wonderful music and readings at our 2018 Veterans Day worship service, which marked the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1. Thank you to everyone who participated in this special Sunday worship service!
 

 
 
 
 


Month of Giving: Week Two

Each week in November, we will be giving to a different organization assisting families in this holiday season. The upcoming week of November 11-17, FPC will be collecting items for Operation Christmas Child. We invite you to be a part of God’s mission and pack a box! More information will be Fellowship Hall during coffee hour.

Boxes can be brought in through November 18; thank you for your support!



Sunday Worship to Mark 100th Anniversary of End of World War I

Did you know that this Sunday marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War? In addition to celebrating the sacrament of Holy Communion, we will be marking the day with special music and songs as we pray for peace and remember the many people who have died in wars over the past century. Join us for a powerful service this Sunday at 10:30 am that will include trumpeter Jared Hall, an introit by our Chancel Choir, the singing of the hymn, “Eternal Father, Strong to Save,” and the performance of the “Armed Forces Anthem.” The last piece was co-written by FPC Minister of Worship Dr. Daniel Perrin and Carl Munson and will be sung by FPC member Michael Marano, a U.S. Army Captain. Additionally, Sunday’s organ postlude will be “Epilogue on the Old 100th,” a meditation on the Doxology composed by Ernest Farrar, a British Christian composer who died during a battle in France during World War I. You won’t want to miss this powerful service!


Stewardship and Consecration Sunday at FPC

In November, we focus our attention on financial stewardship. We ask the church family to consider making a plan to support the mission and ministry of FPC in 2019 by filling out a pledge card. You should have received a letter explaining the process and a pledge card in the mail this past week. If not, please pick one up here or contact the church office. We are encouraging everyone to turn in a card at the end of the worship service on Consecration Sunday, Nov. 18. After the service, we will enjoy a celebration breakfast and a time of fellowship focused on God’s faithfulness to us.



Month of Giving: Week One

Each week in November, we will be giving to a different organization assisting families in this holiday season. The upcoming week of November 4-10, FPC will be collecting items for the Deacons Thanksgiving Food Baskets. A complete list of items needed will be in the church library. 

Donations of food can be brought in through November 11; thank you for your support!



Daylight Savings Time Ends

 
Reminder, this Sunday, November 4, 2018, Daylight Savings Time ends and will be an adjustment to all of us!
 
When local daylight time is about to reach
Sunday, November 4, 2018, 2:00:00 am clocks are turned backward 1 hour to 
Sunday, November 4, 2018, 1:00:00 am local standard time instead.

Sunrise and sunset will be about 1 hour earlier on Nov 4, 2018, than the day before. There will be more light in the morning!



Fascinating Biographies!

This Sunday, November 4, the FPC Library will be displaying exciting and inspiring stories about various Christians and their lives. Celebrate the extra hour you gained this Sunday by stopping by and picking up a book or two!
 
All of our biographies have been catalogued and can be looked up in our online catalog here. We have biographies for adults, youth, and children. We also have fiction and non-fiction for all ages and a wide variety of DVDs. Stop by and take a look on Sunday! 
 
The FPC Library is located in Fellowship Hall and open before and after the morning service on Sundays. You can contact us by email here.


Reformation Sunday 2018: A Mighty Fortress

On Reformation Sunday (Oct. 28), FPC’s Lindsey Bells (under the direction of Daniel Heath) presented Joel Raney’s  magnificent arrangement of Martin Luther’s hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” one of the songs in the FPC Canon. The Lindsey Bells were joined by brass, piano, pipe organ, and FPC’s Chancel Choir (under the direction of Minister of Worship Dr. Daniel Perrin). If you missed this past Sunday (or if you want to experience the song again!), you can now watch the presentation on YouTube thanks to FPC member Chip Van Gilder.
 




Subscribe to Blog via Email

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