First Presbyterian Church Blog

Reformation Sunday Resources

luther95theses
 
This Sunday (October 30) is Reformation Sunday, which commemorates the day (Oct. 31) when Martin Luther nailed his 99 Theses on the door of Wittenberg Church, helping initiate the Protestant Reformation and its focus on the Bible’s message that we are saved by Christ’s death on the cross for us, not by our own good works. If you want to learn more about the Reformation, FPC’s Library in Fellowship Hall has a high-quality dramatic film on the life of Luther starring Joseph Fiennes and Academy Award-winner Peter Ustinov. We also have a biography of Luther, Martin Luther: A Man Who Changed the World by historian Paul Maier, formerly a professor at Western Michigan University. And for kids, we have Spy for the Night Riders, a work of historical fiction that can introduce your kids to what Luther did. Finally, if you want to explore some of the later impacts of the Reformation on society, you can learn about the life of British anti-slavery reformer William Wilberforce in the book William Wilberforce by Lon Fendall and the film Amazing Grace about Wilberforce’s efforts to end slavery in the British Empire.


New Doorbell/Camera Security System Installed

For added security we have installed a new security system on the back door of the south building. Now you just  press the button with the red light and whoever is working at the reception desk during office hours will be able to see your face and buzz you in! Key cards will still be in use.
 

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November Is Stewardship Month

Beginning Sunday, October 30th and continuing each Sunday through November, we will be highlighting specific ministries and will be asking you to bring your donations forward during the service as an offering. For a complete list of donation needs, see insert for details.
 

October 30th – Thanksgiving Food Baskets

November 6th – CareNet: Bring in disposable diapers and wipes.

November 13th – Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

November 20th – Love Inc Personal Care Pantry



Operation Christmas Child

Send a message of hope and love by gifting a shoebox with new toys, school supplies and hygiene items to a child in need! Operation Christmas Child shares the Good News of Jesus Christ with every child who receives a shoebox. Be a part of God’s mission and pack a box! More information is available in Fellowship Hall.
 

Collection dates are: Nov 6th, 13th and 20th.



2016 FPC Kids Christmas Pageant Practice

Welcoming all children ages 4 years-5th grade. Join us for practices each Sunday beginning
 

November 6th – December 11th from 9:15am-10:15am in Middleton Parlor.

 Dress Rehearsal on Wednesday, December 7th at 6:00pm.

Performance on Sunday, December 11th at 10:30am

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National Speaker Series Rev. Earl Palmer Explains Paul

National Speaker Series 

REVEREND EARL PALMER EXPLAINS PAUL:

The Fulfillment of an Old Promise: St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans

Class Begins This Sunday 10/30 at 9:15am in South Chapel/South Building

 



A Prayer Story From Tim Trussler

What do we do when we see someone who we believe is a true enemy of us? Not just a person who takes a parking spot, but a person who is truly desiring to harm you (or your family, your friends, the church, etc.) First off, let’s be clear. The Bible makes quite clear that praying for the destruction of your enemies is, at a minimum, acceptable. There are a robust selection of imprecatory Psalms with such language as “Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favor his fatherless children.” and “Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!” Something tells me we won’t be hearing those Psalms next week as a choral offertory.

 

However, the life of Christ, and specifically the Sermon on the Mount, makes clear that we are called to do sacrificial good, not just acceptable levels of good. Matthew 5:44 says quite clearly, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Ok, but why are we commanded to do this? It seems near-impossible and honestly, a bit self-defeating. I seem to recall Saul losing his kingship over not slaughtering all of the Amalekites, not because he didn’t pray for their salvation robustly enough.

 

In order to give you my answer to this question, I need to tell you my prayer story about a time at Bates Technical College (all together–finally!). I had a boss who was out to get me. I know many of you say “my boss is out to get me too” but in this case, it was quite true. I’ll spare you the details, but believe that my anger and bitterness at her were COMPLETELY justified. This was a person attempting to do harm to me and my family.

 

This is where the challenge came in. I was well within my “rights” as a Christian to hold on to my “She done did me wrong” blues. I could have gone (and did go) to God in prayer and ask for His protection, for her plans to be thwarted, even for her to be removed from her position. But that’s not what God calls us to. God calls us to pray for our enemies. And not some lame, half-muttered, insincere, “God bless so-and-so. Good, done with that. Now on to the stuff I really care about.” God calls us to INTERCESSORY prayer for our enemies. God wants us to come before him and truly pray for them. Pray for their salvation if necessary, pray for the Holy Spirit to guide their paths, pray that God will give them the desires of their heart and make all their plans succeed (yikes!), pray that, as the Aaronic blessing says, God will “Look them full in the face and make them prosper (MSG)”

 

*SHUDDER* He wants me to pray what???!!!

 

Fortunately, I was challenged by several Christians (including my wife) to truly pray for my boss. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. But in being obedient to God (and my wife), I caught a glimpse into the heart of God. I think there are two reasons God calls us to pray for our enemies, one obvious and one possibly not-so-obvious. First, God loves everyone. We learn John 3:16 at an early age for a good reason. I Timothy 2:1 says that God wants to bless all people and give them what they need. Additionally, I Timothy 2:4 says that God wants all people to be saved. That was lesson one: I am to pray for my enemies because God still loves them and wants to bless them. The second lesson was more dramatic. As I attempted to pray for my boss, I found out something critically important. It is impossible to truly approach the throne of God and intercede for others while there is still bitterness in our heart towards them. We cannot wish ill towards others and truly beseech God to bless them. Ain’t gonna happen. While God gives us permission to have human emotions within reason (i.e. be angry and sin not), he understands that the end results of these emotions are spiritual harm and eventually death. That’s why he wants us to discard them on the way to the throne. It’s actually for our benefit that he asks us to do this. Release our grudges, no matter how justified, and trust God and God only to protect us and bless us.



Reminder to Bring Donations for Food Baskets on Sunday, Oct. 30

A Fall arrangement in a cornucopia on a white background

November is Stewardship Month, and this Sunday (October 30) we are asking you to bring donations for our Thanksgiving Food Basket ministry. We are hoping to fill 50 large boxes and provide Thanksgiving dinner plus leftovers for families in need. Please help by donating canned fruits and vegetables and boxed foods such as stuffing mix, potatoes, pasta and rice.  Monetary donations will help purchase turkeys, fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, butter, bread and dessert. We will bring our donations forward during worship as an offering.


Focus on Children’s Books in the FPC Library

 
by Katherine West
 
Recently we highlighted the new recommended prayer books that the library just acquired. If you haven’t stopped by yet, please come by and take a look. One section of our library that we haven’t focused on yet is the children’s section. We realize that many parents may not know how many resources are available for their children at the library. In our children’s area we have sections devoted to DVDs, Christian fiction, Bible stories, prayer, missions, and many others. In order to help parents find books for their children we’ve put together a list of some of our most popular books and DVDs in our children’s section.
 

DVDs/Audio CDs

Some of our most popular DVD series are the Veggie Tales and Hermie and Friends DVDs. We have quite a few other children’s DVDs as well. In addition to DVDs, we have several audio CDs for children. Two recommendations are the audio books of the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and At the Back of the North Wind by George Macdonald.
 

Fiction

We have many wonderful fictional stories, but the library has picked out some specific favorites. The Woof book series follow a dog named Woof and his family who have adventures that teach them about God. The Adam Raccoon book series illustrates Biblical parables and values in the form of stories about Adam the Raccoon. The Christopher Churchmouse series teaches various Christian values in stories about a mouse named Christopher Churchmouse and his family.
 

Non-Fiction

A popular series is the Sammy the Sheep Seek and Find series which follows Sammy the Sheep into to various Biblical and real-life situations where readers look for Sammy in the picture. This books series is similar to the Waldo books, some of which are also available in the library.
 
In our Bible stories section the library has several book series that tell individual Bible stories from the Old and New Testament. In addition, The Outstanding Men of the Bible series and the Outstanding Women of the Bible
are two book series about well-known men and women from the Bible. Some of the Biblical figures included are Moses, David, Hannah, and Mary.
 
Since one focus in our church this year is prayer, the children’s collection now has a dedicated section for books on prayer for children. These books explain what prayer is, how it works, and helps children learn to pray.
 
The library has many other wonderful children’s books and resources that we aren’t able to list here. Make sure to stop by so that you don’t miss any of the great books! The children’s section is located on the left side of the bookshelves that open into the library. If you need help finding anything please don’t hesitate to ask.      


Bell Ringer Information

Chapel Bell Ringers…

This is a reminder that there will be NO Chapel Bell Rehearsal TONIGHT

 (Oct. 26).  Your next rehearsal will be on Nov. 2

.NOTE:  The Lindseys WILL rehearse this week; only the Chapel practice is cancelled.

Have a great week, and we hope to see you all again at the rehearsal on

Nov. 2nd!

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