eNews – August 21, 2018

Dear FPC family and friends,

               School starts this week.  There are a variety of Scriptures that one could use to launch the school year and encourage students and their families and the teachers.  One that I would not choose is James 3:1 which states: “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with a greater strictness.”  I have a certain respect for teachers that places them in a different category than most other people.  When we had our young couples gathering we realized that teachers composed the largest number of occupational similarity within our group.  We had five teachers just in that gathering alone.

            We have been focusing a lot on prayer during our Sunday mornings.  As we let the wind fill our sails here at FPC, we have to ensure that we are allowing the Holy Spirit to be that wind, and not our own desires and wishes.  The only way to do that is through prayer.  Tomorrow morning when we gather at 7am, like we do every Wednesday morning, I want to encourage you to pray for the teachers and the students and their families.  Ask God to give them strength, passion, purpose, and enthusiasm for their work.  Ask God to fill them with love for each child that they come across, even those that at first blush may seem unloveable.

            Here are some great Scriptures that I would encourage you to focus on as you pray for the teachers and students and families during this time of year: Proverbs 22:6 states, “Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray.” Joshua 1:9 states, “I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  That could be a good verse for those children who are just starting off in kindergarten or beginning high school.  Isaiah 48:17 states “Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, who teaches you for your own good, who leads you in the way you should go.”  We do have a teacher who guides and directs our path and so we do not need to be afraid.  The last Scripture which I want to share with you which might be helpful is Proverbs 3:5-8, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.  It will be a healing for your flesh and a refreshment for your body.”

            For those of you who don’t have children returning to school, and the start of school is not on your radar, please lift up those many people who are involved in the teaching and the running of the schools as well as those parents and children who will be either sending their kids to or attending school this fall.  It is in these times that we need your active participation in prayer for the sake of all those who are involved.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob


Stephen Ministry:  We are so grateful for the faithful leadership of Dale and Barbara Groff as they have headed up our Stephen Ministry program for the last 10 years.  They are stepping aside  from their leadership positions and this Sunday we will be commissioning Bill and Joyce Potter as our new Stephen Ministry leaders.  Bill and Joyce have just returned from Pittsburgh where they spent a number of days getting trained and prepared for this new responsibility.  We ought to give thanks to God for the faithfulness of Dale and Barbara over these many years and remain encouraged that God continues to provide people to lead and fill in the big shoes that are left.  Thank you Dale and Barbara and welcome Bill and Joyce!

Contemporary Worship position filled:  We are pleased to announce that First Presbyterian has hired Tess Miller as the permanent part-time Contemporary Worship Music leader.  She has been taking on the task on an interim basis and now we are so excited that she has agreed to join us on staff.  Tess is currently a student at Lancaster Bible College where she is finishing up her teaching degree.  She plans to graduate this winter and will be married to Ethan Feiler in the Spring.  Welcome on board Tess!

Clubhouse:  It is so hard to believe that the summer has come and gone and we are now advertising Clubhouse!  We will be starting back up on September 5 and it runs from 6-7:30 every first Wednesday.  We have grown so much over the years in this program and we look forward to another successful year.  If are willing and able to help out in any way reach out to Amanda Allison at amandaallison1@gmail.com.

Annual FPC congregation wide picnic:  This Sunday we will be having our annual picnic at Tinney Pavilion right after the second service.  Come and join us for food, festivities, cornhole, and bingo as well as a whole lot of other games and events.  We will probably bring back the egg toss as well.  Bring your favorite covered dish of salad, side dish, or desert and a lawn chair.  This is a great opportunity to invite friends to come and experience the life of FPC in a non-threatening way.  Come and join in!

FPC is going to Israel:  If you are interested in walking where Jesus walked and seeing the sights where he performed his miracles and lived his life, then come and join us on a trip to the Holy Land.  There will be an organizational meeting on September 9 at 1pm for those who are curious what is all involved and what we might be doing.  It could be an experience that will change your life.

Prayer request:  I don’t normally send out prayer requests, but I should.  I want you to keep the Petrokonis family in your prayers.  AJ and Andrea, with Leo following, will be heading out today to Stanford Hospital in CA in order for AJ to have preventive surgery.  It is a very serious surgery and one that the family would covet your prayers for a complete success and subsequent healing.  It is in times like these that our church family needs to draw even closer together.  Shower them with prayers.  There is a Caringbridge site that you can visit to get the most up to date information.  www.caringbridge.org/visit/ajpetrokonis2




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