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Pastor Bob's eNews for - September 22, 2022

            In January of 2020 your church leadership gathered and came up with three visions for the church to pursue for the year.  One of those visions was to start a community meal program which would serve as an opportunity for the church and the community to gather at the table.  A few months later, well, you know what happened.  The world and the church was plunged into a pandemic that continues to affect and impact the life of the church.  Karen Bachman headed up this committee and before she was ordained as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament this past summer she was able to lead this group to provide a couple of meals for the community.  Since then there has been a bit of a vacuum in knowing who will be leading this community meal for the church.

            Last evening your session made a motion to support the “Our Table” initiative and allow it to dovetail with our community meal program.  A bit of explanation is needed.  Our denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA), has been working hard for a number of years planting churches across the country in order to reach people who would normally be on the margins of society and not necessarily plugged into the mainstream churches.  Brett and Laura Foote when they came out of seminary were very involved with this effort which is called 1001 worshipping communities.

            Walter and Kristin Kondratowski agreed to take on the responsibilities associated with the community meal program that our church had launched.  But they have a vision of a new community which might be associated with those who want to live faith out together around a table and a meal.  Some time back they had been given a vision for “Our Table” and providentially FPC had an opening in leadership for our community meal program.  The two can very neatly be tied together.  Both Walter and Kristin and the session of FPC want to make sure that every single one of you who is receiving this email knows that you are welcome to come along this journey with us as we kick off (again) the community meals.  You are all invited to join us in Fellowship Hall for a meal and a time of worship and fellowship. 

            We will let you know as soon as we have a date for the reboot.  Please hear us as we say that we would love for you to come and join us in a meal together.  For us as a church this is a great opportunity to be involved in what is on face value the planting of another church community.  There are few things more exciting than being used by God to bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus through the work of the church. 

            I do feel like this is a new chapter in the life of FPC, one that we have not embarked on at least in a few generations or so.  For most of us this will be a brand new experience in our walk of faith.  The opportunity for a church to be a part of another church community being planted in its midst is something that takes effort, time, prayer, patience, and enduring support.  If this is something that sounds incredibly appealing to you, I would encourage you to get on board with “Our Table” and let Walter and Kristin know that you would love to be a part of these followers of Jesus Christ.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

 

HAPPENING IN THE LIFE OF FPC…

            Worship on October 16 only at Strasburg Park:  Bring a blanket and a chair and join us on October 16 at 10am at Strasburg Park for a community worship service with the Strasburg Ministerium.  There will be no worship at FPC that Sunday.  Join all six churches (Wesley United Methodist Church, Acts Covenant Community, High View Church of God, St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, Strasburg Mennonite, and us) as we gather in a show of unity to worship the risen Savior Jesus Christ.

Strasburg Day:  On October 15 we will be joining with the rest of the churches in Strasburg to put on our annual Strasburg Day.  We will again have Piercing Word, free chicken bbq lunch, games, and a whole variety of events for children and adults.  Come and join us!  This will take place at the Jaycee Park and goes from 10-2

Bible Study:  This evening at 6pm join us for an ever increasing popular Bible Study.  We will be looking at this last week’s sermon theme of the “rapture”.  You can join us here this evening: Youtube

Women’s Bible Study:  Come join us on Tuesdays either at 9am or 7pm as the women of the church study Scripture together.  The study will be: “He’s where the joy is” by Tara Leigh Cobb.

Family Movie Night:  This Friday, September 23, at 6:30 join us in Fellowship Hall as we watch “Up” together and eat some ice cream.  Everyone and all ages are welcome.

Hymn Sing at the Fair:  The Strasburg Ministerium is sponsoring a hymn sing on Sunday evening, September 25 at the Lampeter Fair at 6:45.  Join us for an evening of good clean fun and worship.

Choir Rehearsal:  Join us on Thursday, September 29 at 7pm for choir.  Bruce Gerlach is excited to get the season started and to have as many of us as possible to join in this journey of singing God’s praises together in church. 

Deacon’s Community Tea:  Join us on Monday, October 3rd at 1 PM in Fellowship Hall. Gather for light refreshments, conversation, bingo, fun and laughter. Please bring an item for our food bank.

Worship with us in person! 

If you choose to stream use these options:

Sunday

8:30am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

9:30am

Coffee Hour

10am

Sunday School Class for all ages in person only
11am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

Youth Group at 5:30

Thursday

6pm

Bible Study

Youtube

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Pastor Bob's eNews for - September 16, 2022

Dear FPC family and friends,       

            The sound of young voices filling the hallways was one that has been missed over these past months.  Preschool started this week and with it comes some of the greatest opportunities that we face as a church to make an impact on the lives of individuals and families within our community.  At every age level, 2’s, 3’s and pre-K we are pretty much full in each of the classes.  What a great start to a brand new year.  I was getting ready to go into the kids’ area behind the doors and I realized that it has been nearly 2 years since I haven’t had to put a mask on in order to go back there.  It really does feel as if we are getting right back to where we were a few years ago. 

            We are welcoming new members this Sunday.  What you may not realize is that four of the new members first came into contact with our church either through the children’s ministry or through the preschool.  It does interest me as to the reasons why people visit the church and what keeps them coming back.  There have been studies done and it is something around 80% of people go to a new church because they have been invited to attend there as a result of friends who invite them.

            Do you know that we have one of the fastest growing populations right in our back yard at Willow Valley and the 55+ community.  That demographic group is absolutely taking off at unprecedented levels in our region.  What would it take for you who might be in that age group to invite a friend or someone you know to come with you to church?  If the kids are coming to church because they feel comfortable in this building due to preschool and the kids’ programs, why wouldn’t those who are retired feel comfortable if you were to invite them and take them to coffee hour?

            A joy that we share here as a family is that all age groups are in ministry together.  That was something that I tried to capture as I had five different age groups share their 9-11 stories.  We see this intergenerational activity take place spontaneously at coffee hour, in worship, in Sunday School, at Clubhouse, at youth group, in preschool, in so many different ways around this building.  One of my favorite inter-generational activity is to watch the greeter at the welcome desk interact with the children as they pass in front of the desk during preschool. 

            A family is one that loves and respects all generations that is found within it.  This past Sunday it nearly took my breath away to see 30 kids up front to have their backpacks blessed.  It was equally encouraging to see a slew of visitors who came from Willow Valley and the retirement community in town start to settle into their “new” home church.  I realized how blessed we are as a church.  We can live out real life together and all of the generations are able to impact each other for the good of the kingdom. 

            I pray that as you read this you think about people who might benefit from a journey of faith with this family that we call First Presbyterian and that you find the opportunity to invite them to join us on this journey.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

 

HAPPENING IN THE LIFE OF FPC…

 

Church outside the walls on October 16:  We will be joining all of the churches of the Strasburg Ministerium on October 16 at the Strasburg park to worship together at 10am.  There will be no worship or Sunday school that day here at FPC.  Bring a chair and a blanket and invite a friend.

Women’s Bible Study:  Begins on Tuesday September 29th at either 9am or 7pm.  Join us for a study by Tara-Leigh Cobble called: “He’s where the Joy is”.

Family Movie Night and Ice Cream Party:  Join us on Friday, September 23 at 6:30pm as we gather to watch together the movie “Up”.

Deacon’s Community Tea:  On October 3 we will gather for a tea and everyone is invited.  It will begin at 1pm. 

Bible Study:  Every Thursday evening we gather together to open and study Scripture.  Join us at 6pm here: Youtube

 

Worship with us in person! 

If you choose to stream use these options:

Sunday

8:30am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

9:30am

Coffee Hour

10am

Sunday School Class for all ages in person only
11am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

Youth Group at 5:30

Thursday

6pm

Bible Study

Youtube

 ****************************************

Pastor Bob's eNews for - September 9, 2022

Dear FPC family and friends,       

                There are a number of community events that are coming up that are important for the life and times of FPC.  In what ways were Jesus and his disciples involved in the life and times of events that were happening around Jerusalem and Galilee?  Well, we know that he and his disciples all went to Jerusalem for Passover and celebrated as any other self-respecting people of faith would celebrate.  They did get caught up in the celebrations that were a part of the culture in which they lived.  While Jesus and his disciples were definitely different, they did not completely disassociate with the rest of society.  In fact, I would argue, Jesus was criticized because people felt he associated too much with the celebrations and events of the culture around him. 

            Look at Luke 7:34 where we read Jesus states: “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.”  That is a pretty harsh criticism, but definitely one that Jesus embraced.  Contextually Jesus did not shy away from being in the center of the crowd.  Jesus was all in and that did not negatively impact his witness in the least bit.  The church is actively involved in cultural events and occurrences on a fairly habitual basis.

            I was thrilled with the crowd who showed up for the Bluegrass Festival, I think there were over 300.  What a great opportunity to get the name of the church out there so that someone just might say: Hey, I want to try them out.  This, we hope, will then lead them to come to know Jesus on a personal level.  The church is very involved in the West Lampeter fair again this year with a booth where people can stop by and learn more about the church and what we have going on here. 

            All of the churches of Strasburg again this year are going to take worship outside on October 16 at 10am.  There will be no worship here at FPC and no Sunday School either on that day.  We are so thrilled to be able to do this again, our second year in a row.  I am convinced that it will take the churches of Strasburg unified together in order to have an impact that somewhat resembles the kingdom of God in this town and in this region.  Make sure you bring a lawn chair with you, and probably a couple of blankets if last year was any indication of what it will be like this year.

            The church is called to not turn inward and look for ways in which it can serve itself.  The same is true of us as individuals.  We are not called at any time in our life to turn inward and see how we can serve ourselves.  We are called to serve first and foremost our Savior by living lives that reflect His presence within us.  Once we are able to do that, then everything else should follow.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

 

HAPPENING IN THE LIFE OF FPC…

            October 16 – Worship will be at the Strasburg Park at 10am.  No worship at FPC.  Bring a chair and a blanket.

            Women’s Bible Study starting September 20:  For this time around they will be studying Tara-Leigh Cobble’s: “He’s where the joy is”.  This is open for all women and they meet on Tuesdays starting on September 20 either at 9am or 7pm.  You choose!  Make this the year you do a women’s Bible Study.

            Movie night!  Join us on Friday, September 23 for the movie UP!  The viewing starts at 6pm in Fellowship Hall.  Come on out and join us.

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Pastor Bob's eNews for - August 31, 2022

Dear FPC family and friends,

            What a glorious Sunday it was last week.  The first Sunday the organ was played, the first Sunday we used the new sound board and the praise team sounded awesome, all of this contributed to a glorious Sunday.  The picnic after the service was a great time of fellowship and unity.  The cornhole tournament (congrats Steve Hess and Tim Ott) hosted the most number of teams that we have ever had.  It does feel like we are moving into a season in the life of the church where the new normal is starting to settle.  It simply felt good last Sunday to be in church, to be at the picnic, and to know that this family is moving in the right direction.

             This next week we will be starting up so many of our programs.  Clubhouse, our Wednesday evening kids program begins a week from today and right alongside that our single moms group will be meeting at the same time headed up by Melanie Underhill.  Preschool starts up in a couple of weeks along with toddler gym and nursery time that has already started back up.  We had a great 20 something gathering at my house and they decided to meet weekly starting on September 12.  Contact Kristin Kondratowski for more information. 

            Our social ministries continue to draw clients who are in need.  The food bank is seeing its highest number of clients ever which honestly has drained their resources down to pretty much a bare minimum.  It is very humbling to be in the office while it is open to see a line of people waiting to be served and to hear bits and pieces of their stories.  Weekly I leave knowing that we are doing what God has placed upon our hearts as a mission and also knowing that we are being impacted just as significantly as our help is impacting our clients.

As we move forward on this journey I wanted to be sure that you knew that this Sunday Brett Foote is going to be in church and will be preaching.  We will be celebrating communion together.  If you missed the announcement in the bulletin, we are looking for some folks to be making bread for those services.  If you are interested, please let me know and have your bread in the kitchen by 10am on Saturday morning.  I am thrilled to have Brett back and to be able to celebrate communion for the first time together on a Sunday morning. 

            This past Sunday I encouraged folks at our yearly stewardship Sunday to tithe.  I also mentioned that if you aren’t currently tithing then use October as the month that you agree to “put God to the test”.  You can hear the whole sermon here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QBXbENoEQU.  On this note we hope to begin in the new year another series of Financial Peace University which is a program we have done in the past that has helped so many of you.  Stay tuned as we look to offer that soon.

            I mentioned on Sunday that the life of the church and the purpose of the church is not so that we can do more things and have more programs or become better Christians.  The life of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ.  If someone does not know Jesus, we hope that when they interact with us and our family then they might come to know and serve Jesus.  Also, if someone is a Christian, that they would not be satisfied with just being a Christian, but would want to become a disciple, a follower, one who is mature in the faith in their actions and thoughts. 

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

HAPPENING IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH…

            Want to bake a loaf of bread?  Brett Foote will be celebrating communion with us this Sunday and we were hoping that we could have on the communion table loaves of bread that you as a congregation have made.  If you are interested in baking a loaf of bread please let me know and have it in the kitchen by 10am this Saturday.

Presbyterian Bluegrass:  Join us this Saturday, September 3 at 6pm at the Strasburg Park as we celebrate another year of bluegrass.

            Clubhouse:  A great opportunity for kids in K-5 to join us as we celebrate the presence of Jesus in our midst with games, crafts, Bible, and fellowship.  We start back up for the season Wednesday, September 7 at 6pm.

            Family movie night and ice cream party:  September 23 we will have a family movie night in Fellowship Hall where the movie UP will be shown.  It will start at 6:30pm.

            Mark your calendars for October 17!  We will be worshipping together with all the churches of Strasburg on Sunday, October 16 at 10am.  FPC will not be having services that Sunday and there will be no Sunday School.  Join us at the Strasburg park for a time of community worship.

            New Member classes:  There is still time to join us for new member classes.  We will be meeting this Sunday at 3pm in the parlor in the church. 

            Can we get a little help?  We are looking for some people who might be willing to help us at the welcome desk.  If you would be willing to greet people as they come in the door, interact with our food bank clients, and answer the phone this is perfect for you.  Contact Kay Straley if this is something you feel like you could do at kstraley55@gmail.com.

            Bible Study every Thursday evening:  Join us on Thursday evenings at 6pm for a Bible Study here:  Youtube

Worship with us in person! 

If you choose to stream use these options:

Sunday

8:30am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

9:30am

Coffee Hour

10am

Sunday School Class for all ages in person only
11am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

Youth Group at 5:30

Thursday

6pm

Bible Study

Youtube

************************************

Pastor Bob's eNews for - August 19, 2022

Dear FPC family and friends,

            In March of 2018 we welcomed on board Bruce Gerlach as our interim organist/choirmaster.  His time here as an interim was filled with joy and good music and laughter.  His time as interim ended once we hired Chris Henkel and the past four years have been equally wonderful with Chris at the helm.  Well, this past Wednesday our session voted to bring Bruce back (there is some alliteration for you).  It did take session to make that decision because the hiring was one that was very unorthodox, and yet when you hear the end result I think you will only be able to say that it is a major win for the church.

            It is not often that a candidate states that they want less pay in order to beef up the music ministry of the church.  As a result of this generosity we will be able to bring into the choir singers for each section, alto, soprano, bass, and tenor, to help with our choir as they lead us in worship.  Bruce will be choosing these singers and it is very likely that they will be students at Lancaster Bible College where he teaches. 

            So, with the hiring of Bruce we are also bringing on section leaders in the choir to help supplement our voices.  We are also injecting into the service a group of 20 somethings that is going to inevitably impact the dynamics of worship as well.  All of this is good, very good!  Bruce will be starting the first Sunday of September so be sure to welcome him when you see him.  I have to say that the new organ was also a huge draw to get him to come and praise God with us. 

            Once again, we are embarking on a new journey together as a church.  Whenever someone comes on staff it creates the recognition that this person is going to have an impact on the life of the church.  We do not know what kind of impact and we can only pray that it is an impact that brings us closer to God.  We currently have 14 staff working here at FPC and each has an impact on the life of the church.  We are so blessed to have a staff who love each other and love the church.

            Take some time this week to say thank you to a staff person in the church as they look to serve us in ways that reflect the love of God.  Here is a listing of our current staff: Bruce Gerlach, Jon Knauss, Mary Tunison, Angie McVey, Kristin Kondratowski, Beth Feiler, Tron Smith, Amy Stauffer, Amelia Miller, Heather Reynolds, Laurie Fulmer, Sue Henry, and Megan Childs.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

HAPPENING IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH…

            Church Picnic:  Come one and come all and invite all your friends and neighbors.  We ask that you bring a potluck dish to share as well as a lawn chair.  There will be great food, corn hole, egg toss, and many other games in which everyone can participate.  It will take place on August 28 immediate after the second service.

            New Member Classes begin this Sunday:  If you are interested in becoming a member of First Presbyterian or just want to know more about the church join us this Sunday, August 21st in the parlor of the church at 3pm with Pastor Bob.

            Lampeter Fair:  Want to get involved with helping at the Lampeter Fair?  Please sign up for a time where you can meet and greet the people as they visit the booth.  Signup sheets are at the Welcome Desk or contact Alice Eisenhooth at ameisenhooth@comcast.net.

            20 Something Group – If you find yourself in that age range join us at Pastor Bob’s house on August 24 at 7pm.  Come for fellowship and Bible Study as we try to figure out at this first meeting what the group can look like.

            Bluegrass Festival:  September 3 from 6-8pm at the Strasburg Community Park.  This event is sponsored by FPC. 

            Clubhouse starts again in September:  Join us on September 7 at 6pm as we gather with the children for Clubhouse.  All children up to 5th grade are welcome to join us as we celebrate Jesus in our midst.

            Bible Study:  Every Thursday we look at the Scripture from the previous Sunday service.  Join us at 6pm on Thursdays here: Youtube

Worship with us in person! 

If you choose to stream use these options:

Sunday

8:30am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

9:30am

Coffee Hour

10am

Sunday School Class for all ages in person only
11am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

Youth Group at 5:30

Thursday

6pm

Bible Study

Youtube

 

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Pastor Bob's eNews for - August 12, 2022

Dear FPC family and friends,

            As we finish up in Jeremiah in our read through the Bible a number of things struck me.  It is a heavy book.  A lot of bad things take place and the prophet, the mouth piece of God, is always put in a position where he is the only one saying words of warning and concern to a ruler who seems more interested in his own agenda than that of the nation he serves.  Jeremiah constantly is speaking out and warning the people and the people simply will not listen.

            The Old Testament reveals a very clear relationship between the prophet and the political leader of the day.  The form of government that we find in the Old Testament is very different from the form of government that we have today in our nation.  In the Old Testament it is a theodicy where it is God who chooses who is going to reign and that person is anointed and given the power to reign.  Changes in rulers took place because a person died and the next in line in the family tree took over.  Jeremiah served as a counsel to the person in power bringing him God’s voice in order to enact change and encourage the ruler to live and rule more closely to the kingdom of God.

            So, what would the role of the preacher/prophet be in a democracy?  How much or how little should the pastor speak about what is happening in the life of the country and specifically the individuals who happen to be in power or out of power?  Some would say none at all.  No preacher should spend any time talking about the current political realities in which we find ourselves because it has nothing to do with God.  Well, to that extreme I would strongly disagree.  All things have to do with God.

            Others would say that every week we should read the Bible and the newspaper and both should be used to dictate the message for Sunday.  Last time I checked the newspaper was not the inspired word of God, even while it does give us information about what the people of God are doing.  My guess is that there needs to be a sensible middle of the road approach where the preacher is not afraid to address issues that some may consider political, while at the same time being fully aware that he serves a congregation where people are on every imaginable side on every imaginable issue.

            Now, there are times when the preacher is called to directly address issues.  I feel like I have done that as I have spoken at length about the importance of loving the stranger.  I have addressed the topics of both capital punishment and abortion.  I haven’t shied away from speaking about our need as a congregation to confess our complicity in institutional racism.  I have tried to talk very directly about the Scriptural mandate in Matthew 25 that as a church our priorities need to be focused on the poor and those who are in need.  In any other setting outside of the church a person could easily consider each of these topics as being political. 

            But when you approach a topic, or an event, or anything else that is happening within our world from the perspective of trying to be faithful to the promises and the mandates of Scripture, then those topics become more of a way of life that Christ teaches us and less of political topics that can divide a nation.  Our ability as a church to address these charged topics while continuing to strive for the same goal: that all may become mature in Christ, is crucial for our ability to be relevant in the community around us. 

            The role of the church in a democracy is one where it ought to be able to be the compass not just for moral behavior, but to also signal the necessity for the church and society to always strive for the kingdom of God.  That kingdom requires a church to be involved in the community around it even if it risks being considered too “political”.  It is a difficult dance that we are involved in, but one that is necessary in order for us to carry out our tasks as disciples of Jesus Christ.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

HAPPENING IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH…

20-Something Group:  We are noticing that we now have a number of
20-somethings that are attending FPC on any given Sunday and we wanted to create a
space to meet and gather and eat and fellowship and study Scripture together.  We are 
going to have our first gathering at the Bronkema house at 416 Twin Elm Road, Strasburg,
on Wednesday evening, August 24 at 7pm.  Come and join us and invite a friend.

New member classes - If you are interested in becoming a member of First Presbyterian, or just want to know more about who we are and what we do, come and join us on August 21st at 3pm in the parlor and you’ll find out more about the church as we learn more about you.  You can let Pastor Bob know if you are coming, or you can just show up!

Giving to FPC:  Please contribute your tithes and offerings using one
of the following methods: Ÿ  Scan the QR code and follow the prompts  Ÿ  Click the DONATE button on the church web site  Ÿ  Mail your check to FPCS, 101 St. Decatur Street, Strasburg, PA   17579

Lampeter fair – Want to get involved with helping at the Lampeter Fair?  Please sign up for a time where you can meet and greet the people as they visit our booth.  Signup sheets are at the Welcome Desk or contact Alice Eisenhooth at ameisenhooth@comcast.net

Church Picnic:  August 28 at Tinney Pavilion - You are asked to kindly bring a potluck dish to share as well as a lawn chair.  There'll be great food (brought by all of you!), hotly contested corn hole tournament, egg toss as well as other lawn games and fun activities. We will have our usual hot dogs, hamburgers, rolls & drinks as well.  It is a great opportunity to invite family and friends to experience the life of First Presbyterian.

September 3  Ÿ  Summer Bluegrass / Gospel Festival   Ÿ  6 PM – 8 PM
Location:  Strasburg Community Park 

Worship with us in person! 

If you choose to stream use these options:

Sunday

8:30am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

9:30am

Coffee Hour

10am

Sunday School Class for all ages in person only
11am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

Youth Group at 5:30

Thursday

6pm

Bible Study

Youtube

*********************************

Pastor Bob's eNews for - August 4, 2022

Dear FPC family and friends,

            Scaffolding is up in the sanctuary, the speaker compartments near the ceiling are empty and are in desperate need of being filled.  The new organ is sitting majestically, and in a very imposing manner, in the center of the pulpit area.   The new floor gleams in a way as if it were saying to those working on it: “I’m new, please don’t hurt me.”  As we get caught up in the work that is required to install and fine tune the organ to the space that it will soon occupy, I hope we all realize that this process which is taking place will be one that will have an impact on our worship for at least the next 50 years.

            Last Sunday I preached on the legacy that we are all leaving behind.  It can be a legacy that is positive or it can be one that is negative.  I am hopeful that those who come after us will appreciate the work that is being done and will benefit from the enhanced worship that will take place as a result of the work.  In the back of everyone’s mind will always be that little question of: “was it worth it?”  That question tends to be a limited, in the present, not aware of the future impact type question.  It should be asked because sometimes it isn’t worth it.  But when we realize that this is an investment into the future of this church, well, that changes the perspective significantly.

            I think about the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with that incredibly costly perfume (John 12:1-8).  Many of the disciples asked that question, “Is it worth it?”  Jesus’ answer was a resounding yes because he recognized the importance of worshiping him in the here and now and of creating a platform where he is able to be worshipped for the next 50 years.  At the base of that question lies a very real sympathetic approach to where else resources could be allocated.  There are devastating storms in Kentucky, there is a food insecurity that has increased exponentially which our food bank is experiencing. 

            Jesus’ answer to those who asked the question in a way that showed their displeasure to this apparent waste was that you don’t have to choose between the worship of Jesus and the meeting of physical needs of people.  I had mentioned in my sermon that we have been blessed recently with a grant from our Synod of $15,000 to address the physical needs, which includes food insecurity, of those who are in our community and beyond.  The resources that go into installing the organ do not take away from our ability, and certainly not our willingness, to feed the hungry and take care of the needs of the poor in our community and beyond.  One does not decrease the resources for another.

            But Bob, one may say, we don’t have unlimited resources, how can you say that?  I can only speak from experience and from what I know Scripture describes to us.  Our ordinary giving is down quite a bit this year from past years.  It is having an impact on our approach to programs.  I remember well when we faced a similar situation in 2018 and I preached a month long series on Stewardship and you reacted in such a positive manner that we ended the year being able to give to mission in a way that had been unprecedented before that.  You are faithful and we continue to increase our attendance as we come out of covid.  God is faithful and you are faithful through your service to God.  But in the midst of all of this activity we should always remember that we are not called to choose one over the other.  With God, we can address both the significant worship of this church and the material needs of this community.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

HAPPENING IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH

            Bible Study this evening at 6:  Join us for Bible Study this evening at 6.  You can join us here: Youtube

            Church-wide barbeque:  Join us after worship on Sunday, August 28 for our church picnic at Tinney Pavillion. We will have plenty of food and our yearly corn-hole tournament and egg toss.  Join us for a time of fellowship and invite some friends.

            Summer Bluegrass festival on September 3:  Join us at the Strasburg Community Park for our yearly bluegrass festival from 6-8pm. 

            Lampeter Fair:  Want to get involved in helping out with the fair this year?  Want to sign up for a spot where you can meet and greet the people as they see our booth?  Contact Alice Eisenhooth who will surely put you to work at ameisenhooth@comcast.net.

            New Member’s Classes begin on August 21:  If you are interested in becoming a member of First Presbyterian, or just want to know more about who we are and what we do, come and join us on August 21st at 3pm in the parlor and you’ll find out more about the church as we learn more about you.  You can let Pastor Bob know if you are coming, or you can just show up!

            Fantasy Football Serie A and Serie B are now full:  Thanks to all those who signed up.  We have a full house and we look forward to the season to come.  Stay tuned for updates.

Worship with us in person! 

If you choose to stream use these options:

Sunday

8:30am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

9:30am

Coffee Hour

10am

Sunday School Class for all ages in person only
11am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

Youth Group at 5:30

Thursday

6pm

Bible Study

Youtube

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Pastor Bob's eNews for - July 27, 2022

Dear FPC family and friends,

         Well, the fun has started and the outreached is in full gear.  I call this the most wonderful week of the year when the church is filled, and I mean filled, with shiny happy people and many tiny wonderful voices filled with excitement and wonder.  VBS week is probably one of my favorite weeks of the year and this week so far has not disappointed.

            We are experiencing something very unique this year that we have not seen in the past.  While the church is filled with kids, we are used to and grateful for that, we are experiencing a huge number of volunteers who are coming out and just looking to help.  We have folks who haven’t volunteered in the past helping in our nursery, in fellowship hall, as shepherds and all around the church.  We have over 40 adults involved in this capacity.  Now, this is great, but there is more that is really eye opening.  On top of these adults we have over 20 middle school kids who are coming every evening, being divided up and being put to work.  They are amazing, and it is amazing to see this army of kids coming every evening to work.

            We have over 60 volunteers coming out to help which leaves us in a very, very good place.  When we look at Scripture we see Jesus has a whole array of people who worked hard to ensure that the logistics from one place to the next were set up and ready to roll.  When he moved with his disciples into Jerusalem for the last supper he had arranged the upper room where they were able to have a meal together.  He arranged for his disciples earlier to go across the Sea of Galilee so that they could begin their work on that side.  We find Peter’s mother-in-law serving the disciples and Jesus after she had been healed.  Logistics, in many ways, lays the ground work for the Holy Spirit to work.

            I have said often that there is no place else in the world where you find a spirit of volunteerism like we have in the United States.  We are also finding more people now willing to serve as officers as the nominating committee is gathering names.  Something is happening at this church where people are saying yes to service when they are being asked.  But we still have some gaps within the church that need to be filled.  While our children’s program is growing, our list of volunteers isn’t keeping up with the pace of our growth.  Because of the number of children that we have, we will have to break up into multiple classrooms in the fall, that is a good thing, but we need more teachers to do it.

            Beth and I are going to be meeting and identifying some people that we think could be really useful in teaching Sunday School to our children.  The middle school army that we have now is a direct result of the time and energy that we put into them over the last five years.  We need your help now to teach Sunday School, and, get this, who doesn’t love to hold babies?  We have more babies to hold as well.

            Amy is looking for more help in the nursery as our numbers increase in that area as well.  Now is the time to not just be thrilled with the growth we are experiencing, but to actually be a part of it by volunteering for our children’s ministry.  Without the logistics needed to put things in place then the programs that we want to offer will not work to prepare our children as well as we would like.  None of this sounds very spiritual, but God is definitely at work in the details. 

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

 

HAPPENING IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH…

            No Bible Study this Thursday because of VBS

 

Fellowship Hall is getting a makeover:  Work on painting, window treatments and stage curtains will begin soon.   Look for the sample board next time you're in Fellowship Hall.  The Trustees are heading up this project so if you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact either Dave Rineer, Mark Feiler, or Leo Petrokonis.

 

MOVING AHEAD – from OLD to NEW: It has been a long time in preparation, BUT the new Allen organ is now enroute to the First Presbyterian sanctuary. Many folks have been involved in this process of many years, starting with research by Tim Yoder and his organ committee. Of that group, Ray Reeder and Donna Burkholder remain as active participants. The current committee headed by Peter Witmer includes Linda Lawrence, Chris Henkel and Pastor Bob Bronkema. As reflected in the photos above, lots of action was required before the console could be brought and installed. Church members assisted in removing the old organ, enclosing the organ pit, laying new subfloor, running new wiring and regularly moving and cleaning furniture, as well as shifting the piano and drum cage. To all those many participants, THANK YOU. Generous contributions from the congregation have provided over two-thirds of the cost for the new instrument. Donations continue to be accepted for the fund. Once the new organ console has been placed, the acoustics and tonal balancing must be accomplished. This will take possibly several weeks. We anticipate the first use of the instrument in worship will occur late in August. The committee has also contracted a recital organist for a dedication concert on November 20 – the birthday of the congregation. Peter Stoltzfus Berton, born and raised in Lancaster and now a nationally recognized recitalist, will present that concert. Thanks to Ray Reeder for the organ related photos which will be featured in the August newsletter.

 

Donate to FPC:  In order to help facilitate the work of the church with your financial offering feel free to go here: https://sites.google.com/view/first-church-e-giving?pli=1

 

Fantasy Football is back, but this year it is bigger and better:  Over the past handful of years we have had a fantasy football league here at FPC.  The past winners have been: Evans Elias, Todd Allison, Terry Sweigart, and just this past year Todd Allison took home his second patch.  This year we are going to have a Serie A and Serie B.  We have 12 players locked into the Serie A and we are looking for another 12 for Serie B.  It will be a relegation league.  This year, the last four players from Serie A will drop to Serie B and the first four from B will move up to A.  If you are interested in joining the league let me know and you are in.

 

Worship with us in person! 

If you choose to stream use these options:

Sunday

8:30am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

9:30am

Coffee Hour

10am

Sunday School Class for all ages in person only
11am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

Youth Group at 5:30

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Pastor Bob's eNews for - July 14, 2022

Dear FPC family and friends,

                 We hit a post covid milestone this past week on Sunday.  For the first time in over two years we had attendance between both of our services at over 200.  At the first service we had 107 and at the second service we had 101.  Let’s be clear, that is still below our attendance numbers before Covid, but at least we are trending in the right direction.  I know that I said on Sunday that I am sensing a heaviness, but that heaviness is not related to trends, it is related to events that we are experiencing that is causing a lot of mourning and grief as a result of some very real suffering.  We have been able to share in this together and so it creates a heaviness, but also creates a shared experience which consolidates our relationships as family. 

            But overall, I am also sensing a trend toward optimism and encouragement as we not only break the 200 barrier again, but we also are seeing record numbers in our youth.  We had well over 20 youth alone at the Hess pond on Sunday for Christmas in July.  Pray for us as we take 14 middle school youth to Florida on Saturday for a mission trip.  The trend is extremely positive, and many of you have told me that you sense that as well.  Well, let me add to the positive trend.  We are so pleased to announce that session has hired Kristin Kondratowski as our full-time youth director.  She not only has been doing an incredible job as our interim, but she has big plans and ideas for our post high school young adults as well.  Hold on FPC, Kristin is in the house!

            We had a number of personnel events take place over this period of time.  I think we already notified you that Heather Reynolds is our new administrative Director for Great Beginnings.  She bumped up to teach pre-K so that necessitated hiring another teacher.  Please welcome on board Megan Childs who is local and will be teaching one of our 3 year old classes.  She comes from a lot of experience in teaching and even created a preschool curriculum for her own children when they were of that age.  We are thrilled to have her on board. 

            So, you’re probably wondering what the timeline is for our organ?  Well, if you were to come to church today and see the sanctuary you would be wondering: what is going on?  The new floor is going in and should be done by tomorrow.  VBS preparations are going on next week.  VBS happens the week after that and the organ should arrive on August 1.  But it takes a little bit of time to get it voiced and ready for the sanctuary, so we may not hear the new organ played until sometime in the middle of August.  This week you’ll be able to see a picture of the organ as it is now completed and waiting to be shipped to us.

            That is a lot happening in the life of the church, and you can notice that it is all trending in the right direction.  There is growth, anticipation, and renewal.  This might be a good time to invite someone that you know is searching for a church to come and join us on this journey together.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

HAPPENING IN THE LIFE OF FPC… 

            Bible Study this evening, join us!  We will be looking at the Scriptures from last week’s sermon: Sinners in the hands of a righteous God.  You can join us here:  Youtube

Join us for VBS:  The dates are July 24-29, the theme is Jerusalem Marketplace, the hours are 6-8:15 and the fun will be palpable.  We have a great crew of volunteers but we can always use some more.  Come and show up and we will put you to work.

            Committee openings:  Ever wonder if God is calling you to serve on a committee?  Well, the outreach, evangelism and fellowship committee is pretty sure that God is calling you to serve on their committee.  Let Pastor Bob know if you are interested in working with this great group of people.

Worship with us in person! 

If you choose to stream use these options:

Sunday

8:30am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

9:30am

Coffee Hour

10am

Sunday School Class for all ages in person only
11am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

Thursday

6pm

Bible Study

Youtube

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Pastor Bob's eNews for - June 30, 2022

Dear FPC family and friends,

            What a long strange trip it has been, but the meaning behind the experience was well worth it.  This was my 7th time to take high school students to Naples, Italy for an experience where they were able to bring what little they had and offer it to those in Naples.  At the same time we saw that they were fully aware that what they received in return will probably be more than what they had to offer.  The presence of God was tangible and our youth received more this trip than I can remember in past trips.  The running of the VBS went very smoothly with about 30 kids being present on Friday, Monday-Wednesday.  On Tuesday we packed up some of our things and did a VBS in the afternoon for another 30 kids.  I have to say, that evening I was so tired that I didn’t even order gelato. 

            On our final day there after the VBS I have never seen a room full of children so affected by our short stay there.  Tears abounded both from the kids and from us as we spent about an hour saying goodbye, signing their bandanas, singing the songs again and again and doing the motions, and just being with them as our time with them closed.  Every trip our youth and adults wonder how in the world is this going to work if we don’t speak their language and they don’t speak ours. 

            For us, the communication started with Bryan Eltman taking one of the staffs that we had brought and pointing to a map on the wall as the kids were getting there the first day.  Nothing planned, nothing organized, just trying to communicate in some way.  When kids know that you care about them, that means everything, and kids know if you care about them.  It just exudes from you and tells a story. 

            The rest of our time there was incredibly eventful.  We may have had a spotting and a worship with the former Pope Ratzinger while we were in St. Peter’s, yet to be certified, but I’m pretty sure that is who it was.  I think he was just returning from the fabled city of Oliveum.  Our return home was not the most ideal.  We made it as far as Montreal and then our flight was cancelled and we were rebooked two days later.  Yeah, that wasn’t going to work so we rented two cars and drove the 8 hours home with the youth on Sunday morning.  We worshipped with you in the van and it was such a joy to be able to do that. 

            These mission trips which take you away from your home are fraught with risks and with moving you away from where you would normally be and put you in a place where you can’t really have an impact on your people at home.  While I was away we had a series of tragedies and deaths that continue to shape and impact our community.  One of the pillars of our church, Dottie Smith, passed away and her service will be on Tuesday at the church.  One of our youth passed away, Tyler Zook, and the shock and doubt that rises as a result of a teenager no longer being with us continues to shake us to the core. 

            God manifests Himself in so many different ways, and yet we have the assurance that God manifests himself completely and faithfully in all days and to all people.  We have that promise as we find ourselves here in Strasburg, or even a bit further away.  My encouragement for us during this trying time is to remember the faithfulness of God in our own individual lives, recount the times that God has been good to us.  In the same way we can remember the faithfulness of God to the church, which continues to not only survive, but thrive, even as we walk through this current valley of the shadow of death.  Continue to be church, continue to be a family in the midst of all times.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

 

 

BIBLE STUDY THIS EVENING AT 6!!  Join us this evening for Bible Study here: Youtube

 

Worship with us in person! 

If you choose to stream use these options:

Sunday

8:30am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

9:30am

Coffee Hour

10am

Sunday School Class for all ages in person only
11am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

Youth Group at 5:30

Thursday

6pm

Bible Study

Youtube

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Pastor Bob's eNews for - June 17, 2022
From Italy

Dear FPC family and friends,

         Welcome to our enews-Italy edition!  We arrived safe and sound after a little bit of a delay and I’m writing early in the morning on Friday as we get ready to begin our first day of VBS.  As it is when I always come back to Italy it was great reconnecting with people I haven’t seen in 4 years and to see their excitement for what is about to take place as our kids take center stage to provide a week of ministry to children who have it pretty rough.

            As we snuggled into our beds last night in our rooms that were probably in the mid-90s we were reminded that we were fortunate enough that we had our own bed and a stomach that had just tasted the best gelato in the world.  We try to make it hard to complain when we recognize front and center the city and the hardships in which these children to which we will be ministering live.  We hope and we pray that it converts a me first attitude that some of us may have to a perspective of what can I do to ensure that my interactions with the children and my interactions with the group of which I am a part never exemplifies a me first attitude. 

            Mission trips are supposed to do that to you.  We often think that when we go on a mission trip that we are the ones bringing something that they need.  We try to provide the perspective that while we are the ones bringing VBS, those to whom we are ministering are able to provide valuable lessons and insights to us about life and even about God.  I have found these trips to be goldmines of learning for those who are open to learn.  Not everyone is open to glean the lessons that come from these trips.  Those who have the hardest time learning from these trips tend to have a hard time moving away from how can I benefit from this to what can I bring in servanthood to this.

            The last couple of paragraphs may sound like a perfect example of what the church ought to be like as well.  An opportunity to present ourselves to the community and to each other in a spirit of servanthood is what we are called to do.  I hope we don’t have to go on a mission trip to figure that out.  I hope that is a part of our everyday approach to life.  Certainly, Jesus gave us that perspective when he told his disciples: I have come not to be served but to serve in Matthew 20:28. 

            This concept is a real game changer when it comes to churches.  It has the potential of lifting us up from an approach of protectionism and securing our way of being and the status quo to being open to the movement of the Holy Spirit as it leads and guides us within a structure of order and production.  When we no longer live for ourselves but for Jesus we then start to figure out what it means to live for others and not for ourselves.  These two concepts are interlinked.  You can’t live for Jesus and then your top priority is yourself.  Living for Jesus should automatically create within us a desire to live for others and place others first.

            Please pray for us as we continue to discover the presence of Jesus in our midst.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

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Pastor Bob's eNews for - June 9, 2022

         There is a lot of banging going on in the sanctuary while I’m writing this.  It is hard to believe that the organ has been removed, Ryan Fulmer made everything level, and so now we no longer have an organ pit and a much larger pulpit area where I can freely roam about the cabin.  It also provides a lot more space for the praise team and more flexibility for the choir.

            It has been a year where there have been a number of large ticket items that we have faced and you have been so incredibly generous in meeting the needs for the organ, the mission trip auction, the Master Plan, and other needs that have arisen over this year.  We also saw an outpouring of support for the Bethany Slavic Church after Konstantin Resnik shared with us last Sunday.  Talk about a Pentecost Sunday where the Holy Spirit was palpably present.  If you have not seen the service I can’t encourage you enough to hear Konstantin speak.  It was incredibly moving and powerful. 
You can find that link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNWw_1g3c9g&t=5s

            There is something happening in the church that I’m guessing that most of you are not aware is happening.  We had a meeting a couple of weeks ago to gather middle school youth and their parents who might be interested in a mission trip to Florida.  We have 14 middle school youth going on the trip in July.  As you saw in church this Sunday we will be having a progressive dinner for the youth and we have over 20 youth who will be attending.  This does not count your gaggle of advisors.  What is happening?  The Holy Spirit is moving palpably in our midst and Kristin Kondratowski is willing to be led.  She refuses to take any credit, so I’m just going to say that the Holy Spirit is not hesitating to use her.

            While our numbers in worship are not back to the precovid days, we are getting closer, and with VBS about to happen, it feels like we are getting back to normal.  Do you know what isn’t getting back to normal?  You aren’t going to like this…our offerings.  I began this enews extolling your generosity, and I mean it.  We have asked you for so much this year and you have responded every, single, time.  It is important to note that we are pretty far behind our Sunday offerings which could potentially impact our programming moving forward.  Mission and Finance asked each committee to be judicious in their expenditures, and I don’t doubt that each committee will be judicious.  We have still brought in more than what we have spent, but we haven’t given as much to our mission partners as we have in the past.

            I think it is important to highlight those areas that we are excited about and where we can see the Holy Spirit at work.  It is equally important to not hide from that which could be improved.  Can I encourage you to challenge yourselves to continue to tithe even during these uncertain times when inflation is at near record levels which is especially felt as we pay for gas, groceries and other amenities that have increased?  As I have always said, tithing is not for the purpose of raising funds for the church, but rather so that you can see God’s hand at work in your own life.  Consider this a friendly reminder to a congregation that has been and continues to be amazingly faithful in all things.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

HAPPENING IN THE LIFE OF FPC…

            Sunday School:  So, just as our youth are burgeoning, our children are kind of exploding.  As a result we will have to separate our kids into classes which will necessitate more Sunday School teachers.  Won’t you consider teaching once a month or once every other month?  It such a good reality in which we find ourselves, but we need your help.  Let Beth Feiler know what Sundays you may be available at bfeiler@straspres.org.

            Photographer in church on Sunday:  This Sunday as part of our revamping of our website there will be a photographer in the church taking pictures of the life of the church.

            Mission to Italy cook out: Join us after the service on June 12 as we send off our senior high youth to Italy for their mission trip. Everyone is invited and welcome to attend. You just have to show up! We will begin serving at 12:15 or so, depending on when the service ends. You can find us in Fellowship Hall.

            No Bible Study this evening:  There is a service for Dave Simmons today during the time when the Bible Study would normally take place.  As a result we will not gather again for Bible Study until June 30.

UPCOMING MEMORIAL SERVICES

            Dave Simmons – June 9 - visitation 2:30-4 and service at 4 at Wilde Funeral Home 434 Main Street, Parkesburg.

            Scott Clement (step-father of Ryan Bresset) June 10 – Visitation 5-7 and service at 7 at Bachman Snyder Funeral Home 7 South Decatur Street, Strasburg.

            Lois Anne Risser – June 14 – visitation 9:30-11am and service at 11 with luncheon to follow here at First Presbyterian.

Worship with us in person! 

If you choose to stream use these options:

Sunday

8:30am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

9:30am

Coffee Hour

10am

Sunday School Class for all ages in person only
11am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

Youth Group at 5:30

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Pastor Bob's eNews for - May 27, 2022

Dear FPC family and friends,

            After a weekend celebrating a major milestone in the life of my youngest daughter I couldn’t help but ask the question: what would I not be willing to give up in order to ensure that she would be safe?  Here is a kid who spent 5 years in school in Russia which necessitated her taking public transportation at times by herself before she was even in middle school.  Yet we never felt unsafe sending her to school in the midst of the busiest and most chaotic cities we have ever experienced in Moscow. 

            What I am having a hard time understanding is we know how precious the lives of our children are.  Jesus repeatedly states his desire that all children would come to know him and love him as he knows and loves them.  He repeatedly uses them as an example of a faith after which we ought to pursue.  Scripture is unambiguous about the role children are to play within our culture and society as they are to be the ones to lead us to peace and resolution, as a little child leads them…

            So, what would you not be willing to give up in order to ensure that your child and children in our country are safe from being killed within their classrooms?  I love playing golf, and if I knew that if I stopped playing golf then no more children would be killed, then I would do it.  If we knew that drinking alcohol would almost inevitably lead to our children having a much higher rate of being killed while they learn, I’m guessing a vast majority of us would no longer touch a drop. 

            Maybe my reasoning is faulty, but we know what is killing our children.  People using guns are killing our children.  Some of these people are mentally unstable, but not all of them.  No other country in the world struggles with the rate of school shootings that we struggle with in our country.  Why is that?  Could we potentially consider just for a moment that the reason why we have so many killings of children in our country is because we have unfettered access to these instruments of death.  Is there another reason why this is happening in our country?  Is it because we have more people who are more unstable in our country than others?  I don’t think so.

            There are many things that make me angry and make me want to point to Scripture and say: It is written right there, the solution is right there.  I can say that to racism which is still rampant in our country.  The answer to eradicate racism is right in Scripture.  We have to love God and our neighbor and when we truly do that, then no matter what your background you see other people as you see yourself.  We can say that also to the many, many deaths that have happened within our lifetime of children while at school. 

            What would you be willing to give up in order to ensure the safety of your children and your grandchildren when they are at school?  Some reading this might say: I would never allow them to limit what kind of guns I can have.  It is my right.  You are correct, it is your right, but would you be willing to give up an unfettered right in order to save the lives of children?  But making it harder to get guns isn’t going to eliminate the school shootings, you may say.  Maybe, but isn’t it worth trying it to at least see if it works?

            I have never been on record as either a gun control or gun freedom advocate.  But there are times in our lives when we simply have to say what makes the most sense.  I think we are long past the time that we have to be able to say that maybe a right that we feel is non-negotiable needs to be discussed.  The church is called to be a force for good in the society, I can think of no other way than at least in an enews to put forward a thought that might, just might, help us turn back the desire we have in this country to hurt and kill our children with guns while they are in school.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

 

HAPPENING IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH…

            Thank you Lynn Underhill and welcome to a new role Heather Reynolds:  Following 21 years serving here at FPC as the Great Beginnings director and teacher Lynn Underhill is retiring.  The impact she has had on the community and also on our church membership cannot be overstated.  Her love for the children is palpable and she will be leave a huge hole in our program and in the life of the church.  We are thrilled that Heather Reynolds has agreed to take on the director role.  Heather has been teaching here at Great Beginnings for 5 years and she will teaching pre-K this year as well.  Welcome Heather!

            We will be searching for a new teacher who will be in charge of a 3 year old class.

            Karen Bachman is going to be ordained on July 10 at 4pm:  Come on join us at Coleman Memorial Chapel 1980  Furnace Hills Pike, Lititz PA, at 4pm as our own Karen Bachman will be ordained as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament.  Let’s get as many First Presbyterian folks there as possible.

            We are still in the process of searching of an organist/choirmaster:  If you know of anyone who might be interested in taking on the position please let us know.

Memorial Day Parade and cookout:  Come and join us to walk alongside the FPC float for the Memorial Day parade in Strasburg.  It is a great opportunity for adults and children alike to represent FPC, to give out candy, and to have a great time in fellowship.  Following the parade there is a time of reflection for our service men and women who died in combat, and then we serve the community a hot dog cookout in our portico.  Come and take part in the festivities!

            Worship with us in person! 

If you choose to stream use these options:

Sunday

8:30am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

9:30am

Coffee Hour

10am

Sunday School Class for all ages in person only
11am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

Youth Group at 5:30

Thursday

6pm

Bible Study

Youtube

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Pastor Bob's eNews for - May 7, 2022

Dear FPC family and friends,

           I wanted to spend a little bit of time highlighting the incredible ministry of our Great Beginnings preschool.  Throughout the week if you step into the building you will see a busy hive of children and teachers and aides scurrying around and giving the building and those within the building life and joy. 

            After 3 decades of Jean Pontz establishing and shepherding the preschool at FPC, in 2001 Lynn Underhill brought Great Beginnings to the church.  That year there was one 4 year old class and one 3 year old class with 24 students.  Not long after Laurie Fulmer joined the staff of FPC at Great Beginnings in 2003.  From that humble but promising beginning, Great Beginnings now has four teachers (Lynn and Laurie along with Heather Reynolds and Sue Henry), 6 classes and we maxed out at 72 children.

            This obvious growth and success does not give the whole picture.  The preschool over these years has become the primary feeder for church membership.  Next time that you are in church you will see dozens of children at the services and you can pretty much be sure that a vast majority of them at one time or another had their beginning at Great Beginnings.  We have come a long way over these past 50 plus years, but we still have a long way to go.  The opportunity that we face as a church to continue to give families an experience of a life giving Christ is undeniable.

            As the preschool closes out this year we need to recognize that it has been a pretty challenging last couple of years.  But the teachers and the students and their families did not miss a beat.  They not only survived nearly two years masked, but set a great example for all of us as parents, teachers and students came together and carried on without missing a beat.  Remember that quote from Isaiah, and a child shall lead them? 

            We are blessed with a ready-made opportunity to minister to children and their families and to provide support and encouragement to teachers within the walls of our own building.  Let’s take the opportunity to do so in a way that encourages and gives thanks.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

 

Worship with us in person! 

If you choose to stream use these options:

Sunday

8:30am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

9:30am

Coffee Hour

10am

Sunday School Class for all ages in person only
11am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

Youth Group at 5:30

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Pastor Bob's eNews for - April 29, 2022

Dear FPC family and friends,    

               I don’t always feel a wave of momentum and encouragement after a session meeting, but I have to say that this week I definitely felt it.  Let me track it for you.  This past Sunday was pretty special as our youth led us in our annual Youth Sunday and we saw the fruits of the labors of three families as we had our 7th graders confirmed.  There were so many points of contact and appreciation to God for His faithfulness that I think most of us left feeling encouraged and enthusiastic for the work of the Lord at First Presbyterian.

            During this past week I have been in communication with our interim director of youth, Kristin Kondratowski and the parents of our youth to finalize a date and formalize some of the planning around a mission trip this summer for the middle school youth.  We have a very large group of middle school youth and we want them to be able to have as part of their fabric of faith a desire to reach out in care and concern to all people.  We finalized the dates and the location and there is a surge of excitement to bring this opportunity to our youth.

            At session this wave of momentum continued as we looked at the upcoming children that we have in the church in 5th grade and 4th grade and realized that our numbers or not dropping but rather increasing.  Also, we recognized that our youth have this strange habit of inviting their friends to youth group.  Huh, who would have thought that our youth would invite friends to church.  What did Isaiah say in 11:6? “And a little child shall lead them.”  What a great example for all of us.  But as we looked at the numbers we realized that we find ourselves in an interesting time in the season of the church where it is necessary for us to continue to pour into our youth in a more directed and focused way.

            Your session voted to hire a full-time youth and young adult director.  Dave Rineer will be heading up the committee and Evans Elias will serve as an at-large member and our CE committee will be assigning someone at their next meeting on Tuesday to serve on that committee.  We are not strangers to a full time youth and young adult director.  In fact, that has been our norm up until recently and so it should not be seen as an anomaly.  We want to continue this wave of momentum forward as we look toward providing ministry and programs that will increase the impact that we have upon this community with our youth ministry.

            But we also want to be sure that our impact is not relegated only to the youth.  Our community meal last evening was an example of how this church is able to multi-task as it reaches out not only to the youth but also to all ages as we offer a meal to any and all who would come.  It was a great time of fellowship and gathering as we served dozens of people who had never stepped foot in this church before.  This ministry will continue so keep your eyes open for May 26 which is when we have our next meal.  Thank you for being a part of the life and the ministry of this church as we together move forward with this new-found momentum.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

HAPPENING IN THE LIFE OF FPC

National Day of Prayer:  Join the community on May 5 at noon in front of the Strasburg Borough building by the flag pole at 145 Precision Avenue for a time of prayer for our annual National Day of Prayer. 

Annual Mulch Day:  Join us on Saturday, May 14 at 8am as we mulch the church grounds.  All are welcome!

Memorial Service for Don Gulliver:  On Sunday May 15 we will be having a memorial service for Don Gulliver out in our courtyard at 9:45 or between services.  All are invited.

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Pastor Bob's eNews for - April 21, 2022

Dear FPC family and friends,       

           Don’t transition too quickly from Easter to whatever comes next in your mind.  We are still in Easter and your reflex upon hearing the phrase: He is Risen!, should still be: He is Risen Indeed!  That’s the thing about Easter and Christmas, they aren’t just one day events, they are an entire season.  Actually, as believers in Jesus Christ, they are a lifetime of celebration and confirmation that we serve an awesome and grace filled God.  The resurrection of Jesus is central to his death as well as to his birth.  Easter creates a world in which as followers of Jesus we have to live as those who do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God. 

            They say the day and even the week after Easter the Pope and all of his cardinals gather in the Sistine chapel and tell jokes all day just to laugh in the face of death.  A true recognition that death does not have a hold on us and that the resurrection has conquered death forever.  While we must recognize that death continues to have a sting that affects us deeply, there does need to be a sense that we are able to mourn as those who have hope in the resurrection. 

            Traditionally the Sunday after Easter I take that week off from preaching and coach from the bench the youth as they prepare Youth Sunday.  That isn’t exactly happening this year but we are having the youth participating in very significant roles.  Also, don’t forget that Youth Sunday is also confirmation Sunday and so it is this Sunday that we welcome into membership: Jackson Allison, Gavin Elias, and Trent Thomas.  They prepared their confirmation creed which you will find in the bulletin on Sunday, and the rest of the youth will be participating in the worship service on that Sunday as well. 

            Thank you for taking the challenge seriously to invite someone to church on Easter Sunday.  As I mentioned earlier, Easter will last all the way through Pentecost so if you haven’t done it yet, you still have a few months to bring yourself to it to invite someone.  It was great to see some new faces on Sunday and I’ll attribute that to you inviting people to come and try out our family as a place to make their church home.

            Also, don’t forget to join us this evening for Bible Study.  We continue to get a lot of interest and a good crowd joining us for that study.  We will look at the resurrection a little more in depth.  You can join us at 6pm here: Youtube

 

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

 

HAPPENING IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH…

           

Join us for Bible Study here:  Youtube

 

Preschool:  Preschool registration for 2022/23 preschool year now open Classes available are: -

Afternoon Pre-K class - Monday, Wed. & Friday 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm –

3 Year class - Tuesday & Thursday 9 am to 11:30 am –

2 year class - Monday and/or Wednesday 9 am to 11:30 am

Registration forms are available on the preschool webpage. The registration fee is $45. For more information e-mail Lynn Underhill at hlunderhill@comcast.net

Worship with us in person! 

If you choose to stream use these options:

Sunday

8:30am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

9:30am

Coffee Hour

10am

Sunday School Class for all ages in person only
11am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

Youth Group at 5:30

Thursday

6pm

Bible Study

Youtube

***************************************

Pastor Bob's eNews for - April 15, 2022

Dear FPC family and friends,            

        I want to write an enews about the glory and the joy of Easter but here we find ourselves on Good Friday.  Happy Easter!!  Even as we struggle with one foot in the death and the suffering of our Savior, our entire being ought to be immersed in the joy that is a part of our DNA as followers of Jesus Christ.  When we say: “He is Risen!  He is Risen Indeed!”, it isn’t just for this Sunday but it ought to mark our entire life.  We are resurrected people who serve a risen Savior.  You can’t put that on hold even for a day.  So, Happy Easter even on Good Friday.

            Tomorrow, Saturday April 16, we have an event that reaches out to more children within the community than anything we do all year.  At our Easter Egg Hunt, which I believe started in 2012 so this is our 11th annual, we have children streaming to take part in this activity with their parents and friends.  It is so important for us as a church to capitalize on these events by making sure that every single person who is there is welcomed and made to feel like they are the most important person there. 

            We have a great group of people who head it up with our staff person, Beth Feiler, and Amanda Allison who have already put in hours and hours of work to make sure it is ready to go.  Thank you all who helped stuff Easter Eggs last Saturday.  If you are free, come on out and help us put on the best Easter Egg Hunt we have ever had.  This day reminds me of how important it is to be a church that is not afraid to reach out into the community in a way that shows how much our mission is dedicated to those beyond our walls.

            Also, I don’t want any of you to forget the challenge that I gave to each one of you last Sunday.  Our task as a church is to be a witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in all times of our life.  I challenged all of you to represent that witness by letting one person, one family, one couple know about Jesus by encouraging them to join us this Easter Sunday morning.  If you do that I guarantee that you will see the presence of Jesus in a much clearer way because you took a step of faith to invite someone to interact with the Savior.  It could change their lives, and it will have an impact on yours as well. 

            I look forward to seeing all of you on Easter Sunday when we can all say together in the same room: He is Risen!  He is Risen indeed!

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

HAPPENING IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH…

            Welcome to Kristin Kondratowski as our new interim youth leader:  Our current intrepid youth leader, Danny Miller’s last Sunday is April 24.  Starting on May 1st Kristin Kondratowski will be taking over the youth leader responsibilities.  We are so pleased to have Kristin on board as staff.  She has been involved as a youth leader at our church since 2018 and is excited for this new position.  She called it an “honor”.  I agree, it is an honor to serve our youth in so many different ways.  When you see Kristin please welcome her on board. 

            Good Friday Tenebre Service:  This evening at 7pm we will be having our community wide tenebre service with the Strasburg Ministerium here at FPC.  Come and join us to remember the death and suffering of our Savior. 

            Easter Egg Hunt:  This Saturday, April 16 at 10am we will be having our annual Easter Egg Hunt.  Come and join us to help out and bring all of your neighborhood kids.

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Pastor Bob's eNews for - April 7, 2022

Dear FPC family and friends,

            A little over a year ago in the midst of the pandemic we hired Danny Miller to be our Director of Youth.  He came on in the most difficult of situations: the pandemic was in full swing, he had to cover for what the former youth guy had done (that was me by the way), and the number of students that were meeting was just a handful.  Since that time, he has grown our middle school youth group to where we often have double digits in kids and we have a whole bevvy of advisors whose primary passion it is to love the youth. 

            Danny Miller has accepted a full-time position at Chestnut Level Presbyterian Church starting the first week of May.  While he loves our youth and has really felt at home here at the church, this is a logical next step for him as he went from finishing college, to a part time position, to now a full-time position.  We are thrilled to see him progress in his career and ministry as a youth worker and we definitely feel as if we have played a part of his progression and his growth.

            That, of course, leaves us without a youth director starting on April 25.  Our current plan is for me to take over those responsibilities.  I love leading youth groups and have been doing it for the last 35 years, some years better than others.  I tend to keep myself plugged into the life of the youth either through mission trips or confirmation.  I can’t imagine a year going by without me being involved in some way or the other with the youth and their families.  We would also be open to finding an interim youth leader if a name were to come up who would feel called and passionate about working with the youth.

            I have always told people who I am trying to talk into working with the youth that they don’t need to know everything, or even anything, about youth work when they work with the youth.  The most important component for a youth worker is that they love the youth, care about the youth, and are passionate for the youth to know Jesus as Lord and Savior.  Everything else will fall into place after that.  Maybe that person is you and you want to be involved in the life of the church by serving the youth in this way? 

            We find ourselves in an interesting time in the life of the church.  Within the next three months we will be needing to fill staffing needs both at the Youth position and at the organist/choirmaster position as well.  That is not an unusual position when you have 15 on staff at the church, but it is one where it feels so much better when you are filled and working on all cylinders. 

             I am grateful that as we approach Easter just a few weeks away that we can focus on the resurrection and the life that Jesus gives us as a result of being his followers.  Sometimes it is easy for us to get lost in the logistics and the nitty gritty of the running of the church and we forget how to be the church.  May God give us always the desire to be the church.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

HAPPENING IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH…

            Easter Egg Hunt Needs You!!:  This Saturday at 9am we need you to come and help us stuff Easter eggs.  We have literally thousands of eggs to stuff and would love to have your help.  It is also a great time to be in fellowship with others from the church, so come and help.  We also will love to have your help with the Easter Egg Hunt itself which will take place on April 16 at 10am.  Make sure you invite any elementary aged kids that you may know to come and enjoy the festivities. 

            Coffee Hour:  We are at that stage where we are looking for round two for people to sign up for coffee hour.  We still have some openings for May and June and following.  You will find the lists in Fellowship Hall.  Join us for coffee hour and then sign up for a week to host.

            Great Beginnings needs:  If you are able to help our preschool with the following items that would be great:  5 oz. cups, wet wipes, pretzels, animal crackers, cookies, raisins, apples and carrots.

Holy Week events and schedule: 

April 10 Palm Sunday Services  8:30 AM & 11 AM

April 14 Maundy Thursday Service 7 PM

April 15 Good Friday Tenebrae Service 7 PM

April 16 Easter Egg Hunt  10 AM

April 17 Community Easter Sunrise Service  6:30 AM

St. Michael's Lutheran Church, 40 E. Main Street, Strasburg

April 17 Easter Sunday Services, First Presbyterian Church  8:30 am & 11 am

Worship with us in person! 

If you choose to stream use these options:

Sunday

8:30am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

9:30am

Coffee Hour

10am

Sunday School Class for all ages in person only
11am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

Youth Group at 5:30

Thursday

6pm

Bible Study

Youtube

**********************************************************

Pastor Bob's eNews for - March 31, 2022

Dear FPC family and friends,    

      We are in high gear getting ready for Holy Week and all the attention that is given to remembering the suffering and the resurrection of our Savior.  Yes, we do have 7 services in one week, but those services are all focused in ensuring that we do not lose sight of arguably the most important events in our salvation history.  Over the course of Holy Week we begin with Jesus riding into Jerusalem triumphantly as king.  The whole city goes after him and cheers him on and the disciples, I can imagine, are feeling pretty good about themselves, about Jesus, and about this movement that people have started to call The Way. 

            In a few days time they gather with Jesus to celebrate the Passover meal and at that meal Jesus drops the bombshell that one of them is going to betray him, and then expands it to all of them will flee from me.  He then after the dinner washes their feet which makes all of them very uncomfortable and now all of a sudden this momentum that they had built up is starting to look a lot less formidable.  This whole idea of servant leadership is fine for people who are looking to help others, but for those trying to build a kingdom, there really isn’t much room for that kind of thinking.

            They always went across the valley into the olive groves on the other side of Jerusalem after Passover singing Psalm 121, the hymn of the pilgrims, and this Thursday evening was no different.  As they sang together: I lift up mine eyes to the hills, the magnificent Mount of Olives loomed in front of them as they climb it to arrive in their holy place, the Garden of Gethsemane.  It was usually empty, and this evening was no different with those in Jerusalem probably still feeling the effects of a late night Passover meal.  The disciples were surely feeling the effects.

            Stay up with me tonight won’t you?  Jesus asks his disciples but they are so tired after a long week, that they don’t think Jesus is serious at all.  As Jesus prays he notices his disciples are all asleep and Judas comes in the night with a group of soldiers from the high priest and he kisses him, sealing Jesus’ fate and the fate of the rest of the disciples.  This happens Thursday evening into Friday morning, again, less than a week from when the city was crying out to Jesus as their hero.

            Early Friday morning he is brought before Caiaphas, Pilate, Herod, and the rest of the Jewish leaders and as much as Pilate tries to free him, the people’s voices drown him out and he is condemned to the death penalty to take place on that day.  Jesus takes his cross on his shoulders, they nail his hands and feet on the cross, they lift it up, and by three in the afternoon, Jesus is dead.  Jesus dies, literally dies, he isn’t sleeping, he is dead.  Good Friday has just realized its full potential.

            The Sabbath passes and early in the morning on Sunday as the women make their way to the tomb wondering how they are going to roll the stone away, they get to the grave and see the angels there with the guards paralyzed with fear, and then eventually see Jesus himself.  Jesus has been raised from the dead, he was dead, but he is now living.  Jesus is alive!  All this takes place in a week.  That is why we call it Holy Week.  As we get ready to celebrate this most significant week in the life of our faith, I pray that you will not only prepare yourself for this Holy Week, but that you will take part in all of the services that are provided for you to remember and increase your faith in the life of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

HAPPENING IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH…

Lenten Services and luncheon - Join us for weekly services held here at First Presbyterian Church at 12 PM offered by the Strasburg Ministerium. This Wednesday, April 6, First Presbyterian is responsible for both the message and the luncheon.

Holy Week events and schedule: 

April 10 Palm Sunday Services  8:30 AM & 11 AM

April 14 Maundy Thursday Service 7 PM

April 15 Good Friday Tenebrae Service 7 PM

April 16 Easter Egg Hunt  10 AM

April 17 Community Easter Sunrise Service  6:30 AM

St. Michael's Lutheran Church, 40 E. Main Street, Strasburg

April 17 Easter Sunday Services, First Presbyterian Church  8:30 am & 11 am

Master Plan – You can now find on our website a diagram of the master plan and how things will change within the building.  We are considering not beginning construction until May of 2023 to help facilitate with the timing of our church year and the preschool. 

Women’s Tuesday Bible Study:  The study meets at 9:00 am and 7 pm in Rm 3/4. We are excited to offer Kelly Minter’s 7-week series on spiritual disciplines entitled, "Encountering God.”

Giving to FPC:  Please contribute your tithes and offerings using one of the following methods: Scan the QR code in the bulletin and follow the prompts, Click the DONATE button on the church web site at www.straspres.org, or mail your check to FPCS, 101 St. Decatur Street, Strasburg, PA 17579.

Bible Study:  This evening at 6pm we will be looking at Scripture and addressing how God reveals himself to us on a daily basis.  Join the crowd here: Bible Study

Worship with us in person! 

If you choose to stream use these options:

Sunday

8:30am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

9:30am

Coffee Hour

10am

Sunday School Class for all ages in person only
11am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

Youth Group at 5:30

Thursday

6pm

Bible Study

Youtube

 

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Pastor Bob's eNews for - March 17, 2022

 Dear FPC family and friends,

           Session met last evening and there are a number of decisions that I wanted to share with you.  Acting upon the recommendation of the Covid Task Force, Session agreed to lift the masking mandate for the preschool and make masking optional for any students and teachers.  I mentioned to session that this is almost exactly two years to the day of when the first Covid protocols went into place.  This effectively eliminates any of the Covid protocols that we have had in place.

            One note about where we find ourselves now.  FPC family and friends, you have been exceptionally supportive and long-suffering during these two years.  When it all started we had thought in a few weeks we would be back to normal.  When that stretched out to a few months and then a year and now two years, it was not anything that any of us could have imagined.  Thank you for your patience, your humility, your perseverance during this time that none of us wanted and all of us wanted to be over.  I know I have mentioned before in this setting how honored I am to serve you, today is another one of those days.  Thank you for sticking with us during this journey.

            A day does not go by that someone within the church asks me if we are going to do anything to support the relief efforts taking place on behalf of those caught up in the war in Ukraine.  I am thrilled to announce that your Mission and Finance Committee has pledged $5,000 toward the relief effort carried out by Presbyterian Disaster Assistance which will be matched by the Synod of the Trinity.  You are still welcome to contribute to the effort, just put in the memo of your checks “relief for war” and we will make sure that it goes toward the already pledged $10,000.

            I also want to recognize that for many of you this is hitting you hard.  I have heard people tell me that they are angry at God, others overwhelmed seeing the children and families separated and attacked by the Russian military.  When the atrocities are committed in your living room it is hard to understand how God is present at all.  I can only tell you the assurance God gave Joshua from our sermon last week: Be strong and courageous, as God was with Moses, so He will be with you.

            The Trustees of your church have been hard at work and have a buyer for the house that you as a congregation gave permission for them to sell.  We give thanks to God for the quick turnaround and we have to recognize the Trustees for taking on that task and doing it so efficiently and completely.  On that note, the Master Plan continues to move forward.  We recognized last evening that we have not done a great job in keeping you, the congregation, involved and aware of what the Master Plan actually is.  We will soon be posting a drawing of what the changes will be.  Everyone loves drawings.

            With all of these decisions being made it is obvious that the life of the church has not remained static throughout this time.  We continue to look for ways to reach the community and the world with the love of God.  I am thrilled to be a part of a family that loves doing that together.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

HAPPENING IN THE LIFE OF FPC…

Bible Study this evening!  Join us this evening at 6 for Bible Study here:  Youtube

FPC MOVIE NIGHT -  Please join us on March 25 for our inaugural movie night!  We will be watching Coco.  Movie night will begin at 6pm.  We look forward to seeing you there. 

EASTER EGG HUNT  Saturday, April 16  There is a sign-up sheet on the Welcome Desk for anyone wishing to help with the Easter Egg Hunt or to donate snack supplies.

            March Madness is upon us:  You still have a few minutes to get your brackets in.  Feel free to go here and then print out your bracket and send it to me.  https://fantasy.espn.com/tournament-challenge-bracket/2022/en/bracket?ex_cid=tcm2022_ncaam_web_relatedlinks

            Lenten Services continue:  Every Wednesday at noon you can come and join us for a Strasburg Ministerium sponsored service which is followed by a meal.  Join us as we celebrate Lent.

Worship with us in person! 

If you choose to stream use these options:

Sunday

8:30am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

9:30am

Coffee Hour

10am

Sunday School Class for all ages in person only
11am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

Youth Group at 5:30

Thursday

6pm

Bible Study

Youtube

*****************************************

Pastor Bob's eNews for - March 10, 2022

Dear FPC family and friends,

            This weekend I am taking the confirmation kids and their fathers on a retreat to a cabin in the PA mountains.  It is their last time to prepare for their examination before our Session next Wednesday.  Many of you may not know, but each year we have a confirmation class which begins in September and goes all the way through the Sunday after Easter in April.

            These youth, normally in 7th grade or older, learn about the Bible, Theology, History of the Christian Church, Presbyterian history, and some things about our local church here in Strasburg.  During this journey they have exams after each section, they visit other churches and sometimes other religious bodies in order to expand and understand what they believe as disciples of Jesus Christ, and the multicultural, multireligious, and multiethnic world in which they live.  Being a follower of Jesus never happens in a vacuum.  We live among people and with people, and so we need to understand how to do that without compromising our faith.

            I often think that it could be helpful for each one of us to have a bit of a refresher course as we make our way on this journey that we call our faith journey.  It may be easier to understand what we believe and what is important to us during our quiet time and in times when things are pretty copacetic.  But as I watch the news and see a maternity hospital in tatters, children suffering terribly, and a war that has the danger of being even more protracted than it already is, I wonder why people have forgotten that all of this is currently happening in Myanmar, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Ethiopia, each with their own separate, tragic war which last year took over 10,000 lives each. 

            The horrors of Ukraine happening on the European doorstep has captured all of our attention, and has maintained that attention over these few weeks.  But not so the other wars taking place on the African and Asian continents.  It is fair to ask the question why does this war affect us greater on a humanitarian basis than those which have taken place in continents that seem further away from us simply because the people seem quite different from us.  I am grieving greatly over this war in Ukraine.  I know people who have had to flee from the atrocities that Russia is committing and from this invasion that seems to have no end in sight.

            As I grieve greatly over this war, I also have to wonder if we are especially shocked by this war because the people involved seem a lot like us.  If that is the case, I want to encourage you to hear the words of Jesus when he states in Luke 10:36ff: “Which of these was a neighbor to the man.”  “The one who showed him mercy.”  “Go and do likewise.”  Our ability to show mercy to others, and our ability to empathize and care for others, should never be dictated by how much we can resonate or relate to those who are in need of mercy.

            The Samaritan who helped the Jewish man could not relate to him at all.  He was of a different religion, a different race, probably a different skin tone, but he reached out and helped and empathized and his condition affected him greatly.  That is a real challenge to us to be able to help those who may not be among us, or may not look like us, but are facing current challenges to which we have become numb.  My prayer for us not just as a people, but as followers of Jesus Christ in this community and beyond, is that we would be able to keep our focus and our interest on all people as they suffer, and not just on those with whom we can relate.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

HAPPENING IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH:

 Bible Study:  This evening at 6 you can join us here:  Youtube

Lenten Services:  Every Wednesday at noon we have a Strasburg ministerium service and a luncheon that follows the service.  Join us!

Worship with us in person! 

If you choose to stream use these options:

Sunday

8:30am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

9:30am

Coffee Hour

10am

Sunday School Class for all ages in person only
11am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

Youth Group at 5:30

Thursday

6pm

Bible Study

Youtube

*********************************

Pastor Bob's eNews for - March 5, 2022

Dear FPC family and friends,

            It may seem that as a war is raging in Europe and the pandemic feels as if it is in its waning days, that what happens here at the church or in our own homes on a daily basis is not nearly as important as what is happening around us in the world.  The enormity of the tragedy in Europe seems to be especially poignant to many of us because we are seeing people who look like us in the midst of a struggle for life and death.  But there is something inherently and maybe surprisingly wrong with that approach.

            Did you know that in the Democratic Republic of Congo more than 5 million people have died and the battle still rages?  The exodus from Afghanistan took the lives of thousands and to this day the Taliban is going house to house executing those that they think might have been complicit with our forces.  Our horror and our indignation ought not be raised because there is a war in a country whose people live in an area and reflect a demographic to which we can relate.  When we say that, the assumption is that there are other countries that are less civilized and so the people in some ways less capable of peace and more likely for war.

            The war in Ukraine is affecting me greatly personally.  I have members of my former church in Russia who are now living in Ukraine and have fled to Budapest.  But they are telling stories of being kicked off trains and not allowed to join the flow of people fleeing because they are from Nigeria.  The costs of war are so high and cut across the board and my responsibility as a pastor is to ensure that Jesus’ penchant for the poor and those who are on the margins be lifted up and protected. 

            As we discuss and grieve, the life of the church goes forward, hopefully with an eye to reaching out to help in ways that may not seem clear at the moment.  But even in the midst of this reality, decisions are being made, actions are being taken, and people are coming to know Jesus Christ as personal Savior as a result of the presence of the Holy Spirit and our willingness to be vehicles of the Gospel.  But our work here at FPC continues and we do find ourselves in a season of change and growth.

            My encouragement for all of us is that as we pray for Ukraine and the people who are caught up in this war from Russia to Belarus to all of Europe, we would be aware of those on the margins who will feel the cost of this war for generations to come.  Pray for Ukraine and ask God to bring peace.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

HAPPENING IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH:

            CHRIS HENKEL:  When Chris Henkel came back on board over three years ago to serve as our organist/choirmaster, it didn’t take long for me to imagine that we would serve together until we both left the ministry, maybe 15 or 20 years down the road.  His love for Jesus and this community and the gifts that he uses so well are open for all to see every Sunday.  With his return it also provided some great healing for him as well as for this church as we found ourselves confronted with the reality that God reaches out and touches us powerfully in all the seasons of our life.  Chris, in short, has been a tremendous blessing to this church in so many different ways, and one of those ways has been in providing us as a congregation with the gift of healing.

            Chris informed me last Sunday that he will be taking on a new position much closer to his home, he currently has an hour and a half commute to get to FPC.  He also might have the possibility of working alongside his wife in the new church.  Personally, and professionally, I will miss Chris, but I am so grateful for the years that we have been able to serve together.  Did you know that this church was able to get the Steinway piano when he served here years ago?  Now with the upcoming installation of the organ he has definitely left his mark on the music ministry of this church for decades to come.

            Chris won’t be leaving until June, but please let Chris know how much you have appreciated his music and his friendship in the year that he has most recently served as organist/choirmaster here at FPC. 

BLANKET OFFERINGS still being accepted for the next couple of weeks.  As of Feb. 23rd,
Angie reported a total of $14,114.00.  Our congregation is amazing and PW thanks you.
Please make checks payable to First Presbyterian Church and mark “blankets” on memo line.

COFFEE HOUR HOSTS WANTED – We are in need of Coffee Hour hosts.  Please sign up in Fellowship Hall for the month of April, if you are able to serve.  Thank you!

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD - We are collecting children's items for Operation Christmas Child this year. In March, we will be collecting small toys. This includes:  Balls, slinky, dolls, puzzles, tops, jump ropes, any kind of small toys.  A collection bin is at welcome desk area.
Any questions, please contact Beth Feiler.

GREAT BEGINNINGS PRESCHOOL  is always very appreciative of your donations which help keep the tuition costs down! There is a bin in the welcome area for your donations. Needed are: 5 oz. cups, wet wipes, crackers, pretzels, animal crackers, cookies, raisins, apples and carrots.

FOOD BANK NEW LISTING OF NEEDS:  Coffee, jelly, powdered drinks (Tang, Kool Aid, etc.), canned chicken, paper towels, shampoo, Dinty Moore canned stew, Chef Boyardee canned food, spaghetti sauce in plastic jars (Prego, Classico, etc.) and 4-pack bathroom tissue.   Thank you for your many donations!

LENTEN SERVICES & LUNCHEONS - Join us for weekly services held here at First Presbyterian offered by the Strasburg Ministerium. 
12 pm Wednesday Lenten Service Schedule:
March 9              Wesley United Methodist Church
March 16            High View Church of God,
March 23            St. Michael’s Lutheran Church
March 30            Acts Covenant Fellowship

April 6                 First Presbyterian. 
These noon services will be followed by a luncheon in Fellowship Hall.  Join us!

NEW MEMBER CLASS STARTING THIS SUNDAY   - If you are looking to become a member or are just curious about the church and want to learn more come and join us at 3pm on Sunday,
March 6 in room 6, better known as the Parlor. 

FPC MOVIE NIGHT -  Please join us on March 25 for our inaugural movie night!  We will be watching Coco.  Movie night will begin at 6pm.  We look forward to seeing you there. 

EASTER EGG HUNT  Ÿ Saturday, April 16  There is a sign-up sheet on the Welcome Desk for anyone wishing to help with the Easter Egg Hunt or to donate snack supplies.

Curious about technology?:  If you wanted to know how to turn on your computer, or stream the Sunday service, or see your family on your phone and don't know how, we have the opportunity of a lifetime for you.  We will be having a series of classes to help people navigate the ever changing world of technology.  We just need suggestions from you on what would be most helpful to learn.  Include your suggestions on the sheet in the bulletin in church and place the form in the offering plate or drop it off at the office.  

Worship with us in person! 

If you choose to stream use these options:

Sunday

8:30am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

9:30am

Coffee Hour

10am

Sunday School Class for all ages in person only
11am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

Youth Group at 5:30

Thursday

6pm

Bible Study

Youtube

********************************

Pastor Bob's eNews for - February 24, 2022

Dear FPC family and friends,

            After our last session meeting on February 16 and then our congregational meeting this past Sunday on February 20 I had a whole list of items of which I wanted to make sure you were aware.  They included Session’s decision to move forward with the implementation of the programmatic master plan which will necessitate a capital campaign committee headed up by Tim Ott, your elder for Mission and Finance.

            The list also included your unanimous decision to sell a house that the church owns, 121 S. Decatur Street and handing that responsibility over to the Trustees to finalize that transaction.  I was going to let you know about the incredible success of the auction and give a shout out to Don and Joyce Welk and all of their minions for their incredible work this past Saturday evening which allowed us to raise over $25,000.  On a normal given enews these would be fairly substantial and significant events that would highlight any enews.  The embarking on a capital campaign, the selling of a home the church owns, and a crazy good auction is big news.

            But the invasion of Ukraine is even bigger news and has an impact upon us here in Strasburg even more than any selling of a home or a capital campaign or an auction might have.  I know, Ukraine is really far away and what possible impact could that have on us, and do we really care about what happens in that part of the world?  I hope you are not asking those questions, but in case you are, let’s put a little Scripture in the mix here.

            Jesus when he is warned by the religious leaders that Herod wants to kill him, Luke 13:31, responds and says: “Go and tell that fox for me…” and he lays out the work that he was presently doing in healing and working miracles.  His work did not come to an end because there was someone who was looking to bring his work to an end.  Russia finds itself as an oil dictatorship completely reliant upon oil for its income.  It continues to be a struggling nation desperate to be considered a world power in the midst of a crumbling infrastructure and guided by a “fox” who thinks he is smarter than he actually is.  But when a failing nation finds itself in a corner it can still do an incredible amount of damage in the world, the type of damage that can directly affect us in the short and the long run.

            I am grateful that missionaries that we served with in Russia, and who had since transitioned to Ukraine, are home in the US now.  But that still leaves millions of Ukrainians in harms way and thousands of Russian troops poised to do battle and potentially to fight till death themselves.  Some of you reading this have been in the midst of war and have fought for our freedoms as service men and women.  We are forever in your debt.  I would guess that everyone reading this would not want the war that has erupted in our world today.

            We currently support a missionary who is serving in Belarus, a country which opened its doors in order to facilitate the invasion of Ukraine today.  We need to pray for him and his wife and their two children in the midst of this time.  They are truly on the front lines.  So, what is our responsibility now?  We are always called to be vehicles for peace, and in whatever way that can be done in our own circles, we should do that.  May God bless us during this time, and may God protect the people of Ukraine and Belarus and Russia as those who have turned their back on God continue in their errors.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

HAPPENING IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH         

LENTEN SERVICES & LUNCHEONS –

Ash Wednesday March 2:        6am and 6pm with the imposition of ashes.

12 noon with luncheon led by Strasburg Mennonite

Noon services with luncheon led by: 
March 9              Wesley United Methodist Church
March 16            High View Church of God,
March 23            St. Michael’s Lutheran Church
March 30            Acts Covenant Fellowship

April 6                 First Presbyterian. 

All services will be held in the sanctuary here at First Presbyterian
Noon services will be followed by a luncheon.  Join us!
 

New Member Class Starting on March 6:  If you are looking to become a member or are just curious about the church and want to learn more come and join us at 3pm on March 6 in room 6.

Bible Study this Evening!  Join us at 6pm as we explore Scripture.  You can join us here: Youtube

Worship with us in person! 

If you choose to stream use these options:

Sunday

8:30am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

9:30am

Coffee Hour

10am

Sunday School Class for all ages in person only
11am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

Youth Group at 5:30

Thursday

6pm

Bible Study

Youtube

*********************************

Pastor Bob's eNews for - February 16, 2022

Dear FPC family and friends,

            I have been spending a bit of time getting ready for the auction on Saturday.  I’m glad that we only do it once every 4 years, but I’m thrilled by the participation and the enthusiasm that it is raising as we help send our youth on a mission trip to Italy.  We have always made it a point to make sure that youth group doesn’t turn into a group that meets periodically to do fundraisers.  In fact, there are no fundraisers that the youth do except this auction which happens once every four years.  There are so many other more important things that we want our Youth Director and our leaders to teach our youth about Jesus than to raise funds.  Because of your generosity we are able to put a more than sufficient amount in our yearly budget which covers all of their needs for the year.

            I think of Jesus and his disciples and how they traveled from region to region.  They spent most of their time in the region north of the Sea of Galilee in the city of Capernaum, which is called the town of Jesus because of the amount of time that he spent there.  But it took planning and logistics and administrative work to get this group of 13 from one location to the next, which is probably why Jesus at one point said about himself and his disciples: “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 

            The amount of logistics it takes to run an auction and to plan for a group to travel, stay, eat, and do ministry in Italy is fairly significant, but it is always done within the context of a group doing it together.  We have an amazing group of folks who are involved in getting this auction up and running.  I think we have at least 30 people who are involved in some way, and even more than that if you count the donations that we have received.

            We have at least a couple dozen people at work in Italy helping us put things together so that when we arrive we can do ministry as well as provide a cultural experience beyond anything our youth have experienced to date.  While the cultural experience is important, I think the opportunity for our youth to taste and see God at work is going to be even more important.  It is through these kinds of mountaintop experiences that we hope the Holy Spirit moves through our youth to impact them for a lifetime.  You are integrally a part of this experience.

            They say it takes a village to raise a child.  I say it takes a church to raise a village.  Your support is helping to raise a village of young men and women who are being used by God to make a difference in Lancaster County and beyond.  Thank you again for your incredible support for the youth that hopefully you got to know briefly as they presented a minute for mission over these last 5 weeks to introduce you to them and the ministry in which they are going to be a part.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

HAPPENING IN THE LIFE OF FPC…

            MISSION TO ITALY 2022 AUCTION  February 19  - We are thrilled to be able to once again invite you to participate in an auction to help benefit the Mission to Italy 2022 by the Senior High Youth of First Presbyterian. On February 19 the doors will open at 5:30 pm and the auction begins at 6:15 pm.  This year you can also participate virtually by zooming at the address below. If you are planning on participating virtually please let Pastor Bob know ahead of time.  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9703411314

LENTEN SERVICES & LUNCHEONS - Lent is almost upon us:  It is hard to believe that we are a month away from Ash Wednesday.  Join us for weekly services here at First Presbyterian offered by the Strasburg Ministerium.  On Ash Wednesday, March 2, we will have services at 6am, 12noon, and 6pm.  The noon service will be led by the Strasburg Mennonite Church.  The schedule for the following weeks are as following:  March 9, Wesley United Methodist Church, March 16 High View Church of God, March 23 St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, March 30 Acts Covenant Fellowship and April 6 First Presbyterian.  All services will be held in the sanctuary here at First Presbyterian and the noon services will be followed by a luncheon.  Join us!

            READ THROUGH THE BIBLE - We are currently reading through the Bible together.  Read Through the Bible pamphlets can be picked up on the information table opposite Pastor Bob’s office.  Follow along in the daily blog at: http://www.straspres.org/read-through-the-bible

            Bible Study:  Join us on Thursday evening at 6pm as we look over the past week’s sermon Scriptures.  You can join us here: Youtube

PRESCHOOL REGISTRATION FOR SEPTEMBER NOW OPEN

Preschool registration for the 2022/23 Preschool Year is NOW open!
Classes available are:
- Afternoon Pre-K class - Monday, Wednesday & Friday 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm
- 3 Year class - Tuesday & Thursday 9 am to 11:30 am
- 2 year class - Monday and/or Wednesday 9 am to 11:30 am
Registration forms are available on the preschool webpage. The registration fee is $45.
(nonrefundable). For more information e-mail Lynn Underhill at hlunderhill@comcast.net

Worship with us in person! 

If you choose to stream use these options:

Sunday

8:30am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

9:30am

Coffee Hour

10am

Sunday School Class for all ages in person only
11am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

Youth Group at 5:30

Thursday

6pm

Bible Study

Youtube

 ****************************************

 

Pastor Bob's eNews for - February 2, 2022

Dear FPC family and friends,                                                                                      

             It doesn’t happen often that someone comes into my office and says something along the lines of: “I may be able to help the church in this specific way.”  But it happened a few weeks ago.  A new member of our church recognized that there is a whole bevvy of people within our church who are remaining in contact with the church but they are in the background since we don’t see them on Sunday morning.  I have made many resolutions to myself over this past year that one week I would just call everyone in the church to check up on them and see how everyone is doing.  I have yet to do that.

            But then Caroline Grossman came into my office and said she would be willing to visit people within the church that maybe we haven’t seen in two years just to check in with them and see how they are doing.  I sent an email out to the head of the Deacons and the Outreach Committee and received their blessing.  So, let this serve as a friendly warning to you.  You may get a phone call from Caroline Grossman who is checking in on you on our behalf. 

            Last week I wrote about the importance of relationships and how crucial they are for the life of the church, and within a week God gave us an opportunity to gauge how we are doing with those relationships that ought to be of primary importance to us.  When Jesus and his disciples engaged with each other it was on a variety of different levels.  Jesus calls them his friends in John 15:14.  The word that is used in Greek to describe “friend” is philos, which is another way to say love. 

            The love that we have for each other is played out not only in our interactions with each other, but also because of the history that we have with each other that goes beyond what has taken place today, or this month, or this year, and for some of us even this past decade.  Normally it is hard to define our reality beyond anything that is happening in the present, but that is required of us if we are to understand the friendship that will ultimately lead to a community of faith that truly loves each other and supports each other in good times and in bad.

            Jesus calls us his friends, he washes our feet as a servant would, he tells us that if we want to be the first we need to understand ourselves as the last, Jesus reaches out his hand to us in the storm to rescue us from our own stubbornness and doubt.  All of these scenarios help us to understand how Jesus views us and so how we ought to view each other.  We are friends, servants, the least of these, and helpers amidst the floods as we walk through life together.  This is the marrow of relationships, this is at the center of what it means to be a follower of Jesus while in community.  You need a community to be a complete follower of Jesus, and a community needs you in order to be a healthy representation of His kingdom.

            So, my prayer is that if and when you get a phone call from Caroline understand her reaching out as an act of love from one friend to another.  Jesus would want us to do this for each other, I’m just glad that someone volunteered to do it in a way that reflects the Holy Spirit moving without us knowing it.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

HAPPENING IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH…

Mission to Italy 2022 auction February 19 – We are thrilled to be able to once again invite you to participate in an auction to help benefit the Mission to Italy 2022 by the Senior High Youth of First Presbyterian. On February 19 the doors will open and food will be available for purchase as we auction off items that have been donated for this purpose. Some of the items that are being auctioned off are: 2009 Cadillac with 62,000 miles (sale time for the car will be 7:30pm); road trip to Penn State Football with lodging, food, and tickets involved; 8 tickets to Sight & Sound’s production of David,; Salmon Dinner for 6 from Keith and Debbie Mink; Dinner for 10 offered by Leo and Andrea Petrokonis, signed football from Matt Feiler, Los Angeles Chargers offensive lineman, and many, many other items, in fact over 70 items to date. This year you can also participate virtually by zooming at this address: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9703411314

Clubhouse!:  This evening, February 2, we will have our monthly Clubhouse meeting for all children in elementary school or younger.  Join us starting at 6pm and we will be sending the kids home at 7:30.  Invite a neighbor’s child!

Read through the Bible - We are currently reading through the Bible together. Read Through the Bible pamphlets can be picked up on the information table opposite Pastor Bob’s office. You can also follow along in the daily blog at: http://www.straspres.org/read-through-the-bible

Women's Tuesday Bible Study – We just started up a new women’s Bible study by Jennifer Rothschild entitled "Take Courage" a 7-week study based on the book of Haggai. This study is being offered Tuesday mornings at 9:00 am and Tuesday evenings at 7:00 pm in rooms 3-4. All are welcome!

Preschool Registration: All are welcome to register their children for the 2022/23 Preschool Year.  Classes available are: - Afternoon Pre-K class - Monday, Wednesday& Friday 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm - 3 Year class - Tuesday & Thursday 9 am to 11:30 am - 2 year class - Monday and/or Wednesday 9 am to 11:30 am Registration forms are available on the preschool webpage. The registration fee is $45. (nonrefundable). For more information e-mail Lynn Underhill at hlunderhill@comcast.net

            Bible Study on Thursdays:  Join us on Thursday evenings for an interactive Bible Study at 6pm.  You can join us here: Youtube

            Lent is almost upon us:  It is hard to believe that we are a month away from Ash Wednesday.  Join us for weekly services here at First Presbyterian offered by the Strasburg Ministerium.  On Ash Wednesday, March 2, we will have services at 6am, 12noon, and 6pm.  The noon service will be led by the Strasburg Mennonite Church.  The schedule for the following weeks are as following:  March 9, Wesley United Methodist Church, March 16 High View Church of God, March 23 St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, March 30 Acts Covenant Fellowship and April 6 First Presbyterian.  All services will be held in the sanctuary here at First Presbyterian and the noon services will be followed by a luncheon.  Join us!

Worship with us in person! 

If you choose to stream use these options:

Sunday

8:30am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

9:30am

Coffee Hour

10am

Sunday School Class for all ages in person only
11am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

Youth Group at 5:30

Thursday

6pm

Bible Study

Youtube

 ****************************************

Pastor Bob's eNews for - January 26, 2022

Dear FPC family and friends,

           What you will find below is my yearly report which many of you may have missed at our congregational meeting this past Sunday.  I hope it serves to help you during these times.

            “It is hard to believe that I am writing my second yearly report to you in the midst of a pandemic.  For many of you worship here at First Presbyterian Church may have ended on March 8, 2020 and you are not sure when you might step back into worship in person again.  What a strange time we are living in, and in what a confusing time we find ourselves.  As I look back over this past year I can’t help but feel some sadness over the many relationships that I have not been able to foster and strengthen simply because we have not seen each other and been in the same space for nearly two years.  How do you maintain relationships without being together?

            We have to take our cue from Jesus and how he interacted with people and what was potentially the most important thing for him.  He consistently met in people’s homes and broke bread with them.  He was often in the midst of crowds of people and taught, but all the while he never hesitated to speak to the individual and lift them up out of whatever situation in which they might have found themselves.  Jesus’ emphasis on relationships is indisputable, and he always came to where people were. 

            In the midst of these past two years the pandemic has wreaked havoc on relationships.  I know, it has done so much more than that.  It has wreaked havoc on the lives of those who lost loved ones to the virus, it has wreaked havoc on the daily living of those who contracted the virus and are still suffering under the symptoms, it has wreaked financial havoc, it has wreaked familial havoc with families divided over masks, vaccines, and other issues related to the pandemic, it has wreaked havoc on our children and their outlook on life, it has wreaked havoc on institutions and institutional protocols.

            While all of these previous examples are serious and even life altering, the permanency of wreaking havoc on relationships is what concerns me the most.  If we are not able to reclaim the relationships that we once had before this pandemic broke out, then we are betraying one of the most valuable and important benchmarks of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.  Being a disciple of Jesus Christ means loving God and loving our neighbor.  When my relationship with the neighbor who used to sit with me in church is jeopardized, well, that is very serious indeed.

            Let’s make 2022 a year that we rekindle the relationships that we once had and reclaim that it is completely up to us to reclaim those relationships.   I pray that as we enter into this new year we make an extra effort to reconnect with people with whom we have not seen over this pandemic.  How has the year gone otherwise?  It has gone well.  We were able to do some incredibly significant things this past year and you all seem excited to be a part of this family and want to do more each year than the next.  That is amazing because you are amazing.  Let’s reconnect with all of our church family in 2022.”

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Bob

 

HAPPENING IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH…

 

Clubhouse!:  On Wednesday, February 1, we will have our monthly Clubhouse meeting for all children in elementary school or younger.  Join us starting at 6pm and we will be sending the kids home at 7:30.  Invite a neighbor’s child!

 

Mission to Italy 2022 auction February 19 – We are thrilled to be able to once again invite you to participate in an auction to help benefit the Mission to Italy 2022 by the Senior High Youth of First Presbyterian. On February 19 the doors will open and food will be available for purchase as we auction off items that have been donated for this purpose. Some of the items that are being auctioned off are: 2009 Cadillac with 62,000 miles; road trip to Penn State Football with lodging, food, and tickets involved; 8 tickets to Sight & Sound’s production of David,; Salmon Dinner for 6 from Keith and Debbie Mink; Dinner for 10 offered by Leo and Andrea Petrokonis, signed football from Matt Feiler, Los Angeles Charges offensive lineman, and many, many other items, in fact over 70 items to date. This year you can also participate virtually by zooming at this address: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9703411314

 

Read through the Bible - We are currently reading through the Bible together. Read Through the Bible pamphlets can be picked up on the information table opposite Pastor Bob’s office. You can also follow along in the daily blog at: http://www.straspres.org/read-through-the-bible

 

Women's Tuesday Bible Study - Starting Tuesday, February 1, 2022, we will be offering a new exciting Bible study by Jennifer Rothschild entitled "Take Courage" a 7-week study based on the book of Haggai. This study will be offered Tuesday mornings at 9:00 am and Tuesday evenings at 7:00 pm in rooms 3-4. All are welcome!

 

Preschool Registration: Church members are welcome to register their children early for the 2022/23 Preschool Year NOW before it opens to the community on February 1st. Classes available are: - Afternoon Pre-K class - Monday, Wednesday& Friday 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm - 3 Year class - Tuesday & Thursday 9 am to 11:30 am - 2 year class - Monday and/or Wednesday 9 am to 11:30 am Registration forms are available on the preschool webpage. The registration fee is $45. (nonrefundable). For more information e-mail Lynn Underhill at hlunderhill@comcast.net

 

Bible Study:  Join us every Thursday evening at 6pm as we look at the past week’s sermon Scripture.  You can join us here:  Youtube

 

Worship with us in person! 

If you choose to stream use these options:

Sunday

8:30am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

9:30am

Coffee Hour

10am

Sunday School Class for all ages in person only
11am

Worship

Youtube

Church website

Facebook

Youth Group at 5:30

Thursday

6pm

Bible Study

Youtube

 

 

     
   
 
 
 

 

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