Archive for August, 2010


Be here as we kick off our new Christian Education and Nurture year here at First Presbyterian!

Here’s what we have in store for you:

At 9:45 a.m.:

  • Coffee & pastries in the Fellowship Hall
  • Perfect Attendance Recognition
  • Introduction of the new Spark education program

At 11:00 a.m.:

  • Worship
  • Commissioning of our Sunday School teachers
  • Rally Day Sermon

At 12:00 noon:

  • Pig Pickin’ and covered dish lunch at Westwood Park. Bring your favorite side dish & dessert to share.

Dress for Rally Day will be casual.

Come out and celebrate the beginning of a new year of fellowship with God and each other!!

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What the Church is about

Hello friends!

Today I had my first staff meeting after coming back from sabbatical.  It was my turn to do devotions, and we watched this wonderful clip from Tony Campolo, a well-known seminary professor, evangelist and speaker.  I encourage you to take the four minutes to watch it:

I am struck by Campolo’s summarization of Jesus’ message: that what he was all about was simply proclaiming that “the kingdom of God on earth is at hand,” and showing us how to engage in “kingdom living.”  As the body of Christ it follows that this is also the church’s primary aim: to do our part to bring this kingdom to fruition.

I encouraged the staff to think of ways they can accomplish this in the midst of their many and diverse work responsibilities.  As employees it is easy to get caught up in the “minutiae” of what our jobs require of us and lose sight of the fact that, ultimately, we are about building God’s kingdom – not ours, but God’s.  I encouraged them to strive, as I do, to always keep this “big picture” in mind and let it define why and how we do things in the church.  Let me invite you as members and friends of First Presbyterian to do the same as we begin another church year.

It is good to be with you again!


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Back Together Again

So have these three months flown by for you as they have for me?  It seems like yesterday that I walked out of the church doors on that last Thursday in April.  Of course, that’s not true.  It wasn’t just yesterday.  I’ve done a lot since then, and so have you.  And I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am for this time.  Not time apart from you, but time to renew myself for you.

Time to be with my family; time to take some trips with them and not with them.  Time to listen to, play and write some music; time to record my first CD in eleven years (which you can pick up at Pages Bookstore or Moby’s Coffee. End of commercial).  Time to take some pictures with Mickey Mouse; to body-surf waves at the beach; to take my sons to school every day until there were no more days of school left.  Time to worship at other churches in places and traditions different from ours.  Time to “rest” in ways that may not seem restful to some, but are to me.

Time to get off the busy treadmill of ministry long enough to realize (not that I didn’t before) just how much I love it, and love doing it with you.

You and I both owe a huge debt of gratitude to Steve McCutchan, who served as your pastor in my absence.  His presence with you these past three months truly made me feel comfortable in stepping away – I knew you were in good hands!  If you haven’t already, please express your thanks to Steve.  You can email him at:  steve@smccutchan.com.  I know he will enjoy hearing from you.

Sabbaticals can’t help but change things for both the pastor and congregation – neither of us emerge from this experience as the same people we were before it.  I see this as a tremendous positive!  We have been together for over seven years now at the corner of Church and Main.  And now, after a brief time apart, it’s only natural that we ask ourselves: what new things may God be calling us to?  How can we engage this work of ministry even better than before?  How can we better serve each other and serve our God?

I may have been apart from you, but that doesn’t mean I stopped thinking about your or praying for you.  And now, our new church year is upon us and all the excitement that brings.  Fall Discipleship is right around the corner.  So much has changed, and yet so much is still the same.  Thanks be to God!

I have missed you all – I look forward to the familiar feeling of being back in church with you on August 8!


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