April 9, 2020
Do not fear, for I am with you,
do not be afraid, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
This Sunday is Easter Sunday. While this is one of the great holy days of the Christian church, we must continue to offer worship online. As a pastor, I never imagined that one day, on Easter of all days, that I would be preaching to a sanctuary where people were not allowed to gather. It is unfortunate, but absolutely necessary.
This week, in addition to Online Worship, we will continue to have Online Bible Studies with Sherard and also with
Michael, Virtual Youth Group, and Online Coffee Chat with Sherard.
The "Bible Study with Sherard" has gone well. We have concluded our study of Colossians. Starting on Wednesday, for the Easter season, we will look at various post-resurrection events that we find in the Gospels. Join the Bible Study and learn about the Road to
Emmaus, Jesus cooking fish, Doubting Thomas, and more. Wednesdays at noon. Each study is independent so join in when you are able.
Online church activities this week include bible studies, coffee chat, youth group, and worship. Please continue to practice social distancing. We are in this for the long haul. Stay home and stay well.
I look forward to seeing you all (virtually) on Sunday.
To best protect our congregation and our neighbors, the Session of First Presbyterian Church has voted to cancel all activities and corporate worship at the church until further notice.
Please keep your church community in your prayers as we seek new ways to be disciples of Christ and serve God in these evolving times.
Bring your mug to the Zoom Cafe
and chat with Sherard and whoever else shows up.
Tuesdays from 10 to 10:30 am.
Zoom Meeting Direct Link
Zoom meeting number: 478 485 019
Lenten Challenge #19
Thursday, April 9
The Lenten Challenges are a series of daily disciplines designed to enhance your Lenten journey from Ashes to Easter. We are nearly at the end of these Challenges. However, if you have not set them as a personal exercise, they are still relevant in the Easter season. As members of First Presbyterian, you are encouraged to engage in these Challenges. Feel free to leave comments on the blog about your experience.
Your Challenge for today
is to meditate on the words of the Lord’s Prayer
. Yes, you say it every Sunday, but how often do you read it slowly and reflectively. As we near the end of Lent, take this prayer which we too often take for granted and just pray it.
Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
The Lenten Challenges are posted every morning on The Pastor's Blog
on the FPC website
. You are encouraged to leave a comment or reflection from each challenge so that you may be an encouragement for others in the congregation who are participating. Go to the blog for more information on today's Challenge.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Good Friday's Stations Through the Square event has been cancelled.
Several weeks ago, the church sent out a letter to to the members in order to gauge interest in constructing a columbarium on the church property. So far, we have heard back from 27 households. We need to hear from more of you. If you have not yet responded to this survey, please do so. The easiest way is to give Kristy a call at the office. Even if you have no opinion on this matter, your response will help us determine whether or not this is a viable project.
Zoom is a video conferencing system that allows us to communicate remotely during this period of social distancing.
Detailed information on how to use Zoom can be found on the FPC webpage
. If you have any questions or issues with Zoom, please feel free to contact Sherard or Michael.
Zoom Dial-up number: 1-312-626-6799
Sunday, April 12
10 am - Streaming Worship (join meeting)
meeting number: 959-167-376
Tuesday, April 14
10 am - Coffee with the Pastor (join meeting)
meeting number: 478 485 019
Wednesday, April 15
Noon - Bible Study with Sherard (join meeting)
meeting number: 478 485 019
Wednesday, April 15
6 pm - Virtual Youth Group (join meeting)
meeting number: 666-840-856
Thursday, April 16
6 pm - Bible Study with Michael (join meeting)
meeting number: 999-257-630
Virtual Adult Bible Studies: Join Michael and Sherard for separate ongoing virtual Bible studies next week.
Michael will lead a study on the wisdom of Ecclesiastes on Thursdays at 6 pm. Sherard will lead a study of a New Testament book on Wednesdays at noon. Zoom
information is below.
Virtual Youth Group: Youth group continues on Wednesdays from 6-7 pm via Zoom video conferencing. Join us for conversation, games, and a brief Bible study. Meeting link. If joining by the Zoom app, the meeting number is 666 840 856.
Virtual Children's Time: Immediately following this week's virtual worship, I will be going Live on Facebook for a virtual children's message.
Save the Date:
This summer, First Presbyterian Youth will be traveling to Memphis to work with the mission organization known as Service Over Self to do home repairs in the Historic Orange Mound neighborhood. The dates for the trip are June 14-19. Spaces are limited and a $50 deposit is needed to reserve your spot. (More detailed information including total cost will be sent out in the weekly youth email.)
How to reach Michael.
A committee is currently working on organizing the Memorial Books in the church library. We would like to include wedding photos of couples that were married in our church. Included with the pictures we would like to have the date they were married and the name of the minister that preformed the ceremony. If possible they can leave them in the office.
FPC has two ongoing collections benefiting the following organizations:
1. Wilson County Schools Family Resource Center. We collect food and personal hygiene items for students whose families are struggling.
Donations can be left in the plastic tub in the back hallway.
2. Wilson County Community Help Center.
Monetary donations are used to purchase food items for the Help Center. Write Help Center on your check.
Good Friday, April 9
Stations Through The Square [cancelled]
Sunday, April 12
Sunday, April 26
9:45 am - All-Church Breakfast
An archive of sermons and bulletins
(audio and text) can be viewed here
The Session passed the motion that video/tele-conferencing constitutes a recognized meeting of the FPC Session during the COVID-19 pandemic until June 30, 2020.
• March 2020 contributions are comparable to those received in March 2019.
Budget, Finance, and Stewardship Committee
• The Session passed the motion that Treasurer John Foutch make application for the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program loan. This loan would be used for staff salaries and permitted expenses.
Congregational Care Committee
• The All-Church Breakfast will be rescheduled.
• The One Great Hour of Sharing offering will be received at a later date.
• Donations received by the church for tornado relief will be sent to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
• The office has provided the Deacons with a current list of the church membership so they can maintain contact with members and families.
Scripture - Matthew 28:1-10
1 After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.
2 And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.
3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.
4 For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men.
5 But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified.
6 He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.
7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples, 'He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.' This is my message for you."
8 So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.
9 Suddenly Jesus met them and said, "Greetings!" And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him.
10 Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."