Midweek Message – 10/5/17

Friends in Faith,

Last Sunday, we were reminded that, even as we face overwhelming challenges (as Moses surely did) we never manage alone. We kicked off our Stewardship Season holding fast to the promise that our generous God is always with us as we strive to be stewards. And, just like God gave Moses his brother Aaron to help him with his task, our congregation is a gift that can help each of us reflect on how we are stewards of our whole lives – as well as the ways we would like to grow in our stewardship.

After worship, we elected two candidates for Elders – Amy Martinez and Dan Rigney – as well as two candidates for Deacons – Gretchen Brokaw and Jennn Partlow. Please keep these four in your prayers as they are trained for service and as they prepare to meet with Session for final approval in December. We are grateful for these four and their willingness to step into a leadership role in our congregation.

I am especially reminded of the importance of leadership as we struggle to come to terms with the tragedies of our world that break our hearts on a daily basis. From flooding to gun violence, leadership can make a world of difference in how we respond faithfully. Weak leaders play the blame game or exploit the situation for political gain. Good leaders respond with courage in a way that – even in the midst of a crisis – lives are made better. That’s faithful stewardship. May we, as a congregation, be about the business of building up bold leadership for God’s Kingdom.

Speaking of leadership, we are blessed to have Rev. Deke Spierling fill our pulpit this Sunday. Deke is a retired member of our Presbytery and is very active with the Newburgh Habitat for Humanity. His leadership is making lives better in Newburgh, and I know you will be blessed by his preaching.

If I were going to be in worship, I would be eager to share that we will have some exciting learning opportunities next week.  

  • Herman Kumara – International Peacemaker from Sri Lanka – will be available at three, separate times Tues & Wed for conversation about his life and work for peace and justice in the context of civil war (details below).
  • “Following Jesus in the Age of Trump” – I will be speaking on this provocative subject at Beacon Hebrew Alliance’s annual Open to the Sky Project on Wed at 7pm (details below).

Finally, on a personal note, I want to thank everyone for the care and concern after my car accident. I went to the doctor on Monday, and I have a mild concussion.

After several days of rest / limited screen time this week, I’m feeling much better. It was a blessing in disguise that the Family Diabetes Day we had hoped to attend in Pennsylvania this weekend was cancelled. I look forward to a quiet time at home with my family so I may continue to heal. As I look forward to counting my blessings on my 43rd birthday this weekend, I thank God for the blessing of each of you in my life!

Faithfully,

Pastor Ben

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

LEARNING

Presbyterian Peacemaker from Sri Lanka We have three opportunities to join Herman Kumara and learn about his work for peace and justice in war-torn Sri Lanka:

 

  • 10/10, 3pm: Conversation in McKinley Hall – Hear Herman’s story and get a chance to meet students and parents of the Homeschool Co-op meeting in the church on Tuesdays.
  • 10/10, 7pm: Conversation at the Beacon Hebrew Alliance SukkahHear Herman’s story as a part of the Open to the Sky public Sukkah that the BHA puts on each year.  The Sukkah is an open-air structure located in Polhill Park near the Beacon Welcome Center.
  • 10/11, 12pm: Conversation at the Mars Hill Mess – Hear Herman’s story as a part of the Mars Hill Mess group.

 

Public Conversation with Pastor Ben – We have an opportunity to hear Pastor Ben reflect on the Christian faith in the public sphere.

 

  • 10/11 – 7pm: “Following Jesus in the Age of Trump”at the BHA Open to the Sky Sukkah project. How does one follow Christ when others are using Christianity as a justification for exclusion and violence? Pastor Ben will listen to your questions and share his call to follow Jesus’ commandment to love God and neighbor – all of them.  The Sukkah is an open-air structure located in Polhill Park near the Beacon Welcome Center.

 

SHARING

10/27-28 – Fall All-Church Retreat at Holmes:  Take time out of your busy schedule to connect more deeply with God and your church family.  Overnight and Saturday-only options available. Registration forms are available in the narthex or online and due Oct 15.

 

NEXT WEEK AT FIRST PRESBYTERIAN

Sunday – 10/8

  • Worship (Sanctuary) – 10am Preacher Deke Spierling. Music led by Amy Martinez.
  • Food & Fellowship (McKinley Hall) – 11am
  • Table Talks Youth Group (McKinley Hall) – 7pm

Monday – 10/9

  • Spiritual Classics (McKinley Hall) – 12pm: A small-group conversation about life and faith. We are currently exploring Richard Foster’s book: Celebration of Discipline.

Tuesday – 10/10

  • Presbyterian Peacemaker from Sri Lanka (McKinley Hall) – 3pm
  • Presbyterian Peacemaker from Sri Lanka (Polhill Park) – 7pm

Wednesday – 10/11

  • Presbyterian Peacemaker from Sri Lanka  at the Mars Hill Discussion (McKinley Hall) – 12pm: A small group that has an open and honest discussion about the challenges of the world (Mars Hill is where the Apostle Paul met with the great philosophers in Athens) and the struggles of our lives (or, what we call, the Mess). All are welcome and all is confidential.
  • “Following Jesus in the Age of Trump” (Polhill Park) – 7pm

Friday – 10/13

  • Welcome Table (McKinley Hall) – 10am: Good food for all. A time to be fed in body and soul.

Saturday – 10/14

  • Welcome Table (McKinley Hall) – 10am

Sunday – 10/15

  • Worship (Sanctuary) – 10am Preacher Rev. Ben Larson-Wolbrink. Music led by Katie Budryk.
  • Food & Fellowship (McKinley Hall) – 11am
  • Joint Elders & Deacons Meeting (Library) – 11:30am
  • Table Talks Youth Group (McKinley Hall) – 7pm

The church hosts a number of community and 12-step groups throughout the week. For more information on meeting times call the office at 845-831-5322 or visit our webpage beaconpresbychurch.org

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