Midweek Message – Late August Two-Week Edition

Friends,

I’m grateful for a week of continuing education, and I’m eager to share my learning with you! The week was capped-off by a wonderful time of worship last Sunday, with Pamela Hormerte’s invitation to all of us to follow Jesus and see where He leads. She also blessed us with a really useful physical prayer invitation during the children’s time: open palms downward to release all the fear, anger, and other burdens; open palms upward to receive all the good things God wants to give us.

Speaking of prayer, we prayed fervently after the events in Charlottesville over the weekend. We confessed the sin of racism and prayed for God’s power to help us stand up for the vulnerable and be reconcilers in our own community. The PCUSA has released a number of useful statements and resources on their website.  

A bit closer to home, we have the opportunity to learn about how one man – Dietrich Bonhoeffer – stood against the Nazis in Germany at our Movies that Matter showing tonight (see more info below). We will also hear from local religious leaders about how their faith informs how they live in these challenging times.

This Sunday, we’ll have our second hymn sing of the summer. Come ready to sing a verse of your favorite hymn. Next Sunday, August 27th, we’ll have the joy of welcoming – and commissioning – a group from this year’s batch of YAVs (Young Adult Volunteers). It’s one of my favorite Sundays of the year – you won’t want to miss it!

In the meantime, I’m headed off to New England with our family. Gretchen will be joining Jenn Humenik, Renee Vitale, and Katrina Zezza in Mystic, CT for a training in the art of Godly Play, a new program we’ll be implementing for our Young Disciples this fall (starting Sept 10). We’ll follow that with some vacation time with friends on Cape Cod. The office will be open while I’m away, and I’ll be eager to be back for YAV Sunday on Aug 27th.

Faithfully,

Pastor Ben

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

LEARNING

Read with us: The Shack by William P. Young – For those interested in a discussion group, one is taking place each Tuesday of August at 7pm. All are invited to gather with us on Thursday, Sept 28 as we gather to enjoy dinner, watch the movie, and share how the book has impacted our faith.

Bonhoeffer Film: 8/17 at 7pm – As a part of the Movies that Matter series, we’ll be showing a documentary of the life of Deitrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor who lived out his faith in resistance to Nazi oppression in WWII. Following the film, we’ll hear from a panel of local faith leaders about their thoughts on living faithfully in these times. Leaders speaking will be:

  • Imam Abdullah, Islamic Teaching Center of Beacon
  • Rev. Singleton, St. James AME Zion of Beacon
  • Rabbi Spodek, Beacon Hebrew Alliance

 

Autism Awareness Concert: 9/16 – A special event to raise awareness and provide a creative outlet for autistic children and their families.

Gregory Boyle at Iona College: 9/19 – A lunch-hour lecture by the author of Tattoos on the Heart. We will meet at the church and carpool.

Come to the Table: 9/22-23 – A conference of the Synod of the Northeast will meet at Stony Point Center, with a variety of relevant workshops and ways to network with other Presbyterians in advocacy, solidarity, and mission. Hudson River Presbytery will be offering scholarships to all participants. To learn more, or to register, visit here.  

 

SERVING

 

Drivers Needed for Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) Sunday, Aug 27 – We are in need of a driver for one more vehicle willing to be at Stony Point Center by 8:30am to deliver the YAVs to Beacon so we can commission them during worship. Drivers will also be needed to return them to Stony Point after Food & Fellowship time.

Spirit of Beacon Day: 9/24 – Help us spread the word about First Presbyterian! We need folks to march / sing in the parade and folks to staff our information table.

 

GIVING

Thanks for Donations to Rural & Migrant Ministries – Thanks to all who donated money and school supplies to the RMM summer youth empowerment camp. A total of $120 was raised, in addition to supplies donated. Many thanks for your investment in these young people!

Welcome Table – Welcome Table could use donations of pasta, sauces, tuna, and salad dressing. To make a donation, contact Deacon Rose Quirk or the office.

 

PASTOR SCHEDULE UPDATES

Time Away

  • August 18-25: Vacation – Pastor Ben will be enjoying Mystic, CT with the kids for a few days while Gretchen attends Godly Play training and then the family will be spending time on Cape Cod.
  • September 1-4: Family camping vacation in the Catskills over Labor Day Weekend.

Thursday Sabbath Day – Sabbath days are an important, biblically-grounded time to rest and be renewed by God. Unless it is an emergency, Pastor Ben will respond to any Thursday communications on Fridays.

 

NEXT TWO WEEKS AT FIRST PRESBYTERIAN

Sunday – 8/20

  • Worship (Sanctuary) – 10am: Hymn Sing, Part 2. In place of a sermon, hymns chosen by the congregation will be sung. Music led by Sally Hitchcock.
  • Food & Fellowship (McKinley Hall) – 11am

Monday – 8/21

  • 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 – 8/22

  • The Shack Discussion Group (Library) – 7pm: A small group discussion exploring the Triune God’s mysterious presence in the midst of overwhelming suffering.

Wednesday – 8/23

  • 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.

Friday – 8/25

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

Saturday – 8/26

  • Welcome Table (McKinley Hall) – 10am

Sunday – 8/27

  • Worship (Sanctuary) – 10am Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) Commissioning Sunday. Music led by the Worship Band.
  • Food & Fellowship (McKinley Hall) – 11am

Monday – 8/28

  • 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 – 8/29

  • The Shack Discussion Group (Library) – 7pm: A small group discussion exploring the Triune God’s mysterious presence in the midst of overwhelming suffering.

Wednesday – 8/30

  • 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.

Friday – 9/1

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

Saturday – 9/2

  • Welcome Table (McKinley Hall) – 10am

Sunday – 9/3

  • Worship (Sanctuary) – 10am Guest Preacher Rev. Daniel Yang. Music led by Sally Hitchcock.
  • Food & Fellowship (McKinley Hall) – 11am

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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