Our Turkey Trot 2021 collected 148 turkeys plus $80 in donations for Calvary Food Pantry... Thank you to all those who helped... And a big thank you to our David Bowman for organizing all the finer details...
The journey of the Magi is a journey of discernment, vision and trust – it is deeply a faith journey. It is a journey of transformation.
It is not an easy journey. T.S. Eliot wrote in his poem, “Journey of the Magi”:
“‘A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.’
“… All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had though they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.”
The Magi undertook a journey that was wearisome, troublesome, dangerous, and unseasonable to follow the star to the Christ child.
We join the Magi on this sacred journey—not just merely a geographical adventure but a pilgrimage experience—a search for a deeper place. The pilgrimage to Bethlehem is a privileged time and space for discovery, discernment, and illumination. It is a journey of conversion which leads to transformation. The magi follow the star. Without truly knowing where they are going, they seek the way in prayer and contemplation.
Having drawn near to the Divine, they are now transformed by the experience of the Christ child in the manger and ready to live in a completely new and reflective way. Touched and nourished by God’s very being, the Magi now return home ready to face the routine of life with new hope and purpose. They can now see the extraordinary in the ordinary and take notice of life in wonder. Their inward search has led them to a life of paying homage, a song of praise and gratitude.
Like the Magi, we too are led to Jesus. We are invited to come close to the borders of Mystery and search for God in the stable of our hearts. We are called to undertake a spiritual journey. The journey is indeed full of dangers and obstacles. The way is not easy, and all along there are temptations to give up the trip all together. Faith will not come easily, and transformation happens when we are willing to let those voices that proclaim it all to be folly to recede to the background as we press onward.
As the transformed seekers, the Magi travel home “by another road.” This is the constant invitation and challenge of the journey of the Magi.
We move in Advent towards Christmas and Epiphany in the pilgrimage experience, as disciples and as community. We seek to prayerfully travel the path to which God is leading us—in prayer, in commitment, and in sharing of insights to enrich the community of faith here at First Presbyterian Church, as well as our sisters and brothers in the faith of the One crucified, risen, and ascended.
We have so much to celebrate at our 3rd Christmas Fayre this year that we have run out of room on our poster... Mark your calendars for December 7 for an opportunity of gift-giving without the wastefulness... prioritizing meaning and creativity over materials… choosing gifts for people on the gift lists, while helping others who are not on anyone's gift list. Charitable donations, upcycled items, help for community projects, and more... Fun and inspiring ways to celebrate God’s gifts and love. Lots to come... this is just the beginning... Let us make this year's Fayre one of mission and ministry...
Celebrate the mystery of Advent by creating an Advent Calendar which can be passed on to generations... Join us on Friday, November 22, 10am-1pm for a time of prayer, creativity and fellowship... Please sign up so that we have enough supplies... For those who are unable to be there Pastor Banu will be leading a mini workshop on December 1 after worship to help with calendars. Let us bring back the mystery of Advent... Questions? Please message us...
According to The World Bank, over 700 million people worldwide live on less than two dollars a day. This year First Presbyterian Church is partnering with Serrv International, a nonprofit who empowers nearly 8,000 artisans living in poverty to build better lives for themselves and their families through the sale of beautiful handmade gifts.
On Saturday, December 7 at our Christmas Fayre at the P.E.R.C, you will be able to purchase high-quality hand-painted, handwoven, and handcrafted gifts from around the world. Each purchase employs artisans and farmers living in marginalized communities worldwide.
Our Serrv sale will give the community an opportunity to buy meaningful gifts with beautiful stories— the story of an artisan or farmer receiving a fair wage for their work, of sending a child to school, or preserving an ageless craft. Proceeds also help fund improvement projects in the artisans’ communities, including healthcare and environmental protection programs.
Serrv, as a fair trade nonprofit, has a 70-year history of supporting and working with global artisans and farmers in marginalized communities worldwide, which complements our church’s mission as we strive to be a community of justice and peace in a world broken and suffering, yet full of God’s wondrous possibilities for healing and wholeness.
Their purchases of handcrafted home décor, fashion, and food items, which are sold nationwide, allow producers to fund artisan employment, community building, healthcare, and education initiatives. The company’s values and close connection to citizens of 25 countries allows for unique insight into the challenges and suffering of people on a global scale.
For many first responders, the stress doesn’t end when the siren goes silent. Too often, the first to respond to the needs of others are the last to seek help for themselves following a traumatic event. REBOOT First Responders is a 12-week faith-based first responder trauma healing course that specifically addresses the critical incident stress and trauma faced by those in the law enforcement, firefighter, EMS, 911 communications, hospital emergency staff, and corrections communities. THE COURSE IS FREE... REGISTER ONLINE OR CONTACT TOM KLEIN FOR MORE INFORMATION AT 315.209.7254...