New church office hours: We are now open 9:00am-2:00pm Monday through Friday.

We will have our Annual Meeting on Sunday, February 25, followed by a Potluck after Worship. We hope you can be there!
Weddings
Interested in having your wedding at First Presbyterian Church?  Please see our updated guidelines here.

Sunday Worship
Adult Sunday School  10:00-10:45 am
Youth Sunday School  10:00-10:45 am
Elementary Sunday School  10:00-10:45
Church Nursery: 10:30 am-12:30 pm
Chancel Choir Rehearsal: 10:30 am 
Morning Worship: 11:00 am
Youth Group 12-2 pm (alternates with Youth Sunday School, please call to check times)
 
Wednesdays 
Bible Study:  10:00 am
Chancel Choir Rehearsal: 7:30 pm
 
 
This week's Bulletin-> Click here 

This month's Newsletter -> Click here

Visit the Shenandoah Presbytery Website -> http://shenpres.org/

Visit the Synod of the Mid-Atlantic Website - > http://www.synatlantic.org/

This month's birthdays - > Click here

What's up?
Bible Study - Our red-letter Jesus Bible Study meets as usual in the church library at 10 am on Wednesdays. 

Our first and third Tuesday and Thursday Bible Study groups resume in February--watch the church bulletin for updates.  
Can you help the Food Pantry? Items currently needed for our pantry include cereals, saltine crackers, and grape jelly.  Canned fruit, canned vegetables (especially peas), egg noodles, and canned chicken are always welcome.  Donations may be brought to the church office or placed in the canvas hamper in the narthex.



 


February 2018

Pastor's Letter

 “Let Those With Ears, Hear…”

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

 What do you think about this: “The evidence is in and, honestly, if you hang with non-church people at all, you can verify this yourself, that one of the features that marks our current culture in the United States is that Biblical literacy has dropped off dramatically in the last 20 years. It used to be you could say, “Exodus story” and people would know you referred to God’s stunning liberation of enslaved people. You could say, “Sermon on the Mount” and some clear reference would come to mind. Not so anymore. There are hundreds of examples.” - Rev. Dr. Sue Ann Westfall, Macedonian Ministries

Westfall reminds us that the first disciples learned how to speak in the language of the surrounding culture to reach people with the Good News (Acts 17).

        As we come to into the season of Lent I am mindful that it is hard for “in-church” people to hear as well, particularly around the stories that are most familiar to us.  We grow dull to the way of the manger, the way of the cross.  This year during the 6 Sundays of Lent, as one way of encouraging us to reengage the story, we will be using David Bently Hart’s “A Translation: The New Testament” (Yale University Press, New Haven, 2017) for the reading of scripture in Sunday worship.  (Copies of the day’s readings will be in your bulletin, to keep us copacetic with the Book of Order!) 

        Hart “undertook this new translation of the New Testament esti doctrina non dareture, “as if doctrine is not given.”  “Reproducing the text’s often fragmentary formulations without augmentation or correction, he has produced an “often pitilessly literal translation of the early Christian’s sometimes raw, astonished, and halting prose, one that captures the text’s frequent impenetrability and unfished quality while awakening readers to an uncanniness that often lies beneath doctrinal layers.”  “This rendering also challenges the idea that the New Testament affirms the kind of people we are… “To live as the New Testament language requires,” he writes, “Christians would have to become strangers and sojourners on the earth to have here no enduring city, to belong to a Kingdom truly not of this world.  And we surely cannot do that, can we?” Should what is impossible for us be impossible for God?

So first we will hear again, as if for the first time.

Then we will engage, first in worship, in a prayerful time we are calling “CrossWalk” where we will respond to part of the day’s scripture by carrying a response of our own to the wooden cross that will stand in the sanctuary during Lent.  

Then we will be sent out into the world to, indeed, live as though we belong to a Kingdom truly not of this world, and to invite others to do the same.

To that end, see if you can meet Westfall’s challenge, “Write out what you believe without using any religious language. If you can do that, then you are prepared to meet the non-church people you encounter every day with good news.”  You can read her whole article here: https://macedonianministry.org/one-new-thing/. 

        A small book of daily devotionals will be given to each family the Sunday before Lent starts on Ash Wednesday, February 14.  We will commence our Crosswalk at 7:00 in the Sanctuary that evening.  I look forward to travelling with you this season.  

Blessings,

Pastor Karen

(If you would like your own copy of Hart’s new book, it’s available in many “regular” stores.  I always like to search Dealoz.com for the lowest price.)