Favorite Verses

1. John 3:16

 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

2. John 14:6

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

3. Ephesians 2:8

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God...

4. 2nd Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousnes...

5. Matthew 11:28

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

 

 

 

 

Leading us in worship:   Rev. Matthew Froeschle 

Sunday Worship Schedule 

Worship Service
9:30 a.m.
Children's Church
9:45 a.m.
(after Children's Chat)
 

 

We hope that you will join us this Holy Week.

Maundy Thursday – April 18
    Communion service 7:00 pm
Good Friday – Tenebrae – April 19
    Service 7:00 pm
EASTER SUNDAY – April 21
   Sunrise service at 6:00 am
   Worship Service 9:30 am

 

                 PROFILES OF THE ALL-IN: JESUS
                A sermon by the Rev. Matthew D. Froeschle

The curtain of the divine drama is about to go up.  Jesus, the truest and only perfect Biblical hero, enters the stage in humility and love, with crowds shouting praises.  But we know how the week will end, with a mob demanding his death.
This strange story is in fact God’s plan - from the very beginning - that the suffering servant should take upon himself the transgressions of the world and be its Messiah.
Our Lenten journey is approaching the climactic storm of Jesus’ death on the cross - the horrific, awful crescendo of cracking whips, pounding nails, and agonizing cries that were the necessary recompense for human sin.  Before Easter’s blazing light, there is the utter emptiness and darkness of the tomb God endured on our behalf.
Be still.  Oh be still.  Wait and listen and watch in wonder as our Lord Jesus does the impossible - all because of his passionate love for us.
FIRST SCRIPTURE READING - Isaiah 53:1-12
Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account. Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people. They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the Lord shall prosper.
Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
SECOND SCRIPTURE READING - Matthew 21:1-11
When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.”
This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying, “Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”
SERMON - “PROFILES OF THE ALL-IN: JESUS”
We are nearing the end of the Lenten season, and we are nearing the end of this sermon series focused on different Bible characters - how they demonstrate for us what faith looks like in practice.
I’ve made it clear throughout that these Bible “heroes” model trust in God without being perfect people.  They lead us to God, not to themselves.
Abraham, Ruth, David - their stories inspire us, but they don’t leave out the frailties and failures of those individuals.  They understood that they weren’t the ultimate hero of the story - God is the hero.
Today, however, the character we’re studying is God in the flesh - Jesus Christ.  Alone among the folks we are considering, Jesus is a hero worthy of our worship, and of our unabashed praise.  Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to God, and in humble service to humanity.  Jesus is THE hero.
And yet - Jesus Christ is decidedly NOT the wish-fulfillment kind of Savior we would have expected.  If we’re honest, Jesus may NOT be the kind of hero we want now.
I was reading an article in Christianity Today by a Jonathan Merritt, who wrote about “the gift of disillusionment.”  Palm Sunday is a wonderful Sunday, to be sure, yet it is (and was) a celebration of human EXPECTATIONS of Jesus Christ.
See, we want a God who will satisfy our expectations.  We want God to earn our trust by providing for us health and safety and comfort and well-being.  If God - if Jesus - will provide for us these things, then we will follow and celebrate and wave our palms.
How do we respond when God - when Jesus, our Messiah - fails to satisfy our expectations?  (“Expectations are just resentments under construction.”)  Shall we learn, as Jonathan Merritt did, to thank God for giving us what we need rather than what we wanted?
As a model for someone completely “sold-out” for God, Jesus doesn’t offer us a picture of a successful, prosperous life by the world’s standards.  Rather, being “sold-out” for God in the manner of Jesus, a follower should instead expect opposition, disrespect, struggle, and persecution.  Apparently, living for God will mean encountering resistance from the powers of the world.
Jesus is a model of sacrificial love, hospitality, and grace.  Jesus only got riled when self-righteous hypocrites took advantage of others, or made them miserable under the weight of religion.
So it’s hard for us to find any fault in Jesus’ conduct, and yet it’s not difficult to see how Jesus can be seen as a disappointment.
A “suffering servant” such as the one anticipated by the prophet Isaiah is hardly a figure to get the crowds excited and shouting for joy.  We would rather have a Jesus who would gain the whole world for us.
But at what cost?
“What good is it for a person to gain the whole world and yet forfeit their soul?” asks Jesus.
“The soul?” our expectations and disappointments reply. “Who cares about that?”
I want to testify to you that in Jesus, I have received treasures of peace and joy and true love that I cannot quantify or measure.  There is no relationship more valuable to me than the one Jesus initiated with me.
And yet for all the good my soul has received, my body has not been spared illness, nor have I been spared confusion, hurt, anger, or the pain of watching others suffer.  And I am a novice in suffering, too, so far.  I have not endured a fraction of what others have.
I have certainly not endured a fraction of what Jesus endured for us all.
As we celebrate Jesus this Sunday, and indeed every Sunday as Christians, we do well to ask: are we celebrating the Jesus of our expectations - provisional praise so long as Jesus keeps the blessings coming?
Or are we doing the riskier and more authentic work of worshipping God for God - the mysterious, holy, righteous God beyond our understanding who knows best?
Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey - as the Prince of Peace - as the true King of Israel - and He alone knew that his parade led to the cross where He would offer up His life as the Sacrifice for sin that justice demanded.
So here it is: can we celebrate Jesus on Palm Sunday for what He really offers, and not just because we believe Jesus will give us what we want?
Here’s what Jesus offers: Jesus will take your sin upon himself, thus freeing you to live for God.
No longer will you depend on your accomplishments to satisfy God - Jesus will meet the demands of the Law for you.
You will know God for real - not an imaginary God - but the real God whose brilliant grace will inspire you to give up your life for the sake of love.
But if that’s not what we want, then Jesus’ work on the cross will only be a disappointment to us.
I heard that Pope Francis, in his obedience to Christ and his love for the nation of Sudan, kissed the feet of those political leaders in an earnest plea for peace.
Is that the sort of thing you want to do - to humble yourself out of love for others?  Then Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.
Do you want to be freed from the prison of your selfish desires, the deathly trap of comfort and convenience so that you may go where Jesus goes and do what Jesus does?  Then rejoice, wave your palms, and celebrate!  This is what Jesus offers!  That is what Jesus’ parade into Jerusalem is all about!
Look, I don’t pretend that I always want those things.  But I want to want them.  And so I want to follow Jesus, because I have faith that Jesus is God.  I trust that Jesus’ way is the only way.
To lose it all in order to gain the Kingdom of God - to know Jesus - that is to be disillusioned - and it is new life and resurrections.
May it be, O Lord.  May it be.  Amen.

   
 

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Adult Bible Class

The class meets at 8:30 am on Sunday morning.  Please join for this lesson and lively discussion time before the worshp service. 
Everyone welcome.

 Worship Service

Please join us for Sunday Worship at 9:30 a.m.  Let us be your church as you're passing through town, or your church home throughout the year.  We invite you to worship with us.  Children may stay in the sanctuary or go to Children's Church after the Children's Chat with the Pastor.  During the worship service, we worship God through scripture reading, listening to the sermon, prayer, responsive readings, hymn singing, special music, and reflection.

Children's Church

During the 9:30 a.m. worship service, Children's Church is offered for children ages 4-12.  Childlren are in the sanctuary until after the Children's Chat with the Pastor.  Children's Church is a service where kids learn through scripture, stories, and music tailored to their age group.

 

First Presbyterian Church is a Family of Faith. 

Like many families, we:

*Support one another.  Troubles are shared and burdens are lifted hrough requests to the Prayer Team, prayer requests made during worship, and conversation over coffee, etc.

*Share a common outlook.  Presbyterians are dedicated to hearing and acting on scripture.  We listen to what the Bible has to say through sermons and studies.  We carry out what we learn and believe through our daily lives and in missions at home and abroad.

*Nuture Children.  Outreach within and outside our church happens through Sunday School, Kids' Club, Youth Groups, LOGOS retreats, Camp Carew, and Vacation Bible School.  We help children "grow up in Christ."

*Care for the Elderly.  Members of the "Sunshine Brigade" conduct Christian care visits with shut-ins and those who live in skilled care settings.

*Help neighbors in need.  Friends and families reach out to others in the Church when help is needed.  In addition, members of the First Presbyterian family serve the community through programs like the Food Bank, Peace Meals, PADS homeless and transient shelter, etc.

*Grow.  Families have a habit of growing.  Our Family of Faith grows with those who are beginning or renewing their trust in Jesus Christ.  Please consider what Christ means to you, and experience God's love through First Presbyterian Church.