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 as we share
in Lenten worship.

Palm Sunday - March 25
Worship Service - 9:30 am

Maundy Thursday - March 29
Communion service - 7:00 pm

Good Friday - Tenebrae - March 30
Service - 7:00 pm

Sunrise Service - 6:00 am
Worship Service - 9:30 am


                          Drawn to Him
                        a sermon by the Rev. Matthew Froeschle
OLD TESTAMENT READING - Jeremiah 31:31-34
The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.  It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord.
But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.
GOSPEL READING - John 12:20-33
Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks.  They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”  Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.  Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.  Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also.  Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.
“Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.”  Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”  The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder.  Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”
Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine.  Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out.  And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”  He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.
SERMON - “Drawn to Him”
“This isn't working.”
Have you ever said that before?  Have you ever gotten to a point in the middle of a project or in the midst of your work or job or schooling where you just came to your wit’s end, threw up your hands, and said “this just isn’t working”?
Now, if the project is important, then that is the time to try something new.  If you haven’t reached the point of quitting, but your current methods aren’t working, then it’s time to switch methods.
When it comes to God’s relationship with humanity, we hear something like “This isn’t working” coming from God through many of the prophets in the Old Testament.
Today’s Old Testament reading from Jeremiah could be summarized rather simply: “this covenant I have with my people Israel - it just isn’t working.  I’m going to have to do something new.  The Law has been written in stone, but it needs to be written on their hearts.”
Now, it would be blasphemy to say that the Old Testament and the Law are unimportant.  They are vitally important.  And no one would propose chucking them.  The 10 Commandments are just as true and just as needed today as ever.  And the story of God’s relationship with Israel and with humanity - there is so much to learn from the Old Testament that we must not forget.
But the old covenant between God and humanity wasn’t working.
A covenant, as you probably know, is like a promise between two parties.  A marriage is a covenant promise.  You be faithful to me, and I’ll be faithful to you.  That’s the deal.
Businesses make contracts and covenants.  There are agreements between employers and employees - covenants between partners - covenants between friends and families and in all kinds of circumstances.
The Old Testament covenant was between God and Israel, and it was essentially this: God will be faithful to you - you in turn must be faithful to him.  Obey His laws, and things will go well for you.  Disobey those laws, and there will be consequences.
That’s all well and good - there’s just one little problem: well, it’s actually a rather big problem.  God can keep up His end, but humanity can’t keep up their end.
We want to know the Law - and we are grateful for it.  We even acknowledge that God’s ways are good.  We agree that it is bad to kill, lie, cheat, steal, lust, envy, and betray God.  But there’s a problem.  None of us can perfectly keep the law.  We’re all lawbreakers.
After plenty of evidence that no amount of human effort was ever going to be sufficient to satisfy our part of the deal, God finally starts telling the people what they should have already figured out:  “This isn’t working.”
God knows this - but we humans are kinda slow at times - we needed to figure this out by painful experience.  In your own life, how far have you been able to get before realizing that you’re not going to become the person you should be without divine intervention?
We humans want to be able to know the law and then keep it on our own, and so earn our salvation - earn our place in God’s good graces.  But sooner or later we will recognize our desperate need for a Savior - for Jesus.
I mean, that was me - and still is me in many ways.  When I was a kid in church, I figured God was up in heaven taking notes, and so long as I could get a passing grade, I’d be ok.  If I was “good enough,” I’d pass the test and get into heaven.  Especially if God was grading on a curve, because my little brother and some of those nasty kids at school were definitely going to bring that bar down.  (I’m MOSTLY kidding.)
But what if - what if God expects us to actually BE holy - inside and out?  What if my problem isn’t just failing to keep the rules, but what if my heart was broken?  Who was going to fix that?
I mean, shouldn’t I care more about all those nasty kids at school and my little brother?  My awful self-centeredness and PRIDE was the awful problem I wasn’t seeing or addressing.  By God’s standards, I was nowhere near good enough to actually enjoy heaven, even though I thought I was.
Ever notice that laws - on their own - really don’t have much power to transform people’s hearts?  I mean, they may influence people’s behavior (they don’t want to get fined or go to jail), but it takes something more to actually change a person’s heart.
Even if you love the person who makes the law, you might find yourself disobeying it - out of sheer human ambivalence.  “It’s not like I’m killing anyone here.”
But when it comes to breaking God’s law, we ARE killing people through disobedience.  We’re dying - and other people are dying - because of our sinful brokenness.
“This isn’t working,” God said through Jeremiah.  “They need to know me - not just know about me.  And they need something that will change their hearts, not just their practices.”
Turn the page - from the Old Testament to the New.
In a long forecasted, but still somehow shocking move, God becomes a human being in the person of Jesus Christ.  God takes on human flesh in an exceptionally humble way to let us get to know him better.  And it’s incredible.
But even then, there was something more to be done.  For even though Jesus’ healing and teaching ministry were powerful and helpful, still Jesus acknowledged that “this isn’t working,” when He said to his closest friends that he would have to offer up his own life to truly draw all people to God.
This world has had good laws - this world has had good teachers - but what the world needs most is a Savior - the hero willing to die in order to truly save us from ourselves.
God - and Jesus - knew better than we did.  One more good teacher wasn’t going to be enough to draw people back to God.  What would draw us back to God - what would help us to understand what we could do and what we could not do - would be the cross.  What we needed was Jesus’ death and resurrection.  Jesus’ cross shows us just how much God is willing to do and is willing to give for love for us.
2000 years later, it is still true that we know Jesus and are drawn to him because of the cross.  That cross is the new covenant, in which God keeps both sides of the promise.  That cross is the new covenant in which the knowledge of God and the keeping of God’s law gets written on our hearts.
Jesus Christ - as both fully human and fully God - keeps God’s part of the deal and man’s part of the deal in that NEW COVENANT God was speaking of through Jeremiah.
“All people will be drawn to me when I am lifted up,” said Jesus.  And His words have proven to be true.
No longer is the covenant between God and man based on both God’s faithfulness AND our ability to keep up humanity’s end of the deal.
Instead, by grace, all who cast their lot with Jesus get the benefit of a perfectly restored relationship with God.  All who allow Jesus to be their Lord fulfill the Law’s demands.  The cross has paid our debt in full.
Does this new covenant transform hearts?  Oh yes it does.  From little children to college kids to experienced grown-ups - all find that the love of Jesus and His grace does what they could not do on their own - it changes their heart.  When you see the heart of Jesus - the one who chose this terrible path even though all his humanity begged to be spared - it changes your heart.
No longer is it all about me.  No longer is it all about you.  It becomes all about gratitude for this incredible love and sacrifice of our hero and Savior Jesus.  Life becomes a joyful response to our adoption as God’s family, and no longer a desperate and hopeless quest to somehow earn our place at the table.
Does this sound true?  Does this sound like something you need more of?  This is the gospel, and Christ is offering you another chance today to draw near to him, and know His grace, and have His law written not just in your head, but on your heart.



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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.


     Sharing a Recent Sermon
Leader:  The mighty one, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.  Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.
People:  Our God comes and does not keep silence, before him is a devouring fire, and a mighty tempest all around him.
Leader:  He calls to the heavens above and to the earth, that he may judge his people: “Gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
People:  The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge.
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves.  And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them.  And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”  He did not know what to say, for they were terrified.
Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!”  Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.  So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean.
 “Everything Is Pointing to Jesus”
On Wednesday nights, our LOGOS youth have been studying the story of Moses.  Moses is generally considered the hero of the Old Testament.  He was the one God used to deliver Israel from slavery in Egypt.  God spoke to Moses face to face, and revealed His glory to him. And more to the point for today, it was Moses through whom God gave the 10 Commandments - the LAW - to the people.  In the Jewish culture, Moses is synonymous with God’s Law. Elijah would probably be considered the second most prominent figure in the Hebrew Bible (a.k.a. the Old Testament - a.k.a. the only Bible Jesus and his disciples had).  It was through Elijah that God rebuked, corrected, and guided Israel when they were tempted to go astray and leave truth and goodness behind. Elijah is the one who stood up to all those false priests who were worshipping false gods and demonstrated that the One True God was the ONLY true God.  So as Moses is synonymous with LAW, so Elijah is synonymous with PROPHET.  And keep in mind that the Old Testament is often referred to as “the law and the prophets” as a summary phrase. It’s a huge deal, then, when we read in today’s gospel story, that both Moses and Elijah show up with Jesus at the top of the mountain, where Jesus’ glory was revealed to his disciples.  To Jews like Peter, James, and John, that is the equivalent of the entire Old Testament endorsing Jesus.  The LAW and the PROPHETS endorsed Jesus!
In addition to all this, of course, those three disciples get an incredible glimpse of Jesus’ glory.  They see Jesus as He truly is - the God of the universe - with them.  And they hear God’s voice booms from the clouds with the boldest endorsement of all: “This Jesus is my Son - listen to him!” And then, the moment passes, and things appear “normal” once more.  Jesus tells them not to mention anything that they’d seen until after the crucifixion and resurrection. The gospel of Mark doesn’t spend much time talking about the glory of Jesus - God in the flesh.  This episode - pretty much right in the middle of the book - is a very brief reflection on the awesome true nature of Jesus.  For most of the rest of the gospel, it is Jesus’ human nature and his suffering that is most clearly presented.
But that is not to say that this episode is somehow out of step or out of place in Mark’s gospel.  Not at all.  But, as Jesus himself tells the disciples, the glory of God is best understood in light of Jesus crucifixion and resurrection. The life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus help us to understand God’s glory in a clearer, better way.  We are shown that there is far greater glory in humbly laying down one’s life for others than there is in the adoration of millions, or in the pomp and power the world has to offer. Episodes like this one point to the fact that Jesus is the glorious Son of God and the fulfillment of all the Old Testament promises.  But this revelation must be paired with the fact that Jesus is also the man who died on a cross out of love for us.
The glory of God appears to the disciples in a supernatural vision of Jesus in shining white robes on a mountaintop.  But the glory of God is best known through the story of a bleeding Jesus in shredded clothing on a cross.  That’s why Jesus said “wait.”  That’s why Jesus said “don’t tell anyone about this until after I die and am then raised from the dead.” The disciples were totally confused by that statement, of course, and assumed it must be some strange parable.  “What do you think he means by ‘rising from the dead?’”  The disciples didn’t get it.  But neither, generally, do we.  Our ideas of glory need to be corrected.
There’s a wonderful line in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s popular 70s musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” in which Ted Neely, playing Jesus, sings: “Neither you, Simon, nor the fifty thousand, nor the Romans, nor the Jews, nor Judas, nor the Twelve, nor the Priests, nor the Scribes, nor doomed Jerusalem itself understand what power is - understand what glory is - understand at all - understand at all.” The law and the prophets point to Jesus.  The cross makes His true glory known.
And do you know that it is also through our weakness and in the midst of our suffering that we, too, can point to Jesus?  Yes - we can “shine” for Jesus through gifts and talents and accomplishments.  But we can also testify that it has been in our darkest moments when we better recognize and testify that it is ALL ABOUT JESUS. When we are experiencing some death - some personal trauma or cross - we see clearly that Jesus is the Savior we need - if not always the Savior we might have wanted. The mountaintop moments of beauty and joy are spectacular.  The view from up there is breathtaking and glorious.  Like Peter in moments of fear and awe, we may start jabbering, and talk about setting up camp and staying in that place forever. But it is at the foot of the cross, when we see the way in which Christ died, that we might better say with that impressed Roman soldier, “Wow.  Look at the manner in which this Jesus died.  This truly is God’s Son.”
Why do we brag about Jesus?
Why do we point to Jesus?
He shows us what glory means.




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.