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)
 

  

 

                   “Passing Through the Waters”
               A sermon by the Rev. Matthew D. Froeschle
 
OLD TESTAMENT READING - Isaiah 43:1-7
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.  I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you, I give people in return for you, nations in exchange for your life.
Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you; I will say to the north, “Give them up,” and to the south, “Do not withhold; bring my sons from far away and my daughters from the end of the earth—everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
 
NEW TESTAMENT READING - Luke 3:15-22
As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals.
“He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people. But Herod the ruler, who had been rebuked by him because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the evil things that Herod had done, added to them all by shutting up John in prison.
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” 

SERMON - “Passing through the Waters”
There was a lot of excitement in Galilee around the place and time that John the baptizer was preaching.  He drew crowds.  He preached the truth with passion.  He made people aware of God and God’s Way.  People were compelled to turn their lives around - to make a clean start - to get baptized.
Many of us, perhaps, have been among the crowds listening to some great speaker, feeling as though we were hearing the very voice of God through them.  I’ve heard excellent preachers who lay out the Bible or who speak of God in such a way that it becomes undeniable - what they speak is coming from God - it’s the truth.
God knows I want to be numbered among the faithful preachers who speak the truth in love and help people to connect with the Lord.  John the Baptist was among the early heralds of Jesus Christ - announcing the arrival of God in the flesh (along with angels and Mary and shepherds and wise men).
What made John the Baptist such a faithful and God-honoring preacher was the fact that he stayed focused on connecting people with the Messiah, and didn’t concern himself with his own reputation.  Later in the gospels, as Jesus began baptizing more disciples than John, John showed no jealousy.  “He must become greater, and I less,” was his response.
And even from the beginning, we read of John’s honesty and humility.  As people poured more and more praise upon him, John spoke more and more clearly that he was NOT the Messiah.  He said it quite clearly in our gospel passage for today.  “The true Messiah is coming.  He has the goods.  I’ve got water.  He has the Holy Spirit.”
John’s preaching did get him into trouble.  He made some powerful people uncomfortable, and they did away with him.  They would do the same with Jesus.
Of course, we know the rest of the story.  That didn’t stop God from accomplishing his work of rescuing people from their sins.  That didn’t stop God from keeping all those promises He made through the prophets.
The Scriptures today prompt the question: what does it mean to be saved?  What does it me to be redeemed?  What does this Jesus, the baptized Messiah, the One called God’s own beloved Son, really do for us?
Because I’ve walked through waters and have not been spared pain or injury.  I know many faithful and kind people who have not been spared from misery or illness or death.  So what do we mean as a church when we say the Lord saves us if He doesn’t always provide our physical necessities?
We see in the Biblical history that God absolutely does have the ability to provide for His people’s physical necessities and change their circumstances.  Remember the miraculous deliverance from Egypt and all He did to spare His people.
But that’s not all that redemption means.  By considering the life and message of Jesus, we start to understand what it means to be redeemed by God.
We see that Jesus’ work is primarily to transform people from the inside out - to fight the enemy that we humans absolutely cannot defeat on our own - the power of sin.  And the greatest gift that God has to give is the gift of Jesus’ Spirit - the Holy Spirit - to dwell within us and do His work in us.
John the Baptist said that he could wash our bodies with water - but what we need is a washing of the soul - and that’s what Jesus can do with the Holy Spirit and fire.
It’s the Holy Spirit that works within those prophets and preachers like John to speak the truth in love - in a way that compels us to change and to get closer to God ourselves.
We may not be spared the challenges of life - John wasn’t.  Jesus certainly wasn’t.  Yet because of the Holy Spirit, they could be at peace wherever they were - confident of God’s unchanging love and God’s ability to do His work on earth through us.
Some messages are worth suffering for.  The message of God’s love is.
God lasts forever.  Is there anything we would like more than to hear God say of us, as He said of Jesus: “You are my beloved - with you I am well pleased”?  Would we not like to live as Jesus did?
If that is indeed our desire, then indeed it is possible to be saved.  For God is looking for hearts open to His Spirit.  God is looking for hearts longing to be delivered from the sickness of sin and selfishness.
To be and to make disciples is the mission of God’s church.  We are in no way the OWNERS of God’s Spirit, but we are among the stewards of Jesus’ message and Jesus’ Spirit.  And that Spirit is peace.  It is living water.  It is sacrificial love.  It is everything we need, if not always exactly what we want.
Ask for the Spirit of Jesus with me.  Live out a life of God’s love with me.  Preach how Jesus has transformed your life along with me.  Speak of how God has delivered us through tough times and who uses us to bless others.  For that’s not just the job of pastors and elders and deacons.  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.