Call to Prayer – Thanksgiving Eve 2022

There will be no Wednesday evening Bible study this evening. Instead, I am calling on as many friends and members of our church as possible to pull aside from the normal flow of our days and join together in prayer for our church family. If you can, please begin your time of prayer at 7 PM (it’s okay if you need to pray at another time). Here is what you can pray for:

  1. Thank God for all of His blessings in your life.
  2. Thank God for your church family.
  3. Pray for your friends, family members, and other loved ones.
  4. Pray for your church in three ways:
    • Pray for the spiritual health and growth of church members.
    • Pray for the numerical growth of our congregation.
    • Pray for the effectiveness of the mission work that we support.

As you take this time, I recommend you also read Scripture. Try to read Philippians 1:2-11 and think about your fellow church members as you do so. See the video above for more information. Happy Thanksgiving!

Pastor’s Stewardship Letter 2022

The following letter was mailed to all members of First Pres. It accompanies a letter from the chair of the finance committee and a pledge card. Stewardship Sunday will take place on Nov. 6th.

Dear friends of First Presbyterian Church,

As 2022 quickly winds down, it is time for the Finance Committee of our congregation to collect annual pledges for the coming year. These pledge amounts will be used to create an operational budget that plans for employee salaries, facility usage, and mission-giving, among other things. None of these things simply happen. You pay your light bills and your staff (thank you!) by giving generously as the Lord leads you to give. You provide precious financial resources, and the leadership of our congregation determines how to best put those resources to work. Because you give, Lauren Scharstein can minister to young women in Kenya; Love INC can employ necessary staff who love the poor and the marginalized; and your pastor is free to preach, to pray, to teach, and to counsel without the encumbrance of another vocation. Because you give, we can light and heat a building that shelters not just our congregation but Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and the Hillsdale Arts Chorale. Because you give, inspiring choral anthems resound throughout our county every Sunday morning at 7:30 AM, and those on the down-and-out can catch a free meal and a little hospitality every month. This all happens because you give.

We are entering a challenging season in the life of our congregation. The experts tell us that a great shaking is coming to the American church. The mainline project has come to an end. American culture was once deeply informed by the great Protestant church traditions. This is no longer true. Many churches will close in the coming decade. Many others will choose the path of lingering. I pray that you would join me in wanting neither of these paths for our beloved church. We want to not only remain open but to thrive amid the turmoil of American life. We want to worship God in the Spirit and in truth (John 4:24). We want to be a congregation that prays unceasingly (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We want to be a part of the discipling of the nations (Matthew 28:19). We want to be a community of shared rejoicing and shared weeping (Romans 12:15). We want to keep in step with the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:25).

Not all churches will close or linger. In fact, there is a clear indication that throughout our land and even in our own community there will be churches which are full of the Spirit’s power. They will minister with faithfulness. They will preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. They will grow in depth and in size. It will happen because of the grace and strength of God. I want us to be one of those churches. Let us pray, work, and give to that end. And may our great God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – be glorified.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Scott

Small Group Update!

Our small group initiative kicked off on Sunday, the 9th. The Hutchinson group is lined up to start tonight at 7 PM. Quick update: the Portteus group will begin on Tuesday, the 18th at 7 PM. Please contact a group leader or Pastor Scott for more info. Hope you can join a group!

Small Groups Reminder

Friends of FPC,

The Fall 2022 small groups initiative is set to kick off soon. Here is the group information.

Cress Group – Beginning Sunday, October 16th at 12:15 PM.

Pewe Group – Beginning Sunday, October 16th at 2 PM.

Roberts Group – Beginning Sunday, October 9th at 2 PM.

Portteus Group – Beginning Wednesday, October 19th at 7 PM.

Hutchinson Group (Jonesville) – Beginning Tuesday, October 11th at 7 PM.

Please reach out to the group leaders to register your interest or contact Pastor Scott for help in finding a group. We will also announce the groups and provide sign-up sheets at the fellowship dinner on Sunday, October 9th.

The groups will meet at a minimum for five times, and focus will be placed on praying together. Hope you can join us!

Small Group Kick-Off!

Fall 2022 Small Groups

Welcome to the 2022 small groups initiative! There are currently five small groups. Locations and times follow below. Each group will meet for at least five weeks.

Cress Group – Beginning Sunday, October 16th at 12:15 PM.

Pewe Group – Beginning Sunday, October 16th at 2 PM.

Roberts Group – Beginning Sunday, October 9th at 2 PM.

Portteus Group – Beginning Wednesday, October 19th at 7 PM.

Hutchinson Group – TBD

Please reach out to the group leaders to register your interest or contact Pastor Scott for help in finding a group.

Each session, we will view a video by Chip Ingram.

New Promo Video & Outreach Suggestions

Dear friends of First Pres,

We are excited to introduce our new promotional video. This is a great way to introduce people to who we are and to who we desire to be as a church. Here are a few suggestions on how to use this video and connect with our community.

  1. Share the YouTube link through your social media.
  2. Email the YouTube link to family and friends.
  3. Use your phone or another device to show the video to friends.
  4. Follow up the viewing with an invitation to Bible study, small groups (beginning in October), or Sunday worship.
  5. Share your own testimony of connecting with Jesus and our church.

Enjoy the new video!

Invitation: Join us for our study of John’s Gospel!

Tomorrow evening, plan to join us for our continued study of the Gospel of John. We will begin at 6:30 PM and dig into chapter 14. You can join the pastor in his study or follow along on Zoom. Here is the info for the Zoom meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82932721981?pwd=YzlTd1lnMThETU9vNkJ1NXozUk83UT09

Meeting ID: 829 3272 1981
Passcode: 266600

Some people want to know why we spend so much time studying the Bible. One of the answers to that question is that the Bible is sufficient. Here is a message from 2021, when I was in the middle of a bout with COVID, in which we dig into the Bible to see how the Bible teaches the sufficiency of the Bible to answer the most important questions in life. Please view and share!