NEWS & PUBLICATIONS

 

NEWS FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR

June 24, 2017

Sorry to be a day late with this week’s letter. But, I have a really good excuse. Just last night, Mark and I returned from Kirk Camp up in New Hampshire. It was a gift to see the place that has played such a special role in the faith story of First Presbyterian Church. I experienced first-hand the frog jumping contest, afternoons on the lake-beach, worshiping in the Chapel and lingering at meals with new friends. Without a doubt, I was on holy ground.

With Kirk Camp worship in my mind, I can’t wait for services this weekend with you. We will continue our Summer Playlist series, with the great hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Beth Case will preach in the Sanctuary (10 a.m., Sunday) and in the Kirk Center (6 pm, Saturday, 9, 11 a.m., Sunday). The campus may look a little different as we host hundreds of kids and leaders at our Vacation Bible School beginning Monday.

Sunday also marks an important milestone for our church. One year ago, on June 26, 2016 our congregation took a long awaited vote. You had been in an official process for over a year, but in dialogue about denominational issues for many years. Mark and I were your brand new pastors. I was preaching only my second sermon that day. We, along with the other pastors and many of you, were praying that the vote would provide clarity for the church that would allow the church to return its full attention to mission and ministry. You voted and there was clarity.  You made the decision—over 1000 of you voted, and 76.5% voted to affiliate with ECO—Presbyterians, a denomination that clearly connects us with our church’s historical roots and theological convictions.  

So much has happened between that vote and today. It is exciting to see the clarity energize our commitment to mission and ministry. Over the year, we have had 73 new members join our church. We have baptized 25 people into our church family. We gather together each week in worship and our numbers continue to grow and our giving continues to grow. Your response to new weekly Bible studies and new small group opportunities as well as daily devotionals shows your hunger for growing as followers of Jesus.

Over the year, our commitment to follow Jesus has called us to love Bethlehem. New initiatives over the year include Blessing Bags for the kids of Bethlehem, building a new kitchen for New Bethany Ministries and beginning this summer, a free farmer’s market in the Southside.  It is exciting to collaborate with new and existing partners to serve our city. And even beyond these initiatives, every week I learn of another person in our congregation who is serving our city in their unique way with their God-given gifts and calling. 

Our connections to our new denomination are energizing. Like us, ECO is growing. I am looking forward to meeting with other large-church ECO pastors later in the summer. We will host presbytery in October and be a part of the ECO national meeting in Houston this coming January. ECO’s commitment to the local congregation is refreshing and its commitment to planting new churches is challenging.

Friends, it is such a privilege to be your pastor. I look forward to our second year together as we grow in our commitment to Jesus and sharing Him with our world. God is powerfully at work in our midst. 

Joyfully,

 

Dr. Marnie Crumpler
Senior Pastor
 



PREVIOUS NEWS FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR

IN RESPONSE TO THE VOTE AND SUNDAY SERVICE TIMES CHANGE  JUNE 29, 2016
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR JULY 8, 2016
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR JULY 17, 2016
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR JULY 22, 2016
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR JULY 29, 2016
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR AUGUST 5, 2016
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR AUGUST 12, 2016
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR AUGUST 19, 2016
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR AUGUST 26, 2016
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR SEPTEMBER 2, 2016
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR SEPTEMBER 9, 2016
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR SEPTEMBER 16, 2016
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR SEPTEMBER 23, 2016
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR OCTOBER 7, 2016
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR OCTOBER 14, 2016
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR OCTOBER 21, 2016
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR OCTOBER 28, 2016
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR NOVEMBER 4, 2016
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR NOVEMBER 11, 2016
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR NOVEMBER 18, 2016
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR NOVEMBER 23, 2016
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR DECEMBER 2, 2016
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR DECEMBER 9, 2016
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR DECEMBER 16, 2016
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR DECEMBER 23, 2016
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR JANUARY 6, 2017
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR JANUARY 13, 2017
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR JANUARY 20, 2017
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR JANUARY 27, 2017
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR FEBRUARY 3, 2017
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR FEBRUARY 10, 2017
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR FEBRUARY 17, 2017
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR FEBRUARY 24, 2017
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR MARCH 3, 2017
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR MARCH 10, 2017
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR MARCH 17, 2017
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR MARCH 24, 2017
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR MARCH 31, 2017
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR APRIL 7, 2017
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR APRIL 14, 2017
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR APRIL 21, 2017
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR APRIL 28, 2017
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR MAY 5, 2017
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR MAY 12, 2017
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR MAY 19, 2017
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR MAY 26, 2017
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR JUNE 2, 2017
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR JUNE 9, 2017
A NOTE FROM OUR SENIOR PASTOR JUNE 16, 2017
 


 


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