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Pastor’s Message – 6-14-19

A MESSAGE FROM PASTOR J.C. AUSTIN: #AnActiveFaith

We are now halfway through our sermon series about the Core Values Statement of First Presbyterian Church. Our first two weeks were on the values of us being a “Christ-centered” church, and being a church that is “Welcoming to All.” This Sunday, we will turn to the value of a church that promotes an “Active Faith.”

In fact, we actually started consideration of that value when we held the Ministry Fair after the combined Pentecost worship service last Sunday. The Ministry Fair was a chance to learn more about some of the many ministries that First Pres has, and to indicate that you’d be interesting in participating in one or more of them.

I want to say something important about what it means to participate in ministries at First Pres, though. In one sense, all opportunities are not the same. Some require a regular time commitment, but many do not. Some require particular skills, but many simply require a willing heart and hands. Some are leadership roles, but many simply require participation.

But in another sense, all those opportunities are exactly the same: all are ways of living out our faith in active ways, of following Jesus as his disciples to love our God and our neighbors. So the question is not, “what does the church need to do its programs?” The question is, “what do you need in order to use your gifts and resources and answer your particular call to ministry?”

Frederick Buechner, a beloved author and Presbyterian minister, once wrote that “the place God calls you to is where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” So a good place to start in considering how to make your faith more active is there: what gives you deep gladness? It could be children, or gardening, or music, or interior design, or athletics, or computer technology, or cooking, or home repair, or finance, or teaching, or simply serving others who are in need. And, of course, that barely scratches the surface.

But here at First Pres, we either have opportunities to connect your deep gladness with the world’s deep hunger, or we are eager to create those opportunities. So let us know! Contact our Administrative Operations Manager, Cristy Mette (or call her at the church) and let her know what your “deep gladness” is, and we will make sure that you are connected with one or more possibilities for putting it to use in active ministry that you can consider.

And I hope to see you in worship on Sunday as we consider why an active faith is so important!

Grace and Peace,
J.C.

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