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Pastor’s Message: Oct. 25, 2019

Focusing on our mission priorities

This Sunday is the second week of a four-part sermon series focused on the mission priorities that the Session has established for First Pres over the next few years. We’re doing this series during this year’s stewardship season because the Session is also calling the congregation to take a major step forward in our giving so that we can truly embrace those mission priorities to which we believe Christ is calling us.

If you were in worship on Sunday, you heard Elder Elizabeth Conard talk about the bold and exciting vision the Session has endorsed for how we can do that, including the goal of calling a full-time associate pastor to focus on supporting several of those mission priorities: ministry with children, youth, and their families; ministries of compassion and justice ministries in the larger community and world; and engaging spiritual seekers in the Lehigh Valley as a community of faith that is both Christ-centered and welcoming to all.

The point of this growth in giving and staff, of course, is not the growth itself, but rather to grow our capacity to address those priorities and so fulfill Christ’s calling to us as a community of his disciples in this time and place.

Last week, the sermon focused on the mission priority of sharing the good news of the gospel; that our purpose as a congregation is not to keep the light of Christ for ourselves, to but share it with the world, to be a candle bearing that light “…unto the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth,” as God puts it in the words of the prophet Isaiah.

This week, we will be focusing on what it really means to prioritize ministry with children and youth (spoiler alert: it’s not about what adults need to teach children and youth!), and why that’s not about the future of the church as an institution, but rather the faithfulness of the church here and now to the mission of Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

I look forward to being in worship with you on Sunday as we explore this crucial issue!

Grace and Peace,
JC

 

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