Pastor’s Message: June 5, 2020

A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: Re-centering ourselves A little over a year ago, the Session approved a new set of core values and a mission statement to articulate our deepest identity as a congregation and the particular calling that we have discerned from God for us to answer as...

Continue reading

Pastor’s Message: May 29, 2020

A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: Bound together by the power of the Holy Spirit It has become a cliché of this quarantine period of the pandemic that it is difficult to keep track of time: telling the day of the week is hard; things that feel like they happened...

Continue reading

Pastor’s Message: May 22, 2020

A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: Some Good News The word “evangelism” has acquired a negative connotation to many people in the last few decades; certainly beyond the Church, but even within it. That’s mostly because evangelism became associated with particularly visible and influential elements of Christianity in the United...

Continue reading

Pastor’s Message: May 15, 2020

A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: Beautiful Questions to Explore One of our congregation’s four Core Values is having “An Inquiring Faith.” In elaborating on that value, we have said: “Following Christ’s example in Scripture, we believe that curiosity and questioning are essential practices of faith, and that some of...

Continue reading

Pastor’s Message: May 8, 2020

A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: On this journey together This Sunday will mark the start of the ninth week that we’ve been a fully digital church. In that time, we’ve found ways to authentically worship together, including celebrating Communion; we’ve moved existing ministries of education and service online and...

Continue reading

Pastor’s Message: May 1, 2020

A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: Connected by Communion Friends, this Sunday is the first Sunday of May, so we will be celebrating the sacrament of Communion together during both livestream worship services. You may remember us doing this for the first time on Palm Sunday last month. Theologically, for...

Continue reading

Pastor’s Message: April 24, 2020

A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: Love in the Time of Coronavirus We are now in the season of Easter for the church year. In the Lectionary, the schedule of Scripture readings that covers most of the Bible in a three-year cycle, the season of Easter unsurprisingly focuses on stories...

Continue reading

Pastor’s Message: April 17, 2020

A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: Behind the scenes Earlier this week, I was on a videoconference call with the rest of the Advisory Board of Macedonian Ministry, a national and ecumenical clergy development organization that was started by the Rev. Dr. Tom Tewell, whom some of you know from...

Continue reading

Pastor’s Message: April 10, 2020

A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: Completing the Lenten journey In our Mid-Week Update, I explained something of what Maundy Thursday and Good Friday would look like this year during Holy Week observances with First Pres this year. Today, I want to talk about what will happen on Holy Saturday,...

Continue reading

Racial Justice Ministry

FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF BETHLEHEM’S RACIAL JUSTICE MINISTRY Rev. J.C. Austin’s special message of June 6: Opposing Racial Injustice Spotlight Newsletter Article: “More Than Good Intentions” We are undertaking an active response to the ongoing reality of systemic racial injustice in our country. These actions include: The 21-Day Racial Justice...

Continue reading