Pastor’s Message 3-15-19

When I came to Bethlehem, the first clergy colleague in the area who reached out to me was not a Presbyterian pastor, nor even a Christian pastor, but Rabbi Michael Singer, the rabbi at Congregation Brith Shalom here in Bethlehem. He took me out to lunch because he wanted to...

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Pastor’s Message – 2-22-19

A MESSAGE FROM PASTOR SUE BENNETCH: H.A.L.T.! Have you ever heard of the acronym H.A.L.T.?  Well, it stands for hungry, angry, lonely and tired. Support groups, counselors and others use it to remind people that if they get too hungry, too angry, too lonely or too tired, they should reach...

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Pastor’s Message 2-15-19

A MESSAGE FROM PASTOR J.C. AUSTIN: The Future of the Christian Church This past week, I was in Atlanta for two days to meet with the board of Macedonian Ministry –  a clergy development organization that was founded by Tom Tewell, one-time associate pastor here at First Presbyterian of Bethlehem,...

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Pastor’s Message 2-8-19

Every week at our church staff meeting, the team does a “Looking Back, Looking Forward” exercise in which we all take a moment to look back at the major accomplishments of the previous week, before turning to the priorities that are coming up for us as individuals and as a...

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Pastor’s Message 2-1-19

A MESSAGE FROM PASTOR J.C. AUSTIN: Annual Meeting and More I want to draw your attention to some big and special things that are happening on Sunday, February 10. First, the Session has called the Annual Meeting of the Congregation & Corporation of First Presbyterian Church for that Sunday. One...

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Pastor’s Message 1-25-19

A MESSAGE FROM PASTOR J.C. AUSTIN: A Special Blessing – Our Retired Pastors This past week there was an article entitled “Retired Pastors Enrich Congregations” in the Presbyterian Outlook (the main independent publication in the Presbyterian Church (USA)). It detailed how the First Presbyterian Church in Sarasota, Florida has a...

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Pastor’s Message 1-18-19

A Message from Pastor J.C. Austin: “Kubernesis” – A Gift of the Spirit Did you know that administration is a spiritual gift? When we talk about spiritual gifts, it’s usually things that feel a little more…spiritual. When I was working in theological education before coming to First Pres, I was...

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Pastor’s Message 1-11-19

A year ago, as we resumed operational control of the church property at 2344 Center Street, the Session decided to schedule a contemporary-style worship service at 9 am and a traditional-style service at 10:30 am each week, more or less matching the worship practice in recent years for the congregation....

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Pastor’s Message 1-4-19

PASTOR’S MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: Sudden Events = Lasting Impact I just learned this week that PNC Bank does an annual calculation of the actual cost of all the presents that are supposedly given in the song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” This year, they warned that the devoted...

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Pastor’s Message 12-28-18

A MESSAGE FROM PASTOR J.C. AUSTIN: Christmas Blessings Merry Christmas!!! One of the odd things about the Christmas season, of course, is that the cultural observance of Christmas essentially ends on Dec 25, when that is only the beginning of the Christian season of Christmas. As even the secular song...

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