• Pastor’s Message – 5-10-19

    A MESSAGE FROM PASTOR J.C. AUSTIN: A New Way to Look at the Parables Two thousand years later, Jesus’ ministry of teaching continues to hold great power. Even people who are not Christian find great wisdom and constructive challenge in his teachings. And at the heart of Jesus’ teachings are...

  • Pastor’s Message – 5-3-19

    A MESSAGE FROM PASTOR J.C. AUSTIN: On the Road Since Easter, I have largely been on the road (aside from Sundays!) for two major commitments that I’d like to let you know about. In different ways, they both have an impact on the ministry we are doing right here in...

  • Presentations: “How to Support LGBT Spirituality”

    NEW LEARNING OPPORTUNITY: “How to Support LGBT Spirituality” Wednesday, May 8 6:30 – 8 p.m. in Fellowship Hall NOTE: You are welcome to come to the May 8 session even if you did not attend the one on May 1. Join in two lively and engaging presentations on supporting the...

  • Pastor’s Message – 4-26-19

    A MESSAGE FROM PASTOR J.C. AUSTIN: Reaching Out to All Christ-Centered – In everything we do, we strive to follow Jesus Christ faithfully through the authority and insight of God’s Word and Spirit, to imitate Christ in how we treat others. Welcoming to All – Because our unity is in...

  • Pastor’s Message 4-19-19

    As this newsletter is published, we are in the midst of what the medieval church began calling the Triduum (“TRID-you-um”), which is simply Latin for “three days.” The Triduum begins on Thursday evening of Holy Week with the observance of Maundy Thursday, when Jesus had his Last Supper with his...

  • Pastor’s Message 4-12-19

    This Sunday is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week, the most important week of the Christian calendar. Palm Sunday is a day of celebration, recalling the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem, when crowds of people lined the streets, waved palms, and laid branches and cloaks on the ground...

  • Pastor’s Message 4-5-19

    A MESSAGE FROM PASTOR J.C. AUSTIN: Involving Everyone in Worship The sacrament of Communion is both a command and a gift to the church by Christ, and is one of the central acts of worship that we do together as a congregation. Here at First Pres, we celebrate Communion on...

  • Pastor’s Message 3-29-19

    Over the past year, the Session and its committees have been working on a mind-boggling range of things to strengthen, focus, and guide our congregation into a new era of ministry together. This has meant everything from new worship experiences, to a new staffing design, to new initiatives for children’s...

  • Pastor’s Message 3-22-19

    A Message from Rev. J.C. Austin: Log College Project Update As you may remember, First Pres was named as one of twelve congregations (out of several hundred applicants from across the country and a wide range of denominations) to participate in the “Log College Project” of Princeton Theological Seminary’s Institute...

  • 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...

  • Community Lenten Suppers

    As we did last year, we will be offering a Community Lenten Supper series, beginning Wednesday, March 13 through Wednesday, April 10. All are welcome. We’ll gather at 6 p.m. for a simple meal. This will be followed by a brief reflection, led by one of the pastors in our church, focusing...

  • Pastor’s Message – 3-1-19

    A MESSAGE FROM PASTOR J.C. AUSTIN: Taking a ‘Do-Over’ As a child, I used to play a lot of wiffle ball in the backyard with neighborhood friends. If you don’t know it, wiffle ball is essentially baseball with special plastic balls and bats that allows you to play baseball in...

  • Hi Neighbors: Spring Programs

    On Monday mornings from March 4 – May 13, join other adults who come from all over the Lehigh Valley to learn something new and make new friends. SEE THE COMPLETE LISTING BELOW. Doors open at 9:15 a.m. for fellowship time with coffee and light refreshments. Please plan to arrive by...

  • Funds Available through McKnight Scholarship

    Jim and Minnie McKnight were Presbyterian missionaries who served for 15 years prior to World War II in the Sudan region of Africa. Their family and friends established an endowed fund at First Presbyterian to honor the McKnights and to encourage individuals to participate in the life-changing experience of visiting...

  • Hearts and Minds

    HEARTS AND MINDS will start this year in room 400 with an examination of Quaker author Philip Gulley’s provocative and engaging classic, “If the Church were Christian: Rediscovering the Values of Jesus.”  As Gulley notes, “It is apparent, after several millennia of experimentation, that the Ten Commandments we Christians all know and...

  • Mission Notes: La Entrata, Honduras

    By Leslie Pohl FPCB Elder Imagine for a moment that you have to walk two hours just to get to a doctor’s appointment.  Imagine for a moment that your children can’t go to school because you can’t afford their uniforms, books, or lunch.  Imagine for a moment that your cataracts are so...

  • “Telling the Parables”

    ANNOUNCING: “Telling the Parables” Wednesdays, May 15, 22 and 29 7 – 8:30 p.m. in the Parlor Jesus shared his parables, not as words on a page, but as stories he told in his own words, relating them to his experiences as well as those of his followers. Bible translators...