• Pastor’s Message – Nov. 20, 2020

    A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: with both supplication and thanksgiving In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he says, “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” There’s actually quite a bit of theological significance in...

  • Discipleship Classes & Racial Justice Ministry

    FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF BETHLEHEM’S DISCIPLESHIP CLASSES & RACIAL JUSTICE MINISTRY Rev. J.C. Austin’s special message of June 6: Opposing Racial Injustice Spotlight Newsletter Article: “More Than Good Intentions” Links to videos of previous Discipleship classes are at the bottom of this page. We are undertaking an active response to...

  • Pastor’s Message: Nov. 13, 2020

    A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: A BIT DIFFERENTLY It is hard to believe it, but Thanksgiving is two weeks from today, and Advent begins the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend! As we head into what will obviously be a very different kind of holiday season,  I want to talk about...

  • Pastor’s Message: Nov. 6, 2020

    A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: THE EXPERIMENTS CONTINUE On Wednesday night, we held our most recent in-person outdoor service, this time a special service to pray for healing for our nation amidst all the social concerns and political divisions that we are experiencing, especially in the context of a...

  • Pastor’s Message: Oct. 30, 2020

    A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: RESPONDING WITH FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE Last Sunday, we gathered for our most recent “hybrid” worship service, in which we not only combined worship styles as we do periodically (incorporating both traditional and contemporary worship elements into one service), but also combined in-person, outdoor...

  • Pastor’s Message: Oct. 23, 2020

    A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: A RESPONSE TO UNPRECEDENTED TIMES It has become a cliché to talk about how we are living through “unprecedented” times in 2020, but it is a cliché for the simple reason that it is true. There are partial precedents, of course, most notably the...

  • Pastor’s Message: Oct. 16, 2020

    A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: RESPONDING AS A CONGREGATION It has been said that any budget is a “moral document,” meaning that it articulates the moral priorities and values of those who created and administrate that budget. Jesus agreed with that idea when he taught that “where your treasure...

  • Pastor’s Message: Oct. 9, 2020

    A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: AN EXPERIMENTAL CHURCH For the last three years, we’ve identified as an “experimental church.” If you play out the metaphor of the scientific method there, you have a sense of how we approach ministry. In a scientific experiment, you start with a question, usually...

  • Pastor’s Message: Oct. 2, 2020

    A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: AN INDIVIDUAL MINISTRY One of the things I have heard the most from people over the last six months is their surprise about how effective digital versions of worship and education have been for our church. I don’t mean that we’re doing a version...

  • Pastor’s Message: Sept. 25, 2020

    A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: A new option to connect One of the blessings that has emerged for me in the midst of everything that is so painful about the pandemic has been groups of pastors from across the country (and actually, across the world) who have connected online...