Take the time out to take care of your life! Set up your screening appointment for Saturday, April 13, 2019 with Life Line Screening hosted at the First Presbyterian Church of Levittown.
OKTOBERFEST – Fund Raiser, Auction & Party
Saturday October 22 – 6 to 9 PM in the Fellowship Hall at the Presbyterian Community Church of Massapequa, 150 Pittsburgh Avenue
$25 Per Person, (Children 12 & under free)
Homemade Sauerbraten Dinner – (beverages included)
Music by GUS & the Schlierachtaler Stamm Bavarian Dance Group
Join us for another fun event to support the church.
Invite your friends and family.
Sign up sheet in Narthex.
For Tickets see Larry Rugen, Joe & Joan Tischner or Diane Floody starting Sunday,September 25.
(Profits will be divided proportionately according to ticket sales)
Well, here we go again with this “war on Christmas” thing. How dare Starbucks change the design of its holiday cups!! What were those shopping mall managers thinking when they took the Christmas trees out of the backdrop for Santa! It is easy to make fun of such silly criticisms, but behind these rather extreme points of view about the danger of Christmas slipping away, you can sense an authentic anxiety about growing secularism in the culture. It’s not so much that we are losing Christmas but that we are losing touch with the sacred. People are looking for meaning and fulfillment in all the wrong places, while houses of worship gather dust.
There’s that old cliché phrase we use sometimes: “Is nothing sacred?” We could ask that again today, in light of the overwhelming commercialization and secularization of holidays in general, Christmas being exhibit numero uno. Have we abandoned all sense of purpose beyond our own material enrichment? Is it finally true that he or she who dies with the most toys is the winner?
I’d like us to take a step back this year and re-discover Christmas by studying the sacred texts in which all of our yuletide traditions are rooted. How did lowly shepherds find their way into the story, along with high born kings, or sages from the East? What do the Christmas stories tell us about Jesus Christ himself? What does it mean to “believe” and to “have faith in” these stories today? And, perhaps most important, what would be an appropriate and meaningful way to observe Christmas that would help us restore its place in our spiritual lives? Please join me for three evenings of discussion: Wednesdays, December 2, 9 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Board Room of the Massapequa Church.
During September and most of October my sermons will be built around the Great Ends of the Church. This is a six point document that is part of the constitution of the Presbyterian Church in the USA. Here are the Great Ends in their entirety:
The proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind
The shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God
The maintenance of divine worship
The preservation of the truth
The promotion of social righteousness
The exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world
Please read this brief list carefully and think about how our churches are or are not pursuing these “Ends” or goals. As we go forward together, it is important to articulate a clear understanding of what we are called to do as the church of Jesus Christ here in this place and time. Given the great diversity of churches that people can choose from these days, we must ask ourselves what is special about our mission. We Presbyterians have a great heritage of theology, church organization and mission, and we need to become more aware of that history and be clearer in our own minds about what we are called by God to accomplish now and how we should go about the work of the Kingdom. Studying and discussing the Great Ends will give us a good start.
Beginning in October, I would like us to learn a “memory verse of the month.” This will be a Bible verse that carries an important message for all of us. It will be printed in the bulletin for three Sundays and we will recite it during the service. On the fourth Sunday, we will not print it, and we will recite it from memory! Please help me select the verses by giving me your favorite two or three verses.
Easter is not a day. Easter, or Eastertide, is a season. It lasts from Easter Sunday until the Day of Pentecost, which occurs 50 days after Easter. The fifty days between Easter and Pentecost on the Christian calendar was developed as a season of discipleship for new converts to learn what it meant to be a disciple of Christ and about the Christian life. The early leaders of the faith used this time to explain the mysteries of the faith to the newly baptized, and to encourage those already in the faith to discern their spiritual gifts and to strengthen themselves and others through ministries. During Eastertide we read several stories of how the resurrected Christ appeared to a number of different people and how those people responded. For example, this week we read about how Jesus appeared to his disciples on the evening that the empty tomb was discovered.
Eastertide is not only about the resurrection of Christ, but also about the resurrection of our lives. It is a season to remember that power that raised Christ from the dead can also cause us to live lives of victory in this world. I want to encourage you during the fifty days of Eastertide to explore the resurrection of Jesus Christ in particular, especially in terms of what it means for believers and their ongoing life in Christ. It is no wonder that Christians are called believers. We believe that a man died and came back to life! But that is not all that we believe, we believe that the man, Christ Jesus, was God in the flesh and that because God loved us so much he came to earth to have fellowship with us and then die for our sins! Whoa! That is some heavy stuff. Yet we believe. The Lectionary gospel text for the second Sunday of Easter highlights the mystery of our faith. In response to the doubts of Thomas the disciple, Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” John 20:29
Christians believe Jesus came to this earth to deliver a message from God that is so true that it applies for all time and is relevant for all people. It is, for us, an eternal message.
And what is this message from God that Jesus Christ came to share? Simply that God loves us.
- God does not want to punish people, but to be reconciled with them.
- God does not want to hurt people, but to heal them.
- God does not want to pass judgment upon people, but to give them grace.
There is no such thing as Easter Day. Easter is about the resurrection, renewal of life and hope. Because Eastertide is the Christian confession that is that Jesus is God made flesh, and that through his death and resurrection we can have new life, not just for a season but all year long. This is more than just good news, this is amazing grace. We are loved and forgiven by God, therefore we can forgive others.
Live, Love and Forgive
Your is Christ,