Tag Archive | preacher

Pastor’s Post – April 2016

From-the-Pastor-2

Dear friends,

On Easter Sunday, our combined congregations engaged in a renewal of our covenant with God.  We modeled this event on the great gathering of the people of God at Shechem under the leadership of Joshua, as it is described in the 24th chapter of the book of Joshua.  The first part of our covenant renewal process was a recitation of the many blessings we have received from God, both as individuals as churches.  The second part was a statement of what we are promising to God as we proceed into the future.  I have re-printed this second part below, so that we can all re-read it and consider what we are promising.  I will welcome any thoughts or reflections you may have.

-Pastor Lou

Our Pledge to God:

We will follow You into the future as one people, keeping Christ always at the center of our common life.

We will reach out to get to know the members of both congregations that we do not know now, we will work to blend our cultures and our ways of doing things, so that a new and dynamic ministry will emerge.

We will treat each other as beloved sisters and brothers in Christ, seeking always a common understanding and a unity of purpose.

We will not be afraid to share the Good News with others but will speak with joy and welcome to all.

We will give generously of our material resources and will share our time with the community as family and work commitments allow.

We will not horde our earthly and spiritual treasures, but will share with all, so that like the loaves and fishes of the little boy, like the jar of oil and the bin of flour of the Sidonian widow, like the manna in the wilderness, they will never be used up but will be an ever-flowing stream giving life to all.

This we solemnly promise, knowing that we are weak and prone to wander from Your way.  Pour out Your mercy and forgiveness upon us, we pray, that we may endure and gain the prize and at last enter into Your Kingdom of peace and plenty.

In the name of the risen Christ, we say, Amen.

 

 

Pastor’s Post for October 2015

Growing Together - Church Family

Dear friends:

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.

-Pastor Lou

Introducing our new Pastor, Rev. Dr. Louis L. Knowles

Introduction of Rev. Dr. Louis L. Knowles.

This is an exciting time for me and my family! I am looking forward to getting to know everyone in the Levittown and Massapequa congregations. The challenge of building a shared ministry is something that makes this call to service special and of great interest to me. I deeply appreciate the confidence you have shown in me, and I will work hard to help you reach your goals.

I have been a Teaching Elder in the Presbytery of New York City for the past eighteen years. During that time, I worked for two mission-oriented organizations, Oikocredit and the Vellore Christian Medical College Foundation. My family and I been living in Forest Hills since 2005, although we spent most of 2010 living in southern India. My first interim pastorate took me to University Heights Presbyterian Church in the Bronx for two years, and my second engagement was in central Queens at the First Presbyterian Church of Newtown for three years. Along the way I picked up three weeks of interim ministry training. The past three years I have chaired the Presbytery Committee on Developing Congregations, working with immigrant worshiping communities that identify as Presbyterians.

I grew up in southern California in a congregation affiliated with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. My education took place in a Baptist day school and a high School organized by the Christian Reformed Church. During my college years at Stanford I moved my membership to the United Presbyterian Church in the USA and did my seminary work at the University of Chicago divinity School and San Francisco Theological Seminary. I lived for fifteen years in Washington DC, working for philanthropic and religious organizations and serving a Parish Associate at Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church.

I believe that the congregations of mainline Protestant denominations are a great spiritual treasures that benefit millions of Americans through our witness to God who loves all people and wants us to find personal and communal salvation in becoming disciples on the Lord Jesus Christ. Although Presbyterians are declining in numbers nationally, we continue to be a called people, chosen by God to uphold the Reformed faith. Like Gideon in the Old Testament, we carry on in faith, regardless of our size and strength as measured by the world.

Maria Guadalupe Gonzalez and I were married ten years ago and we have two children, Velma, age 9 and Louis, age almost 8. We are all looking forward in living in a real house instead of an apartment and enjoy all the simple pleasures of suburan life.

In faith and hope,

Pastor Lou Knowles

Welcome Back, Welcome Back…Worship Services are Back at FPC in August!

Welcome Back, Welcome Back…Worship Services are Back at FPC in August!

Please join us at The First Presbyterian Church of Levittown along with members from the Presbyterian Community Church of Massapequa for Worship Service Sundays at 10:00a.m.

We have lined up some great Guest Preachers for August.

Sunday, August 2th. Elder Margaret Cook will lead FPC in worship.

Sunday, August 9th. Reverend Dr. Louis Knowles, our new Pastor, will lead us in worship.
Come out to warmly welcome Rev. Knowles to our Church.

Sunday, August 16th. & 23rd. worship services will be led by Rev. Mark Applewhite

Sunday, August 30th. our very own Bryn Mader will be the guest preacher.

We hope you join us to Meet God & Friends Here!

Pastor’s Post for March 2015

Terri in light

The Christian community worldwide is journeying together toward the mystery of the resurrection. Lent is good time for reflection and to prepare for spring by doing spring-cleaning for the soul.   Of course it seems like spring will never come amidst all of the snow and ice. Just as it seemed to the dismal disciples that Jesus would never arise from the grave, we know spring is coming because God is faithful.  When we spring clean our earthly homes we sometimes find that we have to throw some things away. The same thing happens with spiritual spring-cleaning. When we spend time in spiritual reflection we may discover that we have a room full of old hurts, wrong beliefs and regrets that we need to throw away. Lent is a time to strengthen our faith even in the face of what appears to be insurmountable. The same is true of Christians when encountering the Easter mystery. Christ’s death by crucifixion and three days in the tomb – it seems like all is lost. But it’s only a death that leads to new life and an ending, which leads to a new beginning in Christ, if we have the faith to see it and believe it!

Anyone can speak what he or she sees, but it takes faith to speak what we want to see. Anyone can state the obvious, but it takes faith to see the invisible and call it forth! It takes faith to prepare for spring when it is snowing in March! Our Lord Jesus always spoke the good that He wanted to see happen. He said, our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.” Everyone else thought that Lazarus was dead because he was already wrapped in grave clothes and in a tomb. But Jesus spoke of Lazarus as being alive. Jesus called forth what He wanted to see. He said, “Lazarus, come forth! And he who had been dead for four days arose and came out of the tomb (John 11: 43-44).

As the Interim Pastor, I am coming close to the end of my journey here with you. I am hopeful that the Levittown Frist Presbyterian Church will move forward with its mission and ministry. We have been through a winter of sorts, but just as sure as I know that spring is coming, I know that Levittown will enter a new season of revival. It is my prayer that the new pastor will boost morale and membership. We have endured the dormancy of winter the time has come to we enjoy a fruitful spring harvest of blessings for our church and community.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Terri

Interim Pastor