Tag Archive | reverend

Pastor’s Post – June 2016

From the Pastor

Dear Friends,

Sundays in June offer exciting and interesting events that deserve your participation.  This coming Sabbath, the 5th, we will be worshipping at Levittown and holding an unofficial, non-business meeting of both Levittown and Massapequa members after service. As Maria and Joan, the Clerks of Session, have told you, we will be holding an advisory vote on the question of going forward with a study process to prepare for a formal merger of the two congregations.  We are going to do this by paper ballot.  We will take some time before the vote to talk about the study process that we are planning and how you can be part of it.  If it is impossible for you to be with us this Sunday, we still would appreciate hearing from you.  What have you appreciated about our joint worship and other cooperative activities over the past year or so?  What do you wish we could do more of?  What thoughts do you have about our mission?  Would it change if we merge?  How can you imagine our use of our two church buildings in the future?

On June 12 at Massapequa, we will bring into membership eleven young people who have been participating in the confirmation class this year.   This will be a great opportunity to catch a glimpse of the faith that is alive in these bright young people.

The afternoon Contemporary Service known as “The Gathering” will resume this Sunday, the 5th at 5:30 p.m. and continue through June 26th.  The last meeting of the Gathering will be held on June 26th. from 2-4pm at the Homecoming Farm in Amityville (555 Albany Ave).  The service will honor God’s creation and give us an opportunity to pray and praise God together in the great outdoors.

-Pastor Lou

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

Meet the New Pastor at Ice Cream Socials

Ice Cream Social x 4

Meet the New Pastor!

Ice Cream Socials will provide the opportunity for small groups of the congregation to get to know Pastor Knowles. 

Sign up for an Ice Cream Social in the Narthex or contact the Church Office.

Sunday, October 18th.—2:00p.m. hosted by Janice Kincaid & Jean Volkel—Wantagh, NY

Saturday, November 7th.—4:00p.m. at The Presbyterian Community Church of Massapequa hosted by Melissa Gallagher

Sunday, November 15th.—4:00p.m. at The Presbyterian Community Church of  Massapequa hosted by Joan Tischner

Saturday, November 21st. .—3:00p.m. hosted by Sue Ptacek—Bellmore, NY                                 (Can accommodate eight guests. Must be able to use stairs)

Sunday, November 22nd.—12:30p.m. hosted by Wendy Moran– Wantagh, NY                              (Two small friendly hypoallergenic dogs)

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

Worship Schedule for September and October 2015

Worship

Dear Members and Friends,

The First Presbyterian Church of Levittown along with The Presbyterian Community Church of Massapequa will continue to hold Joint Worship Services for September and October 2015.

Worship services for September will be held at The Presbyterian Community Church of Massapequa on Sundays at 10:00a.m

Worship services for October will be held at The First Presbyterian Church of Levittown on Sundays at 10:00a.m.

We hope you join us to Meet God & Friends.

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!

Farewell Party for Pastor Terri, Sunday, June 28th. following worship

farewell-party-t

Join us for a Farewell BBQ & POTLUCK for PASTOR TERRI

Sunday, June 28th.

 All are Welcome to join us for Worship service at 10:00am.  Then spend the afternoon at the

 Farewell BBQ & Potluck for Pastor Terri.  We are collecting a Farewell Purse for Pastor

 Terri.  Your contribution can be given to any Deacon or Session member.

 The sign up for the Potluck is in the Narthex.

Pastor’s Post for May 2015

Terri in light

“It is because one antelope will blow the dust from the other’s eye that the two antelopes walk together”- African Proverb

This is one of my favorite African proverbs. It is describing the role of community in the life of believers. When we come together as a church community we in essence blow the dust from each other’s eyes by learning to live and love together. We are in this process of becoming the beloved community together. It is in our questioning, listening and loving that we are challenged and we are ultimately transformed.

I am literally writing this letter with tears in my eyes 1) because I am preparing myself to leave a place that I have called home for over two years 2) because I suffered a corneal abrasion that resulted from the side effects of my recent surgery. It feels like I have dust is in my eyes. The preacher in me is always listening for sermons so when I thought about my eye situation the African proverb quoted above came to mind. If you listen closely you can hear God speaking in even the mundane things of life As Mother’s Day approaches I also give thanks for the gift of my mother. I can remember as a child having my mother blow something from my eyes. I am sure many of you can relate to the relief you felt when your mother did that same thing for you. A mother’s love blows dust from our eyes and refreshes our hearts. So how do adults blow dust from each other’s eyes? Surprisingly it comes from using our ears and not our eyes.

We can hear most clearly when we pray. Prayer is vital to listening to God and each other. This posture of “prayerful listening” is vital to a healthy community where God’s beloved children dwell. When we listen we can see things better. The spiritual dust is removed from our eyes or as Oprah likes to call it , you have an “aha” moment, Members of the beloved community engage in spiritual listening when we pray together and commune with God and each other. Communion is not just about sharing in the sacrament of communion but about breaking bread with one another in sacred fellowship. We practice “prayerful listening “ and commune with each other when we allow our differing opinions to be heard and respected and allow for the space and time to process what was heard in worship and live it out during the week. When this happens we learn to love and respect each other and learn from the things we understand and to accept the things that we don’t.

We can choose to listen and be propelled forward by the positive voices or succumb to the negative voices of failure. The scriptures admonish us to encourage each other to good works and to continue in fellowship with one another. It is important that we keep listening to the good voices or as I like to say the “God voice” inside of us that affirms and confirms God’s good plans for us. Scripture informs us that God’s plans for us are good and not evil. I love the way the Message Bible says it “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.” Jeremiah 29:11-12

In my years of ministry I have learned that the same God that calls you to a people and a place is the same God who walks with you through the good times and the bad with those same people. The key is to learn the lessons and to try your best to listen to what God is saying in the midst of it all and to remember that God’s plans for us are good and not evil. When we keep this in mind we can be thankful and grateful for the grace of God at work in our lives and trust that God is guiding us.

One thing I know for sure, God has guided me to this special church and this special people, for such as time as this.  I want to fulfill my calling and to help you become the church you were destined to be. I am looking forward to walking with you in the coming months as we walk out the Interim process and being to try new ways of worship and outreach in our community. Spring is here and it’s a time for new beginnings. I feel like I have been saying that almost every month now since I have been here. If we allow the dust to be blown from our eyes we will begin to see more clearly the good work that God has already begin in us.

I hope that with God’s help, I was able to blow the dust from your eyes and help you to see yourselves as the strong congregation that you really are. I will miss all of you dearly.   I am very thankful to God for the opportunity to serve here at the First Presbyterian Church of Levittown. You have helped me to grow and to blow dust from my eyes. My prayer is that the Lord will help us to continue to be faithful servants in the work of building up Christ’s church.

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Terri