Paul’s Message: Live the Now

LiveInTheNowAs I sit and gather my thoughts for this article, the snow is gently falling outside my window. It’s covered the trees and the walk. The day’s light is growing stronger.

Hala, our new puppy is nibbling on my slipper not so subtly waiting for me to play with her (she will get into some mischief here in a minute as if to say, “If you’re not going to pay attention to me, I will make you pay attention to me!” oh, how puppies are like us … ). Carrie is finding some much needed rest and recovery after a tough few work weeks. Lydia is home (acting all adult like) and Eric is on his way. It’s quiet right now … a blessed quiet.

One year is ending and a new one is dawning. I know that around New Years, we tend to gaze backward with thanksgiving or regret or both. We look forward with a sense of foreboding or anticipation or both. I intended to write about the new year coming up, but a friend reminded me not to get so caught in the past, or so lost wondering about the future that you miss out on the present moment.

2013 was full. 2014 will be too, I am sure. Some of it will be great/awesome/ life affirming and some of it will be challenging/overwhelming, perhaps even wounding. That’s life.

In a bit, I am going to have to shovel the driveway and walk. I am going to have feed the dog, finish the bulletin, and write my sermon (and take care of that mischievous puppy that has decided to steal ornaments off our tree … )

As a church, we will have a conversation about signs and faith, and faith and life. We will have a mission to follow, ministries to support, and lives to bless. Our agenda is full.

But we can’t miss the power of the present. There is possibility in this moment. We can focus on the present and enjoy it to its fullest. We can devote our full strength and attention to the present moment’s challenges. Our faith tells us that the Spirit is with us in our present. If we focus on this moment, we are more able to sense that presence. That’s living.

So live the now, my brothers and sisters. I know this isn’t original, but we can always use a reminder. Now about that puppy…

Peace, Paul

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  • November COVID Update

    If you are reading this before Sunday November 1st, I hope you take the time on Sunday morning to join us for communion in the parking lot at FPC.  It’s communion in the drive-through style, something the first Christians could never have envisioned.  It is nonetheless a faithful celebration of the meal that Jesus first initiated with his disciples.  Pastor Meg and I will be in the parking lot from 11 to 11:30 a.m. and we’ll have music to go along with the meal and hopefully lift your spirits. Stop by to hear the music, and for a blessing along with the communion meal.

    One of the most exciting things for me in recent weeks was our congregational meeting that we held via the online service Zoom.  It was so heart-warming to see that many of you in attendance.  Counting the couples on various screens, I think there were around 50 of you in attendance.  Thank you for your participation.

    At the meeting we elected new elders and deacons for the Class of 2023.  Please join me in expressing our thanks to elders Lovet Fokunang, Dee Logterman, Scott Hofmann, and Dawn Drost, and deacons Terry Brennand, Darcie Bessinger, and Marcia Baker.  We also elected Sheryl Bessinger to fill a partial term as an elder in the Class of 2021.  I’m thankful that they’ve accepted God’s call upon their lives to serve God by serving the people of our community.  May we lift them up in prayer (along with our other deacons & elders) as they help to care for and lead our congregation in challenging times.

    As you might imagine if you’re watching the news, Session unanimously voted to continue with YouTube worship for the month of November.  We continue to get around one hundred views each week, and I am very thankful for your participation in worship on YouTube.  It’s wonderful to have Pastor Meg back from maternity leave.  She is already busy planning Christian Education events and leading youth ministries.

    We will not host a church Thanksgiving dinner for obvious reasons, but we are spending this month getting ready for some exciting things in Advent.  We will have special music throughout our Advent worship services, there will be Advent activities for families, there is a special online bell choir concert in the works, and we’re hoping for an in-person outdoor Christmas Eve service.  Yes, it will be chilly, but we live in northern Utah and I know you people are hardy!  This service will be 30 minutes long, so you don’t get too cold.  We’ll have wonderful organ and bell music and Christmas hymns to sing, along with gospel readings of the birth of Jesus.  I think it’s going to be a wonderful way to celebrate the birth of the Christ-child.

    May the grace and peace of our Lord be with you all.

    —Pastor Derek

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