Paul’s Message: Exploring Our Faith

faithI am excited about 2015.

It’s going to start out with a couple of parties. We will have an all-church potluck at the Epiphany meal on the evening of January 4. Our annual meeting will not be your average church business meeting. We are going to party as we celebrate paying off the debt from our building renewal (we sent the final payment out last week!).

And we will explore our faith.

As the new year gets underway, we will be focusing on some faith basics, and where the foundations of faith might be calling us to go and grow as individuals, as families, and as a church. We will be asking the question, Faith is…?

In worship, in our small group and other gatherings, in our Sunday school classes, we will explore our common faith and invite you to reflect and discover your own personal faith more deeply. For those who are newer to our congregation, and for those who are thinking about taking the next step of discipleship and joining our church, we will be offering an inquirer’s class. These are always fun times of conversation and getting to know some of you better.

This will be a journey of learning, as we encounter the wisdom of our tradition, and what it teaches us.

It will also be a journey of exploration. You will be invited to enter into conversation with our faith tradition, the larger church, those around you who are also seeking, your own inner voice, and the Holy Spirit, to discover what your faith is…and what it can be.

We believe this journey will be a blessing for you. You will discover more deeply the person you are, and who God calls you to be. You will discover more deeply the abundant life God wants to share with you. You will discover more deeply the blessings of seeking and sharing. You will discover more deeply ways to connect with yourself, your neighbor, and the God who loves you.

We will focus on particular themes in worship and through the week (Faith is … Receiving, Caring, Giving, and Building) There will be chances to discuss and learn. There will be opportunities to share your wisdom and experiences. We hope you will be challenged and nurtured. Stay tuned for details and invitations. Bring your questions and your unique perspective and we will discover together.

Happy new year! May 2015 bring shalom.

Paul

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  • Back to School, Not Back to Church…

    …at least not all the way. Some ministries of the church are in action, others are not.

    Ministry is Continuing!

    To date we have shared around $7,000 with our local community to help relieve those affected by coronavirus, and we have another $2,000 we will be distributing now. This has gone toward food, diapers for families in need, rent & mortgage relief, and other purposes.

    Thank you for continuing to worship with us—our YouTube videos get around a hundred views each week, and in some cases, there are multiple people watching one screen. Thank you for listening. And thank you for your continued financial support.

    We are going to be doing some new things in the interest of our own spiritual health, fellowship, and the ministry of the church. The first is drive-through communion (or drive-thru, as it is frequently written).

    Drive-Through Communion — Sept 6th, 9:15-9:45am

    If you wish, you’re invited to drive through our parking lot on Sunday, September 6th from 9:15-9:45am and I will serve communion to you. You are just as welcome to partake of communion from home, as we’ve done the last few months.

    Fellowship Bike Ride — Sept 13th, beginning at 1pm

    On Sunday, September 13th we will have an FPC Bike Ride. We will meet at FPC and go on a 10-mile bike ride led by John and Jean Stewart. Maps of the route will be provided, and a shorter route will be available if needed. Some of the route will be on streets and some on dedicated bike paths. Meet us in the parking lot at 1pm, and we will depart by 1:15.

    Zoom Bible Study — every Tuesday morning from 8-9am

    If you’d like to join us for Bible Study we will begin on Tuesday, Sept 8th, from 8-9am. We will meet via Zoom so you can enjoy breakfast and coffee from home. The zoom link will be available on our First Pres Logan Facebook page each Tuesday morning.

    My role as pastor is to be a spiritual guide, someone who helps each of you on your faith journey (and as you might imagine, you help me just as much). I confess to you that feeling like we are connected and in touch these months has been a struggle. Continuing to not meet in person remains one of the more challenging decisions of my career in ministry. I want to see all of you each week. Worshiping at home via YouTube is certainly just as pleasing to God as when we gather and sing, but it doesn’t feel the same to me, and I’m sure it doesn’t feel the same to you. Hopefully, some of the above activities will help us with that.

    In the Presbyterian system the pastor does not make decisions about all of the activities and happenings around a church. The pastor leads worship, teaches through Bible Study and similar endeavors, provides pastoral care, and participates in many other diverse activities around the church and community. We have Elders and Deacons who take on other responsibilities, including making decisions about church activities (reserved for Elders, who serve on Session). Who does what around a church (and how we do it) is outlined in the Book of Order, which covers all kinds of things. But as you can imagine, there isn’t a chapter titled What To Do in Case of Worldwide Pandemic.

    The Elders that we elect as a congregation (you elect them, Pastor Meg and I do not vote) make many important decisions for each congregation, although pastors frequently share their thoughts and offer guidance for any vote that is taken. The Session of FPC Logan met on Wednesday, August 19 and voted unanimously to continue with online worship for at least the next month (until the next Session meeting, on September 16th).  At that meeting we will reassess the situation and take another vote for the coming month (or months). Session made this decision because we don’t feel it is safe for us to be in the same room for an hour together. Some people may be willing to take the risk. I am not, and neither are your FPC Elders. Of particular interest is the effect that the return to school will have on coronavirus numbers. Public schools and the Utah State University are back in class now, with both online and in-person classes. Also, of great interest is progress in vaccine trials. We are praying that one (or several) of these vaccine trials provides good news in the next few months.

    May the grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you all,

    Derek

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