October 26, 2018



Children's Sunday School for both services

Join us for Hospitality in Fellowship Hall after each of our services!
‘Experimental’ Update
One of the themes of our church over the past year has been that we would become an “experimental church.” That means we would identify potentially fruitful new ideas for our ministry together and then try them out, evaluating what happened so we can learn what we should do next as we move into the future. In doing so, we are being both more faithful to our calling as disciples of Christ and more effective in terms of the impact we are making for Christ in our church and in the world.
So, given all that, I want to report on the status of two experiments that we conducted this fall, both of which have been successful in different ways. The first is the experiment of holding a second Sunday School program during the 9 AM worship service. Having heard from several families that they would appreciate something to intentionally engage children at 9 AM, we decided to try a second Sunday School and see what happened over a six-week period. Almost immediately, a whole new group of children who had not been present during the 10:30 AM service appeared and began participating, and their parents began worshipping regularly at the 9 AM service. So the Session has now made that a regular program!

Right: The sign on Center Street has been updated to add the seal of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Second, the Hospitality Team experimented with doing only one Hospitality Hour between the two worship services, rather than one after each service. They wanted to test whether a second Hospitality Hour after the 10:30 AM service was important, given the challenge it was putting on our volunteers to serve it. 

After evaluating the feedback we’ve received, the Session is reinstating the Hospitality Hour after the 10:30 AM service, but also recruiting a new group of volunteers to serve (see article below with details) . So, starting this Sunday, there will be Hospitality after the 10:30 AM service as well as between services, but we need people to help serve in the future! So if you are willing to help out from time to time, please let us know with an email to info@fpc-bethlehem.org so we can connect you with opportunities to serve in the future.

It is wonderful to be part of a church that is willing to experiment, and let us know what other experiments you feel it is important to try!

Grace and Peace,
In last week’s sermon, Rev. Austin referenced a video that shared the moving story
of the Thai boy who ‘stole’ medicine for his mother and the ‘Pay it Forward’
aspect of the example. Click here to view it.
  • The Design Team working on the Log College Project’s display is looking for your memories of FPCB’s youth ministry through the years. Please plan to stay after the 10:30 AM service for a few minutes to view and respond to the display that they are developing. You can do that simply by speaking with members of the Design Team there or by leaving a note, but you will also have the chance to offer a memory, story, or reflection of your own by recording a 2-3 minute video in Fellowship Hall.

  • Hospitality will be offered after each of the two services on Sunday, in Fellowship Hall.

  • Our Chancel Choir and Music Director, David Macbeth, will participate in the Concert of Remembrance on Sunday at 4 PM at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 38 S. 8th St., Allentown. All are welcome; no tickets needed but arrive early for parking on the street or nearby garage.
What My Church Means to Me
in this Season of Stewardship: Ruth Willis
“This church is my home. It grounds me. It is where I need to be. It has been my family’s tradition and one I feel moved to continue. My memories run deep and include having Fred Shuck’s father as a Sunday School teacher to listening to Elam Davies’ sermons to singing in youth choir to wonderful Family Night Suppers at the old North Street Church. First Presbyterian is always there for me.”
We are extending our Hospitality Hour on Sundays, which will now be available between our two services as well as after the 10:30 AM service. We are in need of two teams each Sunday to serve on a monthly basis. The shifts are 8:30 - 10:30 AM and 11:30 AM-12:30 PM.

The volunteers will: set up coffee hour on Sunday mornings; make coffee and replenish coffee carafes; put out baked goods, creamers, tea bags, etc.; set up and replenish cups, plates, napkins, stirrers, creamers; clean up Kiosk; wash coffee carafes and any serving items; and put supplies away.

This is a great job for k-groups or other team or committee configurations. Of course individuals may also sign up to help. It is a great way to meet new people and get to know our congregation! If interested please contact Joanne Kelhart at 610-349-9416 or send an email to info@fpc-bethlehem.org .
Westminster Village offers its annual Lemon Tree Bazaar on Saturday, Nov. 10 from 9 AM-2 PM. It is located at 803 N. Wahneta St., Allentown, and lunch will be available from 11:30 AM-1 PM.

FPCB supports this event by collecting donations for their “Attic Treasures” – from now through Monday, Nov. 5, please drop off your ‘white elephant’ items such as small household goods, knick-knacks, jewelry, and games (no CDs, DVDs or books). Collection carts are located in the North Link and Rotunda, or drop in Room 207.

We will host our own Lemon Tree Bazaar from Monday, Dec. 3 – Monday, Dec. 10 in Fellowship Hall. More details
to come!
There’s still time to join our new Handbell Choir! No experience is necessary and it’s open to anyone in second grade and older.

The group meets Tuesdays from 5:30-6:30 PM in the Middle School Step Room. Please direct questions to David Macbeth or call him at 610-867-5865 x202.
Informative Programs to Educate and Entertain

Join your friends and neighbors on Monday mornings to learn new things and explore new ideas! Everyone is welcome – there is no cost and you don’t need to pre-register.

Fellowship time starts at 9:15 AM in Fellowship Hall, followed by two separate programs approximately 45 minutes each, one from 10-10:45, and a second from
11-11:45. Come for one or both!

Oct. 29   
10 AM: “ArtsQuest” by Kassie Hilgert, President & CEO
11 AM: “African Animals: Things You Never Knew” by Renee Westerhold

Nov. 5    
10 AM: “Outreach Depot” by Karen Schaefer
11 AM: “National Museum of Industrial History” by Glenn Koehler

Nov. 12  
10 AM: “Family Perspective for Special Needs” by Jack Monroe
11 AM: “Hearts for Honduras School” by Rev. Sue Pizer Yoder
Anyone affected by depression – either suffering themselves or having a friend or loved one who is experiencing it – is welcome to attend FPCB’s new Depression Support Group. The next meeting is this Wednesday, Oct. 31 from 6-8 PM in room 206
(PW room).
This group is open to all, so encourage others to attend. For more information contact Melody Engel .
Send your news, updates and photos to
info@fpc-bethlehem.org for inclusion in our newsletter,
website and Facebook page!
And follow us on Facebook : @FirstPresBethlehem
The  “Digging Deeper”  class is on hiatus until after Advent - leader Ron Helmuth and his wife Elena are on a trip, partly vacation and partly spiritual pilgrimage along the Santiago de Compostela, The Way of St. James, a prominent Catholic pilgrimage route since the 9th century.
"Hearts and Minds"  - which meets on Sundays at 9 AM - is examining Philip Gulley’s provocative and engaging classic,  If the Church Were Christian: Rediscovering the Values of Jesus . The class meets in room 400.

New and used copies of the book are available through  Amazon (if you go to the site through  smile.amazon.com , you can select a charity to which Amazon will make a small donation) -- but everyone is invited to the class, regardless of whether you’re reading the book.
Preschool to Grade 5

NOTE: We are developing an on-call list of volunteers to help for both the 9 AM and 10:30 AM Children's Education classes when needed. Is this a place you can serve? Contact  Elizabeth Conard  for more information.

For the 9:00 service, the class is in room A4 in the childcare suite on the first floor of the Kirk Center (near the Kirk Center lobby). Parents are asked to bring their children to A4 before the service.

During the 10:30 service, the children will attend the first part of worship with their families and leave with their teachers after the Children’s Chat. Please remember to sign up your children in the Narthex before going into the service.

The same curriculum will be used in both classes, and, as in the past, child care will be
available during both services for younger children. If you have any questions, please contact  Elizabeth Conard .

  • Hospitality in Fellowship Hall after each service
  • 9:00 AM Contemporary Service, Kirk Center
  • 9:00 AM Sunday School, Pre-K through Grade 5, Room A4
  • 9:00 AM Adult Education, Hearts and Minds, Room 400
  • 10:30 AM Traditional Service, Sanctuary
  • 10:30 AM Sunday School, Pre-K through Grade 5 (Children attend first part of worship service), Room E3-4
  • Childcare for Infants and Toddlers, 8:30 AM to 12 PM, Room A3

  • 4:00 PM: Concert of Remembrance, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 38 S. 8th St., Allentown (the FCPB Chancel Choir and Music Director David Macbeth will participate)

MONDAYS:  It’s a Start fitness class, 10 AM, Middle School Step
MONDAYS:  Hi Neighbors, 9:15 AM, Fellowship Hall
TUESDAYS:  Easy Balance and Strength fitness class, 9:30 AM, Room 178
TUESDAYS:  Craft Group, 10 AM to 3 PM, Room 408
TUESDAYS:  Handbell Choir rehearsal, 5:30-6:30 PM, Middle School Step
WEDNESDAYS: Depression Support Group, 6-8 PM, Room 206 (PW Room)
WEDNESDAYS: Overcomers Outreach, 7 PM, Room 408
THURSDAYS: Choir Rehearsal, 7 PM, Sanctuary

FIRST AND THIRD TUESDAYS (Nov. 6 and Nov. 20) : Successful Aging, 10:30 AM,
Room 412
THIRD WEDNESDAY (Nov. 21):  Dementia Caregiver Support Group, 1:00 PM,
Room 206 (PW Room)
THIRD THURSDAY (Nov. 15):  Prayers & Squares, 10 AM-2 PM, Room 408
(bring your lunch)

LISTEN TO PAST SERMONS: Listen to or download past sermons! Our Sunday m orning sermons can be found under  Sermons   on our website:  www.fpc-bethlehem.org .

 CHURCH OFFICE HOURS: Office hours are  Monday through Thursday from 9 AM to
4 PM.   As always, you may leave a voicemail message with the church any time at

CARE CONCERNS AND HOSPITAL VISITS: If members of the FPCB congregation are hospitalized and would welcome pastoral and hospital ministrant visitors and/or prayers, please contact:
   Melody Engel, Hospital Ministrants, phone: 484-695-4905 or email 
   Phil Fair, Prayer Ministrants,  phone: 610-867-8361 or email   

BAPTISMS, WEDDINGS AND FUNERALS : If members of the FPCB congregation would like to schedule weddings, baptisms or funerals, please contact The Rev. Sue Bennetch at 610-867-5865 x209.
The Rev. J.C. Austin, Pastor/Head of Staff
Phone: 610-867-5865 x213 | Email:  JAustin@fpc-bethlehem.org

The Rev. Sue Bennetch, Pastoral Care Associate
Phone: 610-867-5865 x209 | Email:  SBennetch@fpc-bethlehem.or g

David Macbeth, Director of Music Ministries/Choirmaster 
Phone: 610-867-5865 x202 | Email:  DMacbeth@fpc-bethlehem.org  

Mailing Address: 2344 Center Street, Bethlehem, PA 18017
Website:   www.fpc-bethlehem.org