November 2, 2018



Children's Sunday School for both services

Join us for Hospitality in Fellowship Hall after each of our services!
Remembering All Saints
November 1 is designated as All Saints’ Day on the Christian calendar every year. This year, we’ll be observing it in worship this Sunday, November 4. But what is All Saints’ Day?

In the early years of the Christian church, during the time of Roman persecution of Christianity, saint’s days were established to mark the date of a martyr’s death. As you may remember me saying before, the word “martyr” comes from the Greek word “to witness.” So a martyr is someone who bears witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ. However, in the early church it came to be associated with being killed for your faith, because when Christianity was illegal and you witnessed to your faith, the Romans could and did kill Christians for taking that stance. Particularly notable martyrs had the day of their death designated by the Church as a “saint’s day,” with the theological understanding that it was also their “birthday” as a saint being welcomed into heaven.
A saint, then, came to be understood as a remarkably faithful martyr, often with miraculous elements to their story. Saint Sebastian, for example, was killed for his faith under Emperor Diocletian and is easily recognizable in art because he’s always depicted as tied to a tree and shot full of arrows. Ironically, the story is that he miraculously didn’t die from those arrow wounds, but was merely left for dead and subsequently healed by a fellow Christian. He then sought out the Emperor and berated him for persecuting Christians; the Emperor ordered him clubbed to death instead (since his archers couldn’t get the job done the first time). As a friend of mine likes to say, if you like action movies, then you should really read the lives of the saints!
A rare double rainbow on Monday - God's promise!
In the Reformed theological tradition, from which Presbyterians come, saints are understood very differently, though. For us, a saint is not someone who died for their faith in remarkable ways, but rather someone who lived out their faith in the very everyday-ness of a normal life. That’s why it is the day in which we remember all those from our congregation who have died in the past year; it is a recognition that each and every one of those people is a Christian saint by virtue of their baptism and the life of faith that they lived.

So we will have a special Liturgy of Remembrance in the worship services this Sunday, in which we remember by name each saint who was part of First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem in their life on this earth. And we will then take Communion together “with all the faithful of every time and place,” as the Eucharistic Prayer says, bound with those whom we have just named and all those who went before them in faith through the power of the Holy Spirit.

As you can see, this Sunday will be an important and moving worship experience for all; I hope you will be a part of it!

Grace and Peace,
This Advent, we are adding a new service called "Longest Night", which is for
anyone struggling with a loss during the Advent and Christmas season.
It may be a death, but it could also be a job, a relationship, a life dream -
anything that makes it hard to deal with all the seasonal emphasis
on joy and celebration. More details to come, but if you or someone
you know is grieving a loss, mark the evening of Wednesday, December 19,
on your calendar.
On Sunday we will celebrate Communion at both services.
There will be a meeting at 10:30 AM for all 6th-12th graders in the Commons Room.
• The Bereavement Support Group will gather after the 10:30 AM service in the Narthex, to travel to Rudy’s Diner, 1406 Center Street for the 12:15 PM meeting. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Hospitality will be offered after each of our two services, in Fellowship Hall.
Don't forget to turn your clocks BACK one hour when you go to bed Saturday night!

What My Church Means to Me in this Season of Stewardship
The Church in this Season of Stewardship: Bill Chapel
It’s harvest time! To a farmer, the harvest represents a year’s worth of planting and tending, of watching and waiting and wondering. When the storehouse is full, the farmer feels a sense of satisfaction and gratitude. 
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 about generousgiving. In the classic Greek, “generous” literally means open-hearted. Paul writes, “Each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give.” If individuals are to experience the greatest satisfaction in their generosity, their giving ought to be heartfelt, not haphazard. Think about it. Talk about it with a spouse or trusted friend. Interestingly, Jesus never teaches how much we are to give. What he does teach is proportionate giving. Openhearted giving ought to be an expression of heart as well as head. We want our gifts to make a statement about our passion for the Lord.

If you’re simply giving out of a sense of duty, or because someone sent you on a guilt trip, or fear that God will punish you, then you are better off not giving. God loves a cheerful giver. The truth is, a person can’t be both generous and grumpy.

God’s promise assures us that God will know exactly what we need and will provide our needs to do all God asks us to do. Giving generously means giving personally, thoughtfully, passionately, and cheerfully. When giving generously, the Kingdom of God advances and God is praised. That’s fulfilling the law of the harvest!
There are many ways in which to give gifts to First Pres, and one is a "qualified charitable distribution", or QCD.

A QCD is a withdrawal from a Traditional IRA that is sent directly to a charity. In other words, the funds don’t pass through your hands. You instruct your IRA custodian to send the money straight to the group or groups you specify. You must be age 70½ or older at the time of the donation. You could use a QCD to fulfill your First Presbyterian Church pledge in full or in part.

We are extending our Hospitality Hour on Sundays, which will now be available after each of our two services. 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.

We are in need of volunteers for the second shift; if interested please contact Joanne Kelhart at 610-349-9416 or send an email to .
One person’s trash is another’s treasure, as they say – so here’s a good opportunity to pass along your gently-used items.   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!
Boy Scout Troop 302 invites you to participate in their annual "Scouting for Food" drive by dropping non-perishable food items and household paper goods in the collection bins in the Rotunda (please, no glass containers). The donations will be collected on Saturday, November 10.
This Sunday we will hear our new Handbell Choir for the first time. You may still join!   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.
Lifting Up Our Hearts: Spiritual Practices Across Faith Traditions
Wednesdays: November 7, 14, and 28, and
December 5 from 7:00 - 8:30 PM in the Parlor
Led by the Rev. Dr. Steve Simmons

Often when we hear the words “interfaith dialogue,” we think of discussions about what our various traditions believe, and about areas in which we agree (and, especially, those in which we don’t agree). 
In this series, we will focus instead on our experiences of and mutual desires for the sacred as members of a variety of faith communities, and on the ways we express them in our everyday lives. We will begin by exploring various spiritual practices that we as Christians observe in our own lives “between Sundays,” and then move on to learn about those of several other religious communities with speakers from the Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist traditions. 
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 N 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 , 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.
Looking Ahead: Hearts N Minds starts a four week Advent study the first Sunday in December. The book, which is available on Amazon in new and used copies, is
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!

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, Nov. 7 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 .
The FPCB Bereavement Group meets at Rudy’s Diner, 1406 Center Street, on the first Sunday of the month, at 12:15 PM. The next gathering will be this Sunday, Nov. 4; we will meet in the Narthex after the 10:30 service and then travel to Rudy’s. 

If you have experienced the loss of a loved one, we encourage you to join this group to share together for understanding, faith, and friendship in this journey. Contact
 Sue Bennetch for more information. 
Send your news, updates and photos to for inclusion in our newsletter,
website and Facebook page!
Deadline for newsletter: Wednesday at noon
And follow us on Facebook : @FirstPresBethlehem
Preschool to Grade 5

NOTE: The 6th-12th graders will meet at 10:30 AM in the Commons Room.

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, Grades 6-12 meeting, Commons Room
  • 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

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: “Lifting Up Our Hearts” Adult Education, 7 PM, Parlor
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)

LOOKING AHEAD: Thanksgiving Eve Service - Wednesday, November 20 at 7 PM

LISTEN TO PAST SERMONS: Listen to or download past sermons – you can also now read the sermons online. Look for Sermons   on our website: .

 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:

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:  

Andrea Barbehenn, Preschool Director
Phone: 610-867-2956 | Email:    

Mailing Address: 2344 Center Street, Bethlehem, PA 18017