November 21, 2018

We hope to see you at this evening's
Thanksgiving Eve Service - 7 PM in the Sanctuary



Children's Sunday School for both services

Join us for Hospitality in Fellowship Hall after each of our services!
A woman who has been having Thanksgiving Dinner for many years said that she started a family tradition a few years after she had been hosting the great turkey meal each year. 
She bought a white tablecloth and as her guests sat down at the table she asked them to sign their name. As the family and its tradition grew, new names were added. Newcomers to the table heard stories about family members who were no longer with them, or those who could not be present this year. This tradition, she tells us, is still going on today and this Thanksgiving two more names will be added.  
While we all have different Thanksgiving stories, family seems to be the common denominator.This weekend will be one of the most travelled holidays in America. According to AAA, 44 million people will travel by car, bus, plane or train to share the holiday together with their family.
The children’s window in the Sanctuary
Yet as a Care Pastor, I can’t help thinking of those who will be alone on Thanksgiving, or will be spending the first Thanksgiving without their loved one. My prayer for them is that the Peace of Christ fills their hearts and comforts them at this time.

If you know someone who will be alone, for whatever reason, why not drop them a note, or give them a call to let them know you are thinking about them. For those of you who will spend this holiday with family – be sure to tell them how thankful you are.

Sue Bennetch
  • Join us for our Intergenerational Yuletide Potluck and Crafts event, starting at noon in Fellowship Hall (details below).
  • Hospitality will be offered after each of our two services, in Fellowship Hall.
Copies of this season’s Advent Devotional (pictured, right) are now available – you can pick up in the Church office, Narthex, Rotunda, and Fellowship Hall.

Here’s an easy way to tell your friends and neighbors about our many inspirational December events and activities: we have prepared a colorful postcard that you can mail.
Add a personal message if you like, affix first class postage and drop in the mail (available in the Church office, Narthex, Rotunda, and Fellowship Hall).
Stewardship Campaign Update
This year’s Stewardship Campaign is on the way to a record-breaking total and the Stewardship Committee sends its thanks to everyone who has already sent a commitment card. 
Now we need the more than 40 families and households who pledged last year to bring their pledge information to put in the offering plate (or mail to the office). Your participation could be the action that takes us over the $500,000 goal.

If you have never pledged, this is the year to consider doing so. Please join with other members of our faith family to demonstrate that together we make great things happen. The Stewardship Committee will begin making reminder calls at the end of this month.
Please join us for an Intergenerational Yuletide Potluck and Craft event after the Traditional service this Sunday, November 25. We will begin at noon in Fellowship Hall for a fun afternoon of crafts and fellowship.
The program will start with a potluck luncheon; we will serve soup and chili. We are also looking for donations of salads and desserts: last name A-L bring a salad for ten and last name M-Z bring dessert for ten. After lunch we will offer several tables of crafts for children, teens and adults.
This Advent we have an incredible opportunity to make a difference to families and children across the globe. In supporting the Presbyterian Giving Catalog, we show how being a denomination of connections – people who are faithful followers of Christ – translates into real and positive impact by supporting the Presbyterian Mission.
Our Giving Tree will be in Fellowship Hall starting November 25. Your family can choose from a variety of gifts, including $10 for a farming tools kit, $25 for a kitchen kit, and $40 for a piglet. By joining our gifts together, no matter how big or small, we expand our witness to God’s gracious and abundant work in the world. Choose your ornament(s) and return all payments (made out to PCUSA) to Fellowship Hall no later than December 16 (you can also drop in the collection plate). Thank you for your support!
We are looking for help to decorate the church for Christmas – if interested, gather at 9 AM on Friday, November 30. Many hands make light work!
The Discipleship Committee will host a Family Movie Night on Friday, December 7 in Fellowship Hall.

We’ll begin the evening at 6 PM by serving pizza and beverages, with the movie beginning at 6:30 PM. The movie is Wonder, a story about a 10-year-old boy with facial differences. Overcoming challenges, family, friendship and bullying are some of the topics that this film touches on. This movie is perfect for children ages seven and up and adults will enjoy it too. You are welcome to bring friends
and family!
FPCB’s Lemon Tree Holiday Bazaar will be set up on Monday afternoon, December 3 in Fellowship Hall, to begin a one-week opportunity to buy unique, handcrafted items. This is your chance to purchase holiday decorations and gifts made by the dedicated group of crafters who meet weekly at FPCB.
If you are at church during the week, you are welcome to stop by and shop ‘on the honor system’. The Bazaar will be staffed on Sunday, December 9, during our two Hospitality Hours, and that afternoon before and after the 4 PM Bach Choir Concert here at First Pres. Items will also be available for purchase on Monday, December 10, for those attending the final Hi Neighbor event for the year. Be sure to check out this wonderful assortment of handcrafted Christmas and winter centerpieces, candles, wreaths, and unique gifts!
A local charity, Kindness is Magic Inc., is partnering with the Bethlehem Area School District to collect new and gently-used shoes to raise funds to offset BASD’s student lunch debt of $150,000. 

All donated shoes will be redistributed to help start microbusinesses in developing countries like Haiti; the charity receives approximately 40 cents for each pound of shoes collected. Look for large boxes in the North Link and Rotunda.
Lifting Up Our Hearts: Spiritual Practices Across Faith Traditions
Wednesdays: November 28 and December 5 from
7:00 - 8:30 PM in the Parlor
We have had a wonderful response to this new series, with almost 50 people in attendance at this past Wednesday’s presentation about Jewish faith traditions by Rabbi Emeritus Alan Juda (for more on his presentation, see the news article).
The next program will be held on Wednesday, November 28 when the Rev. Dr. Steve Simmons and spiritual leader Jan Bickford welcome Dr. Halim Calis from Respect Graduate School to talk about Muslim 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 wrapping up their examination of Philip Gulley’s provocative and engaging classic,  If the Church Were Christian: Rediscovering the Values of Jesus . The class meets in room 400
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! (NOTE: No session on Monday, November 26.)
December 3       
10 -Noon        “Forty years in Africa” by Pat Dyer
December 10     
10 AM             Liberty High School A Capella Choir
11 AM             Luncheon to end semester
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 Wednesday, November 28 from 6-8 PM in room 206 (PW room) - no meeting on Wednesday, November 21. This group is open to all, so encourage others to attend. For more information contact Melody Engel .
Send us your news and photos to share:
Deadline for newsletter: Wednesday at noon
And follow us on Facebook : @FirstPresBethlehem
A special program to commemorate the writing of "Silent Night"
The children of the church school, as well as our middle and senior high youth, will be presenting a special program in the Kirk Center on Sunday, December 23, at 10 AM. Rehearsals have begun and will take place weekly from 10 – 10:25 a.m. in the Children’s Library in the Kirk Center. Older children and youth are serving as the narrators, while younger children have simple walk-on parts (no lines to memorize). 

If your child was not at the first rehearsal but would like to participate, please email Rev. Cindy Simmons to let her know of his/her interest in being part of this special program. 
Preschool to Grade 5

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 N 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
  • Intergenerational Yuletide Potluck and Crafts event, noon in Fellowship Hall

MONDAYS:  It’s a Start fitness class, 10 AM, Middle School Step
MONDAYS:  Hi Neighbors, 9:15 AM, Fellowship Hall (no meeting on November 26)
TUESDAYS:  Easy Balance and Strength fitness class, 9:30 AM, Room 178
TUESDAYS:  Handbell Choir rehearsal, 5:30-6:30 PM, Middle School Step
WEDNESDAYS: “Lifting Up Our Hearts” Adult Education, 7 PM, Parlor
( no meeting on November 21; November 28 presentation: Dr. Halim Calis, Respect
Graduate School on Muslim faith traditions)
WEDNESDAYS: Depression Support Group, 6-8 PM, Room 206 (PW Room) - no meet-
ing on November 21
THURSDAYS: Choir Rehearsal, 7 PM, Sanctuary (no rehearsal on November 22)

FIRST AND THIRD TUESDAYS (December 4 and 18) : Successful Aging, 10:30 AM,
Room 412
THIRD WEDNESDAY (November 21):  Dementia Caregiver Support Group, 1:00 PM,
Room 206 (PW Room)

Wednesday, November 21 at 7 PM: Thanksgiving Eve Service with communion
Wednesday, December 19 at 6:30 PM : Longest Night Service
Monday, December 24 ( Christmas Eve ):
   5 PM: Intergenerational Service (a service designed for all ages with both traditional
and contemporary music)
   7:30 PM: Traditional Candlelight Service 
   11 PM: Christmas Communion

 CHURCH OFFICE HOURS: Office hours are  Monday through Thursday from 9 AM to
4 PM (closed this Thursday for Thanksgiving holiday) .    As always, you may leave a voicemail message with the church any time at 610-867-5865.

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, ext. 209.
First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, 2344 Center Street, Bethlehem, PA 18017 ∙ 610-867-5865

The Rev. J.C. Austin , Pastor/Head of Staff: ext. 213,

The Rev. Sue Bennetch , Pastoral Care Associate: ext. 209;

David Macbeth , Music Director: ext. 202;

Cristy Mette, Administrative Operations Manager: ext. 228;

Rebecca Angione, Facilities: ext. 210;

Carol Burns, Communications Manager: ext. 238;

Andrea Barbehenn , Preschool Director; phone: 610-867-2956;