Friday - April 5, 2019



NO Children's Sunday School this Sunday

Join us for Hospitality in Fellowship Hall after each of our services!
Involving Everyone in Worship
The sacrament of Communion is both a command and a gift to the church by Christ, and is one of the central acts of worship that we do together as a congregation. Here at First Pres, we celebrate Communion on the first Sunday of the month so that it is a regular part of our worship life.
Communion is intended to be an act of the whole church, a way of binding us together with each other and with Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. With Sunday School running concurrently with our worship services, our growing group of children has not been part of that Communion experience. 

So, the Worship and Discipleship Committees decided that we needed to do something different on Sundays with Communion. For starters, we decided not to hold Sunday School on Sundays when Communion is happening. That way children can be a part of the full service, worshipping with their families and the whole congregation, and joining in the experience of Communion. 
In fact, our Sunday School teachers and Rev. Sue Bennetch (right) worked together in Sunday School to help the children better understand what Communion is and why we share it. At the beginning of March, we began this new practice at both services, and it was wonderful to have children joining in.
In addition to welcoming children in worship, though, we want these services to be more accessible and engaging for children. So we are experimenting with two ways of doing that. First, you may notice that we use more prayers and songs with repetitive elements to them, like refrains, particularly at the 10:30 a.m. Traditional service. This is so children who cannot read or are just learning will find it easier to participate.

And second, we want to incorporate children’s leadership in these worship services. So last month, we had two youths leading elements of the service like the Call to Worship and the Prayer of Dedication over the offerings.

This Sunday, the children from Sunday School will be giving the Children’s Chat! We’ll be looking for other ways to incorporate children and youth into leadership on Communion Sundays in the coming months, so if you have children who would be interested in serving this way, please email the Worship Committee or me and let
us know!

Grace and Peace,
Old Testament lesson:
 Isaiah 43:16-21
New Testament lesson:
John 12:1-8
·          This week’s sermon: A Lingering Scent
·       We post each week’s sermon (audio and text) on our website:
The response for our Lenten suppers has continued to grow, as participants are enjoying the fellowship and thoughtful discussion of the provided lesson. 
This coming Wednesday, April 10 will be our last session. We will gather at 6 p.m. for a simple meal. This will be followed by a brief reflection, led by one of the pastors in our church, focusing weekly on an African-American Spiritual.  The series is based on the book, Were You There? Lenten Reflections on the Spirituals by Luke Powery .
Please let us know if you are planning to attend any of these suppers; use this simple online form. You can also sign up to bring a salad or dessert to share, or if you are willing to help with set-up or clean-up; use this simple sign-up for that info.

24 Hour Prayer Vigil
   Saturday, April 13 at 8 a.m. through Sunday, April 14 at 8 a.m. in the Sanctuary
Palm Sunday Services
   Sunday, April 14 at 9 a.m. (Contemporary) and 10:30 a.m. (Traditional), featuring
special music by our Handbell Choir and Chancel Choir
Maundy Thursday Communion Service
   Thursday, April 18 at 7 p.m. in the Sancturary; including communion, foot washing
(both optional), and special music by Kim Seifert on the flute
Good Friday Tenebrae Service
   Friday, April 19 at 8 p.m. in the Sanctuary; including special music by Amy Chryst on
the violin. Tenebrae (TEN-uh-bray) is a special service of increasing darkness, as the
story is read of Jesus’ arrest, trial, crucifixion, and death.
Holy Saturday Compline Service
   Saturday, April 20 at 8:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary; including music by our Chancel
Choir. A compline (COM-plin) service includes touching music, burning incense, and
lit candles for an evening of peaceful spiritual reflection.
Easter Sunday Services
   Sunday, April 21 at 9 a.m. (Contemporary) and 10:30 a.m. (Traditional); including
communion (optional) and a feature musical selection, Credo from  Mass for the
New Millennium  by Richard Nance, featuring the Chancel Choir, soloists, oboe,
harpsichord, percussion and organ.
There will be an Easter Egg Hunt after each service,
behind the church building.
Deadline extended to Palm Sunday
Help us beautify our church by purchasing Easter lilies that will be used to decorate on Easter Sunday – then you can take home to enjoy after you attend your Easter service.
Orders are due by Sunday, April 14; use the “Flower Offering” envelope (with the lily on it), available in the Sanctuary pews, Rotunda, and around the church. You can return it in the collection plate or to the Main Office. Instead of a set price, we ask you to make a donation of your choice. You can designate your gift “in honor” or “in memory” of a loved one, if you wish.
Sharing God’s love with our neighbors around the world by providing relief from natural disasters, food for the hungry, and support for the poor and oppressed is the ‘SHARING’ in One Great hour of Sharing. Through Easter, April 21, we will have the opportunity to donate to this Presbyterian Special Offering.   
HI NEIGHBORS: Presenting interesting, dynamic speakers
On Monday mornings through May 13, join other adults who come from all over the Lehigh Valley to learn something new and make new friends.
Doors open at 9:15 a.m. for fellowship time with coffee and light refreshments in Fellowship Hall. Note the first program begins at 9:45 a.m.

This week we'll hear about two great community organizations:

   9:45   ‘Bethlehem Food Co-op’ by Carol Ritter, board member
   11:00   ‘WDIY - Lehigh Valley Public Radio’ by Greg Capogna, executive director
Coming on Monday, April 15: Ted Repasch will provide one presentation (beginning at 9:45 a.m.) on ‘The Women of Tin Pan Alley’.

Everyone is welcome, so please share this information with family and friends! Details are on the First Pres website and our Facebook page, under “Events”. There is no cost or pre-registration required.
This popular annual event will be held this Saturday, April 6 from 4:30 - 7:00 p.m. Join us for an evening, hosted at East Hills Moravian Church, featuring a delicious Italian meal and celebration of Northeast Ministry. All proceeds directly benefit the 2019 NEM Summer Camp Program.

Ticket prices: adults - $12.00; children (ages 6-12) - $7:00; free for children 5 and under. For information or to purchase tickets, please visit the Northeast Ministry site or contact Grace Young at 610-691-3355 or via email .

NOTE: Before the buffet, please join Carolyn and Carville Bevans at their home, 2718 Covington Avenue, for Italian Chianti, juices, sodas, and friendship. Stop by between 4:30-6 p.m.; their home is three blocks from East Hills Moravian.
On the first Sunday of every month we will take blood pressure readings between the two Sunday services. We will be offering this service this Sunday.

A record will be kept that you can take to your physician visit. Look for us in the North Link - we will station ourselves outside Fellowship Hall. This service is provided by the Deacons.
The FPCB Bereavement Group meets at Rudy’s Diner, 1406 Center Street, on the first Sunday of the month, at 12:15 p.m. for anyone experiencing the loss of a loved one.

The next gathering will be this Sunday, April 7; we will meet in the Narthex after the Traditional service and then travel to Rudy’s. Contact  Sue Bennetch  for more information.
Send us your news and photos to share:
Deadline for newsletter: Wednesday at noon
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And follow us on Facebook : @FirstPresBethlehem
Your likes / comments / shares help us spread the word about First Pres!

  • Hospitality in Fellowship Hall after each service; join us for light refreshments and fellowship
  • 9:00 a.m. - Contemporary Service, Kirk Center
  • 9:00 a.m. - Adult Education, Hearts N Minds, Room 400
  • Between services: Blood Pressure Screenings, North Link
  • 10:30 a.m. - Traditional Service, Sanctuary
  • Childcare for Infants and Toddlers, 8:30 a.m. to noon, Room A3
  • After Traditional Service: Bereavement Group

MONDAYS:  Hi Neighbors informational programs, 9:15 a.m., Fellowship Hall; It’s a Start fitness class, 10 a.m., Middle School Step
TUESDAYS:  Depression Support Group, 12:30-2:30 p.m., Room 206 (PW Room);
Handbell Choir, 5:30 p.m., Middle School Step
WEDNESDAYS: Overcomers Outreach, 7 p.m., Room 408
THURSDAYS: Choir Rehearsal, 7 p.m., Sanctuary; Al-Anon Family Group , 7 p.m.,
Room 212

FIRST SUNDAYS (April 7): Blood Pressure Screenings, between services, North Link; Bereavement Group gathering, 12:15 p.m. (meet in Narthex after 10:30 a.m. service)
FIRST AND THIRD TUESDAYS (next: April 16): Successful Aging, 10:30 a.m., Room 412
THIRD WEDNESDAY (April 17):  Dementia Caregiver Support Group, 1 p.m.,
Room 206 (PW Room)
THIRD THURSDAY (April 18): Prayers & Squares, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Room 408
(bring your lunch and join us to create quilts and prayer shawls)

CHURCH OFFICE HOURS: We are open Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. As always, you can leave a voicemail message with the church any time at 610-867-5865 or contact us at . I f you have an urgent pastoral need, please call our answering service at 610-778-7003.

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 Manager: ext. 210;

Andréa Wells, Business Manager; ext. 211:

Carol Burns, Communications Manager; ext. 238;

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