Friday, August 16, 2019


9:00 a.m. Contemporary ∙ 10:30 a.m. Traditional
Join us for “Lemonade on the Lawn”, our hospitality time from 10-10:30 a.m.
on the back lawn 
Stephen Ministry Returns to FPCB

  “The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” 
Ephesians 4:11-12

For many years the Stephen Ministry supported our congregation by providing care for those who were hurting. Our trained Stephen Ministers met one-on-one with adults in our congregation to support them during a difficult time.
This ministry then took a break. Today, I am happy to announce its return!

On Thursday, September 12 we will kick off our reorganized, revitalized, renewed group of Stephen Ministers under the capable leadership of Phil Clauser, a trained Stephen Ministry Leader. We will celebrate our return, do some housekeeping and be reunited with our team.  
As part of this program, we will then meet regularly for continuing education and skill enhancement. Through this continued training Stephen Ministers are equipped and empowered lay-caregivers who provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to those we serve.

The seven previously-trained Stephen Ministry members will once again begin meeting with those in need of this program. They will meet with people (care-receivers) who may be experiencing grief, job loss, illness or other challenges. They will walk with someone who may be going through a divorce, a difficult time in their marriage, or those who have been hospitalized, to give them support and encouragement.

Through these meetings our Stephen Ministers and their care-receiver develop a caring relationship and faithfully listen, empathize, pray with and for them, and encourage them with Christ’s love. We do not, however, take the place of a professional counselor.

So, if you or someone you know would benefit from a Stephen Minister, please let
me or Phil know.

We ask you for prayers for our leaders, ministers and care-receivers as we once again provide this important ministry to our congregation.

Sue Bennetch
Pastoral Care Associate

FIRST LESSON: Isaiah 5:1-7
Luke 12:49-56
·       This week’s sermon: Family Feud by Rev. Sue Bennetch            
·       We post each week’s sermon (audio and text) on our website:

If your garden is reaping a bountiful harvest and you have some to share,
bring it with you on Sunday - we'll have a table available at
Lemonade on the Lawn. Those with 'too much' can share it,
and those who would like to take some home are welcome to!
Sunday, September 8
We look forward to welcoming everyone to a combined worship service on Sunday, September 8 at 10 a.m. It will be held at the front of the church, in front of the main steps (chairs provided). We hope you will join us for this special service, which will combine elements of both our Contemporary and Traditional services.
We hope everyone will stay after the service for our Community Picnic, sponsored by the Congregational Life committee.

We'll offer a simple potluck lunch, games for young and old, and fellowship.
Assorted deli sandwiches and beverages will be provided. We ask that those attending contribute a dish to pass, as they are able (we will have plenty, so please plan to attend!). 

Use this easy online sign-up form to indicate your potluck contribution; we are also recruiting a few volunteers to help with parking, kitchen help, and to assist with games.

You can also call the Main Office (610-867-5865) or send an email to us at with that information.
It’s been four months since Ron’s death, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the outpouring of friendship and support. Whether you offered prayers, meals, visits, cards, phone calls or showed your love in another way, please know that every gesture is most appreciated. Each expression has been helpful in making this experience more bearable. The donations to Ron’s favorite charities will help many in a positive way and preserve his memory.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support during our journey, as we’re learning to live life without him. 

-           Elena Helmuth, Chris and Michael Helmuth, Theo Baer and Jason Axford
Our Chancel Choir regularly offers anthems in our Traditional Service at
10:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary. It is directed by David Macbeth , our Music Director.

Rehearsals will begin on Thursday,
August 29 from 7-9 p.m. New members are welcome in all voice parts; it is open to high school age and older – choral score reading is a plus but those willing to learn are welcome. Try it out for a couple of weeks if you’re interested!
Hearts N Minds is our adult education opportunity to explore faith and current issues in a safe, respectful space. Weekly sessions will begin on Sunday, September 15 at
9 a.m. in the Parlor.

The group frequently uses books as a basis for their discussions. If you would like to secure the books for the coming session, they are:
·          Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church and the Bible (second edition) by M. Daniel Carroll, Brazos Press. ISBN 978-1-5843-351-1

·          Essays on Immigration (Dover Thrift Edition 2013) ISBN 978-0-486-48902-5

·          For Everything a Season by Sister Joan Chittister, Orbis Books (2014). ISBN 978-1-62698-019-8
The Lehigh Valley Pride Festival is this Sunday, August 18 at the Jewish Community Center, 702 N. 22nd St., Allentown, from noon to 6 pm. The day includes a variety of activities, including entertainment, artists, drag bingo, and a pride rally. (See the schedule ; note this is a paid event ). 
The vendor area will include artists, retailers, and non-profits. First Presbyterian Church of Allentown has invited FPCB to share space at their information table, and our Deacons will lead our church’s participation by giving out church information and hugs to those wanting one.

The day will begin with a Pre-Pride Christian worship service, offered by Metropolitan Community Church of the Lehigh Valley, and a Pre-Pride Jewish worship service by Congregation Am Haskalah: The Lehigh Valley’s Reconstructionist Community. Both services will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the JCC.
The Lehigh Conference of Churches is offering an opportunity to learn more about addictions. “We Crave” is a comprehensive educational and inspirational series on the topic of opioid (and other) addictions. The series presents information in a reflective setting that includes videos, images and music to provide both an educational and transformational experience.

The series is free and open to all. Click here for more information or call Genie Watson at 610-433-6421. Please share this with those who may be interested.
Mission Opportunity
The Helping Hands Care Team of Lehigh Presbytery has scheduled its third mission work trip to Fayetteville, NC for October 19-26 (Saturday-Saturday) .  

Participants are needed to assist with the recovery efforts after heavy rains and flooding caused extensive damage to the churches and homes in that area. It takes years for areas to recover from these storms and every helping hand makes a difference in the lives of people who lost so much.
There are no specific skills or experience required, other than to be flexible and provide whatever help is needed. Plumbing, electrical, roofing, and dry wall installation skills are always welcome.

The cost is $200 per person and participants must register by October 1. Information can be found on the Lehigh Presbytery website or call 610-391-9020.
Your response to our recent request for new socks and underwear for area kids was heartwarming – many thanks! We are still collecting travel-size toiletries – these will go to folks impacted by natural disasters (collected through Sunday, August 25 in the North Link and rotunda).
In this new feature we will take a look at the many opportunities to serve and to be involved in the life of First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem.
Under the auspices of Session, the Worship Committee oversees the organization and conduct of our services, including Communion and other special worship events.

We are in need of assistance for these specific responsibilities:
·          Ushers assist worshipers to their seats, hand out bulletins, and collect offering; weekly rotating basis.
·          Greeters welcome worshipers at all entry points and are available to answer questions and assist people to locate worship spaces and other areas of the church; weekly rotating basis.
·          Communion preparation volunteers prepare the bread and juice for communion, setting the communion tables and cleaning up after the services. Servers are also needed to serve communion; first Sunday of the month and other designated dates.
·          Readers sign up quarterly to be on a list of people to read Scripture during the services, as well as the Affirmation of faith and prayer, at designated times.
·          Special Service Volunteers: We recruit volunteers to decorate for special services (put up and take down) such as Christmas and Easter week services.

If you are interested in assisting with any of these ministries please contact Joanne Kelhart at .

We are now adding the weekly prayer list to this newsletter. Click here for a printable copy; you can also pick up print copies in the Narthex, rotunda, Fellowship Hall and brochure racks.
Send us your news and photos to share:
Deadline for newsletter: Wednesday at noon
* * *
And follow us on Facebook : @FirstPresBethlehem
Your likes / comments / shares help us spread the word about First Pres!
- Weekly Chancel Choir rehearsals will begin on Thursday, August 29 from 7-9 p.m.
- We will offer an outdoor combined service and picnic at 10 a.m. on Sunday, September 8.


  • 9:00 a.m. - Contemporary Service, Kirk Center
  • “Lemonade on the Lawn” between each service; join us for light refreshments and fellowship on the back lawn (inclement weather: Fellowship Hall)
  • 10:30 a.m. - Traditional Service, Sanctuary
  • Childcare for Infants and Toddlers, 8:30 a.m. to noon, Room A3

TUESDAY:   Crafters, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Room 408;
WEDNESDAY: Overcomers Outreach, 7 p.m., Room 408
THURSDAY: Al-Anon Family Group , 7 p.m., Room 212

FIRST SUNDAYS (next: September 1): Blood Pressure Screenings, between services, North Link
SECOND SUNDAYS ( next: September 15; no meeting in August ): Bereavement Group gathering; this is a new date going forward, and there will be a new location.
FIRST AND THIRD TUESDAYS (next: August 20): Successful Aging, 10:30 a.m.,
Room 412
THIRD WEDNESDAY (next: August 21):  Dementia Caregiver Support Group, 1 p.m.,
Room 206 (PW Room)
THIRD THURSDAY (next: September 19): 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;