Friday, June 25, 2021 Newsletter

9:00 a.m. Contemporary 
11:00 a.m. Traditional*

 (* also available on our website and via phone)

In the United States, a typical employee stays at a job for about 4-5 years before moving on to something else, according to different research reports on the subject. Obviously, it does not always work that way: sometimes people move on because they don’t like their supervisor or the organizational culture, or because of conflicting personal responsibilities, and so on.

But in general, that’s the typical term of employment for the average American worker, absent any particular extenuating circumstances. And generally, employees choose to move on because they are focused on furthering their career: getting successive positions with greater responsibility, influence, salary, and impact.
Such factors are perfectly understandable reasons for making such a shift, especially in a culture like ours where your career not only determines your financial resources, but also your social status and even your basic social identity. Unlike most other cultures in the world, “what do you do?” is often one of the first questions we ask when meeting someone new here in the United States.
In the Christian faith, we often talk about vocation, a word that literally means “a calling,” in the sense of God calling us to serve God’s will through our lives and ministry as one baptized in the Christian faith. In the Reformed theological tradition to which Presbyterians belong, we have a strong and broad theology of vocation. Unlike some traditions that reserve a theology of vocation to those who serve in pastoral ministry, Reformed Christians believe everyone has a calling to serve God by virtue of our baptisms as Christians. 

For some of us, our Christian calling may strongly overlap with our profession, work, or career; for others, they may be largely unrelated. But in any case, living out our vocation means paying attention first to the gifts God has given to us for ministry, and then our own sense of joy and passion in how we can use those gifts to further God’s will in building up the kingdom of God in the world in whatever way we can.

This Sunday, we are celebrating and giving thanks for the way in which Andie Barbehenn, our retiring Preschool Director, has fulfilled her vocation, her calling from God, so faithfully for the last 35 years at the First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem Preschool, including the last 30 years as its Director. That means Andie has stayed in her role six times longer than the average U.S. employee! (Andie, above, at her surprise good-bye party)

Having had the privilege of working with Andie the last 3+ years as Senior Pastor here, I can say with great confidence that she has done so because of her strong and consistent calling to her ministry as our Preschool Director. Andie has literally nurtured generations of Preschool children, to the point that one-time children have grown up and brought their own children here as students during her tenure!

Throughout all the changes in our church, community, and world over these last three decades, Andie’s leadership has ensured that Preschool children have always known that they are loved by God and learn how to grow in their understanding of life, relationships, the world around them, and God. That is a true and holy calling that deserves to be well-celebrated.

So: I hope you will make a special effort to be present, either in person or online, in one of the worship services this Sunday, as well as “Lemonade on the Lawn” at 10 a.m. between services. Andie will speak in both services about her time at the Preschool, and we will have an opportunity to recognize and thank her as part of that. I look forward to being with Andie and you on Sunday!

Grace and Peace,

Scripture lesson:
Click the link to read the verses
·   This week's sermon: A Good Word:
Rest by The Rev. J.C. Austin

·     We post each week’s sermon
(audio and text) on our website:
TO DOWNLOAD AND PRINT on 8.5" x 11" paper for Sunday


  • Everyone over the age of 2 is required to wear a mask.

  • Child care will be available from 8:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. in Room C1-2 – please ask a greeter for directions to that space.

  • We will offer nametags for folks to wear – you can pick up as you enter the worship space; please write your first name.
With summertime upon us, our popular “Lemonade on the Lawn” social time will be offered from
10-11 a.m. Stop by for a cool drink, snack, and fellowship – and for
this Sunday, to extend well wishes to Andie Barbehenn!
Love flowers? Brightening someone’s day? We are looking for a small team to lead our Flower Ministry - this includes tasks like ordering flower arrangements for the services, and assuring that those flowers are divided up and sent to ‘good homes’ after the services. If this is something that interests you (or you are interested in pulling together / working on a small team for these tasks), please contact us at or leave a message at the church office, 610-867-5865.

Our Congregational Life committee is busily planning these upcoming events – we hope to see you!
Parking Lot Trivia
TONIGHT: 6:30 p.m.
East parking lot
If bad weather, we’ll move inside

Bring your chairs and your random bits of knowledge for our popular event – you can also bring your supper if you’re so inclined!
Come prepared for these categories: the Bible, current events, food and beverages, and TV, movies and videos. The winner takes home ‘bragging rights’, so let the competition commence!

Concert on the Lawn
Sunday, July 11 – TIME: 4:00 p.m.
We are blessed to have very talented musicians and performers in our membership, and here’s an opportunity to share your gifts!

With the assistance of Music Director David Macbeth, we will offer a concert that will feature our Contemporary Band. We will also offer an opportunity for others to perform as well. Be thinking about what you might be able to share – details to come!
We’re looking for volunteers to contribute baked goods to serve at
Lemonade on the Lawn social times. If interested, please contact
Phyllis Walker at
or leave a message at 610-867-5865.
Please specify the date and what you’ll donate.
We would like to know when our members are entering the hospital. Please tell the hospital that your church ID is 724 and they will contact us. You can also contact Phil
Fair at to keep us up to date.

Send any prayer requests to or call 610-867-5865 and leave a message.
Send us your news and photos to share:
**Deadline for next week's newsletter: WEDNESDAY at noon**
* * *
And follow us on Facebook: @FirstPresBethlehem
Your likes / comments / shares help us spread the word about First Pres!


  • 8:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.: Child Care in room C1-2
  • 9:00 a.m.: Contemporary Worship Service, in-person in the Kirk Center AND livestreamed
  • 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.: Lemonade on the Lawn social time, east side of building
  • 11:00 a.m.: Combined Worship Service, in-person in the Sanctuary AND livestreamed - see instructions in blue box, below, to join us online, and in the yellow box to join us via phone 
FOR THIS SUNDAY: : Worship with us “Live” on Facebook
To watch “live”- as it happens:

  • Visit our Facebook page and look for the post with our live feed
  • If you don’t have a Facebook account, go to our website to view the service
  • Please check in with a comment so we know you’ve joined us!
  • Captions will now be available on our livestream, for those who would like to use that feature
To watch a video – available after the services have aired: Visit our website
IF YOU DO NOT HAVE INTERNET ACCESS: You can participate on your phone to listen to the 11 a.m. Traditional service

To listen on the phone (audio only): Call 929-205-6099; when prompted enter the Meeting ID: 848 4170 9518, followed by the # key. You will be asked for the participant ID – press the # key again.
  • 7 p.m.: Overcomer’s Outreach Christian 12 Step Recovery Group weekly meeting, via Zoom (Meeting # 380 435 9056 / Password: overcomer)

ALL OTHER PUBLIC EVENTS AND GATHERINGS ARE CANCELLED AT THIS TIME unless offered online (see listings on our Facebook page under “Events”)

CHURCH OFFICE AND BUILDING INFO: The office staff is working remotely and checking email and voicemail daily. The answering service (610-778-7003) can take your urgent pastoral concerns, 24 hours a day.

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: Phil Fair, Prayer Ministrant (
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. Lindsey Altvater Clifton, Associate Pastor of Formation and Justice;

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

David Macbeth, Music Director: ext. 202;

Cristy Mette, Administrative Operations Manager: ext. 228;

Rebecca Angione, Facilities Manager: ext. 210;

Marianne Zarillo, Business Manager: email:

Cindy Matthews, Bookkeeper: email:

Carol Burns, Communications Manager; phone 610-428-9649;

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