Friday - May 31, 2019



Join us for Hospitality in Fellowship Hall after each of our services!
A MESSAGE FROM PASTOR J.C. AUSTIN: Living our '#CoreValues'

For the month of June, I am going to be preaching a four-part sermon series called “#CoreValues,” based on the four Core Values of First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem that the Session has codified.

If you were at the Annual Congregational Meeting in February, you heard me report on the Session’s work around new statements of our congregation’s mission and core values. For close to a year, the Session prayed, discussed, discerned, and articulated those new statements as a means of declaring to ourselves and to the world a summary of who we believe God has called us to be, and what we believe God has called us to do as a congregation. We presented a draft of those statements at the Annual Congregational Meeting and solicited input and feedback, then finalized them in March 2019. You can find them here .
The title of the sermon series is “#CoreValues” as a way of highlighting that we intend both the Values Statement and the Mission Statement to be “living documents.”

By that I mean that they are not simply produced and then filed away, but are a constant presence and influence in our congregational life, ministry, and decision-making. 
And part of how we are doing that is highlighting them in our social media feeds. In social media, a “#” sign (“hashtag”) is a way of tracking and linking posts that are related to a particular topic, event, or theme. You can tag your post with a phrase preceded by a “#,” and then people can search that phrase and your post will come up. On the other hand, it’s a way of visually linking a particular post to a larger theme: in this case, our Core Values.

So if you have not already liked the church Facebook page (@FirstPresBethlehem), please do so, and you will notice that posts will have phrases like “#ChristCentered,” “#WelcomingToAll,” and so on as a way of emphasizing how we are living out those Core Values.

So, I look forward to journeying with you in worship through our #CoreValues over the next few weeks, and to hearing what insights you have in your own reflections on how we can continue to live into those values and live them out as a congregation!

Grace and Peace,

Scripture lesson: Luke 10:38-42

Communion Sunday
·       This week’s sermon: The Better Part (#ChristCentered)
by Rev. J.C. Austin
·       We post each week’s sermon (audio and text) on our website:
We will worship together in one combined service at 10 a.m. in the Kirk Center. It will include elements of both our Contemporary and Traditional services. It’s Pentecost Sunday, so please wear red!
Ministry Fair and Luncheon: After the service, the Congregational Life committee will offer a Ministry Fair in Fellowship Hall - the opportunity you been waiting for to learn the many ways you can use your talent and time to grow First Presbyterian Church in service, worship and mission. There will also be a light luncheon served during this time. We hope to see you there!
“Silence is the welcome mat for hate”
Are you aware that there are 36 hate-related groups in Pennsylvania? And there are 41 groups who call West Virginia and Ohio home?

How can we shine a light on these behaviors and raise awareness in our congregations that leads to engagement?
This will be the topic for discussion at this year’s Synod of the Trinity Regional Connection for Partnership and Networking. It will be held on Wednesday, June 5
at the First Presbyterian Church, 3231 W. Tilghman, Allentown. The day’s activities will begin with 9:30 a.m. registration, and includes lunch, with an estimated end time
of 3:00 p.m.

To register contact Deb Prince at 610-691-4932 or
FOR YOUR INFORMATION: Speaking engagement

The Discipleship Committee encourages FPCB members and friends to hear Rev. Dr. Gregory Edwards, founder and senior pastor of Resurrected Life Community Church and president and CEO of Resurrected Community Development Corporation, Allentown, speaking on the topic of “Christian White Supremacy” at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 17 at Metropolitan Community Church of the Lehigh Valley,
1404 Greenview Drive, Bethlehem (in the Church of the Manger’s building). 
Rev. Edwards is a prominent local pastor and a highly-regarded voice on this issue, having helped people of all races deconstruct the entanglement of white supremacy with American Christianity throughout his ministry. This free event is open to the public and will be live streamed via the Metropolitan Community Church’s Facebook page.
In lieu of FPCB offering Vacation Bible School this summer, the Discipleship Committee invites you to consider this option:
Wesley Church, a United Methodist Congregation (next door at 2540 Center Street), is offering “ROAR! Life is Wild and God is Good”, a one-week Vacation Bible School. It will be held from June 24-28 , from 9:30 a.m.-noon. It is open to children aged four through entering 6th grade.

The cost is $20 per child, with a family discount for three or more attending. More information is available from Debra Silliman at
484-241-8018 or the church website.
Hey, it’s vacation time. If you are staying at a hotel, motel or other spot that provides small toiletries, please consider bringing them home for the disaster kits we make for Outreach Depot. Our drive last year supplied many kits, and unfortunately people are still experiencing catastrophes. We will let you know when to bring them in to church. Have a safe and fun summer!
Sunday, June 2 : The first Sunday of the month is Communion Sunday; we will also offer Blood Pressure screenings, and Hearts N Minds will have their last meeting. CHANGE: The Bereavement group will not meet (next meeting: Sunday, July 14 – watch for details).

Sunday, June 9 : We will worship together in one service at 10 a.m. in the Kirk Center, followed by our Ministry Fair and a light luncheon in Fellowship Hall.
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!

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

MONDAY: It’s a Start fitness class, 10 a.m., Middle School Step
TUESDAY:  Depression Support Group, 12:30-2:30 p.m., Room 206 (PW Room)
WEDNESDAY: Overcomers Outreach, 7 p.m., Room 408
THURSDAY: Choir Rehearsal, 7 p.m., Sanctuary;  Al-Anon Family Group , 7 p.m.,
Room 212

FIRST SUNDAYS (next: June 2): Blood Pressure Screenings, between services, North Link
SECOND SUNDAYS (next: July 14): Bereavement Group gathering; this is a new date going forward, and there will be a new location. Watch for details!
FIRST AND THIRD TUESDAYS (next: June 4): Successful Aging, 10:30 a.m., Room 412
THIRD WEDNESDAY (next: June 19):  Dementia Caregiver Support Group, 1 p.m.,
Room 206 (PW Room)
THIRD THURSDAY (next: June 20): 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;