January 4, 2019



Children's Sunday School during both services

Join us for Hospitality in Fellowship Hall after each of our services!
A MESSAGE FROM PASTOR J.C. AUSTIN: Sudden Events, Lasting Impact
I just learned this week that PNC Bank does an annual calculation of the actual cost of all the presents that are supposedly given in the song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” This year, they warned that the devoted gift-giver needs to have saved $39,094.93, an increase over last year due to “high-flying geese prices and a tight labor market for Lords-a-leaping, Pipers piping, and Drummers drumming.” No mention about the ongoing upkeep costs of all those gifts, but they must be substantial. 
This rather tedious song is how most people know that the season of Christmas is twelve days long, lasting from December 25 through
January 5. I hope that you found a better and more cost-effective way to celebrate Christmas this year than loading someone down with a lot of unnecessary partridges. But regardless, this Sunday, January 6, marks the transition point away from the Christian celebration of Christmas. 
In most of Western Christianity, Epiphany marks the arrival of the wise men to Bethlehem to honor the birth of Jesus, which will be our story for Sunday. But the word “epiphany” comes from a Greek word meaning “sudden revealing,” which is a little odd given that we just spent four weeks in Advent waiting expectantly for the revealing of the Christ child, then another twelve days celebrating his birth. At this point, Christmas ended almost two weeks ago in the larger culture, and even in the church we’re ready to move on; nothing about this feels sudden.

But sudden events can create lasting impact. So this Epiphany, as we finish celebrating Christmas and move fully into a new year, I want to invite you to consider how the impact of Christ’s birth continues for you, our church, and our world well beyond the time of Christmas celebration. I hope to see you in worship as we do so on Sunday!

Grace and Peace,
Our new boxed envelopes for the 2019 offering should arrive next week. We plan to have them available to pick up beginning Sunday, January 13 in Fellowship Hall. Until then, you can put your gift/check in a provided “My Offering” envelope (available in the pews, Narthex and Rotunda); make sure your name is on it.

The financial secretary will make sure your gift is properly credited as we begin the new calendar year. End-of-year financial statements should be mailed out towards the end of the month. Thank you for your patience.
Will you consider providing flowers for our Sanctuary worship services? A donation of $75 will pay for the arrangement under the cross in the Sanctuary, and $90 covers two pedestal arrangements.

Contact us at info@fpc-bethlehem.org or call the office at 610-867-5865. Thank you!
The Passing of the Peace at the beginning of worship is an expression of Christian love, unity, and reconciliation with one another. For some, however, expressing those values through hugs and handshakes is not comfortable, and for others, close physical contact may pose a medical risk. 
So, if someone gives a “Heart Tap” by patting their own heart during the Passing of the Peace, please respond in like manner to acknowledge the heartfelt grace of that person's greeting and need to maintain physical space.
Hearts N Minds, our Adult Education program, meets at 9 am each Sunday in
Room 400.
The first two Sundays in January, Ron Helmuth will lead the Hearts N Minds class in an exploration of the lectionary readings from the prior Sunday. We are starting the New Year with a planful study of Scripture and how to apply it to our daily living.

Then, on January 20, the class will begin a study of Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving.
Bring the family (ages 6 and over) to enjoy Disney’s Moana on Friday, January 11. We’ll gather in Fellowship Hall and offer pizza and beverages at 6 pm; the movie begins at
6:30 pm.

There is no registration or fee to attend, but we will accept monetary donations for the meal.
Moana features a feisty young heroine who takes to heart the motto: “When you embrace what you're destined to do, that's when you fulfill your greatest potential.” 
It is a film filled with gorgeous, top of the line animation, beautiful music, and lush scenery. There are life-lessons to be learned! Come and join the conversation.
We talk about restorative justice and restorative practices, but what do those terms really mean? How are these considerations even relevant for "regular" people? How might these practices help us resolve conflict at home, school, work, place of worship, etc.? How can individuals or groups make a difference for others involved in the criminal justice system?

Restorative Practices: Changing our Response to Wrongdoing , a presentation by Bob Costello, is appropriate for middle schoolers, young adults, and adults of all ages. It is free and open to the public, and will be held from 9 am-noon in Fellowship Hall. Easy online sign up here. This workshop is sponsored by the Discipleship Committee.
The Depression Support Group is for anyone whose life is affected by depression – whether yourself or someone you care about. New sessions will begin on Tuesday, January 22, and the meeting time will be from 12:30-2:30 pm in Room 206 (PW Room). For more information contact Melody Engel.
The folks from Kindness is Magic sent a thank you to share: “The shoes (that were donated here at FPC) made it to Florida and went through another sorting process. The total weight for Bethlehem Area School District including all of the community partners in Bethlehem was 7,301 pounds of shoes. The district earned $2,920.40 in used shoes, adding to the $9,172.48 raised toward the original $150,000 debt.”
For those interested, Kindness is Magic is sponsoring another fund raiser at “Painting with a Purpose” on Sunday, January 13. Click here for details and reservations. Half of the proceeds for this event will go to offset BASD's student lunch debt. 
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 .
The FPCB Bereavement Group meets at Rudy’s Diner, 1406 Center Street, on the first Sunday of the month, at 12:15 pm. The next gathering will be this Sunday, January 16; we will meet in the Narthex after the 10:30 service and then travel to Rudy’s. 

If you have experienced the loss of a loved one, please join this group to share together for understanding, faith, and friendship in this journey. For more information, contact Sue Bennetch .

Send us your news and photos to share:
Deadline for newsletter: Wednesday at noon
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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 am Contemporary Service, Kirk Center
  • 9:00 am Sunday School, Pre-K through Grade 5, Room A4
  • 9:00 am Adult Education class, 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 noon, Room A3

Bereavement Group: meet after the 10:30 am service to travel to Rudy's Diner

MONDAYS: It’s a Start fitness class, 10 am, Middle School Step
TUESDAYS: Easy Balance and Strength fitness class, 9:30 am, Room 178
TUESDAYS:  Handbell Choir is on hiatus until Tuesday, February 5
WEDNESDAYS: Overcomers Outreach, 7 pm, Room 408
THURSDAYS: Choir Rehearsal, 7 pm, Sanctuary; Al-Anon Family Group, 7 PM, Room 212

FIRST AND THIRD TUESDAYS (January 15 9): Successful Aging, 10:30 am, Room 412
THIRD WEDNESDAY (January 16): Dementia Caregiver Support Group, 1:00 pm,
Room 206 (PW Room)
THIRD THURSDAY (January 17): Prayers & Squares, 10 am – 2 pm, Room 408 (bring your lunch and join us to create quilts and prayer shawls)

CHURCH OFFICE HOURS: We are open Monday-Thursday, 9 am – 4 pm. The office will be closed on Monday, January 21, in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.

As always, you can leave a voicemail message with the church any time at
610-867-5865 or contact us at info@fpc-bethlehem.org .

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 | info@fpc-bethlehem.org

The Rev. J.C. Austin , Pastor/Head of Staff: ext. 213, JAustin@fpc-bethlehem.org

The Rev. Sue Bennetch , Pastoral Care Associate: ext. 209; SBennetch@fpc-bethlehem.org

David Macbeth , Music Director: ext. 202; DMacbeth@fpc-bethlehem.org

Cristy Mette, Administrative Operations Manager: ext. 228; CMette@fpc-bethlehem.org

Rebecca Angione, Facilities: ext. 210; RAngione@fpc-bethlehem.org

Carol Burns, Communications Manager: ext. 238; CBurns@fpc-bethlehem.org

Andrea Barbehenn , Preschool Director; phone: 610-867-2956; ABarbehenn@fpc-bethlehem.org

Website:   www.fpc-bethlehem.org