Friday, January 20, 2023 Newsletter

SUNDAY SERVICES

9:00 a.m. ‘Holy Ground’ Contemporary Worship in Fellowship Hall
(in person only)

11:00 a.m. Traditional Worship in the Sanctuary
  (in person and livestreamed on Facebook and our website, and audio via phone)
A MESSAGE FROM THE REV. J.C. AUSTIN: ELECTING OUR LEADERS
Friends, electing the leaders of this congregation is one of the most important actions that you can take as members. I want to thank the Congregational Nominating Committee for their outstanding work in calling a new group of Elders, Deacons, and Trustees to ministry in the life of this church.

Please take a few moments and look through the names and stories of those who will be presented for your consideration at the Annual Congregational Meeting next Sunday, January 29, following the Combined Worship Service at
10 a.m. that day.

I look forward to being with you and celebrating that day together!

Grace and peace,
J.C.
FOR THIS SUNDAY


Click the link to read the verses
- This week’s sermon: Eureka - In Dreams Begin Responsibility by The Rev. J.C. Austin

- We post the video of each week’s
services and sermon text and audio
on our website: fpc-bethlehem.org
TO DOWNLOAD AND PRINT on 8.5" x 11" paper for Sunday

Traditional Worship Service: 11 a.m. (4 pages)
FOR SUNDAY’S IN-PERSON WORSHIP:

  • Child care will be available from 8:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. on Sunday mornings; please ask an usher for directions. 

  • Your children are a joy in our worship services, and should the need arise, “quiet bags” are available for their use. They are in the Narthex and in the blanket-sitting area (to the left of the communion table in Fellowship Hall).

  • We offer nametags for folks to wear – these are for everyone! You can pick up as you enter the worship space; please clearly PRINT your first name.
IMPORTANT UPDATE FROM THE BUILDING REOPENING TASK FORCE:

The Task Force is reminding you that there is a “triple-demic” of three dangerous viruses in the Lehigh Valley: Covid, influenza, and RSV.

There are rising case numbers for all three of these viruses both in the community and among our own church congregation and staff.  We strongly encourage people to wear masks. Most importantly, if you are not feeling well, even if you have a “cold,” please attend digitally. What seems like a mild cold could be the predecessor to one of these serious viral infections. We need to protect those members and their families who are immune-compromised or vaccine ineligible.

If you have not been boosted with the bivalent Covid vaccine or have not had your flu shot, please consider attending digitally. Flu is raging now in the community. If you get it, you should ask your doctor for one of the flu drugs such as Tamiflu that, if taken early, moderate your illness. For Covid, the Pfizer drug, Paxlovid, is prescribed for high risk people. If you get Covid, we recommend that you consult the CDC website to help you determine when you can end isolation.

In order to reduce contact and possible virus spread, we will mark every other pew in the Sanctuary with a yellow post it note. Please don’t sit in these rows. If we all work together we can reduce the impact of these viruses on our vulnerable members and ourselves.  
HEARTS N MINDS ADULT ED: NEW YEAR, NEW BOOK, NEW LOCATION
The Hearts N Minds classes have resumed on Sundays, meeting from 9:45 – 10:40 a.m. in the Parlor (upstairs above the main church office). Please feel free to come even if you have not read the book.

The group is studying a new book, Elusive Grace: Loving Your Enemies While Striving for God’s Justice by Pastor Scott Black Johnson, senior pastor at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian in Manhattan. It is on sale through the PCUSA bookstore; we also encourage you to check online used book stores.
For this Sunday, January 22, we will read and discuss the Prudence and Courage chapters (pages 25-32).
SOME REMINDERS FOR YOU…
 
IN CASE OF BAD WEATHER: Look for updates on our website (fpc-bethlehem.org), Facebook page, and WFMZ (channel 69 and wfmz.com). We’ll also put a message on our church phone, 610-867-5865.

PLEDGE ENVELOPES: If you ordered pledge envelopes, they will be mailed directly to you from the envelope company. Because of supply chain issues, they will be shipped in the next couple of weeks. 
HELP NEEDED

Our communion for the Traditional service is faithfully prepared by Glenn and Darla Rossetti. We are recruiting a back-up person(s) for when they are unavailable, perhaps two-three times per year. Supplies need to be picked up during the week, and set up occurs on Sunday morning.

If you are interested please contact Rich Hjorth at info@fpc-bethlehem.org or leave a message at the church phone, 610-867-5865.
FOR THIS SUNDAY

On Sunday, January 29, we will offer one Combined Service at 10 a.m. in the Sanctuary, followed by our Annual Meeting of the Congregation and Corporation.

This will be followed by a Pasta Lunch at 12:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall – this is a fundraiser put on by Boy Scout Troop 302. It will feature baked ziti, meatballs, and all the trimmings for a suggested donation of $12 for adults, and $6 for kids 10 and under; cash or check.
JOIN US FOR LUNCH!
The Lunch Bunch - an informal group which meets for friendship and fun - will reconvene for a lovely midwinter get-together this Thursday, January 26 at noon at Rudy's Bar and Grill, 1406 Center St., Bethlehem. All are welcome to join us!

Please let us know if you plan to attend so we can alert Rudy’s with the number.
Contact Melody Engel at info@fpc-bethlehem.org or call the church office at
610-867-5865. Hope to see many of you for a relaxed, social lunch! Let's hope for good weather.
WRAPPING UP THE GIVING TREE

Many thanks to those who supported our annual Christmas Giving Tree – it was very much a success. Altogether you purchased $2080 worth of goods for people in need of a hand up, including four water filters and bags of tree seeds; three sewing machines, kitchen kits, family chickens, and piglets; two fishing nets, refugee baskets, water pumps, farm tools and sapling sets; and a jerry can and cow.

Additional relief was provided for displaced students, famine relief, rain water system, empowerment package, child education kit, and land tenure assistance.

It’s wonderful to think about how many lives have been touched in a positive way!
IF YOU ARE HOSPITALIZED…
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 prayer@fpc-bethlehem.org to keep us up to date.

PRAYER REQUESTS...
Send any prayer requests to prayer@fpc-bethlehem.org or call 610-867-5865 and leave a message.
Send us your news and photos to share:
**Deadline for the 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!
TO JOIN OUR LIVESTREAM WORSHIP SERVICES

  • 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 - click on the "Watch the Service" button
  • 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 archives
IF YOU DO NOT HAVE INTERNET ACCESS: You can participate on your phone to listen to the Christmas Eve and Sunday services

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.
THIS SUNDAY

  • 8:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: Child Care (ask ushers to direct you)
  • 9:00 a.m.: “Holy Ground” Contemporary service, Fellowship Hall (in person only)
  • 9:45 a.m.: Hearts N Minds adult ed class, Parlor – all are welcome
  • 10:00 a.m.: Hospitality Time & Intergenerational Faith Formation, Fellowship Hall – all are welcome
  • 11:00 a.m.: Traditional Worship Service, in-person in the Sanctuary AND livestream on Facebook Live and our website; below, to join us online

WEDNESDAYS: 7 p.m. - Overcomer’s Outreach Christian 12 Step Recovery Group weekly meeting, via Zoom (Meeting # 380 435 9056 / Password: overcomer)
THURSDAYS: 7 p.m. - Chancel Choir Rehearsal, Sanctuary

CHURCH OFFICE AND BUILDING INFO:

Regular office hours are Monday - Thursday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Many of the office staff are working remotely for some of the time, so please make an appointment if you need to see someone specific. The answering service (610-778-7003) can take your urgent pastoral concerns, 24 hours a day. 

IN CASE OF BAD WEATHER: Look for updates on our website (fpc-bethlehem.org), Facebook page, and WFMZ (channel 69 and wfmz.com). We will also put the info on our church phone message, 610-867-5865.

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 (prayer@fpc-bethlehem.org).
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF BETHLEHEM
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. Lindsey Altvater Clifton, Associate Pastor of Formation and Justice; LClifton@fpc-bethlehem.org

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

Kevin Konczyk, Facilities Maintenance Manager; KKonczyk@fpc-bethlehem.org

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

Tracy Leszcynski, Preschool Director; phone: 610-867-2956; TLeszcynski@fpc-bethlehem.org

Marianne Zarillo, Finance (interim); ext. 210MZarillo@fpc-bethlehem.org

Cindy Matthews, Bookkeeper; ext. 211; CMatthews@fpc-bethlehem.org


Website:  www.fpc-bethlehem.org