Friday, July 12, 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 
A MESSAGE FROM REV. SUE BENNETCH: Staying in the Distance
Over the 4th of July I had the opportunity to spend some time with my family at the NJ shore.

We had some very good beach days and took full advantage of them. Once settled in “our spot” I noticed that many, many other families had the same idea. The beach was very crowded. 
Now, I am a people watcher. I love to see children playing beach volleyball, diving into waves, building sand castles or searching for shells. 

One family caught my eye. They happened to set up right in front of me. There was one child walking and two little boys in a double stroller. They were joined by another family with a little girl.
As I watched, I could tell the parents were a tight team. They shared in the slathering of lotion, the distribution of swim shirts and hats. Three pairs of little feet into sand shoes. They were ready for anything!

As mom stayed behind with the youngest, the two older brothers and their cousin decided they wanted to dig a hole in the sand. Dad joined them in finding a good spot to do so, but the sand was too loose and it kept falling back into the hole. Off to another spot they found one with wet sand. As the children hovered over the find, dad followed carrying three shovels. A few swipes of the shovel, and they decided a better spot was probably further down the beach, so hand in hand the three toddlers ran to their next destination. Never out of sight, dad followed them, carrying the three shovels. 

As I watched this family, my mind went from close family to God’s love. Dad followed his children wherever they went on the beach. He patiently carried their cargo for them, so they would be free to run. He kept a steady eye on them and always shoveled the first load. He watched them as they dug. He was always with them, in everything they did.

This became my meditation for the day, as I enjoyed the scene before me. The children were happily bouncing from one “best” location to another – sensing in their little hearts that dad was watching their every move – not getting in the way of their fun activity – just enjoying them enjoy themselves. Exactly what God does with us. God watches and enjoys us, most of the time staying in the distance, patiently and lovingly caring for us. 

So when you are out and about keep alert for something to catch your eye and see where God is in that chance encounter. Hope you have a wonderful and blessed summer.
Sue Bennetch 

FIRST LESSON: Psalm 82  
Luke 10: 25-37             
·       This week’s sermon: What’s Love Got to Do With It by Rev. Sue Bennetch        
·       We post each week’s sermon (audio and text) on our website:
The Bereavement Support Group will meet on the second Sunday of the month, in the Eagle Room of Kirkland Village’s Marketplace. Anyone interested in attending is welcome to meet in the Narthex immediately following the Traditional service.

This move was prompted to make it easier for residents of Kirkland Village to be involved in the group. The next meeting is this Sunday, July 14.
The Congregational Life Committee is sponsoring a group outing to see Jesus Christ Superstar on Sunday, July 28 at
2 p.m. Rev. J.C. Austin will lead a post-show discussion of the themes of the musical, for any audience members who would like to participate.
The production will be offered by Northampton Community College’s professional Summer Theatre program, in the college’s Lipkin Theatre (3835 Green Pond Road, Bethlehem).

Phyllis Walker is collecting names and ticket payments of $13 each; a group of at least ten is required for this discounted price. If you pay by check please make it out to her. Reservations and payments are needed by next Tuesday, July 16. Contact Phyllis at or 484-767-5189.

For more information about the show, visit .
Longtime missionary - and a former member of our Church - Beverley Harrar will be speaking at both worship services on Sunday, July 21 about her travel to Yaounde, Cameroon, as part of a Refuge 139 project which focused on developing a vacation Bible school and curriculum.

Beverley's trip was partially funded by the McKnight Mission Scholarship Fund, which has made 77 grants for more than $65,000 over its history. The McKnight Fund was established to honor the work of Jim and Minnie McKnight, Presbyterian missionaries who worked in Sudan and were longtime members of First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem.  

Please plan to hear about Beverley's fascinating work.
Red collection bins are now available in the North Link and Kirk Center for the disaster kit toiletries that you have gathered from hotels, motels and other vacation spots. 
They need to be the small size to fit into the buckets for people who have been flooded, burned or otherwise displaced due to natural disasters.  Thank you for supporting this effort by the Mission Committee to assist their partner, Outreach Depot.
The August reading group will meet on two Wednesdays – August 14 and 21 – from 1-2:30 p.m. in the Parlor. All are welcome! They will be discussing:

Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., 2019, Penguin Press

In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. asked why America has a schizophrenic personality on the question of race ( Where Do We Go From Here? ). More than 50 years later, we are still asking the same question.
In daytime meetings in August, we will discuss Gates’ newest book. Be forewarned, the book contains disturbing photos and cruel caricatures of African-Americans.
We will discuss how the country might have embraced black voter registration if Reconstruction had been permitted to honestly go forward post-Civil War and consider the legacy of these long-ago cultural wars in the face of “anti-black racism and white supremacy today”. 
POAMN is the Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries Network, a network of persons who are engaged in ministry with older adults.  
These people work in presbyteries and synods, they are leaders in congregations, and some serve in specialized ministries such as chaplains in care facilities and presbytery staff who are involved with older adult ministry committees.
It is time to register for the POAMN National Conference. All the details: .
Send us your news and photos to share:
Deadline for newsletter: Wednesday at noon
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And follow us on Facebook : @FirstPresBethlehem
Your likes / comments / shares help us spread the word about First Pres!


  • 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: August 4): 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. See the article above.
FIRST AND THIRD TUESDAYS (next: July 16): Successful Aging, 10:30 a.m., Room 412
THIRD WEDNESDAY (next: July 17):  Dementia Caregiver Support Group, 1 p.m.,
Room 206 (PW Room)
THIRD THURSDAY (next: July 18): 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;