Volume LXXII, No. 26 | June 26, 2022
Worship at First
Sunday, June 26
Morning Worship
8:30 & 11:15 a.m.
“Experience Gethsemane” 
Matthew 26:36-36
Dr. Michael G. McKelvey

10:00 a.m.
Dr. Michael G. McKelvey
Family Life Center

Evening Worship
6:00 p.m.
“Jesus' Secret Identity”
Rev. David Henderson

We will be live-streaming our services on Sunday
at 8:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m., and 6:00 p.m.
For those who do not have internet capabilities, the morning sermon is also broadcast on 1320 AM radio at 11:00 a.m.

Bulletins will be available by noon on Fridays.

Resumes Wednesday, July 6
with a new series on the book of Ruth
Lunch at 11:30 a.m. Program begins at 12:15 p.m.

Wednesday Prayer Gathering
Wednesday, June 29
Prayer begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Smith Chapel.
Dinner begins at 6:00 p.m. in Jackson Hall.

Where are you? Where are you? 

Last weekend, I had the joy of reuniting with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in Bloomington, Indiana, to celebrate the retirement of Tim Bayly, senior pastor of Trinity Reformed Church. Tim had served as the pastor of that church for thirty years, and the fruit of his ministry is impossible to miss in the church and the community. He is both loved and despised with equal intensity; there ain’t nothing lukewarm.

Tim and his wife, Mary Lee, were, and remain, very influential in our own family’s life on many levels. One of the things I am so grateful for is that Tim has never flattered me and, consequently, I can trust what he says, even if the words spoken are, at times, direct and painful to hear. Faithful, indeed, are the wounds of a friend (Proverbs 27:6)! Another important thing I learned under Tim’s ministry is that pastors might preach to a particular individual or individuals in the congregation and cast a wide net in the process. For example, I will, at times, select an anthem with the hope that it will minister to a particular individual going through a significant trial, and then hear from many people that the anthem was also a help to them. 

Now, to the point. It has been my observation that, in the summer, numbers in corporate worship usually dwindle. Of course, this is to be expected. Summer is a time of vacation and travel - a time to rest and visit with family and friends we haven’t seen for some time. And for those who are able, escaping the Columbia summer roasting around this time of year, and fleeing to the mountains or to the ocean is an enviable option. 

Yet, is it possible, just maybe, that we use the summer as an opportunity for the flesh (Galatians 5:13)? Is it possible that even during the course of the year, corporate worship is more a part of our schedule and activity than a biblical conviction? Maybe we think that church is good for us - like an exercise routine - so it simply becomes another good thing for my family or me. And so, when our social schedule changes, is it possible that our true spiritual commitments are revealed? Maybe we actually do believe that we can live the Christian life without church, or just head to church when it is convenient to do so. 

Jesus knew that his disciples needed rest and a change of scenery from time to time. Jesus knows that we, his people, still need rest and time away. Summer is the time for this, but also a good time for reflection and self-examination. The title of this unintended-to-be but possibly pugnacious article is not about head-counting or legalistic attendance expectations. But it does make the point that presence, or lack thereof, in corporate worship can serve as a spiritual barometer or, more appropriately, a thermometer. And maybe, as the temperature rises in Columbia, we can be reminded of our own spiritual temperature: hot, cold, or lukewarm (Revelation 3:16).  

What a privilege and joy it is to have Jesus as our shepherd and friend, who will never leave us nor forsake us, and who is always faithful, even when we may at times prove to be faithless. What a friend we truly have in Jesus!

In love, 
Dr. Daniel Cole
Director of Music Ministry

Books by Michael G. McKelvey

Dr. Michael G. McKelvey, our Summer Lectures speaker this Sunday, is Associate Professor of Old Testament at RTS Jackson. He wrote the expository commentary for Amos in the book, Expository Commentary of Daniel – Malachi, Vol. 7. This book is available from the Book Service in the Atrium of Jackson Hall with a payment envelope.
2022 Patriotic Gathering: Songs for Summer

The Seniors Ministry’s 2022 Patriotic Gathering takes place on Thursday, June 30 at 5:30 p.m. in the Family Life Center. Anyone 50 and over is welcome! The cost is $8.00 per meal. Please register for this event on the church website.
Pursuit of Godliness in July 

The next Pursuit of Godliness gathering will be Tuesday, July 12, from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. in Jackson Hall. Each month during the summer, we gather for a meal and to hear one of our women tell her story of God’s faithfulness. This month, Janell Kull will be our speaker. All registrations must be completed online or on the app by Friday, July 8, at noon. If childcare for birth through 5th grade is needed in order to attend this event, please register your children online by noon on Friday, July 8.
Volunteer Needed

Since Mr. Earle Tyler has now retired from his “First Monday of the Month” position, we find ourselves in need of a volunteer to give a much-needed hand at the front desk in the church office. As the title of this position implies, help is needed only one day each month – the first Monday. If you are interested and would like more details, please call Judy Nance at the church office at (803) 799-9062, Ext. 224, or jnance@firstprescolumbia.org
Couples in Action Fall Dinners

Registration is open for Couples in Action (CIA) Fall 2022! This past spring, there were 40 couples who signed up and met in homes (and sometimes restaurants) for a meal – it received so much positive feedback! If you’re interested in participating this fall, you can sign up on the church website or app by Wednesday, July 20. Please contact Janet Altman at jaltman@firstprescolumbia.org with any questions.  
CYBL Summer Camp

Who: Rising 2nd - 7th graders
Dates: July 18 - 21, 2022
Times: Girls & Boys - 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Location: Family Life Center at First Presbyterian Church
Cost: $60.00
Register on the church app or online at firstprescolumbia.org/sports by July 7.

Note: Registration is limited to a total of 50 boys and girls.

Fitness Walking at First Presbyterian Church

Beginning Tuesday, July 5, fitness walking in the Family Life Center will be held at 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Join us! 
Church Family

Congratulations to: 
Mary Etta and Edward Able on the birth of their son, Edward Kinard (Ward) Able, on June 15. Grateful grandparents are Libby Lee and Guy Castles. Grateful great-grandparents are Retta and Fred Gantt. 
Andrea and Mark Nussbaum on the birth of their daughter, Sienna Kate Nussbaum, on June 19. Grateful grandparents are Mary Anne and Mike Rudy. 

 Items for Church Family
Contact Lisa Eargle at leargle@firstprescolumbia.org.
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