Wednesday, April 22, 2020
ONLINE WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES FOR THIS SUNDAY

9:00 a.m. - Contemporary
11:00 a.m. - Traditional*

Both services will be available on Facebook "live streaming"

* Traditional will also be available to listen on phone:
call 929-205-6099 and give this meeting ID: 955 325 387

Friends,

We’ve talked before about how Zoom technology is helping us further our mission as a congregation in so many ways, from our adult education programs, to providing a telephone link to the 11 a.m. Traditional worship service for people who can’t access Facebook Live, to small group meetings (read another article about this, below).

In the past two weeks, two new groups of leaders are off and running in their work thanks to Zoom. The first group is our Associate Pastor Nominating Committee, which you may remember we elected (via Zoom!) at a Congregational Meeting on March 29.

The members of the “APNC” elected Elder Kristen Benway as Chair, along with Deacon Rich Gorton as Recording Secretary (keeping minutes and records) and Blaine Sheppard as Corresponding Secretary (the liaison with candidates). Now the APNC is hard at work, meeting weekly and preparing for their first major task: to write the position description, known as a “Mission Information Form” or “MIF” in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Once that is written and the Session and Lehigh Presbytery have approved it, they can begin accepting applications and referrals for candidates. So please keep the APNC in your prayers as they go about this vitally important work. They will report directly to the congregation as appropriate to keep you informed of their progress.
And second, the Board of Trustees have begun their work, as well. At a congregational meeting last fall, we decided to reinstate a Board of Trustees to which the Session could delegate the direct responsibilities for stewarding our church property, endowments and invested funds, and other financial and administrative matters.

The Trustees have just elected Lisa Titus as their President, along with Mark Swank as Vice President and Susan Mowrer-Benda as Secretary. The Board of Trustees is picking up work that the Session has been covering for the last two years, so this first year (and particularly the next couple of months) will be a time of some transition as the Property Committee moves from the Session to the Trustees, and the Finance Committee becomes a joint committee between the Session and Trustees. But doing this will actually allow a greater focus on both the strategic and programmatic mission of the church (Session) and the management of our resources for that mission (Trustees).

So please keep both groups of leaders in your prayers during this exciting time, as well!

Grace and Peace,
JC
IN TODAY'S UPDATE:

  1. FPCB: On the Move with Zoom
  2. Tonight: Constructive Conversations series continues
  3. Join us for Midday Reflections
  4. Can you help support our neighbors?
  5. Prayer requests
  6. Earth Day: 50 years
FPCB: On the Move with Zoom
by Cristy Mette, Administative Operations Manager

On Friday, March 13, our church took a leap of faith and a big shift in reaching out to the congregation through technology. The staff was designated with their own individual tasks to ultimately make the transition as smooth as possible.

My task was to set up the Zoom account, learn all about it and help our congregation get on it successfully. The first Zoom event was Hearts N Minds with Linda and Don Robertson. We had a nice attendance that Sunday morning as members were very interested in staying connected and keeping their Sunday as normal as possible. 
Since then, our members - and friends -have been attending adult education studies, committee and team meetings, women’s and men’s K groups (right, a women's K group gathering) , Hospitality Time, Sunday School, Choir Time, and Midday Reflections with our pastors through Zoom. 
Our larger events such as Lenten Conversations, Why Are People So Complicated?, Maundy Thursday Service and Constructive Conversations all were well-attended and our members navigated another complexity with breakout rooms. These smaller groups in breakout rooms discussed particular questions presented by the speaker, prayed and had communion all before returning to the main event. 
 
Our congregation has attended all of these events through various devices: phones, iPads, laptops and desktops. And through it all, our members have been tenacious and kept trying when they faced technical issues. I have been amazed at how we are all connecting by showing up in this new format!  
 
If you would like assistance setting up a Zoom meeting for your group, please contact me at cmette@fpc-bethlehem.org and I'll be glad to help!
Tonight: Constructive Conversations series continues
The Discipleship Committee is continuing our popular "Constructive Conversations" series with the second in a three-part series by Mary Lou Hatcher, which began last week on Zoom.

You are welcome to join, even if you did not attend the first session last week.

Join us for Midday Reflections
Every Tuesday and Thursday at noon: Join an FPCB pastor as they share a meditation or scripture, followed by a time of prayer and reflection. We will gather via Zoom videoconferencing; also available via phone (audio only). They will last approximately 30 minutes.

To send prayer requests:   prayer@fpc-bethlehem.org

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 335 481 050

Via phone: call 929-205-6099 and enter the Meeting ID when prompted.
Can you help support our neighbors?

Local organizations
The Morning Call recently published a list of local organizations that can use help. Please contact each one to verify their needs, operating hours and protocols.

Local eateries and farms/farm markets
We also encourage you to support our local businesses and eateries as you can. If you don't want to shop now you can purchase a gift card, write an online review for them, or like/comment/share on their social media. Also consider paying for meals for frontline works that can be provided by a restaurant, and shopping at farms and farm markets (yes, they're open!).

Here are some resources - again, contact each one directly to verify hours and protocols:



Reaching Out to Elderly Friends
If you would like to drop notes or artwork to our neighbors, here are some addresses (because of the restrictions on visitors, you will need to mail your greetings. They cannot accept deliveries from individuals):

  • Jen Laury, Kirkland Village, 1 Kirkland Village Circle, Bethlehem, PA 18017
  • Life Enrichment Dept., Cedarbrook FH Annex, 724 Delaware Ave., Bethlehem, PA 18015
  • Westminster Village, c/o Community Life, 803 Wahneta St., Allentown, PA 18109
  • Jennie Repsher, Gracedale, 2 Gracedale Ave., Nazareth, PA 18064
Do you have a prayer request?
Earth Day: 50 years

Today is the 50th anniversary of the first celebration of Earth Day in 1970.

As an actionable step to be good stewards of the earth entrusted to us by God - even while staying home: we remind you of the two collections we are doing, for plastics and new/gently used shoes. Stash them away and we'll get them when we're together again!