July 3, 2018
Kennewick First Presbyterian Church
2001 W. Kennewick Avenue
Kennewick, WA 99336
(509) 582-9537

They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.”    If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.    It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. -2 Peter 2:19-21
On this Independence Day, when we celebrate freedom as a nation, I am pondering some key questions. How do we live in freedom? What truly makes us free? How does the Bible view freedom? In this passage from 2 Peter, we see the conflict of freedom from sin and new life in Christ, versus slavery to sin and rejecting the way of Jesus. This year we have experienced enormous political conflict and national infighting. It saddens me to see how fellow Christians can be so unkind to one another through these conflicts. It causes me to consider how our allegiance to Christ should be first and foremost in our lives and our allegiance to our nation should be second. It IS possible to be a Christian and also a Republican or Democrat, but you won’t be a very good Republican or Democrat. If our allegiance to Christ is first in our lives, then our political opinions and conversation will follow the way of Christ and not necessarily the current wave of a particular party. In the current crisis of how to bring new immigrants into our country, we have perpetrated terrible injustices and torn apart families. This cannot continue. At the recent General Assembly, the Stated Clerk of our denomination, Rev. J. Herbert Nelson II, made a statement speaking against tearing families apart at our borders. It can be found here: https://www.pcusa.org/news/2018/6/16/stated-clerk-issues-statement-separated-immigrant-/

Other resources from the denomination are available here:

Do we see people through the eyes of Christ? Then we should work for their well-being, regardless of how they have come to be our neighbor. Have we been freed from greed and selfishness in our relationship with Jesus? Then generosity will be our response to the needs around us. Do we experience freedom from addiction because of God’s work in our lives? Then we can serve as ambassadors to others caught in cycles of addiction and trapped in destructive habits. We can share our story of freedom to introduce them into a relationship with the One who breaks the chains that bind us. “For people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 2 Peter states. As we walk with Christ, we escape the corruption of the world. We are not overcome and entangled in worldly pursuits, but keep our eyes on heaven, because that is our true home. 

As we enjoy fireworks and picnics this Independence Day, I encourage us to reflect on the blessings we have as a nation and remember that this world is not our true home and this nation is not our true citizenship. As Christians, our true home is in heaven. Our true citizenship is as a member of God’s family. To live in freedom, we must work for the freedom of those caught in bondage. We must care for the widow and the orphan and the alien among us. It is in Christ that we are truly free to live and love and serve God. The Bible admonishes us not to use our individual freedom to enslave others, but to share that gift of a personal relationship with Christ with them.

God of freedom, we are only truly free in our life with you. Thank you for the gift of freedom from sin and death. Thank you for the gift of freedoms in this country. May we be faithful in our walk with you as we make decisions as a nation. Give us opportunity to love and serve the hurting and the needy among us. May we be ambassadors of righteousness and work to protect families in our world and particularly those at our doorstep. Give us courage to love our neighbor as ourselves. And help us always to keep our eyes on heaven, our true home. Amen.

~Pastor Hanna

Office closed Wednesday, July 4, 2018.
Sunday, July 8, 2018

9:00 am: Contemporary Service
11:00 am: Classic Worship
Scriptures: John 6:1-13; I Kings 17:7-24
Sermon: "Baby Steps"
Preacher: Ashley Birk
 For recordings of past sermons, please visit KFPC Past Sermons
To watch live sermons, please visit KFPC Stream
"Heart of Neighboring: Launching the Journey"
Week 5 Challenge: The Call to Neighboring -- Action Steps: Go and meet one of your neighbors who you know nothing about. Leave a note if they don't come to the door.
"Heart of Neighboring: Idea Lab" Workshop
Please join Pastor Hanna and Pastor Ashley for dinner and conversation on July 8, 5:30 - 7:00 pm, at KFPC in the Fireside Room. We will discuss some of the ideas suggested in The Art of Neighboring for building relationships and sharing your story with your neighbors, as well as ideas you may have for building or deepening relationships in your particular neighborhood. Please bring a simple side dish to share.

Kennewick First Presbyterian Church is seeking our next Director of Children’s Ministry (birth -5 th grade) since Heidi will be “retiring” at the end of August. With a mission to advance the Kingdom of God through worship, love and ministry, our focus is to equip our people to discern and act on God’s calling for us to be caring, intentional neighbors.

We are looking for a real leader to direct our Children and Family programs. If you are energetic and passionate about seeing children grow in their faith, if you value the local church and reaching the lost, we want to hear from you.

If this sounds like you, please send your resume to: pastor.hanna@kfpc.org
Congregational Care Help Wanted

Congregational Care needs a leader for the homebound visitation team. If you are a person, who likes to visit with others please contact Kris Kennedy at krissyon@live.com or 547-7292 or 380-4291. Also if you are willing to assist in finding homebound visitors please contact Kris. Deacons have a list of homebound members of the congregation that need a visit. 
The deadline to order your pictures from Realife Photography is July 15, 2018. All photos taken can be viewed at: www.realifephoto.com . Just click on 1st Presbyterian Families 2018 on the left side of the page. Last day to order is July 15. Questions can be answered by calling the studio at 509.582.3338.
July 16, 2018, 6:30 – 9:00 pm

 Gather for fellowship & fun! (Light dessert will be provided.)
Share resources:
·        Where are we headed?
·        What do we need?

Next steps for NWCP and our church:
·        What things are emerging?
·        What’s going on in the life of our congregation?

Please present your articles for the newsletter no later than the Thursday before the Tuesday you want it published.
Thank you, Debbie