Pastor Connection
January 14, 2021
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A Note from Pastor Pat
For this Second Sunday after the Epiphany the lectionary moves from the Gospel of Mark to John. Our focus is John 1: 35-51, where Jesus begins to call his disciples.  Just ahead of today’s text John the Baptist is testifying in the wilderness that the Word, God, has become flesh and is living among them. As Jesus walked by the next day, John exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” At that, two of John’s disciple left and followed Jesus who asked, “What are you looking for?” and they replied, “Where are you staying?”

In a sermon on this text Presbyterian Preacher Stephen Fearing suggested that those who left to follow had the “gift of unbridled curiosity.” He called curiosity “the first step of living a life of faith because it makes space for the Spirit to move.”[1]  Curiosity! They expressed a desire to get closer. To learn more. And Jesus replied, “Come and see!” Come and stay, abide. The calling of Epiphany is to “Come and see”  

Andrew went to his brother Simon Peter and brought him to Jesus. Jesus went to Galilee and found Philip. Philip found Nathanial under the fig tree and said “Come and see.” Nathanial wasn’t eager; he doubted.  He couldn’t imagine anything good coming from a place like Nazareth. But Philip didn’t argue; he simply said, “Come and see.” And Jesus welcomed Nathanial.

Who brought you to Jesus? Who has invited you to “come and see?” To come into relationship with God? How did that happen? What is your story of your witness and discipleship? Who have you invited to “come and see?”

This week we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr who witnessed and testified for the equality of and justice for all people. He dreamed that one day we could all share in brotherhood and sisterhood. May God lead us to see beyond our prejudices, beyond our political differences, to the good and the blessedness in one another.

“May God who comes to us in the things of this world,
           bless your eyes and be in your seeing.
May Christ who looks upon you with deepest love,
           bless you eyes and widen your gaze.
May the Spirit who perceives what is and what may yet be,
           Bless your eyes and sharpen your vision.
May the Sacred Three bless your eyes and cause you to see.”[2]

Peace,
Pastor Pat

[1] Sstephenmfearing.com/sermons-2//the-gift-of-unbridled-curiosity-john-129-42-january-19-2020
[2] “Blessing” by Jan Richardson. In the Sanctuary of Women Nashville: Upper Room Books, 2010, pp 192-3

Spiritual Practices for This Week
Reflect on your faith journey --- Draw a diagram or timeline or write a story.
Who was a part of your first coming to faith? Who called you to “Come and see?” When did your journey begin?  What were some of the significant experiences or life events that shaped, challenged or changed your faith? How is your faith sustained today?

Share your story with a friend or family member.
Tuesday Bible Study

We have resumed our Tuesday morning Bible study at 9:00 a.m. Pastor Amy will be leading a discussion on the sermon text for Sunday. We hope to see you there!

PLEASE NOTE NEW
Zoom Link for Bible Study: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87122450563
Meeting ID: 871 2245 0563
Grand Sweep Bible Study
New Session Starts January 12!

We are starting a new Session of the Grand Sweep Bible Study. This Winter, we will start studying the New Testament. This class is led by the pastors from the PCUSA churches in the Cedar Valley. The class meets weekly on Tuesday evenings at 6:00 p.m. and lasts until 7:30 p.m. and discusses a new book each week via Zoom. Please let Pastor Amy is you'd like to join the group. She can help you get connected to the group's email updates and Zoom meeting notifications.
42nd Annual MLK Banquet, January 17 at 6:00 p.m.
Celebrate MLK Day by attending a virtual event. The 42nd annual MLK Banquet is free this year and available on Facebook. Speakers are Mrs. Willie Mae Wright and Rev. Stumme. Mrs. Wright has been a voting rights advocate in the Cedar Valley for decades. Rev. Stumme marched with Dr. King in Selma. the link for the event and more information is https://www.facebook.com/SocialActionInc.IA
Ways to Give
Thank you for the generous ways you continue to support our church ministry. Remember that you can also give online. May God bless our offerings.
Office Hours
Please note that our church office will be closed on Monday, January 18, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
In Our Thoughts and Prayers
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Our Sympathy to
Gloria Frerichs and family on the death of her brother-in-law and their uncle, Darrell Frerichs, of Loveville, Maryland who died Wednesday, January 6.

Ongoing/Continuing Prayers:
Kason (Connie Leeper's daughter-in-law's nephew) who is recovering from brain surgery, Florence Ramsell at Northcrest, Mary K Williams recovering from surgery at home, Steve Miller recovering from surgery at home, Jan Bellinger, recovering from knee surgery at home; Lori and Suzanne (members of the Bellinger's family) who continue to deal with health issues; Jim Clarke receiving treatment for cancer; prayers of safety for Barbara Benskin's son who is a trucker; Joe Fernau (Marie's son), who is recovering from lymphoma; Neva Kerr, New Aldaya (Hospice); Paul Holtz, Hospice Care

Add to the Prayer List
Click HERE to submit a prayer request online. Our pastors will be praying for you and sharing concerns with the congregation as requested.
Happy Birthday!
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14 Erwin Jaeger, Beth Klann
15 Tom Christensen
16 Zachary Pruis
18 Sue Bickley, Jennifer Smith, Alex Matthias
21 Brad DeSerano, Stephanie Swenson
22 Steve Miller, Nancy Newhoff




First Presbyterian Church | Waterloo, IA | 319-233-6145 | www.1stpresby.org