Welcome to the Pastor’s Corner, and welcome to the website of the First Presbyterian Church of Greenlawn! We hope that you will find here helpful resources for your spiritual journey.
That early Christians were called the “people of the way” is a reminder to us that we have not yet reached our destination, but continue to make our way along the path of discipleship. What is true of our lives as Christians is also true of this page and site. It, like us, is “a work in progress.”

And “may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all”
(2 Cor. 3:14)


A Message from Pastor
Ann Van Cleef
, May 2021

My Beloved Church Family,

     Last month, I wrote about the Building Abrahamic Partnerships (BAP) class that I took at Hartford Seminary.  I would like to continue that conversation this month, and focus on what our class learned about Christianity.

     It must have been a challenge to explain Christianity to a class that had Muslims, Jews, and Christian ministers, but the two instructors did a fine job.  During the church history portion, I wrote down some facts that I either didn’t know or had forgotten:

  • Christians stayed behind to tend to those who were infirmed by the great plagues of the 1st and 2nd centuries.  This, coupled with the persecutions and martyrdom, helped spread Christianity.
  • One thing that influenced which books made the Canon (the final version of the Bible) and which books didn’t was whether the information was first-hand or third-hand.
  • Some of the hymns we love can be offensive to others.  Onward Christian Soldiers can remind us of the Crusades.  Lord of the Dance can be considered by some to be anti-Jewish.

     When the class started discussing the various translations of the Bible, this became very confusing to the Muslim students, who have but one definitive edition of the Qu’ran, written in Arabic.  It is the responsibility of each and every Muslim to learn enough Arabic in order to read the Qu’ran independently.

     All three Abrahamic faith traditions had a wide variety of beliefs, and people within each faith tradition do not always believe the same things.  To show how this is true in Christianity, the instructor wrote nine Christian beliefs on the board, and asked the Christians in the class to raise their hands if they believed in these things.  It was an interesting exercise.  Here is the list, and the responses of the people.  There were 16 Christians in the class.

    Do you believe in: God 16
The Trinity 13
The Incarnation 12
The Bodily Resurrection of Jesus 12
The Virgin Birth 12
Eternal Hell and the Objective Devil   2
Substitutionary Atonement     5
The inerrancy of the Bible     1
Can the Creation Story and Science Be Reconciled? 16
     Here are some Christian beliefs that the Muslims and Jews in the class found particularly interesting.  (These beliefs were from the point of view of The Very Reverend Ian Markam, Dean of Virginia Theological Seminary.  Ian was one of our instructors.)

  • In Jesus, we can see what God is like.
  • Jesus, as the Word, pre-existed Creation.  (Muslims believe that the Qu’ran pre-existed Creation.)
  • The Creator, Son, and Spirit needed to be linked together to protect monotheism.
  • Every book in the New Testament was written by monotheistic Jews.
  • Mohammed knew that he was receiving Scripture.  Paul, on the other hand, had no idea that what he was writing would eventually become Scripture.
  • God can forgive wrongs we have done to other people.  Because Jesus has died and suffered, God is uniquely able to forgive us for wrongs we have done to others.

     I hope these bits of Christian history and theology might challenge you to learn a bit more about our faith during this Easter Season.  Our local library has some excellent books you may borrow.

     Next month, I will share some things I learned about Judaism.

With love and blessings,
Pastor Ann

Welcome Rev. Dr. Ann VanCleef!


Sunday Worship –
Questions and Answers

By Pastor Ann

Zoom Worship

How are we going to worship on Sundays?    
     We will be continuing our Sunday worship using a video conferencing system called Zoom.  You may log on as early as 10:00 a.m. for coffee and conversation.  Worship begins promptly at 10:30, followed by a virtual coffee hour until noon.  The easiest way to do Zoom is to download the Zoom App from the App Store.  Zoom will work on a computer, a laptop, an I-Pad, or a Smartphone.  

What are the Meeting IDs?
     Please check your weekly email for ID's and Passcodes for each service.

Will I get a reminder about logging on to these services?
     If you are on the church e-mail list, you will get a weekly e-mail with the Zoom link.

I don’t have a camera on my computer, but I do have a Smartphone.
Zoom will work on your Smartphone. 

I don’t have a computer or a Smartphone.  What can I do?
     You may telephone the following number: 
     You will be asked for a meeting ID.  The meeting IDs are outlined in paragraph 2.
     You won’t be able to see us, but you can still hear what’s going on.

Please note:
     Out here on the North Fork, where I live, the Internet has been a bit “iffy” lately.  There is a chance that I will suddenly “disappear” from your screen.  If that happens, just hang in there.  I will log back on with my iPhone.


Sunday Bulletins - Date

Bulletin 4.5.20 Bulletin Maunday Thursday 4.9.20
Bulletin Good Friday 4.10.20 Bulletin Easter Sunday 4.12.20
Bulletin 4.19.20 Bulletin 4.26.20
Bulletin 5.3.20 Bulletin 5.10.20
Bulletin 5.17.20 Bulletin 5.24.20
Bulletin 5.31.20_Pentecost Bulletin 6.7.20
Bulletin 6.14.20 Bulletin 6.21.20
Bulletin 6.28.20 Bulletin 7.5.20
Bulletin 7.12.20 Bulletin 7.19.20
Bulletin 7.26.20 Bulletin 8.2.20
Bulletin 8.9.20 Bulletin 8.16.20
Bulletin 8.23.20 Bulletin 8.30.20
Bulletin 9.6.20 Bulletin 9.13.20
Bulletin 9.20.20 Bulletin 9.27.20
Bulletin 10.4.20 Bulletin 10.11.20
Bulletin 10.18.20 Bulletin 10.25.20
Bulletin 11.1.20 Bulletin 11.8.20
Bulletin 11.15.20 Bulletin 11.22.20
Bulletin 11.29.20 Bulletin 12.6.20
Bulletin 12.13.20 Bulletin 12.20.20
Christmas Eve Bulletin 12.24.20 Bulletin 12.27.20
Epiphany_Bulletin 1.3.21 Baptism of Jesus_
Bulletin 1.10.21
Bulletin 1.17.21 Bulletin 1.23.21
Bulletin 1.31.21 Bulletin 2.7.21
Bulletin 2.14.21 Ash Wednesday Bulletin 2.17.21
Bulletin 2.21.21 Bulletin 2.28.21
Bulletin 3.7.21 Bulletin 3.14.21
Bulletin 3.21.21 Palm Sunday Bulletin 3.28.21
April 1 Maundy Thursday Bulletin April 2 Good Friday Bulletin
April 4 Easter Sunday Bulletin Bulletin 4.11.21
Bulletin 4.18.21 Bulletin 4.25.21
Bulletin 5.2.21 Bulletin 5.9.21