fpcpastor

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.”
If you would like to share any comments about this site, page or the sermons here included, or if you would like to request prayer, please feel welcome to contact me at fpcgpastor@gmail.com

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)

gratefultogod

Message From the Pastor
October 2019

When the Second Temple was completed (c. 515 BCE), some were looking forward and some were looking backward, some were shouting in joy for what was yet to be and others weeping in the memory of what no longer was.  And it was not possible to distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping (Ezra 3:13).
Many of us are weeping today for the church that once was and is no more. We are shrinking and aging; we are in numerical decline.  In part because church meant so much to us as we were growing up, our natural impulse is to do all that we can to save it.  But if Jesus warned us about our instinct to save our own lives- how in the very process we might lose them, how in giving them up for Jesus’ sake we might instead find them- perhaps Jesus would warn us too about trying to save the institutional church.  Perhaps he would counsel us to give it away in the love of the world God sent Jesus to save. And perhaps he would promise that in such costly discipleship, we may discover something new arising
out of the ashes.
He might invite us to reframe how we see ourselves and to notice how secularism stealthily slips into the church’s self-understanding. Perhaps it has become needful to rent out our building to other immigrant fellowships to make our budget, but instead of thinking of ourselves as landlords, we might recognize ourselves as collaborators in blessing.  We are part of a movement larger than our denominational labels that is spreading the gospel of love and reconciliation to those who might otherwise not hear it in their own tongue. Instead of lamenting how few members of our many 12-Step groups join us in worship, we might celebrate that our church facility has become a recognized healing zone for countless people in our community who are struggling with the demon of addiction. 
Perhaps if we began to see ourselves differently, we would hear not only the cries of those who are mourning what is no more but also the shouts of shouts of joy from those celebrating what is coming to be.  And despite all our handwringing that people are leaving our mainline denominations in droves, there are prophetic voices from within our various traditions, hopeful voices, shouting out in joy.  They are encouraging us to build on a new foundation, not of systems of exclusionary beliefs, doctrinal statements and creeds, but on the founding love of God made known to us
in Jesus Christ who calls us not to dig in our heals but to follow him into the future he is preparing for us.
That future evidently does not lie with the old church of Constantine, where Christianity and empire were so intertwined as to become indistinguishable, where emperors convened church councils, and where God, like the emperor, was seen as dominating, dictating and demanding.  No, the church in God’s future will teach people how to live a life of love from the heart: for God, for God’s good creation, and for all people.
That, I think, is the church which Paul sought to describe as having its treasure in earthen vessels, one that lives not from its own power, but from the all-surpassing power of God (2 Cor. 4:7).  Such a church works in clay not stone.  Its members empty themselves of power and privilege even as Jesus did, trusting to be filled with something lighter, purer and more buoyant. Yes, Paul admits, we will be hard pressed, but we will not be crushed; perplexed, but not in despair, neither abandoned nor struck down.  Why?  Because we will always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.  And so Paul was able to tell his struggling churches, as he tells our own, “do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”  (2 Cor. 4:16)

 

See you in church, Pastor Fred

 

PASTOR FRED'S SERMONS

Pastor Fred's Sermon Archive 2010-11
Pastor Fred's Sermon Archive 2012
Pastor Fred's Sermon Archive 2013
Pastor Fred's Sermon Archive 2014

Sunday Bulletin Archive 2015
Sunday Bulletin Archive 2016
Sunday Bulletin Archive 2017

 
Sunday Bulletins - Date
 
Bulletin 12.31.17 Bulletin 1.7.18
Bulletin 1.14.18 Bulletin 1.21.18
Bulletin 1.28.18 Bulletin 2.4.18
Bulletin 2.11.18 Bulletin 2.18.18
Bulletin 2.25.18 Bulletin 3.4.18
Bulletin 3.18.18 Bulletin 3.25.18
Good Friday Bulletin 3.30.18 Easter Sunday Bulletin 4.1.18
Bulletin 4.8.18 Bulletin 4.15.18
Bulletin 4.22.18 Bulletin 4.29.18
Bulletin 5.6.18 Bulletin 5.13.18
Bulletin 5.20.18 Bulletin 5.27.18
Bulletin 6.3.18 Bulletin 6.10.18
Bulletin 6.17.18 Bulletin 6.24.18
Bulletin 7.1.18 Bulletin 7.8.18
Bulletin 7.15.18 Bulletin 7.22.18
Bulletin 7.29.18 Bulletin 8.5.18
Bulletin 8.12.18 Bulletin 8.19.18
Bulletin 8.26.18 Bulletin 9.2.18
Bulletin 9.9.18 Bulletin 9.16.18
Bulletin 9.23.18 Bulletin 9.30.18
Bulletin 10.7.18 Bulletin 10.14.18
Bulletin 10.21.18 Bulletin 10.28.18
Bulletin 11.4.18 Bulletin 11.11.18
Bulletin 11.18.18 Bulletin 11.25.18
Bulletin 12.2.18 Bulletin 12.9.18
Bulletin 12.16.18 Bulletin 12.23.18
Christmas Eve 12.24.18 Bulletin 12.30.18
Bulletin 1.6.19 Bulletin 1.13.19
Bulletin 1.20.19 Bulletin 1.27.19
Bulletin 2.3.19 Bulletin 2.10.19
Bulletin 2.17.19 Bulletin 2.24.19
Bulletin 3.3.19 Bulletin 3.10.19
Bulletin 3.17.19 Bulletin 3.24.19
Bulletin 3.31.19 Bulletin 4.7.19
Bulletin 4.14.19 GoodFriday 4.19.19
EasterSunday 4.21.19 Bulletin 4.28.19
Bulletin 5.5.19 Bulletin 5.12.19
Bulletin 5.19.19 Bulletin 5.26.19
Bulletin 6.2.19 Bulletin 6.9.19
Bulletin 6.16.19 Bulletin 6.23.19
Bulletin 6.30.19 Bulletin 7.7.19
Bulletin 7.14.19 Bulletin 7.21.19
Bulletin 7.28.19 Bulletin 8.4.19
Bulletin 8.11.19 Bulletin 8.18.19
Bulletin 8.25.19 Bulletin 9.1.19
Bulletin 9.8.19 Bulletin 9.15.19
Bulletin 9.22.19 Bulletin 9.29.19
Bulletin 10.6.19 Bulletin 10.13.19
Bulletin 10.20.19