First Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church
221 North Main Street
Belvidere, IL 61008
815-544-6402

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Script #113


Beloved,

1. Happy Thanksgiving!  I'm praying your Thanksgiving is filled with warmth, love, grace, and His best!

2. Our annual congregational meeting to elect officers will be immediately after the second service on December 2.

3. This year's new officer training will be held on December 2 at 12:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall over BYOBBL (viz., bring your own brown bag lunch).  We also invite anyone else - especially new family of faith members in the past few years - who is interested in how Christians in our part of the Kingdom called the PCUSA govern themselves.  It can be confusing.  Simply, we are not hierarchical (dictators or entitled) or congregational (everybody voting on everything) but connectional which takes a few seconds to explain.  So if you're being ordained/installed, new to the family and want to know more, forgot how we govern ourselves, or whatever, see you on Sunday!

4. Several folks have requested a copy of last Sunday's pastoral prayer.  Though our prayers are not scripted as our worship services are increasingly Spirit-led, here are some notes and recollections:

    Lord,

    So much going on; and we can't keep up with it: the
    Arabs and Jews are going at it again in the Middle
    East and this one threatens to draw some big boys
    into the fray, the East Coast is a mess after Sandy
    and the weather isn't stopping for us to catch up,
    the nation is more divided than since Vietnam,
    nobody trusts anybody, a general goes down
    trimmed by seductresses and must bear
    consequences for those choices despite the
    hypocrisy of those who call him out yet remain
    silent and inactive as the nation's moral fiber
    increasingly unravels before our eyes, and on
    and on and on and...

    Lord, it's a mess.

    We're a mess.

    The world, nation, even churches that should
    know better in our beloved Boone, McHenry,
    and Winnebago Counties, families, youth sports
    organizations, and everywhere anyone gathers -
    people can't seem to help themselves from
    fighting, contending, criticizing over petty things,
    seeking to control others over the most stupid of
    personal prejudices, and so we can't even come
    together on the big things like caring for the
    poor, hungry, and homeless which were always
    and remain so important to You.

    I guess that's why, as undershepherd assigned
    to this place until assassination or my number
    comes up in the roll call, I've been called to
    thank You for the remnant in our world, nation,
    churches, and everywhere else where You are
    still Lord and people recognize calling You Lord
    requires loving You by loving like You: "Not
    everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will
    enter the kingdom of heaven.  Simply calling Me
    'Lord' will not be enough.  Only those who do the
    will of My Father who is in heaven will join Me
    in heaven."

    So, Lord, I join my family of faith on the corner
    of Lincoln and Main, and while confessing the
    personal and corporate omissions and
    commissions and trying harder, we thank You
    for the remnant in our world and nation and
    churches.

    We thank You for Tuesday's Harvest Meal with
    leadership from our family - Julie and Ric and
    the continuing vision of Rick and Terri - a
    treasured coming together of the community
    for the poor, hungry, and homeless...

    We thank You for Thursday and Your permission
    to feast by Your generous graces...

    We thank You for what You are doing here on
    the corner of Lincoln and Main as the season of
    salting to preserve, promote, purify, purge, and
    prune has moved to the season of shining as a
    beacon for Jesus and expanding borders as a
    safe haven have intensely increased by Your
    undeniably miraculous movement of the Holy
    Spirit especially in the last few months.

    And, of course, as always, we thank You most
    for loving us, forgiving us, giving us more
    chances to get You right, and helping us to
    face the future unafraid because it has been
    sealed by Jesus in whose name we pray.

    Amen.

Blessings and Love!

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