CHECK IN – 2024

February 24, 2024

"As Christians we follow God's call not because it is the easiest path for us but because God sends us that way for God's loving, liberating, and life-giving purposes." -Jonathan F. Harris

Last Sunday was a great day in worship, a great first Sunday of Lent! Looking forward to tomorrow and week two of Lent. Our sermon is drawn from Mark 8:31-38 and invites us to consider how our priorities become our priorities and how we do what is necessary to prioritize God in all aspects of our lives.

If you were present last Sunday you know it was a special Sunday. This Sunday as we focus in on priorities, we are invited to make gathering for worship a priority and experience the joy and uplifting energy of worshipping together.

***

Lenten Potluck and Programs will begin this Wednesday, February 28, and continue on March 6 and March 20. We will start with the meal at 6:00 p.m. and transition to the program after we eat. If you are coming for the program only, please come by 6:45 p.m. The first two will be potlucks, for the final one a fish dinner will be provided. The study will be "Simon Peter: Flawed But Faithful Disciple." There will be DVD segments which we will view each evening of the study. The study is by Adam Hamilton. There is a book you may purchase on your own (same title as the study) or speak to George if you would like him to get you a copy. The book is a supplement if you are interested and is not necessary to participate in the study.

Spring Yard Sale Dates April 12-13 and 19–20. It's the other side of Easter (which is March 31), but it will be here before we know it. Due to several building rentals, please hold off on further large deliveries of items for the Yard Sale until after the middle of March.

PW Spring Gathering: Our Presbyterian Women are planning to attend our Presbytery wide Spring Gathering on Saturday, March 16, beginning at 9:15 a.m. at Beulah Presbyterian Church. Those interested in car pooling should meet at Hebron at 9:00 a.m.). If you are interested in attending please let Betty Hogan know. The "Mission Challenge" for the gathering is to bring paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, and especially feminine hygiene products that will be shared with the Fern Creek Highview United Ministries.

Celebrate Life!

George


 

February 17, 2024

"The beauty of a trail is that it is always leading your forward." -Jonathan F. Harris

A quick invitation. Come hear more about trails tomorrow at worship on the first Sunday of Lent. Trails are important and we are heading into an important one. Let's talk about it.

Also, let's sing, pray, light Lenten candles, and fellowship together - let's worship.

Your prayers are appreciated for the family of Sue Fraser. She was a member of the Prestonsburg church when I was there (1995-2005). She died in Louisville this past week and I am in Earlington, Kentucky this morning for the celebration of the resurrection. We'll be gathering at 11 for the service. It was a beautiful drive up here yesterday in the snow, thinking about all the people who I've been fortunate to share the journey of faith with and the way we are connected over time. It's a beautiful thing to share life and faith together.

***

If you forgot your soup last Sunday on Souper Bowl Sunday (like I did) tomorrow is a great day to go ahead and bring it (I hope I will remember mine this week).

Lenten Potluck and Programs will be Wednesday, February 28, March 6 and March 20. The first two will be potlucks,; for the final one a fish dinner will be provided. The study will be "Simon Peter: Flawed But Faithful Disciple." There will be DVD segments which we will view each evening of the study. The study is by Adam Hamilton. There is a book you may purchase on your own (same title as the study) or speak to George if you would like him to get you a copy. The book is a supplement if you are interested and is not necessary to participate in the study.

Spring Yard Sale Dates (which means we invite you to begin collecting items for the Yard Sale now): April 12-13 and 19–20. It's the other side of Easter (which is March 31, but it will be here before we know it.

PW Spring Gathering: Our Presbyterian Women are planning to attend our Presbytery wide Spring Gathering on Saturday, March 16, beginning at 9:15 a.m. at Beulah Presbyterian Church. Those interested in car pooling should meet at Hebron at 9:00 a.m.). If you are interested in attending please let Betty Hogan know. The "Mission Challenge" for the gathering is to bring paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, and especially feminine hygiene products that will be shared with the Fern Creek Highview United Ministries.

Celebrate Life!

George


 

February 10, 2024

"Our arrival at the place where pain is no more is real, but it doesn't circumvent the cross." -Kristin Stoneking

This Sunday is Transfiguration Sunday. We'll read a story pretty much right in the middle of Mark's gospel about Jesus standing on a mountain where some very interesting stuff happens. This story is always in the suggested readings for the Sunday before Lent. In my mind it's come to make sense - we climb a mountain with Jesus and look ahead towards Easter.

Two things. First, we look ahead as people who know Easter is coming. There will be a celebration. There will be an empty tomb. There is a bedrock reason for hope in the triumph Christ will experience over death. Second, we look ahead as people who know there is a journey between us and that joyful destination. In that way Lent is like life. There is a journey between us and our ultimate experience of God's kingdom.

Come and join us as we explore "Getting To New Vistas" tomorrow in worship and let's set out on our Lenten journey together.

***

The NFL's Super Bowl game is tomorrow evening which means tomorrow morning is the Souper Bowl of Caring, an effort shared by churches across the country to feed hungry people. You are invited to bring soup (or any non-perishable food item) that we can then share in our Food Pantry.

Ash Wednesday is February 14. There will be an Ash Wednesday Service that evening at 7:00 p.m. which will include the imposition of ashes.

Lenten Potluck and Programs will be Wednesday, February 28, March 6 and March 20. The first two will be potlucks; for the final one a fish dinner will be provided. The study will be "Simon Peter: Flawed But Faithful Disciple." There will be DVD segments which we will view each evening of the study. The study is by Adam Hamilton. There is a book you may purchase on your own (same title as the study) or speak to George if you would like him to get you a copy. The book is a supplement, if you are interested, and is not necessary to participate in the study.

Spring Yard Sale Dates (which means we invite you to begin collecting items for the Yard Sale now): April 12-13 and 19–20. It's the other side of Easter (which is March 31, but it will be here before we know it.

PW Spring Gathering: Our Presbyterian Women are planning to attend our Presbytery wide Spring Gathering on Saturday, March 16, beginning at 9:15 a.m. at Beulah Presbyterian Church. Those interested in car pooling should meet at Hebron at 9:00 a.m.). If you are interested in attending please let Betty Hogan know. The "Mission Challenge" for the gathering is to bring paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, and especially feminine hygiene products that will be shared with the Fern Creek Highview United Ministries.

Celebrate Life!

George


 

February 4, 2024

"God, help me always be open to the possibility - no, the certainty - that
you are better than I currently understand you to be." -Brian McLaren

I love the orientation of this prayer by Brian McLaren. I think it's correct towards the future and one hundred percent correct about God. God is good. This we know and believe. It's how good that we don't begin to understand. God's goodness has come to us in so many ways across history and personally God shows up for us time and again in ways we could not have imagined or anticipated. That's who God is. So it makes sense to have a future perspective of God's ever expanding goodness surprising and blessing us again and again and again.

An orientation towards the future is on point for our worship tomorrow. Our message comes from Mark 1:29-39 and is called "Getting To What's Next." Yes, I trust that God has a good future for us - this scripture helps us know how to best get to that future - can't wait to explore it with you.

Also we'll be sharing the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper in worship tomorrow - always a cause for joy, and a place to be sustained for what comes next in life.

***

Lenten Potluck and Programs will be Wednesday, February 28, March 6 and March 20. The first two will be potlucks, for the final one a fish dinner will be provided. The study will be "Simon Peter: Flawed But Faithful Disciple." There will be DVD segments which we will view each evening of the study. The study is by Adam Hamilton. There is a book you may purchase on your own (same title as the study) or speak to George if you would like him to get you a copy. The book is a supplement if you are interested and is not necessary to participate in the study.

Spring Yard Sale Dates (which means we invite you to begin collecting items for the Yard Sale now): April 12-13 and 19–20. It's the other side of Easter (which is March 31, but it will be here before we know it.

Ash Wednesday is February 14. There will be an Ash Wednesday Service that evening at 7:00 p.m. which will include the imposition of ashes.

Souper Bowl of Caring: Next Sunday, February 11 on the day of the NFL's Super Bowl game, we are invited to bring non-perishable food items for our outdoor food pantry and participate in the nationwide Souper Bowl of Caring.

Celebrate Life!

George


 

January 27, 2024

"When we encounter beauty, we tend to say, 'Wow.'" -James Bryan Smith

"There is beauty in the world." -Macy Gray

Beauty can do wonderful things within us. Beauty lifts us up and changes the day, particularly on days that haven't felt too beautiful. James Bryan Smith teams beauty up with goodness and truth and identifies them as fundamental characteristics of the good news of Jesus Christ. That should point in at least a couple of directions. One, it should point us towards the importance, once again, of being in scripture. Let the scriptures speak to you and experience the beauty of God working in history. Two, it should point us towards putting ourselves in positions where we will be likely to experience beauty. Go for a walk. Go to an art museum. Listen to a piece of music that you love (I was just listening to Sara Bareilles perform "When You Wish Upon A Star" on a YouTube video and my morning is infinitely better because of it).

God gives us a capacity to appreciate beauty and to create beauty. It is good to be thankful for the beauty God does place in our world and important to keep ourselves open to experiencing it. And it is good to help others see and experience beauty, especially when life is difficult.

The times when life is difficult is where our message for tomorrow morning will begin. It's the second week of our "Getting To" sermon series. After last weeks "Getting To Yes" and considering how we get started on our way with Jesus, this Sunday we'll be continuing in Mark 1 (vs.21-28) and watching how Jesus helps us in "Getting To Whole." Hope to see you tomorrow morning in worship at 11:00 a.m.

***

The Souper Bowl of Caring is another opportunity to bring non-perishable food items for our Outdoor Food Pantry. This will be on the day that the Super Bowl is played, Sunday, February 11.

***

Zoom Study

A reminder that a new Zoom Study begins tomorrow night, January 28 at 7:00 p.m.. Nine meetings, bi-weekly between January 28 and some point in May.

It will be mostly bi-weekly and will be at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday evenings. It will meet nine times between January 28 and some time towards the end of May (depending on any adjustments to the schedule). We will be reading the book The Magnificent Story: Uncovering a Gospel of Beauty, Goodness & Truth, by James Bryan Smith. Here is a description from the back of the book:

"What story have you been told about the gospel? About Jesus? About the Christian life? About yourself? Your answers to these questions will form a story that will determine how your life will go. The answers reveal your ability to trust, to love, to hope - and even your capacity for joy. Uncover the true story of beauty, goodness, and truth that will satisfy the ultimate longings of your heart."

This is not a pre-recorded video study (there is not a DVD). The Sunday evening hour long Zoom gatherings will focus on discussions of the readings (nine sessions - nine chapters) and how we understand their application in our lives. If you are interested, have questions, want to know how to get a copy of the book, talk to George.

***

Looking ahead…

Lenten Potluck and Programs will be Wednesday, February 28, March 6 and March 20. The first two will be potlucks, for the final one a fish dinner will be provided. The study will be "Simon Peter: Flawed But Faithful Disciple." There will be DVD segments which we will view each evening of the study. The study is by Adam Hamilton. There is a book you may purchase on your own (same title as the study) or speak to George if you would like him to get you a copy. The book is a supplement if you are interested and is not necessary to participate in the study.

Spring Yard Sale Dates (which means we invite you to begin collecting items for the Yard Sale now): April 12-13 and 19–20. It's the other side of Easter (which is March 31, but it will be here before we know it.

Ash Wednesday is February 14. There will be an Ash Wednesday Service that evening at 7:00 p.m. which will include the imposition of ashes.

Celebrate Life!

George


 

January 20, 2024

"God of eternity, help me to live on your timeline. When I get caught up in worries and cares, remind me that the things of this world are passing away. Draw me back to Christ and the things that are truly important. Amen." -a prayer by Anne Cumings

My birthday seems like a good time to post a prayer reflecting on eternity and timelines! It also fits with four weeks in a row starting tomorrow that we'll be digging into passages from the gospel of Mark. Anne Cumings' prayer asks God to help us sort out the important from the unimportant. The passages we'll be in, beginning with Mark 1:4-10 tomorrow, will have that same sort of direction - how do we learn to follow Jesus so that we get to what is important to God and not get distracted and caught up in things that get between us and God. Here is a look at the line-up for the next four weeks.

The Getting To Series…

This Sunday, January 21
Mark 1:14-20
"Getting To Yes"

Next Sunday, January 28
Mark 1:21-28
"Getting To Whole"

Sunday, February 4
Mark 1:29-39
"Getting To What's Next"

Sunday, February 9
Mark 9:2-9
"Getting To New Vistas"

After the past week away, recharging and taking in the magic of one of my favorite places - Disney World - I'm very excited to be back at it and worshiping with the best congregation on the planet. Looking forward to getting started with "Getting To…" tomorrow.

***

Tomorrow is the third Sunday of the month. You are invited to bring non-perishable food to share in our outdoor food pantry.

A reminder that the study described below starts next Sunday evening. Nine meetings, bi-weekly between January 28 and some point in May.

On Sunday, January 28 I will be starting a new Zoom study. It will be mostly bi-weekly and will be at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday evenings. It will meet nine times between January 28 and some time towards the end of May (depending on any adjustments to the schedule). Again, bi-weekly. We will be reading the book The Magnificent Story: Uncovering a Gospel of Beauty, Goodness & Truth, by James Bryan Smith. Here is a description from the back of the book:

"What story have you been told about the gospel? About Jesus? About the Christian life? About yourself? Your answers to these questions will form a story that will determine how your life will go. The answers reveal your ability to trust, to love, to hope - and even your capacity for joy. Uncover the true story of beauty, goodness, and truth that will satisfy the ultimate longings of your heart."

This is not a pre-recorded video study (there is not a DVD). The Sunday evening hour long Zoom gatherings will focus on discussions of the readings (nine sessions - nine chapters) and how we understand their application in our lives. If you are interested, have questions, want to know how to get a copy of the book, talk to George.

Celebrate Life!

George


 

January 13, 2024

"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." –Walt Disney

This is my favorite quote from Walt Disney. It appears at the end of the 2007 movie "Meet The Robinsons." Life does not always go exactly the way we want it to go; there is just a lot that is out of our control. What we can have some control over is how we will meet all that uncertainty that is waiting for us. I think Walt's ideas - keep moving forward and staying curious - are two great directions for living in the world with which God has created. I believe God always has something ahead of us every day of our lives and that we are most likely to experience God when we are curious and attentive to all that each day offers.

***

A reminder that Sunday School will not meet tomorrow, but will be back next Sunday, January 21.

Rev. Beverly Maguffee will be preaching tomorrow at Hebron tomorrow and I really encourage you to come and hear what she has to share. Thanks to Pat Baker, Judy Morris and Leigh Shader who will also be sharing in worship leadership.

Celebrate Life!

George


 

January 6, 2024, The Day of Epiphany

"Speaking God, may we be willing to become what we pray for - evidence of your presence here on earth among us. Amen." -Joy J. Moore

Sharing this prayer as we being the new year. It's a prayer that makes a request to God, and also asks God to help us to live up to what we are praying for. Let's pray to be evidence of our loving God in our lives and relationships and be praying for God's help to make it so all throughout the coming year.

***

I will be preaching on the visit of the magi tomorrow in worship and we will have the 2024 Star Words on hand for you to meet yours!

***

On Sunday, January 28 I will be starting a new Zoom study. It will be mostly bi-weekly and will be at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday evenings. It will meet nine times between January 28 and some time towards the end of May (depending on any adjustments to the schedule). Again, bi-weekly. We will be reading the book The Magnificent Story: Uncovering a Gospel of Beauty, Goodness & Truth, by James Bryan Smith. Here is a description from the back of the book:

"What story have you been told about the gospel? About Jesus? About the Christian life? About yourself? Your answers to these questions will form a story that will determine how your life will go. The answers reveal your ability to trust, to love, to hope - and even your capacity for joy. Uncover the true story of beauty, goodness, and truth that will satisfy the ultimate longings of your heart."

This is not a video study (there is not a DVD). The Sunday evening hour long Zoom gatherings will focus on discussions of the readings (nine sessions - nine chapters) and how we understand their application in our lives. If you are interested, have questions, want to know how to get a copy of the book, talk to George.

***

We'll be staying after church to take down Christmas decorations tomorrow - it will be great if you can help!

Celebrate Life!

George