Christmas Cantata Rehearsals Wednesday 6:30pm

The Mystery and the Majesty
The Christmas Cantata at First Presbyterian has and is a fun time for singers to gather for 12 weeks to prepare for sharing the Good News through music. The Christmas Cantata being planned for this year is “the Mystery and the Majesty” by Joseph M. Martin. From the jubilant glories to gentle manger lullabies, this inspirational cantata celebrates the wonder and splendor of Christmas! Traditional carols and newly composed seasonal anthems blend with thoughtful narration to help create a meaningful experience for our community of faith. Titles include: A Christmas Flourish; Carol of Longing; Advent Jubilation; The Coming Joy; Upon a Midnight Clear; A Call to Christmas Joy; Journey to Bethlehem; The Beautiful Impossible and A Noel Proclamation. We have professionally made CDs available for learning parts. We could use a few more tenors.  Sign up sheet is in the music room or email Kris at

Cantata rehearsals: Wed evenings Sept. 12th through Dec. 12th
Dress rehearsal Sat., Dec. 15th at 10:30am
Performance Sun., Dec. 16th during 10:30am worship service

Kris Bartelt
Worship Coordinator, First Presbyterian

Creative Arts-February Mtg

Creative Arts February 8, 2018

Pastor Jack opened the meeting with prayer.

Ash Wednesday February 14th — connecting item: hearts –

Topic of reconciliation
God’s Progressive Covenants
1. God will practice self-restraint, sign rainbow (Noah)
Rainbows will arrive on February 14th
     February 18th connecting item: rainbow
What are you letting go of?
Name of the table–Place for change. Rainbow, laminate of heart image. Basket for the cards.
Plastic stand with instructions.

  1. God is asking for a willingness to take steps (Abram and Sarai)
    February 25th connecting item: cross
    3. Gift of a higher law 12 tribes that do not get along with each (Moses)
    March 4th connecting item: 3 x 5 cards rainbow 
    4. Gift of grace. (Jesus)
         March 11th connecting item: square head nails are here
    5. Law of God written on our hearts
         March 18th connecting item: a mustard seed, etched stones
    6. Palm Sunday – Christ offering peace in Jerusalem?
         March 25th connecting item: Palm branches

Brainstorming for Summer:
Anxiety: Being isolated, disconnected, situations in China/Korea, health care
Don’t Worry, Be Happy – bridge over denial?
Giant Jack -in- the – Box – What anxiety will pop up this week?
Seems like more people are looking out for number 1 and a level of compassion is lost.

Assignment: visual focal point for anxiousness?

Next meeting March 22, 2018

Angel Choir

Pre-school thru 1st Grade

Angel Choir – Angel Choir is for children Pre-School-1st Grade.
Angel Choir meets on Sundays from 9:15-9:30am starting September 14th. The children learn songs with actions and bring great joy to our worship once a month at the beginning of the 10:30am service.
Director: Cheryl Clarenbach,

The Truth Will Set You Free – After it Makes You Miserable

Nehemiah 8:1-12

An important part of our relationship with God through the scriptures is that we are confronted and challenged by the scriptures. It is concerning that many manage to read the bible and find only what confirms their point of view. Worse yet are those who manage to filter their resources, studies, and friends so that they may be free from any confrontation to their previously held assumptions or beliefs. Because without these encounters which challenge our thinking, we cannot hope to grow in our faith.

This is the power of the scriptures, to challenge the way we see ourselves and to replace that point of view with God’s opinion of us. On the one hand God’s opinion is quite gratifying because let’s face it, God has made huge sacrifices to free us from our sins and to heal our lives. God loves us and cares more about us than we even care for ourselves. On the days in which we are feeling worthless and weak God speaks and says: “I have even kept track of the number of hairs on your head.” (Matthew 10:29-31) But at the same time God reminds us that we have failed to love our neighbors, that we are arrogant, greedy, and foolish. As we open our hearts to hear God speak to us through the scriptures we tend to see ourselves anew. And this becomes a source of growth in faith and wisdom.

When the people of Israel returned from bondage they had no knowledge of who they were. They knew of what had been before all of the destruction. And they knew themselves as slaves living in a foreign land. But they did not have any type of image of themselves as faithful people living in the land and fulfilling the purpose for which they were created. The reading of the scriptures with understanding gave them a picture of themselves, an understanding of their purpose for being. And that gave them a new start for shaping their lives. This resulted in tears and in a call for celebration. The tears were because as they formed this picture of who they were created to be, they felt overwhelmed by how far they had fallen. They struggled with how much they needed to rebuild, both in their city and in their own hearts. They were profoundly broken people.

But there was also a call to celebration. The celebration was to be a rejoicing for what God had accomplished in bringing them home. The celebration was to be shared with people who were less fortunate, because an important part of the identity wasn’t about who they were as individuals but who they would be as a people. They needed a party to acknowledge that God would not leave them in their present state, but would walk with them as they rebuilt their lives.

The gift of the Word of God to us is that it has the ability to give this same sense of our identity, our purpose as God created us. Our reason for reading and studying the bible is to grow in that image, to gain more understanding of what it is God wants to accomplish in and through us. And in that process we are sometimes caused to shed tears at how far we’ve fallen short. But it is also our source of great joy in what God can accomplish with us, and through us.
Pastor Jack

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