Pastor Leanne's Message for the month of February, 2023:
From the Heidelberg Catechism
Question: What is your only comfort in life and in death?
Answer: That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death— to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.
He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.
He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.
February – the month of “Love” – or so it would seem, just walking through the stores, all gaudy with pink and red hearts and chocolate candy everywhere. Not my favorite holiday, I admit… I have always thought of it as a time for businesses to make money on cards and flowers and a day that puts pressure on couples; I think it is sort of strange to set apart a day for love, because genuine love has a life and season of its own and expresses itself best when it is unrestrained. Although I supposed it is good to schedule a reminder to show our love to those we treasure, love cannot be designated to one day a year.
But this year, I find myself contemplating the love of God, which is expressed to us through Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul himself prayed that his converts would “have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:18,19) And, while human love has seasons with high points and low points, God’s love is consistent and unchanging. We are amazingly and infinitely loved. “No greater love has a person than this, than to lay down one’s life for another,” Jesus said – and then, he did it. The above confession says it all – we are deeply, intimately completely loved by God.
As pure and deep as God’s love is, we often have a difficult time sensing the truth of it – not because we are bad, but because we are human. Our work schedules, our moods, our ability to be with the people of God, the good and bad days of our lives – all of these affect us and sometimes we can wonder if its real, or if we are worth loving. We are not alone in that – even the saints of scripture wondered:
But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.”
15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; (Isaiah 49)
I don’t know how this year has begun for you – but for some in our number, it has gotten off to a rough start. So, hear the word of the Lord as we move on in the year: You are loved. You are valued. You are cared for. You belong to God.
The Scholarship Committee of First Presbyterian Church is pleased to announce the availability of a limited number of scholarships for our church community. To be eligible for consideration to receive a scholarship, a student must be an active member of First Presbyterian Church of Bismarck or must have been an active participant in the life of First Presbyterian Church of Bismarck for at least three years. The awards are given for students at any level of study beyond high school. Four years is the maximum for receiving scholarships: these need not be consecutive years. Graduate students may apply for scholarships, providing they are within the four year maximum. The deadline to apply is May 13th, 2022.
DO YOU HAVE A NEED?
ARE YOU WILLING TO HELP?
We encourage you to continue to love your neighbor well at this time. Hebrews 13:16 challenges us to“dowhat is good and to share, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”Thank you for being the Church.
Are you in need of assistance that you can not get help? Email firstpresbyterian@fpcbismarck or call 701-223-6091 and let us know how we can help.
WAYS TO GIVE:
For those who are unable to worship with us in church, here are a few ways that you can continue to give:
1. Online bill pay with your banking institution.
2. Click on the "Give Now" button above to donate today.
3. Mail checks to First Presbyterian Church, 214 E Thayer Ave, Bismarck, ND 58501.
check our calendar for upcoming important dates/services
is a Community called to love God through Worship and Prayer, receiving and serving our neighbors with the compassion of Christ, open to new beginnings and the spiritual growth of children, youth and adults.
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Together, we will continue to make progress and come out strong.
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