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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:
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3. Mail checks to First Presbyterian Church, 214 E Thayer Ave, Bismarck, ND 58501.
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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.
Pastor Leanne's Message for the month of October, 2023:
There is a place in Princeton that I truly miss this time of year. I used to walk my dog there on a daily basis. The trail began by crossing a revolutionary battlefield, to a roadway of Fall colors. The massive, ancient trees there turned amazingly glorious colors this time of year, one walked under a canopy of yellow on a path of fallen golden leaves. It was magical; it was breath-taking. The road took one to a wooded area that leads in a circle around lake of the Institute for Advance Studies; my dog would swim there. I loved the serenity of the place. It was quiet and holy.
Along the way, one encountered the old Stony Creek Quaker church and its cemetery. Dating back to 1726 (but still active for Sunday worship today), the stone structure and rough-hewn pews invited one to rest and contemplate. There is a Friend’s school there, where sometimes I could hear the children play. I often walked among the stone slab tombstones of the cemetery there, where saints, governors and signers of the Declaration of Independence were buried. I studied their names and marveled at their memories. I reflected on the ways that they had created the beautiful world in which I was walking a dog in utter bliss, peace, and joy.
Whenever October comes around, I long for that place, and yes, for that old cemetery and for that feeling. All Saint’s Day is coming, and it is an invitation to reflect on the history and people that have made us what we are. This being our 150th year, I have learned so much about the people who have made this church who we are – I have sat in our chapel and contemplated the changes that have happened over the years. It is a rich inheritance. When I came here, that history became my history, that heritage became my heritage.
But nothing has impacted me as much as the funerals I have performed since coming here. Early this year, there were 19 funerals between Christmas and March, the vast majority of them were for individuals who were close to 90, but not all. This was very significant to me. I have been here long enough to have experienced attachment and loss. I have also been here long enough to feel pride and inspiration in each life and to reflect on the ways they shaped my world. I have become attached to names of people I never knew, who passed away years before I got here; they are now part of my sense of meaning and purpose because I know what they meant to many of you.
The last day of October is All Saints Day, and on the first Sunday of November we will ruminate and celebrate the impact of those who have passed. We will call out the names in reverence at the table of the Lord, and it is my hope that in so doing, we can evoke the awe and gratitude that I used to feel in that old Quaker cemetery. It has been hard to see a generation pass into eternity, no matter how much such passings are part of the normal life cycle. But it has not been hard to feel joy about rich lives lived, gratitude for lives of support and service, and inspiration from stories of bravery, purpose, and humor. It makes me feel rich in the kind of wealth that really matters. Those who have passed never really go away. They are part of us now.
And the promise of God is still true – their lives will continue to take on meaning as we grow on the foundation they laid for us. Thanks be to God for the generations of First Presbyterian until we join them at the great table of God’s Kingdom.
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 12, 2023