Pastor Leanne's Message for the month of February 2024:
“Standin’ In the Need of Prayer”
February takes us to the season of Lent. Ash Wednesday arrives early in the month (the 14th!) with a soup supper provided by our youth at 5:30 p.m. and Ash Wednesday service at 7:00 p.m. Then, for the next five weeks, it is traditional to emphasize spiritual disciplines such as prayer, fasting, abstinence and almsgiving. Many people will choose something to “give up” as a sign of their willingness to endure self-denial for the sake of Christ. Lent has followed this pattern for centuries; millions of souls have found meaning and nurture in the Lenten traditions.
For this year’s observance of Lent, I intend to focus on the act of prayer. Prayer is so central to the Christian life, and is one of the topics that Jesus repeatedly taught and emphasized. Without prayer, any other discipline we undertake risks becoming empty action or void ritual. Prayer connects us with the agency of the Spirit which makes us alive to greater possibilities in the life of the Divine.
On Sundays, I will be preaching a series about “Praying the Psalms” and we will walk with the Psalmist through various emotional states and expressions of faith. Sometimes, we will find the Psalmist in exuberance that God is listening to those prayers, other times, we will join the Psalmist in fear or discouragement and share in the meaning of prayers of need. In prayer, our voice will connect with the voice of God; we will be reminded that God is in control and we are not alone in this world.
On Tuesdays at noon, Feb 27th, Mar 5th and 19th, we will gather for a soup luncheon, then hear from special speakers (TBA)
on prayer in their own traditions. Following that, we will, of course, pray.
Then, on the Saturday of the Great Vigil, March 30th, those who desire to pray will meet will me in the chapel, as we will pray for the needs of our congregation.
Prayer is especially important in a world where we sense that so many things are out of our control. The scripture teaches us that prayer changes us, yes, but it also asserts that “prayer changes things.” God listens, God answers and God acts. Through a Lenten season of prayer, we will give ourselves to the presence of God and anticipate divine answers. Let us pray.
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
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:
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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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