*Mask wearing during our church Service is Optional.*
Pastor Leanne's Message for the month of August:
“Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes
that spoil the vineyards,
for our vineyards are in blossom.”
Song of Solomon 2:15
I was in 5th grade when my Sunday school teacher told me, “The Bible says it’s the little foxes that spoil the vine.” I was sure by then that I knew everything in the Bible (I did not) and I thought that like so many people when they tell you what is in the Bible, she made it up. So, I went and looked it up. It’s there, in the Song of Solomon, where a lover requests that the little foxes be caught before the vineyard is ruined as a place for a lover’s retreat. I decided that she was using it out of context, but that her point was still good. Sometimes it’s the little things that ruin the good ones – the untended, unimportant details that mess up the whole plan.
I was thinking about this while working in my garden, pulling up the Creeping Jenny that had emerged while I was away. I hate weeding, yet I know it’s necessary, and that it is easier to pull a small weed than a big one, so I usually don’t let it go too long untended. My mind was wandering, and I remembered years ago, moving into a house that some friends had vacated because they were divorcing. As I pulled the vines that threatened to smother the back yard growth, I wondered if the yard vines were a symbol of their life together. If, perhaps somehow, they had not paid attention to the little things which eventually smothered out their relationship. I remembered my mother, talking about the Parable of the Sower and the seed that allowed the cares of daily life to choke out its life as she made an analogy from her garden to my life.
In a world that demands we keep our focus on the big things, it is the little things that count; it is the little things that sneak up on us. We necessarily focus on our jobs, our money, our responsibilities and forget to pay attention to how we feel, what our bodies are telling us, what our loved ones or are or are not communicating, what God might be saying. Small habits of neglect and inattention become big issues of pain and loss – all because we forgot that it’s the little foxes that spoil the vine.
It important to take time to pay attention to the little things, to tend to our lives, our loves, our faith and our interests, so that we do not miss out on all God offers us in this life. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 13 -
3And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. 7Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9He who has ears, let him hear.”
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 “do what 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:
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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.