*Mask wearing during our church Service is Optional.*
Pastor Leanne's Message for the month of September:
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing
power is from God and not from us.
2 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV)
I have always wondered about the Apostle Paul’s physical well-being. Certainly, he had a keen mind and a powerful personality with lots of drive… but his life was so full of physical effort. What was that like? Ancient, unsubstantiated accounts of his self-presentation are not generous: they describe him as short and bow-legged, with a large nose, and weak, runny eyes. There are suggestions that he was nearly blind, and yes, perhaps that when he spoke, he spit. Who knows, of course, those suggestions do not come from reliable sources.
But we do know what he himself said about his life experiences: “I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked” (2 Cor. 11:23-27).
I have wondered, with a life like that, what was the toll his many injuries took on his body? Did he ache when he walked? Was his back scarred and painful? When he got up in the morning and began to move around, did he groan and require time to loosen up? Many of us know the consequences of lives of heavy lifting and hard labor without ever having been beaten or abused. It seems to me that the Apostle could not have escaped the aches and pains that come as a result of a hard life.
Perhaps that is why we described our existences as “a treasure which is contained in a fragile clay vessel.” He knew the limitations of the body, the pain and the hinderance it can be when a vibrant, active mind with energetic aspirations is stuck coping with a body that cannot keep up. But as difficult as that can be, he never seems to speak of it as an insurmountable hinderance. In fact, for him, that makes it all the more beautiful that God works through us, and it is evidence that God’s ongoing grace and power is not confined to the limits we perceive in ourselves. God is at work in us, in all situations, and God has gifted us with a role to play in the Kingdom, despite our human frailties.
We can be so hard on ourselves, get so impatient with our weaknesses and self-demeaning with the changes our bodies experience. We can think that we have reached a point where we are useless to others and to God. We tell ourselves that we are not equipped to make much of a difference. We get restless to be young again, to be stronger, or prettier, or more athletic or more mobile. But maybe it’s time to listen to the Apostle, who summed up our embodied lives in one way: it’s about God, and that makes it good. Just as we are, we matter.
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.
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If you have any questions regarding COVID-19 contact the North Dakota Department of Health:
Together, we will continue to make progress and come out strong.
2022 Health Fair
Thursday, September 29th
10:00AM - 2:00PM
Click on the Button Below for Details!
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:
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.
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.