Church

Weekly Announcements

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now listing these online as well every week – this link will be updated

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WEEKLY CHURCH CALENDAR
Linda is in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Every Sunday
Choir Practice 9:00 a.m.
Worship Service 10:00 a.m.

Every Monday
Laurie’s Sabbath; call for emergencies.  Other needs can wait or call Elders Catherine Ravitch or Shirley Hagelberg-Klemish

Every Tuesday
Food Pantry Open 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Bible Study 10:00 a.m.
Pub Theology 7:30 p.m. @ The Livery

Every Thursday
Food Pantry Open 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Prayer 5:15 p.m.
Community Supper 6:00 p.m.
Choir Practice 6:30 p.m.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Sunday, February 18, 2018 — First Sunday in Lent
10:00 a.m.-Worship with Pastor Laurie preaching and special music by Lodie Elliott.
After worship — NEW MEMBERS’ Class
After worship — Spiritual Life Committee meeting
6:00 p.m.–Community Prayer meeting for the School District at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church; 1105 East Main Street in Benton Harbor

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
5:45 p.m. Trustees; 6:30 p.m. Session

Sunday, February 25, 2018 — Second Sunday in Lent
10:00 a.m. — Worship with Pastor Laurie preaching and the choir singing!
Jackie Baker will sing a very special solo with the choir; you won’t want to miss it!
After worship — ANNUAL SOUL FOOD FEAST!
12:30 p.m. — ICE Youth Group meeting.  

Sunday, March 4, 2018
10:00 a.m. — Worship with Elder Maurice Burton, from Refreshing Fountains Church of God in Christ, preaching.  

Sunday, March 11, 2018
10:00 a.m.  — Worship with Pastor Laurie preaching and the Lord’s Supper.
After worship — ICE Youth Group
After worship — NEW MEMBERS’ Class
4:00 p.m. — ARTSBRIDGE program featuring the Southwestern Michigan College Chamber Group directed by David Carew and mixed media art by Brian Cooley.

Saturday, March 17, 2018
9:00 a.m. — Presbytery of Lake Michigan meets at First Presbyterian Church in Paw Paw. Nancy Thompson will be our elder commissioner; Daniel Van Beek will serve as General Assembly commissioner.
Evening — Youth Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser.  More details will be forthcoming.  

Sunday, March 18, 2018
10:00 a.m. — Worship with Pastor Laurie preaching

DETAILED ANNOUNCEMENTS

WE ARE BLESSED TO WELCOME MRS. LODIE ELLIOTT as a guest soloist in worship today.  Thank you, Mrs. Elliott for sharing your faith and talent with us!

THE LORD’S SUPPER IN MARCH  Because Laurie will be gone on March 4, we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper on March 11 in worship.  We will also celebrate the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, March 29 and on Easter Sunday, April 1.  

PRAYER MEETINGS FOR THE SCHOOL DISTRICT  The Ministerial Alliance is going to be starting a weekly prayer meeting with a focus on our youth, children and the schools.  The first meeting will be Sunday night, February 18 at 6:00 p.m. at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church.  All community members are encouraged to attend and/or be in prayer for our school board, superintendent, children, youth, teachers and administrators.  

LENTEN DEVOTIONALS AVAILABLE! The Presbyterian Church USA has published a Lenten Devotional entitled “Jesus and the Prophets.”  Each family is welcome to take one and is encouraged to use them in daily devotions during Lent.  They are free of charge, but if you would like to help the church pay for them, you can put $2 in the can next to the stack in the narthex.  There are also  some other devotionals in a basket for your use.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH  We celebrate Black History month during worship at First Presbyterian Church.  All church members are invited to wear black, red and/or green during the month.  This year we will weave spirituals into each worship service as we continue our journey through Mark’s Gospel.  George Barfield will preach on Sunday, February 11 and Maurice Burton will preach on Sunday, March 4.  The choir, Sharon Hurse, Lodie Elliott and others will offer special music!  Invite your friends!

SOUL FOOD FEAST!  We will hold our annual Soul Food Feast on Sunday, February 25 after worship.  All members and friends are invited to bring a dish of “soul food” to pass.  There is a sign up sheet in the hallway.  This is a fabulous time.  Bring your friends.  There is always plenty of food!

MARK YOUR CALENDAR!  MARCH 17 is the day for the BIG ANNUAL YOUTH SPAGHETTI SUPPER CAMP HENRY FUNDRAISER!  More details will be coming soon.  Rumor has it that some church leaders may be taking pies in the face again this year.  

YOUTH GROUP SNACKS  Chips and salsa, fruit, granola bars, baked goods, crackers and cheese.  Our youth love snacks and we can always use donations.  Talk to Julie!

ONLINE DONATIONS  Did you know you can pay your pledge and/or make donations to the church online with a credit card?  Just go to the church webpage:

firstpresbh.org and click on the “donate” button.  We now can also take PAYPAL donations for “Open Wide” via this email:  Openwidefpcbh@gmail.com.

OPEN WIDE OUR FRONT DOOR  We are going to BUILD this Spring and early Summer!  How, you ask?  We have about $545,000+ in our fund thanks to all our generous donors.  If you have pledged to Open Wide, please keep up with that pledge.  We are working with the architect on downgrading some of the plans (example, using residential windows instead of commercial grade windows, etc.) and need to raise about $105,000 so we can move ahead with this project.  We are always accepting new donations!  It’s exciting!!

 

 

 

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE JEREMIAH 8:18-22                         NRSV

My joy is gone, grief is upon me, my heart is sick.  Hark, the cry of my poor people from far and wide in the land: “Is the Lord not in Zion?  Is her King not in her?” (“Why have they provoked me to anger with their images, with their foreign idols?”) “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”  For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt, I mourn, and dismay has taken hold of me.  Is there no balm in Gilead?  Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of my poor people not been restored?  

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE             MARK 2:1-12                       NRSV

When he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and take your mat and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.” And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

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ArtsBridge Brings Music + Art to You!

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All programs start at 4 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church and are absolutely free.

 

Rev. Laurie Hartzell, who is the minister at this church, commented about ArtsBridge: “In a community that is often known for its racial and socio-economic divisions, ArtsBridge provides a safe space where people can come together through the creative and performing arts. There is incredible talent throughout our community—what a joy to share in it together.”

Admission is free, donations accepted. A reception will follow the program.

All programs start at 4 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church and are absolutely free.

Past Events of this Season:

Sunday – February 4, 2018 – 10th Poetry Reading – AT 2:00 P.M.!

ArtsBridge will present its 10th Poetry Reading at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, February 4, 2018 at First Presbyterian Church, 475 Green Avenue on Morton Hill in Benton Harbor, MI. Poetry lovers of all ages are invited to attend and read a poem they wrote or simply listen. Possible topics may include nature, feelings ranging from love to loss, diversity, spirituality, and more.

Isabel Jackson, who is the event organizer, commented: “This (event) will take place in an intimate and non-intimidating setting. Attendees may read their own work or have someone else read it. Participation is highly encouraged. All present will have the option to simply listen.”

Sunday – November 19 – Thanksgiving & Praise Concert & Exhibit

ArtsBridge presents Thanksgiving and Praise Concert and Exhibion Sunday, November 19 4:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church475 Green Avenue on Morton Hill in Benton Harbor, Michigan. This program features organist, Perry Heppler, All God’s Children Community Choir and David Smykal’s reclaimed wood art. Admission is free and donations accepted.

 

Sunday – October 15 – 9th Annual Poetry Reading
ArtsBridge will present its 9th Poetry Reading at 4:00 p.m. Sunday, October 15, 2017 at First Presbyterian Church, 475 Green Avenue on Morton Hill in Benton Harbor, MI. Poetry lovers of all ages are invited to attend and read a poem they wrote or simply listen. Possible topics may include nature, feelings ranging from love to loss, diversity, spirituality, and more.

Isabel Jackson Photo

Isabel Jackson, who is the event organizer, commented: “This (event) will take place in an intimate and non-intimidating setting. Attendees may read their own work or have someone else read it. Participation is highly encouraged. All present will have the option to simply listen.”

Sunday – September 24 – Three Pianists Concert & Exhibit
ArtsBridge presents Three Pianists Concert and Exhibion Sunday, September 24 4:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 475 Green Avenue on Morton Hill in Benton Harbor, Michigan. This program features pianists Joshua Goines, Susan Burkholz, and David Brock plus ceramic artist Jerry SirkAdmission is free and donations acceptedFor more details visit FirstPresBH.org/ArtsBridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FirstPresBH.org/ArtsBridge.

 

More great events coming soon!

 

 

Online Art Auction for Open Wide

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Everyone, this is super exciting. Thanks to the dedication of members, friends and others wanting us to succeed in our OPEN WIDE OUR FRONT DOOR campaign, we are running an online art auction from September 22 until October 21. It all culminates with an Open Wide Open House that closes the art auction and provides a celebration and gathering of friends of the project and the community at large.

Check out the ART AUCTION – Opens Friday September 22!

Check out the event notices on Facebook too!

 

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Grand Haven First Drops By!

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Look who stopped by on Sunday! What a blessing to have so much support from Grand Haven First Presbyterian this past Sunday. George Barfield, former deacon at Benton Harbor First, preached and brought his wife Sara Shambarger and lots of wonderful friends! (Our own Sylvia Van Beek even photobombed the group photo!)

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Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Service

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First Presbyterian Church is proud to partner with the Southwest Michigan Ministerial Alliance and the Berrien County Association of Churches to present a service of Unity and Hope in celebration of the life of Dr. King.

Join us TONIGHT at 6:30 at Union Memorial AME Church in Benton Harbor.

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Thrivent Choice Donations

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Thrivent members can now dedicate their Thrivent Choice dollars to First Presbyterian Church of Benton Harbor and/or our Open Wide Our Front Door campaign.

Thrivent Choice Dollars® directions can help First Presbyterian Church!

Choice Dollars charitable grant funds can make a world of difference to our ministry as we work together to bring our community together in the racial reconciliation of Christ’s love. By directing Choice Dollars, eligible Thrivent members recommend where they feel Thrivent should distribute a portion of its charitable grant funds. Directing Choice Dollars is easy. Simply go to Thrivent.com/thriventchoice to learn more and find program terms and conditions. Or call 800-847-4836 and say “Thrivent Choice” after the prompt.

Thrivent Choice® makes a meaningful impact

Think of the impact you—along with other eligible Thrivent members—can help make by directing Choice Dollars® to First Presbyterian Church. The grant funding we receive from Thrivent Financial through this program can help us expand the space for our youth and welcome the community to partner with us in many ministry programs.

Directing Choice Dollars is easy. Simply go to Thrivent.com/thriventchoice to learn more and find program terms and conditions. Or call 800-847-4836 and say “Thrivent Choice” after the prompt. Together, we can do even more to help strengthen communities and change lives.

 

Art in Worship

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Renowned watercolor artist David Baker led us in worship this past Sunday (September 25) and it was at capacity. More than 75 people participated in a unique art expressions for our worship as we explored our motto — ROOTS DOWN, BRANCHES OUT. What a blessing for David to do this and our own artists, Joan Judd, Arianne Baker, and Peter Helm, pitched in and led a rewarding and exquisite cultural and worshipful experience.

We also dedicate David Baker’s piece, “The Autumnal Equinox,” to our church sanctuary. This watercolor is a meaningful and powerful picture of “Roots Down, Branches Out.”  You can see more of his work at dbakerart.com.