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13th Sunday After Pentecost & Baptism of James Allen Porter

Dear Church:

Please, if you haven't already made a way to be present in worship on Sunday, change your schedule! God has created us to be in community, and this Sunday our community will be celebrating the baptism of baby Jamie Porter, giving us the command to nurture this little one in his faith throughout his life. We will worship God with music, with the assistance of Ryan with his puppet, George, as well as with the reading of the Holy Scriptures and the challenge of the sacred story. We will pray for one another and for members, Grant Venema and Ashley Carlisle, joining together in Christian marriage. We will also give thanks for the Holben family as they celebrate their son's, Parker Holben's, marriage this weekend. We will consider how we might go into all the world with the love of Jesus Christ that we profess is "for everyone born." We welcome YOU into worship this Sunday in person or on Facebook.

The Lord be with you!

Grace and peace.

Pastor Katie


I’ve been meaning to ask. . . where do we go from here?

by Rev. Aisha Brooks-Johnson (Brooks-Lytle)

Draw The Circle Wider:

I have a true confession. I am a rule follower. I love things that are done decently and in order. I find comfort in knowing that there are rules and regulations, standards, do’s and don’ts in our daily lives. Rule followers must always keep one thing in mind: sometimes the rules change. As a devout Jew, Peter had been raised to follow spiritual and ritualistic laws passed down from generation to generation. These rules were established to set apart the people of God. The rules were set to create space and rhythm around work, worship, and daily living. The rules were woven into the lives of the people as expressed through prophets, priests, and kings.

And then there was Jesus. Peter followed Jesus in his earthly ministry. Jesus was known to take rules and redefine what it meant to embody those rules. Jesus healed on the Sabbath. Jesus dined with tax collectors and sex workers. Jesus called people to stop hiding in trees, whispered truths to seekers in the middle of the night, and told people to stand up tall for there was no one to throw stones any longer. Peter was a first-hand witness to Christ’s ministry of inclusion and the incarnational ministry of drawing the circle wide.

In Acts, we find Peter established as the pioneer of the first church. Peter was a rule follower, not perfect, but passionate about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Passionate rule followers must participate in the spiritual practice of worshiping the One who makes the rules and not the rules in and of themselves. As a fellow rule follower, I can only imagine Peter’s reaction to this vision of a sheet filled with ritualistically unclean foods. I can only imagine Peter’s thought process of being asked to kill and eat these unclean things. I can only imagine the struggle of digesting the divine message declaring, “What God has made clean, you must not call profane.” (Acts 10:15)


Upcoming Events

September 4 at 10:30 a.m.: 13th Sunday After Pentecost & Baptism of James Allen Porter

September 5: Wedding of Ashley Carlisle to Grant Venema

September 5: Office closed for Labor Day

September 7 at 6 p.m.: First Wednesday Night Potluck

September 10 at 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.: FPC Open House

September 11 at 10:30 a.m.: 14th Sunday After Pentecost & Holy Communion

September 14 at 4 p.m.: Session Meeting


The Way Home

by Rev. Sarah Are

Do you think,

when they got to the end of the

Edmund Pettus bridge

they asked,

“Where do we go from here?”

Do you think,

when the church voted for all

people to preach and lead

that they asked,

“Where do we go from here?”

Do you think,

when your parents had their first fight

with you sleeping peacefully in the next room,

that they asked in hushed voices,

“Where do we go from here?”

Do you think that maybe people

have been asking this question

for as long as we’ve been asking questions?

I don’t know for sure,

but I do know that I want to ask hard questions with you.

So here it goes—

“Where are you from?

Where does it hurt?

What do you need?

And where do we go from here?”

I pray,

I trust,

I believe—

if we keep asking,

we just might find our way home.


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