FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH of JOHNSTOWN
37 South Market St., Johnstown, New York 12095
The Reverend Leonard Sponaugle, Pastor
Phone: (518) 762-8263
Fax: (518) 762-2981
WORSHIP and CHURCH SCHOOL begin at 10:30 A.M.
Church School and Youth Group meet September—Mid June
Handicap access via Clinton Street entrance — elevator available
HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE
Maundy Thursday Potluck Dinner @ 6pm; Service @ 7pm
Good Friday Joint Service with Mayfield Presbyterian Church &
Broadalbin Presbyterian Church @ 7pm in Broadalbin
Council of Churches Easter Egg Hunt in Downtown Johnstown Park @ 10am
Awakening Breakfast in Fellowship Hall @ 9am
Worship and Communion @ 10:30am
In case of inclement weather, the closing of church or other activities
will be announced on WENT (1340AM) or on the church answering machine
PASTOR'S ARTICLE FOR APRIL
Mark 12:18-27: Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, saying, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. There were seven brothers; the first married and, when he died, left no children; and the second married the widow and died, leaving no children; and the third likewise; none of the seven left children. Last of all the woman herself died. In the resurrection whose wife will she be? For the seven had married her."
Jesus said to them, "Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the story about the bush, how God said to him, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is God not of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong."
It is likely that as you are reading this article you are thinking about what clothes you will be wearing to worship Easter Sunday - Easter is almost here. Not even words like, "the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior" can quite describe what it means. The promise of Easter is that there is more than what we now experience as all there is. Another way to say it is that "life continues beyond the body".
There has always been much speculation about what the more will be like; or how we will exist without our present bodies. Personally, I don't think about this a great deal. When I have it is this passage from Mark's Gospel that has been the most helpful. Jesus is boldly declaring that humans continue beyond our bodies, and that our existence will be very different than from what we experience here.
Now what I have spent my time in ministry being hyper-focused on is grasping what the implications of the promise of resurrection are. I am sure of two things. The first, because we are promised more than this earthly existence, there is the real possibility of justice even when in the moment it doesn't seem possible. Recently I presided at a funeral for an infant a hard and horrible privilege. Part of what made it possible for me to offer hope and comfort in that moment is the promise that that baby has continued beyond this place into another realm. The second, because there is more than this, it should be easier to regulate our wants. Simply put, because we have more time, surely we can grab less on this earth, thereby leaving more for others.
The celebration of Easter should be glorious because the hope it announces is fantastic. I look forward to celebrating it with you.
SPRING CONTINUING EDUCATION
What does it mean to be Presbyterian? Would you like to have a good answer to that question? If your answer is yes, then I can help you. We will be studying, Presbyterian Faith That Lives Today by Donald K. McKim. Starting Sunday April 19th we will gather in the Knox Room at 1:30 p.m. for an hour. I will lecture for about 20 minutes followed by a discussion. Expect to prepare by reading about 25 pages each week. I anticipate it will take five or six sessions to get through the book. Presbyterians have unique characteristics that set us apart from other denominations. One of the most interesting things we will marvel at is how our Presbyterian ways of understanding God get expressed, or lived out, in the local church. I look forward to us learning together.