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IN MEMORIAM
Please keep the families of
Mary Niles & Marcia Winn
in your prayers

PRAYER LIST
Please keep members of our
Church Family in your prayers:


Bob Cross
Lucy Diener
Philip & Roseanne Frye
Bev Grant

Olga Kehoe
Natalie Klohck


And any prayers
you may have in your heart

FlowersBobBarr

Consider this—
God, thank You for the beautiful promise of a home. Please bring peace to our world, and provide for the needs of all of Your children.
God promises His children a peaceful home in His kingdom.
.
(Our Daily Bread
June-August)



InstallationCharge
Rev. Leonard Sponaugle receives the charge during his installation

 

Sermons & Prayers

LeonardWeb

PASTOR'S PONDERINGS

2 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be reg-istered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was en-gaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to de-liver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
Luke 2:1-7

For me, the Christmas Eve sermon has always been the hardest to create; I don't know why. Many of my preacher colleagues find the Easter sermon all but impossible to write. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose. Still it bothers me that I find a particular sermon so difficult. The good news is that I have found the wherewithal for two decades to present something that has been worshipful.

Still I puzzle as to why! Is it the audience? Christmas Eve worship typically has the most occasional or first time visitors of any service of the year. Do I let myself get too worked up in my desire to win them over? Maybe? However, it is such a great subject to preach about. How can it be hard to find words for: a baby, hope, Messiah, God with us or Emanuel?

Perhaps it is because I have never settled on exactly what the subject of the Christmas Eve sermon should be? Is it about the baby? Is it about the Messiah? Is it about Emanuel or God joining us as one of us? Is it about hope? Is it about what we really need? … It is about all of that and more. And don't forget kids are in the pews getting fidgety, parents have dinners on timers, and some presents still need to be assembled. That is to say a full (20) minutes sermon would not be a kind thing to do.

Probably it is simply impossible to describe the event and the implications in its entirety in the available time. Can a typical human even put to words an adequate description of a thing that could only be thought by God? No human would ever of thought of this - GOD AS A BABY!
Don't worry Christmas Eve worship will be meaningful and joyful - the sermon will be prepared. In the meantime, I invite you to contemplate the Incarnation (full fancy word for God becoming human) and pick out the one thing that grabs you, puzzles you, or fills you with joy the most. Maybe this Christmas Eve we will have landed upon the same thing.

CAPITAL CAMPAIGN UPDATE
We are almost a year into our Capital Campaign and there is much to celebrate. Close to $40,000.00 has been given, and more has been pledged.

I want to remind those for whom strategic giving is helpful that the end of the year for tax purposes is December 31st. We can receive appreciated assets through the church's brokerage.

A quick reminder of the purpose and specific goals of the campaign is available in each of the pews with our campaign brochure.

This building makes so much ministry possible; thanks to all of you who are already contributing to the campaign, and a bigger thanks to those of you that will take this opportunity to join it..

Faithfully,
Pastor Leonard


Email for Pastor Leonard: pastor@johnstownpresbyterian.org

FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
37 S. Market St., Johnstown, NY 12095
Ph: 518.762.8263 Fax: 518.762.2981
Email: office@johnstownpresbyterian.org