August Newsletter Article (and a New Sermon Series)

Dear Peace Family,

August has arrived. At Peace Presbyterian Church, August is a symbol of our heritage as a church, the month we celebrate our Homecoming. This month, we are looking back at more than seven decades of rich history as a body…and looking ahead at our future as we enter a new season of seeking God’s guidance as we consider how our resources might impact our neighborhood or community for the Kingdom of God.

This month, we will turn to scripture’s songbook and explore the diverse prayer offerings of the book of Psalms. Each Sunday, we will examine a different Psalm and consider how these ancient words meet us in our modern world. We will interact with these pieces of music and prayer, and learn what it meant for the Psalmists, and for us, to pray prayers of praise, confession, lament, and intercession.

August 5: A Hymn of Praise (Psalm 136)
On Homecoming Sunday, there’s so much to celebrate and many reasons for joy.As we thank God for the history and fellowship represented in our church body, we’ll turn to Psalm 136, a hymn about God’s enduring, steadfast love. We’ll look closely at the One worthy of our praise, how we offer these praises, and why praising God is an important prayer discipline.

August 12: A Prayer of Confession (Psalm 51)
Each Sunday, toward the beginning of our service, we pray a prayer of confession, an important part of liturgy for people who live lives that often lack any resemblance to God’s holiness. King David also came to a place in his life when he was called to confession and met God with honest words about sin and guilt, and his words give us a model for our own prayers. On this Sunday, we’ll examine this prayer and look at the words we use to confess our own sins to God.

August 19: An Honest Lament (Psalm 55)
We don’t always feel like praising God. Sometimes, it seems like God has forgotten us and left us on our own to deal with grief, sorrow, betrayal, and the violence raging around us. In those moments, we need words of lament, and we may take comfort in knowing that our scripture does not exclude the honest, raw prayers of people crying out from dark places. On this Sunday, we’ll make space for sorrow and sadness, and look at how we approach God in these seasons.

August 26: A Prayer for God’s Action (Psalm 141)
Often when we think of prayer, we are thinking about intercessory prayer, the prayers that request God’s healing, direction, and action in our lives and the lives of our loved ones. This Psalm guides us in praying for ourselves and others, and teaches us about a God who hears us and calls us to righteous living, by his grace. We’ll think about how it is we pray, and how we form our intercessory prayers as a congregation and as individuals.

I look forward to an opportunity in preaching from Psalms and considering the many ways we have to pray and seek God. May God continue to inspire us through the depth and width of scripture!

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Becky

Sermon: Mark 6:30-44

Yesterday’s sermon on Mark 6:30-44 (read out of the RSV).

Mark 6:30-44

30The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 34As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. 35When it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late; 36send them away so that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy something for themselves to eat.” 37But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?” 38And he said to them, “How many loaves have you? Go and see.” When they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40So they sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties. 41Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all.42And all ate and were filled; 43and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.

Sermon: Mark 6:14-29

We are still figuring out how to position the camera for good sound quality. We missed our mark a little bit this week! Turn up your speakers, brothers and sisters!

Mark 6:14-29

King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some weresaying, ‘John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him.’ But others said, ‘It is Elijah.’ And others said, ‘It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.’ But when Herod heard of it, he said, ‘John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.’

 For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her. For John had been telling Herod, ‘It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.’ And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.’ And he solemnly swore to her, ‘Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.’ She went out and said to her mother, ‘What should I ask for?’ She replied, ‘The head of John the baptizer.’Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, ‘I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.’ The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her. Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb. 

Sermon: Mark 6:1-13


Mark 6:1-13

He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.

Then he went about among the villages teaching. He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

July 2018 Newsletter Article

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Grace and Peace in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! As I write this piece for our July Newsletter, my husband, Jason, and I are in the midst of packing up our home and saying “don’t forget to visit us!” to our family and friends in Henderson, KY. We are excited to be with the congregation of Peace Presbyterian Church on July 1!

As I have reflected on my ordination and upcoming installation at Peace, I have prayerfully set a pastoral mission statement.

As the pastor of Peace Presbyterian Church, my mission is to make the written word and the Living Word of God known and call disciples to labor for the coming Kingdom of God.

I come to you with a degree in Biblical Studies, a seminary education, and lots of years studying scripture and teaching it to people of all ages. As I seek to make the written word of God known, I do so as someone who has been impacted by my study of the scriptures and has great joy in opening those scriptures with the church. Isaiah 40:8 reminds us that “the grass withers, and the flowers fade, but the word of our Lord stands forever.” A lot of the things we invest our time in are not things that endure, but the reading and study of scripture will lead us in the way of eternity.

Additionally, scripture provides a unique witness to the life, death, and resurrection of the Living Word of God. John’s Gospel begins with these words, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” illuminating Jesus as this Word of God. I seek to make the Living Word of God known, because through Jesus Christ, we can know a holy God, and know God’s great love and calling for each of us as disciples,

As your pastor, I will partner with Jesus to call disciples and lead you in calling disciples to labor for the coming Kingdom of God. “Follow me,” Jesus told some men fishing on the Sea of Galilee, “Don’t be afraid–from now on, you’ll catch people” (Matthew 4:8; Luke 5:10)! As we allow the written word of God and the Living Word of God to change our lives, we cannot help but share the good news and pray for God’s Kingdom to come!

In the coming weeks, I hope we will have opportunities to sit together and share stories of what God has done and is doing, as we find our way to journey together as church and pastor in the mission God calls us to.

With Gratitude,  

Pastor Becky