First Presbyterian Church of Fulton

God's People Connecting.... January 8-14, 2021!

This Week Pastor Aaron Asks: "How are your interactions with others changed, if you think of them first as children of God?"

As we gather for worship this week, we celebrate the baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because he was without sin, we know that Jesus did not come to the Jordan to receive forgiveness. Rather, he came to add something to the act. When we now celebrate baptism as a Holy Sacrament, we aren't just cleansed of our sins; we're also united with Christ, so that we too might be claimed as God's "beloved" children.

And so, when we pass through these waters, we don't leave behind our old selves. Instead, all who are baptized in Jesus' name receive the same Holy Spirit, which first descended upon him. As we receive the Holy Spirit, we are given a share in Christ's mission to proclaim the coming of God's kingdom and in his ministry of reconciliation for all the world!

This week, as we prepare for worship, we encourage you to reflect upon our Scripture lessons: Mark 1:4-11 and Acts 19:1-7. You may also wish to consider your own responses to the following questions:

  • What does Jesus’ participation in baptism contribute to your own experience of the Sacrament?
  • Are your interactions with others changed, if you think of them first as children of God?

You're welcome to share your reflection by sending an email to the pastor at pastor@fultonpresbyterian.org.

Hear The Word: Looking Ahead Toward Sunday, January 10, 2021

Worship and Reflection This Week...

Sunday, January 10, 2021 (The Baptism of the Lord, Year B - Liturgical Color White)

Special Liturgical Acts: Thanksgiving for/Remembrance of Baptism

Usher Captain this Week: Bob Hoell

Old Testament Lesson: Mark 1:4-11

Gospel Lesson: Acts 19:1-7

Sermon by Rev. Aaron White:

Time for a Fresh Start!

Baptism has been the source of continuous debate for the followers of Jesus Christ. Some perform baptisms on infants, as a sign of God’s grace, which offers forgiveness for our sins before we could ever ask. Others receive baptism only as a response to their confession of faith and professed repentance. Some administer the sacrament, using a relatively small amount of water poured upon the head. While others replicate the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ submersion in the waters of the Jordan.

Though it’s always good and right for us to think about the ways that we practice our faith, we should never forget that the most important actor in baptism isn’t us; it’s the Holy Spirit! As we read in this week’s Scripture lessons, the sacrament is rightly administered in the name of Jesus. In doing so, we share in Christ’s own experience as we pass through the waters. Just as the Spirit descends upon our Lord, marking the beginning of his ministry, we also receive that same Spirit, marking for each of us a “fresh start” as God’s beloved children, united and empowered to continue to minister to the world in Jesus’ name!


Additional readings from the Revised Common Lectionary:

Genesis 1:1-5; Psalm 29:1-11

Faith Formation Resource from Illustrated Ministry! This Week: Baptism of the Lord

Our friends at Illustrated Ministry have made available a New Year series of faith formation resources for all ages. These study guides include a scripture lesson, discussion questions you can use for self-reflection or within your family and friend groups, an activity, closing prayer, and a coloring page designed by one of the talented IM graphic artists.


To download a printable copy for your own use,

click on the picture or go to:


http://bit.ly/2JWkElK

A Prayer for the Nation's Way Forward...

God of justice, love and hope,

So many Americans, and people around the world, have hearts that are saddened and minds that are in shock.

This country been an inspiration on the right of people to self-governance, and yet on Wednesday all of that fell apart. American democracy has been a model for numerous countries and changed the course of world history. But today democracy is under brutal attack and we are in danger of self-destruction and implosion from within.

Help us to come together as a nation and realize that any political and ideological differences are negligible and can be overcome. Lead us as only you can to live in acceptance of each other’s differences and united by our common allegiance to you and to nation. Help us to go forward with a new determination to learn from our mistakes, to overcome our divisions and advance to being a better nation.

Please use the United States as an example of a country that is determined to become more compassionate, just and democratic. A nation where justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream. A nation determined to promote peaceful engagement for all people.

Amen.

by Jimmie Hawkins, director of the Presbyterian Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C.

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Matthew 25 and FPC: A Bold Vision and an Invitation!

We are a Matthew 25 Church!

Our congregation has accepted the PC(USA)’s invitation to follow Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 25:31–46 by becoming active disciples and making a difference in our community and the world.

As part of our Matthew 25 commitment, we pledge to embrace one or more of these three areas of focus:


  • Building congregational vitality by deepening and energizing our faith and growing as joyful leaders and disciples actively engaged with our community as we share the gospel of Jesus Christ in word and deed.
  • Dismantling structural racism by fearlessly applying our faith to advocate and break down the systems, practices and thinking that underlie discrimination, bias, prejudice and oppression of people of color.
  • Eradicating systemic poverty by acting on our beliefs and working to change laws, policies, plans and structures in our society that perpetuate economic exploitation of people who are poor.

To learn more and for ideas on how to get involved and

do your vital part as a member of a Matthew 25 church,

please visit pcusa.org/matthew25.

Opportunities to Serve, Special Messages, & Important Church Notes!


  • Would you like to learn how to livestream worship services? If you would like to learn how to operate the recording equipment and are willing to help with this Sunday morning duty, please contact Shaun Speers or Rev. White for more information.We are now able to livestream services on our YouTube channel. If you would like to participate in Sunday worship, but cannot attend in person, you can now open any web browser and go to: https://bit.ly/fpcfultonyoutube at 10:30 am to participate in real time, or any time you choose to view the recorded version.


  • Have you thought of joining the FPC Bell Choir? Rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. To find out more about joining this unique group, or to share you musical talent, please contact Choir Director Ethan Forte at ekfgw7@mail.missouri.edu or call 573-416-2605.


  • Spread the Word to All of the Middle & High School Students in Your Life: The Rock is Back! We welcome all middle and high school students to join us at The Rock each Sunday evening at 6:00 pm. 715 Nichols Street, Fulton, Missouri.


  • Would you like to join the Usher Team? Volunteers are needed to help carry out our Hospitality Mission. If you are interested in being a regular or fill-in usher, please contact Bob Hoell to find out more!


  • Church Lock-Up Volunteers are Needed! Volunteers are needed to lockup the Church after Sunday service. A sign up sheet is on the bulletin board in the lobby. Those that can support, please sign up for desired dates. If you have any questions on what it entails, please ask Mark Covey at 573-327-0297, or another Property Committee member.


  • Contributions to the SERVE Food Pantry and Our House Shelf Stockers will continue to be collected as part of our Fishes and Loaves Offering. Our House needs a new refrigerator and is still accepting monetary donations for this purpose. Checks may be placed in the offering plate on Sunday or mailed to: First Presbyterian Church, PO Box 6037, Fulton, MO 65251. You may also give through the GIVE+Online Church Giving link on our website. Just write "Our House" or "SERVE Food Pantry" in the memo line to ensure your donation goes to the right organization

How We Worship During the COVID-19 Pandemic...

The continuing Coronavirus Pandemic requires us to adhere to the Church Safety Protocols put in place by the FPC Session in July when we returned to in-person worship services after an extended shut-down. Now that we are entering the regular cold and flu season, wearing masks, frequent use of hand sanitizer, and the observance of CDC guidelines for six feet of social distance between family groups is even more important to our ability keep our congregation safe and healthy. Our observance of these protocols will continue.


However, we are also approaching the cherished season of Advent and this requires us to exercise our God-given creativity as we plan and carry out the special worship services that are so precious to all. Recent Updates of FPC Church Safety Protocols include:

  • The congregation will be allowed to stand, recite liturgy, and sing hymns in soft voices while still wearing face masks at all times.
  • In addition to the mix of instrumental music that Ethan and Kelly have so beautifully arranged, the choir will be allowed to incorporate a soloist who will perform from a CDC-recommended distance for singers.
  • Advent candle lighting will be pre-recorded and incorporated into the video display each Sunday in Advent. All involved will be scheduled for recording sessions in advance and Church Safety Protocols will be observed during those times.


If you have any other questions about these changes to our Church Safety Protocol, please feel free to discuss it with Rev. White or any member of Session.

Subscribe to the FPC YouTube Channel!

To Subscribe:

  1. Open any web browser and go to: https://bit.ly/fpcfultonyoutube.
  2. Subscribe by checking on the red rectangle on the right side of the page.
  3. Set notifications by clicking on the bell icon.
  4. Be sure to bookmark this page so you can easily find it in the future.


To enable auto-generated closed captioning:

CLICK THE YOUTUBE LOGO TO VIEW A CLOSED CAPTION TUTORIAL!

  1. Go to the FPC YouTube Channel and select the video you wish to view with closed captions.
  2. On the menu bar directly beneath the video window, you will see a gear-shaped icon for “Settings.” Clicking on the icon will reveal a series of options, including the ability to turn on “Subtitles/CC.”
  3. After clicking on this option, you would want to select “English (auto-generated).”
  4. To view, click on the side arrow to launch play. Once the video begins to play, YouTube will generate closed captioning.


FPC Sunday Worship Services are Livestreamed at 10:30am

and available to view as recordings thereafter!

Office Hours & Contact Information!

How to Contact Rev. Aaron White

Rev. Aaron White is holding virtual office hours at this time. Please call him on his cell phone, (573) 590-3136 or contact him by email pastor@fultonpresbyterian.org.


How Will I Continue Giving During This Time?

Checks for pledges and offerings, and documents that are normally hand-delivered on Sunday mornings can be mailed to:

First Presbyterian Church

P.O. Box 6037, Fulton, MO 65251

If you prefer online giving, use our new GIVE+ Online giving system through the website or the GIVE+ Mobile app.


Our committees Gmail accounts that can be used to email them suggestions, concerns, and thanks. The addresses are:

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Welcome to Our Church!

First Presbyterian Church is located at 718 Court Street in historic downtown Fulton, Missouri. Worship services, under the direction of Rev. Aaron White, are held each Sunday morning. For more information, go to: www.fultonpresbyterian.org or find us on Facebook or on Twitter @FPCFulton.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel:

https://bit.ly/fpcfultonyoutube