How Can I Find Easter Joy?
by: Gerrit Dawson, Senior Pastor
The outpouring of love from everyone has made for a brighter Christmas for the children in Iowa, Louisiana. We have blessed 600 families with gifts that included bicycles, Barbie dolls, sports equipment, puzzles, books, board games and a variety of toys. The love continued with the purchase of food for 75 Christmas boxes which were delivered to the poor in Iowa. These residents were overwhelmed with your generosity this Christmas. Thank you from everyone in Iowa and especially for supporting all of our efforts the past four months in hurricane relief cleanup. A huge thank you to all of the volunteers who have traveled with me since August 30 and to our First Presbyterian Church family for donating money and resources to help our brothers and sisters in southwest Louisiana after two hurricanes! Relief work resumes January 6. Anyone is welcome to join us. We leave the church parking lot at 6.30 am sharp. Bring sturdy work gloves!
Last Sunday, we gathered for worship and worked through the newness of masks and social distancing. The joy was palpable from singing and praying in the same room. It was great to be back.
So join us! No need to sign up. Just come for 9 am Contemporary and 11 am Classic Reformed.
As of now, there is no gathered Sunday school or nursery, but we will let you know as soon as this is figured out. For the foreseeable future, we will continue to follow guidelines regarding wearing masks, using the North Blvd entrance, and sitting in designated distancing areas by household groups.
Wonderful because we can be together in our Sanctuary.
Weird because we have to wear masks and continue with those annoying social distancing practices.
Service times have changed to 9 am and 11 am.
For those worshiping in the Sanctuary, plan to arrive early and use the North Boulevard entrance. We're asking everyone to please wear a mask.
Both services will continue to be livestreamed.
There will be no Sunday school or nursery provided.
No matter what happens, God's seed and harvest time never stops: even during a pandemic. Albert & Adraine White of sister church Abounding Love Ministries, share how our seeds of love via social media, texts, phone calls, food donations . . . are the seeds of Christ's love. Genesis 8: 22.
Darin Travis is the First Presbyterian Church Director of Discipleship. He and his wife Barat, have tapped into the RightNow Media resource of over 20,000 Biblical videos. It's like Netflix for Christian Bible study!
Retired oncologist, hematologist and FPC member Frederic Billings tells us why we should give blood, not only during the COVID crisis, but always.
Caring to Love is also doing extraordinary ministry during the pandemic. We praise God for Dorothy Wallis and all she does for women seeking counsel on what to do with their pregnancy.
Abounding Love Ministries is doing well as they have received help with the Payroll Protection Program. We praise God for our sister church and all that God is doing through them. Albert and Adriane White, John Norwood and other church members pray at the state capital for our elected officials each Saturday morning during the pandemic.
Ministry Executive Barry Phillips reports on how your financial generosity is helping at this time.
What is God teaching the Magruders in isolation from the field?
Counselor Cheryl Brodnax has some tips on how to help your kids combat anxiety during these stay-at-home times?
1) Be mindful of what you discuss in front of your children
2) Give your kids opportunity to talk
3) Structure is a good thing
4) Help them feel connected to friends
5) Give your children grace
Pastor Ben Cunningham of Church of the Resurrection in NOLA helps us understand the Great Commission and saying "yes" under seemingly impossible circumstances.
Middle School and Girls Ministry Leader Paula Walker shares what God is doing in our students' lives in these days at home.
Noah Pourciau, Assistant Director of Youth for High School and Boys, discusses what he has learned after a month of confinement.
Mitzi and Chuck Barber discuss what they've learned being in the house together every hour of every day.
Associate Pastor of Missions Whitney Alexander shares ways to keep these days meaningful through helping others.
Nancy and Rick Spiller & friends reflect on isolation on Good Friday and our Lord's passion.
Elder and professional counselor Sue Miley discusses the difficulty people are having in making decisions in uncertain times and the process she uses for moving forward.
Gerrit explains how to prepare for participating in Thursday’s 7 pm Service of Shadows. Four candles, a piece of bread and a cup of wine or juice, and you’re set to interact with the passion of Jesus and connect to him, together with our whole church, through the Lord’s Supper.
Links to watch the Service of Shadows are below. The video will be available at 7 pm Thursday, April 9.
Our beloved pastoral care minister Jim Solomon invites us to the challenge of Tuesday lunch-fasts and how such practice can ignite your prayer life. Jim also asks that you check out the guidelines and insights on fasting that are included on our denomination’s website (epc.org) especially if you will fast not only on Tuesdays at lunch time but also the entire day on Good Friday, April 10.
FPC deacon Jamy Comeaux, and his wife, MDO teacher Brittany, share gratitude for gifts.
Director of Children's Ministry Audra Cato reflects on the fear and tension of a pandemic and the call to find serenity through surrender.
2018 FPC stewardship chairman and local business owner, Parker Ewing shares insights into how to do business when the economy has come to a standstill, and what role faith has to play.
In part 2, counselor Sherry Kadair shows how to deal with the discomforting feelings arising from these strange times. Avoiding outright denial or total giving in to emotion, we Christians can take raw feelings before our Father and learn how he receives them.
What Is This I’m Feeling?
FPC deacon and BRCCC therapist Sherry Kadair puts words to some of the strange feelings we’ve all been having. You’re not crazy! We’re having ordinary reactions to extraordinary circumstances.
Tuesday Lunch Fasts
Following Gov. Edwards' call last week for a statewide day of prayer and fasting, Senate Chaplain Rodney Wood invites all Louisianans, and pastor Jim Solomon invites all First Presbyterians who can, to make fasting from lunch a Tuesday routine. We can use this bit of deprivation to focus our prayers and ask for God’s mercy, grace and revelation upon our nation.
Time may be on our hands, but feeling peaceful is elusive. Jaime Carnaggio shares favorite passages for snatching moments of peace from lives of chaos.
Are you breathing the toxic breath of stress these days? Tension and fatigue are in the air. But what if we could draw breaths that bring peace. Katie Forsthoff introduces the ancient spiritual technique of breath prayer.