First Presbyterian Church, Laurens SC

First Presbyterian (PCUSA) is a worshipping community of disciples of Jesus Christ seeking to welcome, equip, transform, serve, and witness as a family of faith.

Operating as usual

❤️🙏❤️

A WORD FOR ELECTION DAY
The Rev. Dr. Ed Pickard didn’t author the charge and benediction he used each Sunday and I never intended to memorize the words. Yet, over the course of my years growing up at White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, these words and his voice became etched into my memory in a way that I didn’t even notice until I happened to think about the benediction many years later and the words flowed effortlessly from my lips.
It was truly a gift.
I offer them each week at the close of worship as both blessing and prayer that these words will guide each one of us as we leave our time of worship in order that we may be the church deployed.

I offer them on this election day as a blessing and a prayer for all of us:

"Go out into the world in peace.
Have courage.
Hold on to that which is good; return no person evil for evil.
Strengthen the fainthearted; support the weak and help the suffering.
Honor all people.
Love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.
And now the grace, mercy and peace of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirt be with us all this election day, and forever."

On this day may we vote our conscience, but every day let us live our faith.

And no matter what, know that you are loved.
Dr. Mike

A WORD FOR ELECTION DAY
The Rev. Dr. Ed Pickard didn’t author the charge and benediction he used each Sunday and I never intended to memorize the words. Yet, over the course of my years growing up at White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, these words and his voice became etched into my memory in a way that I didn’t even notice until I happened to think about the benediction many years later and the words flowed effortlessly from my lips.
It was truly a gift.
I offer them each week at the close of worship as both blessing and prayer that these words will guide each one of us as we leave our time of worship in order that we may be the church deployed.

I offer them on this election day as a blessing and a prayer for all of us:

"Go out into the world in peace.
Have courage.
Hold on to that which is good; return no person evil for evil.
Strengthen the fainthearted; support the weak and help the suffering.
Honor all people.
Love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.
And now the grace, mercy and peace of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirt be with us all this election day, and forever."

On this day may we vote our conscience, but every day let us live our faith.

And no matter what, know that you are loved.
Dr. Mike

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11/1/20FirstPresLaurensSC Live Stream

WORSHIP - NOV 1. ALL SAINTS DAY
"The Sovereignty of God and the Lordship of Jesus Christ are NOT dependent on circumstances or the actions of people or of principalities in this world.
The Sovereignty of God and Lordship of Christ are the ONLY things in which we may place our trust - and they are not on the ballot this Tuesday, because they are already firmly established.
While we struggle against sin and evil in our lives and in the world, we remember our calling, our comfort. and our claim that we find in the Beatitudes assures us that the battle is already won..."
https://youtu.be/i-z6j-uxj6o?t=1920

FPCLAURENSSC SUNDAY 11/1/2020

It's ALWAYS a good time for ICE CREAM!
FPC Family - don't forget to come to the church beginning at 6PM for our DRIVE-THRU ICE CREAM SOCIAL (distance)! Come in the parking lot on the Laurens Lumber side and enter the portico to enjoy a scoop from our friends at the Front Porch Churn!

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10/18/20FirstPresLaurensSC Live Stream

WORSHIP SERVICE - October 18, 2020
"If the image on the coin means that the coin belongs to the Emperor, then we, who are created in God's image, most certainly belong to God in all that we say, do and are."
https://youtu.be/zm2i4VrRpO4

FPCLAURENSSC SUNDAY 10/18/2020

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FirstPresLaurensSC

FPC will be LIVE for worship at 11:00!
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrTER272YNbIhLmIiRlK-9w

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❤️🙏❤️

A Word for Today

Treating Others Like Family.

In 2012, I was privileged to be a part of an exploration class that spent 3 weeks traveling throughout eastern Kentucky. We learned about ministry in the Appalachian (that’s a-puh -la-chn, NOT a-puh -LAY-chn, by the way) communities of the largely – and tragically - forgotten coal mining region of our country. Lon Oliver, our guide for the class, posted the following on Facebook this week:

"As a retired coal miner once said to me,
'I ain't had many conversations go so very well when I started out with, 'I am right and you are wrong.'
But when I listen--sit down, take some time, and listen--that's when we learn a thing or two from each other.
But that kind of listening is real hard.
That kind of listening means treating others like family.'"

Let’s think about the actions here:

Listen.

Sit down.

Take time.

Listen some more.

Learn a thing or two from each other.

Yes, this is real hard, but in these trying times we are called to do the real hard work.

This is gospel work, folks. We are called to treat others – no matter who they are – like family.

Because Christ teaches us to do the hard work of listening and learning, know that you are loved.
Dr. Mike

A Word for Today

Treating Others Like Family.

In 2012, I was privileged to be a part of an exploration class that spent 3 weeks traveling throughout eastern Kentucky. We learned about ministry in the Appalachian (that’s a-puh -la-chn, NOT a-puh -LAY-chn, by the way) communities of the largely – and tragically - forgotten coal mining region of our country. Lon Oliver, our guide for the class, posted the following on Facebook this week:

"As a retired coal miner once said to me,
'I ain't had many conversations go so very well when I started out with, 'I am right and you are wrong.'
But when I listen--sit down, take some time, and listen--that's when we learn a thing or two from each other.
But that kind of listening is real hard.
That kind of listening means treating others like family.'"

Let’s think about the actions here:

Listen.

Sit down.

Take time.

Listen some more.

Learn a thing or two from each other.

Yes, this is real hard, but in these trying times we are called to do the real hard work.

This is gospel work, folks. We are called to treat others – no matter who they are – like family.

Because Christ teaches us to do the hard work of listening and learning, know that you are loved.
Dr. Mike

A Word for Today
I heard him before I saw him.

“It’s a beautiful day!” he said – loudly enough for everyone at the corner of Main and Washington streets in Greenville to hear clearly. “Now y’all are going to hear my mini sermon. This beautiful day is all about GOD’S AMAZING GRACE!”

Jennifer and I were enjoying lunch and the beautiful fall weather at an outside table of a restaurant last Friday. I turned to look at the man who had just announced his mini sermon a few feet away from me and found a casually dressed, older-but-not-so-old African American gentleman with oversized glasses and a yellow water bottle hanging from his belt.

In a voice that was strong and clear he began to sing:
“I’ve got a fee-lin’…. EVERYTHING’S GONNA BE ALL RIGHT!
I’ve got a fee-lin’…. EVERYTHING’S GONNA BE ALL RIGHT!
I’ve got a fee-lin’…. EVERYTHING’S GONNA BE ALL RIGHT!
BE ALL RIGHT…. BE ALL RIGHT…. BE ALL RIGHT!”

He sang the song again, only now he was adding some motion- effortlessly shuffling down the sidewalk and raising his arms at just the right moment as his yellow water bottle seemed to sway in rhythm with him. I couldn’t tell if anyone else was paying much attention, but Jennifer and I were going to church right there on Main Street!

The man then finished his mini sermon as quickly as he had begun, saying:
“LOOK ALL AROUND US – IT’S GOD’S AMAZING GRACE. EVERYTHING’S GONNA BE ALL RIGHT.”

Our eyes met and I said “Amen.” He smiled, said “God bless you,” and made his way on down the street humming the tune to the song he had just been singing. The whole thing took less than a couple of minutes, but there was power in that simple mini sermon.

"For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind… " - Isaiah 67:17

“Everything’s gonna be all right…” Five words.
Five words that speak volumes about the promise of our faith. Five words that acknowledge things are not presently all right, but that’s the direction they are headed and God has made promises that God will keep.

He was right. God’s amazing grace is indeed all around us – sometimes we see it in the beauty of creation and sometimes we hear it in the clear, strong voice of a preacher we didn’t expect to meet on Main Street – maybe all we need to do is look for it or listen for it.
We may not be able to find it immediately, but… “we’ve got a feelin’.”

Because everything’s gonna be all right, know that you are loved.
Dr. Mike

[10/02/20]   On this day as we are reminded that none are impervious to this terrible virus, we include the President and First Lady among those for whom we pray for healing and health. We remain prayerful for Christ’s peace and comfort to all the victims of COVID who continue to suffer, and for families who grieve and bear the pain of loved ones who are sick or have died. May God heal, bless and unite our community, nation and world. Amen.

A Word for Today

“Shaken, not stirred.” – James Bond, Agent 007

James Bond is always specific about his martinis – they are to be shaken and not stirred.

While that may be a good idea for a potent potable, “shaken, not stirred” is no way to go through life.
Some days, though, it is easy to feel shaken to our core.
Maybe today is one of them.

Perhaps it is time to change the recipe. Perhaps the calling we are urged to live into is one of being stirred in times of distress and anxiety instead of being shaken by the crashing waves of the world around us.

"As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. "– Colossians 3:12-15

With all due respect to Mr. Bond, it is time for us to stop being shaken and begin being stirred.
Stirred with compassion.
Stirred with kindness.
Stirred with humility and meekness.
Stirred with patience.
Stirred with forgiveness for ourselves and for one another.
Stirred with love, and stirred with the peace of Christ.
Stirred with gratitude.

When we are stirred to receive and share these gifts of the Spirit, we will not be shaken.
Maybe we just needed a reminder.

Because Christ stirs us to action in a shaken world, know that you are loved.
Dr. Mike

We aren’t exactly clear on what game our youth were playing after Bible Study tonight, but they sure were having fun!

FPC Laurens is proud to bring ice cream from The Front Porch Churn to our friends at Laurens Memorial Hospital.
Thanks for keeping us healthy and thanks for all you do!
We are praying for you!

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FirstPresLaurensSC Live Stream

Our worship service today is LIVE on Youtube at 11:00!
https://youtu.be/xC-E5myqIqc

FPCLAURENSSC SUNDAY 9/20/20

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The order of worship for today's service may be found herehttps://files.constantcontact.com/6572fbf2801/2d0ddbc2-8a27-4d4e-bb88-f7d5544cb61e.pdf

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[09/16/20]   Dear Saints of First Presbyterian Church:
It is my great joy to inform you that our Session, acting on the recommendation of the Re-opening Committee, has unanimously voted that we will be returning to in-person worship on September 20th! While this is exciting news and we are certainly looking forward to having more of us together, it is important to remember that this is only the first step in returning to worship and that we must remain vigilant in protecting our church family from spread of the virus. To that end, please note the following items regarding our worship time together this week and moving forward:

• You may enter the building through the office or rear doors to the Education building as well as the side doors to Hunter Hall. The portico doors to Hunter Hall will be unlocked but we ask that they be reserved for those who require that entrance only.
• Face coverings (masks) and social distancing are key elements in our efforts to worship and be together safely. We will strictly utilize both during the entirety of our time together for worship. Hand sanitizer will be available as you come into the building.
• Each person’s temperature will be checked when entering the building. We will not admit anyone to worship with a temperature over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. We trust that if you are not feeling well or have any symptoms of being sick, you will stay home.
• Our sanctuary seating area has been marked to designate rows available for seating. While members of the same household may sit in adjacent seats, we ask that a minimum of three empty seats be maintained between different households on the same row. Ushers will be actively assisting in finding appropriate seating that will ensure proper social distancing.
• The back section of the church will be reserved for families with infants or small children as we will not be providing child care during the service. In addition, Hunter Hall will be available for families and children as well.
• Above all, we ask that everyone exercise common sense and Christian forbearance for one another as we return to worship together. Any issues or problems identified this week will be addressed when we gather next week.

Finally, let me stress that if you are not yet comfortable being in this space to worship because of your own health concerns, please know there is no shame whatsoever in staying home until you feel safe. We will be livestreaming our service at 11:00 a.m. and the recording will be available for viewing anytime thereafter. While things are different in this season, our focus during worship is unchanged: we will seek to glorify God as we gratefully respond to our calling as the Body of Christ.

Because we are truly one in the Spirit, know that you are loved.

The Rev. Dr. Frank M. McCracken Pastor

We pray for our neighbors in the immediate path of Hurricane Sally for safety. Lord, in your mercy...

As Sally has been upgraded to a Hurricane, PDA has reached out to the many presbyteries in its path. Please join us in praying for these communities as they prepare for Hurricane Sally.

Gifts to support our response can be designated to DR000169 www.bit.ly/DR000169

A WORD FOR TODAY
During yesterday's worship service we were blessed to hear this letter from Nigatwa Disasa. As you begin your week I urge you to reflect on these words and carry them with you for encouragement. - Dr. Mike

My Dear Church Family:

Thank you, sincerely, for being with me throughout my four years of dialysis ordeals and during my now ten years of living happily with a transplanted kidney. Our God is the God of renewal. He has turned my agony into a relief, and my frightening blindness into new discoveries about my inbuilt strength and vitality. My donated kidney from Montana is still working perfectly in my body, and my brain is busy compensating beyond measure for my physical shortcomings. Just as I grope and find items that drop out of my hand, I grope and find unlimited reasons to be happy each day.

Even though I am declared to be legally blind, our God has raised my other senses to their highest level to help me cope with my loss of vision. My rich memory power enables me to memorize details even including telephone numbers, and my hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching have all risen to a new level where I find sufficient independence. (No, I do not drive!) It is now so revealing to me that what God has stored in us is far greater than what we think is in us.

Please help me thank God for His mercy upon me for the new vitality He has given me despite my shortcomings. I will never forget the presence, visits, cards (which I still hold in a special bag), calls, and prayers (including a beautiful prayer shawl knitted by one of the circle ladies). Some of you traveled all the way to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston and waited for four hours to support me and my family during the surgery. On the very first anniversary of the new kidney on September 12, 2011, my first granddaughter, Shepherd, was born. What a special gift to me to help me honor God in a special way for my new life and to help me reduce the dominance of boys in my family!

My little message to all of us is: Do not wait to grope to find God; reach out and grab Him in the big and small creatures and opportunities you are surrounded by each day. It is when I merge myself with them that I find myself moving from being grumpy to contentment. Even at a challenging time like the present, it is tempting to merge with those who complain; yet it is also at a time such as the present that we discover the presence of God. I am happy to be a member of a church family that finds its fulfillment in the well-being of others near and far.

Gratefully,
Nigatwa Disasa

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HAPPY 4TH TO ALL
STAINED GLASS
SUNDAY 5/10/2020
SUNDAY 3 2020
SUNDAY 19/2020 IST PRES LAURENS SC

Location

Telephone

Address


400 W Main St
Laurens, SC
29360

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 16:30
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