Upcoming Events

Please check out Providence's VBS website:https://sites.google.com/site/prpcvacationbibleschool/. This website provides all the details you will need for VBS this year!

See the Church Calendar for more information on any events.



A Blast from the Past - 1982!

I was looking through the church's old scrapbook yesterday and came across a few interesting things.  The first is an old photo of the Masonic lodge across the street from us.  

Of course, in 1982 we were meeting in the lodge for worship and Sunday school.  It's hard to imagine how different things were back then without our own building.

And here's an old bulletin from September 5, 1982.  Notice how simple the liturgy is.  Simple, but still following the same order.  Part of the problem back then was that everything had to be typed out on a typewriter.  It was impossible to do what we do now in our current bulletins.  Personal computers were only just beginning to appear.  


Missouri Presbytery Meeting

Yesterday the Missouri Presbytery met for our Spring quarter meeting.  The meeting was hosted at New City South's church in South City.

The presbytery always meets in the morning before the business meeting in the afternoon for informal instruction, fellowship, and/or prayer.  Yesterday morning we heard about the work of New City South, especially their ministry to international people relocated to St. Louis.

We heard stories from a number of internationals that have been led to New City South—one from Nepal, one from Burma, one from the Congo, and another from Uganda.  One Congolese man, Justin Semahoro, told the story of his flight from his village.  You should read the entire story here.  Here's is a portion of a documentary about Justin.

Mambo Sawa Sawa from Genocide Prevention Month on Vimeo.

We also heard a Nepalese praise song.

Some of the members of New City prepared international food for us at lunch.  It was one of the best lunches we've ever had at presbytery.  I ate too much. And my wife told me this morning that I still smelled like garlic.

The business meeting went well.  We also received the Rev. Mark Kuiper into our presbytery as the new Sr. Pastor of Kirk of the Hills church.  Redeemer Presbyterian in Columbia, MO, also called a new pastor—Rev. Joe Rolison.  He also was received into our presbytery.  And Sean Lucas was transfered to Grace Presbytery since he was called to be the new Sr. Pastor at First Presbyterian in Hattiesburg, MS.


A. N. Wilson's Return to the Faith

I detected a lot of interest last night in my sermon on the power of ordinary Christian living.  Some of you wanted to know where to find and read the articles by Wilson that I read from during the sermon.  You can read them here:

Why I Believe Again

The Palm Sunday Article

Wilson pointed to the influence of ordinary Christians in that second article.  Here is the powerful quotation I used on Sunday evening:

My own return to faith has surprised no one more than myself. Why did I return to it? Partially, perhaps it is no more than the confidence I have gained with age.

Rather than being cowed by them, I relish the notion that, by asserting a belief in the risen Christ, I am defying all the liberal clever-clogs on the block: cutting-edge novelists such as Martin Amis; foul-mouthed, self-satisfied TV presenters such as Jonathan Ross and Jo Brand; and the smug, tieless architects of so much television output.

But there is more to it than that. My belief has come about in large measure because of the lives and examples of people I have known - not the famous, not saints, but friends and relations who have lived, and faced death, in the light of the Resurrection story, or in the quiet acceptance that they have a future after they die.

The Easter story answers their questions about the spiritual aspects of humanity. It changes people's lives because it helps us understand that we, like Jesus, are born as spiritual beings.

Every inner prompting of conscience, every glimmering sense of beauty, every response we make to music, every experience we have of love - whether of physical love, sexual love, family love or the love of friends - and every experience of bereavement, reminds us of this fact about ourselves.


Commander Carter Retires

Yesterday I was priviledged to give the invocation at the retirement ceremony for one of our members.  Commander Jason Carter retired from active duty with the U.S. Navy.  The ceremony was held at Scott Air Force Base just east of St. Louis. 

Jason has had a pretty amazing career, everything from service on a submarine and an aircraft carrier to being awarded a medal for his courage in rescuing people from the Pentagon on the morning of the 9-11 attack.

You can watch a video of Jason's speech here

Jason has been nominated and approved by our session to stand for election as a ruling elder at our congregational meeting on May 3rd. Pray for Jason and his family as they begin their new life here in the St. Louis area. 


What's So Good About Good Friday?

What’s so good about it?  Why is Good Friday called “Good” and not “Evil Friday” or “Bad Friday.”  After all, look at all the bad things that happened to Jesus on this day, all the evil that is perpetrated against him.  You know that book—When Bad Things Happen to Good People?    Well, nothing worse has ever happened to anyone better than Jesus.  Here was a man who was Good beyond anything we have ever experienced in another person.  He was so good, his goodness was alien and sometimes shocking. Indeed, such goodness is frightening and threatening to self-righteous people like you and me—good church people.

It was the goodness of God himself.  Jesus once told a young, very conscientious and deeply religious man who strove to keep the commandments, that no one is good, but God alone.  And we confess and know that Jesus was God.  Perfect God and perfect man.  Here is the good God incarnate and active in a flawlessly good human nature.  Good Friday is the day when this perfectly Good God-man encountered some really bad people.    But that way of characterizing it, implies that Jesus simply fell into the hands of the wrong sort of human beings.  We know that’s not the way it was at all.  Jesus fate was determined by the best of humanity, the cream of the crop—again, what some would call "good church people."

Click here to download a pdf file of the entire essay.

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