Announcements

The Recorded Church Service for Aug. 2, 2020

Hear the Service

 

Text: Matthew 14:13-21
Sermon: "A Giving God"      Rev. Martha Langford
This week we follow Jesus and his disciples as they minister to a hungry crowd. This miracle story is so familiar, we might as if it has anything new to tell us. Yet, there is compassion and challenge and awe and wonder, and hope; hope for the way that God's generosity overflows into the lives of ordinary people.

 

 




Recorded Church Service for 7/26/2020

Regardless          Rev.  Martha Langford

The recording for Worship Services from July  26, is not available on the Worship | Services Page

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present,
nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God 
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:38-39, NRSV)




Recorded Church Service for 7/19/2020

The recorded service for 7/19/2020 is now available on the Worship | Services page.

The Rev. Dr. Jerry Hurst talks to us about "Tongue Lashing"

Who is wise and understanding among you?  Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom.  But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hears, do not be boastful and false to the truth. (James 3: 13-14, NRSV)




28 June Worship Video Now Online

Friends, video from our gathered worship service on 28 June is now available on the Worship Video page. In his letter to the church at Rome, the Apostle Paul speaks to early Christians about navigating the life of faith. In Romans 6:11-23 we are encouraged to live as those who belong to God and live in a world awash in God's grace.




June 21 Worship Video Now Online

Friends, video from our gathered worship service on 21 June is now available on the Worship Video page. In Matthew's gospel, Jesus tells us not to fear, even when the life of discipleship makes us vulnerable and our work and witness seem risky. I am reminded of the old saying: courage is fear that has said its prayers. This week, we will consider the courage of our calling.  




Sunday Worship Video from June 14

Friends, video from our gathered worship service on 14 June is now available on the Worship Video page.




Trinity Sunday Worship Service from June 7

Friends, video from our gathered worship service on 7 June is now available on the Worship Video page.




Gathered Worship on June 7

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” Psalm 122:1

Friends, the last time we gathered in our Sanctuary we were “observing a Holy Lent.” In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we joined people around the globe striving to flatten the curve of transmission, seeking to stop this terrible disease. Eleven weeks ago, we suspended in-person gatherings in our building. This week, we share the good news that we will resume gathered worship on Sunday, June 7th.

For more information about the precautions we are taking, please read the June 2nd letter to the congregation. You can also watch this short video about what to expect as we resume worship in our building.

For those who are unable or not yet ready to attend in-person worship. We will continue publishing our worship services on this website. In these first few weeks, there will be a delay between the worship event and the day that the video posts. We plan to improve that experience week to week as we improve our technology and our know-how.

Blessings to you all, Pastor Martha
revmclangford@gmail.com  




Worship on May 31

Friends, on May 31, Pentecost Sunday, you will be able to attend worship on the church Facebook page  or the Worship Video page of this website. The service video will premier at 10:30am. Download the Order of Worship so that you can fully participate in this service. 

As we celebrate the gifts of the Spirit, may God's grace and peace attend you.

Blessings, Pastor Martha
revmclangford@gmail.com




Worship on May 24

Friends, on May 24, you will be able to attend Sunday worship on the church Facebook page  or the Worship Video page of this website. The service video will premier at 10:30am. Download the Order of Worship so that you can fully participate in this service. Prayer requests can be sent to me or added to the prayer page on this website. 

And please do continue to send in your photos of you and your families so that we can share your faces and space and the things that are bringing meaning to your lives.

Blessings, Pastor Martha
revmclangford@gmail.com




Worship on May 17

Friends, on May 17, you will be able to attend Sunday worship on the church Facebook page  or the Worship Video page of this website. The service video will premier at 10:30am. Download the Order of Worship so that you can fully participate in this service. Prayer requests can be sent to me or added to the prayer page on this website. 

And please do continue to send in your photos of you and your families so that we can share your faces and space and the things that are bringing meaning to your lives.

Blessings, Pastor Martha
revmclangford@gmail.com




Worship on May 10

Friends, on May 10, our Sunday worship service will be available on the church Facebook page and on the Worship Video page of this site. The service video will premier at 10:30am. Download the Order of Worship so that you can fully participate in this service. Prayer requests can be sent to me or added to the prayer page on this website. 

And please do continue to send in your photos of you and your families so that we can share your faces and space and the things that are bringing meaning to your lives.

Blessings, Pastor Martha
revmclangford@gmail.com




Worship for May 3

Friends, this Sunday, we will celebrate The Lord's Supper during our worship service. I encourage you to gather your improvised communion elements in preparation for the service. The video will premier on the church Facebook page and on the Worship Video page of this site at 10:30am on Sunday May 3. Download the Order of Worship so that you can fully participate in this service. Prayer requests can be sent to me or added to the prayer page on this website. 

And continue to send in your photos, of you and your families of the things that continue to calm and center you in these tumultuous times.

Blessings, Pastor Martha
revmclangford@gmail.com




Worship on April 26

Friends, this pandemic is bringing with it many changes and our worship services are no exception. This week, we will transition to collective video worship format. The worship team is working to collect the music and liturgy for our service so that we can weave it together into a single video. The video links will "go live" on the Facebook page and on the Worship Video page of this site at 10:30am on Sunday April 26. Download the Order of Worship so that you can fully participate in this service. Add your prayer requests to our prayer page.

You can also help us with this effort. In the week ahead, send us a snapshot of the ways that you are connecting to God in these days of COVID-19.

Blessings, Pastor Martha
revmclangford@gmail.com




Worship for April 19

Friends, the worship service from April 19 is now available on our Worship page, Pastor Emeritus Jerry Hurst preaching "Left Behind."  Use this link to download the Order of Worship for this service. 

Blessings, Pastor Martha




Worship for April 12


 

Friends, you can view the live-streamed Easter Service among our Worship Videos, and use this link to download the Order of WorshipThis day and each day, we proclaim: Christ is risen, he is risen indeed!

Blessings, Pastor Martha




Worship for April 5

Friends, you can find our Palm Sunday worship service among the Worship Videos and use this link to download the Order of Worship.  This is a communion service, so gather your personal supplies for communion* and join in with the gathered, yet dispersed community of First Presbyterian Church.

*For communion, we will use the common elements of our pantries as communion elements, so bread and cup will come from your pantry staples: bread or crackers (or even biscuits) and juice or other beverage (even wine).

Blessings, Pastor Martha




Worship for March 29

Although the Sunday live stream did not go as planned, a video of the Sunday Worship service is available on the church's Facebook Page and on the website using this link: Worship Videos.

Use this link to download the Order of Worship.

Grace and Peace to you, Pastor Martha Langford




Worship for March 22

You will find a recording of our live-streamed worship from March 22 [here]. Download the Order of Worship for March 22nd and join in with the gathered, yet dispersed community of First Presbyterian Church.

Blessings, Pastor Martha




19 March 2020—Cancelling Worship Gatherings

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff--they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

Friends, at noon today, Governor Gregg Abbott issued four statewide orders intended to slow the spread of COVID 19 (https://gov.texas.gov/news).

  • Order No. 1: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, every person in Texas shall avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
  • Order No. 2: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts, or visiting gyms or massage parlors; provided, however, that the use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options is allowed and highly encouraged throughout the limited duration of this executive order.
  • Order No. 3: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
  • Order No. 4: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, schools shall temporarily close.

These orders will be effective on a statewide basis starting at 11:59 PM on March 20, 2020 and will end at 11:59 PM on April 3, 2020, subject to extension thereafter based on the status of COVID-19 in Texas and the recommendations of the CDC.

In accordance with these orders, First Presbyterian Church has cancelled worship gatherings for the duration that these orders are in effect beginning March 22. We will work to provide a virtual service of worship each week (stay tuned for more details) and will establish provisions to gather Bible studies, small groups, and committees using some form of electronic conferencing technology.

These are extraordinary times, and this congregation's leadership is working to meet the challenges of leading us in worship and witness within this community. These are times to reach out to one another in love, with telephone calls and emails, with cards and letters. As we take up the challenges of social distancing let us make sure that distance does not become isolation.

We have established an email network for emergency communication and a phone tree for those without email. We are working on to provide contact and connection and additional support where needed. To quote the President of Austin Seminary, "we are bound up in the holy purposes of a big God... we need to be careful and wise, but not afraid... " Perhaps it is fitting that the Psalm reading for this coming Sunday is the 23rd Psalm; a psalm of extraordinary comfort that bears this reassurance that God is with us, we are NOT alone.

We have in Jesus Christ a Good Shepherd. Let us seek to be faithful to the commands of Jesus Christ, to love one another and to love our neighbors. Please be in prayer for this community, and for communities around the globe who are facing this pandemic.

In Christ,
Rev. Martha Langford
and the Session of First Presbyterian Church, LaGrange




17 March 2020 — Coronavirus Response Update

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff-- they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

Friends,

We are continually monitoring the situation and information provided by the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, as well as state and local government.

Wednesday afternoon Lenten gatherings are cancelled. Devotional materials from each session will be emailed to the congregation on Wednesday, through April 1st.

Second Chance Emporium is closed through the end of March.

AMEN Food Pantry is altering its operating procedure to safeguard the health of volunteers and clients. Beginning March 23 will restrict hours to Mondays from 2-5.

Sunday morning worship gatherings will continue. We ask all who participate in these services to heed the following advice:

  • If you have symptoms of an illness, please stay home.
  • If you have an underlying medical condition—or are the caregiver for someone with an underlying medical condition—please consider staying home.
  • For those who attend, please assume the responsibility to maintain social distance. No hugs or handshakes and extra space in the pews—let us love each other by putting other people’s health first.

Congregational Care and the church office are establishing a hybrid email/phone tree so that we may make quick notifications when things change. Updates will be sent by email and phone calls, will post on the church website and Facebook page.

For more information about measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, click this link: https://youtu.be/bPITHEiFWLc




Responding to the Corona Virus

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).

Friends,

The corona virus, COVID 19, continues to spread in the United States. Patients have been identified in Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio, and now Austin Texas. The World Health Organization has declared this a global illness and is asking countries, communities, and individuals to take precautions against the spread of illness.

The two biggest pieces of prevention advice for individuals:

CLEAN YOUR HANDS. Twenty seconds of thorough hand washing helps prevent disease transmission. If you don’t have soap and water, use hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.

AVOID CLOSE CONTACT. Avoid people who are sick. COVID-19 is transmitted through near contact (within 6 feet) and through the respiratory droplets spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

The Center for Disease Control also recommends that everyone KNOW THE SYMPTOMS of the virus (fever, cough, shortness of breath). And everyone should remember that the disease can spread even before these symptoms begin in an infected person.

For gathering places like churches, the CDC has given some interim guidance.

“Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. People who are at higher risk are encouraged to avoid crowds as much as possible.”

Sunday mornings at First Church do not meet the 250-person threshold for a crowd. However, if you have concerns about attending worship for any reason during this outbreak, please stay home. If you are not feeling well, again, please stay home. Then, be in contact with Pastor Martha.

First Church will continue to post the Sunday worship recordings and printed sermons on our website. Though Fayette County has not recorded a case of the corona virus, the Session will continue to communicate and create contingency plans that may—in the future—include canceling worship gatherings.

Please be in prayer for all those affected by this illness and for those who are working diligently to slow the spread and care for patients.

In Christ,
Rev. Martha Langford
and the First Presbyterian Church Session