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Friday, June 7, 2024 Newsletter

For Sunday

10:00 a.m.: Summer Worship Service in the Sanctuary

(in person and livestreamed on Facebook and our website)




“Summertime… and the living is easy…”

I know it’s not technically summertime yet, but since it’s June, and we seem to be past an unusually cool and rainy spring, many folks are busy planning or already anticipating short getaways, longer trips, special projects, camps for children and grandchildren, and so on. That said, the ministry and life of First Presbyterian continues with worship, fellowship, service, K-groups, and so on. 

I always have that song from Porgy and Bess in my head at this time of year, and yet I’m always aware that while parts of the church’s ministry take a summer break, much of our life and work continues, even if in a slightly altered shape for the summer months.

Worship is probably the most notable shift for summer: at this point, we are almost a month into our Summer Worship format. As always, we are looking for feedback on how people are experiencing worship and what ideas you have that can make that ministry more effective.

So please don’t hesitate to let myself or the Worship Committee, chaired by Rich Hjorth, know what you’re thinking and feeling. Part of the reason for that shift, of course, is that many people’s schedules become much more fluid in the summer months, and often involve travel away from Bethlehem and, therefore, from participating in worship in person.

With that in mind, I want to invite you to engage in two practices of worship ministry this summer, regardless of where you find yourself. First, a reminder that we livestream Summer Worship every Sunday, which you can access either from Facebook or from the church website at 10 a.m. each Sunday. With a reminder that the prelude music typically begins shortly before 10 a.m., so you don’t miss it!

Second, that livestream is also recorded, which means that if you cannot join the service in real time at 10 a.m. EDT from wherever you are, you can access it at any time after and experience the service through the recording. You can find the recorded services at this link. That will enable you to stay part of the worship life of this congregation throughout the summer, and I encourage you to take advantage of that in whatever way works best for you.

I also want to urge you to set up an automatic payment or debit (usually known as an ACH payment, or Electronic Funds Transfer or EFT) to continue fulfilling your pledge to support the church financially even when you cannot be physically present.

Traditionally, we encounter some struggles with our cash flow in summer months because people who put their gifts in the offering plate fall behind in their giving when they are away because they cannot put their offerings in the plate while they are gone! While you can certainly mail in a gift, the U.S. Mail is experiencing ongoing struggles and delays with service, so it is not uncommon for mail to take ten days or more just to get from one part of the Valley to Bethlehem.

Setting up a recurring electronic payment with your bank is actually a fairly simple process that your bank can help you with; if you are already doing online banking, you can do it in a few steps on your bank’s payment transaction page. The forms that you need to complete are on our website at fpc-bethlehem.org/give.

If you are not comfortable with online banking, your local bank account services desk can do it for you if you go in and ask. Doing this would be of enormous help to the church as we worship, learn, serve, and support one another through the summer months!

I hope your summer plans are coming together well, whether that involves extensive time away, “staycations” here in the Valley, or a continuation of normal life. And whatever those plans may be, First Pres will be continuing its mission and ministry throughout the summer, so I hope you will take every opportunity to continue your part in our life and work together this summer as you are able!

Grace and Peace,



Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16

  • This week’s sermon: The Great Ends of the Church 4: The Preservation of the Truth by the Rev. J.C. Austin
  • We post the video of each week’s services and sermon text on our website: fpc-bethlehem.org

TO DOWNLOAD AND PRINT on 8.5" x 11" paper:

Traditional Worship Service (4 pages)


Join us after worship for our social time, “Lemonade on the Lawn” – everyone is welcome to come and connect. If weather permits, we’ll gather on the west side (front) of the church building, otherwise in Fellowship Hall.

Thank you to one of our several K groups that is hosting today. We are looking for other groups or families to take on the hosting duties for future dates.

Basically, you will need to:

  • Provide simple treats for about 40-50, such as: grapes, clementines or cut-up fruit; cheese and crackers; easy-to-eat baked treats (homemade or purchased) like cookies, mini muffins, bars, or granola bars.

  • Get the beverages, cups and napkins, ice, and coolers out of the church kitchen and set them up (we typically serve lemonade, iced tea and water – these are provided).
  • Return items to the kitchen and clean up (tables will be provided and taken down).

It doesn’t have to be a “formal” group, like a K group, committee, or the choir – it can be a family or group of friends. It’s easy to sign up on this online form or call the church office at 610-867-5865. We’ll also have a paper sign-up form at each event.

Thanks for considering this request! If you have any questions about what’s involved, contact us at info@fpc-bethlehem.org or 610-867-5865 and we’ll connect you with a ‘veteran.’


While cleaning out closets and cupboards, we found a very large inventory of an FPCB notecard – while the artwork is beautiful, we wondered if it could be embellished to better reflect our church community. We asked Theresa Kelly and Aileen Wright for some inspiration, and they have developed this striking design to add color to the original pencil drawing.

They are hosting a ‘coloring party’ for volunteers to update these cards with the colorful design. It will be on Tuesday, June 11 – drop by room 212 between 9-11 a.m.

They’ll have all the supplies, simple instructions, and treats, so it should be a fun morning!


We still have more “treasures” to sell, so we’ve set another sale date of Saturday, June 22. We’ll be open from 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Kirk Center, so this is a rain or shine event.

We’ll be looking for set up help on Thursday afternoon, June 20 – please let us know if you can help by sending an email to info@fpc-bethlehem.org or calling the church office at 610-867-5865.

We’ll be there from noon – 4 p.m. so please stop by as you are able.

You can also reserve a space for $5, or a space with a table ($10) if you’d like to sell your own wares. Contact us if that interests you.


A memorial service will be held in the Sanctuary tomorrow (Saturday) at 11 a.m. for longtime member M. Virginia “Milly” Mead, who passed away on Feb. 27. A calling hour will precede the service at 10 a.m., with interment in the Memorial Garden immediately following the service. Her First Pres friends are welcome to attend.


Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate for our May Lunch Bunch gathering, so we’re back with a new date!

Bring your lunch and come join us for some fellowship and fresh air this Wednesday, June 12 starting at noon at the Water Street Park in Hellertown. There is plenty of parking, a shaded pavilion, and bathrooms. We met there

a few times last year and it was wonderful.  

Join us as you are able and invite a friend to come with you. In case of inclement weather, we will postpone it (if we need to postpone, we will put a message on our website and the church phone, 610-867-5865). If you have any questions or need directions, contact us at info@fpc-bethlehem.org or 610-867-5865.



Thank you to those who have already volunteered! We still have a few more open dates if you are interested in participating in worship as a lector (reader). Please use this online sign-up sheet or call the church office at 610-867-5865.


If you have not served as a lector before and have questions, please contact us at info@fpc-bethlehem.org or call the church office at 610-867-5865. Thanks for considering!

If you are hospitalized, please tell the hospital our church code is 724. Also, please call the church office at 610-867-5865 to let us know as the hospitals do not always collect this information.  After hours, leave a message or call our answering service at 610-778-7003.

Send any prayer requests to prayer@fpc-bethlehem.org or call 610-867-5865 and leave a message.
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  • Visit our Facebook page and look for the post with our live feed
  • If you don’t have a Facebook account, go to our website to view the service - click on the "Watch the Service" button
  • Please check in with a comment so we know you’ve joined us!
  • Captions will now be available on our livestream, for those who would like to use that feature

To watch a video – available after the services have aired: Visit our website archives


  • Child care will be available from 9:45-11:15 a.m. this Sunday morning; please ask an usher for directions.

  • Your children are a joy in our worship services, and should the need arise, “kid bags” are available for their use while they are visiting. They are in the Narthex.

  • We offer nametags for folks to wear – these are for everyone! You can pick up as you enter the worship space; please clearly PRINT your first name.

  • 9:45 – 11:15 a.m.: Child Care (ask ushers to direct you)
  • 10:00 a.m.: Summer Worship service, in-person in the Sanctuary and livestreamed on Facebook and on our website
  • 11:00 a.m.: Lemonade on the Lawn gathering, front of the church – all are welcome!

WEDNESDAYS: 7 p.m. - Overcomer’s Outreach Christian 12 Step Recovery Group weekly meeting, via Zoom.com (meeting #: 868 2214 2960; passcode: OO-Beth)


Regular office hours are Monday - Thursday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Many of the office staff are working remotely for some of the time, so please make an appointment if you need to see someone specific. The answering service (610-778-7003) can take your urgent pastoral concerns, 24 hours a day. 

IN CASE OF BAD WEATHER: Look for updates on our website (fpc-bethlehem.org), Facebook page, and WFMZ (channel 69 and wfmz.com). We will also put the info on our church phone message, 610-867-5865.
First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, 2344 Center Street, Bethlehem, PA 18017 610-867-5865 | info@fpc-bethlehem.org

The Rev. J.C. Austin, Pastor/Head of Staff: ext. 213, JAustin@fpc-bethlehem.org

The Rev. Lindsey Altvater Clifton, Associate Pastor for Justice and Community Impact; LClifton@fpc-bethlehem.org

The Rev. Suzanne Trump, Pastoral Associate for Formation and Compassion; STrump@fpc-bethlehem.org

David Macbeth, Director of Music Ministries: ext. 202; DMacbeth@fpc-bethlehem.org

David Crook, Director of Church Administration; ext. 210; DCrook@fpc-bethlehem.org

Kevin Konczyk, Facilities Manager; KKonczyk@fpc-bethlehem.org

Carol Burns, Communications Manager: ext. 238; CBurns@fpc-bethlehem.org

Tracy Leszcynski, Preschool Director; phone: 610-867-2956; TLeszcynski@fpc-bethlehem.org

Brenda Robinson, Bookkeeper; BusinessOffice@fpc-bethlehem.org

Marianne Zarillo, Finance (interim); ext. 211MZarillo@fpc-bethlehem.org

Website:  www.fpc-bethlehem.org