First Presbyterian Church of Urbana, a Member Church of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and More Light Presbyterians

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Welcome to the First Presbyterian Church of Urbana! We believe that everyone who enters these doors is God’s guest. This is a safe place, to search for and find God, to ask questions along with others who know that the life of faith is not about having all the answers, and to open doors to paths that might be familiar and some that might be entirely new. Read more …

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Sunday, February 25, 2024

The image is “Carrying the Cross,” by Hieronymus Bosch, in the Palacio Real, Madrid, Spain.

“I certainly enjoy winning. Most of us do. In this way, the Apostle Peter was just like us. He had been anticipating the Messiah. So, when he was convinced that he had met the Messiah and was following him, he anticipated that the overthrow of the Romans was at hand. He was so ready for “Victory in Jesus.” When Jesus began one day to talk about being betrayed and dying, Peter said, “Hang on. This thing doesn’t end that way.” The Messiah wins! He is not killed. What a shock it was for Peter when Jesus rebuked and corrected him. Join us on Sunday as we contemplate perhaps the most sobering passage in the Gospel of Mark where Jesus talks about carrying a cross.”

Pastor David

Join us for Sunday worship – In-person and Streaming in the Sanctuary at 9:30 a.m.

1. Facebook:
www.facebook.com/FirstPresChurchUrbana/
Scroll down to the post from that morning

2. Zoom click on: zoom.us/j/8144246357
Meeting ID: 814 424 6357 (if necessary)
Password 475210

3. Landline or phone that is not a smart phone:
1 (312) 626-6799.
Meeting ID: 814 424 6357 (if necessary)
Password 475210

In-Person Worship: Masking is strongly encouraged, especially if you are singing (masks remain available in the Narthex if you do not have one). We continue to strongly recommend that you keep up with boosters. Please plan to maintain social distancing and to hand sanitize often. During fellowship time, when you are in close proximity to others, masking is highly recommended. If you are feeling unwell for any reason, please remain home and enjoy the services of worship online. Please understand that the pandemic is not yet over and conditions may require a return to masking at some point in the future.

The Church Office is open Monday – Wednesdays, and Friday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Tracy works from home on Thursdays).

Eat Chili and Help Support Troop 6! Scouts BSA Troops 6B and 6G invite you to the Fellowship Hall at First Presbyterian Urbana on February 24, 2024, 5-7:30 pm to eat chili. Tickets are $10 per meal. Each meal includes one bowl of beef or veggie chili, toppings (crackers, cheese, onions, sour cream, hot sauce), a corn muffin, a cookie, and a drink (tea, lemonade, coffee, water). Buy your tickets to reserve your spot in advance online scouts-bsa-troop-6-chili-supper.cheddarup.com or from a Troop 6 scout or leader. Dine in or carryout available. Reservation preferred. Walk-ins welcome.

Food & More Program Item of the Month: For February, the item is 4-pack Toilet Paper. Please place donations in the Food & More box near the church office.

Lenten Seminar Series: Beginning on Sunday, February 18 and continuing through March 24, plan to join us at 10:45 a.m. in the chapel for a reading and discussion of “Hard and Holy Work.” Are we paying attention to the holy ground beneath our feet? Where do we see burning bushes in our world today, and what are they calling us to do? Do spiritual encounters in our lives have holy consequences in the world around us? Many of us want to understand how to integrate our personal spiritual lives more actively with our engagement in working for justice and the liberation of the oppressed and marginalized. “Hard and Holy Work” provides a space for just that, helping readers participate in Lent in a new way by becoming attuned to God’s boundless presence in our world and waking up to and taking action for God’s justice through exploring stories from the Book of Exodus that have inspired the work of liberation for centuries. Pastor Mary Alice Birdwhistell and Hebrew Bible scholar Tyler Mayfieldt take readers through a unique Lenten journey, encouraging us to see those who are marginalized or suffering as God sees them; contemplate how privilege, fear, risk, and feelings of uncertainty can cloud our attention; and practice endurance for the messy middle of justice work, leaning on God’s provision and rest when the way forward is unclear.

This year’s Presbyterian Outlook Lenten devotional is entitled, “Local Pilgrim.” In it, Editor/Publisher Teri McDow-ell Ott and other writers explore what God might reveal to us if we intentionally explore our communities. Who do we see? What do we hear? God reveals God’s self when we look. Lent is the perfect season for a pilgrimage such as this, leading to meaningful contemplation and sacred discoveries. As you make your way through this devotional, you might find yourself inspired to go somewhere new; or somewhere familiar with a notebook in hand; pause, ponder and pray. What will God unveil? Join us on your local pilgrimage to new and familiar places in your community. Each daily reflection, beginning with Ash Wednesday and culminating on Easter Sunday, will combine personal reflection, Scripture and prayer. Printed copies in regular and large print are available in the Narthex and electronic versions will go out weekly.

Art-Inspired Lenten Devotional: From the gray of Ash Wednesday to the brilliant dawn of Easter Sunday, the season of Lent is a journey through color. And so what better guides to this journey than the words of Scripture and the art of Henri Matisse, one of the most daring, influential artists in modern history? Walk alongside Matisse from his childhood in northern France to what he called his “masterpiece,” the Chapel of the Rosary in Vence. He once said he liked to pray with a pencil: “At the moment I go every morning to say my prayers, pencil in hand; I stand in front of a pomegranate tree covered in blossom, each flower at a different stage, and I watch their transformation… filled with admiration for the work of God. Is this not a way of praying?” So grab a pencil (or a paintbrush!), your favorite Bible, and a decent internet connection (all the paintings referenced here can be found online, and each devotional comes with a companion “Link Sheet” pdf for guidance). Week by week, we’ll travel through the colors of Lent – all the way to the beautiful, joyful dawn of Easter morning. Printed copies will be available in the Narthex. There will also be a family-friendly version called, “Into the Wild.”
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The FPCU YouTube Channel has a new playlist featuring clips about our Malawi Partnership. Check it out!
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Sunday, February 18, 2024

The image is “This Is the Way to God,” in Doi Inthanon National Park, Thailand.

“That we are to love God makes sense to us. That we are to love our neighbor also makes sense, and most days we do our best. But the final part of the command to love God and love our neighbor gives us pause: “…as we love ourselves.” Do you love yourself? Many of us live with the domineering voice of a parent or someone else inside of our heads that questions our identity, our worth, our worthiness. I don’t think any of us have a problem believing that if this matter of faith depends on us and our abilities, then we are lost. The good news for us, at least as the Apostle Paul preached it, is this matter of faith does not depend solely on us. We have an advocate. Join us on Sunday to hear the good news that we don’t have to prove our worth because Christ makes us worthy.”

Pastor David

Join us for Sunday worship – In-person and Streaming in the Sanctuary at 9:30 a.m.

1. Facebook:
www.facebook.com/FirstPresChurchUrbana/
Scroll down to the post from that morning

2. Zoom click on: zoom.us/j/8144246357
Meeting ID: 814 424 6357 (if necessary)
Password 475210

3. Landline or phone that is not a smart phone:
1 (312) 626-6799.
Meeting ID: 814 424 6357 (if necessary)
Password 475210

In-Person Worship: Masking is strongly encouraged, especially if you are singing (masks remain available in the Narthex if you do not have one). We continue to strongly recommend that you keep up with boosters. Please plan to maintain social distancing and to hand sanitize often. During fellowship time, when you are in close proximity to others, masking is highly recommended. If you are feeling unwell for any reason, please remain home and enjoy the services of worship online. Please understand that the pandemic is not yet over and conditions may require a return to masking at some point in the future.

The Church Office is open Monday – Wednesdays, and Friday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Tracy works from home on Thursdays).

Eat Chili and Help Support Troop 6! Scouts BSA Troops 6B and 6G invite you to the Fellowship Hall at First Presbyterian Urbana on February 24, 2024, 5-7:30 pm to eat chili. Tickets are $10 per meal. Each meal includes one bowl of beef or veggie chili, toppings (crackers, cheese, onions, sour cream, hot sauce), a corn muffin, a cookie, and a drink (tea, lemonade, coffee, water). Buy your tickets to reserve your spot in advance online scouts-bsa-troop-6-chili-supper.cheddarup.com or from a Troop 6 scout or leader. Dine in or carryout available. Reservation preferred. Walk-ins welcome.

Food & More Program Item of the Month: For February, the item is 4-pack Toilet Paper. Please place donations in the Food & More box near the church office.

Lenten Seminar Series: Beginning on Sunday, February 18 and continuing through March 24, plan to join us at 10:45 a.m. in the chapel for a reading and discussion of “Hard and Holy Work.” Are we paying attention to the holy ground beneath our feet? Where do we see burning bushes in our world today, and what are they calling us to do? Do spiritual encounters in our lives have holy consequences in the world around us? Many of us want to understand how to integrate our personal spiritual lives more actively with our engagement in working for justice and the liberation of the oppressed and marginalized. “Hard and Holy Work” provides a space for just that, helping readers participate in Lent in a new way by becoming attuned to God’s boundless presence in our world and waking up to and taking action for God’s justice through exploring stories from the Book of Exodus that have inspired the work of liberation for centuries. Pastor Mary Alice Birdwhistell and Hebrew Bible scholar Tyler Mayfieldt take readers through a unique Lenten journey, encouraging us to see those who are marginalized or suffering as God sees them; contemplate how privilege, fear, risk, and feelings of uncertainty can cloud our attention; and practice endurance for the messy middle of justice work, leaning on God’s provision and rest when the way forward is unclear.

This year’s Presbyterian Outlook Lenten devotional is entitled, “Local Pilgrim.” In it, Editor/Publisher Teri McDow-ell Ott and other writers explore what God might reveal to us if we intentionally explore our communities. Who do we see? What do we hear? God reveals God’s self when we look. Lent is the perfect season for a pilgrimage such as this, leading to meaningful contemplation and sacred discoveries. As you make your way through this devotional, you might find yourself inspired to go somewhere new; or somewhere familiar with a notebook in hand; pause, ponder and pray. What will God unveil? Join us on your local pilgrimage to new and familiar places in your community. Each daily reflection, beginning with Ash Wednesday and culminating on Easter Sunday, will combine personal reflection, Scripture and prayer. Printed copies in regular and large print will be available beginning Ash Wednesday and electronic versions will go out the week of Ash Wednesday.

Art-Inspired Lenten Devotional: From the gray of Ash Wednesday to the brilliant dawn of Easter Sunday, the season of Lent is a journey through color. And so what better guides to this journey than the words of Scripture and the art of Henri Matisse, one of the most daring, influential artists in modern history? Walk alongside Matisse from his childhood in northern France to what he called his “masterpiece,” the Chapel of the Rosary in Vence. He once said he liked to pray with a pencil: “At the moment I go every morning to say my prayers, pencil in hand; I stand in front of a pomegranate tree covered in blossom, each flower at a different stage, and I watch their transformation… filled with admiration for the work of God. Is this not a way of praying?” So grab a pencil (or a paintbrush!), your favorite Bible, and a decent internet connection (all the paintings referenced here can be found online, and each devotional comes with a companion “Link Sheet” pdf for guidance). Week by week, we’ll travel through the colors of Lent – all the way to the beautiful, joyful dawn of Easter morning. Printed copies will be available in the Narthex the week of Ash Wednesday. There will also be a family-friendly version called, “Into the Wild.”
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