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

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Bible Study – 8:15 a.m.
Worship – 9:30 a.m.
Childcare is available for infants through preschool age, downstairs in Rooms 4 and 5 for morning and evening services
Special Meeting of the Congregation and Annual Meeting of the Corporation (after worship)
Sunday School for Children and Youth – after worship
Seminar: Funeral Prearrangements – after the meetings
Game Night for All Ages – 5:30 p.m.

From the Pastor/Head of Staff

The image is “Buddy Christ,” featured in the movie Dogma.

One of the funniest, and most biting, bits of satire can be found in Kevin Smith’s movie, Dogma.* George Carlin plays a cynical priest who imagines the perfect plan to grow the Church. People need to be introduced to the Buddy Christ! Jesus did not come to condemn, but to bless, to be our friend. It’s a marvelous skewering of the prosperity gospel, which proclaims that Jesus really did come to bless us, and to help us get what we want, like wealth, the next larger house or a more stylish car, or that second or third or fourth cottage on a lake or river or in the mountains, or connections with famous and wealthy people, whether or not it has anything to do with what God might want. Who wouldn’t want to hear such a gospel, and who wouldn’t be attracted to it? Well, anyone who actually reads the Gospel of Mark. As we will hear on Sunday, Mark presents us not with a Buddy Christ who has come to give us the goodies, but with Jesus. And Jesus has come to take charge and to clean house. He comes to bless, yes indeed, but to bless us with freedom, liberation, healing, and wholeness. He comes to save, to save us from all that would keep us bound, keep us down, keep us enfeebled and addicted. Join us on Sunday as we hear Mark tell us about the real Jesus, and what he came to do.

[*Now, before you rush off to Amazon or Netflix or Hulu, or Red Box, looking to watch Dogma, read this: WARNING! If you are easily offended, this movie will offend you. The dialogue contains swear words. God is portrayed as a woman (Alanis Morrisette). The humor is often crude. Smith has a big axe to grind with respect to certain Roman Catholic dogmas, and in this movie, he wields it freely. This movie is not for everyone.]

Blessings, David