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Everybody Counts!

Join us this Wednesday at Noon for a luncheon with information about the 2020 Census and answers to any questions you may have.

Faith like... Nicodemus?

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life."

Photo from "Jesus Mafa"
Listen to this week's sermon

Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.”
John 3:1–3.

We're all familiar with the third chapter of John. Jesus' words to Nicodemus, that God sent his Son into the world to give eternal life to all who believe, may be one of the only verses we have memorized. John 3:16 is plastered throughout our culture, in both obvious and more covert ways, by those who follow Jesus.

This week, as we heard the story of Nicodemus (or, "Nick the Pharisee," if you like) we were challenged by Rev. Tina's message to remember that our salvation has nothing to do with our knowledge of tradition or our participation in church dinners. Salvation is God's work, not ours. Those who look to the light of Jesus and believe will be saved. Those who consign themselves to darkness are already condemned.

The tricky thing about our friend "Nick" is that he knows, as anyone who observed Jesus' miracles would have, that Jesus had come from God. And yet, he comes to Jesus under the cover of night, not wanting to be seen by his fellow Pharisees, not wanting to be exposed as one who believes in Jesus.

Nicodemus appears twice more in John's Gospel. In John 7:50, he defends Jesus covertly to his colleagues by reminding them of the law's requirements. John 19:39 tells us that Nicodemus joined Jospeh of Arimathea in the care of Jesus's body after his death.

We don't know how Nicodemus's story ends. Did he stay on the margins of the Christian community, keeping his faith in the shadows? Or did he speak up and lead others to follow Jesus? We'll never know. But we can make the choice for ourselves to step out of the shadows and boldly declare our faith.

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Dig Deeper
On Sunday night, our youth built majestic spaghetti and marshmallow towers, reminiscent of the temporary structures God's people built in the desert for worship. We discussed an important question:
Is it possible not to worship? What do we end up worshiping if we don't intentionally worship God?
If worship is the praise and admiration of and submission to a person or thing, then it's possible for us to unconsciously end up worshiping everything else instead of God.

We worship money when we become workaholics or obsess over our bank balances to amass as much as we can. We worship consumption when we hit the "Buy it Now" button on Amazon.com for something we don't need or spend too much time in the shopping mall. Sporting arenas can become a kind of "church" to the god of athletic ability and celebrity–and we can easily worship this false god from our TVs at home. We participate in the worship of politics, celebrity, and beauty on our social media feeds and even shout an "Amen!" with our likes.

This isn't to say that work, buying things, sports, or social media are bad in themselves. But as the youth recognized on Sunday night, these things can easily take over our hearts if they're left unchecked.

How should we respond? In this season of Lenten reflection, it's important for us to set intentional patterns of worship into our lives. Escape from your default-worship of other things and draw closer to God!
Join us for the weekly Community Lenten Worship services. Get to know some of the area pastors, members from other congregations, and worship God together! All services are at 7pm.

March 11th – Burgettstown Presbyterian (Rev. Harry Bielewicz)

March 18th – Paris Presbyterian (Joel Peterson)
March 25th – Our Lady of Lourdes (Rev. Kenn Jacobs)
April 1st – Burgettstown Presbyterian (Pastor Toni Harrington)
Mark your calendars!

Our Annual Spring Spaghetti Dinner will be held on March 29th after services.

Prepare Your Heart and Mind for Worship Next Week

Sermon: "Well, Actually..."

John 4:5–42

Jesus and the Woman of Samaria

Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. 

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) 

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” 

“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” 

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 

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We're looking forward to spending some time with you at your discipleship luncheon! The dot on your name tag determines which group you belong to.

March 14th – Purple Flock
March 21st – Red Flock
March 28th – Orange Flock
April 4th – Yellow Flock
May 2 – Pink Flock
May 16 – Blue Flock
We have a limited number of tickets for a showing of "Jesus" at the Cinemark in Robinson Township on April 11th. Contact Judy or Joel at the office to secure your spot.
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