Welcome to the Pastor’s Corner, and welcome to the website of the First Presbyterian Church of Greenlawn! We hope that you will find here helpful resources for your spiritual journey.
That early Christians were called the “people of the way” is a reminder to us that we have not yet reached our destination, but continue to make our way along the path of discipleship. What is true of our lives as Christians is also true of this page and site. It, like us, is “a work in progress.”
If you would like to share any comments about this site, page or the sermons here included, or if you would like to request prayer, please feel welcome to contact me at fpcgpastor@gmail.com

And “may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor. 3:14)


Message From the Pastor
March 2018

Jesus told his disciples that he had to go to Jerusalem where he would suffer, be killed, and be raised to new life (Mark 8:31).  But Peter had a better idea.  He wanted a way around the pain, Jesus’ and his own.  Masters at spiritual bypass, we too would prefer to save Jesus and ourselves from all the suffering that lies ahead. But the God whom Jesus came to reveal could no more escape the pain of loving us than could a parent in the love of her children. We may wish to avert the pain of God’s suffering love for us but that would be to keep God from being God-with-us.  
Jesus tells us that if we are to save our lives, we must lose them, that if we are to follow him, we must take up our own crosses.  What is this strange calculus of dying and being born again, and what kind of dying and being born are we talking about?  Whatever else, we may be talking about dying to our false selves, being born to the True.
Dying to false self means dying to the part of us that wants to live outside of the reach of God's love, the part of us that thinks we actually can. Dying to false self means dying to the self that strategizes for happiness and security apart from God’s provisioning.  Dying to false self means dying to the self caught up with the cultivation of its self-image with all its self-promotional and self-narrating agenda. Dying to false self means dying to our confidence that our knowledge, power and will can save us.
Dying to false self also means giving up our use of God as an instrumentality or prop.  We often treat God like a vending machine into which we deposit our prayers, and then shake when nothing comes out (or curse when something drops down that we did not order). We lose faith in the God who has failed us, when it is really our childish idea of God that has let us down.  In that same vein, we often treat God as something that we can add to our lives, and whose addition would leave them basically untouched. We want God on our terms, but God wants us on his.
Surrendering to God and dying to self means allowing God to subtract the props and presumption that we use to armor ourselves against the truth of who we are, the truth we need in order to become healed and whole. But this is painful, and we tend to avoid pain until our avoidance of pain becomes itself a source of still greater suffering.  But the implicit promise of daily dying is that while we cannot avert pain in life, we can avert a great deal of the suffering that results from all our efforts at avoiding it.  We can do that as we live fully and freely into our True Self, our basic and unchangeable identity in God whom we image, and into whose likeness we are meant to increasingly grow.
As we continue our Lenten journey to Jerusalem with Jesus, let us own up to our own ashes and participate in the pain of God.  That means loving others with the same love with which God loves us, even when that love is without apparent effect. Let us follow our Lord wherever he leads us, and join God where God is already at work in our world “to make and to keep human life human.”

See you in church,
Pastor Fred





Pastor Fred's Sermon Archive 2010-11
Pastor Fred's Sermon Archive 2012
Pastor Fred's Sermon Archive 2013
Pastor Fred's Sermon Archive 2014

Sunday Bulletin Archive 2015
Sunday Bulletin Archive 2016

Sunday Bulletins - Date
Bulletin 10.30.16 Bulletin 11.6.16
Bulletin 11.13.16 Bulletin 11.20.16
Bulletin 11.27.16 Bulletin 12.4.16
Bulletin 12.11.16 Bulletin 12.18.16
Bulletin 12.24.16_
Christmas Eve
Bulletin 12.25.16
Christmas Day
Bulletin 1.1.17 Bulletin 1.8.17
Bulletin 1.15.17 Bulletin 1.22.17
Bulletin 1.29.17 Bulletin 2.5.17
Bulletin 2.12.17 Bulletin 2.19.17
Bulletin 2.26.17 Bulletin 3.5.17
Bulletin 3.12.17 Bulletin 3.19.17
Bulletin 3.26.17 Bulletin 4.2.17
PalmSunday Bulletin 4.9.17 Good Friday Bulletin 4.14.17
Easter Sunday Bulletin 4.16.17 Bulletin 4.23.17
Bulletin 4.30.17 Bulletin 5.7.17
Bulletin 5.14.17 Bulletin 5.21.17
Bulletin 5.28.17 Bulletin 6.4.17
Bulletin 6.11.17 Bulletin 6.18.17
Bulletin 6.25.17 Bulletin 7.2.17
Bulletin 7.9.17 Bulletin 7.16.17
Bulletin 7.23.17 Bulletin 7.30.17
Bulletin 8.6.17 Bulletin 8.13.17
Bulletin 8.20.17 Bulletin 8.27.17
Bulletin 9.3.17 Bulletin 9.10.17
Bulletin 9.17.17 Bulletin 9.24.17
Bulletin 10.1.17 Bulletin 10.8.17
Bulletin 10.15.17 Bulletin 10.22.17
Bulletin 10.29.17 Bulletin 11.5.17
Bulletin 11.12.17 Bulletin 11.19.17
Bulletin 11.26.17 Bulletin 12.3.17
Bulletin 12.10.17 Bulletin 12.17.17
Bulletin 12.24.17 Bulletin 12.24.17 Christmas Eve
Lessons & Carols
Bulletin 12.31.17 Bulletin 1.7.18
Bulletin 1.14.18 Bulletin 1.21.18
Bulletin 1.28.18 Bulletin 2.4.18
Bulletin 2.11.18 Bulletin 2.18.18
Bulletin 2.25.18 Bulletin 3.4.18
Bulletin 3.18.18