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Focus on Marriage Weekend

Focus on Marriage Weekend

Saturday & Sunday, October 15 – 16

Marriage Ministry is bringing you a special guest speaker! Jon R. Anderson, author of “The Acceptance – What Brings and Keeps Lifelong Love,” will join us for the weekend to discuss practical ways to pursue the principals of true love. Jon will equip us to truly love our spouses well. He will explain what’s going on in our relationships and how to practice acceptance. Jon is the founder of Growing Love Network, has over 25 years as a counselor & therapist, and 35 years of “real life” experience.


Dinner & Guest Speaker

Saturday, October 15 | 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM | Westminster Hall

Ticketed Event – Single $25 | Couple $50 | Table (8) $175

Register for Saturday Dinner

Childcare available by registration.


Breakfast & Marriage Ministry Sunday School Class

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM | Room 309 | Free Event

Breakfast and fellowship begins at 9:00 AM with teaching from Jon Anderson beginning at 9:30 AM.


Marriage Small Group Leader Training

12:30 PM – 2:00 PM | Geneva Room | Free Event – Please RSVP

Marriage Ministry is offering this Small Group Leader Training for couples who would like to lead 4-5 couples in their home or at church using “The Acceptance” materials provided by Jon R. Anderson. Registration required. Lunch provided. Contact Bobby and Downie Mickler at (210) 284-1497 or email rmickler@gmail.com.

Register for Sunday Small Group Training

FPC Marriage Ministry Interest

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Love SATX Worship Night RSVP

Ladies’ Night Out RSVP

Pastoral Letter to the Congregation

June 24, 2022

A Pastoral Letter from Rev. Dr. Bob Fuller and Pastor Mitchell

Today, the United States Supreme Court overturned the “Roe vs. Wade” decision of 1973. Just as the original decision provoked deep, passionate reactions, so too has this decision. As pastors we recognize that this is a complex issue, and that there are strong and deeply held beliefs on both sides of this debate—even within our congregation. But we, as pastors representing our entire pastoral team, must make a clear declaration of our position. We are pro-life and we are pro “all of life.”

We recognize that overturning Roe vs. Wade in the Supreme Court is not the finish line for the pro-life movement. Legislative victories will not carry the pro-life agenda to God’s ultimate goals. Legislative milestones are significant to celebrate, but we must move our hopes and efforts beyond the marble halls of government authority to harness the power Christ provides through the Church. We must all do what is necessary to cultivate a pro-life culture.

Pro-choice groups have created a well-funded and organized system, aggressive in social media marketing and tireless in their efforts to get women to other states where they can have an abortion. This week another young woman came into our KRL/Any Woman Can clinic seeking an ultrasound as the “proof of pregnancy” required for an abortion. She was preparing to travel to Colorado to have the abortion, funded by a pro-choice group working around the Texas Heartbeat Bill. This happens almost weekly. However, in the KRL she met loving partners and volunteers who want to provide care for the baby and mother, and who will cultivate connection with the father. She and her child now have resources and options she never knew they had.

Pro-choice advocates have re-invented themselves and appear poised for guerilla warfare. We are seeing a well-funded, highly organized, and aggressive ground-game promoting abortion in surprising and sickening ways.  Chemical abortion pills are being promoted beyond description—a toxic choice for women and a deadly prescription for the baby.

The battle is real and our congregation is on the front lines, needing prayer and participation from every covenant partner. Here is the truth: The Church of Jesus Christ has more resources, a better network, more locations, and a better hope than the pro-choice movement. We must organize as a congregation and mobilize the Church in our city. As stated above, we are pro “all of life” and we have the track-record to prove it. With partners like Any Woman Can, Young Lives and One by One, we have engaged more and more deeply in providing networks of support for those in crisis.

Christians have a solid foundation for hope as the historic basis for Christianity is revelation of how God redeems unplanned and unwanted pregnancy. When Mary’s hopes of marriage and social status were dashed by the news of her pregnancy, God did not rely on government action to support His servant. Rather, God shared the recipe for a pro-life culture that would sustain our Savior and that will strengthen Christians for the next leg of our pro-life race, creating a pro-life culture for women, children, fathers, and families.

Luke tells us that Mary moved from struggle to song through Elizabeth’s service, an older woman committed to walk with Mary (Luke 1:26-47). Likewise, Matthew reveals how the commitment of Joseph helped move Mary from the burden of bearing to birthing and raising the King of kings (Matthew 1:18-21). Simply stated, God’s ingredients for a pro-life culture include faith in His revealed purposes, mentors like Elizabeth, father figures like Joseph, and family. Only the Church of Jesus Christ has all the needed ingredients for a sustainable pro-life culture.

The nation will soon be divided by states as we have not seen since the civil war. The Church of Jesus must unite to care for babies, women, fathers, and family. Women who used to be directed to abortion clinics for answers and procedures are turning to other places (like pro-life pregnancy centers) to find help for an unwanted pregnancies. This is a critical opportunity for the Church. Now is God’s time for us to come together to create a pro-life culture.

This is a time for mercy, understanding, and compassion for those considering abortion and even those who have been through it. Every Christian has a role and every church must engage this Divine appointment. What can you do?

1.    All Christians must pray. Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against powers of this present darkness. We must “pray at all times in the Spirit, with prayer and supplication.” (Ephesians 6:10-19). Our weapons for war are not of the flesh (2 Corinthians 10:4).

2.    Christians must realize that there are more with us than who are against us (2 Kings 6:16) and that God’s covenant faithfulness that will not forsake us. If God is for us then who can stand against the Church? (Romans 8:31) Now is the time for Christians to get engaged in the KRL, specifically with our pro-life partners like Any Woman Can, Young Lives, One by One, among others. We must compel partner congregation to lean into established networks like Care-Net and lock arms as a net of care to strengthen women, fathers, and families. Walking forward from God’s promised presence we must become the life we want to see.

3.    Every Christian is equipped by grace for the good works Jesus has prepared for us to do (1 Peter 4:10). The Church alone has the gospel of Jesus that fuels faith, women’s groups who have multiple Elizabeths, men’s groups with dozens of Josephs, and the Church who is the family of God.

4.    As pastors, we and our colleagues are committed to orient the hearts of our people to God’s sovereign grace, with patience. All of us need to discern how God has called us and equipped us to engage. To save babies and strengthen families for the next generation the church must truly become Christ’s Church, an assembly of disciples imitating God, walking in love as Christ has loved us and gave Himself for us (Ephesians 5:1-2). Every life matters and every Christian has a role in creating a pro-life culture in the next leg of the pro-life race.

May the Lord Bless you and Keep You; May the Lord make his Face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

 

Rev. Dr. Bob Fuller, Senior Pastor

Pastor Mitchell, Associate Pastor

Mission Trip Updates

Uganda Team Update: June 14, 2022

God has been at work in amazing ways! From providing for all our needs to making connections that we could never have planned, it has been pure joy to see God at work.  We have seen some really hard things, and yet the ministries we’ve met with and their Ugandan staff are full of joy and hope in the Lord!

God is doing miraculous things in Uganda right now, and the Holy Spirit is clearly present. The team has been able to spend time with the staff of Operation Uganda, Rescue One More, Andy Agaba , and the Buule Music Ministry. Each team member has clearly seen the hand of God moving as they have spent time with these ministries.

Please continue to pray for the team as they meet with ministries in Uganda and discern how God is calling FPC into collaborative ministry partnership. Pray for God to speak clearly, and that the team would listen well and think creatively. Please also pray that the team would remain healthy and Covid free and be sustained with God’s grace each day.



DR Team Update: June 14, 2022

Hello from the Dominican Republic!

We arrived Saturday evening to Santo Domingo. We ate a delicious dinner and were greeted with a warm welcome from the hotel staff. Sunday morning Christina, a long term partner from AMO, picked us up from our hotel and brought us to church with her family. It felt as if we were at First Pres as the community and fellowship reminded us of home. We went out to lunch afterwards with Christina’s family for some delicious Dominican food. Plantains in every form!

Sunday afternoon the Food for the Hungry staff picked us up and drove us about an hour and a half to a small community called El Cercadillo. Our team consists of 6 members from First Pres: Carrie Everson, Alex Solorio, Danielle Couch, Savannah Schatte, Jake McKenzie, and myself, Paige McKenzie. Our Food for the Hungry staff consists of a team leader and two translators.

Our car ride ended on a red dirt road in front of a small house. Our team leader told us our house was like a castle compared to others. It is a 3 bedroom, one bath home. 2 bunk beds in each bedroom. Cement walls and a tin roof. No running water. Bucket showers. Buckets of water to flush. No AC but some portable fans. This was expected, but also a shock when you see it.

As soon as we arrived, we walked to the local church where the community greeted us so warmly with songs, dancing, and kind words. The children dressed up, decorated, and prepared for our arrival.

Our first full day, farmers showed us their land and plants. We saw and tried so much cacao. We also saw okra, corn, squash, bananas, and plantains growing. The farmers were so kind and excited to show us their land. In the afternoon, we helped with VBS and talked with the local teenagers.

There is a sweetness to the relational and slow-paced way of living here in the DR. There is much time spent outside, playing games, and dancing. The people reflect the relational and servant-hearted nature of our Father.

Please pray as the team learning how First Pres can build lasting relationships with the people of El Cercadillo. Also pray that we can reflect God’s love to the people and see the Spirit move this week.

Do not worry about us as we are eating better here than at home!

Paige McKenzie

Day 2 – Savannah Schatte


Hello everyone! 

On our second day in El Cercadillo, we woke up to the smell of Dominican coffee wafting in from the kitchen adjacent to our rooms. We enjoyed a slow start to our morning with our team, including Lea, Robert, and Pedro from Food for the Hungry. We reflected together on James 2:1-10 as we began our day with God’s sweet Word in scripture and in song (our new friend Pedro has a beautiful voice and led us in worship with a full and joyful heart).

We split into two groups today- some of us went on home visits and some of us took part in a work project. The work project was continuing to dig a trench to bring water to a latrine close to the main road in the area of El Cercadillo that we’ve been staying in. There were about 15 people total, including Paige, Danielle, and Alex, that showed up. The group was less at first, but more people eventually showed up to work together- one older man in his 70s even showed up, ready and able to lend his hands. The sun was hot, but the work was good, and the people were equipped to do what was needed with willing hands and servant’s hearts. 

I had the opportunity to be a part of the group that went on home visits, along with Carrie and Jake. We visited 5 houses and got to talk with people about their families and their presence in the community and ask them what they wanted prayer for. At each house we visited, we were welcomed in and given a seat- a physical extension of our gracious and invitational hosts. At some houses we sat together in a living area inside, and at other homes we sat on the front porch, often surrounded by lemon or cacao trees or under the cover of shade trees or pergolas adorned in vines with bright pink flowers. One couple, who have been married for well over 60 years, offered us fresh lemonade and biscuits- as well as some precious words of wisdom from their endurance of life and love. Our friend Pedro brought his guitar and we sang some contemporary worship songs and some Dominican worship songs together at each house, in English and in Spanish. It was so beautiful to hear people sing because they love God and they love to sing to Him together.

We’ve heard lots of hopes, prayers, and dreams for El Cercadillo from the people who live here. It’s been beautiful. People can see what they have and what’s still left undone, and they dream of ways to couple those two things together for the benefit of their community. I’ve been very encouraged by our time here so far and I’m excited to continue to see how God moves- He’s already been moving in big ways! 


Day 3 – Carrie Everson

Greetings From the Dominican Republic!

Today was our third full day in the community of El Circadillo. Our team split into two groups for the second day in a row – one went to do home visits and the other to work on the water supply project. I was with the latter group. Although home visits are definitely my strong suit , I was eager to get my hands dirty (literally) and serve the community through physical labor. In reality, I don’t think we helped the labor progress much, but the men in charge of the project were gracious and let us try our hand at mixing cement, hauling concrete blocks, and digging a trench for a water pipe. The community has struggled to find a consistent water supply. In the past they had a pump that supplied water for the entire community , but it broke a couple of years ago. Since then community leaders, with the help and support of Food For the Hungry, have been working together to find a way to provide consistent, clean water for their community. Eventually they discovered a spring, so they are in the process of digging a well and making a trench that will hold a pipe to pump water to a central location. We had the honor of seeing the work that has been done so far and getting to pick up shovels and do our small part to contribute. Although my arms are not strong, it was a blessing just to be able to partner with these leaders in a small way.

After lunch and some rest time, we had a meeting with community leaders. This was one of my favorite moments of the week. Our leader asked them to share their hopes and dreams for the community, and their responses were inspiring. They spoke about the need for consistent water and more reliable electricity, as well as having a library, daycare, and community center. They spoke with such passion and conviction about their desire to make a better life for their children and grandchildren. But what impressed me most was their hope and unity. Though they have already encountered many setbacks, they continue to dream and work hard for their community. And they are all in it together. There were around 20 leaders gathered on a Wednesday afternoon, but the president of the neighborhood association said that this was only a fourth of the leaders they have – most were at work at the time. As someone who used to be a part of similar work in an inner city neighborhood in San Antonio, I have never seen so many dedicated, hard working leaders working together with such hope and determination. It was inspiring!

After the meeting we went to the church to lead VBS for the kids and then a session for married couples. A local pastor spoke, and then I was able to share a few of my thoughts as well, through Scripture and my own experiences in marriage. It was beautiful to see so many couples there, eager and ready to learn and engage the topic – they ranged from one year to sixty years of marriage! Then we went back to our place for dinner and time with the team and Food for the Hungry Staff. Continuing on the theme of relationships, one of our translators told us the beautiful and engaging story of how he and his wife got together. What a blessing to have so many varied experiences in one day! Although we participated in several different activities, they all had one thing in common – they all reflected the hope and good news of the Gospel. It is so encouraging to be so far from home and yet to see God so clearly at work. How great and how beautiful is His Kingdom!

 


Young Families Gospel Community Group

Beginning Sunday, February 27 | 12:15 PM – 2:00 PM | Geneva Room

4th Sunday of every month after the 11:00 services

Join other families with young kids for fellowship, Bible Study, and prayer! We will be studying Grace-Filled Parenting by Paul David Tripp. Hope you can join us! Childcare and lunch (for parents) will be provided. Please pack a lunch for your children. Contact: Briana Damrow at brianadamrow@gmail.com for more info.

Covid Response Letter from Session, August 20, 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In the most recent meeting of the Session, the Elders of the church appointed a special commission to examine the current state of the epidemic in our community and recommend action for the church.

The commission reviewed the protocols and discussed options available to us at this time in light of current numbers, medical data, and community practice. Rev. Dr. Bob Fuller chaired the committee and Lady Romano, Dirk DeKoch and Tripp Stuart were present. Walter Walthall could not be present but sent in his suggestions by email.

After due consideration, the Session approved the following recommendations:

  1. Encourage that all members who are medically cleared to do so, be vaccinated. Encourage a third shot (booster) for those for whom it is recommended.
  2. Encourage those that feel sick and/or have fevers from any cause to stay at home and worship online. Members should be aware that currently some covid cases present as allergies or sinus trouble, and those suffering from these symptoms are encouraged to stay home and be tested if necessary.
  3. Encourage those who desire to wear a mask at church to by all means wear one.
  4. Encourage everyone to appropriately socially distance but to nevertheless spiritually draw near to one another.
  5. Continue to encourage both groups (the masked and the unmasked) to display mutual forbearance and love.

The Session agreed that the Children’s Center guidelines are independent of the Congregational guidelines and need not be identical. Should the Children’s Center decide that they need to close, they will consult the Session. Other changes and adjustments will be made by the Children’s Center Committee without need for Session approval.

As the church continues to navigate the situation, we challenge one another to take seriously the admonitions of Philippians 2:3b-4, which says

3b … In humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4Let each of you

look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Philippians 2:3b–4 (ESV)

Such consideration is critical as we fulfill our mission to “love one another” even as we “love Christ” and “love the city.”

On behalf of the Session, grace and peace,

 

Bob Fuller                                                                            Dr. Tripp Stuart

Senior Pastor and Moderator of Session                             Clerk of Session

SPECIAL EVENT – Songs Of Home Concert

Sunday, September 19 | 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM | Westminster Hall

Join us this Sunday for an evening of music and fellowship from our own Maggie Amini featuring songs from her newest album, and honoring FPC’s 175 year anniversary. All donations benefit the SA Hope Center. RSVP at maggieaminimusic.com/contact.

NDP Registration