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VBS (July 29-Aug. 2) “Shake It Up!”

Posted by on May 22, 2019 in Featured Announcements, PCF: Children K-5th | Comments Off on VBS (July 29-Aug. 2) “Shake It Up!”

VBS (July 29-Aug. 2) “Shake It Up!”

This year VBS will be in the evening from 6:30pm-8pm. All ages are welcome to come participate! We will have a study group for adults or volunteers are welcome to help with the younger VBS participants! More info TBA later.

Director: Melissa Brown

Mission Trips

Posted by on May 22, 2019 in PYF: Youth 6th+ | Comments Off on Mission Trips

Mission Trips

Usually each summer we do a Youth Mission Trip but some years we have youth retreats and youth conferences instead. This Year (2019) FPC Alabaster will not go on a Mission Trip since we will have CPYC (Youth Conference) in June and PYT (Triennium) in July.

In 2018, Our Mission Trip was to Texas. A group of 7 adults and 8 teens left on June 3rd , a Sunday morning, at 6am for the Cumberland Presbyterian Children’s Home (CPCH) in Denton TX. The group camped in the gym/ Stricklen Hall (large gym type building) and cooked meals in the kitchen on site at the CPCH.  They worked  on chores around the building and helped do odds and ends tasks that the CPCH was in need of help with such as fixing bikes, painting, cleaning, fixing pianos,  organizing clothing closet, etc… .  They appreciated all the prayers and happy thoughts sent their way as they worked hard for a week ministering and serving those  in need.

The Cumberland Presbyterian’s Children’s Home (CPCH)protects children and teens through an Emergency Shelter and the Children’s Residential Program, a General Residential Operation, and is licensed through the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.  The Emergency Shelter program has the capacity for 16 residents –  Accepts children and teens ages 5-17 years and  Provides clothing and nutritious meals, as well as a safe, caring place to live , Offers life-skills training, counseling, case management, spiritual development and medical and dental care,  assists children with their individual goals . THE CHILDREN’S RESIDENTIAL PROGRAM has  two long term cottages and accepts children and teens ages 5-17 years. it provides clothing and nutritious meals, as well as a safe, caring place to live,  offers life-skills training, counseling, case management, spiritual development and medical and dental care, assists children with their individual goals, and each cottage has the capacity to care for 8 residents. The duration of a child’s stay depends on his or her specific needs. Each child is eligible for after-care through Cumberland Family Services upon leaving the program. The CPCH  is a strength-focused agency that believes in  helping our clients identify their strengths and build on them. We help them develop the tools they need to find solutions to the challenges of life.

2018 Mission Trippers: Aidan Kennemer, Parker Brown , Regan Mills, Katy Barnes, Lacey Young, Brando Young, Jackson Mills, &  Austin Thames,Lori Harnish, Chris Oyer,  Renee Brown, JB Brown, Robert Mills, Darren Kennemer, & Michael Youngimg_2441

CPC Middle School Meet Up …June 8

Posted by on Apr 18, 2019 in Education, Featured Announcements, PYF: Youth 6th+ | Comments Off on CPC Middle School Meet Up …June 8

CPC Middle School Meet Up …June 8

Middle School Youth … This summer there is a special event just for 6th & 7th grade youth on June 8 at Winchester CPC in Winchester, TN (  It is a little less than a 3 hour drive). Lots of fun activities and fellowship with others in our denomination!

(parents if you have younger ones this event is in conjunction with Children’s Fest)

Event will start 9:00 a.m. and is for  youth who have completed 6th or 7th grades. It follows the same time frame as Children’s Fest.

If you are middle school age and want to attend the Middle School Meet up – Lori needs you to register.  Lori will be going to both events – so you can go with her the night before but you will have to pay for lodging – it’s usually not that much.

Any parents who want to serve as an adult volunteer, please feel free to register as well.

Lori needs youth and parents to contact her to let her know if you are going, or not. If you are going to the Middle School Meet – up then register – see below and let her know you’ve done it.

Below is the registration information:

Link to Register:

If you miss the first chance, there is another opportunity to attend this event on in McKenzie, TN at Bethel University on July 6.(That is a 5 hour drive. ) Contact Lori to see about travel information.



CONNECT – Sunday Mornings

Posted by on Mar 14, 2019 in Featured Announcements, Fellowship | Comments Off on CONNECT – Sunday Mornings

CONNECT – Sunday Mornings

CONNECT Fellowship and Study Groups meet each Sunday morning before the worship service.  

 CONNECT Fellowship meets from 9- 915am There is a time every Sunday morning from 9-9:15am of fellowship (& snacks!) in the Fellowship Hall and a time to visit with friends and catch up on what the they’ve been doing during the week.

 At 9:15 we separate into our CONNECT Sunday Morning study groups. We have 2 adult study groups, a children’s group, and a youth study group.

 All are welcome to come!

Love Your Enemies

Posted by on Feb 22, 2018 in Education, From the Pastors | Comments Off on Love Your Enemies

Love Your Enemies

 ‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? 

Matthew 5:43-48

For most of us the decision to receive the gift of salvation God offers to the world in Jesus was a fairly easy one to make. After all, that decision doesn’t cost us anything; it is the free gift of grace through the faith that is also gifted to us. In many respects it is God’s choosing that brings us into the blessed light of salvation. A good Presbyterian would say it is our destiny, and it is in that sense that we consider humanity to be pre – destined. From the beginning it is God’s intention to save the world.

The harder choice for us to make is to live a life that is committed to living under the Lordship of Jesus. That’s a harder choice because that choice costs us everything. Try as we may to create them, the fact is there just aren’t many options to how we are to think about, treat, respect, embrace, welcome, and receive others if we are being a disciple. Jesus reminded his followers that the command was clear: Love God with all you have and love neighbor as self. The epistle of John teaches that we cannot love God while hating brother or sister. The Apostle Paul instructed the Roman church that hospitality was the hallmark of the faithful community and that we should never seek revenge – hate evil and love good – leave room for God to work, was his instruction.

We live in a world that begs us to find enemies among us and lash out at them. The reasons hardly matter. We are supposed to have political enemies, national enemies, economic enemies, and religious enemies. What we perhaps forget is that the world has always operated in this way, and the story of humanity told in the bible bears that out. Jesus himself encountered all of this and offered up hard to follow instruction: Love your enemies and pray for those who would purposely hurt you. Jesus taught that the most effective way to engage enemy was to love them as the brother and sister of God that they are.

Having Jesus be our Savior is a blessed gift of grace free to all who believe. Serving Jesus as Lord is a lifelong commitment of obedience, trust, and self – giving love that will cost and cost and cost, and we can only live like that as we stay in touch with God and continue to seek the guidance of Jesus’ teachings and the help of God’s Spirit.

Let us pray:
Come to us today, O God, in the wonder of your love. Live in the secret places of our hearts where we have tried so hard to keep you out, those places where you know us as we really are. Fill us with your Spirit, and by your grace send us out into the mix of whatever this day will bring in order to show your compassionate and strengthening love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.*

(*Mark H. Landfried, from Let Us Pray: Reformed Prayers for Christian Worship).

Men’s Fellowship

Posted by on Mar 29, 2016 in Featured Announcements, Fellowship | Comments Off on Men’s Fellowship

Men’s Fellowship

The  Men’s Fellowship of FPC Alabaster meet at least one a month – usually meet each second Sunday morning of the month for breakfast and Fellowship at 7am. For the month of June they will be meeting on a Saturday (June 23) for their annual cookout and will not be meeting for breakfast.

All men are welcome to come participate. The Men’s Fellowship also have projects and programs they volunteer  with at FPCA and in the Community.  A recent project was building a covered area over one of the Fellowship Hall entrances.

The Men’s Fellowship is sponsoring a yard sale June 16 to raise money for project they would like to work on or contribute to. Donations for the Yard Sale will be taken June 11-15.

Senior Adult Fellowship

Posted by on Jul 21, 2015 in Featured Updates, Fellowship | Comments Off on Senior Adult Fellowship

Senior Adult Fellowship

The J.O.Y. Club (Just Older Youth) is a group of  our members who are retired and enjoy traveling (and eating). Each month the group visits a different place in Alabama.

“Ashes to Life; Dust to Redemption”

Posted by on Mar 2, 2015 in From the Pastors | Comments Off on “Ashes to Life; Dust to Redemption”

“Ashes to Life; Dust to Redemption”

            ​A minister was visiting a family and one of the children had a burning question to ask. Like a good student the child raised her hand during the discussion and when she got the minister’s attention she asked, “Is it true that we all came from dust and we all return to dust?” The pastor answered carefully because he could see how serious she was. He said, “Yes, the Bible tells us that God made us out of the dust of the earth and when we die, our bodies return to dust.” Then the child looked shocked and exclaimed, “Well, somebody is either coming or going under my bed.”

            ​The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday. Those of you who were able to be at the service will recall that, as Pastor Earl and I imposed your ashes, we said, “Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return.” The fact that we are nothing but ashes and dust is part of the theme of this season of the Christian year. This theme is perhaps the most important part of Lent. We don’t like to think of those things. We would rather accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. But, Lent makes us look at our own sinfulness and the frailty of life. Without God we are as lifeless as the dust of the earth and we are as dead as the rocks beneath our feet.

            ​The Hebrew Reading this morning is about God making a covenant with Abraham and Sarah. We are told that Abraham was 99 years old. Abraham was so old that Paul says in Romans that Abraham considered his own body to be as good as dead. Sarah was a bit younger, but still no spring chicken (whatever that means). She was probably, scholars tell us, in her late 80s. The two of them had reached that point in their lives when most people sit in rocking chairs on their front porches and spend their time keeping track of how many great grandchildren they have. The problem was they had never had any children. Sarah was barren and much too old to bear children — or so they thought.

            ​Then God came to Abraham to make a covenant with him. God said, “I’ll make you a deal: You keep your nose clean and I will make your family into a great nation.” But how — he had no family? There was Ishmael, Abraham’s son by Sarah’s servant. He could produce descendants. But God said, “No, I’m going to bless your wife Sarah and she will bear a child and be the mother of nations.” Surely God was kidding! Could a hundred-year-old man and a ninety-year-old woman have a baby? And Abraham laughed until he was rolling on the ground.

​            The lifeless womb of Sarah was a reality. The physical reality is that a 90-year-old woman cannot bear children. Life could not be produced from a couple that old. But, God decided to make Abraham a nation that would follow the Almighty who can do all things. God decided to take something lifeless and create life. It is inconceivable to we human beings. But, it is God’s way of doing things.

            ​Thousands of years later Peter was sitting with the disciples listening to Jesus. And as they were sitting there Jesus began to tell them that he would suffer. He would be rejected by the religious establishment and be handed over to the Romans who would execute him. But then, three days later, he would rise again. He said it very plainly so they could understand well.

            ​But Peter pulled him aside, “No Lord, you have it all wrong. You are the Messiah the anointed one of God. Just a minute ago you asked me who I thought you were. I said you are the Messiah. I really believe that. You are supposed to go to Jerusalem and all the people will hail you as King. You will not die, you will live forever — Long live the King!”

            ​But Jesus said, “Peter, you have it all wrong. That is the world’s way. My way is different. My way is to bring life out of death — power out of humble sacrifice. You can’t participate in the empire of the world and follow me.”

            ​We live in a world where death is a reality. We don’t understand why things happen the way that they do. But there’s more than just physical death. There’s the lifelessness of our human condition without God; the misery of the world without God’s Kindom.

            ​These things are real. They cannot be denied or painted over. But that is what we try to do. Our culture attempts to live in a fantasy.

            ​We treat war as a political tool…or at worst, a necessary evil. When the reality is very different. War is war and real people get killed. Bombs meant for a bridge or communications tower fall on elementary schools, hospitals, and homes. We call that “collateral damage.” And, a piece of our collective soul dies.

            We see folks who are different from us, being maligned and ostracized. And, we try to pretend that is somehow ok. But, where any person is denied equality, every person experiences the loss of the same grace we all depend upon.

            It’s not easy to think about such things. We prefer to believe that everything is okay. The truth is that we come from dust and return to it.

            But, in the face of this reality, there is good news: God’s way is to bring life out of death. This is what our scripture lessons show us. God made the lifeless womb of Sarah bear a great nation. God used the death of Christ to give credence to the new way that Christ taught.

            God can take the dead and lifeless parts of our lives and our world and breathe new life into them too. But, if we deny that these lifeless parts exist, then no life can come out of them. If we go on living as if there are no consequences to our actions, then we cannot claim to follow Christ.

            The world’s way is to say “Life can only come where everything is okay.” But, God’s way is to bring life… even out of death! And we are invited to participate.

Thanks be to God, Amen!


“The Greatest Temptation”

Posted by on Feb 23, 2015 in From the Pastors | Comments Off on “The Greatest Temptation”

“The Greatest Temptation”

Mark 1:9-15 –In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’  And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’ 

The word of God for the people of God.  Thanks be to God.

 Oh my, don’t we know a thing or two about temptation. But what is the greatest temptation?  Many theologians have speculated that the greatest temptation is power.  We sometimes feel that being in charge and having authority are the only things that really matter.  Well, that’s pretty tough too.  But, it’s still not the toughest.

 This same pericope in Matthew’s Gospel gives us three specific temptations.  Jesus is tempted to test God; be materialistic; then to break his fast…and place comfort above his spiritual discipline.

There it is.  Do you see it?  It’s the temptation to be ordinary. “Your hungry Jesus.  The body needs food.  God knows that.  Make yourself some lunch.  Anybody would do that in your situation.”

How often we are faced with the same temptation to set aside our calling.  The world demands it.  No one wants to be different.  In fact, that’s the real temptation that underwrites most of the others.

So what if I don’t befriend the outcast person.  Nobody else has.  So what if I join in a derogatory conversation about people who are not like everybody else.  That’s what the group I’m with is doing and I don’t want to stick out.

This is the temptation to be ordinary.  Christ calls us to something higher.  We’re called to act as Jesus acted.

You may have seen the poster that says, “Life is a test. It is only a test. Had this been a real life you would have been instructed where to go and what to do.” When we think about this humorous bit of wisdom, it reminds us to not take life so seriously.

 As an experiment, let’s see if we can apply this idea to something we are forced to deal with. Perhaps situation at home, work, or school.  Perhaps a temptation that always seems to get the upper hand in our lives. Let’s see if we can redefine the issue we face from being a “problem” to being a test. Rather than struggling with our issue, we’ll see if there is something we can learn from it. We’ll ask ourselves, “Why is this issue in my life? What would it mean and what would be involved to rise above it? Could I possibly look at this issue any differently? Can I see it as a test of some kind?”

I read about this experiment in Richard Carlson’s book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and It’s All Small Stuff.  It stuck with me because Dr. Carlson went on to talk about a personal issue that I also share.  He says that he used to struggle a great deal over the issue of not having enough time. He would rush around trying to get everything done. He says that he blamed his schedule, his family, his circumstances, and anything else he could think of for my plight. Then it dawned on him. If he wanted to be happy, his goal didn’t necessarily have to be to organize his life perfectly so that he had more time, but rather to see whether he could get to the point where he felt it was okay that he couldn’t get everything done that he felt he must. In other words, the real challenge was to see this struggle as a test. Seeing this issue as a test ultimately helped him to cope with one of his biggest personal frustrations. Even after taking Dr. Carlson’s advice, I still struggle now and then about my perceived lack of time, but less than I used to. It has become far more acceptable to me to accept things as they are.

 Friends, God has given us much, and so, much is asked.  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.  And love your neighbor as yourself.”  That’s not always as easy as it sounds.

But there’s good news: for every temptation God provides a way out. Our challenge is to learn from these tests along the way.

The Gospel says that while Jesus was in the wilderness, the angels were taking care of him.  Not just after the temptation, but right in the heat of battle too.

What kind of wilderness are we in this morning?  Sometimes, even the things we see as beautiful can turn ugly in a matter of seconds.  But even then sisters and brothers, God is right there with us, showing us the way out.

Thanks be to God!


Youth Meet Sunday Evenings – Fun, Food, & fellowship provided – Join Us!

Posted by on Aug 27, 2012 in Featured Announcements, PYF: Youth 6th+ | Comments Off on Youth Meet Sunday Evenings – Fun, Food, & fellowship provided – Join Us!

Youth Meet Sunday Evenings – Fun, Food, & fellowship  provided – Join Us!

PYF – Presbyterian Youth Fellowship.

PYF meet for a meal with PCF each Sunday at 5:00 in the Fellowship Hall. After the meal (at 5:30pm) the Youth meet for a time of study , fun, or working on a mission project. The PYF Youth Leader is Lori Harnish. PYF is for All teens in grades 7th – 12th+.

Fun, fellowship and dinner are provided.

For more info, visit PYF Youth.