First Presbyterian Church – Cedar Rapids

January 2018

The gifts God gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13

2018 promises to be an exciting year at First Presbyterian. We will be beginning the year with a January removal of parts of our organ. After Easter work will begin in earnest on our parking lot entrance, and by the end of the year we anticipate celebrating and dedicating new spaces and a newly refurbished organ. It will be an exciting time, but also one that I’m sure will test our abilities to be flexible, creatively problem solve, and be gracious with one another as we go about our business of being the church…in the midst of a construction zone.

However, while a good bit of our energy and attention may be taken with issues of access to the building, construction schedules and imagining different ways to house all our activities without a parking lot entrance and elevator, I hope to also make note this year of the ways we are working to build the kingdom of God in our church and our world.

As Paul notes in his letter to the Ephesians, we are all gifted in some way to be a part of building up the body of Christ in love, and this work of kingdom building transcends our physical spaces as we nurture both interior lives and move out into the world in compassion and love. Our relationship with God simultaneously involves a relationship with neighbor or community. Just as God is active in every nook and cranny of creation, so God uses God’s people to make sure people are fed, clothed, comforted, educated, protected, and welcomed. This is not just an occupation or a task that happens within the church walls, it is a way of life that springs from one’s inner being.

This January you will have the opportunity to fill out a time & talent form and share your gifts within the work and ministry of the congregation, but we will also be noting all the ways our members are out in the community giving of themselves, living out their faith, and impacting our world in good and lifegiving ways. 2018 promises to be a year where we are a “People At Work,” building our physical space, but also building the kingdom of God.

Grace & peace,




But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love. Ephesians 4:15-16



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