Bulletin and Announcements


If you have not read Pastor Nicoletti’s March 19 letter regarding worship services and mid-week events, you can click here to read it.

In-person services and events are cancelled indefinitely. Sunday worship and our weekday devotionals will be streamed on our Faith Pres Live! page

 

Worship

The Order of Worship for Sunday, April 5, 2020

Morning Service – 11:00am via Livestream

In the morning service, Pastor Nicoletti’s sermon is “The Great Exchange” from John 11:38-57.

You can download a copy of the Order of Worship here.

If you need a printed copy of the sermon manuscript, you can download it here.

Evening Worship at 6:00pm via Livestream

The evening service will stream at 6:00pm.

Live Stream

The services are now available to watch live. Click here to watch live, or go to our video archive for recordings of previous services.

 

 

Sunday School

NOTE: ALL SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASSES ARE CANCELLED INDEFINITELY

Sunday school for all ages is ordinarily weekly at 9:45am. The full list of classes is available on our Sunday School page.

 

Events

NOTE: ALL IN-PERSON EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES ARE CANCELLED INDEFINITELY

All services and events are livestream only.

Upcoming Events

April 5 – Palm Sunday
April 6 – Morning Devotional Online
April 8 – Morning Devotional Online, Prayer Meeting Conference Call
April 10 – Morning Devotional Online, Day of Fasting, Good Friday Service, Men’s Night of Prayer
April 12 – Easter Sunday
May 24 – Mozart Requiem

For event times, locations, and more details, please visit our Events page.

 

Announcements

NOTE: ALL IN-PERSON MID-WEEK EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES ARE CANCELLED INDEFINITELY

The Lord’s Supper

Several of you have asked about whether or how we can receive the Lord’s Supper during this time. Pastor Nicoletti will speak to this at the beginning of the service. First, based on past decisions of the General Assembly (our denomination’s highest ecclesiastical court), we cannot officiate the Lord’s Supper via live stream. But second, for theological reasons, we also agree that we should not officiate the Lord’s Supper via live stream, or try to celebrate the Lord’s Supper without a minister or the gathered assembly. Pastor Nicoletti will give a brief explanation of the reasons for this before the service, but if you’d like a more detailed discussion of this question, we’d encourage you to take a look at an article by the Rev. Dr. Scott R. Swain, a professor at Reformed Theological Seminary, which can be found here.

Morning Devotional Online – Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 7:30am 

Morning Devotional Online 7:30 am

We will broadcast at 7:30 am, though once the broadcast is over, it will be archived on our Facebook page. Live videos and the archived videos can be accessed here.

Prayer Meeting Conference Call – Wednesday, April 8, 7:00pm

Prayer Meeting Conference Call 7:00 pm

Instructions for joining the call have gone out via email. If you have not received those instructions and would like to, please email the church office for more information.

A Call for a Day of Prayer and Fasting – Friday, April 10, 2020

Members from our denomination (the Presbyterian Church in America), the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, and the Anglican Church in North America, are joining together to call for a day of prayer and fasting on Good Friday, April 10, 2020. Good Friday is already a day for fasting, prayer, and consideration both of our sins and God’s grace to us in Christ. We now add to that prayers for God’s work and deliverance in the midst of the current crisis. We would encourage all our members to participate in this day of fasting and prayer as they are able. We recognize that this will look different for different people. Please prayerfully consider what it might look like for you. The announcement for this day of prayer and fasting can be found here. One guide to prayer and fasting which you may find helpful as you consider this (written by Dr. Richard Pratt, president of Third Millennium Ministries), can be found here.

Good Friday Service  – Friday, April 10, 7:00pm

Our Good Friday Worship Service is a one-hour service of Scripture reading, choral anthems, and hymns.We will broadcast at 7:00 pm, though once the broadcast is over, it will be archived on our web site.

Live videos and the archived videos can be accessed here. http://www.faithtacoma.org/live

Men’s Night of Prayer – Friday, April 10, 9:00pm – 10:30pm

Twice a year, on Good Friday and a Friday close to Reformation Sunday, we have a men’s night of prayer. Our night of prayer will, understandably, need to be modified and abbreviated given the current circumstances. The Good Friday Men’s Night of Prayer will therefore be held by video conference, from 9:00 pm to 10:30 pm on Friday, April 10th. The time will be almost exclusively focused on prayer (with few or no readings, and … of course … no food or fellowship). We encourage all men in the congregation to join us, and (if they are participating in the above day of fasting and prayer) to consider extending their time of fasting and prayer for the current crisis through the video conference as well. Information on how to join the video conference will be sent out this week via email. Please contact the church office if you have any questions.

Mozart’s Requiem – Sunday, May 24

Death is hard. There is no doubt that we all have fears and doubts about it. We wonder how it will be for each of us. What will happen in the very moment of death? But we have a Savior who died, immediately went in his soul to heaven, and a few days later rose bodily from the dead, and all of this for us, that we might do the same. He has conquered death for those who will trust in Him! He tells us not to fear; indeed, on that day, “you will be with me in Paradise.”

Please come on Ascension Sunday evening to hear the choir present Mozart’s Requiem. It is music designed to be worship, praise and prayer addressed to our God and Savior. Poetry, art, and a homily will complete the evening. We don’t hear as much about death as Christians used to; we don’t think about it as much as we should. Here is a way to do that in a way that is beautiful and memorable as it ought to be for Christians who know that “the journey of no return” leads to the place that is “better by far!”

Reminder to put Vacation Bible School on your Calendar! – July 6-10

All family schedule keepers, take note! Vacation Bible School will be JULY 6th – 10th this summer. Age/grades are 4’s – 6th grade (completed). Our theme is “Olympian” and coincides with the 2020 Summer Olympics for extra relevance and fun! “While the world cheers on the 2020 Olympians, your VBS Athletes will be challenged to go the distance with Joshua, the great champion of the Bible who points us to Jesus!”

Women’s Retreat – October 22-24

Ladies, mark your calendars for the annual Women’s Retreat to be held October 22-24 at the Falls Creek Retreat Center in Raymond, WA.

 

Nursing Mothers

In addition to the nursery rooms, Room #117 – the Women’s Fellowship Room, is open and available for your convenience during all worship services. The service can be seen and heard in the Women’s Fellowship Room.

Hearing Assistance

If you would like a device to help with hearing the worship service, please see a Deacon.

Online Giving

Text “faithtacoma” to 1-888-364-GIVE (4483) for a link to our online giving portal, or click here.

A Reminder About Parking

As a courtesy to our neighbors, please do not park on the south side of South 8th Street, on South Winnifred Street behind the church, or where the curb is painted yellow.

Also, please save the spots next to the building marked “reserved” for our elderly and those with mobility limitations.

Please do not leave valuables visible in your vehicle; we have experienced numerous break-ins.\\

 

 

Letter To The Congregation Regarding Sunday Worship And Other Updates

3/19/2020

Dear FPC Family,

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

It has been an eventful week since my last letter to you on March 13th. It has been a time of adjustment and change for everyone, with shifting practices regarding work, new homeschooling tasks and responsibilities for students and parents, disconnection from our church and communities for all, and anxiety and uncertainty for many. This is a challenging experience for everyone.

And yet, as we remind ourselves again and again, Christ is Lord. He loves us and is sovereign.

At the church, our leadership has been working on how we can best continue to minister to you all under these challenging and unusual circumstances, continuing to do the work of the Church as best we can, while loving our neighbors through best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

I’d like to update you all on what to expect from the church in the weeks ahead:

All Gatherings Cancelled Through Saturday, April 4th

The session has decided to cancel all gatherings (including gatherings for worship) through Saturday April 4th. Sadly, this will include two more Sundays where our gathering in-person will be replaced through our online video stream (see below for more on that). It will also unfortunately mean cancelling the prayer retreat which was scheduled for April 3-5.

Sunday Morning Worship

I am so thankful to the musicians, the staff, and our tech support here at the church, all of whom made the livestream of our worship possible last Lord’s Day morning.

I know some experienced technical difficulties, and we are sorry for that, and appreciate your patience as we adjust to this new setup. The root problem was with the host of our website, and we have been working with them to increase our capacity for this coming Lord’s Day.

We will stream our service again on Sunday at 11:00 am. The primary place we would urge you to go for that service would be our Livestream webpage, but we will also work to have some redundancies in place. In addition to being on the streaming page, the written order of service will also be sent out via email beforehand (in case the site has problems again). And in addition to streaming to our website, an identical video stream will be sent to our Facebook page via Facebook Live (Last Lord’s Day the Facebook Live broadcast was an on-the-fly feed from a cell phone. This time we will aim to have it be the same feed as goes to the website. You do not need a Facebook account to access our Facebook Live video stream.)

As with last Lord’s Day, please let us know about any issues that come up, so that we can work to continue to improve our service.

Sunday Evening Worship

Some have expressed their disappointment that we did not offer a streaming service of evening worship on 3/15. We appreciate your patience for us as we make adjustments to everything, including this aspect of our church life. So much changed so quickly last week that it was hard to get everything up and running for an additional evening service as well.

This coming Lord’s Day (3/22) we will begin offering a live-stream-only service at 6:00 pm. It will be an abbreviated service, with a shorter sermon (and possibly a more topical one), but it will still be a time for us to join together in turning our eyes to the Lord in worship and hearing from God’s word.

Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting

Starting next Wednesday (3/25) we will begin holding Wednesday night prayer meeting over a conference call through Microsoft Teams. The meeting will begin at 7:00 pm, and may be somewhat abbreviated. You can join by phone or video conference.

Instructions for joining the call have gone out via email. If you have not received those instructions and would like to, please email the church office for more information.

This format will introduce some challenges, but we hope it will be a time for many of us to connect and to pray for one another. If we have technical or logistical difficulties, we will continue to work on ways to refine the process and format in the future.

In order to add some more structure (made necessary by this format), we are asking two things:

  • If you have a prayer request that you would like prayed for at prayer meeting, if possible, please send it to us via email by noon on Tuesday.
  • If you would be willing to be assigned something to pray for on the conference call, please email us to volunteer by noon on Tuesday.

There will still be opportunities to share new prayer requests, and to pray on the call even if you did not email us beforehand. But the more we can organize before the call, the more orderly the call can be.

Communicating with Church Leaders

I want to urge you all once again, if you have any needs (material or spiritual), please do not hesitate to contact us: whether the pastors, the elders, the deacons, or the staff. We want to serve you, and we urge you to let us know if there are specific ways we can do that.

In the meantime, we will also be working to reach out to many of you as best we can over the phone – and so please do not be surprised if you see a call from a pastor, elder, or deacon!

Mid-Week Morning Devotionals

In a time where people feel isolated and where we are all facing unique challenges in keeping our focus, Pastor Gutierrez and I have decided to begin offering brief morning devotionals via Facebook Live on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, starting on Wednesday 3/25. The devotionals will be 5-15 minutes long, and will include Scripture and prayer. They won’t get into deep exegesis, but will aim to help us all focus together on the Lord as we start our day. We will broadcast at 7:30 am, though once the broadcast is over, it will be archived on our Facebook page. Live videos and the archived videos can be accessed here.

You do not need a Facebook account to access these videos. If you tune in for the livestream and don’t see it on the screen yet, just reload the page until you do.

Of course, circumstances may change and we don’t know how long we will offer this or how the frequency might need to be altered. But for now, we look forward to being able to provide this time for us to join together.

Speculations

There have been some speculations going around about members of our congregation being diagnosed with COVID-19. As far as I am aware no one in our congregation has been tested and confirmed to have the new virus. People have been sick, and many are (rightly) exercising an abundance of caution if they have any symptoms that overlap with COVID-19. In any case, as we care for one another, I encourage everyone to act with an abundance of caution, while also avoiding speculation and gossip.

Focus

Brothers and sisters, we will come back to this theme in the days ahead, but in the midst of all that is happening, let’s be intentional about turning to the Lord.

Periods of unique trial can be times when we lose our focus: where our hearts and minds become consumed with concerns and anxieties and frustrations. But they can also be times where we repent all the more sincerely, and cling to the Lord all the more fervently.

It is my prayer for us all that this would be a time where our focus on the Lord is renewed and strengthened.

As we considered last Sunday, the Lord holds on to his people, and nothing – nothing at all – can snatch them from his hand.

And so, in this time of uncertainty and anxiety, let us entrust ourselves – all that we are and all that we have – to our faithful Good Shepherd Jesus Christ.

 

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Nicoletti