Please join us during worship


SATURDAY at 6:00 p.m. ~~~ "30@6" - A Casual 30-minute Service in our Social Hall

SUNDAY at 11:00 a.m. ~~~ A Traditional Service in our Sanctuary


the Presbyterian Church of Coraopolis

To everyone who has faith or needs it, who lives in hope or would gladly do so, whose character is glorified by the love of God or marred by the love of self; to those who pray and those who do not, who mourn and are weary or who rejoice and are strong; to everyone, in the name of Him who was lifted up to draw all people unto Himself, this Church offers a door of entry and a place of worship, saying ‘Welcome Home’!


Christmas Eve 2021 12/12/2021

#9 BACK TO BASICS 1/12/2022

For the next few weeks we will be highlighting:

OUR 3 CHURCH COVENANTS

(Our 3 Church Promises) 

Our Baptismal Covenant

I promise to trust God. I will try to remember my baptism or remember the babies and people who I saw get baptized. I promise to be a good Christian and help my friends and family be good Christians too.  

Our Church Membership Covenant

I promise to be part of God’s Church and come to church when I can. When I’m at church, at home, at school, or wherever I go, I promise to pray, be a good listener, and be a good helper when I can.  It’s important to remember how to be more like Jesus. 

Our Covenant to Follow God

I promise to love God and to do what would make Him happy. I will try to remember to read my Bible and understand important things from it like learning about The Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, the 23rd Psalm, the Apostles’ Creed, John 3:16, and the Christmas Story in Luke, just to name a few.

#8 BACK TO BASICS 1/2/2022

EPIPHANY

January 6, 2022 

After the wise men heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.            ~ Matthew 2:9-11 

Because the Magi (the three kings) honored and worshiped this new king (Jesus), they presented him with their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  

Gold was a gift fit for a king.  It was expensive, treasured, and everyone wanted it. 

Frankincense was an expensive fragrance, representing a personal treasure.  It was a fine perfume.   

Myrrh was a precious ointment used in the preparation for death.  It was mixed with sadness.   

All of these gifts were luxurious treasures in that day and in that part of the world.  Each of those men brought the baby Jesus the best they had to offer him.  This was a sign of their dedication.  Just as their kneeling was a sign that they honored him. 

#7 BACK TO BASICS 12/19/2021

THE CHRISTMAS STORY

The Book of Luke, Chapter 2, verses 8 – 14 

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

(King James Version)

 

8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.

9An angel of the LORD appeared to them, and the glory of the LORD shone around them, and they were terrified.

10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the LORD.

12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.

(New International Version)

#6 Back to Basics 12/6/2021

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

(for all Christian Churches) 

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. 

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead. 

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. 

The creed states what we believe about God, about Jesus, about the Holy Spirit, and about the church.

#5 Back to Basics 11/20/2021

THE BEATITUDES


* Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

* Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

* Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

* Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

* Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

* Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

* Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

* Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

* Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

The Beatitudes are "blessed sayings" that come from the opening verses of the famous Sermon on the Mount delivered by Jesus Christ and recorded in the Book of Matthew.  Here Jesus stated several blessings, each beginning with the phrase, "Blessed are . . . "  Each saying speaks of a blessing that will be bestowed on the person who possesses a certain character quality.

#4 Back to Basics 11/11/2021

JOHN 3:16


For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 

(God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son. God gave His Son so that whoever believes in Him may not be lost, but have eternal life.)


#3 Back To Basics 10/26/2021

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS


1.        Do not have other gods besides the one true God.

2.        Do not make an idol to worship.

3.        Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God.

4.        Keep the Sabbath day holy.

5.        Honor your father and your mother.

6.        Do not murder.

7.        Keep your marriage promises.

8.        Do not steal.

9.        Do not lie.

10.     Do not want things that belong to someone else.

 

~ The Book of Exodus, Chapter 20

#2 Back To Basics 9/30/2021

PSALM 23


The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

~ The Book of Psalms, Chapter 23

#1 BACK TO BASICS 9/22/2021

THE LORD'S PRAYER


Our Father who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our debts,

(may also say “trespasses” or “sins”)

 

as we forgive our debtors,

(may also say “those who trespass against us”

or “those who sin against us”)

 

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory,

forever and ever.

Amen.

~ Matthew chapter 6, verses 9 - 13



The latest Sermon from Reverend Tom

I Will Follow Him 1/16/2022

Sermon Message for Saturday, January 15, 2022 & Sunday, January 16, 2022 

Prayer For Illumination: Gracious God, give us humble, teachable, and obedient hearts, that we may receive what you have revealed, and do what you have commanded.  Amen. 

SCRIPTURE LESSONS:  Joshua 24:15 (Page 237) & Matthew 4:18-22 (Page 968) 

Sermon Message: “I Will Follow Him” 

Perhaps you recall some of the lyrics to the song, “I Will Follow Him.”  They became popular (again) in 2019 during the movie “Sister Act” starring actress, Whoopi Goldberg.  Within that movie she transforms a group of quiet Catholic Sisters (Nuns) into a rather vibrant choir.  One of their sensational songs was “I Will Follow Him.”  Recall with me some of those lyrics: I love him, I love him, and where he goes I’ll follow.  I will follow him wherever he may go.  There isn’t an ocean too deep or mountain so high it can keep, keep me away.  

The lyrics go on to say, I must follow him, ever since he touched my hand I knew that near him I must always be and nothing can keep me from him, He is my destiny.  He’ll always be my true love from now until forever. 

Initially that song was composed as a kind of love song for couples.  Within the movie it was adopted and transformed as a song illustrating a kind of “Faith” one has when following Jesus. 

So, I must ask, is ‘that’ how it happened when you came to ‘follow Jesus?’  Did He touch your hand and thus become your ‘destiny?’  ‘Following Him’ may be marked by a significant event, as seen in the calling of those first disciples.  Yet we also learn from the disciples ‘following him’ becomes a life-long process of faith, hope, love, and redemption. 

The four disciples mentioned in today’s scripture lesson were fishermen by trade.  The good Lord sees us where we are and further ‘calls’ us. Consider a bit further those first two disciples whom Jesus called to ‘follow him.’ 

Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee.  He saw two brothers, Simon, called Peter, and his brother, Andrew.  They were fishing, casting a net into the lake.  Jesus said to those two fishermen, “Come follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people.” 

Two other brothers, James, son of Zebedee, and his brother, John, were in a boat with their father, Zebedee, preparing their nets.  Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. 

Seldom do I hear of folks today just dropping everything and immediately following Jesus. 

The initial decision to ‘follow him’ does sometimes occur quickly.  At other times it takes a while.  However it occurs, our decision to follow him changes things.  Can you recall the ‘timing’ or the process that settled inside of you and lead you to decide to follow him?

Even those early disciples whom Jesus called spent the rest of their lives demonstrating what ‘following Him’ means. 

Let’s reflect a bit more on Matthew and Simon Peter. 

Some scholars affirm that Matthew became the unquestioned leader of the apostles.  As a leader, Matthew was not known for addressing large crowds like his brother, Simon.  Instead, Andrew ‘followed Him’ by leading people to Christ one by one.  Andrew’s main concern never was inviting himself into Jesus’ inner circle and private quarters.  Andrew was probably the glue in the apostolic band, the nicest and most accessible person in the group.  The record of Andrew does not stand much of a chance against the dramatic record of his brother Simon, the original Rock, one of Jesus’ three closest disciples.  Andrew was a leader of another kind – in friendship and lifestyle evangelism. 

Simon was defined by his larger-than-life personality, but Andrew by his down-to-earth “personability.”  One thing that defined Andrew in the Bible was his personal affinity with unfamiliar people and lost souls.  He was not intimidating, unlike his brother.  People can go through him, talk to him, and be with him.  Just as in this situation, Andrew, along with others, followed Jesus.  There was always somebody with Andrew.  Andrew was not a finder’s keeper kind of guy. Andrew was a humble man, definitely not as eloquent as his free-spirited brother, Simon.  He did not claim he was the one who found the Messiah.  It is recorded in the Gospel of John 1:41 Andrew found his brother and said, “We” have found the Messiah; the Christ. He didn’t reference himself mainly.  He did not say “I” have found the Messiah.  Rather, Matthew sought to remain ‘inclusive of others’ and thus proclaimed, “We” have found the Messiah.  Sometimes too, it’s hard to explain or convey to others what we have found in following Jesus.  So this disciple Andrew did the next best thing; he brought him to Jesus.  Andrew was not pushy, threatening, condemning, feisty, and argumentative.  That is as good a definition of evangelism as any – to bring people to Jesus, not to himself or even to John the Baptist. 

Andrew will forever be known in the Bible as the one who brought others to Jesus:  brother or not, young or old, Jews or Gentiles.  The apostle John seemed to hold Andrew in the utmost respect, especially for his personal touch with people.  The book of John gives us more details about Andrew not recorded in other gospels, such as Andrew finding a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish to feed the five thousand (John 6:8-10) and the Greeks going through Andrew for the opportunity to see Jesus (John 12:20-21).  In that sense, he was like his mentor, John the Baptist, testifying and pointing to Jesus.  

‘Following Him’ shows up in activities and wholesome endeavors we also seek to do for the sake of Jesus Christ, His Church, His ministries, and His missions. 

God uses our personalities as well, our skills, our endeavors, our studies, and experiences in our efforts to follow Him. Today’s scriptures affirm our growing knowledge that following Jesus means that we are going to do some things differently in our life; that there will be some things we too will need to leave behind.

Those early disciples seemed to have ‘their’ lives planned around themselves.  They had their own business and families to attend to.  Following Jesus meant expanding their horizons, so to speak.  It further meant submitting to God’s leading and the Lord’s call within their lives.  Following Him still means making some decisions about ‘how’ we will live our lives and ‘where’ we might need to go and do things for the Lord. 

All people tend to find that ‘following him’ changes our lives.  Sometimes significantly at first but also through varying stages extended over our lifetime. 

Trust and belief are essential components for following Him. 

Perhaps ‘following Him’ began with someone pointing us towards Jesus, saying ‘prayers’ with us, or bringing us to church to better ‘meet’ Jesus. 

Affirming Jesus Christ as God’s Son and our Savior requires trust and belief coming from us.  We need to nurture these essential qualities over a lifetime.  Striving to obey God’s teachings and the Bible’s guidance, confessing our sins and devoting ourselves to become Christians, better Christians, are basic and essential requirements to ‘following Him.’  I will follow Him means changing our ways from self-oriented entitlement to humble listening and reflection upon how God might use us to share faith with others. 

In this early stage we may find ourselves saying, “I will follow Him” perhaps with hesitancy, fear of regret, and unwelcomed humbling of ourselves before the Lord. 

I believe Matthew illustrates a good example of how we can help others who may be questioning what ‘I will follow Him’ means.  Matthew did not go on and on with Simon or others as he tried to get others to know Jesus Christ and follow Him.  Andrew simply, serenely, and sincerely just brought others into the presence of the Lord.  When communicating knowledge doesn’t suffice, bring others home to church and to your family of faith. 

I don’t know if you’ve ever thought much about it or not, but those early disciples were not just ‘called’ initially; they decided to stay with Jesus and follow him over the next three years of their lives.  ‘I will follow Him’ you see, becomes a maturing response to the presence of the Lord in our lives and unto a growing, workable realization of the benefits we inherit from responding to the Christian faith. 

You’ve heard me share this example before. Early on we may view The Ten Commandments as a list of do’s and don’ts which we must submit to.  As we grow, we begin to see the benefits from following those commands.  They become not just ‘commandments’ but more so ‘covenants’ between God, others, and us. 

‘I will follow Him’ isn’t JUST believing in Jesus.  It is about changing some things in your life. 

The best ‘affirmations’ of love are just that unless we spend time with those whom we love.  ‘I will follow Him’ means spending time with Him.  Get to know Jesus.  Spend some quality time each and every day in prayer, reflection, studying the Word, and getting to worship often, routinely, and regularly.  I have personally found this to be most valuable. 

‘I will follow Him’ is both a reflection and a further commitment.  As I reflect, the better decisions and directions of my life have occurred from how I allow myself to ‘follow Him.’  The more you or I follow Him, the greater becomes our peace-filled awareness that we have grown to love Him and be loved by Him. 

Reflect as did many in the Bible, upon your relationship and experience with the sacred, the holy, the Savior, and the Creator.  To those who choose to change and seek to follow Him, Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit.  There is an awareness within that comes from above touching our lives, filling our spirits with forgiveness, peace, love, and further inspiration associated with God’s guidance and direction for our lives. 

Those early disciples quickly learned ‘I will follow Him’ means I will become like Him.  That’s what Jesus is saying to us here.  He says:  “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  At the beginning of a New Year let’s take some time to evaluate ourselves.  How are we doing at ‘following him?’  Are you fishing for men, like Jesus said we would if we were following Him?  Are you reaching people?  Are you discipling people?  Are you caring for people?  Are you touching PEOPLE with your life?  Try bringing people to church.  Endeavor to pray for others.  Help others to follow Him.  Jesus said that’s what following Him is all about. 

How will it be in your walk with Jesus this year?  How might you and I better follow Him? 

May we begin with this spiritual/Biblical affirmation: “As for me and my household, we will follow the Lord.”  Amen.