“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”
God says these words to the Israelites as they face a time of crisis. They are exiled from their homeland. All that they have known is gone. Their way of life is no more. Stranded in a foreign place, they must now learn to do everything in new ways. In the midst of that chaos, God speaks to the Israelites and promises that something new is about to happen. God will make a “way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (43:19b). God will make a way forward. God will bring abundance where there has been only loss. God will give new life where there has been only grief.
In a way, we too are exiles. In this year of pandemic, of isolation and distancing, we have had to let go of much of the life we knew before. We have missed milestones and cherished social events. We’ve wondered and stressed over decisions that use to be taken for granted – sending children to school, attending sports games, gathering with family and friends. We’ve wished for a new beginning.
Could it be that God is saying these same words to us today? “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” Could it be God is promising us that out of the chaos we have experienced these last several months, a new pathway is becoming visible?
God promises a new way forward for the Israelites, but that promise is rooted in the past. God reminds the people of all that has come before – the deliverance, the salvation, the love and grace that has come from their Lord. God reminds them specifically of leading their ancestors out of slavery in Egypt, through the Red Sea, to the promise land. It was and is God “who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters” (43:16). God has done so before, so the Israelites know God will do so again. They can trust in this promise!
We, too, can trust in God’s promise because we know all that God has done before. Our church family has deep roots in the promises, love and grace of God. In our nearly 200-year history, we have experienced times of turmoil and upheaval, and through it all God has continued to call First Presbyterian to faithful discipleship and ministry. We have been blessed and our lives have been enriched as we have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to share the good news – witnessing to and serving our community, teaching our children and young people the faith, worshiping God through Sacrament and Word and the gift of beautiful music, and encouraging one another as the Body of Christ.
Like the Israelites in Isaiah, FPC has deep roots that help us to trust in the promises of God and have faith that God is indeed doing a new thing, offering us a way forward through new ways in Christ. We invite you to be part of that work through giving your time, talents, and resources. God is calling you to be part of our ongoing story. Thanks be to God. Amen.
First Presbyterian Church’s Vision for Stewardship
Our church has a long standing record of service in the Jackson community and beyond. We are currently participating in several local outreach efforts such as Room in the Inn through Area Relief Ministries (ARM) and the Soup Kitchen at Regional Inter-Faith Association (RIFA). Additionally, we support Scarlet Rope, Aspell Manor, Carl Perkins Center for Prevention of Child Abuse, Habitat for Humanity, HandsUp Preschool, Meals on Wheels, and Youth Town. We also support and are involved with international mission trips to our sister church in Cusco, Peru.
What Can You Do?
1. Make a Pledge
What is a pledge, and why should I make a pledge to the church?
A pledge is a statement of what you intend to give to the church next year. It may be changed or canceled anytime as your circumstances dictate. So why make one?
First of all, we pledge because we know we are called to make a commitment to the God who loves us beyond measure and has given us so much. We plan for many events in our lives…how can we commit to so many other things and not plan our commitment to Jesus Christ? A pledge is born out of thanksgiving and Christian responsibility and is a tangible reminder of God’s grace and our response.
Secondly, we pledge in order to help our church plan for her ministry and use her gifts and resources effectively. In regards to financial contributions and planning, this church believes in being responsible, accountable, faithful, and systematic. A pledge to this church helps us plan effectively to carry out the call and challenge of Jesus Christ. If we can anticipate our resources, we can plan our actions.
Please pray about it, and carefully consider making a pledge to support the 2020 budget of our church. It is an important step for you, and a wonderful way to support this congregation. Please note that all pledges stay confidential between the donor and the church finance office. Thank you for your prayerful consideration.
There are four ways to make your pledge to FPC:
-Fill out pledge card on our website (scroll to the bottom of this page)
-Fill out pledge card on FPC mobile app
-Mail in stewardship pledge card, or
-Call FPC Financial Secretary
Scroll to the bottom of the page to fill out your Financial Pledge Form!
2. Donate to First Presbyterian Church
There are multiple ways to donate. If you have any questions about this process, please do not hesitate to call the church office at 731.422.1591.
- Check: Make payable to First Presbyterian Church. Mail or drop off at 1573 N. Highland Ave. Jackson, TN 38301
- Bill Pay: Online bill pay through your local Financial Institution is a service that sends money out of your bank account to whomever you wish. In most cases, these online bill pay services will print a check and mail it to the recipient. To set up this type of online bill pay, you should be able to set up a new payee in the name of First Presbyterian Church. Enter the address 1573 N. Highland Ave. Jackson, TN 38301. Each time you want to pay you will just enter the amount of the donation and you’re done. The bank will print and mail a check that will pull money from your account. It can also usually be set up where it can be paid on a recurring basis of your choice. Please contact your local bank for additional assistance needed.
- Auto Bank Draft: Many financial institutions offer automatic bank draft services to make it easy to donate. First Presbyterian Church also provides bank drafts for your convenience. Direct deposits can be set up weekly, monthly, or for a one-time transfer. Return the signed document to the church office.
Bank Draft Authorization Form
- eChurch/Pushpay – PushPay with the MyChurch app– We make it easy to register, pay, and remember what events are happening. No matter if you use the app for payments or for knowing what is going on, the ability to stay in touch is in the palm of your hand. Simply text: FPCJACKSONTN to 77977 to make a contribution. When you send the message ‘FPCJACKSONTN’ to 77977 you will receive a one time reply containing a link to give to First Presbyterian Church of Jackson (1msg/request).