Weekly News for Sunday, January 10, 2016


Jim Gray.
Cards and visits appreciated. Jim is staying at:
Health Central Park, 411 N Dillard St, Winter Garden, FL 34787
Youth from Grace Covenant and Orlando Presbyterian Church are hosting a spaghetti dinner to raise money for this summer’s mission trip. They will be ready to seat anyone from OPC who would like to venture over after our 5:00 worship. If you didn’t get tickets but would like to attend, reply to this email.
Pastoral Installation Service: January 17th during 5:00 Worship
Provided we have Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry’s approval for our commission, the service for pastoral installation will be part of our worship service on January 17 starting at 5:00. The committee representing the churches of Presbytery including OPC will be: Dan Williams, Maynard Pittendreigh, Erika Rembert Smith, Cheryl Carson, and Guy Neff.
Special music for this Sunday will be my friends, Etta and Bob Britt. (Read Etta’s story in The Huffington Post
Saturday, January 23, 2016
9:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church
724 N. Woodland Blvdd. DeLand
An annual leadership education event for:
Teaching Elders, Church Educators-Professional & Volunteer,
Ruling Elders, Commissioned Ruling Elders, Deacons
Youth & Young Adult Ministry Staff and Volunteers
Clerks of Session, and
Church Committee Members 
Classes led by OPC members and friends:
Leaders: Rev. Erika Rembert Smith, Pastor, Washington Shores Presbyterian Church & Rev. David Jones, Orlando Presbyterian Church

From the brochure: Erika and David both pastor congregations in the downtown Orlando area. Orlando Presbyterian and Washington Shores Presbyterian crossed Division Street and worshipped and worked together for over a month and are continuing to work together. Before these two communities of faith could join together in worship and ministry, these two pastors and congregations had to set aside long developed assumptions and prejudices and cast away preconceived notions before they could join together in ministry. Come and learn from their experience how you can cross the divides that separate you from others and join in a united body of Christ across the world.



Geneva Hamilton, Ruling Elder

What is liturgical dance?  Participants will learn types of liturgical dances, the goal of the dancer, liturgical dance’s scriptural base, the proper attire to wear, and when and where liturgical dance appropriate. The dancer or dancers must be self-centering and aware, (prayerful, fasting and meditating).  Ministry enhancement such as using billows, streamers and flags will also be discussed.   
There are lots of opportunities besides these events.
Learning abounds at COLE – see the registration form link above
for more details about all the classes that are offered.
Education Opportunities:


The details are still being worked out, but we are looking for the right time and place for a Tuesday morning study.

We’ll be studying my book, The Psychology of Jesus.

I’ll will also be preaching from the same passages as the chapters. The order for study and worship will be a little different than the order of chapters in the book. For example, this week’s sermon will parallel chapter eight because chapter eight is on Herod and the Magi.
If you need a copy of the book and don’t have one, there will be some available at church. You can also click this book cover. It is a link for a copy of the book online.
Scripture and Theme
Psychology of JesusBook Chapter
January 3
Matthew 2:1-16 Epiphany
Chapter 3
January 10
Matthew 3:13-4:3 Jesus’ Baptism
Chapter 2
January 17
TBA Pastoral Installation
January 24
Luke 15 Lost Sheep and Lost Sons
Chapter 4
January 31
Luke 19:1-10 Zacchaeus
Chapter 6
The details are still being worked out, but we’re working on a Wednesday evening time to gather with a different speaker/friend of our congregation who will come and share part of their life story. This will help us build our community as we get to see the world from our varying perspectives and take time walking in each others’ shoes.
The Presbytery Book Club will meet CFP Resource Center to discuss the book, Thursday, January 14th at 1:00 to discuss “Simply Good News by N. T. Wright. More details and downloadable flyers are available at: http://cfpequip.weebly.com/book-club.html
Suzy Parks and Ron Cangro will be playing at Jazz Tastings in Maitland on Thursday, January 14th from 7:00-11:00 and would love to see you come out. Jazz Tastings is 164 Lake Ave, Maitland, FL 32751

Luke 3:

15As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, 
16John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 
17His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” 
18So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people. 
19But Herod the ruler, who had been rebuked by him because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the evil things that Herod had done, 
20added to them all by shutting up John in prison.
21Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, 22and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
Once again, I turn to Frederick  Buechner as I prepare for this weeks sermon. Buechner helps not only examine this text, but also to look deeper into what we believe about God, and perhaps more importantly, what God believes about us.
JOHN THE BAPTIST didn’t fool around. He lived in the wilderness around the Dead Sea. He subsisted on a starvation diet, and so did his disciples. He wore clothes that even the rummage-sale people wouldn’t have handled. When he preached, it was fire and brimstone every time.
The Kingdom was coming all right, he said, but if you thought it was going to be a pink tea, you’d better think again. If you didn’t shape up, God would give you the ax like an elm with the blight or toss you into the incinerator like chaff. He said being a Jew wouldn’t get you any more points than being a Hottentot, and one of his favorite ways of addressing his congregation was as a snake pit. Your only hope, he said, was to dean up your life as if your life depended on it, which it did, and get baptized in a hurry as a sign that you had. Some people thought he was Elijah come back from the grave, and some others thought he was the Messiah, but John would have none of either. ”I’m the one yelling himself blue in the face in the wilderness;’ he said, quoting Isaiah. “I’m the one trying to knock some sense into your heads” (Matthew 3:3).
One day who should show up but Jesus. John knew who he was in a second. “You’re the one who should be baptizing me;’ he said (Matthew 3:14), but Jesus insisted, and so they waded out into the Jordan together, and it was John who did the honors.
John apparently had second thoughts about him later on, however, and it’s no great wonder. Where John preached grim justice and pictured God as a steely-eyed thresher of grain, Jesus preached forgiving love and pictured God as the host at a marvelous party or a father who can’t bring himself to throw his children out even when they spit in his eye. Where John said people had better save their skins before it was too late, Jesus said it was God who saved their skins, and even if you blew your whole bankroll on liquor and sex like the Prodigal Son, it still wasn’t too late. Where John ate locusts and honey in the wilderness with the church crowd, Jesus ate what he felt like in Jerusalem with as sleazy a bunch as you could expect to find. Where John crossed to the other side of the street if he saw any sinners heading his way, Jesus seems to have preferred their company to the WCTU, the Stewardship Committee, and the World Council of Churches rolled into one. Where John baptized, Jesus healed.
Finally John decided to settle the thing once and for all and sent a couple of his disciples to put it to Jesus straight. “John wants to know if you’re the One we’ve been waiting for or whether we should cool our heels a while longer;’ they said (Luke 7:20), and Jesus said, “You go tell John what you’ve seen around here. Tell him there are people who have sold their seeing-eye dogs and taken up bird-watching. Tell him there are people who’ve traded in aluminum walkers for hiking boots. Tell him the down-and-out have turned into the up-and-coming and a lot of deadbeats are living it up for the first time in their lives. And three cheers for the one who can swallow all this without gagging” (Luke 7:22-23). When they asked Jesus what he thought about John, he said, “They don’t come any better, but when the Big Party Up There really gets off the ground, even John will look like small potatoes by comparison” (Luke 7:28).
Nobody knows how John reacted when his disciples came back with Jesus’ message, but maybe he remembered how he had felt that day when he’d first seen him heading toward him through the tall grass along the riverbank and how his heart had skipped a beat when he heard himself say, “Behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world” (John 1:29), and maybe after he remembered all that and put it together with what they’d told him about the deadbeats and the aluminum walkers, he decided he must have been right the first time.
To reflect more on Jesus’ baptism and it’s implication to us, read chapter two in The Psychology of Jesus by David by clicking on the book cover in the section above.
To receive devotions during the week or see previous posts, sign up for David’s Blog at www.davidjonespub.com and then click the SUBSCRIBE Button.
Orlando Presbyterian Church, 1655 Peel Ave Orlando, FL 32806
Worship Sundays at 5:00
Pastor David Jones, Phone 615-491-4344