Announcements

Choir Director Hired

Welcoming
Laura Gillette

The Session is pleased to announce the selection of Laura Gillette to lead our Chancel Choir. She has most recently served with Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in LaGrange, and has a history with First Presbyterian Church that goes back to the days when her grandmother, Ann Moss, was organist here.
She played with our choir under the direction of Linda Smalley, and has provided special music during worship alongside Jean McHenry. We are enthusiastic about her qualifications and personal style.
 
Laura's family includes her husband, Dr. Ken Bockhorn, a veterinarian who works at the Neighborhood Veterinary Center in Waller. Their son Miles is a sophomore at Baylor University studying Applied Music (Piano Performance). 
 



Recorded Church Service for June 13, 2021

Text: Psalm 19
Sermon: Heavens are Telling 

Hear the Sermon


Preacher: Rev. Martha C. Langford

Liturgist:  Larry Grigsby

Pianist:  Jean McHenry

Ushers:  Gene and Anna Oeding

PASTOR'S PREVIEW: The Psalms contain words of prayer, poetry, and melody, words of liturgy and instruction. They are and have been a rich treasure for the theologians of the church who find in them words that orient us to God; words that help us cry out when our lives are disrupted by the powers of this world; words that express our thanksgiving when God's redemption finds us and we are restored. It is—according to Walter Brueggemann—the pattern found in the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. A pattern that informs our faith and the shape of our lives.



Recorded Church Service for 6/6/2021


 

Happy is the person who has not walked in the counsel of the wicked, or stood in the way of sinners, or sat in the seat of scoffers.
(Psalm 1:1)

Text:  Psalm 1
Sermon: Happy Are They 

Hear the Sermon
Preacher: Rev. Martha Langford

PASTOR'S PREVIEW: Over the next few weeks, we will take a pilgrimage through the Psalter. This ancient Hebrew hymnal is filled with words of worship, witness, woe, and wonder. The Psalms come in many forms: prayers and pleas, instructions and indictments. They bear witness to the breadth and depth of the life of God's people and speak truth to us about the God in whom we trust, who is our rock and our redeemer.

Ushers:  Gene and Anna Oeding

Liturgist:  Larry Grigsby

Pianist:  Jean McHenry




Pentecost Sunday 2021


 

Once again we apologize that the recorder wasn't started for our Sunday Services, but we all enjoyed leading the way for Pentecost Sunday and a great message from Rev. Candis O'Meara from St. Paul Lutheran Church in the absence of our Rev. Martha.

The Sunday School Class made crowns of flames to share with the congregation.




Masks no longer required for services at First Presbyterian Church of La Grange

Our Session met on May 16, 2021 and voted to allow members to make their own decisions about wearing masks.  If you are comfortable without a mask and are not ill please feel free to leave your mask at home.




Recorded Church Service for 5/16/2021

As you have sent me into the world,
so I have sent them into the world.

(John 17:18)

Text:  John 17:6-19
Sermon:
 On Our Behalf
Preacher: Rev. Martha Langford

Hear the Sermon

PASTOR'S REVIEW: Sunday to Sunday, we are called to confession by words that speak about God's grace and mercy. In particular one such call speaks these words: "Who is in a position to condemn, only Christ, and Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns for us, Christ prays for us..." Christ prays for us! This week, we will overhear Jesus praying for his disciples and ponder what kind of prayers Jesus might say over us.

Liturgist:  W. O. Wood

Pianist:  Jean McHenry




Recorded Church Service for 5/9/2021


 

Due to the excitement of Mother's Day, the church service recording was missed. 

You can find the transcript of the sermon here. 

We hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day.




Recorded Church Service for May 2, 2021

I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit... (John 15:5)

Text:  John 15:1-8
Sermon:
Branching Out  
Preacher: Rev. Martha Langford

PASTOR'S PREVIEW: At his final meal with the disciples, Jesus tells them, "I am the true vine and the Father is the vineyard keeper." He will go on to encourage them to draw the source of their lives from him, as he abides in them. In John's poetic way, he describes how our lives, rooted in Jesus and tended by God, are able to bear fruit for the glory of God. This rich promise invites us to explore those places where God's grace is blooming in our lives.

Liturgist:  W. O. Wood

Ushers: Clive and Rebecca Halder

Pianist: Jean McHenry




Recorded Church Service for 4/25/2021

I am the good shepherd.
I know my own and my own know me...
(John 10:14)

Text:  John 10:11-18
Sermon: Knowing Shepherd 

Hear the Sermon
Preacher: Rev. Martha Langford

PASTOR'S PREVIEW: "I am the good shepherd." Jesus claims the role of shepherd with his followers, speaks to how his work ethic is different from a hired hand whose heart isn't in it. He "knows" his sheep and the sheep, well, his sheep know him. There is a certain thrill in being known—a certain elation and a certain terror. What does it mean for us that Jesus knows his flock completely? What does it mean for us that Jesus calls us to know him in return?



Recorded Church Service for April 18, 2021

Text:  1 John 3:1-7
Sermon:
What Love

Preacher: Rev. Martha Langford

Hear the Sermon

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God... We often hear these words when we baptize our children and grandchildren. This beautiful verse assures us of our collective place in the family of God--and yet the temptation is to read it as a singular blessing. We might ponder: What does it mean to belong to a family that is far larger than we might ever imagine? How does the gift and blessing of belonging to God lay claim on our everyday lives?



Recorded Church Service for April 11, 2021

Text:  John 20:19-31
Sermon:
Life and Peace
Preacher: Rev. Martha Langford

Hear the Sermon

On that Easter Sunday, Jesus appears in the disciples' midst. He greets them with words of "Shalom!" and breathes into them the breath of the Spirit. They can't contain their joy but Thomas, who wasn't there, is a skeptic. Like a Missouri native, he says, "Show me!" Our attention is drawn to the Thomas drama. Yet, in the light of Easter we are invited to pay attention to the persistence presence of our Lord who seeks us out in love so that we may have life in his name!




Recorded Church Service for Easter April 4, 2021

Text:  John 20:1-18
Sermon: Empty and Full

Preacher: Rev. Martha Langford
Duet: Lisa and Marissa Muras

Hear the Service

Mary Magdalene finds the stone rolled away and her fear carries her to the disciples with these words, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb..." The disciples race to the tomb and, where Mary sees heartbreak, they see hope. Memory and imagination stir, THIS is what it means to be raised from the dead.



Recorded Service: Maundry Thursday April 1, 2021

Maundy Thursday Service
1 April at 6:00pm

Hear the Service

The Maundy Thursday Communion Service followed Mark's gospel as it tells the story of the Last Supper, the prayer in Gethsemane, the betrayal and arrest. We will rehearse the story in three movements; each shaped by scripture, music, and response. The meditation will be a reader's theater presentation of Judas and Peter. The service will end in silence as we wait the dawning of Easter light.  




Maundy Thursday Service

Maundy Thursday Service
1 April at 6:00pm

The Maundy Thursday Communion Service will follow Mark's gospel as it tells the story of the Last Supper, the prayer in Gethsemane, the betrayal and arrest. We will rehearse the story in three movements; each shaped by scripture, music, and response. The meditation will be a reader's theater presentation of Judas and Peter. The service will end in silence as we wait the dawning of Easter light.  




Recorded Church Service for March 28, 2021

Text:  Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
Sermon: Palms and Ash 

Hear the Sermon
Preacher: Rev. Martha Langford

Over the years we become accustom to the majesty of Jesus making his way into Jerusalem; a victor's parade. The people watch and wave and shout and witness the fulfillment of scripture, which raises expectations of what will come next. Sunday begins "Holy Week" and as we make our way from parade to execution, I wonder: What are our expectations of resurrection?

Liturgist:  Anna Katherine Schmidt

Ushers:  Larry and Linda Grigsby

Pianist:  Jean McHenry




Recorded Church Service for 3/21/2021

Text:  John 12:20-33  
Sermon: Grains of Wheat 

Preacher: Rev. Martha Langford

Jesus is in the world and the world takes notice. In the days before his final Passover, Greeks in the city tell the disciples, "We want to SEE Jesus." The response, Jesus speaks a parable—how a single, fragile grain of wheat is of little significance until it gives itself over to the transformation of soil and sun; dying and rising to new life. We are headed to the cross at a fever pitch. Jesus will be lifted up and, in dying and rising, will raise up a harvest of lives in whom others may SEE Jesus. What does it mean in this day for us to see and represent Jesus Christ to the world?

 

Hear the Sermon

Liturgist:  Anna Katherine Schmidt

Ushers:  Larry and Linda Grigsby

Pianist:  Jean McHenry




Recorded Church Service 3/14/2021

Text:  John 3:14-21
Sermon: Lifted Up

Preacher: Rev. Martha Langford

Hear the Sermon

I always imagine Jesus talking with Nicodemus in the wee hours of the night, when the dark is deepest and prying eyes are closed. As we pick up the gospel, the conversation portion of the evening is over and Jesus has moved on to explaining the "heavenly things." The familiar words about God's love for the world are so reassuring, but the notion that we are judged by the moment is not. There is a challenge here. What are the risks of remaining in the safety of shadow; what does it mean to move into the light?

Liturgist:  Anna Katherine Schmidt

Pianist:  Sherise Davis

Ushers: Linda and Larry Grigsby

 




Services for the Rev. Dr. Gerald Hurst

Jerry Hurst's Memorial Service will be held March 13 at 1:00pm at St Paul Lutheran Church. A reception will follow on the side lawn of First Presbyterian Church. This church and the local community have been blessed by Jerry’s ministry here in LaGrange. Though we are deeply saddened by his death, we can be confident in the gospel promises which Jerry proclaimed in word and in deed.




Recorded Church Service: 3/7/2021

Text:  John 2:13-22
Sermon: Keep the Change
Preacher: Rev. Martha Langford

Jesus is turning over tables in the temple, giving critique to "business as usual." He manages to shake up the local clergy who wonder what kind of authority he has to say or do such things. Jesus tells them that the temple can be torn down, but he will rebuild it... an 84 year project he can complete in just three days. The winds of change are blowing as the loose change bounces across the plaza. Do you ever wonder what tables might Jesus tip over these days?

Hear the Sermon
Liturgist:  Anna Katherine Schmidt
Ushers:  Larry and Linda Grigsby
Pianist:  Sherise Davis




Recorded Church Service 2/28/2021

Text:  Mark 8:31-38
Sermon:
In Denial
 

Hear the Sermon
Preacher: Rev. Martha Langford

Jesus tells the disciples in clear and certain language what is coming as they go to Jerusalem. Suffering, rejection, execution, resurrection—that is what's coming. Peter would deny Jesus that path, and is rebuked. Jesus then turns to the great crowd of followers and tells them  "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." This is a different kind of of denial. What does it look like in our lives to take up our cross and follow Jesus?

Organist:  Jean McHenry

Ushers:  W. O. Wood and Janie Conley

Liturgist:  Robb Muil




Recorded Church Service for 2/21/2021

Text:  Mark 1:9-15
Sermon:
Don't Go There
Preacher: Rev. Martha Langford

Hear the Sermon

As Lent begins, we pick up the story of Jesus in the wilderness. Forty days of solitude, fasting, prayer, and temptation. It's a familiar story, one that points out the lengths to which God will go to be reconciled with humanity. In this Lenten season, we will explore what it means to return to God, to reorient our lives toward reconciliation and hope.

Liturgist: Robb Muil
Ushers:    W. O. Wood and Janie Conley
Pianist:     Jean McHenry




Prayer Vigil for Rev. Dr. Jerry Hurst

First Presbyterian Church will hold a prayer vigil for Pastor Emeritus Jerry Hurst on Monday, 22 February, from noon to 1:00pm. We invite all who know Jerry to be in prayer for him during this vigil. The church sanctuary (205 S Franklin St, LaGrange TX) will be open for those who are able to participate in person.

 

Jerry is currently in ICU at St David's Medical Center South, and has been placed on a ventilator to assist his breathing. We gather around Jerry, Pam, and his family out of love and faith. Please join us in body or spirit as you are able.

 

In Christ, Pastor Martha




Ash Wednesday Services Cancelled


 

Friends, looking at travel conditions and the weather forecast through Thursday, the Session has canceled the 6:00pm service planned for Ash Wednesday. We pray that you are all sheltered from the effects of the storm and that you will remain warm and safe.

 

Blessings, Pastor Martha




Ash Wednesday Services


 

First Presbyterian Church of La Grange will be having in person services for Ash Wednesday this Wednesday Evening at 6 PM.  Our Session and Minister have worked out COVID-19 appropriate measures so we can safely worship on this important day.




Recorded Church Service for 2/14/2021


 
Text:  Mark 9:2-9
Sermon:
Where We Build
Preacher: Rev. Martha Langford

This is the final Sunday before Lent begins. Each year, on this Sunday, we travel up the mountain with Jesus, Peter, James, and John. Jesus is transfigured  before them. Terrified by the revelation, Peter tries to make sense of it by suggesting a memorial to the moment. God's voice makes clear what they've witnessed—the unveiling of the Son of God. A moment like this is certainly a moment to remember, the question is where shall we build the memorial?

Hear the Sermon

Liturgist:  Robb Muil

Ushers: W. O. Wood and Janie Conley

Pianist: Sherise Davis




Church email account has been hacked

If you get an email from me at the church email account checking in or asking for money or gift cards, please delete it immediately...do NOT respond to the email.  This is a phishing scheme.  I've virus checked, changed passwords and notified via email to contacts but want to cover all bases.  It has been heartwarming the number of people including total strangers who have called to see if I'm ok and if I really need something.




Recorded Church Service for 02/07/2021

Text:  Mark 1:29-39
Sermon: Cleaning Up
Preacher: Rev. Martha Langford

Jesus' day begins in the synagogue and ends at sunset with everyone in Capernaum crowding Simon Peter's doorway. Jesus heals the sick, silences the demons, casts out the unclean spirits. Then in the hours before dawn, he makes his way to a quiet place to pray. This story shows how the pace of Jesus' ministry is spaced with the stillness of prayer. It makes me wonder: how might this pattern enrich our discipleship and service? 

Hear the Sermon

Liturgist:  Robb Muil

Ushers: W. O.Wood and Janie Conley

Pianist: Jean McHenry




Souper Bowl Sunday-Feb. 7, 2021


 

Souper Bowl of Caring helps young people across America develop a stronger connection to their communities by caring for their neighbors in need.  All donations benefit our AMEN food pantry.  Join the movement transforming Super Bowl weekend into the nation's largest celebration of giving and serving. Your Mission Committee will have a special donation collection at the church entry on Super Bowl Sunday Feb. 7, 2021.  Cash is always welcome as well.




Recorded Church Service for 1/31/2021

Text:  Mark 1:21-28
Sermon: Cleaning Up
Preacher: Rev. Martha Langford

Mark's gospel gives us a quick comparison: Torah experts vs. Jesus. Spoiler alert, Jesus wins. The people are astonished at the authority with which Jesus teaches and the authority with which he faces down the demonic powers tormenting one of their own. "Who is this Jesus?" they ask—because only the demon seems to know for sure.

Hear the Sermon

Liturgist:  Clive Halder

Ushers: Robb and Nancy Muil

Pianist: Jean McHenry




Recorded Church Service for January 24, 2021

Text: Mark 1:14-20
Sermon: "Heard Any Good News?"     Rev. Martha Langford
Mark's gospel moves the plot at a sprint. We go from baptism to ministry in just 4 verses--which include time in the wilderness and the arrest of John the Baptist. When Jesus picks up the prophetic mantle, he begins to proclaim the gospel, God's sacred time has come and is broking into everyday life. This week, we hear the language of invitation once more as Jesus teaches us how to fish for people.

Hear the Sermon 

Liturgist:  Clive Halder

Ushers: Robb and Nancy Muil

Pianist: Jean McHenry




Recorded Church Service for January 17, 2021

Text: John 1:35-49
Sermon: "Seen Anything Good"     Rev. Martha Langford
John points to Jesus and his disciples seek Jesus out. A conversation about where Jesus was staying becomes an invitation to "Come and see." Andrew has an experience of Jesus and then shares that good news, which changes everything. I'm struck that this is the way that God works, by invitation and response. Imagine what good news God is generating through our lives as we experience and share the grace and peace of Jesus Christ.

Hear the Sermon




Recorded Church Service for 1/10/2021

Text: Mark 1:4-11
Sermon: "Waters of Life "     Rev. Martha Langford
Mark's gospel hits the ground running—no angels, no shepherds, no Maji, no manger. Instead, we meet John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness. What begins as an ordinary day on the Jordan River turns into an an extraordinary day for the whole of human kind. Perhaps that's the true story of baptism—ordinary water revealing the extraordinary ways of God.

Liturgy by Clive Halder

Ushers: Nancy and Robb Muil

Pianist: Sherise Davis

Hear the service here




Recorded Church Service: January 3, 2021

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.  (John 3:16)

Twas the Days After Christmas Elder Gene Oeding

Liturgy by Clive Halder

Ushers: Nancy and Robb Muil

Hear the service here




Recorded Church Service for 12/27/2020

…my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel. (Luke 2:30-32)

 

A Tale of Three Trees written by Angela Elwell Hunt and read by W. O. Wood

Liturgy by Bill Schovajsa

Hear the service here




Recorded Church Service for Christmas Eve 12/24/2020

Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  Luke 2:11

Hear the Service here




Recorded Church Service for 12/20/2020

Sermon: “Great Things”         

Rev. Martha Langford  Hear the Service
When the Angel Gabriel comes to Mary he tells her she has "found favor" with God. This is not an empty accolade and it does not signal a life of ease. Her story will join the stories of Noah and Moses, two others who "found favor" with God. It will not be an easy road but, as Mary says "Yes" to God, she will take her place in the salvation story of human kind. In joy, she proclaims, "God has done great things for me and holy is his name." As we take our place in God's salvation story, what shall our lives proclaim?




Recorded Church Service for 12/13/2020

Text: Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11   Hear the Sermon
Sermon: “Shout for Joy”         Rev. Martha Langford         
Isaiah brings good news to a people returning from exile. What has been broken will be restored, the city rebuilt, the people reconnected as a people of God. As God's presence enlivens the people, God's blessing will spill over to all the nations. That is the good news that comes to us this day. When we are living in exile, God enacts restoration and lifts our hearts in praise! 




Recorded Church Service: 12/6/2020

Text: Isaiah 40:1-9
Sermon: “Make Way”         Rev. Martha Langford     Hear the Service

Isaiah gives the prophesy, "A voice cries out: 'In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.' " This is how John the Baptist is described—as the voice in the wilderness. John called faithful people to PREPARE the way for our Lord. The Advent Season provides a time to prepare our hearts, to repent our estrangements from God, to reconcile with others, to seek justice in the world around us. Where are the rough places we need to smooth in order to welcome our Savior?




Recorded Church Service: 11/29/2020

Text:Isiah 64:1-9     Hear the Sermon
Sermon: “Come Lord Jesus”         Rev. Martha Langford
In Advent, we will hear the refrain "O Come, All Ye Faithful" as we light the Advent candles. We will consider the response of faithful people; the response of those who await their Savior. This Sunday, Isaiah prays the longing of the people, "O that you would tear open the heavens and come down." He knows, as the people know, what it means to wait in uncertainty, what it means to long for restoration, what it means to hope in God. As we enter this season, we find our invitation to PRAY.




Recorded Church Service for 11/22/2020

Text:Matthew 25: 31-46   Hear the Sermon   
Sermon: “Remember When?”      Rev. Martha Langford
In the final Sunday before Advent, we celebrate the Reign of Christ and hail Christ as King. Jesus talks to his disciples about the kingdom by talking about the king and his subjects. The one who bears the "name above all names" says that he will be encountered in those on the margins, the powerless and helpless, who go without notice. We might wonder what it means that neither "sheep" or "goats" were aware of their behavior, until the king speaks. How might Christ's words open our eyes and the eyes of our hearts?




Recorded Church Service for 11/15/2020

Text: Matthew 25:14-30     Hear the Sermon


Sermon: “Well Done or Burnt?”      Rev. Martha Langford 
How do we respond to overwhelming abundance? Jesus has warned the disciples of the trials to come and the disciples ask for signs of his return and the end of the age. Jesus speaks plainly and in parables: keep awake, be prepared, take risks, tend the least and the last and the lost. In a parable that contains "weeping and gnashing of teeth" what will we hear Jesus say?




Chime Choir


 

We had a great organizational meeting for the new Chime Choir.  Those who attended had different levels of musical knowledge but before the end of the meeting we were making music together.  It's not to late to join in this fun, joyful opportunity.  We will be meeting and practicing with our fearless leader Nancy Hajek each Monday at 4 PM.




Worship Service 11/8/2020

With many apologizes, due to equipment malfunction.....no one hit the record button....the service was not recorded for Sunday November 8.  Rev. Martha will have the sermon documented and we will post in the Sermon section of the website as soon as possible.  We are sorry for the inconvenience.  The sermon script can be found here




Recorded Church Service for 11/1/2020

All Saints Day Service  Hear the Sermon Here

Text: Revelation 7:9-17
Sermon: "Vision Beyond Sight"     Rev. Martha Langford
Among the prayers used at Presbyterian funerals are these words: "Almighty God...Give us faith to see, beyond touch and sight, some sure sign of your kingdom, and, where vision fails, to trust your love which never fails."  On this All Saints Sunday, we will look for the promises of the kingdom and of eternal life given in Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

 




Chime Choir


 

First Presbyterian Church of La Grange is forming a Chime Choir and would like to invite anyone interested in learning how to play the Chimes and eventually bells to come join us. We also have color coded bells for the younger players.  As we aren't singing yet we want to be able to make a Joyful Noise to the Lord.  We will begin meeting and learning on Monday Nov. 9 at 4 PM in the Choir room of First Presbyterian Church 205 S Franklin St. La Grange Texas 78945.  For more information please contact the church office at fpclagrange@outlook.com or 979-968-9424




Recorded Church Service for 10/25/2020

Text: Matthew 22: 34-46
Sermon:  "Law of Love" 
                    Rev. Martha Langford

Hear the Sermon Here

The Pharisees are at it again, taking time to interrogate Jesus about Torah. They want to know the greatest commandment and Jesus gives them two. We've heard the words so many times--Love God... Love your neighbor... At the heart of the gospel, these are both commands and a promise.; "You shall love..." Perhaps that is the heart of the gospel, the relationships that transforms us and the practices that grow us in the love of God, the acceptance of self, the love of our neighbor.




Recorded Church Service for 10/18/2020

Text: Matthew 22:15-22
Sermon: "First Things First" 
                    Rev. Martha Langford

Hear the Sermon Here

It was a test, and either/or litmus test given by opposition parties to trap Jesus in a compromising answer. But Jesus moves beyond the either/or to get at the heart of the matter lifting up our ultimate allegiance and purpose in this life. If you can find it, bring some loose change as we consider the image engraved in our very being.




Church Service Oct. 11, 2020


 

As we gathered outside for our church service which included the Blessing of the Quilts and a Memorial Service for Johnnie Goodrich we were reminded of all the blessings God has given us.  What a beautiful day and service.  We are so sorry we were unable to either video or record the service so all could have shared in the joy.




Recorded Church Service for 10/4/2020


 

Photo: New Members Celebrated

Hear the Sermon Here

Text: Philippians 3:4b-14
Sermon: "Onward and Upward" Rev. Martha Langford
Writing the church at Philippi, Paul breaks out his impressive resume, family background, spotless record, zeal for faith, and righteousness before the law he once served. It's the kind of record that opened doors for an ambitious Pharisee, but Paul discounts those qualifications and talks about what is now the most pressing goal in his life: the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

 

 




Recorded Church Service for 9/27/2020

Picture, Confirmation 2013

Hear the Sermon Here

Text: Philippians 2:1-13
Sermon: "Good Posture"      Rev. Martha Langford
God acts with compassion to redeem the world through Jesus Christ--this is the hymn that Paul sings to the church in Philippi. The community is a tiny outpost of the glory to come, when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess Jesus as Lord. Yet Paul encourages a posture of humility and obedience that mirrors the humility and obedience of their Lord. How might sharing in the "mind of Christ" move in and through us for the sake of the gospel?




Recorded Church Service for 9/20/2020


 

Photo:  Waldeck Workers

Hear the Sermon Here

Text:  Matthew 20:1-16
Sermon: "A Generous Wage"      Rev. Martha LangfordJesus shares a "kingdom of Heaven" parable about a landowner and the day laborers hired for the harvest. When time comes to settle accounts, those hired at first light and those hired an hour before the day ended all receive the same pay. This seems to violate the principle of fairness--and it does--but the landowner claims the right to be generous beyond the transaction of work and wage. Come and wonder with me, "What is fair and what is heavenly?"




Recorded Church Service for 9/13/2020

Photo:  Remembering gifts

Hear the Sermon Here

Text:  Romans 14:1-12
Sermon: "By Comparison"      Rev. Martha Langford
Paul has poured out his heart to the believers in Rome, seeking to build the church on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ. Yet even as he writes, the church is involved in a dispute over table manners that threatens its peace and unity. Paul warns of comparative judgments on debatable points and urges this fledgling community to practice the open-hearted welcome that they have all received from God.




Recorded Church Service for 9/6/2020


 

Hear the Sermon Here

 

Text:  Romans 12:8-14
Sermon: "A New Dawn"      Rev. Martha LangfordPaul continues his work to build up Christ's church and its distinct culture--a culture defined by love of neighbor. Looking to the example of Jesus Christ he writes, "Love is the fulfilling of the law." He then tells us to "wake from sleep" for a new day is dawning, a day of transformation and hope.




Worship Services August 30, 2020


 

Hear the Sermon Here

 

Text:  Romans 12:9-21
Sermon: "Marked"      Rev. Martha Langford
What are the visible signs of the church? Theologians have said it is the word--proclaimed--and the "right" administration of the sacraments. Yet in Romans, Paul is speaking to the visible witness that comes when we display our love for one another--the insiders and the outsiders, and even our enemies. In this uncertain time, the Apostle Paul calls us to love as he calls the church to "rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, and persevere in prayer."




Jean McHenry Celebrates 30 years with First Presbyterian Church


 

Jean McHenry our church pianist/organist celebrated 30 years with First Presbyterian Church this year. ..as well as a pretty big birthday tomorrow.  We appreciate her services to this church and her many years of dedication.  Thank YOU Jean.




Worship Services Aug. 23, 2020

With many apologizes, we didn't get the tape recorder turned on prior to our services yesterday.

 

Please check back next week.  We promise to do better.




Worship Services Aug. 16, 2020

Hear the Service

The Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

Text: Matthew 15: 7-8
Sermon: "Mouthing Off"      Rev. Martha Langford

Jesus and the Pharisees have had yet another confrontation--over interpretation of Torah. It's all about identity and the practices that set folks apart as God's holy people. What does it mean for our hearts to be near to God and our actions to honor our Creator?




Worship Services Aug 9, 2020

Hear the Service

The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

Text: Matthew 14:27-28
Sermon: "Extraordinary Ordinary"      Rev. Martha Langford

Jesus sends his disciples ahead of him by boat. Offshore and under assault by wind and wave, they are met by Jesus walking on the water. Then Peter undertakes his expedition on the waves and before this encounter is over all the disciples bow down in worship declaring Jesus the Son of God. In these extraordinary ordinary times, how do we hear Jesus calling?




Recorded Church Service for Aug. 2, 2020

Hear the Service

 

Text: Matthew 14:13-21
Sermon: "A Giving God"      Rev. Martha Langford
This week we follow Jesus and his disciples as they minister to a hungry crowd. This miracle story is so familiar, we might as if it has anything new to tell us. Yet, there is compassion and challenge and awe and wonder, and hope; hope for the way that God's generosity overflows into the lives of ordinary people.

 

 




Recorded Church Service for 7/26/2020

Regardless          Rev.  Martha Langford

The recording for Worship Services from July  26, is not available on the Worship | Services Page

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present,
nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God 
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:38-39, NRSV)




Recorded Church Service for 7/19/2020

The recorded service for 7/19/2020 is now available on the Worship | Services page.

The Rev. Dr. Jerry Hurst talks to us about "Tongue Lashing"

Who is wise and understanding among you?  Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom.  But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hears, do not be boastful and false to the truth. (James 3: 13-14, NRSV)




28 June Worship Video Now Online

Friends, video from our gathered worship service on 28 June is now available on the Worship Video page. In his letter to the church at Rome, the Apostle Paul speaks to early Christians about navigating the life of faith. In Romans 6:11-23 we are encouraged to live as those who belong to God and live in a world awash in God's grace.




June 21 Worship Video Now Online

Friends, video from our gathered worship service on 21 June is now available on the Worship Video page. In Matthew's gospel, Jesus tells us not to fear, even when the life of discipleship makes us vulnerable and our work and witness seem risky. I am reminded of the old saying: courage is fear that has said its prayers. This week, we will consider the courage of our calling.  




Sunday Worship Video from June 14

Friends, video from our gathered worship service on 14 June is now available on the Worship Video page.




Trinity Sunday Worship Service from June 7

Friends, video from our gathered worship service on 7 June is now available on the Worship Video page.




Gathered Worship on June 7

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” Psalm 122:1

Friends, the last time we gathered in our Sanctuary we were “observing a Holy Lent.” In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we joined people around the globe striving to flatten the curve of transmission, seeking to stop this terrible disease. Eleven weeks ago, we suspended in-person gatherings in our building. This week, we share the good news that we will resume gathered worship on Sunday, June 7th.

For more information about the precautions we are taking, please read the June 2nd letter to the congregation. You can also watch this short video about what to expect as we resume worship in our building.

For those who are unable or not yet ready to attend in-person worship. We will continue publishing our worship services on this website. In these first few weeks, there will be a delay between the worship event and the day that the video posts. We plan to improve that experience week to week as we improve our technology and our know-how.

Blessings to you all, Pastor Martha
revmclangford@gmail.com  




Worship on May 31

Friends, on May 31, Pentecost Sunday, you will be able to attend worship on the church Facebook page  or the Worship Video page of this website. The service video will premier at 10:30am. Download the Order of Worship so that you can fully participate in this service. 

As we celebrate the gifts of the Spirit, may God's grace and peace attend you.

Blessings, Pastor Martha
revmclangford@gmail.com




Worship on May 24

Friends, on May 24, you will be able to attend Sunday worship on the church Facebook page  or the Worship Video page of this website. The service video will premier at 10:30am. Download the Order of Worship so that you can fully participate in this service. Prayer requests can be sent to me or added to the prayer page on this website. 

And please do continue to send in your photos of you and your families so that we can share your faces and space and the things that are bringing meaning to your lives.

Blessings, Pastor Martha
revmclangford@gmail.com




Worship on May 17

Friends, on May 17, you will be able to attend Sunday worship on the church Facebook page  or the Worship Video page of this website. The service video will premier at 10:30am. Download the Order of Worship so that you can fully participate in this service. Prayer requests can be sent to me or added to the prayer page on this website. 

And please do continue to send in your photos of you and your families so that we can share your faces and space and the things that are bringing meaning to your lives.

Blessings, Pastor Martha
revmclangford@gmail.com




Worship on May 10

Friends, on May 10, our Sunday worship service will be available on the church Facebook page and on the Worship Video page of this site. The service video will premier at 10:30am. Download the Order of Worship so that you can fully participate in this service. Prayer requests can be sent to me or added to the prayer page on this website. 

And please do continue to send in your photos of you and your families so that we can share your faces and space and the things that are bringing meaning to your lives.

Blessings, Pastor Martha
revmclangford@gmail.com




Worship for May 3

Friends, this Sunday, we will celebrate The Lord's Supper during our worship service. I encourage you to gather your improvised communion elements in preparation for the service. The video will premier on the church Facebook page and on the Worship Video page of this site at 10:30am on Sunday May 3. Download the Order of Worship so that you can fully participate in this service. Prayer requests can be sent to me or added to the prayer page on this website. 

And continue to send in your photos, of you and your families of the things that continue to calm and center you in these tumultuous times.

Blessings, Pastor Martha
revmclangford@gmail.com




Worship on April 26

Friends, this pandemic is bringing with it many changes and our worship services are no exception. This week, we will transition to collective video worship format. The worship team is working to collect the music and liturgy for our service so that we can weave it together into a single video. The video links will "go live" on the Facebook page and on the Worship Video page of this site at 10:30am on Sunday April 26. Download the Order of Worship so that you can fully participate in this service. Add your prayer requests to our prayer page.

You can also help us with this effort. In the week ahead, send us a snapshot of the ways that you are connecting to God in these days of COVID-19.

Blessings, Pastor Martha
revmclangford@gmail.com




Worship for April 19

Friends, the worship service from April 19 is now available on our Worship page, Pastor Emeritus Jerry Hurst preaching "Left Behind."  Use this link to download the Order of Worship for this service. 

Blessings, Pastor Martha




Worship for April 12


 

Friends, you can view the live-streamed Easter Service among our Worship Videos, and use this link to download the Order of WorshipThis day and each day, we proclaim: Christ is risen, he is risen indeed!

Blessings, Pastor Martha




Worship for April 5

Friends, you can find our Palm Sunday worship service among the Worship Videos and use this link to download the Order of Worship.  This is a communion service, so gather your personal supplies for communion* and join in with the gathered, yet dispersed community of First Presbyterian Church.

*For communion, we will use the common elements of our pantries as communion elements, so bread and cup will come from your pantry staples: bread or crackers (or even biscuits) and juice or other beverage (even wine).

Blessings, Pastor Martha




Worship for March 29

Although the Sunday live stream did not go as planned, a video of the Sunday Worship service is available on the church's Facebook Page and on the website using this link: Worship Videos.

Use this link to download the Order of Worship.

Grace and Peace to you, Pastor Martha Langford




Worship for March 22

You will find a recording of our live-streamed worship from March 22 [here]. Download the Order of Worship for March 22nd and join in with the gathered, yet dispersed community of First Presbyterian Church.

Blessings, Pastor Martha




19 March 2020—Cancelling Worship Gatherings

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff--they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

Friends, at noon today, Governor Gregg Abbott issued four statewide orders intended to slow the spread of COVID 19 (https://gov.texas.gov/news).

  • Order No. 1: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, every person in Texas shall avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
  • Order No. 2: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts, or visiting gyms or massage parlors; provided, however, that the use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options is allowed and highly encouraged throughout the limited duration of this executive order.
  • Order No. 3: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
  • Order No. 4: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, schools shall temporarily close.

These orders will be effective on a statewide basis starting at 11:59 PM on March 20, 2020 and will end at 11:59 PM on April 3, 2020, subject to extension thereafter based on the status of COVID-19 in Texas and the recommendations of the CDC.

In accordance with these orders, First Presbyterian Church has cancelled worship gatherings for the duration that these orders are in effect beginning March 22. We will work to provide a virtual service of worship each week (stay tuned for more details) and will establish provisions to gather Bible studies, small groups, and committees using some form of electronic conferencing technology.

These are extraordinary times, and this congregation's leadership is working to meet the challenges of leading us in worship and witness within this community. These are times to reach out to one another in love, with telephone calls and emails, with cards and letters. As we take up the challenges of social distancing let us make sure that distance does not become isolation.

We have established an email network for emergency communication and a phone tree for those without email. We are working on to provide contact and connection and additional support where needed. To quote the President of Austin Seminary, "we are bound up in the holy purposes of a big God... we need to be careful and wise, but not afraid... " Perhaps it is fitting that the Psalm reading for this coming Sunday is the 23rd Psalm; a psalm of extraordinary comfort that bears this reassurance that God is with us, we are NOT alone.

We have in Jesus Christ a Good Shepherd. Let us seek to be faithful to the commands of Jesus Christ, to love one another and to love our neighbors. Please be in prayer for this community, and for communities around the globe who are facing this pandemic.

In Christ,
Rev. Martha Langford
and the Session of First Presbyterian Church, LaGrange




17 March 2020 — Coronavirus Response Update

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff-- they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

Friends,

We are continually monitoring the situation and information provided by the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, as well as state and local government.

Wednesday afternoon Lenten gatherings are cancelled. Devotional materials from each session will be emailed to the congregation on Wednesday, through April 1st.

Second Chance Emporium is closed through the end of March.

AMEN Food Pantry is altering its operating procedure to safeguard the health of volunteers and clients. Beginning March 23 will restrict hours to Mondays from 2-5.

Sunday morning worship gatherings will continue. We ask all who participate in these services to heed the following advice:

  • If you have symptoms of an illness, please stay home.
  • If you have an underlying medical condition—or are the caregiver for someone with an underlying medical condition—please consider staying home.
  • For those who attend, please assume the responsibility to maintain social distance. No hugs or handshakes and extra space in the pews—let us love each other by putting other people’s health first.

Congregational Care and the church office are establishing a hybrid email/phone tree so that we may make quick notifications when things change. Updates will be sent by email and phone calls, will post on the church website and Facebook page.

For more information about measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, click this link: https://youtu.be/bPITHEiFWLc




Responding to the Corona Virus

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).

Friends,

The corona virus, COVID 19, continues to spread in the United States. Patients have been identified in Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio, and now Austin Texas. The World Health Organization has declared this a global illness and is asking countries, communities, and individuals to take precautions against the spread of illness.

The two biggest pieces of prevention advice for individuals:

CLEAN YOUR HANDS. Twenty seconds of thorough hand washing helps prevent disease transmission. If you don’t have soap and water, use hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.

AVOID CLOSE CONTACT. Avoid people who are sick. COVID-19 is transmitted through near contact (within 6 feet) and through the respiratory droplets spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

The Center for Disease Control also recommends that everyone KNOW THE SYMPTOMS of the virus (fever, cough, shortness of breath). And everyone should remember that the disease can spread even before these symptoms begin in an infected person.

For gathering places like churches, the CDC has given some interim guidance.

“Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. People who are at higher risk are encouraged to avoid crowds as much as possible.”

Sunday mornings at First Church do not meet the 250-person threshold for a crowd. However, if you have concerns about attending worship for any reason during this outbreak, please stay home. If you are not feeling well, again, please stay home. Then, be in contact with Pastor Martha.

First Church will continue to post the Sunday worship recordings and printed sermons on our website. Though Fayette County has not recorded a case of the corona virus, the Session will continue to communicate and create contingency plans that may—in the future—include canceling worship gatherings.

Please be in prayer for all those affected by this illness and for those who are working diligently to slow the spread and care for patients.

In Christ,
Rev. Martha Langford
and the First Presbyterian Church Session