First Presbyterian Church of Hokendauqua

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August 2011

Pastor Points

By my calculations I spent 20 years of my life as a student. Every year the end of summer brought a flood of excitement and anticipation. I began asking all kinds of questions, "Who is my teacher going to be?", "Who will be my locker mate?", "I wonder which lunch hour I will get?", "I hope I don't get that strict teacher for math!"

I don't remember ever thinking, "I can't wait to get back in there and learn." "I am so ready for homework!" That is until the last year of my education when the light at the end of the tunnel was near.

Then, in moments of reflection, I began to think about how much I'd miss the joy of learning, of study, and disciplined reading and writing. There, at the end, I realized that learning is one of the great joys that God has given to us. Often now I think about how much I miss the classroom and how often I took it for granted.

One of the unique marks of the Presbyterian Church is the importance our tradition has placed upon learning and study. We have always contended that God is the Lord of our minds and that each mind was given to be used for learning and inquiry. Presbyterians place great importance upon education with continuous study of the scriptures, theological writings, and understanding and interpretation of church doctrine embodied in several statements of faith and catechisms.

As our kids, grandkids and college students head back to school this fall, now is a good time for all of us to join in the spirit and begin a renewed emphasis upon study. Here are a couple of suggestions:

1. Commit to daily Bible reading this year. The Upper Room gives a text for each day and provides background for each passage. We order multiple copies of this magazine and they are available in the Sunday School Room for a small fee. Personal study of the scriptures each day will not only increase your knowledge of the Bible, but will encourage your faith as you face daily challenges.

2. Pick up a good book of theology or spiritual writing. Find a trusted author who can be a helpful guide in our journey with God.

3. Join Bible Study or Presbyterian Women. The fellowship and support found in these groups can be an encouragement to us as we learn alongside others.

4. Enroll your child in Sunday School.

Let's all get into the "back to school spirit" this year knowing that our Lord wants us to know and study Him so that we may have a strong faith and minds.

Reverend Joyce Smothers, Pastor


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