Welcome 

Welcome to First Presbyterian Church of Independence Iowa!  
 

 

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  Acts chapter 1 verse 8.  Jesus says it’s time for the church to get out of Jerusalem and travel to the ends of the earth.  Flash forward to Acts chapter 7.  This chapter ends with the stoning of Stephen.  The church, the believers, are still in Jerusalem.  They haven’t gone anywhere.

 

Acts chapter 8 begins this way.  “On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.”  What the church was not doing on its own, a persecution accomplished.  They started moving out of Jerusalem to the ends of the earth.

 

I’m not sure when we started associating church with buildings.  I can’t find it in the book of Acts.  Jesus says get out of town and when you see the church gathering it is in people’s homes.  The church began having a love affair with its buildings.  If you don’t believe it, just look at any church’s budget and see how much money is spent on infrastructure. 

 

To this very day, I do not believe Jesus has changed his tune.  The church is still to be witnesses for Jesus to the ends of the earth.  For that to happen, we need to get out of our buildings.  Many church leaders have a “Field of Dreams” mentality.  If we build it, they will come.  Good movie.  Bad theology.

 

COVID-19 is bringing change.  It has exposed the illusion that the church is a building.  When we look back on this current crisis years from now, we may be saying it did a lot to motivate the church to get out of the building.  In this case, we are talking about technology. 

 

Right now, worship services that once were contained within our 4 walls are being seen on Facebook and YouTube and other streaming  services.  The last two weeks on Facebook Live our worship attendance has doubled.  Devotions and encouraging messages that once were limited to a few are being shared with hundreds, maybe thousands, maybe millions.  A week ago, Tuesday, we gathered for coffee on Zoom over the internet.  We had another Zoom coffee break on Monday.  People were having coffee and conversation outside of the church building.

 

We are learning new ways to be the church.  It is driven by our response to social  distancing in order to flatten the COVID-19 curve.  But I am absolutely certain that lot of things we are learning and doing will stick with us when this crisis passes.  We will wash our hands more often. We will stay home when we are sick.  And we will use technology and the internet more to share the message of Jesus to the ends of the earth.

 

I’m a social person.  I miss being with people.  I look forward to when we can resume our worship services and go out to eat again.  But like a kid with a new chemistry set, I am embracing the challenge of being the church in this crisis.  And, by the way, there is no better time to take the good news of Jesus to the ends of the earth then during a crisis like this.  There is no getting back to normal after this.  The world will look different.  That will not be all good, but neither will it be all bad.

 

- Pastor John

 

  

Announcements 

COVID APPLICATION FORM 2020 is found under the Information Center tab


Church Service link from March 29, 2020


Church Service link from March 22, 2020


Church Services Canceled in April due to the Covid-19 Virus.


Treasure Seekers Registration Form - 2019-2020


2018 Nashville Mission Trip Video


2018 HERO CENTRAL VBS


Make This Church a Welcome Place Video


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