What to Expect in Worship This Sunday

It's the fourth Sunday in Advent! We'll sing Christmas carols and hear the story of the birth of John the Baptist, the first cousin of Jesus, who prepared the way for his ministry. Watch the video for more information: #FirstPresbyterianChurchColumbiaMO #Advent #Christmas #Zechariah #GospelofLuke


Matthew tells the story of Jesus's birth from Joseph's point of view. Imagine learning that your fiancée is pregnant, and you know you aren't the father! What would you do? First century Jewish men had the legal right to have their unfaithful wives or brides-to-be stoned to death--what is known as "honor killing" today. Matthew tells us that Joseph was a just man, however, so he planned to end the relationship discreetly. Apparently, justice has something to do with foregoing one's legal rights or cultural privileges in the interest of showing mercy. But in a dream, an angel of the Lord called Joseph to an even higher righteousness: marry the woman who, in the eyes of society, had dishonored

Advent Prayers and Philip Stopford

If you're looking for inspiration or if you need to pray, join us in worship this Sunday at 9:00 AM or 11:00 AM! Pastor Marvin has more info about what to expect in the video below: #Advent #Christmas #PhilipStopford #prayer #GospelofLuke #FirstPresbyterianChurchColumbiaMO


My Monday morning devotional reading was from Mark 13. Scholars call this passage "the little apocalypse." In it, Jesus foretells one disaster after another--the destruction of Jerusalem's splendid temple, natural disasters, warfare, and the betrayal and persecution of his disciples. Tuesday's devotional reading was similar material from Luke's gospel. Luke's version includes a unique detail: "distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves." I am not one of those pastors that draws straight lines from biblical prophecies to current events. That said, we do seem to be living in apocalyptic times: the clear and present danger of climate change, increasing tensions betw

A Weekend of Awesomeness at 16 Hitt St.

Bell choirs ringing at Living Windows on Friday! Christmas musical at 10:15 AM Sunday! The angel Gabriel brings good news at 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM worship! FPC members bring gifts for the children of PCHAS! Join us this weekend. #PCHAS #Annunciation #LivingWindows #FirstPresbyterianChurchColumbiaMO #worship #GospelofLuke


When the angel Gabriel told the priest Zechariah that his infertile wife Elizabeth was going to bear a son, Zechariah asked, "How will I know that this is so?" For posing this question, Zechariah was struck mute until after Elizabeth delivered her baby. In my sermon last week on this story, I said, For doubting God’s word, Zechariah was robbed of his words for a time. God’s justice is always poetic. And yet, perhaps Zechariah wasn’t being punished. Perhaps this nine-month sentence of muteness was a gift to him, a gift to ponder anew the God who makes promises and keeps them, a precious time to stoke cold embers of hope into a flame that would engulf his heart in a renewed love for his creato

Discerning FPC's Future

First Presbyterian Church is engaging in a process of discerning what God is calling us to be and do in the next few years. In the video below, I give a short overview of how this process is going to unfold. We ask you to participate and pray for clarity of God's will. #FirstPresbyterianChurchColumbiaMO #discernment

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Office Hours M-F 9:00-4:30

16 Hitt Street
Columbia, MO 65201

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