ELMER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH – news wk 05/09/16:

 

Rev. Mouris Yousef has accepted a call to another church within the West Jersey Presbytery, with his last active day at Elmer Presbyterian Church Sunday, May 15th. Taking a moment to look back on his time in Elmer, last Sunday he based his sermon “Standing Firm in Shaky Times!” on Scripture readings 2 Chronicles 20:13-17and 1 Corinthians 15:58. I have been thinking what to say in my last two sermons to the congregation we love and to a family we will always appreciate and hold deep in our hearts. My last two sermons from this pulpit as your pastor, therefore, will take the form of a charge to us as a congregation. In 1 Corinthians 15:58 Paul charges the Church in Corinth to stand firm in shaky times. He says, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” The charge here is two-fold: stand firm and at the same time keep moving and working. It’s interesting to think about paradoxical statements-stand firm and keep moving. When is the last time you had “jumbo shrimp” or used the word “bittersweet”? Or my favorite, “Down deep he or she is a shallow person.” Today’s sermon passage is a bit paradoxical. At the end of one of the greatest chapters in God’s Word, Paul tells us to stand firm and keep moving!

 

The first action we are told to take based on the fact that through Christ we can have victory even over death is to stand firm. Because He lives, we can stand firm. Because He lives, you and I can remain firm and unchanging in an ever-changing world. The church in Corinth was one that had many struggles. The majority of the people were gentiles who did not really care about the Christian faith. Corinth was a rich city, and a major center of idol worship. Paul looks at the power that dwells and works in the believer lives, and charges the Corinthians to stand firm and let nothing move them. But Paul doesn’t just tell us to hunker down with God’s Word. He also tells us to move, to be active in our faith. Literally he tells us to abound in the work of the Lord. He is talking about being busy and tireless in the work we do for the Lord, to do more than would be expected. God wants us to live our life with one aim: to do the will of our loving Heavenly Father. We do that with all the strength God gives us. The most encouraging thing here is that as we give ourselves to the work of the Lord, we know that our labor in the Lord is not in vain. It’s not empty or useless. God promises to use our work for His good purposes. Our labor for the Lord is never in vain.

 

Friends, as we stand firm, and as we always give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord, we have the privilege of both bringing glory and honor to Christ and the joy of helping other people to also stand firm. “So stand firm,” says the apostle Paul to the Church in Corinth and to us. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord. Because you know that your labor is not in vain. Never in vain. Why? Because He lives!

 

Next Sunday, May 15h, Rev. Yousef’s last sermon at Elmer Presbyterian Church “God Is Able to Keep You!” will be based on Scripture readings Psalm 121 and Jude 24-25. All are invited to attend our service at 10:00 am. Sunday school follows worship from 11:30

November 2015

Pastor Yousef will be attending a conference in Greensboro, NC from 11/11/15 to 11/13/15. He will be mentoring and coaching young pastors.

Monday, October 5th

11:00am at Deerfield Methodist Church-Pastor Yousef will speak about “Christians Over 50”

Tuesday and Wednesday, October 6th and 7th-

Pastor Yousef will be serving Holy Communion for the sick and shut-ins. If you know of someone who would like a home visit, please call the church office at 856-358-8888

August 30, 2015 Youth Sunday

 

Youth leader James Vega reviews the Youth Group's summer activities

Youth leader James Vega reviews the Youth Group’s summer activities

Participating youth speak to the congregation

Participating youth speak to the congregation

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Message from Pastor Mouris:

Every fifth Sunday of the month, members of the Youth Group of the Elmer Presbyterian Church lead parts of the service. We have found this idea to be very helpful in integrating the youth group into the larger body. Yesterday, Sunday August 30th, the youth did an awesome job as they led us in what they called, “Youth Group Summer Spotlight.” They reflected upon their summer activities and how God is at work in their lives. Grateful for a committed leadership team that loves the Lord Jesus Christ and those young Christians. Keep up the good work!

May 31, 2015  Youth Sunday

Thank you from Pastor Mouris:

Great job today, Elmer Presbyterian Church Youth Group. Thanks for leading the worship this Youth Sunday. Thankful to God for your hard work and so proud of all of you and your leadership team. May God continue to bless you and make you a blessing. Always remember the words of Psalm 119:9, “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to Your Word.”

 

People take so many things in life for granted rather than receiving them as gifts from the hands of the Almighty Father!  One of the things we take for granted is having a community of believers that we are part of.  As a Christian who grew up in Egypt, I do appreciate being part of the body of Christ here on earth ~ the church.  Christians in the Middle East never take having a congregation ~ a body of believers ~ or even a place to worship at ~ church building ~ for granted!  The Lord has given me the chance to visit and to serve in so many countries in the Middle East and the Arabic Islamic World where Christian minorities are so persecuted and discriminated against because of their faith in Jesus Christ.  Their basic rights to worship God and fellowship with other believers are not there.  To borrow the words of the German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “It is not simply to be taken for granted that the Christian has the privilege of living among other Christians.  Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies.”  This is why I do appreciate being part of a Christian community that I can grow up in my faith with, serve the Lord better, be accountable to, and walk this adventure called “Faith” together!  For me, the Church that I belong to is everything.  In Fact, it is my family!  For Christian minorities in the Middle East and Arabic Islamic World, the Church is nothing less than a family.  It is where you feel comfortable, genuine, loved, encouraged and supported.

 

Having said that let me ask you: what is the church in your opinion?  How important it is for you and your family?  What role does the church play in your life?  If the church is less than a family, you probably need to re-do it.  As you browse our webpage, if you do belong to a local church, rejoice in such fellowship with fellow Christians.  Take advantage of that!  But if you do not have a home church and are looking for one, I would like to invite you to a “family type” church called the First Presbyterian Church of Elmer.  If you need to know more about this family, do not hesitate to contact me.   I look forward to hearing from you.  May God continue to bless you!

 

Yours in Christ’s Service,

Mouris Yousef, Pastor

First Presbyterian Church of Elmer