The church continues to worship on Facebook Live
at 10:45 a.m. on Sunday mornings
Sunday bulletin will be posted later
March 19, 2023 Sunday bulletin
to view and print by clicking above.
Click here to view The blessing service for the pilgrims journeying to the Holy Land.
Where are the People?
by Pastor Jim Dougans
The newly released American Religious Benchmark (ARB) survey reports "church attendance continues to decline as the pandemic approaches year three." The ARB survey found that 26 percent of US adults regularly went to church pre-pandemic. However, the survey uncovered that in the spring of 2022, that number dropped to 24 percent. This change is a minor drop in itself. What is most concerning is attendance dropped in the other three categories: occasional attenders, infrequent attenders, and never attenders.
The most significant increase came from those who never attend religious services. This category increased from one-quarter to one-third of all US adults. Co-author of the survey report, Dan Cox, said: "these were the folks that were more on the fringes, to begin with; they didn't need much of a push or a nudge just to be done completely."
Three groups of people are most likely to skip worship services. The three groups are liberals (31% pre-pandemic to 46% in the spring of 2022), the never married (30% to 44%), and those under 30 (30% to 43%). These three groups were already lagging before the pandemic and have since shown the most significant decline in church attendance.
While church attendance was down, three groups suffered the slightest decline. The three groups are conservatives (14% to 20%), those over 65 (20% to 23%), and those with post-graduate education (21% to 27%). These three groups remained the least likely never to attend worship services.
What caused these changes? Cox believes it is due to generational shifts and polarization in the United States. Younger Americans are less likely to attend. Liberal churches may have stayed closed longer. Worshippers argued over masks and vaccines.
What about us here at First Presbyterian? The Hartford Institute for Religion Research says, "most congregations have seen attendance decline by about a quarter during the pandemic." That has been our experience as well. Last Sunday, March 5, there were 37 people in the church, down about 24% from our average of 46. You may have heard me say that 50 and above was a good number; the church felt nicely packed. I hope we can get back to more robust attendance.
Speaking of prayers, please join the Outreach Committee in praying that more people will make First Presbyterian Church their church home. Prayer is powerful! Many people today need what we have, a close and intimate relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ. It is through him that we have the peace that passes all understanding. (Philippians 4:7)
Harvard researchers Harvard researchers concluded weekly church attendance effectively improved the physical and mental health of millions of Americans and reduced mortality by “20 to 30 percent over a 15- year period.” Weekly interaction with hopeful people is good for your mental health. The Gospel Coalition S. Bateman, Feb. 12, 2023 Plus at First, there’s lots of good music and often yummy food, too.
Tutoring at Straub
As Pastor Jim has often said from the pulpit, we do consider one of our strongest missions at First to be that of educating our children. To that end, we have many of our members who have decided to participate in the tutoring program at Straub Elementary . We have an impressive list of volunteers that include not only retired teachers but also people from many other walks of life. They are all enjoying their time at Straub listening to students read, helping with math, getting caught up on work, or whatever teachers need help with.
Come join the fun. If you’d be interested in working with the kids, the only real requirements are a
listening ear, calm demeanor, and the filling out of a few background forms. See Kate or Pastor Jim if
you’d like to consider working with our kids at the schools. Kids always brighten any day because
they provide endless joy and entertainment, and give us a sense of accomplishment in helping them
achieve their potential.
Church mailing address is 21 W. 3rd St., Maysville, KY 41056.
Offerings: You may mail your checks to 21 W. 3rd St., Maysville,
KY 41056, if you wish to mail in your offerings while we are going through this
pandemic or you may pay by credit or debit card through a button at the top of this page.
Presbyterian Women’s Evening Circle Bible Study will meet on March 8th at 6:00 p.m.
Bible Study will meet on Wednesdays, March 1, 15, 22nd, and 29th at 6:00 p.m.
Session Class of 2025: New members of the Session are Cathy Webb and Kate Gausmann Krieg
Mason County Intermediate School won their recent District Academic Competition. First Presbyterian’s own, Mathias Poe was part of the First Place Quick Recall team and the First Place Future Problem Solving Team. The teams will now move on to the Regional Competition in Northern Kentucky. Go Mathias!!!
Junior Church Starting: The second and fourth Sunday of each month, children of the church will be participating in a junior church in the fellowship area. They will have a Bible lesson provided. This will begin after the anthem is performed.
Fellowship… Fellowship began after church Sunday, Feb. 19th and will continue on every 3rd Sunday until the end of the year. A sign up sheet is in the Fellowship Hall. Sign up to bring your favorite treats to share. There are still plenty of dates left on the signup sheet. “Get your Martha On!” That’s our motto, whether you’re more of a sister of Lazarus type or a Martha Stewart type.