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Faith Presbyterian Church blog

June 2017
June 2017

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Thank you, again, for supporting the denomination of our church. Just as an individual at church on Sunday morning is encouraged to become a member of the church body (learn how), so too is Faith Presbyterian Church a member of a larger church body, the Pacific Northwest Presbytery. And, of course, each of the 85 presbyteries of the PCA belong to the larger church body, the annual meeting of the denomination.

We love the congregational diversity within the PCA in terms of vision, mission, ...



May 2017
May 2017

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You are cordially invited to a morning of music and fun, Saturday, May 20.

You must be familiar with the ministry of Songs for Saplings! Several years ago this ministry came to Anchorage as special guests of Faith to host a mini-concert for children. Churches around the country love hearing their children singing the sound teaching of the gospel.

Founded by musician Dana Dirksen, Songs for Saplings offers children professionally-produced music that communicates rich biblical ...



February 2017
February 2017

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At the end of the summer, the elders and deacons of Faith gathered together for a few hours to consider the challenge that awaits our church in November 2019. This is when our current lease in the South Plaza building expires. Even though we have no reason to believe that the owners of the building will not agree to a new lease, it seemed wise to gather together and learn from one another what kind of vision each of us have with regards to our future building needs. The following is summary of ...



February 2017
February 2017

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I hear a lot about how intimidating the historical portions of the Old Testament can be. It is almost as if I can here history-buffs confess that, when it come to Old Testament history, their enthusiasm promptly dies.

I agree that 1-2 Samuel and 1-2 Kings represents some challenging literature, but is a shame that many history lovers, even as Christians, actually do not love to study the historical setting around the kingdoms of David and Solomon, and around the period of the divided ...



January 2017
January 2017

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Our church worked closely with the Northwest Church Planting Network during the process of helping Andrew Allen, and our brothers and sisters in Soldotna, get Redeemer Kenai off the ground. We continue to work closely with the Network, needing all of the assistance we can get as our church becomes a church-planting church.

The Northwest Church Planting Network is made up of PCA churches in our presbytery (Alaska, Idahoe, Oregon, and Washington) who have a heart for chruch planting and who ...



December 2016
December 2016

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Wondering what Scriptures particuarly relate to the Christmas season? Looking for an effective way to meditate on those passages, specifically? Perhaps it would be helpful to have a reading list for family devotions during Christmas?

For the four Sundays of Advent, as well as Christmas Sunday, our worship services are filled with passages that speak to the glory of the incarnation. We have used some of these passages as a Call to worship, some as an Assurance of Pardon, some as our Confession ...



December 2016
December 2016

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This Christmas there are a number of events that you need to be aware of.


Faith Christmas Program on Friday, Dec. 23, 6pm, at the church

If you haven’t been before, the Faith Christmas Program is a very precious opportunity to hear the story of Jesus’ birth, theatrically performed by children, using only the words of the Bible. This makes for a very charming evening, and it is especially fitting that the story of the Savior of the world is told by our Little Theologians.

This is a ...



August 2016
August 2016
missions
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We are pleased to introduce the 2016 Faith Missions Conference.

The conference theme is Overcoming by the Power of the Gospel, and we are honored to have with us missionaries committed to promoting gospel-centered ministry sustained by indigenous Christians.

James and Jackie Gildard are church planters joining us from France, Julian Zugg is involved in worldwide pastoral training, and Blake Purcell directs several church plants and ministries in Russia (East and West).

These missionaries ...



July 2016
July 2016

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Have you made plans to come learn about John Owen?

Please make sure to get the latest information, and remember . . .

  • Owen is significant enough that you just ought to know about him.
  • Owen has helped many Christians to understand difficult biblical matters.
  • Owen has a love for Jesus and a faithfulness for the Bible that is infectious.
  • Owen is just the tip of the iceberg; there is an amazing depth to English Puritan theology.

And also remember . . .



July 2016
July 2016

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When contemplating weekly communion, our elders began by examining Scriptures that directly address the Lord’s Supper, and then looked to secondary Scriptures to help fill-in our understanding. We came to see that Scripture allows for weekly communion while, at the same time, seeing that Scripture does not necessarily prohibit monthly communion. You can view related documentation here.

A significant difficulty of considering Scripture’s testimony is discerning which meals in the New Testament ...



July 2016
July 2016

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As Faith makes the transition to weekly communion as our regular Sunday morning practice, there are two ways to learn more about this decision.

First, take a moment to look at the Weekly Communion FAQ that addresses some of the more common questions.

Second, take a look at the biblical argument that we followed in coming to our conclusion.

Third, take a look at a summary of the four areas of research that the elders considered in coming to their conclusion, which included the biblical ...



July 2016
July 2016

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The following addresses likely questions regarding our new practice of weekly communion. If you would like a more extensive view of the Scriptural, confessional, and historical matters that the elders considered, you may wish to read a lengthier summary.



How long has the discussion been happening?

At the beginning of the year Pastor John asked the other elders to consider making weekly communion a regular part of our corporate worship. The elders talked about this at the March retreat in ...



July 2016
July 2016

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In the history of Protestant Christianity, Englishman John Owen is the equivalent of a rockstar. John Owen was born in 1616 and grew up in a Christian home, attended Oxford (a school he would later serve as vice-chancellor), and devoted his life to the church of Christ. He spoke before the English parliament, reached-out to churches across Britain, served as Oliver Cromwell's chaplain, wrote on theological topics, addressed complex cultural matters, and suffered many personal and financial ...


June 2016
June 2016

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Two years ago, a number of PCA churches drafted various child protection recommendations that they hoped would be adopted denomination-wide. In 2014, a recommendation from churches in Georgia was unanimously approved by the PCA (read it here). This statement encouraged all PCA leaders to “take an active stance toward preventing child sexual abuse in the church by screening staff and volunteers, training them in child protection, and actively maintaining child protection policies pertaining to ...



June 2016
June 2016

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I attended our denomination’s General Assembly meeting last week in Mobile, Alabama.  Below are my own personal (and potentially boredom-inducing) notes from General Assembly, taken as I sat in a massive exhibition hall with 1500 others, computer in my lap, and two enormous screens looming before me. Over the next couple of weeks, check out our denominational magazine, Byfaith, for more thorough, exhaustive, and better-written summaries. 


1. Presbyterianism worldwide
Did you know that the ...



April 2016
April 2016

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In case you were wondering, here are the topics examined in the Faith Presbyterian 101 class held two to three times a year at Faith.

We try to cover two questions at each class meeting. There are currently two more classes for this term (May 3 and May 10, 7pm, at the church).

Any and all are welcome to come.

  1. What is the story of the world? We begin by considering God’s overarching purpose to restore all creation to Himself.
  2. What is a Christian? Christianity is God-designed, Holy ...


April 2016
April 2016

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I have been asked if Faith is a New Calvinist church. The short answer is, “no, not really.” This needs explaining.

As far as I can tell, the phrase “New Calvinism” was coined by former Christianity Today editor Collin Hansen in his 2006 article "Young, Restless, Reformed: Calvinism is making a comeback—and shaking up the church," and in his 2007 book Young, Restless, and Reformed: A Journalist's Journey with the New Calvinists. Consequently, the New Calvinism movement is sometimes referred ...



April 2016
April 2016

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“He descended into hell.” This phrase from the Apostles’ Creed tends to generate many questions.

Part of the confusion stems from the fact that the phrase is shocking. The picture of Jesus walking about in a fiery chasm deep beneath the earth’s surface is almost impossible to resist when first hearing the statement. This, however, is not the correct image and is not what’s behind the statement.

It should be admitted that this phrase is not as old as the other articles that come together to ...



December 2015
December 2015

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Please save the date for our Annual Congregational Meeting on Thursday, Jan. 21, at 7:00pm.

This meeting will include an annual update from Pastor John, the election of new ruling elders, and a presentation of the Faith 2016 Budget.

Regarding the election, the Session has determined that Jeff Banker and Justin Freswick are eligible candidates for the January election.  Each candidate will be voted on separately in January by Faith members (age 18 and over).  If elected, they will be ...



September 2015
September 2015

September 25 & 26, Faith will be hosting it's annual Women's Retreat here in Anchorage at the Hotel Captain Cook.

You're invited to...
Take a breath
Contemplate Prayer
Refresh old relationships
Create new connections

Please email womensministry@faithanchorage.org with your contact information and which meals you would like (Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast, Saturday dinner).
  • Please call reservations at the Hotel Captain Cook to book your room ...


July 2015
July 2015

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Every year we host an area-wide conference in which we invite respected Reformed scholars to address a topic important to our vision. This year, we are pleased to have with us Dr. William "Bill" Edgar who teaches apologetics and cultural engagment at Westminster Theological Seminary (visit his faculty profile).

I have never met Dr. Edgar, but have enjoyed his writing for many years, two books in particular. When people ask me for an introduction on Reformed Theology, I highly recommend Dr....



June 2015
June 2015

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Andrew and Amy Allen are in the middle of a crazy season of life right now!

Andrew is working wildly to prepare their house to go on the market, both of them have denominational assessment forms and interviews and phonecalls, Andrew continues to work diligently for his employer, there is much preparation for their baby, both are ardently trying to stay in touch with their church family in Soldotna, etc., etc.

You can stay updated with Kenai Peninsula Mission news through their ...



June 2015
June 2015

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We are currently introducing a period of elder training to our elder and deacon nomination process. After we elect, ordain and install our latest group of deacon and elder nominees, we'll publish a finalized nomination and election process.

By way of an update, we plan to vote on our current deacon nominees at our July 19 Congregational Meeting (learn more), and we plan to vote on our current elder nominees later during the fall semester.

The following is a list of articles that our current ...



May 2015
May 2015

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As you know, we have a short Congregational Meeting scheduled for Sunday, May 17, immediately following the service.

We are encouraging all Faith members to remain after the worship service for a 20 to 30 minute meeting to conduct two items of business: to elect two elder candidates, and to receive the latest update on the Kenai Peninsula Mission, a PCA church plant in Soldotna.

You are welcome to download the agenda here. Copies will be distributed on ...



April 2015
April 2015

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From Sunday, April 12 through Sunday, April 26, we are asking Faith members to nominate potential deacons.

In Philippians 1.1, Paul describes that a healthy church is one that is lead by two kinds of official church positions: elders and deacons. While it is true that, early in a church’s life there may elders without deacons, over the course of time a church will need the assistance of deacons in order to effective serve a growing body.

There is a picture of this very scenario in Acts 6 ...



March 2015
March 2015

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A chronology of Scripture readings for Jesus’ last week can be tricky business. The gospels were written by four different individuals highlighting different features and collecting the information in different ways.

So, for instance, it’s difficult to ascertain exactly when Judas conspired with the Sanhedrin, or the placement of the anointing (in Matthew 26.6-13 and Mark 14.3-9), or if John 18.28-40 recounts Jesus’ first or second trial before Pilate, or to what event John 14.31b refers to, ...



March 2015
March 2015

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Andrew and Amy Allen I want to introduce to you Andrew Allen. He is the man our brothers and sisters in Soldotna hope to become their Organizing Pastor. It has been stirring to watch from a distance how they have come to know and love Andrew and Amy Allen. It's hard for me to remember any better pairing between a faithful flock who desire a shepherd, and a faithful shepherd who equally desires to serve that flock. Our church waited for a shepherd for nearly six years; it is for God’s glory that our Soldotna ...



February 2015
February 2015

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Are you searching for a good book? Below is version 1.0 of the list of titles to be carried in the upcoming Faith Bookstall to be made available every Sunday morning in the foyer (more info to follow). This list grew out of a recommended reading list given to attendees of the Faith Pres 101 class.

And by the way: If you would like to read and discuss a book with others at Faith, consider attending one of the monthly Christian Book Club book discussions.

Here are the books . . .

Gospel ...



February 2015
February 2015

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Nobody should become a member of a congregation unless they are convinced that church membership was taught in the New Testament church. On the other hand, no believer should resist membership in a congregation unless they are equally convinced that church membership was absent from the New Testament church. Both opinions must be uniquely Christian opinions in that they are opinions singularly derived from the Bible. For instance, if we form our opinions from a merely cultural or historical or ...



February 2015
February 2015

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As we are making our way through the Faith Pres 101 class (learn more), I think it would help if I began making available certain charts and diagrams that make up the class notes.

During the class, I occassionally interrupt the normal lesson to refer to a helpful "additional resource." While we try not to spend too much time with the resource, they serve as handy tools for the participants to take home and review later. Some of the resources are written by me, some written by others and ...



December 2014
December 2014

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As announced on Sunday, here is information about the 2014 Sound Words Conference. This third-annual conference is hosted by the Reformation Society of South-central Alaska, which is a charter society of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.

The Alliance was formed in 1994 through the ministry of Rev. James Montgomery Boice at Tenth Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Philadelphia. His desire was to gather together a group of like-minded pastors who wished to combat what they saw as unwelcome ...



November 2014
November 2014

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Faith logo (blue) For six years our church has used as its logo a capital "F" font (if you must know, it was from the "Rose Caps" family of fonts designed by Altsys, which was bought by Macromedia, which was bought by Adobe). Our free "Rose Caps" logo worked just fine for us, and even looked rather sharp hanging from the banister of the Fox Hollow Golf Chalet and glimmering in the sun alongside the frontage road. Alas, that captial "F" has been laid to rest.

With the move into South Plaza comes the need for ...



November 2014
November 2014

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If you missed our Fellowship Meal today, you missed a great meal and even greater fellowship. These meals take place each month (on the second Sunday). See you next time.

Today, I made a short presentation introducing our new facility. In it, I also reminded us of our vision. In it, I also made some projectons on how our new facility will highlight ways for us to "re-imagine" our vision in a new setting. It it, I suggested five challenges ahead. In it, I reiterated the fact that our new ...



November 2014
November 2014

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Perhaps it would be more accurate to say, "Welcome to the new, unfinished, still-much-work-to-be-done website." Yes, that's more accurate.

For the past few years our website has been built on a free WordPress platform. This site was created by your truly and, it looked like it! The blog framework was modified to the zenith of my web skills, and was very tricky to manage. Lincoln Steele has been the administrator of our website for more than a year and he can confirm that it is not the best ...