A PCUSA Congregation - A Covenant Network Church
affirming inclusive ministry

Worship Sunday at 10:00 AM
Education for All Ages at 11:20 AM
315 N. Cayuga St.
Ithaca, NY 14850
607-272-2800    This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


If the Ithaca City School District is closed for weather,
the First Presbyterian Church will also be closed.
Stay safe this winter!





Taize Services:

Every Wednesday evening in Lent,

5:45pm in the Narthex.

During Lent, we invite you to join us before Wednesday Night Supper as we join in prayer, song, and silence.  As we hear scripture read and meditate  on the wisdom of God, you are encouraged to color, draw, knit, or practice the art of creative praying in silent meditation.  Please come for a time of reflection, meditation, and devotion as we observe our Lenten season together.




The Gospel of Mark:

Sunday, April 2, 4-6:15pm

This Lent, as we remember the culmination of Jesus’ story on earth, come hear the good news as told by Mark.  Mark’s gospel, the shortest of the four, takes a little over two hours to hear from beginning to end.  Told in dramatic form with simple props, it is the story itself which comes to life and holds the glory.

Save the date—More information on the venue to come!



Holy Week:


Maundy Thursday:

April 13, 7pm.

We follow Jesus to the Upper Room, to sit with his disciples at table.  After the Last Supper, they went up to the mountain to sing a hymn, and then down to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed that the cup of suffering might be taken from him.  We will follow the story.


Holy Week Vigil:

beginning Thursday April 13 at 8pm

until Friday, April 14 at 7pm.

You are invited to participate in our annual 24-hour vigil in the sanctuary as we take turns sitting in solitude and silence.  It is a sensory experience: light candles, and feel the coolness of water and the roughness of sand.  Come and wait with our Lord.


Good Friday:

April 14, 7pm.

In the gathered darkness of the evening we will remember how darkness also fell over the face of the earth while Jesus hung on the cross.  Hear the voices of those who gathered around him, and become a part of the story.


Finally, we will have

come to the end of loss.

After so much waiting and

such desperate hoping—after believing

all was lost—God shows us the truth

of God’s promises that all will always be well.

We celebrate the rising of our Lord!


Easter Sunday:

Worship at 10am—

Come for the choir or the trumpets;

come for the happy Alleluias!

Come for the message of God’s love;

come for the singing and the joy!

Easter is our springtime, when faith was reborn and renewed.  Come, experience all God’s promises in your life, with joy.




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From the Pastor's Desk PDF Print E-mail

Dear friends,

I am about to plagiarize without permission, but I hope to be forgiven by the beauty of the content.  In my office here at the church, I have a wonderful copy of Marcus Borg’s “Heart of Christianity,” lent to some prior reverent by Don Halcomb.  (You may have noticed a passage from it that became a Call to Worship not so long ago.)

On page 73, as Borg quotes Frederick Buechner,  Don—I assume—once wrote an addition, which I will include in italics.  Here is Buechner, with Don’s marginal note in its midst:

“Listen to your life.  Listen to what happens to you, and what comes to you in your ‘night thoughts,’ because it is through what happens to you that God speaks.”

And so if I may, I would like to launch from here into a foray into nighttime prayers.  We Christians who are socially conscious will often remember our mealtime prayers, when the eyes of all are not only “waiting upon Thee” but upon us as we sit:

The eyes of all wait upon Thee, O Lord, and Thou givest them their meat in due season.  Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.” Psalm 145.

While grace at meals is good, it is always caught on its heels by conversation, the passing of dishes, and the consummation of a feast.  It has much to speak for it, but is not (at least for my hungry family) exactly meditative—and yet meditation is something they crave, as my son (having learned what the word “mesmerized” means) can attest.

But, night-time prayers are different.  Night-time prayers, like a good watering of the garden after the sun goes down, have time to soak in.  They remain for a stretch, make themselves available to rumination, and have the chance of being taken up in dreams.

We have much to busy us, and culturally I would imagine that many try to give even the last seconds of the day to something useful, like an extra page of a book, two clues of a crossword puzzle, or the setting of an alarm.  But our love of what is “useful” should never veil the love of what has meaning; and prayer, or the conversation and wisdom we find in it, is fully meaningful.

So if I may advocate: in this season, to which still remain many long nights and quiet rests, give yourself a tradition of night-time prayers, and the “night thoughts” that accompany them.  And, if you have any prayers you especially love for any time of day, send them my way so we can share them, and their meaning, as a family.

Be well, pray often, and do it all with love.



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Download this file (Good News - March 2017.pdf)Good News Newsletter - March 2017 998 Kb


Celebrate Margaret!Margaret's 50th Birthday


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