Newsletter Articles 2024

From the Pastor’s Desk...May 2024


Sabbath. Rest. Quiet. Reflection. Peace. The world is filled with the opposite of those words. Crisis in the middle east. Crisis in Federal Government. Crisis in the climate. Crisis in the economy. Crisis in (insert your favorite crisis here). Spend one day without television. Spend one day without the computer or cell phone or tablet. If not a day, one hour? Two? We have become so dependent on our technology. There is nothing inherently wrong with all our gadgets, but we allow them to run free in our minds causing anxiety and doubt about everything! Take a sabbath break. I think the 24/7 news cycle is just like the daytime soap operas, you could miss months if not years of a soap opera and when you return nothing has changed, characters all there, same story lines, same crises. So too with the news. Tell me a news story that is not just like a month ago or a year ago. Nothing new, someone complaining about congress, another about the President. Some talking head telling us that the sky is falling….again.

We need a rest from it all. We need sabbath rest and refreshment. God commands it! #4 on the commandment list! Below are a few of my favorite authors on the Sabbath:


“The solution to mankind’s most vexing problem will not be found in renouncing technical civilization, but in attaining some degree of independence of it...On the sabbath we live, as it were, independent of technical civilization” (Abraham Heschel, The Sabbath).


Lynne Baab writes: “Our culture is obsessed with production, possession and accomplishment. The Sabbath invites us to spend a day apart from the media’s incessant cry of ‘More!’ The sabbath invites us into a rhythm, a structure, that frees us from outside pressure. And that freedom communicates God’s grace to us” (Sabbath Keeping).


In an age that has lost its soul, Sabbath keeping offers the possibility of gaining it back. In an age desperately searching for meaning, Sabbath keeping offers a new hope. In contrast to the technological society, in which the sole criteria of value is the measurement of efficiency, those who keep the Sabbath find their criteria in the character of God, in whose image they celebrate life” (Marva Dawn, Keeping the Sabbath Wholly).


Sabbath is an incubator for wisdom. When we allow the rush and pressure of our days to fall away, even for a short period of time, we are more able to discern the essential truth of what lies before us” (Wayne Muller, Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in our Busy Lives).


“Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you” (Deuteronomy 5.12).


May we find the rhythm of Sabbath weekly, even daily at various points of rest. Let that rhythm quiet our rush, silence our anxiety, confound our daily dose of bad news. May the Sabbath remind us of God’s presence, provision, and love. May the Sabbath offer refreshment as deep as the marrow our bones.

Keep the Sabbath that the Sabbath might keep you.


Pastor Ed


From the Pastor’s Desk...April 2024


This will be an update from the last newsletter article on the status of our overture to the General Assembly of the EPC (Evangelical Presbyterian Church). If you missed the last article, our church Session sent an overture to the New River Presbytery to basically make our denominational position paper on sexuality a part of our polity. This means that we are seeking to strengthen our EPC constitution with regard to our understanding on Scripture when is comes to the sexual confusion of the world. (If you would like to read the position paper, go here and scroll down. )

We have one victory with the overture thus far as the Presbytery that was considering the church and pastor for reception into the EPC has backed down on that process. It is my understanding that they have sent the matter to the Theology Committee of the EPC for study. We believe that will settle the matter at hand. But the overture is still to be considered at the General Assembly meeting in June (@ Memphis, Tenn). I will be attending that meeting and speaking on behalf of the overture. The leadership of our Presbytery is also preparing for various contingencies that may occur at that GA meeting. We are also working on an amendment to our overture to strengthen it even further!

The church in American is in a spiritual battle against those principalities and powers spoken of in Ephesians 6. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (6.12). In my opinion, this entire matter above is a spiritual force of evil seeking to get a stronghold into the EPC. From my experience in our previous denomination, once evil gets a stronghold, the slippery slope becomes a landslide. Once we compromise the truth of Jesus Christ and the authority of Scripture, we have given all over to the present darkness. My hope is that this GA meeting in June will enable the EPC to make a statement, clear and authoritative, against the LGBTQ+ darkness, transgender darkness, and the evils attacking our children, the church, and all who believe in Christ Jesus. While the EPC is not a major voice in America, we can be a still small voice proclaiming truth and light to the darkness. That is what I signed up for in the EPC in 2012 and what I hope will be the way forward. May God be glorified.


Pastor Ed


From the Pastor’s Desk...March 2024


The main reason our church has been a part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church denomination since 2012, breaking away from our former home, is our understanding and firm footing on the authority of Scripture. Every other issue, from sexuality to the Lordship of Christ, rests on the authority of Scripture. One of the reasons I took on the task of chairing the leadership team that developed our new Presbytery, was to stand guard against any teaching that would compromise that authority. I have been incredibly blessed to be a part of the EPC and now in our newly formed New River Presbytery where I served as Moderator in the first year.

Several months ago our Presbytery leadership team became aware of a church seeking entrance into our denomination that had been dismissed from the PCA. The PCA is another Presbyterian denomination very close to the EPC in theology and views on biblical authority. This particular church had applied to the Mid-America Presbytery (St. Louise area), and the church’s pastor is a self identifying homosexual who also identifies as celibate. Needless to say this raised a large red flag for me and for our leadership team. We were curious as to why the Mid-America Presbytery was even discussing a possibility of receiving this church and pastor. Long story short, a few of us put our heads together to determine what could be done from our Presbytery leadership. As it turns out, our Session at PPC endorsed an Overture to present to our Presbytery (NRP) which was approved unanimously at our last NRP meeting. The overture’s next journey will be to the General Assembly this summer for consideration.

There has been a lot of discussion as to leadership qualifications in our churches and, for brevity in this article, the concern over identifying oneself by sexuality is of great concern. Even the vow of celibacy is not enough to make the way clear for this pastor and church to enter into fellowship in the EPC. I cannot go into the details at this point, but there is a difference between celibacy and chastity.

I need to highlight that this is particularly an issue for those who are qualified or not to serve as officers in the church, Ruling Elders (Session) and/or Teaching Elders (Pastors). We are all sinners in need of God’s grace, but in today’s world, sexuality has taken center stage in such a way that we must take great care in how we approach those who identify outside of God’s created order of male and female. We are called to tell the truth in love to those who are struggling in the area of identity and sexuality. But, we are also given the responsibility to insure that our leaders are above reproach. I wanted to inform everyone in our fellowship of the situation and our Session’s particular involvement to protect our denomination from any compromise of God’s truth in Scripture. Here is the overture:


OVERTURE from Princeton Presbyterian Church

“Amend G.9-3 to Disqualify from Office Persons Identifying as Homosexual”


Whereas, God created Adam and Eve and ordained the first marriage and family consisting of one man and one woman in sexual union, establishing the context for the biblical sexual ethic (Gen. 1:27-28; 2:24; 4:1); and

Whereas, God has established the one flesh sexual union between a husband and wife, as a great mystery in reference to Christ and his Church (Eph. 5:25; 31-32); and

Whereas, the Holy Scriptures declare that the sexual union and desire between one man and one woman, in the covenant of marriage, is righteous and holy, and all other sexual activity is unrighteous and sinful, including homosexuality, which the Holy Scriptures describe as “degrading passions” (Rom. 5:18-19; Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6 9-11; Eph. 5:3-5; Heb. 13:4, WCF 24:1 & 2; WLC 138,139); and

Whereas, the application of the 7th Commandment forbids the sins of homosexuality, unnatural lusts, and unclean affections, affirming that homosexual acts and the desires to commit those acts are both sinful (Matt. 5:27-28; WLC 139); and

Whereas, the Biblical qualifications for a church officer require him to be “above reproach” and the “husband of one wife,” officers and candidates for office must conform their lives to Biblical sexual ethics, which include denying and mortifying all sexual passions and desires toward anyone to whom they are not married (1 Tim. 3:2); and

Whereas, identification as a “homosexual,” is sinful and against nature itself, is something God detests, and is not fitting for an officer of the Church of Christ (Lev. 18:22; 1 Tim. 28 3:2; Titus 1:5-6); and

Whereas, the Christian’s identity is rooted in Christ so that he is a “new creation” in Him, his identity cannot be defined by sexual and/any other desires or lifestyles that are contrary to the Holy Scriptures; for the Christian there is a clear distinction between self conception (“this is who I am”) and their remaining indwelling sin (“this is what I must daily mortify”) (Rom 6:1-14; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 2 Cor. 5:17; Col. 3:1-5); and

Whereas, the sexual revolution and LGBTQ+ movement are infiltrating many quarters of the Church and causing no small amount of confusion; and

Whereas, the Pastoral Letter on Human Sexuality adopted by the 38th General Assembly of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in order to guide the churches within the EPC affirms that “Those who make their S[ame] S[ex] A[ttractive] tendencies their primary identity are not comprehending and embracing their full identity as image bearers of God.”

Therefore, be it resolved that Princeton Presbyterian Church overtures the 005 Meeting of the New River Presbytery, to overture the 44th General Assembly of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church to amend the Book of Government Chapter 9 such that a new clause, G.9-3C, be added which reads as follows (new words underlined):


C. Men and women who identify as homosexual, even those who identify as homosexual and claim to practice celibacy in that self-identification, are disqualified from holding office in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.


Let us pray for the pastor and church seeking entrance into the EPC and the Presbytery dealing with this issue, and for our denomination as we put on the armor of God.


Pastor Ed



From the Pastor’s Desk...February 2024


The last prayer in the Bible is this: “Come, Lord Jesus!” Check it out in Revelation 22.20. Better yet, read the entire chapter where John sees a river that is described as the water of life. There is a tree of life and the Lord Himself will be all the light that is necessary. In verse 7 Jesus says, “I am coming soon”. In verse 12 Jesus says, “I am coming soon”. In verse 20 Jesus says, “Surely I am coming soon”. I think John really liked that statement, especially since Jesus kept saying it. John’s response in verse 20: “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” There is at least a hint of yearning for Christ to return now! “Amen, I know you said you are coming. Come on!” Perhaps you have felt this way when things in our lives or events in the world seem hopeless or so distressing that we just blurt it out, “Come, Lord Jesus”. It is a great prayer, short, easy to remember, useful more and more as we see the political landscape and the insane societal viewpoints that dominate most woke media. Come, Lord Jesus. I hear people express that they do not know what to pray. How about, Come, Lord Jesus. Simple, appropriate, doesn’t take a long time! We could expand it some, “Come, Lord Jesus, come”.

We are invited to come to Jesus all through Scripture:

Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David” (Isaiah 55.1-3).

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11.28-30).

We respond to the Lord’s invitation to come and when we have entered His kingdom we are changed and continue to be transformed in sanctification and the deeper we grow in relationship with Jesus the deeper our desire for Jesus to come again. Come, Lord Jesus. But, He has come. He has already come, by sending His Spirit to dwell in and with us. He has come in giving us the Word of God. He has come for we have witnessed the story of His birth, life, death, and resurrection. Yet, there is one more “to come”. Come, Lord Jesus, because we need You to come again to fulfill all things in complete and blessed redemption. Come, Lord Jesus, for this world is as dark as it has ever been. Come, Lord Jesus. And yet, we submit ourselves to Your timing. We recognize Your patience, Your grace and mercy… “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3.8-9). Come, Lord Jesus. While we wait we shall… “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” (2 Peter 3.18). Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.


From the Pastor’s Desk...January 2024


When I contemplate the numbers of a New Year, this year I think back to 1974, my freshman year in high school, and wonder how in the world that was 50 years ago. Those of us who are “of a certain age” each have those years we look back on and wonder how the time has passed so quickly. It has the “feel” of a mystery of passage...time flies by, the “feel” of “how can this be?”

There are similar questions in biblical mysteries. When Mary hears news from the angel Gabriel that she will have a child, she asks “how can this be?” The answer – the Holy Spirit will make this possible. Such a mystery has continued to this day as people wonder how Jesus could be divine and human, God and man, the incarnation – the Word became flesh. Paul leaves it open to the mystery of God in 1 Timothy 3.16 “Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.” Here is our confession, a mystery in itself, the mystery of godliness. God was manifested in the flesh! How can this be? The Holy Spirit made it possible, “vindicated/justified”. The angels serve as witnesses. The proclamation has been made to the world. This confession encompasses birth to ascension – from manifested to taken up!

This is partly what so infuriates the enemies of God. Our confession is a mystery that cannot be proven by imperial data, not by the senses of sight or touch or smell or taste, but...but one sense does come into play, hearing. “My sheep hear my voice...(John 10.27).” Romans 10.14, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” It is not that all the other senses are never a part of the faith journey. Surely we are told to “come and see”, to “taste and see that the Lord is good”. And yet, these are more metaphorical to hearing what Jesus has to say or to hear what the Word of God has for us. Hearing is primary because mysteries can only be understood through hearing. So Paul affirms that “we confess” the mystery of godliness. It is spoken in confession for all to hear.

Take the example of Jesus telling John’s disciples, Go and tell John what you have seen and heard...(Luke 7.22). Sight and hearing are used in the proclamation to John, what they have seen comes to John in his hearing. John does not get to see, only to hear. Once again, seeing is a part of the testimony, but hearing is primary. We can certainly show people the Christ in our actions and in possible miracles like healing, but it is primarily in the proclamation that faith comes, for “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ (Romans 10.17).

When we share the gospel with people, the question may arise, “How can this be?” Our only honest answer is this: the mystery of godliness. 1 Timothy 3.16 “Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.” Hear this good news: Jesus Christ came among us - the image of the invisible God, the revelation of God in the form of man. Philippians 2. 6-8, “though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” How can this be? It is, my friends, a mystery, but it is also the power of God. Amen.