"We exist to love and serve God, and to help all people know and experience the love of Jesus Christ."
Pastor: Reverend Matt Coplen
Bio coming soon.
“We exist to love and serve God and to help all people know and experience the love of Jesus Christ” ~ mission statement, First Presbyterian Church of Plattsmouth “It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them” ~ Alfred Adler
Why are we here?
What is our purpose?
What should we do with the dash between the two dates on our gravestones?
Our church’s mission statement offers us three verbs to give purpose to our congregational and individual life: loving and serving God and helping people to know and experience Jesus’ love. I would submit that in most circumstances those three things are rather easy, because the need is often clear and the opportunity doesn’t really ask or demand much of us. It is seldom difficult to love God with heart, soul, mind or strength or to serve God through the ways we live with one another or to help someone out in their moment of need. It is seldom difficult, but it may be inconvenient.
In the book (and movie) A River Runs through It, the two brothers (master fly fishermen) are asked to take their brother-in-law along for a day of fishing. One of the brothers says to the other, “You know he’s going to use worms for bait.” He said this in a tone of voice that suggested this was about the lowest form of human on the planet. The two brothers take the brother-in-law fishing and it was just as bad as they feared it would be and maybe even worse, but at the end of the day the wife says to her husband, “Thank you for taking my brother fishing. It means a lot to me.”
It isn’t the person who’s easy to help that needs us most. It’s the person who’s hardest to help, who challenges our principles and our resolve that needs us most. The person we find it hard to pray for is the one we most need to pray for, maybe not for them, but for ourselves. The neighbor who drives us crazy needs us most to be his or her good neighbor. The friend who is making bad decisions is the one who most needs the shoulder of support we might offer.
There was a book written several years ago by a minister turned fire department chaplain and she titled her book “Here If You Need Me” because this is what she always told the firefighters. She was there if they needed her. What she learned, she says in the book, is that if you’re going to say the words “Here if you need me,” you better be ready to live up to them.
One of the things I’ve learned in the almost six months I’ve been in Plattsmouth now is that we are asking good questions: What does it look like to love God? What does it look like to serve God? What does it look like to help a neighbor, a friend, a family member, a stranger, to experience and know the love of Jesus Christ? Our mission statement is only twenty words long ~ who knew so much could be offered, or demanded, or promised with so few words.
Secretary: Bonnie Sullivan
Office hours: Monday - Friday 9:00am - 12:00pm