"Blessings and Woes" - Luke 6:17-26 (February 17, 2019)

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Stephen Fearing

Stephen was born in 1988 in Cookeville, TN, where his parents met whilst attending Tennessee Tech. Shortly after, they moved to Dalton, Georgia where they put down roots and joined First Presbyterian Church, the faith family that taught Stephen that he was first and foremost a beloved child of God. It was this community that taught Stephen that it was OK to have questions and doubts and that nothing he could do could every possibly separate him from the love of God. In 1995, his sister, Sarah Kate, joined the family and Stephen began his journey as a life-long musician. Since then, he has found a love of music and has found this gift particularly fitting for his call to ministry. Among the instruments that he enjoys are piano, trumpet, guitar, and handbells. Stephen has always had a love of singing and congregation song. An avid member of the marching band, Stephen was the drum major of his high school's marching band. In 2006, Stephen began his tenure at Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC where he majored in Religion and minored in History. While attending PC, Stephen continued to explore his love of music by participating in the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, Jazz Trio, as well as playing in the PC Handbell ensemble and playing mandolin and banjo PC's very own bluegrass/rock group, Hosegrass, of which Stephen was a founding member (Hosegrass even released their own CD!). In 2010, Stephen moved from Clinton to Atlanta to attend Columbia Theological Seminary to pursue God's call on his life to be a pastor in the PC(USA). During this time, Stephen worked at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Silver Creek Presbyterian Church, Central Presbyterian Church, and Westminster Presbyterian Church. For three years, Stephen served as the Choir Director of Columbia Theological Seminary's choir and also served as the Interim Music Director at Westminster Presbyterian Church. In 2014, Stephen graduated from Columbia with a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Arts in Practical Theology with an emphasis in liturgy, music, and worship. In July of 2014, Stephen was installed an ordained as Teaching Elder at Shelter Island Presbyterian Church in Shelter Island, NY. Later that year, Stephen married the love of his life, Tricia, and they share their home on Shelter Island with their Golden Doodle, Elsie, and their calico cat, Audrey. In addition to his work with the people who are Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, Stephen currently serves as a commission from Long Island Presbytery to the Synod of the Northeast and, beginning in January of 2016, will moderate the Synod's missions team.

"The Blessed Body" - 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a (January 27, 2019)

"The Blessed Body" - 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a (January 27, 2019)

Sometimes one part of the body is hurting and the other parts of the body have to call an audible to compensate for the disability.  Sometimes too much focus is given to one part of the body and the other part of the body suffers because of it.  Having all the members work together to form a body that can live a fulfilling and productive life is no small task.

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"A Community of Love" - Hebrews 10:11-25 (November 18, 2018)

"A Community of Love" - Hebrews 10:11-25 (November 18, 2018)

When we provoke one another in acts of love and good deeds, it is kind of like we are poking one another, challenging one another to hold ourselves accountable to go above and beyond to do these acts of love and good deeds and not just talk about them.  

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"The Upside-Down Kingdom: Part 4 - Where the Blind Can See" - Mark 10:46-52 (October 28, 2018)

"The Upside-Down Kingdom: Part 4 - Where the Blind Can See" - Mark 10:46-52 (October 28, 2018)

But something stirred within him that day.  Jesus had brought out a stubbornness in him; a stubbornness that he guessed could be the “faith” his healer had just mentioned.  A stubbornness to hope in the goodness and beauty of the world despite everything that seemed to indicate otherwise.

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"The Upside-Down Kingdom: Part 3 - Where the Least Are the Greatest" - Mark 10:35-45 (October 21, 2018)

"The Upside-Down Kingdom: Part 3 - Where the Least Are the Greatest" - Mark 10:35-45 (October 21, 2018)

There are times when putting the Body of Christ first means putting our comfort and convenience last.  There are times when moving forward means letting go of some things.  There are times, when making room for resurrection, that some things have to die in order for new things to sprout up in their place.

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"The Upside-Down Kingdom: Part 2 - Where the Last Are First" - Mark 10:17-31 (October 14, 2018)

"The Upside-Down Kingdom: Part 2 - Where the Last Are First" - Mark 10:17-31 (October 14, 2018)

Let us give joyfully so that when God calls us to follow, instead of going away tearfully, we can go away with a song on our lips because the God Movement is alive in our lives and we have been called to share it!

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"Walking Through James: Part 5 - Prayer" - James 5:13-20 (September 30, 2018)

"Walking Through James: Part 5 - Prayer" - James 5:13-20 (September 30, 2018)

Prayer is the natural result of all the behaviors James has been lifting up to us this past month.  Righteousness, gentleness, impartiality, benevolence, mercy, faithfulness, generosity.  When these behaviors are exhibited, prayer is the inevitable outcome.

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