Please keep members of our
Church Family in your prayers:

Lucy Diener
Philip & Roseanne Frye
Bev Grant

Olga Kehoe
Natalie Klohck

And any prayers
you may have in your heart

Consider this—
God our Shelter, be a strong presence in the lives of neighbors who, having survived the winds and rains of Harvey, now face grief, uncertainty and weary days. May our generosity in prayer and in tangible signs of support overflow more than floodwaters, to sustain your work of healing and rebuilding and bring comfort and strength to those who suffer.


Sermons & Prayers


March 15,2019

Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,

The great poet penned in the book of Ecclesiastes, “For everything there
is a season.” I am writing to share the news that my season of service
as your pastor is drawing to a close; my last Sunday with you will be
this coming Easter.  Over the past few months, I have been in a season
of discernment as I have wrestled with my sense of call and the needs of
this congregation at this time. When I entered pastoral ministry nearly
twenty-two years ago, I remember being told that discernment is always
the task of faithful pastors, and I have tried to take that seriously in
each of the three congregations I have served. As a part of my
discernment process, I have prayed for guidance and looked for spiritual
direction from mentors and colleagues. The call process that has led me
to the First Presbyterian Church of Watertown, NY was similar to the
call process that led me to you, as I felt God’s guiding hand every step
of the way.

In April of 2014, you welcomed me into your church and into your lives
and it has been a privilege to serve as your pastor for five years. I
have enjoyed the honor of being a part of your lives and walking beside
you, especially as we comforted one another in the loss of so many who
were received into God’s loving arms during my tenure as your pastor.  I
will never forget washing dishes at our Spaghetti Suppers, perusing some
of the items that are donated to the Thrift Store, and especially our
diligent efforts to love this neighborhood on God’s behalf.

As I prepare for the next season in my life, I know that this season of
change will be difficult for all of us. Change is always hard, as is the
uncertainty of what is next for the church that we love as you enter a
time of transition.  The Session and I will be meeting with the
Presbytery and its Committee on Ministry next week to talk about the
future and to ensure that the transition is accomplished as smoothly as

Please join me in holding our church family, the leadership and my
family in prayer during this season of change. May God bless us all and
surround us with the strength and hope that we need in this time of
moving into what is next for all of us.

Faithfully & Gratefully,
Pastor Leonard

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. — Phillipians 4:4-7

On Ash Wednesday, March 6, the season of Lent begins. I have grown to love this special season in the church! During Lent, we focus on Jesus' journey to the cross and hopefully we mark our time with Len-ten disciplines. Likely, when most of us think about Lent, we think about darkness and the question, "What are you giving up?"

So why do I like Lent so much? Lent is a time when we (as the church and as individuals) are directed to focus more fully on our walk with Christ through practices (disciplines) like praying, fasting and giving. These practices have the capacity to strengthen our connection to God in significant and meaningful ways, which is why Lent can be the most significant time in a person's life of faith.

Lent can also be a time of new beginnings. During Lent, I look for new ways to connect to God. One way to experience a more meaningful Lent is to spend time considering your prayer life. What is work-ing? What is not working? What new prayer practice might you try to connect more deeply with God? If you don't practice prayer in the morning consider pausing before getting out of bed and turning your attention to God and asking for God to guide you through your day. Try reviewing your schedule and offering your appointments and plans up to God. At the end of the day, before closing your eyes, a good practice is to review all that happened and offer thanks for the good moments and offer confession for the struggles. Remember, when you pray, you are strengthening your connection with God and the world God loves.

However you choose to practice your faith, I hope your Lenten Journey will be a time of moving closer to God. May you be blessed in this holy season.

Pastor Leonard:

Email for Pastor Leonard: pastor@johnstownpresbyterian.org



37 S. Market St., Johnstown, NY 12095
Ph: 518.762.8263 Fax: 518.762.2981
Email: office@johnstownpresbyterian.org