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ah first presbyterian churchATLANTIC HIGHLANDS --- Area residents are invited to join the members and friends of the First Presbyterian Church for the 11 a.m. Sunday worship service.

The sermon by the Rev. Paul F. Rack is entitled "Blessed Are ..." and will be based on Matthew 5:1-12.

The service will be held at the nearly 127-year-old church at Third and East Highland avenues.

"Some of the most important things Jesus ever said are right at the beginning of his characteristic sermon in Matthew, called the Sermon on the Mount," according to Rack.

"He begins with a series of blessings called 'The Beatitudes.' "He makes a point of blessing precisely the opposite of those whom the world would call blessed. He lifts up the losers.

"In presenting an alternative model of blessing he reveals a God who is with us in our brokenness, pain, loss and deprivation. He knows how God inhabits and raises up the lowest places and people.

"This is very good news for most of us, for we can identify with every emotion mentioned, and know that in them we draw closer to knowing the full joy and peace of a God who is overflowing in goodness and compassion."

Elder Barbara E. Stone will serve as the liturgist for the service.

The David Nunez-directed adult choir will perform during the service.

Area residents are also invited to attend the pastor's weekly "Bible by the Bay" Bible Study at 11 a.m. every Tuesday at Sissy's Restaurant in the municipal marina.

On Sunday, Feb. 5, all members are encouraged to attend the annual Congregational and Corporation meetings immediately following the 11 a.m. worship service, during which the elections of new officer will be held and the proposed 2017 budget will be considered.

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