P. O. Box 837
103 Turnpike St.
Milesburg, PA  16853

                                                 From Pastor Gary Califf:

Spiritual Fitness and Discernment


The motorized treadmill stopped, I stumbled toward the control panel, catching my balance on the two handgrips. For the past fourteen years my faithful NordicTrack whirled miles and miles up and down inclines, while I religiously exercised four to five days a week. I bought the thing in Ohio, moved it to Pennsylvania, then to Georgia, and finally back home again to Treasure Lake. The machine helped me maintain fitness and pass AF required annual fitness tests.

Now the machine was useless, but so many memories of the hours thinking, praying, reading, watching television, listening to the radio while running! I felt bad when the delivery guys rolled my old friend out onto the truck, and probable ignominious end. All good things… as we know.

My new NordicTrack is taking some getting used to. I have run-walked through St. Petersburg, Zurich, Panama City, and along the Monterey Bay. Jillian of “Biggest Loser” fame has berated me through a couple of routines, a mix of encouragement and judgement on my weight and performance. Whether I select the pre-loaded programs, the internet selection for the day, or a manual track routine – I am held accountable to it all, and my improvement toward my goals to remain healthy.

Physical fitness is to intentional exercise as spiritual fitness is to intentional exercises. James says that faith without works is dead, or rather useless. Treadmills sit idle in some homes, while their owners consume junk food and complain about their weight. Folks purchase the machines to get healthy but fail to establish discipline around exercise. It is difficult to set time aside to sweat and huff and puff. The machine does not do the work for you.

The practice of Christian Faith requires spiritual discipline around intentional exercises. Over two thousand years, the Christian Church has practiced twelve practices that intentionally deepen faith and life. Just as physical health is the fruit of exercise, spiritual discernment is the fruit of the twelve Christian disciplines.

As First Presbyterian Church, Bellefonte, and Milesburg Presbyterian Church congregations look toward the future call of God into their continuing journeys, and a new pastor, spiritual discernment is our way forward. Therefore, this fall I will be reviewing the twelve spiritual disciplines and ask us to exercise together. Research has demonstrated that those that are accountable to someone else, maintain healthy physical routines – and spiritual fitness. Together, let’s exercise as we prepare to discern God’s Word and will for our congregations for today and tomorrow.




Pastor Gary




 ANNOUNCEMENT: Change in worship time to

9:00am begins September 3, 2017.



Lectionary reading for September 2017


Sunday, Sept. 3: Exodus 3:1–15  Jeremiah 15:15–21  Psalm 105:1–6, 23–26, 45b   Psalm 26:1–8 Romans 12:9–21   Matthew 16:21–28 


Sunday, Sept. 10: Exodus 12:1–14  Ezekiel 33:7–11  Psalm 149   Psalm 119:33–40 Romans 13:8–14 Matthew 18:15–20 


Sunday, Sept. 17: Exodus 14:19–31  Genesis 50:15–21  Psalm 114 or Exodus 15:1b–11, 20–21   Psalm 103:[1–7] 8–13 Romans 14:1–12   Matthew 18:21–35 


Sunday, Sept. 24: Exodus 16:2–15  Jonah 3:10—4:11  Psalm 105:1–6, 37–45   Psalm 145:1–8   Philippians 1:21–30 Matthew 20:1–16