Welcome from Our Pastor

Rev. Bill Carter


Photo 00001 Welcome to the online home of First Presbyterian Church of Clarks Summit, PA – “The Church On the Hill.” We are glad you have found the website of this lively, loving and faithful congregation. We invite you to click through our pages and discover why so many thoughtful Christians in our region make this church their spiritual home.


We are a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and have more than 500 members. Each week about 140 people attend worship and education, which makes us one of the largest Presbyterian congregations in Northeastern Pennsylvania.


So you want to learn more about FPCCS? I’ve been here for a while, and observed a number of things about us. Here’s a quick survey of what I’ve seen:


While we see a great deal of diversity among our members, we find ourselves in the theological center of the Christian church. As a group, our congregation is neither stodgy nor off the wall. We tolerate a wide variety of voices, yet we find our coherence in the confession that "Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior of the world."


Some might define us by the language we use. We are a "Trinity" church, as distinguished from those congregations who tend to emphasize Jesus or the Holy Spirit. When we speak of God, we speak as completely as we are able.


Some may define us by our political stance. While individuals in our congregation vote across the political spectrum, our corporate stance tends to be moderate. We are challenged by conservative and liberal voices and, like a lot of American Presbyterians, sometimes get caught in the crossfire over the issues of the day.


Others might define us by our theological position. We are a Reformed church, which means we find our roots in the sixteenth century thoughts of John Calvin, Martin Luther and John Knox. Our church values the integration of intelligence and passion - the mind and the heart - as we seek to serve God in contemporary circumstances.


Still others might define us by the ways we worship. If someone asks, “Do you have a contemporary worship service?” we might respond by saying, “Sure, worship happens here and now, and that makes it contemporary.” Then we would quickly add: our worship is also rooted in the best traditions that the church has inherited for the past three thousand years. That means we don’t have to rely on a lot of gadgets in order to have a worship service. We simply have to sink deeply into the joyful works of praying, singing, giving, and listening for God.


For our part, we find ourselves defined by the grace and mercy of God, which we see in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and which we know through the work of the Holy Spirit. In other words, church is not about us; it's about God. We spend a considerable amount of energy listening for God to speak, discerning what God wants us to do and joining our work with God's work.


For us, faith is a journey toward the heart of God. It's not an aimless wandering. Neither is it a self-indulgent stance of "I've got it and now I don't need to have a new thought." In worship, education and mission, we claim the promises of the God who loved us before we were born. We affirm the love of Jesus which is extended to all people. And we pray for the Spirit to subvert our selfishness and set us free from our sin.


It takes awhile to get this right. Sometimes we think we've captured it, only to discover that faith has once again slipped out of our grip. Our growth in grace also takes the help and encouragement of others, which is what we expect our members and leaders to provide.


Faith is a lifelong journey, but as far as I’m concerned, it's the only trip worth taking. Come and travel with us!

- Rev. Bill Carter

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