According to Matthew's Gospel, Jesus taught that God is a loving force at work unconditionally for the sake of all people regardless of whether they are labeled by others as "righteous" or "unrighteous." Jesus taught that good and true life is found not in perfect obedience, but as we live with love for God and neighbor. Early Church leader John wrote in his first letter that "whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love." Early Church leader Paul wrote in his letter to the people of Galatia that there was no longer need for dualistic labels like "Jew or Greek," "male or female," and "slave or free" because we know from the work and witness of Jesus that we are one human community.
Therefore, the Church is an unconditional and intergenerational community in which we celebrate our belonging to God and to one another. The Church is all those who gather to give thanks for the goodness in life by God's grace, who learn and reflect on God's good promises revealed by Jesus, and who commit our lives to acting as participants in God's peaceful purposes. Young, old, lifelong, brand new, certain and unsure are all welcome to belong as we become the grateful, faithful, and active community of the Church together!
The Valley Forge Presbyterian Church is a group of people seeking to embody this understanding of God and each other in all the ways we celebrate, learn and act. Please explore this website to gain an introduction to how this is true, and please contact us with any questions!
The Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (USA) has put out the challenge to all of its 10,000+ congregations to prayerfully consider joining a church-wide movement called "The Matthew 25 Initiative: A Bold Vision and Invitation." This initiative challenges every congregation to more deeply identify themselves as the sheep of Jesus' famous parable of sheep and goats from Matthew 25; that is, to claim that we are those gifted and called by God to love the least of our sisters and brothers in the world around us - those most in need of food, drink, welcome, shelter, clothing, care, and friendship.
The initiative proposes to focus our discernment in three different areas in order to more fully grow into this faithful and sheeply identity:
(1) to grow in vitality as a church,
(2) to participate in the dismantling of structural racism, and
(3) to participate in alleviating systemic poverty.
The VFPC Session spent many months discerning in response to this invitation, and was compelled unanimously at the June 2019 Session meeting to accept the challenge. The Sent to Serve Committee is helping us grow in vitality as a congregration so that we are strengthened for our mission. The Committee leads us in discerning how we might respond as a congregation with loving action to the least of our neighbors who are affected by the systemic social ills of racism and poverty.
May God guide us into this season of intentional love for neighbor! Learn more about the PC(USA) Matthew 25 Initiative.
The Valley Forge Presbyterian Church community was chartered on March 17, 1956 and grew quickly along with the neighborhoods and industry of King of Prussia. Over the last six decades, the VFPC people have gathered in celebratory and grateful worship, committed to learning and teaching what the Scriptures say about God and humanity, and putting those grateful hearts and learned understandings into action with works of common good. The VFPC community has known the ups and downs of the human experience, and has cared for one another through it all.
At this time in our history, we are seeking a balanced approach to our life together in which we honor our history and traditions, yet also seek fresh expressions of what it means in this day and age to be a welcoming, hospitable, and intergenerational community of neighbors who celebrate, learn about, and act out the loving and unconditional goodness of God. Learn more about our Vision for the Future of VFPC!
With our best efforts to set down judgment and to live enlightened by the reality of God's love for all, we are hoping and praying that God will lead more of our neighbors and friends into a place of unconditional belonging with us; for the stronger our community becomes, the more effectively we can love and serve King of Prussia and beyond as a force for God's unconditional, eternal, and transformative good!
The only requirements for joining as a member of VFPC are to profess one's faith that the love and truth of God were revealed in Jesus, and to commit to participating in our life together and our good work to the best of one's ability. Those who aren't yet ready to make this profession and commitment are certainly most welcome to participate in the celebration, learning, and doing until if and when ready.
With the help of countless past and present members of VFPC, Elder Gail Moore worked tirelessly to compile, edit, and share for publication a longer and more exhaustive history of VFPC. Please click on the document below to open this story of how God has been calling together and sending out the people of the congregation for decades!
Tim Dooner, Pastor: Tim is husband to Blair and father to Maggie, Emmie and Etta. He was ordained as a Presbyterian Minister in 2008 and has served as the pastor of VFPC since December 2016. Tim enjoys time with family and friends, Pearl Jam concerts, Philadelphia sports, and the story of Superman.
Lynne Klepacki, Director of Discipleship, Office and Preschool: Lynne is wife to Bob and mother to Bobby, Matthew and Katelyn. Lynne has served VFPC since 2008. In her free time, Lynne enjoys reading and time with friends and family.
The leadership of our congregation is shared by the pastor, the Session (whose members are ruling elders), and the Board of Deacons. In our denomination, the Presbyterian Church USA, the leadership potential of all is affirmed, and no one is excluded from leadership due to race, gender, orientation, or age. The pastor is to in all things teach faithfulness to God and equip the members of the congregation for individual and corporate ministry within their daily living.
The ministry of the elders is to measure the life of the congregation against God's good will for our community, and to discern new ways of being faithful to our calling and identity as those who celebrate, learn and act out God's goodness in the world. This ministry often, but not exclusively, takes shape within the committees of the congregation. VFPC elders currently serving are: Bob Beck, Betsy Develin, Kevin Gibbons, Hope McDougal, Barbara McElvogue, Kevin Mengel, Laurie Whiteley, Dave Wilkie, and Kirsten Yatsko. The Clerk of Session is Mike Henry.
The ministry of the deacons is that of compassion, witness, and service, sharing in the love of God for the poor, the hungry, the sick, the lost, the friendless, the oppressed, or anyone in distress. This ministry often, but not exclusively, takes shape as the deacons are in relationship and regular contact with members of congregational Care Groups. VFPC deacons currently serving are: Dylan Baker, Barbara Beck (Moderator), Tim Cybart, Parinita Gonsalves, Joanne Henry, Kristin Maas, Kim Mengel, Sandy Rodman, and Corinne Weaber.