Telling the Story
Growing in the Spirit, Committed to Service,
Synod of the Southwest
Presbyterian Church USA
Telling the Story
Growing in the Spirit, Committed to Service,
Synod of the Southwest
Presbyterian Church USA
What We Believe
As Presbyterians, we believe in:
…and God revealed today through the Holy Spirit…in you…and me…and in history!
In worship, we follow an order that Christians around the world have used since the days following Jesus’ resurrection. It is a pattern that unfolds like a story: (1) the people of God gather, (2) we listen for God to speak, (3) we present our offerings to God, and (4) we respond to God’s word. At each point, we repeat certain activities, knowing that repetition will shape the ways that we believe, obey, and serve God. While our worship leaders guide us through this service, they keep our words fresh and our hearts engaged. Click here to see an example of the items normally included in the Order of Worship at our church. On the first Sunday of each month, Communion is also a part of the Order of Worship.
If you are looking for a friendly and welcoming church that reflects a solid grounding in the Reformed tradition and is ecumenical in spirit and practice, you belong here. Come visit us this Sunday!
The Apostles Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only son, our Lord; who was concieved by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried; He decended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the ressurection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.
The Nicene Creed
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made. Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets. And we believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
The Order of Worship
The Order of Worship for our services generally includes the elements listed below. On the first Sunday of each month, Communion is also a part of the Order of Worship. Communion in the Presbyterian Church is open to all; you need not be a member of our church in order to partake.
To listen to a recording of one of our services, click here.
We Gather Before God
The Declaring of God's Word
The Offering to God
The Response to God's Word
Spreading the Word
Benjamin Franklin probably said it best: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Proper prep work, as anyone knows who has ever cooked a large meal or painted a room, can make a huge difference in the final results.
Two years ago we started to talk about developing a major marketing campaign to grow the church, and realized that we needed to do some prep work first. We didn’t have a clear identity to communicate, our music program had collapsed on Mary Lou’s retirement, and our facilities were suffering from deferred maintenance. Since then, as a congregation, we’ve identified our strengths. We’ve upgraded our communication vehicles. Bill Gleason, Kelsey McKee, and Sherrill Tyacke have revitalized the musical portions of our worship services. We’ve made our facilities safer, more accessible, more water- and energy-efficient, and more attractive. Now the prep work is done, and we’re circling back to resume those conversations about growing our membership.
The participants in the May 13 brainstorming session confirmed that as we seek to expand, we want the church to be characterized by diversity, inclusion, involvement, and education. So, although our marketing efforts will continue to target church-going seniors in our immediate area, we want to welcome others, too.
Does this mean we expect the demographics of the church to change dramatically? Well, no. For one thing, our name is First Presbyterian Church of Sun City. That alone, as several people pointed out, should keep us from being overwhelmed by 20-something couples with preschoolers. On the other hand, we want to be more visible both inside and outside Sun City itself. After all, we already have church members who live in Wittmann, Surprise, and Tolleson; who says potential new members have to reside within walking distance?
We want to be open to whatever opportunities God offers us.
This summer we will be developing and implementing a formal marketing plan based on the most effective and efficient ways we can find to publicize the church. The brainstorming session, the recent Commission meetings, and the Memorial Day cookout all generated animated discussion and many suggestions as to how to accomplish this. We’ve had general support for amending the church’s mission statement. The Session has decided to keep the gates to the courtyard open during office hours to create a more welcoming atmosphere. We have agreed to try new ways to target potential members, including sending mailings to new residents, personally contacting regular attendees, and generating wider publicity for fellowship events. Additional suggestions continue to roll in – if you have any, please send them to me.
In the meantime, though, remember what I’ve told you before – THE most effective (and least expensive) way to grow a church is by word of mouth. A number of studies have confirmed this; here’s an example:
We found that almost four [sic] out of ten of the formerly unchurched indicated that family members were important in their choice of a church. Another one of four said that relationships other than family members brought them to church. That means that 73 percent (48 percent plus 25 percent) of those we interviewed told us about the importance of a relationship in their choice of a church. (Thom Ranier, Keys to Attracting the Unchurched)
Have you been spreading the word?
Worship Service: 9:00 am in the Sanctuary
Fellowship/Coffee: 10:00 am in Swain Hall
First Sunday of every month: Holy Communion open to all, non-perishable food donations for Valley View Community Food Bank
Second Sunday of every month: Celebration of the month’s birthdays during Fellowship in Swain Hall
Assisted hearing devices, large-print bulletins, and CD recordings of the services are available; just ask!
Services in November
Shared Lenten Services
Lent began Wednesday, February 18.
This year we are again holding joint Lenten services with our friends at Church of the Palms and Faith Presbyterian. Ash Wednesday services were at Church of the Palms, 14808 Boswell Blvd. The schedule for Holy Week is:
Palm Sunday – March 29
Maundy Thursday – April 2
Good Friday – April 3
Easter Sunday – April 5
How To Find Us
12225 N. 103rd Ave.
These pictures don’t really do our beautiful church justice. Come see it in person – or visit “Our Church Campus” on Pinterest. For information on our ongoing Capital Improvement Campaign, click here.
We always have room for you!
For information about renting the chapel, meeting rooms, or Swain Hall, please call the church office at 623.974.3605.
Appreciating Our Campus Through Capital Improvements
Caring for God’s House
On Saturday, July 12, 2014, over 40 people came together in Swain Hall to celebrate the ways in which our building and grounds support our mission as the First Presbyterian Church of Sun City. Out of the stories we told each other, these appreciative themes emerged:
Since then, the following improvements have been made:
Total costs have been covered for these items.
Interior painting in the Sanctuary and adjoining areas is underway, and new compressors have been ordered for the Sanctuary air conditioner. Still to come: additional new landscaping and irrigation to the east of the chapel and on the west side of the complex.
Wish list – these are “nice to have” items that won’t be done unless donors specifically adopt them:
If you haven't contributed to the capital campaign yet, there’s still time to make a pledge and help complete these projects. No contribution is too small; every dollar helps.
Our beautiful church campus shelters us, inspires us during worship, supports our mission and fellowship activities, and attracts new members to sustain the life of the congregation. These changes will ensure that God’s house will continue to serve our ministry for many years to come. If you would like to make a contribution toward these expenses, please fill out this form and drop it off at or send it to the church office. Thank you for showing your love for God’s house in this very visible way!
Meet our Landscape Designer
Starting with a donation designated for landscaping, Master Gardener, Certified Arborist, and Certified Desert Landscaper Kris Coates is helping us to:
Once the entire project is complete, we will save thousands of dollars in water and landscape maintenance costs every year, and our campus will be far more beautiful and desert-appropriate.
We are so fortunate that Zane and Martha Porter referred Kris to us; she is committing countless hours of her time and effort to this project free of charge, and with her help we will be able to buy most of the new plants we need at wholesale prices, almost 40% off retail. If you see her around the grounds, be sure to thank her. With her help, we will all be able to appreciate the desert in a whole new way.
A Message from Our Pastor
Autumn is a busy time of year. When our children were still young enough for school, during autumn, our family spent time and money and energy getting ready. We got ready for school. We got ready for Fall activities. We got ready for recitals and assemblies and sports. When we lived in Minnesota, we got ready for hockey. When we moved to California, we got ready for basketball and track. We put youth orchestra and jazz band concerts on the calendar. It took a lot of planning and organizing in order to get ready.
Now that our kids are grown up and I see others going through the motions, I marvel at how much there is to get ready for. Parents (and grand-parents) have a lot to keep track of and it doesn’t seem to be any less stressful or urgent just because your kids have grown up. We’re all getting ready for something on a year-round schedule.
In a few weeks, Advent will be here. Advent is the season for getting ready. Advent is the four week period, beginning on November 29th, leading to Christmas. During Advent we prepare our hearts and minds for the promised Messiah. We duplicate the church’s tradition of preparation for the birth of Jesus through ritual (the lighting of the Advent candles) and celebration (with festive decorations and singing Christmas carols) and reflection on the incarnation of Christ.
It’s easy during the Christmas season with all the preparations, all the hustle and bustle and getting ready, to lose sight of what Christmas means. Above all else, Christmas means God came among us. Pleased in flesh with us to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Jesus is: God with us. It’s not the candles, the carols, the rituals, the decorations, the family gatherings and traditions. As wonderful as those are they are incidental to realization that Jesus’ birth means God is with us. And because God is with us, all things are possible.
The great Presbyterian author Frederick Buechner wrote: Evil evolves. Holiness happens. He was writing about the meaning of incarnation, not because it can be proven through doctrine or tradition, but rather because it is so not like us. A different author, a New Testament author, put it this way: For mortals it is impossible but for God, all things are possible. Christmas is our deepest hopes and dreams fulfilled in the birth of a baby. Buechner says that Christianity is primarily wishful thinking. That’s probably true. But if we allow it, our wishful thinking, our hustling and bustling, our getting ready, can be a moment of breakthrough, that opens our eyes to the wonder and reality of God among us. May it be so, and thanks be to God.
From Our Pastor – Archives
These are PDF files; please be patient while they open.
Announcements and Requests
Please submit items for the December issue of The SPIRE to Beth Mabee in the church office by Monday, November 23.
This year the first Sunday in Advent is November 29, which means we’ll be decorating the church for the Christmas season on Saturday, November 28 (the Saturday after Thanksgiving). Decorating the church is a wonderful way to get into the holiday mood, and to spend time with the other members of your church family. If you can help, please come to Swain Hall at 9:00 am (or as soon as you can) for instructions. Lunch will be served at noon; if you’ve helped with decorating before, you know that it will be something special. A signup sheet can be found in Swain Hall; the more who can come, the merrier!
Next January, our church will again take part in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, this time as one of the host churches. First Presbyterian and our co-host, Shepherd of the Desert, will be responsible for the worship service and lunch for the week’s kickoff on Monday, January 18. We will be looking for helpers as we get closer to the date, both for the worship service (which is run by lay people from the congregation) and for the lunch that follows. For more information about the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, go to the World Council of Churches website.
Expanding Our Emails
Over the past two years, our church has collected the email addresses of members and regular attendees and invested in Constant Contact software to send out event reminders and death notices. In May, for the first time, we sent out an email survey – the electronic version of our Fellowship Dinner questionnaire. The response was so good that we are gearing up to do more.
The first step will be to allow people to register to attend and/or work at our dinners and other fellowship events via email in addition to calling the office or signing a paper list. If this proves to be successful, we will consider other possibilities as well.
If you are hesitant about publishing your email address in the church directory but would like to receive emails from the church staff, please send a note to that effect to Beth Mabee and she will see that you are added to the email list but not the directory.
Small Electronics Recycling
The speaker from eGreen IT Solutions at the April Fellowship Dinner told us that any electronic item with a cord or a battery can be recycled. Throw your dead gadgets in the recycling can in the Agua Fria Room and we will see that they are properly disposed of.
We need more members to serve as Liturgists for our Sunday services. (Being an Elder is not a requirement.)
The task includes reading, with the congregation, the opening Call to Worship, and a little later, the Declaration of Pardon. A brief Prayer for Illumination is read by the Liturgist just prior to the reading of the first scripture lesson. That concludes the Liturgist’s responsibility.
An advance copy of Sunday’s worship guide is available by Wednesday for the Liturgist to use in making notes and reminders of when to stand and speak, etc.
If you’d like to know more about being a Liturgist, please call the church office at 623.974.3605.
Join Our Stephen Ministers
Are you a compassionate person, full of faith and trustworthy? Would you like to help, on a one-to-one basis, people who are going through a personal crisis? If so, the Stephen Ministers of First Presbyterian would like you to join them.
Don’t know how to be a Stephen Minister? We will train you through classes held here at the church by our Stephen Leaders and Stephen Ministers.
The meeting days for Stephen Ministers are the second and fourth Mondays of every month, at 2:00 pm in Annex 3.
INTERESTED? Contact coordinator Rev. Dr. David Glenn Walker at 623.977.0930.
Please do not leave aluminum cans in the Agua Fria Room any longer. Since Harry Wilson has moved to California, we have no one to crush the cans, store them for a year, and take them to be recycled. Any interested in taking over this job, please contact Rev. Davis.
We need people willing to learn how to run the sound system and carillon and record Sunday services. If you are interested in helping out, even occasionally, talk to Bill Wentling, call him at 623.476.2426, or send him an email. You can also leave a message at the church office, 623.974.3605.
Please also let Bill or the office staff know if you are scheduling an event at the church that will require microphones, the projector in Swain Hall, or any other audio-video equipment setup. We would appreciate at least a week’s notice if we have the equipment on hand, and a month’s notice if we will have to rent or borrow anything.
The Lions Club “Recycle for Sight” program collects used eyeglasses, cleans them, sorts them by prescription strength, and packages them for distribution to people in need in developing countries where they will have the greatest impact. Lions accept prescription and reading glasses, sunglasses, and plastic and metal frames. They also accept hearing aids.
For more information, contact Bill Wentling, or visit the Lions Club website. You can donate your old glasses to the Lions by giving them to Bill, or drop them off in the Lions collection box in the church office.
Honor Flight Arizona recognizes American Veterans for their sacrifices and achievements by flying them to Washington, D.C., to see their memorials at no cost to the vets. Top priority is given to WWII veterans. Guardians fly with the vets on every flight to help them have a safe, memorable, and rewarding experience. For further information, talk to Bill Wentling, contact Honor Flight at 928.377.1020, or visit the Honor Flight Arizona website.
Lost and Found
If you have lost one of these items, please stop by the church office to claim your property:
Listen to Recorded Services
Click on one of the links below to listen to the recording of a complete service. (Please be patient while the file downloads.) All music is reproduced with permission under license #605062, LicenSing Copyright Cleared Music for Churches.
*Guest preacher Robert Felix
Listen to Recorded Services from 2014
Click on one of the links below to listen to the recording of a complete service. (Please be patient while the file downloads.) All music is reproduced with permission under license #605062, LicenSing Copyright Cleared Music for Churches.
Listen to Recorded Services from 2013
Click on one of the links below to listen to the recording of a complete service. (Please be patient while the file downloads.) All music is reproduced with permission under license #605062, LicenSing Copyright Cleared Music for Churches.
Listen to Recorded Services from 2012
Meeting of October 15, 2015
The meeting was opened with the unison reciting of the 23rd Psalm. All Session members were present except Bob Johnson and Fred Stainbrook (both excused). Also attending: Rev. Harrell Davis, Pastor, Norma Mack, Treasurer and Billie Lewis, Deacon Representative.
Harrell explained the Commission of Ministry would forward his request to retire to Presbytery to be acted on at their next meeting on November 6-7, 2015, in Pinetop AZ. After Presbytery approval the COM Liaison, Karen Muenich, will visit Session bringing a list of prospective interim pastors. The Session will make a selection. A Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) will be elected by the congregation. The next steps will be to develop a Mission Statement, followed by a Church Information Form. The CIF will be forwarded by Presbytery to inquiring pastors. Interested pastors will submit their Personal Information Form (PIF) to the PNC.
Harrell announced he would be taking his final week of vacation October 19th-26th.
Minutes of the June 18 and September 17 Session meetings were approved. The statistical report reflected the death of Carol L. Arseth on September 26th. A motion was made to approve the transfer of James Robert (Bob) Gibbons to Faith Presbyterian Church, Sun City. Communion was served to 91 on October 4, 2015. Membership this date is Active 157 and Affiliate 25.
The Administration Commission reported the ninety (90) day probation has not been extended for Deanne Henderson. Harrell stated a job description is being developed to incorporate the front office duties and some of the work Dee was doing. Bill Wentling reported on the status of the 25 Ton A/C unit for the back of the sanctuary. A motor must be replaced at a cost of $2,000 and there is a locked rotor in one of the compressors. Rotor repair would be $8,111 with a one year guarantee, or $18,000 to replace both the 9T and 16T compressors with a five year guarantee. A motion was made and approved to spend the $2,000 for the motor and $18,000 to replace the compressors with a five year guarantee.
The Congregational Care Commission reported Beth had sent a survey out in The SPIRE to obtain a ’feel’ for what movies would interest the congregation and how many would attend a ’movie event.’ The few restaurants that can be used for a fund raiser were named, which included Sweet Tomatoes and Fuddruckers. Mission Fair Sunday will be November 8th.
The Worship and Christian Education Commission are looking for someone to do a Bible Study.
There was no formal Deacon meeting in October due to inclement weather and no quorum.
The financial report for September 30, 2015 was distributed.
The meeting was closed with prayer given by Elder Evelyn Haas.
For information on earlier Session meetings, see the PDF versions of our monthly newsletter, The SPIRE, under the Contact Us tab.
NOW … You Can Make a Gift That Keeps on Giving
The Income Trust Fund of The First Presbyterian Church of Sun City Makes This Possible
This is the headline for the brochure introducing The Income Trust Fund – which today we refer to as The Fund. The brochure goes on the answer the question: Why do we need the Fund?
Many people have expressed a desire to name our church as a beneficiary in their wills and bequests, in addition, future gifts, should substantially increase the assets of the Fund over a period of years. A permanent fund will greatly strengthen the total Ministry of our church.
The Fund really started in 1974 with small gifts designated for endowment. In 1974 to 1979, endowment gifts as small as $10 to over $1,000 were received. Then, on September 18, 1979, several members of the Board of Trustees “evidenced an interest” in using the generous $21,131.62 cash and stock bequest from Hilda M. Kundert’s Estate as a nucleus for a permanent fund. The Income Trust Fund, with a beginning balance of $25,000, was formally established and approved by Session action in January 1980. A committee was also formed to administer and promote the Fund.
The primary sources of the Fund have been:
You are invited to join the visionary members of our church in making your gift for the future. To learn more about leaving a bequest to the church, visit the Live Forward, Give Forward website. Or, to learn more about how a Charitable Gift Annuity benefits the annuitant(s) and the church, visit the Presbyterian Foundation website. You can also contact the church office for more information.
A brochure about our church’s Foundation Fund is now available. The First Presbyterian Church, Sun City Foundation Fund brochure has information about Planned Gifts and will help you select the best instruments for including the church in your estate plans. To receive a copy of the brochure, please call the church office, or pick one up in Swain Hall following Sunday worship services. Or, print a copy by clicking on this link.
Call 623.977.9211 to be led in a recorded prayer.
Everyone who believes in the power of prayer is invited to attend our gathering in the office Conference Room at 9:00 every Tuesday morning. We lift up our members, their families, friends and neighbors who have a burden or a need.
If you wish to have prayers said for someone you care about you may submit a prayer request on a pew card on Sunday or you can call or email the church office.
For Personal Devotions: “These Days”
The personal devotion booklets for October, November, and December can be found in the holders attached to hallway bulletin boards. Even though the price printed on them is $2.95 each, you may have yours by paying only $1.00, brought to the office, dropped in the slot below the booklets, or into the Sunday offering plate in a miscellaneous envelope marked “These Days.”
Ecumenical Prayer Cycle
We belong to a group of churches that have covenanted together to pray for one another each weekend. Click here to see the congregations and dates involved.
Having one of life’s trying times? Need someone to listen? A Stephen Minister is ready to help you through it. Call the church office at 623.974.3605, or coordinator Rev. Dr. David Glenn Walker at 623.977.0930.
Ecumenical Prayer Cycle
By the Grace of God, we have covenanted together to pray for one another each weekend.
Please use the information below (in date order) to pray for each designated congregation during weekend worship times so that all of us are praying for the same congregation on the same weekend.
Pentecost 2015 – Pentecost 2016
All Saints of the Desert: May 24 (Pentecost, 2015), July 26, September 27, November 29,
Church of St. Jaochim & St. Anne: May 31, August 2, October 4, December 6, February 7, April 10
Church of the Palms: June 7, August 9, October 11, December 13, February 14, April 17
Faith Presbyterian: June 14, August 16, October 18, December 20, February 21, April 24
First Presbyterian: June 21, August 23, October 25, December 27, February 28, May 1
First United Methodist: June 28, August 30, November 1, January 3, May 8
Shepherd of the Desert: July 5, September 6, November 8, January 10, March 13
St. Christopher’s: July 12, September 13, November 15, January 17, March 20
St. Elizabeth Seton: July 19, September 20, November 22, January 24, March 27
Come to the Waters is the theme of our 2015-2016 PW Bible study. Author Judy Record Fletcher has written a powerful article in Horizons magazine, encouraging us to explore, in our study guides, some of the many references to water in the Bible. The study books have arrived and may be picked up in Swain Hall after worship on Sunday.
Monthly Fellowship Dinner
Our fellowship dinners are held in Swain Hall. Your freewill offering helps to cover the cost of the meal and future dinners. Guests are always welcome!
Thursday, November 19, at 5:00 pm
The November Fellowship Dinner will be a pre-Thanksgiving celebration featuring a charming Greek children’s dance group. You won’t want to miss either the turkey with all the fixings or the entertainment! Guests are always welcome at these events, so bring a friend – or several!
We need volunteers for this meal to set things up, greet diners, clear tables, and clean up afterward. Sign up to help (or just to come eat) in Swain Hall or the church office, or in response to the email that will be sent out shortly. Your free offerings support this and other fellowship events.
The Results of the Fellowship Dinner Survey
Thank you to everyone who filled out the Fellowship Dinner questionnaire! We received 38 responses (22 on paper and 16 online), which will definitely allow us to plan our 2015-2016 events with more confidence. We thought you’d be interested in the results, too, so here’s a brief summary.
Three respondents didn’t attend our 2014-2015 dinners. One doesn’t drive at night; one has a restrictive diet; and the spouse of the third doesn’t want to participate. We can’t do anything about that last one, but if you aren’t coming due to food or transportation issues, let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you.
By far the favorite meals were the turkey and the ham. The least favorite was the burritos. The pancakes also trailed in the ratings, but one comment echoed what others have told us before: “If we had pancakes for brunch or lunch I would rate them much higher!” As a result, we’re dropping the burritos and moving the pancakes earlier in the day; next Shrove Tuesday, we will combine the fellowship event and the Men’s Breakfast Fellowship meeting into a pancake breakfast open to everyone. We will also look for ways to work some of the other food suggestions we received (pulled pork, subs, soup and sandwich, etc.) into future events.
The three highest ranking programs were the Desert Belles, the handbell choir, and Ed Dawson on the organ. Overall, entertainment programs rated better than informative ones. Suggestions for the future included a mixer, a game night, and more music. We took these results into account when finalizing the next group of programs. (To print or download a pdf version of the 2015-2016 Fellowship Dinner Schedule, click here.)
The preferred time for our dinners was overwhelmingly 5:00 pm. People seem to be equally open to Wednesday and Thursday evenings, but more workers are available on Thursdays; for this reason, we will be scheduling most of next season’s dinners at 5:00 on the third Thursday of the month.
Miscellaneous suggestions that we will also be implementing included always having name tags available; publicizing the events outside the church; and serving a meal at the Justa Center as a combined fellowship/mission project. We are very grateful for the positive feedback we received, and for the willing volunteers who have contributed to the success of our fellowship events. Thank you all! We couldn’t do it without you.
∼The Fellowship Dinner Committee
Men’s Breakfast Fellowship
The Men’s Breakfast Fellowship meets every Tuesday morning for breakfast, singing, Bible reading, prayer, and a program.
Tuesday, October 6, kicked off the 2015-2016 year for the Men’s Fellowship breakfasts in Swain Hall – 7:30 breakfast, 7:50 sharing our stories. This is a “man’s thing!” Join us for good food, fine fellowship, and getting to know each other better. See you at 7:30 am in Swain Hall!
∼Fellowship Steering Committee
Agua Fria Thanksgiving Dinners
This year we again have an opportunity to truly give thanks by helping to feed the needy at Agua Fria Food Bank. Men’s Fellowship is asking for donations of food items or money to provide Thanksgiving meals to needy families. We need canned peas, green beans, corn, cranberries, and turkey gravy, plus instant potatoes or stuffing, and bags of pinto beans and rice. Cash donations will help purchase additional food, including turkeys, via the Food Bank’s wholesale connections.
Containers to receive the donations will be found in the courtyard as you enter the church each Sunday, and in the church office during office hours. Checks can be written to First Presbyterian and noted “Thanksgiving.” Please note that Agua Fria will pick up our donations on Friday, November 20, 2015.
Men’s Fellowship thanks each and every one of you for your support.
This year’s Horizons Bible Study, Come to the Waters, is being well received. One reason may be that each chapter is a stand-alone topic based on a particular experience or occurrence in the Bible, where water is discussed from a different perspective. Before perusing your copy for the first time, how many stories would you have been able to recall from the past in which water was the theme? If you’’ve had to miss one month’s meeting, no problem – there’ll be a whole new focus on water in the next lesson. Come – and bring a friend – “to the waters!”
October’s Gathering, featuring the receiving of our annual Thank Offering and a visit with Senator Debbie Lesko, was enjoyed by guests from Faith Presbyterian and Emmanuel Baptist.
There is no PW Gathering in November.
The NW Unit of Church Women United World Community Day will be Friday, November 6, at the New Song United Methodist Church, 16303 W. Bell Road in Surprise, 9:30 am to 11:30 pm. This will be a Celebration of Unity featuring Messianic Jewish traditions and Baha’i Faith messages.
Of course the highlight in December is always the Holiday High Tea – this year on Saturday, the 12th, at 1:30 pm. If you would like to set a table with your finest dinnerware and centerpiece for this major fundraiser in Swain Hall, please contact Gail Bickel at 623-815-7290. And kitchen help on Friday and Saturday is always welcome, preparing the special treats that are served – call Lois Rotenberger at 623.875.4423 to volunteer. To donate cookies, contact Beth Mabee at the church office (623.974.3605), and to volunteer as a waiter contact Diane Nestlebush at 623.972.3059.
On January 27th the annual chili feed will be at 11:30 am. The men of the congregation are guests. “An Interesting Conversation” will take place, with Dick Zabriskie and Zane Porter at the microphone!
Just Coffee is Back!
“Just Coffee,” a project of Presbyterian Women, will be available for sale in Swain Hall again as soon as it arrives from the Border. It will be fresh roasted and this year’s crop. It is ground and packaged in Agua Prieta Sonora by cooperative members. Started in 2001, the coffee is sold in all 50 states and is owned and managed by the coffee growers. Frontera de Cristo is one of six bi-national border ministries of the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico and the Presbyterian Church (USA) that support this project to provide a fair income to farmers and their families in their home locales. If you do not drink coffee, you may wish to buy a bag for a present or donate it to the Justa Center.
Where Did My Donation Go?
Diane Nestlebush took $220 in Target gift certificates from our church to the PW Churchwide Gathering in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in June.
A total of $37,000 was collected by PW for the American Indian Family Center in St. Paul. Diane visited the Center on a bus and took a picture of a Lakota Indian baby. His mother had been homeless, and your cash and gift certificate donations went to help this child and his mother and many others.
Just Look What We’ve Done!
School Supplies for El Mirage Elementary School
Thank you to everyone who purchased school supplies and to the very generous members who made contributions for a total of $477.00 to be used to purchase supplies. Fifty-seven backpacks plus numerous other supplies have been purchased. The supplies were delivered to El Mirage Elementary School on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 by Marge Hagerman and Gail Bickel.
Shop with a Smile
If you plan to buy books, music, or other items from Amazon.com, you may donate to PW (free to you!) by signing up for and shopping through Amazon Smile. Visit http://smile.amazon.com and select Presbyterian Women as your favorite charitable organization. From then on, shop through Amazon Smile just as you would through “regular” Amazon, and a portion of the purchase price of eligible items will be donated to PW. You shop, Amazon gives, PW receives!
Dr. Moyer, the podiatrist who presented the October 2013 Health and Wellness Program, was so impressed by our church cookbook that he bought over a dozen copies to give as Christmas presents.
If you didn’t know that we have a church cookbook, check it out in Swain Hall under the PW bulletin board. It’s full of delicious recipes from our members, and only $5.00 per copy. If you’d like to buy one (or a dozen!), just leave your money in the basket in front of the cookbooks.
Remember, the cookbooks are perfect for gifts – just ask Dr. Moyer!
Love to sing? Consider joining our choir! Choir practice is Wednesday evenings at 6:30 pm; transportation will be provided for those who don’t drive at night.
Another way to participate in the musical life of our church is to join our “Great Bells of Fire” handbell group. Handbell practice is Wednesday afternoon from 4:30 to 5:30; no experience is necessary.
In the Library
Are you aware that our library has many free books available for the taking? From the courtyard entry, take the hallway to your left. There is a bookshelf unit facing the door to the little rest room just before you get to the library. On it are all the books that are free. They consist of duplicates of ones already in our library, ones deemed not appropriate for our library, and some that have been in our library for a long time but never read. From time to time these are gleaned to make room for new books coming into the library. Help yourself. These will be here through the end of October after which they will be donated to one of the thrift shops or shelters.
Also, for your information, all magazines that are donated to the library will be passed on to the Justa Center or Valley View Thrift Store. There seems to be no interest in checking these out of the library.
With October comes the thoughts of Bible Studies. I have come across what I consider to be excellent books for “teachers” or anyone leading a bible study group. They are Bread of Angels and The Luminous Web, both by Barbara Brown Taylor. Another is Leaders (Learning Leadership from Some of Christianity's Best) by Harold Myra. These three may be found in the section with light blue tabs – Bible Study.
We also have a collection of books for group study. They are as follows:
A new shelf has been designated as “Medical Books.” These are from Carol Arseth’s Library. They are available for research or reading but only in the Library. They are not to be removed from the Library.
I would like to see more names showing up on the library cards. Come on in and give it a try. There is something for everyone. It is easier than going to a city library. Drop in after church or on Bridge Club Wednesday afternoons. Sit and browse a spell. If nothing else, come in and visit with me…
Your Satisfied Librarian,
NEW! DVDs in the Library
Carol has recently been cataloging DVD donations to the library, and they are ready to check out! Stop by and see what we’ve got!
How the Library Works
Where is the library located?
How do I check out a book?
What kinds of books are available?
Click here to read reviews of some of the books in our library.
Atlas of the Bible: An Illustrated Guide to the Holy Land
This is not a book of maps! With special features, it puts you in the midst of the Bible world, the people and events, plants, animals, other civilizations of the ancient world, etc. A fascinating read.
That’s the Way It Used to Be
Did you know that our own Barbara Anderson lived in the Navajo Nation for 39 years, raised a family there? Fortunately for us, she has written her memoirs. They’re primarily intended for her Navajo friends and Presbyterian mission co-workers, but there is plenty in its nearly 300 pages of interest to all of us. One example: Can you imagine teaching English to Navajos, whose language is one of the three most difficult for non-native speakers to learn? She gives many examples, such as what she had to insist they learn, and what she had to let be. Loads of photos. A treasure.
Faith of Our Mothers: The Stories of Presidential Mothers from Mary Washington to Barbara Bush
Harold I. Gullan
Virtually every presidential mother had faith in her son and a number possessed a devout religious faith as well. The life story of each mother and son who became president is told here.
In the Sanctuary of Outcasts
This is a new book just added to the library. The author was sent to federal prison in Carville, Louisiana, which also was home to the last people in the U.S. disfigured by leprosy – a small circle of outcasts. Here is how his strange and
What’s So Amazing About Grace?
In June I reviewed Kathleen Norris’s book Amazing Grace, A Vocabulary of Faith. Another book on grace is Philip Yancey’s What’s So Amazing About Grace? Yancey had heard of a prostitute who said going to church would make her feel worse than she already did. “But the Gospels tell how women like her fled toward Jesus, not away from him. Has the church lost that gift?” he asks. Yancy, who uses “stories rather than syllogisms,” compares grace with “ungrace,” and is always thorough. His book Where is God When It Hurts? is also available in the church library.
Amazing Grace, a Vocabulary of Faith
In Amazing Grace, a Vocabulary of Faith, author Kathleen Norris chronicles her difficult journey navigating the language of faith — Conversion, Salvation, Incarnation, Righteousness — after being away from the church for many years. Each chapter stands alone. At University of Life in April, we heard her insights via DVD; now we can learn more from her New York Times Best Seller book. This book can be found in the church library.
Life on the Vine, Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit in Christian Community
Philip D. Kenneson, IV Press 1999
How do you cultivate JOY in the midst of manufactured desire? GENTLENESS in the midst of aggression? SELF-CONTROL in the midst of addiction? As indicated by these chapter titles, in Life on the Vine, Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit in Christian Community, Philip Kenneson shows how our American culture has fooled us into substituting the fake for the real, and gives us specific ways of recognizing what sabotages us, with practical suggestions on how to produce fruit that is pleasing to God.
The Woman Who Loved Paul
Priscilla is unwavering in her dedication to the Apostle Paul, aiding in his work as he travels to Corinth, in Greece, and to Ephesus, in Asia Minor. There he will establish new Christian churches, following “The Way.” Priscilla and her tentmaker husband, Aquila, make room in their home and their lives for Paul to continue the work that God as assigned to him.
Although The Woman Who Loved Paul is a work of fiction by writers Winthrop and Frances Neilson, Priscilla’s character and others are based on Luke’s writing in Acts of the Apostles and in the Epistles written or dictated (to Priscilla) by Paul. Daily life is seen through the eyes of a woman.
If you enjoyed one of the books from our library, we encourage you to share it with others – write a review and submit it to the church office!
Health & Wellness
As you may remember, a HIPAA consent form signed by you is required in order for us to list your name in the bulletin when you are ill, add you to the Prayer Partner list of concerns, or have the pastor or a deacon visit you in the hospital or care center. The forms are only good for three years, and 2015 is the year most of the forms we have on file need to be renewed. That’s why we’re offering a blank form here. Please fill it out and return it to the church office so that we may update your records and be sure that you receive the appropriate level of support from us.
And, of course, even if we have your consent form on file, someone needs to tell us when you are ill, in the hospital, or in need of a home visit. We want to be there for you without relying on rumors for information. Please call us yourself if you are able, or, if you have given a relative or friend a medical power of attorney, be sure to tell that person under what circumstances you would like the church to be notified of your condition.
We have lots of media/information on the social services organization called Benevilla. Brochures and flyers were dropped off at our church office and are now on a table in Swain Hall. After looking through these items I found a great deal of resources that may be beneficial to you or someone you know.
A few examples: Caregiver Support Groups. Locations include: Sun City, Surprise, Sun City West and the West Valley (Peoria). There are FREE Life Coaching Workshops. There is also Birt’s Bistro Café, a catering/bookstore in Surprise, where there are really good deals on breakfast along with entertainment. The entertainment consists of Jazz, Pop and Country music.
Other services are available, such as Home Services, which include visits, emergency errands and transportation. Affordable home delivered meals are another part of the services offered by this organization.
In addition to Benevilla services, the 2015 Elder Resources Guide from the Area Agency on Aging will be available. If you would like a copy of your own, contact the church office and we will print a copy for you.
University of Life
During the month of March, University of Life explored four prominent cities of the Holy Land and the events that happened in these communities. The studies combined 30-minute DVDs, Bible readings and discussions and will conclude University of Life until next fall. For those of you who have participated in University of Life, my committee and I thank you for your loyalty; you have been counted and greatly appreciated. I especially thank Rev. Harrell Davis, Rev. Dr. David Glenn Walker, Rev. Dr. Douglas Wright, and Rev. Richard Zabriskie, who have so generously contributed to the quality of our programs. We could not have done this with out you! Our sincere thanks to you for your willingness to share your expertise. I also extend my deep gratitude to my loyal Committee: Trish and Bert Blom and Barbara and John Szantho, Thanks Gang, for being there!
∼Elder Donna Roth, Christian Education Committee
University of Life welcomes anyone interested in discovering more about God’s word, yourself, and the challenges of living in today’s world. The time and day of University of Life has changed from Friday mornings to Thursday afternoon at 1:30, but the programs are still the same interesting, enlightening discussions meant to increase understanding and broaden your personal faith. Guests are always welcome. Come spend a relaxed, fulfilling hour at University of Life and bring a friend.
Popcorn and a Movie
Join us in Swain Hall at 10:30 am on the first Tuesday of the month for a free movie and snacks. Guests are welcome!
This month’s movie is A Celtic Pilgrimage with John O’Donohue, a film that journeys through the beautiful landscape of western Ireland with a noted poet and religious scholar. “Weaving ancient wisdom with personal history and stunning imagery, the documentary reveals the Ireland that gave rise to the spiritual wisdom of the Celts—and inspired John O’Donohue throughout his remarkable life.” Tuesday, December 2.
Let us know what movies you'd like to see in the future!
Vacation Bible School – A Resounding Success
Here is a recap of our last session:
Do we know how to share a wonderful thing? You bet we do! Thursday, June 14th, was the final day of Adult Vacation Bible School’s sixth year. Thanks to the efforts of so many, this year’s event was as terrific as all the others. The theme was “Tenting With God,” and we spent four glorious evenings camping with Him. Dr. Michael Hegeman and Shelly Core did a bang-up job of helping us live with God, always keeping Him in our conscience as we travel through life.
Some of our “traveling” companions were new friends from Christ Church of the Valley, Sun City Baptist Church, a Methodist church and two Catholic churches, bringing our total of “campers” to 84 for this year’s Bible School.
Our Mission this year, introduced by Mary Jo Conwell, was Medical Teams International, which sends doctors, dentists and other medical personnel anywhere in the world where a catastrophe has occurred. Medical and dental care, shelter, food and vaccinations are all provided by this group. This organization also provides free dental help for areas of the United States. Our collections for the four evenings totaled $1,667.47, a very generous and noble sum! Thank you, Mary Jo, for your research and wonderful presentations.
There are so many people to thank for this year’s successful VBS. But first of all, Thank You, Connie, for putting so much thought and care into keeping us happy and entertaining us! Thanks also to Michael and Shelly, who led the programs, making them such fun, but constantly educational. We always look forward to seeing you. Special thanks to Ray Brodland for all of the set-up: the tent, arranging and removal of tables and chairs, the sound and projection. Thank You, also, to Mary Lou Pancy for sharing your talent in playing the piano that we so love to hear.
Bon Appetit! to the Kitchen Angels for providing a variety of tasty dinners. Thank You to the “set up” crews who set tables each evening, and a HUGE THANK YOU to the crews that cleaned up after each meal. Thanks also to the ladies who sat at the registration desk to check us all in, and the ushers who collected and counted our donations. It takes a mighty army to win a battle and this year we certainly had a winner!
∼Donna Roth, Chair
The 2012 Christmas Lights Tour was a big success, as always. Check back here for information on our next Senior Trippers event.
In the meantime, Sun City residents interested in travel should check out the trips sponsored by the Recreation Centers. Trips planned for the remainder of this year include excursions to the Grand Canyon, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, and the 2014 Rose Parade. For more information, call the Clubs & Activities Office at Lakeview Recreation Center at 623.561.4665.
Mission in Action
On Sunday, November 8, past mission recipients will be available to talk with you about their work in Swain Hall during Fellowship Hour, and literature from other worthy causes (including the 2015-2016 Presbyterian Giving Catalog) will also be on display. This is your chance to find out where your mission dollars go and how they help others!
You may have not been aware of the abundance of candles we had in our storeroom. After we decided to go with the battery powered versus open flame candles, we took inventory and found we had plenty.
We contacted Presbytery and asked to put the word out to those who may have need of these candles.
Selena Keesecker responded and advised us that they would be used in various ways with the detention ministry in Guadalupe Iglesias. They would like to take some of them to Rocky Point, Sonora, MX, and others to use with their congregation. Selena says Thank You for asking, and considering them for sharing the candles.
A nice gentleman named Jonathan Rojas from the Iglesias de Dios Pentecostal, M.I. church came and picked up two of our pews and delivered them to “A Strong Rock – Roadway to Heaven” church. This is a very small church with few furnishings. They were very happy to receive them. We are happy that they are being utilized. Jonathan will come and pick up the third and final pew when he is able to.
Every week our homebound members receive a copy of the HomeTouch® newsletter, containing a devotions page and a page with church- or Bible-based activities. To learn more about this program, contact the church office at 623.974.3605.
Charitable Tax Credits
The State of Arizona has made it easier to make tax donations by allowing residents to contribute to qualified charities.
If you itemize your taxes, talk to your tax preparer about designating your AZ tax dollars to the Tax Credit for the Working Poor. This tax credit gives Arizonans an opportunity to contribute to qualified charities and receive a dollar-for-dollar credit on their state taxes – $400 married, filing jointly, $200 filing single.
You can support worthy charities through the Working Poor Tax Credit. Justa Center, Habitat for Humanity for Central Arizona and Valley View Community Food Bank are all on the AZ Dept of Revenue list of Qualifying Charitable Organizations.
AZDOR.GOV has more information, along with Form 321. Your contribution is also tax deductible for Federal purposes. While utilizing the tax credit can save you money on your taxes, your contributions are invaluable to the charity your tax dollars support.
Coins for Kids
Help send underprivileged kids on school field trips. Without these contributions, the families of many children cannot afford to send them on field trips with the others. Put your jars on the PW Bookshelf.
Box Tops, Labels, Cards
Continue to save: Box Tops for Education, Campbell’s Soup labels, and greeting card fronts. You’ll find containers for these items in the same cabinet as the PW bookshelf.
Sun Valley Lodge Services
What began as Rev. Davis administering Holy Communion once a month to our “next door neighbors” at Sun Valley Lodge has developed into a monthly worship service at 11:00 am on the last Wednesday of each month, including a hymn sing, communion, and a sermon. Good attendance is reported.
Other Ongoing Projects
Please remember our ongoing projects as you go out and about and contribute what you can! Find a store discount coupon to buy yarn for the knitters and crocheters; buy a toiletry item for a woman at the New Life Center or the seniors at the Justa Center; remember our food and clothing banks.
Our Stephen Ministers are available to those suffering bereavement, illness, or other personal crises for prayer and support. To arrange for a visit from a Stephen Minister, call the church office at 623.974.3605 or coordinator Rev. Dr. David Glenn Walker at 623.977.0930.
Advice to Stephen Ministers in training, by The Rev. Kenneth C. Haugk, founder:
Hurts don’t go away because you wish them away or reason them away. In fact, nothing you as a caregiver can do will miraculously remove the pain. That’s God’s terrain. So don’t expect that you will be able to provide just what the person needs to make it all better. You have been called to fulfill a role that is much more attainable – walking with the person, sharing and being Christ’s love and compassion. When you do that, you will be making a significant difference in the suffering person’s life.
∼in Don’t Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart
When silence fills the room, remember that God is beneath and within the silence, radiating his love. You are always there as God’s emissary of love. You can speak in love, you can listen in love, and you can simply be with the other person in love.
∼in Don’t Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart
Your presence is worth much, much more than words. Your presence communicates to the other that he or she is valued, precious, beloved. Your presence brings not only the gift of yourself into the relationship but also, in and through you, the gift of God.
∼in How to Relate to Those Who Are Suffering
One of First Presbyterian’s Stephen Ministers is prepared to spend some time with you!
If you are interested in becoming a Stephen Minister, contact Rev. Dr. David Glenn Walker at 623.977.0930. The group meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every non-summer month at 2:00 pm in Annex 3. (Meetings will resume in September.)
Three Ways to Help Local Food Banks
Valley View Community Food Bank of Sun City in Youngtown appreciates the offerings of non-perishable food that we bring on the first Sunday of each month (Communion Sunday). Their truck picks up the donations on Monday. This is an ongoing project of the Mission Committee.
Valley View Food Bank Thrift Store – We also collect non-food donations for this organization in the Agua Fria Room, just inside the Swain Hall main entrance. Appropriate articles include:
These items should be clean and in good repair; they may be brought on Sundays or during the week. There is a truck pick-up the first week of the month.
St. Mary’s Food Bank Volunteers – Volunteers meet at 10:00 am on the first Thursday of each month to pack food boxes for the needy. Contact St. Mary’s for the location and other details.
What Shall I Bring?
If you are wondering what to bring on the next “First Sunday,” Valley View Community Food Bank has provided this list of most needed food drive items:
Habitat for Humanity
First Presbyterian is part of the West Valley Presbyterian Coalition participating in the City of Glendale Home Investment Partnership Program. The wall-signing celebration for our Presbyterian Coalition’s next Habitat for Humanity home was held on Saturday, November 22, at 9:30 am. It is a home being renovated at 7815 W. Midway Avenue in Glendale.
Year-end gifts to Habitat are always welcome, and forms for this are in the office. We remind you again of the State tax-deductible opportunity of $200 per person.
For additional information, contact Dick Zabriskie at 623.977.8816, or visit the Homeowner Opportunities section of the City of Glendale’s website.
The Justa Center in downtown Phoenix is a resource for homeless seniors. In addition to providing a safe haven in which they can eat, get clean, and store their belongings, the Center helps them look for jobs, claim benefits due to them, and resettle them in homes. We are continuing to collect clothing, hygiene items, and housewares for them in the Agua Fria Room. If you missed Director Barbara Lewkowitz’s talk about the Center’s work on October 25, you can hear it here. For information on how to send cash or other donations directly to the Center, go to their website.
Quoted from their brochure:
Justa Center is the only facility in the Phoenix area that caters specifically to older homeless adults [over age 55]. Staff members work with individuals to located earned benefits (e.g., Social Security, AHCCCS, VA), recover identification documents such as birth certificates and drivers’ licenses, obtain housing and medical assistance, and provide referrals to other services for the poor and homeless in the community. The Center basically acts as a safety net for people who all too often slip through the cracks. Our members are individuals who have few resources and even fewer friends and family members on whom they can count for help.
About 60% of those who seek help are veterans and 20% are women. The Center is a caring place where homeless seniors can come for help every day, 7:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Amenities available include showers, restroom and laundry facilities, computers with Internet access, lockers, coffee, books, and TV. Church services are held on Sundays at 10:00 am.
Non-monetary donations are also welcome. Needed items include coffee, sugar, creamer, cleaning and laundry supplies, stamps, toilet paper, reading glasses, and Styrofoam cups.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
We are a family of faith, called to celebrate God’s message of love and forgiveness in Jesus Christ.
Overview of our Program
Several years ago women in our Church started a Prayer Shawl Ministry. The ministry is dedicated to making shawls to wrap those in need and other items as the need arises to bring comfort in God’s love. The individual making the shawl begins the process with a prayer and blessing. This prayer is continued throughout the creation of the article she is making. Upon the completion a final blessing is given by our Pastor or Teaching Elder before the article is given.
When women start a new project they are never sure who will receive their work of art, knitted or crocheted in love and prayer. All they know is that someone will be blessed by it and hopefully God’s healing love will flow into their lives through what they have created. Our ministry has changed the lives of many.
To hand-knit or crochet shawls or other items brings compassion and love into spiritual practice which reaches out to those in need of comfort and solace as well as celebration and joy. Blessings are prayed into everything that is made by the ministry.
If you would like to join our Prayer Shawl Ministry please call Nancy Childress at 623.974.3882 for more information. The pattern is up to you and the most important part is beginning and the end is creating something infused with prayer and blessings.
If you do not knit or crochet but would like to support this worthwhile ministry, you can sponsor the making of a gift of love by providing funds to purchase yarn. The average cost of a shawl or lap robe is about $20.00. Also, a donation can always be used for shipping costs for items sent to the Wounded Warrior Project and similar causes. If you would care to make a donation, please submit a check payable to First Presbyterian Church with Prayer Shawl Ministry on the memo line of the check.
The Prayer Shawl Ministry Group is now meeting on the first and third Mondays of every month, at 9:30 am in Annex 3. Anyone who likes to knit or crochet is encouraged to attend.
And yes, contributions of yarn, coupons, and money are still gratefully accepted. You can drop them off in the church office or the designated basket in Swain Hall.
Deacons: The Ministry of Compassion and Service
Each Deacon has a parish in the congregation.
Monthly contact with members is encouraged. Most members are seen weekly at Sunday Worship. The deacon will make a phone call to someone when they are ill, or possibly make a home visit. We send birthday and anniversary cards. Some even send holiday cards.
We have a meeting once a month. We are responsible for Communion preparation. Flowers from the Sunday worship are delivered on Monday to sick and shut-ins. Receptions are held after memorial services. A Deacon attends the monthly Mission meeting to help determine where contributions are directed, and a Deacon attends the monthly Session meeting.
We share names with Prayer Partners of anyone needing prayers, if that member desires. Prayer Shawls are available to be given to members as needed.
We invite all of you to consider being a Deacon in the future.
Minutes of the September 1, 2015 Meeting
The meeting was called to order with prayer by Rev. Harrell Davis. Present were: Judy Goss, Shirley Walker, JoAnne Clark, Gerry Shaw, Jane Hundley, Billie Lewis and Marge Hagerman. Dawn Nolan was out of town with family health concerns. It was noted that Deborah Thompson had resigned from the Board of Deacons.
There was no May meeting, and no minutes from an informal meeting in June.
The Treasurer’s report indicated a Deacons’ balance of $113.44 in the General Fund as of 8/31/15.
The Statistical Report showed one death in June, and three members’ removal from membership by request, and five address changes (four of these for members moving to retirement communities). Communion was served to 83 on June 7; 72 on July 5; and 69 on August 2.
No one had represented Deacons at the Session meeting on June 18.
Committees: No problems reported. Shirley stated that because of fewer members on a sick or hospital list, she had taken “Monday flowers” to other members, and these were appreciated. There have been no receptions recently, Judy reported.
Old Business: The “Lunch with Your Deacon” was enjoyed by many.
No New Business was reported.
Closing prayer was given by Rev. Davis.
For minutes of our past Deacons meetings, see the PDF versions of our monthly newsletter, The SPIRE, under the Contact Us tab.
A.S.K. – And Ye Shall Receive
“Always Serving Kindness” – A new volunteer service now available
As we grow older or become physically challenged, we find that we need occasional assistance. The one who used to be there to sharpen that knife or replace that light bulb is no longer available. We recognize this and desire to help.
I will coordinate a list of volunteers for small household tasks. When I call a person on the volunteer list, he or she may say “Yes” and be given the particulars for the help (name of member and what kind of help, along with the phone number). If that volunteer is not available, he or she will be called at a later date when a need arises.
WE are the ones you can call.
Please keep in mind that the people sent to your home are not licensed professionals and are restricted from doing plumbing or electrical work and that you are required to have batteries, light bulbs, etc. on hand unless it is difficult for you to do so. These things may be discussed when you request work, or with the person assigned when he or she calls you about the work.
Call me at (cell) 623.680.3443 as coordinator. If your needs are within our boundaries, we will contact a volunteer. Potential Volunteers: Please call me at the same phone number to indicate your availability.
What’s Happening at First Presbyterian
To contact one of us, call the church office at 623.974.3605 or send an email by clicking on the name below.
Would you like to help? We need volunteers for these tasks:
If you are uncertain about handling some of these tasks, many members who have served in these ways would be glad to provide training or instruction. Click here to volunteer!
The SPIRE Newsletter
If you are a winter visitor – or someone who has not been on our mailing list before – click here to send us your current mailing address and receive The SPIRE, our monthly newsletter.
Click on one of the links below to read back issues of The SPIRE, or to see this year’s calendar of events. These are large PDF files so they open slowly; please be patient.
You can also stay in touch while you are away through this website (be sure to check out the recordings of complete services!), or through our Facebook page.
Items to be included in the December 2015 edition of The SPIRE should be submitted to Beth Mabee in the church office or by email at email@example.com by Monday, November 23.
If you are looking for a friendly and welcoming church that reflects a solid grounding in the Reformed tradition and is ecumenical in spirit and practice, you belong here.
Sunday services 9:00 am
Rev. Harrell D. Davis preaching
Communion served the first
Sunday of every month