August Newsletter

We are a Christian community dedicated to doing God's work. God gathers us in a loving and healing environment to explore the mystery of our faith.

Pastor’s Perspective

August 2018

It is widely suggested that one of the greater fears human beings face is public speaking. Many researchers say that fear of speaking in front of a group of people can exceed even the fear of death. As a pastor and a “preacher” I confess I find that a little difficult to grasp. I also wonder if there isn’t another fear which is nearly as pervasive but doesn’t garner the attention that the fear of public speaking attracts. This fear is the fear of silence and being still.

At Vacation Bible School this year we practiced periods of silence and stillness. We began with just a thirty second time period and extended the period over the course of five days to as much as two minutes. I was fascinated by the struggle incurred to be still within such short periods of time. What was more interesting is that it wasn’t the kids who struggled the most, it was the adults (many didn’t even participate in the practice). I admit this is consistent with my experience as a yoga and meditation teacher. I can lead a challenging, even exhausting, hour of yoga practice then witness many in the group struggle the most with final relaxation and Corpse Pose . . . a brief period of being silent and still. There’s something about us as a people, and I think it’s cultural, that resists silence and being still.

Yet it is in silence and stillness we encounter God. That reality feels like an anathema to a Christian in the Reformed Tradition. We love frenetic study, producing volumes of paper all properly footnoted with exacting bibliographic annotation to reflect our frenzied activity. I am guilty as charged! Further, preaching, talking publically, is central to our worship experience. In the Reformed Tradition preaching is “the” place we encounter the “Living Word.” I had a Worship Professor who said on more than one occasion that “dead air” in the context of worship is to be avoided! All this doesn’t leave much space for silence and stillness.

Silence and stillness are, however, the place of encounter with God. Moses moved “beyond the wilderness” and stood in God’s presence at the burning bush. Jesus would frequently retreat to “lonely places” during his ministry. He also encouraged prayer in a private, silent place. Psalm 46:10 perhaps states the need for silence and stillness as well as any part of scripture, “Be still and know that I am God.” But how much time do any of us take just to “be,” to “listen,” to learn to really “hear?” I have to wonder as a person who follows a God who is embodied in Jesus, one who teaches yoga, one who believes the bodies’ wisdom is central to fullness of life, that the fact that we have two ears and one mouth is a physical hint from God on how we are to conduct our day to day lives.

I’m paraphrasing here but Eugene Peterson, who is a Pastoral Theologian, says that “Busyness is the height of laziness. We get ‘busy’ (distracted?) doing all kinds of activities in order to avoid the real issues and invitations of gospel ministry.” We are addicted to distraction. This August, this hot, slow, late summer month, why not begin to cultivate a new habit. Take ten minutes and read a psalm, or just a few verses of a psalm. Then, sit with it. Sit still, in the silence, empty yourself with your breath (receiving Holy Breath/Spirit) and listen. Expect nothing. Have no guideposts for “success.” Set down the hectic nature of a “human-doing” and become a “human-being.” Step beyond the wilderness into the present moment of eternity and discovery fullness of life and encounter God.

Peace,

Pastor Mike


Thought to Ponder

Silence is God's first language; everything else is a poor translation.”

Father Thomas Keating


HELP NEEDED!!!!

On August 16 the Circle of Caring will be meeting at 9 a.m. to clean the church kitchen. This cleaning was not done last year and is badly needed. PLEASE, join with these women to do this important job.


PW Coordinating Team Meeting

The women of the congregation are always welcome at the Coordinating Team meeting, but this is a special invitation to attend the August 9th meeting at 9:30 a.m. Come and enjoy a cup of coffee and help plan the Fall Adventure….ideas needed. If you are unable to attend the meeting, give your suggestions to a team member or the office secretary.


FOOD PANTRY

We are in need of the following items: Sugar, coffee, plastic milk containers, laundry soap, dish soap, shampoo/conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, diapers (size 3-4). Thank you for your continued support of this mission.


PW BIBLE STUDY 2018-2019

CLOUD OF WITNESSES: THE COMMUNITY OF CHRIST IN HEBREWS

As the author of Hebrews states, “We are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses.” The letter/sermon to the Hebrews is a significant book of the Christian Bible and is also different from every book in the Bible. The book consists of 13 chapters but will be studied thematically with nine major themes with the overarching motif of community.

In each lesson questions will challenge you to engage with the text and the study group. The metaphor of the cloud is to keep before the group the many influences that form and hold together our communities.

Since the study is thematic, the lesson may look at the same parts of Hebrews in more than one lesson. Passages from of the books of the Bible will also be examined to see how the themes relate to similar themes in other parts of our reform tradition and have been written by Presbyterian women whose life lessons sustain them in their life and faith.

Dates and times of the Bible Study will be determined by the persons who attend each lesson. The group meets in the fellowship hall at FPC.

Lesson One will meet on August 28 at 1:00 p.m. in the fellowship hall.

Please come to Lesson One and have your opinions, concerns about meeting dates and times be considered by the group. Hope to see you soon!


Embrace Updates

May was a busy month for Embrace (our Guatemalan project), as usual. The “home gardens” are flourishing with cilantro, onions, and radishes. It is good for the families to have gardens as they are waiting for rain to come before planting their corn. Most are running out of last year’s corn and it will take three months for the new crop to be ready. Monthly food bags certainly help them.

Our church is participating in a new “Mid-year Extra” for the children. Embrace has asked us to provide a pair of sturdy shoes for our child. In addition to providing for our child, money from PW and the Mission fund were sent to provide for several other children who have no sponsor. This was made possible by the financial support you provide. Instead of wearing, flip flops, jellies, and boots without socks (creating fungus) children will have a pair of sturdy shoes. Thanks for your support, in addition to the monthly sponsors. There are new pictures of the work being done by Embrace on the Mission bulletin board.


1ST PRESBYTERIAN MEMORIAL FOUNDATION

Our Foundation board would like to thank all those who participated in the program presented by Mary Minner Serovy.

Mary is our representative from the Presbyterian Church U
SA Faoundation. Mary has spent over a year with our board to establish one endowment process and guideline for our congregation that can allow all of us to build a legacy to support and expand our ministry and mission. The program she presented was our kick-off for the endowment program.

The PC USA Foundation has many opportunities for individuals and organizations to invest for themselves/family/church or charity. There are many possibilities.

We focused on Convenant Funds. These are mutal funds that require a minimum of $500.00 investment. These funds belong to the NAMED OWNER. You have access to your funds. You choose whether to reinvest dividends & interest or to have those paid to you or to another person or organization. You also designate where funds go upon death. You can add to funds and take out funds as the owner of the account. This is a private account between the owner and PC USA.

Our hope as a church is that you will see this as an opportunity to join together to build a legacy for the generations who come after us.

Session is in charge of using the funds that are given through dividends or interest as designated by the owner of the fund.

We hope to build funds to support and grow

Ministry Outreach and Mission

Music and Worship

Scholarships

Christian Education for children and youth

Undesignated

Please feel free to contact anyone on our Foundation board or Session if you need more information. We can also put you in touch with PC USA Foundation via Mary Minner Serovy.

Please consider this investment opportunity. It truly can be a win/win for you, your family and the work of this congregation as we reach out to community and the world doing the work God calls us to do.



USHERS FOR AUGUST 2018

5     KEN GALE

SUSAN GALE

CHRIS TIETMEYER

DAWSON TIETMEYER


12        CLINT PHILSON

ANN PHILSON

ANN EDDY

LORNA CLELAND


19      JACK GARNER

RICK GARNER

KIM GARNER

NITA WORKMAN


26       ORVILLE DAVIDSON

SHARON DAVIDSON

STANLEY JENSEN

CARYN EICKHOFF


COMMUNION SERVERS

AUGUST 5

DONN ATCHISON

SUSAN BEAUCHAMP

DALE KAHLA


SEPTEMBER 2

KARL SHERMAN

CARYN EICKHOFF

LYNDA ZIEG


GREETERS FOR AUGUST 2018

5 (E) JACK GARNER

(K) GEN JOHNSON

(W) JIM BARR


12 (E) DALE NIEMANN

(K) BETH NIEMANN

(W) SUSAN BEAUCHAMP


19 (E) NITA WORKMAN

(K) STANLEY JENSEN

(W) LORNA CLELAND


26 (E) GALE BARNHILL

(K) KAREN BARNHILL

(W) ANN EDDY



COFFEE FELLOWSHIP

CINDY NABER

12 ANN KIRKPATRICK

19 ANN PHILSON

26 NANCY QUIRING


CANDLELIGHTERS

5 SKYLAR HUBER

12 RORY HUBER

19 MADELYN HEIDEN

26 RENEE KUCERA


THE CHARGE

KEN GALE

12 JACK GARNER

19 DONNA EHLERS

26 CARYN EICKHOFF


SOUND SYSTEM

JOHN HOLMES

12 CARYN EICKHOFF

19 MARTIN WORKMAN

26 ALEX HILDEBRAND