It has been a busy late summer and fall for our church family! We experienced our First Annual Fish Fry and Picnic at Lake Forest and a few weeks later had a hay ride and bon fire at “the island.” The Harvest Party hosted by our youth at the church was a great success as was the Presbyterian Women’s Book and Bake sale. Specific information and/or pictures of all these events can be found in the November/December newsletter and on the Ste. Gen First Presbyterian Church Facebook page.
The 2017-18 Youth Confirmation Experience is now underway! There are six youth who are participating in this “experience” and I hope the entire congregation will support their activities as well. The youth include: Kaden Buatte, Logan Moore, Blake Morganthaler, Drew Newman, Luke Terry, and Maddie Terry. We meet at 9:00 am on the first Sunday of each month for study, prayer, fellowship, and various opportunities to deepen our faith. Please by in prayer for the spiritual journey these young people are now undertaking.
Our last Bonus Sunday also happened to be Reformation Sunday (October 29, 2017) and the morning began with our own 9.5 Theses for the 21st Century Christian Church being posted on our church door. Copies of these theses were made available for all at the conclusion of worship on that date. Several of these ideas will be the subject of my messages during 2018 – please come by and talk with me if you have comments, concerns, or thoughts about these 9.5 Theses. Along with balloons and do-nut holes (regular bonuses for Bonus Sundays), one special bonus of October 29th was an under-10-minute message from the pastor (me)! It is now official that this IS possible – but don’t expect it to happen on a regular basis!
At this time details for the Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service are not finalized. This event is always held on the Monday before Thanksgiving (November 20th this year). Please mark this date on your calendar and watch our weekly bulletins for details as they become available.
The season of Advent will officially begin on December 2nd. We will celebrate the Lord’s Supper on that Sunday as we begin to prepare ourselves for the miracle of Christmas. Our Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion Service will be held at 6:00 pm on December 24th. Both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve fall on Sunday in 2017 – I hope you will make plans to be with your church family during both of these days. December 31st (New Year’s Eve) is actually a Bonus Sunday this year and you don’t want to miss it! Invite your family and extended family to come and share in the special worship services that we will have on each of these holidays!
Our Board of Deacons has been very busy in tackling many projects this year. I will just mention a few in this article. The women of the church have certainly noticed that new taller toilets have replaced the older short toilets in the Women’s bathroom downstairs. I have also heard many positive comments about the ability to be placed on the Deacons’ email list to receive the announcements, joys, and concerns that are shared each week before worship. If you haven’t signed up to receive these messages and would like to do so, please contact Kyle Schaefer with your email address. All of us can appreciate the new coat of paint and repairs to the wall which were made to the main entrance to the church and the stairwells were also freshly painted. The renovations to the Fellowship Hall (ceiling replaced, exposed pipes and vents being enclosed, everything freshly painted, opening up one end to give us more usable space) have also been well received. In addition, we now have an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) located in our church and 6 members of our congregation have recently received training in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and in the use of the AED. These are just a few of the projects the Deacons have accomplished this year. Thanks to our Deacons for all their good work in 2017!
Three long-time members of our church have passed away recently: Dot Magers, June Rutherford, and Lorraine Stange. Please continue to be in prayer for their families and friends. Each of these three ladies contributed in their own unique ways to the ministries of First Presbyterian Church and they will be greatly missed by our church family. May God continue to hold each of them in the palm of His hand.
Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me. . . .
Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”” --Matthew 25: 34-36, 40b (NRSV)