Notes from Pastor Steve

September/October 2019

          Summer 2019 has come and gone – but it was a great summer here at First Presbyterian Church! A church trip to the Muny to see Guys and Dolls; our annual float trip which took place on Current River and concluded at Blue Spring in July; Vacation Bible School which was held in the evenings on a Sunday through Wednesday and was a great success; a church “grummage” sale which raised almost $2,000.00 for furnishings for the Silversmith’s House; the Food 4 Kids program held in August was a wonderful ministry for our community; the near completion of the work on the Silversmith’s House; our special summer programming on “Just Eating” was well attended in June and July; the Helping Hands Food Pantry continued to serve the members of our town; the Blessing Box did bless many, most of whom we will never see or know about, and we even managed to have regular worship on Sunday mornings! I hope you were a part of the life of First Presbyterian in the summer of 2019, but if not, join us this fall for fellowship, worship, and fun!

          One of the activities which has come to mark the end of the summer season for this church is the annual picnic and fish fry! The Third Annual All-Church Fish Fry and Picnic is scheduled for Saturday, September 21st at the Lake Forest Marina pavilion. I hope to see you there – read the article in this newsletter for details.

          Our church is now a certified “Hunger Action Congregation!” That means we have met criteria in six different areas of providing hunger ministries and have been officially recognized by the Presbyterian Church (USA) as a church that is actively working to alleviate hunger in our community and our world. Our Hunger Action Team is to be commended for moving so quickly (they were only established a few months ago) to obtain this certification. We will be so designated for three years at which point we will have to re-certify to maintain our status. If you have not been actively involved in one of our church food ministries, we can always use your help! The simplest way to help is to give non-perishable food items (or a monetary donation) for use in our food pantry. There is a box just before you enter the sanctuary to place food items into or you can drop a check or cash in the offering plate – just indicate it is a special offering for the food pantry. You can directly participate by placing items in our Blessing Box on a one-time or, even better, a regular basis! There is an information sheet in the back of the sanctuary that lists the items commonly used in the Blessing Box and we often list food items of need in the Food Pantry in the Sunday worship bulletin insert. You can volunteer your time to help out in the food pantry, either on Wednesday afternoons or on special occasions when Ed needs help with sorting and organizing. See Ed Millinger (food pantry) or Marcia Schaefer (Blessing Box) for more details and other ways to help.

            As the fall season begins this is a good time to develop new habits - so if you haven’t been attending Sunday School programming, now is a great time to start! Sunday School classes begin at 9:30 each Sunday morning and conclude at 10:15 am (or thereabouts). We have classes for all ages as well as two adult classes - and all classes accept new members at any time! Bring the whole family and spend some time on Sundays in fellowship and study with other Christians.

            Thanks to Becky Millinger and the Band With No Name for leading our worship service on July 28th. This was a special service of music provided by this group (made up of Becky, Marcia Schaefer and John Weakly) while I was on vacation. I did not get to see or hear it in person, but I have viewed it on Youtube at Stegentv. It was a very nice service and we will certainly have them play again for us! If you missed it, you need to check it out on Youtube! If you are unaware, our local tv station plays a one-week-old recorded version of our worship service twice each Sunday as a part of their local television programming (at 7:00 am and 1:00 pm) and then uploads the worship service to Youtube – check it out if you ever miss a service.

            On a personal note, my granddaughter, Ceci, had a successful surgery at the end of July. She was able to begin kindergarten with her age peers in August and our entire family knows this is an answer to prayer! She still has more surgeries in her future, but we have faith that she will successfully manage any and all obstacles in her path. Thank you for your prayers and good wishes and please continue to keep her in your prayers.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3: 5 & 6 (RSV)

Yours in Christ,                    

Pastor Steve