Notes from Pastor Steve

Fall has arrived! The days are getting cooler (and shorter) and soon the fall colors will be on full display. I enjoy this time of year and I hope you are able to get outside and enjoy this part of God’s great creation!

It is my pleasure to announce that Judy Runk became the newest member of church in August. Please make Judy feel welcome as she finds her place in our ministries here at First Presbyterian Church.

For our annual River Float Trip, we traveled to the Black River near Lesterville on July 20th. This is always one of my favorite fellowship events as I love to spend time on the rivers of southern Missouri!  15 members and friends of the church participated this summer.

Vacation Bible School took place July 25 through July 29, from 5:30 pm until 8:00 pm. The theme for VBS was “Food Truck Party” and we had an actual food truck trailer here at the church on those evenings. A total of 18  children attended and there were about that many adults and youth who also participated as workers and leaders!. A huge thanks to Joan Huck for organizing and leading this year’s VBS – it was a great success! Pictures are found in this fall newsletter.

A Film and Faith fellowship and discussion activity took place on Friday evening, August 19th,   in the fellowship hall. We watched the movie, The Shack, and had time for fellowship and discussion afterwards. Thanks to Richard Fieg for organizing this event.

We had a church breakfast on Sunday morning, September 11th, which served as a “kick-off” for our 2022-23 Sunday School season. We have two Sunday School classes presently in session:  our Children’s Class, led by Marcia Schaefer and Rhonda Geisler, and our Adult Class led by Rick Schaefer. The Children’s Class meets on the main floor of the church building and the Adult Class meets on the first floor of the Silversmith’s House. These both meet at 9:30 am each Sunday and they welcome guests and new attendees. The breakfast on September 11th was provided by our Christian Education Committee, chaired by Sharon Boyer. Thanks to all who helped to prepare and serve this very filling breakfast!

The Annual All-Church Fish Fry and Picnic took place on Saturday, September 24th at the Lake Forest marina pavilion. Fish, hush puppies, and drinks were provided by your hosts, Pastor Steve and Julia, with many bringing side dishes or desserts to share. A total of 22 enjoyed the meal and the beautiful day. Thanks to Rick Schaefer, Kyle Schaefer, and Bruce Terry for helping with the cooking of the fish and hush puppies. Unfortunately I got a little overheated standing over the hot fish frying pans and had to sit down before all the cooking was done. Rick, Kyle, and Bruce saved the day for me personally! I did recover in time to enjoy Judy Schmelzle’s homemade blackberry pie! Then everyone pitched in and helped take down the picnic and cooking materials and clean up after the meal. Thanks for the entire group effort. We just may have to do this again next year . . .

Our next fellowship event will be the hayride and bonfire on Saturday, October 22nd. This is always a great time to enjoy God’s great outdoors in the cool of autumn  - I hope to see many of you there!

A special thanks to Lisa Palmer and Rick Schaefer for filling the pulpit the two Sundays I was gone in August and September. I did have the opportunity to watch both these services on YouTube and the messages each provided were uplifting and very meaningful to me – as I am sure they were for all of you who attended (or watched) on those two Sundays. Rick has filled our pulpit many times in the past but this was Lisa’s first time to bring the message. Both the veteran and the newcomer did great jobs – thanks again to Lisa and to Rick.

We celebrated The Lord’s Supper, or communion, on October 2, the first Sunday of the month. We will not have communion in November as I will be gone the first two Sundays of that month. We will have communion twice in December – the first Sunday, December 4th,  and again on Christmas Eve.

If you are currently participating in our Through the Bible Reading Challenge for 2022, our goal for October is to read Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Hebrews.  Our goal for November will be to read James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude. That will leave only the book of Revelation for December!

As the summer season has now passed us by, I wish for you and yours a wonderful and a safe fall. May the grace of God continue to uplift you and may your days be relaxing and worry-free. And may God continue to hold you in the palm of God’s hand.

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