Notes from Pastor Steve

July/August 2019

     “Summertime . . . and the living is easy.” These words from the classic song from the musical, “Porgy & Bess,” always resonate with me in the month of July. It is a time of vacations, 4th of July celebrations, picnics, backyard barbeques, family get-togethers, swimming, and, of course, Vacation Bible School! First Presbyterian VBS is scheduled for July 21-24 this summer. Check this newsletter and your church bulletin for details.

     The Birthday Brunch, prepared, served, and cleaned up by the men of the church, took place on May 19th after worship. This is the traditional meal our church has in association with the Presbyterian Women’s Birthday Offering – with a “twist” this year as the men took over the planning and preparation (and clean-up). They provided a “brunch” complete with egg casseroles, pancakes, bacon, sausage, biscuits & gravy, cinnamon rolls, lots of fruit, etc. Thanks to all the men who participated in this event - by all the accounts I have heard it was a success! Maybe the men will have to do this again in 10 years or so . . .

     Also in May my wife and I hosted an end-of-the-season picnic for the choir members and their families at our home. I actually didn’t do much except cook the brats and hamburgers, it was actually Julia (our choir director) who was the hostess. Everyone seemed to have a good time – especially Rod Boyer who was a most successful fisherman! Ed Millinger tried out one of the kayaks and also caught some fish – he spends so much time with fish that they seem to be naturally attracted to him. A rousing game of outdoor Yardtze also took place at lakeside – which had a wet surprise at one point! Check out this newsletter for pictures of this event and pictures of the Birthday Brunch.

     We celebrated the birthday of the church on Pentecost Sunday June 9th with balloons, banners, communion, and a display of red scarves around the sanctuary. Even good old John Calvin was sporting a scarf! Those scarves were courtesy of the Terry family – they had belonged to Lorraine Stange (Julie Terry’s aunt) and the Terrys gave them to the church for anyone to take in memory of her. Thank you to the Terrys and we should say a prayer once again for all that Lorraine Stange contributed to this church and community. May God continue to hold her in the palm of his hand.

     I moderated the New Worshipping Communities Commission meeting and later attended the Mission and Outreach Team meeting both of which took place the second week of June.  These meetings are held at the Presbytery Office in Creve Coeur. This office is so much more efficient and user friendly than the old office across from the Botanical Gardens – and the presbytery is saving money as a result of getting out of that old house! Parking is also very easy either in the Oaks building parking lot or the large parking garage right next to the office complex. This move was a good decision by our presbytery.

     I am leading a series of programs on “Just Eating? Practicing Our Faith at the Table” this summer. They began June 16th  and run through July 21st. All are invited to attend any, a few, or even just one of these programs from 9:30 – 10:15 on Sunday mornings. The Christian Education Committee has approved these presentations which cover individual topics related to eating and food. This serves as the primary Christian Education programming for this summer. Our first Sunday morning experience included a special celebration of the Lord’s Supper and our final experience (on July 21) will conclude with another celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Come join us on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am in the fellowship hall.

     Our morning worship service on July 21st will have a special focus on the issue of hunger in our community, our country, and our world. I am asking everyone to make an effort to bring a contribution for our Helping Hands Food Pantry to that Sunday worship. Contributions can be either in the form of actual non-perishable food items or cash. Thank you!

     We will have an abbreviated worship service on August 11th (the weekend of Jour de Fete). Worship will begin at 8:00 am and end no later than 8:45 am. So we will actually have two Short Service Sundays in August!

     This article had to be written before June 30th but that date is Bonus Sunday! A special bonus for this date is the baptism of Owen Hoisington. Owen is the young son of Krystle Hoisington (Brooks), who grew up in this church. Our thoughts and special prayers go with Owen and his family on his baptism!

     We learned last month that my granddaughter, Ceci, will have a rather extensive surgery which is scheduled for July 25th. They will be removing a few inches of her trachea where it is permanently scarred and replacing it with a reconstructed trachea formed from her own rib cartilage. Besides the surgery, this will entail a stay in the hospital for her recovery to be monitored by medical personnel. Unfortunately this is the time when my wife and I had planned to be in Europe, so we have cancelled our trip for this summer. I will still take Sunday, July 28th off, I just will not be out of the country at that time. My vacation dates will be July 24 – 31. Your thoughts and prayers for Ceci and her family will be greatly appreciated during the end of July.

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