Notes from Pastor Steve

January/February 2020

     2020 – this date for our new year causes me to think of one’s vision: if you have 20/20 eyesight then this is considered to be “perfect” visual acuity, in other words, you can see very well. I pray that our vision as a church for this year will be 2020! This year offers us a new year full of possibilities and opportunities for ministry and service at First Presbyterian Church! As this year unfolds, I hope that you may find peace, joy, and fulfillment in your life. And remember, there is no better place you can possibly be than in worship with us each and every Sunday morning. May the year of our Lord 2020 be the year you dedicate yourself to attending worship and participating in the ministries of your church! Happy New Year!

     Advent and the Christmas season of 2019 was a wonderful time in the life of our congregation. On December 8th, the Live Nativity scene highlighted the evening. The Live Nativity, Christmas card signing, live music, and cookies, hot chocolate, and hot coffee were all enjoyed by many people who either participated or merely stopped by to enjoy the festivities. Thanks to all who helped to make this wonderful evening possible.


     Sunday afternoon, December 15th, we had several youth and adults go Christmas caroling in the community. It is always a joyful experience to be able to bring some Christmas cheer into the lives of those who may be homebound or in a nursing home. The evening of December 22nd was the Youth Sunday School Christmas Program complete with a visit from Santa Claus himself! Thanks to Amy Pfaff and Sharon Boyer for organizing, directing, and working with the music for this evening.

Of course, we had our Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion worship service at 6:00 pm on December 24th. This is always one of the highlights of the year as we gather to celebrate the coming of the Christ Child – it causes us to focus on what this season is truly all about – Emmanuel (God with us).

     We will be ordaining and installing a total of four new church officers on January 5th - which will be a great way to begin the new year! Bruce Terry (Elder), Ann Coulson (Deacon), John Weakly (Deacon), and Julie Terry (Deacon) will be joining those officers already serving our church in leadership roles. These include: Elders – Donna Boyer, Becky Millinger, Ed Millinger, Kathy Roth, Rick Schaefer, and Barbara Sherry; & Deacons – Rhonda Giesler, Amy Pfaff, Kyle Schaefer, and Marcia Schaefer. A special thanks to all these church members who have answered the call to serve in leadership positions! May God continue to guide their decisions on behalf of the ministry of this congregation.

     The annual Corporate and Congregational Meeting will take place on January 12th immediately following worship. This meeting is mandated by our by-laws and provides an overview of the preceding year as well as a presentation of the budget for 2020. As you develop your plans for this year, please remember to keep our church in your prayers and include First Presbyterian in your financial planning.

     The celebration of the Lord’s Supper (Communion) will continue in 2020 on the first Sunday of each month. In addition, we will have communion on Maundy Thursday (April 9), Easter (April 12), and Christmas Eve (December 24).

     We will continue the practice of having “Short Service” Sundays on the fourth Sunday of each month. On these Sundays worship will conclude by 11:30 am. However, the practice of celebrating a “Bonus” Sunday on the fifth Sunday of a month will no longer take place in 2020. Plans are being made for a different type of worship on the fifth Sunday in a month – watch the bulletin and the next newsletter for details!

     May God bless you and your family as move forward together in ministry in 2020.

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