July 2017 FYI

HEADLINES

 Second Mile Health Fair July 15

Second Mile Center, our Presbyterian Women children’s mission at 18391 Morang in Detroit, will hold its annual health fair on Saturday, July 15. Children and adults in the neighborhood will have free health screenings. Volunteers are needed for assisting the health care workers, making snow cones and popcorn, and helping with games. The shifts available are set up (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.), 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. and 4:00-7:00 p.m. Lunch for volunteers is provided. If you can help, please pick up a volunteer sheet from the narthex kiosk, or contact Ginny Hubble or Sue Carlson.

Health care kits are passed out to those completing the screening. These kits are extremely popular with attendees. If you can donate a kit or individual items, please place them in the blue tubs near the coat rack in the Hospitality Time area. Kit items requested include a toothbrush (individually wrapped), toothpaste (6.4 oz.), dental floss, shampoo and conditioner (15 oz. each), wash cloth and bath size soap, deodorant, and chap stick.

Volunteers needed for Fall Fest

One of First Farmington’s perennial favorite for families is Fall Fest. Block the family calendar now for Sunday, September 10. Plan on joining us for a special outdoor service followed by food, fun and fellowship for all members of the family! The Boy Scouts will be cooking for us again and we’ll be requesting side dishes from members. Watch for news from the planning committee on ways to get involved and join in the fun.

New Pictorial Directory coming soon

We’ve had new members and a new pastor since our pictorial directory was published in 2011 so it definitely time for a new one! Professional quality portraits will be taken in September and each family unit (size one or more) will receive one complimentary 8”x10” color portrait as well as the opportunity to purchase additional photos if you so desire. Watch for news on signing up for a photo session as well as volunteer opportunities. The plan is to distribute the new pictorial directory in the first quarter of 2018. Please contact Deborah Draper or Randy Edwards for more information.

Founder Festival Parade Float planned

Calling all volunteers! Eddie Matteson is heading up a crew to create a First Pres float for the Farmington & Farmington Hills Founders Festival Parade.  The project will also entail assembling a cadre of volunteers to ride in or march alongside the float as it winds it way through downtown Farmington on Saturday, July 22. To join in the fun and find out how you can help, contact Eddie Matteson.

Crafters and Bakers Needed for Music Fundraiser

We will have another Music Ministry Fund Raiser on Saturday and Sunday November 11th and 12th at First Presbyterian Church.This year we are opening the event to outside vendors.Thank you for making last year’s sale so successful!Anyone who loves to do crafts, make jams, jellies or salsas, or bake holiday treats are welcome.Space size will be 10 feet by 10 feet.For more information or to reserve a space, please contact Deborah Draper.

Deadline for articles for the September FYI is Wednesday, August 16!

From the Pen of the Pastor

Summer is a season for carefree living. After nine month of laboring and making things happen you and your family are more than ready for a break, finally time to relax. And so we sleep in a little, plan vacations and slack on our schedules. And in the midst of all the fun what a welcome opportunity to return, restore and pay attention to your spiritual life. Thankfully, you can continue in the carefree style of summer and still enjoy a growing relationship with God.

This summer journey begins with a single step and so it is our stewardship which begins with our commitment to God. All that we do flows from that act. Following are some ways for staying close to God:

  1. Begin your day with prayer. Take a journal with you and indulge your creative side and write your prayer of the day.
  2. Invest in a devotional you’ll make time to read. The Presbyterian devotional – These Days – is a good one to begin with. It is one page with a central theme you can meditate on throughout the day.
  3. Keep the schedule. God is punctual. Do your best to take advantage of those minutes, as brief as they might be.
  4. Act on your belief. Do something together with the family or friends to minister to someone else. When you step outside your comfort zone to help someone else, you experience God’s love in a whole new way.
  5. Stay current with your tithe. To be a disciple means that my financial life will be inseparably connected to my worship. To be a lover of God is to be a giver; to be filled with the Spirit is to be filled with the very essence of our generous God.

When we give God our lives it also includes our treasure (our time, talent and money). According to Jesus, the places and people we give our treasure to are the keepers of our heart and the objects of our affection.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:21, (NIV)

Remember, all that we have and all that we are is a blessing from God, to be used in accordance with God’s good and gracious will for us. See you in worship!

Peace & Grace,  Pastor Eddie

Christian Education News and Events

Christian Education, Faith Formation, and Spiritual Enrichment Opportunities for all Ages!

July-August 2017

ONGOING:

Sundays @ 10:15 am Sunday School for Grades K-5 in Room 207

Wednesdays @ 7:00 pm Vespers with Communion, Sanctuary (weekly through Aug. 30, except July 5)

NEW!! Thursday evenings, June 22 – August 17   “Stars in the Park”   Come to Heritage Park on Thursday evenings between 6 & 7 p.m. Bring family and friends, lawn chairs or blankets, picnic fare and drinks. Meet at the top of the hill in front of the Amphitheater and enjoy a time of fellowship before the concert begins. (PLEASE NOTE: No alcohol is allowed in city parks. In the event of inclement weather, please meet at the Costick Center (on 11 Mile, just east of Middlebelt.)

July 28 – August 5 Presbytery of Detroit trip to Montreat Youth Conference, North Carolina, for those entering Grades 9 and above in Fall 2017. Contact Charon Barconey or Josh Archey for more information!  The deadline to sign up is July 10th!!

July 31 – August 4, 9:30 a.m. – 12 noon “God & Me @ Sea” Vacation Bible School @ Antioch Lutheran Church. Join First Presbyterian, North Congregational and Antioch Lutheran for a week of Bible time fun that’s all about water! Creation, Noah’s Ark, Jonah and the Whale, Jesus Walks on Water, and the Disciples Fill their Nets are the stories about which we will learn, play, and sing! All Children entering Kindergarten through 5th grade are invited to attend. Adults and those entering Grade 6 and Up are invited to volunteer! Please contact Josh Archey if you would like to volunteer!

Please look for VBS registration info elsewhere in this newsletter, on the church website, and at the Info Table in the narthex!

Craft Supplies Needed for Vacation Bible School (VBS) July 31 – August 4. All donations are greatly appreciated!!

Needed Craft Supplies:

Acrylic Paint
Watercolor paint, including liquid
Tempera paint
Paint brushes (all sizes)
Eye droppers/pipettes
Paper bowls (1 per child)
Paper Towel tubes (1 per child)
Aluminum foil (3 rolls)
Plastic forks
Thin paper plates
Paper (Dixie) cups for paint
Pens
Pencils
Washable markers
Crayons (including WHITE)
Permanent markers
Glue sticks
Liquid Glue—several large bottles
Wooden spoons (2 or 3)
Broom handles (2 or 3)
Several old funnels
Black construction paper
Construction paper
Clear Contact paper – several rolls
Tissue paper
White paper
Card stock
Thin Cardboard
Watercolor paper
Posterboard (black or blue or green)
Old ribbon – many colors
Rainbow yarn
Googly eyes
Clay
Old buttons
Scotch tape
Craft sticks
Orange sticks
White soap
Black shoe polish
Shaving Cream
Salt—several boxes
Rice—several bags
Spray varnish

Mission and Fellowship Opportunities

Summer Music has started for singers and musicians

This year at First Pres, Summer Music began on Sunday, June 4 and continues until Sunday, September 3.

Here’s how Summer Choir works: show up in the chancel at 9:15 am on Sunday to rehearse an anthem (either an easy one, or one we’ve sung before, or both). Sing it at the 10am service, and then return to sit with your family and friends in the pews for the rest of worship. All are welcome. If you sing with the choir during the year, you’re invited. If you don’t sing with the choir but want to sing for a week, you’re invited. If you’ve always wanted to sing with the choir, but never have, you’re invited. ALL are welcome! No long-term commitment required. Drop in and sing as you wish, when you wish.

We’re also looking for anyone who’d like to offer their gifts as a soloist or duet partner for summer worship as well. Do you play an instrument, and want to play it in church? Do you have a duet or trio to enhance our time together? We invite you to bring it to God. Just let Dr. Jerry know, so that we can schedule time to rehearse it and share it in worship. Remember: it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful!

Worship and the Creative Arts Ministry

Lord’s Supper Practice in the Reformed and Presbyterian Tradition
Many Christians know the early church celebrated communion every week. After all, the Lord’s Supper is how Jesus asked believers to be remembered. John Calvin, considered the Father of Presbyterianism, passionately advocated for believers to receive weekly communion. At FPCF the practiced had been once a month – on the first Sunday of the month – and for special liturgical seasons like Easter, Christmas and Lent. Theologically and spiritually, I’ve always been a strong advocate for celebrating the sacrament – The Lord’s Supper – as often as we gather to observe the Lord’s Day, which would mean on a weekly basis. The Directory of Worship, Book of Order W-2.4008 and 2.4009 supports that weekly celebration of communion would better convey the sacrament’s integral relationship with the preached Word. Further, Christ instituted the sacrament as a visible reminder of this nourishment and as a means by which to communicate his grace to us and we are always in need of God’s abundant grace. The Lord’s Supper should be cause for joy and gratitude.

But won’t a weekly celebration of communion cause this sacrament to lose its special character? Won’t it become routine and less meaningful? This is probably the most frequently voiced objection to weekly communion. At first, this might make sense; but upon further reflection the thought doesn’t hold. Do we apply this reasoning to other means of grace? Are we worried about praying too frequently? Reading the Bible too much? We rarely hear anyone object to sitting through sermons on a weekly basis. These practices become rote not because of frequency but because we become complacent – minds and hearts – and perhaps we need to recover this celebrative character.

At the Session meeting on June 21, the question was raised, “Why the need for officiating the Lord’s Supper more frequently?” A rich conversation ensued with the great majority on Session supporting the recent change to add a second Sunday, the third Sunday of the month by intinction, to the schedule when the community gathers to partake of the bread and the cup.

Elder Leslie Black, Mission Ministry Team, and Elder Jan Dennison, Christian Education Team, are sharing their reasons why adding another Sunday would be a wonderful gift to their communal experience with their sisters and brothers at FPCF.

Leslie: “I am strongly in favor of adding a communion opportunity to our monthly worship schedule. Like many others, I sometimes work on Sundays. I don’t work every Sunday but as is typical, it occurs in a rotation schedule. It has happened in the past that my rotation caused me to be absent on the first Sunday for several months in a row. During that time I do not partake of communion for all those months. It effectively removes it from my worship life. I have felt very disconnected to the church and especially to worship during those times. I would like to avoid that disconnect in future and I believe the addition of a second Sunday morning communion opportunity per month will help a great deal. Thank you for being considerate of the needs of congregation members.”

Jan: “I strongly advocate for FPCF to offer a second Sunday for the sacrament of Holy Communion.

“I am required to work a number of Sundays and during the winter months have gone several months without partaking in the Sacrament. These prolonged absences of Communion create a disconnect in worship, causing me to feel separated from God and First Pres. As a result, after consultation with the Pastor, I would attend local churches that offered Wednesday services to ‘get by.’ These experiences connected me with our Lord, but I still longed for the community with my church family.

“Today’s world presents many obstacles for people to maintain their spiritual lives. More and more jobs traditionally Monday – Friday are requiring weekend work. First Pres can reach out to both its current members and those in the community seeking a church family by offering another opportunity for Holy Communion during the month.

Grace and Peace.”

The benefit to celebrating the Lord’s Supper as often as each Lord’s day has tangible and spiritual benefits such as:

  1. An invitation to praise the Risen Christ
  2. An invitation to be nourished/refreshed by the Risen Christ
  3. An invitation to keep the unity

The Worship Ministry Team and Pastor Eddie hope and pray that it will be a means of grace and blessing to you as well. See you in worship!

Caregiving Ministry Update

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”(John 15:12)

Early in February, the Deacons and Pastor Eddie began exploring ways to strengthen and enhance our pastoral care ministry with the intent to be faithful to our Lord’s commandment as we enhance the sense of community by caring for one another. Therefore, and in order to provide caring connections with members and their families, friends of the church and strengthen the bonds with the church through meaningful relationships, the Deacons and Shepherds Ministry needed to restructure. It’s time to give our care ministry a fresh look and to take steps to maximize its impact. And this is where you play a vital part in assuring that this ministry becomes even more fruitful.

Last May, two information meetings were held on May 10 and 21 in which many attending enthusiastically endorsed the new structure. The Good News is that 33 persons, including eight active Deacons and two Elders, signed up to join and become Caregiver Cluster Leaders. This early expression allows us to create clusters made up of no more than seven units (a combination of family and/or individuals). Again, this is good news. Our hope is to invite and encourage more of you to sign up and help us make clusters of no more than four. For this to happen we would need 50 Caregiver Cluster Leaders.  As you can see, we are short 17 of our targeted goal.

There is still an opportunity for you to answer Christ’s call and become an active member in this extraordinary ministry. Please take a moment to pray about this opportunity to help strengthen the Pastoral Care of one another by stepping forward now. We hope to launch this new ministry by mid-September. Please contact me, Mickey Seiler, or any of us, Sally Kirsten, Helen Thomas Lois Caito and Pastor Eddie to sign-up and become a part of Christ’s Caregiving Ministry. Thank you!

Mickey Seiler, mickseiler@comcast.net 248-668-9224
Sally Kirsten, sckirsten@hotmail.com 248-474-2366
Helen Thomas, hmmit@aol.com 248-896-2400
Lois Caito, lois.caito@att.net 248-476-5429
Pastor Eddie, eddie.jusino@farmington-pres.org 248-474-6170

Crafters and Bakers Needed for Music Fundraiser

We will have another Music Ministry Fund Raiser on Saturday and Sunday November 11 and 12 at First Presbyterian Church. Thank you for making last year’s sale so successful! This year we are opening the event to outside vendors. Anyone who loves to do crafts, make jams, jellies or salsas, or bake holiday treats are welcome.Space size will be 10 feet by 10 feet. We will have one booth for church members who want to participate but don’t have enough handicrafts or baked goods for a complete space. For more information or to reserve a space, please contact.

From the Mission Ministry Team…

Last fall, 15 of us went on a “mission crawl” to tour three of the organizations our church supports.  Perhaps the most impactful was Second Mile Center in Detroit.  Although several of us had been to Second Mile Center before, this was the first time any of us had toured the neighborhood where the kids live.  Ruth Azar, the director of Second Mile, hopped on the bus with us and showed us the abandoned homes, the overgrown and garbage-strewn empty lots, the boarded up windows.  We saw the paths where the children must walk to go to school and to Second Mile Center.  We gained a real appreciation for the dedication of Ruth, the staff, the board and volunteers as they carry out the mission of Second Mile providing after school programs, summer activities, a computer lab, field trips and the Sign Mime Ministry.  We are pleased to donate $3,000 from the mission budget.

We have two more opportunities to support Second Mile Center.  On July 15 they will hold an all-day Health Festival.  Ginny Hubble (a board member at Second Mile) tells us that they will need more than 100 volunteers to assist with the 150+ patients receiving health screenings.  If you have a few hours of time or would like to contribute some items for the hygiene kits, please see Ginny or Sue Carlson.  And on Oct. 7, Second Mile is holding a Clean Up (inside and outside) event.  One of the activities will be “can sorting”.  We are invited to bring canned goods to church for a few weeks before to help Second Mile folks.

By now, you’ve probably spotted the new critter-proof garden beds on the back forty of the church grounds.  Gordon Seiler engineered the plan, which was carried out by Tom & Cathy Neal, Sarah Beth Simonds, Larry Gage, Mimi & Phil Cramer, Jerry Howe, Ev Randlett, Sharon Cressman, Emily & Chris Davis, Leslie & Irwin Moyna, Eileen & Chuck Crozier, Ellen & Jeff Ely, Eddie Matteson, Eddie Jusino, Nancy Cook, Rusty Soronsen, Manny Sharpe, Bill Vincent, Julie Cohen, Ron & Nancy Prieskorn, Rick Fuller, Pres Happel and Mickey & Gordon Seiler. The watering crew is now taking over and soon fresh vegetables will be taken to Alexander’s Food Pantry.

Delegates to Presbytery meetings often ride together, but that was not possible for Howard Caylor, Leslie Black and Eddie Jusino at the June 13 Presbytery meeting. That’s because each of their cars was filled with cereal (and juice and breakfast bars)!  Thanks to everyone who brought food for the Cereal for the Summer program. All churches in the Presbytery were invited to bring breakfast items to the Presbytery meeting for distribution to kids who receive lunch (and often breakfast) at school during the school year but might go hungry during the summer.

Did you see the slide show? Tom Neal made a terrific PowerPoint showing the before and after of the efforts of the Rebuilding Together Oakland County, which he showed one Sunday after church. Since I can’t find a way to show a PowerPoint in this newsletter, please check out the photos on the Mission bulletin board.   We invited the Muslim Community Mosque and the LOC Credit Union to join us — a great way to expand the good that this project produces as well as our efforts in the community. The volunteers put in over 1,300 volunteer hours on two homes in Farmington Hills! Many thanks to Tom Neal and Dan Cressman for heading up this effort.  Volunteers from our church included Bill Vincent, Emily Davis, Rick Fuller, Mickey Seiler, Ron Prieskorn, Josh Archey, Cathy Neal, Karl Cressman, Jim Hubble, Eddie Jusino, Larry Gage and Jerry Scheel.

In July, the Mission Ministry Team will make a $500 contribution to Barnabas, a Presbytery-supported organization that focuses on encouraging youth to stay on the right path with tutoring, mentoring, recreational activities, and teaching skills of commercial painting, carpentry and woodworking.  We will also donate $500 to HAVEN, a shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse in Oakland County that our church has supported for many years.  The other non-profit receiving a $500 contribution in July is Sweet Dreamzz. This organization began in Farmington Hills and now helps kids all around the country by improving children’s health, well-being, and academic performance by providing sleep education and bedtime essentials to economically disadvantaged students and their families.

Please mark your calendars for these upcoming events (more details will follow in the Sunday bulletins as we get closer to the date):

July 30 & Aug.6: Our back-to-school project in support of Farmington Public School students in need this year will be to receive contributions for sneakers! All elementary kids are asked to keep a pair of tennis shoes at school for gym class. But some children only have one pair of shoes and their families cannot afford to buy a pair of shoes to leave at school. The FPS homeless coordinators will identify the children, measure their feet and purchase sneakers.

Aug. 6: 4th Annual End Homelessness Now 5K/10K Run for SOS, Southfield.

Sept. 10: Fall Festival!  The band we all enjoyed last year will be back as will the barbeque by the Boy Scouts with “sides” from all of us plus fun and games.  Watch for more information in Sunday bulletins.

Karen Linnell, Chair, Mission Ministry Team

Thoughts from outgoing PW Moderator Sue Carlson

At the end of June, I complete my third and final year as Moderator of Presbyterian Women at First Pres. I found this job satisfying and rewarding, as I always felt supported and encouraged by all of the members of PW as well as by all others in our church.

As I’m stepping down, I want to reach out again to those women who are not part of our Presbyterian Women organization. Perhaps you are new, perhaps you have been a member for a long time, or perhaps you are somewhere in between. I want you to know that you are very welcome to join us in any of our activities. No matter how busy you are, I think you will find that the friendship and fellowship PW offers will enrich your life. Rather than being one more responsibility on the calendar, you may find that it gives back to you in ways you didn’t imagine. Talk to anyone you know who is in a Circle, and see what they have to say about what it means to them.

We have five Circles, three daytime and two evening. All welcome visitors and new members of all ages. When the Circles start up again in September, please consider checking out one or more of them. Talk to our new PW Moderator Sally Kirsten, or to any PW member, including me, for help in deciding which one might be the right fit for you. The PW bulletin board in Knox Hall has information too. All you need to do is show up for a meeting once a month or whenever you can. All of the Circles offer fellowship, bible study, and opportunities for outreach in our community and in the world. Our five Circles are listed below (Circle leaders are in parentheses):

ACTS (Marcia Van Hamme) meets second Tuesday of the month at 9:30 a.m. in the parlor.  Babysitting is available.
BETH (Ruth France) meets second Tuesday at noon in the library.
Deborah (Anne Fuller) meets second Thursday at 10:00 a.m. in Knox Fellowship Hall
Lydia (Kathy Brown) meets third Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. in the parlor or in homes.
Phoenix (Nancy Cook) meets second Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. in homes.

Presbyterian Women leaders for 2017-2018 are:
Sally Kirsten – PW Moderator
Nancy Cook – PW Vice Moderator
Martha Countegan – Secretary
Kathy Brown – Treasurer
Linda Clew – Vice Moderator, Justice and Peace
Jan Dennison – Vice Moderator, Mission
Ruth McKinnon – Vice Moderator, Study and Spiritual Relationships

In addition, Pam Jusino and Sue Carlson will assist with the PW Christmas program on Dec. 4, 2017. Ardis Scott will continue the PW card ministry, and Sue Carlson will continue as publicity chair.  The PW search committee is Martha Countegan, Sue Carlson, Deborah Draper, and Shirley Kinsey.

Congregational Concerns

Welcome to our New Members

On Sunday, June 25 during the worship service, First Presbyterian Church welcomed four new members to their church family, bringing to 12 the number of new members who have joined in 2017.Our newest new members are:

Nubici (Isabelle) Fosi: Nubici transferred from the PCC Njamchep in Cameroon.  She is a lifelong Presbyterian, raised in the PCC Njamchep and active in the youth and young adult groups before coming to the U.S. in 2010. She is a nurse currently working at Medilodge skilled nursing care facility in Farmington.  Because she was so warmly welcomed here, she is making plan to have her three-month-old son Ethan Ndongai baptized at First Presbyterian Church.

David Schwartz: Dave transferred from St. John’s Lutheran Church in Romeo, Michigan, where he served as both an elder and deacon.  He is a clinical dietitian working at the Henry Ford Health System.  Dave has been married to Emily since 2009 and they moved to area six years ago.  They have two children, Madeline Joy (age 2) and Connor Joseph (age 8 months).  They learned about First Presbyterian Church through the internet and the close proximity of the church to their home.

Emily Schwartz: Emily joined First Presbyterian Church through reaffirmation of faith.  She is a clinical dietitian working at Providence Park Hospital. Married to Dave since August of 2009.

Jean Winterbottom: Jean transferred from the First Presbyterian Church of Jackson, Tennessee.  She was ordained as an elder and deacon at Westminster Church of Detroit and also served in both capacities at her church in Jackson.  Some 40 years ago, she and her late husband Walter combined two families of four at their home on Power Road.  She is retired from Ford Motor Company and a native of the Detroit area, returning “home” after 20 years in the Mid-South.  She is looking forward to being an active member at the First Presbyterian Church here.

June Session Meeting Highlights

At its June 21 meeting, the Session:

  • Elected Sharon Cressman as Clerk of Session for a one-year term
  • Elected the following Officers of the Corporation:
    • President – Dale Countegan
    • Vice-President – Deb Jackson Lum
    • Secretary – Sharon Cressman
    • Treasurer (as of August 1) – Irene Sharpe
    • Financial Secretary – Jerry Scheel
  • Authorized the Communications/Technology Team to select a vendor to host audio recordings of the Sunday sermons for use on the church website.
  • Rescheduled the August Session meeting to Tuesday, August 15, 2017.
  • Authorized the Operations ministry to enter into a full-service accounting agreement with Church Shield.The Treasurer will provide oversight to the outside work.
  • Authorized renovations to the Cope and Herb Gardens overseen by the Worship Ministry.

We keep in our prayers

Names withheld from the web-version of our FYI.

Prayers for the grieving:
We hold in our prayers members who are homebound, in nursing homes, and assisted living:
And those serving in the military:

Kudos & Thanks

Kudos to Pam Jusino on her casting in the Kickshaw Theatre’s presentation of REALLY, with performances Thursdays – Sundays, June 29 – July 16 at TrustArt Studios, 7885 Jackson Road in Ann Arbor. In the age of selfies, REALLY examines the particular and diverse lenses through which we see ourselves, each other and our place in the world. For more information, check out the website: http://www.kickshawtheatre.org/.

HELP!! Kind souls helped with the church kitchen recycling during the SOS week in January.  Thank you for that!

If you have a green recycling container from the church kitchen, would you please return it?  We are short a couple.

Thanks for your help.

Special Request

The church office is seeking volunteers to assist with clerical and filing projects as well as records updating and research. If you are interested in helping out on a regular or even occasional basis or perhaps even just during the summer months, please contact Karen (Stewart) Spica in the church office at info@farmington-pres.org or 248 474-6170. Thank you for your consideration.

Save-the-Date-for-Fall-Fest

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June 2017 FYI

Headlines

Wednesday Vespers Includes Communion

Enjoy a mid-week spiritual boost with Vespers returning weekly through August 30. This 30-minute informal service starts at 7:00 p.m. and will include a celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Join us in the sanctuary for a time of worship and fellowship.

New Member Class on June 11

All are welcome to participate in our June 11 New Member Class and light luncheon to learn more about our church and its ministries. The class will begin at 11:30 a.m. and includes a light lunch. Complimentary child care will be available. There will also be an opportunity to be received into membership during worship on Sunday, June 25. If you’d like to attend the class, please call the church office so we know how many will join us for the class after worship next week.

Support Cereal for Summer

Children look forward to summer vacation – and long days outside with no homework. But for kids who rely on receiving a subsidized breakfast and lunch at school, the long days of summer can also mean long days without enough to eat. So the Presbytery of Detroit invited our church to join Cereal for Summer! The goal is to provide cereal and other breakfast items to children through Presbytery’s food pantries and meal programs so we can help families bridge the meal gap during the summer. With 1 in 6 children in the metro Detroit area considered food insecure, this extra food is critically needed. We will collect boxes of cereal (any kind), breakfast bars, non-perishable milk, juice boxes and boxes of raisins in a box near the coffee pots. Donations will be turned in at the Presbytery meeting on June 13.

Preschool News

Farmington Presbyterian Preschool has openings for children in its programs for three-year-olds and also for two-and-a-half-year-olds. The Preschool also is looking for an experienced and energetic teacher for our program for 2-1/2 year olds on Monday and Wednesday mornings starting this Fall. If either opportunity sounds like a fit for you or someone you know, please contact Michelle Kreager at (248) 778-8975 or michelle.kreager at yahoo dot com.

Save this date to be of service

Second Mile Center is hosting an all-day Health Festival on Saturday, July 15. More than 100 volunteers are needed to assist with the 150-plus patients that reap the benefits of a rare opportunity for a health screening. Perhaps you could contribute a few hours, a few personal hygiene items and, most importantly, a lot of prayers. Sign up information is available in the narthex or speak with Ginny Hubble or any member of PW. Together we support mission for God’s people in God’s world.

Crafters and Baker Needed

We will have another Music Ministry Fund Raiser on Saturday and Sunday November 11th and 12th at First Presbyterian Church. This year we are opening the event to outside vendors. Thank you for making last year’s sale so successful! Anyone who loves to do crafts, make jams, jellies or salsas, or bake holiday treats are welcome. Space size will be 10 feet by 10 feet. For more information or to reserve a space, please contact Deborah Draper (248) 579-6053 or thehandweaver@gmail.com.

Deadline for articles for the July/August FYI is Wednesday, June 14!

From the Pen of the Pastor

Parables from Life

Pam and I enjoy watching “Blue Bloods.” As a practice, we do not like to watch violent TV shows, but with “Blue Bloods,” we make an exception. What we like, in fact, love, is that the show always ends with the family praying, offering grace, as they all gather around the table for their Sunday supper after having gone to church. A recent episode had both the Chaplain and the youngest of the sons, Jamie Reagan, an NYC Blue, struggling with their faith.

Faith. Webster’s says faith is “having a complete trust or confidence in someone or something” The Bible defines faith as “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1), which reminds me of a parable from life that my pastor and mentor, Rev. Charles Shields, once shared with me and others. It had to do with a Polaroid camera and instant pictures.

Have you ever used a Polaroid camera? Remember them? A thing of the past. Remember inserting the cartridge/film…then snap the picture, and wait. The film is ejected from the front of the camera and there you are holding in your hands a dark oily square of paper. At first you think nothing is happening, then, the image begins to emerge. Initially hazy and indistinct. As the chemicals dry, you begin to see the image getting clearer and clearer. Just a few minutes and you can see what was there in the first place. Just like our faith.

Something happens inside of us when we’ve been exposed to God. At first it may seem like nothing’s developing, ‘til sometime later (often months or even years), when an image begins to appear in our hearts, initially hazy and indistinct. But if we stay with it, our sense of God will become clearer…until finally we see what was there in the first place.

My favorite line in the “Blue Bloods” episode was when the Chaplain, who is about ready to throw in the towel, and in the midst of having a conversation with the police Commissioner, played by Tom Selleck, says, “Keeping faith is like sitting by the phone, it never rings.”

The end of school is upon us and the summer season begins. No matter how young or old we are or where your summer vacation might take you, remember that faith is a year-long, life-long journey. God does not take a vacation from us. God wants us to stay close to God and to one another throughout the fun and sunny days of summer. Summer is the ultimate Sabbath time. Leisurely, reconnect with your faith in ways you might not normally do so, and see what “develops.” See you in worship!

Peace & Grace, Pastor Eddie

Christian Education News

Don’t forget to re-enroll your Kroger card

More than six years ago we enrolled in the Kroger Community rewards program. Since that time we have received more than $2,500, which supports our youth mission programs. A big THANKS goes to those Kroger shoppers who have registered their cards and designated FPC as the recipient of Reward Dollars. Each shopper must re-enroll their card in the program annually so that we continue to earn rewards during the coming year. It’s easy to enroll or re-enroll in Kroger Rewards. Visit www.krogercommunityrewards.com, click on “Michigan” and click “Enroll” to register for the first time or click “Re-enroll” to re-register. All participants must have a valid online account at Kroger.com and need to sign up online to participate. Please take a minute to do so. Thank you for your support!

June 2017 Christian Education Events for all ages!

Ongoing Christian Education Classes

Sundays @ 9 am Adult Education Hour, 2nd floor Church Library

Sundays @ 10:15 am Sunday School for Grades K-5 in Room 207

Tuesdays @ 10 am Pastor’s Bible Study, 2nd floor Church Library (weekly through June 13)

Wednesdays @ 7:00 pm Vespers with Communion, Sanctuary (weekly through Aug. 30, except July 5)

NEW!! “Prayground” in the narthex!

Does your little one need a break from sitting in the sanctuary? Listen to the service from the narthex while your children enjoy Bible-themed books, toys, and games! Or, find our loving nursery attendants, Ms. Dawn and Ms. Sandy, at the back of the narthex and up the steps every Sunday! Of course, children are ALWAYS welcome to remain in worship with their family!

Upcoming Special Christian Education Events

June 4 is Mission Trip Commissioning and Graduate Recognition

Join us in worship at 10 am to recognize this year’s Graduates and commission our Mexico Mission Trip participants for their service in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula June 24-July 1!

June 18 is Christian Education Ministry Recognition During our 10 am worship service, please join us as we celebrate the dedication of our volunteers to the faith formation and spiritual enrichment of our congregation!

Join “Stars in the Park” Thursday evenings, June 22-August 17 Come to Heritage Park on Thursday evenings between 6 & 7 pm. Bring family & friends, lawn chairs or blankets, picnic fare and drinks. Meet at the top of the hill in front of the Amphitheater and enjoy a time of fellowship before the concert begins at 7 pm. (Please note: No alcohol is allowed in city parks. In the event of inclement weather, please meet at the Costick Center on 11 Mile, just east of Middlebelt Road.)

Keep Youth in your prayers on Saturday, June 24-Saturday, July 1 Please keep the mission trip participants from FPC Farmington and FPC Birmingham in your prayers this week as we travel to Leona Vicario, Mexico in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. We will be continuing to build a high school for the local villages, and offering an afternoon Vacation Bible School for the local children.

July 6-10, 2017 is PC(USA) Big Tent 2017 Gathering at Washington University, St. Louis, MO. Please contact Deb Lum if you’re interested in joining the trip!!

July 24-July 29 Youth Missions – The youth mission trip to Sandusky (Ohio) has been replaced with the Presbytery of Detroit trip to the Montreat Conference Center on July 30-August 5. See information below.

July 30-August 5 Presbytery of Detroit trip to Montreat Conference Center, for those entering Grades 9 and above in Fall 2017. Contact Charon Barconey or Josh Archey for more information!

July 31-August 4, 9:30 am- 12 noon “God & Me @ Sea” Vacation Bible School at Antioch Lutheran Church

Join Antioch Lutheran, First Presbyterian, and North Congregational for a week of Bible time fun that’s all about water! Creation, Noah’s Ark, Jonah and the Whale, Jesus Walks on Water, and the Disciples Fill their Nets are the stories about which we will learn, play, and sing! Please look for VBS registration info elsewhere on the church website and at the Info Table in the narthex! All Children entering Kindergarten through 5th grade are invited to attend. Adults and those entering Grade 6 and up are invited to volunteer! Please contact Josh Archey if you would like to volunteer!

Mission and Fellowship Opportunities

From the Mission Ministry Team…

Please add June 25 to your summer calendar for Gathering for Greater Good: Rekindle Kindness! Pack up your family and a picnic lunch and head to Riley Park from 2-5 pm. Join old and new friends for an afternoon of old fashioned fun, games, entertainment and raffle prizes to benefit Freedom House. Freedom House has been serving victims of human trafficking and survivors of torture and persecution for 34 years. Two months ago, Freedom House was informed that their funding from HUD would not be renewed—that’s 60% of their budget. At that point, our mission committee decided to take $1,000 from the “emerging causes” portion of our budget to support the 35-45 residents. That funding was recently restored for this year only following an ardent appeals campaign and pressure from supporters. Freedom House is working to develop sustainable funding sources for the future. But their needs are great, especially to provide transportation for their residents to school, religious services, ESL classes, and medical and legal appointments. Planning the June 25 event is a group of Farmington/Farmington Hills women, some of whom are Freedom House volunteers and some are on our church’s Preschool board.

For nearly 35 years, the Coalition of Temporary Shelters (COTS) has been sheltering an average of 900 men, women and children daily. I know firsthand what a life saver COTS provided some of our patients when I ran a non-profit home health agency in Detroit. Our social workers often called COTS to help on a short-term basis and we worked together to find permanent housing, especially for some of our moms and newborns. I’m proud to say that First Pres has been a supporter of COTS for a number of years. This year we contributed $750 from our mission budget.

Southwest Detroit Immigrant and Refugee Center provides low-cost legal services to immigrants and refugees seeking to make a home in the city of Detroit. The staff of attorneys, law students and legal assistants is led by Kevin Piecuch, an attorney and a Presbyterian minister. Last year the Mission Committee met with Kevin and were particularly moved by his story of appearing in court on behalf of a 13-year-old boy who arrived in Detroit alone from Central America. We donated $500 to provide legal services. In addition to contributions, SWDIRC needs volunteers (Spanish and Arabic speakers, house renovators, business mentors).

Update on Alexander Food Pantry from Carol Greening. “We are most grateful to Ken Massey and the Graham E. Smith Memorial Foundation for taking on the responsibility for the oversight of the Alexander Food Pantry effective Nov. 1, 2016. As of January 13, 2017, we received the wonderful news that we will not need to move to another location as the GES Foundation and the Archdiocese of Detroit have reached an agreement on the purchase of the entire St. Al’s property. The agreement was signed on Valentine’s Day allowing us to move forward to stability and increased services. We learned on May 4, 2017 that the deal was officially closed with the Archdiocese of Detroit.” She went on to thank First Pres for our donation in April that helped with preparing 80 Easter boxes for families in the community.

Good news! The preliminary report shows more than $27,000 was raised by nearly 200 walkers from the F/FH community on the Crop Walk on May 7. Since donations were also made on line, the final results aren’t yet available. One-fourth of the funds raised stay in the Farmington/Farmington Hills community and will be given to food pantries at Alexanders, Neighborhood House, Yad Ezra, and the Salvation Army. Many thanks to Mary Carson, Dorothy Tait and Dan Piontek for coordinating our church’s efforts.

Karen Linnell, Chair, Mission Ministry

Summer Music has started for singers and musicians

Here at First Pres, we give our hard-working Chancel Choir a break during the summer months. But because God never stops loving us, our worship doesn’t take a break either. This summer, we continue one tradition and start a new one: Summer Music beginning on Sunday, June 4 — Pentecost — and continuing until Sunday, September 3.

Here’s how Summer Choir works: show up in the chancel at 9:15 am on Sunday to rehearse an anthem (either an easy one, or one we’ve sung before, or both). Sing it at the 10am service, and then return to sit with your family and friends in the pews for the rest of worship. All are welcome. If you sing with the choir during the year, you’re invited. If you don’t sing with the choir but want to sing for a week, you’re invited. If you’ve always wanted to sing with the choir, but never have, you’re invited. ALL are welcome!

No long-term commitment required. Drop in and sing as you wish, when you wish.

We’re also looking for anyone who’d like to offer their gifts as a soloist or duet partner for summer worship as well. Do you play an instrument, and want to play it in church? Do you have a duet or trio to enhance our time together? We invite you to bring it to God. Just let Dr. Jerry know, so that we can schedule time to rehearse it and share it in worship. Remember: it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful!

Making a difference at Fort Street Presbyterian Church

Did you know that a group of people from First Presbyterian Church of Farmington goes to Fort Street Presbyterian Church on the 4th Thursday of each month to prepare and serve lunch? They take clothing, shoes, and jackets whenever there are donations available. You can leave your donations by/on the clothes racks in the coffee hour area. Please be sure to label your donations “FORT STREET.” We are always looking for other volunteers to help. If you have questions or would like to help, please see Jan Sell. Many thanks for your continued support of this mission outreach project.

Congregational Concerns

May Session Highlights

At its May 17 Session meeting, met in a joint meeting with the Deacons to thank those who are completing their terms, and to welcome those who are beginning their terms on the respective boards.

The Session also:

  • Approved a request to invite Italian pianist Francesco Attesti to perform in our sanctuary on Sunday, October 8, 2017

  • Approved a request to enter a First Presbyterian Church float in the Founder’s Day Parade on July 22, 2017

  • Dismissed the New Pastor Transition Team with thanks to Chris Davis, Sarah Gidley, Deb Jackson Lum, Leslie Moyna, Bob Van Hamme, Randy Wright, Sharon Cressman (and Jan Dolan in memoriam)

We keep in our prayers

Names withheld from web-version of our FYI.

We hold in our prayers members who are homebound, in nursing homes, and assisted living:

And those serving in the military:

And prayers for the grieving:

Kudos & thank yous

“Dear friends at First Presbyterian, I would like to thank you for your kindness and help at the time of my mother’s (Amy Kleinschmit) death. The funeral was very special and one that would have touched my mom’s heart. We met many people who said such kind things about her. The luncheon was lovely and we are grateful to the Presbyterian Women for the delicious food and the pretty centerpieces. She loved it when forsythia bloomed in the spring and tulips were her favorite flower because of her Dutch heritage, so the centerpieces were perfect. Reverend Eddie, my brothers and I are most appreciative of your spiritual guidance at a time when we needed it most. Your church has been a source of comfort for my mom for many years. Without the support of the people there, her last few years could have been difficult. Instead, she found friendship and a sense of family that made her life rich and fulfilled. Thank you again from all of Amy’s family.”

Kudos to Nathan Malisow on his performance in Seussical Jr. at Geisler Middle School in Walled Lake in May.

Much thanks to the congregation for its generous support of the recent Mother’s Day Flower Sale, benefiting the Senior High Mexico Mission Trip. The sale raised $194 in much-needed donations for the upcoming trip. And special thanks to English Gardens for providing carnations at cost for the Mother’s Day Flower Sale, a great show of community support for this year’s senior high mission trip to Mexico!

Two meditations©

By Richard Spurgeon

Our years are not as those of the stars of heaven, but like those of the sparrow that God loves and whose heartbeats He has numbered.

So there falls to us the bewildered pain from what at moments can only seem like irremediable loss: the fading memory of a face we will not see in this world again…the sound of an absent voice…the touch of an absent hand.

Now it is for us to recall the courage of those whom we loved and who have gone before us, to forgive their faults and follow as we can in their ways of wisdom and quiet righteousness. May we also feel the grace of God’s healing hand, and know the gift of transfigured sorrow.

For your word, O Lord, Our Father, is like the promise of Spring: love and new life will flourish, and the world will bloom.

© 2017 Richard Martin Spurgeon

Where is He who made the birds of heaven and all creatures beneath the seas, who marked the order of the firmament and set the course of the shadowed waters of the deep?

Speaking … silent … in the heart of all things.

Oh Lord, may I know and be led by Your redeeming love. May my heart dance and my lips declare Your dominion in even this dark hour.

© 2017 Richard Martin Spurgeon

May 2017 FYI

Headlines

CROP Walk is May 7th

The CROP (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty) Hunger walk brings our community together to assist hungry people at home and around the world.  The money raised supports Church World Service work around the world.  Additionally, 25% of the money raised will go to local organizations: Neighborhood House, Baldwin Center, Salvation Army, Alexander’s Food Pantry and Yad Exra.

Help by walking or supporting walkers! Checks can be made to CWS CROP and will be collected at church on Sunday, April 23rd and 30th.New this year: you can go online at http://www.crophungerwalk.org/famingtonmi to make a donation anytime (click on Register, Donate, and donate to a team – Farmington 1st). Walking and sharing together with our community, we can help eradicate hunger and poverty in Oakland County and worldwide.  Please join us by walking or donating!

Presbyterian Women’s May Gathering is Monday, May 22nd at 7:00 PM

Mark your calendar for the Presbyterian Women’s Spring Gathering on Monday, May 22nd in Knox Fellowship Hall at 7:00 p.m.  It will be an evening of dessert and fellowship.

Presbyterian Women will install its officers for the coming year and have a program on the services provided for senior citizens in our community.  Our speaker is Teresa Bryant, who is Nutrition Services Coordinator for the City of Farmington Hills, Senior Division, located at the Costick Center on Eleven Mile Road.   She is in charge of the Meals On Wheels Program, and she will tell us about how one receives these meals and volunteers to deliver meals. However, there are many more services and programs that Farmington/Farmington Hills provides, and Ms. Bryant will give us an overview all that the Costick Center has to offer.

Tickets are $3.00 and will be sold before and after church during May.  It should be an interesting, informative presentation, relevant to women and men alike.   Please join us!  Everyone is welcome!

Church spring clean up is May 6th 9:00 AM to Noon

The snow is gone and the spring storms have left their debris scattered on the church grounds.  It’s time to get out those garden tools, trimmers, saws, rakes, shovels, wheelbarrows, and gloves for the springtime church property clean-up!   We will start at 9:00 AM and finish at noon.  Drinks and donuts will be served.  Sooooooo – set aside some time on Saturday morning, May 6th and come with your favorite garden tools, and join in the work and fun.  This is a great opportunity to make some new church friends!  If you have questions, please see Rick Fuller.

Congregational meeting on Sunday, May 7th

The purpose of the meeting is to elect Elders and Deacons and elect congregational representatives to the Nominating and Financial Review Committees.  The meeting is open to everyone and all church members can vote.  Biographies of those nominated for deacon and elder positions will be available next Sunday, May 7th at the welcome center in the narthex.  The biographies will be emailed to those on the church email list.

From the Pen of the Pastor

Easter Greetings!

We are just beginning our Easter journey, which is seven Sundays of Easter all the way through Pentecost, June 4th, when the church is symbolically “set on fire” to empower and energize God’s people to show and tell the good news about the crucified and resurrected Christ.
In light of that Easter hope, I wanted to share this story, which is based on an American folk tale: A farmer was working in his field when a stranger approached him. The traveler asked, “What sort of people live in the next town?” “What were the people like where you’ve come from?” replied the farmer. “They were horrible,” the traveler said, waving his hands for emphasis. “People were dishonest, selfish, and inconsiderate.” Looking up, the farmer shook his head, “I am sorry to say that’s probably what you’ll find in this town, too.” The stranger moaned and walked away. Late in the same day another man happened down the same road. When he saw the farmer he called out, “What sort of people live in this town?”  The farmer returned with a question, “What were the people like where you come from?” “They were thoughtful, friendly and kind,” the traveler beamed. “I hated to leave them.” The farmer put down his hoe, extended his hands and smiled.  “I am pleased to say that is about how you’ll find the folks here,” he said. The traveler returned the smile, shook the farmers hand and headed toward his new home.

In psychology, they call it “projection.” In spiritual direction, it is known as “living in the shadows.” Either way, the way we see things can create the reality in which we live.
We share responsibility for creating the external world by projecting either a spirit of hope or a spirit of despair. We have a choice about what we are going to project, and in that choice we help create the world that is. “Energy flows where your intention goes”, my Pilate/Yoga teacher would say at the beginning of each session. What is your intention…set your intention and freely transform it into action. Your thoughts, the meditations of your heart, your intentions can help deform, or reform, our world.

Hope or despair?
Darkness or light?
Hate or love?
Which do you project?

During this Eastertide Season, Jesus calls us to be the” light of the world.” Resurrection is not a miracle to be proven; rather, resurrection is an expression of how we are all meant to live life and experience it in its fullness.   See you in worship!
Peace & Grace,

Pastor Eddie

Please join us on May 7th to celebrate Pam Williams’ dedicated service
After 10 years as our church’s Administrative Assistant, Pam has decided to retire.  Her last work day will be May 5th.  Pam and her husband Scott, will be joining us in Worship on Sunday, May 7th.  After the service, we will gather in Knox Hall, sharing some dessert and beverages while we thank Pam for her numerous contributions to our church family.  Please join us on May 7th to celebrate Pam William’s dedicated service to FPC.
Thank you, Personnel Committee

Christian Education News and Events

May 2017 Christian Education Events for all ages!
ONGOING:  

Sundays @ 9 am    Adult Education Hour, 2nd floor Church Library
Sundays @ 10:15 am Sunday School for Grades K-5 in Room 207
Tuesdays @ 10 am   Pastor’s Bible Study, 2nd floor Church Library
Wednesdays @ 6:30 pm   JOY Book Club, 2nd floor Parlor

Mark your calendar for:

  • Saturday, May 6th 9 am – 12 noon  MISSION MATTERS!
    Spring Clean Up Day @ FPC Farmington!
  • Sunday, May 7th— 1:30 pm   Farmington/Farmington Hills area CROP Walk
  • Sunday, May 7th—2 pm @ FPC Birmingham:  Mexico Mission Trip Meeting
  • Sunday May 14th—Mother’s Day Youth Flower Sale. Youth will gratefully accept donations in support of this year’s Mission Trip to Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula after worship in the narthex.
  • Friday, May 26, 7 pm-Saturday, May 27, 8 am   Jump-Start Lock-In @ FPC Birmingham
    This lock-in for 6th-12th graders will focus on ways we can jump-start our spiritual battery when it is running low. Including time jumping around Airtime Trampoline Park in Troy! Bring friends and prepare for a fun night of jumping around. By morning, Youth will have multiple tools for spiritual growth that they can use immediately and throughout life.  All participants will need a FPC general permission form and an Airtime waiver filled out by Friday May 26. Deadline to sign-up is May 14th!
  • July 24th-July 29th –Join Youth from across the Presbytery of Detroit in a week of mission work at First Presbyterian Church of Sandusky (Ohio), followed by a fun day at Cedar Point amusement park! See Josh Archey to sign up!
  • July 31st – August 4th  God, Me, and the Sea VBS @ Antioch Lutheran Church, 9:30 am to 12 noon, in partnership with our friends at Antioch Lutheran Church and North Congregational Church. Please see Josh Archey if you would like to volunteer!

Mission and Fellowship Opportunities

April did indeed bring Easter flowers but the month also gave our church the opportunity to work with a variety of organizations, some very close to home and others farther away.  Thanks to your generosity, we filled the van of Neighborhood House with diapers, food, cleaning supplies and bath products  and even a stuffed Easter bunny!  To help meet other needs of clients of Neighborhood House, we also donated $1,000 that may be used for temporary housing, utility bills, or transportation. Ecumenical Theological Seminary is located in the historic landmark First Presbyterian Church on Woodward Ave., in the heart of the city.  A fully accredited seminary, ETS brings together students of Detroit’s various religious communities in an ecumenical learning environment to address questions of a spiritual nature,  social justice, traditional confession and cross-cultural innovation.   Several of our members have obtained a degree at ETS and Dr. Ellens is a professor of Biblical Studies and Church History at ETS.  Our gift of $500 will be used to help a student in need pay for tuition or books in this multi-cultural, multi-religion setting.

Tom Neal is spearheading the Presbytery’s efforts to begin the Motor City Mission Corps.  To show our support for MCMC, our church donated $500 to support the promise that this idea holds for Detroit.  The Motor City Mission Corps started as a conversation seeking creative ways to reengage young adults with the work of the Gospel and to join in the ongoing rebuilding of the city of Detroit by partnering with nonprofit organizations already involved in that good work. They will bring a critical eye to the structures of racism at work in Detroit and work to create new just systems.
A huge thank you to members of First Pres for your generous contributions to One Great Hour of Sharing!  The approximate total is $1500, but we’ll have an exact amount in next month’s FYI.  Part of that money will go to Charon Barconey’s church, Hope Presbyterian, to address issues of food and job insecurity.  The other portion will be given to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, earmarked for Flint.  In addition, we donated $500 to the Fresh Flint Festival to support the residents of Flint in promoting fitness and healthy living.

I neglected to mention a very important organization to whom we contributed last month—PW.  A mainstay of the mission portion of our church’s annual budget is a $3300 contribution to PW of First Pres.  Our PW determines which organizations and causes they wish to support.   Karen Linnell, Chair, Mission Ministry

The Great Tomato Giveaway

This Presbytery-wide initiative to promote hunger awareness in our community is now in its eighth year. The program provides nutritious, fresh vegetables to supplement the sodium–enriched canned foods which are normally found at food banks.
It seems that each year the problem of people in need of food grows larger and larger.  In 1980 there were 200 food banks in the US, today that number is over 40,000! Here in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties 500,000 people including nearly 200,000 children- that’s one in five children, live in poverty.  According to Feeding America’s National Hunger study, the number of individual emergency food recipients that receive food each week in Southeast Michigan grew by over 78% in just 4 years (2006: 56,700.  2010: 101,200).  Thirty-nine percent (39%) of these households include children under 18 years old.

These statistics are staggering!  Hunger has no boundaries–it affects people close to us and we can help!  On May 21, you can take a seedling tomato plant home to plant and lovingly tend through the summer. In approximately 6-8 weeks harvest the bountiful fruit and bring it to Church to feed hungry neighbors in our community.
Jesus said, “For I was hungry and you gave me food …”     (Matthew 25:35)

Making a difference at Fort Street Presbyterian Church

Did you know that a group of people from First Presbyterian Church of Farmington goes to Fort Street Presbyterian Church on the 4th Thursday of each month to prepare and serve lunch?  They take clothing, shoes, and jackets whenever there are donations available. You can leave your donations by/on the clothes racks in the coffee hour area.  Please be sure to label your donations “FORT STREET.  We are always looking for other volunteers to help.  If you have questions or would like to help, please see Jan Sell.  Many thanks for your continued support of this mission outreach project.

Congregational Concerns

Welcome to our New Members

On Sunday, April 23rd during the worship service, First Presbyterian Church welcomed eight new members to their church family. Our new members are:

Pam Jusino, Lorene (Lorrie) and Paul McVey, Diane Sheehan, Jayme Slais, Nancy Thurston, Dora Turkmani, and Corrine Wedge

April Session Highlights

At its April 15 Session meeting, the Session:

  • Called a Congregational Meeting for May 7, 2017 after Worship for the report of the Nominating Committee, to elect Elders and Deacons, to elect congregational representatives to the 2017 Nominating Committee and to elect congregational representatives to the 2016 Financial Review Committee.
  • Approved joining the Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Approved the request of the Property Committee for removal of the fallen trees on the church property.
  • Accepted Deb Lum as Session representative, and Pastor Eddie as staff colleague, to service on Josh Archey’s reference group for Josh’s exam as a certified Christian Educator.Operations Ministry-1st Quarter Results
  • Donations are $ 3,400 better than our Year to Date Plan
  • Expenses are $3,700 lower than our Year to Date plan
  • Our mortgage balance has been reduced to $220,00. It was $638, 000 on January 1, 2015.
  • Working with Church Mutual, our insurance carrier, we were able to reduce our insurance premium $2,000 per year.Caregiving Ministry Informational Meeting on Wednesday, May 10th at 7:00 PM

Save the Date!!!We invite you to find out how you are part of the Caregiving Ministry.

Join us at 7:00 PM in Knox Fellowship Hall on Wednesday, May 10th.Refreshments will be served.If you have any questions, please contact Mickey Seiler or Sally Kirsten.
Joint Deacon/Session Meeting Wednesday, May 17th at 7:00 PM

Joint Elders and Deacon Meeting

There will be a joint meeting of Elders and Deacons on Wednesday, May 17th at 7:00 PM in Knox Hall.  We will have dessert and honor the outgoing Deacons and Elders for their service then welcome those newly installed Deacons and Elders serving in the class of 2020.

Join us for Music and Worship Arts Recognition on Sunday, May 21st

On Sunday, May 21st during the 10:00 AM worship service we will recognize the outstanding music program and Worship Arts Team at First Presbyterian Church.  Help us thank our chancel choir, hand bell ringers, instrumentalists, organist, Music Director, lectors/worship leaders for their enhancement of our worship services throughout the year.

Crafters and Bakers Needed

We will have another Music Ministry Fund Raiser on Saturday and Sunday November 11th and 12th at First Presbyterian Church.

This year we an opening the event to outside vendors. Thank you for making last year’s sale so successful! Anyone who loves to do crafts, make jams, jellies or salsas, or bake holiday treats are welcome. Space size will be 10 feet by 10 feet.For more information or to reserve a space, please contact Deborah Draper (248) 579-6053 or thehandweaver@gmail.com

Kudos & thank yous

Kudos to Nathan Malisow is in Seussical Jr. at Geisler Middle School in Walled Lake.  Shows are May 17-19 at 7:00 pm and May 20 at 3:00 pm.  More information can be found at gmsmusical.com. Tickets are $8 each and can purchased at the door.

Kudos to Ginny Hubble who was selected as the 2017 recipient of the PW Lifetime membership award and pin.  Ginny was honored for her many years of service to PW and ministry at First Presbyterian Church on the Gifts of Women Sunday, April 2, 2017.  Ginny has taught Sunday School, VBS, served as an Elder and PW Moderator at First Presbyterian Church of Farmington.  Congratulations on your well deserved recognition!
Ginny Hubble (at left) enjoys the reception in her honor following the worship service.  Ginny received the Lifetime Membership Pin from the PW, beautiful roses and a cake that was enjoyed by all.

Kudos to Shirley Kinsey who shared her faith during worship on Gifts of Women Sunday, April 2, 2017.  There have been several requests for the prayer which Shirley shared during her morning message.  It is:

The Prayer of St. Francis de Sales (1567 – 1622).
Be at peace.  Do not look forward in fear to the changes of life; rather look to them with full hope as they arise.  God, whose very own you are, will deliver you from out of them.  He has kept you hitherto, and He will lead you safely through all things; and when you cannot stand it, God will bury you in his arms.
Do not fear what may happen tomorrow; the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you then and everyday.  He will either shield you from suffering, or will give you unfailing strength to bear it.  Be at peace, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imagination.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!  Special thanks to English Gardens for providing carnations at cost for the Mother’s Day flower sale in support of this year’s Mexico mission trip!

Dear First Presbyterian Buddies, Just a note to tell you folks how grateful we are for all the help you have provided for our Neighborhood House clients the past few months.  The diapers and cleaning supplies were so welcome.  These non-food items along with the kid’s cereals really brought smiles to our younger clients.  May God bless you and hope you have a joyous Easter.          Sincerely, Loretta Zahn, Terri Hanson and Lynda Shankle

Prayer concerns

Withheld from the web-version of the FYI.  We pray for members and friends who are ill, homebound, grieving, or serving our nation overseas.

From our partner

Mark your calendar for the 16th Annual Golf Outing For Samaritan Counseling Center
Friday, June 23, 2017
18 holes of golf with a scramble start lunch, steak dinner, raffle prizes, awards
Please join us for a fun-filled day at Tanglewood Golf Course “The Lion”
53503 Ten Mile Rd.  Lyon Twp.  48178 Bring your favorite foursome or we can team you up with others.

$130 per golfer; $30 for dinner only guests.   All proceeds benefit the Client Assistance Fund of the Samaritan Counseling Center.  Call (248) 474-4701 or visit our website  http://www.samaritancounselingmichigan.com

April 2017 FYI

Headlines

Gifts of Women Sunday is April 2

Presbyterian Women invites you to mark your calendar for a special announcement during worship and a reception in Knox Hall.  An outstanding member(s) of this congregation will be honored for dedicated service above and beyond the ordinary which has made a meaningful and enduring difference to our church.  Please come and congratulate the recipient(s) and enjoy punch, cake and other treats.  If you would like to help with the reception or contribute food, contact Sue Carlson or sign up on the sheet on the PW bulletin board.

Holy Week services and Easter worship

April 9 – Palm Sunday 10:00 AM Worship Children gather in Knox Hall at 9:40 for palm processional
April 13 – Maundy Thursday 7:00 PM Holy Communion and Tennebrae service in the sanctuary
April 14 – Good Friday 12 PM (noon) Ecumenical service at North Congregational Church, 36520 W. 12 Mile Rd, Farmington Hills (between Drake & Halstead)
April 16 – Easter Sunday 8:00AM & 10:00 AM Easter Worship The Resurrection of Our Lord Brunch between services at 9:00 AM
April 17 – Easter Monday all day Church office and building closed

Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services

We will join together for a Maundy Thursday service in the sanctuary on Thursday, April 13th at 7:00 PM.  There will be song, prayer, scripture, and a meditation as we remember the arrest of Jesus and the desertion by the disciples.   We will also partake of the Lord’s Supper through intinction.

The Farmington Area Interfaith Association will hold an ecumenical Good Friday Service on Friday, April 14th at 12:00 noon at North Congregational Church.  A combined choir from participating churches will sing.  If you would like to be a part of the choir, please meet at the church at 11:00 AM to rehearse.

One Great Hour of Sharing Offering

One Great Hour of Sharing donations support ministries for disaster response, refugee assistance and resettlement, and community development that help people in our country and throughout the world find safe refuge, start new lives, and work together to strengthen their families and communities.  The OGHS offering will be received on Palm Sunday, April 9th and Easter Sunday, April 16thPlease use the envelopes in your box, in the pew racks, or write OGHS on the memo line of your check.

Join us for Easter brunch

An Easter brunch sponsored by the Session will be served at 9:00 AM and everyone is invited!  Brunch will consist of egg casseroles, pancakes, sausage, and fruit. There will also be an Easter egg hunt for children and youth at 9:15 AM.  If you can help with set-up or clean-up please contact Eddie Matteson, Dot Basmaji or Karen Spica.

May FYI deadline

The deadline to submit articles for the May FYI is Wednesday, April 19th.  Please email your items to info@farmington-pres.org or bring them to the church office.

From the Pen of the Pastor

“For it is by grace you have been saved through faith – and this is not from ourselves, it is the Gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8, NIV)

Grace, a gift undeserved. Grace comes free of charge, no strings attached, on the house. But everything about the American way of life teaches us a simple truth. Let me clarify. See how many of these common phrases we hear so often you can complete:

  • If it sounds too good to be true…
  • We make money the old fashioned way, we…(Smith & Barney 1980’s campaign slogan)
  • Get what you…
  • There is no such thing as a free…
  • No pain, no…
  • The early bird gets the…
  • God helps those who…(by the way, not found in the Bible)

In life you get what you earn. You get what you work for. You get what you pay for. There is nothing wrong with that at all. After all, isn’t that the American way? The notion of God’s love coming to us free of charge, no strings attached, seems to go against every instinct of humanity. The problem is many people think the same way you relate to your paycheck or to your possessions is the way you relate to God, “We earned it.”

In “What’s So Amazing About Grace”, author Philip Yancey wrote, “Grace cannot be reduced to generally accepted accounting principles” of pluses and minuses. Grace is not about counting…it’s not about math. The Apostle Peter tried to distill grace into mathematical formula when trying to be generous with forgiveness when he was taken aback by Jesus’ reply “forgiveness is not a thing you count on an abacus.”

We live in a world of “ungrace” where earning, deserving, and merit results in judgement (not good enough, try harder). “How thickly the veil of ungrace obscures our view of God.” That is why everyone wants and needs grace. Judgement kills. Only grace makes alive. The world starves for grace.

The Good News of Easter is that God does not relate to us on the basis of tits-for-tats, nor on our goodness. God relates to us on the basis of God’s grace. So grace does not depend on what we have done for God (works), or something we deserved (God’s kindness), but rather what God has been doing for us.

On Easter, God redeems you and I, from our mountainous debt. God has gone the full length to get you and I back into the fold by giving up God’s only son, Jesus Christ, rather than giving up on you and me…on humanity.

On Easter Sunday grace tears up all the mathematical principles and introduces the new math of simple grace; for there is nothing we can do to make God love us more and there is nothing we can do to make God love us less.

May you see the Risen Christ everywhere and in everything! See you in worship! Joyful Easter!

Peace & Grace,  Pastor Eddie

Christian Education News and Events

April 2017 Christian Education Events for all ages!

Tuesdays through April 4th: Lenten Study with Pastor Eddie, 10 am in the church library

Wednesdays through April 5th: Lenten Potluck, Activities, Study. 6-7:30 pm

ONGOING:    Sundays @ 9 am    Adult Education Hour, 2nd floor, Church Library.

                        Wednesdays @ 6:30 pm JOY Book Club, 2nd floor Parlor.

April 7th-8th (Friday night to Saturday, 4 pm) Presbytery of Detroit Youth Leadership retreat at Howell Nature Center for 9th-12th graders. FREE. Contact Josh Archey if interested!

April 9th Palm Sunday— Youth of all ages are asked to meet in the narthex at 9:40 am for the procession of palms!

Saturday, April 15thMission Matters: Mexico Mission Trip spring yardwork clean up with FPC Birmingham. Contact Josh Archey for more information!

April 16th Easter Sunday—Join us between the 8 am and 10 am Easter services for Easter Brunch and an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids in Knox Fellowship Hall!

Saturday, April 22nd, 9:30 am- 2 pm Refresh, Renew, Re-Create workshop for Pastors, Christian Educators, Elders and all those interested in renewal! Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church, Dearborn. Contact Josh Archey for more information! Register by April 14th.

April 23rd Reception of New Members. Join us in Knox Hall after worship for refreshments and a brief reception, hosted by Christian Education.

April 30th, 3:30 pm— Rev. Eddie Jusino’s Service of Installation and Reception

Sunday, May 7th1:30 pm Youth outing with youth from Cherry Hill Pres. to Escape Room.

Sunday May 14thMother’s Day Youth Flower Sale. Youth will gratefully accept donations in support of this year’s Mission Trip to Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula.

Coming Summer 2017

Mark your calendars!   July 24th-July 29thJoin Youth from across the Presbytery of Detroit in a week of mission work at First Presbyterian Church of Sandusky (Ohio), followed by a fun day at Cedar Point amusement park! See Josh Archey to sign up to attend or chaperone!

VBS (Vacation Bible School), July 31st-August 4th, 9:30 am to 12 noon, in partnership with our friends at Antioch Lutheran Church and North Congregational Church, will take place at Antioch Lutheran Church. Please see Josh Archey if you would like to volunteer!

Upcoming Events and Mission Opportunities

From the Mission Team….  Here’s where the mission efforts of First Pres were focused in March/April:

  • Hillside Elementary: Seven members are working with students at Hillside Elementary in reading and math.  See what the tutors have to say on page 4 or on our website www.farmington-pres.org
  • Garden Gatherers: We annually provide seed money (pun intended) for our garden group to purchase soil, seeds and vegetable plants to establish our garden.  In addition, they will use the $500 to shore up the beds to discourage deer, moles and other critters from destroying the crops.  The fresh produce they produce is given to Alexander’s Food Pantry throughout the summer and fall.
  • Rebuilding Together Oakland County (RTOC): Dan Cressman and Tom Neal will head up this year’s project to help a homeowner in the area with needed repairs to their home.  Our church provides $1500 for materials.  Join them on April 29th
  • Alexander’s Food Pantry:  If this name looks slightly familiar, it’s because Alexander’s Food Pantry is a reincarnation of St. Al’s Food Pantry.  When St. Al’s church closed, the pantry was left in limbo, awaiting the sale of the church and grounds.  After much community involvement, the Graham E. Smith Memorial Foundation has purchased the property from the archdiocese.  The GES Foundation has terrific plans for the site including:
  • – a larger and more up-to-date Food Pantry
  • – a professional and family clothing closet
  • – offices for Social Services including an office for meeting the needs of the homeless in our community  This office will work in conjunction with Farmington Public Schools.
  • – an integrated health office for physical and mental health services
  • – gym/health center
  • – non-denominational chapel

Our church contributed $500 to Alexander’s Food Pantry to purchase food from the Gleaners for Easter.We have also budgeted additional funds for utilities and other expenses once GES finalizes the budget.Hopefully, most of the religious organizations in Farmington/Farmington Hills will join this effort to keep the lights on and the freezers humming.

Jump on board – more volunteers needed at Hillside Elementary School

More volunteers are needed at Hillside Elementary School.  Here is what some of our current volunteers have to say about their experiences:

  • “I read to children in the Media Center.  They are always anxious to hear what story I have for them.  After we discuss what we have read.  I always enjoy spending time with the children.”  Joann Jenkins
  • “For me it is all about spending time with the children.  They all seem eager to meet with me each time I go.  It just brightens my day.”  Helen Thomas
  • “These are great kids and the future of our country and our world.  Wouldn’t it be a good thing that they are well educated?  It is a privilege and a pleasure to play even a small role in helping with this.”  Richard Spurgeon
  • “This year I have been working with 4th graders with their Win-Win program. It is harder to learn names and build one-on-one relationships as they move between classes.  But it is so interesting to see what they are learning and how they use laptops for assignments.  I am very impressed with the technology in the classroom.”  Sally Kirsten

Please contact Karen Linnell or Prill Brouillette if interested.  Here are some openings, if your interest is piqued:

Rebuilding Together Oakland County – Saturday, April 29, 2017

Rebuilding Together Oakland County

a One-Day Project on Saturday April 29, 2017

Work on a FPC Farmington sponsored house!  Register today!  New registration system this year online at:  http://rebuildingtogetheroaklandcounty.force.com

  • Complete “Volunteer Jobs”
  • “City of Farmington Hills Rebuild Day 2017”

Questions? Contact House Captains:

  • Tom Neal or Dan Cressman

May 7, 2017 – CROP Walk

The CROP Hunger walk brings the whole community together to assist the hungry people at home and around the world.  Congregations from many different traditions in some 2000 communities across the nation join in 1600 CROP Walks each year.

The money raised supports Church World Service work around the world in emergency response situations, as well as long term solutions, such as sustainable safe water supplies and food safety.  Additionally, 25% of the money raised will go to local organizations; Neighborhood House, Baldwin Center, Salvation Army, Alexander’s Food Pantry and Yad Exra.

Help by walking or supporting walkers!  Checks can be made to CWS CROP and will be collected at church on Sunday, April 23rd and 30th.  New this year: you can go online at www.crophungerwalk.org/famingtonmi to make a donation anytime (click on Register, Donate, and donate to a team – Farmington 1st).

Walking and sharing together with our community, we can help eradicate hunger and poverty in Oakland County and worldwide.  Please join us by walking or donating!

Mary Carson & Dorothy Tait, Co-chairs

And please support our ongoing collections

The shelves of Neighborhood House are nearly empty and they need our help!  Last year we were a huge help to Neighborhood House and they’re hoping we can do so again.  Neighborhood House serves Farmington and Farmington Hills residents who need assistance with food, shelter and clothing to get them back on their feet.   While searching for more permanent housing, many are aided by Neighborhood House in finding short term housing in hotels with a hotplate for cooking.

On April 2 & 9, we will collect food items: kid-friendly cereal, pudding, fruit cups, canned ravioli, canned chicken and diapers.  If you wish to help, please leave your items in the large box in the “coffee and treats-after-church room”.  Thanks for your consideration!

Congregational News and Concerns

March Session Highlights

At its March 15 Session meeting, the Session:

  • Agreed to host the Student Unity March on our grounds.
  • Agreed to use Lay Training funds to send participants to the PCUSA Big Tent Event in July.
  • Approved the serving of Communion at the 8 a.m. Easter Service.
  • Approved a music ministry fundraiser in late fall.

Installation Service for Pastor Eddie – Sunday, April 30th

Join our church family as well as friends from the Presbytery of Detroit and our community for an Installation Worship Service on April 30, beginning at 3:30 pm. Immediately following the service, we will celebrate with a reception in Knox Fellowship Hall.

This service is organized by our metro area Presbytery and led by a Presbytery Installation Commission comprised of Teaching Elders (Pastors) and Ruling Elders. It completes the call process and formally marks the establishment of the pastoral relationship with our congregation and within the Presbytery (PC-USA Book of Order, G-2.0805). It also marks the dissolution of our Pastoral Nominating Committee.

We encourage you to attend this infrequent event in the life of the church – the sixth Installation of a senior pastor in the 62-year life of our congregation – and look forward to a wonderful afternoon!

Your Pastoral Nominating Committee,  Bob Van Hamme, Chris Davis, Deb Jackson Lum, Leslie Moyna, Randy Wright, Sarah Gidley; and Jan Dolan (in memoriam).

PW spring gathering is Monday, May 22nd at 7:00 PM

Mark your calendar for the Presbyterian Women’s Spring Gathering on Monday, May 22nd in Knox Fellowship Hall at 7:00 p.m.  This will be an evening dessert event with a program and installation of PW officers for the coming year.  Our speaker is Teresa Bryant, who is Nutrition Services Coordinator for the City of Farmington Hills, Senior Division.  Ms. Bryant will speak about the services that our community has for seniors.  It should be an interesting, informative presentation, relevant to women and men alike.  Everyone is welcome!

PW Hat and Mitten Tree update

Once again, our church family has demonstrated how we live our faith.  The 2016 First Presbyterian hat and mitten tree was an amazing success with so many of us contributing purchased and beautiful handmade gifts.

Donations included:   69 Hats, 7 Hat and Mittens sets, 27 pairs of Gloves, 31 pairs of Mittens, 19 Scarves, 105 pairs of adult and children’s socks, 75 pairs of underwear, 3 Sweatshirts, One $15 Verizon gift Card.  The total value of these items was $2,586.  They were all extremely gratefully received by Neighborhood House who distributed them to schoolchildren and families in the Farmington, Farmington Hills area.

We originally also had a goal of supplying hats, mittens and scarves to the children enrolled in the WORD Children’s Literacy Program at Calvin East Presbyterian Church. In the end, our donations were not needed as the P.W. of Littlefield Presbyterian Church in Dearborn had assigned their Christmas giving project to supplying hats, mittens, scarves, underwear and socks to the children and parents in that program.

Many, many thanks for your generosity to our needy brothers and sisters in this very cold winter. Linda Clew, P.W. Vice Moderator, Justice and Peace

Kudos & thank yous

Kudos to Gene and Mary Buchan who received the Three Flags Chapter DAR Community Service Award on Saturday, February 11th at a luncheon hosted by the Three Flags Chapter DAR at First Presbyterian Church.  Gene and Mary Buchan have been invaluable assets to the City of Farmington Hills Senior Division.  Mary has served for many years as the secretary of the Farmington Area Commission on Aging.  For the last 8 years she has facilitated a bi-monthly Caregivers Support Group that meets at the Costick Center.  Gene taught computer classes for older adults, creating the manuals, lesson plans and mini exercises for the classes.  He has served on the Oakland County Senior Advisory Committee for over four years.  Thank you Gene and Mary for all of the gifts you share with the Farmington/Farmington Hills community.

(Picture: Gene (left) and Mary (middle) Buchan are welcomed by Three Flags Chapter DAR member Sally Kirsten (right).
I want to thank everyone for your prayers, cards, phone calls, flowers, visits, food and love over the past five months.  Your care made this difficult time easier to bear.  I do believe that I am one of the lucky ones because I have the support of this amazing congregation.  Special thanks to Pastor Eddie for his loving pastoral care, and to Pam Jusino for her prayers, hugs and the most amazing banana bread.       Peace and love, Anne Fuller

THANK YOU!!! Thank you to all those in the congregation who have supported and continue to support this year’s mission trip to Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula! $167 was raised at our Valentine’s Day Rose Sale Sunday, February 12th and $427 was raised at our pre-Lenten pancake brunch on Sunday, February 26th. Three senior highs and four adults from FPC Farmington will be traveling with our friends from FPC Birmingham to Leona Vicario, Mexico June 24th – July 1st, 2017 to work with YPM (Yucatan Peninsula Missions) in the Mayan villages outside Cancun.

I just wanted to drop you a note to say thank you.  You don’t know me personally, but I wanted to thank you and your staff for your service, commitment and love for this community.  It is making an impact.  Your work is bearing fruit.  So thank you!  Be encouraged J  You are making a difference.  Keep it up.         With gratitude, Erika

16th – 22nd is Severe Weather Awareness Week

In an effort to promote severe weather safety preparedness, Oakland County will conduct a special test of our Outdoor Warning System on Wednesday, April 19th at 1:00 PM.A significant part of this program is to educate individuals about severe weather and safety and the Oakland County Outdoor Warning System.Several brochures are available on the literature table in the narthex about severe weather alerts, safety, and preparedness.

First Presbyterian Church members: Names withheld from web-version of the newsletter.

We hold in our prayers members who are homebound, in nursing homes, and assisted living: Names withheld from web-version of the newsletter.

Those serving in the military:Names withheld from web-version of the newsletter.

Prayers for the grieving: Names withheld from web-version of the newsletter.

Printable April Calendar

Want to see what’s happening at a glance?  View Printable April calendar

March 2017 FYI

Headlines

 Ash Wednesday worship service March 1st at 7:30 PM

This will be a Taize service in the sanctuary which includes a ceremony of the candles and imposition of ashes of forgiveness.  In Christian history, Ash Wednesday was developed as a day of penitence to mark the beginning of Lent – the 40 days of preparation through deeper disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.  Its name comes from the ancient practice of placing ashes on worshippers’ heads or foreheads as a sign of humility before God, and a symbol of how sorry we are.

Wednesday Evening Lenten Program

Wednesday evenings during Lent (March 8 – April 5), 6 – 7:30 PM we’ll enjoy a time of relationship-building over a pot luck meal followed by an inter-generational activity designed for all ages. Then, for those who wish to stay, we’ll explore Jesus final words through eyewitness accounts, utilizing Adam Hamilton’s Final Words from the Cross as our guide. Drinks, bread, paper plates and utensils will be provided.  You are welcome to bring a dish to pass or to make a small contribution to the donation basket. Consider bringing your plates and utensils from home as an eco-friendly alternative to paper and plastic.

Deacons Wellness Program on Sunday, March 26 at 11:30 a.m.

Each year the Deacons present a Wellness Program, a topic of interest for all ages, which focuses on Mind, Body, and Spirit.  We have arranged to have Lisamarie Nash, LM.T., C.L.T., speak after church on Sunday, March 26, 2017.

Ms. Nash is nationally certified in Therapeutic Massage and Lymphatic Therapy.  She will explain this relaxing and non-medical method of pain relief.  Come learn how massage therapy can enhance your immune system, lessen depression and anxiety, as well as improve circulation.  It will be an interesting and informative event.

The program will be held in Knox Fellowship Hall at 11:30 a.m. on March 26th.  The Deacons will provide a light lunch before Lisamarie speaks.  There will be time for questions and answers.  If you have further questions please speak to one of the deacons.

Gifts of Women Sunday is April 2

Presbyterian Women invites you to mark your calendar for a special announcement during Worship and a reception in Knox Hall.  An outstanding member (or members) of this Congregation will be honored for dedicated service above and beyond the ordinary which has made a meaningful and enduring difference to our church.  Please come and congratulate the recipient(s) and enjoy punch, cake and other treats.  If you would like to help with the reception or contribute food, contact Sue Carlson or sign up on the sheet on the PW bulletin board.

Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 12th!

Before going to bed on Saturday, March 11th set your clocks AHEAD 1 hour.  That way you will be on time for worship Sunday morning!

April FYI deadline

The deadline to submit articles for the April FYI is Monday, March 20th.  Please email your items to info@farmington-pres.org or bring them to the church office.

From the Pen of the Pastor

“Behold, I am making a new heaven and a new earth.” Isaiah 65:17

Would you like to be able to go back and re-live a certain experience? Perhaps change something you did or said that you would rather not have done or said? I certainly would. Unfortunately, the past cannot be changed. Nevertheless, the Good News is that God is in the business of giving us new opportunities…new beginnings.

In ancient times and cultures, the New Year was a great feast of re-birth. The old has died and a new one is born. A New Year, however, is more than a change of calendars; that is, for those who are willing to risk and seize the opportunity of new beginnings. While the year is young, we still have time to determine any changes in how we wish to live it and how we wish to be the new church. Can we address the issues of our lives, the conflicts and the challenges of our relationships with greater creativity and with a spirit of initiative?

A realistic view of the coming weeks and months tells us that we will have times of trials. These places of darkness are many: in job loss or dissatisfaction, questions of vocations, marital problems, parenting issues, social relationships, further polarization in our society, retirement, sickness or chronic physical conditions, addiction and recovery, death of a loved one and yes, even doubts about our own faith in God.  In our darkest moments (both personal and national), we need to remember our prayer life and trust that God is at work, behind the scenes, bringing about some new and wonderfully hope-filled experiences.

In just ten days, we will be entering the spiritual “wilderness” of Lent. It is not a season for easy tasks. So, if we have been paralyzed by the old memories from the past, now is the time to choose to begin to reform ourselves and believe that, “if I myself am different, the world will be different.” Do not waste the rich grace that a journey through the dark spiritual deserts of our lives brings. Each of its forty days is fertile with divine hope filled new beginnings.

See you in worship!

Peace & Grace, Pastor Eddie

Christian Education News and Events

March 3rd-5th Alma Youth Mix, Alma College (9th-12th graders)

March 5th, 2 pm  Mexico Mission Trip (YPM) mandatory planning meeting (2 pm at 1st Presbyterian Church of Birmingham).

Tuesdays, March 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, and April 4th  Join Pastor Eddie at 10 am in the church library for a lively discussion of our Lenten study book, Adam Hamilton’s Final Words from the Cross.

Wednesday evenings during Lent (March 8, 15, 22, 29; and April 5)  6 pm – 7:30 pm. We’ll enjoy a time of relationship-building over a pot luck meal followed by an inter-generational activity designed for all ages. Then, for those who wish to stay, we’ll explore Jesus’ final words through eyewitness accounts, utilizing Adam Hamilton’s Final Words from the Cross as our guide. Drinks and bread will be provided for the meal as well as paper plates and plastic utensils. You are welcome to bring a dish to pass or to make a small contribution to the donation basket. Consider bringing plates and utensils from home as an eco-friendly alternative to paper and plastic.

Sundays @ 9 am   Join Rev. Dr. J. Harold Ellens and Rev. Craig Aue in the 2nd floor church library in exploring our Christian faith through the lens of contemporary issues.

Sunday, March 12th  Junior and Senior High Youth are invited on an outing to an area fun center following worship. Meet after church in Knox Hall for departure!

Saturday, March 18th 9 am – 3 pm  Join Presbyterian men and women from across metro Detroit in coming out to support Motor City Blight Busters. 17336 Lasher Rd., Detroit, MI. Registration begins at 8:30 am. Men and women of all skill levels are welcome!

Sunday, March 19th   2 pm   Harrison High School Musical, The Little Mermaid. Contact Josh Archey if you’d like to go!

COMING IN APRIL:

Sunday, April 2nd  2 pm Join junior and senior high youth from Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church on an outing to a local Escape Room!

Friday, April 7th-Saturday April 8th  Interested in working with other young people in the Presbytery of Detroit? Join Charon Barconey on a one night Presbytery of Detroit Youth Leadership Retreat @ Howell Nature Center! Contact Josh Archey for more information.

Mission and Fellowship Opportunities

Barnabas Youth Opportunities Center

With each issue of FYI, the Mission Committee will focus on one of the organizations we support with our time and/or contribution.  So let’s begin with Barnabas Youth Opportunities Center to whom our church has made a donation for many years.

Barnabas was formed in 1983 by the Presbytery of Detroit as a support group for unemployed workers during an economic crisis in Detroit.  Today, the program focuses on encouraging youth to stay on the “righteous path.” They provide after-school tutoring, mentoring, skill and needs assessments and recreational activities. A large emphasis is on teaching skills of commercial painting, carpentry and woodworking. There is even an opportunity to accompany professionals on the job to get on-the-job training.

When I did a Google search, I was pleased to see Barnabas Youth Opportunities show up on many community resource lists, the Detroit Presbytery, community centers, mentoring programs.  It’s a true community resource for metro Detroit.

And please support our ongoing collections

The shelves of Neighborhood House are nearly empty and they need our help!  Last year we were a huge help to Neighborhood House and they’re hoping we can do so again.  Neighborhood House serves Farmington and Farmington Hills residents who need assistance with food, shelter and clothing to get them back on their feet.   While searching for more permanent housing, many are aided by Neighborhood House in finding short term housing in hotels with a hotplate for cooking.

On March 12 & 19, we will collect cleaning products: laundry soap, dish soap and paper towels.

On April 2 & 9, we will collect food items: kid-friendly cereal, pudding, fruit cups, canned ravioli, canned chicken and diapers.

If you wish to help, please leave your items in the large box in the “coffee and treats-after-church room”.  Thanks for your consideration!

Congregational Concerns

Sunday morning volunteer opportunities

  • Please consider giving flowers ($22 per arrangement) to enhance our worship services in memory of a loved one or to recognize a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary.You can take the flowers with you or leave them to be delivered to a homebound member.The sign-up sheet is on the kiosk in the coffee hour area.For more information please call the church office (248) 474-6170.
  • Do you like to meet and greet? Like to help people? Like being able to move around? We’re looking for people who can give the congregation a hand every eight weeks, and occasional substituting, as an usher. Contact Irwin Moyna for details.
  • The Greeting Team provides warm welcomes and greetings to all who enter our church.We need of some volunteers for TBDs (dates we cannot provide greeters)! Choose an empty date on our signup sheet on the kiosk in the coffee hour area.Please contact Manny Sharpe for more details.
  • Are you looking for a way to contribute your time and talents to your church family? Serving coffee hour following worship may be for you.It involves making lemonade and putting treats and snacks on plates, (about 30 minutes) before church and serving refreshments for about a half hour after the service.Refreshments can be provided by you or purchased by the church. The sign-up sheet is posted on the kiosk.

February Session highlights

During the February Session meeting, the Session:

  • Approved the 2016 Annual Statistical Report
  • Approved the purchase of two arbors with Cope Garden funds to be placed in the Cope Garden
  • Discussed changes in the church
  • Reviewed questions raised during the Annual Congregational meeting

Kudos & Thank Yous

Dear friends at First Presbyterian Church,

On behalf of the thousands of children and families whose lives will be blessed because of your generosity, thank you.  Thank you for your contribution to the 2017 YMCA South Oakland Annual Campaign.  Your gift empowers our YMCA to make the world a better place one life at a time.  Our aim is $1.5 million dollars to help 5000 children and families experience a healthy life.  Because of you this is possible.  Again thank you.                  Appreciatively, Scott A. Landry, President and CEO

Prayer concerns

First Presbyterian Church members: Names withheld from web-version of the newsletter.

We hold in our prayers members who are homebound, in nursing homes, and assisted living: Names withheld from web-version of the newsletter.

Those serving in the military:Names withheld from web-version of the newsletter.

Prayers for the grieving: Names withheld from web-version of the newsletter.

– Samaritan Counseling Center Lay Caregiver Series –

Understanding and Supporting Pregnancy Loss
Sunday, March 19, 2017     2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Lay Caregiver workshops continue the ongoing growth and learning of Stephen Ministers, BeFrienders, deacons, and all volunteers who provide visitation to shut-ins, hospitals, nursing homes, jails, and other settings. In fact, the workshops can enhance the growth and learning of everyone!

The workshop will be held at:   Nardin Park United Methodist Church 29887 W. Eleven Mile Road  (just west of Middlebelt), Farmington Hills, MI

The cost of the workshop is $20.  Please call the Samaritan Counseling Center at (248) 474-4701 for more information or to reserve your spot.

You must register by March 15th if you plan to attend!

February 2017 FYI

Headlines

Call to Annual Meeting on Sunday, February 5th

The Session has called the Annual Congregational Meeting for Sunday, February 5, 2017 immediately following worship. The call of the meeting is to:

  1. To receive the reports of the Session and its officers and committees, the Board of Deacons, and other organizations of the congregation.
  2. To conduct the annual meeting of the Corporation.
  3. To vote on a proposal from Session to amend the current bylaws of the First Presbyterian Church, regarding the composition of the Session and Deacons.
  4. And any other appropriate congregation business.

2016 Annual Report is available

The 2016 Annual Report is available on the literature table in the narthex.Please take only 1 copy per family.If you do not need a paper copy, please call the church office (248) 474-6170 to receive the annual report by email.The Annual Report was sent by email to those people signed up on the church email list serve.

Have you paid your 2017 per capita?

One way the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ensures that administrative costs are covered and secures giving for specific mission (disaster and hunger relief), is to assess each church a per member or “per capita” amount. Through this assessment, we share the costs of being Presbyterian and bear witness that we are not an isolated congregation, but serve with other Christians in the Reformed tradition throughout the country and world.

The Per Capita on each of our active members is $25.93. (Of that, $7.33 is for the General Assembly; $3.25 for the Synod of the Covenant; and $15.35 is for the Presbytery of Detroit.) As a church, we will be paying a total of $10,112.70. We do not require, but invite you to pay your per capita – what some refer to as “church dues”. Please send that amount for each active member in your household (ages confirmation and above) with checks payable to the First Presbyterian Church of Farmington. On the memo line write “Per Capita.”

New format for the FYI

The printed version of the FYI has a new look! The new layout is the same one used for the email version of the FYI. Creating only one version of the FYI means that we can get the newsletter distributed in a more timely fashion. If you have any suggestions or questions please speak with Laura Hedgecock or Dale Countegan.

March FYI deadline

The deadline to submit articles for the March FYI is Friday, February 17th. Please email your items to info@farmington-pres.org or bring them to the church office.

Ash Wednesday worship service on March 1

We will observe Ash Wednesday at a worship service on Wednesday, March 1st at 7:30 PM in the sanctuary. Join with others for a service of penitence and renewal as we pray, hear God’s Word, distribute ashes, and share the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

Christian Education News and Events

Souper Bowl of Caring

Sunday, Feb. 5, we will participate in the Souper Bowl of Caring, a country-wide event utilizing Super Bowl weekend to mobilize young people to fight hunger and poverty in their local communities. Our Youth will be in the Narthex before and after worship, holding soup pots to collect your donation. All donated funds will be given to Alexander’s Food Pantry and Neighborhood House to help stock their shelves.

Sunday, Feb. 5, after the Annual Meeting of the Congregation, we will gather in Knox Fellowship Hall for a light meal in celebration of God’s abiding grace and abundant gifts.

Sunday, Feb. 12, after worship, our Youth will be in the narthex with roses for Valentine’s Day. They will gratefully accept donations in support of this year’s senior high mission trip to Mexico and junior high mission trip to Sandusky, Ohio.

Sunday, Feb. 12 at 1 pm, we will depart from church for Orchestra Hall, where we will attend the Sphinx Concert that begins at 2 pm. This concert features young Black and Latino classical string players who have competed under the guidance of an internationally renowned panel of judges, and who are performing with established professional musicians. Contact Josh Archey by Feb. 5 to reserve a ticket and a car pool seat for this not-to-be-missed event!

Sunday, Feb. 26, we observe the end of the liturgical season of Epiphany and turn our hearts toward the season of Lent. After worship, we will mark this transition with a pancake brunch, hosted by our Youth and their families.

Wednesday, March 1, we will observe Ash Wednesday and usher in the Lenten season, a 40-day period of prayer and reflection during which we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of the Lord at Easter.

Tuesdays beginning March 7 at 10:00 AM Pastor Eddie will lead a Lenten study and discussion of the book Final Words From The Cross by Adam Hamilton. The books are available in the church office for $12.

Every Wednesday during Lent (beginning March 8th), we will gather in Knox Fellowship Hall from 6-7:30 pm for a light meal and Lenten experience that will deepen our relationship with God and with one another. Mark your calendars for these inter-generational, family-friendly faith-building Wednesdays!

Senior High Youth, mark your calendars for the Weekend Up North (Feb. 17-19) and for the annual Alma College Youth Mix (Mar. 3-5). Please contact Josh Archey for more information, and sign up for one or both events by Feb. 9.

Mission and Fellowship Opportunities

Help restock the shelves at Neighborhood House

The shelves of Neighborhood House are nearly empty and they need our help! Last year we were a huge help to Neighborhood House and they’re hoping we can do so again. Neighborhood House serves Farmington and Farmington Hills residents who need assistance with food, shelter and clothing to get them back on their feet. While searching for more permanent housing, many are aided by Neighborhood House in finding short term housing in hotels with a hotplate for cooking.

On February 19 & 26, we will collect personal care products: shampoo, conditioner, tooth paste, tooth brush and toilet paper.

On March 12 & 19, we will collect cleaning products: laundry soap, dish soap and paper towels.

On April 2 & 9, we will collect food items: kid-friendly cereal, pudding, fruit cups, canned ravioli, canned chicken and diapers.

If you wish to help, please leave your items in the large box in the “coffee and treats-after-church room.” Thanks for your consideration!

Congregational Concerns

2017 worship flower sign-up has dates available

Please consider giving flowers ($22 per arrangement) to enhance our worship services in memory of a loved one or to recognize a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary. More than one arrangement can be ordered for any Sunday. You can take the flowers with you after the worship service or leave them and they will be delivered to one of our homebound members. The sign-up sheet is available on the kiosk in the coffee hour area. For more information please call the church office (248) 474-6170.

Usher in the new year

Do you like to meet and greet? Like to help people? Like being able to move around? We’re looking for people who can give the congregation a hand every eight weeks, and occasional substituting, as an usher. Contact Irwin Moyna for details.

Sunday morning greeters needed

The Greeting Team provides warm welcomes and greetings to all who enter our church. We need of some volunteers for TBDs (dates we cannot provide greeters)! We believe there are fellow worshipers who will extend the hand of welcome on the TBDs if we were to ask. We are asking!! Choose an empty date on our signup sheet on the kiosk in the coffee hour area to be a “Greeter for the day”. If you would like more information or have questions, please contact Manny Sharpe.

Sunday morning coffee hour hosts needed

Are you looking for a way to contribute your time and talents to your church family? Serving coffee hour following worship may be for you. It involves making lemonade and putting treats and snacks on plates, (about 30 minutes) before church and serving refreshments for about a half hour after the service. Refreshments can be provided by you or purchased by the church. The sign-up sheet is posted on the kiosk. Blank dates can be filled in by volunteers. The goal is to serve coffee hour after every service. If you enjoy conversation, mingling, or making new friends, this is an opportunity for you, so sign up for serving coffee hour based on your availability. It also provides an opportunity to each of us to invite visitors to join us for coffee and conversation.

2017 offering envelopes available

Those who have used envelopes for 2016 will automatically receive envelopes for 2017. If you did NOT use envelopes in 2016, but DO wish to have them for 2017, please contact Jerry Scheel call the church office. If you wish to have your pledge electronically debited from your account, please call Jerry Scheel, Financial Secretary, to have the forms mailed to you.

January Session highlights

During the January Session meeting, the Session:

  • Approved the 2017 Church Budget.
  • Approved flower sales, brunches and a car wash as fundraisers for the Youth Mission Trip to Mexico this summer.
  • Approved the request of the Mission Ministry to re-stock the shelves at Neighborhood House with cleaning and paper products during February and March.
  • Approved the Souper Bowl of Caring Fundraiser on Sunday, February 5.

Kudos & thank yous

Kudos from the Worship Ministry Team to Anne Fuller and Marcia Howe, two long-time members for their decades of devoted service. Both are now enjoying a much deserved retirement from committee work – Anne for her special commitment to communion setup and service as the librarian for the Chancel Choir and Marcia for her creative work in designing banners for special worship services and for baking the communion bread. And they did so much more as dedicated volunteers committed to enhancing our worship experience. Please keep them both your prayers.

Thank you to my church family for the beautiful red poinsettia that was given to me following the Christmas holidays. It not only brightened by day but my living room too! Blessings to all in the new year. Sally Kempf

Due to an anonymous gift from a friend of First Presbyterian Church, your generosity and kindness made such a difference at Christmas time for a family in need. The bare necessities of diapers, wipes and formula (due to our WIC Program only being a “supplemental” program and not meeting daily recommended intake) were purchased through your generosity for a family very much in need. God bless all of you! With thanks, Beth Heller (CS HCS nurse)

Dear First Presbyterian Church,
The Farmington Area Goodfellows would like to thank you for your generous donation. For those in our community who are considered at-risk, the holidays can be a challenging time. Last year, thanks to support from friends like you, we helped almost 500 of our neighbors in need. These children, families and seniors received over 32,000 non-perishable food items, over 160 boxes of diapers and baby wipes, more than 1500 toys and 1500 age-appropriate books. On behalf of the Goodfellows and the hundreds of residents we supported this holiday season, thank you again for your generous donation. Richard Lerner, President and General Chairman

Dear friends at First Presbyterian Church,
Thank you so much for your generous monetary donation which was received by the Alexander Food Pantry during the month of November. Your check was immediately sent down to Gleaners in Detroit where our account has been credited for future purchases as needed. We are also extremely thankful for the large amount of groceries which you collected to support our Thanksgiving Distribution this year. May God continue to bless you and your family during 2017. With deepest appreciation, Carol J. Greening, Manager

Prayer concerns

First Presbyterian Church members: Names withheld from web-version of the newsletter.

We hold in our prayers members who are homebound, in nursing homes, and assisted living: Names withheld from web-version of the newsletter.

Those serving in the military:Names withheld from web-version of the newsletter.

Prayers for the grieving: Names withheld from web-version of the newsletter.


– Samaritan Counseling Center Lay Caregiver Series –

Supporting Children Struggling in School

Sunday, February 19, 2017 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

This workshop series is designed to support and further educate participants, providing lay caregivers with opportunities to:

  • Grow in their sense of calling, identity, and skill as caregivers
  • Deepen their knowledge and understanding of many difficult issues encountered on life’s journey
  • Gain a variety of resources to enhance their care giving

Lay Caregiver workshops continue the ongoing growth and learning of Stephen Ministers, BeFrienders, deacons, and all volunteers who provide visitation to shut-ins, hospitals, nursing homes, jails, and other settings. In fact, the workshops can enhance the growth and learning of everyone!

The workshop will be held at: Nardin Park United Methodist Church, 29887 W. Eleven Mile Road (just west of Middlebelt), Farmington Hills, MI

The cost of the workshop is $15. Please call the Samaritan Counseling Center at (248) 474-4701 for more information or to reserve your spot.

You must register by February 15th if you plan to attend!

December 2016 FYI

Headlines

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services

  • A family service at 4:30 PM with carols and stories on Saturday, December 24th
  • A candlelight service with lessons and carols at 9:00 PM on Saturday, December 24th
  • Informal worship Christmas Day, Sunday, December 25th at 10:00 AM

A Service of Healing, Wholeness and Hope

On Sunday, December 18th we will incorporate the Service of Hope into the Service of Healing and Wholeness after worship in the Sanctuary.  Not everyone is filled with joy and celebration at Christmas time. Many have lost loved ones, suffered a job loss, or find the pressures of Christmas overwhelming.  They may feel like crying instead of celebrating.  If you, a loved one, friend, or neighbor is grieving, mourning a death, suffering from illness, loss of a job, or a set-back, we invite you to worship with others in similar situations.  Even if you do not feel this way, you can comfort others by attending this service with them.  Together, may we discover God’s healing power, comforting presence, and word of hope.

Music Ministry Fundraiser

Everyone is invited to support our Music Ministry at the Music Craft/Bake sale.  It is a wonderful time to Christmas shop!  There will be handmade crafts as well as lots of homemade baked goods, candies, jellies, salsas, etc.  The fundraiser is Saturday, December 3rd from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the home of Deborah and Bill Draper, 30445 Springland Street, Farmington Hills (between Orchard Lake and Middlebelt off 11 Mile Road).  If you have questions or would like to contribute items to sell, please contact Deborah Draper at (248) 579-6053.

Presbyterian Women present “The Joys of Christmas”

Don’t miss Monday December 5th from 7:00 – 9:00 PM, for an evening of dessert, music, and laughter for the entire congregation . . . hosted by Presbyterian Women. In addition to musicians such as Jerry Custer, Mary Carson, Mary Whittmore and Carolee Caylor, PW has invited 8 small mice into the sanctuary to tell the Nativity story from a tiny—but not small—perspective. The short play, Karen Jones’ “The Mice and the Manger,” will feature Tom Neal, Sally Kirsten, Nathan Malisow, Pam Jusino, Laura Hedgecock, Jerry Howe, Irene Forbes, and Sue Carlson.

Human attendees can purchase tickets ($3.00) from the welcome center on Sunday or at the door. If you would like a ride to and from the Christmas program, contact Dave Carlson.

Annual Meeting and reports due date

Please turn in all reports to be included in the 2016 Annual Report by Wednesday, January 11, 2017.  The 2016 Annual Report will be emailed to members who have signed up through the church website.  A few hard copies will be available at the welcome center. The Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday, February 5, 2017 immediately following worship.

The deadline for articles for the January FYI is Friday, December 23rd

From the Pen of the Pastor

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!

“Advent” is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for something extraordinary arriving and the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. As we begin to prepare our hearts, our homes and ourselves for this Advent Season, I find myself barely able to hold on the faintest glimmer of hope that maybe, one day, God might turn the tables and indeed come to earth. Overwhelmed by a world where there is political unrest and injustice, poverty, hatred, and jealousy, we are encouraged to sing in these darkest of moments with renewed sense of wonder at the expectant arrival of the God of the Universe into this world by way of the Incarnation. Love that was unseen becomes visible in the here and now. Who is this God, Creator and Ruler of ALL, who would empty himself and take on flesh, coming as an infant, lowly and new and fully human, to dwell among us? (Phil2:6-8) Now, that is something to anticipate; that is something to wait for!

“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” inaugurates this Advent season. I love the intense longing expressed in this song…a longing for the presence of God-Emmanuel- into our frail humanity. Each stanza is an important prayer that should be on our Christmas wish list. Let us sing it together and let the emotion and wonder of it bathe all over us!

“O come, thou Wisdom from on high, who orderest all things mightily; to us the path of knowledge show; and teach us in her ways to go. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.” It is in the coming of true Wisdom that comes only from God that we can bring peace and understanding to all.

Remember, you and I have been gifted with a particular body and having bodies, we are invited to be incarnated spirit. We can come to learn to be aware of our bodies as holy, as home for Emmanuel-God With Us! That awareness alone can change how we live. Reflect throughout this season on how God is within you, and let the wonderful word Emmanuel come alive in your spirit as you contemplate the true meaning of Christmas.

This Advent Season, before we begin to green our homes and churches, before we lay the nativity and the baby in the manger, let’s spend some time reflecting on what we are really anticipating. Advent really is an amazing season! See you in worship!

Peace & Grace,   Pastor Eddie

Christian Education News and Events

The season of Advent, a time of anticipation and preparation for our Savior’s birth, has begun. Having just attended the Farmington Area Interfaith Association’s ecumenical Thanksgiving service with Pastor Eddie, I am again reminded of Christ’s Love and the giving Spirit that Christ gives to each of us in our hearts each and every day, but of which we are especially conscious of at this time of year.

Advent Studies:

I hope all of you can take time during the busy-ness of the season to take part in an Advent study.

Tuesday Morning Bible Study will examine The Journey, an Advent Study by UMC Minister Adam Hamilton.

Youth in grades 6 – 12 can join Josh Archey during our regular Sunday School time on December 11 and December 18 to discuss the youth edition of The Journey. (The youth edition is available to be picked up on the table in the narthex.)

CE Activities at a Glance:

Youth 

  • Sun, Dec. 4:  Communion (No Sunday School)
  • Sun, Dec. 11: Sunday school. Grades 6 – 12 will discuss Joseph, Mary, and Elizabeth from the youth edition of The Journey.
  • Sat, Dec 17: Cookie Baking and Decorating from 10 am until noon. (Adults invited too!)
  • Sun, Dec 18 during Sunday School: Grades 6 – 12 will study “From Nazareth to Bethlehem” during Sunday School
  • Sun, Dec 18 After worship: Christmas Caroling and cookie delivery.
  • Tues, Dec. 20 at 6pm.Dinner at the Archey home for Jr./Sr. highs and college students

Adults

Saturday, Dec. 10th Presbytery of Detroit Men’s Advent Breakfast @ 1st Presbyterian Northville

Wednesday, Dec. 21st   Delivery of hygiene items, hats, mittens, and scarves for the children of Calvin East Presbyterian Church’s WORD Literacy Program, Detroit, MI. Meet at church at 4 pm to carpool to the Calvin East Christmas party. RSVP to Josh Archey by Tuesday, December 13th in order to provide an accurate head count for dinner.

Thanks to your generous pledges to our church, the Mission Ministry Team is once again providing support to purchase items needed by the families in Calvin East Presbyterian Church’s WORD literacy program for their annual Christmas party and dinner. The children and youth of our church help to pack the assembled items into oversized gift bags that are then distributed at the Christmas party. Each bag contains a towel, washcloth, bottle of liquid laundry detergent, comb, shampoo, soap, hand sanitizer, and thanks to the PW, a hat, mittens, and scarf for each child. Thank you for helping make Christmas a little brighter for these families in Detroit!

Blessings throughout Advent and the Christmas season, Josh Archey, CE Director

MISSION OPPORTUNITIES

SOS Is coming to First Presbyterian January 15th – 22nd

It is hard to believe that this will be our 10th year hosting guests from South Oakland Shelter.  We have learned so many things over the years about our guests.  We have shared tears and laughter as we heard stories about their lives.  We have shared our time and our hearts as we made our church a home for a week. There is an URGENT NEED for volunteers this year because some of the leaders have had to step down. Sign-up sheets for the many volunteer opportunities are posted on the large bulletin board in the Narthex.  If you have any questions, please ask anyone listed below. Please prayerfully consider how you can help make this ministry a success.

Thank you, Chris and Emily Davis, Rick Fuller, Leslie Black, Jan Dennison, Mary Carson, Mike Gidley

Presbyterian Women holiday food drive

Second Mile Center, PW’s mission in Detroit, serves many families in need.  Presbyterian Women is coordinating a Thanksgiving and Christmas food basket drive.  There are blue collection tubs in the foyer near the coat racks.  The nonperishable items requested are 1 box elbow macaroni, 2 cans cranberry sauce, 1 large can yams, 1 box cake or brownie mix, 1 container frosting, 2 cans green beans or corn, and one box or bag of cornbread mix.  For the nonperishable items (turkey, pie, etc.), please donate gift cards from Kroger, or write a check to PW with Second Mile Center in the memo line and give to Kathy Brown, Sue Carlson or Sally Kirsten by Dec. 5. 

Hat and mitten tree

We have extended the collection date to December 18th. We will be delivering CHILDRENS’ hats, mittens, socks and underwear along with ADULT hats, gloves and scarves to Neighborhood House on December 12th.  We are also collecting hats, mittens and scarves for 18 children (ages 6-15) who are currently enrolled in the WORD Children’s Literacy Program at Calvin East Presbyterian Church. Each child will be given these at their Christmas Party on December 21st  where they will also receive a large bag of hygiene products for their whole family that has been donated by our Mission Ministry Team and wrapped by the youth of First Pres.  Please consider all these needy folks at this very cold time of year.

Thank you, Linda Clew, Presbyterian Women Vice Moderator, Justice and Peace

Fellowship Opportunities

Christmas concerts at First Presbyterian Church

Sunday, December 4 at 6:00 PM – Vox Lyrica, a women’s choral group with piano and flute accompaniment presents Heavenly Peace.  Donations accepted at the door.

Friday, December 9 at 3:00 PM – The Orchard Lake Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Norm Logan presents a one hour holiday concertThis daytime concert is designed for seniors and those who don’t like driving at night.  Tickets are $5 at the door.

Friday, December 9 at 7:30 PM – The Orchard Lake Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Norm Logan presents Sounds of the Season.  Tickets are $5 at the door.

Saturday, December 10 at 4:00 PM – Lynda Wood, soloist and First Presbyterian’s former organist Devon Hansen on piano perform Christmas Classics.  Everyone is invited and donations will be accepted at the door.

Men’s Group Activities

Presbytery Advent Communion Breakfast – Saturday, December 10, 2017, 8 am, First Presbyterian of Northville.  Speaker is John George, founder and Executive Director of Motor City Blight Busters.  See Tom Neal for Tickets, which are $15.  We will carpool from the church parking lot at 7:30 am.

Saturday, December 17, 2017 at Noon at the Greek Island Restaurant in the Farmington Hills Golf Club on 11 mile west of Halstead.  Wives and significant others are welcome.  Separate checks will be provided for you convenience.

Congregational Concerns

Poinsettia Order

Please get the following information to the church office by Dec 11, along with your payment.


Important Year-End Information Regarding Contributions

Please be aware that the last bank deposit for contributions for tax year 2016 will be Tuesday, December 27, 2016.This means contributions must be received in the church office by Monday, December 26, 2016 or in the offering plate on Saturday December 24th or Sunday, December 25th.Any monies received in the mail after these dates will not be counted or deposited until after the end of the year and will be counted as 2017 contributions.Please note these dates so that you will know in advance how to plan.

Important Information About 2017 Offering Envelopes

Those who have used envelopes for 2016 will automatically receive envelopes for 2017.  If you have NOT used envelopes this year, but DO wish to have them for next year, please do one of the following:

  • Contact Jerry Scheel
  • Contact the church office to make your request known.

Numbered envelopes facilitate the speed and accuracy of the data entry process, so we do encourage you to use envelopes if you contribute manually on a regular basis.  We also encourage the use of electronic debit.  If you wish to have your pledge electronically debited from your account, please call Jerry Scheel, Financial Secretary, to have the forms mailed to you.  If you have any questions, please contact Jerry Scheel or call the church office at (248) 474-6170.

November Session Highlights

During the November Session meeting, the Session:

  • Moved the January, 2017 Session meeting to January 11 to avoid SOS the following week.
  • Approved the placement of SOS window clings on entry doors and bathroom mirrors.
  • Received new-Pastor Eddie’s report on his top ten initiatives.

Sunday morning greeters needed

The Greeting Team provides warm welcomes and greetings to all who enter our church.  We need of some volunteers for TBDs (dates we cannot provide greeters)!  We believe there are fellow worshipers who will extend the hand of welcome on the TBDs if we were to ask. We are asking!!

Odd month TBDs– Nov27; Jan22; Mar26; May28; Jun23; Sept24

Even month TBDs– Oct 30; Feb19; Apr16; Apr 30

Choose a date on our signup sheet on the bulletin board to be a “Greeter for the day”.   Thank you, Manny Sharpe

Sunday morning coffee hour hosts needed

Are you looking for a way to contribute your time and talents to your church family?  Serving coffee hour following worship may be for you.  It involves making lemonade and putting treats and snacks on plates, (about 30 minutes) before church and serving refreshments for about a half hour after the service.  Refreshments can be provided by you or purchased by the church.  The sign-up sheet is posted on the kiosk. Blank dates can be filled in by volunteers.  The goal is to serve coffee hour after every service.  If you enjoy conversation, mingling, or making new friends, this is an opportunity for you, so sign up for serving coffee hour based on your availability.  It also provides an opportunity to each of us to invite visitors to join us for coffee and conversation.

We keep in our prayers

First Presbyterian Church members: Names withheld from web-version of the newsletter.

We hold in our prayers members who are homebound, in nursing homes, and assisted living: Names withheld from web-version of the newsletter.

Those serving in the military:Names withheld from web-version of the newsletter.

Prayers for the grieving:  Names withheld from web-version of the newsletter.

Kudos and thank yous

Kudos to the Kathy and Larry Gage and Mickey and Gordon Seiler who donated bookshelves to the Baptist Manor Gamma Building Library.  Not only did they donate three book cases but they delivered them as well.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!      Shirley Kinsey and the Gamma Building residents

Dear church family,
Thank you for all your support during this difficult time, including covering the costs for the organist and the luncheon as well as the money you gave us.  We appreciate your generosity.  Your love and support have meant so much to us following Kurt’s death.     Gratefully, Nancy and Matthew Hartung