Potluck dinner and concert in Heritage Park
This is an event of faith, family, fun and fellowship. On Thursday, July 21st enjoy a pot luck dinner at 5:30 PM in Knox Fellowship Hall with our church family, friends and neighbors. We have extended a special invitation to Little Flock, a congregation that shares our building and our faith, to join us. After dinner, we will enjoy the “The Indian Musical Extravaganza Concert” at Heritage Park. Bring a favorite dish to pass; dessert, dishes and drinks will be provided. Dress casual and bring a lawn chair or blanket for the concert in the park. Please call Ginny Hubble with any questions or if you would like a ride.
VBS is August 8th – August 12th
Vacation Bible School with our partner church, Hope Lutheran Church, is coming august 8th through August 12th from 9:00 AM until 12:30 PM each day. There will be a new format for VBS this year. Our theme is Cave Quest: following Jesus, the Light of the World. Gear up for an over-the-top underground adventure! Kids will be grounded in the rock-solid foundation of God’s love, a love that takes us through life’s dark times. Each day will be spent spelunking through field-tested activity stations with their cave crews. Every station is designed to reinforce the daily Bible point in a hands on, interactive way that keeps everyone engaged.
If you have children or grandchildren entering grades K-5, or know someone who does, VBS sign-up is now available online at
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeTHottROQdU3JSWN5FIR_Ecc_-DDOCnJZPE10jRPergbCFQw/viewform or register in person at Hope Lutheran Church (12 Mile and Haggerty roads). The cost is $20 per child, or $45 per family. Please contact Josh Archey if you are interested in volunteering to help with all or part of this new and exciting VBS program.
Save the date for Fall Fest – Sunday, September 11th
Mark your calendars for a very special Fall Fest on Sunday, September 11th after worship. We will be celebrating 50 years of Boy Scouts at First Presbyterian Church as well as the kick off for the 2016-2017 Christian Education Program. Join us in worship as we recognize Troop 179.
The deadline for articles for the September FYI is Wednesday, August 17th!
From the Pastor’s Laptop
Listening for God’s call
The call to serve God can come at any time, at any place. The Bible is full of stories of people chosen by God for service who have been reluctant to answer the call… uncertain of their worthiness.
So it has been in my life. When I was an undergraduate my closest friend talked to me about his considering changing majors and going into education. We were both business majors at the time. I asked him, “Why would you want to do that? You can make a better living in the private sector.”
Years later our career paths found him as the Vice President of an insurance company. I was an Assistant Superintendent for a public school district. Something of an ironic twist with my finding my way into education after wondering what he was thinking! I eventually came to see my time in education as a calling to use the gifts God had given me.
During that time I was in education another friend and I had a conversation about the future. He was a lawyer and was thinking of going to seminary. Again I asked, “Why would you want to do that?”
Years later he was (and still is) a judge, and I ended up in seminary!
My journey to ministry started as a desire to learn more about our faith. I have described it as a gentle tug on my sleeve that turned into God’s arm wrapped around me, leading me to ordination. It was as if God was whispering in my ear, “I have something I want YOU to do. Come with me.”
By the time I was ordained I was 60! While others my age were getting to retire, I was starting a new career! As one of my friends said during my ordination service, “I never saw this day coming!”
Four years ago I retired, yet here I am again, called by God to serve as your Temporary Supply Pastor. I never saw it coming! And I am so grateful for this call.
The story simply is this, always be attentive to that still small voice … It just might be God calling you to service. And I can tell you from personal experience, your life will be richer for answering the call. I am so privileged to be here
Have a blessed and safe summer.
See you in church,
P.S. Thank you for wearing your name tags and continue to do so to help me and visitors to First Presbyterian Church learn your names.
Christian Education News and Events
July / August 2016 Events
Summer is upon us– a time of relaxation, fun in the sun, and busy-ness?? Yes, it’s true, the work of the Church of Jesus Christ is never complete, and this summer is no exception. Summer Sunday School continues during the 9 AM hour in the 2nd floor library (Adults) and following the Time with Children for children in Grades K-5, in Room 207. Mission trips to Kentucky and a week of mission work in Detroit have been completed by our junior and senior highs. Presbyterian Youth Triennium @ Purdue University, where 5,000 Presbyterian 9th-12th graders and their adult chaperones gather once every three years, is right around the corner, July 19th-23rd. Finally, Vacation Bible School (VBS) with our partner church, Hope Lutheran Church, is coming up August 8th-12th from 9 am to 12:30 pm!
If you have children or grandchildren entering Grades K-5, or know someone who does, VBS sign up for Cave Quest: Jesus is the Light of the World is now available online at:
Or, register in person at Hope Lutheran Church (12 Mile and Haggerty). The cost is $20 per child, or $45 per family. VBS will run August 8th-12th from 9 am until 12:30 pm.
Please see Josh Archey if you are interested in volunteering for all or part of VBS, or if you are able to help with Sunday School or the nursery! Volunteers are ALWAYS needed! Thank you!!
9 am Adult Ed. Hour (2nd floor Library),
10:15 am Sunday School (Room 207)
- Saturday, July 16th, 5-8 pm Go Karts and Mini Golf @ G-G’s Fun Center, (Grand River, just east of Orchard Lake Rd)
- July 19th -23rd Presbyterian Youth Triennium @ Purdue University
- August 8th -12th, 9 am-12:30 pm, Vacation Bible School @ Hope Lutheran Church
- Saturday, August 13th 7 pm-10 pm Movie and Video Game Night @ Church
General Assembly 2016: What you need to know?
From June 18th-22nd, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend portions of our national church gathering, the General Assembly, or GA, of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Conversations centered on showing kindness, love, and understanding toward all, rather than just tolerating others. Forgetting the numbers, and the money, for a minute, we were asked to consider: Is it vital? Are people getting fed on a deeper, spiritual level?
A new initiative of the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) is called Vital Congregations. Vital Congregations calls us to meet people where they are, to emphasize small groups and sermons that cause us to think deeply about the things that matter most to us. We are called to invite, not just to welcome, friends old and new into our midst. Where we disagree, Christian love is more important than being right. We should seek to be “boldly gracious.” What is God calling us to be? Instead of grieving our shrinking membership, could God be calling us into a new way of doing? Of being?
The 222nd General Assembly of the PC(USA) wrestled with and made many important decisions. An overview of those decisions may be found at: http://oga.pcusa.org/section/ga/222nd-general-assembly-2016/ganews/.
I would like to offer to our church that we consider using the PC(USA)’s Engage curriculum to help us reach out more intentionally in our community. Our church does many wonderful things, but how much of what we do is known in the wider community? Everyone in Farmington Hills should know that we are Christians by our love! This is my hope and my prayer.
In Christ’s Love, Joshua Archey
Meet our high school graduates . . .
Eva C. is a graduate of Farmington High School. This past year Eva has been studying in Germany and will return home in July. She is a Girl Scout and a member of the Sr. High Youth Group. Eva will be attending the University of Michigan in the fall and plans to major in Environmental Science. Eva is the daughter of Ann and Bill Collins-Carey.
Cameron C. is a graduate of North Farmington High School where he played baseball, was a member of the Diversity Group, Pay It Forward, and Youth Dialogues at the University of Michigan. He will attend Olivet College in Olivet, MI this fall and pursue a degree in Special Education. Cameron is the son of Doug and Kristin Creighton and the grandson of Gladys Creighton.
. . . And our college grads
Katie Creighton, graduated from Davenport University in Grand Rapids with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. She is employed by Beaumont Hospital at the Botsford Campus.
Daniel Cressman, graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is employed at the Toyota Technical Center in Saline, MI as an Interior Design Engineer.
Nate Hedgecock, will graduate from Hope College in July with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. Nate will be pursuing a career in new product development. .
Jennifer Ramsey, graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. She is employed by Munson Hospital in Traverse City, MI.
Leslie Van Hamme, graduated from Alma College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. She is working at the Farmington Community Library on Twelve Mile Road.
Emma Vincent, graduated magna cum laude from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Disorders. She will begin her Master of Science degree in Speech Pathology at Bowling Green University in the fall.
Liam Vincent, graduated from North Carolina State University with a Master of Science degree in Crop Science. He is employed by North Carolina State University and will be married to Amy in June.
Time to re-enroll your Kroger card
Over five years ago we enrolled in the Kroger Community rewards program. Since that time we have received more than $2500 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 during April so that we continue to earn rewards during the coming year.
It’s easy to enroll/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!
Upcoming Events and Mission Opportunities
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!
The Fellowship Committee will host an ice cream social after worship on Sunday, August 14th in Knox Fellowship Hall. If you would like to with this event, please contact Ginny Hubble at (248) 804-2228. Mark your calendars so you won’t miss this sweet, summer treat!
Second Mile Center will host annual health fair
Monday, July 18, 2016. From 1 pm to 8 pm Second Mile Center will again host one of Detroit Presbytery’s annual health fairs. Volunteers are needed for early afternoon (1-4) and / or late afternoon (4-8). No experience or training is needed. Opportunities exist for helpers with games, food, activities, and basic health screening. Last year we had nine volunteers from First Presbyterian Church of Farmington and provided 46 hygiene kits. Please let Ginny Hubble (SMC board member) know of your availability. Ride sharing may be available. Donations of hygiene kits are also welcome.
Gathering fresh produce for a local food pantry
Beginning Sunday, August 7th, you can bring in fresh produce from your garden or one of the local farmers markets on Sunday mornings. Place your contributions in the bin at the entrance to church. Each week we add vegetables from our garden on the hill and deliver the produce (after weighing it) to St. Alexander’s Food Pantry on Monday or Tuesday. If you have any questions, please see Tom or Cathy Neal. Your participation is greatly appreciated.
News from your Mission and Outreach Committee
Back to School Already?
It’s already time to think about getting ready to go back to school! Huh? It seems like just yesterday that school got out, graduation was held, and kids started summer activities, didn’t it? No, you don’t have to check your calendar. We’re just trying to get a jump start on helping Operation Common Good with school supplies for homeless kids in the Farmington Public Schools.
Our church would like to once again help with the back-to-school effort to make sure these kids have the school supplies needed for their grade and classroom. On Sunday July 31 and August 7, we invite you to contribute by either writing a check (with Operation Common Good [OCG] in the memo line) or putting cash in a pew envelope marked OCG. The two homeless coordinators for Farmington Public Schools will buy the school supplies based on each teacher’s supply list.
At the end of the school year there were 142 homeless FPS students (the definition of homeless is those without a permanent address, perhaps living in a hotel or car or staying with friends or relatives). Operation Common Good was started several years ago by students who wanted to make sure their classmates had school supplies and clothing. It is now a 501(c)(3) run by Farmington Public Schools.
It is our privilege to assist in this effort. Last year our generous congregation gave $793!
Mission & Outreach Ministry Committee
Hillside Elementary School
Nine volunteers from our church helped out at the annual Hillside Elementary School carnival in June filling bags with popcorn, scooping sno cones, swirling cotton candy, running games, directing car parking and doing whatever job needed to be done. Alas, no one volunteered to wear the Huskie mascot costume which, given the weather, was just as well.
We encourage you to think how you might like to help out at Hillside when school starts again in September. Maybe you’d like to work in the media center, shelving books or helping the students find the book they are looking for. Perhaps you’d like to tutor in math or reading—ask Sally Kirsten or Richard Spurgeon who tutored this spring. What about greeting students as they come in in the morning or leave in the afternoon? In late fall, we’ll begin “interest activities” during the lunch hour so please imagine what you might like to share with these kids.
If you don’t have your FPS badge yet, please complete the background check form (at the Welcome Center or see Prill Brioullette or Karen Linnell) and give it to one of us for processing. The students, parents and teachers are so pleased with our help, so come join the partnership.
Congregational News and Concerns
June Session Meeting Highlights
During the June Session meeting, the Session took the following actions:
- Approved the use of the remaining Performing Arts Funds for guest musicians in Worship.
- Approved the invitation to the congregation to contribute to Farmington Public Schools Operation Common Good to provide school supplies to homeless students.
- Approved a “Mission Crawl” in October, the month of Mission, to visit sites of some of the missions to whom we contribute.
Time and talents
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.
Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) update
Your PNC continues its work. We have completed our phone interviews with the prospective candidates that were chosen from many applicants. We have trimmed those down and now progress to holding Skype interviews with those who we identified as our next possible pastor. From there we hope to be down to a few candidates and will be having more personal contact with them in the hope of calling the person that God has identified for us. We ask for your continued prayers as we continue this challenging task.
Meet the newest residents at First Presbyterian Church
This spring, a female Northern Flicker Woodpecker made a home in the dead tree near the church garden. The gardeners noticed that there were two other holes the exact same size in the tree (probably from previous years). These photos were taken by Lew Cantor as he captured the mother feeding her baby (left) and the three babies peeking out from their nest as their mother called to them from her position on the flagpole (right). Will there be a fourth nest in 2017? Stay tuned!
We Keep in Our Prayers
We hold in our prayers members who are homebound, in nursing homes, and assisted living: Names withheld from web version
Those serving in the military: Names withheld from web version
Prayers for the grieving:Names withheld from web version
Kudos and thank yous
Kudos to Sharon Cressman (left) who received the Lifetime Presbyterian Women award and pin on Gifts of Women Sunday, April 3, 2016. Sharon was recognized for her work with the church recycling program, working with Carolyn Forbes to help First Presbyterian Church become an Earth Care congregation, her work in the church gardens, serving as the Clerk of Session, membership in the Presbyterian Women and Acts Circle, leader of the JOY Study Group, and supportive parent of the Middler and Sr. High Youth groups. Thank you Sharon for all you do to support First Presbyterian Church.
Kudos to Jan Dolan who received the Nancy Bates Distinguished Public Servant Award on May 9, 2016 from the Farmington Hills City Council. Jan was recognized for her outstanding volunteer efforts in the Farmington communities. City officials said that all of the honorees “represent the spirit of volunteerism and have given countless hours of their time to programs and initiatives that enhance the quality of life in Farmington and Farmington Hills.”
To my church family,
I would like to thank all for the outpouring of support I received after my stroke. The cards from many of you and the rides to medical appointments and Tuesday breakfasts provided by members of the Men’s Group were greatly appreciated. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful church family. Gratefully, Bill Kinney
Thank you, thank you, thank you to all our green thumbs, mulch spreaders, tree trimmers, gutter cleaners, sweepers, and picnic table repairers who did a fantastic job of beautifying our church grounds on Saturday, May 21st. A special thank you to the McKinnon’s who continue to maintain the beautiful Biblical Garden for the past 20 years since their daughter Heather earned her Gold Award for the planning and execution of the garden. It will be incorporated into the Cope Memorial Garden expansion being planned.
Alvine Cooper and the Property Committee
Dear First Presbyterian Church members,
Thank you for your donation of $100 towards the T-shirts that were given to the walkers in the Farmington Area CROP Walk that raised funds for Church World Service and five local hunger-fighting agencies. On Sunday, May 1st, 258 walkers raised over $29,600 in pledges. Thank you again for your generosity and continued support. We have made a difference. Earl Hagen, Farmington Area CROP Walk Arrangements Coordinator
Dear First Presbyterian Church,
Thank you for your donation of $250 to the South Oakland shelter mattress fund! Your gift enables us to fulfill our mission of ending homelessness by providing a comfortable place for homeless individuals and families to stay while they look for a new home. On behalf of our shelter guests and clients who benefit from your generosity, we want to express our sincere appreciation for your commitment to helping others in need. Thank you again for your generous support! Sincerely, Ryan Hertz, President and CEO, South Oakland Shelter