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

November FYI

Headlines

Consecration Sunday: It’s coming on November 6th

ad-consecration-sundayJoin us for a celebration luncheon on Sunday, November 6th after worship.  This will be a catered lunch and we need to have an accurate count.  If you will attend please complete the reservation card handed out during worship or call the church office (248) 474-6170 by noon on Wednesday, November 2nd to make your reservation.  There is no cost for the luncheon so please join us as we dedicate our tithes and offerings to God.

All Saints Sunday November 6th

On Sunday, November 6, we will observe All Saints Day during worship. At the Prayer of Thanksgiving during the Sacrament of Holy Communion, we will read the names of the members of this congregation who have joined that “great cloud of witnesses” this last year. Following this reading, the congregation will be invited to name loved ones they have lost this past year.  Please bring a photo of your loved one to be placed on a display board or on a table if the photo is in a stand up frame. Join us for this special tribute to the saints during worship on November 6th.

Hanging of the Greens – Saturday, November 29

We invite family, friends, and neighbors to “Rock Around the Christmas Tree” as we decorate and celebrate in preparing the church, our hearts and lives for the Advent season.  We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, November 29th between the hours of 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM.

Brunch is scheduled for 10:30 AM followed by crafts and activities for children and youth while others complete the decorations which start at 9:00 AM.  Baby sitting will be available upon request.  Please contact Ginny Hubble with any questions or requests.

Interfaith Thanksgiving day, November 21

Join the Farmington faith community in giving thanks on November 2st at Nardin Park United Methodist Church, 29887 W. Eleven Mile Rd. (between Orchard Lake and Middlebelt roads) in Farmington Hills.  A combined choir of members from the representative congregations will sing.  If you would like to be part of the choir, meet at 6:30 p.m. at Nardin Park UMC to rehearse.  Please bring non-perishable food which will be distributed to Neighborhood Hose and St. Alexander Food Pantry.  A reception will follow the worship service.

Daylight Saving Time ends

Remember to turn your clocks back one hour before going to bed on Saturday, November 5th.  If you forget, you will be on time to attend the Adult class that meets on Sunday mornings in the church library.

The deadline for articles for the December FYI is Friday, November 18th!

From the Pastor’s Laptop
“Thankful”

One of my favorite holidays when I was growing up was Thanksgiving.  I loved watching the parades on television, the Hudson’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit, the Macy’s Parade in New York and the Mummers’ Parade in Philadelphia.  Then later in the day we would be involved in listening to or watching the Lions play their perennial rival, the Packers.  But best of all was the family dinner on my mother’s side of the family.  All my aunts and uncles and cousins and my mother’s parents would gather for a huge Thanksgiving meal.  If I close my eyes and think about it, I can still smell the wonderful aromas that were present, I can hear the conversations and the laughter… and I can still taste my grandmother’s pecan pie!  I am thankful for that time of my life, for the model that it set for me for the family that I would come to have, and for the unconditional love I experienced.

I thank God every day for the life I have been given, for the family I grew up in, and for the wonderful woman who agreed to be my wife… decades before she knew she would be the wife of a pastor.  I give thanks for our children and the families they now have.

And this year I will give a special prayer of Thanksgiving for the calling I received to ministry late in life, and for the call I received from Matt Mataya asking if I would be interested in interviewing to be your Temporary Supply Pastor.  As I have told many of you, I was happily retired and not looking for a call to a congregation.  I was happy with what I was doing, filling the pulpit in various churches when asked… helping out where I could… and not having to get up with an alarm clock!  But, God had other plans for me, and for you, for which I am most thankful.  My life has been enriched by being able to serve this congregation, and I cherish the memories and friendships I have made here.  You have accepted me with open arms and I am humbled by your kindnesses and the prayers you have lifted up for me and my family.

I have been blessed to have the wonderful support of Pam Williams who has provided invaluable assistance and made my ministry here more effective.  I am thankful for the passion Josh Archey brings to his ministry among you.  And I am thankful for the wonderful music that enriches worship here and for the talents of Dr. Jerry Custer, Shari Fiore, Carolee Caylor and all the members of the choir.  And I am thankful for all who have stepped in as liturgists, assisting in worship, as well as those who have run the sound system and the overhead.  I would be remiss if I did not thank Sharon Cressman for her diligent work as Clerk of Session and all the Session members who have been so supportive.  The truth is there are simply so many of you that have been a blessing, I can’t list all the names.  So please, all of you, know how much you are all appreciated.

The time has flown by, and now it is time for you to begin another chapter in this congregation’s life.  I have told Pastor Eddie that he has been truly blessed to be called to be 1st Presbyterian’s next Pastor.  And I truly believe that the Holy Spirit was at work through your PNC in calling him.  I know you will welcome him, as you have me, with warmth and love that is the hallmark of a true community of faith.

To quote Carol Burnette, “I’m so glad we had this time together.”

May God richly bless each one of you, forever more,
Thankfully, Pastor Keith

Christian Education Events and News

During the month of November, there are many opportunities for you to be involved in the life of our church! Some highlights are below. Please check the calendar contained in this newsletter, as well as the church website.

Youth Group

  • Sun., November 6th following worship: Parent/Youth Group Meeting:  Youth in grades 6-12 and their families are asked to participate in a brief meeting. Your feedback is needed and appreciated.  Please bring your calendars.
  • Sun., November 6, Youth Groups.  Junior Highs (5 pm) and Senior Highs (6 pm). This month, we will continue discussing Adam Hamilton’s When Christians Get It Wrong, as well as Scripture reflections on Bible passages of interest and meditations from d365.org.
  • Friday, November 18th at 7 pm:  Presbyterians and Popcorn.  Join us for our second movie night event. We will feature a family-friendly (PG) film suitable for all ages!
  • Sun., Nov 20: Youth Groups:  Junior Highs (5 pm) and Senior Highs (6 pm) will continue to meet on the 1st and 3rd Sundays, pending the result of our family engagement survey.

Adult Education:

Due to the many special occasions being celebrated in the life of our church on November 6th, 13th, and 20th, there will be no after church study series in November. Adults are invited to join us at 9 am in the church library each Sunday for a continuing discussion of The Wired Word, a “ripped from the headlines” discussion of issues of concern to Christians everywhere.

All Ages: 

Everyone is invited to join in Presbyterians and Popcorn on Fri. Nov 18 at 7 pm

All Church Advent Study: Please make plans to join us as we journey through Advent together on November 27th, December 4th, December 11th, and December 18th with an Advent study and discussion of Adam Hamilton’s The Journey across all ages (children, youth, and adults). Please join us after church for food for the body and soul on Sundays in Advent, or at the Pastor-led Tuesday morning 10 am Bible Study in Room 208/210.

Middlers attend Detroit Presbytery Youth Rally

youth-rally-2On a beautiful Fall Saturday in October, two of our Jr. Highs attended the annual Detroit Presbytery Youth Rally at the Howell Nature Center. CE director, Josh Archey chaperoned the event.  Members of our youth groups also  attended an overnight trip to Cedar Point along with members of the youth group from First Presbyterian Church of Birmingham.

Mission and Fellowship Opportunities

Trunk or Treat – Sunday, October 30th, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Calling all ghosts and goblins, members, friends, and community members of First Presbyterian Church!  After church on October 30th, join us for a spooktacular coffee hour of cider and donuts, and then help hand out treats (or tricks!) from the trunk of your car from 11:30 AM to 1 PM! Come in costume and decorate your car!

Volunteers are needed to hand out candy—please reserve the side parking lot for those cars and members and friends who are handing out candy. Candy donations are welcome—please NO NUTS—and candy should be individually wrapped. Change into your costume after church and enjoy mingling with friends! If you would like to help, please see Pat Plamondon or Josh Archey.

What to do with your leftover Halloween candy?

The Mission Ministry invites you to bring your leftover wrapped Halloween candy to church on Sunday, November 6th and place it in the box on the table in the narthex.  We will make the treats available to the voters who come to First Presbyterian Church on Tuesday, November 8th.  Thank you for your participation.

Youth collect for St. Al’s Thanksgiving baskets

The youth and their families will be collecting needed items for St. Alexander’s Thanksgiving food baskets.  Look for a donation bin at church in the coffee hour area.

This fall we have been studying the Exodus journey of the Israelites out of Egypt, and have been reminded that God provided all that His people needed, even when times seemed desperate. Let us remind our neighbors in need that God provides for them too, through our community’s generosity.

 Items Needed:  stuffing, cake mix & frosting, green beans, gravy (no glass containers please), canned peaches, instant potatoes, cranberry sauce, coffee (11 oz.) or tea, $10 Kroger Cards    

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.

 Boy Scout Christmas wreath sale

wreath-sales-2The Boy Scouts of Troop 179 will hold their annual Christmas Wreath Sale before and after worship on Sunday, November 20th.  The 12 inch wreath (typical front door size) is $25, and the slightly larger 18 inch wreath is $35.  Additionally, cedar roping is available for $25 for a 25 foot length.  Larger wreaths may be ordered.  If you are unable to be at church on November 20th, contact Lisa Hayes, and she will have a scout deliver your order.

Can you help serve Thanksgiving dinner?

Westminster Church of Detroit will serve its 35th Thanksgiving dinner to the community on November 24th, 2016.  They need servers, food prep help. greeters, carvers, transportation and delivery assistance. Contact Annette Hall at www.wcodthanksgiving@gmail.com or (313) 341-2697 ext. 314 to sign up to help.  Monday for kitchen prep, Tuesday for food prep and dining hall set up, Wednesday for food prep, turkey carvers and service set up, Thursday to serve, deliver and cleanup.  Donating an hour or more would be greatly appreciated as they are planning to feed 2000 (served 1600 last year) a dinner of thanks for all that God gives.

PW Christmas program is December 5th

“The Joys of Christmas” program is Monday, December 5 at 7:00 p.m. Presbyterian women invites everyone (women, men, youth, and guests) to an evening of dessert, music, and pageantry.  Presbyterian Players will be presenting a play, “The Mice and the Manger,” which tells the nativity story from the point of view of eight small gray residents of the stable.

Hat and mitten tree

With cold weather just around the corner, it is time for the Presbyterian Women’s Hat and Mitten Tree collection. From November 20th until December 4th, we will be collecting hats, mittens, underwear and socks (no scarves please) for needy children right here in our own community. This year we will also be collecting adult sizes of hats, scarves and gloves as their need in our area is ever present during the colder months Your new items should be placed on or below the dowel tree in the narthex. Please leave price tags on.  Thank you in advance for your generosity.        Linda Clew, PW Moderator Justice and Peace

Bookshelves needed

Shirley Kinsey and her friends at Baptist Manor, Gamma Building, are trying to revitalize the library there.  We have plenty of books but not enough shelves to put them on.  We can use one or two tall bookcases if someone could donate them.  Please call Shirley if you can help.

Congregational Concerns

Let’s roll out the welcome mat

Help us welcome Rev. Eddie and his wife, Pam, as they set up home in Farmington Hills this month.  A sheet is posted in the Narthex with rip-tabs of small things — foodstuffs, paper products, etc. — the Jusinos will need to get going in their new condo. Grab an item from the sheet and bring it back to the church before October 30th and deposit it into the drop box nearby. Questions? See Bob Van Hamme or call him at (248) 821-6319

 Music Ministry fundraiser

God has given us all talents to share.  Music is a vital part of our worship service.  In support of this ministry, I am looking for people willing to bake, make pressures, jar mixes, and all kinds of crafters for a fund raiser to be held Saturday, December 3rd at the home of Deborah and Bill Draper. For more information please contact Deborah Draper.

Congregational Concerns

October Session highlights

During the October Session meeting, the Session:

  • Approved the use of the church’s refrigerator and freezer to store cooked turkey for use at Westminster Presbyterian Church Community Thanksgiving Dinner.
  • Approved the purchase of three round, and two rectangular, plastic tables from Memorials and Tributes funds to replace broken tables in Knox Hall.

Advent candle lighters needed!!!

The Worship Committee is asking people to sign-up to be Advent candle lighters for the four Sundays of Advent:November 27, December 4, December 11, December 18, and for the 4:30 PM service on Christmas Eve, December 24th. Please sign up on the kiosk in the coffee hour area or call the church office (248) 474-6170 if you would like to participate.

A message to the women of First Pres Farmington

Would you like to become closer to a few other women in our church? Could you use some support in trying times?  Would you like to do some relaxed bible study once a month? Would you like to grow your faith in the company of friends? If so, please consider visiting one or more of our circles in September. There is no obligation and no pressure.  You can just show up at circle meetings once a month or whenever you are able to be there.

Presbyterian Women offers three daytime circles and two evening circles. Circle leaders are in parentheses.

  • ACTS (Marcia Van Hamme) meets on the Second Tuesday of each month at 9:30 a
  • BETH (Ruth France) meets on the Second Tuesday of each month at 12:15 pm
  • Deborah (Anne Fuller) meets on the Second Thursday of each month at 10:00 am
  • Phoenix (Sally Kirsten) meets on Second Tuesday of each month at 7:15 pm
  • Lydia (Kathy Brown) meets on the Third Tuesday of each month at 7:15 pm.

There are also two sewing groups that invite new members (Jan Dolan, Ginny Hubble). We invite you to join us. Call Sue Carlson or Sally Kirsten to chat about which circle might fit your needs the best.

Join the Prayer Shawl Ministry

Do you like to knit or crochet but don’t know what to do with all the items that you make?  Then join the Prayer Shawl Ministry.  The group meets on the first and third Mondays at 9:30 AM in the Parlor from September through May.  We create lovely hand-made covers and scarves that are given to anyone in need of comfort.   If you are a beginner we will help you get started.  The Prayer Shawl Ministry is also an opportunity to meet new people and socialize.  If you have questions, please contact Marcia Howe.

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.

Mark your calendars for Christmas worship services

Christmas services Saturday, December 24 at First Presbyterian Church

4:30 p.m.        Family Service with songs and stories

9:00 p.m.       Candlelight service with lessons, carols, and special music

10:00 a.m.      Sunday, December 25 casual worship and carol sing

We keep in our prayers

First Presbyterian Church members:Jan Dolan; Bill Draper; Gwen Tomkow

(Names have been withheld from the webversion of the FYI to protect members’ privacy.)

We hold in our prayers members recuperating at home.
We hold in our prayers members who are homebound, in nursing homes, and assisted living.
Those serving in the military.
We pray for the grieving.

Prayers of thanksgiving and blessings on the marriages of: Karleigh Creighton and Peter Stone and Tony and Jessica Spica. May God bless these marriages.

Kudos and thank yous

Kudos to the gardening team at First Presbyterian Church on another successful growing season.  The final produce has been picked from the church gardens.  A big thank you to everyone who helped make it a success.  We delivered over 400 pounds of fresh produce to St. Al’s Food Pantry.  Now we will winterize the garden and start planning for next year.

 

From Our Friends at Rebuilding Together:

Rebuilding Together 3rd Annual Bowl-A-Thon

Friday, November 4th  7:00 – 11:00 PM

Rebuilding Together Oakland County’s third annual bowl-a-thon is a fun event to bowl, eat, win prizes and help raise money to benefit low-income homeowners in need.

Ticket price is $25 per bowler and includes three games of bowling and shoe rental, pizza and pop

To register or for more information call (248) 363-3372.

October 2016 FYI

Headlines

Meet Our New Pastor – Rev. Eddie Jusino

Rev. Eddie Jusino was born and raised in Puerto Rico and finished his Bachelor’s degree at Oregon State University. Immediately after, he earned his MBA in International Business from the American Graduate School of International Management in Glendale, Arizona.

Eddie traveled in Europe and Latin America for Libby Glass, and then settled in Los Angeles where he worked for the State of California’s Dept. of Commerce and the Hay Management.

A time of reflection and prioritizing his life goals led Eddie to Brentwood Presbyterian Church and his mentor and friend, Dr. Rev. Charles Shields. After helping create a Singles Ministry, leading mission trips to Mexico and serving on the Long Range Planning Committee, Dr. Shields helped him see the professional ministry as his true calling.

Attending San Francisco Theological Seminary led him to serve Western Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. as Western’s first seminarian. It was here that he met his wife, Pam Bierly Jusino. In 1995, Eddie graduated from seminary, married Pam and started his first call in Des Moines, Iowa. They have served churches in Washington, D.C., Iowa, Kansas and New York.

Eddie and Pam have two children, Emmett and Charlotte, who live with their spouses in New York and Chicago, respectively.  Eddie’s first Sunday at First Presbyterian Church will be November 20th.  Please join us for worship as we welcome Pastor Eddie and Pam Jusino!

World Communion & Peacemaking Offering Sunday, October 2nd

Join with the members of First Presbyterian Church as we break bread with Christians around the world participating in World Communion Sunday.  For several years, the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. has committed itself to Peacemaking.  Our congregation has joined not only through ministries and education, but also through giving.  The theme of the 2016 Peace and Global Witness campaign is A Season of Peace.  In support of this mission, our church will receive a special Peace & Global Witness Offering during worship on Sunday, October 2nd.

All Saints Sunday is November 6th

On Sunday, November 6th, we will observe All Saints Day during worship. At the Prayer of Thanksgiving during the Sacrament of Holy Communion, we will read the names of the members of this congregation who have joined that “great cloud of witnesses” this last year.  Following this reading, the congregation will be invited to name loved ones they have lost this past year.  Please bring a photo of your loved one to be placed on a display board or on a table if the photo is in a stand up frame.   Join us for this special tribute to the saints during worship on November 6th.

The deadline for articles for the November FYI is Wednesday, October 19th!

 From the Pastor’s Laptop

A Confession

Just between you and me, I have a confession to make, stewardship has not always come easy for me.  I came from a family that gave each week, but I do not recall the level of giving ever being thoughtfully, prayerfully examined annually.

And so it was for me… for our family… as we came to that dreaded time of the year, stewardship season.  And back in the early days of our married life I can recall that a team of church officers would come knocking on our door if we had not turned in our pledge card in a timely fashion.  I even recall one year when a knock came at the door and I was REALLY rude to the people who showed up on our porch.  I so regret that day and wish I had been a better fellow Christian.

It wasn’t until I had been a member of the church years later that I finally got it.  Finally I understood that giving… stewardship… really was not about the church.  I have Rev. Dr. Mark McDonough and Rev. Kirk Miller to thank for helping me to see that stewardship was a means of expressing gratitude to God for my/our blessings.  Fortunately Mary Lou and I got it at the same time!

It came not through a hard sell campaign, not through sermons that sought to make me feel guilty, but rather through their guiding me to better understand what it meant to be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.  They helped me to understand that stewardship that is fully expressed included my time and my talent as well as anything we might give monetarily.  They helped me to understand how my life could be richer if my faith was deeper, and that I embraced stewardship as a PART of my faith journey.

I will be forever grateful to those two pastors.  My life, our lives, Mary Lou’s and mine, are far richer because we were open to the message they had for us.

My prayer for all of you is that you will be open to listening for God’s call to you for a rich full life of discipleship.
May God bless each and every one of you as you prayerfully consider what God is calling you to do in your faith journey.

See you in worship,
Pastor Keith

Christian Education News and Events

Fall Greetings, one and all! School has begun again, as have the many opportunities our church offers in this season of the year:

  • Adult Education Sunday mornings at 9 am in the church library
  • Sunday School for Grades K-5 in Room 207
  • Junior and Senior High outings and dinners
  • Tuesday morning Bible Study with Rev. Dr. Keith Provost
  • 4- and 6-week enrichment classes like Was Jesus a Democrat or a Republican? with Rev. Dr. J. Harold Ellens starting October 9 at 11:15 am

If you have an idea or suggestion for future events, please let us know!

Cider and Donuts, Trunk or Treat, and More!!! Sunday, October 30th, 11:30 am– 1:00 pm

Calling all ghosts and goblins, members, friends, and community members of First Presbyterian Church!  After church on October 30th, join us for a spooktacular coffee hour of cider and donuts, and then help hand out treats (or tricks!) from the trunk of your car from 11:30 AM to 1 PM! Come in costume and decorate your car!

Volunteers are needed to hand out candy—please reserve the side parking lot for those cars and members and friends who are handing out candy. Candy donations are welcome—please NO NUTS—and candy should be individually wrapped. Change into your costume after church and enjoy mingling with friends! If you would like to help, please see Pat Plamondon or Josh Archey.

Need help with your fall cleanup?

Do you need help raking leaves or cleaning up around your yard this fall?  The First Pres youth can help!  Get your yard cleaned up ahead of the cold weather and support the 2017 Mexico mission trip.  Contact Josh Archey Joshua.archey@farmington-pres.org to schedule your cleanup date.

Was Jesus a Democrat or a Republican?

Beginning October 9th join Rev. Dr. J. Harold Ellens for a timely discussion of where ethics and politics intersect, entitled, Was Jesus a Democrat or a Republican?  This 4 week class will explore the ethics of political operation through a Christian lens, and will meet in Room 208/210 from 11:15 until 12 noon October 9th until October 30th.

Upcoming CE Events at a Glance

  • Sat, Oct 1:  9:30 am-4:30 pm,  Junior High Youth Rally @ Howell Nature Center
  • Sun, Oct 2:  World Communion Sunday.
    • Adult Ed. in Church Library 9 am
    • Junior High Meeting and Dinner, 5 pm (RSVP by noon on Sunday to Mr. Archey: 269-312-3937)
    • Senior High Meeting and Dinner, 6 pm (RSVP by noon on Sunday to Mr. Archey: 269-312-3937)
  • Tues, Oct 4:  10 am Bible Study with Rev. Dr. Keith Provost
  • Sun, Oct 9
    • 9 am Adult Ed.
    • 10:15 am K-5 Sunday School11:15-12 noon:Was Jesus a Democrat or a Republican? with Rev. Dr. J. Harold Ellens, Room 208/210.
    • 11:15 am Inter-generational Apple Orchard Outing to Long’s Orchard in Commerce, MI. Note: This event is open to everyone!!!
  • Tues, Oct 11:  10 am, Bible Study with Rev. Dr. Keith Provost
  • Fri, Oct 14:  7-10 pm, Junior High Game Night (6th-9th/10th graders) with OLCC Pres.
  • Sat, Oct 15:  (Time TBA) Mission Matters! Leaf raking @ Church Member’s Home (Time TBA).
  • Sun, Oct 16
    • 9 am Adult Ed.,
    • 10:15 am K-5 Sunday School
    • 11:15-12 noon:Was Jesus a Democrat or a Republican? with Rev. Dr. J. Harold Ellens, Room 208/210.
    • 5 pm: Junior High Dinner/Meeting
    • 6 pm: Senior Highs Dinner/Meeting
  • Tues, Oct 18:   10 am, Bible Study with Rev. Dr. Keith Provost
  • Fri, Oct 21:  7 pm, Screening of the film, Amazing Grace (2006) for all ages.
  • Tues, Oct. 25: 10 am, Bible Study with Dr. Keith Provost
  • Sat, Oct 22:  (Time TBA) Mission Matters! Leaf Raking for a Church Member.
  • Sun, Oct 30:  
    • 9 am: Adult Ed.,
    • 10:15 am: K-5 Sunday School11:15-12 noon:Was Jesus a Democrat or a Republican? with Rev. Dr. J. Harold Ellens, Room 208/210.
    • 11:30 am to 1 pm, Trunk or Treat in Knox Hall and the church parking lot

Upcoming Events and Mission Opportunities

It’s harvest time – for the last time on Oct 2

Sunday morning October 2nd will be the last day we will collect fresh produce for St. Alexander’s Food Pantry in the bin outside of the front door of our church. If you don’t have garden produce, stop at the Farmer’s Market in downtown Farmington on Saturday to pick up some vegetables and fruit to donate.  Your contributions are appreciated to help the children and families who need assistance.  If you have any questions, contact Tom Neal.

Detroit Presbytery PW Gathering October 5

The 9:45 a.m. program in the Sanctuary features two speakers, Diane Agnew, the Hunger Action Coordinator for the Presbytery of Detroit, and Carol Hylkema of Pal Craftaid, who will speak on “Hope and Healing for Palestinians.”
There will also be a sale of Fair Trade olivewood and embroidered crafts made by Palestinian artisans.  Our PW is welcoming the PW of the Presbytery of Detroit, so please come and show them our Farmington hospitality.   Coffee and treats will be available at 9:15 a.m.  A chicken pot pie luncheon will be served about 11:45. Call Linda Clew, Sue Carlson or Sally Kirsten for more information or to help Leslie Black cook on Tues. Oct. 4 at 10:00  a.m. or to serve lunch on Oct. 5. The program is free; the lunch is $4.00 in advance.

Detroit Presbytery Mission Breakfast
October 8

Join us on Saturday, October 8 from 9:00 – 11:00 AM at Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church for the annual Mission Breakfast.  Meet and hear Ms. Veronica Muchini from Kenya, as she talks about empowering women and girls.  Also learn how our One Great Hour of Sharing dollars are being used.  The cost is $10 per person (cash or check paid at the door) or register online and use PayPal. To make your reservation email:  sandy@detroitpresbytery.org or pbydetroit.org and then click on “Mission Breakfast”.

Save the date, bring friends, to the Men’s Breakfast Oct 15

Saturday, October 15 the Men’s Monthly Saturday Breakfast at 8:00 AM in Knox Hall will include a special presentation by celebrated aviation artist/photographer Robert G. Aikins.  His work covers all phases of aviation history with over 100 paintings completed to date, including many devoted to the iconic WWII planes that helped America win the air war.  He is an Artist Member of the American Society of Aviation Artists with work exhibited at the National Navy Aviation Museum, the Henry Ford Museum and the annual “Designer’s Night” event held in conjunction with the Detroit International Auto Show. Robert is a Friend of the National Museum of the USAF, a member of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and the Yankee Air Museum.  For more information about our presenter please contact Larry Gage.

Flu shot clinic on Sunday, October 23rd

The Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) will hold a flu shot clinic after worship on Sunday, October 23rd from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM in Knox Fellowship Hall.  Flu shots are $33.  The flu mist is $35 and the pneumonia shot is $95.  The VNA accepts Medicare Part B, Blue Care Network, HAP, Priority Health Plus of Michigan, and most Blue Cross plans.  The VNA accepts cash and personal checks made payable to VNAHSS-Flu Program.  If you have any questions, please contact Donna Marvicsin.

Don’t miss the Mission Crawl on Thursday, October 27th

Mark your calendar for October 27th for a Mission Crawl.  You’ve heard of a pub crawl but we will “crawl” to three mission sites that our church supports so we can see in action how our money and time are used.  We have a 24-passenger bus that will take us to Fort St. Presbyterian Open Door, a lunch stop at Greet Dot Stables, Second Mile Center, and South Oakland Shelter.  It will be first come – first served to ride the bus and the rest of us will carpool.  Please see Sandi or Ev Randlett or Karen Linnell to sign up.

A message to the women of First Pres Farmington

Would you like to become closer to a few other women in our church? Could you use some support in trying times?  Would you like to do some relaxed bible study once a month? Would you like to grow your faith in the company of friends? If so, please consider visiting one or more of our circles in September. There is no obligation and no pressure.  You can just show up at circle meetings once a month or whenever you are able to be there.

Presbyterian Women offers three daytime circles and two evening circles. Circle leaders are in parentheses.

  • ACTS (Marcia Van Hamme) meets on the Second Tuesday of each month at 9:30 a
  • BETH (Ruth France) meets on the Second Tuesday of each month at 12:15 pm
  • Deborah (Anne Fuller) meets on the Second Thursday of each month at 10:00 am
  • Phoenix (Sally Kirsten) meets on Second Tuesday of each month at 7:15 pm
  • Lydia (Kathy Brown) meets on the Third Tuesday of each month at 7:15 pm.

There are also two sewing groups that invite new members (Jan Dolan, Ginny Hubble). We invite you to join us. Call Sue Carlson or Sally Kirsten to chat about which circle might fit your needs the best.

Join the Prayer Shawl Ministry

Do you like to knit or crochet but don’t know what to do with all of the items that you make?  Then join the Prayer Shawl Ministry.  The group meets on the first and third Mondays at 9:30 AM in the Parlor from September through May.  We create lovely hand-made covers and scarves that are given to anyone in need of comfort.   If you are a beginner we will help you get started.  The Prayer Shawl Ministry is also an opportunity to meet new people and socialize.  If you have questions please contact Marcia Howe.

Clothing drive for students in need

The Farmington Area Interfaith Association (FAIA) has come up with one solution to providing clothing for students who are in need.  Working in partnership with St. Vincent de Paul, the Farmington Public Schools will hold a clothing and shoe drive Sept 16 – Oct. 3.  We’re all encouraged to donate clothing  to St. Vincent de Paul bins located at the Lewis Schulman Administration Building (32500 Shiawassee) during these 2+ weeks. Then St. Vincent de Paul will give FPS gift cards to distribute to families in need in the district to select clothing at their thrift store in Sylvan Lake.

Another opportunity to provide clothing is the annual distribution of 10,000 pounds of clothes at the Latter Day Saints Church on 13 Mile Rd. Oct. 20-22.  Forms will be available at church for those wishing to participate.  Volunteers are needed Oct. 19-22 to help unload, display and help folks find what they need

Congregational News and Concerns

September Session Highlights

During the September Session meeting, the Session:

  • Welcomed Pastor-elect Eddie Jusino and his wife Pam for a brief question and answer period.
  • Moved Communion to the second Sunday of November, the 13th instead of the 6th, due to Consecration Sunday occurring on November 6.
  • Accepted the resignation of Elder Julie Cohen from the Session at her request due to her move to a new house.
  • Approved two fundraisers:one for the Presbyterian Preschool, and one by Deborah Draper in support of the music program of the church.
  • Approved giving Pastor Keith Provost his 30 day notice as of October 31, 2016.His last day to preach will be Sunday, November 13, 2016.

Consecration Sunday Is Coming

Congregations that approach financial stewardship from a biblical perspective do not view the money Christians give to their church merely as a way to pay its bills. Rather, such congregations see financial contributions as a way to help people grow spiritually in their relationship with God by supporting their church’s mission and ministry with a percentage of their incomes.

Our congregation’s stewardship committee has selected the New Consecration Sunday Stewardship Program as a way to teach the biblical and spiritual principles of generous giving in our stewardship education emphasis this year.

New Consecration Sunday is based on the biblical philosophy of the need of the giver to give for his or her own spiritual development, rather than on the need of the church to receive. Instead of treating people like members of a social club who should pay dues, we will treat people like followers of Jesus Christ who want to give unselfishly as an act of discipleship. New Consecration Sunday encourages people toward proportionate and systematic giving in response to the question, “What percentage of my income is God calling me to give?”

During morning worship on Consecration Sunday, we are asking our attendees and members to make their financial commitments to our church’s missionary, benevolent, and educational ministries in this community and around the world.

Every attendee and member who completes an Estimate of Giving Card does so voluntarily by attending morning worship on Consecration Sunday. We urge people to attend even if they are strongly opposed to completing a card. The procedure is done in such a way that no one feels personal embarrassment if he or she chooses not to fill out a card.

We will do no home solicitation to ask people to complete cards. During morning worship our guest leader will conduct a brief period of instruction and inspiration, climaxed by members making their commitments as a confidential act of worship.

We will encourage participation in Consecration Sunday events through the Consecration Sunday team, deacons and session members. Since we will make no follow-up visits to ask people to complete their cards, we will make every effort to inform, inspire, and commit everyone to attend Consecration Sunday worship.

Thanks in advance for your enthusiastic participation in Consecration Sunday events.

Your Consecration Sunday Team

Shepherd Calls!

The 2016 fall round of Shepherd calls will begin on Sunday, October 9, and will conclude on Sunday, October 30. The purpose of the Shepherding Program is to provide to the congregation an extended ministry that allows for personal and caring interaction between church members.  A two-way dialogue exits between the Shepherd and the Flock members to provide timely information about church activities, and to assist with the spiritual needs of the congregation.

We trust that you will welcome your Shepherd’s call, and you are encouraged to get to know your shepherd. It is a friendly call to say we at First Presbyterian care about you.
SHEPHERDS: Please plan to pick up your Shepherd Information Packet on Sunday, October 9 from the Shepherd box in the Narthex.

If you have any questions about the Shepherding Program, or are interested in becoming involved, please call           Mickey Seiler or Emma T.

Sunday morning coffee hour hosts needed

Photo credit: Creative commons.

Photo credit: Creative commons.

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.

Joys and Concerns

  (Names have been withheld from the webversion of the FYI to protect members’ privacy.)

We hold in our prayers members recuperating at home.
We hold in our prayers members who are homebound, in nursing homes, and assisted living.
Those serving in the military.
We pray for the grieving.

Kudos and thank yous

Dear friends,
Your generous gift in June of $500 to support disaster relief from the earthquake in Ecuador is a gift that clothes those who are naked with shelter, support, harmony, and peace.  For those gifts, we know they are thankful . . . and so are we.  May the peace of Christ continue to rule in your heart, and may God’s love clothe you and yours with joy.  With deepest appreciation,
The Rev. Dr. Laurie A. Kraus, Coordinator, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

June/July 2016 FYI

Headlines

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

Cave-questVacation 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,
Pastor Keith

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:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1JPYRwnV3EHuwKp6uEBTa8v3vJ-1gtBQOv-NXlSQKEXs/viewform
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!!

UPCOMING EVENTS:

EVERY SUNDAY:
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

May/June 2016 FYI Newsletter

Headlines

PW Gathering is Monday, May 16th at 7:00 PM

“There’s a Lady in the House”

Rep. Kathy Crawford will speak about the life journey that brought her to public office in her 70s in the Michigan House of Representatives. All are welcome to this inspirational and entertaining gathering sponsored by PW. Tickets for the 7:00 p.m. program and dessert are $3.  Contact Mary Larson or Ruth Vandoorne for more information.

Deacons Wellness Seminar on Sunday, May 15

We have asked Arthur Malisow, CELA, one of the top Elder Care lawyers in Michigan, to speak about aging and medical care coverage changes.  The Deacons will provide a light lunch and there will be time for questions and answers.
The cost of long-term care is growing and becoming unaffordable for many people.  Medicare covers very little long-term care and only under specific circumstances. Long-term care insurance has become prohibitively expensive and many people need to turn to government assistance programs like Medicaid and Veterans benefits. The rules for these programs are constantly changing, so retirees and those nearing retirement will want to hear what Art has to say.  He will explain the changes/new laws, and he will offer thoughts on alternative options that provide funds for aging and illness, yet help to retain one’s assets. If you have any questions, please contact Sally Kirsten or the church office.

Church spring clean-up is Saturday, May 21st

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, May 21st 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.

Wear red for Pentecost on Sunday, May 15th

Celebrate Pentecost by wearing red to worship on Sunday, May 15th.  The color red signifies the coming of the Holy Spirit to the apostles.  There will also be other surprises at church that Sunday morning!

The deadline for articles for the June/July FYI is Monday, June 6th!…

Pastor’s Pen

Meet our Temporary Supply Pastor
The Rev. Dr. Keith Provost

Keith O. Provost was born and raised in the Detroit area.  He graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor Science in Personnel Management. Subsequently he received his Master’s in Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University and an Ed.D. in Educational Administration from Wayne State University.  In 2007 he received his M.Div. from McCormick Theological Seminary. While in seminary Keith served as an intern at Littlefield Presbyterian Church in Dearborn, Michigan. He also completed his Clinical Pastoral Education at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn.

Before being called to ministry Keith worked in the private sector and served as the chief business official in a number of school districts in the Metropolitan Detroit area.

Prior to coming to First Presbyterian Church, Keith served for over four years as Temporary Supply Associate Pastor at Kirk in the Hills. His duties included Outreach and Mission, and serving as the clergy staff for the Deacons, Trustees and Stewardship Committee.  He has also served as the Temporary Pastor at Lincoln Park Presbyterian and as Parish Associate for Allen Park Presbyterian. Keith is a retired member of the Detroit Presbytery and is a member of the Committee on Ministry.

Keith was an active member of Allen Park Presbyterian Church for over 40 years prior to his ordination in December 2007. While a member he served as an Elder, Deacon, and as a Trustee serving in leadership capacities on all three boards.  Keith was elected by the congregation to serve on two pastor nominating committees.

While Keith was an undergraduate student at Wayne State University he met Mary Lou, his wife of over 43 years.  They have three grown children, Dr. Elayne Provost who lives with her family in Towson, MD, Marie Burkholder who lives in Holland, MI with her family, and Nathan who lives in Lakeland, FL with his wife.  Keith and Mary Lou have five grandchildren.

Please wear your name tag on Sunday mornings and at committee meetings to help Rev. Provost learn everyone’s name.

Christian Education News and Events

May & June Christian Education News and Events

As we continue through the season of Easter towards Pentecost, we remember Jesus’ great love for us and the opportunity we have to share that love with others! Volunteers are being sought to help with ALL ASPECTS of Christian Education, Youth Mission Blast Detroit, and VBS August 8th-12th! Please contact Josh Archey at church or via e-mail at joshua.archey@farmington-pres.org for more information or to volunteer!
Here are just a few of the ways we can share God’s love with others in the weeks ahead:

Sunday, May 15th         Deacon’s Wellness Seminar (No after church Koinonia Study planned).

Sundays, May 15th and 22nd      Junior and Senior Highs, 11:30 am, DVD series on the apostle Paul/Your Faith Questions! (2nd floor Youth Room)

Saturday, May 21st       MANDATORY Presbyterian Youth Triennium Meeting, 10 am-12 noon, Covenant Presbyterian Church, 21575 W. 10 Mile Rd, Southfield, MI 48075.

Saturday, May 21st            Youth Fun and Games Night, 5-7 pm —Picnic and Games in Shiawassee Park. Rain Location: 1st Presbyterian Church of Farmington.

UPCOMING:
June 12th                      
CE / Graduate Recognition and Mission Trip Commissioning

June 25th-July 2nd         Senior High Mission Trip to Kentucky

June 26th-July 2nd         Youth Mission Blast Detroit (Junior Highs)—Please see Josh Archey to sign up or to volunteer!

Volunteers needed!!

July 19th-23rd                Presbyterian Youth Triennium @ Purdue University (Senior Highs—See Josh Archey if interested!)

August 8th-12th             Vacation Bible School @ Hope Lutheran Church

            SAVE THE DATE! Vacation Bible School (VBS) 2016 is coming August 8th-12th! This year’s VBS is being hosted by our friends at Hope Lutheran Church (near the corner of Halsted and 12 Mile Road), and the theme is Cave Quest: Following Jesus, the Light of the World! VBS will run Monday through Friday from 9 am to 12:30 pm. Please contact Josh Archey if you are interested in volunteering, registering your child or grandchild, or for further information!

Enjoy a delicious meal and support our programs:

Adult Volunteers are needed for

Youth Mission Blast Detroit, June 26th-July 2nd.
Please contact Josh Archey if you can help chaperone one or more days at 248-474-6170 or joshua.archey@farmington-pres.org. We will be staying at Fort Street Presbyterian Church, and volunteering with Motor City Blight Busters. Thank you!!

VBS (Vacation Bible School), August 8th-12th, 9 am-12:30 pm. All activities are pre-planned and all materials are provided!! Still needed are: a Science Station Leader, Video Station Leader, and a Snack Station Leader. Contact Josh Archey at First Presbyterian or Katy Golden at Hope Lutheran if you can help. Thank you!!

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!

Christian Education needs you!!!  Please volunteer

Chaperones for Youth Mission Blast Detroit (June 26th-July 1st 2016, similar in 2017)
1 Female and 1 Male to accompany Junior Highs on a week of mission work in Detroit. Overnight accommodations in a Detroit area church. Week begins Sunday evening, and ends with Detroit Tigers game and fireworks Friday night. Volunteers may also serve on a daily or nightly basis.

Chaperones for Overnight Lock-Ins at Church with Junior and Senior Highs
1 Female and 1 Male needed to chaperone overnight lock-ins in the Fall and Spring on a Friday or Saturday night.

Lead Sunday School Teacher (one month commitment, not including Communion Sundays)
Using the curriculum, lesson plans, suggested activities, and supplies (all provided in advance), help ensure the fun and learning of our K-5/6 children while making sure that everyone stays safe. Help lead and guide the Bible story reading, discussions, and games. Time: 10:15-11 am approximately.

Assistant Sunday School Teacher (one month commitment, not including Communion Sundays)
Assist the Lead Sunday School Teacher in teaching and doing activities as provided by the curriculum, lesson plans, activities, and supplies (all provided in advance). Help ensure the children have fun while learning and staying safe. 10:15-11 am approximately.

Nursery Substitutes (select Sundays, when paid nursery staff is on vacation)
Help to staff the nursery on Sunday mornings when regular nursery staff are unavailable. Help provide for the safety and well-being of our youngest Presbyterians, making sure parents/guardians sign their child(ren) in and out. 9:45 am to 11:15 am approximately. 2 adults (or 1 adult/ one teen) should be present at all times.

Senior High Small Group Leader (Educational, Mission, and Fun Activities)
Help lead senior highs in weekly educational (2x per month), mission (1x per month), and fun (1x  per month) activities using the provided curriculum resources and calendar of events, taking into account the wishes of the senior high youth/ youth leaders whenever possible and practical. Ensure a safe and fun learning environment for all. Commitment can be to one or more events.

Senior High Small Group Assistant
Assist the Senior High Group Leader in ensuring a safe and fun learning environment for all senior high youth, whether on mission outreach, fun outings, or educational opportunities throughout the year. Commitment can be to one or more events.

Junior High (Middler) Small Group Leader
Help lead Junior Highs/Middlers in weekly educational (2x per month), mission (1x per month), and fun (1x  per month) activities using the provided curriculum resources and calendar of events, taking into account the wishes of the senior high youth/ youth leaders whenever possible and practical. Ensure a safe and fun learning environment for all. Commitment can be to one or more events.

Junior High (Middler) Small Group Assistant
Assist the Middler Group Leader in ensuring a safe and fun environment for all youth whether on mission outreach, fun outings, or educational opportunities. Commitment can be to one or more events.

Adult Education Leader 9-9:45 am
Help lead and guide the weekly discussion of current events in a Christian, Biblical context. This small but loyal group of 6-10 members and friends meets weekly in the 2nd floor church library from 9-9:45 am. Commitment can be for one or more months, and class members are welcomed to lead or co-lead as well.

Adult Education Leader 11:30 am-12:30 pm (Koinonia Study)
Suggest topics of interest and relevance to the congregation, members, and friends and lead an in-depth discussion in a Christian context. Previous studies included: the Lord’s Prayer, Forgiveness, Justice: What is the Right Thing to Do?, Psalms and Hymns, and more. Classes meet in the 2nd floor classrooms or the church parlor. Commitment is for a 4 to 6 week program.

Upcoming Events and Mission Opportunities

Volunteer drivers needed

The Deacons are looking for a few people willing to provide rides to church for our members who cannot drive themselves.  Our church has a number of members who cannot drive because of health issues (both temporary and/or on-going), or who no longer have transportation of their own.
The Deacons wish to develop a list of volunteers when there is a request for a ride to Sunday services. This might be something a volunteer offers to do weekly, one Sunday a month, or on an as needed basis.  Please call Sally Kirsten  or the church office to volunteer your services or to get more information.  We will make every effort to have this be an easy task— picking up someone close by, and when you are able.

Time for the spring Shepherd calls

The shepherd packets are available for pick up on the literature table in the Narthex.  Shepherd calls begin May 8th and will be made for the next two weeks. If you have any questions, please contact Irene Sharpe.

The Great Tomato Give Away arrives May 22nd

The Great Tomato Give Away is one way of making the people in our church aware of the hunger needs in our community. The churches in the Presbytery sign up in April or early May to participate in this project. On May 21st, our church will receive 48 free tomato plants. On Sunday, May 22nd, we will distribute the tomato plants to the Sunday school children or anyone else in the church that wants them to plant at home. When the tomatoes ripen in August and September we recommend they be brought back to the church and distributed to St. Alexander’s Food Pantry, our local food bank. Along with the tomatoes, other vegetables are collected from our gardeners and from church members who purchase vegetables at local farm markets.  If you like to garden/water plants, our church garden could use your help. See Tom Neal for more information.

News from your Mission and Outreach Committee

Hillside Elementary
It’s happening!  Our partnership with Hillside Elementary School is almost ready to get off the ground!   In April, four of us (Prill Brouillette, Laura Hedgecock, Rick Fuller and Karen Linnell) spent a wonderful afternoon with Pamela Green, principal of Hillside.  We all thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the school, the teachers and the students in their nurturing culture!  Ideas in which we could participate enthusiastically poured out of Pam.
We’ve had a terrific response from our church members who want to volunteer at the school in a variety of capacities.  Right now we’re working on the logistics of turning this great idea into a reality.  Laura Hedgecock and Ann Collins-Carey are developing a data base to match volunteers with needs and times providing connectivity with each other and with Hillside.  So please stay tuned, complete your background check form, ask us questions, and think of all the ways you could help these enthusiastic students.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance   (PDA)
Thanks to everyone who contributed to One Great Hour of Sharing, we were able to send over $2500 to PDA, earmarked for the Flint Water Crisis.  And now our help is needed again as a result of the earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador.  Jen Sharpe, Manny and Irene’s daughter, works for the DEA in Ecuador and reports that the devastation is horrific.   PDA is working to respond to this crisis, providing support to those suffering in the aftermath. As their immediate response takes shape, PDA is also preparing for long-term support for both Ecuador and Japan. Long after the initial wave of relief recedes, PDA will remain to accompany the people of Ecuador and Japan as they rebuild their lives, walking the road out of this chaos with hope.

Rebuilding Together and Crop Walk
These two activities took place April 29 and May 1.  Tom Neal made a report to the congregation on Sunday, May 8 about the success of the Rebuilding Together project.  Eighteen church members made needed repairs inside and outside a home in our own community through RTOC.  The weather was perfect for the annual Farmington Crop Walk for the walkers and their supporters (i.e., pledgers).  Thank you to everyone who supported these two projects.

Rebuilding-together-2016Eighteen members from First Presbyterian Church volunteered at the Rebuilding Together home in Farmington Hills on Saturday, April 30th. They included (front row) Yoko Trapp, Karen Cowen, Emily Davis, Mickey Seiler, Cathy Neal,(back row) Bob Cowen, Tom Brown, Kathy Brown, Rick Fuller, Larry Gage, the homeowner, Ron Prieskorn, Jim Hubble, Jerry Scheel, Gordon Seiler, and Tom Neal.  Not pictured are Chris Davis, Jerry Howe and Bill Vincent.

Congregational News and Concerns

April Session Meeting Highlights

The Session took the following actions at its April 20, 2016 meeting:

  • Received by Profession of Faith: Names withheld from web version
  • Received by Baptism upon Profession of Faith: Name withheld from web version
  • Approved the hiring of Rev. Keith Provost as Temporary Supply Pastor.
    • Rev. Provost will not be eligible for our permanent Installed Pastor position.
    • This position can be ended by the Session, or by Rev. Provost, with one month’s notice to allow flexibility in the timing of the calling of our new Installed Pastor.
  • Called a Congregational Meeting for Sunday, May 1st, after worship for the purpose of electing Elders and Deacons, and to elect congregational representatives to the Nominating and Financial Review Committees.

Carefully considered where God is leading as we discussed the Mission Self Study

Donations needed for church grounds

The church grounds maintenance group is seeking financial donations to buy mulch for the parking lot islands and church grounds. If you would like to make a contribution, please write” mulch” on the memo line of your check or on the outside of the pew envelope, and place your donations in the offering plate.  Any amount will be greatly appreciated and put to good use!

Church officers ordained and installed Sunday, May 15

A service of Ordination and Installation for Elders and Deacons in the class of 2019 will be held during the worship service on Sunday, May 15 at 10:00 AM.

Joint Deacon/Session Meeting Wednesday, May 18

There will be a joint meeting of Elders and Deacons on Wednesday, May 18 at 7:00 PM in Knox Hall.  We will have dessert and honor the outgoing Deacons and Elders and welcome those serving in the class of 2019.

Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) update

Your PNC continues its work of finding the person who God has identified as our next called Pastor.  We are meeting twice a week doing phone interviews with candidates we culled from an extensive pool.  These phone interviews should be completed next week.  The next step will be Skype interviews with candidates that we moved forward from the last round.  We ask for your prayers and God’s guidance.

Join us for Music Recognition Sunday May 22

On Sunday, May 22nd during the 10:00 AM worship service we will recognize the outstanding music program at First Presbyterian Church.  Help us thank our chancel choir, hand bell ringers, instrumentalists, organist and Music Director for their leadership during worship throughout the year.

CE Recognition and Graduation Sunday is June 12

Join us on Sunday, June 12 as we recognize and thank the volunteers and staff who make the Christian Education Program at First Presbyterian Church a success.  If you would like to be a part of this important ministry, read the article on Page 4.

Sr. High and Middler Mission Trip Commissioning on Sunday, June 12

Join us on Sunday, June 12th during the 10:00 AM worship service as we commission and bless the young people of this congregation as they go out and serve others.  The Sr. Highs will be traveling to work for a week in eastern Kentucky.  Middlers will be participating in the Detroit Presbytery Youth Mission Blast working for a week with the Motor City Blight Busters and staying at Fort Street Presbyterian Church.

Kudos and thank yous

To my church family,
Thank you for the lovely azalea plant which was delivered to me here at Waltonwood.  I am still enjoying it’s beautiful blooms.  You are a blessing to me and I look forward to the times I can attend worship services.
In Christ’s Love, Neva Sutton

Dear friends,
Thank you for your donation of toiletries on April 15, 2016.  Donations like yours help South Oakland Shelter meet the basic needs of individuals and families in crisis.  On behalf of our shelter guests and clients who benefit from your kindness, we want to express our sincere appreciation for your kindness and generosity towards others in need.
Sincerely, Ryan Hertz, President and CEO, South Oakland Shelter

Dear First Presbyterian Church,
Thank you so much for your generous gift of $1000 to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan located in Flint, MI.  Your donation will play a part in providing meals to those who are struggling to put food on the table – restoring confidence and dignity as they help support themselves and their families.  In fact, 98% of every dollar is allocated towards services that help feed the community.
Sincerely, William E. Kerr, President

We Keep in Our Prayers

Members and friends: Names withheld from web version

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: Sgt. David Beaver, Fort Hood, TX; Patryk Piontek, U.S. Marines; Pvt. Tim Rogers, Fort Bragg, NC.

Prayers for the grieving:  Names withheld from web version

Please join us for a fun-filled day at Tanglewood Golf Course in South Lyon, MI for 18 holes of golf with a scramble start.  The day includes lunch, steak dinner, raffle prizes and awards.  Last year the foursome from First Presbyterian Church (Dave Carson, Rick Fuller, Jerry Howe, Phil Maus) took first place !!!  The cost per golfer is $130 and dinner guests only are $30 per person.  Brochures for the event will be available at the Welcome Center.  If you have questions or need further information please contact Samaritan Counseling Center (248) 474-4701 or online at samaritancounselingmichigan.com