Feb 012018
 

Headlines

Ash Wednesday, Holy Week services and Easter worship

February 14 @ 7:30p.m.       Ash Wednesday Taize Worship service
March 29 @ 7:00 p.m.        Maundy Thursday  Holy Communion and Tennebrae service in the sanctuary
March 30 @ 12:00 Noon       Good Friday Ecumenical service; location to be announced
April 1 @ 10:00 a.m.               Easter Worship The Resurrection of Our Lord and Holy Communion    Brunch after service
April 1 @ 7:00 p.m.                 Easter Evening Worship Evening service and Holy Communion
April 2                                      Easter Monday   Church office and building closed

 Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services

We will join together for a Maundy Thursday service in the sanctuary on Thursday, March 29 at 7:00 p.m.  There will be song, prayer, scripture, and a meditation as we remember the arrest of Jesus and the desertion by the disciples.   We will also partake of the Lord’s Supper through intinction.  Plan to attend this meaningful service that leads us toward the celebration of Easter.

The Farmington Area Interfaith Association will hold an ecumenical Good Friday Service on Friday, March 30 at 12:00 noon at a church to be determined.  Watch the Sunday bulletins for updates.  A combined choir from participating churches will sing.  If you would like to be a part of the choir, please meet at the host church at 11:00 a.m. to rehearse.

One Great Hour of Sharing

One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) donations support ministries for disaster response, refugee assistance and resettlement, and community development that help people in our country and throughout the world find safe refuge, start new lives, and work together to strengthen their families and communities.

The OGHS offering will be received on Palm Sunday, March 29 and Easter Sunday, April 1.  Please use the designated envelope in your offering envelopes box or in the pew racks, or simply write OGHS on the memo line of your check.

Join us for Easter brunch

A buffet brunch will be served following the 10:00 a.m. worship service and everyone is invited!  Brunch will consist of egg casseroles, pancakes, sausage and fruit. There will also be an Easter egg hunt for children and youth after 11:15 a.m.  If you can help with set-up or clean-up, please contact Eddie Matteson.  Join us for this family-focused Easter celebration.

Annual Meeting is February 4

The Session has called the Annual Congregational Meeting for Sunday, February 4, 2018, 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 approve the pastor’s terms of the call.
  4. And any other appropriate congregation business.

The Annual Meeting will be Per Capita Sunday, the day when all members turn in their per capita payment of $26 per member, sometimes referred to as church dues. TA few hard copies of the 2017 Annual Report are available at the Welcome Center.  You can read it at https://farmington-pres.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Annual-Report-2017-eblast.pdf.

Reminder:  Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 11!

FYI Deadlines:

Wednesday, February 21 for the March FYI
Wednesday, March 21 for the April/May FYI

From Pastor Eddie

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 have rather not 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 the 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 a new beginning. While the year is still 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, Middle East peace process derailed, threats of nuclear confrontation at its highest level, addiction and recovery, divorce, 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 four weeks, we will be entering the spiritual “wilderness” of Lent. It is not a season for easy tasks. We are intensely aware of the encroaching darkness in our world. Lent affords us the chance to do something like a spiritual detox. 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.” Throughout the Season of Lent let us seek and grow in the Light of the World and let us be lights to those around us by resurrecting messages of hope, peace, love, and joy for all to hear.  Each of its forty days is fertile with divine hope-filled new beginnings. See you in worship.

Peace and Grace,   Rev. Eddie Jusino, Jr.

Reflection: Lent is about Letting Go

by Rev. Don Postema

Scripture
“I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.”  Psalm 51:3
“Gracious is the Lord and righteous, our God is full of compassion.” Psalm 116:5 NEB

Reflection
David, the psalmist, seems stuck: “My sin is ever before me.” He seems caught in a rut: “my sin is always confronting me.” Lenten disciplines can sometimes get us stuck in that rut. Repentance can be viewed as reviving memories of old failures that plague us, groveling in guilt, wallowing in self-loathing, anxiety, and useless fears. Continually carrying around a load of negative thoughts, harsh judgments, resentments from the past that clutter our inner lives. Like the box in my storage unit at my senior citizens’ residence that is full of notes and papers from seminary – over 58 years ago!! It could be a symbol of my stuckness in the past.

However, Lent is really about letting go. It is like spiritual spring-cleaning, decluttering our hearts and minds from all that hinders our relationship with God and each other. Repentance during Lent is an invitation to change our thinking, to turn away from being mired in our sin and inadequacies toward discovering the loving embrace of “our God [who] is gracious and full of compassion.” During Lent we realize the basic truth that grace is the context for confession. We remember that our spiritual lives begin with grace not guilt, with pardon not confession, with freedom not fear, with the inclusive Love that approaches us from the empty tomb with arms wide open. Lent prepares us for the wonder of Easter. Repentance gratefully celebrates that our sin is always behind us, forgiven by the Crucified and Risen Christ.

Maybe this Lent I’ll empty that box as a symbol of getting rid of clutter in my storage unit and in my soul, of release from my stuckness, and of letting go into the Divine embrace of grace. And get hugged into holiness all the way to Easter and beyond.

Prayer
Holy Spirit, inspire us to let go of anything that hinders our relationship with the Risen Christ. Encourage us to give up our resistance to his loving Presence in our life and to make space for an inner resurrection to New Life. Amen.

Author: Rev. Don Postema was pastor of Campus Chapel at the University of Michigan for 34 years; author of Space for God: Study and Practice of Spirituality and Prayer and Catch Your Breath: God’s Invitation to Sabbath Rest.

Christian Education News and Events

February-March 2018 Nurture News

Greetings! The CE Ministry Team is now renamed the Nurture Ministry Team, in an effort to better reflect our mandate as Christians to nurture one another while growing in our faith. The PC(USA)’s Book of Order often uses the word nurture to reflect the spiritual care and love which we are called to show children and adults alike. In W-5.0203 of the Book of Order, we read, “God calls the Church to continue the teaching ministry of Jesus Christ, guiding and nurturing one another through all the seasons and transitions of life.”

In that spirit, we hope that you will take advantage of numerous opportunities to enrich your spiritual life during the Lenten season. In the narthex, you will find copies of the 2018 Lenten devotional from Presbyterians Today, entitled Jesus and the Prophets. Please take one!

During Lent, we will also be embarking on a Lenten journey to Jerusalem, following in Jesus’ footsteps as we recount the story of Jesus’ last days. In the words of the publisher, “In this imaginative retelling, John Pritchard explores the Gospel of Luke by looking through the eyes of the disciple John. The Journey to Jerusalem follows Luke’s account from Luke 9:51, as Jesus “set his face to go to Jerusalem.” Perfect for individual or group study, The Journey to Jerusalem provides weekday readings for Lent, from Ash Wednesday to Good Friday, along with a poem for each Saturday. Questions for reflection and discussion are also included.”

Please join Rev. Craig Aue, on Sunday mornings at 9 a.m. in Room 207, or Pastor Eddie, on Tuesday mornings at 10 am, beginning Tuesday, February 13 as we embark on The Journey to Jerusalem. Both classes will be held in the 2nd floor church library, beginning Tuesday, February 13th. Books will be available in the church office; donations of $8.40 per book are welcome to offset the cost.

  • Sunday, February 4 after the Annual Meeting of the Congregation, we will once again gather together for a light meal in celebration of God’s abiding grace and abundant gifts.
  • Sunday, February 4 we will also participate in the nationwide SOUPER BOWL OF CARING, a movement which mobilizes young people to fight hunger and poverty in their local communities. Our Youth will be in the narthex before and after worship to collect your donation. 100% of your donation will be given to our local food pantries, Neighborhood House and CARES of Farmington Hills, to help them stock their shelves.
  • Wednesday, February 14, we will observe Ash Wednesday during a service at 7:30 p.m. 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.
  • Easter Sunday is April 1! Join us for an Easter Egg Hunt and Brunch after the 10 a.m. service!
  • May 5-6, 2018 Alma Interfaith Youth Mix @ Alma College, for Youth in Grades 9-12.

Presbytery of Detroit Youth Mission Calendar (6th-12th grade unless otherwise indicated)

  • Spring ’18 (date to be announced): Youth/ Youth Leader Empowerment Retreat
  • April 22:  “Earth Day” Mission Project – Greening of Detroit
  • June 2430: Detroit Youth Mission Blast
  • July 16-21: Sandusky Mission Trip (with a bonus day at Cedar Point)
  • July 29-August 4: Montreat Youth Conference
  • Sep. 29: Middle School (aka Jr High) Youth Rally @ Howell Nature Center (6th-8th grade)

Please contact Jan Dennison if you are interested in participating in any of the above events.

Upcoming Events and Mission Opportunities

SOUPer Bowl of Caring is Sunday, Feb. 4

SOUPer Bowl of Caring utilizes Super Bowl weekend in America 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 C.A.R.E.S. of Farmington Hills and Neighborhood House to help fight hunger in Farmington and Farmington Hills!  Following the Annual Meeting, we will gather in Knox Fellowship Hall for a light meal (featuring soups, of course) in celebration of God’s abiding grace and abundant gifts.

PW welcomes you to a February or March meeting 

All of our Presbyterian Women Circles are open to guests and new members.  These small groups offer fellowship, friendship, support and spiritual growth, as well as opportunities for outreach.  Some of the Circles do the PW bible study and others also include book study. Many women in our church consider their Circles to be an important part of their lives.  The Circles are all very welcoming and would love to have a few additional women join them.  Contact PW Moderator Sally Kirsten (248-474-2366) or any of the Circle leaders noted in parentheses below.

There is also information on the PW bulletin board in Knox Hall, and in the annual report. There is no obligation, and you are encouraged to visit more than one Circle if you like.

Thursday, Feb. 8 and March 8:     Deborah Circle (Anne Fuller) meets at 10:00 a.m. in Knox Hall.

Tuesday, Feb. 13 and March 13:  ACTS Circle (Marcia Van Hamme) meets at 9:30 a.m. in the parlor;   BETH Circle (Ruth France) meets at noon in the church library;  Phoenix Circle (Nancy Cook) meets at 7:00 p.m. in homes. (Call for location.)

Tuesday, Feb. 20 and March 20:  Lydia Circle meets at 7:15 p.m. in the parlor. In February, Lydia will be discussing the novel Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.  This is a retelling of the story of Hosea and Gomer, set during the Gold Rush in California in  1850.  But come even if you have not read the book.

Explore London, Wales and Scotland at Men’s Gathering

The Men’s Group will gather on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 8:00 a.m. for breakfast and to enjoy Tom Neal’s presentation on “London, Wales and Scotland – 2017.”  Learn about sites in London like Churchill’s War Room, palaces, museums and the Tube, to name a few.  In Wales, find out about making slate shingles and the language.  In Scotland, learn about the Royal Mile, John Knox and whiskey.  These are some the things Tom Neal will talk about after breakfast.  Come join in the social time and casual breakfast.  Share similar experiences you had in the United Kingdom.

Men’s Group meets every Tuesday

Leo’s on 12 Mile at Farmington Road is the place; 8:00 a.m. is the time for the Men’s Group gathering each Tuesday.  Stop by, order some breakfast and enjoy this time of fellowship.  Open to all men at First Pres.  No RSVP needed.

Neighborhood House’s Cupboard is bare!

Just in the middle of flu season, Neighborhood House is running out of cleaning supplies.  But we can help by bringing in any type of cleaner (all purpose or with bleach), disinfectants, soap and other cleaning products the first two weeks in February and then again on Feb. 25 and March 4.  We are collecting paper products for Neighborhood House the first two weeks in March.  We hope you can help by bringing paper towels, toilet paper, tissues and other paper products to church on the first two Sundays in March.

Congregational Concerns

2018 Per Capita Apportionment

One way that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ensures that administrative costs are covered and that giving for specific missions, such as disaster and hunger relief, goes to those efforts alone, 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 together with other Christians in the Reformed tradition throughout the country and world.

The Per Capita on each of our active members is $26.33.  (Of that, $7.73 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 $9,426.14.  We ask that you contribute $26, as the rounding will make it easier on our offering counters. Please pay 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.”  Or use the special “Per Capita” envelopes available in the pews through Feb. 4, “Per Capita Sunday” which is the day we will collect this special offering as well as the date of our Annual Meeting.

College Students, Military Personnel Contact Information Requested

The Deacons would like to maintain contact with our college students and military personnel. Parents, friends, please contact Charlene Diehl with addresses, email or any other information available.

 2018 Offering Envelopes

Those who have used numbered envelopes in 2017 automatically receive envelopes for 2018.  If you did NOT used envelopes in 2017, but DO wish to have them for 2018, please 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 submit your pledge electronically from your account starting in February, please call Financial Secretary Jerry Scheel to have the form mailed to you.  Questions?  Contact Jerry Scheel or call the church office at (248) 474-6170.

Hat and Mitten Tree

Once again, our church family has demonstrated how we live our faith. The 2017 First Presbyterian hat and mitten tree was an amazing success with so many donations of purchased and beautifully handmade items.
Donations included:
77 hats
7 handmade hat and scarf sets
47 pairs of gloves
22 pairs of handmade mittens,
53 pairs of adult and children’s socks
55 pairs of underwear
The total value of these items was $2,538.  They were all extremely gratefully received by Neighborhood House who will be distributing them throughout the winter to schoolchildren and families in the Farmington, Farmington Hills area. Many, many thanks for your generosity to our needy brothers and sisters in this extremely cold winter.
Linda Clew,  P.W. Vice Moderator, Justice and Peace

Liturgist Training Session

Back by popular demand, another liturgist training session will be held on Saturday, Feb. 10 from 10:00 a.m. -12 noon in the sanctuary. Jerry Custer, our Minister of Music, will again lead this training session to help you feel confident assisting Pastor during worship.  Share your talents with the congregation by helping to lead worship service — you’ll find it a satisfying experience. There’s no charge and the skills you learn in this training will also help improve your public speaking and confidence. There’s a sign-up sheet on the kiosk in the area outside Knox Fellowship Hall where you can register your interest. All ages welcome.

2018 Worship Flower sign-up available 

Please consider giving flowers in memory of a loved one or to recognize a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary or to the glory of God.  An arrangement is $23 and enhances our worship services.  More than one arrangement may be ordered for any Sunday. You may take the flowers with you after the worship service or leave them so that they can be delivered to one of our homebound members.  The sign-up sheet is available on the kiosk in the area outside Knox Fellowship Hall.  For more information, call the church office (248) 474-6170.

Hospitality Time looking for hosts

There are plenty of opportunities to host our Hospitality Time following worship.  A sign-up sheet is available on the kiosk to record your generous willingness to host and assist in reinforcing our welcoming presence with friends old and new.

Check out the Church’s Facebook Page!

For those of you who use Facebook, if you have not “liked” our church page, please start by looking up First Presbyterian Church of Farmington and clicking the “like” icon.  Once you have “liked” the page you will receive interesting church news including notice of upcoming events. We need as many people as possible to “like” our page AND for those who are on Facebook to “like” and “share” events and happenings at the church on our timeline.  Sharing is a great way to spread the good news about First Pres!

Troop 179 News February – March 2018

Troop 179 is very thankful to be at the First Presbyterian Church of Farmington.  We would like, in this first newsletter, to give a little background of the unit. We have been a chartered Boy Scout Troop/Venture Crew since April 1966 and have been at our church since 1988. We have about 100 to 140 youth in the unit annually and are running about 10% female members in our Venture unit. We are a highly recognized and regarded troop in the council and provide the entire Boy Scout program to our scouts and scouters.

Troop 179 Current Activities
In January we had our International Dinner, held our troop unit leader elections and had a night out at Zap Zone (always a favorite with the youth).  We also went skiing and snowmobiling on two different weekends. We also helped prepare the church for hosting SOS for a week in January.

In February-March we will be holding our troop open house for new Cub Scouts to join us and will be camping out for our Polar-Bear weekend as well as holding some adult leader training sessions. Our Venture Crew will be hiking the Chief Pontiac Trail for certification in weekend hiking.  In March we will be continuing our joint scout nights with new Cubs welcome to visit us. We will also have a weekend shooting sports outing for all scouts and Venturers to enjoy.

We hope you will follow our newsletters.  All church members are welcome at our troop meetings on Tuesday nights at 7PM.

Thanks to you all,  Troop 179

Have Box Tops for Education at home?

Please cut them out bring, them in and put them in the collection box for Hillside Elementary School. Each box top coupon is worth 10 cents for Hillside educational programs. With just a little effort, we can add significant financial to support our adopted school. Look for the plaid box in the Narthex and add your 10 cents! If you have any questions, please call Martha Countegan at 248-324-2686.

January Session Highlights

At its January 10 meeting, the Session:

  • Approved the 2018 Budget and the 2017 Annual Statistical Report.Both documents will be included in the 2017 Annual Report being published for the February 4, 2018 Annual Meeting of the Congregation.
  • Approved a $2,500 increase in the Pastor’s compensation package for 2018.
  • Approved Pastor Eddie’s staffing priorities for 2018.
  • Donated the entire freewill donations, totaling $647.50, collected during the Wayne State concert in December to the Wayne State University Music Department scholarship fund.
  • Accepted with regret Jayme Slais’ resignation from the Session.

We keep in our prayers

Note:  Names withheld from the web-version of the newsletter

We hold in our prayers:  Members and friends who are ill.

We also hold in prayer those impacted by the hurricanes that hit Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, the earthquakes in Mexico, the wild fires in California and the tragic deaths because of gun violence and terrorism, as well as those who put themselves in harm’s way to assist them.

And prayers for the grieving:

We remember members who are homebound, in nursing homes, and assisted living:  P

And those serving in the military:ps.

Congratulations and Thank You Messages

Thank you so much!  The families had a marvelous time.  They were so surprised and happy.  The extra bag and supplies you gave us came in handy as it looks like we had one more child than anticipated.  Fortunately, we were able to make a full bag for the last one.  Thank you and your church again for these blessings.  I enjoyed meeting the first lady of your church Wednesday night.  I hope she comes back.
Andree, Calvin East PC and the Calvin Church WORD (Working on Reading Development) families thank you and First Pres of Farmington.

Congratulations to Patryk Piontek, who has completed his enlistment with the U.S. Marines and is preparing for the next phase of his life.  Our prayers have been answered that he has returned home safely to his family.

We were overwhelmed with the support we received during Bill’s recent hospitalization, surgery and continued recovery.  Meals and cleaning help were provided to enable Mary to remain at home.  Visits to Bill were very welcome and the cards were greatly appreciated.  After his discharge, Bill was given many rides to doctor’s appointments, to attend church on the 14th and breakfast at Leo’s several times.  This congregation is truly loving and caring.  We are thankful for your support.            Bill & Mary Kinney

Thanks so much for all of the wonderful cards and notes.  My mail often arrives in batches since my son handles billing paying and mail management.  I have been enjoying reading Christmas, Thanksgiving and even Halloween cards. I’m so grateful for my church family at First Presbyterian.         Mary Stevens

To Members of the First Presbyterian Church: Thank you so much for the beautiful shawl – it brought and continues to bring me a lot of comfort as I am recovering. Thank you also for your kind thoughts and prayers.
Sincerely, Sarmistha (Rumu) Khetrapal

Congratulations to Tom Neal on his recognition with the President’s Citation for Outstanding Optimist Club Member 2016-2017.  “In the history of every Club, there is one Members said to embody the spirit and essence of Optimism, who has been the Club’s inspiration, and has contributed in an exceptional way to the advancement of Optimism in the Club and the community.” The President’s Citation is bestowed upon an individual who has demonstrated an exception dedication, care and love the Club, Club Members, District and Optimist International by the President of Optimist International.  Way to go, Tom!

Thank you for your donation of $500 to South Oakland Shelter on 12/22/2017. Your gift enables us to fulfill our mission of ending homelessness by providing, shelter, housing, and supportive services to individuals and families in need. Last year we were able to provide 10,995 nights of emergency shelter and house 405 individuals because of the kindness of donors like you. 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.
Ryan Hertz, President and CEO

News from the Samaritan Counseling Center of Southeastern Michigan

SCC is excited to announce the following addition to our staff:
Rita Valade, Ph.D., LMSW, M.A. – Clinician in Samaritan Counseling Center’s Sisters of Mercy (Farmington Hills) office.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Creative Self-care Program
This is a 10-week Art Therapy Program for adults who are seeking alternative methods of maintaining self-care.  Each week will focus on a different component of self-care and will encourage creative self-exploration.
DATES:             Every Wednesday beginning January 10, 2018 until March 14, 2018
TIME:                6:30-8:00 p.m.
LOCATION:      Samaritan Counseling Center, 29887 West 11 Mile Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48336, in the Park Place room
FEE:                  $25/session plus a one-time material fee of $25

Preparation for Marriage Workshop
This workshop, led by experienced leaders, provides opportunities for couples to identify and explore both strengths and areas of potential difficulties in their relationship.  Couples will consider the complexity of marriage, recognize what each individual brings to this relationship, and clarify the expectations both have as they enter into this commitment.
DATE:                February 17, 2018
TIME:                 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
LOCATION:      First UMC of Birmingham, 1589 West Maple, Birmingham
FEE:                  $225 per couple.  A $125 deposit is required at registration

DATE:                April 21, 2018
TIME:                 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
LOCATION:      Nardin Park UMC, 29887 W. 11 Mile Road, Farmington Hills
FEE:                  $225 per couple.  A $125 deposit is required at registration

Please contact SCC’s main office at (248) 474-4701 to register.  Additional workshops will be held on April 4, June 10 and September 23.  For further information, please visit SCC’s website at sccmich.org.

 

Dec 232017
 

Headlines

It’s not too late … to help with SOS

 South Oakland Shelter LogoSouth Oakland Shelter is a consortium of several Oakland County community and religious centers that volunteer their time to provide overnight accommodations, food, transportation and a sense of dignity to individuals and families in need. For more than a decade, First Presbyterian Church of Farmington has been a part of this worthwhile endeavor. For one week each January, our church has opened its doors to those for whom life hasn’t been so kind.

Managing SOS is an “all hands on deck”-type project requiring lots of volunteers, Many of First Presbyterian’s tried and true have given their talent and treasure to support the cause. Regrettably, while the number of SOS clients has remained level, the number of First Presbyterian volunteers is slowly dropping, making it difficult to sustain the effort.

 Volunteers are needed the week of Jan. 14-21 in a number of areas:

  • SETUP / TEARDOWN SPECIALISTS: We need to pick up SOS supplies from the prior SOS hosting location, set up our own church, then pack everything up at the end of our week.
  • DRIVERS: Our guests will need morning and / or evening transportation to and from their places of business within about a 30-minute ride from First Presbyterian, as well as occasional evening shuttle drives to the nearby Farmington Area YMCA so clients can make use of shower facilities there.
  • OVERNIGHT HOSTS: We need a combination of female and male supervisors to provide hosting for our guests.
  • DISHWASHERS: Following breakfast and after dinner, table service needs to be cleaned.
  • LAUNDRY VOLUNTEERS: Guests will drop off their linens to be washed, dried and returned a few mornings during the week.
  • LUNCH PACKERS: We need help each evening preparing and packing sack lunches for our guests for the next day.
  • GROCERY SHOPPERS: We need to purchase food for our guest in advance, plus make runs to the grocery stores during the week as needed.

Even if it’s just for one day or one evening, your help would be greatly appreciated. Please contact either Chris or Emily Davis at (248) 349-5146, or chrisemilydavis@sbcglobal.net to sign up or to learn more about SOS.

Because we are hosting SOS this week, the Session will meet one week earlier than usual on Wednesday, Jan. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in Room 208/210.

 FINAL REMINDER: Annual reports are due by Monday, Jan. 8

Please turn in all reports to be included in the 2017 Annual Report by Monday, January 8, 2018.  The 2017 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 in late January. The Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday, February 4, 2018, in the sanctuary immediately following worship.

Call to Annual Meeting on Sunday, Feb. 4

The Session has called the Annual Congregational Meeting for Sunday, February 4, 2018, 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. And any other appropriate congregation business.

The deadline for articles for the February-March FYI is Wednesday, Jan. 17!

Congregational News & Concerns

 2018 Offering Envelopes available

Those who have used numbered envelopes in 2017 will automatically receive envelopes for 2018.  If you have NOT used envelopes this year, but DO wish to have them for next year, please 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 submit your pledge electronically from your account, please call Jerry Scheel, Financial Secretary, to have the forms mailed to you.  Questions? Contact Jerry Scheel or call the church office at (248) 474-6170.

2018 Per Capita Apportionment

One way that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ensures that administrative costs are covered and that giving for specific mission, such as disaster and hunger relief, goes to those efforts alone, 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 together with other Christians in the Reformed tradition throughout the country and world.

The Per Capita on each of our active members is $26.33.  (Of that, $7.73 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 $9,426.14.

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.”

Mission

The Mission Ministry Team has nearly concluded a very busy and fulfilling year. We are so fortunate to have such a generous and giving congregations.  You have our heartfelt appreciation as well as the thanks of those we support.  Check out the Kudos section below from a few thank you letters.  We couldn’t do it without you!

2018 worship flower sign-up has dates available

Please consider giving flowers ($23 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 may be ordered for any Sunday.  You may 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 area outside Knox Fellowship Hall.  For more information, please call the church office (248) 474-6170.

How about ushering 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, or occasional substituting, as an usher.  Please contact Irwin Moyna for details.

Sunday morning greeters needed

The Greeting Team provides warm welcomes and greetings to all who enter our church.  We are in need of some volunteers!  We believe there are fellow worshipers willing to extend the hand of welcome if we were to ask. We are asking!!  We have opening for regular rotation (one Sunday every other month) or fill in dates. If you would like more information or have questions, please contact Manny Sharpe.

Sunday morning Hospitality Time hosts needed

Are you looking for a way to contribute your time and talents to your church family?  Serving goodies during Hospitality Time after worship may be just the thing for you – or you and a friend.  It involves making lemonade and putting treats and snacks on plates before church (about 30 minutes) 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 host Hospitality Time after every service.  If you enjoy conversation, mingling or making new friends, this is an opportunity for you, so sign up to host Hospitality Time based on your availability.  It also provides an opportunity to each of us to invite visitors to join us for coffee and conversation.

Calling all Bakers

The Worship Ministry Team is seeking communion bread bakers.  We have a good recipe fine-tuned over many years by Marcia Howe.  You don’t need to be a great baker to make it, as the bread recipe is easy.  Please contact Pam Jusino for details.

December Session Highlights

At the December 20 Session Meeting, the Session took the following actions:

  • Called the Annual Meeting of the Congregation for Sunday, February 4, 2018, after Worship.
  • Changed the January Session meeting to January 10, 2018, to avoid the week that we host SOS.
  • Approved the building of shelves in the coffee area near the kiosk to neaten up the area where food and other donations are collected.

 

In Our Prayers

Names withheld from the webversion.

Friends and members who are ill, impacted by he hurricanes that hit Texas, Florida & Puerto Rico, the earthquakes in Mexico, the wild fires in California and the tragic deaths because of gun violence and terrorism, as well as those who put themselves in harm’s way to assist them.

We pray for the grieving,  those in nursing homes, and serving in the military.

Kudos and thanks

Many thanks to the Prayer Shawl Ministry for the warm lap robe.  It kept me nice and warm during my recovery.  And a special thank you to my church family for the many cards and notes I received during my convalescence.  They provided me with comfort, inspiration and connection to my church family during my recovery.        Mary Larson

The Farmington Area Goodfellows would like to thank you for your generous donation of $1,000.  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 senior in-need in our Holiday Assistance Program received over 32,000 non-perishable food items, over 160 boxes of diapers and baby wipes, more than 1,500 toys and 1.500 age-appropriate books. On behalf of the Goodfellows and the hundreds of residents we will support this holiday season, thank you again for your generous donation.  Richard Lerner, President and General Chairman

The Michigan Roundtable would to thank you for the $476.25 contribution.  Your contribution provides support for our work to help make the places we work and live become places where all people are welcomed and treated fairly. Since 194 we have gathered people from all across the state, empowering individual and communities to advance equity and opportunity for all.  Through our products and programs, we educate people about our history and the resultant challenges faced by our neighbors and colleagues. We work to prepare youth and adults to become leaders in the work for transformation change.  Thank you for your strong support over the years. Please let me know if there is any way my colleagues and I might be of assistance to the First Presbyterian community in Farmington Hills.                                                                                    Steven P. Spreitzer, President and CEO

Thank you so much for your generous gift of $100 toward the purchase of fleece jackets for the Freedom House residents!  We deeply appreciate your support.  Every year, thousands of individual and families around the work, people like you and me, daringly stand up and challenge injustice in their home country.  Without saying a word of goodbye to their loved ones, they then courageously make their way to Freedom House.  Our mission is to uphold a fundamental American Principle, one inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty, of providing safety to those “yearning to breathe free.”  The hope of this freedom is kept alive because of you. On behalf of residents and staff, thank you from the bottom of hearts.                                                         Deborah A. Drennan, Executive Director

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Rebuilding Together Oakland County (RTOC), I would like to thank you for your most generous contribution.  Your support (along with the support of many other contributors) and over 1,000 volunteers will help RTOC make a difference in the lives of homeowners in community across Oakland County throughout our 2017/18 fiscal year. Our work, which includes painting, plumbing, carpentry, roofing, and electrical repairs, focuses on providing warmth and safety to our homeowners.  For our disabled homeowners we build ramps, install grad bars, and make modifications that allow these citizens to live safely and “age in place.”  All these repairs are totally free for the homeowners thanks to contributors like you.  Thank you for your support and thoughtfulness which will enable us to preserve homes for low-income, elderly, disabled and families with children in Oakland County.                                                                                                                      Halie Black, Executive Director

From our Friends at Samaritan Counseling Center

 

Dec 082017
 

Headlines

Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve services

Ad Christmas Service 2017

  • Worship on Christmas Eve morning will be Sunday, Dec. 24 at 10:00 a.m.
  • A family service at 4:30 p.m. with carols and stories on Sunday, Dec. 24
  • A candlelight service with lessons and carols at 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 24
  • A carol sing service will close out 2017 on Sunday, Dec. 31 at 10:00 a.m.

 

Hanging of the Greens on Dec. 2

Thanks to everyone who helped out in preparing our church building for Christmas.  And a big thank you to those who decorated Christmas cookies and delivered them to our homebound members and friends. The church is ready for the joyous season of anticipating the arrival of our Lord!

Last chance to see the Christmas play

Play Our talented Presbyterian Players presented two entertaining performances of “The Mission,” a play about a group of search and rescue angels looking for the missing Jesus.  It’s Christmas time and the team must find Jesus. If you didn’t have a chance to see the play during the Presbyterian Women’s “Joy, Hope and Peace” Christmas pageant or at the PWPD luncheon program we hosted earlier this week, there is one final opportunity for you to see it:  The play will replace the pastor’s reflection this Sunday during our 10:00 a.m. worship service.

Congratulations to the cast of Manny Sharpe, Laura Hedgecock, Sally Kirsten, Irene Forbes, Shirley Kinsey, Sue Carlson, Tom Neal, Ruth France, Debra Hemmye and Matt Hedgecock, along with Director Pam Jusino and Prompter Leslie Moyna.

Consecration Sunday update

As of Nov. 29, 113 “pledging units” are making a financial commitment to faithful giving to First Pres in 2018. Of these, 41% have increased their commitment amount and 16% have made a commitment for the first time. Commitment cards continue to be returned to the church office, and we will share a final update in late December. We give thanks for faithful stewardship of all that God has provided!

Annual Meeting and Reports due date

Please turn in all reports to be included in the 2017 Annual Report by Friday, January 5, 2017.  The 2017 Annual Report will be emailed to members who have signed up through the church website to receive the FYI newsletter, the annual report and other important church information ( www.farmington-pres.org ).  A few hard copies of the 2017 Annual Report will be available at the welcome center. The Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, immediately following worship.

The deadline for articles for the January FYI is Wednesday, Dec. 13

Dec. 2017-Jan. 2018 Christian Education & Nurture News

Join us during Advent in the 2nd floor church library on Tuesday mornings at 10 a.m. for Rise Up Shepherd! Advent Reflections on the Spirituals. Books are available in the church office for purchase for $8.45.

Saturday, Dec. 2 Join us from 10 a.m. to 12 noon for Christmas cookie baking and decorating during Hanging of the Greens! Cookies will then be delivered on Saturday and Sunday afternoon to our homebound members and friends. If you would like to volunteer to help deliver cookies, please contact Jan Dennison, Leslie Moyna, or Josh Archey.

Wednesday, Dec. 20 Delivery of hygiene items, hats, mittens, and scarves for the children of Calvin East Presbyterian Church’s WORD Literacy Program in Detroit. Meet at church at 4 pm to carpool to the Calvin East Christmas party. RSVP to Josh Archey by Tuesday, Dec. 12 so we have an accurate head count for dinner.

Later in December  A Christmas gathering is being explored for college-aged and young adults! Come re-connect with your church family and friends while you’re home for the holidays!

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, and hand sanitizer.

Coming in Jan. 2018

SOS (South Oakland Shelter) is coming! Calling all strong young women and men! Please plan on joining us as our church once again hosts South Oakland Shelter! Help is especially needed for set up after church on Sunday, Jan. 14, and for tear down before and after church on Sunday, Jan. 21, beginning at 8 a.m.

Presbytery of Detroit MLK Weekend Service Opportunity Join youth and adults from across the Presbytery of Detroit on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for an intergenerational service project at Fort Street Presbyterian Church, including lunch and conversation.

Faith Formation – Advent devotional studies

Come and join us Tuesday mornings at 10 a.m. in the Library for four weeks and explore the sublime musical expression of the African American spirituals and their profound insights into the human condition and the Christian life. Many focus on an essential scene of the Christian drama: the coming of God as the child in Bethlehem and as the hope of the world and the liberator of God’s oppressed people. Rise Up, Shepherd! Advent Reflections on the Spirituals written by Luke Powery leads the reader through the spirituals as they confront the mystery of incarnation and redemption. Each devotion features the lyrics of the spiritual, a reflection on the spiritual’s meaning, a Scripture verse, and a brief prayer. Save the Dates: Tuesday mornings through Dec. 19. Order your devotional for $8.45.

Mission & Fellowship Events and Opportunities

Second Mile Center opportunities

Thank you to all who donated food for the Second Mile Center Thanksgiving baskets. If you would like to help to provide perishable items for the baskets, please write a check to SMC or donate a gift card to Kroger, Walmart or Target. Ginny Hubble and Sue Carlson are collecting these. Also, Ruth Azar is preparing a list of SMC children who will be receiving Christmas gift bags. If individuals, families or groups would like to sponsor a child (suggested value of $65, with gift suggestions provided) or make a donation, please let Sue or Ginny know. The bags will include a shirt, pants, underwear, socks, and a toy requested by the child. 6

Giving Tree to help our adopted family

A little over a year ago, a mother and her five children came to Farmington as refugees from northeast Syria. The father had been killed and the family sought refuge in the U.S. This is the family that Farmington Public Schools is giving to our church in response to our request to adopt a family in need. The Mission Team invites you to choose an ornament from the Giving Tree in the narthex, purchase the item and return it by Dec. 17 with the ornament attached. Since the family is not Christian, please wrap the gift in “winter wrapping paper.” The children include a 2nd grade girl, twin boys in 6th grade, and 8th and 9th grade girls. From the Mission budget, we will supply two laptops and a winter coat for mom.

Hat and Mitten Tree giving

Hat and Mitten TreeWith cold weather just around the corner, it is time for our church’s Hat and Mitten Tree collection. Through Dec. 10, we’ll be collecting hats, mittens, underwear and socks (no scarves, please) for needy children right here in our own community. 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.

Last of the canned good request (for 2017)!

Please drop off some canned goods for Goodfellows and Second Mile Center by Dec. 10. Just place them in the clear container labeled “Food” and the Mission Team will make sure they find a good home for Christmas.

Men’s Group program

Heads up for this annual breakfast for men in our Presbytery on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 7:30 a.m. at Rosedale Gardens Presbyterian Church in Livonia. The guest speaker is Chris Lambert, executive director of Life Remodeled, a transformative citywide community rebuilding initiative in Detroit. See Tom Neal for details and carpooling plans.

SOS Is coming to First Presbyterian Jan. 14 – 21

South Oakland Shelter Logo It is hard to believe that this will be our 11th 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.

As always, there is an URGENT NEED for volunteers. Sign-up sheets for the many volunteer opportunities will soon be posted on the large bulletin board in the Narthex.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact 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, Laura Hedgecock

Christmas concerts at First Presbyterian Church

Friday, Dec. 1 at 7:00 p.m. – Lynda Wood, soloist, with First Presbyterian’s former organist Devon Hansen on piano perform An Evening of Music – Christmas Classics.  Everyone is invited, and donations will be accepted at the door.

Sunday, Dec. 4 at 6:00 p.m. – Come enjoy Vox Lyrica, a women’s choral group with piano and flute accompanimentDonations accepted at the door.

Friday, Dec. 8 at 3:00 p.m. – 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, Dec. 8 at 7:30 pm. – The Orchard Lake Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Norm Logan presents Music for the Holidays.  Tickets are $5 at the door.

Sunday, Dec. 10 at 4 p.m. – The Wayne State University Orchestra and Concert Chorale will present a special holiday concert on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 10. The works performed will include excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, chorale works by John Rutter and Mark Hayes, the third Symphony of Robert Schumann and the world premiere of a new work for chorus and orchestra based on English Christmas carols by our church’s own director of music, Dr. Gerald Custer.  The event is open to the public at no charge; a free-will offering will be received during intermission.

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.

From the Mission Ministry Team

It’s been a busy November for the Mission Team.  We’re still smiling about the success of the first-ever Mission Fair, having received great feedback from the congregation!  Special thanks to Emily Davis and Linda Clew for making this event so successful!

November began with collecting food for C.A.R.E.S. (formerly known as St. Al’s Food Pantry).  You probably noticed the new clear tubs that were quickly filled with all the items C.A.R.E.S. requested to provide a Thanksgiving meal for so many of their clients.  The Mission Team is beginning to organize the collection area (near the kiosk next to the Narthex) so that it will be obvious where donations go.  The clear tubs will be labeled with the items we are collecting, which the Mission Team will then sort and deliver to the appropriate organization.

Consecration Sunday, Nov. 5, was about looking forward to next year.   But the Mission Team is still donating from your generous pledges for 2017.  We sent $1,000 to Goodfellows for their drive to make sure no child or senior is without a Christmas. We also sent $750 to Alternatives for Girls to continue to support their mission to help homeless and high-risk girls and young women avoid violence, teen pregnancy and exploitation, and help them to explore and access the support, resources and opportunities necessary to be safe, to grow strong and to make positive choices in their lives.  Both organizations participated in our Mission Fair.

We are also giving Pastor Eddie a check for $1,000 to share with a colleague of his, Rev. Jose Gonzalez, pastor at Iglesia Presbiteriana de Hato Rey.   He has spoken with the minister who will be able to identify where our donation can do the greatest good to those still recovering the devastating hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico.

Freedom House volunteer Cheryl Willette met with the Mission Team in late October, giving us insight into the life of an asylum seeker at Freedom House.  A few weeks later, Cheryl learned that the organization that has purchased fleeces for each child or adult at Freedom House would not be able to do so this year.  She asked several Farmington area churches if they could step in at the last minute to help out.  We are happy to contribute $100 to this cause.  Cheryl says all their clothes are donations or Salvation Army purchases.   “It’s a thrill for them to have something new for the winter season.”  You may have met Cheryl at the Mission Fair when she represented Freedom House.

In December, we will collect food for Christmas baskets for Second Mile Center (PW heads this effort) and for the Goodfellows.  We are also adopting a refugee family from northeast Syria via Operation Common Good (part of Farmington Public Schools).  The father was killed about 6 years ago and the mother and her five children came to the U.S. as refugees a little over a year ago.  The refugee organization provided a house in Farmington to live in for a while; then the owner was generous enough to allow them to stay in the same home for less-than-market-value rent.  The mother struggles to make a living cleaning houses (in addition to welfare) to pay rent, utilities and to provide for the five children (2nd grade through 9th grade) and herself.  We asked for their wish lists, which are on ornaments on the Giving Tree in the Narthex.  We encourage you to select an ornament and purchase the gift written on the ornament for this family.  Please return the gifts (wrapped in winter paper as the family is not Christian) by Sunday, Dec. 17 with the name on the gift.

We will join with all Presbyterians across the country to contribute to the Christmas Joy offering on Christmas Eve.  This offering helps retired ministers and other church staff who are having difficulty making ends meet.  Christmas Joy offering also helps to develop our future leaders at Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges.

Congregational Concerns

Reflections from the Stephen Ministry

During one of our training classes, we were discussing the challenging times or crises that people go through in their lives.  The Chinese word for crisis is made from the combination of two characters — one meaning “danger” and the other meaning “opportunity.”  This means that with every crisis there is the opportunity to grow.

When these times occur in our lives we often turn to God, family, friends or support groups.  We also need to remember what a wonderful gift our congregation is for a person in crisis.

Quoted from the Stephen Ministry training:  “People in crisis often feel out of control.  Their congregation provides a place of stability and predictability.  It can be an anchor to hold onto as they regain control of their lives.  Here they can count on people caring for, listening to, and accepting them … People in crisis often feel hopeless and their fellow Christians have Christ’s message of hope and healing to share.  The church is the place where people hear and respond to God’s call to ‘Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ’ (Galatians 6:2 NRSV).  More than anything else, people in crisis need caring Christian friends who will walk with them through their painful journey…Thank God for the gift of the church and for one another.  There will be times when each of us needs to receive care during our own crises.  God is so loving and caring to give us one another to turn to during our difficult times.”

Remember that Stephen Ministers are here for you.  If you have a need or are interested in serving in this ministry, please contact Pastor Eddie, Helen Thomas or Lois Caito.

Craft Fair was a success

Thank you for all your support! The craft fair was another successful event in the life of our church. The event generated $1,696 in support for the music program.  Some of the vendors have even asked when our spring show would be. Deborah Draper is thankful for her very hardworking group of helpers: Cathy Neal, Anna and Rick Fuller, Eddie Matteson, Mitchell Cressman, Pam Jusino, Lorrie McVey, Ardis Scott, Karen Spica, Jean Winterbottom and the Cub Scouts. And a thank you also to all our generous shoppers.

Have Box Tops for Education at home?

Please cut them out bring, them in and put them in the collection box for Hillside Elementary School. Each box top coupon is worth 10 cents for Hillside educational programs. With just a little effort, we can add significant financial to support our adopted school. Look for the plaid box in the Narthex and add your 10 cents! If you have any questions, please call Martha Countegan at 248-324-2686.

Bread bakers wanted

The Worship Ministry Team is seeking communion bread bakers. We have a good recipe that has been fine-tuned over many years by Marcia Howe. You don’t need to be a great baker to make it, as the bread recipe is easy. Now that we are serving communion on the first and third Sundays of each month, we have a greater need to add more bread bakers to the communion team. Please contact Pam Jusino for details.

Check out the church’s Facebook Page

For those of you who use Facebook, if you have not “liked” our church page, please start by looking up First Presbyterian Church of Farmington and clicking the “like” icon. Once you have “liked” the page you will receive interesting church news including notice of upcoming events and videos of anthems featuring our Chancel Choir sometimes with guest musicians. We need as many people as possible to “like” our page AND for those who are on Facebook to “like” and “share” events and happenings at the church on our timeline. Sharing is a great way to spread the good news about First Pres!

Important Year-End Information Regarding Contributions

Please be aware that the last bank deposit for contributions for tax year 2017 will be Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016.  This means contributions must be received in the church office before Monday, Dec. 26, 2016 or in the offering plate on Sunday, Dec. 24.  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 numbered envelopes in 2017 will automatically receive envelopes for 2018.  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 submit your pledge electronically 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

At its November 15 meeting, the Session:

  • Agreed to spend up to $1,000 from the Memorials fund for new tables for Knox Hall.
  • Agreed to allow the Toastmaster’s group that currently meets at the Farmington Hills Wayne State University campus to meet in room 208/210 on Wednesday mornings after their current location closes.
  • Agreed to participate in the Presbyterian Panel for 2018-2020. Agencies and councils across the denomination use the confidential results to find out what Presbyterians think and do, and want for the church. The “Go Figure” column in the Presbyterians Today magazine is one place where Presbyterian Panel results are published. If contacted to answer occasional mailed questionnaires, you are encouraged to provide your opinion.

We keep in our prayers

Names withheld in the web-version of our newsletter.

We hold in our prayers members who are ill,

And pray for the grieving,

We also remember members who are homebound, in nursing homes, and assisted living,

And those serving in the military.

Dec 072017
 

Advent music By our music director, Dr. Jerry Custer, DMA

Here’s my favorite Advent call to worship of all time:

Leader: Gimme an A!

All: A!

Leader: Gimme a D!

All: D

Leader: Gimme a V!

All: V!

Leader: Gimme an E!

All: E!

Leader: Gimme an N!

All: N!

 Leader: Gimme a T!

All: T!

Leader: What’s it spell?

All: Advent!

 Leader: What’s it SPELL?

All: ADVENT!!

Leader: What’s it mean?

All: (crickets … dead silence)

That’s the real question, isn’t it? What does Advent mean? Most of us don’t know how to answer the question, because—for most of us—Advent is the invisible part of the church year.

And that’s a shame, because Advent is a powerful gift from the Church to stop the madness that frenzied 21st century people experience.

We live in a culture that’s perpetually behind, or at least one that feels that way. One day it’s Trick or Treat (or if we’re lucky, Thanksgiving)—and then shazam! It’s Christmas, 24/7, everywhere you look: on the streets, in our neighborhoods, at the mall, on the radio.

Instead of “get ready, get set, go!” it’s just … GO!

Advent offers us a way to slow things down, to step away from the commercial treadmill, to take a little break, to stop the world and get off for a little while.

Those of us who are church people, of course, know what Advent means. It means that Christ is coming.

But there are actually three comings of Christ: the Incarnation (past planetary history), Conversion (present individual history) and the End of Time (future cosmic history). Or as we sometimes say at the Communion Service: Christ has come, Christ is coming, Christ will come again.

We live in the middle, between the first coming of Christ and the last one. And how do we live in the middle? We wait. We wait in hope. We wait in faith, believing that we are loved. We wait, but still we long for Christ’s return.

We experience Advent in the feelings of longing, hoping, waiting. We believe that there’s a home for us, but that we’re not quite there yet, even though we’re on the road to get there.

Advent Music is one of the best ways I know to enter into the season. I love Victor Hugo’s quote, which applies here: “Music expresses that which cannot be said, and about which it is impossible to be silent.”

Advent Music is not Christmas Carols. They celebrate a different reality. They can wait for a few more weeks.

Here are some great Advent Hymns from our red hymnal, Glory to God:

#82        Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

#87        Comfort, Comfort Now My People

#88        O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

#93        Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates

#97        Watchman, Tell Us of the Night

#102      Savior of the Nations, Come

#106      Prepare the Way, O Zion

Most of those are “traditional” in style. Here are some that are more contemporary:

#86        The People Who Walked in Darkness

#92        While We Are Waiting, Come

#100      My Soul Cries Out with a Joyful Shout (Canticle of the Turning)

#101      No Wind at the Window

#105      People, Look East

#364      Lift Up the Gates Eternal

#377      I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light

How can you use these to help make Advent meaningful? Here are three suggestions to get started:

  • Borrow a hymnal from church, and read the texts aloud before a family meal.
  • Find the melodies for these hymns online and sing along. You can find sound files for almost every hymn in our hymnal at https://hymnary.org/hymnal/GG2013. Isn’t the Internet cool?
  • Choose a favorite Advent hymn from the lists above, and sing a verse each week while lighting your home Advent wreath.

 

Grace & Peace, and happy Advent to you all!

Nov 092017
 

Headlines

All Saints’ Day celebrated November 5

All Saints DayOn Sunday, November 5, we observed All Saints Day during worship. All Saints’ Day is a universal festival of the church. This festival day directs our attention to the richness of Christian history and the varied experiences of the grace of God by lifting up the lives of the saints. All Saints Day celebrates all the people of God, living and who have moved to “More Life,” who together form the mystical body of Christ.
Below are the names of the members and friends of First Presbyterian Church of Farmington who have “Moved from this Life to More Life,” been confirmed or baptized this past year.  We remember them in our prayers today, and we give thanks for their lives.

Moved from this Life to More Life
Donald Barth, John Carmichael, Jan Dolan, Marian Ford, Irene Foster, Wilma Gallanis, John Hawkins, Amy Kleinschmit, Henrietta Latimer, Joanne Nall, Josephine Pogue, Dorothy Sauter, Carol Stevens, Rev. Dr. Paul Sutton, Ruth Wiens.

Baptized
Evelyn Karen Segnitz

Craft Fair offers early shopping opportunity

This year’s Craft Fair was opened to outside vendors. So, anyone who loves to do crafts, make jams, jellies or salsas, or bake holiday treats will be offering a wonderful array of gift ideas. Check out the Craft Fair this weekend – proceeds support our music ministry. The Fair is open Saturday, Nov. 11 from 10 am. – 4 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 12 after worship until 4 p.m. Be sure to stop by Knox Hall for Hospitality Time on Sunday and for an early start to your Christmas shopping.

Consecration Sunday celebrated

Last Sunday, Nov. 5, the church celebrated Consecration Sunday – a day when we presented our pledge cards and re-committed our lives to the ministry of First Presbyterian Church of Farmington. We are grateful that you joined us – whether in person or in spirit and prayer – making the event the success it was.  Some 150 members and friends of the church joined in the festivities. We are grateful for what you already have done. If you haven’t already, please take a moment to complete and return your pledge card.

Giving to others is such a joy. Your gift matters – it matters to you as the giver, and to the church, which utilizes it as a resource for mission. Please keep First Presbyterian Church of Farmington in your prayers as we, together, move towards discerning what gifts we will make in the coming years.  Thank you!    Consecration Sunday Team

Deadline for articles for the December FYI is Wednesday, November 15!

News from Christian Education and Nurture

Greetings!
I have just returned from the GLAPCE (Great Lakes Association of Presbyterian Church Educators) annual regional gathering in October at the Geneva Center Retreat and Conference Center in Rochester, Indiana. It is always a time of spiritual renewal and refreshment for me. This year’s theme was “We Belong Together,” based on 1 Corinthians 12:27: “Now you are the Body of Christ and individually members of it.” Our keynote speaker was Anne Wilson, the past president of APCE (Association of Presbyterian Church Educators), who related her personal story of her mother’s internment in a camp for Japanese-Americans during WW II. Anne also spoke of the importance of solitude, hospitality and community in our faith lives. Other workshops focused on welcoming and supporting those with special needs, mental illness and members of the LGBTQ community. We also enjoyed community building activities, mission activities as we filled and delivered six emergency clean-up buckets with supplies to Church World Service in support of hurricane ravaged areas, and Sabbath and worship time. It is my hope that we can continue building on this culture of hospitality and welcome here at First Presbyterian Church of Farmington!

I also submitted my Christian Educator Certification Exam to the PC(USA) for review on October 18 – after three years, six classes, and five months of writing and researching the capstone thesis and exam, which included designing and teaching a course to our 9 a.m. Sunday Adult Education class. I should learn of the result around Thanksgiving. Pastor Eddie and Elder Deb Lum served diligently on my reference group. Thank you for your support and prayers!

Yours in Christ, Joshua Archey

Join Pastor Eddie on Tuesday mornings at 10 a.m. for a study of the Confessions of the PC(USA), including our newest Confession, the Confession of Belhar, or on Sunday mornings at 9 a.m. with Rev. Dr. J. Harold Ellens and Rev. Craig Aue. All are welcome!  Those session end on Nov.19. The Advent series begins on Nov. 28 on Tuesdays for four weeks in the church library. This faith formation study will explore the sublime musical expression of the African American spirituals and their profound insights into the human condition and Christian life. The series is based on Luke Powery’s Rise Up, Shepherd! Advent Reflections on the Spirituals.

Youth in grades 6-12 and adults are invited to join us in helping our church friends clean up their yards on select Saturdays in November. Please contact Jan Dennison or Josh Archey if you can help!

On Saturday, Dec. 2, join your church family in decorating our church for the Christmas season. There will be hands-on activities and crafts for children. Join us!

Upcoming Fellowship and Outreach Opportunities

 

Check out Men’s Saturday Breakfasts

November 11, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. in Knox Fellowship Hall
Speaker is Tom Neal presenting on Grand Rapids Art Prize 2017

December 9, 2017 at Rosedale Garden, Livonia
Men’s Presbytery Advent Breakfast
Speaker is Chris Lambert, Executive Director of Life Remodeled

Boy Scouts’ popular Christmas Wreath Sale on Nov. 19

The Boy Scouts of Troop 179 will hold their annual Christmas Wreath sale before and after church on Sunday, Nov 19. The 12″ wreaths (typical front door size) is $25, and the slightly larger 18″ wreaths are $35.  Additionally, cedar roping is available for $25 for a 25′ length.  Larger wreaths may be ordered.  If you are unable to be at church on Nov 22, contact Lisa Hayes, and she’ll have a scout deliver your order.

 Nov 19 – Dec 10 is Hat and Mitten Tree time!

With cold weather just around the corner, it is time for our church’s Hat and Mitten Tree collection. From Nov. 19 until Dec. 10, we’ll be collecting hats, mittens, underwear and socks (no scarves, please) for needy children right here in our own community. 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

Thanksgiving Community Service on Nov. 20

First Presbyterian is pleased to be hosting this annual interfaith worship service on Monday, Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m. Representatives from a variety of houses of worship and community groups affiliated with the Farmington Area Interfaith Association will be participating. A community choir under the director of Dr. Jerry Custer will be singing, along with a children’s choir. Be sure to join us for this inspiring multi-cultural worship service and help us welcome worshippers from throughout our community.

Second Mile Center Opportunities

Thank you to all who donated food for the Second Mile Center Thanksgiving baskets.  If you would like to help to provide perishable items for the baskets, please write a check to SMC or donate a gift card to Kroger, Walmart or Target.   Ginny Hubble and Sue Carlson are collecting these.  Also, Ruth Azar is preparing a list of SMC children who will be receiving Christmas gift bags.  If individuals, families or groups would like to sponsor a child (suggested value of $65, with gift suggestions provided) or make a donation, please let Sue or Ginny know.  The bags will include a shirt, pants, underwear, socks, and a toy requested by the child.

Faith Formation – Advent Devotional Studies Nov 28-Dec 19

Come and join us Tuesday mornings at 10 in the Library for four weeks and explore the sublime musical expression of the African American spirituals and their profound insights into the human condition and the Christian life. Many focus on an essential scene of the Christian drama: the coming of God as the child in Bethlehem and as the hope of the world and the liberator of God’s oppressed people. Rise Up, Shepherd! Advent Reflections on the Spirituals written by Luke Powery leads the reader through the spirituals as they confront the mystery of incarnation and redemption. Each devotion features the lyrics of the spiritual, a reflection on the spiritual’s meaning, a Scripture verse, and a brief prayer.
Save the Dates: Tuesday mornings beginning November 28 through December 19.  Order your devotional for $8.45.

Hanging of the Greens on Dec 2

We invite family, friends and neighbors to help us decorate the church and prepare the church, our hearts and lives for the Advent season. Join us from 10 a.m. – 12 noon on Saturday, Dec. 2 for our annual Hanging of the Greens, including light refreshments and good fun!

Mark your calendars for the Dec. 4  Christmas Gathering

Christmas GatheringJoin us for “Joy, Hope and Peace,” a Christmas Gathering, is Mon., Dec. 4 at 7:00 p.m.  This is a festive evening of refreshments, music and pageantry including a short play, “The Mission,” performed by our own Presbyterian Players. The ten angels of the Search and Rescue Committee in heaven are on a mission: find Jesus!  This annual special event, sponsored by PW, is open to everyone.  Tickets ($3.00) will be on sale in mid-November.
.

Have Box Tops for Education at home?

Please cut them out bring, them in and put them in the collection box for Hillside Elementary School.  Each box top coupon is worth 10 cents for Hillside educational programs.  With just a little effort, we can add significant financial to support our adopted school.  Look for the plaid box in the Narthex and add your 10 cents!  If you have any questions, please call Martha Countegan.

Congregational Concerns

Conversations with the Pastor returns

On Sunday, Nov. 26, we will resume “Conversations with the Pastor.” Join Pastor Eddie in the sanctuary following service for an opportunity to ask questions and discuss issues of importance to our church. “Let’s be good companions of The Way and together discover what the fruit of the Spirit looks like.”  (Galatians 5:22-23). We will do this on the fourth Sunday of each month.

Hunger Ministry

Many thanks to all involved in making our hunger ministry for fresh produce another successful year. We donated a total of 525 lbs. of fresh produce to C.A.R.E.S. Food Pantry in SW Farmington Hills (the former St. Al’s Food Pantry). The harvest came from three sources:  our own rebuilt container gardens, produce grown in our congregation’s home gardens, and other produce lovingly selected from farmers’ markets and neighborhood stores.

A special thanks to Sharon and Mitchell Cressman for tending the garden, harvesting the veggies and delivering them weekly to C.A.R.E.S.  Also, accolades to the watering team. The tank ran dry but was refilled once the rains came. Jeff Ely is now making plans to winterize the rainwater collection system. Mucho congratulations on a job well done.

Where’s Pastor Eddie?

Pastor Eddie and Pam will be traveling to a family wedding the weekend of November 18-19.  Sunday’s worship on Nov. 19 will be led by Rev. Craig Aue.  If you have a pastoral need over that weekend, please contact Craig. The last week in November he also will be traveling to Puerto Rico to visit his family there and witness first-hand the recovery efforts underway and assistance needed as a result of the recent hurricanes that have caused extensive damage to the island.

Advent Candle Lighters Needed

The Worship Ministry Team is asking people to sign up to be Advent candle lighters for the four Sundays of Advent:  Dec. 3, Dec. 10, Dec. 17 and Dec. 24, as well as the 4:30 pm. service on Christmas Eve, Sunday, Dec 24. Please sign up on the kiosk or call the church office at 248 474-6170 if you would like to participate.

Bread bakers wanted

The Worship Ministry Team is seeking communion bread bakers.  We have a good recipe that has been fine-tuned over many years by Marcia Howe.  You don’t need to be a great baker to make it, as the bread recipe is easy.  Now that we are serving communion on the first and third Sundays of each month, we have a greater need to add more bread bakers to the communion team.  Please contact Pam Jusino for details.

Check out the church’s Facebook Page

Sometimes it is hard to get the word about a good event to those we do not see every day.  In the past we have used the U.S. mail, made phone calls and shared when we saw people while we are out and about.  Those remain excellent ways of sharing but, in today’s world, spreading the word happens more and more frequently via social media.  Not everyone is involved in social media so if calling your friends and sharing the word when you see folks is your way of communicating that is great – just please do it.

For those of you who use Facebook, if you have not “liked” our church page, please go to https://www.facebook.com/FirstPresbyterianChurchofFarmington/ and click the “like” icon. Once you have “liked” the page you will receive interesting church news including notice of our Craft Fair, which has been posted as an event. You may have to scroll down to find the original post.
You can help the Craft Fair be a success even if you are unable to attend.  Please “like” the event AND then “share” it to your timeline!  Just remember, Like and Share!

Hospitality Opportunity

There are plenty of opportunities to host our Hospitality time following worship.  A sign-up sheet is available on the kiosk to record your generous willingness to host and assist in reinforcing our welcoming presence to friends old and new.

From the Mission Committee

October is Mission Month and your Mission Team was busy as usual.  Thank you all for your encouragement and especially for your enthusiastic support of the Mission Fair on October 15.  More than 30 organizations supported by our church, either by our mission efforts or by Presbyterian Women or by both, were represented.  Many of you commented that you enjoyed meeting representatives from the organizations.  We hope everyone came away with new information about our mission outreach and felt good about our efforts to make a difference.  A huge thank you goes to Linda Clew and Emily Davis for pulling this Mission Fair together!

C.A.R.E.S. (formerly St. Al’s) is beginning the dream of bringing most any resource needed by anyone in the Farmington/Farmington Hills community under one roof.  Our church has supported St. Al’s food pantry for many years.  We continue to provide fresh vegetables during the growing season and canned and packaged food throughout the year.  For Thanksgiving we will provide a list of the grocery items so that we can purchase the requested items for Thanksgiving meals (we’ll post the list on our website and in the bulletin as soon as we receive it).  In October we sent C.A.R.E.S $1,000 for them to use as they see fit.  Our intention is to help with overhead expenses like electricity, believing that all religious organizations will want to ensure their continued ability to serve the community.

We sent another $600 to Fort Street Presbyterian ‘s Open Door program in October.  If you would like to support their outreach to provide meals and clothing, please see Jan Sell to join her and others from our church on the fourth Thursday of each month to drive down to this beautiful, historic church and share in this vital outreach ministry.

The Gleaners also received $500 from our church in October.  It was great to have Justin Hiller from the Gleaners speak to us in early October.  He talked about a new nutrition program the Gleaners is implemented to teach people how to provide nutritious meals for their families.

Stephen Ministers share resources

Stephen MinistersDo you know our Church Library contains several books that are helpful during life’s challenging times?  One such book was written by John Ricco.  John, a resident of Farmington Hills, is a cancer survivor who has written what he has learned into a book entitled “The Ride of Your Life:  Fighting Cancer with Attitude”.

In the book, John explains how we each need a “tool kit” to help us get through a cancer diagnosis, treatment and life as a survivor.  (This “tool kit” could also be used for any of life’s challenges.)  He believes that his diagnosis of cancer was a gift…it has been a chance for him to change and refocus his life.  It has been an opportunity to grow in his faith and his relationship to God.  He has been able to go through this seven-year journey with an amazingly positive attitude.

John also shares very practical tips regarding doctors, support of family and friends and becoming aware and involved in support groups.  All of this is done using the metaphor of bike riding; a hobby of John’s.  It’s an easy book to read with many great ideas and things to think about.

If you have any questions regarding Stephen Ministry, please contact Pastor Eddie, Helen Thomas or Lois Caito.

Sermons

After a brief absence, you can again listen to Pastor Eddie’s sermons via our website.  Just go the http://farmington-pres.org/sermons/ to listen or to share with a friend.  Your website and communications committee continues its work to improve our communications with each other as well as with newcomers.  Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.

Can you volunteer to drive?

Occasionally we need volunteers who are willing to drive church members to medical appointments. While the majority of our members are able to arrange for their own transportation, some cannot. That’s where you come in! The Deacons Transportation Committee would like to have a list of drivers and phone numbers of those who are willing to help occasionally. Once we have this list, we will make it available. Sign up on the list on the narthex door or contact Dave Carlson or Mary Carson.

October Session Meeting Highlights

At its October 18 meeting, the Session:

  • Treasurer Irene Sharpe reported that the outstanding balance on our building loan was $210,093.87 at the end of September.
  • Approved the Amendment to Resolution Establishing First Presbyterian Church of Farmington Endowment Fund.

 

We keep in our prayers

(Names withheld from the web-version of our FYI)

Members and friends who are ill; and prayers for the grieving:

We also remember members who are homebound, in nursing homes, and assisted living, and those serving in the military.

Kudos & Thanks

Kudos to Michael Barconey, the Presbytery of Detroit’s new Coordinator for Hands-on Mission. Michael has accepted the position to help local congregations become involved in hands-on mission to the metropolitan community and to their own community. He has participated in hands-on projects for youth, and is available to preach in churches throughout our Presbytery. Michael is a senior at University of Detroit Mercy, where he’s been an honors student. Michael is an elder and fifth generation Presbyterian. He has seen first-hand how Christ blesses both the volunteer and the mission partner. For more information on how you can serve those around you and invite others into mission, contact Michael at michaelbarconey@detroitpresbytery.org.

Dear Friends, Each year we travel to the USA to meet as the board of YPM and to analyze the growth, strength, unity, vision and reach of the organization. This September 16 we began our third two-week trip, and with each trip we have seen the growth of the organization. This is reflected in the projects achieved such as the University, the integration of new members into the work team, the finished projects such as those of the Northminster (Peoria) church building churches in the communities of Tres Reyes, Nuevo Durango and Nuevo Xcan, the unity of the members who make up the boards of directors of both YPM Mexico and YPM USA and also the impact of these benefits in the Maya area of the state of Quintana Roo.

There is much to tell, and there is still more, but the important thing in all of this is that in each experience lived where God has placed us, God uses each person and provides the things that will teach us and contribute to our good as we carry out our mission. There is nothing that comes to you without this purpose, because God has clear and specific goals for you and for me. He never forgets what He wants for you.

With this thought I give thanks to God and to each of you for giving us the opportunity to equip ourselves enough to continue with our ministry, and we are looking forward to our next trip. Thank you for your donations to buy what is needed at the Base
May God bless each of you in all things. This is our desire. Wilian, Erly and Andre

News from Samaritan Counseling Center

Samaritan Counseling Center is excited to announce the following addition to our staff:  Shazia Siddiqi, MA, ATR-BC, LPC – Clinician in Samaritan Counseling Center’s Nardin Park UMC office.

In Memorium:  It is with deep sadness that Samaritan Counseling Center acknowledges the passing of our dear friend, former SCC Executive Director Robert Martin.  Bob joined the SCC clinical staff in February of 2008, and served as executive director from 2012 until his retirement in 2016.  Bob’s compassion, curiosity, whimsy, dedication, and tenderness continue to send ripples of hope and healing into the future of the lives he touched directly, and into the community he served.

Upcoming Event:  Square Dance Fundraising Event
All proceeds from this fun-filled, family event will benefit the Client Assistance Fund.  Light refreshments and beverages will be provided.
Date:             Sunday, November 12, 2017     Time:              2:00-4:00 p.m.
Location:    Nardin Park United Methodist Church / Mercer Hall, 29887 West Eleven Mile Road, Farmington Hills
Cost:             $15 per person, or $50 for a family of four or more
Further information can be found on Samaritan Counseling Center’s website at sccmich.org.

Oct 312017
 

Come enjoy a Craft Sale with over 40 vendors, all in support of the Music Ministry of First Presbyterian Church of Farmington! We will also have a bake sale. Come shop Sat Nov 11th from 10-4 and Sunday, Nov. 12th from 12-4. We would love for you to join us in worship at 10 am Sunday before you shop. At the Craft Fair, you will find  unique homemade items to give to your family and friends. See you there!

11.11.2017 Music Fundraiser

 Posted by at 10:12 am
Oct 312017
 

The leaves are finally falling after an unusually warm start to fall. That means it’s time once again to lend a hand to members of our church family by helping them clean up their yards!

The work will take place between 9 am and 12 noon this Saturday, November 4th, 2017.

This is a GREAT opportunity for Scouts, high school students, and others to earn some needed volunteer service hours towards their school or Scouting requirements! Of course, adults are welcome too!

For further information, and if you can help, please contact Director of Christian Education Joshua Archey at

joshua.archey@farmington-pres.org or leave a message at 248-474-6170 (ext. 204).

Many Thanks!

 

 Posted by at 8:33 am
Oct 142017
 

Headlines

Peace & Global Witness Offering: Blessed are the Peacemakers

The Peace & Global Witness Offering is received during the Season of Peace.  Our church observed Peacemaking Sunday on October 1. Your generous gifts to the Peace & Global Witness Offering enable the church to promote the Peace of Christ by addressing systems of injustice across the world.  The offering will be used by the Presbyterian Mission Agency (GA) to advocate for peace and justice in cultures of violence, including our own, through collaborative projects of education and Christian witness.  The 25% retained by each church will be invested in local responses to injustice and violence.  Another 25% goes to the Mid Council Peace Initiative that links congregations in ministries of peace and reconciliation throughout presbyteries and synods.

It’s harvest time

Every Sunday morning until there is a hard frost we will continue to collect fresh produce from the church gardens for CARES, formerly known as St. Alexander’s Food Pantry. So far this year our church has donated 325 pounds of fresh produce to CARES.  Donations are still accepted in the bin outside the front door of our church.  If you do not have garden produce, consider stopping by the Farmer’s Market in downtown Farmington on Saturdays to pick up some vegetables and fruit to donate.  Your contributions are greatly appreciated and help the children and families in our community who need assistance and are thankful for your generosity.

Free Piano Concert on October 8

Internationally-acclaimed pianist Francesco Attesti will perform in concert here at First Presbyterian on Sunday, October 8, 2017 at 4 PM as he begins his 2017 North American concert tour. It’s truly an event you won’t want to miss!

A native of Cortona, Italy, Attesti gave his first public concert at the age of 11. He is an award-winning performer, widely considered to be a leading interpreter of Romantic and early Twentieth Century piano repertoire. He regularly concertizes across Europe and plays at leading American venues — such as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, where he will be featured on November 7, 2017.
Thanks to the generosity of individuals in the congregation, there will be no admission charge for this concert. However, there will be a free-will offering to allow those who are able to help defray the cost of this concert and support the arts programs of First Presbyterian Church of Farmington.
The intention is to enable those who ordinarily find live performances of this quality too expensive the opportunity to experience a performance by one of the outstanding classical pianists of our time in a facility that will showcase his considerable talent. We especially encourage piano students young and old alike, to join us for the event. It’s sure to be a wonderful outreach opportunity to invite neighbors, friends and co-workers to our church.

Mission Fair coming October 15

We hope you will be pleasantly surprised to learn of all the organizations First Presbyterian Church of Farmington supports when you come to church on Sunday, Oct. 15!  PW and the Mission Committee are hosting a Mission Fair in Knox Hall with displays from all the amazing causes. Be sure to stop by!

Consecration Sunday Is Coming

The Stewardship Ministry has selected the New Consecration Sunday Stewardship Program again this year as a way to teach the biblical and spiritual principles of generous giving.

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 complete an Estimate of Giving Card to make their financial commitments to our church’s mission and educational ministries in this community and around the world.  We urge people to attend who feel 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.  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.

Consecration Sunday co-Chairs, Deb Jackson Lum & Nancy Prieskorn

Deadline for articles for the November FYI is Wednesday, October 18!

 

Christian Education and Nurture News for October 2017

Fall Greetings! The leaves are beginning to turn color and a new school year has begun.  And there are many ways you can become active in the life of your church during this new season!

Here are some highlights:
Presbyterian Women (PW) Circles invite you to join one of their monthly gatherings, Presbyterian Men meet weekly on Tuesday mornings at 8:30 a.m. at Leo’s Coney Island (12 Mile & Farmington Rd.), our Adult Education hour continues Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m. in the 2nd floor church library, and the JOY study group meets every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Parlor.

Families and youth can look forward to our annual apple orchard and cider mill outing on Sunday, October 8 after worship, and to a family game night Friday, October 27 at 6:00 p.m.! Youth in grades 6-12 are also invited to join Jan Dennison and Josh Archey after Not for Children Only on Sunday, October 8 to make plans for the remainder of the fall and winter!

Have an idea or suggestion for the CE & Nurture Team or want to help? Please contact any one of the CE&N Team: Deb Jackson Lum (Chair), Howard Caylor, Jan Dennison, Leslie Moyna, and Josh Archey. We are always looking for volunteers for K-5 Sunday School, as well as nursery help (when the nursery staff are ill or on vacation). Your support and participation is what allows us to offer Christian nurture to members and friends of all ages. Thank you!

Upcoming Events and Mission Opportunities

Flu shot clinic on Sunday, October 22

The Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) will hold a flu shot clinic after worship on Sunday, October 22 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in Knox Fellowship Hall.  If you have any questions, please contact Donna Marvicsin.

Caregiving Ministry Update

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”  (John 15:12)
The Caregiving Ministry Team has been hard at work putting together caregiving leaders and their clusters.  We will have the program “ready to roll” after we hold a short training session with those who have volunteered to be caregiving leaders.  (This program is an enhancement of the shepherds and flocks manner of reaching out to all of our church members and friends.)

Caregiving leaders recently received a letter about the upcoming training date.  And all church members should expect contact from their leader soon.  Please welcome that call and embark upon a growing friendship.  If you have questions, please contact one of the members of the Caregiving Ministry Team:  Mickey Seiler, Sally Kirsten, Helen Thomas, Lois Caito and Charlene Diehl.

Men’s Saturday Breakfasts

October 14, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. in Knox Fellowship Hall
Our speaker is Bob Akins, the aviation artist and photographer who spoke to us last year.  He retired in 2000 as Chief Designer for Ford Trucks. The design, engineering and production of any vehicle is a very expensive proposition, and the design effort usually involves a team.  However, what made the design unique of the 1984-86 SVO Mustang and the 1984 Mustang PPG Indy Pace Car was that Bob was the only designer involved.  This and his other experiences with the Mustang design programs will be included in his presentation.

November 11, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. in Knox Fellowship Hall
Speaker is Tom Neal presenting on Grand Rapids Art Prize 2017

December 9, 2017 at Rosedale Garden, Livonia
Men’s Presbytery Advent Breakfast
Speaker is Chris Lambert, Executive Director of Life Remodeled

All Saints Sunday is November 5

On Sunday, November 5, 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 5 and remember that it’s also Daylight’s Saving Time so be sure to set your clock back before retiring on Saturday night.

Can you volunteer to drive?

Occasionally we need volunteers who are willing to drive church members to medical appointments. While the majority of our members are able to arrange for their own transportation, some cannot. That’s where you come in! The Deacons Transportation Committee would like to have a list of drivers and phone numbers of those who are willing to help occasionally. Once we have this list, we will make it available. Sign up on the list on the narthex door or contact Dave Carlson or Mary Carson.

Sermons

Did you know that you can listen to Pastor Eddie’s sermons via our website?  Just go the http://farmington-pres.org/sermons/ to listen or to share with a friend.  Your website and communications committee continues to work to improve our communications with each other as well as with newcomers.  Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.

From the Mission Committee …

Thank you all for your support of Sneakers for Kids in August! Instead of collecting money for school supplies, this year we focused on tennis shoes.  Farmington elementary school kids are asked to leave a pair of sneakers at school for gym class.  This request is very difficult for many families who just don’t have the money to buy a pair of shoes to be worn only at school.  We are pleased to announce that we donated $1,929 — that’s a lot of sneakers!

Contributions from our church in August were made to these three organizations:
Baldwin Center‘s mission is to feed, clothe, educate and empower the men, women and children of the Pontiac community.  They currently offer more than 25 support programs that meet basic needs, offer assistance in a crisis, provide education and enrichment opportunities for adults and children, and serve as a safety net. Baldwin serves meals seven days a week and its clothes closet is open Monday through Friday.  We contributed $500.
Fort Street Open Door program has long been an important part of our church’s mission plans.  A group of our members volunteer once a month serving meals and working in the clothing closet.  This year Fort Street Open Door is celebrating its 50th anniversary.  We contributed $600 now and another $600 later in the fall.
Crossroads of Michigan is a new organization to our mission budget.  Linda Clew volunteers at Crossroads whose mission is to provide counseling, advocacy and material assistance to respond to needs in the community.  We contributed $500.

In September, we donated to the following organizations:
Neighborhood House is so important to many people in our community.  Our church supports Neighborhood House by collecting food and supplies, when requested, and with monetary support.  We donated $500.
Lighthouse PATH’s mission is to provide transitional housing to help homeless women and children live safely and independently.   We contributed $300.
This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of our very own Farmington Presbyterian Preschool.  With a $1,200 scholarship from our church along with support from the preschool board, a young student in need is attending the preschool.
Habitat for Humanity provides safe, decent and affordable housing.  Maybe you’ve worked on a “build” with a homeowner.  Do you know about Habitat ReStores?  They are home improvement outlets and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, appliances, cabinets, paint and all other items for renovations and do-it-yourself projects to the public at a fraction off the retail price (there is one on Grand River in Farmington).   Proceeds are used to help finance Habitat homes along with donations from the community.  We contributed $500.  P.S. The stores are looking for volunteers too.
Please mark your calendar for Sunday, October 15 and come to the Mission Fair.  After church that Sunday, PW and the Mission Committee invite you to learn more about all the organizations that our church supports with money and/or time.  We’ll have displays and literature for all the causes and guests from some of the organizations, too.

Crafters and Bakers Needed to Support Music Program

A Craft Fair is coming together for Saturday and Sunday November 11 and 12 at First Presbyterian Church.This year we are opening the event to outside vendors.Anyone who loves to do crafts, make jams, jellies or salsas, or bake holiday treats are welcome.Space size will be 10 feet by 10 feet.For more information or to reserve a space, please contact Deborah Draper (248) 579-6053 or thehandweaver@gmail.com. And be sure to plan to stop by for some early Christmas shopping that supports the church’s music ministry.

 Think Stephen Ministers

Stephen MinistersDid you know that while some Stephen Ministry relationships can last for a year or more, others last only for a few weeks?  For example, a Stephen Minister can meet with you while you are going through medical tests, waiting for the results, adjusting to a new job or facing retirement.

While our ministry is available to all our members, you do not have to be a member of our church to have a Stephen Minister.  In fact, you are the front lines of this caring ministry in our congregation.  Throughout the week, as you meet and greet those around you, think Stephen Ministry.  If you see people who are downcast or struggling through difficult times, think Stephen Ministry.  Tell them about this special ministry in our congregation where they can receive the extra love and care they need to make it through the challenge or crisis they are facing.

If you have any questions or know of someone who would benefit by having a Stephen Minister, please contact Pastor Eddie, Helen Thomas or Lois Caito.

Since 1975 Stephen Ministers have provided distinctively Christian care to more than one-and-a-half million people in one-to-one Stephen Ministry caring relationships and have also used their caregiving skills to touch the lives of millions more in other ways. Please visit the Stephen Ministry website to learn more about this extraordinary organization:  www.stephenministries.org

What if Pontius Pilate Had Spared Jesus and thus No Crucifixion?

Lyceum Lecture*, Knox Hall – Friday, November 3, 2017, 7:30 PM
Take away the crucifixion and you have erased the central moment of the Christian religion. Is it blasphemous to wonder what would have happened if Jesus had been spared from the agony of the cross?  What sort of life might Jesus have led?  How might the faith he founded have developed?

Lawrence Gage will present an essay by Carlos M. N. Eire, Chairman of the Yale University Department of Religious Studies, which addresses these questions, the impact of deleting the crucifixion as the central moment of Christianity, and the implications for both Christianity and Judaism.   The presentation of Professor Eire’s essay will be followed by an opportunity for discussion.

The evening’s presenter Dr. Lawrence Gage, retired from Oakland Community College as a Distinguished Emeritus member of the faculty after a 40-year career on the counseling staff.  He earned his doctorate at Wayne State University, is a member of Psi Chi the National Honorary Society in Psychology, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor. An ordained elder, he is a member of First Presbyterian Church of Farmington and currently serves on two committees of the Presbytery of Detroit. For seven years he also served on the Presbytery’s Committee on Preparation for Ministry, chaired the Commissioned Ruling Elder preparation program and has served on two Presbytery Judicial Administrative Commissions.  He is a charter member of the Lyceum and this is his fifth lecture presentation.

*The Lyceum lectures are the creation of Dr. J. Harold Ellens, who 20 years ago wished to provide presentations to explore a variety of topics in a lecture/discussion format.  Until this year Dr. Ellens hosted the lectures in his home but now has a rental arrangement for the use of Knox Hall.

Congregational News and Concerns

 

Cope Memorial Garden rededicated on September 10

The restoration of the Cope Memorial Garden and the Biblical Herb Garden is now complete! After many years of planning and with recent financial support from four families to kick off the funding, both gardens have received much-needed landscaping work and enhancements.  Established gardens on the north side of the brick paver walkway have been tidied up and the pine trees trimmed up to allow in more light.  The expansion on the south side adjacent to the Bible Herb Garden has been defined and groomed. The brick walkway that used to connect the Herb Garden to the sidewalk has been reinstalled and its walkways also have been restored. A new brick paver walkway has been installed and is graced by wrought iron arches at each entryway.  A re-dedication of the two gardens took place on September 10 as part of our annual Fall Fest activities. Additional donors are being sought to complete funding for this project and for ongoing maintenance support. To find out how you can be part of this project, contact Alvine Cooper.

We keep in our prayers

Names withheld from the web version of the FYI.

We hold in our prayers:  Members and friends as well as those impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the recent earthquakes, as well as those who have put themselves in harm’s way to assist them.

And prayers for the grieving

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

And those serving in the military

September Session Meeting Highlights

At its September 20 meeting, the Session:

  • Approved the Endowment Development Task Force as a work group of the Session to revitalize awareness of endowment giving by the congregation.
  • Heard the report of new Treasurer Irene Sharpe.
  • Agreed that the monthly ‘Conversations with the Pastor’ should be resumed.

 

Kudos

Kudos to Alvine Cooper on her selection as Volunteer of the Year for the Archives at the Yankee Air Museum.  And good luck, Alvine, on your recruitment drive to regain the Guinness Book of World Records’ title for most Rosie the Riveters at an event on Saturday, October 14 at the EMU Convocation Hall in Ypsilanti.  Interested in joining the fun and being part of a world-record breaking event?  Contact Alvine for details.

Sep 082017
 

Headlines

Fall Fest is Sunday, September 10

Join us as we celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of fall. Boy Scout Troop #179 extends a huge thank you and shows their appreciation for the over 25 years First Presbyterian Church of Farmington has been their sponsor by preparing a free barbeque lunch followed by games and activities for all generations including the return of a 38’ inflatable obstacle course. The band, I Sam 3, is returning for an encore performance. New this year: henna tattoos!!! First Presbyterian Church invites and welcomes families, friends and neighbors to enjoy this lively, free event.

We have a little twist on this year’s Fall Festival. PW is inviting everyone to bring something for Second Mile Center’s Thanksgiving baskets. Thanksgiving baskets in September? YES YES YES!

The plan is to collect food throughout September so that we can deliver it to Second Mile Center on their Clean Up Day on October 7. The following items are included in the Second Mile Center Thanksgiving Basket: elbow macaroni, cranberry sauce, cake mix, canned frosting, large can of yams, green beans or corn, and a box or bag of white self-rising corn meal.  If possible, please bring one or more of the items on the list to Fall Fest or later in September. If you would prefer to donate a perishable item that is accomplished through the donation of a Walmart, Kroger, Target or Meijer’s gift card.

Please use caution when entering the church parking lot as activities, games and entertainment will be set up near the driveway off Farmington Road.  Please avoid that entryway and avoid parking on the south side of the church.

It’s harvest time

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

New Pictorial Directory in the Works

We’ve had new members and a new pastor since our pictorial directory was published in 2011. That means it’s definitely time for a new one! Professional quality portraits will be taken at our church on September 14, 15 and 16 or if those dates don’t work for you at nearby churches who are also producing directories.  Each family unit (size one or more) will receive one complimentary 8”x10” color portrait as well as the opportunity to purchase additional photos, if you so desire. Remember that pets are welcome. The plan is to distribute the new pictorial directory sometime during the first quarter of 2018. Please contact Deborah Draper or Randy Edwards for more information.

Save the Date for New Member Class

Watch for details of our next New Member Class after worship on Sunday, October 8.  It’s a great way to learn more about our church, its ministries and activities. New members will be received during worship on Sunday, October 22.

Deadline for articles for the October FYI is Wednesday, September 20!

From the Pen of the Pastor

Summer is winding down. Families and children are returning back home from vacation and beginning to get ready for the new school season. And so is the Church. After a somewhat relaxing summer schedule, the church is preparing for Fall Festival, September 10th and gearing up for the new church calendar and liturgical season. As I see a number of you returning to Sunday worship, I am left wondering how to tap into your spirit of gratitude and restful souls, imagination and creativity? How can we faithfully organize such energy in support of the generous self-giving spirit of stewardship and volunteerism? In our time, it is quite clear that all the demands for time and physical presence present real challenges for the spirit of stewardship and volunteerism. So many people are working today, especially in our young families. It is hard to find time to fit in all that we want to do. It’s become hard to even sit down together and enjoy a family meal, communicate and care for one another. Time has become the most valuable of gifts; it’s beyond value.

Here is the thing I would like for you to begin considering and intentionally include in your planning. One thing you can do is to look at your church as a place where you will find multiple opportunities that are realistic and heartening where you can make a difference. To name a few, how about signing up as a Caregiver Cluster Leader, or a Communion Minister for our homebound members? I also think that you would enjoy being a teacher in our Sunday School. It is not very demanding, only one time per month, yet one that will surely keep you young at heart. How about Sunday Worship Liturgist, Usher, or Chancel and Youth Choir Member? Here is one that I have heard lots of conversation about lately: how about being part of a welcoming/greeter team for our many guests on Sunday mornings? These are just a few of the many opportunities in which you can ensure that your gift of time plus talent can make a difference. Each one and many other ministries are simple ways in which you can express your gratitude to God for blessings received through your generous and selfless love in action.

As we continue to embrace a spirit of transformation and renewal, please remember that at the heart of genuine stewardship is the desire to in some way give back to God a little of what we have received as grace and blessing.

In the days ahead, check out the worship bulletin, the FYI newsletter and our website for more information, like Team Ministry Leaders e-mails and descriptions of the many opportunities where your contribution of time plus talent will be making a difference. There is no doubt that the church will greatly appreciate some of your horsepower. Please give this prayerful thought on whether or not your wisdom and experience, imagination and creativity might in some way help First Presbyterian Church of Farmington grow in ministry.

“As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”  (1st Peter 4:10, ESV)

See you in worship!
Peace & Grace,   Pastor Eddie
Did you know that you can listen to Pastor Eddie’s sermons via our website?  Just go the https://farmington-pres.org/sermons/ to listen or to share with a friend.  Your website and communications committee continues to work to improve our communications with each
other as well as with newcomers.  Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.

 

Christian Education / Christian Nuture News and Events

What’s in a Name?

We’ve felt it for a while, that sense that something was ‘off’ in our approach to Christian Education. Fewer and fewer people are showing up for the events that we so carefully planned. Tried and true methods that have served the church well for many years just don’t seem to be working any longer.  We talk with friends from other churches who are involved in leading Christian Education, and they share similar experiences.

In a period of prayerful discernment, we acknowledged a key challenge for 21st century Christians: how to grow as disciples of Christ in a world filled with competing priorities, overloaded schedules, jobs that require us to work at night and/or on weekends, and changes in life circumstances that make it nearly impossible for us to regularly come to the church to attend worship services or participate in activities. We realized a program heavy, classroom oriented approach to Christian Education is a model that just doesn’t fit with the realities of our present age. This is particularly true for our youth and young adults and for the parents of children under the age of 18.

We turned for guidance to the Book of Order, one of the two books that form the Constitution of our Presbyterian Church (USA) denomination. We were surprised to find a strong emphasis on nurture as one of the primary ways that Christians minister to one another, with pastoral care as the other. Very little mention is made of education, and only as an aspect of nurture.

“What would happen,” we asked ourselves, “if we shifted our emphasis to nurturing one another in our faith family? How might that change what we do and how we do it?”

The Book of Order offered additional guidance on the role of this ministry, which led us to a new ministry team definition that begins with our purpose: “To manage the education and nurture of believers and their children in their faith journey toward full maturity in Jesus Christ, through all of life and life’s transitions including:

  • those entering the community of faith (e.g., infants & toddlers, newly baptized adults, adults who are new to the Presbyterian Church);
  • those assuming responsibility in the world (e.g., children, youth and young adults),
  • those who are living out Christian vocation in public, active life (adults);
  • those responding to change in circumstances offering new limitations and new freedoms (e.g. people of any age who are in hospitals, care facilities, retirement communities and homes).”

[Reference: Book of Order 2015-2017, W-6.1003 & W.6-2000]

We assigned champions to specific cohorts of people who are at similar stages in their faith journey, and identified our near-term focus for each one:

  • Leslie Moyna: Birth thru Grade 5. Leslie is working on our Sunday morning volunteer model, web-based and electronic supplements for parents to support the Sunday morning curriculum, enhancing the Sunday morning ‘Prayground’ and reaching out to our birth-through-preschool families, in order to initiate conversation on how best to help them nurture their young children. Our goal is to equip parents to nurture their children’s faith through these early years, supplementing their Sunday morning experience with tools they can use even when they cannot make it to church.
  • Jan Dennison: Jr. & Sr. Highs. Jan is reaching out to our youth, their families and the adult volunteers who have worked with our youth in the past, in order to initiate conversation on how best to fit Christian education and nurture into their fast-paced lives. Our goal is to nurture our youth as they navigate the turbulent teen years, helping them lean into their faith as their moral and ethical compass.
  • Howard Caylor & Deb Lum: Adult (College and beyond) plus Intergenerational. Deb and Howard are working on a mix of offerings for these cohorts, mindful that many of our new members have no background in the Presbyterian Church and have jobs that require them to work at times when we have historically held classes. They are also reaching out to college-bound students to initiate conversation on how to nurture them while they are away from their faith family. Our goal is to find a mix of ongoing initiatives (e.g., Sunday morning study group) as well as short-term time-bound opportunities for exploring aspects of faith (e.g., Advent dinners and study series) and one-time events to nurture one another (e.g., dinners for eight, web-based conversations with pastor for the college students).
  • Josh Archey: Those in life transitions (not able to come to the church and actively participate in that aspect of congregational life). Josh is in conversation with members of this cohort, seeking their input on an engagement strategy. Our goal is to nurture their faith and their connection to their faith family, even though they are not able to be physically present at the church or at mission sites.

We’re excited to see what God will work in our midst as this vision for our ministry unfolds in the coming year!

Your Nurture Team,  Deb Jackson Lum, Howard Caylor, Jan Dennison, Leslie Moyna and Josh Archey

Youth Connections – Events especially for 6th-12th graders (and their families)!

Sunday, September 17: Worship with Rev. Willian Colli Cen and Erly Santos Cen of Yucatan Peninsula Mission (YPM). Whether you were on the Mexico mission trip this summer or not, you will be inspired by the selfless dedication of Willian and Erly in helping to build a better life for the children and youth of Leona Vicario, Mexico. Through YPM University and School, health clinics, churches and more, YPM brings opportunities to the Mayan-Mexican people in the rural, impoverished areas of the Yucatan peninsula. Join us in welcoming them in worship and stay afterwards for a time of fellowship and hospitality to learn more about this remarkable ministry of our church!

Saturday, September 30, Presbytery of Detroit Middle School Youth Rally @ Howell Nature Center. Depart FPC Farmington @ 8:45 am, Return between 5 and 5:30 pm. Join Jan Dennison, Josh Archey, and youth from across the Presbytery of Detroit for a day of fun and fellowship at Howell Nature Center! After a morning filled with energizers, music, guest speakers and awesome small group fun, enjoy lunch together before heading out on the trails to the low ropes course, archery range and, last but not least, the zip line! Cost: $20 includes lunch, all activities and a T-shirt!

Sunday, October 8 – Calling all 6th-12th graders! Join Jan Dennison in the Parlor (2nd floor) after Not for Children Only. Find out more about the ministries of our church and how YOU can be a part! Would you like to help with fall clean-up of some of our members’ and friends’ yards? Go on an apple orchard outing? Visit a food pantry? Help organize a community Trick or Treat at church? Have another great idea? Join us!

Coming up on Sunday, October 8 after worship! Invite your friends! Invite your family! Join us as we carpool to a local apple orchard for some fresh apple cider and warm, delicious apple cider donuts! You can even pick your own apples to bring home with you! (Depart approximately 11:30 a.m.; return by 3 p.m.).

Events and Mission Opportunities

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” – Jesus, Matthew 5:9

Six years ago, the Presbyterian Church (USA) introduced A Season of Peace, a set-apart time during the four weeks preceding World Communion Sunday to focus on peace.  These four weeks include several significant dates. September 11 has its 16th commemoration this year and September 21 is the United Nations International Day of Peace.  The Season culminates on October 1 with World Communion Sunday.

Three years ago, our congregation began an annual witness to peacemaking tradition: placing signs on the front lawn bearing the cross as well as faith symbols of some of our interfaith neighbors. This year, the symbols will be erected on Sunday, September 17, after worship and our hospitality time. Please mark your calendars and plan to stay for a few extra minutes to help make this happen.

  • These resources will be available to guide you and your family through our season of peace:
  • Subscribe to daily reflections that will be delivered directly to your inbox September 3 – October 1. Follow this link and choose ‘Path of Peace’ under the Advocacy and Social Justice section: https://www.presbyterianmission.org/newsletter-subscription/
  • OR, pick up a printed copy of the daily reflections, which will be available starting September 3 in the Narthex (lobby) at the church. Or contact the church office to request that a copy be mailed to you (phone 248-474-6170 or email info@farmington-pres.org ).
  • Pick up a set of Peace Cards in the Narthex, or contact the church office to request that a set be mailed to you. There are three sets of 30 cards from which to choose.Peace cards can be used anywhere and with anyone — at meals or family gatherings, during fellowship at church, as icebreakers for study groups, or for in-depth conversations on long rides with youth. Use one card per day during A Season of Peace and let the conversations lead to new perspectives and practices for making peace.
  • Pick up a peace poster to color with your family in the Narthex, or contact the church office to request that a set be mailed to you. This reproducible black and white original artwork is based on Ephesians 2: 14-17 and features the text “Peace to those who are near and those who are far away.” The wings of the dove have the word “peace” in five languages – Hebrew, Arabic, Spanish, Korean and English.

Plans are ‘in the works” for a peacemaking fair at the end of September. Stay tuned for details!

Peace & Global Witness Offering: Blessed are the Peacemakers

The Peace & Global Witness Offering is received during the Season of Peace.  Our church will observe Peacemaking Sunday on October 1. A gift to the Peace & Global Witness Offering enables the church to promote the Peace of Christ by addressing systems of injustice across the world.  The offering is used by the Presbyterian Mission Agency (GA) to advocate for peace and justice in cultures of violence, including our own, through collaborative projects of education and Christian witness.  25% is retained by each church to invest in local responses to injustice and violence.  Another 25% goes to the Mid Council Peace Initiative that links congregations in ministries of peace and reconciliation throughout presbyteries and synods.

Save the Date:  Mission Fair coming October 15

We hope you will be pleasantly surprised to learn of all the organizations First Presbyterian Church of Farmington supports when you come to church on Sunday, Oct. 15!  PW and the Mission Committee are hosting a Mission Fair in Knox Hall with displays from all the amazing causes. Be sure to stop by!

Shop the Sales! 10 for 10. Buy One, Get One Free.

FPCF will be collecting non-perishable food items throughout the month of September for Second Mile Center’s Thanksgiving baskets. Suggested items include stovetop stuffing, gravy, instant potatoes, cornbread, canned vegetables, canned fruit, peanut butter, tuna fish, mac & cheese, cake mix, frosting, brownie mixes. Contribute one item or more and place in the collection bins located in the kiosk area.  Gift certificates are also welcome for the purchase of perishable items from Meijer’s, Kroger, Wal-Mart etc. Any donation is appreciated and SMC asks for prayers first, for the children, volunteers and staff.  Thank you in advance.  FPCF Mission Ministry Team

Our Stephen Ministers offer Care

Stephen Ministry is an important part of our Caregiving Ministry here at First Presbyterian Church of Farmington.  Our Stephen Ministers have undergone at least 50 hours of training in emotional and spiritual care. Each Stephen Minister is equipped to provide confidential, one-on-one Christian care and ongoing support to individuals who are experiencing difficulties in their lives.

What Can You Do?
This is your ministry. Here’s how you can play an important role:

  • Pray for God to bring hope and healing to hurting people through our Stephen Ministry.
  • Accept care from a Stephen Minister in your time of need.
  • Tell a friend, neighbor, co-worker, or relative who is hurting about our Stephen Ministry.
  • If you are a good listener and a compassionate person, talk to a Stephen Leader about becoming a Stephen Minister. Contact Pastor Eddie, Helen Thomas or Lois Caito.

About The Stephen Ministries Organization:

  • More than 11,000 congregations are enrolled in the Stephen Series. They represent more than 160 different Christian denominations and come from all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces, and 24 other countries.
  • Since 1975 Stephen Ministers have provided distinctively Christian care to more than one-and-a-half million people in one-to-one Stephen Ministry caring relationships and have also used their caregiving skills to touch the lives of millions more in other ways.

Visit the Stephen Ministry website to learn more about
this extraordinary organization:  www.stephenministries.org

Welcome back, Chancel Choir!

Although worship and music never stops at First Pres Farmington, the time has come to bid thanks and farewell to our stalwart Summer Choir and announce the return of Chancel Choir.  Rehearsals resume Thursday, September 8 in the Sanctuary, starting at 7:30 p.m. Returning singers will find music all ready for you and in your folder.  If you’re joining us for the first time, please plan to meet in the choir room about 7:15 to check in and allow us to assemble your folder for you.  Any questions? Contact Dr. Jerry Custer at custer@wayne.edu, and remember: there is always room for you in the music ministry of First Pres Farmington. Do you hear God calling?

Save the Date for a once-in-lifetime Event!

Internationally-acclaimed pianist Francesco Attesti will perform in concert here at First Presbyterian on Sunday, October 8, 2017 at 4 PM as he begins his 2017 North American concert tour. It’s truly an event you won’t want to miss!

A native of Cortona, Italy, Attesti gave his first public concert at the age of 11. He is an award-winning performer, widely considered to be a leading interpreter of Romantic and early Twentieth Century piano repertoire. He regularly concertizes across Europe and plays at leading American venues — such as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, where he will be featured on November 7, 2017.


Thanks to the generosity of individuals in the congregation, there will be no admission charge for this concert. However, there will be a free-will offering to allow those who are able to help defray the cost of this concert and support the arts programs of First Presbyterian Church of Farmington.

The intention is to enable those who ordinarily find live performances of this quality too expensive to experience a performance by one of the outstanding classical pianists of our time in a facility that will showcase his considerable talent. We especially encourage piano students young and old alike, to join us for the event. It’s sure to be a wonderful outreach opportunity to invite neighbors, friends, and co-workers to our church.

Making a Difference at Fort Street Presbyterian Church

There’s a group from First Presbyterian Church of Farmington that goes to Fort Street Presbyterian Church on the fourth Thursday of each month to prepare and serve lunch to those in needs. They are hoping that this is the kind of ministry that you might want to join. They take clothing, shoes and jackets whenever there are donations available. Be sure to label your donations “FORT STREET” and leave by/on the clothes rack in the kiosk area. Jan Sell heads up this group and is actively looking for volunteers to help. It is a gratifying way to help those less fortunate and make a real difference in the life of someone who is so grateful for the support. Many thanks for your continued support of this mission outreach project. Please contact Jan for information on how you might participate and be enriched by serving.

Calling all actors!

Presbyterian Players is planning our Christmas play, to be performed Monday, December 4 and Wednesday, December 6. If you might be interested in being cast in the play, contact Laura Hedgecock, Sally Kirsten or Pam Jusino ASAP. Rehearsals are Monday nights starting in October. We can also use help with costumes, prompting and scenery. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to share your talents and join in the fun.

Cope Memorial Garden Restoration Underway

After many years of planning and with recent financial support from four member families, the restoration of Cope Memorial Garden and the Biblical Herb Garden is in progress. The plan is to tidy up the established garden on the north side of the brick paver walkway while preparing for the expansion on the south side adjacent to the Bible Herb Garden.  A brick walkway that used to connect the Herb Garden to the sidewalk is being resurrected along with a new brick paver walkway that will form a southern border and will be graced by wrought iron arches.  A rededication of the two gardens is planned as part of the September 10 worship service and the church’s popular Fall Festival. Kudos to Alvine Cooper and Manny Sharpe who have been heading up the restoration effort, as well as to Dan and Ruth McKinnon who have been faithfully tending to the Herb Garden that their daughter created as a Girl Scout “Gold” project 30 years ago. Additional donors are being sought to complete funding for this important beautification project and ongoing maintenance support. To find out how you can be part of this project, contact Alvine Cooper.

Crafters and Bakers Needed to Support Music Program

A Craft Fair is nit he works for Saturday and Sunday November 11th and 12th at First Presbyterian Church.  This year we are opening the event to outside vendors.  Anyone who loves to do crafts, make jams, jellies or salsas, or bake holiday treats are welcome.  Space size will be 10 feet by 10 feet.  For more information or to reserve a space, please contact Deborah Draper (248) 579-6053 or thehandweaver@gmail.com.

Preparation for Marriage Workshop

Choosing a life-partner is one of the most important decisions a person can make.  Often, while a great deal of time, energy, and money are expended in planning a wonderful, fun, and meaningful wedding day, much less effort is given to intentional, focused, effective preparation for the marriage itself.

This workshop, led by experienced leaders, provides opportunities for couples to identify and explore both strengths and areas of potential difficulties in their relationship. Couples will consider the complexity of marriage, recognize what each individual brings to this relationship, and clarify the expectations both have as they enter into this commitment.

Please join us September 23, 2017 at First United Methodist Church (UMC) of Birmingham.  The workshop hours are 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. and the cost is $225.00 per couple. Private Session Cost: $275.00 per couple (please call to schedule).

Please call Samaritan Counseling Center (248) 474-4701 for more information or visit our website at www.samaritancounselingmichigan.com and download the Preparation for Marriage Brochure, located under our SERVICES tab.

Congregational Concerns

August Session Meeting Highlights

At its August 15 meeting, the Session:

  • Heard a report from Administrative Assistant Karen Spica on recent church office improvements.
  • Approved a Harassment Policy to “provide a prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging unlawful harassment that will foster an environment of hospitality for all persons and encourages respect, equality and kinship in Christ. Sexual harassment is expressly prohibited and will not be tolerated.” Such a policy is required by the Presbytery of Detroit.
  • Scheduled a church officers retreat for January 27, 2018.

We keep in our prayers

(Names withheld from webversion of the FYI.)

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

Kudos and Thanks

We want to thank Pastor Eddie and the entire congregation for such a beautiful day on August 13.  The reception was wonderful and it was so humbling to see how much work was put into making Evelyn’s baptism extra special.  We truly appreciated her warm welcome into God’s grace.  Lauren and Kyle Segnitz

Thank you so very much for the lovely retirement tea you gave me. I felt so loved and appreciate by your gifts, calls, kind words and thoughtfulness. I also want to thank you for the VISA gift card. I used it to buy a new pair of walking shoes and my dog thanks you too as we walk each day! I miss all of you but look forward to the times when we will see each other again. Blessings, Pam Williams

Dear 1st Farmington Presbyterian Church Family – Many thanks for your support and hospitality for the Jr. High Mission Trip from 4th Presbyterian, Chicago.  We really appreciated the meal, the fellowship, and the kindness.  Sincerely, Julie Frances Cook, 4th Pres

Dear Friends at First P.C. Farmington:  Thank you for your gift of $500 to the Southwest Detroit Immigrant and Refugee Center. We depend on your support to help people like Selvin Ramos Fuentes, a 14-year-old refugee from Honduras who lives in Detroit.  Selvin is one of hundreds of immigrants and refugees served by SWIRC volunteers.  The work is challenging – but thanks to your prayers and support, we continue. May God bless you and your ongoing ministry in Farmington.  In Christ, Rev. Kevin J. Piecuch, Esq., SWIRC Executive Director

On behalf of the Session and members of Hope Presbyterian Church, we would like to say thank you, the mission team and the members of First Farmington for choosing Hope as a recipient of a portion of your One Great Hour of Sharing offering!  We serve a community with many needs, more needs than our members can handle. Your donation will allow us to continue our outreach ministry to the block club and the local senior residence. Your letter was read to the congregation and at the conclusion everyone clapped! It is wonderful to be part of a connectional church. God is Good! I look forward to the many way God will connect Hope Church and First Farmington. God’s Peace, Pastor Charon Barconey, Hope Presbyterian Church

Thank you. Today to you stood up again domestic and sexual violence in your community. Your donation to HAVEN provides survivors more than just a safe shelter; it creates a sense of hope for a strong and safer tomorrow.  Your gift gets all of us a step closer to a world where sexual assault and domestic violence do not exist. On behalf of the 20,000 individual who rely on HAVEN’s services, thank you for your generous support. Sincerely, Carole Winnard Brumm, Acting Director of Development, HAVEN Foundation

Second Mile Center looking for Golfers

Praying that every church will be able to join us at our first golf outing. Thank you for your continued partnership and serving Christ at The Second Mile Center of Detroit. God Bless, Ruth Azar

Jul 012017
 

HEADLINES

Second Mile Health Fair July 15

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

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

Volunteers needed for Fall Fest

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

New Pictorial Directory coming soon

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

Founder Festival Parade Float planned

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

Crafters and Bakers Needed for Music Fundraiser

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

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

From the Pen of the Pastor

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace & Grace, Pastor Eddie

Christian Education News and Events

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

July-August 2017

ONGOING:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Needed Craft Supplies:

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

Mission and Fellowship Opportunities

Summer Music has started for singers and musicians

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

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

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

Worship and the Creative Arts Ministry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grace and Peace.”

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

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

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

Caregiving Ministry Update

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

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

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

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

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

Crafters and Bakers Needed for Music Fundraiser

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

From the Mission Ministry Team…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Karen Linnell, Chair, Mission Ministry Team

Thoughts from outgoing PW Moderator Sue Carlson

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

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

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

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

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

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

Congregational Concerns

Welcome to our New Members

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

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

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

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

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

June Session Meeting Highlights

At its June 21 meeting, the Session:

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

We keep in our prayers

Names withheld from the web-version of our FYI.

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

Kudos & Thanks

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

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

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

Thanks for your help.

Special Request

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

Save-the-Date-for-Fall-Fest