Sep 082017


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 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:
  • 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 ).
  • 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:

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, 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

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 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

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