Friday, May 29, 2015

The Results of the Survey

Thank you to everyone who filled out the Fellowship Dinner questionnaire! We received 38 responses (22 on paper and 16 online), which will definitely allow us to plan our 2015-2016 events with more confidence. We thought you’d be interested in the results, too, so here’s a brief summary.

Three respondents didn’t attend our 2014-2015 dinners. One doesn’t drive at night; one has a restrictive diet; and the spouse of the third doesn’t want to participate. We can’t do anything about that last one, but if you aren’t coming due to food or transportation issues, let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you.

By far the favorite meals were the turkey and the ham. The least favorite was the burritos. The pancakes also trailed in the ratings, but one comment echoed what others have told us before: “If we had pancakes for brunch or lunch I would rate them much higher!” As a result, we’re dropping the burritos and moving the pancakes earlier in the day; next Shrove Tuesday, we will combine the fellow-ship event and the Men’s Breakfast Fellowship meeting into a pancake breakfast open to everyone. We will also look for ways to work some of the other food suggestions we received (pulled pork, subs, soup and sandwich, etc.) into future events.

The three highest ranking programs were the Desert Belles, the handbell choir, and Ed Dawson on the organ. Overall, entertainment programs rated better than informative ones. Suggestions for the future included a mixer, a game night, and more music. We will take these results into account when finalizing the next group of programs.

The preferred time for our dinners was overwhelm-ingly 5:00 pm. People seem to be equally open to Wednesday and Thursday evenings, but more workers are available on Thursdays; for this reason, we will be scheduling most of next season’s dinners at 5:00 on the third Thursday of the month.

Miscellaneous suggestions that we will also be implementing included always having name tags available; publicizing the events outside the church; and serving a meal at the Justa Center as a combined fellowship/mission project.

We are very grateful for the positive feedback we received, and for the willing volunteers who have contributed to the success of our fellowship events. Thank you all! We couldn’t do it without you.

~Carol, Tina, and Beth

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Trinity Sunday 2015

This Sunday - May 31, the Sunday after Pentecost - is Trinity Sunday.  According to the Presbyterian Mission Agency, "On Trinity Sunday we proclaim the mystery of our faith in the triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, One-in-Three and Three-in-One."

Here is a prayer they suggest for Trinity Sunday:
Holy, triune God,
all that is,
all that was,
and all that ever will be
belongs to you alone.
You have spoken to us
through your Word made flesh.
Now guide us into the truth
by the gift of your Holy Spirit,
so that we may glorify you
forever and ever.
John 16:12-15
For more information about the history and meaning of Trinity Sunday, visit http://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/worship/trinity-sunday/ .


Monday, May 25, 2015

Thanks to the Choir

Yesterday was the choir's last performance before their summer break.  We appreciate all they do to make our services more beautiful and worshipful experiences.

During the summer, individuals and small groups from the choir and the bell choir will provide special music in lieu of the usual anthem.  Next week, our talented pianist and organist Kelsey McKee will be in the spotlight.  If you can't be there in person, remember to check out the recordings of our services on our website under About Us -> Listen to Recorded Services.


Saturday, May 23, 2015

More on Email

Over the past two years, our church has collected the email addresses of members and regular attendees and invested in Constant Contact software to send out event reminders and death notices.  This month, for the first time, we sent out an email survey - the electronic version of our Fellowship Dinner questionnaire.  The response was so good that we are gearing up to do more.

The first step will be to allow people to register to attend and/or work at our dinners and other fellowship events via email rather than by calling the office or signing a paper list.  If this proves to be successful, we will consider other possibilities as well.

If you are hesitant about publishing your email address in the church directory but would like to receive emails from the church staff, please send a note to that effect to Beth Mabee at bethm@firstpressuncity.org and she will see that you are added to the email list but not the directory.


Friday, May 22, 2015

The Meaning of Love

Have you visited our Pinterest site?  We have four different boards: Our Church Campus, Church Events, Our Church's History, and From Around the Web.  That last board contains inspirational and thought-provoking pins from other pinners.

Our most popular pin so far is this one, which has been repinned by 90 people:


Check out https://www.pinterest.com/1stpressuncity/ today!


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

This Sunday is Pentecost

This information is reprinted from the Presbyterian Mission Agency website:

Day of Pentecost


On the Day of Pentecost we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit descending in a mighty rush of wind and flame to inspire the church’s proclamation of Christ’s rising and to empower its mission and ministry to the world. (See Acts 2:1-13; see also Joel 2:28-32.)

The notion of Easter as a season of 50 days ending at Pentecost is patterned after the ancient Jewish festival of seven weeks that extended from the beginning of the barley harvest (on the second day after the beginning of Passover) to the end of the wheat harvest at the Festival of Weeks or Shavuot (see Deuteronomy 16:9-12). The Festival of Weeks later came to be called Pentecost (“50th day”) by Greek speaking Jews. In Jewish tradition, Shavuot also marks the giving of the law to Moses at Sinai; this liturgical link may inform Paul’s discussions of the law and the Spirit (see Romans 8, 2 Corinthians 3 and Galatians 3).

Pentecost is new creation


An excerpt from the Companion to the Book of Common Worship (Geneva Press, 2003, 117-119)

According to the Day of Pentecost story in Acts 2:1-13, God gave the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower witnesses to the resurrection. Sounds from heaven, cosmic language, the rush of a mighty ruach (wind, spirit, breath) invaded the house in which the apostles gathered, and appeared to them as a burning fire. Tongues of fire touched their nerve centers. A power — the unseen power of God — moved among them and gripped them. The Holy Spirit is unseen, like the wind, which is why the Old Testament calls it ruach YHWH, “the wind, or breath, of God” (cf. John 3:8). The Spirit is the “unseenness of God” working among us.
According to Joel (2:28-29) the ruach is to open everybody to God’s future. People young and old will dream and will have visions of hope; they will be able to loose themselves from the way things are now, because God is establishing a whole new economy of creation. The Holy Spirit breaks us out of our preoccupation with ourselves and frees us to serve neighbors, loosens our grasp on possessions, and sets us to loving people. New creation is what Joel is talking about. Pentecost is new creation.

The book of Acts tells the story of the outcome of Pentecost’s new creation: people witness in word and in deed to the risen Christ. At the outset, the newborn church immediately tumbled out into the streets to witness to God’s mighty works in the languages of people all over the world. By the end of the story, a tiny, Spirit-filled community of faith that broke from its present order has spread across the continents with incredible power to bring new things into being. With the gift of the Spirit, all things are possible. …

Therefore, on the Day of Pentecost, we celebrate God’s gift of Holy Spirit which draws us together as one people, helps us to comprehend what God is doing in the world, and empowers us to proclaim, in word and in deed, God’s plan of reconciling all people in the name of Christ (Ephesians 1:10).

Without the gift of the Spirit, Christ’s church dries up and withers away, and we are left with only our broken selves. With the gift of the Spirit, all things are possible. A spirit-filled community of faith opens eyes to needs in the world and sees its missing as God’s new people. The Day of Pentecost is the climax of the Great Fifty Days of Easter, celebrating as it does the gift of the Spirit to the body of Christ — the church.
Wear red (or orange) to church on Pentecost to celebrate the fire of the Holy Spirit!