Thursday, March 26, 2015

Share Your Pet Story

The July/August 2015 issue of Presbyterian Today will be all about our bond with beloved animals, and they are looking for people willing to share their stories. Here’s what they’re asking for:
Tell us about a pet or service animal that changed your life. Have you trained or benefited from a therapy animal, such as in a hospital or nursing home? Does your congregation have any special ministries, such as a blessing of the animals? Do you have a funny pet story? Do you volunteer at an animal shelter, or have you helped with foster care and rescue? Do you work with animals—maybe at a zoo or in a wildlife sanctuary or on a farm? How have you experienced grief after a pet has died?

Responses should be no more than 350 words and include a high-resolution photo. Make your stories personal. Zero in on a specific moment or anecdote rather than trying to talk about everything.
Email your story and photo to by April 6 to be considered.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Fine Kettle of Fish: Why Eat Fish on Good Friday?

By now you probably have heard that we will be hosting our first Holy Week Fish Fry this Good Friday. If we have a good crowd, we hope to make it an annual event. Be sure to sign up to attend and/or work as quickly as possible!

Before deciding to go ahead with the fish fry, we polled members of the congregation to see if they thought it was a good idea. Most people were excited about the possibility, but one expressed concern that the event wasn’t in keeping with the somber atmosphere of Lent.

Turns out we have centuries of tradition on our side. Because Christ was crucified on a Friday, people have been fasting on Fridays to commemorate that sacrifice since at least the first century AD. However, over time complete fasting evolved into abstaining from meat—the flesh of any warm-blooded animal "that, in a sense, sacrificed its life for us," according to Michael Foley, an associate professor at Baylor University and author of Why Do Catholics Eat Fish On Friday?

For some reason, the death of cold-blooded fish didn’t fall under this stricture, possibly because pre-Christian worshippers of Venus regularly ate fish on Fridays, and converts just continued the tradition.

In any case, Catholics throughout the world observed “fish fasting” on Fridays until Pope Paul VI loosened fasting rules in the 1960s. Even then, the prohibition of meat on Fridays remained in force during Lent, which is why some Catholic churches continue to hold Lenten fish fries on one or more of the Fridays leading up to Easter, including Good Friday.

So, although we are Presbyterian, eating fish on Good Friday should be perfectly acceptable. As long as we don’t get too rowdy.

(And thanks to Debbie Thompson for proposing the idea and spearheading the arrangements!)

Good Friday Fish Fry 
Friday, April 3, 4:00-5:30 pm in Swain Hall 
Adults $8, children $5 
Guests are welcome

The joint Good Friday worship service with Church of the Palms and Faith Presbyterian will follow in the Sanctuary at 6:00 pm. This year’s service will feature the Great Bells of Fire and a Tenebrae (“Shadows”) piece involving the voice choir and the pastors of all three churches.

Monday, March 23, 2015

PW for April

Eight women from our church traveled to Desert Palms Presbyterian Church in Sun City West for the PW Spring Gathering. We had a great time of fellowship and enjoyed two motivational speakers. At the Gathering there was an installation of officers. Carole Jean Soine from Desert Palms was installed as the new PW Presbytery Moderator. Diane Nestlebush was installed as Justice and Peace Coordinator.

Recognition was given to women who read five or more books from the 2014/2015 PW Reading List. Those women recognized from our church are Gail Bickel and Nancy Wilson. The books are on the cart back by the PW bulletin board in Swain Hall. There are some very good books, so have a look and check one out.

If you have never attended a Spring or Fall PW Gathering, just ask one of us about it. I am sure you would enjoy the day. We have a continental breakfast and lunch. The speakers are top notch and the women friendly. We usually car pool from church. The next Gathering, The Fall Gathering, will be held October 24,2015 (Saturday) at First Presbyterian Church in Mesa. When the date is closer we will have more information. Mark your calendar!

We have some events coming up; they are as follows:

  • Wednesday, April 1st - Coordinating Team Meeting, 9:00 am in Annex 2. All officers, coordinators, and Circle Meeting Leaders please plan to attend. We have planning to do for our April 22nd Gathering.
  • Saturday, April 25th - Overview of 2015-2016 Horizons Bible Study. At Faith Presbyterian Church, Sun City. Registration at 8:30 am; Overview begins at 9:00 am and ends at 11:00 am. Leaders: Chris Casanova and Beverly Phillips. The theme is Biblical stories of water: creation, baptism, thirst and longing, God’s deliverance, stormy waters of faith, justice and righteousness, mercy and forgiveness and compassion.
  • Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - Gathering Salad Luncheon at 11:30 am. The program is a Style Show by Drapers and Damons. Models will be our own ladies. We will also have election of officers. This event is not to be missed. Look forward to seeing you all there!
  • Friday,  May 1st - Church Women United May Friendship Day. Willowbrook United Methodist Church, 19390 N. 99th Ave., Sun City. 9:30 am Sign in and 10:00 am Program: “Journey of the Caregiver.”

Let’s rejoice and be thankful for all God has done for us this past year in PW. He has given us leaders and most of all each other.

Blessings to all,

~Diane Nestlebush, Moderator

Thursday, March 19, 2015

April SPIRE Deadline

Monday, March 23, is the deadline to submit an article for the April edition of The SPIRE, our monthly newsletter.  Please drop off your information at the church office or email it to Beth Mabee at on or before Monday.  Thank you!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

And the Winner Is...

The results of the voting are in, and the Celtic Cross in our courtyard will be completed with a patterned granite circle in its center.  Thanks to everyone who made their preferences known!  The cross will be finished in the very near future.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March Fellowship Dinner Reminder

Tomorrow - Wednesday, March 18, 5:00 pm in Swain Hall 

Back by popular demand—baked potatoes with all the fixings! The program will be “Learning through the Labyrinth.” Labyrinths are rich symbols that have been used in many cultures throughout the world. Find out more about their history and meaning, and learn how to use a finger labyrinth.

The Chartres Labyrinth
And don’t miss these future fellowship dinners:
  • Wednesday, April 15, 5:00 pm—Burrito Bash with an Earth Day program on recycling
  • Monday, May 25 (Memorial Day), noon—Memorial Day cookout
  • Saturday, July 4 (Independence Day), noon—Fourth of July cookout
Your freewill offerings support these and our other fellowship events.

Call the church office at 623.974.3605 to RSVP. And for even more fellowship, consider signing up to be a greeter or to help with setup or cleanup. Many hands make light work!