Thursday, October 31, 2013
Doors open at 1:00 pm, tea is served at 1:30 pm
All ladies of the church and their friends are welcome. Come at 1:00 and view the beautiful tables our ladies have set with their special china. Enjoy tea sandwiches; cucumber canapés; scones with lemon curd, Devonshire cream and raspberry jam; delicious pastries; AND special entertainment.
Tickets will be available in Swain Hall after the service on Sunday, November 24, and Sunday, December 1. They may also be purchased in the church office on Monday-Wednesday, 8:00am-4:00pm, or Thursday, 8:00am -1:00pm. Tickets are $12.00, non-refundable.
Get your tickets early—they sell out quickly!
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
I highly recommend one of them. It is A Rugged Land of Gold. The setting is in a remote section of Alaska where a man and his courageous wife are gold prospectors. When the man gets lost on an island, the wife has to carry on alone and the courage and know-how she uses is unbelievable. Despite the cold and snow and being all by herself, she shows great spunk and lots of determination. Her optimism is an everlasting quality. This is a book that is hard to put down. I read it in a day.
Also, one of our volunteers has resigned—Helen Petersen. Thank you, Helen, for your time spent helping in the library. Good luck to you. If anyone is interested in learning how the library is handled and would like to volunteer, please call me, 623-974-9250.
BOOK REVIEW: That’s the Way It Used to Be by Barbara Anderson
Did you know that our own Barbara Anderson lived in the Navajo Nation for 39 years, raised a family there? Fortunately for us, she has written her memoirs. They’re primarily intended for her Navajo friends and Presbyterian mission co-workers, but there is plenty in its nearly 300 pages of interest to all of us. One example: Can you imagine teaching English to Navajos, whose language is one of the three most difficult for non-native speakers to learn? She gives many examples, such as what she had to insist they learn, and what she had to let be. Loads of photos. A treasure.
BOOK REVIEW: Faith of Our Mothers: The Stories of Presidential Mothers from Mary Washington to Barbara Bush by Harold I. Gullan
Virtually every presidential mother had faith in her son and a number possessed a devout religious faith as well. The life story of each mother and son who became president is told here.
Monday, October 28, 2013
The memorial carillon is a gift made possible by the generosity of several “saints” who just wanted to hear the sound of a carillon. Pat Stokley and Leona Yousling first proposed a carillon for the church and then good friends like Donna Roth took up the project as a memorial to Pat and Leona. The families of both women made generous contributions and finally, because the budget for the anniversary was opened to the congregation, many members of the church made gifts that assured we’d have a beautiful way to glorify God and enhance our presence in the community.
Thank you everyone who made the carillon a reality. You may be wondering, just what is a carillon and what is it for? As a musical instrument, the carillon consists of a keyboard and a footboard, various levers connected to bells typically suspended in a belfry, the church’s steeple. The carillonneur or carillonist is the title of the musician who plays the carillon. Keys on the board are struck or depressed which causes the clapper in the bell to sound, ring.
The new carillon at First Presbyterian Church is an electronic chime instrument. Technically, not a carillon, but flexible enough to enable us to play “bell” music three times a day with a selection of standard Christian hymns and at the holidays, Christmas Carols and Easter Hymns.
What this gift gives us is the opportunity to announce our presence in the community in a creative and innovative way. It will give us the ability to share our traditions with our neighbors and hopefully create a new connection the whole neighborhood will appreciate.
Thanks again to all those who made this possible. To the saints who envisioned it to those who worked to make it possible, especially Elders, Donna Roth and Bob Johnson, Staff, Norma Mack and various church volunteers, especially Bill Wentling.
The Psalmist wrote: Come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before God’s presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise to God…
For years and years to come, let the sound of the carillon remind us of our friends and may it always be a joyful sound to God. So be it!
~Rev. Harrell D. Davis
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Saturday, October 26, 2013
- November 1: University of Life introduces historian Shirley Fackelman relaying the difficulties and gutsy perseverance of those involved in saving our English Bible.
- November 8: Louie Giglio presents How Great is Our God. Louie Giglio is an exuberant evangelist whose vibrant presentation will make you sit up and take notice. His is a passion to God we rarely see, with discussion time.
- November 15: This Friday brings to University of Life our own Beth Mabee talking about the possibilities of “Appreciative Inquiry” and what it could do for us as individuals and for our church.
- November 22: University of Life presents a gentle lovely film titled The Potter. Retired Pastor and Artisan David Blakeslee equates his work with clay to God’s creation of us. His insightful understanding of life is a joy to witness. With discussion time.
- November 29: The day after Thanksgiving….no University of Life.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
click here to view the pdf flyer developed by the Presbyterian Historical Society in anticipation of Reformation Sunday 2013.
Monday, October 21, 2013
Sunday, October 20, 2013
The new handbell choir is up and running and preparing to perform at the November 10 anniversary worship service. The choir has also chosen a name: "Great Bells of Fire." It's not too late to join this fun and exciting group - they rehearse in Annex 1 every Wednesday at 1:00 pm. They'd like to have at least half as many members as this group pictured in the church directory from 1976:
Saturday, October 19, 2013
The banners made by the women of First Presbyterian Church and used for the first time on Reformation Sunday 1975 portray the eight Confessions (or Creeds) approved and adopted by the Presbyterian Church in its comprehensive statement of beliefs. They represent doctrinal and theological statements which span the history of the Christian Church.
The four banners on the right, from left to right, represent the following:
The four banners on the right, from left to right, represent the following:
- The Apostles' Creed
- The somber brown color of this banner represents the difficulty and rigor of early Christianity under persecution; also, the monastic tradition. The purple arches symbolize the entrances to caves or catacombs, where early Christians met in secret; also, the shape of Gothic church windows. The anchor cross stands for security in Christ, as found by the apostles, some of whom were fishermen. The fish is an ancient symbol for the Christian faith, perhaps a secret code mark. Letters of the Greek word for fish can be used as first letters in the phrase, "Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior." The chalice represents the Lord's Supper, and thus the earnest and simple fellowship of the early church. The upside-down cross stands for Peter, chief of the apostles, who is said to have been crucified upside down because he thought himself unworthy of a death like the Master's.
- The Westminster Confession and the Shorter Catechism (England, 1646)
- The three long panels and the maroon triangle represent the Trinity. The eye symbolizes God's providence and control of all life and history - a dominant theme of Westminster. The crown stands for God's rule. The open Bible symbolizes the authority of the written Word, basic to this Confession's teachings. The Alpha and the Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, referring to Christ and his death as the beginning and the end, and central to our faith.
- The Confession of 1967 (USA, 1967)
- The blue, the red, and the gold were the colors of the official seal of The United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. The golden, down-reaching hand, repeated from the Nicene banner, stands for God, relating to his world. The crown, repeated from the Westminster banner, and the nail-scarred hand, represent the death and victory of Christ as he reconciles the world. The four hands of different colors, the clasped hands and the green circle symbolize the reconciled world at the food of the cross - God's act of reconciliation being the starting point and theme of the Confession of 1967. The stars and planets on the blue background represent the "space-age" setting of this Confession.
- The Heidelberg Catechism (Germany, 1563)
- The regal red and gold of this banner are a tribute to the rule of Frederick III, who ordered the writing of the Catechism for followers of John Calvin in Germany. The crown of thorns, the "German" cross, and the tablets are symbols of Misery, Redemption, and Thankfulness - the three basic themes of the Catechism. (The tablets represent the Ten Commandments, which appear in the Catechism where it teaches that obedience is the proper form of thankfulness.) The two lights and the fire represent the Trinity - with the Hebrew name of God on the left orb, the Greek monogram for Jesus on the right orb, and the flame standing for the Holy Spirit. There is a long discussion of the Trinity in the Catechism.
Friday, October 18, 2013
October 27, 2013, is Reformation Sunday. Eight of our historic banners, most of which we are hanging in the Sanctuary and Swain Hall during our Season of Celebration, were originally made for a "Festival of Faith" service on Reformation Sunday in 1975. Twenty women (all members of the church) worked more than 300 hours sewing the banners, which symbolize eight historic Confessions of Faith. Below is the color photo of the banners in place for the service:
Here are the explanations of the four banners on the left, from left to right:
Here are the explanations of the four banners on the left, from left to right:
The Scots Confession (Scotland, 1560)
- The blue of the shield is the background color of the Church of Scotland. The tartan, X-shaped cross is a form called St. Andrew's Cross, after the apostle who brought the Gospel to Scotland. The tartan, or plaid, is that of the Hamilton clan in honor of the first martyr of the Scottish Reformation, Patrick Hamilton. The Celtic cross at the front of the shield is another ancient form of cross associated with Christians of the British Isles. The Bible and the sword remind us that Paul called the Word of God "the sword of the Spirit," and the sharpness of John Knox's preaching of the Word was a major power for reformation in Scotland. The ship is a symbol for the Church; the confession contains a remarkable, strong doctrine of the Church. The burning bush which is not consumed is to remind us of Moses's Mt. Sinai experience; it is a symbol of God's presence and call, and the chief symbol of the Church of Scotland.
- The Theological Declaration of Barmen (Germany, 1934)
- This banner features a crossed out swastika and the cross rising as a protest and witness against Nazi tyranny and any effort to take the role of God and control of the Church. The fire symbolizes the suffering and death which follows from defense of the faith against tyranny, as for some of the Barmen signers, but the cross survives such persecution and the crisis of war, rising out of the flames.
- The Second Helvetic Confession (Switzerland, 1566)
- The blue and white are the heraldic colors of ancient Switzerland. The cross is again dominant on this banner because of the extensive discussion of salvation in the Confession. The "hand and the burning heart" is a traditional symbol for John Calvin, father of Presbyterianism in its Swiss homeland. The lamp symbolizes knowledge and discipline, two of the themes of the Helvetic which make it unique. The shepherd's crook and the pasture stand for the pastoral ministry and the flock's care for its own members. The chalice and the waves represent Holy Communion and Baptism.
- The Nicene Creed (4th Century)
- The cross which is also a sword is a symbol for the Emperor Constantine and his successors, because he called the ecumenical council which began the process of thinking which resulted in this creed; because he was he first Christian emperor; and because he began the tradition of imperial Christianity. The cross is central here because the doctrine of Christ is central in the Creed. The green triangle and the three symbols with it represent the doctrine of the Trinity formalized in the Nicene Creed. The hand reaching down symbolized God, the Father. The chi rho monogram stands for Christ; chi and rho are the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ, used by Constantine on the shields and helmets of his army. The dove represents The Holy Spirit, and the crowns stand for the rule and glory of God.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
While preparing for our 50th anniversary celebration, we've collected photos from our past, photos of our church and its campus, and photos of our ongoing activities. To see them, visit the History, Campus, and Events Boards on our new Pinterest page, at http://www.pinterest.com/1stpressuncity/
Visit and enjoy!
Visit and enjoy!
Monday, October 14, 2013
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Friday, October 11, 2013
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
- A catered and very special dinner;
- Honoring former pastors and their wives;
- Focus on a new mission initiative;
- Bible study;
- Inviting the neighbors to help us celebrate;
- Spreading the word about the celebration to others!
- October 6, World Communion Sunday, kickoff for our Season of Celebration - return to the Sanctuary for worship, historic banners hung in the Sanctuary and Swain Hall (we will rotate during the next few weeks, based on the themes in the lectionary), first choir performance under new director Bill Gleason (recording available on our website), attendees asked to write the names of their spiritual mentors on bulletin inserts (we will continue to do this or something similar in the weeks to come).
- October 16, October Fellowship Dinner - readings by the Stone Soup Troupe around the theme of "Memories."
- November 3, All Saints Day - dedication service for the new carillon, display of the papers naming spiritual mentors.
- November 10 - Worship service followed by an ice cream social at which former pastors and their spouses will be honored; neighbors to be invited to both. Special music during worship by the choir and by the new handbell group.
- November 13 - Catered gala celebration!
Watch this space for more details to come!
Sunday, October 6, 2013
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Fellowship/Coffee: 10:00am in Swain Hall
First Sunday of every month: Holy Communion, non-perishable food donations for Valley View Community Food Bank
Second Sunday of every month: Celebration of the month's birthdays during Fellowship in Swain Hall
Third Sunday of every month: Rev. Davis meets in the Conference Room after worship with visitors who have questions about the church or are interested in joining the congregation
Fourth Sunday of every month: Have your blood pressure taken for free following worship services (Swain Hall in summer)
Fifth Sunday: In months with five Sundays, the fifth Sunday is usually a congregational hymn-sing
Assisted hearing devices, large-print bulletins, and CD recordings of the services are available; just ask!
Bring your grandchildren to church! When children are present, Rev. Davis engages them in a short, interactive children's sermon.
Sundays in OctoberOctober 6: "Hard Lesson;" Psalm 137, Luke 17: 5-10
October 13: "Giving Praise to God;" Psalm 66: 1-9, Luke 17: 11-19
October 20: "Faith on Earth;" Psalm 119: 97-105, Luke 18: 1-8
October 27: "God of Mercy;" Psalm 65: 1-4, Luke 18: 9-14
Remember, October 6 is this fall's first performance by our choir under new director Bill Gleason!
Friday, October 4, 2013
This fall, as worship services return to the Sanctuary, Kelsey will continue to serve as our piano player, practicing and performing with our choir under the direction of Bill Gleason. The grand piano in the Sanctuary should showcase her talent even more effectively than the keyboard in the Chapel did.
Kelsey also sings as a member of the GCU Choral Society, which with the Canyon Symphony Orchestra is presenting a free concert on Tuesday, October 8, at 7:00 pm. The concert, which will feature Beethoven's Mass in C and Choral Fantasy, will be presented at First Southern Baptist Church of Phoenix, 3100 W Camelback Road in Phoenix. For more information about the concert, please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/223439367813908/?ref_dashboard_filter=calendar.
At First Presbyterian we have always prided ourselves on the quality of our music program, and Kelsey is a wonderful addition to our services. Be sure to welcome her yourself!
Thursday, October 3, 2013
good beyond all that is good,
fair beyond all that is fair,
in you is calmness, peace, and concord.
Heal the dissensions that divide us from one another
and bring us back to a unity of love
bearing some likeness to your divine nature.
Through the embrace of love
and the bonds of godly affection,
make us one in the Spirit
by your peace which makes all things peaceful.
We ask this through the grace, mercy, and tenderness
of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
(BCW, p. 812, Dionysius of Alexandria, died 264)
To learn more about World Communion Sunday, and the Presbyterian Church's role in establishing it, go to https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/worship/world-communion-sunday/
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
According to the New York Times, “in remarkably blunt language, Francis sought to set a new tone for the church, saying it should be a home for all and not a small chapel focused on doctrine, orthodoxy and a limited agenda of moral teachings.”
The Pope went on to say: “We have to find a new balance, otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.”
Here’s why his comments might bear the weight of history. Change, especially in the church, occurs slowly. In the two thousand years of Christian Church history there have been two substantive moments of change. One occurred virtually at the beginning when the Church split into the Eastern Orthodox tradition and the Western tradition centered in Rome.
The next major change occurred 600 years later in the middle of the Sixteenth Century when the Reformation gave rise to the various denomin-ations we see today. Our own Presbyterian Church had its origins in the Reformation.
It’s been 600 years since the Reformation. Perhaps the Pope’s rhetoric signals another season of change. Institutional change follows other shifts. When the early Church split between East and West, the differences in doctrinal preferences paralleled the growth and influence of the “Occident” as distinct from the “Orient.” Later when the Reformation took place the changes sweeping Europe followed on the heels of the “discovery of a new world,” and the advances in scientific and philosophical thought associated with the Renaissance. “History” changed.
And it all began when a few brave “explorers” searched for “a new tone,” a new land, a “new balance.” I wish the new Pope well and I will pray for his ministry. I agree that we must “find a new balance,” or “set a new tone,” in order for change to take place. And if that happens one more ingredient is essential. It takes courage to change.
Especially in the church change occurs slowly—and that’s probably a good thing—but we should never forget that the church belongs to God. We are the clay; God is the Potter. As we go forward into a new church year, that’s a good image to carry with us. Thanks be to God!
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Presbyterian Women Holiday High Tea
The planning has started; be sure to mark your calendar for this special annual event! (The photos are just some of last year's beautiful table settings.)
Saturday, December 14th at 1:30 pm
Wish to set a table? Call Gail Bickel at 623-815-7290. Can you help in any way? Call Nita Cinquina at 623-975-2034.
We especially need someone for the pastry area. This would involve attending 2-3 “tea” meetings, assisting in deciding on the pastry menu, and arranging the pastry plates the day of the tea. If you would like to help with this, please see or call Nita.