Monday, November 11, 2013

2013 at First Presbyterian (so far)

The first Sunday of our celebration year in January 2013 began with Communion and the collecting of non-perishable food items for the West Side Food Bank. The Deacons and Elders met for a retreat in Swain Hall on the 17th with Rev. Davis discussing the recent Appreciative Inquiry seminar he and several church members had attended. February brought a Pancake and Sausage Supper for Shrove Tuesday and Rev. Bob Mitchell, from the Justa Center, as guest pastor on the 17th. In March, First Presbyterian became the beneficiary of a home in Sun City from Rev. Nascimento of Mass. and several investments from Elder Harold Sharpless. Our One “Great Hour of Sharing” Fish Banks netted over $3,200. April brought a lovely luncheon for church volunteers served by Norma Mack and “staff” and a new First Presbyterian Internet Facebook page created by Beth Mabee! Mary Lou Pancy, choir director, designated the 21st as Choir Recognition Day. Pastor Davis held a well attended “Bible and Prayer” hour in the Chapel every Thursday morning during May. Taco Night was May 15th with Jesse Ramirez from Agua Fria as our speaker. PW observed “The Least Coin” ritual at their monthly meeting. In June Choir Director/Organist Mary Lou Pancy retired. A suggestion to have a “Lunch With Your Deacon” by Carol Davis was a delightful success. Beth Mabee accepted the position of Associate for Congregational Life.

On July 4th, Gene and Anita Downing chaired a cook-out attended by over 60 people. (It was also the Downing’s Anniversary!) Talented Kelsey McKee became our new keyboard musician for services in the Chapel. The August SPIRE introduced Bill Gleason who would be our new Choir Director and also contained the new glossy Church handout for us to share. Sherrill Tyacke and daughter, Staci Downing, delighted us with two handbell selections during service on the 11th. Our September SPIRE contained two window decals to advertise our church. We had a delicious Labor Day Feast chaired by Tina Trobridge, Stewart Porter, Anita and Gene Downing and Karen and Rod Beale. Our busy Prayer Shawl Ministry sent baby items to “The Attic” at Luke Air Force Base and Lap Robes and Shawls to Hospice. Presbyterian Women, under the leadership of Diane Nestlebush, donated $875 to Agua Fria Food Bank for children’s school uniforms.

Exciting plans were started by the “Party Girls” and committee for the 50th Anniversary Celebrations! We relished a hamburger/brats cookout and were entertained by the Stone Soup Troupe, a Reader’s Theater Group, at “Octoberfest. We were delighted to welcome the return of our “winter friends.” Liturgical Christian banners began appearing throughout the church. The faint sound of bells can be heard at 8AM, 12noon and 6PM from our new Carillon. There is talk of “Ice Cream” and everyone has received an invitation to the gala dinner party to be held November 13th in celebration of the 50th year of our church. Anticipation fills the air! A new Carillon was dedicated during the Sunday Service on the 3rd of November as we honored the Veterans of our church community. Foods were collected for the 50 Thanksgiving Dinners for the Food Bank. Those joining the church earlier in 2013 were Carol Maxwell, Felicia Kulba, Nathaniel Harvey, Don West and Karen and Rod Beale.

Now is our time to shape the history of this First Presbyterian Church! I’ve so enjoyed this journey through our past and am confident that many glorious years, filled with the joy and peace of God’s love, will continue for those who will worship here. We are God’s children! Thank You, Lord, for letting me share this ride.
~Donna Roth


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