Friday, January 31, 2014


Would you like to help? We need volunteers for these tasks:

Volunteers decorating for Christmas
Seasonal Duties:
  • Decorate for Advent/Christmas
  • Decorate for Thanksgiving
  • Monthly decorating of Swain Hall tables

  • Assist the Librarian

University of Life and/or Fellowship Functions:
  • Set or clear tables
  • Make coffee/clean urn
  • Rinse dishes
  • Load or unload dishwasher

Kitchen Duties:
  • Clean refrigerators
  • Remove stains from glasses and water/tea pitchers
  • Fill creamer, sugar, salt, pepper containers at tables

  • Reception Desk (1/2 day per week, regular or substitute)
  • Print Sunday Bulletin and/or The SPIRE
  • Collate/assemble Sunday Bulletin and/or The SPIRE
  • Print or collate annual directory
  • Affix binders to directories
  • Print, collate, or staple annual report

Other Duties:
  • Change paraments on the altar
  • Usher
  • Greeter
  • Communion server
  • Coffee/tea server on Sunday
  • Serve as Elder
  • Serve as Deacon
  • Memorial coordinator

If you are uncertain about handling some of these tasks, many members who have served in these ways would be glad to provide training or instruction. Call 623-974-3605 to volunteer!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

It’s Souper Bowl Sunday Again!

Help Men’s Breakfast Fellowship Tackle Hunger

Men’s Fellowship is again this year supporting “The Souper Bowl of Caring.” Funds raised are all spent locally. We have supported Habitat for Humanity, Agua Fria and other food banks, and even reached out to Luke Air Force families in need. The first Sunday in February you will see Souper Bowls as you enter or leave the Sanctuary to receive your generous cash donations. The men thank you, and the families you will help thank you!

Did you know the Souper Bowl of Caring was started by Presbyterians? Here’s the story of its history from the website:

A simple prayer: "Lord, even as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help us be mindful of those who are without a bowl of soup to eat" is inspiring a youth-led movement to help hungry and hurting people around the world.

This prayer, delivered by Brad Smith, then a seminary intern serving at Spring Valley Presbyterian Church in Columbia, SC, gave birth to an idea. Why not use Super Bowl weekend, a time when people come together for football and fun, to also unify the nation for a higher good: collecting dollars and canned food for the needy? Youth could collect donations at their schools and churches in soup pots, and then send every dollar DIRECTLY to a local charity of THEIR choice.

The senior high youth of Spring Valley Presbyterian liked the idea so much they decided to invite other area churches to join the team. Twenty-two Columbia churches participated that first year, reporting their results so a total could be determined, and then sending all $5,700 they had raised to area non-profits.

That was 1990. Since then, ordinary young people have generated an extraordinary more than $90 million for soup kitchens, food banks and other charities in communities across the country. In addition, hundreds of thousands of youth have experienced for themselves the joy and satisfaction of giving and serving, inspiring people of all ages to follow their generous example.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Call to Annual Congregational Meeting and Corporation Meeting

Sunday, February 9, 2014, 10:15 am in Swain Hall 

Notice is hereby given of the Annual Congregational Meeting following 9:00 worship.  The purpose of the Congregational Meeting is to approve the reports from all our organizations, to elect members of the Nominating Committee, and to recognize retiring elders and deacons.  A Corporation Meeting will be held after the Congregational Meeting.  The purpose is for approval of minutes and to elect one new member of the Corporation.

By order of the Session
Evelyn Haas, Clerk to Session 

Friday, January 24, 2014

February Fellowship Dinner

We will be holding our February fellowship dinner at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, February 19.  Dinner will be baked potatoes with all the fixings.  The entertainment will be a concert by our own Great Bells of Fire handbell choir under Sherrill Tyacke.

We will be using door hangers to invite our neighbors to join us for the evening.  The door hangers will be our general brochures and invitations to the dinner.  A service will distribute them for us, but we need to punch holes in the materials and string rubber bands through them.  We will have a "punching party" to do that on Friday, January 31, in Swain Hall immediately following University of Life.  Helpers are very welcome, especially those who can bring their own paper punches with them!

Even if you are not able to help ready the door hangers for distribution, we hope you can come to the dinner and help make our visitors feel welcome.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

More Than Chili

The PW Chili Luncheon honoring the men of the church was a resounding success.  Vonda Hagen played pre-dinner music on the grand piano.  PW Moderator Diane Nestlebush welcomed everyone and reminded us to check the PW bulletin board for future events.  Marge Hagerman read a meditation and said grace.  Rod Beale, assisted by his wife Karen, spoke about a fact-finding trip they took to Nepal for their former church, and shared their pictures and mementos with us.  The chili and cornbread were delicious, the waitstaff efficient, and the fellowship as warm as usual.  Here are a few of the photos from the event:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The "Great Bells of Fire" are back!

...and they're performing the introit for this Sunday's service!  Don't let their hours of practice (some of it, obviously, in an underlit Sanctuary) go to waste.  Come hear them play, and consider joining them yourself.  You don't need to read music to ring - you just need to be able to count to four!

We are located at 12225 N. 103rd Ave. in Sun City, AZ.  Worship services begin at 9:00 am on Sunday and are followed at 10:00 am by coffee and fellowship.  We are always happy to welcome visitors.

The Great Bells of Fire practice in the Sanctuary every Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 pm.  For more information about the bell choir, call our Handbell Director, Sherrill Tyacke, at 623-238-1811.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

More on Pinterest

As part of our 50th anniversary celebration last year, we set up three Pinterest Boards:
  • Our Church's History contains historic photos and other documents from the founding of the church to the present.  Wonder what the original floor plan looked like?  Interested in how the choir robes have evolved over time?  This is the place to find out!
  • Our Church Campus celebrates our beautiful church and grounds.  From the architecture of the Sanctuary to the stained glass in the Chapel, our worship spaces are designed to encourage reverence and joy.  We have also been blessed with abundant meeting space and a large, well-appointed social hall and kitchen.  Some of the facilities may be rented by others - if your club or congregation is temporarily homeless, take a look.
  • Church Events includes notices of upcoming events and photos of those we've already had.  Our fellowship activities are notable for good food and good times, and we'd love to have you check them out.
Now we've added a fourth Board, From Around the Web.  Over the past year we've implemented Appreciative Inquiry as the chief planning mechanism for our church.  AI emphasizes what we are already doing well and want to do even better.  We identified ministry, mission, and fellowship as our great strengths that we want to tell the world about; the quotations on the new board are part of our ongoing efforts to do that.  We thank those whose work we are repinning, and encourage you to visit when you need a little inspiration for your day.

Our Pinterest Boards are located at:

Monday, January 20, 2014

Listen to Complete Worship Services

If you are unable to attend our worship services in person, you can listen to the recordings.

CDs of the full service are available each week for $2. Order yours through the church office.  The CDs are mailed at no cost to members who are unable to attend services.

You can also listen to our worship service recordings online for free.  These mp3 recordings are normally uploaded two days after the service.  Go to our website at; click on "About Us," then "Listen to Recorded Services," then the date of the service you wish to hear.

Call the church office at 623-974-3605 for further details.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Free Wi-Fi Near Us

First Presbyterian Church of Sun City is located between the Sun City Branch Library at the Bell Rec Center and the Fairview Branch Library at the Fairview Rec Center.

Question: What free service does your local library offer?

Answer: Wireless Internet Access.

Wi-Fi is now available at all 17 branches of Maricopa County Library District. This service allows customers and visitors to access the Internet on their laptops and/or portable devices.  Come to the library, sit anywhere and connect to the Internet.
  • On your laptop, open your browser (i.e. Internet Explorer, Firefox).
  • You will see the Internet Acceptable Public Use terms and conditions.
  • Read and then click "Accept.”
Special note: a library card is not required to use Wi-Fi.

Amy Williams
Marketing and Public Relations
Maricopa County Library District

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Sun City Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels is a service available to residents of Sun City and Youngtown who are unable to prepare their own meals or are homebound.  The following information is from their brochure.

Meals on Wheels (MOW) is a not-for-profit ... organization operated by volunteers.  Its mission is to:
Deliver nutritious meals to eligible persons who are unable to prepare their own meals due to illness or disability and have no one available to do so for them...
Regular and special diets are prepared at Banner/Boswell Rehabilitation Center on West Santa Fe Drive and consist of a hot meal and a cold sack meal.  Special diet meals are available with a written order from a doctor...

Volunteers deliver meals seven days a week, usually between the hours of 11:00 AM through 12:30 PM.

[The cost is] $7.50 per day but is subject to change.

Financial assistance may be available for those who are unable to pay for their meals.  The amount of assistance is determined by need and the amount of available funds...

Operating expenses are met by the gracious donations of the service clubs, churches and synagogues, as well as caring individuals...

Sun Valley Animal Shelter provides dog and cat food at no charge to our recipients who have pets.

To learn more or sign up to receive meals, call 623-974-9430 and talk to a representative, or leave your name, number, and a message, and someone will call you back.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Deacons: The Ministry of Compassion and Service

Each Deacon has a district in the congregation.

Monthly contact with members is encouraged. Most members are seen weekly at Sunday Worship. The deacon will make a phone call to someone when they are ill, or possibly make a home visit. We send birthday and anniversary cards. Some even send holiday cards.

We have a meeting once a month. We are responsible for Communion preparation. Flowers from the Sunday worship are delivered on Monday to sick and shut-ins. The Health and Wellness Committee is headed by Carol Arseth, Parish Nurse, who organizes opportunities to improve our health.

Receptions are held after memorial services. A Deacon attends the monthly Mission meeting to help determine where contributions are directed, and a Deacon attends the monthly Session meeting.

We share names with Prayer Partners of anyone needing prayers, if that member desires. Prayer Shawls are available to be given to members as needed.

We invite all of you to consider being a Deacon in the future.

~Anita Downing

Thursday, January 16, 2014

In the Library

How the Library Works


Where is the library located?
It's next to the Fireside Room.

How do I check out a book?
The system for checking out books from the church library is simple: Just write your name and date on the card that is in the envelope inside the book and leave it in the box provided.

What kind of books are available?
We have a variety of books for all reading tastes. They are color-coded with dots to indicate the subject matter.

Who manages the church library?
Thanks go to Muffy Keen, Carolyn Bruno, and Helen Petersen for keeping our church library so well managed.

Book Reviews


In the Sanctuary of Outcasts 

Neil White

This is a new book just added to the library. The author was sent to federal prison in Carville, Louisiana, which also was home to the last people in the U.S. disfigured by leprosy—a small circle of outcasts. Here is how his strange and compelling new life journey began.
~ Evelyn Haas

What's So Amazing About Grace?

 Philip Yancey

In June I reviewed Kathleen's Norris' book Amazing Grace, A Vocabulary of Faith. Another book on grace is Philip Yancey's What's So Amazing About Grace? Yancey had heard of a prostitute who said going to church would make her feel worse than she already did. "But the Gospels tell how women like her fled toward Jesus, not away from him. Has the church lost that gift?" he asks. Yancy, who uses "stories rather than syllogisms," compares grace with "ungrace," and is always thorough. His book Where is God When It Hurts? is also available in the church library.
~ Helen Petersen

Amazing Grace, a Vocabulary of Faith 

Kathleen Norris

In Amazing Grace, a Vocabulary of Faith, author Kathleen Norris chronicles her difficult journey navigating the language of faith — Conversion, Salvation, Incarnation, Righteousness — after being away from the church for many years. Each chapter stands alone. At University of Life in April, we heard her insights via DVD; now we can learn more from her New York Times Best Seller book. This book can be found in the church library.
~Helen Petersen

Life on the Vine, Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit in Christian Community 

Philip D. Kenneson, IVPress1999

How do you cultivate JOY in the midst of manufactured desire? GENTLENESS in the midst of aggression? SELF-CONTROL in the midst of addiction? As indicated by these chapter titles, in Life on the Vine, Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit in Christian Community, Philip Kenneson shows how our American culture has fooled us into substituting the fake for the real, and gives us specific ways of recognizing what sabotages us, with practical suggestions on how to produce fruit that is pleasing to God.
~Helen Petersen

The Woman Who Loved Paul

Priscilla is unwavering in her dedication to the Apostle Paul, aiding in his work as he travels to Corinth, in Greece, and to Ephesus, in Asia Minor. There he will establish new Christian churches, following "The Way." Priscilla and her tentmaker husband, Aquila, make room in their home and their lives for Paul to continue the work that God as assigned to him.

Although The Woman Who Loved Paul is a work of fiction by writers Winthrop & Frances Neilson, Priscilla's character and others are based on Luke's writing in Acts of the Apostles and in the Epistles written or dictated (to Priscilla) by Paul. Daily life is seen through the eyes of a woman.
~Marge Hagerman

If you enjoyed one of the books from our library, we encourage you to share it with others - write a review and submit it to the church office!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Annual Chili Luncheon

Northwest Valley Dial-A-Ride

Need a ride to the doctor or another local service?  If you are 65 or older and living in El Mirage, Sun City, Sun City West, Surprise, or Youngtown, you can call Dial-A-Ride.  Here's some of the information from their brochure:

Valley Metro is proud to announce Northwest Valley Dial-A-Ride, a transportation service supporting the areas of El Mirage, Sun City, Sun City West, Surprise, Youngtown and unincorporated Maricopa County. 

When you call to book your trip, you will be put directly in touch with a reservationist who will discuss and assess your travel requirements, then choose from our expanded fleet of vehicles to ensure that your needs are met....

Fares vary by city, please ask the reservationist to provide you with the fare for your trip.  Exact fare is required.  Fares may be paid with cash or Regional Dial-A-Ride Tickets....

Valley Metro Northwest Valley Dial-A-Ride--it's safe, comfortable, reliable, convenient, and just a phone call away!

Trips can be reserved by calling 602.266.8723.  Reservation hours are Monday-Friday, 6:00am to 7:30pm.  Service hours are 7:00am to 5:00pm, excluding Federal holidays and the day after Thanksgiving.  For more information, visit

Sunday, January 12, 2014

2014 Church Directories

We will soon be printing the 2014 Church Directory for distribution in early February.  If any of your contact information has changed since the last printing, be sure to send the updates to the church office this week.

This year we would particularly like to collect (or verify) everyone's email address, so we can notify you immediately when a church event is cancelled or one of our members or regular attendees dies.  If you do not want your email address shared with everyone, tell us you would like to have it "non-published," and only the church administration will have access to it.

Thank you!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Chancel Flowers

Session voted at their November meeting to increase the cost of chancel flowers to $25.00.

We need two individuals to sign up to provide the flowers each Sunday. A sign-up chart will be in Swain Hall. Place your name on the chart for the date you desire to furnish flowers; be sure to advise Marge, in the office, the notation you want in the bulletin—in memory of; celebration of; a thank you; etc.— place your check in a pew envelope, and mark “Flowers” on the memo line or on the front of the envelope. Yes, you may sign up for more than one Sunday. The large Sunday bouquet is broken into 3-4 small arrangements to be delivered to the hospital, nursing home, or someone just out of the hospital. PLEASE, we NEED your help to continue this ministry.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

"As a sign of the unity that is already theirs in Christ, Christians are encouraged to pray together each January 18-25, during a Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, that their unity will become complete and visible. This expression of Christian unity originated in 1908, in Graymoor, New York." ~Ecumenical & Interfaith News Network—PCUSA,

2014 Local Schedule of Events 
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Monday, January 20, 2014
Prayers in each congregation for God’s blessings on the 2014 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. 
Celebrations ... and the movement toward the world-wide unity of all God’s people.
Noon to 1:00 pm at Shepherd of the Desert Church
11025 N 111th Ave, Sun City
Co-host: Faith Presbyterian Church
Suggested offering: oatmeal
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Noon to 1:00 pm at Church of the Palms
14808 Boswell Blvd, Sun City
Co-host: St. Christopher’s Church
Suggested offering: peanut butter and jams
Noon to 1:00 pm at St. Elizabeth Seton Church
9728 Palmeras Dr., Sun City
Co-host: St. Joachim & St. Anne Church
Suggested offering: healthy snack bars, crackers and/or pretzels
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Friday, January 24, 2014
Noon to 1:00 pm at All Saints of the Desert Church
9502 Hutton Dr., Sun City
Co-hosts: First Presbyterian Church and Lakeview United Methodist Church
Suggested offering: dry pasta and sauces
Noon to 1:00 pm at Evangel Church
10701 Boswell Blvd, Sun City
Co-hosts: St. Clement of Rome Church, First United Methodist Church
Suggested offering: canned soups and tuna

A/V Updates

We are still looking for people willing to learn how to run the sound system and carillon and record Sunday services. If you are interested in helping out, talk to Bill Wentling or call him at 623-476-2426. You can also leave a message at the church office, 623-974-3605.

Please also let Bill or the office staff know if you are scheduling an event at the church that will require microphones, the projector in Swain Hall, or any other audio-video equipment setup. We would appreciate at least a week’s notice if we have the equipment on hand, and a month’s notice if we will have to rent or borrow anything.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014 Per Capita

The 2014 Per Capita rate is $31.00 per person. What exactly does that mean? The Department of the Stated Clerk at the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) explains it this way:

The Westminster Confession of Faith says, “all believers are, therefore, under obligation to sustain the ordinances of the Christian religion where they are already established, and to contribute by their prayers, gifts, and personal efforts to the extension of the Kingdom of Christ throughout the whole earth” (The Book of Confessions, 6.058).

Per capita is a fundamental way in which all of the nearly 11,000 congregations and mid councils of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) are connected and participate in the work of the wider church.

Because it is rooted in the connectional and covenantal nature of the Presbyterian church, as affirmed by the ordination vows taken by elders and ministers of the Word and Sacrament, per capita could be called the Presbyterian Covenant Community Fund.

How important is per capita? Per capita is as important as being Presbyterian!

Per capita funding is how Presbyterians mutually share the costs of coming together to discern the Spirit’s leading for the future:
  • It is how Presbyterians are trained to become better elders and ministers.
  • It is how Presbyterians discern God’s call in their lives. 
  • It is how Presbyterians participate in the life of the wider church by serving on GA committees and commissions. 
  • It is how Presbyterians participate in the life of the Church universal as we commit ourselves to work and live in fellowship with “all persons in every nation” (Book of Order, G-4.0101)

To learn more about the history of the per capita offering, go to

When you receive your offering envelopes for 2014 (they may be picked up in the narthex hallway), you will see one marked “Per Capita.” Thank you for your contribution!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Presbyterian Women in January

In looking back, Presbyterian Women had a very good year.  We tried some new things and they worked out very well
A new year gives us the opportunity to renew ourselves and try again new things and ideas that we only thought about before.  This is a good time to invite new and present women of the church, who do not attend Circles or Gatherings, to come and visit us.
Circles are groups of women who meet monthly to have a Bible study and fellowship.  The groups are smaller and you get to know each other in a friendly atmosphere.  We have a Horizons Bible Study Book we use that is exceptional. 
Circles meet as follows:
  • Circle 1 meets the second Tuesday of the month at 1:00 pm in Annex #2
  • Circle 2 meets the second Tuesday of the month at 2:30 pm in Annex #1
  • Circle 3 meets the second Wednesday of the month at 9:00 am in Annex #2
Gatherings are meetings held usually on the 4th or 5th Wednesday of the month in Swain Hall.  They are announced in The SPIRE and the bulletin.  Gatherings begin with the devotion, followed by brunch or lunch and a program.  Brunch Gatherings are at 9:30 am and Luncheons are at 11:30 am.  We have interesting and inspiring programs.  All women of the church are invited. 
Please come and share fellowship with us this year.
Another good idea for the coming year is to subscribe to Horizons Magazine.  This magazine has articles of interest to women you won’t find anywhere else.  There are six issues a year.  They have a Bible Study Resource in each magazine that pertains to our Bible Study for the year.  Plus, when you subscribe you get a copy of the 2014-2015 Horizons Bible Study, which is the study we use in our Circles.  It comes in the spring.  We will have subscription information on our bulletin board in Swain Hall. 
Our annual Christmas High Tea was a huge success.  Many hours of work go into this event.  Special thanks to the men of the church who served as waiters, the ladies who decorated and hosted the tables, and to Nita Cinquina, Gail Bickel, and Tina Trowbridge (and many others) for their dedication and leadership.
Coordinating Team meets Wednesday, January 8th, at 11:00 am in Annex #2.  Please plan to attend, CT members, we have important budget matters to consider.
Bible Study with Pastor Harrell Davis will not be meeting in January due to a scheduling conflict.
January 22nd is our Chili Luncheon at 11:30 am in Swain Hall.  Men (and Ladies) of the church are all invited.  This is to honor the men. 
Saturday, March 1st—Mark your calendar for the Presbyterian Women Presbytery Spring Gathering.  It will be a retreat at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale.  We will arrange for car pools to leave from the church.  There will be more information on time, etc., later.  These PWP Gatherings are inspiring and worthwhile; you won’t want to miss this. 

Blessings to all,

~Diane Nestlebush, Moderator

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

January at University of Life

University of Life meets on Fridays with an 8:30 am continental breakfast to enjoy together. Guests are always welcome at these informal gatherings that are of interest to aware Christians. Please bring a friend and join us in Swain Hall; the class begins promptly at 9:00 am and runs for a short hour.

Here are the programs scheduled for January:

  • January 3: How did Earth form? Are there other “earths” in the universe? Can we hear sounds from space? What is the “blue jewel” in a beam of light? Why is earth so unique? Who needs a moon,anyway, and why are we “tipped?” Is Earth only a coincidence, or, possibly, a miracle? Don’t fail to see this film by Christian Astronomologists who have some answers. “The Privileged Planet” is an astounding look at earth through new-age astrology.
  • January 10: Guest speaker Jane Brazzese of Benevilla will discuss many community services available at their Surprise and other local facilities. She will have excellent information for problem times.
  • January 17: A little peek at what “mission money” does. Barbara Anderson will discuss what is presently happening at the Ganado Navajo Reservation. Joan Steel will talk about a friend’s experiences at a Presbyterian mission in Jacarta, Indonesia. Walt McMartin will bring us up to date on what is happening at our local Habitat for Humanity project and Dr. Rev. Francis Younkin will talk about the Presbyterian Mission he was associated with in Thailand. Questions afterwards.
  • January 24 and 31: Our winning combination of Bert Blom and Adam Hamilton will investigate “Forgiveness.” How does practicing forgiving benefit you? Why will forgiving improve your own peace of mind, happiness and health? Be prepared to contribute.

Also on January 31, following Bert’s University of Life presentation, we will have a “punching party” to punch holes and string rubber bands through church brochures and invitations to the February Fellowship Dinner. These items will be distributed as door-hangers the week before the dinner to encourage more of our neighbors to visit the church. All helpers will be greatly appreciated! (Bring a hole punch if you have one.)