Monday, September 29, 2014

Men's Breakfast Fellowship is back in Swain Hall!

The Men's Breakfast Fellowship will resume meeting in Swain Hall effective October 7th at 8:00 am. Join them for breakfast followed by prayer, Bible reading, hymn singing and a program. All men are welcome—bring a guest!

Friday, September 26, 2014

World Communion Sunday

“All who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgment against themselves.” (I Cor. 11:29)

World Communion Sunday (originally called World Wide Communion Sunday) is a gift of the Presbyterian Church to the larger ecumenical church. The first celebration occurred at Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, PA, in 1933 where Dr. Hugh Thompson Kerr served as pastor.

World Communion Sunday celebrates our oneness in Christ with all our brothers and sisters around the world. Paul tells us that we are to “discern the body” when we partake of Holy Communion, mindful that we note our relationship to all our brothers and sisters in Christ in the celebration. One is not to go hungry while another is drunk! (I Cor. 11:21). This is scandalous behavior opposed to the Way of Christ. Thus it is appropriate that World Communion Sunday is also a time when we receive the annual Peacemaking Offering as a way of continuing the ancient Christian practice of sharing what we have with brothers and sisters in need.

This year World Communion Sunday is October 5, 2014.  To learn more about the history of World Communion Sunday or the Peacemaking Offering, please visit:

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ringers Wanted

Do you LOVE you LOVE to hear your English Handbells “Great Bells of Fire Choir?”

We are looking for some new members, men and/or women, to fill our choir and utilize ALL 5 octaves of the bells that First Presbyterian church has! The requirements are that you do not need to sing, you need to be able to 6 at the most...and be able to commit to weekly practices and once a month rings for the worship service. I usually have the ring calendar out to you for at least 3 months in advance...maybe even the year!! The church was able to purchase a bunch of new music and I am very excited that they are reproductive with permission; that means you can mark your music however you need to...I can show you how!! I do NOT require if this intrigues you, come check it out!! or call me at 623.238.1811 with any question. I would love to fill the tables! God not only gives us voices, but motion to ring praises to our God through music!

For those that didn't join last year because you could not make the Wednesday afternoon practices, good news! We now practice in the Sanctuary on Thursday mornings from 10:00 to 11:00 am. Please consider joining the bell choir or/and the voice choir for wonderful fellowship and praise!

~Sherrill Tyacke, Handbell Director

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sunday, September 28 - Guest Speaker

Next Sunday, September 28, we welcome Rev. Scott Ritchey of the Justa Center to the pulpit.  The Justa Center is a unique day resource for homeless seniors in the greater Phoenix area specifically designed to help them find appropriate housing, employment, and other needed services.  Please bring a small donation for the Center if you are able to do so.  Suggested items include:
  • Paper towels
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand soap
  • Laundry soap
  • Kleenex
  • Unopened toiletries
  • Reading glasses
  • New socks
  • Books and magazines

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

New Plants

These are just some of the new plants given to the church by generous donors as part of our landscaping update:

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Painters are Here!

Exterior painting of the church's wood and metal siding began during the last week of August, and despite rain delays is expected to be finished by the end of September.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Coming in October

  • Winter office hours resume in October: Monday-Wednesday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm; Thursday, 8:00 am to 1:00 pm; closed Friday.
  • "Popcorn and a Movie" will move to the first Tuesday of each month at 10:30 am starting in October.
  • University of Life will move to Thursdays in October, now at 1:30 pm.
  • The Men's Breakfast Fellowship will resume meeting in Swain Hall effective October 7th at 8:00 am. We will again have breakfast followed by prayer, Bible reading, hymn singing and a program.
  • On Wednesday, October 15, at 5:30 pm, the October Fellowship Supper will feature pizza and an amazing musical performance. Reserve the date now, and watch for further details!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sanctuary Flowers

Have you signed up to provide flowers for a Sunday service? We have available:
  • 3 openings in September,
  • 4 openings in October,
  • 3 openings in November, and
  • 2 openings in December.
Please help by providing for one of these Sundays.


Saturday, September 13, 2014


e-qua-nim-i-ty (e kwe nim e ti) n. A personality trait or quality in short supply in these days of 24 hour cable news and talk radio programs.

Equanimity is the capacity, the ability, the quality to remain calm, undisturbed, composed. As much as we would say that equanimity is a thing, a possession of some sort, we also realize that composure is a choice. Remaining calm when everything and everyone around you isn’t, is a choice. We choose equanimity. It doesn’t choose us.

The latest edition of Time Magazine claims to be the “Answers Issue.” Inside you will learn the answers to all sorts of questions, many of which I suspect, never were or ever will be important. But then again, maybe I just need to calm down. At any rate, you will learn such things as: why don’t we get heart cancer? Heart cells don’t divide like other cells in our bodies, so the mechanism of run-away cell division (cancer) will not occur. How do you get a Goldendoodle? A goldendoodle is the offspring of a Golden Lab and a Poodle, a goldendoodle. Exotic crossbreds are all the rage among dog owners these days.

Here’s one I like. There were 1.96 million “likes” for the Facebook page, Just Falafel. Just Falafel is a fast food chain that features the signature sandwich, a deep fried patty of ground chickpeas, stuffed into a pita pocket, known throughout the Middle East simply as “falafel.” The texture, taste and appearance make it every bit as appealing as any hamburger. When you consider that you can find falafel from Italy to Egypt and every country in between maybe peace in the Middle East isn’t a product of diplomacy as much as a function of eating. Maybe we all need to concentrate on feeding the hungry, like Jesus did.

The final question asks: What is the Good Life? David Von Drehle, the author of the essay, tells the story of his friendship with Dr. Charlie White, of suburban Kansas City. Dr. White died on August 17th, his 109th birthday. Von Drehle writes: This rich life endowed him with equanimity, inner peace, Charlie learned to separate those things he could control from the things he could not; he didn’t fret about matters beyond his power. One of his daughters complained once about a certain insufferable someone. You can’t change people like that, Charlie schooled her. If I let people irritate me, he said, I would have been dead a long time ago…

It seems to me—if I understand the article—the secret to a good life, a long life is knowing the difference between things I can control, and the things I can’t. That sounds a lot like something else I’ve heard: Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference…


Friday, September 12, 2014

The Cross in the Courtyard

Now that the shrubs have been removed from the courtyard, the brick Celtic cross is much more visible—and so is the damage to the existing bricks. When the fountain is removed and this area is refinished with new brickwork and other hardscape, it will be both more attractive and more usable for outdoor events.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Voice and Handbell Choir Practice Starts this Month

If you like to sing, come to the Westminster (choir) room at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, September17.  Meet Bill Gleason and see if you would enjoy being a part of the choir.  You don't have to have a perfect voice to join; it's all about making a joyful noise to the Lord.

The first practice session for the handbells will be Thursday, September 18, at 10:00 am in the Sanctuary.  Call Sherrill Tyacke at 623.238.1811 to find out more.  You don't need to be able to read music to learn how to ring!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Please Keep Us Informed

Effective October 1, 2014, Boswell Hospital will no longer give out patient lists. For this reason, we ask that if you or anyone you know is in the hospital, please notify Beth Mabee in the church office (623.974.3605). This is the only way that the church staff will know who is hospitalized.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

September's Popcorn and a Movie

Today (Tuesday, September 9), join us in Swain Hall at 10:30 am for free popcorn and a movie!  This month's movie is The Butler, inspired by a true story.  Forrest Whitaker plays Cecil Gaines, a White House butler who serves 8 presidents while witnessing the progress of the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, and other crucial events affecting American society and his own family. Also starring Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack, Cuba Gooding Jr., Robin Williams, Jane Fonda, Lenny Kravitz, Vanessa Redgrave.  Guests are welcome!

Monday, September 8, 2014

September Mission Corner

Since 1970, Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest has ministered to the urgent needs of people in communities throughout Arizona and the Southwest. A willing hand and a sense of serving the community with joy are reflected in the quality of human care services they are proud to deliver.

Programs are developed and services delivered through partnerships with Lutheran congregations, other faith-based and community organizations, and federal and state organizations.

Lutheran Socal Services provides progams and services to aid the homeless, the jobless, the poor, the disabled, and those in need of counseling or quality assistance for seniors.

For more general information on Lutheran Social Services, visit their website at For information on getting assistance in the Phoenix area, call 480.654.4539.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

PW Back to School Project Thanks

We recently received this note from the Principal of the El Mirage Elementary School:

Dear Members:

On behalf of El Mirage Elementary School, I would like to sincerely thank you for the generous donation of school supplies and backpacks for children in need at our school. We appreciate all the support from the community and outside agencies such as yours. Your donation and efforts do not go without notice. Thank you.

Michelle May, Principal

Friday, September 5, 2014

Presbyterian Women in September

Greetings from the Pacific Northwest! I am writing this article in a beautiful setting of cedar and fir trees. I am having an extended visit with my children and grandchildren.

PW is gearing up for a productive fall season and even though I will not return until the end of September, we have a good team of dedicated workers who will carry on.

WELCOME BACK: Our next Gathering will be September 24th. It will be a Continental Breakfast Meeting starting at 9:30 am. We will be doing Lesson 1 of our Bible Study. Rev. Bev Phillips will lead it. We are fortunate to have her launch our Bible Study and get us excited about Paul and Corinthians. The Bible Study Books have arrived. They are available to be picked up in Swain Hall on Sundays at Fellowship Hour. They will be there through October 19th. The cost is $8.00. Please pay by check payable to First Presbyterian Church.

COMING UP: Presbyterian Women Presbytery will have their Fall Gathering on Saturday October 11th at Sunnyslope Presbyterian Church, located 9317 N Second St, Phoenix. You won’t want to miss this Gathering. It will be titled “One Can Make a Difference.” The Guest Speaker will be Patti Luttrell, founder of Children’s Cancer Network. It promises to be an inspiring message. Please plan to attend; the fellowship with PW women from other churches can be gratifying.
“Sunnyslope Presbyterian Church is an outgrowth of the Desert Mission which began in 1921. It is a historic church, which went from being a mission to a congregation. You will enjoy the experience of worshiping in this special church” (Taken from PWP August 2014 Newsletter)
All women from the church are invited to attend. Registration is $10 and forms will be available on the table below the PW Bulletin Board in Swain Hall. Let Diane Nestlebush know when you register so that we can form car pools in early October. Deadline for registration is September 30th.

BOOK REVIEWS: Enjoy a good book from the PW Book Cart to finish off your summer.

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Sarah Grimke is given a slave girl as a birthday gift on her eleventh birthday. Hetty “Handful” Grimke is the ten-year-old slave on the Grimke Plantation. This historical novel is the story of the journey of these two women and Sarah’s sister, Angelina, over the next thirty-five years.

Our God is Undocumented, Bibical Faith and Immigrant Justice by Ched Meyers and Matthew Colwell.

The principle of hospitality and the commandment to welcome the stranger are among the most consistent themes in the Bible. How should people of faith respond to the question of undocumented immigrants in our own country? The authors examine the biblical dimensions of hospitality, sanctuary, and immigration, while relating the actual stories of immigrants: why they come, what they seek, what they endure as well as the stories of those who help them.

As we gather back together this fall, I am thankful for the seasons and the chance for renewal they bring. Let us be happy to see our friends return and be always in prayer for each other.

Blessings to All,
~Diane Nestlebush, Moderator

Thursday, September 4, 2014


One of our outreach services is HomeTouch, a newsletter for the homebound published by CRI.  (For more information, visit their website at  The newletters include scripture quotations, prayers, games, and at least one thoughtful article from the HomeTouch staff.  Here is an example from the September 7 edition:

Is it my imagination, or does it seem like there are a lot of people complaining about the presence of religion in public life?  I read recently about some atheists who don't like the crosses erected over all the graves of our fallen soldiers in the country's military graveyards.  I understand the need for a separation of church and state, but I also value the country's cultural traditions.  Oh, well.

Occasionally, I think that, if some of today's organizations and federal agencies were around in Jesus' day, they would find fault with him, using every excuse they could dig up (eventually, of course, they succeeded, and put him on a cross).  For example:

  • the FDA, for turning water into wine without a license
  • the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), for killing fig trees
  • The AMA, for practicing medicine without a license
  • The Dept. of Health, for feeding 5,000 people in the wilderness
  • the NEA, for teaching without a proper licensure
  • OSHA, for walking on water without a life jacket
  • the SPCA, for driving hogs into the sea
  • the National Board of Psychiatrists, for giving advice on how to live a guilt free life
  • the NOW (National Organization for Women), for not choosing a female apostle
We can't let these matters worry us.  Our job is to go on loving people, telling them about Jesus.  As someone said, "Our job isn't to defend Jesus, but to represent Jesus."
~Timothy Merrill (with help from Internet sources)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Vacation's Over

No, we haven't gone out of business.  Our webmaster has been on vacation for 3 weeks with limited Internet connectivity.  Regular posting will resume tomorrow!