Saturday, January 31, 2015

University of Life in February

Rev. Harrell Davis will be moderator during the month of February for the open discussions of Adam Hamilton's DVD titled When Christians Get It Wrong.

Rev. Hamilton's sermons are not new to University of Life and always bring freshness and innovative solutions for problems to our world of turmoil. Is the real reason young people are opting out of formal religion because of us Christians? Are we afraid of "science"? Are WE in and THEY out? Do "things" always happen for a reason? Adam Hamilton will guide us through the confusion of finding our personal way of coping with these struggling attitudes while still maintaining God in our lives.
  • February 5th, When Christians Are Unchristian 
  • February 12th, Christians, Science and Politics 
  • February 19th, When Speaking of Other Religions 
  • February 26th, When Bad Things Happen
University of Life will return to Swain Hall during the month of February due to the necessary projector and sound system for these programs. The sessions begin promptly at 1:30PM on Thursdays, bring a friend and add your own "2 cents" to these provocative hour discussions.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Cafe Justo Cooperative

Caffeine with a Conscience

With some help from the Presbyterian, Lutheran, Catholic and Mennonite churches, the coffee growers in Chiapas, on the southern Mexico/Guatemala border, formed a cooperative. All members of the families farm the land, plant and grow the coffee bushes, harvest the coffee beans, and prepare the coffee for shipment to their Agua Prieta Roaster on the U.S./Mexico border for roasting, packaging, and shipping to markets in the U.S.

No more do the fathers have to leave home to find work in the United States. The cooperative supports their families and supports the entire village of Salvador Urbina. The coffee (regular and decaf) is for sale in Swain Hall after church during Fellowship Hour for $9.00 a pound; thank you for your support!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Habitat for Humanity Dedication this Saturday

Saturday, January 31, 9:30 am
7815 W. Midway Ave. in Glendale

The West Valley Presbyterian Coalition and the City of Glendale Home Investment Partnership Program are dedicating this home renovation project on Saturday—call Dick Zabriskie or Walt McMartin if you would like a ride!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Food Bank Update

The Agua Fria Food and Clothing Bank is no longer coming to pick up articles from us. We will now give the donated items to Valley View Food Bank instead. They have a thrift store and will take clean, usable goods. However, they cannot accept cleaning supplies, etc. that have been opened. Also, please do NOT put food donations in this room. Food should continue to be placed in the grocery carts on the first Sunday of every month. Thank you for your generosity and your cooperation!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Souper Bowl Sunday

Men’s Breakfast Fellowship is again this year supporting “The Souper Bowl of Caring.” Funds raised are all spent locally.

On Sunday, February 1, 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!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Member Reception this Sunday

This Sunday, January 25, we will have a short reception for new members, visitors, and anyone considering joining the church in the Fireside Room immediately after the 9:00 am worship service.  Please stop by on your way to Swain Hall for Fellowship to greet the honorees and let them know how glad we are that they are with us!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

University of Life for January 22 and 29

...will also be in the Fireside Room instead of Swain Hall!

The University of Life met in the Fireside Room last Thursday because of the officers retreat in Swain Hall, but the attendees decided that it's so much more comfortable there that they will continue to meet in the Fireside Room for the rest of the month.

We are glad that both the University of Life and the Bridge Club are pleased with the new furniture and layout in the Fireside Room, since it was reorganized and redecorated in the hope that more meetings and small group events would be held there in the future.

Monday, January 12, 2015

U of Life this week in the Fireside Room

Due to the Officers Retreat scheduled for this Wednesday in Swain Hall, the January 15 University of Life session on Genesis will be held in the Fireside Room instead.  The time will remain the same, 1:30 pm. Come and bring a friend!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Undecorating Thanks

This wonderful crew showed up yesterday to take down and put away the church's Christmas decorations in record time. Thanks to everyone who helped, and to Stewart Porter for taking their picture!

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Beginning of Another Year

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
(The Word) was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through (The Word),
and without that, not one thing came into being.
What has come into existence was life
and the life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not overcome it.
~John 1: 1-5, paraphrased.
One of my favorite holiday songs asks the question, “Do you hear what I hear?” And later, a king declares: “Listen to what I say.” In a variety of ways, language was employed to tell the story of Jesus’ birth.

The author of John’s Gospel wrote a hymn of creation. In it the author tells us that before anything existed, the Word was. The Word was with God. And the Word was God. And then this Word became flesh. The Word dwelt among us. The Word was with us. And the Word was one of us.

This incredible revelation has captivated the imagination for more than two thousand years. It’s not knowledge that can be proven, like the distance that separates one galaxy from the next. Nor can you expect to understand the depth of God’s love. Like the Psalmist, we declare: “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.”

And yet, the Psalmist continues, God’s eyes beheld our unformed substance and all our days when “none of them yet existed.” From the beginning, from before there was a beginning, God has loved us! God created creation for the purpose of loving us. God made love the reason for all that is.

Philosophically, the human mind struggles to comprehend. Sociologically and psychologically we try to make sense of realities that make no sense. There is, ultimately, only one reality. The language of the Apostle Paul catches a glimmer of that reality:
“I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God…”
January 1, 2015, marks the beginning of another year. We’re living on a planet in a galaxy and all around us there are things present and things to come. There are powers; there are heights; there are depths, but none of them matter ultimately. What matters is that the Lord of creation brought us salvation that blessed Christmas morning. “Pleased in flesh with us to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel.” Thanks be to God!


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Ministering to Ourselves in the New Year

“New Year's Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream.... Only dreams give birth to change.” ~Sarah Ban Breathnach

This year we at First Presbyterian Church of Sun City are daring to dream of an organization that ministers to its congregation in a new and better way.

The past two years have seen many changes in our church. Staff turnover, changing demographics in Sun City, and the capital improvement project have all created unexpected options for our congregation. This year, we need to think of a fresh approach to the task of ministering to each other.

We are dreaming of an internal structure where the path to the help or information each of us needs is clear and simple. Of a structure that does away with a multitude of small committees with overlapping responsibilities and replaces them with fewer, more powerful groups under the direct guidance of the ruling elders – entities in charge of “Worship and Education,” “Administration,” and “Congregational Care and Outreach.” If you had a question or concern for the church, you could tell at a glance which of those commissions to go to, couldn’t you?

This new structure will be the focus of the Officers Retreat in Swain Hall on January 15, when the Elders and Deacons work out the details. Watch this space for more information!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Women's Ministry in January

Happy New Year to all!

I like to think of the New Year as an opportunity to start over. It is a time of renewal. The Webster Dictionary defines renewal as “to become restored or new again.” Let’s apply this definition to our PW Circles and to our activities and Gatherings. I don’t mean we have to necessarily spend more time or do more activities in PW, but rather to become “restored” in how we think of our roles in PW. Let’s take a “fresh” approach this year in our work with each other. PW women work hard in their different roles in our church, so let’s make PW be meaningful and supportive to each other.

Waiters at the annual PW Holiday High Tea
The annual Christmas High Tea was a big success. It was well attended and the waiters (men from our church) did an outstanding job. The tables were set by different ladies with their own dishes and decorations. There was entertainment and wonderful food and tea. Our thanks to Chairperson, Gail Bickel, and to Tina Trowbridge and the many volunteers for their hours of hard work. Note: There were a few spoons left over; if you are missing any silverware, they are in the kitchen, so see Tina. There will be a Coordinating Committee Meeting on Wednesday, January 7th at 9:00 am in Annex 2. All Officers, Coordinators and Circle Leaders are asked to attend.


Wednesday, January 28th at 11:30 am—Chili Luncheon to honor men of the church. Men and Women of the church are invited. The program will be by Ruby McKinzie of Yarnell Community Church. It will be a presentation on her trip to Africa.

Friday, January 30th at 9:30 am-11:30 am—Church Women United Human Rights Celebration. I hope you will be able to attend this meeting being held in Swain Hall. Church Women United are women from churches in our area and we are happy to host this meeting.

I am looking forward to the coming year, our events and all God has in store for us.

Blessings to all,
~Diane Nestlebush, Moderator

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2015 Per Capita

Per Capita is the amount First Presbyterian Church is responsible to pay the Presbytery of Grand Canyon for each member. The amount for 2015 is $31 for one member, $62 for two.

What is the Per Capita money used for? 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….

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 pick up your offering envelopes for 2015 (they are in the narthex hallway), you will see one marked “Per Capita.” Thank you for your contribution!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Call to Congregational Meeting

A Congregational Meeting will be held Sunday, January 4, 2015, at 10:00 am in the Sanctuary.  The purpose of the meeting is to elect one elder to fill an unexpired term.  By Order of the Session,
~Evelyn Haas, Clerk to Session