Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bell Choir Update

Saturday, May 2, The Great Bells of Fire are being treated to an appreciation cookout at the Tyacke’s. Small groups of bell players may perform during the summer, but the whole gang will not play again until this fall. In the meantime, pews have been removed from the bell choir’s section of the Sanctuary to make way for new bell tables. If you know anyone who would like a pew (free!), call the church office.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Brainstorming and Barbeque

Wednesday, May 13, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm in Swain Hall

Over the past two years, the congregation of First Presbyterian has been meeting regularly to talk about the future of our church. We have used brainstorming to identify the church’s strengths, craft our 50th anniversary celebration, and prioritize the needed upgrades to our physical plant. Now it’s time for us to meet again and revisit the theme of growing our membership.

Whom should we target as potential new members? What should our message to them be? What are the most cost-effective ways to spread that message?

A key piece of our identity as a congregation, and of the materials we use to reach out to others, is our mission statement. The current mission statement was developed by the Mission Task Force Committee; approved by the Session on January 20, 2000; and approved by the Congregation on February 13, 2005. It states that the mission of the First Presbyterian Church of Sun City is:
To celebrate, enjoy, and share God’s gifts in an active mature adult community, growing in the Christian faith through worship, education, mission, evangelism, fellowship, and member support in the name of Jesus Christ.
Is this still who we are? Is it who we will be in the future? A proposed amendment would strike the words mature adult from the current mission statement. Come to the May 13 meeting to hear why, and to weigh in with your opinion. And share lunch, of course—barbequed beef and pulled pork from Dillon’s, served in the newly renovated courtyard if the weather allows.

Come for the food. Come for the discussion. Continue to help chart our course for the future!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Different Kind of Busy Bee

Yesterday the church's pest control service reported seeing bees around one of our irrigation valve boxes.  Further investigation revealed a fledgling hive there.

Because bees are valuable insects and have been dying in alarming numbers in recent years, we didn't want them sprayed.  Instead, we called The Beekeeper, a bee relocation service in our area.  Bee technician Tom Delisle removed the hive and as many bees as he could coax into the box with the honeycomb, ready to transport them to a new home out in the desert.

Delisle suggested staying away from the site of the infestation until the orphaned bees left behind scatter or die and are no longer a potential danger.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Prayer Shawl Ministry Update

Thanks so much for your donations to the Prayer Shawl Ministry. Donations and coupons are always appreciated. Special thanks to Mary Lou Pancy for her large donation of fleece fabric. 

We keep really busy knitting and crocheting and donating to Hospice of the Valley and Airmans Attic.  We'll be delivering 92 items this month.

In April we went on a field trip to Airmans Attic at Luke.  We'll be meeting May 4, 11 and 18th and then we'll take the summer off.  We'll return in September - every Monday 9:30 to 11 am.

~Nancy Childress

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Be a Lifesaver

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Wednesday, April 29
10:00 am - 11:15 am

Banner Boswell Medical Center
10401 W Thunderbird, Sun City, AZ 85351
Support Services Building - Memorial Hall

Carol Gibbs, Program Education Coordinator for Save Hearts in Arizona Registry & Education (SHARE), will present information, education, and simulated practice with adult CPR.  Effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim's chance of survival, but only 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims get CPR from a bystander.  Learn how to be a lifesaver!

Call 602.230.2273 or 623.832.5650 to register.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Call to Congregational Meeting

A Congregational Meeting will be held May 3, 2015, at 10:00 am in the Sanctuary. The purpose of the meeting is to elect a Deacon to fill an unexpired position for Class of 2015 and to elect an Elder to fill an unexpired position for Class of 2015. There will be discussion to change the Mission Statement.

By Order of the Session.
Evelyn Haas, Clerk of Session

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Salad Luncheon and Style Show Reminder

Wednesday, April 22
11:30 am in Swain Hall

Join the ladies of PW for a salad luncheon and a style show by Draper's and Damon's featuring models from our congregation!  Election of officers for the coming year is also scheduled.

Admission is $5 per person and guests are welcome.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The May SPIRE Deadline is Next Monday!

Do you have an article for the May edition of our church newsletter?  An announcement?  An address change?  Something that needs to go on the church calendar?  Drop off your information in the church office, send it to, or call Beth Mabee at 623.974.3605 by Monday, April 27, or it will have to wait until June.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Fish Fry Thanks

Our first ever Holy Week Fish Fry is over, and it was a big success!  Over 100 people, including attendees from three other churches, enjoyed fried fish, coleslaw, pickled beets, rolls, and ice cream before the Good Friday Tenebrae Service.   Plans are already in the works to do it again next year.

Many people helped to decorate the church and the courtyard, prepare and serve the food, and clean up after everything was over; we won't thank you all individually for fear of missing someone, but you know who you are, and we appreciate everything you did!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Coming Soon!

This is the piece of granite that has been purchased for the center of our Celtic Cross.  A 4" diameter disc has been cut from the slab and will be installed in a concrete bed in the very near future.  Watch this space for an announcement about the dedication ceremony for the cross and the courtyard!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Men's Breakfast Fellowship Summer Venue

The Men's Breakfast Fellowship will meet for the summer at the Royal Cafe, 10793 Grand Ave in Sun City, starting May 5.  Breakfast orders will be taken at 7:30 am sharp, so be sure to get there early!

For more information about the Royal Cafe, visit their Facebook page.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Food for Thought

Spring in general and the post-Easter season in particular are times of renewal and growth—definitely NOT a time for “dying slowly.” Thanks to Donna Roth for sharing this!

You Start Dying Slowly
Martha Medeiros

You start dying slowly
If you do not travel, if you do not read,
If you do not listen to the sounds of life,
If you do not appreciate yourself.
You start dying slowly
When you kill your self-esteem
When you do not let others help you.

You start dying slowly
If you become a slave of your habits,
Walking everyday on the same paths…
If you do not change your routine,
If you do not wear different colours
Or you do not speak to those you don’t know.

You start dying slowly
If you avoid to feel passion
And their turbulent emotions;
Those which make your eyes glisten
And your heart beat fast.

You start dying slowly
If you do not change your life
when you are not satisfied with your job, or with your love,
If you do not risk what is safe for the uncertain,
If you do not go after a dream,
If you do not allow yourself,
At least once in your lifetime,
To run away from sensible advice…

Friday, April 10, 2015

2015 Electronics Recycling

Earth Day is next week, and we'll be celebrating with electronics recycling and our April Fellowship Dinner!

Bring Your Recyclables to the Church for Responsible Disposal

We will be collecting recyclables from Sunday, April 12, to Wednesday, April 15, for pickup by eGreen-IT Solutions, the electronics recycler we used last year. eGreen is a Certified e-Stewards Recycler and makes sure the data on old computers, cell phones, etc. is wiped and cannot be accessed by others. Just put your items in the Agua Fria Room!

What Can Be Recycled?

Computers; cell phones; TVs; VCRs; batteries; videotapes, CDs, and DVDs; and small household electronics such as alarm clocks and kitchen appliances.

And Don't Forget Dinner!

Wednesday, April 15, 5:00 pm in Swain Hall

Build your own burrito and hear a speaker from eGreen-IT Solutions discuss how electronics recycling works. Sign up in Swain Hall after worship, or call the church office at 623.974.3605.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

April Capital Improvements Update

Spring, as they say, has sprung, and we’ve had a lot of positive energy around here as a result!

The new plants on the north side of the lot are in full bloom, and now that the weather has warmed up, additional planting, pruning, and irrigation installation will begin along the 103rd Avenue side of the church. Kris Coates, our landscape designer, is already planning where to put the most recent donations of iris and cactus.

The upholstery fabric for the chairs in the Fireside Room, after being held up in the dockworkers’ strike, has finally arrived and looks good. Desert Flower Interiors is hard at work finishing up the chairs; they may all be done by the time you read this! By the way—Sinda Moore, the owner of Desert Flower, is the decorator who suggested painting the fireplace in the Fireside Room the striking blue it is now.

Redecorating is ongoing in the south entrance to the Sanctuary, too. Directed donations have enabled us to paint an accent wall, slipcover the chairs, and reframe the portraits of senior pastors that hang there so they will all match. (Thanks to Lee Carlson for the great paint job!) We have also hung two new carvings by Kenneth Lipp in the south entrance; the Presbyterian logo was donated by Janie Williams, and the “Peace” carving on the wall behind the Welcome Desk was donated by Rev. Richard Zabriskie and his wife Karen.

In addition, this year’s spring cleaning took place in March. The windows on the campus were professionally washed, inside and out, and the curtains and drapes washed (by Vonda Hagen) or dry-cleaned. Tina and the new Busy Bees group cleaned window tracks, dusted everything in sight, spot-cleaned the carpet in Swain Hall, and generally spruced things up. All of the Swain Hall carpet will be professionally cleaned in June.

And, the votes are in—the center of the courtyard cross will be a circle of patterned granite, set in concrete. We’ve also received the remainder of the bricks needed to complete the east arm of the cross, so we will FINALLY be holding the courtyard dedication in the very near future.

Last but not least—now that the cleaning and the capital improvements are well on their way, we’re going to expand our efforts to spread the word about our church. Debbie Thompson papered the neighborhood with flyers for the Good Friday fish fry, and the Worship and Education Commission has approved spending part of our publicity budget this year to purchase the addresses of new residents moving into the 10 nearest zip codes. I will mail those folks a welcome packet including the church brochure and the Fellowship Dinner schedule—and yes, the Fellowship Dinner subcommittee is already working on the 2015-2016 schedule and programs.

Don’t keep all this good news to yourself; bring a guest to church to share the joy of Easter (or at least a fellowship dinner)!
~Beth Mabee

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

April Fellowship Dinner

Wednesday, April 15, 5:00 pm
Big Burrito Bash

This year our annual Earth Day program will showcase recycling, with speakers from Parks & Sons and eGreen Electronics Recycling. And, of course, you get to build your own burrito for dinner. Olé!

Don’t miss our fun summer fellowship cookouts:
  • Monday, May 25 (Memorial Day), noon—Memorial Day cookout
  • Saturday, July 4 (Independence Day), noon—Fourth of July cookout
  • Monday, September 7 (Labor Day), noon—Labor Day cookout
Your freewill offerings support these and our other fellowship events. Call the church office at 623.974.3605 to RSVP, or sign up in Swain Hall after worship on Sunday.

Monday, April 6, 2015

In Short

  • The meeting days for Stephen Ministers are now the second and fourth Mondays of every month, at 2:00 pm in Annex 3.
  • If you bring citrus to the church for others to pick up, please either leave it on one of the cement (not wooden) benches, or double-bag it; leaking juice is causing damage to the wooden bench just inside the gates.
  • Remember, we are no longer collecting cans at the church for recycling because we have no one to store, rinse, and transport them. If you are willing to take over this project, please contact Rev. Davis.
  • Craig McCoy is interested in setting up a sheet music exchange for pianists who are tired of playing their current inventory. Please call Craig if you would like to participate.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Library News

The Library will no longer place new books on the round table.  There seems to be no interest in it.  All new books will be placed directly onto the shelves after in-processing.

There is a new category under Fiction called "SERIALS".  It is set apart just beneath the category "Human Relations".  Gloria Bouckenooghe has donated an entire set of Guideposts novels (16 in all) about a hospital called Hope Haven and the lives of the personnel who are employed there.  They are very light reads but quite enjoyable.

Under the Christian Living category, there are several new books by Billy Graham, Norman Vincent Peale, and Charles R. Swindoll.  Some very inspiring reading.  Check it out.

Some of the most interesting books are in the "BIOGRAPHIES" section.  That is the only section that is not alphabetized by author, but rather by the name of the person portrayed.  There are historical biographies, hysterically funny biographies, love biographies, tragic biographies.  I find it one of the most interesting sections of the library.  You may, too!

Don't forget, the library is open every other Wednesday afternoon while the bridge club is meeting in the Fireside Room.

~Carol Maxwell, Librarian in Training