Monday, August 31, 2015

Presbyterian Women in September

Let everyone who is thirsty come, Come to the Waters. This is the theme of our 2015-2016 PW Bible study. Author Judy Record Fletcher has written a powerful article in Horizons magazine, encouraging us to explore, in our study guides, some of the many references to water in the Bible. The study books have arrived.

Many thanks to everyone in the church who helped make the Back to School supplies drive a success again this year. The items were delivered late in August to El Mirage Elementary School.

It is September! Our PW comes alive with activities beginning with the first meeting of our Coordinating Team on Wednesday, September 2nd, when plans will be made for the Gathering in Swain Hall on the 23rd. It will be a continental breakfast at 9:30 am. We’ve been anticipating hearing all about Diane Nestlebush’s attendance/participation at the Church-wide Gathering in June in Minneapolis. Ida Borhauer also attended, as usual, and may have some comments.

Speaking of Minnesota, here’s a note from a co-moderator:
Just a note of greeting from Minnesota. We have enjoyed good weather this summer, although a bit shy on moisture. Storms have gone around us, which is good, however. We have been busy with our family (15 to 20) nearly every weekend, a garage building project, relatives visiting from Norway, 35 people here for a family reunion on the Norwegian side, and many activities at our little church. As fall approaches we look forward to the arrival of a great grandchild (number 4) and football games at our alma mater. We have plane reservations for October 26, so I will be back for the October PW meeting. ~Lois Rotenberger

Lois is part of our “team” of three Moderators this year and next, along with Gail Bickel and myself. Gail has been busy arranging for program presenters. Included, for example, will be a visit from our State Representative (Rep.), Debbie Lesko, in October. A couple of gentlemen will provide a discussion at the annual Chili Feed in January, where the men are guests. Again there’s the Holiday High Tea in December—our one major source of income for mission and activities. And so much more—it will all be listed in the new PW Directory.

Blessings and Peace,
Marge Hagerman

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What a Time We Had!

About 2 dozen of our 90+ years members gathered to have tea last month in Swain Hall. It was a time to celebrate and share with friends that hadn’t seen each other in a while.

The tea was hot and the desserts were sweet; a lemon filled cake, as well as an Oreo topped cheesecake, along with a bowl of mixed fruit with a dab of whip cream.

Just delightful! Just like our 90+ years attendees.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Knit Happens!

The Prayer Shawl Ministry group will start their fall meetings on Monday, September 14.  They will meet every Monday from then on at 9:30 am in Annex 3.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Quote of the Day

"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." ~Socrates

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Survival of the Kindest

Watch this fun video to see why scientists think humans evolved to feel happiness:

Monday, August 17, 2015

Thursday, August 13, 2015

2015-2016 Fellowship Dinner Schedule

Except for the summer cookouts, which start at noon, our fellowship dinners begin at 5:00 pm. They are held in Swain Hall and each includes a short but engaging program. A freewill offering covers the costs. Please come; guests are welcome!


Thursday, October 15 
Pizza Night 
Pizza and Dale Matthies (you heard him at the High Tea!) on the accordion.

Thursday, November 19 
Turkey Dinner 
This pre-Thanksgiving celebration features a charming children’s dance group.

Thursday, December 17 
Christmas Ham
Enjoy holiday ham and all the trimmings while listening to Bill Gleason and our own First Presbyterian choir.

Thursday, January 21 
Soup Supper 
Welcome the new year with homemade soup and game night. Prizes galore!

Tuesday, February 9 
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Breakfast 
This year we’re holding a Shrove Tuesday pancake and sausage breakfast at 9:00 am. The ever-popular Sun City Stomperz will help us get into the Mardi Gras mood. We’ll be inviting the public, too, so be sure to make our visitors welcome!

Thursday, March 17 
Annual Lenten Fish Fry 
Larger fryers, bigger servings, and more great music. What more could you ask?

Thursday, April 21 
Loaded Baked Potatoes
This year our annual Earth Day dinner will star designer Kris Coates, speaking about our new church landscaping.


Monday, May 30 (Memorial Day) 
Thursday, June 16 (Lunch with Deacons) 
Monday, July 4 (Independence Day) 
Monday, September 5 (Labor Day)

Not everyone heads north to beat the heat. If you’re here for the summer holidays, join our grillmasters at high noon for burgers, hot dogs, and a few surprises.

Call the church office at 623.974.3605 to make your reservations!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

By now you’ve probably had a chance to look over the 2015-2016 Fellowship Dinner flyer that came inside this month’s edition of The SPIRE. The Fellowship Dinner committee has tried hard to provide the food and entertainment you said you wanted in your responses to our recent questionnaire; we hope you’ll agree that we have a stellar schedule planned for the coming year.

But that’s not all! Some additional events are in the works that, while not yet final, have the potential to be both enjoyable and inspiring:
  • “National Back to Church Sunday” is September 20. Donna Roth and the Worship and Christian Ed Commission will be thinking of ways to make this a special occasion that we can publicize throughout the area. Remember, these are the folks who brought you our Good Friday Fish Fry and this summer’s Family and Friends Sunday, so expect something amazing! 
  • Everyone who heard the choir from the Korean Presbyterian Church when they performed here before will be excited to learn that we are talking with them about a return engagement. Although they are no longer our tenants, they are eager to maintain cordial relations between our churches, and music doesn’t require a common language to build bridges between people. 
  • Our friends at the Emmanuel Baptist Church are exploring the possibility of bringing high-energy entertainer and preacher Huntley Brown here for a concert, to which we will be invited. If you’ve never heard of Huntley, check out the videos of his past performances on his website at
This fall we will be exploring new ways to publicize our church and all these events as efficiently and economically as possible. Among other things, extra copies of the Fellowship Dinner flyer will be available; please consider taking a few to pass along to your friends. After all, it’s up to every one of us to spread the word about the First Presbyterian Church of Sun City!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Quote of the Day

"The secret to joy is to keep seeking God where we doubt he is." ~Ann Voskamp

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Church in the World

My summer reading list included the latest from Barbara Brown Taylor.

In Learning to Walk in The Dark, she writes: 
In many ways this book is the third in a trilogy dedicated to scooping up the bottom halves of things, or at least the words used to describe them—first the world, then the flesh, now the dark—not only because those words have been libeled long enough but also because there is so much life in them that has been rejected on bogus grounds. If there is any truth to the teaching that spiritual reality is divided into halves, it is the truth that those pairs exist in balance not opposition. What can light possibly mean without dark? Who knows spirit without also knowing flesh? Is anyone altogether good or altogether evil? Where is the church that exists outside the world? People of faith who are committed to fullness of life have our work cut out for us, if only in changing the way we talk.1
I experienced some of what Taylor is writing about because during July I was away from TV and radio and newspapers. On vacation, I relied on the Internet for news. Even in the middle of Yellowstone National Park you can still get a satellite signal. Listening to the rhetoric of politicians one hears an unrelenting stream of words intended to grab headlines and attention. Maybe that’s the way politics works these days since we’ve been told that fifteen seconds is the lifespan of fame.

What grabs me is the strange silence of the church on subjects that cry out for leadership. As expected denominations, including the Presbyterian Church, issued statements in the aftermath of the hate motivated attack that left nine dead in Charleston, SC. And after gunmen attacked in Chattanooga, TN, and Lafayette, LA, leaders in both government and the church expressed outrage, offered prayers and sent condolences to families of the dead and injured. Prayers, while appropriate, if not accompanied by action are not solutions. Condolences are expected, but they are not leadership. Leadership means making a difference. Leadership is involvement. Leadership is more than saying we ought to do something. Leadership is taking action.

We’re not the church outside the world. We’re the church in the world. We’re not called to separate ourselves from the world. We’re called to be representatives of the new heaven and new earth God has already created through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. We’re ambassadors of Good News and Christ’s peace. And to the world, to our community, right now, that’s a powerful word indeed! That all the people may live...let it be so.
1Learning to Walk in the Dark, Barbara Brown Taylor, 2014, HarperCollins, p.12.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Are You OK?

R.U.O.K (Are You OK?) is a computer-based welfare check program sponsored by your Sun City and Sun City West Sheriff’s Posses, in conjunction with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office at NO COST TO YOU.

By enrolling in this program you will gain the peace of mind that someone is phoning to check on your well-being every day at a time specified by you.

Call 623.972.2555 for the Sun City Posse or 623.584.5808 for the Sun City West Posse. Leave a message that you want to enroll in R.U.O.K.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

HIPAA Form Reminder

Thank You to everyone who returned a HIPAA Form signed and dated for 2015.

There are several that we have not received. If the address label on The SPIRE you just received has a red check mark, the HIPAA Form we have for you is dated 2012 and is no longer valid. We need a current HIPAA Form from you.

Remember, we can't visit you in the hospital, print your name in the bulletin, or add you to the prayer list when you are ill without your permission indicated on one of these forms. The forms are on the table in Swain Hall and on the reception counter in the office.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Presbyterian Women in August

While we relax in semi-activity during the summer, it’s time to remind ourselves: “It’s all about Mission!” During August we will be focusing again on a drive to provide much-needed school supplies for children in the El Mirage Elementary School. The specific items needed are listed below. The list will be posted on the PW bulletin board as well. An area will be designated in Swain Hall for the gathering of these supplies as they are brought in.

We hope that all ladies of the church, whether active in Presbyterian Women or not, will participate and make this drive as successful as last year’s. We will need to conclude the collection by mid-August for delivery to the school.

Your new PW Directory for 2015-2016 is being prepared this month, for distribution in September. The Coordinating Team’s first fall meeting is Wednesday, September 2nd, at 9:00 am. In addition to our monthly Gatherings on the fourth Wednesday, the Directory will list Presbytery-wide and Synod-wide gatherings, usually held on Saturdays. Those are special times, getting acquainted with ladies across the valley. Also note that Church Women United, our local ecumenical organization, schedules meetings hosted by various member churches, including First Presbyterian. Those will be in the Directory as well.

Circles: Members of Rachel and Lydia Circles—have you been encouraging ladies not already belonging to a Circle to come and experience the Bible studies and fellowship that these two groups enjoy? Rachel Circle meets the second Tuesday at 2:30 pm. Lydia Circle meets at 9:00 am on the second Wednesday, both in Clarke Annex, starting in September.

Our September 23rd Gathering is the traditional continental breakfast at 9:30 am. We look forward to hearing Diane Nestlebush’s report on her and Ida Borhauer’s attendance at the Church-wide Gathering held in June.

Blessings and Peace,
Marge Hagerman, Co-Moderator (with Gail Bickel and Lois Rotenberger)

Optional Elementary Student Supplies
  • Box of 24 crayons 
  •  Rulers (inches / centimeters)
  • Box of 8 washable markers 
  • Highlighters
  • 3– pocket folders (solid color) 
  • Packages blue or black pens
  • Hand held erasers 
  •  Index cards
  • Glue sticks 
  • Handheld pencil sharpener
  • Composition books 
  • Box of facial tissues
  • Pencil box 
  • No. 2 pencils
  • Spiral notebooks