Thursday, April 28, 2016

Responding to the need in Ecuador and Japan

This email was received last week from the Presbyterian Church (USA):
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea.”—Psalm 46:1–2
Over the past week, the earth has shaken. On Saturday night the coast of Ecuador was rocked by an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale. This came on the heels of two separate earthquakes in Japan, the first measuring 6.2 on the scale; the second, 7.0.

As aftershocks continue to threaten, more than 500 lives have already been lost. Thousands of other people have been injured, and communities lie in ruins.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is working in collaboration with our partner the ACT (Action by Churches Together) Alliance to respond to this crisis, providing support to those suffering in the aftermath. As our immediate response takes shape, PDA is also preparing for long-term support for both Ecuador and Japan. Long after the initial wave of relief recedes, PDA will remain to accompany the people of Ecuador and Japan as they rebuild their lives, walking the road out of this chaos with hope.

The needs for the response are great. God’s people are once again called on to stand in the GAP (Give/Act/Pray) to help survivors.

Donate now. Learn more: Get the PDA situation report.

Give: Share your financial blessings by designating gifts to DR999999–Disaster Relief–International Disasters and Emergencies. Gifts can be made online, by calling (800) 872-3283, or by mailing a check to Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), PO Box 643700, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700. You can also text PDA to 20222 to donate $25.

Act: Stay informed: Subscribe to receive PDA Rapid Information Network emails to keep aware of current responses and urgent needs that you can share with your congregation, and like us on Facebook.

Pray: Please pray for those who suffered loss of loved ones and for those who are working tirelessly to provide rescue, humanitarian aid, and spiritual and psychological support.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Six Little Stories

Judy Goss recently forwarded this to us:
  1. Once all villagers decided to pray for rain. On the day of prayer all the people gathered, but only one boy came with an umbrella. That's FAITH. 
  2. When you throw babies in the air, they laugh because they know you will catch them. That's TRUST. 
  3. Every night we go to bed without any assurance of being alive the next morning, but still we set the alarm to wake us up. That's HOPE. 
  4. We plan big things for tomorrow in spite of zero knowledge of the future. That's CONFIDENCE.
  5. We see the world suffering, but still we get married and have children. That's LOVE. 
  6. On an old man's shirt was written a sentence: “I am not 80 years old . I am sweet 16 with 64 years of experience.” That's ATTITUDE.
 Have a happy day and live your life like the six stories!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Fry's Donation Program

We just received notification from Fry’s regarding the Community Rewards Program. We did not meet the minimum amount for a check this quarter. However, our amount will be held over and combined with next quarter's contribution, so we will get a check next quarter. Thanks to all who signed up!

As a reminder, if you haven't signed up yet, here are the instructions:

The Congregational Care and Outreach Commission has enrolled the church in Fry’s Community Rewards (FCR) Program. All proceeds derived from FCR must be used for charitable purposes within the community Fry’s serves. The Commission has chosen to use the money received to support the Agua Fria Food Bank. You can participate in the program at no cost to yourself; simply link your Fry’s V.I.P. card to it and from then on whenever you swipe the card to buy groceries at a local Fry’s store, a portion of the money you spend will go toward this important mission.

According to the Fry’s website,
Fry's is committed to helping our communities grow and prosper. Year after year, local schools, churches, synagogues and other nonprofit organizations will earn millions of dollars through Fry's Community Rewards. Our program was designed to make your fund-raising the easiest in town…all you have to do is shop at Fry's and swipe your V.I.P Card! Enroll now for the Fry's Community Rewards Program. And remember…all participants must re-enroll each year to continue earning rewards for their chosen organization.
If you have a Fry’s card and an email address, you can link your card to the program yourself by following the steps below.
  1. Go to
  2. Click on Register (top right corner of the page).
  3. Fill out all the fields under Create an Account; be sure to complete the Your Location field and click the Find button to find your preferred store.
  4. Click the orange Create Account button at the bottom left corner of the screen.
  5. Now you should be on the Add V.I.P. Card screen. Fill out the fields for your card number and your last name and click the Save button at the bottom left.
  6. At this point, you will be at the Account Summary page. Scroll down until you see Community Rewards and click on the orange Enroll button beneath.
  7. When the Find Your Organization screen comes up, type 41034 into the field and click on the orange Search button. 
  8. When the church’s information appears, click on the radio button to the left of the church’s name and then on the Enroll button.
And that’s it!

If you already have an online Fry’s account, you can link your card to the program by signing in to the Fry’s website. Click on Community in the menu in the website header, and then on Community Rewards. When the Fry's Community Rewards Program screen comes up, click on the orange Enroll Now button and follow steps 7 and 8 above. Thank you for your participation!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Habitat for Humanity Dedication

You should have seen their faces, and heard the grateful joy in their voices, when the family members spoke to us at the Kick-off Ceremony for the home they were about to acquire! Two months later now, we are having the Dedication Ceremony when the keys will be turned over to them. We think you will want to be there, on Saturday, April 30th, at 9:30 am. The address is 6827 W. Carol Avenue in Peoria. For a ride, or further information, call Walt and Mary McMartin (623.583.2597) or Dick and Karen Zabriskie (623.977.8816).

Habitat for Humanity has done it again, with the help of our Presbyterian Coalition of the West Valley, the City of Peoria, the Women’s Build Team, and your and my generous giving.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Coming This Summer!

Those who attended the joint Maundy Thursday service at Faith Presbyterian heard how awesome the sound of many voices joined in sacred song can be. We will all have the chance to participate in a similar experience with individuals from eight other churches through three One in Spirit / One in Song hymn-sings this summer. You don’t have to be a choir member, or even a good singer, to take part; this is all about raising a joyful noise to the Lord together. The dates and host churches will be:
  • Sunday, June 12, at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church, 103rd and Peoria Avenues; 
  • Sunday, July 10, at Faith Presbyterian Church, 16000 N. Del Webb Boulevard; and 
  • Sunday, August 14, at First Presbyterian Church (yes, HERE; our Worship and CE Commission will be coordinating the event).
Each hymn-sing will start at 3:00 pm using the host church's hymnals, including choices by those attending, and often some information about the hymns chosen. At 4:00 pm we will gather for light refreshments and the opportunity to talk together about the experience, and to become better acquainted.

Mark your calendar now!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

2016 Electronics Recycling

Earth day is Friday, April 22, so it’s time for our annual electronics recycling event!

Bring in your dead electronics and batteries this month for recycling by eGreen IT Solutions, a certified e-Stewards recycling firm. You needn’t be concerned about the data on your old phone or computer:
eGreen IT Solutions ensures data security through our Department of Defense (DOD) certified 7x zero-fill overwrite processes executed on hard drives to completely sanitize all data and software before final disposition. Non-operational hard drive media are physically destroyed in compliance with DOD standards ensuring no confidential information breaches or transfer of license software occurs.
eGreen can recycle almost any appliance with an electrical cord or batteries, so add your obsolete equipment to the already impressive collection in the Agua Fria Room now!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Prayer Shawl Ministry Update

Thanks to those of you who have donated to our Prayer Shawl Ministry. We really appreciate those donations.

So far this year we have donated to Family Services at Luke Airforce Base a total of 34 Layettes and to Airman's Attic 28 items.

We have donated to Hospice of the Valley – 18 lap throws, 16 shawls, 9 pairs of slippers and 2 pairs of fingerless gloves.

We do keep busy and still meet at 9:30 to 11 am on the first and third Monday of each month at the church. We welcome anyone who wishes to join us in knitting and crocheting.

~Nancy Childress

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Justa Center Update

I have delivered two more loads of donations to the Justa Center this month. The response to their need by our congregation has been absolutely marvelous. Keep up the good work!

Furniture, bedding, dishes, and small appliances are especially welcome. However, if you are planning to donate high tech items such as computers or printers, please make sure they are in working order and have all of the required parts and attachments. Recently there was a really nice HP combined Print, Fax, Scan, Copy machine left and it works. Unfortunately, the paper holder was missing, so it is useless for donation purposes.

All clothing articles for adults are acceptable. Please remember, do not include items that need mending or laundering. I have been taking some of the fruit from my fruit trees down also. The Executive Director, Barbara Lewkowitz, says most of the homeless are severely lacking in Vitamin C, and she therefore welcomes fresh fruit donations. However, do not leave fruit donations in the Agua Fria Room. Please coordinate with me before picking any fruit. I cannot make a trip to downtown Phoenix just to deliver fruit. I only take it along with full loads. You can call me at 623.249.3005. I usually pick my fruit on the day I am going down with a load.

Just as a reminder, the Justa Center is a Qualifying Charitable Organization allowing a tax credit. It really helps out in reducing your state income tax.

You can go online to download the Tax Credit Donation Form.

Carol Maxwell
Justa Center Volunteer

Monday, April 11, 2016

Presbyterian Women in April

Meetings in April:
  • Wednesday, April 6, 9:00 am: Coordinating Team in A2.
  • Saturday, April 16: Faith Presbyterian Church, Sun City, is hosting the PW Presbytery Spring Gathering, 8:30 am – 2:30 pm. The topic: Mission Matters Because God’s People Matter.
  • Saturday, April 30 (corrected date from that shown in March SPIRE): Our PW hosts the West Valley PWP from 8:30 a.m. to noon. The Rev. Bev Phillips will provide an overview of next year’s Horizons Bible study. The Coordinating Team will plan refreshments. Circle members, please ask your leader how you may help (set-up, clean-up, etc.)
  • Wednesday, April 27, 11:30 am: This is our popular annual Salad Luncheon with Circles providing a potpourri of homemade salads. Cost: $5.00 each (no charge to those providing salads to serve 10-12 people). The program will be a video, Women of the Bible.
Kitchen “Shower”: Those who work often in our kitchen have observed that most of the linens—tea towels and dish cloths—are becoming threadbare. Let’s try to remember to donate extras we may have at home, or buy new items to donate.

“Action” items needed, always: Just inside the main entrance to Swain Hall is a place to leave “Education labels” (found on cereal boxes and soup cans). Personal hygiene items for Eve’s Place (a shelter for women victims of domestic violence) may be brought to the April 27th Salad Luncheon.

PWP Recommended Reading: Each year new titles are suggested and some purchased for our collection. Take time to browse through the collection of books that are available to check out. Readers: Be sure to let either Gail (623.815.7290) or Marge (623.330.4915) know if you have read five or more of these books, and you will receive a special recognition.

~Marge Hagerman, Co-Moderator

Thursday, April 7, 2016

More Tai Chi

During the spring and summer of 2014, SCAN Health sponsored free tai chi classes in Swain Hall. The classes were taught by Peggy Burger, an instructor who specializes in working with older adults to improve their balance and mobility. Peggy is offering to conduct classes here again at a cost of $5 per person per session. We hope to offer the classes on Fridays at 9:00 am starting in mid-April, but we need at least 15 people who are willing to pay for the lessons in order to proceed. Participants need not be members of the church. Sign up in the church office or in Swain Hall if you are interested—and tell your friends to sign up, too!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Fellowship Dinner Brainstorming

What: Planning for the 2016-2017 monthly Fellowship Dinners
When: Tomorrow (Thursday, April 7), at 10:00 am
Where: The office conference room at First Presbyterian Church of Sun City

If you can't attend in person, call or email us with your ideas for food and entertainment.  We want the next season of fellowship events to be the best ever!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

April 5 is Arizona Gives Day

To make a donation to the church, call our office at 623-974-3605. To learn more about Arizona Gives Day, visit