January, 2017
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Cliff's Notes :: Around First Central
Congratulations and Celebrations :: New Members
January and February Calendar
Cliff's Notes
 

  Dear FCPC Family and Friends,

Jewish Oil Lamp
Photo: Josh Stewart
On this new year I would like to share with you a Scottish ‘first–footing’ prayer.

In Scotland and in the northern parts of England, New Years is given much importance. Folk go from house to house wishing each other a good year ahead – and celebrate with food and plenty of drink! It is often seen as important who should be the first to cross the threshold and ‘bring in the year’ once midnight has passed.

The following prayer asks Jesus to come and ‘first–foot’ for us. The door is opened to welcome our Lord in...and invite his blessing:

This day is a new day
that has never been before.
This year is a new year,
the opening door.

Open the door
      (literally - find a door and open it.)

And pray this prayer:

Enter, Lord Christ –
we have joy in your coming.
You have given us life;
and we welcome your coming.

I turn now to face you, Lord.
I lift up my eyes.
Be blessing my face.
Be blessing my eyes.

In this New Year may all my eye looks on
be blessed and be bright.

May my neighbors, my loved ones
be blessed in your sight.
Around First Central
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

You Can Make a Difference!
We are heading toward the new budget year of 2017. It might be no surprise to you that in light of political turmoil, economic struggle and general angst in our nation we are behind in our “pledge card” responses.
We need your help if we wish to continue our mission and ministry at the same level as 2016. One of the problems our local church faces is that people continue to give extremely generously to extra-mission giving opportunities. (As you know, we give away, in mission approximately 30 to 35% of our year’s revenues. Not many churches these days even come close to such generosity.) But, without the needed monies to support our local church budget we fear that the foundational underpinnings of our outward ministry will begin to erode. What you give to the budget purchases Sunday school curriculum, supports youth ministry, pays the utility bills, compensates our wonderful church staff, etc.
Please...we need your support of FCPC financially for 2017. By faith are you willing to stretch your giving in this new year?

The 2017 Budget Process Begins Soon and we welcome ALL members of FCPC to participate in setting and reviewing the budget for the coming year. Here’s some dates and times to remember:
January 8, 2017—4 p.m.
Commencement of Budget Process. The congregation is invited to attend and give input at this meeting.
January 31, 2017—7:30 p.m.
Budget Hearing—Congregation is welcome to participate. This hearing is followed by a Session meeting to formally adopt the budget.

A MESSAGE FROM JACOB SNOWDEN, DCE

I sometimes found myself a Scrooge this past Christmas. Somewhere on a ladder with a tangle of lifeless lights I muttered a quiet “Bah! Humbug!” In just a few short weeks I would be back on the same ladder to remove these same lights that I was struggling mightily to put up for the sake of “The Christmas Spirit.” Christmas is not all glitter and cheer as you well know. But when Scrooge buys a Christmas meal, it is good to recognize that even the worst of Christmas can be redeemed. It is Scrooge who says,

I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!

What lessons did this past Christmas teach? What about cheer, expectation, charity, or compassion can we keep all the year? As you think about resolutions to make the new year different, perhaps take a bit of time to consider what about the past year could and should be held to.

In Christian Education at FCPC, we are certainly hanging on to our Wednesday Night Supper Studies. Those will resume with Jeff Key on January 18th. Logos resumes on January 22, and something else happens that Sunday…Oh yeah! I will be preaching! It remains to be seen whether I bring my bag of tricks with me or not. Also, Men’s Monday Mornings have been quietly rolling along. If you are looking for coffee and comradery, come at 7:00 am, beginning again on January 9th, the better to know some of your church fellows. These are absolutely a highlight of my week and a great way to charge into the week feeling encouraged and well-fed. Come for at least a week to try it out!

Scrooge is synonymous with a grumpy, penny-pinching curmudgeon. However, the end of a Christmas Carol ends with a different picture of the man. “Ever afterwards it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us!”

UPDATES FROM THE YOUTH AND EMERGING ADULTS MINISTRIES

Youth News
December was a month filled with celebrations! We began with our Great Christmas Escape shopping trip on the 3rd. This year we stayed in town to shop for Christmas gifts for our families while also participating in the “Angel Tree” program. Our 9-year-old boy received two pairs of pants, three shirts, a pair of tennis shoes, and a set of Jurassic World dinosaurs all thanks to the generosity of our Youth and their families. We also had a great time at the roller-skating rink after a full day of shopping. Later that evening, the Youth helped perform in the annual Children’s Christmas Pageant. There were three duets, three solos, and chorus performances from the Youth section, all of which were lovely!

On December 11th, Our All Youth Christmas Party on December 11th was a hit with over 20 people in attendance. We exchanged Christmas tree ornaments in a “white elephant” gift trade. The “unicorn in lederhosen” and “squirrel in underpants,” “and pickle with Santa hat” ornaments were some of our more interesting and hotly traded items! We also ate dinner together and watched a classic Christmas movie, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

After a break for the holidays, regular Youth meetings will resume on January 4. In the middle of January, we will begin a special series on Sunday nights that will last between 3 and 4 weeks. We will divide our young men and young women for discussions about gender, consent, and relationships. The young women will meet at 5 PM for their discussion. After they are finished we will eat dinner as a group at 5:45. At 6:15 we will play a group game with both sections. After our group game, the young men will meet at 6:30 for their discussion.

Do you want to keep up with what the Youth Group has going on? Follow us on Instagram @fcpcyouth for pictures and videos. Download the GroupMe app and email Kristen at kbridwell@fcpc.net to receive text messages about events. If you want to receive calendar reminders, send Kristen your email address and she will send you the subscription list.

Emerging Adults Ministry
Our new Emerging Adult Ministry is up and running at FCPC! This ministry was created to meet the needs of those young people in our congregation who have graduated from High School and are taking their first steps into adulthood. The age range of this group is roughly 18-25. Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, January 17 for fellowship, free food, and discussions about faith. If you know an emerging adult looking for a place to explore their faith that lives in Abilene, contact Kristen at kbridwell@fcpc.net or call the church office.

EVEN MORE NEWS AND EVENTS FROM FCPC

Save the Date for the annual Women’s Retreat at Christ the King Retreat Center in San Angelo. This year’s Women’s Retreat, titled “Sing a New Song”, will be February 3-4. More details are coming soon, so stay tuned for further information and registration forms!

Phoebe’s Friends will begin a new study based on a book by James K. A. Smith, You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit. Readers are encouraged to curate their hearts, noting that we need to worship well because we are what we love and what we love we worship. Smith warns, “You might not love what you think.” The weekly study, led by Janice Six, will begin Monday, January 9, in the Minter Room, from 10 a.m. - 11:30 p.m.  All are welcome to participate. Childcare is availble by simply contacting Kori Barr or Jacob Snowden. Phoebe’s motto: “You can never be too late or leave too early as long as we get to see you.”

Wednesday Nights (program and supper) begin on January 18. We kick off the year with one of our most popular speakers, Dr. Jeff Key, former chair of the political science department at Hardin Simmons University. Each year Jeff has shared with us his predictions for the world in light of political turmoil and change across the globe. You don’t want to miss this one!
Our Next Festival of Faith will be March 5-6, 2017 with Dr. Richard Mouw, a philosopher, scholar, and author.
Dr. Mouw has served two decades as president of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California where he now is professor of Faith and Public Life in the School of Theology. Mouw has a broad record of publication. He has been an editor of the Reformed Journal and has served on many editorial boards, including Books and Culture on which he currently serves.
He is the author of 19 books, and serves as a panelist in the online forum “On Faith” offered by the Washington Post. In 2007, Princeton Theological Seminary awarded Mouw the Abraham Kuyper Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Life. Mouw has also participated on many councils and boards, recently serving as president of the Association of Theological Schools. He served for six years as co-chair of the official Reformed-Catholic Dialogue, and is a leader in interfaith theological conversations, particularly with Mormons and Jewish groups.
Dr. Mouw will preach on Sunday morning, March 6 at both the 8:30 and 11 am worship services. He will also teach on both Sunday and Monday at 7 pm. A noon luncheon on Monday will be held in Fellowship Hall. The community is invited.

Food Pantry Volunteers Needed As many of you know, the leader of the Food Pantry, Frances Buzard, is having some health problems. Frances has led the pantry for almost twenty years and in that time has created an army of volunteers—not only those who work Tuesday from one to four but others who do a multitude of jobs and make it possible for the pantry to open each week.
The pantry is being temporarily run by a committee but none of the members of this committee wish to take on the leadership role. All plan to continue volunteering at the pantry because of their love for this mission but hope that the next generation of church members will step up as leaders to keep this very important mission going. If you are interested in learning more about the leadership responsibilities and opportunities please contact the church office and one of the committee members will contact you with more information.
Gratitude
Dear FCPC Family,
The surprise visit from the busload of carolers was such a wonderful treat and made me feel better. Thank you and Merry Christmas!
Frances Buzard

Dear Church,
Thank you for the poinsettias—and goodie bag—also all the cards and visits.
Love, Betty Duke

Dearest Carolers,
Ya’ll made my Christmas holiday! When you all came through my door into my house singing I felt the happiest I’ve been in years! When you left I felt saddened. But soon I felt a contentment I haven’t felt since 1969. Austin was so sorry he wasn’t here to see and hear ya’ll. Please come again.
With Christmas love,
Austin & Roxie Schussler

First Central Presbyterian Church,
Happy New Year! Thank you so much for your generous gift! We’re grateful for your willingness to partner with us in our mission to inspire hope in the lives of our neighbors experiencing homelessness! Thank you for including us in your missions budget.
Blessings,
John Cooper,
Executive Director, Abilene Hope Haven
r

Sympathy
We extend our sympathy to Melinda Rausch on the death of her father, to the family of Larry Jones on his passing, to the family of Agnes King on her passing, to Jerry Johnson and family on the death of Ann Johnson, and to Nancy Lewis-Means on the death of her father.

Congratulations and Celebrations
We would like to celebrate the birth of Benjamin Channer Roach, born December 12 to Kristy and Jonathan Roach!

We would also like to celebrate the baptism of Alexandra Juanillo, daughter of Laura and Drew Juanillo. Proud grandparents are Clell and Angela Wright.

New Members
We are pleased to warmly welcome Tyler Henderson to the FCPC family!



January and February Calendar
(Click Here to Download)
January February

Each Sunday

  • 8:30 am / 11 am: Worship Services
  • 9:45 am: Church School
  • 4:30 pm: Logos (Begins 22nd)
  • 5-6:30 pm: Youth - Young Ladies
  • 5:45 pm: Youth Dinner
  • 6:30 pm: Youth - Young Men

Each Monday

  • 7 am: Men's Morning Study
  • 10 am: Phoebe's Friends (Begins 16th)

Each Tuesday

  • 1-3 pm: Garden Ministry Work Time
  • 1-4 pm: Food Pantry Open
  • 7:30 pm: Emerging Adults (Begins 17th)

Each Wednesday

  • 10 am: Knitting & Crochet Group
  • 5:45 pm: Wednesday Night Dinner & Program (Begins 18th)
  • 6:30 pm: Handbell Choir Practice
  • 6:30 pm: All Youth Gathering
  • 7:30 pm: Sanctuary Choir Practice

Each Thursday

  • 5:30 am: BOBS (Breakfast on Beech Street)
  • 1-3 pm: Garden Ministry Work Time
  • 5:30 pm: Guitar Group (Except 19th)
  • 7:30 pm: Young Adults, No Children (YANC)

January 8

  • 4 pm: Budget Process & Congregational Input Meeting

January 9

  • 5:15 pm: M&E Committee Meeting
  • 5:15 pm: Stephen Ministry Meeting

January 10

  • 5:30 pm: CE Committee Meeting
  • 6:15 pm: Deacons Meeting

January 11

  •  4:30 pm: Worship Committee Meeting

January 13

  • 6 pm: Parents Night Out (PNO)

January 15

  • Installation of Officers
  • 1:30 pm: Worship at Wesley Court

January 16

  • 5 pm: Property Committee Meeting
  • 5:45 pm: PW Coordinating Team Meeting

January 17

  • 12 pm: Finance Committee Meeting
  • 5:30 pm: LCMC Meeting

January 19

  • 6:30 pm: Ultreya Fellowship

January 22

  • 12 pm: Celebration Luncheon

January 23

  • 5:15 pm: Stephen Ministry
  • 6:30 pm: Martha Circle

January 24

  • 7 pm: Session Meeting

January 27

  • 6 pm: Parents Night Out (PNO)

January 31

  • 7:30 pm: Budget Hearing and Adoption by Session

*As February approaches, be sure to watch the Pew Sheet and future calendars for updated dates and times for all our church activities!

Each Sunday

  • 8:30 am / 11 am: Worship Services
  • 9:45 am: Church School
  • 4:30 pm: Logos
  • 5-6:30 pm: Mid-High Youth
  • 6-7:30 pm: Senior High Youth

Each Monday

  • 7 am: Men's Morning Study
  • 10 am: Phoebe's Friends

Each Tuesday

  • 1-3 pm: Garden Ministry Work Time
  • 1-4 pm: Food Pantry Open
  • 7:30 pm: Emerging Adults

Each Wednesday

  • 10 am: Knitting & Crochet Group
  • 5:45 pm: Wednesday Night Dinner/Program
  • 6:30 pm: Handbell Choir Practice
  • 6:30 pm: All Youth Gathering
  • 7:30 pm: Sanctuary Choir Practice

Each Thursday

  • 5:30 am: BOBS (Breakfast on Beech Street)
  • 1-3 pm: Garden Ministry Work Time
  • 5:30 pm: Guitar Group (Except 16th)
  • 7:30 pm: Young Adults, No Children (YANC)

February 3

  • Women's Retreat @ CKRC San Angelo
  • Mid-High Youth Mystery Trip

February 4

  • Women's Retreat @ CKRC San Angelo
  • Mid-High Youth Mystery Trip

February 5

  • Souper Bowl of Caring

February 6

  • 5:15 pm: M&E Committee Meeting
  • 5:15 pm: Stephen Ministry Meeting

February 7

  • 5:30 pm: CE Committee Meeting

February 10

  • 6 pm: Parents Night Out (PNO)
February 13
  • 5 pm: Property Committee Meeting

February 14

  • 6:15 pm: Deacons Meeting

February 15

  • 4:30 pm: Worship Commitee Meeting

February 16

  • 6:30 pm: Ultreya Fellowship

February 19

  • 1:30 pm: Worship at Wesley Court

February 20

  • 5:15 pm: Stephen Ministry Meeting
  • 5:45 pm: PW Coordinating Team Meeting

February 21

  • 12 pm: Finance Committee Meeting

February 24

  • 6 pm: Parents Night Out (PNO)
  • Youth Lock-In

February 25

  • Youth Lock-In

January 27

  • 6:30 pm: Martha Circle

February 28

  • 7 pm: Session Meeting