June, 2016

<< Click Here to download a PDF of the Alert! >>
<< Download the June and July Calendar >>
Cliff's Notes :: Around First Central
Gratitude :: Sympathy
Congratulations and Celebrations :: New Members
June and July Calendar

Cliff's Notes
   After washing the feet of the disciples and then asking them to do the same for others, Jesus said: “You know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”
♦♦♦
   This photo was taken a week ago last Thursday. It rained during our Thursday evening young adult study. As folks were leaving I took this photo of our front walkway while standing on our front porch.

   Just for a moment I want you to imagine God standing on your front porch....

   God knocks at my door. ... "Rent is cheap, I say.
   "I don't want to rent. I want to buy,' says God....
   "I might let you have a room or two.”
   "Thanks," says God. "I like what I see.”
   "I'd like to give you the whole house, but I’m not sure –“
   “Think on it," says God. "I wouldn't put you out....
   You’d have more space than you've ever had.”
   "I don't understand. ..."
   "I know," says God, "but I can't tell you about that. You’ll have
   to discover it for yourself. That can happen only if you let me
   have the whole house."
   "A bit risky," I say.
   "Yes" says God, "but try me..."

Edited from a longer unpublished poem by Margaret Halaska


   Don’t just think about it – do it. Take that next step of faith.
♦♦♦
   Just last week Dr. Henry Heimlich didn’t hesitate. When a fellow diner started choking, the 96-year-old was ready to perform the maneuver that he invented.
   This all happened a week ago Monday at an assisted-living facility in Cincinnati, The Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Resident Patty Ris, 87, had swallowed a piece of meat and was struggling to breathe. Perry Gaines, an employee of the Deupree House — who had in fact performed the Heimlich maneuver before — ran toward her table. But Heimlich was already in position.
   “Typically, a staff member would do it,” the Enquirer reports - ‘but,’ Gaines said, pausing, ‘it is Dr. Heimlich.’ “
   Heimlich successfully dislodged the meat from 87-year-old Ris’ airway. 
   “It was very gratifying,” he stated in a press interview on Friday. “That moment was very important to me. I knew about all the lives my maneuver has saved over the years and I have demonstrated it so many times but here, for the first time, was someone sitting right next to me who was about to die.”
   In a video given to the Enquirer, Ris said she wrote Heimlich a thank you note that read, “God put me in this seat next to you.”
   Where is God saying the next step is yours? Instead of closing your eyes and praying, sometimes God wants us to keep our eyes open for people in need.

Prayer:
Lord, we want our faith to be more than just words. We want our faith to be an event - something that happens and makes a difference in the world. We too want to do our part in our own way. Help us not simply to be hearers, but doers of your Word. Amen.

Around First Central
Officer Nominations
Church officer nominations are being accepted through June 19th. A form is available in Sunday bulletins until the 19th or through the church office upon request. Any communicant member of our congregation may suggest other members to the Church Officer Nominating Committee for consideration.

FCPC Student Assistance
FCPC student assistance grants provide financial aid to members of FCPC that are pursuing higher education. If you would like to apply, forms are available at the church office. Please return all forms by June 15.

Celebration Scholars
Each spring, Palo Duro Presbytery awards scholarships to outstanding Presbyterian high school seniors. Grades, test scores, community, school and church involvement are the criteria used for selection. This year’s recipients included Rachel Myers and Ben Lantrip from FCPC. Celebration Scholars receive $500 each per semester as long as they attend a PCUSA church and maintain their grades. Please consider making a donation through the Presbytery Office to Celebration Scholarship as a way to honor our youth and foster their education.

A Word from Jacob Snowden, DCE
If you’ve noticed the weather, you’ve probably noticed that we have entered a new season. With temperatures touching the nineties and incessant mosquito swatting, you might assume that we’ve entered Summer, but as the Director of Christian Education, let me assure you that we’ve have now entered Ordinary Time.
I’ve been struck by the notion that summer time could be ordinary time. Isn’t ordinary time when there are no vacations, class is in session, and there are no camps, mission trips, or Vacation Bible Schools to prepare for? And even if we think theologically, how can there be ordinary time when we are past Lent, Easter, and Pentecost? Why would time after the life, work, and resurrection of Jesus merely be “ordinary”?
There is a temptation, maybe most pronounced in churches, to focus on the extraordinary, to make everything superlative. In an Olympic year, it is easy to think about the strongest, fastest, most skilled, athletes. In an election year it is easy to think about the smartest, shrewdest, most experienced, most qualified candidates. I remember the refrain from the church of my childhood that making a decision for Christ is the most important, most meaningful thing I could do in my life.
Ordinary time reminds me that, by definition, most days and most decisions are ordinary. And what we do ordinarily makes a difference! When I think about routine, I know that I reap the benefits or what I ordinarily do. I am a bit slimmer when I ordinarily go to the gym (which I don’t). I am a bit more productive when I ordinarily go to bed by 10 (which I don’t). I am a bit friendlier when I ordinarily take some personal time for coffee and a paper (which I don’t).
The church is mostly, by definition, an ordinary place. It is ordinarily called to show love and be at peace. It is ordinarily called to forgive and to live with hope. While the summer may be topsy-turvy and schedules may seem hectic, the church is still called to do what it ordinarily does, even if those things don’t quite jive with the time people and families seem to have or the ways people usually act.
Ordinarily, Buffalo Gap Camp lasts through the month of June. Check the Palo Duro Presbytery website for information; camp takes walk-up registrations. Ordinarily, Vacation Bible School is the last week of July—July 24-28. These are ordinarily great fun and make a lasting impact on students and workers alike, so I hope you’ll consider them this summer.
And now I end in the ordinary way.
Have a great summer. Peace.

Youth Ministry News
May was an incredibly busy and fun month for the Youth! First, we had a Mid-High Mystery Fun Day on May 14. 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students enjoyed a full day of relaxing fun with the Youth Minister and Youth Ministry Helpers. They had a great time visiting the Abilene Zoo, eating pizza and playing in the arcade at Mr. Gattis, and watching Captain America: Civil War at the movie theater in the Abilene Mall.
High school graduation season has come and gone with several youth members receiving their diplomas in the last week of May. The Youth Group celebrated the seniors and their parents with a special Senior Sunday Brunch during the Church School hour. The graduates also assisted in the liturgy during both services while wearing their commencement robes. These young people will be greatly missed!
The Youth ended the month and the school year with a celebratory pool party at the Voss’ home. Lots of fun was had playing water basketball, jumping of the diving board, chatting with one another, and eating great food!
The Youth Group takes a little break during the month of June to make room for summer camp out at the Buffalo Gap Presbyterian encampment and for Mission Trip preparations. There will not be any meetings on Wednesday nights until school begins in the Fall, and there will not be any meetings on Sunday nights until the end of July when the Senior-Highs get back from the Mission Trip. Instead of these school-year meeting hours, we will start a summer series of weekend days or nights out on the town! Each weekend, on either a Friday evening or a Saturday afternoon, there will be a fun event planned away from the church. We will participate in activities such as bowling, put-put, sand volleyball, and movie watching. Keep an eye on the pew sheet for the weekly plan!
The Senior-High Youth are tantalizingly close to the goal of raising $17000 for the Summer Mission Trip to Staten Island, NY. Please consider giving to the FCPC Youth Missions Fund and help give towards the last $2000 of the trip costs. You can contribute by visiting the youth in the Mug Stop on Sunday mornings during the church school hour and purchasing your favorite espresso, coffee, or tea based drink.

Breakfast on Beech Street Report

Breakfast on Beech Street (BOBS) has been busy so far this year! In May we had 1,550 guests and served 1,812 meat & cheese and 734 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. That brings the total guests in 2016 so far up to 6,908, meat & cheese sandwiches to 8,232 and PBJ sandwiches to 3,230. Your donations help so much, but if you feel a calling to be a part of this ministry contact Margaret Beasley at 692-4149. We help on Thursday mornings. Thank you!

Sunday Flowers
Sanctuary and foyer flowers are a beautiful way to provide a memorial or honorarium for loved ones. After the week’s services have concluded, the flowers can be taken home or left at the church to be distributed to our homebound members. We have some Sundays left in 2016 for Sanctuary Flowers and many more for foyer flowers. If you are interested, please see the sign-up sheet at the information desk.

Food Pantry Needs
The food pantry is in need of tote bags, plastic grocery bags, small electric kitchen appliances and gently used pots and pans. Many families ask for items to help cook the food they receive at our pantry and need bags to help carry their groceries home. Your help is always greatly appreciated!

Garden Ministry Info
Gardeners are welcome to work side-by-side in the Meditation and Community Garden each Tuesday from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. and Wednesday from 1 p.m.-3 p.m.  The garden, which is under construction, is located on the corner of N. 4th  and Beech St.
Coffee grounds are needed as we prepare the first three of seven keyhole gardens. A black plastic container labeled “Thanks for the Coffee Grounds!” is now in the back corner of the garden area near the parking lot so you can drive by and make your “contribution!”  
A compost collection area for the Meditation and Community Garden has been created in the back corner of the garden. Please bag or bundle your items.

Gratitude
First Central Family,
Thank you so much for the wonderful graduation card! Katy and I have been so blessed to be a part of this congregation. Once again, thank you!
In Christ, Seth Saathoff

Dear Friends,
Thank you for your generous support of Greg Six! We are grateful that you give direct aid to our students and for your support of our mission o educate and equip individuals for ordained Christian ministry and other forms of Christian service and leadership. All of us at Austin Seminary appreciate your support. Thank you again for caring enough to see the needs of the church and its future leaders and to invest in that future.
Sincerely,
Gary Matthews, Director of Development
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

I just wanted to thank all of you for the generous gift. I also appreciate all of the support you all have provided us over the past three years.
Thanks again, Greg Six

Thank you everyone for your prayers during this time of illness. Steve and I are so appreciative.
Judy Daniel
Sympathy
We extend our sympathies to Natalie Kiser on the loss of her father, Eugen Pagu, in Romania; to Fran White and family on the loss of Les White; to Lynn Wilson and family on the loss of his mother, Billie Wilson; to Gloria Zapata’s sister Linda and family on the loss of her husband Fred; to Laverne Roeder and family on the loss of her brother, Glen Rhine; and to Linda and Sterling Robertson on the loss of their son Sterling “Spud” Robertson, Jr.

Congratulations and Celebrations
We would like to celebrate the baptism of two young members of FCPC: Nicholas Lamb and Gabriella Brisbin.

We would also like to congratulate graduates in the FCPC family. This year, we had eight high school and GED graduates: Green Alexander, Cassidy Fala, Delphine Kanayo, Denyse Kanayo, Ben Lantrip, Jacob Matta, Rachel Myers, and Bailey Pierce. We would also like to congratulate those who are graduating from higher learning institutions. We congratulate Greg Six on the completion of the Master of Divinity degree (M.Div.) from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Greg was also honored by being named as the recipient of the Hendrick-Smith Award for Missions and Evangelism. This award is presented each year to the graduating senior who has shown academic interest in, and life direction focused on missions and evangelism in this country and overseas. Greg currently works part-time for “Community! First Village”, a 27-acre residential community for the chronically homeless and the physically challenged. We also congratulate Tyler K. Edwards, who graduated from Lamar University with a master's in Educational Leadership this past December 2015. If you know of additional graduates that should be honored, please contact Kori in the church office and we will list their names in the next Alert.

New Members
We warmly welcome the following new members to the FCPC family: Tho (Tara) Dinh, Robert & Cindy Hanna, Valorie Cadoo, and Emily Raymond.


June and July Calendar
(Click Here to Download)
June July

Each Sunday

  • 8:30 am / 11 am: Worship Services
  • 9:45 am: Church School

Each Tuesday

  • 9-11 am: Garden Ministry Work Time
  • 1-4 pm: Food Pantry Open

Each Wednesday

  • 10 am: Knitting & Crochet Group
  • 1-3 pm: Garden Ministry Work Time
  • 7:30 pm: Sanctuary Choir

Each Thursday

  • 5:30 am: BOBS (Breakfast on Beech Street)
  • 5:30 pm: Cursillo Guitar Group (Except 16th)
  • 7:30 pm: YANC (Young Adults, No Children)

June 7

  • 10 am: Wesley Court Bible Study
  • 5:30 pm: CE Committee Meeting
  • Buffalo Gap Mini-Camp

June 8

  • Buffalo Gap Mini-Camp

June 9

  • Buffalo Gap Mini-Camp

June 10

  • 6 pm: Parents Night Out
  • Buffalo Gap Mini-Camp

June 12

  • Buffalo Gap Elementary Camp

June 13

  • 5 pm: Property Committee Meeting
  • Buffalo Gap Elementary Camp

June 14

  • 6:15 pm: Deacons Meeting
  • Buffalo Gap Elementary Camp

June 15

  • Buffalo Gap Elementary Camp

June 16

  • 6:30 pm: Ultreya
  • Buffalo Gap Elementary Camp

June 17

  • Buffalo Gap Elementary Camp

June 19

  • 1:30 pm: Worship at Wesley Court
  • Father's Day
  • Buffalo Gap Middle School Camp

June 20

  • 5:30 pm: Stephen Ministry Meeting
  • Buffalo Gap Middle School Camp

June 21

  • Buffalo Gap Middle School Camp

June 22

  • Buffalo Gap Middle School Camp

June 23

  • Buffalo Gap Middle School Camp

June 24

  • 6 pm: Parents Night Out
  • 6:30 pm: Christian Adults Night Out
  • Buffalo Gap Middle School Camp

June 26 

  •  Buffalo Gap High School Retreat

June 27

  • 6:30 pm: Martha Circle
  • Buffalo Gap High School Retreat

June 28

  • 7 pm: Session Meeting
  • Buffalo Gap High School Retreat

June 29

  • Buffalo Gap High School Retreat

June 30

  • Buffalo Gap High School Retreat 

*As July 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
  • 5 pm: Mid-High Youth (Except 17th)
  • 6 pm: Senior High Youth (Except 17th)

Each Tuesday

  • 9-11 am: Garden Ministry Work Time
  • 1-4 pm: Food Pantry Open

Each Wednesday

  • 10 am: Knitting & Crochet Group
  • 1-3 pm: Garden Ministry Work Time

Each Thursday

  • 5:30 am: BOBS (Breakfast on Beech Street)
  • 5:30 pm: Cursillo Guitar Group (Except 21st)
  • 7:30 pm: YANC (Young Adults, No Children)

July 1

  • Buffalo Gap High School Retreat

July 4

  • 5:30 pm: Stephen Ministry Meeting

July 5

  • 10:30 am: Wesley Court Bible Study

July 8

  • 6 pm: Parents Night Out

July 17

  • 1:30 pm: Worship at Wesley Court

July 18

  • 5:30 pm: Stephen Ministry Meeting

July 21

  • 6:30 pm: Ultreya

July 22

  • 6 pm: Parents Night Out
  • 6:30 pm: Christian Adults Night Out

July 24

  • Vacation Bible School

July 25

  • Vacation Bible School

July 26

  •  Vacation Bible School

July 27

  • Vacation Bible School

July 28

  • Vacation Bible School