May, 2016

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Cliff's Notes :: Around First Central
Gratitude :: Sympathy
Congratulations and Celebrations
 May and June Calendar

Cliff's Notes
Dear FCPC Friends

Our Pentecost Party is this coming Sunday.

It is a wonderful time as we anticipate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as we gather together. Can you bring a friend to the Party? We aim to celebrate with enthusiasm.

Here is a wonderful description of what happens when the Spirit is among us:

Discouraged folks cheer up,
dishonest folks fess up,
sour folks sweeten up,
closed folk, open up,
conflicted folks make up,
sleeping folks wake up,
lukewarm folk, fire up,
dry bones shake up,
and pew potatoes-stand up!

But most of all,
Christ the Savior of all the world is lifted up.


See you Sunday and don't forget to:
1. Bring a friend to the Party
    Really make an effort to do this.
2. We are going to enjoy a free bratwurst and/or hot dog feast.
    Cookies and ice cream for dessert.
    All we ask you to do is bring a friend (or at the very least bring yourself!
3. Wear Red! Yes, wear something red on Pentecost Sunday.

Around First Central
Pentecost Party!
Next Sunday is Pentecost and we have a wonderful tradition of holding a Pentecost Party at FCPC. Can you bring a friend? We will celebrate after the 11 a.m. service with a hot dog and bratwurst luncheon with cookies and ice cream for dessert! The luncheon is free and no reservations are required. Come join us! Bring a friend! And be sure to wear something RED!

Abilene Association of Congregations Anniversary
You are invited to the 30th anniversary celebration of the Abilene Association of Congregations on Sunday, May 15 at 2 PM. The event will take place at the Abilene Women's Club on South 14th St. Dr. Roy Zuefeldt was one of the original founders of this very important ecumenical organization.

Christian Adults Night Out
The next CANO (Christian Adults Night Out) will be on May 20th at 6:30 at Lytle Land and Cattle.  Please contact Evie at 513-3362 or 692-4012 by Wednesday May 18th if you plan to attend.  

Honoring our Graduates
We would like to honor our graduates from all levels of education in the next Alert. If you have a graduate—high school or college—please let us know by contacting Kori in the church office so that we can celebrate their accomplishments as a church family!

Summer Camps at Buffalo Gap
Staff Training: June 5-8
(Staff Only)
Mini-Camp: June 7-10, $150
(Completed grades 1, 2 or 3)
Elementary: June 12-17, $250
(Completed grades 4 or 5)
Middle School: June 19-24, $250
(Completed grades 6, 7 or 8)
High School Retreat: June 26-July 1, $250
(Completed grades 9-12)
Deadlines: Register by May 22 and get a free t-shirt!
You may register later, but please do so ASAP so that the camp may be better prepared. Please do not let finances keep your child from attending camp. FCPC pays part of the fee toward each child attending from our church—please pick up a form at the information desk or call the church office for more information. Additional Camperships may be available through the Presbytery, the Camp itself, or through FCPC if needed. You can visit the presbytery website at www.paloduropresbytery.org for more information.

A Note from Jacob Snowden, DCE
In one of Jesus’ final moments with his disciples he says to them, “I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.”
I felt surprisingly welcome when I first walked into a House of Friends, the name for a Quaker meeting house. When living in London, the House of Friends was my favorite and most regular place of worship. I thought there was something particularly special about reading a sign that said “House of Friends,” walking through the door, and having someone greet me with a cup of tea. I have been intrigued about this idea of the church—as a house of friends—ever since.
Registration is open for Buffalo Gap Camp this summer, where the theme will be friendship. At first it may seem that friendship is an unspoken theme of every camp. However, the idea of friendship has had a rocky past, especially in the Christian tradition. Aristotle claimed that “Without friends, no one would want to live, even if he had all other goods.” Two of his ten books comprising Nicomachean Ethics are devoted to friendship, where he makes striking statements like, “Between friends there is no need for justice, but people who are just still need the quality of friendship; and indeed friendliness is considered to be justice in the fullest sense. It is not only a necessary thing but a splendid one.” In the Christian tradition, even the gospels speak less well of friendship in places. In Luke 14 we are encouraged not to invite our friends to dinner. Christians are to love everyone unconditionally, not to love a few people because of particular quirks and character traits.
What then does Jesus mean when the disciples are called friends? How are Christians supposed to love everyone unconditionally on the one hand and let some people hold a special place in the hearts, minds, and homes in another? What does it mean when Jesus claims there is no greater love than laying down one’s life for a friend? How can the church be a house of friends, where everyone is welcome?
If you want to know more, don’t miss camp this year! You can find more information and a registration form at www.paloduropresbytery.org or you can contact the church office!
Enjoy some summer fun, and congratulations to all of our seniors!

Youth Ministry News
The entire month of April and the beginning of May was incredibly busy and fun! We kicked off April with the Garden Gathering on the 16th. During the Garden Gathering the youth and children helped lay bricks in the pattern of the labyrinth prayer path. Even though it was a little chilly outside, the kids enjoyed the time of fellowship and service in the outdoors!
The next day our Senior-High Youth members that plan to attend the summer mission trip to Staten Island, NY hosted the Mission Trip Fundraiser Luncheon. Our students and parents decorated Faith Hall, served an Italian-themed menu, bussed tables, and held a dessert auction with tasty treats donated by FCPC church members. The fund raiser was a HUGE success as we raised over $2000 through ticket sales and auction bids! Thank you to all those who helped us by donating and preparing food, setting up and tearing down Faith Hall, and sharing of your financial resources.
On April 22-24, the youth group headed down to Mo Ranch for our yearly Spring Retreat. We spent the weekend in Bible study, playing games, eating great food, and swimming and canoeing in the river. The weather was nice, the water was perfect, and the fellowship was fun! We can’t wait to go back next year.
May 1 was a BIG day for our young people. After weeks of writing sermons and prayers, practicing songs, and dividing responsibilities, the youth group lead both morning worship services from beginning to end. The affirmation expressed by our congregation towards our youth after the services was overwhelming and humbling! The youth members walked away from those services knowing their efforts were appreciated and that they are deeply loved by their church family. Thank you to our youth group members for working so very hard and taking the task of leading the congregation in worship seriously. We also need to thank Clell Wright and Gene Six for helping us through the more musical and technical portions of the services.
As the school year winds down, we have a few more important events before summer begins. First, we will have a Mid-High Mystery Fun Day on May 14. 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students are invited to enjoy a full day of relaxing fun with the Youth Minister and Youth Ministry Helpers. The activities are a surprise so come ready for anything!
High school graduation season is here and we have several youth members who will be receiving their diplomas in the last week of May. The youth group will celebrate the seniors and their parents with a special Senior Sunday Brunch during the Church School hour. The graduates will also assist in the liturgy during both services while wearing their commencement robes.
Now that the elevator is working again, The Mug Stop has moved back upstairs across from the youth room! Come see us for your coffee, tea, and espresso needs on Sunday mornings from 9:30-10:45. The FCPC family continues to be very generous with their coffee purchases, moving us closer to our goal of funding this summer’s Senior-High Mission trip to Staten Island.
FCPC Youth is on Instagram! Follow us @fcpcyouth to keep up with all of our events.

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.

FCPC Garden Ministry
Gardeners are welcome to work side-by-side in the Meditation and Community Garden each Tuesday and Wednesday, 1 p.m.-3 p.m.  The garden, which is under construction, is located on the corner of N. 4th  and Beech St.

Breakfast on Beech Street
Breakfast on Beech Street (BOBS) has been busy so far this year! In April we had 1,310 guests and served 1,599 meat & cheese and 643 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. That brings the total guests in 2016 so far up to 4,048, meat & cheese sandwiches to 4,821 and PBJ sandwiches to 1,853. 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!

Earthquake Relief
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is working in collaboration with our partner the ACT (Action by Churches Together) Alliance to respond to the earthquakes in Ecuador and Japan, providing support to those suffering in the aftermath. As our immediate response takes shape, PDA is also preparing for long-term support. 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. If you would like to support the mission of PDA, please make out your check to FCPC with “PDA Earthquake Relief” on the memo line.

Food Pantry Needs
The food pantry is in need of tote 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 tote bags to help carry their groceries home. Your help is always greatly appreciated!

Mo-Ranch Quilting Retreat—September 19-23
A community of quilters, joined together in the beautiful fall setting of the Texas Hill Country! This retreat will be facilitated by Barb Goodlock of Rockport, Texas. Instructor-led time will cover collage quilts, shibori, cyanotype fabric dyeing and other quilting techniques.
Unleash your creative spirit in a large workspace with other fellow quilters. Join us for this fall quilting retreat and be prepared to experience fellowship, worship, relaxation and fun!
This retreat will be limited to 26 participants.
Retreat pricing:
This includes food, tuition, lodging and retreat meeting spaces.
Hotel, single occupancy: $600
Hotel, double occupancy: $400
Commuter rate: $200*  
*Excludes housing on the ranch, includes lunch and dinner each day of the retreat.
Space is limited, register now at www.moranch.org!

Gratitude
Thank you so9 much for thinking of me, and sending the lovely card.
Gladys Dillard

Thank you for letting Connecting Caring Communities hold this year’s Good Neighbor Breakfast at First Central. It was a wonderful venue for us! We appreciate the use of your sound system, stage, chairs, kitchen, and all the friendly faces who helped us along the way. We look forward to more ways we can partner together this year!
Best, Lou Thornton, CCC Director

Dear FCPC,
We cannot thank you all enough for your continued thoughts and prayers! Receiving a card with so much love is truly a blessing to both of us! We are so thankful to have such an incredible church family so far away! We hope to come visit very soon!
Love, Seth & Katy Saathoff

To all my Christian friends and to all members of this congregation:
I completed my chemo treatment today, April 4 and am doing fine. I am very grateful for all your prayers for me during my chemo treatment. I thank the good Lord for all of you.
Florentina Brown
Sympathy
We extend our sympathies to Clare Nickel and family on the loss of her nephew Brian Sparks from Hobbs, New Mexico, and to Mary Pritchett and family on the loss of Dub Pritchett.

Congratulations and Celebrations
We would like to celebrate the birth of June LaRuth Wilson, daughter of Julie and Casey Wilson. Proud grandparents at FCPC are David and Alynn Polnick.



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

Each Sunday

  • 8:30 am / 11 am: Worship Services
  • 9:45 am: Church School
  • 5 pm: Mid-High Youth (Except 24th)
  • 6 pm: Senior High Youth (Except 24th)
Each Monday
  • 7 am: Men's Study Group

Each Tuesday

  • 1-4 pm: Food Pantry Open
  • 1-3 pm: Garden Ministry Work Time

Each Wednesday

  • 10 am: Knitting & Crochet Group
  • 1-3 pm: Garden Ministry Work Time
  • 6:30 pm: Bell Choir
  • 7 pm: All Youth Gathering
  • 7:30 pm: Sanctuary Choir

Each Thursday

  • 5:30 am: BOBS (Breakfast on Beech Street)
  • 5:30 pm: Cursillo Guitar Group (Except 19th
  • 7:30 pm: YANC (Young Adults, No Children)

May 11

  • 4:30 pm: Worship Committee Meeting

May 13

  • 6 pm: Parents Night Out

May 14

  • Mid-High Mystery Day

May 15

  • Pentecost
  • 12 pm: Pentecost Luncheon
  • 1:30 pm: Worship at Wesley Court
  • 2 pm: Abilene Association of Congregations Celebration
  • 5:30 pm: Women's Bible Study

May 16

  • 5:30 pm: Stephen Ministry Meeting
  • 5:45 pm: PW Coordinating Team Meeting

May 17

  • 10 am: Mary Circle
  • 5:30 pm: LCMC Meeting

May 18

  • 12 pm: Finance Committee Meeting

May 19

  • 6:30 pm: Ultreya

May 20

  • 6:30 pm: Christian Adults Night Out

May 22

  • Senior Sunday

May 23

  • 6:30 pm: Martha Circle

May 24

  • 7 pm: Session Meeting

May 25

  • 4 pm: LifeLine Council Meeting

May 27

  • 6 pm: Parents Night Out

May 29

  • Communion

May 30

  • Memorial Day - Church Office Closed

*As June 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
  • 6 pm: Senior High Youth

Each Tuesday

  • 1-4 pm: Food Pantry Open
  • 1-3 pm: Garden Ministry Work Time

Each Wednesday

  • 10 am: Knitting & Crochet Group
  • 1-3 pm: Garden Ministry Work Time
  • 6:30 pm: Bell Choir
  • 7 pm: All Youth Gathering
  • 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 1

  • 6 pm: Garden Gathering

June 5

  • Buffalo Gap Camp Staff Training

June 6

  • 9 am: PW Birthday Offering & Silent Chefs
  • 5:30 pm: Stephen Ministry Meeting
  • Buffalo Gap Camp Staff Training

June 7

  • 10 am: Wesley Court Bible Study
  • Buffalo Gap Mini-Camp
  • Buffalo Gap Camp Staff Training

June 8

  • Buffalo Gap Mini-Camp
  • Buffalo Gap Camp Staff Training

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

  • Buffalo Gap Elementary Camp

June 14

  • 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
  • 6:30 pm: Martha Circle
  • Buffalo Gap Middle School Camp

June 21

  • 10 am: Mary Circle
  • 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

  • Buffalo Gap High School Retreat

June 28

  • Buffalo Gap High School Retreat

June 29

  • Buffalo Gap High School Retreat

June 30

  • Buffalo Gap High School Retreat

July 1

  • Buffalo Gap High School Retreat