November, 2016

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Cliff's Notes :: Around First Central
Congratulations and Celebrations :: Sympathy
November and December Calendar

Cliff's Notes


Dear Church,

Former Harvard president Lawrence Summers says: "no one in the history of the world ever washed a rental car."

My car I'll buff and pamper with a hand wax finish. But think of that last Avis SUV you returned after muddling through the dirt roads at Big Bend. Tell me — did you wash it before you returned it?

Don't you see owners have a totally different experience?

By giving to a church I feel like an owner. I go from "this is their church" to "this is my church, this is my family, these are my pastors, and this is my spiritual home.”

110 members have pledged their gifts for next year’s ministries. 125 members who pledged last year have not yet made a commitment and will do so between now and the first of the new year. May I say that the prospects for a generous outpouring of pledges are hopeful, but not certain until the last card is in.

We pay you the highest compliment of not “hounding” or “manipulating” you regarding your giving. You know full well how significantly God has blessed your life. You also know that church programs do not spring out of the air. They materialize as those who believe in them and are blessed by them demonstrate their tangible support by giving generously.

Intelligent Christians do not have to be tricked or coaxed into responsible stewardship. The Bible is utterly realistic: “Those who sows sparingly reap sparingly, and those who sow bountifully reap bountifully.” Your “estimate of giving” card is “the seed” you choose to invest in First Central Presbyterian Church.

Because memory is the basis of hope – I have every reason to expect the best once again from our congregation. You are the most generous and responsive church I have ever served.

If you have not yet made your pledge for 2017 – would you consider doing so? There is a link to a PDF of a 2017 Pledge Card above, or you can click here to download it. You may complete it and send to the church office or you may audibly make your pledge through Barbara McLean, church administrator at 677-3501. I like to say that your church giving amounts are only known by God, you and Barbara!

With hope for the future...we join together in generous giving to the Lord.

Around First Central
Understanding Youth Today
Wednesday nights at First Central Presbyterian are tasty, interesting, informative and inspirational.
Why don’t you join us at 5:45 PM for dinner? We have a delicious catered dinner for $6.50. Reservations need to be made by noon on Tuesday. Many bring their own sandwich – and we have a place at the table set for you.
We have had wonderful attendance at every one of our Wednesday evenings this fall. On Wednesday, November 2 we have invited Cody Favor, ‘Pastor for Students’ at First Baptist Church, Abilene to speak with us about how we might best understand the youth scene. His title is “What Every Adult Should Know About Youth Ministry in the 21st Century.”
Wednesday, November 9 will be a much-anticipated Africa report from Garrett Briggs and Lynn Beal. More about this later.

LOGOS plants seeds in the future.
On Johnny Appleseed night we planted an apple tree in our new FCPC community garden. Everyone got a chance to shovel dirt as well as bless this new tree. We planted our new tree near the sidewalk so that we can observe its growth in the coming years.
Our Sunday evenings for children age 5 through fifth grade are opportunities for us to plant seeds in these young lives.
Many thanks to our Logos leaders who do everything from Bible study, cooking/cleaning, game playing and relationship building. It’s a lot of fun and it’s also a lot of work.
And on top of that – it’s worth it! Logos is meant to be shared. One of our participants brought three friends this past Sunday!
While there was no regular Logos on October 30 due to Trunk or Treat, you can be certain we’ll have a great time on November 6 from 4:30 to 7 pm with a Lego theme.
You might say that the 30th was an extra-special spooky Logos Trunk or Treat with plenty of ghouls, fairies, and ninjas—and of course, lots and lots of candy. Be sure to join us on the 6th!

A Word from Jacob Snowden, DCE
Do you remember anticipating Christmas before you knew the word “anticipation?” I remember pleading with my mother when I was a child to go home once the sun set on Christmas Eve because the sooner we crawled into bed, the sooner Santa would come. There was no excitement and electricity like waiting for what came just before Christmas day. Something magical happened every day I moved the small, cloth Santa one slot closer to Christmas on the family advent calendar.
Advent is of course the season of the church year where the church waits and prepares for the celebration of Jesus’ coming. I am struck that while I am the first to bemoan how early Christmas trees and decorations can be seen in stores, the first Christmas came with nine months of expectation.
These are the important things to me as Christmas approaches: expectant waiting, preparation, celebration. These things come together for us as a church during the Advent Fair, held on the first Sunday of Advent, which will fall on November 27th this year. The Advent Fair is a time where we wait and party together. There is cake, ginger bread, crafts, music, and a gym full of Christmas spirit. The hope and joy of the season begins stirring for me as the smell of peppermint and coffee intermingle. And as we expect how that spirit might lead us into a new year, we raise funds through a cake auction for youth mission endeavors.
What I am saying is that the Advent Fair is not something to be missed. I ho-ho-hope to see you there!

Youth Ministry News
The two BIG Youth events in October were the Lock-In and Trunk N’ Treat. The Lock-In began on Friday, October 21st at 9 PM and ran until 6:30 AM the next morning. We started the night with a fun new game, Human-Sized Hungry Hungry Hippos! A BIG thanks goes out to Joe Pierce for letting us borrow some furniture carts to make a reality. Later, we also played classic Lock-In games like Sardines and Sniper, ate snacks (thank you parents for pitching in), watching movies, and tried to stay up ALL NIGHT! Not everyone achieved that last goal, but we all had fun trying.
If you see one of our Youth around the church this next week, make sure to give them a pat on the back. They all helped set up all the tables and chairs in the gym for the Consecration Sunday Luncheon. I made them leave the movie room at 4 AM on Saturday morning! By that time, their Youth Minister wasn’t their favorite person in the world. However, they helped without (well… mostly without) complaint.
The Youth helped during the Trunk N’ Treat event by painting faces and serving popcorn in the Youth popcorn machine. After all the candy ran out and the parking lot cleared, the Youth headed upstairs for a spooky movie night complete with Halloween candy and popcorn.
November brings two of the best Youth events of the year, the Progressive Dinner and the Advent Fair. On the 13th at 5:00 PM, the church van will leave from the FCPC parking lot and progress from house to house for a food course at each home. It will be a great time filled with home cooked food and fellowship. This year’s Advent Fair theme is “A Very Merry Marti Gras” in homage to this summer’s Senior High New Orleans Mission Trip. The entire church is invited to gather together to help our children make crafts, to eat sweet snacks, and to bid on cakes at the cake auction. All proceeds from the cake auction will directly fund Youth Missions. As usual, WE NEED VOLUNTEERS TO MAKE AND DONATE CAKES! Email Kristen at to let us know if you plan on baking a delightful dessert this year. This event is always a ton of fun with great snacks and heated bidding wars. You don’t want to miss it!
We’ve got a new style of drink in the Mug Stop! In honor of the notoriously balmy weather in Louisiana, the Mug Stop now sells Starbucks-style Frappuccinos. If you come buy a tasty cold drink (or any drink of your choice), your money will go directly towards Senior-High Mission Trip scholarships. If you don’t drink coffee or tea, you can still support the mission trip by leaving a tip in the Mug Stop tip jar J.
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 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.

Military Salute
On November 6 we will honor our nation’s veterans. PW will be accepting home baked bread or goodies for the gifts we will present to each Veteran. We also encourage everyone to write a personal note of thanks. We will also send boxes of goodies to our deployed military. Please deliver your goodies to the baskets in the foyer on or before noon Friday, November 3rd. You are always generous in our efforts to honor our military personnel. Thank you!

Presbyterian Women Thank Offering
The Presbyterian Women Fall Thank Offering will take place on November 6 from 5 PM until 6:30 PM in the Minter room. All female members of FCPC are considered members of PW, all ages welcome! We will gather for a light dinner and learn about the different groups who will benefit from the Thank Offering, watch an informative video, enjoy music, prayer, and a short program focusing on meditation and prayer.

Clothing Drive
The Coat-Off-Your-Back Clothing Drive is underway! Share any fall and winter clothing you no longer intend to wear with our neighbors. Drop off clothing in Faith Hall. It is a huge help if you will place clothing in the designated areas for women, men, boys, girls, and infant clothing. Accessories such as belts, shoes, boots, scarves, etc. are also enjoyed by those who attend. All clothing not taken by our neighbors on Sunday, Nov. 13, will be taken to Mission Thanksgiving on Friday, Nov. 18th to be shared with the larger community.

Clothes Drive Give-Away
Our clothing give-away will be Sunday, November 13, between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. in Faith Hall. Volunteers are needed to help fold and organize clothing during the week of Nov. 6-11. Faith Hall will be open each day between 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. so come when it’s convenient and help out as long as you can. Sunday, Monday and Wednesday evenings are also times when the church is open and you can volunteer those evenings.

The Hanging of the Greens
The Hanging of the Greens will be Tuesday, November 22, beginning at 9 a.m. and concluding with lunch and an Advent devotional led by Janice Six.  “Many hands make light work,” so please come and help hang wreaths, fluff bows, and decorate trees, in anticipating of the Advent season.

Pageant Practice
Our annual Children’s Christmas Pageant will be December 4th, so watch your mailbox and the pew sheet for more information about pageant practice coming very soon!

FCPC Christmas Dinner
The Christmas Dinner prior to our annual Christmas Pageant will be Sunday, December 4, at 6 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. The traditional Christmas dinner of turkey, dressing, green beans, sweet potatoes, rolls and pecan cobbler is being catered by Sharon’s.  Guests are asked to pay $10/meal. Reservations may be made by signing up in the foyer or calling the church office. This sit-down dinner is hosted each year by the Deacons and coordinated by Judy Miller. Afterward, the Children’s Christmas Pageant is held in the sanctuary at 7 p.m.  

Garden Ministry News
Keyhole Gardens are ready for adoption! The large purple keyhole garden beds have been partially planted with fall veggies and are up for “adoption!” Talk to a few friends, your Sunday morning class, a Bible study group, or maybe you’re looking for a family project! Consider adopting one of the 7 keyhole beds. Sign-up page is in the church foyer or contact Janice Six, for additional information.

Breakfast on Beech Street
B.O.B.S still needs YOU! We're seeking new volunteers to join our Thursday teams. Come and give it a try! Please contact Margaret Beasley (692-4149) for more information. In September 1,745 guests (85 were between 1-18 yrs. old) received breakfasts and lunches which included 2,887 sandwiches plus cookies, fruit and a scripture. Year-to-date 12,459 guests have received breakfasts plus 23,469 sandwiches!

Camp Romania 2017
Camp Romania is a mission trip for college-age young adults. This mission trip is sponsored by NOROC (New Opportunities for Romanian Orphaned Children). Our primary purpose is to interact with as many teens and children as possible who are living in county orphanages. Travelers will also learn about the culture of Romania, experience worship in the Orthodox Church, and visit some popular tourist sites. We will return to Romania in 2017, either after final exams in the last half of May or in the first part of July. Our trip will not conflict with the Buffalo Gap Summer camps.
For more information and to download an application, please visit the FCPC website at If you encounter problems finding, downloading, or opening the file, please contact the church office. Completed applications should be submitted to Jacob Snowden in the church office.

“The Church”
Sometimes you hear people say, “The Church is always asking for money.” That statement is untrue.
It is the world which is always asking for money, not the Church. When did you last go to the grocery store and the checker failed to ask you for money? Your mortgage company asks for money with unfailing regularity. If you are like most people, each month brings a new collection of bills.
Are there any of them from the Church? Who withholds a percentage of each dollar you earn? Your Uncle does that. Your Father does not.
There is no free lunch—except at the Church. You can attend worship every week—there is no admission charge. If you are sick, one of the clergy will visit you at the hospital. Where else can you get free counseling when you need it? Where will your children be married? Several hundred people receive a newsletter each week. None receives a subscription notice “asking for money” as with other publications.
What do you do when your loved one dies? What will it cost? The funeral home will certainly charge for its services. Your church will not. The Church building will always be there when you need it—clean, heated, and with kitchen and nursery provided. You make full use of it and never pay one dime. No one will even know, whether you contribute or not.
You have to pay taxes to provide your children “free” public education, but your Church operates a Sunday School which will give quality Christian education with absolutely no cost or obligation. The Church requires no membership fee, no annual dues. It never sends its members a bill:

Is there any other organization in the world that functions that way? I don’t know of any.
You see, the truth is the Church “asks for money” LESS than anything else you can think of.
Consider this paradox. Compared to the government and the bill collectors, the Church almost NEVER asks for money. Yet of all the things your money could be used for, very few are more important than what the church provides:
The Church is here to share the love of Jesus Christ himself. Our money goes to serve him. We will continue to provide ministry in Jesus’ name to everyone, whether they can afford to contribute or not. Isn’t that something you would like to be a part of?

- The Epistle, Saint Paul’s Church, Kansas City, Missouri

Congratulations and Celebrations
We would like to celebrate the birth of Alexandra Caroline Juanillo, daughter of Laura & Drew Juanillo. Proud grandparents at FCPC are Clell & Angela Wright. We would also like to celebrate the birth of Sawyer Grace Maulden, daughter of Lindsey & Justin Maulden. Proud grandparents at FCPC are Jim & Sue Sullivan.
We extend our sympathies to Gerald Ford on the death of his brother David and to Dave Stark on the death of his father Tom Stark of Beeville.

November and December Calendar
(Click Here to Download)
November December

Each Sunday

  • 8:30 am / 11 am: Worship Services
  • 9:45 am: Church School
  • 4:30 pm: Logos (Ends 13th)
  • 5 pm: Mid-High Youth (Except 13th, 27th)
  • 6 pm: Senior High Youth (Except 13th, 27th)

Each Monday

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

Each Tuesday

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

Each Wednesday

  • 10 am: Knitting & Crochet Group
  • 5:45 pm: Wednesday Night Dinner (Ends 16th)
  • 6:30 pm: Wednesday Night Program (Ends 16th)
  • 6:30 pm: Handbell Choir Practice
  • 7 pm: All Youth Gathering
  • 7:30 pm: Sanctuary Choir Practice

Each Thursday

  • 5:30 am: BOBS (Breakfast on Beech Street)
  • 9-11 am: Garden Ministry Work Time
  • 5:30 pm: Guitar Group (Except 17th, 24th)
  • 7:30 pm: Young Adults, No Children (YANC)

November 1

  • 10 am: Wesley Court Bible Study
  • 5:30 pm: CE Committee Meeting

November 6

  • Time Change - Fall Back
  • 2 pm: PW Thank Offering Tea

November 7

  • 5:15 pm: M&E Committee Meeting
  • 5:30 pm: Stephen Ministry Final Exam & Party

November 8

  • 6:15 pm: Deacons Meeting

November 9

  • 4:30 pm: Worship Committee Meeting

November 11

  • 6 pm: Parents Night Out (PNO)

November 13

  • 2 pm: Clothing Drive Give-Away
  • Youth Progressive Dinner

November 14

  • 5 pm: Property Committee Meeting

November 15

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

November 17

  • 6:30 pm: Ultreya Fellowship

November 20

  • 1:30 pm: Worship at Wesley Court

November 21

  • 5:45 pm: PW Coordinating Team Meeting

November 22

  • 9 am-Noon: Bring turkeys for Food Pantry
  • 10 am: Hanging of the Greens
  • 7 pm: Session Meeting

November 24

  • Thanksgiving Day - Church Office Closed

November 25

  • Church Office Closed

November 27

  • First Sunday of Advent
  • Advent Fair & Cake Auction

November 28

  • 6:30 pm: Martha Circle

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

Each Sunday (Except Christmas Day)

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

Each Monday

  • 7 am: Men's Morning Study (Except 26th)

Each Tuesday

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

Each Wednesday

  • 10 am: Knitting & Crochet Group
  • 6:30 pm: Handbell Choir Practice
  • 7 pm: All Youth Gathering
  • 7:30 pm: Sanctuary Choir Practice

Each Thursday

  • 5:30 am: BOBS (Breakfast on Beech Street)
  • 9-11 am: Garden Ministry Work Time (Except 22nd)
  • 5:30 pm: Guitar Group (Except 22nd)
  • 7:30 pm: Young Adults, No Children (YANC) (Ends 15th)

December 4

  • Second Sunday of Advent
  • Christmas Dinner & Children's Christmas Pageant

December 5

  • 10 am: Phoebe's Friends
  • 5:15 pm: M&E Committee Meeting

December 6

  • 10 am: Wesley Court Bible Study
  • 5:30 pm: CE Committee Meeting

December 9

  • 6 pm: Parents Night Out (PNO)

December 11

  • Third Sunday of Advent
  • Choir Music in Worship Services
  • Christmas Caroling

December 12

  • 5 pm: Property committee Meeting
December 13
  • 6:15 pm: Deacons Meeting

December 15

  • 6:30 pm: Ultreya Fellowship

December 18

  • Fourth Sunday of Advent

December 19

  • 5:45 pm: PW Coordinating Team Meeting
  • 6:30 pm: Martha Circle

December 20

  • 5:30 pm: LCMC Meeting

December 22

  • Church Office Closed

December 23

  • Church Office Closed

December 24

  • Christmas Eve
  • 6 pm: Candlelight Service & Communion

December 25

  • 9:45 am: Church School (Per-class basis)
  • 11 am: Worship Service (No 8:30 service on Christmas)

December 26

  • Church Office Closed

December 27

  • 7 pm: Session Meeting

December 31

  • New Year's Eve