December 2014 First Presbyterian Church
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Schedule 2014
  9:30 - Sunday School
10:15 - Fellowship
10:30 - Worship

Inside this issue:
Page 2
Page 3
Thanksgiving Dinner
Page 4
Session Notes
Page 5
Important Dates
Always in our Hearts
Page 6
Empty Bowl Event Pics
Page 7

Being Thankful Together
Thanksgiving Luncheon Page 3

Dear Church Family

It is such a blessing to catch snippets of conversations in our New Beginnings small groups. I know already that our next coming together meeting will be wonderful. I hear groups struggle for a while and then out pops one imaginative idea after another. Most of the groups are on hiatus this week and next due to various conflicts and the holidays. Anyone who has not been able to attend a group should know it’s not too late. We are in a stage where all ideas provide energy for the process. Please lend your heart and mind and voice to this important work. Sunday after church, Thursdays at 1 pm or 6:00 pm.

The annual church family thanksgiving dinner happens on the 23rd, we sponsored the “To Your Health Luncheon at HOPE this month, and Sunday the 30th is the start of Advent. We will begin Advent worshiping in a circle in the Fellowship Hall – come as you are and bring loved ones, friends or strangers. There will be opportunities for all who are willing participate in the service – it will be a bit less formal than we’re used. December 7th we’re back in the sanctuary with flute music in the service. On the 14th I will preside and our friend Rev. R. L. (Skip Ericson) will be guest in the pulpit. As you make family plans during the TDay holiday – remember we will have Christmas Eve service at six in the evening. On the Wednesdays of Advent I invite you to join in a brief worship of prayers, scriptures and meditation here at the church at noon.

Advent is the season when we bring our special Christmas Joy Offering; we also will join other congregations packing Christmas baskets at HOPE. First Methodist is having a Greater Giving Christmas Market offering Fair Trade merchandise and opportunities to support International and Local Ministries on Friday and Saturday. We work with counselors in our schools to help provide gifts for children. If you are looking for a gift for a special someone you can honor them through a gift to the church and/or one of our mission agencies. We have Backpack Keychain ornaments as mementos for a $25 gift to the Backpack Fund.

Our congregation draws funds from our reserves to meet monthly operating expenses. A year end gift would be of great benefit to our mission together. Please also consider as you make your plans for 2015 if you might be called to increase your regular giving to support our operations, our mission, and to preserve and replenish a healthy reserve. We have been tremendously blessed by a generous gift this year that is funding the needed repairs, maintenance, and painting. Remember, the greatest gift of all is discipleship, the gift of sharing yourself just as Jesus taught us.

Rejoice, rejoice – Emanuel is God with us ----- Oh Come to us, Lord Jesus,


The December Trinity Circle Meeting will be at the
home of Pastor Vicki Griffin
at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 2nd.

         Page 2

Outreach / Inreach Committee - Mary Alice Adamson, Moderator
1. Continued prayers and expressions of concern are requested for those in our church family needing our love and support.

2. Annual Thanksgiving Dinner, Sunday, 11/23/14, after Worship Service.

3. Small group meetings continue during the work phase of the New Beginnings program.

1. The Empty Bowl Event was held on Sunday, 11/16/14, with proceeds going to support the feeding programs at HOPE. In spite of the weather, a good time was had by all who attended. The 2 soups provided by FPC, made by Ken Cook and Vicki Griffin, were very popular with little left over as reported by soup server, Angie Goodpasture.

2. Our church will sponsor the To Your Health Luncheon at HOPE on 11/20/14. Rev. Kenneth Cain will speak on “A Thankful Heart is a Healthy Heart”.
3. Announcements from the Mission Advisory Board of HOPE for the local congregations are as follows:

        A. Watch your mailboxes for the “Not a Dinner” invitation which will be sent as a fund raiser soon.

        B. Small Back Pack Christmas Tree Ornaments may be purchased at HOPE for $25 each which can be given         honoring a recipient or in memory of someone at Christmas.

        C. Toys for Tots – Donors may drop off toys at HOPE until 12/10/14 for all ages up to 13.

        D. Those interested in helping pack Christmas Baskets are asked to come to HOPE on 12/15/14 at 2 PM.

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         Page 3

Following worship on Sunday November 23rd (during which our choir sang, accompanied by Helen Fordyce on the organ, Robert Adamson was soloist, and Vicki preached), we all made our way to the Fellowship Hall for our annual Thanksgiving Dinner which was a huge success and had a large crowd. Turkey, desserts (did you try Angie’s yummy chocolate cake, among other dessert delights), vegetable dishes, deviled eggs, cooked sweet potatoes mixed with bananas and honey (an exotic concoction brought by Kenneth Cook who is now passing out the recipe upon request), mashed potatoes, cheese and artichoke casserole, hominy, dressing and gravy, green bean casseroles, corn casseroles, and too many others to fit in this space. All were delicious with virtually no leftovers.

Many thanks to Cheryl Adamson and her assistants for the beautiful tables and setting out the food on the buffet table. It was nearly standing room only, but chairs were found for everyone. It was a beautiful day and a wonderful way to share our bounty with others and to thank God for all He has given us.

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         Page 4

SESSION NOTES - Carole H. Cook, Clerk of Session
Session met on November 20, 2014 for its regular meeting in the church’s session room. Rev. Victoria Griffin called the meeting to order at 5:30 PM and opened the meeting with a prayer and a reading. A quorum was present.

Elders present were: Sterling Steelman, Treasurer; Carole H. Cook, Clerk of Session; John Ross; Ann Chandler, and Mary Alice Adamson. Excused absence: Wayne Wildcat.

Treasurer Sterling Steelman presented the October financial report, reviewed it with the session, and answered questions pertaining to the report. Report was noted by consensus as received. Session approved withdrawal of funds to add to the operating fund and pay for Exum Water-proofing.

Minutes of the 10-19-14 regular session meeting were approved as presented by consensus. Rev. Griffin brought the session up-to-date about members and regular visitors in the hospital or ill at home. Rev. Griffin has ill family members in addition to church family members suffering illnesses. Upcoming dates are Grace Presbytery meeting November 21-22 in Richardson at Canyon Creek PC. Rev. Griffin, Ken and Carole Cook will attend.

The Thanksgiving luncheon is following worship on November 23rd. Rev. Griffin will host Circle at her home on December 2nd. Tuesday night group will also meet at Rev. Griffin’s home on December 9th. New Parenting Class begins December 2nd with new facilitators and observers. Office will be closed Thanksgiving week although newsletter will go out that week. Rev. Griffin will be out of town visiting her family that week but is available by email and phone. Phone numbers are (903) 284-4301 and 1 (512) 923-1065.

Rev. Griffin gave the Building and Grounds update in Wayne Wildcat’s absence and brought everyone up to date with his recovery progress. Boiler has been repaired.

Personnel and Finance Committee had no report. Outreach/Inreach (Mission) report is elsewhere in this newsletter.

Ann Chandler reported communion generally serves around 20 members, sometimes more. Christian Education is continuing its adult classroom study of the Thoughtful Christian. Class regularly has twelve attendees.

Unfinished Business: Rev. Griffin gave an update on the New Beginnings leadership and small groups. The small group leaders are reporting that the meetings are going well and participants are enthusiastic.

New Business: An idea for TV advertisement showcasing our church was brought to the session. Session needs more information before making a decision.

Session meeting was adjourned with prayer by Rev. Griffin at 7:10 PM..

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         Page 5
Important Dates

NOTE: Please check with your New Beginnings group leader for meeting dates in December
December 7- 2nd Sunday in Advent
December 14 - 3rd Sunday in Advent
December 21 - 4th Sunday in Advent, Christmas Joy offering; Session meets following worship
December 24 - Christmas Eve
December 25 - Nativity of Jesus Christ/Christmas Day; office closed
December 28 - First Sunday after Christmas

* Kay Steelman’s mom, Marge Magouyrk, at Bonner Place and not feeling well.
* Mary Johnson has moved to a Retirement Village in Whitehouse.
* Mary Louise McGaughey resides at Angelina House and is enjoying herself.
* Wayne Wildcat continues to make remarkable recovery from his broken leg.
* Paul McElhaney and Ann McElhaney both continue to have health difficulties and need our prayers.
* Willie B. Paine continues rehab at Senior Care and is feeling much better.
* Vivian Nichols is at home in Waxahachie and doing well after her hip replacement surgery. She’s in great spirits and tells everyone hello.

Please keep all in your hearts and your prayers.
The Thanksgiving Gathering...More Pictures

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         Page 6

Pictures from the Empty Bowl Event Benefiting H.O.P.E.
Angie Goodpasture, Vicki Griffin, Mary Alice Adamson
John and Madeleine Ross
Shirley Reece and Charlie Harris

Angie Goodpasture and a picture of her amazing brownies before they were auctioned off for a wonderful cause.
Cheryl Adamson

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         Page 7 - Calendar, December 2014           Join in on Praying for Our Church Family
M/M Bob Fordyce

Vicki Griffin
Mary Louise McGaughey
Kathy Barker

Guest Minister








Prayers for the Chandler Family

Trinity Circle
at the home of
Vicki Griffin
10:00 AM






Larry McCarroll


Prayers for the Peacock Family








Prayers for the Hadskey Family







Session Meeting after Worship

Prayers for the Wildcat Family


Christmas Eve
Lessons & Carols








Prayers for the Vickie Griffin Family



New Year's

January 1st

Happy New Year!

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